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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Abraham: David Ortiz to the Hall of Fame? It may be easier than you think

Ka-Prow…there it is.

When David Ortiz was signed to a contract extension on Sunday, Red Sox owner John Henry was quoted on the press release saying, “We are so proud to have this ambassador of our game with us as he continues on this road to Cooperstown.”

On Twitter and elsewhere, it was immediately pointed out that Ortiz was once tied to the use of performance-enhancing drugs and such players have so far been denied induction in the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

True enough. But Henry’s statement may yet prove prophetic. Here are some theories why:

(First, a few disclosures. John Henry also owns the Globe and I’m a BBWAA member with Hall of Fame voting rights. Just so we’re clear.)

...• When Ortiz makes the ballot, research of his PED ties will reveal that he was on a list of players found to have tested positive in 2003 before the start of baseball’s formal drug program. That substance is to this day unknown. The list was leaked to the New York Times six years after the fact, likely to embarrass Ortiz.

The MLB Players Association has said the number of players on that list exceeded the number of positive samples. The union also has said that some legal supplements available at the time could have triggered a positive test result.

So while Ortiz is tied to drug use, it’s hardly a lockdown case. He was on a list for taking something that was leaked to a newspaper. In a court of law, that wouldn’t be much to go on.

I think Ortiz probably took some kind of PED and knew what he was doing. The same was true of hundreds of players in that era. But in the decade since, baseball has made progress in changing that.

Repoz Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:23 AM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. SoCalDemon Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4677157)
When Ortiz makes the ballot, research of his PED ties will reveal that he was on a list of players found to have tested positive in 2003 before the start of baseball’s formal drug program...In a court of law, that wouldn’t be much to go on. I think Ortiz probably took some kind of PED and knew what he was doing. The same was true of hundreds of players in that era. But in the decade since, baseball has made progress in changing that.


Then I guess Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa will have no problem getting in.
   2. joeysdadjoe Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4677169)
If Bagwell can't get in because he looks funny and Piazza can't get in because of so called bacne then why should a DH one tick better then Edgar Martinez with a positive test get in?
   3. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4677188)
Someone ought to keep tabs on the BBWAA writers who have dismissed Edgar's HOF credentials because of his years as a DH but in the next decade trumpet Big Papi's candidacy.
   4. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4677189)
Anybody under the impression that Ortiz used PEDs (who doesn't have an axe to grind, or just believes that every Dominican ballplayer drinks jazz milkshakes all the time) should really review what happened with the 2003 list/2009 leak. At this point though, it seems to have been repeated enough to be fact.

Still dunno about his HOF case tho.
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4677216)
"I tell you, I don’t know too much about steroids, but I started listening about steroids when they started to bring that #### up, and I started realizing and getting to know a little bit about it. You've got to be careful. I used to buy a protein shake in my country. I don’t do that any more because they don’t have the approval for that here, so I know that, so I’m off of buying things at the GNC back in the Dominican (Republic). But it can happen anytime, it can happen. I don’t know. I don’t know if I drank something in my youth, not knowing it."
   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4677219)
"Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? If I knew that that sort of thing was frowned upon.."
   7. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4677230)
"Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? If I knew that that sort of thing was frowned upon.."

David Ortiz had sex in the clubhouse with John Henry's cleaing woman?
   8. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4677231)
If Bagwell can't get in because he looks funny and Piazza can't get in because of so called bacne then why should a DH one tick better then Edgar Martinez with a positive test get in?


When you said "better", I think you meant "worse".
   9. Canker Soriano Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4677233)
If Bagwell can't get in because he looks funny and Piazza can't get in because of so called bacne then why should a DH one tick better then Edgar Martinez with a positive test get in?

I think you reversed the order at the end of this sentence. Martinez was one tick (or more) better than Ortiz.

That said, I think Ortiz will fare much better in the Hall of Fame voting, and may well be the Jim Rice of this generation.

Edit: A frosty Moxie to Voxter.
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4677245)
"Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? If I knew that that sort of thing was frowned upon.."


David Ortiz had sex in the clubhouse with John Henry's cleaning woman?

That wasn't his problem, because for crissakes, all the Red Sox do that. What did in Ortiz was trying to buy the cleaning woman's silence with a re-gifted cashmere sweater. Dumbassed motherfucker thought she wouldn't notice the spot.
   11. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4677252)
That said, I think Ortiz will fare much better in the Hall of Fame voting, and may well be the Jim Rice of this generation.


I think it's Vlad who had Teh Fear.
   12. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4677253)
I thought they buried the cashmere sweater in the New Yankee Stadium concrete.
   13. tfbg9 Posted: March 26, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4677261)
.318/.409/.574/.983

Losers whine. Winners win.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4677309)
Losers whine. Winners win.


And real baseball players play in the field.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 26, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4677326)
I'm greatly looking forward to a Hall of Fame with David Ortiz, Omar Vizquel, Jack Morris and Bud Selig, but not Bonds, Trammell, Clemens and McGwire.
   16. tfbg9 Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4677350)
And real baseball players play in the field.


And real baseball teams make the playoffs more than once every quarter century? But hey, I'm rooting for ya.

Bonds, Trammell, Clemens and McGwire.


Trammell juiced? Who knew?
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4677358)
Vizquel juiced? Or Morris? There's not just one strain of electoral dumb at play here.
   18. Srul Itza Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4677368)
One more time: The Hall of Fame is not the Hall of Merit or the Hall of WAR or the Hall of Stats.

Given Ortiz's career, his extreme post-season excellence, his role as an integral part (and the only player on all three) of three Red Sox World Championship teams, he is perfectly fine Hall of Famer, in line with many others.

I don't think the anti-steroid crowd -- which I think is only delaying, not stopping, Bagwell and Piazza -- will prevent his election.
   19. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4677369)
I'm greatly looking forward to a Hall of Fame with David Ortiz, Omar Vizquel, Jack Morris and Bud Selig, but not Bonds, Trammell, Clemens and McGwire.
...or Marvin Miller.
   20. The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4677375)
I think Ortiz is clearly below the HOF line, and I wouldn't vote for him. But I would indeed prefer him to Rice or Morris. At least 20 years from now when people are saying that Ortiz was a feared postseason terror, that will actually be true.
   21. Cat Named Manny Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4677380)
It might just be my bias talking, but I think Abraham is probably right on several of those points, especially if the BBWAA moves to limit the number of voters to those still actively involved with the sport in some meaningful way. Likewise, Ortiz has the popularity/media relations to overcome PED stigma that McGwire, Bonds and Clemens do/did not. Not that it's fair, but it's probably the case.

Even so, the bigger hurdle is going to be whether his career merits enshrinement on the merits. The next two years will go a long way to deciding that, although Martinez's struggles to collect support is definitely problematic, even if Ortiz ends up with more than 500 homers.

If Bagwell can't get in because he looks funny and Piazza can't get in because of so called bacne then why should a DH one tick better then Edgar Martinez with a positive test get in?


Has anyone other than Murray Chass said publicly that they aren't voting for those players because of PED stigma? Is it possible they're just victims thus far of an overcrowded ballot and some good old-fashioned ignorance about how good they really were in their contexts?

Someone ought to keep tabs on the BBWAA writers who have dismissed Edgar's HOF credentials because of his years as a DH but in the next decade trumpet Big Papi's candidacy.


I'd be very surprised if there were more than a handful who oppose Martinez but support Ortiz. It seems most of the support I've seen for Ortiz (usually with the assumption that he has another season or two like he had in 2013) comes from bigger-Hall types who also support Martinez.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4677391)
I think Ortiz is clearly below the HOF line, and I wouldn't vote for him. But I would indeed prefer him to Rice or Morris. At least 20 years from now when people are saying that Ortiz was a feared postseason terror, that will actually be true.


Agree, Ortiz is a better choice than Rice or Morris, but he's absolutely inferior choice than so many people out, that it's ridiculous that people are stumping for him. (top of my head include Edgar, Larry Walker, Bagwell, McGwire, Bonds, Trammell, Grich, Simmons, Whitaker, Palmiero, Raines, etc)And this whole myth of his clutch is also bs...The Red Sox aren't any more important franchise than the Marlins.... putting Ortiz in for his post season is just as dumb as putting Renteria in for his success in the world series. Give him props for his great performances, but he doesn't get a demerit for not showing up in 2008 or 2009 post season?

Nobody is saying it's the hall of merit, but there is a standard, and it's 100% clear, that Ortiz is at least two levels removed from that standard....Edgar is below the standard, and Ortiz is 100% in no uncertain terms, an inferior player than Edgar. So that makes Ortiz a minimum of 2 levels removed from being hof worthy.... even with the post season heroics, it only moves him up one level, and he's still not worthy.
   23. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4677394)
The Red Sox aren't any more important franchise than the Marlins


Blasphemy! Of course the Red Sox are more important than the Marlins. Everyone, except for the Astros, are more important than the Marlins.
   24. villageidiom Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4677399)
It might just be my bias talking, but I think Abraham is probably right on several of those points, especially if the BBWAA moves to limit the number of voters to those still actively involved with the sport in some meaningful way.
The relevant question isn't whether Ortiz would make the HoF if the BBWAA voted today; it's whether the BBWAA of 2037 would vote that way. Abraham is making that point in TFA: less informed voters might be out; younger voters who recognize DH as a meaningful role and will have a different perspective on the steroid era will be in; and these things might contribute to a better chance for enshrinement.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4677407)
The relevant question isn't whether Ortiz would make the HoF if the BBWAA voted today; it's whether the BBWAA of 2037 would vote that way. Abraham is making that point in TFA: less informed voters might be out; younger voters who recognize DH as a meaningful role and will have a different perspective on the steroid era will be in; and these things might contribute to a better chance for enshrinement.


At the same time, the post season heroics will have faded from memory, and it won't be interfering with reasonable people looking at the numbers. Bill James said that as time goes on, the stat argument will override the emotional argument. Obviously Jim Rice is an exception, but for the most part, this explains why guys like Blyleven and Santo eventually make it, while guys like Garvey drop from the discussion.
   26. oscarmadisox Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4677417)
Re No. 21

"Like Thomas, guys such as Piazza and Bagwell have Hall of Fame numbers and never tested positive for PEDs. But they look dirty. Something doesn’t make sense. Thomas makes sense."

Shaughessey's Boston Globe colmn 12-29-13
   27. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4677418)
Has anyone other than Murray Chass said publicly that they aren't voting for those players because of PED stigma? Is it possible they're just victims thus far of an overcrowded ballot and some good old-fashioned ignorance about how good they really were in their contexts?
Bagwell: 9431 PA, .297/.403/.540, 449 HR, 1529 RBI, 202 SB, MVP, GG. Named on 54.3% of ballots in his 4th year, lowest since his 1st year.
Thomas: 10075 PA, .301/.419/.553, 521 HR, 1704 RBI, 32 SB, 2 MVP, horrible defender. Named on 83.7% of ballots in his 1st year.

Unless 500 HRs or a .300 AVG is a bright in/out line, there's no way to reconcile these vote totals. Meanwhile, Mike Piazza holds almost every hitting record for catchers, yet was only named on 62.2% of ballots in his 2nd year.
   28. alilisd Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4677419)
One more time: The Hall of Fame is not the Hall of Merit or the Hall of WAR or the Hall of Stats.

Given Ortiz's career, his extreme post-season excellence, his role as an integral part (and the only player on all three) of three Red Sox World Championship teams, he is perfectly fine Hall of Famer, in line with many others.


Agree all the way up to the point where you say he's "in line with many others." That last bit ignores the fact he is a career DH. This takes him way out of line with any other HOF. Now the other points you make may be plenty enough to overcome this divergence, but it is a significant difference between him and those already in the HOF.
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4677436)
Unless 500 HRs or a .300 AVG is a bright in/out line, there's no way to reconcile these vote totals. Meanwhile, Mike Piazza holds almost every hitting record for catchers, yet was only named on 62.2% of ballots in his 2nd year.


I think it's a little early to draw conclusions from Mike Piazza being kept out. I don't doubt there are a large(10% or more) contingent of voters not voting for him because of roid rumors, but he's also a catcher which has historically had a problem getting into the hof, and as the Simmons vote showed, catchers with poor defensive reputations, get absolutely hammered by the voters.
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4677437)
And real baseball teams make the playoffs more than once every quarter century?


At least we were losing real baseball games, instead of winning fake ones.
   31. Karl from NY Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4677444)
Ortiz is going to go in, barring an actual PED suspension. The writers will want to vote for him by feel and will cherrypick or invent the statistical arguments to make it happen. "Three rings for Boston" is a heck of a monster statistic in writerland. He'll draw favorable comparisons to Jim Rice and Puckett. Players with a perception of being loved absolutely do accumulate an outsized HOF voting share (see Mattingly.) There won't be enough ground to stand on to take a position strongly enough against him. Not first ballot, not fifth if there's still any kind of a backlog, but he'll make it on try #10 or so.

Ortiz might actually be a very good example of a player who deserves Hall of Fame induction but not Hall of Merit.
   32. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 26, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4677447)
Give him props for his great performances, but he doesn't get a demerit for not showing up in 2008 or 2009 post season?


Sure he does. But the overall post-season body of work is exceptional; .295/.409/.553. This isn't some Jack Morris thing where his he's being credited for being great in the post-season when the numbers show that he wasn't.

With that said I couldn't care less whether or not Ortiz makes the Hall. At this point the Hall is a joke and it's really sad that there is such a hang up on the issue for so many people. I've got great memories of his career (hopefully with more to come) that are not going to be pushed aside because a few nitwits do or do not check a box next to his name.
   33. tfbg9 Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4677451)
At least we were losing real baseball games, instead of winning fake ones.


FYI, The World Champion Boston Red Sox have gone a combined 6-1 in NL parks in the '04, '07, and '13 WS. I'll take it.

And as I said, I like the Pirates. Go Pirates.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4677465)
Ortiz is going to go in, barring an actual PED suspension. The writers will want to vote for him by feel and will cherrypick or invent the statistical arguments to make it happen. "Three rings for Boston" is a heck of a monster statistic in writerland. He'll draw favorable comparisons to Jim Rice and Puckett. Players with a perception of being loved absolutely do accumulate an outsized HOF voting share (see Mattingly.) There won't be enough ground to stand on to take a position strongly enough against him. Not first ballot, not fifth if there's still any kind of a backlog, but he'll make it on try #10 or so.


Don't see it, if the vote was today...maybe...but 5 years after he retires, they'll have a new jock to suck on and his past won't be that big of a deal. If Edgar isn't in, I just don't see enough non-Boston writers putting a clearly inferior candidate in.
   35. Booey Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4677468)
Agree with #27. Even for voters who might not think of Bagwell and Piazza as 1st ballot HOFers (and really, you had to basically sleep through the 90's to think that), we're not even talking about 1st ballot anymore. Bagwell still isn't close after 4 ballots. Piazza - easily the best hitting catcher in MLB history - didn't make it his 2nd ballot, and with Unit, Pedro, and Biggio in line ahead of him next season, he doesn't look likely to make it on his 3rd try either. It boggles my mind that a catcher with 427 homers and a .308/.375/.545 line (going off memory, might be a little off) takes 4 ballots to get elected, and a top 5 all time first baseman might be a 10th ballot HOFer.

I'm guessing there's more than a few "probably a roider" holdout voters.
   36. jmurph Posted: March 26, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4677493)
If Edgar isn't in, I just don't see enough non-Boston writers putting a clearly inferior candidate in.


You may be right about Ortiz not going in (I think he's on track with the writers, though he certainly doesn't deserve it based on his statistical output), but it will have nothing to do with Edgar Martinez. I seriously doubt there will be more than a small number of writers who believe that Edgar was better than Ortiz.
   37. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 26, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4677503)
It still amazes me that the Twins simply released a 27 year old guy who'd just put up a 120 OPS+ and was under team control for three(?) more years. Did they not realize they were in the American League and could put him at DH?
   38. Cat Named Manny Posted: March 26, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4677557)
Bagwell: 9431 PA, .297/.403/.540, 449 HR, 1529 RBI, 202 SB, MVP, GG. Named on 54.3% of ballots in his 4th year, lowest since his 1st year.
Thomas: 10075 PA, .301/.419/.553, 521 HR, 1704 RBI, 32 SB, 2 MVP, horrible defender. Named on 83.7% of ballots in his 1st year.


Maybe so, but the difference between 449 and 521 career home runs, and 1529 and 1704 career RBI are not insignificant in the world of old-school HOF voting. For example, Bagwell is tied in home runs with Vlad Guerrero behind Jose Canseco, Fred McGriff and Carlos Delgado; Thomas is tied with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey, and every slugger ahead of them is, should be or will be in the HOF. On RBI, Bagwell is essentially even with Delgado and Jeff Kent (and behind McGriff and Harold Baines), while Thomas sits in the same neighborhood as Reggie Jackson (and, again, behind all current, should-be or future HOFers).

Thomas is clearly the better hitter, and the gap appears to grow if someone looks only at the stats we know HOF voters tend to prioritize. I don't want to really dig in defending the (relative) sanity of HOF voters, by any means, but it's just not clear to me that Bagwell is a victim of anything other than not having counting stats that quite measure up to his big-bashing contemporaries, who are all crowding onto the ballot.

In fact, given what appears to be a correlation between old-school analysis and a strict anti-PED stance, I could see where those voters most likely to pick Bagwell are also more likely to disregard PEDs in their decision, leading him to be left off of their supercrowded ballots, while those who look at PEDs – and thus have more room on their ballot for a player like Bagwell – are more likely to engage in the fallacious HR/RBI reasoning above and leave him off theirs, too. He might just be unlucky enough to fall into the gap.

Or maybe it's just there are enough idiots like Chass and Shaughnessy who think he must have taken steroids because he hit a lot of homers and once played with Roger Clemens. I wouldn't be surprised; I just don't think that's necessarily the most obvious explanation for his unwarranted rejection thus far.
   39. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4677560)
One more time: The Hall of Fame is not the Hall of Merit or the Hall of WAR or the Hall of Stats.

Given Ortiz's career, his extreme post-season excellence, his role as an integral part (and the only player on all three) of three Red Sox World Championship teams, he is perfectly fine Hall of Famer, in line with many others.

I don't think the anti-steroid crowd -- which I think is only delaying, not stopping, Bagwell and Piazza -- will prevent his election.


I think this is a pretty spot-on take on the HOF going forward....
   40. Moeball Posted: March 26, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4677567)
Big Papi has certainly performed some amazing heroics in the postseasons of his career, especially the WS.

Apparently I might be misunderstanding something, however - do teams get to go to the postseason and have all these heroics no matter what happens in the regular season? The way some people here go on about the postseason being, oh, about 10 times as important as the regular season makes me think that to many the regular season just doesn't count at all.

But, of course, we know that's not true. A team must perform well during the regular season to even get a chance at having postseason play (although if MLB gets their way that won't be true for much longer and they'll just let every team into the playoffs).

The point I'm trying to make is that regular season performance isn't just as important as postseason performance, it's absolutely far more important than postseason performance because if you don't get the job done during the season, there is no postseason! It's the prerequisite.

As far as Ortiz goes, yes, he's put up some pretty good numbers during the regular season, too, which has certainly helped Boston get opportunities to have postseason glory. But let's not get carried away here. His regular season performances have been good, but they haven't been exceptional, and when you're talking HOF, they should be.

I would say I'd be pretty confident that Ortiz is one of the best 100 hitters ever, which, at first, sounds like HOF quality. But is he one of the best 100 players ever? No, not even remotely close. In fact, I think it's pretty clear he's not even close to being one of the top 200 players ever, because things like base running and fielding actually count in helping teams to win games, and there are a ton of players throughout history who have provided major value in these areas that Ortiz can't even imagine. If you're talking about HOF quality, even if you are a "Big Hall" person who thinks as many as 300 or more players should be in, I'm not sure Ortiz would make that list.

Here's hoping he can still hit well enough for another few years to make it into his 40s as a productive hitter. If he can do that he might even win me over. But he's not there yet.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4677570)

Thomas is clearly the better hitter, and the gap appears to grow if someone looks only at the stats we know HOF voters tend to prioritize. I don't want to really dig in defending the (relative) sanity of HOF voters, by any means, but it's just not clear to me that Bagwell is a victim of anything other than not having counting stats that quite measure up to his big-bashing contemporaries, who are all crowding onto the ballot.


Victim of having half his career be in one of the best known pitchers stadiums in history.

Yes Thomas is the better hitter, Bagwell makes it up by being a much better fielder and a much better baserunner, and having better in season endurance. I understand that not all the voters will see it that way, I also think there is a hint of roids that is hurting him, and I also think he gets in before his time on the ballot expires. I think the lack of big numbers hurts him as much as the roid rumors, and I think over time, that the voters will come to the same realization that most of us have, which is that he's a clear hofer...
   42. Colin Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4677573)
At some point a writer will give the honest explanation: so far the BBWA is mostly using PEDs to make examples of guys they didn't much like anyway, with some collateral damage to guys who weren't guys they didn't like, but also weren't favorites. At some point, probably about the time Pettitte hits the ballot, they'll make the choice about guys they loved. And that's when the PED hysteria will finally start to calm down.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4677574)
If you're talking about HOF quality, even if you are a "Big Hall" person who thinks as many as 300 or more players should be in, I'm not sure Ortiz would make that list.


Assuming you are talking about positions players only, I think he breaks the top 300. Might(I don't see how, but it's possible) even break the top 200...doesn't break top 150. I think when you get around 175 or so best positions players of all time, I think you get a bunching up of players who all could have a case depending on personal preferences and arguments. But yes, I'm not sure I can see an argument for Ortiz in the top 150...and there are roughly 140 positions players in the hof.
   44. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4677580)
Whatever standards voters apply to Ortiz's Hall of Fame candidacy should apply to other candidates, too. How can the anti-DH voters (or DH discounters) vote for Ortiz but not Martinez? How can the anti-PED crowd block Bagwell & Piazza (among the "no evidence" group) while voting for Ortiz? How can the pro-WAR voters support Ortiz when there are 120 non-Hall of Famers with more than Ortiz's 44.2 WAR? Not seeing how he makes it based on neutral criteria.
   45. Srul Itza Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4677585)
Here's hoping he can still hit well enough for another few years to make it into his 40s as a productive hitter. If he can do that he might even win me over.


Guess what? He doesn't need to win you, or CFB over, to get into the Hall.

He's almost certainly going in.
   46. Srul Itza Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4677586)
Bagwell makes it up by being a much better fielder and a much better baserunner



And everyone knows that, when judging first basemen, their fielding and baserunning is the first thing the voters look at.

   47. Srul Itza Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4677587)
Whatever standards voters apply to Ortiz's Hall of Fame candidacy should apply to other candidates, too.


"Should" has nothing to do with it. A lot of these people vote their gut, and come up with reasons (rationalizations) afterwards.

   48. cardsfanboy Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4677589)
He's almost certainly going in.


Yep, right after Pettite.

I don't know if the writers are stupid enough to put Ortiz in. I don't see it. I know they are pretty stupid, but as pointed out, he just doesn't have a real case, in which you can vote for him and not put in another half dozen more deserving players.

He might go in, but he's not going in before Bagwell, he's not going in before Edgar or Piazza. Unfortunately, he'll probably go in before Walker though.
   49. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4677630)
A couple of points:

1) While it is certainly entirely possible that Ortiz will turn into a pumpkin in 2014, we should not forget that - as of now - he is still accumulating statistics that will help his "case" quite a bit. Edgar Martinez's stats are what they are, obviously. While Ortiz's rate stats will go down a bit as he declines, his counting stats will keep piling up. For example, the dude has 1,429 RBIs, and it is entirely possible that he will accumulate, say, another 200 in his career. He is 65th right now in all-time RBIs. 200 more makes him 30th. He has 431 HRs ; he hits 45 more, and he moves into the top 30 all-time. We all thought he was cooked in 2009, and all he's done since then is go .300/.392/.560, ops+ of 154 with another crazy World Series performance. The narrative is not yet complete...

2) I cannot fathom how anybody would look at Edgar Martinez - who was an amazing hitter, but has absolutely zero narrative surrounding his ability to hit a baseball - and compare his HOF candidacy to David Ortiz. Ortiz is the epitome of an excellent player whose case is seriously bolstered by the narrative around his ability to hit. Consider:

- Red Sox vs Mariners.
- One guy plays for a team that goes from ZERO rings in 86 years to three in about a decade...and the only guy who has played on all three WS champs was...David Ortiz. Edgar Martinez has no WS appearances (not his fault...just saying).
- Ortiz not only has three rings, but he was a central figure in all three championships. He hit .688/.760/1.188 in the 2013 World Series, when nobody else on the team could hit for ####. Without him, they do not win the WS. The 2004 Yankees-Red Sox epic comeback: Ortiz hits the HR in extra innings to send it to game 5. Then, in game 5, he hits a HR late to bring the Sox within one...and then he gets the base hit to win the game in the 14th inning. In the 2013 ALCS, with the team unable to score any runs, and about to go down 2-0 in the series heading to Detroit, he hits the craziest grand slam you'll ever see, with Torii Hunter flying over the wall. You can't make any of this stuff up for a movie. And you are going to say, "Well, if Edgar Martinez can't get in, then David Ortiz will have trouble, too." Really?
- Ortiz is beloved by his peers in the game, especially fellow Latin Americans players. They love him.
- The first game after they caught the Marathon Bombers, it was an unbelievably emotional day in New England. The video tribute, the public safety officials being honored, victims and their families, the music, the collective release of the stress of one of the scariest, shocking weeks we've ever seen. Amazing moments. Then, Dsvid Ortiz takes the mike on behalf of the players on the team, everybody in the stands is teary-eyed from the tribute, proud to be New Englanders, so relieved. Ortiz goes all impromptu, goes off, and says, "This is our ####ing city, and nobosy is going to dictate our freedom!" The chairwoman of the FCC was asked if he would be fined for using the f-word on live TV, and she was like, "Are you kidding me?" Is there anybody else in baseball who could get away with what he did? The FCC is like, "Hey, Ortiz said what we all felt, and he's The Man."

If anybody on this thread thinks that David Ortiz is not getting into the Hall of Fame, you are completely misreading the fact that he is one of the best cases above and beyond the regular-season stat sheet in recent MLB history. Edgar Martinez has an unusually weak set of "intangibles" working against him. Night and day, y'all...
   50. Booey Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4677635)
He might go in, but he's not going in before Bagwell, he's not going in before Edgar or Piazza. Unfortunately, he'll probably go in before Walker though.


Well, Piazza (almost certainly) and Bagwell (most likely) will get in before Papi even becomes eligible, so that doesn't mean anything. And right or wrong (k, definitely wrong), I'd bet that Ortiz kicks Edgar's trash in HOF voting. Just like people have pointed out that Thomas' HR's and rbi's give him a clear edge to counting stat voters over a similar player in Bagwell, Papi's HR and rbi totals already surpass Gar's and will completely crush them by the time his career is over. They'll be wrong of course, but I absolutely DO think voters can and will see Ortiz as being superior to Martinez.
   51. Srul Itza Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:52 PM (#4677645)
They'll be wrong of course, but I absolutely DO think voters can and will see Ortiz as being superior to Martinez.


Edgar Martinez was a great player.

Big Papi is a ####ing folk hero.

There is absolutely no comparing the narratives. Anyone who thinks narrative does not play a big role in the Hall of Fame has no brain. Anyone who thinks narrative should not play a role in the Hall of Fame has no soul and no concept of baseball history.
   52. Srul Itza Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4677646)
Or as another person put it: "Baseball isn't statistics, it's Joe DiMaggio rounding second base." -Jimmy Breslin.
   53. Walt Davis Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:05 AM (#4677649)
Unless 500 HRs or a .300 AVG is a bright in/out line, there's no way to reconcile these vote totals.

But there are dozens of cases where such voting comparisons don't reconcile and they have nothing to do with roids. Unless 300 wins is a bright in/out line, why Don Sutton relatively easily and Blyleven a struggle? Why Jim Rice at all? Why Kirby Puckett first ballot and Ryne Sandberg 3rd and Lou Whitaker <5%? Why did Palmer get 10% more votes than Morgan when they debuted (both making it easily of course)?

You can always make these case-by-case arguments to make the BBWAA look nuts. But, as an aggregate and focusing on made it/didn't make it, they have behaved reasonably steadily.

I am willing to believe there are enough staunch anti-roiders based on nothing but "gee look" evidence that may have kept Biggio out in the last election (2-5% of the electorate say, maybe even 10%). They are not the primary reason Bagwell is out. For example, Biggio was on 20% more ballots than Bagwell, surely the Bagwell did, Biggio didn't crowd can't be that large. Good all-around players (like Sandberg) almost always take a while. For a slugger to not get to 500 HR in the sillyball era? As noted, Bagwell has fewer hits, fewer HR and fewer RBI than McGriff -- we should be reasonably happy he's kicking McGriff's butt and not caught in Walker's shoes. Now he's caught in a backlog.

As to Piazza, who knows? But Bench remains the only first-ballot C so Piazza is hardly alone. Fisk probably would have been the 2nd if not for his debut cohort but then he hit and set the record for games caught (at the time). Pudge II might if they ignore his roid rumors but he's got 35 gold gloves. I believe Piazza's defensive rep -- deserved or not -- was always going to keep him out 1st ballot although obviously we'll never really know.

I mean, he wasn't the greatest-hitting C ever but Carter is 10 WAR ahead of Piazza and Carter took 6 tries and debuted at 42% with a low of 34%.

I don't know why anybody would have expected Piazza to go in 1st ballot -- again, be voted in not deserve voted in -- even in a normal year. A 58% debut was very strong and he gained 4% last year despite the Maddux/Glavine/Thomas deluge. I dont see anything particularly wrong with that, unless you want to raise the point that I agree with that the BBWAA is too hard on Cs overall. But Killebrew debuted at 59%, Larkin at 52% (62% in his 2nd year), Mathews (the best-hitting 3B when he retired) at 32%.

   54. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:24 AM (#4677653)
Edgar Martinez was a great player.

Big Papi is a ####ing folk hero.


Strangely, here in Seattle, those are reversed.
   55. Squash Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4677655)
The Hall of Fame is not the Hall of Merit or the Hall of WAR or the Hall of Stats.

Actually, I would say the Hall of Fame is all those things (edit: including the "Fame" part), and that any one of those "Halls" can push a player over the top as long as he's reasonably represented in the others.
   56. Squash Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:46 AM (#4677658)
They are not the primary reason Bagwell is out.

I'm with Walt on this - the reason Bagwell isn't in already because he was a 1B who didn't hit 500 HRs in an era when everybody and their grandmother hit 500 HRs. Piazza too essentially, although that is doubly nuts because he was a catcher. Still, both will get in eventually.

Re: Ortiz, the wrong time to ask whether he'll be a HOFer is pretty much exactly right now, right after a stirring World Series victory and season. After a few decline years (should those ever come) and then the 5-year cooling off period the fervor will burn a little less brightly. I could see him debuting in the 30-35% range, which may indeed lead to the HOF eventually.
   57. Baldrick Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:25 AM (#4677665)
If anybody on this thread thinks that David Ortiz is not getting into the Hall of Fame, you are completely misreading the fact that he is one of the best cases above and beyond the regular-season stat sheet in recent MLB history. Edgar Martinez has an unusually weak set of "intangibles" working against him. Night and day, y'all...

Do you actually know anything about Edgar Martinez?

Apart from playing for Seattle - as opposed to Boston or New York or something - he's got great intangibles. Single-team player, saved baseball in the city, incredible hard-worker (he did several HOURS of eye work every day in addition to everything else), he's pretty much universally beloved. He's the one that stuck around after Johnson, Griffey, and A-Rod left - and the key player who unites the 1995 and 2001 stories. Which, no, didn't end an 86 year drought, of course. But Edgar was instrumental to the team's first winning season in its history, its first playoff appearance (in epic style), and tying the record for the most victories ever. Those are pretty cool.

If all you mean is that Ortiz is a lot more famous than Edgar, well sure. But the idea that Edgar has no narrative is crazy. If that narrative doesn't 'stick' in the same way, it's because people are ignoring it, not because it's not there to be seen.
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: March 27, 2014 at 05:11 AM (#4677670)

Do you actually know anything about Edgar Martinez?


Of course not.... Red Sox fans think the world revolve around the Red Sox... they don't seem to realize that nobody outside of Boston or New York give a flying #### about their team. They think that the 8 or so reporters who fellatiate the Red Sox represent the entirety of the baseball universe. They don't seem to realize that roughly half the voters are national league voters and aren't going to vote for the story or the DH. That just isn't going to happen. They don't know Ortiz from Tino Martinez....except to note that Ortiz has the exact same steroid taint as Sosa.

Would love to see percentage breakdown of voters for Edgar, will not be shocked if a vast majority are "AL" voters.
   59. Bunny Vincennes Posted: March 27, 2014 at 06:38 AM (#4677672)
As a numbers guy this is hard for me to square. And a Cubs fan, who has spent an irrational amount of time at Fenway over the years (hello Mike Greenwell) and a lot of time at post season games over the decade or so.

I've never been at ballgames scoring the game, when I knew with certainty what was going to happen. When Lawrence of Arabia said, "Nothing is written," he'd never seen David Ortiz. HOF.
   60. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4677722)
hey don't seem to realize that nobody outside of Boston or New York give a flying #### about their team.


Which of course is the reason the Sox and Yankees are always (except very recently for the Sox) top 5 in road attendance. Clearly no one outside of their home cities cares to see them play.
   61. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4677728)
Big Papi is a ####ing folk hero.


"They say his syringe was the size of a redwood."
   62. Karl from NY Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM (#4677731)
But the idea that Edgar has no narrative is crazy. If that narrative doesn't 'stick' in the same way, it's because people are ignoring it

The narrative doesn't stick because it doesn't end in a ring. Nobody outside of Seattle really cares about the franchise's first playoff berth or 116 wins that got them all of an ALCS flameout.
   63. Nasty Nate Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4677742)
Yet again, a needless HOF debate brings out the best in everyone here! I am so glad everyone has decided that it is the most important topic ever!
   64. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4677745)
The narrative doesn't stick because it doesn't end in a ring. Nobody outside of Seattle really cares about the franchise's first playoff berth or 116 wins that got them all of an ALCS flameout.

The narrative also doesn't stick because he played in Seattle. (Per yesterday's OTP discussion, review the overall lack of mudslide coverage and consider how a similar event in the Berkshires would have played.)
   65. Booey Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4677778)
Yet again, a needless HOF debate brings out the best in everyone here! I am so glad everyone has decided that it is the most important topic ever!


Just curious, why do read HOF threads if you don't like them? It's not like this was a discussion about something else that evolved into yet another HOF debate; this thread was posted as a HOF debate from the very beginning.

I generally don't like the tone in the OT:Politics threads. I spare myself the aggravation by just not reading them.
   66. Booey Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4677793)
Anyone who thinks narrative does not play a big role in the Hall of Fame has no brain. Anyone who thinks narrative should not play a role in the Hall of Fame has no soul and no concept of baseball history.


Totally agree, but I've always thought that a player needs to be at least borderline based solely on the stats before the narrative bonus should come into play. Roger Maris and Don Larsen aren't within 10 miles of being HOFers. Bobby Abreu has a similar WAR total to McGwire and Sosa, but if you're trying to pick between 60 WAR guys, I'd take the latter two over him for the HOF all day, every day, with no second thoughts.

And that's where I think a lot of people start having problems with the 'Papi for the Hall!' argument. He's not even borderline - yet. You're right that narratives do and should play a big role, but they shouldn't carry SO much weight that they make the difference between getting elected and falling off the ballot the first try. I think that's why the Jack Morris support bothered everyone. Giving some extra credit for Game 7 and the most wins in the 80's is fine, but giving him so much extra credit that he was on the verge of election while all the most similar pitchers were one and done (Denny Martinez, Frank Tanana, David Wells, likely Jamie Moyer)? That seems extreme. And that's where Ortiz is at right now. If he retired today, he's Carlos Delgado, who I doubt will live to see a second ballot. That's extreme, even with a huge (and deserving) narrative bonus.

If Papi has another few seasons like last year, he'll get himself up to the borderline and I'd have no problem with his election (and yes, I know it's not me he needs to win over). And I actually expect him to do just that (and I'm rooting for it), so I agree that he's likely getting in.
   67. Nasty Nate Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4677810)
Just curious, why do read HOF threads if you don't like them? It's not like this was a discussion about something else that evolved into yet another HOF debate;


I usually don't; and I should even less. Sorry, my post #63 was obnoxious considering that the thread was clearly titled.

-

Do you think HOF arguments bring out good or bad things in sportswriters/commenters etc?
--
Why should unfinished careers be constantly scrutinized relative to a something that only applies to finished careers.
   68. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4677812)

If Papi has another few seasons like last year, he'll get himself up to the borderline and I'd have no problem with his election (and yes, I know it's not me he needs to win over). And I actually expect him to do just that (and I'm rooting for it), so I agree that he's likely getting in.


I think most people who argue for Ortiz in the Hall do so with the caveat that he has another 2 good seasons. I also think that most people who argue for Ortiz in the Hall do so with the caveat that Martinez should be in the Hall as well. It seems like those two points get lost for a lot of the people who argue against Ortiz in the Hall.
   69. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4677822)
Why should unfinished careers be constantly scrutinized relative to a something that only applies to finished careers.


Can't you say the exact same thing about projecting wins for an ongoing season? We constantly scrutinize teams and players as they play in April and May with an eye on how they will end up in October.
   70. Answer Guy Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4677829)
I would imagine that a hypothetical Edgar Martinez with three rings and a huge and famous role in all three of them probably gets in.
   71. tfbg9 Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4677833)
"Of course not.... Red Sox fans think the world revolve around the Red Sox... they don't seem to realize that nobody outside of Boston or New York give a flying #### about their team. They think that the 8 or so reporters who fellatiate the Red Sox represent the entirety of the baseball universe. They don't seem to realize that roughly half the voters are national league voters and aren't going to vote for the story or the DH. That just isn't going to happen. They don't know Ortiz from Tino Martinez....except to note that Ortiz has the exact same steroid taint as Sosa."


Lemmee take a shot at it? Is Tino Martinez a retired ballplayer who played for 4 teams? And is David Ortiz the guy who demolished St. Louis "pitching" to the tune of a 1.086 OPS and 1.948 OPS in a couple of World Series?





   72. Karl from NY Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4677837)
I think most people who argue for Ortiz in the Hall do so with the caveat that he has another 2 good seasons.

This has already been happening for about Ortiz's past 4 good seasons.
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4677842)
Can't you say the exact same thing about projecting wins for an ongoing season? We constantly scrutinize teams and players as they play in April and May with an eye on how they will end up in October.


I see what you mean but I don't think it's the exact same thing. Speculating on an active player's future in/out status for the HOF is predicting how voters will act in the distant future based partially on events that have not yet taken place yet (it's a little different for an active player who is at the very end of his career). Aren't the 5 years after retirement enough time to hash out predictions about how voters will act?
   74. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4677851)

Of course not.... Red Sox fans think the world revolve around the Red Sox... they don't seem to realize that nobody outside of Boston or New York give a flying #### about their team. They think that the 8 or so reporters who fellatiate the Red Sox represent the entirety of the baseball universe. They don't seem to realize that roughly half the voters are national league voters and aren't going to vote for the story or the DH. That just isn't going to happen. They don't know Ortiz from Tino Martinez....except to note that Ortiz has the exact same steroid taint as Sosa.


They certainly know that Ortiz kicked the shiit out of Cardinals pitching last October.

Your generalizations are infantile and inaccurate and unhelpful. I generally enjoy your posts, which makes this one stand out.
   75. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4677861)
"Should" has nothing to do with it. A lot of these people vote their gut, and come up with reasons (rationalizations) afterwards.

"Sentence first, verdict afterwards." The Red Queen would have been a great BBWAA voter.
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4677867)
Lemmee take a shot at it? Is Tino Martinez a retired ballplayer who played for 4 teams? And is David Ortiz the guy who demolished St. Louis "pitching" to the tune of a 1.086 OPS and 1.948 OPS in a couple of World Series?


I honestly don't care about what he did in the world series or who it was against. That has Zero to do with this. If you need an A to be a hofer, and C is an All Star level player....Big Papi is a C+ career player, add in whatever narrative you want, and you might be able to boost him up to a B... but he is not a hof worthy player even with the narrative.

I have Edgar as on the borderline, but out line... Ortiz is at least a full step less than Edgar.... At the very best. With two more years of borderline all star performance, the narrative might put him on equal footing with Edgar. Which then makes them both borderline on the out...then you add the roid taint, and again he falls back.

I find the Ortiz argument to be just as silly as the Vizquel arguments. Clear players who don't belong in the hof, but if they make it, not the worst choices in the world. (Better than Rice or Sutter) And I don't think the national media has the same bias in voting that the Red Sox fans seem to think they have. Enough evidence has been presented to indicate that there isn't that much of a bias for the big teams in the award voting or hof voting.

Again, Ortiz will probably not get many, if any votes from NL writers. Add in the roid taint, and it will be some time before he even sees 50%.... if ever.
   77. tfbg9 Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4677873)
I honestly don't care about what he [Ortiz] did in the world series or who it was against.


Yeah. Suuuuurrrrre.
   78. dave h Posted: March 27, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4677876)
Again, Ortiz will probably not get many, if any votes from NL writers.


First of all, is there really any such thing for HOF votes? It's not like MVP where there are city-affiliated votes, right? And there are only 12 NL-only cities anyway, and I doubt that Miami or Arizona writers are so dead set against the DH. I don't think this is going to be much of a factor.
   79. Srul Itza Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4677894)
I find the Ortiz argument to be just as silly as the Vizquel arguments


The fact that you can't tell the difference between the two says all we need to know about your powers of discernment.
   80. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4677901)
I honestly don't care about what he [Ortiz] did in the world series or who it was against.



Yeah. Suuuuurrrrre.

Ahh memories. That brings to mind Andy's claim that every single Yankees postseason loss (and quite a few regular season losses) in his lifetime were more painful than the Yankees loss to the Sox in 2004.
   81. Booey Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4677903)
Do you think HOF arguments bring out good or bad things in sportswriters/commenters etc?
--
Why should unfinished careers be constantly scrutinized relative to a something that only applies to finished careers.


I just think predictions are fun. :-)

Even though I like HOF debates, I do understand why it might get annoying for those that don't when every thread about a player becomes a discussion about his HOF chances. Though in this case, like you acknowledged, the thread was labeled as a HOF debate right from the subject line.
   82. Booey Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4677916)
Vizquel is a bad comp for Ortiz as far as HOF arguments go. Omar's similar to Johnny Damon, a good player for a long time but never considered a major star at any point in his career. Their HOF arguments were created retroactively only after people started noticing how close they were to major career milestones. They made only a couple All Star teams and neither ever cracked the top 10 in MVP voting. At no point in their primes did they seem like they were even on pace for a HOF career. They just lasted longer than anyone expected, and big counting stats came as a result. They're not HOFers any more than Jamie Moyer is for lasting long enough to rack up 260-something wins.

Ortiz has a bunch of All Star appearances and 6 top 10 MVP finishes, including 5 straight in the top 5. He was clearly thought of as one of the true elites in the game during his mid-2000's prime. Not at all comparable to the Vizquel/Damon compiler types, IMO.
   83. tfbg9 Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4677940)
That brings to mind Andy's claim that every single Yankees postseason loss (and quite a few regular season losses) in his lifetime were more painful than the Yankees loss to the Sox in 2004.


Indeed it does.
I mean, its not quite as ridiculously, hilariously, transparently dishonest, but its the same kind of thing.
   84. The District Attorney Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4677943)
I definitely don't think that only people from Boston think Ortiz has a compelling narrative. I wish that's how narrative worked! Only guys from Detroit, Minneapolis and Toronto would think Jack Morris is the clutch god! Sadly, it doesn't.

That said, I do think that ultimately, if you think Ortiz deserves the HOF more than Edgar, you -- most likely unintentionally -- drew some sort of conclusion on the way there that I'd disagree with. Maybe you do, in fact, think things that happen in Boston are more important than things that happen in Seattle. But it doesn't have to be that (although I'm sure it very often is ;) If it's based on team performance, then that means you think David Ortiz was better than Edgar Martinez because Koji Uehara was better than Bobby Ayala, to pick the most obvious example of mismatched teammates among the two. You could get there a lot of ways... but for me, all of them would have a fatal flaw. I reject narrative for the HOF because a) it means whatever you want it to mean, and b) it amounts to intentionally immortalizing the things we believe that are actually incorrect.

As stated, it could be a lot worse. You should check out Poz's article today about Rube Marquard, BTW. At least Papi would be inducted for doing various valuable baseball things, rather than for dating an actress, having a hitting streak, and getting interviewed for a book.

I agree with #42 that Pettitte will be a good test case with respect to Ortiz's PED issues. It won't be ideal, because there is obviously a compelling argument that, even putting PED aside, Pettitte doesn't deserve election. But I think at least the tenor of that discussion will tell us a lot about whether this is legitimately a concern about a level playing field, or a bludgeon to batter people whom the writers don't like. I've seen people flat-out state that Pettitte has no chance, or that virtually all the writers will ignore his PED connections. I think both sides are jumping to conclusions. I myself have no idea.

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