Palmeiro is the poster boy for counting stats. He was good for a long time, but was never great. He padded his numbers in a hitters era, which makes him look a lot better than he was.
Larkin, Bagwell, Raines, Edgar, and McGwire are no-brainers for me. I think Walker just clears my bar. I'm still not sold on McGriff or Trammell, but might be some day.
Bernie Williams is at best a borderline candidate. I guess it goes without saying that he'd be nobody's idea of a HOFer if he didn't play for the Yankees. As far as great 90's-00's CF's go, Jim Edmonds has him beat in nearly every hitting category and was also a great defender. Too bad Edmonds will likely be a one and done case in a few years (FWIW I'd vote for him).
― NTBT, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 12:46 (ten years ago) link
Another CF who'll get lost in the shuffle is Kenny Lofton, who comes up next year. He's like Raines on a smaller scale--same strengths in a much higher offensive context, and a similar perception problem (at least I think it's a problem) of not having many seasons of 150+ games. Lofton actually has a slighly higher career WAR.
― clemenza, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:19 (ten years ago) link
Posnanski series (one reason those new names look underwhelming is that none of em have a 50+ WAR, which hasn't happened since 2000):
― Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:35 (ten years ago) link
The only one of Posnanski's picks I have a hard time getting my head around is Dale Murphy. I'd much rather see Fred McGriff (who may drop off this year or next) go in. Admittedly, I've got some hometown bias there.
― clemenza, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 16:15 (ten years ago) link
I wouldn't pick either.
― Dr Morbius, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 16:19 (ten years ago) link
If I had to choose between both or neither, I'd go with neither.
― clemenza, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 16:25 (ten years ago) link
I loved Pos' article on the first timers -- Brian Jordan was borderline great? Who knew? I can understand voting for one (and only one) borderline guy as a sort of "pet" pick, I feel the same way about Larry Walker. It's worthwhile to keep some of these guys on the ballot to keep the discussion going in future years. I think it reflects worse on the balloting process when a Lou Whitaker or Kevin Brown drops off the ballot in their first year than if guys like Mattingly and Murphy stay on the ballot for 10+ years.
― NTBT, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:01 (ten years ago) link
kevin brown going that early was pretty shocking. not that i expected him to make it, but i figured he'd hang around. but most of the writers are keen on punishing players for certain "infractions" or "flaws", and brown had several: seemed like a prick, punched a wall and busted his hand, went out on a low note, rumored PED connections. makes me think sosa won't even break 15% when he shows up. i guess the question isn't who will not get in but who will, since most of the overwhelmingly overqualified candidates who are coming up (beyond a few pitches, big hurt, griffey jr, biggio?) seem like they'll have serious trouble getting in. not to mention the heavy vote splitting w/the 10 player limit.
― omar (son), Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:38 (ten years ago) link
i also figure brown got punished for being nomadic rather than sticking around w/one or two teams. i think dudes who are not easily identified with an organization are often regarded as lesser to those musial/jeter/clemente/kaline types.
― omar (son), Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:42 (ten years ago) link
I have a feeling Sosa will get buried--that he will bear the brunt, more than anyone, fairly or unfairly, of being an almost wholly PED-created player. (Agree with No Time that I'd much rather err on the side of caution in keeping guys on the ballot.)
― clemenza, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:44 (ten years ago) link
its insane that Tim Raines isn't in already, so yeah he's a definite yes for me
also was Bags ever actually proven guilty of anything? I realize that his numbers raise suspicion but isn't this some kind of "guilty until proven innocent" bullshit?
― ...or fold laundry? (J0n Arbuckle), Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:45 (ten years ago) link
Raines, Bagwell, Larkin and Edgar are all guys that should be in...McGwire, McGriff, Walker and Bernie are all on the bubble for me - and guys like Trammell, Murphy, Gonzalez I'd be willing to hear arguments for.
― sir thermo of thinwall, Wednesday, 28 December 2011 23:10 (ten years ago) link
"guilty until proven innocent" bullshit?
yes, where ya been?
― Dr Morbius, Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:02 (ten years ago) link
Just to amend something I said above: you can't personally "err on the side of caution" in terms of keeping someone on the ballot--you either vote for him or you don't, and the aggregate vote decides whether he stays on or not. I think something like a five-year provision would be useful in avoiding situations like Kevin Brown and Lou Whitaker, where a clearly qualified player gets dropped from the ballot immediately. Set up some modest but meaningful benchmarks--2,000 hits, 300 HR, 200 wins, however many saves in that range (probably 300 by now)--and if a player meets at least one of those (both Whitaker and Brown would have cleared), he must remain on the ballot five years before the 5% threshold kicks in. I don't know whether an extra five years' perspective would make much difference, but it might at least help players who run into a particularly strong field in their first year or two.
― clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:11 (ten years ago) link
... or you could just have a 2-3 year period before anyone can get dropped.
― sir thermo of thinwall, Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:33 (ten years ago) link
Thing is, I think you'd want certain players to drop off immediately. If you used the numbers I suggested above, these players would be exempt for five years: Bernie Williams, Vinnie Castilla (Colorado fluke), Ruben Sierra, Jeromy Burnitz. Everyone else--Javy Lopez, Tim Salmon (299 HR...), Tony Womack, Phil Nevin, Brian Jordan, Eric Young, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Brad Radke--likely disappears. This year's weak field isn't the best example, and I know Lopez and Salmon were better than at least a couple of guys who'd get the provision. But Lopez and Salmon aren't ever going to make it anyway, so it wouldn't be a tragedy. Buy I think it would buy some time for the occasional Whitaker or Brown.
― clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2011 01:02 (ten years ago) link
Buy = But
― clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2011 01:03 (ten years ago) link
On the other hand, Lopez and/or Salmon may very well exceed the 5% threshold, and that's fine--just like always, you don't have to meet these benchmarks to stay on the ballot if the writers take care of that for you.
― clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2011 01:06 (ten years ago) link
my guess is salmon gets just enough support to stay on and lopez falls a couple percentage pts below the line.
― omar (son), Thursday, 29 December 2011 02:28 (ten years ago) link
i have no idea how a single writer could justify a vote for javy lopez.
McGwire, McGriff, Walker and Bernie are all on the bubble for me - and guys like Trammell, Murphy, Gonzalez I'd be willing to hear arguments for.
as poz wrote, the argument for trammell is that he's the exact same player as larkin.
― a collection of gruff, big-balled boasts (zachylon), Friday, 30 December 2011 21:23 (ten years ago) link
anyway: Larkin, Bagwell, Raines, Martinez, Trammell, McGwire, Palmeiro, and of course, Orioles legend Javy López.
― a collection of gruff, big-balled boasts (zachylon), Friday, 30 December 2011 21:24 (ten years ago) link
Lopez had one spectacular season--think he still hold the single-season slugging record for catchers--and a few good ones, but the only semi-credible argument I can see for him is a rather vague, old-fashioned one: that he was the catcher for a dynasty, and handled one of the greatest starting staffs ever. But no, I don't think anyone should vote for him.
― clemenza, Friday, 30 December 2011 21:51 (ten years ago) link
martinez is the only one of these that would make me sad if he didn't get in
― t. silaviver, Friday, 30 December 2011 21:53 (ten years ago) link
which i do not really agree with.
― sir thermo of thinwall, Friday, 30 December 2011 23:48 (ten years ago) link
ok they are very similar.
― sir thermo of thinwall, Saturday, 31 December 2011 03:58 (ten years ago) link
Yeah, they're pretty close. Trammell is #1 on Larkin's similarity-score list, Larkin is Trammell's #2. Larkin runs about 10% better in BA/SA/OBP, probably just the difference between having your peak years in the '90s rather than the '80s. Something interesting is that Trammell drew a higher percentage of the MVP vote the year he finished second than Larkin did the year he won.
― clemenza, Saturday, 31 December 2011 04:11 (ten years ago) link
i think you might be able to get away with putting Larkin's higher SLG down to the '90s vs '80s thing - but Larkin's OBP being 20 points better isn't something that can be brushed aside as easily imho. i mean, it's not a huge thing, but it's not a negligible difference either.
what jumps out at me is how dominant Barry was as a base runner. 379 career SB and only caught a total of 77 times. the season where he stole over 50 bases - he was only thrown out 5 times!
― sir thermo of thinwall, Saturday, 31 December 2011 18:52 (ten years ago) link