The Sons of ’84 Hall of Fame Ballot (If I Had One)

hall of fame logo.jpgWith the 2017 baseball Hall of Fame election results being announced at 6p est tonight, I decided to share who I’d vote for if I had a ballot.

Player’s need 75% of the vote to be elected and those voting can only choose to vote for up to ten players (although not required) out of this year’s list of 34.  Write-in votes are not allowed (sorry Shoeless Joe and Charlie Hustle).

Also, let’s get my steroid stance out of the way first…I believe first that there were far more players abusing steroids than we know and since we don’t know who was clean and who wasn’t, I won’t let it affect my vote.  Second, I think the commissioner and team management are also partially to blame for this issue as they just looked the other way.  Lastly, this isn’t the first time that performance enhancing drugs were an issue in baseball.  Amphetamines were huge in the 70’s & ‘80’s and I’d guess more heavily abused than steroids.  Oh, and don’t give me character clause BS, there are gamblers, racists, and alcoholics in the Hall.

Here’s my list…

Continue reading at Sons of ’84

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Robinson Cano’s 2016 Season Was a Flashback to His Yankee Days

Handing out a lucrative, multi-year contract to a player is always risky for an MLB organization, no matter how much of a no-brainer it appears to be. That risk factor goes through the roof when it’s a 10-year, $240 million deal, like the one Robinson Cano signed prior to the 2014 season.

Outside of a dip in power, his first season in Seattle was a success. He hit .314/.382/.454 with 14 home runs and 82 RBI, producing a wRC+ of 137 and a 5.2 fWAR – the fifth consecutive year he surpassed 5.0.

It was the first half of 2015 when people likely started to freak out, to a degree.

He limped into the All-Star break with a lackluster triple slash of .251/.290/.370, accompanied by just 6 home runs, 30 RBI and an wRC+ of 86. Providing power as a second baseman had always been one of his best attributes, but a .118 first-half ISO showed that the only thing his power was doing was continuing to deteriorate.

Cano did start to look like himself again following the midsummer classic — he hit .331/.387/.540 with 15 home runs, 40 RBI, a wRC+ of 157, and most importantly, his ISO jumped back up to .209.

That second-half performance ended up being a sign of what was to come.

Were there any similarities between 2016 and his prime years in the Bronx from 2010-12 when Cano’s ISO never dipped below .214 while posting a .311/.370/.539 line with a combined 90 homers and 321 RBI?

Yes, but there are also some interesting differences showing how his game has transformed over the years.

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The Greatest Detroit Tiger By Position: Center Field

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As we continue on exploring the greatest Tigers by position of all-time, we move on to what I am guessing is a slam dunk before any research is done.  Before getting to the list however, looking back I’ve covered the all-time best Tigers catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, and left fielder.  You can click on any of the previous links to check out that position.

Moving on to center field, we changed the criteria up a bit for outfielders where I still am looking for at least five years with the Tigers and playing a majority of time at that positon.  The one change I did make however to gaging the outfield spots, is opening it up to majority of games played at that position, but looking at all outfield numbers, since it’s much more common to see a players shift positions.

For the Center Field spot, we have four qualifiers: Ty Cobb, Mickey Stanley, Ron LeFlore, and Chet Lemon. Austin Jackson just misses out being traded mid-way through his 5th season in Detroit, but could be back via free agency this season.  Since this is a shoe in, we’ll take a look at all of the players…

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A Good Look At Brent Honeywell

Drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft, Honeywell didn’t come with the eye-catching fastball-curve or fastball-slider combo of other top pitching prospects. Instead, he comes with a well-rounded game; a four pitch mix, of which three project above average to plus, and quality command in an athletic delivery. And, of course, a screwball. Who doesn’t like screwballs?

 

Brent Honeywell Scouting Report

2017 Mock Draft

Doing a mock for the MLB draft is a lot different from doing one for the other sports, as there are plenty of factors to be considered, among them the acknowledgment that there is no such thing as a “direct to the majors” pick. Additionally, individual picks may not even make it to the majors, further complicating picks. As such, here’s a disclaimer: The picks made here are suggestions made by the writer, and should acknowledge as pure speculation.

Draft picks are based on organizational weaknesses, although best player available is considered. Team tendencies are not actively considered, unless they are explicit, or there is any information on who the team is planning to pick. Additionally, compensatory picks will be done in this mock.

2017 MLB Mock Draft via BaseballRanks

The Asahi baseball team: A tragic story

Many of you probably will never have heard of the Asahi baseball team. It was a team created by Canadian citizens of Japanese origin in 1914. The team had its home base in Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver’s little Tokyo. The team was the pride and joy of Vancouver’s Japanese community.

As stated above, the Asahi team was established in 1914 by Japanese immigrants in Vancouver. They came to Canada, then still British territory, around the turn of the Vancouver Asahi 1941 Home century to try their luck. Most Canadians thought the Japanese would not stay long. Many tried their luck in the fishing business. As they became successful, the Canadian government revoked a third of their fishing licenses. “Industrious intruders” was the most polite of the many names that were given to them.

Read more here.

Who Were the Top-Performing Hitters at Each Lineup Spot During the 2016 MLB Season?

All baseball players – whether they’re amateurs or professionals – are creatures of habit. When you have a game to play every day, routines form (some on purpose, some by accident) and once a player notices those routines, they typically like to keep them as they are.

Advanced statistics have helped organizations and coaching staffs justify tinkering lineups on a daily basis, but one thing is for certain – most hitters like coming to the ballpark knowing exactly where their name will be penciled into the order.

It makes mentally preparing a lot easier, and they don’t have to wonder when they’ll get their first plate appearance of the night.

With that in mind, I was curious as to which hitters performed the best in 2016 at each particular lineup spot. The only criteria was sample size – 1-5 hitters needed at least 400 plate appearances to qualify, but it dropped to 250-plus for the six-hole and 200-plus for the bottom-third to generate players to choose from.

Here are your most dominant hitters at each lineup spot from 2016, ranked by wRC+.

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Michael Brantley Confirmed for Tribe Fest 2017

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photo courtesy of @Indians on twitter

Happy 2017, Brantley fans! i am back with some exciting news for you all! today, on January 13, the Indians posted that Michael Brantley has confirmed to attend the 5th annual Tribe Fest, presented by KeyBank.

like last year, Tribe Fest will not be held at Progressive Field due to ongoing construction on the service level. instead, the one-day event will be on Saturday, January 28, at the InterContinental Hotel.

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MLB Teams Taking A Powder In 2017 So Far

MLB Reports

Some MLB Teams have had a tough winter so far, and we take a look at why this is. We understand that not all clubs have to be in win mode, and some mabe rebuilding, however the process and mindset is what we are questioning here Some MLB Teams have had a tough winter so far, and we take a look at why this is. We understand that not all clubs have to be in win mode, and some maybe rebuilding, however the process and mindset is what we are questioning here.  For a team that is not going all in and should be based on their limited window of winning opportunity, we also call them to the carpet.  Stop taking a powder in 2017 and give your head a shake!

MLB Teams Taking A Powder In 2017 So Far

There are certain clubs who have done a nice job improving their clubs year over year, some that have done nicely in maintaining, well, and there are teams that are not looking so hot in 2017.

Let me also qualify this in saying that the Toronto Blue Jays are dangerously close to falling into this pegging…

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The Greatest Detroit Tiger By Position: Left Field

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Pushing forward, we move out to the outfield where I believe there will be some challenging calls at each position.  To recap however, we had an easy decision at shortstop, an ugly decision at third, and some very intriguing calls at second, first, and catcher.

If you’re reading one of these entries for the first time, the only stipulation that I look at is that the player be in a Tiger uniform for a minimum of 5 years and play a majority of his games at that position during that timeframe.  I will make a slight change however and evaluate all of a players outfield stats, as they are a little more likely to move to another position to cover an injury, etc.  Qualifying for consideration in left is Willie Horton, Bobby Veach, Matty McIntyre, Charlie Maxwell, Larry Herndon, Bobby Higginson, Steve Kemp, and Dick Wakefield.  To keep this readable, I am going to cut Dick Wakefield, Steve Kemp, Larry Herndon, and Matty McIntyre.

Moving on…

Continue reading at Sons of ’84

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