|Ortiz - Chugging along the all-time rankings.|
- David Ortiz is 3rd all-time now among the Boston Red Sox' career HR leaders. He ranks just behind Ted Williams and Carl Yastremzki. Now you all know that I will never put "Big Papi" in the same breath as "Teddy Ballgame" or "Yaz", I also feel that even though Ortiz will go down as one of the best post-season clutch-hitters of all-time (if not the best), and the fact that he's done a lot for the city of Boston in general -- But.. he will never go down as a Hall of Famer in my book, all because it's tainted, he's connected to PED's... Simple as that! It took David Ortiz (a younger, non-PED Ortiz) to reach 58 career HR's with Minnesota, in 1,477 at-bats -- he led the American League with 54 alone during the 2006 MLB Season in just 558 at-bats! People keep talking about Ortiz entering the hall as the first DH, let's stop you right there, why is Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines continuously ignored? Now Ortiz's numbers would be hall-worthy for sure, 461 HR's, a career batting average of .286, and 1,523 RBI's (not to mention .926 eye-popping OPS) -- but once again they are tainted. Now Edgar does not have the HR's (309) that Ortiz does, but at this point, he just edges Ortiz in hits (2,247 to 2,143), OPS (.933 to .927), while holding a bigger lead in Batting Average (.312) & On-Base Percentage (.418 to .380). Now let's go to Baines -- Baines fell 134 hits short of 3,000 (he was that close, people!), sporting a .289 career batting, 384 HR's & 1,628 RBI (more than Ortiz). Baines also has a respectable career On-Base Percentage of .356 & OPS (On-Base + Slugging Percentage, for the people that still might not know what OPS is) of .820 -- to put that in perspective, Andre Dawson, a Hall of Fame Inductee, has a lower career batting average (.279), a lower On-Base Percentage (.326, certainly low OBP for Hall standards), lower OPS (.806), and... oh yeah, Dawson fell 236 hits shorts of 3,000 compared to Baines' 134 short. I think a few things (a few too many) are held against Baines, in the end, he moved from OF to DH, and the fact he played for quite a few teams in the second half of his career (Texas, Baltimore, Oakland, Cleveland -- plus two more stints with the White Sox). Overall he was a White Sox player that I remember very well, whenever Chicago played my beloved Tigers, I hated watching Baines step up to the plate, he was a feared player, an excellent hitter -- very much, underrated. The teams he played with later, was during the free agent era kicking into high gear, plus a few of those he was acquired in trades (you can't hold trades against the guy) in Texas & Oakland acquiring him in mid-season deals. I think the playing for numerous teams has been a stigma of sorts on other great careers, one that comes straight to mind is Fred McGriff (who was also traded a lot). I guess we'll have to dive into the rest of this, in another Hall discussion, but for now, that's all got on Papi & his DH-rivals.
Chapman set an interesting record streak.
- Aroldis Chapman set an interesting record, a record streak of 49 straight saves with at least one strikeout, that streak came to an end (I believe he passed Bruce Sutter at 36 & Eric Gagne at 33), while Francisco Rodriguez "K-Rod" matched & passed Rollie Fingers' career Saves total of 341. The evolution of MLB relievers continues to take different shapes as time moves on, what we need to do is in many ways ignore the Saves total, and think how relievers are used today or at least how big those relievers were during their day. I have seen many people on the APBA Facebook Group and many MLB insiders, writers say that Bruce Sutter was one of the absolute best, when he was on top of the game. Plus if you made Sutter close games out like they do today, he would have certainly made that career total balloon. Rollie Fingers, same deal, a different style for sure, but once again definitely among the best. Now what Eric Gagne did during his dominant three-year stretch from 2002-2004, will never hold any admiration from me, I remember how dominant he was, just like anyone else does, but I also suspected him as a steroid boy long before his name came up. He was far skinnier as a former starting pitcher, a starting pitcher that also blew out his arm at one point -- suddenly he was racking up Saves totals of 52, 55 & 45 with his arm suddenly shooting off like a cannon? C'mon! But now looking at a PED-induced Gagne, and a dominant Sutter, and then you have Chapman passing Sutter by an extra 13-innings in the Saves streak with at least one K, that to me makes it a pretty impressive mark, then again dialing up a 102 mph fastball, you are certainly going to get your advantage of calls as well. Now going to "K-Rod", Francisco Rodriguez we will remember he was implemented in 2010 (suspended for PED-use), so once again like with Gagne, it's all tainted. Kind of wonder if we should look at the single-season Saves mark he set of 62, as 57 by Bobby Thigpen still. I look at the All-Time mark in HR's as Hank Aaron's record still, and Roger Maris still standing at 61.
- Money not-so-well spent, as in the case for Ricky Nolasco & his $49 million contract. Nolasco allowed at least 5 earned runs in 8 starts this season (making it the 3rd most in the Majors) -- which is interesting, considering he also spent a significant time on the Disabled List as well. He currently has a record of 5-9, with a 5.62 ERA & 1.53 WHIP.
- Yusmeiro Petit (S.F.) set an MLB record of retiring 46 batters in a row, breaking the record of 45 once held by Mark Buerhle (then with White Sox). The funny thing is the record stopped at 46, when Petit allowed a double to the Colorado Rockies' pitcher Jordan Lyles.