1. People would argue endlessly about which players belong on which levels.
2. To institute the Pyramid scheme, a special selection committee would re-assign levels to every existing member. Let's say the committee features 50 members, made up of well-known players,
(I mean ... wouldn't that be an immense amount of fun?
4. The Pyramid structure would look cool.
Yup ... too bad it will never happen.
That's baseball for you. Instead of moving forward, our national pastime keeps moving backward and sideways.
While we're here, since the Hall of Fame announcements happen today, I decided to fill out my own personal Hall of Fame ballot.
Ozzie Smith: Yes
He was an underrated offensive player during the second part of his career ('85 to '93),
Jim Rice & Dale Murphy: Yes and no
You can't vote in Puckett last January, then claim that Rice isn't a Hall of Famer because he lacked longevity.
As for Murphy, his numbers were awesome during that eight-year run from '80 to '87, but I don't remember him ever reaching that vaunted "Holy Crap" level that Rice reached from '77 to '79. His numbers (398 homers, four seasons with an OPS above .900) make him intriguing, but I can't recall the last time I said to myself, "Man, I miss seeing Dale Murphy play baseball."
I mean, Jim Rice broke his bat once on a checked swing. A checked swing!
(Note: Don't underestimate the post-Murphy era bitterness on my part. With four of Murphy's rookie cards in my possession from the thousands and thousands of baseball cards I purchased in 1978, it was like holding four winning lottery tickets as Murphy's career bloomed in the mid-'80s. Now those cards are used as coasters in the Sports Guy Mansion. Damn it all.)
You're a fucking moron.
Don Mattingly, Steve Garvey and Keith Hernandez: No, no and no
[Mattingly]'s not even remotely close, and that's before we even mention the obvious Ewing Theory ramifications here -- the Yanks promptly rolled off four championships after he retired).
(Of course, every Yankees fan believes that Mattingly was a Level 4 Hall of Famer. You haven't really lived until you argued about the Hit Man's Hall of Fame credentials at a bar with a bunch of Yankees fans. It's like arguing about the existence of dinosaurs with Carl Everett -- relevant facts, statistics and evidence simply don't matter.
Hernandez almost gets my vote because of his defense and his watershed "Seinfeld" cameo ("I'm Keith Hernandez. ... I won the MVP in '79"), but his power numbers just weren't there in the mid-'80s.
Mike Henneman, Davey Concepcion, Jeff Russell, Scott Sanderson, Tim Wallach, Lenny Dykstra, Mike Greenwell, Robby Thompson: No, no, no, no, no, no, no and no
How did these guys even sneak on the ballot?
Bert Blyleven and Tommy John: No and no
Blyleven seems to be gaining steam because of the Sutton Factor (22 years, 287 wins, 3.34 ERA and a startling 3702 K's),
John's résumé was pretty similar to Blyleven (26 seasons, 288 wins, 3.31 ERA, not nearly as many K's), and he was a Red Sox killer who personified the term "crafty southpaw." Frankly, I was terrified of him. But he wasn't quite a Hall of Famer -- like Blyleven, he was never a clear-cut "This guy's one of the best pitchers alive right now" guy. Plus, he played for the Yankees. He's out.
Frank Viola, Jim Kaat, Ron Guidry: No, no and no
Viola and Guidry both fell short of 200 wins, but in terms of ERA+ and WAR, were better than Morris. Kaat has basically the same resume as Morris. BUT HOW MANY OPENING DAY STARTS DID HE MAKE????
Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter: Yes and no
If you needed six outs from 1977-1984, Gossage was The Guy.
Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker: No and no
Both of them made me at least say, "Hmmmmmmmm." Trammell anchored some nice Tigers teams in the mid-'80s and was a fantasy draft staple at short -- let the record show that he went ahead of Cal Ripken in my draft just about every year in the '80s and early-'90s (and he was just as good defensively).
Dave Parker: No
And it's his own damned fault. If it's any consolation, he makes my All-Cocaine team, which is not to be confused with the '86 Mets.
Gary Carter: Yes
I loved Carlton Fisk as much as anyone, but for an entire decade (1977 to 1986), Gary Carter was the best catcher in baseball. It's not even up for discussion. And given that he anchored those Mets staffs in the mid-'80s and started the game-winning rally against Calvin Schiraldi in That Game (ugh),
Andre Dawson: No
The Hawk! Sixteen quality seasons in a 20-year career, 438 homers, one Rookie of the Year, eight Gold Gloves, one MVP, consistently a .285/30/95 guy, one of the two best right fielders of his era (along with Dave Winfield), a guy who battled knee problems during the majority of his career and still produced every season, and he even had a cup of coffee with the Red Sox.
But other than his '87 season with the Cubs, I can't remember ever thinking to myself, "Man, it doesn't get any better than Andre Dawson!"
Jack Morris, Luis Tiant: Yes and yes
While Morris's ALL CAPS thingy was a great moment, I'm pretty sure Blyleven's ALL CAPS thingy beats it. The only one of those two guys who belongs in the hall is the one who's already there.