Posted on: January 9, 2012 7:13 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 7:19 pm
The 2012 Hall of Fame election -- by the numbers, and with the skinny. ...
Barry Larkin, 495 votes, 86.4 percent: Many numbers tell the tale, such as Larkin becoming the first 30/30 (homers/steals) shortstop in history. But how about in 1988, when he led the majors with only 24 strikeouts in 588 at-bats?
Maybe next year (or the year after)
Jack Morris, 382 votes, 66.7 percent: Great chance next year (which will cause massive coronaries in Sabermetric community), but he could run smack into wall via overloaded ballot that includes Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa.
Jeff Bagwell, 321 votes, 56 percent: Start forging plaque after big jump from 41.7 percent last year.
In need of GPS
Lee Smith, 290 votes, 50.6 percent: A decade on the ballot and it's like he's trapped in a Republican debate. No traction.
Tim Raines, 279 votes, 48.7 percent: Criminally unsupported for guy who ranks second all-time in stolen base percentage (300 minimum attepts), though up 11 percentage points over last year.
Edgar Martinez, 209 votes, 36.5 percent: Fighting the designated hitter uphill battle. If you don't have 3,000 hits, it helps to have worn a glove at some point during your career.
Alan Trammell, 211 votes, 36.8 percent: Heading in the right direction after 24.3 percent last year, but still undeservedly playing the "bye" to the voters' "good."
Fred McGriff, 137 votes, 23.9 percent: CSI investigators -- or are those PETA reps? -- checking for pulse as Crime Dog's 493 career homers get no love.
Larry Walker, 131 votes, 22.9 percent: Even the Canadian exchange rate doesn't favor Cooperstown.
Mark McGwire, 112 votes, 19.5 percent: Big Mac Fan Club not allowing new members. Remarkably consistent from last year's 115 votes, 19.8 percent.
Don Mattingly, 102 votes, 17.8 percent: Just three more years left on the ballot. Hope Donnie Baseball's managerial stint with Dodgers outlasts that.
Dale Murphy, 83 votes, 14.5 percent: A Hall of Fame man, and even if he can't be in Cooperstown, I hope baseball somehow involves him more.
Rafael Palmeiro, 72 votes, 12.6 percent: Did this guy or his career really exist? Outside of wagging a finger at Congress, I mean?
Bernie Williams, 55 votes, 9.6: To those who support Bernie and Jorge Posada: How about we just put every Yankee who played between, say, 1996 and 2001, into the Hall?
No soup -- or future ballots -- for you
Juan Gonzalez, 23 votes, 4 percent: The Rangers had a homecoming ... and no Hall of Fame supporters showed up for Juan-Gone.
Vinny Castilla, 6 votes, 1 percent: Six votes?!?! Vinny had one Hall of Fame moment. That came near the end of his career when he walked into the stadium past me as I was arguing with a security guard who wasn't buying my press pass, stopped, grinned, then approached me in the clubhouse wanting the scoop ... and complimenting me for getting in the guy's face so spiritedly.
Tim Salmon, 5 votes, 0.9 percent: Not Cooperstown worthy, but easily could join Dale Murphy in the all-time good guys' Hall.
Bill Mueller, 4 votes, 0.5 percent: The guy won a batting title (AL, 2003), but I think somebody mis-read Mueller's moving receipts for Hall votes.
Brad Radke, 2 votes, 0.3 percent: I'm assuming the two who voted for Bad Brad are refugees who watched him, incredibly, win 12 consecutive starts while going 20-10 for an absolutely miserable Twins team in 1997.
Javy Lopez, 1 vote, 0.2 percent: Had the Braves allowed him to catch on nights when Greg Maddux started, he may have earned two votes.
Eric Young, 1 vote, 0.2 percent: Very cool. Had no idea Eric Young's mother was in the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.
Jeromy Burnitz, 0 votes: Yeah, but he'll always have that starting berth for the NL in the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston on his resume.
Brian Jordan, 0 votes: Coincidentally, no votes for the NFL Hall of Fame, either.
Terry Mulholland, 0 votes: No votes, but gets points for being part-owner of the Dirty Dogg Saloon in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Phil Nevin, 0 votes: On the other hand, his managerial career (Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens) is taking off.
Ruben Sierra, 0 votes: Whatever happened to the Village Idiot?
Tony Womack, 0 votes: The New York precinct refused to consider him following that game-tying, Game 7 double against Mariano Rivera to set up Luis Gonzalez's game-winner in the 2001 World Series.
Tags: Alan Trammell, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Orioles, Barry Larkin, Bernie Williams, Bill Mueller, Brad Radke, Brian Jordan, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Dale Murphy, Detroit Tigers, Don Mattingly, Edgar Martinez, Eric Young, Fred McGriff, Houston Astros, Jack Morris, Javy Lopez, Jeff Bagwell, Jeromy Burniitz, Juan Gonzalez, Larry Walker, Lee Smith, Los Angeles Angels, Mark McGwire, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, Phil Nevin, Rafael Palmeiro, Ruben Sierra, San Diego Padres, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Terry Mulholland, Texas Rangers, Tim Raines, Tim Salmon, Tony Womack, Toronto Blue Jays, Vinny Castilla
Posted on: February 9, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2011 7:43 pm
Dreamed up by Peavy last spring, Woodjock 2010 was a fundraiser that allowed major league players to play out their rock and roll fantasies. Peavy, Bronson Arroyo, Bernie Williams, Barry Zito, Aubrey Huff, Gordon Beckham, Tim Flannery and others all participated in the Scottsdale, Ariz., concert last March that raised money for Team Focus, Strikeouts for Troops, Autism Speaks and White Sox Charities through the Jake Peavy Foundation.
There was supposed to be a Woodjock 2011, too.
"As cool as it was, as much as I love it, I didn't want any distractions," Peavy told me this week. "I didn't want any distractions for the team or for my teammates.
"I want them to know I'm sold out to the cause. I'll bypass Woodjock this year and it will return bigger and better next year."
About 1,200 people attended last spring's fundraiser. The way Peavy figured it, all sorts of athletes put on charity golf tournaments. But you don't often see a ballplayer hosting a charity concert.
But, alas, with Peavy returning from major arm surgery, he intends to direct all of his energy to the field this spring and low-key everything else.
"We'll have some troops out, still, and we'll have a nice dinner," says Peavy, whose charity work with the military started when he played in San Diego.
As for Woodjock, Peavy says, "Stay tuned for 2012. We're going to bring the house down."
Likes: Pitchers and catchers reporting means spring is right around the corner, doesn't it? Check back here beginning next week to join me for the annual Camp Tours. We'll move from clubhouses to batting cages to restaurants and roadside Dairy Queens with the greatest of ease. ... What a fun story San Diego State basketball has been this winter. Can't wait for the SDSU-Brigham Young game on Feb. 26 on CBS.
Posted on: March 12, 2010 5:11 pm
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Cleveland general manager Mark Shapiro will tell you there are three clear keys to the Indians' 2010 season: Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona and Justin Masterson, who right now are the top three starters.
Shapiro thinks the Indians will score enough runs, he likes their bullpen and they have several candidates -- young, but experienced -- to pick from for the fourth and fifth starters' slots.
As for those first three starters, there are issues with each. Westbrook hasn't started a regular season game in nearly two years because of reconstructive elbow surgery. Carmona has never been able to replicate his 2007 command. And Masterson, after bouncing between the rotation and bullpen in Boston, has yet to prove himself as a starter.
So each time out for that trio is a test this spring, and on Friday, against a Los Angeles Angels' split-squad, it was Westbrook's turn in his second start of the spring. Though the numbers didn't look good (three hits and four earned runs allowed in 2 1/3 innings), Westbrook sailed through in fine form and said he felt "great."
"I gave up four runs total, but I felt 100 times better than when I gave up one run last outing," said Westbrook, who allowed a run on one hit and three walks in 1 2/3 innings against Arizona on March 8 in Tucson. "I feel so much better confidence-wise, and how I attacked the hitters."
Westbrook, who won 44 games for the Indians from 2004-20006, was mainly hurt when he left a fastball up to Mike Napoli, who crushed it for a three-run homer. If you're grading on the curve, Napoli has crushed everything in sight this spring: With 21 total bases in 16 at-bats, his slugging percentage is 1.312 and he's hitting .438 (7 for 16).
After surrendering a double, single and homer to start, Westbrook retired the next six hitters in what mostly was an Angels 'B' lineup -- and seven of the next eight.
"Another step," Westbrook said. "Another step toward getting back to full strength. I feel like I'm definitely back to full healthy."
Sunblock Day? Don't look now but it actually hit 70 degrees here today. Whoo-hoo! Still chilly enough in the shade that jeans are preferable to shorts.
Likes: Woodjock, a charity event hosted by White Sox starter Jake Peavy, went off splendidly Thursday night in Scottsdale. Peavy, a beginning country crooner, held it together and played a couple of songs he's written. Former Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams is terrific on the guitar, as you've probably heard. Excellent rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and nice solo on James Taylor's You've Got a Friend. Retired big leaguer Ben Broussard and his band probably was the best -- he's really good. Bronson Arroyo's emo singing wasn't bad, either. Aubrey Huff? I'll pass. Great crowd, roughly 1,400 folks showed up. You should have seen the line out front just before the doors opened. And fine job by Rick Sutcliffe as master of ceremonies... Love the framed photo in the Goodyear press box with the caption "Did anybody pack the snake?" The photo shows the Indians' press corps hard at work in the old press box in Winter Haven, Fla., where the Indians trained until last year, and it's a reference to the time a snake literally slithered into the press box near Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and scared the poor guy half to death. ... Also like all the airplanes just sitting in the desert far over the right-field fence here in Goodyear. It's a giant parking lot for dozens of airplanes. ... Everyone loves Rerun and the old 1970s television show What's Happening!!, don't they? And, who wouldn't want to watch the classic theme song once more?
Dislikes: The plethora of cameras along the interstate and at red lights in Arizona looking to bust you and take money out of your pocket. It's unbelievable how many there are. I've seen plenty of red-light cameras, but here there are cameras set up along the freeways to catch speeders. Big brother is always watching you in the state of Arizona. Be careful, it's disgusting.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"You bitch about the present
-- The Eagles, Get Over It
Posted on: March 11, 2010 12:23 am
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The place to be in the Cactus League on Thursday might not be a baseball field so much as a club in Scottsdale, where a handful of big leaguers including two Cy Young winner -- White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy (2007) and Giants pitcher Barry Zito (2002) -- and Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo and former Yankee Bernie Williams will headline Woodjock 2010: A Big League Jam Fest for charity.
The event, hosted by Peavy, will benefit the Jake Peavy Foundation, which raises money for Team Focus USA, Strikeouts for Troops, White Sox Charities and Autism Speaks.
Also scheduled to participate are White Sox reliever Scott Linebrink, Giants infielder Aubrey Huff, Giants pitcher Brandon Medders, Giants third-base coach Tim Flannery, White Sox shortstop Omar Vizquel, White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham and former infielder Ben Broussard.
The players/musicians will play various musical genres -- rock 'n' roll, country, jazz, blues, bluegrass, classical and Latin.
The concert will take place at The Venue in Oldtown Scottsdale at 7 p.m. Thursday night. If you're in the area, tickets are available here.
Sunblock Day? Not in my definition of the term. Another cold one in Arizona today, with the temp barely creeping into the 60s and a stiff wind blowing -- howling? -- all day.
Likes: Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon says he is very impressed with the Rays' attitude and work ethic in camp, and he thinks everyone believes the off-season was too long. Translation: He thinks the hunger has returned following the 2008 World Series run and then swinging and missing in 2009. ... Good to see Padres right-hander Chris Young, who has had back-to-back seasons marred by injuries, healthy and strong at this point in camp. ... The rental car lady in Florida was not in the mood for nonsense when I returned the car early the other morning. She was busy working her little hand-held computer upon my return, and when I told her I'd like a full refund because the Florida weather was so crappy for three weeks, she didn't even crack a smile. "You'll have to talk to them inside at the counter, sir," she said without even so much as a hint of a smile. Uh ... I was kidding? ... Notre Dame over Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament on Wednesday. ... Butler over Wright State in the Horizon League tourney title game. What a season for those Bulldogs. Going undefeated in league play is an incredible achievement. ... The jerk salmon at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville in Glendale the other night. ... Excellent win for the Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central boys' basketball team on Wednesday in a 55-53 district tourney triumph over Whiteford.
Dislikes: Former big leaguer Riccardo Ingram, now a hitting coach in Minnesota's system, battling a brain tumor. He was stricken last summer while serving at hitting coach at Triple-A Rochester and, after treatment at Duke University and ongoing chemotherapy, he's doing great right now and is in uniform in Twins camp. The plan for him in 2010 is to serve as a roving hitting coach between Rochester and Double-A New Britain. Here's a prayer that Ingram, one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, continues to feel well and beats this thing. And here's another prayer for his wife and two daughters as they all fight through this thing.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Well, I came upon a child of God
-- Joni Mitchell, Woodstock
Posted on: April 29, 2009 6:16 pm
The Yankees reduced the prices on their most expensive tickets this week, to $1,250 from $2,500. Whoo-hoo! Now I'm waiting for word that the team will refund a portion of that after games in which its bullpen pitches.
On the other hand, for the price of just one of these primo, $1,250, behind-the-plate tickets, you can:
• Fly from New York to Miami ($429) on Monday, May 4 for the opening of the Marlins' two-game series with Cincinnati, returning to New York on May 6, and buy seven infield box-seat tickets ($52) for each night. If you don't want to sleep on the street, you may want only, say, four tickets to each game so you have enough money left for a hotel room.
• Invite your friends to Mickey Mantle's Restaurant and Sports Bar on Central Park South in Manhattan, where you could wolf down 83 grilled steak burgers.
• Buy 46 copies of The Yankee Years, by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci.
• Pick up three lifetime subscriptions from TiVo.
• Score five tandem skydiving jumps on Long Island.
• Reward six friends with a full year's subscription to Netflix (three discs at a time!).
• Scoop up 96 copies of Bernie Williams' compact disc Moving Forward.
• Order 12 vintage Farrah Fawcett red bathing suit posters.
• Pick up a Panasonic Viera 50-inch plasma television ($989.99), and still have enough money left over for an 8-gigabyte iPod touch.
• Order the complete Seinfeld DVD series, seasons 1-9 ($213.34), the complete Friends DVD series ($269.99), the complete Sopranos ($339.99) and The Wire (199.99) from BarnesandNoble.com, and still have more than $200 left for microwave popcorn.
• Put a downpayment on your spot at the Yankees Fantasy Camp ($5,500) this winter in Tampa, Fla.
Dislikes: Sure hope Koji Uehara's bruised sternum heals quickly. Scary moment Thursday when the Angels' Gary Matthews Jr. drilled him with a line drive. ... The woman -- or guy -- next to me on the elliptical machine at the gym who gabs on her -- or his -- cell phone non-stop.
"Well there's reasons for that
-- Bob Dylan, My Wife's Home Town