Delusion of the Day: Sheffield and 3,000 hits

Leave a comment

Gary Sheffield joined the 500-homer club earlier this season and said yesterday that his sights are now set on reaching 3,000 hits as well:
I’m going to try to get there. Someone told me I had an outside shot at 3,000. So I said, “Why not?” I wasn’t thinking about it. Then they said not many guys have 500 homers and 3,000 hits. So now I want to try. Why give up when I’m pretty close and when I can still play? When I set my mind to something, I go after it. So I’m ready to sacrifice two more offseasons to get myself into the kind of shape I used to be in when I knew I was going to play every day.
I’m of the belief that Sheffield is one of the most underrated players of the past couple decades and has an excellent Hall of Fame case that includes 509 homers, 253 steals, a .292 batting average, nine All-Star selections, six top-10 MVP finishes, and the 27th-best adjusted OPS+ of the past 50 years. With that said, he has almost zero chance of getting to 3,000 hits.
He has 2,679 right now and will likely get to around 2,700 by season’s end given that he has 64 hits through the Mets’ first 111 games. That would leave him 300 or so hits shy of 3,000, which is a huge number for someone who turns 41 years old in two months and has produced more than 100 hits in just one of the past four seasons. Sheffield’s hit totals over the past four years are 45, 131, 94, and 64.
Even assuming that he somehow boosts that number to around 100 per season going forward–which isn’t usually how the whole aging thing works for guys on the wrong side of 40–Sheffield would likely need to be playing in 2013 at the age of 44. He’s been limited to part-time duty for a Mets team that is decimated by injuries this season, so full-time gigs don’t figure to be in his future.
Great hitter, underrated player, legitimate Hall of Fame case. But almost no chance for 3,000 hits.

Odubel Herrera went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts today

Getty Images
8 Comments

Did you have a bad day? It’s OK. We all do sometimes. It’s just part of life. Even ballplayers have bad days. Even the good ones.

Odubel Herrera is a good one. He’s only 25, but he’s already got two seasons of above average hitting under his belt. Dude gets on base. He could be a regular for tons of teams, so there’s no shame at all in him having a bad day. And boy howdy did he have a bad day today. He went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in the Phillies extra innings win against the Rockies.

“I feel that I am making good swings but I’m just missing the pitches,” Herrera said.

Well, that is how strikeouts work.

Four strikeouts in a game is known as a Golden Sombrero. Players don’t strike out five times in a game very often so they don’t have an agreed upon name, but I’ve seen it referred to as the “platinum sombrero,” which seems pretty solid for such a feat. Six is a titanium sombrero or a double platinum sombrero, though there are references to it as a “Horn,” for Sam Horn, who deserves something to be named in his honor. Horn is like Moe Greene — a great man, a man of vision and guts — yet there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him!

But I digress.

The last time a Phillies player did it was when Pat Burrell K’d five times in September 2008. The Phillies won the World Series that year, of course, so maybe this is an omen. [looks at standings] Or maybe not.

Anyway, get a good night’s sleep tonight, Odubel. Shake it off. Tomorrow is another day.

Rachel Robinson to receive O’Neil Award from the Hall of Fame

Getty Images
3 Comments

NEW YORK (AP) Rachel Robinson will receive the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, the day before this year’s induction ceremony.

She’s the wife of late Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke the major league color barrier in 1947. Rachel Robinson created the Jackie Robinson Foundation in 1973, a year after he husband’s death. Rachel Robinson, who turns 95 in July 19, headed the foundation’s board until 1996.

The O’Neil award was established in 2007 to honor individuals who broaden the game’s appeal and whose character is comparable to that of O’Neil. He played in the Negro Leagues, was a scout for major league baseball teams and helped establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

The award was given to O’Neil in 2008, Roland Hemond in 2011 and Joe Garagiola in 2014.