Skip to content

My imaginary Hall of Fame ballot

Dec 1, 2011, 8:42 AM EST

Tim Raines

The Hall of Fame ballot came out yesterday. One does not get to vote unless one has been a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America for a decade. I am not a BBWAA member, of course, so my voting will have to be imaginary. That’s OK, though, I do a lot of pretend things.  Anyway, if I had a ballot, here would be my slate:

Barry Larkin
Jeff Bagwell
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell

The Shortstops

Trammell and Larkin should be no-brainers. Superior defensive shortstops who, it just so happened, also happened to be superior-to-elite hitters through much of their careers. We got spoiled by the brief shining moment in the 1990s and early 2000s when some shortstops hit 40 homers and batted .350, but that’s a crazy-aberration. A-Rod in his prime is not the standard for a shortstop making the Hall. Both Trammell and Larkin are above the standard — way above the standard — and until the A-Rod/Jeter/Tejada/Garciaparra blip occurred, you could argue that the only better ones were Honus Wagner, Arky Vaughn and Cal Ripken.

Larkin will likely get in this year. Trammell won’t, despite the fact that they are basically identical players. This is a travesty. If I ever fully flip out and take the to streets as a costumed avenger, there’s a decent chance I’ll be wearing a Tigers number 3 jersey.

Raines

Tim Raines was the best player in baseball for about four or five years in the 1980s. People don’t believe this, but it’s true. He suffers because he had similar skills to Rickey Henderson who is an all-time elite, and that’s just as unfair as comparing those shortstops to similar outliers.  He also suffers because so much of his value was about getting on base and people just didn’t appreciate that as much at the time as they should have and still don’t, really. He also suffers because some people hold him to a different standard with respect to his cocaine use than they held Paul Molitor, for example, and that’s some ugliness I don’t think anyone wants to explore. But Raines is easily a Hall of Famer in my view.

The Designated Hitter

Edgar Martinez was a DH. And his career started late, meaning that his raw numbers aren’t as impressive as a lot of Hall of Famers. But his rate stats were astonishingly good. He had an OPS+ of 150 or greater eight times.  Sure, you have to hit at a higher rate than your average Hall of Fame hitter if you want to get in with no defensive value, but I think Martinez did that.

The PED Casualties 

As for McGwire and Bagwell, I don’t think anyone disputes that their numbers make them Hall of Fame first basemen. What people are doing with them is knocking them out because of steroids. In McGwire’s case because he has admitted to their use. In Bagwell’s because people — for reasons no one has yet had the information or the guts to explain — assume he used them. What they’re doing to Bagwell is outrageous, by the way, but we’ll save it until someone writes his “I have questions …” column about him later this month.

Here’s my thing on PEDs and the Hall of fame. I don’t totally ignore them.  My inclusion of McGwire shows that. However, my exclusion of Rafael Palmiero shows that I do consider it to some extent.  Yes, I know it’s not a perfect system, but my approach is (a) if the PED use is established; (b) to determine whether, roughly speaking, the guy was a Hall of Famer even if he never used PEDs. Yes, that’s subjective as hell, but I see it preferable to either assuming a player’s entire record was fraudulent because he took drugs, which would be silly, or alternatively assuming that PEDs had zero impact on his career performance. because we know neither of those things is the case.  I give guys like McGwire and Palmiero a discount, and in my mind that slips Palmiero below the Hall of Fame line and doesn’t do the same for McGwire. Have at me.

The Exclusions

  • Fred McGriff: McGriff continues to be really hard for me. I go back and forth on him all the damn time.  I’ve argued for and against his candidacy on alternate occasions. I’m a basketcase when it comes to him. I think there’s a good argument that he was the best first baseman in baseball for a few years there in the late 80s and early 90s, and usually if you were the best in baseball at your position for a few years, that’s enough for me.  Maybe I’m making a big mistake here. Someone help me out. Convince me one way or the other on him.  If I had a real ballot I think I’d be spending most of my December considering Fred McGriff’s candidacy. I don’t rule out changing my mind here and putting him on.
  • Jack Morris: He is not a Hall of Famer. I’ve spilled a lot of virtual ink on this. Short version: Morris didn’t prevent the opposition from scoring runs at anything much greater than an average clip.  He didn’t “pitch to the score” (or, if he tried to, he was not particularly successful at it), as so many well tell you when trying to explain away his pedestrian ERA.  Apart from one game in the 1991 World Series, he was nothing special as a playoff pitcher.  Despite his “best starter of the 80s” reputation, he was rarely thought of as special by Cy Young voters, who gave him the same number of Cy Young votes over his career as Mike Hampton and Dontrelle Willis. That title is a function of him putting his best ten year stretch together in a way that corresponded with the decade beginning and ending, not by being the best pitcher in the decade most of the time. He wasn’t. Just cut it out, OK?

 

So that’s my ballot. Have fun.

  1. bgeary8 - Dec 1, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    Really enjoyed the Morris bit. Can’t say I disagree with any of your picks.

  2. franklapidus316 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    Your reasoning inre PED’s is as sound as anybody’s. It really has to be subjective, there’s no right answer. If we’re going to discount the numbers a bit, we have to go by feel to some extent. My standard would be that the guy has to have been about the best at his position and one of the best in the league overall for a significant time period. McGwire meets that standard, Palmeiro really doesn’t.

  3. Paul Zummo - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Can’t disagree with a single exclusion or inclusion. The Bagwell stuff is especially obnoxious and really makes the whole process a farce.

    • bkarbour - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:48 AM

      The Bagwell case is an occasion for a helpful hint: if you’re ever accused of a crime and on trial, advise your lawyer to keep all sports writers off the jury–these people don’t give a rat’s ass about what the evidence says.

  4. Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Do I have time to get my pop corn popped before the Jack Morris for the HOF crowd comes with their pitch forks and straw men all ablaze???? I sure hope so…brb…

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      Sorry! You do not have time. Morris, and Dave Steib both belonged.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:18 AM

      I mean, the guy is clearly a hall of famer. Check out these credentials:
      6 time all star
      Lead the league in WAR for pitchers 3 times in the 80s
      Finished 3rd in WAR in the 80s behind only Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens
      Ranks 2nd in Wins from 80-90.
      Ranks 2nd in innings pitched for that time period

      I mean, Jack Morris is a clear hall of famer.

      ….wait…

      …sorry, those numbers apply to Dave Stieb. Who was better than Jack Morris.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:39 AM

        Steib was jobbed by HOF voters!

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:58 AM

        I think some folks let the movie “All good dogs go to heaven” get into their heads making them think All good pitchers go to the HOF….

      • thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        Well, Stieb doesn’t actually belong in the hall, but he does have a better case than Morris!

  5. delsj - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Everything with McGwire is tainted. Would he even had been able to get back to form in the mid-90’s after injury w/o the PEDs? I would swap McGriff for McGwire.

    • crpls - Dec 4, 2011 at 1:18 AM

      Can someone explain to me why a guy who played his whole career during the so-called “steroid era” (McGriff) shouldn’t be suspected of using PED at some point? Even if to keep going through injuries when older?

      I don’t care that guys did steroids. Players I like used them. Players I didn’t like did too. But throughout this whole conversation, amongst accusations, McGriff is discussed and someone who is pure and clean, despite acknowledgement from many that “everybody (or many, anyway) did them.”

  6. lembeck4 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Very happy to see your support for Alan Trammell……aside from that, I’m glad your ballot is only imaginary.

  7. skeleteeth - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    McGriff was one of my favorite players growing up. It always seemed to work out that the Red Sox games I went to during those years were either against the Blue Jays or Mariners, in which I got to see Griffey and McGriff plenty of times.

    I just spent about 10 minutes comparing McGriff to Willie McCovey and with the exception of HR’s, OPS+, Slugging and maybe a couple other stats McGriff comes out on top, as well as fielding percentage. I know they are from different eras and McGriff never topped 40 HR’s but he was consistent. The big drawback to his candidacy I remember hearing about being the 493 HR’s but if Bagwell is a consideration then why not the Crime Dog? .303 hitter in the post-season w/10HR’s, 1 WS ring.

    He also had the biggest ass in baseball at one point! Come on!

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:33 AM

      “He also had the biggest ass in baseball at one point! Come on!”
      Tom Pagnozzi and Ray Lankford would certainly argue with you about that.

      McCovey was clearly superior to McGriff. He played in a much more difficult environment for hitters than McGriff and had a three year stretch where he posted an ungodly OPS+ of 188. Using BR stat neutralizer, McCovey’s number in a neutral environment get bumped to 553 home runs and a .922 OPS. McGriff was also pretty great, but I think McCovey comes out clearly ahead.

      I wonder how much McGriff’s candidacy is because he peaked at the exact wrong time. His best years were 88-92, just before the offensive explosion. There was a huge difference between hitting 35 home runs in 1992 and 1996 (In fact, McGriff’s league leading 35 home run season in 1992 wouldn’t have even cracked the top 10 in 1996!). Having his best seasons right against the mid-90s offensive explosion make those years seem a lot weaker than they actually are.

      McGriff and his hall of fame candidacy may also have been the most hurt of anyone by the strike of 1994. At the time, he had a 1.012 OPS, was on his way to his first 40 home run season. It almost certainly cost him 500 home runs for his career, and I think just one 40 homer, 130 RBI, 1.000 OPS mega-season would have done wonders for his candidacy in the minds of the voters.

      Personally, I wouldn’t vote in Fred McGriff….but I would feel really bad about not doing so.

    • aceshigh11 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      I always liked McGriff growing up as well. I used to pore over baseball card stats obsessively as a kid and was impressed by his consistency.

  8. deathmonkey41 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    Once again, Wayne Tolleson gets the shaft by the sports writers.

    • skeleteeth - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:24 AM

      I see you’re not sick enough to HBT…

  9. deadeyedesign23 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    The way I feel about steroid use is, if they were great in their era I don’t mind them being in the hall of fame, but what does bother me is the record book because that compares people to all eras. I know it’s impossible, but if it were up to me I’d love to se something where they get in, but the records are discarded.

    As for your policy I agree that it’s as sound as anybodies, but I think I’d probably disagree with the fact that McGwire is a hall of famer with out steroids.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      but what does bother me is the record book because that compares people to all eras

      But there really isn’t a “clean” era with pre-integration, WWII, amphetamines, expansion, cocaine, steroids. Pick a time and there’s something you can use to subvert the accomplishments of the guys of that era.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Dec 1, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        The difference is the clear spike in power numbers. Look at HR/AB charts, its mostly the same after the deadball era. Mostly because integration coincided with expansion, but never the less power numbers were by and large the same for 80 years.

      • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        how much is it descrepant though? Not nearly enough to discount McGwire’s beastly HR/AB totals.

        As I mentioned before, give him four full (for him) season’s worth of homerless ABs, and he’s still one of the fastest ever to 500 HR. I don’t even have to ask if it’s that discrepant. It’s not even close to that. Go ahead and take in to account that not everyone was cheating so the discrepancy is low. Go ahead and triple it and project that out. I’d bet McGwire’s still one of the 3 fastest to 500 HRs.

    • ukcardsfan - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      I’d put McGwire in the hall if for no other reason than that Home Run race between him and Sosa re-vitalised the game and it will always be remembered, perhaps now for the wrong reasons, but at the time, it was historical. For that reason, I think McGwire should have a spot.

      Disclaimer: before I get destroyed as I’m a Cards fan and thus, I surely must be biased. I’d feel the same if McGwire had been anywhere else at the time. He was a key player in the home run race that ‘brought baseball back’ and that’s my basis for it.

  10. mikedi33 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    Best argument for Mcgriff is he had the same numbers as the other sluggers until they started steroids. He stayed totally consistent. Without the steroids McGwire was a Dave Kingman not HOF material.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Why does no one remember that Mark McGwire also got on base like a madman? He has a career .394 OBP, and lead the league in OBP twice (which is one more time than Tony Gywnn ever did). There is about a 92 point gap in the OBP of Kingman and McGwire. Please don’t insult my intelligence by saying they were the same player.

      This should blow your mind-hole: Due to his constant injuries, McGwire slugged 583 home runs in 7660 plate appearances. No one else in the 500 home run club has fewer than *9600* plate appearances.

      So, next time someone claims Mark McGwire was just a one dimensional player and (you’re too nice to inform them that getting on base is also a really damn important skill), just point out that he did that one dimension better than anyone else in the history of the game in his prime.

      • blueintown - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        To be fair, he got on base because no one would throw to him because they knew he would hit it 600 feet because he was a steroid fueled monster. You can’t overlook the steroid/OBP connection. If you care about steroids, that is.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        You can’t overlook the steroid/OBP connection. If you care about steroids, that is.

        Except he always walked. His rookie year, he walked 71 times and had a .370 OBP (also lead the league with a .618 SLG!). In 1990, he batted .235 but still had a .370 OBP(!) because he walked a league leading 110 times.

        Btw he also was IBB only 150 times in his entire career. Tony Gwynn was intentionally walked 203 times.

      • blueintown - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        You mean in ’87 with his bash brother teammate Jose? Yeah, I’m sure there was no steroid use going on there.

        Again, I don’t care that he used steroids. I really don’t. I was just stating that it fantasy non-steroid world, I would take Palmeiro over McGwire any day of the week. I think he’s a better baseball player. That’s all.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:40 AM

        The year after he walked 110 times to lead the league, he hit a whopping .383 SLG in 154 games. Did he forgot to take his ‘roids then?

        Or did you just copy his bref page into excel and make a formula
        =IF(SLG>.500,”STEROIDS”,”CLEAN”)

      • blueintown - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM

        What? Dude, he took steroids. He walked a lot because people didn’t want to pitch to him because he hit the ball far..because he took steroids. Had he not taken steroids, he would not have hit the ball as far, therefor would not walk as much. Would you pitch to a guy without power who strikes out at his clip? Yes. You would. The statistics are not independent of each other.

        This wreaks of Cardinal homerism, and that’s fine. Put him in the hall of fame. I don’t care. But don’t act like his statistical accomplishments aren’t artificially fueled.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        What? Dude, he took steroids. He walked a lot because people didn’t want to pitch to him because he hit the ball far..because he took steroids. Had he not taken steroids, he would not have hit the ball as far, therefor would not walk as much. Would you pitch to a guy without power who strikes out at his clip? Yes. You would. The statistics are not independent of each other.

        Except the entire basis of your claim is that because he took steroids, he hit the ball far, so people walked him. Then how do you explain having a sub-400 SLG%? He hit 22 HR and 22 2B in ’91 and was IBB 3x. Derek Jeter beat those numbers twice in his career and almost a 3rd time. No one accuses him of steroids.

        So what’s more likely, that he took steroids late in career even after he established himself as a guy with a great eye who could pulverize the ball if he connected, and put up six straight years of almost a .650+ SLG%, or a guy who took steroids his whole career and had wildly different numbers until they stabilized in ’95?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        Oh and the Cardinal’s homerism comment is hilarious, as I’m a Yanks fan

      • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        for someone who doesn’t care about steroids, blue sure won’t let it go.

      • Francisco (FC) - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        He’s referring to falcon I believe.

  11. lostsok - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Good ol’ Rock. Nothing beats Rock!

    • Lukehart80 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      Poor, predictable Bart. Always takes rock.

  12. blueintown - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Disclaimer: I don’t care about steroid use. By all accounts, most of the truly elite players from that era were using them, so as far as I’m concerned it’s a wash. Also factor in the more tightly wound balls and the new-fangled ballparks with little league dimensions, and it’s apparent major league baseball was complicit in the “tainting” of the game. They will live with it, because I enjoyed seeing Glenallen Hill hit a ball onto the roof across Waveland more then I enjoy seeing an endless parade of Craig Counsel’s beat out slow rollers down the third base line.

    Having said that, if you think Mark McGwire is a better baseball player than Rafael Palmeiro without artificial assistance, you’re out of your mind.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:48 AM

      Guh? McGwire hit for more power and got on base way more often. And he did it spending large chunks of his career in the unhitter friendly confines of Oakland and the nuetral hitting confines of 90s Bush Stadium instead of Texas. McGwire hit more home runs in over 4000 fewer plate appearances. I am honestly baffled as to how you came by your opinion on this.

      • blueintown - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        (See above). Hit with power for a reason, got on base for a reason. Again, I don’t care about steroids. I do think McGwire is a Hall of Famer. But if you take steroids out of the equation, McGwire isn’t getting on base at such an obscene clip.

      • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        blue,

        it took Mcgwire over 2000 fewer at bats to reach the 500 home run club than ANYONE EVER before or since (see falcon’s post above). McGwire wasn’t the only user. To explain that away by merely pointing to roids is willful ignorance at best.

        And to just explain the walks away by saying people only walked him becuase he roided up is irreconcilable to me. Look at his ratio, that doesn’t come by roids alone or 17 other people would’ve at least come close or exceeded it.

        You can’t possibly use that rationale and say “I don’t care about steriods”, well, I guess you can b/c you just did, but it’s just, ugh, I don’t even have words.

      • blueintown - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        You just used a lot of words for someone without words. Regardless..

        I’m saying he wouldn’t have been so accomplished if he hadn’t used steroids. Lower HR totals, lower OBP, lower SLG, lower OPS. That’s all. I’m not saying he sucked. I’m not saying he would have been a career minor leaguer. I cited other factors (balls, park dimensions). I’m not defining his entire career by steroids. Likewise, you can’t proclaim it a nonfactor. That’s all.

      • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        it’s not a nonfactor by any means, but based on the facts already presented above, it’s far less significant than you make it out to be.

        He reached 500 HRs in over 2000 ABs fewer than anyone else (yes, “anyone” also includes those who used steroids, though you don’t seem willing to accept that). It’s a ratio that significant that forced teams to walk him. Yes, that clearly had to have been impacted by roids, but by how many ABs really?

        He only had 5 real seasons with outlier HR totals (over 45). He averaged 535 ABs per season in his career. So let’s just for a moment assume he’s the only member of the 500 HR club that gained any sort of performance enhancing advantage, which is already a huge stretch. Even if we tack on 4 SEASONS worth of homer-less ABs for him, he’s STILL one of the fastest ever to 500 HRs on a per AB basis. How much more evidence do you need that roids aren’t nearly the factor you’re making them out to be?

      • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:47 PM

        don’t get me wrong though, up until a couple ago I was convinced McGwire didn’t belong in the hall, but when you look at those numbers (particularly is HR ratio and the difference between his and other HOF sluggers), there’s no comparison. Which is easy to brush away by screaming “STERIODS!” and sticking one’s fingers in their ears while running away like a child (not saying you are, blue, but rather the actual HOF voters).

        However a HR ratio the differs by such an absurd margin cannot be solely attributed to his steroid use during an era others were proven to be doing the same. He was good, very good. HR, BB, OBP and everything else included. Attributing his BB rate solely to his HR total and steroid use is neglecting the fact that he was a fearsome hitter even with steroids out of the picture. He only had 155 IBBs in his career. Discounting the rest takes away from his patience as a hitter, which is rare in power hitters these days (See: Howard, Ryan).

        But let’s not let facts and stats get in the way of a good debate or anything.

  13. lembeck4 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I’m going to preface this by saying Tim Raines was a great player, and I hope he gets into the HOF, however…..

    “Tim Raines was the best player in baseball for about four or five years in the 1980s. People don’t believe this, but it’s true”

    Shenanigans.

    Raines never finished higher than 5th in MVP voting for his league in any season, and in his entire career he never received even a single 1st place vote.in 1985 he ranked 4th in WAR, his highest finish in that category for any season.

    He was a great player and an upper echelon player from ’83-’87, but to call him the BEST player in the game over that span (or any) is hyperbole.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      Rains AKA, “The Rock” was a superior and more exciting baseball player than “The Hawk” (Andre Dawson). There is another one time Expo who deserves a lot more consideration. Larry Walker was a great baseball player.

    • mrfloydpink - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      Raines’ bWAR:

      1983 NL 5.5 (5th)
      1984 NL 5.8 (5th)
      1985 NL 6.5 (4th)
      1986 NL 5.7 (3rd)
      1987 NL 6.1 (6th)

      You’re right that he wasn’t the “best” player in his league, but he wasn’t very far off. And his highest finish was 3rd, not 4th,

      Also, MVP votes are nearly worthless as evidence of anything. Particularly when evaluating a player whose skills, as noted by Craig, are the sort that tend to be undervalued/overlooked.

      • lembeck4 - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        “You’re right that he wasn’t the “best” player in his league”

        That’s all I needed to read.

        I took the overall WAR from Baseball Reference for all players, not position players – and 4th was his highest finish in that category.

        As previously mentioned, I agree he was a great player, and elite for a 5 year stretch. BUT…..he was not even the best player in the NL at any point, let alone all of MLB.

        Regardless, it’s splitting hairs. I hope he ends up in Cooperstown someday.

  14. umrguy42 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    I agree with the PED reasoning. I’m a Cards homer, so I’m all for McGwire anyway, but as I said yesterday, I’m not a stat guy, AND I know there’s (reasonable) speculation that Big Mac’s PED use extended beyond what he admitted to… so (to play devil’s advocate) can somebody explain what makes them think McGwire would’ve been a likely HoF’er without the PED use? Bonds, probably even Clemens I know that their early careers (before the PED suspicions/accusations) should be enough to cement their spots, but McGwire was always “big HR guy”, wasn’t he?

    • umrguy42 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      Actually, in between the 6 comments present when I started typing this, and the 28 when I got done, I see the arguments above, so no need to repeat them.

  15. brucewaynewins - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    If Larkin doesn’t get in this year the Hall of Fame is broken.

    • normb11 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      It’s already broken.

      • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        +10000000000000000

      • lembeck4 - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        Just ask Alan Trammell, who was Barry Larkin before Barry Larkin was Barry Larkin.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      The hall of fame has pretty much always been broken. The history of the hall of fame is riddled with stupid shit. Aside from every single player from the 1930s Cardinals teams being in the hall of fame for some unfathomable reason, here are some other HOF gems:

      –In 1974, Eddie Mathews, what at the time (pre-Mike Schmidt) was the greatest third baseman in the history of baseball for 32.3% of the vote. He wouldn’t make it into the hall of fame until 1978 when he squeaked in with 78%. Did I mention that he’s still the 2nd greatest third baseman of all time?

      –Lloyd Waner, an outfielder with a career 99 OPS, who was done as a regular at age 32, who hit 27 home runs and 281 doubles is in the hall of fame. Presumably because of Veterans Committee writers got him confused with his brother and didn’t realize he was already in the hall of fame.

      There are many, many other examples.

  16. bozosforall - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Jim Rice’s inclusion into the HOF lets all of the above mentioned players in as well. The bar has been lowered.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      One mistake (okay, a few mistakes) does not lower the bar. It just means they shouldn’t make that mistake again.

  17. tmohr - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Tim Raines should’ve gone in the first year he was eligible.

    However, he was never the best player in the NL as long as Mike Schmidt was playing.

  18. shawndc04 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    I really think McGriff belongs. He had very good numbers, but I also admired him after his retirement when he said that, “The one thing I’m proud of is that I have the same body coming out as going in.” (i.e. no peds)

  19. nfieldr - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    What? No Dale Murphy? And you call yourself a Braves fan

  20. hardjudge - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    The HOF should be about baseball accomplishment, not moral uprightness. That said we should have Shoeless Joe and Petey in the HOF. Shoeless btw was found not guilty of all charges. Why the baseball continues to ban him is beyond me. Records, well, maybe we should have records for different season lengths, different ball composition eras and different social acceptability of conduct. Well, having said that I feel better. We’ll see who the self-righteous sports writers let in this year. One other thing since newspapers are dying, maybe we should let Foxsports and ESPN make the HOF decisions.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      I like how you lump Shoeless Joe (found not guilty) and Pete Rose together, and completely avoid trying to defend your reasoning for letting Rose into the HoF.

      Rose broke the one sacred rule in baseball, lied about it for years until he could make a profit on coming clean. Why people champion his cause is so far beyond me.

      • hardjudge - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        Outraged, my first sentence should cover. BTW I don’t personally lump them together. Now if you want a moral HOF, I suspect that on judgment day everyone fails on their own. Taking the morals out of the HOF, clarifies a lot cases.

      • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        The two are often lumped together jsut because of the aburdity of both cases in that they both belong, morals or not.

        Shoeless Joe belongs in the Hall without question. Pete Rose I believe should go. In good conscience he can’t be left out while other “cheaters”/ i.e. roid/PED users are allowed in. And as Craig indicites in his post and I’ve said repeatedly in comments above Re: McGwire, those situations are so muddled with shades of grey that there’s no way to keep them out.

        Take their actions into consideration, but don’t make them an automatic DQ for them. If you want to leave Pete Rose the gambling man out of the hall, that’s fine, just put a * next to his plaque if you must. But Pete Rose the player belongs for what he did on the field. Without question.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

        Shoeless Joe belongs in the Hall without question. Pete Rose I believe should go. In good conscience he can’t be left out while other “cheaters”/ i.e. roid/PED users are allowed in.

        Why though? What does one have to do with the other (steroids vs gambling)? The only comparison is the baseball forbid both, and it’s questionable how truthful that is regarding the former. What’s not in question is that gambling has been expressly forbidden for the longest time, Rose knew about it, disregarded it, lied for years and then only came clean after he wrote a book about what he did.

  21. Kyle - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    As far as I can tell, a flawless ballot. I’m with you.

  22. cur68 - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Include Fred McGriff on your Ballot Craig. Its the right thing to do.

  23. goawaydog - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Good writeup, great responses. Perfect read for my morning coffee. I learned things about players I thought I knew a lot about already. I loved watching Raines play but must have been to young to get the Rock connection (when I hear the Rock, I think of that twit from professional wrestling, or maybe Alcatraz). Didn’t know the McGwire walk stats. PEDs were and probably still are part of the game, they need to be part of the voting somehow too, I just don’t know how but I think Craigs reasoning is about as sound as we can hope for right now.

  24. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 1, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    If you give the PED users a “discount”, do you “mark up” the non users? All of those clean pitchers facing those ‘roided-out hitters? What is the standard for evidence either way?

    • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:17 PM

      “all of those clean pitchers”. LOL, yeah. both of them. Why so many people imply that those poor scrawny PED-free pitchers managed to do so well despite the millions of rampant PED using montrocities at the plate I’ll never understand.

  25. stratomaticfan - Dec 1, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    McGwire was a one dimensional player. Didn’t hit for average. Didn’t field above average. Didn’t run well. He was basically a step up from Rob Deer/Dave Kingman/Cecil Fielder. And that’s before we discuss whether PEDs had an effect on his numbers. I don’t understand why people think he’s a Hall of Famer.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      If only many people hadn’t discussed the reasons in the numerous posts about yours, this would be a valid question.

      • CJ - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM

        If only people would actually read the content of the article and some of the comments with an open mind, they’d see that this has already been backup up with well thought out opinion, and even–gasp–stats.

        I never would’ve thought I’d be saying this yesterday, but McGwire belongs in the hall. It’s not hard to see why when you actually sit down and look at the facts.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      Jesus Christ…

      McGwire v. Deer:
      353 more home runs, 814 more RBIs, 70 points higher OBP, 146 higher slugging, 53 higher OPS+, 50 more WAR

      McGwire v. Kingman:
      141 more home runs, 204 more RBIs, 94 higher OBP, 110 higher slugging, 47 higher OPS+, 45 more WAR

      McGwire v. Fielder:
      264 more home runs, 406 more RBIs, 49 more OBP, 106 higher slugging, 44 more OPS+, 48 more WAR

      Going by WAR, the average difference between Mark McGwire and any of the players you mentioned is a Bernie Williams.

      Repeat: Cecil Fielder + Bernie Williams career values = Mark McGwire.

      • stratomaticfan - Dec 1, 2011 at 7:19 PM

        It wasn’t a stats comparison…it was the type of player comparison. All Power and nothing else. And you can’t compare straight up numbers of current era guys vs. prior eras (not talking PEDs). It’s not as impressive to hit 400 HRs or even 500 HRs. It’s just not. In the recent past (70s) 26 teams x 4 man rotation = 104 starting pitchers. Now 30 teams x 5 man rotation = 150 starting pitchers…..That means pitching is watered down almost 50% (i.e. easier for hitters). Go back before expansion and it is even more blatant. Then throw in smaller ballparks than those from the pre-70s, and the power numbers on a comparative basis are not as impressive. When you have no other outstanding skills, you’re really not one of the All-time Greats. Thus….not a Hall of Famer.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Maddon has high hopes for Cubs
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Ramirez (4437)
  2. P. Sandoval (4265)
  3. Y. Tomas (3749)
  4. J. Lester (3107)
  5. C. Headley (2935)
  1. Y. Cespedes (2412)
  2. M. Kemp (1957)
  3. C. Hamels (1772)
  4. M. Scherzer (1670)
  5. C. Davis (1586)