E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:22 pm

Gossage voted into baseball Hall; Rice just misses

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof08/news/story?id=3186626


NEW YORK -- Rich "Goose" Gossage became only the fifth relief pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame, earning baseball's highest honor Tuesday on his ninth try on the ballot.

Gossage was listed on 466 ballots, or 85.8 percent, to qualify for enshrinement in his ninth year on the ballot.





Former Boston Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice was on 72.2 percent of the ballots, just 16 votes shy of the 75 percent needed. He has one more year of eligibility left on the ballot.

Last year, Gossage was on 71.2 percent of ballots and Rice appeared on 63.5 percent.

Former Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson was third in this year's voting, appearing on 358 ballots, or 65 percent. Pitcher Bert Blyleven was on 336 ballots, or 61.9 percent.

Dawson's teammate in Montreal, outfielder Tim Raines, was alone among 11 first-ballot candidates in qualifying to remain on the ballot, with 24.3 percent or 132 votes. Candidates must receive 5 percent to remain on the ballot for the next year.

Rice will appear on the writers' ballot for the 15th and final time next year, when career steals leader Rickey Henderson will be among the newcomers.

Mark McGwire, a casualty of the Steroids Era in some writers' minds, received just 128 votes _ the exact total he had last year. His percentage increased slightly to 23.6 percent, up from 23.5 percent last year when he was on the ballot for the first time.

Gossage, who fell short by 21 votes last year, joins Hoyt Wilhelm (1985), Rollie Fingers (1992), Dennis Eckersley (2004) and Bruce Sutter (2006) in Cooperstown's bullpen.

Gossage was a nine-time All-Star who pitched for nine major league teams from 1972-94 and had 310 saves -- 52 of them in which he got seven outs or more.

He will be inducted July 27 in Cooperstown, joined by five men elected last month by the revamped Veterans Committee: former commissioner Bowie Kuhn, former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth and ex-Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:26 pm

Can anyone explain how Todd stottlemyre could have gotten a vote? Rice is 16 short and Rijo,Beck,Brady Anderson, etc. received votes.
'
doublejtrain68: what are you talking about? Ripken & Gwynn last year. It's probably rare that only one guy gets in...

if i hear one more person say that Rice was the most feared hitter of his era, i will kick something. Look at the numbers people. Read Joe Posnanski's blog, read Keith Law, read Rob Neyer - the stats show that it's not true, and Mike Schmidt anyone!? But, please, don't let the facts get in the way.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:28 pm

Rice - He's hated by Media with his cocky and arrogant attitude,

I still can't believe that Rice has not been voted in. He was a dominate hitter for a decade among the top three in all hitting categories.

rastaseed - "It just shows that sportswriters are petty babies. Maybe if Rice would have kissed your butt all those years we would have been beloved. Screw em Jim, your a hall of famer in most eyes."

Maybe if Rice had been a better player he'd be in

Rice had 6 outstanding seasons.........that ´s it. Combined with the Fake Fear Factor and being a product of Fenway.....sorry, Rice is not a HoF'er. He just isn't......

jnr98, I am referring to the fact that in football, normally 5-6 guys get in, where in baseball you might have 1-2. Ripken and Gwynn were no-brainers last year, but my point is how long do guys like Rice, Dawson, Blyleven (who should have been in a long time ago), Morris, etc., have to wait? Their stats aren't going to change, for crying out loud! Either you're a Hall of Famer or you're not!

If Jim Rice didn't play for the Red Sox, he wouldn't even be in the discussion.

Only player in major league history with 3 straight 200 hit 35 home run years:Jim Rice, look it up statheads.

Yeah Rice will prob get in next year because they will want to elect someone. But Dawson should be in first, tho' I'm not begrudging Rice anything. If Dawson played in Boston or NY he'd be a friggin national idol.

It's their own fault they played in Montreal--they should have demanded to their agents that they get to play in the major leagues.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:29 pm

hat is an absolute disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! Rice has Hall of Fame numbers and was not juiced! I hope whoever didn't vote for Rice has family members get cancer and DIE!!!!

You're a fking idiot.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:30 pm

No Hall call for Rice


http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/

Link Posted by David Lefort, Boston.com Staff January 8, 2008 01:59 PM

Former Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice was passed over for the Hall of Fame yet again, getting 392 votes (72.2 percent), up from 346 (63.5 percent) last year and 16 short of the 75 percent needed. He will appear on the writers' ballot for the 15th and final time next year, when career steals leader Rickey Henderson will be among the newcomers.

Goose Gossage was the only player to gain election, becoming only the fifth relief pitcher to do so on his ninth try on the ballot.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:30 pm

Jim Rice was passed over yet again for the Baseball Hall of Fame, getting 392 votes (72.2 percent), up from 346 (63.5 percent) last year and 16 short of the 75 percent needed. He will appear on the writers' ballot for the 15th and final time next year, when career steals leader Rickey Henderson will be among the newcomers.

Do you think Rice deserved to get in this year? Will he get in next year, in his final chance on the writer's ballot?

This is getting more ridiculous by the year. Of course Jim Rice should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, just as he should have been last year and the year before that. Free from the use of steroids and using just his God-given ability he was the most lethal righthanded hitter in the American League for well over a decade, hitting for both average and power, being a consistent run producer and a very good leftfielder. Next year is his last chance to get in by the writer's vote and maybe we need a propaganda campaign to help get the guy in. Yes, in my opinion, he belongs.

Jim Rice has deserved to be in the HOF from day one. If he makes it next year it begs the question; Why not this year? It would seem apparent that there are those that vote that could care less what Rice has done in his MLB career; they won't vote for him regardless.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:34 pm

And if Laser eye surgery were available, Jim Rice might have gone that route and remained a very dangerous hitter for several more years also....

He might have been just as stubborn about surgery as he was about not wearing glasses or contacts.
QUOTE
No one would get the opportunity to have 5 seasons in a row like that at that age, because they'd be unemployed after the first two or three.

Bingo.

By comparison, when Yaz was pushing towards 400 HRs and 3,000 hits, he was still a very productive player. In 1982, when he had 459 ABs at age 42, he hit .275/.358/.431. I have a hard time imagining Rice putting up that kind of season after 1989.


It looks like thats it for Rice.

I have a hard time thinking they'd put in both Rice & Rickey next year


I agree. With Ricky on the ballot its going to be very difficult to garner alot of votes. He is headed to the veterans committee where I think he will get in.

That was his best chance. I'm not sold on him being deserving of entry, but I would have enjoyed his selection


Tim Raines receiving only 23% of the vote! I'd love to hear the logic behind that: one of the top 5 leadoff hitters in history getting less than 1/3 of the vote. Do they consider blow a performance-enhancing drug?

Goose Gossage already has the "Hall of Fame" stripe of his baseball reference page. That was quick.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:35 pm

Well, Steve Phillips was talking about Rice and Raines. Basically, he said he doesn’t look at stats. He’s a “gut feel” guy and Tim Raines doesn’t “feel” like a Hall of Famer. And even though the other participants (Keith Law, Tim K, and oops, someone else) were citing stats about Raines that makes it unbelievable he didn’t get in, Phillips will not budge. I guess there’s a reason he’s no longer a GM.

#

Anyone listening/watching ESPN commentary? Steve Phillips. ‘Nuff said?
# BBB January 8th, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Doreen, what is Phillips saying? It’s been a long day so far and I can use a good laugh!
# UtilityManDad January 8th, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Congrats to the GOOSE!!!

I wonder if he will allowed to wear a Yankees Cap???


#

Well, at least the BBWAA got it right and put Goose in. Also glad to see Rice didn’t get in. Maybe the Hall of Very Good for him, but he’s not a Hall of Famer. I really wish that Blyleven and Raines would have gotten in. Both are ridiculously deserving and it’s an absolute shame neither of them are in.
# Bronx Liaison January 8th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Only one first ballot HOFer there obviously in Rickey.

I know he was a Red Sox, but Rice is getting shafted.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:42 pm

He finally got in
WilliamZabka Post #1: 2:10 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Goose Gossage. I guess you could argue that he deserves it.
Penetrode_Inc Post #2: 2:14 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Richly deserving
WilliamZabka Post #3: 2:15 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Richly deserving



Sadly, this will be the best post in this thread. Wink
ClueHaywood Post #4: 2:21 pm Quote | Report Violation
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I guessed wrong on Rice. Too bad for the Hall -- having a Yankee and a Red Sox player would have meant a banner induction for them, attendance-wise. Ah well, at least Dick Williams will give Boston some exposure.

Every year I am outraged by the onesy-twosy votes. What the hell is Travis Fryman doing with 2 votes? I can see Beck and Nen there -- I actually wouldn't have been upset if they got a handful more. But Fryman? And what in the name of all that is holy is Todd Stottlemyre getting a vote for?

There are a handful of players who deserved better on this ballot, but none moreso than Rice.

WilliamZabka Post #5: 2:29 pm Quote | Report Violation
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I guessed wrong on Rice. Too bad for the Hall -- having a Yankee and a Red Sox player would have meant a banner induction for them, attendance-wise. Ah well, at least Dick Williams will give Boston some exposure.

Every year I am outraged by the onesy-twosy votes. What the hell is Travis Fryman doing with 2 votes? I can see Beck and Nen there -- I actually wouldn't have been upset if they got a handful more. But Fryman? And what in the name of all that is holy is Todd Stottlemyre getting a vote for?

There are a handful of players who deserved better on this ballot, but none moreso than Rice.


I've always said that a committee should review ballots and take voting privileges away if they deem it appropriate. Voting for a guy like Stottlemyre shows that whoever it is has no clue and should not be voting.

This is as opposed to some clown voting for Brett Favre for MVP, which is pretty stupid, but doesn't warrant having the person's vote taking away.
StStephenWillRemain Post #6: 2:35 pm Quote | Report Violation
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and yet no one would have ever traded Jim Rice for Goose Gossage. Too funny.
EC_Bias Post #7: 2:38 pm Quote | Report Violation
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and yet no one would have ever traded Jim Rice for Goose Gossage. Too funny.


And no one with a vote is comparing a P to a corner outfielder.
StStephenWillRemain Post #8: 2:40 pm Quote | Report Violation
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and yet no one would have ever traded Jim Rice for Goose Gossage. Too funny.


And no one with a vote is comparing a P to a corner outfielder.


so are you saying that there is a lower standard for pitchers to get in? Because Rice was by far the better ballplayer.
WilliamZabka Post #9: 2:40 pm Quote | Report Violation
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and yet no one would have ever traded Jim Rice for Goose Gossage. Too funny.



Agreed. Bill Mazeroski, Phil Rizzuto and Luis Aparicio also say hi. The HOF is a joke. Its a shame people haven't called for an outright ban of the place.
MariaSharapovasbug Post #10: 2:40 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Goose Gossage. I guess you could argue that he deserves it.

All I can think of is that Goose must have pissed someone off royally, because he should have been in years ago...

ClueHaywood Post #11: 2:41 pm Quote | Report Violation
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I don't think too many people would have traded Jim Rice for Ozzie Smith, either, but I don't think you can argue that Ozzie is much more of a slam-dunk Hall of Famer than Rice. There is some position relativity to consider.
WilliamZabka Post #12: 2:41 pm Quote | Report Violation
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But I think this guy has just as good an argument as Rice. Maybe better.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/parkeda01.shtml

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:43 pm


Finally Goose gets in
marlins226 Post #1: 2:02 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Congratulations to the Goose.
ImSmartherThanYou Post #2: 2:04 pm Quote | Report Violation
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The HOF website has both Gossage and Rice pictured, though there is no official confirmation.
lacaprup Post #3: 2:05 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.
AsFanEst1980 Post #4: 2:05 pm Quote | Report Violation
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The HOF website has both Gossage and Rice pictured, though there is no official confirmation.


KNBR said rice was 14 votes short.
ImSmartherThanYou Post #5: 2:06 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?
EC_Bias Post #6: 2:10 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...
lacaprup Post #7: 2:10 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...


right on
ImSmartherThanYou Post #8: 2:10 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...



How is Puckett not deserving?
jpop13 Post #9: 2:12 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...



How is Puckett not deserving?



Puckett had to retire early. The man is a hall of famer any day for me.
EC_Bias Post #10: 2:13 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...



How is Puckett not deserving?


I was responding to the inference from "lacarup" but personally, i beleive KP is a borderline HOFer who i don't have a problem being in, but it wouldn't kill me if he were excluded.

I don't think Jim Rice is another Puckett though, i don't beleive he belongs.
ImSmartherThanYou Post #11: 2:17 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...



How is Puckett not deserving?


I was responding to the inference from "lacarup" but personally, i beleive KP is a borderline HOFer who i don't have a problem being in, but it wouldn't kill me if he were excluded.

I don't think Jim Rice is another Puckett though, i don't beleive he belongs.


I pity anyone who doesn't think Puckett belongs just because his career only lasted 12 years and because he didn't reach the fabled milestones. The HOF is about so much more than milestones. Excluding Puckett is slap in the face to the late 80s and early 90s.
EC_Bias Post #12: 2:20 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...



How is Puckett not deserving?


I was responding to the inference from "lacarup" but personally, i beleive KP is a borderline HOFer who i don't have a problem being in, but it wouldn't kill me if he were excluded.

I don't think Jim Rice is another Puckett though, i don't beleive he belongs.


I pity anyone who doesn't think Puckett belongs just because his career only lasted 12 years and because he didn't reach the fabled milestones. The HOF is about so much more than milestones. Excluding Puckett is slap in the face to the late 80s and early 90s.


I didn't say he doesn't belong, i did say it wouldn't be the end of the world if he was excluded though.
lacaprup Post #13: 2:23 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...



How is Puckett not deserving?


I was responding to the inference from "lacarup" but personally, i beleive KP is a borderline HOFer who i don't have a problem being in, but it wouldn't kill me if he were excluded.

I don't think Jim Rice is another Puckett though, i don't beleive he belongs.


I pity anyone who doesn't think Puckett belongs just because his career only lasted 12 years and because he didn't reach the fabled milestones. The HOF is about so much more than milestones. Excluding Puckett is slap in the face to the late 80s and early 90s.



It's the hall of FAME, not the hall of very good. By your logic, Don Mattingly should be in too. So should every other good player cut down by health. Sorry, having an enduring career is one of the things that makes you a HoFer. Only the very best of all time should get into the HoF with careers that are cut in half. Think Bobby Orr in the hockey HoF.
NYGaGJob10 Post #14: 2:30 pm Quote | Report Violation
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It basically the Hall of the very good once they let Tony Perez in.

If Perez can be voted in so can Rice and Dawson.
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It basically the Hall of the very good once they let Tony Perez in.

If Perez can be voted in so can Rice and Dawson.



Why would you argue to further compound the effects of a bad selection?
lacaprup Post #16: 2:33 pm Quote | Report Violation
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It basically the Hall of the very good once they let Tony Perez in.

If Perez can be voted in so can Rice and Dawson.



Why would you argue to further compound the effects of a bad selection?



Thank you, totally correct.
ImSmartherThanYou Post #17: 2:34 pm Quote | Report Violation
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Rice missed by 14 votes. Thank you voters for not screwing the HoF with another Kirby Pucket.



Another Kirby Puckett?


I'm guessing less deserving candidate...



How is Puckett not deserving?


I was responding to the inference from "lacarup" but personally, i beleive KP is a borderline HOFer who i don't have a problem being in, but it wouldn't kill me if he were excluded.

I don't think Jim Rice is another Puckett though, i don't beleive he belongs.


I pity anyone who doesn't think Puckett belongs just because his career only lasted 12 years and because he didn't reach the fabled milestones. The HOF is about so much more than milestones. Excluding Puckett is slap in the face to the late 80s and early 90s.


I didn't say he doesn't belong, i did say it wouldn't be the end of the world if he was excluded though.


I know, I was simply commenting on anyone who steadfastly feels he's not worthy.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:45 pm

Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=18738
Welcome to The Show! On Tuesday, Scouts, Inc.'s Steve Muench will stop by to give a look at the 2008 draft and the work he's been doing in evaluating all the prospects.

Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college football players but his current focus is on the NFL draft.

Send in your questions now and join Steve in The Show on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. ET!

Scouts, Inc. Archive: Chats | Scouts, Inc. Team

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:01 PM ET ) It's been while so let's get the ball rolling with Blaise.

Blaise: (Central Islip NY):: Do you think the Jets will get Darren Mcfadden?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:05 PM ET ) Unless they are willing to trade up to get him I think the answer is no. Even if the five teams that pick ahead of the Jets aren;t looking to take McFadden I think there will be plenty of teams looking to move past the Jets to get him.

Bobby (Madison, MS): Who do you think is the standout corner in the upcoming NFL draft?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:07 PM ET ) I think you have to mention Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins and Soouth Florida's Mike Jenkins but both may be better fits at safety so I'll go with Kansas Aqib Talib. He's got great isntincts and he moves well for his size.

Jay (Raleigh, NC): If the Fins stay with the #1 pick, how does Dorsey project to play in the 3-4, DE or NT? What other players may profile as NT and be available later in the draft?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:11 PM ET ) I think he projects as a nose tackel in the 3-4 scheme. He has to work on consistently staying low to the ground and get a little stronger at the point of attack but he's capable of developing into an outstanding nose tackle. And your second questions brings up a great point. Finding quality nose tackles is difficult and this class isn't deep either, After Dorsey, Projected second or thrid round pick Texas' Frank Okam is arguably the next best option. As a result, Miami taking Dorsey with the No.1 makes sense.

Jake, New york: The Giants are about three or four players away from greatness. They need a good cover safety, LB, CB and wr. Who can fill these needs in the 2008 draft?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:18 PM ET ) Wow Jake I think that there are a lot of teams that are three or four players away from being one of the best in the league. But let's see what the GIants could do. There isn;t good value at safety late in the first so taking a linebacker like PEnn State's Dan Connor makes the most sense. In addition, they can wait until the seocnd round to get a corner like Boston College's DeJUan Tribble or Arizona's Antone Cason because of the depth at corner. The Giants could then fill their need at safety with say Tennessee's Jonathan Heffney who has good cover skills and take a receiver on the second day of the draft like Virignia Tech's Eddie Royal.

Joan (Santa Monica, CA): I think Bruce Davis of UCLA is one of those guys that will slip because of his size and end up being a stud in the league. He is a great kid with NFL pedigree and 30 college sacks. Where you see him going?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:20 PM ET ) I think he looks like a third or possibly fourth round pick. He clearly has to improvfe ghis ability to defend the run but he could make a splash as a situational pass rusher and then develop into an avery-down player. He's also going to have to move to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme in my opinion so he will naee some time to adjust.

Nubbs ( Big Rock Road): Steve, I've missed you the last two weeks! I know this years safety class is weak, but are there any CBs or LBs who could be converted to S, that could become solid starters?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:22 PM ET ) I mentioned two of them earlier. Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins and South FLorida's Mike Jenkins. Both players have the size, range and atheltic ability to compete for a starting safety job early in their careers.

Jason (Orlando): Easy question...where does Kevin Smith get drafted now that he is eligible? Is he in the running for the 2nd RB taken after McFadden?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:26 PM ET ) I'm not sure this is such an easy one. Smith is fast, instinctive and powerful but a lot of his impressive production came agaisnt sub-par run defenses. Right now I have a hard time ranking him ahead of Oregon's Jonathan Stewart (is MIndy here today?), Illiniois' Rashard Mendenhall and Arkansas' Felix Jones. I think he should certain deserves to be part of the conversation but I want to see how well he runs in workouts.

Jay (FL): Who are some first round talents that Miami will be able to get with the first pick of round 2?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:30 PM ET ) Thanks for setting up the segway. If Smith is available in the second round, I think the would be a sound addition to a backfield that has struggled to stay healthy. That said, most people like to point out the money they have already invested at this position when I bring it up so here's another possibility:Ole Miss OT MIchael Oher

Randy (Bos): BC's Jamie Silva? Just a very productive college player or can he succeed in the NFL?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:33 PM ET ) What's you definition of success? Do I think he will be a perrenial Pro Bowler? No but I think he's smart, tough and tenacious enough to developn into an excellent special teams' player that provides quality depth at safety. The reason I don't see him developing into one of the better starters in the league is I don't think he chages directions well enough.

JD (OH): What type of trade would it take for the Dolphins to trade out of the top overall pick. I have heard some ridiculous things, but is there a team that would want McFadden enough to jump into the spot. If not do the Dolphins definitely take Dorsey or do they give McFadden a look. His former offensive coordinator is now Miami's QB coach? Thanks

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:36 PM ET ) Great post. I think its going to take a lot to get Maimi out of that slot for a few reasons. First off, Parcells understands the importance of this draft so he will ask teams to pay more than market value to move into the second pick. Will someone do it? Who knows but not many people saw it coming when the Saints leveraged their future to pick up Ricky Williams, Secondly. it's not like they'll be in a jam if they don't pull the trigger on a deal. Getting either Dorsey or McFadden is going to help. I do think they will take Dorsey if they don't trade out of that pick because even though I like McFadden more Dorsey fills more of a need.

Bill (Boston): Everyone has the Pats moving their pick to avoid paying high first round salary. The question is, to whom?

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:41 PM ET ) Bill this is such a cop out but its also true. The answer is the highest bidder and here's why I can't give you a specific team. Let's say that a team loses its starting quarterback or running back to an off-season injury or a new coach trying to implement his scheme is unhappy with his personnell after taking a closer look. These teams will try to find ways to rectify these situations even if means paying a little more than they should under normal circumstances. The Patriots will take advanatge by waiting this out in the hopes that a team will jump out to prevent them or another team from taking a player that could really help them. A good example of this was Indy trading up into the first round to get Ugoh because of the Tarik GLenn situation last year.

Greg (Des Moines): Who are some players the Niners might target at the end of round one and beginning of round two? Thanks Steve!

SportsNation Steve Muench: (2:43 PM ET ) I love your enthusiam Greg. In the first, I think that a wide receiver makes the most sense with LSU's Early Doucet or Oklahoma's Maloclm Kelly two possibilities.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:58 pm

Lack of hard evidence leads to soft lawsuit


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/08/SPV8UAM18.DTL

Once again, Roger Clemens became a part-time pitcher. He's throwing only to a No. 8 hitter now, filing a defamation lawsuit against his apparently destitute former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, and skipping past the corporate sluggers who commissioned the Mitchell Report and the former U.S. Senator who produced it.

Maybe the suit, filed late Sunday in Houston, is just a warm-up act. The Rocket's lawyers still may be drawing up the papers to go after Major League Baseball and George Mitchell, plus the many media outlets that have taken McNamee at his word. The trainer, after all, isn't the one who told the whole world that Clemens had used performance-enhancing drugs. He told Mitchell, who passed it on to the media as near-gospel, and it was received accordingly.

The bet here is that the McNamee suit is simply a shut-up act - heavy emphasis on the word "act." Clemens has put on a great show of righteous indignation the last few days, defending his honor in front of Mike Wallace, filing the lawsuit, then holding a news conference and playing a tape-recorded phone call that sounded something like a cowboy version of Linda Tripp's gabfest with Monica Lewinsky.

Barry Bonds could not get away with this type of brinksmanship, because his accusers have too much evidence to support their suspicions. There's a paper trail, apparently detailing a drug regimen and monogrammed with "B.B.," leading from his personal trainer's house. There's a chatty ex-girlfriend. There's even, according to the federal government, a positive drug test.

Clemens knows he is working with a net. Earl Ward, McNamee's attorney, said in a phone interview over the weekend that similar documentation about Clemens does not exist. Federal agents connected McNamee to doping because he wrote checks to Kirk Radomski, the now-confessed dealer who worked in the Mets' clubhouse, not through any recorded exchanges between him and athletes.

So the net is tightly woven - for now. But every time the Rocket speaks, he pokes another hole in it. He accepted an invitation to speak at a Congressional hearing with a certain swagger.

"I am going to Congress, and I am going to tell the truth," he said after a bizarre moment Monday, when his lawyer tried to answer the question at hand and then Clemens asked for it to be repeated because he said he hadn't been listening.

The Rocket seemed unconcerned that there might be booby traps waiting for him on Capitol Hill, where he has to repeat his denials under oath and risk a perjury rap if anyone ever finds hard evidence that he lied. It took almost four years for the feds to get what they needed to squeeze a guilty plea out of Marion Jones and to indict Bonds. If Clemens is lying, it could take more time and a lot more creativity.

In the audiotape from Friday's phone call between Clemens and his former trainer, McNamee said that he was worried that someone might be monitoring their conversation. He was right. Clemens was recording the call. But there were other possibilities, including a wiretap by the feds.

Neither of them said anything definitive on the tape. They verbally fenced with each other. McNamee kept asking what Clemens wanted from him, and the Rocket never came out and said: "You know you lied to Mitchell. You need to tell the truth and clear my name." McNamee, meanwhile, never said: "I've told the truth, and you know it."

Clemens' lawyer has said that his client's legacy rests on his ability to convince people that he is more forthright and believable than McNamee. Problem is, Clemens is coming across as a knockoff of Jones, who sued Victor Conte for defamation when he told a TV audience about providing her drugs. Clemens has her anger, passion, defiance - everything except her sentencing date.

In truth, Jones was better. The Rocket has sounded like a fool several times in the last few days. He said he didn't accept McNamee's offer to come to Texas for the news conference because his family is so mad that McNamee might not be safe. He told Wallace that if he had used the drugs described in the Mitchell Report, "I should have a third ear coming out of my forehead."

Hmm, then why does Jose Canseco look merely sleazy, and not deformed?

A day later, Clemens said steroids don't help athletes do anything but look good in a suit. Apparently, a third ear isn't all that unflattering.

Clemens prefers minimalism in his suits. So he didn't stuff any big names into the one he filed Sunday.

E-mail Gwen Knapp at gknapp@sfchronicle.com.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:04 pm

Goose was valuable innings-eater


http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3186673&name=Neyer_Rob

posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2008 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: MLB

Hall of Fame balloting does not exist in a vacuum.

Now that Rich Gossage is in, more people will wonder about Lee Smith.

Lee Smith did save 168 more games than Gossage. But a lot of guys saved more games than Gossage, who's just 17th on the all-time list. What sets Goose apart is not his 310 saves (roughly the same as Tom Henke and Jeff Montgomery), but rather his 1,809 innings, an immense number of innings for a relief pitcher. Innings, outs, have value. By way of comparison, Bruce Sutter -- who somehow was elected to the Hall before Gossage -- barely pitched 1,000 innings. And those were good innings that Gossage pitched, valuable innings. Even as he was padding his career stats in his late 30s and early 40s, Gossage still was effective.

Gossage was a truly great reliever for roughly 10 years, and a good one for another decade or so. If Sutter and Dennis Eckersley are in the Hall, Gossage belongs there, too. But he should be the last of his contemporaries. There's not room for Lee Smith or Jeff Reardon. Not John Franco, either. Reliever-wise, we just have to wait a few years for the best of the next generation.




Rob, just curious, why doesn't Lee Smith merit HOF inclusion? I'm not saying he does because I haven't done the research, but Smith has a career WARP3 of almost 84 compared with Gossage's 90, and Gossage pitched 5 more seasons to get it. Sutter's was 59 and Rollie Fingers' was 80. I know there are other valuable metrics but this was just a very quick glance at one good metric
Great points about the innings and outs. Too many people get caught up in the save stat and don't realize that the goal is to get outs.

Quick question, why does any voter give away a vote to someone like Chuck Knoblock


I do think that Smith has a decent case, and I'm undecided on him, but the more I've thought about it, the more I've leaned towards yes. Outside of him though, I do think we have to wait until Hoffman or Mo's name hits the ballot.

"Quick question, why does any voter give away a vote to someone like Chuck Knoblock?" - Well, of course, I don't agree with this method of voting, as I believe that you should vote strictly for players you think should be in the Hall of Fame, regardless of "first ballot" or "the other players on the ballot" or all the other nonsense that affects the vote totals, but voters have 10 slots. If they only think 4 players are HOF-worthy, and they know a player like Knoblauch won't get elected, they might throw a vote to him just to be nice to him and say "Somebody thought I belonged in the Hall of Fhttp://yankeeslegends.forumn.org/post.forum?mode=reply&t=112
Post a replyame." Sure, it's rubbish, but that's probably why, and really, it isn't too big of a deal. Jim Rice received 50% more of the vote than Tim Raines is the troubling thing.

Who's the best of the next generation? Is the list Rivera and Hoffman? I guess Smoltz, although not a pure closer. If Percival comes back healthy and saves say, another 60-80 games does he get in the discussion? He did win a world series and played most of his years for the same team, I think his "career padding" will more likely be seen as an attempt to get back in the game after injury. Who else? Billy Wagner seems like a no for me.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:04 pm

Hall things considered




http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=neyer_rob



posted: Monday, January 7, 2008 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: MLB

Spoiler alert: If you don't want to know the results of the Hall of Fame balloting, stop reading immediately.

No, not really. I want you to keep reading. Really, there's still plenty of suspense even after consulting Keith Law's survey of 120 Hall of Fame voters. Here are the only four candidates drawing more than 50 percent (75 percent needed for election):

Player Votes Pct.
Goose Gossage 108 90 percent
Jim Rice 82 68 percent
Bert Blyleven 79 66 percent
Andre Dawson 79 66 percent

Keith concludes:

1. Goose Gossage will be elected to the Hall of Fame this year. He will be the only candidate elected.

2. If there are two players elected, the second one will be Jim Rice. However, it's more likely that he will be elected in 2009 as he gains sympathy votes for his final year on the ballot.

3. Of the other players on this ballot, [Bert] Blyleven, [Andre] Dawson, and [Tim] Raines will all eventually earn induction, but no one else will.

Addressing those in order:

1. Agreed. I do not believe he'll get 90 percent, or even close to that. I believe Keith's survey generally has picked up the ballots of (relatively) younger voters, and it's the (really) older voters who typically won't vote for a relief pitcher. But once they put in Bruce Sutter, who's demonstrably inferior to Gossage, the latter's election became assured.

2. This -- if anybody joins Gossage, it'll be Rice -- certainly doesn't follow from Keith's survey, as only three votes separate Rice from the other guys. But I do agree that Rice is No. 1 among those three, as last year he outpointed Dawson by 37 votes and Blyleven by 86.

2a. If Rice doesn't make it this year, will he receive enough sympathy votes next year? Well, of course, it depends on how many he needs. Superficially, at least, Rice is comparable to Ralph Kiner, a top power hitter for a number of seasons before flaming out early. In 1960, Kiner's first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, he got three votes.

That's right: three.

By 1974, Kiner's penultimate year of consideration (by the BBWAA), he was doing quite a bit better: 215 votes, which still left him 59 votes short of election. But Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford were on the ballot that year, and stole everyone's thunder. There were a great number of future Hall of Famers on that ballot -- including all-timers Eddie Mathews and Duke Snider, who both managed to draw support from only 30 percent of the voters -- and Mantle and Ford were the only two elected.

In 1975, whether due to sympathy or something else, Kiner picked up 58 votes, which put him just over the 75 percent threshold. If Rice doesn't make it this year, will he pick up 58 votes next year? I don't think so, as between now and then we'll only see more analysis like this. I do think he'll be elected, though. If not next year, then another year.

3. I'm not at all sure about Dawson and Raines. Dawson's not a great candidate, and Law's survey has Raines pulling only 35 percent support. I think he'll actually do worse than that this year because Keith's missing the older voters (who certainly won't vote for the guy with the great on-base percentage). Due to pages like this, Raines will only do better as the years progress, but I have absolutely no confidence that he'll move from 35 to 75 percent in 15 years

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:05 pm

Hall things considered
Monday, January 7, 2008

Spoiler alert: If you don't want to know the results of the Hall of Fame balloting, stop reading immediately. No, not really. I want you to keep reading. Really, there's still plenty of suspense even after consulting Keith Law's survey of 120 Hall of Fame voters. Here are the only four candidates drawing more than 50 percent (75 percent needed for election): Title of data --> Player Votes Pct. Goose Gossage 108 90 percent Jim Rice 82 68 percent Bert Blyleven 79 66 percent Andre Da ...

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* Comments (1-26)
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nathanj42
nathanj42 (31 minutes ago)
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Rob, what's your opinion on Ted Simmons? His career is remarkably similar to Pudge Fisk. They played at the same time, played almost the same amount of games, had the same OPS+ 117.
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Rudemeister
Rudemeister (52 minutes ago)
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Rob, one thing to consider when considering future HOF elections.... the "old guys" are by definition "old". This means they may not be around forever, and the "young" voters represent the future". This means that over time, the younger more statistical voters will have more and more say, thus increasing the odds that players like Raines will be elected.
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R_Neyer
R_Neyer (1 hour ago)
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Just to be *very* clear, when I asked about Rice-but-not-Murphy I was *not* referring to any particular voter. I simply was suggesting that once you vote for Rice it's hard to argue against a two-time MVP with five Gold Gloves at a key defensive position.
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clean88gt
clean88gt (1 hour ago)
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The Goose is in. Finally.
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LordD99
LordD99 (1 hour ago)
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Rob, if that question was directed at me, I wouldn't vote for either Rice or Murphy, but if Rice goes in, then players like Murphy and Parker and Dawson all have their own legit argument because the standards would have been lowered.
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clean88gt
clean88gt (1 hour ago)
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Touche Rob. I got so pissed about the Blyleven/Morris deal I didn't look any further. I'm pretty sure The Murph and Rock Raines both beat Rice in WS, WARP3, etc. but I guess they weren't fearsome enough. Or something.
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R_Neyer
R_Neyer (1 hour ago)
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What about Dale Murphy? How do you vote for Rice but not Murphy?
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LordD99
LordD99 (1 hour ago)
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raymondmagnetic, I hadn't even thought about players like Bernie yet because I was focused more on the 1980s, but you're right. He does fit that category of a very good, and at times great player who deserves a look, but falls a little short, especially on the counting stats side of the equation. Yet, if Rice goes in, and then Dawson, and Parker, etc., well, then the standards for the Hall will have dropped where someone like Bernie would have to be strongly considered.

cbunge6, I posted a note somewhere on Ortiz vs. Rice. Ortiz can already claim to be a more dominant hitter than Rice over a five-year period, and he's also had a more dominant peak. If he can maintain a high level for a few more years, I'm sure the Boston drum beat will begin. And in fairness to Ortiz, unlike Rice, he is a more complete hitter drawing a lot of walks even with a legitimate HOF hitter behind him, and he is a very dangerous hitter *everywhere*. While he does have great home stats and hits for a much higher average at Fenway, he also hits more HRs on the road. Simply put, he's a better hitter than Rice. He has a lot more to do, though, and the whole issue of being a DH will work against him unless he really puts up some powerful counting stats. His case will be helped greatly by Edgar Martinez, who still has to be regarded as the greatest DH to date, and one hell of a hitter, steroids or not, which will be an issue for both.
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cbunge6
cbunge6 (2 hours ago)
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Jonathan, you brought up Ryan Howard. I want to bring up David Ortiz. As someone who is too young to have ever watched Rice and understand just how "feared" he was, it seems that the same argument could/will be made by Boston fans in 10+ years when Ortiz hits the ballot. In fact, say Papi has 2 or 3 more great seasons, but then falls off (already showing physical signs of aging), their careers would be quite similar -- dominant for more than half a decade's worth of years, but Papi's best years came consecutively while Rice's were somewhat spreadout over his best 12 years. I know there are other reasons (such as being predominently a DH) why Papi may never get close, but it just seems like the same arguments could be made, and that Ortiz' peak seasons were even better than Rice. To me, Ortiz is not a HOFer when you compare to the likes of Griffey, Bonds*(yes, still), Manny, or some others of this generation. This is extremely simplified in an attempt to comprehend Rice's career by comparing it to someone I am familiar with and I feel would have similar arguments in the future, so I may be way off base, but I just don't see how someone with 6-7 or 8 dominant seasons belongs.
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LordD99
LordD99 (2 hours ago)
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clean88gt, I saw that, too, and in fact, remember Buster writing about it in his blog long month. I can understand if a BBWAA member won't vote for Blyleven if he truly believes that Blyleven doesn't match his standard for a HOFer and he is consistent in his voting. The idea that someone could vote for Morris and not Blyleven is a mystery that annoys me more than any other HOF vote this year. I do enjoy Buster's columns, but I can't help but lose some respect for him when I see things like this.
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raymondmagnetic
raymondmagnetic (2 hours ago)
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LordD99 - I agree with your assessment about lowering the standards. For instance if Rice gets elected then one would have to think that Bernie Williams should get elected as well. Looking at their careers it's almost uncanny how similar the numbers are, and yet no one is arguing that Bernie is a HOF. I personally don't think he is but as you say, if you allow one borderline candidate then more borderline candidates will follow.

Rob - Thanks for answering. I appreciate the fact that you and Keith Law actually have banter with the posters on your message boards.
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clean88gt
clean88gt (3 hours ago)
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I just looked at the actual ballots cast by ESPN.com writers and found one particularly ignorant vote that can't be ignored. Buster Olney, bless his mis-guided vote, actually voted FOR Jack Morris while voting AGAINST Bert Blyleven.

That, people, is the height of ignorance. 5 other ill-informed voters left Blyleven off the ballot but at least they didn't put Jack Morris on it. I remember getting into a heated debate in the comments section of Buster's blog the day he announced his ballot but I didn't realize he'd be the only one among his brethren to vote in such a fashion. I can tolerate an argument against Blyleven when it's devoid of objectivity, but I can't abide an argument against Blyleven by a person who argues for Morris. What a damn shame.
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LordD99
LordD99 (3 hours ago)
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Due to the weaker field this year (meaning lack of new glitter candidates, such as a Gwynn or Ripken), it seems likely that Rice will pick up votes from last year. There seems to be a segment that feels they MUST vote for someone, which should help increase the vote totals of Gossage, Blyleven, Dawson and Rice, deserved or not. I also think a candidate in his final year is also going to pick up some votes from those who have been on the edge when they realize this is their final chance. So if Rice doesn't make it today (and I don't think he should, but whatever), I'm pretty confident 2009 will be his year. And that means we have to add Dawson, which means voters will really have to look at Murphy, which means others will argue for a closer look at Dave Parker. Then people will start campaigning for Keith Hernandez, which will force a closer look at Don Mattingly, which of course brings us to Will Clark. It's a never-ending process of slowly lowering the standards. Actually, as I wrote down all those names, Rob, has there ever been a period in baseball (and I'm talking mostly about the 1980s), where there that many really good players who just seem to fall a little short of HOF standard? Are we some how now rating the best players from the 1980s properly, meaning was there something unique about that time?
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R_Neyer
R_Neyer (3 hours ago)
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raymond: I'm glad that Mr. Gammons has the freedom to write whatever he wants about me.

007: I haven't written much about Dawson, but my take is that yes, his .323 career on-base percentage does leave him just a bit short. I do understand why people, looking at his counting stats -- all those hits, and homers, and steals -- would be impressed. *I* look at those numbers and I'm actually surprised that he's not done better in the voting than he's done.

One thing that's easy to forget is that OBP is actually undervalued in OPS and OPS+; Dawson did make a lot of outs and those outs did hurt his teams.
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jasond555
jasond555 (4 hours ago)
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raymondmagnetic - was that Gammons chat on ESPN? What a stupid thing for him to say.
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MrJaguar007
MrJaguar007 (4 hours ago)
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Rob,

Have you written something about Andre Dawson's case for the Hall? My memory suggests he should be in, but maybe I'm remembering him too fondly. What's your take?
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raymondmagnetic
raymondmagnetic (4 hours ago)
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Rob, I'm curious to know how you feel about Peter Gammons calling you out on a chat he did last week.

"jonas__Guest: Will Jim Rice finally make it into the Hall of Fame?

Peter_Gammons: I don't think so. I voted for him, but it's been interesting that there have been people like Rob Neyer who are so obsessed with degrading Rice's career. The fact that he retired as early as he did clearly has cost him because of the 382 home runs. But for him to be in the top 5 in MVP balloting 6 times in 12 years, to me, speaks more about his career than the fact that his career OPS is the same as Ellis Burks."
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agelva
agelva (4 hours ago)
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"I guess 8 gold gloves and over 300 SB don't make up fo .017 OBP for Dawson. Ridiculous. How can RIce make it and not Dawson? "

Or if 500 home runs is the number that automatically gets players of his era in you would think that 8 gold gloves and the 300+ SB would MORE than make up for the 32 homers he is shy of 500. Right?

"Rob, I'm sure you've made your case against Dawson before, and I'm 99% sure I've read it. Could you refresh my memory? "

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:11 pm

Hey Rob ,What do you think of Royals outlook entering 2008 season? As a Yankee Fan, I would like to say good luck to Royals and Trey Hillman.


Steven A, Your F*cking Racist like Fat Ass Jemeli Hill. You support Bonds bund you hate Clemens?

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:24 pm

True or False Mark Mcgwire will never be in hall of fame ever?

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:28 pm

Sign Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia , Jason Jennings, Shawn Cha con., bring back Kris Benson as well. Sign them Omar , forget Santana. Offer them a Multi-year a contract extension

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:29 pm

BC Beneke says:

January 8th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Goose was, is not, and shouldn’t be a hall of famer.

He is in because he was a Yankee. He had 4-5 below average years with the White Sox including one as a starter. 4-5 dominating years with the yankees, and then 2-3 years with the Padres, and 8-9 more years of hanging around and getting paid like he was a left handed reliever.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:36 pm

Post #6: 1:44 am Quote | Report Violation
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https://2img.net/h/i182.photobucket.com/albums/x97/soxanddawgs/Rookiecards/DavidOrtiz.gif

Here. This was being passed around a lot a month or so ago. Maybe we should all accuse David. His head did get a lot fatter.

I'll say it again incase it didn't sink in. Side by side comparisons are stupid.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:39 pm

QUOTE(JodyReedFan @ Jan 8 2008, 02:37 PM) *
I think it's good that Goose got in.. but am I missing why Lee Smith is snubbed all the time?

I agree. Their stats are remarkably similar, except Smith's are a bit better:

ERA+: Smith 131, Gossage 126.
K/9: Smith 8.73, Gossage 7.47.
BB/9: Smith 3.39, Gossage 3.64.

In terms of average performance, the only thing Gossage has going for him is career WHIP: 1.23 vs. Smith's 1.26. That's a pretty modest difference, and becomes even more so when you consider that Smith spent the prime of his career in Wrigley and Fenway while Gossage spent the corresponding years in relatively neutral parks.

I guess the other thing people lean on in preferring Gossage is the higher overall number of innings resulting from his early use as a starter and multi-inning reliever. OK, so he was used differently at the beginning of his career than Smith. Why exactly does that make him more Hall-worthy? I've never seen that case made convincingly. He was a mediocre starter for the one year that was his primary role (91 ERA+, 1.36 WHIP), so I can't see how that counts in his favor.

I haven't even mentioned the S-word, but there is that.

I just don't get it.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:40 pm

I think we should all face the fact that the HoF is every bit as flawed and useless as the Gold Glove Awards. It's every bit as useless as a group of astronomers deciding Pluto is no longer a planet. It's every bit as useless as Fat William from Ohio says it is to him...oh, wait, I still think he'd give his shrunken left testicle to get in. Might as well throw in the right one as well, since the stupid things don't work anymore anyway.

Point being, the HoF is not legitimate, and the more I look at some past inductions the more I realize it has never BEEN legitimate. Bert Blyleven is a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher, but let's just face it: he doesn't have that je ne sais quoi (French for "calm eyes" or "goofy fu manchu moustache") that other inductees have. Therefore, he will never be enshrined in Cooperstown.

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:25 pm

If you have a question, send it to askba@baseballamerica.com. Please include your full name and hometown if you'd like your letter to be considered for use in an upcoming column. Also, please understand that we can't respond to every question.



http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/askba/265412.html




By Jim Callis
January 8, 2008
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Has it really been five weeks since the last Ask BA? I'll blame the 2008 Prospect Handbook, though the good news is that we should be getting the book back from the printer in the next couple of weeks.

That last Ask BA dealt mainly with the ramifications of trades that involved prospects, and this edition will as well. But one question I didn't get asked that I want to address is my take the two Athletics deals, which sent Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks and Nick Swisher to the White Sox.

Both Haren and Swisher are young and productive, and they're signed to easily affordable long-term contracts that lock them up for at least the next three seasons. In short, they're exactly the type of cornerstones a rebuilding club would want to rebuild around. But Oakland's farm system had fallen into such a state of disrepair that the A's decided they had to shed Haren and Swisher to bring in some minor league talent for the future.

Billy Beane has proven himself to be one of the game's best general managers, but how he escapes blame for the collapse of his farm system is beyond me. Yes, big league promotions have thinned out Oakland's store of minor league talent, but with 19 first-round or supplemental first-round picks in the last six drafts, there's no excuse. Funny, I seem to remember reading a book a few years ago about how the A's were revolutionizing the draft.

Secondly, there's no guarantee that prospects will pan out. I love prospects as much as the next guy, but unless the three best pitchers Oakland acquired (Brett Anderson from the Diamondbacks, Gio Gonzalez and Fautino de los Santos) all pan out, I don't think the trades will significantly upgrade the A's in the long run. And we all know what injuries and attrition can do to pitching prospects.

In other business, only two 2008 first-round picks will change hands as free-agent compensation, because the last remaining Type A player (Aaron Rowand) signed with a team whose first-rounder was protected (the Giants). The draft order is fairly well set, though six Type B free agents who could yield supplemental first-round choices remain on the market.

Here's how the order stands now:

First-Round Picks
1. Devil Rays
2. Pirates
3. Royals
4. Orioles
5. Giants
6. Marlins
7. Reds
8. White Sox
9. Nationals
10. Astros
11. Rangers
12. Athletics
13. Cardinals
14. Twins
15. Dodgers
16. Brewers
17. Blue Jays
18. Mets (Tom Glavine, A, to Atl)
19. Cubs
20. Mariners
21. Tigers
22. Mets
23. Padres
24. Phillies
25. Rockies
26. Diamondbacks
27. Twins (Torii Hunter, A, to LAA)
28. Yankees
29. Indians
30. Red Sox
Supplemental First-Round Picks
31. Twins (Hunter)
32. Brewers (Franciso Cordero, A, to Cin)
33. Mets (Glavine)
34. Phillies (Aaron Rowand, A to SF)
35. Brewers (Scott Linebrink, A, to CWS)
36. Royals (David Riske, B, to KC)
37. Cardinals (Troy Percival, B, to TB)
38. Braves (Ron Mahay, B, to KC)
39. Cubs (Jason Kendall, B, to Mil)
40. Padres (Doug Brocail, B, to Hou)
41. Yankees (Luis Vizcaino, B, to Col)
42. Red Sox (Eric Gagne, B, to Mil)
Second-Round Changes
47. Phillies (Rowand to SF)
49. Brewers (Cordero to Cin)
50. Brewers (Linebrink to CWS)
69a. Braves (for failure to sign 2007 second-rounder Joshua Fields)
Third-Round Changes
84a. Red Sox (for failure to sign 2007 second-rounder Hunter Morris)
Supplemental Third-Round Picks
105. Phillies (for failure to sign 2007 third-rounder Brandon Workman)
106. Astros (for failure to sign 2007 third-rounder Derek Dietrich)
107. Padres (for failure to sign 2007 third-rounder Tommy Toledo)
108. Angels (for failure to sign 2007 third-rounder Matt Harvey)
Remaining Possible Compensation Free Agents
Ari: Livan Hernandez (B).
Hou: RHP Trever Miller (B).
Oak: C Mike Piazza (B), OF Shannon Stewart (B).
SD: OF Mike Cameron (B).
SF: 3B Pedro Feliz (B).

Now that several of the Diamondbacks' best prospects have been traded, what would their Top 10 list look like now?

Bob Berzin
Gurnee, Ill.

To get Dan Haren from the Athletics, the Diamondbacks parted with five of their top prospects: outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (No. 1 on our list), lefthander Brett Anderson (No. 3), outfielder Aaron Cunningham (No. 7), first baseman Chris Carter (No. Cool and lefty Greg Smith (No. 13). Factor in all the talent Arizona promoted to the majors last season, and 13 of its top 15 prospects from a year ago either no longer qualify for the list or have left the organization.

A year ago, we rated the Diamondbacks system as the third-best in the game. With all the changes, it will sit somewhere around No. 20 when we release our updated rankings in the spring.

Here's what the Top 10 would look like now:

1. Jarrod Parker, rhp
Had the most electric arm in the 2007 draft.
2. Max Scherzer, rhp
Has a violent delivery, but also throws in the mid-90s.
3. Gerardo Parra, of
Won the low Class A Midwest League batting title with a .320 average.
4. Billy Buckner, rhp
Acquired from the Royals in shrewd trade for Alberto Callaspo.
5. Juan Gutierrez, rhp
Sinker/changeup pitcher was part of the Jose Valverde deal with the Astros.
6. Emilio Bonifacio, 2b/ss
Stands out for his speed, middle-infield defense.
7. Reynaldo Navarro, ss
Third-round pick last June is a slick defender.
8. Barry Enright, rhp
One of the top command pitchers in college last spring.
9. Wes Roemer, rhp
See Enright.
10. Brooks Brown, rhp
Has the body, stuff to be a workhorse starter.

With the Cubs signing Kosuke Fukudome, does he become their No. 1 prospect? And does this now make it more likely that Chicago will trade either Felix Pie or Tyler Colvin, perhaps in a multiplayer blockbuster with the Orioles?

Tim Worrall
Napoleon, Ohio

Though it's unfair to compare American minor leaguers with older imports, where would Kosuke Fukudome fit on the Cubs Top 10 and the overall Top 100 Prospects list?

Penny Simone
Bellwood, Ill.

Where does Kosuke Fukudome now rank amongst Cubs prospects? I would be inclined to rate him ahead of Josh Vitters at No. 1. And did he sign in time to make it into the 2008 Prospect Handbook? If so, who got knocked out from No. 30 to No. 31?

Navin Dore
Pasadena, Calif.

Where would Kosuke Fukudome rank on the Cubs Top 10? I assume No. 2 behind only Josh Vitters. Also, where would you rank him among all the prospects in baseball?

Rob Dorsey
Silver Spring, Md.

Lots of fans have Fukudome on their mind. It's kind of silly to consider an established Japanese big leaguer a "prospect", but our definition of a prospect closely mirrors MLB's definition of a rookie, and it is what it is.

Fukudome signed just after our transaction deadline for the Prospect Handbook, so he didn't make our Cubs list there. We did, however, including him in an appendix along with fellow Japanese signees Kaz Fukumori (Rangers) and Hiroki Kuroda (Dodgers). Here's our scouting report on the 30-year-old Fukudome:

The departures of Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui meant that Fukudome was the best all-around player remaining in Japan. While he doesn't have the same power as Matsui, he's a comparable player and has better all-around tools. The 2006 Central League MVP and two-time batting champ has a strong arm and runs well enough to play center field in a pinch, though he profiles best as a right fielder who hits for average, draws walks and occasionally drives the ball out of the park with a smooth lefthanded swing. The Cubs will play him in right and bat him near the top of the order, perhaps even in the leadoff spot.

The biggest concern about Fukudome is his durability. He missed the second half of the 2007 season with bone chips in his throwing elbow and has been bothered by other minor injuries in recent years. Fukudome played third base as a teenager on Japan's silver-medal winning 1996 Olympic team before taking his speed to the outfield. He has plenty of experience on the international stage. He also played for Japan's 2004 Olympic team and was one of the stars of Japan's World Baseball Classic squad, hitting a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the semifinals against Korea and a key two-run single against Cuba in the championship game.





Had Fukudome signed in time to make our Cubs list, I would have ranked him No. 1 ahead of Josh Vitters. I think Vitters, the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, has a higher ceiling but Fukudome has starred at the highest level of baseball outside of Major League Baseball. I think he's a near lock to be a solid regular for the Cubs, though I don't see him becoming a star, reiterating the Hideki Matsui comp from our scouting report. Combining his ceiling and his likelihood of reaching it, I'll probably put Fukudome in the 21-30 range on my personal Top 100 list.

His arrival has to make Colvin or Pie expendable, because with Fukudome and Alfonso Soriano signed for another 11 years and $167 million between them, there's only one outfield opening available. It's also possible that if Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez remain productive and in Chicago, Vitters could head to the outfield as well. Sam Fuld's stock is soaring after a strong Arizona Fall League performance, so he gives the Cubs another outfield option (though I view him as more of a fourth outfielder than a regular).

One last thing: While Fukudome didn't push anyone out of our Cubs Top 30 in the Handbook, Chicago did acquire righthanders Jose Ascanio and Tim Lahey in December. That knocked outfielder Josh Kroeger and third baseman Kyle Reynolds out of the book, though we'll present their scouting reports in our annual online look at what we call The 31st Team—all the reports that didn't quite make it into the Handbook.

Is it fair to assume that Edinson Volquez (if he still qualified as a prospect) wouldn't have been ranked among the Reds' Big Four prospects (Jay Bruce, Homer Bailey, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto) but ahead of Drew Stubbs? Would Volquez be a viable candidate for the Top 100 Prospects list?

Erick Metzger
Columbus, Ohio

Volquez has exceeded 50 major league innings, so he's no longer a prospect in our book. He definitely wouldn't have ranked ahead of Bruce, Bailey, Votto or Cueto, arguably the best foursome of prospects in any farm system right now. He probably would have settled in at No. 5, ahead of Stubbs, though I'm not the biggest Volquez fan in the world. I wouldn't have advocated him making the Top 100.

Volquez throws hard and has a nice changeup, but he never has shown a reliable curveball in the big leagues and his control and command always have been spotty. I see him more as a classic tease, a guy who can light up radar guns but never will be the frontline starter his velocity suggests he might become.

Trading Josh Hamilton to get Volquez made sense for the Reds, however. They had the second-worst ERA in the National League last year and more outfielders than they knew what to do with. Now Cincinnati has an opening for Bruce to play in the majors and another candidate for its rotation.

Considering that the Rangers have been on a perpetual search for pitching, however, shouldn't it tell us something that they were willing to part with Volquez?

RedMagma

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Re: E-mail: oconnor@northjersey.com

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:50 pm

My case for Bert Blyleven





To be a Hall of Famer or not to be a Hall of Famer? Bert is a question mark for voters because he is labeled as a compiler and not a great pitcher. To me, he is a guy who must be.

We all know about his 287 wins, just shy of the 300 mark, but good for 26th all time. Of the top 25, there is only one retired pitcher not in the Hall of Fame. Below him in the top 50, only 8 retired pitchers have not reached immortality in the Hall. A lot is made of the fact that he got those wins because he pitched for so long. But take a look at his 1971 season. Bert was 16-15 with a 2.81 era in 278 innings pitched with a 1.17 whip. The telling stat? In his 15 losses that season, the Twins scored a total of 18 runs.

Another impressive stat is his strikeout total. 3701 strikeouts, 5th all time ranking only behind Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton and eventual Hall of Famers Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson. Of the top 20 in strikeouts, only one retired pitcher is not in the Hall of Fame. The 6 active pitchers in the top 20, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and John Smoltz are all candidates for the Hall of Fame save for perhaps Schilling. Schilling and Smoltz are the only two on that list who are not locks.

Blyleven also tallied 60 career shutouts, 9th all time on that list. Every single man ahead of him on the list is in the Hall of Fame and the 18 men below him are all in as well. In fact, there is no pitcher in baseball history with at least 50 shutouts who is NOT in the Hall of Fame.

On these three lists (wins, strikeouts, and shutouts), there is only one man in baseball history to rank ahead of him in each. Nolan Ryan. Again, a Hall of Famer.

And finally, there is the postseason record. In 5 postseason series, Blyleven pitched in 8 games, 6 starts, and compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.47 era allowing only 43 hits in 47 innings pitched. Blyleven was 2-0 in the World Series. A small sample size, but more a factor of his teams and their success than his skill level.

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