published Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

5-at-10: Hudson's place, SEC QBs, a Derby contest to win stuff

Hey, gang, remember the Friday mailbag and we have anew contest below. Check it out — it don't cost nothin' to enter. Well, you know what we mean.

Also, where did April go? Seriously.

Braves roll

The Braves thumped Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals 8-1 on Tuesday.

Freddie Freeman got three hits and three RBIs and Andrelton Simmons had three hits, including a lead-off homer.

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Saturday, April 13, 2013, in Washington.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The big story, though, was Tim Hudson. The Braves' right-hander — and former SEC baseball player of the year as an outfielder/pitcher for the Auburn Tigers — hit a homer and got the win. It was the 200th of his big-league career.

Which begs the following questions:

a) Since there are all of three guys in baseball — Andy Pettitte (248), Roy Halladay (201) and Hudson (200) — with 200 wins and the way the game has changed with pitch counts and specialist relievers and five-man rotations, will we ever see another 300-game winner?

b) and if we never see another pitcher win 300 — one of those baseball bench marks that has always secured a Hall of Fame invite — does that make 200 the new 300?

c) and if 200 — or say 250 even — is the new 300, does that make Tim Hudson a Hall of Famer?

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The Derby contest

We have been so covered up in the hits and misses and the turns and tails of the craziest spring in recent memory we have completely lost track that this is Derby week.

OK, the contest is simple: The Roller Derby Special: First in, Last in.

Send in the horse that you think will win and the horse that you think will finish last. Scratches are not last; they are scratches. (Side note: The worst made for radio remix ever was 2 Live Crew changing the lyrics of one of their more obscene songs to "Somebody say heeeeyyyyyy, we want some... Scratching." That is all. And yes, the inner workings and random references that pop out of the 5-at-10's melon can be a touch scary at times.)

Whatcha' got?

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SEC football spring recap

Our SEC football ace David Paschall reviews the spring drills of every SEC team in today's TFP. You can also see it here.

The thing that we couldn't help but notice is that just about every team this side of Tennessee and Auburn would count quarterback as a strength coming into the season. That's not a good thing for the Vols and Tigers.

Look at the top of the league: Alabama, Texas A&M and Georgia have legit All-American candidates taking snaps.

The next group of SEC teams: Florida, LSU and South Carolina have veterans returning.

Heck, two of the trio Mississippi State's Tyler Wilson, Missouri's James Franklin and Ole Miss's Bo Wallace are not even in the top half of the league's QBs. That's a deep QB class.

You're going to have to be able to score to contend in the SEC this fall.

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This and that

— The Memphis Grizzlies were efficient and thorough in a 103-93 win over the L.A. Clippers. It gives the Grizz a chance to close out the series in Game 6 in Memphis. Good times.

— One more Girzz note: Is Memphis frontcourt warrior Zach Randolph the most underrated player in the league right now? We think he's in the discussion.

— Vijay Singh will not be suspended from the PGA Tour for using deer antler spray. OK. Who's the guy that discovered that deer antler spray actually helped the body, and what other formulas did they try that were not as successful? Hey, use this turkey beak spray and see what happens. Here, try this skunk tail cream for that rash. No thanks.

  • photo
    In this fie photo, Tim Tebow holds his first news conference with the New York Jets on March 26, 2012, in Florham Park, N.J.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

— The Omaha Beef indoor football team offered Tim Tebow a spot. The deal would have been for the standard $75 a game. That said, the Beef's current QB — James McNear — has completed 70 percent of his throws for 21 TDs and just two picks in Omaha's 5-1 start. Maybe the Jets should have traded Tebow for McNear?

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Today's question

Is Tim Hudson a Hall of Famer?

The more we think about this, the more interesting we think it is.

Discuss, and remember Friday's mailbag and the Derby contest.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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HardCopy said...

I like Hudson, but I don't think he's a Hall of Famer. He's a very good pitcher, but there were only 1-2 years early in his career where he was among the best pitchers in the league. He's never won the Cy Young, was only a serious contender for it once (2000), and has been to only 3 All Star games.

He doesn't have eye-popping strikeout totals and had a few seasons in the middle of his career where he was pretty mediocre. He's won a bunch of games (averages 17/season), but I think there are problems using that stat to heavily base your opinion of a pitcher on.

All marks of a very good career, but not Hall of Fame level. I think a good "rule" to have for HoF candidacy is that if you have to debate/ask the question if a player is deserving, the player probably shouldn't be in. HoF numbers leap off the page, and there really isn't any debate as to whether or not they should be in.

May 1, 2013 at 10:26 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Is Hudson a HOF'er...not just no but HECK NO...he is not even close to being among the elite of all time...baseball is the only sport left where you truly have to be among the elite to be enshired in those hallowed halls...200 wins does not qualify you...300 is stil the benchmark even in this age of specialization with Smoltz being the exception having split time starter and closer...Longevity matters and I along with many others dont look at Hudson, Pettitte, and Halliday as dominating pitchers, unlike Glavine, Maddox, etc...Relievers that dominate such as Rivera are in a class by themselves...

Hats off to Bob Costas who in an interview with Mike Lupica said he did not watch one minute of the NFL draft...Much like grown men who sport the obligatory Peyton jersey in these parts (another subject entirely), there comes a point when you have to realize nothing matters until the final roster is out...

SEC media days are just around the corner...hey everyone write a blog so you too can get credentials, wear your team colors, and pretend to be a journalist

May 1, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.
HardCopy said...

I'm not sure any level of wins should be used as a benchmark. Win totals are heavily influenced by things the pitcher doesn't control - run support and the bullpen. If somebody like Tom Glavine played on bad teams his entire career and won only 225 games, he'd still be a no doubt HoFer.

May 1, 2013 at 10:54 a.m.
jgreeson said...

HardCopy —

The "If you have to debate, the answer is nope" is a great way to look at it. That's the same way we view it.

And we concur that Hudson's not there. But he's 37. And if he pitches three more years and gets to say 240-250, then you start wondering.

Plus, dude did it against the height of the steroid age, a fact that is over-discussed when talking about hitters and under-valued when discussing pitchers.

OG —

If 300 is the benchmark for starting pitchers, well, here's saying it will be a long time before another starter gets into the Hall.

Getting to 300 — 15 years of 20 wins or 20 years of 15 wins — is getting tougher and tougher.

May 1, 2013 at 11:09 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

If 300 wins is the benchmark, there is no current pitcher that is on their way to being a HOFer. Pettite has 248, Halladay has 201, Hudson has 200. That's the only players with 200 wins.

Sabathia won't get there. I don't think Verlander or Kershaw get there, but they get the closest of any current pitcher. So, to say that any pitcher has to get 300 to be in the Hall, well, no pitchers in the Hall for a while.

Hudson has 200 wins, and one of the best winning percentages of any recent pitcher to win that many games. I think he's borderline, but closer to in than out.

May 1, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Was suprised to hear that Hudson is the first MLB pitcher from the SEC to reach 200 wins. Should he be in HOF? IMO no. Will he be in the HOF? Maybe. HOF should be for the great, not the good or very good. Also, there shouldn't be any "magic" numbers, such as 300 wins to get you in the HOF. Phil Neikro got in the HOF because he reached that pinnacle, yet he was never great or one of the best pitchers in the game. He got over 300 wins because he pitched until he went onto Social Security, using the knuckleball.

Hardcopy said it above, if you have to debate and make a case for somebody, they probably don't belong in the HOF. Those that should be are clearly obvious without any discussion. But I guess society is moving in a direction where it will be not nice to have a HOF and not let everybody in. Just like in the little leagues where everybody on every team gets a trophy, some day they may just put everybody in the HOF.

May 1, 2013 at 11:13 a.m.
Huesmania said...

Something I find interesting about the Huddy conversation is that those who think he doesn't belong in the hall tend to point to his numbers and say he hasn't been "dominant" like, say, Roy Halladay because he doesn't get a ton of strikeouts. But I think pitchers like Hudson kind of make you reexamine your definition of dominance.

Blowing guys away and missing bats isn't the only way to get the job done--although he gets his fair share of Ks. Hudson makes hitters do what he wants them to do. Ground out. Pop out. He knows how to pitch without "dominant" stuff.

And for goodness' sake, look at his winning percentage (.656)! That alone puts him some awfully lofty company when you rank him among the pitcher with 200+ wins.

Sure, you can say that wins are team-dependent. But there are a lot of good teams out there and only 3 of them have pitchers with 200 wins on their roster. There's a reason for that, and it's not luck. He has consistently been able to give his team a chance to win most nights for a long time, and that's impressive. The guy's a winner, plain and simple.

I think if he gets to 250 without compromising his winning % and era too much, he's got a pretty good case for the hall.

May 1, 2013 at 11:34 a.m.
chas9 said...

I don't think there should be a red line number, but I do think 250 will be the new marker in building the argument for HOF pitchers.

Nobody's going to argue against Koufax's 165 wins.

Kentucky won't have an All-American QB, but with their new Mumme-style offense, they'll be among the highest scoring SEC teams.

May 1, 2013 at 12:16 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

South Carolina is in great shape because they have two good QBs coming back.

Hudson is in the hall of very good. Sure, injuries have curtailed what could have been a huge career. But that's part of the game. Koufax exited stage left early, but the numbers he put up were beyond sick. They were fatal.

I would say Halladay would be on track to be in the HoF. But he's been eminently hittable this year, and didn't he get cuffed around pretty good by Cleveland (Hello, Cleveland!) last night?

May 1, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.
choptalker said...

Just reflecting on Hudson a little bit, I think he is seriously underrated. He's not Felix Hernandez, but he's been an excellent pitcher for a long time.

In the all time rank on Baseball Reference, they've got him a few spots ahead of David Cone and Orel Hershiser.

Top 10 Cy Young 4 times, but only 3 All-Star games.

I know wins are a faulty stat, but I was surprised to find out he and Halladay were so close there.

Halladay: 201 wins, 103 losses in 409 games since 1998. Career ERA 3:35 Hudson: 200 wins, 105 losses in 412 games since 1999. Career ERA 3.42

In strike outs, Halladay has the edge but not by as much as I thought. 1825 2097. 275 Ks divided by 15 years is only about 18 more Ks each year.

The innings pitched between the two are practically identical: 2717 to 2719.

Halladay is a 2 time Cy Young winner and 8-time All Star.

The perception of most baseball fans (me included before this) would be to say Halladay is a much, much better pticher, but why? Tough to say media bias because Halladay was in Toronto for so long. He did play in the AL East so that probably helped.

Thoughts?

Suppose Hudson wins 16 games this year and the next, then 10 or 12 in his finale. He'll be sitting there with 240 wins for his career. That's even with Juan Marichal, more than Whitey Ford and Catfish Hunter, and 10 behind Jack F-ing Morris and Bob Gibson.

Hall of famer? Maybe not. But I bet Halladay gets in. And then it's Jim Rice and Dale Murphy all over again.

Links: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hudsoti01.shtml http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hallaro01.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

May 1, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.
Huesmania said...

Another thing Huddy has going for him, fair or not, is that on a team that has a reputation for strong pitching (how many times have you heard the folks at ESPN say things like "when you think of the Atlanta Braves, you think of pitching" even now, well after the glory days of Maddux, Glavine & Smoltz?) he has been arguably the best pitcher for several years now.

Not saying that it SHOULD count for anything. Just that it COULD be the kind of thing that might lurk in the back of a few BBWA minds and give Timmy H. some extra votes. After all, as Choptalker illustrated in comparing Hudson and Halladay's stats, we often judge players based on perception.

May 1, 2013 at 2:26 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - in the contest. Orb to win and Fear the Kitten in last.

May 1, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.
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