It’s time for MLBRT once again… the crew…Archie, Sandy, Stephan & Joe… talk about which baseball record is unbreakable, Hall of Famers, the World Series and more. Each of the crew, also, chimes in on why they are fans of the game…
1) What baseball record in MLB is the one record that is unbreakable… i.e., that you never expect to see broken?
Archie: By now there is a plethora of records out there untouchable. But when I look back the one record that just jumps off the page at me is Cy Young’s record for complete games. He had 749 complete games, the closest to him is still 103 games behind and NO ONE in the modern era even has 500.
Joe: Actually the list of unbreakable baseball records, in my mind, is a lot larger than probably most folks think… some of them:
Career complete games (749); 9 season with 40 complete games, career wins (511)… all by Cy Young… I reckon there is a reason they named an award after him…
5714 career Ks; career no-hitters (7)… Nolan Ryan…
Career hits 4256… Pete Rose.
But, there are 2 that I think are near impossible, if not impossible to break… the 2 unbreakable baseball records? Consecutive no-hitters and most grand slams in an inning. Both currently stand at 2.
Johnny Vander Meer is the only pitcher to ever throw 2 no-hitters in a row… on June 11, 1938 versus the Boston Bees and then 4 days l\ater versus the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Thirteen players have hit two grand slams in one game but only Fernando Tatis has ever hit 2 grand slams in the same inning when he did it on April 23, 1999 in the 3rd inning for the St Louis Cardinals. Incidentally, he also set a new major league record with eight RBIs in a single inning.
In my opinion, it would take a miracle to break either record.
Just pitching one no-hitter, in and of itself, is a rarity and extremely difficult. To pitch 2 in a row has been done once. Ever! To pitch 3 in a row? A near statistical impossibility.
And… 2 grand slams in an inning? First ya gotta get up to bat at least three times in one inning AND then have the bases loaded each time… what are the odds?
Sandy: There are a few that will probably not be broken, but I think the number one record is Cy Young’s career wins (511). He had 5 seasons with 30+ wins and 9 with 20+ wins, that is just too hard to compete with. The current active leader in wins is Tim Hudson with 214, He would have to average 25 wins for the next 11 years to break the record, and he’s already 38 yr old. The best pitcher in baseball is Kershaw and he’d have to average 25 wins for the next 16 years. There are too many good hitters for any one to average 25 wins every season, plus injuries and its just too hard to be that good for that long.
Stephan: No doubt it is Cal Ripken’s consecutive games streak. Injuries are too great in this era.
2) Next year’s Hall of Fame Weekend will be held July 24-27. Among the first time candidates will be Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Gary Sheffield and John Smoltz. Will Smoltz join his teammates, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, as another first time electee into the Hall?
Archie: He should be first time elected. While he never reached the magical “300” wins, he is the only pitcher with 200+ wins and 150+ saves…..ever.
He was dominate in his day. He won a Cy Young. He was an 8 time All Star. And, in the playoffs he was clutch. He had more wins than either Maddux or Glavine in the post season. I say, yes, put him in.
Joe: John Smoltz is the only MLB player in history to have over 200 wins and 150 saves. He is the only guy besides Dennis Eckersley to have a 20 win season and a 50 plus save season.
On April 22, 2008 he became the 16th pitcher to enter the 3,000 strikeout club. He is an 8 time All-Star… has a Cy Young Award (1996) and won a Rolaids Relief Award (2002).
He “only” won 215 games but again he was top notch reliever for a chunk of his career… Lifetime 3.33 ERA, 1.176 WHIP and almost 3 strikeouts to every walk he issued.
He only won one WS ring but not due to anything he ever did in the postseason… 15-4 w/l … 2.67 ERA, he appeared in 41 games but 14 of those were in relief… as a starter he almost averaged 8 innings per start (by my rough estimates) and had a 1.14 WHIP. The man was dominating in the postseason.
This screams 1st time electee… the only problem? His competition… Randy Johnson is a shoo-in and then I think it’s going to be between Smoltz and Pedro Martinez for the second possible player being elected… if there is one in 2015. I doubt 3 payers get in like 2014. But, my opinion… if I had a vote? 3 guys would get in.
Sandy: It wouldn’t surprise me if Smoltz is a first ballot selection. Even if he isn’t quite the pitcher that Maddux was, he’s pretty close, so I think he will get selected.
Stephan: I hope he does, but I look for Smoltz to be among the inductees in 2016.
3) The Red Sox are not going to repeat as World Series champs this year. It’s been 13 years since a team did repeat as a World Series champ… is there a team in today’s game that you think is capable of being a repeat WS winner? Who and why?
Archie: I actually do think the Nationals have the core to accomplish this. As a Braves fan it will be hard to watch but I do believe the Nationals have the starting pitching. And I think they have the core of hitters with Desmond, Harper, Span, Ramos and LaRoche that can put up enough
numbers to accomplish said mission. When you look at pure talent on a current team one would first predict the Angels or Dodgers for this. But my choice would be the Nationals.
Joe: I’m not sure it will be done in the near future in what appears to be the current system of parity in MLB. But, one team I do like, and if any could do it, is the LA Dodgers. I just think they have a good offensive nucleus… a “somewhat” dominant pitcher as well as a damn nice overall pitching staff and the owners are willing to spend money to rearm if, and when, they need to.
Sandy: Actually I don’t think a team can repeat as World Series champs, its just too hard to maintain teams with injuries and other factors, like suspension etc. Injuries may force you to sign a lesser player just to cover for the injured one, especially a pitcher. I’ve seen teams win one year and then start a rebuilding process usually because of money, like the Marlins have done in the past and most recently the Red Sox.
Stephan: Sure, a team like the Cardinals who are in it every year it seems like would have a chance. If it was not for a collapse against the Giants in 2012, they may have repeated.
Archie: Many think I am crazy but if I had to give up watching/tracking every sport but one I would be left with MLB. I have been enamored with baseball all the way back to my sandlot days. Always will be I guess. But I just love way a player can go from zero to hero in less than a second. But it can go the other way just as fast.
Joe: Since I was knee high to a grasshopper baseball was always my sport… I lived and breathed it as a kid. I knew every stat there was and as far as my team… the NY Yankees… there was not any player on that team… from 1959 through 1967… that I could not name and run off all their numbers.
But, the thing I love about baseball is that it’s a game of strategy that when well played can be a wonderful, beautiful thing to watch. But, it also has these two very valuable life lessons… (1) anyone can be a baseball player… size really does not matter if you have skills and work hard, and, (2) there ain’t no clock in baseball. So, even though the odds may seem totally against you… you can still win. You can persevere. Ask the 2004 Red Sox. Game 4 of the ACLS… facing elimination with 1 strike to go… won the game and then won the Worlds Series in 4 straight.
Sandy: I follow my teams as much as I can, but I found that letting a loss get to you is frustrating. I figure if they aren’t sending me any money, I will just root for them and leave it at that, It doesn’t affect me to any great extend if they lose, so for me its just entertainment.
Stephan: Baseball is everything to me. I have been playing since I was 3 years old. I have never missed a World Series, no matter who is playing. I will go to a game even when the teams playing are no interest to me. It’s my passion, and I take it very seriously.
5) Alex Rodriguez will be eligible to play baseball again in 2015. Will he have any impact at all as a MLB player? Or, should the Yankees just try to get together with the commissioner’s office and MLBPA and try to work out a deal to buy him out?
This, as far as I know, would be the first time that has ever been done in MLB. Of course, any deal would be contingent on ARod agreeing to it.
Archie: He will be 39 years old upon his return and will be owed $61 Million dollars for three more years. I DON’T think he will be as effective as he was before. His numbers had already started to decline after he turned 35 in 2011. So, if there was any way the Yankees could shut him down with a buy out I think he would take it, and I think the Yankees would be far better off in the long run.
Joe: Before ARod was suspended for a year his skills were already eroding… his numbers were already falling. He has now not played competitive baseball for over a year? He will never return to anywhere near his former baseball self. That’s my opinion. Plus, the baggage that he carries and the constant hectoring by the media and the public that he will be constantly under will be a major distraction and do no one any good….the Yanks, their opponents, MLB, the Union. So, for all concerned… the Yanks, MLB, MLBPA and ARod should work out some type of buyout.
Sandy: I would think ARod would want to get away from the Yankees. They have not been on his side from the start. Buying him out would be best for both of them. Not sure how much of an impact he will have since missing a year and will turn 40 in July. Also not sure any teams would want him and his baggage, so, he and the Yankees may be stuck with each other.
Stephan: No, A-Rod will be in pinstripes next year like it or not. He is owed too much money for him to sit out or cut him. If the Yanks are smart, they should try and get a team to take him and at least egg something for him as they will have to eat most of his contract.
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