Posted: Wednesday July 11, 2007 9:20PM; Updated: Wednesday July 11, 2007 9:20PM
Ted Simmons is sandwiched by Johnny Bench and Mickey Cochrane on the career list of runs scored by a catcher. Both Bench and Cochrane are in the Hall of Fame. With 2,472, Simmons is the career leader for hits by a catcher. Carlton Fisk is second with 2,356. Simmons played in 43 fewer games than Pudge. He also leads in doubles (483; 62 more than Fisk), second in RBIs (more than Bench), and is fourth in home runs by a catcher, sandwiched between Yogi Berra and Roy Campanella, who are also Hall of Famers.
Whose wife did this guy insult? I looked up his Hall of Fame ballot results, and he garnered a "robust" 3.7 percent when he was eligible, so of course, he's off the ballot and has been since 1993 (he retired in '88). What gives? People talk about Jim Rice and Andre Dawson, but where's the outrage that this guy was, in some cases, better than his Hall of Fame position peers, and totally got shafted by the voters. Will the Veterans Committee enshrine this guy?
I agree with you that Simmons has been very underrated when it comes to his place in history. The guy could hit from both sides of the plate and was a very good catcher. I don't believe he's been eligible yet for the Veterans Committee. It's last ballot was whittled down from all players who played up to and including 1985; Simmons' career extended beyond that. His career is worth another look. What probably does not help him is that he finished higher than ninth in the MVP voting only once, and that was sixth. Baseballreference.com lists his most similar batter as Joe Torre, another guy with very good numbers but not enough for the Hall yet.
While baseball writers from Southern California try to talk up the possibility of trading for Troy Glaus, locally there is nobody who wants to trade Glaus. A. J. Burnett is another matter. Even before general manager J. P. Ricciardi made his comments about Burnett on the radio, a local columnist was speculating that Burnett could be traded. What sort of demand would there be for Burnett? I assume that if he went on waivers, teams such as the Cardinals, the White Sox and the Yankees would take him willingly.
I agree that Burnett has good trade value. He's due $36 million over the next three years, which isn't outrageous for a guy with great stuff, albeit an injury risk. There are a couple of issues here: Burnett can opt out of his deal after 2008, so a team that trades for him isn't sure they have him beyond then. Also, Burnett has veto power over a trade to 15 teams, a list he gives to Toronto each year. Lastly, the Blue Jays aren't giving this guy away. They don't have to move him. So they can wait for another team to buy high.
With the Cubbies' recent run bringing them above .500, can we say that the NL Central is not the worst division in baseball anymore? I don't expect any East Coast media personnel to look at the standings right now, but there is one team above .500 right now.
Sorry, I'm not buying it, not yet, anyway. The Central is playing .472 baseball outside of its division, including a 46-53 record against the East. However, I do suspect the Cubs will have a strong second half. But I also believe the NL East winner will have more wins than the NL Central winner.
Your Cal Ripken Jr.-Tony Gwynn interview was incredible! Two of the all time greats talking baseball. Tell me someone video taped it? You have a great job.
Glad you enjoyed it. There are some guys in this game who actually are everything you think they are and hope them to be. Ripken and Gwynn are two of those people. They are classy gentlemen who really love baseball. I mean the game of baseball, not just the major leagues or the fame that comes with it. They are students and fans of the game who always have been willing to pass along what they know and to represent the sport so well. So if you're a writer who wants to understand how this game really is played, these two guys are everything you could want. Some others I'd put in that class (among Hall of Fame quality players) are Greg Maddux, Kirby Puckett, Roger Clemens, George Brett, Pedro Martinez, Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz and Mariano Rivera. ... And no, sorry, I didn't video tape it. (I do have an audio tape.) And let's keep it between you and me about how great is my job.
I am a fan of interleague play, but it seems most of the games are played during the weekend when attendance is up anyway. Why doesn't MLB compare interleague attendance with non-interleague weekend attendance to get a more fair comparison?
There are weekday interleague games, too, but I understand your point. Still, overall, fans seem to be voting that they like the concept. I like it, too, but I do think it's too much of a good thing, like eating a gallon of ice cream. I would confine interleague play to two weeks leading up to or out of the All-Star break, when baseball has the sports stage to itself, and leave it at that. I think baseball has missed a chance to really brand it. It seems to come and go with not much purpose to it.