Category Archives: Absolutely Random

He’s Back!!!

And judging by his tweets thus far today, I expect nothing less than absolute mayhem from Brett Lawrie tonight as he makes his season debut.

First there was this:


Then this:


The fact that the Red Bull photo was posted at about 9:30 AM is just the best.

The best.

Prediction for tonight:

Lawrie goes mental.

Welcome back Brett!

Arrivederci…For Two Weeks

Loyal readers,

Please keep me in your thoughts over the next two weeks.

While you will be working and doing chores and living normal lives, I am being banished to the Amalfi Coast in Italy, forced to do nothing but drink red wine, look at the ocean, and rest.

It will be tough.

But honestly, I will miss baseball in the next two weeks.  Last year I was away on my honeymoon and missed the thrilling final day.  This year, with the second wild card added, I will miss the crazy chase for the postseason.  But all is not lost – I return September 30th, meaning the regular season will still be going.  I plan on being at the final two Jays games against the Twins and watch Edwin wrap up the AL HR King title.

So enjoy the next two weeks.

And remember to check back to 500 Level Fan in October for postseason predictions, Blue Jay commentary, and other nonsensical, poorly written ramblings.


– 500 Level Fan

Angry Friday: MLB Players I’d Love To Punch In the Face

All week I was planning a “mail it in Friday” type of post for today, one that wouldn’t require a lot of thinking, analysis, or – frankly – writing.

Then this morning I woke up in a bit of an angry mood. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the rain. Maybe it’s the fact that I had to watch Abby Wambach get a gold medal yesterday. Maybe it’s the fact that the Jays are 2-6 in August and 53-58 for the season.

Who knows.

So, instead of a simple mail-it-in Friday post, I decided to combine the two of them – a mail-it-in AND angry Friday post!

Loyal readers, I present to you, a list of MLB players I would love to punch in the face.

For the record I have never punched anybody in the

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face in my entire life. But if I ever were to do so, I’d start with this list.

Note – there may be a bit of bias here. Most of the players are current or former Red Sox…


Jonathan “The Self Cleaning Anus” Papelbon

Wouldn’t it feel so good, just to clock him in his silly face??


Dustin “Rat Face” Pedroia

Only problem – he might be too small to hit.


Nick “Idiot” Swisher

What a douche canoe that guy.


Mark “Mule” Teixeira

A punch would be good, but so would a kick to the chops. He’s just too….boring.


Francisco “CoCo” Cordero

Didn’t like him even when he was on the Jays. Plus his cheeks look really soft.


Eric “He Ate His Trophy” Hinske

Poor guy just keeps getting bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And…


Josh “I Only Get Five Days Off A Year” Beckett

His face just screams “punch me”.


Kevin “Donkey” Youkilis


The Wednesday Blues

Wednesday is the worst day of the week for me.

“But Fan – it’s hump day!” people say. “The week is half way done!”

I say bah humbug to you idiots.

I hate Wednesday. I always have. For some reason it has always been my busiest day, from highschool, to university, and

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now in my day job. At night, I’m already tired from the work week, but not yet excited enough about the weekend.

So there you go . Eff you Wednesday.

Here are five Wednesday Blues inspired mini-rants for your pleasure:

1. Death by a thousand paper cuts. That’s what last night’s Jays game felt like. Things were so bad that I even pulled the unthinkable – I left in the 7th inning.

Wouldn’t you? The 7-8-9 slots in Oakland’s lineup had combined to go 92 for 445 (.207 average) with 5 HR and 24 RBI going into yesterday’s game. Suddenly, they combine to go 4 for 11 with 1 HR and 3 RBI yesterday. Yes it’s baseball, and anything can happen on any particular day, but losing a clutch game in late July to Derek Norris, Brandon Hicks, and Jemile Weeks particularly stinks.

2. Chad Beck got the first two outs in the 7th inning very routinely, before he and J.A. Happ combined to allow this: double, triple, double, walk, walk, single. Five runs in. Game over. Happ looked terrible in the 7th, not only because he couldn’t get anybody out, but also because he took FOREVER to throw the damn ball.

3. I bought a beer in the 5th inning, and it got warm really fast. Terrible stuff.

4. I really, really thought that J.A. Happ was going to be an upgrade over Brett Cecil, giving me some hope that last week’s trade would provide some value down the stretch. But Cecil looked pretty good last night (6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 8 K), and Happ did not. The problem with that, is that I don’t really consider Cecil to be an adequate major league starter, and now he might be in the rotation the rest of the season. Oh no’s.

5. I’ll end it with good news. Toronto will win tonight. Toronto will win tomorrow afternoon. Toronto will take 2 of 3 from Detroit. And then Anthopoulos will make a deal that will blow everybody away, and bring major excitement back to the city. And Jays fans will be happy.

At least until next Wednesday…


Edwin For Mayor!

As Spring Training moves forward I continue to:


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become more excited about the play of Edwin Encarnacion, and

b) become more and more unprepared about the inevitable letdown of

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To get the rest of my 500 Level Fan readers on side with me (and this includes you Britton), look at this:

3 for 3! 4 RBI! 2 HR! Against the Yankees!

Next, look at this:

4th in the league in RBI! Buck Martinez is extremely proud! Plus, and OPS north of 1.000!

Watch out Rob Ford.

Edwin is coming for you!

Early Betting Lines for State of the Franchise

Tonight is the Toronto Blue Jays State of the Franchise event at the Rogers Centre. For the first time ever, thanks to some generosity, I will be in attendance. Judging by the current case of the shakes that I have contracted, I am pretty excited.

Part of the gala is a Q&A with Alex Anthopoulos, John Farrell, and Paul Beeston. Below are some early betting lines for what types of questions will be asked by season ticket holders.

If only you could actually bet on these things….

Subject: Yu Darvish, and the failure to sign him

Will it be Asked:Yes, a 500 Level Fan guarantee

Why: Most fans were pretty upset the night that Texas won the posting process, and most remain upset, especially with AA’s refusal to confirm if the Jays were actually even in the running.

Subject: Prince Fielder, and the failure to sign him

Will it be Asked: Absolutely

Why: Similar to Darvish, fans wanted Prince. They wanted him batting behind Bautista. They wanted him at first instead of Lind. They wanted him in a Blue Jay uniform for many, many years. They didn’t get him.

Subject: “Payroll Parameters”

Will it be Asked: 100% yes

Why: Some believe the Jays should have a $120-million or higher. I think at least 80 of them will want to ask about it.

Subject: Future at the Catcher Position – Travis

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D’Arnaud or J.P. Arencibia

Will it be Asked: Likely not

Why: Not to say that that isn’t an important subject – just not tonight.

Subject: LF – Thames or Snider?

Will it be Asked: 60% sure

Why: Snider continues to be a hot topic amongst Jays fans, and Eric Thames suddenly grew 38-inch Hulk Hogan-esque biceps this offseason….

Subject: Tony Fernandez and his future with the Jays front office

Will it be Asked: Only would be asked by me…

Why: Nobody cares about Tony, my hero, and nothing has ever been said about him joining the front office. Still, if I have just the right amount of beers…

Subject: Edwin Encarnacion

Will it be Asked: No, not at all.

Why: Similar to the Tony question, I’m not sure that anybody really cares that much about Edwin. But for some strange reason I continue to have an odd fascination with the man. I want to know if AA envisions Edwin as a front-of-the-order hitter and a 30 HR threat like I do…

Number of times AA gets away with a coy “non-answer” to a challenging question with a sly smile and a laugh.

Over/Under: 38.5

Bet: Over

I think Anthopoulos could actually get out of any situation he wanted to, all while making whoever he was arguing or speaking or debating with think that they won.

I’ll have the results to the betting above, as well as a full recap of the State of the Franchise, tomorrow on 500 Level Fan.

Lock Your Doors – It’s Friday the 13th

If you’ve noticed anybody around you acting weird, don’t worry – today is Friday the 13th, a day full of superstition.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia is what the fear of this day is known as, and a quick look at the baseball history books shows that many major league GM’s might be afflicted with it.

Today marks the 67th Friday the 13th since 1973 (thanks Wikipedia!).  On the 66 prior Friday the 13th’s, baseball reference tells me that there have been a total of 159 transactions in the major leagues.  And while an average of 2.4 transactions a day might sound like a good amount, keep this in mind: on what is being described as a pretty slow offseason, there were six transactions made on Wednesday (January 11th) of this week alone.

If we only include Friday the 13th’s during the season (i.e. April through September), the number drops to just over two per day (71 moves in 35 days).

On top of those numbers, a look at each of those moves tells us that the overwhelming majority were minor…very minor.  Trades involving fringe prospects and bench players, and several lower tier players being signed to free agent contracts.  A few moves of note from Friday the 13th’s past include the Rangers trading future Oakland ace Dave Stewart to Philadelphia in 1985, the Yankees signing amateur free agent Bernie Williams (also in ’85), Seattle trading David Ortiz to Minnesota for Dave Hollins (1996), and Cleveland trading away future Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry to Texas in 1975.  However, perhaps the most notable move ever made on a Friday the 13th happened to be made by your Toronto Blue Jays.

Looking back through the annals of Friday the 13th’s, the Jays have made a total of five transactions in their history.  Four of them were inconsequential:

– 1979: signed Jackson Todd

– 1994: signed an over-the-hill Dave Righetti

– 2006: traded Scott Schoeneweis to Cincinnati for Trevor Lawhorn

– 2009: signed the lovable but injury prone Dirk “The Garfoose” Hayhurst

But the fifth transaction, occurring on Friday the 13th 1996, was one of the biggest moves in franchise history.  On that day the Toronto Blue Jays announced the signing of pitcher Roger Clemens.  That one turned out to be a pretty good move – for both Toronto and Roger.

But why, other than the moves mentioned above, is there so little activity of consequence on Friday the 13th?  Are MLB GM’s superstitious?  Are they afraid of making big moves – afraid that something negative will happen?  Or are they just simply afraid of the spirit of Jason Voorhees?

Hard to say. 

But don’t fear.  There are two more Friday the 13th’s in 2012, and both fall during the baseball season.  One is in April, where we are likely to see little movement.  But the second falls in July, just a few weeks before the trade deadline.

Will Jason prevent anything big from happening to contending teams on that day?

It’s Time For Yet Another 500 Level Fan Reader “Male” Bag!

I’ve always prided myself on being a man of the people, and have tried to run my blog under one simple motto:

“Ask and you shall receive.”

Well – I have had a request: Bring back the mail (male) bag!

So my friends, sit back relax, and read on.  If you’re lucky, maybe your question will be answered (and since I only had five people ask, I guarantee you it will be), in this, the fourth ever 500 Level Fan Reader Male Bag.  (FYI – despite the name of the post, women are welcome to ask questions!)

Here we go:

We begin with fellow Blue Jay blogger – and one of the best in the biz – @BlueJayHunter, who asks “I have a short and simple question – what the heck do the Blue Jays do with the second base position?”

A: Ian sent this question on Friday afternoon, and the next day Toronto acquired Luis Valbuena from Cleveland.  But is this really the answer at second base?  Last year he only played in 17 games in the majors and put up a .506 OPS.  His career OPS of .630 also doesn’t really inspire much hope.  But on the positive side, he has fared pretty well in the Arizona Fall League, put up an .848 OPS in 113 triple-A games last year, and just turned 26 so he’s young.  And on top of that, several Indians bloggers are less than thrilled by the move from Cleveland’s perspective.  Maybe a change of scenery is al he needed?  I’d almost rather have him than overpay for Kelly Johnson.  So my guess is that Valbuena gets the first shot.  Another guess?  Hechavarria moves to second and cracks the Jays roster later in the year.  Or the unthinkable: Edwin Encarnacion shocks the world and unleashes his inner-Alomar.  A man can dream right?

Alright, moving on.  Next we have long time reader @TOSocialEvents with a whopping five questions!

Q: Does Travis Snider play better with or without his terrible moustache?

A: I’m not going to look at the stats to answer this, though admittedly they might help.  I think there is no doubt – the moustache must….STAY!  Snider looks terrible with the moustache – that much is obvious.  But remember when he hit a bomb in the Cito Gaston farewell game with a fake moustache on?  Now imagine that was a real ‘stache?   Upper deck blast.

Q: Who has a better moustache, Burt Reynolds or Cito Gaston?

A: Speaking of Cito, and sticking with the Movember train…as much as I love Cito, this is a no brainer.  Burt is a man among men.  Nothing beats it.

Q: If the Jays won the World Series and you were asked to host the after party at the parade, what would your bar options look like?

A: Good question.  There are many options for this.  You can go classy and pick a nice club downtown.  You go can with a Jays friendly bar like Opera Bobs or the Loose Moose.  But I think the best option is one that has cheap beer, a lot of room, and a place where men can urinate in a tiled trough with a waterfall flusher.  There is only bar in Toronto that can offer all of that.  I’m of course talking about The Dog’s Bollocks on Queen West.  Go there.  Trust me.  (Make sure you’re drunk first though…)

Q: In your honest opinion when will the Blue Jays next make the playoffs?

A: Hard to say right now, cause we don’t know what off-season moves Anthopoulos has up his sleeves, and we also don’t know when the additional Wild Card birth will come into play.  The fan in me says the Jays will get in this year.  The realist says it takes one more.  Book your playoff tickets for 2013.

Q: Who is the worst player to ever wear a Blue Jays uniform?

A: No-brainer: Kevin Cash.  This man sucked.  His career average as a Jay was .173 and his career OPS .485.  He was AWFUL.

Continuing forward, we move to an interesting question from an old classic and faithful reader @altrendy, who asks “George Bush owned the Rangers at one point?  What!  Tell us about Bush as an owner, Fan!  Please!”

A: Sure thing Trendos.  I’m not the biggest expert on the subject, but apparently good ol’ W bought into the Rangers in 1989, using borrowed money.  I found a few different sources on the story, with one saying he borrowed $800,000 and another saying $600,000.  The bottom line was that he was instrumental in bringing together 70 investors to form an ownership group, mainly due to his influence as the son of the president of the USA.  He added a powerful proviso in the deal that would see his ownership stake increase from 1% upwards as the original partners got their investments out.  When he ended up selling in 1998, he made over $15-million.  Of course, this all went down before he became president, but still – can you imagine if Dalton McGuinty, or Stephen Harper, or Jean Chretien owned the Jays?  Weird.  Take a look at this article for a more in depth look at Bush, and the scandal his ownership created.

Oh – another serious question from Mr. Trendy: “Are there any baseball players who are involved with crime outside of gambling?  NFL and NBA players get a bad reputation, but does baseball have a seedy underbelly that is hidden better than these two leagues?”

A: Wow – I don’t know.  Is that OK as an answer?  I know that baseball had a HUGE drug problem in the ’80’s as cocaine was running rampant through the league.  Players like Keith Hernandez, Tim Raines, and Dwight Gooden were all implicated.  Then of course there was the whole steroids thing.  Can’t say I”m aware of anything heavier than that.  Maybe they just do a better job of hiding it…I’ll keep you posted.

Next, let’s move to our pal @JPS_82, who excitedly asks: “Fan!  Did you see my retweet from the Big Hurt?”

A: Why yes, yes I did.  The following was an actual Twitter exchange from Saturday afternoon:

@JPS_82: @TheBigHurt_35 who do you like in the shortened NBA season? Are your Hawks and Joe Johnson taking the east this year?

@TheBigHurt_35: @JPS_82 No the Heat will rebound this year!!!

Congratulations pal. 

Finally, we end this edition of the “Male” Bag with two from @dsharpdavis:

Q: What do you think will happen to the Jays current “farm focus” if MLB decides to allow a second wildcard in 2012, instead of 2013?  Will they be more likely to go for a guaranteed big bat like Ortiz?

A: I don’t think so, and here’s why.  Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t want to simply make the playoffs.  He also doesn’t simply want to win the World Series.  (Though, obviously, both would be nice.)  What he wants to do is build a perennial contender that has a change to make the playoffs and win the World Series EVERY YEAR.  Signing Ortiz might be beneficial for 2012, but it also might be more harmful in the long run.  I think he wants to avoid giving multi-million dollar contracts to players on the downside of their careers…

And the grand finale…

Q: If you could turn one Blue Jay from the 2011 roster into a woman and seduce her for a night, who would it be?

A: Edwin Encarnacion – Queen of the Night.

So Long Blue Jays! So Long Canada!

With about a week between posts, many loyal 500 Level Fan readers were wondering where I was.  Was this the end of 500 Level Fan?  Was the site shutting down?  Was I signed by a national publication that would make writing about baseball my full-time job?

Well – No, No, and sadly, not even close.

On the weekend, September 10th, Mrs. 500 Level Fan and I actually became Mr. and Mrs., with the long anticipated nuptials out in wine country Niagara.  Despite such luminaries as Alex Anthopoulos, Edwin Encarnacion, and J.P. Arencibia deciding not to show up, the festivities were amazing.  It’s true what they say – it is the greatest day of your life.  It was for me.

But because of the wedding, and our upcoming honeymoon to England and Spain, this will the final post for the 2011 Blue Jays season. 

It was a great ride this year.  The explosiveness of Opening Day, the madman style wheeling and dealing of the silent assassin Alex Anthopoulos, the dynamic first month of phenom Brett Lawrie, and another MVP-style campaign from Jose Bautista have brought baseball excitment back to Toronto.  The Jays, in my book anyways, are serious contenders in 2012.

And what a way to finish the season for me!  I was there to see Lawrie’s “tongue-wagging” HR on Labour Day.  I was there with my nephew at his first ever Jays game to see (most of) the stirring comeback win on Wednesday against Boston.  I was there with a whole slew of family on Thursday to see Ricky dominate the Red Sox.  Add to that the ninth inning comeback on the wedding day and another comback on Sunday, and it was a great week to be a fan.  (We’ll just forget that last nights 18-6 debacle ever happened – except for Bautista’s BOMB against Tim Wakefield).

But don’t worry my friends – this isn’t the end of the road for 500 Level Fan.  Though I’ll miss the last few weeks of the Blue Jays season by drinking red wine on a beach in Spain, I’ll be back in plenty of time for the playoffs.  When I return you can expect the same level of witty, sarcastic, and poorly written commentary on things like:

– postseason predictions

– a look back at my pre-season predictions

– a peek towards Toronto’s offseason

– what beer I envision each member of the Jays drinking in the winter

So thanks for all of your support.  Hopefully you’ll still be here when I return.


500 Level Fan

Third Time’s A Charm! The Third Ever 500 Level Fan “Male”Bag

To show that I am a man of my word, I have changed the name of 500 Level Fan’s reader mailbag from mail to male.  Please refer to the second ever mailbag (here) for clarification.

So, with that said…welcome to the third ever 500 Level Fan reader Male Bag.  The inbox has begun to bulge with questions, meaning it’s time to make the fans happy and give them what they want.

All four of them…

Let’s start with first time question-poser, the alpha male himself @TweetsByRules:

Q: What are your thoughts on the Kelly Johnson trade?

A: I like it, because to me it is basically risk-free.  I have heard many people criticize the deal, with comments like “Johnson is only hitting .209”, or “Johnson’s OBP is only .287”,or “I love Johnny Mac”.  Yes friends – all of those things are true.  I do love Johnny Mac.  I will miss him.  But let’s be honest: he wasn’t going to help the Jays win the World Series this year.  And yes, Kelly Johnson is having an off year. But he is only one year removed from a .284 / .370 / .496 / .865 slash line, with 26 HR.  Those numbers are pretty good.

The deal basically boils down to this:

Best case scenario, Johnson reverts back to his 2010 form and crushes the ball in Toronto.  He likes the team and the city, and decides to re-sign here next year at what should be a fairly decent price seeing how much he has struggled.  AA really likes this guy, and AA is rarely wrong.

Worst case scenario, Johnson still performs at a sub-par level, and we are left with a guy who has similar stats to Aaron Hill.

Who we would been left with anyways.

Besides, it sounds like both Hill and Johnny may return next year anyways….

Which leads us to this question from a man who loves to tip over golf carts and lick red hot chili flakes, Mr. @altrendy

Q: If (as is widely rumoured) Aaron Hill and/or Johnny Mac end up re-signing with the Jays in 2012, what was the point of the Kelly Johnson trade?

A: Yes, good question.  You’d likely have to ask Anthopoulos this one.  But, you asked me, so here is my opinion on the issue.  As said before, AA likes Kelly Johnson.  He tried to sign him in 2009 but lost out to Arizona.  I’ve heard his name floated in rumours associated with the Jays for a while. So I guess the point of the trade is that he finally got his man.  From the sounds of the farewell press conference, both Hill and Johnny do seem open to re-signing with Toronto.  I would bet that Johnny will be back, as a bench player-slash-coach.  As far as Hill, well…Johnson has a month and a bit to show us what he’s got.

More from Trendos!

Q: Was the call-up of Lawrie a good thing for Colby Rasmus (timing-wise)?

A: Interesting.  Rasmus was definitely hyped in St. Louis, and then underperformed.  When AA acquired him in July, suddenly he was being hyped all over again.  Some called him the future saviour of the Jays.  The blogger-sphere gushed about him.  The Jays were widely regarded as having heavily won the deal.  Then Rasmus arrived and promptly went 0 for 12 in his first three games.  In his first seven games with the Jays he was scuffling along with a .167 AVG, .460 OPS, 0 HR, 3 RBI, and 7 K. 

But before fans had time to start irrationally hating on Rasmus, up came Brett Lawrie to take away all the hype and all the spotlight.  Since Lawrie’s arrival, Rasmus has been better (.241 AVG, .728 OPS, 3 HR, 9 RBI) – not fantastic, but better.  So I think that yes, it was a good thing for Colby Rasmus that Lawrie was called up when he was.

Q: With the season nearing its conclusion, how many HR will Jose Bautista end up with?

A: The million dollar question Trendos…

The Jays have played 130 games and Bautista has 37 home runs.  Going purely statistical, Bau has hit 0.28 HR a game, meaning in the last 32 games of the season it stands to reason he will hit 9 more and finish with 46. 

But I don’t want to be statistical with Bautista.  He can go for stretches were he goes cold, and then stretches where he gets hot.  He hasn’t been red hot for a while.  I think he will get red hot again, for two reasons: 1) in the last 32 games, Toronto plays 7 against Tampa, 6 against the Yankees, and 6 against Boston – rival teams.  I thinks he gets jacked up to play those guys.  2) When Bautista gets mad, he explodes (ask Luke Hochevar).  With the season winding down, there will be a lot of MVP debate.  Most will choose Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Curtis Granderson, or Justin Verlander because they are in the playoffs.  This will make Bautista mad.

Jose finishes with 51 bombs.

Next, we hear from the Fireball-guzzling @dsharpdavis:

Q: What is a trait you’ve learned from a Jay that you’ve applied to your everyday life?  (i.e. Rauch’s use of physical threats to achieve goals).

A: I definitely don’t use the Rauch very often.  I don’t think I’d get much with my bulk.  But I think I can say I have applied the following three items to everyday life:

1 – the Bautista angry stare.  When I get mad, I quite enjoy staring down people.  It works great for road rage.  And in beer league softball.

2 – the Romero bench punch.  When I’m frustrated or something doesn’t go my way, I often pull a Romero and punch something, just like the pitcher does when is pulled from a game.  The best thing to punch is the cubicle wall at work, especially in the presence of senior management.  They like that.

3 – the Fernandez golden smile.  I try to be more and more like Tony every day.

Honourable Mention – I am a man who doesn’t swear or curse.  But if I did, I would definitely apply the Rios to my everyday life.  “Who gives a f**k!”

Finally, we move on to a man from the West, a man who loves the bud as much as the next guy, and man who has the biggest man crush on Alex Rodriguez in the history of Earth – @TheCraiger:

Q: Based on his current pace, where will A-Rod finish up relative to the games all-time greats (Ruth, Williams, Mays, Bonds, Ripken, Berra, etc..)?  First ballot Hall of Famer?  Home Run King?  What effect will steroid era and his participation in it have on his hall of fame chances?

 A: Oh Sauny, you and your A-Rod infatuation!  But it is actually a good question.  Until I really checked into the numbers, I didn’t realize just how good of a player A-Rod has been for his career.

In terms of Baseball Reference WAR, A-Rod is currently ranked 15th of all time for offensive players with a 107.2 WAR.  The top-5 are Babe Ruth (164.6), Ty Cobb (156.0), Barry Bonds (151.4), Willie Mays (136.2), and Hank Aaron (130.1).  Yes A-Rod is slowing down, and yes he is aging (currently 35 years old), but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he plays another five seasons and puts up a WAR of 5-ish each year.  That would propel him past Hank Aaron into 5th.

In terms of home runs, Rodriguez has 626, 6th all time, and only 136 behind Bonds for first.  Again, he will need to play for five more season and average 28 HR a year to break the record – but that is entirely possible if he stays healthy (and out of the poker rooms…).  He’s only finished a season with fewer than 30 HR once in the last 15, though this year due to injury he only has 13.  I think he can do it.

The last parts of the question are tough to answer, and a lot will depend on what happens to Bonds and Clemens in the upcoming years.  A-Rod was a steroid user – that is a confirmed fact.  But he came out and amitted it (albeit with much prodding from Selena Roberts), which – like it or not – will give him bonus points with voters.  To see Bonds and Clemens still denying the fact that they used steroids to this day, even though mounds and mounds of solid evidence say otherwise, is disgusting and embarrassing.  So to see how voters treat them will give us more insight on what to expect with A-Rod. 

But if you want my thoughts?  Here they are:

1. Where will he finish among the greats?  Among them.

2. First ballot hall of famer?  Yes.

3. Home run king?  Yes.

That’s it!  Keep the questions coming for next time!