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Hall of Fame voting: Great Moments in Apples and Oranges

Dec 26, 2011, 8:34 AM EDT

Tim Raines

Did you all have a good Chirstmas? I hope so. Hope you got what you wanted.

Anyway, the week between Christmas and New Years is the deadest of the dead in baseball circles. The only thing you get a lot of are Hall of Fame columns because ballots are due by December 31.  And they really are the gift that keeps on giving. Mostly because of stuff like this from Ron Chimelis, who has a Hall of Fame vote:

  • “The Crime Dog is tied with Lou Gehrig in home runs with 493. Lou Gehrig!”
  • “Tim Raines. My first instinct was to vote for Raines, who ranks fifth all-time in steals with 808. Unlike saves, steals have been been meaningful for 140 years. Raines had six straight 70-steal seasons … But if Raines gets in because he is fifth in steals, what about Vince Coleman, who is sixth? That’s why I talked myself out of it.”

I don’t think it requires being a super saber stat nerd to point out that comparing McGriff and Gehrig based on their home run totals and Raines and Coleman based on their stolen base totals is less than illuminating. Unless of course you believe that Ted Williams shouldn’t have made it because he had fewer hits than Johnny Damon.

I know. It’s gonna be a long week. Just drink lots of fluids and stuff. We’ll get through this. Together.

  1. proudlycanadian - Dec 26, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    I hope that you also had a great Christmas Craig. For me, the most memorable day was on Saturday when I visited a close friend who was away from home.

    As far as that HOF voter is concerned, I have to point out that there was a lot more to Tim Raines than stolen bases. He was a great baseball player. Coleman was a good but not a great baseball player.

    • 78mu - Dec 26, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      Chimelis makes less sense than the comments at the end of his column.

      I guess since Ricky Henderson had fewer HRs than Willie Mays and he doesn’t belong in the HOF. And Hank Aaron has fewer putouts than Tim McCarver so he doesn’t belong.

      Talk about warped thinking. Find me the ace of the Pirates staffs these last 20 years Chimelis will vote him into the HOF.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 26, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    What happened Craigster, get a visit from Krampus yesterday? Come on, the guy voted for Bagwell. Give him some credit, man.

  3. The Common Man - Dec 26, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Goddammit.

  4. cardinal1965 - Dec 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Even as a Cards fan I have to agree. Comparing Raines and Coleman is like the proverbial apples and oranges. Raines is worthy, Coleman isn’t.

  5. paperlions - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    This kind of stupidity doesn’t even bother me anymore. It is expected. This is exactly what happens when people know what they want to conclude and then look through information to select things to justify their a priori conclusion. When people don’t know how to reason, it isn’t fair to expect them to be reasonable.

    • 78mu - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:26 PM

      To most us this doesn’t matter beyond giving us fodder for debate.

      But to the players that have worked at their game to get to the point where they deserve to be in the HOF it matters a lot. I don’t know if Raines and Bagwell care about making it but I presume they do and when voters don’t put any more effort into it than comparing stolen bases of Raines and Coleman it should make baseball fans PO’d. These were the players we followed whether they played for our team or not. They are the game, not some writer that can’t even make a cogent argument about career HRs.

      So yeah, it gets old when more and more writers reveal their ballots and basically throw darts at names. But it insults me as a fan and I wish they could at least come up with an intelligent argument for their picks.

  6. ireportyoudecide - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Career WAR ranking

    Tim Raines 82
    Vince Coleman (not in the top 1000)

    Edgar Martinez is #70 but I guess that should be saved for another article.

  7. theonlynolan - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    The logic this guy uses makes my head hurt.

  8. crisisjunky - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    let’s put voters in the writer’s wing posthumously…this year.
    “The Santo Award”

  9. theonlynolan - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    I instantly lose respect for any writer who votes for Larkin and leaves Trammell off. They’re basically the same player.

  10. thefalcon123 - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    I like this man’s logic. You see, I always thought Babe Ruth was a hall of famer. He’s 40th all time. But if Ruth is in, what about Harold Baines? I mean, he is 1 place below Ruth on the all time hits list? I don’t think Baines is a HOFer, then how can I think Ruth is?

    • 78mu - Dec 26, 2011 at 11:31 PM

      Vince Colman has more stolen bases than Ruth. Ruth made the last out of the 1926 WS trying to steal 2nd base and Coleman never did that. I want Chimelis to start an campaign to get Ruth out of the HOF or Coleman in.

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