Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hall of Fame to be announced in one week

My ballot:

Goose Gossage, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson and Albert Belle.

See comments for debate:

8 comments:

  1. One week from today the inductees to the HOF will be announced.

    My guess is that Sutter gets the nod. And of the 3 borderline candidates (Rice, Gossage and Dawson), probably only Rice gets the nod.

    I think Gossage is more deserving than Sutter. Some writers like to say how he “Revolutionized the split-fingered fastball” which MIGHT be true. However just because he was the first person to use a pitch well in this era does not mean he should be in the HOF. On that basis, Tommy John’s candidacy would get a huge boost. Gossage was the most dominant reliever of his time. And he would come in the 7th inning and “Save” games. So Gossage over Sutter.

    I heard an interview with Lee Smith on XM a few weeks ago and he honest to goodness believes that he should be in – and Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy agreed with him. I definitely got a chuck out of that. Sure he is that all time save leader. But that would be like voting my friend Chicken Wing as the studliest guy in Boston circa 1985-1989 (the college years) just because he slept with more girls than the rest of us. There is something to say about quality. And having watched Lee Smith pitch those few painful years in Boston, I can safely say that he pulled the equivalent of sleeping with a few fat chicks.

    I think Rice deserves the Hall for the same reason as Gossage – he was the dominant slugger of his era. Personally I prefer a dominant player over a longevity player. I loved Yaz – he was a very good player, but frankly he was not as dominant as Rice. The only possible exception was 1967 and 1970. But he and his .285 AVG got in the hall b/c he did it for 20+ years, he got the counting stats (3,000 hits 400 HR) and he was a nice guy. I’ll take Rice any day. Hell I even think Albert Belle is a HOFer, but the same standard. And again, Bernie Williams is not.

    The Hawk is a tough call for me. A lot of his strength is longevity. He was not quite as good as Winfield. But was the difference that great that one is in and the other is out?

    I know I shouldn’t consider it real since he is obviously not a real journalist, but Jim Caple actually made a case for Bert Blyleven. Please. I guess in a world where Don Sutton is in Hall, anything can happen. But Blyleven? Really? Laughable. Sure he won almost 300 games, but he sure had a lot of 17-17, 17-16, type seasons. Same with Sutton. But just because one bad candidate gets in, do we have to let them all in? But It was Caple, so I just wasted my breath.

    Morris and Hershiser are nice players. They almost get there. If this were the Hall of really good but not quite excellent players, both would get my vote. So would Alan Trammell and Dave Parker. And Mattingly. Hey you could even include John Farnham who was the MVP of my League Champion Little league team in 1979. But its not. So they don’t get in.

    Lastly, my controversial pick is that Albert Belle deserves to be in the HOF. Say what you will about him, but the guy could mash. I know if one guy gets in it does not mean another with similar numbers should (Sutton vs. Blyleven), but was Kirby really better than Albert? Okay, so if the BBWAA want to wait a year so he is not a first ballot player, so be it. But Albert and his grumpy personality deserve the recognition.

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  2. X - to me, the only pick you've got there I'd argue about isn't Belle; it's Dawson. He was absolutely a very very good player, but we're talking about a guy who was primarily a left fielder, but with a career 119 OPS+ (which doesn't go up that much even if you remove his decline years). If you accept the standard wisdom on HoF inductees, he falls well short: 225 hits and 62 HE short of 3000 and 500 despite a 21 year career. If you accept the statistical wisdom, he's got a career .323 OBP (and broke .350 only three times!) with a decent, though not spectacular, SLG. He was a solid defender, and won several Gold Gloves, and he owns 1 MVP, but even adding that to his career numbers makes him fall short, in my opinion. I'd rather see a guy like Belle, who was absolutely amazing for a solid chunk of time, than a guy like Dawson who was 'merely' very good, but stretched it out. Maybe that's just my preference; lord knows we had this discussion about Palmeiro, before the steroid news made it all moot.

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  3. I agree that the Hawk is a more difficult call. Glad we agree on Belle b/c I have been called crazy and stupid for endorsing his candidacy.

    And I know on a number of statistical measures the Hawk just does not add up - but I did get to see him play quite a bit and I probably have tied my sentimental value into my overall evaluation. And of course I always try to negate the other player in the hall argument (two wrongs don't make a right) I always get irked about Puckett being in the Hall. And I know there were *special* circumstances.

    The other thing I don't like is the arbitrary fixation on X number of hits, wins, HRs, etc.

    But the bottom line - if you told me I had to remove one of the guys on my list, it would be Dawson for exactly the reason noted - domination.

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  4. I wholeheartedly agree on Puckett. Yeah, his career was cut short by the eye injury, but it was on the downslope anyway; he was a pick purely from personality and "special circumstance". He's another very good player who probably doesn't belong there (count me among those who'd add Paul Molitor to that list as well - blasphemy, I know)

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  5. I don't think it blasphemy on Molitor. He's the perfect example of the player who achieved a milestone that made it "easy" for the electorate.

    On the subject of blasphamy (I know you will disagree on this one), but I say a HOF without Jim Rice certainly should not have Yaz in it.

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  6. You knew it. Yaz was exceptional in every way; dominant in his prime, and incredibly durable. Rice was dominant for a shorter period; I'm actually on the fence whether what he did was enough to warrant a Hall call, but I tend towards giving him the benefit of homerism. Yaz, though? Yaz is a shoe-in.

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  7. Admittedly my anti-Yaz bias probably stems from my first real experiences as a Sox fan (and season ticket holder) being from 1978 on. By that point, his best days were far behind him. For the same reasons, those were Jim Ed's most productive years.

    Without having seen Yaz in his prime, even though I had heard all the stories and later read a lot about it, the images of Rice tearing the cover off the ball while Yaz was less productive, always stuck in my head.

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