The 2018 Hall of Fame ballot has been released – along with some “unofficial” guidance from the Vice Chairman of the Hall – and the arguments started before the first ballot was even submitted.
Here’s our two cents. Read more
Jose Altuve is playing out-of-his-mind, MVP-caliber baseball this year. The past four years he’s been one of baseball’s best players. The past two he’s been inching ever closer to superstar status (and this year, at least, he’s attained it). Altuve is an offensive dynamo and his defense, once a distinct deficit has settled somewhere near league-average the past few years (which for a player putting up his sort of offensive numbers, is more than acceptable).
The past four years, Altuve has lead the league in hitting twice, and is on track to do it a third time this year. He’s slashed .337/.385/.498, with a 162-game average of 223 hits, 18 hr, 100 runs, 80 rbi, and 42 stolen bases. In the five seasons from 2012-2106, no one in the American League stole more bases than Altuve’s 192, and only Dee Gordon (194) stole more in MLB. It is therefore quite surprising that when he’s not stealing bases, Altuve is a shockingly bad baserunner. Read more
Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ rookie phenom, has spent the first half of the season ripping the covers off of baseballs and sending them into low earth orbit. A mountain of a man with a charismatic smile, Judge has already been dubbed the ‘new face of baseball’ by many (including commissioner Rob Manfred). The rookie slugger has also been heralded as the next superstar in Major League Baseball’s “Youth Movement,” potentially eclipsing even MVPs Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. How does Judge actually stack up to his peers? And is MLB’s Youth Movement a reality or just perception? Read more
Mike Piazza enters the Hall of Fame as the best offensive catcher in baseball history. He also enters as the subject of a “Hat Policy” conversation. Though he spent his best years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Piazza will enter the Hall as a member of the New York Mets. This makes a good amount of sense: he did spend more time with the Mets and has long held bad feelings toward the Los Angeles Dodgers over the way he left the team. But, while it’s certainly not as contentious as the inclusion of Gary Carter or Andre Dawson as Expos (against both of their wishes), there is little question that Piazza’s greatest years were spent as a Dodger. Read more
Ken Griffey Jr., one of the greatest natural talents that baseball has ever seen, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Despite his greatness and the heights of his achievements, Junior is also one of the game’s greatest “what if?” players. Injuries ravaged the second half of his career and left many fans wondering what might have been. The stark divide in Griffey’s career production makes him essentially unique among position players in the Hall. Read more
Our off-season rundowns identified several teams giving 500+ plate appearances to awful players, and with the Boston Red Sox seemingly cutting bait with Pablo Sandoval rather than letting his salary dictate playing time, we wondered: Who is the worst player ever to ever get 10,000 plate appearances? The answer is a player best known (infamously rather than famously) as a Red Sox (Red Sock?): Bill Buckner Read more
Last night Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Ross Stripling was five outs away from throwing a no-hitter in his very first MLB game. To protect Stripling’s arm (and his team’s lead), manager Dave Roberts pulled Stripling from the game. The Dodger bullpen then proceeded to lose the no-hitter, the lead, and then the game. Roberts had several reasons to make the move, but it does raise the question: Has anyone ever thrown a no-hitter in their MLB debut? Yes. Once. 124 years ago. Read more