Texas Tiger Trivia Question

I think you'd have trouble using the internet to answer this one:

Two of the top five all-time home-run hitters born in Texas were at some point in their careers Detroit Tigers. Who were they?

In case the question is a bit confusing: rank Texas natives for hitting MLB homers. Two of the top five are Tigers. #1 is Frank Robinson (born in Beaumont) with 586, #2 is Ernie Banks (born in Dallas) with 512, #4 is Adam Dunn (Houston) with 406.  

2nd Base??

The Comissioner said something about each of us tackling a position.  He is so organized and has stats and research to back up what he says.  Me?  I go with gut instinct.  The season saw many 2nd basemen.  Brandon Inge (gave up 3rd for the MVP) before he was banished to Oakland, Ryan Rayburn before he was banished to parts unknown, Ramon Santiagop - a steady back up.  And then my mind went blank.  For the life of me I could not remember who the 2nd baseman was.  What does that tell ya?  It tells me that whoever the heck it is could be expendable.  I cheated and found out that it was Omar Infante.  He was just OK in my book.  He was one of the few hitters in the World Series (.316).  Could we live with him in 2013 - sure.  Is there somebody else out there?  I don't know.  32 days till pitchersand catchers report!!

Hall of Fame: No Players Elected for First Time Since 1996 (Morris 67.7%, Trammell 33.6%)

A winning candidate did not emerge from the Hall of Fame balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and verified by Ernst & Young. There were 569 ballots cast, the third highest total in the history of the voting, but none of the 37 candidates in the 2013 vote gained mention on the required 75 percent for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Craig Biggio, who totaled 3,060 hits and was a seven-time All-Star while playing three positions (catcher, second base, outfield), topped the ballot with 388 votes – 39 shy of the 427 needed for election. His total reflected 68.2 percent of the electorate, which consists of BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage. Five blank ballots were among those submitted. Other players named on more than half the ballots were pitcher Jack Morris with 385 (67.7 percent), first baseman Jeff Bagwell with 339 (59.6), catcher Mike Piazza with 329 (57.8) and outfielder Tim Raines with 297 (52.2).

Commenting on the election, Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said, “The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936. We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide.”

This is the eighth election by the BBWAA that did not produce a Hall of Famer and the first since 1996. That year, the top three vote getters were Phil Niekro (68.3), Tony Perez (65.7) and Don Sutton (63.8). All were subsequently elected; Niekro in 1997, Sutton in 1998 and Perez in 2000. The other BBWAA elections without a winner were in 1945, 1946, 1950, 1958, 1960 and 1971.

Biggio and Piazza were each on the ballot for the first time, Morris for the 14th year, Bagwell the third and Raines the sixth. Players remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in any year. There were 19 candidates who failed to make the cut this year (29 votes) – 18 of the 24 players who were on the ballot for the first time, plus outfielder Bernie Williams, who was on the ballot for the second time. First-year candidates who received sufficient support to remain in addition to Biggio and Piazza were pitchers Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens and outfielders Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Outfielder Dale Murphy, in his 15th and final year on the ballot, received 106 votes (18.6).

Other holdovers that will remain on the ballot in addition to Biggio, Morris, Bagwell, Piazza and Raines are first basemen Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Rafael Palmeiro; pitcher Lee Smith; shortstop Alan Trammell; designated hitter-third baseman Edgar Martinez and outfielder Larry Walker.

As part of the Induction Weekend ceremony Sunday, July 28, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., in which three Pre-Integration Committee electees – umpire Hank O’Day, New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and 19th-century player Deacon White – will be inducted, the Hall of Fame will recognize 12 individuals previously counted among its roster of members who never had a formal induction due to wartime restrictions. They are BBWAA electees Lou Gehrig (1939) and Rogers Hornsby (1942), along with the entire class of 1945 selected by the Committee on Old Timers: Roger Bresnahan, Dan Brouthers, Fred Clarke, Jimmy Collins, Ed Delahanty, Hugh Duffy, Hughie Jennings, King Kelly, Jim O’Rourke and Wilbert Robinson. Paul Hagen, the J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner for baseball writing, and the late Tom Cheek, the Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting, will be honored during the Awards Presentation Saturday, July 27, at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.

Max Scherzer, he's our man

When I set out to write this, my opinion of Scherzer was "good middle of the rotation starter, but I hope he didn't just have a career year in 2012."

A wee bit of research shows I am wrong (what's new there, wifie tells me I'm wrong daily.) Last season statistically was reflective of his 5 year career.

His ERA was 3.74, while his career total is only 3.88. He won a career-high 16 games, no doubt aided by the lusty hitting support he received.

It just seemed to me he was far more dominant last year than ever before.

But wait...

Maybe some of you Sabrematricians can help me here.  His WAR (Wins Above Replacement) jumped to 4 last year, compared to 1.1 in 2011.

(WAR for pitchers is defined at baseball-reference.com as "A single number that the player added to the team above what a replacement player (think AAA or AAAA would add.) This value includes defensive support and and includes additional value for high leverage situations. Scale: 8+ MVP quality; 5+ All Star quality,  2+ Starter, 0-2 Reserve, 0 Replacement level.")

Perhaps my impression comes from the fact that 2012 wasn't so much of a career year, but 2011 was a bit of an off-year for Maxie. His ERA in 2011 jumped up to 4.43, the highest in his career. I believe he changed his wind-up that off-season to lifting his hands over his head. Whatever it takes, Max.

I still don't understand how he had a better ERA in 2010 (3.5) but only got a 3.1 WAR. Maybe this is proof that at some point, statistics just break down.

Fact is, Scherzer is a good, solid pitcher, and when he throws his glove out there, we fans feel reasonably comfortable we'll be in the game.

Maybe best of all, he's only 27, the age when most pitchers are reaching their prime.