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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Chicago Tribune: Our voters say Dawson, Gossage deserve baseball’s ultimate honor

Nine voters walk in…and only ONE STINKIN’ VOTE FOR RAINES emerges.

Or as first time HOF voter Teddy Greenstein said…

My one indulgence on the ballot is Don Mattingly, a beacon of class and excellence (nine Gold Gloves, six consecutive All-Star teams) who thrived while George Steinbrenner poisoned the Yankees.

Hey, if you’re not going to vote for your favorite all-time player the first time you get your hands on a ballot, what’s the point? I’m not a robot.

Repoz Posted: January 05, 2008 at 11:27 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Roy Hobbs of WIFFLE Ball Posted: January 06, 2008 at 12:12 AM (#2661275)
First, Downey:

A single no-brainer: Andre Dawson with his 2,774 hits and 438 home runs. (Joe DiMaggio had 2,214 and 361.)


Well, Rice beats out The Clipper in both categories too. But that's beside the point this is a horrible standard for comparison that probably caused Joe D. to spin in his grave.

Too many good candidates, not enough great ones … you know, kind of like in the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses.


Mike must have missed Barack Obama's speech Tuesday night in Iowa. It was great.

Second, Dave Van Dyck:

Tommy John: He won 288 games, despite spending parts of his career (pre- and post-surgery) as a reliever.


That's technically true, but John only logged 60 relief appearances in 26 years. When he came back from the surgery he went straight back into the rotation and logged seven 200 IP seasons over his next eight campaigns (it would've been eight in a row if not for the strike year). And he never had a season in his career where he had more relief appearances than starts. I could probably think of some decent reasons to vote for John, but that isn't one of them.
   2. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 06, 2008 at 12:47 AM (#2661290)
Well, Rice beats out The Clipper in both categories too. But that's beside the point this is a horrible standard for comparison that probably caused Joe D. to spin in his grave.


If one wanted to be fair to Downey, you could say that he's recognizing Dawson as a centerfielder and that more is expected offensively of a corner outfielder like Rice.

Tommy John: He won 288 games, despite spending parts of his career (pre- and post-surgery) as a reliever.


Tommy John is 8th all-time in games started (and Clemens and Maddux just passed him this season).
   3. OCF Posted: January 06, 2008 at 12:49 AM (#2661291)
Is it best for a Hall of Fame candidate to have his best years early in his career or late in his career? I'd think the answer is early, because the image of the player gets fixed in people's minds early, and everything else is translated through that image - if you already think a player is great, you interpret everything he does as great; if you already think he's ordinary, then you don't give him the benefit of the doubt, and may interpret hints of greatness as some kind of fluke. A good example of this is Dwight Evans - a legitimately great player, but his performance grew slowly and snuck up on people. (That, and he had a low BA.) It's much better to be great early in one's career - but there's a catch. The catch is that someone has to notice. Dawson and Raines were both great players in Montreal - Raines greater, of course. (I can't really support a Dawson-for-HoF campaign myself, but I don't think those who do make that case are being ridiculous.) But no one really noticed. Eventually both Raines and Dawson played in Chicago, and I take it from the headline (I didn't read the article) that this is a Chicago writers' story. Raines was a good player for the White Sox, but not really a special player - and that must be how these writers see him. In truth, Dawson wasn't really a special player in Chicago either - his best years were back in Montreal - but he does have that bogus 1987 MVP award to color the impression.
   4. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 06, 2008 at 01:16 AM (#2661304)
If he had dominated over a longer period, he would have received my vote.

A quote about Jim Rice? Nope, he voted for Rice. It's about Tim Raines.
   5. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: January 06, 2008 at 01:47 AM (#2661327)
I don't get it.

On one hand, the MSM baseball writers repeat constantly the mantra that teams need a "true" leadoff man, batting average, and team speed.

On the other hand, you have the best example this side of Rickey Henderson of a "true" leadoff man, who is a .294 career hitter, had 808 career SB, blinding speed, and 1571 career runs scored, and he isn't necessarily considered a HOFer at all, let alone a slam-dunk, surefire HOFer?

This isn't even about scouts-vs-stats, Raines's 123 OPS+, or .385 career OBP. One would think that the mainstream stats and reputation would be plenty. I guess he didn't make enough AS teams, or have enough postseason heroics, or play for enough good teams, but the idea that anyone would consider Mattingly over Raines for the HOF is just silly.
   6. Sparkles Peterson Posted: January 06, 2008 at 02:01 AM (#2661341)
Is it best for a Hall of Fame candidate to have his best years early in his career or late in his career? I'd think the answer is early, because the image of the player gets fixed in people's minds early, and everything else is translated through that image - if you already think a player is great, you interpret everything he does as great...


Plus you may get the Kirby Puckett treatment and have the writers just assume you would have been as great approaching 40 as you were ten years earlier. Jim Edmonds would have been the more extreme version of your Dwight Evans example had he avoided injury these last few years, and I suspect he still would have come up short for the reasons you mentioned.
   7. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: January 06, 2008 at 02:10 AM (#2661347)
A single no-brainer: Andre Dawson with his 2,774 hits and 438 home runs. (Joe DiMaggio had 2,214 and 361.)

Well, Rice beats out The Clipper in both categories too.

The comparison doesn't just show Dawson beating DiMaggio, but substantially beating him in both categories.

Tommy John: He won 288 games, despite spending parts of his career (pre- and post-surgery) as a reliever.

Now that's just bizarre. Normally I cut sportswriters a lot more slack than that, but . . . OK, so he spent one month in the bullpen in 1985. That didn't cost him 12 wins. In 1964, he was terrible, going from the rotation, to the bullpen, to the minors, bombing his return start badly, and going back to the bullpen. Oh, then he spent 3-4 weeks in the rotation in 1965.

Is it best for a Hall of Fame candidate to have his best years early in his career or late in his career? I'd think the answer is early,

In general, yeah, but there's never one good answer. Hang around time won't help Fred McGriff, and Raines has his detractors. I guess it depends how you do in that hang around time and how big your numbers end up.
   8. John Northey Posted: January 06, 2008 at 02:12 AM (#2661349)
You want sad? Two votes for Mattingly, one for Raines. Sigh.

FYI: For those who haven't checked, Fred McGriff had a longer peak than Mattingly at the same level of offense. Yup. Fred McGriff, who many figure will be the highest non-steroid guy in HR outside the hall.
   9. John Northey Posted: January 06, 2008 at 02:27 AM (#2661358)
Just posted this with the article on their site. Figure it puts things in terms anyone in the media should understand.

I'm a big Raines booster (being Canadian and all) and find it amazing that so many don't seem to know he reached base more often (hits plus walks plus hit by pitch) than Tony Gwynn and Lou Brock while making fewer outs. To me that is a big part of what you want out of a leadoff hitter. The other parts, stolen bases and runs scored Raines compares favorably to both of the in as well.

To compare...
Times on base
Brock: 3833
Gwynn: 3955
Raines: 3977

Outs
Brock: 7823
Gwynn: 6662
Raines: 6670

So Raines made 8 more outs than Gwynn but made it onbase 22 more times. Fair trade I'd say.

Raines stole 130 fewer than Brock but also was caught stealing 161 fewer times. Raines also stole 489 more than Gwynn while getting caught just 21 more times than Gwynn. Again, Raines wins by a landslide.

Runs Scored
Brock: 1610
Gwynn: 1383
Raines: 1571

So Raines loses to Brock here by 39 but has 188 over Gwynn.

To me Raines not being in while Brock and Gwynn were easy first round choices for over 75% of voters is a real shame.
   10. Teddy the Wonder Lizard Posted: January 06, 2008 at 02:53 AM (#2661371)
The comparison doesn't just show Dawson beating DiMaggio, but substantially beating him in both categories.



Substanitally, eh?? The kind of substanital that comes from an additional 3,100 at bats?? That kind of substantial?? Any comparison on DiMaggio and Dawson is ludicrous. Dawson's 119 OPS+ and marginal .805 career OPS pales in comparison to DiMaggio's 155 OPS+ and .977 OPS. Also must have forgetten where Dawson gave awat three years of his prime to fight in a war.

Only thing worse than supporting Downey's basis for his position is actually applying that basis in the first place.
   11. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: January 06, 2008 at 02:58 AM (#2661373)
Substanitally, eh?? The kind of substanital that comes from an additional 3,100 at bats?? That kind of substantial?? Any comparison on DiMaggio and Dawson is ludicrous.

The point I was trying to make wasn't that Dawson was better than DiMaggio. I was refuting Roy Hobbs's comparing Rice and Dawson. Rice just barely snakes over DiMaggio's marks and Dawson doesn't, so I didn't like the comparison made in post #1. I'm well aware Dawson wasn't nearly as good a player as the Yankee Clipper.
   12. Teddy the Wonder Lizard Posted: January 06, 2008 at 03:10 AM (#2661382)
The point I was trying to make wasn't that Dawson was better than DiMaggio. I was refuting Roy Hobbs's comparing Rice and Dawson. Rice just barely snakes over DiMaggio's marks and Dawson doesn't, so I didn't like the comparison made in post #1. I'm well aware Dawson wasn't nearly as good a player as the Yankee Clipper.


I hear you. Have the same issue with the Rice/Dawson comparison. Rice snakes over and Dawson doesn't because of the 1,600 extra AB's. Rice was a superior offensive player to Dawson in all meaningful categories. Dawson only enjoys Rice's borderline HOF status because he could play a little defense. They are far more comaparable to each other than DiMaggio. As you suggest, neither were good enough to be Joe DiMaggio's caddie.
   13. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 06, 2008 at 03:34 AM (#2661397)
The point I was trying to make wasn't that Dawson was better than DiMaggio. I was refuting Roy Hobbs's comparing Rice and Dawson. Rice just barely snakes over DiMaggio's marks and Dawson doesn't, so I didn't like the comparison made in post #1. I'm well aware Dawson wasn't nearly as good a player as the Yankee Clipper.

But the point is that comparing Dawson to Dimaggio is just as stupid as comparing comparing Rice to Dimaggio.
   14. Kyle S Posted: January 06, 2008 at 05:54 AM (#2661488)
Forget Mattingly... Harold Freakin' Baines got more votes out of this crowd than Raines did. I love the idea that Harold Baines' HOF candidacy is a referendum on the role of the DH. Give me a break.

This quote pisses me off (even though I think the guy's heart is in the right place):
It's also why I'm grateful I'll have more chances to vote for Raines in the future. But after three days of crunching numbers and weighing other considerations, I wasn't ready to vote for Raines—yet.

You know, you might actually not get that chance if he doesn't stay on the ballot. What if you decided Lou Whitaker or Dewey Evans are deserving? Oops!
   15. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 06, 2008 at 07:18 AM (#2661519)
A single no-brainer: Andre Dawson with his 2,774 hits and 438 home runs. (Joe DiMaggio had 2,214 and 361.)

Gary Gaetti had 2,280 and 360.
   16. Srul Itza At Home Posted: January 06, 2008 at 07:56 AM (#2661542)
Dawson only enjoys Rice's borderline HOF status because he could play a little defense.

No, because he could play very good defense in center field; could run; had a CF/RF Arm; and did not become useless after age 33.
   17. Comic Strip Person Posted: January 06, 2008 at 10:13 PM (#2661835)
A single no-brainer: Andre Dawson with his 2,774 hits and 438 home runs. (Joe DiMaggio had 2,214 and 361.)


Gary Gaetti had 2,280 and 360.


That's great. I had never quite realized that I was watching the second coming of The Yankee Clipper.

I think this point has been made recently in other threads, but this sort of tragic use of numbers by sportswriters makes the whole "get your head out of a spreadsheet and watch a game" insult even funnier.

Oh, and Downey, as usual, is wrong: it appears all 9 of these maroons are lacking brains.
   18. Comic Strip Person Posted: January 06, 2008 at 10:25 PM (#2661839)
I know that Downey picked Home Runs and Hits because they were convenient, and because they are key counting stats, but I was amused by what I found when I changed the stats:

There are only three batters with 10,000 plate appearances and fewer than 600 walks:

Vada Pinson (10,403/574)
Andre Dawson (10,769/589)
Bill Buckner (10,033/450)

That grouping doesn't surprise me at all.

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