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The Baseball Hall of Fame Thread

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I should have added "by voters" to that last sentence, since that's what I actually meant.  This is McGriff's 10th and final year on the ballot and he only had 98 votes(23.2%) last year so it's unlikely he makes it.  If he had reached 500 HR, maybe the old school voters put him on their lists but he didn't any they don't seem to be pushing for him.  He comes up short on the more sabr-leaning measurements so it ends up that no one is really beating the drum for him.  Personally I wouldn't complain too much if he got in, but I'm also not bothered by his exclusion.

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On 11/15/2018 at 2:43 PM, gatling said:

I should have added "by voters" to that last sentence, since that's what I actually meant.  This is McGriff's 10th and final year on the ballot and he only had 98 votes(23.2%) last year so it's unlikely he makes it.  If he had reached 500 HR, maybe the old school voters put him on their lists but he didn't any they don't seem to be pushing for him.  He comes up short on the more sabr-leaning measurements so it ends up that no one is really beating the drum for him.  Personally I wouldn't complain too much if he got in, but I'm also not bothered by his exclusion.

I'm with you 100% on this, there are a couple of things that historically have been notable blind spots for the BBWA, one of those things is the third base position, wherein they can't seem to grasp that it's the perfect blend of defense and offense (at least since 1950), before then it was more defense-centric. The other thing that they seem to have trouble with is the guy who is a hallmark for consistency as opposed to having a couple of breakout seasons.

Anyone who ever watched Eddie Murray play should have realized that they were seeing something pretty special, when your competition for greatest switch-hitter of all time is Mickey Fucking Mantle, you're a slam-dunk, no-brainer of a choice. 

I think we may have exhausted the discussion of McGriff and come to the same conclusion, now, how about his almost exact contemporary Will Clark and Joe Carter? I know my initial gut reaction was "Get real!", but both guys actually have a case, let's see how strong their cases are: 

Joe Carter: Remember when his 1984 Donruss RC was worth a $100 for a nicely-centered one? I do and I'm damn glad that I didn't pay anything near that for it as I think it's probably worth about ten bucks now. Definitely a feared hitter, could play anywhere in the OF equally effectively, but he seems a really odd choice for consideration by the committee, there is really no compelling reason to consider Joe Carter anything but a very good player. 

Will Clark: Another guy who is a poster boy for the Hall of the Very Good. An oddly-abbreviated career, (his team wanted him back when he retired after a perfectly fine season at age 36.) Clark's numbers look pretty anemic when compared to the guys that came along just a little later and his own almost exact contemporary, Fred McGriff. Clark seemed like more of a 1950s player than anything else; excellent defense, high batting average, and rather lackluster power numbers. I could easily envision him in the 1950s as a top star. As it is, the only time that I thought I was watching anything special was during his 1988-1989 seasons. That puts him in company with guys like Norm Cash and Farris Fain, not Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell. 

Whereas we concluded that there would be no shame in inducting Albert Belle and Fred McGriff, both of these guys would be an embarrassing mistake.

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For what it's worth while I wouldn't induct Belle (Though I do think he has a solid argument after hearing it from you guys, I just still can't justify putting him in due to my personal "Well if he gets in so should these guys' mindset), I will say McGriff is one of my favorite cases, because he to me is "The Hall of Flame Floor" for first basemen. I think he should get in, but I don't think First Basemen worse then him should get him. There are other 1st basemen right in his tier imo that you could take or leave for a HOF case. I'd take Olerud and I think I would take Berkman, where as I leave Clark, Giambi, and Delgado. 

That is one of my favorite things to determine. The worst player at a position you take in the HOF in each position in recent history. I usually rank recent history as last 50 years

Catcher: Tricky, because the 5 best catchers of the last 50 years are all in and were all obvious inductions, and after that there aren't any obvious picks. I would consider putting Mauer in for strength of his high upside. I think the answer is probably Buster Posey? He's not offically there yet but things would have to go horribly wrong to not get there. But things go horribly wrong for Catchers all the time

First Base: Either McGriff or Olerud. Both were very very good players that don't get the respect they deserve. McGriff was consistently very good, where as Olerud was good most of the time and every once in a blue moon (93 and 98) are among the very tip top players in baseball. 

Second Base: This is a fun one because there are a lot of guys right in that "Are they in or not?" discussion. I would probably say Dustin Pedroia? I'd say Cano and Utley in over him, but not Kinsler or Zobrist. Though Zobrist, if he can have another year or two like this last one, becomes an interesting case for me, though very likely I am one of the few who would say that. 

Short Stop: Another one with such a firm line it's hard to have a guy here. Rodriguez, Ripkin, Jeter, Smith, Larkin, Yount, and Trammell are all obvious ins, and the next best guy after that is.... maybe Jimmy Rollins? I don't put Rollins in, soooo. Nobody.

Third Base: Third Base is tricky because, like Center Field, the amount of good borderline cases that aren't getting in is high. Scott Rolen is not a borderline case but he looks like he's going to be this generations Ron Santo. Some of the better 3rd Basemen of the last 50 years were just solid hitters but great defenders (Nettles, Ventura, Bell) who are just not gonna get in. So the line here is already skewed. I, personally, give David Wright the nod. He only had 8 years of true prime before injuries ate him, but he was one of the top 5 players in baseball for that 8 year run. So yeah, Wright is my answer here.

Left Field: I'll just keep this one short. It's Lance Berkman. If you argue yes for Albert Belle, Lance Berkman was just a slightly better version who played longer. He didn't hit the quite the homers, but he was better overall hitter and defender.

Center Field: I mean, I think all of Lofton, Edmunds, Beltran, and Jones should be in... and I don't think there borderline. So that screws the math up a bit. If McCutchen can have just one more solid season, I think it's enough for me for him to fit it. Awesome 5 year peak were most people will say he was the best player in the NL for that stretch. I might put him in regardless, but 1 more year as an above average regular does it for me. 

Right Field: Gary Sheffield feels like an obvious pick here. He was a great hitter over a long career. 

Starting Pitchers: Controverisal Answer here: Kevin Brown. 5 year stretch were he was right up there with Clemens, Maddux, Martinez, and Johnson from 96-00. Heck, he beat Maddux, Clemens, and Johnson in ERA and FIP. I view Pettite, Mussina, and Schilling as HOFers and I think Brown was better then any of those 3 in prime. So yeah, Kevin Brown.

Closers: I don't really object to Trevor Hoffman being the floor here. I just think if Hoffman is in Wagner better be too since he's the 2nd best closer baseball has seen behind Rivera.

 

And there we go, my floor in each position.

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Yeah, Joe Carter definitely wasn't a Hall of Famer.  While Joe hit a lot of home runs, including an historic one, due to his low batting average and on base percentage, he was barely above a league average hitter for his career by both OPS+(105) and wRC+(102).  Also, I didn't get to see enough of Joe Carter defensively, but advanced stats didn't care for him as a defender.  This will probably be a surprise, but here is a good article by Jay Jaffe about both Carter and Clark.

Clark is an interesting case because if you looked at his numbers after his first six years, you'd have thought he was going to be a doubt Hall of Famer as he had 915 hits and 146 HR at age 27.  The problem is he only hit 20 HR twice more over the next 9 years and couldn't stay on the field enough, plus the aforementioned early retirement when he was still hitting well--though it was to be with his autistic son so I can't fault the man.  He's definitely a Hall of Very Good type guy.

I think it's going to be interesting in a few years to see what, if any "magic numbers" develop with service time manipulation and the way starting pitcher usage is changing.  How many more pitchers are going to win 300 games?  Sabathia needs 54 wins and he's 37 already, so we're talking what 14 wins a year for four year or 11 wins a year for five years?  Not sure he can make it that long with his diminishing skills and declining health.  Verlander sits at 204 wins, so that's 16 wins a year for six year and he'd be 41 at that point.  Kershaw is 30 and has 153 wins, can he average 15 wins over the next 10 years with his back in the shape it is?  Rick Porcello has 135 wins at age 29, so 16 wins a year for 11 years?  So where does the line eventually settle at, 250 wins?  Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, and Max Scherzer could all hit 250 wins reasonably, but quite a few guys will need another six or seven strong years to reach that.  Maybe we'll move away from wins altogether, which would be fine with me.  Hopefully things like on base percentage and overall offensive contributions through things like wOBA, wRC+, and other advanced stats as well as defense being considered more going forward as the voting base evolves.

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El Dragon, of those borderline guys you metioned, I'd only put in Sheffield. Honestly guys like Berkman, Kinlser, Zobrist shouldn't even make the second ballot. . . .

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From Dragon's list I'd say yes to Mauer, Cano, Utley, Edmonds, Lofton, Beltran, Jones, Sheffield, and Wagner as well as Mussina, Rolen, and Rivera who are no-brainers in my opinion.  The only other that I'd consider is Posey but he probably needs another 5 years or so with at least three of them behind the plate still and above average production.

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29 minutes ago, Kuetsar said:

El Dragon, of those borderline guys you metioned, I'd only put in Sheffield. Honestly guys like Berkman, Kinlser, Zobrist shouldn't even make the second ballot. . . .

Welp, let's break those 3 down a bit.

Lance Berkman was one of the best hitters and players of the 2000-2009 decade. Like, full stop. In the decade he was 6th among all position players in both fWAR (Behind only Rodriguez, Pujols, Bonds, Jones, and Carlos Beltran. All 5 of so, to me, are easy HOF's, and he's just behind Jones and Beltran) and wRC+ (behind Bonds, Pujols, Ramirez, Rodriguez, and Jason Giambi, 4 of which are easy hall picks were as Giambi doesn't get there for me). That's pretty darn impressive. He also had 6 6 WAR seasons in 8 years. Which is... very very good. Also, a big stat for me in evaluating a player is I always give a big bonus if a guy has a career 400 OBP. Berkman hits that mark with a 406, the 10th highest career OBP in the last 50 years. He also by Baseball Reference Hall of Fame tracker shows Berkman as the 20th best Left Fielder in baseball ever, and there have been 20 Hall of Famers inducted into the Hall of Fame as Left Fielders. And he is the first name that appears after the solid list ahead of existing Hall of Famers. He's basically a solid bet for that borderline pick. He might get in, but he certainly deserves a deeper look then 1 ballot and out.

Ian Kinsler is ranked by Baseball Reference as having the 18th best case for the Hall of all 2nd Basemen ever, but the 2nd Basemen list is weird. Bobby Grich not being in the Hall in spite of being one of the top 10 Second Basemen ever, Both Cano and Utley are top 11 and not eligible yet, Whitaker is 13th and should be in but isn't. The only other player ahead of Kinsler not in the Hall is Willie Randolph, who I do think should be in, and there's a bunch of okay guys that are in after that were not as good as Kinsler. As for why Kinsler should be considered, he just been consistently good to great for over a decade, plugging away, constantly above average. He's had had too few truely elite seasons to get in for me (Only one season over 6 WAR, 2011 with 7.2), but he's been a damn good player.

As for Zobrist, his case is weird and hard to find much for historic match for. He's such a fun player to look at. Zobrist didn't make the bigs until 20056when he was 25, and going into 2009 when he was 28 he was worth negative WAR. And then he absolutely exploded. In 2009 Ben Zobrist was the best position player in baseball by fWAR, posting a 8.6, with a 152 wRC+ and playing big plus defense carrying over 6 positions. And while he hasn't reached that level since, he has been a damn good player, averaging 4.4 fWAR a season over his age 28-37 seasons. If he can he has a couple more 3-4 seasons in him, which I'm not expecting, but I wasn't expecting him to put up a 4 WAR season this last year either, he probably puts himself into the top 20 2nd basemen of all time, and he also gets the benefit of being the World Series MVP in the series the Cubs broke there streak. I don't think he gets in, but he is a fucking fascinating case if he finishes his career strong.

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Yes, Eddie Murray's competition for greatest switch hitter is Mickey Mantle. But that's like saying my competition for fastest sprinter is Usain Bolt. Murray was great. He wasn't in remotely the same stratosphere as Mickey. 

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Berkman is an interesting case. Very high peak, but low career total hits (just 1900), and the "every Astros guy was on steroids" taint, even if not proven. I'm not sure he belongs but certainly not an embarrassment if he gets in. 

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Any interest in doing a multiple-choice poll topic? We could vote amongst ourselves, perhaps?

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I hate the Yankees as much as I hate anything on earth and consider them worse than Satan. That said I think anyone who leaves Mariano off their ballot should have it permanently revoked.

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I wish writers would lose their vote for pulling shit like this.  

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Why? I don't see more than five guys on the ballot that are sure hall of famers myself, and that includes the steriod guys. . . . 

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11 minutes ago, Kuetsar said:

Why? I don't see more than five guys on the ballot that are sure hall of famers myself, and that includes the steriod guys. . . . 

No offense, but that just says to me your opinion on this is pretty bad.

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If I had to vote for 10, I could, but I think my “gut” says 7 or 8. 

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19 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

No offense, but that just says to me your opinion on this is pretty bad.

Non taken, coming from a guy that thinks Lance Berkman should be in the hall of fame(LOL).

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Does everyone here think the hall of fame is based purely on performance, or do you take influence/importance into account when making these types of decisions?

I'm asking because I don't think Sammy Sosa is ever getting in, but Sammy Sosa is probably a top 5 most influential baseball players of my lifetime.  He was also really fucking good at his peak.

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On 11/19/2018 at 1:29 PM, RIPPA said:

2019 Ballot Officially out if you want to read a cleaner version than what John posted

https://bbwaa.com/19-hof-ballot/

Thanks! This is much easier to work with than what I posted. 

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On 11/26/2018 at 9:54 AM, El Dragon said:

I'm kinda sad nobody engaged me on a discussion of Kevin Brown being the most under rated pitcher of the last 30 years.

I agree wholeheartedly:

 

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48 minutes ago, Kuetsar said:

Non taken, coming from a guy that thinks Lance Berkman should be in the hall of fame(LOL).

You wanna know why I don't value your opinion most of all? I wrote out a long paragraph explaining why Berkman had a case, others agreed he was a borderline case, and your entire against him was "LOL"

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48 minutes ago, supremebve said:

Does everyone here think the hall of fame is based purely on performance, or do you take influence/importance into account when making these types of decisions?

I'm asking because I don't think Sammy Sosa is ever getting in, but Sammy Sosa is probably a top 5 most influential baseball players of my lifetime.  He was also really fucking good at his peak.

I think fame and "uniqueness" impacts my opinion a bit. I love weird stories that need to be told for history to really "make sense" for the Hall. And, honestly, it's hard to argue against Sosa in terms of A: Impact and B: He has 600 god damn homers. Basically, if you start putting in roid users, Sosa probably has to be in even if the advanced stat case for him isn't nearly as strong as you would think. He averaged about 49 homers a season over a 9 year stretch. That's beyond bonkers. Only player with 3 60 home run seasons I think too.

So yeah, I put both Sosa and McGwire in. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Kuetsar said:

Why? I don't see more than five guys on the ballot that are sure hall of famers myself, and that includes the steriod guys. . . . 

I'd be interested to see those five names, because if that's truly how you feel then hopefully you're happy with the Hall as it is, because there won't be too many players added going forward if you see only five sure fire guys on this list.  I think you're on the extreme end of the "Small Hall" side of things and while I'm not truly a "Big Hall" guy I don't think it's hard to see 10-12 definite Hall of Famers with another 5 to 7 guys with potential cases.  There have been excellent arguments made in this very thread for many different guys by multiple board members.  Are you simply a 3000 hits, 500 HR, or 300 wins or no way guy?  I'm honestly asking.  If that's the case and you only see five guys worthy, the guy voting for only two is pretty much horseshit.  I would have much less issue with someone leaving Rivera off their ballot since he'll get in and using that spot to vote for their 11th choice, but to leave 8 spots blank just screws guys since it takes 75% of the total votes to make it into the Hall.  

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