Omar Vizquel, Babe Ruth, and the all-time hits list

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I’m sure Omar Vizquel fans will be angry about this comparison, but it’s not so much about him as it is me trying to point out the silliness behind acting as if “hits” are a good way to gauge someone’s overall ability as a hitter.

Anyway, yesterday Vizquel notched his 2,871st and 2,872nd career hits, meaning he’s just one hit shy of tying Babe Ruth on the all-time hit list with 2,873.

That’s a helluva accomplishment any way you look at it–particularly for a shortstop with a billion Gold Glove awards–but consider this: Ruth has 2,073 more total bases and 1,029 more times on base while making 2,664 fewer outs than Vizquel.

Not all hits are created equal, walks count for something too, and Babe Ruth was really friggin good.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.