View Poll Results: Which of these men should be Hall of Famers? Pick 1-10 choices.
Bobby Abreu 0 0%
Josh Beckett 1 2.33%
Heath Bell 0 0%
Barry Bonds 28 65.12%
Eric Chavez 0 0%
Roger Clemens 31 72.09%
Adam "Big Donkey" Dunn 0 0%
Chone Figgins 0 0%
Rafael Furcal 0 0%
Jason Giambi 2 4.65%
Todd Helton 9 20.93%
Raul Ibanez 0 0%
Derek Jeter 40 93.02%
Andruw Jones 13 30.23%
Jeff Kent 8 18.60%
Paul Konerko 1 2.33%
Cliff Lee 1 2.33%
Carlos Pena 0 0%
Brad Penny 0 0%
Andy Pettite 12 27.91%
J.J. Putz 0 0%
Manny Ramirez 29 67.44%
Brian Roberts 0 0%
Scott Rolen 11 25.58%
Curt Schilling 24 55.81%
Gary Sheffield 11 25.58%
Alfonso Soriano 1 2.33%
Slammin' Sammy Sosa 10 23.26%
Jose Valverde 0 0%
Omar Vizquel 8 18.60%
Billy Wagner 6 13.95%
Larry Walker 21 48.84%
I Left An Extra Poll Option 1 2.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-22-2019, 10:33 AM
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2020 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot


It's time. Let's argue! Pick 1-10 players in the poll and explain why. I'll post my summary in a bit.
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:57 AM
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Bobby Abreu

Abreu was a sabermetric darling during his time with the Phillies; he rolled up very high on base percentages with solid power and defense for years.

Having said that, he’s a marginal candidate. Abreu’s numbers in context – it was a high offense time – are excellent, but it’s not like he ever won an MVP award or deserved to. He gets a zero on the Keltner list. He isn’t even the best right fielder on the ballot this year.

Abreu’s 60 career WAR is at best the bottom end for a player to be in the Hall without a lot of spectacular career highlights. I mention later in this post than I am not wholly sold on WAR as a precise thing; it is wholly possible a guy with 60 WAR is a better candidate than a guy with 70. But I think you have to be able to make a case, and I don’t see it with Bobby Abreu.

Josh Beckett

Maybe if he hadn’t gotten hurt a lot, but he did.

Beckett was MVP of the 2003 World Series, in which he started two games and went 1-1. He was terrific in the game we won (the clincher) and was good enough in the one he lost, but it seems weird to me to give a playoff series MVP to a player who only helped to win one game.

Heath Bell

I had to look the guy up to remember who the hell he was. Bell had some good years but I am not sure a guy with 599 innings pitched should even be on the ballot; see my comments on Chone Figgins. Bell isn’t one of the two thousand best players in baseball history.

Barry Bonds

Can we just induct him and Clemens already? Let’s get this out of the way.

Eric Chavez

A terrific player until he was about 28, at which point he fell apart. Chavez at age 28 has a most-similar comparison to Scott Rolen, but after that the two diverge; at age 32 he most-similar comparison is Dean Palmer. Dean Palmer is not an upgrade from Scott Rolen.

Roger Clemens


See Barry Bonds. Come on.

Adam Dunn

Dunn of course was nicknamed “Big Donkey.” Maybe he still is, I don’t know what his family and friends call him. Will his grandchildren call him Grandpa Donkey? I hope so. This is my annual opportunity to demand better nicknames; we just don’t have enough good ones like this anymore.

Dunn hit exactly 40 homers in each of four straight seasons from 2005 to 2008. I am sure that’s a record for that many home runs in a season. He damn near kept it going, too, hitting 38 and 39 the following two years. He really could sock a baseball but of course he’s not a Hall of Famer.

Chone Figgins

It’s pronounced “Shawn.”

Figgins, who was a good player but obviously isn’t a Hall of Famer, made the ballot; Marco Scutaro, who played just as many games and was pretty much just as good a player, did not. I don’t really understand that. The screening committee who makes these decisions was supposed to – I believed – basically just eliminate anyone who didn’t meet the 10-year minimum and who, if they did, didn’t really play regularly. I cannot think of why Figgins is on the ballot but Scutaro isn’t. Marco’s batting stats weren’t as flashy but he was a better defensive player and helped a team win a World Series; he is one of only 4 players in history with 14 hits in a playoff series.

The purpose of the screening committee should definitely NOT be to decide who is or is not a Hall of Famer; their standards should be miles below the Hall of Fame. I understand you don’t want the ballot to have too many names on it but I can’t figure why Figgins is on and Scutaro is not.

Who do you think is the worst player to ever make the ballot under the modern system? I went back over the yearly voting for as long as I could until I got tired of it, and it might be Lenny Harris, who had 1.7 WAR in his whole career and never once played enough to qualify to the batting title, so I don't know why he was on the ballot. But it might also be Rick Ankiel, a truly inexplicable ballot choice.

Rafael Furcal


Furcal came up at age 22, won the Rookie of the Year award, and until age 28 his future looked as promising as Eric Chavez’s. His age 28 season, his first with the Dodgers, he batted .300, scored 113 runs (the fourth straight year with more than 100 runs) and got some MVP votes. He was a terrific defensive player, or so I remember. After that he struggled to stay healthy, and yet he still made two more All-Star teams. He only played 1614 career games.

I sometimes mix up Furcal and Edgar Renteria, another shortstop who came up really young and so looked like he might be a Hall of Famer, but just didn’t. Renteria had a longer career, but Furcal was probably a better player.

Jason Giambi

It feels like he retired much longer ago than this. Truly a great hitter; Giambi was at least as good a player as Don Mattingly. He wasn’t much of a fielder but he was a better hitter. His peak only lasted four or five years, though. Steroids aside, I don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer but there are worse guys in the Hall. He got a late start, which hurts his career totals.

According to WAR, Giambi had a season worth 9.2 WAR. That’s a REALLY great season; a lot of Hall of Famers do not have a season that great. If you were to look at all the greatest WAR years by guys who were not in the Hall of Fame despite being eligible, all the top seasons would be by pitchers, and over half the top ten or fifteen seasons – including the top three - are by Barry Bonds, but as near as I can tell the top seasons by position players who have at some point been eligible AND aren’t Barry Bonds but aren’t yet in are:

Sammy Sosa, 10.3 in 2001
Al Rosen, 10.1 in 1953
Rico Petrocelli, 10.0 in 1969
Larry Walker, 9.8 in 1997
Shoeless Joe Jackson, 9.5 in 1912
Terry Turner, 9.4 in 1906
Norm Cash, 9.2 in 1961
Jason Giambi, 9.2 in 2001
Shoeless Joe Jackson, 9.2 in 1911
Scott Rolen, 9.2 in 2004
Shoeless Joe was technically eligible once, so he counts.

Todd Helton

Helton’s case is obviously not helped by the Coors thing, but he was legitimately a terrific player. Even when you adjust for Coors, Helton was probably a better overall player than Jason Giambi, in part because he was a really, really good fielder. He’s borderline, which means with a really stuffed ballot, he’s a no for me, but I can see both sides. If you’re going to vote for a Rockie, this isn’t the right one. Is the singular Rockie or Rocky?

Helton had about 60 WAR too, but I want to briefly touch on that; Hall of Fame discussions have to a lot of people become just WARfests where people say this guy had 64 and this guy had 61 so that first guy is better. That’s just insanely wrong. I like WAR because it’s a nice shorthand to allow the comparison of different kinds of players; it makes it easier to discuss who’s better between a guy in the 1920s and a guy in the 1960s, or between Ozzie Smith and Harmon Killebrew. But just relying on this one metric is crazy because

1. It is not perfectly correct,
2. WAR for players in the past is of highly dubious value because our information about their defensive value is really limited, and
3. Maybe more importantly, wins above REPLACEMENT favors players who played many games at an okay level, but disfavors players who were exceptional in a shorter career. According to WAR, Don Sutton was a better pitcher than Sandy Koufax.

In terms of arguing about the strategy of building a winning MLB team, WAR is better than comparing players to the league average because comparing players to league average will imply a league average player has little or no value, which is insane. The league is always .500, that’s the average, but a player whose performance is roughly .500 is actually really, really valuable. Most professional baseball players aren’t that good, so the “Average” player is actually better than most guys, and hard to replace. That’s why WAR is such a valuable concept.

But we are not building a regular team, we’re talking about the Hall of Fame, and in this case, saying Don Sutton’s 66 WAR makes him better than Sandy Koufax’s 49 WAR is, in my opinion, just utterly stupid. Sandy Koufax was 31 wins better than AVERAGE; Sutton 22, in a way longer career, and that strikes me as being at least as important an observation as WAR. Obviously, at the top of the scale the leaderboard is the same; Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Roger Clemens are all amazing in both, but these tight decisions reveal some interesting differences.

If you go by Wins Above Average, Todd Helton is at 33, which ranks him ahead of, say, Eddie Murray or Willie McCovey.

I cannot even figure out how to get a list of career leaders in Wins Above Average. It’s not even a part of Baseball Reference’s leaders index.

Raul Ibanez

Ibanez didn’t become a regular major leaguer until he was 29 or 30, depending if you call 104 games “regular,” but he still played long enough to play over two thousand games, hit 305 homers, and hit some big postseason dingers. There is a lot of steroid talk around him but it’s not like he was a serious candidate anyway.

Derek Jeter

A Hall of Famer all the way, of course. Bill James once wrote of Darryl Strawberry that he was “both the most overrated and underrated player in baseball.” I wonder if Derek Jeter isn’t a candidate for that for all of baseball history; Nolan Ryan is more overrated, but isn’t at all underrated.

What I mean by that is you have people (okay, just Yankee fans) who says Jeter is the greatest shortstop ever, which he obviously is not, and in time I think – like Nolan Ryan – “best ever” will be attached to Jeter just as a kind of reflexive shorthand.
On the other hand, Jeter’s mediocre defense has long irritated the stats nerds who like to point out that, for that reason, he was kind of overrated.

This can be taken way too far; I’ve read people saying Jeter is a Hall of Fame borderline case, or that he’s not a top 10 or 15 shortstop. I am no Yankee fan and agree he was not a very good fielder, but Derek Jeter is absolutely a slam dunk Hall of Famer and I think he’s one of the ten greatest shortstops of all time. By WAR he’s tenth; by JAWS he’s twelfth, that there’s two nineteenth century guys ahead of him (Davis and Dahlen) and three guys, Yount, A-Rod and Banks, who played half their career at other positions. Those totals also don’t reflect postseason play, at which Jeter’s credentials are beyond compare. Jeter played 158 playoff games, in which he hit .308 with 20 homers against above average pitching. Those games count. That has to mean something; it’s an entire season of quality play, in games that are more important than regular season games.

I should also note than in my opinion Jeter was robbed of the 1999 MVP Award.

Jeter will be, I think, the third Hall of Fame shortstop who never played an inning at any other position; the others are Ozzie and Luis Aparicio.

Andruw Jones

Another stathead favourite who until he was 29 looked like he was going to be one of the five or six greatest ever, and then all of a sudden he wasn’t. I guess people will keep wondering if he was really the age he said he was. I wouldn’t vote for him, but whatever.

Jeff Kent

Kent significantly outpolled Jones in last year’s actual ballot. He was an excellent hitter for a second baseman, and surprisingly solid in the field even though, honestly, he always looked really stiff, like he wasn’t good at it, and yet somehow he was. Some guys are like that… they LOOK bad, but then you realize they’re making all the plays. Tony Batista was the poster child; everything he did made him look like an alien wearing a human suit just learning how to approximate our ways, and yet he made all the plays and hit homers. Jeff was a better player than Tony, and slightly less clumsy. Ron Cey was the same way.

Paul Konerko

If Konerko had put up 439 homers and all his other numbers in a career than centred in the 1960s, he’d be a Hall of Famer. Since it was in the big hitting era, he’s not. He should be in the White Sox Hall of Fame though. I assume he is.

Cliff Lee

One of seven thousand confusing Lees in baseball history, along with Carlos Lee, Lee May, Derrek Lee, and others. Cliff was a hell of a pitcher but his career was maybe two thirds the length of what it needed to be to be a Hall of Famer.

The 2011 Philadelphia Phillies had, as their rotation, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt, all pitching well. How they didn’t win the World Series I do not understand.

Carlos Pena

The guy who got traded by Jonah Hill in “Moneyball.” The actor who portrayed him, Adrian Bellani, looks nothing like him. Of course, Jonah Hill looks nothing like Paul DePodesta, and Brad Pitt only vaguely resembles Billy Beane, but in some pictures Scott Hatteberg really does kinda look like Chris Pratt.

“Moneyball” was a great movie, but while we’re on that subject, why was Jonah Hill given an Oscar nomination for that? He’s perfectly good in the role, but there’s not that much to it. His character doesn’t require much range; there isn’t really an arc there.

Brad Penny

Penny led the league in wins once, in 2006, and he won two games in the 2003 World Series. He was a huge man, big even by the standards of MLB pitchers, who threw very hard.

Andy Pettite

Pettite is my personal dark horse favourite; he was never a super exceptional pitcher but he was very good for a long time. His career WAR is 60, which for a hitter is borderline but for a pitcher is pretty good; it’s the 61st best of all time among pitchers. Given his relatively modest peak I realize few people are going to support his candidacy as much as I do.

Pettite in his career started 44 postseason games, going 19-11 with pretty solid overall numbers, and again that’s not 44 normal starts, it’s 44 starts against really good teams. For most of my life as a fanatic baseball fan, the issue of postseason performance in these discussions was largely theoretical because really there wasn’t anyone whose postseason performance would tip the scales. Bob Gibson was amazing in the World Series but he was a Hall of Famer anyway; Ted Williams was shitty in the playoffs, but he was a Hall of Famer anyway. With the postseason being a bigger element of a player’s career now it CAN tip the scales, and I think it really has to be considered here.

JJ Putz

Putz, who – you may be shocked to hear this – is the only “Putz” in MLB history (but maybe not the only putz) pitched only 566.2 innings. He was a good pitcher, but it’s ridiculous to put him on the ballot and not a dozen other guys.

Mark Eichhorn, who was also a relief pitcher and who pitched 885 innings, did not make the ballot. Why? Because he had fewer saves? He was still a better pitcher. It’s stupid.

Manny Ramirez

Of course Manny Ramirez should be in the Hall of Fame.

Like Derek Jeter, Manny has exceptional postseason credentials; in 111 playoff games he hit 29 home runs. That’s amazing; remember, that’s about a 42-homer pace against above average pitchers. Manny was the worst outfielder I’ve ever seen who played anywhere near as many games as he did, so I figure those things offset, and he should be in the Hall for being a great hitter for a really long time.

Brian Roberts

Roberts was one hell of a baseball player. He had doubles power, played solid D, stole bases. I don’t know what he hit against Toronto but it felt like it was about .550. Sadly, his career as a regular only lasted six years or so and on a shit team.

Scott Rolen

Scott Rolen is the new Ron Santo, a third baseman who the sabermetrics say is a Hall of Famer in large part because he did everything really well; great glove, power, solid on base percentages, and yet he doesn’t FEEL like a Hall of Famer to many, in part because of a lack of career highlights. As near as I can tell, Rolen never in his entire career led the league in any offensive category. (Santo did, but the comparison is still a good one.) They are almost dead even in WAR. So I suspect that eventually, he’ll get in through some backdoor veteran process, and it’d help if he became a broadcaster.

Rolen briefly played for the Blue Jays, but after a year and a half of uneventful play the Reds wanted him and gave the Jays a guy named Edwin Encarnacion for him. That worked out delightfully well for Toronto.

Curt Schilling

Famously the biggest asshole among all retired players, but a great pitcher, so he will get in eventually, one way or another. His being an asshole did not prevent his teams from winning.

It is kind of amazing to realize that THREE teams gave Schilling away as a young player. He was drafted by Boston, who threw him in with Brady Anderson to get Mike Boddicker from the Orioles. He debuted with the Orioles and after a decent little season in 1990 they sent him off as part of a package to get Glenn Davis from the Astros, which was a terrible trade. The Astros let him pitch 56 games out of the bullpen in 1991 and then sent him to the Phillies, where he immediately was really good. Unless something in the future really weird happens and Jose Bautista is elected to the Hall, I bet Schilling will become, and remain, the only Hall of Famer given up on that many times as a prospect.

Gary Sheffield

Sheff had about 60 career WAR; like Bobby Abreu, that makes him not a fabulous Hall of Fame pick. That said… Sheffield’s career OPS+ was 140, which is tied (unless you broke it down to decimal points, I guess) for 75th all time. This was not in a short career; he played 2576 games, which is 47th all time, and stepped up to the plate 10947 times, which is 39th all time. These numbers combine to make him somewhere between the 25th and 35th greatest hitters of all time, depending what analytical metric you use, and that makes sense to me given the raw numbers and length of his career.

The WAR number of 60 is basically because Sheffield was judged to be a fielder of truly hideous awfulness, as bad as Manny. I am not sure I buy that. For one thing he didn’t look that bad, and for another, I just have trouble buying that a guy who might well have been one of the thirty best hitters in baseball history isn’t a Hall of Famer. I’m voting yes this year.

Alfonso Soriano

One of the most statistically unique players of this time. Him and Curtis Granderson, I guess. Baseball Reference feels his best comparison is Dale Murphy. That’s honestly not a good comparison at all.

Soriano hit 46 homers 2006 but “only” drove in 95 runs; I am pretty sure that’s the record for most homers with fewer than 100 RBI.

Sammy Sosa

Another right fielder on this list, along with Abreu and Sheffield, around 60 WAR. He’s an odd case, and you can argue either way on his candidacy. Personally I’m now leaning towards yes.

Jose Valverde

See also JJ Putz. Valverde was a good pitcher but in his entire career he faced 2646 batters – a career shorter than, say, Kevin Pillar, who has been at least as valuable a player as Jose Valverde, and if I suggested to you that Kevin Pillar was a Hall of Famer you’d think I was insane.

Omar Vizquel

Vizquel is just in his third year on the ballot and he got 42% of the vote last year, so I’d say his chances of eventually being in the Hall of Fame are at least ninety percent. I am required, as I do every year, to point out that although his backers make his case by comparing him to Ozzie Smith, Ozzie was a much greater player.

That said, of his ten most comparable players, six are Hall of Famers and three – Dave Concepcion, Bill Dahlen, and Jimmy Rollins – were great players too. (Number 10 is Herman Long, who I know nothing about.) So what the hell, if they put him in I won’t complain.

Billy Wagner

Another relief pitcher. Wagner’s case in much stronger than the other ones on the ballot; his career was longer and he was an extremely good pitcher. I believe his career 187 ERA+ is the second best in baseball history for anyone pitching that many innings.

I still wouldn’t vote for him. Yes, he was terrific – in 900 innings, about four seasons’ worth of a starting pitcher. (He also was dreadful in the playoffs.) Sorry, but “Closers” just aren’t that valuable. I know it’s a set role, but it would be like putting Lefty O’Doul in the Hall of Fame.

Larry Walker

Walker was an excellent player and should be in the Hall. He missed, I would guess, at least 300 games to injury, with which he’d look a hell of a lot better, but he was still an excellent hitter and a brilliant outfielder. He will probably come up heartbreakingly short; this is his last year and he got about 54 percent last year, and a 21 percent jump would be unprecedented.

The second best Canadian player of all time, behind Ferguson Jenkins and still pretty far ahead of Joey Votto.

Walker is one of three Canadians to have won an MVP Award; in addition to him and Votto, Justin Morneau won one. Two Canadians, Ferguson Jenkins and Eric Gagne, have won a Cy Young Award. I don’t think any Canadians have won Rookie of the Year.

Larry Walker’s Twitter handle is @Cdnmooselips33. How can you not love that?
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Last edited by RickJay; 11-22-2019 at 10:58 AM.
  #3  
Old 11-22-2019, 11:17 AM
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Who do you think is the worst player to ever make the ballot under the modern system? I went back over the yearly voting for as long as I could until I got tired of it, and it might be Lenny Harris, who had 1.7 WAR in his whole career and never once played enough to qualify to the batting title, so I don't know why he was on the ballot. But it might also be Rick Ankiel, a truly inexplicable ballot choice.
I'm guessing Lenny Harris made the ballot because he holds the all-time record for pinch hits. That would be his main claim to "Fame".
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:29 AM
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Bobby Abreu
STILL upset they left him available in the expansion draft. If Biggio and Bagwell had had Abreu playing next to them through the late 90s/early 2000s, what would have happened? Never mind, had to protect Derek Bell.

Quote:
Chone Figgins

... I can’t figure why Figgins is on and Scutaro is not.

Who do you think is the worst player to ever make the ballot under the modern system? I went back over the yearly voting for as long as I could until I got tired of it, and it might be Lenny Harris, who had 1.7 WAR in his whole career and never once played enough to qualify to the batting title, so I don't know why he was on the ballot. But it might also be Rick Ankiel, a truly inexplicable ballot choice.
Ankiel at least has one of the most memorable careers in baseball history - amazing rookie year at 19 years old, then he loses the strike zone for no apparent reason, then he goes back to the minors and focuses on hitting, then he kicks around for a few years as an outfielder, finally goes back and tries to make another comeback as a relief pitcher though I think that one stalled out in the minors somewhere, or maybe no one signed him.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:43 AM
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I voted for the Shortstops. Jeter is a no question pick but Vizquel is fairly weak but a player I strongly admired for his defense.

I left off all of the known steroid cheats. Sorry, my call. Bonds & Clemens especially are massive assholes on top of the face of cheating. I liked Sosa but can't help think he wasn't going to be a strong candidate without his illegal helpers. Schilling will eventually make it but without my vote.

Andy Pettite was borderline and I subtracts points for his lifetime ERA & HGH use.

Larry Walker is borderline and I subtracted pointed for Coors Field.

I was going to vote for Manny, but then I got distracted by a butterfly.



Great summaries RickJay, thank you.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:00 PM
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Pettitte is interesting because while he had very few truly outstanding seasons, he was consistently above average for 18 years - there are actually very few pitchers who can say that. The biggest argument against him is that he wouldn't have won nearly so many games if he had pitched for pretty much any other team for his entire career. His innings pitched and ERA+ are pretty much identical to Mark Buehrle's. (Buehrle is another guy who was consistently above average but never brilliant for his career.)
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:23 PM
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Hope: Clemons, Bonds, Jeter, Walker.

Reality: Jeter.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:44 PM
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One of my favorite annual threads at the Dope. Thanks, as always Rick for your insights and setting this thread up.

Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Ramirez, Rolen, Schilling, Walker w/o thinking. Added Sosa, Helton, Sheffield with some thought. I predict Pettitte and Vizquel eventually get in, along with Jeter and Ramirez this go around. The others I picked? Steroids, personality conflicts, and Coors Field may keep them out.
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:37 PM
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Fun stat I saw this morning regarding Larry Walker:

Walker at Coors Field hit .381/.462/.710, which outhits Babe Ruth.

But Walker away from Coors hit .282/.368/.501, which outhits Reggie Jackson.

He's a Hall of Famer.
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:59 PM
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Walker, Rolen, Jeter, Helton.

Walker seems like an obvious choice to me and I'm always surprised that others don't see it that way.
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:49 PM
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I voted for Bonds, Clemens, Manny, Jeter, Walker, Rolen, Kent, Sheffield and Andrew Jones.

Only nine. Still with the open slot couldn't bring myself to vote for Schilling

Helton was the toughest one for me to make a call on. I think he falls short, but it's quite possible I'm over-correcting for Coors. His career and stats don't quite seem to match up to Larry Walker, for example.
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:23 AM
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Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Ramirez
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Old 11-23-2019, 04:41 AM
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id think the taint of steroids is going to keep Sammy oui of the hall
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:09 AM
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Abreu has an interesting mix of stats: .395 OBP, 400 stolen bases, 574 doubles. I never felt he was a great player, though. Same for Pettitte, unfortunately. I loved watching him over the years, and he came up big many times, but he's just not elite. Sigh. As Munch pointed out, Walker was great away from Coors. Helton on the other hand was a creature of that park. Very good, but not great. Jeter is a no-brainer and Schilling is another year of holding my nose and hoping they get it over with. Mostly I agree with Rickjay: induct the best players of the steroid era and get it over with. So,

Bonds, Clemens, Jeter, Ramirez, Schilling, Walker.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:41 AM
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The fact Clemens is currently outpolling Bonds is weird to me. If you don't like steroids fair enough, but then why Clemens and not Bonds?
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:49 AM
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The fact Clemens is currently outpolling Bonds is weird to me. If you don't like steroids fair enough, but then why Clemens and not Bonds?
That is strange, both were big time assholes and the faces of steroid cheating. Based on numbers Bonds > Clemens. Base on who they are as people they're pretty much equal.

I hope neither ever gets in, but I'm sure eventually they will.
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Old 11-23-2019, 01:13 PM
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It's been true of the BBWAA voting too. Every year Clemens gets about 1% more than Bonds.
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Old 11-23-2019, 02:38 PM
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...Base on who they are as people they're pretty much equal...
Disagree. To the best of my knowledge, Roger Clemens doesn't have any domestic violence allegations associated with him. See, Sun Bonds's claims and testimony during their divorce trial: https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/...en-3018220.php

It would have helped if she'd cooperated with the cops, the one time she'd called them.

I voted for both for the Hall, despite their lack of character.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 11-23-2019 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Not sure why this software added emoticons, which I never use.
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Old 11-23-2019, 05:43 PM
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id think the taint of steroids is going to keep Sammy oui of the hall
At least Bonds and Clemons were Hall of Famers or close to it before steroids. Sammy was just a strikeout king.
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:29 PM
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Disagree. To the best of my knowledge, Roger Clemens doesn't have any domestic violence allegations associated with him. See, Sun Bonds's claims and testimony during their divorce trial: https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/...en-3018220.php

It would have helped if she'd cooperated with the cops, the one time she'd called them.

I voted for both for the Hall, despite their lack of character.
Fair enough; information I did not have.
Clemens appears to be the bigger asshole and on the basic of both morality and cheating should never get into the hall.

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Old 11-23-2019, 06:48 PM
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At least Bonds and Clemons were Hall of Famers or close to it before steroids. Sammy was just a strikeout king.
Agreed. Sammy came into the league with power, but not Babe Ruth power.

Bonds, who probably wasn't better than a 50-HR a year guy, was a legit power hitter even when he barely weighed 200 pounds.
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:49 PM
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Fair enough; information I did not have.
Clemens appears to be the bigger asshole and on the basic of both morality and cheating should never get into the hall.
I don't believe in keeping people out of the HoF unless they're double murderers.
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:53 PM
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I don't believe in keeping people out of the HoF unless they're double murderers.
I always thought baseball had a higher standard than the other sports.
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:04 PM
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Ty Cobb and Cap Anson are in it, so no.
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:49 PM
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I think Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose should be in it as well. There should be a plaque that explains their controversies but Christ, they were both great ball players.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:10 PM
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At least Bonds and Clemons were Hall of Famers or close to it before steroids. Sammy was just a strikeout king.
Agreed. Sammy came into the league with power, but not Babe Ruth power.

Bonds, who probably wasn't better than a 50-HR a year guy, was a legit power hitter even when he barely weighed 200 pounds.
To the best of my knowledge, (a) before steroids Bonds was a three-time MVP; and (b) the only guy who’s been an MVP more than three times is — uh, Bonds.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:13 PM
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Ty Cobb and Cap Anson are in it, so no.
Ty Cobb was not the psychotic monster he'd been made out to be; about 98% of that was made up by Al Stump. Think of a crazy story about Cobb; it's likely Stump invented it.

Cobb was an intense, arrogant man, but in his time wasn't any less regarded than Ted Williams was in his, or Jose Bautista, or Bob Gibson.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:14 PM
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Ty Cobb and Cap Anson are in it, so no.
Ty Cobb was not the psychotic monster he'd been made out to be; about 98% of that was made up by Al Stump. Think of a crazy story about Cobb; it's likely Stump invented it.

Cobb was an intense, arrogant man, and a racist (but, then, most white men were then) but in his time wasn't any less regarded than Ted Williams was in his, or Jose Bautista, or Bob Gibson.
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Old 11-23-2019, 09:40 PM
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To the best of my knowledge, (a) before steroids Bonds was a three-time MVP; and (b) the only guy who’s been an MVP more than three times is — uh, Bonds.
I don't disagree.

Bonds was legit, as was Clemens. You could argue that Clemens extended his career with 'roids, but he was a stud pitcher before the late 1990s, early 2000s.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:36 PM
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Bonds, Clemons and Rose, for that matter, should all be in.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:12 PM
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Ty Cobb was not the psychotic monster he'd been made out to be; about 98% of that was made up by Al Stump. Think of a crazy story about Cobb; it's likely Stump invented it.

Cobb was an intense, arrogant man, and a racist (but, then, most white men were then) but in his time wasn't any less regarded than Ted Williams was in his, or Jose Bautista, or Bob Gibson.
So Cobb really didn't climb into the stands and beat the shit out of a heckler? Stump merely exaggerated the exploits of a world class scumbag. Cobb was a vile human being.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:31 AM
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I don't disagree.

Bonds was legit, as was Clemens. You could argue that Clemens extended his career with 'roids, but he was a stud pitcher before the late 1990s, early 2000s.
Both players would've been in the Hall sans chemical help. Both players would not be in the Top 3 to ever play the game (Bonds) or Top 10 pitchers ever without the help. Clemens's 2004 and 2005 seasons with the Astros, when he was 41 and 42 years old, are just filthy. Fangraphs page: https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.asp...815&position=P BB Ref's: https://www.baseball-reference.com/p...lemero02.shtml 145 and 226 ERA+. In ~210 IP each year.

Nolan Ryan certainly achieved a lot in his 40s, with gobs of Ks, but never had the ERA of Clemens. https://www.baseball-reference.com/p...ryanno01.shtml

Probably not on PEDs in the late 80s, but you never know...
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Old 11-24-2019, 07:16 AM
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Both players would've been in the Hall sans chemical help. Both players would not be in the Top 3 to ever play the game (Bonds) or Top 10 pitchers ever without the help. Clemens's 2004 and 2005 seasons with the Astros, when he was 41 and 42 years old, are just filthy. Fangraphs page: https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.asp...815&position=P BB Ref's: https://www.baseball-reference.com/p...lemero02.shtml 145 and 226 ERA+. In ~210 IP each year.
Heh. When you put it like that — okay, sans chemical help Bonds is apparently one of the only guys to make it into the 300-300 club, and then he becomes the only guy to make it into the 400-400 club; and at that point you can make a case for giving him a spot in the Hall Of Fame, if not a case for the Top 3.

And then you look at his career after that, when (a) he becomes the only guy in the 500-500 club, and (b) there would be a case to be made for the Top 3. But he only puts up those numbers by — facing guys like Clemens? The year that Bonds picks up his 7th MVP, Clemens picks up his 7th Cy Young Award, and they only manage to do that by squaring off against each other?
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Old 11-24-2019, 10:28 AM
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The fact Clemens is currently outpolling Bonds is weird to me. If you don't like steroids fair enough, but then why Clemens and not Bonds?
Because Bonds was a proven steroid-user, and Clemens's steroid-accuser was a proven liar.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:41 PM
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Because Bonds was a proven steroid-user, and Clemens's steroid-accuser was a proven liar.
I don't think anyone really seriously doubts Clemens used, do they?

As to the claim Clemens and Bonds were not all time greats without steroids, I.m not sure.

We know Bonds starting using 'roids around 1999. 1998 was his age 33 season; his best comparison at that age was Frank Robinson. He was easily a Hall of Famer. Top 3 hitters all time, probably not, but he was headed for being the best left fielder who ever played. He age 33 year was incredible; he was still one of the best players in baseball. (As a side note, it is interesting to see that according to the analytics, his DEFENSE fell off very quickly one he started using.)

When did Clemens start using? I've seen a number of guesses but the consensus seems to be 1998; I'm not sure if it was before or after that season but let's go with before. From 1986 to 1997 Roger Clemens was one of the greatest pitchers of modern times; 1997 might actually have been his best year, but he'd had so many of them. He won four Cy Young Awards and should have won a fifth and showed no signs of slowing down. If steroids helped him, they helped him, but Clemens was headed for a Tom Seaver type career anyway.
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Last edited by RickJay; 11-27-2019 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:57 PM
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I would argue Clemens probably started using leading up to the 1997 season. He went from 3 of 4 years being very off from his former greatness to suddenly he was the best again. It was very suspicious. His Boston record might be enough to get him into the Hall and the Boston time was probably clean.
BOS (13 yrs) W-L: 192-111 .634 ERA: 3.06 GS: 382 CG: 100 & K:2590
But I really suspect it was leading into free agency that he started juicing and those 11 years are very tainted.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:52 AM
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I would argue Clemens probably started using leading up to the 1997 season. He went from 3 of 4 years being very off from his former greatness to suddenly he was the best again. It was very suspicious. His Boston record might be enough to get him into the Hall and the Boston time was probably clean.
BOS (13 yrs) W-L: 192-111 .634 ERA: 3.06 GS: 382 CG: 100 & K:2590
But I really suspect it was leading into free agency that he started juicing and those 11 years are very tainted.
Clemens wasn't falling off going into 1997 the way people say he was, though, and it was very stupid of the Red Sox to let him go somewhere else on a reasonable contract. in 1996 he went 10-13, but the Sox failed to score runs or play defense for him; seven of his losses were in games in which he gave up 3 runs or fewer, and he had five no decisions in games with three runs or fewer. His peripherals were all very good; he led the league in strikeouts, didn't give up too many homers, walked a few too many guys but gave up few hits. By way of comparison, the Cy Young Award winner that year was Pat Hentgen, and deservedly so, but Hentgen wasn't really that much better; their peripherals are all pretty much the same, except Hentgen walked slightly fewe guys and Clemens had way more strikeouts. Both pitchers actually averaged a Game Score of 57. But Hentgen went 20-10, because the Blue Jays were a better defensive team and scored runs for him.

1997 of course was an incredible year for Clemens, one of the best he ever had, and that's an odd thing. But it wasn't the same as Bonds, who suddenly became Babe Ruth in his late thirties, or Mark McGwire, who came back from injuries that appeared to be ending his career to become the greatest power hitter in baseball.
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