hall of fame, next vote...

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how do you rate the arguments contained herein?

jonathan quayle higgins (j.q. higgins), Wednesday, 22 December 2004 23:29 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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:


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 (seventeen years ago) link

>he didn't make Cy Young top 10s

Four of 'em (third twice).


Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 December 2004 17:47 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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:


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

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

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

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

Thanks for the link.

Those are some mind-numbing stats!

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

Michael Wolverton makes the case for Blyleven:

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


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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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:


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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen years ago) link

Exactly 5 years younger than Jesse Orosco!

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

Al Oliver didn't walk much

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

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

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

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

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 27 December 2004 19:15 (seventeen 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.


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

i feel dumber for having read that piece.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 30 November 2021 16:13 (one month ago) link

i have to respect it. half of being a modern sports columnist is homerism and the other half is trolling, and i can’t imagine the last time the delaware county times got this many hits on a story

too many multiple-sentence paragraphs tho

mookieproof, Tuesday, 30 November 2021 18:55 (one month ago) link

jon heyman votes: bonds, andruw, jeff kent, rolen, schilling

clown ballot, bro

mookieproof, Friday, 3 December 2021 20:12 (one month ago) link

Same nonsensical disconnect as that other guy, but in reverse: Bonds but no Clemens.

clemenza, Friday, 3 December 2021 22:41 (one month ago) link

The Veterans Committee voted today: Minnie Miñoso, Buck O'Neill, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, and Bud Fowler are all going in.


Hodges seems pretty iffy to me: his WS win as a manager was his one successful season out of nine, and his 10 closest player comps via Similarity Score do not include another HOF'er. He was one of Roger Khan's boys of summer, though, and I guess that finally got him in. Oliva was great for eight years; Kaat was the opposite, good for 40, or however many he played.

clemenza, Monday, 6 December 2021 00:47 (one month ago) link

Dick Allen fell a vote short.

clemenza, Monday, 6 December 2021 00:48 (one month ago) link

Two years now. I called Dick missing again because he had the best case out of all of them for the Hall (maybe O’Neil) - so of course the lunatics in the vets committee would fuck it up.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 6 December 2021 02:35 (one month ago) link

O’Neill had by far the best case imo, but yeah Dick Allen was robbed

my hands are always in my pockets or gesturing. (Karl Malone), Monday, 6 December 2021 03:00 (one month ago) link

O’Neill had by far the best case imo, but yeah Dick Allen was robbed

my hands are always in my pockets or gesturing. (Karl Malone), Monday, 6 December 2021 03:00 (one month ago) link

If you compare Allen to Hodges, it's not really close. Both played first base (Allen played 3rd early on):

Hodges: .273/.359/.487, 120 OPS+, 43.9 bWAR
Allen: .292/.378/.534, 156 OPS+, 58.7 bWAR

Give Hodges credit for managing the '69 Mets. People used to knock Allen as a clubhouse problem, but that's really gotten a second look over the years--there seem to be very few holdouts on that point now (James unfortunately one of them).

Still not close.

clemenza, Monday, 6 December 2021 03:35 (one month ago) link

Oliva and Kaat are borderline too, but they are alive, so that's nice.

clemenza, Monday, 6 December 2021 03:43 (one month ago) link

Minoso absolutely deserving and I’m relieved he finally made it.

Van Horn Street, Monday, 6 December 2021 04:11 (one month ago) link

Lost in all of the hubbub over who was/wasn't elected is this:

The Rule of 2,000 has been broken, as Tony Oliva had "only" 1,917 hits, making him the first candidate whose career took place during the post-1960 expansion era with <2000 to be elected by either BBWAA or committee.

— Jay Jaffe (@jay_jaffe) December 6, 2021

mookieproof, Monday, 6 December 2021 05:10 (one month ago) link

That benchmark will be obliterated when Posey comes up for induction.

clemenza, Monday, 6 December 2021 06:01 (one month ago) link

The Hall of Guys That Were Decent Enough I Guess.

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Monday, 6 December 2021 06:12 (one month ago) link

secretly, jay jaffe is like "hahaha, now i can amend all my annual pieces on all of the hall of fame candidates to discuss the role of the recently obliterated Rule of 2000, ahahaha"

my hands are always in my pockets or gesturing. (Karl Malone), Monday, 6 December 2021 08:39 (one month ago) link

Hodges was inevitable, I guess. He was like Anthony Rizzo, a key offensive player on a very famous team that won an all-time memorable championship. If you're a Big Hall person then he's a perfectly reasonable pick, even if there are others more deserving (like Dick Allen, whose time will come).

I think the real lesson of the Oliva and Minoso elections is that voters are finally giving more weight to peak value than career value, and it's about time. From the 70's until about ten years ago basically any player without 300 wins or 3000 hits could be in for a long wait. I'd rather have a Hall of Short Term Superstars than a Hall of Very Good for a Long Time. The HOF can be both (and in fact is) but if I had to choose, that's what I'd prefer.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 6 December 2021 08:40 (one month ago) link

I lean that way too (with something like Jay Jaffe's 7-year window for peak as a floor; I wouldn't want to induct Josh Hamilton).

I don't know how much I'd read into Veteran Committee inductees, though. They inducted Baines two years ago--about as un-peak a selection as you can get--and this year Kaat, also much more a career value pick. I think the VC picks have more to do with who's on the panel, and lifelong affiliations. Carew and Schmidt, both teammates of Kaat, were two of the 16 voters this year; there may be other connections I'm not aware of.

The writers may be moving in a peak direction, but I think they still lean towards career. The fate of Andruw Jones might be instructive one way or the other.

clemenza, Monday, 6 December 2021 14:37 (one month ago) link

Didn't know Buck O'Neil and Joe Carter had some history:


clemenza, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 05:34 (one month ago) link

It's true that the Veterans Committee makes iffy career value picks as well, but that doesn't affect the notion that (as Jaffe noted, and I think he's correct) the door is slowly opening for more peak value candidates.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 09:29 (one month ago) link

Posnanski's Top 10 not in the Hall:

No. 1: Curt Flood
No. 2: John Donaldson
Nos. 3 and 4: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens
No. 5: Dick Allen
No. 6: Lou Whitaker
No. 7: Scott Rolen
No. 8: Dwight Evans
No. 9: Dale Murphy
No. 10: Tommy John

clemenza, Friday, 10 December 2021 19:24 (one month ago) link

someone is going to have to explain the case for John Donaldson for me (i don't disagree, just a blind-spot in my baseball knowledge).

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 10 December 2021 22:02 (one month ago) link

Same with me, sorry to say. (He's got a name that was tailor-made for a backup catcher with good defense and a .230 batting average, but I know he wasn't that.)

clemenza, Friday, 10 December 2021 22:08 (one month ago) link

Joe's entry is reasonably short.

No. 2: John Donaldson

Sunday’s Hall of Fame announcement was so joyful, such a bounty of good news, that it’s too easy to overlook the disappointments. John Donaldson so obviously belongs in the Hall of Fame. He should have been elected many, many years ago. It has taken the extraordinary efforts of a man named Peter Gorton and many Donaldson Network volunteers to catalog Donaldson’s overwhelming achievements in Black baseball, starting a decade before Jackie Robinson was even born.

The Donaldson Network has verified that as Donaldson barnstormed around America in those years before and after the Negro leagues were founded, he won more than 400 games, struck out more than 5,000 batters and threw many, many no-hitters. They uncovered dozens of stories that referred to him as “the greatest pitcher in the world.” They highlighted a quote from J.L. Wilkinson, the white owner of the Kansas City Monarchs who probably saw Satchel Paige pitch as much or more than anyone: “Paige is a great a pitcher all right … but Donaldson had more stuff.”

Buck O’Neil used to say that Donaldson was the pitcher who showed Paige what was possible.

Donaldson received eight out 16 votes on Sunday … and I feel confident that when his name comes up again on the ballot, he will get elected. The thing is, the Early Era Committee is not scheduled to meet again for another 10 years.

clemenza, Friday, 10 December 2021 22:10 (one month ago) link

I was thinking about Dwight Evans, who was the atypical player who peaked late: his best years were from age 29 to 35 or 36. Does a late peak help or hurt? I can see an argument on either side. It hurts because by the time you peak, a lot of sportswriters have probably decided you aren't a HOF'er (the opposite transpired with Jim Rice). But it could conceivably help, too, in that your best seasons are still relatively fresh in voters' minds.

clemenza, Friday, 10 December 2021 22:27 (one month ago) link

Ya, I’d think a hot start to a career would be the most helpful. You’re a “superstar” much longer than someone who peaked later (as far as establishing a narrative is concerned).

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 10 December 2021 23:23 (one month ago) link

Bonds and Clemens, both in their final year on the ballot, are at just over 80% right now. I know that means nothing--only 27 ballots, and they always start strong.

I was thinking that MLB might actually be hoping they get in this year. With absolutely nothing to keep baseball a topic of conversation over the winter, the amount of publicity attached to Bonds and Clemens getting elected would be a gift.

clemenza, Thursday, 16 December 2021 17:15 (one month ago) link

Nightmare scenario, especially for the BBWAA: Clemens elected, Bonds falls short. There'd be a lot of 'splaining to do there.

clemenza, Thursday, 16 December 2021 17:18 (one month ago) link

hoooooly shit that would be a shitstorm

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Thursday, 16 December 2021 19:10 (one month ago) link

the individual writers who vote for one but not the other usually have some specious story about how He Was Hall-Worthy Before I Think He *Really* Got Into Steroids

mookieproof, Thursday, 16 December 2021 19:59 (one month ago) link

it ain't happening

Bonds and Clemens need to flip 50-something no votes from last year to yes votes this year. So far they have flipped zero (Bonds actually has one flip in the other direction).

— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) December 16, 2021

, Thursday, 16 December 2021 20:06 (one month ago) link

interesting that all of the 8 voters who've dropped vizquel so far (likely due to recent sexual assault allegations) have still maintained their votes for either bonds, clemens or jones

just don't get caught recently i guess

, Thursday, 16 December 2021 20:46 (one month ago) link

I suspected as much (re Bonds/Clemens).

clemenza, Thursday, 16 December 2021 20:51 (one month ago) link

Ortiz started slow--lost 4 or 5 votes right away--but he's really broke through since: 83.3% through 42 ballots. He'll have to build up a cushion if he loses the usual PED-associated votes towards the end.

clemenza, Monday, 20 December 2021 17:17 (one month ago) link

Seriously: why would they allow this person to continue voting?

Ballot #54 is from Michael Hunt, who submits a blank ballot. Like the voter who submitted the first blank ballot revealed this year, Hunt also submitted a blank ballot last year after a Jeter-only ballot two cycles ago.

In the Tracker: https://t.co/sziMyHO62y pic.twitter.com/AVWYYJqpZS

— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) December 23, 2021

clemenza, Thursday, 23 December 2021 20:58 (one month ago) link

One of those split Bonds/Clemens ballots explained (Keith Law):

Roger Clemens: Clemens did not appear on my ballot, which I think is the first time I have stopped voting for a player for whom I voted in the past. We’ve known for a while now that Clemens had an inappropriate relationship with the late country singer Mindy McCready, which the New York Daily News reported began when McCready was 15 and Clemens was 28. McCready confirmed to the Daily News that the two had an affair, though she later said that it didn’t begin until she was 18. I was wrong to vote for him in the past. The character clause is not well defined by the Hall of Fame, and there are players in the Hall whose character was questionable and players on my ballot whose character was questionable. But if Clemens’ transgressions with McCready don’t call for invoking the character clause, then we might as well remove it entirely. That’s why I declined to vote for him now, a small and perhaps futile stand on principle in his last year of eligibility.

clemenza, Friday, 31 December 2021 01:42 (three weeks ago) link

Posnanski has a piece today comparing Ortiz and Sheffield--the link should work even if you don't subscribe.


clemenza, Friday, 7 January 2022 16:58 (two weeks ago) link

i don't get why Sheff doesn't have more support

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 7 January 2022 18:18 (two weeks ago) link

Putting aside the PED issue, my guess as to the main reason is the itinerant nature of his career: 8 teams in total, from one to six seasons at each stop. I suspect the great majority of HOF'ers are strongly identified with one or (someone like Reggie) two teams. Even Rickey Henderson, who played for nine, comes down to the A's and the Yankees. I don't think Sheffield has that strong team-association--not with me, anyway,

clemenza, Friday, 7 January 2022 20:45 (two weeks ago) link

I suppose there's a certain amount of circular logic (or illogic) in that; one of the reasons Sheffield's not strongly associated with one or two teams is he had HOF seasons almost everywhere he played, without having one of those epic seasons for anybody.

Padres 1992: 33 HR/100 RBI/.330/.385/.580
Marlins 1996: 42 HR/120 RBI/.314/.465/.624
Dodgers 2000: 43 HR/109 RBI/.325/.438/.643
Braves 2003: 39 HR/132 RBI/.330/.419/.604
Yankees 2004: 36 HR/121 RBI/.290/.393/.534

Just used old-school stats for simplicity...The most impressive might have been the Padres--almost a Triple Crown pre-PED. He's starting to run out of gas with the Yankees, but I don't know how many players can claim five seasons that good with five different teams.

clemenza, Friday, 7 January 2022 22:15 (two weeks ago) link

he was on the padres?!

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Saturday, 8 January 2022 02:00 (two weeks ago) link

Second team, I believe, after the Brewers. His '92 season really was great. He missed the TC by two home runs (McGriff had 35) and nine RBI (Daulton had 109). Bonds deservedly won MVP, but he many seasons he would have picked up an MVP.

clemenza, Saturday, 8 January 2022 14:16 (two weeks ago) link

The most impressive might have been the Padres--almost a Triple Crown pre-PED

Guys were using PED's before offense started blowing up in 1993 ... there's no reason to assume he was cleaner in that season than in any other season.

Playing for so many teams definitely hurts his case ("if he was so great, why didn't teams want him to stick around?") but I think it really comes down to 35 HR 110 RBI seasons being so common in that era. Like pre-finger wagging Raffy Palmeiro, he was consistent but nowhere close to being the top player in his league, and thus nobody thought of him as a HOF player.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 9 January 2022 14:28 (two weeks ago) link

I'm sure some were, but surely it was far less widespread. In any event, '92 was definitely a pitcher's year. 33/100/.330 wouldn't be remotely close to a Triple Crown in the years that followed. (NL in 1992: .252/.315/.368, 3.50 ERA. NL in 2000: .266/.343/.432, 4.63 ERA.)

clemenza, Sunday, 9 January 2022 16:09 (two weeks ago) link

That team with McGriff, Sheffield, and Gwynn in the lineup was easy to root for.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Sunday, 9 January 2022 19:47 (two weeks ago) link

Sheffield was pretty much a mercurial mercenary. I think the only fanbase that really seemed to profess 'love' for him was those couple years in Atlanta and then he moved on.

He was an enfant terrible in Milwaukee. SD was pretty much the Padres cutting payroll. Won a ring with the Marlins and then was the only high paid guy on some terrible clubs that followed the purge. He was on some middling Dodgers team and there was some turmoil there. He went to ATL and then there was the whole "Chef" thing - which is the only time I really can recall him being a fan favorite type guy. He won another ring with the Yanks, but those fans love you when you do well and you are a bum the rest of the of time and he was like the 6th or 7th most famous guy on the club anyway.

Sheffield was a tough hitter, dude had a really good eye and for as much power as he had was kinda hard to strike out. That tomahawk swing was nasty and cool to see when he would pull a pitch at full strength. I'm sure more than a few third basemen got scared of their wits trying to deal with some of those rockets.

earlnash, Monday, 10 January 2022 00:57 (two weeks ago) link

Flipping through a program at the 1989 Junior League World Series -- held since its 1981 inception in Taylor, MI, scenic hometown of Barves great Steve Avery and late Kid Rock hype man Joe C. -- I was stunned to see 13-year-old Sheff and the future Operation Shutdown in a team photo for '82 tournament champions Belmont Heights (Tampa, FL).

Andy K, Monday, 10 January 2022 15:44 (two weeks ago) link

Basically just tracking Ortiz at this point, and he's really solidified his chances: 41.3% of the vote public and he's climbed (steadily) to 84%. He needs to get 68.7% the rest of the way. He will drop if the usual dynamic holds--PED association hurts you on the ballots that stay private--but I don't know if he'll drop that much.

clemenza, Thursday, 13 January 2022 16:43 (one week ago) link

Hour-long podcast of Posnanski and Bob Costas talking about the HOF:


The HOF talk is pretty good, but Costas (who I usually like a lot) starts wandering off-topic near the end, and Posnanski lets him wander, and it starts to get a little tedious.

clemenza, Saturday, 22 January 2022 20:33 (three days ago) link

Tomorrow...Ortiz may come in close if he loses undeclared-ballot support. Rolen is at 70% right now; might get a little closer, but can't see it. Next year for sure.

clemenza, Monday, 24 January 2022 14:08 (yesterday) link

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