Mel Antonen caught up with Rafael Palmeiro today after the Hall of Fame vote was announced. Palmeiro is understandable disappointed with his vote total. After saying some nice things about Roberto Alomar and saying that he thought he himself would get more support than he did, Palmeiro made an appeal to the voters:
“I hear some voters talk about how they’ll probably vote for Barry Bonds because he was a Hall of Famer before he (allegedly) took steroids. Well, why can’t they do the same thing for me? I had one bad mistake at the end of my career. Voters are putting too much weight on the one incident. I wish they would look at my whole career. If they want, why don’t they use throw out the last season of my career? I would still have Hall of Fame numbers.”
I’m actually kinda skeptical that Bonds will get in the Hall any time soon after he first becomes eligible. The voters drew a line in the sand today: if you’re merely suspected of ‘roiding, less than half of them will vote for you. If you were ever caught, you’re getting less than 20% of the vote. Bonds didn’t test positive, but there’s a mountain of evidence against him and I predict that he’ll be in Mark McGwireland when he comes up for a vote. Maybe 30%, because he was so darn good, but not much more.
As for Palmeiro: good luck thinking that people will change their minds on you, but they won’t.
Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.
Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:
The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a FanGraphs.com metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.
In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.
This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.
Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.
Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:
We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP