Tag Archives: Mariano Rivera

Baseball Hall of Fame ready to welcome Roy Halladay

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Halladay appears to be cruising towards baseball immortality

At some point just after 6:00PM EST on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 the world will learn the names of any individuals elected for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The MLB Network will broadcast the announcement “live” with a simulcast at MLB.com also available.
Based on the latest tracking of the publicly announced Baseball Writers Association of America votes, three players appear to be shoo-ins for election.
One of those, former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, has been named on 100% of the public ballots to this point.
Since no one – not Babe RuthHank AaronWillie MaysTy Cobb – has ever been elected unanimously the odds against that holding up are great. But Rivera will be elected, that much is sure.
Also faring well on the public ballots is the greatest Designated Hitter in baseball history, Edgar Martinez. After falling just a bit short of the required 75% of the voters a year ago, it appears as if Martinez will get in now in this, his final year on the writers’ ballot.
The third man who appears to be easing into the Hall of Fame is someone near and dear to fans in Phillies Nation. That would be former Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays ace starting pitcher Roy Halladay.
‘Doc’ currently has been named on more than 92% (199) of the 210 ballots made public to Ryan Thibodaux’s (Twitter: @NotMrTibbs) “Tracker Team”, which has become perhaps the most respected compiler of such information.
Halladay was tragically killed in a crash while piloting his private plane over the Gulf of Mexico on November 7, 2017. Just months earlier he had been asked about the possibility of this honor. Matt Breen of Philly.com tweeted out the response of the big right-hander earlier today:
Halladay came to the Phillies in a December 2009 trade from Toronto in exchange for Kyle DrabekTravis d’Arnaud and Michael Taylor. He would pitch for the Phillies for parts of four seasons, tossing both a Perfect Game and a playoff no-hitter during his NL Cy Young Award-winning 2010 campaign.
Overall in his 16-year career in Major League Baseball with the Phillies and Blue Jays, Halladay compiled a 203-105 record with a 3.38 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, and 3.39 FIP. He pitched 2,749.1 innings over 416 games, 390 of those as a starter, and struck out 2,117 opposing batters.
Halladay also registered 67 complete games and 20 shutouts during an era where such feats were growing rare. In addition to his NL Cy Young, he also won the AL Cy Young Award with the Jays in 2003, had a season in both leagues where he finished as the runner-up for the award, and was an eight-time MLB All-Star.
Just last summer the Phillies honored Halladay by enshrining him in the franchise Wall of Fame. He thus became the first post-2008 World Series championship individual so honored. The Blue Jays retired his uniform #32 in a ceremony prior to their home opener last March.

There will be more coverage of the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement at Phillies Nation on Tuesday evening, with special emphasis on coverage of Halladay’s election results.

My 2019 IBWAA Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

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Former Phillies star Jim Thome was among those voted into the HOF last year

As a lifetime member of the IBWAA (Internet Baseball Writers Association), I have the honor of being involved in the organization’s annual Hall of Fame voting process. This is my fifth year with a ballot, and my selections were turned in about two weeks ago.

The IBWAA voting process does not earn a player a plaque at Cooperstown. It does, however, allow a group of well-informed voters to express their opinion as to which players are deserving of the ultimate honor for their baseball career. You can consider it a formal endorsement from baseball writers and bloggers who represent dozens of internet sites.
I had decided over the last couple of years to break my ballot down into three segments. “Hall of Fame” players are those who, for me, are obvious, or whom I evaluated from previous years and decided were worthy.

“Future Consideration” names are not so obvious to me, but are strong enough candidates that I will continue to evaluate them moving forward. Finally, “Not Hall of Famer” guys are those who just don’t make the cut for me and will not in the future.

In 2017, eight players received my IBWAA vote: Barry BondsRoger ClemensTrevor HoffmanMike MussinaManny RamirezIvan RodriguezCurt Schilling, and Larry Walker. Both Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero, who I had on my “Future Consideration” list that year, were voted in by the full IBWAA membership.
Last year just five returning players received my vote as a “Hall of Fame” player: Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling once again, as well as two newcomers to the ballot: Jim Thome and Chipper Jones.
On my “Future Consideration” list from the 2018 ballot were Hoffman, Mussina, Walker, Ramirez, Scott RolenGary SheffieldBilly WagnerLee SmithJohnny DamonSammy SosaJeff KentFred McGriffOmar VizquelJamie MoyerAndruw Jones, and Johan Santana.
The IBWAA membership honored six players in the final vote a year ago. Bonds and Clemens each finally got in, joined by Thome, CJones, Mussina, and Hoffman.
While the BBWAA only allow their eligible Hall of Fame voters to cast ballots for up to 10 players, the IBWAA has a 15-player limit. I decided after looking over the names to cast a wide ballot this year. Bottom line, I simply felt generous.

MY 2019 IBWAA BALLOT

My list for the 2019 IBWAA ballot was led by Schilling, the only player who has been a definite, no-doubt “Hall of Fame” player for me in both of the last two years but hasn’t made it as yet.
Two newcomers on this year’s ballot were considered by me to be no-doubt “Hall of Fame” players. Both Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay thus received my vote as well.
I had decided early-on to bump up two players from last year’s “Future Consideration” list who were back on the 2019 IBWAA ballot, Walker and Rolen, to receive my vote.
That was originally going to be all for me. And then I got soft. I read a couple of pieces written by respected sources advocating for more players to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and was influenced to send in a full 15-player ballot.
For that reason alone, 10 additional players received my vote this year. These players would have usually found themselves in my “Future Consideration” list: Ramirez, Sheffield, Wagner, Kent, McGriff, and AJones from last year’s ballot. And then newcomers Todd HeltonLance BerkmanRoy Oswalt, and Andy Pettitte.
Over the last few days, I have come to regret that expansion of my ballot. If I had it to do over again, just Schilling, Rivera, Halladay, Walker, and Rolen would have received my vote. The rest would have been in the “Future Consideration” category, along with holdovers Sosa and Vizquel and newcomer Miguel Tejada.
A year from now you can expect me to return to my three-tiered system of breaking down the nominees. You can expect that any of my five 2019 no-doubt players doesn’t make it this time around, they will get a vote from me again next year.

Originally published at Phillies Nation asMatt Veasey’s 2019 IBWAA Hall of Fame ballot

11 with connections to the Phillies have a 2019 shot at the Baseball Hall of Fame

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Schilling (R) has already joined Schmidt (L) and Carlton (C) in the Phillies Wall of Fame

Ballots for nominees to the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame class were received this past week by eligible voters with the Baseball Writers Association of America.

There are 35 players on the ballot this year. That total includes 15 holdovers from last year’s ballot and 20 newcomers. Among those nominees there are nine who played with the Phillies at one time or another.
Three returning Phillies players on the BBWAA ballot this year are Curt SchillingBilly Wagner and Scott Rolen.
Schilling spent most of his Phillies career from 1992-2000 as a starter, including as the ace of the 1993 NL pennant-winning squad. Wagner was a lights-out closer for the Phillies during the 2004-05 campaigns. Rolen was the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year and four-time Gold Glove third baseman during his 1996-2002 Phillies years.
The half-dozen newcomers to the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for 2019 are pitchers Roy HalladayRoy Oswalt, and Freddy Garcia. Infielders Placido Polanco and Michael Young and outfielder Juan Pierre also spent time with the Phillies and are on the ballot this year as position players.

PHILLIES NEWCOMERS TO THE BALLOT

Garcia (34.4 WAR), Young (21.4) and Pierre (17.1) are very likely to fall off the ballot after this round of voting. Any player who does not receive support from at least 5% of the voters is removed from the ballot, and it is hard to imagine either player reaching that mark. Oswalt and Polanco each have a chance to receive at least enough support to remain on the ballot for a second year.
Oswalt was part of the 2011 ‘Four Aces’ starting pitching rotation that led those Phillies to a franchise-record 102 regular season victories. The righty had come over from Houston at the 2010 non-waiver trade deadline following a strong decade with the Astros during which he was a three-time NL All-Star and finished among the top five in NL Cy Young Award five times.
Over a 13-year career in Major League Baseball with three organizations, Oswalt went 163-102 with a 3.36 ERA and 1.211 WHIP. He registered an excellent 3.56 K:BB and accumulated a 50 career WAR mark.
Polanco was obtained in a 2002 trade with the Saint Louis Cardinals for Rolen. He would start at second base for the Phillies from 2002 until being traded to the Detroit Tigers during the 2005 season, making way for Chase Utley to take over the position.
With the Tigers, Polanco became an AL All-Star and won two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 ALCS and received AL MVP votes in both 2007 and 2009.
Polanco returned to the Phillies after the 2009 season as a free agent, playing third base from 2010-12. He was a 2011 NL All-Star and captured this third career Gold Glove Award at a second position. Polanco finished with 2,142 hits over 16 big-league seasons with a 41.5 WAR mark.
Halladay has an excellent shot at enshrinement in his first year on the ballot. He accumulated a 64.3 career WAR mark to go along with a 203-105 record, 3.38 ERA, 1.178 WHIP, 3.58 K:BB and a host of signature accomplishments and awards.
The big right-hander was the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2003 with the Toronto Blue Jays and the NL Cy Young Award winner in 2010 with the Phillies. He finished as runner-up for the award with both teams as well.
Halladay was an eight-time All-Star and three-time 20-game winner (won 19 twice) who led his league in innings pitched four times, shutouts four times, and in complete games on seven occasions.
In that 2010 season with the Phillies, Halladay tossed the 21st Perfect Game in MLB history and one of just two postseason no-hitters.

TODAY’S ERA BALLOT INCLUDES TWO MORE FORMER PHILLIES

In addition, 10 individuals are being considered for enshrinement by the Today’s Era committee. One of those individuals is Charlie Manuel, manager of the Phillies 2008 World Series championship team.
Manuel skippered the club from 2005-13, compiling an overall 780-636 mark. His Phillies teams won five consecutive NL East crowns from 2007-11, and back-to-back National League pennants in 2008-09.
In addition, Manuel managed the Cleveland Indians from 2000-02, compiling a 220-190 record with a 2001 AL Central crown. Prior to that he was the hitting coach in Cleveland during the Tribe’s 1990’s heyday as a consistent title contender.
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Charlie Manuel is among 10 nominees to the Hall of Fame through the Today’s Era committee. (Photo: (Chris O’Meara/AP)
The other with Phillies ties on that Today’s Era ballot is Davey Johnson, who is being considered due to his work as a manager as well. He managed the 1986 New York Mets to a World Series championship, and his teams finished in first place during six of his 17 seasons.
Johnson won 1,372 games while skipper of five clubs, which puts him 31st on the all-time career list for managerial victories. Only three men ahead of him on that list are deceased. Seven are either still active or are alive and still could be hired to add to their totals. Just one of those deceased and ahead of him, Ralph Houk, had a winning career record.
Johnson’s ties to the Phillies came as a player during the 1977 and 1978 seasons. The Phillies won the second and third of three straight NL East crowns in those years.
Johnson was mostly a late career bench player at that point, but he did receive a number of starts at first base in September of 1977, and also started Game 1 of the 1977 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He got a number of starts at third base during August of the 1978 season when future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was battling injury.
Johnson had been a three-time American League All-Star and three-time Gold Glover at second base during the early years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles. He slugged 43 home runs during an NL All-Star campaign with the Atlanta Braves in 1973.
Based on his career managerial wins total and his overall career back to his playing days, Johnson certainly has a better chance at enshrinement than Manuel. That despite the latter’s expected far greater popularity in Philadelphia. Still, I don’t see either man making it, at least not this year.

WHICH FORMER PHILLIES MAKE THE HALL OF FAME?

So, who makes it? Which of the 11 individuals with connections to the Philadelphia Phillies franchise is going to gain entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame? My prediction is that three of them will get in – eventually. But I think that each will gain enshrinement at radically different paces.
As I stated earlier, there is a great chance that ‘Doc’ Halladay makes it right away in this, his first year on the ballot. If I were a betting man, I would say that he gets in now. If he doesn’t it will be very close, and he makes it by 2020 at the latest.
Schilling clearly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. His 79.6 career WAR is fourth among all players on the ballot, trailing just Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who are being held up for now only because of suspected PED usage.
He also trails Mike Mussina, the former Orioles and Yankees ace who was named on 63.5% of ballots in his fifth year last time around. That was second only to Edgar Martinez, who should reach enshrinement this time out in his own final year on the ballot.
I believe that Mussina inches closer this year, finishing in the upper-60’s, and then gains entry in either 2020 or 2021. Schilling, who received 51.2% of the vote a year ago, will make it as well, but only after Mussina. He could make it in 2021 or 2022, but may ultimately end up like Martinez, held off by the voters until a final push in his last year on the ballot in 2023.

Scott Rolen will eventually be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it may take awhile.
Rolen is a more difficult proposition. He only received support from 10.2% of the voters last year, which was just his second time on the ballot. If he finishes that low again or even, gasp, drops off the ballot entirely it will be an absolute crime.
Rolen is sixth among all players on this ballot in career WAR. His 70.2 mark sandwiches between the Coors Field-spiked numbers of Larry Walker (72.7) and the PED-infused 69.4 mark of Manny Ramirez. He is ahead of Martinez, Halladay, and Mariano Rivera, all of whom are likely to make up the 2019 Hall of Fame class.
Among his 17 seasons in Major League Baseball were four shortened by injury. Three of those came during his prime while with the Saint Louis Cardinals, with whom he was the starting third baseman on their World Series championship squad.
Rolen hit .281 over his career and produced 2,077 hits including 316 home runs. He drove in 1,287 and scored 1,211 runs. His 517 doubles are 52nd among all players in MLB history. Rolen was the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year, a seven-time NL All-Star, and a Silver Slugger Award winner.
In addition to being a consistent middle-of-the order presence in the batting orders of four teams, Rolen was one of the greatest defensive third basemen in baseball history. An eight-time third base Gold Glove Award winner, he trails only Brooks Robinson (16) and Mike Schmidt (10) at the hot corner.
Assuming he can stay on the ballot, I see Rolen’s support slowly and steadily rising. He is eligible to remain on the ballot through much of the next decade, until voting for the 2027 class. Hopefully he eventually reaches 75% of the voters. If not, I believe he still makes it one day through the Veteran’s Committee process.
So there you have it. 11 former Phillies being considered this year. Three of them will ultimately be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but only Halladay gets in this year or next. Two more, Schilling and Rolen, will have to wait their turn until sometime in the 2020’s.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as Which nominated Phillies will be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Just One Sure-Fire First Ballot Hall of Famer Each of Next Three Years

There is a great deal of discussion taking place right now in regards to voting on Baseball Hall of Fame ballots.
A number of truly worthy candidates are on this year’s ballot, players who should absolutely find themselves enshrined one day. 
These include the greatest player who I ever saw in person, Barry Bonds. He still may fall just short this year as voters continue to evaluate his PED usage.
There would appear to be four men at the current time who stand a reasonable chance of gaining enshrinement in the summer of 2017.
When results of the BBWAA voting are released in three weeks we could very well find as many as four players elected. 
Jeff BagwellTim RainesTrevor Hoffman, and Ivan Rodriguez each could gain that measure of baseball immortality.
Of those players, only Rodriguez is a first ballot nominee, and the result for ‘Pudge’ is likely to be a close one.

Bagwell is in his 7th season on the ballot. Voters have struggled with his possible PED involvement. 
Raines is in his 10th and final year on the regular ballot. Some struggle with his use of cocaine during the 1980’s. 
Hoffman is in this 2nd year on the ballot. A number of voters still struggle with the importance of the closer position.
Of the players who will enter the voting process for the first time between 2018-2020, only one player each year would appear to be a no doubt, first ballot Hall of Famer.
Let’s examine each ballot for the first time nominees, and make that obvious call to the Hall.

Time for Closers to Get Their Hall of Fame Due

For far too long, the Baseball Hall of Fame voters of the BBWAA have not given the position of closer the appropriate respect that it deserves.
There are 312 individuals: players, managers, executives and umpires currently enshrined as baseball’s immortals.
Only five pitchers who were primarily relievers during their careers are currently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Those five are Hoyt WilhelmRollie FingersDennis EckersleyBruce Sutter, and Goose Gossage.
This does not include John Smoltz, who registered 154 Saves and was one of the game’s top closers from 2002-04. Smoltz was a starter for 481 of his 723 career games.
Do the math. That means less than 2% of the enshrined players can be legitimately classified as a closer.
Since the 1970’s the closer position has evolved into one of the most important strategic positions in the game.
It is almost a foregone conclusion that immediately upon his eligibility in two more years, the former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
This year there are three closers on the 2017 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot who are all returnees from a year ago. All three are worthy of enshrinement, among the best pitchers in the history of the game.

HELL’S BELLS

Trevor Hoffman strode out to the mound across parts of 18 big league seasons with the Marlins, Padres, and Brewers. He was a 7x All-Star, 2x Rolaids Relief Man Award winner, and twice led the National League in Saves.
He registered 14 seasons with 30+ Saves, nine of those with 40+ Saves. In both 1998 and 2006, Hoffman was the runner-up in Cy Young Award voting. In addition, Hoffman received the 2004 Hutch Award and the 2006 Lou Gehrig Award.
He currently holds records for NL Career Saves, Consecutive Seasons with 40+ Saves, Seasons with 40+ Saves, Most Relief Pitcher K/9, and Most Career Games Pitched with one team.
Hoffman is second all-time in Saves to only Rivera with 601 over his career. He finished with just 846 hits allowed over 1,089.1 innings with a 1,133/307 K:BB ratio. His career 6.99 H/9 mark is 7th in MLB history. He is 9th all-time in MLB history with 1,035 games pitched.
Introduced early in his career as a power reliever, an injury during the 1994 off-season prompted him to reinvent himself. Hoffman would develop one of the greatest changeups in the history of the game, and pitch with strong results past age 40.
His #51 has been retired by the San Diego Padres, and he has been inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. He currently oversees pitching instruction at all levels of the Padres operations.
A year ago, Hoffman received 67% of the votes in his second year of Hall of Fame eligibility. He is considered one of three extremely strong returnees on this year’s ballot.

LEE ARTHUR

Lee Smith plied his trade across 18 big league seasons with eight different teams, spending 14 years in the NL and seven in the AL. But he is best known as the closer for two NL Central Division arch-rivals, the Chicago Cubs and Saint Louis Cardinals.
Smith was a 7x All-Star, 3x Rolaids Relief Man Award winner, and led his league in Saves four times. He is third behind only Rivera and Hoffman with 478 career Saves.
He was at the vanguard of the era when closers were expected to simply come in and shut the game down with one final dominant inning, and did that as well as any pitcher in history.
Smith finished with a higher career Saves Percentage than Fingers, Gossage, or Sutter. He finished having allowed 1,133 hits over 1,289.1 innings with 1,251 strikeouts.
Smith finished 2nd in the 1991 NL Cy Young voting when he was 8th in the NL MVP vote. He was 4th in 1992 Cy Young voting, and then finished 5th in 1994.
This is Smith’s final year being considered by the BBWAA. A year ago he received 34.1% of the vote, and is a longshot to reach the Hall this year. His best shot will come in future Veteran’s Committee balloting.

BILLY THE KID

Billy Wagner is 6th on the MLB all-time Saves list with 422, and may be the most dominating left-handed closer ever.
Wagner pitched 16 seasons for five teams, and is best known for his first nine years of work with the Houston Astros. He then spent the mid-00’s closing for a pair of NL East rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.
A 7x NL All-Star, Wagner won the 1999 Rolaids Relief Man Award when he also finished 4th in the NL Cy Young vote.
He was also part of a combined no-hitter while with the Astros in the 2003 season. In 2006 with the Mets, Wagner finished in 6th place in the Cy Young voting.
Wagner allowed just 601 hits over 903 innings with an 1,196/300 K:BB ratio.
There is little doubt that, had he wanted, Wagner could have continued as a dominant closer for at least a few more seasons when he retired at age 38 following the 2010 season.
In his final season with the Atlanta Braves, Wagner registered 37 Saves with a 1.43 ERA and 0.865 WHIP. He had a 104/22 K:BB ratio that year, allowing just 38 hits in 69.1 innings.
Wagner was named on just 10.5% of the ballots a year ago in his second year of eligibility. He needs to receive at least 10% this year in order to remain on the ballot, and it may be a narrow result.

ODDS THEY REACH ENSHRINEMENT

These three closers would have to be a part of any all-time bullpen that you would want to put together. They are easily among the top ten in the history of the game, and their numbers and performances compare favorably to the closers already in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Only Hoffman, for whom the official award given to the top National League relief pitcher is now named, has a shot this year. But both Smith and Wagner should be seriously considered in future years by those Veteran’s Committee voters.