Posted in Baseball, New York Mets, Trenton Thunder

Talking about two ex-Mets who fell short in the Hall of Fame vote

The Baseball Hall of Fame will welcome Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman this summer.

Jones is the best third baseman I’ve ever watched play (I hope he thanks the New York Mets for helping him get elected 😜) Thome was one of the most productive hitters of his era. Guerrero could do unbelievable things with pitches that were nowhere near the strikezone. Hoffman pitched effectively as a closer for a really long time. All four men are deserving of the honor, though some are more worthy than others.

Former Mets closer Billy Wagner will not be headed to Cooperstown anytime soon, though — he received just 47 votes, 290 fewer than Hoffman.

And that is interesting.

  • Player A finished a 16-year career with a 2.31 ERA, 2.73 FIP, 11.9 K/9 innings, 6.0 H/9 innings and 3.99 SO/W.
  • Player B finished an 18-year career with a 2.87 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 9.4 K/9 innings, 7.0 H/9 innings and 3.69 SO/W.

Player A was a six-time All-Star, received MVP votes twice and Cy Young Award votes twice.  Player B was a seven-time All-Star, received MVP votes four times and Cy Young Award votes four times (once finishing as high as second.)

Based on those career numbers, you’d figure both players would garner a similar amount of support for Cooperstown, with Player B maybe having a slight edge based on previous awards voting.

Player A is Wagner, Player B is Hoffman and it seems like a lot of voters must have been swayed by one mostly useless stat that I left out: saves. Hoffman has 601, while Wagner only has 422.

Bright side, Wagner got enough votes to stay on the ballot and maybe voters will take another look at him next year.

Johan Santana was not as fortunate, receiving just 10 votes. He fell short of the five percent minimum to remain on the ballot, so his fate will be left to the Veterans’ Committee.

Does Santana belong in the Hall? That’s a question that’s worthy of discussion. But for a five-year period, he was the best pitcher in baseball. Between 2004 and 2008, Santana won two Cy Young Awards, finished third twice and finished fifth once. During the two Cy Young campaigns, Santana also finished in the top 10 in MVP voting. That sure seems like too good a career to be off the ballot after one year….

Odds and ends…

  • The Mets have reached an agreement with Jose Reyes on a one year contract to bring him back as a utility infielder. Leaving aside off-field issues of character, this is not a bad move… provided Reyes doesn’t get handed the starting second base job through front office inertia.
  • The Trenton Thunder will play as the Trenton Pork Roll on Fridays this year, which seems like a fun marketing idea until you go look at the uniforms they will be wearing. No. Just no. So very much no.

I remember 1992 and 1993 too well to believe that a big payroll guarantees a winning season, but Fred, Jeff and Saul need to understand that money is going to be a sore spot for fans until the Mets are winning.

Posted in Baseball

Comeback Players of the Year

Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey pitches against the Miami Marlins on June 8, 2013 at Citi Field (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Congratulations to Matt Harvey, who capped off a successful comeback from Tommy John surgery by pitching for the National League Champion Mets in the World Series. (Never mind that Terry Collins will probably be answering questions about leaving Harvey in for the ninth inning of Game 7 longer than he’s been asked about letting Johan Santana throw 134 pitches in his 2012 no-hitter.)

The American League award is generating some controversy, mainly because there’s no publicly available criteria for determining who should win it. Alex Rodriguez had an amazing year, especially considering his age and that he’d missed better than a year and a half due to injury and a PED suspension. But I don’t see why a player should be able to win an award for coming back from a PED suspension, no matter how great his season was (or how unjust the PED suspension was.)

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Blue Jays sign Johan Santana | HardballTalk

It would be really nice to see Johan Santana pitch for the Blue Jays this summer.

HardballTalk

The Blue Jays just announced that they agreed to terms with left-hander Johan Santana on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Santana hasn’t pitched in the majors since August 17, 2012 as a member of the Mets. The 34-year-old missed all of 2013 after his second major shoulder surgery and saw his comeback attempt with the Orioles come to an end last June due to a torn Achilles tendon. He rehabbed the injury in order to showcase himself in the Venezuelan Winter League, but he was eventually shut down due to shoulder discomfort. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reported on Sunday that Santana was due to resume his throwing program this week, so he might not be close to game action, but that didn’t stop the Blue Jays from taking a chance on him.

Santana is basically a lottery ticket at this point, but it would…

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Will Johan Santana’s comeback be successful?

Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Former New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana is hoping to return to the major leagues in 2015 after missing all of the last two seasons due to injuries.

But Santana’s comeback has not been going smoothly. Santana, 35, retired six straight batters in his first appearance with the Navegantes del Magallanes on January 13th. However, Santana’s manager Carlos Garcia told reporters that the pitcher’s left shoulder has been slow to recover and he won’t pitch again in the  Venezuelan Winter League.

FOX Sports reporter Jon Morosi tweeted that Santana may still throw for MLB scouts, but those plans are unclear.

I’d love to see Santana’s comeback be successful – it’s always better to be able to leave on your own terms than to have injuries force you out the door. But at this stage, we might have to get ready to accept the idea that we watched Santana’s final MLB appearance on August 17, 2012.

Continue reading “Will Johan Santana’s comeback be successful?”

Posted in New York Mets, Uncategorized

I’m going to post some Mets baseball cards even though they’re not still playing

I’m still working on my 2014 Topps Heritage Mets team set, but I’m a bit closer to finishing it today thanks to a surprise envelope from Jeff of 2x3Heroes.com.

Johan-Santana Johan-Santana-B

I was probably annoyed to see Johan Santana on the checklist this spring – he hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2012 and he’d signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles right around the time Heritage came out. Now, it could be Santana’s last baseball card (well, until Topps signs a contract to include him as an “all-time great” or “fan favorite”). Seems fitting to have a portrait photo with Santana smiling and a stat-filled card back with the “complete major league pitching record” of his great career.

David-Wright David-Wright-B

Hopefully David Wright will have more to smile about next season. This is the more common of two photo variations on Wright’s card #284. I should have the other one by the end of the week, too.

Continue reading “I’m going to post some Mets baseball cards even though they’re not still playing”

Posted in Uncategorized

Cool things in the Mets Museum this year

The Mets Museum has fewer items on display this season than in previous years, but there’s still some cool stuff to go see.

Howie Rose's scorecard from Johan Santana's no-hitter (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Howie Rose’s scorecard from Johan Santana’s no-hitter (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

You can see how Howie Rose “put it in the books” when Johan Santana pitched the first (and only, so far) no-hitter in Mets history in 2012.

Continue reading “Cool things in the Mets Museum this year”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Your comments on how you’ll remember Johan Santana’s Mets career

Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Thanks to MetsBlog linking to me today, I got a bigger range of responses than I expected when I asked “How will Mets fans remember Johan Santana?”

About half of you look at Santana’s Mets career and remember the positives – the no-hitter and the Game #161 start in 2008 being the big ones.

Will in Central NJ wrote: “It is entirely fair that Johan Santana be remembered in a positive light. A plaque in the Mets Hall of Fame is appropriate, in my mind. He threw the first Mets’ no hitter. Period. It would be a paradox for Met fans to have gnashed their teeth for decades because we never had one, and then minimize the deed, and the pitcher, once the deed is accomplished. Injuries happen.”

Brian Berness wrote: “He was a warrior and a great pitcher and you make that trade every day and twice on Sunday.”

A significant number look at Santana and see a huge bust who failed to even come close to living up to his contract.

Continue reading “Your comments on how you’ll remember Johan Santana’s Mets career”