Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This Year's Hall of Fame Debate

There are a lot of things to say about this year's Hall of Fame ballot. Peter Abraham mentioned a lot of them today when, from vacation, he chimed in with his picks. But why not, I'll give it a stab.

I would vote in Burt Blyleven, Roberto Alomar, and John Olerud. I'd only vote in Olerud because I hope one, just one reporter feels the way I do - that he deserves one vote. Alomar was, for a long time, the best at his position. He was instrumental in the World Series Toronto teams as well as the last good Orioles team. He was dominant for about a decade, and was good for beyond that.

For a long time, I was anti-Blyleven, and this probably wasn't fair because I just remember him as an old guy who wasn't good anymore when I was a really, really little kid. But he's close to the untouchable 300-win total. He was under 3 in ERA in ten different seasons. But in the spirit of Felix Hernandez's Cy Young Award, the guy who out-Felixed Felix deserves his way in. Look at some of these records alongside ERAs and WHIPs.

16-15/2.81/1.17
17-17/2.73/1.10
20-17/2.52/1.11 (9 shutouts)
17-17/2.66/1.14
13-16/2.87/1.22
14-12/2.72/1.06

That's absolutely outrageous. Granted, it was the 70s and offense hadn't taken over much. But even those ERA+ numbers are in the 120s or higher for the most part. If, in these games, he had a .600 winning percentage (and this is still assuming piss-poor teams), he wins another 17 games, putting him at 304 wins.

Two more tidbits about this player: According to Abraham, he only played for three winning teams. Also, in 1973 (the third line listed above), Blyleven pitched three hundred twenty-five innings. Put the guy in. He's waited long enough.

Jeff Bagwell is on this ballot, and just imagine the very small possibility that he didn't take a robust cocktail of steroids. Without being proven, without being implicated, but just being a big guy with gawdy stats, this guy is probably not going to get nearly enough votes to get in. I'll be honest, I've convicted him, and so did Abraham. While Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro won't even be close to getting in because of their implications or ties to steroids, Bagwell's name has not been anywhere, and people still all think he did it. It's pretty crazy. Fair?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

GM,

You said this year's "All-Star" ballot instead of hall of fame I thinke. Goodness gracious, pull yourself together.

the gm at work said...

Yes, I obviously meant all-time all-stars. The only differences are exclusivity and the fact that Coco Crisp is not eligible for the Hall of Fame yet.

I regret the error and will correct it shortly.