Tim Raines is not going to be on the list of names (er, probably name) when the Hall of Fame inductees are announced on Monday. But as we’ve argued over and over again around here, he should be. But he has time. Like Bert Blyleven, it will take some years and some persuading and eventually — hopefully — the voters will see the light.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle has seen the light. And I want to highlight it just so that the anti-Raines camp can’t do what so many anti-Blyleven types used to do and claim that it was just a cabal of deranged bloggers who pushed his candidacy. The part I want to highlight is this:
Hall of Fame leadoff hitter Lou Brock, whose career steals crown was swiped by Henderson, reached base fewer times than Raines (3,833) and had a lower on-base percentage (.343) and lower stolen-base success rate (75.3 percent). In fewer plate appearances, Raines had more homers and RBIs.
As Shea notes, Raines suffers because he wasn’t Rickey Henderson. Well, duh, no one was except Rickey Henderson. He is in the inner-circle of the inner-circle of all-time greats. But Lou Brock is a Hall of Famer too. And if there’s room for him in Cooperstown, there has to be room for Raines too, doesn’t there?
Yasiel Puig made a public appearance today. He was a guest barista at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Los Angeles as part of a charity . . . thing. I dunno. I just hope that, after finishing the foam on someone’s latte he airmailed it past his fellow barista at the counter and got it to the customer on the fly 300 feet away, after which he flipped the espresso machine. Gotta stay on-brand.
After that he talked about baseball. Puig, who was demoted last season and then brought back up in a part-time role, said that it’s his goal to be a starter again, if not in Los Angeles than someplace else. As for the someplace else, the Dodgers explored a Puig trade last season and it was thought they’d try again this offseason, but it’s been all quiet on that front.
What is Puig, for his part, doing to become a starter again? Getting in shape. From MLB.com:
Puig has been working out at Dodger Stadium the last two weeks. He is conditioning his leaner body to avoid injuries that have plagued him and working with batting coaches in search of regaining the impact bat that once had him on the verge of superstardom . . . The 6-foot-2 Puig, who last year was listed at 240 pounds, now has a personal chef to prepare healthier foods.
A leaner Puig. That’ll certainly be a game-changer, right?
Yet as a new season dawns, the team still hopes he can recapture the form he displayed as a rookie in 2013. The organization asked Puig to slim down and focus on durability rather than musculature. Friedman sounded pleased with the result. Puig had suggested he weighed about 240 pounds, down 15 from his listed weight in 2015.
Oops. That was from January 30, 2016.
If he keeps getting leaner each offseason eventually he’ll just disappear, right?
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.