Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Last Hall post, I swear

So Bruce Sutter was elected to the hall of fame today. If you recall, I predicted that Sutter, AND ONLY SUTTER, would get in this year. I think I figured out why he got in. Remember, it's the BBWAA that votes for this, and it's in their collective interest to elect players who make their jobs easier. "Hey, if I vote for Sutter, then I can title my article, 'Suttable for Cooperstown.' Or I can go with, 'Sutting up for the Hall.' Oooh, how about, 'Bruce Has Many Suttors.' What the hell am I going to do with Gossage? Can't make a crappy pun out of that; Sutter it is!"

Anyway, I held yesterday that Gossage, not Sutter, belongs in the hall, and I'm sticking with that. Rob Neyer, whom I generally like despite my recent critique, wrote a very good article today along these lines. Neyer got into the numbers a little more extensively than I did (shocker), making the strong point that you can subtract Sutter's entire career out of Gossage's and you'd still leave Gossage with a decent (though non-HOF) resume. Translation: Gossage did everythng Sutter did plus more. By contrast, Mike Bauman at mlb.com wrote a totally unpersuasive article in support of Sutter's election, the lynchpin of which can be summed up with, "I saw Sutter in a game once and he did well that day." We've also been treated to more of this stuff about Sutter changing the game, although today's word has been "pioneer" instead of "revolutionized." So now Sutter is Daniel Boone instead of George Washington. Either way, that's not what the hall of fame is meant to honor, and if it were, shouldn't Sutter's managers, not Sutter himself, get the credit for being the pioneer? (Neyer's argument) Not worth losing sleep over, as there are certainly less deserving players in the hall of fame, and I don't think Sutter's election will open the floodgates to a whole pool of non-Hall of Famers. But these are my thoughts.

Some thoughts on the rest of the voting. Rice, Gossage, and Dawson all cracked 60%, which bodes well for their chances in future lean years, although Rice only has 3 more years of eligibility. I still think Dawson will get in eventually, and I think at some point most writers will figure that there is no reason to have Sutter in but keep Gossage out. Unlike Rice, they've both got enough years of eligibility left to gradually gain enough votes to hit the magic 75%. Blyleven got 53%, which I think is on the higher end of his vote percentages over the years. I wonder if maybe as more pitchers are let in who didn't reach 300 wins (i.e. Glavine?) the voters will look more favorably upon him. We may never know though, because by the time those guys get in Blyleven will be off the ballot. Lee Smith got 234 votes for 45%, which means 234 writers are crazy, but fortunately not enough to risk Smith's enshrinement any time soon. Dale Murphy only got 10%, so the Dale Murphy insurgency seems to be weakening, or at least so says Donald Rumsfeld. Forty writers would have pucketted Albert Belle, which means he got just enough to stay on for one more year.

I see that only Gary DiSarcina and Alex Fernandez got no votes at all. Hal Morris got 5. Gregg Jeffries got 2. Walt Weiss got 1. Without taking too seriously the voting process of a sports hall of fame, this troubles me. Either there are voters who are completely unqualified to judge what is and is not excellence, or there are voters who have such little respect for their responsibility and for their voting power that they feel justified in wasting it on players they know don't belong in Cooperstown. Either way, this is unacceptable, and these writers should be deprived of their right to vote. Reasonable people may disagree on Jim Kaat; nobody can argue with a straight face that Walt Weiss was a hall of famer or even a very good player. I know that the voters may list up to ten names, but this doesn't mean they should list all ten just for the sake of it. Most of us would love the chance to vote for baseball's highest recognition of accomplishment; take it seriously writers, out of respect to yourselves, the fans, the players, and the game.

Boy, the view from this high horse is great. Ok, I'll come down, hang on...

8 Comments:

Blogger Adam said...

I see we were thinking along the same lines re: Glavine. I hope we do not hold pitchers of past generations to the standards of today's pitchers, just as I hope we don't compare hitting statistics from those two very different eras.

BTW, take a look at Albert Belle's stats. You can make the argument that he was the most dominant player for a decade straight, or, at least, that he had ten great seasons and should be considered for the Hall.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Ian said...

Greg Jeffries Tops Rookie card is worth a lot. He was supposed to be a superstar but ended up just being another young Met that ended up blowing

10:26 AM  
Blogger Avo said...

I agree that wasting a hall of fame vote on someone as unworth as Walt Weiss is idiotic and irresponsible, but you know what is even more idiotic and more irresponsible? Diving out of a car moving at 30 MPH for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Day 3 and still funny!!

11:03 AM  
Anonymous ASA said...

i have an idea.To make hall of fame voting more honest, if you vote for one of the people who didnt get a certain percentage of votes, you lose your right to vote. Example - you voted for Jeffries, you lose your right to vote for the next 5 years. Or even better your vote this year gets counted as a 0 so your vote for Sutter gets lost also

11:43 AM  
Blogger If I Ran The World said...

That happens to be a genius idea.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Ander said...

Come on, I love the votes for guys like Jeffries! Separates him from the DiSarcinia's and Alex Frenandez' of the world.

Anyway, Jeffries will always have a place in the overhyped Mets prospect HOF.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nearly everyone keeps forgetting Jack Morris he belongs in the Hall

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

greg jeffries?! every mets fan alive knows that george theodore is the man!

9:17 AM  

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