Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More hall of fame

The hall of fame ballots are out, with Rickey Henderson the only shoe-in. Jim Rice is in his last year on the ballot and he came very close last year so a lot of people think he is in as well. It doesn't look like Tim Raines will come close, which is a shame. And Bert "Be home" Blyleven probably won't make it either. We have visited McGwire's chances a little bit on this blog and even had some debate about it which is very much appreciated.

I think McGwire's low batting average brings up an interesting point. Who gets in the hall of fame is largely a reflection of what we think of the game of baseball. Electing McGwire would show that baseball is more complex than batting average (for hitters and, say, wins for pitchers). It's a reflection of what's important. That's why you have some guys in on (mostly) sentiment (I won't name names, as I don't want to anger my Yankee fan readers), and other guys not in who deserve it. Blyleven and Rice are a good example. Blyleven has the numbers (over 3k k's) but "didn't seem dominate" and doesn't have 300 wins. Never mind he played for losing teams (or maybe that's why). Rice, on the other hand, does not have the numbers but seemed dominate and was "feared." (But look at his intentional walks against say Bonds or Pujols.) My point is not which individual player should or shouldn't be in but rather that we want the hall of fame to reflect our feelings about the game, sometimes warts and all.


Jon Williams said...

I always loved Ricky Henderson, attitude and all. He deserves to be a Hall of Famer.

I grew up in Boston and probably saw most if not all of Jim Rice's games. He was not only feared, he was dangerous. I am of the opinion that the numbers should only be a part of the decision. A Hall of Famer should be someone who had a tremendous impact on the game. Jim Rice changed the way oppponents pitched,he was the guy that the other teams least wanted to face in a lineup full of such guys.

Mark McGuire should also be in the Hall. His numbers demand it and he had a huge impact on the game. It was not all positive in the end but I think he gets far to much credit for the wrong doing of others. After all he was a lock until he didn't speak to congress about steroid use. That shouldn't be cause to condemn a man or deny him the rewards he earned.

Dave Zahniser said...

I hated Ricky, attitude and all. For a long time he was my least favorite player. But, he belongs in without a doubt.

I also agree on McGwire.

Rice, I'm not so sure about, but I like to defer to guys that saw him play consistently. If he gets in, I'll try to take a side and post on it.

Scott Blume said...

Ricky had many strengths besides his wheels. He had power as well as a batting average. The field, well he was no Lonnie "Skates" Smith, but it was an adventure in the field.
McGwire deserves to be in. Too much offered to baseball. He and Sammy saved it at one time, with the help of Ripkin. Until he is convicted, if he is convicted, it is all baseball numbers for me. He's in.
By the way, last night my friend and I counted down to the airing of the MLB Network by slowly dropping a baseball from my stairs to the floor. I love having baseball 24/7. It's about time.

Dave Zahniser said...

We were out-of-town for the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, and I forgot to set my TiVo for the Don Larsen perfect game re-broadcast on the MLB Network. Any chance you saw it? I'm kicking myself to miss it.