Looking at players from two defensive positions on this year's Hall of Fame ballot.
Like ballotmate Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin and Alan Trammell are overwhelmingly qualified for the Hall of Fame, but didn't gain entry last year. Larkin made a strong showing in his first year on the ballot, one which suggests he'll reach Cooperstown sooner or later, while Trammell continued to receive a puzzling lack of support and watched his odds of election grow even longer. Today, we'll use JAWS to re-examine their Hall of Fame cases, and with just a week until the ballot results are announced, we'll also take a brief look at the backstops on the ballot—catching up, if you will.
Dan continues to explain what makes a successful baserunner, and it's not always who you'd expect. Cowboy up, anyone?
With one out in the top of the sixth inning last Sunday, Juan Pierre of the Cubs tripled to right-center off of the Nationals' Tony Armas Jr.Neifi Perez followed by lofting a shallow fly ball to right field, where Austin Kearns drifted in to make the catch. Despite the minimal distance between Kearns and the plate, Pierre didn't hesitate and took off for home. Kearns made a strong throw, but one that was up the line and cut off by Armas, allowing Pierre to score easily.
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As free agents make their filings, General Managers across the game are starting the process of figuring out how they will put together their teams. An important part of that process is figuring out which free agents they should pursue. Part of the equation is expectations of health. Signing a Jeffrey Hammonds and expecting 160 games a year is pure folly and likely to cause a team to drastically overpay. On the flip side, the team that correctly assesses the risks, and prices accordingly, is much more likely to find the next Esteban Loaiza. While the factors that must be considered go far beyond health, it is one major component--one we'll look at here with the Free Agent Health Report. Remember, this is not an exhaustive list--players not on this list are neither completely healthy nor completely screwed. They just didn't make my cut.
Powered by a renewed sense of fiscal responsibility and Pom 100% Pomegranate Juice, here's your 2003-2004 NL Free Agents...
Barry Bonds, best player of his generation and maybe ever, vs. Jeff Conine, as average a player as you'll find. Peter Magowan, hands-on owner, vs. Jeffrey Loria, carpetbagger extraordinaire. Pac Bell Park, jewel of the Bay Area, vs. Pro Player Stadium, football stadium of the turnpike. The Giants and Marlins look like a mismatch in all these areas. But delve a little deeper and you'll find an intriguing first-round matchup that could yield its share of surprises.
The Giants and Marlins look like a mismatch in all these areas. But delve a little deeper and you'll find an intriguing first-round matchup that could yield its share of surprises.
Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia get rewarded for 2002. The Indians and Rangers swap pitching prospect for hitting prospect. The Yankees grab Armando Benitez in a non-Sierran move. The Jays get a steal in Stewart-for-Kielty. These and other tidbits, plus a full array of Kahrlisms, in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
"I could imagine it in my dreams, but I never thought I'd do it until now. It helped take the tension down a little bit for us, but games aren't won in the first or second inning. They're won in the ninth inning." --Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, on homering in his first World Series at-bat