MLB RT 20 February 2014
1. IF you owned a MLB team and had a Manager opening, would Dusty Baker be high on your want list?
ARCHIE: After 20 consecutive years as a manager with 3 different teams; Dusty has managed exactly 1 NL pennant and no WS championships. I have felt more than once he makes poor snap decisions during a game and seems to always find a way to lose the big ones. I understand players like him for the most part, but then likable does not always equate to winning.
JOE: Nope. I actually like a guy like Joe Girardi and, if, he was available that’s the guy I would want. I guess my biggest problem with Baker is that he seems to get you there but can’t get the big prize in the end.
STEPHAN: Dusty Baker has proven that he can win with multiple teams. He won with the Giants, the Cubs, and the Reds. However, he only has one World Series appearance to show for it, and zero championships. Baker would rate about a 5 on the want list. He would not be a bad hire, but would not be my first choice.
2. Jeter announced retirement at the end of season, is he a first round HOF’r?
ARCHIE: 13 times AS, 12 times in the running for MVP, ROY, 5 GG, 5 SS awards, career .312 BA and over 3300 hits: If he is NOT a first ballot type of player then there is none out there.
JOE: Without a doubt… his numbers match up with some of the best ever and I addressed just this issue in a recent article I did right here on 7pound… “Something in the way they played the game…”… where I compared his yearly averages to Pete Rose (we all know why he ain’t in there) and Honus Wagner, arguably the game’s best shortstop ever and one of the original five to be inducted into the Hall.
STEPHAN: This is a no brainer. I think that Jeter with his 3000 hits, and his all around play will earn him a first ballot Hall of Fame induction. The 5 World Series titles will put that over the top.
3. Who do you have your eye on for comeback player of the year in 2014?
ARCHIE: I am really excited to see Brandon Beachy get back to his 2012 form. I truly believe he is going to solidify the Braves Starting rotation this year and I hope like hell I am not wrong. …LOL
JOE: I’m going with Derek Jeter… Big farewell push… I think he bats around .300 and gets at least 90 runs scored with maybe 180 to 190 hits.
STEPHAN: Despite having some down years. I have my eye on two players; Tim Hudson and Johan Santana. Both have been top tier pitchers at one time, with Santana being one of the best in baseball for many years in a row before getting injured. Hudson has been off and on, but seemingly has been on the verge of having a breakout type season.
4. Reds take off all facial hair for the 2014 campaign. Since the BoSox did the opposite last year, what do you think of the Reds policy for this season?
ARCHIE: I think of it the same way as I did the bearded bunch last season, it’s all a bunch of publicity bunk. Does not mean crap and personally I feel some guys need to wear facial hair and some don’t so why not leave to the individuals.
JOE: It doesn’t mean a thing… if players don’t have the talent and the ability as well as, in some cases the breaks, or luck, to win it all. Now, I am not really sure why they want to do this… or, why the Red Sox did what they did… I am guessing it is being used as rallying around the flag kind of thing and if it works to build camaraderie and gets the guys to play as a unit, then, hell why not.
STEPHAN: I have never been a fan of having these types of superstitions. Lets face it, the Red Sox were loaded with talent both offensively, and defensively. They did not win because of the size of their beards. The Reds going no facial hair is not going to do anything, except maybe boost their appearance a little bit.
5. Take your favorite team and select their first round draft pick for them.
ARCHIE: Obviously for me the team is the Braves. Given that by the time their pick comes around Carlos Rodon will not be available; here is the kid I would like to see them go after.
School: Cathedral Catholic (GA)
Date of Birth: 8/16/1996
2014 Class: High School Senior
Committed To: UCLA
JOE: Damn made me do some homework: Okay, first: I doubt the Yankees will even get anywhere near a a position in the draft that will get them any of the guys I got listed but… here are my top four choices in no particular order:
1) Jacob Gatewood (California): 6’4/190 lb shortstop with plus power. Scouting report says he has a big arm, big power and average speed. He is athletic and is likely to stay in the infield. That adds up to an easy top of the first round pick. If he attends college, he is committed to Southern California.
2) Sean Newcomb (Connecticut) 6’5/245 lbs left handed pitcher. Scouting report says 95 mph fastball. He has an exceptional slider that he combines with a curveball and changeup, an impressive repertoire for a collegiate pitcher. Still needs to improve command over his secondary pitchers but has big (pun unintended) upside.
3) Ti’quan Forbes (Mississippi) 6’4/ 175 lb shortstop. Scouting report says he has above average speed and base running abilities and can cover plenty of ground at short. He has offensive abilities that will improve as he fills his slender frame out… good bat speed that with added muscles should develop into some power.
4) Jack Flaherty (California) 6’4/205 lb shortstop. Scouting report says he should fill in to 225 pound athlete, in a Scott Rolen type mold. Arm strength and actions make for a high quality 3B prospect. Bat speed and path was good, patient and selective approach that displayed solid plate coverage. He showed the ability to spray with gap to gap power, power looks to be at least above average as he fills out. He has soft hands, ability to pick anything, traits for plus defensive ability. Squares up with very good velocity, quick bat and drops the bat head in the zone, solid blend of contact and power, drives the ball well gap to gap. Average speed, but has good instincts and quick first step meaning that he will not be a clogger on the paths.
STEPHAN: I think he will be drafted earlier. But if I am the Braves GM; I take Carlos Rodon out of North Carolina State. He is a left handed pitcher who went 10-3 striking out 184 and walking only 45. He was the USA player of the year in 2013. I think the Braves need to focus on pitching like they did in the mid to late 90’s, and start winning championships again.
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