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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Medium: The System was a Steroid: Race, Performance Enhancement and the Baseball Hall of Fame

Confronted with the argument that maybe Williams, DiMaggio, and especially Babe Ruth wouldn’t have been as good had they been required to play against black players, most fall back on the argument that Bonds, Clemens and their steroid-enhanced contemporaries broke the rules, while Ruth and company merely played within the boundaries of the rules as they existed at the time.

In other words, while shameful, segregation was “just the way it was.” The implicit argument here is that we shouldn’t lower our estimation of white players due to segregation since they weren’t the ones who enforced the color barrier, but rather, just played by the rules as they found them.

But this argument is morally problematic on a number of levels. First, it suggests that if the rules themselves codify unfairness and cheating they are acceptable, and that it’s only when one cheats by breaking a rule that something is amiss. Additionally, to say that segregation was “just the way it was,” implies that we are under no obligation to challenge injustice unless we ourselves created it, and that if we collaborate with it, we bear no moral responsibility for its perpetuation. But what kind of moral standard is that?

DanG Posted: February 11, 2018 at 01:30 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, barry bonds, color line, hall of fame, peds, racism, roger clemens

Friday, February 02, 2018

Thome wants ‘Block C’ logo on HOF plaque

“I know my decision would be to wear the ‘C,’ because I think it’s the right thing to do and I fully support the way the Indians, through this week, have done the decision that they’ve done. That’s what I support.”

Good for him.

Perry Posted: February 02, 2018 at 07:47 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, indians

The Obstacles Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, and Dwight Evans Face to be Selected by the Hall of Fame’s Historical Overview Committee to Appear on Future Modern Baseball Era Ballots

The passing over of Whitaker, Grich, and Evans by the Historical Overview Committee is almost certainly due to the lack of support picked up by these candidate in their brief time on the BBWAA ballot, as evidenced by the screening panel’s repeated selections of candidates who lasted the maximum number of years on the writer’s vote.  Indeed, for the recent Modern Baseball Era ballot, the Historical Overview Committee not only chose all four newly eligible candidates whose Hall of Fame cases went the distance on the BBWAA ballot (Mattingly, Morris, Murphy, and Trammell) but also selected Parker for a second straight ballot and Garvey, John, and Tiant for a third consecutive time despite none of those four holdover candidates coming anywhere close to election on their previous appearances.

The absences of Grich and Evans from the Modern Baseball Era ballot each drew criticism of the Historical Overview Committee, but the exclusion of Whitaker was met with the most disapproval, as Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe and Lynn Henning of The Detroit News were among those who took the screening panel to task for not including “Sweet Lou” on the ballot.  Jaffe said Whitaker’s omission from the ballot “seems like a cruel joke” while Henning remarked that the former Tigers second baseman’s exclusion “makes no sense.”


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Why Are There So Few Third Basemen in the Hall of Fame? - The New York Times

There really are a lot of great third basemen playing right now. Catchers, not so much.

Jones had his own knee problems near the end of his career, but still ranks seventh in career games at third base. Asked how he did it, Jones laughed and said, “Blessed.” The current crop of star third basemen — Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria, Manny Machado, Anthony Rendon — could only hope to be so lucky.

“Maybe,” Schmidt said, “the greatest players in the game today are third basemen.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2018 at 06:11 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thursday, January 25, 2018

MLB.COM - Halo effect: Vlad will rep Angels on Hall plaque

As he breaks the hearts of Expos fans everywhere…..

“Vladimir Guerrero will be the first Hall of Famer to represent the Angels when he is enshrined in Cooperstown in July as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018.

Guerrero said at Thursday’s news conference in New York—featuring he and fellow electees Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman—that his plaque will depict him wearing an Angels cap.”

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: January 25, 2018 at 04:14 PM | 96 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, hall of fame

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Chipper, Vlad, Hoffman, Thome in Hall of Fame | MLB.com

Maybe I care a little.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 07:02 PM | 135 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Cut the nonsense: Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame - The Washington Post

My name is Jim. I no longer don’t care who gets in the Hall of Fame.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:10 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Monday, January 22, 2018

OTP 22 January 2018: What the Baseball Hall of Fame can teach us about elections

Would ballot-box behavior change if people knew more precisely how their fellow citizens planned to vote?

It’s a question that still haunts Democrats as they continue staring daggers at their friends who went third party in November 2016. But it’s also an experiment being carried out in real time by the Baseball Writers Association of America as members prepare to elect at least three and as many as five retired greats to the Hall of Fame later this

The association’s complicated voting rules work like this: Eligible players need 75 percent of the vote to win election. Those receiving less than 5 percent get kicked off the ballot; those between rejection and enshrinement can stay on the ballot for up to 10 years. And voters can support up to 10 candidates.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:44 AM | 4563 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, politics

Monday, January 15, 2018

Japan Times: Hideki Matsui elected to Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame

Matsui was inducted into the Japanese Hall of Fame on Monday along with former Hanshin Tigers star Tomoaki Kanemoto and ex-Yomiuri Giants skipper Tatsunori Hara.

Matsui becomes the youngest-ever inductee at 43 years, 7 months, surpassing former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo, who was 45 years and 4 months old.

Matsui and Kanemoto were chosen by the Players Selection Committee. Matsui garnered 91.3 percent of the vote (336 votes out of 368) to surpass the 75 percent threshold for induction, while Kanemoto managed to sneak over the borderline with 75.5 percent.

vortex of dissipation Posted: January 15, 2018 at 11:39 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, japanese baseball

Andruw of Center Field

The real issue is that people who see themselves as pro-analytical or post-analytical revolution, people who see themselves as sophisticated consumers of information, are in fact behaving in a manner which is identical to the pre-analytic arguments commonly used before 1975.  They argue that Andruw Jones has 63 WAR or whatever it is and that other players who have 58 WAR are in the Hall of Fame, therefore Andruw should be in the Hall of Fame as well.  This is no different than arguing that Herb Pennock won 240 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Waite Hoyt won 237 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Whitey Ford won 236 games and he is in the Hall of Fame, so David Wells, with 239 wins, obviously deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as well.  It is precisely the same argument; it is just using a “new” statistical category, rather than an old one.  Or, to apply it to a hitter, Yogi Berra drove in 1,430 runs, Charlie Gehringer drove in 1,427 runs, Joe Cronin drove in 1,424, Jim Bottomley drove in 1,422, Robin Yount drove in 1,406 and Ed Delahanty 1,400, and all of those guys are in the Hall of Fame, so how can you say that Joe Carter shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame when he drove in 1,445 runs, you moron, you.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:38 AM | 213 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, bill james, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Monday, January 08, 2018

HOF candidate Larry Walker jack of all trades

Walker had no such flaws. Well, that’s not right: His flaw, if you want to call it that, was a general inability to stay healthy. He played 150 games in a season just once. He was a big ol’ Canadian, someone who had dreamed not of a Major League career but of one in the NHL. His body tended to break down.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 08, 2018 at 05:37 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, larry walker

Friday, January 05, 2018

Beyond the Box Score: Scott Rolen does not deserve to be in the Hall of Fame

Rolen seems to be an interesting test. 70 WAR by both Fangraphs and Baseball Reference,  but lacking in both Black and Gray Ink, and only 8518 PAs in 17 years. Good in almost everything, but no dominating abilities in a single skill, or defining moments in postseason play.

Hank G. Posted: January 05, 2018 at 02:09 PM | 129 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, hall of very good, scott rolen

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Gammons: My Hall of Fame ballot explained (and, yes, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are on it)

The Athletic appears to be having technical difficulties (I can’t log in to RTFA, despite my subscription) but this title seems to disagree with Thib’s tracker, which has Gammons voting for Bonds this year but not Clemens, even though he voted for both in 2017.  Any idea what’s going on?  Has anyone gotten to read it?


Saturday, December 30, 2017

CBS Sports:  Hall of Famer Willie McCovey has some strong thoughts on Barry Bonds’ candidacy

“Guys took things ever since baseball existed. It may not have been steroids, but guys took things like those greenies and stuff so they could play the next day. You’re telling me everybody is clean as a whistle? You played against guys who were doing the same thing he was doing, so what the heck?”

Stretch’s response to Joe Morgan’s broadside.

Srul Itza Posted: December 30, 2017 at 04:40 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: barry bonds, hall of fame, peds

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Jack Morris, Alan Trammell elected to Hall | MLB.com

Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame from among 10 candidates on the 2018 Modern Baseball Era ballot on Sunda

Jim Furtado Posted: December 10, 2017 at 08:13 PM | 240 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thursday, December 07, 2017

If Sandy Koufax is a Hall of Famer, Johan Santana Is Too

Perhaps most importantly, enshrinement of Johan Santana would not open the floodgates for a parade of less-qualified players to enter. There are very few players who can argue that they fit the “Koufax Exception” to the Hall of Fame — let’s call it 50+ WAR, multiple Cy Young awards, and a career cut short by injury — who don’t probably otherwise deserve to be in the Hall of Fame anyway (looking at you, Curt Schilling and Kevin Brown). It wouldn’t apply to Orel Hershiser or Luis Tiant, who pitched into their 40s. Perhaps it would cause folks to revisit Bret Saberhagen (59.2 WAR, 43.3 WAR7) or give a boost to Justin Verlander if he retired tomorrow (56.6 WAR, 43.5 WAR7).

thetailor (Brian) Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:57 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Bill Liningston’s HOF Article

Last year Livingston sent in a blank ballot. As pointed out by Ryan Thibs, that is not abstaining…It’s voters like this who really diminish the professionalism of the vote.

TJ Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:04 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The 2018 Hall of Fame Election Forecast - Bill Deane

Bill Deane’s annual predictions. He picks three - RTFA to find out who.


Monday, December 04, 2017

Voting panel released for Modern Baseball Era Ballot

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Modern Baseball Era features Hall of Fame members George Brett, Rod Carew, Bobby Cox, Dennis Eckersley, John Schuerholz, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount; major league executives Sandy Alderson (Mets), Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bob Castellini (Reds), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals) and David Glass (Royals); and veteran media members/historians Bob Elliott, Steve Hirdt and Jayson Stark.


Friday, December 01, 2017

Heyman | Morgan Has Right To Express Opinion—Now Ignore It

Tell us what you really think, Jon.

If the issue is the messenger, I’ve got no issue with the complaints. As annoying as Morgan was announcing baseball games, he was fifty times more annoying than that in person. He acted like he had his own personal caste system, with himself at the top, other ballplaying greats next, people who could help him after that and the rest of us lower than the dirt he played on. There are a few other arrogant former players, but he was the king of arrogance.

In the letter he wrote, he stated that he has the utmost “respect” for writers. So I’m sure that annoyed writers who were disrespected by him over the years. (And he lost all credibility the moment he said he had the utmost respect for the voters.)

I assume anyone with a pen around in those days started off with a negative impression of Morgan, and it seems those who received the letter think even worse of him now, if that’s possible. (Not that it matters, but I didn’t actually receive a letter. Maybe he noticed my previous votes, or maybe it went to the spam folder.)

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2017 at 04:52 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, joe morgan

Doesn’t Take Perfect SAT to See We’re Going About Hall of Fame Voting All Wrong

Let us ponder the SATs.

Great scores come in many forms, but they’re not all created equal. If you hit 700 on verbal and math, the resulting 1,400 will qualify you for some pretty good schools. That same 1,400 might get you into MIT, however, if 800 of it comes via math, or Amherst if you similarly crush the verbal.

There’s more to college admissions than test scores, and yeah, yeah, most MIT and Amherst grads aced both halves of the SAT, but for the purposes of this exercise, which student would you prefer? The one who’s solidly above average across the board, or the one whose potential in one area might be limitless?

Give me Mr. 800. After all, Albert Einstein was dyslexic. Charles Darwin couldn’t spell. John Nash’s beautiful mind suffered from schizophrenia. Their brilliance overshadowed their deficiencies.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:26 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Red Sox Announce 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees

Kevin Youkilis, Derek Lowe, Mike Lowell and the late Buck Freeman are the 2018 inductees into the team Hall of Fame.

The July 21, 1959 major league debut of Pumpsie Green, who was the first African American player in Red Sox history, has been chosen as the “Memorable Red Sox Moment”

Yooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuk

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:22 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, red sox

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Agree or Disagree, Morgan Has Right to Express Himself – Inside the Seams

I know having respect for differences of opinion isn’t in vogue. Although I disagree strongly and find flaws in his logic, I don’t have a problem with the expression of his opinion.

Morgan’s letter was polite, but to the point. Agree or disagree, it was Morgan’s right to speak his mind, just like anyone else. Will his presentation impact the voting? It could, particularly if a voter is uncertain of his stance on the issue.

Is that any sillier than the recently cast ballot where a voter declined to vote for Barry Bonds because of the steroid issue, but did vote for Roger Clemens, explaining that Clemens was dominate even before steroids became an issue. And Bonds wasn’t?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2017 at 06:27 AM | 93 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, joe morgan

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hall of Stats: The Hall of Fame Case for Scott Rolen

Positional Adjustment: +34 runs

If you’re not familiar with WAR’s positional adjustment, I recommend you dig more into it on Baseball-Reference. But the gist is this—an average player at shortstop (or catcher, etc.) is more valuable than an average player at first base (or a corner outfield spot) because players who fill those roles are harder to find. I don’t think that’s rocket science, but if it is you can probably feel free to stop reading now.

Baseball-Reference says that third basemen get an adjustment of two runs per 1,350 innings played. This feels very fair to me, if not a tad low. For comparison, catchers are +9, second basemen +3, shortstops +7, center fielders +2.5, corner outfielders –7, and first basemen –9.5. Rolen played 17,479⅓ innings at third base and… nowhere else (how incredible is that?). He ranks 12th all time in games played at third base. His positional adjustment adds up to +34 runs. That passes the sniff test for me.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 28, 2017 at 09:02 AM | 95 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, scott rolen

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