Another guy who never should have been traded, especially for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray. I mean, seriously? Tony Perez wasn’t flashy like Pete Rose or an all-time great at his position like Johnny Bench, but he was a key part of the Big Red Machine. Okay, so he was on the decline and Dan Driessen showed some promise, but I don’t know if the fans will ever forgive the front office for letting the Doggie get away in 1976. After seven years in the wind, Perez came back to Cincinnati to finish out his career.
When I was a kid, one of my annual traditions was to predict how the season would go before the first pitch was thrown. I don’t follow the game as closely as I once did, but I’m going to make some predictions anyway. These are grossly uninformed and heavily biased predictions. Have fun laughing…
Angels beat the Twins in the ALCS in 6 games.
Reds beat the Mets in the NLCS in a 4-game sweep.
Reds beat the Angels in the World Series in 5 games.
World Series MVP: Eugenio Suarez
AL MVP: Mike Trout (2nd: Shohei Ohtani)
NL MVP: Joey Votto (2nd: Yasiel Puig)
AL CY YOUNG: Chris Sale (2nd: Justin Verlander)
NL CY YOUNG: Luis Castillo (2nd: Jacob deGrom)
AL ROY: Shed Long (2nd: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.)
NL ROY: Nick Senzel (2nd: Pete Alonso)
Don’t get mad at me. These are “fun cards.” If I want to make a card of Mike Piazza wearing a Marlins uniform, I will. So what if he only played five games for the Fish?
Honestly, the Dodgers never should have traded this guy. He was the franchise in the 1990s, and they were foolish to let their relationship deteriorate. Yes, he is wearing a Mets cap on his Cooperstown plaque, and statistically, that’s what it should be. But it shouldn’t, because he never should have worn a Mets cap as a player. He should have been a career Dodger.
You will never convince me that Vladimir Guerrero shouldn’t have an Expos cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.
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What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson.
Rich “Goose” Gossage was a reliever for the majority of his career, but in 1976 the White Sox used him as a starter. Despite a 5-7 record as the All-Star break, he was still recognized as a great pitcher due to his 2.91 first-half ERA and was named an All-Star. He was traded to the Pirates after the season, returned to the bullpen and never started a game again.
It took far too long for Lee Smith to receive the honor of baseball immortality. After fifteen unsuccessful years on the BBWAA ballot and reaching 50% of the vote only once, the Veterans Committee finally recognized the greatness of the dominant reliever. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer with Harold Baines, Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, and the late Roy Halladay.
Rollie Fingers played for the Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, and Milwaukee Brewers. But he was also a member of two other organizations for a grand total of seven days, though he never played a game for either team. The A’s sold him tot he Red Sox in 1976, but three days after the deal the
dictator commissioner of baseball Bowie Kuhn voided it and ordered the reliever back to Oakland. He ended up leaving Charlie Finley for San Diego that off-season.
In December 1980, the Padres traded Fingers to the Cardinals, who then traded him four days later to the Brewers. He would finish his career in Milwaukee…but might not have, had Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott lifted the facial hair ban on her players. Fingers considered signing with the Reds, but opted to retire when he was told he would have to shave his famous handlebar mustache.
Paul Molitor took home the Hutch Award in 1987. While several superstars have won the award (including Mickey Mantle, Andre Dawson, Carl Yastrzemski, and Johnny Bench), it is not necessarily given to a big-name player. It has also gone to Ron Oester, Don Robinson, Dennis Leonard, and Mark Teahen.
According to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center website, “MLB teams have the opportunity to nominate one player from their team that exemplifies the fighting spirit of the legendary leader Fred Hutchinson. Former winners then vote on the nominees to select the next Hutch Award winner.”
Luis Aparicio was so good…
“How good was he?”
Luis Aparicio was so good he was selected to 13 All-Star teams in just 10 seasons! From 1959-1962, there were two All-Star Games each year. How glorious! Man, I wish they would bring back that tradition.
I love the All-Star Game. The 2019 Midsummer Classic will be held on July 9 in Cleveland, which is a mere four-ish hours from me…
I probably won’t go. I can’t go. It would be fiscally irresponsible. But man, how much fun would it be? We went to Cleveland for a regular season game last year, and despite the weather had a good time.