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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Phil Rogers: Controversy accompanies Hall of Fame ballot

The complete, partial, full, something-or-another, eyeball tested, Phil Rogers HOF ballot.

The Hall of Fame ballot is out today, and the list of great players on it is so long that I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with mine when it arrives in the brown envelope from Cooperstown, N.Y.

I could frame it. I could return it. I could throw it in the trash can and walk away defeated, as I once did with a Rubik’s Cube. 

...I voted for seven players last year, including Barry Larkin and Bert Blyleven, who got in. I will probably vote again for Morris, Raines, Bagwell, Trammell and Walker. I’ll re-examine my non-vote on Smith (he got 50.6 percent of the vote last year), and then weigh the new candidates. I’m most likely to vote for Clemens, Biggio, Schilling and Piazza.

Even throwing out Palmeiro, McGwire, Bonds and Sosa, it will be tough to narrow my list of deserving candidates to 10. Imagine how tough it will be this time next year, when Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina head the list of first-timers.

Repoz Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:04 PM | 111 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   101. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4312553)
I think this ballot will make the voting a little easier for the steroid-haters among the BBWAA.
   102. Booey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4312564)
His wins and CGs aren't the product of "selective endpoints," "cherry-picking," "data mining" or any such thing. They're real.


But they're only near the top of the league when you DO use selective endpoints to define his "era". They're much less impressive when you compare them to all the 70's pitchers who's careers overlapped Jack's for the first half of his career or the 90's pitchers who's careers overlapped Jack's for the latter part of his career. To make 254 wins look like the best of the era, you have to focus entirely on the middle of Morris's career and nothing at the beginning or end. That still sounds something like cherry picking to me.
   103. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: November 29, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4312595)
And here I thought being elected to the HoF was an individual honor, not a team honor. Silly me.

That's OK, I'll let it slide. This time.

When you spend your formative years as a sports fan in Detroit in the 70s (which had four major pro teams, each more sucktacular than the last*), you kinda have a siege mentality: everybody hates us. I grew up believing that other teams hated Detroit, the announcers hated Detroit, and indeed the sports world at-large hated Detroit and everything about it. (Then I got older and discovered that this is, in fact, absolutely true.)

So if Morris makes the HOF, I'm gonna feel the same way I did when Cabrera won the MVP: a mistake, really, but hooray for Detroit! And it wouldn't be some horrible injustice: it's not like those 254 wins and three rings didn't really happen. Sure, the wins and rings are the only things Morris has to sell, but they're pretty valuable things, no?

Center a group around Morris' 39 WAR and 105 ERA+ and you've got some pretty good pitchers, but (except for Herb Pennock, who doesn't belong) not Hall of Famers. (Well, Kaat, maybe.) But I want to see somebody from the '84 Tigers in the Hall, dammit, and Jack's my only hope. So there.

*All four Detroit teams -- Lions, Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings -- spent at least one season in the 1970s in last place. (Not just last in their division: dead last, in the entire league.) This was my childhood.
   104. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 29, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4312603)
When you spend your formative years as a sports fan in Detroit in the 70s (which had four major pro teams, each more sucktacular than the last*),

Amazing, wasn't it?

So if Morris makes the HOF, I'm gonna feel the same way I did when Cabrera won the MVP: a mistake, really, but hooray for Detroit! And it wouldn't be some horrible injustice: it's not like those 254 wins and three rings didn't really happen. Sure, the wins and rings are the only things Morris has to sell, but they're pretty valuable things, no?

Yep. Marginal mistakes, theatrically overblown. No apologies necessary.

   105. Booey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4312643)
See, #103 is exactly the kind of honest response I wish all the Morris supporters would make. Basically, "Look, I know his numbers don't really show that he belongs, but he was an important part of some memorable winning teams, and I'm from Detroit and I liked him and I want to see him get elected for nostalgia's sake."

I can understand that. We all have our favorites. It's the arguments that try to pretend it's about actual value and worth rather than personal reasons that annoy me.
   106. Sunday silence Posted: November 29, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4312886)
Jim Rice was the most feared slugger in the league! (How could you possibly know this?) Jack Morris pitched to the score! He was a winner and a gamer! Sorry, but valid HOF cases are built using stats, not adjectives. When the latter is all you have, I think you must know deep down that you're basing your vote on fanboyism rather than facts..


you have a point and I agree that unique arguments are dubious. However: there is a whole world of baseball fans out there who arent stat geeks such as us. They too, deserve a voice. I dont think the baseball HoF should be like women's golf where they have a strict 35 pro win criterion (IIRC).

Baseball is more than just numbers at least for large numbers of fans and apparently writers too. I can understand the Jack MOrris near-love even though I dont think he's a HoF'er. As long as you want to buy into this notion of baseball's Hall of Fame (as opposed to better peer reviewed sort of lists compiled right on this website) then you ought to acknoledge this.

****

I was suprised to see Dale Murphy relatively low on the list of career WAR that was posted back on p. 1. He was a real force for a number of years although his last couple of seasons were disasterous as I recall. Maybe people remember that more. I would guess of the top of my head he's a better candidate than Morris, but that's without looking at the numbers in quite a while.
   107. The District Attorney Posted: November 29, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4312899)
I think this ballot will make the voting a little easier for the steroid-haters among the BBWAA.
Pretty good, but Morris should be in large-type boldface.

(Actually, given these guys' ages, the whole thing should be in large-type boldface and Morris should be in mega-large mega-boldface.)
   108. Booey Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4312962)
However: there is a whole world of baseball fans out there who arent stat geeks such as us. They too, deserve a voice. I dont think the baseball HoF should be like women's golf where they have a strict 35 pro win criterion (IIRC).


I understand and agree with all that. I'd never support the idea of a HOF that had a strictly defined cutoff line using WAR or whatever your metric of choice is that left no room for opinion or debate. But it can't just be a popularity contest, either.
   109. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 29, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4313017)
I was suprised to see Dale Murphy relatively low on the list of career WAR that was posted back on p. 1. He was a real force for a number of years although his last couple of seasons were disasterous as I recall. Maybe people remember that more. I would guess of the top of my head he's a better candidate than Morris, but that's without looking at the numbers in quite a while.


Dale Murphy loses career WAR at both ends of his career - literally. He earned 44.2 WAR in the 1980s (which happens to perfectly coincide with the part of his career where he was worth a damn) and 42.6 for his career.
   110. Sunday silence Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:14 AM (#4313124)
he won back to back MVPs if I am reading the notations at Baseball reference correctly. That's very very impressive. MVPs are really the kind of black type that has a high correlation to HoF. Or at least it seems to me. I associate MVP seasons with HoF type of players. E.g. Joe Morgan. ANd he put up about 6 or 7 seasons that were comparable in terms of OPS+ in those years. About 11 seasons of highly effective play. I realize the rest of Murphys career has very little to offer but for his contemporaries, was his peak about the best? Was he a better fielder than Winfield for instance?
   111. Sunday silence Posted: November 30, 2012 at 04:20 AM (#4313128)
But it can't just be a popularity contest, either.


NO I wouldnt think so but as these things are based on voting, popularity will play a role. To me, the idea of "fame" is a legitimate criterion, sort of like when we had the Lou Brock discussion and how his contributions during the WOrld Series help push him over the top. Morris is no slouch in career wins, which seems a statistic that is useful in evaluating a pitcher's career and he has the world series fame to add to his "fame" or whatever.

Another way to look at it is to compare him to pitchers such as those listed in post 103 and you see the likes of Kaat, Derringer, and Vida Blue and once you figure in the post season success and this perhaps makes him stand out from the rest. It's not a true standout in terms of dominating the field, but it's something extra that makes him different.

Again, if you have to rely on this argument, then obviously he's no sure fire HoF'er. That's obvious. but I can sort of understand the reasoning and as long as I dont get too attached to statistics I guess it's OK.
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