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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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, marlins, nationals, rays

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   1. The Duke Posted: September 13, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6039424)
The way the Rays recycle players, they may never have a cap. Scherzer is interesting. What if he re-signs with Dodgers and they win a couple World Series with Him as their number 1. That would make three possible teams. As of now I’m guessing Nationals but that could change

Marlins - hmmm. Still a long way to go for them.

Does anyone in the Hall have a senators cap?
   2. Robbo Posted: September 13, 2021 at 11:43 AM (#6039426)
Does anyone in the Hall have a senators cap?


Walter Johnson does.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6039428)
Walter Johnson does.

Goose Goslin and Sam Rice too.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6039433)
What if he re-signs with Dodgers and they win a couple World Series with Him as their number 1. That would make three possible teams. As of now I’m guessing Nationals but that could change


The only way it changes if he somehow sours on the Nats and pleads with the Hall to allow him to wear a different cap. He pitched longer and better as a Nat than he did as a Tiger, so there's no real contest there. And he's not going to put up anything near what he did in Washington the rest of the way.

The logoless cap (which the Hall shouldn't allow) would be the only thing that prevent him from "going in as a Nat."
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:27 PM (#6039434)
He also shares the record for most strikeouts in a single game.


This is not true. Tom Cheney once struck out 21 hitters in a game, while Scherzer topped out at 20.

It still amazes me that of the five times where a pitcher has fanned 20 hitters over nine innings - Clemens twice, Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson and Scherzer - not a single one of them walked a hitter.
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6039438)
are those of us utterly mystified by "which cap will a player 'wear' on his plaque" intrigue strongly correlated with "who cares what uniform number a player wore?" - or are they distinct species?

this observation fully concedes how many other things I care about, that few others do

:)
   7. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6039440)
Fred McGriff.
   8. bunyon Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:46 PM (#6039442)
I didn't watch the ceremony but I assume Jeter wore a Marlins hat?
   9. Adam Starblind Posted: September 13, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6039443)
I think of McGriff primarily as a Blue Jay, which is irrational since he wasn't primarily anything. Tampa being his hometown and part of his post-playing career may give the Rays the edge.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 13, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6039451)
Scherzer is headed to the Hall, likely with a Nationals cap unless he pitches as long as Nolan Ryan to make a case for another team, which would probably have to be one he already played with since its a bit late to start afresh.

Juan Soto is only 22, but on an inner circle path, and absent a career-impairing injury will likely become the best Washington, DC position player ever, passing Sam Rice, if he’s extended beyond 2024 by the Nationals.
   11. Rally Posted: September 13, 2021 at 01:55 PM (#6039452)
I don’t think Scherzer is in position to make a choice. He did so much for the Nationals that it seems like the hall would have to overrule him if he choose any other logo. Like they did with Wade Boggs, who is in as a Red Sock and not a Devil Ray.

You might make a case for the Tigers over Nats, but he has almost 3x as much WAR for Washington. Plus a ring.
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:05 PM (#6039455)
Goose Goslin and Sam Rice too.


And Bucky Harris. You'd think that Clark Griffith might have a Senators cap, not for what he did as a player with them, but for his long-term ownership, but he has a cap with no logo. Ed Delahanty doesn't have a cap at all.
   13. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6039457)
This is not true. Tom Cheney once struck out 21 hitters in a game

Seven of them in extra innings. Pity the manager who lets his starter go 16 today.
   14. The Duke Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6039459)
McGriff - Blue Jay

Maybe he gives the Rays half a hat

Can the Rays get half a hat elsewhere ?
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:23 PM (#6039466)
Can the Rays get half a hat elsewhere ?


The Rays need a long, productive decline from Longoria and a generous veteran's committee.

Otherwise, they're looking at a really long wait.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:33 PM (#6039469)
I thought I remember reading that Andre Dawson said he wanted to wear a Marlins cap going into the Hall....but he was playing for the Marlins at the time, at the end of his career. And IIRC, the Rays actually put it in Wade Boggs' contract that he would agree to wear a Rays cap in Cooperstown, which I think prompted the HOF to not let players choose their cap anymore.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6039471)

I thought I remember reading that Andre Dawson said he wanted to wear a Marlins cap going into the Hall....but he was playing for the Marlins at the time, at the end of his career. And IIRC, the Rays actually put it in Wade Boggs' contract that he would agree to wear a Rays cap in Cooperstown, which I think prompted the HOF to not let players choose their cap anymore.


I think the Boggs instance was kind of the final straw on the question (they previously had a similar situation, though one that was defensible when Winfield chose the Pads over the Yankees). They will still let the players have input if the question is reasonably close, but they weren't going to let the Rays buy their way in if the choice really wasn't representative of the player's Hall career.
   18. The Mighty Quintana Posted: September 13, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6039472)
Dawson grew up in Miami, and Boggs grew up in Tampa, so it sort of makes sense to me they would want those caps.
   19. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: September 13, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6039474)
Re: Rays. Blake Snell's CYY season really sticks out. It's the only season that he was in double-digit wins, and until this year the only season that he had a winning record. (Don't hold your breath on that one either, he's 7-6.)
   20. Mike A Posted: September 13, 2021 at 03:23 PM (#6039479)
Maddux had roughly double the bWAR with the Braves (66.2) than he did with the Cubs (33.7), but the HoF still let him choose no cap. So there's still some leeway depending on the case and player's wishes.
   21. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6039480)
Nolan Ryan had one of those "go into the HoF as a Ranger" clauses in his last contract too and although he spent less time and had fewer key accomplishments with Texas than with California or Houston, it was that finishing kick that took him from ".500 pitcher" to "OmG bEsT pItChEr EvAr!!1!" in the minds of many.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6039481)

Maddux had roughly double the bWAR with the Braves (66.2) than he did with the Cubs (33.7), but the HoF still let him choose no cap. So there's still some leeway depending on the case and player's wishes.


I doubt they would have let him have a Cubs logo. But I don't think they should have let him go the lame no logo route either.

   23. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 13, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6039483)
A good thing in Dawson's case that the player's wish wasn't honored. After Jeter fired him in inglorious fashion, his feelings towards the organization have probably soured.
   24. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 13, 2021 at 03:46 PM (#6039484)
Re: Rays. Blake Snell's CYY season really sticks out. It's the only season that he was in double-digit wins, and until this year the only season that he had a winning record. (Don't hold your breath on that one either, he's 7-6.)

If Snell goes in, is it with 5/9 of a Rays' cap?
   25. The Duke Posted: September 13, 2021 at 03:51 PM (#6039485)
That’s really good
   26. Booey Posted: September 13, 2021 at 04:33 PM (#6039502)
Mussina should be an Oriole (10 years, 147 wins, and 47.7 WAR vs 8 years, 123 wins, and 35.1 WAR as a Yankee), but at least the no logo cap is defensible in his case.

Halladay's logo-less cap is just dumb though, and I'm surprised the Hall went along with it. 12 years, 148 wins, and 48.4 with the Jay's vs 4 years, 55 wins, and 17 WAR with the Phillies. It's no contest.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: September 13, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6039511)
As noted, Longoria could do it for the Rays although I suspect that to get in, he'll need a successful late run with the Giants and maybe a ring or two which pushes him towards 50/50 between the two teams. So possibly the Rays best chance is to extend Wander Franco for a very long time right now. I hadn't checked in a while and Franco is up to a 129 OPS+ with a solid BB rate and a mere 12.5% K-rate ... at 20! Rbase has him above-average on the bases and at SS (mostly) so the kid is on a 8-WAR pace.
   28. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 13, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6039512)
It probably says something about my age -- in fact, I know it does, because he moved to Houston shortly before I was born -- that Nolan Ryan will forever be an Astro in my mind.

If Harper goes, does he wear a Nationals cap? Even if he plays out his whole, huge contract in Philly? He's unlikely to ever reach the heights he did in DC.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: September 13, 2021 at 05:39 PM (#6039514)
Factoid: Brandon Guyer is the Rays' career leader in HBP with 58. He had fewer than 1000 PA with the Rays.
   30. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 13, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6039519)
Factoid: Brandon Guyer is the Rays' career leader in HBP with 58. He had fewer than 1000 PA with the Rays.

Simultaneously related and unrelated factoid: Charlie Morton is 17th among active pitchers in innings pitched, with just over half the total of active leader Zack Greinke. He is the active leader in HBP by a pitcher by a margin of 136-111 (Johnny Cueto). Through 2018, he had more HBP than home runs allowed (HR have slipped into the lead by 2).
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: September 13, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6039520)
Even if he plays out his whole, huge contract in Philly? He's unlikely to ever reach the heights he did in DC.


He kind of has to (obviously, it doesn't have to happen in Philly). If he doesn't have a post-Washington career as good as his Nats' one, he's not going to be good enough.

Conversely, I don't see how anything Longoria could do in SF, even a couple of titles, could tilt the scales away from Tampa.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 13, 2021 at 06:23 PM (#6039522)
If Harper goes, does he wear a Nationals cap?
Harper won't have a cap. His plaque will capture him in mid-hair flip. Maybe it would have his actual hair.
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 13, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6039528)
Even if he plays out his whole, huge contract in Philly? He's unlikely to ever reach the heights he did in DC.


If the Phillies catch fire in the last three weeks of the season, Harper could win another MVP this year.
   34. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 13, 2021 at 07:12 PM (#6039529)
If Harper goes, does he wear a Nationals cap? Even if he plays out his whole, huge contract in Philly? He's unlikely to ever reach the heights he did in DC.
Harper may not top his 2015 MVP year with the Nationals (9.7 WAR), but he’s likely to end up with considerably more career WAR with the Phillies. Harper had 27.8 WAR in DC, and currently has 11.3 as a Phillie, with another 10 years on his contract. If he doesn’t get another 16.5 WAR, he’s not making the Hall as anything.
   35. sanny manguillen Posted: September 13, 2021 at 07:37 PM (#6039531)
Harper won't have a cap.


Pair of hands around his neck.
   36. The Duke Posted: September 13, 2021 at 09:55 PM (#6039543)
Beat me to it
   37. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 14, 2021 at 09:04 AM (#6039584)

Conversely, I don't see how anything Longoria could do in SF, even a couple of titles, could tilt the scales away from Tampa.


If Longoria does enough in SF to start the debate about career value with Tampa he's going to be in the discussion for 2nd or 3rd best 3B ever. I don't *think* he's going to put up 40+ WAR after the age of 35, but hey, who knows, Bonds put up 50+ so it's technically possible.
   38. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 14, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6039636)
Pair of hands around his neck.
The Hall should absolutely, positively, make an otherwise exact replica of Adrian Beltre's eventual Hall plaque, but depict him ducking away from a (visible) hand trying to touch his head.

They should show him that one first, record the reaction, then unveil the real one and auction off the other to benefit a charity of Beltre's choice.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: September 14, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6039677)
Longoria I'll concede -- he has more TB PA than I realized. But HoF caps aren't based on "value" as much as they are based on mysterious combinations of seasons, compiled totals and individual/team success and it's not always a "majority wins" decision. Just look at Vlad with 3600 PA and 23 WAR but an MVP with the Angels.

So those factors will come into play with Harper. While it's pretty likely he won't stay a Phillie for the entire remainder of his career, he's very likely there for at least the next 4-5 years and his various stats are on pace to match/exceed his DC totals. It surprised me a bit since we debated whether Harper had already dropped out of the elite when he signed and that first Philly season got off to a rough start as I recall ... he's now at a 150 OPS+ for his Philly time. He's been on a 5 WAR/650 pace in Philly, better than what he did in DC even including the 2015 outlier.

As to the Rays, I think we are under-estimating the chance that Nelson Cruz will be slugging HR there for another 10 years. :-)
   40. Booey Posted: September 14, 2021 at 05:44 PM (#6039681)
#39 - We're not doubting that Cruz will still be slugging 40 HR a season for the next 10 years; that's pretty much a given. We're just expecting them to come for 10 different teams.
   41. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 14, 2021 at 06:01 PM (#6039686)
Scherzer and Soto should take care of the Nationals.

The Florida teams may have to wait a LONG time. Cabrera will go in as a Tiger. If Stanton produces a Hall of Fame career, he'll have done enough with the Yankees to go in with their cap. Longoria looks a lot like Sal Bando, who is in neither the Hall of Fame nor the Hall of Merit.
   42. John Northey Posted: September 15, 2021 at 12:04 AM (#6039749)
As an Expos fan I was happy the Hall told Dawson 'no' to going in as a Cub (11 years Expos 48.4 WAR vs 6 Cubs 18.5 and one of the worst MVP awards ever) and 'no' to Carter going in as a Met (12 years an Expo, 55.8 WAR vs 5 years a Met with 11.4 WAR).

Wow, Longoria got 51.2 WAR as a Ray? Didn't know it was that high. About 2 years from 2000 hits if healthy, has 300 HR, doesn't need that much of a finishing kick to make the HOF imo and has to go in as a Ray. Next is Carl Crawford (no chance), Kiermaier is highest active (30.2 but no chance - how does he only have 3 gold gloves?), David Price has a shot, 7 years Tampa 21.3 WAR, has played for 4 other teams but needs a finishing kick (can't see him getting in with under 60 WAR (at 40) and under 200 wins (at 154)).

Scherzer has 7 years, 39.6 WAR, 2 Cy's in Washington. Short of a return to Detroit (5 years, 21.4 WAR, 1 Cy) and getting another Cy there I have to figure he goes in as a National. Strasburg would need a killer jump now to make the HOF (age 32, just 33 WAR, 113 wins). Rendon & Harper both would need to produce more away from Washington than they did there to make the Hall so odds are low they'd be put in as a National.

As a Jay fan I was pissed that Halladay's wife asked for no logo and the HOF went with it. Just done to make her happy. He was working for the Jays part time before his death and clearly wanted to go in as a Jay - he made that pretty clear. No logo makes sense for guys who jump around teams a lot - Roberto Alomar I could've accepted easier he was just here for 5 years (big memories of the 2 WS wins). I suspect for Halladay's wife the mess in his final year here (with the terrible GM who treated him like a burden rather than a star) is the cause of that.

   43. The Duke Posted: September 15, 2021 at 12:11 AM (#6039750)
Why is Longoria at almost 60 WAR? Offensive stats are nice but for the era not special. 1800 hits, 300 HR. How has he racked up so much value?
   44. cardsfanboy Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:01 AM (#6039751)
Why is Longoria at almost 60 WAR? Offensive stats are nice but for the era not special. 1800 hits, 300 HR. How has he racked up so much value?


96 rField helps a lot. But he's been a pretty consistent 4.5 player and has had a 14 year career. A plus defender at third who puts up a 120 ops+, feels like a hofer to me. Rolen basically has played a season and a half more than him,(900 pa more roughly) and is better defensively (by a good margin) and offensively( by a smidgen) and kills him by war 70 to 57... Rolen clearly should be in the hof, Longoria still needs work. But if he rebounds enough to play 3 or so seasons as a slightly above average player, he probably deserves it, if he produces even one all star type of season and two average season he also probably deserves it, if this year is any indication, he might have enough left in the tank.

Basically he's Scott Rolen with half the defense, and 2 fewer seasons. Nobody's definition of a lock, but for an active player who is having a good season when healthy this year, he can be on track to make it.
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:02 AM (#6039752)
No logo makes sense for guys who jump around teams a lot


The only two possible examples of a no logo making sense were if Fisk and Piazza were shown wearing catcher's helmets. Baseball hats worn bill-side forward have logos. Letting them go logoless makes it looks as if they couldn't secure the rights, like a cheap baseball card.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:39 AM (#6039758)
Ehh... it's a thing.

One thing about Maddux that allowed me to accept the players input into the decision on logo, was he spent two years in the minors before making the team, and really was there for three years, he was drafted by the team and developed by the team that doesn't show up in his major league record, him respecting that is worthy. Effectively he pitched 2500 innings for the Braves, and 2400 for the Cubs, the Cubs was mostly his formative years, while the Braves was his valuable years, but does he have the same value if he's developed by the Braves? Who knows what he learned and developed while with the Cubs that helped cement his hof trajectory.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2021 at 09:51 AM (#6039779)
I suspect folks forget how good Longoria was (me too). For his first 6 years (missing a half-season due to injury) he had a 136 OPS+, 3 30-HR seasons, 2 100-RBI seasons and a 99 while playing excellent defensee. That added up to 35 WAR on a 6.5 WAR/year pace. To that point he was a smidgen better than Rolen and Rolen didn't start his chronic injuries until his 30s.

Since then Longoria has only been a good player -- 109 OPS+, 22 WAR, 8 WAA. You get used to thinking of a guy as a bit of a disappointment and maybe we start to forget why we're disappointed.
   48. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6039817)
There should be holographic plaques that appear differently from different angles: like for Scherzer, if you look at it from one side, you'd see a younger man with a Tigers cap and if you looked from the other side, you'd see an older man with a Nats cap!
   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:39 PM (#6039818)
There should be holographic plaques that appear differently from different angles: like for Scherzer, if you look at it from one side, you'd see a younger man with a Tigers cap and if you looked from the other side, you'd see an older man with a Nats cap!
And different colored eyes, of course.
   50. bunyon Posted: September 15, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#6039822)
I know the plaques are monochrome, but I hope they do something artistic with Max's eyes.

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