NEW YORK, NY – Late Breaking news…the lovely Duchess of Cambridge has given the world a baby boy! We are one step closer to cleansing the Royal Family of 1100 years of horse faces, Alfed E Newman smiles and in-breeding that had for generations given us some of the ugliest punims the world has ever seen. Princess Diana was pleasant enough looking (a bit bird-faced for me) that she offset Prince Charles’ hideous countenance to create respectable-looking lads in Will and Harry. Kate Middleton is rather easy on the eyes, as is her randy and cheeky little sister, Pippa. So the Royals are on the road to eradicating simeon features from the monarchy.
Ryan Braun: 65-game suspension, meaning the rest of this already lost Brewers season? Wow, that’s harsh. It’s almost like the Commissioner and his family still have the ownership of that franchise in a Trust or something and so MLB issued a slap on his juiced wrist.
Terry Collins & MLB: On the heels of a Mets loss last night that almost assuredly signals the death knell for this wretched team, I bring an inordinate amount of vitriol to my keyboard. The death spiral into which the Mets annually descend means that Terry Collins is still inexplicably on the job. Collins’ latest butcher job included a SABR-dictated shift that first saw Brian McCann singling through a vacated SS hole, and then an Evan Gattis blooper that Marlon Byrd usually handles. But Sandy called down to Terry to tell him that Byrd should be playing in the Mo Zone. John Buck then allowed a passed ball, moving the tying run to third. Buck is a sieve behind the plate and when compared to the late great Gary Carter, it’s as though they play a different sport. In 1978 Carter caught 152 games and committed a grand total of ONE passed ball. That’s 2/3 of an inning for Buck, who criminally makes more per year than Hall of Famer Carter ever did…
Speaking of the hallowed Hall of Fame, I’ve seen a couple of discussions lately that raised the question of which “cap” Carlos Beltran would wear if he should be elected to Cooperstown.
To which I say: “Are you kiddin’ me? Are you absolutely freakin’ kiddin’ me?” Carlos Beltran is a Hall of Famer like Ryan Braun is a straight shooter or like Nolan Ryan was anything more than a .500 pitcher. A little history; having been acquired by Houston in mid-season from the Kansas City Royals (for a package of prospects – including (surprise!) John Buck), Beltran settled in as a complementary player while stars like Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte (talk about a Roid Murderers Row!) provided a buffer for the sullen, cigar-store-Indian Beltran. He then went on to dominate the post-season at the most opportune time in history, parlaying this success into a 7-year $119M contract with the Mets. But Beltran lacked the guts and mettle-to be the top dog for a franchise badly in need of one. Carlos was simply, a dog. He begged Scott Boras to the bitter end to find him a home with the Yankees, where he could be one of many “stars,” and not THE star. He craved being insulated and coddled and knew that being in the midst of Jeter, A-Rod, Giambi, et al, would give him the “cover” his fragile psyche needed. Ultimately, Cashman walked away and the Hall of Famer became a Met. Beltran’s first year was miserable for everyone and the mole on his face grew more disconcerting by the day.
Bel-tron was occasionally great-often very good and for long stretches merely good – not a Hall of Famer. Not close. He is a small man who ran from pressure and basked in solitude and obscurity. A more profound mismatch between player and adopted city has never been found. BUT. This silly Hall talk begs the question: Which of today’s active or recently-retired players are future Hall of Famers and why and why not?
Carlos Beltran-No. The mole, the diva behavior, Wainright.
Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez: If you told me that every single season of their careers was spent using steroids, it would be hard to argue. Their careers are tinted forever, and their numbers an absolute sham which should be stricken from the official MLB records. I don’t buy a single one of them. I don’t think either one of them have ever played a game when they were not under the influence.
Derek Jeter: Yep. The Gold Standard on and off the field and (who knew) Matt Harvey’s role model. Minka Kelly, Jessica Biel, etc etc. ‘Nuff said.
Roy Halladay: Yes. He’s pitched in 2 bandboxes and dominated, seemingly impervious to the cozy dimensions that have sabotaged lesser pitchers.
Albert Pujols: I think so. Simply THE dominant player in the decade of the “2000s.”
Miguel Cabrera: I hope so. There’s been no whispers, innuendo suggesting otherwise. His insane stats year in and year out beg the question.
Todd Helton: Call me when you play your home games in a big boy park at sea level. No.
Andy Pettitte: Closer than you might think, but no. His postseasons were money.
Paul Konerko: Like a bunch of others (Tori Hunter, for example) Very good for a long time, but no.
Chipper Jones: Yes, and as he got older, even bitter Met fans grew to appreciate him.
Mariano Rivera: The Platinum Standard – in spite of making us uncomfortable while being like a smiling dolt during recent interviews – during which he thought for 7 minutes about each clichéd question thrown his way. Wait… did I just dis the great Mariano publicly?
Please leave your two cents below and come back tomorrow for our Mariano, Angry Ward.