What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
This past week, the Baseball Hall of Fame just announced it’s class for induction in 2017. For the first time in a long time, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) almost got it completely right. There was only one glaring omission and one jaw-dropper among the players eligible for the first time.
I can’t say the same for the returning candidates. For the most part, when you look at the list of those players, it begs the question: “Why the hell aren’t these guys in yet?
Your Class of 2017 ( > 75%)
This guy should have been inducted a long a time ago, but because the BBWAA was in the height of its “Chemical McCarthyism;” even rumors surrounding your name were enough to be black-listed. That’s another reason why all this steroid stuff the writers cooked up was a fat load of bullshit.
I’m going to make a super-hero called Captain Over-Shadowed, and it’s going to be modeled after Raines’ career. His rookie year in 1981 happened while the baseball world was in he midst of Fernando-mania and collective hand-wrnging over a player’s strike.
He spent the best years of his career in Montreal where more often than not the Expos weren’t even on local television ( I can remember when Expo game were only available on a low-power AM radio station which only broadcast in French), and even if they had more media exposure, guys like Andre Dawson and Gary Carter were getting the spotlight. This is another guy who should already have been in bronze in Cooperstown.
There’s nothing to complain about here; the guy is exactly where he belongs. First fuckin’ ballot, baby.
Close, But No Cigar (50% to 74.9%)
Closers are like the place-kickers of baseball except they are even more over-valued. The only reason they’re in the bullpen is they couldn’t get through a line-up more than once. Like place-kickers, there should only be a few in the Hall of Fame, and they should have a high standard for induction. I’m willing to set the “magic number” at 600 saves. You be the judge; shortly you’ll see why I’ve had a shift in opinion on the standards for closers.
The three best bad-ball hitters in history: Yogi Berra, Kirby Puckett, and Vladimir Guerrero. This is the aforementioned glaring omission; somebody needs to explain to me why this guy isn’t in on the first ballot.
For me to vote for a guy who primarily played as a designated hitter, I’m going to need to see big numbers, and ABSOLUTE numbers, not just “close;” 500 home runs and/or 1,500 RBIs, period. After all, DHs are paid to hit…that’s it.
Martinez just doesn’t stack up numbers-wise, and I’m not interested in a guy with a high batting average who can’t run because all he does is become the front end of a lot of double-plays. Besides, there’s no way I vote for this guy before Harold Baines gets in (I’m looking at you, various Hall of Fame Committees).
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds:
I’m putting these two together for a reason. The only reason they aren’t is because of the self-appointed steroid moralizers, and I’m already on record about that. These are two of the all-time greats and the museum of baseball that is Cooperstown cannot be complete without them.
270 wins, over 2,800 strikeouts and a dominant post-season pitcher. If that’s not good enough for you, please give your ballot to someone who isn’t retarded.
Not Happening Anytime Soon: (5% – 49.9%)
I can make an argument both ways on Schilling if I stick to the numbers. I’m going “yes” for one reason: There was a about a ten-year span where if you had to hand the ball to somebody in a winner-take-all game, Schilling was your man. Besides, part of me wants to vote for him just to piss off the PC buttholes who can’t handle his opinions.
Not to mention, I really want to remake the classic show “All in the Family” with Schilling as Archie Bunker. Don’t even try to tell me that would be about six different kinds of awesome.
This year was Smith’s last chance, and it didn’t happen. There’s a reason for that. This is where I’ve had a change of heart. Last year, I penned an update to my rundown of players who should and shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame. Here’s what I said then about 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 reliever 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.
I was wrong about Smith, about Smith for two reasons. First is that guys like Riviera and Hoffman set the bar so much higher; 700 home runs will pale should somebody hit 1,000. The second is inherent to all closers. If you only pitch the ninth inning, there a lot of those appearance where you are dealing with the bottom of the order or a collection of pinch-hitters. That means I should see dominance from a closer, and Smith was simply too inconsistent to achieve that high standard.
This is the guy I’m willing to sacrifice to the steroid moralists because he was caught multiple times and after baseball finally banned PEDs. The deal is the moralists can have their “pound of flesh” with Manny as long as I get back Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmiero.* All three should be in, but if I have to play the old “give to get” game, then Manny is the odd man out.
He had some killer seasons, just not enough of them to make his career numbers Hall of Fame-worthy. But he’s a lock for the Hall of Pretty Fucking Good.
McGriff is just shy of 500 home runs, over 1,500 RBIs, and one of a handful of players to win a home run crown in both leagues. Besides, how would we know about those Tom Emanski instructional videos without “The Crime Dog?”
Do you know haw many second basemen have 1,500 career RBIs? Napoleon Lajoie, Rogers Hornsby, and Jeff Kent. Just being on a mailing list with Lajoie and Hornsby should get you into Cooperstown.
So, he had a reputation for being a bit of an asshole. So what? It’s not the Nice Guy Hall of Fame, it’s the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sheffield racked up 509 homers, 1,676 RBIs and was the best pure fastball hitter I ever saw. Not to mention, he was the “go to” guy when they wanted to show guys who played in the Little League World Series who made it to the Bigs.
1) He’s a closer. 2) He doesn’t have 600 saves. 3) Next.
Yeah, I know today he looks like a Dominican version of The Joker, but if you’re only argument against him is the PED stuff…well, you know how I feel about that.
Besides, if he blasted 60 out of Wrigley on a Cubs team which won a World Series, there would be a statue of him on Addison Street…complete with a needle sticking out of his ass.
Thanks For Playing (0 – 4.9%)
That list is all first-time eligibles who simply needed the formality of not getting enough votes to remain on the ballot so they could be officially relegated to the annals baseball history. Honestly, did anybody think a big “Casey Blake for Cooperstown” groundswell was going to happen out there***?
However, I would have lost a lot of money betting that Jorge Posada would be “one and done” on the Hall of Fame ballot. Think about it. We’re talking about a guy who had a 17-year career with the Yankees during which he was a five-time All-Star, a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner in 1,829 games at the toughest position on the diamond. Posada is only the fifth catcher in major league history to knock 1,500 hits, 350 doubles, 275 home runs, and 1,000 RBIs. He’s also the only catcher to notch a .330 batting average with 40 doubles, 20 home runs, and 90 RBIs in a single season.
On top of that, Posada played the most postseason games behind the plate, had 103 hits in the month of October, and played a major role in four World Series Championships.
This one needs to get fixed by the Today’s Game committee; this might be the biggest fuck-up the writers have pulled yet.
The Preview of Coming Attractions
The BBWAA needs to get this mess cleaned up over the next few years, because none of the upcoming Hall of Fame classes have five “first-ballot” locks, which means there’s plenty of room to get most of these guys into Cooperstown.
Look at this list of players becoming eligible for induction. These are the guys who I think should be in on the first-ballot[(noted in green), along with the “notables;” those over which we will be having the ever-present debate…
2018: Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Scott Rolen, Andruw Jones, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, Jamie Moyer****
2019: Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Andy Pettitte, Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Miguel Tejada,
2020: Derek Jeter, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, Cliff Lee, Alfonso Soriano
2021: David Ortiz, Aramis Ramirez,Tim Hudson, Mark Buerhle, Torii Hunter, Barry Zito, Adam LaRoche
Obviously, the bus to Cooperstown has plenty of seats on it. It’s time for the BBWAA to stop fucking around and get this mess cleaned up. Not only that, but it is time for the Hall itself and it’s various committees to make a concerted effort to fix a lot of previous mistakes as well.
*A Word on Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire…
As long as we are on the topic of things the various Hall of Fame Committees need to fix…
Mark McGwire didn’t do anything which violated the rules of baseball at the time he did them, and he’s had jobs in baseball since his retirement, so obviously MLB doesn’t have a problem with him. Not to mention, the hypocritical assholes who black-balled him couldn’t lick his taint enough in 1998 when he and Sammy Sosa revitalized baseball.
As for Palmiero, there’s only four other players in the history of the game with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits – Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, and Alex Rodriguez. It was pretty clear at the end that A-Rod’s sins of the past have been forgiven, the other three guys are baseball royalty, and for those of you who want give me the whole “he lied” thing…well, if we are going to take all the bad guys out of the Hall of Fame, it’s going to be pretty empty. After all, Ty Cobb was a vicious racist who beat the crap out of handicapped person, and killed a man. He was the FIRST guy in Cooperstown.
** Matt Stairs…My first fantasy baseball “man-crush.”
*** No offense to Casey Blake
**** Of course I’m saying Jamie Moyer should be a lock. After all, Dubsism is your home for the Jamie Moyer in the Hall of Fame campaign.