Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Peter Kerasotis: And Peter K’s Hall of Fame Votes Go To…

Kerasotis the season to be folly…........Fa-la-la-Mattingly-la-la-la-Raines-la-la-la-Trammell.

But this is where it gets tricky for me, because since I don’t vote emotion, I wonder about Don Mattingly, who is my all-time favorite athlete from my all-time favorite team.

I don’t like to vote for guys based on sheer endurance and length of career. I also don’t like to sell short someone who had a Hall of Fame career truncated by injury. Or an illness, for that matter. Which is why, if you look strictly at his numbers, Lou Gehrig doesn’t have the 3,000 hits or the 500 home runs that are Hall of Fame benchmarks. Yet, no sane person would argue that Gehrig isn’t a Hall of Famer.

I’m not saying Don Mattingly is Lou Gehrig.

But I still say he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

And while we’re at it, although he’s not on the ballot any longer, I believe Thurman Munson belongs in Cooperstown, too. I just can’t see penalizing him for dying young.

...Same goes for Mike Piazza, the game’s greatest offensive catcher. Piazza is supposed to have a book coming out this spring, in which his publisher says he’ll address the steroid speculation that has swirled around him. I’d like to wait and see what he says.

Jeff Bagwell? I think his numbers are probably there for Cooperstown. But I also wonder about steroids with him. His body-type changed during his career. He also was a close friend of the late Ken Caminiti, a steroid poster child who admitted to juicing.

Same with Craig Biggio, who definitely has Hall of Fame credentials by virtue of his 3,060 hits. But I look at his body-type transformation and so many of the whispers surrounding his name, that I just want to wait.

Repoz Posted: December 29, 2012 at 05:58 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bug Selig Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4334118)
I believe Thurman Munson belongs in Cooperstown, too. I just can’t see penalizing him for dying young.


That's the Yankee fan in him talking there. Thurman Munson was a 32-year old catcher with clearly declining offense. He hadn't reached the point of "bad player" yet, but it was only one or two exits down the highway. The crash was tragic, but didn't really alter the value of Thurman Munson's career very much.

And the "body-type" crap makes me sick. I personally know a half-dozen 16-year olds who are built much like Jeff Bagwell was in 1994. It's called a weight room, folks.
   2. LargeBill Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4334120)
Wow, I've seen man on the street interviewees (AKA Low Information Voters) give more coherent rationalizations for their voting choices than this guy. Okay, okay that's hyperbole, but his explanations are all over the board. Particularly odd is his explanations for voting yes for Mattingly but not for McGriff who he calls good but not great despite more than twice as many HR and better OBP & SLG. Also, he is holding off voting for Piazza because he's writing a book and maybe he'll talk about steroid use. Does this guy (or anyone else) think Piazza will write a book and stupidly give the voters a smoking gun to dismiss his accomplishments as being PED enabled? That is like a member of a jury asking to hold off voting because the accused might admit to the crime in a few months.
   3. Tricky Dick Posted: December 29, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4334129)
What? Biggio had "body type transformation?"
   4. DA Baracus Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4334130)
I don’t like to vote for guys based on sheer endurance and length of career.


Okay but...

I believe Thurman Munson belongs in Cooperstown, too. I just can’t see penalizing him for dying young.


So he'd vote for Munson if he had a different career length.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4334131)
Wow. I didn't realize Mattingly, Trammell, and Raines were the only three on his ballot until I RTFA. Wow.

Many at BBTF are saying this on a daily basis now, but it bears repeating: All it takes is one of these clown ballots to equalize three strong ballots. I'm glad he got to Trammell and Raines, and Mattingly is a throw away vote, but none of those three guys are getting in this year. Nobody is getting inducted.

In fact, the only reason a guy like this is voting for Trammell and Raines is because he sees them as pre-steroid era. If you can't vote for Biggio because he may have used steroids, then who can you vote for in the steroid era? I've never heard anybody accuse Biggio of PED use.

Finally, I find it amusing that guys like this can't vote for any of the sluggers of the "Steroid Era" because they were unduly helped by PEDs...but he has no problem saying that Curt Schilling's stats don't quite make the grade. If you think PEDs render a guy like Palmeiro thoroughly unqualified for the HOF, then you must believe PEDs are a significant help to hitters. If so, wouldn't you provide a corresponding scaled-up grade for pitchers of the same era?

Curt Schilling of The Steroid Era vs Don Drysdale of the Dodger Stadium Dead Ball Era? No contest!

How many players on the ballot will get between 40% and 70% this year? Eight?
   6. Lassus Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4334134)
Someday, all of these morons will be gone.
   7. bookbook Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4334135)
And there will be brand-new morons. There ain't actually a shortage.
   8. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4334138)
Piazza is supposed to have a book coming out this spring, in which his publisher says he’ll address the steroid speculation that has swirled around him. I’d like to wait and see what he says.


I could be wrong, but I see two possibilities here:

1. Piazza admits steroids in the book. Guys who are "waiting for the book" use it as an excuse to not vote for him.

2. Piazza denies steroids in the book. Guys who are "waiting for the book" use the "Piazza lied in his book" or "Piazza didn't take the chance to come clean" as an excuse to not vote for him.
   9. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4334139)
What? Biggio had "body type transformation?"


...or "whispers surrounding his name"? Other than the BBWAA's own current echo chamber, I mean.
   10. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4334141)
I'm not sure how someone who is both a bad writer and who knows nearly nothing about baseball gets a ballot. I guess all you have to do is get a job at an irrelevant newspaper and not get fired for a decade or so.
   11. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4334142)
I still think Morris goes in alone and it's a weekend of "a true, untainted star enters the Hall alone" bullshit.

And I feel bad for the people in Cooperstown if no one gets inducted. I was there for induction weekend in 2009 and on a few other non-induction weekends. The people there have always been friendly as heck to me (it's almost TV-script level small town atmosphere) and they're the ones who are going to get truly ###### if they don't have that big induction weekend. The sportswriters can be sanctimonious as #### and it doesn't cost them a dime. I really can't stress what an amazing job everyone I encountered did for induction weekend.
   12. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4334150)
I keep waiting for the levy to break and rational people to tell the HOF and the BBWAA to go #### themselves, but you guys still seem to give a #### about it for some incomprehensible reason.

The Hall of Fame is a joke. No one should pay any attention to the Hall of Fame or HOF voting, ever again.
   13. Lassus Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4334151)
The Hall of Fame is a joke. No one should pay any attention to the Hall of Fame or HOF voting, ever again.

Yes, this is what we said about the South years ago as well. Lighten up, Francis.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: December 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4334152)

Lee Smith: "I can’t get past his 71-92 record, or his 0-2 postseason record with an 8.44 ERA."

That postseason body of work consists of 4 games, 5.1 IP, total, in 1984 and 1988.

Smith debuted with a SV in Game 2 vs Padres in '84.
In Game 4, he pitched a scoreless 8th after Cubs tied it at 5-5, but allowed an infamous 2-run Steve Garvey HR in the 9th to give the Padres a 7-5 win.

In 1988, with Boston, Smith entered Game 2 with 1st and 2nd, one on in the 8th and game tied 3-3. after a passed ball moved the runner to third, Smith got slugger Jose Canseco to fly to short OF, then got dangerous Dave Parker on a deep fly to keep the game tied. But with 2 outs in the 9th, Smith allowed a run-scoring single to Walt Weiss that proved to be the winning run as Eckersley shut the door for Oakland.

In Game 4, Smith got the last 2 outs in the 8th with a man on and the Red Sox trailing 2-1. But he did allow 2 ER in the 9th to make it 4-1, not that it seemed to matter as Eckersley as usual was perfect and the A's advanced to the World Series (you wondered, would he ever allow another run? heh)

some other writer will vote for Smith and say, "He made the most of his only postseason SV opportunity, coolly converting it by retiring his two batters with the tying run at the plate in a 4-2 game."


   15. John Northey Posted: December 29, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4334169)
To take care of non-induction they should just make it mandatory that the top vote getter is in and so is anyone over 75% so the 75% becomes relevant for only the 2nd place and on guys. All that would've put in is Frank Chance in 1945 (rather than a vet choice in 1946), Charlie Gehringer in 1949 (without needing a runoff election), Mel Ott in 1950 (instead of 1951), Max Carey in 1958 (Vets in 1961), Edd Roush in 1960 (Vets in 1962), Luke Appling in 1964 (runoff election in 1964), Red Ruffing in 1967 (avoid runoff again), Yogi Berra in 1971 (elected 1972), Phil Niekro in 1996 (instead of 1997), Don Sutton in 1997 (instead of 1998), Tony Perez in 1998 (instead of 2000), and probably Craig Biggio or Jeff Bagwell this year instead of whenever they get in. IE: no one gets in who wouldn't have otherwise and none by more than 3 years. All you do is ensure that Cooperstown gets an induction weekend with a not too long retired player, that's it.
   16. SM Posted: December 29, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4334185)
Does this guy (or anyone else) think Piazza will write a book and stupidly give the voters a smoking gun to dismiss his accomplishments as being PED enabled?


Well, if Murray Chass counts as anyone else, he sure does. I had assumed Murray was the only guy with this delusion until now.
   17. LargeBill Posted: December 29, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4334187)
Regarding # 15, That is actually a very good idea. If the history you cite are all the cases of that type situation then it means no one would have been inducted that wasn't going to anyways. It may be the best way to get out of jams like the current one where there is no chance of obtaining 75% agreement despite (or because of) a dozen more than qualified candidates. Right now I expect Biggio or Bagwell will lead with 67 to 72%. Remove the leader and next year is a hair clearer.
   18. Baldrick Posted: December 29, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4334189)
But this is where it gets tricky for me, because since I don’t vote emotion, I wonder about Don Mattingly, who is my all-time favorite athlete from my all-time favorite team.

I don’t like to vote for guys based on sheer endurance and length of career. I also don’t like to sell short someone who had a Hall of Fame career truncated by injury. Or an illness, for that matter. Which is why, if you look strictly at his numbers, Lou Gehrig doesn’t have the 3,000 hits or the 500 home runs that are Hall of Fame benchmarks. Yet, no sane person would argue that Gehrig isn’t a Hall of Famer.

I’m not saying Don Mattingly is Lou Gehrig.

But I still say he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

So you don't vote emotion, and yet somehow you ended up voting for probably the 18th most valuable player on the ballot and virtually no one else? Who just happens to be your favorite player?

Right.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: December 29, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4334191)
If the history you cite are all the cases of that type situation then it means no one would have been inducted that wasn't going to anyways.


The one exception could be Morris this year, if Jack finishes as the leading vote getter, since he's unlikely to get voted in during his last year on the ballot. Though, he too will surely get in through a future Vet's Committee.

I do like the idea.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: December 29, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4334258)
I love the thought process he put into the ballot. I do not agree with the conclusions or the votes. He admits that he might change his mind, and all of his arguments seem to be leaning into changing his mind for a few (not for Palmiero, Bonds or McGwire) but at least he seems to be willing to listen to a Clemens case... I still do not get the Biggio, Bagwell argument that we have heard about so much. (Caminiti being teamates etc)

I like the article, disliked the conclusion.
   21. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 29, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4334291)
Penalizing Lee Smith for his won-loss record was the high point for me. Can't make this stuff up.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4334347)
On #15 -- I think the idea would work just fine but it also shows how relatively rare a non-induction is, especially in the last 40-50 years. Maybe once every 10 years and none since 96. It may happen this year but, after this year, they're looking at probably a good solid decade of inductions, many of them multiple.

And, you know, there's still a ceremony for the vets, etc. I'm sure attendance is substantially lower but I don't know by how much. But then I don't imagine Edd Roush would have had them flocking in from all over. I assume the inductions that really make a difference are the ones with a BIG star and those guys are usually 1st ballot with a lot more than 75%.

I don't have any objection to the rule but it's not a system that's broken. And it's unlikely to make any real difference to "ballotgeddon". It puts one guy in this year which helps but then the rule probably won't operate again until 2020 or later. Now, a rule to always elect 2 or 3 or a lowering of the threshold to 65% would help to clear the ballot although the former would eventually lead to some pretty questionable inductions (see HoM).

So he'd vote for Munson if he had a different career length.

No he quite clearly stated Munson belongs so he's saying he'd vote for Munson if he was on the ballot ... which of course he hasn't been in a very long time. If not for the Joe Morgan and his Super Friends "nobody is as good as we were" VC era, Munson might well be in or on the cusp.

That's the Yankee fan in him talking there. Thurman Munson was a 32-year old catcher with clearly declining offense. He hadn't reached the point of "bad player" yet, but it was only one or two exits down the highway. The crash was tragic, but didn't really alter the value of Thurman Munson's career very much.

Obviously it's all speculation but I don't agree. Sure, he was never going to be a 5-6 WAR player again but he was a 3-WAR player at 31 and was on track to be a 3-WAR player at 32. He was still durable, still average or better defensively, still apparently doing OK on the basepaths (very good for a C). Obviously Cs can fall apart at any time but I think another 8-10 WAR is within reason -- that puts him over 50 for a C which should be serious HoF territory (not that it has been).

Taking some guys who were around Munson at ages 31-32 in WAR terms or are around him in career WAR, here are the post-32 WAR:

Varitek 9
Lombardi 15
Javy 5.5
Sanguillen 0
Kendall 4
Howard 14
Porter 3
Freehan 2
Simmons 0 (one more good year followed by one truly awful one)
Posada 11 (very different WAR mix)

OK, that's an average around 6-6.5 with a median around 5, so probably not enough. But 3 of those are probably enough to put him in and Varitek would give him a much better shot, so a 30-40% chance of a real difference. Still, the key to my speculation is that he was still above average for a C at every aspect of the game -- hitting, defense, baserunning. You wouldn't have thought it to look at him but he seems to have been aging quite well. Of course so did some of the other guys who crapped out so it's hardly a guarantee.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: December 29, 2012 at 09:07 PM (#4334355)
re Munson: I did see him play. He was as broken down as you can be for his age, even for a catcher. From having 'teens' HR power annually, he hit only 9 in 1086 PA in his last two years. Munson had dismal eye (never more than 57 BB and he played every day), and stole 48 bases with 50 CS in his career.

Munson's bad knees were getting worse in the summer of 1979, and it looked like his catching days might be over for good at that point (Billy Martin thought so). In his last 4 games, Munson played 3 at 1B and 1 at DH - no catching.

a 95 OPS+ guy in 1979 who can't catch anymore. how much more do we think the rest of his career would have added to his case?

Sometimes the numbers aren't enough....

fyi, as a teenager I was fascinated that the Yankees crowd for the next game after Munson's death was put up on the board as "51,151" - how fitting for a guy who wore No. 15.

took a few years before I found out that they, well, fudged attendance numbers in sports all the time.

   24. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4334488)
For the first time, I'm seriously starting to wonder if Morris is going to stall out a couple of percentage points below 75%. I took his induction as a foregone conclusion but perhaps not.
   25. Esoteric Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4334495)
Dumb question, but can somebody remind me when the HoF votes are actually announced?
   26. ajnrules Posted: December 30, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4334496)
Dumb question, but can somebody remind me when the HoF votes are actually announced?

January 9, the day before Oscar nominations are revealed!
   27. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 30, 2012 at 02:13 AM (#4334499)
My predictions!
Smith: Lee's Miserable
Bonds: BALCO Unchained
Sosa: Zero Dark Pigment
Wells: Life of Pie
Clemens: What to Expect When You're Injecting
   28. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 30, 2012 at 05:24 AM (#4334533)
re Munson: I did see him play. He was as broken down as you can be for his age, even for a catcher. From having 'teens' HR power annually, he hit only 9 in 1086 PA in his last two years. Munson had dismal eye (never more than 57 BB and he played every day), and stole 48 bases with 50 CS in his career.

Munson's bad knees were getting worse in the summer of 1979, and it looked like his catching days might be over for good at that point (Billy Martin thought so). In his last 4 games, Munson played 3 at 1B and 1 at DH - no catching.


Not that this was going to happen, but reducing his work load from the 150 games a year they'd been sending Munson out for to something reasonable like 120 (with 80 or so at catcher) and it wouldn't have surprised me at all if Munson hadn't been able to add the 9 or so WAR Walt talked about.

In other words, I don't see it so much as Munson being done, but rather that he was being driven into the ground, and that there was room to turn it around. In 1979 he had appeared in 97 of the Spanks 106 games. For a 32 year old catcher in even modest decline, that's absurd.

Btw, you noted that Munson played his last 4 games away from C. That has a lot to do with his having played 88 of his previous 93 games at catcher. It wasn't symptomatic at all of a season long difficulty holding down the position.

   29. Howie Menckel Posted: December 30, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4334559)

The Yankees drove Munson so hard that he had nothing left. He was notoriously tough and stubborn, so he caught and caught until he could catch no more. The fact that the Yankees didn't start mixing and matching him - but simply stopped catching him - WAS "the ultimate symptom of a season-long difficulty in holding the position."

As for a 1980 Munson model of 80 G caught, if anyone in baseball would have walked away rather than face such an "indignity," it was Munson. And I don't believe he could have caught 80 games, anyway. But we'll never know for sure...

   30. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4334747)
but simply stopped catching him
For all of four games?

I'm not following.

But, yes, it's entirely possible Munson was going to find/put himself in an all or nothing situation.
   31. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 30, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4334751)
#27: Bravo
   32. Lassus Posted: December 30, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4334871)
Gonfalon is the standard.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Andere Richtingen
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(395 - 2:03pm, Sep 30)
Last: GregD

NewsblogAL WILD CARD GAME 2014 OMNICHATTER
(69 - 2:01pm, Sep 30)
Last: Misirlou's been working for the drug squad

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(4054 - 2:01pm, Sep 30)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1958 Ballot
(11 - 1:59pm, Sep 30)
Last: Mark Armour

NewsblogMets close season optimistic for next year
(68 - 1:55pm, Sep 30)
Last: bobm

NewsblogMadden: How dare the sabermetrics crowd and others try to diminish Derek Jeter’s greatness
(162 - 1:44pm, Sep 30)
Last: GuyM

NewsblogBrown: Winners And Losers: MLB Attendance In 2014, Nearly 74 Million Through The Gate
(12 - 1:41pm, Sep 30)
Last: TDF, situational idiot

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8165 - 1:36pm, Sep 30)
Last: JL

NewsblogMLB’s Biggest Star Is 40 (And He Just Retired). That Could Be A Problem.
(53 - 1:30pm, Sep 30)
Last: Booey

NewsblogThe Captain’s Log: Derek Jeter’s Lady-Killing Past, From ‘Yeah, Jeets!’ to Gift Baskets
(30 - 12:52pm, Sep 30)
Last: RMc is a fine piece of cheese

NewsblogFangraphs/Cistulli: Post-trade WAR for deadline trades
(9 - 12:40pm, Sep 30)
Last: Don Malcolm

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-30-2014
(13 - 12:35pm, Sep 30)
Last: esseff

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(441 - 12:33pm, Sep 30)
Last: Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!

NewsblogThe Calm-Before-The-Storm and Postseason Prediction OMNICHATTER, 2014
(95 - 12:19pm, Sep 30)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2014 Discussion
(12 - 11:47am, Sep 30)
Last: bjhanke

Page rendered in 0.4912 seconds
52 querie(s) executed