FanDuel - WFBC

January 09, 2007

Ripken, check. Gwynn, check. McGwire, not so much.: A landmark Hall of Fame election, with a message for the steroid era but no real surprises.

posted by BullpenPro to baseball at 01:15 PM - 91 comments

Vote totals. Gossage leap frogs Rice with a painfully close total. Albert Belle and Jose Canseco are dropped off the ballot, but Harold Baines hangs on. And there's just no love for grum's guy -- Tony Fernandez gets four votes.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:18 PM on January 09

Wow, Gossage was right there man. I was hoping Blyleven would have moved up more.

posted by chris2sy at 01:58 PM on January 09

Not surprised McGwire didn't get the votes.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:01 PM on January 09

For McGwire to even be on over 23% of the ballots is a surprise to me. I sure hope Harold Baines gets in at some point.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 02:10 PM on January 09

I see Jay Buhner got a vote. Well, Buhner was a good prospect, no question about it. But my baseball people loved Ken Phelps' bat. They kept saying "Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps."

posted by SummersEve at 02:17 PM on January 09

Devon White 0 0.0 Given who actually got at least one vote on the list, this was, to me, the biggest surprise and the closest thing to a travesty, although Albert Belle's not making the cut is close. Not that I'm a big fan of Belle's, but just look at those numbers. You put a different name at the top of that page, and he makes the cut easily. Unless that name is Jose Canseco.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:26 PM on January 09

I can"t believe Alann TRammel didn,t get any votes.

posted by bluesman57 at 02:28 PM on January 09

I can"t believe Alann TRammel didn,t get any votes. He sure didn't, but the similarly named Alan Trammell got 73 votes (13.4% of the total votes).

posted by holden at 02:38 PM on January 09

While doing some reading on Hall of Fame candidacies the past few days, a couple of things jumped out at me. First, I always bought into this idea that Jim Rice was hampered from putting up better numbers by playing at Fenway. Typically, this line of reasoning includes an argument that because Rice was a line drive hitter, a lot of his hits that were line drives 2/3 of the way up the Monster would have been home runs elsewhere. But his numbers tell a different story. Rice put up a .320/.374/.546 line with 208 HR over his career at home, compared to .277/.330/.459 with 174 HR on the road. One other thing that jumped out at me is just how awesome Albert Belle was in his peak. From 1994-98 he was pretty consistently putting up .400 OBP and .600 SLG seasons (with a blip in 1997), including a .335/.438/.714 in the strike year. Dude's not winning any popularity or personality contests, but I think he should be voted in for his peak.

posted by holden at 02:56 PM on January 09

Dude's not winning any popularity or personality contests, but I think he should be voted in for his peak. I agree, I didn't before but I think I do now (how is that for wishy-washy). Plus I want to see a fight between him and Ty Cobb when duplicating people from their remains is perfected.

posted by chris2sy at 03:27 PM on January 09

Plus I want to see a fight between him and Ty Cobb when duplicating people from their remains is perfected. Imagine Ty Cobb playing against some of the all-time greats. That'd be a riot. Getting struck out by Bob Gibson...losing a double or triple up the alleyway because Willie Mays made a sensational catch....dropping a bunt down the third base line and watching Alex Rodriguez come in and throw him out by a half step...Finding out that he would be DH at best on some of the all-time baseball teams cuz even though he could hit, so can Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr and Mickey Mantle. Cobb steps up to the plate as Sandy Koufax looks in for the sign. Catcher: "Psst. Hey Ty. That guy on the mound out there, he's a Jew. And he's going to strike you out." Classic.

posted by Cameron Frye at 03:38 PM on January 09

Not that I'm a big fan of Belle's, but just look at those numbers. You put a different name at the top of that page, and he makes the cut easily. Unless that name is Jose Canseco. I thought for SURE that Belle would make the 5% cutoff. I can understand some negative reaction for his attitude. I can understand some people not liking his counting totals (although those aren't too bad), and docking him points for "retiring" so early But as it was said before, his peak put him as maybe the best power hitter in the AL for a couple of years. He deserved more respect than that. Prediction for 2008 vote: Goose makes it in (along with first-year-man Tim Raines) and McGwire jumps up to 60% of the vote. 2008 is a very empty ballot: one +300HR hitter (David Justice, 305), one +200 game winner (Chuck Finley, 200 exactly), one +300 save pitcher (Rob Nenn, 314) and zero .300AVG or .400OBP or .500SLG players (other than Justice, .500 exactly). And Raines NEEDS to get in for 2008 because Rickey Henderson comes up in 2009 and he would dwarf him on the ballot.

posted by grum@work at 04:02 PM on January 09

My brother passed away 3 years ago and HATED Albert Belle when he played here for the White Sox. All the useless home runs late in the game when no one was on base drove him batty. Once Belle hit one when the Sox were losing 8-1 in the top of the 9th and he said "There's Belle rounding second looking for a white woman to sodomize". Needless to say, I fell out of my seat onto the floor......God I miss my brother.

posted by wdminott at 04:53 PM on January 09

The biggest problem with Albert Belle's candidacy is that he was utterly dominant for only 3 or 4 years. He was a force to be reckoned with for another 5 or 6, but just could not prove his staying power. No one ever gets into the Hall of Fame unless he dominates for a long period of time. Sincerely, Sandy Koufax

posted by Cameron Frye at 05:15 PM on January 09

And yes, I know that Koufax was so ridiculously dominant in that 5-year stretch that there really has never been a statistical comparison of his greatness. And I realize that at the time of Albert's stretch that guys like Juan Gonzalez, Frank Thomas, Mark McGwire and Manny Ramirez were putting up similar numbers. But the excuse most people seem to use with Albert is that he didn't dominate long enough. And that's just not a really good excuse. The guy lost out because he was a d00shbag and pretty much everyone - teammates included - either hated him or refused to admit that they hated him.

posted by Cameron Frye at 05:17 PM on January 09

I've never understood the "hitting home runs when they don't count, or padding numbers in meaningless games" arguement. Aren't these guys paid to try to hit the ball no matter what the situation? I've heard this complaint about A-rod so many times it turns my stomach. Should they just close their eyes and swing if the game is out of reach? Keep it on their shoulder and take 3 strikes in order to not pad their stats? I'm a life-long Reds fan and believe me, that's not been real easy for a long time now. If I pay 200 bucks to take the family to a Red's game, I usually know that there's a decent chance their gonna lose...but I damn well expect to see Griffey give me his best at-bat no matter what. Was Bell to blame that nobody was on base if he hit a late inning homerun? Sounds like you should have been a little harder on the 1,2,and 3 hitters, not the guy still playing till it's over.

posted by louisville_slugger at 05:32 PM on January 09

But the excuse most people seem to use with Albert is that he didn't dominate long enough. And that's just not a really good excuse. I agree. Sincerely, Don Mattingly

posted by BullpenPro at 05:41 PM on January 09

C'mon, Dave Concepcion belongs in the Hall. His stats are as good as, if not better than HOF members Ozzie Smith, Luis Aparicio, PeeWee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, and Bill Mazeroski. He was an integral part of the Big Red Machine and dammit, he's my childhood idol.

posted by carolinared at 05:53 PM on January 09

I reiterate the idea that there is no such a point when a homerun is useless or doesn't count. Would you all preferr that he got up at those points and hit a grounder to short or struck out? Just because he didn't hit the homerun in earlier at-bats, doesn't mean he was trying to strike out.

posted by hawkguy at 06:02 PM on January 09

I've heard this complaint about A-rod so many times it turns my stomach. A-Rod hit 35 home runs in 2006. Of those, 13 were in the seventh inning or later (more than 1/3 in less than 1/3 of the game time, given that his team didn't bat in the ninth inning of most games they won at home). 1 was a walk-off in the 12th inning with the team down a run. 0 were with the score tied 0 were with his team behind, giving them the lead (except for the walk-off) 0 were with his team behind to draw the score even In 66 at bats in games that were "late and close," he had one home run (the walk-off), hit .242, and had a .333 slugging percentage. In 97 at bats in which the scoring margin was more than 4 runs either way (winning or losing), he hit 7 homers, hit .351, and had a .619 slugging percentage. You think it turns your stomach? You don't have to watch him on your team every day. I don't have a problem with hitting a home run late in a blow out -- he can do that every time if he wants. Pad your stats all you want. But you've got to come up with more than 1 meaningful one in between all those fluffy ones. (To leave on an up-note, I freakin' love baseball-reference.com more and more every day.)

posted by BullpenPro at 06:23 PM on January 09

I've heard this complaint about A-rod so many times it turns my stomach. A-Rod hit 35 home runs in 2006. Of those, 13 were in the seventh inning or later (more than 1/3 in less than 1/3 of the game time, given that his team didn't bat in the ninth inning of most games they won at home). 1 was a walk-off in the 12th inning with the team down a run. 0 were with the score tied 0 were with his team behind, giving them the lead (except for the walk-off) 0 were with his team behind to draw the score even In 66 at bats in games that were "late and close," he had one home run (the walk-off), hit .242, and had a .333 slugging percentage. In 97 at bats in which the scoring margin was more than 4 runs either way (winning or losing), he hit 7 homers, hit .351, and had a .619 slugging percentage. You think it turns your stomach? You don't have to watch him on your team every day. I don't have a problem with hitting a home run late in a blow out -- he can do that every time if he wants. Pad your stats all you want. But you've got to come up with more than 1 meaningful one in between all those fluffy ones. (To leave on an up-note, I freakin' love baseball-reference.com more and more every day.)

posted by BullpenPro at 06:23 PM on January 09

Fine. I'm sure the Reds would gladly give you Edwin Encarnacion for your underachieving A-Rod. Heaven forbid he hit 35 "useless" homeruns for the Reds.

posted by carolinared at 06:29 PM on January 09

Where do I sign?

posted by BullpenPro at 06:31 PM on January 09

If you are not the best, and clearly the best, at some aspect of the game at your position for a large part of your career, you don't belong in the Hall. Belle was ONE of the best power hitters for three or four years. Very good player, but it's not the Hall of Very Good. It's for the best of the best. I would argue that there are more in the Hall that don't really deserve it, than out who do. And, by the way, who the Hell were the 8 assholes who did not vote for Cal Ripken Jr.? Tony Gwynn? If you don't think those two guys belong in the Hall Of Fame, you should have your vote stripped.

posted by gradioc at 06:40 PM on January 09

Methinks we've had this conversation about padding of stats before. I stand by my comments here.

posted by holden at 06:53 PM on January 09

A quick summary...Goose got goosed (again), Jose? No way! Albert is an interesting call...good numbers, but not a real "crowd" pleaser, and WHO does the voting? I'm most upset about the Jim Kaat snuff, AGAIN. 283 wins, and he unselfishly plays Whitey's role for some 120 games as a reliever, "for the team". Every so often, pretty boy and glamour NEED to step aside, letting REAL talent in! Just an opinion...

posted by wolfdad at 07:56 PM on January 09

Lies, damn lies, and statistics. I'm with'holden' You can say from other evidence that maybe Arod gets tight in big spots. Its not like that can't be understood, being a 25m man in the Big Apple on a team that defines 'Just win, baby' I'm wondering though how much pitchers stay away from him in those same big spots. Surely, versus blowouts, he is going to see less hittable pitches in big spots, as anyone will, but more so I'd think. Also, those stats are from one of his worst years. What about for his career? 66 AB is not a lot, and I'd be wary of drawing conclusions from that small sample. At that level one big multi-homer game and your entire point is disproven, at least the homer frequency part. 4 in 69 AB is probably pretty close to the numbers you compare to. Even 97 AB is a pretty small sample. To prove this point from a statistical sample you need a career, even a season's worth might only define that season. No respect, I say. Kaat needs to be in. I don't have a problem with Belle out, or Raines, Rice and the Big Cat should be in...the rest of those guys? Meh.

posted by sfts2 at 08:40 PM on January 09

A-Rod hit 35 home runs in 2006. Of those, 13 were in the seventh inning or later (more than 1/3 in less than 1/3 of the game time, given that his team didn't bat in the ninth inning of most games they won at home). So he hit 22 in the first 6 innings when the game was "meaningful". 13 more in the last 3 innings. I'll take that on the reds...let me know who you want in return.

posted by louisville_slugger at 08:58 PM on January 09

One last thought, we could just start playing mlb games for 6 innings. The last 3 don't seem to mean shit anyway. They could wear Joe's Pizza shirts, bike shorts and have beer in the dugouts. Nah, I think I'd prefer to see them play hard for 9 innings.

posted by louisville_slugger at 09:09 PM on January 09

As long as I can remember, the HOF voting results creates numerous opinions on who gets in and who should get in. BCS?? What really will be interesting is the voting results and comments for Barry Bonds when he is eligible.

posted by oldsport at 09:10 PM on January 09

What about for his career? Alex Rodriguez, career numbers: By Inning: (inning - PA - HR - OPS) 1st - 1490 - 88 - .953 2nd - 413 - 26 - .906 3rd - 1040 - 66 - .962 4th - 781 - 47 - .991 5th - 867 - 52 - 1.046 6th - 888 - 64 - 1.036 7th - 795 - 45 - .912 8th - 860 - 48 - .944 9th - 523 - 22 - .759 Ext - 117 - 6 - 1.011 Situational: (situation - PA - HR - OPS) RISP - 2155 - 109 - .948 RISP (2 out) - 894 - 35 - .852 Close/Late - 867 - 45 - .878 Tie Game - 2201 - 133 - .979 Score differential: (difference - PA - HR - OPS) Tie Game - 2201 - 133 - .979 1 Run - 1677 - 103 - .979 2 Runs - 1218 - 57 - .838 3 Runs - 885 - 64 - 1.042 4 Runs - 600 - 39 - .988 More than 4 Runs - 1193 - 68 - .940 Total - 7774 - 464 - .959 P.S. Before someone jumps all over ARod's 9th inning results, I'll just point out that super-clutch-masters Derek Jeter (.623) and David Ortiz (.767) are just as pitiful. Yes, you read that right: Jeter turns into a bad version of Neifi Perez when batting in the 9th inning. P.P.S. $29 for a year's subscription to Baseball-Reference.com's full stats? Best internet payment I've made.

posted by grum@work at 10:38 PM on January 09

Slugger, what in the world are you going on about? I called out A-Rod's performance in the last three innings because they are the MOST critical, particularly in close games. I didn't say they didn't mean anything. And there has been a lot twisting and misunderstanding about "hitting home runs when they don't count," which I agree is an expression that doesn't make much sense at all. The criticism about A-Rod isn't that he sometimes hits home runs in games that already have a fairly concretely decided outcome. The criticism you are hearing, and apparently not understanding, is that A-Rod ONLY hits home runs in games that already have a fairly concretely decided outcome. And I would guess that was the sense wdminott and his brother had about Belle on the White Sox. You're a Reds fan. Isn't it awesome that when Griffey comes up in a "close and late" situation he hits a home run once every nine at bats? That he hit .281 with a .656 slugging percentage batting in that very critical three-hole in your lineup last year? Wasn't it great when he hit 8 home runs -- EIGHT -- to give your team the lead after the sixth inning, five of them when your team was losing? No, A-Rod is not a permanent vacant lot in the three-hole of the Yankees order. But when you watch the guy time and again in situations when even a single would be huge, and all you get is a lame strikeout, weak groundball to short... it wears on you having to watch it. And it's not the "Yankee fan has to win all the time" syndrome. I don't care what team you root for, if you can walk into a game without feeling hopeful your team will win, or walk away from a loss without some degree of frustration, well... I'm not interested in putting a measure on anybody's fandom or telling anyone how to root, but it seems to me that these are fundamental to attaching yourself to a team. Even Cubs fans want to get rid of pieces that they associate with losing. I associate A-Rod with losing a lot more than winning. The numbers, particularly last year, seem to back me up reasonably well, but I get that feeling more from watching him day to day -- not the boos, not the media, just the watching him and feeling that sinking feeling every time he doesn't get the job done. I'm sure A-Rod would turn around and be a full-time monster in Cincy, but he doesn't give any indication that he's going to do that in New York. To bring this back on topic, there's a guy who got no votes today who I would much rather see at third base on this Yankees team than the guy we've got. And there's a guy who got a lot of votes whose numbers were better in late and close situations than at any other time. Now that guy was good. (Grum... you just had to go there, didn't you. You dog.)

posted by BullpenPro at 11:02 PM on January 09

(Grum... you just had to go there, didn't you. You dog.) At least I included Ortiz, so it didn't look too obvious. ;) One more thing: How come Cal Ripken's 1999 season doesn't get at least a raised eyebrow from the steroid hunters?

  • Year: 1999, right in the heart of the "Steroid Era"
  • Age: 38, well past his prime
  • SLG: .584, highest of his career by a significant margin, following a season that was the second lowest SLG of his career (at that time)
  • Teammate: his teammate the previous season? Rafael Palmeiro
Just saying...

posted by grum@work at 11:24 PM on January 09

I'm sure A-Rod would turn around and be a full-time monster in Cincy, but he doesn't give any indication that he's going to do that in New York. Except for 2005, right? .321/.421/.610 is a "full-time monster" in every sense of the word, and he did win the MVP award. If that's not good enough for Yankee fans, nothing could possibly satisfy them at this point.

posted by grum@work at 11:29 PM on January 09

How come Cal Ripken's 1999 season doesn't get at least a raised eyebrow from the steroid hunters? How about this guy...? Years: 1997-1999, right in the heart of the "Steroid Era" Age: 37-39, well past his prime SLG: .547, .501, .477 for a career .459 slugger, and the only consecutive double-digit homer seasons of his career Teammate: his teammate the first two of those three seasons? Ken Caminiti. If that's not good enough for Yankee fans, nothing could possibly satisfy them at this point. I could do a breakdown of A-Rod's 2005 season that would look eerily similar to this one, starting with his 3 home run/12 RBI day against Bartolo Colon, but in the end nobody is likely to be converted one way or the other. Let's just leave it at "BullpenPro is the Jimmy Piersall of SportsFilter" and chalk it up to trophy withdrawal.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:16 AM on January 10

As an avid NYY fan living overseas and only getting to watch 1-2 Yankee Games per week, it may be that the games I don't see are the ones where A-Rod doesn't raise the hopes of the Fans at the Stadium and watching on TV. I will take his stats anyday. He showed me that he wanted to play for us when he moved from Short to 3rd to allow Jeter to remain with the Yanks and do what he does best. Belle should not make it to the Hall of Fame unless it is a HOF for Crybabies, Tantrum Throwers and all round Bad-Eggs. He was a one tool player as far as I am concerned. Hopefully Kaut and Raines will make it next year. I also would love to see McGwire make it. I still remember the tension and excitement when he and Sosa were battling it out to beat the Home Run record. That is what makes the games and brings in the Fans. Without that you have a bunch of Guys wearing long pants in summer and chasing a ball!!!!!

posted by jadzia1970 at 05:25 AM on January 10

dammit, he's my childhood idol. Yes, and Ivan DeJesus and Juan Samuel should also be in the hall. What? I was like ten, are you gonna make fun of a ten year old?

posted by SummersEve at 05:33 AM on January 10

"There's Belle rounding second looking for a white woman to sodomize". Needless to say, I fell out of my seat onto the floor. I wish more was needless to say.

posted by yerfatma at 06:24 AM on January 10

How about this guy...? *clap clap clap* Well played!

posted by grum@work at 08:42 AM on January 10

Grum, is there a good version of Nefi Perez?

posted by hawkguy at 08:46 AM on January 10

If we're pulling for childhood heroes pencil my write-in votes for Cookie Rojas and Buck Martinez.

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 09:08 AM on January 10

what a crock of crap! Mark retired BEFORE the rules changed! How can they keep him off the ballot if THE WRITERS follow the rules too? These same idiot baseball writing hacks,(who KNEW that Mark and Sammy were on steroids) were HAPPY to glorify these guys for saving the game back in the late 90's, but now are condemning them for not playing the game pure? Gimme a break! If you want to get all moral about it, most of the guys in the HOFame, are guilty of all kinds of crap from adultery to wife-beating to gambling to playing dirty(ty cobb) yet there they are in the Hall of Shame! It reeks of hypocrisy. Writers should be consistent and apply the same rule of law to players as we do in public life. Mark played the game PURE for 10 solid years, putting up good numbers and probably would of gotten in had he never done steroids, and maybe played a few more seasons as the training and extra weight he carried wore out his knees. But to be such hypocrites as these writers are and to keep out McGwire is a shame in itself greater than the steroid era.

posted by bluekarma at 10:33 AM on January 10

Yeah.. can someone explain to me how you can complain about "the rules changed" when steroids were a controlled substance (and thus illegal to use without physician supervision) long before the steroid era in baseball?

posted by apoch at 11:05 AM on January 10

I am having a hard time understanding why some feel it appropriate to induct someone to the Hall of Fame who used steroids. And I say that as a one-time "Big Mac" fan. When my oldest son turned 12 I treated he and his brother to a Cardinals home game as a birthday present. We weren't there to see the Cards. We were there to see McGwire chase the record and he obliged by tying it. It was an incredible experience for the three of us. I continued to hold out hope that McGwire hadn't used steroids when he appeared before congress. Taking his own personalized version of the fifth amendment heaped even more suspiscion on his character. I want positive role models for my kids. McGwire is not one of them. Were he to tell the truth and sincerely apologize by confessing his wrongdoing then, I believe, most of his critics, including me, would change their tune. And, in my opinion, he'd be a good role model. Why? Because of the obvious fact we all know--all of us mess up. Being a man means owning up to our "sins," accepting responsibility, and trying to be a part of the solution to the problem we once helped create. Can you imagine the good McGwire could do if he admitting his actions were wrong and spoke to college kids about the physical dangers and the moral aspects of steroid use? There is still time and hopefully McGwire will find peace from his demons and add back to America's Pastime which once gave him so much.

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 12:16 PM on January 10

It was an incredible experience for the three of us. Here's the flip side of that story: Firstly, is there any part of that day -- any bit of it at all -- that isn't tainted by what's happened since? Nice day, big happy crowd, day out with the family, you bore witness to (what is still) a major event in baseball history... that's all a uniformly bad experience now? And secondly, androstenedione (the only supplement McGwire was definitely taking in his golden year) was legal at that point. The fact that it isn't now doesn't change the past. Spitballs and cocaine were legal once too. Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter on LSD once. Everyone had access to the drugs and supplements of the day, but not everyone hit 583 home runs. I'd have voted him in. I figured his numbers would be closer to the 50% range, but I understand why they're lower. Also, for what it's worth, I don't think he cares.

posted by chicobangs at 12:29 PM on January 10

"....docking him points for "retiring"...." "He was a force to be reckoned with for another 5 or 6, but just could not prove his staying power" Do any of you guys that made the comments above know exactly why Albert Belle left the game early? Belle had what was called a degenerative hip that Mickey Mantle also suffered from which in turn, made him leave the game earlier than what he may have wanted to. With the stats Belle left the game with, he deserves a little more than a quick once over. He may not have been an all-around good guy towards the media and sports writers (the very same people who actually decide who gets voted into Cooperstown) so that may have to do with him being overlooked. As far as A-Rod is concerned, why is it that he's always the one guy that's blamed for the Yankees losses? Isn't baseball a team sport? Does A-Rod pitch, catch, play outfield or manages the club? There are 9 guys on that field and no one gets more heat than A-Rod. Is it the fact that he's the official $200 million dollar man? Who cares how much he's getting paid? To me, A-Rod is (as soon as he retires) a first ballot Hall of Famer, maybe the greatest player to ever play the game and also worth every red cent that he's getting paid. Barry Bonds may get the Home Run title this year (deservingly so) but if A-Rod keeps posting the same stats that he has been for the past 13 years (Career Average: .305 BA- 43 HR- 125 RBI), we'll be seeing the title of Home Run King passed on to Mr. $200 Million himself.

posted by BornIcon at 12:49 PM on January 10

By the way, if anyone disputes A-Rod's career averages, I got the stats over at Sports-Reference.com, the Holy Grail of sport stats.

posted by BornIcon at 12:55 PM on January 10

BullpenPro wrote: To bring this back on topic, there's a guy who got no votes today who I would much rather see at third base on this Yankees team than the guy we've got. I assume you're referring to Brosius. Plugging in Brosius to last year's Yankees in place of all of A-Rod's at bats (using Brosius' career averages of .323 OBP and .422 SLG), you get a difference in offensive runs created (using the Bill James RC formula) of about 39 (about 117 for A-Rod using his line last year of .392 OBP and .523 SLG and about 78 for Brosius -- in each case in the 572 ABs that A-Rod had in 2006). This differential of 39 runs drops the Yankees to 891 runs scored last year (from the 930 they actually scored) against 767 runs allowed (which doesn't change). Using a simple pythagorean projection for team records based on those runs scored and runs allowed, I get a .574 winning percentage for the Yankees, which equal about 93 wins, compared to the 97 the Yankees won last year with A-Rod as the 3B. So basically, A-Rod is good for four additional victories over Brosius based on last year's stats. Last year, this would not have kept the Yankees from making the playoffs (but would have affected their seeding). Assuming A-Rod's production next year is more in line with his career averages, I would think that the difference between Brosius and A-Rod will be even more stark. In a very competitive AL East, those additional wins can make a very good difference. Perhaps you would prefer to see Brosius because he is a better team player, a character guy, a good clutch hitter, and was a part of the most recent Yankees dynasty, but from an objective standpoint of who gives the Yankees the best chance to win, it doesn't add up. (Note/Disclaimer -- this analysis oversimplifies in that it doesn't take into account more advanced runs created or pythagorean formulas and doesn't account for defense, but it's a pretty good quick and dirty comparison.)

posted by holden at 01:36 PM on January 10

The fact that Alan Trammell hasn't yet been elected to the HOF proves that it's a bunch of crap. There is (or should be anyway) more then raw statistics to show who belongs in the hall. Trammell was the heart of the Tigers for years in the way Ernie Banks was of the Cubs. The Hall needs to recognize that.

posted by commander cody at 01:47 PM on January 10

this analysis oversimplifies in that it doesn't take into account more advanced runs created or pythagorean formulas and doesn't account for defense... or the fact that Brosius wouldn't be put into the middle of the order, meaning a different player altogether would have the opportunity to drive in the critical runs that A-Rod doesn't. The change would effect every single player in the lineup, not just Brosius and A-Rod. Plus, the Boo Factor. Using Jim Williams' Boo Factor formula, which calculates the demoralizing aspect of being chided by your own home crowd, A-Rod's Boo Factor last year was -3.14156 wins. Brosius' average Boo Factor during his career with the Yankees was +1.85844. That's a total difference of about five wins. So, obviously, the Yankees are a better team with Brosius.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:01 PM on January 10

No friggin' way. I have passionate opinions about a lot of people who played for the Sox, but not so much that I would ever want Scott Brosius over A-Rod. Look, Brosius was there when they won a bunch of Series and it was this magical ride being a Yankees fan. I get that. But you are putting the cart before the horse here. In spite of Brosius' rather equine visage, I can't agree.

posted by yerfatma at 02:18 PM on January 10

The fact that Alan Trammell hasn't yet been elected to the HOF proves that it's a bunch of crap. There is (or should be anyway) more then raw statistics to show who belongs in the hall. Trammell was the heart of the Tigers for years in the way Ernie Banks was of the Cubs. The Hall needs to recognize that. posted by commander cody at 1:47 PM CST on January 10 "Heart" is a statistic now? What about "Smells Nice" and "Best Beard" and "Makes a Mean Spaghetti Sauce"

posted by jerseygirl at 02:24 PM on January 10

*clap clap clap* Well played! Maybe Ladewski has a point after all. No friggin' way. Okay, let me ask you a question: who would you rather have as your left fielder, Manny Ramirez or Carl Yastrzemski? On edit: "Heart" is a statistic now? I think the appeal was that it isn't.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:25 PM on January 10

Okay, let me ask you a question: who would you rather have as your left fielder, Manny Ramirez or Carl Yastrzemski? Well, Manny did win a championship, so by what appears to be your logic... BPP - I appreciate your A-Rod hate-on, God knows purple lips just make me want to punch a child, but he's one of the best ever. He just is. I'm with grum on this one (and truth be told, most of the others). My ballot would include Rice, McGwire, Gossage, Dawson, Gwynn and Ripken - for what it's worth.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:36 PM on January 10

Well, Manny did win a championship, so by what appears to be your logic... I would appreciate it if you would leave logic out of this discussion. I also take Kamen over Einstein -- the Theory of Relativity is nice and all, but it won't get me to the store.

posted by BullpenPro at 03:04 PM on January 10

Chicobangs, my perspective on McGwire would be very different had he been forthright about his use of steroids, apologetic for his apparent antipathy to the whole issue, and try to add something of value to the game disgraced by the steroids era. Was Andro illegal when he took it? If not, then why wouldn't he have been more forthcoming about what he did or didn't do? An innocent man fights for his reputation when his name is being dragged through the mud. Plus, a lot of young athletes have done and will do steroids, some may not however if a guy of McGwire's stature would stand up and say "Enough already. I was wrong. Here's why." I don't think he cares either--which is probably part of the problem.

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 03:08 PM on January 10

Plus, the Boo Factor. Using Jim Williams' Boo Factor formula, which calculates the demoralizing aspect of being chided by your own home crowd, A-Rod's Boo Factor last year was -3.14156 wins. Brosius' average Boo Factor during his career with the Yankees was +1.85844. That's a total difference of about five wins. So, obviously, the Yankees are a better team with Brosius. Is that the same as the Jimy Williams Boo Factor?

posted by holden at 03:14 PM on January 10

who would you rather have as your left fielder, Manny Ramirez or Carl Yastrzemski? I honestly don't know. I only got to see Yaz when he was old and broken. Plus they played in different eras. Thankfully, we have statistics to rely on for those sort of comparisons, but even that isn't so helpful. Manny has the higher career OPS+, but Yaz has the highest one-year OPS+ and his career stats are clearly affected by him playing for so long. He also has 30% more runs created over his career. Take Yaz by a nose for defense if I can get each of them at their peak. If you're trying to get me to pick Yaz for "cluthiness", it's a poor comparison as Manny is no . . . A-Rod.

posted by yerfatma at 03:21 PM on January 10

And secondly, Androstenedione (the only supplement McGwire was taking in his golden year) was legal at that point. According to an FBI investigation, it was not the only PDA/steroid/bullshit McGwire ever ever put in his body, however, and it also provides information as to why he may not have wished to speak about it in front of Congress or anyone else... Congrats to Gwynn and Ripken, we may not see their kind inducted for a great while.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:20 PM on January 10

Yeah.. can someone explain to me how you can complain about "the rules changed" when steroids were a controlled substance (and thus illegal to use without physician supervision) long before the steroid era in baseball? If voters are punishing McGwire because he might have used a controlled substance (and other than heresay from a couple of felons, I've seen no other real evidence (and "he's so big!", "look at his numbers!" don't count)), then I wonder if they applied the same logic when Paul Molitor came up for HOF election a couple of years ago. I mean, everyone does remember that Paul Molitor admitted to using cocaine. Right? So if Molitor's "controlled substance" usage was sloughed off by writers, how come McGwire wouldn't get the same pass? Was Andro illegal when he took it? If not, then why wouldn't he have been more forthcoming about what he did or didn't do? An innocent man fights for his reputation when his name is being dragged through the mud. I'm guessing you don't remember 9 years ago when it happened, but they found the bottle in his locker, out in the open. He wasn't hiding it. He wasn't denying it. He admitted to using it, and since it was a legal supplement at the time, nothing more was made of it. Plus, a lot of young athletes have done and will do steroids, some may not however if a guy of McGwire's stature would stand up and say "Enough already. I was wrong. Here's why." Is that the same logic that says if an athlete makes a PSA about the evils of drug use, it actually convinces teens not to use drugs?

posted by grum@work at 04:50 PM on January 10

Well Bruce Sutter got in last year so that takes care of best beard. I assume the mean spaghetti sauce would be Dimaggio, it's definitely not Lasorda. Smells nice, well that would have to be Jeter.

posted by SummersEve at 05:03 PM on January 10

Six different people gave me Driven for Christmas, and I have to say it smells better than Moises Alou's cologne.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:26 PM on January 10

I thought Alou just made a hand lotion.

posted by SummersEve at 05:37 PM on January 10

Grum, sorry for the misunderstanding. I didn't mean to imply that Andro was illegal. Why would Mac not be more forthcoming if all he took was Andro?

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 05:39 PM on January 10

If you're trying to get me to pick Yaz for "cluthiness", it's a poor comparison as Manny is no . . . A-Rod. I claim victory. Beers are on me.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:05 PM on January 10

I don't care if McGwire is in the HoF or not. My question was regarding the argument in his defense, "It wasn't against the rules at the time." I could see how that argument would apply if say, corking bats was allowed and then disallowed it. My questions is, why should any sport have to have a rule against illegal activity?

posted by apoch at 06:08 PM on January 10

My questions is, why should any sport have to have a rule against illegal activity? Just for the record, using steroids is not illegal. Owning them, dealing them, acquiring them...that's illegal. If your trainer owns the steroids, and injects them into you, then you haven't broken the law. As well, implementing a punishment or testing system upon the players required collective bargaining agreement, so any unilateral statement from the league about what is/isn't allowed just doesn't hold water. Why would Mac not be more forthcoming if all he took was Andro? I'm not sure what he has to be "forthcoming" about if (we assume) he didn't do anything? Here is the statement he gave in front of Congress: "I am not here to talk about the past. I'm here to talk about the present. Steroids are wrong. Don't take them. It gives you nothing but false hope. There is a problem with steroid use in baseball. If a player answers 'No,' he simply will not be believed. If he answers 'Yes,' he risks public scorn and endless government investigations. Asking me or any other player to answer questions about who took steroids in front of television cameras will not solve the problem. What anybody can do to improve it so that there's no more meetings like this, I'm all for it. What I will not do, however, is participate in naming names and implicating my friends." Everyone seems to harp about the "I'm not here to talk about the past." and forget the rest.

posted by grum@work at 06:40 PM on January 10

Six different people gave me Driven for Christmas Maybe that was their subtle way of letting you know that you smell.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:05 PM on January 10

Maybe that was their subtle way of letting you know that you smell. I would think that, too, except their way of doing turned out to be, "Dude, you stink."

posted by BullpenPro at 09:29 PM on January 10

Why would Mac not be more forthcoming if all he took was Andro? I'll disagree with grum on this one and say "because he took more than Andro and didn't want to lie". This has nothing to do with my opinions on steroids (I'd vote for bonds) or if I think mcgwire should be in the hall. I didn't forget his entire testimony and taken as a whole was just as unconvincing as the simple statement "I'm not here to talk about the past" (which he repeated more than once). At one point he was asked if he played "with honesty and integrity". He responded with "I'm not going to go into the past or talk about my past. I'm here to make a positive influence on this". Proof? No. But voting for the hall isn't the court system. If someone was gung-ho on not allowing steroid users into the hall (which I disagree with) I can certainly see why they think mcgwire took them. It's certainly not that hard to bellieve. I feel the same way.

posted by justgary at 01:10 AM on January 11

I thought McGwire's Statement to Congress was very well spoken. He was, and still is, in an impossible position. Nothing he says is going to change what people think. BTW, What happens when Sosa comes up on the Ballot? Will the corked bat incident be forgotten because he is a "good guy" or will he receive the same treatment McGwire is getting now. I am a Yankees Fan so really don't care for anyone who played for the A's (unless of course they come play for the Yanks and improve our team) but McGwire did a lot to bring baseball fans back after the Strike of '94. That should not be discounted. So, obviously, the Yankees are a better team with Brosius. No Yankee Fan will forget the image of Scott Brosius jumping for joy as he rounded first in San Diego after hitting a huge home run that helped the Yanks win the World Series. The guy put his heart and soul into each and every game. But is he a Hall of Famer? I'm not sure. Is he better for the Yanks than A-Rod? No frigging way!!!! A-rod gets booed because so much more is expected from him than ever was from Brosius who was generaly acknowledged as a good third baseman and all-round-nice-guy. A-Rod is seen as the saviour of the team and when he doesn't hit as every single at-bat he gets booed. Look at his stats then look at Brosius' Don't even try to tell me that the Yankees would be better off with Brosius. He fit perfectly in that Magical Team of the late 90's. Would he be so popular if he was on the team today, the team that limps into the post-season and crawls home defeated because doing their best is just not good enough for the NYY fans. Nothing short of a World Series will appease us....we have been spoiled so much in the past that we cannot accept losing.

posted by jadzia1970 at 05:16 AM on January 11

Why would Mac not be more forthcoming if all he took was Andro? Because maybe, just maybe, he thinks it's none of our fucking business. Not mine, not yours, not Congress', not anybody's. I like McGwire, always have, always will. I don't like Barry Bonds. I did at one point, but I don't now, and probably never will again. However, until somebody can prove that either one of them took steroids (more than the "clear and cream" that Bonds has admitted to unknowingly using), all we have is their word. Take it or leave it, but don't act like you know what's what when you don't.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:30 AM on January 11

"....doing their best is just not good enough for the NYY fans. Nothing short of a World Series will appease us....we have been spoiled so much in the past that we cannot accept losing" Oh my Lord! I can't believe I just read this and it's coming from a self proclaimed Yankees fan. Unbelieveable. I applaud you for your honesty jadzia and for the fact that you realize that there's no way in hell that Brosius is a better fit for the Yanks than A-Rod is. There's plenty of room in the Mets fan-dom to bring in a converted Yankees fan. Your more than welcome to come over from the dark side.

posted by BornIcon at 07:41 AM on January 11

I thought McGwire's Statement to Congress was very well spoken. He was reading from a prepared statement with a trembling voice. When asked other questions he went back to his prepared statement. You can believe him, and think there's nothign wrong with that, but it certainly wasn't well spoken.

posted by justgary at 09:49 AM on January 11

Paul Molitor admitted to using cocaine. I am not privy to the exact details of his use, but I don't think it was meant to be, nor do I think it can it be said, that cocaine provides an unfair advantage in regard to playing baseball. And, Paul admitted his problem in public, conquered it privately, and has acted as a spokesman against the use of drugs to various youth groups.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:12 PM on January 11

To add to mjkredliner's above post, most of us who cheered wildly for Big Mac and showed up two hours early to just watch him take batting practice are hoping against all hope that he will take the same course as Molitar. If you didn't cheat with steroids tell us. If you did, then be a man, admit it, say, "I'm sorry" and tell kids "It's wrong."

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 12:30 PM on January 11

It will be interesting to see if Rock Raines gets the same free pass on the cocaine thing that Molitor got. If he doesn't . . . I'll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.

posted by holden at 12:39 PM on January 11

With only 181 more games played than Raines, Molitor amassed 817 more hits, scored 211 more runs, hit 64 more HR's, hit 8 points higher, and beat Raines in every statistical category but OBP (.385 vs .369) and SB's (808 vs 504) so, much more than that will come into play, holden

posted by mjkredliner at 01:02 PM on January 11

With only 181 more games played than Raines, Molitor amassed 817 more hits, scored 211 more runs, hit 64 more HR's, hit 8 points higher, and beat Raines in every statistical category but OBP (.385 vs .369) and SB's (808 vs 504) so, much more than that will come into play, holden I know much more than that will come into play. I'm just saying that if any voter uses the coke thing as an excuse for keeping him out and did not take the same approach for Molitor, there's a double standard at play. There are legitimate arguments for keeping Raines out based on his performance (I personally think he should be a slam dunk, but am not so optimistic about the voters' perceptions), but I think the coke thing is and should be irrelevant.

posted by holden at 01:16 PM on January 11

I am not privy to the exact details of his use, but I don't think it was meant to be, nor do I think it can it be said, that cocaine provides an unfair advantage in regard to playing baseball. It should be pointed out that my response was to someone indicating that steroids were a controlled substance and against the law, which was their defence for "steroids weren't against the rules when he took them". I'm not suggesting that cocaine = steroids for performance-enhancing, but that wasn't the point I was making. With only 181 more games played than Raines, Molitor amassed 817 more hits, scored 211 more runs, hit 64 more HR's, hit 8 points higher, and beat Raines in every statistical category but OBP (.385 vs .369) and SB's (808 vs 504) so, much more than that will come into play, holden However, not only did he steal more bases, but he stole them at a level that was well above average. In fact, many consider him to be the best basestealer in the game. It should also be pointed out that Molitor played almost 10x as many games as a DH than Raines did, and fielded his position much better than Molitor did (when he was out there). I'm not suggesting that Raines is a better HOF candidate than Molitor, but it's MUCH closer than you think. If you didn't cheat with steroids tell us. If you did, then be a man, admit it, say, "I'm sorry" and tell kids "It's wrong." McGwire: I did not use steroids. Predisposed public opinion: Liar! What exactly is gained? That's the best part of the writers' attack against McGwire about his testimony in front of Congress; if you assume he doesn't use the "talk about the past" defence, the only other results are: - If he isn't called to testify, they have no platform to attack him. - If he "lies" and says he never used steroids, they would either believe him (therefore rewarding his lack of morals by lying in front of Congress) or they wouldn't believe him and they'd be in the same situation. - If he "tells the truth", his reputation is shattered and the writers would not vote him in because they know he "cheated".

posted by grum@work at 01:27 PM on January 11

In fact, many consider him to be the best basestealer in the game. Word. I looked up his numbers, and few players are really close. Not Rickey. Not Brock. You know who IS pretty close, though? This guy. Never got a whiff of the Hall, but despite a late start to his career he put up some really solid seasons. 1979 was awesome, '77 and '78 weren't bad either. 83% career SB success rate. Not bad.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:06 PM on January 11

it's MUCH closer than you think. No, not at all, I think that Molitor's chief advantages were in crossing the magical 3000 hit barrier, winning a ring, and, his off the field contrition for his sins, if one cares to call it that. And, Molitor was no slouch as a basestealer himself. I think it will be a close call with Raines on whether or not he is enshrined, his admission to carrying and using cocaine during games can not help his case, but there is no doubt he was one of the best leadoff hitters of his time.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:21 PM on January 11

Here's an excerpt of what Joe Sheehan had to say about Raines' qualifications in his column at Baseball Prospectus yesterday (subscription only):

Raines isn't just qualified for the Hall of Fame. Hes an above-average Hall of Famer. He's one of the 120 or so best players in baseball history. His comparables aren't the guys on the ballot like Rice and Dawson and Dale Murphy; his comps are recent inductees like Gwynn and Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor. Raines has nearly 40 wins on Kirby Puckett, who was a first-ballot selection. Sentimental value can't possibly be worth that much. If you go beyond the numbers, you see that Raines was arguably the best player in baseball for a time at his peak, a ten-win player for five straight years from 1983 through 1987. He was at the forefront of the games speed renaissance, stealing 70 or more bases in six straight seasons, and finishing his career with 808 steals and an 84% success rate. Hes second only to Rickey Henderson in career net steals (SB-2*CS), with 516. He was an OBP machine and a superior defender, albeit with a weak arm, in left field. He would go on to be a key contributor to two World Championship Yankee teams at the end of his career.

posted by holden at 02:28 PM on January 11

I obviously did not remember Raines playing on those Championship teams, but another factor working against him (unfortunately) may well be the fact that he labored in Montreal for many of his best years, and did not get the same amount of press he would have had he spent those years in the states. (Holden, you have convinced me that he belongs, but I did not hold the cocaine thing against him, we can only hope the BBWAA doesn't either.)

posted by mjkredliner at 02:40 PM on January 11

You know who IS pretty close, though? This guy. Rhode Island, represent! No, not at all, Does that mean you think Molitor and Raines are comparable or worlds apart? It's not clear to me. holden beat me to why they are closer than it looks at first glance. Raines is one of those players I didn't fully appreciate as a kid. Looking back, what seemed like a solid veteran was really a superstar. And he laughed when Bill James made a joke to him in a Men's Room. So there's that.

posted by yerfatma at 02:40 PM on January 11

I meant to convey that I did not think that they were as far apart as Grum thought I thought they were. I think.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:11 PM on January 11

Glad that's settled.

posted by yerfatma at 08:25 PM on January 11

Davey Lopes for the Hall? Did I read that post right? If so, then I repeat my vote for Fred Patek and Cookie Rojas!!!

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 08:58 AM on January 12

Hey, if Nap Lajoie can get in, my feeling is all Rhode Islander natives who played in the MLB should be afforded a (very small) spot. Bring on Rocco Baldelli. And that other guy.

posted by yerfatma at 11:18 AM on January 12

Baldelli could end up to be a very good player. I think he'll have to get away from the Devil Rays to become a star though.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:06 PM on January 12

Rose and Shoeless Joe. Big Mac and Bonds tomorrow. I hope I'm wrong.

posted by LA_Dude at 07:41 PM on January 14

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