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Site Features: 2011 Hall of Fame Candidates

Posted by Neil Paine on December 13, 2010

For a baseball fan, the month of December means it's time for the winter meetings and debates about this year's candidates for the Hall of Fame. Sean already has you covered on the former, so let me show you some features we have regarding the latter:

Enjoy the features, and don't let the debates get too heated when someone calls your favorite player a "fringe candidate"...

This entry was posted on Monday, December 13th, 2010 at 9:00 am and is filed under Announcements, Hall of Fame, Play Index, Site Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

55 Responses to “Site Features: 2011 Hall of Fame Candidates”

  1. [...] Site Features: 2011 Hall of Fame Candidates » Baseball-Reference … [...]

  2. Jeff Bagwell's a fringe candidate, what's he doin' on this ballot? ;-)

  3. Charles Saeger Says:

    I'm wondering when the voters will clear out the near-misses. Blyleven, Alomar, Morris and Larkin all have gotten over half the vote, and those guys DO get into the Hall at some point. This isn't an endorsement -- I feel quite strongly that Jack Morris isn't anything close to a Hall of Fame pitcher -- but a prediction based on past facts. Considering that I expect the voters to punish Palmeiro for a few years, they might not put in any of the new players on the ballot other than Jeff Bagwell, so they might clear a few of the four above off.

    Just sayin'.

  4. I think the BBWAA will elect Bagwell and Blyleven. And that's it.

    If I had a ballot (and I don't) I would vote for:
    Blyleven, Larkin, Trammell, Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff.

    I would need to do some deep thinking and further research on....
    Bagwell, I would want to see his home park advantages
    Raines, I think he belongs, but wonder if his 5 great seasons is enough in a 20+ year career.
    Alomar, his years as a Met make me wonder is somehow his is overrated historically.

  5. Forgot to mention Morris. I would vote for him. I know the negatives, but I still think he is a HOF'amer.

  6. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    - BLYLEVEN - he's going to get the Last-Year-On -The-Ballot boost, so he'll get in, though it'll be close (77-79%)
    - ALOMAR - I think he'll get in this year, as a few writers gave him a one-year "penalty" for the spitting incident, and he just missed his first year on the ballot
    - LARKIN - I think he's as fully qualified as Alomar,but it'll take at least two/three more years for him to get in
    - Martinez/Raines/Trammell/McGriff - trapped in "no-man's land", with a dedicated contituency, but a long ways away from 75%

  7. StephenH, Bagwell played most of his career in the Astrodome. He had a home field disadvantage.

  8. Bagwell had a .303/.421/.546 104 OPS+ in 661 career games at the Dome, and a .303/.412/.583 109 OPS+ in 422 career games at Enron.

    Bagwell played 61% of his career home games in the Astrodome, a pretty insignificant number.

    And when you realize he was just as good, if not a bit better, at the Dome than in the Enron bandbox, it's unlikely the Astrodome will have an affect on his vote totals.

  9. someone needs to make a serious case for Carlos Baerga :)

    My prediction for next year is Blyleven, Bagwell and Alomar.

    I think Edgar Larkin Morris Mcgriff and Trammell all need to go in at some point.

  10. Alomar, Bagwell and Blyleven for me. Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff in a couple of years. No love loss for Larkin, Morris or Trammell.

  11. I'll just not even go into the steriod thing but as far as clean players go - NO pitcher with an ERA as high as Jack Morris's belongs in the Hall and he will NEVER be in and rightly so. Great pitcher who had tremendous run support but that ERA keeps him out.

  12. Charles Saeger Says:

    @13: Morris is going in at some point. Does he deserve it? No way. But WILL he go in? Yes. Based on his past vote totals and his win totals, it's just impossible to find someone who got over half the vote and didn't make into the Hall eventually.

  13. Charles Saeger Says:

    Ah, I mean, @11. Referring to my own post in the future ...

  14. I think Morris' vote totals reflect the overall lack of quality on the past few ballots. Over the next few seasons there are some truly great/almost great players coming on and I believe Morris' totals will come down.

    He is not a worthy candidate and will never get in.

  15. DoubleDiamond Says:

    I did a double take for a moment. In my role as a fan of the "other" Diamond (the Fenway 8th inning guy), I have seen the phrase "2011 Hall of Fame Candidates" a lot lately, since Neil has finally been nominated. The 2011 inductees are supposed to be announced this coming Wednesday, but leaks over the weekend have him as being one of the upcoming inductees, as well as Cecil, I mean Alice, Cooper (presumably no connection to Cooperstown) and Tommy, I mean Dr., John.

    I've been saying for several years that I'm an advocate of a guy born in New York State (Brooklyn) getting into an Ohio-based Hall of Fame (in Cleveland) and a guy born in a different part of Ohio (Cincinnati) getting into a Hall of Fame based in a different part of New York State (Cooperstown). I really thought Pete Rose would make it to Cooperstown before Neil Diamond made it to Cleveland.

  16. flyingelbowsmash Says:

    I wonder, in time, something like a 60 WAR will be a HOF lock like 500/3000. . .

  17. I like Blyleven (way overdue) and Bagwell.

    Alomar would seem like a shoe in, partly because of his 10 gold gloves, although strangely enough, dwar shows him to have been a consistently bad fielder. If he was as good a fielder as the 10 gold gloves indicate, he'd be a shoe in.

    Morris? No f'ing way.

    All those guys with 60-70 war seem marginal candidates at best. But if Rice and Dawson are in, they all should be in. Too bad the Hall of Fame is chosen so poorly.

  18. It would be a stunner if Bagwell is not elected to the Hall. There is no precedent for excluding a player of his caliber. Bagwell played 2,150 games with a 149 OPS+ and 79.9 WAR.

    -- Only one eligible player with at least 2,000 games and an OPS+ over 140 is not in the HOF: Edgar Martinez, with a 147 OPS+; Bagwell is at 149. Edgar was a truly great hitter, and I slight him not at all by saying that Bagwell was a level better as a player. Besides a big edge in HRs, Runs and RBI, Bags was a good baserunner and had defensive value.

    -- The highest eligible WAR excluded from the HOF is [sigh] Lou Whitaker at 69.7. Bagwell is at 79.9.

    -- Conventional stats also point to induction: No eligible player with at least 1400 Runs and 1400 RBI has been excluded. Bags is over 1500 in each.

    -- Peak value? Bagwell won an MVP with a 213 OPS+, and averaged a 166 OPS+ for the 7 years 1994-2000.

    -- Of all the players who called the Astrodome home from 1965-99, Bagwell had the 3 highest season HR totals, the highest season BA (.368), the 2 biggest RBI years, and the 2nd & 3rd best Runs seasons.

  19. electricmayhem Says:

    Check out Lenny Harris on the ballot -- anyone ever been a HOF candidate with a negative WAR?

  20. KDS and Chuck at 7&8,
    Thanks for the notes on Bagwell. I do think he will get in this year. Electricmayhem, yes I saw Lenny Harris. Will he get at least 2 votes?

  21. How much chance does Larry Walker have? He's always been a favorite of mine and had a number of great years, but will playing at Coors Field hurt him? How will the voters look at that?

  22. MG- I wouldn't be real optimistic that voters will ever figure out how to adjust for Coors Field. They didn't understand when they almost made Dante Bichette the 1995 MVP any more when they ignored Pedro Astacio and his 5.04 ERA in 1999. Their motto seems to be: "If I have to think about it, I'm just going to pretend it doesn't exist."

  23. Morris gets in at some point, just not this year. Blyleven, Alomar, Bagwell would be my 3.

  24. Why is nobody talking about the continual slight of Marvin Miller, who did more to change the nature of the game than any single non playing individual?

  25. scott wyand Says:

    i think roy face of the pirates sould be in the hall fame one of the best releivers of the 60s and world series hero with there saves in 60 series dont let this be like ron santo elect him while he still alive

  26. Jeff Trotter Says:

    I really don't understand the constant bashing of Jack Morris that goes on all the time.

    Is his ERA high for a Hall of Famer? Yes, but his ERA is 3.90, not 4.90. And if you take away the last 2 seasons where he was just hanging on, you drop his career ERA by nearly .2 runs. Considering how long he played, that is a huge statistical variation.

    I grew up in Minnesota, so I saw this guy pitch a long time for the Tigers and then have a magical season for my Twins, so maybe I'm a little biased, but Jack Morris to my defines the term "big game pitcher."

    He had a bad postseason in 1992 with Toronto (and didn't even make their postseason rosters in 1993), but prior to that he had a postseason record of 7-1 with an ERA of 2.59. He was 4-0 in World Series play with 3 complete games (including a game that is one the short list of greatest games ever pitched in MLB history).

    He never won the Cy Young Award, but he had five Top 5 finishes to go with 5 All-Star team appearances. He had three 20-win seasons.

    And if one of your arguments for a player's HOF candidacy is how he performed during his era (like it is for me), then you can't dispute what Morris did in the 80's. His 162 wins are 22 more than the next closest guy. His 133 complete games are 31 more than the next guy.

    250+ wins, statistical domination of your era and a record of doing your best pitching on the biggest stages? Sounds like a Hall of Famer to me.

  27. Jeff Trotter Says:

    For what it's worth, I would vote for Blyleven, Alomar, Morris, Raines, McGwire, Palmeiro and Bagwell.

    I don't see how you just forget about every player from the Steroid Era. And without comprehensive testing there's no way to know who did and did not cheat. So your only two fair options are to judge players from this era based solely on their on-field performance or make a blanket policy of not letting anyone from this era in.

    Since I cannot even fathom the latter, I have to go with the former. As such, Big Mac and Raffy get my vote.

    My close calls are Larry Walker, Kevin Brown, Barry Larkin and Fred McGriff. I don't take seriously the candidacy of any player who was almost solely a DH, so Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines will never get my vote. I understand the DH is part of the game, but so is playing defense. I know these guys played in the field early in their careers, but they are career DH's. If that's the way you're going, your numbers need to be elite. Paul Molitor was able to do that. Edgar and Harold were not.

  28. Here's the problem with the HOF voting. You have clowns like Jon Heyman of CNNSI who voted for Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, and Dave Parker. He didn't vote for Bert Blyleven or Jeff Bagwell. As long as there are voters like that, then the whole thing is a joke.

  29. "Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff in a couple of years."

    Are their statistics going to improve over the next two years?

  30. If you look at Larry Walkers' splits, they really bring him down...one year he batted .468 or something at home! Bill James had Bagwell rated as the 3rd greatest 1st baseman in history, and McGwire as the 4th...only Gehrig and Foxx ahead of them....he had Alomar as the 8th (maybe 10th?) greatest 2nd baseman. I'm tired of Pitchers getting in because they were on good teams, not because they were outstanding pitchers. Jack Morris has a 105 career ERA+, Kevin Brown has a 127! That's up there with Seaver and Jim Palmer....there is absolutely no comparison.....and it's tougher to keep the opponent down when you have a weak team behind you. Imagine saying Ernie Banks didn't belong in the Hall because he didn't have enough game winning hits.....how the heck do you get GWH's if your team never wins?
    Same deal with relief pitchers and saves. Relief pitchers, by their nature, do not belong in the hall.....with only 1000 or so innings pitched in their careers. The 2 possible exeptions are Hoyt Wilhelm and Mariano Rivera, both of whom may have been more valuable as starters. An offensive comparison to a relief pitcher is a utility infielder....Why not put Gil McDougal in the Hall? He added more to his team in terms of runs produced or saved versus other utility men, than Bruce Sutter did in terms of runs saved versus other relievers.....the difference is that utility infielders are unsuccessful most of the time whereas relievers are successful (and dramatically so) most of the time.....Ridiculous

  31. How many of you saw both Morris and Blyleven? Morris was miles and miles ahead of Blyleven in terms of dominance.

    If you're just looking at stats and weren't around for Blyleven's career you are making a mistake thinking he was dominant. He was super darn good, but never great. Morris was great.

    Keep 'em both out, but don't try and make the case that Blyleven was better than Morris. Not true, no matter what the era says.

  32. I've been watching baseball since 1971. Morris was never even close to being as dominant as Blyleven.

    Morris' high ERA+ was 127. Blyleven met or exceeded that eight (!) times.
    SO/BB: 2.80 for Blyleven, 1.78 for Morris.
    WHIP: 1.198 for Blyleven, 1.296 for Morris.
    Shutouts: 60 for Blyelven, 28 for Morris.
    WAR: Morris peaked at 5.1, Blyleven exceeded that eight times, with a high of 9.2, almost doubling Morris' peak.

    The only thing Morris was better at was being lucky to be on good teams practically his whole career.

  33. Kirk,

    If general managers had to choose between Morris or Blyleven on their team it would be a landslide for Morris. No contest.

    Jeff

  34. Kirk

    If it were the 7th game of the World Series I don't think any general managers would pick Blyleven over Morris. Would you?

  35. My argument is based on facts. Yours is based on supposition. Any GM worth a hill of beans would rather have Blyleven because he was clearly a superior pitcher.

  36. your argument is based on stats, not facts

    this is all opinion

    Blyleven never won diddly. Morris was the best pitcher on three world series winners. that's a fact.

  37. Actually, he was the third best pitcher on two of those teams, and 5th best on the other. Greatness is not defined by the casual luck of who your teammates happen to be - it is defined by one's own performance. Ted Williams never won a WS either.

  38. I'd be interested to see you claim was better than Morris on those teams. Please list.

  39. Blyleven did win two worlds series.

  40. Jeff Trotter Says:

    Jeff,

    I hate to disagree with anyone sharing our fine American name, but Kirk is absolutely correct here. As much as I champion the Hall of Fame case of Jack Morris, if I were told I can put in either Blyleven or Morris (but only one of them), I would absolutely choose Bert Blyleven. And that choice would be based solely on my belief Blyleven is much more deserving. I say that as a guy who lived for a number of years in Minnesota and saw both of these guys pitch on World Series winning teams there. I say this as one who believes Morris's complete game in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series is on the short list of greatest games ever in the history of the game. And here's why:

    Bert Blyleven pitched on some godawful teams. His rookie year the 1970 Twins won their division. Following that his teams finished in the following places: 5th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 3rd/4th (Bert pitched on two teams in 1976), 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 5th/6th (split 1981 season), 6th, 7th, 6th, 7th/4th (he pitched on two teams in 1985), 6th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th.

    Take a close look at that and you'll see Bert's teams finished 1st or 2nd six times. You'll also see he finished on teams that finished 5th or worse 6 times, and that's not counting the 1981 and 1985 seasons where he was on teams that finished 5th or worse in 3 of the 4 total instances.

    Meanwhile, Jack Morris was on some bad Detroit teams at the beginning of his career, with 4th, 5th, 5th and 4th place finishes 1977-1980. However, following that he was on teams that finished 2nd/3rd (split 1981 season), 4th, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 2nd and 7th in the 80's. The 1989 team was truly awful, but the 1981-88 teams all had winning records. The Tigers bounced back a bit from '89 to '90 (going from 59 wins to 79) and then Jack spent the next 3 seasons winning World Series titles with the Twins and Blue Jays before pitching with the 1994 Indians, who were just 1 game out when the strike cut short the season.

    That's a lot of success for Jack's teams. Was part of that the byproduct of having Jack Morris on those staffs? Sure, but Jack's numbers are equally affected by the overall quality of those teams. Despite that Bert Blyleven has more career wins pitching more games for worse teams. He has an ERA that is more than half a run better than Morris (that's a significant difference). Kirk has pointed out the big differences in adjusted ERA, WAR, shutouts, WHIP and K/BB ratio.

    This site points out the large difference in their careers with the Similarity Score lists. Blyleven's is (in order), Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, Tommy John, Robin Roberts, Tom Seaver, Jim Kaat, Early Wynn, Phil Niekro and Steve Carlton. That's 8 Hall of Famers and 2 guys in John and Kaat many feel belong in the Hall of Fame.

    Morris's list is Dennis Martinez, Bob Gibson, Luis Tiant, Jamie Moyer, Red Ruffing, Amos Rusie, Chuck Finley, Burleigh Grimes, Bob Feller and Jim Bunning. So he does match up with 6 Hall of Famers, but I don't know of anyone arguing for Chuck Finley, Luis Tiant or Denny Martinez for enshrinement. Jamie Moyer might get some love, but at this point I would say his case is weaker than Blyleven, Morris, Kaat and John's.

    Like I said, I love both guys, but Bert deserves the call before Jack.

  41. I'd be interested to know why you think a logical argument can be made for one vastly statistically inferior player being better than another clearly superior one, just because the statistically inferior player had better teammates, and won one more WS.

    Hell, Blyleven was even better than Morris in the post-season.

    Better starting pitchers on his own team (in that year) for Morris:

    1984: Petry (barely)
    1991: Tapani, Erickson
    1992: Guzman, Key

    And there were some incredible relievers on all three of those teams.

  42. Jeff Trotter Says:

    'your argument is based on stats, not facts"

    I'm kinda wondering when statistics stopped being facts. I'm thinking you may be trying to divine the difference between "fact" and "truth." The facts say Bert Blyleven had a better career than Jack Morris. You believe those facts don't tell the entire story and the truth is Jack Morris had the better career.

    As for Kirk's claim Morris was not the best pitcher on all his WS winning teams, I'd direct your attention to his entire 1992 postseason. The Blue Jays won in spite of him. The team lost 4 games that postseason and Morris lost 3 of them. During the regular season he did go 21-6, but in every stat but wins he was outdone by Jimmy Key and Juan Guzman.

    In 1991, and I can speak to this team as one who watched or listened to probably 145 or so of those 162 games, Morris's numbers did not match up to Scott Erickson or Kevin Tapani. Morris's great postseason doesn't overshadow that. There's a reason the Tigers didn't want to bring him back and he couldn't get more than a 1-year deal from the Twins.

    And don't forget that in 1984 the AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner pitched for the Tigers...and it was Willie Hernandez. Plus Dan Petry went 18-8 compared to Morris's 19-11 and had a better ERA, WHIP and K/BB ratio.

    Again, I love Jack Morris, but please fellow Jeffrey check your numbers before making declarations you believe to be "fact."

  43. Jeff Trotter Says:

    For the record, I had not updated when I made my last post, which has now ended up parroting Kirk's.

  44. Jeff Trotter Says:

    Though I would say to Kirk that Morris was great in the postseason for his career prior to his final postseason appearances in 1992. So while Bert did have a very good postseason career, I wouldn't say he was definitively better than Morris.

  45. Jeff T. and Kirk,

    You both make very good points. I have to admit I've been swayed to some extent. That extent would be I won't be as disappointed, if disappointed at all, when Blyleven gets in. Before today I would've been.

    But if you put in Blyleven then in my book Tommy John goes in, because he was just as good or possibly a little better than Blyeleven. But maybe that's not so bad. Put them both in. (Not necessarily better stats, but better player.)

    As for facts and stats, Jeff, yets stats are facts, but the way Kirk was using the term "fact" was being applied to who was better.

    No one disagrees that Blyleven has the better stats. But we're not talking about the Statistics Hall of Fame. Better stats don't automaticaly equal a better player, especially not when you're talking about players this good.

    For example, how to partially explain Morris' higher era? He said it himself, and it's documented by others, that when he had a big lead he pitched differently, put the ball in play more. Which is smart baseball, gets the game over and is less taxing on the arm and gives the opposition less time to see your very best stuff. Pitching like that not only affects era, but it goes to what I'm talking about: who is better on the field?

    Who had the tougher ethic, the more winning mindset? In my view Morris trumped Blyleven in this area. Many people agree with me, I'm not making this argument alone.

    Blyleven to me lacked the same killer mentality that Morris had. Perhaps you say otherwise.

    But I also sense some bias. Jeff T. you were in Minnesota for much of when Blyleven pitched there. The Tigers were your direct competition. I appreciate you admitting that. I was an Angels fan then, and even though we had Blyleven too he never impressed me with the winning mentality. He seemed content to pitch as consistently as possible and let the chips fall where they may. Great approach, but not the same as the guy who would rather die than lose 2-1.

    And Kirk, I don't know where you're from, but somewhere that dislikes the Tigers or loves the Twins because no one else would say that Petry, Tapani, Erickson, Guzman and Key are better pitchers than Morris. Some had as good or slightly better years than Morris did, but I'm talking about who is the #1 horse on the staff. None of those guys approach Morris in that regard.

    And for me and many, neither does Blyleven.

  46. Jeff Trotter Says:

    If I'm to have any bias regarding Jack Morris it would be in his favor. I'm not one to downplay a guy's career because it was performed predominantly as a member of my team's rival.

    As a Twins fan I saw Morris pitch against my guys a lot. And then he came in and helped his hometown team win a World Series by being terrific in both the ALCS and World Series.

    At some point this has to be about numbers, and Blyleven's numbers are much better than those of Jack Morris. (By the way, the pitch to contact thing is to me a poor defense of Jack's higher ERA. You know who else pitched to contact? Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine)

    You signed off saying you "and many" believe Morris to be more worthy than Blyleven. The Baseball Writers Association of America doesn't seem to back you on that in terms of vote totals. Most commentators I've seen or heard on TV, radio or the web have made the case of Bert. Some guys are out there beating the drum for Morris too, but not anywhere near as many.

    It's also not like Blyleven has had many more chances with the writers. He went on the ballot two years earlier than did Morris. Morris would have to see huge spikes in support to track at the same rate as Blyleven has.

    Bert's probably getting in this year and Morris absolutely is not. That's gonna leave Jack with 4 more chances to be voted in by the writers. He better go next year because the only new guy to the ballot who will generate any level of debate is Bernie Williams (who won't get in). So next year he'd really only be up against (probably) Barry Larkin and Jeff Bagwell (I'm assuming neither gets in this year, but I think Bags has a chance).

    If it doesn't happen next year it probably doesn't happen. The 2013 ballot sees the addition of Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling (who all stand a very good chance of first ballot induction) as well as Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Now I'm assuming neither of them gets inducted, but each will get votes from probably 24-40% of the voters. Anyone voting for one is probably voting for both, so that's two votes per ballot that can't go to Morris.

    Then it goes nuts in 2014. You'll have your holdover voters for Clemens and Bonds and the new guys include Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine. Those 3 are guaranteed first ballot inductees (slight chance Thomas has to wait a year, but doubtful). Additionally Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent get on the ballot. I think those guys both end up being Hall of Famers, but probably not on this ballot. They'll still get a bunch of votes.

    Morris's last shot is the 2015 ballot. Not only wil he be competing against all the guys from 2013 and 2014 who haven't gotten in, but new to the ballot will be Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Gary Sheffield.

    I'd say it's pretty clear. If Morris doesn't miracle himself into the Hall of Fame this year, then it's 2012 or bust for him. Because the veteran's committee doesn't seem inclined to put players in the Hall anymore.

  47. Jeff Trotter Says:

    If you're an Angels fan maybe your opinion is colored by the fact you had Blyleven at the absolute end of his career. That said he did go 17-5 with a 2.73 ERA and a league leading 5 shutouts for the Halos in 1989. That was also his last year of making every one of his starts. He missed time in 1990, missed all of 1991 and missed time in 1992 before calling it quits.

    I'm not sure why you set such a high bar for Blyleven that you won't give him credit for the great year he had your team in his one healthy year in Cali, but you'll gloss over every argument against Jack Morris.

    And I don't get your notion that Blyleven was less of a winner. Bert was 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA and a 1.077 WHIP in his postseason career. So pitching against the best he put up numbers that extrapolated over an entire season are absolutely Cy Young Award material.

    Morris meanwhile can't be completely forgiven his awful 1992 postseason, where he almost singlehandedly lost the World Series. His numbers are 7-4 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.245 WHIP.

    It's worth noting the Toronto Blue Jays elected to not include Jack on their postseason roster in 1993.

  48. Jeff Trotter Says:

    Just to re-state where I'm coming from with any of Hall of Fame argument I make....when I make my evaluation of a guy's career I do not downgrade a guy just because he played on teams I didn't like on principle.

    I grew up in Minnesota and saw my Twins play the Braves in the World Series. I moved to St. Louis and became a bigger fan of the National League game and adopted my new hometown Cardinals as my team. I saw the Braves come back from 3 games to 1 in the NLCS to crush my Birds in the final three games in 1996. I hate the Braves.

    I would absolutely put Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz in the Hall of Fame and would scream at anyone who argued otherwise on any of these 3 guys. I think Maddux should be a unanimous selection (which won't happen). I think Chipper Jones is absolutely a Hall of Famer. I think the Veterans Committee should elect Bobby Cox the next time they consider managers.

    As a Cardinals fan, I loathe the Chicago Cubs. I would vote for Sammy Sosa. I can't stand Sammy Sosa. I firmly believe he cheated and I found his sudden loss of the ability to speak English in front of Congress more ridiculous than Big Mac's "not here to talk about the past" defense. But since my general philosophy is you have to let all the big performers from the Steroid Era in or you have to keep out (literally) every player from this era regardless of whether or not he was associated with PED's, I have to back Sosa's candidacy.

    It actually bothers me a bit that the suggestion is being made I favor Bert Blyleven on Jack Morris because I don't like the Tigers. The Tigers weren't even the Twins biggest rival. They weren't in the same division when I lived in Minny. For me it was the Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals that were the big rivals for the division title each year. The Tigers were just the team the Twins crushed in the 1987 ALCS.

  49. I realize more people are voting for Blyleven than for Morris, but there are plenty who favor Morris, just not a majority.

    Thanks for the enlightenment, I will now be less bothered by Blyleven going in and Morris staying out.

    Happy Holidays,

    Jeff

  50. "How many of you saw both Morris and Blyleven?"

    I did, and no way was Morris better.

    He may have been his equal for a short period, but he wasn't better.

  51. Jeff @ #46

    Frank Thomas might have to wait a year but Curt Schilling is first ballot?!

    I agree with Thomas, but the only way Schilling's getting in is if he buys a ticket.

  52. Jeff Trotter Says:

    "Frank Thomas might have to wait a year but Curt Schilling is first ballot?!

    I agree with Thomas, but the only way Schilling's getting in is if he buys a ticket"

    I only say Thomas may have to wait because the Steroid Era has a lot of people questioning power numbers. I would still vote for him, but I'm interested in seeing what his vote total ends up being.

    As for Schilling, he will absolutely be elected to the Hall of Fame. It may not be first ballot, but he's getting in.

    He has 3,116 strikeouts. As of right now the only pitcher with 3,000+ strikeouts eligible for the Hall of Fame who hasn't been voted in is Bert Blyleven (and he's most likely getting in this year).

    His .597 winning percentage is better than Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Bunning, Gaylord Perry and Nolan Ryan (and about a dozen other Hall of Famers).

    He has an insane postseason record. He's 11-2 with an ERA of 2.23 and a WHIP of .968. And he also has the huge intangible of being seen as the guy who led the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years.

    Dude, you're flat out nuts or just not paying attention if you think Schilling isn't getting into the Hall of Fame.

  53. "Dude, you're flat out nuts or just not paying attention if you think Schilling isn't getting into the Hall of Fame."

    Actually, Jeff, you're the one who hasn't been paying attention.

    Schilling is one of the most despised players ever, and even if you think he had a HOF worthy career (he didn't) the BBWAA is going to treat him the same way they treated Albert Belle.

    Schilling's HOF ship sailed way before he got to Boston.

  54. Jeff Trotter Says:

    "Schilling is one of the most despised players ever, and even if you think he had a HOF worthy career (he didn't) the BBWAA is going to treat him the same way they treated Albert Belle"

    What is with guys making arguments that have no factual basis. "One of the most despised players ever." Really? Despised by whom? Because he's beloved in New England. He was recruited by the Republican Party to run for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.

    Despised by the writers? He finished in the top 5 in Cy Young voting 4 times, including 3 second place finishes. He also finished in the top 10 in league MVP twice.

    The Sporting News named him their pitcher of the year twice.

    Other awards he picked up over his career include the Roberto Clemente Award (awarded to players who combine on field excellence and work in the community), the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (given to players who best exemplify Gehrig's character and integrity both on and off the field), the Hutch Award (to the player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of Fred Hutchinson) and the Branch Rickey Award (awarded in recognition of a player's exceptional community service).

    Yeah, that all sounds like a man despised by those around him. So now that we've gotten rid of that feeble argument, go ahead an let us know why his career doesn't merit enshrinement.

  55. Jeff Trotter Says:

    Schilling is an outspoken guy, and that rubs people wrong. Combine that his dominance as a pitcher and you have a guy that's easy to not like.

    But other than a couple of well publicized feuds, he totally played to the media. He made himself completely accessible and would always say what was on his mind. That makes a lot of friends in the press. He was also a vocal critic of players using PED's, which also makes him a respected figure to all the self-righteous media types.

    It's his relationship with the media that will guarantee he gets over the top in terms of HOF voting. It will allow voters to focus on his postseason dominance, winning percentage and strikeouts as reasons to balance out his relatively low career win total.