Sam deconstructs a 12-page pamphlet that supports sending Juan Gonzalez to Cooperstown.
One of the strange things about praise is that it sometimes works in reverse. You tell me Muse is the best band in the world, and I’m compelled to dispute this craziness, and before I know it I find myself saying and thinking horribly mean things about Muse, even though Muse is perfectly fine, just not my cuppa tea.
And this is what I found myself feeling as I read Juan Gonzalez’ Hall of Fame brochure. Yes, Juan Gonzalez has a Hall of Fame brochure. It is 12 pages, it is extremely glossy, it came in the mail, and in about 25 seconds I’m going to show it to you, because you should get to see what a Hall of Fame brochure looks like. But before I do, I want to say this: Juan Gonzalez was really, really good at baseball. He was way better at baseball than Chris Sabo and Mark Portugal and Bobby Higginson, and nobody is saying mean things about them today. Whereas I am quite likely to say mean things about Juan Gonzalez and about the brochure that is supposed to be helping him. I would say this means Juan Gonzalez’ Hall of Fame brochure has failed. But let’s consider it together. (Note: click on images to expand.)
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.
Can he give the Braves what they need as the main man in their bullpen?
With the Atlanta Braves fighting for a playoff spot in the crowded National League East, any assistance they can get without having to trade away talent is a plus towards achieving that goal. They added just that kind of help back to their roster this month when Mike Gonzalez, who missed almost all of the 2007 season due to Tommy John surgery, made his season debut on June 18. Between the ongoing issues with keeping Rafael Soriano in action, the loss of Peter Moylan for the year, and the bouncing around where John Smoltz moved from the rotation to closing and finally to the Disabled List for the remainder of the season, having a pitcher of Gonzalez' ability fall in your lap should be considered a gift. Of course, this assumes that Gonzalez is capable of being the dominating force he was before his injury trouble. Today, we'll take a look and see if that's the case today.