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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hall of Fame Ballot

Editor's note: To the e-mailer who mentioned that he enjoys reading this blog with his 7-year old, you may want to print this out and redact it heavily. Dayf is especially grouchy today.

The insanely incredible BaseballReference.com (which you should all have bookmarked) has a cool Stat of the Day blog (which I thought I had bookmarked, but I didn't, so now I do - under blogs) which has a post where you can vote for the 2008 Hall of Fame candidates. I know, I just get finished ripping the real voters in my last post and now I'm trying to get you all to stick your necks out and vote too. Don't worry, I'd never rip you guys a new one, you're my buddies. My pals. My buddypals. Besides, you all actually know something about baseball, a subject the BBWAA seems to actively avoid if their vote tallies mean anything. Not convinced, eh? Think it's a trap, huh? Well if you won't click on the post and vote, at least click on it and check out the rookie cards of each of the candidates on the ballot. They're really pretty... and some are autographed! Once you see them you'll want to vote. Here are my choices, with brief explanations:

My Ballot:

No brainers:

Bert Blyleven

Reason: 3701. If you don't know what that number means, click here and find out. Meanest deuce ever.

Andre Dawson

Reason: Rookie of the Year, MVP, 8 Gold Gloves, he could hit the crap out of the ball... I know Cubs aren't generally allowed entrance to the Hall as a rule, but what the fuck's a guy gotta do?

Goose Gossage

Reason: The man was the most dominant closer in the game before anyone knew what the hell a closer was. Until Goose gets in no other closers get a single vote from me.

Tim Raines

Reason: 1571 runs, 2605 hits, 808 steals (with an 85% success rate), 170 homers, 980 RBI... ho hum, you want me to go on? Ok then... .385 lifetime OBP, 3771 total bases, 123 lifetime OPS+, 1330 walks...

Had to think about these for all of two seconds:

Harold Baines

Reason: Ok, so he's a DH. One of the best DH's to ever play the game. Look at the stats yourself, and remember most of that production came outside the Juiceball era.

Tommy John

Reason: Do a Google search for Babe Ruth and you get 308, 000 hits. Do one for Tommy John and you get 1,280,000 hits. 288 wins (164 after the surgery) don't hurt either.

Jack Morris

Reason: One of the absolute best pitchers of the 80's, plus he absolutely ruined my Braves in the World Series.
250 wins + 3 rings = Hall

Jim Rice

Reason: We get it already, writers don't like him. He's one of the best hitters of his era, period. 128 OPS+, 1451 RBIs, 382 homers when it was actually difficult to hit the damn things. Put him in.

These two were tough:

I had three players vying for two more slots on the ballot (you can only vote for 10). Here are the two that made it:
Dave Parker

Reason: He could hit, he could run, he won Gold Gloves, he won Silver Sluggers, he won an MVP, he won a couple of rings, he could hit for average, he could hit for power, he even stole some bases early in his career. Again, what's a guy gotta do? Plus his rookie card looks fucking awesome.

Dale Murphy

Reason: Ok, I'm entitled one homer pick. Still, for a five year period he was probably the best player in the National League. Other than batting average, his career stats are similar to Kirby Puckett who was an automatic. If Murph got hit by a bus in 1988 and no one saw that horrific decline at the end of his career, he'd be in. Or, to put it another way, if he had met Jose Canseco in 1988 and juiced himself to the gills he'd have 500 homers right now and would have been elected to the Hall of Fame in '98 or '99. Everyone's shitting their pants about steroids, yet they won't vote for a man who WON'T EVEN TAKE A FREAKING ASPIRIN. Goddamn fucking asshole hypocrite BBWAA bastardfucks.

Editor's note: I told you. Get the kid away from this post.

Who didn't make my ballot because I ran out of votes:

Don Mattingly: If the voting morons had elected Gossage two years ago when they were supposed to, I'd have a vote left for Mattingly. Now he's off my ballot when he really deserves to be on it. I hope you guys are proud of yourselves.

Mark McGwire: He'll get in eventually anyway. Everyone on my ballot deserves to get in before he does though.

Lee Smith: When Goose gets in, he can get in. If Goose doesn't go in, then NO CLOSER DESERVES TO GO IN EVER. Not Rivera, not Hoffman, not even Smoltz. NOBODY. If Gossage is left out, then the closers who are already in the Hall get dragged to the front steps of the Hall and beaten with pointed sticks in front of their weeping families while their plaques are removed from the building and burned as a warning to all closers. Closers become punters as far as the Hall is concerned. No one gets in. Not Goose, not Ray Guy, not nobody. And I am unanimous in this.

Alan Trammell: I don't know why he's not already in, and I'd like to vote for him, but I can't figure out who to bump off my list. This is what happens when you keep passing up deserving candidates year after year.

Dave Justice: Ok, two homer picks. To be honest, in my heart I don't think Dave has the stats to get into the Hall. He just didn't have a long enough career, and he unfortunately played in the heart of the Juicy era. Thing is, all Dave ever did was win. Win, win, win, win, win. His team made the playoffs every single year there was playoffs from 1991 to 2002. He played in 112 postseason games. Holy crap.

Dave Concepcion: He was one of the best fielders around, but couldn't hit worth a flip. With that lineup, he didn't really need to. 20 years from now, someone will slip the head of the Veteran's committee 5 grand and a key to a hotel room containing three cases of Cristal, two underage hookers and a shetland pony and Dave will get pushed through the voting and into the Hall. Then a shocking scandal will ensue, the committee rules will be screwed up again, no one will get elected for another twenty years and the cycle will repeat itself.

Everyone else I just couldn't bring myself to vote for them. I feel bad about not voting for Rod Beck though.


Steve Gierman said...

Those were my picks except for one. I had Mattingly instead of Rice. Great reasons!

Anonymous said...

An amazing Bert Blyleven statistic that I wouldn’t wish upon any major league pitcher:
From his 1970 rookie season through 1977 I’ve accumulated his quality starts that I’ve defined as: 6innings, 2earned runs or less; 7,8,9innings, 3earned runs or less; and 9innings+ 4 earned runs or less in which he garnered a no decision or a loss only……

The totals are:
82 games
658 innings
583 hits
185 runs
160 earned runs
184 base on balls
540 strikeouts
2.19 ERA
His record: 0 wins and 53 LOSSES. I repeat 0 wins and 53 losses with a 2.19 ERA

1970 0-3 2.09 9 games
1971 0-6 1.90 9 games
1972 0-9 2.35 13 games
1973 0-8 2.55 9 games
1974 0-8 1.80 10 games
1975 0-6 2.00 10 games
1976 0-8 2.29 15 games
1977 0-5 2.45 7 games

I understand that pitchers put up great games and get snakebit on occasion, but this accounted for almost 1 of every 3 starts, 82 of 279 to be exact or 29%. Show me a Hall of Famer that had to go through this year by year. Fortunately once Blyleven ended up in Pittsburgh and later some good Minnesota teams, this trend eased to what I would consider normal levels (I had researched this in the past but don’t have the numbers on hand)

Imagine 1974, your 17-9 in 27 games, and in the other 10, all of which are essentially quality starts, you post a 1.80ERA and go 0-8. You end up 17-17. If you don’t know the facts, and your voting for the Cy Young award, and you see 17-17. Do you cast a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place vote? Probably not. This is what Blyleven faced in yesteryear, and the same writers, who I contend do not know the facts, are what Blyleven faces every year in the HOF vote.

Go ahead, plug in a different year, or harken back to Baseball-reference and neutralize the stats, do it for every one of Blyleven’s contemporaries. The numbers don’t change much, but for Bert Blyleven, they do. The example given above is my attempt to show why. Teams that didn’t score runs and booted the ball around like it was a soccer match.