10 January 2006

2006 Hall of Fame Inductee, RR/ RW Challenge, Isaac Brock/ Turner...

Per BaseballHallofFame.org, Bruce Sutter was the lone inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame for this year, 2006. Among the candidates I previously spoke about, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson and Rich Gossage were the only to come within 15% of the required 75% ballot presence to be enshrined. Here are the results of the players I mentioned in my last post:

BRUCE SUTTER___________76.9
JIM RICE_______________64.8
RICH GOSSAGE___________64.6
ANDRE DAWSON___________61.0
BERT BLYLEVEN__________53.3
ALAN TRAMMELL__________17.7

Now, Trammell finished much further down the list than I would have pegged him, but that's not really material. I do, however, think this voting period says a number of really specific things.

  • Jim Rice will never be elected to the Hall of Fame. Neither will Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven or Alan Trammell. This was an exceptionally weak voting year- next year, for instance, features Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Mark McGwire as first time eligibles. One has to believe that, if it hasn't happened for these players yet, and it didn't happen for them this season- not a lot can happen to put them over the top. Every year the voting starts and judging by articles, conversation and rumblings, I start to become convinced that Rice has a chance. He never comes close.

    If voters can't see what makes Bert Blyleven a Hall of Famer, I don't believe anything in the future will arise to change that perception.

  • Bruce Sutter as a Hall of Famer poses a few problems. First- if you give Sutter the nod, a number of similar pitchers begin to have strong cases one would think they shouldn't have- Tom Henke, Roberto Hernandez, Jeff Reardon, Armando Benitez, Doug Jones. Sutter has innings on all these guys (except Doug Jones), but the point is still there; this opens up way too many doors. Keith Foulke, for instance, is about 200 IP at his 98-04 levels from being in Sutter-ville.

  • The only players with a lower percentage of votes to garner enshrinement:

    Pie Traynor
    Lefty Grove

    Jim Hunter
    Ryne Sandberg
    Cy Young
    Early Wynn
    Willie Keeler
    Ralph Kiner
    Fergie Jenkins
    Al Simmons

    The ones in bold are the only slam-dunks: Grove, for example, is the greatest LHP in baseball history, Cy Young is Cy Young.

    Sutter joins Phil Rizzuto, Tony Perez, Orlando Cepeda, Jimmy Wynn and Don Drysdale as the most questionable selections in the Hall's history. Bobby Grich, Ron Santo, and Vada Pinson meanwhile, stand outside looking in.

  • A couple of notes on the COMMENTS section on the Hall of Fame post-

    Jere wrote:

    He led the Sox to great seasons in 75, 77, 78, 79, and 86. The double plays, as we all remember, were his achilles heel. But a very slow Rice grounded into 5 less DP's than Boggs did in '88, when Boggs hit .366. Granted, it was in 20 less games, and that's just one time, so it's a bad example, but I had to throw it in.

    20 HRs every year from '75 to '86, except for the strike year, with a few monster years in there. I think he was great enough for long enough to get in. Albeit at the plate only, but, hey, he was never a liability in left, he played the wall fine, good enough for me.

    Here's a point I was thinking about that, while it doesn't rule him out of the Hall, it is food for thought- Jim Rice, in his 16 year career, was the best player on his team twice (by my count). Using OPS and considering value of position and level of defense, here is how I would rate the best player on the Red Sox during every season of Rice's career:

    1974: Yastrzemski
    1975: Lynn
    1976: Lynn/ Fisk
    1977: Rice
    1978: Rice
    1979: Lynn
    1980: Evans
    1981: Evans
    1982: Evans
    1983: Boggs
    1984: Boggs/ Evans
    1985: Boggs
    1986: Boggs
    1987: Boggs
    1988: Boggs
    1989: Boggs

    Rice's GiDP are often brought up in the context of how many outs he recorded- Jere correctly points out Boggs' high GiDP total in 1985, but that came, for Boggs, with a .450 OBP. Jim Rice, for instance, had a .349 OBP. Not bad, but suffers from his GiDP (35 that year), where Boggs makes up for his (20 in 85) by getting on base a lot more. That's a big problem throughout Rice's career, in addition to a too-short peak, being helped out by his home park, and his defense: he had a middling OBP. .352 isn't bad- but it's not great either. It makes him "borderline."

    BSM - I disagree with your assertion that Rice and Belle are equatable. Rice had three years of HOF level production - 1977-1979. He was quite good in the early 80's, but not Hall level; 3 years out of a 16 year career just aren't good enough. Albert Belle, on the other hand, had 6 years of absolute dominance, during which he was probably the best hitter in the majors, and was still very productive when his career ended early. He'll never get in because of personality issues, but in terms of his production, the man deserves it.

    Career OPS+
    Rice- 128
    Belle- 143

    Belle also has an edge in OBP, SLG, BA, and is trailing him in HR by ONE despite playing 4 fewer seasons. Also- Rice grounded into 315 DPs- Belle 193. I don't think Belle is a HoFer, but I think it's hard to construct an argument for Rice and dismiss Belle, personally, which a lot of voters did- Belle got only 40 votes, a tenth of what Sutter got, and nearly 300 fewer than Jim Ed.

    I would have elected Jim Rice before I did Bruce Sutter, in fact, and I really think it's time to make these writer's ballots public. That way, the mouthbreathers that voted for Bruce Sutter and NOT Rich Gossage would have to explain why that was in some fashion.

    Maybe I'll have more on this later. Maybe not.

    I decided something last night- watching Real World/ Road Rules Challenge. You remember Brad- the muscle-y, sensationally (unintentionally) hilarious dimbulb that has ritually re-appeared on the RW/ RR challenges every season. After watching that small fry Derek referring to his performance body painting various canvasses like he was taking Hamburger Hill in 'Nam, I got thinking that very few castmembers will ever be as perfectly ridiculous as Brad. Chumps like Derek just don't measure up.

    In a past challenge there was a seminal Brad moment- obscene amounts of alcohol (leading to excessive intoxication) after a night on the town, all the castmembers piled into the MTV Safe-Driver/ Make Sure EVERYONE Gets Drunk For Good Footage Van. Mike- the Miz- proceeded to ruinously wedgie Brad, to the tune of it being pulled over his head and ripping. This ended with Brad pulling the elastic underpants band over his head, onto his neck, and screaming into the camera while pulling on the garment: "NOW IT'S A NECKLACE! NOW IT'S A NECKLACE!!"

    Then he inexplicably freaked out, lost his shit, and said to Mike in anger: "You might think you're cool, and that you're the man, but face it- you're a meathead, son." Now, looking back, I would certainly have guessed that the latter of these two quotes would have survived.

    But that's life- it's funny sometimes. "Now it's a necklace" is, for me, an absolute touchstone.

    I guess I'm typing all this to mention the following: do not be surprised to see me punctuating random points and ideas with "so now it's a necklace." It will be a catch-all phrase, amounting to something like, "well, that's that." Of course, much is lost in that translation.

    I'm stealing this DI-rectly from Jere, which I hope he doesn't mind. I'm all about subtle theft. I'm comfortable with it. OK, so, now it's a necklace. Movin' on...

    Last night on ABC-7 local NYC news, there was a story about a woman getting raped at the W Hotel in Manhattan- certainly not very funny. BUT- the story focused on how odd it was that such a violent crime could/ would happen at such a well-secured and upscale hotel. The newswoman then interviewed some guests to get their takes- the first one, nothing special- what you'd expect someone to say.

    The next guy they interviewed- well, it was a surprise. It was Isaac Brock, the lead singer/ songwriter for Modest Mouse. I recognized him immediately. He did not, however, go by "Isaac Brock." His name graphic read "Isaac Turner" which, of course, could be shortened to "Ike Turner." He was making this really weird voice and rambling a little. Funny, funny shit.

    Worth noting, I think. Now it's a necklace...

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