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The HardballTalk Hall of Fame series

Jan 9, 2013, 12:40 AM EDT

jack-morris-03jpg-3f54fc94864f2ba1_medium[1] AP

We’re gearing up for Wednesday’s 2 p.m. EST Hall of Fame announcement here at HardballTalk. In case you missed it, here’s my little five-part series from last month on some of this year’s more controversial candidates, non-Bonds and Clemens division.

HOF voters: choose Mike Piazza or accuse him of using steroids

In 12 years as a primary catcher, his pitchers finished in the top third of the league in ERA 11 times. … We can argue whether Piazza is inner-circle or not, but he’s certainly a Hall of Famer according the numbers. Still, I’m guessing he’ll be left off 35-45 percent of the ballots when the votes are counted in January, despite never having failed a drug test.

Steroids or no, Sammy Sosa doesn’t belong in Hall of Fame

But that five-year run supplies the vast majority of Sosa’s case. The problem with Sosa is that he just wasn’t that valuable over the course of the rest of his six 30-homer seasons. He started out as a fine defensive outfielder, but he lost most of his value there by the time he became a great hitter. His initial 30-homer campaigns came with lousy OBPs and few doubles. His later ones came with average OBPs and poor defense.

Why on earth is Craig Biggio above steroid suspicion?

The case against [Jeff] Bagwell is that he showed little power as a youngster, befriended noted steroids user Ken Caminti, got a lot stronger in the majors and then turned into one of the game’s best players.

And that differs from Biggio how?

Inducting Jack Morris would lower the bar for the Hall of Fame

Morris pitched for 18 seasons, all of them in a 14-team American League. During that time, there were 504 ballots cast for the Cy Young Award. Morris received a first-place vote on five of those ballots. One percent. He got two first-place votes in 1983, when he finished third in the balloting behind the immortal LaMarr Hoyt and a reliever in Dan Quisenberry. He got the other three in 1991, when he finished fourth behind [Roger] Clemens, Scott Erickson and Jim Abbott.

The Hall of Fame case for Tim Raines

Raines was quite possibly the NL’s best player in a five-year span from 1983-87.  WAR thinks so, placing him ahead of Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn and Dale Murphy. Raines hit .318/.406/.467 during that span and averaged 114 runs scored and 71 steals per year. During those five years, only [Rickey] Henderson scored more runs (572-568) and only Wade Boggs had a better OBP (.443 to .406). And those two were playing in the other league.

  1. jarathen - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    The good news is that since no one will be inducted this year, we won’t have to worry about hall worthiness until next winter.

  2. sbmcintosh36 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Sorry but Bonds was in before he juiced if it weren’t for getting robbed by Pendleton he was automatic, this guy is a complete ass and will be held back because of the way he treated writers it’s a shame but he did it to himself and we all know how the voters are

    • kirkvanhouten - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      Not only was he robbed in 1991…he was probably the best player in the NL in 1995 and 1996 as well.

      In 1995, he lead the league in OPS, WAR (for position players), OBP, went 30-30, 2nd in runs….

      In 1996, he went 40-40, lead the league in WAR, 2nd in OPS and won a well deserved gold glove.

  3. fanofevilempire - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Jack Morris should ask to be removed from the ballot.

    This guy is no different than Schilling.

    Give me a playoff pitcher like him any day, guy is a bulldog!

    • cktai - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      Jack Morris is 7-4 with a 3.80 ERA in the postseason. In two of the four seasons he pitched in the playoffs, he never left a game with his team in the lead.

      Meanwhile Curt Schilling is 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in the postseason, with excellent performances in all 5 seasons he was a part of the playoffs.

      Are you seriously telling me there is no difference?

    • kirkvanhouten - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      “This guy is no different than Schilling.”

      …Curt Schilling was much, much better.

  4. makeham98 - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Guys like Raines and Morris, please just have the veterans committee take up their cases. Though I think Raines belongs.

  5. chaseutley - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    If you were to take that incredible Game 7 away from Jack Morris, I’m not sure that he would get into the Hall.

    The problem I have (in my imaginary ballot) is deciding how much I want to weight 1 game.

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