June 1, 2011
Mariano Rivera Reaches Milestone...and Six Others Who Won't
And while Rivera has Texas Rangers reliever Arthur Rhodes (second on the active games played list with 866) way off in the distance in his rearview mirror, the accomplishment is still pretty cool and that got me to thinking.
Back in March, when The Hall compiled its annual milestone breakdowns, most of them were in reach...but, here we are, a third of the way through the season and it is obvious that some are not.
What follows are six pie-in-the-sky predictions that are surely NOT going to happen.
Tim Wakefield ties Roger Clemens and Cy Young with most wins (192) in a Boston Red Sox uniform. Given the ageless knuckleballer has been relegated to the bullpen and with 181 BeanTown victories, he might never reach Clemens and Young. This season, through 13 games, the 44-year-old has managed two.
Adam Dunn joins the 400 home run club. Sure, it isn't as prestigious as 500 home runs, but Dunn was expected to exploit the fences at U.S. Cellular and get the 46 homers necessary to reach 400. Unforunately, a slower than slow start (five homers in 50 games) and appendicitis will make Dunn lucky to reach 30.
Jason Kendall surpasses Don Baylor on all-time hit by pitch list. The veteran catcher needed to get plunked 14 times (something that has happened nine times in his 15-year career), but shoulder surgery has pretty much made that impossible. Kendall has yet to take the field in 2011.
Brian Roberts becomes just the second player to notch 50 or more doubles in four seasons. With just seven doubles and the lingering effects of concussion-like symptons...the Baltimore Orioles All-Star won't be joining Hall of Famer Tris Speaker anytime soon.
Bobby Abreu becomes only the eighth player to hit 300 home runs and steal 300 bases. On paper, it looked like Abreu should easily get those 24 home runs needed to join Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley, but with just two in his team's first 55 games...time will run out.
Jason Giambi gets his 2000th base hit. Last season, "The Giambino" managed 43 base hits in limited duty. This year, he came into the season 86 hits (yes, double his 2010 output) shy of the 2000 hit plateau. Well, two months into the season and nine hits later...it appears as though dude will be lucky to ever get to the milestone.
I know, I know, every season has its fair share of milestone fails and successes. But in a season where we'll see a Yankees legend reach 3000 hits and the manifestation of Paul Bunyan get to 600 home runs...it sure would have been nice to see guys like "Big Donkey" and Jason Kendall grab some of the headlines as well.