Tag: Jim Edmonds

Breaking Down the 2016 HOF Ballot Newcomers Headlined by Griffey, Hoffman

The sure thing is present on the ballot.

So are a couple of guys who will spark debates about who was better over the course of their storied careers. There is also a fan favorite with plenty of clips for his highlight reel among the first-timers appearing on Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot.

Baseball’s Hall of Fame released its ballot for 2016 induction Monday, and 15 newcomers are on it along with holdovers such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling and Tim Raines among others.

Ken Griffey Jr. is the no-brainer inductee among the first-time candidates. Closers Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner might not get in on their first try, but both have strong cases for eventual inclusion into the Hall. So does Jim Edmonds, who was not the great all-around player Griffey was but is certainly deserving of his share of votes to accompany his highlight-worthy catches.

Aside from those four ballot newcomers, the Hall of Fame included Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Luis Castillo, David Eckstein, Troy Glaus, Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Jason Kendall, Mike Lowell, Mike Sweeney and Randy Winn.

Some of those players ended their careers as very good major leaguers but not Hall of Fame-worthy ones. A decent number of them could fall off the ballot after one year because they won’t get the necessary five percent of the vote to remain in the running.

While chances are slim for many, Griffey could end up being a nearly unanimous pick. What might hold him back from 100 percent? That would be the second half of his career, which was good—he had a 117 OPS+ in his final 11 seasons—but far from great.

The first 11 campaigns of Griffey’s 22-year career were nothing short of spectacular. He was an All-Star in 10 of those 11 years, missing out only during his rookie season of 1989. He led the American League in home runs four times and hit 398 total. He won the league’s MVP once and finished in the top 10 six other times. He also won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves and seven Silver Slugger awards. 

More intangible things tell us that Griffey helped change the way baseball marketed itself to the general public. His memorable “Griffey In ’96” Nike advertising campaign, which featured him in his signature backward Seattle Mariners cap, was the stuff of marketing legend.

And there was his line of baseball video games for Nintendo, the first of which sold more than one million copies, and his unforgettable guest appearance on The Simpsons’ “Homer at the Bat” episode in 1992.

Those things should not be discounted when considering Griffey’s impact on the sport and especially on an entire generation of baseball fans.

Griffey’s numbers speak for themselves, but he meant more than just his on-field exploits during his prime. His deserving status as a first-ballot Hall of Famer is an easy call.

Hoffman is considered one of the best closers to ever pitch a ninth inning. His 601 saves, 2.87 ERA and 141 ERA+ speak to how effective he was. He also had nine seasons of at least 40 saves.

Hoffman will almost certainly get into the Hall of Fame eventually, but a few things are working against his getting in on the first ballot. First, he was not very good when the stage was at its biggest, as he blew two of his six career playoff save opportunities, had a loss in another game and blew the save and took the loss in a Game 163 loss to the Colorado Rockies in 2007.

Second, Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters typically have a more difficult time evaluating relievers more than any other position. Hoffman knows that will make things tough.

“There’s going to be that group [of voters] that won’t vote for somebody in their first year,” Hoffman told MLB.com’s Barry Bloom in a recent interview. “Is that going to be indicative of where the vote goes after that? I don’t know. Then there’s another group that doesn’t know how to handle relief pitchers. There are no guarantees.”

A third thing stifling Hoffman’s first-ballot chances is Wagner’s presence. He was the more dominant closer, though he did not have the counting stats Hoffman accumulated—most notably saves. Wagner had 422. 

Despite trailing Hoffman by 179 saves, Wagner had a better ERA (2.31), a lower opponents’ slash line (.187/.262/.296 against Hoffman’s .211/.267/.342) and a higher strikeout rate per nine innings (11.9 against Hoffman’s 9.4). Wagner also had a better end to his career, posting a 1.43 ERA, 275 ERA+ and 13.5 strikeouts per nine in his final season.

This gives Wagner a strong case for Hall of Fame election, though he is highly unlikely to make it on the first ballot. Working against him, aside from his status as a reliever, is that Wagner had similar results to Hoffman in the postseason with his 10.03 ERA in 11.2 innings.

Edmonds is the second-best position player of the newcomers. Some voters like longevity; others look at a player’s prime seasons as a better gauge of his greatness, and Edmonds appeals in both categories, for the most part.

In the five seasons from 2000 to 2004, Edmonds was truly great. Aside from being an elite defensive center fielder, he had a .298/.410/.593 slash line, a 1.003 OPS, 181 home runs and 157 OPS+. He also averaged 6.4 wins above replacement, per Baseball-Reference.com, and 6.8 WAR, according to FanGraphs, per season during that span.

That is a small sample of campaigns, but from 1995 through 2005, Edmonds ranks third in FanGraphs’ WAR behind Bonds and Alex Rodriguez with 58.8. That makes Edmonds’ Hall of Fame case quite impressive, though his chances at inclusion after one year on the ballot still seem slim as increasing votes for some of the holdovers and the 10-player voting limit may hold down his total.

This ballot is loaded with Hall of Fame-worthy talent, but the performance-enhancing drug issue still clouds the voting and probably will not allow for more than Griffey and maybe Piazza this time around. However, of the first-timers on this ballot, the aforementioned four players have the strongest cases.

Now we wait to see how the voting pool swings when results are announced January 6.


All quotes, unless otherwise specified, have been acquired first-hand by Anthony Witrado. Follow Anthony on Twitter @awitrado and talk baseball here.

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Jim Edmonds Bashes Cincinatti Reds Doctors, Brandon Phillips in Radio Interview

Apparently, Jim Edmonds didn’t exactly have the time if his life after joining the Reds last season.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, in an interview with a St. Louis radio station, he opened up a bit about what he thought of the Reds organization and how he regrets coming to Cincinnati. He also throws a verbal jab at Brandon Phillips.

Edmonds said, “They have a bunch of good guys…other than that one situation (fight with the Cardinals) and that one player (Phillips).”

Phillips replied via Twitter, but did not take any shots, even though he implied there were plenty to be taken.

Edmonds also whined about his foot injury.

He said, “It’s really frustrating. I don’t know the words to use towards the Cincinnati doctors.”

Give me a break.

Edmonds also said there were a few guys with chips on their shoulders and that the worst thing he did was accept the trade “for Walt.”

The worst thing Reds fans had to do was pretend to root for this jerk.

Are you in Reds Country?

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Future Hall-Of-Famer Retires: Reflecting on Jim Edmonds’ Career

Center fielder and Cardinal great Jim Edmonds is retiring. After deciding his injury is too severe to risk a comeback, the eight-time Gold Glove winner is retiring as a member of the team he is most associated with. It’s a shame, too, as he was very productive last year with the Brewers and Reds

Nevertheless, as with all retiring greats, talk now moves to Edmonds’ chances to make the Hall of Fame. And if you don’t think of Edmonds as a good choice for the Hall, you may want to reconsider.

His straight counting stats do not immediately jump out as Hall of Fame numbers; he only reached 393 home runs and 1949 hits. His .284 batting average may also seem lackluster.

However, there is much more to these facts than meets the eye.

For example, as Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk notes, Edmonds compares quite well to center fielders already in the Hall.

Only seven center fielders have 350 or more home runs and most of those are considered legends. In some cases, they are even recognizable by one name: Mays, Griffey, Mantle, Dimaggio and Snider. The only other player on that list is active outfielder Andruw Jones.

Additionally, his offensive case is strengthened by 998 career walks and 3615 total bases, giving him a .376 on-base percentage and a .527 slugging percentage. His .903 on-base plus slugging is already remarkable; when accounting for league and home park, Edmonds had an OPS+ of 132, meaning he was 32% better than an average hitter over the entire course of his career. That ties him with Hall members Joe Morgan, Al Simmons and Tony Gwynn, and puts him ahead of Rod Carew (131), Wade Boggs, Roberto Clemente, Dave Winfield (all 130), Eddie Murray and Carl Yastrzemski (129), to name a few.

Of course, his offense is only part of his case, as Edmonds is also noted for his incredible defense.

Over his career, he won eight Gold Gloves and was a nightly fixture on Web Gems. More advanced stats agree on his defensive reputation; for example, Total Zone has that Edmonds saved 91 runs over the course of his career with his glove, the equivalent of over nine wins. And this came while manning a demanding position (most analysis has center field roughly on level with third base for difficulty to field, with both just after second base).

As an all-around player, Edmonds is definitely worthy.

One final note; a newer stat, Wins Above Replacement or WAR, encompasses a player’s offense, defense and position to determine roughly how many wins they are worth to their team.

60 WAR is usually where a player enters into the Hall of Fame discussion, and 70 WAR is usually where players are considered a lock for Cooperstown. Edmonds has 68.3 career WAR, putting him in a virtual tie with Hall members Luke Appling, Brooks Robinson, Tony Gwynn, Duke Snider, and Carlton Fisk and contemporaries Manny Ramirez, Ivan Rodriguez and Barry Larkin.

In fact, Edmonds has a serious claim as seventh-best center fielder in baseball history. Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, and Joe Dimaggio are all clearly better. After them, Edmonds and Snider are neck and neck (Snider was the better hitter, but Edmonds was easily the superior fielder). 

As a Cardinals fan, Edmonds brought an excitement to the game through his excellence in every part of the game.

Hopefully, in five years, the BBWAA will realize this and make the right choice.

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Say It Ain’t So Jimmy Baseball!: Should-Be Hall Of Famer Jim Edmonds Retires

Outfielder Jim Edmonds has announced his retirement from baseball after 17 major league seasons. The 40-year-old signed a minor-league deal with the Cardinals with an invite to training camp, but he felt that the progress he was making from offseason Achilles surgery was not where he wanted to be at this point in time.

St. Louis team doctors told Edmonds the injury was so severe that he would not be medically cleared to play, and he could hurt himself even more.

It’s a shame, really, because “Hollywood” remained a very productive player last season, even after sitting out all of 2009. He hit .276 with a .342 OBP and .504 slugging percentage in 272 plate appearances for the Brewers and Reds.

“Although I feel that I can still play and contribute, the risk of permanent injury is too much for me to chance,” he said. “As much as I regret this announcement, I feel that it is for the best.”

Jimmy Baseball left a long-lasting, positive impression on baseball, and without question will go down as one of the greatest center fielders in the history of Major League Baseball. He should also be a future Hall of Famer.

“He was just an unbelievable clubhouse presence and an unbelievable player—the best center fielder I’ve ever seen. He had that extra level,” said Chris Carpenter.

While Edmonds has never won an MVP award, his numbers speak volumes about his rare ability at the dish. The four-time All-Star finishes with a career .284 batting average, a .376 OBP, a .527 slugging percentage and a .902 OPS, to go along with 1,949 hits, 1,251 runs, 393 home runs, 1,199 RBIs and 998 walks.

It’s rare to see someone reach the 400 home run club, but Edmonds’s near-1,000 walks showed how he was so great at just getting on base. In fact, he has a higher OPS and more homers than recent Hall of Fame inductee Jim Rice, but his numbers are incredible when comparing him to fellow position players.

Most importantly, however, he has a World Series ring (Cardinals, 2006) as well as eight Gold Gloves, the third most of any center fielder all-time. Whether it was robbing Brad Ausmus in Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS or making what is simply known as “The Catch” at Kauffman Field (or even his walk-off homer in Game 6 of the 2004 NLCS), “Lassie” is unquestionably one of the greatest defensive players to ever play the game.

Like many great players, Edmonds’s career was shortened because of injuries from making defensive plays. The aggressive outfielder often ran into walls and made extremely difficult catches, often with his trademark back-to-the-infield run with his head in the air looking for the ball. These highlight reel catches began back when he was a California Angel, but he didn’t truly cement himself as one of the all-time greats until he became a St. Louis Cardinal.

“He had an unbelievable career. He was just a great personality with tremendous baseball talent,” said John Mozeliak. “He could fill a highlight reel. The impact he had during his tenure here—we won a lot of baseball games. He was a key part of that. His legacy with the St. Louis Cardinals will end up being in line when you think about historic names.”

Edmonds is one of just seven center fielders in baseball history with more than 350 homers—the others are Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, Andruw Jones, Duke Snider and Joe DiMaggio. He also ranks among the top 10 center fielders of all time in RBIs, walks, slugging percentage, OPS and extra-base hits.

Add it all up and Wins Above Replacement (WAR) on Baseball-Reference.com places Edmonds as 68.3 wins better than a replacement-level center fielder for his career, which is the seventh-highest total of all-time, where he sits between Griffey (78.5 WAR) and Snider (67.5).

Ultimately, if you believe the Hall of Fame should probably include the 10 best center fielders in baseball history (it should), then it needs to make room for Jim Edmonds.

“Jimmy was amazing out there. I always said, I don’t think there could be any better center fielder to read the ball better than Jimmy,” said Albert Pujols. “He always tried to make everyone around him better. That’s why he won so many Gold Gloves out there.”

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Jim Edmonds Calls It Quits After Achilles Injury Risks Long Term Problems

After 17 seasons, Jim Edmonds decided to call it a career. Edmonds, 40, agreed to a Minor League contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, but his Achilles tendon injury wouldn’t allow him to go any further with his career.

“Although I feel that I can still play and contribute, the risk of permanent injury is too much for me to chance,” said Edmonds. “As much as I regret this announcement, I feel that it is for the best.”

Edmonds played for six ball clubs that included the Angles, Cardinals, Padres, Cubs, Brewers, and Reds. He didn’t just have a regular career but a good career. Throughout his career, the four time All-Star won eight Gold Gloves and a World Series. He was most known for his skills with the glove in the outfield with his amazing catches, like the diving Willie Mays type catch in centerfield just to name one example.

I’m sure many of you have seen most of his catches live at the game, on TV, or on the internet. One thing is for sure, Edmonds was a fun guy to watch in the field. He’s never won an MVP, but to a lot of us, we’ll agree that he was one of the most exciting outfielders in the game to watch.

Not only was he a terrific fielder, but he was a great hitter as well. He retires after 2,011 games with a .284 batting average, 1,199 RBIs, 1,251 runs scored, only seven home runs shy of 300, and 51 hits shy of 2,000. They aren’t exactly Stan Musial numbers, but fans are just as thankful for what “Jimmy Ballgame” has done for their respected  organizations. Edmonds may not make the Hall Of Fame, but he still had a great career. As one can say, he can ride out in the sunset a champion.

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Jim Edmonds Signs Minor League Deal with St. Louis Cardinals

Jim Edmonds has decided to play in 2011 in what will be his 18th big league season and ninth with the Cardinals. 

Edmonds agreed to a minor league deal yesterday with the Cards and received an invitation to spring training.

Despite earlier rumors that Edmonds was seriously considering retirement, the 40-year-old is returning to the place where he made a name for himself from 2000 to 2007.

In my previous article about Edmonds, I highlighted his fantastic career and all of his major accomplishments. However, he is very close to a few milestones. 

He definitely has something to motivate him this season. He is just seven home runs shy of 400 for his career and 51 hits shy of 2,000. Now, neither of these numbers are the benchmark for Hall of Fame voting, but they are impressive milestones all the same.

We also can’t overlook the fact that he may just be returning so he can retire as a Cardinal. Whether it be during spring training, the regular season or after the season, he will be retiring as a Cardinal.

Edmonds is fourth on the career Cardinals home run list with 241, leads the franchise in postseason RBI with 41, and postseason games played with 61. Edmonds is a fan favorite and one of the great all-time Cardinals, so choosing to return is a smart decision.

This one-year deal does nothing to affect his Hall of Fame chances. Assuming he makes the team and reaches both of the aforementioned milestones, it could even help his cause. 

He may have lost a step or two in the outfield over the past few seasons, but he still brings the glove to the park every single game. He’ll be playing all three outfield positions this summer, and even spelling Albert Pujols every so often at first base.

“Jimmy Ballgame” is back and motivated, but his career won’t be lasting too much longer.

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10 Actors Who Could Play MLB Players in a Movie

Have you ever looked at an actor and thought how much he looked like a baseball player, football player or boxer?

Some bear such striking resemblances to a sports star that it is almost freaky.

I know in the movie Billy Crystal did for HBO called “*61”, I was overwhelmed with how much Barry Pepper looked like Roger Maris. It was just incredible.

That got me to thinking about which stars looked quite a bit like which actor.

Take a look with me and see if you agree about the resemblance.

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Jim Edmonds and His Top Five Defensive Plays (With Video)

When Jim Edmonds retires, he will go down as one of the best defensive center fielders.

For six MLB teams, the eight-time Gold Glove Award winner has made SportsCenter top plays that dazzled viewers and closed out victories.

Opposing players and teammates alike stared on in disbelief. Diving catches became a regular occurrence for the long-time Angel and Cardinal.

At 40 years old, Fullerton, Calif. believes he still has baseball left in him.

With the Cincinnati Reds pushing toward an NL Central title, they traded for Edmonds and hope he can provide veteran leadership and experience.

In honor of the recent move, here are five of his top defensive plays.

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Jim Edmonds: Reds Trade Chris Dickerson For Edmonds

Walt Jocketty, once again, has reached back into his past and grabbed a veteran to bring into the Cincinnati Reds organization.  This time, he has traded away Chris Dickerson to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jim Edmonds. 

Edmonds, now playing for his seventh Major League ballclub in his 16th year as a major leaguer, was hitting .286 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 73 games for the Brewers.

Dickerson only played in 20 games for the Reds before going on the disabled list, but in his rehab assignment, he killed the ball in his 13 games at AAA Louisville, batting .442 (19-for-43).

In losing Dickerson, the Reds gave up a promising prospect who had some pretty good numbers while playing in 128 games over the last two seasons. He batted .283 during that span.

In return, the Reds get another proven veteran to help in the outfield, but one who has definitely seen his best years go past him. 

This move suggests that the Reds are content to keep Stubbs and Bruce in the lineup, and keep Heisey and Edmonds waiting in the wings to spell them when they falter again…or if they continue to falter, depending on how you look at it.

While I appreciate the experience Edmonds will bring to the team as the Reds make a push to the playoffs, I have to wonder if the price was too steep and how much gas is left in Edmonds’ 40 year old gas tank to make the difference when he’s called on to make that difference.

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Jim Edmonds: Cincinnati Reds Get Edmonds for Playoff Run

Not to pat myself on the back, but on Saturday I wrote a story asking some questions as to what the Reds might do to aid their efforts to secure a playoff spot or even win the National league Central.

One of those questions was whether or not they would find another talent bat to assist in their offensive onslaught and today Cincinnati traded Outfielder Chris Dickerson for veteran slugger Outfielder Jim Edmonds from Milwaukee. It’s a good move, though I would not call it Earth shattering.


Dickerson has been injured for the vast majority of the year and didn’t have much impact when he was on the field. Edmonds, who is 40 years of age, may not get around as well as he used to but does have a big bat that is alive and kicking.

I like the fact the deal for the former Cardinal is done just in time to play, who else, the Cardinals in a much anticipated match up for the N-L Central lead. For the most part, I call this a move to show the Reds that there is more to this season than just coming back to life after ten years of slumber.

It’s a move to make sure Cincinnati understands the power of their situation and the amount of work they still have to do. I like it.

Edmonds, welcome aboard and make sure you keep that mindset we’ve been all too familiar with in the past. Its all down hill from here folks, grab a beer and enjoy the ride.

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