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Monday, July 30, 2007

The Bulletin: Silverman: The Great Hall Of Fame Debate: Who’s In, Who’s Out

Who drew Silverman in today’s pitfall pool?...Why, it seems Barnald did.

Curt Schilling - No - It pains me to say it, because I am a rare writer who is also part of the Curt Schilling fan club. Despite his inflated ego and regular publicity stunts, the man is a great pitcher and a winner. He has won 213 games and surpassed 3,000 strikeouts last season. He is a stellar postseason pitcher and a two-time World Series champion, but he needs to add 30-40 more wins to be Hall worthy.

Jim Thome - No - When all is said and done, Thome is going to have well more than 500 home runs. He was a very good player for a lot of years and, at times, one of the best power hitters in the league. But his defense, strikeouts and inconsistent average (only four of 17 seasons hitting over .290) will keep him out.

Repoz Posted: July 30, 2007 at 07:11 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. PepTech Posted: July 30, 2007 at 07:29 PM (#2461809)
Jim Edmonds - Yes - I never get any support on this one, nor do I expect to
.

I'm not here to disappoint you...
   2. Hack Wilson Posted: July 30, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2461831)
(only four of 17 seasons hitting over .290)
The dreaded .290 rule.

How 'bout the 111 rule, he only scored over 111 runs once!

Thome's career average is .281, OBP .410
   3. Guts Posted: July 30, 2007 at 07:58 PM (#2461841)
Edmonds doesn't have enough great seasons to make the HOF; too bad, as he is definately a great player. Better than Albert, in least in a couple of years.
   4. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:13 PM (#2461877)
I thought this guy has a pretty defensible position on all of his choices, he's obviously a peak/HOF seasons kind of guy, which helps explain Edmonds. I'm a little surprised by Smotlz being a no brainer and Schilling not making the cut, but that's the only inconsistency in his imaginary Hall line. His numbers on Thome may not be the best, but he pretty much nails the reasons (except the strikeouts and replace "average" with "HOF seasons" or something like that) why Thome, despite his bat, is not (I've argued the other way before but I like to change my mind) a HOFer.

Personally, I'd put Kent in and Schilling, and I would give Thome at least one more look, but I think this guy put together a pretty well reasoned argument for each player considering he had two-three sentences to do it in.
   5. PhillyBooster Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:18 PM (#2461886)
Here's my best Pro-Schilling Case, which I think is darned convincing.

The problem with Schilling is that he has no natural constituency group (outside of 2004 Red Sox fans). The "counting stats" folks look at the 213 Wins and think "borderline" and the stats folks look at the 126 ERA+ in 3200 innings and think "borderline".

The problem with the "counting stats" case is well-known here, of course. His 221 wins (whether or not you give extra post-season "bloody socks" points, his 8 post-season wins should at least count as wins!) ignores that he was frequently used as a reliever (133 non-start games, 22 saves). Meanwhile, as of today, the only players with fewer innings and more wins in regular season baseball are Al Spalding, Mordecai Brown, Whitey Ford, Stan Coveleski, and Bob Caruthers -- that's four Hall of Famers and an 18th Century guy who probably would be if so many of those wins weren't in the lesser American Association. So, if you are going to induct a guy with 3204.3 innings, you're not really lowering the bar.

Now, the stats guy looks at the above list and says, "You're comparing Schilling (126 ERA+) to Spalding (142) Brown (138) Ford (132) and Coveleski (127)? He'd go right to the bottom of that group!"

Well, not really. While we like to look at ERA+ as a thumbnail of how good a pitchers' ERA was relative to his time, what ERA+ misses is that Schilling has the lowest rate of unearned runs allowed EVER.

Stan Coveleski allowed 247 UNearned runs. Schilling has allowed 64. At 4.9%, his percentage of unearned runs are less than half anyone else on the least -- and lower than any other regular starter in history. Look at RA instead of ERA, and Schilling's standing skyrockets.

I think, looking at everything together, Schilling should be a clear Hall of Famer.
   6. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:24 PM (#2461896)
I'm a little surprised by Smotlz being a no brainer and Schilling not making the cut, but that's the only inconsistency in his imaginary Hall line.

Give Smoltz credit for 12-15 wins a season of "starter credit" for his three excellent seasons as a closer (and five or six for his good 2001 spent mostly in relief) and he surges ahead to about 243 wins, to Schill's 213 - with about the same ERA numbers and winning percentages. The statement that Schill needs another 30 wins would jibe with this.
   7. BDC Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:29 PM (#2461907)
Jim Thome has the 36th-highest OBP in baseball history, making it academic how much he strikes out, even with some deflation for a high-offense era. He doesn't make outs often enough that the method of making them is relevant.

The problem with Thome's HOF case is that it was very hard for him to dominate his era, to get any real recognition ahead of the crowd of high-octane sluggers he ran with. He won one HR title and one slugging title. He was top-five in RBIs only twice. Despite the gorgeous OBP, he never led his league (though he might this season). The highest he ever finished in Runs Scored was fifth. Fred McGriff was a vaguely similar ballplayer and has some of the same HOF problems (as did Rafael Palmeiro before the Winstrol/ "B12" flap): very good, highly sought after, but distinctly never a big threat to win an MVP Award.
   8. Juan V Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2461912)
Fred McGriff was a vaguely similar ballplayer and has some of the same HOF problems (as did Rafael Palmeiro before the Winstrol/ "B12" flap): very good, highly sought after, but distinctly never a big threat to win an MVP Award.


I think this is underselling the Crime Dog. He had the misfortune of peaking during a depression of run-scoring, just before this high-offense era started.
   9. Loren F. Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2461914)
I agree with this guy that Frank Thomas and Craig Biggio deserve the Hall. But I don't give credit for right answers that are reached by wrong reasoning, and so I give little credit to this columnist. The writer keeps referring to batting average, which is not the defining point for most of these guys. Cooperstown-bound or not, Thome is a patient slugger who was never going to have a high average. In what universe was Sheffield, a decent corner outfielder and bad 3B with 159 FRAR, "a better defensive player than" Kent, an average/slightly below average 2B with 348 FRAR? And, if we're going to look at the flawed measure of Wins, why is Schilling a NO because he only has 213 wins, but Smoltz is a "lock" with 203 wins? This writer never even mentions slugging average or on-base percentage. It's like he's still stuck in the 1987 mainstream.
   10. Loren F. Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:37 PM (#2461919)
I agree with #7 on Thome. A player who offers only patient slugging needs to be more dominant in an era with Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield and a bunch of other patient sluggers if he wants to get into the Hall of Fame. Not that Thome hasn't had a very nice career, but he seems on track for the Hall of the Very Good, which happens to be the home of some of my favorite players.
   11. BDC Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:45 PM (#2461930)
I think this is underselling the Crime Dog.

You think? McGriff won two HR titles, but never led a league in SLG, OBP, Runs, or RBIs. He and Thome each have one OPS title (which was also in each case an OPS+ title). That's impressive work in both cases, but it's not quite the same territory as Thomas, McGwire, Bonds, AROD ...
   12. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:47 PM (#2461936)
Thome's OPS+ is only 149. The steroid era HOF bar requires an OPS+ above 163 for first basemen, we call it the "McGwire line".
   13. Jose Canusee Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2461938)
Re: Gonzo "Oh, and his monster 2001 campaign wreaks of steroids"
Anyone who can't spell "reek" and his editor should automatically be disqualified from any newspaper awards.

I would put Vizquel in a similar category to Biggio, long career value without a magic ticket (3000). But this is the h.o.Fame and there is some additional votes to people who are headliners on their teams, given their similar markets and postseason appearances. But Biggio's few years as the #1 at his position, which was clearly weaker than Vizquel's competition, would make a difference.
   14. Juan V Posted: July 30, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2461939)
Just looked at Thome's BB-Ref page. A lot better than I first thought. I guess the 1B glut of the 90's/early 00's affects my perception of Thome.
   15. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2461976)
Anyone who can't spell "reek" and his editor should automatically be disqualified from any newspaper.

fixed.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:35 PM (#2461990)
His 221 wins (whether or not you give extra post-season "bloody socks" points, his 8 post-season wins should at least count as wins!) ignores that he was frequently used as a reliever (133 non-start games, 22 saves).

I think it's fair to consider that Schilling was not good enough to start or close for part of his career. Schilling has had half of a HoF career. He was a .500 pitcher until he was 30. Unless he has a great 40+ career, I don't see him making the Hall.
   17. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:41 PM (#2462001)
Maybe I'm a big hall guy, but McGriff and Thome seem like no-brainers to me.

BTW, does anyone remember the HR McGriff hit against the PHillies in the 1993 playoffs? That was one of the hardest hit balls I've ever seen.
   18. OCF Posted: July 30, 2007 at 09:56 PM (#2462021)
Peak versus career question: Fred McGriff or Will Clark? Juan V. said, "He had the misfortune of peaking during a depression of run-scoring," but the 1B who really PEAKED at that time was Clark.

McGriff was a step behind Eddie Murray, all the way around - not that Murray is exactly a Hall of Fame minimum case. I really haven't made up my mind about McGriff, yet. But you know who else should be in this conversation? Keith Hernandez. McGriff had a longevity advantage over Hernandez, but Hernandez's OBP-heavy offense may have been better at his peak, and then there's the value of defense.

(Note: the Hall of Merit has elected Hernandez.)
   19. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:07 PM (#2462031)
He was a .500 pitcher until he was 30.

He was a reliever, for whom win-loss record means nothing, until he was 25. His record was 6-13 as a reliever from 1988 through 1992. Ignore win-loss record for relievers.

Then as a starter, from age 25 through age 29 (the World Series team, plus 4 losing teams) his record was 46-39, including one injury-marred year when he was 2-8.

Then at age 30 he was 17-11. Arbitrary endpoint perhaps?

Anyway, if he had been a starter instead of a reliever for the entirety of 1990, 91 and 92, he'd probably have about 16 more wins.

BTW, check out the rotations of the 1990 Orioles and 1991 Astros. Not very impressive. They really didn't know what they had in that Schilling youngster.
   20. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:09 PM (#2462035)
Gary Sheffield - Yes - For whatever reason, there was a fear factor with Sheffield

...that he'd beat the crap out of you and/or call you a racist.
   21. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:11 PM (#2462036)
Mussina didn't get mentioned and has a very similar case to Schilling. So does Kevin Brown but he has even less of a constituency than Schilling. I'd vote for all three. I don't really see why Hoffman's a "no brainer", but then I wouldn't have supported Rollie Fingers or Bruce Sutter either.
   22. Srul Itza Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:12 PM (#2462037)
why is Schilling a NO because he only has 213 wins, but Smoltz is a "lock" with 203 wins?

Because of those 3+ seasons as a "premier" closer, garnering 154 saves. It may have no sabermetric cachet, but it does in the real world.

Frankly, I think Schilling is likely to get in also. The 213 wins are the bass notes -- the big post-season performances in 2001 and 2004, both of which involved sticking a pin in the Yankee Dynasty, are the ones that are likely to get him there.

As regards some of the others -- I think Kent's problem will be the perception that he was a poor fielder. The defensive-gurus in the sabermetric community who believe he was average will have their work cut out for him. If they turn some heads, then he could get in as the Slugging Second Baseman. The fact that one of those slugs he took was at Barry in the dug out, could work to his advantage.

There is no way that Luis Gonzalez should ever even sniff the Hall -- regardless of how he reeks. But the idea that his big season "reeks" of steroids, but that "Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa will be there, unless serious steroids details are revealed between now and then", seems a little inconsistent.
   23. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:13 PM (#2462038)
(only four of 17 seasons hitting over .290)
The dreaded .290 rule.


Well, that's one more than Harmon Killebrew and Reggie Jackson combined.

Seriously, Thome isn't done yet, and if one wants to say he's not in the hall yet, I'm not sure I would disagree. But he doesn't need any more spectacular seasons anymore, just a little more filler like this year or last will bring him up to the Kille/Reggie line. It's not like he's done. he has a 148 this year and had a 156 OPS+ last year. 60-75 more HR's are probable, and 100 more is not out of the question. If he has 10,000 PA, 575 HR, and an OPS+ of ~ 140, is he a HOFer?
   24. dcsmyth1 Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:14 PM (#2462040)
Anyone who mentions Thome's strikeouts in a HOF discussion is automatically ignored by me. If you want to be 'rigorous' and debit him an additional 1/100 of a run for each additional strikeout, how is that going to make a difference? If you instead look at Thome's lack of speed, then it should be clear that, for him as an individual, a strikeout is actually a preferable way to make an out, as he will hit into fewer GDPs. That .01 run K difference, relative a non-k out, applies to an avg batter, not a slow runner like Thome.
   25. Srul Itza Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:16 PM (#2462042)
I would put Vizquel in a similar category to Biggio, long career value without a magic ticket (3000).

Biggio: Career OPS+ of 113, with high 5 of 143, 141, 139, 138 1nd 130, and lows (this year and last) of 75 and 83).

Vizquel: Career OPS+ of 84, with high 5 of 111, 100, 97, 95, 94 -- and lows of 66, 68, 69, and this year's 60.
   26. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:18 PM (#2462044)
Because of those 3+ seasons as a "premier" closer, garnering 154 saves. It may have no sabermetric cachet, but it does in the real world.

Now that I look at the 1990 Orioles lineup...say their closer Gregg Olson got hurt sometime that year. They probably would have replaced him with Schilling. (he was second on the team in saves, with 3, and a 2.54 ERA) And he would have done a good job.

I wonder if Schilling would have been an ace reliever for the rest of his career. The Orioles' equivalent of Mariano Rivera. Instead, he was a random reliever that they traded for 1/3 of Glenn Davis.
   27. PhillyBooster Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:24 PM (#2462050)
Schilling has had half of a HoF career. He was a .500 pitcher until he was 30. Unless he has a great 40+ career, I don't see him making the Hall.


I don't see how you can call a guy in the Top 100 in career innings (albeit #100 exactly) "half a career." Kenny Rogers and Orel Hershiser have had "long careers" with fewer innings pitched than Schilling.

His career has a funny shape, but if you imagine that he is really 3 years younger, and pitched from 18 to 37, there's a Hall of Fame career with a more "normal shape."
   28. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:29 PM (#2462054)
Now that I RTFA, I find this perplexing:

Jim Thome - No - When all is said and done, Thome is going to have well more than 500 home runs. He was a very good player for a lot of years and, at times, one of the best power hitters in the league. But his defense, strikeouts and inconsistent average (only four of 17 seasons hitting over .290) will keep him out.

Gary Sheffield - Yes - For whatever reason, there was a fear factor with Sheffield that there never was with Kent or Thome. He was a better defensive player than both Kent and Thome and struck out much less. Simply put, Sheffield was and still is a nightmare matchup for any pitcher he faces.


Again, if the argument is do I vote for them today, with no further career value added? Then OK. But Sheff today (vs Thome) has 1800 more PA, and OPS+ (I know this guy, focusing on strikeouts and batting average gives no weight and likely has no concept of OPS+) 4 points lower, less black ink (but more gray ink), and is 2 years older. It's not unreasonable to speculate that both will have extremely similar career totals when all is said and done. A perfect exception to the "If-then" voting fallacy.
   29. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:29 PM (#2462055)
I don't see how you can call a guy in the Top 100 in career innings (albeit #100 exactly) "half a career."

Does that include playoff innings?

I think that for "longevity" that stat should include playoff innings. Probably putting him at #94 or something.
   30. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:37 PM (#2462066)
Jim?Edmonds - Yes - I never get any support on this one, nor do I expect to. But Edmonds was a terrific all-around player who excelled in every area of the game. He was an A+ center fielder in his prime with a very good throwing arm. He also hit for average (before tailing off the last three years)


Edmonds has a career .287 BA, Thome a .281. But he has many more seasons above the magical .290 mark (but also many more below the less well known .265 mark).
   31. Srul Itza Posted: July 30, 2007 at 10:49 PM (#2462082)
Edmonds has a career .287 BA, Thome a .281.

As he noted, Edmonds has been an excellent center fielder, compared to an average first baseman. Edmonds bigger problem has been staying in the line up.

Similarly, when comparing Thome with Sheffield, Sheff has been a corner outfielder while Thome was a first baseman (they both played about the same amount of time at third).

I think, however, it is premature to judge Thome, since he probably has a few years left. If he is up in the high 500's when he stops, he will have a much stronger case than today.

This raises one of the real issues -- What happens when you have a glut of great players at one position -- do guys who might otherwise have a good case for the Hall, get overlooked?

At the same token, why is it that some positions bet short shrift, even with very few obvious candidates -- i.e., third base?
   32. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:01 PM (#2462103)
As he noted, Edmonds has been an excellent center fielder, compared to an average first baseman. Edmonds bigger problem has been staying in the line up.


Obviously. I'm not dense enough to not realize that. But the point is, he sings Edmonds BA praises while decrying Thome's, when in actuality, they're pretty similar. And Edmonds has ~ 2 fewer seasons worth of PAs than Thome and seems to be done while Jimbo keeps chugging along. It's likely that in 5 years, Thome will have a much stronger hall case, and this piece will be filed along with some late '70's pieces which touted Rice and Foster as all time greats while disparaging Schmidt.
   33. John DiFool2 Posted: July 30, 2007 at 11:46 PM (#2462179)
The league now is 30 players. Wouldn't you think we would have ~twice as many HoF-quality players now as we did when there were only 16 teams? If a guy is clearly above the HoF "line" (however and wherever the majority of voters draws it), who cares if 5 other comparable contemporary players are right with him there too? There were 3 HoF CFers in the 50's (four if you count Ashburn)-is 5 HoF 1Bmen/LFs/DHs from this era more outrageous than 4 CFers from the 50's? Okay, that's an extreme example, but not unique (c.f. 9 starting pitchers with birthdays in the 1938-1947 range, again in a 18-26 team league).
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 31, 2007 at 12:02 AM (#2462206)
Schilling has had half of a HoF career. He was a .500 pitcher until he was 30. Unless he has a great 40+ career, I don't see him making the Hall.


I don't see how you can call a guy in the Top 100 in career innings (albeit #100 exactly) "half a career." Kenny Rogers and Orel Hershiser have had "long careers" with fewer innings pitched than Schilling.

The point was that until he was 30, Schilling had done little to make a case for the HoF. As good as he was from 30 - 40 (most of the time), the late start probably dooms his candidacy unless he has a Clemens-like post-40 career. As for the innings, plenty of the folks even higher than Schilling on the career innings list are not going to make the Hall.
   35. BDC Posted: July 31, 2007 at 12:56 AM (#2462287)
the idea that his big season "reeks" of steroids, but that "Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa will be there, unless serious steroids details are revealed between now and then", seems a little inconsistent

Indeed. For one thing, I don't see how more serious the steroids details can get about Bonds. His case will be very interesting, because no matter what you think of McGwire or Palmeiro, Bonds would have been a HOFer if he'd never taken anything stronger than Wheaties. If Bonds goes in but McGwire (at face value, a spectacular player) stays out, then the Hall is truly using a de facto "discount" standard as opposed to a "you cheated, you're out" standard. I'm inclined to think that Bonds will have a hard time making Cooperstown, given the cold shoulder to McGwire. Of course, a lot can change in the next few years.
   36. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 31, 2007 at 02:11 AM (#2462368)
I agree with #7 on Thome. A player who offers only patient slugging needs to be more dominant in an era with Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield and a bunch of other patient sluggers if he wants to get into the Hall of Fame. Not that Thome hasn't had a very nice career, but he seems on track for the Hall of the Very Good, which happens to be the home of some of my favorite players.

I'm not understanding the people who are having problems with Thome's HOF candidacy. He's comfortably ahead of the Hall's lower tier of first basemen and, assuming a normal finish to his career, should fit nicely into the middle pack of first basemen.

He's not a DH. He has 1101 games at 1B and 492 games at 3B. He has only 340 games at DH; that number will rise, but 1500 games in the field is not a "DH." Edgar had that many games (1412) exclusively as a DH, and just 591 in the field.

"Hall of Very Good" is selling Thome short, IMO.
   37. Ray (CTL) Posted: July 31, 2007 at 02:54 AM (#2462434)
Mussina didn't get mentioned and has a very similar case to Schilling. So does Kevin Brown but he has even less of a constituency than Schilling. I'd vote for all three. I don't really see why Hoffman's a "no brainer", but then I wouldn't have supported Rollie Fingers or Bruce Sutter either.

Yeah, it makes no sense to say that Mussina, Schilling, and Brown are on the outside looking in, while... Trevor Hoffman is in. I can think of plenty of pitchers I'd induct before I got to Hoffman. Goose Gossage. Bret Saberhagen. Dave Stieb. Kevin Appier. Guidry and Hershiser and Tudor. Key and Rijo and Pettitte. Oswalt and Santana and Halladay...
   38. Booey Posted: July 31, 2007 at 04:27 AM (#2462567)
THOMAS - Definitely. Even debating this is nonsense.

BIGGIO - Ditto.

KENT - Yeah, I guess. Never liked him, but it's getting harder to justify a "no" with each year.

SCHILLING - Probably. Based solely on numbers he'd be borderline, but this is the HOF, not the HOM. The HOF has always given extra credit for huge peak seasons, championships, and post-season success, and he qualifies on all three counts. Give him his due.

CHIPPER - Yes, and it's a pretty easy call. The list of better third basemen in MLB history is only about a half dozen names deep.

THOME - He'd fall a little short if he retired now, but by the end of his career I think he'll be awfully hard to overlook. It's not just the homers, either - those slugging and on base numbers are huge. I think of him as this generations McCovey, Killebrew, or Stargell.

SHEFFIELD - Absolutely. The only reason this is even debated is because he's such an @sshole (oh yeah, and the whole BALCO thing...).

VIZQUEL - Nah, and I don't think he's even particularly close. Good player for a long time, never great. People question Thome or Palmeiro (before the steroid incident) because they were only truly elite players (MVP candidates) a few times in their careers, but Omar NEVER was, not even for a single season. Making a case for Vizquel would be similar to making one for Mark Grace.

EDMONDS - No, and I'm sorry to say this because his peak seasons were scary good. But there's not enough career wise to get my imaginary vote. Close, but no.

GONZO - Of course not. Why is he even in this debate?

And for whoever brought up McGriff, absolutely he belongs. People forget how good he was in his prime, before the offensive explosion. 7 straight years (1988-1994) in the top four in homers and the top five in OPS. 6 straight (1989-1994) cracking the top ten in MVP voting. 9 full seasons with an OPS+ over 140, including a top five of 165, 161, 157, 157, and 157.
   39. DrewSilverman Posted: July 31, 2007 at 05:23 AM (#2462595)
Thanks for all the posts on my Hall of Fame story, guys. I appreciate all the comments, both the good and the bad.

Here's my general defense for some players that many of you disagreed with. As far as the Hall of Fame goes, I generally base my vote on what I thought of guys over their entire careers. If I watched someone play for their whole career (not necessarily every day, of course), then I feel qualified to judge whether I think they're worthy of the Hall of Fame. The numbers don't always support my Yes/No arguments for some players, but oftentimes the numbers don't tell the whole story. I believe numbers are for people who aren't confident in trusting their own opinions. That's fine if I'm discussing Ted Williams or Ty Cobb, because I never saw them play. But for guys like Thome, Schilling and Hoffman, I feel confident enough basing my opinions on what I saw of them during their careers. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. That's just how I do it personally.

Of course, you need numbers to support your case in newspaper columns, which is why I put some in there. But in general (as many of you noted) I'm definitely not a numbers guy and definitely not one of these sabermetric types. But that's the beauty of the Hall of Fame debate. Everyone's entitled to an opinion and most people can come up with a pretty good case to support their beliefs.

Thanks again for the posts. It was fun reading them.

-Drew Silverman

PS The "reeks" misspelling is a pretty bad job on my part. But the person who posted my article on this site reversed the vowels in Bulletin, so let's call it a draw. Later, guys.
   40. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 31, 2007 at 05:27 AM (#2462598)
He was a .500 pitcher until he was 30.


At age 25 he threw 226 innings with an ERA+ of 150, for a record of 14-11 (first start late May). In his injury riddled 2-8 season his ERA+ was 96, almost league average. At age 29 he threw 183 innings with an ERA+ of 138, and finished under .500 at 9-10.

I guess run support matters. His team had a lousy offense in all but that first year (92).
   41. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 31, 2007 at 05:33 AM (#2462600)
Indeed. For one thing, I don't see how more serious the steroids details can get about Bonds.
Setting aside the possibility of an admission of guilt, there could be an indictment and conviction. (In theory; I don't think that will happen, Kevin's wet dreams notwithstanding.)
His case will be very interesting, because no matter what you think of McGwire or Palmeiro, Bonds would have been a HOFer if he'd never taken anything stronger than Wheaties. If Bonds goes in but McGwire (at face value, a spectacular player) stays out, then the Hall is truly using a de facto "discount" standard as opposed to a "you cheated, you're out" standard. I'm inclined to think that Bonds will have a hard time making Cooperstown, given the cold shoulder to McGwire. Of course, a lot can change in the next few years.
I think you'll be surprised (again, barring a more serious turn of events for Bonds.) A recent fan poll (not an online one, but a real one) I saw had it at about 2/3-1/3 in favor of Bonds in the Hall. And that's now, with emotions still high. Bonds may be punished by having to wait a year, but if so, it will clearly be a one-year delay-slap-on-the-wrist where he just misses, not a 30% like McGwire.

The sentiment seems to be exactly what you say: Bonds would have made it regardless.
   42. Repoz Posted: July 31, 2007 at 06:04 AM (#2462618)
Bullet-in head repaired.

Thanks Drew...

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