Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Future Forty 2013: Predicting Today's Hall of Famers of Tomorrow

In honor of this past weekend’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, I figured I may as well take a break from my normal stuff to do a fun speculation article. Since I’ve seen a few articles like this, and especially since I’ve done a decent amount of examination of Hall voting, I may as well take a shot at “Who are the Hall of Famers playing now” piece.

In honor of this past weekend’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, I figured I may as well take a break from my normal stuff to do a fun speculation article. Since I’ve seen a few articles like this, and especially since I’ve done a decent amount of examination of Hall voting, I may as well take a shot at “Who are the Hall of Famers playing now” piece.

Now, if you look at my piece from last year, you’ll see that there are typically 40 players in the game at any one time who will eventually make the Hall of Fame. If the Hall ever corrects for expansion and it’s falling induction rate, we may see as many as 50 or 64 players inducted. Let’s use those as a starting point. I’ll make special notes if I think a player is more in the top 50 or 64 rather than top 40.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

An Early Look at Yadier Molina, His Career, and the Hall of Fame

After the All-Star game, the dead period after the event but before season restarted led to the normal set of columns to fill the time, including the midseason awards piece. One fairly common choice for NL MVP appears to be Yadier Molina, who’s leading the National League in batting average and having a career year to follow up last year’s career year, fourth-place MVP finish season (which was itself a follow up to his at-the-time career year in 2011). I won’t be debating whether he should be the NL MVP yet; there’ll be plenty of time to do that after the season.

What I want to do is much bigger-picture; what do Yadi’s Hall of Fame chances look like? I realize there’s still a lot to go in his career, especially if the follow-up to this MVP-esque campaign is anything close to how this one is going. But I enjoy looking towards the future, and now is as good a time to start. Think of it as “what would Yadier need to do to become a Hall of Famer?” if that’s easier to digest.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Philadelphia Phillies Should Be Selling at the Deadline

We’re drawing closer and closer to the July 31st Trade Deadline, and teams are starting to feel out their places in the buyer-seller dynamic. One surprising possible buyer, though, is the Philadelphia Phillies.

As we leave the All-Star Break, the Phillies stand at exactly .500, 48-48. They’re only 6.5 games behind the division-leading Braves and 5 behind the second wild card Reds. All in all, that seems like solid reasoning, right? Maybe the record isn’t encouraging, but only 5 games behind a playoff spot is good.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Retired Numbers Series: Milwaukee Brewers

Following the departure of the Braves in 1965, Milwaukee managed to draw in the Seattle Pilots a year after the latter were a part of the second round of 1960s expansion, renaming them the Brewers. Since then, the Brewers have become both the smallest market with a team and a huge local draw. How does the future look like it will play out for this little team that could?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

2013 All-Star Roster Corrections: NL Edition

I would say Bruce Bochy/the NL All-Star Squad out-sensibled Jim Leyland/the AL/whoever’s responsible for the mess that is All-Star selection. While making the roster, I felt like it was the other way around; I was making all sorts of changes on the NL roster. Then I realized that a lot of that was fixing problems the fans made in voting, something that miraculously (almost) didn’t happen at all in the AL. Between these two, these may be the most reasonable All-Star Rosters that I’ve covered.

On top of that, a lot of the picks in the NL wound up feeling almost like personal preference picks, like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (or Queen Mary*, depending on how you feel about the NL’s chances this year, I suppose).

*I guess this sort of destroys the comparison, though. Either way.

I would like to add that, where the AL is stacked at second and third base, the NL is well-stocked behind the plate, at shortstop, and in the outfield. I couldn’t even fit people like Brian McCann or Evan Gattis in, and young stars like Giancarlo Stanton and Jason Heyward had just enough bad luck in their years to let a bunch of other players into the discussion (but more on the mess that is the outfield once I get to it).

Monday, July 8, 2013

2013 All-Star Roster Corrections: AL Edition

Now, this is the article where I would normally take a faux-condescending tone to mock MLB’s All-Star game selections. After all, that’s what I’ve done for the past three years. But this year, the rosters aren’t as mind-bogglingly awful as they have been in those past few years. Maybe they’ve been listening to me finally.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t problems, though. We’re mostly just short on the completely clueless picks, with them being replaced by picks that are just disappointing. Or maybe it’s just me learning to not get as bent out of shape over the All-Star. Either way, there are still corrections to make.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Do Yasiel Puig and Bryce Harper Belong in the All-Star Game?

Bryce Harper and Yasiel Puig have been stirring up a lot of discussion lately with regards to the All Star Game. They make for an interesting discussion on the meaning of the All Star Game, whether it’s for the best players this season, or the best players for the last calendar year, or the most notable players, or something in between.

From one aspect, if your goal is to make the best team possible for the purpose of winning the game, doesn’t taking Harper and Puig (injuries aside) make the most sense? They’re some of the most talented players in the game. But if you are talking from a standpoint of performance, can you still justify taking them?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Retired Numbers Series: Oakland Athletics

The Athletics have arguably had more identities than any other team in the Majors. With a history spanning three cities (and possibly counting), over 110 seasons, and several distinct eras, they should have numerous interesting players to honor. However, no original team, in the American or National league, has as few retired numbers as the A’s. What does the future hold for them?