Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Hall is Closed This Year

No one outside of really old dead guys gets in the HOF this year:

On Wednesday, the BBWAA announced its 2013 results live on MLB Network, and not one of the 37 candidates eligible for election was named to the necessary 75% of ballots. First-time candidate Craig Biggio came closest, as he was named on 68.2% of ballots (39 votes short of election). In his 14th and penultimate year on the ballot, Jack Morris checked in at 67.7% (up just 1.0% from last year).

As for the elephants in the room, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, in their first appearances on the BBWAA ballot, notched, respectively, 37.6% and 36.2%.

As a consequence, no living inductee will be present at the ceremonies in Cooperstown for the first time since 1960. The Veterans' Committee previously voted in 19th-century star Deacon White, former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and umpire Hank O'Day, all deceased.
Hey, don't knock that Jacob Ruppert. He was a beermakin' son of a gun.

I'm torn about this result. If I'd had a ballot, I'd have voted for Biggio, Morris, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell and Dale Murphy. I think the two players most wronged by this result are Morris and Murphy, who are coming to the end of their eligibility period. Morris remains a controversial pick, because the stat heads have largely deemed him unworthy because of his somewhat unsightly 3.90 career ERA. My view has always been that you have to look at more than the stats and what I remember about Morris is that he was probably the best starting pitcher in the American League for most of the 1980s. He won a lot of games for the Detroit Tigers in that era. The stat heads argue that guys like Dave Stieb were better, but I don't think so.

Maybe next year, dude
As for Biggio, he's almost a certain Hall of Famer eventually. It would have been nice to have him make it on the first ballot, but since contemporaries Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin both had to wait a while, I don't feel horrible for Biggio. I think Biggio, Alomar and Larkin were comparable players.

Raines and Trammell both deserve to be in the Hall. I think Raines will make it, since he got 52% of the vote this time and his percentage has been climbing every year. Trammell's candidacy is in trouble, because he's sitting at 36% and he only has 3 years of eligibility left. I suspect the Veteran's Committee will rectify the error, but their ministrations didn't do much for Ron Santo. If you were watching baseball in the 1980s, you know that Trammell was a tremendous player -- smart, excellent fielder and a very, very good hitter. His problem is that he was a contemporary of Robin Yount and Cal Ripken, who were better. But that doesn't mean Trammell isn't HOF worthy, in my view.

We'll get back to this topic again in the coming days, I think, since there are a lot of other stories involved in today's vote.

8 comments:

R.A. Crankbait said...

I wonder what Morris's career ERA might have been if he wasn't pitching against juiced up monsters.

R.A. Crankbait said...

I wonder what Morris's career ERA might have been if he wasn't pitching against juiced up monsters.

Mr. D said...

Fair question, Crankbait, but I think the larger issue is that Morris was really the last of the old-time workhorse-style aces. He had a lot more complete games in his career than many of his contemporaries did. He had 175 of them in an 18-year career; by contrast, Dennis Martinez had 122, Roger Clemens had 118 and Greg Maddux had 109; all three of those guys pitched over 20 years in the majors. I suspect that makes a difference, too.

First Ringer said...

The argument, in my mind, for Black Jack is fairly simple:

Imagine a pitcher who won 3 World Series with the Red Sox, Yanks & Mets, including a scoreless, extra-innings Game 7. Would there even be a discussion or would the eastern seaboard sports media establishment be toasting his name with wine, women, and song?

A current example (albeit with a different sport) might be the NY Giant's Eli Manning. We're told that Manning is a Top 5 QB and a potential future Hall of Fame inductee. Why? His numbers are good but nowhere near great or historic. It's because he plays in NY and won 2 Super Bowls.

Gerry said...

Not sure Biggio is a good HOF candidate. Biggio is unique in playing three different positions well, but he was never considered the best player at that position.

If you compare him to Robin Yount, who played two positions well. Yount's and Biggio's career stats are eerily similar (check them out on mlb.com). The difference between them I see is Yount was clearly one of the marquee MLB players from 1980 - 1984, and led MLB in hits, doubles, slugging percentage, etc several times during those years.

Gerry said...

Not sure Biggio is a good HOF candidate. Biggio is unique in playing three different positions well, but he was never considered the best player at that position.

If you compare him to Robin Yount, who played two positions well. Yount's and Biggio's career stats are eerily similar (check them out on mlb.com). The difference between them I see is Yount was clearly one of the marquee MLB players from 1980 - 1984, and led MLB in hits, doubles, slugging percentage, etc several times during those years.

Mr. D said...

FR, that's a good comparison.

Gerry, I think you are underrating Biggio. He's done some things that pretty special. I am becoming concerned that he and Bagwell might become the Trammell and Whitaker of their generation, which would be a shame.

Brian said...

I certainly agree that Murph was robbed, but I grew up in Atlanta in the 80's so of course I would think that.