Results tagged ‘ Mike Piazza ’

Taking a Whack at 2014 Hall of Fame Voting


I have to say I’m glad I’m not one of those 600+ members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) who have put in the mandatory 10 plus years of service covering own slivers of the Major League Baseball fishbowl who have to parlay their thoughts along with slicing and dicing their own set in clay adverse and varied opinions about the nominated few and somehow find a cohesive way to whittle down their list of potential former MLB players for possible selection and immortalized in bronze forever within the hallowed halls of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
20140102-161419But wouldn’t it a hoot if I did have a envelope to send into Cooperstown. That my own personal baseball opinions could be voiced upon that black and white card of my 10 selected baseball heroes from the past that I personally would LOVE to see in bronze for eternity. The reality is I will never have that opportunity. I wasted my chance at being within that brotherhood long ago when I left my Sports Correspondent slot soooo long ago. But I would cherish and relish a chance to send just such an envelope into the mail and then sit back and see how many of my picks could/would get a phone call and the prestigious yellow jacket this summer.

I would consider such an envelope a huge responsibility both as a life-time baseball spectator as well take into account morally that I not only follow my gut reaction for such voting, but also toil and weather such stormy matters as if a finalist had used or ever abused the pre-PEDs mandates (McGwire) and testing regulations (Clemens/Bonds), whether a career-long DH (Martinez) merits a hearty Hall nod. Or maybe I might wrestle on a solid and concise benchmark for statistic considerations of both starters and relievers. I would hope I can show empathy with finalists who might have suffered in their careers by playing on mediocre teams (Morris/Raines) that did not parlay their own bits of success into playoff berths or shot in the World Series. Does getting a World Series ring (or 2) trump a player with a den full of MLB hardware?

And even if I did produce 10 ducks in my selection row, that the moment the selection process is finalized I could end up with a whittled down list maybe into the single digits and as low as 3 of my selections receiving that prestigious phone call on Wednesday, January 8th. But no matter the results, I know there will be chatter, both realistic and convoluted as some inductees and finalists will miss the cut and not meet both the required minimal votes for this summer’s Hall induction and possibly fall off the 2015 ballot due to lack of support or future consideration by the growing group of 600+BBWAA voters.

My first 5 selections will bode well with most voters, but my other 4 might ruffle some PED feathers or be called into question because of their non-God like stats, plus I added 1 Hometown hero to my selection list but that is what this voting blog post is all about……my personal Hall of Fame choices.

Without further ado, this would have been my ballot for the Hall of Fame Class of 2014:

1) Greg Maddux 355 W’s, 17 seasons of > 15 W‘s, 4 Cy Youngs. Could garner over 98.84% of votes
 2) Tom Glavine 305 W’s, 14 seasons with >200 innings, 5- 20 W seasons, 2 Cy Youngs
 3) Frank Thomas 7 straight seasons with .300 AVG,20+ HR,100 RBIs, 100 Walks, + 521 career HR
4) Craig Biggio 3,060 hits, 668 doubles are most by any right-handed hitter
5) Jeff Bagwell 7 100R/100 RBI seasons, NL ROY, Gold Glove, MVP, .408 OBP.

6) Mike Piazza 427 HRs, 12 X All-Star
7) Barry Bonds 762 HRs, 1,996 RBIs, 2,935 hits, 7 MVP, 8 Gold Gloves, 14 All-Star selections.
8) Jack Morris 15th (Last) year on ballot. His 3.90 ERA would be the Hall’s highest.
9) Lee Smith Was MLB Saves (478) leader when he retired. Great pressure guy.
10) Fred McGriff 493 HR were done clean and legal. 200+ HR in both AL and NL

Rays Trivia: What other Hall of Fame finalist besides Fred McGriff played for the Rays during his career?

Answer: Hideo Nomo who wore # 11 while going 5-8 in 100.2 innings in 2005.

So, Who You Got on Your 2013 Hall of Fame Ballot?


Surprise, disappointment,and astonishment should reign supreme today when the hierarchy that is Cooperstown announces their enshrined class for 2013, I am suspecting a few gasps, a few hip-hip hoo-rays, and hopefully a few “it’s about time” noises from coast-to-coast. Be it the players nominated who played the game “old school” style, or player who went to historic lengths to press their imprint on their bronze plaque, the Hall of Fame class of 2013 will definitely have their pros and (almost) cons…and the various and widening shower of 360 degrees of both positive and negative opinions will rain down quickly as the selection become public.

thCAWIKYWNIt will be the first time we see via a voting tally what the fellowship of America’s favorite pastime truly feels about players who hustle, played the game within the chalk lines, and those who muddled them like a Southern rainstorm. Be you a pro-traditional sort, or one who yells to the rafters about the injustice of tainted stats possibly gaining iconic access into the hallowed halls, 2013 will definitely be the year of controversy and a first show of the river of divide that was the Steroid Era.

0-clemensI am truly expecting a few of the Hall of Fame voters to pronounce proudly they will not vote an accuser/abuser into the Hall even with monumental statistics that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were/are in the game higher echelon all-time. Dark clouds will definitely be in order on this day no matter the sky cover or the temps as heat will rise and more than a few opinions will rant and rave up a storm, possibly into whirlwind potential.

Even the recent acknowledgment of Mark McGuire of his ruse might not be enough to float him towards those hallowed chambers, and his long time farce might actually cost him another chance in 2014 if the voters decide he doesn’t even desire the lowest total possible for another single chance at admittance.

mike_piazzaThere are a few names not tarnished by the era of the needle who should hear the phone ring today be it a catcher who offensively changed his position, or a ornery cuss who reminded fans and the media of those long ago icons who blistered out over 3,000 Rawlings which should get him a front row seat on the podium in his first Hall of Fame chance. I’m hoping a shortstop who played in old Tigers Stadium who for years was overshadow by Cal Ripken Jr, but who played that old constant style of clean and concise defense his calling card while Ripken made his with the lumber.

Crime DogThere are so many different style of players,disciplines and even motivations who could get a chance today to hear their names echoed from sea-to-shining sea and with it the quick opinions running rampant on whose team caps they will adorn along with their smile on their bronze plaque. I want to think it is pure skullduggery and thievery if the “Crime Dog” is again robbed of a chance for election, but then I remember some think the skinny First Baseman who rocked 200 Home Runs in each side of the MLB didn’t hit that stellar 500 HR plateau and again will have to buy a ticket to enter the Hall.

DaleMurphyI expect a few names to bring a large amount of aggressive shock and awe that they are not only excluded once again, but possibly being a step closer to that critical vote percentage tipping point where their names may disappear from the ballot forever. Be he a “sure thing”, a player lost in the controversial shuffle, or one of those arraigned, tried and found not guilty in the court of law, but not in the public court of opinion.

If you gaze up at the opening photo montage on this post you will see the 6 names I would have selected on my personal 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. I struggled with expanding it to 8 names, but I’m sure the 2 people I juggled on and off the list will get the needed votes to be eligible again for the Hall of Fame eligibility in 2014, then I would check their names with no reservations.

Even with the disagreements, opinions and gambit of emotions from anger to excited, this is definitely going to be a Hall of Fame class we will be talking about the entire 2013 Major League baseball season…….So, who you got on your 2013 Hall of Fame ballot?

Rangers Beat Rays by a Touchdown

Rangers 12, Rays 6


I know the Rangers did not score a TD, please do not write me and tell me I mixed sports metaphors. I know what I did, it was to attract you to the blog only. I played football, I know the difference Yankee dude.

I want to tell you, watching the Rangers take BP today was a wild experience. I saw Josh Hamilton hit a ball so high and far it went BEHIND the towering video screen in rightfield. 

I have seen the NY Met’s old catcher, Mike Piazza put two straight shots into the Beach area. I have seen Barry Bonds hit the back wall, and Jorge Posada lodge a ball in the building’s seam, but that shot mesmerized me for a brief moment.  Damn what we would be with him in our lineup………sends chills down my spine.


Trivia Fact of the Night:

Of Babe Ruth’s 714 homers, 10 were inside-the-park shots. 16 were hit in extra innings, and 1 was as a pinch hitter.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly PostersThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly Posters

                                        The Good,The Bad,and The Ugly




                                                 The Good

Cliff Floyd has been hitting the ball better in the last few at-bats. Tonight he hit a clutch 2-run homer in the 2nd inning to begin the scoring for the Rays.

Cliff went 2-2 tonight with 2 RBI’s, and scored 3 runs. Floyd also had 2 walks tonight for the team. Floyd is currently hitting .281 for the Rays. Floyd has a .386 lifetime average at the Trop., the 4th best average lifetime at the stadium (min 75 at bats).

Honorable Mention “Good Guys”:

*** Dioner Navarro continues to carry a hot bat, going 2-4 tonight and upping his average to .374 for the year. Dioner is the best hitting switch hitter in the MLB this season. Dioner has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, with 8 multi-hit games.

** Evan Longoria went 1-3 tonight and upped his average to .243 for the year. Evan leads the club with 7 homers since his arrival, and is tied with Carl Crawford with 29 RBI’s. Longoria also is ranked 2nd behind Chicago White Sox’s Joe Crede for the AL best thrid baseman. He currently has a slugging percentage of .466 for the Rays.

* Eric Hinske went diving for a dying ball tonight in rightfield and just missed it by inches. This determination and drive is why he is my top star tonight. Eric also hit a 2-run homer to right in the 4th inning to close the gap to 7-4 at the moment. 

Hinske has now hit 10 homers on the year. Thi is the earliest in his career that he has hit that plateau. He currently leads the club with 20 extra base hits, and is 6th in the AL with a .529 Slugging Percentage.




                                             The Bad

Andy Sonnanstine has had two bad outings in a row now. His last start in Oakland was a 9-1 Rays loss on the last game of the road trip. Tonight, Andy lasted 5 innings, gave up 10 hits and 7 runs before shutting down the Rangers for 3 innings.

Rays manager Joe Maddon admitted in his post game interview that the righty was having a control situation and was not “hitting the glove” like he did in his past victories. Sonnanstine did get 7 strikeouts on the night. 

I know some fans are ready to throw Andy under the bus and take this loss in the wrong ways. This was one of those games that can define a team. You know you can not win every night, but the team did not give up and it played aggressive baseball up until the last out in the 9th inning. that is a character ball club. And one you can be proud of for it efforts.


Just remember, Andy Sonnanstine was pitching in Double-A only two years ago. And this season, he matched a record set by Rolando Arroyo and Scott Kazmir of reaching 6 victories by May 16th.  The guy has the talent, sometime you just have a bad game…..period.


                                           The Ugly

Tonight, Josh Hamilton’s Grand Slam was the most ugly thing I have seen this season at the Trop. I am not blaming J P Howell for the pitch.

It was right where the glove was placed, Hamilton did a great job turning on the pitch and sending it into the lower half of the Bigscreen Scoreboard in rightfield.

You heard me, he put it into the scoreboard.  It was a major blast for his team, and a ultimate signal to the Rays that they still had work to do that night.


But what was even more ugly was the Rangers’ starter Vicent Padilla’s personal interpretation of the new “12 second rule.”

MLB insituted a 12 second rule for the pitchers to speed up the game. I asked a memeber of the Rays staff what constitutes a beginning of this timed period. He stated that it was, “when the pitcher touches the rubber with his foot.”

Not when you are in the set position to throw, but when you first rest your foot on the rubber. Padilla was using every second, and borrowing a half dozen on most of his pitches tonight.

Tim Welke, the homeplate umpire did not seem to warn or even go out and discuss this with the pitcher. He let the game drag on and on by the pitcher’s disregard for the rule, and the Rays players also used that to their advantage. If Padilla used up an abnormal bit of time, the Rays used their discretion and moved out of the batter’s box. Hence making the pitcher again setup for the pitch and  beginnig the process all over again. 

The Rays’ tried to use this as a distraction on Padilla’s rhythm and get him in an uncomfortable state. This only seemed to upset the crowd and the batters more than Padilla.

I hope there is a better example of this ruling somewhere online. I am going to look for it and see if I can make any sense of it for everyone.



Rays’ Players Rememberances of Geremi Gonzalez



 A moment of silence was observed in memory of former Rays pitcher Geremi Gonzalez prior to Tuesday night’s Rays-Rangers game at Tropicana Field.

Rays players and staff paid tribute to Gonzalez, who died on Sunday at the age of 33 after being struck by lightning.

Crawford smiled when asked to describe Gonzalez.

“Yeah, he was fun,” Crawford said. “Loud, always excited, he just had a lot of energy. He was a character, man.” 


Rocco Baldelli called Gonzalez a “Fun-loving guy, and a lot of people here are going to miss him.”

Baldelli remembered how entertaining Gonzalez could be, particularly on a trip back from Japan after the Rays opened their season in Japan in 2004.

“We played cards on the way back from Japan the entire flight,” Baldelli said. “I mean this guy kept me awake for 18 hours or whatever. This guy would do some off-the-wall stuff that kept everybody loose all the time. He’s a guy who makes an impression. When you meet him, you remembered meeting Geremi Gonzalez.”