MLB news and views @ MLBRT 7/15

The roundtable crew takes on some of the current topics  making the headlines in MLB in this week’s MLBRT…

1) CC Sabathia has approximately 20 starts left in the 2017 season… his record presently stands at 7-2. If, he manages to come out of those starts winning at least 10 more games that would put him at 240 wins for his career which would tie him with Frank Tanana for 56th on the all-time wins’ list. Let’s also assume he would lose at least 5 of those starts, that would mean his career record would now be 240-148, with a career percentage of .619. 

With his total strikeouts near 3,000 (2,784 as of 6/8), does he have a chance of being elected to the Hall of Fame?  

CC Sabathia

Archie: It used to be the 3K mark for strikeouts was a shoo-in for the HOF. Then Clemens and Schilling put that in jeopardy. (IMO they BOTH should be in the HOF.) CC’s contract is up at the end of this season but that does not mean he will hang it up. IF, he comes back for at least another season with someone, it is almost without question he will reach the 3K SO mark, IF, that happens I believe he WILL BE a HOF’er regardless of the W/L record.

Joe: I’m not sure, regardless of what kind of season he winds up with in 2017, he is with the Yankees next year, but if he can end the season with 240 wins; pitch another two years (staying with the Yankees on a much more team friendly contract extension would be best for him, in my opinion) and end his career with between 260 and 270 wins plus have 3,000 strikeouts-plus, then, yes he would get my vote to be in the Hall of Fame… just not as a first ballot HOFer, in my opinion.

Steve: The criteria to get into the Hall of Fame is not just about stats. While Sabathia has had a Hall of “Very Good” type of career, I don’t see him as a Hall of Famer. I think sure he has a chance, everyone has a chance to get in, but because of his struggles in the last few seasons, I think that will prevent him from getting enshrined into the Hall of Fame.

2) Recently, we have seen the Boston Red Sox’ announcer Jerry Remy apologize for his on-air remarks that pitchers, such as Yankees’ starter Masahiro Tanaka, shouldn’t be allowed translators on the mound, and then Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt apologizing to the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera for saying that the team could build around him “because of a language barrier.”

In your opinion, is this a thinly veiled, yet deeply rooted racist, or ethnocentric, attitude that still prevails in MLB and what can MLB do about this kind of behavior? 

Boston Red Sox TV broadcaster Jerry Remy

Archie: Personally I think it is two idiots that should just shut the hell up.

Translators have been used for decades. It was never an issue before and it should not be now.

IF, Herrera feels he should be the club house leader of the Phillies and HE CAN’T communicate with all players, then it is up to him to figure out how to do that, not Mike Schmidt.

Joe: Color it any way you want… racist, ethnocentric, cultural bias or any other “name” you can come up with, what these two men did…when they said what they said…  is at its base racism and has no place in MLB or in life for that matter.

How to stop it? That’s sort of the #1 question that  has been part of society overall for what seems like forever. Suspension and a warning to start with and then have it understood if the a words slip through their lips again they could be without a job..permanently.

If  they aren’t under the rule of MLB, then MLB needs to apply whatever pressure it can to see if the person can be punished in some manner but outside of that there ain’t much MLB could do in that circumstance.

Mike Schmidt apologizes for remarks about Odubel Herrera

Steve: Sigh.” It is simply the matter of opinion.

Some people don’t think that translators should be allowed on the field, and that it can take away from the integrity of the game. However, my opinion states that if MLB wants to expand the market over seas to get the best players from all over the world, then people just need to suck it up. I don’t think it was necessarily a racist comment, but more a strong opinion on who should be allowed on the baseball field.

As for Schmidt’s comments? He may actually have a point, because to be a solid team leader and a clubhouse voice, you have to be able to speak the language effectively to get your message across, not just on your play in the field.

3) As always in any MLB season there are some teams doing better than expected and some teams doing worse than expected. And as always of the teams that are doing worse than expected there is talk about various managers… e.g. Bruce Bochy, Terry Collins, Ned Yost, Mike Matheny, etc…  being on the hot seat.

In your opinion, which manager is in the most peril of feeling managements wrath and getting his walking papers?

Will New York Mets manager Terry Collins be first MLB manager fired in 2017?

Archie:  The Giants should just bite their tongue. Bochy in my opinion has “overachieved” with the Giants based on what he did with the Padres.

Ned Yost has taken the Royals to two WS in the past Four seasons winning one; they need to just chill as well.

Collins seems to be plagued with the injury bug more so than some managers and he has had the Mets relevant contenders in the NL East the past couple of seasons so I don’t think he is in too much trouble at this point. A good indicator there might be if the Mets start dumping payroll in a month before the trade deadline.

2016 was the first season under Matheny the Cardinals did not make it to the playoffs, so I would be very surprised if HE was on the hot seat at this point.

IMO, I think the guy that has his resume in hand is Pete Mackanin with the Phillies. That organization does not seem to be too lenient right now. After the departure of Charlie Manuel they have had two managers already in three seasons and they have done NOTHING. It would not surprise me if Mac is on the way out.

Joe: Any of these guys could get the ax if their team keep on losing more than they are winning. And, if I really took the time to consider other manager’s situations, I could probably come up wit a  few more names. BUT, in my opinion, if the Mets don’t right the ship before the All-Star game, then I think Terry Collins could be gone. Which is unfortunate because the people who need to be held accountable are probably the Met’s medical and training staff and not the manger.

Steve: If, I had to choose one, it would be Mike Matheny of the Cardinals. The Cardinals are under performing this season.While there were not high aspirations for the Cards this year, they were at least supposed to compete for a playoff berth. It appears that he has lost his team.

As far as Bochy goes, while the Giants are not doing great in the first half, he gave them three World titles in 5 years, so his job is safe at least for now. They are going to give him a chance to turn things around.

Terry Collins has an injury bug on his team and cannot seem to keep players healthy. I think that is more on the trainers. I think his job is safe for now.

Ned Yost? He did lead the Kansas City Royals to two straight World Series berths in back to back years, winning one, so I think they give him time to right the ship before giving him the ax.

So Matheny is the guy if the Cardinals continue to struggle.

4) He is kind of forcing MLBRT to ask the question… the Yankees have now played exactly 60 games and in those 60 games Aaron Judge has clubbed 21 HRs. If, he continues his present pace he would be on track to hit at least 56 HRs for the season, virtually assuring himself Rookie of the Year honors as well as being in line for some MVP votes. However, he isn’t just a HR slugger as he currently (6/12) also leads the AL with a .344 BA.

In your opinion, can Judge keep up this pace?  Why or why not?

Aaron Judge

Archie: Until pitchers find that “hole” in his swing; and every batter has one, he will continue to impress. He is super big and strong and right now the baseball must look like a soccer ball coming into the plate. Remember Yasiel Puig’s first two months in the bigs? He was crushing everything. He went from that to being sent down for a spell. Major League Pitchers WILL adjust once the scouting reports get updated and the word gets around. For that reason, I doubt he will finish the way he started.

Remember this as well, he had 84 plate appearances last season and hit .184 with 4 homers. He has made adjustments and pitchers MAY still be pitching to that initial season record and not his current stats thinking he is just being “lucky.” But Lucky or not they will adjust; and he will have to adjust along with them. IF, he does not you can expect his numbers to drop.

Joe: As a Yankee fan, the Yanks in general are surprising the hell out of me, and Judge in particular is an eye opener. And, I must admit I keep waiting for the roof to cave in. I got my fingers crossed that this ain’t no mirage and the Yanks are back… and… maybe even Yankee haters will admit they “did the right way.”

So far… what can be said? He looks great and appears as if he is the real deal. He can hit for power as well as average; has sneaky speed on the bases, and his fielding ain’t too shabby either. I do expect his bat to quiet down somewhat as the rest of MLB builds a book on him, but I don’t think it will be a case where he becomes a 60 day wonder-boy and then fades from the scene.  End of the season… I I think 40-plus HRs, a BA of about .320 and  most probably a Rookie of the Year award. However, I think he cools off enough that he won’t win an MVP but he might get a Gold Glove.

Steve: He does not seem to be slowing down any. I am surprised that pitchers are still pitching him. Any time this kid sees a fastball, he tends to to hit the ball almost 500 feet. So yeah, because of his age, and his position in right field, I think he absolutely can keep this pace up, and end up with almost 50 home runs, 120 RBI’s and give the Yankees an MVP award. Something that the great Derek Jeter was not even able to do.

5) Recently there was an article where the writer said the stats used for winning the Triple Crown (HRs, BA and RBIs) were old school statistics that are mostly falling out of use when measuring a player’s worth to a team.

Do you see that as a valid statement? Why or why not? 

Archie: I would say that  measuring value to the team those stats are still just as relevant today as they have ever been. I personally look more at the BA and RBIs than I do HRs, but it is the consistent HRs that puts asses in seats so that number really has a double value to a team.

I am not sure why any BBWAA member would write that unless he/she is looking for reviews and comments.

Joe: Call me old school or whatever, but I think the Triple Crown stats are excellent stats to judge a player’s worth to his team with.

Someone tells me a player is going to end his season leading his league with the most HRs, the most RBIs and the best BA, and then says he ain’t a key driving force of a team’s offense and isn’t proving his worth to a team? Then, I will as respectfully as I possibly can all that person an idjit.

Steve: It doesn’t matter if it is an old school statistic or not. The Triple Crown is the Triple Crown with the best average, home-runs, and runs batted in. So, while I do agree that it does not necessarily measure the worth to the team, I can guarantee you this: If one person is leading the league in these three categories, I can damn sure bet that they are worth a pretty good amount to their team, so I don’t think his statement has much merit.

Extra Innings…


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