Seamheads Podcast Appearance and 2012 MLB Preview

All Star Game, Ballparks, Books, CBA, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2012 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

I was a guest with Donn Parris on his Seamheads podcast yesterday talking about Michael Pineda; the Yankees; Jose Campos; the Red Sox; Larry Lucchino; Bobby Valentine; Ben Cherington; the Angels; Jerry DiPoto; the Orioles; Buck Showalter; Jesus Montero and many other things.

Listen below.

Listen to internet radio with Seamheads on Blog Talk Radio

Donn knows both Pineda and Montero well and has unique insight into them as players and people.

My book, Paul Lebowitz’s 2012 Baseball Guide is available.

A full excerpt is available to read here (this one is about the 2012 Red Sox).

It can be purchased on KindleSmashwordsBN and Lulu with other outlets on the way. It’s great for fantasy players and useful all season long.

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Pineda’s Future Suddenly Looks Bleak

All Star Game, Ballparks, Books, CBA, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2012 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

If the Yankees had drafted Tim Lincecum, he wouldn’t be Tim Lincecum. He’d be another failed prospect because of the Yankees ironclad rules and regulations placed on their pitchers under the pretense of “development” when, in reality, they’re feeding the organization’s inherent paranoia and concerns about perception.

This isn’t speculation nor is it a partisan attack. It’s history.

Michael Pineda had a disastrous start against the Phillies last night.

In what was supposedly the final audition for Pineda to seize a spot in the starting rotation in his “battle” with Freddy Garcia—yes, Freddy Garcia—Pineda allowed 6 runs and 7 hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Phillies.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

Immediately after the trade for Pineda, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden of ESPN that Pineda “better improve the change-up & develop into a #1 starter or he will have made a mistake.”

We can debate Cashman and how stupid he’s made himself look with his behaviors, self-destructive shunning of the tight-lipped executive he once was and new outgoing personality—there may not be a connection between the litany of pitching mistakes he’s made and the “new” Brian—but there’s no debating what this organization has done to so many young and talented pitchers.

Add Pineda to the list.

If Pineda’s sore shoulder is indeed a serious issue, expect to hear a great deal about the other player they got in the trade—Jose Campos.

Campos is 19 and has never pitched at a level higher than A-ball, but the continued mentioning of his name was done more as a furtive bit of chicanery to shift the analysis of the trade to the distant future that may not come.

For this they surrendered both Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi.

Ask yourself this: What would be said by the likes of Mike Francesa, Michael Kay and any of the other Yankees apologists disguised as members of the media had this been the Mets or Red Sox who’d traded their top hitting prospect and good pitching prospect away for a young starter who’d made the All-Star team the previous year and if the Yankees began running him down publicly and proceeded to do everything possible to destroy him in his first spring training? What if those organizations were constantly discussing a kid in the low minors as the “key” to the trade?

Neither Francesa nor Kay have seen Campos; they wouldn’t know what they were looking at if they had. But the regurgitated analysis of him is going to go on unabated as a shield to protect the Yankees from having traded two top tier prospects for a pitcher they did everything they could to sabotage.

Even if Campos is the real deal, what have the Yankees done in recent years to make anyone believe that they’re going to develop him into a successful big league starter for them?

On one level, it’s funny that this is happening to the Yankees, a team whose sheer existence is predicated on them being “better” than everyone else.

On another level, they’ve taken superiorly gifted youngsters and committed organizational malpractice repeatedly.

Once the life’s dream of most young players to wind up with the Yankees, it’s evident that the last thing a pitcher will want is to wind up in pinstripes because it’s the death sentence to their careers.

Are people a product of their environment? Or are their traits inborn?

With the Yankees, I think we know the answer and Pitcher Protective Services needs to be created to step in before more careers are ruined.

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Jim Leyland’s Enemy Within

All Star Game, Ballparks, Books, CBA, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2012 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

The dueling personality traits of Jim Leyland are on bold display as if he’s replicating the twin personae from the Star Trek episode The Enemy Within where Captain Kirk’s good and bad sides became separated.

Which side of Leyland will win out?

Will it be the smart baseball guy who’s going to do what’s best for the team?

Or will it be the snarky, obnoxious, condescending and obstinate baseball lifer whose entire being exists with an unsaid (or said) “I’m doing it this way; you don’t know nothin’; shut up and leave me alone”?

Since the Tigers signed Prince Fielder, Leyland has been adamant that not only is Miguel Cabrera going to play third base, but Leyland’s not going to remove him for defense in the late innings.

Even after Cabrera got hit in the face with a ground ball, Leyland is still clinging to this deranged decision to move Cabrera to third base—a position he could barely play when he was playing it regularly.

Why?

Once that ball his Cabrera’s face, the opening was there for Leyland to convince Cabrera that it’s not going to work; but they’re still insisting on him playing third base.

How long it’s going to last remains to be seen because Leyland might still be posturing in the hopes that it somehow succeeds. It must be remembered that when Cabrera was last a regular third baseman—in 2008—Leyland reconfigured the entire infield because he was unhappy with his defense and he did it two weeks into the season.

Carlos Guillen had opened the season as the first baseman with Cabrera at third and Leyland switched them almost immediately. That entire season was in disarray as the Tigers were expected to be serious contenders and lost their first 7 games on the way to a disappointing 74-88, 5th place finish and a large part of that was Leyland’s somewhat panicky personnel maneuvers.

So which Leyland will show up after a week or two of Cabrera botching balls at third base? Will he be the old-school baseball guy who refuses to acknowledge he’s wrong even if it’s killing his team? Or will he accept reality and do what must be done by telling Fielder and Cabrera that they’re going to play every day and split time at DH and first base?

The Tigers are lucky that they didn’t lose Cabrera for a significant amount of time after that ball hit him in the face. If they keep putting him at third base, they deserve their fate because they’re being stupid. Plain and simple.

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2012 MLB Preview Podcast Appearance

All Star Game, Ballparks, Books, CBA, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, Movies, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2012 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

I was a guest with Mike Silva last night on his New York Baseball Digest Podcast. You can listen below, download from I-Tunes or listen on Mike’s site.

We talked about everything for 2012 including the Red Sox, Bobby Valentine, the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez, the Mets, the Nationals, the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Yu Darvish, Neftali Feliz, the Braves, the Mets, the Phillies, Bryce Harper, the Marlins, Jose Reyes, the Reds, the Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki and many other things.

Listen to internet radio with NY Baseball Digest on Blog Talk Radio

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My book, Paul Lebowitz’s 2012 Baseball Guide is now available and useful all season long for everything from general information to stats to predictions to fantasy.

Check it out on KindleSmashwordsBN and Lulu with other outlets on the way.


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What To Expect From the New Dodgers’ Ownership

All Star Game, Ballparks, Basketball, Books, CBA, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, Movies, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2012 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt selected a group led by former Los Angeles Lakers star and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and former Braves, Nationals and Atlanta Hawks team president Stan Kasten as the winning bidder to purchase his team—NY Times Story.

It’s a good choice to return the Dodgers to glory on and off the field and reclaim their place as one of the most star-studded, glamourous and stable franchises in baseball.

Here’s why:

Star power and ruthlessness.

Magic Johnson wasn’t just one of the greatest basketball players in history. He was glitzy; he was clutch; he was fearless; and he was ruthless. That has extended into his post-athletic career as he dealt with HIV and became a brilliant and successful businessman.

Magic isn’t simply a smiling face who knows everyone in L.A. and can gladhand at parties as a prize showhorse. It was Magic who, in 1982, orchestrated the ouster of coach Paul Westhead in favor of Pat Riley. He was a brutal competitor and transferred that into his battle against a dreaded disease that many thought would kill him within five years and into the business world.

Competence.

Kasten has helmed and helped turn around moribund franchises three times and the Dodgers are going to be the fourth.

He installs quality people and lets them do their jobs while allowing them the freedom to spend money on the big league product and build through the draft.

With Magic and Kasten, the speculation will be that they’re going to want a “name” GM to run the team. Current Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti has an out in his contract following this season if there’s an ownership change.

One thing I don’t want to hear is the inevitable mentioning of the name Billy Beane to run the Dodgers.

The only people who want Beane are the media members and the Hollywood types who either don’t know or don’t want to know the true scope of Beane’s work with the Athletics—that he’s a propped up character whose true resume bears no resemblance to the falsehoods and contradictions in Moneyball.

They’d be better off hiring Brad Pitt.

Old school flavors and swagger.

The easy storyline will be that the Dodgers are going to find some young, impressively educated “genius” to take over the franchise and rebuild it from top-to-bottom.

The only name I would pursue toward that end would be Andrew Friedman.

Johnson won’t want to deal with some young kid walking in and whispering sweet nothings in his ear about how much cheaper and better the Dodgers are going to be. Johnson will want someone who’s competent in being the front man for the club with swagger and charm while simultaneously running the organization correctly and not to generate headlines as the new “genius”.

Kasten worked with older GMs Bobby Cox, John Schuerholz and Mike Rizzo and, barring Friedman (who I think is a viable possibility), they’ll hire a veteran baseball guy with automatic name recognition and a track record.

Bolstering the foundation; stability and recognizability in the manager’s office.

Going back to their initial years in Los Angeles, the “Dodgers Way” was to have stability in the manager’s office with Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda; a group of players that they could build around; and smart free agent signings.

With Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers already have top-level stars on both sides of the ball. Once you have that, two giant pieces of the puzzle are in place.

Given the circumstances, Don Mattingly has done an admirable job as the manager and will deserve another chance elsewhere, but I would expect Magic will have a historical Dodger in mind to take over the team on the field. Lasorda has forever pushed one of his favorite players as a potential manager and, in spite of my general belief that pitchers aren’t my first choice as managers and inexperience is a definite negative, I’d make an exception in one case: Orel Hershiser.

Hershiser carried the Dodgers to the World Series in 1988—something Magic saw first hand—with 59 straight scoreless innings and post-season dominance in upsetting the Mets and A’s; he’d be a perfect choice on and off the field.

A rapid return to prominence.

The McCourt tenure was embarrassing for the revelations that the team was used as a virtual cash machine to fund a lavish lifestyle for the owners; the Bryan Stow beating was a horrible example of ignorance to ancillary factors—safety—that make an organization fan friendly and sound.

On the field, the product was actually quite good. McCourt’s Dodgers made the playoffs in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009 and with a little luck could’ve won a championship or two.

But he’s leaving.

Magic and Kasten are going to learn from the Dodgers’ history—the good and bad—and follow the historical blueprint that made them this valuable in the first place. They’ll return to what made the Dodgers what they were and it’s going to happen as early as 2013.

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I’ll be a guest with Mike Silva of New York Baseball Digest tonight at 8 PM EST talking about my book, Paul Lebowitz’s 2012 Baseball Guide.

Click here to check it out.

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Radio Appearance with Breakin’ the Norm

All Star Game, Ballparks, Books, CBA, College Football, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, Movies, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2012 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

Here’s my appearance from Tuesday with Les Norman on Breakin’ the Norm on 810 WHB in Kansas City talking about the Royals, Tigers, Cardinals, Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Matheny, Tony LaRussa, Albert Pujols, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and many other things. Check it out.

Paul Lebowitz’s 2012 Baseball Guide is available.
Click here for a full sample of team predictions/projections. My book can be purchased on KindleSmashwordsBN and Lulu with other outlets on the way.

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Bobby V from Stamford

All Star Game, Ballparks, Books, CBA, College Football, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, Movies, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

We’re seeing the Bobby Valentine package exposing itself in his comments about the Yankees and it’s not a good look for him. Clearly his time out of the Major League managerial ring hasn’t taught him that he needs to temper his rhetoric to suit his situation. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if he restrains himself by saying the stock things designed to prop up their rivals even if he doesn’t believe them.

If you missed the Valentine analysis of the Yankees trade for Michael Pineda and signing of Hiroki Kuroda, click here to see The Providence Journal.

It’s pure randomness over the short term and fan-style nonsense to say that Pineda looked “ok” in the second half and that the Mariners “saw a lot of him and traded him” as if to imply they dumped him for whatever they could get before he was exposed.

The Mariners got a top power-hitting prospect that Yankees GM Brian Cashman (somewhat ludicrously) compared to Mike Piazza and Miguel Cabrera.

Is Montero a Piazza or Cabrera? Those are pretty lofty comparisons, but he certainly could hit 20-30 home runs and provide solid overall offensive numbers.

Saying Kuroda is moving from a great pitchers’ park to “not a great pitchers’ park” is the type of ignorance one would expect from a fan calling into a Boston radio program to rip the Yankees regardless of fact.

Kuroda’s numbers are slightly better at home than on the road—link, but the difference is so slight that it’s a ridiculous notion to say that he was taking advantage of the friendly dimensions of Dodger Stadium to any notable degree. That’s before looking at his other numbers like a substantially greater number of ground balls to fly balls and that most of the balls hit against him have gone back up the middle—link. Dodger Stadium had little, if anything, to do with that.

If Valentine is going to stoke the fires of the rivalry, he should at least have facts (to an extent) on his side. He doesn’t, so he sounds like he’s looking for a fight while he’s unarmed—a fight he isn’t in a great position to win anyway.

For a manager who hasn’t run a big league clubhouse since 2002, is on a “trial contract” of two years and has a roomful of players who are wary of him at the outset because of his reputation, this is not a smart way to begin his tenure. It might be part of a method to take the pressure of the players and put the focus on him, or he might just be doing the Bobby V thing and looking for attention.

Either way, he sounds like a talk radio caller and that’s not what a manager with Valentine’s baggage taking over a team coming off a collapse and drastic changes, needs.

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Note from Paul Lebowitz

All Star Game, Ballparks, Books, CBA, College Football, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, Movies, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, Uncategorized, World Series

Because of either a mistake or malware that has since been removed, Google is advising anyone who tries to log onto my site with a warning against doing so.

If you log on and don’t see a new posting, click onto my alternate site on Blogspot Prince of NY Baseball Blog. Postings are there when this site is under maintenance.

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Hall of Fame 2012—Larkin and Raines and Pray for the Sane?

All Star Game, Ballparks, Books, CBA, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, Movies, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

Let’s talk about the Hall of Fame candidates for 2012.

I use every aspect of a player to assess his candidacy from stats; to perception; to era; to post-season performances; to contributions to the game.

Any of the above can add or subtract credentials and provide impetus to give a thumbs up/thumbs down.

Because the Lords of baseball, the owners, media and fans looked the other way or outright encouraged the drug use and performance enhancers, that doesn’t absolve the players who used the drugs and got caught.

Regarding PEDs, here’s my simple criteria based on the eventual candidacies of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds: if the players were Hall of Famers before they started using, they’re Hall of Famers; if they admitted using the drugs—for whatever reason, self-serving or not—or got caught and it’s statistically obvious how they achieved their Hall of Fame numbers, they’re not Hall of Famers.

As for stats, advanced and otherwise, it’s all part of the consideration process; certain stats and in-depth examinations make players (like Bert Blyleven) more worthy in the eyes of open-minded voters than they were before; the era and what they were asked to do (i.e. “you’re here to swing the bat and drive in runs” a la Andre Dawson and Jim Rice) fall into this category of not simply being about the bottom-line. Their career arcs; their sudden rise and fall and other factors come into the equation.

In short, this is my ballot and what I would do if I had a vote. If you disagree, we can debate it. Comment and I’ll respond.

Barry Larkin

Larkin should wait a bit longer.

He was overrated defensively and only played in more than 145 games in 7 of his 19 seasons. Larkin was a very good player who’s benefiting from certain factions promoting him as a no-doubter with the weak-minded sheep unable to formulate a case against him and joining the wave of support.

Alan Trammell is in the same boat as Larkin and is barely getting any support at all.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? Yes.

Alan Trammell

Trammell was a fine fielder and an excellent hitter in the days before shortstops were expected to hit. He’s being unfairly ignored.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? Maybe, but not by the writers.

Jack Morris

Morris was a durable winner who doesn’t have the statistics to get into the Hall of Fame. To be completely fair, his starts on a year-to-year basis have to be torn apart to see whether his high ERA is due to a few bad starts sprinkled in with his good ones and if he has a macro-argument for induction. It was that endeavor which convinced me of Blyleven’s suitability and I’ve yet to do it with Morris.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? His percentage has risen incrementally but with three years remaining on the ballot, he’s got a long way to go from 53.5% to 75% and probably won’t make it. The Veterans Committee is his only chance. They might vote him in.

Tim Raines

Are you going to support Kenny Lofton for the Hall of Fame?

By the same argument for Lou Brock and Raines, you have to support Lofton.

And how about Johnny Damon? And if Damon, Lofton and Raines are in, where is it going to stop?

The Hall of Fame building isn’t going to implode with Raines, but it might burst from the rest of the players who are going to have a legitimate case for entry and going by: “if <X> is in, then <Y> should be in”.

Let Raines wait.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? Yes.

Jeff Bagwell

How does this work? Someone is a suspect so they receive a sentence of exclusion when nothing has ever been proven? Bagwell’s name has never been mentioned as having been involved in PEDs and the silly “he went from a skinny third baseman to a massive first baseman who could bench press 315 pounds for reps” isn’t a convincing one to keep him out.

Bagwell’s a Hall of Famer.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? No. Bagwell is going to get caught up in the onrush of allegations of wrongdoing and people will forget about him.

Mark McGwire

Under my Bonds/Clemens criteria, McGwire wasn’t a Hall of Famer without the drugs, so he’s not a Hall of Famer. McGwire admitted his steroid use and apologized as a self-serving, “yeah, y’know sorry (sob, sniff)” because he wanted to work as the Cardinals hitting coach.

An apology laden with caveats isn’t an apology. He’s sorry in context and that’s not good enough.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? No.

Juan Gonzalez

Gonzalez won two MVPs and his stats weren’t padded by playing in Rangers Ballpark to the degree that you’d think because the numbers were similar home and road; Gonzalez has a viable resume but will get caught up in the Dale Murphy category and be kept out.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? No.

Edgar Martinez

I’ve written repeatedly in response to those who say a pure DH shouldn’t get into the Hall of Fame: it would’ve been more selfish for Martinez to demand to play the field for the sake of appearance so he’d have a better chance at the Hall of Fame.

He was a great hitter without a weakness—there was nowhere to pitch him.

Martinez is a Hall of Famer.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? Maybe.

Larry Walker

He batted .381 in Colorado with a .462 on base and 1.172 OPS. That’s going to hurt him badly.

But he was a Gold Glove outfielder who rarely struck out and had good but not great numbers on the road.

He was never implicated in having used PEDs.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? I don’t think so.

Rafael Palmeiro

In my book, arrogance and stupidity are perfectly good reasons to exclude someone.

Palmeiro could’ve kept his mouth shut or not even gone to speak to Congress at all—the players weren’t under any legal requirement to go. He didn’t jab his finger in the faces of the panel, he jabbed it in the faces of you, me and the world.

Then he got caught.

Then he piled sludge on top of the gunk by offering the utterly preposterous excuse that he didn’t know how he failed the test.

This is all after he began his career as a singles hitter…in Wrigley Field!!

Conveniently, he got to Texas and came under the influence of Jose Canseco to become a basher.

Don’t insult my intelligence and expect me to forget it.

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? No.

Bernie Williams

Combining his stretch of brilliance from 1995-2002 and his post-season excellence, he’s not an automatic in or out; over the long term he might garner increasing support.

He was never accused of PED use and is a well-liked person. Looking at his regular season numbers, he falls short; memorable playoff and World Series moments will help him as will his Gold Gloves (in spite of the numbers saying he wasn’t a good center fielder).

Will he be elected in 2012? No.

Will he be elected eventually? Possibly.

Larkin and Raines might get enshrined in 2012 by the “we have to have someone” contingent which pretty much proves the silliness of the way players are voted in, but it will only be those two.

Ron Santo is going in via the Veterans Committee and he’s dead; Tim McCarver is deservedly going in via the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting and a large crowd won’t gather to see McCarver as the only one speaking in August. So politics and finances may play a part for this class.

Raines and Larkin had better hope they get in this year because in 2013, Clemens, Bonds, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa and Craig Biggio are on the ballot.

I’m quite curious about Sosa to the point of supporting him because: A) I’d like to see the color of his skin now after a strange Michael Jackson-like alteration from what he once was; and B) I want to know if he learned English since his own appearance (alongside Palmeiro) in front of Congress.

It’s worth the vote in a non-linear sort of way.

Apart from that, it’s 2012 or wait, wait, wait for Larkin and Raines.

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Mount Kill-A-Met-Jaro

All Star Game, Ballparks, CBA, Cy Young Award, Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, History, Hot Stove, Management, Media, MiLB, MLB Trade Deadline, MLB Waiver Trades, MVP, Paul Lebowitz's 2011 Baseball Guide, PEDs, Players, Playoffs, Podcasts, Politics, Prospects, Spring Training, Stats, Trade Rumors, Umpires, World Series

I searched the web and social media sites and no one—no one!?!—came up with the clever “Kill-A-Met-Jaro” gag? I’m disappointed with the world in general and impressed with myself in particular.

More so than usual.

With the Mets having advised pitcher R.A. Dickey that they: A) would prefer he doesn’t try to climb Mount Kilimanjaro; and B) won’t pay him if he does and is unable to pitch due to an injury incurred during the expedition, it’s not necessarily a “no” from the Mets; it’s just an advisory of the risks Dickey is inviting by doing it against club wishes.

In this Wall Street Journal piece, Brian Costa relates Dickey’s preparation for the task and the Mets objections.

D.J. Carrasco continues being an unending burden on the Mets. This time it’s not for his performance or that the club, for some reason, gave him a 2-year contract last winter, but that he purchased the oxygen deprivation mask in which Dickey trains for the climb.

Carrasco’s a gift in his own right—the kind that keeps on giving.

All kidding aside, Dickey’s highly educated; a bit quirky; and a grown man—he can do what he wants—but for someone who took so long and had such a long and arduous road to stick in the big leagues and garner a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract, it’s a bit irresponsible to put himself at risk even if there supposedly isn’t that much risk.

From the time he was drafted and the Rangers discovered that he was born without an ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and slashed his signing bonus because of it; to his ineffectiveness and big league struggles; then bouncing between the minors and majors trying to master the knuckleball and finally landing with the Mets, Dickey must’ve decided that the climb is a worthwhile endeavor.

It’s his right to do it, but it’s also within the Mets rights to try to talk him out of it and remind him of the professional and personal gamble he’s taking.

I was a guest today with former MLB player Les Norman on his baseball show Breakin’ the Norm on the ESPN affiliate 810 WHB in Kansas City talking about Yorvit Torrealba‘s shoving incident with the umpire in Venezuela. The show begins at 7 PM Central Time.

Click on the link above; check my Twitter/Facebook pages; or back here to listen.

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