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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Al Kaline: Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera ‘a Hall of Famer already’

And he doesn’t even have 399...uhh 400 HR’s yet!

A Hall of Famer called him a Hall of Famer, the highest baseball compliment of all.

Such was the welcome that awaited Miguel Cabrera on Friday before his first workout of spring training.

“Even if he never played again, he’s a Hall of Fame player already,” Al Kaline said of the Tigers Triple Crown winner. “To see what he accomplished last year was unbelievable.”

You can debate, if you wish, whether Cabrera has Hall of Fame credentials so soon. Some will.

Others will say if Kaline thinks so, it must be true.

But you can’t argue that as praise goes for players, there are no loftier words than these — “A Hall of Famer already” — according to one who knows how difficult the game is.

Repoz Posted: February 16, 2013 at 06:25 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, tigers

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   1. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: February 16, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4370654)
I think he's right, actually. I suspect if Cabrera's career ended today he'd eventually get into the Hall.
   2. Bote Man Posted: February 16, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4370667)
Don't we have to wait for the inevitable PED he-said-she-said to play out before we crown him?
   3. GEB4000 Posted: February 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4370697)
Cabrera is not Albert Pujols or a young Frank Thomas. He needs a few more years. By the end of his current contract he should be a hall of famer.
   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 16, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4370719)
i think al has a good case. argument as best hitter in baseball for an extended time. led league in various hitting categories. mvp and multiple top 5 finishes. key player on two pennant winners and one championship team. everybody likes him.

yeah, i could see it happening.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 16, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4370723)

I agree with #3. Both from a value and a perception standpoint he's still a few seasons away. I think he'll get there but his numbers look very similar to Vlad Guerrero's when the latter was 30 or 31:

Cabrera at 29: 1512 G, .318/.395/.561/.956, 151 OPS+, 44.4 WAR, 1 MVP

Guerrero at 30: 1301 G, .324/.391/.587/.977, 150 OPS+, 43.1 WAR, 1 MVP
Guerrero at 31: 1457 G, .325/.390/.583/.972, 149 OPS+, 46.9 WAR, 1 MVP

I suspect most of us felt Guerrero was a future HOFer at that point, but he didn't age very well and he's probably on the borderline now.
   6. PASTE does not get put on waivers in August Posted: February 16, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4370737)
#5: Yes, but if he suddenly drops off a cliff in 2013 and retires in 2016 after four mediocre-to-poor seasons--far from unheard of for a fat guy as he crosses 30, by the way--his HOF chances would very likely be worse than if his career was ended right now by a catastrophic injury. And either way, the Triple Crown is going to give his candidacy a huge boost with the voters.

It's a pointless argument, of course. Welcome to the offseason!
   7. Thok Posted: February 16, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4370744)
And either way, the Triple Crown is going to give his candidacy a huge boost with the voters.

I've said this before, but I could almost see some traditionalists voting for Cabrera to enter the Hall of Fame because they would falsely think it shows their superiority to saber-types who "obviously" don't value Cabrera and wouldn't vote for him.
   8. jacjacatk Posted: February 16, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4370825)
If he puts up Dale Murphy's post-cliff (without era adjustment) and then calls it a career, he ends up with 2358 hits, 409 HR, a 293/369/512 slash line with an OPS+ of about 135 with a bit more than half his games at 3B and a WAR of about 46. I guess that's borderline, but he's 2 years younger than Murphy was when he hit the wall, and if you give him Murphy's age 29 and 30 seasons in addition to the decline, you're now talking about 2688 hits, 482 HR, and more like 57 WAR. Is there anyone else who's a better bet to make the HOF who hasn't turned 30 yet?
   9. Walt Davis Posted: February 16, 2013 at 06:29 PM (#4370829)
He's almost certainly going to get there but it's still just 6500 PA.

Bagwell 23-32: 305/417/552, 159 OPS+, >1000 R, >1000 RBI, 310 HR, 1 MVP, 60 WAR (56 oWAR vs. Cab 51 oWAR)

Bagwell will make it eventually but he's not having an easy time of it.

Cabrera's career to date is also quite similar to Berkman's first 6500 PA (44 WAR, 147 OPS+), Giambi (43 WAR, 149 OPS+) or Helton (52 WAR, 144 OPS+). Cabrera's HoF chances are a lot better because he's 4 years younger than those guys were and is quite likely to be sitting on 60 WAR by the time his age 33 season is finished. Starting with Bonds in 1986, there have been 11 players (not incl Cabrera) in that time with at least 40 WAR and a 140 OPS+ in their first 10 years (roughly 6000-6700 PA). Even ignoring roids, only 7 of those 11 would make the HoF (W Clark already passed over, I don't like Giambi, Berkman or Helton's chances). By the way, my criteria have missed Vlad by 6 PA, so he's a 12th ... I think he'll be borderline but, if forced to choose, I'd guess he'll get in.

HoF voters aren't rational enough to make those connections of course, so Cabrera would probably sail right in.
   10. RMc's Yelling Mob of Hackmen Posted: February 16, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4370840)
Cabrera's MVP and Triple Crown last season were huge for HOF voters. Just imagine if the Tigers had made the World Series!

What? Oh, right.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 16, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4370859)
Not a Hall of Famer to me until Goose Gossage says he is.
   12. Booey Posted: February 16, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4370861)
No Manny comparisons yet? Miggy's always seemed to me like the second coming of Ramirez, only without the roids and general dumbassery.
   13. shoewizard Posted: February 16, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4370864)
everybody likes him

Harvey's this is not universal really. Hopefully he has the drinking thing completely under control now, but when he was drinking, he was a pretty mean drunk. I won't regale you with "insider" details. But it's not much of a secret in baseball. Like I said, hopefully he has the demon under control.

   14. Sweatpants Posted: February 16, 2013 at 09:49 PM (#4370868)
He's on pace to end up as the best Venezuelan player in MLB history (and so is Felix Hernandez). Right now, the best is probably Abreu or Santana. I'm a little surprised that they haven't had a clear-cut HOFer yet, although Aparicio's in.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: February 16, 2013 at 10:31 PM (#4370885)
Cabrera's MVP and Triple Crown last season were huge for HOF voters.

Sure and if he were to die in a plane crash taking aid to some natural disaster, all his current professional admiration, plus immediately filling in the missing years, plus the appreciation for how he died would probably be more than enough to get him over the line.

If he has a career-ending injury then the writers have 5 years to get over their man crush ... he still might sail in a la Puckett.

But if he puts up three years of "crap" starting this season, he's a guy with 8000 PA, maybe 400 HR who's now disappointing.

It happened to Dale Murphy so it can happen to Cabrera. It happened to Orlando Cepeda too. It happened to Juan Gone -- yes, we know he wasn't HoF-worthy but he had 2 MVPs, more HR and about the same number of RBI as Cabrera through 29. It might happen to Vlad. It looks like it's happening to Walker but he's probably not similar enough.

You could argue it happened to Dick Allen but there was a lot of other stuff going on there. You could argue it happened to Santo but he never won the MVP. I often wonder if it would have happened to Banks if he hadn't been able to hang on as long as he did.

There's very little chance of any of those scenarios coming to pass of course.
   16. jyjjy Posted: February 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4370889)
I'm certain I read this exact debate on here in the last month or two. Consensus was not quite yet.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: February 17, 2013 at 02:17 AM (#4370932)
Others will say if Kaline thinks so, it must be true.

I ain't agreeing to this until I know where Kaline stands on Morris, Trammell and Whitaker.
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 17, 2013 at 05:17 AM (#4370938)

when i am writing 'everybody likes him if you have one end of the meter is vicente padilla and the other end is al kaline beloved miguel is well over the half way mark toward kaline.

and baseball people don't give a sh8t about guys who drink. that may bother folks but it's true.

   19. Hack Wilson Posted: February 17, 2013 at 06:38 AM (#4370940)
baseball people don't give a sh8t about guys who drink.

I'll drink to that.

Although I had a discussion at work yesterday (in Chicago, not Cincinnati) as to who should have a lifetime ban, and DUI Grace won unanimously-but we don't vote for the Hall.
   20. john_halfz Posted: February 17, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4371035)
everybody likes him.

“Let's go outside, I have a Land Rover and I'll get my click clack."
   21. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 17, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4371048)
Others will say if Kaline thinks so, it must be true.

I ain't agreeing to this until I know where Kaline stands on Morris, Trammell and Whitaker.

Or on Kirk Gibson, Norm Cash and Harvey Kuenn. Kuenn struck fear into the hearts of every Brewers' fan I've known when they saw him hobbling out to the pitcher's mound.
   22. Tim D Posted: February 17, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4371075)
IIRC Kaline is OTR as saying Morris is a borderline no and Trammell and Whitaker should both definitely be in. I don't know his stand on the Wallbanger's manager. Cash was a HOF locker room presence and Gibson is a HOF asshat. Ask Bauer or Upton (Or any of dozens of ex-Tigers and/or Dodgers).
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 17, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4371089)
I don't know his stand on the Wallbanger's manager.

do you mean harvey kuenn?
   24. alilisd Posted: February 17, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4371146)
@5: Not getting the Vlad at two and three years older comparison. Why not use other players through 29? As a hitter only, not saying he's the same baseball player, he's a dead ringer for Frank Robinson. Sure he may fall off a cliff or suffer a career ending injury, but a normal career arc from here on out gives him HOF numbers for a corner IF. I don't think enough HOF voters are gong o penalize him for being a poor defender and base runner if he ends up with 500+ HR and 2B, around 1500 runs and well over 1500 RBI, and quite a few hits as well.

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