MLB News & Views @ MLBRT 8/3

 

This week’s questions…

1) This past weekend, Adrian Beltre joined the 3,000-hit club. All eligible club members, except for Rafael Palmeiro, have been elected to the Hall and since Palmeiro failed to be named on 5% of ballots in 2014 he is now ineligible to be considered by the BBWAA for election into the Hall. Pete Rose has been ineligible for the Hall of Fame because he was permanently banned from baseball in 1989.

Technically, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki and Alex Rodriguez are not eligible for the Hall either due to the fact they are still playing (Suzuki) or have yet to be retired from the game for the required time… 5 years… before the BBWAA can consider them (Rodríguez and Jeter.) 

The question… Is Adrian Beltre a lock for the Hall, and if, yes, is he a first ballot HOFer?

Adrian Beltre connects for a double during the fourth inning Sunday, the 3,000th hit of his career (Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Archie: Yes and Yes.

Not JUST for the 3K hits; which in itself USED TO BE a lock, but also for his other numbers as well. Not only that, playing at the hot corner the majority of his career helps those numbers he accumulated to the HOF doors.

Dan: Yes, Adrian Beltre is a lock for the Hall of Fame. He met the required benchmark of 3,000 hits. He’s also had a rather quiet, yet fantastic career. I think he’s a lock for the Hall and he gets in on the first ballot.

Another nice addition to his name is that it really hasn’t been dragged through the mud in reference to steroids or PEDs. Add to the fact, that he’ll likely play several more seasons, I definitely see him being a lock.

Beltre making a play at third base

Joe: Without a doubt he is in the Hall. He hit the 3,000 hit bench mark… only 31 players have ever done that; plus as of Thursday morning (8/3) he has 1,608 RBIs, 1457 runs scored, 605 Doubles and 454 HRs. All numbers that are equal to or better than players already in the Hall.

First ballot? If I had a vote I would probably say yes but with these BBWAA voters who knows.

Steve: Absolutely he is. While, I don’t think he will get in on the first ballot because the writers are just idiots, he will eventually get in. You cannot disregard everything that he has done… 400 plus HR, 3000 hits, and was a valued team member. I think he did it the right way and was not a user, but that won’t mean the writers won’t think that.

2) The July 31st trade deadline is now a foregone conclusion… in your opinion…  

(1) Which team made the best move(s), and (2) which team made the worst move(s)? 

Sonny Gray (left) & Yu Darvish

Archie: Many think the Dodgers were the biggest trade deadline winners, but I think it was the Yankees if you look at the long haul. The Dodgers really did not have to make much of a move at all while the Yankees needed a shot in the arm to gain some distance in the East. IF, they did nothing else they have the Red Sox management bitching; that accomplishes something more than just putting new faces in the dugout.

Dan: Well, I’ll start off by saying I think the Texas Rangers made the worst move. While they did get rid of Lucroy, which was their goal, they did a dumb thing by giving him up for basically nothing …- as in a player to be named later … after giving up so much for him just one year ago. The Brewers are looking incredibly smart and the clear cut winners in that deal from last season.

The best move, I think, was the Yankees getting Sonny Gray and the Cubs getting Jose Quintana. Both pitchers are fantastic pitchers who have a lot of years left to really contribute huge with their respective teams. Both teams also needed pitching rather badly in order to make a serious run at a World Series title… and in the Cubs’ case, a repeat.

Yankees bolster bullpen get third base help in trade with White Sox

Joe: I like the Yankees moves. I think they strengthened and enhanced their bullpen. They added an interesting piece in acquiring Todd Frazier to play third and so they could move Chase Headley to first where he is suddenly playing inspired baseball, which had been one of the least productive positions on the team as well as in all of baseball. It also saved them from using prospects to trade for a first baseman in a so-so market for first baseman , in my opinion. They landed pitcher Sonny Gray.  And, while I am not convinced he is as great as everyone seems to think he is, he’s still a hell of a lot better than at least three of the present five starting rotation Yankee pitchers. So all in all they did real well.

BUT, after all this they still didn’t make the best moves.

It was the Dodgers going out and getting Yu Darvish from the Rangers and not really giving up that much to acquire him.

When Kershaw comes back, they will have an enhanced starting rotation  that was already one of the best in MLB, and that should carry them right to the World Series where they should be the favorite to beat the Yanks… ummm…  I mean whichever team from the AL is able to show up.

As far a the worst moves… neither the Astros or the Red Sox impressed me with what they did about shoring up their weaknesses.

Steve: I think the Dodgers getting Yu Darvish is the best move, that may have just put them over the top as favorites to win the World Series. I don’t think there were any bad moves necessarily.

I think that The Yankees filling the hole at third base with Todd Frazier was great as well and could help their chances in the post season.

3) Currently on pace for 114 wins (as of Monday morning), which is still 2 games off the 1906 Chicago Cubs’ and the 2001 Seattle Mariners’ record of 116 wins, are the LA Dodgers as good as they appear or will they eventually cool off but still coast into the playoffs?  

And, is this the year that they end their World Series championship drought (presently 29 years and counting) and win it all? 

Is 2017 the year the Dodgers end their 29-year World Series drought?

Archie: No, they are that good. They are hitting on all cylinders and show no signs of letting up.

While I DOUBT if they finish with their current .705 winning percentage, I still believe they will hit the 100 mark readily enough.

Dan: I think the Dodgers are for real. And they will win over 100 games this season. They also added Yu Darvish to bolster their pitching rotation. They’re a dangerous team and I think they definitely are the clear cut favorites from the National League to make the World Series. If, they make it, I think they can pull it off and win a World Series title.

Too bad it’ll be a year too late for Vin Scully since he retired last season, but, hey, they’ll end up with a title.

Joe: See my answer to question 2.

Plus, with their offense (presently 3rd overall int he NL), I think they are the odds on favorite in the NL to get to the World Series and then beat whoever shows up from the  AL… of course barring any catastrophic injuries or miracle performances by some other  team.

Steve: I would pencil the Dodgers in to make their first World Series appearance since 1988. They did what they needed to do at the deadline, they will give Kershaw enough time to recoup, and come back stronger than ever. They have the best offense, defense, and a top 3 pitching rotation. They have playoff experience. And I think the time is now for the Dodgers.

4) David Price is in the news lately but seemingly for all the wrong reasons as he is now having continued “words” with Boston Red Sox’ announcer and HOFer pitcher Dennis Eckersley. Eckersley, who is well liked by the Red Sox fans, has for the most part, refrained from talking to Price. Price initially called out Eckersley over what he (and word has it many other Red Sox’ players) believe was “unfair” or “very harsh” on-air criticism of current Red Sox players regarding their effort. 

In an interview with the NY Post, ex-Boston player and fan favorite Kevin Millar (presently with MLB Network) said Eckersley does get a “little mouthy,” and recently retired ex-Rod Sox great David Ortiz says “That ain’t the first time it’s happened here regarding Eck. It’s unfortunate,” but that Price “needs to apologize” and end the discussion. 

Where do you stand on this little tête-à-tête between Price and Eckersley?

David Price (left) & Dennis Eckersley

Archie: It’s fun! It’s always fun when a team you really don’t care about implodes over little shit.

The Yankees are eating it up, I know, especially, since the Red Sox management griped about the Yankees and the Warriors reference.

Dan: I think they need to just let it go. David Price needs to just ignore Eckersley and worry about staying healthy and performing. Eckersley needs to just worry about doing the broadcast each game and leave Price alone. He also needs to remain with slight favoritism towards the Red Sox, but mainly in a neutral stance (especially towards all the players while announcing) and just end their feud. It’s not worth all this hassle. Just end it. They don’t need to apologize or anything, they just need to end it.

Joe: I think it is much ado about nothing. Both people need to shut the hell up and just go do their jobs… especially Price.

Second, I love it, since it is the Red Sox it is happening to. I am a Yankee fan and anything that can be a potential detriment to he Red Sox doing well is music to my ears.

Steve: I don’t have much to say about it, only that they both just need to be professionals and move on.

It is a free country, people have a right to say and think what they want. Who cares, they just need to move on and go about their business.

5) In your opinion… prior to the trade deadline, which is the one team who should have traded which player (but didn’t) to try and stockpile prospects to help in their building a playoff contender down the road? 

Archie: Braves should have moved Phillips and Teheran now that they have tanked the last 15 games.

While, I like both well enough, it would have been great if they could have been involved with the Sonny Gray acquisition.

Ryan Braun (left) & Andrew McCutchen stay put at trade deadline

Dan: Personally,  I think the Brewers needed to trade Braun in order to gain some pitching prospects back. That’s the biggest need on their roster is consistent starting pitching and especially in the minors. Their team, and minors, are mainly focused on hitting with some pitching in there, but with the struggles of not only the bullpen but also the starters as a whole, they really needed to grab some pitching prospect help. The bullpen is atrocious this season and Jeffreys didn’t look good in his first outing back in a Milwaukee uniform. It might be time to end the Braun era in Milwaukee and go out and get some pitching prospects for him. They need it. Now and for the future.

Joe: The Pirates not trading Andrew McCutchcn.  They ain’t going nowhere and it could have been a great opportunity to load up on prospects to rebuild the team.

However, in the Pirates defense I do have to say, I was sort of surprised there didn’t seem to be a lot of teams looking for offensive players this year as much as they were shopping for pitching… be it starting pitchers or relief pitchers.  So, maybe they did try shopping McCutchen and no one offered what they thought he was worth in prospect players. Still, I really didn’t even hear his name mentioned that much in the daily rumors  that abound up until the trade deadline is over.

Steve: I said it earlier. The Cubs should have gotten a starter like Verlander or Gray but that was this year. The White Sox did what they had to do, and could be a couple years away to competing again.

I don’t know, maybe the Reds? They could have unloaded Votto to get some top tier prospects, or Cozart for that matter. I don’t think they had much of a need though. So, I will stand firm and say everyone did what they needed to do.

Extra Innings…

On this day in 1989, The Cincinnati Reds set a major league record for the most hits in the first inning of a game with 16 as they score 14 runs at Riverfront Stadium off woeful Houston Astros’ pitching. The half of an inning lasts 38 minutes with the Reds eventually winning the game, 18-2.

 

 

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