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The Baseball Hall of Fame Thread

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Dragon sez: "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."

Why yes, yes he is worth discussing as he is one of those guys where you can cherry-pick four seasons (his first two and last two and point at one particular stat (in this case , batting average) and say "Oh, hell no!"  Here's the thing his first four years he was learning his craft, he came into  his own in Cleveland and the Yankees have always been very astute when it comes to grabbing players just on the verge of being superstars. 

It is well known how much I hate the Yankees, but Nettles is one of three modern era players that were exempt from hatred because they were so damn fun to watch. The old-timers will say that Brooks Robinson was the best defensive third-baseman that ever lived. I dunno, I was a little kid when Brooksie was playing and by the time I was watching baseball with a somewhat educated eye he was on verge of retirement. I can say that I never saw Brooks do anything that Ken Boyer or Mike Schmidt couldn't have done just as well.  But Graig Nettles? Hell, if you didn't know that you were seeing something pretty damn special when he played you really are looking without seeing. Graig Nettles is hands down the best defensive third baseman that I have ever seen. If our only criteria is defense, we say case closed and put him in the HOF. However, defense for third baseman is only 50% of the equation, since the advent of the godly Eddie Mathews holding down the hot corner for God's Own Team the Immortal Milwaukee Braves, a third baseman has been supposed to be a power-hitter's position as well. 

Okay, so how does Nettles do there? Pretty damn well, I'd say, over 1300 RBIs and nearly 400 home runs. Yeah, Graig Nettles was no fucking joke when it came to offense. So why isn't he in? Well, this is where the BBWA display a very superficial knowledge of the game and lock in on one statistic and start ringing their hands saying "No, we can't have that!" The stat in question is batting average and Nettles never hit higher than .276, the year he led the league in HRs he was batting a robust .254. Now here's where I get on the soapbox of decrying batting average as relatively unimportant as another favorite of mine might almost be Nettles twin if we look at their careers. And oddly enough this other gent scores over 900. as being the #1 similarity to Nettles offensively of course I'm talking about Darrell Evans, a lifetime .248 hitter. The thing is batting average does not even begin to tell the story when you're looking at players like Nettles and Evans. Both of them drove in quite a few runs (over 1300 each) and Evans accounted for 24 more HRs than Nettles, but essentially they are the same player offensively, they got on base frequently by working the count into a walk, they both hit for considerable power (Evans banged 40 HRs at age forty which was a record at the time). And neither one hit for a high average. Defensively they are quite different to watch but got much the same result. Nettles was as graceful as a gazelle on 3rd, Evans didn't move gracefully, but he played the position with a robotic precision that's hard to match. One was jazz, one was headbanging rock 'n roll but they were both terrific players. I know I spend a good deal of time talking about Ken Boyer as the best third baseman not in the Hall and I'll stand by that, however, Graig Nettles and Darrell Evans would be right behind him. Batting average be damned.

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8 hours ago, OSJ said:

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.

Bill Freehan, OPS+ = 112

Cal Ripken Jr, OPS+ = 112

Freehan Ks - 753
Freehan BBs - 626

He struck out 1.2 times for every walk.  That's hardly "far more" in, again, a dead ball era.  He walked more than he struck out 5 times and had 3 other seasons that were basically equal Ks and BBs.

He was a plus hitter in a dead ball era and an elite defensive catcher.  MVP runner-up in 1968, 3rd in MVP in 1967, 7th in 1964.  

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6 hours ago, Tabe said:

Bill Freehan, OPS+ = 112

Cal Ripken Jr, OPS+ = 112

Freehan Ks - 753
Freehan BBs - 626

He struck out 1.2 times for every walk.  That's hardly "far more" in, again, a dead ball era.  He walked more than he struck out 5 times and had 3 other seasons that were basically equal Ks and BBs.

He was a plus hitter in a dead ball era and an elite defensive catcher.  MVP runner-up in 1968, 3rd in MVP in 1967, 7th in 1964.  

Comparing a catcher with a shortstop to make a point of similar values, you know better than that. I'll grant that he was hardly a slouch when it came to offense, but to tout Bill Freehan as HOF-caliber, I'm just not seeing it. I'm seeing a no questions asked Hall of the Very Good, and I don't think catchers are under-represented in the HOF at all.  If there's a position under-represented, it's going to be 2nd or 3rd base, not catcher. The star catchers of the olden days are all enshrined and once we put in Gary Carter I think the floor was established. If you're better than Gary Carter in you go, if not, please do not apply. And no, I really don't want a discussion wherein I have to advocate Gary Fucking Carter, my debate classes were a long, long time ago. 

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My only question is how Gary Carter, the all timr best catcher by WAR7 and 2nd bedt behind Bench in career WAR and JAWS is your floor. Cause if he is the floor its iffy if Pudge, Piazza, Fisk and Berra should be in, let alone anyone else.

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14 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

My only question is how Gary Carter, the all timr best catcher by WAR7 and 2nd bedt behind Bench in career WAR and JAWS is your floor. Cause if he is the floor its iffy if Pudge, Piazza, Fisk and Berra should be in, let alone anyone else.

Oddly enough, I consider everyone that you listed to actually be better than Gary Carter despite what the numbers say. If you want a real solid floor for catchers, let's go back to Mickey Cochrane. Berra and Ted Simmons are sort of hard to deal with because they were hybrids that played different positions. Craig Biggio was an easy case, despite moving around in positions, he hit the magic number of 3000, which up until Raffy was a ticket to Cooperstown and I'm starting to think that maybe it still should be.  If that means putting Roid-boy Palmiero in the HOF, well then so be it. Like I've said, I never thought "That's a HOFr" when I watched Raffy play, I never thought of Albert Belle as a HOFr either. 

Now sitting back a comfortable distance from their playing days I can easily see the arguments for both players. Just because you don't have that incredible breakout season or lead the league in a major offensive category doesn't necessarily mean anything. Fred McGriff might well be the poster-boy for the steady high production type of hitter. I don't know if Fred had any league-leading seasons (I don't recall  any, but I could be wrong), no he just went along happily banging in 30-35+ dingers and around 100 RBIs every year until he finally flamed out with one bad season that was enough to tell him it was time to quit. 

I'll say it again, I watched Raffy's career and never thought of him as a HOFr, but the damn numbers are right there. Just as I never considered Gary Carter superior in any way shape or form to either Pudge Version 1.0 or Version 2.0, but the numbers are right there. We have to add context to appreciate exactly what those numbers mean and that's where this gets tricky. 

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4 hours ago, OSJ said:

Comparing a catcher with a shortstop to make a point of similar values, you know better than that. I'll grant that he was hardly a slouch when it came to offense, but to tout Bill Freehan as HOF-caliber, I'm just not seeing it. I'm seeing a no questions asked Hall of the Very Good, and I don't think catchers are under-represented in the HOF at all.  If there's a position under-represented, it's going to be 2nd or 3rd base, not catcher. The star catchers of the olden days are all enshrined and once we put in Gary Carter I think the floor was established. If you're better than Gary Carter in you go, if not, please do not apply. And no, I really don't want a discussion wherein I have to advocate Gary Fucking Carter, my debate classes were a long, long time ago. 

The point was to refute your notion that his offense was "laughable". The comparison to Ripken - widely considered an excellent offensive player - was simply to point out the level at which Freehan produced. 

The Hall isn't incomplete without Freehan but he would be a fine addition. 

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Where is John's "Throw them Out" thread again so we can discuss Harold Baines?

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Also - with Smith getting in, the Expos get one last Hall of Famer

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5 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

Where is John's "Throw them Out" thread again so we can discuss Harold Baines?

His stats are borderline but I'm pretty sure the fact that he was the defining figure for a team for close to two decades probably is what got him in. Also the first baseball bat I ever owned was a Haold Baines one.

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I have opinions on this that are not positive. Good on Baines who seems like a great dude, but oof. Will give a more advanced post on my problems shortly.

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These are both terrible selections. Good grief. 

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I'm gonna come up with a list of players who fell off the ballot in there 1st year since Baines first came on the ballot that I think you could make a case for over Harold Baines. Let it be said I value upside a lot more over consistently average

2017: Jorge Posada (17 votes), Magglio Ordonez (3 votes), Edgar Renteria (1 vote), Mike Cameron (0 votes), Derrek Lee (0 votes), J.D. Drew (0 votes)

2016: Jim Edmonds (11 votes, you fucking idiots),  Jason Kendall (2 votes),  Troy Glaus (0 votes)

2015: Carlos Delgado (21 votes), Brian Giles (0 Votes), Jason Schmidt (0 votes)

2014:  Moises Alou (6 votes), Luis Gonzalez (5 votes), 

2013: Kenny Lofton (18 votes, you stupid idiots), David Wells (5 votes), Steve Finley (4 votes), Shawn Green (2 votes), Julio Franco (6 votes)

2012: Brad Radke (2 votes) Tim Salmon (5 votes)

2011: Kevin Brown (12 votes, once more, you guys are silly), John Olerud (4 votes)

2010: Robin Ventura (7 votes), Kevin Appier (1 vote), Ray Lankford (0 votes)

2009: David Cone (21 votes), Matt Williams (7 votes), Mark Grace (22 votes)

2008: Chuck Finley (1 vote), Chuck Knobloch (1 vote)

2007: Bret Saberhagen (7 votes)

This... was a really not good election on Baines. Smith is a whatever choice. He's a closer and figuring out value on closers is hard, and if Sutter is in Smith getting in seems fine. But Baines? Ooh boy Baines is on the short list of worst HOF picks ever. 

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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. 

This is why I'm a firm believer in adding a BBWAA rule:

If you are a BBWAA writer, and you make a ballot this absurd, you must be required to write an article DEFENDING that choice and why you think this guy was a Hall of Famer. 

Because seriously, Placido Polanco is no HOFer...but tell the truth, who wouldn't love to hear that person's argument? THAT is what the discussion should be about.

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For Baines's election- it's a weird one, but again, the bigger point is less the "did Baines deserve it" and more the "it's finally broken the seal" factor.

Whether or not Baines is a HOFer isn't as important as finally, a pure DH is now a Hall of Famer, and given the BBWAA bullshit over "I know it's nearly been 50 years, but we can't have Edgar Martinez in because the DH rule still rustles my jimmies!", it's time. There is no excuses anymore to not put a top-tier DH into the Hall of Fame. That'll do. 

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2 minutes ago, SorceressKnight said:

For Baines's election- it's a weird one, but again, the bigger point is less the "did Baines deserve it" and more the "it's finally broken the seal" factor.

Whether or not Baines is a HOFer isn't as important as finally, a pure DH is now a Hall of Famer, and given the BBWAA bullshit over "I know it's nearly been 50 years, but we can't have Edgar Martinez in because the DH rule still rustles my jimmies!", it's time. There is no excuses anymore to not put a top-tier DH into the Hall of Fame. That'll do. 

Martinez was gonna get in this year regardless, and the voting had already been cast. And Martinez's name would have been on this commitee in 5 years anyway, and if they wanted to put in a DH that bad he would have been in.

 

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2 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

Martinez was gonna get in this year regardless, and the voting had already been cast. And Martinez's name would have been on this commitee in 5 years anyway, and if they wanted to put in a DH that bad he would have been in.

 

That's the point though, even if Martinez somehow doesn't get in, the big point is that if Martinez didn't get it, it'd be painfully clear: We're not going to see a DH elected through the votes until that generation of voters dies out and you're left with, by and large, people young enough to accept the DH rule for what it is. 

It might have been the same for Lee Smith, but at least the voters were dragged kicking and screaming into realizing "maybe 'Closer' is a viable position in the sport", and even THAT is still a question. Look at the discussion about "there's certain guaranteed numbers that make you a Hall of Famer", and yet for pitchers, "300 wins" (a number that is nigh-impossible in the era of 5-man rotations) is still seen as a guaranteed HOF "number"...but for relievers, you HAVE to have been the all-time leader in saves at some point in your career to even be in the discussion (not even "there's a certain amount of saves before consideration- with Smith's HOF induction and since we all kind of know Mariano's a lock, since the save became a bonafide stat, Jeff Reardon is the only person to be all-time leader in saves to NOT be in the Hall of Fame. Not saying he deserved it in the least, but it represents the problem: You have to have been THE BEST closer of all time, at one point, to even get in the discussion.) 

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Poz pointed out that Baines was 134 hits short of 3,000 and was someone effected by the 81, 94 and 95 work stoppages. 

I don’t think he belongs, but I do have a soft spot for someone from the MD eastern shore.

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1 hour ago, Tabe said:

These are both terrible selections. Good grief. 

Bite your tongue, you sour old bastard. 😉 Lee Smith is a fabulous choice, he was a pioneer of the closer position. 

My guess is that they are trying to make the "pioneer" statement about the DH position as well, I'd much rather that they would have waited for Edgar Martinez, who was actually great at the position instead of sticking in Baines who was merely very good for a longass time. 

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2 hours ago, RIPPA said:

Where is John's "Throw them Out" thread again so we can discuss Harold Baines?

That would be the quickest transition ever from induction to outrage. I liked Harold Baines, I have a file of every one of his cards (something I did for players I liked back when owning 1/2 of a cardstore), but then I have files for Graig Nettles and Matt Williams too. The fact that I liked a player has little bearing on whether or not they are a HOFr. 

Baines is a horrible choice, he's not quite Rick Ferrell bad, but more along the lines of Chuck Klein / George Kell level bad. I know Harold Baines is touted as a really nice man, and is well beloved by the city of Chicago, but that's no reason to stick him in the HOF.

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43 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

Poz pointed out that Baines was 134 hits short of 3,000 and was someone effected by the 81, 94 and 95 work stoppages. 

I don’t think he belongs, but I do have a soft spot for someone from the MD eastern shore.

Yeah, he was affected by work stoppages that weren't his fault; but we have to evaluate a player on what he did, not what we think he might have done. Maybe in '81 he gets one of those phantom hits and suffers a career-ending knee injury trying to slide into second. What then?

I'll tell you all exactly why Baines went in this year, it because the Oversight Committee didn't want to get all butt-hurt by the BBWA recognising the DH position before they did. It's obvious that Edgar is going in this year and we have some cranky old bastards that don't want to be upstaged by the "controversy" of the DH position. There is not, nor to my mind has there ever been any controversy about the position, 50% of the teams use it, therefore it is a valid position, end of story. 

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1 hour ago, odessasteps said:

Poz pointed out that Baines was 134 hits short of 3,000 and was someone effected by the 81, 94 and 95 work stoppages. 

I don’t think he belongs, but I do have a soft spot for someone from the MD eastern shore.

Perhaps it should be renamed The Hall of Nice Guys from the MD Shore who Played for the Chicago White Sox? 

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54 minutes ago, OSJ said:

That would be the quickest transition ever from induction to outrage. I liked Harold Baines, I have a file of every one of his cards (something I did for players I liked back when owning 1/2 of a cardstore), but then I have files for Graig Nettles and Matt Williams too. The fact that I liked a player has little bearing on whether or not they are a HOFr. 

Baines is a horrible choice, he's not quite Rick Ferrell bad, but more along the lines of Chuck Klein / George Kell level bad. I know Harold Baines is touted as a really nice man, and is well beloved by the city of Chicago, but that's no reason to stick him in the HOF.

I'm pretty sure at least a couple of us said the same thing about Jack Morris last year. Baines numbers aren't terrible; I wouldn't have put him in, but I think being good for a very long time isn't the worst thing in the world. His BA is a bit low, but nearly 2800 hits and 1600 RBI's is pretty good production. . . .

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2 hours ago, El Dragon said:

I'm gonna come up with a list of players who fell off the ballot in there 1st year since Baines first came on the ballot that I think you could make a case for over Harold Baines. Let it be said I value upside a lot more over consistently average

2017: Jorge Posada (17 votes), Magglio Ordonez (3 votes), Edgar Renteria (1 vote), Mike Cameron (0 votes), Derrek Lee (0 votes), J.D. Drew (0 votes)

2016: Jim Edmonds (11 votes, you fucking idiots),  Jason Kendall (2 votes),  Troy Glaus (0 votes)

2015: Carlos Delgado (21 votes), Brian Giles (0 Votes), Jason Schmidt (0 votes)

2014:  Moises Alou (6 votes), Luis Gonzalez (5 votes), 

2013: Kenny Lofton (18 votes, you stupid idiots), David Wells (5 votes), Steve Finley (4 votes), Shawn Green (2 votes), Julio Franco (6 votes)

2012: Brad Radke (2 votes) Tim Salmon (5 votes)

2011: Kevin Brown (12 votes, once more, you guys are silly), John Olerud (4 votes)

2010: Robin Ventura (7 votes), Kevin Appier (1 vote), Ray Lankford (0 votes)

2009: David Cone (21 votes), Matt Williams (7 votes), Mark Grace (22 votes)

2008: Chuck Finley (1 vote), Chuck Knobloch (1 vote)

2007: Bret Saberhagen (7 votes)

This... was a really not good election on Baines. Smith is a whatever choice. He's a closer and figuring out value on closers is hard, and if Sutter is in Smith getting in seems fine. But Baines? Ooh boy Baines is on the short list of worst HOF picks ever. 

Oh please do, but some of those I might buy, but many are laughable. . . 

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