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Showing posts from December 7, 2008

Just Catch the Ball Behind Him, and All Will Be Fine

This blog's primary concern regarding the acquisition of Francisco Rodriguez:


This is a man who once lost a game via walk-off when he muffed a return throw from the catcher.

I'm referencing August 11, 2005, a vital game for the Angels and Athletics at the time, since the two were tied for first place.

This was a game in which the Angels had a 4-0 lead after six-and-a-half innings, leaving Angels manager Mike Scioscia comfy enough to pull Paul Byrd (104 pitches) in favor of Brendan Donnelly.

The good feelings didn't last long. Former Met Jay Payton started the rally with a home run on Donnelly's first pitch. That should have been a sign that it wasn't Donnelly's day. By the end of the inning, the score was tied, thanks to an Eric Chavez home run.

The game remained even into the bottom of the ninth, and Scioscia turned to Scot Shields, keeping his closer Rodriguez, who hadn't pitched for five days, ready if needed. His services were required when the Athletics put…

Belated Induction

Congratulations to Gil Hodges, the newest member of the Mets Walk-Offs Hall of Fame

I realize this is of little consolation to his widow, Joan, and to those who are great supporters of his candidacy to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but I think the timing is right.

Hodges got shafted again in the latest Veterans Committee vote, and it seems unlikely that he'll ever get in under the current system, which awards every living Hall of Famer a vote, requiring 75 percent of votes to get inducted.

The problem is that Hodges' supporters are old men, like Duke Snider, Yogi Berra and Tom Seaver (yes, he qualifies as old). They don't release each players Hall of Fame ballot, but I'd bet that almost every vote for Hodges came from someone who either played with, for, or against him. And those guys are dying quicker than they're getting elected.

Let's be realistic. Unless they have a finer appreciation for the game than I'm giving them credit for, the likes of Rich Gossage, Ryn…