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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Braves’ Cox Would Put Bagwell in Hall of Fame

Since the 20-year anniversary of the Bagwell - Anderson trade is coming up in a couple of weeks. Let’s celebrate!

Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, a future Hall of Famer himself, does not have a vote, but told FOX 26 Sports Tuesday he believes Bagwell belongs in Cooperstown.

“I think he’s got a great chance at it,” Cox said. “I certainly would vote for him. He not only was a good slugger and a good hitter, he was a great defensive first baseman who knew how to run the bases.

“Jeff Bagwell was here for so long and starred every year. For me a guy that dominated like that for one team, even in the league stats through the years. His are up there with anybody’s. I would put him in right away.

“So he would get my vote on the first ballot.”

...“I’m not expecting to get in, not right away,” Bagwell said. It took the Hawk (Andre Dawson 9) years to get in.

“I guess our numbers are kind of similiar. I’m the first one in my era to come up. So we’ll see what happens. It’s not something I concern myself with right now.”

Repoz Posted: August 11, 2010 at 10:36 AM | 68 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, braves, hall of fame, history

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   1. sunnyday2 Posted: August 11, 2010 at 12:24 PM (#3613652)
How much weight does Cox swing with BBWAA members? More than us, for sure.
   2. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2010 at 12:36 PM (#3613658)
Is there some kind of debate about this?
   3. Juan V Posted: August 11, 2010 at 12:44 PM (#3613660)
Bagwell against the Braves: .293/.388/.494, 87 tOPS+
   4. RJ in TO Posted: August 11, 2010 at 12:48 PM (#3613664)
Is there some kind of debate about this?

There is expected to be some kind of debate about this among BBWAA members. Around here, there's not really any debate at all.
   5. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2010 at 01:02 PM (#3613674)
There is expected to be some kind of debate about this among BBWAA members. Around here, there's not really any debate at all.


Really? Was he caught up in some steriod scandal that I missed? Because he seems like a pretty open-and-shut case, if he wasn't.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: August 11, 2010 at 01:10 PM (#3613679)
Really? Was he caught up in some steriod scandal that I missed? Because he seems like a pretty open-and-shut case, if he wasn't.

He's a first base candidate who didn't get to 500 HR, didn't get to 3000 hits, didn't hit 0.300 for his career, didn't win a World Series, and who sucked in the playoffs. While he should go in despite all this, there will probably be a decent number of writers who argue and/or vote against him.
   7. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2010 at 01:13 PM (#3613686)
I suppose that is a decent writer-case against him. But still. He's Jeff Bagwell. He's a lock for "most boring HOF speech of the next 10 years", unless the writers go for Biggio, but he also belongs in the hall.
   8. dlf Posted: August 11, 2010 at 01:20 PM (#3613690)
Really? Was he caught up in some steriod scandal that I missed? Because he seems like a pretty open-and-shut case, if he wasn't.


Bryant Gumble made some off hand comments tying Bagwell to 'roids, but it seemed based on the facts that Bagwell played in an era when a lot of other players had been fingered and Bagwell hit a lot of homers.
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 11, 2010 at 01:21 PM (#3613691)
Bagwell's problem is three-fold. First, a big chunk of his value was hidden by his home park. Second, a big chunk of his value came from his walks, doubles, defense, and baserunning, all of which are more likely to be overlooked in Hall of Fame voting than home runs and singles. Third, his back issues ended his career somewhat early for a contemporary-era slugger, so Bagwell didn't get to hang around and rack up counting stats while the media began to reassess the greatness of his career.

I tend to think that Bagwell will pick up enough votes to slide in after several elections, but I'd be very surprised if he were elected on the first or even second ballot.

And that's given that the clogged-ballot nightmare scenario doesn't happen with the steroid crowd. It very well might, which could really screw a guy like Bagwell.
   10. AndrewJ Posted: August 11, 2010 at 01:26 PM (#3613696)
Pass.
   11. Clemenza Posted: August 11, 2010 at 01:55 PM (#3613725)
Bryant Gumble made some off hand comments tying Bagwell to 'roids, but it seemed based on the facts that Bagwell played in an era when a lot of other players had been fingered and Bagwell hit a lot of homers.

I saw this too. Pretty pathetic but it wasn't the first time Gumble climbed on his soapbox without the facts.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 11, 2010 at 01:58 PM (#3613727)
“I’m not expecting to get in, not right away,” Bagwell said. It took the Hawk (Andre Dawson 9) years to get in.

“I guess our numbers are kind of similiar. I’m the first one in my era to come up. So we’ll see what happens. It’s not something I concern myself with right now.”


Dawson gets a fair amount of positional advantage, but if nothing else, Bagwell should get bonus points for modesty. In terms of OPS+, Bagwell (149) is one point below Honus Wagner, while Dawson (119) is in a dead heat with Casey Stengel. And as Casey would have said, "You can look it up."
   13. McCoy Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:07 PM (#3613735)
I personally don't see that as modesty-telling it like it is perhaps but not modesty.
   14. smileyy Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:08 PM (#3613736)
I read #6 and start thinking "I thought he was good, but maybe he wasn't as good as I remembered. I figured he'd hit some of those counting and rate stats."

Then I go to B-R and see the .408 career OBP and the 149 OPS+...and I echo #10.
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:14 PM (#3613743)
I'm with Ryan and Matt, Bags goes in after a wait and is a guy who could potentially get screwed on a clogged-ballot situation that I think is a lock to happen.
   16. McCoy Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:16 PM (#3613744)
I don't think high OPS+ numbers for modern players is really going to do it for voters. I think this era of players is chock full of high OPS+ players that don't feel like hall of famers when you watched them.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:19 PM (#3613750)
Bagwell's problem is three-fold. First, a big chunk of his value was hidden by his home park.

This is a big issue too. The Astrodome will have been gone for long enough that many writers will have likely forgotten the huge disadvantage it was for hitters, and will treat his numbers as if they were all compiled at the new park.
   18. BDC Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:25 PM (#3613755)
I see Clement's points, but then I figure that despite the Astrodome he scored 143 runs one year (the next year, 152 in the new park); he hit .368 and slugged .750 (in a strike year, but still, jeepers), he had the 30/30 season, the 149-walk season, the three 130-RBI seasons – Bagwell has such a concentration of face-value numbers that would look very impressive in any era or park. If he doesn't attract a lot of ballot attention, it'll be proof of jadedness on the part of voters after the onslaught of offense in the 90s and 00s.
   19. Sean Forman Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:28 PM (#3613758)

I tend to think that Bagwell will pick up enough votes to slide in after several elections, but I'd be very surprised if he were elected on the first or even second ballot.

And that's given that the clogged-ballot nightmare scenario doesn't happen with the steroid crowd. It very well might, which could really screw a guy like Bagwell.


The clogged ballot scenario is almost guaranteed to happen I think. Here is the ballot after two years on the ballot for Bagwell.

Here is the ballot if Bagwell doesn't get in in the first two years.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/hof_2013.shtml

I count 25 or so reasonable HOF cases (meaning guys who could get 20% or better). I don't think anyone goes in on this ballot.

YoB %vote
Jack Morris       14th 52.3
%
Barry Larkin       4th 51.6%
Lee Smith         11th 47.3%
Edgar Martinez     4th 36.2%
Tim Raines         6th 30.4%
Mark McGwire       7th 23.7%
Alan Trammell     12th 22.4%
Fred McGriff       4th 21.5%
Don Mattingly     13th 16.1%
Dale Murphy       15th 11.7%
Barry Bonds              1st
Roger Clemens            1st
Mike Piazza              1st
Sammy Sosa               1st
Rafael Palmeiro          3rd
Curt Schilling           1st
Craig Biggio             1st
Jeff Bagwell             3rd
Larry Walker             3rd
Bernie Williams          2nd
John Franco              3rd
Juan Gonzalez            3rd
Kevin Brown              3rd
Kenny Lofton             1st 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/11/2010.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:46 PM (#3613776)
Cool post.

Mike Piazza, then, is sort of the canary in the coal mine for the clogged ballot nightmare scenario. At any other time in the last fifty years, Piazza would have been a immediate-elect guy, as a 12-time all-star and the greatest hitting catcher in the history of the game. If Piazza can't get it on the first ballot, the ballot will be broken.

Then there's the very bad, but not quite nightmare scenario, where inner-circle guys like Piazza can still get in with 80-85%, but no one outside the inner circle can crack the necessary 75% as the vote gets irreparably split. I guess the guy to watch in this scenario would be Craig Biggio, an obvious Hall of Famer but not an all-time great like Piazza.
   21. Alex Vila Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:52 PM (#3613787)
I would agree with MCoA - Biggio would be the one to watch - 3000 hits is still a magic number to the BBWA.
   22. Dale H. Posted: August 11, 2010 at 02:56 PM (#3613793)
I don't think anyone goes in on this ballot
I'm confused. I get that there might be the whole steroid crap about Bonds/Clemens/Sosa/Palmeiro, but you think Piazza won't make it?
   23. DanG Posted: August 11, 2010 at 03:13 PM (#3613812)
but you think Piazza won't make it?
Piazza is under the steroids cloud.
   24. Don Malcolm Posted: August 11, 2010 at 03:16 PM (#3613815)
Thanks for the list, Sean. Since the BBWAA has fifteen years to thrash this out, I don't think the clogged ballot thingee will be quite as bad as, say, the Y2K problem. Here's how I think it works its kinks out:

1) McGwire, Bonds, Clemens and Palmeiro are f*cked for the foreseeable future.

2) Larkin might make it in 2012, which takes him off the list.

3) Morris might make it in 2012, given how close he is to being off the grid. (We can hate it, sure, but he's in range for a last-minute sympathy vote.) If he's still on the ballot in 2013, it will definitely muddy the waters.

4) Trammell, Mattingly and Murphy are all stalled and will have to go the "Vets Committee" (or whatever that thing is); McGriff will probably just manage to stay on the active ballot, but he'll never recover enough momentum to get in via the "front door."

5) Raines, Edgar and Smith will tread water but will have renewed upward movement in 2014.

6) Piazza will go in as a first-ballot HoFer.

7) Bagwell will be waiting on the cusp after years 1 and 2 but might just get a boost from Biggio's appearance on the ballot (the sentiment thing again). Biggio should get 65-70% in his first year and the drumbeats might just pick up in scribeland to put the two Killer B's in at the same time.

8) Sosa will get 50% of the vote and climb to eventual enshrinement.

9) Franco, Gonzalez, Williams, Brown and Lofton are going to only get token support and will quickly stall.

10) Walker and Schilling are the wild cards here: they could really go either way. From this seat, they both look like they could have a shot over a fifteen-year voting cycle.

So my take is that Piazza makes it in 2013, with Bags and Biggio in 2014--assuming Morris gets the nod in 2012. Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger...
   25. DanG Posted: August 11, 2010 at 03:24 PM (#3613823)
[16]
I think this era of players is chock full of high OPS+ players that don't feel like hall of famers when you watched them.
Highest OPS+, minimum 7500 PA, debut 1986+

Rk               Player OPS+  RC      WAR   PA  From  To
1           Barry Bonds  181 2892   171.8 12606 1986 2007
2          Mark McGwire  162 1529    63.1  7660 1986 2001
3          Frank Thomas  156 2002    75.9 10074 1990 2008
4         Manny Ramirez  155 1993    67.3  9657 1993 2010
5          Jeff Bagwell  149 1788    79.9  9431 1991 2005
6             Jim Thome  147 1890    68.8  9700 1991 2010
7        Edgar Martinez  147 1631    67.2  8672 1987 2004
8        Alex Rodriguez  146 1976   101.3 10068 1994 2010
9     Vladimir Guerrero  144 1532    58.6  8275 1996 2010
10         Jason Giambi  143 1543    52.9  8306 1995 2010
11        Chipper Jones  142 1826    80.0  9654 1993 2010
12          Mike Piazza  142 1378    59.1  7745 1992 2007
13       Gary Sheffield  140 1946    63.3 10947 1988 2009
14         Larry Walker  140 1619    67.3  8030 1989 2005
15          Todd Helton  138 1652    57.5  8070 1997 2010
16       Carlos Delgado  138 1588    44.2  8657 1993 2009
17           Will Clark  137 1415    57.6  8283 1986 2000
18          Brian Giles  136 1385    42.7  7835 1995 2009
19          Ken Griffey  135 1994    78.4 11304 1989 2010
20         Fred McGriff  134 1704    50.5 10174 1986 2004 
   26. John DiFool2 Posted: August 11, 2010 at 03:40 PM (#3613841)
8) Sosa will get 50% of the vote and climb to eventual enshrinement.


You don't think he belongs in category 1, with Rajah, Barry, & Raffy? I'd be amazed if he gets anything significantly more than Mac has so far.
   27. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 11, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3613845)
If Murray Chass says it, someone will have said it! What's not to understand?
   28. The Essex Snead Posted: August 11, 2010 at 03:48 PM (#3613851)
Since the 20-year anniversary of the Bagwell-Anderson trade is coming up

Which also coincides with the 19-year anniversary of me loathing Lou Gorman!
   29. OCF Posted: August 11, 2010 at 04:10 PM (#3613873)
I don't know if we'll keep the Hall of Merit together, long run, as it's been a pretty quiet summer for us so far. But if we do, whatever else you think of our "must elect" quota rule, it keeps us from ever worrying about a clogged ballot. In fact, we had a spectacularly clogged ballot in 1934 (Cobb, Speaker, Eddie Collins, Joe Williams, Pop Lloyd, Cristobal Torriente) and we simply worked through that over several years - even eventually electing lesser candidates like Stan Coveleski who also became eligible that year.

So, for Sean's list in post #19: we've already elected Larkin, Martinez, Raines, McGwire, and Trammell. (Only Martinez was a close call from those.) The other already eligible ones on that list are far enough down in the backlog that they won't get in the way of the upcoming crowd. (In fact, we considered Juan Gonzalez eligible last year - and he got very little support.) Our decks are clear, and we will be debating Palmiero, Bagwell, Walker, and Brown this year without a huge amount of interference from other candidates.
   30. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 11, 2010 at 04:17 PM (#3613883)
8) Sosa will get 50% of the vote and climb to eventual enshrinement.

HOF voters hate guys who skin whiten.
   31. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 11, 2010 at 04:30 PM (#3613891)
Is there seriously any doubt about Bagwell?
   32. joyjoykid Posted: August 11, 2010 at 04:31 PM (#3613893)
Chipper Jones 80.0 WAR
Jeff Bagwell 79.9
Ken Griffey 78.4
Frank Thomas 75.9

If Junior and Thomas are shoe-in, why not Bagwell and Chipper?
Bagwell's career is to be re-evluated by saber friendly writers like Jo-Pos as the ballot comes closer.
My predicted his first ballot vote is 60-75%.
   33. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 11, 2010 at 04:33 PM (#3613896)
#19 I would think being on the same ballot as Biggio would be a big help to Bagwell- writers would like the story of sending them in together.
   34. Don Malcolm Posted: August 11, 2010 at 04:40 PM (#3613905)
Re Sosa:

You don't think he belongs in category 1, with Rajah, Barry, & Raffy? I'd be amazed if he gets anything significantly more than Mac has so far.

No, I don't. I think the clouds will have to part for some guys out of this list; the BBWAA as a collective entity (yeah, I know: whatever that means...) has to understand that they can't shut everyone out, so they'll be forced to pick and choose through the so-called wreckage.

Piazza and Sosa are the least tainted of that group, which is why my scenario breaks the way it does. I think Piazza has the positional thing working in his favor, plus the fact that his greatest years are almost all prior to the period of intense scrutiny. Sosa's 50%, as I see it, reflects the divide that exists about the issue in the BBWAA (reflected in much of the voting writers' ongoing commentary--it's not all monolithic). What do you do with a guy who hit 60+ homers three times, for Crissakes? The guy hit 501 HRs in just eleven seasons (1993-2003)--is it all tainted? Can we elect anybody who played between 1993 and 2006?? Simple moralizing just isn't going to cut it.

So, therefore, it's easier for the BBWAA demonize Bonds and McGwire (and Roger) but leave some wiggle room. This is part of the BBWAA "tradition" (hate it or loathe it). It's precisely this type of logic, after all, that got Sammy an MVP in 1998 over Mac.

HOF voters hate guys who skin whiten.

Nah, they'll forgive that as a pathetic attempt at conformity and see it as a symbolic act of supplication.
   35. bunyon Posted: August 11, 2010 at 04:42 PM (#3613908)
I think some of the trouble is voters are older guys and I can, now, say from experience that the greats you watch in your 30s don't seem as great as the guys you watched in your 10s. And they didn't seem as great as the guys your dad told you about. So the whole, "doesn't feel like a HOFer" is complete and utter BS as far as I'm concered. Just because I'm not as innocent as I used to be and happen to have a memory of certain greats striking out looking with the winning run on third in a pennant race doesn't mean they're lesser than the guys in the HOF. It simply means I know them better. And knowing almost anyone better degrades their heroic status.
   36. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: August 11, 2010 at 05:14 PM (#3613940)
I would agree with MCoA - Biggio would be the one to watch - 3000 hits is still a magic number to the BBWA.

But wasn't Biggio, to the writers, always the understudy to Bagwell? I always thought he was. Obviously they both belong in the Hall, but I always pictured Biggio to be #2 in the minds of writers and casual fans.
   37. base ball chick Posted: August 11, 2010 at 05:23 PM (#3613947)
. Dewitty_Pun Posted: August 11, 2010 at 12:30 PM (#3613891)

Is there seriously any doubt about Bagwell?


- here?
with the "fans"
with the BBWAA?

1 - at this here board, there is absolutely NO doubt baggy belongs
2 - with "fans" - let me tell you this - on my blog, i wrote an entry the day after bryant gumbel accused bagwell of using steroids - saying - he should just admit it - or something. i have gotten more clicks on that particular entry than on anything else i have written (including during the WS when i was one of the very few people who had an astros blog) since i started blogging in june 04 (yes i am getting old don't rub it in) and i have had so many comments i had to delete it is not funny - and most of them say stuff like - he's a roider and we all know it (cleaned up).

or i hear stuff like "did you ever LOOK at him? and yeah, i did. for zillions of games between 1991 and 2005. and no, he didn't "look" like a roider. I saw him in a loose shirt and shorts taking swings in 2000 (or was it 01) and i thought that he sure had skinny legs for an athlete. what, doesn't roids grow leg muscles too?

of course, the argument is that a small guy like him (reality check - 5-11, 190) couldn't hit homers if he didn't do drugs (see jimmy wynn, joe morgan) and besides, he was friends with caminiti...

3 - the writers? well, that is gonna be a problem because they care about RBIs, homer totals and BA. and they will look at his postseason numbers and see absolute and complete suckage in every series (i hate to admit it but it is true) and will think he choked repeatedly when the pennant was on the line.

yeah a few will check stuff like OPS+ and WAR and stolen bases ( TWO 30-30 seasons for a 1B - never before, none since) and baserunning runs added

and a few will say that only the Designated Clean Guys (who are, far as i can tell, ONLY junior griffey, frank thomas, maddux and glavine. PERIOD - don't ask me how everyone can KNOW they never used, but what can i say) will get their vote. along with guys from the old days like morris Who Knew How To Win!!!!!

but IF he gets in, i would guess it will take at least a few years - probably there will be a lot of gooey sentiment when biggio comes up that might could help
   38. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 11, 2010 at 05:46 PM (#3613969)
I think some of the trouble is voters are older guys and I can, now, say from experience that the greats you watch in your 30s don't seem as great as the guys you watched in your 10s.


Really? I'm exiting my 30s, and if I'm guilty of anything it's more often *underrating* guys I saw in my youth.
   39. God Posted: August 11, 2010 at 06:58 PM (#3614040)
You guys don't think Clemens and Bonds have a chance to get in on the second ballot? I can see a lot of writers snubbing them the first year as a way to say "f--- you," but really even a three-year-old can see that they were Hall of Famers long before they're alleged to have started using. They won't get the votes of those writers who are using their vote punitively, but they should still get the votes of some writers who snubbed McGwire's entirely steroid-created candidacy.
   40. Alex Vila Posted: August 11, 2010 at 07:23 PM (#3614071)
But wasn't Biggio, to the writers, always the understudy to Bagwell?

I think that in their latter years this was true, but Biggio has a couple of things going for him:
1. He was an all-star at 2 positions - one before Bagwell arrived with the Astros,
2. The 3000 hit milestone - Bagwell does not have an "easily identifiable" number like that.

They are both great and both very worthy of the HOF, but I suspect Biggio will go in 1st ballot.
   41. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 11, 2010 at 07:27 PM (#3614074)
well, that is gonna be a problem because they care about RBIs, homer totals and BA


How is that a problem? He put up good BA and HR numbers, nothing that would hurt him. And he was an RBI beast. He has 6 straight season of at least 110 RBIs, and had at least 120 in 5 of those seasons. And that doesn't include his league leading 116 RBIs in a 114 game season. He also won two of the major BBWAA awards, the Rookie of the Year and the MVP.
   42. God Posted: August 11, 2010 at 07:30 PM (#3614079)
Well if really wanted to get elected, he shoulda won the Cy too.
   43. base ball chick Posted: August 11, 2010 at 07:31 PM (#3614081)
it will be VERY interesting to see what the writers do with bonds and clemens. i mean, the only "evidence" on clemens is the lying trainer (wheres the DNA evidence on the supposed bloody stuff) but everyone seems to really REALLY want him to be guilty. i didn't realize how much hate there was (except for red sox fans) to clemens floating around - i mean - bonds, yeah, but clemens????

but they are both no QUESTION inner circle hof

but i wouldn't be surprised to see the writers keep bonds out for spite and actually, i think that if roger had had some kind of initial teary confession when the report came out whether or not he was guilty, no one woulda cared at voting time

so right now i am thinking they will get mcgwire level support - not sure for how long over the next 15 years that would last
   44. Sean Forman Posted: August 11, 2010 at 07:46 PM (#3614095)
You guys don't think Clemens and Bonds have a chance to get in on the second ballot?


Look at McGwire. He is as a player a no doubt HOFer in terms of value, etc, yet he is stuck at 25%. I'm guessing 50% of the voters won't vote for "roiders" under any circumstances, and 25% will only vote for "roiders" who would have gotten in anyways without their "steroid years". I think they'll be stuck around 50% for the foreseeable future.

If you really look at the 500+ people who really vote there are a lot of people on there who just don't follow the game that closely and don't take it that seriously.

The average ballot has 6 votes on it which ends up being some mix of new guys and old guys. If half the voters are picking Bonds, Clemens and Palmeiro and half aren't and then they are mixing in three of the backlog and new guys, no one is reaching 75%. I think Maddux will be the only player to go in 2013-2014 and maybe beyond.

2014 adds Maddux, Kent, Thomas, and Mussina.




Also, I think folks are seriously underestimating the votes Juan Gonzalez will get.

Jeff Bagwell: .297, 449 HR, 1529 RBI, 1xMVP
Juan Gonzalez: .295, 434 HR, 1404 RBI, 2xMVP,

Plenty of writers will look at this and say Gonzalez is the better player.
   45. DCW3 Posted: August 11, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3614101)
I doubt Gonzalez gets much support. He was named in the Mitchell Report, and a lot of voters are going to think of him as a guy who was on a HoF trajectory and then fell apart.
   46. base ball chick Posted: August 11, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3614105)
dewitty,

about bagwell, i think that the not enough HR thing is gonna be the problem because everyone thinks that the Box is this homerrific park because of its first year. AND he didn't get to 500 homers neither.

but i also think that the only 1B since like 86 who is gonna get in no prob is frank thomas
   47. God Posted: August 11, 2010 at 08:11 PM (#3614111)
Look at McGwire.

I did look at him. I even mentioned him in my post. I guess I didn't get across the key distinction I was trying to articulate. While McGwire's Hall-worthiness is almost certainly a direct result of PEDs, Bonds's and Clemens's are not. They were slam-dunk Hall of Famers long before they picked up a needle.

I guess you're saying the voters are unlikely to make such a distinction?
   48. God Posted: August 11, 2010 at 08:13 PM (#3614113)
As to Gonzalez: Will the same writers who awarded him two undeserved MVPs continue to express an irrational exuberance about him? Or will they blackball him due to buyers' remorse?
   49. Sean Forman Posted: August 11, 2010 at 08:16 PM (#3614115)
I guess you're saying the voters are unlikely to make such a distinction?


I think some will and we've seen some say that, but will 50% of them? I don't see that happening. If McGwire was at 50%, then I would agree with you, but you are saying that 2/3rds of the voters who didn't vote for McGwire will vote for Bonds and Clemens. I think that is unlikely.
   50. base ball chick Posted: August 11, 2010 at 08:42 PM (#3614133)
i seriously doubt that juan gonzalez will even get anywheres near what even dale murphy got (let alone bagwell). especially because juangon is seen as a lifetime roider and he doesn't even have the - never sinned in his life - persona of dale murphy. also, he is looked at as a guy who was always getting paid for being on the DL
   51. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 11, 2010 at 09:01 PM (#3614150)
You guys don't think Clemens and Bonds have a chance to get in on the second ballot? I can see a lot of writers snubbing them the first year as a way to say "f--- you," but really even a three-year-old can see that they were Hall of Famers long before they're alleged to have started using. They won't get the votes of those writers who are using their vote punitively, but they should still get the votes of some writers who snubbed McGwire's entirely steroid-created candidacy.


Look at McGwire. He is as a player a no doubt HOFer in terms of value, etc, yet he is stuck at 25%. I'm guessing 50% of the voters won't vote for "roiders" under any circumstances, and 25% will only vote for "roiders" who would have gotten in anyways without their "steroid years". I think they'll be stuck around 50% for the foreseeable future.

I wouldn't bet a plugged nickel on the exact percentages Bonds and Clemens are going to get, but what Sean says has a distinct ring of plausibility to it. Not that I haven't said this a million times already.
   52. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 11, 2010 at 09:27 PM (#3614173)
3) Morris might make it in 2012, given how close he is to being off the grid. (We can hate it, sure, but he's in range for a last-minute sympathy vote.) If he's still on the ballot in 2013, it will definitely muddy the waters.

Doesn't history suggest that Morris' support will crater if he is still on the ballot when a slew of highly qualified candidates debut in 2013?

the argument is that a small guy like him (reality check - 5-11, 190) couldn't hit homers if he didn't do drugs

BB-Ref lists Bagwell at 6'0"/195. You know who else is listed at 6'0"/195? Jimmie Foxx, that's who. 534 HR. Nicknamed "The Beast."

Parenthetically, I'd love to see Mike Lupica climb up on a step ladder so he could look Bagwell in the eye and call him a little guy.
   53. OCF Posted: August 11, 2010 at 09:28 PM (#3614175)
i seriously doubt that juan gonzalez will even get anywheres near what even dale murphy got

Gonzalez is already guaranteed to not get anywhere with us at the Hall of Merit. But then, we're not the ones who voted him the MVP awards.

We have always had a "token appearances" rule: playing time below a certain small threshold in any give season does not restart a player's eligibility clock. That matters quite a bit for players whose careers ended in the first quarter of the 20th century, as it was pretty common for famous players (probably especially those who stayed in the game in some capacity) to get in occasional games well after their main career was over. More recently, that's less common (outside of Minoso), but the rule does apply to Gonzalez. In his case, his 1 AB for 2005 might as well not have happened for all the effect it has on rational evaluation, so we treat him as if his last year was 2004. That made him HoM-eligible for 2010, and he received exactly zero votes from 41 voters. The 109 players who were elected included the following non-HoF post-1960 OF and 1B; you can assume that we rank Gonzalez below all of them - well, almost all, we do have some eccentric voters:

Jose Cruz
Frank Howard
Tony Oliva
Dave Parker
Cesar Cedeno
Don Mattingly
Rusty Staub
Norm Cash
Albert Belle
Dale Murphy (Murphy appeared on 7 out of 41 ballots and was 29th overall)
Ken Singleton
Bobby Bonds
Fred McGriff
(And Edgar Martinez, who doesn't really count as OF/1B, and who was elected, and HoFers Perez, Puckett, Brock, Cedeno, and Rice)
   54. All you Need is Glove Posted: August 11, 2010 at 09:47 PM (#3614198)
Dear God,
Wouldn't you know best about the thoughts of the writers?
   55. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 11, 2010 at 10:14 PM (#3614217)
Thomas


I suspect that Thomas is going to march in first ballot for the same reason Clemens and especially Bonds will suffer: Steroids. People believe he didn't do them, whether they should or not. He'll go in, I've no doubt. On the subject of Piazza, I suspect he will also have less problem than some people think. He never tested positive, and nobody with any credibility other than Murray Chass has been in on a whispering campaign against him -- objectively, he's no better or worse off than Sosa, but people started crapping on Sosa over roids long before he retired, and continued to do it afterwards. Piazza, not so.

Also -- don't underestimate the hypocrisy and stupidity of the electorate; these people could easily talk themselves into voting for Clemens but not Bonds or McGwire, Clemens and Bonds but not McGwire, and so on. Bonds did continue to win MVPs until the bitter end, and there's a lot of overlap in the voting groups.
   56. Lassus Posted: August 11, 2010 at 10:48 PM (#3614234)
I guess you're saying the voters are unlikely to make such a distinction?
Sean's answer was better, I would just go with 'yes'.
   57. Lars6788 Posted: August 11, 2010 at 11:07 PM (#3614243)
Juan Gonzalez gets little or no respect - you'd think he was a fourth outfielder or was just a little better than Joe Carter [probably the assumption here].

To #37 In his prime Bagwell was a bulked up beast - not implying he was on anything but to say he looked like the same in his first two or three years, then through his career is silly.

Looking at pictures of him in recent years, he actually looks normal, maybe a little deflated - maybe he went through the McGwire diet where he lost bulk after his playing career was effectively done.
   58. OCF Posted: August 11, 2010 at 11:52 PM (#3614259)
I don't think Gonzalez was a "fourth outfielder" or "just a little better than Joe Carter." But his problem is that if you go looking for people with roughly similar value, you find that it's a pretty crowded neighborhood. And yes, Jim Rice might be in that neighborhood, but that's more of an argument against Rice than an argument for Gonzalez. The best match I can come up with for Gonzalez is George Foster. What do you think of Foster as a candidate? Roger Maris has less career, but may be pretty similar for peak (including the two MVP's) - except for that pesky notion of the AL as the weak league in Maris's time. More career, less peak? How about Al Oliver, Brian Downing, or Chili Davis? Albert Belle and Jose Canseco can be used to match up to Gonzalez only I think both Belle and Canseco were better. And: Rocky Colavito, Darryl Strawberry, Pedro Guerrero, Dave Parker, Jose Cruz - you can make a pretty long list.
   59. base ball chick Posted: August 12, 2010 at 12:22 AM (#3614278)
what the hell, just use your initials or something Posted: August 11, 2010 at 05:27 PM (#3614173)

BB-Ref lists Bagwell at 6'0"/195. You know who else is listed at 6'0"/195? Jimmie Foxx, that's who. 534 HR. Nicknamed "The Beast."


- yeah, i know
and wandy rodriguez is listed at 5-11/190
and wesley wright is listed as 5-11/185

if you REALLY believe listings on guys who are obviously not over 6' i gots this bridge to sell you

cheap

adam everett was listed as 6-1 (which i think is correct) and he was OBVIOUSLY taller by 2-3" than bagwell
---------------------

Lars6788 Posted: August 11, 2010 at 07:07 PM (#3614243)

Juan Gonzalez gets little or no respect - you'd think he was a fourth outfielder or was just a little better than Joe Carter [probably the assumption here].


- he was a good player for a while and certainly got 1 undeserved MVP because of RBI totals. of course, i think joe carter was a good player too. and i think dale murphy was a good player too. just not hall of fame/hall of merit quality

To #37 In his prime Bagwell was a bulked up beast - not implying he was on anything but to say he looked like the same in his first two or three years, then through his career is silly.

Looking at pictures of him in recent years, he actually looks normal, maybe a little deflated - maybe he went through the McGwire diet where he lost bulk after his playing career was effectively done.


- bagwell started seriously lifting (to my eyes) around 95 - the year after his mvp - the strike year when he broke his wrist. he started having REAL trouble with his shoulder in 02 and (to my eyes) looked as if he had lost weight that year and certainly by 03 - LONG before testing. he looks the exact same to me today that he did on 05, his last hurrah. poor guy. his shoulder is so bad he needs joint replacement surgery and he can't pick up anything heavy with his right arm.

he certainly bulked up, especially in his upper body, but he wasn't ripped. best i understand, males are physically able to put on muscle weight with weight lifting - serious weight lifting - even IF they don't do steroids
   60. Walt Davis Posted: August 12, 2010 at 02:03 AM (#3614335)
The Bagwell comp du jour seems fairly obvious to me -- Edgar Martinez. Quite similar on raw rate stats, OPS+, not that far off on WAR (mostly baserunning and playing time ... although somehow Edgar comes out with more replacement value). Bagwell wins on counting stats but, of course, mainly wins by playing the field. This will give us a good read as to how big the BBWAA DH penatly is.

Bagwell however does have 1500+ runs and 1500+ RBI and, although those aren't "official" BBWAA milestones, I don't think there's anyone that's broken both of those and isn't in.

Jack Morris 14th 52.3%
Barry Larkin 4th 51.6%
Lee Smith 11th 47.3%
Edgar Martinez 4th 36.2%
Tim Raines 6th 30.4%
Mark McGwire 7th 23.7%
Alan Trammell 12th 22.4%
Fred McGriff 4th 21.5%
Don Mattingly 13th 16.1%
Dale Murphy 15th 11.7%
Barry Bonds 1st
Roger Clemens 1st
Mike Piazza 1st
Sammy Sosa 1st
Rafael Palmeiro 3rd
Curt Schilling 1st
Craig Biggio 1st
Jeff Bagwell 3rd
Larry Walker 3rd
Bernie Williams 2nd
John Franco 3rd
Juan Gonzalez 3rd
Kevin Brown 3rd
Kenny Lofton 1st


But here's the problem. As Sean mentioned, the average is around 6 names per ballot. That means there are 600 percentage points to dole out. The folks at the top of your list, if they maintain their most recent totals and nobody's elected, total 316 so we've got 284 points to play with.

Assume Piazza is in with 80%. Biggio will be close if not in, call him an Alomoar-esque 70%. I think Schilling has a good shot at the first ballot but call him 60%. We've now only got 74 points to play with and we still have:

Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro, Bagwell, Walker, etc. with not enough points to go around to keep guys on the ballot.

Now, obviously, things don't have to stay the same between now and then. Some names can get cleared off -- Larkin, Morris, Bagwell being the most likely. Voters might start listing more names and/or electing 3 (or more) per year. Unfairly, guys like Brown, Williams and Walker (and presumably Franco but I can't say that's unfair and hopefully Palmeiro because anybody who's willing to vote for the steroid guys but wastes a vote on Palemiro at the expense of a Walker or Williams or Brown is a moron) will quite possibly be gone by then (or fall well below 5% on that ballot). Another likely scenario is that the support for Morris, Smith, McGriff, Mattingly and Murphy plummets (alas probably taking Raines and Trammell along with them).

But the notion that there's not a big-ass problem staring us in the face isn't right. And it doesn't let up -- Maddux, Thomas, Glavine, Kent and Mussina (along with HoVG but probably quickly gone candidates like Wells, L Gonzalez, M Alou) join the ballot in 2014 (with only Murphy dropping off). To me, that's three shoo-ins and two guys who probably should get in -- with Maddux at something close to 100%, those 5 guys could easily eat up 300+ percentage points themselves in a normal year (100, 80, 70, 40, 30). Too soon to tell but the 2015 ballot will include Randy Johnson, Smoltz and Sheffield (with nobody dropping off due to the 15-year limit).

In my estimation, 14-15 (still undecided on Lofton) should-be HoFers join the ballot from 2013-2015. I am reasonably certain that McGwire, Edgar, Raines and Trammell will all still be there. Hopefully Walker will be too along with Brown and Bernie (and hopefully Bagwell in already). Even if they manage to elect 2 guys each in 2013-14, I am going to have something like 18-20 guys I would want to vote for.
   61. John DiFool2 Posted: August 12, 2010 at 02:29 AM (#3614344)
The # of votes/ballot almost certainly will go up-not that that will prevent the clusterf*** of course.
   62. DanG Posted: August 12, 2010 at 03:06 AM (#3614359)
I don't think Gonzalez was a "fourth outfielder" or "just a little better than Joe Carter." But his problem is that if you go looking for people with roughly similar value, you find that it's a pretty crowded neighborhood.
True. Here's a list of 1B and corner-OF types since 1900 with similar OPS+ and PA to Juan Gon:

Rk              Player OPS+   PA WAR/pos From   To   Age    G   AB
1    Darryl Strawberry  138 6326    42.9 1983 1999 21
-37 1583 5418
2          Chuck Klein  137 7168    39.2 1928 1944 23
-39 1753 6486 H
3          Brian Giles  136 7835    42.7 1995 2009 24
-38 1847 6527
4        Dolph Camilli  136 6352    43.0 1933 1945 26
-38 1490 5353
5           Bill Terry  136 7111    55.4 1923 1936 24
-37 1721 6428 H
6          Boog Powell  134 7810    39.7 1961 1977 19
-35 2042 6681
7        Juan Gonzalez  132 7155    33.5 1989 2005 19
-35 1689 6556
8            Mo Vaughn  132 6410    25.8 1991 2003 23
-35 1512 5532
9           Rico Carty  132 6318    31.4 1963 1979 23
-39 1651 5606
10      Rocky Colavito  132 7559    46.4 1955 1968 21
-34 1841 6503
11      Bill Nicholson  132 6418    39.0 1936 1953 21
-38 1677 5546
12          Tony Oliva  131 6879    42.4 1962 1976 23
-37 1676 6301
13       Greg Luzinski  130 7514    28.2 1970 1984 19
-33 1821 6505
14       Minnie Minoso  130 7710    52.8 1949 1980 23
-54 1835 6579
15       David Justice  129 6601    39.7 1989 2002 23
-36 1610 5625
16          Bob Watson  129 6962    30.5 1966 1984 20
-38 1832 6185
17         Moises Alou  128 7913    38.2 1990 2008 23
-41 1942 7037
18         Ryan Klesko  128 6516    26.7 1992 2007 21
-36 1736 5611
19          Tim Salmon  128 7039    37.6 1992 2006 23
-37 1672 5934
20          Kent Hrbek  128 7137    35.3 1981 1994 21
-34 1747 6192
21     Magglio Ordonez  127 7385    36.8 1997 2010 23
-36 1756 6649
22       Don Mattingly  127 7721    39.8 1982 1995 21
-34 1785 7003
23         Bobby Veach  127 7557    43.6 1912 1925 24
-37 1821 6656
24       George Foster  126 7812    42.5 1969 1986 20
-37 1977 7023 


Only two are in the HOF (Terry, Klein). Likewise, only two are in the HoM (Terry, Minoso).
   63. Sean Forman Posted: August 12, 2010 at 03:54 AM (#3614366)
I suspect that Thomas is going to march in first ballot for the same reason Clemens and especially Bonds will suffer: Steroids.


I understand what you are saying, but what happens when you have 50% never steroids voters and 50% steroids voters and the 50% never steroids voters have Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, etc. etc. already on their ballot and are pissed off at the 50% never steroids voters and leave Thomas off their ballots. There are so many good candidates that even with 8 votes per ballot I think you end up with a situation where Thomas doesn't quite make it in.
   64. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: August 12, 2010 at 03:54 AM (#3614367)
Bonds did continue to win MVPs until the bitter end, and there's a lot of overlap in the voting groups.

I don't think that matters. I think voters may draw a distinction, and it's a reasonable one to draw. Bonds played those seasons and was superb and helped his team win a lot of games. Regardless what he did or didn't do, he wasn't suspended or caught cheating, and his performance in those specific seasons had to be rewarded. But the HOF is a different beast. No one has to be honored. It's not supposed to be strictly a measure of value. There is the "character" clause. Some voters may not think through it such a nuanced fashion, but I could certainly understand someone thinking it made sense to honor Bonds as an MVP, but choose not to vote him for the Hall.
   65. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 12, 2010 at 04:08 AM (#3614373)
if you REALLY believe listings on guys who are obviously not over 6' i gots this bridge to sell you

Don't worry, I don't really believe listed heights and weights. Foxx was more like 5'10" himself. Anyway, try this one instead: Willie Mays, 5'10"/170. 660 HR. "Little" guys certainly can hit home runs. But you knew that.
   66. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 13, 2010 at 06:19 AM (#3615346)
While McGwire's Hall-worthiness is almost certainly a direct result of PEDs, Bonds's and Clemens's are not. They were slam-dunk Hall of Famers long before they picked up a needle.


Big Mac hit 49 HR in 150 games to set the rookie record, with skinny arms and before he started taking steroids. that's a HOF start.Then he got on the juice and his performance plummeted while he became frequently injured.
   67. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 13, 2010 at 06:45 AM (#3615347)
I think you end up with a situation where Thomas doesn't quite make it in.


I guess I'm just not a catastrophist on quite that level. I will say this: a Hall of Fame without Frank Thomas in it is an utterly meaningless institution.
   68. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 13, 2010 at 08:14 AM (#3615353)
The 109 players who were elected included the following non-HoF post-1960 OF and 1B; you can assume that we rank Gonzalez below all of them - well, almost all, we do have some eccentric voters:


Shouldn't that be, "The 109 players who received votes..."?

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