MLB News & Views @ MLBRT 11/9


This week’s questions…

1) Did winning a ring with the Astros World Series championship this year make Carlos Beltran and/or Justin Verlander locks for election into the Hall of Fame?

Potential Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran finally has a World Series ring after 20 years

Archie: Carlos no, Verlander maybe.

I honestly do NOT believe Beltran has the numbers to make into the HOF. After twenty years he had some really GOOD years but he also had some really average to crappy years as well. If you look in he only has 1 Bold stat and that was his ROY in ’99. If there was a Hall of Good he would be in; I don’t see him making the HOF.

Verlander on the other hand was already on his way to to Cooperstown as a dominate pitcher. With ROY, CYA and a regular season MVP and a career ERA+ of 124 he will see Cooperstown IF he does nothing to mar it from this point forward.

Joe:  I’m not sure.

I think Beltran is a borderline candidate for the Hall of Fame and to be truthful the ring will help because outside of jewel in his crown that the only other jewels, or benchmarks, he has achieved in his career are one Rookie of the Year award, 9 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Slugger awards, No MVPs , in fact he has never led the league in anything except most games played (162) once. So, it has to help but I doubt it is enough.

Does the World Series ring make Verlander a lock for the Hall?

Verlander, on the other hand is a different story awards he has got by the boatload… Rookie of the Year, Cy Young (1), MVP (1), 6-time All-Star, lead the league in W/L percentage twice, wins twice, ERA once, Innings Pitched three times, strike outs three times and WHIP twice. And, while his career numbers… wins (188), W/L percentage (.622), ERA (3.46), WHIP ( 1.184) and strikeouts (2,416)… are nice, and don’t necessarily prohibit him from being elected to the HOF (there are pitchers with worse numbers than his in the Hall) they are not outstanding either. So, the ring is a very nice addition to his Hall resume. He may not be first ballot but I think he gets in. 

Steve: I think that Beltran was already a lock for the Hall of Fame even before the championship of the Astros. Verlander is right there, and I don’t think he needed a championship to be on pace for the Hall of Fame.

So, no, I don’t think winning a ring made them a lock, I think they had already sealed their fate.

2) Recently the Miami Marlins declined Ichiro Suzuki’s $2 million club option, making him a free agent. Suzuki does get a $500,000 buyout so it’s not a total loss for Suzuki but he has often been on record as saying he feels he has more left in his tank and wants to play until he is 50.

Is this the end of the road in his HOF career? Or, will he find a job with another team before all is said and done?

Ichiro Suzuki

Archie: IMO, the talent in the league is too watered down for him to NOT catch on somewhere.

It might be for the minimum, and IF he wishes to play that might be where he has to look.

Joe: I might well be.

I wouldn’t rule out some team picking him up as a bench player and to serve in a pinch hitter role, but I think a lot of teams are going to younger players to serve that function these days with an eye out to make them either players that can down the road start or be part of a trade package to improve elsewhere on their roster.

So, it very well could be time for him to say syanora to the majors and wait five years to be honored as a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Steve: I could see someone picking him up if for anything to sell tickets. I also could see Seattle letting him finish up his career there, as that is where he started, and he then could retire as a Seattle Mariner.

If, that doesn’t happen, someone will give him another chance because he is still a draw and can still play the game.

3) Some sportswriters are saying that the Astros look ready to launch a dynasty. Interestingly, many of the same sportswriters predicted the same for last year’s Championship Chicago Cubs.

In your opinion, will there ever be another dynasty team in MLB… at least four years or more title wins in a very limited time frame… in MLB? Why or why not?

Will there ever be a dynasty like the 1949 through 1953 Yankees… 5 straight World Series Champs

Archie: Wow, my crystal ball is in for maintenance. This is very hard to predict without one.

This is one of those things that only time AND money will tell. In the back of my mind I can see where the Yankees or Dodgers could still pull it off, but a club like Houston with a limited budget, I don’t see that core of young talent ALL remaining there just based on the “dynasty” mold.

Joe: As a Yankee fan, I certainly hope so with the infusion of new talent they got coming in the MiLB pipe line to add to the present Baby Bombers. 

But, in all honesty, it’s damn hard. Teams have two rounds of the playoffs  to navigate usually against at least equal if not superior talent, then have to meet the “best of t he best” in the World Series from the other league. Th point being anything could happen in that scenario.

So, I won’t say never but I will say it would take a really very good team to ever be dominant for at least four straight years in MLB, if ever at all.

Steve: I hate that word for a baseball team.

I don’t think we will ever see a team like the Yankees in the late nineties. The competition in baseball is so fierce it is so hard to repeat. So much so, that there has not been a repeat World Champion since the 00-01 Yankees. As a matter of fact, the Royals and Phillies are the only teams to repeat as league champions since that time period, and they only won one championship each. I think we have seen the last of Dynasties in baseball. There will be great teams, but I will never predict a repeat champion until it happens again.

4) Following the Dodgers game 7 loss in the World Series Clayton Kershaw told one reporter, “Maybe one of these days I won’t fail, we won’t fail and we’ll win one of these things… There’s only one team that can succeed. There’s only one team that wins the last game, so that’s tough. I think once the dust settles and we go home, we can realize that we had a pretty amazing season and we finished in second place, which nobody cares about or remembers.”

Do you agree or disagree with Kershaw’s criticism? Why?

Despondent Dodgers… Austin Barnes, Yu Darvish, Clayton Kershaw and Enrique Hernandez watch the Astros celebrate on the field from their dugout after Houston won Game 7 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium.

Archie: Yes, I agree.

Maybe one of these days he can win a ring. But, he can’t do it all by himself. I thought both bullpens this WS got used and abused to no end. When that happens the offense HAS TO be ready to pick up the slack. The Dodgers did not do that for his team; the Astros did. That was the difference.

Joe: I think he’s being a little hard on himself and is saying stuff while he is feeling down after losing in the World Series.

But, to be fair, he hasn’t exactly sparkled in MLB’s postseason tournament as much as he has in the regular season… and he is right… they did finish second, which down the road… most people don’t remember as well as who won. 

End result… I think he is begin a little hard on himself, but I also think he is being somewhat honest about how he needs to maybe step it up in the postseason.

Steve: He is ultra competitive, and I don’t agree with his statement. The Dodgers reached the World Series for the first time since 1988. They just ran in to a very good Houston team who seemed to have the world with them after the Hurricane. Everyone was rooting them on. The Dodgers cannot hang their head, they won the pennant, and came within one game of a World Championship. They will be back again very soon.

5) And finally, what is your opinion of this year’s World Series?

2017 World Series… one of the best ever? Or just the craziest?

Archie: It was a good series with some surprising outcome points.

Who would have thought that a Kershaw start seeing a 4 run lead from the beginning would end up in a 13-12 loss (I think that was the final score.) I think Altuve finally got to show the world why he should be this season’s AL MVP. I still contend the baseballs were not only “slick” making them hard to control but I think they were “juiced”; either from being put in a dehumidifier or a microwave. 

Joe: I didn’t watch any one game all the way through… but what I saw certainly made for some exciting back and  forth baseball throughout most of the Series.

For the casual fan, I think that’s what grabs their attention most… offense, home runs, and the like.

Steve: It was a really fun series to watch. I think we saw the two best teams in baseball. We saw comebacks, extra innings, pitching domination, hitting domination. We saw a team win that has never won it before, and best of all, we got a freaking Game 7 for the second consecutive year. What was there not to like about this year’s World Series.

I honestly feel bad for the Dodgers though, such a great year all season, then fall one game short, but congrats to the Houston Astros. Well deserved win. 

Extra Innings…

Congratulations to the Houston Astros for winning their first ever World Series Championship!

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