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Sunday, January 11, 2009

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Rickey would like to thank Beerleaguer for highlighting one of the greatest first-ballot HOFs ever. Maybe some will be lucky and privileged enough to hear more of Rickey's brilliant insights on baseball, life, and of course Rickey at Cooperstown this summer.

Random observation - Dick Allen's career OPS+ was 156. Hall of Famer? (Jim Rice's was 128, by the way. I didn't see him play, but the statistics don't seem to support his induction.)

From the Phils' team report on Yahoo Sports! (Jan. 10th):

Park, a 35-year-old right-hander, badly wants to be a starter again, even though he resurrected his career last season by pitching in relief with the Dodgers. And after finalizing a one-year, $2.5 million contract last week, he said he chose to sign with the Phillies because they offered him a chance to win the final spot in their rotation.

Park, a 35-year-old right-hander, badly wants to be a starter again, even though he resurrected his career last season by pitching in relief with the Dodgers. And after finalizing a one-year, $2.5 million contract last week, he said he chose to sign with the Phillies because they offered him a chance to win the final spot in their rotation.

“Starting is better and more fun,” said Park, who picked the Phillies over four teams. “Every five days, people in Korea plan on watching the game. That’s a big part of the game at this point in my career. My goal is to be a starter. That’s how I’m going to compete.”

It kind of frustrates me the Phils are likely going to take the dink route and hope they can get by with the likes of a Koplove or Majewski while Romero is suspended instead of spending the additional $750-$1M and bringing in another decent veteran arm.

If the Phils do make Park their No. 5 starter coming out of camp, then I am going to be absolutely perplexed. This guy hasn't been a quality starter SINCE 2001. Unless the Phils have absolutely no other alternative as their No. 5 starter, there is no way Park should even merit real consideration regardless of how well he performs in a couple of limited spring training starts.

I don't think the Phils will go down that route but crazier things have happened and the Phils are paying him more than you would expect for a bullpen arm at this point.

Henderson-yes
Blyleven-yes
Rice-no
Stargell-defrock

Rickey- yes
Blyleven- yes
Rice- no
Dawson- no
Everyone else- no
McGwire is a tough case for me, but his entire career was built around the homerun and he took now banned supplements so I can't say yes to him.

if Jim Rice is in the Hall, then Bobby Abreu is too. just sayin...

Tim Raines should make it...but he won't.

Was Abreu a Top 5 MVP guy for 5 years straight? Last I checked, he never cracked the Top 10.

Besides Bobby has never been a BoSox...that adds 20% to your vote total right off the bat.

Rice is in the Hall of Very Good...its the same place guys like Jim Edmonds will end up in...they're not HoFers though.

I agree with the BL consensus on Rice, but if he fails to make it he will have bucked the odds. IIRC, nobody has ever received as high a percentage as he did last year without being voted in the next time.

My prediction on Rickey's acceptance speech: Rickey will use the occasion to lobby for a tryout somewhere.

For me:
Ricky: yes (should be unanimous vote)
Dawson: yes (but he wont get in)
Jim Rice: no (but will get in)
Blyleven: no (but will get in)
Raines: yes (but won't get in)

Rice was a top-5 MVP guy three years straight, not five. and two out of those three years are less impressive on an HoF resume because 1) he DHed for 116 games in 1977 and 2) he wasn't the best outfielder on his own team in 1979 (Lynn was substantially better).

look at the career lines:
2,089 games - .298/.352/.502 - 382 HR - 1,451 RBI - 1,249 runs - 58 SB - 315 DP - 128 OPS+
1,799 games - .300/.400/.498 - 241 HR - 1,084 RBI - 1,174 runs - 318 SB - 119 DP - 133 OPS+

granted, I'm kind of cherry-picking by throwing SB & DP in there, but the point remains that Jim Rice's career isn't much more impressive than Bobby Abreu's. (also note that Abreu at 34 played 150 games in the outfield with a 120 OPS+; Rice played 94 at DH with a 101 OPS+.)

Rickey Henderson. That is all.

Being in the top 5 for x amount of years completely irrelevant in terms of HOF credentials. MVP is an award based on performance relative to the performance of others in a single season and your value to a particular ballclub.

Hell, Dale Murphy won the MVP twice and was in the top 5 several times.

Wouldn't surprise me to see Rice get in anyway. The bar has been set pretty low these days for HOF consideration. With the HOF including Gary Carter, excludes Pete Rose and voting for or against players based on an opinion of steroid use, the institution has gotten so ridiculous that it's nearly meaningless.

Seems to be a minority view on BL, but I'd vote yes on Rice, who was the most feared slugger of his day. Neither his prime, nor his career, lasted very long. He was completedly washed up by the time he was 33, and out of baseball by the time he was 36. That, plus the fact that he played in an era in which power numbers were way down, explain why his career numbers don't measure up to other HOFers. But way too much emphasis is put on "milestone" numbers that are largely driven by the era in which a player plays, and which can be achieved through longevity alone. Is Craig Biggio a HOFer, just because he got 3,000 hits? Give me a break. Biggio doesn't even belong in the Hall of Very Good. He belongs in the Hall of Pretty Good.

Rice was the best offensive player in baseball for half a decade, and a pretty damn good one for another 6 or 7 years. That gets him into the HOF in my book.

****Being in the top 5 for x amount of years completely irrelevant in terms of HOF credentials. MVP is an award based on performance relative to the performance of others in a single season and your value to a particular ballclub.***

I'm not making the argument...just explaining why others have. I don't think Rice is a HoF...just as I dont think Abreu is either.

To BAP: Ironically, Biggio will almost certainly make the Hall within his first couple years of eligibility.

The Rice-Abreu comparisons all start with the assumption that career numbers are the only valid measure of HOF worthiness. At his best, Abreu was maybe one of the top 10 or 15 players in baseball. Rice, at his best, was the best player in baseball. That is why Rice is a HOFer and Abreu probably isn't.

KoolEarl gains a HOF vote for his last post on the last thread - probably posted shortly before passing out in a pool of undisclosed personal liquids. While the ad hominem invective is unappealing, The clarity of thought is astounding.

Probably isn't??? Abreu is not even close to HoF caliber. A guy like Jim Edmonds has a much stronger case for the Hall and he'll never even make it past the first couple ballots.

Rice was never the best player in baseball, except maybe in 1978. and even then, you have to ignore Ron Guidry's ridiculously dominant season as a pitcher and Dave Parker's higher BA, OBP, and OPS.

I don't think Abreu's a Hall of Famer either. but if Jim Rice is in the Hall, any reasonably productive corner OF has a very good argument to go in.

Abreu never played for the Sox, Yanks or Cubs...that's the only reason Rice is even in contention. Had Abreu spent his entire career in the Bronx or Fenway, he'd probably have a good shot at making the Hall.

Just as if Rice had played his entire career in Montreal or KC, he'd have been off the ballot years ago.

By Yanks and Abreu, I meant in his prime...not his last couple seasons where he was on the Yankees. Had he been there instead of the Phillies, things might be different.

NEPP: I don't think Abreu is HOF-worthy either. I used the word "probably" because anytime anyone makes a definitive statement on BL, it inevitably leads to a whole new thread of arguments, which I was hoping to avoid. But I guess it didn't work.

I'm also stunned to see bap dumping on Biggio. his 1993-1998 peak (894 G, .304/.399/.476, 135 OPS+) is certainly worthy of enshrinement for a second baseman. maybe he hung around too long putting up mediocre numbers, but he's still pretty clearly a HoFer to me.

His contributions as a catcher, 2B and CF will make up for his somewhat looking lackluster offensive numbers during the juiced era.

The fact that is last 2 seasons were absolutely brutal and he put getting 3000 hits above helping his team bothers me...Biggio will easily be a HoFer though.

****NEPP: I don't think Abreu is HOF-worthy either. I used the word "probably" because anytime anyone makes a definitive statement on BL, it inevitably leads to a whole new thread of arguments, which I was hoping to avoid. But I guess it didn't work.****

LOL...sorry.

Here's a good question: Is Jeff Bagwell a HoFer?

His power numbers are borderline (only 449 HRs as a 1B in a massive offensive era). Only made the AS team 5 times though he did win 1 MVP and finish in the top 3 two other times.

I think he gets in at some point but he falls short on a couple benchmarks...especially considering his era (Note: he has a 149 career OPS+)

Rock Raines was high on coke!

I bet Bagwell gets in eventually, but it'll take a while. interesting to note that he has 202 career SB and twice went 40/30 as a first baseman, which no other 1B has ever done. only one other person at any position has two 40/30 seasons--that's Bonds of course.

BAP is spot on. Rice was a dominant player for 11 years. For the Freddie Lynn defenders, here's a question, do the Red Sox make the same trade of Steve Renko and Lynn for Joe Rudi, Frank Tanana, and Jim Dorsey if you substitute Jim Rice for Lynn? No way. Jim Rice has a problem in that he's got a prickly personality, and the older media types won't forget that. Also the guy won 6 batting tiles when batting titles meant something and the league average ERA was in the mid to low 3s, rather than today's high 4s and low 5s.

Who won 6 batting titles? Neither Lynn nor Rice ever did...hell, Rice never won one batting title.

NEPP: I stand corrected, my "not enough caffeine ingestion" misreading of Baseball Reference. I prostrate myself before the... but I assure you that it is nothing of a sexual nature and most assuredly doesn't involve me dressing up as Little Bo Peep...

MPN: I'm always happy to have people agree with me, but I don't think Rice won any batting titles. Maybe you're thinking of Rod Carew or Wade Boggs.

As for Biggio . . . I didn't mean to pick on the guy. He was a fine player and probably better than just "pretty good." My point was simply that, if you made out of a list of the Top 15 players in baseball, there is probably no point in his career that Craig Biggio would have made that list. If you were never one of the top 15 players in baseball, you are not a HOFer. Bagwell is more Hall-worthy in my eyes than Biggio, but neither one of them deserves to make it in.

Biggio getting in would immensely help Utley's chances when the time comes...though the bar is a bit lower offensively for 2B to get through (See Ryne Sandberg for example)

Actually, looking at Bagwell's numbers, they were mighty impressive over about a 10-year period. I guess he does deserve to make it.

Bagwell's problem is that he hit the wall at 35/36 and stopped playing before getting 500 HRs. His other problem is the era he played in.

Rice should get in.

Why exactly? He played 25% of his games as a DH.

I think if Jim Rice is a HOFer then you have to put Joe Carter in too right? Look at the credentials:

Rice: 382 HR, 1451 RBI, .298 BA
1 MVP
8 All Star games
0 rings

Carter: 396 HR, 1445 RBI, .259 BA
5 All Star games
2 rings

Both are nice players with good careers but I don't think either deserve to be inducted.

The only way Rice should get in the Hall is if he buys a ticket.

Joe Carter!?!! not even the BBWAA can ignore a .302 OBP.

OBP?

We don't got no stinking OBP!

We don't need no OBP!

I agree that Carter shouldn't be in, just saying that if Rice is in Carter should be too.

Rice led the league in one very important category for 4 years straight...can anyone guess without going to Baseball Reference?

Carter's really not a fair comparison for Rice. whatever Rice's faults, he's a much, much better player than Carter. guys like Dave Parker, George Foster, or even Chili Davis are closer to Rice.

Biggest afro?

and the answer to NEPP's question is double plays, of course. I still can't believe that a guy who hit into more DPs than he hit HR (still during the later prime of his career) is a serious MVP candidate.

Even if you think career numbers are the all-important factor, you still can't make a credible HOF argument based on a side-by-side comparison of players' numbers. Carter played in an era of inflated offensive numbers. Rice played in an era when offensive numbers were way down. Plus, Carter deserves a huge deduction for that homerun . . .

ae is correct of course. And he was in the Top 10 (usually top 5 or 6) for his entire prime.

Not exactly a Hall-worthy stat.

4 of his top 10 comparables are in the Hall of Fame (Orlando Cepeda, Duke Snider, Billy Williams, and Willie Stargill). He ended his career at 36 due to injuries.

Rice also had a .225 lifetime postseason BA. Again, when comparing to Joe Carter.....

So you're saying 60% of his comparables ARE NOT Hall of Famers?

Not the best argument in his favor.

Of the 4 comparables in the HOF, only Pops is from his era and Pops carried those Pirates teams to championships.

Look at the other 6 comparables....

Andres Galarraga
Ellis Burks
Joe Carter
Dave Parker
Moises Alou
Chili Davis

None of those guys are HOF material.

the B-R comparables aren't really a good argument for either side. similarity scores below 900 usually mean the player isn't truly comparable, and only Orlando Cepeda is above that mark on Rice's list.

NEPP: Well, sure, but Dave Parker will probably get in by the veterans committee, so that will probably push the line to 50%. Kirby Puckett is in the Hall and he was out of the game by 35.

I'm not a New Englander, so I don't have the built in animus towards Mr. Rice. But considering when he played, how he played, and that he played in Boston when he played, I think I give him the benefit of the doubt. But that's just me.

Puckett was a unique case...he had a spectacular prime...not just 1 or 2 great years...and he was a "winner"...and great defensively. He was probably one of the top 5 players in the game for most of his career.

Damn Kirby was great (sorry, I'm looking at his stats again.

Kirby also had the highest career batting average for a rightie for the 2nd half of the century and was the best player on a team that won 2 WS titles.

I'm not putty Kirby down. He was a great player. I'm just raising the issue career longevity, or lack thereof, as a factor in the final calculus.

I'm not putting Kirby down that should have been.

I would be pretty surprised if Parker gets in by the VC. not only has there been no real buzz supporting his campaign (quite the opposite, as I've often seen his cocaine use cited as a disqualifier), but the VC has been extremely stingy in recent years electing anybody at all. if they won't elect Santo or Hodges or Allen, they definitely won't elect Parker.

Puckett gets in partly based on the Koufax Argument...a shorter but brilliant prime.

and all the intangibles: great defense, 2 WS rings, etc etc.

When was Rice the best player in baseball?
What year was Rice better than ALL of Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Foster, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Dave Parker, Carlton, Seaver, Ryan, Guidry and JR Richards. Never.
If/When Rice gets in, Mattingly should cry foul for the next 5 years till he gets in... And if Ryan Howard has 2 more seasons as good as '08, he should start clearing space for his plaque too.

MPN: How can him playing in Boston be something in his favor? Fenway Park greatly inflates hitting stats, look at his home/road splits. If anything, playing for Boston should be held against him.

the Boston propaganda machine is the only reason he's even this close to the Hall. Had he played in KC, he'd be off the ballot by now.

And same goes for Don Mattingly. He is only talked about because of the fact that he played in NY.

Yet another reason why Baseball > Football or Basketball.

You just can't get this kind of argument going over whether Jon Runyan is a future Hall of Famer!

I put in Rickey (obviously, should be unanimous), Raines, Dawson, Lee Smith and Blyleven.

BAP: I don't disagree with you on Biggio, but it's obvious that there are two kinds of players who get into the HOF: Those who are truly great players and are among the leaders in key categories year after year (and usually play for winning teams) and those who have very long careers and wind up with huge statistical totals. Biggio falls into the latter category and will easily make the HOF.

Jim Rice gets my HOF vote once two better players -- Andre Dawson and Dave Parker -- are enshrined, assuming they ever are.

disgusted that Jim Rice made it.

There's a reason he didn't get in the previous 14 years you know.

Rice is in with one of the lowest percentages ever and Rickey is in with about 95% (how do you not vote for him?).

Jack: He played in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s as a black man. Read some of the history about race relations in Boston during that period.

Being black in boston helps his HoF push?

File that under the "Most ridiculous BL statement" category.

Only 9 players in the Hall of Fame are in with a lower percentage than what Rice received (76.4%).

Twelve players have a higher percentage than Rickey Henderson recevied (94.8%).

I know this is kind of a played out debate, but McGuire should be in. Its ridiculous that the same sportswriters who looked the other way during most of the steroid era, especially as Sosa and McGuire were somehow suddenly both able to smash Ruth's record, have now made McGuire a pariah. I mean, I personally don't like McGuire, but he was never caught doing anything wrong and he broke one of the game's most hallowed records.

Wow, such a passionate advocate and I spelled his name wrong. Nice work, me.

timr: "but he was never caught doing anything wrong."

You need to do some research on that one.

NEPP: Well, it was the third item in the list. I'm not black, nor do I pretend to be black, but from all that I have read, the 1970s weren't a great time to be black in Boston. Do I think that put more pressure on him? Sure. Hell, I think that Mike Schmidt's numbers were probably affected by playing in front of the Philly crowd as a white guy.

well, McGwire's never been proven to be a steroid user. the only person who "caught" him doing something wrong is Jose Canseco, as far as I know.

MPN, does that mean that you support Dick Allen for the Hall as well?

I'm asking seriously; I think he's a deserving HoFer regardless of his race or what team he played for.

("he" meaning Dick Allen.)

Dick Allen is a borderline guy...he'll never get in though.

ae: He was caught with a jar of andro in his locker. He declined to discuss his steroid use before Congress. Legally, he wasn't caught, but he was caught in every other sense of the word.

Rice's election paves the way for Dawson next year. Unfortunately, I think it paves the way for Don Mattingly too which is just a complete joke. Like I said earlier, if Joe Carter played on Boston and accomplished what he did (all the stats plus the 2 WS titles, including a GW homerun to win one), he would also be a lock.

I hope the hat on Rickey Henderson's plaque in Cooperstown displays an Athletic's logo.

androstenedione wasn't banned in baseball in 1998.

personally, I'm pretty sure he was using steroids (although that hardly makes him unique in baseball during the 1990s), but it's another thing to say that it's proven.

Still waiting for Jim Kaat. 284 wins and tons of longevity, not to mention loads of Gold Gloves.

ae: I think he's probably just below Rice. And, to be perfectly clear to everyone here, I think that Rice is deserving by the skin of his teeth. Allen while a great player for stretches wasn't a dominant player for 10+ years as Rice was. Although injuries hurt him, too, and his personality, like Rice's, obviously hurts his candidacy.

Jim Rice gets in while Andre Dawson never sniffs induction. That's a shame.

Dawson hit 428 HR and stole 314 bases. He had five 20-20 seasons and three more that came very close. Even if you eliminate those last three years that Dawson was just hanging on, he hit 412 HR and stole 311 bases in 17 full seasons. Plus, Dawson won 8 Gold Gloves playing stellar defense. He also won an MVP and was a runner-up for MVP twice.

the BBWAA have made some highly questionable votes, but they're not so blind as to enshrine a corner OF with a .259/.306/.464 line no matter what team he played for.

I think the East Coast bias thing gets played up a little too much with the Hall. Mattingly is a perfect example--if the BBWAA was truly jonesing to put as many Yankees as they could in the Hall, Donnie would already be in there. Joe Gordon is another good example; you'd think a 2B and former Yankee with his numbers would've been an easy HoFer, but he had to wait forever (figuratively, at least; RIP) to get the VC nod this year.

Dawson never sniffs induction? he was the third leading vote recipient this year, and at 67% I'm pretty sure he'll make it within the next 2 cycles.

ae, you are dillusional if you think that if Jim Rice played his entire career with someone like the Padres he would've been elected. Boston bias definitely plays into his election.

While we're at it. While rice might have been a feared slugger... let's look at one comparable player during that era, since someone mentioned that Rice was at times the best player in baseball.

From 1975-1984. 10 year stretch.

Schmidt v. Rice:
Year Schmidt Rice Diff
1975 142 127 15
1976 150 120 30
1977 151 147 4
1978 122 157 -35
1979 154 154 0
1980 171 122 49
1981 199 116 83
1982 161 130 31
1983 156 141 15
1984 155 112 43
AVG 156.1 132.6 23.5

Of course I remember those old Topps cards that had the previous years leaders in HR or RBI and i'm sure you can find a card with Schmidt and Jim Rice on it. Like http://caimages.collectors.com/psaimages/3248/07100799/1984SchmidtRiceLeadersPSA10.jpg>this one.

So Rice might have gotten my vote when I was 11 years old when I saw this card in my wax pack. I'm not sure I would have voted for him now.

ae: The word in question was "caught" not "proven." I agree nothing was "proven" in the legal sense of the term.

ae: It wasn't "proven" that OJ killed anyone, either.

This isn't a court of law. We're not required to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. McGwire juiced. It's a fact.

Granted that Schmidty was the best slugger of his generation and one of the best ever...and the top player at his position in the history of the game.

Not fair to Rice but I agree.

I'm curious to look up the credentials of Rice vs. Darryl Strawberry. Something tells me they aren't far apart.

With the inclusion of "pretty good" players such as Gary Carter and Jim Rice, induction into Hall Of Fame can now stand alongside the All Star Game as a meaningless gesture of habit by Major League Baseball.

The Hall Of Fame is the judgment of a players personal life, their likability and the whims and opinions of commissioners and sports writers. It can no longer be accurately considered the institution in which the greatest players in the game are honored.

No Pete Rose. No Joe Jackson. No anyone who is accused (accurately or otherwise) of taking a drug that had not been forbidden by the rules of the game at the time. Yet, here we are with Jim Rice.

Such a shame.

ae: I hadn't seen the full percentage list yet. Why is Dawson a better Hall of Fame candidate in the next couple years than he is now? The whole process is wacky.

I would say Dick Allen was a much more dominant hitter from 1964-1973 than Rice was 1975-1984. by OPS+:

162, 145, 181, 174, 160, 165, 145, 151, 199, 175
127, 120, 147, 157, 154, 122, 116, 130, 141, 112

Allen had 6 ASGs, an MVP, and an ROY in that span. Rice had 6 ASGs and an MVP.

Allen did play fewer games for various reasons, but when he was on the field he was a pretty clearly better hitter than Rice.

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