View From The Bleachers

January 7, 2010

In the News: The Hawk to the Hall!

Filed under: Featured,General — dat_cubfan_daver @ 9:58 am

Happy Snow Day, Cubs fans! (Any of you in warm-weather climates must still recognize this as a Snow Day, because I insist you share in our misery – at least in spirit.) I’m tempted to say that the news is slow today but, obviously, there’s one huge story that we’re all celebrating (or most of us, at least.) Yes, I’m referring to the fact that the Yankees have re-signed former Cubs pitcher Sergio Mitre. Oh, and there was something else…

Andre Dawson is a Hall of Famer! Yes, in case you’ve been huddled in your underground snow shelter for the past 24 hours, be advised that No. 8, the Hawk, who played for the Cubs for six years (1987-1992), will soon be enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Dawson’s victory was based on a 77.9% voting percentage, and he was the only candidate voted in. Here’s Phil Rogers’ take on the blessed event. (Please note: The bold phrases leading off each paragraph are LINKS to news stories.)

The battle of the cap. Now that Andre is in, the biggest question (besides whether he’ll go all Sandberg in his acceptance speech) is which cap the Hawk will wear in Cooperstown: Expos or Cubs? This MLB.com article explores the issue.

The Spring Training schmoozefest is headed to a stunning conclusion. Someone place has got to win, someone place has got to lose. It still looks like either Mesa re-ups or Naples, Fla. scores a huge economic win. Bruce Levine sums up the current situation rather nicely in this article.

Can we just pretend Marlon Byrd is a left-handed hitter? That’s what this USA Today  fantasy baseball writer suggests. And it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Look, I’d love to have, say, Adrian Gonzalez breaking up the middle of the Cubs order. But Byrd’s splits against RHP make him appear a fairly effective hitter against the scores of righties in the Big Leagues. Sometimes it’s better to stock your lineup with the best hitters you possibly can rather than take a long shot on a guy who happens to hit from the left side (cough, cough – Rick Ankiel – cough, cough).

The Cardinals will be paying Matt Holliday until 2029. Seriously. Well, maybe. That’s what SI.com is reporting anyway. This isn’t cast in stone as the team hasn’t officially disclosed the financial details of the detail. But this whopper of a contract could give St. Louis monetary indigestion in coming years. Baseball biz analyst Maury Brown tweeted today, “So Cardinals get Holliday wrapped up. Next, Pujols. After that? Zero payroll flexibility. Not expecting competitive team in few years.” So we may have that to look forward to, Cubs fans. Sadly, in the meantime, St. Louis will likely have a pretty good ballclub for the next couple seasons or so. As I mentioned last time, don’t be surprised to see the Cards picked as the ’10 NL Central frontrunner.

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  • Doc Raker

    Holliday gets paid until 2029-
    This is what the business of baseball has come to. To sign a big talent free agent you need to overpay him as to bet not only your clubs current seasons on him but your extended future also. Unless you are the Yankees teams can’t afford a high priced FA that doesn’t produce, you can’t replace him you need to live with him, see Soriano, A.

    Until baseball institutes a salary cap players will be overpaid every off season to the detriment of the game. I point to the NHL model for a solution.

  • http://twitter.com/vftb Joe Aiello

    Until baseball institutes a salary cap players will be overpaid every off season to the detriment of the game. I point to the NHL model for a solution.

    Didn’t the Blackhawks recently sign someone (I think it was Duncan Keith) for a 13 year deal? It happens in every sport, not just baseball.

  • Mr. David M. Beyer

    It seems to happen A LOT in hockey. Maybe there’s something about player longevity in the NHL that makes these long-term contracts feasible. I think Chris Chelios just retired last year at age 87. In baseball it seems a lot riskier.

  • dat_cubfan_daver

    I remember hearing about that hockey contract, too. Don’t players in a high-contact sport in which fistfights are basically an accepted part of the game have a greater likelihood of getting seriously injured and being unable to fulfill their end of the bargain? (I should probably confess at this point that I don’t follow hockey and don’t know a damn thing about it.)

  • Seymour Butts

    The following is a comment I placed on another blog last year about the hall of fame. I liked it then, I still do and would like to share it.

    A snowblower is the reason Frosty the Snowman spends so much time on the sidewalk.

    HOF peeves me too. Why should writers be the voters. The only ones really qualified to judge a players relative merits are those who were on the field at the same time, maybe their coaches. Same league voting.

    Allowing a writer to determine which of the players he covered, some of which gave good quote, and some who rightfully ignored the gnats at their locker, is like letting the ball players vote on which writer should get into a writers hall. Bet nobody does there.

    I have an idea!

    This is a game that is ripe for admission to a hall of fame to be numbers driven. Take all past and current members and gather their stats. Take the average of the bottom 5 players at each position and let that be the line of demarcation. Not so much a Mendoza line, but I have a sneaking suspicion it could be called a “Morgan Line”.

    I’ll call it the Morgan Line, because it amuses me.

    For offensive players (not John Rocker types) You would have to pick say a formula of perhaps OPS times RBI OR Runs scored times fielding percentage. Bonus points could be added for Certain awards such as Sliver slugger or MVP, but only awards voted on by players.

    For Pitchers, Wins(or saves/ holds) times innings pitched divided by ERA. Starters and relievers judged separately.

    Applying this formula to relief pitchers is easy as there are only 4 in the HOF right now. Eckersley,Gossage,Sutter,and Fingers. I’m going to leave out Eckersly as he had 171 Wins as a starter to go with his 387 saves and clearly will be above the Morgan Line.
    Gossage: 310 saves times 1809 IP divided by an ERA of 3.01 = 186,309.
    Fingers 341 x 1701/2.90=200,014

    Sutter 300 x 1042 /2.83=110,459.
    Kind of what I Might expect, Fingers and gossage clearly superior to Sutter.

    You might ask where does Lee Smith fall, I don’t know as I type this, but will do the math.
    478 savesx 1289 IP / 3.03 ERA =203,347!
    Just a little better than Fingers, and Gossage ,clearly better Sutter.

    I think I’m on to something.

    Feel free to pass this work of genius along, but I know Bud Selig already reads shermrants, so expect the system to be in place in the near future.

    January 12, 2009 2:29 PM

  • http://www.26outs.com jswanson

    whoa…John Rocker joke from left field

  • Doc Raker

    “The Morgan Line”, love it! What is this Shermrants you speak of?

    The comparison between the NHL and the MLB is the salary cap. NHL teams can not load up on free agents. Fiscal prudence becomes very important in putting the team together. Everyone in the league is competing under the same salary structure.

    Players in the NHL still make millions but one player can not make unreasonable demands like in baseball. In the NHL it isn’t about agents escalating payroll since payroll is tied to league revenue. The business of hockey is much more civil than baseball.

    Future HOF’er Scott Niedermayer’s negotiation with the Anaheim Ducks was a prime example. Once Scott decided not to retire this past off season he called the GM and said he was ready to sign. The GM said, OK, this is how much money we have left for you and the deal was done. No grandstanding, no highest bidder, no playing clubs between eachother because they all have the same salary cap. Much simpler and much better for overall league health. I am sure Pirate and Royal fans can understand these points pretty easily.

  • Tommy

    Thought this day would never come. I am so thrilled for Hawk and his fans. Few like him, anymore.

  • http://twitter.com/vftb Joe Aiello

    I agree Tommy. What always makes me made is this process we have to see someone go through to get in as if they’re more worthy the longer they wait.

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