September 29, 2010

Ken Burns and the "Jose Canseco Milkshake"

Tuesday night was the debut of Ken Burns' highly anticipated "Baseball: The Tenth Inning" and with one "blink and you missed it" quote, we were introduced to what will be blogosphere fodder for the next fews days.

The "Jose Canseco Milkshake".

Following the July 2009 leak of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez alledgedly using banned substances in 2003, Jose Canseco came out publicly (shocker) and claimed that there was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame that had used steroids.

In "Baseball", Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell said:

There was another player now in the Hall of Fame who literally stood with me and mixed something and I said "What's that?" and he said "it's a Jose Canseco milkshake". And that year that Hall of Famer hit more home runs than ever hit any other year.

And with that, comes the watercooler discussion...who is it?

Larry Granillo over at the wonderful site Wezen Ball broke it all down so you and I don't have to.

If we take Boswell at his literal word, this is what we need to look for: someone who is already inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and who hit more home runs than he ever had before after Jose Canseco arrived in the league. Canseco won Rookie of the Year in 1986, so we'll start there even if it makes more sense to use 1988 as the starting point.

The second part of the statement confuses me some. I can't tell if he's trying to say that the milkshake story comes from the 1988 season, or if he's adding the 1988 date as more of a clarifying detail (in effect, saying "Here's a story of how it was spreading -which it started doing in 1988"). Let's keep the search as wide as possible, but keep the 1988 year in mind.

With those criteria, we get a short list of eight Hall of Famers (assuming pitchers like Goose Gossage and Nolan Ryan don't count).

To check out Granillo's breakdown...click HERE!

***UPDATE*** After doing some more research on both Boswell's claims and the alledged "Jose Canseco Milkshake" itself...Granillo has posted another wonderful piece over at his site. Check it out.

September 28, 2010

Alice Cooper is the "Pete Rose of Rock and Roll"

Anyone who knows me or the site knows, by now, that I love me some Halls of Fame and in my day...I've been to a few.

One of my favorites is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and, just like in sports, when the candidates for induction are announced...I listen.

This year, the list of nominees includes Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Donovan and Neil Diamond. Previously nominated acts LL Cool J, J. Geils Band, Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, Chic, Dr. John, Laura Nyro, Joe Tex, Darlene Love and Chuck Willis are also under consideration.

Now, here comes the question...what in the world does this have to do with baseball?

Well, with the following quote, that question is answered!

“I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be calling me,” Cooper said of his induction chances. “I think I'm being blackballed. But it's great to be the Pete Rose of rock and roll.”

Yes!

Now, while I'm not sure if the guy who penned the rock classic "School's Out" will see enshrinement soon (he's been on the ballot longer than Bert Blyleven)...I'm pretty sure Pete Rose will not. That said, given Rose is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame (class of 2004), maybe Cooper (who appeared alongside Jake "The Snake" Roberts in WrestleMania III) should consider shifting his focus.

The top vote-getters for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be announced in December. They will be formally inducted in March at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.


***UPDATE*** It's been pointed out to me that Alice Cooper owns a sportsbar in Phoenix called, wait for it...Alice Cooper'stown. Brilliant. You can follow them (it?) on Twitter at @cooperstown_az. Well played, Mr. Niceguy. Well. Played.

September 27, 2010

Twitter Tuesday: David Price

After seeing a mere 12,446 fans in the stands, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price hit the Twitters Monday night and tweeted the following about what would be his team's fourth-lowest home attendance figure this season:

@DAVIDprice14: Had a chance to clinch a post season spot tonight with about 10,000 fans in the stands....embarrassing

What followed was a mixed bag of responses that, if the internet has taught me anything, will lead to David Price to not only become a trending topic later tonight, but also be mentioned in the late editions of SportsCenter.

That said, here's a sampling of some of the supportive tweets the big lefty got in response. And Hell...even pro golfer Paul Azinger got in on it!


@PaulAzinger: @DAVIDprice14 It was embarrassing. Looked terrible on tv.

@carlhancock: @DAVIDprice14 You spoke the truth David. You guys have a great time and it is a shame you don't get the support you deserve from the fans.

@PeteAbe: Kudos to @DAVIDPrice14 and his teammates for speaking the truth about their embarrassing lack of support. They need a new market.

@alexbussey: Congratulations to @DAVIDprice14 for being an honest ballplayer. Too often we hear just stock answers night in and night out.

@evan_b: @DAVIDprice14 had to be said. You guys deserve better from your fans, especially with how you pitched all yr

And, of course, with every honest outburst...there were the people that had to take to the internets and try to blast the American League Cy Young candidate

@ltsunis: @DAVIDprice14 You would think having less fans in the stands would be better for a pitchers concentration, yet you are complaining about it

@RaysFanGio: @DAVIDprice14.I went to 14 spring games.65 home games.5 road games.took a road trip to durham this season.thanks for making me feel horrible

@justinn1010: It's never a good thing to become the story for what you say or do off the field..guessing @DAVIDprice14 learned that 1st hand tonite

Of all the idiots that had something to say to the Rays hurler, this last dude is right...to an extent. But then again...it needed to be said and hopefully, Price opens some eyes.

Remember 2008 when the Rays were all the rage?

All you saw on TV throughout the playoffs (outside of Frank Caliendo) were Rays fans with their blue mohawks and sellouts at Tropicana Field. Well...their attendance numbers then (an average of 22,370 a night) were virtually no different than they are now (23,047 a night through the weekend).

It appears that regardless how well the Rays do (and they're a damn good, young team, America) they can't seem to garner the support of the Bay area.

But does that really surprise you? I mean, this is an area of the United States that has a population that fluctuates based on how the weather is doing...why wouldn't their fanbase?

Fair weather fever...catch it! And while you're at it,
follow David Price on Twitter...homeboy needs all the support he can get right now!

Monday Morning Link Dump: September 27

Goooooooooooood morning. It's the Monday Morning Link Dump, y'all.

Go nuts!

Leading Off

Last weekend, it was Tyler Colvin. This weekend, both Mike Lowell and Blake Hawksworth got roughed up. What gives, baseball...why all the violence?!? (Pro Rumors)


Pat Neshek of the Minnesota Twins shares some pictures from "Rookie Dress Up Day". Yikes. (On the Road with Pat Neshek)


Florida Marlins rookie shows off his rookie hazing costume. At least I hope that's what it is. (via @LoMoMarlins)

Extra Innings

Early in the week, Twitter blew up courtesy of #MLBNovels. Here is The Hall's take on the evening.


Also getting on board with the trending topic of #MLBNovels was blogger Kenn Hoekstra.


Big League Tweet of the Week

@jfinch27: Never good when the pilot says as you board the plane, "the more you sit in the back the faster we fly!" ...Lord please watch over us!

The Walk Off

The American Mustache Institute is accepting nominations for the 2010 "Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year" award. Suffice it to say, The Hall will be supporting Carl Pavano (a write up is forthcoming...trust me), so why shouldn't you? (American Mustache Institute)


In case you missed it...here's a few pieces that The Hall of Very Good put out this week.

Jonny Fairplay's All-Time Baseball Heels
"Survivor" All-Star Rob Cesternino Talks Baseball
Twitter Tuesday: Logan Morrison

Have you found something of interest? What me to see it?!? Leave a comment, drop me an email at
hallofverygood@yahoo.com or hit up The Hall on Twitter at @HOVG.

See you around, gang!

September 24, 2010

Friday 5: Rob Cesternino

Yesterday, one of my favorite "Survivor" cast members shared his "All-Time Baseball Heels" .

Not to go down memory road, but another one of my favorites is the same guy that host Jeff Probst once called "the smartest player to have never won Survivor”.


Taking time out from his website Rob Has a Website, Rob “Rob C.” Cesternino re-dons his "Survivor" buff and takes on the challenge that is...the “Friday 5”.

HOVG: Alright man, you’re a New Yorker. Right out of the gate, I’ve gotta know…Mets or Yankees?

ROB C.: I've been a long-suffering Mets fan for as long as I can remember. The last few years have been pretty brutal and it looks like we're going to have to blow the whole thing up and start over again while the Yankees look like they're headed to a second straight World Series. Not fun.

HOVG: If you could play "Survivor" and have a Rich Hatch-like alliance with any three of your beloved Mets (past or present)…who would they be?

ROB C.: If I were going to start an alliance with any past Mets, first on the list would be former (and hopefully future) manager Bobby Valentine. In addition to being a strategic mastermind who was able to take a mediocre at best 2000 Mets team to a World Series, "Bobby V." was very charming and able to outsmart opponents with crazy disguises! I also am very partial to both Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez and think they do a great job calling the game and are both really interesting guys and have great baseball IQ.. And Keith, on day one, would have the greatest mustache in "Survivor" history. Unquestioned.

HOVG: "Survivor" has seen a number of former professional athletes (Guatemala’s Gary Hogeboom, China’s Ashley Massaro and, currently, Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson) take part. Is there a Major Leaguer that you would like to see out there? If so, who and why?

ROB C.: We may not ever see a Major League Baseball player on "Survivor" but there actually a couple of Phillies that have very close ties to "Survivor". One of the women from my season, Heidi, is now married to Cole Hamels and Shephanie LaGrossa is engaged to Kyle Kendrick! If I was going to pick any Major Leaguer to watch on "Survivor", I think the guy that would be the most entertaining to watch might be Manny Ramirez. In fact, I don't understand why Manny doesn't already have a reality show...every episode would be see TV.

HOVG: In one of your podcasts, you compared two-time "Survivor" contestant Russell Hantz to former slugger Mark McGwire. Care to explain what you meant again?

ROB C.: I certainly don't mean to imply that Russell Hantz might be using performance enhancing drugs. Russell, is similar to McGwire or any of the modern day sluggers who hit huge home runs and strike out a ton. They are all incredibly entertaining to watch, much more so than someone who always plays it safe and chokes up on the bat. But Russell, literally swings for the fences with every bold move he makes in the game. And much like hitting a baseball, that isn't necessarily the best approach to take on EVERY swing. Also, it's not always the best way to win baseball games. So while I think Russell will always be entertaining to watch as a fan, I don't think his strategy will ever work because he will always burn too many people along the way to the end to ever get the jury votes he would need to win in the end.

HOVG: Lastly, and I know it isn’t a baseball-related question…but who are you picking to win "Survivor: Nicaragua"?

ROB C.: I am loving seeing Jimmy Johnson on "Survivor" this time around but I think both he AND the Cowboys might not have what it takes to go too far this season. I really like Marty. Marty seems like he has a great understanding of the game and seems like he is savvy enough to go the distance. But in baseball terms, it's only about the top of the second inning in the game, so there's a lot of "Survivor" left to play.

Rob Cesternino appeared on two seasons of "Survivor"…Amazon (where he finished third) and All-Stars (where he finished 15th). He currently can be found online waxing poetically about "Survivor" and other reality shows and on iTunes as host of the popular “Rob Has a Podcast” podcast. He can also be found tweeting away as
@robcesternino.

September 23, 2010

Two Days...Three Milestones

Prior to last season, I suggested, like the bonehead that I am, that then-Houston Astro Miguel Tejada had 300 career home runs in his sites.

The guy entered 2009 with 271 and honestly, that's not that off base, right?

Now, did I think that he would send 29 over the wall? Maybe. I mean, the six time All-Star had a decent run between 2000 and 20004 where he hit 30 or more homers in four of those five years.

Of course, he was with Oakland and played alongside the Brothers Giambi. While I'm not suggesting Tejada was doing anything, ahem, shady...he did quiet down some and fall back to Earth pretty quickly.

Okay...all that aside, I made a similar prediction a year later when he re-signed with Baltimore.

Among the only milestones worth mentioning…newly re-acquired Miguel Tejada enters 2010 with 285 home runs. And with back-to-back seasons with 13 and 14 home runs…it remains to be seen if the 2002 American League MVP can get his old stroke back.

Well, last night...it happened.

With one on in the third inning Wednesday night, the, now, San Diego Padre (are you keeping up with this?) sent a Ted Lilly pitch deep to become the 22nd active player to reach 300 home runs.

Now...I lead with all that nonsense to bring you to this.

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista became one of the unlikliest players to reach 50 homers in a season when he went yard Thursday afternoon in a 1-0 victory against the Seattle Mariners.

"To tell you the truth, I really haven't let it sink in yet," Bautista said following the game. "Right now, I'm just really honored and happy."

Last week, Bautista tied George Bell's former franchise high of 47 home runs with a blast on the road in Baltimore. One game later, he claimed the club record for himself in Boston.

With his dinger today, he became just the 42nd player to reach the half-century mark and with a week and a half to go...he looks to add to it.

"September of last year, you could kind of see what he was capable of doing," said teammate Vernon Wells, referring to the 10 home runs Bautista hit over the final month a year ago. "You don't expect a guy to come out and hit 50 home runs in pretty much his first full season as a starter, but obviously he has that type of potential and that type of power."

One guy that is seemingly always approaching one milestone or another is Ichiro Suzuki. And in the same game that Bautista his home run number 50...Ichiro wrote another chapter in his own history book.

For the tenth straight year, Ichiro has reached 200 hits.

The nine time All-Star entered the game against Toronto with a 198 hits. He picked up number 199 with a third-inning double and extended his own streak with a single in the fifth.

"I think you can imagine how happy I am," Ichiro told reporters after the game through a translator. "I know how tough it is to accomplish 200 hits every season, and it's been another tough one this year, so that's how happy I am inside."

To illustrate how spectacular the feat is, consider this...baseball's hit king Pete Rose is the only other guy to notch ten season with 200 or more hits.

His accomplishment, however, was spread over 24 seasons. Ichiro has done it in ten.

September 22, 2010

Jonny Fairplay's All-Time Baseball Heels

Sunday marks the return of one of the best shows on television...HBO's "Eastbound and Down". And if "Eastbound" is back, so is one of television's greatest characters...Kenny Powers.

So now...on to one of the worst segues in the history of The Hall of Very Good.

Another one of my favorite television shows of all time is "Survivor". It’s true…outside of the horrendous re-cap shows, I’ve missed only one episode.

Of the more than 300 contestants that have ever played the game, I’ve had plenty of favorites. One of which is the guy that host Jeff Probst said constructed "the greatest lie in Survivor history."

Of course, Probst was referring to two-time "Survivor" contestant and one of the game's greatest heels...Jon "Jonny Fairplay" Dalton.

And with that, here are Fairplay's Top Five All-Time Baseball Heels.

5. Albert Belle, Outfielder/Designated Hitter
Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles

4. Darryl Strawberry, Outfielder/Designated Hitter
New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees

3. John Rocker, Relief Pitcher
Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays

2. Kelly Leak (Jackie Earle Haley), Leftfield
"The Bad News Bears", "The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training" and "The Bad News Bears Go to Japan"

1. Kenny Powers (Danny McBride), Relief Pitcher
"Eastbound and Down"

"Jonny Fairplay" came in third place on "Survivor: Pearl Islands". He later appeared on "Survivor: Micronesia" (Fans vs. Favorites), and was the first contestant voted out.

Currently, you can track him down over at
Geek Week, where he does a video blog re-capping the previous week's episode of "Survivor" and on Twitter as @JonnyFairplay.

As previously mentioned, Danny McBride is back as Kenny Powers this Sunday on HBO's "Eastbound and Down". You can catch all-new episodes starting at 10:30EST/9:30CST.

See how that all comes back around in the end?

***UPDATE*** I received an email from Fairplay this morning asking that I include this picture of him and President Obama. Notice the distance between the action and the Secret Service agents. Wow!

September 21, 2010

Twitter Goes Literary (Jose Canseco Need Not Apply)

I'm not trying to be "Johnny Twitter" lately, but truth be told...I've been spending a lot of time seeing what's going on in the world 140 characters at a time.

In what had to be my favorite trending topic since the guys over at Joe Sports Fan started posting rejected ESPN "30 for 30" topics, the web blew up with proposed titles for Major League Baseball-related novels.

Within minutes, seemingly everyone was getting involved by dropping a #mlbnovels after all their tweets.

Sports Illustrated's Joe Posnanski offered up The Witches of (Rawly) Eastwick. Hall of Very Good stalwart Batting Stance Guy brought The Crucible Luzinski to the dance.

Even Keith Olbermann joined the fray by suggesting Charlie Kerfeld And The Chocolate Factory.

Most of the thousands of titles that flooded Twitter were pretty uninspired. I mean, how many hackneyed Catcher in the Rye references can one topic have? As it turns out...hundreds.

That said...here (in no particular order) are ten of my favorites and the guys who tweeted them.

@splatjack: The Lovely Ricky Bones

@justindoom: Gaylord of the Flies

@jgragg: The Devil Wears Prado

@originalCynic: Line Driving Miss Daisy

@Thatsrightnate: Are you there Jim Gott? It's Me Margaret

@JTabrys: The Don Slaughterhouse Five

@Andrew_Milner: Tuesdays with Maury Wills

@HardBraun: The Yount of Monte Cristo

@LukeMayeux33: The Nap Lajoie Luck Club

@karlgeorge: Of Mice and Mientkiewicz

Of course Stephen King trumped them all by writing The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon back in 1999.

Of the contributions I made, I think In the Ojeda the Night was my finest. What were your favorites? What did you suggest?

Twitter Tuesday: Logan Morrison

With a third inning single Monday against the Cardinals, Florida Marlins rookie Logan Morrison has reached base in 39 consecutive games...the second longest streak in franchise history.

The team record of reaching base safely in 47 consecutive games was established by Luis Castillo in 2002.

Another record that the 23 year-old has to be closing in on is the "most tweets in a day" given dude knocked out 145 tweets since Friday morning.

That's close to 40 a day, people!

All that aside, one of my favorite new big leaguers on Twitter is Morrison given the fact that he is trying to have a personal connection with each of his 7500-plus followers.

It's rare that you'll find anyone, much less a professional baseball player, that will respond to your thoughts and well wishes.

So do yourself a favor, give @LoMoMarlins a follow and who knows...he might just drop you a line.


And if you're looking for some inspiration, check out these two stories that MLB.com featured recently about Morrison and his dad Tom...who is battling Stage 4 lung cancer.

Morrison Amuses Parents with Tweeting
Morrisons Show Strength is Family Trait

September 20, 2010

Monday Morning Link Dump: September 20

Alright, gang...it's Monday and it's time for the all-new "Monday Morning Link Dump".

What's the "Dump"? Simply stated...it's a wrap up of the best stuff I stumbled upon over the past week. If I found it interesting, if it made me laugh or if I think you should see it...it's here.

Enjoy!

Leading Off

Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies had a pretty good month this past week.
Wow. (Rockies Review)

And speaking of mullets...we're just days away from season two of HBO's "Eastbound and Down". Check out
the latest trailer from one of the best shows on television. (HBO via YouTube)

Blah, blah, blah. Derek Jeter
didn't get hit by that pitch. Blah, blah, blah. (Zell's Pinstripe Blog)

Extra Innings

Chicago Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin might be out for the season. Really...why?!?
Watch. (Pro Rumors)

Inspired by the Colvin incident...Larry over at Wezen-Ball put together
a montage of broken bats. (Wezen-Ball)

Big League Tweet of the Week

@michael_schlact: The sheets and pillowcases are so bright on this bed that I don't need a night light. I may even need tanning bed eyeball protectors.

The Walk Off

Ever wondered what's in your favorite team's clubhouse? You should. Why? Because Texas Rangers stud Josh Hamilton
has a deer head over his locker. (Yahoo's Big League Stew)

In case you missed it...here's a few pieces that The Hall of Very Good put out this week.

Karim Garcia Puts the "Twit" in Twitter
Talkin' Lou Piniella with George Castle
Joe Torre's Next Stop...Cooperstown (Finally)

Have you found something of interest? What me to see it?!? Leave a comment, drop me an email at
hallofverygood@yahoo.com or hit up The Hall on Twitter at @HOVG.

Until next week, America...and David Allan.

September 19, 2010

Karim Garcia Puts the "Twit" in Twitter

It sure doesn’t seem like it, but it’s been almost seven years since that 2003 Red Sox-Yankees playoff game where Pedro Martinez drilled Karim Garcia in the back.

What followed were two of the best Martinez moments ever…his one-sided scuffle with Don Zimmer and the famous quote “who are you Karim Garcia”.

So where are they now?

Martinez is out of the game…but promises to be back. Zimmer, now in his 62nd Major League season, is some sort of coach with the Tampa Bay Rays.

And Garcia, well, Garcia is with the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) and probably hadn’t been thought about since 2003. That was until this past week when, it appears, “The Latino Bambino” found himself in a little trouble.

According to the blog True Stories of Korean Baseball, the Lotte Giants outfielder was ejected for arguing with an umpire and received the league mandated seven-game suspension and a $3000 fine.

The money is probably a drop in the bucket for Garcia and while seven games is seven games…it is no big deal, right?

Wrong.

The 35 year-old slugger then took the matter to, you guessed it, Twitter. What he banged out was a typo-laden, Jose Canseco-esque string of tweets criticizing the KBO.

Garcia has since taken down his tweets, but, thankfully, they were saved by the aforementioned “True Stories” blog.

If you can sift through the typos (and if you follow Canseco…you certainly can), here’s what the former Yankees bust had to say.

great ,stupid kbo suspend me 7 games for what? the ump stir at me and takes the mask off and say what?

looking for me to say something and then trow me out off the game wish i did

and for that i get 7 games and 3000dlls i thing that they have no clue off what they r doing and say ok let kick him out the rest off the yr

they should look realy hard at the ump they r terrible worst then a ball in the states but kbo dont say nothing about that

kbo realy need to make up their mind about what is going on with ump asking for sing ball and be realy friendly with some players

always making mistakes at the plate or on the bases but kbo dont see that only they see what they want to see

kbo is realy good at not doing something when they supposto but when is a foring player they jump right in and try to get them tnx

o and one more thing i cant ask to reducce my penalty they dont have that in korea base ball so i cant talk to no body from kbo

Again, Garcia has taken down his derogatory tweets, but if you head over and check out @karimgarcia95 on Twitter, you’ll find that he’s also caught a case of the Mannys and Sammys and, suddenly, can only tweet only in Spanish.

At the time of his suspension, Garcia was hitting .252 with 26 home runs and 83 RBI for the Lotte Giants. And if, for some reason, you are curious about the comings and goings of the Korean Baseball Organization, follow @mykbo over on the Twitters.

September 18, 2010

Joe Torre's Next Stop...Cooperstown (Finally)

Friday afternoon, Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Joe Torre announced that after this season, a disappointing one that saw his run of 14 consecutive postseason appearances come to an end, he was calling it quits.

His replacement..."Donnie Baseball".

Now, I'm not going to bang the story over the head. If you care at all about baseball, you've heard enough about it already. It was breaking news on ESPN and is at the top of (shameless plug coming in 3...2...1)
Yardbarker's "The Hot 40".

Sure, losing Torre from the baseball landscape is huge...the guy is an icon and, arguably, one of the most celebrated managers in recent history.

This guy won four World Series titles in New York and spent 12 years (the longest tenure for a Yankees skipper since Casey Stengel was at the helm) as the field general for baseball’s most successful franchise.

To understand how tough it is to remain employed by former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, consider this…Billy Martin (941) managed HALF the games Torre (1942) did for the Yankees.

And that was spread out over FIVE different stints in the Big Apple!

To say Torre’s place as a Yankee great wasn’t already reserved in Monument Park would be like saying Derek Jeter actually got hit by that pitch Wednesday night.

Even in Los Angeles, all Torre needed to do was collect a few paychecks and when it was all said and done…go back to New York and secure his spot as the greatest manager they’ve ever seen.

Without a doubt, Torre is bound to find himself in Cooperstown before long, but the question is this...why isn't he already there? For me, Torre’s managerial career was the icing on the cake of an already terrific career.

Yeah…I said it.

I think the Veteran’s Committee has gotten it wrong by not inducting Torre into their exclusive club.

His career .297 batting average, 2342 hits, MVP award and nine All-Star games (at three different positions, I might add) is impressive given his peers at the time. Take away their home runs and Torre stacks right up there with Orlando Cepeda (whom he was traded for prior to the 1969 season) and the Willies McCovey and Stargell.

And all three are in Cooperstown.

His numbers are better than Ron Santo and every year, for some reason, people bang THAT Hall of Fame drum. And if it wasn’t for one Johnny Bench and the Big Red Machine…it’s possible that people would be calling Torre the best catcher of the 1960s.

He certainly was the best hitting catcher…that’s for sure!

I’d even argue that the best hitting third baseman of the 1970s ain't “This Old Cub”…it’s Joe Torre! From 1961 to 1968 (before the move to third base), Torre hit .294…twice over .315. Post 1968…Torre hit .301 and during his MVP season of 1971, he torched National League pitching to the tune of a .363 batting average and 137 RBI.

The one bit of the puzzle that is lacking for Torre as a player, ironically, is the fact that he never suited up for a post season game. I mean, here’s a guy who has taken three different teams to the playoffs and he had nothing to show for it as a player.

The playoffs without Joe Torre is kinda like the playoffs without, well, Joe Torre. The guy was a postseason staple.

But getting back to the case at hand. As the only manager with both 2000 wins (2318 and counting) and 2000 hits (2342)…the guy deserves his place in Cooperstown.

Don Mattingly on the other hand?

With 2153 career base knocks and zero career managerial wins...he's got a harder case to make.

September 17, 2010

Win Your Own "Sweet Lou" Bobblehead

Alright...enough about Lou Piniella (for now) and on to how YOU can win your very own Lou Piniella bobblehead courtesy of The Hall of Very Good.

It's simple. You have three ways of becoming a winner and all it takes is spreading the good word of The Hall of Very Good!

On Facebook: Change your current status to "I won a Lou Piniella bobblehead courtesy of @The Hall of Very Good and you can too! http://ow.ly/2FDwb"

On Twitter: Tweet "I won a Lou Piniella bobblehead courtesy of @HOVG and you can too! http://ow.ly/2FDwb"

Or...re-tweet the messages that I sent out during the day on Friday.

After it is all said and done (we'll say late Friday night or Saturday morning), I'll randomly draw the winner, contact them and send them the bobblehead...all on my dime.

Sound like fun? Then get to your social media-ing...or whatever you call it. You can enter as many times as you wish.


Check out some other Piniella news from the last couple of days.

Talkin' Lou Piniella with George Castle: Author of Sweet Lou and the Cubs: A Year Inside the Dugout shares his thoughts on the former skipper.

Friday 5: Lou Piniella: Three former big leaguers who played for Piniella weigh in on his Hall of Fame chances.

September 16, 2010

Friday 5: Lou Piniella

Okay, okay...so this isn't your typical "Friday 5". And no...it isn't WITH Lou Piniella as much as it is ABOUT Lou Piniella.

Instead of asking one guy five questions...I asked five different guys the same question ("is recently retired manager Lou Piniella a Hall of Famer") and here is how they responded.

Joe Oliver (former big league catcher, played for Piniella from 1990 to 1992, 1998 and 2000): Lou Piniella has won a lot of games as a manager and I look at how many franchises he has affected in a positive way and turned them around. Lou saved baseball in Seattle and got Tampa Bay headed in the right direction. The Cubs were doing well, they just fell short with bad breaks and…they are the Cubs. (Laughs) He should be in the Hall someday as a great manager who just loved the game and loved winning.

Kip Gross (Victoria Seals manager, played for Piniella in 1990 and 1991): In my limited time with Lou I have no doubt that he got the best he could out of every player that would listen to him. What I liked most about Lou was he told you NOW if you messed up OR if you did good. He didn't wait until after the game because it might come up again. In my opinion...best manager I ever had. Hall of Famer? Absolutely.

Glenn Braggs (former big league outfielder, played for Piniella from 1990 to 1992): There's no doubt in my mind that he is a Hall of Famer. I recently did an interview with
God's Game Plan where I talked about my relationship with Lou. You can read Part One HERE and Part Two HERE.

George Castle (author of Sweet Lou and the Cubs: A Year Inside the Dugout): I do think Lou, on the basis of his total baseball achievements, will one day be in the Hall of Fame.

Bobby Ewing (uber baseball fan...good friend and supporter of The Hall of Very Good): I think Piniella is a Hall of Famer based on his career as both a player and a manager. First off, in 1969, he was named the American League Rookie of the Year. He is one of only three managers (Fred Clarke and Joe Torre are the others) to have more than 1500 hits and 1500 wins. In 2001, he led the Seattle Mariners to an astounding 116 victories. And only Piniella, Torre and Tony LaRussa have managed
in the ALCS and NLCS. Put him in!

So again, what do you think? Go ahead and vote and feel free to leave your comments below.

Talkin' Lou Piniella with George Castle

Shortly after the All-Star break, Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced that he would retire following the 2010 season.

On August 22…he decided to call it quits so he could tend to his ailing mother.

One man who got to know Piniella on a level that few did is sportswriter (and good friend of The Hall of Very Good) George Castle. I recently had a chance to catch up with the author of Sweet Lou and the Cubs: A Year Inside the Dugout.

HOVG: What was your relationship like with Piniella?

CASTLE: My relationship with Lou was interesting. A master needler in his Yankees days, he used that quality on me when I'd ask sometimes garden-variety questions. But, look out, if I asked a "cerebral" (he pronounced it "celebal") question, Lou was agitated. "Where do you come up with those profound questions?” he’d ask. Anything that asked him to conceptualize an issue, he did not care for. Meat-and-potatoes questions were preferred.

HOVG: From throwing bases in Cincinnati to his fiery antics with umpires, Piniella conjures up plenty of memories…what is your favorite?

CASTLE: My favorite Lou memory? Anytime he tried to answer something where he wasn't sure of the answer, and a malaprop resulted. He was second only to ol' Mayor Richard J. Daley as a Chicago public figure with malaprops. At least he was better than Harry Caray on names...he usually got the writers' names right.

HOVG: Any good stories you can share?

CASTLE: Yeah, I was the recipient of 2 of Lou's biggest post-game rants, in 2007 ("You saw the damn game!") and 2010 ("What kind of baseball do you play?"). But I never took offense as Lou's old-school, managers always yelled at reporters and the only difference was there were cameras present compared to times when it was just writers, as Lou with the Reds.

HOVG: Any regrets?

CASTLE: I wish I got to know Lou better, but one on one access to him was restricted. You just could not walk into his office and shoot the bull as I did with past Cubs managers. That's the regret of his tenure in Chicago. Some questions are best asked one on one, without the confrontational or stage-fright setting of a press conference. And you get to know each other better this way.

HOVG: And lastly...should Piniella be considering for enshrinement in Cooperstown?

CASTLE: I do think Lou, on the basis of his total baseball achievements, will one day be in the Hall of Fame.

George Castle is a lifelong Chicagoan and has been covering baseball for a variety of newspapers and magazines since 1980. In 1994, Castle began “Diamond Gems” and four years later, he penned his first book.

His latest effort, When the Game Changed: An Oral History of Baseball's True Golden Age: 1969-1979, hits the shelves October 5. In the book, Castle recreates the sport’s most revolutionary decade via the memories of those who played, managed, and covered baseball from 1969 to 1979.

You can pre-order your copy over at Amazon.

I’ve had the privilege to talk with Castle on a few different occasions. You can read them here:

Talkin' Baseball with George Castle

Talkin' Hall of Fame Baseball with George Castle



So what do you think…is Lou Piniella is Hall of Famer? Let’s hear your thoughts!

September 14, 2010

The Hit King Gets Roasted

Anyone who knows me knows that I have two genuine loves...baseball and roasts.

It's true.

I own a number of the Dean Martin DVDs, watch all the Comedy Central Roasts and even though no one will ever see the material...wrote some great one-liners a few years back with a friend of mine.

Hell...I've even read the book I Only Roast the Ones I Love by Jeffrey Ross. And frankly, who of you out there even knew the Roastmaster General wrote a book?

So, when I heard that following the 4192 celebration Saturday night in Cincinnati, Reds legend Pete Rose was going to be roasted...I couldn't wait to read about it and see the footage.

What shocked most was not the complete lack of humor on the dais...but, rather, Rose's breakdown.

"I disrespected the game of baseball. When you do that, you disrespect your teammates, the game and your family," a tearful Rose told the packed house at, of all places, the Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. "I guarantee everybody in this room, I will never disrespect you again."

Some have called Rose's act the latest in a string of cons being pulled off to clear his name and get him re-instated...but others think it to be legit.

"(It was) nice...I was crying," said Rose's teammate, Hall of Famer Tony Perez said following the roast. "He finally got it off his chest."


Cesar Geronimo, Ken Griffey, Tom Browning, Pete Rose Jr. joined Perez on the dais...but it was George Foster that got in the best line.

"Pete Rose is proof it doesn't take talent to play baseball."

One can only imagine the massive firepower that Ross, Greg Giraldo or Don Rickles could bring to an event like the one held Saturday night.

You can read more about the roast over at Cincinnati.com.

Sobbing Pete Rose Repents for Betting on Baseball

Pete Rose Roast Mostly Lovefest

Twitter Tuesday: NFL Week One

With Week One of the NFL season officially in the books, it is clear that not all big leaguers are concerned about the upcoming baseball pennant races.

Thankfully, most were talking NFL and not the MTV Video Music Awards.

@LoMoMarlins (Logan Morrison): Wait..Favre retired.. No wait, he's back.

@jonadkinsWV (Jon Adkins): Ok I'm already sick of hearing bout och cinco n TO! Making me dislike the Bengals already. Sorry to all my Reds followers but it's too much

@just_ice23 (David Justice): Get yo popcorn ready! My Bengals are ready to roll!

@MattAntonelli9 (Matt Antonelli): Man Pats laying the smack down!

@JarrodBParker (Jarrod Parker): Cmon colts!

@MattAntonelli9 (Matt Antonelli): I still don't believe NFL players are human beings (except for maybe the kickers)...freaky athletes

@just_ice23 (David Justice): Calvin Johnson's catch was a TD! He still should've secured the ball to remove all doubt!

@cjbeatty44 (CJ Beatty): Man that Cowboy game was boring! But atleast i was filled up on some good wings...i had to leave before i lost my mind! BORING!!!!

@OkieFields (Josh Fields): After that first half, I'm gonna have 2 go purchase my first chiefs hat tomorrow

@BarryEnright54 (Barry Enright): Chargers not looking too good.

One of my favorite tweeps (is that what the kids are calling them nowadays?), Padres minor leaguer Matt Antonelli, posted his Week One picks over at his site.
And how’d he do?

Well, the second baseman didn’t exactly set the world ablaze. Straight up, Antonelli was 4-11…against the spread he was 5-9-1.

We’ll see what Week Two brings.


Oh...why the picture of Ray Lewis you ask? Because he did the following to Dustin Keller Monday night.


September 12, 2010

Jim Thome Surpasses Frank Robinson

Alright, karma...you win.

A couple of years ago, I wrote the following about Minnesota Twins slugger Jim Thome:

Thome is very good, not great. Hall of Famer? Perhaps…but not on the first couple of ballots.

Then...I followed it up with this gem:

His home run total, while incredible, will not be as eye popping five years after Thome's retirement. Basically, we’ve got a guy who smacked the Hell out of the ball, but was never the most dominant, much less feared, player of his era. And because of that, he'll get lost in the mix.

Since I ignited the first Thome powder keg (and trust me...plenty of you were upset), dude has hit 89 more home runs and is sitting at 587 for his career. That's right, the guy is now alone in eighth place all-time, having just surpassed Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.

The only players with more bombs that aren't in the Hall are Barry Bonds (762), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Sammy Sosa (609) and Alex Rodriguez (605) and that's only because they are either still playing, just retired or aren't eligible to be enshrined yet.

And yes...I know I conveniently just side-stepped the steroid discussion.

But getting back to Thome.

The Peoria, Illinois native crushed a Justin Germano pitch in the twelfth inning Saturday to give his Twins a 1-0 victory over his former team, the Cleveland Indians.

And in case you were wondering, it was only Thome's 19th home run against the Tribe (a team that he hit a club-record 334 for) and first against the righty Germano.

Albert Pujols is "Pretty Special"

A couple of weeks ago, it seemed like every other post was about Albert Pujols and his attack on the record books.

Then, he seemingly became mortal and I was allowed to focus on other players.

Well...the vacation is over. It's time to write about "The Machine" again.

With two RBI in Saturday's 6-3 loss against the Atlanta Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals slugger eclipsed 100 for the tenth time in his youngish career setting (or at least tying) a few different records.

Among the statistical milestones Pujols reached with a two-run double off Tommy Hanson in the sixth-inning Saturday were:

  • Ten straight seasons of 30 or more home runs (Pujols has 37) and 100 RBI to start a career. Pujols eclipsed the old mark of five in a row when he accomplished the feat in 2005.
  • His ten straight 100 RBI seasons to start his career is second only to Al Simmons who did it in 11.
  • Pujols is now one of only three players (Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx are the others) to have ten straight 30/100 seasons.
  • Four other players have had at ten straight seasons of 100 RBI or more. Rodriguez, Foxx and Lou Gehrig did it in 13 straight seasons, whereas Simmons did it in 12.
I guess to call Albert Pujols "good" at this point would be an understatement and an insult to the word...dude is amazing.

His only drawback...talking to the media.

When Pujols knocked in his 100th run last August and reached the century mark for the ninth straight season he told the media:

Obviously it's very special. God has allowed me to keep myself healthy and to do that. It's not easy to do it for one year and nine years in a row, it's pretty special.

This year...it was:

I'm blessed that God gave me the ability and talent to be healthy and battle through injuries every year, and to be able to do that. Obviously, it's pretty special.

Yikes.

September 11, 2010

September 11, 1985...Where Are They Now?

I would have liked to have put together something like this on my own, but since the fine folks at the Cincinnati Enquirer already did it...here goes!


It's been 25 years since Pete Rose hit 4192 - and we know what happened to Pete's career in the years to follow. Here's an update on some of the other players involved that night.

Eric Show: The Padres right-hander never wanted to be part of Rose's historic moment. After surrendering the hit, he walked to first base to congratulate Rose but as the ovation went on, he seemed to sour on it and memorably took a seat on the mound. Show, a complex character who advocated causes associated with liberals and conservatives, died of a drug overdose in 1994.

Steve Garvey: The Padres first baseman greeted Rose warmly when he reached first base. Long time rivals - Garvey's Dodgers teams perennially battled the Reds for first in the old National League West - Garvey memorably said then, "Pete Rose should bypass the Hall (of Fame) and go directly to the Smithsonian." Garvey now runs a TV production company and gives motivational speeches.

Tommy Helms: Manager Rose's first-base coach was a teammate on his early Reds teams. On September 11, 1985, Rose and Helms slapped low fives in the old 1970s style after Rose rounded first and retreated in triumph to the bag. Helms would replace Rose as interim manager when Rose accepted his lifetime ban in 1989. He still lives in the area and is a frequent participant in Marty Brennaman's charity golf tournament.

Carmelo Martinez: The Padres left fielder snared hit Number 4192 on and threw it back to the infield. The outfielder/first baseman resurfaced with Lou Piniella's injury-ravaged 1991 Reds team for the latter half of the season. More recently, as interim manager of the single-A Peoria Chiefs, his shove of Dayton Dragons manager Donnie Scott helped escalate an ugly 2008 incident that resulted in Chiefs pitcher Julio Castillo firing a baseball at an opponent and hitting a fan.

Pete Rose Jr.: Rose memorably hugged and cried on the shoulder of his son, just 15, moments after 4192. Rose Jr. spent 21 seasons in minor league ball, some independent leagues, even the Mexican League. In 1997, he was a September call-up by the Reds, batting .143 in 11 games. He served as hitting coach for the Florence Freedom last season and recently accepted a job in the White Sox organization.

The ball and bat: Steve Wolter, owner of Sports Investments in Montgomery but originally Rose's insurance agent, bought both the baseball and the black Mizuno bat from Rose in 1986. They're still on display in the store in the case Rose had built for them. Value? "It's hard to say, it's so subjective," Wolter says. But the bat Rose used for his final hit, Number 4256, sold for $160,000 three months ago, Wolter said.

The Corvette: Reds majority owner Marge Schott presented Rose with a red 1985 Corvette that night. It sits in the middle of Wolter's shop. "It's not really worth any more than any other mint '85 Corvette," Wolter says. "But it serves its purpose."


So where were you? What are your memories of 4192?


It's September 11...Where Were You?

I really, really wanted to start this thing with something snarky about how "I will never forget"...then transition into a post about Pete Rose besting Ty Cobb's (former) all-time hit record on September 11, 1985.

But I can't...I just can't do it.

"Insensitive" some would say. Others might call it "cold" or "heartless".

And, chances are, they'd be right.

But I remember where I was that Wednesday twenty-five years ago when "Charlie Hustle" became baseball's hit king. Well, more accurately, I remember where I was when he didn't.

A couple of days prior, my brother and I were in his bedroom watching as Rose's Cincinnati Reds were taking on the Chicago Cubs. I remember both of us sitting there watching as he tied Cobb, but what we really wanted to was whether or not history could be made on our watch

It wasn't.

Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long to catch the highlights of Rose sending an Eric Show offering into left-center for hit number 4192.

Tonight, the Reds have planned a celebration of the achievement and, according
to their website, are expecting "an appearance by the Hit King himself on the field".

Some reports said that Rose would NOT be at Great American Ballpark, but rather (and some say fittingly)...a Hollywood Casino. Thankfully, the casino is just 23 miles down the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and if some OTHER reports are accurate, Rose will be bused to and from "Hollywood-on-the-Ohio" so he can make an appearance in the Queen City.

But like the two kids watching Rose on that old 13-inch black and white TV 25 years ago...we'll all have to wait and see how tonight unfolds.

So that we may never forget...here's how five very different bloggers around the interwebs are remembering September 11, 1985.

Rob Neyer (ESPN)

Why Pete Rose's Record Will Stand

Brandon Sneed

Pete Rose is Back in Baseball, For a Night

Dean Hybl (Sports Then and Now)

25 Years Ago: Pete Rose Becomes Baseball's Hit King

Justice Hill (Bleacher Report)

Note To Pete Rose: Baseball Needs You Back Full Time As Much As You Need It

John Erardi (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Pete Rose: Timeline of Events After 4,192

Sound off! Tell The Hall your memories of September 11, 1985 or link to your favorite blogger's work in the comments section!


September 10, 2010

Friday 5: Brent Mayne

Over at his tremendous website (The Art of Catching), former big league catcher Brent Mayne posted his desire to set up a glove drive.

Tuesday, The Hall
suggested you follow the 15-year veteran on Twitter.

Today, Mayne tackles the “Friday 5”.

HOVG: During last July’s All-Star Game, you served as the bullpen catcher for the American League. In a nutshell...describe that experience.

MAYNE: It was a fantastic experience. Surreal. I got to hang with the best in the world, catch the best in the world, visit with old friends and get in front of the crowd again.

HOVG: What is your most memorable travel experience?

MAYNE: Going on a Tavarua, Fiji surf trip with my uncle, Barry Zito, my brother-in-law Rusty and Ryan Klesko.

HOVG: What is your favorite baseball term or saying?

MAYNE: "You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too." Roy Campanella

HOVG: What is your best experience or greatest accomplishment?

MAYNE: From a baseball perspective, winning the AA Southern League in 1990, or winning the pennant with the Dodgers in 2004.

HOVG: When did you know that you “made it”?

MAYNE: When George Brett was my teammate.

Brent Mayne played 15 years in the bigs for seven different teams. He spent a bulk of his career playing with the Royals, but also found himself with the Mets, A’s Rockies, Giants, Diamondbacks and Dodgers. Mayne finished his career with a .993 fielding percentage…fourth best of all-time.

With the playoffs around the corner…why not go back and re-introduce yourself to The Hall’s
interview with Mayne from last October.


Andy Pettitte Dazzles in Double-A Start

The high school I went to has had only a handful of guys go on to have any sort of athletic success at the collegiate level.

When I was a junior (or was it my senior year...who can keep track at this point?), I remember one of our school's best basketball players coming back, camping out in the gym and taking part in whatever P.E. class he could.

In all my tall and awkward splendor, I was always the guy who got to guard the Division I standout and, suffice it to say, it never ended well for me.


Somehow...I doubt I did anything to help out dude's game either.

That said, I know exactly how Shawn Bowman and Jonathan Diaz must've felt when they found out that taking the mound against them in their Game Two tilt against the Trenton Thunder Yankees was going to be none other thanAll-Star Andy Pettitte.


Somewhere there has to be a rule against that, right?

I understand that when big leaguers come back from injury, they often will do rehab in the minors. But is it fair that Pettitte and his 240 career victories (or any big league veteran for that matter) gets to trot out to the mound for a Double-A playoff game?

I mean, this is a cat who has 18 career MAJOR League playoff wins. How is possible that, during the first round, he can be added to the Trenton Thunder's playoff roster?

If I'm the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)...I'm crying foul.

Not surprisingly, the 38 year-old lefty threw four scoreless innings and struck out four. He surrendered just two hits and didn't walk a soul. My guess is that Pettitte (coming back from an injury or not), probably has a little more control of his pitches than whoever should have taken the mound.

The Fisher Cats will try to stave off elimination Friday night, but thankfully for them...it appears that they won't have to take their cuts against a 16-year big league veteran.

That is, of course, assuming that the Yankees don't decide to send C.C. Sabathia to Capitol City to get in some extra tosses.


September 9, 2010

Vote for the Capital One Mascot of the Year

As the baseball season nears its conclusion and the pennant races are in full swing...college football season has already kicked off (see what I did there?) in grand fashion.

Of course, now would be the time in this post where I should reference some of the games from this past weekend, mention my current winning streak on my well-worn copy of College Football 2k6 or, since this is a baseball blog, bring up my affinity for San Diego's Swinging Friat mascot.

But instead...here comes the pitch on how you (yes, YOU!) can help Capital One determine its National Mascot of the Year.

Here’s how it works.

The Mascot of the Year is determined through fan voting each week at capitalonebowl.com. There are 12 weekly head-to-head match ups.

The mascots with the best win/loss records face off in online playoffs starting November 22, and the winner will be pronounced Capital One National Mascot of the Year on January 1 during the Capital One Bowl.

Each participating school’s mascot receives $5,000 for its university mascot program, and the Mascot of the Year receives an additional $15,000 scholarship to help fund its school’s mascot program.

This year the field includes:

Joe Bruin of UCLA
Bearcat of the University of Cincinnati
Joe Vandal of the University of Idaho
Mike the Tiger of LSU
Testudo of the University of Maryland
Sebastian the Ibis of the University of Miami
Goldy Gopher of the University of Minnesota
Monte of the University of Montana
Brutus Buckeye of The Ohio State University
Big Blue of Old Dominion University
Duck of the University of Oregon
Smokey of the University of Tennessee
Paydirt Pete of the University of Texas El Paso
The Bird of the U.S. Air Force Academy
Mr. C of Vanderbilt University
Big Red of Western Kentucky University

The United Coalition of College Mascots is praising the whole ordeal as well.

So there you go...watch this video and go vote!






September 8, 2010

Billy Williams Gets Bronzed in Chicago

With some of his former Chicago Cubs teammates at his side, Billy Williams was all smiles as a statue of his likeness was unveiled outside of Wrigley Field on Tuesday.

To say that the statue is overdue would be an understatement as the Hall of Famer has spent 52 years with the Cubs organization as a player, coach and executive.

For his career, "Sweet Swinging Billy" batted .290 with 2711 hits, 426 home runs and 1475 RBI. The six-time National League All-Star hit 20 or more home runs 14 times, had 90-plus RBI 10 times and batted at least .300 five times.

At one point in his career, Williams played in a then-National League record 1117 consecutive games from 1963-1970. His 392 home runs as a Cub are third-highest in franchise history behind Ernie Banks (512) and Sammy Sosa (545).

Across, town, the Chicago White Sox
have announced plans to unveil a statue of Frank Thomas next season.

The former Sox slugger recently had his number retired and that led me to pose the question...who should be next for the southsiders?

Overwhelmingly, 39% you suggested that "Shoeless" Joe Jackson should get the same treatment as "The Big Hurt".

Who else?

27% of you said "no one". Jim Thome (12%), Paul Konerko (10%), Ozzie Guillen (8%) and Mark Buehrle (2%) also received votes.



Jim Thome Ties Frank Robinson

A day after his moonshot (didja see this one, yet?) seemingly changed my mind on his status as a first ballot Hall of Famer...Jim Thome went yard.

Again.

With this, his 586th career blast, the 40 year-old Thome tied Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for 8th place on the all-time list.


After Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run, I asked you all...who would be the next to the milestone. And what was your answer?

41% of you said Albert Pujols.

After watching what the Twins designated hitter has been up to lately...care to reconsider?

September 7, 2010

Trevor Hoffman (Finally) Gets Save Number 600

Thanks to Twitter...I didn't have to be watching the Cardinals-Brewers contest to know that Trevor Hoffman earned his 600th save tonight.

TheGarfoose (Dirk Hayhurst, Blue Jays pitcher): Trevor Hoffman just got his 600th save! I am so overwhelmingly proud. Believe me when I say it couldn't have happened to a finer player.

Maholm28 (Paul Maholm, Pirates pitcher): Congrats to Trevor Hoffman on save #600. What an amazing accomplishment.

Ken_Rosenthal (Ken Rosenthal, MLB on FOX reporter): Congratulations, Trevor Hoffman, on save No. 600. A class act every step of the way

That said, if you head on over to ESPN.com and look at the front page (click below to see for yourself)...you'd never know.


When sluggers approach home run milestones, the Worldwide Leader cuts into whatever they are broadcasting to show the would-be historic at bat.

Can someone please tell me if they did the same tonight for Hoffman? Please?!?

Sure he's having an off season. A 2-7 record, 6.23 ERA and only 9 saves is nothing to write home about.

But 600 saves is.

"Nobody's ever done it before," Hoffman's Brewers teammate Dave Bush said following the game. "He's the best of all time right now, and 600 is a really incredible number if you think about it."

There are going to be a lot of you out there that suggest that saves are overrated...and maybe they are. BUT, they are a big part of the game and let's be honest with ourselves, when someone accomplishes something that no one else has...it is pretty spectacular.

And for the four of you out there wondering who the next closer to reach 600 saves will be?

Mariano Rivera is sitting at 555.

After that, you're looking at Billy Wagner with 417, so suffice it to say...after Rivera accomplishes the feat, it isn't happening for a long, long time.


Jim Thome is in The News...Welcome to The Hall (Again)!

Every time Jim Thome is in the news...The Hall of Very Good sees some traffic. Apparently a guy hitting monster bombs (more on that later) makes people bang the Googles to the tune of "jim thome steroids".

I've detailed the rise in web traffic
HERE and I ask you to skim it quickly before continuing.

In the meantime, the rest of you can watch (or listen) this video.




Alright...are you back?

Now that Thome is a home run shy of Frank Robinson on the all-time list and, at 40 years-old, seeing a resurgence in Minnesota, I'm ready to put him in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

I know, I know...I've said this in the past:

His home run total, while incredible, will not be as eye popping five years after Thome's retirement. Basically, we’ve got a guy who smacked the Hell out of the ball, but was never the most dominant, much less feared, player of his era.And because of that, he'll get lost in the mix.


And, while I still believe it (to an extent)...I'll gladly eat my words. I'm ready to take the heat.

So, to the chimps over at Baseball Think Factory...bring it on. I can take it.

Oh...did you see his home run Monday night? Christ.


Twitter Tuesday: Brent Mayne

When it comes to following former and/or current Major Leaguers on Twitter...it is hard to find anyone more knowledgeable than Brent Mayne.

Sure, a guy like Jose Canseco is mad crazy and fun to follow, but that's only entertaining for a few minutes at a time.

By tweeting links to his great website, The Art of Catching, Mayne has recently offered his insight and opinions on everything from the aftermath of the Stephen Strasburg injury to the immaturity of ballplayers.

Most notably, however, is Mayne's quest to start up a glove drive.

The former catcher knows the importance of a good glove and wants to help out those less fortunate by giving them the chance to own their own mitt.

You can contact Mayne (or donate a glove) by writing to: The Art of Catching, 2701 Harbor Blvd. E-2, #203, Costa Mesa, CA 92626