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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Hale: Nine current Yankees have shot at Hall of Fame

Isn’t that amazing, Suzyn Joe!

“It’s truly amazing,” manager Joe Girardi admitted when told of it yesterday.

Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Andruw Jones are all Hall candidates. The 1931-33 Yankees had nine Hall of Famers, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, Lefty Gomez, Red Ruffing, Herb Pennock, Joe Sewell and Earle Combs.

The Yankees probably have only three certain Hall of Famers — Jeter, Rivera and Ichiro. Rodriguez assuredly has the production but is tainted by PEDs. Pettitte has borderline production and is tainted by PEDs. Cano, Teixeira and Sabathia still need to accomplish more. And Jones’ trajectory is essentially over, but his candidacy is questionable.

Still, it’s possible all nine will eventually gain Cooperstown entrance, which would be a record-tying legacy for the 2012 team.

Repoz Posted: August 05, 2012 at 09:00 AM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof, yankees

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   1. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4200788)
If you base Ichiro on just his MLB stats, is that a HoFer?

Otherwise, he's certainly famous enough.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4200803)
Cano? Teixeira?
   3. DKDC Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4200808)
Wow, it's like the author of this article totally forgot that Raul Ibanez and Joba Chamberlain exist...
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4200812)
If you base Ichiro on just his MLB stats, is that a HoFer?
On the merits, with the most generous accounting, he's borderline. Based on the history of BBWAA voting, considering only his MLB stats, he's a no-doubter.

Anyway, Ichiro's going to get credit of some sort for his early and mid-20s. Everyone agrees he was a great baseball player in his 20s, and we have tons of evidence (his NPB stats) to back that up. Add that in, and he's a no-doubter by any measure.

I don't see a plausible Hall of Fame case for Mark Teixeira, barring a second peak in his mid-30s. Pettitte is a run support illusion, a lesser Chuck Finley with the good fortune to be drafted by the greatest dynasty of the modern era. Jones, unlike Pettitte, has a plausible case, but it's only a plausible case based on the same statistical measures that kill Pettitte's case. You can have the one or the other, but not both.

That is still a lot of HoFers / potential HoFers on a roster even if you drop Tex and one of Pettitte/Jones.
   5. Dan The Mediocre Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4200813)
That is still a lot of HoFers / potential HoFers on a roster even if you drop Tex and one of Pettitte/Jones.


I don't think Cano gets in unless he becomes the best player in baseball for 3 years or age is much kinder to him than most 2B.
   6. Swedish Chef Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4200817)
Pettitte is a run support illusion, a lesser Chuck Finley with the good fortune to be drafted by the greatest dynasty of the modern era.

Soon his proponents will be able to point to HOFer Jack Morris.
   7. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4200821)
I don't think Cano gets in unless he becomes the best player in baseball for 3 years or age is much kinder to him than most 2B.
I think if Cano has 3 more years like the last 3, he's in.
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4200823)
I think if Cano has 3 more years like the last 3, he's in.
I think he'd deserve it in that case, barring a total collapse, I'm not sure he'd be recognized. It's tough to get in as an all-around 2B, 3B, or OF. A theoretical Cano who maintains his peak into his early 30s is a deserving Hall of Famer, but so are Jeff Kent, Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Larry Walker, and Carlos Beltran.

Cano has more BA than most of those guys, and played in NY, so he's probably got a better shot at not being overlooked. He could really use an MVP award. (See Sandberg, Ryne.)
   9. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4200837)
Well, he was a leading contender for MVP before Mike Trout came along.
   10. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4200841)
Soon his proponents will be able to point to HOFer Jack Morris.


I've already been beating that drum for a couple years.
   11. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4200849)
I'm the world's biggest Andruw fan, but c'mon. The only way he's getting an invite to Cooperstown is if the HOF building is buried in a freak pudding avalanche.
   12. rconn23 Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4200861)
Cano has had six terrific years, one good year and one really bad one. I think he's getting in with three more like the last few. Other than injury, there is no reason to expect him to fall off a cliff.

Kurjian said he would be top 10 2B all time by the time he's done, and I would probably agree with that.

Teixeira doesn't seem like a HOF to me, but it will be interesting to see how the voters look at his counting stats. He's got a fair shot at 500 HRs, he's going to have the Gold Glove reputation - some deserved, some not - and probably have about 1,700 RBIs.

   13. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4200862)
Well, really, all 25 current Yankees have a shot at the Hall of Fame. As do all 25 current Mets, Reds, Angels, Astros, etc. Of course 99% of them and the rest have no chance in hell of actually making it.
   14. jyjjy Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4200885)
How much more does CC need to be a lock? He is currently at 2500 IP with a 125 ERA+ and a .654 winning %.
   15. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4200887)
I'd say 63 more wins and CC is a lock.
   16. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4200895)
You can have the one or the other, but not both.


Sure you can, if you're a ten-year member of the BBWAA.
   17. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4200902)
I'm pretty sure Casey McGehee has a 0.000000% chance of being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
   18. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4200906)
Andruw Jones' Hall of Fame voting floor will be in the Tim Raines/Tony Oliva/Maury Wills range of someone who made an immediate impact before drifting into nondescript adequacy. (As a narrative perception; obviously these four guys have very different genuine credentials.) If we assume Andruw will be playing long enough to outlast the upcoming steroid mathapocalypse, the only way he misses a 15th ballot is by getting elected before that.
   19. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4200907)
Jeter and Rivera are the only definites. Everyone else needs several hof type years..Ichiro is always going to create a discussion, of course, but calling him a definite seems wrong. A-Rod depends on what they do with the other steroid cases. Jones has no chance. Pettitte is at the low end of possible HOF at best. CC and Teixiera have chances, CC better than Tex. I wouldn't bet against Cano.
   20. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4200908)
A-Rod's a definite. It just probably won't be via the BBWAA and will take 25-50 years.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4200910)
Well, really, all 25 current Yankees have a shot at the Hall of Fame. As do all 25 current Mets, Reds, Angels, Astros, etc. Of course 99% of them and the rest have no chance in hell of actually making it.


What's the purpose of this comment? You might as well say that everyone in this thread has "a shot" at the Hall of Fame but "no chance in hell of actually making it."
   22. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4200913)
Ichiro is going to create a discussion, but it seems to me that the consensus among the people who actually vote is that he's a lock. So there may be some hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing during the offseason of the voting, but he'll be in.
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4200914)
Andruw Jones' Hall of Fame voting floor will be in the Tim Raines/Tony Oliva/Maury Wills range of someone who made an immediate impact before drifting into nondescript adequacy. (As a narrative perception; obviously these four guys have very different genuine credentials.)
If Andruw had "drifted into nondescript adequacy", I'd agree. He hasn't, and he hasn't been perceived as doing so. He's collapsed to being a fat lefty-mashing DH on the bench. Andruw's path is much closer to that of Darryl Strawberry, both by the numbers and by popular perception. He's seen (I think pretty much rightly, fwiw) as someone who wasted his gifts, not someone who fell back to mediocrity.
   24. Srul Itza At Home Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4200922)
Speaking of Hall of Famers -- has anyone noticed that Albert Pujols has turned back into Albert Pujols?
   25. The District Attorney Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4200923)
Teixeira doesn't seem like a HOF to me, but it will be interesting to see how the voters look at his counting stats. He's got a fair shot at 500 HRs, he's going to have the Gold Glove reputation - some deserved, some not - and probably have about 1,700 RBIs.
If you check it out, it's amazing how little HOF voters care about RBI. I suppose we have to assume that 500 HR without PED issues still = HOF, until proven otherwise. Otherwise, I don't see Tex as either deserving the HOF or being perceived as such.

A-Rod's a definite. It just probably won't be via the BBWAA and will take 25-50 years.
My gut tells me A-Rod gets elected by the BBWAA. Some guys just don't seem to be tarred by the brush. And it's funny that that would be the case for A-Rod, since it's not like he's well-respected personally at all, and although he certainly was a five-tool player at his best, it's still gonna be a little tough to argue he's "not really a homerun hitter" when he's in the top five all-time in homers. Maybe, in addition to the "well-rounded" criteria and the "just generally mind-bogglingly great" criteria, it also helped that he seemed to confess quickly and completely. Anyway, I envision that by the time A-Rod comes up, either Bonds or someone else will have already secured entry in which case A-Rod will have no problem at all, or that A-Rod becomes the one to break the trend.

Andruw Jones' Hall of Fame voting floor will be in the Tim Raines/Tony Oliva/Maury Wills range of someone who made an immediate impact before drifting into nondescript adequacy. (As a narrative perception; obviously these four guys have very different genuine credentials.)
Hmm... I wonder. I suspect that neither Andruw's peak nor his decline will be viewed in the proper light. It's not appreciated how good Andruw was when he was good, because he had a low BA, and because it's advanced fielding stats that cite him as so much better than even a "generic" Gold Glove CF. (Meanwhile, the other guys you mentioned probably are having their peaks overrated -- Oliva is getting "dominance" credit, while Wills is getting "pioneer" credit.) And then as Matt says, Andruw's decline is viewed to be self-sabotage, not due to injury (this is where Oliva gets a pass) or to age. (It probably shouldn't matter why the decline happened, just that it did. But in reality, to the voters, it surely does matter.) Finally, as stated, there may still be the ballot overcrowding issue. So I'd bet the under on Andruw doing as well as Oliva/Wills, even though it's quite possible, given that that'd mean peaking at about 40%, which doesn't seem too crazy.

Cano, we'll see. Although as mentioned it's hard for even clearly deserving 2B to get elected, it's starting to look plausible. CC likely. Pettitte, I do think Morris' election would help him out (I believe if Morris is not elected, Pettitte would have the highest ERA of any HOF pitcher, which is a good "gotcha" number to cite.) I see Pettitte lasting 15 years on the ballot and having 90,000 articles written about him, sadly.
   26. Srul Itza At Home Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4200924)
Derek Jeter -- Lock
Mariano Rivera -- Lock
Ichiro -- Lock
Alex Rodriguez -- should be a Lock, but too much political wrangling yet to come on PEDs
CC Sabathia -- established peak, good durability, but more work to do.
Robinson Cano -- established peak, but too soon to telll
Mark Teixeira -- doubtful unless he has an unexpected second peak
Andy Pettitte -- very doubtful even as the next Jack Morris
Andruw Jones -- If he loses 40 pounds, goes back to starting, and has 3 great years, then maybe.
   27. rconn23 Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4200928)
"If you check it out, it's amazing how little HOF voters care about RBI."

Perhaps, but didn't Tony Perez make it solely on RBIs? I know he was on an all-time team, and Joe Morgan blathered on about how great he was to voters, but...

And I don't believe Tex is a HOF now, but 500 home runs would certainly put him in the discussion, even at an offense-heavy position.
   28. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4200929)
If you check it out, it's amazing how little HOF voters care about RBI.


I've noticed this, too. It's weird, because until recently it was like their main qualification for MVP votes -- but I don't know who holds the career RBI record (is it Aaron?) or even remotely how many the record is. You could tell me it was 1900 or 3000 and I would probably go, "Oh, OK." Compare to hits, where I know the record holder, and while I don't know the exact number I know it's 4200-something. Or homers, similar deal. Stolen bases, same. But career RBI? Don't hear much about it.

As to Jones, given that he won't be eligible for probably another 10 years, I think it's an open question as to whether he gets elected. The odds are against it -- he has a lot of standard strikes against him (itinerant career, early end, lack of milestones, value tied up in defense), but by the time he's eligible there are going to be a lot more young folks voting for the award who may view him as the CF version of Ozzie Smith.

If Teixiera makes the Hall, I'll eat my hat. He's a rich man's Paul Konerko without the (mostly) 1-team thing.
   29. JJ1986 Posted: August 05, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4200931)
I think Aaron is in the high 2200s.
   30. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4200942)
Aaron holds the record at 2297. A-Rod has a pretty good shot to break this one, even as the current oft-injured shadow of his former self.
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 05, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4200947)
Jeter is a lock, despite that guy working to promote a "better" defensive metric that will show he really isn't a Hall of Famer.
Rivera & Ichiro also make it easily.
By the time A-Rod is voted on, I think the voters will have moved towards electing the most obvious candidates of the steroid era, so he should get in with the normal delay from some BBWAA members making a statement.
Pettitte is still adding to his case, but I don't think he's going to be the first pitcher with 100 wins over .500 to not make it.
Cano & Sabathia seem to be on pace for election, but they have a little work to do.
Teixeira has more work to do - getting the batting average up would help demonstrate that he's not a later day Dave Kingman.
Jones seems likely to be "punished" for his career tanking so early, but the Veterans Committee might find it difficult to overlook his peak.
   32. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4200948)
He's a rich man's Paul Konerko


Interestingly, Konerko is Teixeira's fourth most similar player through age 31. And that was before Paul Konerko turned into a poor man's Paul Konerko. If Teixeira has a Konerko-like second peak, you just might be doing some hat eating.

Also, Teixeira's currently at 6457 PA of 131 OPS+ with four gold gloves. Konerko through age 32 was 6272 PA of 116 OPS+, so a Konerko-like second peak for Teixeira would be a lot more plausible than it was for Konerko.
   33. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 05, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4200954)
Jeter is a lock, despite that guy working to promote a "better" defensive metric that will show he really isn't a Hall of Famer.
As terrible as Jeter is with the glove, I've never for a moment thought he wasn't a Hall of Famer.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: August 05, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4200961)
If Jeter played first base or leftfield from the day he was promoted, wouldn't he still be a first ballot HOFer? I think so, easily. He's Paul Molitor plus Yankeecaptainness.
   35. TomH Posted: August 05, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4200972)
HoF voters may not quote # of RBI directly in their voting machinations, but "clutch hitter" comes up a lot, and how do they measure that? Also, 'RBI leader + winning team' = MVP, and MVP votes do matter.
   36. Mike A Posted: August 05, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4200974)
People are being too harsh on Andruw. CF is a ridiculously hard position to play day-in and day-out, and Andruw did it arguably better (defensively) than anyone who has ever played the game.

And then his knees went. His questionable conditioning might have had something to do with it, but not necessarily. I saw the same thing happen to another CF by the name of Dale Murphy.

Is he HoF? I think he's got a pretty darn good case. It all depends on if the voters ever warm up to advanced defensive stats (ie probably not).
   37. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4200977)
People are being too harsh on Andruw.


Are people really being hard on Jones, or just predicting that HOF voters will be?
   38. PreservedFish Posted: August 05, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4200978)
I think Andruw has a good case also, numbers-wise. Probably the best defender I ever saw. He just has the wrong narrative.
   39. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 05, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4200998)
I'm pretty sure Andruw Jones will make it eventually. It probably won't be via the BBWAA (if it is it'll be late in the ballot process, years 10-15 at least), might have to be a Veterans Committee thing. But we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that a younger generation of writers are pushing out the 'old guard' over time and that this voting demographic, combined with the increasing effectiveness of the internet in advocating for HoF candidates, strongly suggests that more and more less 'obvious' saber-favorites will get into the HOF. I don't necessarily think you're going to see an inverse decrease in undeserving 'flash' candidates winning election, curiously enough, for reasons that have to do with voter psychology. Also, I think the players embroiled in the PED controversy stand apart from these considerations. It's possible we'll see a progressive mellowing-out about the steroid cheats (I hope not, for the sake of the HoF), but the trend line is, if anything, running in the OPPOSITE direction right now and the jury's out regardless.

Anyway, I think Jones makes it eventually, provided he has an internet cheering section willing to push his candidacy.
   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4201076)
WILL MAKE IT:
Rivera
Jeter
ARod
Ichiro
Sabathia
Pettitte (a combination of Honest Andy and dumb luck to pitch in the postseason for the Yankees puts him in)

WON'T MAKE IT:
Teixeira (no jaw dropping years; already in decline)
The Grandy Man
AJones

ON TRACK; TOO EARLY:
Cano
   41. GuyM Posted: August 05, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4201077)
Jeter is a lock, despite that guy working to promote a "better" defensive metric that will show he really isn't a Hall of Famer.

Any decent defensive metric puts Jeter at something like 55-60 career WAR (e.g. using DRA puts Jeter at 60 WAR). I think most people would call that a borderline HOF candidate. Certainly you can make a solid case for Jeter, especially if you want to weight post-season heavily. But he will be viewed by many as an "automatic first ballot" candidate instead, and obviously is a lock in terms of the voting.

If Jeter played first base or leftfield from the day he was promoted, wouldn't he still be a first ballot HOFer?

That's not clear. How many 117 OPS+ first basemen have been elected on the first ballot? Obviously, the 3,000 hits is a big plus with voters, but his offensive profile is not what is expected at 1B.
   42. JJ1986 Posted: August 05, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4201082)
I think Jones and Pettitte will both end up in the Hall in 10 or 20 or 50 years. Jones on statistical merit and Pettitte because writers seem to love him and once you get enough momentum you make it in eventually (like Rice did and Morris will). Sabathia will if he continues on his career path, Cano will if he maintains his peak level for a long time and Teixeira will if he becomes Barry Bonds.
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4201083)
My Post #40 was what I think will happen. What I would do:

HALL OF FAMERS:

Rivera (overrated due to lack of innings and nonlack of saves, but completely deserving)
Jeter (poor defense overcome by excellent offense and durability/longevity for a SS)
ARod (writers will eventually ignore his steroids issues)
Sabathia (more work to do but I expect him to get there)

ON TRACK; TOO EARLY TO TELL:
Cano

NOT HALL OF FAMERS:
Granderson
Ichiro (one day I'll explain to people why)
Pettitte (I have a ton of respect for his career, but he's HOVG; too few great seasons)
Teixeira (no jaw dropping years; already in decline; batting average has cratered)
AJones (similar problems as Ichiro; only has 10+ years worth much; extreme measures of defense doing too much work)
   44. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4201092)
I think I'd put in Jones, but that's emotional without question. I have never, ever, ever seen anybody play centerfield like he did, and he was a good hitter into the bargain. Definitely worth the benefit of the doubt on that front.

Other than that, I wouldn't really argue with Ray. But also I don't want this to turn into another Ray-vs-the-World Ichiro thread.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: August 05, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4201096)
I'm not sure it's possible but assuming that we somehow get through the sillyball glut in a sensible fashion then I think Andruw will eventually make it. 10 gold gloves goes a long way and for any who don't believe the GG, there's the fancy defensive stats. He's already sitting on 432 HR and although making 500 is a long shot (it will take another 5-6 years in this role and few players can hang on that long as part-timers), it's still an impressive total. On paper he looks like Andre Dawson with even more impressive defense but fewer steals. I think under normal HoF circumstances, he has a long trek and gets elected on like his 12th ballot.

I'm holding off on anointing Sabathia until I see how Mussina, Smoltz and Schilling do. I think they're all in eventually but it's been so long since the voters had a starting pitcher worth voting for and then they might get blinded by Maddux, Johnson, Glavine, Pedro and Clemens and start expecting everybody to have 300 wins, a couple CYAs, 3000 Ks, etc.
   46. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4201097)
I view Teixeira as Eddie Murray -- but Murray kept it up for 14 years (2,100 games of a 140 OPS+) instead of 7 years (1,100 games of a 138 OPS+).
   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4201100)
Walt: The problem for Jones with the voters, it seems to me, is that there's no "Feels like a hall of famer" aspect to his career.

Contrast that with Dale Murphy, who crashed and burned at a time when he _did_ "feel like a Hall of Famer."
   48. JJ1986 Posted: August 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4201103)
Walt: The problem for Jones with the voters, it seems to me, is that there's no "Feels like a hall of famer" aspect to his career.


There might not be a specific season or time, but considering his age, he was basically a future-HOFer-if-he-keeps-it-up for his entire Braves career. I think there was a very prevalent sense that he would make it one day.
   49. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 05, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4201108)
Andruw Jones OPS+ for his Braves career was 113. His OPS+ since 2009 is 112. I watched 2008. I know it really did happen. But damn, what the hell was that?!
   50. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 05, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4201110)
Andruw Jones OPS+ for his Braves career was 113. His OPS+ since 2009 is 112. I watched 2008. I know it really did happen. But damn, what the hell was that?!


I was thinking the same thing when I reviewed his stat line earlier. But whatever it was, it ended his career as a full-time player, and, effectively, his chance of making a strong case for a HOF career.
   51. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: August 05, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4201130)
Not only is Andruw Jones not going to make the Hall of Fame via the writers, but I'll be surprised if he ever gets to 20% of the vote unless he reaches 500 HR. That would change the narrative substantially.

As it stands now, he's a guy that was washed up at 30. And voters don't like it when you fall off the cliff mid-career without an extenuating circumstance. I think he has a better chance of falling off the ballot than not.
   52. The District Attorney Posted: August 05, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4201150)
HoF voters may not quote # of RBI directly in their voting machinations, but "clutch hitter" comes up a lot
Yeah? When?

I admit that Tony Perez is a weird case, and that his supporters were able to sell a "RBI man" narrative in his case. But I maintain that that's an anomaly, and that if you took out the natural correlation between RBI and hits/homers, RBI by itself is doing very little work in the HOF voting. (It's true that RBI can affect MVP voting which in turns affects HOF voting, but Tex's only meaningful MVP support is that he finished second once, so that's not a significant factor for him.)

If Tex is below-average in BA/H/HR by modern BBWAA HOF 1B standards, as I suspect he will be, neither RBI nor "I seem to recall he was a clutch hitter" is gonna get him in. Those, for whatever probably-never-even-thought-out reason, are the stats the voters care about. (Well, and defense/baserunning, but Tex isn't a runner and, as is being acknowledged in the Keith Hernandez thread, 1B defense is not a big HOF voting factor.)
   53. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4201200)
Wow. I completely forgot that Andruw Jones hit 51 HR one season.
If you told me to list all the 50+ HR hitters, I would NEVER have picked him.

"He played for the Braves."
"Aaron?"
"No."
"Matthews."
"Nope."
"Uh. Galarraga?"
"Wrong."
"Murphy?"
"Keep trying."
"...Aaron?"
   54. Walt Davis Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4201204)
Walt: The problem for Jones with the voters, it seems to me, is that there's no "Feels like a hall of famer" aspect to his career.

Not sure I agree with that. Everybody was singing his praises defensively. Also, the true defensive "greats" have made it -- Maranville, Aparicio, Ozzie, Brooks, Maz -- mostly by the BBWAA. Being washed up "early" and the LA debacle certainly interrupted that narrative so it's certainly possible the HoF narrative didn't last long enough (e.g. Mattingly, Murphy). It depends a lot on how they perceive career length. Yeah, he declined at a young age but he also had the 8th most PA in history through age 30 and currently has as many career PA as Edgar Martinez. If, like Santo, the silly voters go by age, not PA and in-season durability, then Andruw probably doesn't have a chance. But as HoF goes, I _think_ it's better to be an HoFer early then fade than it is to start out slow and have a great 30s (which is rare anyway of course).

I'm not sure what to say about RBI and the HoF. Yeah, if you take away the correlation with hits and HR ... but that's kinda silly as those things tend to be heavily wrapped up in each other that you can't really pick one over the other I don't think. Almost everybody with over 1500 RBI is in just like almost everybody with over 400 HR is in and just like almost everybody with over 2700 (or so) hits is in. It's not like we've got many test cases of guys with the RBI and not the HR or with the HR and not the RBI, etc. Possibles:

Perez -- seemingly the most obvious RBI case
Dawson -- "total" package in some sense, nearly 1600 RBI certainly didn't hurt
Winfield -- 3000 hits is the most likely reason he was 1st ballot, otherwise he's a 400 HR, lots of RBI candidate who makes it slowly
Baines -- the closest we have to an ideal test: not 3000 hits, not 400 HR, over 1500 RBI
B Williams -- Winfield without 3000 hits, took him a while (not quite 1500 RBI)
Parker -- see below for something that really surprised me
Kingman -- 400 "empty" HRs

The sillyball era has probably killed off 1500 RBI as a major milestone (Delgado, McGriff, Bagwell and surprise! Kent) and it clearly was never as important as 3000 hits or 500 HR. And it could be that things like 100 RBI seasons are more important. But I don't believe it plays no role in those borderline cases.

The surprise:

Parker 290/339/471, 121 OPS+, 2712 hits, 339 HR, 526 2B, 10200 PA
Baines 289/356/465, 121 OPS+, 2866 hits, 384 HR, 488 2B, 11100 PA

I never thought of Baines as being in the same class as a hitter as Parker but they're pretty identical and Baines maybe a bit better (OBP). Certainly the young Parker wins on defense and peak.
   55. Walt Davis Posted: August 05, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4201209)
I admit that Tony Perez is a weird case, and that his supporters were able to sell a "RBI man" narrative in his case

It's not just that though. His wasn't a Blyleven like struggle to get elected, he debuted at 50% and there's virtually nothing but RBI to propel his case (2700 hits). But Perez is also almost identical to Parker and Baines as a hitter -- picking up 12 wins on Baines from positional adjustment -- so it's not immediately clear there's a difference other than being on an all-time great team.
   56. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4201223)
While I'm sure that RBI are considered by the voters (e.g., number of 100-RBI seasons, seasons leading the league, being the #1 RBI guy on a playoff team), I agree that the subject of career RBIs seems to be surprisingly overlooked.

Most serious baseball fans know that Aaron's the all-time leader, but like Voxter said, there's not much awareness of the actual total. I also doubt that many fans -- even Primates -- could correctly name the top 10 guys in career RBI, much less their totals. (Meanwhile, reciting the members of the pre-steroid 500-homer club is as easy as ABC.)

This also seems like a good thread to discuss the following: If the Yankees have nine "possible" Hall-of-Famers (in other words, setting the bar at the Pettitte/Teixeira level), can any other clubs get close to that?

If you count Thome, the Phillies could have up to 8, maybe, if you're very optimistic. In descending order of likelihood based on BBWAA voting trends and assuming reasonable declines: Halladay, Thome, [huge gap] Howard, Papelbon, Utley, Hamels, Lee, Rollins. Honorable mention to Juan Pierre if he somehow gets to 3,000 hits (but without that milestone he doesn't have a chance).

I follow the Tigers, and I see one near-lock (Cabrera), one "on track" (Verlander), and one with a decent chance (Fielder), but I can't see anyone else ever getting the call. I suppose Austin Jackson is young enough that if keeps playing at his 2012 level for 10 years, he'd be a candidate, but 4 months of HOF-caliber play isn't much to hang your hat on.
   57. RollingWave Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4201224)
Amusingly, Cano looks like he's roughly on the same pace as Rod Carew in terms of hits (Carew had 1458 hit at the end of his age 29 season, Cano has 1393 right now with still 2 month to go. but Carew did remain a pretty good player until age 37, with only 1 season between 29-37 that was really derailed by injury, and then he still hung on for 2 more years as a ok player.

Cano doesn't have Carew's on base ability (though that actually plays in favor of him in terms of hits to some extend) but does have way more power. as he is already at almost double of Carew's career HR, he has a ok shot at 300 HR, with something close to 3000 hits that seems like a pretty strong case for a 2B, historically not a super strong offensive position. (of course, Carew played in a much weaker offensive era, so from a OPS+ perspective he's a significantly better player, but BBWAA doesn't seem to take in era context quite as strongly as preceieved, and the last couple of years has actually seen offensive numbers starting to fall down somewhat) then again, Carew played about half his career as a 1B . if Cano even plays NEXT season as a 2B (which there's no indication that he wouldn't). he's already passed Carew significantly in terms of times as a 2B.

Though Cano seemingly having figured out at least to some extend how to get on base a bit more consistenly in the last few years probably help his sustainability.

As for Teixeria, he needs something of a second peak obviously, but at least it's within the realm of imagination, he'll probably endup with borderline stats, though more likely on the outside end than in, but who knows.

Jones is a weird werid case to be sure.

   58. bobm Posted: August 05, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4201226)
Batters, sorted by WAA:

Player   WAR  WAA
 A-Rod 110.8 77.4
 Jones  59.9 36.8
 Jeter  67.9 33.0
Ichiro  54.2 28.6
   Tex  44.8 25.4
  Cano  31.8 17.0
Grandy  30.7 16.9



Pitchers, sorted by WAA:

Player   WAR  WAA
Rivera  52.7 31.4
    CC  49.9 29.5
  Andy  53.9 29.1
   59. LargeBill Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4201261)
Could be wrong, but it seems to me that people on this thread are dismissing Teixeira much too quickly. Using James' Favorite Toy, he projects (coming into 2012) to hit 517 homers with a 21 % chance of hitting 600. Sure his BA will hurt him with voters, but like Killebrew & Jackson his home run power will likely get him in. Also, his defense will help voters get over his short comings.
   60. phredbird Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4201574)
Speaking of Hall of Famers -- has anyone noticed that Albert Pujols has turned back into Albert Pujols?


in a scary way. every time i turn on the tv, there's another albert highlight. since his first HR of the year, he has hit more than anyone else in baseball. he's batting .289 now. this is a guy who was basically in mendoza land until june 1.
   61. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4201602)
Pujols' last 50 games: .339/.419/.677, 16 HR, 36 RBI, 37 R
   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4201607)
As I said in May, Pujols is still a top hitter, obviously. But stretches like he had in April and May (well, not typically _that_ bad) will happen more frequently going forward. So in that sense I think he's a plateau lower than he was at his peak. Still quite valuable, of course.
   63. TomH Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4201623)
If the Yankees don't have another NY parade in the next few years of current stars (CC, Cano, Tex, Grandy), I wonder if having 'too many' their mates in the Hall may hurt the newer ones. Wha if Jeter/Mo/A-Rod/Ichiro go in, and Andy P is on the ballot drawing some support when the new ones come eligible? Would voters start to think that one WS appearance since '03 looks pretty shabby for a team of Hall of Famers? Did this hurt Santo for a while, in that voters thought if you had a club that included Banks and Williams you should at least have won a division if you were so good?
   64. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 06, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4201650)
Would voters start to think that one WS appearance since '03 looks pretty shabby for a team of Hall of Famers? Did this hurt Santo for a while, in that voters thought if you had a club that included Banks and Williams you should at least have won a division if you were so good?

Winning the AL East or making the playoffs every year (or nearly so) should distinguish this group from Santo's Cubs. Until other teams start do better in the three-tiered playoff system (or is it 4 with the play-in game?), it wouldn't seem appropriate to punish the most successful team in the HoF vote just because they don't win "enough" World Series.
   65. bachslunch Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4201749)
RBI by itself is doing very little work in the HOF voting.

I think that's true, otherwise Joe Carter and his 10 seasons of 100+ RBIs wouldn't have been one-and-done on the HoF ballot.

Not that I think Carter's a HoF-er, mind you -- that along with his WS winning RBI are pretty much the start and end of his HoF argument.
   66. bachslunch Posted: August 06, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4201759)
And of the Yankees listed, I'm thinking Rivera and Jeter and Suzuki get in the HoF for sure, Sabathia lasts long enough to compile good enough stats and gets in, ARod only gets in if/when the writers or Vets voters decide to push in PED users (which could be anywhere from 5 years down the road to never), and Pettitte (also PED issues) and Teixeira and AJones don't make it in. It's also too early to guess on Cano.
   67. AROM Posted: August 06, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4201772)
Could be wrong, but it seems to me that people on this thread are dismissing Teixeira much too quickly. Using James' Favorite Toy, he projects (coming into 2012) to hit 517 homers with a 21 % chance of hitting 600. Sure his BA will hurt him with voters, but like Killebrew & Jackson his home run power will likely get him in. Also, his defense will help voters get over his short comings.


If that's how many he hits, by the time Tex is on the ballot 500 homers won't be the automatic ticket it used to be. There will be plenty of precedent for keeping a 500 HR guy out. A lot of that will be steroids related, but my guess is we'll have a few players who hit 500, don't have the taint, and fall short. Quite possibly the current 3-4 hitters on the White Sox.
   68. Walt Davis Posted: August 06, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4201867)
I think McGriff already shows 500 isn't going to be automatic. I think even BBWAA voters are smart enough to know that 7 more HR is not the difference between HoFer and definitely not HoFer. If McGriff with his numbers can only draw about 20% support (in generally weak ballot years) then it would seem you need to bring more to the table than just some counting stats* these days (except maybe 3000 hits). Whether that's GGs or MVPs or rings or the elusive "felt like an HoFer" I can't say.

*i.e. at some point counting stats will still overwhelm of course -- I think Thome will get in easily enough -- so I mean more in that 500-550 HR but not a lot of other obvious value range.
   69. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4201895)
I think even BBWAA voters are smart enough to know that 7 more HR is not the difference between HoFer and definitely not HoFer.

Being just below the shiny round number, McGriff should have gone the sympathy route. It worked like a charm for Mr. 493-1,995!
   70. SoSH U at work Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4201898)
Being just below the shiny round number, McGriff should have gone the sympathy route. It worked like a charm for Mr. 493-1,995!


Though that guy would admit he just got lucky.
   71. PreservedFish Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4201901)
I think McGriff already shows 500 isn't going to be automatic. I think even BBWAA voters are smart enough to know that 7 more HR is not the difference between HoFer and definitely not HoFer.


I agree that you won't find many (or any) voters that would admit to putting the in/out line at exactly seven homers. But the subconscious effect of that big juicy 500 probably would have won McGriff more votes on his first ballot, and you never know how it might have snowballed from there. If he's at 33% instead of 20%, it makes it that much easier to creep up towards 50%, and then he might become the next random beneficiary of a Rice/Morris style campaign.
   72. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4201904)
A-Rod's next RBI will tie him with Ty Cobb.
   73. Jittery McFrog Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4201905)
A lot of that will be steroids related, but my guess is we'll have a few players who hit 500, don't have the taint, and fall short. Quite possibly the current 3-4 hitters on the White Sox.


There's a good chance we end up with Dunn : 500 HR :: Kingman : 400 HR .
   74. SoSH U at work Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4201911)
There's a good chance we end up with Dunn : 500 HR :: Kingman : 400 HR .


At the moment, BB Ref WAR sees them pretty much the same way (slight edge to Kong, though Dunn will probably finish ahead if he sticks to DHing and avoids another 2011).

   75. Squash Posted: August 06, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4201912)
Perez was also a special case in that he had Joe Morgan carrying water for him at the peak of his influence (which was pretty high at that point with Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN, and his ties with the HOF committee) and he was elected in a sort of soft spot on the ballot. The year before had been a very sexy ballot and this one was pretty thin. Carlton Fisk alone wasn't going to make for a hugely relevant election. RBIs in Perez's case were the cover as there wasn't much else (by HOF standards).
   76. AROM Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4201982)
At the moment, BB Ref WAR sees them pretty much the same way (slight edge to Kong, though Dunn will probably finish ahead if he sticks to DHing and avoids another 2011).


Dunn had passed Kingman, but he gave it all back in 2011.
   77. bigglou115 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4201983)
I don't understand the perception that Abdruw needs credit for his defense from defensive metrics. The general concensus among everyone, not just guys looking at UZR or +/-, for the first 10 years of Andruw's career was that he was in the conversation for best defensive CFer ever. I'd say a not insignificant number of HOF voters were saying in 2006 that Andruw was at that time the best defensive CFer ever. He'll lose some votes because if his career trajectory sure, but if some combination of statistically sophisticated voters and traditional viters who recognize the first half of his career for what it was, historic, can keep him on the ballet long enough to clear the big names he's got a real chance.

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