Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Classical: Hall of Nothing

It’s not con gusano?  Dennis Rodman did get in, y’know…

Incessant arguing about who is better is a fact of every baseball fan’s life. I’ve found myself yelling across a bar to strangers about Todd Worrell’s effectiveness more times than I care to remember. But arguing about who is better is different from arguing about who is X level of arbitrary, undefined Great. There is no official statistical barrier for entry into the Hall of Fame. A player need only be sufficiently perceived as worthy. And yet this time every year we turn ostensibly fun conversations into frustrating arguments about what a bunch of writers whose opinions aren’t any more valid than our own should or should not perceive.

So what if Edgar Martínez has a higher career WAR than Andre Dawson? What’s interesting about that conversation? What gets lost under all the ritual groaning about milestones and performance enhancing drugs are the interesting points. Edgar Martínez is more than a bundle of offensive productivity and more than the evidence or answer in an argument. He is the possessor of the most uniquely beautiful swing any right-handed batter has ever displayed in a professional baseball game. He is responsible for a double to beat the Yankees in the 1995 ALDS that stands as the single most important moment in Mariners history. Mariano Rivera supposedly called him the toughest batter he ever faced. And hell, he has his own line of mezcal.

Consider Tim Raines. He is the poster-child for Hall of Fame advocacy in the age of the internet… Leading Expos nostalgist and 21st century baseball maven Jonah Keri has made a million compelling arguments in favor of Raines’ nomination and even helped create a website dedicated to his Hall candidacy. As if anybody outside of a Port St. Lucie hotel bar in March ever had a kind thought about the Baseball Writers Association of America, Keri has called Raines’ stalled candidacy a “damning statement on the cognitive abilities and biases” of the voters.

What’s obvious in all this is that it should not require high-level statistical analysis to appreciate Tim Raines as a special ballplayer. Nor should Raines’ legacy require the paternalistic approval of a bunch of writers who after a long season spent spinning melodrama from banality make it their business in the winter to draw sacred lines at some arbitrary point between goodness and greatness. Like all of the awards in baseball, induction into the Hall of Fame is purely subjective. The wall that Keri and company are banging their heads against on behalf of Tim Raines is invisible. And the best outcome of all that banging exists entirely apart from the Hall of Fame. The best outcome is that baseball fans are reminded—or even informed for the first time—about the dynamo that was Tim Raines.

It’s not lost on me that if the Hall of Fame stakes weren’t there, the Tim Raines appreciation society might not get the same amount of public attention. But that’s exactly the problem. Instead of appreciating baseball for all it offers and enjoying its stars for all they give us—which really is so much—we chose to give ourselves ulcers over the injustices committed by the BBWA.

The District Attorney Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:38 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: edgar martinez, hall of fame, history, jeff bagwell, tim raines

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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. Srul Itza Posted: December 31, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4335688)
The wall that Keri and company are banging their heads against on behalf of Tim Raines is invisible. And the best outcome of all that banging exists entirely apart from the Hall of Fame. The best outcome is that baseball fans are reminded—or even informed for the first time—about the dynamo that was Tim Raines.


1. All that head banging by Rich Ledered seemed to work wonders for Bertie.

2. Being inducted into the Hall would cause a heck of a lot more baseball fans to be reminded — or even informed for the first time — about Tim Raines.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: December 31, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4335690)
1. All that head banging by Rich Ledered seemed to work wonders for Bertie.


Don't let Ray see you say that, he is under the impression that Lederer made no difference, that Bert was going to go in without his help.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Eugene Freedman
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogChris Sales sent home because of argument over uniforms
(69 - 8:13pm, Jul 24)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-24-16
(83 - 8:11pm, Jul 24)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogReport: Yankees say Aroldis Chapman trade near | MLB.com
(49 - 8:10pm, Jul 24)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogKen Griffey, Mike Piazza set for Hall of Fame | MLB.com
(15 - 7:57pm, Jul 24)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogReport: D-backs making teams aware Shelby Miller 'is available'
(7 - 6:42pm, Jul 24)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogOTP 2016 July 18: Girls’ softball teams being shut out of city defibrillator policy, while boys’ teams given life-saving devices
(1744 - 6:40pm, Jul 24)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogTed Berg: I badly wanted MLB to adopt replay before 2014. Now I find it boring and dumb
(57 - 5:08pm, Jul 24)
Last: There's a bustle in Misirlou's hedgerow

NewsblogYounger breed of techies replacing baseball lifers in GM roles - StarTribune.com
(14 - 4:34pm, Jul 24)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogChanges are coming to baseball Hall of Fame's veterans' committees | FOX Sports
(34 - 4:09pm, Jul 24)
Last: Rob_Wood

Newsblog#MLBRank: Barry Bonds, Ty Cobb make Stark's all-time top 10
(41 - 3:59pm, Jul 24)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: 2016 Summer Soccer Thread
(1499 - 2:57pm, Jul 24)
Last: I am going to be Frank

NewsblogIchiro Suzuki records 2 hits, 4 shy of 3,000 | MLB.com
(61 - 2:24pm, Jul 24)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogRangers' Prince Fielder has herniated disk | texasrangers.com
(46 - 1:35pm, Jul 24)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: NBA Offseason Thread, July 2016
(803 - 1:15pm, Jul 24)
Last: maccoach57

NewsblogMoe Berg: Catcher, Lawyer, Horndog, Spy - Twinkie Town
(24 - 12:20pm, Jul 24)
Last: cardsfanboy

Page rendered in 0.1389 seconds
49 querie(s) executed