Baseball Hall of Fame Snubs Barry Bonds…Again

26 Jan

One rewriting of baseball’s record books began in earnest in 1986. That year, a fireballing right-hander in Boston won 24 games en route to the AL Cy Young and the AL MVP. Meanwhile, a wiry 21-year-old with a familiar name reached the big leagues in Pittsburgh.

Across the 22 years their careers would overlap, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens earned 17% of all the MVP and Cy Young Awards handed out. They each claimed their occupation’s top honor seven times, obliterating the all-time marks. They each had two careers worth of Hall of Fame dominance — with peaks in the 1990s and 2000s matching or eclipsing their most fearsome contemporaries.

Bonds and Clemens should’ve both been elected, but hey Bonds didn’t get along with the media and since he never actually failed a drug test, there can’t be any other reason why he isn’t in. On the other hand, Clemens was just aloof so who knows what the deal really is there. Yet, David Ortiz has always been well-liked by everybody so do the math.

Players Association Drops Request To Give Players Free Agency Before 6 Years

24 Jan

Tony Clark Rob Manfred

The Major League Baseball Players Association dropped its request to introduce an age-based free-agency system into the sport on Monday, withdrawing a proposal in one of the three major areas MLB had shown no interest in changing, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Athletic.

That means the amount of service time it takes a player to reach free agency — six years — is most likely going to remain unchanged whenever the sides reach a new deal. The players had previously proposed a system to get some players to free agency after five years if they had reached a certain age: 30 1/2, and then eventually, 29 1/2.

I’m always wondering about the effort from pro athletes after they sign long-term contracts and honestly feel that with contracts sky-rocketing as they are these days, MLB had every right to keep their position on this.

RELATED: MLB, players’ association plan to meet again Tuesday after sides make progress, sources say

Mets Round Out Coaching Staff With Glenn Sherlock Hire

18 Jan

Glenn Sherlock

Bench coach was the last major hole remaining on the Mets’ coaching staff, and now they’ve got someone on the case.

The team is expected to hire Glenn Sherlock — who was a former minor league catcher and Mets’ coach under Terry Collins and Mickey Callaway — to be Buck Showalter’s top confidant in the dugout. Sherlock was also a coach in the Yankees’ and Diamondbacks’ organizations while Showalter was managing there.

This lockout is really working wonders on what makes news nowadays as all this coaching news of late has gotten way too much attention.

RELATED: The Mets Found a Hitting Coach. He Was on the Yankees’ Bench.

Yes. Keith Hernandez Belongs in the Hall of Fame

15 Jan

1984 Topps Keith Hernandez

While reflecting on his career, which earned him a number retirement from the Mets and a congratulatory press conference on Wednesday, Keith Hernandez also came face-to-face with his own mortality.

Specifically, when the topic shifted to his chances of making the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the 68-year-old Hernandez said that if he does earn an induction, he’d like for it to happen while he’s still around to appreciate it. “It’s out of my hands,” Hernandez said. “I’ve been out of the game for a long time. Hopefully I’ve got another 15, 16, 17, 18 years of life. Maybe it’ll happen before I kick the bucket.”

I’m not into the analytics stuff, so I went old-school and counted 9 Hall of Fame-ish seasons for Hernandez during his career. Add to that an MVP in ’79, two World Series championships and 11 Gold Gloves and to me, Hernandez should be in there. Of course, the biggest knock will be the lack power for a 1st baseman (only 162 HRs in a 17-year career), but in his prime Keith was pretty consistent run producer with a guarantee of around 90 per year and an OBP that was always high. That said, the fact that Hernandez never got better than 10.8% in a Hall of Fame vote when he was on the ballot is mind-boggling. Time for the Veterans Committee to make up for that mistake.

Mets to Bring Back Old Timers Day

13 Jan

Mets Old Timers Day

On Wednesday, on a Zoom news conference to talk about that honor, Hernandez may have added a second new line to his resume: Newsbreaker. As he was talking about the Mets’ growing efforts under owner Steve Cohen to celebrate their history, Hernandez seemed to break the news that the team is going to hold its first Old-Timers’ Day since the 1990s this summer.

“The fact that we’re going to have an Old-Timers’ game again,” Hernandez said. “They’re going to bring in 50 players, I understand. That is fantastic.” The Mets have not announced the return of Old-Timers’ Day. Team president Sandy Alderson was asked on the same Zoom call if they plan to in 2022.

Yet another great move here by Steve Cohen in respect to Mets tradition.

Keith Hernandez To Finally Have His Number 17 Retired

11 Jan

Keith Hernandez

The Mets are going to retire Keith Hernandez’s No. 17 next season, during a ceremony on Saturday, July 9, prior to a game with the Marlins. Hernandez, the lynchpin of the Mets’ 1986 world championship team, joins Casey Stengel (37), Gil Hodges (14), Tom Seaver (41), Mike Piazza (31) and Jerry Koosman (36) to be so honored.

Hernandez played for the Mets from 1983 through 1989, acquired from the Cardinals in a trade on June 15, 1983. He hit .297 as a Met and won five Gold Gloves as a first baseman in New York. In 1984 he finished second to Ryne Sandberg in the NL MVP vote, hitting .311 with 97 RBIs.

Hernandez’s number being retired is not only long overdue, but also further testament to former owner’s Fred Wilpon’s incompetence in running the team all those years. David Wright will obviously get his number retired some day soon. But why the late, great Gary Carter hasn’t had his number retired already is beyond me.

Jeff McNeil & a Prospect to the Reds for Luis Castillo?

28 Dec

Jeff McNeil

Word has it that McNeil is officially on the trading block. I like McNeil a lot and would hate to see him go, especially since I think he’s got a lot left in him. But with my feelings on the Mets desperately needing starting pitching help to back up DeGrom and Scherzer, if they could get a front-line starter like Luis Castillo for McNeil and a prospect, I’m all for it. And the Reds make the most sense as McNeil can play 3rd base, thus giving Cincinnati the option of moving current 3rd baseman Eugenio Suarez (31 HRs, but a whopping 171 strikeouts and a .198 BA in 2021) to DH since in all likelihood the NL will be using the DH next year.

Buck Showalter Full Introductory News Conference

21 Dec

Analytics comes up way too much in this press conference. Like Showalter didn’t know what he was doing before analytics arrived? Just let the guy manage the team how wants to manage them and let his win-loss record determine if he wins or fails. I mean if the baseball nerds who love analytics so much knew what they were doing, then why haven’t we had a repeat champion since the 2000 Yankees?

RELATED: MLB’s obsession with analytics is killing what’s great about baseball

Mets Name Buck Showalter As Team’s New Manager

18 Dec

Buck Showalter

The New York Mets have hired Buck Showalter as their new manager, team owner Steven Cohen announced Saturday on Twitter.

Showalter, 65, takes over for Luis Rojas, who was fired after a season in which the team held on to first place for 103 days but ultimately finished 77-85 and missed the playoffs.

Great hire! Showalter is experienced, has a great work ethic and is always prepared. In other words, we’ll never lose a game because we were out-managed.

What Should The Mets Do With Dominic Smith?

16 Dec

Dom Smith

Smith deflated while serving as the team’s primary left fielder and getting into 145 games. He hit .244 with a woeful .363 slugging percentage and went from being better than league average to 14% worse. He also made nearly 300 more plate appearances than he ever had in a season, leaving much more opportunities to get exposed.

“Whatever happened this year is not going to define me as a player, as a person,” Smith told the Daily News in September, a month he started with a 4-for-19 stretch that included eight strikeouts. “I know I still have a lot of years in this game. I have a lot of years to improve and get better. I’m obviously going to take that challenge like I’ve taken every challenge and just work. That’s all you can do. There’s a lot of things I want to work on. I don’t worry about my future. I just take it day by day. I live in the present.”

Smith was having a so-so 2021 until he got benched by Luis Rojas in September. That said, the Mets need to trade him. Other than being a full-time DH, he has no position here. Trade him for a starting pitcher and call it a day.

Can The Mets Just Hire Buck Showalter Already?

13 Dec

Showalter Quatraro Espada

The Mets have whittled their list of manager candidates down to three, inviting Buck Showalter, Joe Espada and Matt Quatraro for second-round interviews, a source told on Sunday. The Mets did not confirm the list as they are not commenting on the ongoing process.

Team owner Steve Cohen, who sat out the first round of interviews, is expected to take part in the callbacks.

It’s so typical of the Mets to be taking this long to hire a manager. Now they’re down to 3 finalists? Who cares! Just hire Showalter already. He’s the obvious pick, with experience, success, fans love him and having already done it, we know that he can handle managing in NY. All the various pundits that matter have already endorsed Showalter and nobody even knows (or cares) who Joe Espada or Matt Quatraro are. Hire Buck and if Curtis Granderson is really interested in being a manager one day, then make Curtis Buck’s bench coach. It’s not complicated. Just get it done already.

Gil Hodges Finally Gets in the Hall of Fame

5 Dec

Looking at his playing career alone, Gil was a Hall of Famer what with 8 All-Star appearances, 3 Gold Gloves and 9 HOF caliber seasons. But managing the ’69 Mets to a World Series championship should’ve put him over the top and in the Fame a long time ago. Either way, congratulations to the Hodges family and all the Mets/Dodgers fans who long campaigned for Hodges to get in the HOF along the way.

Marcus Stroman Signs 3-Year, $71M Deal with Cubs

2 Dec

Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman is leaving New York for the Windy City.

The 30-year-old right-hander signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Cubs that includes an opt out after the second season, according to ESPN. According to the report, he will make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024, and the deal also includes $2 million escalators for 160 innings pitched in ‘22 and ‘23.

We’ll miss Stroman, but $24M a year for your 3rd starter is steep. That said, I’d still give Zack Greinke’s agent a call.