Hit King Debate… MLBRT 6/23


MLBRT with SS.3

The Hit King Debate…

So, who is the real Hit King?
Ichiro… 4257… or… Pete… 4256… ???
See who the crew thinks it is in this week’s MLBRT… 
That and more MLB news… 
1) Recently, Ichiro Suzuki tied and then surpassed Pete Rose’s career hit total of 4,256. Some media sources… especially the Japanese media… as well as some MLB people, are reporting that Ichiro is the new “Hit King.”
ichiro suzuki photo
Pete Rose, and a fair amount of other media people and other MLB people, are saying while it is an accomplishment what Ichiro has done … 1,278 hits in the Japanese Pacific League and another 2,979 hits (as of 6/16 and counting) in MLB… it doesn’t make Ichiro the Hit King as Japanese ball is not on an equal level with MLB. What is your take on this issue… is Ichiro the new Hit King or does Petey still retain the title? Why?
Dan 3Dan: No, Ichiro is not the new hit king. While what he did in Japan is impressive & he does have more total hits than Pete Rose in both combined leagues, it’s not a fair comparison. Ichiro & Pete
There are players who have dominated in the Japanese leagues, came to the MLB and did very poorly. Right now, you can find the wash-ups who couldn’t land a MLB contract playing in Japan or Korea. It’s not the same kind of baseball, it’s not the same league, it doesn’t count towards the stats that were put up while playing for Major League Baseball. Pete Rose remains the hit king

Pete Rose is still the hit king because you can argue that by doing it solely in Major League Baseball, he accomplished the mark against better competition.
Ichiro accomplished a great thing, and he should reach 3,000 hits in Major League Baseball this season, but, I would not declare Ichiro the new hit king.
Ichiro hit record

Japanese professional baseball is not on the same level as MLB… please, accept that premise. It maybe as high as Triple A level at best. Therefore, while Ichiro amassing as many hits as he has is a damn nice accomplishment, it is in no way equal to, or better, than what Pete Rose did. Sorry, but that’s just the truth. 
Rose Hit record 
Petey is still the all-time hit king. 
Ichiro will be a Hall of Famer… 
He will have the 3,000 hit mark as a feather on his HOF cap but he is not the Hit king and he won’t have that feather to include on his cap. 

Maybe, if, you are taking a look at Baseball in general, you can consider Ichiro the All time hit leader. But, as far as the records go, this is strictly Major League Baseball and for that Pete Rose holds this record.  So, for all purposes, Rose is still your all time hit King as that is a MLB record, not all of baseball world wide.

Still the King?
Still the King?
I have much respect for what Suzuki has done. Not only in MLB, but in Japan as well.
But, it is a completely different dynamic over in Japan than in MLB. Just look at Tuffy Rhodes. He hit 55 home runs in Japan, but, when he was playing in MLB he had a very sub par career.

So, this is not a difficult question to answer. Pete Rose is still your MLB hit king. 

2) Recently, Hall of Famer and TV sports personality Pedro Martinez said, This is the year where I’d say, if the Yankees get any help to get to the sixth inning, they’re unbeatable, to me… they’re right there with the Kansas City Royals and those guys.”

Assuming Pedro is correct in his analysis… in your opinion, what type of help would the Yankees need to get for their everyday lineup that would enable them to reach the 6th inning on a regular basis?

Dan 3Dan: I think the Yankees need some solid offensive help along with some more solid pitching. While I do think they can get to the sixth inning, they just need some extra help from the rest of the rotation and a consistent offense to get them there. I agree with Pedro Martinez that the seventh, eighth and ninth innings are a lock for the Yankees.

Pedro Martinez
Pedro Martinez

The Yankees need bats in the worst way possible. They have a lot of big names on their roster but they all lack consistency. The Yankees are 19th in overall batting average, their leading hitter Carlos Beltran ranks 59th in MLB with his .283 average, and truly outside of Beltran the bats are suffering. Suffering.
Problem is with the contracts their big names have, the Yankees are stuck. I can’t see them making any upgrades at all, and its why I think they’ll eventually trade Chapman and/or Miller by the trade deadline once the AL East starts to get away from them.

Tuesday night I went to see the Yanks play the Colorado Rockies… I saw them play and I was not impressed… I am here to ell you the Yanks need help to get to the 6th inning… a lot of help.

They need a pitcher… a true #1 pitcher. Colorado is a damn good hitting team… they have few holes in their lineup 1 through 7. Yankee pitchers… their starting 5… as constituted… cannot stop those hitters that a team like Colorado has. They need an ace. A Kershaw type ace is not available, but, they need to find someone they can call an ace. Right now, their best starter might be a #2 but is probably more of a very good 3 or a 2 1/2.

ARod & McCann hitting .219 as of June 21
ARod & McCann hitting .219 as of June 21

And, they need a true bopper to place in the middle of their lineup. The lineup I saw had ARod batting 3rd and McCann batting 4th.  Before a pitch was thrown, they were batting a combined .219… That’s .219 each. Sorry, I never really was a big Joe Torre fan but I will say this…Torre would have had no problem bruising some egos and moving those two Caspar milquetoasts down to around 6th or 7th… or lower… in the lineup. 

Which brings me to the manager… up to now I’ve been a big Joe Girardi backer. I thought he has done a good job with what he had at his disposal. I am beginning to rethink that. Girardi needs to start to be willing to bruise some egos and tell certain players if you don’t produce either you will be batting lower in the lineup or maybe be grabbing some splinters in your ass as you sit on some pine. Your choice.  

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Pedro is correct. Meaning that, the Yankees have one of the best end of the line bullpens in all of baseball with Delin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. And, lets not discount Chasen Shreve who can throw the ball. The problem is that the Yankees lack starting pitching. So, they are going to need a starting pitcher or two before the trade deadline, if, they have any hope to making the post season this year. 

Two things could happen here, they could decide to rebuild and unload a guy like Miller or Chapman, or they could go out and make a big move for a top of the line starting pitcher. Maybe a Jose Fernandez? I could see the Marlins trading him for some top tier prospects. 

3) While their World Series drought is not as long as the Chicago Cubs, the Texas Rangers run without a World Series title presently stands at 56 years… and… they have never, ever, won a World Series throughout their history… either as the Rangers or when they were the 2nd incarnation of the Washington Senators (1960-1971.) (Note: they have been in two World Series… losing to the Giants in 2010 and the Cardinals in 2011.)  

If, the Rangers won the World Series it would, of course, deny the long suffering Cubs’ fans any relief from their dubious honorific of being called “lovable losers”… but…

Is this the year the Texas Rangers win their very first World Series title?

Dan 3Dan: 
I think it’ll be between them and the Boston Red Sox in the American League. But, I don’t think Texas is going to end up beating San Francisco or Chicago. While, I don’t like the Cubs at all, I think it’d be really cool to see both Texas and Chicago in the World Series with one of them winning.

But, this year, I believe it’ll be the National League who enjoys the crown. So, no, I don’t think this is the year for the Rangers’ first Championship. 

Can rangers walk off with 1st World Series ever?
Can rangers walk off with 1st World Series ever?
E_J_-12-238x300Earl: The Rangers currently have the best record in the American League and are in the process of putting the AL West in their rear view mirror. They have the hitting, they have the pitching, and they have the resources to strengthen their team at the trade deadline.
Can they win the World Series? We are a long way from October but they have the goods to get it done. Ask this question again come September though, because, I think its too early to give a definitive answer on the Rangers.

Short and simple answer…
They have impressed the hell out of me so far. I’ve got them on my radar, and, right now, I make them a possibility to go all the way… 

At the beginning of the season, I picked these Texas Rangers to win the World Series over the Chicago Cubs. I think they have the experience factor in their favor to produce in the post season, they have it all, pitching, hitting, a decent bullpen. They have it all to win the World Series this year.

I do like the Cubs though, these guys are an offensive power, with an outstanding pitching staff, and, a great manager who has a World Series appearance under his belt. The Cubs struggle in one area that could hurt them in the post season, that is one run games. Entering Tuesday, they are 9-10 in one run games and 38-11 in all other games. So, if, the Cubs are winning they are winning big, but, they have trouble with the close games. So, if, I am a betting man right now, I am staying with my pick that the Texas Rangers will win the World Series this year. 

4) Last week (on 6/15 actually), the Colorado Rockies cut ties with Jose Reyes by designating him for assignment. The team now has 10 days to trade, release, or waive him. Essentially, the Rockies will, in all likelihood, wind up releasing Reyes.  

Are you shocked at this turn of events? And, do you have any thoughts on what teams might sign Reyes?Reyes

Dan 3Dan: I’m very shocked. And, it has nothing to do with the case Jose Reyes has fought and the suspension he served. I’m shocked that they’re just going to cut ties with him after what they gave up in Troy Tulowitzki, etc… to the Blue Jays for him at the last trade deadline.Then, not only, did they give up what they did, but, it’s also the fact, that they have a very large contract that he’s owed. Why just give up on him like that without giving a chance? Was Trevor Story really the biggest reason? Or, is there more to this than what the public is able to find out?

But, I think he’ll rejoin the New York Mets as they want him back and he really, really wants to come back to the Mets. Some recent reporters have even cited it as a no-brainer. So, that’s my choice: New York Mets get Jose Reyes in a reunion. 

Not shocking with Trevor Story around, and I don’t think the Rockies wanted Reyes as much as they wanted to move on Tulowitzki. With that said, I do think Jose Reyes will find someone to take a chance. The Royals have discussed the possibility, as well as the Mets. I think the Mets are the most likely considering David Wright is out for the season, and they could shift around their infield to open a spot for Reyes. Maybe a homecoming for old #7 will re-invigorate his career. Wouldn’t hurt the Mets at this point to make it happen.

I’ m not shocked…

Way, Jose?
Way, Jose?
This Round Table touched on the Reyes story back when Ryan Story was the hottest hitter around and one of the questions asked something like… Is Reyes in danger of losing his job when he comes back from suspension? 

I believe I suggested it was a possibility. And… here we are now and he is about to be cut with the Rockies having to eat some big time money.As far as where he will go? Some team will eventually pick him up when a key infielder goes down and they need the help. Just don’t expect that to happen right away. Not even to the Mets as has been strongly rumored in the media in recent days. 

Steve-01-288x300Steve: First, am I surprised? No. The off the field issues for Reyes has proved to be his kryptonite. So, the Rockies are parting ways with Reyes. Especially, with a new hot young shortstop in Trevor Story, the Rockies don’t need Reyes, and the baggage that comes with it.
That being said, I said it before and Ill say it again. I think the Mets should take a strong look at Reyes with David Wright fighting the injury bug. Reyes has ties to the Mets as he was an All Star with the Mets before being traded to Toronto. He would be a good fit and would fill some needs in the infield for New York. 

5) Since Madison Bumgarner has said he wants in for the Home Run Derby during the All-Star game festivities, MLB has begun dickering around with the possibility of having a kind of separate mini Home Run Derby where only pitchers would participate. The latest plan is for Bumgarner and other pitchers to have a round of swings that would last somewhere between two and three minutes. In your opinion, is this plan a good idea or bad idea?
Dan 3Dan: This is a great idea. Not only will it attract more fans to tune in to the Home Run Derby, but, it’ll also make it more interactive and more interesting. Pitchers are always deemed as players who just can’t hit. An automatic out so-to-say. With a mini Home Run Derby for them, they can show off their skills. If, it fails in the first year, then take it away but at least give them a shot. The pitchers want it, the fans want it, give it to them.2015-Home-Run-Derby-1024x809
The only issue is if they get hurt swinging the bat, then it’s an issue. But, they can get hurt doing anything. Why not let them have some fun

I have no idea why Major League Baseball won’t just go all the way in and let Bumgarner participate. To hell with this mini Home Run Derby idea. The whole thing is stupid to me. Either Bumgarner or any other pitcher for that matter enter the real thing, or just don’t bother.

If, pitchers are going to be in a Home Run Derby then they have to be in THE Home Run Derby not some cockamamie artificially concocted BS home run derby. 
End of story… 

Bad idea. If, you are going to put a pitcher it the Home Run derby (I am completely for this by the way) then put them in the HR derby.
Bumgarner can hit bombs. I have seen him in batting practice and he can take balls to the upper deck routinely. So, put the pitchers in if they want to compete. I would love to see it, just don’t separate it from the other hitters.
You want to play with the big boys, then play, don’t separate. 

Extra Innings…  

Ernie ShorePerfect

On June 23rd 1917 in arguably the greatest relief performance ever… Red Sox reliever Ernie Shore replaced starter Babe Ruth, who had walked the only batter he faced, and retires the next consecutive 26 batters. The only base runner is thrown out trying to steal second.

Ernie Shore (l) and Babe Ruth
Ernie Shore (l) and Babe Ruth

On June 23, 1917, The Red sox were playing the Washington Senators Fenway Park. Babe Ruth, who was a pitcher back then, started the game. He walked the first batter he faced. For whatever reason, the Babe, who sometimes could get angry at the drop of a hat, started arguing with ump about something. Maybe the strike zone. Problem was that, according to newspaper accounts of the day, the ump also had a short fuse.

The ump tossed the Ruth and now Ruth was even angrier and as he left the field of play hit the ump with a glancing punch. And… for some reason, at this point the Red sox catcher also managed to get thrown out of the game.  

Ernie Shore was brought in to pitch, and, after just a few warm-up pitches was ready to play ball.

With a new pitcher and catcher, the runner tried to steal second but was thrown out. Shore then proceeded to retire the remaining 26 Senator hitters without allowing a base runner and was able to get the victory in a 4-0 decision.

For many years the game was listed in record books as a perfect game. But, now, it is officially listed as a no-hitter that is shared by two pitchers.

As for Ruth… Following the game, he was given and paid a $100 fine, and he also was suspended for ten games. He was also ordered to issue a public apology for his behavior, which he did.

Shore was sold to the New York Yankees by the Red Sox owner Harry Frazee, where shore played until he retired.  Frazee later sold another more famous player to the Yankees… The Babe himself.

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