I mean, this should be pretty obvious, but don't expect great baseball analysis from a publication that's not at all in the business of analyzing baseball. In fact in the case of Forbes you can probably expect some pretty shitty baseball analysis. Blogger Monte Burke has two moron co-workers. Apparently they like to discuss Hall of Fame credentials with one another. Cue up Yakety Sax and listen as you read their thoughts.
“Rarely, if ever, the game’s top shortstop in any given year.
Totally relevant that he happened to be a close second behind Garciapara and then A-Rod during the prime of his career. Very relevant.
But his sustained excellence at the position (.313 average; 2,975 hits) since 1996 makes him an obvious choice.” –Tom
“Would Jeter be a HOFer if he had spent 16 years in a weak-hitting Pittsburgh Pirates line-up?” –Kurt
I'm going to go with "yes." I'm pretty sure getting 3,000 hits as a shortstop while mixing in some power and speed gets you into the hall. Even if you're not MISTER NOVEMBER, CLUTCHEST CLUTCHER TO EVER CLUTCH (Jeter alltime during the regular season: .313/.383/.450, Jeter alltime during the postseason: .309/.377/.472)
“Long, very solid, championship-filled career.” –Monte
Someone tell Paul O'Neill to start working on his induction speech!
“Over 600 homers while hitting .303 lifetime. Probably a top five all-time player.” –Tom
He might be one of the top 30 batters in history- probably. Which would maybe put him among the top 50 players. There's a chance he's one of the 5 best currently active batters... and he was definitely a top 5 player during the 2000s. I dunno, how far do we want to stretch our criteria to make Tom's comment less ridiculous? Top 5 player? All time? Get the fuck out of here.
“Undeserving in my opinion—the Hall of Fame is no place for relief specialists who see such limited action. But the press already has him in.” –Tom
Being an insanely dominant closer for 15 years is super easy. Just ask all the other guys who have done it. I mean, hell, anyone can close. Just ask any of the countless relievers who have significantly better career numbers in non-save situations than in save situations.
Nothing too outrageous here.
“Jones will get in, but I’m not sure he is the first ballot lock some people think. He led the league once in a major statistical category (batting average in 2008) and had zero Gold Gloves at 3rd base.” –Kurt
If "number of times leading the league in a major statistical category" is one of the first twenty things you look at when determining someone's worthiness for the HOF, you are a card-carrying zilcheroo.
“There’s just no avoiding a guy with 593 career homers.” –Tom
“We need one untainted slugger from the steroid era in the Hall.” –Kurt
“Numbers game: 593 home runs.” –Monte
Not that I think Thome doesn't belong, but so far voters are doing an outstanding job of avoiding McGwire and his 583 home runs.
“Overrated in my opinion—doesn’t walk or hit for power. But the press loves Ichiro, and his 2,301 hits and a .330 lifetime average over 10-plus seasons will get him there.” –Tom
Tom.... I have no words for you.
That’s seven guys that we all agree are locks today. Here’s where we start to disagree:
And here's where it starts getting good.
“Best catcher of his generation and has close to 3,000 hits.” –Kurt
“.297 batting average and 311 home runs. Johnny Bench-like numbers.” –Monte
So Tom apparently doesn't think I-Rod gets in. If you ignore the potential steroid hurdle (first of all Rodriguez has never been formally linked to them, and second of all Tom apparently is because his blurb on A-Rod doesn't mention them) that's patently insane- he's one of the top 2 or 3 catchers of all time. If Carlton Fisk is in, you'd better believe Pudge is making it unless steroids become an issue.
“Prediction: by the time the voters consider Halladay, advanced metrics will have overtaken traditional stats like career wins. So forget his ‘mere’ 175 victories
That's actually a pretty low number by HOF standards. Just saying.
and concentrate on his .663 winning percentage. He’s also led his league in complete games six times.” –Tom
You know those voters are suckers for complete games. That's how Cy Young snuck in there.
“175 wins feel light, but 2 Cy Youngs push him over; only Tim Wakefield has more wins among current pitchers.” –Kurt
Probably the least relevant or compelling statistic you could have used. "Hey this 34 year old has more victories than almost any active pitcher! I mean, TIM WAKEFIELD has more, but you know, that's Tim Wakefield for you." Also, Halladay's stats up until now are very comparable with Ron Guidry's career stats. And Guidry never made it despite being a Yankee with two rings and a Cy. I bet Halladay gets there, but it's going to take several dozen more wins and a few hundred more strikeouts.
And here’s where Tom takes over:
And here's where it gets really, really, really good.
“A premier offensive player of his era (.942 OPS; .319 batting average). Also a fine outfielder with a strong arm in his younger years.” –Tom
Certainly a defensible pick, although it's not like a .942 OPS or .319 BA are mind blowing considering the era in which he played.
“Six .300 seasons and eight 100 RBI seasons. Quietly amassed a Cooperstown career alongside his rookie class of 1996 brethren Jeter and Guerrero.” –Tom
Ah, so corner OFs with 2300 hits and a little under 300 HRs are locks now? Wow, the Hall is going to get crowded pretty quickly. Garrett Anderson, O'Neill, and Ellis Burks: you're in! And Brian Giles, don't give up hope. You're a little light in the hits department but you might sneak in. I mean Abreu's a really good player but no. No no no.
“The premier second baseman in MLB over the past nine years with a .893 OPS.” –Tom
He's injury prone (has only cleared 120 games or 600 PAs five times) and as a result he has a mere 1100 hits and 178 HRs. He's very good but no, not even close this time. The batters most similar to him who are retired (via baseballreference) are John Valentin, Al Rosen, and Mike Stanley. Yyyyyyyyyyup.
“The steroid taint could hurt him, but this is a top offensive player at a central position (shortstop) from 2000 to 2007. Tejada was AL MVP in 2002 and drove in 150 runs in 2004.” –Tom
Less ridiculous than Utley but not by much. Other than a nice stretch from 2000 to 2005 he's been somewhere between bad and above average. More than half his career has been spent as a "oh yeah... he's decent" player. Not gonna cut it. Plus the roids.
“Compiled some of his big numbers at pre-humidor Coors Field, but a guy who has hit .324 lifetime with a .977 OPS won’t be left out.” –Tom
I'm a Rockies fan so I suppose I'm obligated to say OF COURSE TODD IS GETTING IN WOOOOOO THE GUY DOES IT ALL HE'S MR. ROCKIE AND HE'S BEEN THE HEART AND SOUL OF THAT TEAM FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. But yeah realistically he's probably 50/50 at this point. And the only reason the odds are that good is because he's a guy who sportswriters love.
In conclusion Forbes is a completely illegitimate publication and you shouldn't trust them to accurately analyze anything*.
* - related to baseball