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NFL Draft Round 1 – Kansas City Chiefs

 

With the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select…

Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan.

The off season signing of Alex Smith, QB from the 49′ers, practically ensured that the Chiefs would not use the number one overall pick on a quarterback.  Previously West Virginia QB Geno Smith was linked to the Chiefs, but those rumors were quelled when Alex Smith was signed.  The may look for depth at this position in later rounds.

Fisher is a mammoth at 6’7 306 lbs.  He is a natural athlete with bend and foot quickness off the snap.  A strong anchor in pass protection, he will give Smith much needed protection.    He flashes nastiness as a drive blocker, latching on and churning his legs to push his man back a few yards. Possesses foot quickness and effective hands to move from one target to the other in combo blocks.

Fisher was a first team All-MAC selection as a seniorHe was a part of two bowl wins while at CMU; the 2010 GMAC Bowl and the 2012 Little Caesars Bowl.

The Phils end up a run short in the ninth inning, as they lose to the Royals, 9-8.

Jimmy RollinsThe Phils end up a run short of their second straight walk-off win, as they lose to the Royals, 9-8.

The Phils took the lead in the bottom of the first as, win runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Chase Utley hits an RBI single, knocking in Ben Revere, who had started off the Phils’ half of the first with a single, then moved up to third base on Jimmy Rollins’ single, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, while sending Rollins, who had just singled, over to third. Two batters later, after Ryan Howard had struck out for the inning’s first out, Michael Young gives the Phils a 2-0 lead with an RBI single, easily scoring Rollins, while sending Utley up to second base. The Phils them made it a 3-0 lead as Dom Brown hits an RBI single, knocking in Utley, while sending Young over to third base. The Phils then took a 4-0 lead as Erik Kratz hits a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Young. The Royals would get on the scoreboard in the top of the third as, with two men on, and with one man out, Alcides Escobar hits an RBI double, knocking in Chris Getz, who had got on base with a lead-off bunt single, beating Howard’s attempt to tag him out, then moved up to second base on Alex Gordon’s walk, making it a 4-1 Phils’ lead, while sending Gordon, who had just walked, over to third base. The Royal then cut the Phils’ lead down to 4-2 as Billy Butler hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, scoring Gordon. The Royal would take the lead in the top of the fifth as, with the bases loaded, via a lead-off double by Getz, a single by Gordon, sending Getz to third, and a walk to Escobar, moving Gordon up to second base, and with one man out, Butler hits a flyball to left center field which was originally called a double, as it bounce off of the wall, scoring Getz, Gordon and Escobar, giving the Royals a 5-4 lead, before it was reviewed and declared a grand-slam home run, as it had originally left the field and then bounced back in, giving Butler his first home run of the season, and his first career grand-slam home run, giving the Royals a 6-4 lead. The Royals increased their lead in the top of the six as, with the bases once again loaded, via a single by James Shields, a double by Gordon, sending Shields to third base, and a walk by Escobar, and with two men out, Butler hits a two-run single, scoring Shields and Gordon, giving the Royals an 8-4 lead, while sending Escobar on to third base. The Royals added an insurance run in the top of the eighth as, with a man on second, and with one man out, Gordon hits an RBI single, knocking in Jarrod Dyson, who had just doubled, giving the Royals a 9-4 lead. The Phils started a rally in the bottom of the ninth as, with two men on, and with one man out, Rollins hits a three-run home run, his first home run of the season, knocking in Ezequiel Carrera, who had started the inning off with a walk, then stopped at second base on Revere’s single, and Revere, who had just singled, cutting the Royals’ lead down to 9-7. Four batters later, with two men on, and now with two men out, the Phils made it a 9-8 Royals’ lead as pinch-hitter Laynce Nix hits an RBI single, knocking in Howard, who had earlier singled, then stopped at second base on Young’s single, while sending Young, who had just singled, up to second base. The Phils then had a chance to win the game as, with Kratz’s batting, Kelvin Herrera threw a wild pitch, allowing Young to reach third base, and Nix to stop at second base. But, the Phils would be denied as Herrera would strike out Kratz’s for the game’s final out.

Cole Hamels (0-2, 10.97) took the lost as he pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits and four walks, while striking out only two. Chad Durbin pitched an inning and a third, giving up a hit and a walk, while striking out two. Jeremy Horst pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Phillippe Aumont pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and two walks, while striking out two. James Shields (1-1, 3.75) got the win as he went six innings, giving up four runs on ten hits, while striking out eight. Tim Collins pitched two 1-2-3 innings, striking out four. J.C. Gutierrez pitched a third of an inning, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk, striking out a batter. Greg Holland collected his first hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a run on two hits. Kelvin Herrera received his first save of the season as he pitched a third of an inning, giving up a hit and a wild pitch, while striking out a batter.

The Phils had fifteen hits in the game, with Michael Young (3 Singles, Double, RBI) leading the team with four hits, followed by Ben Revere (Singles) with three hits and Jimmy Rollins (Single, Home Run, 3 RBIs) and Chase Utley (Singles, RBI) with two hits each. Ryan Howard (Single), Dom Brown (Single, RBI), John Mayberry, Jr. (Double) and pinch-hitter Laynce Nix (Single, RBI) had the other four Phils’ hits. Erik Kratz brought in the final Phil’s run with a sacrifice fly. The Phils also had a walk (Ezequiel Carerra) and a stolen base (Revere (3)) in the game, as the offense let Shields off the hook after the first inning, spoiling several scoring opportunities in the middle innings.

The Phils (2-4, 4th) start a three-games series with the Mets (4-2, T-2) starting with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and is to begin at 7:05 pm. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Halladay (0-1, 13.50), who is coming off a stinker against the Braves on April 3, as he went only three and a third innings, giving up five runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out nine, in the Phils’ 9-2 lost. He will be trying to rebound from the lost. The Mets will counter with Matt Harvey (1-0, 0.00) who is coming off a win against the Padres on April 3, as he threw seven shut-out innings, giving up just a hit and two walks, while striking out ten, in the Mets’ 8-4 win. He will be out to increase his record to 2-0. The Phils will be trying to prove that they are better than they have looked so far, while hoping that Doc will regain his 2010-11 form.

30-1 MLB countdown previews: #9 Royals

royals

The Kansas City Royals have not been to the playoffs since 1985. They have had all losing seasons since 1995 except one (2003 under Tony Pena: 83-79). The organization has had some terrible drafts and not caught a lot of breaks since the early 1990s. However, General Manager Dayton Moore had built a strong farm system bringing prospects like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez to form a small offensive core. Unfortunately, their pitching has been a major weakness, with the team unable to produce the same talent on the mound as it has at the plate. Moore was criticized for making the trade with Tampa Bay for James Shields and Wade Davis, with the “experts” pointing at the fact the deal may hurt them in the long run. Moore is hoping the deal brings at least some short term success before Wil Myers becomes a star in Tampa.
I think there is a time a team needs to go for it. The Royals perhaps could have contended last season if they had any starting pitching. They added Shields (15-10, 3.52) and Davis (3-0, 2.43 in 54 games in relief after going 11-10, 4.45 in 29 starts the year before). Ervin Santana (9-13, 5.16) comes over from the Angels with better stuff than he showed last season. Jeremy Guthrie (8-12, 4.76) came over from the Rockies in the trade that sent Jonathan Sanchez to Colorado. Guthrie was 5-3, 3.16 with the Royals and earned himself a 3 year deal with the Royals. Bruce Chen (11-14, 5.07) is the only returning start from last season with former number one overall pick Luke Hochevar (8-16, 5.73) headed to the bullpen if he is not traded. Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino are unexpected to pitch this season as they are fighting injuries. Luis Mendoza (8-10, 4.25) is probably the best option to fill in the rotation is there is an injury. Davis is back on the mound after missing some time as he tries to become a MLB starter again. Even with Shields, no starter scares the opposition like the pitchers the Tigers got. But, as a unit, the Royals starting rotation looks better than it has in many years.
The bullpen is very young, with 27 year old Greg Holland (7-4, 2.96, 16 saves, 91 Ks in 67 IP) taking over as the closer. 23 year old LHP Tim Collins (5-4, 3.36 with 93 Ks in 69 2/3 IP) and 23 year old Kelvim Herrera (4-3, 2.35 in 76 games) give the Royals strong arms nobody knows about. Former number one draft pick Aaron Crow (3-1, 3.48 in 73 games) will be joined by a combination of journeymen George Sherrill, Blaine Boyer, Brian Sanches and/ or Dan Wheeler to round out what should be a decent bullpen. Having a group of veterans vying for one or two spots increases the odds something will stick.
Sure, the Royals could use Myers bat in the OF. Especially if he is ready to contribute this season. Catcher Salvador Perez (.301, 11, 39 in 76 games) will make up some of that loss in a full season. 1B Eric Hosmer (.232, 14, 60) had a down second season and should be expected to raise his production. 3B Mike Moustakas (.242, 20, 73) hit his stride during the second half of last season. Alex Gordon (.294, 14, 72 with 51 2Bs) has been the team’s best player and teamed with DH Billy Butler (.313, 29, 107), give the team a solid core of offensive players. CF Lorenzo Cain (.266, 7, 31 in 61 games) finally gets a chance to be the team’s everyday CF with SS Alcides Escobar (.293, 5, 52, 35 SB) giving the team a respectable two players in the Zack Grienke trade. However, they do have two holes in the lineup: 2B and RF. Chris Getz (.275, 0, 14 in 64 games) won the starting job at 2B with Jeff Francoeur (.235, 16, 49) playing RF. Francoeur fell very short of the .285, 20, 87, 47 2B season of 2011 with little hope of regaining that momentum. Expect the Royals to continue to pursue a left hand hitting OF to platoon with Francoeur as he simply cannot hit right hand pitching on a consistent basis. Cubs OF David Dejesus would be a solid acquisition especially since he previously came through the Royals system. The lineup should look like this: Escobar SS, Cain CF, Butler DH, Hosmer 1B, Gordon LF, Moustakas 3B, Perez C, Francoeur RF, Getz 2B. Veterans Miguel Tejada and Xavier Nady are competing for spots off the bench.
I see the Royals being the surprise team that gets itself into the AL postseason this year. Vegas has their over/ under at 79, up from their 72-90 season of a year ago. I obviously go with the over, at 88-74, second place in the AL Central. If not, expect manager Ned Yost to be without a job relatively soon.

MLB Complete 2013 Team Previews

At long last, we have completed our team previews. Well, we did the best we could with player movement, but obviously guys like Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse won’t be seen here.

As we said at the beginning of these, the numbers you saw throughout these are the projections of the individual writer and not necessarily what you’ll see in our Draft Kit, which comes out on February 18.

We’re thankful to you readers who continued to read our previews and offer your feedback. In case you missed any teams, here’s all of Major League Baseball.

AL East AL Central AL West NL East NL Central NL West
Toronto Blue Jays Detroit Tigers Los Angeles Angels Washington Nationals St. Louis Cardinals San Francisco Giants 
Tampa Bay Rays Kansas City Royals Oakland A’s Atlanta Braves Cincinnati Reds Los Angeles Dodgers 
Baltimore Orioles Chicago White Sox Texas Rangers Philadelphia Phillies Milwaukee Brewers Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Yankees Cleveland Indians Seattle Mariners New York Mets Pittsburgh Pirates San Diego Padres
Boston Red Sox Minnesota Twins Houston Astros Miami Marlins Chicago Cubs  Colorado Rockies

Check out other great articles at Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks.

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and I am …

JACKED UP!!!!

EVEN THOUGH MY TEAM IS NOT PLAYING IN THIS YEAR’S SUPER BOWL (and probably not any SB soon) I AM STILL JACKED UP.  THIS IS WHAT EVEN WAS TALKING ABOUT ON THAT OPENING THURSDAY NIGHT OF FOOTBALL BACK IN SEPTEMBER.

SO ENJOY THE SHOW! EAT TOO MUCH AND CALL OUT OF WORK TOMORROW.

IF YOUR FAVORITE TEAM WINS GOOD FOR YOU IF YOUR TEAM IS ONE OF THE 32 TEAMS THAT DID NOT WIN THE SUPER BOWL BETTER LUCK NEXT YEAR OR SHOULD  I SAY SEE YOU IN AUGUST.  ONLY ABOUT 5 MONTHS UNTIL TRAINING CAMP.

CHECK OUT MTR FOR COMPLETE DRAFT COVERAGE AND FREE AGENT FOLLOWINGS WHEN THE SEASON IS FINALLY OVER WITH.

ENJOY THE DAY AND THE COMMERCIALS AND THE GAME!!!!

I LOVE NEW ORLEANS AND WISH I WAS THERE.

Ranking the current MLB manager 1-30: 2013

http://www.johnpielli.com/1/post/2012/02/ranking-the-current-mlb-managers-1-30-best-to-worst.html

Last year, I put together a list of what I thought were the best to worst MLB managers. Things obviously change year to year based on teams performances and the direction the manager has his team going in. The manager’s track record also has to be taken into consideration, which makes this a very interesting discussion. While the talent on the team is a consideration as well, this is not simply a ranking of the 30 best teams.
The great thing about this is similar to ranking the best and worst teams coming into the season: opinions on this list will vary to the reader. Just like the list I did last year, I have to rank the managers who have no MLB managerial experience at the bottom of the list, as nothing can be said about judging their performance. So, like last year, let the discussion begin.

1. Jim Leyland, Tigers: (LY 2) Leyland has both the track record and good team to be considered the tops in the game. He got the Tigers back to the World Series for the second time. He has a World Series Championship with Florida and got the Pirates to the NLCS three years in a row in the early nineties. There is not another current manager in MLB who would do a better job with the Tigers the way they are assembled.
2. Buck Showalter, Orioles: (LY 6) Showalter was ranked 6th on my list last season and that was before the Orioles surprised all of baseball by making the postseason last year. His track record of building winning teams was the premise of ranking him so high. The fact that he succeeded by getting that Baltimore team into the postseason shows why he is one of the top managers in the game right now.
3. Joe Maddon, Rays: (LY 1) Maddon has done a great job with continuing the winning tradition as the Rays keep getting younger. His biggest challenge lies ahead after the trade of James Shields and Wade Davis and the loss of free agent BJ Upton. Maddon has been one of the top managers and has remained so in spite of all the changes. Lets see if he can keep it up.
4. Bruce Bochy, Giants: (LY 17) Bochy changed my opinion after winning his second World Series in 3 years as Giants manager. He did it this time with a different offensive team. Two World Series wins, 3 NL Pennants and all his years as a MLB manager look a lot better after the second World Series win.
5. Davey Johnson, Nationals: (LY 19) With all the talent the Nationals had coming into last season, it was expected the team would make big steps towards being a winning team. The Nationals ran away with the NL East, and Johnson deserves a lot of the credit. My gripe last year was that I thought he had lost a sense of the changes of the game during his stint in LA. Whether we agree with the move or not, his decision not to throw a similar fit in regards to Stephen Strasburg as he did with Dwight Gooden in 1984, it shows he has been willing to make some concessions. Now that he has led the Nationals to a division titles as well, he has now done so with four different teams.
6. Mike Scioscia, Angels: (LY 3) Scioscia’s stock has fallen a little bit. There
were some concerns last season that maybe his time in LA was coming to an end, but thanks to Mike Trout, the team got it together and won over 90 games. Scioscia has been known as a top managerial mind and deserves consideration among the top managers in the game. However, he has to win with the amount of talent he has on the roster.
7. Dusty Baker, Reds: (LY 10) Baker is another veteran manager and he has himself a good team in Cincinnati. He has led the team to division titles in two of the last three years. After a 2011 team that underachieved, it was a concern that perhaps Baker lost the team already. The fact that it does not seem true shows Baker is probably one to stay.
8. Ron Washington, Rangers: (LY 4) Washington would not have fallen as far if it wasn’t for the Rangers bad September. The team that made it to two straight World Series fell apart as the 2012 season came to the end. Washington, however, has proven himself as a top manager.
9. Bud Black, Padres: (LY 12) Black has done a very good job for a team that overachieved in 2010. They had a very good finish last year, and Black has proven himself to stay in San Diego for the long term.
10. Charlie Manuel, Phillies: (LY 11) Manuel has the track record of the five straight NL East titles, but has to get over the team finishing 81-81 last year. He is a veteran and is best for the veteran team they have in Philadelphia.
11. Kirk Gibson, Diamondbacks: (LY 8) Gibson has that fiery spark that teams look for in a modern manager. It is the way he played. After getting the team to the postseason in his first full season, Gibson’s team took a step back in 2012.
12. Terry Francona, Indians: It is hard to discredit Francona’s success in Boston; leading them to two World Series titles in four seasons. With an under talented roster, it is interesting to see what Francona can do in Cleveland. His legacy as an all time manager depends on it.
13. Ron Gardenhire, Twins: (LY 5) Gardenhire has taken the biggest fall for a similar reason Maddon remains as high as he is. The Twins have lost a lot of talent over the past seasons, and that is what gave Gardenhire the respect he has a manager. He kept the team competitive when they lost some star power. Unfortunately, the team has lost too much talent. Maddon could be in the same spot if the Rays drop like the Twins have.
14. Joe Girardi, Yankees: (LY 15) Girardi is an average MLB manager on a good team. He is better than a lot of them, but does not have the track record of some of the best. The Yankees struggles in the last three postseasons make a good case for my point.
15. Bob Melvin, Athletics: (LY 22) Melvin deserves credit for taking the Oakland team to the postseason that had no business being there. He has improved teams in Arizona and Seattle, so it is not the first time. He is a better manager than I have given credit for.
16. Mike Mattheny, Cardinals: (LY 29, because it was his first season managing) It is a very good story of how Matheny got the Cardinals back to the postseason after losing Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa. Great job, but Matheny has to back it up to be considered one of the best in the game.
17. Ron Roenicke, Brewers: (LY 13) Roenicke took the Brewers to the postseason in 2011 but could not repeat after the loss of Prince Fielder. He is a good manager, not great. But that can change if he builds on his winning reputation in Milwaukee.
18. Robin Ventura, White Sox: (LY 30, because it was his first season managing) Ventura was one of the surprises when he got the White Sox job last season. It was an even bigger surprise that he led the White Sox to a winning record in his first season. Outside of a tough last month and a surge by the Tigers, the White Sox had a very good chance of winning the AL Central. The emergence of Chris Sale and the comebacks of Jake Peavy and Adam Dunn had a lot to do with it. Lets see how they do in season two.
19. Don Mattingly, Dodgers: (LY 16) Mattingly is in a tough spot. The Dodgers have spent a lot of money over the past couple season and have underachieved. They added Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, among others, and failed to make the playoffs. He is under some pressure to win this season or he may be out. He has yet to show he is an elite manager.
20. Fredi Gonzalez, Braves: (LY 26) Gonzalez moves up due to attrition. He did get the Braves to the postseason last year after 2011′s September collapse. His offense has been upgraded, so the pressure will be on him to manage the talent he has. If not, he will face criticism.
21: John Gibbons, Blue Jays: Gibbons returns to Toronto after a three and a half year hiatus. He led the Jays to two winning seasons but did not stand out as a manager. He inherits a very good team and will certainly feel the wrath if the Jays underachieve.
22: Clint Hurdle, Pirates: (LY 21) Hurdle did not have an impressive track record in Colorado and now has had two Pittsburgh teams that have struggled mightily in the second half of the season. The Pirates are talented, but I am not sure Hurdle is the man to lead the team to the success they have been seeking since their last winning season in 1992.
23: Terry Collins, Mets: (LY 18) Collins has the tough task of managing this rebuilding Mets team. The team has decreased the amount of talent it has over the past three seasons, not fair to the veteran manager. If the Mets get off to a bad start, it may be Collins that pays the price for the team’s misfortunes.
24: John Farrell, Red Sox: (LY 14) Farrell walked out on his team, a team he mismanaged to a very disappointing 2012 season. His two seasons in Toronto have been disappointing as well. He takes over a Boston team who has a different look to it. Farrell is also the only 2012 manager managing a different team in 2013.
25: Eric Wedge, Mariners: (LY 24) Wedge is in a difficult spot with a Mariners team that is expected to struggle once again. He had the same issues in Cleveland. Similar to Collins, he could pay the price for a bad start.
26: Ned Yost, Royals: (LY 25) Yost has a much improved team which will not stand for a bad start. He will be canned if the Royals do not live up to their potential. There is too much talent for this team not to break through this season. Yost has yet to enjoy enough success as a big league manager.
27: Dale Sveum, Cubs: (LY 28, because it was his first season managing) The Cubs expect to be improved this season. They did lose 101 games under Sveum last season. It is hard to judge Sveum as a manager after the one season.
28. Walt Weiss, Rockies: Weiss inherits the most talented team among the three new managers.
29. Mike Redmond, Marlins: Redmond takes over a Marlins team that has been completely stripped.
30. Bo Porter, Astros: Porter takes over an Astros team that lost 106 games and has the least amount of talent of any team in the major leagues. Good for him to get his feet wet, but the results may not be there.

Vince Coleman or Roger Cedeno? Or could Michael Bourn be different?

vince coleman

The Mets may or may not be interested in free agent OF Michael Bourn. It is safe to say the amount of interest has to do with how much of a chance the Mets have of having their first round draft pick in this year’s draft (11th overall). While Bourn would give the Mets a major league outfielder they do not have, there may be some questions about how a player who relies solely on his legs after the age of 30.
It is easy to look at the positives; Bourn plays a very good defensive centerfield and will steal several bases. Bourn has won two Gold Gloves and led the NL in stolen bases from 2009 through 2011. He also nearly doubled his career high with 9 HR playing his home games in Atlanta. He also drew a career high 70 bases on balls. Put that together with the Mets current OF situation and it is difficult to spin a signing of Bourn as negative.
Prior to the 2002 season, the Mets brought back Roger Cedeno on a 4 year contract for about $18 million. Cedeno stole 66 bases for the Mets in the 1999 season and was coming off a 55 SB season with Detroit in 2001. Cedeno was 27 at the time, and quickly fell off his base stealing pace, finishing with 25 in 2002 and 14 in 2003, playing in 149 and 148 games, respectively. After spring training in 2004, he was traded to St Louis, where the Mets were on the hook for a good amount of his 2004 salary of over $5 million. However, the Cardinals picked up the tab for the last season of his contract.
Of course, we all remember the story of Vince Coleman. From the day he arrived in St Louis, he was the premier leadoff hitter in the National League. He led the NL in stolen bases every season from 1985 to 1990, the latter season in just 124 games. As a free agent after the 1990 season, he signed a four year deal with the Mets for about $13 million. Though he had off the field issues as well, Coleman would miss 251 games over the next three seasons with the Mets. He was traded to the Royals before the 1994 season for Kevin McReynolds with the Mets paying a portion of his 1994 salary.
Look at the stats, Bourn is very similar player to that of Coleman, who would have been a centerfielder had the Cardinals not had Willie McGee. Both players had high strikeout totals for leadoff batters. Coleman also doubled his career high in HRs on his walk year. Bourn has had a higher OBP than Coleman, particularly because of his 2012 season, but not by much. Bourn’s recent run of stolen base crowns reminds me very much Coleman’s track record.
I still don’t feel the Mets will end up with Bourn, especially with teams like Texas and Baltimore needing outfielders. But, if they do, it would be hard for the Mets to explain how they could sign Bourn, a leadoff hitter considered to be a step below Jose Reyes, and let Reyes walk last offseason without making an offer. The first round draft pick aside, I would prefer to see the Mets pursue another outfielder rather than Bourn. However, if Bourn signed with the Mets, I acknowledge that it is an upgrade from what they have right now. And, if they surrender a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, it is much less of a loss than moving valuable minor league players to make a trade. But still, looking at past signings of Cedeno and Coleman, it is hard to have confidence it will turn out better. Even if it doesn’t, Bourn is much better than any OF the Mets have right now.

What % of games the games best designated hitters actually DH(ed)

Most know that Ron Bloomberg was the first DH in the history of MLB when he batted for the Yankees in 1973. But few know that the designated hitter was originally not used close to the way it is used now. American League teams looked at it as a way to get somebody up there that was a better hitter than a pitcher. In other words, most teams would set up their regular lineup 1-8, with the DH batting ninth. The DH originally consisted of a team’s best pinch hitter and that batter would be guaranteed three or four ABs. Obviously, teams were quick to use the extra batter to their advantage, with veteran players getting a couple of extra seasons by not playing the field.
The first major player to embrace the role was Hal McRae. McRae was entering the prime of his career and may not have not had the career success had it not been for the move. Some of the greats that happened to be playing from 1973 on took some advantage such as Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Al Kaline and Hank Aaron. While MLB Network’s Prime 9 did a solid job in breaking down the best DHs in the history of the game, I decided it was time to figure out which players had the highest percentage of games played as a designated hitter. It is not fair to include Robinson, Killebrew, Kaline and Aaron in the discussion since they did not have as much of an opportunity to just hit. However, Robinson hit as a DH in 358 of his 2808 games played, which came out to 12.75%. Of the players I have chosen to compare, Robinson would rank 21st on my list.
It is no secret that players come up with the intention of being a full time DH now as opposed to before. Brian Downing was an example of a player who was insulted by the move. So it is no surprise that David Ortiz was the highest percentage of games played at DH with the minimum total games played requirement of 1236. Though the list is unofficial, here is what I came up with.
Player GP nonDH DH percentage
1. David Ortiz 1832 257 1575 85.97%
2. Hal McRae 2084 516 1568 75.24%
3. Edgar Martinez 2055 592 1463 71.19%
4. Harold Baines 2830 1061 1769 62.51%
5. Frank Thomas 2322 971 1351 58.18%
6. Don Baylor 2292 970 1322 57.68%
7. Chili Davis 2436 1186 1250 51.31%
8. Paul Molitor 2683 1495 1188 44.28%
9. Hideki Matsui 1236 692 544 44.01%
10. Cecil Fielder 1470 915 555 37.76%
11. Brian Downing 2344 1460 884 37.71%
12. Jim Thome 2543 1599 944 37.12%
13. Reggie Jackson 2820 2102 718 25.46%
14. Vladimir Guerrero 2147 1608 539 25.10%
15. Dave Parker 2466 1887 579 23.48%
16. Juan Gonzalez 1689 1311 378 22.38%
17. Cecil Cooper 1896 1475 421 22.20%
18. Rafael Palmeiro 2831 2351 480 19.96%
19. Dave Winfield 2973 2479 494 16.62%
20. Albert Belle 1539 1311 228 14.81%
Interesting parts of this list were players like Winfield, Parker and Thome who seem like they DHed more games than they did. However, Winfield and Parker were among the best OFs in the game during their prime. The all time percentage of games DHed will always be a more recent thing as many of the older DHs either were in the last couple of years of their career or did not stick around for a long time. With guys like Kendry Morales, Adam Dunn, Billy Butler and Travis Hafner being more DH only players, I am curious to see what percentage of DHed games those players end up with. As far as Bloomberg is concerned, he played in 461 career games, 239 as a DH, which came out to a percentage of 51.84%. If he qualified, he would have ranked 6th between Baylor and Davis.

Gaylord Perry: Hall of Famer, complier or cheater?

gaylord perry

One player whose name was brought up during the recent non-announcement of a MLB Hall of Fame player was Gaylord Perry. Perry was long known for throwing a spitball and doctoring the baseball in any different ways. Perry was inducted in Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1991, with his 314 wins and over 3500 strikeouts. Those numbers are considered magic numbers and for a long time were automatic for nomination. Though 300 wins may not happen again, 3000 strikeouts may be losing its legend. We will see over the next several seasons if guys like Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and John Smoltz get in.
It will not take long to take the compiler label off of Perry. He did, however, finish with 265 career losses and a .542 winning percentage. In addition to the wins and strikeouts, he did plan on retiring after his 1979 season in San Diego. When he was traded to the back to the Rangers, he pitched over 200 innings in 1980. After the 1979 season, he was 279-217, going just 35-48 from 1980-1983. in my opinion, Gaylord Perry had HOF numbers after the 1979 season, but the magic numbers stated he needed to win 300. So he did. To me, that is not a compiler.
The bigger issue has been raised because of the players who have not and may not make the Hall of Fame. Players implicated with steroids such as Barry Bonds, Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro may never make it into the Hall because they [("cheated")]. Though the extent may never be proven completely, Perry cheated. He doctored the baseball, which is against the rules and gave him an unfair advantage. This is exactly what steroids did for those accused and that is why they are left out of the Hall. To me, it is a double standard. Steroids contribute to the whole body of work, while a doctored baseball may not effect every pitch. And that is how Perry got a way with it. He would always make gestures like he was doctoring the baseball when he wasn’t. In fact, he was not caught doctoring a baseball until 1982, when he was pitching for 20 years already. However, there is no denying the fact that he doctored the baseball, which is against the rules. Ask Reggie Jackson. Gaylord Perry gave himself an unfair advantage by doing something that was against the rules. Yes, the steroids players did something that was against the law, both in both cases, there was a non level playing field.
I feel if there is no reason to question whether Perry, a known cheater, should have made the Hall of Fame, there should be no reason to keep the players who did steroids out. We have hit a stage of the game where it is impossible to determine how many players were using and how many were not using. If a steroids player hits a homerun off a steroids pitcher, should it even out? If a steroids pitcher strikes out a steroids hitter, should it be considered a clean strikeout? I think there is some doubt over whether Perry would have been as dominant if he did not cheat. Maybe asking for a recall and to dig out all the spitballers of the 1920s and 1930s (before and after) may be asking to much. But is it such a bad point to question why such a blind eye has been pointed at Gaylord Perry while the players who have used steroids are getting bludgeoned. Especially when that same “blind eye” was in its prime when these players were obviously using and breaking the law.

1/10/2013 Aaron Guiel interview (Passed Ball Show)

AARON GUIEL INTERVIEW

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