The Baseball Report Volume IV Issue 6
From The Editor,
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Chuck Finley...the Missing Piece??? by Chris Ricker
Ever since the miracle season of 1995, Indians fans have been looking for the "missing piece" to the puzzle; that last piece that would propel them from the ranks of contention to their first world title since 1948. With an explosive offense and a gold glove defense, all that appeared to be holding the Tribe back was that one "stud," a number one starter.
Year-after-year passed with such big name pitchers as Randy Johnson and David Wells "on the block," only for John Hart to balk at pulling the trigger finger that could solve the Indians post-season pitching woes. At the trading dealine of the 1999 season, it was rumored the Indians were lobbying hard for the services of Chuck Finley in a deal with the Anaheim Angels. Once again John Hart failed to make the deal, and the Indians once again collapsed in the post season in one of the worst post season pitching performances in the history of Major League Baseball. Finally in the 1999-2000 offseason, the Indians were able to make a deal for the free-agent Chuck Finley that would bring the successful left-hander and proclaimed "Yankee Killer" to the shores of Lake Erie. So the big question is...is Chuck Finley the answer???
Well, with a career ERA of 3.72 Finley is not quite in the league of a Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, or Greg Maddux. However, in a league with extremely watered down pitching, Finley brings a reliable left-handed arm to an ever-improving Indians rotation. Nestled between Indians young ace Bartolo Colon and veteran Charles Nagy, Finley is the first left handed starter the Indians have had in their rotation since Greg Swindell in the early 90's. Finley has a lifetime record of 16-7 vs. the New York Yankees, a trend that Indians fans hope Finley will bring with him to the "north coast." So far in this 2000 campaign, Finley is 1-0 with a 3.66 ERA, and after a rocky start in Baltimore, he has recorded 23 strikeouts in his last two outings.
So the question still remains...is Chuck Finley the answer? Well, in and of himself, probably not. However, with two young guns in Colon and Jaret Wright, and a consistent double-digit winner in Nagy, Finley brings an experienced left-handed arm that should help this ever improving Indians staff become one of the best in the American League, not to mention a little more reliable come those cool October evenings.
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An Inside Look At The Game's Top 5 by Lance Kaminsky
In baseball, just like in any sport, there are players whose talent and ability exceed the norm. They can perform in the clutch both offensively and defensively. Here are my five picks for the best baseball players in the game today.
1. Pedro Martinez- In recent years, Martinez has been a dominant
pitcher. His win and strikeout totals are comparable to the best pitchers in history.
Winning the CY Young last year, Pedro Martinez went 23-4 with 313 strikeouts, a career high. Aside from his first season, Martinez never had a losing record. His career ERA of 2.81 is significantly less than any pitcher, even in though he pitches in this decade of offense. Martinez has also proven that he can perform in the clutch. In his playoff performances last season, he went undefeated and shut down the Cleveland and Yankee hitters, two of the best hitting teams in the game.
2. Ken Griffey Jr.- The only player at present who can break Hank
Aaron's home run record is Griffey. Totaling 401 homeruns, and batting
.298 in his career, Griffey is putting up incredible numbers every year. Griffey is the real deal, and shows no signs of slowing.
3. Greg Maddux- Maddux's numbers are comparable to anyone's in
baseball history. His ERA of 2.81 is the same as Pedro Martinez. He has 223 career wins, with CY Young awards and Gold Gloves. He took
the Braves to the World Series three times. Though not as menacing as pitchers like Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux skillfully controls batters using finesse. A certain Hall of Famer, Maddux has what it takes to bring the Braves to a few more World Series.
4. Barry Bonds- I had to put Barry Bonds in this list due to
the phenomenal numbers he has put up in his career. He has a career average of .288, with 450 homeruns, and 461 stolen bases. No other player in history has this many homeruns with this many stolen bases. He was named player of the decade for the 90's.
5. Alex Rodriguez- This was a tough choice, but Alex Rodriguez is
putting up some of the biggest numbers ever for a shortstop. He has
played for about 5 years, and is averaging 38 homeruns, 119 RBI's and
batting .309 per 162 games played. Alex is also a very good defensive shortstop. Even last year when he missed 33 games due to injury, he had 42 homeruns.
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That's all for this issue.
Till next time,
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