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Unanimous HOF, Mo’s Injury, Parnell’s Key to Success



By Mike Silva ~ July 5th, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

Josh Norris of the Trentonian wonders if Derek Jeter will be the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection in the history of the game. To date, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan garnered the highest percentage of the vote at 98.8%. As Norris points out, both Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson will test to the voters before Jeter in terms of unanimous selection.

Could we see Jeter eclipse Seaver? It’s quite possible. But I doubt he gets 100% of the voters support. Same goes for Maddux and the Big Unit. Babe Ruth received 95%. Rickey Henderson 94.8%. Joe DiMaggio 88.8%. Willie Mays 94.7%. And Mickey Mantle 88.2%.

The BBWAA will never have a unanimous selection in its history. I am sure of it. Why? Because the process of looking at Hall of Fame candidates is up to the interpretation of the voter. There are voters on the rolls that span decades. Each has a different point of view about the game, and what constitutes a Hall of Fame player. There’s also the “morality police” that vote, who want to use the power of their pulpit to punish a player for off the field transgressions, or perhaps treating the media rudely (see Ted Williams).

Jeter will get his 3,000th hit very soon. Even if he doesn’t, I would love to ask that person who fails to vote for him what is their rationale. I don’t know what I would say if it turns out to be based on his Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR).

That would be just silly.

Personally, anyone who doesn’t vote for Jeter is just taking an anti-New York/anti-Yankees stance.

***

The Yankees might need to get serious about K-Rod or another closer. Even if Rivera isn’t seriously hurt, there needs to be a conscience effort to limit his appearances. For example, did the Yankees really need to call on him this past Friday in a 5-2 game? I realize it’s the Subway Series, but in the long term that might be the type of situations that burns Rivera out.

Quietly, Rivera has blown four saves already this year. He blew five all of last season. Could we finally be seeing mortality? If his elbow hurts even a little it could affect his command and control. For a one-pitch pitcher that is a huge albatross.

We have gone down this road before with Rivera. Many, including me, read him his last rites during an early season slump in 2009. He came back to be better than ever the remainder of the season.

As for the second closer. Heath Bell and K-Rod are both readily available. I bet the Mets would send Rodriguez across town for virtually nothing due to the $17.5 million dollar vesting option.

The Yankees could start to spot David Robertson in some save situations, but they are going to need one of two things to happen: 1) Rafael Soriano comes back. You can’t trust a bridge that includes Luis Ayala, Hector Noesi, Cory Wade, and Boone Logan. 2) They will have to trade for a closer to setup for Rivera and spot him when rest is necessary. Again, see Bell and K-Rod.

Even if Soriano does come back, do you trust him in the ninth inning? I guess you have no choice since he is paid $15 million dollars this season.

I like Soriano, but I didn’t anticipate him having this big of a potential impact.

Welcome to the world of Armando Benitez Yankees fans.

***

Austin Kearns had a bit 3-run homer against his former team last night. He didn’t do much offensively during his time in New York. The Yankees gave up pitching prospect Zach McAllister in the deal.

McAllister is actually an International League All Star this year for Columbus. He’s currently 8-3 with a 2.97 ERA.

***

Bobby Parnell is maddening. He can look so bad at times, or give you two perfect innings as he did last night.

We know that Parnell can throw heat. His 100 mph fastball does him no good if he can’t locate his pitches, and is unable to develop any type of secondary stuff. Last night, he relied on his 4 and 2 seam fastball. He threw only 4 sliders.

Parnell has given up 2 runs in 14.2 innings since June 1st. Can he keep it up? If he can control the fastballs, perhaps. I really think he needs a slider or split finger fastball to sustain any type of long term success.

If he could master a secondary pitch, he could be the Mets version of David Robertson.

The Mets signed Miguel Batista, who reportedly is throwing 93-94 mph. I suspect this is for bullpen depth, which is what ultimately could derail this feel good story. Who knows, Parnell might wind up closing ballgames before the year is out. I doubt K-Rod stays here past the 31st.

***

As for Batista… If he was throwing so hard why did St. Louis dump him? His control was terrible (5.83 BB/9) which ultimate negated a strong start to the season.

If he can cut down the walks he might be able to help out. Is he any worse than Manny Acosta? At the very least the upside might be better.

***

Is Lucas Duda finally getting it? He struggled with confidence during his early big league stints, but he hit .283 in June and .308 so far in July. His OBP still needs some work, but getting a hit in a big spot off the greatest closer in history can’t hurt the old confidence.

If Duda can produce as he did in the minors, perhaps the Mets can sustain the injury to Ike Davis. They will miss his defense, but Duda can supply the power that Davis provided.

What the Mets need is David Wright healthy and producing at historical levels. That could make this thing get interesting.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Unanimous HOF, Mo’s Injury, Parnell’s Key to Success

  1. Patrick

    I’d like to see Duda get out of his Ruben Tejada impersonation before getting too comfortable with his stick. The Mets need someone to launch a ball at least once a week.

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