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Thursday, December 26, 2013

JACK MCCAFFERY: Narrowing down MLB’s Hall of Fame decision

Captain Jack has a change of heart…and still leaves a pumping bloody mess!

Ballot: Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, McGwire, J. Morris, Piazza, F. Thomas…and Pete Rose.

For years, I had voted for Don Mattingly, who last year received only 13.2 percent of the vote, good for only 16th place. For years, I had voted for Alan Trammell, an era-defining shortstop; Lee Smith, who retired with the most saves in history; and Tim Raines, ever able to tilt a game.

But the electorate has spoken. So this, then, is a bit of a concession speech. For because the ballot has become so recently deepened, most of those failing candidates likely can hope only for an oversight committee to reconsider them, decades from now, as old, old, old timers.

So rather than continuing the rhubarb, I started fresh, viewing the 2013 ballot as if having never voted, prepared to choose the 10 most qualified players, regardless of my voting history. Naturally, I wrote in Pete Rose, who never did anything but try to win baseball games, at the top of the ballot. And naturally, I rejected Sosa, whose bat proved full of cork, thus rendering any of his achievements full of something else. Others — Kent, Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Mussina — I considered, only to conclude that, no, they were not among the 10 most deserving participants in this particular race.

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2013 at 06:01 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 26, 2013 at 06:18 PM (#4624375)
I actually think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame*, but it maddens me how many people think he did nothing wrong. He broke baseball's cardinal sin. And because of that we can't say with any kind of certainty that he only wanted to win.

*-because his voluntary banishment did not include HOF banishment at the time, and because the HOF is a museum that should celebrate the very best and he was among the very best.
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 26, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4624393)
Naturally, I wrote in Pete Rose, who never did anything but try to win baseball games, at the top of the ballot. And naturally, I rejected Sosa, whose bat proved full of cork, thus rendering any of his achievements full of something else.

But, wasn't Sosa just trying to win baseball games?
   3. Esoteric Posted: December 26, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4624408)
A real dog's breakfast of a ballot. The vote for Rose is both a wasted vote and an arguably immoral one (even as a staunch anti-PED guy I don't think the offenses of juicers even remotely approach Rose's, which was correctly ID'ed by AG#1F as a true "cardinal sin"), so McCaffrey starts off in a big hole. The idea that Tim Raines is merely a 'marginal' HOF'er worthy of being dropped in light of the new names coming onto the ballot is also immensely irksome. Same with Bagwell. (Mussina and Kent are also problematic dismissals but ones which are legitimate exclusions given the surplus in this particular year.)

The vote for Morris requires no commentary around here.

The rest: Biggio, Maddux, Glavine, Piazza, and Thomas, are unobjectionable.

As I said, a real dog's breakfast. Not even a serious mention of Schilling, either (his name is brought up in passing). I think it's justifiable to drop Trammell from ballots at this point, given that he just won't make it and it going to have to wait for the VC for his shot. (Maybe he and Lou can go in together?). In fact, I think that would actually be what I did on my notional ballot: Maddux, Glavine, Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, Schilling, Mussina, Piazza, Thomas, and Edgar. (Kent would be #11, unfortunately.)
   4. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 26, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4624412)
Eso, Logic looks on with trepidation whenever Jack is around, because it knows it is going to get tortured.
   5. Booey Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:57 AM (#4624514)
I rejected Sosa, whose bat proved full of cork, thus rendering any of his achievements full of something else.


I thought this was interesting on a ballot that has Bonds, McGwire, etc. Might be the first time a voter considered other forms of cheating to be worse than steroids, rather than the other way around.
   6. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 27, 2013 at 01:25 AM (#4624519)
It mystifies me that people think there's a problem with putting a Pete Rose plaque on the wall with "banned from baseball for betting on games" on it.

Sure looks like Morris is going to be elected.
   7. stevegamer Posted: December 27, 2013 at 01:25 AM (#4624520)
If you were expecting intelligence from the voter in question, you shouldn't have been. At least he used 9 spots.

He's not a big fan of Schilling, if I remember correctly from the brief period I subscribed to that awful paper.

   8. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 27, 2013 at 02:09 AM (#4624523)
And naturally, I rejected Sosa, whose bat proved full of cork, thus


Rejecting Sosa because of Da Steroidz Cheat is dumb enough, but because of the corked bat issue? Jesus.
   9. Bhaakon Posted: December 27, 2013 at 07:05 AM (#4624546)
Rejecting Sosa because of Da Steroidz Cheat is dumb enough, but because of the corked bat issue? Jesus.


What if you refuse to vote for him because he's clearly a vampire?
   10. bjhanke Posted: December 27, 2013 at 07:33 AM (#4624550)
I'm always glad to see McGwire on a ballot, so that's a plus. But the reasoning for including Rose while dropping Sosa just makes no sense. Rose has admitted to betting on baseball. Sosa got caught once in his career with a corked bat. I think I'd drop Rose and Morris real quick, and include Schilling and Raines. Bagwell if you don't rate Schilling's postseasons as counting for much. Sosa would be in the mix, too. - Brock Hanke
   11. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 27, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4624757)
Naturally, I wrote in Pete Rose, who never did anything but try to win baseball games
He also tried to win bets.
   12. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 27, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4624764)
because the HOF is a museum that should celebrate the very best and he was among the very best.


The Hall of Fame is not a museum, the Hall of Fame (i.e. the Plaque Room) and the accompanying museum are two institutions run by the same organization and which occupy the same building, but are distinct. Pete Rose is celebrated in the museum along with the rest of the Big Red Machine. Here is a picture of the display. He's just not in the Plaque Room.
   13. Booey Posted: December 27, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4624793)
The Hall of Fame is not a museum, the Hall of Fame (i.e. the Plaque Room) and the accompanying museum are two institutions run by the same organization and which occupy the same building, but are distinct.


Whether they call the HOF a museum or not though, isn't that pretty much what it is?
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4624798)
He also tried to win bets.


Exactly. Something that always gets lost when talking about how competitive Pete was. If he was half as competitive in gambling as he was on a baseball field, you'd better believe he was going to do ANYTHING to win a bet.
   15. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: December 27, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4624808)
One thing that managing all those OOTP-like simulations has really hammered home--and that I'd never really considered before--is that one of the most important tasks for a baseball manager to juggle is the conflict between winning today's game, and the conflict between, say, winning the pennant.

Giving your regulars the occasional day off, removing your starting pitcher as soon as he shows signs of fatigue, keeping your substitutes fresh, not burning through your entire bullpen in every close game...these are all things managers do that are bad in the very immediate short term (they reduce their chances of winning that afternoon's game), but are great in the long-term goal of winning as many games as possible throughout the season).

It's helpful for me to keep that in mind when people ask "So what's wrong if he was betting on his own team to win?" A lot is wrong with that.
   16. Sunday silence Posted: December 27, 2013 at 06:01 PM (#4624870)
most of these long term goals have to do with pitcher usage, correct? But if so then there are lots of managers like Casey Stengel that burned up pitching arms. Or what about Connie Mack? His teams stayed in the basement for 30 years. Do you think his ownership and/or senility was a good long term thing? You would have to do a lot of housecleaning if you wanted a HoF without managers like that.

I realize it is easier to just say "betting" because it is much easier to spot and control (I suppose). But this long term team good type of reasoning is on shaky ground. Not just because of what I said above, but also it depends on what sort of talent you have in the pipeline too. And it's impossible to really say where this pitcher was overused, or whether holding back this pitcher would have helped. We had opinions all over the place in the Steven Strasburg debate in 2012, I doubt you could prove anything definitively because this all so speculative.

If your basic argument is that "long term team impact" is a cardinal sin, I dont agree. Killing or injuring someone severely, that would be cardinal. Throwing games, probably cardinal as well, although not as bad as injuring people. Long term impact, not so much.

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