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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager retires after 11 seasons

Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, who is coming off a career season in which he set highs for home runs and RBIs, is retiring after an 11-year career, according to a statement by him that was posted to Twitter by his wife.

“Today I’m announcing my retirement from Major League Baseball,” said his statement posted to social media by Julie Seager. “Thank you to all of my family, friends and fans for following me throughout my career. It’s been a wonderful ride but I am unbelievably excited for the next chapter of my life.”

Seager had 35 home runs and 101 RBIs last season for the Mariners, with whom he played for his entire MLB career. Overall, he had 242 homers, 807 RBIs and had a .251 batting average.

...Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 02:11 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle seager, mariners

Did a John Denver song get Billy Martin fired?

Martin’s affinity for Texas included country music. In early June, the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” perhaps because Martin began insisting that it be played at the ballpark – but not just between innings. He wanted to hear it in the middle of the seventh, in place of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Martin and Corbett clashed over the songs, with the owner – it’s his team, after all – decreeing that the ballpark staple remain in its traditional slot.

One hot Texas Sunday – July 20, 1975 – Martin made one of his last moves as Rangers manager. Sometime during a doubleheader against the Red Sox, the skipper picked up the dugout phone, but not to call the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 09:17 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: billy martin, rangers

Monday, December 27, 2021

Report: Blue Jays opt for extensive Rogers Centre renovation instead of new stadium

The organization is expected to finalize an overhaul of the Rogers Centre, which would include a renovation of the lower bowl, with the goal of modernizing the in-game experience, according to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. The plan hasn’t been finalized, but the renovations are expected to cost $200-250 million, per Don Muret of Venues Now, who was first to report the news.

Details are expected to be finalized in January 2021, with a subsequent unveiling of the plan to follow, Davidi reports.

Davidi previously reported that the Blue Jays had explored plans to look into the viability of a new stadium, but there are some impediments in the way — primarily that the Rogers Centre is currently zoned on land owned by Canada Lands Company, with ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2021 at 05:51 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, rogers centre

Have Certain Free Agent Former MLB Stars Already Played Their Last Game?

Albert Pujols: 42 in January, Pujols mashed lefties and gave the Dodgers a veteran presence off the bench this year.  Back in October, he said, “I don’t think my time to retire has come. I don’t want to sit in my house next year, knowing that I can still keep playing.”  Pujols is 21 home runs shy of 700 for his career, and he’d be aided by the addition of the NL DH.

Ryan Zimmerman: Zimmerman, 37, had an October send-off at Nationals Park but hasn’t publicly made a decision about retirement.  At a press conference, he said, “Do I want to keep playing? I think I can keep playing. I think I had a really good year with the role that I was supposed to do, and now it’s a decision of whether I want to keep doing that, or do I ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2021 at 05:49 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols

What if Griffey had accepted that Mets trade?

This was how it was structured:

Mariners get: Octavio Dotel, Armando Benitez and Roger Cedeno

Mets get: Ken Griffey Jr.

The deal soon fell through, because Junior used his 10-and-5 rights to veto the trade.

Let’s hop in our time machine, though, and like the great explorers Bill and Ted, take a look at the six ways the baseball world would’ve changed if Griffey had said yes.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2021 at 05:48 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: ken griffey, jr., mets

Sunday, December 26, 2021

How the Padres nearly moved to D.C.

With what was, at the time, a record purchase price of $12 million—$2 million more than a group headed by George Steinbrenner had paid to buy the Yankees just a few months earlier—the deal was in place. And though Padres employees were instructed to keep the deal a secret at that May 27 meeting, the news was everywhere by that evening, meaning the final 53 home games on the season schedule (if the Padres even remained in San Diego that long) would be funereal affairs.

“I know it will kill interest and attendance here,” Smith told reporters.

Just like that, the Padres were baseball’s lame ducks. But the Danzansky deal was contingent upon the resolution of legal issues. The team was in the fifth season of a 20-year stadium lease with ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 26, 2021 at 12:30 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: padres

Baseball in the Bahamas: How Jazz Chisholm, other pros are helping grow the game on the islands

In the past decade-plus, the number of professional Bahamian players has skyrocketed, from just two pros in 2010 all the way to 22 this past season. The nation of just 385,000 people has embraced the game Bahamian-style, with open arms, with joy and with unrelenting passion.

But if the Bahamas is a baseball rocket ship, who built it? How exactly did the tiny island nation become one of the most exciting baseball pipelines in the world?

The first Nassau native to reach MLB was Andre Rodgers, an infielder who debuted with the New York Giants in 1957. His claim to fame was becoming the Cubs’ starting shortstop in 1962, when Hall of Famer Ernie Banks moved to first base. Rodgers enjoyed an 11-year career as the inaugural Bahamian major ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 26, 2021 at 12:26 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bahamas, jazz chisholm

Friday, December 24, 2021

Sources: Mets Intend To Make Jeff McNeil Available On Trading Block After Lockout

Over the course of his first three seasons in the big-leagues (2018-2020), Mets second baseman/utility man Jeff McNeil produced an impressive career slash line of .319/.383/.501/.884.

However, in 2021, a number of Mets’ hitters struggled immensely, including McNeil, who slashed just .251/.319/.360 with a .679 OPS across 120 games.

Now, once the lockout ends, the Mets intend on making McNeil available on the trading block with their sights set on acquiring pitching help in return, as multiple sources told Inside the Mets on Thursday.

Although McNeil’s underwhelming performance last season was an outlier based off his overall track record, the Mets have made a significant effort to improve the culture of the team, which is why they ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 24, 2021 at 11:39 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff mcneil, mets

Thursday, December 23, 2021

The Worst Free-Agent Signing in MLB History at Each Position

One of the most feared sluggers in baseball during the 1990s, Mo Vaughn hit .315/.405/.569 for a 148 OPS+ while averaging 36 home runs and 110 RBI during his six seasons as an everyday player for the Boston Red Sox.

That impressive run with the team concluded following the 1998 season when he reached free agency for the first time in his career. His foray into the open market came at the perfect time, as he hit .337/.402/.591 with 40 home runs and 115 RBI to finish fourth in AL MVP balloting during the ‘98 season.

In search of a big bat to join the homegrown trio of Jim Edmonds, Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson in the middle of the batting order, the Anaheim Angels gave him a massive six-year, $80 million deal.

After productive seasons in ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2021 at 10:23 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency

Where are the splash hits for every MLB ballpark?

But unfortunately, there are only a few MLB parks where a true splash hit is realistic. Oracle Park in San Francisco is, of course, the standard, the shining example of a tater taking a dip. There have also been a handful of kerplops from PNC Park in Pittsburgh into the Allegheny River beyond the bleachers in right field. And yes, Chase Field in Arizona has a pool, Tropicana Field in Tampa has a sting ray tank, and Kauffman in Kansas City has fountains, but those are man-made, tacky, forced.

We’re here today to ask the true, brave question: What is the closest splash hit for all 30 MLB parks? How far does a slugger need to drive one out of Fenway to hit water? What distance does a baseball need to travel beyond the friendly confines of ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2021 at 10:22 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, mccovey cove

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Report: MLB payrolls drop 4% to 2015 levels

Major League Baseball payrolls dropped 4% in 2021 compared to the league’s last full season, and the $4.05 billion total was the lowest in a fully completed year since 2015.

Falling payrolls have sparked the labor unrest that led to the sport’s first work stoppage in more than a quarter-century this month, when the collective bargaining agreement expired and owners locked out the players Dec. 2.

Payrolls are down 4.6% from their record high of just under $4.25 billion in 2017, the first year of the just-expired CBA, according to information sent to clubs by the commissioner’s office and obtained by The Associated Press on Monday. Spending on big league players has not been this low since a $3.9 billion total in 2015.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2021 at 11:45 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: labor issues

How DiMaggio wound up in an A’s uniform

DiMaggio was born, raised and resided in the Bay Area. He had a home on Beach Street in San Francisco, a mere 18 miles from where the A’s would play their home games at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Just as importantly (knowing what we know about DiMaggio), the move made financial sense, too. DiMaggio had retired when he was just two years away from qualifying for Major League Baseball’s maximum pension allowance. This was a way to reach that threshold.

No doubt, Finley, a former insurance salesman, made a pitch every bit as effective as the ones DiMaggio had made for Buitoni and would eventually make for Mr. Coffee. DiMaggio signed a two-year contract to be the A’s executive vice president and consultant.

Just five weeks into ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 22, 2021 at 10:58 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, joe dimaggio

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Sporting News: The 50 Greatest Seasons in Sports History

With this ranking, we looked through The Sporting News’ long history — we were founded in 1886 — to find the greatest individual seasons in sports history. They might sometimes lack the drama of the moments, but they showcase the level of dominance needed to succeed over the grind of a season.

1. Shohei Ohtani, 2021
Numbers (as a hitter):
46 homers, 100 RBI, 26 SB, 158 OPS+, 4.9 bWAR
Numbers (as a pitcher): 3.18 ERA, 23 GS, 130 1/3 IP, 98 H, 156 K, 4.1 bWAR


‘Much too young’: Tigers first base coach Kimera Bartee dead at 49

Too soon. Too sudden.

Kimera Bartee, 49, died at his father’s home in Omaha, Nebraska, on Monday. The death came less than two months after he had been essentially re-hired as the Tigers’ first base coach by manager AJ Hinch.

“Like many across baseball, I was devastated by the news of Kimera’s passing,” Hinch said. “The sport has lost an amazing man, but more importantly his family has lost a loving fiancé, father and son.”

Bartee began his six-year big-league career with the Tigers, wearing the Old English D from 1996 through 1999. His best season turned out to be his rookie year when he played in 110 games, hit .253 and stole 20 bases.

He has the distinction of taking the last Tiger at-bat at old Tiger Stadium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2021 at 02:00 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: kimera bartee, obituaries, tigers

ZiPS Time Warp: J.R. Richard

ZiPS sees Richard as a little bit above his head in 1980, with 1979 being his career peak, but the computer is overall more merciful, giving him a more typical decline phase for a power pitcher, with the increase in league strikeout rate keeping those numbers up as he aged. In the end, ZiPS gives him 125 more wins for a total of 232, along with enough WAR to pass the 70 mark; his 73 WAR would rank 27th all-time today and 18th when he would have first been eligible for Hall of Fame induction in the mid-90s. Voters then weren’t using WAR, but I think 232 wins plus the dominance at his peak plus mercy for being a late-bloomer would have been enough to get him into the Hall. If not, he certainly would have been inducted by now.

If Richard ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2021 at 01:59 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: j. r. richard

Arrest warrant issued for former Oakland A’s star Miguel Tejada

The past few years have not been kind to Miguel Tejada. The former Oakland A’s star saw his major league career end with a drug suspension and his son lose out on a professional contract due to a positive PED test. He also received little support for the Hall of Fame despite an intriguing resume with just five votes for induction. Now Tejada can add legal woes to his list. According to Hector Gomez, an arrest warrant has been issued in the Dominican Republic for Tejada for writing bad checks.

Jack Sommers Posted: December 21, 2021 at 01:35 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel tejada

How Carlos Beltran found a home with Cardinals

Beltran began the 2011 season with the Mets and was traded to the Giants in July for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.

“By trading for Beltran, the Giants have picked up their most prominent hitter since Barry Bonds,” declared the San Francisco Examiner.

Late in the season, Beltran switched agents, dropping Scott Boras and going with Dan Lozano, who also represented Albert Pujols.

Beltran’s final totals for the year were impressive: .300 batting average, 39 doubles, 22 home runs and 84 RBI. His on-base percentage was .385.

Granted free agency in October 2011, Beltran received offers from four American League clubs: Blue Jays, Indians, Rays and Red Sox, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

When Pujols, also a free agent, ...

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Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: December 21, 2021 at 01:00 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: albert pujols, carlos beltran, st. louis cardinals

Monday, December 20, 2021

Oakland Athletics hire Mark Kotsay as manager, filling last vacancy in MLB

The Oakland Athletics had to search for a new manager this offseason for the first time since 2011, as long-time manager Bob Melvin was hired away by the San Diego Padres in October. The replacement will be former A’s player Mark Kotsay, confirms CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden.

Kotsay, 46, started coaching in 2015 as the Padres’ hitting coach. He took over as A’s bench coach (MLB’s version of a top assistant) for the 2016 season and also since served as quality control coach and third-base coach in Oakland. Taking over as manager is a promotion from within, so the A’s will have continuity in the dugout, even if Melvin is missed.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 04:46 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mark kotsay

JERSEY CITY SUGAR KINGS


The Triple-A Sugar Kings survived the Cuban Revolution and then after a championship season in Havana in 1959, found themselves playing in Jersey City at Roosevelt Stadium in the middle of the 1960 season – and all of 1961 as well – to escape the turmoil of the revolution and the possibility of being nationalized.

The name was changed to the Jersey City Jerseys, blowing a great marketing opportunity to be the Jersey City Sugar Kings, but it was a much different time and jersey sales were not even a figment of the imagination back then.

Shortstop Leo Cardenas, who went on to play 16 years in the majors, was the player grazed by a bullet in Havana during that game against the Rochester Red Wings in 1959 when a midnight ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 02:52 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, sugar kings

David Blitzer reportedly close to purchasing a share of the Cleveland Guardians

David Blitzer, part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, is nearing a deal to purchase about 35% of the Cleveland Guardians, according to a report in Sportico, a sports-business publication.

The deal would include a pathway to majority ownership for Blitzer. Guardians owner Paul Dolan has been looking for a minority owner since John Sherman put his shares of the team in escrow to purchase the Kansas City Royals in November of 2019.

The Guardians, according to Forbes Magazine, is worth $1.16 billion. The Dolans purchased the francise in November of 1999 for an estimated $323 million.

Sherman purchased a share of the then Cleveland Indians on Aug. 19, 2016. When Sherman purchased the Royals, his share of the ballclub ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 02:30 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: guardians

Minor League Teams Sue MLB To End Antitrust Carveout

Major League Baseball and its franchises illegally conspired to scrap 40 minor league clubs, according to a lawsuit Monday that aims to end the baseball antitrust exemption granted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1922.

Four minor league clubs filed suit in Manhattan federal court challenging the MLB’s controversial 2019 decision to contract the minor league system from 160 teams to 120. The teams — former affiliates of the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers — said this was a horizontal agreement between the MLB and its 30 franchises that violates the Sherman Act.

For nearly 100 years, the Supreme Court’s decision in Federal Baseball Club v. National League has shielded MLB from Sherman Act claims. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 20, 2021 at 11:50 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: anti-trust exemption, minor leagues

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Here’s how the next 5 HOF ballots look

2025 ballot
Top first-time candidate(s): Ichiro Suzuki, CC Sabathia
It’s pretty easy to imagine these two giving induction speeches in July 2025. For Ichiro, it was a matter of when, not if, with his 15 games played in 2018 and two in ‘19 delaying his arrival on the ballot. His 3,000-plus MLB hits and larger impact on the game should make him an overwhelming choice. Meanwhile, Sabathia bolstered his case by crossing the 250-win and 3,000-strikeout plateaus in his final season, to go along with a Cy Young Award and other accomplishments.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 19, 2021 at 08:47 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Saturday, December 18, 2021

New York Mets hire Buck Showalter as new manager

The New York Mets have hired Buck Showalter as their new manager, team owner Steven Cohen announced Saturday on Twitter.

Showalter, 65, takes over for Luis Rojas, who was fired after a season in which the team held on to first place for 103 days but ultimately finished 77-85 and missed the playoffs.

Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro were also candidates for the post, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Showalter has been a major league manager for four teams between 1992 and 2018. He won American League Manager of the Year honors during stints with the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He also managed the Arizona Diamondbacks and has a career record of 1,551-1,517.

His most ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2021 at 03:27 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, mets

Friday, December 17, 2021

Carlos Correa Rumors: Tigers Offered Astros Free Agent 10-Year, $275M Contract

The Detroit Tigers offered star shortstop Carlos Correa a 10-year, $275 million contract this offseason, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

However, it’s unclear if the offer is still on the table as the Tigers have already signed Javier Baez (six years, $140 million) and Eduardo Rodriguez (five years, $77 million) this winter.

Correa had been heavily linked to the Tigers due to his relationship with former Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who managed him for his first five seasons (2015 to ‘19).

It’s important to note the deal Detroit offered Correa is $66 million less than what Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million) received from the New York Mets and $50 million less than what Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million) received from the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:33 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos correa, tigers

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Padres, Nomar Mazara Agree To Minor League Deal

The Padres have signed corner outfielder Nomar Mazara to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league Spring Training, reports Chris Cotillo of MassLive (Twitter link). Mazara was eligible to sign a minors pact during the lockout because he didn’t finish the 2021 season on a club’s 40-man roster or major league injured list, having been released by the Tigers in June.

San Diego president of baseball operations A.J. Preller was a high-ranking member of the Rangers’ scouting staff in 2011, when Texas signed Mazara as an amateur out of the Dominican Republic. The left-handed hitter’s big power potential made him a coveted signee, with the Rangers doling out a bonus just under $5MM to secure his services.

For a while, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:48 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nomar mazara, padres

Yankees sign Ender Inciarte to minor league deal

The Yankees may have to wait until after the lockout to fully address a lack of depth in center field, but for now, they are taking a chance on a three-time Gold Glover.

The team signed Ender Inciarte to a minor league contract on Wednesday, according to its transactions page. The move can happen during the lockout because Inciarte was not on a 40-man roster to end last season.

The 31-year-old Inciarte, who was an All-Star in 2017, has spent eight seasons in the big leagues, batting .280 with 118 steals and a 91 OPS-plus. But he is better known for his defense in center field, which earned him Gold Gloves in three straight seasons from 2016-18, all while playing for the Braves.

Since his last Gold Glove season, though, Inciarte’s ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:47 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: ender inciarte, yankees

McDonald’s settles racial discrimination lawsuit with former MLB player Herb Washington

McDonald’s said Thursday it has settled a lawsuit brought against the fast food giant by Herb Washington, a Black franchisee who had accused the company of racial discrimination.

Washington — a former Major League Baseball player and the chain’s largest Black franchisee in the U.S. at one point — operated 14 McDonald’s restaurants at the time he filed his lawsuit, down from 23 in 2017.

In exchange for his agreement to exit the McDonald’s system and dismiss the pending litigation, McDonald’s purchased 13 restaurants for $33.5 million. The fast food giant said the amount is what it deems to be a fair price for the restaurants.

“The court did not find that the company violated any laws,” McDonald’s said in a statement. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 04:34 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: herb washington

Pitch Smart? Study Finds Showcase Pitching Violations Most Common At 8U Level

A study in the November issue of the “Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine” entitled “Pitching Behaviors in Youth Baseball: Comparison With the Pitch Smart Guidelines” studied 100 youth baseball teams between the ages of 8-and-under up to 14 years old during the summer of 2019. The study encompassed nearly 2,500 individual games. What the doctors found was that during the summer tournament season, more than 90% of teams they studied violated Pitch Smart guidelines. Of the pitchers they looked at, 48.6% of them were used in at least one way that violated those same guidelines.

Shockingly, the largest number of violations were occurring in the 8-and-under age group. Hopefully it doesn’t need to be said that there is no trophy, ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 02:50 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: pitch counts, youth baseball

The greatest father-son duos in MLB history

1. Bobby Bonds (57.9) and Barry Bonds (162.7)

No player in MLB history has racked up more WAR as a position player than the younger Bonds, a seven-time MVP Award winner who owns the single-season and career home run records and pretty much rewrote baseball in the early 2000s. Only allegations of performance-enhancing drug use have kept him waiting for Cooperstown’s call. And while Barry overshadows his father, Bobby shouldn’t be underrated. The two Bondses are the only two players in history to combine for at least 300 career home runs with at least 400 steals, as well as the only two to go 20-20 in 10 different seasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:23 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, ken griffey, jr.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Nightengale’s Notebook: Why my Hall of Fame ballot includes some PED guys – but not Alex Rodriguez

I won’t reveal my entire ballot until close to the Jan. 25 election, but here’s how I’ll be voting on the performance-enhancing drug class.

YES: Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Sheffield and Ortiz.

NO: Rodriguez, Ramirez and Pettitte.

Rodriguez, one of the greatest players in history, also received the largest drug suspension in baseball, missing the entire 2014 season. Ramirez, one of the finest right-handed hitters of his era, was suspended three times. Pettitte is a different case. He admitted to using human-growth hormone, but was never punished. He falls short simply for his Hall of Fame credentials regardless of being outed in George Mitchell’s investigation on PED use.

Simply, there were rules in place that Rodriguez and Ramirez ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2021 at 09:16 AM | 127 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, peds

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