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Brian Kenny’s hypothetical Hall of Fame ballot is… interesting

Dec 20, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT

Brian Kenny is not an official Baseball Hall of Fame voter. If he did have a vote, however, it’d go a little something like this:

In the interest of full disclosure: I do not give a hoot about the Hall of Fame. I lost interest in the whole thing years ago when baseball opinionmakers bestowed upon themselves the job of being the moral vanguards of the game. But as Kenny is a self-described fan of analytics, bringing logic and reason to the mainstream where it has long been absent, I was shocked by some of his inclusions and omissions and felt they were worth discussing. I’ll be making Sabermetric-heavy arguments since that’s the language he speaks.

Firstly: Fred McGriff? And no Jeff Bagwell?

Bagwell 9431 .244 .405 80.3
McGriff 10174 .225 .383 57.2

Even if you use Baseball Reference’s version of WAR rather than FanGraphs’, McGriff still loses 52.6 to 79.5. Aside from being a much better hitter, Bagwell was capable of swiping bags as he had ten double-digit stolen base seasons in his 15-year career and stole a total of 202 bags in 280 chances (72 percent) over his career. McGriff stole 72 in 110 chances (65 percent) over 19 years. Bagwell, for the most part, was an above-average defender for most of his career while McGriff was a below-average defender.

McGriff didn’t have much of a peak, so the peak-vs.-longevity argument doesn’t mean anything in this debate. McGriff posted his highest fWAR, 6.6, in 1988, his first full season in the big leagues. In the six seasons that followed, he typically hovered between 3.6 and 6.4. Bagwell peaked at 7.8 twice, in 1994 and in 1999.

Furthermore, if one was to rank Hall of Fame first basemen by rWAR, McGriff would rank 10th out of 16, behind Tony Perez at 54.1. Five of the seven behind him played in the Dead Ball Era. Bagwell, meanwhile, would rank third behind only Lou Gehrig and Johnny Mize.

Secondly: Where is Mike Piazza? Piazza is the greatest-hitting catcher to ever play the game. His 427 career home runs exceed the 389 of Johnny Bench for the all-time record among catchers. Piazza retired with a .390 wOBA (Bench? .362). His 59.2 career rWAR would rank fifth among 14 Hall of Fame catchers, just narrowly behind Yogi Berra at 59.3 and still trailing Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter, and Bench.

Thirdly: Where are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens? Kenny explains he won’t vote for players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs. But for someone who fancies himself a proponent of evidence-based analysis, one would think he would apply that here, too. There are plenty of rumors with Bonds, but he only ever failed a drug test for amphetamines. You know who else used amphetamines? Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Mike Schmidt among others. Clemens never failed a drug test.

That being said, there are a couple inclusions that I did like. Kenny made sure to make room for Mike Mussina, who will likely be the most underrated pitcher to appear on any ballot during his 15-year period of eligibility. Kenny also cast a ballot for Alan Trammell, whose support had wavered between 13 and 24 percent before jumping to 37 and 34 percent over the last two years. Trammell’s 70.3 career rWAR would rank seventh among 20 Hall of Fame shortstops, tied with the recently-inducted Barry Larkin.

It’s a tough ballot and no one’s going to nominate ten players that won’t aggravate some large swath of baseball fans for inclusions and omissions. But it was just interesting to see Kenny break from the general consensus of the camp to which he himself subscribes. Interesting discussion for sure.

  1. mmeyer3387 - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    You are not only 100% right, you also exposed the fallacy of the sports journalist that are voters. How can these guys look at their selves in the morning? Clearly, Mike Piazza, Biggio, and Bagwell should be no brainers, along with Maddux and maybe Morris (I like Allen Trammel also). Furthermore, your point about amphetamines is so spot on. What do they do about passed great hall of famers such as; Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Mike Schmidt. Each one was also MVP’s.

    • sabatimus - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:51 AM

      Morris has no business being in Cooperstown without buying a ticket.

      • pastabelly - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Morris will get more votes than Schilling and the argument will be that Morris is a “big game” pitcher. These people will not vote for Schilling who is the premier post season pitcher of his generation.

    • maikoch - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:20 AM

      If you have to attach the ‘maybe’ to Morris’ name then he is, by definition, NOT a “no-brainer’.

    • tfbuckfutter - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Also Mario Van Peebles’s what?

  2. bluesoxbaseball - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Bonds admitted to using steroids in his court testimony.

    • jkcalhoun - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:35 AM

      What do you suppose that perjury case was all about, if he admitted to using steroids?

      What he actually said was that he used a clear substance and a cream substance but never thought they were steroids. It would be reasonable to presume that they were in fact The Cream and The Clear, but he didn’t testify to that.

    • jkcalhoun - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:45 AM

      Q. …with what you’ve seen today, do you feel comfortable as you sit here today saying that you have never taken steroids?

      A. I feel very comfortable, very comfortable.

      Probably the next thing somebody’s going to say is that Bill Clinton testified to having sexual relations with that woman.

  3. uwsptke - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    My guess is he’s one of the guys who’s lumped Bagwell and Piazza in with the suspected steroid users based on nonexistent evidence or their own personal gut instinct. Probably buys into that story of a teammate of Piazza saying he had a problem with back acne, so he checked him off as a user.

    • robotmonkeycat - Dec 21, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      It’s more likely that he left them off because they were more recently eligible to be on the ballot, and the voters are limited to 10 selections.

  4. bluesoxbaseball - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    He obviously believes Bagwell and Piazza took steroids. This post completely missed the interesting part of the story

    • sabatimus - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:52 AM

      That’s because that part of the story isn’t interesting.

  5. Kevin Gillman - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    I’ve always believed that media should not vote for Hall of Famers, because they usually use their own agendas to do it. How about having either current players, or HOF members themselves do the voting?

    • dinofrank60 - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:14 AM

      Current players and HOFs barely know who played five years ago…

      • Kevin Gillman - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        And journalists do?

    • paperlions - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      The Veteran’s committees of old composed of ex-players were far more agenda-laden, complete with back-room deals to get buddies that have no business being in the HOF voted in, than the BWWAA vote has ever been. The vast majority of HOF members that have no business being elected were put in by ex-players. Say what you want about that electorate, they have done FAR better than ex-players have ever done, and far better than current players would do.

      • Kevin Gillman - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Okay, then you hire an independent committee that has nothing to do with baseball, you go by numbers, and also how they impacted the game. Something, ANYTHING has to be better than having prejudiced media beat writers make the selections.

  6. temporarilyexiled - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Funny how the arguments run into problems when it comes to the Hall of Fame. At a certain point, you realize (if you’re lucky enough to be that self-aware) that those arguments have a good bit of subjectivity mixed in with the best attempts at objectivity.

    I guess you can state with some certainty that there was a moment when whatever PEDs of the day became more than just a way to get through the long season at a high level.

    I’m betting there weren’t…aren’t…too many players avoiding supplements of any kind as a matter of course.

    It becomes so complicated to come to some sort of reckoning. What’s detectable? What’s legal, and when? How much is this or that really affecting performance?

    And I can understand the outrage from “clean” players (who I define as players who saw how much the latest PEDs were changing things and chose not to).

    But I think the Hall of Fame should accurately chronicle all eras, and not try to pretend one didn’t exist, especially when MLB as a whole did way more than drag its feet in being willing to deal with the truth out in the open.

    Baseball is an old sport. The best players have just as many warts as the average ones, and as all of us. A REAL museum and organization charged with honoring the game will accept the best players of ANY era, warts and all.

    • paperlions - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Feel free to provide evidence that PEDs affected production in baseball. In your answer, be sure to exclude all other possibilities, including changes to ball park dimensions, and repeated changes to ball composition. In addition, be sure to address the sudden increase in HR rate throughout the league that started in the middle of the 1993 season, the fact that HR rates did not decline when steroid testing began, the fact that HR rates did decrease when amphetamine testing began, and the fact that steroid and amphetamine usage have been common throughout MLB since at least the 1960s.

  7. jolink653 - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Bonds admitted to taking steroids; he just claimed he “didn’t know what he was putting into his body”. As far as I’m concerned, he shouldn’t even sniff the HoF . I suppose the rumors of steroids kept Piazza and Bagwell off this ballot. It’s a shame that they played during the steroid era, otherwise these two would get the recognition they deserve. I don’t know if they did or didn’t juice, but until something concrete comes out that indicates either or both took steroids, we can’t just assume they cheated.

    • jkcalhoun - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:35 AM

      The document is public record. Here’s a sampling:

      Q. So, I guess I got to ask the question again, I mean, did you take steroids? And specifically this test is in November of 200. So, I’m going to ask you in the weeks and months leading up to November 200, were you taking steroids —

      A. No.

      Q. — or anything like that?

      A. No, I wasn’t at all.

      Later on he did volunteered information about taking cortisone and other steroids that aren’t anabolic, so maybe somebody trumped that up. But if he had admitted to taking anabolic steroids, I doubt that he would ever have been tried for perjury.

      • jkcalhoun - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:36 AM

        Oops, didn’t close the block quote properly. That stuff at the bottom, “Later on..”, should not be part of it.

  8. dobber707 - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    ok so take away bonds stats from 2000-2009 he’s still a hof’er

    • sabatimus - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:53 AM

      Only if you take away the character clause first.

      • maikoch - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:26 AM

        Right, because someone like Bonds hardly belongs with paragons of high character and morality like Ty Cobb, Cap Anson, Babe Ruth, Hoss Radbourn, Ed Delahanty, Bowie Kuhn, Tom Yawkey, Tony La Russa, etc.

      • yahmule - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        Yes, because the son of a major leaguer born in the 1960’s had the same exposure to education and proper deportment that was available to guys born on farms or raised in taverns over 100 years ago. Who doesn’t know that?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        Are you saying that it’s only due to education that people realize you shouldn’t treat others as beneath you?

      • yahmule - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        I’m saying your upbringing has a huge amount to do with the person you become. I think anyone who disputes that idea is laughably stupid.

  9. thebadguyswon - Dec 21, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Don’t you get it, Baer?!

    Piazza used steroids! !! He had back acne, for Christssake!!

  10. mvd513 - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    BK doesnt think Bagwell doesnt belong, just that we need to get Crime Dog in to clear up the logjam.

  11. mikhelb - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Piazza says in his book that he used androstenedione, a steroid which was banned by WADA but in the US it was accepted in sports. The steroid has a similar effect to anabolic steroids when used with testosterone, the side effects are those of anabolics. Andro has been classified as anabolic in and out of the US.

    Piazza also accepts he used amphetamines and planned to use HGH but decided not to (it would be stupid for him to say he indeed used it, because his performance would be greatly doubted, it is easier to lie, like he did for years when asked about his steroid and amphetamine suspected use).

    Were amphetamines and steroid specifically banned by MLB? Were those on the FDA restriction list at the time he used them? It those were banned or restricted by FDA then yes, he used banned substances (MLB since the 1980s banned the use of substances banned or restricted by FDA).

    • chrisny13 - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:27 AM

      No, andro was NOT banned by baseball or the FDA when Piazza said he took them. So, no, he never took banned steroids. I think you already knew the answer to that but was posing a rhetorical question simply to mislead and indict.

      And if you want Piazza punished for taking greenies and merely thinking about HGH (he asked the Mets trainer about them so he obviously wasn’t trying to hide anything) … well then you’re going to have to punish maybe 2/3’s of baseball players who played before the current MLB greenies ban and countless numbers already in the HOF.

      As for whether andro is an anabolic steroid, strictly speaking it is not.

      Nice try at a smear job, though.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Were amphetamines and steroid specifically banned by MLB? Were those on the FDA restriction list at the time he used them? It those were banned or restricted by FDA then yes, he used banned substances (MLB since the 1980s banned the use of substances banned or restricted by FDA).

      Steroids weren’t banned until 2006, as MLB can’t unilaterally ban something without the MLBPA agreeing on it. It’s why Vincent’s memo was ignored, and rightfully so (as described by Vincent himself). The FDA also has no power over restricting supplements such as Andro.

    • paperlions - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      studies of andro show that it has no measurable affect. Just because you take precursors to testosterone does not mean that your body can make effective use of them. Most of the stuff sold at places like GNC have little effect on muscle mass, what most of them did do is include amphetamines that give you more energy and focus to work out more.

  12. louhudson23 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Amphetamines are essentially banned because of health reasons.There is no indication that performance was distorted..The record book was not shredded and game play was not significantly altered by their use. Steroids shredded the record book,distorted game play and generally wreaked havoc on the game.While other factors almost certainly were involved(strike zone,harder baseballs,smaller parks)those conditions remain a part of the game,relatively(but not identically) speaking. Meanwhile,with the advent of drug testing,it is clear that the preponderance of blown up players that littered the game have disappeared ,along with the en masse power displays,the destruction of pitching staffs,and has brought with it the return of the importance of defense,base running and managerial decision….To note,like greenies,the use of steroids by pitchers(which clearly occurred)did not produce distorted results,which is to say we did not suddenly have 3 pitchers per team throwing 105mph and striking out 15 per game,same for NFL usage,seen flocks of 3000 yard rushers,twin 40 sack DE and punters kicking the ball in the stands on a consistent basis?…No……
    Whatever the overall circumstances,like league and team indifference,fan approval,in the end,the achievements of those who almost literally tore the cover off the ball,from the Ron Gant,Brett Boone end of the spectrum to the Sosa/McGwire/Bonds fiasco are an artificially manufactured falsehood.The continued false equivalency of greenies,spitballs,stealing signs etc. is willfully ignorant,at best,as is the continued name dropping of Hank Aaron as a greenie user. Aaron admitted trying them,and said he did not like how they made him feel and did not continue.There is no other record of Aaron’s use other than this self made admission…..Which is notable in the interest of accuracy,if nothing else..Baseball,weightlifting,track and field are sports in which steroid use has had clear effect on the actual sport itself. Cycling,football,for example,not so much. The scale of outrage and concern lies in the effect on the sports in question,not morals,or health. While those factor in the conversation,the out sized and continued reaction in baseball is based on the HR Derby-ization of the worlds best game. No more,no less.

    • paperlions - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      The power of rationalization.

      Increased energy and focus have great benefits to baseball players. Feel free to read any of the many first hand accounts for the benefits of amphetamine use to baseball performance.

      • louhudson23 - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        Yeah ,I remember the offensive explosion in the 60’s….it got so bad,they had to lower the mound to give the pitcher a chance….and those three guys hitting 50 HR in a season that decade,then that other guy in the 70’s doing it…….yeah ,,,

  13. bluesoxbaseball - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:52 AM

    Bonds admitted to using the cream and the clear, which were steroids. The perjury case, which was a joke, was about the veracity of his statements he didn’t know they were steroids.

    • jkcalhoun - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      Closer but still not on the mark. He admitted to using a cream substance and a clear substance and effectively denied that they were steroids, given that he denied during that testimony that he had ever taken steroids.

      It would have been up to the prosecution in the perjury case to establish that they were steroids, and they could not do that, absent Anderson’s testimony, since he’s the only other person who could have testified that they were in fact what everyone presumes they were.

      So what we’re left with is a reasonable presumption, but not something Bonds admitted to.

      • bluesoxbaseball - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        Brian Kenny is not putting Bonds in jail for perjury or steroids use, so whether the prosecution could prove the cream and the clear were, in fact, steroids in a court of law is irrelevant. The point is Bonds admitted to taking the cream and the clear. Those are steroids. Whether or not Bonds should be in Hall of Fame, etc. is not even worth debating — he should be — but we can stop with the “he never failed a drug test so we don’t know if took them” because we know, from his own testimony, that he did.

      • jkcalhoun - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        I agree that all of this is irrelevant to Brian Kenny’s hypothetical HOF ballot. I never said ti was. I also never said that it’s unreasonable to presume that he did in fact take steroids.

        I’m only objection to equating that presumption with an admission of use by Bonds. It’s totally fine with me if you don’t care what the difference is, but if you do, read the testimony, if you haven’t already. If you have, read it again.

  14. chrisny13 - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    I suspect Brian Kenny’s HOF choices were in good part influenced by the fact he is a Yankees fan, something which he has admitted to.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      What does him being a NYY fan have to do with his ballot? The only questionable person on their is the Crime Dog. Is there some affiliation with Tom Emanski and the Yankees we are missing?

      • chrisny13 - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        It’s not only who is on Kenny’s ballot that is problematic, but also who is off it.

        Mussina is a very borderline candidate. He never dominated the way an elite pitcher like Pedro did. Mussina was never an ace. No CY awards. No rings. No 300 wins. No postseason MVP honors. He was a compiler and a workhorse, not an impact player. For Kenny to theoretically shoo-in a borderline ex-Yankee the first time he appears on the ballot while denying someone like Piazza the honor on his second time around based on mere suspicions and no concrete evidence speaks of bias to me. If the two players’ situations were somewhat reversed – with Piazza being an ex-Yankee and Mussina having pitched for any other team besides the Yankees — let’s say the Red Sox — I believe Kenny would have picked differently, putting Piazza on his ballot but leaving Mussina off.

      • cohnjusack - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        1. “Mussina is a very borderline candidate. He never dominated the way an elite pitcher like Pedro did. ”

        Virtually nobody ever dominated the way Pedro did, including most HOF pitchers, so maybe don’t have that be your minimum standard. Want a fun Mussina comp?
        Mike Mussina – 270-153, 123 ERA+. 3562 IP, 2813 K, 785 BB, 376 HR, 1.192 WHIP
        Juan Marichal- 243-142. 123 ERA, 3507 IP, 2303 K, 709 BB, 320 HR, 1.101 WHIP

        2. ” Mussina was never an ace”
        He posted an ERA+ above 130 9 times. How was he not an “ace”

        3. “No rings. ”
        Most HOF don’t have them either. Also, the HOF is an INDIVIDUAL honor, WS rings are a TEAM award.

        4. “No 300 wins.”
        Not, but he has 270, the 5th most of any pitcher in the last 30 years. And again, most HOF pitchers don’t have 300 wins.

        5. “He was a compiler and a workhorse, not an impact player.”
        16-4, 164 ERA+
        18-5 157 ERA+.
        19-9 145 ERA+
        17-11 143 ERA+

        Yeah…whatta bum

  15. beachnbaseball - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Fast talking Brian Kenny can shove all his metrics where the sun doesn’t shine. He continues to beat dead horses. Note to MLB Network: Get rid of him.

  16. 2dmo4 - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    I’m sick of Brian Kenny. It makes it extremely hard for me to watch MLB Network when he is part of the show. I do however, agree that Trammell deserves to be in the HOF.

    • beachnbaseball - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      You’re correct. Brian Kenny makes the shows he’s on unbearable. When he’s on “MLB Now” with Harold Reynolds it really looks like Reynolds wants to beat the snot out of him. He’s an air hog, talks over everybody and is very condescending in his quest to educate the fans of baseball. A regular doosh. In general, the MLB Network is a major disappointment. They’ve got 4 or 5 shows that they rerun ad nauseam.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        Of course Reynolds wants to beat the snot out of him. Almost every time Reynolds opens his mouth, he’s saying something wrong. If you were being corrected all the time, you’d want to punch that guy too.

      • indaburg - Dec 21, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        I disagree. While I find Kenny’s HoF ballot questionable, I find his Clubhouse Confidential show very entertaining and educational. I look forward to it every off season.

        As for the MLB network, it’s probably my favorite channel. Like most cable networks, they do re-run shows especially on the weekends, but they also have brand new daily programming. For those of us who work and don’t have a DVR, it’s great to be able to watch Hot Stove later in the day and catch up on baseball news, some of it silly. I love turning it on and catching some old Bob Costas interview, or some snippet of an old game. I like their “Prime 9” series and their other countdown shows because although they rankings are completely arbitrary, I just don’t get tired of watching great baseball. Sometimes they play good baseball movies (and not so good ones–Summer Catch is a bad baseball movie, bad). And of course, during the season, they broadcast live games. As far as sports networks go, it beats the snot out of ESPN.

  17. giant4life - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    I enjoy Brian Kenny on the radio and TV….When I look at his and other baseball writers ballots…..and Bonds is not first on the list…I ignore them ….
    The writers..seem to overlook management and directly….go after the workers…..Does anyone believe that Selig, Torre. and La Russa had no know knowledge and even encouraged …. steroid use, both tacitly and advert…….as did all 30 teams….It was part of that era….
    Get over it….vote for the best..or do not vote.

  18. batcat307 - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    If you had watched Clubhouse Confidential, you’d understand why he chose McGriff over Bagwell and Piazza. Brian said that because they’ve been rumoured to be linked to PEDs (though he admits with them there really isn’t strong evidence), and there’s such a backlog of candidates and only ten slots, he had to leave someone off. He also said he’d be devoting a show in the future about PED candidates. Obviously Piazza and Bagwell aren’t nearly on the suspected level of Sosa, Clemens, Bonds; and I suspect Brian would support those two going into the Hall.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      Even if they took PEDs, so what? They weren’t against the rules at the time so they shouldn’t be punished for them. How difficult is this to understand?

      Never mind that there’s zero credible proof for any of the accusations.

  19. cranespy - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Sad…..we will see professed steroid users included at some point but not Barry or the Rocket…not at least until they Man Up and Admit what they did. Roger is in a class with only one other…Lance Armstrong…both possess a Messianic complex that prevents them from looking us all in the eye and coming totally clean….even now Lance has chosen to try and hold on to whatever sliver of honor and dignity he reveled in as the iconic Livestrong Hero. Roger chooses to refuse to embrace what he truly was….he just better hope his wife doesn’t walk out on him and write the tell all of all tell alls…wouldn’t that be a great read?!

  20. homergreenz - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    This hypothetical ballot was identical to my own, but with Bagwell instead of McGriff. I am not Brian Kenny.

  21. thekcubrats - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Obviously late to this party, and surprised to see no one has made this point: BK is utterly fake. Always has been. He glommed on to statheadedness as a career move relatively late it seems (it worked; yay BK). His ballot reveals his current persona is just pancake makeup.

  22. disgracedfury - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    How is Schilling a Hall of Famer.He wasn’t even the top 5 best pitcher of his era.No one cared for him until 2001 when he started beating the Yankees in the postseason.

    Morris was the best pitcher of his era and unlike Schilling picthed in the AL and in a hitters park.

    • batcat307 - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Morris was the best pitcher of his era? Have you not heard of Nolan Ryan or Bert Blyleven?

    • cohnjusack - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      First off, Jack Morris pitched in a much, much better era for pitchers. The 1970s/80s/early 90s was not a high offensive era. The late 90s and early oughts were. Any claim that Morris pitched in a better hitters environment is patently absurd.

      Secondly, half of Schilling’s career was in Arizona and Boston, which were some of the best hitters parks in baseball.

      Thirdly, despite this, his ERA was still half a run lower. And, in 600 fewer innings, he struck out 600 more batters, walked nearly 700 fewer, and was a faaaar more dominanent pitcher in the postseason that Morris could even dream of being.

  23. braddavery - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    It’s unbelievable to me that there are STILL people out there who truly believe Barry Bonds didn’t use PEDs. lol

    • braddavery - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      AND that there are people who believe he did, but they didn’t affect his performance. People are nuts.

  24. braxtonrob - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Well said, Bill Baer.

    My ballot, and why –

    [Before I write my list, I believe it unavoidably necessary to condemn the writers for the (although well-meaning) heinous job they’ve done, allowing so many qualified candidates stack up well beyond the limit of 10.
    Because these writers feel the need to condemn (alledged and some not-so alleged) PED-users, I will not include the following players on this year’s ballot (because there’s no room anymore! And they should’ve already been inducted in recent years: Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds.
    I think Sosa was WAY overrated, and for me McGwire comes up just short, maybe.]

    1. Greg Maddux (note: if he’s not on your list then you should just stop watching baseball.)
    2. Frank Thomas (see first note)
    3. Tim Raines (should’ve gone in with Rickey Henderson years ago)
    4. Craig Biggio, and (3,000 Hits)
    5. Jeff Bagwell (they should go in, and together)
    6. Edgar Martinez (possibly my all-time favorite player, but that’s not why he deserves it; you simply had to see him hit, period.)
    7. Don Mattingly (this is overdue; he had the exact same career Kirby Puckett, plus all those GG’s, this is an oversight that requires correction, plain and simple.)
    8. Tom Glavine (300 Wins)
    9. Mike Mussina
    10. Jack Morris (only because of this: Are we going to have ZERO Starting Pitchers representing the entire 80’s decade? If you say ‘Yes’, then I’ll remove him, otherwise …)

    My glaring omissions, and why:
    1. Curt Schilling (I’d like to put him in with Pedro Martinez)
    2. Mike Piazza (I’d like to put him in Ivan Rodriguez)
    3. Larry Walker (I’d like to put him in with Todd Helton)
    4. Alan Trammell (I’d like the VC to put him in along with Lou Whitaker)

    Anyone else I left off is simply because there’s no room, and (thanks to these foolish, inane writers, I would have to give them consideration next year.

    • cohnjusack - Dec 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      You lost me as Don Mattingly.

      There is a big difference between a 127 OPS+ at first base and a 124 OPS+ at center field. Not to mention that defensive metrics hardly support Mattingly’s gold gloves.

      I never quite understood why Mattingly gets a pass for injuries slowing down his career, yet none of the ton of other players who were just as good at their peak don’t.

      • cohnjusack - Dec 22, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        Bert Blyleven represented the 80s, Nolan Ryan, Dennis Eckersley, Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage…

        And there were pitchers not in the hall in the 80s better than Morris. Dave Stieb, Orel Hershiser off the top of my head…

      • braxtonrob - Dec 23, 2013 at 4:11 AM

        I agree about Mattingly’s OPS+, but he has many GG’s, and where we differ is that the FLDG. metrics I prefer are different from yours; fair enough.

      • braxtonrob - Dec 23, 2013 at 4:18 AM

        I haven’t taken a perfectly close look at 80’s pitchers, but to me, closers are closers, and starters are starters.

        I don’t see Blyleven and Ryan as having their prime years in the 80’s.
        I.e., those years didn’t get them many HOF votes.

        I’m fine with Stieb, or Hershiser, or even Gooden or Valenzuela, … or Bob Welch or Bret Saberhagen, but the 80’s (if you do your HOF this way, by decade) seem to need a legit starting pitcher for representation.

    • cohnjusack - Dec 22, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      …but I agree with 12 of 14. I should really stop being so negative!

  25. bostonboresme - Dec 23, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Before we put any other dude in, can we please get the all-time hit king some love? I wish we wouldn’t have to wait for Mr. Selig to retire or die.

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