It gives me a great deal of pleasure to present Thursday heat, a new segment of this column written by Florida correspondent Jesus Millan. He was able to watch far more of the Caribbean World Series than I was last week, and as such kept readers on top of things. Along with what appeared in this column, he shared many videos to the Facebook Group also called Baseball As I See It. Readers are invited to join that group. This week, Jesus also has a take on why recent great players haven’t gone to Cooperstown. His report follows:
“First off, I want to thank Don Wardlow our editor for allowing me to represent this great group in the Caribbean Series. it was a fun time watching the games which had everything-Drama, Passion and Pride. The Dominican Republic was Winless at Home, Mexico became champs untouched and undefeated, Venezuela came hungry to win and they entered the final with Freddy Garcia in his final Games of his career (the winningest Venezuelan Pitcher in MLB History.) Cuba Played poorly but won a game, and of course My Puerto Rico played a few great games. The series was fun and it started my craving Baseball this season, so I’m Ready.
MLB Now Host and author Brian Kenny wrote an article this week for
Sports on Earth. com
stating that players of the 80s and 90s are underrated by the Writers of the HOF and talks about His Hall of Fame “Middle Class” of each of those players position by position actual HOFers like Ryne Sandberg, Barry Larkin, Robbie Alomar, Luke Appling, Joe Cronin, Rod Carew, Willie McCovey, Harmon Killebrew among others who fall on that “Middle Class” level and those still on the Ballot or off it like Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Kent, Dale Murphy(who mainly started this discussion on Sporting News) Jim Edmonds, Bernie Williams among others.
Looking at the numbers with those “Middle Class” HOFers in terms Accumulate WAR Wins Above Replacement and OPS+ On Base + Slugging Percentage they are really better than what you think, but The Writers don’t see it. That’s Ridiculous you can’t have a player that is on the same level as a Willie Mays or Newly Elected HOFer Ken Griffey Jr if the guy is not on the same position you just can’t do that But those players of the 80s and 90s that are overlooked by the writers of the Hall has numbers both traditional and Sabermetrically that makes fans and some writers go wow perfect example Keith Hernandez you look at Defensive Metrics alone he was the best Defensive 1st Baseman in Baseball History and with the Offensive Metrics he has one shy OPS+ than his AL counterpart Don Mattingly. And BTW Both have the Hardware MVPs. I am a firm believer In the Hardware. it counts to me.
If you look overall of those players in the 80s and 90s they are better than what you might think. Check out the Article by Brian Kenny on
please check it out.”
As spring training draws nigh, not a single one of the handful of free agents still waiting has found a home. Names like Gallardo, Fowler and Desmond might be on the unemployment lines if nothing changes. Similarly, not a single active player of note has a birthday today. Ben Oglivie is our only celebrant, and he is 67. The Panamanian broke in with the Red Sox, first making the majors in 1971, then went to Detroit and Milwaukee for which he is best known. With the Brewers he and Reggie Jackson tied for the league lead in home runs in 1980 with 41. He was an All-Star 3 times with the Brewers and played in their 1982 World Series loss to the Cardinals. That team was known as Harvey’s WallBangers, some of whom were: future Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor; Ted Simmons, Cecil Cooper and Gorman Thomas who were all capable of launching one over the fences at County Stadium. The Brew Crew, as it came to be called were also blessed with hall of fame pitchers Don Sutton and Rollie Fingers. Even so they came up a game shy against the Cardinals. After his MLB time was done Oglivie played two seasons in Japan. He has been a coach and hitting instructor on and off since then.
I hope this is baseball’s low tide, and things trend upward from here. If any reader of this column knows any baseball games on this weekend, (most likely college games at that,) please leave a comment or send an e-mail. Watching last week’s Caribbean World Series as much as I could was like serving me a shrimp cocktail, now I’m set for the salad course-with the entree being Opening Night, April 3.