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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Joyce: Baseball Hall of Fame Getting Too Crowded

Bah! Nobody goes there anymore, they all go to the Yogi Berra Museum. (humorless sabermetric yuck there)

The point is there are now far too many players in the Hall, or up for consideration for the Hall, that don’t immediately connote greatness.

The Hall should be for only those that elicit a universal, “oh yeah, he was one of the greats” – and not, “what a solid, clutch player and a good guy.” Sure, once in a while there should be heated discussion regarding a borderline player but there are just too many “close but no cigar” players that are nominated now.

And one can blame Bill James and the rest of the humorless sabermetric crowd for the overabundance of the B-plus players that we’ll see nominated in the coming decades. There’s so much nuanced data at our disposal that one can use these new stats to elevate a player and prove that so-and-so is indeed deserving of Hall status.

...But in a few years when so many other players either slightly better or slightly worse than Santo are also elected, it won’t seem as high an honor.

Because, after all, the Hall is now on the dreaded slippery slope as what was previously reserved seating for the select few is now becoming general admission for many.

Time to restrict the guest list again. It’s getting too crowded in here.

Repoz Posted: December 06, 2011 at 11:55 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, yankees

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:35 PM (#4007893)
And one can blame Bill James and the rest of the humorless sabermetric crowd for the overabundance of the B-plus players that we’ll see nominated in the coming decades.


That's the first time I've ever seen "Bill James" and "humorless" in the same sentence.
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:46 PM (#4007895)
"If we drain Bill James' blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile, he will be humorless."
   3. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:55 PM (#4007899)
Bill James has a sense of humor Les Nessman would envy.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:58 PM (#4007900)
the Hall is now on the dreaded slippery slope as what was previously reserved seating for the select few is now becoming general admission for many.


This could have been written after the Veterans Commitee's selections of 1945-46.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#4007905)
move along, folks--nothing to see here
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#4007907)
I love the way he builds his case by comparing Santo's raw numbers from the era of the pitcher to Tino's and Bernie's unadjusted numbers from the steroid era. When I read that sort of "analysis", I get the feeling that his understanding of Bill James's ideas about player value is about as deep as my grasp of Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
   7. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:34 PM (#4007911)
It's too crowded. Nobody goes there anymore.
   8. ray james Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#4007914)
Assuming time is infinite, the number of inductees will be so as well.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#4007915)
I get the feeling that his understanding of Bill James's ideas about player value is about as deep as my grasp of Einstein's Theory of Relativity.


That's pretty unfair. You're a smart guy and I'm sure you understand the Theory of Relativity better than this guy understands James' stuff.
   10. Hack Wilson Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#4007916)
Baseball Hall of Fame Getting Too Crowded


We went during an ice storm and were the only ones in the Hall for a couple of hours (I never want to hear "I'm on first again" as long as I live).
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#4007921)
Kick out all the Yankees. Problem solved.
   12. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:17 PM (#4007928)
I sent him this - I hope I wasn't too humourless about it.

Ron Santo is not Willie Mays or Mike Schmidt, but if that was the standard for the HOF, there would be about 20 players in it.

Are you seriously trying to argue there is any measure of equivalence between Santo and Tino Martinez? Really?

Santo was a 5-time Gold Glove winning 3B, Tino was a 1B regarded as an average fielder. He never won a GG.

Santo led the league in walks 4 times, OBP twice and triples once. Martinez led the league in sacrifice flies once.

Santo was an All-Star nine times, Martinez twice.

Santo got MVP votes in seven straight seasons, Martinez in just two, despite playing on a much more successful team.

Are you familiar with OPS+? It shows how dominant a player’s offense was compared to his league, adjusted for park effects. Ron Santo’s OPS+ is 125 (100 is average). Tino Martinez’s is only 112, in more than 1350 fewer plate appearances. This is because Santo put up his numbers in the toughest period for hitters since the Dead Ball Era, whereas Martinez was active in the offensive explosion of the 90’s. Martinez only has two seasons with an OPS+ as high as Santo’s career OPS+.

Santo was second all-time in homers among third basemen when he retired, and remains in fourth behind Schmidt, Mathews and Chipper Jones.

I don’t think Bernie Williams is quite up to Santo’s calibre, but there are literally dozens of worse players in the HOF than Williams.

I don’t really expect you to be familiar WAR (Wins Above Replacement player) as it is a fairly recent innovation and an extremely complicated formula. It attempts to measure the contribution a player has made on both offense and defense, measured in wins added to his team, over their career as compared to what would be expected by a replacement player (i.e. a barely adequate major leaguer that any team should be able to pick up for the major-league minimum salary). According to the version published by BaseballReference,com, Santo sits at 66.4, putting him 75th all-time among position players. There are over 160 position players in the HOF.

Tino Martinez’s WAR is 25.7, placing him in a 3-way tie for 562nd place.

Ron Santo is comfortably in the middle tier of players in the HOF.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:28 PM (#4007932)
I get the feeling that his understanding of Bill James's ideas about player value is about as deep as my grasp of Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

That's pretty unfair. You're a smart guy and I'm sure you understand the Theory of Relativity better than this guy understands James' stuff.


Well, then his understanding of Bill James's ideas about player value is about as deep as Ray's understanding of man-made global warming.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#4007937)
I thought it was pretty cool that Tino hit a HR in the OTG at Yankee Stadium this past summer.
   15. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#4007938)
And one can blame Bill James and the rest of the humorless sabermetric crowd for the overabundance of the B-plus players that we’ll see nominated in the coming decades.

Yes, things were so much better when the Hall was split between A-plus players and C-minus players.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#4007943)

This could have been written after the Veterans Commitee's selections of 1945-46.


I think the difference is that nobody really knows who those old, old-timers are.

You see Rube Marquard and Jesse Haines on the roster, and it makes no impression at all. Before last week, I had no idea if they we great, good, indifferent or lousy.

Only looked them up b/c I was trying to improve my score on the Sporcle HoF test :-)
   17. Jay Z Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#4007946)
Assuming time is infinite, the number of inductees will be so as well.


Only if the earth is infinite. However, if there are infinite big bangs and infinite earths, there will be infinite HOFs. And infinitie Ron Santos. Morgan Bulkeley will also be inducted an infinite number of times.
   18. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#4007953)
I thought it was pretty cool that Tino hit a HR in the OTG at Yankee Stadium this past summer.
Yeah, that was fun. But really a testament to Cone, who absolutely grooved one for him.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#4007957)
Assuming time is infinite, the number of inductees will be so as well.


Not after Matt Wieters.
   20. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:03 PM (#4007964)
Time to restrict the guest list again. It’s getting too crowded in here.


Aren't these just two awful sentences? The metaphors don't work at all.

1) In what manner can Joyce refer to the Hall of Fame as 'in here'? He's not been inducted, has he?

2) The only way in which the expression works is if Joyce is visiting the Hall as a guest, but then his first sentence doesn't work. Santo isn't on the guest list, he's being permanently inducted. 'Restricting the guest list' would impact the visitors, not the inductees.

I have no idea why I've chosen to fixate on this particular part of an article with plenty of bad points to it, but: yuk.
   21. Chris Fluit Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#4007965)
Yes, life was so much better when the VC didn't elect anybody for ten years.
   22. Lassus Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#4007966)
This guy calling someone ELSE humorless is quite hilarious.
   23. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#4007967)
And I’m confident that if the top National League pitchers from that era were queried as to who was a scarier hitter to face they’d name Allen every time over Santo.

OMG TEH FEAR!!!!!!!!

See what happens if you let Jim Rice in? Next thing you know, they'll be calling for Dick Allen to go in.
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#4007971)
Dear Mr. President.

There are too many states. Please eliminate three.

P.S. I am not a crackpot.
   25. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:37 PM (#4007984)
The Hall of Fame is too crowded? Well, at least it doesn't have Debbie Allen in it.
   26. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#4007988)
But the question begs: with Ron Santo the fourth player from the 1960s Cubs (Billy Williams, Ernie Banks and Ferguson Jenkins are the others), a team that never went to a World Series, to be awarded enshrinement in Cooperstown, does that mean Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez should join Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera – the two only sure-fire Yankees Hall of Famers from their 1990s teams – in Cooperstown in a few years’ time?
I don't normally side with the Grammar Nazis, but this phrase has to die--especially when the only people who use it are just trying to create the illusion of intelligence.
   27. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#4007996)
And I’m confident that if the top National League pitchers from that era were queried as to who was a scarier hitter to face they’d name (Richard) Allen every time over Santo.

I'd bet anything that hitters like Willy Mo Pena scare pitchers more than guys like Craig Biggio.
   28. zonk Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#4008004)
OMG TEH FEAR!!!!!!!!

See what happens if you let Jim Rice in? Next thing you know, they'll be calling for Dick Allen to go in.


I don't know if Joyce has a vote or not, but you just know he's the type that voted for Rice but not Raines.
   29. Morty Causa Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#4008012)
#12:

You put the case well. Clear and concise, no confusing deadwood. Let them who can read, read.
   30. Cyril Morong Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:34 PM (#4008027)
I agree that the Hall of Fame is too crowded. I also think that Mozart's music has too many notes.
   31. Mark Donelson Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#4008033)
I also think that Mozart's music has too many notes.

I was wondering when someone would post this. (Lassus, how was it not you?)
   32. micker17 Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:47 PM (#4008040)
50 years from now, Bernie, Posada, Pettitte and Raines will have joined Jeter, Rivera, and Torre in the HOF. The '98 Yankees will be well represented.

Tino, O'neill, Cone, Wells & ElDuque will have their supporters, but will be on the outside looking in.

Banks, Jenkins, Williams & Santo are all worthy.
   33. Lassus Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#4008124)
I don't even like Mozart. It would be more like me to say that about Mahler, but the sarcasm levels become so convoluted it's barely worth it.
   34. Randy Jones Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:49 PM (#4008132)
Dear Mr. President.

There are too many states. Please eliminate three.

P.S. I am not a crackpot.


The only appropriate response to this article.
   35. Booey Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#4008136)
But the question begs: with Ron Santo the fourth player from the 1960s Cubs (Billy Williams, Ernie Banks and Ferguson Jenkins are the others), a team that never went to a World Series, to be awarded enshrinement in Cooperstown, does that mean Bernie Williams and Tino Martinez should join Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera – the two only sure-fire Yankees Hall of Famers from their 1990s teams – in Cooperstown in a few years’ time?

This type of thing happens sometimes. The mid-late '90's Mariners had Griffey, A-Rod, Unit, and Edgar, and made the playoffs just twice and won only a single series.

And his comment about Jeter and Rivera being the '90's Yankees only sure-fire HOFers isn't true. Boggs was on the '96 team, and the only reason Clemens isn't a sure-fire lock is because of roids.
   36. Bob Tufts Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:57 PM (#4008142)
Banks, Jenkins, Williams & Santo are all (Hall of Fame) worthy.

but are they sponge worthy?
   37. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#4008154)
I don't even like Mozart. It would be more like me to say that about Mahler, but the sarcasm levels become so convoluted it's barely worth it.


I also think that Rick Mahler had too cool of a mustache.
   38. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#4008168)
But the question begs: with Ron Santo the fourth player from the 1960s Cubs (Billy Williams, Ernie Banks and Ferguson Jenkins are the others), a team that never went to a World Series,


It's technically true that they were all teammates on the 1960s Cubs, but the strongest parts of all four players' careers did not overlap. Jenkins joined the Cubs in 1966, when Ernie Banks was 35 and nothing more than an average-hitting first baseman.

And despite the Cubs' notorious legacy, this was a pretty good team. From 1967 to 1972, when Santo, Williams and Jenkins were in their primes, the Cubs averaged 86 wins a year. They just never had that one season where everything came together.
   39. Bob Tufts Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:29 PM (#4008176)
And despite the Cubs' notorious legacy, this was a pretty good team. From 1967 to 1972, when Santo, Williams and Jenkins were in their primes, the Cubs averaged 86 wins a year. They just never had that one season where everything came together.

probably due to their Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher...............
   40. Bob Evans Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#4008271)
probably due to their Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher

Actually, it's all about the goat. Edit: typo.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#4008288)
How many B-rated players have the humorless crowd been responsible for? Blyleven and Santo (if you want to say they are responsible for any) meanwhile the 'experts' have given us Rice, Sutter, Dawson, and about 30 others if you take a second to look. The humorless crowd is for expanding the hof upwards, none of the candidates supported by the stat crowd has been as poor of a choice of say Puckett or Brock or Tony Perez.

I know it's ridiculous for me to expect a BBWAA writer to actually know anything about the subject he is talking about, but man, are these people really this uneducated in their chosen field?
   42. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#4008379)
#20 kinda nails it.

One can certainly make the argument there are a bunch of guys in the HoF who don't belong and, as long as you're willing to toss out about half of them, you might be able to make the argument that Santo doesn't belong.

The biggest problem is the arrogance of the guy. It's too crowded in here. Restrict the guest list. He's anointed himself an HoFer. He's saying Santo isn't as worthy as he is.
   43. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: December 06, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#4008412)
A lot of people like to pontificate about baseball history but don't bother to learn it. I get the sense from reading the article that he has no idea of the existence of people like Rick Ferrell, Ross Youngs or George Kelly. Ron Santo is not where you draw the line.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: December 06, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#4008428)
I know it's ridiculous for me to expect a BBWAA writer to actually know anything about the subject he is talking about, but man, are these people really this uneducated in their chosen field?


Looking at his experience, I highly doubt he has a vote, or has ever been in the BBWAA for that matter.
   45. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#4008455)
I think that both Santo and Perez are deserving Hall of Famers. But then I'm very much a big Hall guy...
   46. Jay Z Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#4008457)
And despite the Cubs' notorious legacy, this was a pretty good team. From 1967 to 1972, when Santo, Williams and Jenkins were in their primes, the Cubs averaged 86 wins a year. They just never had that one season where everything came together.


They had their chances. They had the best front-line talent in the NL East in both 1969 and 1970. But the farm system had completely dried up by that time, and they had both a weak bullpen and a weak bench. There were a few young pitchers that came through the organization, but Durocher couldn't figure out how to make use of them. It was a big wasted opportunity even considering that the peaks of their best players didn't match up.
   47. Ron J Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:28 PM (#4008460)
#4 Believe it or not, it was written when Hank Greenberg was elected
   48. Ron J Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:01 PM (#4008499)
#46 I'll buy your thesis for 1970. 1969 not so much. In 1969 Regan was serviceable and Aguirre and Abernathy better than that. Plenty of bullpen given the way Durocher handled his staff.

I think you can argue he used his key guys too hard (as with his starting position players) since the bullpen was terrible in the last month or so.

As to the bench, Popovich was probably the best utility guy in the league in 1969 (admittedly a mile over his head), and Willie Smith wasn't a bad option as a corner OF/pinch-hitter.

The real problems in 1969 were that Beckert and Kessinger were decent players but bad choices for #1 and #2 hitters, Banks was basically done, they gave a ton of playing time to guys like Spangler and Qualls (Don Young took so much flack and he wasn't great. He was however much better than the guys he was competing for playing time against) and Billy Williams wasn't at his best.

In 1970 so much went right (even to the point of getting a decent year out of Jack Hiatt when Hundley broke) and it still didn't work. Hands couldn't take the workload, the bullpen was terrible, the bench basically unused. The interesting experiment of two first-basemen (well three I guess. Pepitone was the best CF and 1B of the 3 options. Hickman had one of the fluke years of all time but couldn't really handle center, and Banks was in the mix too when healthy) and two corner outfielders didn't work all that well. Though all of them hit which is nice I suppose. Still led to too much playing time for Cleo James.
   49. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#4008524)
Don Young took so much flack and he wasn't great. He was however much better than the guys he was competing for playing time against.


I always felt a bit of empathy for Don Young. He had two signature moments in his career. The first was his major league debut, when he went 0-3 as the Cubs' lead-off hitter in Sandy Koufax's perfect game. Nice way to break in. The second was getting called out by Ron Santo in the press for two misplays in center field in a July 1969 loss to the Mets that seemed to set the tone for the Cubs' collapse.

Sometimes history just bites you in the ass...
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:33 PM (#4008526)
#4 Believe it or not, it was written when Hank Greenberg was elected

Well, when you start with Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Mathewson and the Big Train, it's all downhill from there.

If you go by career WAR, only 9 batters and 7 pitchers inducted haven't lowered the standards :-)
   51. McCoy Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:55 PM (#4008552)
If we were somehow able to give the mid 60's to early 70's modern day rules and recent Cub front offices they most certainly would have done better. As someone else said once the farm dried up the Cubs were couldn't get better but if they had been able to acquire FA they would have been able to get better.
   52. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: December 07, 2011 at 01:00 AM (#4008676)
but if they had been able to acquire FA they would have been able to get better.

Sure but they might have lost key guys to FA as well.
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: December 07, 2011 at 01:16 AM (#4008685)
If you go by career WAR, only 9 batters and 7 pitchers inducted haven't lowered the standards :-)


I'm currently looking into at which point did the hof have more career players with less than 60 war than more than 60 war, I think it happens during the 1945 induction. (not looking too hard to be honest, just playing around with some crap and will get back to it later I think)
   54. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 07, 2011 at 01:53 AM (#4008722)
As someone else said once the farm dried up the Cubs were couldn't get better but if they had been able to acquire FA they would have been able to get better.
C'mon. They're the Cubs - they would have signed the '70 version of Alfonso Soriano for 8 years.
   55. AndrewJ Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:03 AM (#4008733)
After calling Bill James "humorless," Tim Joyce proceeded to call Charlie Sheen "modest" and Christina Hendricks "anorexic"...
   56. God Posted: December 07, 2011 at 03:29 AM (#4008773)
If the 1936 HOF election were held today, we'd be b1tching that they identified the then-top 4 players in history correctly but whiffed on the fifth.

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