Blog Entry

Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

Posted on: February 18, 2011 4:52 pm
Gary Sheffield once told me he really wanted to get to 3,000 hits.

I can't say I believed him.

Pudge Rodriguez told me last year that 3,000 hits was a goal.

I did believe him.

So I can't say I'm surprised at this week's developments for either Sheffield (who announced his retirement , more than a year after he last played) or for Rodriguez (who was named by Nationals manager Jim Riggleman as the team's starting catcher).

And if Rodriguez is able to play a full season's worth of games this year for Washington, at age 39, he could get close to that 3,000-hit goal. He begins the year with 2,817, and while it's been 12 years since he had 180-plus hits in a season, even a 141-hit year like he had in 2007 with the Tigers would leave him within easy range of 3,000.

Rodriguez keeps himself in great condition, and barring a major injury, I have little doubt that he'll want to keep playing, especially if he's close to 3,000. And I'd be surprised if no team gave him a chance to get there.

Sheffield, meanwhile, told George King of the New York Post that he wanted to retire after finishing the 2009 season with the Mets, which means he wanted to retire about four weeks after telling me that he was focused on getting the 311 hits he still needed to reach 3,000. Anyone who has followed Sheffield's career can't be surprised by that contradiction.

Of course, Sheffield also once told me that 500 home runs was more impressive than 3,000 hits, because "anyone can hit singles."

Sheffield did reach 500 home runs, and when you combine that with 2,689 hits, 1,676 RBI and other numbers, he's at worst a borderline Hall of Fame candidate. He could be hurt by his inclusion in the Mitchell Report, but who knows how the electorate will feel about that by the time he's on the ballot in 2014.

Rodriguez, one of the best catchers ever, is a sure bet to make the Hall of Fame, unless enough voters lay off because of steroid rumors (he wasn't in the Mitchell Report and never failed a test, but he was in Jose Canseco's book).

Rodriguez won't be on the ballot for quite a while. He's still not ready to retire, and he may not leave for a few more years. I have no doubt he wants to.

I believe him.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:55 am

Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

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Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

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Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

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Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

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Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:58 am

Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

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Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

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Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

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Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 11:55 am

Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

Dude, you need to get your formatting under control. I agree Pudge was the best catcher of his generation. I for one do believe he used steroids, but that he will still get it because of what Knobler mention, he wasn't in the Mitchell Report and never failed a test. I take major exception to one statement you made though. You said only two other catchers compare to Pudge during this peroid (and named three, by the way). Piazza I agree with (though also might have juiced). Piazza was the best offensive catcher in history. But Posada doesn't come close to these two. He was a very good catcher, not great, and definitely not a HOF'er. Don't confuse being on a great team with being great.

And Jason Kendall? He had some good years there in Pittsburgh, but I would take A.J. Pierzynski over him, I would take Jason Varitek over him. And a few others. Give the guy props for playing a long time at a major-league level, but I think that speaks more to the dearth of legit big-league catchers available, anywhere. What would the difference be between Kendall and the Mike Mathenys and Gregg Zaun's of the world?

BBWAA has a tough job on their hands coming up. We've had approx. 10 HOF hopefuls retire in the last 2-3 years and another 10 or so going to retire within the next 2-3. Full classes. A lot of guys that should go in quick will have to wait. But they will get in eventually. I think overall, the baseball Hall does a pretty good job. I'll be making a trip up to Cooperstown this summer hopefully.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2011 6:00 am

Sheffield retires, Pudge goes on

How is it that there's about 26 guys that are considered, or were considered First Ballot Hall of Famers to be are borderline Hall guys? 
2012 - All 15 players that survived the 2011 BBWAA Ballot are better than any first year candidate in 2012. 
;    No one may get elected to the Hall.
2013 - Biggio,      
;     &nbs
p;    (No Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, Piazza)
2014 - Maddux, Thomas (No Glavine, Mussina, Kent)
2015 - Johnson    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;   (No P.Martinez, Smoltz, Sheffield)
2016 - Griffey,      
;     &nbs
p;   (No Pettitte, Moyer, Hoffman,)
No pitcher has less than 213 wins. No batter except for Piazza has less than 2400 hits. (approximately the top 125 ever in hits.)
What year are these guys getting elected? The fans are lucky if the BBWAA grants us a Hall of Famer, let alone two.
The hall is addition by substraction,  Helf these guys may not even stay on th Ballot from 2012 to 2017.
We still have Thome, Jones, Ivan Rodriguez,  Vizquel, Mo Rivera, Jeter, Manny Ramirez, and maybe Ichiro probably retiring within the next four years. after that, (2017-2020).  At least four of those guys will get in.
I don't see too any available slots open for almost a decade.
Now how many first ballot hall of famers are there? Let alone actual you think are Hall of Famers?
This isn't football the BBWAA doen't elect five at a time.

Pudge is without a doubt the best catcher of his generation. Period. The onlt two player that come remotely close at this time are Piazza, Posada, and Kendall.
Sheffield could have been great, but his attitude cost him the hall by the loss of playing time. He retired 62nd in hits, 26th in HR, 25th in RBI's, 19th in walks, 31st in hit by pitch. He got on base 4,300+ times. That's not enough?! Are you kidding me? That's a lazy disgruntled player. Shouldn't we all be so unlucky to that lazy?  

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or