Results tagged ‘ Tony LaRussa ’

Maddux, Glavine & Thomas Elected to Hall of Fame

For the first time since 1971, there will be six living Hall of Fame inductees enshrined in Cooperstown on July 27th, in this the 75th anniversary of the museum. It was announced on Wednesday that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas would be joining Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, who were elected in December, as part of the 2014 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame class.

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Maddux, Glavine and Thomas — the first player elected to have played the majority of their games as a designated hitter — all received above 80 percent of the vote, and each were elected on their first time on the ballot. This marks the first time since 1999 that three first-ballot nominees (Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount) were elected, and just the second time in history.

Maddux saw the most votes, earning 97.2 percent of the 571 voters’ approval, making him the eighth highest vote getter in Hall of Fame voting history, behind Tony Gwynn (97.61), Hank Aaron (97.83), George Brett (98.19), Ty Cobb (98.23), Cal Ripken Jr.(98.53), Nolan Ryan (98.79) and Tom Seaver (98.84).

All three players were extremely deserving, no doubt about it, but many people feel that a couple of players who were just as “deserving” didn’t get enough recognition.

None more so than Craig Biggio, who received 74.8 percent of the vote, falling a mere two votes shy of the 75 percent necessary for induction. Biggio becomes the third player to miss getting in by two or fewer votes, joining Pie Traynor and Nellie Fox, who both eventually made it into the Hall of Fame.

Mike Piazza is another player that didn’t earn enough of the vote to be elected, but could’ve easily been elected in. Piazza’s percentage, as with Biggio, was likely hurt by the great amount of talent on this year’s ballot, but it’s still surprising to me that he didn’t come a bit closer.

Nonetheless, both Biggio and Piazza will likely be voted in next year.

Players who may not ever be elected, however, include Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, who all saw drops in percentages from last year, and are all linked in one way or another to performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). Clemens was the top vote getter of them all, but received just 35.4 percent of the vote, down from 37.6 percent in 2013 — no where near the percentage needed. Rafael Palmeiro, who is also associated to PED’s, didn’t even receive the necessary 5 percent to remain on the ballot for next year, getting just 4.4 percent.

Palmeiro is one of 16 players from this year who will not be on the ballot for next year. Those players include the likes of Eric Gagne and Kenny Rogers, among others, who were good players but not good enough for the Hall of Fame. Jack Morris will also not be returning next year, as although he received 61.5 percent of the vote, this was his 15th and final year of eligibility.

Looking forward to the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield and Nomar Garciaparra will all be making their first appearance, and that could make it tough for really good players such as Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent, who received 20.3 percent and 15.2 percent of the vote this year, respectively, to make much progress. Only time will tell how the voters decide.

But one thing is for sure: Next year’s Hall of Fame class has the potential to be even more exciting than this one. And that’s truly saying a lot after the memorable class of 2014.

Torre, LaRussa and Cox Elected to the Hall of Fame

With around a month remaining until the players’ portion of the 2014 Hall of Fame class is announced on January 8th, there’s still plenty of time left to debate which players deserve to make it in this time around. (I’ll give my take a few days before.)

But while we don’t yet know the players who will be elected in 2014, the baseball world found out on Monday that Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox will be among those inducted as part of the 2014 class.

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Voted in by a unanimous vote of the Expansion Era Committee, Torre, LaRussa and Cox are all very deserving — each winning over 2,000 games in their managerial careers — but that doesn’t stop controversy from surrounding the vote. Not controversy that the three shouldn’t have gotten in, but that another name or two on the ballot should’ve been voted in.

The ballot, consisting of twelve of the games’ great players, managers, and other baseball figures, included Tommy John, Ted Simmons, Dave Parker, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Dan Quisenberry, George Steinbrenner, Marvin Miller and Billy Martin, as other candidates for the Hall of Fame besides Torre, LaRussa and Cox. But no one besides the three elected received more than six votes. (The necessary number for election is twelve.)

In my opinion, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner should’ve been elected, as they did a lot for the game of baseball, and were important figures of their time, but in the end, it is what it is. While I disagree with them not getting the votes to be elected, I’m not going to talk about them that much, because I want to spend time discussing the three managers that made it in.

Joe Torre managed a total of 29 seasons, spending time with the Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers, however, his most memorable years came with the New York Yankees. With the Yankees, Torre led his team to four World Series championships — three straight from 1998-2000. Torre was named Manager of the Year twice in his career, and finishes fifth all time in terms of wins, with 2,326.

Tony La Russa shared his time between the White Sox, Athletic’s and Cardinals, managing for a total of 33 seasons. LaRussa was voted Manager of the Year four times, leading his teams to three World Series titles — one with the A’s and two with the Cardinals. Winning 100 or more games in a season four times, LaRussa sits third all time in wins, with 2,728.

Bobby Cox managed for 29 seasons, between the Braves and Blue Jays. Cox took the Braves to 14 straight playoff seasons — the one thing that stands out most in my mind — and was a player favorite. Four-time Manager of the Year, Cox led the Braves to a 1995 World Series title — the only one of his career — and finished fourth all time in victories, with 2,504.

I was fortunate enough to have seen two of the three Hall of Fame mangers, manage — Bobby Cox four times, and Joe Torre twice. Though I never witnessed a game that Tony LaRussa managed, I saw him on the field during the 2012 All-Star workouts, before the Home Run Derby, in Kansas City, Missouri. Nearly everyone took the time to talk with LaRussa, who had retired the previous season, and it was an impressive sight to witness, with the obvious respect they had for him.

All three managers are well respected, and are deserving of the Hall of Fame.

Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox will be inducted on July 27th, in Cooperstown, NY.

My Blogging Plans for the Off Season

Now that the 2011 MLB season is over, all of its players are either taking vacations to foreign countries, or are going to play in other leagues for the Fall and/or Winter months. They might be going somewhere, but I’m not. No, I plan on blogging the entire offseason, with at least 2-3 blog entries a week. It’ll be a challenge, but it’ll also be fun.

With this being my first entry of the off season, I thought I’d use it to let you know what to expect the entries on this blog to be like during the off season:

  • I currently have 12 Q and A’s that I haven’t posted yet, and one other Q and A with Brad Penny, that I’m in the process of completing. I hope to post a Q and A entry once a week for the entire off season, but for that to happen, I’ll have to get a few more players to agree to answer some questions. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
  • I also have around 8 or so ideas for blog entries during the offseason, that have to do with random baseball topics, that I feel you–the reader–will enjoy.
  • Other than that, I’ll post entries as the breaking news topics occur. With all of the free agents this offseason, it shouldn’t be hard to find something to write about.

I hope I helped you to better understand what to expect from this blog during the off season. With all of that said, I hope to have you follow/read along.

TONY LARUSSA RETIRES

I decided to not post an entire entry about this, but I felt that it was newsworthy enough to put at the bottom of this entry. As you more than likely have already heard, Tony LaRussa decided that the 2011 MLB season, was his last.

Wheter you like him or not, you can’t argue that he’s had a Hall Of Fame career. Here’s some of the things LaRussa accomplished in his 33 season managerial career:

  • One of only two managers in the history of MLB to win a World Series title in both the NL and AL. (Sparky Anderson being the other.)
  • Ninth manager in the history of MLB to win three or more World Series titles. (LaRussa won three.)
  • An overall record of 2728-2365, between his seasons with the White Sox, Athletics and Cardinals. (.544 winning percentage.)
  • Third all-time in managerial wins. (Behind Connie Mack and John McGraw. Both Hall of Famer’s.)
  • Six pennants won, over his 33 season career.
  • 14 playoff appearances made.

LaRussa made this statement in a news conference earlier today:

There isn’t one (factor) that dominates (my decision). They all just come together telling you your time is over. We went through the season and I felt that this just feels like it’s  time to end it and I think it’s going to be great for the Cardinals to  refresh what’s going on here. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. I’m ready to do something different … Other than some of personal attachments, I feel good. I feel good that this is the right decision. I think this just feels like it’s time to end it.

I guess it’s better to go out on top–three days after winning the 2011 World Series–then to go out on your way down.

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