Cliff Lee is ridiculous

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Cliff Lee tossed a complete-game shutout in a 1-0 win over the Reds on Friday night. He scattered six hits while striking out seven and of course, walking none. Incredibly, the left-hander has walked only four batters over 77 2/3 innings this season.

Just to put things in perspective, Daisuke Matsuzaka exceeded Lee’s walk total for the entire season by issuing five free-passes in one inning against the Royals last month. Meanwhile, Lee hasn’t walked a single batter since June 2 against the Twins, a span
of 28 innings.

As we start to inch our way towards the All-Star break, it’s time to start thinking about his chance to make history. After Friday’s brilliant outing, Lee has a ridiculous 16.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio (67/4) through his first 10 starts. There’s still a while to go here, obviously, but if he keeps it up, Lee would be in a stratosphere all by himself. Bret Saberhagen currently holds the all-time record by posting a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 11 (143/13) with the Royals in 1994.

Things might not have went as Jack Z planned this season, but at least Lee’s trade value is increasing by the minute.

BBWAA votes to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning next year

Cooperstown
Associated Press
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In addition to naming the Spink Award winner this morning, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted today to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with next year’s vote for the 2018 induction class.

As of now, writers are encouraged to make their votes public and, if they do, they are placed on the BBWAA website. They are not required to, however, and a great many Hall of Fame voters do not. While ballot secrecy is laudable in politics, the Hall of Fame vote brings with it a fundamentally different set of concerns and sentiment has increasingly favored transparency, as opposed to secrecy when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

While some in opposition to this move may claim that public ballots will only lead to criticism, our view is that if you can’t handle some reasonable criticism over your Hall of Fame ballot, you probably need to get out of the business of making history, which is what voting for the Hall of Fame really is.

The Yankee2 to retire Derek Jeter’2 number next 2ea2on

Derek Jeter
Getty Images
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RE2PECT: The Yankees just announced that they will retire Derek Jeter’s number 2 next season. The ceremony will take place on May 14, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.

With Jeter’s number 2 retired the Yankees will have retired 21 numbers. Twenty-two if you count number 8 twice, given that it was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. They also have retired 42 twice, once for Jackie Robinson, which every team has retired, and once for Mariano Rivera who donned 42 before the league-wide retirement of the number. The Yankees will also have put every single-digit number on the shelf. Except for zero, anyway, which no Yankees player has ever worn.

The retired pinstripes break down as follows:

1 Billy Martin
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra
8 Bill Dickey
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
20 Jorge Posada
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams