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Leggo My Gossage!óBaseball Toaster Hall of Fame Roundtable, Part IV
2006-01-05 21:14
by Mike Carminati

Parts
I, II, & II

To wrap this up, I had the group respond to a few questions. And away we go….

Mike:

Could everyone who wants to contribute speculate on three things:

1) Who will be elected to the Hall this year? (BBWAA and special committee if you want)

2) Of the remaining players on the ballot, who will someday be inducted into the Hall?

3) Who would you put in the Hall who is not already in? (The difference being that 1 & 2 are based on what you think the voters will do whereas 3 is based entirely on your own opinions. Feel free to mention any player who is eligible but not yet in the Hall. This includes anyone on the Vet Committee ballot.)

Heck, let's throw in a #4:

4) Which current (or at least not yet eligible) players will someday be enshrined in Cooperstown?

Did I miss anything?

Bob:

1) The BBWAA will induct no one. I don't know enough about the special
committee on the Negro Leagues, but there should be several.

2) Bruce Sutter and Rich Gossage will eventually make it.

3) This would be a long list: Bert Blyleven, Bruce Sutter, Rich Gossage, Bobby Grich, Alan Trammell, Darrell Evans.

OK, so that's six people. But those six names came to me immediately.

4) The only question with Cal Ripken is whether or not he will get 100%. He likely won't as one or two voters will feel they have to be William Plumer.

The other guys who can book weekends in upstate New York in their future will be: Roger Clemens, Barry Larkin, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Greg Maddux, Roberto Alomar, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Jeff Kent, and Pedro Martinez.

Alex B.:

1) Jim Rice or nobody at all.

2) Goose Gossage, Jim Rice, and Bruce Sutter

3) Minnie Minoso, because he was a pioneer, as the first black latin ballplayer, and the first black player, period, to play in Chicago. There is a dispute as to his age, but I think conservatively, he lost 2 maybe 3 decent professional years due to racism. His numbers throughout the fifties are more than respectable. They might not be great, but they are comperable to Doby's, and my feeling is that Minoso deserves to be in the Hall as much for his socio-political importance than his raw stats.

Goose Goassage, Ron Santo, Bert Blyeleven, Alan Trammell, and although I'm on the fence about this one, I'll say Andre Dawson too.

4) Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken, Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, Tony Gwynn, Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey, Jr, Alex Rodriguez, Jeff Kent, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Mike Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio, Gary Sheffield...

On the bubble right now: Curt Schilling, Bernie Williams, John Smoltz, Jim Edmunds, Mike Mussina, John Olerud...

Derek:

1) If anyone gets in from the BBWAA ballot, I think it will be Sutter, but my gut tells me that the only inductees this year will be from the special committee.

2) Sutter, Gossage, Dawson

3) As a Cub fan, I have to give the obligatory mention of Ron Santo. I also think Blyleven and Trammell deserve to get the nod, although they won't, and Sutter and Gossage will deserve their eventual plaques.

4) Like what Alex said, only whittled down just a bit: Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken, Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, Tony Gwynn, Mariano Rivera, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey, Jr, Alex Rodriguez, Jeff Kent, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Mike Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, Gary Sheffield.

I also think, despite his having completely fallen off the table of late, that Sammy Sosa will get in based almost entirely on his eventually breaking through the '600' mark in career home runs (assuming, of course, that he finds an MLB team for this season) and misty-eyed memories of 1998. I'd personally be more likely to make him this generation's Jim Rice, but I think he'll make it anyway.

I don't think Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Bagwell, or Roberto Alomar make it. Hoffman because I don't think he'll get the credit he deserves due to his "position" and proximity to Rivera, Bagwell because the accomplishments of his early career will be overshadowed by his injury-riddled decline and the greater or soon to be greater accomplishments of some of his first base contemporaries (see McGuire, Thomas, and Pujols), and Alomar because people, particularly BBWAA members, like to hold grudges.

Oh, and as a final lock for inclusion, let's not forget the pound-for-pound greatest shortstop in the game, perhaps the greatest player of our, or any, generation: Neifi "Neifi!" Perez.

Mike:

1) Sutter and Rice. NLers: Buck O'Neil is a lock. "Kick Mule" Suttles is a good bet. I could pick another ten off the list that I would give a plaque. However, I have no idea who will appeal to the committee.

2) You might find it shocking, but I believe that as many as 16 will someday get in. They are Bruce Sutter, Jim Rice, Rich Gossage, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dave Parker, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Dale Murphy, Will Clark, and Orel Hershiser. I think that the first five will be elected by the writes and the rest will be picked by whatever replaces the current Veterans Committee. I think the vast majority of these players are borderline picks but they fit the standard that the Vets have selected in the past. I don't know if it'll take a hundred years when George Herbert Walker Cheney Seacrest Hilton Shatner Hurley-Eko Mellencamp Selig Bush is president, but I would bet it'll happen.

3) From the writers' ballot: Blyeleven, Sutter, Dawson, Trammell, and Gossage. I guess in that order. As far as Vets Committe guys: Darrell Evans, Sweet Lou Whitaker, Dwight Evans, Bill Dahlen, Sherry Magee, Tony Mullane, Richie Allen (though not Dick Allen), Ron Santo, Bobby Grich, Joe Torre, Ted Simmons, and Rusty Staub. From the NL ballot: Sol White, Pete Hill, Cristobal Torriente, Homer Run Brown, Ray Brown, John Donaldson, Dick Lundy, Biz Mackey, Fats Jenkins, Effa Manley, Oliver Marcell, Minnie Minoso, Buck O'Neil, Cumberland Posey, Mule Suttles, Candy Jim Taylor, C.I. Taylor, J. L. Wilkinson, Boojum Wilson, Frank Grant, Spotswood Poles, Louis Santop, and Cannonball Dick Redding.

4) Bonds, Henderson, Ripken, Clemens, Biggio, Sheffield, Gwynn, Raines, Bagwell, Roberto Alomar, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Junior Griffey, Larkin, McGwire, McGriff, A-Rod, Piazza, Manny Ramirez, Randy Johnson, Jeff Kent, Glavine, Jeter, Pedro Martinez, Pudge Rodriguez, Vlad Guerrero, Rivera, and Pujols.

Also, I predict that sometime in the middle of the 21st century after he has shuffled off this mortal coil and, thereby, quit gambling for good, Pete Rose will somehow gain admission via relativistic, revisionist history. Same goes for Palmeiro and Sosa. We as a society turned Joe Jackson into a folk hero. These guys were better players for longer periods. Their profiles will improve with time.

Cliff:

Using everyone else's lists as a handy starting point . . .

1) Goose Gossage and Jim Rice plus Buck ONeil via the Negro League committee.

2) Via BBWAA vote: Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith. Via Vet Committee: Steve Garvey, Alan Trammell, Dale Murphy, Tommy John.

3) Ron Santo, Stan Hack, Alan Trammell, Goose Gossage, Bert Blyleven, Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker, Dick Allen, Minnie Minoso, Curt Flood, Whitey Herzog (mgr), Billy Martin (mgr), Buck ONeil (Negro Leagues, deferring to Mike on the remainder of the Negro League ballot)

4) Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire, Albert Pujols, Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio, Jeff Kent, Cal Ripken, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Barry Larkin, Chipper Jones, Tony Gwynn, Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker, Ken Griffey Jr., Tim Raines, Jim Edmunds, Andruw Jones, Rickey Henderson, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman.
TBD: Todd Helton, Jim Thome, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Scott Rolen, Eric Chavez, Bernie Williams, Bobby Abreu, Lance Berkman, Brian Giles, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, Johan Santana, Billy Wagner.

Also, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox as managers, Joe Torre and Lou Piniella as managers for combined accomplishments as players/managers, John Schuerholz as GM, George Steinbrenner as owner.

Alex B.:

Hey,
I like how Cliff included managers and think Billy the Kid and the White Rat are excellent choices for the Hall. Does anyone think that Dick Williams belongs in the Hall? Also, as far as non-players go, if I had to vote anyone into Cooperstown it would be Marvin Miller, no doubt about it.

Cliff:

I had Williams, but then cut him last second because Martin and Herzog are more clearcut choices.

Derek:

No question Marvin Miller deserves a spot. I don't think any one person since the integration of the sport has had such a massive impact on the game.

Mike:

OK, so we had to go and do it. We had to open the Pandora's box that is non-player Hall candidates. Okie Dokie.

I have to agree with my esteemed colleagues that Miller is a first-ballot Hall of Fame type (though he missed out in his first appearance on the Vets Committee ballot in 2003). I think Bill James said that if one constructed a baseball Mount Rushmore, Miller would be one of the faces. That's pretty big, even if he is the Teddy Roosevelt face.

The whole situation is a mess though. The Vets only vote every four years on non-players so they won't come up until next year, assuming the Vets Committee rules haven't changed by then. In the last go-round ump Doug Harvey was the only candidate to get more than 50% of the vote, and the consensus on him is that he is probably the best ump of the last fifty years. Basically, if you are going to have umps in the Hall, which they have decided to do, Harvey is a no-brain selection, and he didn't even get in. Most of the ex-players in the Vets Committee saw their income soar thanks to Miller's efforts and even they didn't vote for him (he got 44.3% of the vote).

I just think the system will never work so long as we have ex-players doing the voting. If you turn it over to execs, then Miller is persona non gratis, and we will see more cronyistic selections like Tom Yawkey. The players always balk at us statheads using numbers to analyze their worth, but without the statistical landmarks they are completely at sea. What they should do is turn the field over to a research committee of qualified historians like they did with the Negro-Leaguers.

That said, I will offer my opinion anyway. First, managers: I studied this a couple of years ago and found that there are a number that have been overlooked. They are Gene Mauch, Ralph Houk, Charlie Grimm, Billy Martin, Danny Murtaugh, Billy Southworth, Steve O'Neill, Whitey Herzog, Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Davey Johnson. Lou Piniella has driven his career wins total (1519) near the Hall average for a manager (1596 wins) so he'll probably one day present a strong case (we he ever chose to manage the D-Rays I will never know). Cox, Torre, and LaRussa appear to be locks.

Throw in Miller and Harvey. As for owners--here's where it gets really iffy--I would have to take Walter O'Malley and Phil Wrigley, who were both on the 2003 ballot, before Steinbrenner. This is where an independent research committe is really needed to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Baseball needs to start honoring GMs in Cooperstown. Buzzie Bavasi and Harry Dalton were both on the 2003 ballot. Both are excellent choices, but I have to complete my ongoing GM study to say who are the strongest candidates.

The same goes for coaches. Johnny Sain, Charlie Lau, and Leo Mazzone are some of the highest regarded coaches of all time. Mazzone might be cannonized if he can turn around the O's staff this year. It seems like at least a coach or two should be honored with a plaque by now.

Did I forget anybody (scouts, ticket takers, Bob Shepherd)?

Of course, all of this needs to be researched thoroughly, but it seems that it's not just the expansion-era players who getting short shrift from the Hall.

Comments
2006-01-05 21:28:27
1.   Eric Enders
I'm guessing 10-12 people will get in on the Negro Leagues ballot.

Effa Manley is a great story, but not really a serious candidate. She simply doesn't have the qualifications or the longevity. If she were a male candidate she would not have sniffed the ballot. I wish it weren't so, but...

I'm friendly with many of the folks on the Negro Leagues committee, and knowing them, I seriously doubt that they'll vote Buck O'Neil in. They are fully aware that his playing career was not really near HOF caliber, and his managerial career wasn't long enough. He could get in as an "ambassador of baseball" or something, but I kinda doubt it. That would be setting a precedent that the HOF probably doesn't want to set. Then Ted Giannoulas and people like that would want in, and everything would go all to hell.

2006-01-06 06:03:21
2.   TFD
Alex: Jon Olerud?? You're not serious, right? Great guy and consummate professional, but if he gets in they need to shut the doors.

Others: With Sutter/Gossage having such trouble getting in, how will HOffman ever get there, especially as a Padre? I don't see it.

Tim Raines is not getting in. And I hate to bring up a sore spot, but guys, if Frank Thomas does get in, which I have doubts about, I don't think he'll do it until late in his eligibility. I also think Sheff is a fence-sitter, depending on what he does the next two years. Also, Andruw Jones = no unless he has 2-3 more years like last year with at least a .280BA. He'll be seen as just a "great CFer."

2006-01-06 06:14:12
3.   TFD
Oh, and D, you are right on re: Sammy.

Let him rot....., unfortunately it won't happen, he'll get in for the misty-eyed '98 memories.

Cliff:

Giambi? Bernie Williams? (HA!) Brain Giles? Giambi never gets in, unless he goes on murder's row for the next 4-5, even then it'll be uphill because he'll be "just a DH." Bernie, well, that's kind of nuts really. Giles will just never bubble up as someone who was ever sufficiently "feared" enough. I mean he's been about the 15th best outfielder of his generation, hasn't he?

2006-01-06 08:35:34
4.   Cliff Corcoran
TFD, note that these guys were listed as TBD, but . . .

Giambi has never been a full time DH and if the juiced guys start going in he's going to have to get some serious consideration given his MVP, the fact that he's always in the postseason and always coming up big in the postseason, and, most importantly, the fact that he's been among the top five hitters in the game for five of the last six seasons.

Bernie's a borderline case as it is and, if I recall correctly, would actually get in using Jay Jaffe's JAWS standard. Throw in the gold gloves, four rings, memorable post-season homers and good-guy rep and it might be hard to keep him out. People forget how good he was at his peak (.300/.400/.500 three straight seasons). Had his decline not been so severe he'd be a no-doubter.

You're right to challenge Giles, but your reasoning is wrong. Giles career line is .299/.413/.542 (146 OPS+). That's career. He also steals about ten bases a year and has a hard-nosed rep. The reasons he won't make it are 1) playing his peak years with a terrible Pirates team (which also served to supress his RBI and runs scored totals) 2) Not playing full time until age 28 because he was burried behind Cleveland's Manny/Lofton/Belle/Justice outfield 3) Even if he continues to be great through age 40, he'll do it at Petco, which will suppress his numbers and we all know Hall voters don't adjust for park factors.

2006-01-06 10:14:32
5.   TFD
Cliff: I should have explained a little better. Maybe I read the intro wrong, but I'm discussing whether or not these folks "will", not if they "should" as defined by a non-BBWWA crowd like we're all a part of.

I'm with ya on Giambi never having been a full-time DH, but he will be from this point out in his career, and that will be thrown out as a negative as his time comes up. Plus the steroids thing will absolutely keep him out.

I love Jay and JAWS is nice, but there is NO WAY the BBWWA even knows what JAWS is, and there is not a chance that he is even TBD in 75% of their collective minds. Now if the BBWWA membership collective changes to include more Jamesian acolytes over the next 10 years, then I'll say Williams has a chance. Without that, he'll probably be off the ballott after 2-3 years.

Thanks for the Giles info. Again I think we're talking apples/oranges. I believe that most BBWWA members don't even understand half of what you wrote in that paragraph...they just simply don't see Giles as even remotely "Hallworthy" because he's never been a serious MVP contender, never played on a Championship team, and never been considered 1/2/3 at his position during his career. (That's pretty much how they define these things.)

2006-01-06 11:58:59
6.   Cliff Corcoran
But, TFD, the criteria you use for Giles is all met by Williams (Championships? check, tops at his position? check, MVP contender? got votes in six different years). I tell you, of the three we're debating I think you're the farthest off about Williams, he's the sort of guy the BBWWAA loves.

Meanwhile, who exactly will play 1B for the Yankees if Giambi is the DH this year? Andy Phillips (not that Andy couldn't, but do you really think Torre will let that happen)? Even if the sign Frank Thomas (which they likely won't), Giambi's the full-time first baseman again for at least 2006, as well he should be given his splits at 1B vs. DH.

2006-01-06 12:30:30
7.   TFD
Again, not the criteria I'd use, but what the BBWWA would.

Nonetheless, Bernie got votes? floored Ok, I don't have the data on this so I may be completely off base, but did he ever finish in the Top 5 (hence "serious")? If so, I stand corrected and marvel at my stupidity. Championships, sure, absolutely. Tops at his position? Wow, really? I mean now that you say it I'm having a tough time at CF from the mid-90's on, but still....Bernie just can't be a HOFer. I guess I just have too many visions of him out there the last two years, and he seemingly gets lost on the championship teams with all the other "stars."

BTW, not from you, but I can already hear the lectures from others reading on, "Don't rely on your assumptions, look at the DATA!"

Standing President of the Bernie-Not-In-The-Hall-of-Fame Club (by whatever means we use of judging),

TFD

:-)

2006-01-06 13:29:46
8.   Cliff Corcoran
Fact of the matter, TFD, is that Bernie was the best player on those four Championship teams and, after Griffey, the best CF of the late '90s.

He never did crack the top 5 of the MVP voting (topped out at #7 in '98), but he did win a batting title, which in the old-school BBWAA line of thinking is second best.

2006-01-06 13:31:59
9.   Cliff Corcoran
I should add that according to Bill James' HOF Monitor (which is designed to predict BBWAA votes, not decide who's most worthy), Bernie scores 133, well over the 100 point cut-off.
2006-01-06 13:40:59
10.   TFD
Cliff:

Let's check back in six years, OK? I'm not saying you're wrong of course, for some reason though I just haven't got there. I really will be interested to see what happens with him though.

Tally-HO!

2006-01-06 13:45:25
11.   Cliff Corcoran
Let's make it eight. He's not a first-ballot guy. I did list him as TBD after all, but otherwise, I can't wait (really, he should retire now).
2006-01-06 16:03:20
12.   deadteddy8
Interesting... I only count one mention of Edgar Martinez up above. I have a Mariners fan friend who once tried to argue Edgar was one of the ten best right handed pure hitters of all time. Yes, that's a little more than a stretch, but the argument led me to rattle off ten or so right handed hitters that played during Edgar's career that I'd pick before him, including Rickey, Frank Thomas, Bagwell, et al. While I think Edgar will ultimately get in, and I won't complain when it happens, I still think the DH thing should relegate his HOF case to Will Clark's level: two of the very best players who don't quite deserve enshrinement, the cream of the Ray Lankford Wing, as it were. Yup, this is a Giants fan who started watching baseball in 1987.
2006-01-06 18:20:40
13.   Suffering Bruin
Gil Hodges, anyone?
2006-01-06 23:29:34
14.   das411
Can Jose Canseco have his own Pete Rose style separate building to sell off autographs, memorabilia (that 2000 WS ring), etc?

His Bill James Monitor is 103, higher than McGriff and Raines; has an MVP award and two WS championships; one all-time blooper; and if "Juiced" is more honest than any of that (-ahem, Palmiero-) Senate testimony he truly did change the game...

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