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Looking ahead to next year’s Hall of Fame ballot

Jan 9, 2014, 12:28 AM EDT

Pedro Martinez AP

Because one can never get too much of a head start.

As Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas exit the ballot as Hall of Fame inductees, a new and nearly as intriguing class of first timers will arrive in 11 months:

Randy Johnson: 5 Cy Youngs, 2nd all-time in strikeouts, 303 wins
Pedro Martinez: 3 Cy Youngs, 5-time ERA champ, 13th all-time in strikeouts
John Smoltz: 1 Cy Young, 213 wins, 154 saves, 16th all-time in strikeouts
Gary Sheffield: 509 HR, career .292/.393/.514 line, 26th all-time in RBI, 38th in runs
Carlos Delgado: 473 HR, career .280/.383/.546 line, led AL in OPS in 2003, was 2nd in 2000
Brian Giles: 287 HR, 1 of 30 players in MLB history with .400 OBP and 7,500 plate appearances
Nomar Garciaparra: .313/.361/.521 career line, 2 batting titles, 6 times in Top 10 in AL in WAR

They and a handful of lesser talents will join the following holdovers:

Craig Biggio – 74.8% in 2013
Mike Piazza – 62.5%
Jeff Bagwell – 54.3%
Tim Raines – 46.1%
Roger Clemens – 35.4%
Barry Bonds – 34.7%
Lee Smith – 29.9%
Curt Schilling – 29.2%
Edgar Martinez – 25.2%
Alan Trammell – 20.8%
Mike Mussina – 20.3%
Jeff Kent – 15.2%
Fred McGriff – 11.7%
Mark McGwire – 11.0%
Larry Walker – 10.2%
Don Mattingly – 8.2%
Sammy Sosa – 7.2%

Gone along with the inductees are Jack Morris, whose eligibility expired with his 15th time on the ballot, and Rafael Palmeiro, who failed to receive the necessary 5% this year. Mattingly will be in his final year of eligibility next year.

With the BBWAA voters putting more players on their ballots than ever before — and perhaps lifting the 10-man limit per ballot next year — I think it’s safe to say we’ll have three Hall of Famers again next year: Johnson, Pedro and Biggio. Certainly the fact that Biggio was so close this year, falling just two votes shy, will get him sympathy points next time around from anyone looking at him as a borderline candidate. Johnson is nearly as much of a no-brainer as Maddux was, and while some will punish Martinez for his shortish career, the dominance will likely outweigh that and get him 85-90 percent of the vote anyway.

The newcomer I’m most curious about is Smoltz. Baseball-reference has his most similar player as Schilling, who was stuck at 29 percent this year on his second ballot.

Smoltz: 213-155, 3.33 ERA, 3,084 Ks in 3,473 IP – 125 ERA+
Schilling: 216-146, 3.46 ERA, 3,116 Ks in 3,261 IP – 127 ERA+

Both add to their cases with exceptional postseason performances:

Smoltz: 15-4, 2.67 ERA, 199 K in 209 IP (1 ring)
Schilling: 11-2, 2.23 ERA, 120 K in 133 1/3 IP (3 rings)

I expect that we’ll see voters elevate Smoltz because of the 3 1/2 years he spent as a closer (and a very good one). I don’t buy it. Take those years out of Smoltz’s career line, leaving him with a bit higher of an ERA and a bit lower of an ERA+, and it just illustrates how Schilling was the clearly superior pitcher as a starter.

I do think both belong in the Hall of Fame, but I’d say Schilling belongs there first. However, I have the feeling that Smoltz will debut over 50% and get there before Schilling. Though, actually, that will help Schilling in the long run, since so many will argue that there’s no good reason to vote for Smoltz and not Schilling.

None of the other newcomers have any chance of being elected by the BBWAA. Sheffield certainly has better numbers than some Hall of Famers, but he also has some steroid taint. Plus, there’s no defensive value there, and it’s not as if anyone who had to cover him his whole career is going to go digging for reasons to vote for him. He’ll be lucky to get 10 percent of the vote.

Delgado’s hip problems robbed him of at least two or three years at the end, not to mention a spot in the 500-homer club. He went from finishing ninth in the NL MVP balloting at age 36 in 2008 to getting 112 more at-bats as a major leaguer. I’m guessing he’ll fall a bit short of the five percent necessary to stick around on the ballot.

Giles was certainly an outstanding player for a few years, but not for long enough to hit any milestones. Plus, I think many look at him and younger brother Marcus as likely steroid users. He’ll be a one-and-done.

Garciaparra is the player the Mattingly holdouts like to think Mattingly was. Both had six excellent years and nothing else to really add to their cases, but while Mattingly came in at 32.9 bWAR in his six seasons, Garciaparra was at 40.6, clearing 6.0 and finishing in the top 10 in the AL each of those years. That said, if you’re only going to be good for six years, I think you have to be the best player in the league during that span to be HOF worthy. Garciaparra wasn’t quite that. He’ll fall off the ballot in the first year as well.

So, really, there’s only one borderline player joining the ballot next year in Smoltz. And he’s essentially taking Morris’s spot. That’d seem to be good news for the holdovers, most of whom slipped on this year’s crowded ballot. Piazza won’t get in next year, but he could hit 70 percent, with Bagwell and Raines making similar percentage jumps.

Here’s my guess at how it will all go down:

Randy Johnson – 96%
Pedro Martinez – 88%
Craig Biggio – 80%
Mike Piazza – 69%
Jeff Bagwell – 64%
Tim Raines – 55%
John Smoltz – 52%
Curt Schilling – 39%
Roger Clemens – 38%
Barry Bonds – 37%
Mike Mussina – 31%
Lee Smith – 28%
Edgar Martinez – 28%
Alan Trammell – 27%
Jeff Kent – 16%
Fred McGriff – 13%
Don Mattingly – 11%
Larry Walker – 11%
Mark McGwire – 10%
Gary Sheffield – 8%
Sammy Sosa – 6%
Carlos Delgado – 4%
Nomar Garciaparra – 3%
Brian Giles – 1%

140 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. slaugin - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    In no way I think Nomar should get in but I think he was a way better player than Biggio. He had a stretch of prime years that players like Biggio Dream about.

  2. americarunsondunkin - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Astrodome closed in 1999, Biggio played another 10 years in Minute Maid.

    @jgreiner9 If you’re telling me Biggio is as good a player as Morgan, Henderson and Bonds, who of the four would you start your franchise around? Biggio gets picked 4th every time. That shows longevity and compiling.

    Nice witty remark, but nothing to add to the conversation. If you’re going to base everything on statistics it devalues players like Derek Jeter. Statistics should be used to back up someone being a HOFer.

  3. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Everyone is talking on here about Biggio dreaming of having prime years of offense to those of players who displayed more power. Do you need to be reminded that Biggio was a lead off hitter for the majority of his career? Lead off hitters don’t typically hit 25-35 HRs and drive in 100 RBIs. There job was to get on base and get into scoring position. Biggio is however third on the all time lead off HRs, trailing Rickey Henderson and Alfonso Soriano (granted Soriano played in more hitters parks over his career).

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Alfonso Soriano (granted Soriano played in more hitters parks over his career).

      I wouldn’t give him credit for YS. YS is death to right hand hitters. It’s why Arod was the first RHH to hit 40 HR in one season since Dimaggio did it.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:01 AM

      a leadoff hitter who’s career obp is .363 ranking him 383rd of all time…yeah that’s hall worthy

  4. americarunsondunkin - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    a leadoff hitter who only had a career OBP of .363. HRs are not the key offensive statistic.

  5. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    He played 8 years at minute maid.

    Your not taking into account the position he played when you say things like that. You don’t really see a whole lot of teams that build teams around 2nd basemen, do you? So because of that are we to not include 2nd basemen in the Hall? They’re numbers won’t look as dominant, or display as much power, so we should just not include them?

  6. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Oh Biggio played 88′-’99 in the astro dome. That would be the majority of his career.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Greiner which argument are you actually making? Its his obp, but when that blows up you go elsewhere? He wasn’t the best or 2nd best or even 3rd best 2nd baseman during his playing days. If you want to be a Hall of famer you need to be in the top 3 at least.

      Good stats over 20 years, average stats over 17. So does the additional 3 where he was able to get to 3000 hits and add say an additional 65 doubles really make hime deserving, even though those years were less than average?

  7. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Ok so he was voted to 5 all star games (really? This is a popularity contest more than anything).

    He won 4 gold gloves (94, 95, 96, 97).

    He won 5 silver slugger awards (if I’m not mistaken are handed out to those who are the best offensively at their position; 89, 94, 95, 97, 98)

    If I’m not mistaken he leads all 2nd basemen in doubles and is 5th all-time behind 1. Speaker 2. Rose 3. Musial 4. Cobb. Once again, pretty good company.

  8. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    It’s not one stat blowing up, it’s the amount of stats and the company he is in. You blow past stats and just claim by appearance. He was never highly touted, which was partly to blame because he played in Houston. A city that doesn’t get a whole lot of air time and opportunities to get seen.

    You want complain or call him a compiler because of how long he played. Longevity should never be held against a player. That should speak more for a player. In a day and age where some players can’t stay on the field for a half to three quarters of a season, longevity is not a bad thing.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      Correct, the company he is in when you factor in EVERYTHING, not just this or that are the guys that didn’t make the Hall of Fame..

      To me the 250+, 2500+, 400+ argument is your best one, but just those numbers alone aren’t what put them in..Their combination of mvp’s, career leaders in categories, their sizable advantages in categories over Biggio.

      His company, ALL things considered, are the guys on the outside looking in

  9. americarunsondunkin - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:33 AM


    If all stars are popularity contests, so are gold gloves, voted on by the coaches.

    Why MPV votes only 5 years?

    Doubles argument; Helton, Palmerio, Kent, Abreu, Luis Gonzalez, are all top 25 in doubles and within 100 of Biggio. that doesn’t make him a HOF.

    Winning a silver slugger at 2nd also says a lot about the lack of good offensive 2nd basemen, and again, if he won 5, that’s 15 years he didn’t.

  10. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Ok then what hall of famer has won a silver slugger award every year? The way you all are trying to break this down and rule him out is ridiculous. You’re starting to nitpick.

  11. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    So lack of good 2nd basemen during that time should discredit a good one during that time?

  12. coachjac30 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    all star starters are popularity, coaches pick the reserves. If he was so great, wouldn’t he have been a favorite and gotten voted in? One of his silver slugger awards were as a catcher (just keeping with the 2nd baseman comparison)

    Ok now we’re getting somewhere. Keep looking at his stats. Compare him to the other 2nd baseman of his era.

    4 gold gloves is good, not great..5 silver sluggers is good, although an argument can be made Boone should have won it in 94 and as i mentioned one was won as a catcher.

  13. americarunsondunkin - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Not saying he has to win one every year, but the majority of his 2nd base career he was not the best offensive 2nd basemen in his league. You’re arguing he was elite, but the numbers show he played a long time and compiled. He was good at just about everything, not elite.

  14. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I’m saying he has the numbers that make him hall worthy and puts him good company with other hall of famers.

  15. sandwiches4ever - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Let’s play a little game:

    Player A: 287/375/432, 778 XBH, 117 OPS+
    Player B: 285/344/452, 758 XBH, 114 OPS+

    Which one of these is a clear HOF and which one was merely very good?

    • coachjac30 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:18 AM

      so are these the ONLY stats to consider for the Hall of Fame?

  16. americarunsondunkin - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    .276/.363/.426 244 HR 1084 RBI 2369 Hits1386 Runs 420 Doubles; 5 AS, 2 GG and a ROY

    .281/.363/.433 291 HR 1175 RBI 3060 Hits 1848 Runs 668 Doubles; 7 AS, 4 GG

    Lou Whitaker versus Craig Biggio. Again, not saying Whitaker is better. But how much better is Biggio. Whitaker got 3% of votes.

    • jarathen - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Which was a mistake. Whitaker belongs.

    • weaselpuppy - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Whitaker had a ton of defensive value, top 20 all time at 2b and top 7 of all HOF 2bmen.

      Biggio finished with negative defensive value for his career as per dWAR.

      Biggio belongs. So does Whitaker.

  17. phillysports1 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    Pedro !!!!!!

  18. coachjac30 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Here’s Biggio career ranks in certain offense categories in total and then when he was a 2nd baseman..

    OBP: Career rank 383 as 2b: 16th
    Hits: Career rank 20th as 2b 14th
    DBLS: Career 5th as 2b 6th
    Tpls: Career 583rd/ 103rd
    HR: 145/10th
    RBI: 164th/20th
    SB: 66th/20th
    BA: 351st/ 33rd
    SLG: 324th/ 11th
    OPS: 286th/ 12th
    Total Bases: 33rd/ 11th
    Xbh 32nd/ 7th

    So his career totals when including all positions are not Hall of fame numbers. You might argue that his numbers as a second baseman are, but remember the era in which he played when balls were flying all over the park. Go back and look at the individual break down of stats for each year for 2nd baseman while he played, you could argue at least 2 or 3 players numbers are better each year.

    Lastly look at his awards and where he ranked in MVP voting: 6 ALL star games as 2b (7 total out of 20 seasons), 4 Silver Sluggers as 2b ( 5 total, believe award didn’t start till 1980) and of those he shouldn’t have gotten it in 94 but no big deal, MVP Voting was : 16th, 10th, 4th, 5th, 12th.

    So a guy that was a top 5 MVP candidate only twice in 20 years, is hall of fame worthy?

    People keep trying to compare him to Alomar and Sandberg, look at their stats, awards and they are better..Before we go putting Biggio in, we should put Whitaker in before him (I don’t think he should be but more deserving than biggio).

    Where should a player rank in stats, awards, longevity, greatness as a player while playing?

    To me the most important thing is when he was playing, how did he stack up to the guys he was playing against/with. If he’s top 2 or 3 there, then you can compare his stats outside of that era if you so choose. Some of the guys playing while Biggio were that during some of those years were better AT THAT TIME, FOR THAT SEASON, were: Alomar, Boone, Sandberg, Soriano, Kent, Vidro, etc…

    Biggio was the best 2nd baseman 2, 3, 4 times during his 14 years as a second baseman, but those other years he was outside the top 5 and some years even outside the top 10 2nd baseman…

    When you break it all down the numbers don’t lie, the awards don’t lie, the eye test doesn’t lie.

    Craig Biggio, very good player with a long career, NOT a Hall of Famer…close, but no cigar

    • sandwiches4ever - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      Since I’m very bored, I’ll keep arguing this.

      The very two you cite immediately after the top 5 MVP candidate thing? Alomar: 2 top 5 finishes in 17 years; Sandberg 3 top 5 finishes, 1 MVP in 16 years.

      And while there were individual seasons where guys like Boone, Soriano, Vidro, et al, may have been better, none of them had a prime stretch of 9 years like 299/391/451 with 294 SB (at a 77% clip), 338 2B and 132 HR. That even keeps up with your Alomars and your Sandbergs (all three have a ten year stretch in the middle of their careers: Alomar 127 OPS+, Sandberg 127, Biggio 126).

      That doesn’t get into fielding even. And I would be shocked if you can find more than one year where he was outside the top 5 2B in those years (maybe 2002–that was a pretty poor year for Biggio).

      And seriously, the guy also was an All Star and Silver Slugger winning catcher. You want to call him a compiler because he hung two years too long (IMO). That’s fine, but you’re wrong.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 9, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        I’m also bored so lets keep this going, eventually the Biggio lovers will actually do a little research. Let just talk major awards between Sandberg, Alomar, Biggio, Whittaker, Knoblauch, Sax (all from roughly the same era)

        Biggio went to 7 AS Games in 20 years (his first was as the Astros only player, so he didn’t deserve it, but they had to have someone in the game) He had 5 SS awards, first as a catcher and look at his comp, and his 94 win should’ve been Boone, go look at the stats. 4 GG, and MVP voting was: 16th. 10th. 4th, 5th, 12th.

        Alomar: 12 AS games in 17 years, 4 SS awards, 10 GG, MVP: 6. 6. 6. 20. 22, 3, 4 He also finished 5th in ROY

        Sandberg: 10 AS games in 16 years, 7 SS Awards, 9 GG, MVP: 1, 13, 4, 4, 17, 12, ROY 6th…

        Now go look at the numbers, Defensive numbers Biggio not even close to them. Dig deeper, postseason numbers not even close, War close but not close enough.

        Can we just agree once and for all the Craig Biggio is not nearly as good as these two?

        Ok good, i’ll be back in a few minutes with other players to compare him to while you let these facts marinate

      • cohnjusack - Jan 9, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        Let’s count the factual errors in your post.

        1. “his first was as the Astros only player, so he didn’t deserve it,”
        –HIs first was 1991 as an NL catcher. He was hitting .315 at the break and lead all NL catchers in WAR that year.

        2. “He had 5 SS awards, first as a catcher and look at his comp”
        –I think you’re saying that his competition had more silver sluggers? Obviously he was way more than most 2nd baseman, he had 1 more than Alomar and 2 less than Sandberg.

        3. “his 94 win should’ve been Boone, go look at the stats”
        I did. Biggio topped him in OPS .893 to .858…while playing in one of the worst hitter parks in baseball while Boone played in one of the best. In addition, he had nearly 100 more PAs

        4. “Now go look at the numbers, Defensive numbers Biggio not even close to them”
        Until he became brick-gloved in his late 30s (an age at which both Sandberg and Alomar were out of baseball), he was pretty close to Alomar. Nope, he wasn’t as good of a fielders as Sandberg.

        5. “War close but not close enough.”
        –He’s less than 2 career WAR behind both. Most of that from the fact that his final season was worth -1.7 WAR. Their WARs are virtually friggin identical.

        6. “Can we just agree once and for all the Craig Biggio is not nearly as good as these two?”
        –No, because they weren’t.

        7. “Ok good, i’ll be back in a few minutes with other players to compare him to while you let these facts marinate”
        –I did. They aren’t facts at all, that are poor inferences made from misunderstanding statistics and overvaluing All-Star appearances (I love how you cite when Biggio DIDN’t deserve to be an All-Star, yet ignore sub-par Sandberg and Alomar All-Star years).

      • coachjac30 - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        Now lets compare him against Jeff Kent, Lou Whittaker and Chuck Knoblauch shall we.
        You have above Biggio’s numbers here are these 3

        Jeff Kent 5 AS Games in 17 years, 4 SS, MVP: 8, 9, 26, 1, 6, 13, 19
        Now go look at his numbers, Add the numbers, plus these facts, plus the top 25 finishes in the league each season, plus top 5 finised per 2b per season and it tells you that Jeff Kent actually deserves it more than Biggio. Kent’s even better in some defensive categories (I won’t lie, I have no idea what have these categories are but the numbers are there)

        Lou Whittaker 5 AS games in 19 years, 4 SS, 3 GG, MVP: 8, ROY 1st
        Defensively Whittaker much better. Per 162 games, averages almost identical, Whitaker WAR 74.8, Biggio 64.9. Now look at their finishes for top 25 in the league and then top 5 for their position during the seasons they play. To me its close and I would probably go with Biggio over Whittaker but all the Biggio lovers are making me hate him, so verdict for Whittaker.

        Chuck Knoblauch 4 AS games in 12 years, 2 SS, 1 GG, MVP 20, 17, 16, ROY 1st
        OBP/BA Knoblauch all other offensive Categories Biggio in a landslide. Defensive stats (again I don’t get them but whatever) Knoblauch, WAR Biggio +10, Compare their stats to just the years they played at same time its actually close but in the end its Biggio.

        The reason I put this one is to prove that Biggio was not a standout above all others player during his playing time and he did in fact “compile” a lot of his stats. While that can’t be dismissed as crap because it is part of the game, it still doesn’t make him HOF worthy.

        I saw someone where on one of these threads that someone was trying to put Bill Buckner in the same category as Biggio (I know different positions) but its a great point. Compare their stats to each other they are close, is Buckner HOF worthy.

        I leave you with this player and don’t give me the “different position” argument because numbers are numbers,
        6AS Games in 14 years 3 ss, 9 GG, MVP: 5, 1, 2, 7, 15, 19, 18
        I Hit .307/.358/.830 with 162 averages of: 20hr, 100 rbi 40 dbls, career ops+ 127 WAR 42.2 do I belong in the Hall of Fame
        I am Don Mattingly, look at all top 25 finishes and top 5 finishes in my position during my career

        Lastly look at season by season comparisons of Biggio versus Delino Deshields, Jose Vidro, Brett Boone, Steve Sax also…Some of you want to pull out Biggios big 6 or 7 years, well look at these players peak years, look where each one of these players ranks per 2b during the years they played at same time

      • coachjac30 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:00 PM

        Oh Cohn, I see you’re the kind of guy that plays funny with the stats over there.

        1: and what was his WAR at the time of the ALL-STAR game? notice you use War here but at the end you try to discount it a little. Was he or was he not the only Astros rep for that season?

        2: Go back and look at the Stats for the catchers in the National League when Biggio won his SS award when he hit .257 with 13 hr 60 rbi..Alomar had similar if not better overall numbers but was a second baseman

        3: Theres those funny numbers, he actually had less than 90 not 100..But I will concede that point. As far as the ballpark, stop, that isn’t considered when voting and shouldn’t be. Look at Biggio’s home/road splits before you argue that.

        4: So Biggio’s 4 GG make him comparable to Alomar’s 10? Is that your argument? Because he struggled at the end of his career, while he was padding other stats, that is what hurt him defensively compared to Alomar?

        5 Right their WARS are close, but Alomar has the better WAR, as well as numbers. So where exactly does Biggio stack up and compare to Alomar, because he had a close WAR?

        As for the rest of your post, I am not going to do all the work for you, how about you prove Biggio’s Hall of Fame resume. You haven’t told anyone on here why he deserves to go? Is it his WAR? HIS OBP? OPS? Be honest, you think he deserves it because of his 3060 hits. Look at his averages versus others, look at where he finished amongst 2nd basemen while he played. Look at his stats overall and as a second basemen.

        You can spin your funny numbers anyway you want but until you actually say why it is he deserves to be in you aren’t fooling anyone. He is a good player, that played a long time..Thats it.

        Does MVP voting not count? All star games don’t count? Why don’t they? Craig Biggio doesn’t deserve to get in. He’s not even as good as Jeff Kent, Lou Whittaker.

      • cohnjusack - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        1. “1: and what was his WAR at the time of the ALL-STAR game? notice you use War here but at the end you try to discount it a little. Was he or was he not the only Astros rep for that season?”
        — I didn’t cite his WAR at the time of the All-Star game because that stat isn’t available under baseball references splits. Seeing as he had a better first half, almost certainly he was leading the league at that point. Furthermore, a guy that is the best at his position is an undeserving all-star if he was the only representative of his team? How does that many any sense?

        2. “2: Go back and look at the Stats for the catchers in the National League when Biggio won his SS award when he hit .257 with 13 hr 60 rbi..Alomar had similar if not better overall numbers but was a second baseman”
        — First off, Biggio lead all NL catchers in OPS by a large margin that year
        –Secondly, the silver slugger is awarded to the best hitter at his position in a given season. Comparing a catcher in 1989 to a 2nd basemen in a different year doesn’t work for what should be obvious reasons. Secondly, I never said Alomar didn’t deserve any of his awards. I pointed out that you used sub-par Biggio seasons when he got awards (even if he deserved them) while ignoring any sub-par Alomar and Sandberg seasons. This is called bing a hypocrite and I was calling you on it.

        3. “3: Theres those funny numbers, he actually had less than 90 not 100..But I will concede that point. As far as the ballpark, stop, that isn’t considered when voting and shouldn’t be. Look at Biggio’s home/road splits before you argue that.”
        –Ballparks shouldn’t be considered? Are you a crazy person? If this were true, the Rockies would have about 20 MVPS under their belt. There are things called “park factors”, and the fact is, it the Astrodome saw about 5% fewer runs scored in that area . Whether Biggio was better at home than the road is irrelevant to that, because that does not change the trend of the ballpark itself. More runs in a lower offensive environment is more valuable.
        …also I said “nearly 100”.

        4. “4: So Biggio’s 4 GG make him comparable to Alomar’s 10? Is that your argument? Because he struggled at the end of his career, while he was padding other stats, that is what hurt him defensively compared to Alomar?”
        –Actually, I was using dWAR, which has them pretty close.

        5. ” Right their WARS are close, but Alomar has the better WAR, as well as numbers. So where exactly does Biggio stack up and compare to Alomar, because he had a close WAR?”
        –And it was better until his awful last season. And his numbers really weren’t better. He played nearly 2000 fewer games, yet his OPS+ is a mere 2% better. His rate stats are higher, but OPS+ shows he played in better offensive environments. I know, I know, OPS+ uses park factors, which you have unilaterally decided don’t matter.

        Also, you cite WAR for Biggio v. Alomar yet ignore that Biggio is pretty far ahead of Jeff Kent?

      • cohnjusack - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        I’m sorry…what?

        “I saw someone where on one of these threads that someone was trying to put Bill Buckner in the same category as Biggio (I know different positions) but its a great point. Compare their stats to each other they are close, is Buckner HOF worthy.”

        Ladies and gentlemen, this is the dumbest thing I’ve read on here…ever.

        Want WAR? Biggio top him by 50!
        Runs? Biggio wins by 767. He has 170 more doubles, 117 more home runs, beats him in OBP by 42 points, slugging by 25 points (67 points in OPS), stole 231 more bases, grounded into 97 fewer double plays and played 2nd BASE! The defensive spectrum, again, which you clearly do not understand C-SS-2B-CF-3B-LF-RF-1B

        Repeat, Biggio beats Buckner by 50 WAR. This is even worse than citing Delino Deshields, whose best year via WAR ranked 8th for Biggio. (And citing Knoblauch and Boone…they had a couple of great years. The fact that Biggio had a bunch more close to it is not an argument against him)

        But yeah…totally similar. I look forward to your response dismissing this, then hypocritically making an argument against Biggio and ignoring it when the same argument can be made against another player. Or when you intentionally misrepresent a quote in order to argue against something I haven’t said, then citing Don Mattingly, a short career 1st baseman as a reason Biggio doesn’t deserve to go to the Hall (whose best five season are still worse than Biggio’s best 5).

        My final word: Lou Whitaker certainly deserves to go to the Hall of Fame and is widely considered to be one of their biggest omissions.

  19. ras1tafari - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    I will be going to Cooperstown next year to see Pedro get inducted. He is my all-time favorite athlete, and he is the most deserving player of the HOF I have ever seen play any sport.

  20. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Thank you sandwiches4ever! Thank you! I’m not sure how they’re having such a hard time comprehending that.

  21. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Once again, Biggio is one of four players to finish his career with at least 2,500 hits, 250 home runs and 400 stolen bases. The others are Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Joe Morgan. That is quite the exclusive bunch, all Hall of Famers (Bonds should be). You’ll try to find ones way or another to discredit that and say he’s a compiler or something like that. What exactly do think stats to be? They’re numbers compiled over a period of time.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      Yes they are, but you need to compare him to other 2nd basemen of his time before you can even think about comparing him to Bonds, Rickey, Morgan.

      He isn’t even as good as Sandberg and Alomar and Kent stats wise, eye test wise, and now you want to compare him to Morgan? Do you think Joe Morgan is in only because of those 3 stats that fit your argument? What about his WAR 100.4 Joe Morgan blows Biggio away obp, ops, mvp’s, roy voting, ops+ I mean its not even close, stolen bases, averages…

      So to you he is deserving because he has 2500+ hits, 400+ stolen bases and 250+ home runs?
      So you put no stock in MVP’s, all star games, top 5 finishes in your position during your playing period, top 25 finishes in total stats during each season?

      This is getting laughable with some of the reasons people are trying to put him in. However, I do respect the fact that you at least have a reason for wanting to put him in while most people on here say “his stats” but then when you look at them they start playing funny with the numbers.

      And I agree with you, Bonds should be in

      • braxtonrob - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        Why do you keep throwing so many names around, like Sandberg (for example)?
        Ryne won his last GG the same year as Craig’s 3rd full year; they’re from different decades.

        He’s your field of 90’s 2B’men:
        1. Alomar
        2. Kent
        3. Biggio
        (not necessarily in that order)

        Seems to me that a big part of the (HOF) decision is how many 2B’men do you want representing this decade.
        Usually, I pick just 2, but the numbers are so close (between them), and they were all clearly (statistical) standouts (by one perspective or another), that for me they’re ALL 3 HOF’rs.

        [Note: I weigh ‘Awards’ with a grain of salt. Awards are voted on, every time, and therefore pretty arbitrary. And, I heavily count defensive ability, especially for infielders.]

      • coachjac30 - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:48 PM

        Braxton the only reason I throw Sandberg’s name out there is people on here have tried to compare him and Biggio.

        So if a player during the course of his career finishes on average as the 7th best player at his position in each offensive statistical category does that help or hurt him in your argument? I know people are going to say “averages don’t matter” but my point is if you break down a players finish at his position for stats such as HR, RBI, AVG, OPS, OBP, 2B, SB, 3B, RUNS, HITS, XBH, TOTAL BASES, where would you want/need him to finish in each category to help/hurt his bid? I understand that some players have big up years that they normally wouldn’t have and huge down years they wouldn’t but if you average it out over the course of their playing years wouldn’t it even out? Of course then you would have to figure out how you weigh each category.

        My believe is that a Hall of Famer should have been in the top 5 at least, on average, in most of these categories to be considered. Then when you factor in defense, war and all the other stuff along with their career totals you find if you have a HOFer.

        I do put significant weight into things such as All-Star games, MVP, Gold Gloves, ROY, Player of the week/month categories because while they are voted on, aren’t the MVP, GG, SS, player of the year/month awards voted on by the same people that are voting for the Hall of Fame.

        I think if you’ve won an MVP that should greatly increase your candidacy

    • coachjac30 - Jan 11, 2014 at 1:22 AM

      these are funny numbers..Those other 3 are hall of fame deserving because a whole lot of other things. If just your career totals in those 3 categories, at that number, make you are hall of famer sure, but then we would have seen other players hang on for a few crappy/mediocre seasons just to get to those numbers

  22. jgreiner9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    No I do not put stock in all star games, or WAR for an allstar game, or stats. It’s an exhibition. It doesn’t count towards their career/seasons numbers. It probably hasn’t been taken serious since the ’80s.

    Is it comparing, when the accomplishment puts him amongst Morgan, Bonds, and Henderson? I’m by no means saying that’s the only reason, but you can’t dismiss it. I guarantee you every hall of famer didn’t finish top 5 in MVP voting every season of their career like you’re clambering for.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:14 AM

      Nobody is saying to count what a player did during the all star game. I am saying count being voted onto the team, how can you dismiss that?

      I bet you are correct about every hall of famer not finishing top 5 in mvp voting every year, that also isn’t what I am saying. What I am saying is how do they compare to other players during their era. Why shouldn’t more stock be put into that? If you win the MVP award you shouldn’t get extra credit for that? If you finish top 5 or 10 you shouldn’t get credit for that? The all star game, gold gloves, silver sluggers, mvp voting compares you to other people you played against/with in any given season. You need to be one of the best during that time to be considered, its that simple.

      Biggio is 145th in HR’s, 20th in hits, 66th in stolen bases are those Hall worthy?

      How about 351st in BA, 286 in OPS, 383rd in OBP?

      I’ve given you all the ranks up above, so what is it that puts him in? He’s no Joe Morgan, no Barry Bonds, no Rickey Henderson, all players that have won MVP and are top 5 in several catergories

      • braxtonrob - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        Your All Star argument doesn’t even make sense to me.
        Biggio had 7, Kent had 5. (And if you’re only counting when the fans vote them into the starting lineup, then I have one response to that – Fans are morons. lol I trust the players and coaches judgement a HELLUVA lot more than a bunch of ballot box-stuffing idiots who only look at a player’s HR total.)

        Some of those arguing against you (re:Biggio) won’t admit that 3,000 Hits is the only stat they’re really looking at, but …
        It seems to me that you only care about HR’s yourself, (and that you’re just arguing the ‘other stuff’ to sway someone to an anti-Biggio vote, which ain’t gonna happen.)

      • coachjac30 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        @Braxton What I’m saying about All-Stars first of all is that people on here are trying to say Biggio stacks up to Sandberg and Alomar, but when you look at their All-Star selections its not close when you consider length of career versus amount of allstar games. If you don’t get voted in (yes I understand its by the fans) you can still get selected by the coaches which helps to prove your standing among your peers.
        I’m also not saying that JUST all star selections should dictate whether or not youre a hall of famer. I’m saying when you look through EVERYTHING, its a part of the pie.

        if 2 guys have similar stats shouldn’t awards/standings in category/ and the averages of those numbers, be part of the deciding between them?

        As far as only caring about home runs, that’s not at all true. What I was trying to do was first distinguish that Alomar and Sandberg were superior players (Alomar has 81 LESS hr’s than Biggio). I personally don’t think any ONE category outweighs another. However, I do think MVP voting has A LOT of value, after all, the people voting for the Hall of Fame are the same people voting for the MVP. In fact, until looking through ALL the numbers this week, I thought Biggio was a far better candidate than Kent, but now its a lot closer to me. And Kent was the HR guy

      • braxtonrob - Jan 14, 2014 at 12:10 AM

        I agree with your comment about Biggio and Kent. At first, I thought it was EASILY Biggio over Kent, but upon further examination I’m realizing Kent was pretty damn good.
        Personally, I think it’s incredibly ironic that they ended up on the same team, however, I don’t count it as a knock that Biggio went to CF for those seasons. Quite the contrary, he played well there and that’s an asset – versatility.
        I think you have a strong argument against Biggio, but I don’t weigh awards very high (although I let them influence me a little.), and I don’t think it’s all that easy to get to 3,000 Hits. If it was, more players would be trying it (late in their careers).
        What I do see is pitchers hanging around (well beyond 20 years) to get to 300 Wins, and they fail almost everytime. Interesting how the position players going for 3,000 Hits (beyond their 20th year) rarely even make their team’s roster.
        I respect your opinion, but I like my magic number too much, and having seen Biggio play a lot, I felt he was HOF’r.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 14, 2014 at 1:18 AM

        In the last week I have looked at more stats than I care to even admit. As I have said somewhere (far too many conversations on here to know where exactly) Biggio’s numbers are better than I thought, or remembered while watching him. I respect that everyone has their benchmarks (even if most on here don’t really support their arguments with valid points) and I do think 3000 hits is a tremendous accomplishment, but when I look at the list of players that have done so, to me his overall numbers to add up.
        I do put a lot of stock in awards, while I know some of them are just popularity contests, biggio was never a dislike guy his percentage of mvp votes, all star games, and gold gloves based on his amount of years playing, to me, don’t signify a HOFer.

        I know a lot of people like the WAR stat and all the math equations to signify a players standing, to me those are only a small piece of the pie.
        I like a smaller Hall, and that, combined with digging through all the numbers, is why I don’t support a Hall of Fame bid for him. The beauty of it is, though, that I don’t have a vote, so it is solely the opinion of a regular baseball fan.

        I didn’t realize the Biggio thing would turn into such a hotly debated conversation, although I loved it, it helped pass some downtimes at work and such, but I wanted to throw another somewhat controversial opinion on here and never got the chance, that being what does everyone think of Mike Mussina’s chances at the Hall of Fame.

        Off the top of my head I would have said no, but after looking at it, and keeping in mind how everyone thinks steroids were so bad and the players on them were robots hitting the ball, when you look at his numbers I actually think he should get strong consideration.

        Hats off to you Braxton for a good argument and many valid points.

  23. jgreiner9 - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    That’s what it sounds like bradtonrob

  24. jgreiner9 - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    You sir cohnjusack, THANK YOU! I’ve been going back and forth with this guy too and he tries to nit pick every little thing, and find an excuse not to have Biggio in when he clearly belongs.

  25. americarunsondunkin - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:27 PM


    I never brought up Bill Buckner to compare to Biggio, the point was Buckner had 2,700 hits, simply for being a solid player for a long time. The point was had had held on for a couple more mediocre seasons and gotten 3,000 hits, is he a hall of famer?

    And your judgement solely on WAR. Who’s better Miguel Cabrera (54.6) or Wade Boggs (91.0). That’s a difference of about 40, almost the same as Biggio to Buckner, in about 3,000 fewer at bats. Compiling is compiling. Dominance is dominance. The hall of fame is for dominance, not for WAR guys who won nothing in their careers. Biggio can take his WAR and .234 postseason average, the losing seasons and enjoy the hall of fame. but you can’t convince me he belongs there.

    And also, Mattingly five best seasons are worse than Biggio’s? that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

    • braxtonrob - Jan 10, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      @americanrun, I agree with you about Mattingly, (@cusack is just plain wrong there, and 1B is NOT the lease valuable position, as he purports).

      I’m all for dominance, (I support Mattingly and the soon-to-be voted on Garciaparra), but there is also value in:
      1. outstanding utility (kinda like Pete Rose was)
      2. longevity

      And that’s where Biggio qualifies.
      Some say he didn’t “look like a HOF’r” when they watched him play; I saw him play too, and for me, he definitely did. The guy was a champion, he was just stuck playing for the Astros, that’s all.

      The best 2B’men of the 90’s were Alomar and (probably) Kent, but Biggio is a close enough 3rd (for me) that I put him in.
      I will agree with @coach that MOST people are voting for Biggio because of the magical # 3,000 Hits; it’s likely true they just don’t want to admit it.
      But where I differ with him is that 3,000 Hits is A LOT! And, it’s not so easily attainable as you seem to want to believe.
      Do you have any idea how many players get close, hang around trying to get there, and STILL fail? The number is HIGH. If Buckner could’ve gotten there, believe me, he would have.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        I agree that 3000 hits are A LOT, I’m not trying to downplay that and if it is coming across as such I apologize. All I’m saying is to me the whole body of work needs to be looked at, not just one or two categories. If 3000 hits were THE deciding factor for someone to make the Hall, don’t you think guys that played 13-16 years but needed 500 hits or less to get there would stick around?

    • cohnjusack - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      And also, Mattingly five best seasons are worse than Biggio’s? that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

      No, not understanding that Wade Boggs is the dumbest.

      First off: Boggs: excellent fielding third baseman.
      Secondly: Cabrera: Brick fielding third baseman/1st baseman
      Third: 3000 PAs is about 5 additional seasons.
      Fourthly: Wade Boggs WAS dominant. He lead the league in OPS twice (same # of times as Cabrera), won 5 batting titles, lead the league in OBP 6 times. His AVERAGE OBP at his peak was a whopping .446 with an OPS+ of 152, a smidge behind Cabrera’s 154. Repeat: COMPARED TO THE AVERAGE, WADE BOGGS HIS FIRST 10 YEARS IS VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL TO THAT OF MIGUEL CABRERA.

      Also: I DO NOT CARE THAT BIGGIO GOT 3000 HITS. I HAVE SAID THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. He could have retired 5 years earlier.

      I did this exercise on another post

      A: 10400 PAs, 1508 R, 2724 hits, 504 2B, 80 3B, 210 HR, 1134 RBI, .300/.371/.443, 116 OPS+ 474 SB
      B: 10691 PAs, 1603 R, 2639 hits, 564 2B, 51 3B, 234 HR, 994 RBI, .296/.374/.435, 117 OPS+ 397 SB

      One of those is Roberto Alomar, who is seen by many who are arguing against Biggio as a easy HOFer. The other is Craig Biggio, cutting off his career at the same number of season, 17. We are simply omitting his final three years. In virtually the same amount of playing time, two players at the same position in the same era put up nearly identical numbers. Yet, people are arguing that one was a”compiler” and the other is a sure fire HOF?

      • cohnjusack - Jan 11, 2014 at 3:44 PM


        EDIT: His OPS his first 10 years compared to league average was virtually identical. Normally, I would take it for granted that people would recognize a typo, but the level of Biggio intellectual dishonesty going on here, someone would certainly run with that.

      • coachjac30 - Jan 11, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        I never said Alomar is a “sure fire” hall of famer, in fact I have said that it has been argued that he might be the worst of the 2nd basemen that are in. So if that were the case shouldn’t Biggio’s numbers be identical or better?

        You are also picking selective categories in which to weigh players. Now you want to cut off his last 3 years to compare him to Alomar, why are you taking those out? It has been said, many times here, that one of his GREATEST attributes is that he played 20 years (which to me is being OVERRATED). If you are going to cut off 3 years to compare them, why not take out the 2 years he played outfield (because he would have been the 2nd best second basemen on the team) and one of his catcher seasons. Lets compare apples to apples.

        I have said somewhere (there are far too many to keep up with at this point) that I think Biggio’s numbers are closer than I originally thought, however, to me it still isn’t a hall of fame player. There has to be people OUT of the Hall, and he should be.

        I have been knocked on here for saying compare their averages, what is wrong with doing that. Why can’t we go based off their 162 game average, because it makes the most sense. Then you can add in your wars, dwar, and awards.

        The game is played with a bat, a ball, and a glove, not a computer. What you do, live and in color, should be what we look at, not solely what a math equation says.

        How many players do you want in the Hall of Fame? If you want 3/4/5 from every decade then yes, Biggio should be in. But to me, I want 1 and maybe a second. Every time you put someone in, you are opening up the door for someone else and before you know it, the Hall of Fame becomes the Hall of Good, and I just don’t want that

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