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Friday, December 15, 2006

MLB: Molony: Why Bagwell should be in Hall of Fame

Is Jeff Bagwell the greatest 1B in NL history?...Jim Molony (not that one) makes the case.

But Bagwell’s candidacy for the Hall and the basis for the case that he’s the best all-around first baseman in NL history goes beyond the awards and the popular measuring sticks. There have simply been precious few first baseman who not only compiled Hall-worthy numbers at the plate, but ones who were also All-Stars when it came down to fielding, baserunning and all of the little things that make a complete player.

There have been first basemen with more power and some who drove in more runs than Bagwell. There are some with better career batting averages and/or on-base percentages than Bagwell. In fact, Bagwell doesn’t have sole possession of the lead among Hall of Fame first baseman in any single statistical category, but I challenge you to find a first baseman in the Hall with 400 or more homers, a .290 or better career batting average, 1,500 or more RBIs and 200 or more stolen bases.

 

Repoz Posted: December 15, 2006 at 09:53 PM | 128 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, hall of fame

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:00 PM (#2262671)
Pass.
   2. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:04 PM (#2262674)
I didn't even know that Bagwell's Hall candidacy was in question.
   3. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:06 PM (#2262676)
"We can make a list!"

I don't think you need a four-pronged list to conclude Bagwell's a HoFer.
   4. Xander Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:07 PM (#2262677)
Internet polls say it is. And they are never wrong.

Of ~77,000 people asked on ESPN.com, 56% of the country thinks he should get in. Pretty even split considering how much of a lock he should be.
   5. Tracy Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#2262686)
I think McCovey ranks ahead of him among NL first basemen, but being #2 is nothing to be ashamed of.

Not that the moron voters will think the same way.
   6. AndrewJ Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:17 PM (#2262687)
I don't think you need a four-pronged list to conclude Bagwell's a HoFer

Cue inevitable reference to Mike Piazza...
   7. BDC Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#2262688)
I challenge you to find a first baseman in the Hall with 400 or more homers, a .290 or better career batting average, 1,500 or more RBIs and 200 or more stolen bases

Willie Mays.

Yeah, I know, but I can't turn down a challenge.
   8. salvomania Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:19 PM (#2262689)
Those 10 games at DH compromise my memory of him as a great all-around player...
   9. sunnyday2 Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:21 PM (#2262693)
Seriously, who gives a rat's ass if he was a four-tool player. Just strokin' the ball he had plenty of value.
   10. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:22 PM (#2262694)
Is Jeff Bagwell the greatest 1B in NL history?

Is there any reasonable case to be made that he was greater than Johnny Mize? I guess maybe it depends on whether you give the Big Cat wartime credit for missing three seasons right smack in the middle of his prime.
   11. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:26 PM (#2262696)
Is there any reasonable case to be made that he was greater than Johnny Mize?

Well, if you're debating "greatest 1B in <u>NL</u> history", then you'd eliminate Mize's years as a Yankee. If you do that, Bagwell's career is basically 50% longer than Mize's NL career. Mize is better and, as you say, war credit will cover some of that gap. But I think you could make a case that Bagwell was a better <u>NL</u> first baseman than Mize. By the way, how was Mize as a fielder?
   12. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:30 PM (#2262699)
I challenge you to find a first baseman in the Hall with 400 or more homers, a .290 or better career batting average, 1,500 or more RBIs and 200 or more stolen bases


The following players, not just firstbasemen, have all of the above:

Bagwell
Aaron
Mays
F. Robinson
A Rod
Sheffield


Not a bad group. Of course Bags ranks at or near the bottom among these guys in every category, and he's got less defensive value than anyone as well, but that's still no shame. Even relaxing the standards a bit brings in more players, but nearly all HOFers.

That still doesn't mean he's the best firstbaseman ever.
   13. BDC Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:33 PM (#2262700)
I think McCovey ranks ahead of him among NL first basemen

Meaning that Dave Concepcion was better than Bagwell, too :)
   14. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:35 PM (#2262702)
Another guy who's like Mize in that he is clearly better than Bagwell but loses parts of his career if you limit your focus to "NL 1B" is Stan Musial. He played more at 1B than at any other position (but less than overall in the outfield) and is clearly better than Bagwell, but Bagwell played something like twice as many games at first base in the NL than Musial (who did play all of his games in the NL of course). As a largely unrelated aside - I never realized how stacked the Cardinals were historically at first base - Mize, Musial, Pujols.
   15. AndrewJ Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:38 PM (#2262704)
Bagwell
Aaron
Mays
F. Robinson
A Rod
Sheffield


Barry Bonds says hi.
   16. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#2262706)
Barry Bonds says hi.


Doh!! I wrote Bonds, I know I did. Somehow he got cut. Must have highlighted with the cursor which overwrote him when i entered Mays.
   17. Chris Dial Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:45 PM (#2262708)
Why do we think Bagwell never did steroids?
   18. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:48 PM (#2262710)
Another guy who's like Mize in that he is clearly better than Bagwell but loses parts of his career if you limit your focus to "NL 1B" is Stan Musial. He played more at 1B than at any other position (but less than overall in the outfield) and is clearly better than Bagwell, but Bagwell played something like twice as many games at first base in the NL than Musial (who did play all of his games in the NL of course). As a largely unrelated aside - I never realized how stacked the Cardinals were historically at first base - Mize, Musial, Pujols.


Not to mention Hernandez, Bottomley and a few years of McGwire.
   19. Halofan Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2262712)
He was too drunk to aim the needle properly.
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 15, 2006 at 10:55 PM (#2262714)
Why do we think Bagwell never did steroids?

Until there is a reason to think so, I have no reason to believe he did.
   21. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 15, 2006 at 11:34 PM (#2262759)
Barry Bonds says hi.

Barry Bonds never says hi. He's a cookie full of arsenic.
   22. Booey Posted: December 15, 2006 at 11:39 PM (#2262767)
#21- I would never advocate withholding HOF votes from players for possible steroid use without actual evidence, but if we're just harmlessly talking about candidates then I'd say Bagwell's certainly in the same boat as Sosa. He gained something like 50 pounds over the course of his career and ended up displaying much more power than his minor league and early major league numbers suggested he would have. I always thought his legs, arms, and chest sort of had that inflated, puffy look typical with 'roiders, too.

Of course, all of this could have happened naturally and none of it comes close to qualifying as 'evidence', and Bags will always be one of my favorites unless something concrete emerges; I just think it's absurd that so many people have labeled Sammy a juicer when there are dozens of others - big name guys, too - that are just as suspicious and never even get mentioned.
   23. Backlasher Posted: December 15, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2262774)
Until there is a reason to think so, I have no reason to believe he did.


Maybe Dial is going to post a scoop.
   24. rory_b_bellows Posted: December 15, 2006 at 11:51 PM (#2262789)
The fact that Bagwell is getting a pass while others condemn Sosa shows how ludicrous this whole steroid thing is. Realistically, why wouldn't we think that Bagwell wouldn't use steroids? They certainly help and weren't against the rules.

The only reason not to accuse Bagwell of steroid use seems to be that he didn't hit as many HRs as Bonds, McGwire or Sosa. That's the "evidence." Pretty damn stupid if you ask me.
   25. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:02 AM (#2262799)
The only reason not to accuse Bagwell of steroid use seems to be that he didn't hit as many HRs as Bonds, McGwire or Sosa. That's the "evidence." Pretty damn stupid if you ask me.

If he did use steroids, he seemed to have started early. Peak at age 26, then slow decline, slight bump at age 31, then fairly rapid decline.

OPS+, from age 32 to age 37 - 152, 141, 137, 127, 117, 96. Seems pretty normal to me.
   26. rory_b_bellows Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#2262805)
What I'm saying is nobody has any clue at all about any of these players except for Bonds, Sheffield, Giambi and Palmeiro. Some players, like McGwire, have more circumstantial evidence surrounding them than others (Bagwell, Griffey, A-Rod, Manny, etc.). The basic fact is that steroids would greatly help you out and they weren't testing for them so there was no reason why not to take them. Given that fact, I don't understand how you exclude some players, or even accuse some players, without accusing them all. And this doesn't just go back to the 1990's. Steroids have been around and in use since at least the late sixties and early seventies so the "old time" players have no excuses either. In fact, to me, a player that everyone seems to give a pass to that retired in the mid-seventies seems to fit the profile perfectly (just like Bonds who he also has something in common with) yet nobody ever seems to bring him up because he says he never used them. Sound familiar?
   27. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:20 AM (#2262809)
Uh oh.
   28. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:28 AM (#2262825)
Is Jeff Bagwell the greatest 1B in NL history?

I have him behind Anson and Connor. Though I don't know how Anson would look if you take out his NA years.
   29. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:43 AM (#2262843)
What about Stan Musial? Or are you not considering his years as an outfielder?
   30. BDC Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:45 AM (#2262847)
Stan Musial was almost certainly not on steroids.
   31. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2262848)
I wouldn't put him in the same boat with Sosa for one principle reason: Bagwell didn't go before Congress and testify most unconvincingly that he didn't use them.


Yes, because we should all go before the legislative body and testify by ourselves using a language that we aren't quite fluent in.
   32. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2262849)
If he did use steroids, he seemed to have started early. Peak at age 26, then slow decline, slight bump at age 31, then fairly rapid decline

That true for most caught (read, tested positive) steroids users as well.
   33. FredUD Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:47 AM (#2262851)
People who didn't watch Bagwell play day in and day out have a hard time appreciating his defense. There really aren't many gloves out there that I'd rather see at 1B (Grace...maybe). Bagwell was a very, very good 1B.

This guy is a first ballot type.
   34. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:48 AM (#2262853)
Was Bagwell invited to speak in front of Congress? How can that be used as a plus for him?
   35. buddy Posted: December 16, 2006 at 12:51 AM (#2262858)
no doubt bagwell is a HOFer. but the best 1B ever? that's a pretty bold claim.
   36. buddy Posted: December 16, 2006 at 01:05 AM (#2262871)
oops. missed the NL designation. no question musial was better. maybe mccovey, maybe mize. close for either. barring injury, pujols will almost certainly be better.
   37. Raoul Duke Posted: December 16, 2006 at 01:21 AM (#2262883)
Sosa's fluency in English comes and goes, depending in how beneficial being fluent in that particular instance would be to Sammy . . .
Didn't understand the questions, my ass
   38. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 16, 2006 at 02:20 AM (#2262922)
Sosa's fluency in English comes and goes, depending in how beneficial being fluent in that particular instance would be to Sammy . . .
Didn't understand the questions, my ass


Let us hope you never have to testify in front of a legislative body or court skilled in the manipulation of the subtleties of language without counsel and speaking in a language other than your mother tongue.
   39. Raoul Duke Posted: December 16, 2006 at 02:25 AM (#2262924)
First of all, he had counsel. Second, it was noted by many media-types that Sammy faded in and out of English when questions he didn't want to answer were posed.

Christ, he wasn't facing a firing squad made up of Inuit-only speakers.
   40. Juan V Posted: December 16, 2006 at 02:27 AM (#2262928)
I´ll personally take Bagwell over McCovey. My OPS+ system sees them as pretty similar, and from what I hear, Bags has the baserunning and defense advantage.
   41. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#2262951)

Criminy, even the people on Saturday Night Live recognize the faked pidgin as a dodge.


Using judgement as evidence isn't a great idea when these people also thought that those cheerleader sketches were anything close to entertaining.
   42. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:18 AM (#2262961)
Bagwell didn't go before Congress and testify most unconvincingly that he didn't use them.

They probably didn't invite him because I doubt they could have wedged another super-sized player into that room without worrying the walls might burst.
   43. Juan V Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#2262963)
And this has become just another steroids thread... Damn....
   44. Backlasher Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:24 AM (#2262964)
That true for most caught (read, tested positive) steroids users as well.


Hoss, if you have anything post it. If not--the socratic thing doesn't work for you.
   45. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:28 AM (#2262966)
It's actually the Tailgunner Kevin method: "I have in my hand here a list of 1240 suspected steroid users..."
   46. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:47 AM (#2262973)
I wouldn't put him in the same boat with Sosa for one principle reason: Bagwell didn't go before Congress and testify most unconvincingly that he didn't use them.

You're going to need a bigger boat.
   47. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:51 AM (#2262976)
Goody Bagwell has often laughed in church!
   48. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:58 AM (#2262981)
Hoss, if you have anything post it. If not--the socratic thing doesn't work for you.

I'll give your input the appropriate consideration. thank you for your concern.
   49. infidel zombie Posted: December 16, 2006 at 05:30 AM (#2263037)
brian downing.

bulked up significantly, became power-hitting outfielder.

funny, he wound up
on the 1992 texas rangers.

interesting who else was on that roster ...
   50. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 16, 2006 at 06:53 AM (#2263061)
We all know you're alluding to Al Newman, just say it.

This retro-speculators' speculative speculation is pretty bogus. But, if Barry Bonds had ever attributed a completely unprojected power jump to eating Froot Loops, we'd still be hearing about it in every other thread.
   51. Benny Distefano's Mitt Posted: December 16, 2006 at 07:14 AM (#2263063)
By virtually every measure, Bagwell is the best NL first baseman of the last 40 years. That's pretty damn good.

As for the steroids talk?

Pass.
   52. semajllibfonaf Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:04 AM (#2263085)
I was never a fan (I mean that in a friendly way BTW), but he is HoF w/o question.
   53. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:17 PM (#2263126)
If he did use steroids, he seemed to have started early. Peak at age 26, then slow decline, slight bump at age 31, then fairly rapid decline

That true for most caught (read, tested positive) steroids users as well.


I didn't know that. Hey, it works for Manny Alexander - peak at age 26, decline, then falls off tiny cliff that he was on. Of course, his "peak" was an 85 OPS+. And he didn't test positive IIRC... he had steroids in his glove box... for a friend... he and another player just switched jackets at a party... Granted, they didn't test then anyway.

I am not advocating looking at every player's career path to determine whether they took steroids, by the way. But a lot of people will point to supposedly abnormal career paths and be absolutely convinced. It can definitely get ridiculous.

Bruce Bochy - peak at age 27, then decline, then bump at age 30, bigger bump at age 31! Fell off cliff at age 32, probably because of roid injury!! And he has a giant head! He was a roider!!1!!!111!!!
   54. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#2263129)
Was Bagwell the first 30/30 first baseman? Has any other first baseman done that?
   55. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 16, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#2263133)
Was Bagwell the first 30/30 first baseman? Has any other first baseman done that?


No. Unless I missed someone, no other firstbaseman has a seasonal P/S number above 30.

While perusing that list on BBREF, I found some interesting 30/30 guys:

Larry Walker 1997
Shawn Green 1998
Barry Larkin 1996
Jose Cruz Jr. 2001
Joe Carter 1987
Dante Bichette 1996
   56. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: December 16, 2006 at 04:24 PM (#2263151)
If by 30/30 he meant 30 homers and 30 stolen bases... then yes, he is the only one to do that.
One of the best descriptions of Bagwell I've heard is "the first five-tool first baseman."
   57. Suff Posted: December 16, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2263157)
The only "evidence" I can think of about Bagwell's steroid use is this: his power went up significantly in the early '90s while Ken Caminiti was still his teammate (and who was one of his close friends). Caminiti, by his testimony, did not start using steroids until he was in San Diego. It seems logical to me to assume Bagwell was not on steroids when he bulked up, because Caminiti probably would have jumped on the bandwagon in Houston with Bagwell, if Bagwell had been on the juice.

Bagwell did not bulk up quickly; it was over several years. What has been lost in all the steroids talk is the fact that someone can gain a bunch of pounds of muscle through weight training and the right kind of diet (strong in protein, etc.) over many years. He lost a lot of weight at the end of his career when he could not lift heavy weights anymore because of his shoulder.

Bagwell could have been on steroids. But we have no idea. And I think the circumstantial "evidence" is against it.
   58. Suff Posted: December 16, 2006 at 04:35 PM (#2263159)
By the way, if any of you missed Bagwell defending a bunt when he was healthy, you've missed some great baseball. I'm glad Malony put that in his article.
   59. BDC Posted: December 16, 2006 at 04:48 PM (#2263170)
the first five-tool first baseman

Yes, or at least since George Sisler, who had a similar range of skills in a much different era. Sisler didn't have nearly as great a career as Bagwell, but for a few seasons there he was a pretty well-rounded first baseman.
   60. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 16, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#2263176)
Joe Carter was a 30-30 player in 1987, splitting his time between first base (84 games) and the outfield (62 games). Bagwell was the first full-time 1B to do it.
   61. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: December 16, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#2263181)
Speaking of comparisons with old-time players... a more disturbing one comes to mind...
(repost from my comment in an earlier thread)
I'm concerned that he could end up as this generation's Ron Santo.
The similarities are ominous...

-They had impressive peaks but injuries and/or chronic health issues led to early decline and shortish careers by superstar/HoF'er standards.
-They fell short of key milestones in big counting stats.
-They were very good at everything but not the best at anything... they are not associated with any notable records or remarkable statistical accomplishments.
-They played in relative obscurity, in MLB backwaters(the Cubs were not OMGZ TEH CUBS!!1! before Superstations). They were not especially popular or famous outside of their home cities.
-Neither one won a ring... and both were blamed(unfairly) in part for the underachievement of talented teams. The late 90's/early 00's Astros were better than the late 60's Cubs but still widely regarded as not having lived up to their potential. While both were considered to be solid citizens and good teammates, they were not seen as especially "clutch" or somehow "better than the stats show."
-Both are seen as no-brainers by serious saber/seamhead types but are regarded as borderline by mainstream sportswriters... i.e. the guys with the BBWA votes...
   62. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: December 16, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2263185)
Lance Berkman is well on his way down this path. Even after a World Series appearance in 2005 and back to back monster postseasons, the guy is a phantom outside Houston...
   63. DCW3 Posted: December 16, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#2263186)
One of the best descriptions of Bagwell I've heard is "the first five-tool first baseman."

Frank Chance once led the league in steals while ranking in the top ten in home runs. With three.

Of course, while Bagwell was obviously a great player, calling him the first five-tool first baseman isn't that much of a compliment--it's just that five-tool players are usually too good of athletes to get stuck at first base.
   64. DCW3 Posted: December 16, 2006 at 05:39 PM (#2263200)
There's always been a lot of talk about guys whose Hall of Fame candidacies were damaged because of the 1994-95 strike, but Bagwell might be the one guy whose chances were improved (even though he deserves to go in anyway). If Bagwell breaks his wrist in 1994 and there's no strike, he probably doesn't win the MVP, and his monster season doesn't look quite as monster.
   65. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#2263224)
The only "evidence" I can think of about Bagwell's steroid use is this: his power went up significantly in the early '90s while Ken Caminiti was still his teammate (and who was one of his close friends). Caminiti, by his testimony, did not start using steroids until he was in San Diego. It seems logical to me to assume Bagwell was not on steroids when he bulked up, because Caminiti probably would have jumped on the bandwagon in Houston with Bagwell, if Bagwell had been on the juice.

Bagwell did not bulk up quickly; it was over several years. What has been lost in all the steroids talk is the fact that someone can gain a bunch of pounds of muscle through weight training and the right kind of diet (strong in protein, etc.) over many years. He lost a lot of weight at the end of his career when he could not lift heavy weights anymore because of his shoulder.

Bagwell could have been on steroids. But we have no idea. And I think the circumstantial "evidence" is against it.


Mac and Sammy hit all those HRs, and the pretext is that Bonds was jealous so he roided too. Which certainly implies that he knew those guys were using. And Wally Joyner knew who was and where to get them; as did every MLB clubhouse (according to Wally Joyner). So Caminiti, who WAS USING, comes over to Houston for the 1999 season, and Bagwell has his best season in 5 years, and his highest HR total. When did he hurt his shoulder? Could he have tried steroids to improve his shoulder, or could he have experienced steroid-related injury to his shoulder? And that was still in the Astrodome - he didn't just switch parks.

With the 100+ players that have been caught using steroids - *WITH ANNOUNCED TESTING* - I am asked to believe that there weren't 300+ using before testing - despite the evidence that it wasn't surrepticious *in the clubhouse* (Joyner says everyone knew and knew where to get it, and Steve Phillips has indicated he had his ideas), then there is Grimsley and HgH.

If "everyone in the clubhouse knows", as Joyner and others have said, and a large percentage is using (40-75%), how can you possibly sort out the users and non-users.

And IIRC, if a player knows of gambling and doesn't report, he's a party to it, so I'd think in a media-vigilante way, those that knew and didn't blow the whistle were giving silent approval.

I doubt very seriously that Jeff Bagwell didn't know whether or not Caminiti was using.
   66. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 16, 2006 at 07:08 PM (#2263263)
Is Jeff Bagwell the greatest 1B in NL history?

I have him behind Anson and Connor. Though I don't know how Anson would look if you take out his NA years.


Also Dan Brouthers.

Karlmagnus might recommend Jake Beckley. ; )

Of course if things continue the way they've been going, that title will pass to Albert Pujols in a few years....

If "everyone in the clubhouse knows", as Joyner and others have said, and a large percentage is using (40-75%), how can you possibly sort out the users and non-users.

And IIRC, if a player knows of gambling and doesn't report, he's a party to it, so I'd think in a media-vigilante way, those that knew and didn't blow the whistle were giving silent approval.


Yes, yes, yes. Answer: you can't. So the writers have to say "pass" too all of the 1990s. Sorry, Cal, you were in the room when Brady was shooting up, you knew: gone. Tony Gwynn, weren't you Caminiti's teammate? You must of known: see ya!

Man, this'll really crimp the Hall's style in the 2010s and 2020s. But no worries, they'll have a seance/teleconference with Frankie Frisch and Billy Terry and find some real good sports to induct. Irish Meusel, Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons, and Pepper Martin are still on the outside, you say? Bingo 2016's taken care of.
   67. Suff Posted: December 16, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#2263314)
doubt very seriously that Jeff Bagwell didn't know whether or not Caminiti was using.


I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I was just saying that Caminiti did not start using until he left the Astros and went to the Padres, according to what Caminiti himself said. I'm not saying Bagwell didn't know Caminiti was using. I'm saying that if Bagwell had been using in the phase of his body change and power surge (1994ish), he probably would have gotten his buddy Caminiti involved before he left for San Diego.

The bigger point is that it is all conjecture. Someone's body changed and he hit more home runs, so it must be steroids. He "couldn't" have been lifting weights with good nutrition, and he "couldn't" have discovered he could still hit for average despite taking a bigger and bigger swing. (Look at Bagwell's swing over the years; when he started his trademark squat-and-swing-from-the-heels approach coincided with his power increases.) I was just pointing out how circumstantial evidence can be used to make a conjecture on the other side, too.
   68. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: December 16, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#2263334)
So Caminiti, who WAS USING, comes over to Houston for the 1999 season, and Bagwell has his best season in 5 years

His raw numbers were better, but his .343 EqA wasn't his best since '94 (.385), it was right in line with what he'd been doing (.355, .342, .335).
   69. Chris Dial Posted: December 16, 2006 at 09:31 PM (#2263341)
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

Suff,
it was. that shouldn't read as reflecting on anything you said. I was just saying that when Caminiti came back, Bags would have learned.

Greg,
sure, but he's also gotten older. His raw 2000 numbers were really high as well.
   70. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: December 16, 2006 at 09:39 PM (#2263345)
And IIRC, if a player knows of gambling and doesn't report, he's a party to it, so I'd think in a media-vigilante way, those that knew and didn't blow the whistle were giving silent approval.
I assume you're talking about Buck Weaver here, but he wasn't merely aware of "gambling." He was aware that the games were being thrown. That's a whole 'nother level far beyond gambling.
   71. base ball chick Posted: December 16, 2006 at 09:55 PM (#2263353)
first of all i am not getting why bagwell should NOT be in the hall. because he didn't hit 500 homers? that's it??? and yes baggy was a real genuine 5 tool player and he had an outstanding glove and didn't nobody notice because of olerud and mark grace. he was one of the 3 best and smartest baserunners i ever seen - and the other 2 are larry walker and paul molitor so this is not just me being a fangrrrrl. baggy he had TWO 30-30 seasons in case yall forgetting...

and as for all this supposed weight baggy gained

i can't believe i am having to say this to a bunch of MALES but i wanna see just ONE of you who is at least 30 years old who is an athlete who weighs and looks exactly like he did when he was 19 or 20. i go to fan fests, i actually SEEN some of these guys and even in the late 90s baggy he had skinny legs and he didn't have no giant chest or bulging muscles. i do not believe for one second that he weighed 200 pounds. or that he is 6' tall neither.


or someone saying that because baggy hit better the year cammy came back that baggy used roids, hit better, even though he didn't LOOK no different. yall forgetting that by the time cammy came back, baggy and biggio they was the righteous team leaders and cammy he was a drunk and druggy and he and baggy wasn't exactly buds. baggy he was REAL careful about his image by that time. now if this had been 5 or 6 years earlier when baggy was still a good ol boy hangin with strippers and hos and, um, eating out (hahahaha) at ricks, well then, that would be different

now i KNOW that how a guy looks got nothing to do with whether he used steroids - see alex sanchez, manny alexander, ryan franklin, etc

so sure baggy or biggio or even st jeter could have used and we don't know. we only KNOW bout guys who either said they did do roids or tested positive.

so have we got to the place where we gonna insist that any guy who gets better or has a fluke year or suddenly got worse in 04 or 05 is good enuf to get into the Hall they MUST have done roids??? or are we not gonna give a good goddammm if a guy do roids as long as he ain't good enuf to get into the hall and that is the only time it really matters?
   72. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 16, 2006 at 10:03 PM (#2263356)
and yes baggy was a real genuine 5 tool player and he had an outstanding glove and didn't nobody notice because of olerud and mark grace.


But as kevin pointed out, throwing arm is one of the tools. If he had the arm, why would a good defensive player who could run and throw be put at first base? Was it so that they could keep Gerald Young's bat in the lineup?
   73. Suff Posted: December 16, 2006 at 10:33 PM (#2263381)
But as kevin pointed out, throwing arm is one of the tools. If he had the arm, why would a good defensive player who could run and throw be put at first base? Was it so that they could keep Gerald Young's bat in the lineup?

I'm sure it's easier to transition from third to first base in 2 weeks than infield to outfield. Bagwell didn't start playing 1B until a couple of weeks before the season started. Once he proved to be very good defensively and to hit well enough to be the 1B, why change?
   74. base ball chick Posted: December 16, 2006 at 10:35 PM (#2263382)
miserlou

- ok lets answer the question. don't think gerald young mattered. and he was RF anyhow. seems i am remembering them talkin bout eric anthony and dave rohde all the time as the Next Big Thing out there and ok i was just in 4th or 5th grade or something and maybe i disremember rightly.

baggy got put at first in the first place because he was an AA guy and first was the only place we had a hole.

so i guess you are asking why in 1992 after his roy year at first we didn't put him at ss since what we had was andujar cedeno and rafael ramirez (you talk bout suck...) - biggio was at second and cammy was still at third. so put incaviglia??? at first. well, i would guess that inky wasn't exactly a good 1B, we didn't really have no one else to put at first and probably baggy was not a good SS even if he could have gone back to third. i mean it is ok to have a lousy bat at first instead of ss IF the big bat you put at ss is a good fielder. or else it is a dumb move.

or do you mean in 95 right after his mvp gold glove year?

well we had dave madagan and chris donnels at third and they both hit great. we had orlando miller at SS who sucked with bat and glove, so ok big hole there.

but you know, i got NO idea if baggy could play SS - usually guys who are playing third are guys who couldn't play SS in the first place.

until lance berkman came up we really didn't have a guy on the team who could have been a full time big bat at first and we had good hitting 3B until 2000 when chris truby was there.

but you DO know that by 97 that baggy and biggio ran the team and drayton wasn't gonna let nobody move baggy if he didn't wanna be moved. you DO know this right????
   75. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 16, 2006 at 10:50 PM (#2263393)
But as kevin pointed out, throwing arm is one of the tools. If he had the arm, why would a good defensive player who could run and throw be put at first base? Was it so that they could keep Gerald Young's bat in the lineup?

Look at Bagwell's short stroke and short arms. I think Kevin is exactly right. Bagwell likely didn't have the arm to play third.

This is no knock on Bagwell - he was still a great player, just with 4 tools.
   76. jtuohey Posted: December 16, 2006 at 10:53 PM (#2263398)
I don't see any evidence to implicate Bags in a juicing scandal. He never even hit 48 homers in a year. Mac, Sosa, and Bonds topped 60 homers six times over a four year span, including two seasons of 70 or more. In the 130 years or so of baseball before then, only two players had reached 60 homers, and just barely.

If those unrealistic home run totals aren't enough for you, throw in the fact that these three have been repeatedly implicated by former players, reporters who cover the team and have access to the clubhouses, federal investigators, and Congress. All evidence points to these guys as steroid users, you can't draw any other conclusion.

Bags, on the other hand, has never been implicated in any scandal. He displayed serious power, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a top-tier first baseman. And, despite what Chris Dial said, his power numbers in 1999 didn't change at all from his established level. A .591 slugging percentage was business as usual for him. He had a predictable peak (ages 26-31), and his homer total from '00 on is a function of park effects, not drugs. In addition, I believe he had been very outspoken about his dislike for juicers and the suspicions they put on guys like him, who worked their ass off to become great.

Let's stop dragging this guy's name through the mud. He abused pitchers from the time he was in the minors, and at his peak he was one of the most fearsome, five-tool players we've ever seen. That's a Hall of Famer.
   77. Spencer Benedict Posted: December 16, 2006 at 10:58 PM (#2263401)
Internet polls say it is. And they are never wrong.

Of ~77,000 people asked on ESPN.com, 56% of the country thinks he should get in. Pretty even split considering how much of a lock he should be.


There will probably be a similar division of opinion with respect to Biggio as well.
   78. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:00 PM (#2263403)
If those unrealistic home run totals aren't enough for you, throw in the fact that these three have been repeatedly implicated by former players, reporters who cover the team and have access to the clubhouses, federal investigators, and Congress. All evidence points to these guys as steroid users, you can't draw any other conclusion.


Not Sosa, unless you mean the pee and poop duo.
   79. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:00 PM (#2263404)
until lance berkman came up we really didn't have a guy on the team who could have been a full time big bat at first and we had good hitting 3B until 2000 when chris truby was there.

I hate it when players like Caminiti and Chris Truby take a position away from someone more worthy.

Seriously, though. If Bagwell didn't have the arm to play 3rd, then he could have gone to 2nd if his range was so good (was it, Dial?), but this wasn't going to happen with Biggio. I still think he just didn't have the arm to play elsewhere.
   80. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:07 PM (#2263406)
Also Dan Brouthers.

I didn't forget about him, I have Bagwell slightly ahead.
   81. base ball chick Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:17 PM (#2263412)
WHY are yall saying that bagwell didn't have the arm to play third?

because we kept cammy there in 91? heck, the stros didn't even know if a AA guy could hit ML pitching.

so it would have been beyond stupid to get rid of cammy in 91 and play baggy at third.
it would have been beyond stupid to move baggy back to third in any year before 98 because we didn't have a better hitting 1B who obviously could not play anywhere else (like say giambi) AND we had good hitting 3B

explain PLEASE how not getting rid of good hitting 3B to put baggy there means that baggy didn't have an arm.

if it was brad ausmus at third then you got a point.
   82. Suff Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2263433)
What I recall is that Bagwell did not have a particularly good defensive reputation at 3B, but he turned out to be an outstanding 1B. The way he defended bunts and threw people out across the diamond told me he had an above average arm for a 1B, but it could have been mediocre for a 3B. I don't know. I think he was a little like Pujols, who was bad at 3B, average at best in LF, but is a very good 1B. I don't think Pujols' arm was the reason he wasn't that good at the other postions, but I could be wrong.

They chose to move Luis Gonzalez, a minor league 3B who had been battling Mike Simms (think) for the 1B job all spring, to the OF instead of Bagwell. Maybe Gonzalez had more OF experience than Bagwell. Maybe it was something else. But Gonzalez has played LF ever since and Bagwell is going to the HOF as a 1B, so I think it was the right decision.

I guess it's just a good thing the "five-tool 1B" thing isn't what Bagwell needs to hang his hat on to get in. It's his whole game, his MVP in '94, and the fact he should have won in '97 and '99 as well.
   83. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:43 PM (#2263436)
explain PLEASE how not getting rid of good hitting 3B to put baggy there means that baggy didn't have an arm.

if it was brad ausmus at third then you got a point.


A 27 year old who hitting .242/.302/.309 (Caminiti's line in 1990) is not a good hitter, even in the Astrodome. He blossomed in his 30's true, but in 1991 he was no one's idea of a ML hitter, nor was there any reason to expect him to become one.
   84. Suff Posted: December 16, 2006 at 11:46 PM (#2263439)
A 27 year old who hitting .242/.302/.309 (Caminiti's line in 1990) is not a good hitter, even in the Astrodome. He blossomed in his 30's true, but in 1991 he was no one's idea of a ML hitter, nor was there any reason to expect him to become one.
Page 1 of 1 pages


You underestimate how popular and overrated Caminiti was in Houston. He wasn't a very good player before he went to San Diego, but he was always treated like a star in Houston, even as a young, crappy, player.
   85. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 17, 2006 at 12:18 AM (#2263446)
You underestimate how popular and overrated Caminiti was in Houston. He wasn't a very good player before he went to San Diego, but he was always treated like a star in Houston, even as a young, crappy, player.


I guess, but even Brad Ausmus would be embarrassed to have Cammy's pre-1991 batting line, which is the time frame we're talking about.
   86. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: December 17, 2006 at 12:23 AM (#2263450)
He never even hit 48 homers in a year.

Rafael Palmeiro never hit more than 47 in a year.

All evidence points to these guys as steroid users, you can't draw any other conclusion.

So I can count on your help in finding those Iraqi WMDs?
   87. base ball chick Posted: December 17, 2006 at 12:46 AM (#2263457)
yeah cammy had the dreaded sophomore slump. he wasn't even a full time player until he was 26 anyhow.

but it wasn't like it is with mo ensberg now where if a guy don't hit like a HOF all the time the second he comes up the fans want him gone (except willy taveras for some strange reason.)

and cammy WAS real popular with the fans suff is right. (fans had a fit he got traded off to san diego) he was a skinny scrappy lil fighter - sort of a phil garner scrap iron kind of guy. he was a VERY good glove and i guess we coulda put him in the OF and played baggy at third, but then we STILL had a big hole at first. so like i said it wasn't like we had this big overflowing heap of great hitting 1B just ready.

i remember reading stuff written on baggy when he was a minor leaguer and i sure don't remember anyone saying stuff like he wasn't a good defensive player. so if i am wrong links please. cuz i been looking for half an hour now and i can't find nothing

- and about having luis gonzalez playing first - well, that would have not been as sensible as baggy playing first - i mean, gonzo was a lousy stick with no power. back then anyhow
   88. jtuohey Posted: December 17, 2006 at 01:11 AM (#2263467)
Chattanooga, no evidence pointed to Iraq WMDs. It's very clear now that Saddam's weapons programs were never seriously reconstituted after the 1998 inspections. The notion that WMDs existed was based on a manipulation of data and the media by the Bush administration. That's why several major newspapers apologized to the public for their flawed pre-war coverage of the WMD issue.

Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroids, and wasn't a power threat until Jose Canseco joined his Rangers team in '93 (the Cubs traded him, saying they thought Mark Grace would provide more pop with the bat). As with the others, I feel comfortable declaring Palmeiro a juicer. I feel less comfortable saying the same about Bagwell, because such a claim would be unsupported by evidence.
   89. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: December 17, 2006 at 01:14 AM (#2263468)
It's his whole game, his MVP in '94, the fact he should have won in '97 and '99 as well.

Bagwell had no business even pondering the possibility of winning in '97 or '99.


'97 VORP leaders:
Piazza     101.7
Walker      95.9
Maddux      87.5
Martinez    86.6
Bonds       86.4
Biggio      80.1
Brown       72.8
Kile        71.7
Bagwell     70.0 


'99:
Jones      104.3
Johnson     95.8
Hampton     92.5
Bagwell     84.9 



And just to twist the knife, '94:
Maddux      87.7
Bagwell     86.0 
   90. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: December 17, 2006 at 01:20 AM (#2263469)
Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroids, and wasn't a power threat until Jose Canseco joined his Rangers team in '93 (the Cubs traded him, saying they thought Mark Grace would provide more pop with the bat)


You and they are wrong. The Cubs traded him because he was sleeping with Sandberg's wife. Palmiero hit 14 HR in less than full time play in 1987, he hit 41 doubles in 1988, and he hit 26 HR and 49 doubles in 1991. He had a well established nascent power base prior to 1993.
   91. base ball chick Posted: December 17, 2006 at 01:34 AM (#2263477)
#94 - sigh
there is more ways to judge a ballplayer for mvp then vorp. especially since there isn't no such thing as a replacement player in the first place

and miserlou - you right.
about trading palmeiro
because teams they do trade ballplayers for personal reasons it is not like fantasy ball

i don't know why people seem to think that all power hitters come up and hit 49 homers their rookie year and it goes up from there unless they on steroids and

oh yeah

oops

nevermind...
   92. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 17, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2263479)
So, did Bush and Rove travel back in time and manipulate Clinton and Albright into saying that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction after the UN inspectors left in 1998 while Cheney went back to 2001 to threaten Democrats to sign that 12/2001 letter that stated Hussein had WMDs? That seems illogical - I doubt General Clark would have lent out his time machine to the Bushies.

Clinton and Albright might have thought Hussein had something, but they didn't, you know, invade. Yes, lots of people thought Hussein might have had some WMDs or been trying to create more before the invasion, but the only reason people thought that Hussein posed a threat to the US was b/c of the Bush administration. Do you remember anyone saying even once during the 2000 campaign that Iraq posed a serious threat to the US?

At the end of the day, Bush, Cheney, and the rest of their admin. and cronies are 100% responsible for the war.
   93. mdrinen Posted: December 17, 2006 at 01:55 AM (#2263486)
I can't resist a bit of snark.

Mac, Sosa, and Bonds topped 60 homers six times over a four year span, including two seasons of 70 or more. In the 130 years or so of baseball before then, only two players had reached 60 homers, and just barely.

You could also say "Ruth topped 50 homers 5 times, including one time over 60. In the fifty or so years of baseball before that no one had even reached 30."

In addition, I believe he had been very outspoken about his dislike for juicers and the suspicions they put on guys like him, who worked their ass off to become great.

and Mark Foley had been very outspoken about sending sexually suggestive emails to teenagers.
   94. base ball chick Posted: December 17, 2006 at 02:07 AM (#2263492)
WHY do you guys gotta insist on stinking up one of the few threads we ever get on astros with all that bush/iraq politix crap

i don't give a **** if bush is more evil then hitler and stalin and pol pot and idi amin all smushed together but take it somewheres else. like a yankees/mets/redsox thread. or the petco thread
   95. JC in DC Posted: December 17, 2006 at 02:11 AM (#2263494)
eh
   96. JC in DC Posted: December 17, 2006 at 02:17 AM (#2263497)
Clinton and Albright might have thought Hussein had something, but they didn't, you know, invade. Yes, lots of people thought Hussein might have had some WMDs or been trying to create more before the invasion, but the only reason people thought that Hussein posed a threat to the US was b/c of the Bush administration. Do you remember anyone saying even once during the 2000 campaign that Iraq posed a serious threat to the US?

At the end of the day, Bush, Cheney, and the rest of their admin. and cronies are 100% responsible for the war.


Not quite accurate. Please see, for instance, kenneth Pollack's 2004 Atlantic article on who knew what when and so on. While he does agree that the Bush administration failed by "omission", he does acknowledge that the mainstream view was that Hussein was a threat, was closing in a nuclear weapon (this was the view in 1998, IIRC, according to his article), and that containment - largely b/c of the French (maybe he singles out the Russians or Germans too, I forget) - had failed. This is why Pollack, a Clinton guy, made the case for regime change.
   97. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 17, 2006 at 03:07 AM (#2263527)
Ok, fine. The only reason people thought Hussein posed a serious threat to the US was because of the Bush Administration and nitwits like Pollack. Of course, Pollack was 100% wrong about Iraq.

And, once again, the BUSH ADMINISTRATION decided to invade, and they bear the responsibility for what's happened. Their supporters like Pollack, Kristol, et al also share in the guilt, but Bush is the commander in chief, and the one who actually made the decision. Bush likes to compare himself to Truman, so perhaps he agrees that the buck stops on his desk. (well, probably not)
   98. JC in DC Posted: December 17, 2006 at 03:13 AM (#2263530)
And, once again, the BUSH ADMINISTRATION decided to invade, and they bear the responsibility for what's happened. Their supporters like Pollack, Kristol, et al also share in the guilt, but Bush is the commander in chief, and the one who actually made the decision. Bush likes to compare himself to Truman, so perhaps he agrees that the buck stops on his desk. (well, probably not)


Well, if you concede Pollack, you concede the point, which is merely that there was intelligence suggesting Hussein was a significant threat, and that intelligence pre-dated Bush. I have no stake in whether Pollack's an idiot (he works closely w/my neighbor whose boys play w/my kids). I doubt he is. But AT THE TIME that Saddam had to go was not a controversial position. That he had to go WHEN we invaded was certainly a bit more controversial.
   99. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 17, 2006 at 03:28 AM (#2263540)
I don't concede anything. Did some of the intelligence pre date Bush? Sure. But the fact that a few people like Pollack misinterpreted the intelligence and thought that Saddam posed a significant threat doesn't prove that the notion that Saddam had to go BECAUSE he posed a significant threat wasn't controversial pre 2002. Again, there's was a lot of discussion of foreign policy during the 2000 campaign. Did any candidate seriously discuss the need to take out Saddam because he posed an imminent threat? Almost everyone wanted to see him gone b/c he was a vicious tyrant, but the idea that the US needed to take him out for security reasons certainly was very controversial pre 2002.

As for Pollack, he went to all the best schools and I'm sure he's very smart. But Pollack and many of the other "best and the brightest" were dead wrong about Iraq, and lots of other people were right. I see little reason to trust Pollack's judgment on foreign affairs. Sometimes the "best and the brightest" don't have a lick of common sense.
   100. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 17, 2006 at 03:32 AM (#2263541)
This thread should be dead, so it needs to be said:

JC and Zim are Hitler-loving Nazi Republicans.
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