Skip to content

The HardballTalk Hall of Fame series

Jan 9, 2013, 12:40 AM EST

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. Padres planning to hang on to their recently-acquired outfielders

    Dec 21, 2014, 11:10 PM EST

    wil myers getty Getty Images

    Wil Myers was rumored to be a potential target for the Phillies in a trade involving Cole Hamels, but it turns out the Padres plan to hang on to him.

  2. Twins sign Wil Ledezma to a minor league deal

    Dec 21, 2014, 10:21 PM EST

    Wil Ledezma Getty Images

    Wil Ledezma will attempt to return to the major leagues with the Twins after signing a minor league deal.

  3. Giants’ training staff preparing an update on Marco Scutaro

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:55 PM EST

    Marco Scutaro Reuters Reuters

    Marco Scutaro’s 2014 season was tarnished by a chronic back ailment. The Giants’ training staff is preparing an update on the 39-year-old and it may not be good news.

  4. Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela to compete for Yankees’ second base job

    Dec 21, 2014, 8:50 PM EST

    Jose Pirela Jose Pirela

    If spring training were to start today, Yankees GM Brian Cashman would have Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela compete for the starting job at second base.

  5. The Padres have talked to the Phillies about Cole Hamels

    Dec 21, 2014, 5:47 PM EST

    cole hamels getty Getty Images

    It makes a lot of sense. And now, it seems, the clubs themselves are starting to talk about it.

  6. Why is John Smoltz a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame?

    Dec 21, 2014, 4:17 PM EST

    (FILES) This 25 August, 2002, file photo

    Is Smoltz really so different than Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina?

  7. Giants, Red Sox still in the picture for James Shields

    Dec 21, 2014, 2:50 PM EST

    james shields getty Getty Images

    The field for James Shields has been winnowed down to a few, namely the Giants and Red Sox.

  8. Justin Upton open to signing a contract extension with the Padres before spring training

    Dec 21, 2014, 1:35 PM EST

    Justin Upton Justin Upton

    If the Padres want to keep Justin Upton around beyond 2015, they’ll have to hammer out a contract extension before spring training begins.

  9. Scott Boras: Matt Wieters will be ready for Opening Day

    Dec 21, 2014, 12:27 PM EST

    Matt Wieters AP

    Scott Boras says the Orioles should expect to have Matt Wieters behind the plate when the 2015 regular season opens on April 6.

  10. Padres GM A.J. Preller discusses the offseason

    Dec 21, 2014, 10:55 AM EST

    preller ap AP

    A.J. Preller, the second-youngest general manager in Major League Baseball, joined MLB Network this weekend to discuss the Padres’ incredibly active offseason …

  11. Video: Matt Kemp and San Diego’s “rockstar GM”

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:11 AM EST

    matt kemp dodgers getty Getty Images

    Matt Kemp was introduced to the San Diego media on Saturday at Petco Park …

  12. Rangers showing interest in Brandon Beachy

    Dec 20, 2014, 10:45 PM EST

    Brandon Beachy Brandon Beachy

    Bounce-back candidate Brandon Beachy has drawn interest from the Rangers lately.

  13. Josh Lindblom signs with the Lotte Giants in Korea

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:40 PM EST

    Josh Lindblom Josh Lindblom

    Josh Lindblom is taking his talents to the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization.

  14. Angels sign Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin

    Dec 20, 2014, 7:35 PM EST

    angels logo

    The deal between Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin and the Angels became official on Saturday after the 20-year-old passed his physical.

  15. Brian Sabean doesn’t plan to talk to Max Scherzer

    Dec 20, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

    Max Scherzer Getty Getty Images

    The Giants reportedly have no plans to attempt to initiate contract talk with free agent Max Scherzer.

  16. Nick Hundley reportedly has a two-year offer

    Dec 20, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    Nick Hundley Nick Hundley

    An unnamed team has reportedly offered a two-year deal to Nick Hundley. It’s not the Orioles.

  17. Rangers lose a player to release waivers due to quirk in MLB rule

    Dec 20, 2014, 5:26 PM EST

    Ben Rowen Getty Getty Images

    MLB’s waiver rules are complicated enough for fans and those who cover baseball on a regular basis, but apparently they can even confuse teams sometimes.

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. W. Myers (5253)
  2. M. Kemp (3126)
  3. W. Middlebrooks (2828)
  4. C. McGehee (2816)
  5. J. Upton (2713)
  1. J. Kang (2657)
  2. M. Morse (2214)
  3. A. Rios (1952)
  4. J. Peavy (1941)
  5. D. Norris (1764)