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Friday, December 21, 2012

Klapisch: If Clemens and Bonds couldn’t be convicted, who are we to judge?

Klap-ballot…which puts Clemens at 56.4% and Bonds at 53.8%.

We all fell for the futuristic leap, until we realized it was fake. Peel away the layers of steroid magic and what’s underneath is a con. That’s why an admitted user such as Mark McGwire won’t get my vote. Nor will Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Rafael Palmeiro, ever. Still, it’s not up to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to police the rest of the field; that’s Bud Selig’s job.

If he’s not going to block Bonds and Clemens – if the commissioner isn’t even willing to affix an asterisk next to their achievements – then let’s stop trying to parse the circumstantial evidence. Let’s move on, and in the spirit of amnesty, induct Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson, as well. Yes, both. It’s time.

In 20 or so years we’ll remember this as the Steroids Era, the same way the early 1900s is viewed by historians as the Dead Ball era. The records of these time periods will be viewed accordingly; Bonds’ 762 homers will be as cartoonish as Cy Young’s 511 victories.

Already, to many, Hank Aaron, not Bonds, is the all-time home run leader. If we’re lucky, the record will someday be broken by someone who’s above suspicion. Until then, we’ll live with an imperfect sport, reflected by my choices in this imperfect ballot.

Ballot: Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Bagwell, Edgar, Trammell, Raines

 

Repoz Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:07 AM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Lassus Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4329991)
I like this ballot. I know many will say it's unnecessarily small, but somehow I like that, too.
   2. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4330002)
Is it just me, or have there been very few Biggio votes? I'm sure he's not in any danger of falling off the ballot, but given the 3000 hits, I'm stunned I'm not seeing his name more.
   3. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4330004)
At this point, any ballot without Morris is an excellent ballot.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4330059)
Just nitpicking, but:

According to baseball-reference.com, Trammell’s 67.1 WAR is fourth among eligible players not in the Hall.


Larry Walker is third (69.7) and is not on his ballot.

Too bad Trammell was overshadowed by Cal Ripken and Paul Molitor.


I never thought of Trammell being overshadowed by Molitor since they never played the same position. I think he was hurt by being a contemporary of the best fielding shortstop ever (Ozzie), one of the best power hitting shortstops of all time (Ripken), another slam dunk HOF shortstop (Larkin), and by being eligible for the Hall when guys like Derek Jeter were active. In another era, Trammell seems like a pretty good HOF case, especially if he wins that MVP he was robbed of.

Overall, very good ballot though.
   5. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4330060)
The records of these time periods will be viewed accordingly; Bonds’ 762 homers will be as cartoonish as Cy Young’s 511 victories.


That's the first time I've seen that comparison made, and it seems pretty apt.
I don't deny Young's record, but I realize it is from a different time, and if that's how people view Bonds' record (legit, but with circumstances), that's not so terrible.
   6. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4330067)
I never thought of Trammell being overshadowed by Molitor since they never played the same position.


They shared a rookie card. They were both overshadowed by U.L. Washington and Mickey Klutts.
   7. shoewizard Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4330077)
I never thought of Trammell being overshadowed by Molitor since they never played the same position. I think he was hurt by being a contemporary of the best fielding shortstop ever (Ozzie), one of the best power hitting shortstops of all time (Ripken), another slam dunk HOF shortstop (Larkin), and by being eligible for the Hall when guys like Derek Jeter were active. In another era, Trammell seems like a pretty good HOF case, especially if he wins that MVP he was robbed of.


I remember people saying he was the 3rd best Shortstop in his division, behind Ripken and Yount.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4330094)
Whither Sosa, Mr. Fonda?
   9. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4330095)
I remember people saying he was the 3rd best Shortstop in his division, behind Ripken and Yount.


When Ripken retired, Ripken and Yount were 2nd and 4th all-time in WAR among shortstops. This is the rare case where a guy could be the third-best in the division and also a legit Hall of Famer.

   10. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4330111)
This logic makes no sense. He won't vote for guys who admitted taking PEDs or tested positive, but the whole era will be known as the steroid's era, which he seems to be okay with because it will put accomplishments in context. And Bonds' record is an absurd reflection of the era, a claim that implicitly admits that Bonds took PEDs, but Bonds shouldn't be kept from the hall because he never came clean or tested positive.

People who admitted use or tested positive during the Steroids Era should not be allowed in, but the man whose record embodies the era and who had a whole book written about his use of PED's shouldn't be blocked?

By calling it the Steroids Era, he is admitting that a lot of people were using and the players should be judged in that context. Why does eligibility hinge on getting caught?
   11. John Northey Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4330118)
Funny a guy with 7 names on his ballot is doing a 'small ballot'. Nice to see Raines there too. None of his 7 seem like poor candidates (ala Jack Morris and Lee Smith, or previously guys like Jim Rice and Bruce Sutter) and three are guys who haven't gotten the support they should've over the years (Raines, Trammell and Martinez).
   12. DanG Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4330122)
According to baseball-reference.com, Trammell’s 67.1 WAR is fourth among eligible players not in the Hall.
Eligible players not in the Hall who are among the Top 100 in Career WAR:

158.1 Barry Bonds*
133.9 Roger Clemens*
76.7 Jeff Bagwell*
76.1 Curt Schilling*
72.7 Jim McCormick
71.4 Lou Whitaker
70.9 Bill Dahlen
69.7 Larry Walker*
67.3 Bobby Grich
67.1 Alan Trammell*
66.2 Tim Raines*
66.2 Rick Reuschel
66.1 Rafael Palmeiro*

* candidates on 2013 BBWAA ballot
Schilling and McCormick are the only two who are not members of the Hall of Merit.
   13. Suff Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4330130)
I don't think there is any good ballot that falls short of 10 names. There are easily more than 10 HOF players on this ballot. You could vote for 20 without stretching that much.

People need to vote for Palmeiro.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4330152)
Is it just me, or have there been very few Biggio votes? I'm sure he's not in any danger of falling off the ballot, but given the 3000 hits, I'm stunned I'm not seeing his name more.
Yeah, I'm really surprised too. I thought he was odds on to make it on the first ballot. But clearly he isn't if folks like Klapisch aren't voting for him. He must be getting hurt by being compared to even greater deserving HoFers on the same ballot.
   15. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4330159)
Bonds 762 homers are cartoonish?

No. Every single pitch was thrown by a professional pitcher, all 762 balls went over the wall. I saw a whole lot of them, personally.

If baseball had not shut him out at 42 after posting a 169 OPS+, he would have finished with around 830.

Almost a hundred more than Hank, now that would be a bit animated. But 7 more, after 22 YEARS playing at the highest level of the game?

This denigration of the incredible baseball skill set of Barry Bonds is laughable.

And FWIW I am anything but a Bonds disciple, I prefer my left fielders wear #8.

   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4330162)
People need to vote for Palmeiro.
Eh. Palmeiro's a fine candidate, but I easily take Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Bagwell, Biggio, Schilling, Trammell, McGwire ahead of him. Then you've got two spots for Edgar, Sammy, Raffy, Raines, Walker. Walker's the best of that group. Sosa's the worst. So it's one of three. I'd probably go Raines or Edgar ahead of Palmeiro on the merits. And with a cluttered ballot, some strategic thinking is justified - Raines and Edgar could go into the Hall someday with the right campaign, Palmeiro's never getting in on the writer's ballot.

EDIT: Or were you saying that the ballot should have enough space on it to vote reasonably for a reasonable HoF candidate like Palmeiro? In which case, I agree.
   17. SteveF Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4330164)
You'd think the Bonds and Clemens totals would be identical given there's only one reason to keep them out of the Hall and it's the same reason.
   18. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4330176)
Well, Andy thinks that Clemens' acquittal vs Bonds' conviction/hung jury should be good for at least a 10% gap.
   19. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4330178)
all 762 balls went over the wall


False. At least 3 of them were inside the park home runs. Source
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4330183)
You'd think the Bonds and Clemens totals would be identical given there's only one reason to keep them out of the Hall and it's the same reason.


One was white and an asshat, the other was black and an asshat. The white guy gets the benefit of the doubt among white baseball writers.
   21. Dale Sams Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4330187)
If baseball had not shut him out at 42 after posting a 169 OPS+, he would have finished with around 830.


Hey don't at look our home team brother, we had nowhere to play him.
   22. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4330360)
In 20 or so years we’ll remember this as the Steroids Era, the same way the early 1900s is viewed by historians as the Dead Ball era.


I remember being about 7 years old and wondering just why this guy's nickname was Frank "Home Run" Baker when he could only hit 12 Home Runs. Gorman Thomas could do that by the break easy. I suspect at the same time I thought the Dead Ball Era meant ball players that were dead.
   23. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 21, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4330379)
Klapisch: If Clemens and Bonds couldn’t be convicted, who are we to judge?
Hitler wasn't convicted either, man.
   24. bachslunch Posted: December 21, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4330383)
Hitler wasn't convicted either, man.

It helped just a little bit that he committed suicide before he was brought before a court of law.

Just thought I'd sneak that in before someone invokes Godwin's Law here.
   25. baerga1 Posted: December 21, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4330425)
I prefer my left fielders wear #8.


I'm a huge Albert Belle guy as well! Favorite player of all time, in fact.
   26. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: December 21, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4330459)
@19 - He touched every base going around, didn't he?
   27. bobm Posted: December 21, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4330503)
Schilling and McCormick are the only two who are not members of the Hall of Merit.

Why is Schilling not in the HoM?
   28. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: December 21, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4330505)
Hey don't at look our home team brother, we had nowhere to play him.
He's one of the top 3-5 hitters in teh game - *Everyone* needed him on the team.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: December 21, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4330509)
Why is Schilling not in the HoM?


He finished fifth in the most recent election, behind Bonds, Clemens, Piazza and Biggio in an Elect 4 year. He'll make it in the near future.
   30. Dale Sams Posted: December 21, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4330519)
He's one of the top 3-5 hitters in teh game - *Everyone* needed him on the team.


And would it have been Manny Ramirez or David Ortiz that Mr. 42 year old would have supplanted? Coming right off those guys getting world series rings.
   31. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: December 21, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4330560)
You could vote for 20 without stretching that much


Well, there's big hall and then there's BIG HALL.

Obvious and borderline (and I'm being really generous on the categories):

Bagwell
Raines
Trammell
Mcgwire
Palmeiro
Bonds
Clemens
Piazza
Schilling
Lofton
Biggio
Sosa

That's 12.

Stretching a little:

Morris
Smith
McGriff
Murphy
Walker

17

Stretching a lot:

Mattingly
Williams

19. To get to 20 you need Wells, Finley, or Franco.



   32. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4330610)
Stretching a little:

Morris
Smith
McGriff
Murphy
Walker


WTF is Walker doing down here?

You also forgot Edgar.
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4330612)
Some stuff I disagree with in the above post-

1) Larry Walker is no kind of stretch for the Hall of Fame. He has a fully deserving HoF peak (three MVP quality seasons in '94, '97, and '01), a great combination of all-around hitting, baserunning, and defense. Basically, he's a better version of Dwight Evans. I'd take Walker easily over Lofton, Sosa, and Palmeiro.

2) Jack Morris is stretching a lot. I see basically no gap between his case and Chuck Finley's. He just pitched for better teams.

3) I'd just put Bernie Williams in the "stretching a little" group. If his defense was acceptable rather than bad earlier in his career (which was closer to the consensus evaluation at the time), there's not too much separating him a Murphy or McGriff.
   34. Repoz Posted: December 21, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4330613)
I know this is probably false goo...but I am getting all gooey inside about Jack Morris' weeny 61% with 7% of the vote in.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 21, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4330615)
Am I correct in remembering that Morris outperformed his published count last year by a pretty good margin?
   36. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 21, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4330622)
Misirlou, how do you get Wells as multiple tiers below Morris? You can make the argument that Morris's 400 extra innings cancels out Wells's slightly better run prevention and postseason advantage, but I see no way to get Morris two tiers up on him.
   37. Lassus Posted: December 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4330635)
3) I'd just put Bernie Williams in the "stretching a little" group.

Only a little?
   38. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4330648)
3) I'd just put Bernie Williams in the "stretching a little" group.

Only a little?


Yeah, I think that's right. First, he's got 46 WAR which is right in Puckett's range. Second, he's got 60 oWAR. That's 6 more oWAR than Edmonds in 1000 more PA; 10 more oWAR than Dawson in 1000 fewer PA. If you're willing to overlook his defensive shortcomings (or simply don't believe they existed ... he did win 4 GG) he's a very viable candidate.

EDIT: Also McGriff -- if his career had started about 5 years earlier, he'd have gone in the way Rice and Dawson did.
   39. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 21, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4330668)
If you're willing to overlook his defensive shortcomings (or simply don't believe they existed ... he did win 4 GG) he's a very viable candidate.


Bernie was an obvious defensive liability after the knee and shoulder injuries took their toll, but he was perfectly cromulent early in his career in an "outrun his mistakes" sort of way. But yeah, 60 oWAR. I don't mind people ragging on his defense so much, but it sure would be nice if his hitting got the credit it deserves.

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