July 21, 2010

The Hall of Fame Class of 2013

This past January, the BBWAA once again tried to draw a line in the sand regarding NOT voting someone in who has been linked to PEDs by rewarding Mark McGwire with less than a quarter of their vote.

In 2011, they’ll get their chance to blackball someone who was found guilty in the form of Rafael Palmeiro.

And in 2013, it is possible that three of the best players to ever suit up and take the field might be left out in that Cooperstown cold. But here’s the rub…as of now, none of them have been found guilty of using any banned substances.

NOPE (regardless of what they did “before they started using steroids”).

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.

IN.

Craig Biggio.
To the casual fan…the words “Craig Biggio” are synonymous with “consistency”. And it’s true, the dude was…to the tune of 3060 hits, 668 doubles (good for fifth all-time) and a career .281 batting average. His seven All-Star appearances, five Silver Slugger Awards and four Gold Gloves pale in comparison to one of his greatest/oddest achievements…the 285 times (two shy of the record) he was hit by a pitch.

Mike Piazza.
A little while back, rumors started swirling that the 1993 National League Rookie of the Year was a user of PEDs. Fortunately for the 12 time All-Star, the idiom “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” has (seemingly) not been fully investigated. As it is, Piazza finished his career with a bloated .308 career batting average, nine straight seasons with an average of .300 of higher, 427 home runs, including eight straight seasons with 30 or more and 1335 RBI. Not bad for a guy who was taken as a favor in the 62nd round of the draft.

OUT (in random order).

David Wells.
“Boomer” finished his career with a 239-157 record and 13 seasons with ten or more wins. Add to that his perfect game, two World Series rings and three All-Star appearances and you have a very, very good pitcher…but not a Hall of Famer.

Roberto Hernandez and Jose Mesa.
Easily confused as the same dude, Hernandez had 326 saves (12th all-time) and Mesa notched 321 (13th all-time). Hernandez is 12th all-time in games played with 1010, while Mesa is tied with Lee Smith with 1022…ninth all-time.

Mike Stanton.
After Jesse Orosco, Stanton is second on the all-time games pitched list with 1178.

Steve Finley, Shawn Green, Jeff Cirillo, Jose Valentin, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Conine, Royce Clayton, Bob Wickman, Ryan Klesko, Aaron Sele, Woody Williams, Rondell White, Mike Lieberthal, Tony Batista, Sandy Alomar Jr., Damian Miller and Todd Walker.

ON THE BUBBLE.


Curt Schilling.
When he finally hung up his bloody sock and called it quits, plenty of people were already willing to hang up Schilling’s plaque. Sure, his post-season performances are legendary, but his overall body of work was just very, very good. Sure, he won close to 60 percent of his decisions and won 216 games. Sure, he topped 3000 strikeouts with 3116, but did you know that he finished his career second all-time with a 4.38 strikeout to walk ratio? Yeah…me neither.

Kenny Lofton.
Ask anyone if Lofton is a Hall of Famer and they would say (without hesitation) “no”. And they’d probably be right. However, if you compare his stats to “could be HOFer” Tim Raines, they stack up. Raines has 2605 hits, carries a .294 career average and scored 1571 runs. Lofton finished his career with 2428 hits, a .299 average and 1528 runs. Throw in six straight All-Star appearances and four straight Gold Gloves and the case for Lofton looks halfway decent.

Julio Franco.
Franco is on the bubble for the simple reason that he was his generation’s Satchel Paige. If you believe what he told you…he played until he was 48. Some folks suggest that Franco was older though. He holds the distinction of being the oldest player ever to hit a grand slam, pinch-hit home run, two home runs in one game and to steal two bases in a game. But this is why I like Franco and why he is “on the bubble”…combined, throughout his career, he has more than 4200 hits joining Ty Cobb and Pete Rose as the only three to surpass 4000. The breakdown: Major League Baseball-2586, Minor Leagues-618, Mexican League-316, Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball-286, Dominican Winter League-267 and South Korea's Korean Baseball Organization-156. Not too shabby!

Tomorrow marks the end of the re-hashes...but feel free to check out 2011 and 2012 while you wait. Friday, sit back and relax as a fresh 2015 hits the site.



BallHype: hype it up!

4 comments:

natscards said...

Lofton and Raines do have some comparisons in the counting stats area, but unfortunately the comparison breaks down when you look at their rate stats. Lofton managed a .372 career OBP while Raines was a lofty .413. Their OPSes compare favorably until you take into account that a SLG-heavy OPS is not as valuable as an OBP-heavy OPS, and that's where Raines wins out. So while I would have no hesitation voting Raines in, I think Lofton is a definite No, but belongs in the Hall of Very Good.

Dean Hybl said...

I am not ready to say that Schilling should be in the HOF, but as I watch the dominant pitching of the steroid-less major leagues, I can't help but wonder if Schilling, Smoltz, Mussina and others who are on the bubble or just out who pitched during 1994-2008 maybe should be re-evaluated. I am pretty sure they were better than some of these pitchers who are suddenly looking nearly unhittable. Had Schilling, Smoltz and Mussina faced the current pitchers I am guessing we would have no doubt that they belonged in the HOF.

Bill@TDS said...

Schilling should be a no doubter (but then again, so should Brown). I don't think Schilling or Mussina will have any real trouble getting in.

natscards is right that a straight-up comparison of Lofton to Raines doesn't work, because Raines is better once you adjust for his better OBP and the different eras and such. But Raines was also just an average left fielder, while Lofton was a very good center fielder. A run saved is as good as a run scored, and Lofton was saving his teams many, many more runs in center than Raines was for his in left.

As I wrote here, I think they both ought to be in. I think Raines gets in eventually, which will be a great victory for the statistically minded and for reasonable people everywhere, but that Lofton probably never does, and that's too bad.

Jesus Melendez said...

Great link...I remember that post well. If I had a vote (and I'm sure most people would prefer I didn't)...Lofton would get it.

Raines would too, by the way.