MLB
Stan Musial, Cardinals Great, Passes Away at 92
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB St. Louis Cardinals Stan Musial

 

 

During Albert Pujols's time with the St. Louis Cardinals and afterward with the Los Angeles Angels, many wanted to nickname him "El Hombre", or "The Man". Each time he deferred, saying instead that that title was already taken by Stan "The Man" Musial, and Pujols believed it should stay with the Cardinals' great.

 

It is a title Musial will now take with him to the grave, as Musial passed away on Saturday evening at the age of 92.

 

It was a title befitting of Musial, the greatest Cardinal to ever play the game and one of the best to ever wear a uniform; period. Let's run down the list for a moment of just how great a player Musial really was, playing in the shadows of Joe Dimaggio and Ted Williams:

 

- 22 year career, all with St. Louis.

- 3630 career hits.

- 475 career home runs.

- 1951 career RBI.

- .331 career batting average

- .976 career OPS

- 123.4 career bWAR

- 3-time National League Most Valuable Player

- 20-time All-Star

- 7 career batting titles

- 1969 induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with 93.2% of the vote.

- 3-Time World Series Champion

 

Quite simply, Stan Musial was an absolute stud and will always be remembered as one of the top 10 players to ever play the game. He played the game by one simple rule and it is not possible to fault the results:

 

"The key to hitting for high average is to relax, concentrate, and don't hit the fly ball to center field."

 

Rest in Peace Stan. You will forever be "The Man"!

Remembering Earl Weaver Through Quotes
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Baltimore Orioles Earl Weaver Earl Weaver Quotes

 

 

On Friday, Major League Baseball lost a one-of-a-kind baseball man. Earl Weaver, 82,  was a genuine, dyed in the wool throwback to the days when baseball managers were gruff and took no lip from anybody.

 

Weaver served as manager of the Baltimore Orioles for 17 seasons (1968-1982, 1985-1986), managing some of the greatest players to ever take the field for the birds. From Brooks Robinson to Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer to Cal Ripken, Weaver lead them all to a 1480-1060 record, four American League Pennants  and one World Series Championship. His dedication to "pitching, fundamentals, and the three-run homer" was so successful that Weaver only had to endure one losing season during his career.

 

Those accomplishments lead to an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

 

But Earl Weaver was more than just a great manager. He was also a great soundbite, filling reporters' notebooks with one-liners the way that few in baseball did before or after him. With that in mind, it is only appropriate that we remember him through some of his best quotes.

 

"Nobody likes to hear it, because it's dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same - pitching."

 

"On my tombstone just write, 'The sorest loser that ever lived."

 

"You got a hundred more young kids than you have a place for on your club. Every one of them has had a going away party. They have been given the shaving kit and the fifty dollars. They kissed everybody and said, 'See you in the majors in two years.' You see these poor kids who shouldn't be there in the first place. You write on the report card '4-4-4 and out.' That's the lowest rating in everything. Then you call 'em in and say, 'It's the consensus amoung us that we're going to let you go back home.' Some of them cry, some get mad, but none of them will leave until you answer them one question, 'Skipper, what do you think?' And you gotta look every one of those kids in the eye and kick their dreams in the ass and say no. If you say it mean enough, maybe they do themselves a favor and don't waste years learning what you can see in a day. They don't have what it takes to make the majors, just like I never had it."

 

"In baseball, you can't kill the clock. You've got to give the other man his chance. That's why this is the greatest game. "

 

"A manager's job is simple. For one hundred sixty-two games you try not to screw up all that smart stuff your organization did last December."
 
"The only thing that matters is what happens on the little hump out in the middle of the field. "

"I became an optimist when I discovered that I wasn't going to win any more games by being anything else."

"A manager should stay as far away as possible from his players. I don't know if I said ten words to Frank Robinson while he played for me."

"I think there should be bad blood between all clubs."

"Optimism is the cheerful frame of mind that enables a teakettle to sing, though in hot water up to its nose."


Rest in Peace Earl Weaver. Baseball fans the world around are appreciative of everything you gave the game  and we'll see you on the other side of the corn field!
 
 
Sources:

Earl Weaver, Wikipedia.org

Earl Weaver Quotes, searchquotes.com

Earl Weaver Quotes, BrainyQuote.com

Earl Weaver Quotes, BaseballAlmanac.com

 

Rest In Peace Earl Weaver
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Earl Weaver

 

This is all that needs to be said...

 

 

Making Sense of Hall of Fame Results
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Hall of Fame Steroids Blank Ballot

 

Well, the votes are in and as some predicted, not a single player achieved induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

 

This year's class represented a tremendous challenge for voters, requiring each to use their ballot to not only determine worthiness of baseball immortality, but to also play push past speculation and determine which has cheated the game through the use of steroids. In the end, the BBWAA was not up to the challenge and failed to enshrine a single player.

 

It is a shame really, as some players were more than worthy, especially some of those that had hung around on the ballot for a few years. The different camps split the vote and in the end, no one gets honored. I do not envy those that cast their ballots, as there was no good ground to walk on. Either you admitted a cheater or you failed to admit some of the best to play the game.

 

However, it is worth saying that any privileged voter, and voting is a privilege, that failed to vote for a single candidate should have their right to vote revoked. There were five such ballots this year, (Howard Bryant of ESPN being one of them). None of these individuals are making a statement. They are simply undermining a process that they were lucky enough to be included in. If they don't want to vote, they can simply step aside for someone else.

 

Here are the final results, as well as some brief commentary on each:

 

 

Craig Biggio 388 (68.2%) 1st - Biggio had my vote (if I had one), as well as a number of other mock votes I read in the weeks leading up to the election. I thought for sure he would have made it.

Jack Morris 385 (67.7%) 14th - With the vote split, I thought this was Jack's year, despite being a borderline candidate. That split netted him exactly 3 more votes this year. Next year does not get any easier with Tom GlavineGreg Maddux, and Mike Mussina set to steal some thunder from Morris.

Jeff Bagwell 339 (59.6%) 3rd - Bagwell gets held back because of the "eye test" but he was a tremendous hitter who's career was cut down to early due to injury. Tought to disagree, but he may still see election.

Mike Piazza 329 (57.8%) 1st - Piazza is another who probably got docked a few votes because of speculation, but he belongs in the Hall as one of the best hitting catchers of all-time.

Tim Raines 297 (52.2%) 6th - The Sabermetricians like myself love Raines as a candidate. The guys who look at the traditional stats see a guy that fell short in a lot of categories. He belongs in, but will take some convincing.

Lee Smith 272 (47.8%) 11th - This is sad, but Smith actually LOST 18 votes in 2013. It is a travesty that he is not recognized for what he did as a closer.

Curt Schilling 221 (38.8%) 1st - Here is where I start to argue. I liked Schilling, but I cannot see him making the Hall of Fame simply off of his impecable postseason resume. And let's face facts, that is where most of his support is coming from.

Roger Clemens 214 (37.6%) 1st - Hard to argue with this. Clemens may see election, but not in the first year, not in this day and age. He and Bonds are the poster-children for the era and rightfully so that they get to hold hands while waiting for voters to look past their transgressions.

Barry Bonds 206 (36.2%) 1st - Again, like Clemens, Bonds is everything that made this vote difficult. He was one of the greatest, and may be immortalized with the rest, but the BBWAA is going to make sure he understands what he did to the game.

Edgar Martinez 204 (35.9%) 4th - Martinez was a great guy, but for a player who spent most of his time being a hitter only, I think you need more to push him over the bump. His election will come down to the Veteran's Committee years from now.

Alan Trammell 191 (33.6%) 12th - All I have to say is that if Larkin got in, then Trammell should as well.

Larry Walker 123 (21.6%) 3rd - Did not hit 400 home runs despite playing in a tremendous park for doing so and in an era dominated by them. Failed to hit 2500 hits despite having a .313 lifetime average. Failed to make a blip on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Fred McGriff 118 (20.7%) 4th - This is just a shame. The Crime Dog lost 19 votes and is getting robbed by voters. He was better than he is being treated.

Dale Murphy 106 (18.6%) 15th - Murphy's kids put on a big push to get him elected in his final year on the ballot, yet that only got him 23 more votes. Sadly, he needed a lot more. Jim Rice is his best case for admittance, but to be honest, I'm not so sure Rice even belongs in.

Mark McGwire 96 (16.9%) 7th - McGwire was the first to get punished for his usage of steroids. Judging by his vote history, even after admitting to it, he's going to languish here for another 8 years before falling off the ballot.

Don Mattingly 75 (13.2%) 13th - I love Donny Baseball as a kid. Sadly, he just doesn't get it done for me as a Hall of Famer though. Too many injuries and too short a period of dominance.

Sammy Sosa 71 (12.5%) 1st - Sosa should be higher, but not much. He's going to ride the pine with McGwire for a long time.

Rafael Palmeiro 50 (8.8%) 3rd - Denied using, then tested positive, and the hid behind an unbelievable excuse for the positive test. He'll likely fall of the ballot next year.

Missed the 5% Cut-off for next year's ballot:

Bernie Williams 19 (3.3%) 2nd - Only candidate on this portion that truly surpised me. Do I think he's Hall worthy? No. However, he deserved more consideration that a measily 3.3%.

Kenny Lofton 18 (3.2%) 1st

Sandy Alomar Jr. 16 (2.8%) 1st

Julio Franco 6 (1.1%) 1st

David Wells 5 (0.9%) 1st

Steve Finley 4 (0.7%) 1st

Shawn Green 2 (0.4%) 1st

Aaron Sele 1 (0.2%) 1st

 

Will Bourn Get An Identity in 2013
Category: MLB
Tags: MLB Michael Bourn Hot Stove Atlanta Braves St. Louis Cardinals

 

It seems somewhat of a mystery why Michael Bourn is still on the free agent market at this stage of the winter. MLBtr had Bourne ranked as the number 3 free agent of the year, behind only Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton, and he seemingly had a lot of buzz around him heading into the winter.

 

Yet, here he sits, still unsigned. What makes it worse, is that there is absolutely no buzz around him, no rumors as to where Michael Bourn may be heading.

 

Perhaps it is the new draft rules hampering his market, similarly to how it is keeping Kyle Lohse shelved as well. By turning down the qualifying offer from the Braves, worth $13.3 million for one-year, Bourn is free to sign with whoever he chooses. That team is then required to surrender a first-round draft choice to do so, as long as that pick is not one of the first ten in the draft.

 

However, the problem does not lie with the compensation, but with the draft slotting rules that changed this year. By limiting how much a team can spend on picks, especially later in the draft, they limit the ability for teams to overspend in later rounds, making the earlier picks much more valuable.

 

Obstacles aside, Bourn's market has taken quite a hit. The Nationals acquired a cheaper alternative when they traded for Denard Span. The Braves spent heavy on B.J. Upton. The Angels likewise inked Josh Hamilton. Even the two behomoth's in free agency, Boston and New York, have been shy about long-term deals in order to stay under the luxury tax threshold, either this season or next.

 

Of course, none of this is to say that the market for Bourn will not open up, even this late in the season. Bourn's agent, Scott Boras, came out of nowhere last winter to secure Prince Fielder a nine-year, $214 million deal on January 24th. The right deal could be right around the corner.

 

The Texas Rangers are still in the market for outfield help, but could use a much bigger bat in the line-up. The Braves continue to discuss Bourn, but it is hard to imagine them spending that much money on the outfield and then having to deal with who plays center between him and Upton. Bourn would be a good pick-up by the Mets, but they have no money to spend despite the need to upgrade. The St. Louis Cardinals could be a good match, and have the salary space now with both Lohse and Berkman off the books, but they may be looking for the price to come down in order to justify the loss of a pick.

 

Bourn will find a home, but it may take some scrambling on behalf of Boras, or a subsequent move by another team, in order to get it done.

 

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