While We’re Waiting… Possible third time for Thome, Cavs draft aftermath, Omar’s Hall of Fame credentials and College Sports Hate

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I’d rather the Tribe make an attempt to acquire someone in their prime, but why not? “There has been a recent swirling rumor that the Phillies are ready to unload Jim Thome.

As the biggest Jim Thome fan on this side of the globe, the first question I had was: can the Indians take him again?

The answer is… maybe. Everything just has to work out correctly.

The Indians have been one of Major League Baseball’s most futile teams in terms of offense, especially in terms of production from power positions. As I’ve written about many times before, the Indians need to make some kind of moves at LF and 1B. Also, without Travis Hafner in the lineup, the Indians need help at the designated hitter position.” [Hayden Grove/More Than a Fan]

Plus, reports were Charlotte was asking for the moon (and trying to dump Ty Thomas’s bloated contract). “I briefly want to talk about the trade with Charlotte. Up until the draft, it was made to sound as if we were really close to trading up and getting the 2nd pick in the draft. Bradley Beal was presumably the target there, but the deal fell through and Beal went to Washington. The thinking behind the proposed deal was that the Bobcats wanted Thomas Robinson and could easily trade back to #4 and take Robinson there while picking up some more assets. It seemed like a no-brainer, right? Well, there was a pretty big flaw in our reasoning. Virtually everybody assumed that they wanted Robinson. In the end, Charlotte selected Kidd-Gilchrist with the 2nd pick which means that he was above Robinson on their board. If they had traded down with the Cavs, we would have taken Beal and the Wizards would have taken MKG. That would mean Charlotte misses out on their top guy. Obviously, they didn’t want to do that and the price to settle for a lesser player (in their mind) was higher than we wanted to pay. Therefore, I really don’t blame our front office for not getting a deal done. It simply wasn’t as straightforward as the media made it out to be initially. [Conrad Kaczmarek/Fear the Sword]

I love Omar, but I think he’ll have a rough time getting in. “At 2875 hits, Vizquel would have more hits than Babe Ruth (22 seasons), Brooks Robinson (23), Ken Griffey (22), Lou Gehrig (18), Joe Morgan (22), and countless others who are in the Hall of Fame. Considering that Vizquel has been a part-time player for the last four or five seasons, there’s no reason that his additional few years should have voters souring on his hit totals.

What about his fielding? Where does that rank? In terms of dWAR, defensive wins above replacement player, Vizquel is 12th all-time at 28.1. Ozzie Smith is the career leader with 43.4. Brooks Robinson is third at 38.8. Luis Aparicio checks in sixth at 31.6. Gold Glove wise, Vizquel has won 11 of them, though there’s probably some dissention within the baseball media community on how much Gold Gloves actually mean. In some cases, they’re based solely on reputation and not on performance. Obviously, with Vizquel, we know that his are based on performance, but the overall uncertainty for the award could render Gold Gloves useless in Vizquel’s voting.

The safest way to make a case for Vizquel is to look at the comparable players. There are two of them in the Hall of Fame who are considered the cream of the crop for slick fielding shortstops with average offensive skills. Both Ozzie Smith and Luis Aparicio are very, very similar players to Vizquel and both of them” [Adam Burke/The Cleveland Fan]

Ohio State fans should really get over Michigan. It’s time to move on. Get over it. “I have a confession. I still don’t HATE HATE Michigan. I don’t like Michigan…but I want Michigan to be successful every year, as long as they lose to Ohio State. I think beating a good Michigan team makes our rivalry better, and in turn, makes Ohio State football more special. If that makes me a heretic, if that means I need to lose my diploma or be banned from this website, so be it.

Do I hate other schools though? You betcha. I’ve learned that college hatred can be a little more complicated.

I think that there are three categories of college sports hatred. There is the pure, unadulterated, I-want-them-to-lose-every-game-and-maybe-have-a-library-catch-on-fire level of hate. While this may come from athletic reasons alone, I think the best college hate has a personal twinge as well. If you’re a PAC-12 fan and a Human Eventsreader, feel free to hate the commie-bastion of Berkley will all your guts. I suspect many OSU fans feel this way about Notre Dame.

There is also a more respectful kind of hate, like the Michigan kind I described. You want to be better than this team, you measure yourself to them, but deep down, you know if they fell apart and started losing to New Mexico State, you’d lose a little something as well.” [Matt Brown/Land Grant Holyland]

  • BuckeyeDawg

    I admit that I don’t understand all of the intricacies of Sabr-metrics…but I fail to understand how Omar can be better in almost every offensive category and be at least equal to Ozzie and Aparicio defensively, yet still not be worthy of Cooperstown.

    Guess he didn’t do enough backflips to appease some people…

  • Architrance

    Well, UM already lost to Appalachin State when they were supposed to be good. If that didn’t give a buckeye fan joy, exhilaration and jubilation – there’s something deeply wrong with you.

  • MrCleaveland

    1. If you don’t want to pay bloated contracts, don’t offer them.

    2. Omar’s in. It just a matter of time.

    3. I “hate” every college team in Florida.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Jim Thome, again? I’ll laugh if this happens actually more like crack up.

  • Matt

    I hate TWO of the major colleges in Florida…

    Go Gators!

  • Steve

    He’s not as good as those two offensively, he just played in an era with a ton of offense. Once you adjust for the environments, Smith and Aparicio were 100-150 runs better over the course of their careers when it came to batting/baserunning.

  • King Me

    It is more rewarding to beat a top 5 ranked Michigan team than a lousy one, but it can be just as enjoyable watching someone like Rich Rod make a joke of the team. It’s just a different kind of joy.

  • saggy

    i’m a bit of a homer, but i believe Omar was transcendent with the leather. I played with an Ozzie Smith glove growing up (odd because I played center field), but I felt like Omar was every bit The Wizard’s equal.

    Also, don’t forget that Ozzie played in an era without the slide-step. Guys routinely got huge leads and were able to steal so many bases. add that to the fact that Omar batted in front of a 25-homer guy, a 50-homer guy, and then 3 HOFers after that, so he didn’t need to run very much.

    Omar Vizquel is a Hall-of-Famer in my eyes – even when I take off my Indians-colored glasses.

  • Steve

    If Omar played in a lineup that let him be picky when he stole bases, you would think he would have a very productive rate. But he doesn’t. As a 71% career SB rate, he’s actually a break even runner, and maybe a net negative. The fact of the matter is that Ozzie Smith and Luis Aparicio were much more productive on the basepaths. If Omar wasn’t as productive because he had big boppers behind him, then we should be rewarding the big boppers, and not Omar, anyway. You shouldn’t get bonus points because of your teammates.

    Omar compares more Mazeroski and Maranville, two of the worst Hall of Famers, and one who got in because the VC remembered one big swing, than with Aparicio and Smith

  • saggy

    My main argument was that Omar had to deal with pitchers who could slide-step – something that COMPLETELY changed the running game forever. Look at the top stolen base seasons since 1989: Nobody has stolen 80 bases. In the 80’s there were five times that runners stole 100 bases.
    Measure him against his peers in his era. He isn’t Rickey but he was a guy who could run.
    Dan Segelin
    Director of Athletic Performance
    The New York Fitness Institute

  • saggy

    also, defensive metrics are stupid. there is so much going on during every play that makes defensive metrics useless. what if a guy is stealing, and the SS needs to cover the bag, but he turns and makes a great play on the ball and gets the batter at first? There is nothing for defensive metrics to show how he stopped the guy from going first-to-third and made an amazing play. that’s just one example. waaaay too many to even begin to talk about. Vizquel was a joy to watch in the field. best i ever saw. BEST = Hall of Fame.

  • Steve

    A lot of things here. The running game peaked in the 80s because Coleman and Henderson played then, not because of anything to do with the slide step. There were 3 80 SB seasons from 1920 to 1978. There isn’t much evidence the slide step changed anything. We had an extreme oddity with a couple fantastic base stealers at one time, and when they slowed down, we returned back to normal.

    Comparing Omar to his peers – Since 1989, Vizquel’s rookie year, 17 guys attempted at least 500 SBs. Vizquel ranked 17th, dead last, in SB%. Anyone arguing for Vizquel to the Hall best pretend that SBs never existed.

    Also, compariing Omar to his peers – the 90’s was an offensive explosion. Even shortstops were capable of putting up good offensive numbers. But Vizquel rarely did. We have to take into account how much the shortstop position changed offensively.

    I didn’t really mention defensive metrics, because all it boils down to is a he-said, she-said, where no one will be convinced either way. I put some value in them, key word – some, you put none. Whatever. And that play would show up in defensive metrics. I’m not sure why people like to come up with odd, rare, example and say there’s no way to measure them. There are. It’s not perfect, but they do get measured.

    And, for a few years, Rey Ordonez was the best I ever saw in the field. But because it’s the totality of your game that matters, and not just one aspect, he didn’t last long. I never understood the “best-at-this-one-part-of-the-game” argument. If we ignored the flaws in everyone’s game and just looked at what was good, we’d have a pretty huge HoF.

  • saggy

    excellent points. i don’t care to elaborate anymore. In general, I feel this way: you play defense in baseball a helluva lot more than you play offense, and i can never understand why people aren’t rewarded for being the best defender, or amongst the best, EVER. that’s really it.

    And, for metrics, they do measure plenty, but they don’t measure in-between hops, or how well a guy pivots with a dude barreling down on him, or how well he turns the double play when the second baseman gives him a low throw, or just situational baseball (1 out or 2? 1st inning or 9th? Prince Fielder on 3rd or Kenny Lofton? etc…). Just WAAAAAY too many scenarios for me to get into to believe in defensive metrics. You may lay out for a ball in one scenario but choose to knock it down in another. Making the right “baseball play” isn’t always metric-friendly.

  • saggy

    that’s a bit short-sighted. Those older guys weren’t competing against juiceheads like Vizquel was. different era. the little guy was forgotten in the 90’s/00’s. Nor were there 15 middle relievers to hit against. different times….

  • Steve

    While you may be standing in the field more often than at the plate, you can affect the game at the plate a lot more than in the field, even for shortstops.The difference between the best and worst hitter in the league is about 80-90 runs, while the difference between the best and worst fielder is about 40-50 runs. And even if it wasn’t, we’re still putting our blinders on for one aspect of the game. If Vizquel truly was better than Smith in the field, but hit like an AL pitcher, should he be in the Hall?

    And again, with the random examples suggesting metrics don’t measure everything. They still measure those. They aren’t perfect, but they encompass everything that happens.

  • Steve

    That’s making a lot of tough assumptions – mainly that Vizquel didn’t juice, and that offense was up because, and only because, of steroids. PED’s have been fairly widespread in baseball since the 60s, and more pitchers have been busted than hitters, so the facts on steroids really don’t explain the offensive increase starting in 1994. It was a different era, an era where the “little” guy was a hindrance to your team offensively. Again, you’re just giving Vizquel bonus points because of extenuating circumstances and assumptions that I just can’t make. I was a Vizquel fan here too, but I think the effort should be spent on Lofton instead.

  • MattBrown

    If I had a HOF vote, I’d vote Omar in. He was my all time favorite Cleveland Indian.