MLBRT 1/28… Roberto Clemente & more this week @ MLBRT

 MLBRT with SS.3

Outspoken players speaking their minds… and… oops… did he really say that?

Baseball ready to retire another number league wide?

And some thoughts on next years pennat races…

Its’s all happening with the crew at this week’s MLBRT!

1)  Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said the following to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “I’m not going to sit here and say we’re going to compete for the playoffs this year. If I did that, you’d call me a liar. I’d lose credibility and respect. I want to win and I don’t see us winning in the foreseeable future. I want to go to a World Series. That’s what all players want. Rebuilding is not a lot of fun for any veteran guy.”

Lucroy, if you haven’t guessed yet, is asking to be traded…

What’s your opinion on Lucroy’s strategy and his choice of words?

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: Honestly, Jonathan Lucroy isn’t wrong. He doesn’t want to spend time on a team that’s rebuilding.

Lucroy would welcome trade to contender
Lucroy would welcome trade to contender

And, it’s not like they’re working from a starting point of a solid minor league system. Milwaukee had one of, if not the worst farm system in all of baseball. And, these trades they’ve made so far haven’t made a lot of sense as they’re focusing heavily on the middle infield.

Lucroy wants to go to a contender, a team that can win now. Milwaukee should look into trading him because he could bring back a big return with his talent and ability as a hitting catcher. He’s completely right. So, I have no problem with what he said.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: Nothing wrong with honesty.

The Brewers are likely not going to make a playoff run, and, if, he wants to be traded to a team that can get there, then that’s his choice. The Brewers are trying to deal him anyway, it’s just a matter of finding a fit.

I’d assume the closer we get to spring training, Lucroy is going to get his wish, but I have no problem with him asking to be dealt.

meJoe: I understand what Lucroy is doing and I don’t necessarily disagree with him. However, the method by which he delivered the message is rather over the top.Lucroy

Actually, I think I understand what Lucroy is getting to… its not just about the money all the time, soemtimes it’s about the rings… winning the championships. His time to be on a team that has achnace to even just go to the playoffs is waning and he probably wants to be on a team that has, at least a chance.

It’s just the way the message was delivered… it was sort of stupid. There will be some Milwaukee fans who will probably say they understand but I bet a lot more will give him plenty of heat every time he comes to bat in the team’s home games.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: Congratulations, Jonathan Lucroy, you have just turned the Milwaukee Brewers fans against you. No way do you say that in a public forum, I don’t care which team you play for.

Sure, the Brewers are not likely to go to the playoffs, but, seriously, they are not that bad of a team. They are two years removed from a pretty good season, and, last season came back to respectability after the horrid start.

I don’t like the choice of words at all, and, I don’t even think he has merit. Some team will be interested in him, but, with an attitude like that, I wouldn’t want him on my team.

2) Recently Buster Olney (on ESPN.com) wrote, “(The)… time has come for Major League Baseball to honor (Roberto) Clemente in the way that it did Jackie Robinson, and retire Clemente’s No. 21, for all teams and for all time. In keeping with the Robinson precedent, an appropriate day could occur in 2017, two days after the 20th anniversary of when Jackie Robinson’s number was retired.”

What’s your opinion… should MLB retire Roberto Clemente’s number and/or have a day in his honor?

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: Yes, they should.clemente

What Roberto Clemente did for the game of baseball in the Latino community is huge. Not only was he a big-time player with an amazing stat sheet, he was also a great contributor to the community off the field as well. His death was a tragedy and I believe they should retire his number across baseball like Jackie Robinson’s number is as well as put him as a day (maybe the 21 of some month or something). 

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: Yeah, I think it’s time to honor Roberto Clemente the same way Jackie is honored.

Also, I would allow certain players who want to honor his memory to wear number 21 before it’s retired everywhere. Similar, to how Mariano Rivera was allowed to wear #42, I’d allow a player that would want to wear #21 for Clemente to wear it.

Carlos Correa recently made that request of the Houston Astros, who retired #21 for Roger Clemens, to wear the number for Clemente. The Astros should consider Correa’s request. I thought it was a bold and sincere move on his part.

1961 All-Star Game (L to R) Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron
1961 All-Star Game (L to R) Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron

meJoe: If, MLB wants to have a day every year to honor Roberto Clemente… I’m good witht that. As far as retiring his number… sorry, no.

I understand why MLB retired Jackie Robinson’s number and while I had reservations about that action I did ultimately beleive it was the right thing to do. However,  I think it league wide retirement of player numebrs should end there.

As great a player and as a great a humanitarian Clemente was , I don’t think retirign his number is necessary for MLB, or anyone else, to continaully honor the man and his deeds.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: I may take some hits on this, but I will say no. Pittsburgh retired his number, and that is enough. roberto-clemente-

I respect and admire everything that Clemente did on and off the field. He was a true ambassador of the game, but to retire his number, is just crazy.

If baseball does this, it will make two players whose number is retired all around baseball. Jackie Robinson being the first, and for what he did to break the color barrier in baseball, I would say he absolutely deserves that honor. Clemente, as good as he was on and off the field I just don’t think he deserves to have his number retired in all of baseball.

Sorry, but that is my opinion. 

3) There seem to be articles all over the internet that tout the Chicago Cubs as the team to beat in 2016, with some saying the Cubbies are one of the favorites… if not the favorite… to represent the NL in the World Series.

What’s your opinion on this issue? Are the Cubs the odds-on favorite to go to the World Series or is there another team you favor more?

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: Right now, I can definitely see the Cubs being the early odds-on favorite to go to the World Series out of the National League.Cards-Cubs

The only other team that I can see competing with them at this point in time is out of the same division and a rival, the St Louis Cardinals. But the Cubs had a great season last year, added Jason Heyward and lost basically nobody, so yes, I believe they’re the top contenders.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: On paper you have to say the Chicago Cubs are the favorites. They added pitching and Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist are also great additions to their lineup.

With that said, games are not played on paper. The season has to be played, and, who knows where the Cubs end up.

But, I have no problem with the Cubs being listed the favorite. Even over the Mets who actually beat the Cubs to end up in the World Series last season.

meJoe: On paper they look damn good… but isn’t here a tema in NY that has a starting rotation that is four or five men deep? And, also made a few additions/changes in their infield and outfield? I think you can’t count out the Mets. Nor should anyone ever count out the Cardinals. And, isn’t this an even year? So that should mean the Giants will be contending for another ring, too.

2016... the year for the Cubs at long last?
2016… the year for the Cubs at long last?

All of this is to mean… championships are not won on paper or in the offseason regadless of who any tema signs. Didn’t the Nationals make a big signing or two last offseason and didn’t many media grand poohbahs annoit them as the winners of the 2015 World Sereis?

How did that work out?

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: The Cubs are going to be good, very good, probably great. I would say that they are one of the favorites to advance to the World Series. However, you cannot overlook a team like the Mets, or Giants who hold some of the best pitching rotations in baseball. Plus it is an even year, so doesn’t that mean the Giants are favored to win the World Series?

The Cubs made some key offseason moves getting Heyward, Zobrist, and Lackey, to an already loaded lineup. I am very interested to see what Bryant does in his Sophomore year. He produces and the pitching holds true to form, the Cubs are going to be tough to beat, and, they are easily the favorites in the Central. I still think they need one more arm in the starting rotation to compete in the playoffs. 

4) Turning towards the AL… Which teams are your top three pre-spring training favorites to make the 2016 World Series? And, do you have an overall favorite?Royals

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: I think in the American League, if, I had to name a top-3 to make it to the World Series I would have to say Kansas City Royals in a return, Toronto Blue Jays after the season they had last year and I would throw another random team in that a lot of people don’t have on their radar is New York Yankees just because of their bullpen.

My overall favorite is Kansas City to return to the World Series. Not a lot of changes happened in the off-season and I believe they can come back and do it again this year but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Toronto take off into the World Series after last year’s improvement.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: The Royals are still in the top three. Kansas City, still should have that momentum to be one of the better teams in the American League.Raangers

I’m skeptical about declaring the Yankees as my 2nd team because their lineup doesn’t give me much confidence, but their pitching staff and bullpen should be good enough in the AL East.

My 3rd team is the Texas Rangers. If Yu Darvish is healthy, and not dragged down by the gambling suspicions surrounding his brother, then I think the Rangers should put together a good season.

I do not have an overall favorite though. Not as of today.

meJoe: I’ll take The KC Royals to contend, I think the Blue Jays look good as do the Rangers…Yankees

I don’t think Houston will be as good in 2016 as they were in 2015 and I’m not convinced the Red Sox did enough to put themsleves over the top. We shall see what David Price does but just him alone… I don’t think is enough. The other signings they made didn’t impress me.

I will add one other team I think will contend in 2016… a team most peeps said wouldn’t even make the playoffs in 2015… however,  I predicted that they would (check the archives… I picked them back when)… the NY Yankees.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve:  I still like the Royals, as they are still easily the team to beat in the AL Central, sure they lost Zobrist and Cueto, but, they still have their core players in Cain, Gordon, and Perez. They are going to be a threat once again.Red Sox

I also like the Red Sox (well I don’t like them but…) to take the East. The Sox seemingly are going for broke in adding David Price to lead the rotation, and, an All Star closer in Craig Kimbrel to finish the games. The Red Sox should take the East over Toronto, New York, and Baltimore, but, that will be a tight division all year. Don’t count out Tampa Bay with their young players either.

In the west I like Texas, and I am picking Texas to win the American League this season. After last season’s surprise season, Texas is built to win, with an impressive offense and a fantastic rotation. Texas is the team to beat in the AL this season.

5) This past week it was announced that Aroldis Chapman will not face any charges in Florida for his alleged domestic dispute case. That being said, should MLB still consider suspending him for his possible domestic abuse towards his girlfriend or should they now drop the matter altogether? 

Dan-3-e1444417855165Dan: No, the MLB should just drop it altogether.

If, you look at the criminal report, he was dismissed of all his charges. According to the state of Florida, Aroldis Chapman did nothing wrong so the MLB shouldn’t suspend him.

E_J_-12-e1437441468102Earl: I understand the authorities not pursuing a case against Chapman, but, due to what we do know about the alleged case, I do think Major League Baseball has to suspend him.chapman

Something happened that night and a gun was discharged in the incident. Whether, it was at the wall, or whatever, that alone was reckless. For that alone, I’d give Chapman a couple of games just to sit down and think about some of the decisions he’s making in life.

meJoe: Unless MLB has some real convincing and damning evidence…

…then drop it.

MLBRT Steve small iconSteve: Drop it.

The legal proceedings have run its course and there are no charges filed. This means there was not enough evidence to convict Chapman in a court of law. That being said, there was probably more to it than we were first given. Give him a warning, and, if, he ever has any conduct issues moving forward then a suspension would be warranted.

This was his first offense, and, it is more likely that he didn’t fire a gun in the air. He threw a bullet and it seemed like he shot one.

Monte Irvin

Extra Innings…

On this day in baseball history… 1949

The NewYork Giants sign their first black players…

Negro Leaguers Monte Irvin and pitcher Ford Smith.

Both men are assigned to Jersey City.

Irvin will wind up being a star for the Giants, but, Smith is not destined to reach the major leagues.

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