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4 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

Even worse because Baines is literally an employee of Reinsdorf right now. 

I did not know that. This just went from "stupid choice" to "fucking outrage", why have no writers picked up on this little factoid?

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Taken from Hardball Talk

Quote

So how did Baines get in? I think it’s a freak accident born, perhaps, of the composition of the Today’s Game Committee this year.

The 2018 Today’s Committee consisted of the following people: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Tony La Russa, Greg Maddux, Joe Morgan, John Schuerholz, Ozzie Smith, Joe Torre, Al Avila, Paul Beeston, Andy MacPhail, Jerry Reinsdorf and media members Steve Hirdt, Tim Kurkjian, and Claire Smith.

Three of those people employed and/or managed Baines in his career. Tony La Russa managed Baines from the time Baines broke into the bigs until he left Chicago following the 1986 season. He managed him again in Oakland from 1990-92. Jerry Reinsdorf purchased the White Sox when Baines was was in his second season with the club and signed Baines’ checks during all three of Baines’ tours with Chicago. Reinsdorf felt so highly about Baines that he had Baines’ number retired by the White Sox in 1989, some 12 years before his career was even over. Pat Gillick was the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles and acquired Baines in the summer of 1997, on the way to the O’s winning the AL East title that year. All three of these men owed a great deal of their personal success to Harold Baines’ baseball exploits and, it’s not hard to imagine, all three were eager to see Baines rewarded for what he did in his career.

I have not seen the breakdown of yesterday’s vote — they don’t release it publicly — but I would not be shocked if La Russa, Reinsdorf and Gillick all voted for Baines and if, once they did, they lobbied their fellow voters hard to do so as well. To be absolutely clear, I do not have any problem with that. Voters are entitled to vote their conscience on these things and I have no doubt that, if they did vote for Baines, it was because they truly believed he was worthy. Likewise, the entire point of the committee vote system is for there to be back and forth and interaction among voters. It was their duty to persuade others on the committee to join them in their votes, just as it was the duty of the other members to persuade others of theirs. I’d note, though, that Gillick, La Russa and Reinsdorf are, to this day, three of the more powerful, well-respected and influential men in the game, and perhaps their persuasive powers are particularly strong, so that might’ve helped Baines a bit more than someone else’s support of, say, Lou Piniella helped him.

https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2018/12/10/how-in-the-heck-did-harold-baines-make-the-hall-of-fame/

I had also forgotten that in 2016 - under the old Veteran's Committee rules - Baines along with almost the entire same group of people wasn't voted in.

So yeah - it really really really looks like it was a perfect storm of new committee rules combined with very powerful pro-Baines folks on the committee.

Basically it is now the NFL Hall of Fame where Dr. Z decided who did or did not make it in for a really long time

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14 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

Taken from Hardball Talk

https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2018/12/10/how-in-the-heck-did-harold-baines-make-the-hall-of-fame/

I had also forgotten that in 2016 - under the old Veteran's Committee rules - Baines along with almost the entire same group of people wasn't voted in.

So yeah - it really really really looks like it was a perfect storm of new committee rules combined with very powerful pro-Baines folks on the committee.

Basically it is now the NFL Hall of Fame where Dr. Z decided who did or did not make it in for a really long time

Thanks for this, good read. Am I  correct in thinking that next year we get both "Early Baseball" and "Golden Days"?

I'm sure that the former will cause my bile and venom to spew as far as I'm concerned every possible pioneer of the game has been inducted and it makes no sense to keep lowering the bar just so they can show off a picture  of some drunk bastard with a handlebar mustache. 

Now "Golden Days" could be fun, I'm old enough that I got to see some of these guys as a kid and had older cousins talk about the players they idolized. You know I'm on the Ken Boyer bandwagon, but another name that my cousins always brought up was Vern Stephens. I guess he was somewhat of an asshat, but God damn, look at some of those seasons and the guy was a fucking shortstop!

 

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Actually they are going back to the Modern Era (1970 - 1987) next year again

Golden meets once every five years

Early meets once every 10 years

The alternate between Modern and Today's all the other times

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9 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

Actually they are going back to the Modern Era (1970 - 1987) next year again

Golden meets once every five years

Early meets once every 10 years

The alternate between Modern and Today's all the other times

So, if I understand the rules correctly, if Fred McGriff drops off the current ballot (as seems likely, damn it), he'll be eligible for consideration by the Modern Era Committee since his career began in 1986?

BTW: Early could meet once every fifty years from now on and that would be about right. There might be one or two guys they've overlooked but that era is over-represented that it has become ridiculous. High Pockets Kelly, my Irish ass.

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4 minutes ago, OSJ said:

So, if I understand the rules correctly, if Fred McGriff drops off the current ballot (as seems likely, damn it), he'll be eligible for consideration by the Modern Era Committee since his career began in 1986?

No - McGriff would be Today's Era

The Hall of Fame's phrasing is "whose greatest contributions to the game were realized (insert date range here)"

That's why Harold Baines was in Today's Era not the Modern Era (since he had 14 years in Today and 8 in Modern)

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On 12/9/2018 at 7:20 PM, SorceressKnight said:

Whether or not Baines is a HOFer isn't as important as finally, a pure DH is now a Hall of Famer,

A "pure DH" who played more than 1000 games in the outfield.

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On 12/9/2018 at 8:14 PM, OSJ said:

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

Bullcrap.  He wasn't a pioneer of the 2-3 inning closer - that was Gossage, Fingers, and Sutter.  He wasn't a pioneer of the 1-inning closer - that was Eckersley.  

You wanna get in as a modern closer?  You better have multiple years where you're unhittable.  Smith had one - 1983.  Smith had a career WHIP of 1.25.  You know how many relievers from prior to 2004 were better than that?  24.  That's among guys with 1000+ IP and at least 300 games in relief.  That includes luminaries like Don McMahon and Doug Jones.

He pitched a long time.  Sometimes he pitched well.  But he didn't pitch well for a long time or REALLY well for even a short stretch of more than a year.

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18 hours ago, SorceressKnight said:

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."

While I like your question, and think it makes a fine addition to the discussion, there is a far more elegant way to eliminate this argument; which is an argument that I think has some merit.

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6 hours ago, DangerMark said:

While I like your question, and think it makes a fine addition to the discussion, there is a far more elegant way to eliminate this argument; which is an argument that I think has some merit.

Honestly, normally I would say that there's some merit for "well, Bonds isn't in, and Bonds may be the best player of all time...so if he's not in the Hall, then every other player shouldn't be in the Hall AND they should kick every single player in the Hall out", except for the bigger problem:

It's not that Barry Bonds isn't in the Hall of Fame because of the MLB banning him for what he (probably) did, where people can assume "yeah, Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame, but, you know, he bet on baseball." Rather, Bonds isn't in the Hall because the BBWAA are a bunch of sanctimonious douchebags who don't deserve to have their vote and would rather "tsk, tsk" the steroid era players so they can look like they're so morally superior, even though equivalent things would never be allowed (the BBWAA would never go along with "Okay. No PED user can be in, but if you ever had a drug conviction- including DUIs- you lose your Hall of Fame vote, and if you were ever caught plagiarizing someone, you lose your HOF vote. Good for the players, good for you.") 

That has to be why the argument has to be kicked out- this is not just a "well, Pete Rose isn't in, and Ichiro wasn't as good a hitter as Pete Rose, so how can we induct Ichiro?", or even the equally bullshit "well, Babe Ruth didn't get 100%, so no player should ever ever ever get 100%" argument that somehow managed to take the perfectly respectable "Look, I had 11 guys i think should be Hall of Famers. We all knew this guy was getting in, so I chose to vote for my 11th pick to keep him on the ballot" and turn it into holier-than-thou bullshit", and went to outright "This guy SHOULD have been in long ago if not for THESE ASSHOLES." 

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Yeah, I know. I agree totally. Either MLB needs to make a clear unambiguous statement saying that Bonds isn't eligible (a la Pete Rose,) or the voters need to get their heads out of their asses. 

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7 hours ago, DangerMark said:

Yeah, I know. I agree totally. Either MLB needs to make a clear unambiguous statement saying that Bonds isn't eligible (a la Pete Rose,) or the voters need to get their heads out of their asses. 

Or they change the composition of the voters by adding a group of say, 100 SABRE members...  MLB would never dare say that Bonds or Clemens is ineligible, the Players Union would have a fit (and rightly so). 

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30 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Or they change the composition of the voters by adding a group of say, 100 SABRE members...  MLB would never dare say that Bonds or Clemens is ineligible, the Players Union would have a fit (and rightly so). 

Hell, if you're doing that, do the other obvious thing: when this generation of players is off the HOF ballot, just declare "1987-2003: The PED Era" and make it a whole new era for the Veteran's Committee, dedicated just to that era of players.

Personally, I'd add to the composition by, similar to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Add a Fans' Vote to the mix. 

Public ballot, all the players. Any player who gets a simple majority of the fans' vote is considered "voted on" by the fans, even if that's more than 10 players who do so.

The fans' vote is considered equal to 5% of the vote. On the upside, that means a player who gets 70% of the BBWAA vote and passed the fans' vote gets into the Hall of Fame. On the downside, the more important thing: If the fans get a simple majority for a player, even if no BBWAA voter votes for that player, that means they remain on the ballot next year. 

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3 hours ago, SorceressKnight said:

Hell, if you're doing that, do the other obvious thing: when this generation of players is off the HOF ballot, just declare "1987-2003: The PED Era" and make it a whole new era for the Veteran's Committee, dedicated just to that era of players.

Personally, I'd add to the composition by, similar to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

Add a Fans' Vote to the mix. 

Public ballot, all the players. Any player who gets a simple majority of the fans' vote is considered "voted on" by the fans, even if that's more than 10 players who do so.

The fans' vote is considered equal to 5% of the vote. On the upside, that means a player who gets 70% of the BBWAA vote and passed the fans' vote gets into the Hall of Fame. On the downside, the more important thing: If the fans get a simple majority for a player, even if no BBWAA voter votes for that player, that means they remain on the ballot next year. 

This actually makes a lot of sense. Maybe I'm somewhat an elitist (oh fuck it, there's no maybe about it), so I naturally gravitate to the idea of having the voting body comprised as much possible by people who know their shit. Hence, my suggestion of SABR members. You have to really love baseball, be statistically inclined, and pay membership dues to belong. That eliminates the casual fan voting for Kent Hrbek, because he was their favorite player as a kid and similar nonsense. 

What you suggest is great in that it stimulates interest in HOF, while remaining a small enough percentage to eliminate tomfoolery, which we have enough of from the BBWA as it is. I still like the idea of adding a panel of "experts" from SABR, as the more knowledgeable the voting body is, the better. I can guaranfuckingtee you that no SABR committee would have inducted Harold Baines.

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We're going to have a hall of fame with Lee Smith and Harold Baines, but no Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Alex Rodriguez, Curt Shilling, Sammy Sosa or Manny Ramirez.  

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I guess I'll join OSJ on having zero problems with Smith in the Hall. He's a top 5 reliever ever by Fangraphs WAR, and the only 4 ahead of him (Rivera, Gossage, Fingers, Hoffman) are all in. I think No.6 on the relievers list (Wagner) should get in too, but that's basically my personal line. I don't get the "Smith obviously wasn't good enough" when he was better then Sutter who is already in.

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13 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

I guess I'll join OSJ on having zero problems with Smith in the Hall. He's a top 5 reliever ever by Fangraphs WAR, and the only 4 ahead of him (Rivera, Gossage, Fingers, Hoffman) are all in. I think No.6 on the relievers list (Wagner) should get in too, but that's basically my personal line. I don't get the "Smith obviously wasn't good enough" when he was better then Sutter who is already in.

Honestly, I'm not going to bitch and moan about Smith in the hall, but he's right there with Rafael Palmeiro with guys who were good for a long time, put up numbers worthy of the hall of fame, and did it in a way that didn't make a single person think, "I'm watching a hall of famer."  I know it is hard to define, but I think a hall of famer should have some sort of aura.  There needs to be at least a moment in their career where you were rooting for or against him and you were 100% confident that he was going to get the job done.  Do you remember how you felt when Manny Ramirez* came up to bat in the 2004 playoffs?  I don't care who you were rooting for, when Manny came up to bat you were not changing the channel.  It felt like there was a chance to see something special every time he came up to bat.  Did you ever feel that way about Lee Smith or Harold Baines?  I'm not an odds maker, but I'd be willing to give 10-1 odds that you didn't.

*For what its worth, it is pretty clear when Manny starts juicing.  Manny was a hell of a hitter his entire career, but he turned into Barry Bonds in 2008 playoffs. He was showing signs of decline, but all of a sudden he was the most dangerous hitter in the game.  Look at his 2008 post season numbers in comparison to the numbers he put up when he was World Series MVP.

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I'm glad Lee Smith is in because my name is Lee. More Lee's please. There's literally no other consideration needed.

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2 hours ago, El Dragon said:

I guess I'll join OSJ on having zero problems with Smith in the Hall. He's a top 5 reliever ever by Fangraphs WAR, and the only 4 ahead of him (Rivera, Gossage, Fingers, Hoffman) are all in. I think No.6 on the relievers list (Wagner) should get in too, but that's basically my personal line. I don't get the "Smith obviously wasn't good enough" when he was better then Sutter who is already in.

Well, Sutter wasn't good enough either - but he was better than Smith.  Better ERA, better ERA+, better WHIP, more high-end seasons, a Cy Young, etc.

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I869-1900: I got no one and really think that the book should be closed on this period.

1900-1930: Ditto, when you're putting in guys like Ray Schalk, Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers it's time to move on.

1930-1946: There are still some viable candidates from this period, I would suggest Bob Johnson as someone who deserves a closer look. This is a period that now relies pretty heavily on SABR members as there are not a lot of folks around who actually saw any of these guys play unless they started in the 1940s and played into the 1950s, and even so, I was born in 1957 so anyone that saw any of these players during the time period I'm suggesting is getting up there in years. I would suggest that contemporary newspaper accounts and quotes from active players at the time goes a long way to supplementing raw numbers. For years there were several of us (including Bill James) who were banging the drum for Yankees 2nd baseman Joe Gordon. Well, he finally made it, so perhaps the next player from this era should be "Indian" Bob Johnson. He's borderline and has been dead many years, and I don't know about whether or not he has grandchildren or other relatives that are around to appreciate the honor, so barring that, I'm not going to wail that keeping him out is a crime, but putting him in certainly doesn't hurt anything. 

1946-1970 : Tabe has suggested Bill Freehan. I give you Ken Boyer. Oddly enough, the discussion of 1960s players used to revolve around Tony Oliva and I hardly hear him mentioned these days, likely because anyone that saw him play is in their 60s or older. I don't think he belongs and I'm not as sold on Freehan as Tabe is, but I'll concede that he's a better choice than I initially thought:

1970 (or 1965) -1995 : Okay, we've done Keith Hernandez to death, I don't think we need to all sing the praises of Lou Whitaker and Bobby Grich, they are both bonafide HOFrs and keeping them out is a crime. So let me give my three guys from the more or less modern era:

Darrell Evans, Dave Parker, Dwight Evans.  I'll be back with Keltner lists for all three.

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Incidentally, among 60s guys, Ken Boyer would be my #1 pick for the Hall.  I can't fathom why he's not already in.

Dick Allen would be another though I totally get why he's not in already.

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On 12/13/2018 at 1:58 PM, Tabe said:

Incidentally, among 60s guys, Ken Boyer would be my #1 pick for the Hall.  I can't fathom why he's not already in.

Dick Allen would be another though I totally get why he's not in already.

Well, I can think of two reasons that Boyer isn't in and they aren't good reasons... Their names are George Brett and Mike Schmidt. The sad thing is BBWA completely ignored context, and just deemed Boyer inferior. They have never known what to make of the 3rd base position and can't seem to grasp the idea that it's a 50/50 proposition, so Graig Nettles and Darrell Evans get the stinkeye too.

Dick Allen's stats would seem to merit inclusion. Bill James makes a pretty good argument for Allen sabotaging most of his teams with his antics. I can see that, Albert Belle was/is an asshole, but he was an asshole that helped Cleveland win ball games, Dick Allen was a jerk that caused his teams to implode.  Far as I'm concerned, he can sit outside Cooperstown till doomsday. 

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