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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Looking at the Hall of Fame ballot

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Dec 02, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Hall of Fame ballot has been mailed to voters. It’s the smallest in history. The candidates are:

Harold Baines
Jay Bell
Bert Blyleven
David Cone
Andre Dawson
Ron Gant
Mark Grace
Rickey Henderson
Tommy John
Don Mattingly
Mark McGwire
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Jesse Orosco
Dave Parker
Dan Plesac
Tim Raines
Jim Rice
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell
Greg Vaughn
Mo Vaughn
Matt Williams

I don’t have a vote yet. That requires 10 years in the BBWAA and I’m two years from that. I’m looking forward to having a vote because it’ll be fun to do the research and solicit opinions.

The Hall is a complicated process. There are no set standards, which makes it difficult to vote. Old-time writers used to look at statistical plateaus (500 home runs, 300 wins, 3,000 hits, etc.) or how players did in terms of making the All-Star team or in the MVP votes. Some still do.

As sports medicine and conditioning improves, compiling statistics is not especially impressive to me. If Mike Mussina hung around for three years and got 30 more wins, would that make him a more worthy candidate than he is today? I don’t think so.

Basing much of anything on All-Star selections or BBWAA award voting makes little sense as well. We all know how flawed those can be.

But here’s the problem, the Hall of full of players who were elected based on those standards. So should Jim Rice suffer or Bert Blyleven be elevated because smart people came up with better, more revealing statistics?

Nobody cared about on-base percentage in the 70s and 80s. Rice’s job was to swing for the fences. But now we know OBP matters. But Jim Rice can’t get in the DeLorean and take more pitches because it would make the Baseball Prospectus guys respect him more.

Every voter, in essence, must create his or her own standard. When my turn comes, I’ll try and have it both ways and make the best decision I can based on the best data available, comparisons to players in the same era and my own personal research. I do believe there is value in asking players, broadcasters, managers and coaches what they think. Why would you not?

If I had a vote this year it would go to Blyleven, Henderson and Rice. This post will stretch to 1,000 words if I go into all the reasons why. Maybe some other time. Rickey seems pretty obvious. People smarter than I have convinced me Blyleven belongs and I think Rice was the dominant hitter in the AL for a long enough period of time. That he was a first-class jerk hasn’t helped his candidacy.

It’s likely only Henderson and Rice get in. The Hall of Fame should be really tough to get into it and I would hope all my colleagues are tough graders. Hopefully as the electorate gets younger, more enlightened and includes people from different forms of media, the selections will make sense.

But mistakes will be made. Players you think should make it won’t and players I don’t support will. It’s what makes baseball so much fun to debate. You don’t get these kind of debates with other sports.

 
 

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119 Responses to “Looking at the Hall of Fame ballot”

  1. JL December 2nd, 2008 at 11:13 am

    If Jim Rice gets in, then Bernie should get in. But neither should.

  2. sabernar December 2nd, 2008 at 11:16 am

    If you look at Rice’s numbers compared to his contemporaries and look at his road numbers, he’s not as great as people think he is. Just because he swung for the fences doesn’t mean that other players in the 70′s and 80′s weren’t also taking the walk. Saying that his job was to swing for the fences and that’s what he did, well, same goes for Dave Kingman. Rice just wasn’t as great as people (and Sox fans) make him out to be. He belongs in the Hall of Very Good, not the Hall of Fame.

  3. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Green–the law is what it is. In NYC if you do not have a license to carry a firearm, it carries a 3 1/2 to 15 year prison sentence. Whether or not you like Plax (and as a Giant fan I do) he put himself in this situation. He has no one to blame but himself.

  4. jay destro December 2nd, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Ricky and Rice, that’s it.

  5. JB December 2nd, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Tommy John doesn’t deserve to get in, but his surgery does. It has revolutionized pitchers getting a 2nd or 3rd chance to excel.

  6. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 11:30 am

    As for the HOF, give me Rickey and Bert. Raines and Trammel should get in, as should McGwire, but they won’t.

  7. Skippy December 2nd, 2008 at 11:33 am

    What’s wrong with a 1000+ word post?

  8. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Green-what witnesses are needed? He has a bullethole in his leg. I believe its already been confirmed that Pierce has handled the gun Plaxico had. Plus there are witnesses at the hospital. This seems like an open and shut case.

    Other than being from NE, any other reason to really hate Bloomberg? He’s done a solid job as mayor up until this point.

  9. raymagnetic December 2nd, 2008 at 11:35 am

    A Career OPS+ of 128 for a so called slugger is not dominant no matter what era Rice played in.

    If he’s a hall of famer then Bernie Williams is also a HOF and I don’t see anyone making that argument.

    Not to mention the fact that Jim Rice was a mediocre player away from the sardine can.

    I can list a hundred reasons why Jim Rice doesn’t belong in the HOF.

  10. John in Ohio December 2nd, 2008 at 11:40 am

    The two most important offensive stats are runs scored, and runs batted in. Games are won by scoring runs. Rickey Henderson is the all-time leader in this category. When he was on first base, late in a close game, it was great baseball theater. 3,000 hits, all-time steals leader, MVP, and also won a Gold Glove.

    The less than stellar lifetime BA (.279?)is simply because his self confidence would not let him step away gracefully, and admittedly, that’s a shame.

    I’d still like to see him set the record for HOF vote percentage. His speech will be must-see stuff.

    Oh…and his “greatest of all time” blunder should not be judged too harshly. Rickey was not an orator, that’s for certain. He was a baseball player…and a great one.

  11. Irabu's Son December 2nd, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Baines, Rickey, Raines, and maybe Lee Smith.

  12. DFox December 2nd, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Actually, I look at the Plaxico incident differently. I realize what he did was really stupid, but in his defense, he did have SOME kind of gun permit. Even though it’s for Florida, it does show some kind of responsibility. And I know the law for New York, but in reality, he’s a celebrity, he might want protection, and chances are before this incident, he could have obtained a carriers permit in New York anyway.

  13. Mr. Exceptional December 2nd, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Rickey! My favorite player when I was a kid. I had a scrap book of the year he stole a 130 bases. When he came to the Yankees it was like a dream come true.

  14. John in Ohio December 2nd, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I would vote for:
    Henderson (1st ballot worthy, for sure)
    Blyleven (should’ve been there long ago. Maybe the best curveball ever. 5th all-time in K’s)
    Rice (Some monster years, and 8-time All-Star)

    I would seriously consider:
    John (287 wins and his name will live on through the surgical procedure named after him)
    Trammell (borderline, but a hell of a player for a long time)

    Mixed feelings about:
    McGwire (but hey, all the big names were doing…you know. Too bad they wiped out some sacred records…that’s why they’ll pay)

    Mattingly played parts of 14 years, hit .307 and averaged 100 RBI per 162 games. He won 9 Gold Gloves, and was forced to retire at the age of 34 because of a bad back. I guess everyone thinks he just didn’t play long enough.

  15. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 11:52 am

    “The two most important offensive stats are runs scored, and runs batted in.”

    The best thing you can do on a baseball field is to not make an out and put yourself in a position to score or to drive in a run. That’s why OBP and slugging percentage are the two most important stats for an offensive player.

    Runs scored relies way too much on the players hitting behind you and RBI’s rely too much on the players hitting in front of you.

  16. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 11:53 am

    DFOx…that gun permit for Florida had expired.

  17. ellen December 2nd, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Plaxico Burress has enough money to pay a bodyguard – or a dozen of them – to carry legal weapons to protect him. He made the wrong choice, and the law is crystal clear. That he may have had a permit of some type in another state is pretty meaningless in terms of mitigation. And if you give the millionaire athlete a sweet deal in an open-and-shut case like this one, it sends a really bad message. Bloomberg should have kept his mouth shut, probably, but Morgenthau isn’t beholden to him, anyway.

  18. Pokey December 2nd, 2008 at 11:54 am

    If Kirby Puckett is in the Hall even though his career was shortened by injury, Mattingly should be as well.

    While we’re at it, the Vets Com. needs to take their heads out of their you-know-whats and let the best catcher from the 1970s in: Thurman Munson.

  19. Alex December 2nd, 2008 at 11:57 am

    I really hope Bert Blyleven gets in this year. I don’t know how one can argue his numbers aren’t HOF-worthy, and on top of that, I absolutely love the guy. I grew up in the midwest and occasionally listened to him do the Twins’ color commentary. He and Cone are my favorite commentators. I want to see Bert’s speech!

  20. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Puckett had 10 consecutive seasons where he was an elite player. Donnie, as great as he was in the mid 80s, just doesn’t compare. Also you have to take into account the positions they played.

  21. DFox December 2nd, 2008 at 11:59 am

    “DFOx…that gun permit for Florida had expired.”

    Aren’t they good for 6 months after expiration? That’s the impression I was under, which would make his license still legal in Florida.

    “And if you give the millionaire athlete a sweet deal in an open-and-shut case like this one, it sends a really bad message.”

    And what message does it send? That if you’re a millionaire athlete you have to make sure you use your special privileges to get the piece of paper (permit)? He would get the permit anyway… That’s what’s stupid about the whole thing.

  22. Michael Kei - BB, then See Ya! December 2nd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I thought they called it BBWAA, because they make laughable choices…

    BBWAA HA HA, BBWAA HA HA

  23. Gus G. December 2nd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Looking over David Cone’s resume I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get a few votes. To me, he’s not a hall of famer but he has very good numbers… career ERA of 3.46, a 61% winning percentage, won 20 games twice, top 6 in CY Young voting six times, and won once. His gray ink is 165 (avg. HOFer is 185) and the HOF monitor rates at 103 (with a likely HOFer averaging > 100). If I had a vote though… Henderson, Rice and Blyleven, and if I could I’d remove Puckett.

  24. John in Ohio December 2nd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Alex

    Agreed. I see him now and then on Twins broadcasts (MLB Extra Innings), and he’s very entertaining. He admitted once that he had always secretly wanted to be a Yankee.

  25. Fredo Corleone December 2nd, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    While we’re at it, the Vets Com. needs to take their heads out of their you-know-whats and let the best catcher from the 1970s in: Thurman Munson.

    Best catcher of the 70′s played for the Reds. Thurm was a distant 2nd and posted four truly outstanding seasons with the Yankees. Sadly, he left us before he could finish the book on his career and the unfinished story just wasn’t quite enough for the HOF.

  26. ellen December 2nd, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    DFox: I’m a highly coordinated professional athlete. I would get a driver’s license in a minute. But I never bothered to go to DMV. I just drive wherever I darn please. Who is this police officer to give me a ticket? The law does not apply to me.

    BTW, a carry permit in NYC is far from a gimme. That’s why it’s not the OK corral – at least not yet.

  27. TOS NY December 2nd, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Rickey, Lee Smith, Raines, Dawson.

  28. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    “Aren’t they good for 6 months after expiration? That’s the impression I was under, which would make his license still legal in Florida.”

    I’ve never owned a gun, so I’m not sure about that. Anyone care to look it up? Either way, he still wasn’t licensed to carry a gun in NY. And as Ellen pointed out above, hire a body guard if you don’t feel safe. I’m hearing lots of excuses surrounding this incident, but do any make up for the fact that he broke the law by carrying a fully loaded, unlicensed gun in a NYC club?

    He’s lucky it just went off in his pants instead of hitting an innocent bystander.

  29. Alex December 2nd, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    John in Ohio: Thanks. I’m all about a lot of personality in the color guys, and I think Bert definitely brings it.

  30. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Gus…why no Puckett?

  31. MattNC December 2nd, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Here are those players listed by their rating according to Bill James’ Hall of Fame Monitor (likely Hall of Famers score over 100):

    Rickey Henderson 183.5
    Mark* McGwire* 169.5* (steroids*)*
    Jim Rice 144.5
    Lee Smith 135.0
    Don Mattingly 133.5
    Dave Parker 124.0
    Jack Morris 122.5
    Bert Blyleven 120.5
    Alan Trammell 118.5
    Andre Dawson 117.5
    Dale Murphy 116.0
    Tommy John 111.0
    David Cone 103.0
    Tim Raines 89.5
    Mo Vaughn 86.5
    Matt Williams 70.0
    Harold Baines 66.0
    Mark Grace 60.5
    Jesse Orosco 62.0
    Greg Vaughn 50.0
    Dan Plesac 54.0
    Ron Gant 41.5
    Jay Bell 30.5

  32. Nick in SF December 2nd, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Is one required to take a firearm safety course as a condition for getting a carry permit? I wonder if such a course would have helped Plax? Maybe he was cuffed yesterday for his own safety.

  33. Vrsce December 2nd, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Doesn’t anyone think that Andre Dawson deserves HoF consideration?

  34. wsr December 2nd, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    re: the gun thing, i’m pretty familiar with some of those laws as i just went through the concealed carry course in florida. the whole point of an expiration date is that it expires on that date. not 6 months later. they stress that while some states do have reciprical priveldges, you need to do your research before assuming you can carry, you’re responsible to know the laws of where you carry. also, you aren’t allowed to carry weapons into bars/clubs.

    he deserves to get the book thrown at him. by having or once having a licence, he should definately know better.

  35. Ariel December 2nd, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    No doubt about it…Jim Rice,the most dominant hitter of his era, belongs in the HOF. The point of reference for inclusion is based on his era, not that of any later (how about now when the residual impact of steroids still lingers..”flick” swings for 400 plus homers) or earlier (cf to Honus, Pie and the boys…have you taken a look at their form?) period. Training, technology etc is completely different. One cannot compare apples to oranges…they don’t look, smell or taste the same.

    Baseball, like virtually anything, must be viewed in a relative, not absolute, context.

  36. Bob December 2nd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I find it shocking that anyone could defend Plaxico. Thank God he didn’t actually shoot anyone. He needs jail time.

  37. Dan from Mass December 2nd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Of course mistakes have been and will be made, but the worst part about them is that then FOREVER people will say stuff like, “well, if X is in, then Y has to be in”. And if that argument doesn’t get nipped in the bud, the mistakes just get compounded.

  38. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Vrsce…he had a very good career, however his OBP really really hurts him. But if you go by the Pete’s logic, then you can definitely make the case.

    But for me he’s in the Hall of Very Good.

  39. MattNC December 2nd, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    BTW, Mike Mussina has a better ERA+ (ERA adjusted for league average and ballpark; 100 is average, higher is better) than Bert Blyleven: Mussina 123, Blyeven 118. And Mussina beats Blyleven by a shade in he HOF Monitor, 121 to 120.5. When you consider that Mussina achieved his stats while pitching in the AL East during the steroids era, his accomplishments improve by comparison.

  40. Ariel December 2nd, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Whether Plaxico deserves it or not, that will not be the issue. He will be prosecuted with vim and vigor, given no quarter, and “to the fullest extent of the law”; He will be the means utilized in an all out effor to sound the deathknell to the “unlawful carry trade”. The authorities will spare no quarter.

  41. george December 2nd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    “Nobody cared about on-base percentage in the 70s and 80s”

    not true. i was reading about this in the early 1970s, and that was from casual reading.

    Rice is a joke, i’m glad Pete doesn’t have a vote. look at his home/away splits, for example – he belongs in the Fenway HOF, not the MLB HOF.

    Bill James, in his Historical Baseball Abstract, makes a fascinating case that Roy White was a more valuable player than Rice.

  42. pat December 2nd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    33 states have reciprocal concealed weapon agreements with the state of Florida. Plax has 2 problems with that though. His permit expired in May and NY/NJ are not 2 of the 33 reciprocal states.

  43. Mr. Exceptional December 2nd, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    I believe Jack Morris should be in as well. If people are going to rant about Shilling being in down the road (which I’m sure he should), then Jack should be in. He was about as clutch as you could get.

  44. RalphieD (Cant Wait for Spring Training) December 2nd, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Jesus Montero was ranked #40 best prospect in baseball by MILB.com

    very impressive i must say for a recently turned 19 year old who has only played at lo-a

  45. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Mr. Exceptional–other than Game 7 of the World Series (which was a brilliant performance) what other clutch moment is there in his career? His postseason numbers are below Mike Mussina, who many consider to be borderline.

  46. Gus G. December 2nd, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Standing O’Neill: Gus…why no Puckett?
    __________

    I’ve always felt that Puckett and Mattingly were very, very similar players. Both were also the face of their respective franchises also. Puckett just lasted a bit longer. If Puckett is in, I feel Mattingly should be in. However, I don’t think Mattingly has a strong enough case, therefore it’s easier for me to say “Remove Puckett.”

  47. EDUB December 2nd, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    CC interested in the Golden State Warriors. Makes sense for both sides really

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/e.....s-the-bay/

  48. Plax's Cell Mate December 2nd, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Plax deserves to get anywhere from 5-15 years in prison.

    What if the gun went off and shot a girl in the head instead of hitting him in the leg?

    You do the crime, you do the time.

    He knew it was wrong to carry a gun into a bar/club. If he didn’t feel safe, hire a body guard!!! He makes MILLIONS.

    At least with him in jail… his wife will be safe and won’t have to keep calling 911 on him.

  49. pat December 2nd, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Tom Verducci takes a look at the SS position past and present and at Moose’s HOF credentials.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....ref=sircrc

  50. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Gus…yes they have similar numbers, but did you consider the difference in that Mattingly plays first base and Puckett plays centerfield?

  51. Yankeepelotero December 2nd, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    sorry Jim Rice is not a hall of famer. he’s a great player but he shouldn’t be in the hall. I can count about 5 hall of fame worthy years in his career (and I only took RBI and HR as criteria) the others are not as good. He had 4, 30+HR seasons, to be a slugger that’s not enough, ESPECIALLY when his home ball park was Fenway Park AND he was a right handed hitter. sorry Pete, can’t agree with you here.

  52. myrtlebeachfan December 2nd, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Why the hell is nobody voting in Lee Smith?

    Someone needs to explain this.

    Anyways, I don’t vote for anyone on the list but Lee Smith. Ricky should get in, but not on the first ballot imo. He was a mercenary for hire for most of his career and never really did much to “wow” anyone outside of stealing bases. Fantastic player, but not first-ballot in my estimations.

  53. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Myrtle…because other than the overrated save statistic, Lee’s numbers don’t compare to the elite closers that are in the hall or are soon to be in the hall.

  54. Ralow December 2nd, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    If I had a vote it’d go like this:

    1. Rickey (my favorite player growing up, one of the best of any era, should be unanimous 1st ballot’er…who would NOT vote for him?? maybe the idiots who didn’t vote for Cal Ripken on the 1st ballot I guess)
    2. McGwire – the most prolific HR hitter of the 90′s…sure he was probably juiced but so was everyone else, including some of the pitchers he went deep on. Plus, he and Sammy saved the game of baseball after the strike
    3. Andre Dawson – great player who was one of the most feared hitters in the late 80′s
    4. Jim Rice – he’s barely HOF material…but I’m biased against Red Sox players. There are worse players in the Hall than him though.
    5. Dale Murphy – one of the best PEOPLE in the game of baseball and was the face of the entire Braves franchise for 15 years. Played at an elite level for many years in the 80′s. If he played for the Dodgers or some other team he’d be in by now. I never understand why he never gets more votes.

    I like Trammell, Raines, and Blyleven but they just weren’t elite players (which is my criteria for the HOF). Raines and Trammel were solid and Trammell gets a couple extra points for playing his entire career with one team but he was never the best player on his own team except for maybe 1987. Raines is the same way. Blyleven was just an average pitcher who played a long time.

    Mattingly would get a sentimental vote but he was only an elite player for 4 years. I also agree that Tommy John’s surgery should be in the HOF…it revolutionized the game of baseball. Maybe Koufax plays 10 more years if they had this surgery back then…or maybe Rivera doesn’t become the G.O.A.T. if they don’t have this surgery.

  55. george December 2nd, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Rice’s career home/away splits:

    Fenway: .320 .374 .546
    Away: .277 .330 .459

    in other words, Rice was mediocre when not in Fenway. it is ludicrous that Rice even gets serious consideration.

    if you take defense into account, Dwight Evans was better for the Carmine Hose in that era than Rice!

  56. Patch December 2nd, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    “Hopefully as the electorate gets younger, more enlightened and includes people from different forms of media, the selections will make sense.”

    Ahh, yes, younger definitely means more enlightened!

    Oh Peety.

  57. Ralow December 2nd, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Myrtle – huh?

    So a guy is penalized for being traded 3 times in the prime of his career?? Rickey only signed as a FA once…and it was to go back to Oakland (I’m not counting his last 5-7 years when he was just bouncing around just trying to play).

    I never understand the whole “1st ballot” HOF thing anyway…either you are or you aren’t. Who cares WHEN you get in.

  58. Bronx Jeers December 2nd, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    “He was a mercenary for hire for most of his career and never really did much to “wow” anyone outside of stealing bases. Fantastic player, but not first-ballot in my estimations.”

    Rickey played for 2 teams for the 1st 16 yrs of his career. He switched teams often in his late career but that was just a case of an aging player trying to find a home.

    He is among, if not the best, leadoff hitters of all time.

    He will go in 1st ballot as an Oakland A.

    I almost think he would trade his eligibility for 1 more chance to play.

  59. ham fighters December 2nd, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    i try to like alex, or at least not to dislike him. i try to put the contract buisness aside and just focus on what he can do for the yankees, even though i have some doubts there.

    then it’s freakin madonna…i try to look away and not see it……then…….then he goes out dressed like that where he knows madonna’s flock of photographers were waiting….

    i cant take it anymore!!! the guy’s a fruitcake. he’s turning into dennis rodman without the rings.

  60. ham fighters December 2nd, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    u win games by scoring more runs than the other team

    rickey scored more runs than anybody in the history of the game.

    1st ballot lock.

  61. Jim in CT December 2nd, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    A felony and mandatory YEARS of jail time for violating a carry law is ridiculous. The law should be thrown out along with DC’s. There are already sufficient penalties available through misdemeanor penalties (including jail when warranted) and civil penalties for negligence — and the liability exposure for wealthy professional athletes is enormous. We gain, what??, by locking him up? An example to gangbangers and Mafia hoods not to carry without a license? Puh-lease!
    Plax may be a fool and have made a huge mistake, but he’s no felon. Save the slammer for the real scum of society.
    And I’m no Giants fan. Want a nanny? Move to Britain.

  62. Gus G. December 2nd, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Standing O’Neill: Gus…yes they have similar numbers, but did you consider the difference in that Mattingly plays first base and Puckett plays centerfield?
    ————–

    I did. I understand that CF is harder to play than 1B, but I took into account of Pucketts five Gold Gloves compared to Mattingly’s nine.

  63. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Ham…unless he’s breaking the law or partakes in activities that could hinder his ability to play baseball, what Arod does in his free time really shouldn’t concern us.

    Personally I thought that picture was hilarious. He sure definitely looks “light in the loafers” there, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  64. jennifer December 2nd, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    The Giants deserve to never win more than 40 games again if they sink another 100 plys million into another pitcher.

  65. ellen December 2nd, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    “Want a nanny?” Nope. I want to go to a club – or a restaurant, the mall, the library – and feel reasonably certain that some cretin is not carrying a loaded gun. I would love the chance to prosecute an idiot like Burress. I hope Morgenthau’s office does, too.

  66. Plax's Cell Mate December 2nd, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    “Save the slammer for the real scum of society.”

    Like the real ones that beat their wives, use fake names, carry guns, and get their friends to cover up their crimes….

  67. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Gus…its true they both played their defensive position at an elite level. But when I say take into account their position, I don’t mean how well they played it (although that is important). Puckett put up numbers that most first basemen would be satisfied with. First basemen are supposed to put up big offensive numbers, Puckett was doing that while playing a centerfield. That makes him far more valuable than Mattingly.

  68. Mr. Exceptional December 2nd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Standing, have you taken a look at Morris’s career numbers. The guy was one of the top starters of his era. It’s not just game 7 either, don’t forget the ’84 Tigers.

  69. ANSKY December 2nd, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Henderson, yes.

    Blyleven, probably.

    Smith & Rice, both probably/maybe.

    Mattingly & Murphy, both maybe.

    McGwire, only if enough voters look past the steroids.

    Parker was an outside shot at one point on his career, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

  70. Bronx Jeers December 2nd, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    His illegal (in NY) gun discharged in a crowded club. It’s pretty serious.

    Doubt he will get convicted of the gun charge (min 3 & 1/2 yrs) but he may face some jail time. Maybe a reckless endangerment charge.

  71. StandingO'Neill December 2nd, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Exceptional- I agree he was very good, but he wasn’t great to me, take the career era+ of 105 or the 3.90 era. He was definitely an inning eater, but he falls well behind many other candidates.

  72. Phil - 27 in '09 December 2nd, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Where are CB and SJ44?

    We need some good scoop / analysis.

  73. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" December 2nd, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Home Sweet Home

    http://i38.tinypic.com/rw10mx.jpg

    http://i35.tinypic.com/o92ypz.jpg

  74. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" December 2nd, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Home Sweet Home…

    http://i35.tinypic.com/o92ypz.jpg

  75. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" December 2nd, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    http://i38.tinypic.com/rw10mx.jpg

  76. SoCalYankeeFan December 2nd, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Players that deserve HOF election:
    Ricky Henderson, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Lee Smith & Dave Parker. If Blyleven doesn’t get in, then neither should Mike Mussina.

    SoCalYankeeFan 8)

  77. Al from BK( Where in the world is Carsten Charles Sabathia?) December 2nd, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Yawwn. Can the real hot stove start now. I couldn’t care less about the HOF at the moment.

  78. Patrick December 2nd, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    For once Al, I agree with you :)

  79. Mr. Exceptional December 2nd, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    I guess I’m just putting him out there as a comparison to Schilling. Who will undoubtedly receive a great cry to be in the Hall. But his numbers are very Morris like to me.

  80. ham fighters December 2nd, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    dont violate a law then say afterward that you disagree with it.

    there is a law in ny that says if you carry a loaded weapon in public you go to jail.

    plax violated that law. dont give excuses why, you violated the law.

    if you want to at least act like you’re being a responsible gun owner, do two things: register your gun and obey the laws that pertain to its ownership.

    if not, suffer the consequences.

    do the crime, do the time

  81. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" December 2nd, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ6FXYKWCaE

    Click HQ to get better view.

  82. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" December 2nd, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Last one then I’ll be back later.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdOHlBvns1Q

    Sky box view. Again click HQ for better view. OK later people. :D

  83. Al from BK( Where in the world is Carsten Charles Sabathia?) December 2nd, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    “For once Al, I agree with you :)

    True. I just want a signing to go down I can’t remember the last time every free agent was unsigned by the winter meetings.

  84. Patrick December 2nd, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    What about Mike Hampton and Jeremy Affeldt? Haha… its painful having no Yankee news.

  85. ellen December 2nd, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    When do the winter meetings start?

  86. al arodien December 2nd, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    David Cone
    Rickey Henderson
    Tommy John
    Don Mattingly
    Mark McGwire
    Jim Rice

    this is the players i would vote. Except Cone i just put him there because he is David Cone!

  87. Bones December 2nd, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    What measuring stick do you use to consider a player a HOFer? I usually start with these…1) Time and again, was he the man you’d want at the plate when you had to win the game? (Conversely, is he the man you’d HATE to see coming to bat for the opposition when the game was on the line?)…And, did he basically dominate his era? WAS he the go to guy, the one you wanted on the mound or the one you DIDN’T want on the mound against you. Was he head and shoulders above the rest. It’s not perfect way, for me it’s a baseline from which to build. That’s my foundation…then, length of service, average, OBP, whatever tangibles or intangibles you want to add, and go from that point up. You really need to go factor in your gut feeling, too, I think. How much of baseball is instinct anyway! “Man, if we can just get two men on then Rice will get an at bat….” That’s what I’m talking about….

  88. 86w183 December 2nd, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Boy this thread has gone in a number of different directions hasn’t it?

    Henderson is an absolute first ballot guy, he’s the best leadoff man ever, 3,000+ hits, 297 HR, 1,000+ RBI and all those steals and runs scored. I think Tim Raines and Andre Dawson are more deserving than Jim Rice. Blyleven, John and Kaat are no votes if you compare them to Gibson, Koufax et al, but they are all more deserving than Neikro, Sutton and Gaylord Perry so that’s a toughie. Lee Smith is proof that saves are an over rated measure of a reliever’s performance. Look at the top ten saves leaders and you’ll see guys like Jeff Reardon and Randy Meyers among others.

    John in Ohio — You are absolutely correct that Runs and RBI are the most IMPORTANT stats. OBP and SLG are stats younger fans love and they ARE better measures of individual performance. But OBP that doesn’t lead to Runs is not particularly valuable. SLG that doesn’t drive in runs is also overrated. It is a TEAM game and teams win by scoring more runs, not reaching base more often.

  89. no.27 December 2nd, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Does anyone know the deal with this arbitration termination fee? Could the Yankees have cut players that accepted arbitration and only paid them for 30 days without any problems? Anyone have a link?

  90. Fred Vincy December 2nd, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I’d go for Raines over Rice, though I acknowledge it’s close.

    But the argument that they didn’t understand the value of walks in the ’70s doesn’t wash. Ted Williams sure knew that in the ’40s….

  91. John in Ohio December 2nd, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks 86. Runs win games, not bases.

    I’ve argued the point over many a Rolling Rock in my day. But, I don’t argue with folks on blogs.

  92. Tom December 2nd, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    If Rice doesn’t get voted in this year by the writers he’s off the ballot. It would then be up to the Veterans Committees to vote him in.

  93. Patrick Bateman December 2nd, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Just Henderson.

  94. Patrick December 2nd, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    86 and John in Ohio,

    Runs may be the most important TEAM statistic but it is a horrible stat to evaluate an INDIVIDUAL’s performance. Thats why runs scored and RBI’s shouldn’t be used to determine HOF.

  95. Fredo Corleone December 2nd, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    “I guess I’m just putting him out there as a comparison to Schilling. Who will undoubtedly receive a great cry to be in the Hall. But his numbers are very Morris like to me.”

    In what way??? To me Jack Morris translated to Spanish is Dennis Martinez. Schilling was a class or two beyond those guys.

  96. John in Ohio December 2nd, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Opinions are like….well, you know the rest.

    The major leagues have been in existence for what now… 140 years? Henderson has scored the most runs of anyone who has ever participated.

    It most certainly should be used as a determining factor.

    I won’t keyboard argue with you…we’ll agree to disagree.

  97. saucY December 2nd, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    rice should not get in because he was a “first-class jerk”. how many others were snubbed for this reason over the years? i believe character is one of the things judged, along with being good at baseball… i also agree with other on his home/road splits.

    speaking of the HOF, i went their this past friday with some of my family. great trip. the museum was great and i can definately see myself going back soon as i kept lagging behind the others in our group.

    they had a nice cow statue with a #10 yankees jersey on right near the beginning of the museum. i got chills looking at some of the plaques.

    i was kind of surprized that the biggest world series ring was not the ’04 or ’07 sox, but the ’03 Marlins. all of rings from the last few years were huge though. they looked more like watch faces than rings.

  98. saucY December 2nd, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    and i kill the thread.

    plax shouldn’t go to jail. i think the embarassment and pain of shooting himself should be enough. give him a big fine and probation with a ton of community service or something.

    the fact that he may do more time than michael vick sickens me.

  99. ellen December 2nd, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    saucY: the HOF is a great trip, isn’t it? You could get lost in there for hours. The whole town is a fun walk-around, with the shops and all.

  100. saucY December 2nd, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    yeah ellen, i really wish i would have had more time. but we had to get back to where the rest of the family was staying for dinner.

    i want to go back, this way i can go to the ommegang brewery, as well.

  101. ellen December 2nd, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Ommegang is definitely worth the trip! In fact, the first time we went to Cooperstown for a weekend that was the deal we made: one day at the HOF (for me) and one day at the brewery for Octoberfest (for my hubby). Make everyone happy. :)

  102. LathamJoe December 2nd, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Plax shouldn’t go to jail? Are you serious?
    This guy is a thug who, because he plays football well, has acquired fame and fortune and therefore believes he’s above the Law.
    I guess they should wait until he “accidentally” shoots someone besides himself before he’s punished.
    Burress knew what the concealed weapons Law was in New York, but he chose to ignore it and be a “bad” dude.

  103. Jim in CT December 2nd, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    If ‘first class jerk’ and character are the determinants as to whether someone should be in the HOF, then the recall petition for Ty Cobb needs to start right here. A ballplayer who could make AJ Pierzinski seem like a bundle of love, and that’s before adding in his complete and utter racism.

    An utter t*rd of a man, but one of the great ballplayers, among others we could name who variously are and are not in the Hall.

  104. 86w183 December 2nd, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Patrick — That’s my point. OBP and SLG are better measures of individual performance. But Runs and RBI are more important statistics in measuring the impact of OBP and SLG.

    Runs measure the effectiveness of OBP and SLG. Rickey Hendersons OBP is a ton more important than Jason Giambi’s because Henderson is better at turning OBP into actual runs where Giambi needs a lot more help to make it around the bases.

    RBI measures the value of SLG. It gives a better context as to WHEN you hit for extra bases and what if anything it did for the team. A-Rod’s SLG was good last year, but because of a poor RISP he drove in far fewer runs.

    Player A has a single, two doubles and a walk but does not score. Player B goes 1-for-5 with a three run homer. Player A might have had a “better performance”, but player B did more to help his team win.

    You may focus on the individual stats. I prefer to focus on the stats that document contributions toward winning.

  105. Artie A December 2nd, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I agree with Jack Morris, Blyleven,Rice and Ricky. I know that nobody brought this up but along with Thurman Munson who was premier catcher for the 70′s, is there anybody out here who thinks that my man Roger Maris should get a nod from the veterans committee? Two time MVP and with Kaline best arm in right field for his era, the magical year of ’61…which might still truly be the season record still if you take Roid players out of the picture.

  106. saucY December 2nd, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    ellen, it’s too bad they can’t combine the two somehow :)

  107. saucY December 2nd, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Artie A, Maris should get in. he’s a perfect example of a guy snubbed due to not being that media friendly…

  108. flabbergassted December 2nd, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    “Rice is a joke, i’m glad Pete doesn’t have a vote. look at his home/away splits, for example – he belongs in the Fenway HOF, not the MLB HOF.”

    I also agree that Rice doesn’t deserve to be in the HOf, but I am very happy that Pete will be getting to vote soon. Unlike lots of guys in the BBWAA, Pete is unafraid to at least listen to arguments that might contradict his own current opinion. He is clearly willing to research the players and not simply use lazy benchmarks like 300 wins. Pete is very willing to also consider some newer statistics, which is something that lots of other voters think is beneath them (because they are probably just too lazy).

    So when Pete consolidates all of this information and it leads him to conclude that a guy like Rice belongs in the Hall, I may disagree with his conclsuion, but I am glad he is doing his best to select credible HOF’ers by using a well though out and respectful approach, rather than taking the lazy way out and blindly looking at only 3 or 4 basic career numbers or using dumb awards or simply going by a gut feeling, etc.

  109. Ralow December 2nd, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I agree on Maris. He’s almost in the same category as Dale Murphy IMO. Very good player, elite for a stretch, and not so flashy. Should be a HOF’er.

    I also agree on Schilling. Schilling = Morris, Blyleven, etc. Decent pitchers who had a couple of good years but not at the elite level.

  110. Jeremy December 2nd, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Wait a minute. Where is the support for Raines?

    Rice is debatable, and his low away numbers and OPS+ really kill his eligibility for me. There are guys who swing for the fences, and there are guys who swing for the fences and belong in the HOF. Rice belongs in the former group. He was not a dominant hitter in his own time outside of a three year span (with his MVP year in the middle). It seems that the only reason he gets within sniffing distance of the Hall is because of the “feared” mystique that’s built up around him. That’s never a good reason to induct a player because it’s often based on BS.

    Raines, on the other hand is the second-greatest lead-off man of all time and one of the best players ever. Career .385 OBP and an OPS+ of 123, only 5 lower than Rice! Why doesn’t this man get some serious consideration? He should be a no-brainer first ballot. Plus, it would be awesome if Rickey and Raines were inducted together.

  111. Boston Dave December 2nd, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Here’s an oddball fact on Jim Rice:

    he is a pornography freak. My BoSox employee friend had to get rid of all his adult movies when he got married and Rice was chomping at the bit to take them off his hands. He has quite the collection I’m sure.

    I’d vote him in on that fact alone :)

  112. autograph seeker December 2nd, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    TIM RAINES.

    Daz it. He better get in.

  113. RockinDaBronx December 2nd, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Yonker’s own Daniel Anthony Pasqua should get the nod.

  114. HallofLame December 2nd, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Here’s an interesting debate..hopefully this is still active…

    3 players… Manny Ramirez, Frank Thomas and Albert Belle… who gets in? Basically all three were big, lumbering right-handed hitters. All in some ways were clubhouse “problems” (Thomas to a lesser extent). I would bet two get in (Manny early, Frank later)… but look at the numbers…

  115. HallofLame December 2nd, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    As far as the hall of fame, Rickey is a no-brainer, not just for the numbers but the way he changed any game. A walk was like a double or trip. I think Tommy John is an interesting person, not just for the wins or time in baseball, but also the surgery and recovery… I KNOW HE DIDN’T PERFORM THE SURGERY ON HIMSELF…

    The pitcher I think is highly overlooked is Jack Morris. I almost feel like people discount or even “punish” him for being a great world series pitcher. When I was young this was the best pitcher in the American League. What pitcher after Fergie Jenkins and before Greg Maddux is better (not counting guys who overlap like Seaver or Randy Johnson). Fernando? no… Clemens (first couple years over lap)? Sterroids second half of his career. Mike Scott? He had three or four outstanding years with his spitter er um .. splitter.. that’s it. Nolan Ryan? Seriously, Nolan struck out a lot of people and threw some great no hitters, but what else would you do. When I think of Nolan I still think of a 450 home run Randy Veladre hit off him on a day he struck out 10 and gave up 6+ runs.

  116. Eric December 2nd, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    In what way??? To me Jack Morris translated to Spanish is Dennis Martinez. Schilling was a class or two beyond those guys.

    You mean Dennis Martinez plus 3 World Series? Morris had great numbers throughout his career and was clutch as hell. To equate Schilling and class is unfair to class. But imo, they are similar pitchers and both Hall of Famers.

    This year, I’d vote for:

    Morris
    Rickey(duh)
    David Cone(Cy Young, many great seasons of 15+ wins, clutch, multiple World Series winner, perfect game).

    That’s it for this year. Voting for more than 3 seems like a bit much. I think Dawson should get some more votes, he was great, my runnerup this year.

  117. SacBunt December 2nd, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Jack Morris career postseason:

    Games: 13
    W/L: 7-4
    ERA: 3.80
    CG: 5
    IP: 92.1
    H: 83
    BB: 32
    K: 64

    Those look like good, solid numbers to me. But they don’t fit the clutch god label. His reputation seems to be built on two excellent World Series (’84 and ’91) that actually happened and actually had a huge benefit to his teams.

    And if you’re going to give him credit for that and his other fine performances, you also have to dock him for the stinker in the ’87 ALCS (8 IP, 6 ER), the stinker in the ’92 ALCS (3.1 IP, 5 ER), the stinker in the ’92 World Series (4.2 IP, 7 ER).

    On balance, he’s better than average and capable of some gems. But he’s clearly not consistently great in the postseason.

    Oh yeah, Rickey, Raines, Blyleven.

  118. Dan December 2nd, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Jack Morris is long overdue for his trip to Cooperstown,and that is even without him walking out to the mound for game 7 in 1991.Morris pitched the first 10+ years of his career in Detroit,which was never considered pitcher friendly and follows that up with a stint in the Homerdome in Minnesota.The pitcher with the most wins in the 80′s is Morris.He is tied with Nolan Ryan and Juan Marichal in Cy Young awards at zero.

    Poor Bert Blyleven.He pitched for some of the worst teams in baseball for many years,excluding the lightning in a bottle 1979 Pirates,retires third ALL TIME in K’s and can’t get a sniff of respect from the voters.Yes he gave up a lot of gopher balls,but Robin Roberts gave up the most and you can see his plaque in Cooperstown.

    Rickey is in but I did not think he would be elgible this year.I thought he was still playing independent ball 2 years ago.

  119. Hall of Fans February 26th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    BertBlyleven is indeed poor! If only he could’ve pitched for the Twins and have Carew,Oliva&Killebrew backing him up.Or the “LumberCompany” of Pittsburgh.The truth is “Aalbert” was not only never the best pitcher in his league or division,but rarely the ace of his own staff.When he was with Texas,the likes of NellieBriles&DoyleAlexander were bigger winners.But his annual histrionics appear to be moving ,even frightning the writers – this year invoking the word “strangle”.He does look like BTK!


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