As Thursday is here and there is so much going on in the baseball world I plan to give some tidbits of everything plus the kitchen sink in the posting.
As the season has ended over a week ago....it is time to start handing out some hardware. As all of you may know that yesterday Phillies phinest was awarded two more Gold Gloves by yours truly Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Here are the stats that made them that golden:
Jimmy Rollins committed a league-best and career-low six errors in 607 total chances. Among all NL shortstops in 2009, Rollins ranked second in games (152) and innings (1364.2), fourth in putouts (212), sixth in total chances and assists (389) and eighth in double plays (72).
Victorino made one error in 345 chances for a fielding percentage of .997. Last year, he made two errors in 323 chances. He started a career-high 149 games in centerfield for the Phillies and led all NL centerfielders in fielding percentage, was second in games and innings (1330.1), fourth in both total chances and putouts (336) and was tied for fifth in assists (8).
But one must wonder....why didn't Cliff Lee get a Gold Glove. You could say that he was only in the National League for a short time but the impact that he had should have been worthy enough. That's just my opinion.
As the Phillies enter the off-season, players are residing at their beachfront condos or out of country palaces, GM's are hard at work to add the players needed to make a chase at the title. Ruben was in Chicago this past week and is hoping to play his card right and land a solid, quality starter, non-Hispanic third basement that will not rhyme with Ruiz. I for one got tired of hearing Feliz-Ruiz the entire season when the lineups were called. Ruben has narrowed his decision down to Placido Polanco, Mark DeRosa, Adrian Beltre and Chone Figgins. They are all good players but which one can the Phillies afford. You be the judge:
Polanco, 34, made $4.6 million each of the last four seasons. Something in that range, in a one- or two-year deal, would seem to fit into the Phils' payroll scheme. Polanco is represented by Seth Levinson, who has a good relationship with the Phillies. Levinson also represents Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino.
DeRosa, who will turn 35 in February, has long been on the Phillies' radar. They tried to sign him before the 2007 season and attempted to trade for him last winter. He made $5.5 million last season.
Beltre, who will turn 31 in April, is the X factor. He is the youngest of the Phils' targets, but is coming off a season in which he played in just 111 games because of a left shoulder injury (bone spurs) that required surgery. The two-time Gold Glover has hit at least 20 home runs seven times, including 48 in 2004, and his righthanded power could play well in Citizens Bank Park.
Beltre, however, is coming off a five-year, $64 million contract with Seattle, and made $12 million last season. There have been indications that the Phillies don't want to go that high. However, if Beltre's price slides - and that's a possibility with his coming off an injury - he could be the Phils' man. Of course, agent Scott Boras will do all he can to make sure his client's price does not slide.
Figgins is considered by many to be the top third baseman on the market, but his asking price, which could start at five years and $50 million, appears to be more than the Phillies want to spend.
My personal choice would be Scott Rolen.
Finally, my personal best quote of the day comes from the general manager of the Mariners. Aren't GM's supposed to be the generals of the team, head strong, non-sensitive and made of steel. As the GM put it about signing Ken Griffey Jr to a one-year deal:
"We're tickled pink that he's decided to come back,'' Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said from the GMs meetings in Chicago. "He was such a positive role model, if you will, for a lot of players. He likes where we're headed and he likes what's going on here. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the greatest player in Seattle Mariners history.''
So the question for today is....Is Ken Griffey Jr. a first-ballot Hall of Famer?