Welcome to the 23rd Tuesdays With Mitch. Big post this week. Get to readin…
Todd Helton turns 40 today, so he just reached a huge milestone. He’s about to reach another. Helton is 7 hits shy of 2500 in his career. I’m a huge baseball nerd and a Helton devotee, so I did quite a bit of research on this. Much is made of the 3000 hit club and rightfully so, but the 2500 hit club is one pretty good indicator of Hall Of Fame worthiness.
Todd is going to be the 96th person in the history of baseball to join the club. Of the 95 players to do it, 62 are in the HOF. Only 33 are not. That number 33; however, is misleading.
Three players would certainly be Hall of Famers if they were not in hot water. Pete Rose is banned by baseball. Rafael Palmeiro and Barry Bonds are eligible for the HOF, but are PED users, so they haven’t been voted in.
Thirteen of the 33 players in this group are either active (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro Suziki and Manny Ramirez) or have retired too recently to become eligible for the Hall.
That leaves 17 eligible, non-cheaters who have 2500 hits and are not in the Hall Of Fame. Of these 17, 3 players (Lave Cross, George Van Haltren and Jimmy Ryan) had careers that began in the 1880s, so it’s really impossible to include them in this discussion. Another, Doc Cramer, joined the MLB in 1929 and has 37 career homers.
So now we’re down to 13 modern-day MLB players with 2500 hits who are eligible for the HOF and are not cheaters or banned gamblers and still not in. Here’s that list, and remember this is only the players that meet the aforementioned criteria.
We can cross Biggio off this list. He’ll be in; probably next year. He didn’t make it this year because baseball writers are peculiar about “first ballot” entrants. They try to save that for the super elite of the elite.
Of the other 12, only Harold Baines has more homers (384) than Helton’s current number of 362. Most of the dudes on this list are nice players that played for about 22 years, hit .270 and about 23o homers.
Two players on this list have a career OPS above .800. Baines’s is .820; Parker’s is .810. The rest are somewhere in the .700s. Helton’s current career OPS is .955. Many baseball people consider this stat (which is calculated as OBP + SLG) to be the most important stat in baseball.
Baseball writers will hold against him the era in which he played and the park in which he played, but if Todd Helton doesn’t make the Hall of Fame, it would be a huge snub and a disservice to the game. (Really, he should get in on the swag of this bat flip alone).
I bring this up now because there’s a little more than a month left in what is likely Helton’s final season. His last home game is Wednesday, Sept 25 against the Red Sox (unfortunately because of their obnoxious douche bag fans that will take over Coors Field and potentially ruin what should be a very special game/moment in the Colorado sports pantheon).
The Rockies are done and most of us have tuned out. Helton isn’t the player he once was (although he’s actually been hitting pretty well since July). All that said, Rockies fans and Colorado sports fans don’t have much time left to watch a true Hall of Famer and one of baseball’s all-time great hitters as he plays out the last of what has been an incredible career.
I don’t have any idea what is going on with the Von Miller story either. He was going to be suspended for four games. Then there were pretty good chances that his appeal would be at least a little successful and his suspension would be reduced to less than four games. Then we were supposed to find out what the deal was on Thursday. Instead he met with the union and there was no other news. Then yesterday we learned that he’s likely going to be suspended for six games instead of four for some reason that nobody really understands.
We know (maybe) that he failed a drug test in 2011. Then he missed a drug test? Or failed another one? Or missed multiple drug tests? Or botched a drug test by spilling his pee, maybe intentionally, maybe unintentionally? Then drinking so much water his next test was unusable?
And now he may have been a witness to a murder? And he may have been trying to buy guns? I have no idea what’s going on. At this point, just tell me how many games he’s going to miss and I’ll go from there. His “I know I have done nothing wrong” statement sure doesn’t look real good right now.
If Von is gone for six games, the Broncos defense looks very shaky all of the sudden. What made the Broncos so good last year was balance. They were they only team in the NFL with a top 5 offense and a top 5 defense. Right now it looks like they will need to lean much more heavily on their offense.
Miller is going to miss 6 games. Elvis Dumervil is gone. Champ Bailey was excellent last year (save the Baltimore game) but he is aging it’s not unrealistic to imagine some regression there. He’s also banged up now. Those three alone are some really, really badass dudes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Harris (who I’m a big fan of) doesn’t play quite as well as last year. Rahim Moore might not ever figure it out. Derek Wolfe was taken off the field in an ambulance. It sounds like he’ll be okay, but that’s never a good thing.
Anyway, at the moment it seems like the addition of Wes Welker (also banged up) will need to lead to a whole lot more points on offense, because it’s hard to imagine this defense playing at a top-5 level in 2013. And missing Von Miller for six games is a big part of that.
Fox Sports One launched on Saturday. Here’s the open to the first Fox Sports Live, which is their version of SportsCenter. Charissa Thompson, who used to be a Rockies reporter lady, has a prominent role.
My initial impression on Fox Sports Live has been positive. Hosts Dan O’Toole and Jay Onrait are funny, laid back and hip. In a fascinating tactic, Fox Sports Live actually shows highlights from games, something that SportsCenter gave up long ago. No joke, about 20 minutes into Fox Sports Live on Sunday, they showed highlights from the Rockies – Orioles game. I can’t remember the last time anyone on SportsCenter has even mentioned the Rockies.
Some people have complained that there’s too much crap happening on the screen (a ticker at the bottom, a headline above the ticker, a large sidebar with even more information and graphics on the side) but I actually don’t mind that. FSL is clearly aimed at a fairly young demographic– they’re not afraid to “bro it up”. One intersting note, SportsCenter is great at reporting somber stories or bad news and it will be interesting to see how Fox Sports Live is able to handle news that isn’t all lighthearted and fun.
Doing stuff like this is always a good move. This segment killed me. Hope it’s recurring:
At the very least, there’s another option for a nightly sports show, which I’m happy about because I just can’t do SportsCenter anymore.
Speaking of ESPN being horrible, this man is paid 7 figures a year by that network:
The most important thing to happen in Sunday’s Red Sox – Yankees game that produced all kinds of drama was the sign from this genius .
In a stunning surprise, not a single Colorado team received a single vote in the AP Top 25.
Ty Lawson is also in trouble.
I laughed pretty hard when I saw this.
I can do that.
That’s just some high school kid in Oregon and I’m pretty sure it’s real.
Unsespecting people getting hit the face by things is always funny.
When a rookie hits a homer… sometimes this happens.
I love it.
Funny side story: My buddy (and a loyal reader… I think) recently completed a 100-mile ultra-marathon for elite runners in (or across? or starting in?) Leadville, Colorado. It all takes place above 10,000 feet and takes about 24 hours to complete. He does these things without any publicity, so I only knew about this after the fact. I asked him, “Dude did you finish some kind of 100 mile race?” His response:
“Yes. It was hard.”
That made me laugh. (And congrats, Carson.)
This kid’s One Shining Moment:
Pretty sad story here. Danny Spond, who starred at Columbine and went on to be a starting linebacker at Notre Dame, ended his career due to medical issues. He had issues with “mysterious migraines” in the past. Football is bad for your brain.
And finally, Last week I showed you a touching video of a “My Wish” segment with the Carolina Panthers. ESPN published one Sunday and it’s even more of a tear-jerker. The look in this kid’s eyes when he rolls out on the field is just awesome.
I kept thinking that if I were six and got to do that at Coors Field, I would have literally been the happiest boy in the world. It looked like Kyle felt the same way. Great stuff.
Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.
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