There's barely enough room on Manny's plaque!   

Updated: July 29, 2008, 7:26 PM ET

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What Manny Ramirez's Hall of Fame plaque would look like had general managers taken his every trade request or postgame dinner conversation with an opponent seriously and acted upon it …


Kansas City's Jimmy Gobble appeared to lock up this week's award with his epic performance against the Tigers on July 21 -- 1 IP, 7 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. Now, pitchers allow 10 runs in a game every once in a while, but Gobble not only did it in one inning, he did it IN RELIEF!!!! That's the most allowed by a reliever in six years -- Frank Castillo pulled it off in 2002, although he required 3 2/3 innings. The outing raised Gobble's ERA from an embarrassing 7.99 to a downright inexcusable (even by Kansas City standards) 11.31. The bad news for Gobble is he went on the disabled list two days later (which might partially explain the 10 runs). The worse news is his effort, as remarkable as it was, didn't stand up.

That's because Cincinnati's Homer Bailey surpassed it with a dazzling 15-hitter Saturday against the Rockies. The 15 hits would have been impressive enough, but Bailey somehow scattered them in such a way that Colorado managed only five runs (just four earned) despite 17 baserunners in less than five innings against him. The Rockies stranded seven runners and had another doubled off, one runner thrown out at second, one runner thrown out at third and two thrown out at home. Bailey's line: 4 2/3 IP, 15 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.

The 15 hits allowed were the most allowed in one game in 10 years, since Mike Oquist allowed 16 in 1998.


• Off Base's reliable informant Scooter reports from Cooperstown that the estimated crowd of 15,000 for Sunday's induction ceremony probably was inflated. Apparently, the inductions of Barney Dreyfuss and Bowie Kuhn didn't pack in the fans. Not that the prices reflected it. Mickey Rivers was asking -- and receiving -- $35 an autograph. Scooter says he said hello to Gaylord Perry, who replied, "You need to get in line." Apparently, Perry was signing autographs at the time, prompting Scooter to comment, "What do I owe you for the hello?" And speaking of Perry, funny how writers won't vote for Mark McGwire despite no actual proof he took steroids (which were not specifically banned by baseball at the time) but didn't have a problem voting in Perry despite his own admittance to cheating by throwing the spitter (which was banned four decades before Perry reached the majors). Perhaps writers should make it clear just which forms of cheating warrant inclusion in the Hall of Fame and which warrant exclusion, ridicule, dishonor and sanctimonious moralizing.

• It also is still aggravating that the Hall found room for Dreyfuss, Kuhn and Walter O'Malley but snubbed Marvin Miller. Owners, commissioners and executives don't belong in the Hall (they usually are as hated as they are admired), but if they're going to go there, how can you ignore Miller, who had a greater effect on the game than those three? But congratulations to Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus, who was a very deserving addition to the Hall. He's been the best thing for Seattle baseball, and that includes Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, A-Rod and Ichiro.

• Speaking of Ichiro, the Seattle outfielder is batting worse than .300 (.297) but entered Tuesday needing just one hit to reach a combined 3,000 hits for his career between the majors (1,721 and counting) and Japan (1,278). Ichiro will turn 35 in October and probably will need to play six more seasons relatively comparable to the past seven and a half to reach 3,000 hits in our majors (which also would put his combined Japan-U.S. total right around Pete Rose's record). With a career average of .330, an MVP award, two batting titles, seven Gold Gloves, eight All-Star appearances and the single-season hits record, he's looking good to become the first Japanese player to reach Cooperstown, whether he reaches 3,000 hits here or not.

• Here's another Japanese report, this one from Steve in Chiba, Japan, who points out that the Nippon Ham Fighters let pitching wonder Yu Darvish throw 165 pitches in a recent 5-2 loss to the Chiba Lotte Marines. And the amazing thing is, Dusty Baker doesn't manage the Fighters. Granted, Japan has a different (some would call it old-school) approach to pitching, and Chiba Lotte manager Bobby Valentine says Darvish still was throwing 94 mph in the eighth inning, but that's a lot of pitches for someone who is still 21, even if he is the best pitcher in the country. On the other hand, Darvish threw around 90 pitches in a complete game victory this week. It will be interesting to see how many pitches Darvish averages the rest of his career in Japan before the likely day when he asks to be posted so he can pitch in America -- and how teams here will regard any excess strain on his arm. Oh, and Dice-K fans will be interested to learn that Matsuzaka's old team has qualified for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn. For more on both Darvish and Dice-K's very interesting former Little League coach and team, click here.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for


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