January 9, 2009

Feathers were ruffled

I’ve taken plenty of heat this week for merely suggesting that Don Mattingly was Hall worthy. It was almost as if I was accountable for 74.9% of this Monday’s vote and all I had to do was convince ONE person to join my side.

I don’t have a vote, people, but if I did…“Donnie Baseball” would be a guy that I would have to think long and hard about voting for.

I'm serious.

Plenty of you took the opportunity to tell me WHO you thought was more worthy than Mattingly. That being said…let me cut through the clutter that typically fills the first couple of paragraphs of every new post and jump right in.

Mark Grace is not, I repeat NOT a Hall of Famer.

There, I said it Cubs fans…your beloved “Gracie” is not going to be on the short list of new inductees when they are announced Monday.

“But what about all those hits he had in the 90s?”

It’s true…Grace’s 1,754 base hits in the decade of the 90s led all major leaguers. Seven more than Rafael Palmeiro (1747), 26 more than Craig Biggio (1728) and 41 more than Tony Gwynn (1713)…each one of them (steroids aside) SHOULD BE Hall of Famers.

As a sidenote…it should be noted that when you break down hits leaders by decade, only ONE decade (the 1980s) does not have its leader (Pete Rose) in the Hall of Fame. But did Grace ever lead the league in hitting? Nope. He was just the model of consistency.

Matter of fact, Grace never led the league in hits, much less batting average. The closest he ever came in leading the league in hits was 1993 where he trailed league leader Lenny Dykstra by one.

Grace is a guy who, while carrying a career .303 batting average, never finished higher than THIRTEENTH in the MVP voting and appeared in only three All-Star Games.

Sure, he got his World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001 and brought home the Gold Glove four times, but you know what…so did Steve Garvey.

Amd that’s where their similarities end.

“But Grace is a good guy…we LOVE him here in Chicago!”

Do ya? If so…why?!? He kinda left your city with a sour taste in his mouth and let EVERYONE know about it. He’ll talk about how much he loves the Windy City in one breath…but bash it in the next.

Consider what he said as he suited up to take field against the Yankees in the 2001 World Series…“I've never been to Yankee Stadium. I've never played the Yankees all these years. I've always been in the National League, and believe it or not, the Cubs have never played the Yankees in the postseason.”

Maybe what he said was true, but then he dropped this one after winning the World Series in Arizona…“I’m not good enough to play for the Chicago Cubs, but I’m good enough to play for the World Champions.”

Ouch.

He was colorful…a great quote. A Hall of Famer? Not quite.

Sorry, friends.


BallHype: hype it up!

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