Tag:Brian Jordan
Posted on: February 4, 2012 2:57 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 3:21 pm
 

Several NFLers took swings at baseball

Tom Brady

By C. Trent Rosecrans


In 1995 the Expos drafted a catcher out of Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., the same high school that produced Barry Bonds and Gregg Jeffries. Montreal scout Gary Hughes thought the team got a steal, but knew the catcher lasted until the 18th round because he was a good football player and would be difficult to sign.

In the end, Tom Brady passed on baseball, went to the University of Michigan on a football scholarship and will be playing in a football game this weekend. He made the right choice, but that doesn't mean the Expos scouts were wrong -- Brady was obviously a good athlete with a strong arm and good leadership skills, all things you want in a catcher.

CBSSports.com's Super Bowl Central

Brady's not the only NFL player who flirted with a career in baseball, several current NFL players have a baseball background. While there's no Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders or Brian Jordan currently playing at the highest level in both sports, there are a variety of NFL-MLB ties, from players who, like Brady, were drafted and didn't sign, to those who played in the minors and even one minor-leaguer who is hoping to be drafted into the NFL this year.

Here's a look at some current NFL players with baseball experience:

Cedric Benson -- The Bengals running back was drafted by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2001 draft and played nine games for the team's Gulf Coast League team, going 5 for 25, with all five of his hits going for extra bases -- three doubles and two triples. While he didn't homer, he walked 10 times in 34 plate appearances and was hit twice for a .412 on-base percentage and an .892 OPS.

Mark Brunell -- The 41-year-old Jets backup was… the lefty was drafted by the Braves in the 44th round of the 1992 draft, but didn't sign.

Kerry Collins -- The Tigers took him in the 26th round of the 1990 draft, the first of three future NFL players drafted, before Greg McMurtry and Rodney Peete. He was drafted again by the Tigers in the 60th round of the 1991 draft and the 48th round of the 1994 draft. He never signed.

Quan CosbyQuan Cosby (right) -- The former Broncos and Bengals kick returner was a sixth-round pick by the Angels in 2001 and played four years in the team's minor-league system, spending two seasons with Cedar Rapids in the Class A Midwest League. In four seasons, he hit .260/.330/.321 with 71 stolen bases. In his last season, 2004, he stole 23 bases and hit five homers. After that season he went back to school at Texas and played wide receiver with the Longhorns. Undrafted in football, he signed with the Bengals and played last season with the Broncos before being waived at the end of the season and signed by the Colts.

Eric Decker -- The Broncos wide receiver was drafted in the 39th round by the Brewers in 2008 and in the 27th round by the Twins in 2009.

Dennis Dixon -- Twice drafted, the Steelers' third-string quarterback signed with the Braves after going in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. He played in the Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League that year, hitting a combined .176/.322/.216 as an outfielder. He was a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases, but struck out 22 times in 90 plate appearances, while putting up just a .176 average.

Matt Moore -- No, not the Rays' lefty Matt Moore, but the Dolphins quarterback. Moore was taken in the 22nd round of the 2004 draft by the Angels.

Golden Tate --  The Seahawks' wide receiver was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 42nd round of the 2007 draft and the Giants in the 50th round of the 2010 draft. He played two seasons of baseball at Notre Dame, hitting .329 as a sophomore and scoring 45 runs, the third-most in school history.

Michael Vick -- The Rockies drafted Vick in the 30th round of the 2000 draft, but he never signed.

Hines Ward -- The Marlins took Ward in the 73rd round of the 1994 draft, but he never signed.

Brandon Weeden -- CBSSports.com has the Oklahoma State quarterback the fourth-rated QB in the upcoming draft after leading Oklahoma State to an 11-1 record last season as a 28-year-old. The reason Weeden was so advanced in age as a college quarterback was that he spent five seasons in the minor leagues after the Yankees took him in the second round of the 2002 draft. Weeden, a right-handed pitcher, was 19-26 with a 5.02 ERA in 108 games and 65 starts in the minors. He averaged nearly a strikeout an inning, but had a 1.573 WHIP for the Yankees, Dodgers and Royals systems.

Ricky Williams -- The same year the current Ravens running back won the Heisman Trophy at Texas, he hit .283/.309/.283 in 55 plate appearances in the short-season New York-Penn League for the Batavia Muckdogs in the Phillies system. Despite a career .211/.265/.261 line in four years in the Phillies' system, the Expos took him in the 1998 Rule 5 draft before trading him to the Rangers. Williams didn't join the Rangers and never played another professional baseball game.

Russell Wilson -- Wilson is the 10th-ranked quarterback in the upcoming draft, according to CBSSports.com. Wilson, a second baseman, was drafted in 2007 by the Orioles and again in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Rockies. After spurning the Orioles out of high school, Wilson did sign with the Rockies, which led to a rift between him and his college coach at N.C. State, Tom O'Brien. WIlson played baseball each of the last two summers, playing 61 games for the Asheville Tourists of the Class A South Atlantic League last season, hitting .228/.366/.342 with three home runs and 15 stolen bases. He struck out 82 times in 236 plate appearances before heading to Wisconsin for his senior year of college. At Wisconsin, he led the Badgers to the Big 10 title. He recently told the Rockies he won't be reporting to spring training. The Rockies hold his rights for five more years and have said they'd welcome him back.

Of course, there are plenty of guys who went the other way and chose baseball instead of football, players like Todd Helton (who once started ahead of Peyton Manning at Tennessee), Adam Dunn (who was at Texas as a quarterback), Seth Smith (who backed up Eli Manning at Ole Miss), Joe Mauer (who was the nation's top recruit at quarterback and signed with Florida State) and Matt Holliday (who was offered a scholarship to play quarterback at Oklahoma State).

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:45 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 1:18 pm
 

Getting to know the 2012 Hall of Fame candidates

By Matt Snyder

One week from today we will learn who -- if anyone -- will join Ron Santo in the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame class. The Baseball Writers Association of America votes have all been mailed in, as a Dec. 31st or earlier postmark is required. Everyone who has been a member of the BBWAA for at least 10 years has a chance to vote. Players receiving 75 percent of the vote will be inducted.

Here's a complete look, in alphabetical order, at who the BBWAA voters were given to consider:

Jeff Bagwell -- He won the Rookie of the Year in 1991 and the MVP in 1994. The four-time All-Star garnered MVP votes in 10 of his 15 seasons. He ended his career with more than 1,500 runs and RBI while hitting 449 homers. His .948 OPS is outstanding, resulting in an OPS-plus of 149. Bagwell received 41.7 percent of the vote last season, his first on the ballot.

Jeromy Burnitz -- The one-time All-Star received MVP votes three times. He hit 315 home runs with an .826 career OPS.

Vinny Castilla -- A two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger, Castilla hit 320 home runs and drove home 1,105 runs in his 16-year career. He hit at least 40 homers three straight seasons, 1996-98.

Juan Gonzalez -- Juan Gone is one of the few players in major-league history to win two MVP awards, as he took home the honors in both 1996 and 1998. He finished in the top 10 of MVP voting three other seasons. He finished with 434 home runs and 1,404 RBI, having accrued at least 35 homers and 100 RBI in seven of his 17 seasons.

Brian Jordan -- The former NFL player hit .282 during his 15-year career, making the All-Star team in 1999. He was also a very good defensive outfielder.

Barry Larkin -- The 12-time All-Star is the most likely player to be inducted this year. He received 62.1 percent of the vote last year and doesn't really face any stiff competition from first-timers this year. He won one MVP, three Gold Gloves and nine Silver Sluggers. He also stole 379 bases while hitting 198 homers, 441 doubles and 76 triples.

Javy Lopez -- The long-time Braves catcher hit 260 home runs in his 15-year career, making three All-Star teams. He finished fifth in MVP voting and garnered a Silver Slugger after his 2003 season, in which he hit 43 homers and drove in 109 runs.

Edgar Martinez -- The seven-time All-Star is one of the greatest designated hitters of all-time. He hit .312 with a .418 OBP and .515 slugging throughout his career, all of which are outstanding. Martinez actually ranks 64th in baseball history with 66.9 offensive Wins Above Replacement (oWAR) and 34th all-time in OPS. His 514 doubles rank him 45th. But Martinez only received 32.9 percent of the vote last season, a step backward from the 36.2 percent he got in his first try. The issue is him not playing defense. We'll see how that shakes out in the coming years, but it's a huge stretch to believe he gets in this year.

Don Mattingly -- Donnie Baseball is just treading water, having received between 9.9 and 28.2 percent of the vote in his 11 years on the ballot. Longevity seems to be the issue, as he played just 14 seasons and was out of baseball by age 35. The six-time All-Star finished in the top seven of MVP voting four straight times and racked up 1,099 RBI and 1,007 runs, along with nine Gold Gloves.

Fred McGriff -- Did Crime Dog fall seven home runs short of induction? He hit 493 in his 19-year career and received only 17.9 percent of the vote last year. The five-time All-Star also racked up 1,550 RBI and a nice .886 OPS (good for a 134 OPS-plus).

Mark McGwire -- Twelve All-Star Games. One Rookie of the Year. A whopping 583 home runs. A staggering .982 OPS and 162 OPS-plus. Five top-10 MVP finishes. A World Series ring and a Gold Glove. And yet Big Mac hasn't been able to top the 23.7 percent barrier in Hall of Fame voting due to his connection to using performance-enhancing drugs during his career. The question here isn't anywhere close to performance. It's all about the performance-enhancement. If you believe he should be excluded, that's why. If you don't care about the use, you believe he should be inducted into the Hall. Period.

Jack Morris -- Morris has worked his way up to 53.5 percent of the vote as of last time around, his 12th on the ballot. Players only get 15 chances, so he's running out. Morris won 254 games and three World Series rings in his career. He finished in the top five of Cy Young voting five times and struck out 2,478 hitters. His 3.90 career ERA seems to be hurting him, though.

Bill Mueller -- Mueller won the batting title in 2003 and had a nice 11-year career.

Terry Mulholland -- He stuck around for 20 seasons, racking up over 2,500 innings pitched with 46 complete games and 10 shutouts. He was 124-142 with a 4.41 ERA.

Dale Murphy -- The seven-time All-Star and two-time MVP hit 398 homers and ended with an .815 OPS (121 OPS-plus). He also won five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. He hasn't been able to garner strong support with the BBWAA, though, as he had just 12.6 percent of the vote last season, his 13th on the ballot.

Phil Nevin -- The one-time All-Star hit 208 career home runs with an .814 OPS (114 OPS-plus) in his 12-year career.

Rafael Palmeiro -- Much like McGwire, Palmeiro's on-field numbers are surefire Hall material. It's not even a discussion. Unlike McGwire, however, Palmeiro failed a league-sanctioned drug test. He got only 11 percent of the vote last year.

Brad Radke -- In 12 seasons, Radke went 148-139 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He made the All-Star team in 1998.

Tim Raines -- Raines was a seven-time All-Star who hit .294 with a .385 OBP in his career. He compiled more than 2,500 hits and 1,500 runs in his 23-year career and ranks fifth all-time with 808 stolen bases. Several advanced stats loved Raines, as he ranked in the top 10 in his league in WAR seven times. Raines got 37.5 percent of the vote last season, the third straight season he's made a decent-sized jump in votes (he got 22.6 percent in 2009).

Tim Salmon -- The 1993 Rookie of the Year hit 299 homers in his 14-year career, netting MVP votes three times. He had an .884 OPS (128 OPS-plus).

Ruben Sierra -- In 20 seasons, Sierra racked up 2,152 hits, 306 homers and four All-Star appearances.

Lee Smith -- With 478 career saves, Smith was the all-time leader for a stretch, but both Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera have breezed past him, into the 600s. Smith was a seven-time All-Star and had a career 3.03 ERA.

Alan Trammell -- My colleague Scott Miller made his case for Trammell.

Larry Walker -- A five-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glover and the 1997 MVP, Walker hit .313 with a .965 OPS (140 OPS-plus) in his 17-year career. He ended with 383 homers and over 1,300 runs and RBI. He's in the top 100 ever in WAR and 16th of all-time in OPS. Did his 10 years in hitter-friendly Colorado hurt Walker with the voting? Looks like it. He only got 20.3 percent of the vote last year.

Bernie Williams -- Five All-Star games, four Gold Gloves and a career .297 batting average look good for the long-time Yankee center fielder. He hit 287 homers and scored over 1,300 runs to go with an .858 OPS (125 OPS-plus).

Tony Womack -- The one-time All-Star hit .273/.317/.356 in his 13-year career with 363 stolen bases.

Eric Young -- EY lasted 15 seasons, racking up 465 steals and 996 runs with a .359 OBP. He made one All-Star team.

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Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Weak Hall ballot good news for Larkin

Barry Larkin

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Get your indignation ready, as the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot has been mailed to the voting member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. 

The 13 new players on the ballot this season are Bernie Williams, Bill Mueller, Ruben Sierra, Vinny Castilla, Tim Salmon, Javy Lopez, Tony Womack, Terry Mulholland, Brad Radke, Jeromy Burnitz, Brian Jordan, Eric Young and Phil Nevin. None of those really seem to have much of a chance to earn the 75 percent necessary to gain enshrinement, which is good news for Barry Larkin.

Hall of Fame

Last year Roberto Alomoar (90 percent) and Bert Blyleven (79.7 percent) got in, leaving Larkin as the highest vote-getter not to reach 75 percent. Larkin received 361 votes (62.1 percent) in his second year of eligibility, while Jack Morris (53.5 percent) was the only other player to receive at least 50 percent of the votes.

Larkin's strong showing in 2011 suggests he could get the requisite bump in his third year to get to 75 percent, but it could be close.

Players not elected can stay on the ballot for as many as 15 years, as long as they receive at least five percent of the vote.

In addition to the newcomers, Larkin and Morris, the other players on the ballot are Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker.

Members of the BBWAA with 10 or more years of continuous active membership are eligible to vote, including CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler and Scott Miller.

Next year's ballot will bring more conversation and controversy, as the biggest names of the steroid era appear on the ballot, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa, in addition to Curt Schilling and Craig Biggio. 

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