Tag Archives: Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Ballot Review – Mark McGwire


Last year, I went through and reviewed the case for a number of players for the Hall of Fame, and whether or not I thought that they deserved to be enshrined in the Hall. I’ll be doing this again this year, and for players I reviewed previously, I will revisit my vote and see if it has changed in a year’s time. Theoretically, this should remain the same, but there’s always a chance I am now a whole year wiser than I was last year. Today’s candidate is one that I looked at last year, Mark McGwire

McGwire was eligible for the Hall for the fourth time in the 2010 class (2009), and you can find what I wrote last year below. He finished the voting last year with 128 votes out of a possible 539 ballots (23.7%). This was his highest vote percentage to date, but I am really wondering what will happen this year after his admission to using steroids during his playing career.

This one is a little different, as I have changed portions of last year’s with these new revelations. You can see the original writeup here, with the new notes as well.

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Hall of Fame Ballot Review – Fred McGriff


Last year, I went through and reviewed the case for a number of players for the Hall of Fame, and whether or not I thought that they deserved to be enshrined in the Hall. I’ll be doing this again this year, and for players I reviewed previously, I will revisit my vote and see if it has changed in a year’s time. Theoretically, this should remain the same, but there’s always a chance I am now a whole year wiser than I was last year. Today’s candidate is one that I looked at last year, Fred McGriff

McGriff was eligible for the Hall for the first time in the 2010 class (2009), and you can find what I wrote last year below. He finished the voting last year with 116 votes out of a possible 539 ballots (21.5%). McGriff really seems like a candidate that some of the writers are going to vote for every single year, but I think his path could follow Don Mattingly‘s, where this may have been his high water mark.

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Hall of Fame Ballot Review – Jack Morris


Around this time last year, I went through and reviewed the case for a number of players for the Hall of Fame, and whether or not I thought that they deserved to be enshrined in the Hall. I’ll be doing this again this year, and for players I reviewed previously, I will revisit my vote and see if it has changed in a year’s time. Theoretically, this should remain the same, but there’s always a chance I am now a whole year wiser than I was last year. Today’s candidate is one that I looked at last year, Jack Morris

Morris was eligible for the Hall for the eleventh time in the 2010 class (2009), and you can find what I wrote last year below. He finished the voting last year with 282 votes out of a possible 539 ballots (52.3%). He’s been steadily gaining on 75%, and I’m wondering if he might get there before he hits his 15th year on the ballot.

Player Profile on Baseball Reference.com

Notable Career Accomplishments
254-186 record
3.90 career ERA
ERA+ of 105
175 complete games
20 win seasons – 3
World Series Championships – 3

The Case for Morris

The first thing I think of when I hear Jack Morris’ name is that he was the big game pitcher. You wanted him to start Game 1, and you wanted him for Game 7 as well. He pitched for 18 seasons, 14 of them with the Detroit Tigers. 254 wins, 175 complete games, 2478 strikeouts, and those 3 championships (1984, 1991, 1992) all portray him very well, especially the Game 7 10 inning shutout he threw to clinch the series victory in 1991.

The Case Against Morris

A career ERA+ (ERA adjusted against league average) of 105 tells us he was really only about 5% better than league average over the span of his career. A strikeout rate of 5.8 per 9 innings would hardly be considered dominant, as would having 186 losses as well. His 3.90 era over his career, while very good, seems high for a period in baseball where runs were not being scored at a rapid rate.

Analysis

While his big game reputation and success in those games are definitely a strong point in his favor, I don’t think he was in enough of those types of games for that alone to warrant his selection. So I am forced to look at the rest of the body of his work. A 3.90 ERA and an ERA+ of 105 both cause me some concern. Both of these numbers tell me that he was an above-average pitcher, but not necessarily an elite one. Throw in his lower strikeout-per-9 inning rate, and it really shows me a pitcher who was not necessarily a dominant one.

This leaves me to look at his year-to-year statistics to see if he had prolonged periods of excellence. From 1983-1988, he had:

  • an ERA under 3.40: 4 times
  • 15 wins or more: 7 times
  • 200 strikeouts: 3 times
  • ERA+ of 120 or higher: 3 times
  • 10+ complete games: 6 times

This appears to be the best sustained stretch of excellence that Morris had in his career, and while it is  clear that he had a very good career, I’m not sold that he warrants selection into the Hall of Fame.

My Thoughts This Year

The biggest thing I have been looking at this year in addition to last year’s reviews are how a player fared in terms of WAR, and also in stats that compare them to their counterparts across eras, so ERA+ in the case of pitchers. Honestly, neither of these numbers really help to make a better case for Jack Morris. He finished with a 39.3 career WAR, and only 5 seasons with as much as a 4.0 WAR or higher. He also finished with a career ERA+ of 105, or slightly above league average. Morris seems like a pitcher whose real life achievements were better than his statistical ones, and really don’t help him enough in my opinion to warrant selection.

MY VOTE: NO
MY VOTE THIS YEAR: NO

Hall of Fame Ballot Review – Don Mattingly


Don Mattingly isn’t a first year candidate (it’s actually his 11th time on the ballot), but he’s a candidate I haven’t reviewed prior for the Hall of Fame.

The closest that Mattingly has come to enshrinement unfortunately was his 1st year (28.2%), and has never reached that number since.

Career Accomplishments
1985 AL MVP
1984 AL Batting Champ (.343)
6 All Star Appearances
9 Gold Gloves
3 Silver Sluggers
.307 career batting average
7 .300+ batting average seasons
3 200 hit seasons
3 30-HR seasons
6 seasons with 125+ OPS+
5 100+ RBI seasons

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Hall of Fame Ballot Review – Edgar Martinez


Around this time last year, I went through and reviewed the case for a number of players for the Hall of Fame, and whether or not I thought that they deserved to be enshrined in the Hall. I’ll be doing this again this year, and for players I reviewed previously, I will revisit my vote and see if it has changed in a year’s time. Theoretically, this should remain the same, but there’s always a chance I am now a whole year wiser than I was last year. Today’s candidate is one that I looked at last year, Edgar Martinez

Martinez was eligible for the Hall for the first time in the 2010 class (2009), and you can find what I wrote last year below. He finished the voting last year with 195 votes out of a possible 539 ballots (36.2%). He seems likely to pick up more votes for this year’s election, but honestly I’d be pretty shocked if he came even remotely closer to 75% than he did last year. Continue reading

Hall of Fame Ballot Review – Barry Larkin


Around this time last year, I went through and reviewed the case for a number of players for the Hall of Fame, and whether or not I thought that they deserved to be enshrined in the Hall. I’ll be doing this again this year, and for players I reviewed previously, I will revisit my vote and see if it has changed in a year’s time. Theoretically, this should remain the same, but there’s always a chance I am now a whole year wiser than I was last year. Today’s candidate is one that I looked at last year, Barry Larkin

Larkin was eligible for the Hall for the first time in the 2010 class (2009), and you can find what I wrote last year below. He finished the voting last year with 278 votes out of a possible 539 ballots (51.6%). He seems likely to pick up more votes for this year’s election, although I’m not sure if he will pick up enough to get past 75%. Continue reading

Hall of Fame Ballot Review – Juan Gonzalez


Another first year candidate on the ballot this year is Juan Gonzalez. Gonzalez is probably widely remembered for his unwillingness to sign an 8 year, $140 million extension with the Tigers due to how the newly constructed Comerica Park played for power hitters in its inaugural season.

Career Accomplishments
1996 and 1998 American League MVP
6 Silver Slugger Awards
3 All Star Appearances
434 Career Home Runs
.295/.343/.561
5 40+ Home Runs Seasons
8 100+ RBI seasons
4 130+ RBI seasons
9 seasons of OPS+ of 130 or Greater
5 seasons with .310 batting average or higher

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Hall of Fame Ballot Review – John Franco


We have another 1st year ballot candidate for review today, closer John Franco.

Career Accomplishments
4 All-Star Appearances
424 Saves
8 30+ Save Seasons
2.89 Career ERA
138 Career ERA+
25.8 Career WAR

The Case for Franco
Franco was one of the top closers in the game for the majority of his career, and is now 4th on the All-Time saves list. He led the league in saves 3 times (1988, 1990, 1994), and was one of the premier relievers in the league from 1985-1992.

The Case Against Franco
While Franco was one of the top relievers for a majority of his career, at no point was he really considered to be the TOP reliever in the Majors. His numbers, with the exception of the saves total, were solid but not elite for his career.

Analysis
I always have a tough time trying to evaluate closers in the history of the game. While I believe that there are definitely Hall-of-Fame caliber closers, I almost expect them to have defined the position while they played. And for Franco, I just don’t quite see it. He was a great closer at the start of his career, and a solid one for the majority of it, but I don’t know if I see enough to just know that he is a Hall of Famer. He definitely became one of the faces of the franchise for the Mets during his long tenure there, but I don’t know if that adds enough to his case.

MY VOTE: NO

Hall of Fame Ballot Review – Kevin Brown


The next candidate up for review is another first year candidate, starting pitcher Kevin Brown.

Career Accomplishments
6 All-Star Appearances
4 Seasons of 17+ wins, including 1 20 win season
6 Seasons with a Sub-3.00 ERA
211-144 career record (.594)
3.28 Career ERA
2397 strikeouts
8 seasons with an ERA+ of 130 or higher (7 straight from 1995-2001)

The Case for Brown
Brown was considered to be one of the elite pitchers of his era, and pitched very well in light of the era he played in. He won 211 career games, and finished with a 3.28 ERA and 127 ERA+. He was dominant from 1995 through 2001, despite pitching for 4 teams in 7 seasons. Continue reading

Hall of Fame Ballot Review 2011 – Bert Blyleven


Around this time last year, I went through and reviewed the case for a number of players for the Hall of Fame, and whether or not I thought that they deserved to be enshrined in the Hall. I’ll be doing this again this year, and for players I reviewed previously, I will revisit my vote and see if it has changed in a year’s time. Theoretically, this should remain the same, but there’s always a chance I am now a whole year wiser than I was last year. Today’s candidate is one that I looked at last year, Bert Blyleven

Blyleven was eligible for the Hall for the thirteenth time in the 2010 class (2009), and you can find what I wrote last year below. He finished the voting last year with 400 votes out of a possible 539 ballots (74.2%), barely under the 75% needed for enshrinement. Continue reading