Tag:Barry Larkin
Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:19 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 4:34 pm
  •  
 

2012 Baseball Hall of Fame voting breakdown



By Matt Snyder


Barry Larkin was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with 86.4 percent of the vote. The results of the BBWAA votes were revealed Monday afternoon, and Larkin was the only player garnering the required 75 percent of the vote for enshrinement.

There were 573 total ballots, but nine were left blank. Players may remain on the ballot for 15 years, unless they fall below the five percent barrier in voting. Those who get less than five percent of the vote will be removed from the ballot prior to next year's vote.

Here's a total breakdown of how the voting went for the other 26 candidates. First, these guys will remain on the ballot moving forward:

Jack Morris - 382 votes (66.7 percent)
Jeff Bagwell - 321 (56)
Lee Smith - 290 (50.6)
Tim Raines - 279 (48.7)
Edgar Martinez - 209 (36.5)
Alan Trammell - 211 (36.8)
Fred McGriff - 137 (23.9)
Larry Walker - 131 (22.9)
Mark McGwire - 112 (19.5)
Don Mattingly - 102 (17.8)
Dale Murphy - 83 (14.5)
Rafael Palmeiro - 72 (12.6)
Bernie Williams - 55 (9.6)

Hall of Fame ballot
Now, the following players will be removed from the ballot, as they didn't get five percent of the vote:

Juan Gonzalez - 23 votes (four percent)
Vinny Castilla - 6 (1)
Tim Salmon - 5 (0.9)
Bill Mueller - 4 (0.5)
Brad Radke - 2 (0.3)
Javy Lopez - 1 (0.2)
Eric Young - 1 (0.2)
Jeromy Burnitz - 0
Brian Jordan - 0
Terry Mulholland - 0
Phil Nevin - 0
Ruben Sierra - 0
Tony Womack - 0

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 9, 2012 2:59 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:16 pm
 

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame



By Matt Snyder


Barry Larkin will join Ron Santo in the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame induction class. The announcement was made by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Monday afternoon.

Larkin was the only man from the 27-player ballot who received the necessary 75 percent of the vote. Larkin got 86.4 percent of the vote (495 of 573). Votes can be cast by writers who have been members of the BBWAA for at least 10 years.

Complete breakdown of the 2012 Hall of Fame voting

Larkin, 47, played his entire 19-season career for the Cincinnati Reds. The 12-time All-Star shortstop hit .295 with an .815 OPS in his career. He added 1,329 runs, 2,340 hits, 441 doubles, 198 home runs and 379 stolen bases. Larkin won the 1995 NL MVP while also adding nine Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves and was the starting shortstop for the 1990 World Series champion Reds.

Hall of Fame coverage
Looking at Wins Above Replacement by Baseball-Reference.com, Larkin trails only the following shortstops (counting years as a shorstop only): Honus Wagner, George Davis, Cal Ripken, Arky Vaughan, Bill Dahlen, Derek Jeter and Luke Appling. All but Dahlen and Jeter are in the Hall of Fame and Jeter is headed to Cooperstown five years after his retirement. Also, in Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract, which was updated in 1999, James ranked Larkin as the sixth best shortstop of all-time.

Larkin also netted two off-field accolades, as he won the 1993 Roberto Clemente Award (given to a player that "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team") and the 1994 Lou Gehrig Award (given to a player that exhibits character and integrity both on and off the field).

"I never really thought about it as a player," Larkin told CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman Sunday. "I never thought about it until I saw some support was there. I had thought it was unattainable. My whole approach was, 'How I can better the team?' I remember guys telling me early, 'You're never going to make money hitting behind runners.' They really wanted me to be selfish. I think what they were saying is that I should turn on the ball. It's definitely something I could appreciate later. But the years I had success were the years I had great players around me."

This time around marked Larkin's third chance on the ballot. He received 51.6 percent of the vote in 2010 and 62.1 percent last year, so the trajectory -- in addition to a pretty weak first-year class -- made Larkin's induction this year likely. Still, it wasn't a sure thing by any stretch. The jump all the way to 86 percent was surprisingly large.

"The Cincinnati Reds organization and our entire city are thrilled with Barry's election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame," Reds president Bob Castellini said in a statement. "His extraordinary talent has earned him a permanent place in Cooperstown alongside Reds greats Sparky Anderson, Johnny Bench, Warren Giles, Ernie Lombardi, Bill McKechnie, Bid McPhee, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Eppa Rixey and Edd Roush. Throughout his entire life both on and off the field, Barry has represented himself and our city with the class and professionalism consistent with the ideals of the Reds, Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He continues to be one of our game's greatest ambassadors. We are very proud that his accomplishments have been validated at the highest level by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. We look forward to the induction ceremonies in July."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:45 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 1:18 pm
 

Getting to know the 2012 Hall of Fame candidates

By Matt Snyder

One week from today we will learn who -- if anyone -- will join Ron Santo in the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame class. The Baseball Writers Association of America votes have all been mailed in, as a Dec. 31st or earlier postmark is required. Everyone who has been a member of the BBWAA for at least 10 years has a chance to vote. Players receiving 75 percent of the vote will be inducted.

Here's a complete look, in alphabetical order, at who the BBWAA voters were given to consider:

Jeff Bagwell -- He won the Rookie of the Year in 1991 and the MVP in 1994. The four-time All-Star garnered MVP votes in 10 of his 15 seasons. He ended his career with more than 1,500 runs and RBI while hitting 449 homers. His .948 OPS is outstanding, resulting in an OPS-plus of 149. Bagwell received 41.7 percent of the vote last season, his first on the ballot.

Jeromy Burnitz -- The one-time All-Star received MVP votes three times. He hit 315 home runs with an .826 career OPS.

Vinny Castilla -- A two-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger, Castilla hit 320 home runs and drove home 1,105 runs in his 16-year career. He hit at least 40 homers three straight seasons, 1996-98.

Juan Gonzalez -- Juan Gone is one of the few players in major-league history to win two MVP awards, as he took home the honors in both 1996 and 1998. He finished in the top 10 of MVP voting three other seasons. He finished with 434 home runs and 1,404 RBI, having accrued at least 35 homers and 100 RBI in seven of his 17 seasons.

Brian Jordan -- The former NFL player hit .282 during his 15-year career, making the All-Star team in 1999. He was also a very good defensive outfielder.

Barry Larkin -- The 12-time All-Star is the most likely player to be inducted this year. He received 62.1 percent of the vote last year and doesn't really face any stiff competition from first-timers this year. He won one MVP, three Gold Gloves and nine Silver Sluggers. He also stole 379 bases while hitting 198 homers, 441 doubles and 76 triples.

Javy Lopez -- The long-time Braves catcher hit 260 home runs in his 15-year career, making three All-Star teams. He finished fifth in MVP voting and garnered a Silver Slugger after his 2003 season, in which he hit 43 homers and drove in 109 runs.

Edgar Martinez -- The seven-time All-Star is one of the greatest designated hitters of all-time. He hit .312 with a .418 OBP and .515 slugging throughout his career, all of which are outstanding. Martinez actually ranks 64th in baseball history with 66.9 offensive Wins Above Replacement (oWAR) and 34th all-time in OPS. His 514 doubles rank him 45th. But Martinez only received 32.9 percent of the vote last season, a step backward from the 36.2 percent he got in his first try. The issue is him not playing defense. We'll see how that shakes out in the coming years, but it's a huge stretch to believe he gets in this year.

Don Mattingly -- Donnie Baseball is just treading water, having received between 9.9 and 28.2 percent of the vote in his 11 years on the ballot. Longevity seems to be the issue, as he played just 14 seasons and was out of baseball by age 35. The six-time All-Star finished in the top seven of MVP voting four straight times and racked up 1,099 RBI and 1,007 runs, along with nine Gold Gloves.

Fred McGriff -- Did Crime Dog fall seven home runs short of induction? He hit 493 in his 19-year career and received only 17.9 percent of the vote last year. The five-time All-Star also racked up 1,550 RBI and a nice .886 OPS (good for a 134 OPS-plus).

Mark McGwire -- Twelve All-Star Games. One Rookie of the Year. A whopping 583 home runs. A staggering .982 OPS and 162 OPS-plus. Five top-10 MVP finishes. A World Series ring and a Gold Glove. And yet Big Mac hasn't been able to top the 23.7 percent barrier in Hall of Fame voting due to his connection to using performance-enhancing drugs during his career. The question here isn't anywhere close to performance. It's all about the performance-enhancement. If you believe he should be excluded, that's why. If you don't care about the use, you believe he should be inducted into the Hall. Period.

Jack Morris -- Morris has worked his way up to 53.5 percent of the vote as of last time around, his 12th on the ballot. Players only get 15 chances, so he's running out. Morris won 254 games and three World Series rings in his career. He finished in the top five of Cy Young voting five times and struck out 2,478 hitters. His 3.90 career ERA seems to be hurting him, though.

Bill Mueller -- Mueller won the batting title in 2003 and had a nice 11-year career.

Terry Mulholland -- He stuck around for 20 seasons, racking up over 2,500 innings pitched with 46 complete games and 10 shutouts. He was 124-142 with a 4.41 ERA.

Dale Murphy -- The seven-time All-Star and two-time MVP hit 398 homers and ended with an .815 OPS (121 OPS-plus). He also won five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. He hasn't been able to garner strong support with the BBWAA, though, as he had just 12.6 percent of the vote last season, his 13th on the ballot.

Phil Nevin -- The one-time All-Star hit 208 career home runs with an .814 OPS (114 OPS-plus) in his 12-year career.

Rafael Palmeiro -- Much like McGwire, Palmeiro's on-field numbers are surefire Hall material. It's not even a discussion. Unlike McGwire, however, Palmeiro failed a league-sanctioned drug test. He got only 11 percent of the vote last year.

Brad Radke -- In 12 seasons, Radke went 148-139 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He made the All-Star team in 1998.

Tim Raines -- Raines was a seven-time All-Star who hit .294 with a .385 OBP in his career. He compiled more than 2,500 hits and 1,500 runs in his 23-year career and ranks fifth all-time with 808 stolen bases. Several advanced stats loved Raines, as he ranked in the top 10 in his league in WAR seven times. Raines got 37.5 percent of the vote last season, the third straight season he's made a decent-sized jump in votes (he got 22.6 percent in 2009).

Tim Salmon -- The 1993 Rookie of the Year hit 299 homers in his 14-year career, netting MVP votes three times. He had an .884 OPS (128 OPS-plus).

Ruben Sierra -- In 20 seasons, Sierra racked up 2,152 hits, 306 homers and four All-Star appearances.

Lee Smith -- With 478 career saves, Smith was the all-time leader for a stretch, but both Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera have breezed past him, into the 600s. Smith was a seven-time All-Star and had a career 3.03 ERA.

Alan Trammell -- My colleague Scott Miller made his case for Trammell.

Larry Walker -- A five-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glover and the 1997 MVP, Walker hit .313 with a .965 OPS (140 OPS-plus) in his 17-year career. He ended with 383 homers and over 1,300 runs and RBI. He's in the top 100 ever in WAR and 16th of all-time in OPS. Did his 10 years in hitter-friendly Colorado hurt Walker with the voting? Looks like it. He only got 20.3 percent of the vote last year.

Bernie Williams -- Five All-Star games, four Gold Gloves and a career .297 batting average look good for the long-time Yankee center fielder. He hit 287 homers and scored over 1,300 runs to go with an .858 OPS (125 OPS-plus).

Tony Womack -- The one-time All-Star hit .273/.317/.356 in his 13-year career with 363 stolen bases.

Eric Young -- EY lasted 15 seasons, racking up 465 steals and 996 runs with a .359 OBP. He made one All-Star team.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Pujols won't join exclusive Hall of Fame club



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Albert Pujols will most likely wear a St. Louis Cardinals hat when he's ultimately inducted into the Hall of Fame, but there still may be a question. We just don't know at this point. There are those players who go into the Hall without a doubt of which hat they'll wear, because it's the only one they ever wore. 

While the Hall of Fame is an elite club, there's a more elite club -- one of Hall of Famers who played their entire career with one organization. Currently there are 47 such players in Cooperstown, with the possibility of one more joining their ranks if Barry Larkin is voted in when the next class is announced in January.

It seemed like Pujols would be one of those guys -- there was even talk of a statue being built at Busch Stadium while he was still active. That statue will have to wait -- and it could be a long time before he's honored like that in St. Louis. 

So, if Pujols isn't going to join that club, who may? Here's four who may be able to claim they spent all of their entire major league career with one team.

Both Derek Jeter and Mariano River are first-ballot Hall of Fame players, both are nearing the end of their careers and both received new contracts with the Yankees last season. Jeter, 37, has two more years on his contract, plus a player option for 2014. He may play after he turns 40, but there's an almost zero percent chance the Yankees let him do it in another uniform. The same can be said for Rivera, 42. The all-time saves leader is under contract for 2012 and is unliekly to play anywhere else.

The third guy is Chipper Jones, who will turn 40 on April 24 and is under contract through 2012 with a club option for 2013 that becomes guaranteed if he plays 123 games this season. Jones has been on the verge of retiring the last two years. Like Jeter and Rivera, it seems unthinkable he'd ever wear another uniform as a player.

And that leads us to the fourth player, who will not only have an asterisk on this list if he does go into the Hall with his current team, but also the one of this group most likely to play for a different team (but even that chance seems slight -- but not as slight as the other three), and that's Ichiro Suzuki. The asterisk is that of course he played the first half of his career for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan before coming to the Mariners in 2000. Some will debate whether he'd be in the Hall if he retired today, but I find it hard to believe he could be left out. Suzuki is in the final year of his five-year extension he signed in 2007 and with the Mariners going through a rebuilding phase, he may not fit into their plans. Another team could be interested, or he could return to Japan. However, it's been suggested he really wants to get to 3,000 hits in the United States. He's at 2,428 right now and would need at least three more years to get there -- that could be two with a different team.

There are some other players that aren't sure-fire Hall of Famers that could still get there and do it with one team, but there's still a lot to be proven. The closest to the end of his career is the Rangers' Michael Young, who would need to get to 3,000 hits before he had a shot at the Hall. Young, 35, has 2,061 hits, so even that seems unlikely. Then there are the young, talented players who have a lot more to prove before getting there. However, Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria and Matt Kemp all have one thing in common -- long-term contracts with their current team. 

Here's the list of Hall of Famers who played for just one team, sorted by team:

Yankees: Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto.

Dodgers: Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson.

Giants: Carl Hubbell, Travis Jackson, Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Ross Youngs.

Pirates: Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Pie Traynor.

Red Sox: Bobby Doerr, Jim Rice, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski.

Indians: Bob Feller, Addie Joss, Bob Lemon.

Orioles: Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Brooks Robinson.

White Sox: Luke Appling, Red Faber, Ted Lyons.

Cardinals: Bob Gibson, Stan Musial.

Reds: Johnny Bench, Bid McPhee.

Tigers: Charlie Gehringer, Al Kaline.

Brewers: Robin Yount.

Cubs: Ernie Banks.

Padres: Tony Gwynn.

Phillies: Mike Schmidt.

Royals: George Brett.

Senators: Walter Johnson.

Twins: Kirby Puckett.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Weak Hall ballot good news for Larkin

Barry Larkin

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Get your indignation ready, as the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot has been mailed to the voting member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. 

The 13 new players on the ballot this season are Bernie Williams, Bill Mueller, Ruben Sierra, Vinny Castilla, Tim Salmon, Javy Lopez, Tony Womack, Terry Mulholland, Brad Radke, Jeromy Burnitz, Brian Jordan, Eric Young and Phil Nevin. None of those really seem to have much of a chance to earn the 75 percent necessary to gain enshrinement, which is good news for Barry Larkin.

Hall of Fame

Last year Roberto Alomoar (90 percent) and Bert Blyleven (79.7 percent) got in, leaving Larkin as the highest vote-getter not to reach 75 percent. Larkin received 361 votes (62.1 percent) in his second year of eligibility, while Jack Morris (53.5 percent) was the only other player to receive at least 50 percent of the votes.

Larkin's strong showing in 2011 suggests he could get the requisite bump in his third year to get to 75 percent, but it could be close.

Players not elected can stay on the ballot for as many as 15 years, as long as they receive at least five percent of the vote.

In addition to the newcomers, Larkin and Morris, the other players on the ballot are Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker.

Members of the BBWAA with 10 or more years of continuous active membership are eligible to vote, including CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler and Scott Miller.

Next year's ballot will bring more conversation and controversy, as the biggest names of the steroid era appear on the ballot, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa, in addition to Curt Schilling and Craig Biggio. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 17, 2011 9:12 pm
 

Big leaguers' kids excelling in other sports

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Torii HunterI don't know what's more interesting, that Torii Hunter has a son that goes by the nickname "Money" or that his three sons are being recruited by some of the nation's top football programs.

TexAgs.com has this interview with the three Hunter boys -- Torii Jr., Darius and Money at Texas A&M's passing camp. All three say they've heard from Texas A&M and other schools, with Torii Jr. favoring Arkansas, Darius Oregon and Money hoping to play at Texas A&M. Both Torii Jr. and Money say they still play baseball, while Darius has given up baseball to focus on football and track. All three are entering their junior year at Prosper High School in Prosper, Texas, and play receiver. Torii Jr. also plays cornerback and Money plays strong safety. None of the three wear their dad's No. 48, but do wear numbers ending in 8 -- 8, 18 and 88, respectively.

The Hunter brothers would join some more notable sons of big leaguers who are playing other sports. Ken Griffey Jr.'s son, Trey, has been offered a football scholarship at Michigan State and is drawing interest from other schools such as Cincinnati, South Florida and Washington State. He's a wide receiver at Dr. Phillips High School in Florida. His sister, Taryn, led her high school team to a state tittle as a freshman, scoring 19 points in the championship game.

Shane Larkin, son of Griffey's teammate Barry Larkin, will be playing basketball for DePaul this season.

Jeff Petry, son of former big league pitcher Dan Petry, is currently in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers.

There are plenty of sons of baseball players in the majors and minors, as well, including Prince Fielder, Delino Deshields Jr. and John Mayberry Jr.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 12, 2011 10:13 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:14 pm
 

Pepper: Baseball returns to Japan


By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sendai, Japan, had something to cheer about on Tuesday -- baseball.

The northern Japanese city that was ravished by last month's earthquake is home to the Rakuten Eagles, who opened the Japanese baseball season with a  6-4 victory over the defending champion Chiba Lotte Marines.

The game was played a bit south in Chiba and the Eagles' stadium won't be ready until April 29, but TV showed people in shelters watching the game and each fan in the Chiba cheering section held up signs that said, "Stay Strong Japan."

"Despite the difficult conditions, we are able to open the season because everybody helped us to do it," former big leaguer and current Eagle Kaz Matsui told the Associated Press. "I want to carry this feeling of appreciation for the whole year by playing baseball."

Former National and Yankee, and current Eagle Darrell Rasner said he thought fans were happy to see games played, the Central League also started with the Yokohama BayStars beating the Chunichi Dragons 5-4.

"It is a sense of normalcy for them," Rasner told the AP. "It's something that's ingrained in them and, you know, I think this is going to be a healing process. This is going to be a great thing for them."

Not everyone aggress. 

"Watching baseball is not the first thing on anyone's mind in Tokyo either," reporter Kozo Abe told author Robert Whiting, writing for SI.com. "The Japanese feeling at the moment is that they are not ready to root for the revival of Japanese baseball from the bottom of their heart."

One estimate says there are 30,000 people dead or missing and as many as 400,000 are homeless from the earthquake and tsunami. Half of the 12 NPB teams play in areas affected by the disaster. With many still without power, there's a debate whether using power on baseball games is the best way to use resources. Even though teams are playing more day games, enough power is used one day game at the Tokyo Dome to power 6,000 homes.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest newspaper, has had many call in and cancel their subscriptions to the newspaper that also owns the country's most popular team, the Yomiuri Giants, who publicly were against pushing back the season's starting date to today. The Giants will not play at home until next month in hopes of conserving energy.

It will be interesting to see how many people show up to games. Going to baseball games requires discretionary income, right now that's not exactly in abundance, and if it is, there's better use of that money in Japan.

Baseball did have to return to Japan, a country that loves the game as much (or more) than we do, but the start seems awkward, even though there was no easy way to avoid it. 

TALKING PITCHING -- I join Lauren Shehadi to talk about some of the game's best pitchers. I don't like to overreact to one or two starts at the start of the season, so you know. But hey, you get the picture of me with my beard at its fullest.


NICE TOUCH -- Really nice scene last night when the Giants and Dodgers got together in a  presume ceremony for Bryan Stow, who was beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot earlier this month. [Los Angeles Times]

ROAD DOGS -- The first nine games of yesterday were won by the road team and the Blue Jays took an early 7-0 lead on the Mariners before coughing up the lead and giving the home team its first victory of the day. Only once before -- on July 30, 1890, had all the road teams win on a day with 10 or more games.

WRIGLEY'S FOR THE BIRDS -- Flocks of ring-billed gulls have made Wrigley Field one of their favorite feeding spots. At times you'll see more birds than fans in the stands. [Chicago Sun-Times]

NO-HITTER -- Trey Haley, Francisco Jimenez and Clayton Ehlert combined for a no-hitter for the Class A Lake County Captains in a 3-1 victory over the Dayton Dragons on Monday. The Captains are the low-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. [MiLB.com]

EVEN PUJOLS SLUMPS -- St. Louis really is America's best baseball towns, and its newspaper, the Post-Dispatch understands that. The P-D has one of the best baseball teams in the business, including Derrick Goold. I say this just to point out the work Goold did on his blog for Monday. Goold took a look at Pujols' slumps in his career and what followed. The moral of the story? You don't want to be a Diamondbacks or Dodgers pitcher this week.

AND JETER -- Derek Jeter's .206 average through his first nine games is the second-worst start of his career. The only time he started worse was 1998, and he had one of his better seasons following that start. However, he was 23. [New York Times]

JIMENEZ CLOSER -- Ubaldo Jimenez threw a bullpen session on Sunday and is on track to re-join the rotation on Monday. Jimenez will throw in an extended spring training. [MLB.com]

DAVIS TO DL -- Blue Jays center fielder Rajai Davis is expected to go on the disabled list today with soreness in his right ankle. He had been playing with the injury, but the team decided he needed rest to fully recover. [MLB.com]

FRIDAY DUNN'S DAY? -- Adam Dunn took batting practice on Monday, less than a week after his emergency appendectomy, but don't expect him back in a game until Friday. [Chicago Sun-Times]

GOOD GENES -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was a proud big brother on Tuesday as his sister, Prosha, was taken by the San Antonio Silver Stars in the third round of the WNBA's draft that was held on Tuesday. The younger Phillips played at the University of Georgia. Her big brother had signed to play baseball at UGA before being drafted. [Twitter]

YOU'D NEVER GUESS IT -- If you had to guess which American League player has a triple in every season this century, how long would it take for you to guess David Ortiz? [Providence Journal]

SUPER SLO-MO -- This video of Tim Lincecum is just killer.

Hat tip to Big League Stew.

YOUTH MOVEMENT -- We all know the Cubs' Starlin Castro is young, but did you know that's he's nearly four months younger than the next-youngest player in MLB, Florida's Mike Stanton. Royals lefty Tim Collins is the youngest -- and shortest -- player in the American League. How about the minors? Braves phenom Julio Teheran is the youngest player in Triple-A, while the Rangers' Jurickson Profar is the youngest player in a full-season league in the minors. He was born Feb. 20, 1993. [Baseball America]

DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE -- Sam Mellinger defends Royals owner David Glass. [Kansas City Star]

SPEAKING OF BAD OWNERS -- Frank McCourt's former attorneys are suing him. [Los Angeles Times]

RETIREMENT INCREASING -- No, not Manny Ramirez, but maybe 99 or 24. Anyway, here's a cool article from Chris Jaffe at the Hardball Times about retired numbers and it has a list of the players with the highest WAR for each franchise without their number retired. Looking at the list, my guess for next to have his number retired is probably Ken Griffey Jr. ANother Cincinnati kid, Barry Larkin isn't on the list, but his number is likely going to be retired soon, too. 

$2 MILLION TACTIC -- Is Buck Showalter's tactic of teaching his players to try to break up a double play when a ball is hit right at the second baseman worth $2 million a season? [Sabermetric Research]

HERO WORSHIP -- Nearly 12 years after the last game he pitched in the big leagues, Jim Abbott is still inspiring others. [Orange County Register]

REDDICK MAKING ENEMIES -- Buffalo Bisons general manager Mike Buczkowski can't be much of a fan of Red Sox prospect Josh Reddick. It's not just that Reddick hit .327 with four homers and 10 RBI in 12 games against the Bisons in 2010, or that he homered in his first game against Buffalo in 2011. No, Reddick added to the misery he's caused Buczkowski on Saturday when on the pitch before his homer, Reddick hit a foul ball that shattered the windshield of Buczkowski's car. Pawtucket play-by-play man Dan Hoard has the details and photos on his blog. [Heard it from Hoard]

PRESIDENTIAL VISIT -- The Nationals' Abe Lincoln mascot made a visit to Lincoln's Cottage in Washington last week. [Lincoln Cottage Blog]

LUCKY CATCH -- A former minor leaguer won a $1 million jackpot in a scratch-off lottery. Joel Torres was released by the Indians this spring and wants to continue his career. [New York Post]

BAY AREA BASEBALL FEVER -- The Giants' run to the World Series title has made an impact on the participation of Bay Area Little Leagues. There are now waiting lists in some leagues. [New York Times]

LINEUP SHOW -- This is an interesting bit of marketing from Japan, a TV program invited all six Pacific League managers to present their opening day lineups and talk about them. I could see that working on MLB Network -- teams know who they're facing and what they're going to do, it only helps build excitement for the hard core fans (and for silly complaints about lineup construction, if you're into that kind of thing.) [YakyuBaka.com]

PUT ME IN COACH -- The Omaha World writes about the best baseball songs. As a huge fan of the Hold Steady, I appreciate any list that includes not only that band, but also its singer. That said, I prefer "Pasttime" from the Baseball Project's first album to "Don't Call Them Twinkies." But my favorite baseball song is still probably "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" by Steve Goodman. All in all, a pretty darn good list -- especially with the inclusion of "Talkin' Softball."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: January 5, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 5:33 am
 

Blyleven debate ended with trip to HOF

Bert Blyleven This year's Hall of Fame vote signals the end of the great Bert Blyleven debate, as the right-hander finally got in to the Hall of Fame.

It was long a debate that had grown old and, thankfully for Blyleven, ended in what is his rightful place in Cooperstown.

Blyleven's case shows the power of the internet and its influence on what is a membership slow to movement, the BBWAA electorate. Blyleven started with 17 percent of the vote in his first year of the vote and 15 percent in the second, all the way to more than the required 75 percent this season, his 14th year on the ballot.

Maybe that's a bit of hope for the likes of Barry Larkin, Tim Raines and Alan Trammell, but the "was he good enough" debate has officially become passé.

With the exclusion of Jeff Bagwell and Rafael Palmeiro, the BBWAA voters are now voting on morality over baseball.

I'm as big of a supporter of the BBWAA and its election as anyone you'll find without a vote. In its defense, I offer only the Gold Gloves (voted on by coaches and managers), All-Star starters (fans) and the Veteran's Committee for the Hall of Fame which has kept Marvin Miller out. But on this latest test, the BBWAA voters have failed.

Jeff Bagwell has no-doubt Hall of Fame numbers, he also has the aura so many ask for in their voting. When he was at the plate, he didn't look out of place in Cooperstown. Instead, he's on the outside because of suspicions, not facts. As journalists, we are supposed to write what we can prove. Nobody has been able to prove anything about Bagwell other than what he produced on the field.

Jeff Bagwell For too many writers, the voting is based too much on their own insecurities for how they did their job. They wish they'd been able to break the big story -- or even look good in retrospect by throwing out a suspicion -- and are using that to now stand a ground, despite having no ground on which to stand.

Things will get even more interesting next year, as those focused on the Blyleven case will shift their focus to the suspected steroid users. There's no real compelling first-year eligible players next season (Bernie Williams, who will not be elected, is the biggest new name on the ballot), so it seems like the year that Larkin will be enshrined and we could even see great gains by the likes of Trammell and Raines. But that won't be the story.

Instead, we'll be looking at Palmeiro and Bagwell as test cases for the 2013 first-year nominees in Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa. If this year's voting is a guide, the Hall of Fame will be without some of its greatest players in the next 20 years. Bonds and Clemens, in the discussion for the greatest of all time, could be left in the cold with Pete Rose signing autographs outside the Hall of Fame instead of having their picture hanging in it.

As Rose has found, a simple admission of guilt won't do. The voters want to serve as judge and jury, sentencing some of the best players of all time to a future without the Hall of Fame. Mark McGwire was judged for the first time since he admitted his steroid use last January. He went from 128 votes (23.5 percent) of the votes in his first year of eligibility in 2007 to 128 votes (23.7 percent) last season. This year his vote total went down, to 19.8 percent. Palmeiro -- one of just four players with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs -- garnered just 11 percent of the vote, while "whispers" kept Bagwell to 41.7 percent.

As tiresome as the Blyleven/Jack Morris debate had become it's about to get more contentious.

Here's the final voting
Name Votes Pct.
Roberto Alomar 523 90.0%
Bert Blyleven 463 79.7%
Barry Larkin 361 62.1%
Jack Morris 311 53.5%
Lee Smith 263 45.3%
Jeff Bagwell 242 41.7%
Tim Raines 218 37.5%
Edgar Martinez 191 32.9%
Alan Trammell 141 24.3%
Larry Walker 118 20.3%
Mark McGwire 115 19.8%
Fred McGriff 104 17.9%
Dave Parker 89 15.3%
Don Mattingly 79 13.6%
Dale Murphy 73 12.6%
Rafael Palmeiro 64 11.0%
Juan Gonzalez 30 5.2%
Harold Baines 28 4.8%
John Franco 27 4.6%
Kevin Brown 12 2.1%
Tino Martinez 6 1.0%
Marquis Grissom 4 0.7%
Al Leiter 4 0.7%
John Olerud 4 0.7%
B.J. Surhoff 2 0.3%
Bret Boone 1 0.2%
Benito Santiago 1 0.2%
Carlos Baerga 0 0.0%
Lenny Harris 0 0.0%
Bobby Higginson 0 0.0%
Charles Johnson 0 0.0%
Raul Mondesi 0 0.0%
Kirk Rueter 0 0.0%



-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.




 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com