strupp (madison): Jay. Thanks as always for the chat. Are we about to see a long "drought" of pitchers being elected to the Hall Of Fame because of the change in usage and other factors that prevent pitchers from reaching milestones? Maddux, Glavine, Unit seem locks, Smoltz & Schilling solid, but then what?There was also a Yankees-related question that deserves a separate post, and a Roy Halladay question I'll save for tomorrow, as I've got an ESPN Insider piece in the pipeline.
JJ: About to see a drought? You mean like the one where we haven't seen a starting pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame since 1999, and haven't seen a non-300 winner since 1990? My God, man, the next few years will feel like a flood by comparison.
The current electorate is stuck in the Seventies mindset of pitchers finishing what they started and wins being the top criterion for election. Beyond the 300 winners, it may take another decade of voter turnover before the Schillings and Smoltzes get in.
steveomd (Ohio): Jay, how do the Braves fix their absolute mess of an outfield, now and down the road?
JJ: Start by pulling the ol' switcheroo the next time the traveling secretary hands out plane tickets to Jeff Francoeur and Garret Anderson, maybe something along the lines of a flight to Tijuana via Nova Scotia.
I'd start with the assumption that McLouth should be playing a corner position (does he have the arm for right?), platoon Gregor Blanco and Omar Infante in center, at least until you're satisfied [Jordan] Schafer is ready, and try to find a lefty bat that can match with Matt Diaz in left. And look forward to the day when Jason Heyward is ready (two years?).
Eli (Brooklyn): What are your thoughts on Girardi and Cashman's work this year? Overall I like the duo, but watching Jeter bunt in the 5th inning or Cody Ransom remaining on this team is not very encouraging...
JJ: While I've been a big supporter in the past, Cashman's roster work at protecting A-Rod borders upon total f-ing incompetence. Anybody who rosters Angel Berroa for more than 48 hours deserves to be the GM of the Nationals, and anyone who can't come up with a better alternative than Cody Ransom in the two months since he went on the DL deserves to be the GM of the Astros.
Girardi's done a decent job with the hand he's been dealt. He's finally got a functional bullpen thanks to the work of Hughes and Aceves, he's gotten productive stretches from both Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera, and his failure to rest Rodriguez adequately can be seen as a response to the craptastic options Cashman's provided him with.
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