Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Don't kill me, but...

Thank you for enduring my Ken Burnsian 42 part series on the hall of fame. Unfortunately, I lied when I said that I was done talking about it. Just a couple of final thoughts.

For those wondering what future ballots hold, Jayson Stark has helped us out. We know that Gwynn, Ripken, McGwire are up next year, which should probably preclude any of the borderline candidates from gaining entry. Besides these three, eligible players who seem likely not to get voted right off the ballot include Harold Baines, Jose Canseco (say what you will, don't you think he'll get at least 5%?), Paul O'Neill, and maybe Bret Saberhagen and Wally Joyner. We can safely assume that Harold Baines will regularly receive strong support, although he'll probably never get into Cooperstown.

2008's only possible HOFer is Tim Raines. I don't know whether or not he'll get in eventually, but it stands to reason that he isn't going in on the first ballot. That should set up another year like we had this year, so Gossage, Dawson, and Rice will want to watch for it. That's probably Rice's only real chance, as 2009, his last year on the ballot, brings in Rickey Henderson, an obvious first ballot HOFer. 2010 is a lean year again, with Andres Galarraga, Edgar Martinez, and Robin Ventura. So with 2 more years with the focus on them, Gossage, Dawson, and Blyleven could get in soon.

I want to address Adam's comment about 400 or 500 homers as the gold standard. It's true, if there is anybody who has 400+ homers who isn't in the hall of fame, then by definition it can't have been an automatic election point. But 400 homers for a player in Dawson's era was a magic number. I distinctly remember that when players like Eddie Murphy approached and reached 400, the perception was that it was at that moment that they had solidified their hall of fame credentials. I'm not saying that 400 (or even 500) should lead to automatic election for anybody, but it is a fact that 400 homers was a big deal in Dawson's day.

Jayson Stark expounds on Bert Blyleven's case in a recent article. Evidently, according to Bill James, Blyleven had more "tough losses" during his career than anybody else during that same time. It's not a bad point, but I would counter with the general caution that the deeper you have to delve to construct a player's hall of fame case, the greater the proof that is that he isn't really a hall of famer. I'm still undecided on him.

I think that's enough of that for now. In other news, the Astros would like Jeff Bagwell to retire, but he isn't interested just yet. When the Astros signed Preston Wilson the other week I suspected that the Astros weren't figuring Bagwell into their plans, and this would seem to confirm that. The whole thing seems a little odd, trying to force a player into retirement. That's something you do with the 74 year old insurance salesman who's starting to go senile. It will be interesting to see how this resolves. I would think that forcing an icon like Bags out of Houston would be an unpopular move.

Julian Tavarez is going to sign a 2 year, $6.7 mil deal with the Red Sox. Tavarez, sanity permitting, is a decent pitcher and is a nice pickup for the Sox. I was hoping the Mets would get him, but I guess I'll just have to be content with Ernst & Young superstar Steve Schmoll. It's worth noting that Scott Boras kind of struck out on this one. He originally was looking for a 4 year deal for Tavarez, I think in the range of $4 mil a year. This is considerably less and could actually be termed a reasonable contract.

Sammy Sosa is in negotiations over a one year deal with the Nationals. Evidently Washington was rebuffed by BJ Surhoff and Gerald Williams and is now moving on to Plan C.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is no one interested in Mike Piazza! I mean he is the starting catcher for the Italian national team

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Raines get extra Hall points for always sliding the more dangerous head first in order not to damage the drugs in his back pocket?

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please no more hall. i feel like i'm witnessing a childbirth. with the blood and gunk.

9:01 PM  

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