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Monday, December 17, 2012

Wulf: Steve Garvey’s reliability forgotten

First betrayer who gave away Steve Garvey.  Woo -oo- oo!  Woo -oo- oo!

What happened to Garvey is partly schadenfreude: writers turned on him for a complicated personal life that smudged an image so golden that he once had a middle school named after him. But he’s also one of the great players from that period who have been hurt by the inflation of statistics fueled by increasing use of PEDs, which happened to coincide with the HOF eligibility for the earlier era. And, as Garvey points out, “That was also a period when the veteran writers who relied on what they saw gave way to younger writers who focused on statistics.”

The irony, of course, is that the writers are now punishing the players whose numbers they feel were artificially bolstered. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could channel their disillusionment into a more positive re-examination of those who have been relegated to the scrap heap?

Like Garvey, Dave Parker will have to wait until the Veterans Committee gets around to sifting through players of the modern era, looking for gold. Not to diminish Jim Rice, but as someone who covered Parker and Rice in their primes, I can testify that Parker was the superior player in almost every regard.

“I went to Cooperstown for Barry Larkin’s induction last year,” said Parker, who took Larkin under his wing in Cincinnati. “It would’ve been nice to have gone as a fellow Hall of Famer. I think I belong there. Let’s put it this way—on almost every team I played, I was ‘The Guy’ or one of them. The system needs to be changed.”

That won’t happen anytime soon. But minds can be changed: how else did Bert Blyleven go from 14.1 percent in his second year of eligibility to 79.7 percent in his 14th year? Voters need to take a closer look at players they may have bypassed because they didn’t see them. And just as they agonize over what the “Valuable” means in Most Valuable Player, they need to think about what the “Fame” in Hall of Fame really means. (Uh, 10 All-Star Games is a pretty good definition.)

“I know voters are worried about steroids this year,” Garvey said. “I would much rather they think about the shot of adrenalin that a few more players would give the Hall of Fame.”

Repoz Posted: December 17, 2012 at 01:49 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4326839)
Michael Young knows how to play baseball, Dave Parker never failed to be one of the guys on the teams he was on...will the revelations never cease??
   2. AROM Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4326848)
What happened to Garvey is partly schadenfreude: writers turned on him for a complicated personal life that smudged an image so golden that he once had a middle school named after him.


If you produce enough little Garveys to fill up a middle school, they should name it after you.
   3. zonk Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4326852)
What happened to Garvey is partly schadenfreude


Partly?

I think it's the very definition of schadenfreude...

Though, for me, I say it's the best proof I have in the existence of God.
   4. AROM Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4326855)
I think I belong there. Let’s put it this way—on almost every team I played, I was ‘The Guy’ or one of them. The system needs to be changed.”


By that loose standard, Rice is deserving. Same with Parker, Garvey, Amos Otis, Cesar Cedeno, Jimmy Wynn, Reggie Smith - and the list can go on and on. You change the system in that way and you'll have 500 players in the hall. Then the debate will shift to a lower level. Who's more deserving, Ray Durham or Gary Gaetti?
   5. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4326859)
HE ONCE HELD THE RECORD FOR MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES AT 1B WITHOUT AN ERROR (193).

HE WAS PERFECT IN THE 215 TOTAL CHANCES HE HANDLED DURING THE STREAK, MR. PRESIDENT.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4326860)
Steve Garvey's hair was consistently parted and his forearms were always freakishly large. So, there ya go. Oh, and Reggie Smith was better than Parker AND Garvey.
   7. Bob Tufts Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4326866)
Ray Durham or Gary Gaetti? Gaetti gets the advantage, thanks to the porn star moustache picture that shows up when you google his name.

   8. BDC Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4326879)
Comps for Garvey, centered on him in terms of OPS+ and PAs, LF/1B/DH, ranked by RField:

Player             Rfield   PA OPS+  SB       Pos
Jose Cruz              81 8931  120 317   
*798/D3
Jimmy Sheckard         77 9118  121 465 
*79/85643
Mark Grace             76 9290  119  70     
*3/1D
Joe Judge              35 9178  114 213      
*3/9
Jake Daubert           23 8744  117 251        
*3
Steve Garvey            1 9466  117  83  
*35/7649
Chili Davis           
-15 9997  121 142   D897/13
Brian Downing         
-16 9309  122  50   D72/954
Carlos Lee            
-18 8787  113 125     *73/D
Mickey Vernon         
-22 9838  116 137     *3/79
Andres Galarraga      
-23 8916  119 128     *3/D5
Al Oliver             
-40 9778  121  84    837D/9
Paul Konerko          
-50 8761  121   9    *3D/57
Don Baylor            
-58 9401  118 285   *D793/


I demand to know why the writers are punishing all of these guys :-|
   9. Shoebo Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4326888)

Ok, so I did examine him more closely. But I still see the same fault that keeps him out of the HOF

Outs Made


1975 NL 479 (6th)
1976 NL 473 (8th)
1977 NL 486 (5th)
1979 NL 485 (8th)
1980 NL 493 (4th)
1981 NL 326 (5th)
1984 NL 480 (4th)
1985 NL 502 (2nd)


Double Plays Grounded Into


1975 NL 19 (4th)
1976 NL 20 (4th)
1978 NL 17 (7th)
1979 NL 25 (1st)
1980 NL 17 (5th)
1983 NL 16 (8th)
1984 NL 25 (1st)
1985 NL 25 (2nd)
1986 NL 18 (6th)


I will say this though. Garvey's career is a little shortchanged by WAR perhaps because posting up every day is valuable. The teams he was on never had to worry about having to put a replacement player in the lineup.




   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4326889)
Jose Won't You Take Me On A Sea Cruz?
Mark Amazin' Grace?
Jake Just A Little Daubert'll Do Ya?

That is some list!
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4326898)
Wouldn’t it be nice if they could channel their disillusionment into a more positive re-examination of those who have been relegated to the scrap heap?


Yes. It would also be nice if they channeled it into re-examination of deserving players like Dwight Evans, Jimmy Wynn, Luis Tiant, Ted Simmons, Lou Whitaker and Darrell Evans, and not guys like Steve Garvey.

Dave Parker, I'll allow for re-examination.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4326905)
Dave Parker, I'll allow for re-examination.


Why?

Any re-examination of Parker will only find him more wanting than you originally realized.

   13. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4326909)
Comps for Garvey, centered on him in terms of OPS+ and PAs, LF/1B/DH, ranked by RField:


Below is a list from BBRef of everyone with 9,000-11,000 PAs and a 115-120 OPS+, with the LF/1B/DH guys pulled out except for Garvey:

Player           Rfield    PA OPS+
Gary Carter         112  9019  115
Lou Whitaker         75  9967  117
Andre Dawson         70 10769  119
Darrell Evans        37 10737  119
Carlton Fisk         27  9853  117
Barry Larkin         18  9057  116
Steve Garvey          1  9466  117
Ted Simmons         
-33  9685  118
Roberto Alomar      
-36 10400  116 


The Hall of Famers with hitting stats roughly similar to Garvey are two catchers, two middle infielders with 375+ steals, and Andre Dawson. A catcher, a 2B, and a 3B/1B with hitting stats similar to Garvey were all one and done. If there's someone here who's getting screwed it's very obviously Lou Whitaker.
   14. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 17, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4326910)
Any re-examination of Parker will only find him more wanting than you originally realized.

All I know is that Jose Rijo for Dave Parker was stupid at the time and it's still stupid now. One of Alderson's poorer decisions, from back in the day. That trade stirred my nascent inner gm-snark capabilities.
   15. AndrewJ Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4326925)
I shed no tears over Garvey not being in the Hall, but it's fun to go to BB-Ref.com and plug in his numbers in the context of the 1930 Phillies or 2000 Rockies -- had he played in any lively-ball era other than the 1970s, he'd be in Cooperstown.
   16. BDC Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4326939)
Mark Amazin' Grace?

It's interesting – Grace was basically Garvey plus 40 or 45 walks a year. As a result, WAR likes Grace quite a bit better (43 to 34 over the course of his career) – the walks plus the defensive value, of course. Offhand I would have said Garvey was the better offensive player, because he played in Dodger Stadium in the 70s and Grace played in Wrigley in the 90s – but their OPS+ lines could be woven together without anybody knowing the difference. Their OBP lines, however, couldn't.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 17, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4326975)
It's interesting – Grace was basically Garvey plus 40 or 45 walks a year.


I don't think that's exactly fair: Garvey had much more power than Grace, even before you correct for era. Grace's career high in homers was 17, which Garvey exceeded seven times. Their career OWARs are very similar.

Garvey's defense also tends to be underrated by stat-based evaluations, because most of them focus on a first baseman's assists. Garvey always had very low assist totals, because he hated to throw the ball, but as Bill James has shown, Garvey compensated for that by always having very high numbers of unassisted putouts at first.
   18. AROM Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4326994)
All I know is that Jose Rijo for Dave Parker was stupid at the time and it's still stupid now. One of Alderson's poorer decisions, from back in the day. That trade stirred my nascent inner gm-snark capabilities.


At the time of the trade Parker was a 36 year old who drove in 97 runs but wasn't a good hitter anymore (92 OPS+), couldn't play the field much anymore, and was making pretty good money for the time. So yeah, you shouldn't trade for guys like that anyway.

Rijo was 22, though he had already played parts of 4 seasons, and coming off a 5.90 ERA. He had a great arm, but didn't throw strikes and gave up too many homers. Kind of a lottery ticket. Sure, he instantly turned into a great pitcher for the Reds but nobody could have predicted he'd do that so soon, or learn how to pitch period.

The trade was probably for the best. LaRussa and Duncan always worked better with vets. They probably would have buried Rijo in relief, and he may very well have needed the change in scenery to make his leap forward.
   19. AROM Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4327006)
Garvey's defense also tends to be underrated by stat-based evaluations, because most of them focus on a first baseman's assists. Garvey always had very low assist totals, because he hated to throw the ball, but as Bill James has shown, Garvey compensated for that by always having very high numbers of unassisted putouts at first.


We've got retrosheet for Garvey's whole career. His Totalzone rating is based on groundballs fielded and turned into outs, and does not care whether the play was assisted or not. Only that he made it. He rates as exactly average at first, but he was good (not great) for the Dodgers (+27) and below average as an old Padre.
   20. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4327024)
Rijo was 22, though he had already played parts of 4 seasons, and coming off a 5.90 ERA. He had a great arm, but didn't throw strikes and gave up too many homers. Kind of a lottery ticket. Sure, he instantly turned into a great pitcher for the Reds but nobody could have predicted he'd do that so soon, or learn how to pitch period.

I thought Rijo was going to be great. He had GREAT stuff and Parker was fairly crap by then. If they had lost faith in Rijo they should have traded him for a better hitter than Parker. Annoyingly, Parker got a lot of credit for his veteran goodness when the A's began their run the next year. Obviously this is water long under the bridge.
   21. smileyy Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4327032)
Rijo was 22, though he had already played parts of 4 seasons


This seems like the important part. He was good enough to put up an 80 ERA+ in 60 innings at age 19, and a 109 ERA+ in 63 innings and 9 starts at age 20. BB-ref play index suggests that that's a pool of pitchers that, overall, you'd like to have pitching for you for their careers.
   22. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4327074)
I don't think that's exactly fair: Garvey had much more power than Grace, even before you correct for era. Grace's career high in homers was 17, which Garvey exceeded seven times. Their career OWARs are very similar.


Well, more HR power anyway. Grace was much better at hitting 2B, a component of power. Grace also has abour 40 more Rbat than Garvey in slightly fewer PA's. They were very similar offensive performers overall, but they did get to that level of production in dissimilar manners.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4327078)
Those 70s Dodger lineups were chock full of HoVG players -- Cey, Lopes, Wynn, Smith, Willie Crawford, Monday, Baker ... even Lee Lacy had his moments

Garvey's Dodgers WAR rank

74 -- 3rd (he won the MVP)
75 -- 3rd
76 -- 2nd
77 -- 3rd
78 -- 3rd
79 -- 3rd
80 -- 4th
81 -- 4th
82 -- 7th

From 1974-1982, Garvey had 30.5 WAR for the Dodgers. Cey had 41.7. Again, if anybody deserves a second look here, it ain't Garvey. Heck, from 73 to 79 Lopes had 29 WAR.
   24. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4327104)
Like Garvey, Dave Parker will have to wait until the Veterans Committee gets around to sifting through players of the modern era, looking for gold. Not to diminish Jim Rice, but as someone who covered Parker and Rice in their primes, I can testify that Parker was the superior player in almost every regard.
“I went to Cooperstown for Barry Larkin’s induction last year,” said Parker, who took Larkin under his wing in Cincinnati. “It would’ve been nice to have gone as a fellow Hall of Famer. I think I belong there. Let’s put it this way—on almost every team I played, I was ‘The Guy’ or one of them. The system needs to be changed


All true, if "The Guy" means "someone who has coke on him we can snort later".

From a character standpoint Parker made Pete Rose look like Cal Ripken, Jr. The only way he should be in the Hall is with a visitors' ticket.
   25. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4327119)
Well Rijo was good enough in 1990 when it counted.


Also I don't have any love for Steve Garvey regardless if he was playing for LA or the Padres. He was always an ass. I remember that book that Dick Williams wrote where he basically called the error-less streak by Garvey a fraud since Garvey never went after any hard hit balls that might end up as an error.
   26. smileyy Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4327124)
Let’s put it this way—on every team I played, I was ‘The Guy’ or one of 'The Guys' or 'On the 25-man roster' or 'Given a Spring Training invite'.
   27. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4327146)

Well, more HR power anyway.


Garvey's career ISO was .152; Grace's was .139. And that's before you get to the difference between LA/SD in the 1970s/80s and Wrigley Field in the 1990s. For his career, Garvey has a slugging percentage 62 points higher than league; Grace's was 24 points higher.

Garvey had a lot more power.
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 05:57 PM (#4327163)
an image so golden that he once had a middle school named after him


I'm just going to leave this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_places_named_after_Joseph_Stalin
   29. Eddo Posted: December 17, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4327202)
Rijo was 22, though he had already played parts of 4 seasons, and coming off a 5.90 ERA. He had a great arm, but didn't throw strikes and gave up too many homers. Kind of a lottery ticket. Sure, he instantly turned into a great pitcher for the Reds but nobody could have predicted he'd do that so soon, or learn how to pitch period.

This thread made me go back and look up Rijo's career. I don't think I ever realized just how good he was. Thanks everyone.
   30. smileyy Posted: December 17, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4327213)
Thanks for making me look again Eddo. I almost missed Rijo's 1993 season -- WAR loves him that year, especially compared to Cy Young winning Maddux -- 8.9 vs. 5.5. What am I missing about one of those two that season to produce that disparity?
   31. Darren Posted: December 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4327239)
It's easy to forgot just what a big star Garvey was, but man oh man, he was huge. Those 8 straight All-Star appearances really do tell the story and his consecutive games streak kept him in the headlines. It's not surprising to see an article about Garvey and comparing him with "steroid cheats." What is surprising is that the writer does so to draw a contrast between the two, rather than point out their similarities. Garvey was thought of as the All-American guy, a great role model whose hard work was to be admired. It's a GOOD thing that people found out the truth about him and have shunned him for it. For people who hate the steroids, that seems like a perfect parallel to that situation. That the writer sees them as opposites only draws more attention to how bizarre this whole thing has become.


(It's also good that his far-less-than-stellar play will not be rewarded with induction.)
   32. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4327248)
Garvey had a lot more power.


Meh. Point being they were very similar offensive performers overall even if they did get to that level of production in dissimilar manners.

   33. UCCF Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4327253)
It's easy to forgot just what a big star Garvey was, but man oh man, he was huge.

If you were around then, you remember him as a staple guest on game shows and other panel TV. He was clean cut, well-spoken, and attractive, and had the benefit of playing for a successful team in LA where these shows were being filmed. He did Merv Griffin, Carson, Dinah Shore, Fantasy Island. Gong Show, Hollywood Squares.

It's hard to think of a baseball player since that time who had the same kind of mainstream national appeal during his career (to differentiate from a guy like Bob Uecker, who found success after his career ended).
   34. Jay Z Posted: December 17, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4327262)
It's easy to forgot just what a big star Garvey was, but man oh man, he was huge. Those 8 straight All-Star appearances really do tell the story and his consecutive games streak kept him in the headlines. It's not surprising to see an article about Garvey and comparing him with "steroid cheats." What is surprising is that the writer does so to draw a contrast between the two, rather than point out their similarities. Garvey was thought of as the All-American guy, a great role model whose hard work was to be admired. It's a GOOD thing that people found out the truth about him and have shunned him for it. For people who hate the steroids, that seems like a perfect parallel to that situation. That the writer sees them as opposites only draws more attention to how bizarre this whole thing has become.


Garvey hit .300 at a time when a lot of sportswriters still found that important. Players like Johnny Bench and Mike Schmidt were held in some level of disrespect because they didn't hit .300. Garvey was obsessed with his stats, which is one reason they were so constant from year to year. He had very specific statistical goals.

The 1B/OF stud slugger type was in short supply in the 1970s. This is after decades of DiMaggio, Musial, Aaron, etc. In the 1970s the best players were starting pitchers or at other positions. So Garvey got a lot of play when he was the new Gil Hodges as a player.
   35. zonk Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4327305)
He did Merv Griffin, Carson, Dinah Shore, Fantasy Island. Gong Show, Hollywood Squares.


And fathered children with four of them!
   36. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 17, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4327312)
The Parker talk started me thinking about players who were once the highest paid in the game but not in the HOF. According to this, it's a longer list than I would've guessed: Dick Allen, Parker, Orel Hershiser, Frank Viola (!), Don Mattingly, Albert Belle, and Kevin Brown.
   37. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: December 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4327324)
His reliability is not forgotten. There are hundreds of kids out there who are a testament to this.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4327362)
If you were around then, you remember him as a staple guest on game shows and other panel TV. He was clean cut, well-spoken, and attractive, and had the benefit of playing for a successful team in LA where these shows were being filmed. He did Merv Griffin, Carson, Dinah Shore, Fantasy Island. Gong Show, Hollywood Squares.

And of course the pretty blond wife (Cindy) and they were the perfect couple.

The "personal" section of his wiki page is kinda entertaining (then just sad and depressing) but seems to leave out approximately 270 children.
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4327368)
Comps for Garvey, centered on him in terms of OPS+ and PAs, LF/1B/DH, ranked by RField:

Player Rfield PA OPS+ SB Pos
Jose Cruz 81 8931 120 317 *798/D3
Jimmy Sheckard 77 9118 121 465 *79/85643
Mark Grace 76 9290 119 70 *3/1D
Joe Judge 35 9178 114 213 *3/9
Jake Daubert 23 8744 117 251 *3
Steve Garvey 1 9466 117 83 *35/7649
Chili Davis -15 9997 121 142 D897/13
Brian Downing -16 9309 122 50 D72/954
Carlos Lee -18 8787 113 125 *73/D
Mickey Vernon -22 9838 116 137 *3/79
Andres Galarraga -23 8916 119 128 *3/D5
Al Oliver -40 9778 121 84 837D/9
Paul Konerko -50 8761 121 9 *3D/57
Don Baylor -58 9401 118 285 *D793/8


Not quite as good as Chili Davis is a hell of a HoF case.
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4327371)

Cyndy Garvey. Steve would not have married a mere "Cindy."
seriously
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4327377)
. . . writers turned on him for a complicated personal life

Is that what they are calling it these days?

Seriously, doesn't the writer owe his readers some specifics? Not everyone keeps track of the foibles of professional athletes.
   42. puck Posted: December 17, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4327396)
Garvey hit .300 at a time when a lot of sportswriters still found that important.

Lots of RBI's and 6 200 hit season in 7 years also helped.

He was also highly regarded as a fielder; everyone knew he couldn't throw but were impressed by his hands. He was thought of as a great scooper.

   43. Tubbs Posted: December 18, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4327411)
It will be interesting to see if Garvey is on next December's Expansion Era Veterans Committe ballot. Garvey along with everyone else except Gillick, Marvin Miller, and Dave Concepcion on the last Exp Era ballot got "less than 50%" of the vote. I was looking at who may return and join the ballot in December and I narrowed in down to these 12:holdover- Miller, Concepcion, Garvey, Ted Simmons, Steinbrenner, Tommy John. Newcomers-Dwight Evans, Keith Hernandez, Dave Parker, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa. I chose Garvey, John, Concepcion as holdovers since they last 15 yrs on the BBWAA ballot. I dont see Garvey as having much of a chance since his reputation has not only been hurt by off the field controversies but also sabermetrically with a low OBP and WAR.
   44. Walt Davis Posted: December 18, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4327459)
He was thought of as a great scooper.

Is that what they are calling it these days?
   45. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 18, 2012 at 02:34 AM (#4327463)
A 'Honk if you're carrying Garvey's Love Child' bumper sticker would be a helluva find .
   46. Russ Posted: December 18, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4327492)
I thought Rijo was going to be great. He had GREAT stuff and Parker was fairly crap by then. If they had lost faith in Rijo they should have traded him for a better hitter than Parker. Annoyingly, Parker got a lot of credit for his veteran goodness when the A's began their run the next year. Obviously this is water long under the bridge.


Shooty, this is a baseball website in winter. Water long under the bridge is the primary mode of transportation.

   47. Bug Selig Posted: December 18, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4327503)
. . . writers turned on him for a complicated personal life

Is that what they are calling it these days?


Bernie Madoff had a complicated financial life.
   48. zonk Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4327534)
It will be interesting to see if Garvey is on next December's Expansion Era Veterans Committe ballot. Garvey along with everyone else except Gillick, Marvin Miller, and Dave Concepcion on the last Exp Era ballot got "less than 50%" of the vote. I was looking at who may return and join the ballot in December and I narrowed in down to these 12:holdover- Miller, Concepcion, Garvey, Ted Simmons, Steinbrenner, Tommy John. Newcomers-Dwight Evans, Keith Hernandez, Dave Parker, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa. I chose Garvey, John, Concepcion as holdovers since they last 15 yrs on the BBWAA ballot. I dont see Garvey as having much of a chance since his reputation has not only been hurt by off the field controversies but also sabermetrically with a low OBP and WAR.


I'm pretty sure that Garvey's contemporaries thought he was a plastic douche - at least, various bios I've read from people who played with him weren't exactly fawning - so hopefully, that enmity will win the day.
   49. bachslunch Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4327542)
But he’s also one of the great players from that period who have been hurt by the inflation of statistics fueled by increasing use of PEDs, which happened to coincide with the HOF eligibility for the earlier era.

Er, no. His HoF case is hurt (and rightly so) because he was a poor fielder, was not good at drawing walks, and had little power especially for a 1B. The comp lists above say a lot here.

But minds can be changed: how else did Bert Blyleven go from 14.1 percent in his second year of eligibility to 79.7 percent in his 14th year?

Sabermetric thinking taketh and giveth away. Them's the breaks.

Voters need to take a closer look at players they may have bypassed because they didn’t see them.

The old "you really don't know if a player is HoF worthy unless you saw him play" argument. Not buying since good stats in good context tell us pretty much all we need to know on this.

And just as they agonize over what the “Valuable” means in Most Valuable Player, they need to think about what the “Fame” in Hall of Fame really means. (Uh, 10 All-Star Games is a pretty good definition.)

All-star games in which during this period the fans voted in the starters. Not buying the popularity contest argument, either.
   50. zonk Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4327550)
If Steve Garvey were ever elected to the HoF -

I would attend his induction and hurl rotten tomatoes at him.

Arrest or otherwise, I am absolutely serious about that... and he is the ONLY player that would draw such a response from me. Some fool future VC could induct Neifi Perez and I'd limit my distaste to whining on BBTF, but not Garvey... he'd be wearing rotten vegetables on his special day, this, I guarantee.
   51. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4327559)
Arrest or otherwise, I am absolutely serious about that... and he is the ONLY player that would draw such a response from me. Some fool future VC could induct Neifi Perez and I'd limit my distaste to whining on BBTF, but not Garvey... he'd be wearing rotten vegetables on his special day, this, I guarantee.

Sir, I like the cut of your jib.
   52. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4327587)
I'm pretty sure that Garvey's contemporaries thought he was a plastic douche - at least, various bios I've read from people who played with him weren't exactly fawning - so hopefully, that enmity will win the day.

I had a friend in the day whose two big heroes were Garvey and Prince Charles. He wasn't much of a judge of people -- me excluded, of course. :)

Plastic douche is about how I viewed Garvey.
   53. Moeball Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4327866)
I'm pretty sure that Garvey's contemporaries thought he was a plastic douche - at least, various bios I've read from people who played with him weren't exactly fawning - so hopefully, that enmity will win the day.


Just ask Don Sutton.
   54. GregD Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4327871)
I had a friend in the day whose two big heroes were Garvey and Prince Charles. He wasn't much of a judge of people -- me excluded, of course. :)
I can't imagine Prince Charles being anyone's personal hero, but on the other hand, I would never compare him to Steve Garvey. He's had his share of ridiculousness, but has also had his impressive moments, too. I suspect he's handled his impossible (if also enviable) position better than most of us would.
   55. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4327878)
Greg, by the late 70s/early 80s, what were PC's accomplishments? I know he did some touring and charity stuff and did some of it with aplomb, but really accomplishing something? Just an odd hero, as you mention.

I did not mean to reduce PC to SG's level, although PC had a complicated personal life too, although several degrees of magnitude lower that SG's. :)
   56. Swedish Chef Posted: December 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4327879)
I don't see what's so horrible about having a mistress or twelve.
   57. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4327895)
But he’s also one of the great players from that period who have been hurt by the inflation of statistics fueled by increasing use of PEDs


No- he was hurt fro having his false image bubble popped
and he was also killed by the SABR revolution...
and he petered out early and had a raft of mediocre (even to stat traditionalist) years at the end


It's really hard for those under 35/40 to grasp, especially if you are under 40 and are baffled by the BBWAA's infatuation with triple crown stats, but Darren and UCCF are if anything, understating it, he was absolutely an A list SUPERSTAR as far as baseball's MSM was concerned, he was considered to be a great player on the field and off (which of course also required the LaLa Land media to actively mis-report stuff- anyone close to the team KNEW that Garvey was despised by his teammates- when stuff did leak out it was always the other guy who was tagged as the bad guy)

Last year on one of the HOM threads someone asked about the 1974 MVP election- as in WTF went on there, their had to be some kind of story- nope- at the time the vote was almost wholly uncontroversial- except some Lou Brock supporters- we look at Garvey in his Prime- as a decent fielding 1B putting up a 130 OPS+ - nice player but nothing to write home about- back then no one saw an OPS+ numbers, they saw a guy who played every damn day, who batted .300, who got 200 hits and drove in 100 runs- who also PLAYED THE GAME THE RIGHT WAY- as a player they looked at him the way we'd look at a guy putting up a 150-160 OPS+ in 150-160 games every year.

Part of Garvey's image was obviously driven by a reliance upon and misinterpretation of traditional stats- if you had no numbers to go by, and if you watched Garvey play 150-200 games in his prime and Keith Hernandez play 150-200 games in his prime, there is no way on earth you'd walk away thinking that Garvey was better than Keith*- but most people watching in the 70s/80s did think Garvey was better- why? 200 hits, 100 ribbies... like clockwork


*The ONLY thing Garvey was better at than Hernandez (on the field) was hitting Home Runs- and while significant his edge was not huge, Hernandez did EVERYTHING else visibly better.
   58. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4327902)
I will credit Garvey for having one great line. Upon his move from the Dodgers to the Padres he said, "I used to look like an American flag and now I look like a taco."
   59. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4327905)
I don't see what's so horrible about having a mistress or twelve.

If you have no implicit/explicit trust arrangement, i.e., made no vows, and you aren't hurting someone else directly or indirectly, knock yourself out.
   60. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4327910)
If you have no implicit/explicit trust arrangement, i.e., made no vows, and you aren't hurting someone else directly or indirectly, knock yourself out.

And wear a condom!
   61. zonk Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4327921)
I don't see what's so horrible about having a mistress or twelve.


I agree - it's his Nazified child molesting I find abhorrent... and sacrificing puppies on his alter to satan... and the way he trips little old ladies or pushes them into traffic...
   62. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4327932)
Greg, by the late 70s/early 80s, what were PC's accomplishments? I know he did some touring and charity stuff and did some of it with aplomb, but really accomplishing something? Just an odd hero, as you mention.


Charles was one of the first important establishment figures to pay full attention to the environmental movement. For example, he's been encouraging organic farming since the early 1980s. He has also been outspoken on modern architecture and urban planning, and not afraid to blast modern buildings that he sees as lacking in human feeling. And he started the Prince's Trust charity in 1976.
   63. dlf Posted: December 18, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4327944)
but Darren and UCCF are if anything, understating it, he was absolutely an A list SUPERSTAR as far as baseball's MSM was concerned, he was considered to be a great player on the field and off


Yep. I'm in my mid 40s now and will gladly admit that I was completely wrong about Garvey. But if you had asked the 10 year old version of me to name the top 10 players in the mid to late 70s when I was first becomming a fan, Steve Garvey would have been well up on that list. There really isn't a contemporary player that fits the mold -- perhaps Derek Jeter raised to the power of Tom Brady with a smattering of Notre Dame blended in.

The closest I came to seeing any game with historical significance is missing by one the game when Garvey's NL record consecutive games streak ended. He was injured in the first game of a double-header in San Diego between the Padres and Braves. I had tickets to the next day's game at Jack Murphy that featured a home run derby with retired stars Nate Colbert and Harmon Killibrew feebly swinging and popping out several times each while Bob Horner, Dale Murphy, and Terry Kennedy went yard.
   64. zonk Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4327951)

Yep. I'm in my mid 40s now and will gladly admit that I was completely wrong about Garvey. But if you had asked the 10 year old version of me to name the top 10 players in the mid to late 70s when I was first becomming a fan, Steve Garvey would have been well up on that list. There really isn't a contemporary player that fits the mold -- perhaps Derek Jeter raised to the power of Tom Brady with a smattering of Notre Dame blended in.

The closest I came to seeing any game with historical significance is missing by one the game when Garvey's NL record consecutive games streak ended. He was injured in the first game of a double-header in San Diego between the Padres and Braves. I had tickets to the next day's game at Jack Murphy that featured a home run derby with retired stars Nate Colbert and Harmon Killibrew feebly swinging and popping out several times each while Bob Horner, Dale Murphy, and Terry Kennedy went yard.


My true hatred for Garvey didn't metastasize until he was a Pad - and while yeah, I'd agree that this was the perception of Garvey -- I always knew he was the only second best corner IF even on those great Dodger teams.
   65. Walt Davis Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4327962)
Yeah, in terms of media portrayal, Garvey was Pete Rose without all the things that made Rose annoying even when he was loved ... or like Kirby Puckett but white and glamorous and in Hollywood. But Jeter (especially if he'd married somebody fab years ago) or Brady are actually pretty close -- they just don't have the concentrated exposure that Garvey did because media (etc.) is much more scattered these days. Basically, Garvey on Carson or the Love Boat was a big deal because there were only 3 stations to watch; Jeter doing a walk-through on (I dunno) Hart of Dixie would be seen by 27 people. It may no longer be possible for an athlete to reach Garvey's level.

But for the young'uns ... Garvey's image could have been the inspiration for American Dad.
   66. Walt Davis Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4327987)
I would attend his induction and hurl rotten tomatoes at him. ... he'd be wearing rotten vegetables on his special day

Have we ever had the "tomato -- fruit or vegetable" debate? Should be worth 315 posts at least.
   67. LargeBill Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:08 AM (#4329144)
47. Double-Spin Mechanic Posted: December 18, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4327503)

. . . writers turned on him for a complicated personal life

Is that what they are calling it these days?

Bernie Madoff had a complicated financial life.


Bernie's problem is his sustained peak was literally wiped out by his sudden decline phase. Also, it turned out his "peak" was artificially enhanced.

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