Andre Dawson, on his ninth try, was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Detractors say his on base percentage was too low – but that’s his only flaw. He hit for power, hit for average, he ran down flies, and had the best arm on a right fielder I have ever seen. Nobody was tougher; nobody was more universally respected and loved than this guy. The Cubs fan in me remembers how he begged for a chance to play and earned a contract by winning the MVP in 1987. [ESPN]
Bert Blyleven just missed (five votes short) and Robbie Alomar was denied a shot at first ballot entry by eight voters.
SI’s Tom Verducci thinks that there is a small and shrinking window for the stars of the last generation – guys like Tim Raines, Jack Morris, and Dale Murphy. He makes an interesting point… Jack Morris was a HORSE, Dale Murphy was overrated somewhat, but Tim Raines is undeniably a Hall of Famer. [SI]
Keith Law, someone I usually find interesting and insightful, really scooped the deep end of the garbage can for this post. Okay – I agree – Raines was robbed. I agree, I don’t understand why people vote the way they do – or not vote at all. But to say that Dawson didn’t deserve to make it and that Jim Rice lowered the standards? Does he remember how good Jim Rice was for a decade?
Look – I’ve never seen anyone stand up for Jim Rice, but LOWERED the STANDARD? Usually that’s done by the Veteran’s Committee – not the voters. Jim Rice was the most feared hitter in baseball, was a solid outfielder in a difficult outfield, and is a credit to the game. And to compare Andre Dawson to Yuniesky Betancourt is a joke. Law wrote, “…Andre Dawson, is most notable for the enormous number of outs he made while bulking up his credentials.” Really? Most people don’t remember the outs – they remember the grace, class, power, speed, and arm. They remember how he and Gary Carter gave the Expos credibility; how he mentored Tim Raines – keeping him on the straight and narrow. He was a LEADER – by example and by action.
Each deserves their spot in the Hall of Fame.
HOT STOVE NEWS!!!
Eric Hinske signed a one-year deal with the Braves. This is a GREAT signing. Hinske is getting up there in years, but he hustles, hits for some power, can play four positions – just the kind of guy you want on your team for long summers and the post-season. And the Braves look like they might be thinking about the post-season in 2010. Does anyone remember that he was the 2002 AL Rookie of the Year? [ESPN]
It’s official – Casey Kotchman is a Mariner – and the Red Sox will get utility infielder/outfielder Bill Hall. This is a pretty good move for both teams, even though I think the Mariners could use a more productive first baseman than Kotchman. Kotchman has appeared, at times, to be more of a poor man’s Mark Grace, but the more I look at it, Mientkiewicz is a solid match. He’s just not enough offense for the position. [MLB]
Oakland returns Jack Cust to the fold for the third time – though this time it was only because the As didn’t offer him a contract and signed him as a free agent a few weeks later. Cust gets at least $2.65 million for 2010. The DH/Outfielder remains a solid power threat with a few extra walks, though if he gets 600 plate appearances he might strikeout 200 times. There are worse problems to have than a guy who hits 30 homers – but Richie Sexton didn’t stay around forever either… [MLB]
The Royals added more pitching depth, signing Cuban defector Noel Arguelles to a multi-year deal worth $6.9 million. After taking time off, Arguelles will join the Royals in spring training and figure out what level in the minors he’ll get to show off his stuff. The kid is big – 6′ – 4″ and 225, athletic, and has a solid reputation in international play. With Aaron Crow signing after being drafted out of Missouri, the Royals may have two potential aces to join Zach Greinke by 2012. If they can find an offense, that would be something. [MLB]
Edgar Gonzalez, older brother of Adrian, and also a member of the Padres is the first of the Gonzalez brothers to leave town… Edgar is heading west, however, across the International Date Line, to play in Japan.
The Yankees kept Sergio Mitre around – one year, $850K. Yawn.
A good guy isn’t pitching in 2010 – Scott Eyre decided that it would more fun to spend the summer with his family. God Bless – see you on ESPN in 2011.
Just a quick list today… Kitty Bransfield (1875) – outfielder on the great Pirates team at the beginning of the last century, Johnny Mize (1913), Alvin Dark (1922), Dick Schofield (1935), Jim Lefebvre (1942), Tony Conigliaro (1945), Ross Grimsley (1950), Doug Capilla (1952), Allan Anderson (1964), Eric Gagne (1976), Alfonso Soriano (1976), Edwin Encarnacion (1983), and Jon Lester (1984).