Awards/HOF General Yankees

Twenty One

I really enjoyed watching the way Paul O’Neill played as a Yankee. In his nine seasons, he lead the league in grounding into double plays twice, so at least he was trying to make contact, and he had a great batting average in a strike year. I suppose that I’m cynical about why this is happening.

Retiring 21 from the Yankees numbers (of which that is the 23rd number) isn’t egregious in any sense. He was always engaging as a player and an announcer, and was tenacious on the field and at the plate. But it makes me wonder if O’Neill gets his bronze in monument park, what about Chris Chambliss, or Willie Randolph? And don’t get me started on Mel Stottlemyre.

Not that it matters. Number 21 is number 23 of 99 numbers retired. Maybe they can start using decimal places for future candidates.

Awards/HOF General Red Sox

David Ortiz

Papi in a brief interview talks about playing for Boston and more, as he heads to the HOF. It’s a fluff piece for the most part, but it’s a nice piece of nostalgia about my MFRS. The incredible series authored by Paul SF, 50 Greatest Sox Seasons, has Ortiz’ 2006 campaign at #30.



Unit, Petey, Smoltzie, and, Craig whose nickname is Craig

The voters were straight up proper in putting Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, and Biggio in the HOF.

It’s hard for me to look at the roster and not think that guys like Raines are getting shorted because nobody cares about the guy who was second place (but really wasn’t) to Rickey.

Also, how did nearly 10% of voters not like Pedro? How many people that vote for this award actually watch baseball. Did they see how dominant Martinez was? It can’t be a personality thing, because 97% voted Randy Johnson, who was by all accounts not too cuddly. Donny Baseball will have to go the management track.

Vote Raines 2016.


Maddux, Glavine, Thomas

There’s all of your 2014 class, coming off of last year’s shut-out. There is no possible argument why these three shouldn’t get in immediately. The fun comes when 18 people (hopefully) explain why they didn’t vote for Maddux, and worse yet, explain why they didn’t vote for any of the other players with epic careers that are now locked out by prejudice. Poor Craig Biggio, he missed his ticket by two measly votes. Why do more than half of the voters not like Tim Raines? Moose had no traction at all, and it boggles my mind that he only got a 20% vote when Glavine goes in on the first ballot. We don’t have to pull the entire mess apart, because Jay Jaffe already did last week (missed this article.. great read). The voting results are past the fold.


Nothing Happens In Baseball

That’s what detractors of baseball say. Well, today they are literally quite right as no one got elected to the Hall this ballot. That’ll teach Biggio.


Not A Travesty

“I think winning the Triple Crown had a lot to do with me winning this honor” — Miguel Cabrera

Yep. Stringing together three truly remarkable seasons helps too. By all the math I care for, Trout should have won it, but please don’t tell my Tiger friends what I wrote, and actually I don’t really care so much in this case.


Slick Meaningless Accolades

Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano won another gold glove. Hooray.

Awards/HOF General Red Sox

Verlander Voted Most Valuable

Justin Verlander wins the MVP to go with his Cy Young, while Jacoby Ellsbury (gerbil’s MFRS) got the runner up. I was on the fence whether it should be Ellsbury or Verlander and can not argue with either choice. Jim Ingraham of The Herald-News in Ohio left Verlander off his MVP ballot entirely (and explains his position in the linked article.

I don’t get omitting Verlander altogether. There are 10 other major-league players more valuable than he was? Pete Abraham provides an interesting read as he explains his MVP ballot.

Awards/HOF General Baseball

Harmon Killebrew

A quiet, friendly Titan.  '59 to 69, something untold except for the Babe.


Alomar, Blyleven Inducted

Congratulations to Cooperstown’s two most recent inductees. No love for Rock, though.

Awards/HOF The Media

Don’t Know Jack

The increasingly acrimonious debate over the Hall of Fame seems to have grown in intensity yet again this year, with Jack Morris once again taking center stage. A good forum for addressing the tenor and scope of the debate this year is Tyler Kepner's recent New York Times column, which attempts to at least be fair to both sides while reaching completely the wrong conclusion.

Awards/HOF General Baseball History

The Official Paul-SF HOF Ballot

Because it matters oh, so much.

A couple caveats: I'm a large-Hall guy, so I usually fill up all 10 spots, and I value peak more heavily perhaps than the typical voter. It's how I balance the "fame" aspect of the Hall with the more objective career value considerations. But one great season amid a non-excellent career (Maris, for example) doesn't do it for me either.

You can check out the eligibles, ranked by WAR, at Baseball-Reference.

They'll surprise you. Alomar is all but certain to be elected this year, yet he's only tied for ninth, and several of the guys considered borderline outrank him: Walker, Edgar Martinez, Trammell, Raines. Bagwell is second only to Blyleven. He should be inducted. But just having a great WAR doesn't necessarily cut it if a lot of other players at your position also had a great WAR, so let's take a look at some of these guys.


Pete Abraham’s HOF Ballot

From Extra Bases on

My first Hall of Fame ballot was submitted today. As promised, here is who I voted for:

Roberto Alomar
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Alan Trammell
Tim Raines

PA says that Alomar is the only sure-fire HOFer. Personally, I’m convinced that Raines should be considered a no-brainer for induction as well. That is not an issue with the article — since Pete voted for him — but for some reason that I can’t put my finger on, I think I will be really pissed off if Raines doesn’t get voted in. The math backs it up well enough. Heck, he deserves a slot just for his career OBP+SB. But maybe it was the collusion. Maybe its that he did a huge chunk of his best work in a part of another country that doesn’t want to speak English. Maybe it is the lack of forgiveness many have for his admitted substance abuse.

All I know is Vote Rock.

Awards/HOF Humor

Lunch Money, Yes, Let’s Have That.

From the “Pen is mightier than the Saber” department…

Did writers bully other writers? Does math+baseball=bandwagon?  I don’t know the pressures faced by a writer at a newspaper, but I do know that the great thing about math is that it is an open-door party with no velvet ropes.  Come on in and have a seat, or a pulpit.  No rope.  There is a caveat: you have to accept that a lot of people do a lot of work to bring you those numbers.  It’s the same barrier you accept when you start writing analyses of games you aren’t playing (or watching) in the first place.  It is physically impossible for any one person to watch every pitch of every game played.  It can’t be done.  Instead, we have lots of people that put results together and use math to try to make those numbers relevant.  What are you going to do with this bounty?

Take note of the use of the word “trendy”, in Phil Rogers’ quote, as if some day this “trend” of open, peer-reviewed statistical analysis and inclusive debate about the evaluation of talent will abate. I pine for those days as a young baseball fan when I eagerly awaited for the Times-Union final edition because the morning paper didn’t have the west coast games’ box scores.  I assumed that there was a network of trust regarding reporting and that “top people” were delivering this information via the papers. That’s the only way that until the invention of cable, games west of Chicago were not considered a complete fabrication.  Gimme some more of that, and less information, and less conversation. And turn off the lights at Wrigley.

And every time someone links to Murray Chass’ not-a-blog, a kitten gets eaten by a weasel.


Are You Not Entertained?

King Felix tore up the league this year in spite of the fact that he had no run support from what can only be described as the worst offense in the history of the universe.  Okay, maybe not the WHOLE universe.  Let's just say Felix was awesome; too bad the Mariners couldn't do more with that stellar performance.  Congratulations to Felix Hernandez, Cy Young winner.


Rumour has it that MLB Managers and Executives Kill Puppies…

… because they can’t kill Chase Utley.

2010 Senior Circuit GG-ers:

1 Bronson Arroyo, Reds
2 Yadier Molina, Cardinals
3 Albert Pujols, Cardinals
4 Brandon Phillips, Reds
5 Scott Rolen, Cardinals
6 Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
789 Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
789 Michael Bourn, Astros
789 Shane Victorino, Phillies

That said, Brandon Phillips is a fine, durable fielder.