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On 12/1/2018 at 4:51 AM, Tabe said:

Thing is, Raffy wasn't just a compiler. From 1993 to 2003, he hit 37+ homers every year except the strike season. 

He was tainted by steroids, no question, but he put up big numbers for a long, long time. 

It wasn't so much that he did the roids, it's that he foolishly lied about it over and over again when people were just begging him to tell the truth and move on, but NOOOOOOO... Raffy is apparently one of those guys that gets his jollies from thinking up over-convoluted nonsense that no one with an iota of intelligence would believe for a second and then doubles down on the absurdities for good measure. What can you expect from a guy who is doing the nasty with Ryne Sandberg's wife? C'mon, you guys were both Cubs once-upon-a-time, where's the sacred brotherhood of the South Side? 

So he was a compiler of big numbers?

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Yeah, I would go with that :)

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For what its worth, Rafael Palmeiro is the only person who has 500 HRs who I don't believe is a hall of famer.  He was really good, but his career spanned the period of time when I was obsessed with baseball, and there wasn't a moment where I thought to myself that Rafael Palmeiro was a hall of famer.  He compiled a lot of huge numbers, but I can't think of a single memorable moment.

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On 12/3/2018 at 3:34 PM, supremebve said:

For what its worth, Rafael Palmeiro is the only person who has 500 HRs who I don't believe is a hall of famer.  He was really good, but his career spanned the period of time when I was obsessed with baseball, and there wasn't a moment where I thought to myself that Rafael Palmeiro was a hall of famer.  He compiled a lot of huge numbers, but I can't think of a single memorable moment.

I'm betting the former Mrs. Sandberg can think of a few. (After all, we have the Viagra commercials as testimony.)

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40 minutes ago, OSJ said:

I'm betting the former Mrs. Sandberg can think of a few. (After all, we have the Viagra commercials as testimony.)

So you're saying, when he was pointing his finger in Congress he was subtlely trying to get him to sniff his finger?

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On 12/2/2018 at 12:46 PM, OSJ said:

That's just grotesque; really, no other word at my command fits so perfectly. Is the one logical and perfectly correct pick supposed to make up for the four brain-dead absurdities? Well, it doesn't... The writer that submitted this needs to cover nothing more serious than Roller Derby from now on. 

XFL 2.0

XFL 2: Electric Boogaloo should have its own ridiculous version of Matt Hardy's Matt Facts. 

XFL Fact: NFL stands for No Fun League

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38 minutes ago, supremebve said:

So you're saying, when he was pointing his finger in Congress he was subtlely trying to get him to sniff his finger?

I ain't touching that, nope, uh-uh.

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On 12/1/2018 at 3:31 PM, El Dragon said:

Early Nomination for worst ballot we will get this year

Jon Heyman's is up there - not as bad as that one but still

BTW - if you haven't been following the HOF tracker

There are only 22 public ballots so far but amazingly there are still 2 100% candidates - Mariano and Edgar

Now as a reminder they were the only two names on the one gimmick ballot that has been revealed so far

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Have we mentioned in the thread yet that the HOF removed the public ballot requirement the BBWAA implemented last year? 

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2 hours ago, odessasteps said:

Have we mentioned in the thread yet that the HOF removed the public ballot requirement the BBWAA implemented last year? 

It happened so long ago I think it was mentioned in last year's thread

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5 hours ago, RIPPA said:

Jon Heyman's is up there - not as bad as that one but still

BTW - if you haven't been following the HOF tracker

There are only 22 public ballots so far but amazingly there are still 2 100% candidates - Mariano and Edgar

Now as a reminder they were the only two names on the one gimmick ballot that has been revealed so far

What I want to know is who is the douche that keeps voting for Clemens but not Bonds? Far be it for me to play the racism card, but when you have two of the greatest talents in baseball history, one, arguably the most surly and unpleasant black man to ever play the game and arguably the most surly and unpleasant white man to do so (and boy oh boy does that cover a lot of ground), you have to go "hmmmmm" when just the white dude catches a vote. I suspect either a Texan or Bostonian. 

It saddens me to see that Fred McGriff may have to wait for the Oversight Committee to put him in, but it took me with my understanding of advanced metrics to come around on McGriff until last year and I guarantee you I understand more about what the numbers mean and how that meaning has changed more than most beat writers will ever dream of. If McGriff had been two years younger, he'd have started two years later and thus had two more seasons in the offense-explosion era. He'd easily have over 500HRs and we wouldn't even need to  talk about it, he'd already be in. 

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On 12/3/2018 at 3:34 PM, supremebve said:

For what its worth, Rafael Palmeiro is the only person who has 500 HRs who I don't believe is a hall of famer.  He was really good, but his career spanned the period of time when I was obsessed with baseball, and there wasn't a moment where I thought to myself that Rafael Palmeiro was a hall of famer.  He compiled a lot of huge numbers, but I can't think of a single memorable moment.

I got back into baseball cards in 1987, with Fleer and Donruss being my preferred sets, I don't recall any sense of excitement that I had four or five extra RCs of Raffy. Ten years later, still nothing.... 15 years later, nope, nada, throw 'em in the commons box or put one on front of a grab bag so some kid thinks he's got something until he gets home and sees the bad news in Beckett's.

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I'm not sure Clemens is on the medal stand for most surly white guys; maybe in the live ball era, but he's not above either Hornsby or Cobb(who wasn't as bad as he was made out to be). Add in some notorious racists like Cap anson, and Joe Dimaggio, the preening ass who ruined Mantle's career. 

It is weird someone wouldn't vote for both, Bonds is a no brainer, and if you vote for roids guys, there's no excuse. Fuck racism(in general and in this case). . .

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2 hours ago, RIPPA said:

It happened so long ago I think it was mentioned in last year's thread

Yeah, I recall we were all on the side of "If you won't put your name on you shouldn't have one". Despite the tendency for a few idiots to do protest ballots to get their names out there, I think it would vastly cut down the tomfoolery that goes on.  The thing that the BBWA fail to realize is that voting on the HOF is not their God-given right, it is a privilege currently offered by the HOF (who let's face it is too lazy and understaffed to implement a more logical system.) But when a guy that covers the Red Sawx for some second string paper in Pawtuckett or some damn place gets a vote and guys that actually know their shit like Bill James, Keith Olberman, etc. don't there's something seriously amiss. And yeah, I know Olberman is an insufferable ass, but the guy does know his baseball. The difference is that you currently have many insufferable asses who DON'T know shit about the finer points of the game that are casting votes. 

The system would be improved immeasurably by the adding of oh, say 100 members of SABRE (and yes, I am one); just pull the names out the hat based on applications (surprisingly not everyone in SABRE would even want to have a ballot), and rotate a new group in evry two or three years not to make so unwieldy as changing every frigging year. 

We have lots of advanced tools for measuring players available to us today, some are better for some things than others, it depends a lot on what a player's primary responsibility is. The Keltner List is a good tool to organize your thoughts about a player, not a matter of checking a certain number of boxes to see if he rates in or out. 

Someone touted RBIs as a good tool, well it is, if the player's job was specifically to drive in runs. Let's look at my favorite 3-4-5 hitters in the history of the game that would be the Milwaukee Braves killer line-up of Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, and Bazooka Joe Adcock.  Now Mathews was certainly no slouch when it came to hitting the long ball which he did over 500 times, he batted in the 3-hole and his job was to drive in the 1 and two hitters who had presumably gotten on base. Well, even Eddie wasn't going to hit a double off the wall or a HR everytime out, so who comes up but the man who would become the all-time RBI King, Hammerin' Hank Aaron. Now I've mentioned that Joe Adcock was my favorite player as a very young lad, his RBI total isn't that huge especially when you consider he banged in over 335 HRs he had just over 1100 RBIs. Well really, just what do you expect he was going to see on base after Eddie Fucking Mathews and Hank Fucking Aaron had batted? Poor Joe probably looked at  empty bases more than any other #5 hitter in history. So his job, pretty much came down to solo HRs to pad a lead as his RBI opportunities were simply not all that great. 

Hank Aaron was a great, great player there is absolutely no arguing that, but his RBI total is helped in large measure by batting behind Eddie Mathews? What were you going to do, walk Mathews to pitch to Aaron? Not bloody likely, walk both of them to pitch to Bazooka Joe? A man that hit 336 career HRs? Statistically,  that would have made sense, but you're not going to find a manager in the majors at that time that would risk loading up the bases to pitch to a guy that was just as likely to knock the ball out of the park as he was to ground into a double-play or strike out. It was really a no-win situation for opposing pitchers, their best option was to keep the #1 and #2 hitters off the basepaths and then have some options when facing Mathews. So, what then should those #1 & #2 hitters be evaluated on? RBIs is silly, who exactly were they going to drive in? The pitcher? No, their job was entirely different and Runs Created is a very good way to evaluate a #1 or #2 hitter as that's the essence of their job description.

Okay, I'm thinking of a man with under 100 HRs and barely 1000 RBIs, who is in every possible way a no-brainer choice for the HOF? "What, with such measley power numbers? Are you joking?" No, I'm not joking and anyone that suggests that Rod Carew belongs anywhere but the HOF doesn't know jackshit about baseball. Carew's job was never to be an RBI guy or a longball hitter, though he was quite competent at driving in runs when he had the opportunity to do so, which simply wasn't all that often. Carew's job was to hit safely, be a disruptive fuck threatening to steal on every pitch and in short give the opposing pitcher fits. He did that as well as anyone ever has. If we look at his Runs Created, we start to see the big picture of what made Carew a HOFr. He set the table and did it very, very consistently.  Different spots in the line-up, different ways to evaluate performance... Anyone else want to play?

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46 minutes ago, Kuetsar said:

I'm not sure Clemens is on the medal stand for most surly white guys; maybe in the live ball era, but he's not above either Hornsby or Cobb(who wasn't as bad as he was made out to be). Add in some notorious racists like Cap anson, and Joe Dimaggio, the preening ass who ruined Mantle's career. 

It is weird someone wouldn't vote for both, Bonds is a no brainer, and if you vote for roids guys, there's no excuse. Fuck racism(in general and in this case). . .

Cobb wasn't near as bad as he was made out to be by his biographer and Rogers Hornsby finished his baseball career as a manager for the Seattle Rainiers and by all accounts had mellowed to a "pretty nice old guy". A far cry from the days that a team that he led to the World Series didn't want to give him a cut because they all hated his guts. Cap Anson was a chicken-shit from the word go, his main concern was that superior black players would reduce his team to irrelevancy (and they would have). Dimaggio is the coldest fish of a human being I have ever met. The guy was just reptilian in his demeanor. There's a few people that you can spot right off and just know they are basically a sociopathic creep, Dimaggio was one of those people. 

Clemens is one of the most joyless pricks I have ever had the displeasure of meeting, I only hope that his eventual induction to the HOF gives him as little pleasure as everything else seems to. Clemens is the guy that on being informed he won an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii would bitch because he had to pack. Fuck him. Barry Bonds was certainly not "Mr. Warmth" when I met him, but he was polite, somewhat distant, and only as pleasant as he felt he had to be, but no more was expected. No one goes to a Barry Bonds signing expecting that he's going to pose for pictures with your runny-nosed rugrats climbing all over him. He's the greatest fucking baseball player who has ever lived and if that doesn't entitle you to be somewhat arrogant and aloof, I don't know what does.

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Okay, we have lots of decent baseball minds here we touch on this in the HOF thread, but the discussion often gets lost amid other stuff (like who is actually on the ballot, for an example). How about we list our picks for the HOF, I've broken it down into eras that make sense to me, but I'm certainly open to changing that if a valid argument is put forth for doing so. Here's what I came up with:

Inception to 1900

1900-1930 (The deadball era as we know it)

1930-1946 (We lost lots of top stars to service in WWII, that's the reason for the 1946 date)

1946-1970 (I really thought about a cut-off of 1965, I'm open to suggestions on this)

1970 (or 1965) -1995 that's going to cover all the guys who were on bubblegum cards when you were wee ones. 

Obviously, there is going to be some overlap and no where will it be more prominent than guys who started in the late 1980s early 1990s and may have still been playing just a few years ago. Feel free to include such folk. I figure a max of five selections per era should give us plenty of people to talk about. Is this enough breakdowns, too many? Feel free to comment, nothing is set in stone. I just figure this gives us a good chance to bang the drum for our personal favs. 
 

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Is this just a "Make cases for guys not in the Hall but you think should" game? Cause I'm up for that.

Let's start with the era I will know the most about and that's that 1970-1995 run. I will not mention guys like Kenny Lofton argument even though he kinda sorta fits for obvious reasons. I'll kinda give a quick hit list of players I think might be worth talking about.

Catcher: Ted Simmons, Thurman Munson

1st Basemen: Keith Hernandez, and while he just barely makes this time period, I'll bump a personal favorite in John Olerud

2nd Basemen: Like, do we even need to have the Grich and Whitaker conversation, or can we just say they are both gigantic fuckups by the voters? Outside of them, I think Willie Randolph can be a good discussion point

3rd Base: Graig Nettles might fit into that Grich and Whitaker category or you might view him as a guy who just stuck around forever, but he's probably worth discussing.

Short Stop: I got nobody here. I'll give the voters that they tend to handle Short Stop very well.

Outfield: Honestly, there are more outfielders from this era I think shouldn't be in the Hall that are then the other way around. The 2 big ones are Reggie Smith and Dwight Evans

Pitchers: Rick Reuschel might be the most underrated pitcher of the last half century and talking about him as HOF case would tickle me pink.

 

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Oh good lord...

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6 hours ago, RIPPA said:

Oh good lord...

I just knew that you would love this...

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Dragon:

Nicely done and well-thought out for the "modern" era. I take it that you are OK with my time-lines? Let's start with your catchers as that's a favorite position of mine to discuss because of its overall importance.  First, Ted Simmons, a very interesting case, he had a reputation (somewhat deserved, somewhat not) of being terrible defensively. This is based on a career of leading the league in stolen bases allowed. What it doesn't cover is that while runners ran on Simmons more than any other catcher, they actually weren't very successful at it, Ted had a good arm and was fine defensively. His move to first base was to keep his bat in the line-up and his knees in one piece, not because he was a bad catcher. That's the sort of bullshit story that gets passed around so much people start taking it as gospel. Bill James does a much better job of exploding the myth than I just did, but I don't have a whole book chapter to write about it. 😉 

Another thing with Simmons, his closet comps on BaseballReference.com  come in at 863. and lower, which is to say not really similar at all. And they aren't, the first two are fucking shortstops for chrissakes. Third is Joe Torre and now we're getting somewhere, but Joe comes in at like 803. which isn't very similar at all. This makes sense as the truly great tend to be unique in someway. Ted Simmons is really hard to put in a box because of his versatility, do we count him as a catcher, a first baseman, an outfielder or all three? I think you have to think about Simmons the same way that you would think of Yogi Berra, although Yogi was probably a damn sight better, he did have the advantage of playing on far superior teams with much better pitchers to work with as a catcher. I think if you look at the whole package, Simmons belongs in the HOF. I don't know that he'll ever get there, he was one and done with the BBWA, but that really doesn't mean anything other than more work for the Oversight Committee. 

Thurman Munson: I loathe the New York Yankees with every fiber of my being and have my entire life, but I loved Thurman Munson, who in a self-depreciating way referred to himself as "the fat kid". Well, he was the fat kid that played catcher and I was the fat kid that played short, so I loved me some Thurman Munson, (who I don't think was fat so much as solidly built), but that's neither here nor there. Let's talk about the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, Thurman Munson had a career shortened not by injury, but by fucking death. 

So here's the thing, we have a group of fans saying "Munson was on his way to a HOF career, put him in!" Well, was he? At 32 it was obvious Munson was starting to break down as a catcher, so what would likely happen? He was too slow to move to the outfield, 1st base seems the only real option, but we just don't know. What we do know was that in his tragically-shortened life, Munson was a fine, fine player who falls woefully short of any meaningful HOF stats. As with Tony Conigliaro, we have to look at what he actually did, not what we think he might have done.

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Continuing with your 1st and 2nd base choices. Let's do 2nd base first and get it out of the way. I don't think we're going to find a knowledgeable person on this board that would argue against either Grich or Whitaker, I for one am tired of the conversation. You're right, the BBWA had no fucking idea what they were watching when Grich and Whitaker played. The Trammell/Whitaker double-play duo was as good as any combo in baseball history and Lou was also a holy terror with the bat. Same is true of Bobby Grich, Grich played in a defensivecentric era and still put up nice numbers while playing excellent defense. They both belong in and I actually have every confidence that the Oversight Committee will induct them sooner rather than later. 

So first base, let's talk John Olerud... Yeah, I'm a Seattle boy, so I got to meet John on three separate occasions and a classier act does not walk the face of the earth. A super-nice guy and a credit to not only baseball but his species, just a fantastic person. Yeah, so I love John Olerud as a person and as a baseball player. His 1993 season was a thing of beauty, a fine, fine hitter and excellent defensive player. Was he a HOFr? Well, no, I don't think so. I think he was more in line with Will Clark and Mark Grace, two fine players that any manager would be happy to have, but not HOF caliber. Olerud can sit proudly at the table in the Hall of the Very Good with guys like Mark Grace, Matt Williams, and...

Keith Hernandez... How was that for a nice segue? Hernandez is a tough one... He played in a defensivecentric era for almost his whole career and put up fairly nice numbers for a shortstop or second baseman; problem is that he was a first baseman and we like to see better offensive production from a first baseman. Hernandez has a couple of interesting comps as players, Wally Joyner and Mark Grace are both over 900. as matches which makes them pretty darn similar, and I actually think of Hernandez as very similar to Mark Grace and Will Clark, a really good player by any standard that you want to apply, who falls a little bit shy of being HOF-caliber. "But wait," they scream, "What about his defense?" well, Hernandez was an excellent defensive first baseman, however, shake a tree and you'll have dozens of fine defensive first baseman, I'm not going to make light of the position because it isn't easy to play, but basically if you're not a klutz, you can play adequate defense at first. Hell, even Dr. Strangeglove, Dick Stuart had seasons at first where he didn't make a total ass of himself. SO how much value does an excellent first baseman bring to the table? Certainly an important piece of the puzzle but is being a very good hitter and an excellent defensive player credentials for the HOF? I don't think so, I think that's the road that leads to inducting guys like Will Clark, Mark Grace, Wally Joyner and a host of others that don't belong. I watched Hernandez entire career with a pretty good baseball IQ at the time and not once did I ever think I was watching a HOF first baseman play, I was always of the opinion that I was watching a damn fine player, but I thought the same of Willie Randolph and whole host of other guys who were fine players but not HOFrs. Hernandez to me falls just a bit short in every meaningful way except defense, which I will concede was excellent but as I said, very good with the bat and excellent defense just doesn't measure up, Keith can go sit next to John Olerud at that table in the Hall of the Very Good.

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The thing is Catchers are so hard. People say they are under represented in the Hall of Fame, and I think that's fair, but outside of the true top class (Bench, Carter, Rodriguez, Piazza, Berra, and Fisk), it's kind of just a hodge podge of "Maybe they get in?" Like, any other position the list of 100% obvious inclusions usually goes 10-15 deep and in Catcher it just goes to 6.

I'm sadly getting ready for work, but I will come up with more detailed thoughts on them both shortly.

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Holy shit, 1200 words on baseball and I haven't had breakfast yet! I'm on fire... I have to write about 3500 words on Kirk Mashburn, C. Hall Thompson, David Eynon, and Ewen Whyte for a book I have coming out, so this stuff is just warming me up to go on a writing frenzy. But still, if I can bang out the wordage like that, maybe I should do a baseball book? Phil, would you buy a copy of a full-blown edition of  Throw the Rascals Out?

Hell, I can think of forty guys that really don't belong in the HOF and were I to do 2,500 words on each, and an ending overview dissing current players that have no business on the ballot, there's my 120,000 words, easy-peasy.  I'm thinking I need to pay Kickstarter a visit as well as some heavy traffic baseball groups that I piss off regularly. Heh-heh, 5K and I write the sonofabitch!  Okay, I start the blog with an introduction which people get for free and then every $120 bucks raised gets a new chapter written until we finish, then I make the thing available in hardcover and trade paperback. Damn, this could actually work...

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Bill Freehan. Elite defensive C, plus hitter, MVP candidate on a world champion. You wanna rectify the shortage of catchers in the Hall? Start with Freehan. 

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6 hours ago, Tabe said:

Bill Freehan. Elite defensive C, plus hitter, MVP candidate on a world champion. You wanna rectify the shortage of catchers in the Hall? Start with Freehan. 

Okay, we're friends, you know I have respect for your baseball knowledge, and I know that you have Detroit Tiger blood running in your veins; but Bill Freehan???? You can't fucking be serious. I'll give you excellent defensive catcher, that's true. His bat? He struck out far more times then he walked and while we know batting avg doesn't tell the whole story, .262 doesn't really require a lot more exploration in a guy that barely managed 1500 hits in his career. The only thing Freehan ever led the league in was being hit by pitch; I suppose if we want to start rewarding guys because they are too slow to get out of the way of a fastball, ol' Bill could be an initial pick. He certainly was a fine defensive catcher, but the idea that he was anything else is actually pretty laughable.

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