Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oldest Ringless Players: 2011

Last year you might have seen my post about the Oldest Ringless Players for each of the eight playoff participants. Of that octet, the one who became ineligible for any future ORP lists was Giants reliever Guillermo Mota. After one of the wildest yet greatest days in MLB history (which I can only hope gives Selig and his cronies pause about expanding the playoffs), we have our Elite Eight for 2011.

As I did last time, I'll consider any player who was on the 40-Man Roster at the end of the season and played at the Major League level for the team as being ring-worthy. The ORP's this time around are (with date of birth in parentheses):

Arizona Diamondbacks: Henry Blanco (August 29, 1971)
Detroit Tigers: Magglio Ordonez (January 28, 1974)
Milwaukee Brewers: Takashi Saito (February 14, 1970)
New York Yankees: Bartolo Colon (May 24, 1973)
Philadelphia Phillies: Raul Ibanez (June 2, 1972)
St. Louis Cardinals: Arthur Rhodes (October 24, 1969)
Tampa Bay Rays: Joel Peralta (March 23, 1976)
Texas Rangers: Darren Oliver (October 6, 1970)

  • Ibanez, Oliver, Rhodes and Saito are all making their second consecutive appearances on this list, though Rhodes and Saito appeared with different teams last year.
  • As I noted last year, it might not be fair to include Saito, as he won the Japan Series in 1998. If you take him out of the equation, the Brewers' ORP is LaTroy Hawkins (December 21, 1972).
  • Rhodes appeared for Texas earlier in the year, which means he could be in line for a ring if the Rangers win the World Series.
  • As they did last year, the Rays have the youngest ORP. Previously it was Joaquin Benoit, who now plays for the Tigers.
  • Rhodes is the oldest player on this list for the second year in a row.
  • Four of these players are relief pitchers, and the rest are a starting pitcher, a left fielder, a right fielder and a catcher.
Personally, I'd be happy for any of these guys to get rings as individuals, but as members of a team, I can't say I'm rooting too hard for Blanco, Colon, Ibanez or Rhodes. All play for franchises that have won the World Series since I've been a baseball fan, and I love watching new teams get in on the glory.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Matters of Races

What a situation we have with the Wild Card races, huh, folks? Over in the American League we have the Boston Red Sox, long a presumptive postseason lock, now tied with the hard-charging Tampa Bay Rays for the Wild Card lead! The Atlanta Braves, who spent most of their season in the same position as the Red Sox, now lead the St. Louis Cardinals by a mere game! With two games left in the season, two impressive comebacks are well within the realm of possibility!

Of course, none of this would be worth mentioning if the allegedly inevitable changes to the playoff system that Bud Selig is intent on inflicting upon us were in place. All four teams would currently be preparing for their spot in the play-in game, or whatever the fool thing's going to be called, and this last week would be devoid of drama.

Selig, I've often tried to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I can't be so charitable here. We have enough teams in the playoffs as it is, and all an extra Wild Card would do is cheapen postseason participation even further. For the good of the game, stop tinkering with stuff.