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Monday, September 13, 2021

Who will be the first to wear a Rays, Marlins, or Nationals cap to Cooperstown?

The Montreal Expos had three players enter the Hall wearing their cap, but no one has gone in wearing the curly W since the franchise relocated and rebranded in 2005. There are a few former and current Nationals on track for Cooperstown, though. Bryce Harper is well on his way with 38.4 bWAR through his age-28 season, but at this point, it seems unlikely Harper would choose to wear a Nationals hat on his plaque. Two injury-marred seasons have derailed Stephen Strasburg’s chances, but he still has time to correct course.

Neither is as likely as Max Scherzer, though. Scherzer has already amassed 66.8 bWAR, and he’ll more than likely reach 3,000 strikeouts in his next start. He has three Cy Young Awards, eight All-Star appearances, and a World Series ring. He also shares the record for most strikeouts in a single game. The question isn’t whether Scherzer is a Hall of Famer. He most certainly is. It’s whether he’ll choose Washington.

Most of Scherzer’s best moments came with the Nationals, but he’s been with three other teams. He won one of his Cy Youngs with Detroit, and he also helped them to an American League pennant in 2012. His career isn’t close to over either. We don’t know what he’ll do with the Dodgers or whichever team signs him this winter. Spreading his rings and his accolades around could cause him to not choose any team like Greg Maddux.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 11:02 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, marlins, nationals, rays

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 Nears the End of a Long Road to Cooperstown

The Class of 2020 has had a long wait for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and not just because the coronavirus pandemic set the festivities back nearly 14 months. While Derek Jeter was resoundingly elected in his first year of eligibility, the road to Cooperstown for the other three honorees — Ted Simmons, Larry Walker, and the late Marvin Miller — was more like a maze, full of wrong turns and apparent dead ends. That road finally ends on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 8, when all four will be inducted into the Hall. As somebody who has been deeply invested in the careers and candidacies of all four, I couldn’t bypass the midweek trip, even under pandemic conditions.

“There was never any thought in my head that [my election] was going to happen. So to be completely honest, I didn’t pay much attention,” said Walker during a Zoom session with reporters last Thursday, referring to the annual BBWAA voting. During his first seven years of eligibility, he maxed out at 22.9% of the vote (2012), and dipped as low as 10.2% (2014).

Even those meager showings surpassed Simmons, who received just 3.7% in 1994, his first year of eligibility. “Back then, you were literally off the ballot. And you know, there was really no vehicle at that time that I knew of or heard of that would enable you to come back,” he said during his own Zoom session, referring to the so-called “Five Percent Rule” that sweeps candidates who fail to reach that mark off the ballot.

Simmons could be forgiven for not knowing the ins and outs of the Hall’s arcane election systems. That he even made it onto an Era Committee ballot to have his candidacy reconsidered for the first time in 2011 was itself groundbreaking. As longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Rick Hummel, who has served on several iterations of the Historical Overview Committee that puts together such ballots, said in 2015, “The first question these Hall of Famers ask you is, ‘How many ballots was he on for the writers’ election? One? They must not have liked him very much.’”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 08, 2021 at 10:36 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: derek jeter, hall of fame, larry walker, marvin miller, ted simmons

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Yadier Molina’s Hall of Fame case is perplexing, but here’s why the catcher is deserving


Earlier this week, venerable Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina announced that—after signing a one-year extension with the Cardinals—2022 would be his final season. Once his farewell tour ends, it will bring to an end a 19-year career all with the Cardinals. It’s a career that includes 10 All-Star Games, nine Gold Gloves, four Platinum Gloves, two World Series titles and plenty of adulation from the St. Louis area and beyond.

Once Molina has been retired for five years, he’ll be on the Hall of Fame ballot. His case is a perplexing one at the intersection of numbers and the so-called intangibles.

In JAWS, Molina ranks 22nd all-time among catchers, well below the average Hall of Fame catcher and trailing contemporary players like Jason Kendall and Jorge Posada. Joe Mauer is seventh and Buster Posey is 14th (and counting). Gene Tenace and Bill Freehan are among other non-HOF types rating well ahead of Molina here. If we go strictly by WAR, Molina is 20th and still well below the average Hall of Fame catcher, sitting the ballpark of Kendall and Posada.

Longevity has to count for something, though, and Molina’s racked up some impressive counting stats, given his position. His 2,090 career hits are 10th among catchers, sitting above the likes of Johnny Bench, Bill Dickey and Gabby Hartnett. His 397 doubles are seventh and he has a shot to get to third (Mauer is currently third with 428). With 983 RBI, he’s 17 away from becoming the 15th catcher to get to 1,000.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 29, 2021 at 06:47 PM | 244 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, yadier molina

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Cooperstown 2040: Where the Baseball Hall of Fame Might Be in Roughly 20 Years

In July 2014, the Hall of Fame announced it would reduce the years players could remain on the BBWAA ballot for Cooperstown from 15 to 10. Since then, candidates like Walker, Edgar Martinez, and Tim Raines, who in years past might have slowly accumulated votes toward a Year 14 or 15 induction, instead saw their vote totals rapidly increase.

Walker, Martinez, and Raines also likely owe some of their rises to Ryan Thibodaux, who began tracking Hall of Fame votes in 2014. Thibodaux has done this by aggregating votes in a public spreadsheet, typically when a BBWAA member either published them in an article, tweeted them out, or emailed them directly to him.

Thibodaux’s work has arguably done a few things. For one thing, it’s allowed BBWAA voters to optimize their Hall of Fame ballots before sending them in, reminding them to vote for a candidate gathering momentum. This used to happen annually, though thanks to Thibodaux, it’s been occurring in real-time the past several years.

Thibodaux’s work has also coincided with some rough treatment of writers that occurs on Twitter when he shares questionable ballots and people who see the posts react. Far from being allowed to make their own decisions, Hall of Fame voters now face pressure to vote however people on social media want.

Some of this is not on Thibodaux, with yours truly even having participated in some Twitter rumbles over crappy Hall of Fame ballots long before Thibodaux’s tracker became ubiquitous. Still, the current climate for writers has led some to quit voting, with The New York Times offering a January 2021 piece headlined, “Hall of Fame Voting, Once an Honor, Is Now Seen as a Hassle.” The Hall of Fame has also culled voting ranks considerably in recent years, no longer taking votes from writers no longer actively covering the game. The most recent election had 401 voters, as opposed to 549 in 2015.

Those writers who’ve stuck around have been more willing to vote with the tribe. Between 1936 and 2013, the 107 players the BBWAA voted in through its normal process, not counting run-offs or special elections, received 85.1 percent of the vote in the years they were inducted and needed an average of 4.38 years on the ballot to get in. From 2014 through 2021, this shifted to 88.3 percent and 3.09 years respectively. Mariano Rivera also became the first-ever unanimous selection in 2019, with Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr. each falling just short in other years.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2021 at 08:33 PM | 98 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Monday, August 09, 2021

50 years ago, Major League Baseball stumbled before inducting Satchel Paige into the Hall of Fame

The jubilation belied a needlessly painful drama that permeated the months leading up to the historic event. An early ’71 MLB press release touted Paige as an “ageless patriarch of the pitching mound” who dominated the Negro Leagues as Babe Ruth did the majors. Nevertheless, the Hall planned to place his plaque in a different wing from those for Ruth and other white immortals. The decision to alter course and give Paige equal honors didn’t come until a month before the festivities….

Paige’s Kansas City Monarchs teammate Buck O’Neil, who died in 2006, remembered in our interview seven years earlier that Paige was publicly grateful and conciliatory, but privately and proudly resistant. “No, he wasn’t going for that, he’d rather not be in the Hall of Fame,” recounted O’Neil, adding that Paige said, “ ‘I want to be in the Hall of Fame, but I won’t go in the back door.’ ”

Criticism of the commissioner, MLB and the Hall of Fame was swift and unsparing, including from Robinson, who suggested that Paige boycott the ceremony.

John Thorn, MLB’s “official historian” since 2011, told The Undefeated, “I think the outrage and umbrage was in the majority, a distinct majority, and Kuhn had no choice but to back down.” In Kuhn’s 1987 memoir, Hardball, he indicated he had a plan and that the outcry and charges of Jim Crow separatism were a predictable development that he figured would persuade the Hall’s directors to give full-fledged membership to Paige and the Negro Leagues’ subsequent electees.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 09, 2021 at 05:27 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, satchel paige

Friday, July 30, 2021

Baseball Hall of Fame denies Curt Schilling’s request to be removed from ballot for 2022 vote

The Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday announced that Curt Schilling’s request to be removed from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) ballot in 2022 has been denied. The Hall’s board of directors voted unanimously to keep Schilling’s name on the ballot. As such, Schilling will appear on the ballot for the 10th and final time in 2022.

In the 2021 round of balloting, Schilling came just 16 votes short of the 75 percent threshold needed for election via the BBWAA ballot. His failure to earn election in what was his ninth and penultimate year on the ballot prompted Schilling to request that his name not appear on future ballots. On social media, Schilling at the time wrote in part:

“I will not participate in the final year of voting. I am requesting to be removed from the ballot. I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player. I don’t think I’m a hall of famer as I’ve often stated but if former players think I am then I’ll accept that with honor.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2021 at 09:50 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, hall of fame

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.”

CBCSports.ca: 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.

CBCSports.ca: 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

Clumsy.

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

BPP: An interview with Robert Creamer

Creamer: His Life and Times. Terrific interview with Womack. (answers shortened here to save site/brain from exploding)

Who’s the greatest baseball player you covered?

Willie Mays. Period.

I seem to remember that Bill James, using his fabulous, desiccated statistics, demonstrated that Mickey Mantle, who was Willie’s almost exact contemporary, was actually the better player, and I’m not equipped to argue with Bill, although I’ll try. And there are DiMaggio, Williams, Musial, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez – no, wait. I didn’t cover DiMaggio, who retired after the 1951 season — I didn’t start with Sports Illustrated until 1954. But that’s still a pretty impressive collection of players to put Willie on top of.

You’ve written biographies on Casey Stengel and Babe Ruth. If steroids had been a part of the game when Stengel and Ruth were players, do you think they would have used?

Sure. Yes. Absolutely. Hell, for decades before the big scandal about steroids in baseball, clubhouses used to have plates or dishes filled with little candy-like pills players gulped or chewed on routinely. My mind is gone – I forget what they were called.. Uppers? Bennies? I can’t recall. But that was standard. Athletes are always looking for an edge and that was a way to get them fired up. I have never been as upset by steroid use as the moralistic holier-than-thou baseball writers who vote on the Hall of Fame. What a bunch of self-important phonies!

I mean, you’d think all an ordinary player would have to do is take steroids to hit 70 home runs or bat .350. But I think McGwire was telling the truth — he took steroids to hold back distress, to make him physically able to play the game. Steroids don’t make a player good. Think of the hundreds, even thousands of players who have been in and out of the major leagues and who may have dabbled in steroids and think how few have hit 50, let alone 60 or 70 homers.

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 05:41 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, steroids

Monday, January 16, 2012

THT: Jaffe: The possible upcoming Cooperstown ballot apocalypse

What should happen? Well, among non-Bonds/Clements voters, Biggio should get around 85 percent. With the others, he’ll get less in what’s already a crowded ballot for people willing to support PED-rs. I’d guess he gets 65-70 percent of their vote. Maybe less.

Upshot: Biggio has a very good shot to get in. Assuming he gets 85 percent of the non-Bonds/Clemens guys (and he really should, given the clustering of Molitor/Winfield/Murray right at 85 percent), and assuming Bonds and Clemens get about 40 percent of the vote, Biggio needs only 60 percent of the votes from the supporters of Bonds and Clemens. That should happen.

Actually, I find this a bit surprising. A week ago, I assumed that Biggio was doomed on this messy ballot. That would set off the real nightmare, because if everyone from this year’s vote went into next year, it would be that much harder for anyone to rise up.

But Biggio should go in next year. No one else should. If Fisk couldn’t get elected as the fourth-best new guy in 1999, Piazza won’t in 2012. Schilling will finish further down, and Sosa may be under 10 percent. As for the backloggers, Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys. I think he’ll get close but ultimately have to go to the VC.

VC = Viva Caputo!

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 02:17 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, site news

CAPUTO: Why I won’t vote for Bonds, Clemens or Sosa for the Hall of Fame

Former Tigers pitcher Jack Morris was named on the second-most ballots - nearly 67 percent.

In the aftermath, Peter Gammons, one of the preeminent baseball writers of all time, talked on MLB Network about how he put Morris on the ballot the first three years he was eligible, but stopped because another baseball writer had displayed extensive statistical proof to him that Morris’ 3.90 ERA was “not because he pitched to the score” but rather because he lost a lot of leads.

Right then I decided this coming year, the first time they are eligible for election to the Hall of Fame, I am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa.

...Gammons said Bagwell is like a hockey player (whatever that means) and was one of those 10-to-12 hour per day in the weight room guys, who lost weight later in his career (ala Pudge Rodriguez) because he had a shoulder injury that prevented him from lifting. It’s the type of thinking that was prevalent from many baseball writers during the steroids era. Always buying the story. Unfortunately, I was one of them. I’d like to think I’ve learned my lesson.

...But if Hall voters are going to be so picky about the career ERA of Jack Morris, why not about possible PED use?

I strongly feel this: If Morris gets in, it will still be the Hall of Fame.

If Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are inducted, it would become

(Yanks out Rogers’ Dictionary of Cliches ~ Looks for entry form)

the Hall of Shame.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:40 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, media, steroids, tigers

Friday, January 13, 2012

BBPro:  Heartburn Hardball - Jack Morris in Motion

Morris, who was the face of the Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff for the entirety of the eighties before spending the early nineties hopping between the Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians, has every right to be thrilled at the news. And the rest of us, especially those who were too young to see him pitch, have every right to ask…why Jack Morris? Why now?

To answer that question, I decide to watch the most famous performance of his career, the game that proved once and for all that he was a true ace and a true winner.

....

The Twins will win 1-0 in the bottom of the 10th, winning the second World Series title in franchise history and solidifying Jack Morris’s place in baseball history.

And when it’s over, I will be more convinced than ever that Jack Morris is not a Hall of Fame pitcher.

 

 

Completely Unbiased 3rd Party Lurker Posted: January 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, tigers, twins

BPP: Darowski: The Small Hall (of wWAR)

Erardiabolical!

Joe recently wrote a post called To the BBWAA: Focus on the Great, Not the Very Good. In the post, Joe explains his “small Hall” stance. It’s not a stance I agree with, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a “small Hall” since coming up with my system to rank Hall of Famers (via Weighted WAR and the Hall of wWAR). To get a “small Hall” by wWAR, you just have to pick a higher cutoff than I use for my Hall.

So, let’s see what a Small Hall of wWAR would look like.

Center Field

  Ty Cobb (305.5)
  Willie Mays (298.8)
  Tris Speaker (247.9)
  Mickey Mantle (228.4)
  Joe DiMaggio (145.7)
  Billy Hamilton (118.6)
  Duke Snider (115.0)

There are not very many center fielders in the Hall of wWAR. But gosh is the position top-heavy. Look at that. Four guys above 200 (225, even). And that doesn’t even include Joltin’ Joe and the Duke. Who’s next? There’s a huge 20 wWAR drop-off before we get to Jimmy Wynn (95.1). Then there’s Richie Ashburn (84.8) and 19th century stars George Gore (82.9) and Paul Hines (78.3). Exiting the Hall would be Ashburn, Hugh Duffy, Larry Doby (again, just because this is purely statistical), Earle Combs, Kirby Puckett, Edd Roush, Earl Averill, Hack Wilson, and Lloyd Waner.

Repoz Posted: January 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

Wezen-Ball: HOF Candidates as Prospects

As we wait for the Hall of Fame announcement to come sometime Monday morning - for the record, I’m predicting that Barry Larkin will be the only new inductee this year, with Jack Morris getting dangerously close to the 70% mark - it seems like the perfect time to go back and look at how the main candidates on this year’s ballot looked coming into the major leagues. Using my collection of annual baseball preview magazines from the likes of Street and Smith’s and The Sporting News, I’ve gone back and found each candidate’s name in the various “minor leagues” sections of the magazines. It’s always fun to see what everyone was saying about some of the game’s greats before we knew them to be so.


Neyer: Did Joe Torre Cost Jorge Posada His Shot At Cooperstown?

Joe Torre - history’s greatest monster.

Anyway, you can read all about that. In the wake of the reports, I got this e-mail message:

I am looking over the 3 part time years that Jorge split with Girardi. Joe must have been drunk. This friggin’ loyalty may have cost Posada the HOF.

1997 - Posada 188 AB, 101 OPS+
1997 - Girardi 398 AB, 69 OPS+


1998 - Posada 358 AB, 115 OPS+
1998 - Girardi 254 AB, 85 OPS+


1999 - Posada 379 AB, 91 OPS+
1999 - Girardi 209 AB, 60 OPS+


Man, I did not know Girardi was his bad. But Torre gave Girardi 600 ABs for 2 years, when he could not crack the 70 OPS+ line. I think was never noticed or talked about because those Yankee teams won so much.

He got a total of nearly 850 AB during this 3 years span. That is a damn near
travesty.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, yankees

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Neyer: Who Will the Cardinals Miss the Most?

Rally squirrel, obv.

Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s website ran a poll:

Whose departure will have the biggest impact on the Cardinals?

The choices: Dave Duncan, Tony La Russa, Albert Pujols…

What I found most interesting about the poll wasn’t that Pujols finished last, but that Dave Duncan finished first, with 42 percent next to La Russa’s 30 and Albert’s 28… I’m intrigued by the notion that Cardinals fans might actually give more credit to Duncan than La Russa for the team’s recent successes. Partly because I’m not completely sure they’re wrong.

But hey, let’s make this about the Hall of Fame, since we could never get tired of that.

This isn’t an original thought, either for me or the rest of the Internet, but I believe Dave Duncan deserves, if not more credit than La Russa, at least some real Hall of Fame consideration…

In the five years before Duncan got hold of Dave Stewart, he went 30-35 with a 98 ERA+. In the next five years, he went 93-50 with a 118 ERA+.

I don’t know how much of that was Dave Duncan, how much was Tony La Russa, and how much was just Dave Stewart getting a chance to pitch. But if I were somehow involved with the Hall of Fame, I would like to know.

I would like to know that, and a lot more.

The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame

Rob Neyer/BN: Hey, While We’re At It, Can We Kick Mickey Mantle Out Of Cooperstown?

Terence Moore, Mr. Neyer has a response for you..

Here’s what I think. With all due respect, I think that the great majority of the writers who disqualify Hall of Fame candidates based on the “integrity and character” clause in the voting rules have not considered the implications of their position. Have not begun to consider the implications of their position.

The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:51 PM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame

Corcoran: The Hall of Fame chances of Jorge Posada, baseball’s Ringo Starr

Yeah, but shouldn’t Posada then be put through the Jim Keltner List and not the Ken Keltner List?

Yet, even moreso than his Beatles analog, Ringo Starr, Jorge Posada was an equal partner in baseball’s fab four, the quartet of Yankees teammates who debuted in 1995 and won seven pennants and five World Series together (though Posada, who played in just eight major league games in 1996, sat out the first of those).

That Posada is so comparable to Ringo, “the funny one,” who wrote just two Beatles songs and two of the worst at that, helps explain why he has had such a hard time being taken seriously as an all-time great at his position. However, news of his impending retirement, first reported by WFAN beat reporter Sweeny Murti last weekend, gives us a much-needed occasion to revisit Posada’s significance in baseball history. It’s fitting that the news about Posada arrived just days before the announcement of this year’s Hall of Fame class, as a case can be made that Posada is worthy of enshrinement, and it has nothing to do with his having kept time with sure-fire first-ballot inductees Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera or fellow borderline case Andy Pettitte, his Core Four brethren.

...Do the player’s numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

This refers to James’ own formula-based Hall of Fame Standards, which are listed on the player pages at Baseball-Reference. Posada falls just short, scoring 40 points against the average Hall of Famer’s total of 50.

Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system has Posada even closer (40.2 points to the Hall standard of 42.6), but still just shy.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 01:00 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, yankees

Murray Chass on Baseball: JACK MORRIS ADVANCES

MIKE PIAZZA’S BACK LOOKS LIKE IT WAS ON FIRE AND SOMEBODY PUT IT OUT WITH A PAIR OF CLEATS, MR. PRESIDENT.

What about next year? Morris’ chances in 2013 could depend on the writers’ reaction to first-timers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza.

The past several years the voters have overwhelmingly rejected Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro for their use of performance-enhancing substances. Some voters, however, might have rejected them without the steroids link, believing their careers did not merit Hall of Fame election.

That belief would most likely not exist for Bonds and Clemens and probably not Sosa and Piazza. But Bonds and Clemens have been clearly implicated in their use of illegal substances, and Sosa and Piazza have been suspected of their use.

Sosa and Piazza have never been convicted by testing or their own admission, but they may find it impossible to overcome the circumstantial evidence that has grown around them.

If, on the other hand, writers vote for some or any of them, they may not want to add Morris to their ballot.

...I have not voted for McGwire or Palmeiro and don’t expect to vote for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa or Piazza next December. I will vote for Morris.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

Don Malcolm: JIM, JACK AND THE LASH OF THE BACK: BASEBALL’s CULTURE WAR HEATS UP

Pulling a…

Pull a

While yesterday’s Hall of Fame vote didn’t deliver a lethal blow to our little scenario for future results (more on that below…), it did crystallize the dynamics of the culture war that continues to rage between two increasingly armed camps: the mainstream media and the blogosphere.

What’s clear from the increase in the support for Jack Morris (up to 67% from the low-to-mid fifties in the two previous years) is that the mainstream media has been listening to the blogosphere. But what they’ve heard—much as was the case with Jim Rice—has caused them to dig their heels in.

It’s plain as the nose on Pinocchio’s face that the BBWAA writers have taken umbrage at the ridicule that has been relentlessly sent their way by a very vocal minority (a kind of “Green Party” of “baseball activists”) that hounds them. As is the case with any stacked deck, there are essentially two choices for alleviating the effects of such a condition: evolution or revolution.

...Rich Lederer’s campaign for Bert Blyleven was effective not so much because it encompassed all of the deep technical truths that animate the world of “advanced metrics,” but because it was an example of positive advocacy. By contrast, the neo-sabe campaigns against Jim Rice (and, now, Jack Morris) have failed to gain traction. If anything, they may have helped hasten the very thing they were attempting to avoid.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 06:16 AM | 170 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

Goldman: Bernie Williams vs. Kirby Puckett

Let’s ask Erardi!...okay, maybe not.

I was watching the Hall of Fame announcement show on the MLB Network on Monday–congratulations to a very deserving Barry Larkin–and something Peter Gammons said as an aside in a discussion of Bernie Williams’ suitability for the Hall of Fame stuck with me: “He wasn’t as good as Kirby Puckett,” the Great Gammo almost muttered, as they cut to a commercial break.

I haven’t been able to put that comment out of my mind, because I’m not certain why Gammons is so sure. Both were excellent hitters with very different skills who nonetheless arrived at similar results. Puckett was short and stout, Williams long and lithe. Puckett reaped a huge benefit from his Metrodome home park, hitting .344/.388/.521 at home, .291/.331/.430 on the road. Williams was about the same hitter everywhere. Both were Gold Glove center fielders who won several of the defensive awards with their bats. Both won a single batting title. Puckett led the AL in hits four times; Williams walked too much to compete in that department.

Career-wise, Williams looks a little worse overall, but that’s because his peak isn’t quite so high and his career is a little longer. Due to glaucoma, Puckett’s career came to an abrupt end, depriving him of a decline phase, whereas Williams got to play until he was no longer useful. If you consider both through their age-35 seasons, it’s a virtual tie: Williams had hit .301/.388/.488 in 1804 games, while Puckett hit .318/.360/.477 in 1783 games.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:52 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, twins, yankees

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Erardi: HOF voter’s view on cheaters

Here’s how the big-time names that are already before or soon to be before the BBWAA electorate would shake out using my “good-standing” test . . .

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro:. In my opinion, their “off-the-field conduct significantly altered” their performance on it, and “in a transformative way altered the general regard for the game by the custodians of it.”

They are Out. Does it matter to me that Bonds and Clemens would have been Hall of Famers had their careers ended before they ever started using? Yes. Does it matter enough to change my vote? No. They trashed the record books on the way to record earnings and an exalted, fraudulent, place in the game.

And now for the mud-fueled cleansing stand of grubby principled contrition salvo!

Andy Pettitte: Interesting case, isn’t he? If he hadn’t been caught or admitted using steroids, he would probably be just another south-of- the-border Hall candidate. But I would argue that without steroids, and with adequate weight given to postseason performance—Pettitte played the equivalent of 1¼ regular seasons in his 13 postseasons—he should not be automatically ruled out.

Why? He simultaneously stood up to Clemens and for truth, at a time when baseball needed a principled stand. (Cynics say it was just a save-my-own- posterior move. I don’t rule that out, but I still like the way he handled himself.) Pettitte’s cleansing contrition is worth something. To me, it’s worth not writing him off. Still alive as a potential “in” candidate.

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 06:59 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, hall of fame, history

Terence Moore: Integrity, character make future Hall of Fame votes easy

Some frank crapra: A Hole in the ####### Head.

You heard of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” This is about how “Mr. Bonds Blew Cooperstown,” but before I get to that, I’m not saying the following proudly: Filling out my 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be such a breeze. The whole process shouldn’t last longer than it takes to say “performance-enhancing drugs.”

I’ll start by skipping past the names of Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, along with that of Barry Bonds.

Then I’ll select all of the folks I picked this year who didn’t join Barry Larkin in making it to Cooperstown on the writers’ ballots—Fred McGriff, Tim Raines and Lee Smith.

After that, I’ll at least hold my pen over the check marks of Craig Biggio (3,000 hits), Curt Schilling (among the greatest October players ever) and Mike Piazza (a record 396 home runs while catching).

Then, after I fax my ballot to the secretary of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, I’ll begin contemplating the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Hall of Fame ballots. They’ll feature the likes of Greg Maddux, Ken Griffey Jr., Trevor Hoffman and Frank Thomas. I’ll smile at the thought, because those ballots also will be easy to fill out.

You know, just like the one in 2013, but for a different reason.

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:02 PM | 151 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

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