Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
LethalStriker

The Baseball Hall of Fame Thread

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Kuetsar said:

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. . . .

This is the other reason- it goes back to the same thing from a few pages back of the "magic number stats"- if you have X number, you're probably a Hall of Famer. The 3000 hits, 500 home runs, 300 wins, 1500 RBIs (more than sounds), etc. are a level of importance...and if you put stock in magic numbers, suddenly that hits/RBI number in comparison to other contenders makes it clear "oh shit, Harold Baines is on the short list of best eligible players not in the Hall of Fame!"

So, in addition to the "first DH in the Hall" thing, Harold Baines going in has to be seen as a great example of how magic numbers don't mean as much compared to context. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone using hits or RBI's to justify Baines in the hall is being silly. He was a supposed great hitter who never hit 30 home runs in a season, who only had 100 RBI's 4 times in his career. All he did was be a solid starter but not overly good player for a long period of time. We were arguing if Rafael Palmero should get in because nobody ever viewed him as one of the best players in baseball. But he was sure as hell a lot better then Harold Baines was to an insane degree. Baines only led the league in a stat once in his entire career: Slugging Percentage in 1984. He never finished higher then 9th in an MVP race, and he didn't get an MVP vote at any point in the last 14 years of his career. 

So the base stats other then just counting make Baines look like a bad candidate, but the advanced stats make Baines just look horrific. By career WAR from Baseball Reference, he ranks 58th among Right Fielders all time, behind names such as David Justice, Reggie Sanders, and Paul O'Neil. He is tied with Juan Gonzalez, and Magglio Ordonez on this one. Fangraphs WAR has him at 68th, even worse, and he's set to be passed by Justin Upton this year. 

WAR 7, which basically takes the best 7 year run of a players career and puts them into a number to make it easier to compare other players primes is just flat out brutal to Baines as well. Baines, by there scoring, was only at 21.4 WAR in his best 7 year stretch. That is a very very mediocre 3 WAR per season, which basically just puts you at "solid starter" ranking by the average WAR mindset. That is 105th among all Right Fielders all time. That puts him behind players like Josh Reddick, Jermaine Dye, Nick Swisher, and god damned Trot Nixon. If your best 7 year stretch can't match Trot Nixon's best 7 year stretch, you aren't a Hall of Famer. The End.

Also JAWS at the end of the day, which is basically a combined number from WAR and WAR 7, has Baines as the 75th best Right Fielder of all time, just behind Brian Jordan and Shin-Soo Choo. 

This isn't even going into arguably my favorite stat thing against Baines. Someone came up with the clever idea of modifying career WAR to a Stat called WAA. Basically, WAR means Wins Above Replacement, for those who don't know. Replacement Level is the point were you can basically pick up a random free agent and get about the same type of production for next to nothing. But going above Replacement isn't super useful for higher caliber players. WAA is Wins Above Average. It takes what the Average production is from an average starter at that time and takes the math of value off of that. Basically, the floor raises a good deal. It great at basically "punishing" compiliers: Players who stick around just adding stats while not being particularly great during that period. As an example, Babe Ruth was worth 172 WAR in his career, but taking out the excess, WAA has him at 140.5. It basically moves the goal posts to change for excess. As an example on why this is good to evaluate elite players like this, Carl Yastrzemski is at 88.4 career WAR were as Joe DiMaggio is at 83.6. But WAA cuts out a lot of Yastrzemski's excess seasons to DiMaggio's excellent ones. Yastrzsemsi's WAA is 46.3, were as DiMaggio's is 63.8

A good basline for this is, if you have more then 100 WAA, you are on Baseballs Mount Rushmore (Ruth, Bonds, Cobb, Mays, Wagner), if you are 80 or above you are one of the 20 best ball players ever (Musial, Gehrig, Mantle as examples), if you are 60 or above you are a sure fire no doubt about it HOFer unless other shit is involved (DiMaggio, Pujols, Eddie Matthews, Joe Morgan), 40 you are probable HOF lock, barring voters being idiots (Griffey, Yount, Larkin, Bobby Grich, Jim Edmonds), 30 is where I would say you are no longer a HOF lock but someone who is most likely going to get in (Biggio, McCovey, Raines, Scheffield), and 20 is what I view as the "Starting Point for HOF discussion" were you can kinda start talking about the player in HOF context, but on if you think they deserve it is much more open to all sorts of context arguments (Dave Winfield, Fred McGriff, Luis Aparicio, Kirby Puckett), 10 is "Probably Not a Hall of Famer unless the voters do something really weird" territory (Julio Franco, Omar Vizquel,  Steve Finley, and Red Scheondist). 

I wrote these paragraphs for 2 purposes: 1 it's a really fun stat more baseball nerds should look into for this type of stuff. It's not an end all be all but it makes a fun reference point. And 2: Because Harold Baines, who just got elected to the Hall of Fame, ranked up a whopping 1.8 WAA in his career. Over a 22 year career he was only worth about 2 wins above the average starting Right Fielders/DH's of his time. And he just got elected to the HOF. That's not great.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poz brought up an interesting point about this committee and presumably the HOF mindset. The only change to the names on the list this time was adding Joe Carter and removing McGuire. And he read off the list of people on the committee and none were known to be heavily sabermetrically oriented, even the writers on there (Kirkjian and Claire Smith). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I posted this last night but it works better in the context of Mark's post

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and just regarding the vote total - what I saw last night was

Lee Smith got all 16 votes

Baines got 12 of the 16 (you needed 12 to get in)

Lou Pinella got 11 votes

No one else got more than 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, El Dragon said:

Point some out.

*sighs* Okay, Chucky Knoblauch and Ray Lankford should provide for an amusing discussion. Now our criteria is comparing these guys to Harold Baines, right? As you know, I'm no fan of Baines getting in HOF, but if I have to choose who I have at bat needing to drive in the winning run, I'm going to be much more confident in Baines than either of these jabronis. Though truth to tell, I'd hopefully have someone on the bench better than Baines for this situation as you can't steal 1st base.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At work so can't go into extreme detail, but if you took Baines at any point over Chuck Knobloch in 97 (344 average, 448 OBP, while playing a solid 2nd base, 8.7 WAR) then I have some serious questions for you. I know he is most famous for the Yips destroying his career, but his best comparison through his age 27 season is Rod Carew. His 7 year peak (38.7) almost matches Baines career WAR (38.8) and his 3 year peak (22.2) beats Baines 7 year peak (21.4)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

At work so can't go into extreme detail, but if you took Baines at any point over Chuck Knobloch in 97 (344 average, 448 OBP, while playing a solid 2nd base, 8.7 WAR) then I have some serious questions for you. I know he is most famous for the Yips destroying his career, but his best comparison through his age 27 season is Rod Carew. His 7 year peak (38.7) almost matches Baines career WAR (38.8) and his 3 year peak (22.2) beats Baines 7 year peak (21.4)

Oh, I agree. Chuck was stellar when he started out and those were the years that I owned a cardshop and I made a lot of money selling Chuck Knoblauch RCs. A really sad case, he was on his way to being one of the best ever. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

 

Could have told you who Player C was without looking as that's a stat line I have memorized. It's not really a crime to keep Dwight Evans out, but he certainly wouldn't besmirch the HOF's cred the way that Baines does. Rusty Staub was a terrific player on horrible teams, I don't necessarily advocate inducting him, but there have been far worse choices. 

3rd Base is still woefully underrepresented and Ken Boyer and Darrell Evans are RIGHT THERE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You bet your ass I think Keith belongs. He was the key turning point in what was one of the worst organizations ever winning it all 3 years later. His number not being retired is another reason the Wilponzis suck. But here's a candidate I think is overlooked: Joan Payson. OSJ would probably know if she was the first female majority owner of a MLB team but she would have to be among the first. Prior to that she was a minority owner of the Giants and unsuccessfully fought to stop the team from being moved.  I would think she has a case as a pioneer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, sabremike said:

But here's a candidate I think is overlooked: Joan Payson. OSJ would probably know if she was the first female majority owner of a MLB team but she would have to be among the first.

Grace Comiskey owned the White Sox from 1940-1956.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, let's do the Keltner List Thing for Hernandez and perhaps one for Bill Freehan (who on second appraisal has a lot more going for him than I would have thought.) There's no scoring to this thing, it's just a tool to objectively organize your thoughts on a player. So without further ado, Keith Hernandez:

1. Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?

No, the very idea is silly. 

2. Was he the best player on his team?

Now we're getting somewhere. 

3. Was he the best player in baseball at his position? Was he the best player in the league at his position?

Hernandez is widely considered the best defensive 1B of his time if not all-time. No question but that was the best in the NL.

4. Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?

Just one, really. 

5. Was he a good enough player that he could continue to play regularly after passing his prime?
Hernandez played 17 years, 14 of those he was a force to reckon with. His last three years were not pretty to watch.

6. Is he the very best player in baseball history who is not in the Hall of Fame?

As long as Barry Bonds sits outside itis impossible to answer this positively for any player. Okay, leaving aside the roid guys, how does Keith measure up? I would contend that Bobby Grich, Ken Boyer, & Darrell Evans all have much stronger cases just off the top of my head. 

7. Are most players who have comparable career statistics in the Hall of Fame? 

No, none of his top ten comps are in and only one (Mark Grace) has ever been suggested as a HOFr and that was pretty quickly dismissed.

 8. Do the numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

No, they do not.

9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

Now here's where it gets interesting. What Keith brings to the table is lots and lots of defense and (dare I say it) Veteran Presence. 

Defensive statistics are still in their infancy, but based on what we have to work with and contemporary thinking, Keith is in the conversation for best defender all-time at the position. Now here's where I get a bit snarky, I've played the game certainly not at anything approaching a professional level, but for holding my own with guys that played high school or even some college ball (not at major universities) that were 10-15 years younger I was no joke. My position is SS, but there were a few games right before I called it quits at around 52, that I played 1st. It really isn't that complex. At the major league level 75% of the job is catching a ball thrown to you accurately by a professional baseball player who gets paid a shit-ton of money to do that very thing. The other 25% is getting front of grounders hit in your direction, now this is a bit harder, but it's been demonstrated over the years that your average lumbering oaf can play adequate 1B. So how much credit do we extend to someone like McCovey or Hernandez for being sublime at the position?

10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame but not in?

No, he is not. Fred McGriff is better in every possible way except possibly defense and there we're talking the difference between very, very good and great, and you need to show a lot more to make up a disparity of 330HRs

11. How many MVP-type season did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

Hernandez won a well-deserved MVP, was runner-up once and seriously mentioned (top10) two more times. Four other times his name was mentioned without getting any traction.

12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the other players who played in this many games get in? Five and not necessarily,  every team has to be represented by somebody. 

13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

Well he was and they did. No question but that Hernandez led the 1982 Cards to the WS. He was back as a member of the 86 Miracle Mets, but the less said about that, the better.

14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? We he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? did he change the game in any way? No to all.

15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider? I suppose that depends on views regarding illicit  drugs.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Crime Dog was also affected by work stoppages. He probably has his 500 home runs if not for them.  Where's his sympathy? 

Good point! Ithink McGriff gets in, it may take the oversight committee to make it happen, but I think eventually he gets there. It would be nice if they do it while he's around to enjoy it, he's only 55, so maybe they've got some time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave Sheinin in the Washington Post points out:

Quote

Baines, however, appears to have benefited from his close ties to three of the executives on the committee: longtime Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, for whom Baines played for 14 seasons; former manager Tony La Russa, who had Baines in Chicago and Oakland; and longtime general manager Pat Gillick, who had him in Baltimore in 1997 and 1998.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, dogwelder said:

Dave Sheinin in the Washington Post points out:

 

I figured Kirkjian would be in that group too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed with @El Dragon 's  points on Baines, but that's also partially my point.

With the prior examples from earlier in the thread of "There's certain magic numbers that guarantee election if you hit this arbitrary point", Harold Baines getting in should obliterate the argument of "they hit this magic number, they're a Hall of Famer!" forever and move to context. 

Out of context, Baines hitting magic numbers and coming close to the magic number in hits makes him one on paper- but in practice, if you know the context it's an idiotic decision. This should be Exhibit A for "Context Matters" and be the final nail in the coffin for guys like Palmeiro, who hit the magic numbers but weren't Hall of Fame-level players even independent of the BBWAA having their heads up their asses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, OSJ said:

6. Is he the very best player in baseball history who is not in the Hall of Fame?

As long as Barry Bonds sits outside itis impossible to answer this positively for any player. Okay, leaving aside the roid guys, how does Keith measure up? I would contend that Bobby Grich, Ken Boyer, & Darrell Evans all have much stronger cases just off the top of my head. 

15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider? I suppose that depends on views regarding illicit  drugs.

 

The Keltner List for Hernandez helps with a modern question with these two as a potential modern day new question to add:

16. What are the most relevant "knocks" on this player for why they wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame? Are these knocks statistically-based (one or two particularly weak statistics for their career), narrative-based (say, for example, a player like Bill Buckner being radioactive due to the 1986 World Series goat position), self-inflicted (like, for example, Hernandez's cocaine usage, or perhaps a player who was a notable asshole to the media/other players),  or "the game marches on" things (i.e. players who were a closer/DH, players who played for the Colorado Rockies and thus played 81 games in high-altitude Denver, players who used PEDs or played in an era with people who did, etc.)?  Have any similar players who have this same "knock" on them made the Hall of Fame? Ultimately, is there any proof to a rumor that the player had received a raw deal during the voting process?

 

This will probably be a benefit to see "What negatives they had, and if they're still HOF-worthy with those", as well as eliminate the "well, Bonds isn't in, so by that argument NO PLAYER should ever make it into the HOF ever again."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another negative: “have they entered mainstream popular culture due to appearing on a blight of a television program?” ;) 

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SorceressKnight said:

The Keltner List for Hernandez helps with a modern question with these two as a potential modern day new question to add:

16. What are the most relevant "knocks" on this player for why they wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame? Are these knocks statistically-based (one or two particularly weak statistics for their career), narrative-based (say, for example, a player like Bill Buckner being radioactive due to the 1986 World Series goat position), self-inflicted (like, for example, Hernandez's cocaine usage, or perhaps a player who was a notable asshole to the media/other players),  or "the game marches on" things (i.e. players who were a closer/DH, players who played for the Colorado Rockies and thus played 81 games in high-altitude Denver, players who used PEDs or played in an era with people who did, etc.)?  Have any similar players who have this same "knock" on them made the Hall of Fame? Ultimately, is there any proof to a rumor that the player had received a raw deal during the voting process?

 

This will probably be a benefit to see "What negatives they had, and if they're still HOF-worthy with those", as well as eliminate the "well, Bonds isn't in, so by that argument NO PLAYER should ever make it into the HOF ever again."

#16. Is absolutely a great idea. I think "What were this player's negatives and what players with the same negatives are already in?" Pretty much does it, don't you think?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, OSJ said:

#16. Is absolutely a great idea. I think "What were this player's negatives and what players with the same negatives are already in?" Pretty much does it, don't you think?

I agree that this does it, but I went in depth because we can both agree: Negatives are not all created equal. We can agree that, for example from the recent HOF inductions: Harold Baines's "he had incredibly low WAA and WAR ratings" is different from "Sammy Sosa used steroids", which is different from "Bill Buckner was unfairly blamed for losing the 1986 World Series", which is different from "Barry Bonds wasn't a particularly nice guy". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SorceressKnight said:

I agree that this does it, but I went in depth because we can both agree: Negatives are not all created equal. We can agree that, for example from the recent HOF inductions: Harold Baines's "he had incredibly low WAA and WAR ratings" is different from "Sammy Sosa used steroids", which is different from "Bill Buckner was unfairly blamed for losing the 1986 World Series", which is different from "Barry Bonds wasn't a particularly nice guy". 

Oh, I agree that not all negatives are equal and something along this line is a good tool to see where everyone's head is at in a discussion and agree or disagree accordingly.

For example, Rogers Hornsby was such an arrogant blunt-spoken prick and handy with his criticism of teammates that even after he led his team to victory in  the World Series they didn't want to give him his share. Now for another great, Tris Speaker was acrd carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan and rather proud of it.

Well, that pretty much covers how negatives  can be used. In Hornsby's case, I could care less, nobody was paying him to be a nice guy, they were paying him to arguably be the greatest right-handed hitter who ever lived.

Speaker's racism and general outlook is appalling, but baseball was filled with good 'ol boys from the South (and North) who felt the same way, for every Pee Wee Reese and Gil Hodges (two white dudes that went out of their way to show support for Jackie Robinson), there were likely a dozen players muttering the n-word under their breath.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, odessasteps said:

I figured Kirkjian would be in that group too.

It gets worse, word has it that Reinsdorf lobbied hard for Baines the entire voting period. So this is very much a case of Frank Frisch-like cronyism at work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...