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Tag:Roberto Clemente
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: April 24, 2011 10:50 pm
 

At 44, Vizquel not close to retirement

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Omar VizquelWhite Sox utility man Omar Vizquel turned 44 on Sunday, but says he doesn't see the end of his career coming anytime soon.

"As long as the body is OK, and [I'm] performing and doing what I ask it to do," Vizquel told the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales when asked if he could be celebrating more birthdays on the field. "Right now there's no reason I can't. I am going to keep trying to play. I don't need to be on a table getting massages, or [in] a Jacuzzi or need a personal trainer with me on the road trips. I feel like I can still do the same things I've been doing for all these years."

With an 0-for-3 day on Sunsday, Vizquel's average dipped to .308. But that's not too bad for a 44-year-old. He started at second base on Sunday, the third time he's started there this season. He's also started games at shortstop and third base. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Bobby Wallace of the Cardinals has played shortstop past his 44th birthday -- and that was 93 years ago.

"[Vizuqel] saved our [rears] last year, big-time, and continues to do it," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I need to put him out there because we need a break and he shows up to perform the way he does. That's not an easy thing to do."

Last season, in his first with Chicago, Vizquel hit .276/.341/.391. This season he's hitting .308/.357/.346.

Vizquel has 2,807 career hits but may need to play again at least next season to reach 3,000. He had 95 hits last season with the White Sox, but only 106 combined in 2008 and 2009. If he plays into 2013, he'd have a realistic shot at 3,000, which would guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

With 11 Gold Gloves at the game's most important defensive position, Vizquel is among the best to ever play as a defensive player, but is often overlooked because of the offensive shortstops of his time, such as Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez

Only Ozzie Smith had more Gold Gloves at shortstop (13) -- and only Smith, Greg Maddux (18), Jim Kaat (16), Ivan Rodriguez (13), Brooks Robinson (16), Roberto Clemente (12) and Willie Mays (12) have won more Gold Gloves overall.

Vizquel's offensive numbers are better than Smith's, but Smith was more popular and seen as perhaps the greatest defensive player off all-time, not just shortstop. Vizquel has always been respected, but still viewed as inferior to Smith defensively and other shortstops offensively. Smith tops Vizquel in WAR, 64.6 to 43.3, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

If Vizquel doesn't get to 3,000 hits, he'll be an interesting case. If he does, he's a slam-dunk.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: March 31, 2011 8:20 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:33 am
 

Pepper: Opening day excitement

Yankee Stadium
By C. Trent Rosecrans

No day in the year probably evokes as many cliches as opening day. Several times today you'll hear of hope and optimism and that's total crap.

There's no reason for the Pirates fans or Astros fans or Royals fans to think 2011 will be any different than 2010. But the thing is, the beauty of the baseball season isn't that every team has a chance. It's that there are 162 games and no matter how bad the team, they'll still win three times out of every eight games. 

Even watching the Mariners for 162 this season, you'll still have walk-off wins, reasons for hope, shutouts thrown, home runs hit and a whole lot of baseball. It's a beautiful thing.

And then there's a team that you don't think has a chance that somehow stays atop the standings. Sure, they may not win it all, or even make the playoffs, like the Padres last season. But they still bring some excitement and reasons to watch through August and September. The ride isn't half the fun, it's all the fun.

Even without a spot at the top of the standings, there's a reason to go to the ballpark -- heck, going to the ballpark is reason enough. A hot dog, a beer and an afternoon game in the bleachers? Heaven, even if two also-rans are on the field.

Then there's rookies to watch and dream about their potential or the veteran to remember him in his prime.

Yeah, baseball is full of the cheesy cliches, but that's another part of the fun. I'm cheesy about the start of baseball season and I just don't care. (Of course, this is coming from someone who spent the last minutes leading up to a NCAA National Championship game back in the media room watching a Royals opener on TV right up until tipoff when I reluctantly went to my courtside seat to the game, so I may be a little messed up in the head.)

TENSION: Imagine going into the last day of the exhibition season unsure of your fate and then throwing a pickoff move into right field with two outs and a 1-0 lead in the ninth inning that leads to the losing runs. That can't feel good.

And then, well, being called into the manager's office right before the final cuts are announced. Really, really not good.

Except, after A's manager Bob Geren went over Bobby Cramer's gaffe, he then congratulated him on making the team.

Cramer, a 10-year minor league veteran, made his first opening day roster and will be the A's long reliever. (San Francisco Chronicle)

TICKETS AVAILABLE:  The guys who brought you last year's Mets help wanted video with not-John Ricco, are back trying to sell Mets opening day tickets.

While not as good as their last Mets video, it's still pretty good.

 

MO BETTER: We know Mariano Rivera has been really good for a really long time, but check out his run as the Yankees' closer against all the other closers since he took over in New York in this great graphic from the Washington Post.

HOPEFUL HAPP: Astros lefty J.A. Happ still hopes to get back to pitch on his turn in the team's rotation, Sunday against the Phillies. The former Phillie, Happ, would be facing former Astro, Roy Oswalt in the final game of the opening series. (Houston Chronicle)

VIVA ANAHEIM: I think I've already named about three "best promo ever" winners, but this is my current favorite -- the Angels' Mexican wrestler mask. I so wish I could be in SoCal in May, instead I'll be in Ireland. Oh well. (Orange County Register)

MEET THE METS: The Mets are trying to embrace their blogging community and hosted a conference call with manager Terry Collins on Monday. (Networked Blogs)

BURNETT SICK: Yankees starter A.J. Burnett is dealing with the flu, but says he still expects to make his scheduled start on Saturday. (New York Daily News)

BASEBALL HEALING: I lived in Japan for a couple of years and I've told people many times about the high school baseball tournament and the best way I've been able to describe it is the NCAA basketball tournament -- but only better, because it's baseball. It's even more important this year. (Associated Press)

PIRATES LIKELY TO BEAT PREDICTION: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Joe Starkey doesn't have high hopes for the Pirates this season. That's understandable. That said, I think they'll do better than his 9-153 perdecition.

TATER TROT RETURNS: Larry Granillo is bring back the Tater Trot Tracker. For those of you who missed it last year, the blogger tracked the time of every home run trot i the majors last season. He's doing the tracker for Baseball Prospectus this year, check out what he learned last season.

UNIWATCH: The always awesome Uniwatch baseball preview. There aren't too many changes this year, except for the Dodger throwbacks and the end of the Blue Jays' powder blues.

SAFETY FIRST: MLB is taking steps to help protect players against concussions, but the players can choose to do more, and Justin Morneau is doing that. Morneau will wear the Rawlings S100 helmet this year. The oversized helmet offers more protection for a batter's head, but is the subject of ridicule by other players and fans. Some players, such as David Wright, have worn it briefly only to go back to a regular helmet after hearing the jokes. Morneau apparently doesn't think concussions are funny, and he's right. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

BACKPEDDLING: Andre Either's agent says he'd love to stay in Los Angeles long-term. Of course he would. (Los Angeles Times)

AN APPLE A DAY: One of the most injured teams last season, the Red Sox are hoping prevention can help them beat injuries. (Boston Globe)

EXPRESS LINE: Putting aside the vogue bigger, badder, fatter concessions, two minor league clubs -- Richmond and Lehigh Valley -- are going with faster, allowing you to use your smartphone to preorder and pay for your concessions. (Ben's Biz Blog)

PREVIEW: Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper were on display at NatsFest at Nationals Park. Strasburg said he's hoping to start opening day 2012 for the Nats. Harper said his ankle is fine, even though there's still concern he may miss his minor league team's April 7 opener. (Washington Post)

SPEAKING OF PROSPECTS: The Kansas City Star's baseball preview section is mostly about the Royals of 2012 and beyond, instead of this year's team. Bob Dutton asks if the Royals' influx of talent means Kansas City can return to its winning ways of the 70s and 80s. And then Tod Palmer looks at how it could go wrong -- like the Pirates of the late 90s.

REMEMBERING THE DUKE: The Dodgers will wear a No. 4 patch on their uniforms to honor the late Duke Snider. (MLB.com)

DONE GOOD: Kudos for Dan Haren for his work in helping fund a Miracle League field, allowing special-needs kids a place to play baseball. (Arizona Republic)

MUST READ: This graphic novel biography of Roberto Clemente looks awesome. (Atomic Books)

WELCOME BACK: Hard-core baseball fans wept when MinorLeagueSplits.com was shut down, but a replacement has been founded -- mlsplits.drivelinebaseball.com/mlsp
lits
. Let's just say it's already been bookmarked.

LOW AND AWAY: Our friends the Baseball Project have let us use their music for our podcast, and to celebrate opening day, Yep Roc Records has the MP3 download of their album, Vol. 2: High and Inside on sale for $3.99. (Yep Roc Records)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:54 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:04 pm
 

This week in free stuff: Aug. 2-9

A look at this week in promotional giveaways from around baseball:

Monday, Aug. 2
Ike Davis bobblehead Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Ike Davis bobblehead -- or bobblesomething. The Cyclones are celebrating Davis' three heads-over-heels caches over the dugout railing with an upside-down bobblehead, although I'm not sure what exactly bobbles.
Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) -- duffel bag. The practical giveaways are the best -- who can't use another duffel bag?

Tuesday, Aug. 3
Ryan Howard gnome Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) Whitey Herzog bobblehead. If you missed the big league team giving away Whitey bobbleheads last week, here's another chance.
Reading Phillies (Eastern League) -- Ryan Howard garden gnome. It kind of looks more like a wizard version of Ryan Howard, but, you know, either way my wife would love this, not because she likes Ryan Howard but because she has a really weird things with gnomes. When she saw our local nine had a gnome giveaway this year, she circled that date on the calendar.

Wednesday, Aug. 4
Chicago Cubs -- beer koozie. What else could you want or need at Wrigley Field?
Los Angeles Dodgers -- beach towel
Portland Sea Dogs (Eastern League) -- Hanley Ramirez bobblehead. I always appreciate when minor league clubs honor players who played for them, even if they're no longer in the organization. Kudos Sea Dogs.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- Daniel Moskos & Tony Sanchez double bobblehead

Thursday, Aug. 5
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League) -- Brian Schneider bobblehead
New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League) -- beach towel
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Irish Heritage Jersey
State College Spikes (New York-Penn league) -- kids Roberto Clemente Kids activity book. It's good to educate the kids.

Friday, Aug. 6
Baltimore Orioles -- Nick Markakis mini bobblehead
Detroit Tigers -- island-themed Tigers floppy hat. It's like a combo Magnum costume -- in floppy hat form. The pattern of a Hawaiian shirt and the Detroit Tigers' D
Pittsburgh Pirates --  Andrew McCutchen bobblehead
Buffalo Bisons (International League) -- toothbrush. This may be one of the lamer giveaways, I've got to admit.
Trenton Thunder (Eastern League) -- David Robertson bobblehead
Vermont Lake Monsters (New York-Penn League) Buster Olney bobblehead. When sportswriters get their own bobblehead, you may have run out of ideas. Olney grew up in the state.
Everett AquaSox (Northwest League) -- recycled tote bag

Saturday, Aug. 7
Kenny Lofton Cleveland Indians -- Kenny Lofton "The Catch" bobblehead. This one is great, I love bobbleheads from specific events, hence my Endy Chavez bobblehead. This one is from Lofton's catch over the wall of a sure homer by Baltimore's B.J. Surhoff on Aug. 4, 1996.
Florida Marlins -- samba whistle. Better than a vuvuzela.
Arizona Diamondbacks -- Luis Gonzalez bobblehead. In an added bonus, 50 fans will get an autographed, bronze version.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Pacific Coast League) -- Goose Gossage figurine.
Round Rock Express (Pacific Coast League) -- souvenir desk batting helmets
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) -- lunchbox
Stockton Ports (California League) -- Grant Desme bobblehead
Kinston Indians (Carolina League) -- reusable grocery bag
South Bend Silver Hawks (Midwest League) -- reusable grocery bag
Princeton Rays (Appalachian League) -- Wade Davis bobblehead
Billings Mustakens (Pioneer League) -- Jason LaRue bobblehead. See what Jason LaRue looked like before his awesome mustache (hint: less awesome).

Sunday, August 8
Milwaukee Brewers -- Italian sausage racing sausage bobblehead. I've gotten the bratwurst and a previous italian sausage bobblehead off of eBay, and I can tell you it's great. Although my wife said she didn't think it looked like a sausage.
Chicago Cubs -- light switch cover. Really, a nice, simple giveaway. It's got pinstripes and if you're a Cubs fan and have a man room or something, it's pretty cool.
Pittsburgh Pirates -- batting helmet. The classics never die.
Harrisburg Senators (Eastern League) -- Stephen Strasburg bobblehead. How'd he get his own bobblehead? Oh yeah. He's good.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- MCU Park model.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:25 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 7:13 pm
 

Rose-Fosse collision still resonates


Before the All-Star Game "counted," Pete Rose proved it mattered.

Or, at least, it did matter to Rose. But every game mattered to Rose. In the 1970 All-Star Game, he showed the rest of the country, if they didn't know already, that he'd do anything to win.

In what has become an essential part of Rose lore, he ran over Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 12th inning of the 1970 game. (Box score)

The game was not only hosted by Rose's Reds, but also in his hometown of Cincinnati, where to this day, he is more remembered for 4,192 than his later gambling scandal.

Played July 14, 1970, it was just the 12th game at the new Riverfront Stadium. The Reds were Red, but they were yet Big or a Machine. In fact, Joe Morgan was in the game as an Astro, not a Red.

It was in the middle of a seven-game winning streak by the National League, and it appeared the AL would finally get a win, as Catfish Hunter entered the game with a 4-1 lead in the ninth and facing Dick Dietz, Bud Harrelson and Cito Gaston to seal the victory -- none of the trio would join Hunter in Cooperstown, and it's likely nobody expected them to do so.

Pete Rose Dietz, though, led off with a homer, followed by a single by Harrelson. After Gaston popped up, Morgan singled to right and that was it for Hunter, replaced by Fritz Peterson, who immediately gave up a single to Willie McCovey, scoring Harrelson and putting the tying run on third.

That was it for Peterson, replaced by Mel Stottlemyre, in to face pinch-hitter Roberto Clemente. Clemente lined out to center, but Morgan scored. Rose had a chance to win it, but struck out, sending the game to extra innings.

Rose wouldn't waste his second chance, singling to center with two outs in the 12th, advancing to second on Billy Grabarkewitz's single.

The next batter, Jim Hickman, singled to center and third-base coach Leo Durocher waved Rose home.

Rose was rounding third and saw Amos Otis fielding the ball and in a good to position to beat him with a throw home.

As he got closer to the plate, Rose leaned forward, ready to dive head-first into the plate, but Fosse had the plate blocked and Rose did what Rose would always do -- anything necessary to score.

With a full head of steam, Rose ducked his left shoulder into Fosse before the ball arrived, sending Fosse backward as the ball rolled harmlessly away.

In the difference between then and now, even the American League manager defended Rose.

"That's definitely the only way to play," Earl Weaver said. "You play to win. You don't compromise."

Pete Rose always played to win and never compromised, even in an exhibition.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More All-Star memories -- 2002: The Tie; 1999: The Kid steals the show; 1949: First integrated edition; 1941: Teddy Ballagame's walk-off homer

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



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