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Name That Cub!

By bullpenbrian - January 14, 2013 - 8:15 am Leave a comment.

CT CityHall2.JPG
He was born in Harrisville, Michigan.
Cubs traded to get him from Pittsburgh.
Lifetime batting average of .321.
Led league in steals 4 times.
Hall of Fame 1968.
Name that Cub! (Answer after jump)

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The Shark, The Fuk & One HOF Vote For Aaron Sele(?)

By bullpenbrian - January 10, 2013 - 2:00 am Leave a comment.

Jeff Samardzija visited the set of SportsNation (ESPN) to defend his Fighting Irish following Notre Dame’s humiliating 42-14 loss to Alabama in the
BCS National Championship Game.

At the end of this clip Samardzija appears just as exasperated by Alabama’s thumping as the rest of us (or those not rooting for the Crimson Tide, or without any rooting interest like myself).

The Cubs were never mentioned specifically during the show.

Samardzija at Notre Dame (2003-06)
Baseball – Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball Magazine
Football – School record of 8 straight games with receiving TD
Football – Career: 179 receptions, 2,593 yards, 27 touchdowns
Football – All time leader in receiving yards (2,593)
Football – Numerous All American Teams
Baseball – Selected by Cubs in 5th Rd (149th overall) of 2006 Draft

Kosuke Fukudome is heading back to Japan
He’s agreed to a 3-year, $5.5 million deal with the Hanshin Tigers.
In 2008 he signed a 4-year, $48 million deal with the Cubs.

Cubs transactions January 10th:

  • 2012: signed free agent Paul Maholm
  • 2006: Signed free agent Jacque Jones

HOF Voting
The Bad: No player was voted in when a few deserving ones
should have been elected.
The Silver Lining: This will spark further conversation about the voting system and what reform, if any, should be taken to improve the voting system.
Craig Biggio is a no brainer.
Aaron Sele gets one vote? Why? Ridiculous.

Aaron Sele
15 Seasons – Overall (148-112, 4.61) 352 starts
Only 5 double digit wins seasons (19, 18, 17, 15, 13)
Two time All Star
Never won 20-games
Never was a league leader in major pitching category
Playoff record: (0-6, 4.46) 7 starts
Hall of Famer? Are you kidding me?

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IBWAA Votes Mike Piazza HOF Worthy

By bullpenbrian - January 9, 2013 - 2:00 am Leave a comment.

Only one player earned enough votes to be deemed Hall of Fame worthy by the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) – Mike Piazza, with 79.10%.

Roger Clemens finished third with 52.24%.
Jeff Bagwell & Barry Bonds tied for fourth at 50.75%.
Barry Larkin remains on the IBWAA ballot…not to be confused with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).

Cubs:
Lee Smith – 35.82%
Fred McGriff – 13.43%
Sammy Sosa – 8.96%
Rafael Palmeiro – 7.46%
Kenny Lofton – 2.99%
Todd Walker – 0.00%
Rondell White – 0.00%

Each writer gets 10 votes, which I decided to use to select: Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Larkin, E. Martinez, Piazza, Raines, L. Smith, L. Walker (Schilling will get my vote next year).

IBWAA members include Barry Bloom, Chris Haft and Jim Thomas, MLB.com; Thomas Bonk, Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports; Jim Caple, Mark A. Simon and David Schoenfield, ESPN.com; Fred Claire, former General Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers; Jonah Keri, Grantland; Joe McDonnell, FoxSportsWest.com; Tom Hoffarth, J.P. Hoornstra and Jill Painter, Los Angeles Daily News; Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times; and prominent baseball authors Paul Dickson, Peter Golenbock, Josh Pahigian, John Rosengren and Dan Schlossberg, among others (yours truly).

HOF

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Are Sosa, Lofton, McGriff & Palmeiro Hall of Famers?

By bullpenbrian - January 4, 2013 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

On the blog Baseball: Past & Present, Graham Womack posted an article on the 50 best players not enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Four former Cubs made the list according to 148 different voters as part of the project. Below is summary taken from the post about each Cubs player.

To read the full article click here.

Rafael Palmeiro rarely seems to get his due despite an impressive resume. He is 12th all-time with 569 home runs, tied for 6th all-time with 1192 extra-base hits, 11th all-time with 5388 total bases, tied for 19th all-time with 4460 times on base, and a member of the 3000 hit club.

Sammy Sosa’s Hall of Fame case comes down to power– the power needed to blast home runs and the power of round numbers and recognizable milestones. Slammin’ Sammy is the only player to ever hit 60 home runs in three different seasons and one of eight to crack 600 long balls in his career.

But as Sosa got older and his offensive numbers soared, the right fielder’s defensive and base-running abilities shriveled, until he was essentially a one-dimensional masher. In the end, Sosa’s candidacy comes down to personal voter philosophy.

Kenny Lofton’s legacy is hurt by his having been an almost exact contemporary of Ken Griffey Jr., the greatest centerfielder of the last 40 years. Griffey captivated fans and media members in a way few players in history have, forcing Lofton to work in his vast shadow.

During his prime (1992-1999) Lofton had a slash line of .311/.387/.432. He terrorized pitchers by getting on base at a high clip and stealing more bases than anyone in baseball, with an 80 percent success rate. He played Gold Glove caliber defense too.

Fred McGriff. When he retired in 2004, I thought Fred McGriff was a pretty solid bet to gain eventual enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. His overall mark of 493 home runs ties him with the immortal Lou Gehrig at tenth currently all-time for first basemen (Pujols should pass them both sometime in 2013.)

His 2,239 games played as a first basemen place him third all time. In his fifteen seasons as a full-time player from 1988 to 2002, his 458 home runs, 1460 RBI, 2329 hits and 59.5 fWAR rank third, second, third and fifth respectively among first basemen.

A five-time All-Star, McGriff was somehow not named an All-Star in 1989 and 1993, seasons in which he later won the Silver Slugger award. McGriff also won the Silver Slugger award in 1992. Though he never won an MVP award, McGriff did finish in the top ten of the voting six times.

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Steroids Era and The Hall of Fame

By bullpenbrian - November 29, 2012 - 3:25 am 2 comments.

We knew this day was coming. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are eligible to become members of baseball’s Hall of Fame.

The question is whether or not suspected PEDs users, such as the three above, among others, should be elected.

I think they should be enshrined.

Now, before you start throwing stones…I’m not foolish enough to believe none of the eligible candidates cheated the game. In fact, I’d bet money I don’t have they did use performance-enhancers. Who are we kidding?

However, if baseball is ever going to move on from the Steroids Era it can’t allow this debate to fester on year-after-year, which it will, as long as a seven-time MVP is without a plaque in Cooperstown.

There’s no better example than Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader, whose legacy only grows with his exclusion from the hall. Granted, Rose wasn’t banished for steroids use, but cheating is cheating.

What I’m saying is Bonds, Clemens, Sosa etc. shouldn’t be given the privilege of such attention, like what Rose receives during the election announcements each year.

Instead, the writers must remind themselves the Steroids Era cannot be erased. What happened, happened. Yes, it’s a black on the game, but it can be healed.

Just as we learned to separate the Dead Ball Era from the Live Ball Era, fans will learn to do the same with the Steroids Era.

By the numbers we’ll know Bonds is the all-time home runs leaders and Clemens is one of the best hurlers ever. But we’ll also have an understanding they accumulated their numbers artificially, at least partially, and against other steroids users, no less.

Baseball’s most cherished statistics become no less sacred by electing players from the Steroids Era into the HOF. Rather, it will only help make the game’s history more transparent.

On the contrary, if the baseball writers chose to withhold their votes for highly suspected PEDs users the Steroids Era will never come to a close. And what could be worse than future Hall of Famers, even those decades from now, being overshadowed by the eternal debate of Bonds’ exclusion from the hall?

The writers can lop the head off the ugly Steroids Era monster by simply voting the roid players in, even though we know in our hearts, none are truly deserving of the honor.

Strangely, the decision to enshrine Steroids Era players would actually devalue the players’ accomplishments over time, thus bettering the game and the Hall of Fame itself. So put the cheaters in and move on with the understanding a certain period of the game’s history was chemically enhanced.

That doesn’t mean voters from this point forward should issue a free pass to future PEDs users eligible for the hall. We’re in a new era, more aware, more informed and better educated. Baseball’s steroid rules have been revised and most importantly, enforced. For all intents and purposes, it should be a non-issue.

In the meantime, reliving the Steroids Era with each new HOF ballot does the game no good. The writers need to bury baseball’s dead past and close the chapter on the Steroids Era once and for all.

Unfortunately, it takes putting some more scoundrels in Cooperstown. Call it an unpleasant, but necessary evil if you will.

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Baseball Hall Of Fame Voting

By bullpenbrian - December 28, 2011 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

Here’s my ballot for the Baseball Bloggers Alliance Hall of Fame voting. We’re allowed to cast up to 10 votes.

YES VOTES: (alphabetical order)
-Jeff Bagwell
-Barry Larkin
-Edgar Martinez
-Don Mattingly
-Jack Morris
-Dale Murphy
-Tim Raines
-Lee Smith
-Alan Trammell
-Bernie Williams

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Cubs Wish – Ron Santo

By bullpenbrian - December 6, 2011 - 2:01 am 2 comments.

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Baseball’s HOF A Sham

By bullpenbrian - November 7, 2011 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

Shame on MLB if Ron Santo is elected to the HOF in December, which is under consideration by the Hall’s Golden Era Committee.

To let this man pass before awarding him the game’s highest honor, of which he’s deserving no less, is ridiculous.

What a sham. What a disgrace. Damn you HOF, voters and players alike.

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Andre Dawson Forever A Cub

By bullpenbrian - January 28, 2010 - 1:15 am 4 comments.

The Hall of Fame got it wrong — the Hawk should be enshrined wearing a Cubs cap.

The fact Dawson believes his six years in Chicago elevated his status to Hall of Famer, not his 11-years in Montreal, should’ve been a deciding factor, at least much more than it appears to have been.

I understand the Hall’s duty to represent its member’s achievements as accurately as possible, but it’s not like Dawson’s numbers with Chicago would’ve misrepresented his career, either.

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Santo A HOF

By bullpenbrian - December 8, 2008 - 12:40 am Leave a comment.

Not this comes as a surprise but, Santo wasn’t voted in by the Veterans Committee.

And as I mentioned last week, I’m through getting worked up about HOF inductions…simply put, it’s a joke.

ESPN baseball writer Rob Neyer has an interesting take on the voting….below I pasted his coments about Santo.

R. Neyer – “Ron Santo is the best and most deserving candidate on the post-1942 ballot. Santo was an All-Star nine times, more than anyone else on the ballot. He hit 342 home runs, which at the time of his retirement was No. 2 all-time among third basemen. Santo also drew so many walks that he finished with a .362 on-base percentage, higher than those of Jim Rice and Andre Dawson. The one legitimate knock against Santo is he was washed up at 34, but before that he was perhaps the most durable third baseman ever. He has my whole-hearted endorsement.”

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