The 2010 Hall of Fame Ballots have been released. I am admittedly more lenient than most in terms of who I think is worthy of enshrinement. That said here is how I break down this year’s crop.

Slam Dunk
Roberto Alomar

Let them In Already
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Jack Morris
Mark McGwire
Lee Smith

In a Couple Years
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Tim Raines
Don Mattingly
Alan Trammell

Never
Kevin Appier
Harold Baines
Ellis Burks
Andres Galarraga
Pat Hentgen
Mike Jackson
Erik Karros
Ray Lankford
Fred McGriff
Shane Reynolds
David Segui
Robin Ventura
Todd Zeile
continue reading »

Bobby Cox: One More Year

24 September 2009

Bobby Cox
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Atlanta Braves will have one more year with skipper Bobby Cox after he announced that he will retire following the 2010 season.  Cox made the postseason 14 consecutive seasons and won the World Series in 1995.  He earned four Manager of the Year Awards (’85, ’91, ’04, ’05) and is 4th in MLB history in Wins trailing Tony LaRussa, John McGraw, and Connie Mack.  His playoff appearances are a record, which will likely be tied by Joe Torre as the season wraps up.  Currently he has a 2409-1924 (.556) lifetime record.  He’s 2054-1632 (.557) with the Braves.

He will easily be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

A discussion I’ve been having with a great baseball mind has led me to profile Jim Edmonds. 

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI


 
The Numbers
1925 Games
7708 At Bats
.284 Batting Average
.528 Slugging %
.905 OPS
132 OPS+
1881 Hits
1207 Runs
414 Doubles
25 Triples
382 HRs
1176 RBIs
974 Walks
65 SBs

Five .300 Seasons
Four 100+ Run Seasons
Seven 30+ Double Seasons
Five 30+ HR Seasons
Four 100+ RBI Seasons

World Series:  2 World Series, 1 Ring, 64 Games, 230 At Bats, 63 Hits (.274), 33 Runs, 16 Doubles, 13 HRs, 43 RBIs, 30 Walks  

Awards
4-time All-Star
8 Gold Gloves
1 Silver Slugger
MVP Votes in 6 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Once
On-Base % – 3 Times
Slugging % - 3 Times
OPS – 3 Times
At Bats – Once
Runs – 3 Times
Hits – Once
Doubles – Once
Home Runs – 4 Times
RBIs – Twice
Walks – 4 Times
Extra-Base Hits – Twice
Intentional Walks – Twice

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Gray Ink Batting - 60 (407), Average HOFer ≈ 144
Hall of Fame Monitor Batting - 88 (183), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Batting - 40 (144), Average HOFer ≈ 50
  
He certainly belongs in the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame because of his defensive prowess, but I’m on the fence for Cooperstown.  He did have a stretch of greatness from 1995-2005 (throwing out 1999 when he was limited to 55 games), where he averaged 99 Runs, 32 HRs, and 93 RBIs.  He collected all eight of his Gold Gloves during that stretch meaning he was one of the most complete players in the league for a decade.  He also had his share of postseason success in the second half of his career.  It would be easier to induct him if he reached 2000 Hits, but he had 1200 Runs and nearly 1200 RBIs.  He may have won even more Gold Gloves if it weren’t for Ken Griffey, Jr.  He doesn’t pass the name test for induction, but if you look into the numbers, I think he did just enough to get in.

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Dick Allen
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Stan Coveleski* 

Mike Cuellar
Kiki Cuyler*
Bill Dahlen
George Davis*
Andre Dawson 
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Wes Ferrell
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Joe Gordon
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*
Jesse Haines*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Waite Hoyt*
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Carl Mays
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Allie Reynolds
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Vern Stephens
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Mickey Vernon
Frank Viola
Bucky Walters
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Deacon White
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot
 

* Signifies actual Hall of Famers

I decided to profile Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1969.
 

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

waite-hoyt
Image courtesy of TSN/Icon SMI 
 
The Numbers
Played 1918-38 (21 seasons)
237 Wins – 182 Losses
.566 Winning Percentage
3.59 ERA
1.340 WHIP
1206 Strikeouts
674 Games
423 Starts
3762-1/3 Innings Pitched
226 Complete Games
26 Shutouts
52 Saves

Two 20+ Win Seasons
Four Sub-3.00 ERA Seasons (Just one with 200+ Innings)

World Series:  3 Rings, 12 Games, 11 Starts,83-2/3 IP, 6-4, 1.83 ERA, 49 Ks, 6 CGs, 1 Shutout

Awards
MVP Votes in 1928 & 1934

Top Ten Finishes
Wins - Seven Times (Led league in 1927)
ERA - Five Times
Winning % – Six Times (Led league in 1927)
WHIP – Six Times (Led league in 1923)
Games – Six Times
Starts – Five Times
Innings Pitched – Five Times
Strikeouts – Seven Times
Complete Games – Five Times
Shutouts – Seven Times
Saves – Nine Times (Led league in 1928)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink Pitching – 7 (324), Average HOFer ≈ 40
Gray Ink Pitching – 182 (55), Average HOFer ≈ 185
Hall of Fame Monitor Pitching – 93 (107), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
Hall of Fame Standards Pitching – 32 (125), Average HOFer ≈ 50

 
As a player, Waite Hoyt is borderline for me.  He had a solid career, a signature season in 1927, and amazing postseason numbers.  He was masterful in the 1921, 1926, and 1928 World Series.  I’m not sure his numbers alone get him in, which is reflected in his HOF yardsticks.  However, when you factor in his 20+ years as broadcaster, as well as two spoken albums, it’s easy to justify Hoyt’s inclusion in Cooperstown.  Schoolboy was a baseball lifer and very deserving. 

References
Baseball-reference.com

Past Chronicles
Dick Allen
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Stan Coveleski*

Mike Cuellar
Bill Dahlen
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Wes Ferrell
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Joe Gordon
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*
Jesse Haines*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Carl Mays
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Allie Reynolds
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Vern Stephens
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Mickey Vernon
Frank Viola
Bucky Walters
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Deacon White
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot
 

* Signifies actual Hall of Famers

To honor Hall of Famer George Kell’s passing I will re-post his Cooperstown Chronicles entry. 

I decided to profile Hall of Famer George Kell, who was enshrined by the Veteran’s Committee in 1983.

 
George Kell with Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and Lou Boudreau
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
Played 1943-1957 (15 Seasons)
1795 Games
6702 At Bats
.306 Batting Average 
881 Runs
2054 Hits
2773 Total Bases
385 Doubles
50 Triples
78 HRs
870 RBI
621 Walks 
51 SBs

Nine .300 Seasons
One 100 Run Season
One 200 Hit Season
Five 30 Double Seasons
One 10 Triple Season
One 100 RBI Season

Awards

10 All-Star Game Appearances
MVP Votes in 8 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes

Batting Average - 8 Times (Led league in 1949)
On-base % - 4 Times
Slugging % – Twice
OPS – Three Times
Games - 4 Times (Led league in 1950)
At Bats – 4 Times (Led league in 1950)
Runs - 3 Times
Hits - 6 Times (Led league in 1950 & 1951)
Total Bases - 3 Times
Extra-base Hits - 3 Times
Doubles - 6 Times (Led league in 1950 & 1951)
Triples -  Twice
RBI – Once
Stolen Bases – Once
Hit by Pitch – 4 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:

Black Ink: Batting – 16 (139) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 93 (248) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 28.7 (306) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 90.0 (174) (Likely HOFer > 100)

There has to be something beyond the numbers because I have no idea how someone with fewer than 900 Runs & RBI and barely over 2000 Hits makes it to ten All-Star Games, let alone the Hall of Fame.  He did have a brilliant 1950 season when he hit .340 with 114 Runs, 218 Hits, 56 Doubles, and 101 RBI.  Besides that breakout season, he only had oneof other Hall of Fame worthy seasons (1949).  He was a standout with the glove leading the league in fielding seven times, assists four times, and total chances/game four times.  He did manage to keep Ted Williams from winning the Triple Crown by a few decimal points.  While he was a solid player, I don’t see him as a HOF player.  However, when you factor in his long broadcasting career it’s easy to see why this baseball lifer was enshrined. 

References
Baseball-reference.com
Baseball Library

For a look past the numbers at the man, check out of this USA Today article.

 
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

Curt Schilling announced his retirement on  his 38 Pitches blog saying  “Turn out the lights the party’s over”.

One of the first thoughts that arises is whether or not he’s Hall of Fame material.  I’ve weighed in on this before, so let me restate my position.

The Numbers
Played 1988-2007  (20 Years)
569 Games
436 Starts (83rd All-time)
3261 Innings (94th All-time)
216 Wins (79th All-time) - 146 Losses
.597 Winning Percentage
3.46 ERA (4.41 League ERA)
1.137 WHIP (44th All-time)
3116 Ks (14th All-time)
83 Complete Games
20 Shutouts
22 Saves
4.38 Strikeout to Walk Ratio (2nd All-time)
127 Adjusted ERA (42nd All-time)

Three 20 Win Seasons
Five 200 K Seasons
Three 300 K Seasons
Four sub-3.00 ERA Seasons
Two sub-1.00 WHIP Seasons

Playoffs:  3 World Series Rings, 19 Starts, 133.3 Innings, 10-2 (.833 Winning %), 2.23 ERA, 0.968 WHIP, 120 Ks, 4 Complete Games

Awards

1993 NLCS MVP
1995 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
2001 Babe Ruth Award
2001 Branch Rickey Award
2001 Hutch Award
2001 Roberto Clemente Award
2001 TSN Pitcher of the Year
2001 World Series MVP
2002 TSN Pitcher of the Year
6 All-Star Game Appearances
Cy Young Votes in 4 Seasons (three-time runner-up)
MVP Votes in 4 seasons

Top Ten Finishes

Wins – Five Times (Led league in 2001 & 2004)
Winning % – 6 Times (Led league in 2004)
ERA – 9 Times
WHIP – 11 Times (Led league in 1992 & 2002)
Strikeouts – 9 Times (Led league in 1997 & 1998)
Innings – 7 Times (Led league in 1998 & 2001)
Starts – 5 Times (Led league in 1997, 1998 & 2001)
Complete Games – 11 Times (Led league in 1996, 1998, 2000 & 2001)
Shutouts – 11 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Pitching – 42 (33) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
Gray Ink: Pitching – 205 (34) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
HOF Standards: Pitching – 46.0 (48) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Pitching – 171.0 (33) (Likely HOFer > 100)

I don’t even know why there is a debate.  Seriously.  His postseason heroics alone are enough to put him on the brink of the HOF.  His career numbers do the rest.  He wasn’t just a compiler either.  He put together some fabulous seasons, as evidenced by his Top Ten finishes.  His control for a power pitcher is unrivaled.  His 4.38 Strikeout to Walk Ratio is second only to Tommy Bond (who only had 879 Ks), and ahead of the likes of Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, and the list goes on.  He won over 200 Games at nearly a 60% clip.  He has over 3100 Strikeouts.  His ERA is almost a full Run lower than the league average.  He never won the Cy Young, but was the bridesmaid three times.  He may have won 20 games just three times, but Wins aren’t always the best indicator.  By my standards he had outstanding years in 1992, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2004.  Not to mention his postseason dominance.  That is what makes his legacy legendary.  Even before the bloody sock, Curt was known as a big game pitcher.  He was brilliant in the 1993 ALCS helping the Phillies earn a trip to the World Series.  He was even more spectacular in the 2001 Diamondback’s improbable run to the World Series.  He went 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 18 Ks in the NLDS as Arizona beat St. Louis.  He was 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 12 Ks as they beat Atlanta.  In the World Series against the heavily favored Yankees, he went 1-0 in 3 Starts with a 1.69 ERA and 26 Ks.  He pitched well in the 2002 NLDS, but was cut down by St. Louis.  Then came the historic 2004 season.  He pitched well in defeating the Angels, but injured his ankle.  He got bombed by the Yankees in his first start before gutting out Game 6 and helping keep the comeback alive.  Then he pitched 6 scoreless Innings as the Red Sox steamrolled the Cardinals to a curse-reversing World Series win.  He won three of his four starts (including another World Series win against Colorado) in the 2007 Red Sox World Series run.  The Hall of Fame looks kindly on postseason heroics.  When you couple it with an outstanding regular season career, I don’t get the debate.  Curt Schiling is a Hall of Famer in my book. 
 
References
Baseball-reference.com
Baseball Library

Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor and I are back to debate Dale Murphy’s Hall of Fame worthiness.

The Numbers
2180 Games
7960 At Bats
.265 Batting Average
.346 On-base %
.469 Slugging %
1197 Runs
2111 Hits
350 Doubles
39 Triples
398 HRs
1266 RBI
986 Walks
161 SBs

The Awards
1982 MVP
1983 MVP
1985 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
1988 Roberto Clemente Award
Five Gold Gloves (1982-86)
Four Silver Sluggers (1982-1985)
Seven All-Star Appearances
Received MVP votes in seven seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Twice
On-base % – Five times
Slugging % – Six times (Led league in 1983 & 1984)
OPS – Six times (Led league in 1983)
Games – Seven times (Led league in ’82, ’83, ’84 & ’85)
At Bats – Four times
Runs – Six times (Led league in 1985)
Hits – Three times
Total Bases – Seven times
Doubles – Four times
Triples – Once
HRs – Nine times (Led league in 1984 & 1985)
RBI – Six times (Led league in 1982 & 1983)
Walks – Seven Times (Led league in 1985)
Extra Base Hits – Eight times (Led league in 1984)
Hit by Pitch – Once
Intentional Walks – Five times (Led league in 1987)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks
Black Ink: Batting – 31 (55) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 147 (91) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 34.4 (200) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 116.0 (123) (Likely HOFer > 100)

References
Baseball-Reference.com

Lester’s Take
Right out of the gate I’m going to use the yardsticks to support my claim.  Three of the four yardsticks support the inclusion of Dale Murphy into the Hall of Fame.  He’s a two-time MVP that was excellent in the field.  He was easily one of the best players in the league for a six-year stretch (1982-1987) where he averaged 36.3 HRs, 110 Runs, 104.8 RBIs, and 17.5 SBs while winning two MVP, six Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers.  The rest of his career wasn’t brilliant, but was good enough with his long stretch of greatness to be a Hall of Famer.  The knock on him is his Batting Average and his Strikeouts.  Those numbers are less than desirable, but he got the job done.  He had the misfortune of playing on some pretty bad Brave teams.  In the end I think Murph did just enough to get in.

Rotoprofessor’s Take
From 1982-1987 he was one of the best sluggers in the game, hitting 218 HR and 629 RBI en route to winning a pair of MVP awards. Those are spectacular numbers but at just 31 years old, when he should have still been capable of putting up big seasons, he all but disappeared. In 1988 he hit 24 HR with a .226 average. In 1989 he hit 20 HR with a .228 average. After that he stuck around for parts of 5 more seasons, hitting a total of just 44 HR.

Those were 6 years were fantastic, but not enough to convince me that we should honor his entire career. He was good prior to the outburst, and terrible after it. For me to consider him for the Hall, he would have to really have had a blow away stretch. He just didn’t provide that, being overshadowed by superstars like Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield. He was a very good hitter, but not the preeminent slugger of the period. Given the mediocrity of the rest of his career, that causes him to fall short in my eyes.

Previous Debates
Mark McGwire (Hall of Fame)
Tim Raines (Hall of Fame)
Bernie Williams (Hall of Fame)
Ryan Dempster (2009 Season)
Jack Morris (Hall of Fame)

Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor and I are back to debate Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame worthiness.

The Numbers
254 Wins (40th All-time)
3.90 ERA
2478 Strikeouts (31st All-time)
3824 Innings (49th All-time)
527 starts (35th All-time)
175 Complete Games
28 Shutouts

The Awards
World Series MVP
5 All-Star Appearances
Received MVP votes in 5 seasons
Recieved Cy Young votes in 7 seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Wins – 12 Times (Led league in ‘81 & ‘92)
ERA – 5 Times
Strikeouts – 8 Times (Led league ‘83)
Innings – 9 Times (Led league in ‘83)
Starts – 11 Times (Led league in ‘90 & ‘91)
Complete Games – 10 Times (Led league in ‘90)
Shutouts – 8 Times (Led league in ‘86)
Winning Percentage – 5 Times

Hall of Fame Yardsticks
Black Ink: Pitching – 20 (89) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
Gray Ink: Pitching – 193 (47) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
HOF Standards: Pitching – 39.0 (73) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Pitching – 122.5 (64) (Likely HOFer > 100)

Lester’s Take
1991.  Game 7.  Minnesota Twins vs. Atlanta Braves.  Jack Morris vs. John Smoltz.  In perhaps the best postseason performace of the modern era, Jack Morris throws ten innings of shutout ball to deliver a World Series to Minnesota in 1-0 ballgame.  That’s the stuff that legends are made of.  That’s just one reason he belongs in the Hall of Fame.  Jack Morris won World Series titles with three different teams (Detroit in ‘84, Minnesota in ‘91, and Toronto in ‘92) compiling a World Series record of 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA in seven games.  He went 6-1 in 13 career playoff starts.  Morris isn’t limited to that brilliant World Series performance, those seven World Series games, or those 13 playoff games.  His overall numbers speak to his worthiness as well.

Morris had more wins in the 80’s (162) than any other pitcher.  Dave Steib is the next closest with 140.  Every pitcher that has led a decade in Wins is in the Hall of Fame.  He was a model of consistency winning at least 15 games in 12 of the 14 seasons in which he had at least 25 starts.  His dominance is equaled by his durability.  He made over 500 consecutive starts without missing a turn in the rotation.  He also owns a no-hitter (1984 vs. the White Sox).

Gone are the days of 300 wins careers.  With five-man rotations, you just don’t get enough starts to reach the plateau.  That benchmark may need to be adjusted.  He was an elite pitcher for  a decade with a history of big games in the postseason and unmatched durability.  That says Hall of Famer in my book.    

Rotoprofessor’s Take
Jack Morris was a tremendous big game pitcher, maybe the best of his generation.  The 10-inning shutout performance against the Braves will go down in history as one of the greatest ever.  He should be honored for it.  He absolutely should be.  Baseball historians should mention the performance when they release Top 10 games pitched lists.  Fans should remember with awe the stuff that Morris brought to the table that day.  It was that good.  It was great.
 
However, that one game, and the other 12 he threw in the postseason, does not make an entire career.  Yes, the 254 Wins are a nice number, but he is a pitcher who posted a career ERA of 3.90 and not once was under 3.  In fact, in 8 of his seasons his ERA was over 4.  Does that sound like a pitcher who deserves to be enshrined with some of the best?
 
Three 20 Win seasons is nice, but one of them came with a 4.04 ERA, certainly not something that is all that impressive.  Not once did he win the Cy Young Award, being named the best pitcher in his league.  Finishing in the Top 10 is nice, and shows that you are a very good pitcher, but to be remembered as one of the best you need to prove it, and not just in a few select moments. 
 
Honor the great moments that Morris provided over his career, he deserves that.  Honor him as a good pitcher, a very good pitcher even.  Do not honor him as one of the best, because he wasn’t, and for that reason I would not vote him into the Hall of Fame.

Previous Debates
Mark McGwire (Hall of Fame)
Tim Raines (Hall of Fame)
Bernie Williams (Hall of Fame)
Ryan Dempster (2009 Season)


Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

The Veterans Committee elected Joe Gordon to the Hall of Fame today.  First of all, a congratulations is to Joe’s family.  Even though I felt he wasn’t quite HOF material, I am not bothered by his inclusion in the least.  He was an MVP, a nine-time All-Star, and part of a Yankee Dynasty that allowed him to win five World Series titles.

Unfortunately Gordon was the only player elected of the twenty.  I feel Mickey Vernon, Deacon White, Joe Torre (unless they were just voting on his playing career), Sherry Magee, Ron Santo, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, and Al Oliver were worthy of election.  I am particularly upset with the Santo exclusion.  Maybe some day these greats will get their due.


Hall of Famer Joe Gordon

The 2009 Hall of Fame Ballots have been released.  I am admittedly more lenient than most in terms of who I think is worthy of enshrinement.  That said here is how I break down this year’s crop.

Slam Dunk
Rickey Henderson

Let them In Already
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Tim Raines
Jim Rice
Lee Smith

In a Couple Years
David Cone
Mark Grace
Don Mattingly
Alan Trammell

Never
Harold Baines
Jay Bell
Ron Gant
Tommy John
Mark McGwire
Jesse Orosco
Dan Plesac
Greg Vaughn
Mo Vaughn
Matt Williams

Past Chronicles
Dick Allen
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Mike Cuellar
Bill Dahlen
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Wes Ferrell
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Joe Gordon
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Carl Mays
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Allie Reynolds
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Vern Stephens
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Luís Tiant
Joe Torre
Alan Trammell

George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Mickey Vernon
Frank Viola
Bucky Walters
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Deacon White
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot
 

* Signifies actual Hall of Famers


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