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Friday, April 17, 2020

Hall of Fame case closed? These baseball legacies could suffer if MLB’s season is canceled

The 2020 Major League Baseball season is delayed, indefinitely, and it’s not at all certain to ever begin. It’s not clear when the country will be able to lift measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, or how baseball could fit into the much larger puzzle of society this year.

With the season in question, there also come (less important, but nonetheless interesting) questions about how the history of the sport will reckon with the shortened slate or potential gap in action. Such as: Who in the game right now might eventually have their Hall of Fame case altered by the pandemic-stricken 2020 season?

There have been strikes, and players have left for military service, but missing games are missing games, and they will affect some more directly than others when legacies coalesce years down the line. With that in mind, the Yahoo Sports staff got together and explained why these Cooperstown hopefuls have the most riding on 2020. - Zach Crizer

A list that may be of interest to compare with the ones of Jay Jaffe’s I’ve linked to in the last few days.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Missed Time and the Hall of Fame, Part 3

Picking up where we left off in my series on the impact of missed time on Hall of Fame candidates, we turn to the active pitchers whose shots at Cooperstown might be harmed most due to the loss of a significant chunk or even the entirety of the 2020 season. In Part 1, I noted that whether we’re talking about the effects of military service during World War II and the Korean War or the strike-shortened 1981, ’94 and ’95 seasons, it appears that fewer pitchers were harmed in their bids than was the case for position players. Even so, lost time can prevent hurlers from reaching the major milestones — most notably 200, 250, or 300 wins, and 3,000 strikeouts — that so often form the hooks for their candidacies, and right now, there exists a cohort of starting pitchers whose electoral resumés are coming into focus.

As with the position players, I’ll focus on that group rather than younger hotshots who not only have more time to make up ground but also, inevitably, will probably face some kind of injury-driven challenge along the way (hello, Chris Sale). I’ll spare a thought for a trio of closers as well. As with the other pieces in this series, all WAR totals refer to the Baseball-Reference version.

And now, a consideration of the effects that a shortened or cancelled season may have for contemporary pitchers.


QLE Posted: April 15, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, in search of lost time, pitching

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Missed Time and the Hall of Fame, Part 2

Mike Trout is going to be fine. Yes, for all kinds of reasons it would be a complete and total bummer if the 2020 season never gets started due to the the current pandemic, but Trout would hardly be the first elite player in his prime to miss at least a full year due to reasons far beyond his control. Ted Williams, Willie Mays, and Joe DiMaggio were just a few of the dozens of major leaguers who lost entire seasons due to military service, but given their elite performances throughout their careers, their absences didn’t cost them when they became eligible for election to the Hall of Fame.

Which isn’t to say that missing a full season, or even a significant chunk of one, in such fashion comes without cost. For the 28-year-old Trout, who already ranks fifth among center fielders in JAWS, major milestones could be at stake, though it’s far too early to suggest that a lost season will cost him a shot at 600 homers (as service in World War II and the Korean War did Williams) or even 700 (as the Korean War did Mays), or 3,000 hits, or whatever. For other players whose chances to reach Cooperstown are less secure, however, the loss of even a partial year could make a difference — at least temporarily — particularly if it leaves them short of certain plateaus.

That’s one of the take-home messages from my previous piece, which looked at the ways that time lost to military service during World War II and Korea, or to strikes in the 1981, ’94 and/or ’95 seasons, delayed or derailed certain players. Aided by additional chances in front of the voters, both with longer eligibility windows on BBWAA ballots and more frequent appearances on those of the Veterans Committee, it appears that the vast majority of borderline candidates who lost time to wars are in, leaving only a small handful of what-ifs. On the other hand, players who missed time due to strikes and fell short of notable hit and homer plateaus — not just 3,000 of the former or 500 of the latter, but also 2,000 or 2,500 hits, and 400 homers — have seen their chances take a hit. The much-derided 2019 election of Harold Baines, who fell short of 3,000 hits while missing time in all of the aforementioned strikes, suggests that voters have begun reckoning with that era’s impact on career totals, not that doing so will automatically make for strong selections; both Baines and Fred McGriff, who missed time in 1994-95, finished with 493 home runs, and could benefit similarly on the 2022 Today’s Game Era Committee ballot, are well below the JAWS standards at their positions.

As we look to the current landscape to see which players might be most vulnerable to a lost season, we should keep those lessons in mind. Younger players such as Trout, Mookie Betts, and Francisco Lindor have plenty of time to make up the lost ground, not that losing a prime season — if we’re talking the nuclear option here, which may be premature — would help. It’s the older guys who are running out of chances that have the real concerns. Here I’ll take a spin through the position players, working alphabetically, with the pitchers to come tomorrow. All WAR totals refer to the Baseball-Reference version.

Further consideration of the issues related to a shortened season, this time focusing on contemporary position players.

QLE Posted: April 14, 2020 at 01:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, in search of lost time, jay jaffe, milestones

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Missed Time and the Hall of Fame, Part 1

When Harold Baines was elected to the Hall of Fame via the 2019 Today’s Game Era Committee ballot, the argument that he would have reached 3,000 hits had he not lost substantial parts of the 1981, ’94 and ’95 seasons to player strikes must have weighed heavily on the minds of voters. How else to explain the panel shocking the baseball world by tabbing a steady longtime DH who never led the league in a major offensive category and whose advanced statistics equated his career value to good-not-great players such as Paul O’Neill or Reggie Sanders? That time missed was a major talking point for Tony La Russa, who managed Baines in both Chicago and Oakland and was one of several key figures in the slugger’s career who not-so-coincidentally wound up on the committee. Baines finished 134 hits short of the milestone, while his teams fell 124 games short of playing out full schedules in those seasons (never mind the fact that he missed 59 games due in those three seasons due to injuries and off days). On this particular committee, he received the benefit of the doubt regarding what might have been.

Baines was neither the first player nor the last to gain such an advantage in front of Hall voters. As you might imagine, the topic has been on my mind as we confront this pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and I’m hardly alone. In chats, article comments, and on Twitter, readers have asked for my insights into what the current outage might mean with regards to the Hall hopes for active players. I’ve spent the past four years weeks ruminating on the matter, but for as tempting as it may be to dive headfirst into analyzing the outage’s impact on Zack Greinke, Yadier Molina, Mike Trout et al if the season is 100 games, or 80, or (gulp) zero, the more I think about it, the more I believe that it’s important to provide some historical perspective before going off half-cocked.

According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, at least 69 Hall of Famers — from Civil War veteran Morgan Bulkeley, the first president of the National League, to Ted Williams, who served in both World War II and the Korean War — served in the U.S. Armed Forces during wartime. Fifty-one of those men were elected for their major league playing careers, and six more for their careers in the Negro Leagues, the rest being executives, managers, and umpires. Some players, such as Yogi Berra, Larry Doby, Ralph Kiner, and Red Schoendienst, served before they ever reached the majors, and others, such as Christy Mathewson, did so afterwards, but many gave up prime seasons to wars. Williams missed all of the 1943-45 seasons and was limited to just 43 games in 1952-53. Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, Hank Greenberg, Johnny Mize, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, and Warren Spahn all missed the entire 1943-45 span as well, with Greenberg missing most of ’41 and half of ’45, too. Several other players missed one or two years.

Missing multiple seasons often meant missing out on major milestones. Williams certainly would have surpassed the 3,000-hit and 600-homer marks, beating Willie Mays and Hank Aaron to that towering tandem. DiMaggio, Greenberg, and Mize all would have cleared 400 homers with Greenberg quite possibly reaching 500, a total that only Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Mel Ott had surpassed at that point. Feller would have been the second pitcher to reach 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts, after Walter Johnson, while Spahn might have made it to 400 wins. Hell, Mays might have reached 700 homers had he not missed most of 1952 and all of ’53 in the Army.

A consideration of issues of deep familiarity for those who participate in the Hall of Merit discussions.


QLE Posted: April 11, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, in search of lost time, jay jaffe

Saturday, March 21, 2020

JAWS and the 2020 bWAR Update, Part 1

Poor Ernie Lombardi. The heavyset and heavy-hitting Hall of Fame catcher, who owns two of the position’s eight batting titles, was the player hardest-hit by Baseball-Reference’s latest update to their version of Wins Above Replacement. B-Ref rolled out a whole series of adjustments, both to current players and long-retired ones, into one big release earlier this week, which it explained via a Twitter thread on Tuesday morning and expounded upon at the site. Thanks to additional play-by-play baserunning and caught stealing data, Lombardi, whose career spanned from 1931-47, saw his career WAR total drop from 46.8 to 39.5. Well, he didn’t actually see it, as he’s been dead since 1977, but you know what I mean.

B-Ref’s version of WAR is different from that of FanGraphs, of course, though you may have noticed that our site also updated its Defensive Runs Saved totals after Sports Info Solutions made major changes to its flagship stat, in part to account for defensive shifting. I’ll get to that aspect in a separate follow-up post, but for the moment my concern is how the B-Ref changes affect my JAWS system for Hall of Fame evaluations. The overall answer is “not a whole lot,” though individual player WAR and JAWS, and thus the standards at each position, have shifted a bit, creating a ripple effect throughout my system. With no new baseball for the foreseeable future, it’s worth taking an inventory of these changes, in part because they give us a chance to dig into some baseball history and provide a bit of an escape from our current realities.

Incidentally, the Hall of Fame itself closed indefinitely as of Sunday, March 15, and has already canceled its 2020 Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, which was scheduled for May 22-24. Among other things, that weekend was to feature a seven-inning legends game featuring Hall of Famers and former major leaguers and a “Night at the Museum” program. Induction Weekend, scheduled for July 24-27, is still on the calendar and will hopefully take place as planned, but right now, there are no guarantees. Given that the advanced ages of many Hall of Famers put them at the highest risk for COVID-19 infections, attendance among the game’s legends could be more sparse than usual.

Lombardi’s 7.3-WAR change was the largest of any position player in either direction, positive or negative (you can view the full spreadsheet here via Google Docs). His total is one of just five — from among 19,682 players in all dating back to the birth of the National Association in 1871 — that moved by at least four wins in either direction. Hall of Fame shortstop Arky Vaughan, whose 5.1-WAR jump was the third-highest swing, was one of a handful of other denizens of Cooperstown among the 43 position players whose career WARs changed by at least 2.5.

Some notes on the calibration of bWAR that just took place, and its meaning.


QLE Posted: March 21, 2020 at 02:18 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, jaws, jay jaffe, war

Friday, February 28, 2020

Astros, ‘Field of Dreams’ game highlight 2020 MLB schedule

CHICAGO (AP) — The Washington Nationals defend their first championship. The Houston Astros take on, well, the world. Major league baseball comes to Iowa — and returns to London.

Here are a handful of dates to mark on the calendar:


St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds: Nick Castellanos brings his “Every day is opening day” mantra to Cincinnati, where opening day is pretty much a city-wide holiday. The quirky outfielder signed a $64 million, four-year contract with Cincinnati in January, a key part of an active offseason for the refurbished Reds. The Cardinals, led by Jack Flaherty and Paul Goldschmidt, are going for their second straight NL Central title.

So, see anything you want to attend?

QLE Posted: February 28, 2020 at 01:05 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: field of dreams, hall of fame, london, opening day, schedule

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Walker bundle of nerves after touring Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Larry Walker’s right hand was shaking ever-so-slightly as he reached to sign the space where his plaque will hang in baseball’s Hall of Fame. Reality was still sinking in, a month after his selection.

“It doesn’t seem legit. I feel like I just won a lottery ticket,” Walker said Tuesday after a tour of baseball’s shrine to prepare for his induction in the summer. “I’m kind of trembling inside right now. Nothing seems real about it. I’m still trying to absorb it all. It hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know when it’s going to happen. Maybe it’s going to be in July. Maybe it’s going to be later today. I just don’t know, but it’s crazy to think what I just did.”

Now 53, Walker earned baseball’s highest honor in January on his 10th and final appearance on the writers’ ballot. He received 304 votes, six above the 75% needed, and will be inducted July 26 along with former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Ted Simmons and former players’ association head Marvin Miller.

A native of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, just outside Vancouver, Walker joins pitcher Ferguson Jenkins as the only Canadian-born players elected to the Hall of Fame, and it’s a source of pride.

A reminder of what selection for the Hall of Fame means to those who receive this honor.


QLE Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:09 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, larry walker

Thursday, February 20, 2020

No, You Made It Awkward: On Steroid-Era Players and the Hall of Fame

Back in January, in a Facebook group devoted to the Effectively Wild podcast, one post noted how uncomfortable it would be if Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The poster discussed how the day in Cooperstown would be filled with awkward speeches, loud anti-PED rhetoric, and claims the Hall would be debased by their presence. But awkwardness is not an excuse. If the Pro Football Hall of Fame can enshrine Ray Lewis without a hitch, baseball can do something similar.

Baseball’s history is littered with greats who, if they were elected to the Hall of Fame today, would produce equally uncomfortable weekends, speeches and sentiments. Baseball, like America, tends to sanitize its history and mark acts of evil as “unfortunate.” In the social media age, some of the following players would have made Sunday in Cooperstown just as awkward.

So, do we buy these arguments, and why or why not, as the case may be?

QLE Posted: February 20, 2020 at 01:23 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cap anson, gaylord perry, hall of fame, paul molitor, pete rose, tris speaker

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Marlins’ Mattingly bothered by sign-stealing, Jeter vote

MIAMI (AP) — Baseball’s news cycle of late has been dominated by the sign-stealing scandal that led to upheaval in Houston and Boston, as well as Derek Jeter missing out on being a unanimous selection for Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Don Mattingly was bothered by both stories.

Miami’s manager spoke out Saturday at the team’s annual FanFest, expressing dismay over how Jeter — the Marlins’ CEO — was one vote away from appearing on 100% of the ballots submitted in this year’s Hall of Fame voting, as well as the sign-stealing controversy that is could well taint Houston’s World Series win in 2017 and Boston’s title in 2018.

“You could see it kind of coming, honestly, with the technology, with the cameras, just how fast that has come to the forefront with everything you can do with replay,” Mattingly said. “You could actually see how it could ... how something could start to happen. Unfortunately, it did.”

Well, we’ve managed to find out how Mattingly has managed to keep his head when everyone around him on the Marlins was losing theirs…..


QLE Posted: February 09, 2020 at 01:41 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, don mattingly, hall of fame, sign-stealing

Friday, January 31, 2020

The All Outside-the-Hall Team

As I’ve written several times in recent weeks, the past seven years have seen a flurry of candidates elected to the Hall of Fame — a record 22 by the BBWAA over that span, with another five by the various Era Committees. Eleven of those 22 were first-ballot selections by the writers, while another three made it in during their final year. Of the five committee selections, three spent a full 15 years on the writers’ ballot while the other two slipped below the 5% mark and fell off.

The mix of quick selections and long-awaited ones has been dizzying, and it’s significantly altered the landscape when it comes to the best players outside the Hall of Fame — the ones who might be considered in the on-deck circle. As it’s been a long time since I took a spin around the diamond in this context, I thought it would be a good way to close the books on this year’s election cycle. What follows here is a JAWS-driven spin in which I’ve identified both the best eligible candidate and the best who’s awaiting eligibility. That’s not to say that they’re all Hallworthy, or that I’d vote for all of them; in some cases, I’m merely pointing out the dearth of strong candidates. For the “eligible” category, the player must have been retired at least five years, even if he wasn’t on a 2020 ballot, and no, he can’t be under a lifetime ban, nor can he be stuck in that awful limbo between falling off the writers’ ballot with less than 5% of the vote and awaiting his 10-year eligibility window to expire. For the “not yet eligible” category, the player may be active, retired too recently to appear on a ballot, or stuck in that post-5% limbo. As I’ve written relatively recently about many of these players — and less recently at other sites about some of them — I’m going lightning-round style, with pointers to where I’ve expounded at greater length.

A considering of both players not in the Hall of Fame and coming candidates, by the leading expert in the field.


QLE Posted: January 31, 2020 at 01:03 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Odd Couple: Jeter, Walker take different routes to Hall

NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter and Larry Walker rarely crossed paths during their time in the major leagues.

“There was one time in the Bahamas, playing blackjack, that we sat down for a little while with Matt Damon, and we sat there and played for a little while,” Walker recalled of a gambling evening where athletes and thespians mixed.

A baseball odd couple, they sat on the dais in a penthouse hotel ballroom, baseball’s newly minted Hall of Famers.

Jeter, a first-round draft pick, came within one vote of being the second unanimous pick.

A reminder of what the balloting that we saw come to a conclusion yesterday means to those voted in.


QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:55 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame, larry walker

Larry Walker’s Hall plaque to feature Rockies cap, not Expos

NEW YORK (AP) — Larry Walker’s Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown will have a Colorado Rockies cap, not a Montreal Expos hat.

Walker spoke with Hall officials after he was elected Tuesday in his 10th and final appearance on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.

Born in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Walker made his big league debut with the Expos in August 1989 and signed with the Rockies ahead of the 1995 season. He was traded to St. Louis in August 2004 and retired after the 2005 season.

“It’s a hard decision, being a Canadian,” Walker said.

So, will this please the people of Denver, alienate those of Montreal, both, or neither?


QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:48 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: caps, expos, hall of fame, larry walker, rockies

Baseball Hall of Fame Needs to Change 5% Voting Rule

For the first time in almost two weeks, the biggest story in baseball was not about sign stealing, the Astros’ horrible public relations strategy or the banging scheme. Instead, on Tuesday we got to celebrate the careers of two new Hall of Famers: Derek Jeter and Larry Walker. Sure, Jeets didn’t get in as a unanimous selection, but neither did Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Tom Seaver or Willie Mays. Let’s not lose sleep over it.

As I watched hours of MLB Network coverage, the two storylines I followed closest were far more important than Jeter getting 100% of BBWAA to agree he’s a Hall of Famer: (1) Would Larry Waker get in? (2) How many people would vote for Bobby Abreu?

Abreu, I suspected, would be an afterthought for most voters and fall dangerously close to the 5% minimum of the vote needed to remain on the ballot. But if there’s one thing the last few Hall of Fame classes show us, it’s that writers’ opinions change over time. It’s time for the Hall to reconsider its 5% policy and allow players to remain on the ballot for longer than one season.

Here’s a sample of some of the players who lasted just one year on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot in the last 20 years: Lance Berkman, Johan Santana, Jorge Posada, Jim Edmonds, Carlos Delgado, Kenny Lofton, David Cone and Lou Whitaker. In their second year of eligibility Bernie Williams, Albert Belle and Nomar Garciapara dropped below the 5% threshold.

Well, given how the backlog is clearing, now’s as good a point to consider this as any.


QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, rules of the game, voting

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Craig Calcaterra’s Imaginary Hall of Fame Ballot

As the title says, he doesn’t have a vote, but I thought the Schilling comments were notable, especially since he used to be a supporter of his HOF case.

I’d guess that Trump support among ballplayers runs markedly higher than in the population at large and even higher than it does among Republicans at large, and my appreciation of a ballplayer’s career has never hinged on that. In light of that, the argument that I or anyone else discount a ballplayer’s career because of “politics” is utter baloney.

My problem with Schilling is not that he’s got bad politics as such. It’s that he has gone out of his way over the past several years to show himself to be a demonstrably awful human being who has used his considerable platform to propagate hatred.

Schilling has spread conspiracy theories that survivors of school massacres were paid crisis actors and has voiced his support of the so-called “QAnon theory” which holds that a cabal of “globalist elites” — transparent antisemitic code —  are engaged in an international child sex trafficking ring and wish to commit a coup d’état in America. He has espoused transphobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, antisemitism, racism, and has promoted the idea that violence against those with whom he disagrees — particularly the media — is at best a laughing matter and, arguably, is a good idea.


Perry Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:41 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

Goold: A modest proposal to improve Hall of Fame voting | Derrick Goold: Bird Land |

Goold retweeted this yesterday. I like the idea.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 06:00 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Derek Jeter gives expected response to Hall of Fame vote snub

“I look at all the votes that I got,’’ Jeter said of falling one vote short of being unanimous, posting a 99.7 percentage. “Trying to get that many people to agree on something, it is pretty difficult to do.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:57 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame

Curt Schilling misses out on Hall of Fame, but he’ll get in next year - The Boston Globe

I very, very rarely link to Shaughnessy. He’s a decent writer but has really bad takes on just about everything. I link to him now because his view on Schilling is representative of the views of quite a few writers.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:42 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

Here’s a vote for getting sportswriters out of the balloting process - The Washington Post

I sometimes disagree with their votes but the writers have done a pretty good job overall.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2020 at 05:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

With no sure things, next year’s Hall of Fame ballot could be unpredictable

The 2020 Hall of Fame class is set after the Baseball Writers Association of America elected Derek Jeter and Larry Walker. They will join Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons, who were elected by the veterans committee in December.

For the new Hall of Famers, the celebration is on. For those whose candidacy will begin or continue on next year’s ballot, it’s time to look ahead. That’s also what we’re here to do.

Our first glance tells us there are a wide range of possibilities in 2021. That’s in part because the next crop of first-time eligible candidates is remarkably underwhelming. There’s not a slam dunk like Mariano Rivera and Jeter have been the last two years. In fact, there’s not a new candidate that appears likely to reach the 75 percent required for election now or in the future.

It’s also because there’s a group of returning candidates that haven’t been fully embraced by the voters. Curt Schilling had his strongest showing yet in 2020 at 70 percent. Will he finally make the big leap? Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are inching closer to 75 percent, but with only two years remaining on the ballot can they make up the necessary ground?

The Baseball Hall of Fame ballot discussion is over- long live the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot discussion!


QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, the future

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Jeter’s Hall call near-unanimous; Walker elected

Derek Jeter barely missed unanimity. Larry Walker barely eluded agony. What matters most is that both men are now enjoying entry into baseball’s hallowed Hall.

The subjects of two very different versions of Hall of Fame voting drama, Jeter and Walker both had their names called Tuesday night on MLB Network’s presentation of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot results. All but one of the 397 BBWAA members who cast a vote had Jeter’s name checked off in his first year of eligibility, and just enough of those writers checked Walker’s name in his 10th and final year to push him above the 75-percent threshold.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 21, 2020 at 09:38 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame

Friday, January 17, 2020

MLB Ineligible List Ends at Death for Banned Players

So there’s this minor kerfuffle about how maybe Joe Jackson can get into the hall now, because MLB has this new rule that you’re removed from the ineligible list when you die.  Except here’s the quote from ESPN’s source:

“From our perspective, the purpose of the ineligible list is a practical matter,” the source told ESPN. “It’s used to prevent someone from working in the game. When a person on the ineligible list passes away, he’s unable to work in the game. And so for all practical purposes, we don’t consider a review of the status of anyone who has passed away.”

Which sounds to me like it means that you don’t get removed.  Jackson is banned, and they stopped reviewing his case after he’s dead - which means that he stays banned.

Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: January 17, 2020 at 09:32 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, hall of fame, joe jackson, pete rose

Friday, January 20, 2012

Q&A: Larry Walker on his Hall of Fame snub

“Mr. Walker is not a suspect…We don’t know if the person was killed at the site or if his body was dumped there.” Who’s more upset about your low vote total in the second year of your 15 years of eligibility: you or your family, friends and former teammates with Colorado and Montreal?

LW: I don’t think it bothers me a lot. Why am I going to get my feathers all ruffled over something that’s out of my control? Obviously, it would be an amazing honour.

Some people have pointed some things out to me that made me wonder. [Designated hitter] Edgar Martinez [only played 592 of his 2,055 career games in the field] and he’s getting twice as many votes as me [36.5 per cent to Walker’s 22.9 per cent]. Is Edgar Martinez twice the better player than me?

Not to pat myself on the back but I think I was as good as Edgar Martinez.

But I’m not going to rack my brain. I’m sure there’s people that are in the Hall of Fame that a lot people think shouldn’t be there or some that should be there and aren’t. The knock against you when people say Larry Walker shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame is that you played 10 of your 17 seasons at hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado. But a lot of times players can’t control where they play, right?

LW: I was in the big leagues, man. Are you she—-in me? You can’t always pick where you go or what happens. You just roll with the friggin’ punches. I was in the dugout trying to beat the other 25 guys in the dugout beside us. That’s all I tried to do. I can’t control where I’m at and the numbers that go up. Every ballpark has its quirks.

If you read something in the paper or a magazine or hear something on TV, whether it’s negative or positive, people tend to want to go that way with it. If what was being printed all this time was ‘Walker deserves the [Hall of Fame nod], he’s going to make it,’ I bet my percentage would be a lot higher. But all you hear about is Coors Field. That’s all I’ve heard since my first game in Denver [in 1995].

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:51 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, history, rockies

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein


Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

The Platoon Advantage: Jack Morris is going to be a Hall of Famer, and that’s OK

BTW…I’m compiling a (H/T Moral Idiot) massivo (HA!) list of BBWAA ballotears for their Pro-Bonds/Clemens (9 as of now) ~ Anti-Bonds/Clemens (12 as of now) promised HOF ballots.

For a second thing: it’s getting to be a cliche by now, but it’s absolutely true that 2013 is going to be completely unlike any ballot that has come before. Jaffe’s reasoning is that “Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys.” I don’t think so. There are certainly a lot of should-be slam dunks coming in, but the only new guy who figures to finish particularly strong in the voting is Craig Biggio, and he’s far from a first-ballot lock. By and large, the guys interested in voting for Morris aren’t the same ones who might be tempted to bump Morris off because they’re voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and Biggio, and/or some combination of deserving first-timers or holdovers like Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Edgar Martinez. If anything, the vast majority of them will bump any of those guys off (even Bonds or Clemens, maybe especially Bonds or Clemens) in favor of the presumptively “clean” Morris, who won’t have the fourteen shots left most of these guys will (assuming they get 5% of the vote, which I think will be a problem for Lofton and possibly Palmeiro).

Rather, the real 1999-like year, in terms of players the voters are actually likely to want to enshrine, is the following year, 2014: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are all pretty close to first-ballot shoo-ins. You might as well think of 2013 as Morris’ last year on the ballot, because he’s not going in with those dudes.

So, that’s why I think Morris goes in next year. As amazing as the talent on the 2013 ballot is, it’s not going to pull many votes off of Morris, thanks to the “PE"D questions and because it’ll be viewed as his last realistic shot. It’s 2013 or nothing…and for 75%-plus of the voters, it’s going to be 2013. He’s going in. Might as well get used to it.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 06:01 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Genetti: Lack of black players will open baseball HOF doors to others

This anti-Jeter gunk has got to stop!

Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Bernie Williams and Willie McGee aren’t in the Hall of Fame.

But they will be.

...The last thing baseball is going to want is some statistic come out showing a small number of blacks inducted into the Hall of Fame over a certain amount of time, so the next thing — which will more than likely happen — is well-deserving black players will be inducted here and there over time.

Perhaps it’s a stretch to have this thought, but if you look at the great white and Hispanic players that have dominated the game over the last couple of decades, there’s really no outstanding black players to get excited over. That’s why this lack of African-American players in baseball will give those currently on the ballot a bigger opportunity. Even at this moment the only black player who is baseball Hall of Fame-worthy is Prince Fielder.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not going to be done out of sympathy, I just believe the powers that be are going to conserve these players so there’s no absence of African-Americans going into Cooperstown over the next 10 or more years.

All of the players I’ve mentioned are very much worthy of the Hall of Fame, I just hope they’re inducted sooner rather than later.

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM | 241 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history

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