On Monday night Omar Vizquel tied Luis Aparicio for second all-time in hits by a shortstop. Last night Vizquel said that could very well be the last milestone he hits and that he may very well retire after the season. He’s not yet committing one way or the other, but he did say that “this is probably going to be it.”
If so, nice career. As I said yesterday, not a Hall of Fame career in my mind, but a really, really nice one. Actually, in the comments to yesterday’s Vizquel post my buddy Joe L. more or less captured my thoughts:
As a longtime Friend of the Feather and unabashed Vizquel fan, I feel
qualified to opine that he is plainly NOT a Hall of Famer.
He’s a classic your-favorite-player-as-a-kid ballplayer because he’s
flashy with the leather, hits a little, and, more than anything,
plainly loves playing baseball. Which is infectious and endearing, but
is not necessarily the hallmark of a HOFer (see, e.g, Cobb, Ty).
He’s your #1 inductee into Hall of Very Good and Hall of Fun
Ballplayers and Hall of Quick Middle Infielders, but no more than that. I would love it if he got in, not only because of his days with the
Tribe, but also because I’m a sucker for quick, flashy ballplayers like
Aparicio and Ozzie. Davey Concepcion is my favorite player of all time
for the love of crumbcake. But, frankly, he
shouldn’t be in either.
Which is a crying shame, but it’s not the Hall of Good Guys, and it’s
filled with bums who were much better than Omar and Davey, and that’s
just the way it is.
For the love of crumbcake, indeed.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.