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Thread: Baseball 2015

  1. #1
       
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    Baseball 2015

    Guys, with the Hall of Fame's selection announcements coming some time today, I've got baseball on the brain. Now seems like as good a time as any to start this thread.

    Pitchers and catchers report in about forty-four days, I think.
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  2. #2
    My ballot:

    Randy Johnson
    Mark McGwire
    Barry Bonds
    Mike Piazza
    Craig Biggio
    Pedro Martinez
    Mike Mussina
    John Smoltz
    Tim Raines
    Roger Clemens

    I have always said that we will never know how much PED use there was and that there will be players in the HOF that used that we never find out about. I want the best of the best of a broken era in with the evidence of their use presented on their plaques or in a special room that addresses the entire era. I want honesty, great players and the ability for future generations to judge on their own. Bonds, McGwire and many others were the guys hitting 50-70 homers when the league average was 25-30. To me, that's the rough equivalent of Frank Robinson hitting 35 when the league averaged 10-15. Those players were still the best of the era. Baseball needs to stop being married to numbers. What will it ever do when the big name pitchers are up and all have 225 wins even though they were the best of their time?

    And, yes, Matt, it is a shame that Kenny Lofton was basically ignored. He is right on the line for me and I could see how people would think his case is as good as Raines'.
    Last edited by Rich Gapinski; 01-06-2015 at 10:44 AM.
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    The only 'steroid user' on your list I'm kind of leery about is Clemens. Considering he was 31 in 1993, that year through '96 really ought to have been part of the prime of his career, but he looked more or less washed up in those last four years in Boston. Suddenly, at age 36 and later, he's ripping off some of the best years in his career in Toronto, Houston, and New York? I don't know.

    He was phenomenal in the late '80s and into the early '90s, but I'm really on the fence about whether his career gets back on track without some added help (and gets him the Hall of Fame numbers along with it). I think Barry Bonds was a Hall of Fame player by the time he was 32 years old. McGwire is tricky, but I'll allow it.

    Maybe it's just that I really don't like Roger Clemens, which is true, and I'm letting this get in the way of my objectivity here.

    On Lofton, I can understand him not making the Hall. But seriously, guys:

    Career Batting: .299 / .372 / .423 -- 2400+ Hits -- Hit lead-off (needs to be a part of the conversation to grade his contributions)
    Stolen Bases: 622 (15th all time); led the league at least three times, and clearly the greatest base stealer not named Ricky Henderson who played in his era

    His glove was good. Here are his peers according to his WAR. About half of them are pretty un-controversially in Cooperstown.



    Like I said, I can get him ultimately getting left out, but who does he not even get te requisite 5% to stay on the ballot a few years?
    Last edited by Matt Kocsan; 01-06-2015 at 10:43 AM.
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    To me, calling it the baseball hall of fame is a misnomer. Because I think it should tell the story of baseball. When we omit people such as Pete Rose or Barry Bonds, we are not telling the story of baseball. So to me, its not really so much about the numbers, but whether or not the players had an impact on the game. Sosa and McGwire are hall of famers, because their home run chase (whether or not you want to call it tainted) revived the game. It was both a good time for baseball and a dark time for baseball. Every year I see a few players get voted into the hall of fame and I wonder to myself what impact they had on the game. It seems like writers are just voting based on numbers and not really whether or not that player helps tell the story of baseball from start to present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hobbes27 View Post
    To me, calling it the baseball hall of fame is a misnomer. Because I think it should tell the story of baseball. When we omit people such as Pete Rose or Barry Bonds, we are not telling the story of baseball. So to me, its not really so much about the numbers, but whether or not the players had an impact on the game. Sosa and McGwire are hall of famers, because their home run chase (whether or not you want to call it tainted) revived the game. It was both a good time for baseball and a dark time for baseball. Every year I see a few players get voted into the hall of fame and I wonder to myself what impact they had on the game. It seems like writers are just voting based on numbers and not really whether or not that player helps tell the story of baseball from start to present.
    I'm flexible with the steroid users. It's cheating, sure, but it's complicated. How different is it from corking your bat or doctoring the ball? Some, yes, but I think this is a judgment call about the degree to which steroids enhanced a guy's numbers and perhaps the duration for which they used. Furthermore, there wasn't really a testing policy or clear penalties for use. Keeping suspected PED users out of the Hall has always struck as sportswriters trying to atone for either willfully ignoring or being too stupid to notice steroid use despite their access.

    I'm less flexible with Pete Rose. Gambling is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost of baseball--the sin for which there is no remission, and that's been pretty public knowledge since 1920. I'm not persuaded that his gambling was okay because he never bet against his own team.

    It's also important to note, there is nothing preventing the Hall of Fame--at least as far as I'm aware--from exhibiting Pete Rose memorabilia or discussing his accomplishments in the Hall of Fame's museum. This is merely about whether or not he gets a plaque in the gallery.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Gapinski View Post
    My ballot:

    Randy Johnson
    Mark McGwire
    Barry Bonds
    Mike Piazza
    Craig Biggio
    Pedro Martinez
    Mike Mussina
    John Smoltz
    Tim Raines
    Roger Clemens

    I have always said that we will never know how much PED use there was and that there will be players in the HOF that used that we never find out about. I want the best of the best of a broken era in with the evidence of their use presented on their plaques or in a special room that addresses the entire era. I want honesty, great players and the ability for future generations to judge on their own. Bonds, McGwire and many others were the guys hitting 50-70 homers when the league average was 25-30. To me, that's the rough equivalent of Frank Robinson hitting 35 when the league averaged 10-15. Those players were still the best of the era. Baseball needs to stop being married to numbers. What will it ever do when the big name pitchers are up and all have 225 wins even though they were the best of their time?

    And, yes, Matt, it is a shame that Kenny Lofton was basically ignored. He is right on the line for me and I could see how people would think his case is as good as Raines'.
    That Barry Bonds isn't all that close to getting in is a complete sham. The HOF can't be taken seriously if they are suddenly going to pick and choose which players were flawed and which were great. For all we know, they're all flawed. Frank Thomas (along with Barry Bonds) was my favorite player in the 90s. I believe 100% that the dude was clean. However, to let him in because he was naturally big, while Bonds, Piazza (where's that proof?), etc get the shaft is ridiculous. Just because you don't like what happened doesn't mean you can ignore that it happened.

    I'll take that ballot as well, with basically the same caveat that Lofton (and Sosa... and Bagwell...) eventually gets on my ballot, once the surplus is fixed. There are more than 10 legit HOFers eligible right now.

    People forget how incredibly great Lofton was (and forget that he was a top 3 fantasy pick for multiple seasons). The debate between he and Raines is tough for me, but I give Raines the slight edge, possibly because he came first. However, I feel like Raines should be a slam dunk, which pretty much puts Lofton in the same boat for me.

    I just can't see ignoring an entire era. It all seems holier-than-thou-ish to me by the Baseball Writers. How many of the past generation of players used greenies, and isn't that at least comparable to the steroid-era? And how many of those clown grandstanders (not all of the writers by any stretch, but the ones with an axe to grind) turned a blind eye when they were covering the McGwire-Sosa, and eventually Bonds HR chases?

    Also, how many players have been left out because they weren't media friendly? Some of these people that vote on this are a complete embarrassment.
    "I will never give a motivational speech to my players. If I have to motivate you, I will fire you."

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  7. #7
    Let's not forget about the obvious cheating tactics used in the dead ball era, the gambling behind the scenes before the White Sox got caught, the rampant opium use for the first 40 years of baseball, and on and on and on.......

    I take the HOF about as seriously as I take the Gold Glove Awards. I guess I shouldn't mention that there is evidence that the first PED use was in the mid 70s, right?
    As a writer, I'm like the last girl at the bar. In the morning, you may regret asking for my services, but I'll get the job done. As long as I don't puke on your floor.

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    This is a tough comparison because this player really wasn't close to being an HOFer, but...

    Lenny Dykstra was comically jacked up when he was with the Phillies. He played his last game in 1996, and would have been eligible for the HOF in 2002. Is there any doubt that had Dykstra put up a career that was HOF worthy, he would have been inducted in 2002 with nothing more than a wink at his alleged PED use (use that he finally admitted in 2010)?

    As for the other end of the argument, how do we know guys like John Smoltz weren't PED users? If we're going to guess on Bagwell, Piazza, etc, why not include everyone? Smoltz certainly doesn't seem like a cheater, but neither did Andy Pettitte? Shouldn't we invoke the Pettitte clause and simply assume that everyone who ever existed used PEDs, or used some other means to skirt the system? Shouldn't we just close down the HOF altogether? Paul and Lloyd Waner had the nicknames "Big Poison" and "Little Poison". Isn't it at least a minute possibility that "poison" represented something that was either illegal or unethical, and isn't that enough to erase them from the history books? Jim Palmer allegedly pitched in women's underwear (OK, so I made this one up). I'm not sure if that's an advantage or not, but in the off chance that it is, get him out of there...

    I don't want to take the HOF as seriously as the Gold Glove Awards. It should mean more. For a historical institution to attempt to erase history is counter-productive to the legitimacy of that institution. The people in charge of the Baseball HOF should be banging down the walls demanding a change to the voting/election process.
    "I will never give a motivational speech to my players. If I have to motivate you, I will fire you."

    -Chuck Noll

  9. #9
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    I also take a more hardline stance as to who should be in the hall of fame as I don't think that many players should get plaques in the hall of fame. I don't look at numbers. I look at who had a memorable career. Craig Biggio just got voted into the hall of fame. He might have put up great numbers, but his career is not memorable and he's not a hall of famer. 20 years from now, I am not going to remember much about Craig Biggio's career.

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    The issue as always is it more important to be great for a limited time or to be above average for an extremely long time? There is great value in being the best at a position for a short time, but if you can plug someone in for 16 years and know he is in the top 80%-90% of those guys peaks (who will have changed multiple times in his 15-20 years as he keeps plugging along) who is more HoF worthy or valuable?

    Fact is every era has it's issues, from dead ball, to live ball, to amphetamine, to Steroids, to stadiums. The issue has always been baseball tried for the longest time to say stats were the only thing that mattered because it was the "same" game. It never has been comparable across eras, and unfortunately for the current crop, the steroid era happened while everybody got access to watching more games, more players, and a statistical revolution that tried to normalize across eras.


    Best thing to do is separate the Hall into Eras, then you can include the Steroid users in their own era and have no worries about it "contaminating" the rest of the Hall.
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