Open Thread: Who gets the Hall call?


As Yankee fans grapple with the arbitration decision, another list of sorts hit the wire today as the voters received their Hall of Fame ballots. Nothing, as we’ve seen, boils the blood quite like a good Hall of Fame discussion.

Now, this year’s ballots are notable for a few reasons. First, it’s the smallest ballot in recent history with just 23 names on it. Additionally, of those listed, I believe that only Rickey Henderson should be elected. Mostly, the folks on the ballot are retreads. They’ve all been denied entry in the past but due to the Hall of Fame’s rules, they get a second, third or even tenth crack at the Hall.

Finally, this year is significant because of the presence of Jim Rice. In New England, most people think that Rice should be in the Hall of Fame. Elsewhere, most baseball fans don’t seem him as deserving. The arguments are out there for all to read. This is Rice’s last year of eligibility, and his showing last year — 72.2 percent — fell just 2.8 percentage points short of election.

My question to those who vote for Rice though is this: What has he done in the 14 years that he’s been on the ballot that earns him a spot in Cooperstown this year that he hadn’t accomplished when he retired? I’m almost tempted to say that eligiblity isn’t restrictive enough. If Rice wasn’t a Hall of Famer for the last 14 seasons, he shouldn’t be one this year just because no one else outside of Rickey is good enough to make the Hall.

Anyway, for our open thread tonight, let’s run the ballot. The names of those are below. Who would you pick for the Hall of Fame? I’d go with Rickey Henderson and only Rickey Henderson.

2009 Hall of Fame Ballot: Harold Baines, Jay Bell, Bert Blyleven, David Cone, Andre Dawson, Ron Gant, Mark Grace, Rickey Henderson, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Jesse Orosco, Dave Parker, Dan Plesac, Tim Raines, Jim Rice, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Greg Vaughn, Mo Vaughn, Matt Williams

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Mike A. says:

    Rickie (obviously) and Mark McGwire would get my votes. Tommy John should be in the HOF in some capacity, there has to be a wing for game breaking developments or something.

    Oh and get Marvin Miller in already. It’s pathetic that he’s not in yet.

    • Steve says:

      Mike, take a closer look at TJ and tell if you still like him

      Problem with Tommy John is he pitched forever (26 years) and most of his seasons were mediocre at best. He only had 4-5 HOF caliber seasons (1973, 1977-1980) the others were all very pedestrian. So while the 288 wins might seem impressive, spread out over 26 seasons its about 11 wins per year. Meh. That would be like putting in Jamie Moyer if he pitches until he’s 50 like he wants to.

      His Career ERA+ of 110 ranks him 316th all time

      Forget about strikeouts, he was the quintessential ground ball pitcher. About the best thing you can say about TJ is he’s 20th on the Innings list, but again that just a function of him pitching 26 years. They weren’t HOF quality innings for the most part.

  2. Steve H says:

    Rickey should get 100%. I know it never will happen because some people are old and crusty, but once again, here’s a player you cannot justify leaving off your ballot. He is so underrated it is ridiculous. I don’t think Raines will ever get in, but I certainly think he belongs. I’d take 15 years of Raines over 15 years of Rice anyday, and unfortunately Rice will get the call this year.

  3. Eric says:

    Henderson and Blyleven.

    That Blyleven isn’t in already is atrocious.

    • Steve says:

      Blyleven isn’t a HOFer in my book, and I saw him pitch. The numbers back up the impression I always had of him. Look at his record

      Pick out 8-10 HOF seasons, which is the standard many voters use. 1973? OK, lost 17 but I’ll give you that. 1984 and 1989, absolutely. Now find me 5-7 more. They don’t exist.

      The 3701 SOs (5th all-time) are impressive, but the BBs (1322) aren’t. The ERA+ puts him at 135th All Time. He’s 15th all time for most Hits allowed. HIs win total looks impressive (283) but then you realize he lost 250 games (10th all-time) and has a career Win Pct of .534 (444th all time)

      For every good number, I have two bad ones. He just wasn’t a great pitcher. He just pitched at a mediocre level for a very long time (22 years).

      • Steve H says:

        You could even say he pitched at a good or decent level for a very long time, but still, does that make you a Hall of Famer? I agree, out of 22 seasons there weren’t enough great ones to justify a spot in a place reserved for greatness.

      • RollingWave says:

        I think there’s some fallacy in your logic here, for one, looking directly at the all time ERA+ list is just dumb, as the higher ends includ many that are either…

        1. RP or significant RP time.

        2. guys who are still active and in there prime

        3. guys from the dead ball era.

        personally, I think you should only look at post WW2 HOFer and see how Bert’s (or any other candidate’s) ERA+ / K/BB/ and take the context of innings into account.

        if you want to look at BR, then look at his HOF score, in which he passes quiet well, 8 of his top 10 comps are also HOFer, including the top 3.

        IF Blyleven isn’t a HOFer, then neither is Mike Mussina, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Curt Schilling.

  4. Eric says:

    Crap, I forgot about Raines….Hmm…

    • Steve says:

      Yep. Timmy gets my vote. 5th all time in stolen bases (808) Top 50 all time in Runs scored (49th), Walks (33rd) and Intentional Walks (44th). Look at his 162 game average season. He was a great player.

  5. Tim Q. Mills says:

    Rickey is a guarantee and might deliver the best induction speech of all time.

    “Rickey is happy to be here. Ricky deserved this.”

    • Steve H says:

      Might? I don’t know how he couldn’t. It will be the stuff of legend.

      • Tim Q. Mills says:

        Manny will come close…if he shows up.

        • Steve H says:

          Yeah, I was thinking that as well, but was going on previous unductees. Manny will be an absolute wild card. He might not show up, he might say 1 line and leave, or he might just go on and have us all wondering what the hell he’s talking about. Speaking of Manny, what jersey will he wear. Has to be Sox, right? He definitely might not show in that case.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

      Rickey should get himself an interpreter for his speech.

      Everybody knows on here that I would vote for Donnie (duh)

      Rickey should be in without question. TODAY I AM THE GREATEST WHO EVER LIVED or whatever he said lol.

      Tim Raines I THINK i would vote for.

      Dawson I would vote for.

      Dale Murphy I would give some mild consideration for. He is a very interesting player. Those of us old enough to remember him before his decline recall a great player. I liked that he played multi postions well. I like that he is a clean, and good guy when many during his time were roiders and buttholes.

      Jack Morris is a maybe, very interesting.

      Lee Smith is a flat NO WAY. A compiler if I ever saw one.

      Mark McGwire is a joke. The guy was a horrible baseball player that hit a ton of home runs only because he was a Roid Freak. Talk about stats, take out his some of his power numbers and he was a total nothing.

      Jim Rice will get in this year which I really do not get how a guy gets more votes one year than the next. I think if you are a hall of famer you are a hall of famer. That goes for anybody not just Rice.

      Alan Trammell I dunno about that one but he was a better player than Ozzie Smith who I would have not voted for.

    • Steve says:

      He’ll have a hard time beating Rizzuto.

  6. Ivan says:

    For me, it’s Henerson (obviously), Alan Trammell and Raines.

    • Steve H says:

      Trammell I can see. He was better than Ozzie Smith in the same era, yet Smith got one of the highest vote totals ever. Guess Trammell should have done a back flip here and there. Though I don’t know that Ozzie even belongs. Will Vizquel get there? If he does, it will be a shame that Trammell probably never will.

      • Ivan says:

        Trammell offensively was the best SS in baseball not name Cal Ripken Jr. when he played, and was a better defender than Cal. Underrated player, and was a vital part of that 84 Tiger team.

      • Tim Q. Mills says:

        Smith did win 13 Gold Gloves in a row and had 580 stolen bases to trammels 236.

        • Mike A. says:

          Yeah but Trammell crushes him in the other offensive categories, it’s not even close.

          Trammell: .285-.352-.415, 185 HR, 1003 RBI in 2293 games
          Smith: .262-.337-.328, 28 HR, 793 RBI in 2573 games

          • Steve says:

            Ozzie’s bat didn’t get him in the HOF, his glove did. He was an absolute magician at SS for a long, long time. If we had a decent metric to judge range back then (or now) he would have been off the charts.

            • Steve H says:

              But baseball is both offense and defense. Alan Trammell’s combination of both offense and defense provided much more to help his team win games. He was, simply put, a significantly better player. Had he done a few back flips, he’d be in the HOF.

        • Steve H says:

          Ok, but GG’s are subjective. Was he a better fielder? Sure. But Trammell was a great fielder as well. When you include hitting however, it’s not even close. Ozzie had 28 career HR’s, Trammell had 185. Ozzie’s career OPS+ was 87, Trammell, while playing a great SS had a career OPS+ of 110. If you asked any GM from that era, every single one would take Trammell over Ozzie.

  7. leo says:

    I’d vote for Henderson, Raines and Blyleven. I’m kind of whiffling about Trammell, I think he deserves consideration and I’ve been reading a lot of pro arguments that are convincing.

    Now if only people would stop voting for Jack Morris…

  8. Eric says:

    Why no Blyleven love?!

    Dude is getting punished for playing on some god awful teams. I remember reading an article featuring research from Rich Lederer who determined that Blyleven would’ve had 313 wins in his career if he had gotten only league average run support throughout his career.

    • Steve says:

      See my above post. He just wasn’t a great pitcher, he was an average pitcher who gave up a ton of hits and struck out a ton of guys. Guys like him (and Kaat and TJ) have to reach milestone numbers like 300, and he fell short.

      • Eric says:

        Top ten in WHIP 11 times.
        Top ten in K/9 14 times.
        Top ten in Ks 15 times.
        Top ten in K/BB 16 times.
        Top ten in ERA+ 12 times.

        Yeah the dude’s got a lot of losses but he only had an ERA+ below 100 5 times in 22 seasons. He also got absolutely GOD AWFUL run support.

        In five of the years he was top ten in losses, he had a sub-3 ERA. His career run support was 3.77 runs per game. It’s definitely not his fault that he had a not-so-wonderful W/L record.

        “Rich Lederer, a baseball analyst and historian, studied Blyleven’s career and estimates that if he had received even league-average run support, his record would be closer to 313-224 than his 287-250.”

        “If you judge a player by the company he keeps, Blyleven certainly merits a place in Cooperstown. He has more complete games (242) than Tom Seaver, a better strikeout-walk ratio (2.8-1) than Walter Johnson, more shutouts (60) than Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer and Juan Marichal, and a better WHIP (1.198) than Whitey Ford, Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan.”

        • Steve says:

          He’s 135th all time in ERA+

          29th in most Walks Allowed

          15th in Most Hits ever allowed

          5th in Strikeouts, but in 110th SO/9IP (6.70/9IP), which tells you he was never as dominant as his career SO totals would lead you to believe

          We can all slice and dice the numbers a million ways, guys like Blyleven need to get magic numbers to get in, because their peripherals are too weak. This isn’t a race to the bottom.

          • Eric says:

            He’s the only eligilbe member of the 3K club who’s not in the HOF.

            You point out his overall K/9 but he finished top ten in his league 14/22 times. There are THIRTY THREE Hall of Fame Pitchers who have a worse K/9 ratio than Blyleven.

            You mention his ERA+, but it was only under 100 5/22 times. There are TWENTY THREE Hall of Fame Pitchers (including Steve Carlton an Nolan Ryan) who have lower ERA+ tallies than Blyleven.

            • Steve says:

              Again, this isn’t a race to the bottom. Those other pitchers with lower K/9s probably have 300 wins or other outstanding qualifications.

              Bert’s biggest qualification is his strikeouts, but when you look at them more closely you realize they don’t reflect the dominance they appeared to at first glance.

        • Steve says:




          But didn’t.

  9. BigBlueAL says:

    Rickey and Blyleven should get in.

    On a side note, this list shows me how old Im getting because these are all players who I used to watch growing up, and now they are on HOF ballots, some have been on already for years!!!!

    • Eric says:

      I’m only 21 but about two years ago, I wore a Tino shirt to work–I was working at a camp–and a little kid who wore Yankees stuff every day asked me who Tino was.

      • DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

        “I’m only 21 but about two years ago, I wore a Tino shirt to work–I was working at a camp–and a little kid who wore Yankees stuff every day asked me who Tino was.”

        Funny, thats how I feel on here with Donnie sometimes lol. I have met so called Yankees fans who could not name 5 active players MANY MANY times. Really any team has so called fans like that.

  10. buddy the elf says:

    Is having an illegal concealed weapon worse than killing dogs?

  11. RobC says:

    two write in votes:
    Dr. Frank Jobe
    Dr. James Andrews

  12. MP says:

    Does anyone know when George Steinbrenner gets a shot?

    • Steve says:

      Not to be mean or anything, but given his mental state, is there really any point? I’ve had relatives with variations on his condition, and the person was gone long before the funeral.

      Also, given the fact he was suspended by Baseball TWICE, and was blamed my many owners for ruining the salary structure in the 70′s-80′s, his candidacy isn’t a strong one.

  13. Bryan says:

    Rickey and ROCK Raines and then THAT’S IT…

    One and done. I agree and have argued for years, you are either a Hall of Famer or not. I love Goose and felt he deserved to be voted in, but it should have happened YEARS ago. What the hell did Goose do on the field these past 4 years that voters went OH YA and got him above that 75%? Nothing, that is what he did.

    I see the need to draw it out a little as they want a Hall of Fame weekend every year. But knock it down to 3-4 years or even ask one of the say 4 voted in one year to come back next year and do 2 and 2 inductions so they can have an annual ceremony…

    just my two cents…

  14. Travis says:

    Henderson, Trammell, and Raines, for sure. Other players like Dawson and Murphy grab my eye because they played well and put up impressive (but not cartoonish numbers) in a non-steroid era.

    • Steve H says:

      Was it really a non-steroid era though. Didn’t Tom House admit to doing steroids back in the early 70′s? There were also several football players and teams (the Steelers) that were using steroids. Who is to say that they weren’t prevalent in baseball as well?

        • Steve H says:

          Were you there? Tom House said there were 6 or 7 pitchers, per team. That’s half the staff. He said players talked about losing to opponents using more effective drugs. If the pitchers were juicing, I certainly think the hitters would.

  15. Patrick T says:

    Henderson, Raines, Blyleven, Trammell. That’s my ballot, and in that order of importance. That Rice will probably make it and there’s a decent chance those last 3 guys never do is absurd.

  16. AlexCT says:

    According to, Jim rice is in his 14th and final year of eligibility, not his 9th.

  17. Brooklyn Ed says:

    didn’t Cone gave baseball back to America in 1994? If he did, then he should be in the HOF because of that and his accomplishments. He’s doesn’t have to be a 1st ballot.

    Cone’s accomplishments:

  18. Whitey14 says:

    Well, even though Ben has apparently spoken to a lot of people, “Elsewhere, most baseball fans don’t seem him as deserving”, I’m going to disagree with him and state that Jim Rice belongs in the Hall of Fame. His numbers back up his candidacy and they were acheived when numbers were much tougher to compile. He was every bit as valuable to the Red Sox as many deserving Hall of Famers were to their teams and he was arguably (and I’m sure many will argue) the best all around hitter in the American League from 1975-1986. That’s a twelve year period of greatness that many Hall of Famers cannot even match. I said it in another post last night, but if he had hit 18 more home runs, hit two points higher and had been more media friendly, he would have been in years ago. I’m guessing if he had played 16 years with the Yankees instead of the Red Sox, many Yankees fans would be outraged that he isn’t in the Hall yet.

    I’d also vote for Rickey Henderson, Alan Trammell, Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy and Tim Raines.

    • Ben K. says:

      Oh please. Had Jim Rice been on the Yankees, they wouldn’t have even retired his number.

      • Steve says:

        Don Mattingly says hello.

        • Whitey14 says:

          Tell him I said hello back? Not sure where you’re going with that…

          • Steve says:

            A player who had about 5-6 great years and got his number retired.

            Ben was arguing that Rice would have “never had his number retired if he was a Yankee” and I don’t think that line of reasoning holds up when you look at some of the numbers they actually retired. Like #23. Their careers are pretty similar, actually. 127 career OPS+ for Donnie and 128 for Rice.

            BTW-I wouldn’t have retired either one.

            • Steve H says:

              Funny thing is, most of the people on here don’t think Mattingly is a HOF. So retired #’s aside, I don’t think there is much anti-Sox argument here when regarding Rice. There are a ton of facts to support someone who doesn’t think Rice is a HOF, regardless of what team they root for.

    • Thomas says:

      Rice doesn’t deserve to make it. He was “feared”, but shouldn’t have been much of the time he wasn’t the best OF on his team. He was good at OPS but not as good as many remember.

      The best article I read was this one:


      • Steve H says:

        He’s a snippet from Posnanski on the subject of these golden 12 years where Rice put up great counting stats. This blows that argument out of the water.

        “Rice had more at-bats than any other player. And not by a small margin either. Rice had 7060 at-bats over those 12 years — 588 per season. And while that’s a testament to his durability — no small thing — I did think, “Hey, wait a minute now.” Nobody else had 7,000 at-bats. Or 6900. Or 6800. Or even 6700.
        In second place was Robin Yount, who had almost 400 fewer at-bats — he had 6,693 at-bats.
        And so here’s where it gets interesting. Only four American League players — Yount, Cecil Cooper, Don Baylor and George Brett — were within ONE THOUSAND AT BATS of Jim Rice over that time period. That’s it. We’re basically comparing Rice to FOUR GUYS — and with Rice having a sizeable at-bat advantage over even those four.

    • Patrick T says:

      George Brett says hi.

    • Steve H says:

      The 12 year peroid argument bothers me because it cherry picks. I can name a player who led the Major leagues in both HR’s and RBI’s over a 12 year period. He was also a very good fielder and regularly stole bases. Is he a HOF?

      • Whitey14 says:

        Thomas, people don’t fear you unless you deserve it. Find me another player, EVER, who had 200+ hits 35+ HR and a 300+ BA in each of three consecutive seasons and I’ll buy you a case of beer, your choice. Don’t bother wasting your time looking though, nobody else has done it.

        Steve H, I just used the 12 year reference because it’s well known that the Hall requires a 10 year career and that the voters say you had to be dominant for a 10 year period and therefore Rice’s 12 years easily qualify him for the Hall.

        Ben, you’re probably right. I mean he would “only” rank 4th in Hits, HR and TB, 5th in RBI, 7th in Runs and Doubles, 9th in Triples and 10th in Slugging Percentage on their all-time lists. They probably wouldn’t think that was good enough.

        Patrick T, George Brett was great, one of my favorite players and a truly deserving Hall of Famer. Here’s where they rank, in the 12 years I mentioned, among American Leaguers:
        Runs: Rice 1st 1098/Brett 2nd 1021
        RBI: Rice 1st 1276/Brett, not in top five
        Hits: Rice 1st 2145/Brett 3rd 1,961
        XBH: Rice 1st 752/Brett 2nd 719
        Multi Hit Games: Rice 1st 640/Brett 3rd 560
        SLG %: Rice 1st .520/Brett 2nd .518
        BA: Brett 3rd .317/Rice 4th .304

        And your useless Trivia fact of the night, ranking second in the American League in Outfield Assists from 1975-1986 was Dwight Evans with 122. Who ranked first? I’m glad you asked. Why, it was Jim Rice with 125. Not saying he was a better outfielder than Dewey, because I’m not drunk, but he did have an accurate throwing arm that he rarely gets credit for.

        • Chip says:

          So he had a burst of 12 years where he was really good. Put another 3 years in there and he might have made it.

          You meantion George Brett as being comparable which is absolutely true until 1986 and then it’s not a competition

          Brett 87-92 had OPS+ of 131, 149, 123, 153, 101 and 102
          Rice 87-92 had OPS+ of 101, 102, 70, 0, 0, and 0

          That’s the difference between a sure hall of famer and an almost hall of famer

        • Steve H says:

          Ok. So is Joe Carter in the HOF? He led the MAJORS in HR and RBI over a 12 year period, which even Rice didn’t do. Carter was also a very good base stealer and OF. I’ll answer the question. Under no circumstances is Joe Carter a HOF. But if you cherry pick stats in a 12 year period like with Rice, you can argue it.

        • Steve H says:

          Ted Williams never had 200 hits in a year. Probably because he, unlike Rice, actually was feared. So Williams obviously doesn’t meet your 200 hits, 35 hr’s, 300 batting average trifecta. Let’s not even discuss how much better Williams is than Rice.

          • Whitey14 says:

            Come on Steve H, I’m arguing for Jim Rice here, but I’m not a moron. Give Ted Williams back the five years he missed due to military service and he rivals Babe Ruth as the greatest player ever.

            • Steve H says:

              But still never would have gotten 200 hits. And I wasn’t suggesting that you’d make that argument, you’re clearly not a moron and support your position well, we just disagree on it.

              • Whitey14 says:

                I respect that and I appreciate that you’re bringing lots of cool stats to back up your position.
                Ted Williams was an extremely selective hitter, no doubt about that. He realized early on the importance of pitch selection and taking walks, rather than swinging at bad pitches in an attempt to inflate his power numbers or RBI totals. Jim Rice’s philosophy was a little different. As a clean-up hitter, he felt it was his responsibility to drive in runners and didn’t feel comfortable taking a walk with runners in scoring position. Very flawed by today’s standards.
                I think there are a couple dozen HOF’ers that are debatable and may be in the Hall simply because their longevity allowed them to reach certain milestones. I think Carl Yastrzemski was overrated, which of course is blasphemy up here in New England.

          • RobC says:

            Williams still would not be close
            remember Ruth pitched 17 shutouts – thats as many as Pedro Martinez
            and was 3-0 0.87 in the WS

    • Mike A. says:

      Fred McGriff has a much better HOF case than Jim Rice, and he’s not getting in anytime soon.

      McGriff: .284-.377-.509, 441 doubles, 493 HR, 1550 RBI, 1305 BB, 1882 K
      Rice: .298-.352-.502, 373 doubles, 382 HR, 1451 RBI, 670 BB, 1423 K

      • Steve H says:

        Don’t forget the defense either. Rice sucked in the field, the Crime Dog was outstanding.

      • Steve says:

        Fred McGriff, 113th All Time OPS+

        Jim Rice, 188th All time in OPS+

        So much for the “era he played in” and “ballpark” arguments for Rice.

      • Whitey14 says:

        Fred McGriff also got to hit through two league expansions, hence about 48 guys who should have been in the minors (based on 12 man pitching staffs) were chucking grapefruits for everybody and his brother to hit out of the yard. He’s got great numbers though, maybe he should get more support.

        • Ben K. says:

          McGriff isn’t eligible until next year I believe. He’ll be a contentious candidate too.

          Anyway, the expansion argument is a little bad. When Rice starting playing, there were 12 AL teams. When he retired there were 14. When McGriff started playing there were 14, when he retired there were….14. Sure, there was a dilution of talent, but that was also the case a few years into Rice’s career, and one could make the same argument.

          There are stronger cases for Rice’s HoF credentials than this one. I don’t think it helps your case.

          • Whitey14 says:

            Good point, but there were 24 major league teams when Rice came into the league and 26 when he left, and there were 26 major league teams when McGriff came into the league and 30 when he left. It’s not quite as easy as the 14/14 argument for McGriff because realignment messed it up. Plus, he played about half his career in the NL where three new teams, plus the Brewers, came aboard.

            Since you agree there is at least an argument for Rice’s candidacy, would you be so bold as to play Devils Advocate and tell me how you would sell it if you were pro Rice? I’m just curious which angle you’d come from.

            • Steve H says:

              Also a bigger pool of players. Many more foreign players came in to the league during McGriff’s time. Plus McGriff had to deal with situational lefties late in games, instead of seeing the same pitcher 4 ab’s a game.

            • Steve H says:

              If I were to play devil’s advocate I would do exactly what pro Rice voters do. Cherry pick his best 12 years and compare them not to other HOF’s 12 best years, but compare them to the other players in the league those same 12 years. This of course ignores any player who started a few years before or after Rice, because their primes didn’t hit those 12 years, and they may have only been active for 8 or 9. So player X could have been better than Rice for 9 of those 12 years, but retired (or in the minors) for the other 3, and they are basically left out of the argument. I would also throw out lines like, he’s “feared” without trying to back it up with IBB stats, because they don’t back anything up. If you drill into the stats, it’s tougher to support Rice, so I would try to stick to objective, unquantifiable arguments. Much like, “Jason Varitek calls such a great game”. Really? You can say prove it, and the pro-Tek people can just say, disprove it.

    • Steve says:

      Wow, you’re easy. Andre Dawson would represent the lowest BA (.279/611th all time) and OBP (.323/1000th+ all time) in the HOF. Didn’t reach any magic numbers like 500 HRs or 3,000 hits. OPS+ranks him 357th all time, behind the immortal Sal Bando and Ritchie Sexson.

      He ranks so low in OBP, he doesn’t even show up on the BR list, and it goes up to #1,000. Talk about lowering the bar.

      • Steve H says:

        But during that era players like Dawson weren’t asked to get on base…….

        I love that argument. Their job wasn’t to get on base? What was it then? I loved the Hawk, but he doesn’t belong either.

      • Whitey14 says:

        Ummm…Reggie Jackson hit .262…coincidentally his strikeout percentage was .263.

        • Steve says:

          You’re right. Bench, Schmidt and Brooks Robinson all had lower BAs as well. I should have said “one of the lowest BAs”.

          But the OBP is by far the lowest, and he doesn’t have the magic numbers (500 HRs) that Reggie and Schmidt had, and wasn’t the glove that Robinson or Bench was.

          Doesn’t change anything, he still doesn’t get in IMO.

        • And Reggie Jackson also mixed in enough walks to get on base 35.6% of the time. Andre Dawson only managed 32.3%.

          589 walks for Hawk, 1375 for Reggie. I’ll take Reggie’s .262 over Hawk’s .279 every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    • I’d like to throw another monkey wrench into the whole “Rice for HoF” debate (as well as the Mattingly for HoF debate, which is kinda related in a different way).

      The crux of the Rice argument is that he was “the best player” or “the best hitter” of his time, that time stretching in some way from the mid 1970′s to the mid 1980′s. I think this is an argument that doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny. Simply put, what if that particular era cited just wasn’t that good? Talent cycles are prone to ebbs and flows just like anything else, and being the best player of a bad era isn’t all that impressive, when comparing players to other, greater eras. The richest man during the Great Depression may have been really rich, but he was likely not nearly as rich as the 15th or 20th richest man during the decades immediately preceding and succeeding the Depression, both absolutely and relatively.

      Or, to use an NBA metaphor, there was a time in the not too-recent past where guys like Truck Robinson, David Thompson, Paul Westphal, and Marques Johnson were amongst the very best players in the league. Simply being good during a certain period of time and not evaluating whether that period of time was devoid of good players or not is not the best way to confer greatness, IMO.

      • Steve H says:

        Joe Carter. 12 year period where he led the majors in HR’s and RBI’s. He also stole bases and played a very good outfield, including center. Wouldn’t anyone who supports Rice have to support Carter? And no one ever called Joe Carter the best hitter of his era, (or even close) but if you cherry pick you can find stats to back it up. Somewhat meaningless stats, but stats nonetheless.

      • Whitey14 says:

        Theoretically you make a great point, but it wouldn’t be fair to penalize a guy for the era he played in. Plus, there are too many existing Hall of Famers whose careers included the mid 70′s through mid 80′s for me to believe Rice’s numbers were the product of poor competition. He faced a hell of a lot of good pitching in Milwaukee, New York and Baltimore over the years. He was doing something right and not just against poor competition.

        • Steve H says:

          But compared to his contemporaries, Rice just wasn’t great. See below.

          In fact, there’s a very simple way to do this sort of comparison. You already know that OPS+ measures a batters on-base percentage and slugging percentage against the league. I suspect that’s a pretty good representation of “dominance.” So the question is how many non-Hall of Famers are there who had, say, 6,000 plate appearances over a 12-year period and had an OPS+ better than Rice’s 133.

          I’ll start in 1950:

          Dick Allen (1964-75): 160
          Frank Howard (1961-72): 147
          Albert Belle (1988-99): 147
          Jack Clark (1979-90): 144
          Norm Cash (1969-1980): 142
          Reggie Smith (1968-79): 140
          Ken Singleton (1968-79): 139
          Will Clark (1986-97): 138
          Jose Canseco (1986-97): 136
          Boog Powell (1961-72): 136
          Rocky Colavito (1955-66): 135
          Joe Torre (1960-71): 135
          Tony Oliva (1963-74): 135
          Fred Lynn (1975-86): 135 (worth nothing that these are the precise 12 years we’re talking about with Rice — he did not even have the best OPS+ among non-Hall of Famers on HIS OWN TEAM during that 12-year stretch).
          Dwight Evans (1981-92): 135
          Minnie Minoso (1950-61): 134
          Jimmy Wynn (1964-75): 134
          Rusty Staub (1965-76): 134

        • Whitey, I’m not penalizing Rice for the era he played in, I’m simply not rewarding him for the era he played in.

          Not the same thing.

  19. Thomas says:

    I’d vote for Henderson, Raines, and McGwire.

    However, I suspect we’ll see just Henderson and Rice inducted. And of course Edison Volquez.

    • christopher says:

      i dpubt Mcguire because any homerun hitters of that time will be strutinized and discriminated against for a while

      Heenderson do dount and raines should get – he was arguably as dominant as henderson just not for the same period of time…he was a part of the game changer that turned the league into a more running one.

      i missed the last post so i just have to put in my 2 cents…i worried about hal being named owner fearing that he wouldnt spend the monwy his dad had or eveb hank would. the fact that they was to cut the payroll in a year that their revenue will greatly decrease and when their is a free agent crop that could make this team unreal – if they spent all 89 million coming off the payroll, shows that we now have to deal with a real owner.

      thanks bottom line hank..could have been a draft with three first round picks. now we get 2 in the top 78,

      I wonder if he had anything to do with them not going over slot on picks last year as they have often done in the past

  20. Mister Delaware says:

    Bert Blyleven, Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines and Alan Trammell.

    If Jim Rice is getting in, can someone tell me why Dwight Evans never even got close?

    • Steve H says:

      Fear. Dwight Evans, while at least being Rice’s equal as a player, was not “feared” as Rice was.

      That was tough to type….

  21. Baseballnation says:

    Bert Blyleven deserves to be in!!!

    • Steve says:

      Nope. Find me 8-10 HOF seasons he ever had in his 22 year career. They don’t exist. He had 2, maybe 3.

      • Eric says:

        What do you define HOF? I have a feeling you’re way too hung up on his W/L total which was really out of his control. Like I said before, he got 3.77 runs of support during his career. That’s not good. At all. Even for an era when offense wasn’t as potent as it is now, that’s not good.

        He had 4 seasons of a 140 or greater ERA+, beating his career ERA+ 12 times.

        He had 8 seasons of 200+ strikeouts.

        Top ten in WHIP 11 times.
        Top ten in K/9 14 times.
        Top ten in Ks 15 times.
        Top ten in K/BB 16 times.
        Top ten in ERA+ 12 times

        Most of those seasons overlapped.

        What do you define as a “hall of Fame” season? If you’re basing it on win/loss, go look at his awful run support

        • Steve H says:

          What’s his run support relative to his peers though. 3.77 runs is terrible, but it’s not relative to 3.77 runs per game in 2008. Scoring has gone way up since then, so it’s a two sided coin.

  22. Mike A. says:

    My word, this is one boring ass football game.

  23. A.D. says:

    Lee Smith, Ricky, McGuire, Donnie Baseball

  24. E-ROC says:

    Andre Johnson: the best receiver in football that no one knows about. Still puts up numbers with crappy QBs.

  25. Chip says:

    I’d vote for Ricky and I’d probably throw a vote to Raines. I just don’t think Jim Rice was good enough for long enough to get in. In fact, everyone who wants to argue that Jim Rice is in has to vote for Mark McGwire. McGwire had about the same number of very good seasons as Jim Rice but his very good seasons were outstanding, historic seasons

  26. Matt says:

    Jim Rice and Rickey

  27. Randy says:

    rickey and raines

  28. Harold Baines – nope
    Jay Bell – not a chance
    Bert Blyleven – close, but no
    David Cone – not enough there
    Andre Dawson – a good player, but no, not great
    Ron Gant – nope
    Mark Grace – nope
    Rickey Henderson – hells yes, can’t argue with a career .401 OBP
    Tommy John – nope
    Don Mattingly – sorry, damn good player but not enough there
    Mark McGwire – yes (he was a dominant, uber-productive heart of the order hitter for a long time)
    Jack Morris – not quite
    Dale Murphy – good at his peak, but merely average outside of it; no
    Jesse Orosco – nope
    Dave Parker – nope
    Dan Plesac – seriously? I hope he frames a ballot, for posterity’s sake
    Tim Raines – yeah, but it’s not a slam dunk, IMO
    Jim Rice – not quite
    Lee Smith – no
    Alan Trammell – yeah, barely
    Greg Vaughn – hah!
    Mo Vaughn – he could get into the HoF of contracts, maybe
    Matt Williams – nope

    • Ivan says:

      I agree with pretty much with everything ya said their. Im in the middle with McGwire though.

    • Steve H says:

      Agree. Though I think Raines is a slam dunk and I think Trammell is more than barely, though I admit I only say then when compared to other SS’s in the HOF. He was a better player than Ozzie Smith, yet Smith get’s in on the 1st ballot. I’m not sure if Ozzie belongs or not, but if he’s in, Trammell has to be, without being borderlne.

    • Chip says:

      I’m not convinced on Alan Trammell, I don’t think he was quite good enough. I mean if Miguel Tejada plays for another 4 seasons and ends up with 2400 hits, 330 Hrs, and an MVP under his belt, how do you claim that he shouldn’t get in?

  29. Mike Pop says:

    Alright boys… What FA’s are we getting.. We didnt offer arb because I think we are saving the money to go after the big boys… We need CC and a big guy on offense right ?.. Manny is more likely than Tex right?

  30. My take on these guys:

    Harold Baines–don’t know much about him
    Jay Bell–he scored the winning run in the ’01 series! NEVER!
    Bert Blyleven–dude was sick; definitely
    David Cone–peak didn’t last too long
    Andre Dawson–definitely
    Ron Gant–Hall of Very Good
    Mark Grace–nope
    Rickey Henderson–definitely
    Tommy John–nope
    Don Mattingly–nope
    Mark McGwire–definite nope
    Jack Morris–I can see a case for him
    Dale Murphy–see Jack Morris
    Jesse Orosco–Hall of Very Good
    Dave Parker–don’t know much about him
    Dan Plesac–see Dave Parker
    Tim Raines–Hall of Very Good
    Jim Rice–Hall of Very Good
    Lee Smith–not much to like besides the saves
    Alan Trammell–Hall of Very Good
    Greg Vaughn–not much to like
    Mo Vaughn–definite nope
    Matt Williams–,may have used ‘roids; not great anyway

  31. Mike Pop says:

    Wow they didnt offer Dunn arb.. Does that make him more attractive

  32. Mike Pop says:

    One of the best this is sportscenter commercials

  33. Ivan says:

    Hey Tommie (or anybody who wanna answer this), since were talking HOF/Great players.

    Who was the better player Dominique or Pippen?

  34. cd says:

    First off. Just because a player is not voted in early in his allowed time on a ballot does not mean that he is a retread. Joe freaking Diamaggio din not make it on his first ballott.

    Jim Rice was no joe dimaggio but he is a solid hof candidate that not just new englanders see as a HOFer. 72 % voted for him last time and probably less than 5% of them were new englanders.

    There are new voters every year and others drop out retire. Maybe some of theos who held grudges against jim rice have lost their voting rights ovet the years and thus an increase in his totals.

    Buy the way he had more votes than SUTTER GOSSAGE CARTER
    etc in other years in the ballot just to be passed by them in other years. Let the man in.

    • Steve H says:

      Let the man in=Open the floodgates.

      • Whitey14 says:

        When they let in Ray Schalk, the floodgates were officially opened. Jim Rice compares well with Tony Perez and Orlando Cepeda and I don’t think there are many current HOF’ers that would be embarrassed by Rice’s inclusion, especially those that played with or against him. Hell, even Goose Gossage lobbied for him last year. At any rate, 72% of the voters last year felt he was worthy, I’m hopeful that enough additional voters see the light this year and vote him in.

      • cd says:

        Who are you talking about when you say the flood gates will be opened. He will be the last outfielder of his era ever to get voted in by the writers. Murphy will not, parker will not, evans/lynn were not. Dawson will have a outside shot. For gods sake yaz was the last left fielder elected to the hall. Do you think that there has not been a player elegible FOR HOF in left since yaz stoped playing there in 75 ( player primarly 1b after that untill he retired in 83)

        The guardians of the hall are always worried about the flood gates. There will be no more from his era let the man in.He has waited 20 years and watch the heated arguements for too long. And had to hear ever new mathmatical theroy proving how bad he sucked come out every couple of years.

        let him in

        • Ben K. says:

          To see that Joe D wasn’t voted in on the first ballot is to ignore the history of Hall of Fame voting. It was flawed process then. (And you could say it still is now.) It wasn’t anything similar to today’s voting process.

          • cd says:

            You are right and it is still a flawed process. When you have writers who never saw a player play or one who holds grudges against a player because the player refused an interview.The process is flawed. when a player pases another player in vote totals from year to year the process is flawed. Carter, Gossage, Sutter etc all had fewer votes than Rice did in previous elections and yet passed him to get elected.
            It has become a flavor of the month contest. once Eck got in it became popular to vot in all of the closers Gossage Sutter(not lee smith yet) . Rice should be in and will be this year. And I know that the Rice bashers will say the process would be proven to be flawed .

            One question after this year to whom wil the rice bashers direct their venom. Probablly Dawson

  35. Link says:

    Rickey, Raines, Trammell, maybe Blyleven and Murphy is ridiculously underrated, like Trammell. It’s funny to see the support for Rickey because I’m old enough to remember how nobody liked him when he played for us (except me).

  36. Aaron says:

    Jim Rice, Alan Trammell, and Andre Dawson should get some consideration. Rice has been close the past few years. Rickey Henderson is the only sure thing of this group.

  37. MikeD says:

    I don’t think Tommy John is a HOFer, but in fairness, I don’t agree that “mediocre” is the right word to describe a pitcher who had an ERA+ of 100 or better for seventeen straight seasons. He was a very good pitcher.

  38. Bonos says:

    We just got rid of Giambi, now you want Dunn, Giambi2/

  39. Steve H says:

    What do the pro-Rice voters think of Albert Belle. I think a better case can be made for Belle than Rice using his 11 years, but wanted to see what the Rice people thought. As good as Rice’s best years were, they really don’t compare to Belle. 193 ops+, seriously ridiculous. His 4 best OPS+ years were better than Rice’s best and that’s in an era with more offense so tougher competition.

    • cd says:

      ever hear of steroids.

    • Shit, what do the pro-Mattingly voters think of Belle? Mattingly’s candidacy is predicated on his peak as being dominant, and of him being the best player in baseball for the short period of time before injuries derailed his career.

      Albert Belle was a freakish man-beast from 1993-1996, much, much more dominant than Mattingly and the best player in baseball. Then his hip imploded, and he was done.

      • Steve H says:

        Well I’m not pro-Mattingly (for the Hall) but I certainly would vote for Belle before Mattingly.

      • cd says:

        my point was that Bell played in an crazy steroid filled offensive time. During rices career one guy hit 50 hr in a season one time. Foster 1977. Look at how many times and players did it in the joke steroid era.

        Rice was a slugger when it ment something to be one. Was Rice on the roids. Who knows but most likely not. It was not widly used at the time.

    • Whitey14 says:

      I don’t have enough info to argue for or against Albert Belle, but I imagine his surly, douchebag personaility has probably hurt him quite a bit with voters.

      Does anybody have the formula for OPS+? I’d love to see how it works because it seems like a lot of people really rely on it these days.

      I’m not a fan of ignoring pertinent information when evaluating players, but it does seem unfair to judge the guys from the 70′s and 80′s based on statistics that were not used to judge their counterparts that are in the HOF. It’s a catch 22 for me.

      • Ben K. says:

        Just because people didn’t know about them doesn’t mean they weren’t used by Front Office types. I’d highly urge you to read Alan Schwarz’s The Numbers Game.

        Anyway, OPS+ is a comparative stat. It takes park factors and leave averages into account to tell you how much better than league average a certain player is. 100 is the baseline. Anything over is above average, and anything under is below average.

        • Whitey14 says:

          Right, but Front Office types don’t vote for the Hall of Fame and there are still many, many, many voters out there that refuse to look at all the stats that are available today. I do appreciate the tip about the book though, I’ll see about putting that on my Christmas list because I do love a good baseball read.

          Also, stats like OBP weren’t even widely focused on until the past 10-12 years or so. Even though they were around, they just weren’t the glory stats that BA, HR, RBI, K, W and ERA were. I’m sure you know that Bill James had a heck of a time trying to get execs to put any stock in his numbers because they were all new and people didn’t understand them. So I guess what I’m saying here is if Reggie and Yaz and Carlton and Seaver were judged on a certain set of stats, it may mean they got an easier ride to the Hall then some of their contemporaries who are still hopeful of getting in, but are judged on the much tougher set of analytical stats that are available to voters today and which apparently work against a lot of the players that appeared to be great in the 70′s and 80′s.

          • Ben K. says:

            Read the book. What you’re saying now is simply historically and unequivocally not true.

            • Whitey14 says:

              Can you elaborate? You have me confused now…and since I don’t have the book yet it sounds like you’re saying that Reggie, Yaz, Carlton and Seaver, etc, were all judged on OPS+, ERA+, VORP, Zone Ratings, etc when it came time to vote on their Hall of Fame credentials, yet to the best of my knowledge those are all relatively new stats. Does the book assert that those stats are older than I’m thinking they are? I’m honestly not trying to be jerk here. I’m sincerely interested in what you’re trying to get through to my stubborn brain.

              • Ben K. says:

                Oh oh oh. Sorry. I didn’t realize you were talking specifically Hall of Fame credentials.

                I’m talking about player evaluations. Many of those stats are new, but the concept of productivity as expressed by OBP/SLG and league averages are not new. GMs have been using these ideas for decades now to put together teams.

                Hall of Fame voting has never been so objective.

                • Whitey14 says:

                  OK, I think we’re on the same page then.

                  The point I was trying to make, and it’s an idea I admittedly struggle with, is that when the HOF voting takes place these days, players are subjected to much more statistical analyisis then their predecessors were. On the one hand, I like that there is better information available, on the other hand I’d hate for somebody to be kept out of the Hall only to find later that they were the equal of a HOF’er (ie. possibly Rice/Cepeda). Does that make any sense? Or am I worrying about nothing?

                • Ben K. says:

                  I think they’re subjected to more statistical analysis by us, but we don’t vote. I don’t think the writers, for better or worse, put that much thought into it.

                • Whitey14 says:

                  You’re probably right…and thanks again for the tip on the book, I appreciate it.

  40. RollingWave says:

    Steve, your anti-Blyleven arguement is a bit weak, he’s definately not amoung the halls’ elite, but even a quikc glance could find several modern HOF pitcher that got in on less of a career. hell let’s just use Blyleven’s top comparable pitchers on BR.

    Don Sutton (914) *
    Gaylord Perry (909) *
    Fergie Jenkins (890) *
    Tommy John (889)
    Robin Roberts (876) *
    Tom Seaver (864) *
    Jim Kaat (854)
    Early Wynn (844) *
    Phil Niekro (844) *
    Steve Carlton (840) *

    notice how only 2 of them aren’t in the hall? (and both are likely future veteran commite candidates too),. guess how many guys in here have both a higher IP total and a better career ERA+ than Bert? 0.

    • Steve says:

      The ‘race to the bottom’ argument doesn’t wash with me. The pitchers who weren’t great but pitched forever on that list that made it to the HOF all had 300 wins, the ones who missed didn’t. The others had so many great seasons that they qualify.

      300 Wins Club-Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Early Wynn, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Phil Niekro.

      8 HOF seasons-Fergie Jenkins, Robin Roberts

      Blyleven has neither qualification.

      300 wins is automatic, you get in despite the rest of your numbers falling short. You’re using the numbers that fall short to make the case to get Blyleven in.

      • RollingWave says:

        come on, we all realize that win is retarded way to judge pitchers, Blyleven was either on par or more effective than a significant amount of HOF pitchers in similar or longer stretches, that’s what really matters, things like award / playoffs / wins are highly influenced by the team you wee playing o and /or dum writers.

  41. RollingWave says:

    Just to further clarify, Blyleven’s career 118 ERA+ in nearly 5000 IP seem to be your main grudge against his candidatcy, consider the career ERA+ of HOFer who’s career came mostly after WW2 …

    Bob Feller: 122 in 3800 IP
    Earl Wynn : 107 in 4500 IP
    Warren Span : 118 in 5200 IP
    Bob Lemon: 119 in 2900 IP
    Robin Roberts: 113 in 4700 IP
    Juan Marichael: 123 in 3500 IP
    Don Drysdale : 121 in 3400 IP
    Catfish Hunter : 104 in 3450IP

    etc… just look it up, sure we can debate that a lot of those guys were iffy picks as well, but since they are in there, it makes little sense to exclude Blyleven, who’s career stack up just as well if not significantly better than several of those guys. your ignoring that obvious problem that the ERA+ list f is front loaded with RPs, dead ball era guys, or guys who never (or hasn’t)pitched that far past their prime

    • Steve says:

      This is what the Blyleven camp has to do. They can’t argue he has 300 wins, they can’t argue he had great peripherals, they can’t argue he had a stretch of his career when he was the best pitcher in Baseball, they can’t argue he was ever dominant in any way.

      So they take the borderline guys in the HOF (most of whom got in for other reasons) and their worst numbers and use them as their benchmark.

      Its the ‘race to the bottom’ argument. That is a recipe for letting everybody in, and making the HOF a joke.

  42. Andy says:

    MARK MCGUIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The hypocriscy kills me on this one. The guy was, hands down, a Hall of Fame caliber player. But because he was linked to steriods, along with practically every other player of his era, he is somehow undeserving. Fact is, he has never been proven to have taken steriods. By his detractors’ criteria, every player from 1988 to 2001 should be excluded from the Hall. Fact is, steriods were a part of the game in that era, whether we like it or not, and PITCHERS, as well as hitters, used them, at a time when there was no testing for them.

    Of course, I do have a Barry Bonds bias that may be playing a role in my thinking, in that I think it is a TRAVESTY that no team would sign him. Here is one of the best hitters of all time, and still one of the best hitters in major league baseball, and no one will sign him because he is ACCUSED of taking steriods. Everyone forgets that Jason Giambi admitted to taking steriods, that guys like Mota and Cameron (who may here on this site are advocating the Yanks should pick up) were caught taking steriods, and yet still got signed to contracts. And don’t give me this Barry the Bad Guy argument, if you don’t think there are a number guys just as much assholes as Barry on the Yankees right now, you are naive. Fact is, a lot of rich, spoiled baseball players aren’t perfect citizens, but nobody uses that to blacklist them from the league.

    I just want some honesty with the steriods thing, and no double standards. Either they are all out (which I don’t want) or they get in on their merits, and anything in between is hypocricy.

  43. Axl says:

    Rice will get voted in. You know why? Because EVERYONE is on the Red Sox bandwagon these days…Pedroia unanimous MVP vote with ok numbers…not even the MVP of his team…the writers and people voting will vote for Rice the same way…”i’ll be making the bangwagon fans happy…”

    It’s unfortunate…

    • cd says:

      Pedroia was not unanimous. Ask anyone who watch the sox play and they will tell you that he was the mvp of his team. Just like the HOF there is more to MVP than the numbers.Who was your choice for mvp Morneau (fell on his face down the stretch when his team needed him the most) Mauer I could have lived with it but still did not get his team in the postseason

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.