Why I Deserve To Be In The Hall Of Fame

(LERA.com)

All the votes are in, and when the ballot results are released on January 9th, we’ll finally know if I’ve been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. After much anticipation, and six weeks of long and tedious debates, the Baseball Writers Association of America will finally make their selection, a statement that marks those amongst the greatest and most historic players in a century and a half of baseball. Looking upon this year’s ballot, I feel comfortable saying that I finally of a chance to reach my lifelong goal. Though there is still some stiff competition, let me explain to you why I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

I didn’t cheat, that is, I didn’t break any of Major League Baseball’s rules regarding performance enhancing drugs. While other nominees were surrounded by these temptations, there is no way of knowing which of them took something and what it is they took. Of all the possible players that could be voted in this year, I am the only one that definitely did not play a single game on anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, or stimulants.… Click here to read the rest

On the Money: Hall of Fame edition

Really fun show to do tonight, in no small part because we spent the whole time talking about the Hall of Fame. That meant lots of steroids talk, for better or worse, but I think we had an unusually enlightening chat on that front with Jeff Pearlman of Sports Illustrated. Jeff is a pretty strongly anti-PED guy, which it won’t take long to learn from listening, but he makes some good points (even if I don’t agree with them), and adds the perspective of a guy who was covering baseball at the time to the conversation.

In the second half of the show, Mike Bates (The Common Man) of The Platoon Advantage and SB Nation joins us, and unlike Jeff pretty much winds up at exactly the place I am on most of the topics, so no fireworks here. As usual though, Mike makes several worthy arguments of his own, and we make it a point to get away from steroids and into the actual ballot, namely the guys on the margins of worthiness.… Click here to read the rest

Swisher’s divorce from the Yankees is complete

Nick Swisher was formally introduced as a member of the Cleveland Indians a little while ago – it was broadcast on MLB Network. In his press conference, he declared Cleveland to be the place, “Where we were going to be wanted and where we were going to be loved.”

Oh, really?

He, of course, added that he had a blast in New York and loved the fans in right field.

Nice save, Swish!

It will be interesting to see the reception Swisher receives in his first trip back to the Stadium. Will Yankee fans remember him for the four years of above average performance in the regular season or will they still have the bad taste in their mouths from his final playoff appearance?

Personally, I’d stand and applaud him in his first at bat back in New York. I enjoyed watching Swisher during his time in pinstripes and will miss his zany antics.… Click here to read the rest

Sherman: Yankees not interested in Delmon

Finding a right-handed hitting outfielder to balance out the three left-handed hitters who figure to make up their Opening Day outfield is the Yankees’ top offseason priority at the moment, but Joel Sherman reports that it won’t be Delmon Young fitting that bill for the Yankees. Young is certainly adept at hitting southpaws, with a .307/.341/.483 career slash line against them (117 wRC+), and a .308/.333/.500 line (125 wRC+) in 189 plate appearances in 2012. He’s also developed a reputation as a clutchy postseason hitter over the past two years, and won the ALCS MVP awardfor his efforts in the Tigers’ sweep of the Yankees’ last season. That said, he’s an outfielder in name only, so he would really be more of a platoon DH for the Yankees than an extra outfielder. What’s more, he was arrested for hurling anti-Semitic insults on the streets of New York back in April, so it’s not really hard to see why the Yankees wouldn’t even be casually interested in signing him.… Click here to read the rest

Great moments in self-awareness

Shorter Verbatim Blogger Murray Chass (after declaring that his heart belongs to Jack Morris, and decrying these whipper-snapper stat geeks and using this newfangled “ERA formula” to dare insist that Morris doesn’t deserve enshrinement on the basis of one game):

For some reason, the news media have not talked about the former catcher and steroids the way they have talked about Bonds, Clemens and Sosa. When I worked for The New York Times, I tried more than once to write about Piazza and steroids, but the baseball editor said I couldn’t because his name hadn’t been linked to steroids.

I can link his name to steroids, I countered, but I had to wait until I started this Web site to talk about Piazza’s acne-covered back, a generally accepted telltale sign of steroids use.

Some things simply require no added commentary.… Click here to read the rest

On the Money tonight

A quick programming note: if you’re looking for more talk of the impending Hall of Fame inductee announcement (next Wednesday at 2:00, by the way), you’re in luck! Stacey and I will be hosting a special Hall themed edition of On the Money tonight at 9:00 P.M. Joining us will be Sports Illustrated’s Jeff Pearlman, and Mike Bates (aka The Common Man) of The Platoon Advantage, SB Nation, Baseball Prospectus, and formerly of IIATMS. If you’d like to listen live you can do so here, but as always the archived version of the show will be available in this space and at our BTR page at the conclusion of the show.

Also, if you’d ever like to listen to a previous episode of On the Money, the show archives are now conveniently available under the “On the Money” tab under the title banner here. Enjoy!… Click here to read the rest

Is there anything or anyone out there?

The Hot Stove season is far from over. There are still over 40 days until pitchers and catchers report to Florida and Arizona for Spring Training, so there is still plenty of time for deals to get done. Despite that, the Yankees seem to have a fairly complete roster. With the re-signing of Ichrio Suzuki, the outfield is set and with the signing of Kevin Youkilis, the infield is set. The top of the bullpen is set, even with the departure of Rafael Soriano and the rotation is more or less set. The one spot that doesn’t seem to be settled is the DH spot. Matt Diaz recently signed a minor league deal and has a chance to be the DH vs. LHP, but can the Yankees do better? What about the other side of the DH platoon?

There is a more important question to pose, though. What exactly do the Yankees want out of the DH? As recently as 2010 with Nick Johnson, and later, Lance Berkman, the team has gone with the “traditional” DH: a hitter who offers little in the way of playing a position.… Click here to read the rest

Musing On Rafael Soriano

When Rafael Soriano initially signed with the Yankees, the contract looked awful. Not only did the team lose a draft pick, but they guaranteed a non-closer $35 million over three years. It was a high price to pay for a setup man, but even worse, the Yankees gave him two player options, and it put all the risk in the organization’s hands. If Soriano had a great season, and somehow became undervalued by the massive contract, he could bail on the team for a bigger pay day, however, if he was injured or dreadful, the Yankees had no other options but to pay him until the contract was over.

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

By the end 2011, Soriano already had an injury shortened season under his belt where he pitched to a 3.97 FIP over 39.1 IP. At the beginning of 2012, he started the season as the 7th inning reliever, and it was hard to imagine that the Yankees could find a way to make this contract work.… Click here to read the rest

Cashman: Romine likely to start season in minors

With Russell Martin on his way to Bradenton instead of Tampa this February and no major league reinforcements on the way, Austin Romine has emerged as both the catcher of the future and the designated object of hope for fans desperate for an alternative to Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart. Unfortunately for those people, Romine has lost a lot of development time to injury in the past year, and as such it appears as though he may be ticketed for Triple-A, at least to begin the year. Anthony McCarron reports that general manager Brian Cashman “believes” that’s exactly what will happen in April. “I expect Romine to go to Triple-A,” Cashman said. “I don’t expect him to be our everyday catcher out of the gate. He always has the possibility of taking it, but realistically, if I were in prediction mode, I’d say Triple-A.  But he has a chance to alter that.”

If performance is the key issue, it shouldn’t take much for Romine to earn himself a shot with the big league team.… Click here to read the rest