Blog Entry

Hall of Fame election, random thoughts

Posted on: January 6, 2010 5:47 pm

A few final random thoughts on Wednesday's Hall of Fame election results:

-- Though falling five votes short of election surely is agonizing, Wednesday also should be heartening for Bert Blyleven. At 74.2 percent of the vote and with two more years of eligibility, Blyleven -- who looked like a longshot a few years ago -- almost certainly is a lock.

And incidentally, you should have heard what Hall of Famer Hank Aaron said of Blyleven on Sirius/XM radio's MLB Home Plate channel Wednesday morning during an interview with hosts Seth Everett and Jim Duquette:

"I hit against him and if there was a finer pitcher than he was then, I don't know who it was," Aaron said. "I only went to bat maybe 10 or 15 times [against Blyleven]. I don't think I ever got a hit off of him. But he was quite a pitcher.

"I know that he didn't win 20 games, but sometimes you don't need to win 20. I think it's just a matter of how you carried yourself and what you did for your other teammates. Just to have him in that rotation for that many years with Minnesota, [he] was somebody that you didn't look forward to hitting against."

Aaron wasn't too far off in his memory. Lifetime, he was 0 for 7 against Blyleven with one strikeout.

-- I didn't expect former Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin to make it, though I do think he's deserving and I did vote for him. Within that, I thought his vote total would have been higher than 51.6 percent (he finished fifth).

-- In what essentially was the first true test of a designated hitter's place in the Hall, former Seattle DH Edgar Martinez notched only 36.2 percent of the vote, which placed him seventh overall.

A day earlier, during his retirement announcement, this is what Randy Johnson had to say about his former Seattle teammate's Hall of Fame chances: "I'm hoping he gets a lot of consideration. I know it's been debated whether a DH is worthy. During my time, I've never seen a better pure hitter than him.

"That's no disrespect to any teammates I've had or played against. I think anybody would agree who watched Edgar during that era how good he was. I'll be pulling for him because of what he meant while I was on the mound."

-- Tim Raines's 30.4 percent of the vote is ludicrously low. The guy reached base more times and scored more runs than Tony Gwynn. He wasn't anywhere near the hitter that Gwynn was, but Raines, together with Rickey Henderson, changed the way the leadoff slot in the lineup was viewed.

-- Glad to see Jack Morris' vote total increase to 52.3 percent (from 44 percent last year), but he's still way too far off for my liking. People need to get over his 3.90 ERA and look at the rest of his game. Nobody was more dominant than Morris throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.

-- The near-misses this year -- Blyleven and Alomar -- also will have their chances increase dramatically in the near future because the next two Hall of Fame classes just aren't very good.

Next year, among the names that come onto the ballot for the first time are Jeff Bagwell, John Franco, Kevin Brown, Rafael Palmeiro, Larry Walker and Juan Gonzalez.

In 2012, it's even worse: Bernie Williams, Ruben Sierra and Tim Salmon are the biggest names who come eligible.

Likes: Andre Dawson is a class act and a deserving Hall of Famer. ... Matt Holliday back in St. Louis. ... The film Precious. ... The DVD Revolutionary Road. ... Wilco (The Album). ... Lyle Lovett's Natural Forces. ... The shift in focus to college basketball in January. ... My wife's homemade pizza, on deck this Thursday night while the college football national title game between Alabama and Texas is played. ... Former Los Angeles Times rock critic Robert Hilburn's memoir Cornflakes with John Lennon. Some great stories and behind the scenes stuff. ... John Meacham's American Lion: Andrew Jackson and the White House, an excellent biography. ... Alicia Keys doing a version of Empire State of Mind on Stephen Colbert's show last month with Colbert rapping about the suburbs. Very amusing.

Dislikes: Christmas vacation is finished already?

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Come on children, you're acting like children
"Every generation thinks it's the end of the world
"All you fat followers get fit fast
"Every generation thinks it's the last
"Thinks it's the end of the world"

-- Wilco, You Never Know


Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2010 12:15 pm

Hall of Fame election, random thoughts

I agree that Bert should be many starts were 5 to 6 IP with 4 or more ER in which Bert got a W? Scales could be balanced..

Since: Jan 13, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2010 5:53 pm

Hall of Fame election, random thoughts

Bert Blyleven's failure to get inducted into the HOF spurred me to pore over his game logs and I came up with these figures; he had 46 Starts w/at least 8 innings pitched where he gave up 2 ER or less and got 23 Losses and 23 No Decisions for his efforts. Within these 46 Starts there was 20 games where he went 8+ innings and gave up 1 ER or less and had 10 Losses and 10 No Decisions. By comparison, Nolan Ryan had 88 more Career starts than Bert and had 25 Starts w/at leat 8 innings pitched and allowed 1 ER or less and had 11 Losses and 14 No Decisions.

Blyleven fell 13 wins shy of 300, which would have had him in already. If he had gotten decent run support in these 46 Starts he'd easily have surpassed 300 wins.

Since: Feb 7, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2010 10:50 am

Hall of Fame election, random thoughts

Maybe there should be a special wing in Cooperstown called First Ballot HOF'ers since there seems to be some players who do not deserve such consideration.

I thought that it was an either/or qusetion - he belongs, he doesn't belong. A voter should say Yes/No, period, not No this year, but Yes 3 years from now.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2010 8:35 pm

Hall of Fame election, random thoughts

By the Hall of Fame Matrix, Byleven, Alomar, Palmeiro statistically meet Hall of Fame election criteria. Palmeiro rises to First Ballot status. If they are not elected by 2012, they will have to wait until at least 2017. The years 2013 (Bonds, Clemens, Biggio, Sosa, or Piazza) 2014(Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas), 2015 (Johnson, Thome?, Sheffield?), and probably 2016 (Griffey, Jr.?, Ivan Rodriguez?, Vizquez?), have at least one player meeting First Ballot criteria for their position. Otherwise, can the media quit saying "He's a First Ballot Hall of Famer?"     

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