Tagged: Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Day


A year ago, Red Sox fans were anxiously awaiting word on whether Jim Rice would FINALLY be elected to the Hall of Fame. Thankfully, he was. Now, we wait for word on the newly elected members of the Hall. To me, there are three clear-cut choices for Cooperstown, whether or not the baseball writers in all their wisdom choose to see it that way. They are:

Jack Morris – With his devastating fork ball and Hall-of-Fame porn mustache, Morris was a dominant pitcher throughout the 80s and early 90s. He was THE MAN on World Series championship teams in Detroit, Minnesota and Toronto. (Not to mention he pitched what is arguably the greatest World Series game ever – Game 7, Minnesota-Atlanta.) He may not have the padded stats that mindless Hall voters have think for them, but anyone who followed baseball during that time knows Morris was consistently great and one of the very best pitchers of his day.

Bert Blyleven – Disregarding for a moment what I just said about mindless stats, let me say the most compelling case for Blyleven’s induction is one simple stat: The fifth most strikeouts . . . ever. Blyleven spent his career bouncing between a who’s who of the game’s worst teams . . . teams that made today’s Royals look like the Anaheim Angels. And, for them, Blyleven was great. He didn’t get a ton of wins, and because of that suffered when it came to Cy Young time, but he was great. Understand, strikeouts are not some meaningless stat. Simply, each time a guy strikes out against you, your stuff was too good for that major league hitter. It’s not like wins, where you can muddle by with mediocrity if you are on a good team. Because of a long career on several good teams, Don Sutton got wins and is in the Hall of Fame . . . somehow. He wasn’t half the pitcher Blyleven was.

Roberto Alomar – Arguably the greatest second-baseman to ever play the game. During the 90s, if a team wanted to win, they went out and got Alomar. The Blue Jays, the Orioles, the Indians, all were elite teams in large part because of Alomar. Offensively, for a second-baseman, he was great. Defensively, for a second-baseman, he was incredible. His election should be a slam dunk.




Reports surfaced today that syringes provided by Brian McNamee for testing have linked Roger Clemens to steroids. This comes on the heels of reports last week that prosecutors have positive tests linking Barry Bonds to steroids.

If these reports are true, they could be the fatal bullets to the Hall of Fame hopes of Clemens and Bonds. Despite all the controversy swirling around them, they have both been sure-bet Hall of Famers in large part because so many potential HOF voters have said they can’t not vote for them unless there is real, hard evidence against them. If these reports are true, then that evidence is there.

In light of that evidence, it would be criminal to see Clemens and Bonds in the Hall. Shoeless Joe Jackson and Pete Rose have been banned for damaging the game. Clemens and Bonds should be held to the same standard for cheating their way to defacing some of the game’s most hallowed records.

Shock And Amazement


Yesterday, something truly incredible happened: My brother raised a good point.

Jason and I were having a conversation about the Baseball Hall of Fame. And, like most of our conversations about baseball, it was one-sided; I make a bunch of brilliant, insightful statements, while my brother listens, drools, and occassionally grunts and/or passes gas. And then, like a lightening bolt out of the blue, Jason made a valuable point: If the Hall of Fame were only for the 20 or 25 greatest of the great players, it would be a boring place.

We all know about the greats like Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, George Brett, Hank Aaron and others. But, as someone who has been to the Hall many times, much of the fun is strolling through the Great Hall and reading the bios and stats of a lot of players who you might have forgotten about, but who were truly great in their day. Learning this history gives visitors a better appreciation for players and the game, and makes the Hall experience that much more enjoyable.

Do I think Jim Rice deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. Do I think guys like Phil Rizzuto, Don Sutton, Wade Boggs, Tony Perez and others deserve to be in there? No way. But that’s the great thing about being baseball fans. We get to passionately debate numbers and players til we’re blue in the face. And the Hall of Fame provides a great forum for encouraging this passion and interest in the game. I can’t wait to go there in July.

Jim Rice: Hall of Famer (And Other Sox Thoughts)


Following up on what my low-life brother already said, congratulations to Jim Rice on being elected to the Hall of Fame. We’re hoping to be in Cooperstown the weekend he is inducted. I’ve never been there for induction week, and I’m really hoping things work out.

In the days leading up to this announcement, I was worried it would not happen. And that would have been wrong. Even writers who didn’t vote for Rice – at least those who actually follow baseball – have to admit that from 1975 through 1986 he was one of the very best hitters in the game. That’s why he received so many MVP votes; and that’s a long time to be great. And players like that are much more deserving than the Vinny Testaverde’s of baseball (Boggs, Palmeiro, Sutton, etc.) who stick around and are able to reach milestones because of longevity, but were never really seen as great players for extended periods of time.

I can completely understand those who have the opinion that the Hall of Fame is for the greatest of the great, and Rice doesn’t belong. If the Hall were only for the Mike Schmidts, Hank Aarons, George Bretts and Willie Mayses of the world, that would be fine. But the bar has already been set; guys like Don Sutton, Wade Boggs, Phil Rizzuto, Dave Winfield and others are all Hall of Famers. You might not like where the bar is; I don’t. But it is where it is. And given that, Jim Rice — one of the very elite hitters of his era — belongs in the Hall of Fame. Thankfully, that’s where he is headed.

Getting Strong Now: If you haven’t noticed, the Sox are seriously bulking up. On the heels of bringing on Brad Penny, John Smoltz and Rocco Baldelli, they just signed former Dodger closer Saito. Injured last year, Saito struggled. But he was dominant prior to that, and there’s every reason to believe he is past his injury and ready to shine in Boston. With his addition, the Sox bullpen is looking seriously formidable. Adding Saito and Ramon Ramirez to a pen with Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Papelbon, not to mention all the young arms like Masterson, Bucholz and Bowden the Sox can use there thanks to the depth of their rotation, Boston could end up with the strongest pen in the game. Of course, bullpen strength is the most difficult part of a team to predict from year to year. But by adding such strong depth, the Sox are doing all they can to set themselves up to succeed.

Michael Young??: When I heard Michael Young wanted a trade out of Texas, my first thought was he might be an easy fit in Boston. The Sox have kicked around the idea of an offensive upgrade at short, and they’re already talking about a trade with the Rangers for a catcher. This could expand the package. However, when I read Young’s contract has him signed through 2013 — and he’s already 32 — well, that ain’t happening.

Former Sox Hot Stove: If you haven’t heard, the Phillies are talking about signing Nomar Garciaparra. It’d be great to see Nomar play another year and hopefully have a productive year.; Things don’t look great for Pedro. He had been saying he wanted to resign with the Mets, but the Mets don’t seem to be in any hurry to bring him back. Then Pedro signs he’d like to sign with the Marlins . . . but the Marlins don’t want to sign him. Strange market this year, with so many players in the position of courting teams instead of the other way around; It’s the middle of January, and Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe, Ben Sheets, Bobby Abreu and others are all still free agents.

Jim Rice and the Hall of Fame


Next Monday the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2009 will be announced at 2pm ET. My gut tells me that Jim Rice will join Frank Chance, Nellie Fox, Jim Bunning, and
Orlando Cepeda to become the fifth player to have received over 70% of the BWAA vote but not be elected into the Hall of Fame. If this comes to pass, it will be truly unfortunate.

In a recent column, I examined how Jim Rice stacks up to other players on the current HOF ballot via four tests introduced in Bill James’s book The Politics of Glory. The tests are the Black Ink test, Gray Ink test, Hall of Fame Standard test, and the Hall of Fame Monitor test. I also listed each player’s career total MVP share, which I think is a strong indicator of the number of great years a player had, as greatness is what the Hall is all about. Baseball-reference.com has descriptions of these tests and player-specific scores on each player profile page. For this post, I’ve expanded the pool to be every batter on the BWAA Hall of Fame ballot since Jim’s first appearance in 1994.

The results? Only Jim, Mike Schmidt and George Brett finish in the top 10% of the group in every test. Jim’s weakest performance comes, predictably, in the hall of fame standard test that looks for career totals. Jim scores among the top five for the two tests that most reflect annual strong performance – the Grey Ink test and the MVP vote. As I’ve noted, ad nauseum, it’s my humble opinion that Hall of Famers are players that had many (10+ by HOF’s own rules) great years. I’m also of the opinion that a few mediocre years at the end of a career to reach some magic number is not what the Hall of Fame should celebrate. In short, Baseball Writers of America – Vote Jim In!

Date below as listed
Black Ink Test
Gray Ink Test
HOF Standard
HOF Monitor
MVP Votes

Name HOF Black Ink Test
Schmidt Mike Yes 74
Gwynn Tony Yes 57
Henderson, R Likely 50
Oliva, Tony No 41
Brett George Yes 39
Boggs Wade Yes 37
McGwire Mark Likely 36
Rice Jim No 33
Murphy Dale No 31
Belle, Albert No 28
Allen, Dick No 27
Batter HOF AVE 27
Foster, George No 26
Parker Dave No 26
Fielder, Cecil No 24
Molitor Paul Yes 24
Mattingly Don No 23
Puckett Kirby Yes 22
Raines Tim No 20
Bichette, Dante No 19
Ripken Cal Yes 19
Pinson, Vada No 18
Wilson, Willie No 18
Butler, Brett No 16
Canseco, Jose No 15
Evans, Dwight No 15
Lynn, Fred No 15
Minoso, Minnie No 15
Cepeda, Orlando Yes 14
Hernandez, Keith No 14
Sandberg Ryne Yes 14
Yount Robin Yes 14
Clark, Will No 13
Coleman, Vince No 12
Dykstra, Lenny No 12
Garvey, Steve No 12
Kennedy, Terry No 12
McGee, Willie No 12
Torre, Joe No 12
Dawson Andre No 11
Johnson, Howard No 11
Mitchell, Kevin No 11
Murray Eddie Yes 11
Santo, Ron No 11
Pendleton, Terry No 10
Buckner, Bill No 9
Carter, Joe No 9
Clark, Jack No 9
Baylor, Don No 8
Evans, Darrell No 8
Matt Williams No 8
Phillips, Tony No 7
Strawberry, Darryl No 7
Bonds, Bobby No 6
Templeton, Garry No 6
Van Slyke, Andy No 6
Flood, Curt No 5
Guerrero, Pedro No 5
Ray, Johnny No 5
Samuel, Juan No 5
Bell, George No 4
Boyer, Ken No 4
Carter Gary Yes 4
Daulton, Darren No 4
Lansford, Carney No 4
Mo Vaughn No 4
Nettles, Graig No 4
O’Neill, Paul No 4
Staub, Rusty No 4
Wallach, Tim No 4
Winfield Dave Yes 4
Baines Harold No 3
Bonilla, Bobby No 3
Cruz, Jose No 3
Fernandez, Tony No 3
Knoblauch, Chuck No 3
Mark Grace No 3
Smith, Lonnie No 3
Tartabull, Danny No 3
Bell, Buddy No 2
Downing, Brian No 2
Fryman, Travis No 2
Jefferies, Gregg No 2
Lemon, Chet No 2
Randolph, Willie No 2
Sax, Steve No 2
Smith Ozzie Yes 2
Tettleton, Mickey No 2
Fisk Carlton Yes 1
Gaetti, Gary No 1
Garner, Phil No 1
Thompson, Robby No 1
Whitaker, Lou No 1
Anderson, Brady No 0
Boone, Bob No 0
Brooks, Hubie No 0
Buhner, Jay No 0
Caminiti, Ken No 0
Chambliss, Chris No 0
Concepcion, Dave No 0
Davis, Chili No 0
Davis, Eric No 0
Dempsey, Rick No 0
DiSarcina, Gary No 0
Dunston, Shawon No 0
Eisenreich, Jim No 0
Gant Ron No 0
Gibson, Kirk No 0
Greenwell, Mike No 0
Griffey, Ken No 0
Gross, Greg No 0
Guillen, Ozzie No 0
Henderson, Dave No 0
Hendrick, George No 0
Horner, Bob No 0
Hrbek, Kent No 0
Jay Bell No 0
Joyner, Wally No 0
Justice, David No 0
Knight, Ray No 0
Kruk, John No 0
Leonard, Jeffrey No 0
Morris, Hal No 0
Munson, Thurman No 0
Nixon, Otis No 0
Parrish, Lance No 0
Parrish, Larry No 0
Pena, Tony No 0
Perez Tony Yes 0
Puhl, Terry No 0
Simmons, Ted No 0
Speier, Chris No 0
Steinbach, Terry No 0
Sundberg, Jim No 0
Trammell Alan No 0
Trillo, Manny No 0
Vaughn, Greg ` No 0
Washington, Clau No 0
Weiss, Walt No 0
White, Devon No 0
White, Frank No 0

Grey Ink Test
Name HOF Grey Ink
Schmidt Mike Yes 224
Cepeda, Orlando Yes 196
Minoso, Minnie No 189
Murray Eddie Yes 181
Rice Jim No 176
Dawson Andre No 164
Allen, Dick No 159
Brett George Yes 159
Gwynn Tony Yes 155
Winfield Dave Yes 152
Murphy Dale No 147
Santo, Ron No 147
Oliva, Tony No 146
Molitor Paul Yes 145
Parker Dave No 145
Batter HOF AVE 144
Henderson, Ric Likely 143
Garvey, Steve No 142
Boggs Wade Yes 138
Boyer, Ken No 138
Pinson, Vada No 135
Sandberg Ryne Yes 134
Bonds, Bobby No 132
Perez Tony Yes 129
Puckett Kirby Yes 122
Yount Robin Yes 120
Foster, George No 119
Hernandez, Keith No 118
Butler, Brett No 117
Ripken Cal Yes 116
Raines Tim No 114
Evans, Dwight No 113
Mattingly Don No 111
McGwire Mark Likely 110
Carter, Joe No 103
Strawberry, Darryl No 100
Bonilla, Bobby No 96
Simmons, Ted No 95
Buckner, Bill No 94
Clark, Will No 94
Canseco, Jose No 93
Staub, Rusty No 89
Clark, Jack No 87
Mark Grace No 86
Guerrero, Pedro No 84
Evans, Darrell No 82
Bichette, Dante No 81
Mo Vaughn No 78
Carter Gary Yes 75
Cruz, Jose No 71
Torre, Joe No 71
Lynn, Fred No 69
Bell, George No 68
Hendrick, George No 68
Baylor, Don No 67
Knoblauch, Chuck No 67
Sax, Steve No 66
Johnson, Howard No 64
Wilson, Willie No 64
Fielder, Cecil No 63
Davis, Eric No 61
Flood, Curt No 58
Matt Williams No 58
Samuel, Juan No 57
Horner, Bob No 56
McGee, Willie No 56
Nettles, Graig No 56
Fisk Carlton Yes 54
Gant Ron No 52
Tartabull, Danny No 52
Fernandez, Tony No 51
Pendleton, Terry No 51
Smith Ozzie Yes 51
Coleman, Vince No 49
Griffey, Ken No 49
Trammell Alan No 48
Mitchell, Kevin No 46
Munson, Thurman No 46
Davis, Chili No 45
Greenwell, Mike No 45
O’Neill, Paul No 45
Wallach, Tim No 45
Gibson, Kirk No 44
Van Slyke, Andy No 44
Justice, David No 43
Phillips, Tony No 42
Dykstra, Lenny No 41
Tettleton, Mickey No 41
White, Devon No 41
Baines Harold No 40
Hrbek, Kent No 40
Randolph, Willie No 39
Chambliss, Chris No 38
Smith, Lonnie No 38
Anderson, Brady No 37
Belle, Albert No 37
Parrish, Lance No 35
Templeton, Garry No 35
Bell, Buddy No 33
Ray, Johnny No 33
Jay Bell No 32
Buhner, Jay No 31
Gaetti, Gary No 31
Whitaker, Lou No 31
Lansford, Carney No 30
Parrish, Larry No 29
Caminiti, Ken No 28
Knight, Ray No 28
Nixon, Otis No 27
Concepcion, Dave No 25
Downing, Brian No 25
Jefferies, Gregg No 25
Daulton, Darren No 22
Kruk, John No 22
Vaughn, Greg ` No 22
Washington, Claudell No 22
Brooks, Hubie No 21
Morris, Hal No 21
Fryman, Travis No 20
Lemon, Chet No 19
Leonard, Jeffrey No 19
Joyner, Wally No 16
Garner, Phil No 14
Kennedy, Terry No 13.9
Guillen, Ozzie No 11
Gross, Greg No 9
Weiss, Walt No 9
Henderson, Dave No 8
Pena, Tony No 8
Thompson, Robby No 8
Dunston, Shawon No 6
Eisenreich, Jim No 4
White, Frank No 4
DiSarcina, Gary No 2
Speier, Chris No 2
Trillo, Manny No 2
Puhl, Terry No 1
Boone, Bob No 0
Dempsey, Rick No 0
Steinbach, Terry No 0
Sundberg, Jim No 0

HOF Stradards
Name HOF HOF Standards
Brett George Yes 60.6
Molitor Paul Yes 59.2
Boggs Wade Yes 57.5
Ripken Cal Yes 55.9
Murray Eddie Yes 55.8
Schmidt Mike Yes 55.7
Winfield Dave Yes 55.6
Gwynn Tony Yes 54
Rickey Henderson Likely 52.6
Yount Robin Yes 51.8
Batter HOF AVE 50
Raines Tim No 46.6
Baines Harold No 44.3
Dawson Andre No 44.1
Evans, Dwight No 43.7
Rice Jim No 43
McGwire Mark Likely 42.1
Clark, Will No 42
Sandberg Ryne Yes 41.9
Whitaker, Lou No 41.9
Parker Dave No 41.5
Santo, Ron No 41
Fisk Carlton Yes 40.9
Perez Tony Yes 40.7
Kennedy, Terry No 40.5
Evans, Darrell No 40.3
Torre, Joe No 39.9
Puckett Kirby Yes 39.3
Simmons, Ted No 38.9
Davis, Chili No 38.8
Allen, Dick No 38.7
Canseco, Jose No 38.7
Staub, Rusty No 38.2
Mark Grace No 38
Cepeda, Orlando Yes 37.4
O’Neill, Paul No 36.9
Trammell Alan No 36.9
Butler, Brett No 36.4
Belle, Albert No 36.3
Pinson, Vada No 36.3
Bonds, Bobby No 36
Boyer, Ken No 35.7
Clark, Jack No 35
Minoso, Minnie No 34.8
Murphy Dale No 34.4
Mattingly Don No 34.2
Lynn, Fred No 33.3
Knoblauch, Chuck No 33.2
Carter Gary Yes 32.9
Randolph, Willie No 32.9
Downing, Brian No 32.2
Hernandez, Keith No 32
Bonilla, Bobby No 31.7
Phillips, Tony No 31.7
Carter, Joe No 31.5
Garvey, Steve No 31.5
Smith Ozzie Yes 30.9
Griffey, Ken No 30.8
Nettles, Graig No 30.8
Bichette, Dante No 30.7
Baylor, Don No 30
Mo Vaughn No 29.9
Strawberry, Darryl No 29.8
Bell, Buddy No 29.7
Jay Bell No 29.6
Gaetti, Gary No 29.5
Matt Williams No 29.4
Oliva, Tony No 29.4
Justice, David No 29.3
Fernandez, Tony No 28.9
Guerrero, Pedro No 28.7
Cruz, Jose No 27.7
Davis, Eric No 27.1
Tettleton, Mickey No 26.8
Foster, George No 26.7
Fryman, Travis No 26.4
Buckner, Bill No 26.1
Anderson, Brady No 26
Gant Ron No 26
Buhner, Jay No 25.9
Concepcion, Dave No 25.9
Hrbek, Kent No 25.9
Tartabull, Danny No 25.5
Lansford, Carney No 25.4
Joyner, Wally No 25
Vaughn, Greg ` No 25
Caminiti, Ken No 24.9
Kruk, John No 24.4
Sax, Steve No 23.9
Wallach, Tim No 23.6
Parrish, Lance No 23.5
Greenwell, Mike No 23.4
McGee, Willie No 23.3
Wilson, Willie No 23.1
Hendrick, George No 23
Daulton, Darren No 22.9
Mitchell, Kevin No 22.9
Gibson, Kirk No 22.5
Horner, Bob No 22
Fielder, Cecil No 21.7
White, Devon No 21.4
Johnson, Howard No 21.3
Munson, Thurman No 20.9
Dykstra, Lenny No 20.5
Smith, Lonnie No 20.5
Lemon, Chet No 20.3
Van Slyke, Andy No 19.3
Bell, George No 19.1
Thompson, Robby No 18.9
Morris, Hal No 18.2
Samuel, Juan No 18.2
Ray, Johnny No 17.9
Templeton, Garry No 17.9
White, Frank No 17.9
Parrish, Larry No 17.6
Garner, Phil No 17.2
Dunston, Shawon No 16.9
Jefferies, Gregg No 16.9
Steinbach, Terry No 16.9
Speier, Chris No 15.9
Washington, Claudell No 15.9
Weiss, Walt No 15.9
Pendleton, Terry No 15.8
Eisenreich, Jim No 15.7
Gross, Greg No 15.6
Flood, Curt No 15.5
Nixon, Otis No 15.2
Chambliss, Chris No 15
Puhl, Terry No 15
Boone, Bob No 14.9
Sundberg, Jim No 13.9
Dempsey, Rick No 12.9
Guillen, Ozzie No 12.9
Pena, Tony No 12.9
Coleman, Vince No 12.6
Henderson, Dave No 12.3
Brooks, Hubie No 12.2
Trillo, Manny No 11.9
Leonard, Jeffrey No 11.4
DiSarcina, Gary No 10.9
Knight, Ray No 9.4

HOF Monitor
Name HOF HOF Monitor
Gwynn Tony Yes 276.5
Boggs Wade Yes 267
Schmidt Mike Yes 249.5
Ripken Cal Yes 236
Brett George Yes 210.5
Rickey Henderson Likely 183.5
McGwire Mark Likely 169.5
Molitor Paul Yes 165.5
Puckett Kirby Yes 159.5
Sandberg Ryne Yes 157.5
Murray Eddie Yes 154.5
Winfield Dave Yes 147
Rice Jim No 144.5
Smith Ozzie Yes 142.5
Carter Gary Yes 135
Belle, Albert No 133.5
Mattingly Don No 133.5
Yount Robin Yes 132
Garvey, Steve No 130.5
Cepeda, Orlando Yes 125.5
Simmons, Ted No 124.5
Parker Dave No 124
Fisk Carlton Yes 120.5
Trammell Alan No 118.5
Dawson Andre No 117.5
Murphy Dale No 116
Oliva, Tony No 112
Parrish, Lance No 107
Concepcion, Dave No 106.5
Boone, Bob No 102
Canseco, Jose No 101
Batter HOF AVE 100
Allen, Dick No 99
Pena, Tony No 97.5
Torre, Joe No 96
Pinson, Vada No 95
Whitaker, Lou No 92.5
Randolph, Willie No 92
Foster, George No 91
Munson, Thurman No 89.5
Raines Tim No 89.5
Santo, Ron No 88
Minoso, Minnie No 87
Sundberg, Jim No 87
Boyer, Ken No 86.5
Carter, Joe No 86.5
Mo Vaughn No 86.5
Hernandez, Keith No 86
Lynn, Fred No 85
Clark, Will No 83.5
McGee, Willie No 83.5
Bichette, Dante No 82
Perez Tony Yes 81
White, Frank No 81
Fielder, Cecil No 75
Fernandez, Tony No 74
Matt Williams No 70
O’Neill, Paul No 69.5
Buckner, Bill No 68.5
Evans, Dwight No 67.5
Bell, Buddy No 67
Knoblauch, Chuck No 66.5
Baines Harold No 66
Bonds, Bobby No 65.5
Bonilla, Bobby No 63.5
Nettles, Graig No 63
Mark Grace No 60.5
Wilson, Willie No 59.5
Flood, Curt No 59
Templeton, Garry No 58.5
Staub, Rusty No 58
Sax, Steve No 57.5
Dempsey, Rick No 56
Strawberry, Darryl No 55
Guerrero, Pedro No 53.5
Bell, George No 53
Butler, Brett No 52.5
Gaetti, Gary No 51.5
Vaughn, Greg ` No 50
Steinbach, Terry No 47
Wallach, Tim No 47
Baylor, Don No 42.5
Evans, Darrell No 42
Gant Ron No 41.5
Johnson, Howard No 41
Griffey, Ken No 40
Justice, David No 40
Dykstra, Lenny No 39
White, Devon No 39
Anderson, Brady No 38
Caminiti, Ken No 38
Pendleton, Terry No 38
Fryman, Travis No 36
Mitchell, Kevin No 36
Van Slyke, Andy No 35.5
Buhner, Jay No 34
Lansford, Carney No 33
Greenwell, Mike No 32.5
Kruk, John No 32.5
Tartabull, Danny No 31
Jay Bell No 30.5
Hendrick, George No 30
Davis, Chili No 29.5
Guillen, Ozzie No 29
Weiss, Walt No 29
Clark, Jack No 27.5
Joyner, Wally No 27.5
Cruz, Jose No 27
Phillips, Tony No 26.5
Smith, Lonnie No 26.5
Samuel, Juan No 26
Speier, Chris No 26
Coleman, Vince No 25
Daulton, Darren No 25
Davis, Eric No 24.5
Lemon, Chet No 23
Morris, Hal No 23
Trillo, Manny No 23
Parrish, Larry No 21.5
Henderson, Dave No 20.5
Knight, Ray No 20
Jefferies, Gregg No 19
Downing, Brian No 18.5
Hrbek, Kent No 18.5
Garner, Phil No 17
Tettleton, Mickey No 17
Gibson, Kirk No 16
Horner, Bob No 16
Chambliss, Chris No 15.5
Ray, Johnny No 15.5
Thompson, Robby No 15.5
Eisenreich, Jim No 15
Dunston, Shawon No 14
Gross, Greg No 12.5
Washington, Claudell No 11
Brooks, Hubie No 10
Leonard, Jeffrey No 8.5
Puhl, Terry No 8
DiSarcina, Gary No 4
Nixon, Otis No 4

MVP Votes
Schmidt Mike Yes 4.96
Murray Eddie Yes 3.33
Brett George Yes 3.3
Parker Dave No 3.19
Rice Jim No 3.15
Puckett Kirby Yes 2.56
Garvey, Steve No 2.46
Rickey Henderson Likely 2.46
Belle, Albert No 2.38
Foster, George No 2.37
Dawson Andre No 2.36
Murphy Dale No 2.31
Ripken Cal Yes 2.31
Guerrero, Pedro No 2.3
Mattingly Don No 2.22
Winfield Dave Yes 2.2
Hernandez, Keith No 2.09
Sandberg Ryne Yes 1.98
McGwire Mark Likely 1.94
Carter Gary Yes 1.93
Gwynn Tony Yes 1.93
Bell, George No 1.92
Minoso, Minnie No 1.9
Oliva, Tony No 1.9
Cepeda, Orlando Yes 1.87
Matt Williams No 1.86
Clark, Will No 1.84
Yount Robin Yes 1.8
Strawberry, Darryl No 1.71
Fielder, Cecil No 1.67
Allen, Dick No 1.62
Boyer, Ken No 1.6
Canseco, Jose No 1.53
Mo Vaughn No 1.53
Pendleton, Terry No 1.51
Munson, Thurman No 1.5
Torre, Joe No 1.46
Molitor Paul Yes 1.43
Lynn, Fred No 1.4
Carter, Joe No 1.28
Fisk Carlton Yes 1.27
Bonilla, Bobby No 1.23
Santo, Ron No 1.23
Trammell Alan No 1.22
Mitchell, Kevin No 1.21
Boggs Wade Yes 1.2
Gibson, Kirk No 1.17
Clark, Jack No 1.16
Baylor, Don No 1.14
Evans, Dwight No 1.05
Bonds, Bobby No 1.01
Caminiti, Ken No 1
Raines Tim No 0.99
Cruz, Jose No 0.96
Perez Tony Yes 0.93
Johnson, Howard No 0.91
Van Slyke, Andy No 0.91
Gant Ron No 0.89
McGee, Willie No 0.83
Dykstra, Lenny No 0.81
Justice, David No 0.8
Smith, Lonnie No 0.75
Bichette, Dante No 0.71
Flood, Curt No 0.71
Simmons, Ted No 0.68
Vaughn, Greg ` No 0.68
Wilson, Willie No 0.67
Hrbek, Kent No 0.66
Smith Ozzie Yes 0.65
Pinson, Vada No 0.64
Greenwell, Mike No 0.62
O’Neill, Paul No 0.62
Wallach, Tim No 0.61
Nettles, Graig No 0.56
Concepcion, Dave No 0.52
Daulton, Darren No 0.5
Davis, Eric No 0.5
Hendrick, George No 0.38
Parrish, Larry No 0.38
Staub, Rusty No 0.37
Buhner, Jay No 0.36
Butler, Brett No 0.35
Lansford, Carney No 0.33
Baines Harold No 0.29
Knight, Ray No 0.27
Buckner, Bill No 0.26
Fernandez, Tony No 0.26
Gaetti, Gary No 0.26
Parrish, Lance No 0.26
Joyner, Wally No 0.23
Chambliss, Chris No 0.22
Whitaker, Lou No 0.21
Anderson, Brady No 0.18
Bell, Buddy No 0.18
Evans, Darrell No 0.17
Kennedy, Terry No 0.17
Griffey, Ken No 0.15
Downing, Brian No 0.14
Sundberg, Jim No 0.14
Horner, Bob No 0.12
Coleman, Vince No 0.11
Jay Bell No 0.11
Mark Grace No 0.11
Tartabull, Danny No 0.11
Pena, Tony No 0.09
Jefferies, Gregg No 0.08
Henderson, Dave No 0.07
Templeton, Garry No 0.07
Washington, Claudell No 0.07
Davis, Chili No 0.06
Samuel, Juan No 0.06
Knoblauch, Chuck No 0.05
Kruk, John No 0.05
Morris, Hal No 0.05
Sax, Steve No 0.05
Randolph, Willie No 0.04
White, Devon No 0.04
Boone, Bob No 0.03
Brooks, Hubie No 0.03
Guillen, Ozzie No 0.03
Phillips, Tony No 0.03
Thompson, Robby No 0.03
Fryman, Travis No 0.02
DiSarcina, Gary No 0.01
Leonard, Jeffrey No 0.01
Steinbach, Terry No 0.001
Dempsey, Rick No 0
Dunston, Shawon No 0
Eisenreich, Jim No 0
Garner, Phil No 0
Gross, Greg No 0
Lemon, Chet No 0
Nixon, Otis No 0
Puhl, Terry No 0
Ray, Johnny No 0
Speier, Chris No 0
Tettleton, Mickey No 0
Trillo, Manny No 0
Weiss, Walt No 0
White, Frank No 0

Hall of Fame 2009


As another year comes to a close and we settle firmly into the middle stretch of the offseason, the annual rite of passage that is to proclaim who does and – more importantly it seems sometimes – who does not belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame is at its peak. In two short weeks, smoke will appear from a chimney in Cooperstown and then we will all know which former players the honored and sagacious men of the BWAA have deemed worthy of baseball immortality.

The potential class of 2009 is a small one, historically so I hear. Every one of them, though, was a heck of a ball player in his time. As a Red Sox fan, I remember well many of Mo’s slams, his swagger, and his clear role as the leader of a re-emergent franchise after some poor and selfish teams in the early 90’s. Ron Gant, of course, was key on many of those great Braves teams. He joined a team that couldn’t win at all and helped turned them into an all time great one. Harold Baines was the energizer bunny of baseball; no matter how old he was, he just hit. David Cone led several teams deep into the playoffs. Of course, not all of them can make it into the Hall of Fame.

If I had a vote, I’d support: Lee Smith, Bert Blyleven, Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire, Jim Rice, and Dave Parker. I’ve written at length in the past about the players that were also on last year’s ballot. Rickey is my only new “Yes” and I don’t think that he needs a lot of explanation.

Jim Rice’s case is of course getting a lot of attention. I’m passionately in favor of Rice’s candidacy. As I’ve noted in the past here, here, here, here, and here. Jim Ed came darn close last year, but I don’t think he’s going to get it this year. My sense is that Rice’s case has become ideological battle. It’s really about drawing a line in the sand for the “sanctity of the hall.” While he nearly slipped in last year, those opposed are probably the more committed than ever to defeating Rice’s case.

Rice’s case, to me, comes down to what is more important: having a dozen years when you are among the top two or three players in the game (each year) or having 17 or 18 years, a few of which are great, most of are solid, and some at the end that are below average but allow you to build up career numbers. I’m solidly in the camp that great years matter.

Look, if Luis Gonzalez was able to hold down a job with the Mariners or other non-contending team for the next three years and get 136 hits each year, he still wouldn’t have had a Hall Of Fame career in my book. Yes, he’d have the magic number of 3,000 hits. However, he’d still have only a five-year run of being a better than average player. Jim had incredible, great years. He got one MVP – with a strong case for two others: 75 which he lost to injury (his numbers are at worse a toss up with Lynn’s) and 86 (when baseball writers decided that it was one of those years when a pitcher should get the everyday player’s award) – and many others among the tops.

Regardless, I’ve lost my objectivity when it comes to Rice. So, I’ll just present the criteria for the Hall of Fame that Bill James set out in his book: The Politics of Glory. Data from www.baseball-reference.com. In his book, James doesn’t set claim that a player should pass all of these to be hall materials. But they are good bench marks and help to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of each player’s candidacy.

Black Ink Test – leading the league in a category
Rickey Henderson 50
Mark McGwire 36
Jim Rice 33
Dale Murphy 31
Ave Hall of Famer 27
Dave Parker 26
Don Mattingly 23
Tim Raines 20
Andre Dawson 11
Matt Williams 8
Mo Vaughn 4
Mark Grace 3
Harold Baines 3
Greg Vaughn 0
Jay Bell 0
Ron Gant 0
Alan Trammell 0

Grey Ink Test – finishing in the top ten in a category
Jim Rice 176
Andre Dawson 164
Dale Murphy 147
Dave Parker 145
Ave Hall of Famer 144
Rickey Henderson 143
Tim Raines 114
Don Mattingly 111
Mark McGwire 110
Mark Grace 86
Mo Vaughn 78
Matt Williams 58
Ron Gant 52
Alan Trammell 48
Harold Baines 40
Jay Bell 32
Greg Vaughn 22

Hall of Fame Standards – gives points on career statistics
Rickey Henderson 52.6
Ave Hall of Famer 50
Tim Raines 46.6
Harold Baines 44.3
Andre Dawson 44.1
Jim Rice 43
Mark McGwire 42.1
Dave Parker 41.5
Mark Grace 38
Alan Trammell 36.9
Dale Murphy 34.4
Don Mattingly 34.2
Mo Vaughn 29.9
Jay Bell 29.6
Matt Williams 29.4
Ron Gant 26
Greg Vaughn 25

Hall of Fame Monitor – assess likelihood of entry in the hall
Player HOF Monitor
Rickey Henderson 183.5
Mark McGwire 169.5
Jim Rice 144.5
Don Mattingly 133.5
Dave Parker 124
Alan Trammell 118.5
Andre Dawson 117.5
Dale Murphy 116
Ave Hall of Famer 100
Tim Raines 89.5
Mo Vaughn 86.5
Matt Williams 70
Harold Baines 66
Mark Grace 60.5
Greg Vaughn 50
Ron Gant 41.5
Jay Bell 30.5

Finally, I’m including some objective data that I think is very important. It’s the Career MVP Awards Share. All players that are ranked ahead of Parker and Rice are either in the Hall, sure-fire inductees when eligible, or banned from the Hall (hello Mr. Rose). In fact, you’d have to get down to around the mid fifties in player rank before you start to see a mixture of non-hall of fame players and then it’s about half and half.

MVP Shares
Player score rank
Dave Parker 3.19 28
Jim Rice 3.15 29
Rickey Henderson 2.46 55
Andre Dawson 2.36 66
Dale Murphy 2.31 67
Don Mattingly 2.22 74
Mark McGwire 1.94 91
Matt Williams 1.86 105
Mo Vaughn 1.53 139
Alan Trammell 1.22 186
Tim Raines 0.99 237
Ron Gant 0.89 270
Greg Vaughn 0.68 334
Harold Baines 0.29 599
Jay Bell 0.11 864
Mark Grace 0.11 864

Bottom line, Jim Ed should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Vote Rice!!!


This year’s Hall of Fame ballot was announced yesterday. Hopefully, the baseball writers will see fit to vote three players into the Hall this year: Rickey Henderson, Jack Morris and Jim Rice.

The case for Henderson is clear: He is the greatest lead-off hitter and base-stealer in the history of the game (or, at least, pre-Ichiro). Don’t believe me? Just ask Rickey. He’ll tell you how great he is. Meanwhile, Jack Morris was one of the most dominant pitchers of his era, not to mention one of the great big-game pitchers ever. He anchored championship teams in Detroit, Minnesota and Toronto. That’s a heck of a resume.

The case for Jim Rice has been made time and time again. Still, some baseball writers remain unconvinced. Last year, Rice finished a mere 16 votes shy of inclusion, which all but ensures he’ll eventually be inducted into the Hall by the Veteran’s Committee. Hopefully hesitant baseball writers will accept the inevitability of Rice’s inclusion and allow him to enjoy his induction in 2009. For those who still need some convincing, here, once again, are the facts:

From 1975 to 1985, Rice led the American League in home runs, RBIs, runs scored, slugging and extra base hits. (Aside from home runs, the only one CLOSE to him in any of those categories was Hall of Famer George Brett.) Rice spearheaded the Red Sox to three seasons – 1975, 1978, 1986 – that are among the greatest in the storied history of the franchise. Rice’s historic MVP season in 1978 was one of the great offensive displays in baseball history (prior to the steroid era). In all, over the course of his career Jim Rice received more MVP votes than any eligible player in baseball history who is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Case closed.