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Friday, January 24, 2014

Chimelis: Only Boston Red Sox fans think David Ortiz is a Hall of Fame lock

Warning Chimelis: Low fuel level.

The election of Frank Thomas to the Baseball Hall of Fame has been treated as a groundbreaking step for the selection of future designated hitters.

Red Sox fans in particular seem prone to look at the first-year election of Thomas, who played 1,351 of his 2,322 games as a DH, as a sign that David Ortiz’ immortality will inevitably follow someday.

Don’t be so sure.

People are probably tired of arguing about the Hall of Fame vote, but baseball season is not that far away. Every time Ortiz adds to his current total of 431 home runs, the discussion of his place in history will be rekindled.

The bias against DH types is nonetheless fading, as we first saw when Jim Rice was elected.

What has not faded is the inclination of most Hall of Fame voters to exclude players under suspicion of steroids. This is not a comfortable subject in Boston, where Ortiz is as much revered as ... well, Paul Revere.

But the farther one travels from New England, the less the intoxicating aura of Big Papi resonates with the masses and probably with the voters. Ortiz is a hero of ours, but he is not everybody’s hero.

Repoz Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:55 AM | 161 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, red sox

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   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 24, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4645497)
The bias against DH types is nonetheless fading

One man's bias is another's proper evaluation. :)
   2. villageidiom Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4645500)
Red Sox fan or otherwise, I don't know anyone who thinks he is a "lock" for the HoF. Some think he has a decent case if he retires today; some think he needs a few more years of accumulation; some think he has no chance.
   3. BDC Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4645504)
Indeed, Ortiz might have had the best case if he'd retired the morning after the World Series.

I hope his doesn't become a contentious HOF case. He's a wonderful player who has done some astounding things (and I dislike the Red Sox quite a bit). It really is unimportant whether or not he gets an actual plaque.
   4. SG Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4645510)
I can't stand the Red Sox, but I'd be fine with Ortiz in the HOF provided Edgar Martinez gets in first.
   5. Traderdave Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4645514)
I can't decide which I hate more, the DH or the Sawx, but if he gets to 500 homers he's a lock. And he should be.
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4645520)

I hope his doesn't become a contentious HOF case. He's a wonderful player who has done some astounding things (and I dislike the Red Sox quite a bit). It really is unimportant whether or not he gets an actual plaque.


Agreed. Ortiz is a guy who definitely would campaign for himself though and I can see it getting testy. I mean I love the guy but a couple of times a year the emotion and spontaneity that led to "this is our ####### city" comes out in a "me first" kind of way. The fact that he doesn't have a contract beyond this year about guarantees that it will happen at least once this spring.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4645530)
In the unlikely event that he manages to play another ~750 games in the field, I'll be happy to consider him as a Hall of Fame candidate.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4645535)
I have no problem with DH being in the hof, it's the relatively short career that is holding him back. I consider DH to be basically 1st base, with no defensive value. So in order for a DH to earn my endorsement(not that it's worth anything) they have to be better offensive players than the average "hof" first baseman and Ortiz just doesn't have the career or peak to match up there.

(I really, really hate the ridiculous convulted argument "well it's harder to dh as witness by the Frank Thomas's of the world not performing as well at DH as they did as a position player." UGGGHHH....that is just a nutsoid argument.)

I just can't see an argument for Ortiz ahead of Giambi, and Giambi isn't a hofer.
   9. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4645539)
Thomas' election does bode well for Ortiz, but people should keep in mind that Thomas was much better than Ortiz. It's notable that Thomas shows up on Ortiz's "most similar" list, burt Ortiz isn't on Thomas' -- Thomas' list is filled with better players than Ortiz.

Ortiz is also not as good a candidate as Martinez, though both are similarly hampered by having gotten a late start.
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4645545)
How is Ortiz going to escape the steroid taint? (I'm not arguing he did or didn't use, just forecasting the behavior of the voters.)
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4645547)
It's like one of those ESPN fan polls.

WILL DAVID ORTIZ BE INDUCTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME?
Yes: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine
No: 46 other states

Like our earlier thread.

WILL SCOTT ROLEN BE INDUCTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME?
Yes: Missouri, Indiana
No: 48 other states

   12. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4645551)
How is Ortiz going to escape the steroid taint? (I'm not arguing he did or didn't use, just forecasting the behavior of the voters.)


Ortiz is incredibly popular with the press. He's a great quote and almost always available. He'll definitely lose some votes for it but I don't think he gets hit as much as a guy like Sosa. I think the soft/narrative/intangible stuff plays well for Ortiz. For every steroid issue there is all the post-season heroics and the team leader type of stuff. "This is our ####### city" was a HUGE deal around here and my sense is that it is perceived well around the country in a "hey, he rallied Boston around him" kind of way.
   13. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4645552)
How is Ortiz going to escape the steroid taint?


The same way Pettitte will. People like him.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4645553)
WILL BARRY BONDS BE INDUCTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME?
Yes: Northern California
No: 49 1/2 other states
   15. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4645554)
Ortiz is incredibly popular with the press.

You probably don't mean it this way, but that is a really brutal indictment of the whole process.
   16. Brett "The Hitman" Gardner Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4645555)
The last few elections seem to pretty clearly demonstrate that roughly 3/8th of voters will not vote for a player with even a hint of steroid speculation to them (ie, Piazza and Bagwell). Ortiz, arguably, is 'cleaner' than 'we all know' guys like Bonds and Clemens and failed test/admitted guys like Palmeiro, McGwire and Sosa because MLB and MLBPA were strangely willing to appear with Ortiz at his press conference regarding the '03 test and Weiner emphasized that there were disputed positives without expressly naming Ortiz. He is, however, certainly 'dirtier' than guys like Piazza and Bagwell. Leaving aside that there seems to be a huge portion of the electorate that is not currently open to a DH, Ortiz has literally no chance at the Hall based on the PED speculation hawks voting bloc.
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4645557)
You probably don't mean it this way, but that is a really brutal indictment of the whole process.


Yeah, I hadn't thought of it but you're right. The whole process is a joke anyway. To expand BDC's earlier comment at this point I'm more interested in the process than really caring who is in and who is out. A world where Jim Rice (one of my all time favorite players) is in but Barry Bonds isn't is just ridiculous and not at all representative of the history of the game.
   18. Jose Molina wants a nickname like "A-Rod" Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4645558)
The biggest factor in Ortiz' HOF case is Tom Kelly and his reluctance to give him a full time job.
   19. John Northey Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4645559)
Don't see it happening quickly, but after 20 years or so of retirement. The writers won't vote him in given the past history of PED users - if Clemens (who went to court and won) cannot get even 40 percent then I cannot see Ortiz, who is far, far below Clemens and has actually tested positive (although that positive test is controversial due to it being on the 'anonymous test'). I really cannot see him getting close to HOF via writers who would have 2 big reasons to vote again (DH, PED) and just two to vote for (hitting and post season).

I think 500 HR is the minimum he needs to get serious consideration (69 away and entering age 38 season). His 4 times being in the top 4 of MVP voting is a plus, but not winning is a negative. His 44 rWAR so far isn't enough to get any stat knowing voters going for him, while the DH will keep traditional voters away. Yeah, he is a vet committee selection in 2040/2050 or something.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4645563)
Since I mentioned them before, just curious, what is the Ortiz case over Giambi? Ortiz has more post season success, but rate wise there really isn't a difference. Giambi has the MVP award, the better peak, the better career....why would anyone put Ortiz in before Giambi?
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4645566)
Since I mentioned them before, just curious, what is the Ortiz case over Giambi? Ortiz has more post season success, but rate wise there really isn't a difference. Giambi has the MVP award, the better peak, the better career....why would anyone put Ortiz in before Giambi?


COUNT THE RINGZ!

ETA:
I mean, seriously, we just went through a few years of Jack Morris, you really think postseason doesn't matter?
   22. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4645567)
OK but we have to cut him in half first.
   23. SG Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4645568)
why would anyone put Ortiz in before Giambi?


Giambi has effectively admitted to using PEDs. Ortiz is doggedly hunting down the real steroid users.
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4645573)
Since I mentioned them before, just curious, what is the Ortiz case over Giambi? Ortiz has more post season success, but rate wise there really isn't a difference. Giambi has the MVP award, the better peak, the better career....why would anyone put Ortiz in before Giambi?


Perception. I think if you asked 100 writers to say which player had the better career without looking at any stats 75 of them would say Ortiz and then immediately talk about his longevity and post-season record. A quick look at BBRef shows that Giambi actually has a slight playing time edge right now and Giambi had a very good post-season record in his own right.

Compare it to college football. If two teams go 12-0 but one of them was #3 in the pre-season polls and one was unranked when the season started the team ranked higher at the start is going to be ranked higher at the end. The "pre-season polls" for Ortiz vs. Giambi are going to play in Papi's favor and I think we can be sure that a lot of the writer's don't get much beyond perception.
   25. Dale Sams Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4645588)
Exactly. You think of Giambi...did he carry the A's? Not to the WS. Did he carry the Yankees? No, he was just another big, hulking steroid user there. Meanwhile, Ortiz as well be Atlas.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4645591)
I mean, seriously, we just went through a few years of Jack Morris, you really think postseason doesn't matter?


I think it matters, but I don't see how it separates them. They are basically the same rate player in the post season, just Ortiz has been in more post seasons.

Ortiz's best season is equivalent to Giambi's third best season and they track on a year by year basis after that.

I understand the ring fascination, just don't see it as being enough to elevate Ortiz into hof range, while Giambi isn't. At best the post season makes them equal players and even that is somewhat silly since Ortiz isn't better in the post season than Giambi, hes just had more chances.
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4645593)
Ortiz wouldn't be a Jim Rice or Jack Morris bad selection, but he would still be a pretty piss poor selection for the hof.
   28. JRVJ Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4645598)
11, Why wouldn't Vermont not vote for Ortiz? (I can sort of see CT. splitting down the middle, but Vermont?).

FWIW, I would love for Ortiz to be inducted and I think he has the merits to be inducted at this time. However, my belief of what the HoF should be is somewhat different to what some Primates think it to be (I get the impression that the HoF is an abstraction to some Primates, where the neutralized stats are more important than other considerations).

To ME (and again, this is ME here), the HoF is GREATER for having a player with Ortiz's achievements inside it, than outside it.
   29. Dale Sams Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4645599)
Ortiz could play for five more years possibly. And he's got a lot less wear and tear on his body than Giambi.*

*Depending on how you look at it, I guess. Ortiz has less time in the field, but how much career extension did steroids give Giambi.

   30. dave h Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4645613)
Is this where one of us is obligated to point out that Ortiz never actually failed a test? That being said, Bagwell didn't either and he's clearly getting docked (I don't think Piazza really is, he's just getting screwed because he's a catcher). But of course the steroid voters aren't rational, and while Ortiz will lose a few votes what separates him most from Bonds and Clemens is that people like him. Right now he'd get voted in - the heroics in 2004 and 2013 are going to carry a lot of weight. When he actually comes up though some people are going to look at career stats (and while that might be mostly HR, you would think OPS+ will be mainstream by then) and he'll be borderline unless he piles on a few more good years.
   31. BDC Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4645616)
Here's a comps list centered on Giambi in terms of PA and OPS+, with parameters wide enough to include Ortiz.

Player               dWAR   PA OPSRfield WAR/pos  SB        Pos
Al Simmons           
-1.4 9518  133     67    68.6  88    *78/H93
Joe Medwick          
-4.9 8143  134     45    55.6  42    *7H/983
Duke Snider          
-5.9 8237  140    -22    66.6  99     *89H/7
Todd Helton          
-5.9 9453  133     74    61.2  37    *3/H7D9
Sherry Magee         
-8.3 8544  137     25    59.1 441 *7839/64H5
Edgar Martinez       
-9.7 8674  147     17    68.1  49     *D5/H3
Vladimir Guerrero   
-10.6 9059  140      7    59.7 181    *9D/H87
Will Clark          
-10.8 8283  137      0    56.4  67      *3/HD
Jesse Burkett       
-10.9 8317  143     -8    57.3 338  *7/981645
Jack Clark          
-13.4 8230  137    -21    52.9  77  *93DH/875
Orlando Cepeda      
-14.2 8698  133     -9    50.2 142   *37D/H95
David Ortiz         
-17.5 8249  139    -14    44.0  15       *D3H
Carlos Delgado      
-17.9 8657  138    -65    44.4  14    *3D/7H2
Willie Stargell     
-19.8 9027  147    -70    57.3  17    *73H/98
Jason Giambi        
-20.2 8838  140    -83    51.2  20   *3DH7/59 


Giambi is comfortably ahead of Ortiz in WAR, because his career is longer and he was a better peak player, a deserving MVP. But Ortiz being ahead on dWAR shows why people struggle over how WAR treats the DH. Giambi was also a better defensive player. Or still is, I guess, isn't he on the Cleveland roster for some unknown reason?
   32. John Northey Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4645620)
Ortiz had a bit more PED smoke than Bagwell did thanks to that Times article putting him on the list that had A-Rod on it. What lesson did we learn from it all? A-Rod did the wrong thing by admitting, Ortiz the right thing by saying 'nope, never, not talking about it'. Dumb, but the way it is.

I remember the Ben Johnson mess (100 meter dash, 1988 Olympics) where afterwards at the inquiry we had up here in Canada one female runner said what the policy was - deny, deny, deny and if caught keep denying as telling the truth will only result in more penalties. Then the IOC confirmed it for her when Johnson confessed and he then lost all medals, awards, records, etc. rather than just losing the 1988 gold. Meanwhile the well known steroid abusers in East Germany kept all their medals because they never confessed even thought he evidence was a mile long.

So lesson learned by all MLB players. Deny, and stay quiet after that. Do not answer questions and hope it goes away. Or if you must confess do it like Pettitte and say it was 'just to get healthy' so you could come back and 'help the team'.
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4645623)
Is this where one of us is obligated to point out that Ortiz never actually failed a test?


This is where I'll point out Manny Ramirez never actually failed a test...until he pissed off the Red Sox front office and was shipped out of town. Then suddenly he couldn't pass a test if his career depended on it.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4645625)
11, Why wouldn't Vermont not vote for Ortiz? (I can sort of see CT. splitting down the middle, but Vermont?).


The ongoing battle over his claims of the superiority of Wisconsin cheese over Vermont's. Don't even bring up his name around Luis Guzman.
   35. bjhanke Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4645631)
I agree completely with John Northey. I got to watch what happened when Mark McGwire listened to his lawyers and "refused to talk about the past" and then what happened after he admitted. Admitting does you NO good. The haters will not cut you a break. McGwire should have listened to his lawyers, but he thought coming clean and coaching hitting would help him. Nope. Not for steroid haters. - Brock Hanke
   36. Dale Sams Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4645633)
ARod admitted because he'd been caught. And because there was a crap load of evidence, including exactly what he took.

   37. BrianBrianson Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4645636)
Yeah, but then Ben Johnson got that endorsement deal with Cheetah energy drink, so there's that. Wouldn't have got that without a confession.
   38. micker17 Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4645637)
Ortiz is a steroid user. All the A-List steroid users like Clemens, Bonds and ARod have to be inducted into the Hall before the marginal candidates who were steroid users like Giambi and Ortiz even merit consideration.
   39. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4645639)
The bias against DH types is nonetheless fading, as we first saw when Jim Rice was elected.


I don't really see this. Edgar Martinez's HOF vote total was extremely stable his first four years on the HOF ballot (36.2%, 32.9%, 36.5%, 35.9%) and he took one of the bigger hits from the capped ballot this year. Molitor's and Thomas's elections show that there's not an absolute "we won't count any time at DH as being a real baseball player" voting block (large enough to keep guys out), but Molitor and Thomas both saw more significant time playing the field than Edgar or Papi (e.g., Thomas was a 1B for both of his MVPs) and hit a magical career milestone (3,000 hits, 500 HRs).

I could be convinced to vote for David Ortiz, but I'd be a little surprised if he does better in voting than Edgar Martinez. And I'd be a little surprised if Edgar Martinez ever breaks 40% in Hall-of-Fame voting by the BBWAA.
   40. Srul Itza Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4645654)
Ortiz isn't better in the post season than Giambi, hes just had more chances.


Only if you view all the rounds as inter-changeable.

In the World Series, though, Ortiz rules

Giambi: .235/.409/.471/.880
Ortiz: .455/.576/.795/1.372

That is going to attract attention.
   41. Srul Itza Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4645656)
Ortiz wouldn't be a Jim Rice or Jack Morris bad selection, but he would still be a pretty piss poor selection for the hof.


Only if you keep confusing the Hall of Fame for the Hall of WAR.
   42. Srul Itza Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4645664)
Edgar is not only hurt by being a DH. He is also hurt because he is being voted on for his hitting, but his career totals are meager for a hitting candidate -- 309 HR, 2,247 hits, 1,261 RBI, 1291 R. And for a lot of voters, walks and OBP really don't carry any weight, pro or con. If you are going to make it with a good batting average, like Boggs and Gwynn and Carew, you better also pile up the hits and the batting titles. Edgar has 2 batting titles.

Ortiz is at 431 HR, 2,023 Hits, 1,429 RBI, 1,208 R. Give him another 2-3 years at decent rates of production, and those numbers start to be more impressive to a wide swath of voters.

As for the anti-PED vote, Ortiz is not going to be on the ballot for another 8 years, probably. He will then have 15 years on the ballot, since I don't see him dropping off. We'll see who the electorate is, and how it's feeling about PEDs, 20 years from now.
   43. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4645669)
I could be convinced to vote for David Ortiz, but I'd be a little surprised if he does better in voting than Edgar Martinez. And I'd be a little surprised if Edgar Martinez ever breaks 40% in Hall-of-Fame voting by the BBWAA.

It really would be a terrible mistake to put Ortiz in and not Edgar.

Edgar just dominates Ortiz in pretty much every conceivable measure of value.
   44. Danny Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4645673)
Player    PA    AVG/OBP/SLG   OPSrWAR  fWAR  Postseason
Ortiz    8249 .287
/.381/.549  139  44.2  40.9  .962 OPS
Berkman  7814 .293
/.406/.537  144  51.8  55.8  .949 OPS 
   45. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4645678)
I think it matters, but I don't see how it separates them. They are basically the same rate player in the post season, just Ortiz has been in more post seasons.


And Jack Morris was pretty much the same pitcher he always was in the postseason, except for one game. I am not saying Ortiz will get in, or even deserves to, but if you can't see why a lot of voters (about 65% of them based on Morris) will view Ortiz more favorably than Giambi then I don't know what to tell you.

EDIT:

To be clear - I am saying that about 65% of the voters are idiots and vote based off of their assumptions, not the actual numbers.
   46. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4645693)
3 rings on his finger. How many rings had Boston won in the previous 80 years?

The perception of the Red Sox today versus the reality we fans had to endure for decades as hard luck losers and the Yankees biyatch is pretty extraordinary to any fan over 30.

For Sox fans Big Papi's legacy is on solid ground - even statue territory. This Selig HOF? …Whatever.
   47. Captain Supporter Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4645702)
No different than Barry Bonds.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4645704)
3 rings on his finger. How many rings had Boston won in the previous 80 years?

The perception of the Red Sox today versus the reality we fans had to endure for decades as hard luck losers and the Yankees biyatch is pretty extraordinary to any fan over 30.

For Sox fans Big Papi's legacy is on solid ground - even statue territory. This Selig HOF? …Whatever.


Totally fair about his place among Sox fans, but, it's all about the rings and the emotion.

He's Bernie Williams, not a HoFer.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4645706)
No different than Barry Bonds.

I can't stand Barry Bonds, but whatever his steroid crimes, you could cut his career in thirds, and each one would be better than Ortiz's whole career.
   50. AROM Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4645722)
Giambi is comfortably ahead of Ortiz in WAR, because his career is longer and he was a better peak player, a deserving MVP. But Ortiz being ahead on dWAR shows why people struggle over how WAR treats the DH. Giambi was also a better defensive player. Or still is, I guess, isn't he on the Cleveland roster for some unknown reason?


Ortiz has played enough 1B (263 games) in his career for us to have a good record of his ability there. Per season, he's a -5 run fielder. Not a good defender but certainly no disaster out there, as he proves when a WS or interleague game puts him at first.

Giambi has played a lot more at first, 1307 games, and is also a career -5 defender there on a per season basis. Both of them play first base at a level where you should be indifferent to whether they play first or DH (as opposed to a Hernandez, who you never want to see at DH, and a Dick Stuart, who you never want at first if DH is an option.). Giambi playing more in the field is mostly a function of different team circumstances.

Speaking of comps, look how close Carlos Delgado and Ortiz are in almost every stat, including an identical WAR, but down to the small stuff too like triples (18 each) and caught stealing (8).
   51. villageidiom Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4645729)
It really would be a terrible mistake to put Ortiz in and not Edgar.
If Ortiz got in, would that improve Edgar's chances at enshrinement? If Edgar got in, would that improve Ortiz's chances at enshrinement?

I don't have a good sense of how much the vote against either one is (or in Ortiz's case, would be) fueled by being primarily a DH. To the extent that it is, I think either getting in helps the other. For that matter, Frank Thomas getting in should help both in that regard.

I tend to think that if the vote is fueled by narrative, Ortiz getting in won't help Edgar, but Edgar getting in will help Ortiz. The case for Edgar frankly lacks narrative relative to Ortiz.

If the vote is fueled by objective stats... who am I kidding?
   52. jobu Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4645735)
For Sox fans Big Papi's legacy is on solid ground - even statue territory. This Selig HOF? …Whatever.


The appropriate recognition of Big Papi is exactly a statue outside of Fenway. Sox fans can show their kids the statue and talk about what he meant to the team. I wouldn't have a problem with him in Cooperstown, but there is a boatload of candidates ahead of him, in my view. I haven't been the HOF in a long time, but I assume that there is some sort of Big Papi memorabilia there commemorating the Bosox WS victories.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4645736)
Ortiz has played enough 1B (263 games) in his career for us to have a good record of his ability there. Per season, he's a -5 run fielder. Not a good defender but certainly no disaster out there, as he proves when a WS or interleague game puts him at first.

Giambi has played a lot more at first, 1307 games, and is also a career -5 defender there on a per season basis. Both of them play first base at a level where you should be indifferent to whether they play first or DH (as opposed to a Hernandez, who you never want to see at DH, and a Dick Stuart, who you never want at first if DH is an option.). Giambi playing more in the field is mostly a function of different team circumstances.


I don't think that's quite fair. Not having to play the field very likely allowed Ortiz to stay healthier than he would have if he played 1B. That should be accounted for.
   54. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4645755)

I don't think that's quite fair. Not having to play the field very likely allowed Ortiz to stay healthier than he would have if he played 1B. That should be accounted for.


Playing as little as he does also limits his reps out on the field - meaning Ortiz could very well have been a better than -5 defender if he played the position regularly.
   55. AROM Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4645757)
I tend to think that if the vote is fueled by narrative, Ortiz getting in won't help Edgar, but Edgar getting in will help Ortiz. The case for Edgar frankly lacks narrative relative to Ortiz.


Ortiz will play 2014, and might play a few years beyond that. So he won't be on a HOF ballot for probably 8-10 years. If he gets in after that, it will be too late to help Edgar anyway.
   56. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4645777)
Ortiz has played enough 1B (263 games) in his career for us to have a good record of his ability there. Per season, he's a -5 run fielder.

That's a bit like judging a marathon runner by his total time in 26 widely separated one-mile races. Every team that has had him chose not to play Ortiz regularly at 1st base. Might be a reason for that.
   57. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4645786)
Interesting possibility that MSM would dock Edgar and Papi for not playing in the field, but ignore Cabrera's bad defense vis-a-vis Trout in MVP discussions. Apparently playing in the field is just a participation ribbon. You just have to show up.
   58. The Original SJ Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4645789)
As a fan of baseball, I hope Ortiz does make it to the Hall. It will mean the writers have lifted their de facto PED ban on modern day players and the museum can represent history again.
   59. BDC Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4645791)
Every team that has had him chose not to play Ortiz regularly at 1st base. Might be a reason for that

Yes, it's interesting. The contention is that the Red Sox have been so stacked with slugging first basemen that Ortiz has to go to DH to keep his bat in the lineup, and there's enough truth in that to make it an intriguing point. OTOH, Ortiz's hypothetical 1B career is an argument along the order of AROD should have been playing SS for the Yankees, or Ichiro CF for the Mariners. It simply didn't happen.
   60. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4645803)
WILL DAVID ORTIZ BE INDUCTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME?
Yes: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine
No: 46 other states


David Ortiz : Hall of Fame :: Michael Dukakis : Presidency
   61. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4645817)
Perhaps the argument that Ortiz has played enough 1st base to allow us to judge what his career would have been had he played there regularly, actually undermines Ortiz's HoF case. Ortiz as DH: .290/.385/.558; Ortiz as 1st baseman: .270/.360/.507.
   62. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4645820)
Interesting possibility that MSM would dock Edgar and Papi for not playing in the field, but ignore Cabrera's bad defense vis-a-vis Trout in MVP discussions. Apparently playing in the field is just a participation ribbon.


There's also the way they credit RBI in MVP votes, but don't think about them hardly at all for the HoF. Witness Rickey Henderson: probably deserved three, maybe as many as five, MVPs, but only won one and finished in the top 3 two other times. But he waltzed into the Hall with one of the highest vote percentages of all time.
   63. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4645822)
I can't stand Barry Bonds, but whatever his steroid crimes, you could cut his career in thirds, and each one would be better than Ortiz's whole career.

Each Bonds third would still have zero rings, while Ortiz still has three.
   64. madvillain Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4645823)
I'd put him in the HOF with a couple more solid seasons, but my hall is not a Hall of WAR and I don't care that much about PEDs either. He's been a pretty damn big part of baseball for the past 8-10 years, sure some of that is having the fortune to play on great teams and some of that is SSS theatre in the post-season, but hey, dude's been money in that small sample -- why not give him credit for it?

I also don't care that he's primarily a DH. The rulebook includes a DH, give him a WAR penalty for it and move on. He's 80th all time in OPS+ so he's a pretty good guy to designate as your hitter.
   65. alilisd Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4645826)
but if he gets to 500 homers he's a lock. And he should be.


No, and no. 500 HR is not the lock it once was in the post Silly Ball world. Should he be? No, not if it's solely because of 500 HR. Could he be? Sure, especially if he plays out his career at a high level.
   66. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4645833)
I also don't care that he's primarily a DH. The rulebook includes a DH, give him a WAR penalty for it and move on.

Well, that's the point. By WAR (with the penalty - which is not big enough IMHO) he's grossly unqualified for the HoF.
   67. madvillain Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4645860)
Snapper, with the caveat that I'm probably half as knowledgeable about HOF debate stuff as yourself and quite a few here, a quick look at Ortiz' BREF page suggest more "borderline HOF" -- based solely on his regular season stats -- than "grossly unqualified", using the HOF Monitor, Black Ink, JAWS etc.


   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4645868)
Snapper, with the caveat that I'm probably half as knowledgeable about HOF debate stuff as yourself and quite a few here, a quick look at Ortiz' BREF page suggest more "borderline HOF" -- based solely on his regular season stats -- than "grossly unqualified", using the HOF Monitor, Black Ink, JAWS etc.

I said by WAR (44.2) he is grossly unqualified. While WAR is not the be all and end all, it's a pretty good start, and it's really hard to get from 50-55 career WAR (if he's lucky) to the HoF. Guys with 65-75 WAR (Walker, Edgar, Whitaker, Trammell, etc.) aren't getting close.

   69. madvillain Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4645876)
OK, seems like the voters are just idiots though, I'd have all 4 of those guys in the HOF, they were great players for a long period, which WAR shows.
   70. AROM Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4645879)
That's a bit like judging a marathon runner by his total time in 26 widely separated one-mile races. Every team that has had him chose not to play Ortiz regularly at 1st base. Might be a reason for that.


1. Bad analogy. You will certainly run 26 miles slower than the sum of 26 one mile runs. But there is no reason to think that a guy playing 150 games at a position one year will field it worse than the sum of fielding 10 scattered games per year over 15. In fact, it may very well be the opposite, as #54 implies.

2. Well, you have to DH somebody. Since Ortiz has joined the Red Sox they have gone with Kevin Millar, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, and Mike Napoli as regular first basemen. Those guys, and Ortiz, were all among the best batting options on the team, so they were all going to play somewhere. With Millar it seems like it was a toss up, with the others it's obvious that you want them in the field even Ortiz is not completely horrible at first.

His original team was Seattle. Had the Mariners not traded him Ortiz may well have come up and played regularly at first base through 2004, with Martinez blocking at DH.
   71. villageidiom Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4645882)
Each Bonds third would still have zero rings, while Ortiz still has three.
Depending on how you sliced him, two thirds of Bonds would have no fingers, making rings superfluous.
   72. BDC Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4645885)
There are a bunch of HOFers in the 44.2 range, though:

Player              WAR/pos
Ernie Lombardi         46.0
Heinie Manush          45.7
Edd Roush              45.6
Lou Brock              45.2
Fred Clarke            44.3
Travis Jackson         44.1
Chuck Klein            43.5
Frank Chance           42.9
Rabbit Maranville      42.8
Earle Combs            42.5
Red Schoendienst       42.2 


A few non-HOM guys, a couple of managers – but also, significant for Ortiz, a few associated with championship teams, leadership, and the postseason (Lombardi, Roush, Brock, Maranville, Jackson, Combs). And Chuck Klein, a pretty comparable pure hitter. Now, I don't know if any voters, BBWAA or Veterans, pay much attention to comparing candidates to Chuck Klein or Travis Jackson. But it's hardly like there's no precedent, even given modest WAR totals, for a player of Ortiz's credentials. And as many here have noted, he's not through yet.
   73. SandyRiver Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4645898)
Perhaps the argument that Ortiz has played enough 1st base to allow us to judge what his career would have been had he played there regularly, actually undermines Ortiz's HoF case. Ortiz as DH: .290/.385/.558; Ortiz as 1st baseman: .270/.360/.507.


Or perhaps not. BBRef shows him with 131 games at 1B for MN and 132 for BOS, 278 games at DH for MN and 1345 for BOS. His OPS+ for MN was 107 and for BOS it's 147 (these might be off by a point.) With a 50-50 split at 1st one might anticipate OPS+ of 127 there, while at DH the split is 17/83 which by simply counting games (not PA - I'd guess his PA/game were greater in BOS) which comes to OPS+ of 140 as DH.

Though he's the favorite player for this Sox homeboy, I see him as 2-3 decent seasons (and maybe one more nice PS) short of HOF. However, the 1B/DH splits merely reflect his usage and hitting for MN and BOS.
   74. villageidiom Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4645901)
With Millar it seems like it was a toss up, with the others it's obvious that you want them in the field even Ortiz is not completely horrible at first.
IIRC Ortiz had knee injuries in 2002 with the Twins that lingered throughout the season, and factored into Boston's decision to put him at DH more often than 1B in 2003. And in the first couple months of 2003 he wasn't even playing regularly, while they were trying out Shea Hillenbrand, Jeremy Giambi, Bill Mueller, Millar, and Ortiz for 3B/1B/DH. (By June, Hillenbrand was traded and Giambi was benched.)
   75. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4645906)
Depending on how you sliced him, two thirds of Bonds would have no fingers, making rings superfluous.


And if you accept the axiom of choice, you could cut Bonds into five pieces and assemble them into two Hall of Famers.
   76. Sonic Youk Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4645915)
Bleh, I'm not really looking forward to this. Ortiz isn't quite a deserving HOF, and I'd really hate to see his career reduced to endless piñata threads and tiresome memes, like Rice or Morris.
   77. Dale Sams Posted: January 24, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4645921)
As for the OP...it's not just Red Sox fans. A lot of MLB personnel were floating the idea after his monster post-season.

Btw...at what point did David Ortiz turn from jolly, smiling laughing Ortiz to "If you disrespect me, I will kill your family...and this phone."? Was it when Tito benched him, and let Lowell PH?
   78. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 24, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4645925)
Btw...at what point did David Ortiz turn from jolly, smiling laughing Ortiz to "If you disrespect me, I will kill your family...and this phone."? Was it when Tito benched him, and let Lowell PH?


That set him off. Then there was the thing about the lost RBI a few years ago too. As I noted up thread about once or twice a year Ortiz kind of loses his #### and it's a story for 2-3 days then it's over. Pedro had the same thing going on during his time with the Sox too.

He's on the last year of his contract, I'd bet on the word "disrespect" coming up before the end of April with respect to 2015 if that doesn't change.
   79. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 24, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4645928)
You will certainly run 26 miles slower than the sum of 26 one mile runs. But there is no reason to think that a guy playing 150 games at a position one year will field it worse than the sum of fielding 10 scattered games per year over 15.

Lot more endurance required to run the 26 miles at once, or play the 150 games in a single season rather than over 15. Injury risk is much greater, too.
   80. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 24, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4645932)
at what point did David Ortiz turn from jolly, smiling laughing Ortiz to "If you disrespect me, I will kill your family...and this phone."?


'Roid rage.
   81. cardsfanboy Posted: January 24, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4645938)
Only if you keep confusing the Hall of Fame for the Hall of WAR.


I consider it the hall of value, that confers fame on it's entrants. The silliness that Boston is more important than other cities is just not worth acknowledging. Ortiz is a good player, who is basically a better candidate than Rice or Morris, is ABSOLUTELY without a doubt, a significantly inferior candidate to Giambi, Edgar, Vlad or Thome.

3 rings on his finger.


Are you campaigning for Jack Morris? Isn't that massively more impressive than Ortiz doing it for the same team...Scott Brosius for the hof.

He's Bernie Williams, not a HoFer.


Exactly.

I don't think that's quite fair. Not having to play the field very likely allowed Ortiz to stay healthier than he would have if he played 1B. That should be accounted for.


More than that, it allowed him to sacrifice mobility and flexibility for power.

Bleh, I'm not really looking forward to this. Ortiz isn't quite a deserving HOF, and I'd really hate to see his career reduced to endless piñata threads and tiresome memes, like Rice or Morris.


I don't think that will happen. After a five year wait, he'll be properly evaluated, and the Bawston crowd will have moved on to another self involved cause of theirs. He's not getting in, and he doesn't remotely deserve to go in. Even 5 more years doesn't get him in, unless his roids really does kick it up a notch and he continues to age without any sign of decline and still manages to avoid the ped whispers.

   82. Ron J2 Posted: January 24, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4645947)
#81 Charlie Silvera's always been my guy for count the ringzzz arguments.

   83. Darren Posted: January 24, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4645969)
AROM, if you're still around--how did you arrive at the -15 penalty for DH (used on BBRef)? Was it as simple as 1B -5? Thanks.
   84. Srul Itza Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4645994)
I consider it the hall of value


Well that settles it, then. Because, in the end, it is all about you, isn't it?
   85. Srul Itza Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4645995)
He's not getting in


Well, that settles it. The Great Prognosticator has spoken.
   86. AROM Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4645997)
Darren, pretty much. I would have set it at -20, ten runs worse than a 1B, but the evidence of hitters performing better when not DHing convinced me to go with a 5 run penalty.
   87. Moeball Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4645999)
Ortiz isn't better in the post season than Giambi, hes just had more chances.

Only if you view all the rounds as inter-changeable.

In the World Series, though, Ortiz rules

Giambi: .235/.409/.471/.880
Ortiz: .455/.576/.795/1.372


And Barry Bonds' WS slash line is .471/.700/1.294/1.994 - I don't think it's helping him too much. Not only does he have the steroids taint but 80% of the BBWAA will still tell you to this day that Bonds was a guy who always choked in the clutch in the postseason. Once minds get made up about a narrative (Jack Morris or Bonds on the flip side of that coin), they never change.

I do agree with Srul's point, however, that usually WS heroics outweigh play in other rounds of the postseason, at least in the minds of the HOF voters. For example, we all know Reggie was known as Mr. October, primarily because of the 1977 WS, but he also had other outstanding WS performances as well, and his overall WS slash line is: .357/.457/.755 which is indeed exceptional.

But his career ALCS slash line is: .227/.298/.380, which is putrid and, the last time I checked, they play those games in October, too. But nobody ever talks about that. They just talk about the WS.

So I can believe a high % of HOF voters would give Ortiz considerable extra credit for his WS heroics.

Given that Ortiz is still adding to his resume we don't know what his final numbers will look like but he may reach 500 HRs and 1600-1700 RBIs. What I think will be interesting will be to see how Ortiz does percentage-wise compared to Bagwell. Didn't Bagwell start with like 41% his first year on the ballot? If Ortiz is considerably higher than that on the first year's balloting then we will have pretty good evidence that how adored you are by the media weighs much more heavily on the "steroid taint, however presumed" voting than the BBWAA would like to admit. Although, to be honest, by the time Ortiz is on the ballot, the ballot may not be nearly as loaded as what Bagwell's been going up against and, besides, Bagwell will probably be in by then.

Ortiz is a steroid user.


No, he isn't.

That isn't me talking there, that's a large chunk of the BBWAA who I guarantee will assure you he's never used. It doesn't fit their narrative.

As a fan of baseball, I hope Ortiz does make it to the Hall. It will mean the writers have lifted their de facto PED ban on modern day players and the museum can represent history again.


Unfortunately, it won't mean they've lifted the ban, it will mean they don't believe Ortiz used. Believing Ortiz used would destroy several carefully crafted narratives and the BBWAA doesn't want this to happen.

Ortiz is incredibly popular with the press.

You probably don't mean it this way, but that is a really brutal indictment of the whole process.


Yes it is, and I would take it to mean just that. It's a process that deserves to be indicted.
   88. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4646000)
I think people are dramatically underestimating the eventual strength of Ortiz's HOF case for voters:

1) First, people are talking like his counting stats are all done. Given his age, they could quickly come to an end pretty swiftly, but there is no evidence that he is about to turn into a pumpkin. His OPS+ for the last several seasons, starting with 2013 and working back, don't look like a decline of any kind: 160, 173, 154, 137, 102, 124, 171, 161, 158, 145, 144. A few years ago, it looked like he was all done (2008-2009), but he lost some of his belly, and adjusted his approach against lefties. He is a much better hitter against lefties than he was several years ago, and he still mashes righties. I would contend that the lost weight has contributed to him being able to wait a bit longer against lefties, and both the stat sheet and the eye test show he is "on" lefties in a way that he wasn't several years ago. There is every chance that he'll add enough counting stats to make the case meaningfully stronger.

2) The Rings! He is the only player to be on all three Red Sox championship teams...and he was a central piece of all three victories. He also was a key part of two near-misses: getting to Game 7 of the 2003 and 2008 ALCS. He is widely perceived as a (the?) leader of these teams, and he has a shocking number of Epic Moments in Really Big Games: He hit the HR to win Game 4 of the ALCS in extra innings, and keep the Red Sox alive. He hit a key HR late in game 5 of the ALCS to bring the Sox back, and then he hit the single deep in extra innings to send the series back to New York. He also hit the walk off to clinch the 2004 ALDS against the Angels. Perhaps you have heard about his bomb into the bullpen that Hunter almost caught that saved the Red Sox season against the Tigers in the 2013 ALCS? This isn't some team winning three rings in a decade - this is the Red Sox not winning any for 86 years, and then they win three in ten years, with crazy drama at key times along the way. He's the face of all of this, and the media know it - and they love it. If Jack Morris can almost get in off of a huge Game 7 pitching performance, then David Ortiz is going to get big points for being the central figure of three rings - for a much higher-profile franchise.

3) The Legend! Listen to other players, especially other Dominican players, talk about Ortiz. They love him. Ortiz has political skills - and I mean this as a compliment - that few players in recent history can match. The Yankees love him. Torii Hunter loves Ortiz, even after he almost broke his neck trying to catch his HR last fall. Even his dramatic moments are more dramatic than other beloved players' dramatic moments. Could Derek Jeter have possibly pulled off throwing down the "F" word to a national audience on live TV, and not only not get fined, but actually have an FEC Commissioner give him props?! He summed up one of the most stressful, saddening weeks this side of 9/11 for New Englanders in a stunningly effective way - and he is the only guy who could've pulled it off. Iconic.

Right or wrong, trying to compare Edgar Martinez to David Ortiz completely misses some of the enormous credits Ortiz will be bringing to the balance sheet. His case will be very warmly received by the voters.
   89. Karl from NY Posted: January 24, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4646001)
#88 said everything I was going to say. Ortiz has FAME in spades and then some. The voters will *want* to vote for him and will convince themselves to do so. Kirby Puckett is probably the best comp.
   90. Darren Posted: January 24, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4646003)

Darren, pretty much. I would have set it at -20, ten runs worse than a 1B, but the evidence of hitters performing better when not DHing convinced me to go with a 5 run penalty.


Have you crunched any numbers on how much players hit when in the field vs. DH? I know MGL did something with it a while back but wondered what you found.

   91. ptodd Posted: January 24, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4646010)
YR Is Surrounded by Yankees (the bad kind) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4645623)

This is where I'll point out Manny Ramirez never actually failed a test...until he pissed off the Red Sox front office and was shipped out of town. Then suddenly he couldn't pass a test if his career depended on it
.

Manny was on the same 2003 list, but you raise an interesting point. Is it possible some teams are tipping their players off about testing schedules or providing other assistance that helps them pass the tests?. Some teams seem like they never have any player test positive, especially in the North East.

Arod seemed to know a test was coming in one of his texts with Bosch. They are not supposed to know.
   92. Srul Itza Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM (#4646033)
Absolutely concur with 88.

I would wager that (1) he will get a plaque and (2) the word "clutch" will appear someone on it.
   93. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4646035)
Only if you keep confusing the Hall of Fame for the Hall of WAR.

Well it's not the the most famous players either. Who the hell are Arky Vaughan and Chick Hafey? It's not really the Hall of Anything other than what a small group of people ranging from idiots to moderately informed laymen collectively agreed upon. There is no rigorous analysis, no experts voting...nothing. Nobody I know actually thinks a player is "better" or "more famous" more anything because they are in the HOF rather than not. Nobody's opinion of Gary Carter changed much after his induction. Rather people can argue whether the voters "got it right" or "got it wrong". There is nothing much HOF inductees have in common.
   94. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4646045)
you could cut Bonds into five pieces and assemble them into two Hall of Famers.

And the BBWAA would elect both of them... provided the cutting was guaranteed.
   95. AROM Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4646065)
"Have you crunched any numbers on how much players hit when in the field vs. DH? I know MGL did something with it a while back but wondered what you found."

I might have done so and forgotten, but I'd just go by the results from The Book.
   96. Howie Menckel Posted: January 25, 2014 at 12:25 AM (#4646079)

"Who the hell are Arky Vaughan and Chick Hafey?"

One of these is not like the other...
   97. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 25, 2014 at 02:05 AM (#4646097)
"Who the hell are Arky Vaughan and Chick Hafey?"

One of these is not like the other...

Arky was a better player, but the point is that this isn't the Hall of WAR, then that shouldn't matter. They're both equally below the radar in 2013.
   98. God Posted: January 25, 2014 at 03:29 AM (#4646105)
Boog Powell right now is pretty much an exact comp for Ortiz. Same hitting ability, same basic career length, same defensive value (none), same body type, same role as the second-best hitter on a team that won a bunch of pennants and World Series. Like Ortiz he was beloved in the community. In 1983 Boog Powell got 1.3% of the Hall of Fame vote and was dropped from the ballot.

Now, Ortiz is still healthy, so when all is said and done he'll end up with a better career than Powell. And David Ortiz certainly will not be an embarrassment of a Hall of Famer. Still, it's hard to get past the fact that he's basically Boog Powell with better PR and a better World Series record.
   99. Baldrick Posted: January 25, 2014 at 03:33 AM (#4646106)
Only if you keep confusing the Hall of Fame for the Hall of WAR.

Oh stuff it.

Particularly in a thread where you snark at someone else for stating their own opinion of what the thing is.

YOU think 'Hall of Fame' means a place that ought to pay attention to things other than value. Other people disagree. And it's fine that there's a disagreement. It's an institution and ultimately it's whatever people make of it. But that means it's VALID to think other than you do. And when people talk about HOF-worthiness in terms of value, they are not misunderstanding what the place is. They are making evaluations that depend on a viewpoint.

There is nothing much HOF inductees have in common.

I take the general point, but...in fact...there is something that HOF inductees almost universally have in common: they were among the very best players in baseball. Even the clear 'mistakes' were almost all very good players. Which generally suggests that a lot of the voters over the years have been TRYING to elect the best players and mostly succeeding. Obviously narrative matters, and has been enough to get some guys over the hump. But there are TONS of 'fame' guys who never got close to induction. Which means that even the voters who espouse the most extreme version of Srul's snark still think that you ought to be pretty valuable.

I agree, BTW, that Ortiz has a much better shot than a generic player with his value. While he would be a pretty poor selection, he's close enough to the margin that all the narrative stuff certainly can (and probably will) play a role for a number of voters. He'll get the Jim Rice and Jack (The Jack) Morris treatment for sure. But unless he continues to significantly bolster his case for a couple more years, it will be misguided with him just like it was with them. In my opinion.
   100. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 25, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4646117)
Boog Powell right now is pretty much an exact comp for Ortiz. Same hitting ability, same basic career length, same defensive value (none), same body type, same role as the second-best hitter on a team that won a bunch of pennants and World Series. Like Ortiz he was beloved in the community. In 1983 Boog Powell got 1.3% of the Hall of Fame vote and was dropped from the ballot.

Now, Ortiz is still healthy, so when all is said and done he'll end up with a better career than Powell. And David Ortiz certainly will not be an embarrassment of a Hall of Famer. Still, it's hard to get past the fact that he's basically Boog Powell with better PR and a better World Series record.


Ortiz already has more WAR than Powell in fewer games. He has a somewhat better OPS+ (139-134), which will probably wind up being about equal to Powell's. And you're right about the fielding.

But two factors will help Ortiz, and help him a lot. First, he's played in way more postseason games than Powell (82 to 33), and in those games he's been far more valuable, not just in those Magical Moments but also in overall production (.962 OPS to .760)**.

Second, and just as important, was the exposure of Ortiz's postseason performances. Of Powell's 33 postseason games, exactly one of them was played at night. Of Ortiz's, the majority of his DS and LCS games were televised in prime time, as were all of his World Series games. Add to that the countless thousands of times those highlight moments have been replayed and posted online, and there's no comparison as to their impact. I watched every one of Powell's postseason games, and the most signature moment I can remember is a fifth inning single in the middle of an Orioles rally in game 2 of the 1970 WS, played on a Sunday afternoon when more people were probably watching football. And that's pretty much it. In Powell's five years of postseason appearances, only one of the series (the '73 LCS) went the limit, and the O's were shut out in that final game.

None of this means that Ortiz will necessarily get in, given his presence on that leaked list, but strictly on the numbers and the narrative, he's got a much better chance than Boog Powell.

**which even after era adjustment is still a pretty big gap
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