Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I guess I didn't think much of it. I figured Alomar was a lock to be inducted into the Hall this year. 26.3% of Hall of Fame voters disagree.

You need 75% of votes to get into the Hall. Andrew Dawson got 77.9%. Alomar got 73.7%.


Dawson had 50 more hits than Alomar. 2,774 to 2,724. And that was in 4 more seasons. Dawson had a career .279 average, Alomar a .300 career mark. Dawson's OBP, the hot new stat for Hall of Famers, was .323. Alomar's was .371. Dawson was the better slugger, with 438 HRs, but his slugging percentage was only .039 higher than Alomar's. And weren't homeruns recently devalued?

Roberto Alomar has a higher OPS, by .006 points.

Oh, and Alomar was a second baseman. They're typically not supposed to be great hitters. Recent All-Stars like Utley and Pedroia have perhaps made us forget that.

Dawson hit .186 in minimal playoff experience. Alomar hit .313 with a .381 OBP in 58 postseason games. He scored 32 times and had 33 RBI. He has 2 World Series rings. He hit .480 with 6 RBI in the 1993 World Series.

Maybe Andrew Dawson's defense gave him the edge. He won 8 Gold Gloves. Alomar won 10.

There was a time when people asked if Roberto Alomar was the best 2nd baseman ever. And there are still very few people ahead of him on that list. He dominated the 90's and dominated his position.

In an era dominated by inflated biceps and homerun totals, Alomar actually played baseball. He worked counts, he hit for average, and hit doubles when pitchers made mistakes. He played defense, he stole bases. He was the Ultimate #2 hitter for those mighty Indians offenses of the mid 90's.

He scored 1,508 runs, had 2,724 hits, 504 doubles, 80 triples, 210 HRs, 1,134 RBI, 474 SBs, a .300 career average. 371 career OBP, .814 OPS, and 4,018 total bases. And he did all this as a 2nd baseman.

I know the Hall is so worried about inducting guys on their first ballot, and that's supposed to mean something. But I have two things to say to that.

#1: Alomar is a first-ballot HOFer
#2: A Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer, it doesn't matter which ballot they're on

USA Today


Tom Brady received 19 of 50 votes to win the 2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Cadillac Williams finished 2nd, with 14 votes.

Who were the 14 clowns who voted for Cadillac Williams? The guy rushed for 821 yards and 4 touchdowns on a team that went 3-13. Brady, after missing a season due to torn ACL and MCL, registered a 96.2 QB rating, threw for 4,400 yards, and 28 TDs. He led his team to the playoffs, and this was with no running game to support him. Oh, and it was also with a potentially broken finger, and messed up ribs.

Yet 14 people voted for Cadillac Williams.

Boston Herald


With the acquisition of Adran Beltre, Casey Kotchman became expendable. So the Sox shipped Kotchman to Seattle for 30 year old utility man Bill Hall. The Sox will also receive a minor leaguer to be named, and a wad of cash to help cover Hall's $7M salary.

Hall split time with Seattle and Milwaukee last year, and played 2nd, 3rd, and all 3 outfield positions. He's also played some short-stop in the past. In 110 games, he hit .201 with 8 homers. He's strictly bench material, but Milwaukee's still paying for most of his contract.

I'm still not sold on the Beltre move, and I probably won't be unless he hits 40 homeruns this season. I'd almost rather keep Kotchman at 1st, move Youkilis to 3rd, and save about $6 million for the 2011 free agent market. I know corner infield defense is really really important these days, but Beltre is simply a waste of money.

Boston Globe


The Red Sox announced a switch in their outfield alignment. Vetern Mike Cameron will be the center-fielder, with Jacoby Ellsbury moving to left field.

Some out there in The Nation have a problem with this. Of course, Ellsbury is one of our sacred cows, and to even suggest that his defense is anything short of Tris Speaker quality is sacriligious. But I don't mind this move.

Cameron is a slightly better center-fielder. It's true, Ellsbury is faster, but his jump on the ball isn't as sharp as Cameron's. We all remember Jacoby's astonishing grabs out there, but how many of those would be routine if he took left earlier? But he's young and can learn how to do that.

Ellsbury's arm is also the worst in the outfield. So it makes sense to put him in the shorter field.


Tim Thomas continued his domination of the Senators, and the Bruins won their 3rd and final game in Ottawa this season.

All the Bruins' scoring came in the 1st. Blake Wheeler notched 2 goals and an assist, finally doing something useful. I listened to some of this game on Ottawa's radio feed, and they kept talking about how big he is (6' 5", 205 lbs). But he still rarely plays that big, sort of in a Joe Thornton vein.

Krejci had a goal and assist in the 1st, as did Mark Recchi. Boychuck added 2 assists.

This was a key win for the Bruins within the division. These wins against Ottawa have kept the B's in 2nd place, instead of 3rd.

But the bad news is that Andrew Ference has an "undisclosed injury" and the already depleted Boston blue-line can ill afford more lost ice time.

Speaking of ice time, Miroslav Satan made his Bruins debut and logged 14:06. He took one shot, was +2, and had 2 takeaways.

Bruins host the 30-10-3 Blackhawks Thursday night. Be sure to check in on this game during Bama/Texas' commercial breaks. The last time these teams met, it was a thriller.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld


I can't wait for the Winter Games and for Olympic Hockey. I also can't wait for the curling, either.

The format for hockey this year is as follows: 12 teams, divided into groups of 4 teams. The preliminary round consists of round-robin play within each group. After that, all 12 teams will be ranked 1st thru 12th. The top 4 teams will receive a bye to the quarterfinals. The remaining 8 teams will be put into 4 one-game playoffs, with the winners of those games advancing to the quarterfinals. Then it's a normal, single-elimination tournament.

Here are the groups:

A: USA, Canada, Switzerland, Norway
B: Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia
C: Sweden, Finland, Belarus, Germany

And here are my previews:

Team USA:
All 23 players on the roster are in the NHL, which is nice. But there's not too much star power at forward. Phil Kessel and Ryan Malone are up there, but there's a lot of solid, not great guys. USA's advantage could be their depth with so many NHLers, and that should get them through the early stages of the tournament. They also have three solid goalies in Tim Thomas, Ryan Miller, and Jon Quick.

Équipe Canada (Team Canada):
Canada boasts some serious star power. They also have al l23 roster spots occupied by NHL players. Just some of their big name players: Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Martin Brodeur, and Roberto Luongo. Their blue-line is a bit on the old side, with Pronger and Niedermayer still back there, so they could be susceptible to some of the faster European sides.

Eisgenossen (Switzerland)
Only 2 NHL players on this team, but one of them might be a big difference maker. Jonas Hiller of the Ducks propelled his team past the Sharks in last seasons' playoffs, he also helped for a 7 game series with Detroit. The other NHLer is Mark Streit of the Islanders. The Swiss are young and can skate, so they could pose a problem. Don't be shocked if they score some early upsets before being filtered out of the tournament.

Isbjørnene/The Polar Bears (Norway):
Norway isn't known for their hockey prowess, and it's an achievement for them just to get to Vancouver. Ole Kristian Tollefsen is the only representative from the NHL on the roster. 11 players come from the Swedish League. Norway is young, inexperienced, and not too talented. They'll lose all 3 of their round-robin games, then be easily ousted in the elimination stage.

Big Red Machine (Russia):
The Russkies haven't won Gold since 1992, but before then, they were THE dominant for in the Olympics. There's some serious talent on their roster, with guys like Alexander Semin, Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk, Kovalchuk, Afinogenov, and evgeni Nabokov in net. But the Russians might lack some depth. 9 players aren't from the NHL, although Russia's KHL is probably the 2nd best league in the world. Sergei Fedorov is one of those KHL representatives.

Czech Republic:
The 1998 Gold medal winners remain strong, but I don't think they're strong enough to contend. Guys like David Krejci and Tomas Kaberle can make plays, but the Czech lack both depth and firepower. It will be fun to once again watch Jaromir Jagr play. He's the only player from that '98 team who is on the roster for '10.

Jaroslav Halak of the Canadiens is capable of blistering hot streaks. He'll have 6' 9" Zdeno Chara helping him out in front, and guys like Marian Hossa and Marian Gaborik scoring goals. The Slovaks do lack some depth, so expect fireworks in early rounds, followed by eventual disappointment.

You should just call this team Dinamo Riga, because 15 of the 23 roster spots are occupied by players from that particular Latvian team in the KHL. There's also 2 NHL and 2 AHL representatives. But Latvia should compete with Norway for biggest pushover of the tournament.

Tre Kronor/Three Crowns (Sweden):
The reigning Gold medal winners still have some serious talent on their side. Zetterberg, the Sedin twins, Holmstrom, Backstrom, Alfredsson, and Lidstrom all return. Henrik Lundqvist can be a wall in net. Sweden's speed can get them past teams like Canada, and their puck-skills are uncanny.

Leijonat/The Lions (Finland):
Finland and Sweden were close to even in the '06 Olympics, and the Finns return 14 players from that squad. They don't have the same fire-starting names as the Swedes, but they have more depth. They might also be the most motivated team in the tournament. Finland has never won Gold in this event.

White Russians (Belarus):
The Kostitsyn brothers are Belarussian, they along with Ruslan Salei of the Avalanche are the only NHLers on the team. They'll do better than Latvia or Norway, but much not better.

Deutsche Eishockey-Nationalmannschaft (Germany):
German hockey has progressively improved over the years, and the Krauts now have 6 NHL players on their roster, including some pretty good ones like Marco Sturm, Dennis Seidenburg and Christian Ehroff. They can make it to the quarterfinals with a decent draw, and could threaten some of the big boys in the tournament.

USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Germany advance to the quarterfinals. Finland and Russia will make deep runs, and whenever these two teams meet, the winner of that game will win the Gold.

I say Russia will win gold, Canada silver, Finland bronze