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LethalStriker

The Baseball Hall of Fame Thread

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2 hours ago, Kuetsar said:

Belle's career is just too short for me. Baines has 600 more hits than edgar and 400 more RBi's, but I don't think either of them belong. The first DH type player in should be Big Papi. . .

Okay, I'm just going by the HOF rules when speaking of Albert Belle, the rules say ten years. He's eligible. 

As for the first DH-type player to go in being Big Papi, I would call your attention to the presence in the HOF of one Paul Molitor. 

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10 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Okay, I'm just going by the HOF rules when speaking of Albert Belle, the rules say ten years. He's eligible. 

As for the first DH-type player to go in being Big Papi, I would call your attention to the presence in the HOF of one Paul Molitor. 

Of the players on the veterans list he's the only one that would deserve a vote. If he goes in, I wouldn't have a huge complaint, the only one on the Veterans list I would vote for is Piniella. . . 

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17 minutes ago, Kuetsar said:

Of the players on the veterans list he's the only one that would deserve a vote. If he goes in, I wouldn't have a huge complaint, the only one on the Veterans list I would vote for is Piniella. . . 

What, did we forget that Lee Smith is also on that ballot?

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Belle played 12 years, 10 of them full seasons. Of those 10, he was a superstar for 9 of them. He retired from a major injury as surely as Puckett or Koufax. He had more great seasons than Koufax and was out of this world great at his peak. Belle is an absolute no-brainer. 

Brian Giles? C'mon. 

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12 hours ago, Tabe said:

Belle played 12 years, 10 of them full seasons. Of those 10, he was a superstar for 9 of them. He retired from a major injury as surely as Puckett or Koufax. He had more great seasons than Koufax and was out of this world great at his peak. Belle is an absolute no-brainer. 

Brian Giles? C'mon. 

Yeah, I sort of wondered about the Brian Giles thing myself as Dragon usually knows his baseball and should certainly see that Giles and Belle are about as comparable as Ty Cobb and Gabby Harnett. Averaging 25 HR's is quite commendable and Giles was certainly a good player, but 25 ain't averaging 40 for a fucking decade which is what Belle did, putting himself in company with Ruth, Foxx, Aaron, Mays, Kiner & Greenberg among others; yeah, he's a no-brainer and if he wasn't such an unpleasant dude he'd already be in.

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23 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Yeah, I sort of wondered about the Brian Giles thing myself as Dragon usually knows his baseball and should certainly see that Giles and Belle are about as comparable as Ty Cobb and Gabby Harnett. Averaging 25 HR's is quite commendable and Giles was certainly a good player, but 25 ain't averaging 40 for a fucking decade which is what Belle did, putting himself in company with Ruth, Foxx, Aaron, Mays, Kiner & Greenberg among others; yeah, he's a no-brainer and if he wasn't such an unpleasant dude he'd already be in.

 

12 hours ago, Tabe said:

Belle played 12 years, 10 of them full seasons. Of those 10, he was a superstar for 9 of them. He retired from a major injury as surely as Puckett or Koufax. He had more great seasons than Koufax and was out of this world great at his peak. Belle is an absolute no-brainer. 

Brian Giles? C'mon. 

 

Yes, Belle hit more homers then Giles, but he was not a better baseball player then Brian Giles was. Giles was one of the better players in in baseball for his entire run on the Pirates and nobody really noticed because outside of him and Jason Kendall, the 3rd best player on the Pirates in his run was Jack Goddamn Wilson. Giles was a consistently great hitter for 10 years, just like Belle, just doing most of his work with OBP instead of Power. But they are still pretty damn comparabale

Giles career numbers: 299 BA, 400 OBP, 501 slugging percentage, 136 wRC+ 

Belle career numbers: 295 BA, 369 obp, 564 slugging percentage, 139 wRC+

Add in that Giles has 3 years of decline to lower his stats Belle really didn't have, and yeah, they are basically a wash. Just trading OBP for Slugging. Add in that Giles had more truely elite years (7 to 5) and I'd rather have Giles.

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48 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

 

 

Yes, Belle hit more homers then Giles, but he was not a better baseball player then Brian Giles was. Giles was one of the better players in in baseball for his entire run on the Pirates and nobody really noticed because outside of him and Jason Kendall, the 3rd best player on the Pirates in his run was Jack Goddamn Wilson. Giles was a consistently great hitter for 10 years, just like Belle, just doing most of his work with OBP instead of Power. But they are still pretty damn comparabale

Giles career numbers: 299 BA, 400 OBP, 501 slugging percentage, 136 wRC+ 

Belle career numbers: 295 BA, 369 obp, 564 slugging percentage, 139 wRC+

Add in that Giles has 3 years of decline to lower his stats Belle really didn't have, and yeah, they are basically a wash. Just trading OBP for Slugging. Add in that Giles had more truely elite years (7 to 5) and I'd rather have Giles.

My friend, they are not comparable at all,  a difference that great in SLG % is barely in the same universe.  One was a fine, fine 5-tools player for a full career, the other was a HR machine the like of which hadn't been seen since the days of Ralph Kiner. They are about as similar as Lee Smith and Harold Baines, which is to say, not at all.

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1 hour ago, OSJ said:

My friend, they are not comparable at all,  a difference that great in SLG % is barely in the same universe.  One was a fine, fine 5-tools player for a full career, the other was a HR machine the like of which hadn't been seen since the days of Ralph Kiner. They are about as similar as Lee Smith and Harold Baines, which is to say, not at all.

it's estimated now a days that each point of OBP is worth about 1.8 times as much as one point SLG,  as getting on with regularity is the most important thing a hitter can do. So basically the 30 point game in OBP is just about the same as the 60 point gap in slugging. 

So yeah, one more, give me Giles who gives just about equal value as a hitter, and plays solid defense.

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2 hours ago, OSJ said:

My friend, they are not comparable at all,  a difference that great in SLG % is barely in the same universe.  One was a fine, fine 5-tools player for a full career, the other was a HR machine the like of which hadn't been seen since the days of Ralph Kiner. They are about as similar as Lee Smith and Harold Baines, which is to say, not at all.

While Brian Giles and Albert Belle aren't comparable types of players, we absolutely can compare their value as players--and hitters, of which wOBA and wRC+ do a great job.  Those metrics show they provided similar value with the bat, but Giles was a superior baserunner and defender which is why he has a 10 to 12 win advantage in WAR(depending on your bWAR vs. fWAR choice) over Belle in about two more years worth of plate appearances--which is equal to about two years of elite production.  If Belle is a no doubter, then Giles is probably a borderline guy--but I don't think Belle is a Hall of Famer , so Giles would fall short as well(though I tend to think they're pretty even).  Not that it will probably shift anyone's opinions but here is a couple of articles from Jay Jaffe covering each guy(plus Harold Baines).

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/sluggers-harold-baines-and-albert-belle-likely-to-whiff-on-todays-game-ballot/

https://www.si.com/mlb/2014/12/24/jaws-2015-hall-of-fame-ballot-brian-giles

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@Gatling: Thanks for the links! You are correct in assuming that it didn't change my opinion, I've always lumped Giles in with folks like Larry Walker, KiKi Cuyler, Lloyd Waner, Fred Lynn, etc. in other words guys who were very, very good and occasionally great but really fall short of HOF credentials (and yes, I know that Cuyler and Waner are in the HOF, that doesn't mean that they belong there. 

My last words on Albert Belle before shifting the talk to a couple of other candidates. First off, let us lay the bugaboo of "too short a career" to rest. The rules say any player with ten years of active service in the majors is eligible. I am not going to play the since so-and-so is in, why not also so-and-so? However, I will mention that there are several notable players with shortened careers in the HOF because of what they did accomplish during their time as players. And no, I don't mean Candy Cummings who is in for being an executive as well as a player (and supposedly the inventor of the curveball). No I'm talking about guys like Chick Hafey, Hank Greenberg, and perhaps Belle's closest true comparison, Ralph Kiner.

Kiner's career was also very short and like Belle he did one thing really, really well and that was knocking the ball out of the park. Hank Greenberg was a bit more multi-dimensional, but still primarily a long-ball guy. Hafey was a very good/great all around hitter, it's frightening to think what he could have accomplished had he been able to see. 

There are reasons to keep Albert Belle out of the HOF, but his short career and average of forty HRs a season are not among those reasons. 

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Riddle me this:

I hit the same number of HRs as Lou Gehrig and created more runs than Sammy Sosa or Willie McCovey to go along with my near 2500 hits and 1500+ RBIs. Who am I and why am I not in the HOF?

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You completely lost me by saying Larry Walker falls short of the Hall of Fame while arguing Albert Belle should be. There wasn't a single element of baseball outside of hitting homers Belle was better at then Walker. Career 313 hitter, almost 400 career homers, 400 career OBP, over 200 steals and actually an above average defensive Right Fielder in his career. 

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39 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

You completely lost me by saying Larry Walker falls short of the Hall of Fame while arguing Albert Belle should be. There wasn't a single element of baseball outside of hitting homers Belle was better at then Walker. Career 313 hitter, almost 400 career homers, 400 career OBP, over 200 steals and actually an above average defensive Right Fielder in his career. 

Heh-heh, I knew that the mention of Larry Walker would troll at least a few people into the discussion. I thought Tabe and I beat the Walker horse to death a couple of years ago. While he certainly merits close inspection, Larry Walker is remarkably like Chuck Klein, a very good player on the road and a monster in his home park. In Klein's case, his team played in a stadium roughly the size of a child's sandbox. In Walker's case the rarefied air of Colorado made him seem much, much better than he was. He was a great hitter at Coors and an okay/very hitter elsewhere. Look at his home/road splits and then explain why he's a HOF-caliber player. 

You sort of answered your own argument regarding Belle, if he goes in (and he should) it will be for one thing only, and that's averaging 40 HRs a year for a decade, that's not just a good career, that's fucking ridiculous when you look at all the all-time greats that didn't achieve that feat. 

We can revisit Larry Walker if you like, I'm pretty much done with Albert Belle, the only thing that I can suggest regarding Belle is a side by side comparison with similar players and the two that leap out at me are Ralph Kiner and Hank Greenberg. You could probably swap stats between Kiner and Belle on Baseball-reference.com and very few people would notice the difference. (FWIW: Belle appears to be a somewhat better hitter and while no one was lining up to give Ralph Gold Glove Awards, he was a better fielder. )

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32 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Riddle me this:

I hit the same number of HRs as Lou Gehrig and created more runs than Sammy Sosa or Willie McCovey to go along with my near 2500 hits and 1500+ RBIs. Who am I and why am I not in the HOF?

Never would have thought McGriff put up those kind of numbers.  Seems like being super consistent but never at the tippy top of the stats leaders leave you out of sight and out of mind.  His numbers on some really bad Tampa teams are fantastic

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10 minutes ago, Serious Darius Bagfelt said:

Never would have thought McGriff put up those kind of numbers.  Seems like being super consistent but never at the tippy top of the stats leaders leave you out of sight and out of mind.  His numbers on some really bad Tampa teams are fantastic

First, let fire a pre-emptive strike so we don't get off-track talking about Larry Walker. The only thing that one needs to look at are the traditional numbers plus OPS for Home/Away splits. It's even worse than you might imagine. Larry was godlike at Coors field, everywhere else he was just a decent RF with a pretty fair bat. That's not a HOFr. 

Now for Mr. McGriff and you guys know what a mark I am for the Braves... What a difference a handful of seasons makes... McGriff had the bad fortune to begin his career in Toronto, which was bad enough in the 1980s, but then he was traded to San Diego, another small market at the time where anything McGriff did was lost in the headlines about Jose Fucking Canseco, who was baseball's Chosen One until Ken Griffey jr. came into his own. 

By the time he went to Atlanta, the focus had shifted to Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell (to say nothing of Mark McGwire). Poor Fred started in the tail-end of the pitcher-dominated era and then ended up being overshadowed by the aforementioned trio. To fairly evaluate McGriff, one has to look at his EXACT contemporaries, not at guys that came along even a few years later. Is he a HOFr? I honestly don't know, though I've started to lean toward "yes"; he's one of those guys that certainly wouldn't hurt things if he were inducted, and on the other hand, there's no great crime in keeping him out as a gatekeeper either.

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53 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Heh-heh, I knew that the mention of Larry Walker would troll at least a few people into the discussion. I thought Tabe and I beat the Walker horse to death a couple of years ago. While he certainly merits close inspection, Larry Walker is remarkably like Chuck Klein, a very good player on the road and a monster in his home park. In Klein's case, his team played in a stadium roughly the size of a child's sandbox. In Walker's case the rarefied air of Colorado made him seem much, much better than he was. He was a great hitter at Coors and an okay/very hitter elsewhere. Look at his home/road splits and then explain why he's a HOF-caliber player. 

 

16 minutes ago, OSJ said:

First, let fire a pre-emptive strike so we don't get off-track talking about Larry Walker. The only thing that one needs to look at are the traditional numbers plus OPS for Home/Away splits. It's even worse than you might imagine. Larry was godlike at Coors field, everywhere else he was just a decent RF with a pretty fair bat. That's not a HOFr. 

Once more, this is another case of an argument we already had with people smarter then both of us already pointing out the flaws in the "Walker was only good in Coors" argument

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/if-you-vote-for-vlad-you-have-to-vote-for-walker/ 

Also, if we are arguing Walker, who was Barry God Damn Bonds at Coors, doesn't get in the Hall of Fame, then no player who spent the majority of his career in Colorado can EVER make the Hall of Fame. Because none of them are ever going to be as good as Walker was there. Larry Walker by fWAR was the 2nd best Right Fielder in the last 50 years. Only Reggie Jackson beats him. He also was a very good player in Montreal before this ever came up, and even at age 39 he goes to St. Louis and put up a 135 wRC+. Also, the best year in his career, 1997 when he put up a 366/452/720 spit, HE WAS BETTER ON THE ROAD. 

So if you keep Larry Walker out, you have to keep any and all position players who played in Colorado out. Because there is no way they are going to be as good as Larry Walker was.

 

ALSO, the entire "Albert Belle averaged 40 homers a season for a full decade" talking point is mighty impressive for a guy who didn't hit 400 homers. Meaning, no, he did not do that thing. He averaged 37.6. Which is very impressive still. However, Adam Dunn hit 36.8 home runs a season for a full decade, and I don't think that alone makes him a Hall of Famer either. 

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Exactly what is the argument AGAINST Belle? Keeping in mind that "career shortened due to major injury/death" has already been eliminated as a disqualifier in multiple other cases (Koufax, Puckett, Joss, Dean to name four). 

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3 hours ago, El Dragon said:

ALSO, the entire "Albert Belle averaged 40 homers a season for a full decade" talking point is mighty impressive for a guy who didn't hit 400 homers. Meaning, no, he did not do that thing. He averaged 37.6. Which is very impressive still. However, Adam Dunn hit 36.8 home runs a season for a full decade, and I don't think that alone makes him a Hall of Famer either. 

Odd what a difference a few years makes... When Belle did his thing 50 taters in a season MEANT something. Dunn came along just as the power numbers began to explode upwards. We'll see similar stuff as we try to fairly evaluate Fred McGriff, who was remarkably steady even though the game around him changed halfway into his career.

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4 hours ago, Tabe said:

Exactly what is the argument AGAINST Belle? Keeping in mind that "career shortened due to major injury/death" has already been eliminated as a disqualifier in multiple other cases (Koufax, Puckett, Joss, Dean to name four). 

Without going into those 4's HOF canidacy too much (Puckett very much shoukd not be in imo), Belle's problem is he was a player who was mediocre at all other aspects of being a big leaguer except hitting, even in the decade he played there isn't really any argument he was a top 5 hitter that decade. All of Bonds, Griffey, McGwire, Bagwell, Thomas, Piazza, and Martinez were the best hitters of the 90's and Belle was not quite at that level, leaving him to fight it out with Larry Walker and Gary Sheffield for the bottom 3 spots in a potential top 10 of the 90's. So great, but not truely elite. If you are gonna get into the Hall on "short career but dominant while he was there" he needed to be more dominant. 

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I have no problem leaving all Rockies out of the HOF, because so far none of them qualify. I'm very much a small hall guy, and 400 Hr's is nice, but in that bandbox, short of 500 is a non starter for me.  2100 hits and 1300 RBi's aren't nearly enough for a HOF, especially if they played in the juiced ball(and players) era, and they played in that thin air.

 

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9 hours ago, OSJ said:

First, let fire a pre-emptive strike so we don't get off-track talking about Larry Walker. The only thing that one needs to look at are the traditional numbers plus OPS for Home/Away splits. It's even worse than you might imagine. Larry was godlike at Coors field, everywhere else he was just a decent RF with a pretty fair bat. That's not a HOFr. 

Now for Mr. McGriff and you guys know what a mark I am for the Braves... What a difference a handful of seasons makes... McGriff had the bad fortune to begin his career in Toronto, which was bad enough in the 1980s, but then he was traded to San Diego, another small market at the time where anything McGriff did was lost in the headlines about Jose Fucking Canseco, who was baseball's Chosen One until Ken Griffey jr. came into his own. 

By the time he went to Atlanta, the focus had shifted to Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell (to say nothing of Mark McGwire). Poor Fred started in the tail-end of the pitcher-dominated era and then ended up being overshadowed by the aforementioned trio. To fairly evaluate McGriff, one has to look at his EXACT contemporaries, not at guys that came along even a few years later. Is he a HOFr? I honestly don't know, though I've started to lean toward "yes"; he's one of those guys that certainly wouldn't hurt things if he were inducted, and on the other hand, there's no great crime in keeping him out as a gatekeeper either.

If H/R splits are the only thing we're looking at, then sure, I can see where you'd say Larry Walker isn't a Hall of Famer.  However, we have many more things we can look at that show he was in fact a Hall of Fame caliber player.  Let's start with OPS+, which is park adjusted so it deals with that pesky Coors Field problem.  Walker's OPS+ is 141, which ties him with Chipper Jones and David Ortiz.  We can go a step further and use wRC+, which is not just park adjusted but also league adjusted so it's probably best to compare across different eras(more on this later), where Walker posted a 140 wRC+.  Those two numbers are right in line with Albert Belle who had a 144 OPS+ and a 139 wRC+--except Walker was an excellent baserunner(not just stealing bases but taking extra bases, etc) and a tremendous defender in right field.  Walker also ranks as the 10th best RF by JAWS hitting exactly the average career WAR mark of all HOF RF and besting the 7 year peak WAR number and the JAWS score.  If you don't like today's advanced stats but like Bill James, Walker passes the test there too by besting the Hall of Fame Standards and Monitor numbers--though those aren't park adjusted, which is why Jay Jaffe came up with JAWS.  Jaffe can probably explain this better.   Larry Walker is definitely a HOF if Albert Belle is, and he should be even if you don't buy Belle is.  

McGriff is an interesting case, as I wonder if he just hit 7 more HR if that would have been enough to just get him in or not.  If you want to look at exact contemporaries, then we're probably talking Will Clark and Mark McGwire as all three guys first played in the majors in 1986, though Clark was the only one of the three to get more than a cup of coffee that year.  The one McGriff has over the other two is longevity--which I think is part of why he hasn't been voted in, oddly enough.  He was more of a compiler or steady and consistent guy, he never really had that stand out peak stretch or that one year that just wows you.  That shows up in his JAWS scores as he ranks 31st all time at 1B ahead of only four Hall of Famers--Orlando Cepeda, Frank Chance, Jim Bottomley, and High Pockets Kelly and behind guys like Clark, McGwire, John Olerud, and Keith Hernandez.  His OPS+ is tied for 45 all time with John Kruk, Prince Fielder, Travis Hafner, and Boog Powell. If you look at wRC+ for all qualified 1B since 1980, McGriff is at 134 right there with Clark(136) but well behind McGwire(157).  McGriff had almost 2000 more plate appearances than Clark and over 2500 more than McGwire yet other than a 200 HR advantage over Clark he doesn't really stand out above either of them anywhere else, other than the longevity and stat compiling.  Put another way, how different is McGriff from a guy who put up 2038 hits, 473 HR, 1512 RBI, a 135 wRC+ and a 138 OPS+ in 1500 fewer plate appearances?  Pretty similar right?  That guy is Carlos Delgado, who was as good a hitter as McGriff but had a bit shorter career(and a couple of years wasted trying to keep him behind the plate) and was a worse defender.  Actually, Delgado is a good comparison for Albert Belle, as his 1997 to 2006 stretch(ages 25 to 34) saw him average 36.4 HR compared to the 37.3 Belle posted from 1991 to 2000(ages 24 to 33), an OPS+ of 127 to 181(138 career) in that peak versus Belle's 109 to 194(144 career), and an overall career line of .280/.383/.546 versus Belle's .295/.369/.564--very good number no doubt but only their hitting to support their candidacies.  I think all three of McGriff, Delgado, and Belle fall short, but I wouldn't complain too loudly if any(or all) of them got in.  

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28 minutes ago, gatling said:

  I think all three of McGriff, Delgado, and Belle fall short, but I wouldn't complain too loudly if any(or all) of them got in.  

Much snippage of good stuff above.  I'm even going to go ahead and add Larry Walker to your short-list above. None of the four would be an embarrassment to the HOF stat-wise (though I shudder to imagine the acceptance speech of a drunken and belligerent Albert Belle.) 

Let me point out why I liked McGriff so much as a player... He reminded me of Eddie Murray, who was a real favorite of mine that I got to watch as an adult with a critical eye. Previous favorites were Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Joe Adcock, and both of   the latter  retired when I was a kid. I can't honestly say that I watched Hank Aaron with anything approaching a knowledgeable eye, but FWIW I remember having an argument with my buddy from the next block when were 9 or 10 about who was going to hit more HRs, Aaron or Mantle, as I was already a Braves fan (all the other kids were Yankees fans and even when I was that young I was somewhat of a contrarian.)  

Now I realize that McGriff and Murray are not really very similar in any respect, but it was the way they played the game that mattered to me, contrast McGriff with his almost exact contemporary Joe Carter; I've had Joe on my fantasy teams a time or two and when you look up the term "streak monster", you'll find his picture. McGriff was the exact opposite, turn him loose on opening day and tally up all the extra bases at the end of the season. No, he's not going to lead the league or have a breakout 50+ HR season but he's going to play almost every game and not get hurt and get you 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs year in and year out. We often talk disparagingly of "compilers", but it's notable that in McGriff's case he really only faded in his last two seasons, everything before that was clockwork.  We also tend to forget that 1985-1995 was still very much pitcher dominated prior to the roids era taking off. I've also never heard anyone even suggest that McGriff took PEDs of any kind, if he did, he was a very early case or as I think more likely; he didn't need to. There are certainly no tell-tale spikes in his performance that would suggest anything but a super-solid player year after year.

Carlos Delgado won me at least two fantasy league pots, so I'm a big fan of the guy (and it's not my fault that my buddies were stupid enough to let me play him as a catcher well after he'd left that position behind.) 😉 I think Delgado is probably the weakest selection of the guys we're talking about here, but he was a fantastic hitter for most of his career.

One final note about Larry Walker, I keep seeing the argument raised of "If you keep him out, no one from the Rockies ever goes in, because he was the best player ever on that team!"  It's not the fucking All-Star Game where every team gets represented, if the Rockies don't have anyone else, that's just too damn bad.

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 I almost brought up Eddie Murray when I was talking about Fred McGriff because Murray is the guy I think of when I talk about a longevity/compiler type.  The Crime Dog had more power and was a bit better hitter overall, though part of that is Murray hanging on too long trying to get to 500 HR and 3000 hits as five of his last seven seasons weren't very good and three of them were below replacement level which dragged down his rate stats.  At their peaks though, Murray had the better years mostly because he was a better defender and baserunner.  Murray also had the longer peak as he had 14 straight years of 3 fWAR or greater(and 11 in a row over 3. 6 and 10 total over 4) and 13 out  of 14 years over 3.2 bWAR(and 9 years over 4) where as McGriff had a seven year peak(3.6 fWAR or better, 3.2 bWAR or better), then three down years where it looked like maybe he was winding down before bouncing with three out of four solid years with Tampa Bay and the Cubs(3.1 fWAR or better, 2.9 bWAR or better).    I really think if McGriff hit 7 more HR and reached that 500 HR plateau he'd be in by now, rightly or wrongly.  Since he didn't, his career is looked at more closely and he comes up short.

 

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33 minutes ago, gatling said:

 I almost brought up Eddie Murray when I was talking about Fred McGriff because Murray is the guy I think of when I talk about a longevity/compiler type.  The Crime Dog had more power and was a bit better hitter overall, though part of that is Murray hanging on too long trying to get to 500 HR and 3000 hits as five of his last seven seasons weren't very good and three of them were below replacement level which dragged down his rate stats.  At their peaks though, Murray had the better years mostly because he was a better defender and baserunner.  Murray also had the longer peak as he had 14 straight years of 3 fWAR or greater(and 11 in a row over 3. 6 and 10 total over 4) and 13 out  of 14 years over 3.2 bWAR(and 9 years over 4) where as McGriff had a seven year peak(3.6 fWAR or better, 3.2 bWAR or better), then three down years where it looked like maybe he was winding down before bouncing with three out of four solid years with Tampa Bay and the Cubs(3.1 fWAR or better, 2.9 bWAR or better).    I really think if McGriff hit 7 more HR and reached that 500 HR plateau he'd be in by now, rightly or wrongly.  Since he didn't, his career is looked at more closely and he comes up short.

 

Or does he? Oddly enough, the closer I look at McGriff's numbers the more I begin to see a bonafide case for him... More on this later, for now I am delighted that you brought up the "magic numbers". I'm sure you're old enough to recall when hitting either (let alone both) milestones was automatic induction to the HOF. I think I may have mentioned this before, but the very first baseball book I read (would have been around 1964 when I was in process of skipping most of second grade and going to third), was an offering from Scholastic Press that dealt with the "immortals" of the game who had either 3000 hits or 300 HRs. Yes, that's right,  at the time every single retired player with 300 HRs was in the HOF and 300 was touted as an automatic induction. I think it may have been Roy Sievers who was the first guy to hit that milestone and not get in, but the floodgates were opened and lots of guys like Lee May, Willie Horton, Joe Adcock, etc. , etc. all compiled over 300. 

So the next level was obviously 400 (or really close to it) until Dave Kingman came along. No one is ever going to confuse Kong with a HOFr, so of course we went up to 500, which by any reckoning is a shitload of HRs. It took Raffy Palmiero to get kicked to the curb for 500/3000 to lose their automatic status and even though one can compile 3000 hits by bopping along at 150 hits per season for twenty years, I'm still of the mind that consistency of that level probably merits induction unless there are extenuating circumstances. Raffy's not in and it isn't because he did PEDs, it's because he was stupid and lied about it over and over. That coupled with spending most of his career as a DH was enough for the BBWA to reject him soundly. 

I don't know of anyone who has ever even suggested that McGriff took PEDs, and a look at his career stats would seem to bear this out, if he'd gotten on the juice at all we could expect to see at least a couple of outstanding seasons with over 50 HRs, but it's not there. What is there is a guy that pretty quietly went about his business of hitting the long ball and driving in runs at a ferocious clip. I'm not going to say that I'm all-in on McGriff as a HOFr, but he certainly wouldn't be an embarrassing choice.

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