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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

The 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

Updated 9:10 ~ 26 Full Ballots ~ (4.6% of vote ~ based on last year) ~ As usual…BBWAA ballot digging is welcome!

100   - P. Martinez
96.1 - R. Johnson
84.6 - Smoltz
80.8 - Biggio
80.8 - Piazza
73.1 - Bagwell
65.4 - Raines
53.8 - Clemens
53.8 - Bonds
53.8 - Schilling
30.8 - Trammell
26.9 - Mussina
15.4 - McGwire
15.4 - E. Martinez
15.4 - Lee Smith
15.4 - L. Walker
11.5 - Sheffield
  7.7 - Sosa
  7.7 - McGriff
  7.7 - Kent
  3.8 - Garciaparra
  3.8 - Pete Rose (McWrite-In)

Big thanks to Ryan Thibs, Ilychs Morales & Butch for all their help! And check here for Thibs’ excellent HoF Ballot spreadsheet.

Repoz Posted: December 17, 2014 at 07:31 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

“You Are F——d”: Breaking down the first-year candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot (Sports Illustrated)

I was asking Martinez what it felt like on the days when he knew he had his best stuff. He motioned toward home plate and told me those are the days when the distance between the mound and the plate seemed to be shortened. And then a mischievous smile came over his face. “Then,” he said, “you are f——d.”

gehrig97 Posted: December 17, 2014 at 09:57 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Dan Shaughnessy Hall Of Fame Ballot

The sure messy Dan Shaughnessy HOF Ballot (6): P. Martinez, R. Johnson, Smoltz, Schilling, Raines, and Trammell.

This means I am not voting for (among others on the ballot), Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Larry Walker, Lee Smith, Carlos Delgado, and Nomar Garciaparra. Oh, and I also am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2014 at 06:05 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Joe Henderson’s HOF Ballot

From his Facebook page:

The Henderson Eight- Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, John Smoltz…

Although I am obviously not intelligent enough to follow his logic on making his call on Fred McGriff…

TJ Posted: December 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fred Kline’s HOF Ballot

“Have some players made the Baseball Hall of Fame in part because they were nice guys? The short answer is yes.”

Ron Santo, Richie Ashburn, and Phil Rizzuto made the Hall of Fame through the Veteran’s Committee because they were nice guys, not because Heaven forbid the BBWAA could possibly have been wrong about them…

TJ Posted: December 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Krieger: 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, Part 2

The soon to be controversial HOF Ballot from Dave Krieger: (10) P. Martinez, R. Johnson, Bagwell, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Smoltz, Trammell and L.Walker.

Prone as I am to stirring up trouble, and knowing the howls of outrage this would trigger among veteran members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, I might hypothesize that race had something to do with it — Whitaker is black, Biggio is white — and order up a quantitative analysis of voting on comparable players by race, and a parallel analysis of the racial makeup of the voting population. I don’t know what such a study might find on the first question, although I would note that Tony Gwynn and Frank Thomas sailed in a lot faster than some white comparables, and Jim Rice got in with a JAWS score lower than Minnie Minoso, Lance Berkman and Jose Cruz. On the second, my guess is the racial makeup of the voting population looks something like the racial makeup of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, which is why the hypothesis must be considered.

Another hypothesis would be that the absence of a significant sabermetric influence in 2001 revealed an embarrassing blind spot in qualitative analysis. Whitaker’s offensive numbers in the traditional, non-sabermetric categories — .276/.363/.426, 244 homers, 1,084 RBI — while above average for a second baseman, were nowhere near the numbers generally required of hitters who played the corner positions or the outfield. And while he was known as a smooth fielder, few voters were probably aware this would translate into 15.4 defensive WAR.

Given what’s happened to Trammell, who has been treated slightly better but has earned nowhere near the level of support the quantitative analysis would suggest, maybe it’s some strange prejudice against Detroit.

In any case, this is one of the more remarkable divergences between quantitative and qualitative analysis in the history of the Hall, and I admit to being totally on the quants’ side on this one. Whitaker was a wonderful player who belongs in the Hall and with any luck will be installed by some iteration of the veterans committee. But it is not his absence that is outrageous; it is the failure of the BBWAA to consider him even worthy of consideration.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2014 at 11:15 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Friday, December 12, 2014

Michael Gee’s Hall of Fame Ballot

To show that not all HOF voters are pinheads- one of the better HOF ballots and articles I’ve come across…

TJ Posted: December 12, 2014 at 08:43 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

David Borges: My first Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

The David Borges HOF Ballot (8): Bonds, Clemens, R. Johnson, P. Martinez, McGwire, Piazza, Schilling and Smoltz. Circular ruins, if ever…

That’s why I didn’t vote for Jeff Bagwell. Sorry Connecticut folks, but the Xavier High and University of Hartford product doesn’t quite do it for me. A very good player for many years, but never must-see TV. A career .226 postseason hitter with two homers in 106 October at-bats. Not to diminish a terrific career, but not a Hall-of-Famer to me — and I couldn’t care less about his PED suspicions.

...I voted for McGwire, a confessed steroids-user, for many of the same reasons. I’m big on the transcendent moment(s), and what was bigger for baseball than the 1998 home run race between McGwire and Sammy Sosa? Boosted the game’s popularity to no end.

So why no Sosa? Here’s where I get a little hypocritical. I see Sosa as solely a product of PED use. Practically a steroid lab experiment gone awry. No doubt, he was bigger than the game at one point. No doubt, his career stats are among the greatest of all time. But there just seems something wrong, to me, about his whole career. Maybe I’m being hypocritical voting for McGwire and not Sosa, but that’s my vote.

As for some others on the ballot: Craig Biggio had over 3,000 career hits, and I can’t remember a single one of them; Don Mattingly is the ultimate “on-the-fence” candidate, but if you’re on the fence, you’re probably not a Hall of Famer; Tim Raines wasn’t Rickey Henderson; Mike Mussina, Gary Sheffield, Fred McGriff and Jeff Kent had great career numbers, but were never great players. Nomar Garciaparra didn’t do it long enough; Edgar Martinez was a DH.

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2014 at 11:45 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Monday, December 08, 2014

Lynn Henning: 10-player limit justifies boycott of Hall vote

Henning: “I was told by BBWAA officials this year that the Hall of Fame bosses want ballots to be private.” Jeez, I knew my HOF Ballot Gizmo was having an impact but… ‪#ScrewO’Connell

And, so, reluctantly and distressingly, for the first time in 25 years I’m not sending in a Hall of Fame ballot.

A once-happy, interesting, even exciting privilege and responsibility, has become a negative act resistant to simple, reasonable, ultimately necessary repairs.

In alphabetical order, here were the 13 names I concluded deserved a place on a ballot that this year offered 34 names for consideration (howls accepted at least until explanation is offered for a couple of unpopular people):

Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, John Smoltz and Alan Trammell.

It’s a heavy group, for sure. In many eyes, it should have been even larger if you decide as some have that Curt Schilling, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly, Lee Smith, Larry Walker, etc., also belong in Cooperstown.

But realizing there will always be sound and constructive disagreements on any two ballots about who is Hall of Fame-qualified and who isn’t, those are the 13 names I’ve been asked to magically stuff onto a 10-man list.

No. It’s not going to happen. Not this year. Not after I personally wrote last January to the Baseball Writers Association of America leadership asking that we do away with the absurd 10-man limit and was basically ignored in terms of even cursory feedback.

Repoz Posted: December 08, 2014 at 01:10 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Ballou: Handing out the Hall passes

Straight from the Wolf City Daily…the Ballou HOF ballot: P. Martinez, R. Johnson, Smoltz, Clemens, Bonds, Bagwell, Piazza and McGwire.

Johnson and Martinez are easy, although Johnson is easier than Martinez. Martinez had a Sandy Koufax career — incomparable for several prime seasons, but not for that long. Martinez is overwhelming in one of my personal criteria for the Hall of Fame — would you buy a ticket just so you could tell your grandchildren you saw him perform?

Part of me would like to leave him off the ballot just once because I’m tired of his petulant whining over not getting the MVP Award in 1999. Whether or not pitchers deserve to be MVPs is a valid question, and Jon Lester reinforced the “no” side of that debate this year when he went to Oakland, pitched splendidly, and watched the Athletics disintegrate around him.

Smoltz gets a vote because of a decision I made in voting for Dennis Eckersley in 2003, one I have come to regret as my opinion on the value of closers has changed; I think that while what they do is dramatic, it is vastly over-rated. Anyway, Eckersley was a good starter and a great closer. Smoltz was a great starter and a good closer. They are relatively comparable pitchers, with Smoltz being a bit better, so if I voted for Eckersley, Smoltz deserves a nod, too.

...Major League Baseball wants to have it both ways with the PED players. It was very happy to take fans’ money while the great ones bashed home runs or had 20-strikeout games, but it now distances itself from the soup it cooked up.

A documentary on baseball and PEDs shows Bud Selig saying he takes responsibility for the PED era, but what does that mean? He didn’t resign.

He didn’t fire or suspend himself. He didn’t give back any part of his salary. That has been the sport’s approach to the whole mess — say a lot, do nothing.


Repoz Posted: December 06, 2014 at 07:33 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

The Garry Brown HOF Ballot

Brown v. Bored of Baseball Education. Our first Randy Johnson-less HOF ballot!

News item: Dec. 17 deadline set for Baseball Hall of Fame ballots. I voted for Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza and Tim Raines.

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2014 at 06:13 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: hof


This is most shocking! No, not the steroid jazz…the fact that Seymour Siwoff’s 1922 Dial Grabaphone is still in working order!

Three other players on the ballot have resumes that are foggier than these five. Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio have never been linked to steroids by anything other than news media mention, but in my view more time is needed to learn more about their past practices.

I voted for Bagwell on his first appearance on the ballot, when he received 41.7 percent of the votes. After several people told me that he had been heavily involved in steroids, I left him off my ballot the second year. He received 56 percent of the votes that year and climbed to 59.6 percent the next year. But last year he slipped to 54.3 percent, perhaps a victim of the newcomers on the ballot.

Biggio will almost certainly be elected this time. He was only two votes short of election in the last election and should clear the threshold, even though a reporter friend told me that a dozen or more players told him that Biggio used steroids. When I wrote that, Biggio’s fans were outraged.

If it’s not clear by now, I don’t vote for steroids-tainted players. If steroids were legal, I’d have no problem with players using them. But they are illegal, and players who use them cheat. I can’t vote for players who cheat at the expense of their fellow players who don’t cheat.

That brings me to Piazza. Piazza has been on the ballot for two years and avoided the falloff problem in his second year. He gained 57.8 percent, then 62.2 percent, an indication that he could be headed for election. But I have written about my belief that he was one of the steroids gang.

His many fans have excoriated me for my view, but they are blind to what I believe is strong evidence of his use. When he played for the New York Mets, he didn’t hide his acne-covered back. Steroids experts say that Piazza’s condition is one of the signs of steroids use.

When I first wrote about Piazza’s possible use several years ago, his fans ridiculed me. They completely ignored a critical aspect of what I wrote. Piazza’s back cleared up completely when baseball began testing for steroids and remained clear to his retirement. It was not a stretch to conclude that Piazza had stopped using steroids to avoid being caught by a urine test.

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2014 at 04:08 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, steroids

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Adam Rubin: My Hall of Fame ballot

Rubin’s near perfect HOF Ballot: (10) - Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Smoltz, Piazza, Schilling, Raines.

Here is my Hall of Fame ballot. I used all 10 slots I was allotted, and still was unable to fit Lee Smith (whom I voted for two years ago, but now do not have room to include).

First-year candidates Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz get my vote. So does Mike Piazza, the ex-Met who garnered 62.2 percent of the vote a year ago—within striking distance of the 75-percent threshold. The others: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tim Raines and Curt Schilling.

Raines reappears on my ballot this year. Like Smith, I voted for him two years ago, but could not fit him last year, when the class included players such as now-elected Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas.

Other notable players I omitted (for now, at least), include: Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina and Trammell.

Repoz Posted: November 25, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Monday, November 10, 2014

Chimelis: Mike Piazza presents the ultimate Hall of Fame ballot quandary

For the misdemeanor player, chased and cheated by pursuit
And we gazed upon the Chimelis of freedom flashing.

But I have reached the point where I feel I am stalling. My ambivalent, wait-till-next-year approach to Piazza is the coward’s way out.

Unlike the more tarnished superstars (Barry Bonds, Clemens, etc.), Piazza is close. He pulled 62.2 percent last year, up from 57.8 percent in his first year, 2012.

That was higher than Bagwell, whose credentials are less obvious to some voters (though convincing to me) and drew 54.3 percent last year. The numbers mean every vote counts, including mine.

For those of us who want to vote only for clean players, when substantial evidence end and unproven innuendo begin? When friends and colleagues tell me it has to be either both-or-neither with Bagwell and Piazza, are they right?

I think I am going to vote for Piazza this time. But the ballot is not due until December, giving me a few more weeks to ask myself the same questions about the same doubts.

It would be easier to just disregard the steroid issue altogether. It is also a copout. These are the times when voting for Cooperstown is a privilege and an honor, but not a whole lot of fun.

Repoz Posted: November 10, 2014 at 01:36 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Newest Hall of Fame Candidates Announced

Kappelhalloffame…Maury Wills?

The 10-person ballot for consideration by this year’s Golden Era Committee consists of Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills.

Kaat (10 votes in 2011), Hodges (9 votes), Minoso (9 votes), Oliva (8 votes), Boyer (less than 3 votes) and Tiant (less than three votes) return to the ballot after appearing in the fall in 2011 in the first vote of the Golden Era Committee. Allen, Howsam, Pierce and Wills will be considered by the Golden Era Committee for the first time.

The 16-person Golden Era Committee, which is reconstituted each time it meets, consists of Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Ferguson Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith and Don Sutton; baseball executives Jim Frey, David Glass, Roland Hemond and Bob Watson; and veteran media members Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe and Tracy Ringolsby.

Repoz Posted: October 30, 2014 at 01:22 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Palladino: Derek Jeter, First-Ballot Hall Of Famer? There’s No Argument

Well, I would try and make an argument…but I’m having trouble with that jernt. Jeez…

For the few who doubt Jeter deserves a place in baseball’s Olympus on a statistical basis, don’t use the stats. Use the eyes. The catches, the smart plays, the timely hits, and the way his teammates reacted to him all combine to put him among the handful of dominant players of his era. He never had the power of Albert Pujols, but he wasn’t supposed to. Shortstops outside of the pre-Yankees Alex Rodriguez don’t generally hit with a lot of power. So Jeter did just fine with his 260 homers.

Positionally, he was the greatest shortstop of his era, and it was a long era. His and Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Smith’s careers overlapped Jeter’s first two years. But after that, there were no shortstops who had the package Jeter presented. Even Cal Ripken, another Hall resident who compiled an unbreakable Ironman streak, can’t be counted, as he played at third for five of his seven-year overlap with Jeter.

He wasn’t the best of all time. Not even top five, according to Its list goes Honus Wagner, Ernie Banks, Ripken, Joe Cronin, and Smith.

Smith, Omar Vizquel, Luis Aparacio, and Mark Belanger were all better fielders, though only Vizquel could be counted as Jeter’s true contemporary.

But Vizquel didn’t have Jeter’s bat. Nowhere close. In that, and in his instinctual fielding, Jeter was easily the most dominant shortstop of his era. And that’s plenty.

The clock starts Sunday when Jeter walks out of Fenway Park.

He will enter Cooperstown exactly five years from now, not unanimously, but certainly deservedly so.

Repoz Posted: September 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dave Kreiger: New Baseball Hall of Fame voting rules

A mighty adventure when the HOF’s destiny rides in the saddle bags of the…PONY EXPRESS!

The process is brought into the electronic age with online registration and research materials but remains in the Pony Express days with actual submission of ballots by snail mail. The Heisman Trophy has had electronic voting for some time now, so I assume Ernst & Young will ultimately employ this innovation as well. But not yet.

From the standpoint of voters, the new procedure offers the innovation of confirming receipt, never before available because the BBWAA didn’t open ballots until it was time to count them, by which time it would be too late to replace a ballot lost in the mail anyway.

There is no change to the much-discussed limit of 10 votes per voter. Many voters expressed regret that they could not vote for more than 10 last year. I was one of them. I left Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina off my 2014 ballot because I was not willing to abandon candidates I had supported longer — including Raines, Trammell and Jack Morris.

The 10-year eligibility limit will turn over the names more quickly, reducing this ballot congestion problem to some extent, but off the top of my head I can name more than 10 players I’d like to vote for this year.

Repoz Posted: September 14, 2014 at 04:41 PM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

BPP: Why do people still think Jack Morris pitched to the score?

When I was involved with the AMVETS for many years I saw a lot of Veterans Committee’s. They were usually drunk. So beware.

Every so often, I see tweets or articles from reputable sources repeating a long-since debunked myth. This one was posted about a week ago:

“Lyle Spencer: Games like Jered Weaver’s tonight, pitching to score, cost Jack Morris the Hall of Fame. Not good for ERA.”

Lyle Spencer, a writer for, is no different than a lot of other veteran reporters or fans who keep repeating this idea that Jack Morris pitched to the score. Morris popularized the notion, I think, to bolster his Hall of Fame candidacy despite a lifetime 3.90 ERA. As far as Hall campaign strategies go, it’s probably been one of the more effective ones. Morris just missed induction through the writers ballot and may be a future Veterans Committee pick.

Never mind that Joe Sheehan picked apart the myth of Morris pitching to the score in a landmark 2003 piece for Baseball Prospectus. In the piece, which is long but worth a full read, Sheehan examined everyone of Morris’s 527 career starts and discovered that Morris put his team behind in roughly two-thirds of them. That Morris had 254 wins while allowing nearly four runs a game is largely a credit to pitching for one of the best teams of the 1980s, the Detroit Tigers and getting at least five runs of support in nearly half his starts.

Sheehan’s piece is easily found in Google, as are any number of related ones that have come since. It’s like the majority of people who follow baseball aren’t even reading them.

...People change, granted. Peter Gammons, among others, changed his mind on Morris pitching to the score after reading Sheehan’s piece. In time, maybe others will follow. But I suspect articles and tweets like the one above will keep coming and more people like me will keep writing pieces denouncing them until this issue, finally, is completely beaten to death. Trying to get people to see things differently seems like a fool’s errand sometimes. I know I often feel like I’m preaching to a choir of like-minded individuals.

The baseball world and the world in general remains so polarized. It’s a shame Jack Morris’s career has become a reminder of this. He was a fine pitcher, one of the best of his era and his work in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series was masterful. I agree with people like Joe Posnanski who’ve written that all this debate about him pitching to the score detracts from this.

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2014 at 08:34 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Sunday, August 24, 2014

David Justice Says Put Barry Bonds in Baseball Hall of Fame Despite Steroid Use Late In Career

Hail Barry!

Barry Bonds is one of the players whose careers and reputations have been destroyed by Roidgate. One of the greatest baseball players of all-time, Bonds will likely never be allowed into the Hall of Fame because of his alleged use of steroids. But David Justice, one of the Atlanta Braves’ most celebrated players of all time, says that Bonds should be let in at least on the strength of his pre-juicing days. The former power hitter says that he made it on his own merits for much of his career.

According to David Justice, the league is being petty. They are trying to punish people they think they can catch cheating, instead of acknowledging the accomplishments that have been made while clean.

“Yeah, Barry was probably juiced up from ‘97 to ‘07 ... and that’s bad. But BB was a BEAST from ‘86 to ‘97 ... BEFORE his head expanded 8 hat sizes. ‘I think they should put Barry in ... period,’ [said Justice].”

Repoz Posted: August 24, 2014 at 08:51 AM | 165 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Downey: Let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame already

Mike Downey: HOF voter.

By this point, you have made up your own mind, as so many of us have. You are from one of two camps. One is the “hasn’t Pete suffered enough?” one. The other is the “Pete got exactly what he deserved” one.

I occupy the former.

In my opinion—with utmost respect for all who feel otherwise—a life sentence is unduly harsh. We live on an Earth in which past sins can be forgiven, in which those who commit crimes do their time, pay their debts, then pray for a drop of milk of human kindness. A case could be made that Pete Rose needn’t be crucified for what he did, that it wouldn’t kill the game of baseball to finally let him off the hook.

They say gambling is a sickness, an addiction, like liquor or drugs. They tell us gamblers need help. In the same breath, they tell us funny stories about the Hall of Fame baseball greats who bar-hopped all night, came to the park drunk, played with a hangover, hahaha, what a guy. Oh, that Babe. Oh, that Mickey.

It is, of course, a Hall of Fame also occupied by an accused gambler or two, by a wife-beater or two, a philanderer or two, a racist or two, a cheater or two, a rule-breaker or two. Just as today’s voters continue to debate who did and didn’t demonstrate exemplary character, we could argue whether Pete Rose must be forever bound by “rules are rules,” or if rules, as some have been known to say, are made to be changed.

I pictured baseball’s giants Sunday posing for that picture.

Gaylord Perry. Roberto Alomar. Goose Gossage. Eddie Murray. Wade Boggs. Jim Rice.

A hero here, a hero there.

A man missing here, a man missing there, Hall of Fame hallowed figures Ralph Kiner and Tony Gwynn having lost their lives this year.

Everybody who showed up to smile for the camera deserved to do exactly that. Each one had stature. Each had acceptance. Each belonged to the club.

Pete Rose belongs. Make it so.

Repoz Posted: August 21, 2014 at 05:09 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Megdal: Humble shortstop Marty Marion should be in Hall contention

Once during a heated SABR meeting I told a frayed Marionette that Slats had like a 80 OPS+, and he shot back…“No he didn’t, he hit .263 for his career!”

So I raise the case of Marty Marion, aka Slats or Mr. Shortstop, honored last weekend as an inductee into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, not because we’ve discovered some hidden, extra season Marion played at Sportsman’s Park.

Instead, it’s worth reflecting on Marion, a contemporary of often-honored Pee Wee Reese and Phil Rizzuto, for two reasons: His greatness ought to be celebrated by those who experienced it firsthand, and Marion shouldn’t get overlooked because he didn’t believe in touting himself.

Consider for a moment what the following résumé would mean in terms of fame for a player in today’s game: National League MVP in 1944. Two other top-10 MVP finishes. Starting shortstop for four National League pennant winners. Seven All-Star Games.

“He made it easy,” Marion’s double-play partner, Hall of Fame second baseman Red Schoendienst, said last week at Busch Stadium. “Marty made it easy. I think he should be in the Hall of Fame.”

..Schoendienst remembers.

“I’ve seen Rizzuto play, and I’ve seen Pee Wee Reese play, and I’ve seen (Eddie) Miller of Cincinnati play, and I’ve seen so many other ones,” Schoendienst said. “And Marty’s right there with him, no matter what.

“Marty Marion ... when the ballgame was on the line, he always made the big play, and he didn’t make any errors. If he made an error, you were getting beat by 10 runs, or you’re winning by that many.

“If he made any fault at all, it was never in the crucial time of a ballgame. And if his back would’ve held up, I don’t know that anybody would have been any better.”.

Repoz Posted: August 21, 2014 at 11:31 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: history, hof

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Plenty of Pete Rose ahead on ESPN

You can’t spell Ass To Cobb without Bob Costas.

Last week, for example, Mike Greenberg of the “Mike & Mike” ESPN national radio show said that one of the four things he would do on the first day of coming into office would be to “reinstate Pete Rose.” Greenberg then asked his guest, broadcaster Bob Costas, “What do you think?”

“Yes, I think that’s something that should be done,” Costas answered. “And maybe a new commissioner could do it. Maybe Selig felt as if it would have been disrespectful somehow to (former commissioner) Bart Giamatti’s legacy, and Selig was very fond of Giamatti,” who banned Rose on Aug. 24, 1989.

Only eight days after exiling Rose, Giamatti, 51, died suddenly of a heart attack.

“To me, it’s very simple, and has been for a long, long time,” Costas said. “You separate the Hall of Fame from eligibility for other baseball benefits (such as being hired as a manager). … Certainly, Pete Rose deserves to be on the Hall of Fame ballot. If Barry Bonds can be on the Hall of Fame ballot, and the voters can decide yay or nay, why shouldn’t they be able to decide that about Pete Rose?”

Costas articulated what has become a mainstream national opinion on how to handle the Rose case. Almost every national figure believes the Cincinnati native has served more than enough time in exile, and that it would be a healing process for baseball to pardon him. No doubt Selig will have to take some questions on it Friday in Roselawn, especially in the wake of going on ESPN-TV Wednesday to discuss it.

Repoz Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:01 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ringolsby: Helton’s numbers stack up against the best

Percy Helton having a visor is one thing…Todd Helton having an adviser is another.

Hall of Fame type numbers?

“Obviously, that would be a great honor, but there’s nothing I can do about that,” he said. “You have the vote.”

Just one, he was told.

“Well,” he said with a smile, “put in a good word for me.”

...And here’s something else to consider.

As dominant as he was at Coors Field, Helton outplayed the bulk of Hall of Famers on the road.

There are 116 position players in the Hall of Fame who had at least 4,000 plate appearances since 1912, which is how far back the home-road splits extend for Stats Inc. Among those 116 position players:

• Helton’s .287 road batting average is higher than 45.

• Helton’s .386 road on-base percentage is higher than 84.

• Helton’s .469 road slugging percentage is higher than 74.

• And Helton’s .855 road OPS is higher than 78.

And Helton even ranks well among the smaller group of 21 Hall of Fame first basemen who have had at least 4,000 plate appearances since 1912.

Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Orlando Cepeda, Lou Gehrig, Billy Terry and Jimmie Foxx are the only ones who are ahead of Helton on the road in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.

Helton has higher numbers in all four categories than Ernie Banks, Jim Bottomley and Tony Perez.

He has a higher road on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS than Rod Carew and George Kelly.

And a higher on-base percentage, average and OPS than Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey and Eddie Murray.

Not that Helton has ever paid that much attention.

Repoz Posted: August 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, rockies

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Howard: David Ortiz shaping up to become first steroid era Teflon slugger

Ortiz is shaping up to be the first slugger from his era to make the Hall of Fame.

You realize that, right?

Ortiz seems on an inexorable path to becoming something none of his contemporaries has so far: the steroid era’s first Teflon slugger.

“He’s a Hall of Famer in my eyes,” Red Sox teammate Mike Napoli said Monday.

But how is it that Ortiz seems poised to pull off what McGwire (11 percent of this year’s vote), Barry Bonds (34.7), Roger Clemens (35.4) and Canseco (off the ballot after drawing just 1.1 percent) could not? Bonds, for example, dwarfed Ortiz’s home run total, 762 to 456.

Why does Ortiz alone seem poised to vault lightly over the steroid suspicions that were, in his case, admittedly incomplete when, say, Mike Piazza, another Hall of Fame shutout so far, could point out he has never failed an MLB-administered drug test, period?

...For years, Yankees observers have groused how the Yanks never even brushed back Ortiz even when he was raking against them and/or when the Sox threw at Derek Jeter. But really, hardly anybody throws at Ortiz. He’s been hit only 35 times in his 15-plus seasons; Jason Giambi, the active career leader, has been plunked 180 times. Prince Fielder was hit 21 times in 2010 alone.

This is quite a sleight of hand Ortiz is pulling off.

Remember, Ortiz seemed in danger of being released by the Sox five years ago before undergoing a back-from-the-brink revival that saw him hit .309 with 30 homers and 103 RBIs last season with a .959 OPS, and he won the World Series MVP award by hitting .688—all at the age of 37. And yet, instead of fanning renewed suspicions that he must be still juicing, it has been used as proof that he’s just damn good, thanks, and that bad stretch—that was the aberration.

Thanks to Chan Hozone Park.

Repoz Posted: July 29, 2014 at 04:23 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, red sox

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gossage on Bonds, McGwire Hall hopes: ‘Are you f–king kidding?’

As The Parliaments sang in “The Goose (That Laid The Golden Egg)”...“Just imagine a monkey with a peanut machine”.

“Two of the greatest records were manipulated by steroids, and I think the [pre-steroid era] records need to be reinstated,” Gossage told The Post. “If Bud Selig wants a legacy, he ought to reinstate those records and recognize the damage these guys did to the game.

“If you really want to make a statement, reinstate the records that McGwire and Bonds broke. That would take some guts and I would back the commissioner 100 percent.”

An impassioned Gossage then added, “Why recognize these guys?”

“And then we are going to reward these guys with an election to the Hall of Fame,” the former Yankees closer said. “Are you [expletive] kidding me? If they do that they might as well open up the floodgates and let everything ride. Let them do whatever they want to do and our kids are watching and see that they are rewarded for this.

“What does the tell our kids? That’s the crux of trying to get rid these guys so our kids can come up and try to play this game on a level playing field.”

“Ken Griffey Jr. is the guy who was supposed to break that [home run] record. He didn’t do steroids, I’d bet on my mother’s grave that this guy was as clean as clean can be, and he didn’t make the end of the race,” Gossage said. “He broke down like age breaks you down. You don’t get better the older you get. This game has a way of leaving you behind. You play as long as you can and that’s it.”

“We fade in and we fade out.”

Repoz Posted: July 27, 2014 at 09:29 AM | 156 comment(s)
  Beats: hof

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