Tag Archive | "alfredo simon"

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Orioles pitcher Simon claimed by Reds; two others trimmed from roster

Posted on 03 April 2012 by WNST Staff

The Orioles announced Tuesday that they have assigned right-handed pitcher Pat Neshek to minor league camp. Neshek appeared in 10 games and recorded one save for the Orioles this spring, allowing three hits over nine scoreless innings. Neshek did not walk a batter and struck out eight.

The club also announced that right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon has been claimed on waivers by the Cincinnati Reds. In four seasons with the Orioles, Simon was 8-12 with a 5.18 earned run average (184 1/3 innings, 106 earned runs).

Additionally, outfielder Jai Miller has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Miller batted .233 (10-for-43) with two home runs and 10 runs batted in in 17 spring training games.

With these moves, the Orioles now have 27 active players remaining in camp and 38 players on the 40-man roster.

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Orioles option RHP Tillman to Triple-A Norfolk, place Simon on waivers

Posted on 31 March 2012 by Luke Jones

With the start of the season less than a week away, the Orioles moved closer to shaping their pitching staff with a pair of moves over the last 24 hours.

Right-handed pitcher Chris Tillman has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk where he will presumably be a member of the Tides’ starting rotation. Showing improved velocity, the 23-year-old Tillman posted a 2.92 earned run average in 12 1/3 innings over five outings this spring.

The Orioles likely view Triple A as a better fit for Tillman as he tries to build on a successful spring and extends himself as a starter. Though he was still a dark-horse candidate for the fifth starter job, Tillman likely would have found himself as a long reliever only pitching a few innings a week.

The club also reportedly placed right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon on outright waivers despite his ability to pitch as either a starter or a reliever. Battling a groin injury during sprain training, Simon was lit up for six runs in two innings of relief work on Wednesday.

Simon’s impending removal from the 40-man roster will clear a spot for one of two non-roster invitees likely to make the 25-man roster heading north. First baseman Nick Johnson is expected to be part of the Orioles’ bench while catcher Ronny Paulino will be Matt Wieters’ backup with Taylor Teagarden heading to the 15-day disabled list.

 

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Eveland, Simon Struggle in Orioles Loss

Posted on 28 March 2012 by WNST Staff

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Here’s How I’d Put Together Orioles Roster At This Point

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Here’s How I’d Put Together Orioles Roster At This Point

Posted on 27 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

They’re not going to be good, but they’re going to play games anyway. Tuesday on “The Reality Check”, I offered my best educated guess on how to put together the Baltimore Orioles’ 25 man Opening Day roster.

A lot of this appears to be set in stone already. As a reminder, I’m not in Sarasota covering Spring Training. I’m in Towson looking out the window at the deer here at 1550 Hart Rd.

I’m not complaining by the way.

OUTFIELDERS (4):

Nolan Reimold
Adam Jones
Nick Markakis
Endy Chavez

INFIELDERS/DESIGNATED HITTER (7):
Mark Reynolds
JJ Hardy
Robert Andino
Ryan Flaherty
Chris Davis
Wilson Betemit
Nick Johnson

CATCHERS (2):
Matt Wieters

Ronny Paulino

STARTING ROTATION-IN ORDER (5):
Jake Arrieta
Jason Hammel
Wei-Yin Chen

Tommy Hunter
Dana Eveland

BULLPEN (7):
Kevin Gregg
Matt Lindstrom

Luis Ayala
Tsuyoshi Wada
Jim Johnson
Pedro Strop
Troy Patton

(DISABLED LIST: P Zach Britton, 2B Brian Roberts, P Darren O’Day & P Alfredo Simon)

ROSTER NOTES: The O’s will be able to add Johnson and Paulino to the roster by sampling moving OF Jai Miller and C Taylor Teagarden off the roster. I’m guessing the team will now choose to leave Brian Matusz in Norfolk to protect a rotation spot for Britton when he’s healthy. There are other roster options (including leaving Wada on the DL) that could open up a spot for a Chris Tillman, O’Day or Simon.

-G

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Orioles fall to Angels, lose Scott for rest of season

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Orioles fall to Angels, lose Scott for rest of season

Posted on 22 July 2011 by Luke Jones

The Orioles not only lost the series opener against the Los Angeles Angels Friday night, but they lost Luke Scott for the rest of the season.

After being activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to Friday’s game, Scott went 0-for-3 and would not have batted in the ninth inning of a 6-1 loss had his spot in the order come to the plate. The left-handed hitter once again experienced pain in his right shoulder after deciding he would take one more trial to play through the pain of a torn labrum before electing to undergo surgery or a season-ending rehabilitation program.

“Luke’s been a tough guy. A lot of guys would have flown the coop, and he wanted to play,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He knew it was something he was going to have to do, anyway. I applaud him for that, for the ‘want-to.’ It’s not fair for the Orioles or for Luke to proceed down this path anymore.”

Prior to the game, Scott said he planned to play the next three to five days to gauge whether he could continue playing or would need to forgo the rest of the season and decide on a course of action for the shoulder.

Showalter said Scott would likely go back on the disabled list Saturday with outfielder Matt Angle possibly being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk. No decision has been made on the route Scott will choose to treat the injured right shoulder, but it was becoming more apparent he would not make it through the remainder of the season.

“I know what he’s been battling through all year,” said catcher Matt Wieters following the game. “Hopefully, it gets healed and gets back to where we know Luke can be. Whatever is going to be best for him and best for his family is what we want him to do. We just want to get him healthy.”

Scott had been on the disabled list since July 5 before being activated for Friday’s game. He is hitting just .220 with nine home runs and 22 runs batted in after being named the Orioles’ most valuable player in 2010.

Simon says not bad at all

Given the Orioles’ starting pitching woes — particularly over the last six weeks — who would have thought Alfredo Simon would provide the best back-to-back starts the club has seen in recent memory.

Coming off a strong seven-inning performance in a win over Cleveland last Saturday, Simon allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings against the Angels. The 30-year-old struck out three and walked one despite taking the loss with only one run of support behind him. Simon threw a season-high 96 pitches after working in relief until July 9.

“He gave us a really good chance to win,” Showalter said. “I was pleased with his performance again. Had him maybe a tick above where we had hoped to take him with pitches and everything. We should be in position to turn him loose now.”

His start marked the fourth time in the last six games that Baltimore starters have pitched at least six innings, no small feat for a rotation that’s pitched six innings or more just seven times in the last 23 games.

Simon completed six scoreless innings before allowing doubles to Mike Trout and Maicer Izturis in the seventh inning, which gave the Angels a 1-0 lead. Jason Berken replaced Simon with two outs, surrendering a Torii Hunter double to plate Izturis and close the book on the starter.

“I just tried to focus every inning that I go out, try to get a zero,” Simon said. “But the last inning that I threw, I got [in a jam] with Izturis with a man on second. It was 3-1 and I didn’t want to walk the guy, so I just threw a fastball to him and he just got a hit, and that’s part of the game. I just threw a good game, but we didn’t hit too good tonight. That’s part of the game, and I understand that.”

With no disrespect to Simon, it’s a sad state of affairs for the Orioles to be depending on Simon as one of their most reliable starters, but the veteran has done a commendable job with the opportunity.

Whatever it takes

Whenever the Orioles hit, they can’t get anyone out.

And whenever they manage to pitch effectively, the Orioles can’t push runs across the plate.

Of course, they’ve been unable to do either on far too many nights as well.

Despite consecutive quality starts by Jake Arrieta and Simon, the Orioles have scored just one run and collected five hits over their last 18 innings.

Angels starter Ervin Santana stifled the Orioles over 7 2/3 innings, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning and holding them to just one run on a J.J. Hardy run-scoring single in the eighth inning. The right-hander collected his first road victory since April 29.

For the Orioles, it was another wasted opportunity.

“It’s tough because we’ve gotten some good starts out of those two games, and when the starters give you a good outing, you want to go out there and get them a win,” Wieters said. “That’s baseball. It’s not going to work like that every time.

“It seems like when we’re hitting well, we can’t quite pitch well; when we’re pitching well, we can’t quite score enough runs.”

To quote a historical figure, “By any means necessary,” right?

Odds & ends

The Angels’ win snapped the Orioles’ six-game winning streak against Los Angeles. … The Orioles committed two errors after committing just one error in their previous nine games. Derrek Lee’s ninth-inning miscue opened the door for Kevin Gregg to allow a grand slam to Vernon Wells with two outs in the ninth inning, turning a 2-1 nailbiter into an insurmountable five-run deficit in the final frame. … Friday’s game-time temperature was 104 degrees. It marked the second-highest temperature at Camden Yards in the last 15 years, the highest being a 105-degree roaster against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 6, 1999.

Listen to Buck Showalter, Alfredo Simon, and Matt Wieters following the 6-1 loss as well as Luke Scott’s comments about his injured right shoulder prior to Friday night’s game right here.

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Despite late scare, Orioles remind us what winning formula looks like

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Despite late scare, Orioles remind us what winning formula looks like

Posted on 16 July 2011 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — You knew the Orioles would eventually win another game.

I was pretty sure, anyway.

I just didn’t think Alfredo Simon — scheduled to return to the Dominican Republic on Sunday for a hearing regarding his manslaughter case — would be the one to provide the best start by an Orioles pitcher all month, pitching seven strong innings and allowing two earned runs to snap the club’s nine-game losing streak in a 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians.

And I really didn’t think maligned reliever Michael Gonzalez would be the one to slam the door on the Cleveland rally when closer Kevin Gregg walked the bases loaded and gave up a three-run double to Orlando Cabrera to turn the Orioles’ comfortable 6-2 ninth-inning lead into a one-run heart attack special. However, Gonzalez recorded his first save since April 8, 2010 after signing a two-year, $12 million contract two winters ago to be the Baltimore closer.

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But these are the Orioles, of course. Nothing comes easy and things rarely go according to plan, especially over the last five weeks.

Aside from Gregg’s inability to throw the ball over the plate in the ninth, the Orioles played a relatively crisp game in which they received good starting pitching, three much-needed insurance runs in the eighth inning, and contributions from unlikely sources.

Nick Markakis hit a home run and had three extra-base hits for the third time in his career, Adam Jones drove in two runs, and the struggling Felix Pie’s two-run double in the eighth proved to be the difference in the one-run victory.

Simon was the difference in the game, becoming the first Baltimore starter to complete seven innings since Jeremy Guthrie on July 1 and only the second starter to do it in 29 games. His outing was also the first quality starter by an Orioles pitcher since Mitch Atkins on July 5. It was Simon’s longest appearance since pitching five innings against the Yankees on April 9, 2009.

“It’s just a reminder this is a formula for good baseball, something we were doing some, and we need to get back to it,” Showalter said. “We’ll see if [Mitch] Atkins can do it tomorrow. He’ll have his work cut out for him against a good team. Sometimes, you’ve got to see it, what it means on the field. We made it a little interesting there at the end, but we made it stand up.”

To turn to Gonzalez in the ninth after Gregg’s implosion was even more unlikely, given his disastrous year and a half in Baltimore. However, the lefty reliever has been more effective of late, entering Saturday’s game with a 2.31 earned run average in 11 2/3 innings since June 14.

Despite the drama of the ninth inning, everyone could finally breathe a sigh of relief when Gonzalez enticed Grady Sizemore to ground out to Derrek Lee to end the game, giving the Orioles just their second win in 16 tries and seventh victory in their last 30 games.

“There’s an adrenaline rush that you love (with closing),” Gonzalez said. “Today, we weren’t going to lose. We had gone too far and done well in the game and I had that same mindset. This is a great feeling. Now we just have to go out and have fun tomorrow.”

Easier said than done, but the Orioles will take a win any way they can get it at this point.

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Live from Camden Yards: No DL decision on Vlad yet, Scott close to returning

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Live from Camden Yards: No DL decision on Vlad yet, Scott close to returning

Posted on 16 July 2011 by Luke Jones

**Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Buck Showalter, J.J. Hardy, and Nick Markakis prior to Saturday night’s game with the Cleveland Indians**

BALTIMORE — While J.J. Hardy’s contract received the most attention Saturday afternoon, the Orioles continue to wait on a decision to place Vladimir Guerrero on the disabled list.

The 36-year-old designated hitter has a broken bone in his right hand and is unable to grip a bat without pain, but the Orioles appear willing to wait for another day, leaving them again with a short two-man bench of only backup catcher Craig Tatum and infielder Robert Andino for the third game of a four-game series with the Indians.

“Hopefully we’ll make a decision shortly,” said manager Buck Showalter, who has discussed Guerrero’s status with head trainer Richie Bancells.

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Considering Guerrero hasn’t played since Sunday in Boston, it seems pointless to wait for the Orioles to continue to wait when Guerrero could potentially return in 10 days if placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 11. Instead, the Orioles will play a man down.

Outfielder Luke Scott received a cortisone injection on Friday and has taken batting practice a day late. The plan is for Scott to receive at-bats with Double-A Bowie on Sunday and Monday with a potential activation on Tuesday against the Red Sox. With Guerrero likely going on the disabled list at some point over the next few days, Scott would become the full-time designated hitter.

Showalter also revealed Brad Bergesen as the likely starter against the Red Sox on Monday. Much of that depends on how much the bullpen might be used over the final two games of the Indians series. Bergesen warmed up in the bullpen during Friday’s game but was not used.

Left-handed pitcher Zach Britton pitched three innings — his scheduled workload — for Double-A Bowie on Friday night, allowing a solo home run on a 3-2 changeup. He will pitch again on Wednesday, but Showalter would not rule out a return prior to July 30, the projected date on which the Orioles would receive an extra year of service time.

“He could come back before the 30th,” Showalter said. “He controls that as much as we do.”

It’s the right thing to say, but it’s hard to imagine any scenario in which we see Britton back with the Orioles before month’s end.

Tonight’s starter Alfredo Simon will be placed on the restricted list on Sunday as he returns to the Dominican Republic to deal with his legal issues. The Orioles will gain a roster spot while Simon is away.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Cleveland
LF Michael Bradley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
DH Travis Hafner
1B Carlos Santana
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
2B Orlando Cabrera
RF Austin Kearns
C Lou Marson
CF Ezequiel Carrera

SP Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 4.28 ERA)

Baltimore
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Felix Pie
DH Nolan Reimold
2B Blake Davis

SP Alfredo Simon (1-2, 4.85 ERA)

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Morning Reaction Orioles Midseason Report Card

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Morning Reaction Orioles Midseason Report Card

Posted on 06 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Orioles are now two games into the second half of the 2011 season. On Wednesday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, Drew Forrester and I gave our grades for Orioles players during the first half of the season.

CATCHERS:

wieters

Matt Wieters-Glenn Clark B+, Drew Forrester B
Jake Fox-Glenn D, Drew D
Craig Tatum-Glenn C-, Drew B

INFIELDERS:

hardy

Derrek Lee-Glenn D+, Drew D
Brian Roberts-Glenn D, Drew D
JJ Hardy-Glenn A-, Drew A
Mark Reynolds-Glenn B-, Drew C-
Robert Andino-Glenn C+, Drew C
Blake Davis-Glenn C, Drew B-
Cesar Izturis-Glenn D, Drew D
Ryan Adams-Glenn C, Drew D
Brandon Snyder-Glenn C-, Drew C-

OUTFIELDERS/DESIGNATED HITTERS:

vlad

Luke Scott-Glenn D, Drew D
Adam Jones-Glenn B-, Drew B+
Nick Markakis-Glenn B-, Drew C-
Nolan Reimold-Glenn C+, Drew C-
Felix Pie-Glenn F, Drew D-
Vladimir Guerrero-Glenn D+, Drew D+

STARTING PITCHERS:

britton

Jeremy Guthrie-Glenn C+, Drew C+
Jake Arrieta-Glenn B-, Drew C
Zach Britton-Glenn B, Drew B
Brian Matusz-Glenn D, Drew F
Chris Tillman-Glenn D, Drew D
Brad Bergesen-Glenn D+, Drew C-
Chris Jakubauskas-Glenn C-, Drew D

RELIEF PITCHERS:

kgregg

Koji Uehara-Glenn B, Drew B+
Jim Johnson-Glenn B+, Drew B-
Pedro Viola-Glenn C, Drew C
Kevin Gregg-Glenn C-, Drew C+
Alfredo Simon-Glenn C-, Drew C-
Jeremy Accardo-Glenn D, Drew D
Mike Gonzalez-Glenn D, Drew D
Josh Rupe-Glenn D, Drew D
Jason Berken-Glenn C, Drew C-
Clay Rapada-Glenn D-, Drew B-
Troy Patton-Glenn D, Drew F

MANAGER:

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Buck Showalter-Glenn C-, Drew B+

If you missed the breakdown of our midseason grades on Wednesday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction”, hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net!

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Live from Camden Yards: Orange Crush chat at 7 as Cardinals make first ever visit to Baltimore

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Luke Jones

**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to Baltimore for the first time ever in an interleague three-game set with Zach Britton taking the hill against Kyle Lohse**

BALTIMORE — Feeling refreshed after an off day and a series win over Cincinnati over the weekend, the Orioles welcome the struggling St. Louis Cardinals to town for the first time ever.

Still reeling from the loss of Albert Pujols, the Cardinals (41-38) have lost 12 of 15 games and have scored just 21 runs in six games since losing arguably the best hitter on the planet, 12 coming in their only win during that stretch.The pitching hasn’t helped either, as St. Louis has posted a major-league-worst 4.95 earned run average in the month of June.

On the other hand, the Orioles (35-40) found their bats heating up over the weekend, hitting nine home runs in the Reds series to give them 32 home runs in the month of June to lead the American League. The left side of the Baltimore infield has been especially potent this month, as shortstop J.J. Hardy and third baseman Mark Reynolds make up the only left-side infield combination in baseball to have 10 or more homers each.

However, the pitching continues to be a concern as starters struggle to pitch deep into games. Rookie Zach Britton goes to the mound in the series opener seeking his sixth win of the season. The southpaw has struggled in his last five starts, posting a 5.14 ERA and a 1-3 record.

Britton will be opposed by Kyle Lohse, the former Twins pitcher who will make his fifth career start against the Orioles. The 32-year-old right-hander is 2-1 with a 4.39 ERA in 26 2/3 career innings against Baltimore, but has not faced the Orioles since 2006.

In injury news, Alfredo Simon will remain in Frederick on Tuesday night and a decision will be made Wednesday regarding whether to activate him from the 15-day disabled list or make another rehab appearance. Manager Buck Showalter said the club is “more likely than less likely” Simon is back for the second game against the Cardinals.

Simon will be viewed as a bullpen arm for the time being, though that could change given the uncertain standing of the starting rotation in recent weeks.

In his pregame comments to the media, Showalter expressed frustration with his inability to find at-bats for outfielder Nolan Reimold. The 27-year-old has not started since June 19 against Washington and has not appeared in a game since June 22 in Pittsburgh.

“It’s been a challenge, and we keep hoping that Luke [Scott] can get it going,” Showalter said. “We went through a period where there were a lot of left-handed pitchers, so it was pretty easy [getting him at-bats]. We’re going through a period now where it’s just the opposite. It’s something on my list of things that kind of bug me. That’s one of them.”

I also asked Showalter whether there was concern with Vladimir Guerrero’s lack of power and production at the cleanup position. It’s a subject about which I’ll be writing in more detail at WNST.net on Wednesday, but the Orioles manager is aware of Guerrero’s season-long power shortage and its impact on the rest of the lineup.

“We all know he’s not conventional, and you keep trying to trust that, if there’s such a thing as trusting unconventionality,” Showalter said. “That was one of the spots (where we’re struggling) I was talking about earlier — other than the average, really. In fact, his average, lifetime (.318), is higher than that.

“If we need to make an adjustment at some point, we will. We’ll see how it goes between now and the All-Star Break.”

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

St. Louis
SS Ryan Theriot
RF Jon Jay
LF Matt Holliday
1B Lance Berkman
3B David Freese
CF Colby Rasmus
C Yadier Molina
DH Mark Hamilton
2B Nick Punto

SP Kyle Lohse (7-4, 2.91 ERA)

Baltimore
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
DH Vladimir Guerrero
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
LF Luke Scott
3B Mark Reynolds
2B Robert Andino

SP Zach Britton (6-5, 3.19 ERA)

As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!

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Here’s My Hall of Fame Suggestion: Take Steroid Era Out of Writers’ Hands

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Here’s My Hall of Fame Suggestion: Take Steroid Era Out of Writers’ Hands

Posted on 07 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

What a wild week.

The Ravens are preparing for an AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Maryland football introduced former UConn coach Randy Edsall as Ralph Friedgen’s replacement after a very public flirtation with former Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach.

The Orioles (very unfortunately and tragically) saw pitcher Alfredo Simon turn himself into police as the main suspect in a Dominican Republic murder. This of course overshadowed their signing of reliever Kevin Gregg.

On top of that, we’re in the middle of BCS football games, the Washington Capitals won the NHL Winter Classic last Saturday night, and the Terps get their first crack at Duke this season Sunday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

In the sports media business, this is the type of week we love, as we spend much of the year looking for topics and storylines to write about and discuss.

Yet somehow this week, I’ve found myself captivated by the discussion surrounding the announcement of the 2011 induction class for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Much of my interest has to do with my personal affection for Roberto Alomar (the greatest Oriole I’ve been able to see play in my lifetime), but more of it has to do with my interest in the process itself.

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(Photo courtesy: New York Times)

Former Houston Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell was up for induction for the first time this year. As someone whose height of baseball fandom (I’ve never hidden from the fact that I’m no longer a “baseball guy” at this point in my life) coincided with the peak of Bagwell’s career, there was no doubt in my mind that Bagwell was deserving of induction to the Hall of Fame.

He didn’t have the “can’t miss” numbers (2,314 hits and 449 home runs); but he was clearly amongst the dominant players of his era at his position (four time All-Star, six times a Top 10 finisher in National League MVP voting).

I couldn’t imagine Jeff Bagwell NOT being considered a Hall of Famer.

Yet when Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voters made their decision, only 41.7% of them agreed with me; more than 30% less than the 75% needed for election.

Jeff Bagwell never tested positive for steroids and no positive link exists whatsoever. Yet the biggest reason Bagwell wasn’t elected remained…steroids.

Here’s what BBWAA voter Dan Graziano (who now writes for Fanhouse) said in his column explaining his decision to NOT vote for Bagwell…

“No, I didn’t vote for Jeff Bagwell for the Hall of Fame. Yes, it’s for the reason everybody loves to hate. I don’t know for sure that Bagwell took steroids or any other performance-enhancing drugs to help him attain his Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. I don’t have evidence, like we do against Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. But I’m suspicious. And this year, that suspicion was enough to make me send back my ballot without the Bagwell box checked. I’d rather withhold the vote based on suspicion than vote the guy in only to find out later that he cheated and I shouldn’t have.

Graziano explained his decision in further detail Wednesday morning during an appearance with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.

“I’ve decided not to vote for the steroid guys” said Graziano. “Bagwell we don’t know. He’s not in the Mitchell Report, he hasn’t tested positive like (former Texas Rangers & Orioles slugger Rafael) Palmeiro did. But there’s enough suspicion on my part that I’m holding back. The suspicion in my mind overcomes his credentials for me as someone who doesn’t want to put cheaters in.

“If it turns out that I’m wrong and he was innocent then he has my apology” Graziano added. “There are people (like SI writer) Joe Posnanski and other high profile people that have written about the Hall of Fame that will tell you ‘I’d rather put in 100 cheaters than risk keeping one innocent guy out.’ I feel exactly the opposite. I’d rather risk keeping an innocent guy or two out than put in a single cheater. And if I find out five years from now, 10 years from now that there’s a guy in there I voted for that I shouldn’t have, that would be my bigger regret.”

That tells me just about everything I needed to know about how voting is going to go in the steroid era.

The BBWAA is going to punt.

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