A dozen for the Hall
Craig Biggio's announcement that he'll retire at the end of the season should have Astros fans making plans to hit Cooperstown in 2013. Biggio is one of a dozen eligible or soon-to-be eligible baseball figures deserving of election. The 12 noted here are ranked by strongest case for induction, given their eligibility dates.
Marvin Miller: Father of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Ended the system of indentured servitude the players had served under for nearly a century.
never heard of this guy, but that's pretty awesome. he should definitely be in the hall in some way shape or form. you think donald fehr will join him one day? mwah mwah. *rimshot*
Mark McGwire (583 home runs, seventh all-time): Suspect whatever you want -- his 583 homers and .982 career OPS are what matter here.
aaaaaaaaaaaand we're already in trouble. like i said, it's not that i think keri is wrong. i think mcgwire, sosa, and bonds should all be in the hall eventually (because we don't know for sure who did roids and who didn't, and punishing those guys, just because their usage was more obvious than others, is wrong). but what an atrocious sentence! when you use the format "say what you will about [A], but [B]," [A] and [B] cannot be related. here, i'll demonstrate:
right- "say what you will about the strong possibility that he probably killed 2 people, but oj simpson was one of the greatest NFL running backs of all time."
wrong- "say what you will about the strong possibility that he probably killed 2 people, but due to his performance in lethal weapon 2 and a half, it's clear that oj simpson was a good guy."
jonah, when a guy in all likelihood accumulated the numbers he did due to steroids, you can't dismiss the issue by saying "say what you will about steroids, BUT..." that's not how logic works. again, i think mcgwire does belong in. but don't write poorly when you try to explain why, that's all i ask.
Goose Gossage (nine years of 150 or better ERA+): One of the most dominant relief pitchers of all time. A true fireman who'd often come in with the game on the line, rather than being pampered and rested until his team was up two or three runs in the ninth.
again, good selection, dumb analysis. as if "modern" relievers never ever ever enter games in tight situations, and "old skool" relievers never ever ever got multiple days rest between appearances or entered the game when their team was up 2 or 3 runs. puh-lease. i'm officially declaring it cliched and hacky to write about "the good ol' days" of pitching. "back when men were men! and starters finished what they started! and relievers only pitched in high pressure situations! and a soda only cost a nickel." baseball writers of america: shut. up.
Bert Blyleven (287 wins; 3,701 strikeouts, fifth all-time): Blyleven played for some lousy teams, in ballparks that significantly favored offensive production. Adjust his stats to neutral run-support and park-factor levels and he's well over 300 wins with an ERA near or under 3.00.
good selection, good analysis. but jonah's only 1 for 3 when it comes to actual players so far.
Ron Santo (125 OPS+, five-time Gold Glover): Sentiment aside, Santo was one of the best offensive and defensive third basemen of all-time. The Hall needs to go beyond handing out tickets to one-dimensional home-run hitters at non-premium positions.
sentiment included, ron santo doesn't belong in the hall. the gold glove is a joke. check out the HOF monitors and "similar batters" on his baseball reference page. when gary gaetti is your #1 most comparable player... it's a bad sign for your HOF chances. and all the guys on his top 10 list who made it in were catchers. it's not an exact science, of course. but if santo wasn't a wildly popular cub and didn't contract lupus, he wouldn't be getting talked about at all these days. here, i'll explain it in terms other sportswriters can understand: he belongs in the hall of very good, not the hall of fame.
2008 Tim Raines (808 SBs, fifth all-time): Lou Brock with a better batting eye, Raines had tons of pop for a leadoff hitter, but he hit a lot more doubles than homers due partly to Olympic Stadium's high fences. Rickey Henderson played in the same era, but that doesn't diminish Raines' greatness.
raines's hall candidacy has been discussed extensively by dan-bob here on fjm in a previous post. but its borderline nature aside- are you kidding me? that thing about the doubles and homers and olympic stadium's high fences? what? that might be some of the most anecdotal anecdotal bullshit i've ever read. for what it's worth, olympic stadium was a fantastic hitter's park (for both doubles and home runs) in its waning years. check out its numbers in 2003, the last year the expos played there full time. i don't know, maybe at that point they had lowered the fences since when raines played there. probably not; more likely, jonah keri (i think he's in his late 20s) went to a bunch of expos games as a small child, and remembers a couple times raines doubled off the top of the wall. therefore- this happened to him during his entire expos career.
2009 Rickey Henderson (2,295 runs, 1,404 SBs, both first all-time): The best leadoff hitter of all time and one of the biggest characters the game will ever know.
doesn't jeff pearlman know it.
2010 Roberto Alomar (10-time Gold Glover, 12-time All-Star): A rare combination of power, speed, great batting stroke and dazzling defense, Alomar ranks just below the Morgan/Hornsby class on the "best second basemen of all time" list.
that makes 2 out of 7...
2010 Barry Larkin (1995 MVP, 12-time All-Star): Similar profile to Alomar's, only at shortstop. The prototype for the A-Rod/Nomar/Jeter class that took over the position in the mid-'90s.
sort of, not really. not at all. larkin finished his career with 198 HRs. all 3 of those guys will probably have over 300 when they hang up their cleats. arod may have 800. jeter's career slugging percentage is only slightly higher (.463 vs. .444), but nomar and arod are crushing it (.528 and .577). just because larkin was one of the best SSs in the game for the 10 or so years preceding those guys' rise to stardom doesn't make him the "prototype" for them.
2010 Edgar Martinez (.312/.418/.515, two-time batting champion): I agree with the general sentiment that DHs should be penalized for not having any defensive value. But that doesn't mean no DH should ever be allowed in. Edgar was one of the best hitters ever to play the game. That's good enough for me.
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO jonah keri, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. 1- horrendously anecdotal. 2- best hitters ever to play the game, compared to who? anyone who's ever played little league? he's MAYBE a slightly better candidate than santo. MAYBE. hard to say, when you factor in santo playing 3B. but check out martinez's "HOF monitor" and "similar batters." is this a guy that should be mentioned as an all time great? really? that is not rhetorical, the answer is no.
2011 Jeff Bagwell (.948 OPS, 1994 MVP): In an era clogged with slugging first basemen, Bagwell's on-base ability (.408 career OBP), handy glove work and huge peak seasons stand out against his peers.
3 for 10. good batting average. atrocious "reasonable analysis" average.
2013 Craig Biggio (3,014 hits, 1,826 runs): Another all-around threat who did everything well, and for a long time. Sabermetrician Bill James famously called him the second-best player of the 1990s. Not sure about that, but you could make a strong case for top five.
4 for 11. maybe. at least keri didn't say something stupid like "say what you will about him sticking his elbow way out over the plate whenever possible, but biggio gets hit with a lot of pitches" or "the turf at the astrodome turned a lot of potential doubles into singles for him because they got to the outfielders too fast." keep trying, jonah. you're not in that groove just yet.