Tuesday, January 11, 2011

25 comments Rob Parker, My Hero

As noted by Bottom of the Barrel, the opinions of many sports columnists are subject to justified ridicule and scorn. But every so often, you stumble upon that rare piece of literature which conveys your every emotion, opinion and feeling. Last week, Rob Parker accomplished this usually impossible task in his discussion of the 2010 Hall of Fame voting.

As a Hall of Fame voter, I both love and hate this day, especially lately. My brothers in the Baseball Writers Association of America have taken too many liberties the past few years instead of simply voting for the best players in the game. That should always be the goal of Hall voters, not playing moral police and making personal statements.

I could not have said it better. Guilt is not a reason to vote someone into the HOF. But every year, we see players who reach Cooperstown simply through longevity. Just because you are on the ballot does not make you deserving. Yet countless writers feel bad for such players, and ultimately vote them in. While these "moral police" tactics may seem like the nice thing to do, it in fact sets a lower standard, allowing for the justification of even worse players to gain entrance into the HOF.

Equally frustrating is the personal statement. For most MLB players, it is plainly obvious whether or not they are worthy of Cooperstown. When a player receives 95% of the vote, one question is never asked: who didn't vote for the player? I would love an explanation from those who decided to make a useless personal statement.

This situation often occurs in the NBA MVP voting. Last year, LeBron James ran away with the MVP Michael Jordan style. Despite the emergence of Kevin Durant and the ever present Kobe Bryant, LeBron, without question, was the most dominant player, both on the floor and statistically. Yet both Kobe and Durant received first place votes. I'll excuse the Kobe vote simply because he is arguably on LeBron's level. Durant, however, was statistically inferior to LeBron in every way. Although he won the scoring title, it was only because LeBron played sparingly as Cleveland eased into the playoffs. Yet some MVP voter, for no other reason than to make some ill-conceived statement, decided to vote for Durant. Again, I'd love a public explanation here.

Roberto Alomar was elected Wednesday with 90 percent of the vote and deserved it. In fact, it should have happened last year. The writers had no right making a bona fide first-try Hall of Famer -- a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner -- wait a year to get in over one stupid moment with an umpire. For sure, the spitting incident was foul, but he paid for his sin and didn't do it again. People have to get over it.

Again, Parker exactly points out another flaw in HOF voting. Alomar is, at worst, a top 5 2B of all-time. While I can never condone Alomar's umpire spit (although I have played in plenty baseball games where such action may have been justified), it had no impact on his greatness as a player. Once again, the moral police decided to take a stand and not vote in Alomar last year. If a player breaks the rules in any game altering/statistic altering way, an argument can be supported and even validated. But Alomar's spit was merely a moral issue that clouded voters' judgment. As Parker said, "people have to get over it."

I'll say it once and I'll say it again. Why did those 10% still not vote for him? They should seriously require this as a public obligation for HOF voters.

I didn't vote for Blyleven. I don't believe you can be a Hall of Famer after nearly 15 years on the ballot. Jim Rice didn't deserve it last year, either. These are now sympathy votes. Writers are now trying to fill spots and punish players from the steroid era. It's all wrong. If you're not a Hall of Famer the first year, you're not one 15 years later. The numbers and standards haven't changed. This trend is disappointing to me. It simply makes no sense. Either you're a Hall of Famer or you're not.

Rob reaffirms his hero status by blatantly pointing out the sympathy votes that Blyleven and Rice received. More importantly, he makes a statement that cannot be said enough: "If you're not a HOF the first year, you're not one 15 years later." In fact, I think this should be a change for the HOF voting. As it stands now, players a voted in 5 years after retirement in order to allow for "perspective" to settle in on a players' career. In theory, a player who is selected after a few years of eligibility is voted in because there is a better perspective of his career. In reality, the sympathy factor sets in.

I am of the mind that a player should receive one opportunity to enter the Hall. But instead of 5 years, a player would have to wait 10 years before reaching the ballot. With more passed time, voters emotional connection to players is less palpable and more unlikely to impact their voting.

I voted for Mark McGwire but not Rafael Palmeiro -- both got less than 20 percent of the vote. Both careers are tainted by steroids. But here's the reason why I voted for McGwire, who got 19.8 percent. There was never any testing going on when he was doing it and playing. There simply were no rules on baseball's books about steroid use -- whether we liked it or not.

I'm a little torn on this issue. On the one hand, I completely agree with Parker in that McGwire did not technically break any rules. It's unfair to punish someone who simply took advantage of rules that were not in place. In a perfect world, I would end my statement there. But I'm afraid that letting McGwire in the Hall will open pandora's box and enable other steroid users to gain popular support and enter the Hall of Fame.

In Palmeiro's case, he was busted after baseball took steps to clean up the game and put tough penalties in place for violators. Hence, there should be a punishment for breaking clear-cut rules. And it's a hard pill to swallow because Palmeiro -- who got just 11 percent of the vote -- had both 3,000-plus hits and 500-plus home runs. Both are normally automatic entry to the Hall by themselves.

While Palmeiro's stats are impressive, they are tainted. On a less significant level, there's no way to determine how much of an impact steroids had on Palmeiro's stats. More importantly, as Parker points out, baseball made every effort to fix the game. If Palmeiro had been a steroid user before the baseball's cleanup effort, I would have supported his HOF ballot. But he broke the one cardinal rule of baseball when baseball actually cared.

Although each writer is able to vote for up to 10 players, I voted for just three. Sorry, everybody is not great. It's a special place, not the Hall of Very Good.

Only if there were more voters like Mr. Parker. I hate to put a restriction on the amount of votes, but anyone voting for 10 guys needs to reconsider his position. Even more than 5 is a stretch.

By the way, my other vote went to Lee Smith, who was the all-time saves leader when he first appeared on the ballot. I voted for him his first year and will continue to vote for him until his name is removed.

In order to not contradict my previous statements, I would not support Smith getting in the Hall simply because he did not make it in his first try. That said, he deserved it the first time.

25 comments:

Nunyer said...

I'm familiar with Mr.Parker... he came up in my home town market of Detroit. He's pretty much a complete tool, but I guess he makes some decent points in the article.

I generally agree with his stance on steroid use. If you never got arrested with PEDs or failed an MLB drug test... I don't think speculation and suspicion should kill you come Cooperstown. Of course, I wouldn't vote for McGwire and I don't quite get how a case can be made for him. To begin with, he admitted it. But forget what roids did for his power numbers, a healthy McGwire was capable of 400-500HRs without the juice... he hit over 40 as a skinny rookie... The problem was that his body was giving out and breaking down... PEDs is the only thing that even kept him on the field, he admitted as much. So, no way do I think he belongs.

As far as this weird notion about "Hall of Fame" and not the "Hall of Very Good"... I think that's a bit goofy, seeing the "Hall of Very Good" aspect is the only reason Blyleven or Rice or Dawson or Mazserowski or Sutton or Sutter or Bunning or Ashburn or Newhouser any number of guys are in. If Cooperstown was reserved for only the truly awesomely beyond reproach players of all time... there would be maybe a third of the members that are currently enshrined. It's just a damn museum with bronze plaques... Players don't need to perform miracles and become saints for goodness sake. I'd rather have more borderline players included than excluded.... at least it gives visitors more to look at over the next 15 years as nobody new from the steroid era makes the cut.

Bengoodfella said...

There's no way speculation and suspicion should keep a player from the Hall of Fame. I don't know about McGwire, I don't know if he should be in with or without steroids, so it doesn't matter to me.

I think Bert Blyleven should be in the Hall of Fame. I may not have a very good reason, but I simply believe it is because other players who don't deserve to be in there have made it. I think if guys like Rice are in, then so should Blyleven. I agree if the HoF was reserved for the best players then many of the players you listed shouldn't be in, but that's not the case. I am for a less inclusive Hall of Fame, I am a snob that way. I can't see how 10 guys in a class can be voted for in a HoF election. That's a lot of people in one HoF ballot.

ivn said...

I don't think Lee Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame. you have to be truly great to make it in as a relief pitcher, and Smith had way too many average years to qualify. the only guys who belong in there with the current crop of RP in the Hall of Fame are Rivera and Hoffman.

I'm also going to be of the (controversial) opinion that I care way less about PEDs than most people who follow baseball.

rich said...

I like Parker's point that if it's not against baseball's rules, then how can they be punished for it. However, the thing to remember is that while they weren't illegal in baseball, they were illegal in the US.

As for the HOF, I think that there are players who have been inducted or are being voted for based on one season or even one game. No offense, but if Jack Morris doesn't pitch that game 7 is he even mentioned for the HOF? Put up a plaque about it (which there should be), but don't put him in the hall because of it.

McGwire falls under the same category. Other than the 70 HR year, was his career really that remarkable?

The problem I have with the Hall of Fame is exactly the opposite as Nunyer's. I'd rather see the HOF err on the side of being too exclusive than too lenient. I just thumbed through the list of players who are in the HOF, some of them are absolutely indefensible.

Do Gary Carter and Tony Perez belong in the same "exclusive" club as Mike Schmidt, Rod Carew and Babe Ruth? Sorry, the answer is no. If I go to the HOF, am I going to make it a point to see Jim Rice and Andre Dawson? Or am I going to spend my time around Roberto Alomar and Cal Ripken, Jr.?

To me the HOF is something that you should be able to explain to people what makes them so special. Bonds (even without PEDs), ARod (ditto), Griffey, Thomas, Pedro, etc. all fit that mold. Schmidt, Gerhig, Mantle and Jackson do too. Can anyone explain why Andre Dawson or Jim Rice or Phil Rizzuto (as a player) are in?

I can tell you why Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson are in the hall despite them being dead almost 100 and 60 years respectively.

To put it into perspective, there were about 20 players who when I saw their name, I laughed and asked my roommate if he knew they were in the HOF. Bill Mazeroski is in the hall of fame. No shit.

The problem is that if you let some of the borderline players in, you keep lowering the bar. Gary Carter is in, so why not Mike Piazza? Bill Mazeroski is in the HOF, why not Barry Larkin? Andre Dawson is in, so why not Tim Raines?

It just spirals out of control after awhile. Alan Trammal got over 100 votes. Dale Murphy got over 75. Are they close to getting in? No, not even, but when 25% of the voters think Alan Trammal is HOFer, then Jimmy Rollins and Edgar Renteria (second most similar player to Trammal) may someday grace the halls of Canton.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

brilliant. beautiful. these are my thoughts exactly. how exactly did blyleven's resume improve over the last fifteen years? did his otherworldly 2010 season push him over the top? did he win an extra 100 games over the last fifteen years? i totally agree with dylan - give guys one chance on the ballot. either a guy's a hall of famer or he's not - if someone's a legit HOFer than you shouldnt have to think about it at all. if you need fifteen years to convince yourself that someone is worthy of enshrinement because he didn't jump off the page the first time, then how truly great was he? i also agree that votes should be made public. how do you justify leaving roberto alomar off your ballot? any of the idiots that didn't vote for ricky henderson in 2009 deserve public scorn.

Martin said...

I think Blyleven is a HoF'er based on who else is already in teh Hall. I also believe, as I've stated many times, that people need to look VERY hard at the position that the player played. Often it seems that the only thing looked at is the offensive numbers, and there is a lot more to the game then that.

Ozzie Smith made it into the HoF because he's considered the best defensive shortstop ever, and put up at least average offensive numbers. Well, what about the 2nd best defensive shortstop? Trammel and LArkin were both excellent defensive shortstops, and above average offensive players. When taking into account that they played SS, they were vastly superior offensively to most who have ever played the position. If we want to really narrow down the field of candidates and readjust who is in, then there are a ton of outfielders and starting pitchers who need to be tossed aside well before just these two shortstops are pushed away.

3B is another place vastly underrepresented in the HoF. Ron Santo should be in because of the fact he played 3b, and put up really good offensive stats. He didn't play 1b. He didn't play LF. He played a position that 90% of the guys on any team could not play, therefore he should get a ton of credit before anything else is considered. Thomas Boswell said it best I think when he said "Just place an extra 100 points to anybody who played up the middle or third base." Anybody can play 1b, and almost anybody can play LF, so let's not punish others while rewarding defensive liabilites when considering the HoF>

Dylan said...

Nunyer,

While I understand the argument against McGwire, he did not break any rules. He did everything within the rules of the MLB that he could. While I detest his actions, its hard to count them against him.

I also like to heir on the side of less players in the HOF. I believe that only the most dominant players of their respective generations deserve it. If borderline players are consisently let in, it sets a standard which will continually lower and get out of control.

BGF,

As you know, I do not think Blyleven deserved it. Based on who else is in the Hall, however, he probably did. That said, I do not want to see this sprialing effect that has been happening recently. Based on my arbitrary bar, Blyleven did not deserve it.

ivn,

I think Smith deserved it simply because was great for his time. Yes, players have surpassed him since, including Rivera and Hoffman, but at the time of his retirment, I think he deserved it. However, since he did not get it the first time, I firmly believe that he should never get in. If the voters did not like him then, they should not like him now.

Rich,

The lowering standard is the biggest problem. A bar needs to be set and the voters need to adhere to it all the time, not most of the time. For every exception player, a new exception player can be argued. The Hall should just have less players, plain and simple.

Arjun,

I am all about complete transparency. If a voter cannot defend his vote in public, then he should not have made it in the first place. I would also love an explanation for keeping Ricky Henderson out.

Martin,

While I understand that position matters, ultimately I think offense is more important than defense in baseball. If a player is at the top of his position on an all-time level, then he deserves it no matter what. However, to use defense as the reason to propel a player I believe is a dangerous line to cross. There have been way more defensively spectacular players than offensively in baseball history. We simply do not here about them because they have less of an impact on the game.

rich said...

Martin,

To kind of add to Dylan's thoughts, Ozzie Smith, 14 years after retirement, is still highly regarded because of his defense. If you go to the HOF and you were talking to someone about Ozzie, you could sum it up by saying "One of the greatest fielders of all-time."

It's also been 14 years since Alan Trammel retired, but how many people remember how good he was? He was a great defensive SS, but if you were visiting the HOF and you came across his plaque and someone asked you to describe him, "he was a great fielder who was a average hitter" isn't quite what I envision saying about a player in the HOF.

I completely understand your point about how things are valued differently for different positions, but a hitter gets up 3 times a game no matter what. A fielder may make a great play maybe once a week?

Martin said...

Sure offense is more important, but the way that many of the writers want to use stats, there are far more outfielders and 1b men in the HoF in comparison to other positions. Robbie Alomar is a great example of someone who is a Hall of Famer...but only because he plays 2nd base. There is nothing outstanding offensively about him except stolen bases in terms of HoF type numbers.

His OPS+ is only 116. The three players most similar to him stats wise are Jeter, Whitaker and Damon. What makes him a worthy inductee is that he did it at a middle infield position. The guys who play the middle aren't going to put up the kind of offensive numbers that players do in other positions, and it adversely effects them in getting into the HoF. His numbers are great for an up the middle guy, and those are the players he should be compared against, and them against him.

Barry Larkin put up almost the same exact numbers as Alomar, and yet there is nobody telling us about this on TV or in articles online, for the most part. He literally had the same exact OPS+ of 116. So to me, until they start comparing apples to apples, and not to grapefruits, we're going to have this weird imbalance in the HoF. The kind of imbalance where Lou Whitaker gets almost no consideration, Trammel is pretty much dismissed because he isn't Alex Rodriguez, and Barry Larkin seems to have committed the crime of playing in Cincinnati his entire career, but Mazeroski, Schoendienst, Maranville, and Rizzuto and their like get in on sympathy and nice guy votes.

Bengoodfella said...

I think I am way behind this discussion now. A few thoughts:

There is no reason to have kept Ricky Henderson out of the Hall of Fame. None.

I have given in to the lowering of the bar. It has happened and I have to embrace it at this point.

I do agree a player's numbers have to be taken in consideration with his position. My problem lies in guys like Omar Vizquel who are going to get serious consideration (I believe) and I don't think he has any place in the HoF simply because he was a decent hitter and a good defensive SS.

Imo said...

Mazeroski is considered the best defensive player in baseball history. Blyleven's case didn't get better after 14 years, it has always been this http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2005/12/the_hall_of_fam.php

It seems more plausible that voters made mistakes for 14 years re: Bert.

Bengoodfella said...

Lmo, I think Blyleven should be in the HoF. I think what Dylan is saying is that the voters for 14 years didn't think he deserved to be in the HoF, so what changed this year? People can change their mind, but his reasoning (I think) is that regardless of whether we think Bert should have been in the HoF, the voters did not think that for 14 years. What made them change their mind this year? I don't know if I find it plausible that a large group of people will change their mind from giving him 17% in 2000 to 75% 11 years later. That's a big jump in people who were wrong about him being worthy of the HoF.

Nunyer said...

I can understand the idea of wanting the HOF to have an insanely and damn near impossible standard to reach... but that's not what it is or has been for a very long time. That was my original point. Once you get past the first handful of classes from back in the day, there has never been this crazy lofty standard.

So, I don't see this tarnishing of Cooperstown taking place. Rice was damn near .300/400HR for his career and didn't he win an MVP? Not sure that I consider his plaque a travesty. The standards are arbitrary shit anyways when you think about it. If Rice hits .303 for his career with another dozen homers and he hits a couple of "magic" numbers... then he gets a fraction of the slack he gets today from the small hall crowd. Kaline didn't reach 400 HRs, didn't hit .300 for his career... Nobody calls him a HOF fraud... Oh yea, I forgot... he was able to make the league as an 18 year old, played a few more seasons then Rice and reached 3,000 hits... so he's a bonafide lock. Arbitrary horseshit.

(For the record, I am from Detroit and would never try to cast doubt on Kaline's HOF credentials except in the purely theoretical sense. :)

Bengoodfella said...

I have this personal lofty standard. Once Phil Rizzuto went in the HoF, I think all high standards dropped. I'm kidding...kind of.

I love Al Kaline. He, Jimmie Foxx and Eddie Mathews are my favorite old time players.

The standards players have to reach are all arbitrary standards, there's no doubt about that. I don't think the HoF is tarnished. It is a way to honor the best players in the game of baseball and that is a very subjective standard based on a group of people that vote for these things. So I don't know if you can tarnish something as subjective as the HoF.

I don't believe in players having to reach the magical numbers at all. I just don't think Rice was one of the best players in baseball history.

Imo said...

BGF said. "I don't know if I find it plausible that a large group of people will change their mind from giving him 17% in 2000 to 75% 11 years later. That's a big jump in people who were wrong about him being worthy of the HoF."

...but you write at a website that discusses how stupid many paid professional sportwriters are. That's what that large group of people is right?

You think a bunch of sportswriters wouldn't take 11 years to convince? Did you recently get a new job? A job in which you get paid to write about sports? At a world wide leader in sports?

Say it ain't so Ben!


extracha

Nunyer said...

I think what Dylan is saying is that the voters for 14 years didn't think he deserved to be in the HoF, so what changed this year?

Bert has been steadily gaining steam for 10 years with the voters. He was over 60% for a few years and missed last year by fractions of a point. He needed maybe a half dozen new votes to get over the top, so very little changed this year.

But I think his slow process of induction boils down to sabermetrics + internet. 14+ years ago, the internet didn't exist as it does today and I doubt most baseball writers had even heard of sabermetrics... let alone being able to understand them and apply that to their opinion of a player. Old Guard writers like dominant seasons, Bert never really had any. Old Guard writers like staff aces that demand Cy Young votes, Bert was an ace for crappy teams or a really good #2 for contending teams.

Sabermetrics somewhat bridges those gaps for a pitcher who rarely had eye-popping individual seasons and was never considered elite during his playing career. Old school writers who saw Bert play and considered him "very good, not great" are either dying / retiring / giving up their votes only to be replaced by younger guys open to sabermetrics... Or the old guard writers are finally growing more accepting of sabermetrics.... or it's some combination of the two. But easier access to stats and new ways of interpreting them reasonably explains Bert's slow rise in vote totals over the last 15 years.

If he had played 20 years earlier and put up the exact same numbers, then he's a veteran's committee guy. No way do the writers from 1991 put him in without sabermetrics telling them that he shoulda/woulda/coulda won 350 games with average run support.

Bengoodfella said...

Nunyer, again I think Bert should be in the HoF. His support has been growing over the years, but his stats haven't changed. I just don't get what has changed. I will submit you may have gotten the right answer in that Sabermetrics may have opened people's eyes to how good he was.

I can see what you are saying and I think Sabermetrics has to be the reason he made it in the HoF. I see what Dylan is saying, though I support Blyleven's candidacy, it is just interesting how he has gotten so much support through the years. Maybe Sabermetrics is a much stronger movement than even the Old Guard would admit.

Dylan said...

Imo,

I think BGF is merely pointing out that 11 years is a long time to take to convince someone. Sabremetrics, among other methods of player measurement, did not just appear out of nowhere. They have been around for a while now.

Nunyer,

Good point about the Sabremetrics. Although I am not completely familiar with Blyleven's new age statistics, I'm sure they helped his cause. While I still do not think he deserved to be in the HOF, it's not the end of the world. I just want to see a uniform rule that you get one shot at the HOF, and that's it.

Bengoodfella said...

Dylan, I think that is what I am saying. I will acknowledge the use of Sabermetrics makes Blyleven's candidacy look better, but he hasn't changed and a lot of people have changed their mind on him. Either I am not giving Sabermetrics enough credit or some voters changed their mind for reasons unknown. To go from 17% in 2000 to 75%+ in 2011 is just a huge jump.

I think there should be a longer candidacy on the ballot than 5 years. 10 years would work for me.

your favourite sun said...

It's an interesting idea being discussed here, and I'm not sure where I stand on it yet. Don Drysdale immediately springs to mind as someone who would not have gotten in on in his first ballot(not even close), yet he's a guy that is more well-known amongst younger fans that never saw him pitch than a lot of first-ballot HOFers. HOFs are supposed to be at least partially about legacy and Drysdale left a legacy that actually grew over time rather than faded...must have been the Brady Bunch appearance.

I do know that I'm in favor of Nunyer's last paragraph in the first reply, particularly "I'd rather have more borderline players included than excluded" and "It's just a damn museum with bronze plaques." I'd rather have a Hall with both High Pockets Kelly(even if he didn't deserve it) and Ron Santo(who did) than one that enshrined Kelly but snubbed Santo because "this isn't the Hall of Very Good." A Hall that excludes both doesn't exist and won't exist, unless you can somehow take down Kelly's plaque.

I'm not saying everybody who is as good as Kelly should be included...I don't want Cooperstown to be a ride that shows a picture of Kelly and says "you have to be this good to make it into the Hall!" What I'm saying is that the mistake of including Kelly is compounded when someone deserving--not just more deserving than Kelly, but deserving period--is subsequently left out because people think too many mistakes have already been made. I hope that made sense and it doesn't just sound like I'm waffling...

Bengoodfella said...

Sun, I think a lot of Drysdale's reputation now is based on the fact he is considered a pitcher who pitched batters tough inside. I would agree his legacy has increased over the years.

I don't want a HoF where a player who is deserving gets left out because the Hall has let other "mistake" players into the it at one time. That's not right, but I just want to be careful not to let players who played for a while and weren't one of the best players at their position or in baseball over a period of time.

It doesn't sound like waffling, you just don't want someone to be left out of the Hall b/c another player considered "undeserving" got in. I still don't want Vizquel in the Hall of Fame.

Nunyer said...

I agree with your standard BGF. Players who were the best / one of the best at their position over an extended period of time deserve legit consideration.

As an example, Lou Whitaker didn't even get a sniff of consideration. He at least deserved to stay on the ballot. He won 3 or 4 gold gloves and was probably deserving of more, offensively is at least in the same ballpark as Alomar, Morgan and Sandberg. His WAR value for his career is actually better than Sandberg or Alomar. Of course, some of this is out of scope of his playing career. Whitaker and Sandberg get traded in the late 70s with everything else remaining equal, it's Sweet Lou in Cooperstown with the Cubs cap and Sandberg fondly remembered in Detroit while getting the shaft from the voters. Market bias plays a role. I watched about as much Sandberg as Whitaker growing up, thanks to having WGN on my cable system. Apart from that 3-4 season burst where Ryno inexpicably averaged over 30 HRs a season... his case is weaker than Lou's. Whitaker was consistent for more seasons. At worst, Whitaker was a top three 2B during his career and is a top 10 all time.

Similar cases can be made for Trammell, Larkin, etc. Middle infielders who were premier at their position for a decent chunk of time. Larkin really should be a lock in my opinion, and I think he makes it within 3 or 4 years. Trammell had his back gave out and robbed him of a good chunk of production basically from the age of 30 onwards. He finishes his career stronger, I think he would have been a guy that might have eventually hit 75% near the tail end of his eligibility.

your favourite sun said...

Vizquel is like the shortstop equivalent of Kelly...a terrific fielder with offense that is roughly ordinary for his position, workmanlike. A guy that is respected by everybody but revered by no one. Except Hawk Harrelson.

Whitaker is a personal favorite. He would fit in fine, as Lou's definitely a cut above Red Schoendienst or Nellie Fox, and at least as good as Bobby Doerr or Frankie Frisch, probably better. It's sad that he doesn't even get the courtesy of staying on the ballot for awhile like Trammell and Mattingly and others have gotten...where even if they don't get in at least there are people trying.

your favourite sun said...

To completely clarify my earlier position, I would rather everybody deserving get in along with some undeserving, than to see anybody deserving get snubbed at all. The fact that undeserving have gotten in while deserving have been snubbed just makes it worse. I was trying to find the best way to word it but that was rather late last night so it may have come out a little fuzzy.

Dylan said...

Back to the sabremetrics discussion for a second:

While I understand that WAR and other relevant statistics have helped Blyleven's cause (among others), we have to realize that HRs, RBIs, batting average and, Sabremetrics are all statistics. I do not mean to imply that I'm of the old guard. I'm fully in favor of the power of Sabremetrics. I simply want to point out that I even sabremetrics have to be understood relatively. So while one player's modern stats may compare positively to someone else's who is already in the HOF, we cannot compare players of different eras. They must be evaluated against the numbers of the time. I don't mean to accuse anyone of here doing such a thing, but I think it's an important distinction to make.