My brother is a huge Denver Broncos fan, so last night’s ridiculousness undoubtedly made his week. Must be nice to have your team win a playoff game. I can’t remember what that feels like.

  • Hall of Fame voting results will be unveiled today at 2pm ET on the MLB Network, and the prevailing wisdom has Barry Larkin joining the late Ron Santo on the dais, so to speak, next year.’s writers with votes reveal their ballots, including Carrie Muskat, who votes only for Barry Larkin. If you consider yourself a high-wall Hall of Fame standards person, that’s a defensible decision. Not defensible? Voting for nine people, including Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire, but *not* voting for Jeff Bagwell, as Barry Bloom does. If you’re clearly not bothered by the specter of “character” problems, how on Earth can you justify voting for Palmeiro and McGwire but not Bagwell?
  • Your sporadic non-update on Theo Epstein compensation: Red Sox President Larry Lucchino still insists that the Red Sox are getting a quality player. “We fully believe we are entitled to such compensation,’’ he said, adding that he expects it to happen “this offseason.’’
  • That same Cafardo article makes an interesting, random point, attributed to Bill Chuck, about third basemen Aramis Ramirez and Adrian Beltre: “After 14 big league seasons, third baseman Aramis Ramirez has a .284 lifetime average with 315 homers and 1,122 RBIs, and third baseman Adrian Beltre has a .276 lifetime average with 310 homers and 1,113 RBIs.” Why is it interesting? Beltre is routinely discussed as a possible future Hall of Famer, while no one has plausibly suggested Ramirez as one. Is Beltre’s defense really that much better than Ramirez’s that, with slightly worse offensive numbers, it takes him from good third baseman to Hall of Famer? Maybe so.
  • Paul Sullivan offers his thoughts on some of the panels at the upcoming Cubs Convention, and a general take on what the new front office can expect out of the event.
  • The Cubs have released minor leaguers RHP Gian Guzman, OF Manuel Barrios, and OF Jesus Morelli. Morelli is just 21, and made his way to A-ball last year, but couldn’t put it together offensively. Barrios is an 18-year-old kid who didn’t make it out of Dominican ball last year, and Guzman, 22, hadn’t pitched since 2009.
  • Cardinals’ bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist will step in as the Cardinals’ pitching coach during Dave Duncan’s absence from the team, which could ultimately be permanent.
  • dob2812

    Yeah, Beltre’s considered one of the best defensive third basemen ever, right? He’s sixth on the all time Fangraphs list with over 150 fielding runs. Ramirez is at -39. That minus sign is not a mistake. That’s nearly 200 runs of a difference, or 20 wins, so yeah, that’s a long way towards the difference between a good player and a hall of famer.

    If you go by that measure, of course. But I didn’t think anyone disputed the massive difference between Beltre and Ramirez as fielders.

    • Brett

      No one does. The question was only the matter of degree, which you discussed in the first part of your comment.

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      I don’t think that I have ever seen/heard of Beltre casually strolling down the base path on a pop up or grounder. Or casually gone after a foul that might be out of play. And he has had a lot more range. No comparison in my book to a lazy, non hustling albeit good hitting (although sometimes selective) player like Aram.

  • CubFan Paul

    so Carrie didnt vote for Ronnie?

    • JB88

      She didn’t have a vote for Ronnie. That was a special committee that voted on Santo’s inclusion.

    • Brett

      Is that a joke?

      (Just in case it isn’t, Ronnie (a) is no longer eligible to be selected by the Writers, and (b) has already been voted in by the Golden Era Committee.)

      • CubFan Paul

        sorry, misread the post ..i ran out of coffee filters and i’m hesitant to try the StarBucks VIA instant coffee

  • CubbieFan2

    She didn’t even vote for Lee Smith? Really?

  • Mark

    Any thoughts on what will be the cubs opening day lineup?

  • Toosh

    I think no players will be elected this year.

    • Brett

      Eh. With a weak ballot, and awesome classes coming in the next few years, I think voters are going to give Larkin the benefit of the doubt (if they’ve got a doubt). I think he gets in handily.

      • Toosh

        Good morning, Brett! I’d really like to see Lee Smith get in.

        • Brett

          I’d like to see Smith get in, but I go back and forth on whether he’s worthy. He gets some extra bump for being a forerunner, but his stats don’t blow you away.

  • Kyle

    Adrian Beltre is a serious HOF candidate? I don’t see it.

  • drew

    While his exclusion would be criminal, i think Bagwell gets in eventually. The one i dont understand is Tim Raines. How is this guy not getting more votes?

  • Andy

    I think the arguments for Adrian Beltre show up because he is a plausible candidate to have 3000 hits. He is 32 and has 2033. Still some work to do but it could very well happen. By our current (perceived) standards many HOFers are made in the mid to late 30’s. It is how you finish. Biggio and Molitor come to mind as guys who made the 3000 hits run with longevity. It is an automatic number for a non-juicer.

  • Brian Myers

    I don’t think he’ll get in, but I’m betting on a big Tim Rains bump this year. He was over shadowed by Ricky Henderson and a long stint with the zero media coverage Expos, but I’m seeing him get a lot of “quiet” votes in the mock ballots. I bet he gets over 50% and then drops off the face of the voting Earth the next two+ years with the huge amount of talent coming in.

  • NL_Cubs

    *** Reminder *** HOF Election Announcement is on MLB Network now, 2:00 east

  • ferrets_bueller

    Here’s to hoping  Bagwell rightfully gets in next time around.

    In my mind, neither Beltre nor Aramis should get in.  Or come close.  This is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Very Good.   I can’t look at Beltre as being anywhere near elite at any time, especially if you remove the one outlier year in 2004.

    Especially if you take into account the era in which he played, vs a 3B who barely got in, like Santo.  Santo played in a much more pitching dominated era, and put up numbers that are superior.

  • loyal100more

    bagwell the greatest player ever in the dome!

  • loyal100more

    tim rains steals totals would have been tops in the last 20 years. the greatest basestealer in a league that doesnt have henderson, or coleman in it. not to mention an expo. lets put in rains and maybe big vlad. to go with dawson and i believe gary carter.

  • loyal100more

    in the new era the 3rd base nod my be alot weaker than in past decades but unless beltra and ramierez finish very strong, i wouldnt vote for em.