Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Hall of Fame Thoughts
The Yankees Chick
Good Morning everyone! I'm back with another Q&A today. I'm really happy and excited about it. Recently, I was looking for Yankees blogs to see one or two that I could get good baseball information and enjoy reading. I found The Yankees Chick site and think it is absolutely great. I would encourage everyone to check it out, and also look back at her Archives. She agreed to answer a bunch of questions for us. So, I sent a LOT of questions and she answered them all. So, let's get right to it.
(For more thoughts on the Hall of Fame vote and where Bert Blyleven landed, be sure to click here)
So, I hope you enjoy the Q&A, and have a great day!! If you have any comments for me or The Yankees Chick, please e-mail me, and I will try to answer your questions or forward them on to her and see if we can get you an answer.
Let the Questions Begin!
SethSpeaks: How long have you been writing the blog "Yankees Chick"?
Yankees Chick: I started Yankees Chick pretty recently, in mid-October of 2005
SethSpeaks: What made you decide to start writing it?
Yankees Chick: I don't really get the opportunity to do any writing, or be creative at all, in my "real" job. I never felt that I was talented enough to make a career out of writing or baseball, but a blog seemed like the perfect solution - - - I get to do what I love doing and still have a "real" job that I'm good at to pay the bills!
SethSpeaks: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Age, what do you do, where you're from?
Yankees Chick: I'm 22 and have been living in San Diego for about a year and a half after spending my whole life in LA - - - and yes, I do hate the Dodgers. I spend a lot of time watching and reading about baseball, and I'm also a big music fan. When I'm not working at my "real" job - an internet consulting firm - or on Yankees Chick you can find me either rocking out at a punk show or sitting quietly reading a book.
SethSpeaks: You're from Southern California. Why the Yankees? Why are they your team?
Yankees Chick: My dad grew up in LA in the fifties when the Yankees were "the" team. He became obsessed and has been a Yanks fan his whole life. In some sort of cruel irony, he and my mom had six daughters, leaving my dad with no sons to watch sports with! As a kid i loved bonding with my dad by watching the games and learned all about the yankees and baseball in general from him. Incidentally, I also turned out to be a Notre Dame fan thanks to his alumni status.
SethSpeaks: Did you play much baseball/softball growing up?
Yankees Chick: I played t-ball from kindergarten through second grade and softball from third through eighth grade. I was the second baseman, and I did well in the field, but I have to admit I wasn't exactly a power hitter. I only hit one home run during my entire "career"! In the past year or so I've rediscovered the batting cages and have improved greatly....I could show those eighth graders a thing or two now!
SethSpeaks: Who were your favorite players, and why?
Yankees Chick: Babe Ruth, of course, for obvious reasons - and I always wore #3 in softball. When I was young, I loved Paul O'Neill because he seemed so nice in all his interviews (oh, and his stellar playing). My current favorite Yanks are Bernie Williams, because he is a true talent and a class act, and Giambi for his killer eye and for being man enough to take responsibility for his mistakes - and still coming back.
SethSpeaks: I went back to your very first entry and the title was "I MAY HAVE BOOBS, but I really do know what I'm talking about." Your first sentence was "The common perception is that girls do not know anything about baseball." Do you feel that guys are ever condescending and talk down to you, and if so, how do you respond?
Yankees Chick: I suppose the ultimate response was to start the blog! Being a fan of any sport as a female can be tough, because guys seem to think that we only watch a sport because of a boyfriend's influence or a good looking player, or that we don't know the history of the game. The most common response I get when I say I am a Yankees fan is a sarcastic "oooh you think Jeter is hot!". Generally, after talking to me for more than three seconds anyone can see that not only am I a Yanks fan but I know baseball inside and out.
SethSpeaks: How do you decide what you're going to write about?
Yankees Chick: News is an obvious choice, of course, and I like to go a bit beyond just the Yanks news. When there is a big news story, like the hall of fame ballots, I try to focus on one aspect and get more in depth rather than doing an overview of the whole situation.
SethSpeaks: Who are some of the other blogs that you read?
Yankees Chick: I love Replacement Level, and Beyond the Box Score is a very interesting one from a mathematical perspective. I'm a Metsradamus fan, despite his Yankees hate...and of course SethSpeaks! (Seth Note - Of course! :) )
SethSpeaks: What are your favorite baseball books?
Yankees Chick: I love Mickey's books - All My Octobers would have to be my favorite. Moneyball is interesting and a good read, and the Baseball Encyclopedia is absolutely amazing - - it has stats and histories on players going back to the 1800s.
SethSpeaks: What are your favorite baseball movies?
Yankees Chick: I love The Sandlot! Classic dialogue. Field of Dreams is a crier. 61* is amazing...I got goose bumps like a total dork while watching it for the first time!
SethSpeaks: Yesterday, the Hall of Fame announcement was made. I am assuming that you believe that Don Mattingly should be in the Hall of Fame.
Yankees Chick: Actually, despite all my love and respect for Donnie, I don't think that he should be in the HOF. There's no doubt that he is a great athlete and was a phenomenal player, and he'll always be remembered as such. Its sad and unfortunate that his injuries cost him some important years, but it wouldn't be right to ignore those years. His injury-free years were definitely HOF-worthy, but if voters only focused on a player's best years then there wouldn't be enough room in the building for all the jerseys. Donnie has the admiration and respect of the fans and the Yanks, and his number has been retired in honor of his career.
SethSpeaks: Right after the World Series, Johnny Damon filed for free agency. You wrote that you didn't think that the Yankees should sign him, instead they should try to acquire the Twins Torii Hunter.
Yankees Chick: I would be a happy gal if Hunter was a Yank. I knew that a trade for Hunter was highly unlikely, but I still feel strongly that he would have been a better fit than Damon.
SethSpeaks: Now that Damon is signed with the Yankees, has your perspective on him changed at all? Do you think that he can help the team or take them further in the playoffs?
Yankees Chick: Damon had a great year last year, there's no question about it. BUT! I don't think that last year's numbers are indicative of how his career as a whole will pan out. His BA has fluctuated and his OBP isn't as high as I'd like. I think he'll do well on the Yanks, but I don't think that his presence will make a huge difference in the Yankees win-loss percentage. I am excited to have him as a leadoff man though; I think Jeter will do even better batting second than he does batting first.
SethSpeaks: To me, the question regarding the Yankees is their starting pitchers. Let me just ask a few questions on them. Randy Johnson led the AL in HR allowed. Mike Mussina is not getting younger either and has fought injuries.
Yankees Chick: Randy Johnson has so much talent we forget that he is just like everyone else - he's getting older. He had a hard time adjusting last year, and I think the switch to the American League accounts for some of that. He still had 4 complete games and his ERA was not bad. Did the yanks expect too much from him? Yes. I don't think we'll be lucky enough to see any perfect games from him next year, but he'll be fine. As for moose, his shaky decline worries me a bit. Last season it seemed like he had a bad attitude, which I really don't like. Maybe he and Kevin Brown were having a frown-off in the dugout...winner gets the last sunflower seed!
SethSpeaks: Carl Pavano appears to be a bit of a head case. Jaret Wright was a one-year wonder who got hurt again.
Yankees Chick: Yes...I know. Worrisome indeed. I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic about both of them. Wright needs to be in the bullpen, that is for sure. I think Pavano is capable of being a decent 10-5 pitcher. Cross your fingers.
SethSpeaks: Can Shawn Chacon pitch that well again?
Yankees Chick: I think he can pitch nearly that well - - if not better. He spent 4 and a half seasons serving up homers in Thin-Air Stadium and still kept his ERA and WHIP relatively low.
SethSpeaks: Where does Aaron Small fit in?
Yankees Chick: He's a good pitcher, but I'm not sure if he could perform that well in a full season scenario. I think he'll do well out of the bullpen.
SethSpeaks: What are your thoughts on the ability of Chien-Ming Wang?
Yankees Chick: I think he has potential. Hopefully he'll be healthy this year and we can see how he does.
SethSpeaks: Are there any pitchers in the Yankees farm system to give the team hope?
Yankees Chick: It seems like the Yankees are finally paying more attention to their farm, which makes me very happy. We've got a fine young fellow named Hideo Nomo down in Columbus...hmm.. or not. In all seriousness, the two kids getting the most press right now are TJ Bean and Jason Anderson. (Seth Note - What about Philip Hughes?)
SethSpeaks: Mariano Rivera is amazing. Is he the best closer ever?
Yankees Chick: Closers are usually evaluated based on the # of saves they earned, and Mariano is currently # 5 on that list. I'm not sure if he'll climb to the top of that list before his career is through, but, regardless, he is definitely one of the most talented closers.
SethSpeaks: $17 million for Kyle Farnsworth? Do you think that was a wise investment? Do you think that Tom Gordon will be missed?
Yankees Chick: I will miss Flash, he was still sharp despite his age. $17million is too much to pay for most any reliever, I don't' think farnsworth is the only one being overpaid, especially with the slim free agent market this year.
SethSpeaks: What were your thoughts on the signing of Octavio Dotel? Last year, doctors told him that he didn't need surgery but decided to have it anyway. It is likely that he will not be able to pitch until at least June or later and when he comes back, who knows what you'll get. Was that worth $2 million?
Yankees Chick: Its amazing how well people can recover from Tommy John these days. The Yanks spoke w/ his doctors before signing him and felt confident that he was healing well...we'll just have to cross our fingers.
SethSpeaks: Speaking of money, what do you think when people continually talk about how much the Yankees spend on payroll (over $207 million in 2005) and use terms such as 'competitive balance?'
Yankees Chick: The best players cost the most money. The best players tend to improve a team's chances of winning. A winning team earns the most money...which they can then afford to spend on payroll. Its a cycle that the Yankees continue to profit from. I'm not sure why that is so wrong. Maybe it would be more "honorable" to have a $5million payroll and a team full of 18 yr old kids, but I guarantee you if any other team were given a couple hundred million dollars as payroll they would buy the big-ticket players as well.
SethSpeaks: Money certainly gives an advantage, but smart decisions still need to be made. Who makes those decisions? From afar, most believe that George Steinbrenner and some of his Tampa Bay buddies really make the decisions. Will Brian Cashman finally get to make those decisions?
Yankees Chick: It does still seem that Steinbrenner has the biggest say in all Yanks decisions. On the public side, at least, it seems that Cashman has been more integral in the decision making process, but, of course, who knows what happens behind the scenes!
SethSpeaks: OK, let's talk about the lineup, one at a time. Can you just give me your thoughts on these players, positive and negative (if any). I'll throw my opinions into the question and you can feel free to counter anything I think. We already talked about Johnny Damon, so let's start with Derek Jeter. He is a poster boy for the league, the perceived leader, and overall an incredible baseball player. To me, he will be a Hall of Famer. I often think that some people just don't like him because the media is too nice to him. He is a bad defensive shortstop who has won two Gold Gloves.
Yankees Chick: "bad defensive shortstop". I hear that from non-yanks fans constantly and I really don't understand it. According to the Hardball Times stats, Jeter was the twelfth best shortstop in the major leagues. he made 15 errors, and was a part of 96 double plays and 262 put-outs last year. For comparison, Tejada had 252 put-outs last year and made 22 errors. I'll admit that he has improved over the past few years, but is that such a crime? enough with the "bad defense" line.
SethSpeaks: Alex Rodriguez can hit. He is probably one of the top five hitters in baseball. He was an OK shortstop who is now a below average 3B. But again, he can hit. I think that his lack of performance in the ALDS and the subsequent bashing was probably unfair because it was such a small sample. However, the fact is that it does not appear that winning is really all that important to him.
Yankees Chick: First of all, I really don't see the "bad defense" angle on A-Rod. He has actually done better at third base than he did in his career at shortstop. His 2005 post season average was dismal, but he did get on base, and it was a very small sample - 5 games. I actually think that A-Rod cares too much about winning; it seems to make him too anxious.
SethSpeaks: Jason Giambi - I have always liked him. I've enjoyed listening to him talk. I was disappointed when his grad jury testimony was leaked, but not surprised. But I thought that he handled it well, and although he took a lot of grief at first, by the second half of the season, he was a respected part of the team again and the topic was almost forgotten. His power production helped that.
Yankees Chick: As I mentioned before, I am a big Giambi fan. No one was surprised about the steroid admission, but I think he surprised a lot of people with how well he handled it. I think he made himself into a great role model and his comeback really says a lot about his work ethic.
SethSpeaks: Hideki Matsui - To me, he is probably the one Yankees hitter that I would want up in a big situation. He just seems to be able to do anything with the bat. Not good defensively, but such a professional hitter.
Yankees Chick: Matsui and Bernie are the two guys I feel I can count on in the clutch (yes, even old Bernie). Matsui is a great batter and takes the game and his role in it very seriously.
SethSpeaks: Gary Sheffield - OK, let me alter my Matsui thoughts and say that I think that Sheffield is the guy I would want up if I needed a big hit. He is a definite Hall of Famer in my mind who has put up greatly underrated numbers. He has a bad reputation, but he has never really done anything disruptive since his very early days in Milwaukee.
Yankees Chick: I definitely appreciate Shef. His attitude doesn't really bother or worry me, he has been on relatively good behavior for years. I think his bad rep was a bit blown out of proportion. I do worry about injuries though.
SethSpeaks: Bernie Williams - I think Bernie is one of the most underrated players in baseball the last ten to fifteen years. That is hard to believe that Yankees player could be underrated! He always hit well and had a great plate approach. He used to be a great centerfielder, but lost his arm and his knees. I'm glad that the Yankees and he were able to work out a deal to keep him in pinstripes. He should DH most of the time too.
Yankees Chick: I think most Yankees fans were thrilled to hear that Bernie is coming back next year. He may be getting a bit old, but he can still hit and he'll be a good extra outfielder. I think that without the pressure of playing in the outfield everyday he'll hit even better than he did last year.
SethSpeaks: Jorge Posada - He was one of the better catchers in the game throughout the team's championship years. He is still a top 10 catcher, maybe, but certainly not worth the money he is still getting. Was he ever good behind the plate?
Yankees Chick: Who is worth the money they get? Face it: baseball players make a ridiculous amount of money to play a game most of us would play for free. The more talented ones earn even more money. Posada remains a great player, at the plate and behind it. His lifetime fielding percentage is .992, and he hasn't suffered too much weakness in his throwing arm - unlike Piazza, Posada can still throw out a runner at second in his 11th season.
SethSpeaks: Robinson Cano - I was hoping he'd end up with the Twins. I know he's not a great OBP guy, but he can hit and could turn into Alfonso Soriano. Can Larry Bowa make him a decent 2B? What is hit ceiling?
Yankees Chick: I can't stress enough how lucky the yanks are that Cano worked out. they brought him in and he really stepped up to the plate. his OBP isn't great, but he's young enough to give us hope that he can improve on that.
SethSpeaks: I also have to ask for your thoughts on Bubba Crosby. To me, the Yankees would have been smarter to stick with him as their CF this year and wait for Torii Hunter or Andruw Jones next year. The Yankees don't need another bat. They needed a defensive CF, and Crosby could have hit ninth. I actually feel bad for him because for the team, I think he could have been the right answer in CF. Any thoughts?
Yankees Chick: I think Bubba does a great job as a pinch runner/backup outfielder and I'm glad the Yankees found a full-time centerfielder. Bubba is not an every day outfielder and was never supposed to be. In a perfect world, I would have liked to wait till next year for Torii or Andruw, but I also didn't want to see Bubba out there. I would have much preferred to sign Juan Pierre or Brian Giles, but I still think that signing Damon was the right thing to do.
SethSpeaks: I think that the Yankees will run away with the AL East. Do you see it that way? (Boston is a mess, even with Manny apparently staying. The Blue Jays spent money, but they did it foolishly. The Orioles are always a mess. And, I love following the Devil Rays, but they just can't compete with the money spenders.)
Yankees Chick: I do think that the Yanks will come out on top again this year, but with a bigger margin. the blue jays have improved their roster to nearly impressive standards, but I still think they'll need at least one season to adjust before they make a run for the playoffs. Even if Manny stays in Boston, which it looks like will be the case, they have lost too many key components to take the division.
SethSpeaks: From an outsiders perspective, what are your overall thoughts on the Minnesota Twins? Do you think that people outside of the Midwest even care about them?
Yankees Chick: It seems that here in CA people tend to like either the California teams or the New York teams. Its rare that I see a Royals jersey or a Rockies hat, or even an Orioles logo. That said, Johan Santana is clearly one of the best pitchers in the league and his popularity shows, even out here on the coast. Torii Hunter has also brought a bit more widespread fan base to the Twins.
SethSpeaks: Finally, are there any other topics or thoughts that you would like to share on your site, the Yankees, or baseball in general?
Yankees Chick: Thank you again for the great opportunity to mouth off on my favorite subject! Stay tuned to http://yankees-chick.blogspot.com , I have some great developments coming in the next month that should be a lot of fun: a glossary, stat facts and records, podcasts....
Thank you again very, very much to The Yankees Chick for taking the time to answer all of these questions so thoroughly. I know that she is incredibly busy, so it means a lot that she was able to do this.
Do you have any thoughts or questions for The Yankees Chick or me? If so, please feel free to e-mail me.
If you would like to read any previous Q&A's, here is a checklist:
1/3/06 - Q&A with Chris Coste (Phillies AAA Prospect)
11/29/05 - Q&A with Chris Brown (Twins 1B prospect, spent 2005 in Beloit)
11/25/05 - Q&A with Seth (your questions for me)
11/23/05 - Q&A with Pat Neshek (Twins Relief Pitching Prospect, just added to 40 man roster)
11/15/05 - Q&A with Jeff Dooley (the voice of the New Britain Rock Cats)
11/8/05 - Q&A with David Dorsey (local writer for The News-Press in Ft. Myers, FL)
11/1/05 - Q&A with Aaron Gleeman (Twins Blogger Extraordinaire)
10/25/05 - Q&A with Mark Sheldon (Twins Beat Reporter for MLB.com)
10/18/05 - Q&A with Kevin Slowey (another top pitching prospect, Twins 2nd round pick in 2005)
10/11/05 - Q&A with Wes Holtsclaw (local writer for the Elizabethton Twins)
10/5/05 - Q&A with Eli Tintor (Minnesota-native, catching prospect who played 2005 in E-Town)
7/28/05 - Q&A with Jim Mandelaro (local writer for the Rochester Red Wings)
2/28/05 - Q&A with Pat Neshek (Minnesota-native, reliever prospect who played 2005 at New Britain)
1/27/05 - Q&A with Stick and Ball Guy (one of the best bloggers out there!)
12/17/04 - Q&A with Alexander Smit (Holland-native, pitching prospect spent 2005 between Beloit and E-Town)
5/28/04 - Q&A with CJ Nitkowski (big league pitcher, spent Spring Training 2005 with the Twins)
04/19/04 - Q&A with Jim Souhan (Star-Tribune Baseball Writer, now a columnist)
Just a couple of quick links and notes:
This stat courtesy of David Gonos, the senior fantasy writer for CBSSportsline.com:
The Minnesota Twins pulled off an interesting feat. Six-year veteran Johan Santana led the majors with 238 strikeouts, while rookie SP Francisco Liriano led all minor-league pitchers with 206 strikeouts.
After a brief hiatus, Pat Neshek is back in Florida and blogging again, so be sure to check out his site!
Any other Twins thoughts you would like to share? Send me an e-mail or leave some comments, and let's talk about it.
MORE HALL OF FAME THOUGHTS
As I mentioned in updates yesterday, Bert Blyleven did not get elected into the Hall of Fame. However, I am incredibly excited by the fact that his support jumped from 40.9% to 53.3% It was the biggest increase of any player this year. Such an increase, and the fact that he is now over 50% gives me such high hope that he will eventually be elected into the Hall of Fame. Did you know that there has been only one player who received at least 50% of the Hall vote who did not eventually get voted in? That was Gil Hodges. Congratulations to Bruce Sutter for getting elected, and to Jim Rice, Goose Gossage and Andre Dawson who all received more votes than they had previously (although each is still shy of the necessary 75% for enshrinement). Below, I just wanted to make a few more comments on the Hall of Fame vote, and some other links. Please feel free to e-mail me or leave Comments.
I was listening to MLB.com radio on Monday afternoon when Bert Blyleven was interviewed. Early in the interview, he said that he does not feel that he should have to lobby for himself. But, he did want to thank North Woods Advertising for their work on Bert Belongs. He also singled out Rich Lederer of The Baseball Analysts for his work on spreading the word on his candidacy. That is exciting because Rich has done incredible work on his site including interviews with Mr. Blyleven. I was thrilled to hear Rich get the recognition that he so richly deserves. I'm sure Rich wouldn't take full credit, but don't mistake yourself by thinking that he did not help account for some of that 12.4% vote increase. So, from Twins and Blyleven fans all over, thank you Rich!
Rich Lederer wrote an article on Blyleven's increase in votes yesterday. Take a moment to read it.
If I were to rank the order in which I would vote for the Hall of Famers (if I actually had a vote), it would go like this:
So, as you can imagine, I'm not entirely thrilled about the vote's results. However, Sutter did have a very strong eight year run in which he was the best closer. It has been pointed out now that Sutter was not the pitcher who invented the split finger fastball. But, he was a different kind of closer, frequently pitching well over 100 innings. I don't have a problem with him being in the Hall of Fame. I just personally would not vote for him. When I posted my thoughts on the Hall of Fame vote, I would have voted for Blyleven, Gossage and Smith, and I'm really going back and forth on Andre Dawson now.
If people vote for Bruce Sutter, how do they not vote for Goose Gossage?
I was very disappointed a couple of years ago when Joe Carter did not even receive the necessary 5% of the vote to stay on the ballot for next year. I was absolutely shocked when I saw that Will Clark only received 4.4% of the vote. Personally, I thought that he had a very strong Hall of Fame resume. I'm not saying he was a Hall of Famer, but he should have garnered enough support to remain on the ballot for the full 15 years. I had to go back and look at his career numbers again. He played in 15 Major League seasons and 1,976 games. He his .303/.384/.497 with an OPS+ of 138! He had 440 doubles, 284 homers and 1,205 RBI. That is absolutely remarkable. He was a six-time All Star, won a Gold Glove, won two Silver Sluggers and finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting four times.
His numbers are very similar to those of Don Mattingly. Donnie Baseball played in 14 seasons and had 1,785 at bats. He his .307/.358/.471 with an OPS+ of 127. He had 442 doubles to go with 222 homers and 1,099 RBI. Mattingly also played in six All-Star games, won the 1985 MVP in one of three years he finished in the Top 10. He won nine Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers. Mattingly will never reach the Hall of Fame either, but his 12.3% remains fairly consistent and he should remain on the ballot.
Many believe that Jim Rice should be a Hall of Fame outfielder. He receives a lot of votes. If you have a few minutes, go to www.baseballreference.com sometime and compare his career numbers to both Andre Dawson and Dave Parker. Now tell me how Parker only got 14.4% of the vote while the other two were over 60%.
St. Paul native and one-year Twins pitcher Jack Morris saw his numbers increase nicely for the second consecutive year. In 2004, Morris appeared on 26.3% of ballots. In 2005, that number increased to 33.3% This year, 41.2% of voters put Jack Morris on their ballot. Those are very nice increases. The main argument for Morris's induction seems to be that he is the winningest pitcher of the decade of the 1980s and that the pitcher with that distinction for every other decade in the 20th Century is in the Hall of Fame. Well, except Greg Maddux, the leader in Wins in the '90s, but he is a first-ballot HOFer! Yes, he pitched the greatest playoff game is baseball history in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series for the Twins, but his ERA and some of his other numbers are just too high for me to endorse him for the Hall.
Former Twins Gary Gaetti (4) and Rick Aguilera (3) each received a little recognition.
There has been some talk about the 12 voters who sent in blank ballots. Some seem to be offended by that fact saying those writers did a disservice to their vote. I completely disagree. If they did not believe that anyone on the ballot deserves enshrinement, they should send in the blank ballot otherwise the 'vote' is not true. These guys could probably make a case that no one on the ballot is a Hall of Famer (most of us would disagree), but if that's their belief, they did the right thing. It is a more honest vote than the writers who gave votes to Walt Weiss or Hal Morris!
Pete Rose - he received 10 write-in votes. Now those are really wasted votes, voting for a guy who is not even eligible. And for good reason! It bothers me that people want to discuss him as a possible Hall of Famer, really taking away from Sutter's induction. I realize that he is a topic because he is the all-time Hit King, but he bet on baseball, a rule known among every player and coach in baseball, so he is banned from baseball. His 15 years of eligibility are up.
There is already much talk about next year's Hall of Fame class. Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr., are locks. Mark McGwire should absolutely be a lock. Some can say he was one-dimensional as a ball player, and that is true. But so was Harmon Killebrew. But both had over 560 home runs in their career. Others will say that he accumulated those numbers because of performance-enhancing drugs. To that, I ask when did he admit his usage and when has it been proven that he used in a court of law? No, I'm not naive, but those are facts. Innocent until proven guilty, right? Secondly, if you factor in the alleged steroid use, at what time in his career did he start using? You can't convince me that he was on anything in 1987 when he hit 49 homers as a rookie! Oh, and when did performance-enhancing drugs become explicitly illegal for Major League players?
Harold Baines is another named mentioned as a possible 2007 inductee. To that, I say that he should remain on the ballot, but certainly not be anywhere near Hall level. Yes, over his 22 year career, he hit .289/.356/.465 with 488 doubles, 384 RBI and 1,628 RBI. These are all excellent numbers. However, Baines was primarily a DH, and he won just one Silver Slugger award in his career. A DH only has to hit, so for one to be a Hall of Famer, they should really be the best DH at hitting most of his career, or at least for an extended amount of time. Paul Molitor was a DH too much of his career, but he won four Silver Slugger Awards, played in more All-Star games, had postseason success and had the magic 3,000 hits. Don't worry, next December, I will be sure to let you know my thoughts on all of the players on the ballot.
Do you have any thoughts on the Hall of Fame vote, or where Bert Blyleven or others fell? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Send me an e-mail, or leave comments for people to discuss.
And on that note, I will call it a day. I certainly hope that you found the Q&A with The Yankees Chick as interesting as I did. If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me.
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