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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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July 1, 2008 10:18 AM

The "ace" prototype

Posted by Geoff Baker

Happy Canada Day, folks. Though, from the looks of things, a whole lot of visiting fans were celebrating Canada Day last night. Anyhow, as some of you have mentioned, no harm getting shut out 2-0 by a guy looking like this year's Cy Young Award winner. Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays may only be 9-6. But he has as many complete games -- six -- as any other team in the American League. Halladay currently sits sixth in AL earned run average, but is blowing away the field with 130 1/3 innings pitched. His 6-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio is also the best of any AL starter in the top-20 ERA-wise.

Yes, he's that good.

Over the past 16 months running this blog, I've made a number of references to Halladay in regards to Felix Hernandez. Unfortunately for Hernandez, he's now on the DL. Not a huge setback. The team simply couldn't afford to go through a second night of an all-bullpen start after tonight's. Some of you were wondering yesterday why the team simply didn't call up another starter for tonight's game. Well, the thing is, somebody would have had to be sent down to Class AAA. Likely Roy Corcoran. And you don't want to lose a relief pitcher with Miguel Batista already shaky, Hernandez not right and those free-swinging Detroit Tigers looming for a four-game series. The team had been hoping to avoid losing Hernandez another week to the DL. So, it crossed its fingers, waited for yesteday and hoped Hernandez could make it back to the mound later this week. When that was obviously not going to be a possibility, it placed him on the DL and freed up the roster spot to add Cesar Jimenez. This way, you don't lose a reliever.

There you go. No big mystery. No conspiracy of incompetence. Just that.

Anyhow, back to Hernandez and Halladay. We could include Erik Bedard in this discussion, but, from what I've seen the first half of the season, Hernandez is a better comparison. He's a power pitcher. Has all the right "stuff'' to be a future ace, including the innings durability and the knack for going eight or nine innings when he's on.

As I've mentioned a few times before, Hernandez is still ahead of where Halladay was at the same age. Halladay was 21 when I saw him break in with the Blue Jays back in 1998. Hernandez is already in his fourth season (third full season) at age 22. That's huge from a developmental standpoint.

Halladay didn't break through in his development until his fourth full year (that would be next season for Hernandez) and had a massive failure one season prior to that, the 2001 campaign, in which he was shipped back to Class A ball to reinvent himself in terms of repetoire and his psychological approach to the game.

What happened after that? Simply put, Halladay became a machine. I watched his performance with my girlfriend, Amy, on TV last night. She'd seen him pitch before, during her frequent visits to Toronto before I moved here. Her first comments upon seeing him was: "He's thinner.''

Yes, he is.

After that: "He looks like a machine.''

Yes, in fact, Ever since the "new" Halladay stepped forward in 2002, he has always seemed like the perfect robotic prototype of what a starting pitcher should be. Like one of those Terminator machines in one of Arnold's movies. An unstoppable force coming at you unrelentingly.

And you have to watch Halladay up close to get an even truer appreciation for what he does. Watching on TV, you can see it in his face on the mound. The intensity. The focus. I've never seen a pitcher more intense than Halladay up-close. Maybe Roger Clemens. He's a guy Halladay spent a bit of time with in 1998. I'm not surprised that he would remind me of The Rocket.

Anyone who's spent time training with Halladay will tell you that his workouts are crazy. He's a horse. So much so, the team had him cut back on his workout schedule because they feared it was leading to him overtraining. Didn't want his body breaking down. Halladay has this set routine that involves him waking up in the wee hours of the morning, running a bunch of miles and then getting into the serious strength training and between-starts work. He doesn't deviate from it. And it's hard work. There is no time off with this guy. No goofing around time. Every minute of every day, from the moment spring training begins until the final pitch of the season is thrown, is dedicated towards making him the best pitcher he can be.

He told me once that, on the day of his starts, he can't remember what anyone says to him. Even if his wife tries talking to him, he won't remember even having a conversation the next day. This was the stuff drilled into him by sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman, a guy some Mariners have used before. Halladay improvised some of those teachings and went on to develop his own approach.

Why am I going on and on about Halladay? Not to bore you with thoughts about the Blue Jays. To apply it to this current M's team. If you understand what you want Hernandez (or Bedard, but like I said, I think Hernandez has the best shot of actually doing it) to become, you have to understand the guy who should be his end goal. If you want a Halladay fronting your rotation, you need to understand what Halladay is. He's not just a bunch of stats. He is a machine. He is the definition of present-day excellence and long-term excellence. It's been five years since his Cy Young. But he is still providing that excellence day-in, day-out. He is an "ace". Not a pretender to that title. Not a potential "ace" having a few good weeks. A proven ace.

What does Hernandez have to do to get there?

Look, I'm not going to pretend Hernandez and Halladay are the same person. They aren't.

Halladay would never be seen playing "flip" with teammates (tapping a ball around to each other with their gloves, standing in a circle) on the sidelines before batting practice. He just doesn't have the time. That doesn't mean Hernandez can't do it. There's nothing wrong with a little "team time" for a guy who, let's face it, will be counted on as a leader of this squad down the road.

But Hernandez doesn't have the off-field routine Halladay does. Not yet. There is no baby fat on Halladay. There is still some on Hernandez.

I like what I've seen from Hernandez the past two years as far as working out goes. From what I'm told, he is taking it very seriously and has gotten himself -- obviously -- in better shape. But is he dedicating every fiber of his being to becoming the best pitcher in the game? I think he can still do more. It will take time. He's young and when he can see progress on the mound, which he's started to make again since May, it's tough for anyone to believe they aren't working as hard as they possibly can at it.

Halladay also had that career scare back in 2001 to motivate him into taking things to that next level. Hernandez hasn't. Not yet, anyway. He's been steadily progressing. Every year. Not with lightning speed, but steadily.

Most importantly, he understands what he has to do to be more like Halladay when he's on the mound. If you check out Halladay's pitch counts, he has yet to go beyond 120 for any of his complete games. That's efficiency. Hernandez is well aware of the need to be efficient. He understands better that he does not have to strike out 10 batters per game to help his team the most. Hernandez doesn't always succeed in putting these theories into practice. But he is at least aware of it. He tries. That's a huge step. And he has the physical stamina to do the things Halladay does. He could go 130 pitches if he needed to. Halladay can do that too. He just doesn't want to. So, he makes it a moot discussion by staying efficient.

Bottom line? Next season will be the one in which the comparisons between Hernandez and a guy like Halladay can really start to take place. So far, Hernandez has the building blocks. He's got the slightly better ERA at 2.83 (though Halladay's ERA+ is better by one point), while his innings pitched is in the top-5 (and should let him surpass 200 for the first time). The 3-1 strkeouts-to-walks ratio is also promising. Hernandez was rather ordinary the first few weeks of May, when this team was falling off the map. He's picked it up a notch since, going seven innings or more in four of five starts before going down to that ankle injury.

He was going five or six innings routinely before this latest run. But that's not good enough. Not for a team relying on him to be an "ace" down the road. Yes, that's a high standard to ask for. As a pitcher this year, Hernandez has been the best on this team. Better than Bedard over the long haul. Not by mid-May, when the team fell out of it, but the long haul. The games really don't count any more, so every performance now has to be kept with that in mind. But from a developmental standpoint, Hernandez is morphing into what the team hopes he can become.

Another Halladay. Another true "ace" from start to finish.

He's not there yet. There is another level he has to reach. It should be interesting to watch and see what happens from here.

ADDITIONAL NOTES (12:19 p.m.): For Resin in the comments thread, you are correct in noting that Halladay hasn't surpassed 200 K since his 2003 Cy Young Award season. That's intentional. His worst season (since 2001) was in 2004, after he'd nearly blown his arm out winning that Cy Young. Halladay was plagued by arm fatigue that year, so he changed his approach to a more pitch-to-contact, efficient style. Doesn't need strikeouts as much. Was running away with the 2005 Cy Young race until a line drive broke his leg right before the all-star break and ended his season. That year was arguably better than his Cy Young season to that point.

As to the Jeff Fassero comparison somebody made, Fassero had similar stats early, yes. But much of it came in the lighter-hitting NL. Fassero never cracked the top-8 in a Cy Young race. Halladay has a career ERA+ of 129 over a decade in the AL. Didn't face many pitchers hitting against him like Fassero did. Felix Hernandez's best season so far sees him at an ERA+ of 138 this year. So, Halladay's 10-year average is pretty close to that. Also, look at Halladay's innings totals. For excellence over the long-term you won't find much better.



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Posted by Bill

10:44 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Those 2 pitches he threw to Clement for strike 3 were nasty. I still think the ump's strike zone was a little large, though. Especially that strike 1 call on Sexson that was below his knees and outside.

Posted by chris in pdx

10:48 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Not many player`s have the make up of Halladay.Not anymore.But Hernandez appeared in shape and thinner in spring of 07` and that was great to see.I think this "kid" cares and will not turn into another Freddy Garcia.Bedard can`t even be mentioned in the same sentance.Not now,maybe never.Hope he`ll prove that wrong but.........

Posted by scottM

10:48 AM, Jul 01, 2008

On a Canadian holiday, GEOFF gives us the all-work, no play Halladay.

Isn't he about the thirtieth Cy Young quality pitcher to shut down the M's this season? How could the M's be so unlucky.

Posted by DugoutNut

10:50 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Anyone else get the impression that as much as Geoff likes Felix, its not so much for Bedard?

That says a lot coming from a guy who covers baseball for a living.

Posted by BrianL

11:00 AM, Jul 01, 2008

On the mound, I think Felix would benefit from a different coaching philosophy. All season we've heard ESTABLISH THE FASTBALL over and over again from Norm, Mel, and Mac, yet it can be argued that Felix's best pitch is his slider or changeup. Felix seems to be a bit fastball happy at times, an I wonder how much of this has to do with the coaching staff. What I really want to see is not necessarily less fastballs, but more variation in pitch selection.

Posted by Ziasudra

11:14 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Bill - I agree with you entirely - Halladay had a lot of help on some strike calls - that 3-0 pitch to Sexson was atrocius. Next inning, strike 1 on Willie was wide, so Willie swung at the next two. It's not always strike 3 that is the killer.
But, as you pointed out, Halladay needed no help in handling Clement - those pitches were truly awesome.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:16 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Felix Hernandez is the ace. He works his butt off as the coaching staff has stated. I'd rather my ace interact with teammates and demonstrate leadership over being unseen ghost on game day. He's on pace for a spectacular season 200 strike outs, 200 innings pitched.

Halladay on the other hand, is having a career year so far. He hasn't thrown 200 strikeouts since 2003. In '06 and '07 he finished with around 140 K's each season. Roy is a frontline starter, however Felix is a superior pitcher. Felix's breaking stuff has way more life than Roy's in my opinion. I'd have to give Roy the upper hand on his fastball which shows impressive late life but that's it.

Last night, Clement showed an example on how he likes to work into a full count 3-2 on most his plate appearances. The major downside to this, if you don't read the pitch correctly, it makes you look bad on watching the third called strike. You have no wiggle room so it puts a lot of pressure on the hitter. Especially, if the worst result for the pitcher is a walk on an M's offense that hasn't exactly instilled fear in the opposition by stranding so many men on base.

My personal feeling is when you are ahead like; 3-0, 2-0, 2-1, you are in a much better situation to get a ball fat in the strike zone.

This is part of the development process, so fans that question Clement's future need to calm down. He'll start getting to a ball before he gets into a full count.

Jose Lopez his first two season rarely took even one pitch. He pulled every ball to third base. Now as stated above, he has been the first half Team MVP.

Jeremy Reed is a player that worries me. He has such a high tendency to hit the ball on the ground, I don't see him being a good hitter for us. Thus, he has 4 extra base hits out of his 24 hits this year. I don't like his future because I haven't seen any major difference in his approach for the past two years. Besides at his age right now, I'm not sure there's any improvement left out of Reed. I believe he's a .250 hitter. His small sample size batting average likely won't hold up when he reaches 200 at bats this year.

Ryan Feierabend has a 2.15 ERA as a starter in Tacoma and he's not getting a chance to start? Wow. The M's better make a move soon to rid the club of Vidro and Sexson.

Posted by tomtom

11:21 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Riggleman told us Halladay was un-hittable, particularly for the rookie catcher

you have to eventually think it: the M's don't expect Jamie to make it next season, so their muscleman but .172 Rookie is worth the embarrassment in front of the Press.

Posted by happy happy joy joy

11:22 AM, Jul 01, 2008

An American man is having his coffee, croissants, bread, butter and jam at the breakfast table when a Canadian sits down next to him.

The American ignores the Canadian who, nevertheless, starts a conversation. "You American folk eat the whole bread?" asks the Canadian with a large piece of chewing gum in his mouth.
"Of course!"
The Canadian blows a bubble with his chewing gum, then remarks, "We don't. In Canada, we only eat what's inside. We collect the crusts in containers, recycle them, then transform them into croutons, and sell them to the United States."

The Canadian has a smirk on is face. All the while, the American listens in silence.
"Do ya eat jelly with the bread?" asks the Canadian.
"Of course!"
The Canadian cracks his gum between his teeth and chuckles, "We don't. In Canada, we eat fresh fruit for breakfast and put all peel, seeds and leftovers in containers, recycle them, then transform them into jam, and sell it to the U.S."

"And, what do you Canadians do with condoms once you've used them?" asks the American.
"We throw them away, of course," replies the Canadian, with a dumbfounded look.

The American explains, "WE don't. In the U.S., we put them in a container, recycle them, then melt them down into chewing gum and sell it to Canada.

Posted by joy joy happy happy eh

11:23 AM, Jul 01, 2008

This is the transcript on an ACTUAL radio conversation of a US Naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10 - 10 - 95.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again you divert YOUR course.

Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES` ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

Posted by chris in pdx

11:24 AM, Jul 01, 2008

if felix hernandez is to be expected to be the #1 as the management has said,then why give the opening day slot to a pitcher(Bedard)and send mixed message`s to Felix.I am still ticked they did that.

Posted by scrapiron

11:31 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Ok, so Halladay IS an ace. Felix could BECOME an ace, with hard work. The bigger question is why isn't Erik Bedard an ace NOW?

If you look at the Dominant (PQS 4 or 5) vs. Disaster (PQS 0 or 1) stats, you'll see that Felix isn't that far from Halladay, where Bedard isn't even in the ballpark:
DOM DIS
Halladay 65% 0%
Hernandez 56% 13%
Bedard 36% 29%

Quite frankly, Halladay simply hasn't had a bad outing this year, which is the big difference.

Posted by Ol Mike

11:31 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Ok! Ok!! Ok!! Everyone on this Blog has offered their opinion on who should go and who should stay on the Mariner team for the remainder of this awful season. And many good opinions have been put forth. But!!! The question that still remains is when are major player moves going to be made by Mariner Management To this point we have seen Wilkerson & Norton go, as well as a few pitchers and position players like Balentien and Clement go up & down to the Minors. But when it comes to making a major player change that could really help this team it is like the Mariner Management is frozen or stuck in a quagmire allowing the "Winds of Chance" to make all the difficult, but necessary player changes for them. It easily can be seen that Putz and Felix on the DL, for instance, is forcing Mariner Management to do something. So why can't they initiate some player personnel moves without relying on the "Random Acts of Chance"? Couldn't they use their years of experience and superior baseball wisdom to make the required changes and if they are ever going to make these changes when will that be? The longer they wait the worse this present scenario gets.

Posted by Ziasudra

11:36 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Uh, JJHH eh - i heard that tale ca. 1980. Nice spin, tho'. . . .

Posted by Tom

11:37 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Thanks, Geoff, for a very interesting analysis. Couldn't the same reasoning be applied to Erik Bedard? In other words, couldn't it be said that Erik Bedard is even closer than Felix to becoming a true ace such as Halladay.

One thing you didn't emphasize that I noticed at Safeco Field last night: Halladay's body language at all times exudes confidence and focus. He's not intimidating in the same manner as a Roger Clemens, but there's no doubt that he means business on every pitch. Heck, he looks intimidating during his warm up pitches.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:44 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Why is Halladay's routine only a requirement, or only interesting, to apply to Felix? If Halladay has total focus and mechanical precision, why not apply that to every pitcher? More to the point, why not expect that of every pitcher?

You won't get a team of 5 Halladays, or 5 Felixes. But you just might see your 2 guy behave like a 1, and your 3 - 5 behave like 3 solid 3s.

I agree with your basic premise, that if Felix applies himself and hones his skills the way Roy has, Felix will go far. But in a club that has a (here's that word again) culture of low expectations, one would think it'd be necessary to apply it to everyone.

Imagine if all the position players had the focus and regular routine of Ichiro. You wouldn't get a team full of Ichiros. You wouldn't even be guaranteed anything, as Ichiro himself is having a terrible year by his standards. But you could shore up a lot of the mental errors, and possibly elevate everyone's game enough, to perhaps gain a couple games a year.

Rather than pin all hopes on the one ace or the one player, why not have a team that expects and produces the best possible from everyone?

Posted by eastcoast

11:50 AM, Jul 01, 2008

Felix is an elite pitcher and only 22 years old. He may not be a true "ACE" yet, but he is very close. He has shown significant improvement from last year, particularly with his mental approach to each start. He is also a fiery competitor, which is a quality that most ACEs possess. Unfortunately, by the time the M's are once again competitive, Felix will be on his way to Boston, NY, Atl, or LA as a FA.

Resin - FYI, Feierabend is on the DL.

Posted by tomtom

12:11 PM, Jul 01, 2008

Anyone see the Centerfielder about ruin Ichiro last night? "I didn't call it early enough"... Horse pukkey.. Have a little respect for the team's athletic ability, please.

I traveled to see the kid play in AAA last year and I like the recalled-up kid, but as the new CF; he still doesn't allow for the Range of the Gold Gloved Right Fielder. Big mistake, kid. Dang it young man, don't compete with him, take some lessons from Raul and find a safe spot. Repeat: Don't compete with the guy, or worry the Management with $90 Million tied up in the RF, and you will have a comfortable spot next year.

The up-side to the NEAR train wreck: Both OF's correctly made a safe pursuit angle adjustment and made the effort to be in the near perfect throwing position in relation to the Cut-off man. No more Old School nonsence. Nobody jumped into the two handed "white boy off the bench" blunderfest that takes four seconds to readjust. Nobody back peddled into the fence. No-one tried a belly flop "diamond catch" or made the field and fence "faceplant" that Rookies like Morse have used to end their season.

It was just a simple backhand catch, at high speed, for both athletes. The RF apologized, and hopefully the CF felt honored. All that is left now is two weeks of bitter ulcer pills by the GM and CEO.

But be warned,,, if a near miss happens again over the next 10 games, it is AAA time for the kid. It will cost you a million/year over the next three years.

Posted by Fortified Milk

12:14 PM, Jul 01, 2008

Canada Day, wow that sounds about as exciting as changing diapers. Halladay is similar to a Jeff Faserro but with less creditdentials. Hell the M's make most pitchers look unhitable most nights.

Posted by scottM

12:16 PM, Jul 01, 2008

from C of B: "Imagine if all the position players had the focus and regular routine of Ichiro. [...]You wouldn't even be guaranteed anything, [...]But you could shore up a lot of the mental errors, and possibly elevate everyone's game enough, to perhaps gain a couple games a year."

I can think of about five games alone that lack of concentration in the field by Lopez and Yuni cost us in victories. And this doesn't address the kind of free-swinging undisciplined approach to hitting that has cost even more games.

Posted by Ben

12:19 PM, Jul 01, 2008

I think Felix posesses a bit of the bulldog mentality that Halladay has.

Felix has been banged up or slight hurt in a lot of games and doesn't want to come out. He wants to pitch the whole game and carry the team with him. That's what we need from an ace.

I want to see more of that from Bedard. I don't need him to be firey - but if he could at least man-up a little and pitch into the 7th or 8th consistently, that would be great.

Felix is outclassing and out-toughing Bedard for sure.

I wonder if getting listed as the number 2 starter had anything to do with his motivation or if it was just something Felix was going to do regardless.

Posted by tomtom

12:35 PM, Jul 01, 2008

I have said it several times already. Felix was trying to make up for Sexon's and Joh's underperformance. He hits home runs for Sexon and blocks the runner at Home for Johjima...

and Pooooof.... Disabled List.

Forget about it hot stuff, heal and stay healed.

Let the GM motivate Richie as soon as the FO gets done splitting ups Mac's gear. The FO is still out buying Cadillac's with Mac's money.

Posted by Bums

12:37 PM, Jul 01, 2008

This is how I sum it up. Halladay is damn good pitcher, which is already known. Hernandez is good, has damn good potential and Batista should not be on this team. It is only hurting them right now. Get rid of Batista.

Posted by The Centerfield Bum

12:46 PM, Jul 01, 2008

Canada Day should make for another night of fun with the drunk Canadians at and around Safeco Field.

Posted by Fortified Milk

1:26 PM, Jul 01, 2008

Geoff is only getting about a third of his normal response posts to this blog, kind of like the canadian exchange rate.

Posted by Capo

1:34 PM, Jul 01, 2008

From Snopes.com:

The Obstinate Lighthouse

Claim: In 1995 an embarrassing conversation between a lighthouse and an aircraft carrier was recorded by the Chief of Naval Operations, the transcript of which leaked out to the general public.

Status: False

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1998]

Origins: The story of the self-important aircraft carrier captain getting his well-earned comeuppance at the hands of a plain-speaking lighthouse has been making the rounds on the Internet since early 1996. Most writeups purport to be transcripts of a 1995 conversation between a ship and a lighthouse as documented by Chief of Naval Operations.

It ain't true. Not only does the Navy disclaim it, the anecdote shows up in a 1992 collection of jokes and tall tales. Worse, it appears in Stephen Covey's 1989 The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and he got it from a 1987 issue of Proceedings, a publication of the U.S. Naval Institute.

It's likely far older than that, because another reader mentioned he saw it passed around as a photocopied joke in the late 1960s while serving aboard either the USS Dixie or USS Truxtun. That certainly agrees with the opinion of Navy sources (as quoted in the news article later on this page); they place the story as being thirty or forty years old.

Slightly different versions name different ships as the one which unwillingly gained a lesson in the unimportance of self importance. Having debunked this tale a few times themselves, the U.S. Navy has a web page about this legend, one that answers what three of the commonly cited ships were doing at the time this supposedly occurred.

Posted by Capo

1:36 PM, Jul 01, 2008

Geoff is only getting about a third of his normal response posts to this blog, kind of like the canadian exchange rate.


Maybe you should pay a little more attention to Financial news than this blog.

Posted by joy joy happy happy ?

1:45 PM, Jul 01, 2008

THEY ARE JUST JOKES!!!! geez this blog has to over ANALyze everything. Just tryin to celebrate Canada with some humor. Smoke a doob or something geez! LMAO

Posted by scrapiron

1:46 PM, Jul 01, 2008

Buster Olney of ESPN recently did a poll of 25 players, scouts and executives and asked them who the most dominating pitcher in baseball was. The winner? Felix Hernandez. Roy Halladay received votes, but didn't even make the top 5. The top 5:

1. Felix Hernandez
2. Tim Lincecum
3. Josh Beckett
4. Rich Harden
5. Edinson Volquez

Posted by GoRentonGo

1:54 PM, Jul 01, 2008

Geoff --

Where the heck have you been? Please tell us you're all right at least.

And there are comments in this blog that Felix doesn't want to sign a long-term deal here. True? Or not offered yet?

Posted by 6killer

2:02 PM, Jul 01, 2008

I would put Halladay right up there with these contemporary right handed Aces

John Smoltz - should be a HOFer

Roy Oswalt - generously listed @ 6'

Brandon Webb - THE nastiest sinker in MLB

Tim Hudson - consistant as they come

one of my all time favorites would be Dave Stewart in his A's prime (87'-90'). I dare anyone to challenge him to a staring contest.

Posted by K-Man

2:05 PM, Jul 01, 2008

"25 players, scouts and executives" is my definition of a small sample.

I'd rather have Halladay anyday. Hey, that rhymes. Barkeep, make mine a halladay. Ah, never mind...

Posted by 6killer

2:10 PM, Jul 01, 2008

as far as young (under 30) righty Aces? here's my top 6 in no particular order...

Felix

Tim Lincicum

Justin Verlander

Carlos Zambrano (ask Jim Edmonds or Micahel Barrett what they think of this guy)

James Shields

Peavy

Chris Young gets an honorable mention...if he could only stay healty

Posted by Ben

2:52 PM, Jul 01, 2008

What about Kazmir? He's better than shields.

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