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06 Dec

Keltner List: Mike Piazza (by Kevin Lee)

Mike Piazza was never a Brave. But boy, we saw a lot of him. He spent virtually his entire career in the National League, amassed a season’s worth of at-bats against the Braves, and he just killed us: 155 games, 614 PA, .303/.376/.572, 38 HR, 111 RBI. Of course, that was the typical Mike Piazza season. Of course, Piazza isn’t a typical candidate for a Keltner list — they are usually written for players who are on the bubble because of on-field performance, while he’s a bubble candidate because his candidacy is clouded by PED suspicion.

This is the second Keltner list of the offseason, after Kenny Lofton. Here’s Mac’s standard preamble to Keltner lists: The Keltner List was developed by Bill James as a device to evaluate a player’s Hall of Fame candidacy. In The Politics of Glory James says that it is probably his favorite tool to do that. (You can read about the background in that book, or do a Google search, for further information.) So let’s run it for Mike Piazza…

  1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

    Someone must have, because he finished second in the MVP voting in both 1996 and 1997, and third in 2000 behind Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent. He must have been in the discussion somewhere outside of LA and NYC, but with ESPN becoming the national sports channel, who’d know?

  2. Was he the best player on his team?

    Yes, for his Dodger years. (You can quibble about Nomo.) Mike was traded twice in that bizarre 1998 season, but wound up on a Mets team that was ready to play deep into October. The ever-useful WAR statistic shows that Edgardo Alfonso and John Olerud on those teams were as valuable or more, but best is subjective. I know who sold more jerseys. After that, Mike had good years until 2003, and then behind guys like Floyd and Cameron, they became IWOTM.

  3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?

    Possibly no! Ivan Rodriguez of the American League could be argued as a better ballplayer. I hope someone with sharper skills than mine someday does a comparison, but ultimately it boils down to who’s greater Willie or Mickey? And the answer is always both.

    In the National League, where Mike won every Silver Slugger for a decade and most of the All-Star starts (give or take a Javy Lopez), he was the catcher.

  4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?

    In 1993, when he was Rookie of the Year, he hit 2 homers in the last game of the season to knock the Giants out of the playoffs. The Dodgers led the West when the game stopped in 1994. He led LA to NLDS appearances in ’96-’97 and who can forget his expression when Andruw drew the walk to beat him in the ’99 NLCS.

    Piazza had a great run in 2000, blasting 7 hits and 2 HRs in the NLCS, then 6 hits and 2 HRs in the Series, but they lost anyway. We remember how his homer caused Joe Torre to yank Denny Neagle before he could complete 5 innings to qualify for a WS win, but everybody else remembers some chump tossing the a broken bat at him in a later game.

    (And does anybody remember Clemens giving up 6 runs in the first inning of an All-Star game with Mike catching?) (COUGH—fastball in-COUGH, COUGH)

  5. Was he a good enough player that he could continue to play regularly after passing his prime?

    Yes, but after ten years he became just ordinary. Or read that as ten years as a starting major league catcher he became ordinary.

    Except, in 2006, Mike and Mike Cameron dusted the Mets off of them, and then lead Brian Giles and the rest of the Padres to a Western Division crown. He had a helluva summer. Mike was ordinary again in 2007 and nobody offered a contract in 2008, so he retired.

  6. Is he the very best player in baseball history who is not in the Hall of Fame?

    Not at all. Among eligible or soon to be eligible players, Bonds and the Rocket stand out. You could make a case for a few others, but you’d have to make it a good one.

  7. Are most players who have comparable career statistics in the Hall of Fame?

    His top six comps in Similarity Scores all have two things in common: They are all in the Hall of Fame and they are all catchers. Check this out:

    Across 16 seasons, he had a lifetime .308 batting average, 1048 runs scored, 2,127 hits, 427 home runs, 1335 RBI, 759 walks, 3,768 total bases and a career .922 OPS.

    All of those rankings are in the top 10, if not the top among all catchers. On the night they honored Piazza for having the most home runs by a catcher, Bench, Fisk, Carter, and Berra all were in attendance. It meant something to them.

  8. Do the player’s numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

    Yes.

  9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

    Piazza couldn’t throw anybody out, but the stats clearly show that. However, Tom Glavine is on record saying Piazza called a good game and did a good job behind the plate. He called two no-hitters, including one with Hideo Nomo in Coors Field.

  10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame but not in? Yes.
  11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

    Piazza finished second in 1996 to Ken Caminiti and might’ve had a gripe, but Larry Walker had the best year in 1997. Mike finished third in 2003 and finished in the top ten in four other years. He has 3.16 career MVP shares, which is 30th of all time, and he is one of only two people in the top 30 who never actually won an MVP. The other one is Hall of Famer Eddie Murray.

  12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the other players who played in this many go into the Hall of Fame?

    He was selected for 12, started 10 of them, and probably deserved all of them.

  13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant? Yes.
  14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

    There’s that homer on September 20, 2001 in the 8th inning to beat the Braves 3-2. I still don’t like it, but I can’t forget it.

    It seemed like the cameras couldn’t get enough of Piazza before that first televised professional sport event after 9/11. When the bum hit that home run, it was like 45,000 people had heard Oprah announce “a few of her favorite things.” That will always be my standard for a crowd going nuts.

    Does a winning a single ball game matter over all of baseball history? If you ever spent time around that wretched ballpark, you know how planes would fly over what seemed like every few minutes. Several sportswriters reported that on that first night back they looked up every time a plane flew over. On the next night, they didn’t. I find that very interesting.

    Still wish he hadn’t hit it.

  15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

    I’m glad that Piazza’s in the eligible class of 2013, because this year we might find out if his admitted steroid use hurt his chances. I’ve suspected it kayoed McGwire and Palmeiro, and thought ugly rumors might be holding Bagwell back. But no one will come out and say if that’s the problem.

    We can’t even use Bonds or Clemens as clear indicators, because a sportswriter could fall back on the litigation those two faced as excuses to hold off voting for them. They’ve used dumber excuses.

    Some baseball writers, Bob Nightengale, for one, say it doesn’t matter to them or to the game. Tom Boswell pretty much fingered Rickey Henderson as being a current HOF Member to have used PEDs during the “Tenth Inning” segment to Ken Burns’s documentary. The voting this year might give us some indication.

  16. Conclusion: Mike Piazza was the best catcher in the National League for over 10 years and was arguably the best hitting catcher ever. Even if he wears a Mets hat when he goes in, he’s got my vote.

110 Responses to “Keltner List: Mike Piazza (by Kevin Lee)”

  1. 1
    Stu Says:

    IWOTM.

  2. 2
    Parish Says:

    I don’t think I realized Piazza helped us like that in 1993. I always knew I liked more that I thought I should.

  3. 3
    JonathanF Says:

    Put me in the Bob Nightengale camp. Clemens, Bonds, Piazza… all in. Hell… give Melky a batting championship…. just don’t expect me to like any of them personally. My baseball heroes hit and throw. My personal heroes have very different qualities.

  4. 4
    Marc Schneider Says:

    @3,

    Well said.

  5. 5
    zig Says:

    From previous thread, re: the guy in the green Hyundai Elantra.

    Is he a “leadoff type hitter”, and could he play LF?

  6. 6
    c. shorter Says:

    5 — seems more like the type that swings for the fences.

  7. 7
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Mike Piazza is a HOFer. Period. End of story.

  8. 8
    AtlCrackersFan Says:

    Why is it that the players from when i grew up seem more deserving than those who followed, even though the #s may be comparable or better.

    Gibson (Bob),
    Palmer,
    Hank,
    Willie
    Roberto,
    Bench

    While Bonds, Clemens certainly have #s that belong, there is nothing that says they can’t wait a year or so (penance if you will).

    I don’t think Atlanta fans realized, or understand today, just how the the Braves from the ’90s, particularly the pitching trio of Glavine Maddox and Smoltz, compare with other legendary teams & pitchers.
    How many other teams won more than 100 games 4 consecutive years (not counting strike shortened ’94 and ’95) and 6 out of 8 years?

  9. 9
    Smitty Says:

    @7

    Sure. But we all know HOF voters think they have to prove things.

  10. 10
    JonathanF Says:

    AtlCrackersFan: A lot of that is the dilution that comes from expansion, particularly when the stock of pre-expansion players was augmented by Gibson, Hank, Willie, etc. The numbers of a good player in an age of lots of mediocre players (which expansion guarantees) will always look better than the numbers of an equally good player in a smaller market. It’s hard to make this comparison precise because of the worldwide expansion of football and changing levels of competition from other sports, as well as changing strike zones and other rule changes (mound height, etc.0 . But you’re always watching the players with skills at the far right end of the bell curve, and that can explain some of it if the pool of available players is large. As a good way to see this effect, note how the performance of good players always seems to do better in expansion years.

  11. 11
    sansho1 Says:

    Please please please let that Piazza-Clemens ASG conspiracy theory be true….

  12. 12
    DJ Says:

    Phils gets Ben Revere for Vance Worley.

  13. 13
    ububba Says:

    Was sitting behind home plate for that post-9/11 game.

    2 lasting memories:
    1)Liza Minnelli turning the FDNY guys into a kicking Rockettes chorus line during her pre-game performance of “New York, New York.”

    2) The look on Steve Karsay’s face the instant Piazza crushed that ball.

  14. 14
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    So, the Nats have a former Twins CF. The Phils have a former Twins CF. The Giants have their old CF back.

    At this point, the best option for Micheal Bourn might be to play CF in Atlanta on a three year deal (pushing Upton to LF.)

  15. 15
    Bethany Says:

    ALL OF THE MONEEEEEY! Except with the market shrinking, maybe it won’t take all of the money.

  16. 16
    spike Says:

    Damn, shouldn’t that be Twins get Worley for Revere? Not sure what Philly is doing here.

    PS, here’s Ben Revere singing badly – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuJYLtYiDJI

  17. 17
    spike Says:

    @8, because baseball when you are 8 – 14 years old is far more engaging than any baseball afterwards.

  18. 18
    Marc Schneider Says:

    I suspect the quality of baseball is at least as good, and probably better, than in the “golden age.” You did not see the kind of athleticism in the 60s and 70s you see today. Look at shortstops, for example, where you had guys that couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag. I doubt that Mark Belanger could start for any team today. And the increase in salaries has freed the players today to train better (ok, maybe it also encouraged steroids but the old guys used greenies); they are in much better shape than in the old days.

  19. 19
    cliff Says:

    Marc at 18,

    Strongly concur on “better players.”

    Just one aspect. How many pitchers now in MLB would not be in MLB if Dr. Jobe and Mr. John hadn’t started a revolution? (Besides Dr. Hughston and his trainee Dr. Andrews and what they did for knees, let alone now what Andrews is doing on arms).

    Imagine Dizzy Dean getting out 6 more good years, for example.

  20. 20
    justhank Says:

    @14 – ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!!

    Seriously, is there even a chance of that?

    Bourn – CF
    Prado – 3B
    Heyward – RF
    Freeman – 1B
    Upton – LF
    Uggla – 2B
    Simmons – SS
    Laird – C

    with McCann coming back in the early summer? Oh my my, oh hell yes.

  21. 21
    Smitty Says:

    @20

    That might score some runs.

  22. 22
    Bethany Says:

    I still don’t think we can afford him, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens on that front.

  23. 23
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Well, a worse version of Mark Belanger started for the Braves for about a month in 2012. But the point still stands.

  24. 24
    JonathanF Says:

    I don’t disagree with any of you about players getting better in general. But that cuts both ways and I don’t think addresses AtlCrackerFan’s point. (spike proposes an alternative, which is no doubt somewhat responsible as well.) After all, since pitchers are better and fielders are better and hitters are better, why would we expect the net results to change at all? Bonds may be a better home run hitter than Babe Ruth (indeed, I’m pretty sure he was)but he faced much better pitchers as well. (Pitching and fielding) and (hitting and baserunning) are zero-sum. If you think hitters are getting better, you must think pitchers are getting worse, unless you grant my hypothesis that the observed statistics of best players are being measured against a deteriorating backdrop that has to come from a change in the quality of the marginal player from expansion or other changes (like talented athletes differentially going into other sports.)

  25. 25
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Looks like we’re bringing back Reed Johnson for one year. I haven’t seen dollars announced yet. https://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat/status/276769496381931520

  26. 26
    Grst Says:

    I took his point to be something quite different, as I thought he was talking about differences in character and behavior, not performance.

  27. 27
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @18 Good point, Marc
    In my heart, I always believe that if given a fair opportunity, a good MLB player would find a way to make it in any era. The drive, the sacrifice…he’d do whatever proved necessary.

    Please add to your list of Alex Remington’s many talents:exceptional editor. Many thanks.

    And as usual, ububba @13, I’m green with envy. Awesome!

  28. 28
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Thanks, Kevin. I really enjoyed the piece. Please let me know if you’d like to write anything else for the site!

  29. 29
    JonathanF Says:

    @26: Oh, that’s different. But was Gibson that much different than Clemens in temperament? Was Bonds that much different from Rose in assholery? Aaron, Mays and Robinson are somewhat special cases, since they were specifically selected for a combination of baseball prowess and off-field behavior, a standard that many players would have a very hard time meeting today. (Stilladouche anyone?)

  30. 30
    Grst Says:

    @29 I don’t know that I am right to have read it that way, or that it’s correct. That was just what I thought he meant when I first read it.

  31. 31
    Johnny Says:

    Kevin – well done.

    Ok with Reed Johnson as long as he isn’t the starting LFer.

  32. 32
    PeteOrr Says:

    @24 – Your point only works for a fixed population size, but that’s not the reality. In 1950 there were only 16 teams but the US population was 150,000,000. Now there are fewer than twice as many teams (30) but more than twice as large a population (310,000,000). That’s completely ignoring the international markets for talent that have opened since.

    If talent was constant in the population with time, then you’d still expect there to be a similar amount of talent available for each roster spot regardless of expansion, but I would think that there’s probably more exploitable talent now per person. Salaries are much higher even considering inflation, so the incentive to play has gone up a lot, plus there’s more scouting and less chance of a good player getting lost out on a family’s cornfield in Nebraska because no one is around to see how good he is.

    I would think that today’s replacement player would be 1950’s average player, or maybe even better.

    The reason for the increase in hitting vs. pitching could be totally environmental. The strike zone, ball park dimensions, and the ball itself have all changed a lot. Plus there’s no reason to think that the state of two completely different arts like hitting and pitching would advance in a completely synchronized way. Sometimes one can run out ahead of the other for a while, even as both are advancing in the same direction.

  33. 33
    Dusty Says:

    Blake DeWitt signed to a minor league deal.

  34. 34
    JonathanF Says:

    I don’t disagree at all, PeteOrr, except that I think you’ve highlighted all the factors that run in the other direction, and none that run in mine. Like I said originally, teasing out the net effects of all of this is really difficult. And I completely agree that all players are getting better, as they get in just about every sport. The question is whether the extremes are improving relative to the average, and there are definitely factors running in both directions. Simply increasing the number of players ought to improve the extremes relative to the mean all by itself as long as chance is a factor in a finite distribution. (Actually, this is a really complicated statistical point that depends on a lot of factors as well, but that’s for another day — probably never.) Salaries are higher, sure, but they’ve increased even more in basketball and football than in baseball, relatively, for example. And I grant your point that rule changes are endogenous — if we had never lowered mound heights, the best pitchers might throw no-hitters every game for all I know.

  35. 35
    Marc Schneider Says:

    Jonathan,

    There have been periods of extreme performance by pitchers or hitters throughout baseball. During the 1930s, hitters ran wild. During the 1960s (and, obviously, during the Dead Ball Era pre-1920) pitchers dominated. I think pitching and hitting is today coming back into more balance after a period when hitting was ascendent for a number of reasons. Maybe I’m missing your point, but I don’t think you can say that, today, hitting is so much better than pitching. I just don’t see the dilution in talent; in fact, I think you can argue that it’s much more difficult for players to dominate than it was even in the 1950s/1960s. How likely is it that a hitter could go up with a hangover (as Mickey Mantle apparently did at least once according to Jim Bouton) and hit a home run? I don’t think even Jo Jo Reyes would give up a home run to a drunk (well, ok, maybe Jo Jo Reyes).:)

  36. 36
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I’m not sure that Micah Owings could get Micah Owings out.

  37. 37
    Bethany Says:

    ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
    Sources: #Mariners have discussed three-year deals with Hamilton in range of $20M to $25M per season.

    Holy wow.

  38. 38
    JonathanF Says:

    I certainly didn’t mean to hijack this thread, and I retract everything (more or less) except to point out that if Micah Owings pitched to Micah Owings, he’d either be off the rubber or out of the box unless he threw a really high Eephus. But since umps call neither today, he’s probably hit pretty well against himself.

    Slightly more seriously, Marc, I think we’ll never know. Dock Ellis threw a nohitter on LSD in 1970. Guys have hit plenty of homeruns though beset with the dreaded “flulike symptoms.” And I’m definitely not saying hitting is better than pitching, because I don’t believe it. The original discussion mixed both hitters (Aaron) and pitchers (Gibson).

    Finally, we have to measure extremes relative to the averages of their day. Home Run Baker was an extreme home run hitter, even though he never hit more than 12 homers.

  39. 39
    DG Says:

    To respond to the post using what is becoming a trope, if Piazza is not HOF material (first ballot, even), they should burn the place down.

  40. 40
    Stu Says:

    37—Wow, yeah, but smart. I think he’ll be worth that over the next three years.

  41. 41
    mravery Says:

    That seems perfectly reasonable for Hamilton. If he wasn’t such a risk, he’d command a much longer deal than 3 years.

  42. 42
    Bethany Says:

    @40 I agree, I just wish we could do that.

  43. 43
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Yes. That seems suspiciously reasonable. If Hamilton’s willing to take 3/$60 or 3/$75, I’d imagine a number of teams in baseball would at least consider that.

  44. 44
    kc Says:

    Now that the Braves, the Natspos, and the Phillies have filled the centerfield openings, is there still a market for Bourn?

  45. 45
    Jeff K Says:

    @44 – Well, there are still teams who could use a CF – Mets, Twins, Mariners, even Yankees. But Bourn is not going to get a contract in the range Boras was suggesting (5/75).

  46. 46
    kc Says:

    Seems like neither the Yankees nor the Mets are spending much this winter. Obviously the Twins will not spend big on Bourn. So I imagine Bourn will go to one of M’s or Rangers…whoever that will not get Hamilton.

  47. 47
    Jeff K Says:

    Mets just committed an insane amount to keep Wright. He’s a great player, but no way a team with their economics and trying to win (as opposed to keeping some fans happy) would have ever done that deal.

  48. 48
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I dunno. Seems like that’s what Wright’s worth. And with the New York media market, the Mets should be printing money. If Wilpon can’t afford to pay David Wright with all the money he should be making in the biggest media market in the United States of America, then he should sell the team.

  49. 49
    mravery Says:

    I dunno. I still expect Bourne to make some bank. Texas could still be in the market. Same with the Mariners if they don’t get Hamilton. I’m not sure where the White Sox are money-wise, but he’d be an upgrade for them. It’s possible that no one will pony up, but I still think he’ll get a big deal.

  50. 50
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    I’m with you. Way too early to bet against Boras. But it would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall when he found out the Twins also sent Revere to the Phillies.

  51. 51
    Kevin Lee Says:

    @31 Johnny
    Thanks for your kind words.

    Go Braves!

  52. 52
    Smitty Says:

    Butch jones? I think he is related to Dooley somehow.

  53. 53
    Bethany Says:

    @52 He’s got an… interesting haircut, if nothing else.

  54. 54
    Stu Says:

    Butch(ugger) Jones!

  55. 55
    Smitty Says:

    Well there is one think Butch Jones always does… Ugh, I can’t even make fun of Vandy anymore.

    Gruden 2016!

  56. 56
    c. shorter Says:

    54 — I’m laughing out loud at my desk.

  57. 57
    Bethany Says:

    Hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  58. 58
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    RE: Bourn, I would never bet against Boras finding money in someone’s sock drawer, but the market of potential landing pads for Bourn is drying up, and the notable OF hole left remaining is Atlanta’s LF/CF situation.

    Upton/Bourn/Heyward would be a hell of a defensive OF.

  59. 59
    DJ Says:

    Is Butch Jones represented by Boras? That guy flirted with Kentucky, Colorado, Tennessee and who knows else. Thanks to Biliema and Jones, the SEC Coaching Buzz Cut % now stands at 17%.

  60. 60
    csg Says:


    FRIDAY: Johnson obtains a $1.75MM guarantee plus $150K in incentives, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports (on Twitter). The deal also includes a club option for 2014 with a $1.6MM salary and a $150K buyout. Johnson will earn a base salary of $1.6MM in 2013.

  61. 61
    Jeff K Says:

    @48 – Don’t get me wrong, I think Wright is worth that contract. It’s just silly of the Mets to be the one penning it, given their economic constraints and the (largely) crap surrounding him on the field. They need pitching depth, OFers, INFers and now don’t have much flexibility until they somehow start printing money again.

  62. 62
    Adam M Says:

    I think the Mets may be better than everyone assumes. Not great, by any means, but they have a realistic shot to get 80+ wins.

  63. 63
    Smitty Says:

    @59

    No. If he was he would have held out another hour for money. Of course, Tennessee would have paid it.

    He may be a good coach. Who knows if he can do it in the SEC. Tennessee has become a dumpster fire since Doug Dickey left the AD.

  64. 64
    Bethany Says:

    Oh thank goodness, Gus let Trooper Taylor go. I’m a big fan of all the moves he’s made so far.

  65. 65
    Stu Says:

    I’m a little surprised he did it — one of the sticking points when VU was negotiating with him back in 2010 was his insistence on bringing Trooper Taylor with him, which VU adamantly refused to allow — but I think it was the right move.

  66. 66
    ububba Says:

    #64
    Perhaps there’s a very good (ongoing) reason for that.

  67. 67
    Smitty Says:

    I liked Trooper Taylor when he was at UT, but I think he has become a dirty recruiter and Auburn needs as many clean guys as they can get.

  68. 68
    Dusty Says:

    If the Royals are really considering Myers for Shields, shouldn’t the Braves try something like Minor for Myers? Especially if the Royals are cash strapped, Minor should have more value, right? Or am I way off base here? I’d do that in a second.

  69. 69
    justhank Says:

    It seems Chipper’s new squeeze was a UK cheerleader. And Playboy model.

  70. 70
    justhank Says:

    Think Bourn would take four years @ $12M per?

    We’d have to find a way to do that, if so.

  71. 71
    Stu Says:

    67—“Has become,” LOL.

  72. 72
    csg Says:

    Trooper Taylor is a side show. Recruiting coordinator, sure…coach on the sidelines, absolutely not.

  73. 73
    Anon21 Says:

    @70: I know his market is drying up fast, but I still can’t see him taking a contract less than Upton got. One of Seattle or Texas will be willing to throw him that much at least.

  74. 74
    csg Says:

    #70 – Boras will get Bourn a lot more than that.

  75. 75
    JoeyT Says:

    I’m actually pretty okay with the Francisco/Johnson platoon-through-Prado. I was a little sketchy about “internal options” for LF, but now that he’s resigned, the whole thing is workable.

  76. 76
    Stu Says:

    Agree, it would likely be a very productive platoon.

  77. 77
    spike Says:

    Yeah, but if Prado goes down or has an off year you are going to be exposed at two positions, not just one. I’d be ok with it, but definitely Plan B if we have any money at all.

  78. 78
    Stu Says:

    Completely agree with you.

  79. 79
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I want Wil Myers.

  80. 80
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Everyone would love Wil Myers, but the Braves don’t have what the Royals are looking for, outside of Hudson (who can veto any trade.)

    The Royals want a famous, top-tier starter. Minor or Medlen wouldn’t get it done, I doubt.

  81. 81
    csg Says:

    Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo
    If you don’t believe the multi-team Upton trade talk, Wednesday night a Rangers official called an Astros officisl and said, “we got Upton.”

  82. 82
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Honestly, I can’t for the life of me figure out why they want to trade Wil Myers, but I can’t for the life of me understand that organization. It sounds like the owner is telling them that they have even less money to spend than we’d thought. So I don’t know if famous top-tier is doable for Dayton unless the team that sends a lot of money with the famous top-tier starter.

    Plus, I’d rather have Wil than Upton. Damn it, now I’m setting myself up for disappointment.

  83. 83
    csg Says:

    They need to just cut Frenchy, but someone will benefit. I hope we can get Gordon or Myers from them.

  84. 84
    ububba Says:

    #82
    It may simply be a combination of factors–the Royals are in the AL Central & now there are 2 Wild Cards.

    They may have deluded themselves into thinking they’re one pitcher away.

    But yeah, I think they’re nuts.

  85. 85
    AtlCrackersFan Says:

    Sorry to have missed a day of comment, @8, BUT, my observation about players when we’re kids vs. adults was as much a metaphorical comment as a statistical one.
    When you’re 10, your heros are heros and you aren’t (hopefully) aware of the warts.
    40+ years later, you know about your heros warts and tend to ignore, explain away or dismiss the warts because it interferes with memories from one’s youth.
    However, it’s harder to do the same with players who essentially are your contemporaries, the same age as the kids, or now a generation younger than the kids.
    I’m sure a psychologist can explain it in rational terms.
    It makes choosing who deserves to be in the HOF more difficult, at least for me!

  86. 86
    zig Says:

    -85

    I once heard an interview with an actor–whose name I can’t remember for the life of me. He’s very famous, and very comfortable around the other elite actors of his generation.

    One of his friends is Jamie Lee Curtis. At her house one day, her father showed up…. and he promptly turned into jello. He kept thinking “This is Tony Curtis; I can’t believe sitting here talking to Tony Curtis. I wonder if I should for his autograph.”

    The heroes of your youth will always be bigger than life. Just human nature.

  87. 87
    ububba Says:

    Until you actually meet them…

  88. 88
    csg Says:

    Jayson Stark ‏@jaysonst
    #Indians, #Mariners, #Braves & #Phillies among teams I heard asked #Dodgers about Dee Gordon. It appears all but Seat would try him in OF

    Frank is fascinated with speed.

  89. 89
    Bethany Says:

    “Athletes”.

  90. 90
    Seat Painter Says:

    We have always been at war with Dee Gordon.

    -F. Wren

  91. 91
    JonathanF Says:

    Thanks AtlCrackersFan. I clearly misinterpreted your remarks. To me, the line comes from the separation of the integrity of the game from the personal integrity of the people who play it. That’s why, to me, Bonds and any other PED guys are in. I’ve never been able to see how that affected the integrity of the game. Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose on the other hand affect the integrity of the game itself. And the case on Shoeless Joe can be read either way. That leaves Rose, and I’d even be inclined to let him in if he never bet against his own team, for which the evidence is at least potentially disputable.

    I guess what I’m saying is that, to me, warts don’t matter at all, whether I’m aware of them or unaware of them.

  92. 92
    csg Says:

    Here is the flip side to the “athlete” thing.

    David O’Brien

    December 7th, 2012
    4:48 pm
    That said, I don’t think the Braves will trade Francisco. The way he’s improved this winter, working on the things he started working on late in season and getting in much better shape, I think he’s more valuable to Braves and insurance if they end up needing Prado at other positions.

    Also keep in mind: Francisco played LF in minors with Reds. And if he’s in as good a shape as some who’ve seen him say….

  93. 93
    Adam M Says:

    Call me newschool, but I’m more fascinated with guys who can get on base than anything else. Damn I wish Alex Gordon was a Brave.

  94. 94
    spike Says:

    Jesus, December is just a shade early for “best shape of his career articles, Dave.

  95. 95
    Jeff M. Says:

    This isn’t on topic exactly, being a Keltner list for Piazza and a thread dominated by trade talk, but Dale Murphy’s son has started a petition to get Murph in the hall of fame: goo.gl/PJNNB.

  96. 96
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    To be fair, “the best shape of his career” isn’t exactly a high bar for The Roadrunner. Anything vaguely less pear-shaped is going to look chiseled out of stone for that guy.

    And terrifying K-rate notwithstanding, he *is* crushing the ball.

  97. 97
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    DOB is being dumb, as usual. There is no reason for Francisco to ever play LF when Prado can do it at a close to Gold Glove-worthy level. None.

  98. 98
    mravery Says:

    Well, if your alternative is Prado at 3B w/ Francisco in LF or Francisco at 3B w/ Prado in LF, it seems to me that there’s a reasonable argument in either direction; Prado’s much better at both than Francisco is.

  99. 99
    spike Says:

    From the “I didn’t see this coming” dept –

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/21309361/report-andruw-jones-headed-to-japan

  100. 100
    Dan Says:

    ゴールドクラブ

  101. 101
    JoeCraigMcMurtry Says:

    98- That is simply not true. Prado’s dWAR was much higher at LF than at either 2B or 3B, and there is every reason to believe that Francisco’s lack of range would hurt worse at LF than at 3B. There is a reason teams park bats with no range, but with decent hands and a passable throwing arm, at 3B.

  102. 102
    Rusty S. Says:

  103. 103
    spike Says:

    それはカウントします。

  104. 104
    Stu Says:

    アンドリューは、蒸気のようなものです。私は本当にそう思います。

  105. 105
    Rob Cope Says:

    Ummmm…

  106. 106
    jjschiller Says:

    There’s going to be a sore spot on my sports-heart until we know how HOF voters treat Andruw.

    I think if he wasn’t a slugger at all, had been a leadoff type, his defensive abilities would land him there. But having been a flawed slugger, with a short peak, in an era of sluggers, I think the communal narrative the dinosaurs will establish will virtually ignore his historically good defense.

    I think he’ll also get punished because of 5 Braves going in ahead of him and the dynasty era only resulting in the one championship.

    A sore, sore spot.

  107. 107
    Parish Says:

    Well, going to Japan doesn’t help Andruw’s HOF case.

  108. 108
    kc Says:

    Andruw will not make it to the hall if even Murphy can’t get in. May as well earn as much money as he can now.

  109. 109
    ryan c Says:

    During his 10 year peak (which, in my opinion, is not a short peak), Andruw was 3rd in WAR behind two juicers (A-roid and Bonds). If Andruw was clean, his power numbers should not water down his HOF candidacy because everyone else’s numbers were inflated due to cheating. Perhaps the greatest or 2nd greatest defensive CF should get in easily, but I’m sure he won’t.

  110. 110
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New thread.

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