EVALUATING BASEBALL'S 2017 TODAY'S GAME ERA COMMITTEE BALLOT

Mark McGwire Mark McGwire
02 Dec
2016
Not in Hall of Fame

Index



Pitcher Candidate: Orel Hershiser

The Los Angeles Dodgers were on top of the world in 1988, beating the Oakland Athletics in five games to become World Series champions, and although Kirk Gibson's walk-off home run hit off Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley to clinch the Series opener for the Dodgers remains the iconic moment, it was Dodgers starting pitcher Orel Hershiser who was named the Series Most Valuable Player.

In fact, Hershiser, who pitched two complete-game victories in the World Series including a Game Two, three-hit shutout, seemingly carried the Dodgers on his back all through 1988: Leading the National League in wins (23), complete games (15), shutouts (8), and innings pitched (267), "Bulldog" easily won the NL Cy Young award although Danny Jackson of the Cincinnati Reds had an identical win-loss record of 23–8, a .742 winning percentage. Hershiser's earned run average was about a half-run better than Jackson's, 2.26 to 2.73, but what clinched the Cy Young award for Hershiser was his record-setting streak of 59 consecutive innings without giving up a run, breaking the record of 58.2 innings previously held by Hall of Famer Don Drysdale, a former Dodger who was the team's radio announcer during Hershiser's streak. Stretching for almost a month, Hershiser hurled five consecutive shutouts and then the first ten scoreless innings of a marathon 16-inning game against the San Diego Padres that the Padres wound up winning 2–1. And as if this weren't enough, Hershiser also won his only Gold Glove for fielding in 1988.

Heading into the postseason against the favored New York Mets for the NL pennant, Hershiser started three games in the NL Championship Series, receiving no-decisions in the first two games that the Dodgers' bullpen ultimately lost, but pitching a five-hit shutout over Ron Darling in the decisive Game Seven to lead the Dodgers to the World Series. Hershiser also picked up a save in the 12-inning Game Four when, in the bottom of the inning, he entered with two outs and the bases loaded in a 5–4 game to retire Kevin McReynolds on a pop fly to center. Hershiser was named the NLCS MVP.

For one season, Orel Hershiser pitched like a Hall of Famer—but does his entire career make him worthy of Cooperstown? The writers did not think so when they voted on him in the mid-2000s: He received a polite 11.2 percent of the vote in his 2006 debut but then fell to 4.4 percent support the following year and thus dropped off the ballot.

As we have been doing thus far, let us examine Hershiser's contemporaries, pitchers whose careers began within five years of his 1983 debut.

The table below lists Hershiser along with twelve notable starting pitchers whose careers began within five years of Hershiser's Major League debut in 1983 (in other words, between 1978 and 1988), ranked by bWAR, with other qualitative statistics, including fWAR, listed alongside it.

Contemporary Pitchers and 2017 Pitcher Candidate on the 2017 Today's Game Ballot, Ranked by bWAR

Pitcher

W-L (S), ERA

bWAR

fWAR

ERA+

ERA–

FIP–

(A) Maddux, Greg

355–227, 3.16

106.8

116.7

132

76

78

(A) Johnson, Randy

303–166 (2), 3.29

102.0

110.6

135

75

73

(A) Glavine, Tom

305–203, 3.54

81.5

66.9

118

86

94

(B) Schilling, Curt

216–146 (22), 3.46

79.9

79.8

127

80

76

(A) Smoltz, John

213–155 (154), 3.33

69.5

79.6

125

81

78

Brown, Kevin

211–144, 3.28

68.3

76.5

127

78

78

Cone, David

194–126 (1), 3.46

62.5

56.0

121

84

84

Saberhagen, Bret

167–117 (1), 3.34

59.2

55.3

126

80

81

Finley, Chuck

200–173, 3.85

58.4

56.9

115

87

88

Stieb, Dave

176–137 (3), 3.44

57.2

43.8

122

82

93

Hershiser, Orel

204–150 (5), 3.48

56.8

48.0

112

89

93

Gooden, Dwight

194–112 (3), 3.51

53.2

56.7

111

90

93

Langston, Mark

179–158, 3.97

50.7

49.2

107

93

91

(A): Denotes player who is in the Hall of Fame.
(B): Denotes player who is on the BBWAA ballot for 2017.

Talk about a stacked deck: Four of those pitchers—Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz—are first-ballot Hall of Famers while Johnson and Maddux rank among the greatest pitchers in baseball history. Joining them are Curt Schilling, who is certainly one of the greatest postseason pitchers and whose middling performance on the BBWAA ballot is puzzling, and Kevin Brown, who was unfairly a one-and-done in 2011 although Brown's connections to performance-enhancing drugs (PED) was certainly a factor.

The table below lists those dozen contemporary starting pitchers along with Hershiser, ranked by JAWS, along with other JAWS statistics and ratings for the Hall of Fame Monitor and the Hall of Fame Standards. Also included are the JAWS statistics for all starting pitches in the Hall of Fame.

Contemporary Pitchers and 2017 Pitcher Candidate on the 2017 Today's Game Ballot, Ranked by JAWS

Pitcher

No. of Years

From

To

bWAR

WAR7

JAWS

JAWS Rank

HoF Mon.

(≈100)

HoF Std.

(≈50)

(A) Johnson, Randy

22

1988

2009

102.1

62.0

82.0

9

331

65

(A) Maddux, Greg

23

1986

2008

106.8

56.3

81.6

10

254

70

(B) Schilling, Curt

20

1988

2007

79.9

49.0

64.5

27

171

46

(A) Glavine, Tom

22

1987

2008

81.5

44.3

62.9

30

176

52

Ave. of 62 HoF SP

NA

NA

NA

73.9

50.3

62.1

NA

NA

NA

Brown, Kevin

19

1986

2005

68.3

45.4

56.9

46

93

41

(A) Smoltz, John

21

1988

2009

69.5

38.8

54.1

58

162

44

Cone, David

17

1986

2003

62.5

43.5

53.0

60

103

39

Saberhagen, Bret

16

1984

2001

59.2

43.3

51.3

66

70

32

Stieb, Dave

16

1979

1998

57.2

44.8

51.0

67

56

27

Finley, Chuck

17

1986

2002

58.4

39.8

49.1

75

54

27

Hershiser, Orel

18

1983

2000

56.8

40.4

48.6

79

90

34

Langston, Mark

16

1984

1999

50.7

41.8

46.2

93

64

23

Gooden, Dwight

16

1984

2000

53.2

39.1

46.1

95

88

40

(A): Denotes player who is in the Hall of Fame.
(B): Denotes player who is on the BBWAA ballot for 2017.

Standards are high for the Hall of Fame—even Smoltz, the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to combine at least 200 wins and at least 150 saves, falls just below the WAR and JAWS thresholds established by pitchers currently in the Hall.

But as we have seen so far, it is the bubble candidates that make the evaluating an exciting challenge. Using wins, a traditional measurement of effectiveness, how does Hershiser compare to his contemporary pitchers whose career win totals are within roughly ten wins of Hershiser's career total of 204 wins? The table below summarizes those results as a win-loss record and corresponding winning percentage along with other quantitative measurements including games started, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, walks, and strikeouts.

Select Contemporary Pitchers and 2017 Pitcher Candidate on the 2017 Today's Game Ballot, Ranked by Wins



W–L (Pct.)

GS

CG

SHO

IP

BB

SO

(B) Curt Schilling

216–146 (.597)

436

83

20

3261.0

711

3116

(A) Smoltz, John

213–155 (.579)

481

53

16

3473.0

1010

3084

Brown, Kevin

211–144 (.594)

476

72

17

3256.1

901

2397

Hershiser, Orel

204–150 (.576)

466

68

25

3130.1

1007

2014

Cone, David

194–126 (.606)

419

56

22

2898.2

1137

2668

Gooden, Dwight

194–112 (.634)

410

68

24

2800.2

954

2293

(A): Denotes player who is in the Hall of Fame.
(B): Denotes player who is on the BBWAA ballot for 2017.

Using another traditional measurement, earned run average, the table below summarizes those select contemporary pitchers of Hershiser along with other qualitative measurements.

Select Contemporary Pitchers and 2017 Pitcher Candidate on the 2017 Today's Game Ballot, Ranked by ERA



ERA

ERA+

ERA–

FIP

FIP–

WHIP

H/9

SO/9

SO/BB

(B) Curt Schilling

3.23

127

80

3.23

76

1.137

8.3

8.6

4.38

Brown, Kevin

3.28

127

78

3.33

78

1.222

8.5

6.6

2.66

(A) Smoltz, John

3.33

127

81

3.24

78

1.170

8.0

8.0

3.05

Cone, David

3.46

121

84

3.57

84

1.256

7.8

8.3

2.35

Hershiser, Orel

3.48

112

89

3.69

93

1.261

8.4

5.8

2.00

Gooden, Dwight

3.51

111

90

3.33

93

1.177

8.2

7.4

2.40

(A): Denotes player who is in the Hall of Fame.
(B): Denotes player who is on the BBWAA ballot for 2017.

ERA: Earned Run Average, the number of earned runs allowed by a pitcher, multiplied by 9, then divided by the number of innings the pitcher pitched, to project the average number of earned runs a pitcher would record over the course of an entire game.
ERA+: Career ERA, league- and park-adjusted, as calculated by Baseball Reference. Positively indexed to 100, with a 100 ERA+ indicating a league-average pitcher, and values above 100 indicating the degrees better a pitcher is than a league-average pitcher.
ERA–: Career ERA, league- and park-adjusted, as calculated by FanGraphs. Negatively indexed to 100, with a 100 ERA– indicating a league-average pitcher, and values below 100 indicating the degrees better a pitcher is than a league-average pitcher.
FIP: Fielding-independent pitching, a pitcher's ERA with his fielders' impact factored out. This ratio measures a pitcher's effectiveness at preventing home runs, walks, and hits by pitch and at inducing strikeouts.
FIP–: Fielding-independent pitching, a pitcher's ERA with his fielders' impact factored out, league- and park-adjusted, as calculated by FanGraphs. Negatively indexed to 100, with a 100 FIP– indicating a league-average pitcher, and values below 100 indicating the degrees better a pitcher is than a league-average pitcher.
WHIP: Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched.
H/9: Hits per nine innings pitched; the number of hits allowed by a pitcher, multiplied by 9, then divided by the number of innings the pitcher pitched, to project the average number of hits allowed a pitcher would record over the course of an entire game.
SO/9: Strikeouts per nine innings pitched, the number of strikeouts by a pitcher, multiplied by 9, then divided by the number of innings the pitcher pitched, to project the average number of strikeouts a pitcher would record over the course of an entire game.
SO/BB: The ratio of a pitcher's strikeouts to bases on balls (or walks).

Just how fine is the threshold? With respect to ERA, these six pitchers are separated by roughly a quarter of a run while their win totals are also roughly within ten wins of Hershiser. Will a more qualitative comparison make the delineation clearer?

The table below summarizes those select contemporary pitchers of Hershiser by a number of qualitative metrics, ranking them by Wins Above Average.

Select Contemporary Pitchers and 2017 Pitcher Candidate on the 2017 Today's Game Ballot, Ranked by Wins Above Average

Pitcher

Slash Line

RA9

RAA

WAA

RAR

pWAR

(B) Curt Schilling

.243/.286/.387/.673

3.64

487

54.1

806

80.7

Brown, Kevin

.249/.306/.349/.655

3.75

370

40.5

691

68.5

(A) Smoltz, John

.237/.293/.360/.653

3.60

345

38.0

656

66.5

Cone, David

.232/.309/.359/.669

3.79

323

35.6

628

61.7

Hershiser, Orel

.249/.312/.364/.676

3.93

209

25.1

514

51.7

Gooden, Dwight

.244/.310/.357/.667

3.85

195

24.0

474

48.2

(A): Denotes player who is in the Hall of Fame.
(B): Denotes player who is on the BBWAA ballot for 2017.

Slash Line: Aggregate opposing hitters' batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and on-base plus slugging percentages against the pitcher.
RA9: Runs allowed per nine innings pitched; this includes unearned runs.
RAA: Runs better than average, as calculated by Baseball Reference. This measures the runs prevented by a pitcher compared to a league-average pitcher.
WAA: Wins above average, or the wins added by this pitcher compared to a league-average pitcher. This differs from Wins Above a Replacement player in that it is measured against pitchers already in the Major Leagues and not pitchers arriving from the minor leagues.
RAR: Runs Above a Replacement Player. This measures the runs prevented by a pitcher compared to a replacement player.
pWAR: Wins Above Replacement for a pitcher's pitching performance only. This does not include a pitcher's value as a batter, baserunner, or fielder.

Although their slash lines are fairly similar, the qualitative metrics for run prevention (RA9, RAA, RAR) and value (WAA, pWAR) form the threshold that puts Hershiser in the bottom half.

Orel Hershiser became a free agent after the strike-shortened 1994 season, his age-35 year, and he signed a three-year deal with the Cleveland Indians. In his three years with Cleveland, Hershiser won 45 games against only 21 losses for a .682 winning percentage. In the American League with its designated hitter during a high-offense period, Hershiser's ERA crept over the 4.00 mark in his last two seasons although his ERA+ of 113 over those three seasons indicated a still-effective pitcher.

Indeed, in 1995 Hershiser helped the Indians, an offensive powerhouse as exemplified by Albert Belle, to the postseason, where they went all the way to the World Series against the Atlanta Braves, the first time since 1954 that Cleveland had made it to the Series. Along the way, Hershiser was named the Most Valuable Player in the American League Championship Series—the first player ever to have been named a CS MVP in both leagues—as he won both his starts against the Seattle Mariners, allowing just two earned runs in 14.0 innings as he struck out 15 batters against only three walks, as the Indians defeated Seattle in six games.

As Cleveland went on to face the Atlanta Braves in the World Series, Hershiser had to battle Greg Maddux in both his starts; he lost the Series opener, a close 3–2 game, but he bested Maddux in Game Five, an elimination game with Atlanta up three games to one in the Series, pitching eight strong innings while surrendering just one earned run of two he allowed overall as Cleveland closer Jose Mesa earned a shaky save, yielding two runs in the ninth as the Indians held on for a 5–4 victory. Nevertheless, the Braves won Game Six for their third (and so far last) World Series crown.

Hershiser again helped pitch the Indians to the postseason in 1997, his age-38 year. He earned no decisions in his two starts against the New York Yankees in the AL Divisional Series although Cleveland then advanced to the ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles, where Hershiser pitched a four-hit gem over seven scoreless innings yet picked up another no-decision as Cleveland won in extra innings. But in the World Series against the (then-)Florida Marlins, an exciting series that went to all seven games, he got blasted in both his starts, allowing 13 runs, all earned, in ten innings as he incurred two losses.

After the 1997 season, Hershiser played one season each with the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets, a full-time starter in both years although a league-average one, before returning to the Dodgers in 2000. Hershiser pitched in only ten games, six of those starts, as he won just one game against five losses and posted a whopping 13.14 ERA. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers released him mid-season.

Hardly a power pitcher, Orel Hershiser succeeded through control and finesse; a neat statistical quirk is that he issued exactly half the number of walks, 1007, as he did strikeouts, 2014. Hershiser's historic 1989 season is the culmination of a strong six-year streak beginning in 1984 in which he posted a 98–64 win-loss record, a .605 winning percentage, and a 2.68 ERA with a 132 ERA+, throwing 23 shutouts including the eight in 1989, and striking out 1006 against only 428 walks.

Orel Hershiser had one Hall of Fame-caliber season in 1989, and the preceding five full seasons—particularly 1985, when he won 19 games against only three losses and posted a 2.03 ERA—were outstanding ones. But Hershiser was, overall, a very good pitcher with moments of excellence, and he does not rise to the level of an elite Hall of Fame pitcher.

Managing Expectations: Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella

Both former players who gained greater prominence as field skippers, both Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella have one World Series title each, coincidentally each for his only trip to the Series. Piniella's was a surprise sweep by the Cincinnati Reds over the Oakland A's in 1990, early in his managerial career, while Johnson guided the New York Mets to their second World Series title in the memorable, infamous, seven-game 1986 Series against the Boston Red Sox.

Piniella is 14th all-time with 1835 wins, over a 23-year managerial career, while Johnson is 31st in wins with 1372 over a 17-year career. Johnson's .excellent 562 winning percentage indicates how he had only one losing season (for a full season of managing), during his first year with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999. Piniella's .517 winning percentage largely reflects his three years managing the hapless Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 2003 to 2005 along with a few fallow years in Seattle, his longest stint by far as he led the Mariners for ten years from 1993 to 2002; however, Piniella did guide them to their historic 116-win season in 2001, the most wins by any American League team ever and tied with the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the most ever by any Major League team, only to see them lose to the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

Of the top 15 managers by total games won who are eligible for the Hall of Fame (the 15th, Bruce Bochy, is still an active manager), only Piniella and Gene Mauch are not in the Hall; curiously, Mauch's .483 winning percentage is 17 points below .500 as Piniella's is 17 points above .500. Mauch never won a pennant or a World Series, while Piniella has one of each including the Mariners' remarkable 116 wins in 2001.

Lou Piniella
Under Lou Piniella, the Seattle Mariners won a historic 116 games in 2001. Is that enough to get him into the Hall of Fame?

Beginning his managerial career with the New York Yankees in 1986, Piniella guided the Bronx Bombers to excellent seasons that year and the following year—90 wins in 1986 and 89 in 1987—but the Yankees finished second and fourth, respectively. Replaced by Billy Martin, whom Piniella had replaced for the 1986 season, Piniella became the Yankees' general manager for the 1988 season but midway through the season he moved down to the field again—and again replacing Billy Martin—to finish out the season.

Moving in 1990 to Cincinnati to manage the Reds, notorious for their "Nasty Boys" trio of relievers Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble, and Randy Myers, Piniella led the Reds to a 91-win season and a World Series title. The Reds fell to 74–88 the following year although Piniella, who had a contentious relationship with eccentric team owner Marge Schott, righted the ship in 1992 as the Reds won 90 games but finished second in the NL West to the Atlanta Braves.

Piniella was then dismissed but took up residence in Seattle the following year as he managed the Mariners for a decade. Three of those seasons were losing ones, but when the Mariners were on they were really on, with superstars Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, and Alex Rodriguez, then Japanese phenomenon Ichiro Suzuki, who arrived in 2001, providing the fireworks. The Mariners won 90 or more games four times, three of them consecutively from 2000 to 2002 including the record-setting 116 wins in 2001, which saw Suzuki become only the second player to be named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season.

Under Piniella, the Mariners made their only four postseason appearances to date, including the exciting 1995 AL Division Series against the New York Yankees that saw Seattle win the clinching Game Five in 11 innings, overcoming the Yankees' go-ahead run in the top half of that inning with a two-run double by Martinez that scored Joey Cora and, memorably, Griffey to send Seattle to its first AL Championship Series. Unfortunately, the Mariners lost that series to the Cleveland Indians in six games.

Taking a chance with the struggling Tampa Bay franchise, Piniella managed the Devil Rays for three seasons and even got them to a then-franchise-best 70 wins in 2004. But Piniella was impatient with the Rays' front office, which was building for the future while Piniella wanted them to increase payroll for immediate results—in 2005, Tampa Bay had the lowest payroll in the major leagues with $30 million; by contrast, the Yankees had a $208 million payroll that year. Piniella accepted a buyout for his contracted 2006 season, and later that year he signed on to manage the Chicago Cubs.

With the Cubs, Piniella got them to the postseason in his first two years, including a two-game squeak past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central in 2007 and a gaudy 97 wins the following year, but Chicago was swept in the first round in both years. In 2009, the Cubs finished 7.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central, and after 125 games in the 2010 season that found the Cubs 23 games below .500, Lou Piniella hung it up as a manager.

Beginning his Major League managerial career with the New York Mets in 1984, Davey Johnson enjoyed six winning seasons, from 1984 to 1989, right off the bat, making the postseason in two of those years. Five of those seasons saw the Mets win at least 90 games including 100 games in 1988 and, famously, 108 games in 1986.

That year's postseason is a highlight in Mets' history: First they defeated the Houston Astros in six games for the National League pennant, culminating with a 12-inning win in Game Five to give the Mets a 3–2 edge in the series. However, the NLCS then moved to Houston for the final two games—although the Mets were hoping to end it with the next game. They did, but not before an epic, 16-inning battle. The Astros had taken a three-run lead in the bottom of the first inning as Houston's Bob Knepper held the Mets scoreless until the ninth inning, when the Mets tied the game, sending into extra innings. Each team traded a run in the 14th inning, but two innings later New York jumped out to a three-run lead. With Mets reliever Jesse Orosco starting the bottom of the inning with a strikeout of Craig Reynolds, New York looked to be in good shape. But then the Astros strung together a walk and three hits for two runs, and with the tying run on second with two outs, Orosco struck out Kevin Bass to send the Mets to the World Series.

That World Series turned out to be against the Boston Red Sox in one of the classic Fall Classics in baseball history. The Red Sox took the first two games, in New York, before dropping the next two back in Boston. But then Boston's Bruce Hurst outdueled Dwight Gooden in Game Five for a 4-2 win, and when, in Game Six, back in New York, Red Sox ace Roger Clemens was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth inning with the Red Sox up 3–2, it looked as if Boston might clinch its first World Series in 68 years.

But the Mets tied the score off reliever Calvin Schiraldi in the bottom of the inning, and a scoreless ninth sent the game into extra innings. With Boston's Dave Henderson homering to lead off the top of the tenth, and the Red Sox pushing across another run before being retired, victory again looked to be in sight—particularly after Schiraldi retired the first two Mets in the bottom of the frame. Then Gary Carter singled, and Johnson sent pinch-hitter Kevin Mitchell in to hit for pitcher Rick Aguilera. Mitchell singled, and Ray Knight followed suit, scoring Carter on another single as Mitchell went to third. Red Sox manager John McNamara called to the bullpen for Bob Stanley to relieve Schiraldi—and Stanley promptly uncorked a wild pitch on a three-and-two count, with the Red Sox one strike away from winning the Series. Mitchell scored from third, and Knight moved to second. Then, on another 3–2 count totaling nine pitches overall, Mookie Wilson tapped a grounder up the first-base line, where—can't you hear announcer Vin Scully report the result? Alas, first baseman Bill Buckner could not field the ball between his legs, Ray Knight galloped home from second, and the Mets had a new lease on the Series.

The Red Sox might have taken a 3–0 lead in Game Seven, but the Mets tied the score in the sixth inning and hung on to win their second World Series while the Red Sox—yes, the Curse of the Bambino. And even though the Mets let Johnson go just 42 games into the 1990 season, he remains the winningest manager in franchise history with 595 wins against just 417 losses for a .588 winning percentage.

Johnson then took a turn at managing the Cincinnati Reds, first coming in to relieve Tony Perez for the remainder of the 1993 season (Perez had replaced Lou Piniella), and then leading the team to a pair of winning seasons in the next two years, finishing first in both years and making the postseason in 1995. (The 1994 season was strike-shortened, with no postseason played.) But Johnson and Reds owner Marge Schott did not get along, and Johnson was gone after 1995.

No matter, because the Baltimore Orioles snapped him up, and Johnson, who had played for Baltimore, took the Orioles to the postseason in both years he managed there, winning 98 games in 1997 although the Orioles couldn't get past the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. And, again, Johnson had a contentious relationship with his employer, owner Pete Angelos, and Johnson was again out of a job after 1997. Landing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999, Johnson could not produce his magic as the Dodgers finished four games under .500, and although Johnson led LA to a second-place finish with 86 wins in 2000, he was again let go.

Johnson then largely left the Major Leagues for a decade although he remained active in international baseball as well as managing the US Olympic team during the 2008 Summer Olympics; he again managed an American team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Returning to major-league managing in 2011, Johnson found himself as the third manager in that season for the Washington Nationals. Making a favorable impression, he returned in 2012 and promptly led the Nationals to their first postseason appearance (not including their record when the franchise was the Montreal Expos) with a 98-win campaign, the best record in the majors. The Nationals finished second the following year, and Davey Johnson retired after the 2013 season.

Johnson lacks the counting numbers but was a winning manager on each of the five teams he managed, winning at least 98 games in a season with three different teams (the Mets, Baltimore Orioles, and Washington Nationals) while his 1986 Mets won 108 games.

From either a quantitative or qualitative perspective, Piniella or Johnson, respectively, could sneak across the threshold and into the Hall. And although I think that Piniella would get the nod based on his total wins, I do not think either one will be elected this year.

Last modified on Saturday, 03 December 2016 16:10

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