Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Pirates sign Josh Stinson

    Oct 23, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Josh Stinson Orioles

    Stinson has had brief looks in the majors with the Orioles, Brewers, and Mets, combining to throw 52 innings with a 4.47 ERA in parts of four seasons.

  2. The Mets are interested in Michael Cuddyer

    Oct 23, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer Getty Getty Images

    He only played 49 games this season, but they were 49 pretty good games.

  3. Gold Glove finalists announced

    Oct 23, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT

    gold glove award

    On your mark. Get set. Complain!

  4. The Brewers hire Darnell Coles as their hitting instructor

    Oct 23, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Brewers logo

    He previously managed in the Brewers’ minor league system.

  5. Blue Jays “getting a lot of interest” in Adam Lind

    Oct 23, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT

    adam lind getty Getty Images

    Will the Blue Jays trade Lind after he hit .321 this season?

  6. HBT Daily: Did Ned Yost outduel Bruce Bochy?

    Oct 23, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Division Series - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Kansas City Royals - Game Three Getty Images

    Or did the players actually have something to do with all of this?

  7. The Rockies fire their pitching coach

    Oct 23, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT

    rockies logo

    Who wants THAT job? Anyone? Anyone?

  8. The Cubs’ battle with the rooftop owners may be coming to an end

    Oct 23, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    Wrigley Rooftop

    The team may soon own the buildings across Waveland and Sheffield Avenues.

  9. John Hart to be named Braves President of Baseball Operations

    Oct 23, 2014, 10:42 AM EDT

    John Hart

    Presumably, the Braves will also hire a general manager, giving them the two-headed front office we’ve seen in Chicago and will soon see in Los Angeles.

  10. There was a Tim Lincecum sighting last night! But then he went away again.

    Oct 23, 2014, 8:59 AM EDT

    Tim Lincecum AP

    The Freak was back last night. And he did OK, though he left with a stiff back.

  11. At least Hunter Strickland entertained us last night

    Oct 23, 2014, 7:44 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 7.42.57 AM AP

    The rookie didn’t have control. With his pitches or with his emotions.

  12. Giants should give Yusmeiro Petit the Game 4 start

    Oct 23, 2014, 2:25 AM EDT

    Yusmeiro Petit Yusmeiro Petit

    Petit deserves the nod over probable starter Ryan Vogelsong.

  13. Royals even up World Series with 7-2 Game 2 victory

    Oct 22, 2014, 11:34 PM EDT

    kelvin herrera getty Getty Images

    Yordano Ventura held the Giants to two runs over five-plus innings and the Kansas City offense awoke for seven runs on 10 hits as the Royals evened up the 2014 World Series at a win apiece with a 7-2 Game 2 victory on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

  14. Royals grab commanding lead and benches clear in sixth inning of World Series Game 2

    Oct 22, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT

    billy butler getty Getty Images

    The host Royals have the visiting Giants right where they want them in Game 2 of the World Series.

  15. World Series Game 2 tied 2-2 through five innings

    Oct 22, 2014, 9:48 PM EDT

    yordano ventura getty Getty Images

    Game 2 of the World Series has been a back-and-forth affair thus far, with the visiting Giants scoring single runs in the first and fourth innings and the Royals scoring in the first and second. It’s all square at 2-2 as the action shifts to the top of the sixth.

  16. Craig Kimbrel wins Trevor Hoffman Award; Greg Holland gets Mariano Rivera Award

    Oct 22, 2014, 9:03 PM EDT

    kimbrel holland mlb

    Major League Baseball announced in April that two new regular-season awards would be handed out every year, going to the top reliever in each league. The NL’s award was named after Trevor Hoffman and the AL’s was named after Mariano Rivera. Here, via MLB’s Twitter account, are the first recipients …

  17. Giants again strike first, but Royals answer back

    Oct 22, 2014, 8:39 PM EDT

    gregor blanco getty Getty Images

    The Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning Tuesday before eventually winning Game 1 of the World Series in a 7-1 rout. And they got off to another fast start in Game 2 on Wednesday night, but the Royals were able to answer right back.

  18. Statcast: Brandon Crawford’s over-the-shoulder catch from Game 1 of the World Series

    Oct 22, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT

    brandon crawford getty Getty Images

    Statcast, the new 3D tracking technology from MLB Advanced Media, gives us this unique look at Brandon Crawford’s rangy catch to rob Omar Infante of a hit Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series …

Featured video

A managerial overanalysis epidemic
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Bumgarner (3094)
  2. J. Shields (2910)
  3. T. Lincecum (2734)
  4. T. Ishikawa (2384)
  5. M. Morse (2375)
  1. Y. Cespedes (2007)
  2. L. Cain (1652)
  3. B. Roberts (1639)
  4. B. Posey (1494)
  5. U. Jimenez (1482)