December 19, 2007
But they are now?
So…test for them regularly. If someone fails, react accordingly. There is absolutely NO REASON to punish those that are mentioned in the Mitchell Report, yet Bud Selig somehow has FINALLY mustered up the courage to threaten action against those that were mentioned POST 2003.
Of course, that CONVENIENTLY leaves out Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. And let’s face it…baseball doesn’t REALLY want to go after them.
However, you know what would have been cool? Major League Baseball cracks down on performance enhancing drugs ten years ago instead of waiting for a report on how mucked up their game is (allegedly). Besides, the times have changed. That was then…this is now. Steroids were en vogue then. Now…baseball is cracking down. I get it.
Heck, ten years ago, Hoyt Wilhelm (inducted in 1985) and Rollie Fingers (1992) were the only relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame. Twice in the last four years, Dennis Eckersley (2004) and Bruce Sutter (2006) have been enshrined. This year, Goose Gossage looks to be a lock to have his ticket punched at the doors of Cooperstown.
So…why not the designated hitter?
In 1973, when Ron Blomberg of the Yankees became baseball’s first DH (he dug in against Luis Tiant of all pitchers), who knew that 35 years later…there would still be NO full-time DH in the Hall of Fame?!?
Sure, many of modern era’s best hitters (Paul Molitor, George Brett, even Dave Winfield and Eddie Murray) ENDED their careers as their team’s DH…but there has not been a full-time DH voted in to join them.
A couple years ago, I would have said that Rafael Palmeiro would be the next notable DH to join the list…but he all but blew his chances by being found guilty of taking steroids. And while others will make the case for Edgar Martinez (and let’s face it…a case COULD be made), I think the next BIG name “full-time” DH is going to be Frank Thomas.
But why wait until then? Why not embrace the designated hitter and vote in someone whose stats stack up with some of baseball’s elite.
And yes…I’m looking your way Harold Baines. Let’s take a quick glance at his numbers.
First off, it needs to be pointed out that Baines holds the record for most games played at DH…1652. For his all around career…Rusty Staub is the only Hall eligible player that has played in more games.
Baines’ 2866 career base hits (40th all-time) means that he has the most hits of ANY player that is Hall eligible. Sure, there are other players ahead of Harold, but they are not eligible…yet. That short list is Pete Rose, Craig Biggio, Rickey Henderson, Palmeiro and Barry Bonds. Odds are that had Baines not had two work stoppages during his career, he would have eclipsed 3000 hits.
For the record, Baines also has the most RBI of all Hall eligible players and ranks 26th all-time. Those ahead of him that are NOT eligible…Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Thomas and Sammy Sosa. An even shorter list than the last one!
And again, not too shabby.
Over his career…Baines batted .289. He hit at or above that mark THIRTEEN times. Eight times, he batted higher than .300. Combine this with his 384 home runs (Baines is actually third on the all-time list of walk off home runs), a .324 post season batting and you’ve got a player that was arguably one of the most valuable of his time. Also, as a full-time DH, Baines was selected to appear in six All-Star games.
Statistically, Baines is pretty comparable to (if not better than) both Al Kaline and Tony Perez…both Hall of Famers. Interestingly enough...after Kaline, Baines is the player with the most number of home runs that never hit more than 30 in a season.
Kaline - 2834
Baines – 2830
Perez – 2777
Kaline – 3007
Baines – 2866
Perez – 2712
Perez – 505
Kaline – 498
Baines – 488
Kaline – 399
Baines – 389
Perez – 379
Perez – 1652
Baines – 1628
Kaline – 1583
Kaline - .297
Baines - .289
Perez - .279
It’s time, writers. It’s time to start considering a full-time DH for induction to the Hall of Fame. Sure you’ll wait for Frank Thomas…I understand. Hell, if he continues to rip the laces off the ball, you’ll put in David Ortiz before you even consider Harold Baines. But don’t Baines’ numbers warrant at least a look? Doesn’t he deserve his place in Cooperstown for a reason besides being the owner of the bat that ended baseball’s longest game ever?
I think so.
I leave you with this about the White Sox favorite. In 1971, a then 12 year-old Baines was all the rage on the Little League diamond…so much so, that legendary owner Bill Veeck made the trip halfway across the country to see what all the fuss was about. He was apparently impressed.
In 1977, upon his graduation from high school, Veeck made Baines the number one pick overall in that year’s amateur draft. Less than three years later…a 20 year-old Baines made his debut for the southsiders.
His number 3 has since been retired and “un-retired” twice.
Over the next month, the HoVG will be examining more of the players that might (but shouldn’t) be overlooked on the current Hall of Fame ballot. If you’ve got something to say about Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Lee Smith or even Don Mattingly…I’d like to hear from you!
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and who knows…your words might just end up on this website!
December 4, 2007
Let me repeat...the Yankees set a deadline for the Twins to trade THEM their star pitcher.
Anyway, it seems destined that epic masterpiece, Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and I would share a special bond and in celebration of our collective 25th year, I have done some research and compiled this labor of love:
"THRILLER" FUN FACTS!
- According to Guinness, Thriller has worldwide sales exceeding 104 million. That makes it, by far, the best-selling album of all time and has topped the sales of Don Johnson's "Heartbeat" and Chris Burke's (Corky from "Life Goes On") "Singer with the Band" COMBINED!
- In 2007, the NARM and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ranked Thriller third on their "Definitive 200" list, a compilation of what they believed to be the greatest albums ever. The first and second ranked were The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band" and Pink Floyd's "The Wall." This is widely regarded as total bullshit, because nobody has ever even heard of those two jagoff bands and, frankly, they sound made-up.
- Michael Jackson's Thriller contains the track "Baby Be Mine," which is scientifically proven to get the ladies totally wet.
- In the United States alone, Thriller has gone platinum 27 times (selling more than 27 million idividual copies.) In Canada, Thriller has sold only 2 million copies. This proves the already widely-accepted theory that Canada is "13 and a half times lamer" than the United States.
- The Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney collaboration, "The Girl is Mine," was not a pre-written piece of music but rather an actual recorded conversation between the two former friends, who had taken to arguing only in song.
- Thriller won 7 Grammy Awards, 8 American Music Awards, and 3 MTV Music Video Awards. It is rumored that, due to their abundance, Jackson hands out the award statues to trick or treaters during Halloween.
- The song "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was originally titled "P.Y.T. (Punchin' Your Tummy)" and was about Jackson's distaste for his many pregnant girlfriends. The original chorus lyrics were as follows:
"I want to punch you
In the tummy
You need some kickin'
Down the fucking stairs
And I'll take you there"
The song's title and lyrics were later changed at the urging of Thriller producer, Quincy Jones. Jackson then penned the song "Billie Jean" to further explore the pregnancy issue.
- In early 1984, a rumor surfaced that the first 7 digits of the UPC code for Thriller were Michael Jackson's phone number. This, however, was an obvious hoax as Michale Jackson has no need for telephones because he communicates telepathically.
- The original name for the "Thriller" single was "Give Me Starlight", while the album was originally to be called Starlight. Both titles were changed to "Thriller" when Michael Jackson expressed that the original titles were "too faggy" and would never "get him all up in some cunt".
- Queen singer(and then good friend of Jackson's), Freddy Mercury, recorded a few songs with Jackson during the Thriller sessions, those being "State of Shock", "There Must Be More to Life Than This" and "Victory". None of these tracks have ever been officially released. Jackson's official comment on the shelving of these tracks was that he didn't want Mercury "queering up [his] image".
- The dancing hoard of zombies in the "Thriller" music video were not dancers in make-up, but rather an actual army of undead corpses that Jackson summoned from the grave with his moonwalk powers. Upon wrapping of production for the video, Jackson personally beat the skull of each and every zombie in with one of his Grammy's.
- Contrary to the song's adamant protests, Billie Jean indeed was Jackson's lover. However, Jackson's refusal of paternity tests still leave the verdict out on whether or not the kid is his son. The aforementioned kid, (Ronnie Jackson-Seigle, pictured below) currently lives in Iowa and works as an accountant.
A photo of Ronnie Jackson-Seigle in 1993 at age 11. Paternity has yet to be proven.