Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quick shots on the HOF

Now that the nation's long nightmare appears to be over with Jim Rice being elected, we can look at those still on the ballot and a peek at those coming. I'm not a major HOF ranting guy --I just find ranting about who gets into a museum out of my scope-- so I will defer to those who do a far better job than I ever could.

On XM #175 this morning, they were discussing the four-some of Rice, Dave Parker, Dale Murphy and Andre Dawson. Joel Sherman (granted a NY-based writer) believes that Rice was the 4th best overall player of this group. Very interesting. He left Tim Raines out since the other four were power OF, not lead-off guys. I think Rock deserves a closer look and a boatload more votes than he got yesterday. Rice getting into the HOF because your peers refered to you as "the most feared" hitter of his day doesn't do it for me. Sorry. This has nothing --I repeat: NOTHING-- to do with his career-long team. But what makes Rice that much "better" than his peers?

I get it that Kirby Puckett carried his team to two WS titles and Mattingly only got to the playoffs once, and that might be the reason why Kirby's in and Donnie's out. Both had their careers cut short due to injury/disease. And I'm not clamoring for Donnie to get it, but I understand why he's not there.

A couple of things from Joe Posnanski:

Greg Maddux. That’s my next choice for unanimous. I simply cannot imagine how ANYONE will be able to vote against Greg Maddux. He has the core accomplishments — 355 wins, four Cy Young awards, 3,371 strikeouts, a terrific (for his time) 3.16 ERA. He has the intangibles — everyone loves what Maddux represented on the mound, and he seems utterly unblemished by scandal (with Maddux there never even seemed a motive for him to use steroids). His Hall of Fame call is five years away, but I’m already making the prediction: Greg Maddux will finish with the highest percentage in baseball history. And he has a shot at unanimous — I say he gets within five votes of unanimous.
[Robbie] Alomar is a 10-time Gold Glove second baseman with a .300 lifetime batting average — he scored a monstrous 193.5 on the Hall of Fame Monitor (100 is a likely Hall of Famer). I’m not saying these are the numbers that make him Hall of Fame worthy — you know how about I feel about Gold Gloves and batting average. Alomar has all sorts of great statistics. No, what I’m saying is … there’s no way a 10-time Gold Glove second baseman who hit .300 for his career is not a slam-dunk Hall of Famer.
So, let me kickoff the new “Project Shutout” by putting it this way:

Bert Blyleven has more shutouts than Bob Gibson. He has more shutouts than Juan Marichal. He has more shutouts than Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson — a lot more than either of them. He has more shutouts than Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins or Robin Roberts. He, of course, has more shutouts than Koufax, who had his career shortened, and he has more shutouts than Phil Niekro who pitched forever. He has more shutouts than Three Finger Brown, more than Five Finger And Some Sandpaper Don Sutton, more than Early Wynn, who threw at batter’s fingers.

Bert Blyleven has more shutouts than Lefty Grove, Lefty Gomez, Lefty Hoerst, Lefty Tyler, lefty Hopper, Lefty Williams, Lefty Stewart and any other pitcher named Lefty including Steve Carlton, who was nicknamed Lefty.

Bert Blyleven has more shutouts than Bob Lemon and Jack Morris combined.

Bert Blyleven has more shutouts than Greg Maddux and Mike Mussina combined.

Bert Blyleven has more shutouts than Whitey Ford and Don Gullett combined.

Bert Blyleven has more shutouts than Bob Feller PLUS Roy Halladay.

Bert Blyleven has more shutouts than Tom Glavine PLUS John Smoltz and you could throw Babe Ruth’s 18 shutouts on top of that and still not get there.

Bert Blyleven has more shutouts than Curt Schilling PLUS Pedro Martinez PLUS Johnny Sain PLUS Two Days of Rain PLUS Roy Oswalt.

Bert Blyleven had more shutouts in 1973 than Johan Santana has in his career.

Let’s put it this way: Since 1920 — the beginning of the lively ball era — Bert Blyleven ranks fourth in shutouts. Only Warren Spahn, Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver have thrown more shutouts. Spahn has three more. Ryan and Seaver each have one more. They are all in the Hall of Fame, first-ballot, never a doubt. I’m just not sure what we are waiting for.

Don’t make me do this same exercise with strikeouts. Because I will.

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