Hall of Fame Links

Congrats to Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven for making the cut. Barry Larkin is getting there, while Tim Raines and Alan Trammell continue to lag. Trammell in particular concerns me, and I suspect he will follow his former double play partner, Lou Whitaker, into hoping for help from the Veterans Committee.

But enough of my yammering; here’s what other folks have to say…

  • Joe Posnanski wrote a series leading up to Wednesday’s announcement. He also penned a recap. I’ve heard that Posnanski hasn’t slept since the Carter administration.
  • What Hall of Fame Voters Are Doing Wrong (The Score). Friend of Ducksnorts Jonah Keri breaks it down for us. Discussion ensues at BBTF.
  • For This Voter, Hall Calls Are Now Private (MLB FanHouse). Ed Price, meanwhile, takes a giant step backward. If there’s anything that’s sure to gain trust, it’s going into hiding. Posnanski, whose omnipresence borders on the terrifying, offers thoughts on this as well. [h/t BBTF]
  • Hall passes for Alomar, Blyleven (ESPN). Then again, when you learn that Barry Stanton cast votes for Tino Martinez and B.J. Surhoff, but not for Alomar or Blyleven, maybe hiding is a good idea. That Stanton, who once quit a reporting gig after it was discovered that he’d plagiarized Posnanski, has a say in determining who gains entry into the Hall of Fame speaks to the institution’s dysfunction. I love the museum, but hate that it is routinely pissed upon by those who would maintain its integrity. Chris Jaffe goes into further detail at Hardball Times. [h/t BBTF]
  • The case for Morris (Hardball Times). Studes provides one of the few attempts I’ve seen to quantify Jack Morris’ big Game 7 performance in 1991. I’m not sure it’s enough to sway me, but it’s nice to see an argument that isn’t, “You had to be there.”
  • J.P. Morosi, FOXSports: Aficionado Heavily Invested in Blyleven (Baseball Analysts). A few words (and vindication) from the man who carried Blyleven’s candidacy on his shoulders all these years. Way to go, Rich. And yeah, let’s get Raines in next.
  • Run-producing Raines deserves Hall nod (MLB.com). Hey, look; someone is starting the Raines charge. What, no love for Surhoff? [h/t BBTF]
  • One Man’s Ballot (Baseball Prospectus). John Perotto shares his ballot, along with a refreshing take on why he voted for Rafael Palmeiro: “Reporters are supposed to know the right questions to ask and not be afraid to ask the tough questions. I failed on both counts. Thus, it would be hypocritical to punish someone for using PEDs now when I never questioned him about it at the time it was happening and, in retrospect, was so obvious.” Thank you; now go remind all of your colleagues.
  • Hall of Fame ballot getting tougher (ESPN). Jayson Stark offers a similarly reflective explanation of his vote for Palmeiro: “But let me remind you how Hall of Fame voters have treated every other form of ‘cheating’ through the years from greenies to greaseballs: by ignoring it. That’s how.”
  • HOF 2011: The Guys You Can’t Even Vote For (Platoon Advantage). Former Padres John Flaherty, Jim Mecir, Greg Myers, Antonio Osuna, Paul Quantrill, Steve Reed, Ismael Valdez, and Matt Whiteside are among those denied consideration. Where is the outrage?
  • If Alomar, Why Not Larkin? (FanGraphs). Dave Cameron raises a good point, although he could have included Trammell and Whitaker as well.
  • Me vs. reality: 2011 Cooperstown (Hardball Times). Chris Jaffe’s predictions look pretty darned good.
  • HOF Ballot Insanity (Baseball-Reference). Lee Smith vs John Franco reminds me of Bruce Sutter vs John Wetteland a few years ago. Perception is everything.
  • Alomar took first steps to Hall in San Diego (Padres.com). Corey Brock writes about Alomar’s start with the Padres.

Got any more you like or thoughts of your own? Please share with the class…

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7 Responses »

  1. In honor of your series of alternate-universe draft histories, reading about Rock Raines over the last few weeks had me thinking…

    In some alternate universe where the owners didn’t collude following 1986, I’d like to think that the Padres actually followed through with their plan to sign him. Tim arrived in San Diego in April 1987, didn’t have to miss the first 20 games of the season, and posted MVP numbers (technically, he did anyway, but that’s a different story) to form the best 1-2 tandem in the game with Tony. Because he got off the concrete field in Olympic Stadium, he didn’t have the first of what became ongoing leg problems in 1988, and over the three years of the contract he was “a phone call away from” signing, he scored 330 runs. Without the leg problems, he went on to steal 1,000, collect 3,000 hits, and score 2,000 runs.

  2. Top 5 baseball memories: Blyleven, pitching for the Pirates, pitches 6 2/3 perfect innings.

  3. I’m glad the Blyleven saga is over, but I hope players learn the lesson he provides. Don’t make fun of the sportwriters, or you’ll have to outlive several of them to get in.

    Blyleven pitched an opening day game for Minnesota one year, and read the next day that his first pitch was clocked at 105 mph. He confronted the writer who showed him the fact sheet that said “First pitch 105″. Blyleven told the writer that was the time the game started.

    Blyleven repeated that story several times over the next few years, and I’m sure several HOF voters were miffed. Had he kept his mouth shut, he’d have been in the HOF before his goatee turned white.

  4. I never knew the Padres almost had Raines.

    They would be the best 1-2 combo ever.

  5. I’m pretty sure Blyleven languished in part because of his prickly personality and antagonism of some sportswriters/voters, but I also think he was a victim of his circumstances (the Anti-Morris, if you will). Blyeleven’s prime was the 1970s. He came up as a 19-year-old in 1970. This decade was also the prime of a couple of other pitchers, namely Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, and Don Sutton. Additionally, a couple of guys were in the latter parts of their careers: Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, and Fergie Jenkins.

    I can see how Blyleven might be overlooked in that crowd. It’s the opposite of why Morris stands out in the ’80s. There weren’t any HOF studs pitching throughout Morris’ prime; they were either finishing up or just starting out. I think this is why some people may look at Morris and think, “Best of his era; must be a HOF.” Whereas with Blyleven it’s possible to look at him and think, “Maybe 5th or 6th best of his era; couldn’t be a HOF.”

    I think guys like Kevin Brown (although he also has personality and PED issues), Mike Mussina, David Cone, and Curt Schilling are going to suffer similar fates to Blyleven. Not saying they’re all HOF pitchers, but they are guys who would probably get some careful consideration if not for coming onto the ballot at roughly the same time as Maddux, Clemens, Glavine, Martinez, Johnson, and Smoltz.

  6. @David: Thanks for bringing the Raines situation to my attention. I hadn’t realized how close he apparently was to signing with the Padres. More on this at some later date…

    @Larry: So I guess the real lesson is that some sportswriters can be incredibly petty.

    @Pat: You’ve hit on the bigger issue. Blyleven’s career overlapped those of pitchers who were (or were perceived to be, makes no difference) better than him. I agree with you on Brown and Cone, but think Mussina will have no problem getting into Cooperstown. Schilling will be an interesting case. He’s got the bloody sock, but he also was one of the first players to go around the media by starting his own blog… If Larry’s theory is correct, that may not sit well with some voters.