Hall of Fame Debates (95)

Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: Sometimes what I think we forget that the last name of Hall of Fame is “Fame”.  That is what I think of when the name Fred McGriff comes up.  I know he almost hit 500 Home Runs and did it clean, from what we know.  I know that he is a .500 Slugger and had it not been for the era he played in might have had more than five All Star appearances.  But this guy move the needle?

What I mean specifically, is just how many people said the day of a Fred McGriff game, hey we have to go see the “Crime Dog”?  I lived in Toronto where he broke through, and I never said that, and neither did my friends.  Hell trading him away brought us Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter and a World Series a year later.

Did they in Atlanta, where he helped them win a World Series?  Or in San Diego where he was before? 

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only commercial he did:

https://youtu.be/2BEEV8Nn3vU

Does he look like a star?  Does he feel like a star?  I know that shouldn’t matter, but at what point do we decide that actual fame matters in a Baseball Hall? 

Spheniscus: But that is the baseball training video that gets results. I have heard that it is actually also the most aired television commercial of all time. But somehow Google has no idea whether that is true. And if you are in a commercial that has aired more times than Google can even figure out, do you really need to make another commercial?

If McGriff had gotten seven more home runs would he be a Hall of Famer? I think the answer is yes. Nobody went to go see Eddie Murray play either. Although to be fair, Murray was a better player. But Murray had 11 more career homers than McGriff. So when he came up there was kind of a grudging… yeah, he’s kinda borderline but he has 500 homers… so I guess he’s just in. Of course that’s when 500 homers was 500 homers.

His other problem is that he’s probably the third best first baseman on this list. Bagwell is clearly superior and McGwire would certainly be superior if he could just take some time to talk about the past. And if there are nine positions and you are the third best at one of them, it is hard to call you a Hall of Famer off of that list. Will he stick around? Yes. Will he get over 15%? I say no. Will he ever get into the Hall? Maybe when we are old and gray and they have a Steroids Era committee. But he’s not getting voted in through this process.


Chairman:  Murray hopped around after 1988, but he was a big deal in Baltimore for a decade and I’m sure “Steady Eddie” sold a few seats or two. 

But I digress (yet again).

The 500 Home Run mark isn’t what it used to be, that’s true, but I honestly think that even if McGriff had seven more, he still wouldn’t be in.  The 500 Home Run mark was something that elevates a career, and if McGriff caught that number, he was one of those guys who devalues it.  (I know that it is a sentence usually dedicated to the PED guys)

He is a Home Run hitter who never hit more than 40 in a season.  He was never a serious MVP contender (though he did finish fourth once), JAWS wise he is sandwiched between Mark Teixeira and Norm Cash, a future and current member of “The Hall of Very Good”.  While I respect his longevity, it was that ability to compile stats that got him this far in the vote. 

You’re right about him hovering under 15%.  He isn’t going to get much more and probably shouldn’t.

Now as for that commercial; Let me show you a pair of real commercials starring the men he was traded for:

https://youtu.be/mnu9DCLJtRE

https://youtu.be/fEwBf5o9Us4

You’re welcome!

Spheniscus: Wow, they’re real and their spectacular! Although maybe that explains what Alomar was doing that September night in 1996. He just wanted Hirschbeck to catch the taste of McCain’s. With his face.

I actually think that you are wrong. I think that if the 1994 strike had not happened McGriff would have climbed his way into the Hall. He was 6 short of 40 home runs that season and if he got those plus one he would have had his 40 and his 500.

And it was a different era. He led the league in HRs twice in 1989 with 36 and in 1992 with 35. It’s not just that he wasn’t hitting a lot of homers, No one was hitting a lot of homers. And that is why players from that era have been having a tough time getting into the Hall.
Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Graig Nettles, Dave Concepcion, Dave Parker, Keith Hernandez, all out. Guys like Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Tony Perez, even Ryne Sandberg struggled to get in for far too long. Why? The era’s offensive stats just don’t look that impressive.

I mean his first year on the ballot the only person elected was Andre Dawson. Here are their stats side by side





Years

Hits

HR

RBI

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

WAR

Dawson

21

2,774

438

1,509

.279

.323

.482

.806

64.5

McGriff

19

2,490

493

1,550

.284

.377

.509

.886

52.4



Dawson wins in hits and WAR fairly handily. But in everything else McGriff is the superior player statistically. An 80 point difference in OPS is very significant. Although it should be noted that Dawson had a ROY and an MVP to his name, which McGriff does not.

Do I think McGriff will ever get into the Hall? No I don’t. But if the 1994 strike hadn’t happened, he’d be in already. Particularly with the jaundiced eye the voters have given to the steroid era the past few years. A vote for him would have been a statement vote against the era and his momentum would have shot him up the list. But it was not to be. And with only three more years on the ballot, he is a goner after 2019.


Chairman:  This is definitely one of those “agree to disagree” moments.

I can concede that had he reached 500 Home Runs, his vote tally would significantly be higher, but I still don’t think he would be in; but we will never know the answer to that one.

Now you bring up Andre Dawson.  Dawson is someone who I always thought was a borderline Hall of Famer, but he had something that I mentioned earlier that McGriff didn’t have.  Fame.  Both Dawson and McGriff were All-Stars but only Dawson was a star. 

Hell Andre still is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OrQiKh1Z8o

That MVP was huge for Dawson.  Even though he really didn’t deserve it.  That 1987 season, Dawson put up huge power numbers (47 HR, 137 RBI) but only finished 10th in OPS (I do value that stat very much), and was not even close to finishing in the top ten in bWAR that year.  He only had a 4.0, due to his declining defense and low OBP (.328). 

None of that matters, as he is in the record books as a former National League MVP and a part of the legacy of the Cubs.  Two other things McGriff doesn’t have as he is neither a former MVP, nor is he really part of any team’s legacy.

So we get to the end here, and would I vote for him?  No, I wouldn’t, and I predict he will finish in the teens again.

Spheniscus: Yeah, he really isn’t part of any team’s legacy. I think of him as a Brave first. You think of him (rightfully) as a Blue Jay first, or rather the guy the Blue Jays traded to get themselves two World Series titles. I would absolutely vote for McGriff… if I could vote for more than 10. He is 12th on my list.

And that is part of the problem he has. Without steroids his total is higher because
Bonds, Clemens, etc. are not on this list any more. So people like me would have space on our ballots. But I’m not going to avoid voting for someone better just to keep him on the ballot.

He will be right in the middle of the teens. Like he was with the Tom Emansky Defensive Drills video. That was the video that got results. Unfortunately this won’t result in his getting elected. He just needs to wait until that Steroids Era Committee is formed in 2025. 


Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: I like Jeff Kent.  I really do.  I remember hating it when the Jays traded him, thinking that he might be something special, but considering the result (We got David Cone and a World Series that year) I can’t complain too much. 

Still, when Kent would later light it up for San Francisco, including what would be an MVP season in 2000, I always thought of what he would still look like in a Jays uniform and how well he would fit in…and perhaps not fight with anyone in the dugout.

Kent is entering his third year on the ballot, where he dipped a bit last year to finish at 14%.  I think he will see an increase as he was probably on the list of a few writers at the 11-14 spot, and with only Griffey (maybe Hoffman) replacing Biggio, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz, the still thick log jam has lost a bit of lumber. 

Still, if Kent can at the very least raise his total to 25%, with the reduced ballot tenure, I don’t think he has a shot to make it.  Can he get an 11% increase?

Spheniscus: 11% seems like a lot. If only because there are plenty of people who aren’t voting for 10 names every year. I remember thinking as his career wound down… damn, Kent is a borderline Hall of Famer. And the Hall of Fame predictors seem to hold that to be true.

On Hall of Fame Monitor where a 100 score is a likely Hall of Famer, he is a 122. On Hall of Fame Standards where 50 is a likely Hall of Famer, he is a 51. For Gray Ink, though where an average Hall of Famer is a 144 score, he is only a 71. And JAWS holds him to be the 18th Greatest Second Baseman of All Time. All of whom, except #7 Bobby Grich (really?), #11 Lou Whitaker, #12 Chase Utley (still playing), #16 Robinson Cano (still playing, but really?), and #17 Willie Randolph are in the Hall.

So his argument is pretty good. Better than his excuse of getting injured washing out the bed of his truck when he actually crashed his motorcycle trying to pull wheelies anyway.

Given a rational list, meaning one where they had figured out what was going on with the whole steroid era, he would probably find his way into the Hall. But who knows? I mean you and I both think that no one got screwed during this process more than Lou Whitaker who never even made a second ballot. So it’s entirely possible I’m wrong. Kent will be on the ballot next year. But I don’t think he’ll get another 11%.


Chairman:  You are right (again) that we both feel the same about Whitaker being screwed and about Kent not getting another 11 points.  Quick question…before I move on…so you are not saying Grich belonged in the upper echelon?  We have another discussion if that is the case!

Let me throw this at you.  I think that the voters know they made a mistake with Whitaker, or at the very least erred that he should have stayed on the ballot a little longer.  I am putting my conspiracy hat on and saying are they happy that he made a few more ballots so that there is no mistake?

You know what Spheniscus?  After writing that, I know I am going off the deep end with that theory. 

Let me throw something else at you.  Do you think his “good ole boy” image that we saw in Survivor plays against him?

Spheniscus: I am not arguing that Bobby Grich was a great player, but the 7th greatest 2B of all time? That is better than Jackie Robinson. I have a hard time believing that Grich was a better player than Jackie Robinson.

As for being on Survivor and his image, it really is hard to think of a personality in sports less suited to game based on social skills than the prickly, at best, Kent. The good ole boy image was his version of Commander Data getting an emotions chip implant. He put it on because he didn’t know how else to interact with the world. Survivor’s choice of Scot Pollard for this year’s season is a much better decision.

All this said, Kent directly benefits from Biggio being gone from the ballot. I mean the second best second baseman on this list is Luis Castillo. And while we are doing 24 of these things, he is not one of them. How much of a jump do you think he gets?


Chairman:  To Grich’s defense on being over Jackie Robinson, the trailblazer didn’t enter the Majors until he was 28, and had there been no color barrier, surely would be higher. 

In regards to Survivor, I can give you one personality less suited for the show, and he did do it…John Rocker.  I don’t know if you watched it, but if you haven’t it was exactly the disaster you thought it was! 

My dream Sports Survivor sixteen you (didn’t) ask?



Sean Avery

Charles Barkley

Shawn Bradley

John Daly

Rickey Henderson

Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner

Carl Lewis

Diego Maradonna

Steve Nash

Terrell Owens

Rafael Palmeiro

Bas Rutten

Pete Rose

Latrell Sprewell

Mike Tyson

Kurt Warner

That is ratings gold!

Oh…I don’t vote for Kent, though he is close on my ballot.  I think he creeps up, but only to 17%.

Sphensicus: Very interesting group, although that is more a list for a Survivor Series than Survivor. Plus having Sean Avery on any show that isn’t Celebrity Deathmatch is not a show I am interested in. Seriously, fuck that guy. Although hopefully Tyson would take care of him. Quickly.

Anyway, Kent is someone I would vote for. He has my 11th spot. He originally had 10th, but with researching this someone who is upcoming took that spot from him. But I think that you are right on with the percentage. 17% is probably the right number for him. 


Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: I have always had a soft spot for spray hitters.  Pete Rose was my first favorite player, and he was replaced with Tony Gwynn, who is still to this day my all-time favorite.  Next to my Guy LaFleur rookie card, my rookie Gwynn card holds a special place in my collection.

Maybe that is why I really liked Jason Kendall, especially when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates.  With his .306 Batting Average and .387 On Base Percentage (specifically in Pittsburgh), it combined my original respect for Batting Average with the new vogue stat of OBP.   It also didn’t hurt that he was a Catcher, which I now regard as the second most important position in Baseball (behind Pitcher of course).

Kendall was good (maybe Hall of Very Good caliber) but I know he won’t receive much support.  Damn though, if I had a ballot it would be hard for me not to throw him a bone and cast a vote just out of respect.

Spheniscus: Well, here we have our first major disagreement. I think catcher is actually THE most important position in baseball. The Red Sox were pretty terrible this season. But they were doomed as of April 2nd, 2015 when defensive wizard Christian Vazquez underwent Tommy John surgery. Replacing him with Blake Swihart, a much better offensive player but a pretty mediocre defensive catcher, had a huge effect on pitchers who collectively had their worst years of their careers all at once. Also we had the corpse formally known as Hanley Ramirez on our team. That also did not help.

Anyway, back to the task at hand. Jason Kendall. Kendall has a shot. There are 13 catchers who have been elected to the Hall. A 14th should be elected this year in Piazza. According to JAWS, Kendall is the 18th best catcher in baseball history. Three others in front of him are not yet eligible for the Hall:
Ivan Rodriguez (3), Joe Mauer (9), and Jorge Posada (16). Four others, Ted Simmons (10), Thurman Munson (12), Gene Tenace (13), and Bill Freehan (14) are off the ballot without being elected [INSERT TED SIMMONS SHOULD BE IN THE HALL ALREADY RANT HERE].

So he is clearly in the conversation. Or rather, he should be. But here’s the thing that is going to keep him out of the Hall. He made three All Star teams in 15 seasons. So regardless of his stats, he doesn’t FEEL like a Hall of Famer to people. Particularly since he spent so much time on terrible Pirates teams. If he couldn’t beat out Mike Williams or Jack Wilson to be the Pirates representative, how is he going to get into the Hall?

Without going too deeply into his stats (for once in these conversations) I think that he will get 5% or close to it. But I don’t think he is ever getting through the voting process and into Cooperstown.


Chairman:  I always thought of Ramirez more as a pylon than a corpse. 

JAWS does put him there in the conversation, and will probably get him a few articles on this for years to come…long after he is kicked off of the ballot this year. 

Three All Star Games.  That shouldn’t matter, but we know it will won’t it?  I hate the fact that there are people who point to that as some sort of accomplishment when it is only a reflection of a popularity contest and/or what you did in a half season.  Hell, we have had MVPs of certain years who didn’t make an All Star team, though nobody seems to remember that.

Do you remember when Sandy Alomar was constantly chosen as the American League starting Catcher?  He went to the All-Star Game six times and only played in 100 Games four times.  Alomar finishes 127th in JAWS by the way, and you know what?  He finished with 2.8% of the ballot. 

Here is my prediction.  Jason Kendall does not beat that number…and that will be a travesty. 

Spheniscus: Incidentally, Hanley wasn’t always a pylon. When he first came up with the Red Sox (before they sent him to Florida in the Josh Beckett/Mike Lowell trade), he was touted as the Slam Dunk Champion of the Dominican Republic. Although any evidence of that does not exist on the Google. So it probably isn’t true. Much like Dice-K’s gyroball.

Anyway, Kendall should do better than Alomar. He was a waaaay better player than Alomar. But there is a possibility that he would end up with less than 2.8%. But I am sticking by my closer to 5% prediction. I understand that is like ten votes, but it is significant. He will just never be a Hall of Famer via the writers. A future veteran’s committee will have to be the ones to take care of this.

Chairman:  Ah…the gyroball.  I am going to severe date myself, but I wonder if scouts thought it looked like when Radar O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff) was impressing Tommy Lasorda on a Fantasy Island episode where the ball did circles complete with Looney Tunes sound affects. 

Crap, I just lost everybody under 40.

Kendall should do better than Alomar…but he won’t. 

I already predicted he won’t beat Alomar’s 2.8%.  I will be more specific.  He won’t even make half of that.  He wouldn’t get my fictional vote either, but at least I gave it a lot of thought.  Sandy was never going to get that.

Spheniscus: He is not one of my 15 votes either. Your 1.4% is 8 votes. I still say it is higher just because of the people making a point of not voting for steroid users. 5% is essentially 27 votes. That seems a bit high. Let’s say 20 votes or 3.6%.


Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: This should be a no-brainer, with stress on the word “should”.  I have yet to read a publication, a blog, or a smoke signal that says that Ken Griffey Jr. is not a Hall of Famer.   Yet, there is going to be a handful of voters who won’t check his name off and we know why don’t we?

It will be a few of those self-righteous pricks who will say “well, I don’t know who used PEDs or not from that era” and point to the enlarged head that he had when he played for Mr. Burns softball team as evidence that he used HGH. 

It was Brain and Nerve tonic, goddamn it, and it was not on the banned substance list!

Bad Springfield jokes aside, Griffey is this year’s lock, and should be.  My only question is what the second digit is on the vote, because the first one is a nine!

Spheniscus: That’s the thing though, there is no way to know who did and didn’t use at that time. Mike Piazza by practically any measure is the greatest hitting catcher of all time. He should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer. He’s now on his 4th time through? Why? Because he was a big guy and played in the steroid era and is therefore part of the whisper campaign.

Why don’t we think Griffey used? Because he was a phenom? Well, so was his teammate Alex Rodriguez, who was a user. Because he was skinny? Have you seen
Ryan Franklin? He’d need to wear a dive belt to hit 150 pounds. He was a user. Because he’s a nice guy? Mike Cameron may be the nicest person ever in baseball. He was a user.

To be fair, I don’t believe that Griffey used. And obviously what my father would have called the Ivory Soap percentage of the voters don’t either. He will most likely end up with 95% plus of the vote. But if people take the stand that no one from the era gets in because they don’t know who used, the stand is stupid but it is at least consistent. I don’t hold it against them. Those guys aren’t the self-righteous pricks in my book. They are dumbasses, but not pricks.

Those who don’t vote for him because it is the first time he is eligible and not even Babe Ruth got 100% of the vote are the self-righteous pricks. Those people can just turn in their ballot privileges.


Although I do wonder if there are a percentage that won’t vote for Griffey knowing that he will skate in and that an extra vote for someone further down the ballot would help someone they think is a worthy candidate. If you truly believe that Edgar Martinez is a Hall of Famer, but he is 11th on your list, why not leave Griffey blank and vote for Martinez? That may also depress Griffey’s vote percentage while the people who are doing it are actually on the side of the angels.

Chairman:  Griffey will go down in a long list of men who should have received 100 percent of the ballot because of the self-righteous pricks/dumbasses we both spoke of.  Personally, I prefer the term “sanctimonious douchebag”, but maybe that is because how I have been viewing Hawkeye in M*A*S*H reruns last night in a drunken bender watching that show on a marathon. 

While you are right that we don’t know whether Griffey Jr. juiced or not, and I am with you in that he probably didn’t, based mostly on his post 30 numbers as opposed to prior to.  It was a natural decline that made sense, not some Dorian Gray/Benjamin Button statistical increase like some had.

Slight tangent here; looking back it is impossible to believe that the Mariners with Griffey, Martinez, A-Rod and Randy Johnson never made the World Series.  Maybe even more surprising is that Jay Buhner was the most popular of all of them for a time.  If he had hair, half the people outside of Seattle would not know his name, and he wouldn’t have been mentioned in a Seinfeld episode.

Actually that was a really big tangent.

Spheniscus: Funny, I presume that Sanctimonious Douchebag is the name of the band that always opens for Train on every one of their tours.

And the real reason that people remember Buhner is that it is the last good trade the Mariners ever made. Not that they did historically badly in their trades of Griffey or Johnson, but the Mariners have built a reputation as the team you talk to when you want to rebuild your franchise. The 2004 and 2007 World Series never happen if the Mariners don’t exchange Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb. Although to be fair they definitely got the better of us in 1996 when we traded an over-the-hill 34-year-old Jamie Moyer for the seven year younger Right Fielder of the future Darren Bragg. A man who would retire a FULL EIGHT YEARS BEFORE MOYER!

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, Griffey. He’s getting in. Easily.

Chairman:  Now you got me thinking…

“Sanctimonious Douchebag” would be a great name for either Coldplay or Nickelback.  The fact that Coldplay is doing the Halftime show at this year’s Super Bowl has made me consider starting a crowdfund to get the Wayans Brothers to bring back their halftime counter on Fox in a “In Living Color” comeback.

Wait, Moyer retired?  Doesn’t he seem like somebody who would be signed by the St. Paul Saints right now?

Anyways, Griffey has my pretend vote, and the real one of most of the voters.  Since, there has never been (and never will be because there are too many writers who enjoy the fact that they have this power) a candidate entering at 100%, I will peg Junior’s tally at 97.3%. 

Although that 2.7% need to have their voting privileges revoked immediately as well as their access to any computer so that they can continue their writing career.

Spheniscus: So with 550 voters, 97.3 means 15 people wouldn’t vote for Griffey. That actually seems too low to me. I’m going to presume there are 25 or 30 people who don’t for one reason or another. 25 means 95.5%. I’ll stick there.













Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.
Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.
Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: I remembered what you said about Garret Anderson, and I have a similar memory of Troy Glaus, whether he was playing for the Blue Jays or not.  He is just one of those players, who whenever I saw him play live or on television always seemed to be on.  He hit 320 Home Runs over his career and it feels like I have seen half of them.   He is like my retro Anti-R.A. Dickey.  Every time I am in a position where I can watch the Jays play, it is usually the knuckleballer and usually when he shits the bed.

But I digress (again).

That might be how I remember Glaus, and I am sure there are a lot of people in Southern California who think of Glaus and his 2002 World Series MVP (is that a lesser version of how I view Joe Carter?) but I wonder how many people only remembering Glaus for his strikeouts.  He did that…a lot.  He is one of the few who has more whiffs than hits and is there my counterpart who every time he flipped through the channels saw him swing and miss at strike three?

Here is my early prediction.  Glaus is not just a one and done.  He will receive exactly one vote on the ballot.  There is someone on that Angels beat that will give him that for the World Series he helped them win. 

Spheniscus: So Glaus is going to be the next Jim Deshaies, huh? We should probably register www.puttginthehall.com then. To be fair, he was a significantly better player than Deshaies and probably deserves more than one vote. But on a ballot with somewhere around 13 legitimate Hall of Famers (depending on how you feel about steroids) and only 10 players that each writer can vote for, I don’t think he even gets that.

He never finished higher than 30th in MVP voting, which happened once. He made four All Star Teams, won two Silver Sluggers and HAD MORE STRIKE OUTS THAN HITS FOR HIS CAREER (1377 vs. 1375). And his comparables include Danny Tartabull, Jeromy Burnitz, and Dean Palmer. Three guys who had respectable careers but are in nobody’s Hall. He’s not a Hall of Famer. He is a really good player who had a 13 year career and completely fell off a cliff when he hit the wrong side of 30. There is no shame in that. I also don’t think there will be any votes though.

Chairman:  I can’t even run this site!  Glaus could very well receive a goose egg, perhaps significant considering how many of his at bats amounted to nothing.  Would that make him one of the best players to ever get skunked?  He wouldn’t be the best as that goes to Jim Wynn, but that might be an article for another time. 

I think it is safe to say that when we are talking more about what he didn’t do as opposed to what he did do, we don’t have much of a candidate do we?

Spheniscus: Agreed. Glaus was a very good player for a very good time. When you were playing his team and the game was on the line, you held your breath while he was at the plate. I just don’t think he’s holding his breath in early January. Getting two votes would be a coup.

Chairman:  This is easy.  I vote no, and since I need to do an official prediction, I think he will get a charity vote, maybe from somebody in Southern California. 

I don’t think Glaus will hang by his phone that day either waiting for that call.  The real question is will he be golfing or fishing that day?

Spheniscus: Is there a way to do both? Because that is the most exciting thing that will be happening to him that day. Clearly he doesn’t get my vote. And I suspect he’ll strike out one more time. No votes for Mr. Glaus.







Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: Nomah!  Last year I incorrectly predicted Nomar Garciaparra as a one and done candidate, though I wasn’t really off by much.  The shortstop squeaked by with 5.5% of the vote and when that happened I was trying to figure out why as his accumulative metrics don’t put him there. 

I forgot one thing.  Just how much of a rock star Mr. Mia Hamm was.

This was the guy whose jersey Jimmy Fallon wore in those Saturday Night Live skits.  This was the guy who women swooned for and did so without pissing off their men.  This is the guy who lost the “r” at the end of his last name.

(Side Note): As much as I am a fan of his late night show, I will go down on record for saying that Fallon was the worst SNL performer ever.  Thank you, Peter Griffin for decking him for his constant mugging for the camera.

Spheniscus, you are a member of the Fenway Faithful!  Was Nomarmania running wild or was this just a perception of someone from the outside looking in?

Spheniscus: As a member of the Red Sox Nation I have to say I had a problem with Fallon for a very long time based on his quotes in promoting “Fever Pitch” in which he said he was a Mets, Yankees and Red Sox fan. Such a person cannot exist. Not even the biggest front-running poser fan could make a coherent argument that makes that fandom make sense.

But back to Nomahhhh. I love Nomar. Everyone I know loves Nomar. Without exaggerating, I have five friends who have named pets Nomar (three dogs, one cat, and a parrot). Up until 2000, he was on a complete Hall of Fame trajectory. There was the Jeter, A-Rod, Nomar argument and we smugly superior Red Sox fans would have taken Nomar over the other two (although we wanted Jeter’s rings).

In 1999 Orioles reliever Al Reyes hit Nomar in the wrist and it never really healed. He had surgery in the first part of 2001 to repair it, but was really never the same player after that. In 2002, John Henry bought the Red Sox and whatever the reason the relationship with the new ownership and Nomar was never the same. By 2004, he was a moody, unhappy former superstar who was incredibly unhappy with being in Boston.

The Sox traded him for Orlando Cabrera, who really wasn’t any better than Nomar had been when he played. But the notoriously prickly Cabrera was still a better fit in the clubhouse. The Sox immediately went 22-3, became the first team to come back from a 3-0 deficit and against the hated Yankees no less, and swept their way to their first World Series title in 86 years.

When Nomar was traded we were more sad than angry as if a couple that you cared about went through a divorce that was the best thing for them. And when the Sox won their rings we all hoped that Nomar would come back to collect his.

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised that he made it past the first year on the ballot. I don’t hold out much hope for his long term prospects, however.    


Chairman:  You know for the curator of the Fictitious Athlete Hall of Fame, you would think I would remember the press junkets for Fever Pitch! (maybe because at that time I had yet to forgive Fallon for his SNL mugging)

Either way, yes, I don’t have to be in Massachusetts to know that no self-respecting BoSox fan is one of the Mets or the Yankees.   Does that even exist there?  It can’t be!

Still, here we are and Nomahhhhh, has made another year.   I have to tell you, what you have told me has made me understand his star power a little more; yet at the same time, they couldn’t win with him.  I am still trying to figure out his star power. 

With Boston winning without him, is he still revered as a star there?

Another question… as a Red Sox fan, what is he missing for HOF consideration?

Spheniscus: Yes, Nomar is still revered here. He was too beloved while he was here and his falling out had everything to do with management and nothing with the fans. He still says how much he loved Boston. The fact we won the World Series immediately after he was traded also helps assuage any wounds that existed. So yes, we still love Nomahhhhhhhhhh!

As for what he is missing? A time machine to stop that pitch from hitting him in the wrist. Other than that? Longevity. More specifically a longer sustained peak. Because his first six years (not counting his injury shortened 2001 season) are definitely Hall of Fame worthy. He was between 6th and 9th in WAR each of those seasons. The last six were decidedly not so. Outside of 2006, his last All Star appearance, he was merely a very good, often injured player.  And the two players to whom he was originally compared, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, have completely outstripped him in every category.


If there is a Half Hall of Fame somewhere (another idea for the site?) he would be a first ballot inductee. Along with Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, and Fernando Valenzuela. 

Chairman:  That sounds like a good idea.  A half career All-Stars!  I like that a lot!

At the end of the day, if I had a ballot he isn’t getting my vote.  The Hall of Fame is supposed to be about what you did, not what could have been.  It’s a harsh reality, but one that does separate from the very good to the elite. 

He got 5.5% last year, which is where I will peg him this year.  I predict he will hang on just a bit longer so that we can mispronounce his name next year.

Spheniscus: It’s okay. No one has ever really pronounced his name correctly. The reason we call him Nomahhh in Boston is can you imagine us trying to pronounce his last name with our accent? Gahhciarparhhaar (my approximation, not actually a word in the Welsh language. Well, I don’t think so anyway).

Nomar is not a Hall of Famer. He’ll get 6% this year. With 4 guys coming off last year and only two first ballot potentials joining this year, he’ll pick up a couple of votes. I give him two more years before dropping off.




Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: Spheniscus, I have to tell you that this is the one I am most looking forward to talking about, but it is not because I am going into this with any strong opinion.  Actually, it is the exact opposite, as here is a guy that I really want to explore his career and haven’t really done so before. 

I give you Jim Edmonds, a four time All Star a World Series Champion with the St. Louis Cardinals but somebody that I have always regarded as an above average player, but not once really thought of as Cooperstown material, but am I wrong?

I know there are a lot of people who groan about sabremetrics but like it or not, this is going to be the litmus test that a lot of decision makers for the Hall will go by and with Edmonds, his case gets stronger.  With a bWAR of 60.3, there are still ten on the ballot that are higher, but this remains a stacked lot so that really shouldn’t be held against him.

Here is what should, that 60.3, is lower by than the average HOF at that position (70.4) as his JAWS (51.4 to the 57.2 average) is also lower. 

If you argue with traditional numbers, he doesn’t hit any real “magic numbers”.  He is shy of 400 Home Runs, did not make 2,000 Hits, though I can argue that his career Slugging Percentage, which is over .500, should be one of those magic numbers and let’s say it is traditional.  I remember that stat on the back of my old baseball cards!

What I think will happen is that Edmonds will fall victim of this group as cases can be made for ten players over Edmonds.  My God, could we see him as a “one and done?”

Spheniscus: We definitely could. He is comparable to Duke Snider who is in the Hall.   The rest are folks who are probably in the Hall of the Very Good. Guys like Dale Murphy (who I would have voted for), Fred Lynn, Ellis Burks and Shawn Green. And interestingly Larry Walker, who I’m sure we’ll get to later.  

Although honestly, the hitting numbers don’t matter to me with him. My mental image of him is superman flying through the air to catch something he had no business getting to in the first place. And that is why I actually think that Edmonds has a chance of being one and done and still making the Hall on what I call the Mazeroski exception. I’m not saying it is a great chance, but it exists for him in a way that it doesn’t for say Sammy Sosa were he to fall off the ballot this year. 


Chairman:  I like that term.  “The Mazeroski Exception”.  Permission to use that in the future?  Before, I go on to Edmonds, can I state that I would used mine on Joe Carter?  I won’t explain that one as I think you know why as a Jays fan I say that!

I think I am more optimistic than you are about Edmonds.  I too remember his athletic feats on defense, but I think his metrics are good enough and I think that run in baseball mad St. Louis where he won a World Series really helps.   He is one of those guys that I could see some of the voters, who might have him placed 12th on their ballot, push him up a couple spots so that he can get past the first year. 

Whether it should happen or not, the human element plays a factor for a lot of the voters.  Honestly, I don’t know that I would be any different.

Spheniscus: Permission granted. And I remember my first baseball game back in 1985 when Joe Carter hit a home run for the Indians that went farther than I could ever imagine a ball going. And he may have hit a more important home run at some point in his career. So you have my vote on Carter as well.

And perception is reality. If you asked folks on the site to pick between Jim Edmonds and Larry Walker for the Hall, my guess is that Edmonds wins that vote. Even though Walker is probably the better player. So we’ll see, but my guess is that we will be seeing Edmonds on the ballot next year. And the year after. And the year after. And the year after. He’ll end up somewhere in the low teens. 


Chairman:  I think there a lot of people who would vote for him, and possibly want to, but I go back to what I said earlier.  It is not that hard to find ten people to put ahead of him.

With my pretend ballot, I am doing just that, and I would pass him over, and feel bad about doing it, but not for very long.  

Still, I think he will just squeak by with a single digit, maybe in the six to seven range, so that we can reevaluate him at least one more year. 

Spheniscus: I agree with you. He may take Nomar’s spot. Let’s say 7.5 to 8 percent. That doesn’t give him much of a cushion not to be a one and done. Which is too bad because he is one of the 15 on this list I would vote for. Just not in the first 10.

Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: Like me you probably noticed that he isn’t getting a lot of press for debuting on the ballot.  It makes sense I suppose, as entering with Trevor Hoffman puts him in the shadow, but is this is a shadow he should really be in?

While he is well behind in Saves (601 to 422), there are a lot of stats where Wagner comes out ahead.  He has superior ERA (2.31 to 2.87), WHIP (0.998 to 1.058), SO/W (3.99 to 3.69) numbers and they have exactly the same JAWS of 24.0.

What people don’t mention about Wagner (maybe because they don’t mention him at all) is just how much he stunk in the playoffs.  In 8 playoff series, Wagner pitched 11.2 Innings with a 10.03 ERA and a 1.971 WHIP.  Hoffman hasn’t been a playoff stud either, but this is so atrocious to me that it counters so much of what he did in the regular season in my eyes.  Honestly, I think Wagner is going to struggle just to get 2.5 percent of the vote, and I don’t think that is a wrong tally for him at all.

Spheniscus: Wagner was a better player than Hoffman. There, I said it. I also proved it in Hoffman’s section. He is a better player than Lee Smith. Also proved in Hoffman’s section. He also has the misfortune of being a bit of a jerk who couldn’t get it done in the postseason in the biggest stage of all, New York, and of never having held the saves record.
If Wagner had played in Kansas City, who was so down for most of his career, we would think of him entirely differently. A great player toiling away for terrible teams always pulls at the heartstrings a little more and changes the writer’s perception. And even though his save numbers would undoubtedly been lower due to fewer opportunities, his vote tally for this Hall would be higher. As it is, 10 years from now, he’ll be buying a ticket to see Hoffman’s plaque. I think 1% is about where he will fall. 


Chairman: I think his biggest misfortune is debuting on the same ballot as Hoffman.  I have no problem agreeing with you that I would rather have Wagner than Hoffman in the regular season (and hope to God I don’t need either one of them in the post-season because my team has a two digit lead going into the ninth).  I am trying to think in this crowded ballot who is going to pick them both?   The sad thing is I have read countless articles about Hoffman’s credentials.  Hell, I got blasted via email when he debuted in the 40’s on our list and not in the top ten!

Basically, what I am saying is that I don’t see anybody picking Wagner over Hoffman (expect maybe us), and frankly, I don’t know that I would pick either.

Spheniscus: I said at the beginning I have 15 guys on this list I would vote into the Hall. None of them are closers. Wagner is first on my list of the three. Hoffman is first on the list of most people. He has no real friends in the media. There is no buzz. There is no way he is getting in. I just want it recorded somewhere in this process that he was the best at his position on that ballot. And that and $23 will get him a ticket to watch the Hall of Fame induction this summer.

Chairman:  I will finish this one up short and sweet.  Wagner would not get my vote this year, and I suspect not very many others either.  Frankly, I think if he gets 2% it is a win for him, which is where I expect him to fall.

Spheniscus: I said he’d struggle to get 2.5%, 2% is probably closer. But I’ll take the under. He will get 1.8% of the vote. More than 25% lower than Hoffman and 15% lower than Smith. All because he never held a record that absolutely no one cares about. Which is insane, but the way of the world.

Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: Lee Smith retired as the all-time leading leader in Saves, and here we are entering his fourteenth year on the ballot where he came off of a 30.2 percentage, 20 points lower than what he got in 2012. 

How did he plummet so bad?  I think a large part of that is because the stat of the Save is not what it was and when you look at his advanced stats, he isn’t what he should be in reference to other closers.  His 29.6 bWAR and 25.4 JAWS put him ahead of new ballot relievers, Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner but with Smith what gets me is that unlike Hoffman, I never felt that Smith was a dominant closer, and what I mean is that did I ever feel he was one of the top two or three in the game.

I think what dissuades me the most about Smith is that for a reliever, how much he didn’t matter when the light shone brightest (his playoff numbers are terrible) and for all of the Saves he accumulated, how many do people remember?

Spheniscus, this is a guy who every year I talk myself more and more out of the Hall.

Spheniscus: I saw him play for two and a half seasons during my impressionable years when I followed every pitch of every game. Never once did I realize that he might be a Hall of Famer some day. All we talked about was how Smith wasn’t as good as the Steamer, Bob Stanley. And really, Bob Stanley wasn’t that good.

When we traded him to the Cardinals for former Twins “great” Tom Brunansky, there isn’t a Sox fan I know who didn’t think we got the better of the deal. Although, it helps that Brunansky made an incredible play in the right field corner to clinch a Sox playoff berth on the last game of the 1990 (the “Morgan Magic”) season. I mean we thought so highly of Smith that we were psyched when another former Twins “great” (and my former neighbor) Jeff Reardon was signed to replace him. And neither Reardon nor Brunansky are ever sniffing the Hall.

I already did his stats in the Trevor Hoffman section and I agree with you, he just doesn’t make it on paper. But at no point does he make it in reputation either. Literally the definition of a compiler. And a compiler in a category that no one cared about until Rivera retired. If someone passes Rivera in career saves people will notice. No one noticed when Hoffman passed Smith. And no one noticed with Rivera passed Smith either. I have 22 other people on this list ahead of him in my opinion. He’s not getting in. Ever.


Chairman: B. I. N. G. O.  

The Chairman cannot even remotely disagree with anything you said…however…

I can disagree with my own thoughts.

Had I a ballot twelve years ago I very well might have voted for Smith, erroneously believing that being the all-time leader in Saves should warrant him serious consideration for the Hall of Fame, and that would have been the wrong choice to make. 

There is no other stat in Baseball (and yes I will include wins and losses) that you can poke more holes in than the save.  You can stink and still get a save.  You can throw one pitch and get a save.  You have no opportunity to pick up a save if your team is never winning late in the game.  You called Lee Smith a compiler, and sure enough when I looked him up in Webster’s, there he was looking like he just came off of an advertisement for Soul Glo. 

There is no “lights out” feeling when Smith took the mound.  His playoff stats are not good, which was only 5.1 innings with an ERA near 9.  Some difference maker if he hardly got his team to the dance, and when he showed up it was the chicken dance. 

You called it when you as a Boston fan didn’t care when he left.  Did they at Wrigley either? 

He got over 50% in 2012 but last year he barely topped 30%.  He was lucky to get that. 

Spheniscus: And he won’t get that 15th year on the ballot bump either. If you had to choose between Hoffman and Smith for the 10th vote on your ballot, you would take Hoffman (again, you should take Billy Wagner over either but no one is going to do that). And believe me, he is the 10th vote on a lot of people’s ballots. My guess is that he ends up in the 20s and we unfortunately have this “debate” again next year. Then he mercifully drops off the ballot. This is one case where the new 10 year limit would have actually helped.

Chairman:  He will finish with his lowest total, and yes, he is now the third best reliever on the ballot.

I will go one step further in that he will never make a Veteran’s ballot in the future. 

My fictional vote is a no, and my prediction echoes yours:  24%.

Spheniscus: Looking at the list, he probably finishes somewhere around 12th overall. Last year, 12th got 12.9%. That seems like a big drop, so I’ll say 20%. 

Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: We have taken some flak for having Trevor Hoffman ranked in the 40’s on the Baseball Hall of Fame list and there have been so many articles written painting him as a lock.  Is he really though?

Hoffman was the career leader in Saves for five years (taking it over from Lee Smith, before being eclipsed by Mariano Rivera) but Saves are a stat that isn’t in vogue and for good reason, as you can go out, shit the bed for an inning and as long your team gets the win, you get that etched in the SV column, though I will say that 601 is a number that I can’t (or anyone) take lightly.

Here is my thing against Hoffman.  He is constantly compared to Mariano Rivera, but Rivera blows him away in every stat, traditional and sabremetric.  Actually in sabre, it is not even close. 

WAR: Rivera: 57.1, Hoffman: 28.4

JAWS: Rivera: 43.0, Hoffman: 24.0

WPA: Rivera: 56.65, Hoffman: 34.12

Well, proving that Hoffman is no Rivera doesn’t exactly prove that he doesn’t belong in Cooperstown and at the very least he has other HOF relievers beat in many statistical categories.

Still, I am struggling to find that special intangible, and I can’t find it.

Spheniscus, what am I missing?

Spheniscus: Well, he certainly is better than Mike Hampton. He is an interesting case to me. He held the record while he was playing, so people presumed he’d be a Hall of Famer. But having the record hasn’t helped Lee Smith get into the Hall. And perhaps that is where we should start. Rivera is so far and away better than Hoffman, perhaps it is unfair to compare the two. So let’s look at three sets of stats below…

PLAYER

ERA

ERA+

FIP

WHIP

H9

HR9

SO/W

ASG

MVP/CY

A

2.87

141

3.08

1.058

7.0

0.8

3.69

7

5/4

B

2.31

187

2.73

0.998

6.0

0.8

3.99

7

2/2

C

3.03

132

2.93

1.256

7.9

0.6

2.57

7

4/4



All three of these guys are currently on the ballot and none are Mariano Rivera.  If you could only vote for one, except for the number of times that he received an MVP or Cy Young vote, player B clearly appears to be the superior player to the other two players. His ERA is lower, his FIP is lower, his WHIP is lower, the hits he gives up per 9 innings is lower and his ERA+ and strike outs per walk is higher than the two other players. All of those things are good.

Bad news for both Hoffman (Player A) and Lee Smith (Player C) is that Player B is actually Billy Wagner. But Wagner has over 50 saves fewer than Smith and almost 200 fewer Hoffman and is likely a one and done. This despite getting the exposure of playing in New York versus Hoffman toiling away in San Diego and Milwaukee.

So is Hoffman a Hall of Famer, probably. Is he a shoo in? Not on this list. There are too many great players on this list. And with Mariano on the way, if he doesn’t get in soon there is a possibility that he may not get in at all.


Chairman:  I went on a tirade on Wagner where I crapped on his post-season numbers.  Hoffman’s are a lot better, but that isn’t difficult:

In six series, he pitched 13 Innings with 4 Saves, a 3.46 ERA and a WHIP of 1.231.  Those aren’t bad numbers, but it translates to an average pitcher, which bothers me considering he is supposed to be one of the best of all time at what he did.

You know that intangible I was trying to figure out about Hoffman.  I think I got it.  When I was checking out YouTube, I came across countless fan videos of him entering to AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells”.  Not him pitching mind you…just coming out to pitch.  His Baseball Reference page is sponsored by a fan, who is waiting to hear that song when he accepts his induction to Cooperstown. 

That gimmick superseded that of comparable pitchers in larger markets…like Billy Wagner for example.

It happens all the time, most recently with “Linsanity” a couple of years back with the Knicks.  Was he on fire at the time?  Absolutely!  But if he wasn’t a dorky looking Chinese guy, there is no way he would be as popular?   Not a chance!

Honestly, I think that song accounts for a sizable chunk of his popularity, and yes if he is still on the ballot when Rivera gets there, he is screwed.

Spheniscus: He very well may be on the ballot when Rivera gets there, but he probably won’ t be screwed. Wagner will be gone. Smith will be gone. And who else is there to challenge him for the second closer spot? Danys Baez? Arthur Rhodes? Guillermo Mota? Francisco Cordero? Kerry Wood? Brad Lidge? Jason Isringhausen? Derek Lowe? Darren Oliver? I mean seriously, those are your closing options between now and 2019 when Rivera not only gets in on the first ballot but is carried aloft by a chorus of angels into Cooperstown. His competition in 2020? Jose Valverde, J.J. Putz, and Heath Bell. He’ll be fine.

If he is a Hall of Famer he should still be even if the greatest player at his position is a contemporary. The question is without the saves record for five years is he a Hall of Famer? I don’t think so. But he has that cache, so it makes it seem like he should be a Hall of Famer. Which means he probably gets in eventually. Just not this year.

Chairman:  Yep.  He probably will get in eventually, and agreed, not this year.  He wouldn’t get my pretend vote, but where will he finish this year?  I am going to throw out 38%, but if that swung twenty points in either direction I would not be surprised.



Spheniscus: He doesn’t get my pretend vote either. Billy Wagner was a better player, but literally no one thinks Billy Wagner is a Hall of Famer. That said he will definitely stay on the ballot and without Wagner and Smith to compare him to after this year will probably start making the climb to being a Hall of Famer sometime in 2022. Where does he start? The old folks will probably be swayed by the saves record. The young guys won’t. So I’ll say 30%.

Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: I wasn’t planning to put Mike Hampton on this list as this is the man who when you say his name is known for signing a large contract he couldn’t live up to in Denver.  I can still remember an article where he was supposed the Rockies “Coors Field antidote”! 

That didn’t happen, but he did 7 Home Runs that year and won his second Silver Slugger award (of four).  Small consolation for that 5 plus ERA he had that year. 

Is this a complete waste of time?

Spheniscus: This is a complete waste of time. On the plus side, he is the only pitcher to win a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award the same year. He also was MVP of the 2000 NLCS. And… uh he really liked the school systems in suburban Denver?

His career ERA is over 4, he allowed 1.4 runners per inning, and averaged 5.5 strikeouts a game. Using the JAWS metric, he is the 301st greatest pitcher in baseball history (although it should be noted that #300 is HOF Jesse Haines, who may be the worst player in the Hall). His comparables are Aaron Sele, Bruce Hurst, Tim Belcher, Joe Nuxhall, and Bronson Arroyo. And as much as I enjoyed rooting for three of those five guys when they were in Boston none of those guys are close to being Hall of Famers. And unfortunately neither is he.


Chairman:  Apparently it was the Canadian school system that turned off the wife of former Toronto Raptor, Antonio Davis, who balked because her kids would be taught metric. 

Going back to Hampton, I didn’t realize he was 301st in JAWS, which no matter what you think of that metric, you have to agree that this paints as big a “no” as anything else ever could.

Spheniscus, you got me thinking of another collaborative article in the future.  Drafting 24 people of each major Hall of Fame who should be kicked out?

Spheniscus: Metric? Ewwww. Next thing you know, your kids will be putting unnecessary “u”s in everything and apologizing for doing so.

And I would definitely be up for a Hall of Fame Survivor Series. Just so long as we can get rid of non-players as well. No Hall does worse with non-players than the Baseball Hall. Bowie Kuhn? Tom Yawkey? Charles Comiskey? Get them out. Ooh, can we choose their replacements too? It would be awesome to throw out Kuhn and put in Marvin Miller or throw out Yawkey and put in Buck O’Neill.


Chairman: I never apologize for that “u”!  And metric rocks!   Clemens threw 160 kph up here!

Of course, non-players count!  Comiskey would be the first on my list!

Oh…Hampton is a no, and he finishes with no votes.  Borrowing from Dean Wormer…ZERO POINT ZERO.

Spheniscus: Sure he through 160 up there, but it was in 34 degree weather in the height of summer. Just not as impressive as when he was throwing 100 in 93 degree weather in Boston.

And we agree, none of the writers will cast a vote for Hampton.


Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.





Chairman: Spheniscus, last year we started with Jeff Bagwell, who is on the ballot for the 6th time.  I am going to start off with giving myself a pat on the back for my prognostication prowess as I predicted he would remain around the same percentage of votes as the year before, which wasn’t too far off as he marginally grew his percentage from 54.3 to 55.7%. 

I view that 1.4% growth as huge in a year where the ballot was so colossally loaded as a major win.  I am serious on that, as had he dropped by the same percent, it would show the “order” in which the voters see him.  When this site started he held the “1C” slot (the ineligible Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson hold 1A and 1B respectively) and the only reason he dropped in ranking (he is #5 right now) was because of the heavyweights entering the ballot. 

My first thought is that Bagwell is poised for a major jump and while he may not enter this year, he will be a lot closer to knocking on that door.

Spheniscus: Chairman, I agree with your analysis on this one. Looking at the nominees, this looks like a list that has somewhere between 13 and 15 Hall of Famers of whom they will elect two. Why that number? Because the same people who did no investigation when the steroids era took off now sit in judgment of the players who played in that era.

The dumbest part of their evaluation unfortunately strikes right at Bagwell and his candidacy. He just looks to the voters like he took steroids. He was very muscular as a player and he hit lots of homers. He must have been cheating, right?

Well… maybe. But there is exactly zero evidence against him. That hasn’t stopped voters from withholding their votes from him of course, but with the “other unproven steroid guy”
Mike Piazza likely to get in this year, I think it will help clear the way for Bagwell to get in. So I also expect a jump, probably up to the 65-67% range. Particularly since there are only two real first ballot threats added this year. One of whom, Ken Griffey Jr., will be joining Piazza in this class.

Chairman: It’s true.  Bagwell has an unfair stain on him, as I personally think he should already be inducted.  He is only three points away from that career 3/4/5 (with a .297/.408/.540), is 21st all-time in OPS and is 38th all-time in WAR for position players.  Honestly, I think he was more valuable than his teammate, Craig Biggio, who already got in, and it should have been Bagwell opening the door for Biggio, not the other way around. 

There is no statistical argument against him.  We know what has been holding him back, and it is suspicion, nothing more.  He has done than enough to counter playing for low-profile Houston and playing a position that saw a lot of other power hitters with sexier names.  What worries me is that if he doesn’t make a significant jump this year, he will be in serious trouble, because this really seems to be the year for it to happen.

Spheniscus: I didn’t realize a career 3/4/5 was a thing, but it is damn impressive.

I am not worried about Bagwell getting in. He will get damn close this year. Somewhere into the 60s. And once he is there he will be easy for the people on the fence to vote for him. With next year’s class adding three serious candidates in
Vlad Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, and Manny Ramirez, the last two of whom have serious PED issues attached, Bagwell will be inducted in 2017.

Chairman:  I think he has a serious shot this year, but failing that, he won’t have to wait any longer than a year.

As for my fictional vote, this is a solid yes for me, as it has been from the very beginning. 

Spheniscus: Clearly a solid yes for me as well. I think he ends up just short. But I hope to be pleasantly surprised. He will get in next year.

Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.



Chairman: Sometimes I just don’t know any better.

I know that Garret Anderson is not going to go to Cooperstown without a ticket.  However, this is a guy who had over 2,500 Hits in Major League Baseball and while that is not a number that makes people salivate, I think it is still one hell of an accomplishment and one that makes him worth a deeper look; even though I know this is a one and done candidate. 

Spheniscus: I agree that he is never probably getting in, but I give him a shot of sticking around at least a year on the ballot. But I do have to say coming into this, I expected him to have better numbers than he actually does. 

We are both AL East fans, so our exposure to Anderson was limited to maybe nine games a year. But it seemed that every time the Red Sox were out in Anaheim, Anderson just killed us. He is 5th on the ballot in hits, behind only Bonds, Griffey, Sheffield, and Raines. He is also 9th in RBIs. That is where the good news for him ends.
Using the HOFm metric, created by Bill James, Anderson is 24th of the 32 players on this ballot. He is behind other first timers like Billy Wagner and Brad Ausmus. He never walked much and his OPS is well behind guys like Mike Sweeney and Troy Glaus. Hell, he actually has a lower WAR than Randy Winn, who probably needs a ticket, an ID, and a copy of his birth certificate to get into the Hall.

So no, he’s not getting in. But he does have 2,500 hits. And his similar are guys like
Steve Garvey, Dave Parker, and Bernie Williams, which may hold some sway for some people. Ultimately, if Nomar can get 5% last year it is entirely possible that Anderson could get 5% this year. But I put his chances at around well, 5% of that happening.

Committee Chairman:  I loved the Steve Garvey reference.  When I was going through his stats, I kept having the same thought process.  Garvey had seven seasons batting over .300 but his highest On Base Percentage was .361.  Anderson hit .300 five times and his highest OBP was .345.  This stat matters. 

When I was a kid, walks were met with polite applause from the crowd and for a missed pitch with no real action involved, a savvy baseball crowd (which is more and more the case) gives a bigger reaction because they appreciate the impact.  Anderson’s low OBP is a turn off and a big one at that.

Spheniscus: Not to get back to the Red Sox again, but the lack of appreciation for walks is why Wade Boggs was not nearly as beloved as he should have been in Boston. Boggs was a man ahead of his time, a modern stats darling. A man who we all hated every time he took a walk in a big spot rather than swinging the bat. Doesn’t he know how good he is? Why is he leaving it to Marty Barrett all the time? We didn’t know any better. We do now. And consequently the Sox just announced that they are retiring his number (after such luminaries as: Wes Chamberlain, Lee Tinsley, Alejandro Pena, Aaron Sele, Chris Snopek, Orlando Merced, Rob Staniford, Sean Berry, Lou Merloni, Freddy Sanchez, Ramiro Mendoza, Scott Podsednik, and Brock Holt have worn in the intervening years).

Anderson would have had a better chance of getting in when Garvey was on the ballot than he does now. Back when walks were unmanly. And unlike Garvey, he is probably not going to stay on this ballot for 15 years and certainly never getting over 40% of the vote. His OBP is WTL (way too low). Like Garvey, he is not getting in without a ticket.

So what is your prediction for Anderson? Would you vote for him and what percentage does he get?


Chairman:  Never apologize for bringing it back to the Red Sox!  I have to say that because I am always going to bring it back to the Blue Jays! 

He doesn’t get my vote, and not because of the crowded ballot.  I just don’t see him in the elite, and I think the voters will agree.  Prediction: 1.4% of the ballot, and that is very generous!

Spheniscus: That seems a little low. While he is a no for me on this list, there are approximately 550 voters. That means only 8 would vote for Anderson? Eh… there have to be at least that many homers from the Anaheim area right? Man, looking at it he’s probably not getting much more than that. But let’s round up. I give him 10 votes, which is approximately 1.8%. Thanks for playing Garret! You get Hall of Fame votes as your parting gift. Very few players can say that.




Having a lot of fun doing our Baseball debates with two of my bloggers, DDT and the Phillies Archivist, I wanted to repeat the same idea with this year’s Football Finalists, but due to time constraints I will take a deeper look at each candidate myself and offer a few thoughts as to their Hall of Fame candidacy

Next, I take a look at Quarterback Head Coach, Kurt Warner.

Of the three first year eligible players (the others being Junior Seau and Orlando Pace), Kurt Warner is easily the best story.  We all know the story of Warner who went from small Northern Iowa, to bagging groceries to the Arena League to the World League to Super Bowl Champion.  It is an amazing story and the perfect counter to Seau’s suicide, and let’s face it…nobody carries a better Hall of Fame resume than the former Linebacker so you would think they HAVE to put him in.  If Seau is a lock (and he should be) isn’t the story of Warner the one they want front and center?

Does that mean Kurt Warner is a Hall of Fame player? 

I have always thought that though he is a two time MVP, and a one time Super Bowl Champion that he was on the fence for enshrinement.  He had three great seasons with the Rams (1999 – 2001) where he led the NFL in Completion Percentage every season, twice in Touchdowns and twice in QB Rating.  Basically, for a three year stretch he was the top QB, though he had a lot of offensive power surrounding him. 

He would have two very good seasons in Arizona, taking them to a Super Bowl, but this also a man who had years of doing not much of anything, and his induction would be based on three great years, two good ones, and the rest being average to mediocre. 

Accumulatively, and especially with the inflated stats that Quarterbacks are now accumulating, his 32,334 Passing Yards and 208 Touchdowns won’t seem as impressive to future generations, but what he was able to accomplish in Arizona with not nearly the help he had in St. Louis will probably put him in…especially with a story this good.








Having a lot of fun doing our Baseball debates with two of my bloggers, DDT and the Phillies Archivist, I wanted to repeat the same idea with this year’s Football Finalists, but due to time constraints I will take a deeper look at each candidate myself and offer a few thoughts as to their Hall of Fame candidacy

Next, I take a look at former Head Coach, Tony Dungy.

Dungy has been a Finalist before for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and as a former Super Bowl winning Coach this shouldn’t be a surprise.  Dungy coached for thirteen years in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts and for eleven of those seasons he took his team to the Playoffs and would win it all in 2006 with the Colts.

Dungy’s overall regular season record of 136 and 69 is one of the best and he has long been highly regarded as one of the best and most popular coaches in recent memory.  He has been revered for his calm teaching style and is one that many other coaches have openly looked to emulate. 

He has also been known for giving back to the NFL after his career as a coach was over, assisting Michael Vick in getting back into the NFL, his philanthropic and community involvement is legendary.  He has parlayed that likability factor into a successful analyst career with NBC.

There are however valid criticisms, and Dungy may not have done himself Hall of Fame favors when he openly decreed that he would not have drafted Michael Sam, citing his sexuality as a distraction.  Also, Dungy did win a Super Bowl in Indianapolis, but it was Jon Gruden who took his previous team to the promised land.  One Super Bowl may not cut it.

Recognizing that, if one of the three coaches (Dungy, Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson) Dungy is the one who will probably get in…and probably this year, not that I would personally put him in right now, behind the other two. 








Having a lot of fun doing our Baseball debates with two of my bloggers, DDT and the Phillies Archivist, I wanted to repeat the same idea with this year’s Football Finalists, but due to time constraints I will take a deeper look at each candidate myself and offer a few thoughts as to their Hall of Fame candidacy

Next, I take a look at former Safety, John Lynch.

Lynch is a Finalist for the second year in a row, but pure Safeties only number eight in Canton, the last being in 1998 when Paul Krause got in, who is still the all time leader in Interceptions.  Lynch only has 26, significantly lower than Krause (81), but that was not why he was chosen for nine Pro Bowls and two First Team All Pro squads. 

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Denver Bronco was considered to be one of the most ferocious hitters in the NFL and he put the fear of God in open Wide Receivers.  Lynch was named the Defensive Back of the Year by the NFL Alumni in 2000 and in 2003 was a major part of the defensive effort that decimated the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl.

That defense has already seen two players go to the Hall of Fame (Warren Sapp & Derrick Brooks) and could see another when Ronde Barber is eligible.  Lynch was a big part of that effort, but will Canton see fit to pit in a third and a fourth from that D? 

We have talked about character and the Hall of Fame, and if that were the main prerequisite, Lynch’s head would be measured for that bust right now.  He is a former winner of both the Bart Starr and Whizzer White Man of the Year and was known throughout the NFL for being a genuinely nice guy, but that is not what this should be all about.

As for me, I am not yet convinced that the third Buccaneer Super Bowl winner enshrined in Canton shouldn’t be Barber, and I am on the side of the fence that does not see him get in.  My wager is that is how it will play out this year too. 






Having a lot of fun doing our Baseball debates with two of my bloggers, DDT and the Phillies Archivist, I wanted to repeat the same idea with this year’s Football Finalists, but due to time constraints I will take a deeper look at each candidate myself and offer a few thoughts as to their Hall of Fame candidacy

Next, I take a look at former Linebacker, Junior Seau.

When Seau retired, virtually every football fan and journalist pegged him as a surefire first ballot inductee and why not?  Seau was regarded for many years as the top Linebacker in the National Football League, and has the trophies to prove it. 

The former linebacker was the consensus Defensive MVP in 1992, a twelve time Pro Bowler, a six time First Team All Pro Selection, a member of the 1990’s All Decade Team and the NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year in 2003.  Stat wise, he has 56.5 Quarterback Sacks, 18 Interceptions and 1,849 Tackles over a twenty year career.  He has suited in the second most games of any Linebacker.

It can be criticized that Junior Seau never won the Super Bowl, though he has been to two, the first with the San Diego Chargers where he was a major reason they got as far as they did in the first place.  It should also be noted that Seau also won the Walter Payton Man of the Year, an accolade showing his charitable work.

Perhaps that is why his suicide caught all of us by surprise when he committed suicide as we all thought he was such a happy well adjusted man who loved life.  We did not know about the concussion related injuries and depression that he had about no longer being a football player and the other issues he had.

While the Pro Football Hall of Fame has posthumously inducted players in the past, there has never been one before where people have pointed at the injuries suffered at the gridiron as a possible cause to his death. 

This should not keep him out, but it does raise the question of the costs of playing football are, and though Seau should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and should go in immediately, there will be articles written about the cost of playing the game. 

Could that prevent him from getting in?  If it was a player with less accolades that could happen, but this is a player who was one of the best Defensive players ever, so it is not only likely to happen, he will get in on the first ballot.

Anything else is criminal.   










Having a lot of fun doing our Baseball debates with two of my bloggers, DDT and the Phillies Archivist, I wanted to repeat the same idea with this year’s Football Finalists, but due to time constraints I will take a deeper look at each candidate myself and offer a few thoughts as to their Hall of Fame candidacy

Next, I take a look at former Running Back, Jerome Bettis.

This is “The Bus’s” fifth consecutive year as a Hall of Finalist, but this year seems different, as there are not as many obstacles in his way.  There had been higher profile Running Backs ahead of him in the past, and while Terrell Davis is also a Finalist, based on previous voting patterns, it stands to reason that he is behind him in line.  Bettis also made it to the final ten last year showing that he is very close to the door.

He should be.  Amassing 13,662 Rushing Yards and 91 Touchdowns over his career, the popular Running Back is considered one of the best “big” backs ever and statistically he is among the elite.  Bettis has six Pro Bowls and two First Team All Pro selections to his credit, and in 1996 he won the NFL Alumni Running Back of the Year, indicating that there was a sizable segment that considered him the best at one point in his career.

Character (good or bad) should not really be a factor in getting into the Hall of Fame, but who are we kidding?  Where it hurts Charles Haley, it helps Jerome Bettis, a former Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (2001), and was also named the PFWA Good Guy Award in 2005.   Through broadcasting, Bettis remains in the public eye and still has a high level of respect within the community.

Bettis would win a Super Bowl Ring in his final season in the NFL, but he was largely ineffective and almost cost the team the game, so that is not exactly a selling point.

Personally, I have always viewed Jerome Bettis as a marginal Hall of Fame talent, but one if he got in would not bother me, and if he never got in would be fine also.  Saying that, this is his year, and all signs are for the bus to make a final stop in Northern Ohio.