110 thoughts on “2020 WGOM Draft: Round 8”

    1. Apparently rowsdower, hungryjoe, cheaptoy, TheDreadPirate, Beau, CarterHayes. Although maybe after the 3rd kill, DP, Beau and CH would get the message.

          1. Nope, the masked man is (Hail) Cesare. Not sure who the Hab is; judging by the sweaters, it’s one of Carol Vadnais, Serge Savard, Chuck Arnason, or Chuck Lefley.

  1. Time to get my #2 starter.

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    The original Big Game James, he is the only pitcher in big-league history to win World Series games in three decades (1960s, 70s, and 80s). During his 19-year major league career of 575 games (including 17 postseason games), he never surrendered a grand slam, nor did he ever allow back-to-back homers. His career earned run average (2.856) is the third lowest among starting pitchers whose careers began after the advent of the live-ball era in 1920.

    1. I never know how to feel about Jim Palmer. He literally had the best defense in history behind him for several years. He well outperformed his FIP every single year except his first and his last. At some point that has to be a skill too, and he's certainly hall-of-fame worthy, but man what a defense.

      1. That pretty boy? Hell, no!

        (I have been burdened since 1971 with a "Palmer mows 'em down" action card from the 1970 playoffs. Ugh.)

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      I wanted to get some more pitching and with the, uhhh, defense I'm putting together a good strikeout pitcher is probably a good idea. His career also spanned the time when I was old enough to pay better attention to the game and he always seemed so dominant on those 90's Atlanta teams. Plus, he had such a weird career what with the brief portion as a dominant closer. It's just too bad he was only good at baseball.

  2. I've been debating a few guys for this spot. One is a fourth starter, but I think I should probably fill my outfield up first (and I suspect the guy I would pick will still be available awhile from now). Another is one of our new Hall-of-Famers-to-be. I would happily plug in Larry Walker, and I really don't see much difference between him and my actual pick, but this pick definitely has a greater cultural footprint. After all...

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    1. I just tweeted this over the weekend when I was thinking about this movie:

      When "The Naked Gun" came out, Elizabeth had already been on the throne for 36 years.

  3. Man, I think this is getting tougher. With all these incredible hitters around, and my less than stellar defense so far, I want someone who can miss bats. This guy has led the league in strikeouts three times, WHIP four times and has finished top 5 in Cy Young voting 7 years in a row. And he may still have a few good years left in the tank.

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  4. I confess that I have no idea if this is the right round for this pick. Beau threw me for a loop, and I don't like any of the next guys on my lists quite as much. It seems late enough to start thinking about flexibility, about how all the pieces could fit together at any point, about having one guy who did it all, even if nobody is quite sure how well he would've done any particular one of them had the game not created the incentives for him to do it all. I read a fantastic BBTF thread on him late last night, then slept on it.

    One of the things I think my team lacks is a star — which is weird to say, given how talented the players are that we've all been picking. What I mean is, I think my team is lacking the guy who people would say, "Hot damn, I have got to see him play while he is/I am in town." Someone people like Ben Lindbergh, Meg Rowley, & Sam Miller would tune in to watch every night. Someone who would break yardsticks for measuring players in a way that hasn't quite been broken. A baseball immortal.

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    1. I have no idea why, but my brain always associates Dihigo with "The Unnatural" episode of The X-Files.

  5. Apparently, I don't have to kill anyone today. Although my guy might slip a knife into one of youse ribs if needed.

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    I know, anybody can play 1b. But my guy won an MVP there. AND he won one as a LFer.

    Plausibly the greatest Tiger. He does not have Cobb's counting stats or peak or Kaline's counting stats but the Hebrew Hammer was a great player, a war hero, and, it seems, a pretty good human being.

    Career OPS+ of 158. In 1940, he earned his second MVP, playing LF, leading the league in doubles, HRs, RBI, SLG and OPS. He is 6th all-time in SLG and OPS. Lots of black and gray ink, despite missing most of his age-30 and -34 seasons and all of his age-31, -32 and -33 seasons to war service. With those seasons restored, he almost certainly would have been top-10 all-time in rWAR for 1bs, and plausibly top-5. 6th in WAR7 for 1bs, but probably would have been as high as 4th if not for the war.

    And then we get to his war service, his role as probably the first Jewish American sports superstar, and his public support for Jackie Robinson. He basically volunteered twice, first with the army in 1940, then after being discharged for being over 28, with the Army Air Corps in 1942. He served six months in SE Asia, scouting locations for bomber bases. He wasn't Moe Berg (or Ted Williams, for that matter), but his war service was very real.

    In his first game back after being discharged, on July 1, 1945, he homered. He played 72 games and helped lead the Tigers to a come-from-behind pennant, capped with a 9th-inning grand slam in the final game to clinch by a game over the Senators. And a seven-game Series win over the Cubs.

    In 1947, after a salary dispute, he was traded to the Pirates, where he mentored Ralph Kiner and put his moral weight behind welcoming Jackie to the Majors.

    He retired to a front office role with Cleveland, where he became the farm director and apparently advocated for black players (although failed to pursue Aaron, Banks and Mays, recommended by Doby but dissed by his scouts) and nearly engineered moving the franchise to Minneapolis.

    He nearly became the inaugural owner of the Angels, but Walter O'Malley fought against Bill Veeck being part of the ownership group.

    He also married well, getting hitched to the daughter of Bernard Gimbel in 1946 (although they divorced in 1958).

    1. Great pick. I thought you would have him on your list, but I figured you might have your eye on someone else this round.

      He certainly seems to have been more than a stand-up guy from everything I’ve ever read about him. An interesting side-note to his service was that he spent more time in uniform than any other MLB player, but also was the first player to return to the diamond after the war. He left a 7-win player and came back a 6-win player (pro-rated), which is pretty good for a 34-year old who spent almost four years away.

      I was completely unaware of his role in the potential Cleveland move. One of my favorite counterfactuals is the Giants’ thwarted move to Minnesota. Now there’s another one to add to the “what if” daydream list.

      1. Not who I feared was the pick, but definitely in my “how has he not been taken yet?” list. Kaline vs. Greenberg was a tough call.

      2. I forgot to mention — the Pirates modified Forbes Field to take advantage of Greenberg’s power. What became known as Kiner’s Korner was originally Greenberg Gardens.

  6. In some ways, I really can't believe that my pick has slipped this far down the draft, and in most other ways, I really, really can. It'll be your loss come October, though.

    But hey, a guy needs a shortstop -- even if he's not all that good at being a shortstop.

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    I guess I need to pick up Belanger now.

    1. Nevermind. This LTE was supposed to be Nelson laughing at you. But now he's laughing at me for my inability to get the image in here.

    2. From 1996-2012, which includes all the years he played in the postseason, he had an .830 OPS in the regular season. His career postseason OPS is .838. It's a good number but doesn't really live up to his rep, especially since his best numbers came in the ALDS round.

      1. Fangraphs has him as having the fourth most cumulative offensive value of any shortstop in history. His wRC+ of 119 is twelfth all time, and there are three active players, a couple of all timers, and Ross Barnes ahead of him. Hanley was an even worse fielder than Jeter, Nomar was maybe better but has nowhere near the longevity, and Boudreau and Jennings and Cronin were all similar, but from an older era.

        Jeter was an great to elite hitter for a very, very long time. To argue otherwise is contrarian.

        1. I'm rereading your comment as having to do with Jeter's postseason production which is fair, but he was still pretty good, and the postseason comment was a joke.

          1. He was a great player and a worthy Hall of Famer and a great value pick at this point in the draft. I was just pointing out that the narrative of his clutchness gets blown out of proportion a lot (not here).


      For some reason, the voices in my head pronounce this as "Retrospect"

      I may have an Elmer Fudd voice in my head.

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    I'm going to pick a guy with a old-timey nickname. He missed a couple of years because life in the early 1900's sucked, and a lot of time due to injury, but still ended up with a heck of a career. He's going to push Killer over to first base, but that's probably better for my defense anyhow.

    1. Gah! I thought once BS went somewhere else, I was in the clear. Figured everyone left ahead of me already had third base covered, so he was all mine, especially since he didn’t ply a single inning at any position other than third.

      Pros: Walter Johnson called him “the most dangerous batter I ever faced. ” Led the league in home runs for four straight years.

      Cons: “His era” means his best season was still only 12 homers, and he didn’t break 100 for his career. Thanks, deadball!

  8. Hey guys, wanting to crowdsource something here. I want people's opinions on the worst blown calls in Twins history (either for them or against them). The first one that comes to mind for me is the Phil Cuzzi foul call, and of course Hrbek pulling Gant's leg. Was hoping you guys could come up with several others throughout the decades.

    1. Fake News! We all know that every call and bad break goes against Minnesota teams. If you have video evidence, I will scream that it was edited!

  9. Frank Viola interfered with a Cardinal during a rundown in 1987, and not only was interference not called, but the runner was actually safe anyway despite being called out.

  10. Sorry for the delay folks. Weekends are bad drafting days for me. Now that I can return to being Very Online, it's time to make that selection.

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    We're at the elite but not obvious inner circle part of the draft. And this guy is one of the few that could hit, field, and run. I waffled between him and someone else that could hit and run better, albeit not as good in the field, though I bet my pick would have many more stolen bases if he started a decade earlier.

    1. He was on my very short list for my third outfielder. Nice. It's a shame he was one and done. I think if he came on the ballot today he'd at least have made it the full 10 years

      1. The inability for voters to have a third option to keep a player but not count as a "yes" vote hurts a lot of players.

    2. Four-time black ink on assists. You would think that he would be among the career leaders in Assists, right?

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    In 1999, he ranked number 35 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The fans voted him as the 12th-best outfielder of all-time. He also ranks 33rd on the all-time list for non-pitchers according to the win shares formula developed by Bill James.

    1. Finally. This is a player I thought would have gone at least a few rounds ago. If Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb owned a team in this draft he would have been picked far earlier.

  12. Speaking of being surprised a player has lasted this long:

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    Being in the career .300/.400/.500 club is really amazing. He was an amazing fielder and a great baserunner. I love that he started out as an Expo as well. Fun Fact: His nickname is Booger. (Why have I never known that till today?) 10th all-time in JAWS for RFers. An MVP. 7 Gold Gloves. 3 Silver Sluggers. A slash stat triple crown at the age of 32.

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    Definitely need a pitcher here. I almost took him last round, which apparently would have been too early. Most of his value comes from longevity and consistency, rather than high peak years, but he still won two Cy Young awards and was Top-3 four other seasons. (Did he actually deserve those votes? Well, that's another story, but since he's on my team now, I'm taking those awards as gospel.) Plus, there's a bit of getting the band back together with my only other pitcher so far.

  14. This one is a little bit of a sentimental pick but I think it can be justified.

    By FIP-, he was the 35th all-time. By ERA-, he was 16th. Ten of the 15 ahead of him were pre-integration. (I don't know FIP- or ERA-, I just know they support my decision so I'm going with it.)

    He's 102nd in WAR for a pitcher but 421st in innings pitched.

    He is one of 16 pitchers to win multiple Cy Young Awards, and he should have won a third.

    I attended his second best start against the Kansas City (Missouri) Royals in 2004. He struck out 13 batters and I swear many of them were missing his changeup by two feet.

    He's also the only player on this list that I have had my picture taken with.

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    1. I attended his second best start against the Kansas City (Missouri) Royals in 2004

      I see what you did there.

  15. Can anyone play 1B? Sure, I suppose so. But few racked up as many wins playing it.

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    In just 15 seasons (really 14.25) due to an injury-shortened career, he managed to become the 1B ever to have both 400 HR and 200 SB. He's just one of 12 players ever to have 400 HR and a .400 OBP. But for the injury, he'd easily have made 500 HRs. I was sure this was who SoCal was taking when he said it was someone he was surprised was still available. The combination of power, OBP, and speed on the basepaths - plus his career WAR - make this feel like an easy pick for my lineup. Even if I end up moving him to DH, this is a happy choice.

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