What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Five years ago, I penned the ultimate rundown on who did and did not deserve induction into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Now that we’ve just had 2016’s ceremony, it is time to take another look at such a list considering there’s more interesting debates coming in the next five years.
While a lot has changed in the last five years, two things have not. Once again so we clearly understand each other, there’s only one guy who will not be mentioned in the following discussion; Pete Rose. The guy did the one thing they tell you you can’t ever do; he bet on baseball. One of our regular contributors pounded the final nails in that argument a while back, and we aren’t changing our position on that matter
I’m also not wavering from my position on the prevailing opinion amongst the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA); I don’t care about the steroid issue. I’m on record saying the whole issue is much ado about nothing, and I’ve stated my reasons for believing that on more than one occasion. Besides, if all the sudden moralists in the BBWAA want to exclude “cheaters’” then we have to go back and remove everybody in the Hall of Fame who ever corked a bat, doctored a ball, or stole a sign. If you were to do that, Cooperstown would be deserted.
Like it or not, the fact that all the “cheaters” we’re still trying to win. Any of the aforementioned types of “cheating” were all about gaining some sort of competitive advantage in the pursuit of victory.
But gambling on baseball enjoys no such harbor of “virtue;” gambling goes to the very heart of the integrity of the game. This is exactly why baseball has had its staunch anti-gambling stance ever since the Black Sox scandal. This is exactly why I will not consider Pete Rose. Don’t even try to make an argument to me otherwise.
I’ve compiled a list of the notable players who become eligible for induction in each of the next five years. Players who are eligible have played 10 seasons of Major League Baseball and have been retired from for five full seasons.
Players who are likely to be inducted or should be inducted are noted in green. Borderline players noted in red, and will be discussed further in Section III. Asterisks merit their own discussion.
This is the list of candidates who received at least 5% of the available votes, but less than the 75% needed for induction, and therefore will be on the initial ballot in 2017:
I’ve compiled a list of the notable players who become eligible for induction in each of the next five years. Players who are eligible have played 10 seasons of Major League Baseball and have been retired from for five full seasons.
Players who are likely to be inducted or should be inducted are noted in red. Borderline players noted in green, and will be discussed further in Section III.
Danys Báez, Casey Blake, Milton Bradley, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, Alex Cora, Craig Counsell, Doug Davis, J. D. Drew, Ryan Franklin, Ross Gload, Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Guillén, Derrek Lee, Julio Lugo, Trever Miller, Melvin Mora, Magglio Ordóñez, Jorge Posada, Manny Ramirez***, Édgar Rentería, Dennys Reyes, Arthur Rhodes, Iván Rodríguez, Aaron Rowand, Freddy Sanchez, Matt Stairs, Brett Tomko, Jason Varitek, Javier Vázquez, Tim Wakefield
Guerrero and Rodriguez have got to be locks. ” Vlad the Impaler” was one of the best “bad-ball” hitters of all time; he belongs on the list in the same neighborhood as Yogi Berra and Kirby Puckett. His career .318 batting average with 449 HR and 1,496 RBI should make him a bigger lock than Fort Knox, especially in a class that is relatively lacking in “star power.”
Having said that, there’s is another bona fide star in this class in “Pudge” Rodriguez. He was a 14-time All-Star, won an American League MVP award, grabbed won 13 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Sluggers and played more games at the toughest position in the game (2,427) than anybody else in the history of baseball.
Jorge Posada has “borderline” numbers, but he had a long and distinguished career, winning several championships with the New York Yankees. I’ve always thought being a Yankee improved one’s status in baseball, but it didn’t help Bernie Williams get into the Hall of Fame. Time will tell, I guess…
*** Ramirez is the guy the steroid moralists can use to get the pound of flesh they want. Who better than the guy who clearly defied the anti-PED rule at least three times? Forget about the guys who were allegedly juicing before it was no longer permitted in baseball, forget about the guys who got caught once. Where better than baseball for a demonstration of “three strikes and you’re out?”
Chris Carpenter, Johnny Damon, Brian Fuentes*, Livan Hernandez, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Carlos Lee, Brad Lidge, Hideki Matsui, Kevin Millwood, Jamie Moyer****, Scott Rolen, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Kerry Wood
It’s not hard to recognize the greatness of Chipper Jones. It’s easy to point he was an 8-time All-Star and won an MVP award. He is also one of the greatest switch-hitters of all time, driving in 100+ or-more runs 9 times and scored 100+ runs in 8 of his 19 seasons. He won an NL batting title and finished his career with a career batting .303 with 468 HR and 1,623 RBI.
I’m a sucker for the old record book and I’m a big believer in “magic numbers;” in the case of hitters, that means 3,000 hits, 500 HR or 1,500 RBI is the clear and bright line. You rack up at least one of those stats in your career and you’ve got my vote. It should be pretty clear that Thome’s 600+ homers gets him on my ballot.
Flash the clock back to 2011 when we did the originally break-down of who belonged in Cooperstown…back to when Johnny Damon was in the “Future and Beyond” category. Here’s what Dick Marple, the chairman of the Dubsism Advisory Board, said at the time.
Get 3,000 hits
- End up high on the all-time runs scored list
- End up high on the all-time stolen base list (but he still needs the hits and runs)
- Offer a public apology for playing for BOTH the Red Sox and Yankees
- Get Mr. Marple membership in the BBWAA while having him serviced by an endless stream of Thai babes who claim to be Johnny Damon’s relatives
Let’s face it…No 3,000 hits, no Cooperstown for Johnny.
He ended up with 2,769 hits (53rd all-time), 408 stolen bases (T-67th all-time with Tommy Harper), and we have yet to see the public apology or the Thai chicks. You do the math.
A lot of people don’t immediately think Hall of Fame when the name Omar Vizquel is mentioned, but they should. Vizquel was one of the great defensive shortstops of all-time, and he’s got 11 Gold Gloves to prove it. Historically, defensive prowess has been undervalued by Hall voters, but if they are going to start inducting relief pitchers and designated hitters, then great glove guys need to be considered as well. That’s why Ozzie Smith is in the Hall, and deservedly so. Ice the Vizquel cake with 2,877 career hits, 404 stolen bases, and 2,709 games at the toughest defensive position which doesn’t require a chest protector, and you’ll have a hard time convincing me there’s really no way to say he doesn’t belong in Cooperstown.
****Jamie Moyer is another name which does not immediately hark images of baseball immortality, but regular readers of this blog know that Dubsism has been the home of the Jamie Moyer Hall of Fame Campaign since 2010. Our final Jamie Moyer-o-Meter ended up as such:
Think what you will, but you might be surprised to see the numbers on Moyer’s enshrinement if you left the vote up to the best sports fans in the world…Dubsists.
Lance Berkman, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Darren Oliver, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte, Juan Pierre, Mariano Rivera, Kevin Youkilis, Michael Young
Earlier I mentioned “magic numbers.” For pitchers, originally I thought they were 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts and a career ERA which starts with a “3” or lower. In today’s game, I think the wins number is now more like 225 to 250.
Halladay only has the ERA number, but he’s got another number which likely gets him to Cooperstown. He’s got 2 Cy Young awards, and finished second in that vote 2 other times. There have been 17 pitcher to win the Cy Young award multiple times, and out of that number, there are only 3 who are currently eligible for the Hall of Fame who have not been inducted (Denny McClain, Bret Saberhagen, and Roger Clemens).
I don’t know what the “magic number” for saves is, but I’m guessing that 652 in the case of Mariano Rivera gets the job done. If that doesn’t, there another which will; 13, which is the number of times he was named an All-Star.
Another previously mentioned topic was the mystique accorded to popular Yankees. Enter Andy Pettitte, who is a guy with two of the “magic numbers,” 256 career wins and a 3.85 career ERA. He also has the bugaboo of being caught as a steroid user, which I don’t give a shit about, but those dame writers do. However, once he apologized it seemed all sins of the past were forgiven, especially since Yankee fans now want to anoint him as the “greatest post-season pitcher ever.”
Does .316/369 HR/1,406 RBI get Todd Helton in? If it does, it won’t be on the first ballot.
Bobby Abreu, Josh Beckett, Eric Chavez, Adam Dunn, Rafael Furcal, Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Paul Konerko, Alfonso Soriano
Jeter is the biggest lock of anybody named in this piece. What else can be said about a 5-time World Series champion and a 14-time All-Star with 3,465 hits, and 1,923 runs scored.
Dunn and Konerko are both classic “borderline” cases. There’s no telling what the baseball landscape looks like by 2020; if there’s all of a sudden an amnesty for the steroid crowd, or the writers decide it’s time to get some of the guys in who have been on the ballot for a while, it could be tough for them.
Dan Haren, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, David Ortiz*, Aramis Ramirez, Barry Zito
Tim Hudson has a career ERA of 3.49 and skirts my “magic number” for wins at 224. I just don’t know if he’s got the “sex appeal” to get 75% of the votes.
Third base is the most under-represented position in the Hall of Fame, and only five other guys who played the “hot corner” have more career RBI than Aramis Ramirez’s 1,417. He topped the 100-RBI mark in seven seasons and finished his career with 386 home runs. He also led NL third baseman and fielding percentage twice.
Here’s where we get that aforementioned “separate conversation” denoted by asterisks. Originally, I did not approve of relief pitchers and designated hitters in the Hall of Fame. But then I came to the attitude that the Hall of Fame isn’t about what position you play, it’s about being the best at what you do. I can’t change they way managers choose to use players, nor can those players do much about it. If the world is going to place value on guys who pitch one inning or hit but don’t play the field, there’s not much I can do about it. So I might as well appreciate the guys who do it well. This brings us to David Ortiz. Say what you want about DHs, it’s hard to argue with 527 homers and 1,722 RBI…and counting.
2021 and Beyond:
Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Ichiro Suzuki, Chase Utley
Pick you poison with this discussion. This will be all about in which year these guys retire. 3 or 4 of them in the same year creates quite a logjam.
A) Players Who The Hall Cannot Be Complete Without – Cut The Crap and Induct These Guys NOW
1) “Shoeless” Joe Jackson
This is another reason why I am adamantly against Pete Rose being re-instated; it would make the injustice done to Jackson even more egregious. Jackson would have been in the Hall three-quarters of a century ago if he hadn’t been banished as a result of the 1919 “Black Sox” World Series scandal. The difference is that Jackson was acquitted in a court of law of any wrongdoing, but since Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis was a heavy-handed, southern-fried tyrant, Jackson found himself banished largely because he played on the same team as the guilty parties.
As far as his credentials for Cooperstown are concerned, Jackson had a .356 lifetime batting average, and was only getting better when Landis gave him the boot.
2) Barry Bonds
The big argument amongst the “Put Pete Rose In” crowd is he’s the all-time hits leader. Barry Bonds is the all-time AND single season home run leader, and despite what dickweeds like Dan LeBatard will tell you cheating in order to win is part of sport; cheating to gamble and hence destroy the integrity of the game is unforgivable. The bottom line is that Barry Bonds is one of the greatest players to ever wear a major league uniform, and like “Shoeless Joe,” he was never found guilty in a court of law.
3) Roger Clemens
The whole steroid thing was cooked up by writers to screw with Barry Bonds, because writers hated him. That’s why Clemens’ name stayed above the fray for years, until the writer’s PED Frankenstein couldn’t be contained any longer. That bit of hypocrisy should be enough to destroy the “chemical McCarthyism” foisted by the self-appointed moralists known as the BBWAA, but even if it isn’t…explain away all SEVEN of Clemens’ Cy Young Awards. I’m waiting…
While you’re at it, tell me about his 354 wins, 4,672 strikeouts, and 46 shutouts.
4) Rafael Palmeiro
Thanks to the hypocritical pseudo-moralism of the BBWAA, Palmeiro was the first member of the 3,000 hit club since 1952 to not be inducted into Cooperstown on his first ballot. So, thanks to a bunch of writers who have decided some forms of cheating are more acceptable than others, one of four players in history with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits gets stuck in Purgatory. You’re going to try to tell me he lied about using steroids. Ty Cobb was a virulent racist, beat up a handicapped man and killed another man. He was the FIRST guy in the Hall of Fame.
5) Dick Allen
Allen spent the 1960’s as one of the premier hitters in baseball, and even though he languished in a lengthy mid-career slump, he still smacked 351 career homers and posted a .292 career batting average in an era where guys won batting titles hitting .301. He also claimed the 1972 American League MVP award. But, he had a reputation for being an asshole and wasn’t well-liked by the writers, otherwise he likely would have been in Cooperstown 20 years ago.
6) Fred McGriff
Had Fred McGriff had stuck around for seven more home runs, I don’t think there would be much debate on his deserving enshrinement. That’s a minor detail; he’s only tied with Lou Gehrig for homers and ahead of Mickey Mantle in RBIs. He was also a five-time All-Star, a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and he was the first player in the “live-ball” era to lead both the American and National Leagues in home runs.
7) Mark McGwire
Here’s the fun argument for all you “steroid moralists” – everything Mark McGwire did in terms of performance enhancing substances during his career WERE NOT AGAINST THE RULES OF BASEBALL AT THE TIME. That means a player with 583 home runs and the first to capture the single season home run record in almost 40 years needs to be in Cooperstown. Did anyone else notice McGwire has a job in baseball, which means MLB obviously doesn’t care about what he supposedly did?
8 ) Tony Oliva
For a guy who played the majority of his career in the pitching-dominated 1960s, Oliva still netted three batting titles while leading the American League in hits five times between 1964 and 1970.
9) Jeff Bagwell
While Bagwell may have been overshadowed by a glut of stars at first base during his career, he still put up Hall of Fame numbers, specifically 449 home runs and a .297 career batting average. Not to mention, his power numbers suffered from playing in the Houston Astrodome, a ballpark with dimensions only slightly less than that of a lunar crater. Based on the voting trend, 2017 has GOT to be the year he gets in.
10) Jack Morris
Morris was one the dominant pitchers of his era. He post a mark of 254-186 lifetime with a 3.90 ERA. His dominance is best illustrated by his 10-inning, 1-0 shutout victory for the Minnesota Twins in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
11) Gary Sheffield
Start with the numbers….292 BA, 509 HR, 1,676 RBI. End with fact Sheffield is overwhelmingly regarded as the game’s best pure “dead red” hitter. There wasn’t anybody fastball he couldn’t turn around.
12) Tim Raines
Tim Raines suffered from three problems. He was overshadowed by Rickey Henderson (who is arguably the greatest offensive player ever), the All-Star caliber years of his career were invisible in that baseball wasteland known as Montreal, and there’s the matter of his well-documented cocaine problems. Despite all that, he racked up 808 stolen bases, 2,605 hits, 1,517 runs and a .294 career batting average.
13) Jim Kaat
Two stats say it all: Kaat won 283 games and 16 consecutive Gold Gloves.
14) Tommy John
John won 288 games in his 26-year career and was the first man that underwent the ligament-replacement surgical procedure which is named after him. When he was injured, people said he would never be able to pitch again. When he recovered, he proved the skeptics wrong for the next 14 years. In fact, many of the best years of his career came after the surgery; he won 20 games three times after his return.
Obviously, he was one of the most durable pitchers of his time, but he was also one of the best. John was a four-time All-Star, yet he only received 31.7 percent of the Hall of Fame vote in 2009, which was his last year of eligibility. So, I’m looking at you, Veterans Committee…
15) Alan Trammell
Trammell was quietly and consistently a solid defensive shortstop. But he was also one the best offensive shortstops in history, banging out 2,365 hits and a .285 career batting average. Trammell was a six time All-Star, won four Gold Gloves, won three Silver Sluggers for offense at the shortstop position, and was World Series MVP in 1984.
16) Dave Parker
Parker is another guy whose personal baggage inhibits his induction. Without getting into the details, the bottom line is this: if Jim Rice and Orlando Cepeda can get into Cooperstown, then you have to induct Parker because he was better than both of them. If you doubt that compare his career numbers in hits, doubles, RBIs, runs scored, and stolen bases to either Rice or Cepeda. He leads both of them.
17) Dale Murphy
Murphy compares statistically very favorably to Duke Snider. He hit 398 home runs and won back-to-back League MVP awards. Don’t forget during his career, Murphy drew comparisons to Willie Mays and Joe DiMaggio…seriously.
B) Players Who Really Should Be In The Hall Fame – There’s More Reasons Why They Should Be In Than Out
1) Jeff Kent
In terms of offensive production, Kent was one of the best second-basemen of all time. Kent is in the top 10 for OPS+ for second baseman with a minimum of 1000 career games; it is important to note names like Roberto Alomar, Ryne Sandberg, Lou Whitaker, Craig Biggio, and Alfonso Soriano are not on that list. He was a 5-time All-Star, 4-time Silver Slugger winner, and he won the 2000 NL MVP. He is the only second basemen to have six consecutive seasons with 100 RBI and eight such seasons all-together. The only second baseman with more 100 RBI seasons is Honus Wagner.
2) Luis Tiant
Now that Bert Blyleven is in Cooperstown, it is time to unveil my new under-rated pitcher who hasn’t been given the respect he is due. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Luis Tiant. His career numbers are bordering the Cooperstown city limit in my book (229 wins, 3.30 ERA), still he was legitimately one of the best pitchers of the 1970s. Not to mention during his 19-year career, Tiant won 20 games in a season four times and at various points, led the league in ERA, shutouts, WHIP, and strikeouts per 9 innings.
3) Harold Baines
* and ** – This is where we get into the whole DH/Relief Pitcher discussion
Can a player who primarily played as a Designated Hitter be inducted into the Hall of Fame? If he’s one of the best, he’s one of the best. Face it, DH’s are to “Position players” what relievers are to starting pitchers. Relievers are getting their due, and it’s time for the DHs to get theirs. Not to mention, if the DH existed 80 years ago, tons of guys who are baseball icons now would have been DHs, and they wouldn’t have been excluded from Cooperstown. Besides, this guy deserves to be the first “pure” DH in the Hall before Edgar Martinez or David Ortiz.
Doubt that? Look at Baines’ career numbers and look where he stacks up against other Hall of Famers:
Slice the bologna as thin as you want; this guy’s a Hall of Famer.
4) Lee Smith
Smith represents the other side of the DH/Reliever coin. Relievers are getting the keys to Cooperstown whether you like it or not; the debate’s over; they’re getting in. Hoyt Wilhelm, the first releiver of note, is in…as well as Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Dennis Eckersley, and Goose Gossage. But a curious omission is Lee Smith and his 478 saves, which was the big league record when he retired. The bottom line is that if Mariano Rivera is a lock for Cooperstown, the guy who did what Rivera did before Rivera needs to get his day on the stage at Cooperstown.
5) Ken Boyer
As I’ve said, no position has less inducted players than third base. For some reason, third basemen don’t get the love they deserve, which is the only reason I can see why Ken Boyer is not in Cooperstown. After all, Boyer was seven-time All Star, five-time Gold Glove-winner, and the 1964 NL MVP.
6) Mike Mussina
Mussina won 270 games, posting a .638 winning percentage. Only five other pitchers have that many wins and a better winning percentage. All five are in Cooperstown.
7) Gil Hodges
There’s a very large contingent of fans and former players who believe Cooperstown’s current greatest omission is that of Gil Hodges. Perhaps the best defensive first baseman in big league history, he hit 370 career home runs to boot, which made him as much of a central figure as Duke Snider to the “Boys of Summer” Brooklyn Dodgers.
8 ) Curt Schilling
Schilling comes up short in terms of wins when it comes to the “magic numbers,” but he’s going to be the last guy to rack up 3,000 strikeouts before the death of the “100 K’s in a season taboo” for hitters.
9) Sammy Sosa
This guy came up one home run short of five straight 50+ HR seasons, and had nine consecutive 100 RBI campaigns. If steroids made the player, then name me somebody else with those kind of numbers. Again, I’m waiting…
10) Minnie Minoso
Picture a 1950’s Caribbean version of Barry Larkin who also had a knack for “taking one for the team.” In addition to getting hit by pitched balls 192 times, like Larkin, Minoso did a little bit of everything well, batting above .300 in eight full seasons, hitting 198 home runs, stealing 205 bases, and winning three Gold Gloves.
11) Trevor Hoffman
Once again, we have no idea what the “magic numbers) for closers are going to be, but it would seem that if Mariano Rivera is a “lock” with 652 saves, then Trevor Hoffman should get a nod for his 601, leading the league twice in saves, and having 14 seasons with 30 or more saves.
12) Ted Simmons
Simmons is another darling of the Sabremeticians. I think he simply got overshadowed by the “big name” catchers of his era like Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, and Carlton Fisk, which is unfortunate since his offensive numbers are very comparable to all three.
13) Carlos Delgado
I’m clearly on record as being a devoteé of “magic numbers” for hitters – 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, or 1,500 RBIs, and to me being a Hall of Famer means being in a “closest to the pin” contest with those tallies. Delgado notched 473 HR, 1,512 RBI, and a career .28o batting average. Plus, he was a two-time All-Star and a three-time Silver Slugger winner in an era stocked with stud first basemen.
14) Bill Freehan
Freehan was one of the best catchers in baseball; he won five Gold Gloves and was an All Star 11 of his 15 seasons. So, how does an 11-time All-Star get overlooked? He has the same problem as Ted Simmons, they played in an era with a load of great catchers like Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Thurman Munson.
15 Deacon White
Speaking of catchers, throughout the history of baseball, those guys behind the plate have only been the offensive focal point of a team on very, very rare occasions. Now, imagine a guy who consistently drove in 50 RBIs (in a 60-game season) while catching bare-handed.
16) Dwight Evans
“Dewey” Evans might be the definition of borderline Hall of Famer. He’s a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, three-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove winner who posted a .272 career batting average with 2,446 hits (more than Mickey Mantle and Ryne Sandberg), 385 home runs (more than Jim Rice, Orlando Cepeda, and Ralph Kiner), and 1,384 RBIs (more than Joe Medwick and Johnny Bench).
17) Bobby Bonds
Speaking of guys in the shadows, let’s talk about Bobby Bonds. At first, shared an outfield with Willie Mays. In his final years, he remained a talented pro but was regulated to journeyman status bouncing around the league. Bobby Bonds was one of the great lead-off men of all time. He combined power and speed in ways that nobody had before and in 1973 he was a home run away from becoming the first ever 40 home run/40 stolen base player in baseball history. Bonds cracked the 30/30 mark five times in his career.
18) Bill Dahlen
Nobody alive and reading this remembers Dahlen since he played at the turn of the last century. A longtime shortstop in a time where shortstops who could hit were as rare as albino water buffaloes, Dahlen hit .272 lifetime with 2,461 hits. He is a favorite of both the sabremeticians and traditionalists.
19) Dave Concepcion
As long as we are discussing shortstops, Concepcion played the position for 19 seasons, forming a cornerstone of those great Cincinnati “Big Red Machine” teams of the 1970s. Along the way, he picked up five Gold Gloves and made nine All-Star teams. He belongs in the same class with the great glove shortstops like Luis Aparicio, Omar Vizquel, and Ozzie Smith.
20) Paul Hines
He may be the greatest-hitting utility man ever. He had over 2,100 hits, a career batting average of .302, and a slugging percentage of .409 while playing every position except shortstop and pitcher. Despite that, you never heard of him even though he’s a triple-crown winner…probably because he won it in 1878.
C) Players Who Are Still Eligible But Shouldn’t Get Into The Hall Fame – There’s More Reasons Why They Should Be Out Than In
1) Edgar Martinez
The other side of the DH coin – Martinez’ career numbers of 309 home runs and 1,261 RBIs just aren’t good enough for a guy who doesn’t do anything other than hit. If you are a DH who wants my Hall of Fame vote, you have to produce – you have less excuses not to get to the “magic numbers” of either 500 home runs or 1,500 RBIs, ergo Harold Baines or David Ortiz..
2) Billy Wagner
Never led the league in saves while racking up 422 in his career. He may have been of the better relievers of his time, but he was never the best. Since we really don’t have a “magic number” for closers, you’ve got to show me a streak of dominance like Bruce Sutter and Mariano Rivera did.
3) Larry Walker
Enter the following search in your web browser: “players who put up gaudy number’s in a hitter’s era in a hitter’s ballpark.” Three names you’ll get are Chuck Klein, Lefty O’Doul, and Larry Walker. The problem is despite his huge numbers in a few seasons in Colorado, his career numbers just don’t make the grade.
4) Andy Pettitte
To me, Pettitte was never dominant – rather, he was a guy who always pitched on good teams. He only won 20 games in a season twice, he never threw 200 strikeouts in a season, and his career WHIP is mediocre at best. I’m of the opinion that Pettitte’s career win total is inflated by the fact he benefited by pitching for a continual contender. Think of it this way…how many times was Andy Pettitte the #1 pitcher in the Yankees rotation, and even if you reject that, how many times did the Yankees go out and acquire a #1 pitcher while they had Pettitte in thier rotattion?
There’s a few points that must be considered in terms of discussing this list.
The first is there are two types of people who are clearly screwing up what the Hall of Fame is supposed to be about. The first group are the “steroid moralists,” a group whose complete hypocrisy should of itself be enough to disqualify them from having any say in who belongs in the Hall of Fame. The same people who are wringing their hands about what steroids did the the “integrity of the game” are the same ones who cried about how baseball was “boring” in the 1990s and couldn’t wait to sing the praises of the offensive explosion of the late 90s.
The second group is the Hall of Fame itself; specifically the Veteran’s Committee. This group needs a significant structural change because it needs broader abilities to “fix” the mistakes made by the BBWAA. Even if you reject my position on the steroid issue, look at all the names in Sections II and III who clearly belong in Cooperstown, but won’t get there because the Veteran’s committee has limited abilities.
Then, there is the whole matter of relief pitchers and designated hitters being in the Hall of Fame. Why should there be a class of player excluded simply because the “traditionalists” haven’t come to terms with the fact that we aren’t in 1934 anymore. Set standards for these guys, and appreciate the great ones like you would with any other players.
The bottom line: the Hall of Fame is about greatness on the field, not politics and bullshit off of it.
Another quality and thorough write-up, my friend. Amazing you wrote it all on the toilet.
Ya’ know, sometimes I wish there was a guy that we could pinpoint as the last guy to make it into the Hall, a Mendoza Line guy if you will.
For example, if you take all the players that are already in the Hall and had to eliminate just one based on merit and not any other bullshit factors, which player would that be?
As you and I have discussed ad nauseum (which once again reminds me of you on the toilet), the next few years of Hall of Fame Induction will bring with it a glorious ‘chickens coming home to roost’ as baseball, as you suggest, tries to convince us that Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and countless others, weren’t among the greatest players we’ve ever seen and as a result, aren’t worthy of their bullshit hallowed ground.
Like you, I also, say bullshit.