Tag Archive | "Career Average"

Patience pays off for Jon Jay, David Freese

Although short-sighted analysis would have suggested otherwise, St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Jon Jay and third baseman David Freese weren’t going to struggle at the plate forever.

DavidFreeseBat

Cardinals fans quickly became anxious about both players in April as Jay struggled to a .213 batting average, and Freese was even worse at .163 as he returned from an oblique injury he suffered in spring training.

But Jay is now hitting .273, including four homeruns while playing very solid defense, and Freese has bumped his average up to .211 heading into play Saturday, including a grand slam for his first homerun of the season in the first inning Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Plus, each is likely to improve from here.

Jay is a career .298 hitter, and Freese has a career average of .289 and averages 16 homeruns per season.

Sometimes players simply get off to bad starts. That’s no reason to wish for centerfield prospect Oscar Taveras to take Jay’s job or for the Cardinals to trade Freese.

Sure, neither Jay nor Freese are likely going to be All-Stars this season and neither figures to have the much potential to be a Most Valuable Player candidate in their careers, but they are vital pieces of the Cardinals’ team.

For example, the Cardinals had a 15-11 record in April while Jay and Freese struggled. That’s good, and bullpen problems played a large role in at least four of those losses, but the Cardinals also got minimal production from their centerfield and third base positions, which are traditionally two of the most important offensive positions on the team.

Once the calendar turned to May, the Cardinals went on an 11-3 surge as Jay and Freese started to hit the ball better.

Jay’s improvement came from adjustments in his swing. He has always been a singles hitter, but his approach at the plate included a lot of movement in his hands. That allows ample opportunity for his timing to get messed up and creates a lot of unnecessary movement.

But Jay made the required adjustments. He now holds the bat up straighter in his stance and has a more direct approach to the ball. And now he looks like a hitter who could bat .300, which is the type of batter Cardinals fans remember from Jay’s first three seasons with the team.

Freese’s development has been a little slower. He did have a five-game hitting streak last week but had only one hit in each of those games. However, he’s been recovering from the oblique injury, and those types of injuries tend to linger, not to mention the twisting motion required to hit puts stress directly on the injury part of his body.

In any case, the signs of progress from both players are welcome for the Cardinals, and they could help power the team through an extended stretch of winning baseball.

The Cardinals entered play Saturday with a 27-14 record, the best in Major League Baseball, and that could get even better because of the team’s upcoming schedule.

The Cardinals beat up on non-divisional opponents in the current home stand by winning five of seven games against the Colorado Rockies and New York Mets. Now they’ll head to the West Coast to play the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, who had a combined record of 35-46 heading into play Saturday and were the bottom two teams in the National League West Division.

The Cardinals already had a strong team with consistently great performances by their starting rotation and sections of their lineup hitting well, but they could continue to contend for the best team in baseball title throughout the summer if players such as Jay and Freese join the run-production party as the weather warms up.

All it took was smart, steady work, and a little bit of patience.

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Ronny Cedeno provides depth for St. Louis Cardinals, but little else

In an offseason of sparse, small moves, the St. Louis Cardinals made another signing Monday that will minimally impact their season, and hopefully it won’t be a factor at all.

RonnyCedeno

The Cardinals signed shortstop Ronny Cedeno to a one-year contract to be a back-up option in case starting shortstop Rafael Furcal’s right elbow has problems again in the upcoming season.

The 30-year-old Cedeno is an eight-year veteran with a career .247 batting average while playing for four different teams: the Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets. At best, he’s been an inconsequential player on irrelevant teams.

The Cardinals aren’t an irrelevant team, and something will have to go terribly wrong if Cedeno sees much playing time. The team has Furcal penciled in to be the everyday shortstop, and  Pete Kozma would seem to be a fairly solid back-up option given his .333 batting average in 26 games at the end of last season.

In many ways, the Cardinals had no need for Cedeno unless they think Kozma can’t hit above .250 and play decent defense. Both Kozma and Cedeno are righthanded hitters without much power, so the Cardinals certainly didn’t improve the back-up shortstop situation by this move.

Maybe the Cardinals think Kozma needs to be pushed during spring training or during the season if he has to regularly play shortstop with Furcal out because of injury. But still, the team has Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter as other middle infielders who could supposedly move over to shortstop if Furcal gets hurt and Kozma plays terribly.

General manager John Mozeliak said the team needed “insurance” at the position. Well, as some television commercials suggest, this is a cut-rate insurance policy and not the Allstate value plan. Cedeno should have to play above his career average in spring training just to break camp with the club.

This move also adds fuel to the fire of people who are already frustrated the Cardinals haven’t improved enough during the offseason, while the Cincinnati Reds traded for Shin-Soo Choo, the Atlanta Braves added the Upton brothers and the Philadelphia Phillies added the steady and productive Michael Young, formerly of the Texas Rangers.

Many of the top teams in the National League made significant moves to improve during the offseason, and the Cardinals basically stood pat. OK, they signed bench players Ty Wigginton and Cedeno. Sorry, but those two won’t even make opponents’ scouting reports.

Overall, the Cardinals are going to need their core players to stay healthy and be consistently productive throughout the entire year because the rest of the league has improved. If the Cardinals fall behind six to 10 games in the division or wild-card race, the teams above them might be too good to allow for another miracle comeback.

Right now the Reds, Braves, Phillies, Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are all built to be strong playoff contenders. Even with the expanded playoffs, only five National League teams will make the postseason, so a playoff berth is far from guaranteed for the Cardinals this season.

That competition should make for a fun season, so long as the Cardinals don’t have to file a claim on the Ronny Cedeno insurance policy.

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St. Louis Cardinals can win with current middle infielders

One of the St. Louis Cardinals’ most talked about needs heading into the offseason concerned who would patrol the dirt around second base next season at Busch Stadium, but they might start the 2013 season and contend for a playoff spot with the same players who did that job in 2012.

DanielDescalso3

The Cardinals ended last season with Daniel Descalso as the starting second baseman and Pete Kozma as the starting shortstop.

Descalso is a light-hitting, strong defensive player who can make great plays in the field and come up with a hit at a critical time. The problem is those moments don’t happen often, and he can usually be counted on to hit near his career average of .245.

Kozma was the Cardinals’ first-round draft pick in 2007 and muddled his way through the minors for much of the next five years before the big club called him up when shortstop Rafael Furcal hurt his elbow Aug. 31 against the Washington Nationals. Kozma capitalized on his first opportunity for regular playing time in the big leagues by hitting .333 in the final month of the season while playing solid defense.

However, the Cardinals were reluctant to have Descalso and Kozma as their starting second baseman and shortstop for next season. Club officials have repeatedly expressed hope and confidence that Furcal’s recovery is going well and he will be ready to be the everyday shortstop at the beginning of the season. They also told utility man Matt Carpenter to come to Spring Training prepared to play second base.

Neither of those moves show much confidence in the duo that manned the middle infield as the Cardinals played their way to within one win of a World Series appearance, especially considering rumors the team has been looking to sign or trade for a middle infielder from other organizations.

The Cardinals have been linked to rumors about players such as Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon and free agent utility player Scott Hairston.

Whether or not the Cardinals make a move to bring in a new middle infielder, their current options should be good enough for the team to compete for a playoff spot and the National League Central Division title. No, the middle infield might not have a great impact on the lineup, but all of those players are solid to above-average defenders, and defense was one of the poor aspects of last year’s team.

The Cardinals have plenty of power in their lineup with Matt Holliday, David Freese, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina. They don’t need their second baseman and shortstop to hit .280 with 10-15 homeruns and 60 RBIs. Sure, that would be nice, but this team is built to withstand a couple of lineup spots that produce less-than-average numbers.

Even if Furcal doesn’t come back healthy, the Cardinals have a good backup option at shortstop with Kozma, who has for some reason been undervalued during the offseason. Yes, his numbers in the minor leagues were awful, and the Cardinals nearly cut him from the 40-man roster more than once in 2012, but he showed he can play at the major league level. Even if his future numbers aren’t as good as what he did last season, the Cardinals will have a decent shortstop.

On the other side of the base, the Cardinals know what to expect from Descalso. He won’t hit much, but he will play exceptional defense, which is something that will be a question mark if Carpenter wins the job in Spring Training.

In any case, the Cardinals will be in fine shape if they don’t acquire another middle infielder before the 2013 season begins. And with all of the young pitchers in the system, they will have leverage to make a move during the season as the trading deadline approaches at the end of July.

Although they haven’t made a sexy move in the offseason that leads to the obligatory hand-wringing from a segment of fans who think offseason headlines lead to championship-caliber seasons., the Cardinals could start play in April with their current roster and compete with the top teams in the National League.

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Royals Sign Three To Minor League Deals

KANSAS CITY, MO (December 11, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has signed three additional players to minor league contracts for the 2013 season.  The club plans to announce Major League Spring Training invitations at a later date.

Left-handed pitcher George Sherrill, 35, is 19-17 with 56 saves and a 3.77 ERA in 442 career Major League appearances, all in relief, for the Mariners (2004-07, 2012), Orioles (2008-09), Dodgers (2009-10) and Braves (2011).  The 2008 American League All-Star made just two appearances for Seattle in 2012 before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on May 4.  Born and raised in Tennessee, the current Utah resident has held left-handed batters to a .186 batting average in his Major League career.

Dan Wheeler, who turned 35 on Monday, is 25-43 with a 3.98 ERA in 589 outings over a 13-year Major League career for the Rays (1999-2001, 2007-10), Mets (2003-04), Astros (2004-07), Red Sox (2011) and Indians (2012).  Born in Rhode Island but now living in Florida, Wheeler split the 2012 campaign between the Cleveland Indians and Triple-A Columbus.

Outfielder Willy Taveras, who will turn 31 on Christmas Day, is a seven-year Major League veteran who has compiled a .274 career average with 195 stolen bases for the Astros (2004-06), Rockies (2007-08), Reds (2009) and Nationals (2010).  The Dominican Republic resident led the National League with 68 stolen bases in 75 attempts for Colorado in 2008.  Taveras is currently batting .280 with eight stolen bases in 39 games for Obregon in the Mexican Winter League.

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Is Matt Adams the next big thing for the St. Louis Cardinals?

So who’s this big, burly guy mashing the ball all over the ballpark for the Cardinals the first week of Grapefruit League play, you ask?

That would be Matt Adams, and the 6’3”, 230-pound lefty is no joke. I won’t go off the deep end on you and overblow four days’ worth of relatively meaningless spring training games (though he is hitting .417 with a grand slam and 7 RBI), but what I will tell you is this guy can hit.

Obviously, how much success Adams will carry over to the big league level one day is yet to be determined, but based on his track record in the minor leagues, Cardinals fans should be on the edge of their seats to see this guy play. In 2009, Adams broke into the Cardinals organization hitting .355 over half a season playing rookie ball and Low-A, with 10 HRs and 52 RBI in just 63 games. The next year in High-A, the first baseman hit .310 with 22 HRs and 88 RBI. And last year in Double-A Springfield, Adams went deep 32 times and drove in 101 RBI in just 115 games.

Translation: Adams would be averaging 35 HRs and 131 RBIs per season over a 162 game schedule. His minor league career average is .316.

His presence in the lineup is undeniable. Every time he walked to the plate last year at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO, you could sense a buzz in the crowd. He’s easily the most legitimate deep-threat that’s come through the system in the past decade, and let’s not forget that the Cardinals’ minor league system has produced the likes of Allen Craig and Colby Rasmus, who combined for more than 150 career home runs before breaking into the big leagues.

It’s hard to say exactly when fans could first see Adams playing in St. Louis. For this year, the Cardinals have Lance Berkman penciled in at first base, with Allen Craig ready to step in fulltime should Berkman go down with a lengthy injury. But the 36-year-old Berkman is more of a temporary stopgap in the wake of Albert Pujols’ departure, and likely won’t be a part of the Cardinals’ organization more than another couple of years. With Berkman currently signed to a 1-year, $14 million contract, Adams may get a crack at the starting job as soon as next year if he continues to mash the ball in the minors.

It will be interesting to see how Adams continues to play throughout the course of spring training. He’s off to a hot start, and if he keeps it up for another few weeks, there’s an outside chance he could make the opening day roster. Skipping Triple-A isn’t unprecedented, especially at first base.

I seem to remember another Cardinals first baseman who made the jump past Triple-A about a decade ago. What was his name again? With any luck, Matt Adams will help Cardinals fans forget.

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The Long and Short ”Stop” of It

The Kansas City Royals have been slightly active again this week.  They have signed all of their arbitration eligible players except for Alex Gordon.  It will be interesting to see if the Royals are able to sign to a long term contract.  There have been rumors of this in the media, but only time will tell.  This week, will start our look at the American League Central infielders by reviewing the shortstops of each team.  The following statistics will give us a view of each player’s 2011 season.

 

 

Team Player Avg. OBP SLG OPS H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Chi Alexei Ramirez .269 .328 .399 .727 165 31 2 15 70 7
Cle Asdrubal Cabrera .273 .332 .460 .792 165 32 3 25 92 17
Det Jhonny Peralta .299 .345 .478 .824 157 25 3 21 86 0
KC Alicdes Escobar .254 .290 .343 .633 139 21 8 4 46 26
Min Jamey Carroll .290 .359 .347 .706 131 14 6 0 17 10

 

The Chicago White Sox will start one of the more proven commodities at shortstop.  Alexei Ramirez in his four full seasons with the White Sox has been a consistent performer on offense.  Ramirez has a career .279 batting average.  Alexei has always had a consistent power stroke averaging 19 home runs, 26 doubles a season.  Alexei will provide the White Sox a solid offensive contribution and will play a solid short stop.  The White Sox know what they are getting from Ramirez and should be excited.

The Cleveland Indians will be starting Asdrubal Cabrera.  2011 was the best all around offensive year of Cabrera’s career.  Cabrera has hit for a solid average in each of his first five seasons, a .281 career average.  Asdrubal has always had the ability to hit for some power as he has average 36 doubles a season.  He had never found that home run stroke until last year when he hit 25 home runs.  His previous career high had been 6.  Did Cabrera finally develop some home run power?  This season should be interesting.  If Cabrera can hit like he did last season and add a injury free season from Sizemore and Hafner, the Indians could once again be a surprise team in the central.

The Detroit Tigers will start Jhonny Peralta at shortstop.  Last season Peralta had one of his best offensive seasons.  In nine seasons Peralata had a career .268 batting average.  Last season his average jumped thirty points higher than his career average as Peralta hit .299.  Peralata has always had good power for a shortstop.  Peralta averages 34 doubles, 19 home runs, and 83 rbi’s a season.  With all the power bats in the Tigers lineup, Peralta will slide into the 6 or 7 slot and continue to produce as he has throughout his career.

The Kansas City Royals will start Alcides Escobar.  In his second full big league season, Escobar showed signs of greatness with his glove.  His bat on the other hand showed signs of Tony Pena Jr.  At times Escobar showed signs that his bat could provide a spark when he gets hot.  Escobar’s biggest issue at the plate is his patience.  With an average of .254 and an OBP of only .290, obviously Escobar needs to improve this number.  If Escobar is able to hit .260 and have an OBP in the .330 neighborhood and continue to play what I thought was Gold Glove caliber defense, he will be an asset to the Kansas City Royals.

The Minnesota Twins will begin the season with Jamey Carroll at shortstop.  Carroll is an aging shortstop who has always been a decent hitter for average.  In his 10 major league seasons, Carroll has hit for an average of .278.  In his last two seasons with Dodgers in 2010 and 2011, Carroll posted a .291 and .290 average.  Carroll has never shown any power.  His career high in doubles is 23 in 2006.  His career high in home runs is 5 also in 2006.  Since then Carroll has not even come close to those numbers.  Carroll will definitely struggle hitting in Minnesota and as he has aged his first step is slowing and he is trending downwards.

Now that all shortstops have briefly been discussed, I will rank them from 1 to 5 in my point of view as to how their overall production for the 2012 season will stack up.

  1. Alexei Ramirez
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera
  3. Jhonny Peralta
  4. Alcides Escobar
  5. Jamey Carroll

From my point of view, Alexei Ramirez will continue to produce the way he has his entire major league career and provide a solid bat in the White Sox line up.  If Asdrubal can show his power stroke was not a fluke, he could definitely be the #1 shortstop by a long shot.  Was last season a fluke?  This season could answer a lot of questions with the Indians.  Jhonny Peralta will be Jhonny Peralta, a decent average, but a player who will be helped a ton by the bats around him.  As for Escobar, his offense shows room for improvement, but he will play a gold glove caliber shortstop.  If he can improve his plate discipline Escobar could also move up this list.  As for Jamey Caroll, what is there to get excited about?

 

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Trade Suggestions For The Royals

The baseball winter meetings have concluded with a number of moves that significantly altered the landscape of baseball. While the Royals did not strike any deals, there are a few trades that would be interesting to see them explore in the coming months in an effort to help get them to the next level.

Photo Courtesy of Minda Haas

 

Proposed Trade #1: Royals trade Billy Butler and Jeremy Jeffress to the Rays for Jeff Niemann, Brandon Guyer, and Tim Beckham.

The Rays are looking for a right-handed bat to play at DH and first base, and Butler would be a perfect fit for them. He is young and talented, yet has a reasonable contract. Jeffress has the reputation of having a million dollar arm and a 10 cent head. Any sting from his departure could be absorbed by the deep Royal bullpen.

The right-handed Niemann has won at least 11 games in each of the past three seasons, and would provide sorely needed stability in the Royals rotation. Brandon Guyer, an outfielder, has a .297 career average in the minors, but has not yet been given an opportunity to play regularly in the majors. Beckham, the first overall selection in the 2008 draft started out his career in disappointing fashion, but has been building momentum the past couple of seasons, and could fit in nicely at shortstop for the Royals.

There could be concern that this trade would leave the Royals lineup too lefty-oriented, but the Red Sox had a potent offense this past year with six or more left-handed hitters regularly starting. Giving up a great bat like Butler would be a major loss, but a trade centered on a player of his caliber would bring a good return and could help restock their starting rotation.

Proposed Trade #2: Royals trade Greg Holland to the Blue Jays for Travis Snider.

The Blue Jays have been rumored to be hot after Holland, and improving their middle relief corps. A talented pitcher like Holland would be difficult to give up, but might be worth it if they could pry Snider away in the deal. Snider has had several unimpressive trials with Toronto, but will still be just 24 in 2012 and has a ton of talent. A change of scenery could be just what he needs.

The middle of the Royals’ infield could use some more punch after this past season, when Chris Getz and Alcides Escobar, their starting second baseman and shortstop combined for 4 home runs and 72 RBI in 1,027 at bats. Lowrie could be the answer. His game is all about versatility; from his ability to play any position in the infield, to his switch hitting. Although he has struggled with injuries in the past, he would be worth taking a chance, and could likely be pried away for Jeffress, who would be coveted by Boston in their effort to restock their bullpen.

Because of their need to operate with a set budget, the Royals have a slimmer margin of error when it comes to assembling their roster. However, they also have the assets to afford to entice a trading partner and take a gamble or two. Spring training is still two months away, so there is plenty of time for the Royals to evaluate and explore every angle, and determine if it is in their best interest to stand pat, or jump into the trade market.

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Stubby Clapp Gets Pitched

Now there’s a name from the past. One of the most popular players to come through the St. Louis farm system never quite caught on in the major leagues. In fact, the young man would play 11 years in the minors with a career average of .275. That would only translate to a major league career that would span 23 games and 25 at bats for a .200 average in 2001.

Stubby is back in familiar territory as he manages the Houston Astros Class-A affiliate, the Tri-City Valley Cats. This past week, the manager would take exception with a home plate umpire call. What would follow will surely come up as one of Stubby Clapp‘s career highlights:

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Kansas City Royals Fantasy Report: Week 2

The Royals are off to a 6-3 start in the AL central. The team is getting clutch performances from different players. Let’s see what the upcoming week looks like.

The Royals will play two at Minnesota this week then return home for a four game series with the Mariners and draw one of the tougher offensive schedules of the week. They get two Twin lefties in Brian Duensing and Francisco Liriano then at home they have Doug Fister, Eric Bedard, Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda.

The top half of the lineup is hitting well led by Billy Butler and Alex Gordon. The slow start for Mike Aviles has meant more time for Chris Getz at the top of the lineup. Getz has capitalized and he gets an instant boost in value, as he will gain more at-bats, which gives more opportunity to steal and be driven in by the heart of the line-up. In limited action last year he stole 15 and the year before swiped 25.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not:

HOT:

Billy Butler has hit in all 8 games he’s played in April. This week he went 9-17 and had four multi hit games. Early on, he is walking more and striking out less with a great .270 ISO.

Jeff Francis has seen his ground ball rates at 58% in the early goings and has a nice K/BB ratio of 4.00. This gives him a 1.98 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP through two starts. His BABIP has actually been unlucky at .268 but his LOB% is unsustainable at 98.4%, expect some regression to come. However as a two-start pitcher this week, Francis is good to go pitching in Target Field and matching up against a puny Seattle lineup is a nice draw.

Alex Gordon is starting to show glimpses that he may live up to his potential. He continued hitting this week going 9-20. Even though he is hitting the ball well, he may come back down to earth a bit this week. He faces three left-handers and has only hit .222 in his career versus southpaws. Plus he faces King Felix and has a .111 career average against him. If you have a better outfield option, this would be a week to consider it. Another good play would be to seek out his trade value, as it is most likely pretty high right now.

NOT:

Mike Aviles has started cold going 3-26. Wilson Betemit has seen more time at third. Manager Ned Yost said he would mix in players in the infield so this will not mean a permanent loss of time for Aviles.

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McGwire Is Better Off Without The Hall

When people ask for my opinion about Mark McGwire, his record-breaking season, and his steroid use, I simply put it this way:

“Watching Mark McGwire was like believing in Santa Claus as a kid. That moment I found out that everything I thought was real actually wasn’t was tough and changed my perspective on things. But it doesn’t change how I felt on Christmas morning.”

It took me almost a decade to come to settle on that analysis. To be honest, I was not one of the many who “knew” he was on something and turned a blind-eye to the issue. I was aware he was taking “Andro,” and accepted the explanation from McGwire and the media that it did nothing other than help him get a more efficient workout — the effect of a Gatorade, if you will. I honestly did not know any better.

When the steroid allegations came out, and McGwire made his infamous “I’m not here to talk about the past” statement, I felt sick. For years, I was a major McGwire hater, just sick to my stomach that I stood up for this guy who cheated the game and lied to fans everywhere, both young and old. But I’ve found my peace with the issue now and hopefully you have, too.

I don’t want to talk about whether or not McGwire “deserves” to get into the Hall of Fame. By now, you’ve probably made up your own mind. The numbers haven’t changed over the past 5 years. The supporters will cite his 583 homeruns, 70 HR season, gold glove award and his contributions to saving baseball. Detractors will cite his .263 career average, his failure to win an MVP award, and his steroid use.

The bottom line is: McGwire is better off without the Hall of Fame.

Think about it. How many casual fans across the country have heard of the likes of Josh Gibson, Joe Kelley, Rollie Fingers, Leon Day, and even Bruce Sutter? Those are all Hall of Famers. I’d say far more have heard of, say, Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Mark McGwire. They might as well be the chairmen of the “We don’t need no stinkin’ Hall of Fame” club.

As someone who didn’t watch the playing careers of Pete Rose or Shoeless Joe, I can tell you this much: I know more about those 2 players than 99% of the players in the Hall of Fame. It works in other areas of the game, too. For instance, there have been 20 pitchers to throw a perfect game in baseball history, including 2 just this year. I remembered Roy Halladay threw one, but had to look up that Dallas Braden threw the other.

But I did NOT have to look up Armando Gallaraga’s name. He was the pitcher who will go down in history as the one we all know had a perfect game, got robbed by a bad call, and handled the situation marvelously.

And let’s face it; the 1985 Cardinals still get tons of love from sports fans around the countries who know the team got robbed of a championship by a blown call. Had they won, they’d probably be a forgotten team on a long list of past champions. Instead, it’s “oh my gosh, those ’85 Cardinals, they got ROBBED!” The same will be said for Gallaraga, Rose, and perhaps McGwire for decades, if not centuries, to come.

Obviously it’s not a bad thing to be on a list of champions, Hall of Famers, or perfect pitchers. But in the long run, it’s not so bad to be on the short list of “should’ve been.”

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