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(ESPN)   MLB reduces Hall Of Fame ballot eligibility timeframe from 15 years to 10, to ensure it remains the Hall Of Fame and not the Hall Of Pretty Good And Was Nice To Sportswriters   (espn.go.com) divider line 66
    More: Interesting, Hall of Fames, Roger Clemens, Alan Trammell, Barry Bonds, Baseball Writers Association of America, Don Mattingly  
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631 clicks; posted to Sports » on 26 Jul 2014 at 4:30 PM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



66 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-07-26 03:44:29 PM  
Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?
 
2014-07-26 04:36:18 PM  
This is bad news for Craig Biggio.
 
2014-07-26 04:40:14 PM  
What the hell did the paragraph about Dan Lebatard have to do with anything.
 
2014-07-26 04:49:33 PM  
"..., to ensure it remains the Hall Of Fame and not the Hall Of Pretty Good And Was Nice To Sportswriters."

No, it's so they can cycle through the steroid-era players 5 years quicker.

16 years after A-rod retires, eligibility time frame will go back to 15
 
2014-07-26 04:58:15 PM  
The Hall of No-ne's-Ever-Gonna-Show-Up
 
2014-07-26 05:34:47 PM  
So they're going to induct Michael Jordan? Definitely famous, definitely not pretty good.
 
2014-07-26 05:45:38 PM  

mcmnky: "..., to ensure it remains the Hall Of Fame and not the Hall Of Pretty Good And Was Nice To Sportswriters."

No, it's so they can cycle through the steroid-era players 5 years quicker.

16 years after A-rod retires, eligibility time frame will go back to 15


Bingo.  It's to bury five years as fast as they can.
 
2014-07-26 05:57:14 PM  
I find it interesting because 35% of HOF voters have no problems with steroids.  I base this number on the votes that Clemons and Bonds have gotten.  Both certain steroid users and two of the best to ever play the game.  7% routinely turn in blank ballots for whatever reason.  So that means that about 58% of voters are against the steroid class.  Some, I expect, will eventually change their mind.  If Bonds or Clemens get in, that should signal the shift.  From there, I'll be interested to see who else from the steroid era gets in.  I'm also looking forward to the next few years where there's some superstars that don't have any steroid accusations against them (that I know of) - Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Jim Thome are the first names that come to mind.

Personally, I'm pro-steroid.  I want to use these million dollar athletes as lab rats to produce the most effective and safest possible performance enhancing drugs.  I think they should be allowed, no, required to use steroids and do so openly so we can learn as much as possible about them.
 
2014-07-26 06:17:17 PM  

kelphead: What the hell did the paragraph about Dan Lebatard have to do with anything.


Isn't "Le batard" French for "the bastard"?

Sounds like a good name for a sports reporter to me.
 
2014-07-26 06:35:48 PM  
Eh, it's pretty much to save the 5 years. Only 6 HoF'ers were ever elected in their 11th-15th years of eligibility.
 
2014-07-26 06:39:34 PM  

NewWorldDan: From there, I'll be interested to see who else from the steroid era gets in. I'm also looking forward to the next few years where there's some superstars that don't have any steroid accusations against them (that I know of) - Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Jim Thome are the first names that come to mind.


They are inducting Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine tomorrow. Never a hint of accusations against either of them.
 
2014-07-26 06:48:39 PM  
I call foul.  Jim Rice's career record really improved 13 years after he retired.
 
2014-07-26 06:49:05 PM  
They should also lower the waiting time to get on the ballot to something like 2 years. Very few players have comebacks after that amount of time.
 
2014-07-26 06:55:23 PM  
meh.  the hall voters are pompous farks no matter the rules...
 
2014-07-26 07:16:12 PM  

mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?


As someone who lives on Willie Stargell Ave, fark off.
 
2014-07-26 07:23:14 PM  

Prey4reign: I call foul.  Jim Rice's career record really improved 13 years after he retired.


He's the poster child for why this needs to happen
 
2014-07-26 07:24:05 PM  

The Banana Thug: mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?

As someone who lives on Willie Stargell Ave, fark off.


Yeah, I don't get the hate for a guy who not only was a prolific power hitter but pretty much willed the 70s era on the Pirates. Guess those types are a dime a dozen in his world.
 
2014-07-26 07:29:16 PM  

mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?


Meh.  Stargell's a borderline member, but for the worst inductees you have to go back to the old days, when induction was largely done by a small cadre of guys in a smoke-filled room.  There was a steady pipeline of "Who?" guys who were inducted because a teammate sat on the small Veterans' Committee.

Jim Bottomley, George Kelly, Ross Youngs, Jesse Haines, Chick Hafey, Dave Bancroft, Freddie Lindstrom, Rick Farrell, Lloyd Waner, Hugh Duffy, Earle Combs, etc.  Stargell was a much better player than any of those guys.

He's not even the worst recent induction-- Jim Rice and Bill Mazeroski take that cake.
 
2014-07-26 07:31:13 PM  

kelphead: What the hell did the paragraph about Dan Lebatard have to do with anything.


This new rule:

Under another change announced Saturday, eligible voters will be required to complete a registration form and sign a code of conduct, and their names will be made public, but not their individual votes.

could probably be called the "Le Batard Rule" because Le Batard let Deadspin readers determine his ballot last year, which the HOF apparently found tacky.
 
2014-07-26 07:41:05 PM  

chimp_ninja: mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?

Meh.  Stargell's a borderline member, but for the worst inductees you have to go back to the old days, when induction was largely done by a small cadre of guys in a smoke-filled room.  There was a steady pipeline of "Who?" guys who were inducted because a teammate sat on the small Veterans' Committee.

Jim Bottomley, George Kelly, Ross Youngs, Jesse Haines, Chick Hafey, Dave Bancroft, Freddie Lindstrom, Rick Farrell, Lloyd Waner, Hugh Duffy, Earle Combs, etc.  Stargell was a much better player than any of those guys.

He's not even the worst recent induction-- Jim Rice and Bill Mazeroski take that cake.


I feel like Mazeroski should be in the HOF in some capacity, just not as a player.  Maybe a "Great Moments in Playoff History" exhibit where he, Joe Carter, and Don Larsen can all hang out together.  As an individual performer, though, that's a pretty indefensible selection.
 
2014-07-26 07:44:46 PM  

chimp_ninja: mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?

Meh.  Stargell's a borderline member, but for the worst inductees you have to go back to the old days, when induction was largely done by a small cadre of guys in a smoke-filled room.  There was a steady pipeline of "Who?" guys who were inducted because a teammate sat on the small Veterans' Committee.

Jim Bottomley, George Kelly, Ross Youngs, Jesse Haines, Chick Hafey, Dave Bancroft, Freddie Lindstrom, Rick Farrell, Lloyd Waner, Hugh Duffy, Earle Combs, etc.  Stargell was a much better player than any of those guys.

He's not even the worst recent induction-- Jim Rice and Bill Mazeroski take that cake.


Willie Stargell is one of those 'eh, if he's in, no biggie' kind of guys.

He's in the top 50 all-time for OPS+. In general, most of those guys are in. If not, they are Joe Jackson, guys with PED stink on them, not eligible yet, or Albert Belle types with too short of a career to get in.

WAR doesn't love him, but that's mostly because he played the two weakest positions on the defensive spectrum.

tl;dr.. there are way worse guys in the HoF than Stargell.
 
2014-07-26 07:57:53 PM  

ladodger34: He's in the top 50 all-time for OPS+. In general, most of those guys are in. If not, they are Joe Jackson, guys with PED stink on them, not eligible yet, or Albert Belle types with too short of a career to get in.

WAR doesn't love him, but that's mostly because he played the two weakest positions on the defensive spectrum.


Yup.  He would have hit 500 home runs in a lot of other eras, and he had a perfectly respectable AVG and OBP.

He was otherwise a big slug who couldn't play defense or run, but there's a long history of those guys getting in:
Willie Stargell: .282/.360/.529, OPS+ 147, 2360 games played.
Harmon Killebrew: .256/.376/.509, OPS+ 143, 2435 games played.
Willie McCovey: .270/.374/.515, OPS+ 147, 2588 games played.

Basically the same guy.
 
2014-07-26 08:09:25 PM  

ladodger34: chimp_ninja: mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?

Meh.  Stargell's a borderline member, but for the worst inductees you have to go back to the old days, when induction was largely done by a small cadre of guys in a smoke-filled room.  There was a steady pipeline of "Who?" guys who were inducted because a teammate sat on the small Veterans' Committee.

Jim Bottomley, George Kelly, Ross Youngs, Jesse Haines, Chick Hafey, Dave Bancroft, Freddie Lindstrom, Rick Farrell, Lloyd Waner, Hugh Duffy, Earle Combs, etc.  Stargell was a much better player than any of those guys.

He's not even the worst recent induction-- Jim Rice and Bill Mazeroski take that cake.

Willie Stargell is one of those 'eh, if he's in, no biggie' kind of guys.

He's in the top 50 all-time for OPS+. In general, most of those guys are in. If not, they are Joe Jackson, guys with PED stink on them, not eligible yet, or Albert Belle types with too short of a career to get in.

WAR doesn't love him, but that's mostly because he played the two weakest positions on the defensive spectrum.

tl;dr.. there are way worse guys in the HoF than Stargell.


Yeah, even if you look at WAR, the only left fielders who were unquestionably better than him were Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, and Tim Raines, who all should be in the HOF themselves.  I don't see why anybody would complain that he's in.
 
2014-07-26 08:11:54 PM  

rugman11: I feel like Mazeroski should be in the HOF in some capacity, just not as a player.  Maybe a "Great Moments in Playoff History" exhibit where he, Joe Carter, and Don Larsen can all hang out together.  As an individual performer, though, that's a pretty indefensible selection.


Mazeroski's in for his glove.  Second base is one of those positions (the others being shortstop, catcher, and--to a limited degree--third base) where defense plays an larger role than offense in evaluating a player's worth.  If a player's an excellent glove man over a long period of time, HOF voters are more likely to overlook his unspectacular offensive stats.  Of course, as the case of shortstop Mark Belanger proves, an especially low career batting average will keep a player out of the HOF no matter how superior his defensive work was.
 
2014-07-26 08:14:43 PM  

rugman11: Tim Raines


Under this new rule, he's running out of time, fast.
 
2014-07-26 08:17:29 PM  

mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?


1.bp.blogspot.com

And replace him with gambler Pete Rose or juice boy Barry Bonds I suppose?
 
2014-07-26 08:32:32 PM  

FriarReb98: The Banana Thug: mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?

As someone who lives on Willie Stargell Ave, fark off.

Yeah, I don't get the hate for a guy who not only was a prolific power hitter but pretty much willed the 70s era on the Pirates. Guess those types are a dime a dozen in his world.


So, a guy who hit a ton of home runs, but was below average defensively, had a terrible wins above replacement, and who had 1 MVP season (which he shared with Keith Hernandez) is a Hall of fame caliber player? Put Fred McGriff in while you're at it
 
2014-07-26 08:35:24 PM  

NDP2: rugman11: I feel like Mazeroski should be in the HOF in some capacity, just not as a player.  Maybe a "Great Moments in Playoff History" exhibit where he, Joe Carter, and Don Larsen can all hang out together.  As an individual performer, though, that's a pretty indefensible selection.

Mazeroski's in for his glove.  Second base is one of those positions (the others being shortstop, catcher, and--to a limited degree--third base) where defense plays an larger role than offense in evaluating a player's worth.  If a player's an excellent glove man over a long period of time, HOF voters are more likely to overlook his unspectacular offensive stats.  Of course, as the case of shortstop Mark Belanger proves, an especially low career batting average will keep a player out of the HOF no matter how superior his defensive work was.


But Mazeroski wasn't Ozzie Smith.  His glove more or less brought him up to being an average player.  It didn't really elevate him.  I mean, he's 50th on the all-time WAR list for second basemen behind guys like Dustin Pedroia, Ben Zobrist, and Chuck Knoblauch.
 
2014-07-26 08:46:05 PM  

mikemoto: FriarReb98: The Banana Thug: mikemoto: Then how about retroactively kicking out those who don't belong like Willie Stargell?

As someone who lives on Willie Stargell Ave, fark off.

Yeah, I don't get the hate for a guy who not only was a prolific power hitter but pretty much willed the 70s era on the Pirates. Guess those types are a dime a dozen in his world.

So, a guy who hit a ton of home runs, but was below average defensively, had a terrible wins above replacement, and who had 1 MVP season (which he shared with Keith Hernandez) is a Hall of fame caliber player? Put Fred McGriff in while you're at it


There are worse players than McGriff in the HoF. Guys in the 50+ WAR range can kind of go either way. Poor Fred suffers from playing in an overly insane offensive era while Pops gets credit for playing in a mildly depressed offensive era.
 
2014-07-26 08:46:36 PM  

chimp_ninja: ladodger34: He's in the top 50 all-time for OPS+. In general, most of those guys are in. If not, they are Joe Jackson, guys with PED stink on them, not eligible yet, or Albert Belle types with too short of a career to get in.

WAR doesn't love him, but that's mostly because he played the two weakest positions on the defensive spectrum.

Yup.  He would have hit 500 home runs in a lot of other eras, and he had a perfectly respectable AVG and OBP.

He was otherwise a big slug who couldn't play defense or run, but there's a long history of those guys getting in:
Willie Stargell: .282/.360/.529, OPS+ 147, 2360 games played.
Harmon Killebrew: .256/.376/.509, OPS+ 143, 2435 games played.
Willie McCovey: .270/.374/.515, OPS+ 147, 2588 games played.

Basically the same guy.


KIllerbrew hit 573 homeruns, more than either Stargell or McCovey but given all three men have over 470 home runs each with no roids needed the all belong in the hall of fame.
 
2014-07-26 08:57:36 PM  

chimp_ninja: Hugh Duffy


I looked up a couple of these names. Hugh Duffy hit .440 with a .502 OBP, 18 HR, 16 triples, 51 doubles, and stole 48 bases in 1894. Sure it was a different game back then, but those are some sweet numbers.

//Only player to ever reach base three times in ONE inning.
//Not arguing he should be in the HOF.
 
2014-07-26 09:09:46 PM  

grimlock1972: chimp_ninja: ladodger34: He's in the top 50 all-time for OPS+. In general, most of those guys are in. If not, they are Joe Jackson, guys with PED stink on them, not eligible yet, or Albert Belle types with too short of a career to get in.

WAR doesn't love him, but that's mostly because he played the two weakest positions on the defensive spectrum.

Yup.  He would have hit 500 home runs in a lot of other eras, and he had a perfectly respectable AVG and OBP.

He was otherwise a big slug who couldn't play defense or run, but there's a long history of those guys getting in:
Willie Stargell: .282/.360/.529, OPS+ 147, 2360 games played.
Harmon Killebrew: .256/.376/.509, OPS+ 143, 2435 games played.
Willie McCovey: .270/.374/.515, OPS+ 147, 2588 games played.

Basically the same guy.

KIllerbrew hit 573 homeruns, more than either Stargell or McCovey but given all three men have over 470 home runs each with no roids needed the all belong in the hall of fame.


What makes you think they were clean? Roids have been used since the 60s in baseball and if not roids, they likely used greenies
 
2014-07-26 09:10:10 PM  

NewWorldDan: I find it interesting because 35% of HOF voters have no problems with steroids.  I base this number on the votes that Clemons and Bonds have gotten.  Both certain steroid users and two of the best to ever play the game.  7% routinely turn in blank ballots for whatever reason.  So that means that about 58% of voters are against the steroid class.  Some, I expect, will eventually change their mind.  If Bonds or Clemens get in, that should signal the shift.  From there, I'll be interested to see who else from the steroid era gets in.  I'm also looking forward to the next few years where there's some superstars that don't have any steroid accusations against them (that I know of) - Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Jim Thome are the first names that come to mind.

Personally, I'm pro-steroid.  I want to use these million dollar athletes as lab rats to produce the most effective and safest possible performance enhancing drugs.  I think they should be allowed, no, required to use steroids and do so openly so we can learn as much as possible about them.


The writers vote, but I don't think they necessarily control the rules.
 
2014-07-26 09:16:22 PM  
Dale Murphy

/drops mic
 
2014-07-26 09:35:41 PM  
Dick Allen, you dumb voter jerks
 
2014-07-26 09:49:57 PM  

ElwoodCuse: Dick Allen, you dumb voter jerks


But.. but.. but.. he was mean to sportswriters!
 
2014-07-26 10:03:52 PM  

machoprogrammer: grimlock1972: chimp_ninja: ladodger34: He's in the top 50 all-time for OPS+. In general, most of those guys are in. If not, they are Joe Jackson, guys with PED stink on them, not eligible yet, or Albert Belle types with too short of a career to get in.

WAR doesn't love him, but that's mostly because he played the two weakest positions on the defensive spectrum.

Yup.  He would have hit 500 home runs in a lot of other eras, and he had a perfectly respectable AVG and OBP.

He was otherwise a big slug who couldn't play defense or run, but there's a long history of those guys getting in:
Willie Stargell: .282/.360/.529, OPS+ 147, 2360 games played.
Harmon Killebrew: .256/.376/.509, OPS+ 143, 2435 games played.
Willie McCovey: .270/.374/.515, OPS+ 147, 2588 games played.

Basically the same guy.

KIllerbrew hit 573 homeruns, more than either Stargell or McCovey but given all three men have over 470 home runs each with no roids needed the all belong in the hall of fame.

What makes you think they were clean? Roids have been used since the 60s in baseball and if not roids, they likely used greenies


Never seen anything to suggest Roids were used in MLB as early the 1960s but i will give you greenies.

/not saying Roids weren't used then just i have not seen anything to suggest it.
 
2014-07-26 10:59:30 PM  
I like it.  It means Bonds, A. Rodriguez, Palmiero and McGwire will spend less time in vain hope.
 
2014-07-26 11:18:46 PM  
Unfortunately, I think the reaction from the writers is going to be OH NO NOW WE HAVE TO ELECT ALL THE PLAYERS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THE VETERANS COMMITTEE IS JUST A BIG MYTH AND THEY'LL NEVER GET IN EVER EVER IF WE DON'T DO IT OURSELVES! They're just going to put pressure on each other to put people in faster.

If we're going to kick people out of the Hall based on not being good enough, by the way, you can start with the Frankie Frisch players. Chick Hafey, for instance. WTF. He got in based on being halfway decent- not Hall quality, just halfway decent combined with what WOULD have happened had he not gotten conked in the head a bunch in the early years of his career and his vision and sinuses shot to hell, forcing him to retire at age 32. Think around Dante Bichette, Keith Hernandez territory. Maybe had he stayed healthy he gets a plaque on merit, but as it stands he's only in via Frisch.

Or Jesse Haines. What in the high holy fark is he doing with a plaque. 210 wins (against 158 losses) and only really got them because he was a Gashouse Gang Cardinal. 11 seasons where he started 20 games and only came in with an ERA under 3.00 twice. Only even picked up an MVP vote once, was only top 10 in pitching WAR three times and fielding-independent pitching once (when he was 10th). Most similar pitchers on Baseball Reference: Freddie Fitzsimmons, Charlie Root, George Uhle, Milt Pappas, Lew Burdette.
 
2014-07-26 11:23:46 PM  

grimlock1972: Never seen anything to suggest Roids were used in MLB as early the 1960s but i will give you greenies.

/not saying Roids weren't used then just i have not seen anything to suggest it.


Hall of Fame pitcher Pud Galvin was injecting himself with monkey testosterone in 1887
 
2014-07-26 11:45:56 PM  
Until the Hall puts Rose, Clemens, McGwire, and Bonds in, then it is pretty much just a joke.
 
2014-07-26 11:47:31 PM  

grimlock1972: Never seen anything to suggest Roids were used in MLB as early the 1960s but i will give you greenies.

/not saying Roids weren't used then just i have not seen anything to suggest it.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/opinion/20chafets.html?_r=0

In 1961, during his home run race with Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle developed a sudden abscess that kept him on the bench. It came from an infected needle used by Max Jacobson, a quack who injected Mantle with a home-brew containing steroids and speed.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2005-05-03-steroids-h ou se_x.htm
Former major league pitcher Tom House used steroids during his career and said performance-enhancing drugs were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

[...]
"I pretty much popped everything cold turkey," House said. "We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses. That was the '60s, when nobody knew. The good thing is, we know now. There's a lot more research and understanding."
 
2014-07-26 11:53:41 PM  

Gosling: Unfortunately, I think the reaction from the writers is going to be OH NO NOW WE HAVE TO ELECT ALL THE PLAYERS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THE VETERANS COMMITTEE IS JUST A BIG MYTH AND THEY'LL NEVER GET IN EVER EVER IF WE DON'T DO IT OURSELVES! They're just going to put pressure on each other to put people in faster.

If we're going to kick people out of the Hall based on not being good enough, by the way, you can start with the Frankie Frisch players. Chick Hafey, for instance. WTF. He got in based on being halfway decent- not Hall quality, just halfway decent combined with what WOULD have happened had he not gotten conked in the head a bunch in the early years of his career and his vision and sinuses shot to hell, forcing him to retire at age 32. Think around Dante Bichette, Keith Hernandez territory. Maybe had he stayed healthy he gets a plaque on merit, but as it stands he's only in via Frisch.

Or Jesse Haines. What in the high holy fark is he doing with a plaque. 210 wins (against 158 losses) and only really got them because he was a Gashouse Gang Cardinal. 11 seasons where he started 20 games and only came in with an ERA under 3.00 twice. Only even picked up an MVP vote once, was only top 10 in pitching WAR three times and fielding-independent pitching once (when he was 10th). Most similar pitchers on Baseball Reference: Freddie Fitzsimmons, Charlie Root, George Uhle, Milt Pappas, Lew Burdette.


Good. There are a bunch of guys who should be in but are still hanging on the ballot. Biggio, Piazza, Raines, Bagwell, Bonds, and Clemens should all be there. Next year you add no-doubters Randy Johnson, Pedro, and Smoltz along with some borderline guys. There are a lot of big names coming and a backup on the ballot caused by all these players not getting voted in.

The better move would probably be to raise the number of players you can vote for.
 
2014-07-26 11:53:43 PM  
Ozzie Smith got in. Therefore, they should just let everyone in.
 
2014-07-26 11:54:31 PM  
Seems as though the greatest DH in history won't be inducted.  Such a shame for Edgar to not be elected into the Hall with his team mates
 
2014-07-27 12:00:17 AM  
pete rose belongs!
 
2014-07-27 12:09:16 AM  

rugman11: The better move would probably be to raise the number of players you can vote for.


I would prefer to limit the idiocy these guys can inflict on their ballots. You've seen what they do with 10 players. I'd prefer not to find out if there's a guy out there who thinks everyone deserves a vote but just hasn't had a chance to give everyone a vote yet.

Besides, there is the Veterans Committee. Not getting in via the writers doesn't mean you'll never get in. Unless you get actually banned, you're never told outright 'you're never getting in'. Only 'you're not in YET'. It may take over a century to put you in, you may be long dead by the time they get around to calling your name, but you're never permanently out. If Edgar Martinez slips off, that doesn't mean he's out forever. Hell, there might still be a 19th-century player waiting in the wings yet (not that there's that much left to do in that era).
 
2014-07-27 12:36:04 AM  

bonersonparade: Seems as though the greatest DH in history won't be inducted.


Frank Thomas is going in tomorrow, so I don't see any problem here.
 
2014-07-27 12:38:54 AM  
Hall of Fame or Hall of Stats?
 
2014-07-27 12:44:23 AM  

rugman11: NDP2: rugman11: I feel like Mazeroski should be in the HOF in some capacity, just not as a player.  Maybe a "Great Moments in Playoff History" exhibit where he, Joe Carter, and Don Larsen can all hang out together.  As an individual performer, though, that's a pretty indefensible selection.

Mazeroski's in for his glove.  Second base is one of those positions (the others being shortstop, catcher, and--to a limited degree--third base) where defense plays an larger role than offense in evaluating a player's worth.  If a player's an excellent glove man over a long period of time, HOF voters are more likely to overlook his unspectacular offensive stats.  Of course, as the case of shortstop Mark Belanger proves, an especially low career batting average will keep a player out of the HOF no matter how superior his defensive work was.

But Mazeroski wasn't Ozzie Smith.  His glove more or less brought him up to being an average player.  It didn't really elevate him.  I mean, he's 50th on the all-time WAR list for second basemen behind guys like Dustin Pedroia, Ben Zobrist, and Chuck Knoblauch.


I wasn't necessarily supporting Mazeroski's inclusion in the HOF as explaining it.  Around the time he was selected, there had been criticism that the HOF focused too much attention on offensive stats when electing players.  Thus, Mazeroski was put in to deflect some of the criticism.  Of course, one could then argue that Mazeroski's election was overcompensation given his merely adequate offensive stats.
 
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