Friday, January 06, 2006

Hall of Famers and a very much not hall of famer

I open with the above picture because it is part of today's public service advisory: Bullshit Press Conferecnce Alert. What you see is Ryan Franklin being introduced to the Philadelphia media the other day after the Phillies signed him to a one year deal. For those who don't remember seeing Franklin on the free agent list earlier this offseason, that's because he wasn't. He was non-tendered by the Mariners. Non-tendered by a team with 69 wins last year, 5.10 ERA, steroid suspension - and he's a big glory signing? Perhaps I was too kind when I said that the Phillies are major league enough not to consider Abraham Nunez a key addition for them. The only explanation I can think of is that Ryan Franklin is a descendant of Ben Franklin, for whom the Franklin Institute, the Ben Franklin Bridge, Franklin Square, and the University of Franklinvania have been named, and he therefore received a hero's welcome. Otherwise, Phillies, act like you're a legit contender to win the NL East in '06 and bring in a guy like this under the cover of darkness next time. And I swear, one day we'll go to Citizens Bank Park and be greeted by the Phranklin Phanatic. Man I hate Franklindelphia.

Continuing yesterday's discussion, I'd like to discuss a few more of the players on Neyer's hall of fame list. His full list of "locks" are Maddux, Johnson, Clemens, Bonds, Alomar, Pedro, Glavine, Biggio, Piazza, and Palmeiro. Most of this should garner 100% agreement from everybody - Maddux, Johnson, Clemens, Bonds, Pedro, and Piazza. I think Alomar is in as well. After a few years when the memory of his bad last few seasons isn't fresh, the greatness of his career should be crystal clear and he'll be in.

I think Biggio will be in, although I wouldn't necessarily say he's a lock if he retired today since he hasn't gotten 3,000 hits yet. I would still vote for him even today, but whereas I'd put $20,000 on Clemens' entry to the hall as of this minute, I wouldn't feel quite as comfortable with Biggio.

Neyer later changed his mind about Palmeiro as a lock, but only given the steroid issue. I agree with this. The numbers on the statline are clear hall numbers to me - you don't keep a guy out with 3,000 hits and nearly 600 homers. " Don't give me the compiler argument. Why don't you go play in the majors for twenty years, see how much you compile. You only "compile" those numbers if you're great. Or, in this case, on steroids. Hence the question with Palmeiro specifically.

I also don't agree that Glavine is in as of this minute. Do I think when all is said and done he will be in? Oh yeah, he's really close, damn near there already. But as of right now, his similarity scores are closest to Jack Morris and Dennis Martinez. Glavine has 275 wins, Blyleven has more and isn't in. Glavine played on winning teams and has 2 Cy Youngs, which might help him more than Blyleven. But couldn't that cut both ways? If Blyleven didn't win 300 and isn't given bonus credit for having pitched on bad teams, surely Glavine won't get credit when he pitched on good teams his whole career. I think as long as Glavine stays healthy in '06 and can pick up ten wins, he's a lock. Yes, I know, what's ten wins really, that doesn't do much for his greatness, either he's in now or he isn't if all you're waiting for is one more undistinguished season. I agree with that; I'm talking about what I think the voters might do when just looking at career numbers on a piece of paper.

I would tackle Neyer's other two categories now but I don't have time. We'll get to that tomorrow night, with a discussion of this year's candidates coming within the next couple of days.


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