Posts Tagged ‘Tim Raines’

The National League’s All-Time Franchise Players

Friday, September 14th, 2012

By LeRoy McConnell III







There are 16 National League Baseball teams across the country.  Each team has at least one significant individual that is the consummate ball player, who represent everything the franchise is about.  As we take a look at each team, which ball player shows to be the most influential player to have donned a uniform for that franchise?  Some teams will have an obvious choice to represent their team.  What about the teams that were successful in multiple eras?  We can only choose one player for each team that deserves the title “Mr. Baseball”.

National League East

Mr. Atlanta Brave is Henry “Hank” Aaron 

The Braves franchise could be considered the most underrated organization in the majors as they have produced some legendary ball players from multiple eras.  Similar to the Yankees’ franchise, there are plenty of deserving individuals who could wear the title.  Mr. Atlanta Brave is Henry “Hank” Aaron.  It’s obvious that Hank Aaron is the most deserving; the way he played the game, the threats he faced when he approached Babe Ruth’s home run record, etc.  He is known as a class act, though still a little underappreciated.  Let the debate begin.  It’s a given that Hank is the first choice but you couldn’t go wrong with the likes of Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Eddie Matthews, John Smoltz, and Warren Spahn.  Hank Aaron’s numbers were .305BA/3600H/733HR/2202RBI/2107R/.377OPB/.567SLG/.944OPS in 21 years as an Atlanta Brave.



  Mr. Philadelphia Philly is Michael Jack Schmidt 

You know how special you must be to be loved in Philly?  Mike Schmidt knows.  He knows       very well as he spent 18 seasons protecting the left side of the diamond.  Schmidt was the greatest all-around third basemen in major league history.  It helps being the MVP of the 1980 World Series.  Mr. Philadelphia Philly is Michael Jack Schmidt.  The 3-time MVP will forever have a place in the Phillies’ hearts.  “The City of Brotherly Love” also loves Steve Carlton, Ryan Howard, Pete Rose, and Robin Roberts.  Mike Schmidt’s numbers were .267BA/548HR/1595RBI/1506R/1507BB/527SLG/380OBS/908OPS in 18 seasons with the Phillies.


Mr. Washington National/Montreal Expo is Tim Raines 

No one on the Washington Nationals is worthy of being on the list.  However they do have potential stars in Stephen Strasburg and young phenom Bryce Harper.  To be continued!  Before there was a Washington National, it was all about the Montreal Expos, whose franchise was snakebitten because they couldn’t keep their players.  First of all, this individual needs to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  This man started things off at the top of the order for many years.  He was the National League version of Rickey Henderson.  Mr. Expos/Nationals goes to Tim Raines.  Other strong considerations were Gary Carter,  Andre Dawson, Andres Galarraga, Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martinez, and Larry Walker.  Tim Raines’ numbers were .301BA/1622H/793BB/947R/635SB/.391OBP/.829OPS in 13 seasons as an Expo.


  Mr. Miami Marlin is Luis Castillo 

The name Luis Castillo is not an every day household name.  Don’t blame me, blame the Marlins’ ownership, who are responsible for not keeping any of their superstars that came through their organization.  I won’t fault them for it.  They have won two World Series in their nineteen years of existence.  Mr. Marlin goes to Luis Castillo, who won a World Series in 2003.  Other considerations were Hanley Ramirez, Josh Beckett, Miguel Cabrera, Josh Johnson, and Cliff Floyd.  Luis Castillo’s numbers were .293BA/1273H/42TR/281SB/.370OBP/533BB in 10 seasons with the Miami Marlins.


Mr. New York Met is Tom Seaver 

The Mets will never reach the standard of the mighty Yankees but they had some important moments and teams such as the ’69 Miracle Mets.  Mr. New York Met is Tom Seaver.  Seaver won the Cy Young Award the same year he helped the Mets win their first World Series against the Baltimore Orioles.  Other considerations go out to Gary Carter, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry, and David Wright.  As a New York Met, Tom Seaver won 198G/2.57ERA/171CG/44SHO/2541SO/1.076WHIP in 12 seasons.



National League Central


Mr. Chicago Cub is Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks is the only Major League ball player with the nickname after the team name.  He’s an ambassador for the Cubs organization and he is still a fan favorite.  His attitude is genuine which makes Ernie Banks “Mr. Cub”.  He continues to bolster an unworthy franchise.  Other considerations were Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Sammy Sosa, and Billy Williams.  Ernie Banks’ numbers were .274BA/2583H/512HR/1636RBI/1305R/.500SLG/.830OPS in 19 seasons.


Mr. Cincinnati Red is Pete Rose

Who in the world would you have picked?  Does anybody remember watching Johnny Bench’s show, “The Baseball Bunch”, that came on Saturday mornings before “This Week In Baseball”?  How about Joe Morgan and his back-to-back NL MVP’s in ’75 and ’76?  What about Frank Robinson, who was the first superstar Cincinnati ever had?  All he did was earn the Rookie of the Year award and National League MVP.  I chose “Charlie Hustle”, since he has been blackballed from baseball.  I know Pete Rose wants to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame more than anything,  but he’d do better staying out of it.  His name is more popular than anyone in the hall.  As long as he is not in, they will always be speaking of him.  Despite the controversy, Mr. Cincinnati Red is Pete Rose.  Other considerations were Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, and Tony Perez.  Pete Rose’s numbers were .307BA/3358H/1210BB/1741R/115 3B/601 2B/.379OBP/.804OPS in 19 seasons.


Mr. Milwaukee Brewer is Robin Yount 

This ball player was the ultimate team player, being able to excel at both centerfield and shortstop; while gaining two American League MVP awards.  For twenty years he gave his body up to put up Hall Of Fame numbers and that is why Mr. Brewer goes to Robin Yount.  Soon Ryan Braun will rival Yount as he has put up magnificent numbers since he came up in 2007.  I also like Cecil Cooper, Prince Fielder, Paul Molitor, and Ben Oglive.  Robin Yount’s numbers were .285BA/3142H/251HR/1406RBI/.430SLG.772OPS in 20 seasons.


Mr. Pittsburgh Pirate is  Honus Wagner 

Not to many ball players can rival the great Tyrus C0bb.  Alex Rodriguez could have been the greatest shortstop of all-time had he continued at that position.  The title will stay with Honus Wagner as he put up sizzling numbers in his time with the Bucs.  He is the greatest pure hitter Pittsburgh has ever had.  Mr. Pirate goes to Honus Wagner.  I chose him over Roberto Clemente because Wagner is the one Pirate that fans forget about.  The plane crash that involved the demise of Roberto Clemente heightens his popularity and for many, put Clemente’s popularity over Wagner.  Other choices were Barry Bonds, Roberto Clemente, Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell, and Paul Waner.  Honus Wagner’s numbers were .328BA/2967H/639SB/232 3B/1475RBI/1521R/.394OBP/.468SLG/.862OPS in 18 seasons.


 Mr. St. Louis Cardinal is Stan Musial 

This star hasn’t played professional baseball since 1963, and til this day he is the most revered Cardinal in their organization.  Mr. Cardinal is Stan Musial.  Just like the Yankees, the Cardinal organization has royalty and a wealth of success both in players and World Series.  With the departure of Albert Pujols, Musial’s individual records will continue to stand.  Other strong considerations were  Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean, Bob Gibson, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols, and Ozzie Smith.  Stan Musial’s numbers were .331BA/3630H/475HR/1951RBI/1949R/.417OBP/.559SLG/.976OPS in 22 seasons, all with St. Louis.


Mr. Houston Astros is Craig Biggio 

The last twenty years this ballplayer did all the little things that don’t show up in the box score.  He was the ultimate team player by calling games behind the plate and also playing both second base and the outfield.  If the team needed a key hit, a bunt, stolen base, or a defensive stop, he was your guy.  Mr. Houston Astros is Craig Biggio.  It is classic Biggio to get beamed by a pitch and hustle down to first base.  Being struck by a pitch was a badge of honor and to his credit, he never charged the mound.  Other strong considerations were Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, Larry Dierker, Joe Morgan, Roy Oswalt, Nolan Ryan, and Mike Scott.  Craig Biggio’s numbers were .281BA/3060H/291HR/1175RBI/1844R/414SB/.363OBP in 20 seasons with Houston.



National League West


 Mr. Colorado Rockies is Todd Helton 

When Colorado put this individual in the lineup, he showed dividends from the get-go.  He was a back up player to Peyton Manning in college for the University of Tennessee Volunteers football program.  This ball player wisened up quickly and took his talents to play Major League Baseball for the Colorado Rockies.  Is there any other backup player in the history of sports able to pursue another sport and make over 100 million dollars?  Mr. Colorado Rockies is Todd Helton.  Other considerations were Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga, Matt Holliday, and Jeff Francis.  Helton’s numbers as a Rockie so far .320BA/2420H/354HR/1345RBI/570 2B/1360R/.419OBP/.545SLG/.964OPS in 16 seasons with the Rockies.


Mr. Arizona Diamondback is Randy Johnson

The Diamondbacks are also an expansion franchise that has been around since 1998.  It didn’t take much time for this organization to win a World Series ring as they upset the heavily favored Yankees in 2001.  Randy Johnson was the first big chip the Diamondbacks added in 1999.  He came in and turned the franchise around, bringing three consecutive Cy Young awards to the organization.  With the help of Curt Schilling, they were co-MVP’s in the 2001 World Series.  Other considerations were Luis Gonzalez, Curt Schilling, and Brandon Webb.  Mr. Diamondback goes to Randy Johnson as he made an expansion team into a winner.  Randy Johnson’s numbers were 118W/2.83ERA/38CG/14SHO/2077SO/1.068WHIP in 8 seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Mr. Los Angeles Dodger is Sandy Koufax

Though his career ended early because of elbow issues, can you name another pitcher to have more strikeouts than innings pitched?  Sandy Koufax is Mr. L.A. Dodger.  It is possible that he could be the best pitcher of all-time.  Since 1966, there has never been a left-handed pitcher to win 27 ball games in a season.  In a five-year span he won 3 Cy Young awards and he is second to Nolan Ryan in no-hitters with four.  One of his no-hitters was a perfect game and that describes Koufax best, a perfectionist.  Other considerations were Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Tommy Lasorda, Mike Piazza, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Fernando Valenzuela, and Maury Wells.  Sandy Koufax’s numbers were 165W/2.87ERA/137CG/40SHO/2396SO/1.106WHIP in 12 seasons as a Dodger. 


Mr. San Francisco Giant is Barry Bonds

Only in San Francisco can the great Barry Bonds walk around without the negative vibes.  Like him or not he was the most watched baseball player of our time.  Was he a train wreck?  No, but each time the bright lights were focused on him and a milestone was on the line, he delivered.  He had flair and cockiness.  Mr. Giant was once Willie Mays, now it’s Barry Bonds.  Other considerations were Will Clark, Carl Hubbell, Tim Lincecum, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, and Matt Williams.  Barry Bonds’ numbers were   .312BA/1951H/586HR/1440RBI/1555R/1974BB/263SB/.477OBP/.666SLG/1.143OPS in 15 seasons with the Giants.


Mr. San Diego Padre is Tony Gwynn   

This man could have taken his talents to the NBA.  Instead, he found himself as an every day player for the San Diego Padres’ franchise for over 20 years.  Do you believe that this man only struck out 384 times in 9288 at-bats?  He was the best pure hitter since Ted Williams, as he hit .394 in a shortened season due to the strike.  Mr.San Diego Padre goes to Tony Gwynn.  Other considerations were  Adrian Gonzalez, Trevor Hoffman, Jake Peavy, Benito Santiago, and Dave Winfield.  Tony Gwynn’s numbers were .338BA/3141H/5432B/1138RBI/1383R/.388OBP/.459SLG/ .847OPS in 20 seasons all with San Diego.


LeRoy McConnell III of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports

The Baseball Hall of Fame is Missing 9 Position Players

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

By LeRoy McConnell III

As the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend comes upon us, we should give considerable recognition to some of the Major League Baseball veterans that have been overlooked by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.  Each year, it seems that the criteria to get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is as difficult as getting you girlfriend’s father’s blessings.  You have to reach benchmarks of 3,000 hits, 500 home runs or 300 wins to even be in the conversation.  Don’t even get the voters started on whether or not each candidate is clean from performance enhancing drugs.  I have selected nine position players worthy of immediate consideration to be the next candidates inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1B Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff 1986-2004 Tor, SDP, ATL, Tampa

Fred McGriff was a blue-collar first basemen who brought his hard-hat and lunch pail to the game. In his 18-year career, the “Crime Dog” produced 2,490 hits, 493 home runs, 1,550 RBI and 1,305 walks. Fred didn’t hit those benchmark numbers that we mentioned earlier, but hey, he produced humanlike numbers in the steroid era and not one time was his name ever linked to the use of PEDs.  McGriff was a five-time All-Star player, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 1995.  He has been on the ballot for only three years now, but it is an embarrassment that he only holds 23.9% of the votes to get in.  He needs at least 75% to reach the Hall.  Hopefully the baseball writers will consider Fred McGriff as a future member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

2B Lou Whitaker 1977-1995  and SS Alan Trammell 1977-1996, both Detroit Tigers

These two characters were more popular than Starsky & Hutch, Batman & Robin and Tom & Jerry!  Lou & Alan have been the dynamic duo since the minor leagues.  Both of them came into the Majors together and took over the starting positions for the Detroit Tigers at the start of the 1978 season.  The duo spent the next 18 years turning more double plays than anyone in Major League history.

Lou Whitaker batted .276 with 244 home runs, 1,084 RBI, 1,386 runs and 2,369 hits.  The second baseman was a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, three-time Gold Glove Award winner and a World Series Champion with the Detroit Tigers in 1984.  Whitaker is ranked 74th all-time in wins above replacement! The troubling part about Lou Whitaker’s situation is his stats compare to all second basemen in the Hall of Fame, but he did not receive the required five percent of the votes in his first year of eligibility. Because of that, he is no longer on the ballot.

Alan Trammell’s career batting average was .285, and he batted over .300 seven times.  He hit 185 home runs with 1,003 RBI, 1,231 runs and 2,365 hits.  He was a six-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner, three-time Silver Slugger Award, World Series MVP and World Series Champion in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers.  Trammell has been on the Hall of Fame ballot for eleven years now with no success.  He received 36.8% of the votes, so he is still in the hunt.  There is still hope, and the fact that Barry Larkin will be enshrined this year has to bring up serious considerations, as both ball players have similar numbers.  Here are Larkin’s career numbers:  .295 ave., 198 home runs, 960 RBI, 1,329 runs and 2,340 hits.

3B Steve Garvey AKA “Mr. Clean”1969-1987 LAD,SDP

Detroit had Whitaker & Trammell, but what about the LA Dodgers?  The law firm of Cey, Lopes, Russell & Garvey were the together for over eight and a half years!  Garvey was both a first and third baseman, whose career batting average was .294 with 272 home runs, 1,308 RBI, 1,143 runs and 2,599 hits.  He had six seasons with at least 200 hits.  Steve was a 10-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner, NL MVP in 1974, two-time MVP of the All-Star game, two-time MVP of NLCS, and World Series Champion in 1981.  His 15-year run on the ballot has expired and the highest voting percentage he received was 41.6%. The only thing I see that is the problem is that his home run numbers for a corner infielder are not very high.  After 1980, Garvey played eight more seasons, only hitting over 20 homers once.  Nonetheless, his numbers and his accolades warrant an induction by the Veteran’s Committee.

C  Ted Simmons 1968-1988 STL, MIL, ATL

 Ted Simmons played in the Golden era of catchers with  Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and Gary Carter. Each of these players have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Simmons was a switch-hitting catcher with a career batting average of .285. He hit over .300 seven times. Simmons had 248 home runs, 1,389 RBI, 1,074 runs and 2,472 hits. He was an eight-time All-Star and won one Silver Slugger Award. Ted didn’t have the home run numbers of Bench, Fisk and Carter, but he made up for it by having more hits and RBI.  Only Ivan Rodriguez has more hits and runs batted in as a catcher.  The puzzling thing about the Ted Simmons case is he never received more than four percent of the Hall of Fame votes and he is no longer on the Veteran’s Committee ballot. It’s all but a dead issue.  Put Ted’s numbers against any catcher that ever played in the league and he will for sure be mentioned amongst the greats.

OF Tim “Rock” Raines 1979-2002 MON, CHW, NYY, OAK, BAL, FLA

Rickey Henderson says he was “The Greatest of All Time!”  He was, but Tim Raines was a five-tool ball player as well. Rock was a tremendous lead-off hitter for the Montreal Expos for years. His career batting average was .294, while batting over .300 six times.  He had 170 home runs, 980 RBI, 1,574 runs, 2,605 hits, .385 on base percentage and 808 steals.  Raines was also known as an excellent fielder. His accolades include being a seven-time All-Star, winning a Silver Slugger Award, a 1986 NL Batting Title, earning the 1987 All-Star MVP and being a three-time World Series Champion.  Rock Raines has been on the Hall of Fame ballot for five years now and has 48.7% of the writers’ votes.  There is no excuse for keeping Rock out of the Hall. Anytime a player can turn a walk or a single into a man in scoring position, he is positively making a big impact on the game.

OF Dave “Cobra” Parker 1973-1991 PIT, CIN, OAK, MIL, CAL, TOR

The “Cobra” had the biggest shoes to replace when the legendary Roberto Clemente’s unfortunate plane crash occurred after the ’72 season.  He did not disappoint as he made a living as the Bucs right fielder for the next 10 seasons.  Everybody that was a baseball fan in the seventies remembers the ’79 “We Are Family” Pirates.  His batting average was .290 with 339 home runs, 1,493 RBI, 1,272 runs and 2,712 hits.  He was a seven-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove Award winner, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, a two-time NL batting champion, 1978 NL MVP, 1979 All-Star MVP and two-time World Series Champion.  Dave Parker was the game’s best player in the late seventies and early eighties, which led him to be the first Major League ball player to have a million dollar contract.  Parker had been part of a cocaine scandal, where he admitted to use of drugs, which may have cost him an MVP award in a season where he led the league in hits and batting average.  Dave never received more than 24.% of the votes from the baseball writers and his eligibility has now run out.  He still has hopes of getting in by the Veteran’s Committee.

OF Albert Belle 1989-2000 CLE, CHW, BAL

Belle’s production makes him a sure-fire Hall of Famer. His career batting average is .295, while batting over .300 four times.  He had 381 home runs, 1,239 RBI, 974 runs and 1,726 hits in 12 seasons.  His career ended abruptly with a degenerative hip.  He was a five-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner.  In 1995, Belle was the only player in Major League history to hit 50 home runs and 50 doubles in a season.   He lost the MVP to Mo Vaughn, whose numbers did not compare to Albert’s, and that is probably because of his reputation being a jerk with the media.  In a three-year span, he finished in the top three in the MVP race never to win.  Albert lost his eligibility after the first year by only receiving 7% of the votes.  As long as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America have anything to do with Albert getting in the Hall, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!  Albert Belle may very well be the most hated baseball player ever, but in those 12 seasons in the league, he was definitely the most feared.

DH Edgar Martinez 1987-2004 Seattle Mariners

To all the beat writers who have a vote in the HOF:  The designated hitter has been part of the game since the 1973 baseball season.  During his playing career, Edgar Martinez was the greatest designated hitter of his time.  His lifetime batting average sits at .312 with 10 years batting over .300.  He has 309 home runs, 1,261 RBI, 1,219 runs and 2,247 hits.  Only David Ortiz’s numbers are better.  Martinez was a seven-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger Award winner and two-time AL Batting Champ.  Edgar has received 36.5% of the votes in his third attempt.  He is for sure a candidate and the first designated hitter to be enshrined.  He was a ferocious hitter in that Mariners line-up that consisted of Griffey, Buhner and A-Rod.  Don’t punish Edgar Martinez because he was a DH. Major League Baseball recognizes the position and so should Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Pitcher Jack Morris 1977-1994 DET, TOR, MIN, CLE

Known as the winningest pitcher of the 80′s, the workhorse posted 254 career wins,  2,478 strikeouts, an era of 3.90, 175 complete games and 28 shutouts in eighteen years of service.  Morris is a five-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion. He earned the MVP Award of the 1991 World Series. In Game 7 of that series, Morris posted a 1-0 win in a 10 inning shutout against the Atlanta Braves.  Jack has been on the ballot for 13 years now, finishing with 66.7% of the votes and second to only Barry Larkin who will be inducted in 2012.  With the likes of Clemens, Bonds, Palmeiro, Bagwell, Sosa, Piazza and Biggio, it will be difficult for Morris to get the final 8% votes.  Then again, with some of the most dominating players of all-time having a black cloud over their heads, Jack Morris may be having his own party next July.

LeRoy McConnell III of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports