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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Tony La Russa has some expletives for Harold Baines’ Hall of Fame detractors

The most heated debate at this week’s winter meetings hasn’t centered around Bryce Harper or Manny Machado’s next move. Instead, it’s centered around Harold Baines’ election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The longtime Chicago White Sox slugger was surprisingly elected by the Today’s Game era committee on Sunday, where he joined closer Lee Smith as baseball’s newest Hall of Famers. Yet here we are, three days later, with opinions still flowing and emotions still running plenty high.

spanx for the memories Posted: December 13, 2018 at 07:07 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baltimore orioles, baseball hall of fame, chicago white sox, oakland a's

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   1. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: December 14, 2018 at 04:42 PM (#5797966)
Low-hanging fruit, but I feel compelled to point out just how poorly thought out these remarks are.

In the ’80s and ’90s

This part is indisputable. Career ran from 1980 to 2001.

almost all of the stats that people trust, he was in the top five for 20 years

If we assume that the trustworthy stats are the Triple Crown ones, Harold has a max score of 3 (categories) times 20 (years). So, if he were literally in the top five of each of the three trustworthy stats each available year, his score would be 3x20 = 60.

In fact:

Batting average – never in Top 5
Home runs – never in Top 5
RBI – Top 5 in 1985 (4th)
Total score = 1/60

Where else was he Top 5 in anything? Slugging in 1984 (1st), Games Played (twice), Hits in 1985 (5th), Errors by RF – 1983 (1st), Fielding % as RF – 1985 (five times), Fielding % as OF – 1985 (1st) and Oldest Player (twice).

He drove in 100 runs late in his career and he drove them in early

This is true. 105 RBI in 1982 (OPS+ of 114) and 103 in 1999 (OPS+ of 136).

Game-winning RBIs, he’s up there with the best of them.

Looks to be about #25 on the list of GWRBI since 1957. So not really near the top of the modern-player-only leaderboard for a made-up stat that best speaks to his credentials.

He had a very distinguished career.

Fully agree. This is usually what we say about the members of the Hall-of-Very-Good as a polite way of saying they are not Hall-of-Famers.
   2. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: October 29, 2020 at 07:15 PM (#5986585)
I thought this was pretty good snark at the time. Sad that it got no traction with the other snarkers . . .
   3. Red Voodooin Posted: October 29, 2020 at 08:14 PM (#5986593)
This thread bump is amusing. I was really hoping that La Russa went on a profanity laced tirade about Harold Baines during his introductory press conference today.
   4. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 29, 2020 at 09:33 PM (#5986615)
Harold Baines and Tony Perez are, by far, each other's most similar players. Both are Hall of Fame but not Hall of Merit.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 29, 2020 at 09:51 PM (#5986618)
I thought this was pretty good snark at the time. Sad that it got no traction with the other snarkers .
I agree, Harmon. Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing, ya know?
   6. MuttsIdolCochrane Posted: October 30, 2020 at 05:51 AM (#5986634)
All that hypocritical, lying (and racist - see Kaepernick comments) Tony LaRussa had to do was to open his steroid suitcase for HB. That would have moved him off the borderline.
   7. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 30, 2020 at 08:35 AM (#5986640)
Harold Baines and Tony Perez are, by far, each other's most similar players. Both are Hall of Fame but not Hall of Merit.

Except Perez was a better hitter, and played the field (3B for 5 seasons, 1B for rest), while Baines was mostly a DH (did play RF when not a DH). Perez didn't really deserve the Hall and he was much better than Baines.

   8. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 30, 2020 at 09:21 AM (#5986642)
Perez has 5 seasons by WAR that are better than Baines' best.

Perez had a season of 7.2 WAR. And another at 6 and two seasons in the 5s. Baines' two best seasons combined are 7.7 WAR.
   9. BDC Posted: October 30, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5986653)
More comps for Baines, by PA and OPS+, ages 25-37 which is cherry-picked a bit in Baines' favor to take in strong years he had at both those ages:

Player           dWAR OPS+   PA   Age  HR  RBI   BA       Pos
Chili Davis     
-12.9  124 7508 25-37 277 1069 .276 *D978/H31
-Soo Choo   -14.3  123 6937 25-37 215  754 .275   *9D78/H
Harold Baines   
-14.3  126 7217 25-37 255 1062 .295   *D9H/78
Bobby Bonilla   
-14.4  128 7048 25-37 264 1032 .280   597/H3D 

Provided by View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 10/30/2020.

Davis, Bonilla, and Baines all had roughly 28 WAR in those years; Choo had 33, maybe baserunning being the edge. Those are all really good players with long careers, needless to say.
   10. Rally Posted: October 30, 2020 at 11:09 AM (#5986657)
Young Baines was not a one dimensional player. Never a base stealer but I remember him running fairly well, and his triples up through 1984 reflect that. His defensive numbers were solid at the time too, and he played 30 games in center field from 1982-84. But during that time he didn't walk much. Up through 1986 he hit .287, but only had a .331 OBP. In 1987 he played more DH than OF, and would continue to do so for the rest of his career. For older Baines the BA was similar (.291) but the OBP improved to .367.

Baines did not match his best defensive seasons with his best offensive ones, so overall his peak is very unimpressive.

I think of Perez as an above average hitter, but not a great one. A guy who could hit with power, but no threat to be among the league leaders. He drove in a ton of runs because he hit behind Morgan and Perez, stayed in the lineup, and didn't suck. This describes the Perez of the Big Red Machine. Like in 1975 he hit 20 homers with a .466 slugging percentage. Nothing at all remarkable about that for a first baseman, but he did drive in 109 runs. Just an overrated RBI man.

But I don't remember the best of Perez like I do outfielder Baines since it was before my time. At his peak in 1969-70 (age 27-28) he hit 77 homers, hit over .300 with a .378 OBP, and even had defensive value, TotalZone has him as a league average third baseman. Easily ahead of anything Baines ever did.
   11. Adam Starblind Posted: October 30, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5986700)
Viewing all things 80s baseball through the lens of the original RBI baseball for Nintendo, I note that Baines was on the game's AL All-Star Team. And through the equally applicable lens of valueless baseball cards, he was a Donruss Diamond King.

Accordingly, he is indisputably elite, as far as this 11 year old boy is concerned.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 30, 2020 at 03:16 PM (#5986706)
Viewing all things 80s baseball through the lens of the original RBI baseball for Nintendo, I note that Baines was on the game's AL All-Star Team.
He was also rotund and white.

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