Roger Maris is not a Hall of Famer

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After McGwire started talking you just knew this was coming:

If nothing else, Maris should at least have a spot in the Hall of Fame . . . Maris doesn’t have incredible career numbers — 275 homers and 851
RBIs in 12 seasons — but a few things stand out other than the 61
homers in ’61. Maris won consecutive American League MVP awards, in
1960 and ’61. He was a star performer on five consecutive
pennant-winning Yankee teams, 1960 through ’64. He appeared in seven
World Series, more than any other player in the 1960s. He won a Gold
Glove. He was a four-time All-Star, a two-time RBI champion. He had six
20-homer seasons and three 30-homer seasons. He drove in 100 runs three
times.

Please. Roger Maris had two great seasons — although it’s worth noting that in both 1960 and 1961 Maris was not even the best player on his own team — a couple other good ones, and a lot of innocuousness in a short and otherwise pedestrian career.  If you put him in the Hall of fame you are essentially saying that overall career value doesn’t matter, and then you’re inducting guys like Dwight Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela, Tony Conigliaro and Bob Horner. I think Magglio Ordonez has a better Hall of Fame case than Maris, and I won’t ever be in the induct-Magglio camp.

This is not to say that Roger Maris isn’t worthy of recognition. Indeed, he’s been recognized plenty, both in the museum portion of the Hall of Fame and by biographers, filmmakers and just about every Baby Boom-vintage sportswriter that grew up within 200 miles of New York.

But even those guys decided that he wasn’t worthy of a plaque, and just because someone screwed with his legacy after he died doesn’t make him any more worthy of the Hall of Fame than he was before.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.