Twitter questions are tomorrow, but I got a random one thrown my way about five minutes ago by reader BioInFocus:
When was the last time a team won the World Series without having a future Hall of Famer on the roster?
Obviously that’s hard to answer given that, you know, the best players in a World Series tend to be in their prime, so we don’t know if they’ll fall off a cliff, Dale Murphy-style or if they’ll have a standard career arc that takes them in to Cooperstown. So, I look at the 2010 Giants and I can say that, sure, it’s possible Tim Lincecum might make the Hall of Fame one day, but it’s obviously way too early to say.
Before that I look at the 2008 Phillies. Jimmy Rollins could make it. Too early to tell with a guy like Cole Hamels. I dare not mention Ryan Howard lest we get another 350 comment thread. I don’t think there are any dead-certain locks there, but you can’t discount the idea that someone from that team makes it into the Hall. (UPDATE: Duh, I forgot Utley, who may have the best case of all of them when it’s all said and done).
Going to 2007, Manny Ramirez should be an easy lock for the Hall, but PEDs and his general flakiness will probably keep him out for a while. David Ortiz will be an interesting case. PEDs and affability are a whole other story, after all. If there’s controversy for him it will be over whether a DH should be in with his numbers.
The 2005 White Sox are also interesting. Frank Thomas was on that team, but he didn’t play in the World Series, so maybe he doesn’t count? Paul Konerko is going to get some Hall of Fame support, though, so we can’t be sure.
If we’re going with dead certainty, I suppose we have to say the 2002 Angels. There really isn’t a guy on that roster with a colorable case at all if you ask me.
Update (11:09 PM EDT):
From unlucky to lucky, the Cardinals maintained their position in the National League Wild Card race with walk-off victory over the Reds on Thursday night.
The Cardinals went into the top of the ninth with a 3-2 lead over the Reds, but saw the game tied when Scott Schebler dribbled a two-strike, two out ground ball down the third base line. It seemed as if the baseball gods had turned their backs on the Cardinals.
In the bottom of the ninth against reliever Blake Wood, Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk. Randal Grichuk then struck out, leaving all of the Cardinals’ hopes on Yadier Molina. Molina went ahead 2-0 in the count, then ripped a 95 MPH fastball to left field. The ball bounced high and over the left field fence for what seemed like an obvious ground-rule double. Carpenter motored around third base and scored the winning run.
The Cardinals poured onto the field in celebration and the umpires walked off the field. Manager Bryan Price wanted to have the play reviewed, but when he went onto the field, the umpires were nowhere to be found. Price chased after them but to no avail. As the Cardinals left the field and the stadium emptied, the Reds remained in the dugout. The Reds’ relievers were left in a bit of purgatory, standing aimlessly in left field after exiting the bullpen. Finally, the game was announced as complete over the P.A. system at Busch Stadium. The results are great if you’re a Cardinals fan, but terrible if you’re a Mets or Giants fan.
As Jon Morosi points out, the rules clearly state that the signage above the fence in left field is out of the field of play. The umpires got it wrong.
Price, however, also took too long to speak to the umpires. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
If this happened between two teams playing a meaningless game, it would’ve been a lot easier to swallow, but Thursday’s Reds-Cardinals game had implications on not only the Cardinals’ future, but the Mets’ and Giants’ as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went 0-for-4 during Thursday’s win against the Phillies, snapping his hitting streak at 30 games. It marked the longest hitting streak of the 2016 season. Freeman’s streak of 46 consecutive games reaching base safely ended as well.
The longest hitting streak in Atlanta Braves history belongs to Dan Uggla, who hit in 33 consecutive games in 2011. Tommy Holmes hit in 37 straight for the Boston Braves in 1945.
During his hitting streak, Freeman hit .384/.485/.670 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 136 plate appearances. That padded what were already very strong numbers on the season. After Thursday’s game, Freeman is overall batting .306/.404/.572 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI< and 101 runs scored in 677 plate appearances.