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Rich Gossage is now a Hall of Famer, the only member of the class of '08 at this point. Jim Rice just missed, Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven were in shouting distance, and nobody else was close.

Your thoughts?

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Thomas - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 04:47 PM EST (#178547) #
Congratulations to Goose. He deserved it.

Rice will make it next year and doesn't deserve to. I knew Raines wasn't going to make it this year, but I never thought he'd finish with a vote total this low. I don't know what world these writers live in where Rice is a better outfielder than Raines.

I was pleased to see the big jump in Blyleven's vote total (the 2nd highest after Gossage) and I think that he's now on track to make the Hall, especially with no pitchers worthy of enshrinement on the ballot in the next few years. After the last couple of years I'm sadly not surprised Trammell doesn't do better.

The BBWAA does a better job than some people give it credit for, but it's still a shame that sometimes they make you scratch your head.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 05:16 PM EST (#178548) #
I don't have much respect at all for the BBWAA's selections.  In other times, making the comparison between player's careers was commonly difficult.  With the advent of the internet, and sources such as BBRef, there is no excuse.  Half the electorate considered Jim Rice a more worthy inductee than Tim Raines.  In 1970, it would be normal for even "experts" to be unaware of the importance of the walk, the GIDP, stolen base efficiency and baserunning ability.  These statistics were often not reported in the newspaper.  But, now, all that information is at hand, and the BBWAA members are clearly as a whole not interested. 

It is time for the Hall of Fame to recognize that BBWAA membership is not indicative of "expertise" in evaluating careers of players. 

33mendoza - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 06:02 PM EST (#178552) #

I have the impression after scanning various websites that regardless of who sat on a board to elect players into the Hall of Fame, there would always be someone undeservedly left out. It seems like an inevitable consequence of voting procedures.

The alternative solution based on criteria strikes me as very robotic and boring...The Hall of Fame is maybe designed to spawn debates about who should be in and who shouldn't be in. It's ironic that someone like Blyleven has probably earned more notoriety for not being elected than he would have if he was elected. 60 career shutouts and not being elected seems more amazing than 60 career shutouts and being elected.

Sheldon - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 08:40 PM EST (#178555) #
I'm just wondering who the heck voted for Todd Stottlemyre...

Other one vote getters include:
Shawon Dunston
Chuck Finley
David Justice
Chuck Knoblauch

Alas poor Jose Rijo and Brady Anderson got no love...
Chuck - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 08:49 PM EST (#178556) #
The BBWAA is held in such low esteem that even this parody was convincing enough to fool several Primates into believing it was legit.
Chuck - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 08:51 PM EST (#178558) #
I'm just wondering who the heck voted for Todd Stottlemyre...

Maybe the same person that voted for MacDonald over Jeter in Mick's poll?
Sheldon - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 09:07 PM EST (#178559) #
I always knew that cut he got during world series sliding into third was enough to qualify him for Cooperstown.
owen - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 11:37 PM EST (#178561) #
You have to love the logic some writers employ.  Look at Gerry Fraley of the Sporting News:

"Raines' case was hurt by his reluctance to run in all situations, as Rickey Henderson did. Raines seemed at times too concerned about preserving his stolen-base percentage."

What does that mean?  That sometimes he didn't run because he thought he would get thrown out?  I have absolutely no idea how to hold that against a player.

John Northey - Tuesday, January 08 2008 @ 11:53 PM EST (#178562) #
To me the shock is that Raines cracked 20%. A couple of months ago, before some columns came out, I figured Raines could even miss the 5% cut-off. This is due to the same factors that are pushing Rice into the HOF next year (most likely). Namely that Raines didn't hit a lot of HR, wasn't viewed as a 'feared' hitter (even though he was feared by other players since he turned games around in a second), didn't win MVP's (no big RBI totals), and was the second best leadoff hitter of his era (the fact he is #2 all time as well is secondary to voters).

I think the next two years will be very interesting as few real candidates are going onto the ballot while a few (Rice, Dawson most likely) are getting in. Henderson is a mortal lock for next year, Mark Grace will get a bit of support but not too much. The following year we get Alomar (most will forget/ignore the spitting given the steroid mess, I figure no less than 60% but most likely in with just shy of 80%), Galarraga (5-10%), Larkin (should be a lock, but will probably get 50%-60% and could get less), Edgar Martinez (10-20% due to 'just a DH'), Fred McGriff (30-50%, big range possible here, could even be down around 10% due to HR being devalued so much when he'd have been a lock just 10 years ago), and David Cone (might not get 5% given the under 200 win total).

No strong outfielders thus helping Dawson (if still on ballot and not in) and Raines. I figure Blyleven will get in that year with Alomar while many complain about Larkin and McGriff getting no love (Mattingly had 4 years with 140+ OPS+ career vs McGriff 7 in a row plus 2 more), hoping for Raines to make it the next season (not sure who the competition is for that year as B-R doesn't have 'retired in' for 2005).

I am very glad to finally see Goose in and hope a miracle occurs and Rice stays out next year.
Shrike - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 05:59 AM EST (#178563) #
I was very displeased with the vote total for Tim Raines. It was absurdly low and a glaring indictment of the BBWA electorate.

AWeb - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 07:57 AM EST (#178564) #
The writer's follow a very familiar pattern, year after year. The top-tier HoFers (in public opinion, not necessarily merit) get in right away, and almost everyone else who could possibly make it (again, whether they deserve it like Raines or not like Mattingly) starts in a similar range (15-40%). Then they spend years writing columns about the guys who were overlooked, and slowly talk themselves, en masse, into voting for certain guys. The internet has occasionally changed who makes it on the slow upward rise (Byleven, hopefully Raines in future years), but it's a ridiculous pattern that favours mostly the most famous (Rice) rather than the actual best (Dwight Evans was better than Rice, although still not in my Hall).

Oh, and I'm also kinda' annoyed with the McGwire situation. Have the writer's really convinced themselves he's not worthy of induction for his numbers, or are they really going to penalize suspected cheaters (and McGwire, through it all, hasn't been linked in any substantial way with  illegal substances) indefnitely. Because I hate to break it to them, but that only leaves a few non-suspect players around. Not that I've heard anything, but Rickey Henderson was in Oakland at the exact time a large proportion of his team was suspected to be using, had a very ripped physique, and kept his speed/quickness much longer than most players. Again, there's no particular reason to think Rickey was cheating, I'm just wondering how every top player from the just past seasons will be treated (Sosa, Palmeiro, Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio, Sheffield, etc...).

Mike D - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 10:27 AM EST (#178568) #

Many writers hold first-ballot votes to a higher standard than subsequent votes, believing only what they perceive to be the elite to be worthy of a vote on their first year of eligibility.   Hey, don't shoot the messenger.  Jayson Stark - hardly an anti-establishment stathead -- has made an impassioned plea for Tim Raines, and that's a good sign for the future.

Henderson has always claimed that his daily workout regimen consisted of 1,000 push-ups, 1,000 sit-ups and running.  I haven't heard from or read about anyone who doubted his claims. 

Paul D - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 11:04 AM EST (#178569) #

Henderson has always claimed that his daily workout regimen consisted of 1,000 push-ups, 1,000 sit-ups and running.

I thought this was Hershel Walker?

AWeb - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 11:45 AM EST (#178571) #
The "first-ballot" thing always bugs me, but if they really held that type of distinction widely, wouldn't we expect to see a lot of guys shoot way up in their second year of voting? I may be wrong, but I don't recall many players getting a huge jump in percentage in year 2.  Was Gossage somehow a "9th ballot" guy? I think the general concept of identifying "inner circle" HoFers isn't without merit, but it isn't well done right now.

As for Henderson's workout, if that is always makes me more suspicious of a player, not less, when I hear tales of massive workout regimens. Steroids help you work out longer, harder, and more often; that's what they're for, as far as pro athletes go. For most people, muscles do better (naturally) when given a day between hard workouts to recover, or so doctors have lead me to believe. The incredible workout schedule is what made me suspicious of Clemens for the last 10 years. Without chemical assistance or a one-in-a-million body type (which, admittedly, pro athletes would seem more likely to have), muscles/tendons/bones tend to break down under constant daily stress. Yes, professional trainers can help people edge closer to the maximum workout they can handle, and I don't necessarily think every standout fitness freak in sports is using, but I'm too cycnical to think "wow, even his younger teammates can't keep up, he must be incredibly dedicated". I don't blame those who choose to see it in a more positive light though, I kind of wish I could still give the mental benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, congrats to Gossage on his election, as he clearly met the reliever standards (dominant, feared, helped pioneer a role). I would guess that Hoffman and Rivera wil be the next relievers to go in, although Lee Smith stayed up fairly high this year. And net year, Rice goes in unless historical trends are broken, as not many make it that close and don't get in. I disagree that he should be in given other possible choices, but que sera sera. I guess the process annoys me more than the actual results...that's odd.
Thomas - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 11:59 AM EST (#178573) #
I don't have much respect at all for the BBWAA's selections.

I don't think the BBWAA does nearly as good a job as it should. You're right in that there's no excuse for some of these votes, especially given the internet and availability of stats. However, I just meant that some people go too far in their criticism of the BBWAA and that many (but by no means all) of the egregious selections came during the days when the Veterans Committee was stacked with Frankie Frisch and his buddies. The VC's selections still aren't great, but the BBWAA has made only a few marginal selections over the past decade and a half.

For an example what I mean about people giving the BBWAA too little credit, see John's comment that is was a "shock" that Raines cracked 20% and that he was worried he'd miss the 5% barrier. The low vote total is worrying, but I do attribute part of that to the "not a first timer" syndrome and think that Raines' vote total will slowly work it's way upwards over the years.

However, the essence of your point is right and I don't want to sound charitable towards the BBWAA. Nowadays, there is no excuse not to be 100% accurate ("accurate" will vary depending on whether you're a big or small Hall guy and so forth, but I mean accurate in the sense that there's no excuse not to realize that Tim Raines is a better player than Jim Rice and that Rice is indistinguishable from a dozen other corner outfielders not in the Hall). The fact that people are voting for Rice over Raines, Morris over Blyleven, Concepcion over Trammell and Smith over either of those 3 is unfortunate, to say the least.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 02:12 PM EST (#178577) #
Didn't see it elsewhere...

Jays trainers say Clemens is steroid free while in Toronto is the basics of it. McNamee comes off as a real lowlife scumbag, even more so than we already knew. What is interesting is the McNamee came to Toronto via Tim McCleary. Makes one wonder if that would help explain why McCleary was let go - could he have been involved in steroids, pushing them onto players? No idea, but it could be.
ayjackson - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 02:19 PM EST (#178578) #

I thought this was Hershel Walker?

It certainly was Hershel.   I haven't heard the Rickey claim before.  Though I'm not refuting it.

ayjackson - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 02:48 PM EST (#178579) #

Interesting quote from Joe Posnanski via Baseball Analysts:

For instance, what (if) I told you there was a player who, over a 12-year period, led all of baseball in home runs and RBIs? I’m talking all of baseball. Even Rice did not do that. And what if I further told you this guy played center field for much of his career, he stole more than 200 bases (31 in his best season) and hit one of the three most famous home runs in baseball history. That guy would be a SURE Hall of Famer, wouldn’t he?


owen - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 06:09 PM EST (#178582) #
Ayjackson, it is not nice to refer Jays fans to that little set of statistics.  It is just far too frustrating.  Of course, it suggests that Rice should not get into the hall more than it suggests that our buddy deserves further consideration.  But still. Wtf.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 07:13 PM EST (#178584) #
I'm just wondering who the heck voted for Todd Stottlemyre...

Maybe a Philly reporter who really hated the major in '93?

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, January 09 2008 @ 07:15 PM EST (#178585) #
And if I could spell, I'd be dangerous..

Maybe a Philly reporter who really hated the MAYOR in '93?

Mike D - Thursday, January 10 2008 @ 11:57 AM EST (#178599) #

Whoops, I attributed Herschel Walker's "1,000" quote to Rickey.  But my memory isn't all bad -- these two articles summarize the gist of his training program (and feature plenty of additional always-entertaining quotes from the SB king himself).

Mick Doherty - Thursday, January 10 2008 @ 12:09 PM EST (#178600) #

Maybe a Philly reporter who really hated the major in '93?

And here I thought you were referencing Ralph "The Major" Houk, who managed Todd's dad for eight years ...

Lefty - Thursday, January 10 2008 @ 10:41 PM EST (#178617) #

Here's Goose on Clemens!

High hard one in tight.

CaramonLS - Friday, January 11 2008 @ 01:04 AM EST (#178619) #

Always good to hear from a couple of players with some credentials, far too few are standing up and denouncing steriods.

A little OT, but where are those people insinuating racism against Barry Bonds?  Looks like Roger is getting it just as rough.

Chuck - Friday, January 11 2008 @ 07:21 AM EST (#178620) #

where are those people insinuating racism against Barry Bonds?  Looks like Roger is getting it just as rough.where are those people insinuating racism against Barry Bonds?  Looks like Roger is getting it just as rough.

I'd still argue that there is a distinction in the way Bonds and Clemens have been treated. Bonds was hearing all the steroid talk long before BALCO and Greg Anderson become publically known ("How can a player so old do what he's doing? Just look how big he's gotten."). While there have long been hushed rumours about Clemens and steroids, it is only the accusations made in the Mitchell report that are now more widely swaying public opinion. Absent the Mitchell report, public vilification of Clemens would be nowhere near that of Bonds.

Now, whether Bonds' treatment is racially based, that's a difficult call to make. Working against Bonds (above and beyond possible matters of racial discrimination) are his entirely unendearing crotchety public personality and the fact that he deigned to pursue and surpass the single most vaunted statistic in all of pro sports.

Still, it is odd that a 36-year old Bonds hitting 73 homeruns attracted one reaction while a 42-year old Clemens throwing 211 innings with a 1.87 ERA in a hitter's park attracted an entirely different one. One was a cheater. The other was a product of his work ethic.

Mylegacy - Friday, January 11 2008 @ 01:55 PM EST (#178624) #
Matt Eddy at Baseball America is going to be on very shortly (2 pm Eastern) taking questions about the Jay's top 10. Get over there and get your questions answered!
Ryan Day - Friday, January 11 2008 @ 05:16 PM EST (#178636) #
Clemens has a few things working for him, at least as far as the appearance of guilt goes:
  • He's a pitcher. The perception (though clearly untrue) is that only hitters use and benefit from performance enhancing drugs.
  • He didn't really change. While Bonds obviously bulked up and made a huge increase in power, Clemens was pretty much the same: A big, hard-throwing guy who struck lots of batters out. It's not like Greg Maddux suddenly started leading the league in strikeouts.
  • He had company. Randy Johnson was doing much the same thing as Clemens, and I haven't heard his name linked to steroids at all. Or for a historical precedent, just look at what Nolan Ryan did in his forties. When you've got elite, one-in-billion athletes, they don't always follow the expected career path.
  • PR: While Bonds was pretty no-comment about the steroid accusations, Clemens came right out with a denial.
John Northey - Friday, January 11 2008 @ 05:18 PM EST (#178637) #
Fairly honest there from the Goose, admiting he would've been temped and probably would've used steroids if he was still playing today. Also stating that players know that penalties will occur if you use it (I suspect most athletes saw the Ben Johnson mess and thought 'thank goodness that wasn't me').

I'd love it if more would just say it the way Goose did. Sadly, if a guy denies he is lying (see Clemens), if he states he did he is scum (see Canseco & Giambi) or not admitting to enough (see Petitte, torn apart in the NY press). Talk about screwed no matter what eh? And all it takes is one trainer stating something happened to cause it.

For example, if someone who is a trainer for the Jays suddenly stated Halladay used HGH then I bet Halladay would find himself torn apart in the press regardless of how good a guy he seems. Just put in a bit of doubt (claim he started after his 10+ ERA season) and point out great results afterwards and boom. A guys rep would be ruined and no proof would exist.

NOTE: I am not stating I think Halladay did anything or am trying to start a rumour, just stating that even a guy with a great rep could be torn apart in two minutes by a trainer who didn't get his cut or something.
CaramonLS - Friday, January 11 2008 @ 07:48 PM EST (#178641) #

I'd love it if more would just say it the way Goose did. Sadly, if a guy denies he is lying (see Clemens), if he states he did he is scum (see Canseco & Giambi) or not admitting to enough (see Petitte, torn apart in the NY press). Talk about screwed no matter what eh? And all it takes is one trainer stating something happened to cause it.

You think so?  Giambi and Canseco have come out of this whole mess with their reputations more intact than the rest of these guys.  Giambi in particular, because Jose was just seen as chasing after the money and being a rat.

Ryan Day - Saturday, January 12 2008 @ 12:35 PM EST (#178653) #
Ken Rosenthal says the Jays are working on trading Glaus for Scott Rolen.  He's usually pretty reliable.
Chuck - Saturday, January 12 2008 @ 01:09 PM EST (#178656) #
What a bizarre trade. How does Rolen help the Jays? I'll believe he's got his power stroke back when I see it.
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