January 2012

Topps to Feature Rookie Card of A Squirrel?!

Yes, that’s right. The famous “rally squirrel” that first appeared in Game 4 of the NLDS last October, is pretty much getting a baseball card all to itself. Card number 93 of the 2012 Topps Series 1 set, is technically the card of Cardinals’ second basemen Skip Schumaker, but for the first time in the history of the Topps’ card company, the card doesn’t feature the face of the player on the card. As a matter of fact, Schumaker is barely visible–with only the lower part of his leg being shown:

If I was Skip Schumaker, I’d be very upset at the Topp’s card company. It’d be one thing if they made a card for the rally squirrel–they’ve done cards for mascots in the past–but to actually have it be the card of Schumaker? I mean come on. I would think the Topps’ company would be a little more professional than this. (Although to their credit, the card is being made a short-print.)

On a brighter side, the 2012 Topps Series 1 baseball set is also going to include the first cards of Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols in their new uniforms–given they are photoshoped. These cards (like the Schumaker card) are due to be short-prints, thus making them must have cards for collectors.

Want one of the Skip Schumaker short-print cards? Well, you have a two options:

Option 1: Go to your local card shop and buy pack after pack, until you hopefully get lucky and pull one of the cards.

Option 2: Buy the card off eBay. One of the first sold on eBay for $600!

I think I’ll go with option 1.

Your 2012 MLB Predictions

I’m currently working on MY 2012 MLB predictions blog entry, which I’m planning to post sometime in the first half of February. Before I let all of you know how I think the MLB season is going to pan out, I want to see what you, the readers, are thinking. Please take the time to vote in EACH of the polls below. I’ve had cases in the past where the first poll has 10 or so more votes than the rest. Please vote in all of the polls:

WINNER OF AL EAST

WINNER OF AL CENTRAL

WINNER OF AL WEST

WINNER OF NL EAST

WINNER OF NL CENTRAL

WINNER OF NL WEST 

I’m not going to make you guess which team will win the ALCS, NLCS, etc., although when I do my 2012 MLB Predictions, I’m going to predict all the way down to the winner of the World Series. With each decision I’m also going to give the reasons for why I made the choices I did. So I hope you’ll check back for that in the first half of February.

Making Up for My Lack of Entries

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a non Q and A blog entry. (16 days to be exact.) Although there’s been some big news lately, I’ve been slacking when it comes to writing about it. So I apologize for that. I’m going to use this entry to talk about the major news stories that have taken place since the last time I blogged on January 10th. I figured it’d be easier to do that than to do several different blog entries.

YU DARVISH SIGNS WITH RANGERS

After paying 51.7 million (the most for any pitcher in MLB history) for the rights to talk to Yu Darvish, the Rangers were able to lock him up with a 6-year, 60 million dollar deal. That’s good news for the Rangers, if Darvish pans out. However, there’s been more than one instance in the past of a pitcher that has been dominant in Japan, only to come over the the United States and fail, at the Major League Level. The latest example of this being Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Boston Red Sox (who didn’t even submit a bid for Darvish) paid 51.1 million to talk to Matsuzaka, and ended up getting him to agree to a 6-year, 52 million dollar deal. Although Daisuke had success in his first and second seasons with the Red Sox, injuries since then have caused him to become a non-factor, as he only pitched 6 games this season, with a 5.30 ERA. Not exactly stellar stuff. But if Darvish does turn out to be the same caliber pitcher he was in Japan, he could very well be the extra link needed to finally get the Rangers that World Series title that they’ve been so close to getting the past two seasons.

PRINCE FIELDER SIGNS WITH TIGERS

Since the Brewers where beaten out of the playoffs by the St. Louis Cardinals, all eyes have been on Fielder, with the main question being where he’d end up for the 2012 season. Well, no one knew for a long time. It was reported a few weeks ago that the the Rangers and Nationals were the teams that were pursuing Fielder the hardest. But after the Rangers spent a big chunk of change to sign Darvish, you had to figure that Fielder was going to be sporting a Nationals jersey in the upcoming season. But know one really knew for sure where he’d go. That’s why, although I was surprised, it wasn’t a huge shock when it was reported that Fielder had signed with the Detroit Tigers. Fielder’s 9-year, 214 million dollar deal makes him the highest annually paid member of the team. But I think this is going to work out well for the Tigers. Although they had to shell out over 200 million to get Fielder to sign, he has shown in the past that he can be a major factor, and I think the addition of Fielder gives the Tigers a great shot at winning 100 or more games this year.

TIM LINCECUM’S ‘FREAK’ISH DEAL

Tim Lincecum is nicknamed the “Freak”, and now I see why. He can get major ammounts of money paid for him, as he was given a 2-year, 40.5 million dollar deal from the Giants, in which he signed. I can’t deny the fact that Lincecum is good–extremely good–but I’m not sure he’s 20.25 million dollars a year good. When calculated out, Lincecum’s pricey deal comes out to roughly 94,500 dollars an inning–if he has the EXACT same stats of 33 games started, and 217 innings pitched, as he did last year. (This is highly unlikely, but I’m just using it to show how much Lincecum is going to earn the next two seasons.) But the 30,000 dollars per out is well worth it I suppose, if Lincecum can pitch the way he did the years in which he won the Cy Young award. As a matter of fact, Lincecum will earn a bonus if he wins the Cy Young, or any other award. Those bonuses include: CY YOUNG- 500,000 dollars for winning his third one, 250,000 for coming in second, 100,000 for third, 75,000 for fourth, and 50,000 for fifth. NL MVP- 250,000 dollars for winning, 150,000 for second place, 100,000 for third, 75,000 for fourth, and 50,000 for fifth. ALL-STAR GAME- 100,000 dollars if picked to pitch in the game. GOLD GLOVE- 50,000 dollars for winning the award. But all that is pocket change really, compared to what he’ll earn during the regular season.

JORGE POSADA RETIRES FROM MLB

It was first reported back in November that long time Yankee catcher Jorge Posada was considering retirement. That report was confirmed on Tuesday, as Jorge Posada held a press conference to officially announce his retirement from the game of baseball. Posada was part of that core-four of Rivera, Jeter, Pettitte, and himself, back in the 1990′s. Posada’s retirement makes Jeter and Rivera the last two members of the original four. I admire Posada for his acknowledgement that it was time for him to quit. He went out on top, after 17 great seasons with the Yankees–which is the best thing anyone who retires from any professional sport can do. Better to retire on top, than to extend your career a season or two more and retire after having a season batting average of .151. Now comes the debate of whether or not Posada is a Hall of Fame caliber player. In my opinion he is. Posada had an amazing career that included 1,664 hits, 275 home runs, 1,065 RBI’s, and a batting average of .273. Not to mention his FIVE World Series rings. Not bad for a catcher. I don’t see Posada getting into the Hall of Fame his first year, but I feel that he’ll get in his second or third year on the ballot. He was that good of a player.

TOP 100 PROSPECT LIST

The Top 100 Prospect’s List was released yesterday. While I’m not going to take the time to talk about ALL 100 players on the list, I am going to give my thought’s on the top 3. The top three prospects on the list included Matt Moore, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout. I’m shocked that Harper wasn’t number one. Not because I think he is better than Moore, but because everyone else that follows baseball seems to think he is the best prospect to come along in years. I mean, there’s no doubt that Harper is an incredible player, with undeniable power, but when it comes down to it, I think Moore is deserving of that number one spot he recieved. I have a good feeling that all three of the top 3 prospects will have a major impact at the Major League level this year. Which one will have the biggest impact is hard to say.

Q and A With L.V. Ware

After electing not to sign with the Chicago Cubs when drafted in the 20th round of 2005, Leonardo Ware (L.V., as he prefers) went on to sign with the Atlanta Braves, after they drafted him in the 43rd round of 2006. Since being drafted, Ware has played for teams as high as Double-A (Mississippi Braves) in the 4 seasons of his baseball career, but most recently spent the season with Class-A Lynchburg, in the Carolina League. If L.V. can keep up the hard work ethic, and determination, I can see him getting the call up to the big leagues in the near future. L.V. is definitely talented enough, and is a guy to keep a close eye on in the upcoming season, and beyond. L.V. Ware–outfielder in the Atlanta Braves organazation–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:

1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Did you always want to be an outfielder?

I honestly can’t say when I became interested in baseball, but my first year playing was back in 1990, at the age of 3. My father played in the military and I was handed down with no decision but to play. It became a regular activity in my household as I grew older. I remember days where my father use to take flour, make lines in our backyard to outline a field, and I use to hit off a tee. Those are my earliest memories of beginning my baseball career. I never played the outfield until high school. My high school coach told me if I wanted to make the varsity team as a freshman I needed to learn how to play right field because that was my only shot of making the team. I took that statement and ran with it. Now here I am chasing my dream as an outfielder. I was a shortstop and second baseman throughout my amateur baseball career, but looking back now, outfield was a great decision for me in the long run.

2.) Who was your favorite player growing up? Why?

It’s tough ’cause growing up in Atlanta, being an Atlanta Braves fan, Chipper Jones was my earliest favorite baseball player. As I got older I started to watch more baseball teams, then I fell in love watching Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey Jr. Those two guys played the game the way it was supposed to be played, treated the game with respect, and there was always positive things about them being said. Being older now looking back, it’s like, if I was to have a son those are two of the players I would want my son to look up to and remember. In their prime there was nothing either one of those guys could not do! Ken Griffey Jr. was part of the reason I became interested in collecting baseball cards as a kid. He was on so many different cards that it was impossible to keep up with him. Haha. Those were good days, and now that I look back on them I wouldn’t have picked any other two guys to model myself after.

3.) You were drafted by the Cubs in the 2005 draft, but didn’t sign. You were later drafted by the Braves in the 2006 draft. What was the draft process like for you? What made you not sign with the Cubs?

My draft process was quite interesting actually. I was from an inner city school in Atlanta, but yet my high school was by far the best in the inner city district. I’m not going to say that it didn’t help my exposure, but at the same time I’m not going to say it did. I was originally drafted by the Cubs in the 20th round of the 2005 draft by Anthony Grissom (Marquis Grissom’s younger brother) and he made an offer to me that I felt like I should attend college. I had a full scholarship to Okaloosa-Walton Community College, where I had enrolled in, and was very excited about going. Back then the draft and follow process still existed so I still had a whole year to sign with the Cubs. I had a good spring that year, and got an offer that I felt I was better worth. I turned down the offer and proceed to go back in the draft. I was then drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 43rd round by Braves former scout Al Geotz. In the beginning there was no negotiations cause they wanted me to go back to school and become better; which I totally agreed on. I end up signing with University of South Carolina that fall, then tore my rotator cuff later in the fall. I was suppose to miss the spring season, but came back early to DH, and play a little bit of left field. I felt great, but little did I know I really wasn’t healthy. Had a subpar season to what I wanted to achieve, but still received a great offer I couldn’t turn down after having a major surgery. My time to become a professional baseball player had finally come. Playing for my hometown team and living a dream couldn’t be any better. I called Al Geotz and told him I wanted to sign right away after the season, and the rest is history in the making now.

4.) What do you feel went well for you this season? What do you feel you need to work on for 2012?

This past season was a great one for me in ways besides just baseball on the field. I had the privilege to play for Luis Salazar, who is a champion at heart in my eyes. To overcome a obstacle of being struck by a foul ball, losing a eye, and still have the determination to coach, say’s nothing more than a winner at heart! I came into this season wanting to help my team in anyway possible, wether it was off the bench or playing everyday. I just wanted to be a leader and win! I had my chance to become a everyday player in the end of April against the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Organization) and I took advantage of my opportunity! It was by far my best series of the year, and a table setter for what I was looking to accomplish on the year. Me being a outfielder that plays all 3 positions also became a valuable asset to having playing time as well. I was the guy to give guys days off while I would maintain my role in the everyday line-up. That’s where I got away from the program I needed to stick by, which is being a pesky out, staying on base causing havoc, and playing small ball. The numbers where there. Then I started picturing bigger things that I needed not to be focused on and that took me out of my element. Baseball is a game of 75% mental skill I strongly believe. Only the mentally strong survive this sport because of the grind we endure for 145 games a year. My defense is by far my strong asset in baseball. If I can stay consistent and keep the ball out of the air and get on base, theres no limitation as to where I could take my game to. It’s just the facts of life, but making it happen is the challenge that I embark on every morning I wake up. For 2012 I really need to work on staying consistent with the bat. That will take care of the defense and the rest cause you’re relaxed and satisfied when your consistent and in a groove. My top hand is going to be my focal point for the year. It’s my bread and butter to make or break my career as a baseball player. I’ve been doing a lot of one handed drill with my mini bat provided by DS Wood bats. Its a special bat they made for me to ensure that I work on the important things I need to become a better baseball player. Allan Donato and Richard Schwartz have become my brothers and family over the past year. They make great quality baseball bats and have even broken in the Major Leagues with guys like Adam Jones, Robinson Cano, Mark Texeria, and Nick Markakis swinging their lumber. I have no doubt that with their bats in my hands I will comfortable with my bat and confident in my swing with a bat fixed to my liking.

5.) What’s the most memorable moment of your baseball career thus far?

My number one memorable moment in my career is representing my country on the Team USA Junior National Team in 2005. By far the greatest moment ever for me. To wear a jersey with the letters USA on my chest was a chilling feeling as a 18 year-old young man. Being selected out of 164 kids to travel to Mexico to participate in the PanAm games was a true blessing. A great experience with some great players, and overall the best baseball I’ve ever played as well. We went 7-0 in pool play to reach the championship game against Team Cuba only to fall 2-1 in the championship game. Overall though there isn’t one thing I would change about the summer of 2005. Winning an Appalachian League Championship is right up there as well, but Team USA can not be outdone in my eyes.

6.) When was the first time someone asked for your autograph?  

Funny you ask that. My uncle asked me for my autograph when I was 6 years old. I wrote it on a piece of tablet paper. If your up near my age you can remember tablet paper was khaki looking with baby blue and red lines. Doesn’t feel like notebook paper these days, but was a softer fabric. But I proceed to sign my name, and that was my first autograph. ‘Til this day he keeps it in the front of his bible and I hear about that story every time we talk. My first encounter for an autograph in professional sports came in Spring Training of 2008 when I was asked to sign my Team USA card that I thought no one would ever purchase. Little did I know how serious card collecting was until I became a professional baseball player. It’s a legit hobby, and takes up a ton of time. Hats off to the people that take time to travel and get autographs of players that they have cards for.

7.) Favorite food?

My favorite food would have to be a nice porterhouse steak. I love to eat steak and potatoes. I know it’s not healthy to always have, but when I need a great meal to turn to, a steak is always my decision. For dessert, it would have to be banana pudding.

8.) Favorite TV show?

This is a tough decision right here because I’m a sucker for old school TV shows. The Cosby Show, Seinfield, Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saved By The Bell, just to name a few. My favorite of all though is Martin. By far the best TV sitcom ever, haha. I could sit here and say word for word of every episode, but yet when I watch today I laugh like I’ve never seen it before. If you’ve never seen an episode please watch, haha. You might think it’s not funny but I can assure you that you will get a few laughs in. Probably not like me though, haha.

9.) Favorite thing to do on an off day during the baseball season?

Sleep, sleep, and more sleep! When living on a bus traveling in and out of hotels, and coming home from the ballpark from 10pm – 11:30pm–depending on when the game ends and leaving the ballpark–I can assure you that a high percentage of baseball players will tell you all we want to do on off day is rest. Lay in bed watching movies, playing video games, or just browsing on the internet. One thing for sure is that I want to let my body rest from the days of playing consecutively. Normally there is one day off for every 21 games played. Some days are shorter or longer, depending on the schedule, but it’s typical to have 1 day off every 21 games. Your body is in desperate need of rest after playing day in and day out. Being at the field from 2:45 till 10:45, maybe weights at 10:00am, kills your energy. That’s where that day off comes in handy, where you don’t move a thing, and just catch up on rest.

10.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out, who dream of playing professional baseball one day?

Advice I give kids now is a lot, but it all comes back to the basics. Hustle on and off the field, and run every pop fly or ground ball out. There is always someone watching you, whether you know it or not. Someone always has tabs of what you are doing. Go about your business as if it was your job. Even when it is your job, remember to have fun, but it’s a business. You represent you and your organization at all times. No one wants to deal with a hard-headed young man. Someone who isn’t coachable or willing to apply to change. There is always someone out there working hard like you, if not harder. Remember that a million people want the same job you are after, but the question is what are you going to do to separate yourself from the rest? I just want to see kids push themselves and reach their max potential. The generation today is totally different from when I was a kid. I didn’t have people to tell me how to go about my business in baseball, so I try to give as much advice as possible when I see talent with lack of direction. It’s all about giving back to build for my future! It starts from within, and goes as far as you take it. Long as I’m living I will do my best to always help guide someone who shares the same dream as me. Hopefully one day I can get into coaching and share what I’ve learned throughout my career.

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Big thanks to LV Ware for taking the time to answer some questions for my blog.

You can follow LV on twitter: @LV_Ware

Q and A With Anthony Ranaudo

Anthony Ranaudo was drafted in the first round (39th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in the 2010 draft. Ranaudo would of undoubtedly been picked sooner, had it not been for the elbow issues he had his Junior year at LSU. Ranaudo picked things up this past season though, going 9-6, with a 3.97 ERA. If he can stay healthy you’re liable to see Ranaudo on the mound in Boston in the near future. Anthony Ranaudo–the top pitching prospect in the Red Sox organization–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:

1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Did you always want to be a pitcher?

I was interested in baseball as soon as I started playing tee ball at age 4. I knew I wanted to play it my whole life. I didn’t always want to be a pitcher. As a kid I grew up watching the Yankees and following Derek Jeter, so I wanted to take his place at SS for the Yankees, haha.

2.) Coming out of high school you were drafted by the Texas Rangers. What made you decide to go to college instead of going pro? Why LSU?

I knew I wanted to go to college for a while, especially at LSU. Even though I wanted to start my pro career as soon as possible, I wanted to get a jump start on my education, play at one of the best college programs in the nation, and compete for a national championship. I decided to go to school there because of the fans and tradition. The great things I heard about those thing combined with the reputation of the LSU coaching staff sold me.

3.) What’s the most memorable moment of your College baseball career?

Easily the most memorable moment was winning the national championship and starting the final game of the World Series.

4.) What was draft night like? Where were you when you found out? Initial thoughts?

Funny story. We actually ended our season the night before and were traveling all day from California to Louisiana. So I actually found out on the plane when we landed. Even though I had a pretty good idea that it was going to happen somewhat like it did.

5.) This past year was your first season of pro ball. What do you think went well, and what do you feel you need to work on for 2012?

2011 was a bit of roller coaster for me in my results, but I think I did a great job of getting into routines and staying healthy the whole year. That was my biggest goal, to stay healthy and make all my starts, and I did that. I need to work on more stamina and consistency this year so I can have a better outing more often instead of going back and forth between bad starts and really good ones.

6.) Favorite sport(s) besides baseball?

Basketball actually is my first love. I grew up playing it my whole life and played through high school and almost played in college. I decided to go to a big school for baseball rather than a smaller one to play both. I decided to focus all my energy and attention on baseball hoping to make a professional career out of it.

7.) Favorite food?

Favorite food has to be my mom’s home made pasta dishes. Coming from an Italian family I love Italian food and the combination of homemade food and Italian makes me crazy for it.

8.) Favorite TV show?

Pro baseball has actually gotten me into a lot of TV shows. Loved watching Dexter, Lost, Nip/Tuck, East Bound and Down, and Californication. If you put any of them on TV I will probably pick them over almost anything.

9.) What advice would you give to kids, that are just starting out, who dream of becoming a pro ballplayer one day?

Advice for kids growing up playing ball and dream of it being their future? Have fun while you’re a kid and enjoy playing. Play other sports to keep busy and athletic, and when it comes to elementary school and high school, work as hard as you can so you can play the game you love for the rest of your life.

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Big thanks to Anthony Ranaudo for taking the time to answer my questions.

You can follow him on twitter: @anthony_ranaudo

Barry Larkin Elected To Baseball Hall of Fame

In my last blog entry I made the prediction that Bernie Williams, Barry Larkin and Edgar Martinez would recieve enough votes (75% worth) to make the Hall of Fame this year–given Bernie Williams was a long shot being a newcomer. Yesterday, at 3 0′ clock Eastern, the announcement was made that Barry Larkin–long time Cincinnati Red’s short stop–was the only player from the 2012 ballot to exceed the 75 percent of the votes needed to make the Hall. (Larkin recieved 495 votes, or 86.4%.)

Before I get into my thoughts on Barry Larkin being the only player elected this year, I want to take a second to say that I’m shocked at the voting results for the newcomers to the ballot. Of the 13 newcomers, Bernie Williams is the ONLY one of them that recieved enough votes to return to the ballot again in 2013. (6 of the 13 newcomers didn’t recieve a single vote whatsoever.) Although I didn’t see any of the other newcomers (besides Williams) getting into the Hall of Fame this year, I didn’t think that they’d all be completely blanked in the votes category. To me it’s unreal.

Getting back to the only newcomer to recieve more than 5 percent of the vote, Bernie Williams (who recieved 9.6%), I think he will eventually get into the Hall of Fame. Maybe not next year, due to the many great names that are due to make the 2013 ballot. Maybe not in this decade. But my gut tells me that Williams will get into the Hall before his 15 years of eligibility are up. He had average career stats for a center fielder, but when you look at his post season stats, they’re off the charts. Combine those post season stats with four Gold Gloves and four World Series rings, and you get what I feel is a Hall of Fame worthy player.

Now that I’ve gotten all of that off my chest, I’ll get back to Barry Larkin. Larkin made the largest percentage jump to gain election since Herb Pennock, back in 1948–jumping from 62.1% last year, to his 86.4% this year. Larkin’s election makes him the 297th member of the baseball Hall of Fame. He also becomes the 24th short stop and  48th player to play with the same team his entire career, to be elected. Truly remarkable.

Barry Larkin had this to say about his feelings on being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame:

…an unbelievable experience….almost an out of body experience….I’ve got young kids out there doing their thing, but 20, 30, 40, 100 years from now when they’re old–and gone–and their grandkids, or their kids, are there doing whatever, they’re always going to be able to say “that guy right there”, my grandfather, great grandfather, great great grandfather, whatever it is, he was one of the best in the game. I am so phenomenally proud to be a new member of the Hall of Fame.

Barry Larkin will be officially inducted into the Hall, on July 22nd, in Cooperstown, NY.

2012 Hall of Fame Ballot – My Predictions

The Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York, first opened its doors back on June 12, 1939. The first five players to be inducted being: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson–who were named in 1936. Since then 296 individuals have been viewed as Hall of Fame worthy. (206 former Major Leaguers, 35 Negro Leaguers, 19 managers, 9 umpires, and 27 pioneers, executives, and organizers.)

With the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees to be announced on Monday, I wanted to give my predictions and opinions as to which players will make the cut, and which won’t. There are a total of 27 players on this years HOF Ballot. Of those 27, 13 are first timers–including standouts, Bernie Williams and Bill Mueller. To be inducted into the Hall, a player must recieve a minimum of 75 percent of the votes. The number of inductees varies from one year to the next.

Although there are 27 players eligible for induction this year, I’m not going to take time to talk about them all. I’m just going to make cases for the ones which I feel will be selected for the Hall–starting with the newcomers.

FIRST TIME ON HALL OF FAME BALLOT

  • Jeromy Burnitz
  • Vinny Castilla
  • Brian Jordan
  • Javy Lopez
  • Bill Mueller
  • Terry Mulholland
  • Phil Nevin
  • Brad Radke
  • Tim Salmon
  • Ruben Sierra
  • Bernie Williams
  • Tony Womack
  • Eric Young

BERNIE WILLIAMS- I know this is going out on a limb, but I honestly think Bernie Williams is the only newcomer that has a shot at getting into the Hall of Fame the first go around. (Given it is a slight chance.) I know everyone is saying that he was fun to watch play, but isn’t worthy of the Hall, but I have to disagree. Looking at his career stats of 2,336 hits, 1,257 RBI’s, and a .297 batting average, I think he’s worthy of the Hall eventually–if not a first year induction. But that’s just my opinion.

TWO OR MORE YEARS ON HALL OF FAME BALLOT
  • Jeff Bagwell
  • Juan Gonzalez
  • Barry Larkin
  • Edgar Martinez
  • Don Mattingly
  • Fred McGriff
  • Mark McGwire
  • Jack Morris
  • Dale Murphy
  • Rafael Palmeiro
  • Tim Raines
  • Lee Smith
  • Alan Trammell
  • Larry Walker

JEFF BAGWELL- When you look at Jeff Bagwell’s career stats of 449 home runs, off of 2,314 hits, and 1,529 RBI’s you begin to wonder why Bagwell wasn’t a first year Hall of Famer. His stats are certainly good enough to warrant it, however the speculation that he did steroids is what is holding him back from already having a plaque in the Hall. I do however see the possibilty that the voters look beyond that this year, given his impressive stats. Not a very great chance, but a chance none the less. (Juan Gonzalez, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro all fall into this category with Bagwell of great stats, but steroid usage.)

BARRY LARKIN- This is a sure bet for me. Barry Larkin is the best player–in terms of stats without steroid usage–on the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. 2,340 hits, 198 home runs, and a .295 batting average in his 19 season career. (While 198 home runs might seem low for a Hall of Fame worthy player, short stops aren’t generally known for their power hitting.)

EDGAR MARTINEZ- While I feel that Barry Larkin is the best player on the Hall of Fame ballot, Martinez isn’t far behind. Having a career batting average of .312, with 2,247 hits, and 309 home runs is good enough to earn him an induction to the Hall. While he wasn’t the best player on the Mariners back in the early 1990′s, he still found a way to stand out amongst teamates Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, by coming up big in big spots.

RECAP OF MY 2012 HALL OF FAME PREDICTIONS

To recap everything that I said above, I feel that Bernie Williams is the best overall player of all the newcomers to the Hall of Fame ballot. Of the players that have been on the ballot at least once before, I feel that Barry Larkin and Edgar Martinez are the ones that stand the best chance of making the cut. (Jeff Bagwell and Mark McGwire, only if the voters put the steroid issues aside. Which I don’t think they will.) Be sure to watch MLB Network at 2 o’ clock, Eastern, on Monday, to see the live Hall of Fame election.

So that’s my view on the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. What’s yours?

MLB Blogs Top 100 ‘Fan’ Bloggers of 2011

I want to take the time to thank all of the people who read my blog regularly or that have just checked it out once or twice. Without the viewers, I would have no reason to blog. So thank you. I’m bringing this up due to the blog that was posted recently on MLB.com Blogs Central. The blog has a list of the top 100 Fan blogs for the year of 2011, by views. Want to see where I ranked? Go check it out: CLICK HERE.

 Thanks again for reading.

Best Baseball Movies

There have been hundreds of great baseball movies over the years. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to list them all, so I’m not going to try. Below there is a list of 10 of my favorite baseball movies that I’ve ever seen. Please vote for which of them is your favorite baseball movie:

If you voted other, please leave a comment below with which one is your favorite.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! We can now officially say that MLB starts THIS year! Below is a picture to recap the major trades and signings that have occured so far this off season:

Prett cool, huh?

In case you’re like me, and can’t wait for baseball to start, CLICK HERE.

Hopefully this’ll help you keep track with how much longer you have to wait for regular season baseball.

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