Tag Archives: Baseball Hall of Fame

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lou whitaker

Scott discusses the Hall of Fame case of Detroit Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker. Whitaker was never given serious consideration from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, getting only 2.9 percent of the vote in 2001, his only year of eligibility. Scott figures out possible reasons the BBWAA gave him the shaft, and makes a possibly-controversial call as to whether Lou should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Lou Whitaker’s Baseball Reference Page
Baseball Almanac: 2001 Voting Results


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hoffman
Trevor Hoffman presents the Hall of Fame voter with a dilemma. How do we evaluate elite closers in this era of specialization?

Let’s take a look at Hoffman’s career. He was drafted as a shortstop in the 11th round of the 1989 Rule IV draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He struggled with the offensive side of the game, so the Reds made him a pitcher due to his cannon of a throwing arm. He wasn’t deemed good enough to protect by the Reds brass, though, so he was selected in the 1992 Expansion draft by the new Florida Marlins. He pitched for the Marlins as a rookie, then was traded to the Padres in the Gary Sheffield deal. He became the full time closer in 1994 and kept that job for 14 years. He led the league in saves twice and averaged 41 saves from 1995 through 2002 before missing the 2003 season after he had shoulder surgery. He returned in 2004 and barely missed a beat. saving over 40 games in each of the next four years. He was the closer for the 1996 National League Champion Padres. but never won a World Series. He retired in 2010 after pitching his final two years for the Milwaukee Brewers with 601 total saves, the 2nd most ever to Yankee stalwart (and a likely Hall of Famer himself) Mariano Rivera. He never won a Cy Young (a difficult achievement for any reliever) but did finish 2nd in 1998, when he led the league with 53 saves.

Hoffman’s candidacy depends on how you view the save rule. He never pitched more than 90 innings in a season (he did this as a rookie for the Marlins). He was a classic “one-inning” closer. His numbers reflect today’s tendency of managers who force pitchers to pitch only one inning. a practice that I object to. Comparing Hoffman to other relievers in the Hall (Bruce Sutter and ESPECIALLY Rich Gossage) is a joke.

Anyway, here’s the history of the save rule. And how I feel about it can pretty much be summed up this way.

The “Save Rule” was invented by a sportswriter named Jerome Holzman. A SPORTSWRITER made up a rule. Here it is:
A pitcher gets a “Save” when:

He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his team;
He is not the winning pitcher;
He is credited with at least ⅓ of an inning pitched; and
He satisfies one of the following conditions:
He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning
He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, at bat or on deck
He pitches for at least three innings
If a relief pitcher satisfies all of the criteria for a save, except he does not finish the game, he will often be credited with a hold (which is not an officially recognized statistic by Major League Baseball).”‘

Because of this, I consider Hoffman to be a fringe hall of famer at best. It’s a very tough call. Download the show for my verdict.

I also broke down Cap Anson‘s career and discussed how his careder correlates to today’s PED argument.


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musial
One of the top ten players in baseball history passed away over the weekend, as Stan “The Man” Musial died Saturday at the age of 92. The hero to millions of baseball fans west of the Mississippi River in the era before the “Western Expansion” (when the Giants and Dodgers moved from New York to California), Musial was the St. Louis Cardinals’ stalwart left fielder for 23 glittering seasons. He was the key player on four pennant winning clubs and the best player on the team for all 23 years he played – from his rookie season in 1941 until he finally retired at age 42 in 1963. Musial captured the imagination of a generation of baseball fans, many of whom listened to Harry Caray describe the action.

My own father was a huge Stan Musial as an adolescent; the Houston Astros weren’t founded until 1962, so the Cardinals were the closest team and Dad’s rooting interest. Musial was a hero to millions of boys in my father’s era, and his numbers certainly back up his first ballot hall of fame status. Read ’em and weep:

3630 hits (the most ever in the National League until Pete Rose broke the record in 1981.)
Seven batting titles
Three MVP Awards
725 doubles (3rd all time)
6134 total bases (2nd all time)
1951 RBI (6th all time)
123 Wins Above Replacement (9th all time)
1949 runs scored

In the last segment, I make the case that Marvin Miller deserves to be in baseball’s Hall of Fame, and it’s a perplexing tragedy that he’s not in the Hall today. Miller, a former economist for the United Steel Workers, became the executive director of the Major League Player’s Association from 1966-1982. Largely because of his leadership in helping players gain free agency and

Dave Schoenfeld says that Musial may have been the best left fielder of all time
Stan Musial’s Baseball-Reference page
Bill Simmons Hall Of Fame Pyramid Scheme
Marvin Miller should be in the Hall of Fame


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craig biggio

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) managed to do something it hadn’t done since 1996: it elected no new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.

This is an outrage. Pointing at the “steroids era” in which otherwise-qualified players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were denied entry into the Hall- is what caused the lack of consensus. Astro franchise icon Craig Biggio came closest with 68.2% of the vote, and will likely be elected next year. Jack Morris came the second closest with 67.7%. Eventual inductee Jeff Bagwell (also an Astros franchise icon) came in third at 59.6%.

Players Association director Michael Weiner sums up my feelings on the matter:

“Today’s news that those members of the BBWAA afforded the privilege of casting ballots failed to elect even a single player to the Hall of Fame is unfortunate, if not sad,” said Weiner, the executive director of the MLB Players Association. “Those empowered to help the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum document the history of the game failed to recognize the contributions of several Hall of Fame worthy players. To ignore the historic accomplishments of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for example, is hard to justify.

“Moreover, to penalize players exonerated in legal proceedings — and others never even implicated — is simply unfair. The Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the best players to have ever played the game. Several such players were denied access to the Hall today. Hopefully this will be rectified by future voting.”

bagwell
While we’re here, let me run down MY Hall of Fame ballot for 2013. These are the ten players (and there are at LEAST ten qualified players on the list this year) who would earn my vote if I had one:

Craig Biggio – 3000 hits, plus his unique status as the only man to make an All Star Game as a catcher AND a second baseman
Jeff Bagwell – one of the top five first basemen statistically in the history of the game.
Mike Piazza – best offensive catcher ever, at least in the 2nd half of the 20th century
Tim Raines – GREAT leadoff hitter in the 1980s penalized by the presence of Rickey Henderson, the best leadoff hitter ever.
Roger Clemens – either the best or 2nd best right handed pitcher ever.
Barry Bonds – Home run king. The Hall is a JOKE without him
Curt Schilling
Sammy Sosa – 609 Homers.
Mark McGwire – 1998, plus 61!
Alan Trammell – best all around shortstop of the 1980s. Better offensively than anyone in his era not named Cal Ripken, and better defensively than anyone not named Ozzie Smith.

Why no Morris? He wasn’t the best pitcher of his Era, never won the Cy Young. He gets consideration entirely for his postseason accomplishments. Reasonable people can disagree, but I’m leaving him off the ballot for me.

Jeff Bagwell: Should he be in the Hall of Fame? I answer that question (and many more) in this episode. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show at http://thebaseballexperience.com/itunes and support the show at http://thebaseballexperience.com/gamefly. You can subscribe to the show through any podcatcher at http://feeds.feedburner.com/thebaseballexperiencespodcast.


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rose, pete
Hello everyone and thank you for listening after the elongated break I took.

It’s fair to say that the grind of following the happenings of a depressing Astros baseball season wore me down in 2012. On top of that, my spare time was consumed with a new venture – a foray into professional wrestling – that continues to dominate my time. So the stretch run, the collapse of the Texas Rangers, the flameout of the Yankees, and the consistently excellent pitching of the San Francisco Giants in 2012 never made it to my air.

But I still love baseball.

SO what do we do? I still have an audience that has probably given up on me, and a love and passion for the game of baseball that continues to this day. SO what do I do? And the answer hit me :

I need to create content that is independent of events, that may allude to them but that can be consumed any time. My show needs to focus on an area of the game that is being RUINED by the legacy media and people treating their Hall of Fame votes like garbage (turning in a blank ballot) or as if they’re the moral arbiters of history (refusing to vote for Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, or Roger Clemens because of PED usage)

Therefore, I am returning to a weekly schedule, and doing what I love: talking about baseball players of yesteryear and arguing for players I believe belong in the Hall of Fame. Each show will feature one player, and I’ll go through the stories of the player’s career, include audio clips where possible, and make my argument.

The writers and the curmudgeons are destroying the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. I am relaunching the Baseball Experience podcast to combat this.

The biggest and most egregious miscarriage of justice in Hall of Fame history, in my opinion, is the exclusion of the all-time hits leader from the Hall of Fame. Let’s talk about Pete Rose.

Pete Rose’s Biography

Career highlights:

1963 Rookie of the Year
An extremely rich man’s Tony Phillips; Rose played all three outfield positions, second base, third base, and first base.
1973 MVP
All time hits leader (4256) leads also in games played, at bats,
Big Red Machine leader
led 1980 Phillies to first World Series win in franchise history

On the show, I make the argument that Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and his plaque can disclose the mistakes he made and the damage he almost caused the game by betting on it.