Tag Archives: Ken Griffey Jr

2016 MLB HOF Thoughts

[In what is an annual tradition, the BBWAA once again screwed up their most important duty: faithfully electing qualified MLB players to the game’s ultimate shrine – Cooperstown. This year’s balloting went along better than most years, as only 3 writers chose to get *cute* by leaving Ken Griffey, Jr. off of their ballots. I will not give any credence to those writers, nor will I entertain any arguments as to why they might have done it.

It was idiotic, moronic, and selfish for those three to deny Griffey a unanimous vote as the BBWAA has done to every player who has so far been enshrined1There are arguments made by others that voters simply aren’t allowed enough votes [they’re allotted 10 per election.] Others will excuse writers by saying ‘Well, if Babe Ruth wasn’t good enough to earn 100%, and he’s the Greatest player ever, then no one should earn 100%. Of course, that’s an idiotic argument on multiple fronts.

First, when the Babe was elected, it was against every single player who had ever stepped on the field up to that point, including active players, that were eligible. Secondly, just because writers of previous generations were morons does not excuse writers of ensuing generations. Should the Babe have been elected unanimously? Of course. Is the fact that he was not more excusable than Griffey, Jr. not being? Of course. There were at best 8 players who should have been considered for a HOF vote this year. It’s simply not an excuse.
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References
1 There are arguments made by others that voters simply aren’t allowed enough votes [they’re allotted 10 per election.] Others will excuse writers by saying ‘Well, if Babe Ruth wasn’t good enough to earn 100%, and he’s the Greatest player ever, then no one should earn 100%. Of course, that’s an idiotic argument on multiple fronts.

First, when the Babe was elected, it was against every single player who had ever stepped on the field up to that point, including active players, that were eligible. Secondly, just because writers of previous generations were morons does not excuse writers of ensuing generations. Should the Babe have been elected unanimously? Of course. Is the fact that he was not more excusable than Griffey, Jr. not being? Of course. There were at best 8 players who should have been considered for a HOF vote this year. It’s simply not an excuse.

Top Ten Tuesday (With A Teaser Or Two)

I was recently asked, by our Executive Editor here at Campus Pressbox, Damien Bowman, to select ten people for the Baseball Hall of Fame off the 2016 ballot. I did. And here they are:

Mike Piazza
Jeff Bagwell
Tim Raines
Larry Walker
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Nomar Garciaparra
Jeff Kent
Fred McGriff
Edgar Martinez
Alan Trammel

I attempted not to choose any known “juicers”. No Bonds, McGwire, etc. I don’t know if I succeeded in this, but I did my best, IMHO. That is another discussion for another day, and I’m sure we’ll take it up on a podcast in the not-too-distant-future.

I attempt to be a purist. No DH, Astro Turf, et al. That’s probably, at least, a little disingenuous, but one has to try.

Our SEC 411 podcast, which we are about to record, is not going to contain much discussion on football, the SEC, or sports in general. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

Stay tuned!

The ten Hall of Famers prompted me to come up with a column which contains no SEC football or sports, except for the above mentioned HOF nominees.

We’re going to go with a “Top Ten Tuesday” (I know this posts on Wednesday but I wrote it on Tuesday. So there!) which will be lists of my top ten in areas that are, pretty much, pop culture. And this is not scientific, in any particular order, or what I consider to be, technically the best. It’s just my favorites… today.

So here we go!

Top Ten Movies

The Godfather

The Godfather Part Two

Pulp Fiction

Blazing Saddles

Inglorious Basterds (yes, I do LOVE Quentin Tarantino)

Apocalypse Now (and Francis Ford Coppolla, evidently)

Vertigo

The Graduate

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Big Lebowski

Top Ten Country Songs

The Grand Tour – George Jones

I Don’t Wanna Play House – Tammy Wynette

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams

The Pilgrim Chapter 33 – Kris Kristofferson

Whiskey River – Willie Nelson

Merry Christmas From The Family – Robert Earl Keen

Yard Sale – Sammy Kershaw

Sea Of Heartbreak – Don Gibson

Since You’ve Gone – Ferlin Husky

(Tie) Holding Things Together – Merle Haggard &
He’s Got You – Patsy Cline

Top Ten Rock/Pop Songs

Powderfinger – Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Revolution – The Beatles

Babelogue>Rock N Roll Nigger – Patti Smith

Red Red Wine – Neil Diamond

Goin’ Out West – Gov’t Mule (originally done by Tom Waits)

See Me, Feel Me – The Who

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane

Crimson And Clover – Tommy James and the Shondells or Joan Jett, take your pick.

Green River – CCR

I Love You Period – Dan Baird

 

Top Ten TV Shows (Network TV including PBS. And I haven’t watched many network shows in a long time. PBS, yes.)

The Andy Griffith Show

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Downton Abbey

Frasier

Saturday Night Live

Dallas

NYPD Blue

Seinfeld

Northern Exposure

M*A*S*H

Top Ten Cable TV Shows

Mad Men

Breaking Bad

Friday Night Lights

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

The Colbert Report

The Walking Dead

Damages

Better Call Saul

The Killing

Vikings

Top Ten Premium Cable TV Shows

Deadwood

The Sopranos

The Wire

Homeland

Game of Thrones

Masters of Sex

Californication

Ray Donovan

Nurse Jackie

The Larry Sanders Show

Top Ten Rock/Pop Albums

Live At The Fillmore East – The Allman Brothers Band

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek & The Dominos

Are You Experienced? – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Europe ’72 – The Grateful Dead

Aqualung – Jethro Tull

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – Neil Young

Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago

Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin

Revolver – The Beatles

Woodstock – Various Artists

Top Ten Jazz Albums

Kind of Blue – Miles Davis

Bitches Brew – Miles Davis

A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

Giant Steps – John Coltrane

Bill Evans – Conversations With Myself

Duke Ellington – Money Jungle

Sonny Rollins – The Bridge

Charlie Parker – Yardbird Suite: The Ultimate Charlie Parker

Thelonious Himself – Thelonious Monk

The Best Of –  Django Reinhardt

Ok ok! This is typically an Auburn column, so I won’t leave you without Tiger news, or info, altogether.

Top Ten Auburn Games (I have attended)

Alabama 1989 – Tide’s first game ever played on The Plains. 30-20

Alabama 2013 – Kick Six. 34-28

Alabama 1972 – Punt Bama Punt. 17-16

Alabama 1982 – Bo Over The Top. 23-22

Florida 1993 – Number one ranked Gators go down in Jordan-Hare. 38-35

Oregon 2011 – 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 BCS National Championship Game. We’re number one! 22-19

Texas A&M 2013 – Dee Ford sacks Johnny Football on the final play of the game and we begin to feel it. The march to Pasadena! 45-41

Georgia 2013 – The Miracle at Jordan-Hare, 43-38

LSU 1997 – Dameyune Craig leads a last minute comeback in Death Valley. Just me and Luke made this trip to the Red Stick. Magical night. 31-27

Michigan 1984 – Sugar Bowl. Al Del Greco splits the uprights with a last second field goal. Auburn wins the National Championship according to the New York Times. They won it on the field as well. You will never convince me otherwise. 9-7

Hey claim ’em! It’s been done before! 😉

So there you have it! A Top Ten Tuesday! This should prompt the opportunity for some great discussion, so fire away!

I will probably do some more of this type of thing during bowl season and the off-season.

Also, many of us here at Campus Pressbox will be bringing you bowl previews. My first one will take a look at the Cure Bowl, which is to be played Saturday, 12/19, in Orlando’s Citrus Bowl. San Jose State vs. Georgia State. The Spartans and the Panthers!

And, naturally, I will preview the Birmingham Bowl.

Merry Happy!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt vs. Mike – Lefties vs. Righties – Good vs. Evil

I’m throwing down the gauntlet today. In my opinion, Matt Kline writes some of the most interesting pieces on MTAF, if only because they’re so fun to argue with. I liked his Face of the Franchise series quite a lot, I like when he does stuff like trying to figure out the greatest Red Sox lineup of all time. I’m a fan.

Full disclosure – Matt and I go way back. We’ve had hundreds of arguments over the years ranging from whether Babe Ruth would play above AA ball in today’s game to whether the New York Giants would have been better off not trading for Eli Manning and instead keeping the picks that turned out to be Philip Rivers, Shawne Merriman, and Nate Kaeding. The only rules we consistently abide by in these discussions is A. Each of us is always right and B. If you’re not yelling, you might as well not be talking.

Today I’m going to challenge Matt to outflank me on something near and dear to my heart – lefties vs. righties in the great game of baseball.

I’ve taken the liberty to make up a few rules to the game. It’s always possible Matt will yell about them and insist I’ve given myself an unfair advantage but, of course, he will be wrong and I will be right. The rules of the game are as follows:

  • Every player has to have played at least 1 MLB game from 1980-today. Matt was born in ’76, I was born in ’77, so I think that’s a fair place to start.
  • The voters will be asked to decide which team would win against the other. Assembling 9 power hitters should not win.
  • Steroid users are generally okay; otherwise it would turn into a shouting match about whether a certain guy used or not. I think 75% of major leaguers were juicing during that period.
  • No pitchers yet. Any interested voters will assume that both teams are facing the exact equal level of pitcher – Matt’s team gets to face lefties, mine gets to face righties.
  • I have done zero research before beginning this column, so there is no known advantage to who is on what side, but because I hit lefty and Matt hits righty, that’s where we’ll go. No one gets switch hitters.
  • I can’t use Barry Bonds, Matt can’t use Alex Rodriguez. The last thing either of us needs is to spend their morning cleaning vomit off of a computer monitor.
  • The DH has to be a guy who regularly DH’d. Derek Jeter isn’t going to forego playing the field just so you can shoehorn him and Cal Ripken into your lineup.

On to my lineup:

RF: Ichiro Suzuki – I read this genius column a little while back about how Ichiro is the greatest hitter of the current generation. An unquestionable 200 hits (if it’s a bad year), plus he’s going to hit .320 and steal 40 bags. Not to mention that if I’m down a run and absolutely need a guy to find their way on, Ichiro’s slap hit to the shortstop hole is pretty close to an automatic guy in scoring position.

3B: George Brett – I wanted to go with my boyhood hero Wade Boggs, but Brett was simply better (and doesn’t do late night commercials for hair plugs). We’ve got a lot of table setters in this lineup, Brett gives us possibly the best all-around 3B stats ever – he could do everything, and he did it for a LONG time.

CF: Ken Griffey Jr – One of my easier choices. Not only is he the greatest defensive CF of this era, but he’s kind of good at the plate as well. 162 game average of .284 with 38 and 111, and he revolutionized the hat-wearing industry. .304 with 56 and 147 in 1997. That’s pretty good for a gold glove winning outfielder (every year from 1990-1999).

DH: David Ortiz – I’ll spare you the 1000 words I want to write about Ortiz’s heroics in 2004. Suffice it to say, he’s the one player most responsible for ending years of Red Sox futility (no disrespect to Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez, and Mariano Rivera). A solid .300 with 40 bombs and 110 RBI is generally what we’d expect, not to mention that he’s the one guy from this era I’d like batting with the game on the line.

1B: Jim Thome – Thome has to be the quietest power hitter from the steroid era. His 612 home runs are good for 7th all time, as are his 1747 walks, and he’s a top 25 RBI guy as well.

LF: Carl Yastrzemski – Every team needs a player who can carry them. Any Red Sox fan over the age of 40 knows that Yaz did that as good, or better, than just about anyone. His triple crown in 1967 (.326, 44, 121) was about as good a single season (factoring in the era) in the second half of this century, and he absolutely carried a mediocre Sox squad to the World Series (no one else hit more than 20 home runs or drove in more than 82 runs – talk about having no protection in your lineup).

C: Joe Mauer – Mauer’s the typical player for the team I’m assembling. Matt can take his Mike Piazza type power hitters. I’ve got guys who are going to set the table for the 3 run bomb. 200 hits, well over .300 average, and double digit home runs.

2B: Rod Carew – His best years were through before I remember, but this is a hall of famer who could flat out hit. People who watched him play (at least those I regularly talk to) say that no one could place a ball like Carew, and he’s been called the best bunter in history. Perfect player for today’s game

SS: Stephen Drew – Uh, yeah. Apparently there are not very many left-handed hitting shortstops in baseball’s recent history. Wow. I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that I looked for an hour trying to find a left-handed hitting shortstop to put here. I’m going with Drew for 3 reasons:

  1. He has the 12th greatest fielding percentage for a SS of all time
  2. I’m sick of looking
  3. He’s the brother of Matt’s least favorite player of all time. Maybe Matt gets so steamed when he reads this that he forgets to give himself a SS and I win by default.

If I’m forgetting someone, please let me know. Pretty please. Especially at short.

Alright, Matt – do your best to beat me. I think there are two surefire ways for me to win. First off, I need you to punt the shortstop position. And secondly, I need to make this an argument about team chemistry. My glue guys like Griffey, Yaz, Brett, and Ortiz mean that I’m always going to have a happy clubhouse. That’s 75% of the battle, right?

Go easy.

Face of the Franchise- N.L. Central

We’ve made our way in to the N.L. Central, home of some of the most storied franchises in MLB’s history- and the Milwaukee Brewers.  If you’re new to the Face of the Franchise series (or if you simply forgot to tell me how big of an idiot I am), you can get started here, and then work your way to the beginning.

The Chicago Cubs were once one of the most successful franchises in MLB’s history.  Of course, the last time that statement was true was sometime shortly after they won the 1908 World Series.  Up to that point, they were the home of Cap Anson, Tinkers to Evers to Chance, “Three Finger” Brown, and Grover Cleveland Alexander.  In later years Andre Dawson, Mark Grace, and Ryne Sandberg would call Wrigley home.  They are a franchise that has the best winning percentage in a single season (1906:  116-36, .763) as well as the 3rd best winning percentage in a single season (1886:  90-34, .726.)

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Thome's 600th Should Be Celebrated

By Ryan Isley

Former Indians slugger Jim Thome is about to hit himself into the record books and it could happen in his old stomping grounds when he attempts to hit his 600th career home run this weekend at Progressive Field. Thome enters the weekend just two home runs shy of the historic mark as the Minnesota Twins come to town for a three-game series with the Indians.

Unfortunately, you may not have heard about it because it has been pretty hush-hush from the commissioner’s office and the ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’.

One thing that does not make any sense is that when Alex Rodriguez was in pursuit of No. 600, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig fawned all over him and had special baseballs put in play every time the known cheater came to the plate. Every time Rodriguez moved, someone from ESPN was there with coverage. I even wrote at the time that people needed to stop making a big deal about it because of Rodriguez’s history.

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