Over at Baseball Prospectus Jay Jaffe runs down the best players not in the Hall of Fame by position. At least the first half of them (this is the first part of a series).
It’s a maddening list so far. Not so much for the first name listed — in many cases they are players like Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio who will almost certainly make it soon — but for the second. Guys like Bobby Grich, Dick Allen and Ted Simmons who never got a real hard look by the Hall of Fame voters.
Oh, and Darrell Evans? My god that dude was good. And I bet if you asked 100 baseball fans under 30 if they knew who he was, the low percentage of affirmative answers would drive you to despair. Or at least me.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.