hall of fame, next vote...

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http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=halloffame/roundtable/041222

how do you rate the arguments contained herein?

jonathan quayle higgins (j.q. higgins), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:29 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think Andre Dawson, Jim Rice, Lee Smith and Bert Blylevyn were Hall of Famers. Morris, Sandberg, Sutter and Goosage have much better arguments in their favor, but of the lot only Sandberg has to me to have really unimpeachable arguments (i.e. he was clearly the best 2nd basemen of his era and one of the best 2nd basemen ever.) Morris was a monster and at his best (which he was for a large part of 80s) he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, but his numbers aren't incredible and even though that shouldn't matter, it will. Sutter burned out too quick, only seven really great years even though when he was at his height he probably had more impact on any given game than maybe any of these guys. Gossage was around FOREVER and he was also amazing, but I'm not sure he was really as good as Fingers, Eck or Sutter and if he was as good how long he was. That hurts him a little, but really he should be in the hall. I think relievers belong in the Hall, BUT I think they really have to have great #s and either hang around forever at a really high level (like Fingers, Gossage and Riviera) or have had a really respectable career as a starter to boot (like Eckersley).

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:50 (eighteen years ago) link

For the record I am glad that Blyleven didn't win 300 games, because his "automatic" inclusion on that basis would be even more ridiculous than Sutton's. You get some points for longevity, but the hall really should be reserved for players who were at some point GREAT, not players who just managed to play pretty good for a long period of time.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:57 (eighteen years ago) link

Here is the link for anyone who hasn't read last years HOF thread.

Hall of Fame Ballot 2004

Bruce Sutter was the pitcher that brought back and popularized the split finger fastball, which considering how popular a pitch it has become in the past 25 years, it is something that he should get some credit.

"Boggs, for instance, is not a classic Hall of Famer, in my eyes, despite his 3,000 hits; he was a very, very good player, but not a dominant player."

Appearantly Buster forgets the mid 80s when Boggs career batting average was at .355 or so, he won 5 of 6 batting titles and his on base percentage was at a SABERMETRIC stoner high. He also won two of those batting titles by more than twenty points! After age 32, he only once hit over .330, but a bunch of players peak around that time in their career. Boggs average with runners on base and the bases loaded is also off the chart.

Oddly enough, I don't think Boggs was quite the same player after that whole scandal with Margo Adams broke. I think opposing teams quit putting chicken on the buffet when Boston was in town or something.

I think it would be interesting to know how many hits Boggs would have put up if he would have been brought up in 81, when he was 21 instead of 24. Boggs always claimed that he was just a good a hitter at 21, but since he played 1b was always behind Yaz in the depth chart and never got the chance to play in the bigs until he learned how to play 3b. He didn't get called up in 84 until they were wracked with injuries, then he hit over .400 for a month or so and stayed in the lineup from then on.

I grew up mostly watching NL baseball, but Boggs was one of my favorite players to follow and watch hit. Maybe not as fearful as some of the great power hitters of his day, but like Tony Gwynn, he was one of those hitters that seemed to dumbfound pitchers on how to get them out.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:02 (eighteen years ago) link

The Page 2 discussion was really good.

Earl OTM about Boggs, the guy was an offensive powerhouse.

It's the usual BS with guys like Sandberg -- 2B and 3B are underrepresented positions in the HoF because their offensive numbers aren't at the level of 1B or OF, they're not remembered for being "flashy" like SS, and they're not "on-the-field leaders" like C. Sandberg is a no-brainer.

Gossage should be in, I hear the arguments for Sutter that he wasn't great for as long as some other guys, but a) he was dominant for about the same length of time that Mo Rivera has been (and a lot of people consider him a future HoF player -- yeah, I know Mo's postseason performance is part of that, but still), and b) he INVENTED a pitch, which is a damned significant contribution to the game.

The Blyleven arguments boil down to the fact that he WAS great, but was pitching for bad teams. I think people are wising up to the idea that there are guys like Sutton who are in only because they pitched for good teams.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:29 (eighteen years ago) link

Rob Neyer's done some great columns on Blyleven, I don't have the time to look for them now ... maybe someone else has a link to them?

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:29 (eighteen years ago) link

Rivera's been dominant for longer than Sutter at this point (by two more years), MIR. And Rivera wouldn't even be mentioned as a future HOFer if it weren't for the postseason stuff.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 03:04 (eighteen years ago) link

The funny thing about Morris, as I recall, is that he always seemed to pitch just good enough to stay ahead. If his team had 7 runs he'd give up 6 and if his boys only managed 1 run he'd throw a shut-out. It was the weirdest thing.

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 23 December 2004 03:07 (eighteen years ago) link

The 1984 Tigers never get much call when they talk about great all-time teams, that team didn't really have any "superstars" but they were really deep and talented team. I think Sparky Anderson platooned at about half of the positions. Lance Parrish, Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker all three also had really good careers and don't get quite the props that they deserve.

That season I remember seeing Jack Morris throw a no hitter on TV against the White Sox as it was the game of the week Saturday Afternoon on NBC. I can remember my dad was working in the garage and coming in every so often to check it out how the game was going, as he joked after the first inning or so wouldn't it be funny if he threw a no hitter.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Thursday, 23 December 2004 03:42 (eighteen years ago) link

>the hall really should be reserved for players who were at some point GREAT, not players who just managed to play pretty good for a long period of time.

But if that were the case, there'd be 80 or 90 members, except for what, 240 now?

By the established standard, Blyleven belongs. If you're "very good" for long enough (BB was in the top 10 in league Adjusted ERA 11 times from '71-89), that's worth 5-6 years of dominance (the peak vs career, Koufax vs Spahn argument). There was some research I read in the last year that showed Bert didn't suffer quite as much from his teammates' inadequacy as generally thought, but it wasn't enough for him to drop off my "ballot."

>The funny thing about Morris, as I recall, is that he always seemed to pitch just good enough to stay ahead.

"I know not seems..." I'll try to find a link for you, Thermo, but someone recently did a study of Morris's career in this regard, and it showed *no* special ability to pitch that way. He threw 1150 fewer innings than Blyleven and his career ERA was only 5% better than the league's (Bert 18%) -- that's not a negligible difference. Morris had a good career, but not a HOFer.

I'd vote for Gossage on greatness and longevity, Sutter on peak and pioneer role, close but unconvinced for Lee Smith. Rest of ballot: Boggs, Sandberg, and TRAMMELL, most deserving SS of that era below Ozzie. Dawson and Rice fall short.

It's sad that the Vets Committee process has obviously been fucked up to the point where they may never elect anyone, as I fear Ron Santo will die before his deserved induction.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 14:52 (eighteen years ago) link

I'll try to find a link for you, Thermo, but someone recently did a study of Morris's career in this regard, and it showed *no* special ability to pitch that way
Well even if that's true & it debunks my theory - it at least means someone else has noticed!

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 23 December 2004 15:32 (eighteen years ago) link

"But if that were the case, there'd be 80 or 90 members, except for what, 240 now?"

I'm not sure that would be worst thing ever actually, but my problem with Blyleven is that during his time he was never really recognized as being one of the best in the game. He wasn't voted to All Star games, he didn't make Cy Young top 10s, he wasn't talked about as being a great pitcher. And I think that hurts him. NOW if the reason why none of those things occurred was that he toiled entirely in obscurity for shitty teams and if he'd been on the Dodgers, the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Reds for those years instead that there would be a complete about face and he'd be considered among the best pitchers of his era, well all I can say geez that's bad luck for Bert, but I think that's a hard argument to make conclusively.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 16:17 (eighteen years ago) link

That Bert was named to only 2 All-Star teams just shows how debased that is as a criterion.

MIR, here's a 4-year-old Neyer column on Blyleven... Alex, I think it's conclusive:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2000/1213/943398.html

And he later wrote:

"Blyleven was, over the course of his career, a better pitcher than Ted Lyons or Early Wynn or Bob Lemon or Red Ruffing or Rube Waddell or Red Faber or Catfish Hunter or Lefty Gomez, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame... It's not Blyleven's fault that he generally pitched for unspectacular teams that played in hitter's parks. In fact, Blyleven pitched for 22 seasons, and in only four of those 22 seasons did Blyleven's home ballpark favor the pitcher, statistically..."

And to appeal to the butch old-timers: 242 complete games!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:41 (eighteen years ago) link

>he didn't make Cy Young top 10s

Four of 'em (third twice).

http://baseball-reference.com/b/blylebe01.shtml

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:47 (eighteen years ago) link

When you start out your argument claiming that Blyleven was a better pitcher than Sutton (who wasn't even close to a great pitcher and doesn't deserve to be in the Hall IMO) and Ryan (who was a complete statistical anomaly and does deserve to be in the Hall for that, but was also not a great pitcher) you've already undercut your case tremendously, Rob.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:58 (eighteen years ago) link

Here's the BP article about Jack Morris that attempts to determine where Morris had the ability to pitch to the score:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815

It concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that he could.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:59 (eighteen years ago) link

to determine *whether* Morris had the ability to pitch to the score

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:59 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm not sure how many pitchers in history meet your def of "great," Alex -- let's deal with the Hall you have, rather than the one you wish to have -- but the argument he makes is that Blyleven was better than several HOF pitchers, and comparable to *many* others. And he was.

That's the article I meant, MIR, thanks.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:07 (eighteen years ago) link

Alex, to be fair to Neyer, he didn't bring Sutton and Ryan into the discussion. He was responding to the examples of Sutton and Ryan as mentioned in the reader's letter.

I think he's written a couple of other columns on Blyleven, maybe I can find them ...

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:13 (eighteen years ago) link

Thanks for the link.

Those are some mind-numbing stats!

Thermo Thinwall (Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:14 (eighteen years ago) link

Michael Wolverton makes the case for Blyleven:
http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2002/0728/1411078.html

This, and many other articles stating his HoF case are collected -- where else? -- on Blyleven's web page:

http://www.bertblyleven.com/hall_of_fame.shtml

xpost -- yeah, the Morris article is a bit of a numbers slog, but it's well done.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:21 (eighteen years ago) link

"I'm not sure how many pitchers in history meet your def of "great," Alex"

Enough, believe me. And I saw him compare him to two HOF pitchers, one of whom is IMO a mistake and the other who is basically in the Hall because he had a zillion strikeouts and a slew of no hitters. Compare him to Carlton or Seaver or Hunter or any of the really great pitchers from his era, if you want to make your point (that this guy is getting job) don't just claim he was "better than Don Sutton" cuz my response to that is so the fuck what.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:38 (eighteen years ago) link

getting jobbed, ahem.

That second ESPN article is much better btw and makes a pretty good case.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:40 (eighteen years ago) link

Catfish "really great"? Come now... talk about a guy who lucked out. Look at Hunter vs Blyleven (or Sutton, for that matter) and tell me how Hunter's better.

No, Bert is not Seaver or Carlton.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 18:58 (eighteen years ago) link

Bert's website is great btw. He should get in just for having that.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 19:04 (eighteen years ago) link

Well I didn't see Hunter, but the perenial All Star games, the Cy Young, the top 4 in Cy Young voting four times, the fact that he supposedly one of the most respected pitchers of his era, the postseason accolades, the biggest free agent coup ever for his time and the very impressive statistics kinda indicated to me that he might have been good. Obv you know better though.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 19:48 (eighteen years ago) link

All that stuff about Hunter is true, and of course that's why he got in. Looking deeper into the numbers though ... he pitched in extreme pitchers parks for his entire career, played for great teams, and generally didn't have great ERA's (he was in the top 3 three times, but never in the top 10 otherwise). He threw a lot of innings, but was overworked at a young age which is why he was washed up at 30, which is hella young for a HoF'er.

He played for fifteen years, and he had about four great years, four good years, and the rest were downright BAD. If he'd pitched for anyone other than the 70's A's and Yankees dynasties, there's no way he'd be anywhere near a serious HoF discussion.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 20:51 (eighteen years ago) link

"He threw a lot of innings, but was overworked at a young age which is why he was washed up at 30, which is hella young for a HoF'er."

See this is where I get the impression that cold-dispassionate analysis of the stats lies a little. For 5 years (71-75), Hunter was probably hands down the most feared pitcher in baseball. No he might not have been Koufax, but he was still by all accounts pretty amazing. Those five years count for more to me than 20 some odd years of just pretty good workmanlike pitching (I will admit that these breakdowns of Blyleven's stats are making a pretty case that he was better than that.) (I do have to wonder WHY if Bert was so great, he um didn't get snatched up by better teams? I mean that can't all be bad luck, right?)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 21:23 (eighteen years ago) link

Burt Blyleven:

Postseason Pitching


Year Round Tm Opp WLser G GS ERA W-L SV CG SHO IP H ER BB SO
+------------------+-----+--+--+------+-----+--+--+---+-----+---+---+---+---+
1970 ALCS MIN BAL L 1 0 0.00 0-0 0 0 0 2.0 2 0 0 2
1979 NLCS PIT CIN W 1 1 1.00 1-0 0 1 0 9.0 8 1 0 9
WS PIT BAL W 2 1 1.80 1-0 0 0 0 10.0 8 2 3 4
1987 ALCS MIN DET W 2 2 4.05 2-0 0 0 0 13.3 12 6 3 9
WS MIN STL W 2 2 2.77 1-1 0 0 0 13.0 13 4 2 12
+------------------+-----+--+--+------+-----+--+--+---+-----+---+---+---+---+
3 Lg Champ Series 2-1 4 3 2.59 3-0 0 1 0 24.3 22 7 3 20
2 World Series 2-0 4 3 2.35 2-1 0 0 0 23.0 21 6 5 16
5 Postseason Ser 4-1 8 6 2.47 5-1 0 1 0 47.3 43 13 8 36
+------------------+-----+--+--+------+-----+--+--+---+-----+---+---+---+---+

He didn't get many chances, but Blyleven pitched well in the playoffs and was a part of two World Series Champions.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Thursday, 23 December 2004 21:37 (eighteen years ago) link

I seem to remember Bert looking pretty good in the series with the Cardinals (aka the original You Don't Win If You Don't Play At Home series.)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 21:48 (eighteen years ago) link

I do have to wonder WHY if Bert was so great, he um didn't get snatched up by better teams?

Many of his best years came before free agency, so he didn't have much choice in the matter.

Even with free agency, it's only during the last ten years or so that all the best players end up on big-market winning teams at some point, since eventually those are the only teams that can afford them. If Jaret Wright can bounce around for a while, have one good season after a slew of crappy ones, and end up with a multi-year deal from a perennial contender, then Blyleven would have ended up playing for more winning teams too, if he was playing today.

Even so, every era has a few great players who toil away in relative obscurity. Look at Bobby Abreu, or even Carlos Delgado. If Delgado goes to the Mets, maybe in 20 years people will be saying "if he was so good, why did his teams always finish in third place?"

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Thursday, 23 December 2004 22:54 (eighteen years ago) link

Nobody says that about hitters (as their stats aren't at all dependent on their team being good.) They just look at the stats and marvel that nobody noticed at the time.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Thursday, 23 December 2004 23:22 (eighteen years ago) link

I have no idea why previous subjective honors (Cy Youngs, All-Star selections) would be used as criteria for another subjective honor.

Alex, nobody's saying Hunter wasn't GOOD, just that Blyleven was better for MUCH longer, and that "good press" shouldn't be a measure of excellence. And I don't see Hunter '71-75 being "amazing" ... His most "impressive statistics" are wins (ie, having good teammates) and innings pitched (which blew out his arm, as MIR says). I think he got extra credit for the pennants and the sexy nicknames. And it's cute how you use high Cy Young finishes as relevant to Hunter, not relevant for Blyleven. (Also, I don't see Hunter's status as the first Big Splash free agent being relevant; see Marvin Miller's book for how clownishly Catfish handled that situation.)

The "cold-dispassionate analysis of the stats" is the most reliable evidence there is. Not "what you heard" (from Joe Morgan?). And it isn't so much that Blyleven toiled for bad teams (they were more often mediocre), but pitched in hitters' parks.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 26 December 2004 03:58 (eighteen years ago) link

Speaking of Marvin Miller, what are the odds of him getting in this year (the nu-Vets Committee votes this year, right?).

I hope it happens soon so that he lives to attend his own induction.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Sunday, 26 December 2004 08:04 (eighteen years ago) link

blah blah blah. my opinon is better than your opinion and i have proof! blah blah blah.


otto midnight (otto midnight), Monday, 27 December 2004 07:32 (eighteen years ago) link


I generally agree, OM. HOF debates generally bore me, especially when one side is "he was MONEY" or "folks sure wrote boilerplate hosannas about him in the '70s."

It's not lookin' good for Marv, MIR -- when the Vets voted last in '03, no one came close to getting 75% ... and of the 60 votes required for election, Miller got 35. He got three FEWER votes than Walter O'Malley -- or as we call him in Brooklyn, Satan.

Miller and other non-players are on the "composite" ballot. Here's this year's players' ballot:

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/veterans/2005/2005_vc_candidates.htm


The only one I'm sold on is Santo, but Dick Allen and Tony Oliva have decent cases -- as does Curt Flood for courage and legal pioneering.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 14:28 (eighteen years ago) link

Rocky Colavito was a bit like Jim Rice, he hit like he was going to the Hall until he hit his early 30s, then it was over. I have a dog eared card of his when he played in Cleveland.

Mickey Lolich won't get in the Hall, but his pitching in the 68 World Series may be the best performance ever in the fall classic by a starter. The guy out pitched Bob Gibson in Game Seven on TWO days rest. ESPN Classic was showed that game a few months back and it was great. Harry Caray was doing the play by play.

While I don't know if he is good enough player to make the hall, Al Oliver had a pretty good career and never gets put on these kind of lists.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Monday, 27 December 2004 16:38 (eighteen years ago) link

I don't think it looks good for anybody to get voted in by the nu-Vets committee anytime soon ... as Morbs said, nobody came close to getting 75% last time. If they go through two or three voting years with nobody getting elected, they'll probably change the rules.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Monday, 27 December 2004 17:12 (eighteen years ago) link

Al Oliver was just "pretty good," ie a hitter not any more suitable for enshrinement than Rusty Staub or Vada Pinson. (His top BaseballRef comparables are Steve Garvey and Bill Buckner -- same story.)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 17:29 (eighteen years ago) link

Just out of curiousity how old are you Dr Morbius?

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 17:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Exactly 5 years younger than Jesse Orosco!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 17:55 (eighteen years ago) link

(I suspected as much.) Anyway, I was talking with my family about Blyleven this weekend and apparently he had a reputation of not being particularly well-liked and kind of an odd duck to boot (although I'm guessing that being Dutch was probably considered totally bizarre enough for a lot of people.)

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 18:05 (eighteen years ago) link

Al Oliver didn't walk much

Riot Gear! (Gear!), Monday, 27 December 2004 18:22 (eighteen years ago) link

I hear that a few people didn't like Ty Cobb either.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Monday, 27 December 2004 18:27 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes well luckily for Cobb he was a couple of generations removed from the people who were voting on his HOF induction so his jerkiness was more anecdotal than personal.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 18:38 (eighteen years ago) link


Cobb's last season: 1928
Inducted into HOF: 1936

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:15 (eighteen years ago) link

Cobb retired in 1928 and was elected in 1936. So many of the voters would have seen him play.

My general point is that "b...b...but he was a bit of an asshole" is a criticism that's used far too often despite being irrelevant most of the time. As long as the guy didn't compromise the game of baseball (Pete Rose being the most obvious example) then I couldn't care less if he was moody and didn't get along with everybody. If he could bring it on the field, then that's the most important thing.

(xpost)

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:16 (eighteen years ago) link

It wasn't a criticism. I was just pointing out that it might be a reason why he'd been snubbed (that and of course that people are overly fixated on 300 wins, which is also not a very fair reason.) Of course, people who can't read for shit might have trouble distinguishing the two.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:21 (eighteen years ago) link

"Cobb's last season: 1928
Inducted into HOF: 1936"

Haha I need to learn to check baseballreference.com before I say stuff sometimes.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:23 (eighteen years ago) link

And I didn't say that YOU specifically were the one doing the criticising. I was saying that anyone who would withhold a HoF vote in part because they felt that player needed an attitude adjustment are themselves in need of an attitude adjustment.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:33 (eighteen years ago) link

Rolen: 76.3
Helton: 72.2
Wagner: 68.1
Jones: 58.1
Sheffield: 55
Beltran: 46.5
Kent: 46.5
A-Rod: 35.7
Manny: 33.2
Vizquel: 19.5
Pettitte: 17
Abreu: 15.4
Rollins: 12.9
Buehrle: 10.8
K-Rod: 10.8
Hunter: 6.9

omar little, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:17 (two weeks ago) link

I'm surprised just Rolen...I guess that early-declaration theory is null and void.

clemenza, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:20 (two weeks ago) link

Helton and Wagner look good to go for 2024. The next ballot will have some names: Beltre, Mauer, Utley. David Wright. Bartolo!

omar little, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:27 (two weeks ago) link

early-declaration theory??

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:30 (two weeks ago) link

Beltre feels like an easy first balloter to me. Helton for sure next year, I’d think.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:31 (two weeks ago) link

i'm guessing Beltre at over 90% and Helton close to 80%. Mauer will have to wait a bit.

Utley is the one who i've got no idea about. huge, huge peak value guy, but didn't get those nice round numbers a lot of writers dig.

omar little, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:37 (two weeks ago) link

(xpost) The theory was, for a few years--more of a fact, actually--that certain kinds of players would get a lot of public votes, then drop off drastically with undeclared voters. Two things that were true of such players: they were very strong analytically, and (almost all) had PED associations. I figured Rolen was the more analytical candidate here, and that Helton would at least keep pace with him, and probably pass him with undeclared voters. But I guess it was just PEDs: voters who wanted to leave Bonds, Clemens, etc. off their ballot didn't want to go public with that.

clemenza, Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:37 (two weeks ago) link

Ahhhh

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 24 January 2023 23:39 (two weeks ago) link

Probably as famous as the Magic Bullet Theory and the Worlds Colliding Theory.

clemenza, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 02:14 (two weeks ago) link

Even though only Rolen was elected, there were positive outcomes for a lot of guys, I think a few others will eventually be elected (Helton, Wagner, Beltran, Jones).

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 09:12 (two weeks ago) link

I’m a major closer agnostic obv w/r/t the HOF but if you gotta have them in there, gotta have Wagner. He could be the last of them to get in for quite awhile though.

omar little, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 17:02 (two weeks ago) link

i don’t think Kenley Jansen is that far off tbh. His era etc is a little higher but he’s 40 saves behind and about the same amount of strikeouts. He’s one good season away from having about as good a case as Wagner I feel.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 18:42 (two weeks ago) link

I don’t know, I mean I think w closers the thing that frequently separates the chosen ones from the also-rans is some kind of folk hero status, some kind of “it” factor. and they have to be money their entire career, they can never be sidelined. I don’t think Jansen ever got sidelined iirc but he doesn’t really stand out from the Nathan/Papelbon types beyond the postseason stats. That last bit might be considered a plus but idk, closers really do need some intangibles which add to their legend for people to vote for them.

omar little, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 18:57 (two weeks ago) link

He’s likely to have a better case than Chapman (postseason meltdowns, abuser) or Kimbrel (occasionally awful and benched)

omar little, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 18:59 (two weeks ago) link

Something I posted in a different thread, seems pertinent to the last few posts:

true or false baseball challop: not a single one of the modern day closers belongs in the Hall of Fame

clemenza, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 22:51 (two weeks ago) link

I thought Kimbrel/Chapman/Jensen were solid; then they tailed off, and then Josh Hader came along and made what I thought were basically unsurpassable rate stats look a little less awesome. And now Hader may have peaked, although the postseason suggests otherwise.

clemenza, Wednesday, 25 January 2023 22:55 (two weeks ago) link

I think I might be in the minority on this but I really disagree with "unquestionably a Hall of Famer." I think he probably is. I might change my tune when I consider him more. But he's not, like a Mays/Griffey no-brainer here where you skip past the merits of the case entirely.

— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) January 25, 2023

k3vin k., Thursday, 26 January 2023 01:11 (one week ago) link

i'm not sure he's a hall of famer at all, and definitely not a first vote kind of guy. i should note that i never really saw him play too much since he was always in the AL. but imo he was a no doubt hall of famer until concussions pushed him from catcher. after that, he was a slightly above league average hitter playing DH and 1B with very little power but good OBP

Karl Malone, Thursday, 26 January 2023 01:23 (one week ago) link

a slightly above league average hitter playing DH and 1B with very little power but good OBP

which is useful, but almost every team has at least one player in AAA who is an above average hitter but limited by their inability to defend anywhere other than 1B, or to play DH. and he hit that point at age 31. if he's a no doubter, than so is david wright. they were both phenomenal in their 20s

Karl Malone, Thursday, 26 January 2023 01:26 (one week ago) link

yeah I’ve got no problem with mauer particularly, but he’s an interesting case when considered in the context of the changing faces of the hall-eligible…there seems to be an belief gaining currency that players at every position from the modern era deserve serious consideration even if they didn’t really play that much (catchers and closers in particular). it feels pretty inevitable

k3vin k., Thursday, 26 January 2023 01:37 (one week ago) link

and maybe that’s fine, particularly with regard to catchers and there not being really any inner circle candidates. like after mauer the next catcher up is gonna be…molina?

k3vin k., Thursday, 26 January 2023 01:47 (one week ago) link

oh I guess posey

k3vin k., Thursday, 26 January 2023 01:50 (one week ago) link

There are lots of guys getting in for short peak value, which Mauer has obv. Posey as well. There’s probably a lot more sympathy for the grind of being a catcher idk.

Gotta say though that Posey being mentioned constantly as a future HOFer makes me wonder why Thurman Munson has never been revisited, he and Posey were the same player basically and it’s weird that he’s not considered. they have almost the same exact bWAR per 162 games (5.3 for Posey, 5.2 for Munson), slightly more than Mauer (4.8). Molina is 3.1 btw. Very similar career stats, MVP awards, championships, leadership etc.

omar little, Thursday, 26 January 2023 02:01 (one week ago) link

i'm always kind of amazed that munson isn't in - not just the stats but also his iconic HR, playing with the yankees, his career tragically short

Karl Malone, Thursday, 26 January 2023 02:20 (one week ago) link

oh wait, the home run was carlton fisk lol

Karl Malone, Thursday, 26 January 2023 02:22 (one week ago) link

Mauer was OK after moving to 1B permanently, but he wasn't a star player anymore. 10 WAR over his last five seasons isn't all that bad.

But at his peak, you could argue he was the best hitting catcher ever. He'll also get credit for signing with his hometown team and staying there his entire career. He'll get elected easily (probably not on the first ballot though).

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 26 January 2023 10:55 (one week ago) link

I mean the reason Munson isn’t in is because the voters at the time cared a lot more about career home runs and hits etc than peak value. And he wasn’t like Koufax-good enough to get a pass at the time for the shorter career.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 26 January 2023 16:38 (one week ago) link

yeah he definitely falls shy in those old-school standards. just curious if they'll ever bring him around again for consideration.

omar little, Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:47 (one week ago) link

Koufax also had a remarkable postseason resume, just crazy good.

I'm thinking Mauer gets in on his second or third ballot.

omar little, Thursday, 26 January 2023 17:52 (one week ago) link

Salvador Perez is another interesting current catcher who might have HOF prospects. But it's hard to say, it's a thin line for him between winding up another Lance Parrish, or a Yadier Molina with power.

omar little, Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:06 (one week ago) link

is beltran not getting 50% due to the sign stealing or

mookieproof, Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:28 (one week ago) link

I don't think he was ever a first ballot guy but yes definitely

, Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:32 (one week ago) link

is there any kind of philosophical split between HOF nominators who look at all pitchers (SP and RP) based on the same criteria and all other players based on the same criteria, versus nominators who compare catchers only to other catchers and RPs only to other RPs and make their choices that way? i'm thinking about it like how the oscars lump all movies together and so you have people trying to compare the merits of "all quiet on the western front" vs "everything everywhere all at once" versus the ebert philosophy of judging a movie based on how well it accomplishes what it is trying to do. i don't know if this makes any sense.

na (NA), Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:33 (one week ago) link

it seems obvious that if you're judging for example buster posey's worthiness as a HOFer you should be comparing him to all other catchers, but then the HOF ballot has everyone lumped together so the implication is you're comparing posey to all the other players nominated that year regardless of their position

na (NA), Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:34 (one week ago) link

it does make sense! i think there are both, along with many other splits in approach. there are also some people who make a habit of maxing out their ballot, selecting 10 players even if they're kind of iffy after a few of them, while there are others that will only vote for a handful (or less) and leave the rest of the ballot blank

Karl Malone, Thursday, 26 January 2023 18:35 (one week ago) link

I think comparing to other players at the same position makes sense to an extent, but my personal opinion is that there is not all positions have players who, on their own, provide the same value. relief pitchers are the obvious example, they’re akin to role players or a sixth man in the NBA; occasionally you will have a special case like manu ginobili or mariano rivera, but generally these players play less and provide less value, and (imo crucially) are *selected* for these roles because they would not be able to handle a bigger load

catchers aren’t quite the same, and philosophies are going to differ, but there is a similar argument to be made that shorter careers and fewer innings just simply means less value. and something that I feel isn’t said enough is that generally teams will try to have their top catching prospects switch positions for this reason, to extend their career — bryce harper is the most obvious example. so it stands to reason that the talent pool of the catchers that remain isn’t as strong as like, shortstops

k3vin k., Thursday, 26 January 2023 19:15 (one week ago) link

Jaffe's JAWS system for the HOF is based on the idea that you compare positionally--although I don't think the implication is that you need all positions represented equally.

clemenza, Thursday, 26 January 2023 21:47 (one week ago) link

again — different philosophies, but is it not? the average JAWS for a center fielder (of which there are 19) is 58.1, and that’s not including trout. for the 16 catchers, it’s 44.2

k3vin k., Thursday, 26 January 2023 22:52 (one week ago) link

if one takes it to its logical extension, there is a lower bar to entry for catchers (and certainly relief pitchers)

k3vin k., Thursday, 26 January 2023 22:53 (one week ago) link

The Oscars lump all the movies together but voters can only select one winner in each category. HOF ballots have "multiple winners" so comparisons can, and should, be made according to position.

This becomes a problem if someone wants to vote for more than ten players, but most voters don't (in most years).

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 26 January 2023 23:35 (one week ago) link

the world does not, in theory, need closers. most of them are failed starters anyway

but you have to have a catcher every single inning, every single pitch, and it requires skills and experience that other ballplayers rarely have. so for me the question of joe mauer vs mike trout is far less important than joe mauer vs an average or replacement level catcher.

i’m not even sure ‘replacement-level’, which assumes a ready supply of fungible quad-a players, should apply to catchers — there just aren’t that many guys who can do an even passable job of it (which is why austin hedges, coming off a .489 OPS (!) season, will earn $5m this year)

mauer hit .328/.409/.481 in 897 games as a catcher (and was more than playable at 1B/DH). JAWS has him as the sventh-greatest catcher of all time. he’s not ray guy; hes travis kelce

mookieproof, Friday, 27 January 2023 01:27 (one week ago) link

you need a catcher every single pitch, for sure. unfortunately most of the top catchers, once they’re made it to the point where their teams want them to be long-term catchers, are catching about 60% of the pitches. which introduces some wrinkles

k3vin k., Friday, 27 January 2023 01:58 (one week ago) link

I would put Munson in, for all the reasons Omar mentioned. The parallels to Posey are uncanny: from WAR to awards to World Series to shortened career to being on each other's Similarity Score list. The biggest difference was that Thurman was never picked as the Face of Baseball because he looked kind of gnarly and scowled a lot.

clemenza, Friday, 27 January 2023 02:53 (one week ago) link

for awhile when i was a younger MLB i thought Munson actually was in the HOF, he just checked a lot of the boxes. He was a legend.

it's weird to look back and see just how many of these players whose names resonated w/me as a kid when looking at the old stats, whose stats were largely massive, are on the outside looking in. Some worthy of inclusion, some probably not but awesome regardless: Norm Cash, Rocky Colavito, Dick Allen, Graig Nettles, Frank Howard, George Foster, Dwight Evans, Darrell Evans, Buddy Bell, guys like that. Not saying all would deserve it, but it's preposterous that a lot of these guys wound up w/less HOF voting percentages than K-Rod.

omar little, Friday, 27 January 2023 17:36 (one week ago) link

Luis Tiant, there's another guy i always thought was in the HOF

omar little, Friday, 27 January 2023 17:48 (one week ago) link

Im a big hall guy and think the Fame part is the undervalued resource rn

Like i dont think fame when i think billy wagner but do think fame for scheffield for ex

Totally agree, and part of the argument for both Munson and Tiant. Tiant was a better pitcher for Cleveland, but he became a legend in Boston.

I'd even extend that argument to someone like Jim Rice. There are many players who should be in ahead of him, yes, but I don't think you can dismiss him out of hand without first factoring in that for years he was widely viewed as a sure-thing HOF'er. Would I rather see Lou Whitaker or Dwight Evans in? Yes, but I get why Rice was voted in.

clemenza, Friday, 27 January 2023 18:59 (one week ago) link

Yeah rice is a good one vs jack morris who i do not think of as famous, the One Big Game aside

jack morris was a jack mcdowell peak level pitcher in terms of quality, w/better durability and that one game.

omar little, Friday, 27 January 2023 19:09 (one week ago) link

I've mentioned this before: as valuable as fame in getting into the HOF is mystique. I won't even put it in quotation marks--it does exist, and I think it's different than fame. Billy Williams wasn't famous, but from the time I started watching in the early '70s, he had mystique: he was the best pure hitter in the game (or, expressed differently, had the sweetest swing). I don't think Eddie Murray was necessarily famous, but he had mystique: RBI guy, clutch hitter, consistent. Denny McClain was famous, and then he was infamous; Juan Marichal had mystique.

Sometimes, it aligns with actual value: Ted Williams. Sometimes it's disproportionate: I'd say Morris had it far in excess of his value.

clemenza, Friday, 27 January 2023 23:49 (one week ago) link


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