There are some little bits of news today.
Joe Lester has announced his retirement. I always think it is a lucky man who gets to pick his time to walk away.
Lester retires with a 200-117 record, a 3.66 ERA in 452 games, 451 starts. In 2740 innings, he had 892 walks and 2388 strikeouts. That’s good for a 44.3 bWAR.
He has a Cy Young award, as well as finishing second, third and ninth in Cy Young voting. And he made five All-Star teams.
Jon did his best work in the playoffs, putting up a 2.51 ERA in 26 playoff games, 22 starts. And he has three World Series rings.
Lester is a borderline Hall of Fame candidate, helped out a lot by his outstanding work in the playoffs. It will be five years before the Writers consider if he deserves to go in. But we can have a poll now.
Would you vote Jon Lester into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
This poll is closed
The weird thing about Lester is that he couldn’t throw to first base (at least for part of his career). He had decent control when throwing to the plate (2.9 walks per nine innings)—but throwing to first?
The Blue Jays also made news, hiring their first female to coach in the organization. Jaime Vieira will work as their minor-league hitting coach.
Vieira, a former softball player and coach with the Humber Hawks who holds a Master of Science degree from York University, worked as a baseball operations research and development intern last year, helping prepare for the draft among other tasks.
She first joined the club in 2019 as a programs specialist with the Jays Care Foundation and was promoted to a programs specialist a year later after developing and running a series of events for coaches and players.
With the Yankees hiring Rachel Balkovec as manager of their Low-A team and the Giants hiring Alyssa Nakken, it has been a good week for ‘firsts’. Hopefully, soon, the MLB hiring women won’t be so newsworthy.
The Mets are retiring Keith Hernandez’s uniform number. Hernandez was with the Mets for seven seasons, 1983 to 1989, hitting .297/.387/.429 with 80 home runs. He played great defense and helped the team to a World Series win in 1986 (which ESPN has made an excellent series of documentaries, I really enjoyed it). However, Hernandez wasn’t your typical power-hitting first baseman. He only had 162 home runs in his 17-year career. He was more a line-drive, doubles hitter.
I wonder if they would have retired his number in a universe where he didn’t appear on Seinfeld?
The Orioles are changing their park, moving their left-center wall back 30 feet and raising it from seven to twelve feet. That will make it a fair bit harder for right-handed pull-hitters to hit one out. I wonder how many home runs that would have cost Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion over the years?
Tomorrow the Owners present their new offer to the Players, so the lockout will be over by the weekend, and spring training will start on time. Also, Covid will disappear, and a lost Beatles album will be discovered.