Thursday July 17, 2003


Pete Rose E-mail and Thoughts

Bye, Bye, Bobby, Good Bye!

As you all know at this point, yesterday, the Twins traded Bobby Kielty to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for OF Shannon Stewart and a player to be named later.  Apparently, the Blue Jays will also pay Stewart for the rest of the year. Then he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

This move is generally being bashed by people in Minnesota as making no sense.  When I initially found out that the trade had officially been made, it absolutely bugged me.  I really couldnít think of any good reasons to make this deal.  Clearly, GM Terry Ryan has something for Stewart.  Heís been trying to get him for 2 years!

Let me start out by saying this:  Shannon Stewart is a VERY good baseball player.  He can hit.  In 8 major league seasons, his career batting average is .302! He doesnít walk a whole lot, but he also doesnít strike out real often either (by todayís standards).  He is a bona fide leadoff hitter. He certainly doesnít answer any power questions the Twins have. He did hit 21 home runs in 2000, but aside from that, has never had more than 12 homers in a season.  One thing he could give the Twins is a presence on the basepaths. In 1998, Stewart stole 51 bases. In 1999, he stole 37 bases. Since then, his totals have been 20, 27 and 14 stolen bases.  He probably, right now, is a small step above Bobby Kielty.  From a monetary standpoint, the Twins donít have to pay anything for Stewart as the Blue Jays organization is paying him the rest of the year.

Did you know that Shannon Stewart and Doug Mientkiewicz played Little League ball together?

On the other side, however, there are many reasons that this trade makes absolutely no sense:

1.)     Kielty was never given a shot as the Twins leadoff hitter, even though heís got great plate discipline and walks a lot.  In his first of just 2 games as the Twins leadoff man, he reached base 5 times.  Now the Twins are probably going to drop Jacque Jones somewhere between 3 and 6 in the batting order to open the way for Shannon Stewart to lead off.  Clearly Jones isnít a great leadoff hitter and should have been down in the order, in an RBI situationÖ Why didnít the Twins stick with the Kielty in the leadoff position for at least a couple of weeks?

2.)     Defense - Bobby Kielty is a not-very-good defensive right fielder.  Heís not fast. He does have a strong right arm.  As bad as Kielty is, Shannon Stewart is far worse, but with speed.  And now, it appears the Twins will play him in RF, a spot traditionally given to someone with a strong arm.  Stewart has a terrible arm!

3.)     Stewart will only be with the Twins until the end of the season.  He wonít re-sign with the team next season.  Kielty isnít eligible to become a free agent until 2007, and isnít even arbitration-eligible for another year!   Long-term, the Blue Jays are getting a great player, and a player for more than 2 or 3 months.

4.)     This trade did absolutely nothing to make the RF/DH/1B glut any more clear.  All it is really doing is taking at bats away from these players. 

5.)     Shannon Stewart has been struggling with hamstring problems most of this year. Hopefully, he wonít have any more problems with them and remains healthy because if he gets hurt and misses any time, and we gave up Bobby Kielty for nothing from Stewart, this will go down as a terrible trade.

I really hope that Shannon Stewart comes to the Twins and is an instigator that gets the team turned around. I hope his defense is OK. I hope he hits .360 with 12 homers and a bunch of stolen bases. I really hope that when the Twins receive their Player to be Named Later it is a top middle infield or pitching prospect.

Now, from the perspective of the Blue Jays, they have to absolutely be thrilled with this deal.  Kielty can play LF or RF or DH for them, and will probably bat either in front of Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado, or right behind them. With his ability to get on base, he will either score a lot of runs or drive in a lot of runs.

The Moneyball readers have to realize how much the Blue Jays and Aís coveted Bobby Kielty. And, apparently the Blue Jays beat out the Aís in the Kielty bidding war.

So, to summarize:  I really, really donít like this trade at all. I hope Iím wrong and Shannon Stewart proves worthy of Terry Ryanís drool! I just happen to be of the belief that had Bobby Kielty been inserted into the leadoff spot and played every day, his production would have been just as good, if not better, than Stewartís could be.  I hope that Mr. Ryan has something else in the works.  I would also like to be able to ask him a few questions and get real answers, not the dumb answers that say nothing that heís been throwing out there today.

I really, really hope that Bobby Kieltyís career takes off with this opportunity in Toronto.  I think it will.  (And no, Iím not just saying that because I picked him up for my Fantasy team immediately after hearing of the trade).  GOOD LUCK, BOBBY!

For what itís worth, this is better than if they would have got Jeromy Burnitz!

We do know that the Twins probably wonít get Armando Benitez, as he went to the Yankees for 3 pitchers.  Not a bad deal for either team.  The Mets drop some salary and pick up three pitchers.  Benitez will be setting up Mariano Rivera, as well as being some insurance in case Rivera gets hurt again, or needs a game or two off.

For what itís worth, the ratings remained stagnant for the All-Star Game that Counts.  Iím not surprised.  But, Iím sure that Mr. Selig is disappointed!

John Sickels of wrote an article talking about the 2008 All-Stars. He lists a player from each league who has not surpassed rookie eligibility yet.  Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both make the list. Check it out!

Did anyone else watch Sports Center last night?  They showed highlights of the Class AA All-Star game. They showed Futures Game MVP and AA All-Star Grady Sizemore (Indians organization) play the first five innings, then take off and drive to Bristol and edit the highlights of the game. He then ran the highlights into the set, live, and talked with the anchors. Iím sure it was all planned out, that Sizemore didnít actually do the editing, but it was fun!  I also bring this up because New Britain Rock Cat (Twins affiliate) Terry Tiffee had the game winning single in the bottom of the 9th.



Yesterday I wrote that the ďPete Rose TrialĒ on ESPN was supposed to be on last night. Well, I was wrong. It is actually on tonight (Thursday). 

I wrote about my thoughts on Pete Rose being a Hall of Fame player.  I got an e-mail from Corey about that subject. Hereís what he wrote:

Hi Seth

I would have to disagree about Pete Rose. Here is why. Career .303 average. 23 years in the show. 16 of those years over .300. I mean, 23 years alone should almost make him a shoe in. Look at the longevity of most careers?


1. I do agree he should not be allowed in as anything more than a player, and I can see why you would want it on his plaque as to why.  2. If baseball were totally image-oriented like you seem to think, then why would they allow the commissioner to "own a franchise" or his daughter. Gag me!  3. How does that image look when they are the only sport that allows the Mark McGuire performance drugs?  4. The only reason Kirby Puckett is in is his appearance, and I quote a fellow I know and admire, "if the charges that were brought against Kirby recently would have been out before his induction, would he be there now?" 


I think major league baseball has gone the same way the NHL has tried to go. No more of the rough stuff. No violence! Heaven forbid our kids see violence on TV!!  If they were worried about their image, they should allow pitchers to bust hitters in and take control of the plate the way the game was meant to be played.  I mean look at the armor the batters wear. Heck, I could stand on top of plate and make the pitcher groove one! (couldn't hit it, but then again Neither can Guzman).  If they are so image worried, what is with Ques-tec? (not sure I spelled it right) they are trying to take away the human error factor. Look at all the pitchers that are possibly hurting this year because of the smaller strike zone: Maddux? Radke? Moyer is the only one that doesn't fit my theory that I can think of, you?


I will close with this: Kielty for Stewart - what the %$^#&$? That is awful! Who hit the panic button?


Thanks for Listening




 (Adding some more numbers on why Rose should be in the Hall of Fame)

 Pete Rose's Major Records

         All-time Major League record for most career hits-4,256

         All-time Major League record for most games played-3,562

         All-time Major League record for most at bats-14,053

         All-time Major League record for most singles-3,315

         All-time Major League record for most total bases by a switch hitter-5,752

         All-time Major League record for most seasons of 200 or more hits-10

         All-time Major League record for most consecutive seasons of 100 or more hits-23

         All-time Major League record for most seasons with 600 or more at bats-17

         All-time Major League record for most seasons with 150 or more games played--17

         All-time Major League record for most seasons with 100 or more games played-23

         Only player in Major League history to play more than 500 games at five different

         Positions-1B (939) 2B (628) 3B (634) LF (671) RF (595)

         Major League record for playing in the most winning games-1,972

         All-time National League record for most years played-24

         All-time National League record for most consecutive years played-24

         All-time National League record for most career runs-2,165

         All-time National League record for most career doubles-746

         All-time National League record for most games with 5 or more hits-10

         Modern National League record for longest consecutive game hitting streak-44

         Modern National League Record for most consecutive game hitting streaks of 20

         or more games--7

OK, my turn to reply.  As I wrote yesterday, by numbers alone, there is no argument that Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame, BUT thatís not the issue.  The issue is that he has been banned from baseball, which at this point means that the Hall of Fame is not even an option.  Herein lies the issue.  The numbers, all those stats and all those records, donít really matter.  Let me get to your points.

First, no, longevity shouldnít play a role in being a Hall of Famer. Otherwise, Jesse Orosco, Jim Kaat and others with long careers would be Hall of Famers.  Now, Kaat is arguably a Hall of Famer, but is Orosco, just because heís been in the league for about 67 years? Is  365 year old, Julio Franco a Hall of Famer?

(by the way, did anyone notice that 79 year old Minnie Minoso lead off last night for the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League.  He walked and was replaced by a pinch runner.  Minoso made his major league debut in 1949 with 9 games with the Cleveland Indians.  He thought he was done in 1964, but the Chicago White Sox had him play in 3 games with them in 1976 (so he could play in 4 decades).  Then in 1980, he actually got 2 at bats with the White Sox again (5 decades).  He got a professional at bat in an independent league in the Ď90s, and last night, he had a plate appearance with the Saints.  So, heís played professional ball now in 7 decades.  Minoso won 3 Gold Gloves, played in 7 All-Star Games, was Top 10 in MVP voting 5 times, was Top 10 in batting average 8 times, on-base percentage 9 times, slugging percentage 6 times, and OPS 8 times.  Of course, all that happened primarily between 1951 and 1960.)

1.)     Iím glad you agree with me! Thatís always nice to know! 

2.)     I agree. I have no idea how Bud Selig, the owner of the BrewersÖ I mean, the father of the owner of the BrewersÖ can be the commissioner.   Thatís wrong!

3.)     I have no problem with Mark McGwire using Andro when he was playing.  The reason - at the time it was legal.  Until itís illegal, it shouldnít be an issue. That said, it does look really bad when such performance enhancing drugs are legal in baseball, and not in the NBA, NFL, or even the Olympics.

4.)     That must be a wise individual you talked to who asked the question, ďHad Kirby Puckettís divorce and legal issues come out a year earlier, would he have been such a clear first-ballot Hall of Famer?Ē  Because so much of what made him Kirby was his charisma and his ďgood guyĒ personality.  The Hall of Fame isnít about good guys, itís about accomplishment in the game on the field (Ty Cobb).  And again, Pete Roseís on-field accomplishments were definitely Hall of Fame caliber.

The reason Rose shouldnít be a Hall of Famer is because he messed with the integrity of the game.  Sure, major league baseball has had many things happen that wouldnít be a case of strong integrity. For example, drug suspensions, bad personalities, and other issues.  But those issues didnít mess with the actual game, the actual 9 inning game.  If Pete Rose, as a manager bet against his own team, he very easily could have made decisions throughout the game to ensure that his team lost that game.  Pitching changes, questionable steal or bunt attempts, any number of things to make sure that he won money.  So that, is my reason for believing that the lifelong ban on Pete Rose should not be lifted.

Another TV note, I donít want to write much about the ESPYís, but three points:

1.)     Jamie Foxx is hilarious!

2.)     It was the Lebron James show in many ways.  Lebron seemed to be having a lot of fun.  And seeing him presenting an award with Dr. J, Julius Erving, was very cool!

3.)     He presented the award for male college athlete to his friend Carmelo Anthony.  And, I just have to say, Would Carmelo Anthony please stop thanking himself!!?!?!?  That just sounds so terrible. Thankfully, the crowd started laughing, but Anthony didnít really understand, and he continued thanking himself. Wow!

One basketball note - Outside the Lines Nightly last night aired an interview with Dennis Rodman. He really wants to make a final comeback to the NBA. I say Go For It! I know a lot of people donít like Rodman, but he makes things interesting, and personally, Iíd love to see him play again.



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