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No, Hideki Matsui is not a Hall of Famer

Dec 28, 2012, 9:54 AM EDT

File picture shows New York Yankees' Matsui speaking to reporters during "workout day" before MLB's 2009 World Series between New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies in New York

This should probably go without saying, but no, Hideki Matsui is not a Hall of Famer.

There is some level of debate about this. Not because anyone truly thinks that Matsui’s ten seasons in the bigs were Hall of Fame-worthy. They clearly were not, even if they were pretty damn good (note: the go-to phrase for Matsui, which I have used myself, appears to be “a nice career” or a “damn nice career” or something like that).

Rather, to the extent anyone is making a Hall of Fame case for Matsui, they’re doing so by mashing together his NPB stats with his MLB stats. If you do that, sure, we’re a heck of a lot closer, for that gives him three MVP awards, three more championship rings to go with his 2009 World Series ring, 332 more home runs, 889 more RBIs and a streak of 1,250 consecutive games played (and he played every game for the Yankees in his first three seasons in the U.S.).  I’d say that is a Hall of Fame resume, indeed.

But the thing is, we just can’t do that. Both for official reasons and logical reasons.

Officially, the Hall of Fame takes the position that is a National Hall of Fame — that’s even the name of the place — meaning baseball accomplishments which took place in America. Indeed, aside from Negro League players, the Hall asks its voters to only consider accomplishments achieved in Major League Baseball. If it didn’t, statboys like me would be making Hall of Fame cases for Roberto Petagine and guys like that (and believe me, we would, for we crush hard on those kinds of guys).

But it makes logical sense to exclude NPB stats too: it’s simply not the same level of competition as we see in MLB. Most folks who pay close attention to these things consider to the Japanese leagues, at best, to be a 4-A kind of thing, and others believe it is more on par with Triple-A. If you don’t believe this just look at what has happened to most of the good Japanese hitters who have come to the U.S. Yes, there are success stories like Matsui and Ichiro, but there are far more flame outs. It’s just not the same hitting environment for these dudes.

I understand why a lot of people don’t simply dismiss the stats. Especially given that it has become fashionable to talk about Ichiro’s hit totals between the NPB and MLB when assessing his career (note: Ichiro, I feel, is a Hall of Famer based on his U.S. production alone, making this argument moot). But U.S. and Japanese baseball are two different beasts, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to consider what Matsui or anyone else did in the NPB when making their Hall of Fame case.

108 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. natsattack - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    He should, however, be inducted into the Japanese HoF.

    • sdelmonte - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      If he is, he’ll be the first to play in both the US and Japan to do get in. I have no idea if there will be any sort of ambivalence towards him by whoever votes in players in Japan. I get the feeling that some people resent players for jumping to America and others take great pride in seeing the achievements of men like Matsui and Ichiro.

      Little known fact: in the early 2000s revival of Sondheim’s “Pacific Overtures,” the closing song extolling the success of modern Japan refers to Matsui’s success with the Yankees. Some might call that a bigger honor than the Hall of Fame

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        On our several trips to Japan – including attendance at any number of Japanese ballgames – we never heard a peep of resentment about Ichiro or Matsui. In fact, Matsui bobbleheads were everywhere, Matsui ads were everywhere, and as I’ve mentioned before, Matsui bobbleheads and statues of every conceivable size (all garbed Borg, I might add) filled the bazaar at the enormous Shoji temple complex in northern Tokyo from end to end. A number of shops sold 55 jerseys. Matsui images proliferated at what I’d guess was a four or five to one ratio over Ichiro images or souvenir-ware,

        So, no, I didn’t see any signs of resentment – but of reverence and pride, yeah, plenty. I think that if anything, the fact that so much of Godzilla’s success occurred in the US and with the Borg will be a huge assist to his Japanese HOF candidacy.

  2. kyzslew77 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    That’s a nice argument Craig, but you seem to have forgotten

    1) was so clutch
    2) capital T True capital Y Yankee
    3) played for the Yankees when they won a title
    4) clutch World Series MVP
    5) teammates with Jeter
    6) game 6 of the 2009 World Series

    • husky2score - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      So your saying that Matsui belongs in the Hall because he played with the Yankees and came through in the clutch a few times? Ummm no, I don’t think that really matters a whole lot.

      • danaking - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        I think kyzslew77 was pulling our chains. At least I hope so.

      • kyzslew77 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        Commenters here are a lot more clueless about sarcasm than I expected

      • kyzslew77 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:47 AM

        I mean seriously, “capital T True capital Y Yankee.” Could it have been any more obvious that this was a joke? Holy moly, people. Pay attention.

      • tmohr - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM

        It’s your own fault – you failed to use the sarcasm font.

      • paperlions - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM

        Plus, it is so similar to honest comments one hears….that it is difficult to tell if it was parody or sincere.

      • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        kyszlew77, You spelled all the words right. That’s a dead giveaway.

    • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      If you change line 6 to
      6) Game 3 of the 1998 World Series
      and line 3 to
      3) Played for the Yankees when they won 3 titles

      you have. . . Scott Brosius!

      • kirkvanhouten - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM

        Woah, hold on their a minute. Are you trying to imply that Scott Brosious is *not* a Hall of Famer? Can’t wait to see what kind of nerd math you pull out to defend that argument.

        It also goes without saying that Chad Curtis should also go in. I mean, two homers in Game 3 of a 6-5 victory in 1999? If that ain’t hall material, I don’t need no hall of fame.

      • kirkvanhouten - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        …and my apologies to jwbiii who I just noticed made a similar Chad Curt joke nearly two hours before mine.

        I’m such a hack.

    • butchhuskey - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      Being teammates with Derek Jeter makes you a Hall of Fame player?

      • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        Yup. It’s your turn to put gas in the Chad Curtis bandwagon.

    • butchhuskey - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      Now that I re-read your post, I see the sarcasm. Unfortunately a lot of Yankee fans make similar arguments while being dead serious.

      • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM

        Some people are just too front-running stupid…Yankees fan for the benefit of the doubt.

      • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        Oh, ffs, Craig, strikethrough HTML doesn’t work?
        Edit function. The coding isn’t even that hard!

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

        Strikethrough doesn’t work? News to me…

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    By the definition mentioned by Craig, it appears that games played in Canada do not count. There goes Tim Rains chance down the drain.

    • Roger Moore - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      Why wouldn’t games in the 51st state count?

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:33 AM

        There are no MLB gamesplayed in Puerto Rico

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        Ah haha ha. 51st state, eh? It was nigh ’round 200 year ago y’all tried to make that official like. War of 1812 t’was. How’d that work out for y’all? Finished re-building Washington have you?

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        I dunno – have they re-opened the Washington Monument since the earthquake?

      • historiophiliac - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        Um, would you like me to correct that for you, Cur? BTW, thanks for Detroit. Go Tigers!

      • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        proudlycanadian, How soon you have forgotten the San Juan Expos!

      • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        Okay, we failed to make the St Lawrence River our northern border, but we did achieve unfettered access to what is now Oregon and Washington, scared Spain enough to cede Florida to us within 5 years of the war’s end, and convinced Britain to stop annoying our shipping. …and the White House was just ” the President’s Mansion” until the builders painted it white all over to cover up the soot stains caused by the Brits burning the fledgling city.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        Oh is THAT why its white? The white paint is hiding soot from being Canuck-burnt, eh? I didn’t know that. My, my. The things I learn ’round here. If you lot plan on having another go at us I can suggest some different colours to repaint it: this time I hope you choose something more fetching. I recommend eau de nil.

        Well, keep Florida and whatever else. The seal blubber is more piquant THIS side of the border AND the economy’s better. And, by the way “Oregon” isn’t a real place. I’ve never met ANYONE from there nor do I know of anything that comes from there, therefore it, like “Wyoming” & “Nebraska” & “Rhode Island” and much else, doesn’t exist. I suspect you lot made it up, like you made up your fictitious “Uncle Sam”, to fill out the number of States you claim to have. So typical.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        It’s okay, cur, I’ve never heard of “Alberta” either, and I think you just made up “Saskatchewan.”

      • historiophiliac - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        raysfan, don’t try to justify. They should be thanking us. American colonists helped Wolfe defeat Montcalm, making them lobsters instead of frogs in the first place. Anyway, the Canadian part of War/1812 was defensive. Make Cur name the Canadian regiment that sacked DC for you.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        Fat lot you know. I’m IN Alberta right now. So you are back and forthing WITH Alberta. Ha! As to Saskatchewan, well I can verify its existence. I had my doubts for some time as to if it was real or if it was like Narnia: some magical place that was so flat the farmers could keep an eye on their dogs running away till the mutt disappeared over the Earth’s curve. Then, two summers ago, I went there. It wasn’t easy. The dog sled got stuck a few times. Ran out of food: had to eat moose after that but quite fortunately one had wandered onto the trail in front of me and the dog team and we’d hit it. Had some front end damage to the sled and one of the dogs had to pulled from the moose’s carcass (he was eating his way through it) but it worked out. Got to Saskatchewan after many an adventure and discovered that there’s even a wee town there called Climax. Yup. You read that right. Climax. So I’ve been to Saskatchewan and even found Climax (tiny place. Everyone smokes there. Quite thrilling as you pass through, but don’t blink or you’ll miss a lot of it). So yeah, Alberta and Saskatchewan are real. Certainly more real than “Idaho”.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        What you live in Alberta? But Alberta does not exist! Edmonton does not exist! Therefore you are a figment of my imagination! Oh, my, where’s my Haldol?

        Also, I know Idaho exists because there is a little map of it on every bag of potatoes that I buy at the grocers.

      • IdahoMariner - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        hey! sitting here, right now, in Idaho. so, it exists.

        having traveled through oregon in september on my move back from washington, i can say both of those exist,, though their western sides are a bit rainy for my tastes. gorgeous, beautiful, but constant rain is apparently the price of that brand of beauty, so back to idaho. nicer people than in seattle, but with crazy-ass politics. more sun. sitting in a sunbeam right now….it’s 34F right now, but the sun makes all the difference.

        still don’t believe you about saskatchewan. it’s too great a name to be real, like okeechobee. (old gator joining us in three, two, one…)

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        “I know Idaho exists because there is a little map of it on every bag of potatoes that I buy ”

        Oh dear. I’m going to have break this to you gently, because its like the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause, but because the manufacturer puts something on the bag doesn’t mean its real. For instance when I tried to contact the Green Giant who was on the bag of frozen peas to complain about the state of the peas, well they told me he wasn’t for real!!!! See? They made him up! Just like your potato manufacturer (who is probably in China) made up “Idaho” (the word “Idaho” even SOUNDS Chinese, too. No way that’s an English word). Sorry to have tell you like this. Better double the Haldol dose for the next little while.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        Hiya, ‘Mariner. I did think of you when I tried to correct the internets at large about the Fictitious States. Don’t try to blow smoke in my eyes. I know you, like “Idaho” & “Oregon”, aren’t real. Like “halladaysbicepts”, you are one of Craig’s three alter egos on this blog. Its a bit like Seinfeld, see. The “show about nothing”. Each of the characters on the show represents a portion of Jerry personality. Thus, when Elaine, Costanza, and Kramer are aggregated into a single person you have a “Jerry”. Craig’s not Jerry of course so his aggregate consists of slightly different components. We have you, his feminine, more sane, “Lawyer” side. We have (or had) halladaysbicepts, his crazy out of control side (so long as Craig stays on his medication we shouldn’t see any more of HB) and we have “Old Gator”, his intellectual, eccentric, slightly un-hinged (ducks) side. Bodge all three of you together and BOOM: one Craig.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        What?! The Jolly Green Giant doesn’t exist? Those big ol’ helicopters I used to fly in we’re named after nothing more than a marketing invention? I am so disillusioned!

        Mr Mariner–I have crazy cousins in OR and WA, and they routinely favor those crazy politics you mention. Ah well. At reunions I just stick to talking baseball as that is our one bit of common ground.

        As far names go, though, I like Miccosukee even better than Okeechobee in my home state. In a tip of the cap to our Canadian neighbors, in the area of trading cards, O-Pee-Chee is a much more fun name than Topps.

        Now, what’s our next tangent?

      • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Oh, and cur, when I was still on active duty in the USAF, my own government played a prank on me–telling me I was going to go to “Cold Lake, Alberta” to participate in military exercises with the CDF. Then I got sent to a very hot and sandy place near the Persian Gulf instead. I thought it was a pretty extreme way to over up the nonexistence of the beautiful place I had imagined.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        Rays: You should send your military a big Thank You note for allowing you to escape CFB Cold Lake. Only two things come from Cold Lake. Steers and frozen steaks. We don’t go in for imagination much when it comes to naming things in these parts, y’know. Also we find keeping our military in really crappy climates breeds healthy aggression and a will to win like you wouldn’t believe. Why our forces can’t WAIT to be shipped OUT of CFB Cold Lake. You can send those people anywhere and they’ll be happy to go. In fact if your people invade us again I’m informed by my brothers, both of whom have done time at CFB Cold Lake, that we won’t stop counter-invading till we hit Mexico. This time I hope we keep it all.

      • IdahoMariner - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:57 PM

        i knew i shouldn’t have taken that bait, cur, knew that one day you would share your theory with the rest of the world. gotta talk to craig about bootin’ all the smart canucks off the site….

        and, sorry raysfan, it’s idaho’s politics that are crazy-ass to me. it used to be filled with traditional conservatives, who left you alone so long as you left them alone. now, nto so much. i mostly agree with the politics of wa and or, at least,their western sides. mostly. so you and i can stick to talking baseball. :)

      • nbjays - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        OK, Cur, but have you ever actually been to 4 Wing Cold Lake? (BTW, the “CFB” moniker for air bases went the way of the Albertosaurus nigh on twenty years ago). Cold Lake (Cool Pool to those of us who have lived there) is a great place for USAF visitors to experience spring in Canada (think snow) during the annual Maple Flag exercise, as well as sample beer that actually contains alcohol.

        Raysfan, you may have gotten off lucky by going to the Sandbox instead of Cold Lake, depending on the time of year. Summer is beautiful there, and if you get lucky, it falls on a weekend and you can go camping with the mosquitos (which would rival your Jolly Greens in size and lifting capacity.) Mostly though, it is cold and desolate. It isn’t the end of the world, but you CAN see it from there. (take it from one who knows…I was stationed there for 17 years, but I’m slowly recovering)

      • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:56 PM

        Traditional conservative who leaves others alone as long as he is left alone pretty accurately describes me, I think…and i get along fine with anyone who is not an idealogue & so convinced of their own rectitude that any opponent must be mentally deficient.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        nbjay: I had no idea the CFB thing had been dropped. Why, I wonder? It’s just a change in letterhead and substantive of not much. So a cost to change all the documents (on which our military positively thrives) a shiny new gate sign and all the road signs have to be changed too. Meanwhile, those of us who are only peripherally aware of Cold Lake (“Puddle”, “Bog”, “Lousy-Place-To-Skate”: Ive heard all of those) wind up looking foolish at odd moments, caught out by random name changes.

        Anyhow, glad you made it out of there. Just think: but for mere chance you could have been joined by someone from Tamba Bay, Florida. He’d have been easily identifiable, too. The frozen solid man with the “What the fu-!!!” expression on his face halfway down the ramp of a C-130 (or whatever the US Military flies its itinerant physicians around in).

      • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:41 PM

        nbjay–It was Maple Flag I was supposed to attend. Instead, I got to experience 135 degrees with 95% humidity, yech! I’ve never been to Alberta, but I have been to Gander, New Foundland in the winter. While i expect the seacoast makes it a bit warmer there than Cold Lake, it has still got to be better than the world’s largest cat box/land fill.

        Cur–I spent many happy hours on C-130s, C-17s (my fav), C-5s, and KC-135s; but I would have arrived in Cold Lake in a F-16.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 29, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        idaho–just want to make sure you realize the “idealogue” part of my response to you above was not referring to you

      • nbjays - Dec 29, 2012 at 10:23 AM

        Cur, it was 1994 and the 70th anniversary of the RCAF. DND decided, to boost morale within the Air Force, to return to the original practice of referring to its air bases as “Wings”, thus we had 4 Wing in Cold Lake, 3 Wing in Bagotville, 19 Wing in Comox, etc. They have since gone even farther, recently changing the name of the whole branch back to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Unfirtunately, I retired in 2010 and never did get to officially serve in the RCAF, despite 29 years in the CAF.

        And it was common to see the sight you described. Maple Flag was an annual exercise running from mid-May to the end of June, with participants from all over the world, and not a year went by when it didn’t snow at some point in those 6 weeks. As amusing as it was to see the poor guys from Tyndall AFB, FL and Luke AFB, AZ freezing on the flightline, it was usually the poor folks from the Indonesian Air Force that arrived totally unprepared for spring in the tundra and invariably bought out Wal-Mart’s entire stock of jackets and toques.

        Raysfan, it would indeed be more comfy in Gander, especially in winter. Temps of -40 (Celsius or Farenheit, it matters not) were common just about every year. But, as the saying goes, it’s a dry cold. :-)

      • nbjays - Dec 29, 2012 at 10:24 AM

        “Unfortunately”…. (edit function please)

      • IdahoMariner - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        raysfan – no worries – i know you weren’t referring to me. just got stuck painting my kid’s room and haven’t hit the internet since yesterday. i’m not a fan of idealogues, either.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 29, 2012 at 7:07 PM

        -40, huh? I haven’t experienced that since I was a kid in Wisconsin. I looked like Ralphie’s little brother!

      • bigharold - Dec 30, 2012 at 1:47 AM

        Come on now Cur,.. the Canadians didn’t burn Washington the British did. And we won, .. sort of, .. you guys done rebuilding Toronto, Yorktown, .. whatever?

        Besides, .. what America really got from the War of 1812 was the understanding for the need of a full time Army and Navy.

        Check it out, .. it’s a really interesting 2 hours.

      • bigharold - Dec 30, 2012 at 1:56 AM

        “.. “Wyoming” & “Nebraska” & “Rhode Island”

        Cur I’ve been to RI, .. and Wyoming. Both are there and Wyoming is there and beautiful. Evan a Canuck like yourself would love it. Nebraska, .. haven’t been there so I can’t be sure!

    • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Good thing Andre Dawson won that MVP in Chicago and Gary Carter won that championship in New York!

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        Do not mention Robbie Alomar, or they may want to change their mind.

  4. kirbyslefteye - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    So if we’re going to take the “National” label so literally what do we do about MLB games played in Canada?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      Canadian baseball is complicated to assess. It hinges on international exchange rates and such. No time to delve into it here.

      • tmohr - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        You just double it and add 30, eh?

      • mazblast - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:52 PM

        Subtract 32 and multiply by 5/9.

    • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Ignore the man behind the curtain. Its easy to figure out. Our dollar, underpinned by our seal blubber and poutine based economy, is worth $1.004 of yours. Hence I can spend $100 BeaverBucks and get $100.39 worth of American Stuff. So, it follows that games played on Canadian soil are that much better and count for more towards Cooperstown. Over the course of a long and storied career, a very good Canadian player will be 1.004 times more eligible for the HOF than an American counterpart. Easy, eh?

      • historiophiliac - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        I don’t think we make much here anymore, so what you’re saying is that you use us to get less than a ha’penny discount on Chinese products. I think that makes you even more responsible for the exploitation of Chinese workers. We’re #2!!!!

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        I’m so ashamed.

      • nukeladouche - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:14 PM

        It’s not quite so simple. After all, the exchange rate fluctuates. So a guy who plays from the late ’90s to today – when to my knowledge exchange rates evened out – might have a cWAR (that’s Canadian WAR) of 1.004. However, back when I was in college and visiting Montreal for the Molson and all-nude exotic dancers, the exchange rate was much different (I generally recall Canadian dollars being discounted by 25-30% back then). So a player whose career spanned the ’70s and ’80s would have a much different cWAR, making, say, 400 HRs hit in the 80s a different animal than 400 HRs hit in the ’00s.

        Canadian Sabermetrics is also confusing in that every calculation ends with the phrase, ‘eh?’ – and you have to say it in Geddy Lee’s voice.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM

        Ah. Good points, Nuke. I’m sure many Americans are similarly confused. But its not really a problem. To adjust based on cWAR for players from the 80’s is simple. Present day rates are be applied retroactively to times when the world was insane and the American dollar was worth more than the BeaverBuck. Its the well known (to me) Sanity Adjustment, eh? It works because of these factors:
        -Geddy Lee’s Voice
        -All Nude Exotic Dancers
        -Seal Blubber

        I hope I’ve cleared up any lingering confusion.

      • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        I thought the value of the BeaverBuck floated with the amount of maple syrup in the International Strategic Reserve. You learn something every day.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        Maple Syrup used to underpin the economy, but ever since Mrs. Buttersworth starting adulterating with High Fructose Corn Syrup Maple has lost some of its buying power. We can’t make Buttersworth cut out the HFC because she’s American, see. Being American she’s engaged in some pretty underhanded practices and has flooded the market with her sweeter, cheaper, less good for you, brand. We’ve had to move on from the faded lustre of our liquid gold to the more profitable climes of Seal Blubber. My people plan to wait her out. With any luck she’ll go under like Twinkies did.

      • nbjays - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        Not to mention that Beaverbucks don’t float so well in Maple Syrup anymore, since they are now coins and therefore prone to sinking.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        I am sorry that I missed this conversation because I was out trapping for beaver in the wilds north of Toronto. 1) Given the density of Maple Syrup, I am quite sure that our new plastic currency will still float on it. 2) I pity those airmen who were stationed at Cold Lake. Fortunately dad was never transferred there. His only posting outside Ontario, was in Newfoundland. At that time, it was not part of Canada, so he got a medal for serving in a foreign country.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        Wait, wait, wait. WAIT. Newfoundland has joined us? When did THAT happen? I mean I lost track of the “CFB” thing 20 years ago because that’s when conversations about Cold Lake stopped since my brothers said “enough of THIS shit!” and took up other occupations, but I think I’d have noticed when Newfoundland ceased to be a foreign land. Tell me, was there a struggle? Did they come willingly or did we invade and MAKE them join us? And, now that they’re under the Maple Leaf, do they still tell time differently than the rest of the nation? I bet they still do. Them and Labrador. Can’t get with the program.

      • bigharold - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:01 AM

        “.. it follows that games played on Canadian soil are that much better and count for more towards Cooperstown. Over the course of a long and storied career, a very good Canadian player will be 1.004 times more eligible for the HOF..”

        Yeah that’s NOW! How do you explain the time when the Canadian currency was at a 20% or 30% discount to American money. The same argument would mean that a very good player on Canadian soil would only be average in the important part of North America.

        Splain yourself!

    • kindasporty - Dec 29, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      Wasn’t that the big debate with Paul Molitor? They had to decide if his career was Hall of Fame worthy if you didn’t include the Blue Jays home games? Maybe my memory is failing me.

  5. clydeserra - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Yeah, screw Gary Carter. You tell ’em!

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      I know this is a joke, but in my home, we do not say “screw Gary Carter”, even in jest.
      Instead, we read whatever article Craig has posted about the Mets trying to sign a utility infielder, flip to Kid highlights on Youtube, and get dust in our eyes.

  6. raulduke11 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    When ya

    • historiophiliac - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      Wait for it…

  7. raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    This is why no Sadaharu Oh in Cooperstown too.

  8. raulduke11 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    When ya got nothin to write, ya gotta write somethin I guess

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Does that excuse this useless comment?

  9. wgray981 - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Yeah, but he probably didn’t take steroids like ~80% of the hall of famers right now. The MLB is losing popularity in-part because the amount of PED’s in the game is a joke. Crack down on the problem!

    • jonrox - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      MLB is decidedly NOT losing popularity, and the steroid-infused home run record chase of the late 90s is credited with restoring the popularity lost by the 1994 players strike.

      Regardless, there is as much reason to suspect Matsui of taking steroids as anyone else in the league, particularly because I doubt anyone here knows the steroids testing procedures in Japan.

      In conclusion, you’re an idiot

      • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        Tougher on steroids and amphetamines, easier on masking agents.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      “Losing popularity”. *smirk*. I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there! The last 9 seasons have seen the 9 highest paid attendance at MLB parks ever. Teams are being awarded the most lucrative TV contracts ever. Baseball’s popularity is growing, not declining.

  10. bigjimatch - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    “Groundzilla” being considered for the HoF is almost as laughable as Derek Jeter being considered a HoF player.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      I hate Derek Jeter fanboys as much as anyone, but he is most definitely a Hall of Famer even if you take away the Gold Gloves he didn’t earn.

    • kirkvanhouten - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      You know…when people say Derek Jeter is overrated, they aren’t saying he isn’t an excellent ball player who had a fabulous career. They’re just saying he isn’t, and never was, the best player in baseball like he was made out to be.

      If you’re definition of a Hall of Fame player excludes a shortstop whose posted a 117 OPS+ over the course of an 18 (healthy) year career, than you have the most narrow definition of a HOF I’ve ever head of. In fact, if Derek Jeter just decided to not field balls anymore and just stand their casually as the rolled by him for 18 years, he’d *still* probably be a HOF based upon his bat and offensive scarcity at shortstop.

  11. lazlosother - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Canada gets special dispensation pursuant to games in said nation being played by members of MLB. This is because Toronto kicked everyone’s ass for a couple of years, and theretofore couldn’t be ignored any longer. The fact that Toronto is a great city also played into the decision.

    MLB games played elsewhere, Japan, etc., do not count. Games played in Florida also do not count, because of the ridiculousness of the stadiums.

    Matsui had a really good career and NY fans will always love him, but he is not a HOF player.

    • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      What’s ridiculous about the stadiums? Macondo Banana Massacre Field has nice capacious alleys. If you want to say “because of the ugliness of the stadiums, I would argue with you about Macondo Banana Massacre Field, but would cede the point with regard to the Tropicana Dump.

      • lazlosother - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        I was thinking of the catwalks at the Trop. The monstrosity that threatens all that is sacred every time a homer is hit at Macondo Banana Massacre Field along with the color scheme, classifies as ridiculous.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        Ah, but Tommy only lights up when a Feesh heets a home run. When the Iron Giant has been retired for five years and is up for his first ballot nomination, we can argue this again. Until then, looking at the rest of this team, there really isn’t any point to it.

    • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      So that 11th inning grand slam Benny Agbayani hit didn’t count?


  12. 13arod - Dec 28, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    maybe yankeys hall of fame

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      A quick heads up13arod. I realize that spelling is not your strength; however, if you used a spell check before you posted your comments, you would receive a lot fewer thumbs down votes.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:44 PM

        Or, we can adopt that spelling to drive the Borg crazy.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:06 PM

        Nice painting.

  13. yahmule - Dec 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    How about LeRon Lee and Tuffy Rhodes?

  14. hojo20 - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    If Kirby Puckett is in, Matsui should be in as well.

    • kirkvanhouten - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Okay, I’ll dive in:

      (Puckett’s numbers are first, Matsui’s are second)

      Games: 1783 > 1236
      AB: 7244 > 4442
      Runs: 1071 > 656
      Hits: 2304 > 1253
      2B: 414 > 249
      3B: 57 > 12
      HR: 207 > 175
      RBI: 1085 > 760
      BA: .318 > .282
      OBP: .360 = .360
      SLG: .477 > .462
      OPS+ 124 > 118
      WAR: 48.2 > 18.6

      Kirby Puckett was much, much, much, much, much better. The difference in WAR between the two players is 29.6. That’s the roughly the same distance as Yogi Berra and Mark Grudzelaniak.

      Not to know Matsui, good player who spent his formative years in Japan…but I think you’re making the Puckett comparison because of conditions that cut their US careers short? If so, it’s pretty preposterous.

      • hojo20 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        Well Puckett shouldn’t be in the HOF regardless.

  15. nukeladouche - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Godzilla is not a HOFer. Neither is Andy Pettitte, nor Bernie Williams, nor Jorge Posada. Sometimes good Yankee players who win titles are just good Yankee players who win titles.

    And I’m a Yankee fan.

    Jeter and Mo, however, are HOFers – first balloters, both of them.

    • cackalackyank - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      Agree with you, but leaving aside the PED issue, depending on how Pettitte fares this season, he has about as good an HOF case as …Jack Morris for example. Right now has a lower ERA, and only 9 less wins. Pettitte’s fWAR is 68.6 to Morris’ 56.9. Oh…and one of the the best records in Post Season play. Besides, the HOF needs a player with four t’s in their name. So…leaving PEDs aside…if Morris is HOF…Pettite is HOF.

      • nukeladouche - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        I can’t really argue with you, cackalack. . . . But then, I don’t think Jack Morris belongs in the HOF.

      • cackalackyank - Dec 29, 2012 at 12:32 AM

        Oh I agree about Morris,nuke…but there seem to be a lot of folks that think Morris should be in, and may even be voted in this year…in which case it opens the door to many other players that may not be true greats, unless of course they used PEDS…in which case…

  16. kirkvanhouten - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Totally Unfair But Too Fun Not To Have Arguement Time!

    Well, if you think a player should go to the hall when you smush his NPB and MLB stats together, check this guy out!

    487 Home Runs
    1336 RBIs

    Tuffy Rhodes has a pretty great case for Cooperstown, no?

    Okay, that’s not fair… But still, double Matsui’s career numbers in the US and he’s *still* not close to a HOF player. Can’t a player just be really good with a cool story, retire and not have to be the subject of endless Cooperstown debate? Matsui is welcome in the Ray Lankford Wing of the Hall, but that’s really about it.

  17. joerymi - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    If he played for ANY other team, this wouldn’t even be brought up in jest. But Yankee fans believe the center of the universe revolves around their team.

    Matsui had a nice MLB career. If he hit the majors at 22 or 23, MAYBE this would be a discussion. Allowing Japan numbers in will not, and should not happen.

  18. vallewho - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Nobody mentioned his porn collection. I think that will prevent a lot of writers from voting for him, given how it reflects on his character.

    [SIZE=”1″]kidding, of course[/SIZE]

    • bankboy2012 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      He’s first ballot for the AVN Hall of Fame (consumer category).

  19. theawesomersfranchise - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    “National” Baseball Hall of Fame, well you know things change. There was a time when the color of your skin kept you out of the Hall, well that changed. People want to talk about respect for the game, and treat the Hall like a temple, well simply make it the Baseball Hall of Fame, where Baseball’s greats are respected & recognised for the game of baseball they played.

    Hockey Hall of Fame got it right putting in Tretiak and others who never played in the NHL, because they are worthy hockey players, and not recognising that just makes the Hall of Fame less.

  20. andyroth1227 - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    How moronic to write an article about a non-issue

  21. rayfeathers - Dec 30, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    just read that the angels are going to retire his number.

  22. mikhelb - Dec 31, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    “Officially, the Hall of Fame takes the position that is a National Hall of Fame — that’s even the name of the place — meaning baseball accomplishments which took place in America.”

    Then that means that baseball feats accomplished in professional leagues in Canada, USA, México, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana, Panamá and all other countries IN América should be counted.

    Unless Craig is another one of those misinformated persons who think “America” comprises only the USA, while in fact it is the whole continent (not two as the USA and UK educational systems say it is, besides them, every country in the world knows it is one whole continent).

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