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Genius from The Late Show With David Letterman last night: Top Ten Things I'd Like To Get Off My Chest Now That I'm in the Baseball Hall of Fame (As presented by Paul Moliter and Dennis Eckersley)

Yes, they were really there. Yes, Molly openly flirted with Eck. (Molitor presented 10-8-6-4-2 ... see especially 10 and 6) ... Molitor mentions the Blue Jays by extension in explaining what he did with his '93 World Series ring.

Let's start a "Top Things I Want to Get Off My Chest Now that I'm in the Baseball Hall of Fame" discussion on behalf of ... well, everyone. Here's the opening pitch:

"Since I retired, I've been working on it ... and now I actually can break a pane of glass with my fastball." -- Phil Niekro
Hall of Fame Confessions | 12 comments | Create New Account
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_Cristian - Thursday, January 08 2004 @ 12:53 PM EST (#32702) #
Number 4 on the list:

"I traded my 1993 World Series ring for two front row tickets to a Jethro Tull concert"

It's a trade that I would have difficulty turning down. Never underestimate the power of the rock and roll flute.
Gerry - Thursday, January 08 2004 @ 03:14 PM EST (#32703) #
George Brett - It's a little known fact that pine tar cures hemorrhoids

Gary Carter - When I got three hits, and our team lost the game, I really was sad inside

Dave Winfield - OK I admit it, I was aiming for the seagull

Ozzie Smith - I secretly had the grounds crew install a spring under the turf so I could do my backflips

Robin Yount - I really wanted to play first base
_Rob - Thursday, January 08 2004 @ 03:36 PM EST (#32704) #
Eddie Murray - People keep confusing me with "Gumby"
_coliver - Thursday, January 08 2004 @ 05:37 PM EST (#32705) #
This may not be what you are looking for but Joe Carter got hosed.
_Joe Morgan - Thursday, January 08 2004 @ 07:03 PM EST (#32706) #
I was once wrong
_S.K. - Thursday, January 08 2004 @ 10:58 PM EST (#32707) #
coliver - why do you think so? I don't think Carter belongs in the Hall by any stretch of imagination, so what fate did he deserve?
_coliver - Friday, January 09 2004 @ 08:25 AM EST (#32708) #
Based on the voting, Paul Molitor was a much much better player than Joe Carter. I don't get it. A fine player to be sure, Molly had too many injuries and too many DH years...Carter was the RBI machine of his generation. That should count for something.

And one more thing...why isn't Molitor's early career drug problem ever mentioned?

I don't want to sound like I am this big Carter fan. The fact is, I appreciated his career and found him to be a good player. I was more of a George Bell Fan. But the difference in votes between Molitor and Carter--that's just shocking.
Craig B - Friday, January 09 2004 @ 09:03 AM EST (#32709) #
why isn't Molitor's early career drug problem ever mentioned?

It is sometimes mentioned, actually. A number of the stories before and after the vote did discuss it.

It doesn't come up a lot, though, because it isn't even remotely relevant to whether he is qualified for the Hall of Fame. The time he missed, and the "lack of focus" which Molitor acknowledges occurred due to his drug use, are fully reflected in his numbers.

the difference in votes between Molitor and Carter--that's just shocking

I don't think it's shocking at all. The only thing Joe Carter has going for him is his HR and RBI totals. Without those, he was pretty much a zero as a player. He drove in a ton of runs, and hit a lot of homers, and that made him a fine player. It doesn't make him a Hall of Famer any more than Dave Kingman was - and Kingman, rest assured, was as good a player as Carter.

I think the best way to sum up the difference between Molitor and Carter is their Win Shares totals, a single number that assesses their contribution to winning ballgames. Molitor had 414 win shares in his career... Carter had 240, and that about sums up their relative value as ballplayers.

Molly has about 50 points of batting average and over sixty points of on-base percentage over Touch 'Em All Joe, who has an advantage of exactly sixteen points of slugging percentage. We also shouldn't forget that despite playing nearly 1200 games as a DH, Molitor still had more career defensive value than Joe did. Molitor was a good second baseman and a good defensive third baseman before the injuries did him in... Joe was a mediocre corner outfielder and a poor centerfielder.

For most people voting for the Hall, there's a bright line that divides Hall of Famers from non-Hall of Famers. Joe Carter's skills are absolutely commonplace, there are players like that on every ballot (if you vote for Joe, you absolutely cannot justify voting against Rice, Dawson, Parker, or Murphy, all of whom were obviously better players).

When you get to Molitor, though, he's obviously in, by the same token, because all the players who have played like Molitor are in the Hall of Fame, and at any rate, there simply are no other players who are much like him.

There are some other small differences. Molitor was an awesome playoff performer; Joe wasn't (despite the one indelible memory). Molitior was a better basestealer (Joe was good, though).

In the final analysis, though, what I find really odd is the statement that Carter was the RBI machine of his generation. I don't think that's right, and that's what really dents Joe's Hall of Fame candidacy. I'll address this in an article, later on.
_Mick - Friday, January 09 2004 @ 10:21 AM EST (#32710) #
Kingman, rest assured, was as good a player as Carter

Better. WAY better. Beyond the career OPS+ (Kingman 115, Carter 104) and single-season peak OPS+ (Kingman 146, Carter 130) ... many people forget that Kingman very likely could have been a professional pitcher coming out of college (11-4, 1.38 ERA his senior year at USC). He made a couple of gratuitous mopup appearances for the Giants, but there was talk early in his career about the "Ruthian" possibilities (ridiculous in retrospect, of course).

Kingman hit 100 homers over his last three years and was out of baseball after hitting 35 in 1986, just before the 1987 home run boom started. He probably had, conservatively, another 100 home runs in him. Since he retired with 442 bombs, I think it is reasonable to project he might have retired around 1990 behind only Aaron, Ruth, Mays, Robinson, Killebrew and Jackson -- and with good health and some luck, maybe as high as fourth.

Does that make him a Hall of Famer? No. But I'd take Kingman over Carter any day (caveat: if we can take "clubhouse cancer factor" out of the equation and restrict it to player field value).
Craig B - Friday, January 09 2004 @ 10:58 AM EST (#32711) #
Thanks Mick. I actually wanted to say that Kong was better than Joe C - I thought I'd get shouted down in a storm of boos and catcalls.

What makes me hesitant about Kingman, is that despite his good bat, he was pretty hopeless in the field from my memory. But my memory is of his later career when he mostly DH'ed.
_S.K. - Friday, January 09 2004 @ 12:30 PM EST (#32712) #
Craig - I think it's in poor taste for you to log on before me and make all the points I was going to make =)
_Norm - Friday, January 09 2004 @ 12:41 PM EST (#32713) #
Pete Rose - God! Where did all my money go?
Hall of Fame Confessions | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.