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Friday, December 23, 2011

Krieger: Only fair to give Rockies some props in Hall of Fame voting

Including the first vote for Vinny Castilla-.260 hitter…no matter how you look at it!

The Rockies and the steroid abusers have one thing in common — baseball traditionalists, most of them back East, don’t believe the numbers of either group are legitimate.

This is not a particularly contentious issue with respect to the Rocks on the ballot because none is a threat to be the first member of the Colorado franchise enshrined at Cooperstown — at least, not yet.

...Indeed, Ellis Burks got only two votes before being dismissed from further consideration, an unremarkable outcome until you consider how closely his career numbers resemble those of Bernie Williams?, the former Yankee who makes his ballot debut this year. Williams isn’t likely to be elected, but you can bet he’ll be on the ballot longer than Burks was.

...Anyway, in the year before the great accounting, I’m voting for Bagwell, Walker, Barry Larkin?, Jack Morris?, Tim Raines? and Alan Trammell? on merit. I’m voting for Castilla because I don’t believe he deserves to be knocked off the ballot after one year, as Bichette and Galarraga were.

Purists may not like that rationale, but that’s OK. Considering the national bias against Rocky Mountain baseball, a little bias for it seems only sporting.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2011 at 12:17 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, rockies, sabermetrics

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. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: December 23, 2011 at 12:53 PM (#4022536)
Considering the national bias against Rocky Mountain baseball, a little bias for it seems only sporting.

Maybe there wouldn't be a "national bias against" the Rockies if they'd, you know, win something occasionally. The Marlins have won two WS, the D-Backs one; even the Rays have a pennant win.

How do this idiot get a vote, anyway? Nude of pictures of Selig, maybe?
   2. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 23, 2011 at 01:05 PM (#4022540)
Maybe there wouldn't be a "national bias against" the Rockies if they'd, you know, win something occasionally. The Marlins have won two WS, the D-Backs one; even the Rays have a pennant win.
The Rockies have as many World Series appearances as the Rays. They got swept, but they did win a pennant.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2011 at 01:29 PM (#4022544)
They got swept, but they did win a pennant.

That was like a million years ago.
   4. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 23, 2011 at 01:30 PM (#4022545)
Edgardo Alfonzo was way better than either Vinny ####### Castilla or Dante ####### Bichette, yet no one will even get a chance to vote for him. So #### your Rocky Mountain bias.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 23, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#4022548)
While Vinny Castilla isn't the guy I'd use it on, I do think that give-the-guy-a-vote is a pretty good policy given the 5% rule. A number of deserving HoFers or at least guys with enough of a case to deserve a discussion have been unceremoniously dumped off the ballot in their first or second year.
   6. stanmvp48 Posted: December 23, 2011 at 02:30 PM (#4022555)
At least once a month this idiot writes a column complaining about the bias which kept the Inferno from winning the MVP in 95. A total homer with an IQ of about 12, like the rest of the staff.
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 23, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#4022558)
What bias gave Walker the MVP over Mike Piazza?
   8. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 23, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#4022565)
I'm somewhat excited and surprised that so many of the public ballots have had Tim Raines and Alan Trammmell (Raines more frequently). I don't see either of them getting there, but it would be nice if Raines could exceed 50%. I know it's a big climb, but he could prove to be an antidote to the steroid slugger and kind of a candidate of circumstances in the coming years. People could say that the steroid power ruined the game and pine for the candidates of yesteryear who stole bases and "played the game the right way." In that case he'd get the anti-steroid ballots and the sabermetric ballots. That would be outstanding.
   9. John DiFool2 Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#4022566)
It's looking like Bernie is going to get gobsmacked by the same "Not a 1st ballot HoFer!" mentality that caused Lou Whitaker to be one and done. He's at 134 on the HoF monitor too, which usually means that such a player will stick around on the ballot, at least for awhile.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#4022569)
A total homer with an IQ of about 12, like the rest of the staff.

he should have his humidor taken away
   11. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#4022570)
I'm somewhat excited and surprised that so many of the public ballots have had Tim Raines and Alan Trammmell (Raines more frequently). I don't see either of them getting there.


Trammell won't get there. If not for the coming onslaught, Raines would be odds-on to make it in down the road. As it is, it's too hard to tell.

A lot of these guys seem to do better in the Repoz count than they do in the full balloting, so expect some slippage.

It's looking like Bernie is going to get gobsmacked by the same "Not a 1st ballot HoFer!" mentality that caused Lou Whitaker to be one and done.


I'm not sure that's a "Not a 1st ballot" mentality and more of a "Not a Hall of Famer" one.
   12. Greg K Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:07 PM (#4022571)
He probably has a point about Coors numbers being dismissed too readily. I'd imagine the only Hall of Fame case that effects would be Larry Walker's. Possibly Todd Helton, though I'd still say no.
   13. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:22 PM (#4022579)
Yeah, I'd tend to agree with the no on Helton. His normalized line per 162 at BB-Ref is .297/.393/.505 with 24 home runs. That's an excellent player, but among his contemporaries, I think he's solidly behind Thomas, Bagwell, Thome, and Pujols. Probably behind McGwire and Palmeiro if you overlook the PEDs. So he's either the fifth-best or seventh-best first baseman among his contemporaries, depending on your position on Roids.

That's probably not a Hall of Famer, Coors notwithstanding...it's a guy who deserves to be remembered as a heck of a ballplayer, but no HOFer.
   14. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#4022588)
Yeah, I'd tend to agree with the no on Helton. His normalized line per 162 at BB-Ref is .297/.393/.505 with 24 home runs. That's an excellent player, but among his contemporaries, I think he's solidly behind Thomas, Bagwell, Thome, and Pujols. Probably behind McGwire and Palmeiro if you overlook the PEDs. So he's either the fifth-best or seventh-best first baseman among his contemporaries, depending on your position on Roids.


OTOH, he might be in the Top 12* all-time among first sackers, which would give him a legitimate Cooperstown case.

* That's just a guess. Point being, the list of all-time great first basemen is thoroughly dominated by players whose careers began in the last 35 years or so, with the greatest concentration during Helton's career.
   15. stanmvp48 Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#4022589)
Aren't Helton road stats comparable to Will Clark overall?
   16. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 23, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#4022590)
.Indeed, Ellis Burks got only two votes before being dismissed from further consideration, an unremarkable outcome until you consider how closely his career numbers resemble those of Bernie Williams?, the former Yankee who makes his ballot debut this year.


My initial reaction was "No freakin way!", but looking at the numbers, yeah. But then look at this:

Burks ages 24-28: .278/.343/.452 116 OPS+

Burks ages 34-38: .297/.382/.547 142 OPS+

Makes you go Hmmmmm.

edit: None of those seasons are Coors years. He was in COL from ages 29-33
   17. LargeBill Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#4022593)
Burks is a surprising one and done. I don't see him as a HoF'r, but he is the classic type player that gets a few more votes than one would think. Played very well for a few teams and was always well liked by the media. Good for a quote. Stayed involved in the game after retirement. And so on. Not interested enough to go look up who all was on the ballot when he hit it, but I assume there were a bunch of similar but overall better players.
   18. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#4022594)
He's voting for Bagwell, Raines, and Trammell. If he wants to throw a bone to Castilla, fine.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:11 PM (#4022600)
If there's a bias against Rockies hitters, shouldn't that mean a bias FOR Rockies pitchers? Can someone run a Keltner test on Kevin Ritz?
   20. The District Attorney Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#4022604)
BREAKING: Denver writer likes Denver players
   21. Tippecanoe Posted: December 23, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#4022631)
I really am OK with this kind of a quirky "statement" vote if you've decided on only 6 serious votes. A vote for Castilla is no different from a blank slot, effectively.

Regarding his bias paranoia...Obviously, Larry Walker will get a good look from the HoF voters purely because of his superior play in Coors field. If you deduct Walker's Coors numbers from his career totals, you get an exact replica of a similarly good fielding, strong-armed, fast, injury-prone rightfielder named JD Drew. Of course it's not fair to deduct those slow-pitch Coors numbers, but it is fair to ask whether there's a such a large standard deviation for hitters in the Coors Field/late 90's offensive atmosphere that his oWAR numbers need some sort of additional fudge factor.
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#4022636)
If you deduct Walker's Coors numbers from his career totals, you get an exact replica of a similarly good fielding, strong-armed, fast, injury-prone rightfielder named JD Drew.
Drew has about 6000 PA, Walker about 8000. Walker's 5500 non-Coors PA do add up to something rather like Drew's career - there's a big era difference problem, as Walker played several seasons before the sillyball era started, but it's not too far off even so.

What this means is:

JD Drew + 3 huge peak seasons = Larry Walker

Basically, if JD Drew had had not one 2004, but four 2004s, he'd be Larry Walker. And he'd be a pretty reasonable Hall of Famer.
   23. puck Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#4022647)
Maybe there wouldn't be a "national bias against" the Rockies if they'd, you know, win something occasionally. The Marlins have won two WS, the D-Backs one; even the Rays have a pennant win.


A lot of people here are fixated on how the national media ignores the teams here. After a big Rockies win, you know, when something crazy happens like Tulowitzki hitting 2 walk off grand slams in the same game to come back from a 10-run deficit in the bottom of the 16th, instead of celebrating people will go to espn.com and complain "the Rockies are only the 3rd story on the slide show!"
   24. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#4022648)
This wouldn't be an issue if oxygen didn't have an anti-mountain bias.
   25. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#4022649)
They got swept, but they did win a pennant.

That was like a million years ago.


Dear God, this is what I get for posting early in the morning while recovering from the flu. I had completely forgotten about the 2007 World Series. Maybe I chose to forget, as Scrooge would say.

Yeah, I'd tend to agree with the no on Helton.

The man has 60 WAR already; he'll probably finish around .320 AVG, 2500 H, 350 HR and 1400 RBI. Even in Coors, that's at least a HOF candidate.

Fun fact: Tulo has 24 WAR thru 2011; this places him 14th all-time among SS thru age 26, between Trammell and Ernie Banks. Not bad.
   26. Tippecanoe Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#4022651)
JD Drew + 3 huge peak seasons = Larry Walker


Right. So the question is what role did the move to Colorado play in generating those three big seasons for Walker?

To get even more speculative, if Drew had played his most recent three seasons in 1997 Coors field instead of 2009-2011 AL East, would he look like he was toast, or would he get 2000 more PAs?
   27. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#4022655)
Right. So the question is what role did the move to Colorado play in generating those three big seasons for Walker?
Walker's accomplishments are Walker's accomplishments. We know how easy it was for MLB hitters to produce in Colorado, and we can compare Walker's numbers to that baseline - he was far, far better than an average hitter. The league average line in Colorado was never anywhere close to an 1100. What Walker actually did is what makes his Hall of Fame case. Putting up an 1100 OPS in Coors, combined with excellent defense, is a huge peak season, and Walker had the equivalent of three of them.
if Drew had played his most recent three seasons in 1997 Coors field instead of 2009-2011 AL East, would he look like he was toast, or would he get 2000 more PAs?
At what point did Larry Walker get undeserved playing time? His last season in Colorado he put up a 121 OPS+. He went to St Louis, and without the aid of Coors he was excellent in both 2004 and 2005. Then he retired. JD Drew, by contract, put up a 68 OPS+ last year. There's no similarity whatsoever between Drew's final seasons in Boston and Walker's in Colorado.
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 23, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#4022657)

A lot of people here are fixated on how the national media ignores the teams here.


Well, you know, you look at the headline on Howard Medgal's piece on David Wright, and you can kinda see where they're coming from.
   29. The District Attorney Posted: December 23, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#4022676)
Well, you know, you look at the headline on Howard Medgal's piece on David Wright, and you can kinda see where they're coming from.
The "national media" is hosted at capitalnewyork.com, doing a website with the tagline "This Is How New York Works"?
   30. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: December 23, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#4022708)
A lot of people here are fixated on how the national media ignores the teams here.

It's silly how people do that. The "national media" doesn't ignore anyone.

Except Detroit, of course.
   31. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#4022727)
It's silly how people do that. The "national media" doesn't ignore anyone.

Except Detroit, of course.


Who?
   32. JJ1986 Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#4022733)
What bias gave Walker the MVP over Mike Piazza?


Anti-mustache bias.
   33. rlc Posted: December 23, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#4022741)
Only fair to give Rockies some props in Hall of Fame voting.


I couldn't agree more. The only question is, which props?

Here's my ballot:

Larry Walker - goalie mask and stick
Andres Gallaraga - giant litter box
Dante Bichette - helium balloon
Vinny Castilla - Miss Congeniality bouquet
   34. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:12 PM (#4022752)
Dale Murphy - Rockies cap on his plaque and a confused look on his face.
   35. puck Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:27 PM (#4022761)
Well, you know, you look at the headline on Howard Medgal's piece on David Wright, and you can kinda see where they're coming from.


Isn't he a NY writer? I think front range sports fans have too much of a chip on its shoulder. When my team wins, I don't think, "yeah, but this is no fun if the national media doesn't recognize us, let me watch sports center to see how they've spurned me."
   36. Tippecanoe Posted: December 23, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#4022769)
Walker's accomplishments are Walker's accomplishments.


I agree...except that I have ths strange, nagging, compulsive anti-Rockies bias.
   37. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 23, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#4022792)
Burks is a surprising one and done... Not interested enough to go look up who all was on the ballot when he hit it, but I assume there were a bunch of similar but overall better players.

It was just two years ago. New names on the ballot that year were (in descending order of support) Alomar, Larkin, E. Martinez, McGriff, Galarraga, Ventura, and then Burks and Karros with 2 votes apiece. Plus all the holdovers we're familiar with.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: December 23, 2011 at 11:22 PM (#4022818)
Not surprised at all that Burks was one and done. Not saying he should have been but it's quite consistent with the BBWAA. To stick on the ballot at the low levels you usually

(a) need to have been really good young. It's very hard to be a "visible" HoFer (i.e. know one when I see one) if you were clearly not an HoFer through age 27-28. Much better to excel early then fade away than it is to be good early then excel late. Burks was probably better than Pinson, but Pinson was a star in his early 20s. (Even so, Pinson was under 5%, got tossed off the ballot, got put back on (with Santo I assume) then survived.

(b) win some hardware. Burks is not that different from Murphy but Murphy has the 2 MVPs (and a legitimately HoF peak). Maybe just a variation on (a) but I'd also expect to see Kent do better thanks to his MVP. Burks also has only one GG and made only 2 AS games.

(c) win some rings. He didn't.

(d) at least win a batting title. His 291 career BA is a lot better than I expected.

(e) don't play 2B, 3B or CF ... or, if you do, win a lot of GG or hit like a 1B. The weirdness that Perez was voted in by the writers and Cepeda was an easy VC selection while Santo, Grich, Whitaker, Wynn, Nettles, Simmons, Freehan (and maybe Edmonds and Rolen) were easily discarded or waited forever can't be explained other than by a near complete ignorance of the defensive spectrum (outside of SS).

On (e), at least semi-seriously ... maybe if he doesn't play CF he doesn't get hurt as much young (and therefore probably is more durable in his 30s too). Maybe he makes it to 10,000 PA with pretty much the same rate stats. Maybe then he's sitting on nearly 1500 runs, over 1400 RBI, 425-450 HR and maybe he wins a few GG in a corner and he's still got that 126 OPS+ and that looks pretty Perez-ish. Burks quite possibly does better in the HoF voting if he doesn't play CF.
   39. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 24, 2011 at 01:00 AM (#4022848)

Isn't he a NY writer? I think front range sports fans have too much of a chip on its shoulder.


It doesn't matter where he's from; it betrays a certain provincialness to claim that there's a dichotomy between going to the Hall of Fame or going to the Colorado Rockies.

There are probably more future Hall of Famers on the Rockies right now than there are on the Mets.
   40. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 24, 2011 at 01:20 AM (#4022852)
The complaint was about the "national media" being biased against the Rockies, and Megdal was held up as an example of said national media. So yeah, it matters that he's writes for a NY web site rather than a national one. And anyway, suggesting that David Wright a) is possibly on a HOF career path, and b) should not be traded to the Colorado Rockies, does not in any way imply that being traded to the Rockies is incompatible with making the HOF.
   41. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: December 24, 2011 at 02:11 AM (#4022872)
Hey repoz...where's this year's ballot thread?
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: December 24, 2011 at 04:32 AM (#4022900)
Dsve is a good guy and a good writer, but yeah this is not exactly his finest hour.

Seems like any city below top 3-5 in population winds up with writers having this weird phobia. Logical arguments based on past evidence will get you nowhere.

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