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Tag:Greg Maddux
Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:03 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 3:23 pm
 

Years 2014-16 will crowd Hall of Fame ballot



By Matt Snyder


With the 2012 Hall of Fame class set to be Barry Larkin and Ron Santo, we can now look ahead to future years -- while kicking and screaming about who should have gotten in or who didn't deserve it, of course; heaven forbid anyone just celebrate the careers of Larkin and Santo and move on. My colleague C. Trent Rosecrans has taken a look at the explosive 2013 Hall of Fame class of first-year eligibles. Just envision all the arguing and name-calling that will take place in our comments section next year at this time (remember, everyone's personal opinion is right and everyone else is an idiot with absolutely no room for discussion!). I have a headache already.

Anyway, the ballot doesn't let up anytime soon, either. Check out the first-year eligible classes for the ensuing three ballots. And remember, these guys are only joining those remaining on the ballot. It's going to get overly crowded with legitimate superstars unless a few classes have upwards of four or five inductees.

Here are the most notable guys joining the ballot before 2017, divided up by year.

2014

Greg Maddux - Listing his numbers is a waste of time. He's as much of a lock as anyone.

Frank Thomas - It's also hard to see the Big Hurt not getting in on the first try as well. He has more than 500 home runs, two MVPs, and a ridiculous .974 career OPS (156 OPS-plus).

Hall of Fame coverage
Tom Glavine - Are 300 wins good for automatic induction? I think so. The two Cy Youngs and six top three finishes in Cy voting also help to make him a lock.

Jeff Kent - While not a very good defender, Kent was one of the best offensive second basemen in history. His 377 home runs are the most ever for a 2B while his .290/.356/.500 line is stellar from that position. Kent's WAR is very similar to Ryne Sandberg's, and Ryno got in on his third try. It might be tougher for Kent, with the crowded ballots and all. Think about it, are the voters really going to put in four first-year guys here? Very doubtful, especially considering there will be worthy guys lingering from previous ballots.

Mike Mussina - Moose went 270-153 in his career with an assortment of Gold Gloves, All-Star appearances and top six finishes in Cy Young voting. His 3.68 career ERA came in a time when it was a hitters' game, as it factors out to a 123 ERA-plus. Will his shortfall in wins (30 shy of 300) and strikeouts (187 short of 3,000) cost him? It very well might.

Luis Gonzalez - He was just a pretty good player until getting to Arizona, so he probably didn't do it long enough.

Moises Alou - He actually has better rate stats than Gonzalez, but the feeling is neither makes it.

2015

Randy Johnson - The only question is Mariners or Diamondbacks cap on his bust. I'll lean toward D-Backs with the four Cy Youngs and World Series ring, but he pitched 1 1/2 more seasons in Seattle. But this is a discussion for a different day.

Pedro Martinez - He was the most dominant pitcher in baseball for a seven-year stretch. He won three Cy Young awards and had the best MLB ERA in five of those aforementioned seven seasons. In all, Pedro was 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and over 3,000 strikeouts in a big-time hitters' era. He has to be in, probably on the first ballot.

John Smoltz - How heavily will the 213 wins and 154 saves weigh on the minds of voters? I'm guessing a good amount. He also has that Cy Young and over 3,000 strikeouts. Even if not on the first ballot, Smoltz will be enshrined.

Gary Sheffield - One of the more feared hitters of his generation, Sheffield's offensive numbers say he's worthy (509 homers, .907 career OPS, over 1,600 runs and RBI). But he was in the Mitchell Report, so -- judging from what we've seen so far from the voters in terms of the steroid-connected guys -- he's probably not going to get in.

Nomar Garciaparra - Through 2003, he was headed to Cooperstown, but things derailed after that. His career triple slash line (.313/.361/.521) is pretty damn good, but was he dominant long enough? I'll guess no.

Carlos Delgado - With tons of power in his prime, Delgado ended up with 473 homers and 1,512 RBI. His .383 on-base percentage and .929 OPS (138 OPS-plus) are very impressive, too. My guess, though, is Delgado put up those numbers in the wrong era and he falls short.

2016

Ken Griffey Jr. - Easy choice.

Trevor Hoffman - The Hall voters haven't been kind to closers, but Hoffman saved 601 games, obliterating the previous record (held by Lee Smith) until Mariano Rivera passed him last season. I bet Hoffman gets in with relative ease. If not the first try, certainly the second or third.

Billy Wagner - See the above comment about Hall voters' treatment of closers. Wagner was definitely dominant, but I feel like only Rivera and Hoffman get in from this generation of closers.

Andy Pettitte - If you only look at the regular season stats, Pettitte has a case as a very good pitcher who wasn't a Hall of Famer. He went 240-138 with a 3.88 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 2,251 strikeouts. He garnered Cy Young votes in five different seasons but never won the award. However, will 75 percent of the voters consider the postseason and cast a vote for Pettitte? It's possible. He was 19-10 with a 3.83 ERA in the postseason, in a whopping 263 innings. He has five rings and went to the World Series three other times (once with the Astros, remember). He will not be getting into the Hall on his first handful of tries, but maybe after a decade or so on the ballot Pettitte makes it. Then again, he also was named in the Mitchell Report.

Jim Edmonds - The four-time All-Star won eight Gold Gloves and hit 393 homers. He hit .284/.376/.527 and racked up 67.9 WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com. Still, with less than 2,000 hits, less than 400 home runs and less than 1,300 runs or RBI, I'd bet he doesn't have a real shot of making it.



So there you have it. Without considering the guys who were already on the ballot from previous years and then factoring in the huge class of 2013, we have three years with what I think will yield nine Hall of Famers. Maybe 10 if Pettitte gets enough support. Now, keep in mind I'm not a voter nor was I saying above who I would personally want to see in the Hall. I'm merely trying to guess how the voting body will react to the players above, based upon how they've treated players in the recent past.

Simply put, the ballot is going to be very, very crowded in a few years.

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Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 8:31 pm
 

Maddux brothers a possibility for Cubs?

By Matt Snyder

Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux interviewed for the Chicago Cubs' managerial opening Wednesday, and by many accounts it went very well. In fact, "he hit it out of the park," according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Sandy Alomar Jr. will interview with the new Cubs brain trust Friday while Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum are also said to be in the mix (and there could be more, of course). But let's focus on Maddux for a second. Namely because of his last name and the connection to the Cubs.

As pretty much any baseball fan with a brain knows, Greg Maddux is one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He spent parts of 10 seasons with the Cubs, twice making the All-Star team and winning one Cy Young. His number 31 is retired (jointly, with Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins) by the Cubs. And many, including humble ol' me, believe Greg Maddux would make an outstanding pitching coach.

Mike Maddux was asked Wednesday by reporters about possibly bringing his little brother along (Mike is 50, Greg is 45) should he be hired as the Cubs next manager. Mike acknowledged the two did discuss such a scenario and wouldn't say Greg was not a possibility.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:
‘‘We talked about it, yeah,’’ Mike said. ‘‘Sure did.’’

Their conclusion?

‘‘That’s kind of a private family matter,’’ he said.

Given multiple chances to rule out a Maddux family reunion should he get the job, Mike didn’t.

‘‘It’s family stuff that we should probably keep to ourselves,’’ said Mike, who also said Greg was one of the first calls he made after he was asked to interview.
Insert the famous line from Dumb and Dumber: "So you're telling me there's a chance ... "

Now, Mike hasn't even been offered the job and we aren't sure he would definitely take it if offered (though it seems likely, considering he pulled out of a scheduled interview with the Red Sox and still interviewed with the Cubs). But if he is named manager, it's worth discussing what kind of a job the Maddux brothers could do with the Cubs pitching staff in 2012 and beyond. They represent two of the best pitching minds this side of Dave Duncan and would surely prove a huge boost to the pitching staff assembled by Theo Epstein and company. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com -- who had stints as both the Reds and Nationals GM -- tweets that there is "strong sentiment" that Cubs' brass feels its best team in the dugout would be the Maddux brothers.

This is purely speculative on my part, but the biggest question with Greg might be whether or not he wants to have such a hands-on job. He's been a "special assistant" to Cubs general manager Jim Hendry the past two seasons, but being a pitching coach would require much more consistent hours. According to his Baseball-Reference page, Greg Maddux made more than $150 million in his playing career. So he doesn't need money. It seems like being in that situation, any job would be merely to escape boredom. Being pitching coach for the Cubs is a pressure-packed job for at least eight months of the year and requires work every single day throughout the entire summer. It's certainly no hobby. Would he really want such a strenuous job?

If anyone could convince him to do so, maybe it's his big brother -- if Mike even gets that chance. Stay tuned.

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 11:25 am
 

Looking back at second-round picks

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


While the first-round of the MLB Draft is gaining more attention in the last couple of years, the later rounds are where most of the work is done. 

The second round starts today at 11 a.m. ET, so here's a look at some of the best second-round picks in recent memory.

Angels: In 1999, the Angels took John Lackey out of Grayson County Community College with the 68th overall pick in the draft. In 1995, they took Jarrod Washburn with the first pick of the second round.

Astros: Perhaps the team's best player right now, outfielder Hunter Pence, was the 64th overall pick in 2004. 

MLB Draft

Athletics: The A's took Vista, Calif., high schooler Trevor Cahill with the 66th overall pick in 2006. Two years before that they took Kurt Suzuki in the second round and in 2003 they took Andre Ethier in the second round. They traded him for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez in 2005.

Blue Jays: Right-hander Dave Bush in 2002 is probably the team's best second-round pick since taking Derek Bell in 1987.

Brian McCannBraves: Current first baseman Freddie Freeman was selected with the 78th overall pick in 2007, but the best pick was easily 2002's No. 64 overall pick, a local high school catcher named Brian McCann.

Brewers: The Brewers took Yovani Gallardo with the fifth pick of the second round in 2004.

Cardinals: In 2001, the team took Dan Haren with the 72nd overall pick. More recently, Jon Jay was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft.

Cubs: You have to go back pretty far -- unless you go with Bobby Hill -- to find much success with the Cubs' second-round pick, but if you go as far back as 1984, they took Greg Maddux with the third pick of the second round and he turned out OK. Also among their second-round picks is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (1996).

Diamondbacks: A's starter Brett Anderson was Arizona's second-rounder in 2006. He was part of the big trade that send Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks.

Dodgers: The Dodgers got future closer Jonathan Broxton with the 60th overall pick in 2002.

Giants: Of recent vintage, the Giants have taken Nate Schierholtz in 2003 and Fred Lewis in 2002, but the most interesting second-round pick by San Francisco was in 1982. That year they took the son of a team legend with the 11th pick of the second round (39th overall), but Barry Bonds went to Arizona State instead.

Indians: Jason Kipnis is one of the team's top prospects, taken in the second round in 2009. In 1995, the Indians took first baseman Sean Casey out of Richmond with the 53rd overall pick.

Mariners: Recently-demoted Orioles starter Chris Tillman was taken in the second round of the 2006 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 second-rounder Rich Poythress, who had 31 homers in Class A last season.

Mike StantonMarlins: It wasn't until the 12th pick of the second round -- and 76th overall -- for someone to pick up Mike Stanton in 2007. 

Mets: There's some slim pickins for the Mets recently, but few Mets fans would trade their second-rounder of 1977, Mookie Wilson. (Seriously, this one was tough, the only players the Mets have picked in the last 15 years who have made the majors were Kevin Mulvey, Neal Musser, Pat Strange and Tyler Walker -- maybe that explains some things.)

Nationals (Expos): Jordan Zimmermann was the team's second-rounder in 2007. Current Reds All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips was taken by the Expos with the sixth pick of the second round in 1999.

Orioles: Nolan Reimold was taken 61st overall in 2005, but if you want to go back a few years, the team took Cal Ripken with the 22nd pick of the second round in the 1978 draft. Ripken was the third of four picks the Orioles had in the second round that year.

Padres: San Diego took Chase Hedley in 2005.

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins was the team's second-rounder in 1996, going 46th overall.

Pirates: Last year's pick was Stetson Allie, who many expected to go in the first round. Lefty Tom Gorzelanny was taken in the second round in 2003 and catcher Ryan Doumit was taken 59th overall in 1999.

Rangers: The only player taken by the Rangers in the second round of the last decade to make the majors is Jason Bourgeois.

Rays: The Rays famously took Josh Hamilton No. 1 overall in 1999, but their second-round pick that year was pretty good too -- Carl Crawford.

Red Sox: How about Justin Masterson (2006), Dustin Pedroia (2004) and Jon Lester (2002)?

Reds: NL MVP Joey Votto (2002) was the third pick of the second round (44th overall) and Travis Wood was taken in the second round of the 2005 draft. Keep an eye on 2009 pick Billy Hamilton, who already has 45 stolen bases this season for Class A Dayton.

Rockies: For recent vintage, Seth Smith (2004) is the pick, but you can go back a few years and pick Aaron Cook (1997).

George BrettRoyals: For all the prospects the Royals have stockpiled in the last couple of years, strangely not too many are second-rounders. Outfielder Brett Eibner (2010) was the only member of the Royals' Top 10 by Baseball America taken in the second round. You have to go back to Carlos Beltran (1995), Jon Lieber (1992), Bob Hamelin (1988), Mark Gubicza (1981), Darryl Motley (1978) and Dennis Leonard (1972) to find serious big-leaguers. Oh, and also a kid out of El Segundo, Calif., in 1971 named George Brett. He was pretty good, too.

Tigers: The Tigers took Brandon Inge with the 14th pick of the 1998 draft as a catcher out of Virginia Commonwealth. In 1976, Alan Trammell was the second pick of the round.

Twins: A nice run of arms earlier in the decade with Kevin Slowey (2005), Anthony Swarzak (2004), Scott Baker (2003) and Jesse Crain (2002). Frank Viola was the team's second-rounder in 1981.

White Sox: A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney (2003) is the team's best second-rounder since Bob Wickman (1990) -- not counting Jeff Weaver, who went back to school after he was picked in 1997 and was taken by the Tigers a year later.

Yankees: In the last 20 years, only two Yankees second-rounders have made the big leagues, Shelley Duncan (2001) and Randy Keisler (1998). Catching prospect Austin Romine was the team's second-rounder in 2007. In 1982, the team did take a shortstop from McAdory High School in Bessemer, Ala., who went on to play football at Auburn instead. His name is Bo Jackson. That was the year after the team took Stanford outfielder John Elway.

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Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:50 pm
 

At 44, Vizquel not close to retirement

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Omar VizquelWhite Sox utility man Omar Vizquel turned 44 on Sunday, but says he doesn't see the end of his career coming anytime soon.

"As long as the body is OK, and [I'm] performing and doing what I ask it to do," Vizquel told the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales when asked if he could be celebrating more birthdays on the field. "Right now there's no reason I can't. I am going to keep trying to play. I don't need to be on a table getting massages, or [in] a Jacuzzi or need a personal trainer with me on the road trips. I feel like I can still do the same things I've been doing for all these years."

With an 0-for-3 day on Sunsday, Vizquel's average dipped to .308. But that's not too bad for a 44-year-old. He started at second base on Sunday, the third time he's started there this season. He's also started games at shortstop and third base. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Bobby Wallace of the Cardinals has played shortstop past his 44th birthday -- and that was 93 years ago.

"[Vizuqel] saved our [rears] last year, big-time, and continues to do it," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I need to put him out there because we need a break and he shows up to perform the way he does. That's not an easy thing to do."

Last season, in his first with Chicago, Vizquel hit .276/.341/.391. This season he's hitting .308/.357/.346.

Vizquel has 2,807 career hits but may need to play again at least next season to reach 3,000. He had 95 hits last season with the White Sox, but only 106 combined in 2008 and 2009. If he plays into 2013, he'd have a realistic shot at 3,000, which would guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

With 11 Gold Gloves at the game's most important defensive position, Vizquel is among the best to ever play as a defensive player, but is often overlooked because of the offensive shortstops of his time, such as Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez

Only Ozzie Smith had more Gold Gloves at shortstop (13) -- and only Smith, Greg Maddux (18), Jim Kaat (16), Ivan Rodriguez (13), Brooks Robinson (16), Roberto Clemente (12) and Willie Mays (12) have won more Gold Gloves overall.

Vizquel's offensive numbers are better than Smith's, but Smith was more popular and seen as perhaps the greatest defensive player off all-time, not just shortstop. Vizquel has always been respected, but still viewed as inferior to Smith defensively and other shortstops offensively. Smith tops Vizquel in WAR, 64.6 to 43.3, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

If Vizquel doesn't get to 3,000 hits, he'll be an interesting case. If he does, he's a slam-dunk.

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Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: March 16, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Pepper: Sign spring's end is near



By Matt Snyder


How can you best tell when spring is winding down and the real Major League Baseball season is nearing? Well, a few things. The snow finally stops falling. I guess, though this year who really knows. It's liable to snow at some places into May at this rate. Another good sign is watching the NCAA basketball tournament on CBS (shameless plug alert). How about baseball teams starting to name -- or get close to naming -- a fifth starting pitcher? That's a pretty good one, and it's happening in a lot of different places right now.

We've already passed along that Mark Rogers has been demoted, which leaves Wily Peralta the Brewers' likely five . We've also noted Michael Pineda being in Seattle's driver's seat as well. But there are plenty more.

Esmil Rogers looks like he's opening up a lead over John Maine and Greg Reynolds for the Rockies, after working five innings Tuesday and only facing the minimum 15 batters. (Denver Post )

Brandon McCarthy has gotten in the good graces of manager Bob Geren for being "impressive" and "consistent" in looking to win the A's fifth starting job behind a pretty underrated top four of Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden and Gio Gonzalez. (San Francisco Chronicle )

Ever since Adam Wainwright went down with injury and the Cardinals said they were going to look internally, Kyle McClellan has been the front-runner to take the remaining spot. And every outing since then, he's gotten rave reviews and been tabbed as the front-runner. Thus, it would be pretty shocking if he didn't get the job. Still, the word from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is that McClellan is merely "closer" to getting the nod.

Speaking of shocking, it would be just as shocking if Randy Wells doesn't win one of the Cubs' two remaining rotation slots. He's throwing well this spring and has the past experience. It also appears that former first-round pick Andrew Cashner is putting some distance between himself and the rest of the field as well. We'll get back to Cashner in a second. (MLB.com )

Of course, there is one team a bit behind the curve here. The Texas Rangers, your defending American League champs, still have a whopping seven guys in the mix for two spots. If a decision is made to start Neftali Feliz, one that seems increasingly likely with each passing day, that narrows the field to six guys for one spot. Those six: Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Michael Kirkman, Alexi Ogando, Dave Bush and Eric Hurley. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram )

THE PROFESSOR: Of the two nicknames you see listed for Greg Maddux on baseball-reference.com, I always preferred "the Professor," even though it's nowhere near mainstream. He was so much more cerebral than his opposition, seemingly getting guys out just with his mind. Thus, it's only fitting he's passing along some knowledge to Cashner in Cubs camp as a special assistant. His latest nugget? "Walks are overrated." It's not surprising, coming from a guy who probably never walked someone by accident in his prime. Those who remember watching him in the mid-90s are nodding in agreement. You could feel when Maddux was walking someone on purpose; otherwise it didn't happen. Oh, and if Maddux's wisdom isn't enough, Kerry Wood has also taken Cashner under his wing. (Chicago Tribune )

RUSSELL THE MUSCLE: Hey, someone has to fill the void left by Mark Reynolds -- both in terms of power and strikeouts. Despite his lackluster defense -- which is reportedly a concern for manager Kirk Gibson -- Russell Branyan is turning heads by killing the ball this spring, to the tune of a 1.274 OPS. And don't scoff. While Branyan has a bad batting average and strikeout issues, his career OPS-plus is 115 and he averages 31 home runs over the course of 162 games. He need only hold off Juan Miranda and once-big prospect Brandon Allen. (MLB.com )

NO WORRIES: Clayton Kershaw was torched Tuesday by the Rangers, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly isn't worried about his likely ace. Nor should he be, considering it's only the spring and Kershaw entered the game with a 0.00 ERA through 11 1/3 innings. (Los Angeles Times )

SWITCHBACK: Prior to the ALDS last year, the rules for the dreaded catwalk at Tropicana Field were altered, but now those rules are reverting back to where they were in the regular season of 2010. Check out the complete list on St. Petersburg Times .

GETTING GRADY BACK: Sunday could be the day. Grady Sizemore hasn't seen game action in about 10 months, but reportedly he has a real shot to play Sunday. Obviously huge news for the Tribe. (Cleveland.com )

KEEPING DICE-K: There's been a lot of talk about the Red Sox trading Daisuke Matsuzaka of late. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe makes a good case to fans that Dice-K is actually a pretty average major-league pitcher and that, as the fifth starter, that's really all the team needs. Put the absurd salary aside and just enjoy the good Red Sox team, he pleads. I tend to agree. (Boston Globe )

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Posted on: September 23, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: September 23, 2010 12:13 pm
 

Towers wants Greg Maddux as pitching coach

Now that the Diamondbacks have their GM, the team is ready to find a permanent manager and pitching coach.

All Kevin Towers will have to do for the manager's job, however, is look right at the current skipper -- interim manager Kirk Gibson. Jim Bowden of FOX Sports reports that Arizona is expected to begin negotiations with Gibson on becoming the permanent manager of the D-Backs.

Pitching coach is a bit of a different animal. Mel Stottlemyre is the incumbent, but Towers is looking in a different direction -- right to eventual Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.

"I told Greg two years ago as soon as you want to be on the field please make me the first call," Towers told USA TODAY . The GM is interested in Maddux as pitching coach or bench coach.

Gibson has a 30-43 record with 'Zona, but has built a reptuation as a fiery, go-get-'em manager that is much needed in Arizona these days to change the culture of passive acceptance of losing, which was pointed to at as one of the major problems prior to the regime change.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:01 pm
 

No-hitters anything but boring


Matt Garza With my DVR all ready and fired up to watch Mad Men on Monday night, I had to tell the wife we couldn't watch it right then, instead I pickd up the iPad and watched the last two innings of Matt Garza's no-hitter with Don Draper paused in the background.

The no-hitter was the first in Tampa Bay Rays history and the fifth of this magical season of the pitcher. These things are special, unless you're Mike Freeman. My colleague here at CBS Sports is bored by no-hitters and he's just not going to take it anymore .

Apparently five is the threshold to mediocrity -- five of 1,487 games played so far this season have finished with a pitcher not allowing a hit to the opposing team. Yep, 0.3362 percent is just too darn much to feel goosebumps.

Those odds, roughly one in 300, is as common as the Cubs winning this year's World Series, according to one line. Anyone taking that bet?

Freeman write that it's "difficult to dispute that no-hitters are losing their uniqueness." Did he write this in 1991? That may have been the case after 14 no-hitters in two seasons, but then there was just one in 1992.

To say that the five so far this season are the start of a trend is to be short-sighted and ignore the cyclical nature of history. Following those 14 no-hitters in the first two seasons of the 90s, there were 14 no-hitters in the next seven seasons. Or that perhaps the five we've seen this season make up for only one no-hitter thrown between June 2003 and September 2006.

While he's ignoring history, Freeman writes, "mostly average pitchers (not all but mostly) are throwing so many this season."

The no-hitter has always been about the greatness of a pitcher on that one day, not the pitcher's overall greatness. It's a small sample size, nine innings in a career of thousands.

In baseball's history, there have been 268 recognized no-hitters, with just 50 of those thrown by Hall of Fame pitchers (18.7 percent). If you take out Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters, it's only 16.5 percent. I'll even be kind and add Bert Blyleven, Randy Johnson (two no-hitters) and Roy Halladay as future Hall of Famers, that percentage goes up to just 19.8 percent. So in history, one out of five no-hitters is thrown by a future Hall of Famer.

This year, one no-hitter has been thrown by someone who has a good shot at Cooperstown (Halladay -- although it's too early to mention the C word either way with the 26-year old Ubaldo Jimenez.)

If you look at 1991, five of the seven no-hitters were thrown by just one pitcher. Of those, one was thrown by a future Hall of Famer, Ryan. The other four were by two pitchers with very good careers (Bret Saberhagen and Dennis Martinez), a rookie (Wilson Alverez) and a pitcher who would win 37 career games (Tommy Greene). How different is that from this year's class of Halladay, Jimenez, Garza, Dallas Braden and Edwin Jackson?

History shows pitchers such as Hod Eller, Tom Phoebus, Bob Moose, Ed Halicki, John Montesfusco, Juan Nieves and Bud Smith are as likely to toss a no-no as Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Warren Spahn or Bob Gibson.

Those guys have no-hitters, heck, Steve Busby has two, as do Don Wilson, Bill Stoneman and Virgil Trucks, but Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Steve Carlton, Lefty Grove, Whitey Ford, Dizzy Dean, Mordecai Brown and Grover Cleveland Alexander didn't throw one.

The no-hitter is still unpredictable and takes a special mix of luck and skill. It is -- and always will be -- special, whether someone bothers to re-tweet the accomplishment or not. It's even enough to put off watching Joan Holloway -- and that's saying something.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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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