Manny being Manny returns…
Moose really a Hall of Famer?…
ARod’s quest for 700… will it ever be?…
Join the MLB Roundtable for some talk about these burning baseball issues and lots more…
1) Will Mike Mussina get elected to the Hall of Fame this year, and, if not this year, will he be elected to the HOF before his eligibility runs run out in 2024?
Archie: I do not believe Mike will get elected. I also do not believe he has HOF stats to warrant an election if he is put in. He is a classic example of a good serviceable starter that for whatever reason never quite hit that “elite” status that I look for in a pitcher to make the HOF.
I have Glavine at just about the bottom of the totem pole for accomplishments to reach the HOF. And even though Mike’s final ERA+ is 5 points higher than Glavine’s, he has nowhere near the stats in bold that tell the tale.
His Hall of Fame monitor on ProBaseballReference shows very favorable numbers for him to get in. He does have 270 wins, a solid 3.68 ERA, 9 Gold Gloves, multiple All-Star game appearances and has been in the running for a Cy Young Award on 5-plus occasions. Then take into consideration the steroid era he pitched in and it’s looking more and more favorable to him. His post-season numbers comparable to his regular season numbers. He’s a Hall of Famer before his eligibility runs out in 2024.
Earl: With the exception of Roger Clemens, he has the most wins for any pitcher still under HOF consideration. His 270 wins, is definitely a plus towards consideration. Plus, 5 All-Star appearances and 7 Gold Glove appearances are also good. But, I can’t help but feel that Mike Mussina was a good pitcher, but not necessarily a great one. I’m not sure if I had to pick a pitcher to win a must win, I would pick Mussina and for that reason I don’t think he gets in.
The only way I could see him get in, is if there is a year where there aren’t any noteworthy candidates, but I honestly can’t see Mike being inducted.
Steve: Here lies another very good player, who would be a shoo in for Hall of Very Good, but, Mike Mussina is not a Hall of Famer. His numbers are very good, but they don’t stand out as Hall of Fame caliber. There are a lot of players in his category.
So, the answer is no, he does not get in this year, and, he won’t get in before he is no longer eligible.
2) There’s Manny being Manny and then there is Manny Ramirez agreeing to terms with the Kochi Fighting Dogs of Japan’s independent Shikoku Island League.
In your opinion what in blue blazes is Manny up to now? Is he just scratching a baseball itch or is he seriously thinking of trying to make a MLB comeback?
(Editor’s note: Remember he still has an outstanding 100 game suspension hanging over his head.)
Archie: Scratching an itch; trying to make another dollar. I personally don’t know what his finances are but seems to me he is just trying to eke out another ching-ching from what he does best. So be it.
However, I DON’T think this will ever lead him back to MLB.
Dan: I think Manny Ramirez is just scratching a baseball itch and isn’t seriously considering making an MLB return especially with a 100-game suspension looming over his head and he being 44-years-old. Who will sign him? Why take a risk on him if he might not be any help to the team? Then added to your risk, you have to have him sit out 100 games? What’s the point?
He wants to play, and he still has the itch. Nothing wrong with that, especially if he finds a team willing to sign him. I can’t knock him for wanting to play but I think there is absolutely zero percent chance we will see him in Major League Baseball again.
Steve: Wait, what? Manny Ramirez is trying to make a return? Isn’t he on the HOF ballot this year? This is laughable in my opinion. I think he would be a better fit as an instructor of some sort, and, he needs to hang up the cleats.
3) Does the signing of Edwin Encarnacion put the Cleveland Indians over the top to be the 2017 preseason odds-on favorite to win the AL post season tournament and make it back to the World Series?
Archie: Initially one would think so, but we all know how hard it is to repeat. I don’t see any major improvements for other teams in the Central to keep them from another division win, however the post season is a different beast. I had the Red Sox making it all the way until the Indians scalped their hopes last season. Cleveland will NOT sneak up on anyone this season. Encarnacion will be a big help to their offense this season though.
Dan: I think Cleveland is the favorite in the American League to reach the post-season. They have an incredible pitching staff and the majority of their roster has stayed the same since last year’s World Series Game 7 extra-inning loss against Chicago. They have a dominating pitching line-up from top to bottom and now adding this power-hitting player to their line-up tremendously boosts their offensive stock and definitely puts them on top to be the favorite this season.
Are they the odds-on favorite to win the AL? No. I’d have to go with the Red Sox because they have the bats and in adding Chris Sale they can throw another good arm at teams. The Red Sox should be the favorite.
Steve: It’s hard to bet against them. Its either got to be Boston or Cleveland as the odds on favorites to go back to the World Series. I think you may see these two in the ALCS, and both could be in the top 5 of best records in baseball next season.
4) The Mariners traded OF Seth Smith to the Orioles for P Yovani Gallardo. Who got the better part of this deal or is it a wash? Why?
This is definitely a trade however that fans will remember in September if not earlier.
Dan: I think this trade is pretty close to a wash with an advantage going to Seattle. They were looking for a pitcher after trading Taijuan Walker and they got it in Gallardo. Even though he had a down year last season, he was playing in the AL East in a hitter-friendly ballpark. He’ll move to a pitcher-friendly Safeco field where, in two starts, he hasn’t allowed a single run. Plus, the West is a weaker division than the East.
I think Gallardo will benefit Seattle more than Seth Smith will benefit Baltimore. He’s a platoon-type player who struggles mightily against left-handed pitchers while batting very well against right-handed pitching. He’s not an everyday player, but can contribute very nicely especially in a more hitter-friendly park in Baltimore.
The Orioles? Nice deal but doesn’t really change things for them.
However, Baltimore got a great Outfielder in Seth Smith, who is an everyday player.
I think long term, The Orioles got the better deal because you have a good everyday player, who has avoided the injury bug. While Gallardo, has been on the decline over the last couple of years.
5) If, the NY Yankees are out of the running for MLB post season tournament would you as the Yanks’ GM OK putting Alex Rodriguez (they are paying him $21 million and this assumes he’s still working as an advisor for the Yankees) onto the active roster to give him a chance to get to 700 HRs (he needs 4) for his career?
Dan: No, I’m not putting Alex Rodriguez on the field again. I put him in a position of advisory. If, the Yankees are out of the post-season running next season, I’m going to take the opportunity to develop my prospects and younger players. I’m going to give them experience. I need to prepare my line-up/roster for next season. I’m not going to sit there and waste a roster spot and at-bats/plate appearances on a player who could use 50+ just to get to 700 home runs. A-Rod was moved to an advisory role for a reason. Keep him there, develop the younger players/prospects and leave it at that.
If, he wants to get to 700 home runs, he won’t be doing it in New York.
Earl: Alex Rodriguez is so toxic. I’d be against it, especially since he would take bats away from a young player that they can call up in August/September. I’m not against Alex making a run at 700 but I don’t think he has to do it in a Yankees uniform.
If, he does choose to play again, it might be best for the two sides to get a divorce from each other, and for Alex to pursue that mark elsewhere.
Steve: Let him play! I don’t care if the Yankees are in in or not. Give him a shot at 700, make your money at the ticket gates for the event, and then watch over the next 5 to 15 years of him not getting into the Hall of Fame being a 700 plus HR hitter for his career.
If, the Yankees were smart, they would try to recoup some of that 21 million in ticket sales while A-Roid tries to get to 700, and who knows, with a decent season, he could surpass Babe Ruth himself. I would wonder how the Yankee fans would feel about that.
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