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Sunday, March 19, 2017

OTP 20 March 2017: This fighter for civil rights has baseball in her DNA

An interview with Bay Area activist and baseball fanatic Sunny Schwartz.

The S.F. Giants are gutsy and sincerely community-minded. They not only put money where their mouth is but they put their principles in action. They raised awareness of our [restorative justice] program. Graduates from our program stood shoulder-to-shoulder with survivors of violence in the ballpark before a game, saying they’d do the right thing. The Giants also took on AIDS awareness in the early ’90s. Today that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but back then it really was. They’ve also taken on domestic violence. Our first Strike Out Violence Day was in 1998 or ’99.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: March 19, 2017 at 09:58 PM | 2086 comment(s)
  Beats: activism, ballpark weddings, giants, politics

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sporting News: Collusion hurt Al Oliver’s Hall of Fame case; can he still get in?

The former National League batting champion had last played in 1985, unable to get a contract for the following season. But on Jan. 10, 1995, arbitrator Thomas Roberts ruled that collusion by Major League Baseball had cost Oliver and nine other players jobs in 1986. Roberts awarded Oliver $680,031.05.


For Oliver, the stakes were high when he lost his livelihood. Oliver stalled out at 2,743 hits and a .303 lifetime batting average. A few months past his 39th birthday heading into the 1986 season, it’s conceivable Oliver could’ve reached 3,000 hits by his early forties.

“I could easily have DH’d another four or five years without any problems at the rate that I was going and the condition I was in,” Oliver, 70, told Sporting News in a recent phone interview from his Ohio home.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: March 15, 2017 at 09:05 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: al oliver, collusion, dave parker, hall of fame

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Bizarre Ending to Pitching’s Greatest Winning Streak

Oddly enough, some people believed that Rube could have possibly followed the same path as the woman had his winning streak continued.  Players from Brooklyn’s squad commented after Marquard had made it nineteen wins in a row that a few more consecutive victories would have made him a prime candidate for the bughouse.

——

“Did you ever work at a given task until you felt it was ‘getting’ to you – that you couldn’t think of anything else when you were awake and that your sleep was troubled with dreams of it?” pondered Marquard. “It was getting on my nerves.  Why, several nights I went to bed and the moment I closed my eyes the air became full of baseballs, gloves, and bats. I could see players running to me as though they were going to annihilate me.  When I would finally get to sleep, I was pitching ball all night.  When I awoke in the morning I felt as if I hadn’t rested a bit.”

gehrig97 Posted: February 23, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brooklyn, hall of fame, history, ny giants, rube marquard

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Baseball Hall of Fame to honor ‘Homer at the Bat”

Baseball’s Hall of Fame will honor “The Simpsons” on May 27 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show’s “Homer at the Bat” episode.

First televised on Feb. 20, 1992, “Homer at the Bat” featured future Hall of Famers Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ozzie Smith among the ringers on Homer Simpson’s Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team. Voices of actual players were used in the episode, which also included Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia and Darryl Strawberry.

Boggs and Smith are scheduled to appear at a round-table discussion at the Hall on May 27 that also includes episode executive producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, director Jim Reardon, executive story editor Jeff Martin and casting director Bonnie Pietila.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dave Stieb on Hall of Fame: ‘I surely did not deserve to be just wiped off the map’ | MLB | Sporting News

In case anyone’s wondering, Stieb’s heard of WAR.

“Pat Hentgen told me years ago, he goes, ‘Man, you know how they’re using that WAR a lot, that stat?’ I go, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘They use that like crazy now to gauge how good someone really is.’ He goes, ‘If they looked at that when you were playing, you would have won four Cy Young Awards in a row,’” Stieb said, noting it would have been 1982 through 1985 when he led for WAR three consecutive years and finished second the fourth.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 12:51 PM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dave stieb, hall of fame

Giants’ Bruce Bochy says DL rule change could affect bullpen usage - SFGate

Under the old rules, teams agonized over players who had mild injuries, not wanting to lose them for 15 days when they needed seven or 10 to recover. That happened often with the Giants last year. They would keep Angel Pagan, for instance, off the DL hoping he would be able to play soon, leaving Bochy with a short bench.

“Where it can get a little more difficult is with bullpen guys,” Bochy said.

On any given night, one or two relievers might be off-limits because of minor aches or overwork. With the new rule changes, teams could be more inclined to place the injured pitchers on the DL, which could lead to less strain on the healthy ones.

Another change affects managers who are out of replay challenges. Previously, they were able to ask umpires to initiate reviews beginning in the sixth inning. Now, they cannot ask until the eighth, which should make managers more reluctant to risk their lone discretionary challenge in the early innings.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, rules of the game

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lou Whitaker on the Hall of Fame: “I didn’t even get daylight”

Whitaker, who played from 1977 to 1995 with the Detroit Tigers, ranks among the best second basemen in baseball history by various sabermetrics — sixth by Wins Above Replacement, seventh by Wins Above Average, and 12th by JAWS according to Baseball-Reference.com. But Whitaker drew just 2.9 percent of the vote for Cooperstown in 2001, his only year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s ballot, disqualifying him from future consideration by the writers.

...

So what’s taken Trammell and Whitaker so long? Why haven’t the 1984 Detroit Tigers, who won 104 games and the World Series, had a single Hall of Famer?

“We were just consistent,” Whitaker said. “We were a team with consistent players. We played, we won.”

The Hall of Fame, though, isn’t always great about rewarding consistent players who are good in a number of areas but seemingly not elite at any. Just ask Trammell, Dwight Evans or Bobby Grich.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Did Harold Baines come within a whisker of the Hall of Fame?

Twice in his 22-year career, Baines and his fellow major leaguers were robbed of games due to labor stoppages. In 1981 and again in 1994, the owners and the MLB Players Association came to loggerheads and shut down the game. Could those two labor disputes have caused Baines the hits he needed to get to 3,000? If Baines has 3,000 hits on his ledger when he debuts on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2007, does he garner only five percent of the vote?

Wahoo Sam Posted: February 12, 2017 at 08:10 PM | 117 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago white sox, hall of fame, harold baines

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, and the Hall of Fame

Joe Mauer hasn’t squatted behind the plate since 2013. But he’ll still be a Hall of Fame catcher someday. Won’t he?

Only six catchers have been regulars on three or more World Championship teams. There’s the Yankee contingency: Yogi Berra (with eight), Bill Dickey (seven), and Jorge Posada (four); then there’s Posey, Mickey Cochrane, and Johnny Roseboro with three each. Yogi, Dickey, and Cochrane are in the Hall of Fame, and coincidentally, they (along with Buster) are the only three-time champion catchers to also win the MVP award.

Wahoo Sam Posted: February 07, 2017 at 04:05 PM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, hall of fame, joe mauer

Sunday, February 05, 2017

OTP 6 Feb. 2017: Curt Schilling, Politics, and the Hall of Fame

Curt Schilling has said that his politics are costing him votes for the Hall of Fame. The other day here at NRO, Aaron Goldstein argued specifically that in the most recent balloting, earlier this winter, baseball writers backed away from Schilling because he supported Trump last year in the presidential election.

A few problems dog that theory. One is that Schilling did better in the 2017 voting than he’s done on average in his five years of eligibility.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

BDC Posted: February 05, 2017 at 10:45 PM | 2003 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, hall of fame, phillies, politics, red sox

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Could Omar Vizquel help other shortstops get in the Hall of Fame?

Sabermetrics reaffirm Vizquel as a good defensive shortstop, with his 127.6 runs saved while fielding 18th-best among all shortstops in baseball history. But his minus-244.3 runs worse than average as a hitter paint him as the 13th-worst hitting shortstop of all time. Adjusting for his era, Vizquel would be just about the worst-hitting position player in the Hall of Fame.

Sabermetrics aren’t everything, of course, particularly to the type of Hall of Fame voter who might support Vizquel. But advanced stats hint at controversy that could swirl this fall. Put another way, Vizquel’s popularity with Cooperstown voters is going to anger some people. Already, Forman got into it with longtime Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly over Vizquel. Similar debates are sure to follow elsewhere.

That said, the chart Forman posted hints at a potential silver lining for statisticians and historians: As fans, voters and others dig into Vizquel’s candidacy, there’s a good chance they could notice the many fine, underrated shortstops who rank in front of him — some of whom could use considerably more help getting in the Hall of Fame.

Waves of shortstops have been inducted before. Could Vizquel’s induction help kick-start another wave?

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 31, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, omar vizquel, sean forman

Friday, January 27, 2017

Baseball Hall of Fame not mulling election rules for PED-era players

Idelson said the Hall’s leadership is “comfortable” with its current rules, despite the surge in support that has lifted Bonds and Clemens to more than 50 percent of the vote and to within about 100 votes of being elected.

“Rules are always a topic of conversation and thought,” Idelson said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about any of our sets of rules for election.

“[But] bottom line is, we still feel very comfortable with the character, integrity and sportsmanship portion of the rule that asks that those characteristics be evaluated in terms of candidacy for election. Could they change in the future? It’s always possible. But sitting here today, we’re comfortable [with those rules] as they are.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

S. Korean infielder embraces challenger mindset after signing with San Francisco Giants

“They told me they could clearly see I was getting better, and that I had potential to grow even more,” Hwang said. “I know the team will be counting on me to provide some power. And I hope to take advantage of the assets that I have.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2017 at 06:24 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, hwang jae-gyun

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Edwards: Scott Rolen, Ron Santo, and the Third-Base Myth

Rolen, Rolen, Rolen, Rawhide!

In one way, Mike Schmidt is the prototypical third baseman: he was a great hitter and provided excellent defense. In another way, though, he isn’t: a prototype is a model on which subsequent reproductions are based. But no other third basemen has ever reproduced Schmidt’s accomplishments. He’s the best third baseman ever.

There’s a view that’s prevailed for some time to the effect that third basemen are just like first basemen except slightly more mobile. This was never really the case, though — and, on offense, third basemen now have a lot more in common with second basemen than there counterparts on the other corner of the diamond. This view likely cost Ron Santo the chances to enter the Hall of Fame by way of the writers’ ballot and, ultimately, prevented him from living to see his own induction.

A very similar player, Scott Rolen, will appear on the ballot for the first time in 2017. Based on the value he provided both on offense and on defense, Rolen deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (((JE))) Posted: January 24, 2017 at 05:18 PM | 111 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, scott rolen, third basemen

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Gary Sheffield and the war on WAR - Beyond the Box Score

Even if you buy the idea that his defensive WAR is overestimated, he’s still a poor defensive player. I don’t believe this is a winning argument for his candidacy.

The math problem then amounts to this: If you’re willing to consider that Sheffield’s negative defensive numbers might be overblown by 15 to 25 percent, you’re looking at a case that ranges from, “Well, he’s definitely better than Tony Gwynn,” to “Um, yes, we need to enshrine turn-of-the-millennium Reggie Jackson.”

Considering “factors that lie outside those player’s control” is a rabbit hole not worth entering.

And this is where WAR’s usage becomes tricky. It is extremely helpful in comparing the values of a competent shortstop who can hit and a not-very-good right fielder who can mash. But it is a formula, and it can’t fully account for the many factors that lie outside those player’s control; the logical breakdowns that might occur in the course of reality.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2017 at 09:20 AM | 110 comment(s)
  Beats: gary sheffield, hall of fame

Saturday, January 21, 2017

MLB Tonight: Jorge Posada | MLB.com

I’m a big fan of Brian Kenny. I’m not sold on Posada’s Hall of Fame case.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jorge posada

Chris Russo thinks the latest selections have ruined Hall of Fame

Occasionally he’s entertaining. His Hall of Fame rants are tough to get though. It’s usually when I change the channel.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2017 at 08:47 AM | 135 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hall of Fame’s Rule of 10 should be changed | MLB.com

I don’t get it either. The limit leads to all kinds of unintended consequences.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 07:09 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Jayson Stark: Casting my 2018 Hall of Fame ballot ... today

Look, I know the range data shows he wasn’t really a modern Ozzie Smith. But this just in: Nobody was. Still, those 11 Gold Gloves—the third most by any infielder in history—tell us exactly what the rest of baseball thought of Vizquel in his prime. Plus, I think I can make a case he was the most sure-handed shortstop ever.

I can throw lots of numbers at you, but my favorite is this: Incredibly, he had three seasons in which he played at least 140 games and made five errors or fewer. That’s as many seasons like that as all the other shortstops since 1900 combined.

And one more thing. Despite Vizquel’s offensive limitations, he still finished with 2,877 hits. And here’s your complete list of players with as many hits and Gold Gloves as Vizquel: Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and that’s it. So is there a Hall of Fame argument for this man? Heck yeah, there is.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2017 at 04:45 PM | 90 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, hall of fame, jayson stark, omar vizquel, scott rolen

Predicting every Hall of Fame class through 2045 | ESPN.com

David Schoenfield breaks out his crystal ball.

2043

Elected: Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Theo Epstein

Executives have to be retired for five years to be considered or 70 years old if they’re still active. This is the year Theo will turn 70. He could have 10 World Series titles by then, he could be commissioner of baseball, he could be president, or he could simply be retired and watching YouTube clips of cats clawing at dogs.

Baldrick Posted: January 19, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Read the open letter Tim Raines wrote after learning he’d been inducted into the Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Hello all,

I am extremely honored and humbled to have received the call today that I will be enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s the perfect way to cap my 23-year career. When I began playing professional baseball, I just wanted to be one of the best at my position. I wasn’t thinking of Cooperstown. But now that I will be inducted next summer, I am overcome with a wave of emotion and I am so excited to share this honor with my family. I would like to thank everyone who helped me become who I was on the baseball field, including my family and teammates. I would like to thank everyone in the media who advocated for my Hall of Fame candidacy. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that this honor was so important to you as well. Lastly, I want to thank the fans from all of the cities that I played in. You gave me strength and support to do things I did on the field. And merci Montreal. See you all in Cooperstown this summer.

- Rock

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2017 at 06:35 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, tim raines

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Baseball Hall of Fame election results | MLB.com

Premier leadoff man Tim Raines, Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell and strong-armed backstop Ivan Rodriguez have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 06:13 PM | 204 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame


Class of 2017 awaits call from Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Today’s the day!

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2017 at 09:55 AM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Willie McCovey Pardoned by Obama

McCovey pleaded guilty to income tax-fraud conspiracy in 1995, alongside fellow baseball star Duke Snider, for failing to report thousands of dollars each in fees received from memorabilia and autograph shows.

The plea carried a sentence of up to seven months in jail. Both McCovey and Snider, who died in 2011, were given two years’ probation and a $5,000 fine in 1996.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 17, 2017 at 09:33 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: barack obama, crimes & misdemeanors, giants, willie mccovey

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