View Poll Results: Which of these men should be Hall of Famers? Vote for as many as you want.
Bobby Abreu 1 2.50%
Jeremy Affeldt 0 0%
Grant Balfour 0 0%
Barry Bonds 28 70.00%
Mark Buerhle 1 2.50%
A.J. Burnett 1 2.50%
Roger Clemens 28 70.00%
Michael Cuddyer 0 0%
Kevin Gregg 0 0%
Aaron Harang 0 0%
Dan Haren 0 0%
Corey Hart 1 2.50%
LaTroy Hawkins 0 0%
Todd Helton 15 37.50%
Tim Hudson 2 5.00%
Torii Hunter 2 5.00%
Andruw Jones 11 27.50%
Jeff Kent 9 22.50%
Adam LaRoche 0 0%
Jason Marquis 0 0%
Andy Pettite 13 32.50%
Aramis Ramirez 0 0%
Manny Ramirez 25 62.50%
Alex Rios 1 2.50%
Scott Rolen 11 27.50%
Curt Schilling 23 57.50%
Skip Schumaker 0 0%
Gary Sheffield 14 35.00%
Grady Sizemore 0 0%
Rafael Soriano 2 5.00%
Slammin' Sammy Sosa 15 37.50%
Nick Swisher 2 5.00%
Dan Uggla 1 2.50%
Shane Victorino 1 2.50%
Omar Vizquel 6 15.00%
Billy Wagner 3 7.50%
C.J. Wilson 1 2.50%
Barry Zito 1 2.50%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-20-2020, 11:22 AM
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2021 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot


Things are boring and sad right now, so let's do this early. I drew these names from Baseball Reference's "Possible ballot" thing, so a few of these names might not make the ballot. Who cares?

Vote for who you think should be a Hall of Famer and let's get arguing!
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:52 AM
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My summary; where I remembered to, I noted (Year on ballot / Percentage of vote last year)

Bobby Abreu (2nd year; 5.5%)

Bobby got MVP votes in 7 different seasons, but never higher than 12th, which I think sums up his qualifications; he was a really, really good player, but he never quite had the level of highlight Iíd want in a Hall of Famer. He wouldnít be the worst player ever inducted but he is a longshot and Iím fine with that.

I mean, if you look at this seasonsí raw totals, though, they look amazing. He hardly ever led the league in anything, though. Right fielders are overrepresented in the Hall of Fame, anyway.

Jeremy Affeldt (1st year)

I forgot he existed. Iím kind of surprised he made the ballot. When he started out with the Royals he was starting as much as he was relieving and he wasnít bad at all, but for some reason he was transitioned out of starting, which is kind of weird and maybe explains why the Royals were so bad in those days.
If I asked you to name as many guys as you could think of who were with the Giants for all three of their World Series wins in the 2010s I bet Jeremy Affeldt wouldnít be one of the names youíd think of, but indeed he was on all three teams, and in eight World Series games he only gave up one run.

Grant Balfour (1st year)

On an All-Bad-Names-For-Pitchers All Star team with Bob Walk.

Balfour might be the best Australian MLB player of all time; itís him or Dave Nilsson, I guess. Nilsson would be way ahead but he retired at age 29, after a terrific 1999 season, so he could play for Australia in the 2000 Olympics. Australia played horribly, but for some reason he never came back. Maybe he likes spiders.

Barry Bonds (9th year, 60.7%)

Heís going to get in someday. Letís get it over with.


Mark Buerhle (1st year)

The Bobby Abreu of pitchers; had a hell of a strong, consistent career, winning a bunch of games every year and piling up a career value that exceeds some Hall of Famers, but at no point was he ever really a great GREAT pitcher. Only once in his career was he mentioned in Cy Young voting.

Buerhle was fun to watch. He was not very athletic for a professional baseball player, to put it kindly, and he didnít throw very hard, but he could throw an utterly baffling array of slop exactly where the batter didnít want it.

You probably know Buerhle threw a no hitter and then later a perfect game. Often forgotten is that in his first no hitter he actually got out all 27 men he faced, sort of. The only baserunner was Sammy Sosa, who walked, and then Buerhle picked him off.


A.J. Burnett (1st year)

Burnett pitched three years in Toronto and drove me insane; the dude had a $50 million arm and a 50-cent head. He could throw a thousand miles an hour and had good stuff but seemed bizarrely lost at times, and seemed like a different pitcher from start to start. Heíd pitch on Monday and look like Nolan Ryan and then on Friday he looked like Meg Ryan. (Not in a good way.) My assessment of him is, I am sure, personally unfair; he might be a really nice, smart guy, I dunno. He sure drove me batty as a fan, though.

Burnett threw a no-hitter with the Marlins in which he walked nine men, and that right there is a perfect microcosm of his whole career.

Roger Clemens (9th year, 61%)

See Barry Bonds. I dunno what else to say about him, everyone knows everything about him.

Michael Cuddyer (1st year)

Maybe Iím wrong, but my recollection is he was a huge prospect tabbed for stardom, and man, his minor league stats were rocking. He hit the shit out of the ball at every level, and getting some early MLB at bats he didnít embarrass himself. For whatever reason, though, the Twins didnít seem to want to give him a full shot in the majors until he was in his mid-20s, and while he was a really good player he never really became a big star. He did win a batting title later in his career with Colorado, so thatís cool. He is one of a small handful of players who hit for the cycle in both leagues.

Kevin Gregg

A relief ďAceĒ who picked up 177 saves. He was an average pitcher and never made an All Star team but theyíll probably put him on the ballot anyway Ďcause SAVES!!!!

Aaron Harang (1st year)

Aaron had some pretty good seasons but he interspersed them with enough bad ones that he actually had a losing record.

Harang is an enormous man, over six and a half feet tall and he claimed to weigh 240 pounds but he was way heavier than that. His velocity was average for an MLB pitcher, though.

I find it fascinating that arm strength has very little to do with a personís size.

Dan Haren (1st year)

Haren was really quite a good pitcher; he was every bit as good a pitcher as Mark Buerhle, but he just didnít last as long, and he bounced from team to team. He hardly ever walked anyone, and if you do that and keep the ball down in the zone, itís a winning combination.

Corey Hart (1st year)

Letís be honest, he peaked with ďSunglasses at Night.Ē


LaTroy Hawkins (1st year)

LaTroy pitched 1,042 games, which is the tenth most in history. He was actually really bad his first five years; he got lit up over and over, but the Twins saw something in him and kept giving him shots, and he ended up being a really good pitcher for, obviously, a very long time.


Todd Helton (3rd, 29.2)

Heltonís total career value in WAR is about the same as Bobby Abreuís, but his peak is higher. I wouldnít vote for him but, as with Abreu, I would not be upset if he made it in someday. His chances are certainly better than Abreuís, and that seems correct to me. Heltonís power slipped away at age 31; had he kept hitting home runs a bit longer than he did, heíd likely be a better than even chance to make it.

Thereís lot of players in the Frankie Frisch group of guys with inflated hitting stats who have superficially similar numbers but actually arenít as good. Any argument against Todd Helton works against Chuck Klein, and that's the problem with trying to set Hall of Fame standards. If you draw the line at Harold Baines or Chick Hafey, then you have to let in Jesse Barfield and Rick Sutcliffe, and that's crazy. Todd Helton was a WAY better player than at least 30-40 guys in the Hall, so the "standard" is already blown to hell.

Tim Hudson (1st year)

Iím not saying Iíd vote for Tim Hudson, but just like Todd Helton, there are a number of Hall of Fame pitchers who werenít as good as he was. He won 222 games with a high winning percentage and it wasnít a fluke, he was really that good. He wouldíve needed a few more quality years to be a serious candidate; given that he was usually healthy in a 17 year career, that just goes to show you how hard a standard this is.


Torii Hunter (1st
)

About as good a player as you can ask a guy to be who doesnít draw walks. He really was a fantastic outfielder and he hit 20-30 home runs a year like clockwork. 3-4 seasons short of being a Hall of Famer. His son, Torii Jr., is a player in the Angels organization, but his getting to the Show looks like a long shot.


Andruw Jones (4th, 19.4%)

A very polarizing candidate; some people insist heís a no-questions-asked Hall of Famer and others think heís a meh candidate. I lean towards the latter but he really was a hell of a player for awhile. Had he not fallen apart after age 29 he might have been an inner circle choice. He did fall apart, though, in part because he started gaining weight.


Jeff Kent (8th, 27.5)

Kent hit 377 home runs, the most of anyone who was primarily a second baseman, and drove in 1518 RBI, which is third most for a second baseman and the most since integration. He also played for many winning teams and won an MVP Award. If heíd accomplished something like that in a career that started and ended 30 years before it had, I think heíd be in the Hall of Fame; he doesnít appear to be a serious candidate at making it now, which I think is a combination of modern metrics and the fact the ballot has usually been really stacked.

Iím written this before, but I have a friend who looks so much like Jeff Kent itís creepy. Heís even a good ballplayer, too.

I wanted to call Kent a "4" because that is the numeric designation for the position of second base. They do that in basketball; the point guard is a 1, shooting guard is a 2, small forward 3, power forward 4, center 5, so you'll hear people say this guy is a good 3 but he struggles if he has to move up to 4. We should do that in baseball; Jim is a terrific 7, but his arm isn't good enough to play 9. Jeff Kent was a 5 a few times, but usually a 4.


Adam LaRoche


I honestly couldnít even remember who this guy played for without looking it up. That doesnít bode well for his chances.


Jason Marquis

Marquis was drafted in the first round in 1996 by the Braves, at a time when the Braves seemed to know more about pitching than any other team ever had, so he was very hyped. While he became a decent major leaguer, he never really developed a consistent strikeout pitch, which limited his ceiling. I am not sure heíll actually make the ballot.


Andy Pettite (3rd, 11%)

Iíd vote for him. Pettite won a lot of games, is the winningest postseason pitcher ever, and his 3.85 ERA is better than it looks at first glance, because he was in a high offense era. I can understand why someone wouldnít want to though, and not just because of HGH.

The 1998 Yankees might well have been the best team ever, but had only three Hall of Famers; Mo, Jeter, and Tim Raines, who was in the tail end of his career. They had a lot of guys in the "awesome player but not quite a Hall of Famer" range, like David Cone, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill, and David Wells.

Here is a fun fact; there are only two teams in baseball history (from more than 20 years ago - obviously it's true of many recent winners, and all winners in the last five years) that won a World Series and didn't have any Hall of Famers. Try to guess who they were, and I'll tell you later in this post.


Aramis Ramirez (1st)

Definitely the best Aramis in MLB history. Ramirez piled up a lot of homers and RBI Ė he had 100-RBI seasons for three different teams Ė but, again, piling up counting stats in his era was less impressive than other eras. If heíd had the same numbers in the 1960s heíd be a Hall of Famer.

Ramirez was a bad third baseman; my perception of him was that he was mediocre at basically every skill involved in it. He wasnít especially quick, did not have great range behind him of into foul territory, and didnít have a very good arm. Nonetheless, both the Pirates and Cubs were REALLY determined to keep him there; he played 2112 games at third and exactly five at first base. You have to think that if someone early on had said ďI mean, heís not gonna get much better than this; maybe we should try him out at first or left fieldĒ it might have helped him be an even better hitter, too.

Manny Ramirez (5th, 28.2%)

Sort of a sub-Barry Bonds, left out because of steroids. Obviously he should be in the Hall of Fame. Had a technically perfect swing; you cannot swing a baseball bat better than he did. Manny hit 29 homers in the playoffs, the most ever; he hit home runs at a higher rate in the playoffs than he did in the regular season.

Manny was an awful outfielder. When he got to Boston, a common Boston excuse for him was that he really knew how to play the Monster. Thatís actually true, but the number of times a guy has to make a unique play off the monster isnít as many as you might think, the number of times an unfamiliar outfielder messes it up is really quite small (theyíre major leaguers, after all, and itís not like they donít know about it) and of course half your games are on the road; his understanding of that one kind of play didnít come anywhere near to making up for his dreadful fielding. Anyway his hitting made up for it and then some.

Alex Rios (1st)

When he came up he styled his name Alexis Rios; it changed at some point. Rios was really tall, very strong, and could run like hell, but he never seemed to get the most out of his monumental physical gifts; he had years when he batted .300 and years with big power and years where he stole bases, but he didnít really put all those things together at the same time very often. At the age of 28, the Blue Jays waived him in the middle of a multi-year contract, and I donít recall anyone criticizing them for it.


Scott Rolen (4th, 35.3%)

Another sabermetric darling. He is similar to Ron Santo, and Santo is in the Hall so Rolen likely will be someday too, even if he has to wait for some committee to do it. I could not care less.


Curt Schilling (9th, 70%)

Held back by his being a detestable asshole, but reaching 70 percent with two more chances means heís pretty likely to get in. He was a great pitcher and one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time.

Skip Schumaker (1st)

Baseball Reference has him on their list but I doubt heíll make the ballot. Schumaker was used as an emergency pitcher four times in his career, and in three of them he threw a scoreless inning.

Schumaker was a small man for a major leaguer, which I guess is kind of a requirement for a person named ďSkip Schumaker.Ē That just sounds like a small guy. The heaviest player of all time, according to Baseball Reference, was Jumbo Diaz. Jumbo Brown and Jumbo Elliott were also skilled in the gustatory arts, and Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons was overweight, though honestly not so much that the nickname seemed well earned.

That said, I think the fattest player of all time had to be Prince Fielder. Sure, Jumbo Diaz was 310-320 pounds or so, but he was 6í4Ē. Prince was a bit under six feet, and he had to be 300 pounds. I was always kind of amazed he was as athletic as he was. Iím not sure if ďPrinceĒ is a fat name but ďFielderĒ sure is.


Gary Sheffield (7th, 30.5%)

Sheff knew his way around a batterís box. In his career he only struck out 1171 times in a long career, against 1475 walks; he, Todd Helton and Barry Bonds are the only power hitters in recent history I can think of with more walks than strikeouts. There must be a couple of others, but itís not a common achievement anymore. Sheffield is, obviously, a long shot to make it now.

I mentioned Aramis Ramirez had 100-RBI seasons with three different teams; Sheffield did that with five teams, which has got to be a record.

Anyway, with regards to my previous trivia question, the only teams from more than 20 years ago to win a World Series but have no Hall of Famers are the 1981 Dodgers and 1997 Marlins. Sheffield was on the 1997 team, and might be the greatest player on either squad.



Grady Sizemore (1st)

After his age 25 season Sizemore had been to three All Star games, was in MVP balloting every year, and was just an excellent all around player who seemed destined for greatness. Similar players at age 25 include Barry Bonds, Duke Snider, and Mookie Betts. Then injuries just hit him one after the other; he had a bad elbow, a hernia, a knee injury, and after age 26 he never was even a regular player. Sports can take it all away overnight.


Rafael Soriano (1st)

Relief ace, had a few really good years.


Sammy Sosa (9th, 13.9%)

Iím this way this way on Sammy; right now I think Iíd vote for him, but he isnít gonna make it.

The ten most similar players to Sammy Sosa by Similarity Score are nine Hall of Famers and Gary Sheffield. The problem is that none of them are really very similar; #1 is Jim Thome, who is really only vaguely similar. #2 is Mike Schmidt, who is nothing at all like Sammy Sosa. Sammyís career, statistically, is really unlike anyone elseís in his shape and composition; itís hard to make a good comparison.

Sammy made it to MLB at age 20. I donít know how to figure out the exact numbers, but I have no doubt at all that if you studied it you would find the likelihood of a guy being a great player increases a LOT the younger he makes his debut. Itís not that debuting young helps him be great; itís just that if a guy can even just not embarrass himself at a young age, he has a chance to be a monster when heís 27.

Nick Swisher (1st)

On the All Bad Names For Hitters All Star Team.

It feels like heís been out of the game longer than this. Swisher was the only draftee I can recall from ďMoneyballĒ that had a really good career, not that heís a Hall of Famer. He was, however, one of the worst playoff hitters who ever lived.


Dan Uggla (1st)

Uggla was a very odd type of player, a second baseman who had an offensive profile more typical of a first baseman or a left fielder; he had low batting averages and struck out a lot, but hit home runs and drew walks. No speed at all. Bill James observed that slow players at speed positions donít tend to last long, and Uggla didnít.


Shane Victorino (1st)

The Flyiní Hawaiian. Thatís a great nickname, and we really need more good nicknames. Only a regular player for nine years but he was a really good player who did a bit of everything; great defense, got on base, had a little pop, stole bases.

Victorino was given up on by the Dodgers twice; they let him go for nothing, got him back, and let him go for nothing again, which is odd because he always played very well at every minor league stop. But he was small, and teams often donít believe in you if you donít look right.


Omar Vizquel (4th, 52.6%)

I donít think Vizquel is a Hall of Famer, and honestly I donít think heís very close. The fact is, though, that players LIKE Vizquel are in, so heíll likely get it someday too.


Bill Wagner (6th, 31.7%)

I think Wagner is even further from being qualified than Vizquel. He was a great pitcher as long as it wasnít the playoffs, but he only pitched 903 innings.


C.J. Wilson (1st)

Another one I donít think will make the real ballot. Wilson was another part of the Angelsí early 2010s attempts to buy a pennant, which failed spectacularly, but C.J. actually had some good years there. After three and a half years, his shoulder blew up.

Wilson was his own guy. Many ballplayers get into Christianity; Wilson abandoned it for Taoism and some odd punk rock thing where you donít do drugs or drink booze. Apparently it had something to do with why he usually wore a blue glove, but I havenít bothered to look it up.


Barry Zito (1st)

Zito basically had two careers; his first career with Oakland, at the end of which he had a decent shot to end up in the Hall of Fame if he kept pitching the way he had, and then his career in San Francisco, when he, well, did not pitch the way he once had.

If you kind of look under the hood, though, the transition was not all that sudden. His last year in Oakland was in terms of many underlying things his weakest; he gave up career highs in walks and baserunners per inning. His first year in San Fran looks way worse in terms of ERA, but his peripheral statistics didnít really change; his lousy W-L and ERA are mainly because he went from a really good team to a really bad one. His decline was really more gradual than is often believed, and mostly happened in his 30s, which is normal.
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:21 PM
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Yay! Got the trivia question right!

Just a few, very minor comments:

Quote:
Jeremy Affeldt (1st year)

(snip)If I asked you to name as many guys as you could think of who were with the Giants for all three of their World Series wins in the 2010s...(snip)...in eight World Series games he only gave up one run.
He was absolutely vital as the Giants' bridge to Madison Bumgarner in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. They ran through most of their bullpen in Game 6 to little positive effect. If he had failed as well, the Royals would almost certainly have won the 2014 World Series.

Quote:
Kevin Gregg

A relief ďAceĒ who picked up 177 saves. He was an average pitcher and never made an All Star team but theyíll probably put him on the ballot anyway Ďcause SAVES!!!!
With only 177? No way. 300 is the absolute minimum for a Hall of Fame reliever, the only exception being Hoyt Wilhelm, who was from the pre-relief-specialist era and still had over 200. In modern times, plenty of 300-save relievers aren't in, and usually need some special distinction in their career story to make it happen.
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:44 PM
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This is my "hold my nose and vote" ballot:
- Bonds
- Clemens
- Pettite
- M. Ramirez
- Schilling

Four of the five are tainted by PEDs; at least three of the five are various levels of raging assholes (Pettite never struck me that way, and Manny was just very weird).

The four who are PED-tainted almost undoubtedly would have made it in without the drugs. In or out, I want to see them dealt with, and off the ballot one way or the other, because the PED debate around these guys sucks all of the oxygen out of the room.

Being a raging asshole isn't a game-breaker for me in and of itself, but it doesn't make me feel more favorable about a more borderline case (like Jeff Kent).
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:50 PM
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The four who are PED-tainted almost undoubtedly would have made it in without the drugs.
Andy Pettite was never going to be an undoubted induction. He's a borderline case. I don't think he should be - I think I'd put him in - but I think he was always going to end up having to be put in my a "Committee," the way Jack Morris, a broadly similar case, was.
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:40 PM
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Andy Pettite was never going to be an undoubted induction. He's a borderline case. I don't think he should be - I think I'd put him in - but I think he was always going to end up having to be put in my a "Committee," the way Jack Morris, a broadly similar case, was.
Upon further review, and looking at Pettite's stats on Baseball Reference, I now agree with you on this. I suspect that it was Pettite's presence on five WS teams which probably made me think he was even stronger than he was.

Interestingly, Morris does show up as #5 on Pettite's Similarity Scores; Hudson and Buehrle are #6 and #7.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:47 PM
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Since the 2020 season looks like it's gonna be a wash, maybe they Committee can just vote in Bonds and Clemens next year, so they can lump them in with "the season that never was".

That way they can pretend to uphold the "sanctity of the Hall", and we can finally have two of the greatest players of all time in the Hall of Fame.

and if the gods are just, they'll both skip the induction ceremony.
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Old 04-22-2020, 11:23 AM
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So far we are electing Bonds, Clemens, and Manny. Man, you guys are tough.
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Old 04-22-2020, 12:44 PM
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So far we are electing Bonds, Clemens, and Manny. Man, you guys are tough.
This has always been a small hall crowd. This year I'm only voting for 3 but I'm ok with keeping Bonds et al out.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:22 PM
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The HOFers on the list are all tarnished. In order to vote, we have to pick at least one. There is no, "None" vote, so I am voting for Nick Swisher as the embodiment of "none".

If they were clean, Bonds, Clemens, Manny & Pettitte would be my choices.

Last edited by What Exit?; 04-22-2020 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:35 PM
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So far we are electing Bonds, Clemens, and Manny. Man, you guys are tough.
I did find that interesting, too; I note that, due to debate over whether their PED use is a disqualifier, all three of them have been on the ballot for 5+ years (Schilling is in his 9th year on the ballot, too). Is it that we're in a bit of a lull of clearly Hall-worthy players first appearing on the ballot?

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-22-2020 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 04-22-2020, 10:03 PM
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My summary; where I remembered to, I noted (Year on ballot / Percentage of vote last year)


Mark Buerhle (1st year)


Tim Hudson (1st year)

Andy Pettite (3rd, 11%)
Buehrle was my favorite trivia question for a while toward the end of his career: Who is the active pitcher with the highest career WAR? That was while he and Hudson were still active. Incidentally, if you just look at their career innings, ERA+, and suchlike without looking at wins or postseason stats, Buehrle and Pettite are practically the same pitcher.

Pettite will get in eventually, just because once Schilling gets in, there won't be another pitcher better than him on the ballot until maybe Sabathia, and Sabathia isn't even clearly better.

Last edited by Tom Scud; 04-22-2020 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:16 AM
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Bonds, Clemens, Ramirez. Ugh, let's just get it over with. We all know Schilling is getting in this time. I puked and then voted for him every year, but fuck him, I'm leaving him off this time. Enough is enough.

I took a long look at Helton, but without Coors Field he's Mark Teixeira. Very good, not great. And I love Andy Pettitte...I can even believe he only used HGH rehabbing from injury...but I just don't think him as elite. If I can't say that a pitcher was dominant, I can't make a Hall of Fame argument.

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Balfour might be the best Australian MLB player of all time; itís him or Dave Nilsson, I guess. Nilsson would be way ahead but he retired at age 29, after a terrific 1999 season, so he could play for Australia in the 2000 Olympics. Australia played horribly, but for some reason he never came back. Maybe he likes spiders.

I don't even remember Nilsson, but it's an unusual story. Puts up a .954 OPS at age 29 and then walks away. He must have left 20 or 30 million dollars on the table. Boston tried to lure him back in 2003, but he backed out at the last minute. People are funny.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Scud View Post
Buehrle was my favorite trivia question for a while toward the end of his career: Who is the active pitcher with the highest career WAR?
I remember back i nthe day a game rolled along where it was Mark Buerhle versus Roy Halladay, and they both had exactly 99 career wins. (Halladay won.) I would imagine that is a very rare occurrence, two pitchers going for the same 100-series milestone win against each other. It might never have happened before.

As befitted those two guys the game took less than two hours to play. Mark Buerhle did not screw around. When he got the ball back he was ready to pitch.

By comparison, the slowest I ever saw was Juan Guzman. Oh my God. I can't find the bit I wrote about him on my old blog, but... he took forever. He'd wander around, and then he'd get up there and he'd take him time, look in for the sign, and then shake it off. Then he'd take another sign, and he'd really give it some thought; sure, I could throw a slider, but what does a slider MEAN? Then he'd sloooooowly get into set position, and after an eternity, throw the ball. If the batter was someone else who wasted time, like Derek Jeter, it was agony.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Blank Slate View Post
I don't even remember Nilsson, but it's an unusual story. Puts up a .954 OPS at age 29 and then walks away. He must have left 20 or 30 million dollars on the table. Boston tried to lure him back in 2003, but he backed out at the last minute. People are funny.
I mostly remember Nilsson because he played for my team, the Brewers. There was a lot of excitement about him when they first signed him, because he'd been a great hitter for the Australian team he'd been playing for. My recollection is that he hit really well when he was healthy, but he dealt with a lot of injuries; his Baseball Reference page shows that he only played in more than 120 games in a season twice, and he spent several seasons as an outfielder or DH, and not behind the plate, which I think was also due to injuries.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:59 AM
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It was easy to pick a few, and yeah, let's just get over with for some cases. After that I feel like I was lowering the bar with each consecutive pick. Depends on how sportswriters with nothing to do end up voting on this. Maybe it's a tough year to get in, or maybe the gates will be wide open this year.
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I mostly remember Nilsson because he played for my team, the Brewers. There was a lot of excitement about him when they first signed him, because he'd been a great hitter for the Australian team he'd been playing for. My recollection is that he hit really well when he was healthy, but he dealt with a lot of injuries; his Baseball Reference page shows that he only played in more than 120 games in a season twice, and he spent several seasons as an outfielder or DH, and not behind the plate, which I think was also due to injuries.
Bear in mind his 109 games in 1994 was a full season. The Crew only played 115 games.

The one year he played a real full season, in 1997, he did not play a single inning at catcher. According to WAR, however, he was actually less valuable that year than he was in 1999, when he played only 115 games but played most of the year at catcher. As much as playing catcher kills a guy's body, a team is often getting more value out of a guy like Nilsson playing two thirds of a year there than a full year at first base because you can always find another first baseman, but it's so hard to find catchers who can hit.
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