Biggio, The Big Hurt, and the Draft

Congrats to the last of the ‘Killer B’s (Craig Biggio), Frank Thomas, and Greg Oden.

Some notions to ponder:

Biggio – 3,000 hits, 4 Gold Gloves(second base), 5 Silver Sluggers (2b and catcher), led the NL in stolen bases one season, way too many HBPs, and played three different defensive positions. WHEN he doesn’t make the Hall on his first ballot, will there be as much of a clamor as when the HR hitters don’t make it on first ballots?

Big Hurt – 500! Seems to be done the clean way, but one never knows. Will 500 always be a special number?

Congrats to Greg Oden; the first Buckeye(using the term loosely) ever taken #1 in the draft. Will Oden have enough of an impact on Portland to push the Blazers into the post-season? Is it possible that the Lakers might NOT make the playoffs next year?

I am doing an about face. Joakim Noah is a perfect fit for the Bulls. His all-out hustle will compliment the Bulls’ lineup.

7 Responses to "Biggio, The Big Hurt, and the Draft"

  1. Wally   June 30, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Frank Thomas and Craig Biggio are certain Hall of Famers … I would think both should enter on the first ballot. 500 HRs is not what it used to be, but Thomas would make the Hall even if he finished career with 490. He’s a career .303 batter with an OBP well over .400 … not many have an OBP like that. Two MVP trophies and tons of RBI. One championship ring, although he did not play a major role for the White Sox team. Injuries hurt his career … or else we might be on the eve of his 600th HR. B/t/w, Hurt was clean through it all … otherwise he’d be challenging Bonds.

    Biggio will go in quickly for a few reasons … consistent excellence in terms of production and hustle, plus to display the versatility of moving from C to SS to CF … even better than Yount. What a class act on and off the field. 3,000 hits was his final ticket to early admission.

    Lastly, everyone scoffs at 500 HRs now, but as of today, they’ve been playing baseball and tracking stats for well over 100 years now. I think only 21 have accomplished the feat as of today, but I know a handful more are within 30. Ramirez, Thome, etc.

    Hey … someone take a look at Al Kaline’s career stats and you’ll probably better appreciate what some of the current veterans are acoomplishing and how they might stack up for the HoF. I was quite surprised at how “not great” Kaline’s offensive stats were. Good, but not HoF caliber I/M/O. He was a great outfielder, but … he was probably gregarious and real nice to sportwriters 🙂

    Wally

  2. Muels   July 1, 2007 at 1:34 am

    Biggio goes in to HOF and his 3000th hit is one reason why- he was thrown out trying to stretch his 3000th hit into a double- he could’ve stopped at first and said “yeah for me”, but he was too busy playing the game the way he has for his whole career- trying to put his team in a position to win. Not that I am celebrating him getting thrown out, but I’d take his desire for team success on my team anytime…
    Frank Thomas unfortunately gets thrown into the mix (by me only, maybe) with the other home run hitters of this era, not because I specifically suspect him of cheating, but I am to the point that I can’t say for sure about ANY of them, so I have to wonder about EVERY power hitter. I hate that, but it is what it is…
    Greg Oden is an athlete that seems worthy of rooting for…good head on his shoulders (though he looks 20 going on 45) and appears to be a pleasant young man- quite refreshing from our athletes of today…
    waiting for the next deal to come for the Celtics- hope Ray Allen is healthy- glad we didn’t lose Al Jefferson to get him- really curious to see what Ainge has coming…

  3. Z Dubbs   July 1, 2007 at 4:35 am

    I was extremely disappointed with the Noah pick. He can’t shoot and is a ticking time bomb of emotions. I love his enthusiasm, but loving the game isn’t enough to make you an NBA player. Bulls already have Wallace who is athletic and enthusiastic, but can’t shoot. The Bulls still failed to get a low post scoring threat which is what the team is lacking.

  4. Wally   July 1, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Can Noah play the role of a passing center? He’s 6’11” with long arms and strong around the post. No to mention VERY ATHLETIC. How good do you have to shoot if 85% of your shots are within 6-7 feet of the hoop. This has to be what Paxson and the Bulls brass was thinking. They were probably surprised that Noah was still available, and they went with the “best player available”. Don’t know if that’s what I would have done, but we’ll see if it pays off for them.

  5. ccww   July 1, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Wally,
    We are one in thought – scary. I can see Noah as a Jack Sikma-type. With that lineup he doesn’t need to do a lot of scoring just make himself a threat. If teams have to defend him because of his passing that will open up the floor for Hinrich, Gordon, Deng. And he is a ball-getter.

    Casey

  6. Aaron   July 1, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I was waiting for this thread.. Biggio has to be a first time ballot HOF. No doubt about it.. Biggio has been a special player – whatever position he has played for his career and to me – that is what gets you in the HOF. What is more amazing is that here is a player that has switched positions twice in his career at the request of the Astros organization. First from catcher to keep his knees healthy, and then to CF to accomodate Jeff Kent. To me the move to CF is more amazing. A guy with 4 gold gloves at 2B is asked to move to CF and he did. He could have said, “F you I am a 4 time gold glover at that the position – make HIM move.” But took the high road instead and did what was best for the team.

    As for Frank Thomas. What a great career and has done it at time when every home run hitter will be held under a cloud of suspicion..That being said, I am not sure he is a HOF in my book. I think he is close and maybe he will get in. But the fact that he didn’t play defense to me is knock.Would his hitting been as good if he played in the field? And before Wally jumps on my back, I hold Big Papi in the same regard if he has a few more very good years. I just think that guys like Jim Rice and Ron Santo who played their positions and played them well during their careers should get in first.

    As for the draft… Like the Noah draft for the Bulls. As for the Celtics, I am scratching my head. We traded the 5th pick for an over the hill shooting guard. I would have rather draft #5 and traded Paul Pierce and started over.. I don’t think anyone is winning anything out of the Eastern Conference for a couple of years.

  7. ccww   July 2, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    Note to Aaron and all Frank Thomas HoF doubters: Although he’s a full-time DH now and has been for several years, he was a full-time 1B pretty much for the 1st half of his career. (Not saying he played it all that well). He’s a 2 time MVP, and if you look back, there’s a whole bunch of HoFers who didn’t win it twice. He’s had 11 seasons with 100+ RBI!!!

    Here’s a comparison between Thomas and 3 other HoFers, each played several more years than Frank has:
    Player RBI SLG OBP
    Thomas 1620 .562 .423
    Molitor 1307 .448 .369
    McCovey 1555 .515 .374
    Stargell 1540 .529 .360

    All three comparators were DH-type players later in their careers. McCovey and Stargell were lumbering 1Basemen and of course they didn’t have DH in NL. Molitor’s value was certainly as a hitter, and he was not to be confused with gold glovers … pretty much a full-time DH or 1B over his last 8 years or so.

    Frank’s run production (RBI + runs scored 1437) is undoubtedly HoF caliber, and his OBP of .423 is off the charts … only a few players in history are in that neighborhood. Jim Rice and Ron Santo were great players, but not in Frank’s class. Rice played LF (easiest position in baseball) and had the following stats: 1450 RBI, .502 SLG, .352 OBP and 1249 runs.

    David Ortiz needs another 6+ years of real good production to boast a Thomas type career. One DH that folks think has a 50/50 chance of making it is the recently retired Edgar Martinez (1261 RBI, .515 SLG, .418 OBP, .312 BA, 1219 R). His career was about as long as Thomas’s and essentially during the same “era”. Frank has been far more productive. Keep asking yourself: How many players have had 11 seasons with 100+ RBI??? Mike Schmidt had 9, Mantle had 4, Mays had 10. Frank Thomas to the HoF is a no-brainer!

    Wally

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