Tagged: walter johnson

My All-Time Team

I’m on a blogging spree right now.

A few weeks back during a lengthy car ride from Asheville, NC to the research triangle, I put together my all-time team. That’s right, team is italicized. I put it together as if these are the guys that I would want out on the field, on the mound, in my bullpen, and on bench fulfilling different roles.

So I put together a 25-man roster consisting of Major Leaguers past and present. Here they are with some explanation.

Starting Lineup

Secondbase – Rogers Hornsby
He holds the second highest batting average ever at .358, who else would you want as your leadoff man? He hit over .400 three times and won seven batting crowns. He fell just 70 hits short of the highly regarded 3,000 hit club.
Centerfield – Willie Mays
Power and speed reign in my centerfield as “Say Hey” topped 3,000 hits, 2,000 runs, stole 338 bases, drove in 1,903 runs, and hit 660 homeruns. This one’s really no competition.
Leftfield – Ted Williams
Don’t look at the numbers because he went to war in the middle of his career. Number 9 could rake. Just know that he was the last player to hit over .400 in a season. In my opinion, Williams and my cleanup hitter are the best hitters ever in the game, and the three spot is where you put your best hitter.
Rightfield – Babe Ruth
In his time, no one even came close to his power numbers. Little does anyone know that he also was a career .342 hitter. Do I really need to rattle off the stats? He may be the most highly regarded athlete in history.
Thirdbase – Mike Schmidt
Michael Jack had that lethal combo at the hot corner of power and fielding ability. Along with his 548 career longballs, he won ten gold glove awards. He may be part of that last group of unskepticized power hitters.
Firstbase – Lou Gehrig
Overshadowed by the Babe, Gehrig quietly hit .340 for his career and posted a .632 slugging percentage along with 493 homeruns and 1,995 RBI. Starting Pujols was tempting here, but I stuck him on the bench until further notice.
Catcher – Johnny Bench
He was clutch, great defensively, and won two MVP awards as a catcher.
Shortstop – Derek Jeter
I’m sorry. I needed someone from my generation in the starting lineup. Just kidding. But honestly, the level of hate I have for the Yankees is the level of respect I have for Jeter, ironic? He is the best hitter I have seen at taking the ball the other way. He inside-outs the ball like no other, how could you not want that at the bottom of your lineup?

Starting Rotation

Righthander – Walter Johnson
“The Big Train” threw hard. 417 career wins on one of the worst teams in baseball history is an impressive feat on its own. Imagine the amount of wins he would get on this team. Yikes.
Lefthander – Sandy Koufax
Yea yea, I know, “he only had a bunch of great years and not a whole career.” The thing is, those years weren’t just great, they were amazing. In a five-year span, Koufax won 111 games, had an ERA under 2.00, struckout a boatload, and threw four no-hitters. Untouchable.
Righthander – Satchel Paige
This is tough because the Negro Leagues didn’t keep statistics really. But the fact that whenever I hear anyone relate what Satchel did on the mound to Walter Johnson, Sandy Koufax, and Nolan Ryan combined and even better. I’m going to trust them. I’ll just say that he did well in the Majors at 60 years of age.
Lefthander – Lefty Grove
He won exactly 300 games in the big-leagues and sported a .680 winning percentage which is the third highest in the Hall of Fame.
Righthander – Cy Young
Well he does have an award named after him. Denton True holds a plethera of pitching records including wins (511) and complete games (749).

Bullpen

Righthander – Dennis Eckersley
He recorded 320 saves as a closer after he turned 32 years of age. I could use him to spot start if I needed to, but given my starters, he would just be coming out of the bullpen for me.
Lefthander – Randy Johnson
It’s my team, so I can put a starter in the ‘pen. Imagine Johnson coming out of the bullpen to face a few lefties.
Righthander – Nolan Ryan
Same story here. He’d be another starter out of the bullpen for me. In a much needed strikeout situation, why not bring in the all-time leader?
Righthander – Rollie Fingers
It would be impossible to keep that mustache and those 341 career saves out of this bullpen.
Setup Man – Trevor Hoffman
The all-time saves leader and his changeup would be my setup man.
Closer – Mariano Rivera
The cutter is absolutely filthy and once he’s retired, he will be considered the best closer of all-time, to me atleast.

Bench

Catcher – Ivan Rodriguez
Around a .300 career average hitter, he would be on my bench for his defense. Whenever Bench would need a break, his defense wouldn’t be missed because Pudge’s is amazing as well.
Firstbase – Albert Pujols
359 career homeruns and counting. Around a career .333 average. In each of his first nine seasons in the Majors, Albert has topped 30 homeruns and 100 RBI. He doesn’t turn 30 until next year.
1B/OF – Hank Aaron
Who better to bring up with the game on the line other than the all-time homerun leader?
Infielder – Pete Rose
The Hit King can come off my bench to pinch-hit, I don’t care if he gambles.
Outfielder – Rickey Henderson
Pinch runner extraordinaire. The all-time steals leader would tear up the basepaths late in the game when we need a runner to get into scoring position.
Outfielder – Roberto Clemente
With exactly 3,000 hits and the cannon for an arm that he’s got, he would be a perfect role player for this team, getting starts here and there.

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It is Part of the Game

bobbyjenks.jpgWhen a pitcher is throwing at a batter, there’s usually good reason to it. Throwing at batters is part of the game (just not at the head, i.e. Hiroki Kuroda to Shane Victorino). But really, anything below the shoulders is fair game.

So why is Bobby Jenks being penalized? No, not because of his weird bleached blonde gotee. Jenks is being fined x dollars for throwing behind Ian Kinsler the other night. Now, of course, I don’t want Kinsler injured because he’s on my fantasy team, but throwing at batters is just part of the game. If a pitch doesn’t even hit the batter, then why even penalize the pitcher? Why even penalize the pitcher anyways?

I can’t say it enough, It is part of the game.

For further words on my opinion of this, I have post on this a ways back about the nonsense Josh Beckett incident in LA a few weeks back. But all of you are most likely too lazy to look that up. So here are some of my former words from that post:

Throughout baseball history, there have been many players that return the “favor” to the teams and players that deserve it. Roger Clemens is one of the most recent to throw up and in. When he nailed Mike Piazza once he said after the game, “I pitch the way I pitch.” Clemens has plunked 159 batters in his career. Ironically enough, Beckett’s idol growing up was Roger Clemens.

The most notable pitcher to drill batters is Bob Gibson. The hall of famer was fiery pitcher who loved to knock down batters. Hitting 102 batters in his career, it’s said that they lowered the height of the mound for Gibson.

A current pitcher that has been known to to brushback hitters in his presumable hall of fame career is southpaw Randy Johnson. The Big Unit leads all active players with hit by pitches with 188 and is in third place all-time, trailing HOFers Eddie Plank (196) and Walter Johnson (203).

It’s part of the game, and some of the best pitchers of all-time are on the leaderboard for career hit batsmen. So even if it was intentional, it’s justifiable by the unwritten rules of the game.

Yea.
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chickiesnpetes.gifWERTH IT

In hopes of ending a string of bad play, the Phils beat out the Manny-less Dodgers tonight. Jayson Werth stole home, after stealing second once and third twice! Wow, wish I could have seen it live. Me and a couple of my buddies went down to The Park tonight for dollar dogs in hopes that we would be able to get some standing room only tickets (because all the seats were sold out).

Well, as we’re driving down I-95, I call the ticket office (for the second time, because they couldn’t answer my question the first time). I ask (again) if they still have standing room only tickets left (which go on sale at 4pm before the game). This time, the person on the other side of the line says “We are completely sold out.” I reiterate the question, hoping he heard me wrong. He didn’t. “We are completely sold out.”

So we’re in South Philly and we’re hungry. We ended up going to Chickie’s and Pete’s to watch the game and we had some amazing crab fries and awesome cheesesteaks. It was Werth it. Ha.

I’m going to Thursday’s game (already have tickets for it, so there will be no dilemma). 

Beckett Charged with Six

beckettabreu.jpgJosh Beckett was hit with a six-game suspension after throwing at the head of Bobby Abreu. He appealed it right away. He’ll miss a start and is expected to make his next start at home in Boston against Baltimore.

Is it even reasonable to even issue this suspension to Beckett?

I don’t think it is. There’s a reason he wasn’t ejected from the game. The umpires didn’t feel it was necessary, and it wasn’t. Beckett says he wasn’t intentionally throwing at Bobby’s head. But even if he was, that’s the way it used to be. If a player waited a while to throw the pitch and then after an extreme amount of time the batter finally calls a timeout, the batter should expect one in his ear.

Throughout baseball history, there have been many players that return the “favor” to the teams and players that deserve it. Roger Clemens is one of the most recent to throw up and in. When he nailed Mike Piazza once he said after the game, “I pitch the way I pitch.” Clemens has plunked 159 batters in his career. Ironically enough, Beckett’s idol growing up was Roger Clemens.

The most notable pitcher to drill batters is Bob Gibson. The hall of famer was fiery pitcher who loved to knock down batters. Hitting 102 batters in his career, it’s said that they lowered the height of the mound for Gibson.

A current pitcher that has been known to to brushback hitters in his presumable hall of fame career is southpaw Randy Johnson. The Big Unit leads all active players with hit by pitches with 188 and is in third place all-time, trailing HOFers Eddie Plank (196) and Walter Johnson (203).

It’s part of the game, and some of the best pitchers of all-time are on the leaderboard for career hit batsmen. So even if it was intentional, it’s justifiable by the unwritten rules of the game. For now though, I’ll believe Beckett, he’s my favorite major leaguer.

HAPPY JACKIE ROBINSON DAY

Writing a paper last night about the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and whether it was ethically right, I came further to realize what Jackie did for not only the game, but the country. In the experiment, scientists used uneducated, illiterate blacks in the south to let their syphilis go untreated so the scientists could see the later stages of the disease. The experiment lasted forty years from 1932 to 1972. And it’s ironic that during that span of time, the country saw the likes of Jackie, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. come across the civil rights scene.

Jackie joining Major League Baseball formed this country to become the way it should be. It was the first of the historical events and the most respected by myself.

All of Major League Baseball is expected to wear Jackie’s 42 on their jerseys today, which is nothing new for Yanks closer Mariano Rivera, who is the last player who wears the number.

Cooperstown Pics

I went to Cooperstown last night and today. It was incredible as usual. Here’s some of my pictures. I apologize because the picture quality isn’t that good (they were taken off my phone).

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The Hall of Fame.

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Schilling’s Bloody Sock.

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Phillies 2008 World Series display.

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Marlins 2003 World Series ring. It was the biggest rock there. The Phils ’08 ring wasn’t there yet.

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The hats Nolan Ryan wore in his seven no-hitters. I learned today he had five more no-nos broken up in the ninth inning.

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“The Holy Grail.”

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The first induction class of 1936: Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson

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The first players that I followed that have been inducted are Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. Here’s Cal’s plaque.

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My favorite hitter that I’ve never seen play: Ted Williams.

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Lefty.

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Doubleday Field.

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The field.

Moose: HOF Class of ‘??

Mike Mussina announced his retirement today. He broke into the league in 1991 for Baltimore Orioles and pitched there until 2001, when he became a New York Yankee. Over his career he’s worked 270 career wins, more than Hall of Famers Jim Palmer, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, mussina.jpgJuan Marichal, and Whitey Ford. His 2,813 strikeouts (19th all-time) are more than HOFers, Cy Young, Warren Spahn, Bob Feller, Christy Mathewson, and Robin Roberts. He has less walks/9 innings than Fergie Jenkins, Dennis Eckersley, and Walter Johnson. He has more strikeouts/9 innings than Rollie Fingers, Tom Seaver, Jim Bunning, and Don Drysdale. His strikeout/walk ratio is thirteenth all time. His name is among some of greatest pitchers in baseball history. In 573 games he had a 3.68 career ERA and had an ERA over 5 only once (2007).

The stat that jumps out at me most is the number of wins. He consistently had win totals in the high teens throughout his career. He had 117 more wins than losses and in this day and age where even 20 wins a season is hard to come by, he finally managed the 20 win mark in his final season. It is rare to see a player with this many wins the way managers protect pitcher’s arms nowadays. So this begs the question…

moose.jpgAre the following statistics HOF worthy?
270-153 record — 3.68 ERA — 57 CG — 23 SHO — 2813 SO

I say yes in these times.

 

Meanwhile the Red Sox and Royals also made a trade today. Boston sent centerfielder Coco Crisp to Kansas City in exchange for Ramon Ramirez. This solidifies the centerfield spot in Boston as solely Jacoby Ellsbury’s and the Sox get some bullpen help in Ramirez.

Ramirez has a career 3.62 ERA coming out of the bullpen in three seasons with the Colorado Rockies and the Royals. He has 146 strikeouts in about 157 innings as a big leaguer and has issued 64 walks. The righty throws low to mid-nineties with a nice changeup and if he can become a consistent setup man for Jonathan Papelbon, it will allow Justin Masterson to get a chance to join the rotation.

The Royals however recieve a speedy outfielder and trade away another bullpen arm. Crisp is a career .280 hitter and doesn’t add the power that they were looking for in the outfield. But now Coco gets a chance to play everyday. Crisp’s best seasons came in 2004/05 when he was with Cleveland. He hit around .300 those two seasons with 15/16 homeruns respectively and around 70 RBI both seasons. The Royals do keep trading away quality relievers (Leo Nunez to Florida before this) and I’m hoping Dayton Moore keeps up the trading in acquiring some arms to replace the ones he’s traded away.

I think this trade has the potential to backfire on both teams involved but for now I’ll give the small edge to the Red Sox because of the way the rotation has the potential to shape up with Masterson.