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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Reflections On A Weekend With The Baseball Gods

What in the name of Ty Cobb was I doing there, you ask? Good question. I was there to humbly accept the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, presented annually to someone who’s covered baseball for a long time. But let’s get this straight: The lucky baseball scribe who accepts the award is not “inducted” or “enshrined.” The writer is not a Hall of Famer. That title is reserved for players, managers, and the occasional owner or general manager who has had a seismic impact on the game…

■ Get goosebumps standing next to Juan Marichal at the omelette station in the breakfast room…

■ In mid-afternoon, 48 Hall of Famers, plus retired New York City Fire Department battalion chief Vin Mavaro, Dick Enberg, and I gather in a ballroom, where we wait to be taken to Doubleday Field. Vin and I are nervous because we are going to have to speak. Our speeches are ready in black binders. “Don’t let go of your binder,’’ says Enberg. “Johnny Bench likes to mess with people and hide their speeches.’’ After that, I hold my binder in a vise-like grip.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Will Hall of Fame’s new election rules help former Tigers?

Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, and Lou Whitaker remain three of the most controversial candidates for the Hall. All three have their camps of support, but none of them can be elected by the baseball writers, for separate reasons.

Wahoo Sam Posted: July 25, 2016 at 03:20 PM | 78 comment(s)
  Beats: alan trammell, hall of fame, jack morris, lou whitaker

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Stick « Our Game

The trade card shown at the left is part of a six-card series contrasting “New Style” (1880s) and “Old Style” (1870s). Depicting “The Scorer,” it casts light on an old mystery that I referenced many moons ago in my book Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame. I wrote:

We have heard the stories all our lives, and we share them warmly with our children. But we come to the Baseball Hall of Fame to see, to see the instruments of glory, the stuff of legend, the tangible remains of departed heroes and forgotten fields. This is a museum like no other because it is about baseball, that singular American institution by which we mark our days. Not simply historical relics, these artifacts spur us to recall to life an image dormant in our brains for decades. They connect us not only to our own childhood and to our parents, but also to a national, collective past, one whose presence we sense but whose details have been lost.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

Baseball Hall of Fame: Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza are Cooperstown odd couple

“They each took roads that not many have ever traveled,’’ said former Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros, Piazza’s best friend in baseball. “Mike was the late-round draft pick with people doubting him along the way. Junior had the expectations of having a successful big-league dad. But they both did it on their own. There weren’t any shortcuts. I think that added a human quality to the display of emotion you saw here.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 08:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ken griffey jr., mike piazza

Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza deliver emotional Hall of Fame speeches

Well, Piazza lasted two minutes before his voice started cracking, sniffing, and wiping away tears.

Griffey, who made the mistake of looking into the faces of his three children sitting in the front row, lasted all of 20 seconds.

“Nothing can prepare you,” Piazza said, “for how you feel, and the history sitting behind us on stage.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ken griffey jr., mike piazza

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Changes are coming to baseball Hall of Fame’s veterans’ committees | FOX Sports

Good stuff.

Baseball’s Hall of Fame has again revamped its veterans’ committees, attempting to increase consideration for more contemporary players, managers, umpires and executives.

Under the change announced Saturday by the Hall’s board of directors, there will be separate committees for Today’s Game (1988-2016), Modern Baseball (1970-87), Golden Days (1950-69) and Early Baseball (1871-1949). Today’s Game and Modern Baseball will vote twice every five years, Golden Days once every five years and Early Baseball once every 10 years.

“There are twice as many players in the Hall of Fame who debuted before 1950 as compared to afterward, and yet there are nearly double the eligible candidates after 1950 than prior,” Hall chair Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement. “Those who served the game long ago and have been evaluated many times on past ballots will now be reviewed less frequently.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 24, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Ken Griffey, Mike Piazza set for Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Today’s the day! Congratulations to Ken Griffey and Mike PIazza. Thanks for all the wonderful memories.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 24, 2016 at 09:07 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, ken griffey jr., mike piazza

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Up close and personal with Mike Piazza and his post-baseball life | New York Post

“My career and my life is a miracle,’’ Piazza told The Post. “I always want to give thanks and appreciate what I feel has been a blessing for me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2016 at 09:48 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, hall of fame, mets, mike piazza

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hall of Fame hopes for Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, more MLB stars

Jay Jaffe looks at the Hall of Fame chances of twelve current stars.

With the Baseball Hall of Fame inductions set for this coming Sunday, I took a look at the progress that a handful of stars 35 and older—David Ortiz, Carlos Beltran, Ichiro Suzuki and others—are making toward joining 2016 honorees Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. in Cooperstown sometime in the next several years. Now it’s time to take a closer look at some players who aren’t as far along but who are building cases for enshrinement as well.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 01:57 PM | 158 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jaws

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Seven Changes that Would Improve the Era Committee Hall of Fame Election Process

Thus far, each sub-committee has convened twice with the Expansion Era voting in 2010 and 2013, the Golden Era voting in 2011 and 2014, and the Pre-Integration Era voting in 2012 and 2015.  However, in its short history the Era Committee process has drawn a fair share of criticism for a variety of reasons and with December’s Pre-Integration Era vote representing two full cycles under the current format it is likely that the Hall of Fame board members will review and possibly modify to the system.  The following are seven changes that would improve the Era Committee election process:
1.  Hold separate elections for player and non-player candidates.
2.  Have more continuity in the voting body.
3.  Lessen the BBWAA’s influence over the Era Committee by having a greater presence of non-BBWAA sabermetricians and historians on the Historical Overview Committee screening panel and Era Committee voting body.
4.  Change the name of the Pre-Integration Era and reopen the book on Negro and pre-Negro League candidates.
5.  Hold more elections for candidates from the Golden and Expansion Eras.
6.  Hold a run-off election when no candidate is voted in.
7.  Create more sub-committees and run multiple elections.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The rest of this season could make or break Joey Votto’s Hall of Fame case

Votto has had his detractors, people who don’t ascribe to sabermetrics, people who say he walks too much. Perhaps these people could knock Votto as well for the Reds not winning any championships during his career, though great players don’t always experience this. Until this season, Votto’s critics have mostly looked misguided…


Others needed their mid to late 30s to solidify their Hall of Fame cases or watch them collapse.

Take Hernandez, who looked like a Hall of Famer through his 20s, but declined badly in his mid-30s, tallying -0.2 Wins Above Average after turning 33. He retired at 36 and has never rated as a serious Hall of Fame candidate, though he has supporters who could point to him as one of the most underrated first basemen in baseball history. There’s a chance Votto could be his generation’s Keith Hernandez.

Then there’s Helton who was good for a cumulative 1.2 Wins Above Average from his age-32 season through the end of his career. For the more traditionally-inclined, Helton averaged 30 homers, 102 RBI, and a .337 batting average through 2005. For his remaining eight seasons, Helton averaged 12 homers, 61 RBI, and a .289 batting average. It’s like a tale of two totally different careers. The fact that all of it came for the Colorado Rockies is probably enough to prevent Helton from coming remotely close to a Hall of Fame plaque with the Baseball Writers Association of America when he becomes eligible in the fall of 2018.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Carlos Beltrán, 400 Home Runs, 2,500 Hits, and The Hall of Fame

Beltrán’s career is winding down and it is doubtful he will attain the 500 home run or 3,000 hit-milestones that would make his Hall of Fame candidacy an open and shut case.  Nevertheless, Beltrán has quietly put together a fine career and, by reaching the secondary milestones of 400 home runs and 2,500 hits to go along with his other accomplishments, the veteran slugger has greatly strengthened his Hall of Fame case.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Stew Thornley’s macabre adventure: Visiting every dead baseball Hall of Famer’s grave

I’d have to admire his tenacity. The most I’ve ever done is visit the graves of the deceased 300-game winners, and visit them again with a small figurine.

In the shorthand parlance of men and women who collect graveyard experiences, Thornley is what’s known as a “graver.” While his search for the plots of long gone standouts, such as Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown in Terre Haute, Indiana, or Rube Waddell in San Antonio, is nominally about allowing him to cross another name off his list, it’s about more than that.

“It’s really about the adventure,” Thornley said. “A lot of people think I do all this work, I go traveling around, I get there and I’m standing at this grave and I get some kind of cosmic connection like, ‘I never saw this guy play. But here I am!’

ajnrules Posted: May 26, 2016 at 10:52 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: deaths in baseball, general, hall of fame

Friday, May 06, 2016

Kinsler approaching Hall of Fame pace, and not slowing down

With his single and two-run home run Tuesday, he’s at 1,551 hits. He has 199 stolen bases, 964 runs scored and 189 home runs.

According to Baseball Reference.com, he would become the 40th player in Major League history to hit those levels in all of those statistical categories – joining a big batch of current or soon-to-be Hall-of-Famers: Derek Jeter, Robin Yount, Craig Biggio, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds and George Brett to name only a few.

His career WAR (wins above replacement) of 48.2 probably makes the same point. And yet, Kinsler still makes most all-underrated teams.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 06, 2016 at 10:34 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dwight Evans on the Baseball Hall of Fame: “I just don’t understand the mentality of the voting”

It’s not that Dwight Evans was a unique hitter. His 352.7 (Baseball-Reference) WAR Batting Runs have been matched by 89 other players. His fielding skills weren’t very unique, either. 194 players have more WAR Fielding Runs than Evans’ 66.3. But only 18 players in the history of the game have surpassed him in both categories.

There are 44 outfielders in the Hall of Fame, per Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index tool. Were Evans to be inducted tomorrow, the longtime Boston Red Sox right fielder would be what Brian Kenny calls a middle class Hall of Famer. While Evans’ 127 OPS+ would tie for 34th best among Hall of Fame outfielders, his 66 defensive runs saved would be 10th best overall, his 66.9 Wins Above Replacement 18th best.

Statistically, Evans is better than a number of Hall of Famers, though maybe he didn’t have their luster. He peaked at 10.4 percent of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s vote for Cooperstown in 1998 and has yet to make an Expansion Era Committee ballot since becoming eligible with it in 2013. It’s uncertain if Evans will make the ballot when the group reconvenes this fall.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tommy John on Baseball Hall of Fame: ‘I’m being held back’

“My whole thing is, if you’d looked at the pitchers of my era on the number of ground ball outs to total outs, I had the best ratio in the history of baseball,” John said. “I was very, very good at what I did, and I wasn’t a strikeout pitcher. I was when I was in high school and all that. But I wasn’t when I became a pro. So I’m being held back because I didn’t conform to some sportswriter’s idea of what is good and what is not good.”

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: February 25, 2016 at 10:56 PM | 118 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, tommy john, veterans committee

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bobby Grich on Baseball Hall of Fame chances: ‘I’m not optimistic at all’

Except for the annoying autoplay video (scroll down), this is worth a click.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2016 at 02:29 PM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: bobby grich, hall of fame

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Brian Kenny: HALL OF FAME’S ANTI-RECENCY BIAS

Another part of the dynamic is the recent Veterans Committees shutdowns. It began when the Veterans Committee vote went to the Hall of Famers themselves. Those already in the club took Hall of Fame exclusivity to another level, failing to vote in a single new player during three votes over five years. Following that, the Hall Board of Directors changed the process to one with smaller voting panels, dividing the committee into three different segments that each voted on a different era. That means the players of the ‘80s and ‘90s—a group packed with solid candidates—would have to wait for a vote every three years, getting the same chance as the well-picked, thorough talent pool of the pre-1947 players, and the already well-represented 50s and 60s. In the past 15 years, the various Veterans Committees have elected just two players from the 20th century: Joe Gordon, who played in the 1940s, and the tragically overlooked Ron Santo, voted in a year after he died. Veteran’s Committee shutouts have kind of become a sad Winter Meetings tradition, with the Hall brass telling the national media no one was voted in, but how the disappointment is actually striking a blow for “exclusivity.”

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: February 10, 2016 at 04:06 PM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: brian kenny, hall of fame, veterans committee

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Schoenfield: Top 5 Hall of Fame classes

Can’t fault the Cobb/Ruth/Wagner/Mathewson/Johnson entry, but what say you about the others?

reech Posted: February 02, 2016 at 05:27 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, hall of fame

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tim Raines on getting into Hall of Fame: ‘It matters, but it doesn’t’

Currently the roving outfield and base running co-ordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays, the 56-year-old said he’s intrigued how the advanced statistics that have only recently become more prominent in the game are helping to make his case for induction.

“It’s kind of mind boggling,” said Raines, who was in Vancouver for a team function with the single-A Canadians. “I didn’t really know I did all those things those guys say I did.

“It’s quite interesting.”

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 31, 2016 at 10:01 PM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, montreal expos, sabrmetrics, tim raines

Friday, January 20, 2012

Q&A: Larry Walker on his Hall of Fame snub

“Mr. Walker is not a suspect…We don’t know if the person was killed at the site or if his body was dumped there.”

CBCSports.ca: Who’s more upset about your low vote total in the second year of your 15 years of eligibility: you or your family, friends and former teammates with Colorado and Montreal?

LW: I don’t think it bothers me a lot. Why am I going to get my feathers all ruffled over something that’s out of my control? Obviously, it would be an amazing honour.

Some people have pointed some things out to me that made me wonder. [Designated hitter] Edgar Martinez [only played 592 of his 2,055 career games in the field] and he’s getting twice as many votes as me [36.5 per cent to Walker’s 22.9 per cent]. Is Edgar Martinez twice the better player than me?

Not to pat myself on the back but I think I was as good as Edgar Martinez.

But I’m not going to rack my brain. I’m sure there’s people that are in the Hall of Fame that a lot people think shouldn’t be there or some that should be there and aren’t.

CBCSports.ca: The knock against you when people say Larry Walker shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame is that you played 10 of your 17 seasons at hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado. But a lot of times players can’t control where they play, right?

LW: I was in the big leagues, man. Are you she—-in me? You can’t always pick where you go or what happens. You just roll with the friggin’ punches. I was in the dugout trying to beat the other 25 guys in the dugout beside us. That’s all I tried to do. I can’t control where I’m at and the numbers that go up. Every ballpark has its quirks.

If you read something in the paper or a magazine or hear something on TV, whether it’s negative or positive, people tend to want to go that way with it. If what was being printed all this time was ‘Walker deserves the [Hall of Fame nod], he’s going to make it,’ I bet my percentage would be a lot higher. But all you hear about is Coors Field. That’s all I’ve heard since my first game in Denver [in 1995].

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:51 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, history, rockies

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein

Clumsy.

Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

The Platoon Advantage: Jack Morris is going to be a Hall of Famer, and that’s OK

BTW…I’m compiling a (H/T Moral Idiot) massivo (HA!) list of BBWAA ballotears for their Pro-Bonds/Clemens (9 as of now) ~ Anti-Bonds/Clemens (12 as of now) promised HOF ballots.

For a second thing: it’s getting to be a cliche by now, but it’s absolutely true that 2013 is going to be completely unlike any ballot that has come before. Jaffe’s reasoning is that “Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys.” I don’t think so. There are certainly a lot of should-be slam dunks coming in, but the only new guy who figures to finish particularly strong in the voting is Craig Biggio, and he’s far from a first-ballot lock. By and large, the guys interested in voting for Morris aren’t the same ones who might be tempted to bump Morris off because they’re voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Biggio, and/or some combination of deserving first-timers or holdovers like Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez. If anything, the vast majority of them will bump any of those guys off (even Bonds or Clemens, maybe especially Bonds or Clemens) in favor of the presumptively “clean” Morris, who won’t have the fourteen shots left most of these guys will (assuming they get 5% of the vote, which I think will be a problem for Lofton and possibly Palmeiro).

Rather, the real 1999-like year, in terms of players the voters are actually likely to want to enshrine, is the following year, 2014: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are all pretty close to first-ballot shoo-ins. You might as well think of 2013 as Morris’ last year on the ballot, because he’s not going in with those dudes.

So, that’s why I think Morris goes in next year. As amazing as the talent on the 2013 ballot is, it’s not going to pull many votes off of Morris, thanks to the “PE"D questions and because it’ll be viewed as his last realistic shot. It’s 2013 or nothing…and for 75%-plus of the voters, it’s going to be 2013. He’s going in. Might as well get used to it.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:01 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Genetti: Lack of black players will open baseball HOF doors to others

This anti-Jeter gunk has got to stop!

Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Bernie Williams and Willie McGee aren’t in the Hall of Fame.

But they will be.

...The last thing baseball is going to want is some statistic come out showing a small number of blacks inducted into the Hall of Fame over a certain amount of time, so the next thing — which will more than likely happen — is well-deserving black players will be inducted here and there over time.

Perhaps it’s a stretch to have this thought, but if you look at the great white and Hispanic players that have dominated the game over the last couple of decades, there’s really no outstanding black players to get excited over. That’s why this lack of African-American players in baseball will give those currently on the ballot a bigger opportunity. Even at this moment the only black player who is baseball Hall of Fame-worthy is Prince Fielder.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not going to be done out of sympathy, I just believe the powers that be are going to conserve these players so there’s no absence of African-Americans going into Cooperstown over the next 10 or more years.

All of the players I’ve mentioned are very much worthy of the Hall of Fame, I just hope they’re inducted sooner rather than later.

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM | 241 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history

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