Many things in life, as you know, become easier with repetition. Discovering that filling out a Hall of Fame ballot is not one of those things.
This is the fourth year that I have the honor and responsibility to vote for the Hall of Fame, and the decision-making process was as unbearable as ever. This is the first year that I have not used the 10 available votes, and I have tried to use this very long column to explain my reasoning, both for the players for whom I voted and for which I did not vote.
Quickly, here are the nine players with boxes marked on my ballot: Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramírez, Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, Bobby Abreu, Gary Sheffield.
RIVERA: Five predictions too early for 2020
First, as always, three quick thank you notes: First, to Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs for creating his JAWS system, which provides a statistical context for this Hall of Fame discussion, and all the work he has done breaking down the Candidates on the ballot. . Invaluable resources. Second, to Baseball-Reference.com, which is eternally incredible and essential (subscribe to the game index!). And finally, Ryan Thibodaux and his team for their indispensable Hall of Fame vote tracker (often referred to in this column as "The Tracker,quot;).
And now, my thoughts on this year's ballot. If you're curious, here are my previous columns explaining the ballot: for the class of 2019, for the class of 2018 and for the class of 2017. You will see similar thoughts about the players who have ballot withholdings.
Thoughts: The case of Jeter Cooperstown is solid. There are 22 players dedicated to the Hall of Fame that were mainly short hostels, and their average bWAR is 67.0, with an average JAWS of 55.0. Jeter is registered in 72.0 and 57.4. He won the Rookie of the Year award, finished in the top 10 of the Most Valuable Player vote in the American League eight times (a second-highest in 2006) and helped the Yankees get five World Series titles during their Franchise time. He has a career average of .321 with a base percentage of .384 in the World Series.
It is not the best shortstop in the history of the MLB, but it is an easy option for the Hall of Fame.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens
Thoughts: As always, I am grouping these two because their cases are essentially identical. On the field, they produced as few players in the history of this great sport. Bonds won the MVP award a record seven times, no other player has more than three MVP awards, which were first handed out in 1931, and finished in the top five on five other occasions. Clemens won the Cy Young Award a record seven times, no other pitcher has won more than five, and finished in the top six on five other occasions. Their counting statistics are amazing and their advanced metrics are elite. They are also forever linked to drugs that improve performance. Some people think that disqualifies them from the Hall of Fame and others do not. I see both sides of that debate, and I had hesitated a lot on this subject before my first vote.
But the Hall is full of two things: players who showed "character flaws,quot; in all aspects of their lives, and players who used all possible advantages, legal or illegal, to achieve greatness. The only difference with Bonds and Clemens is that the advantages available to them were more impressive than the advantages that were available to the generation that exploded greenies on game day, or the generations that scraped and spit in baseball. Is a spitball the same as using PED? Of course not, no, since it affects the game on the field. But the decision-making process that results in players choosing to use those advantages is essentially the same. I have voted for Bonds and Clemens for the four years that I have had a ballot, and I am comfortable with that decision.
Thoughts: Fingers crossed that this is Larry Walker's year. Finally. Deservedly.
Selfishly, I wish Walker had remained healthy during his career. In his 16 full seasons in the majors (not counting his 20-game debut at the end of the season in 1989), Walker averaged only 123 games per season. He only played more than 143 games in a season. He played a total of 1,988 games; Only four gardeners (Joe DiMaggio, Joe Medwick, Ralph Kiner and Kirby Puckett) have been chosen for the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA with fewer career games played. Why am I talking about games played? Because when Walker was healthy, he was a great player, not to mention an explosion to watch. And if he had remained healthy, he would have been elected to the Hall years ago, even with the crowded voting problems of the last decade.
But even with all those injury problems that steal the games played, Walker exceeds the standards for the average right fielders of the Hall of Fame in WAR (72.7), Maximum WAR (44.7) and JAWS (58.7). The averages are 71.5, 42.1 and 56.8, respectively. That is awesome madness. The question is this: Walker did everything right. He was an outstanding base runner. He was a right fielder of the Golden Glove (he won that award seven times). He had great discipline on the plate: he struck out 112 times as a rookie, and that number remained his worst career. He hit for power (maximum of 49 homers) and hit for the average (maximum of .379).
It is impossible to talk about Walker without talking about Coors Field, of course, and the numbers of video games that the air in that stadium tended to produce. Walker Hall of Fame advocates will always point out their home / road divisions during their 1997 MVP campaign, and it's a great argument. That year, Walker hit more home runs on the road (29) than at home (20) despite 36 plate appearances less on the road. His PAHO at home and on the road was almost identical (1,169 and 1,176). Those divisions helped Walker become the only Rockies player to win the MVP of the National League, and deservedly. But that balanced house / road season was really more atypical.
In 1998, for example, Walker had 1,241 OPS at home and .892 OPS on the highway. In 1999, Walker had a batting average of .461 in Coors Field and an average of .286 on the road (although I don't care about the conditions, hitting .461 in 273 plate appearances against major league pitchers is crazy) . In 1995, he connected 24 home runs in Coors and 12 as a visitor. You understand. We have to look at everything. After six years in Montreal, Walker played nine full seasons with the Rockies, from 1995 to 2003, and was changed to St. Louis after 38 games in a 2004 season interrupted by injuries. Here are their home / road divisions, only of their time in a Rockies uniform:
In the field of Coors: 592 games, .384 / .464 / .715, 1,179 OPS, 154 home runs, 520 RBIs, .332 ISO
In the path: 578 games, .280 / .385 / .514, .899 OPS, 104 home runs, 328 driven races, .233 ISO
That is a big difference: more than 100 points in batting average and almost 200 points in OPS. It is at this point, however, that I will say that any player who posts a percentage based on .385 and an OPS of .899 on the road is still a great player. Tony Gwynn's career base percentage – home and road – was .388. Most people have some type of home / road division that favors the home baseball stadium. Walker hit .350 on the road against the Diamondbacks, hit .329 against the Cubs in Wrigley and always crushed the Braves in Atlanta (.326 at Fulton County Stadium and .317 at Turner Field). It was far from home made.
This is his last year on the ballot and, honestly, it was disappointing to see the little help he received until the last few years, even with the ballot full of people. He finished with 15.5 percent of the votes in 2016, with 21.9 percent in 2017, with 34.1 percent in 2018 and then jumped to 54.6 percent last year, after BBWAA chose seven players in 2017-18 . Four more were chosen in 2019, which means that Walker's tenth and final year on the ballot is by far his best chance of being elected. He has more than 85 percent on the Tracker at this time, which gives real and legitimate hope that a player with a Hall of Fame curriculum can be voted in Cooperstown by writers, instead of waiting for a committee vote (could be unanimous in that election)
Thoughts: When we think of Ramirez as a hitter, it's easy to get caught up in home run statistics and driven races. Especially the amazing RBIs. He had five seasons with at least 41 homers and had 12 seasons with at least 100 RBIs; He had at least 144 RBIs three times, including a personal record of 165 in 1999. His batting averages are almost lost in the mix, but he hit at least .300 in 11 seasons, including seven of at least .321.
For the historical context, only six batters in MLB history played at least 2,000 games and produced a diagonal line of at least .310 / .410 / .575. Manny is one of the six, with a diagonal line of .312 / .411 / .585. The other five: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby and Jimmie Foxx. Yes. Manny is the only slugger who played after 1960 in that club. Think about it.
Manny's resume is not just about the traditional statistics on the back of the baseball card, of course. His adjusted OPS + of 154 is tied for 25th all time, with Hall of Fame member Frank Robinson. His wOBA of .418 is the 28th of all time. His ISO of .273 is the eighth of all time. The list continues. His WAR number receives a significant blow because he was not very good (being kind) in playing defense and running the bases. But still, his 69.4 bWAR is taller than the average left fielder of the Hall of Fame (65.5), and that says a lot about how good he was as a hitter.
The most important thing with Ramírez, of course, is the PED. Not only was he suspected of taking PED, but he was arrested and suspended by MLB twice, in 2009 and 2011. For many voters, that is the separation. Anyone officially arrested after the tests in 2005 is off their list. I can't discuss that. It is logical. Honestly, with the overcrowded voting of recent years, it is sometimes natural to look for negative reasons to eliminate players from their ballot instead of judging only the positive aspects of a resume. If you believe, for example, 14 people deserve to be elected but you can only vote for 10, reasons such as PED suspensions work as well as any other to narrow down a list.
However, for me, Ramírez was a month of turning 37 when the first suspension was issued. Before that 2009 season, he already had 527 homers, an average of .314, 1,004 OPS and 66.5 WAR. How is that different from Rafael Palmeiro, could you ask? Palmeiro already had Hall's good faith credentials when he was suspended for steroid use in 2005, his 40-year season, and that suspension crushed his Cooperstown chances. The answer is this: it may not be very different. But I had no vote when Palmeiro was on the ballot, so I didn't have to deal with that decision. I have to deal with Ramirez now, and it is impossible to have watched him throughout his career and conclude that he was not one of the best hitters in MLB history.
I voted for Ramírez the first time I had a ballot (2017), but he was removed from my ballot in 2018 because I had to find places for Johan Santana and Scott Rolen, two players who ran the risk of falling off the ballot for not arriving to the necessary 5 percent of the votes (Rolen made that threshold; Santana did not). With four players voted on that 2018 ballot: Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman, the reduction of the ballot decreased a bit and Ramirez returned to my 2019 ballot. He is there again this year.
Thoughts: At the end of his 28-year season (1995), Schilling had nothing like a Hall of Fame curriculum. He had already been exchanged three times and had only a good and healthy season to his credit (his 5.9 years of war for the Phillies in 1992, when he was 25 years old). In his 206 games in his career (95 starts) until 1995, Schilling had an effectiveness of 3.56 / 3.37 FIP, struck out 6.9 for nine innings and had a strikeout ratio of 2.56. Solid, but far from exceptional. He made only a total of 30 starts in 1994-95 due to injuries (and the strike, to a lesser extent), and it was fair to wonder in which direction his career was heading. I'm not sure that anyone other than Schilling has seen what lies ahead.
From his 29-year season to the end of his career (40-year season), Schilling struck out 9.2 batters for every nine innings and had a punch ratio of 5.31 on foot. He had six seasons with a WAR of at least 6.0, struck out at least 293 batters four times and led his league in full games four times. I didn't hear anyone say, "But he didn't win a Cy Young award," because that's nonsense. He finished second three times, when he had WAR of 8.8, 8.7 and 7.9. Those are amazing seasons. The problem was that Hall of Famer Randy Johnson was also at his best and was doing things that seemed almost impossible. The Big Unit won the award two of those years, publishing WAR of 10.0 and 10.9; Johan Santana won the award for the third time, with an 8.6 WAR. You cannot miss annual awards against Schilling for his Hall of Fame curriculum.
And then, of course, you have Schilling's postseason resume, which is amazing. In 19 playoff starts in his career, Schilling achieved a 2.23 ERA and was at least seven full innings 13 times. In seven World Series starts, he had a 2.03 ERA, and his team won the title three times.
As for Schilling's public turn, let's say I'm not going to hear his acceptance speech from the Hall of Fame, and I hate that my vote finally helps him to give it that stage. But what he did in the field, with his 3,116 strikeouts and 79.9 WAR leading his resume, undoubtedly earned a place in Cooperstown.
As with Manny Ramírez, I voted for Schilling the first time I voted, but it was intentionally left in 2018 in favor of Santana and Rolen. Schilling and Ramírez were at that ideal point: zero chances of being elected and zero chances of falling off the ballot, so I felt I could manipulate my ballot with their points. Both returned to my ballot in 2019 and again this year.
Thoughts: I will be honest. I am torn by Abreu's candidacy. On the one hand, there are only three players in MLB history with at least 275 homers for life, 400 stolen bases and a base percentage of .375 or better: Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Bobby Abreu. That is a very select company. And, yes, perhaps grouping home runs, steals and percentage based on a strange and arbitrary trio. But those are things that Abreu did well, and his skill set was at least moderately unique. He had nine seasons with at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases, the last in 2010, his 36-year season with the Angels. And he had eight seasons with a base percentage of .405 or better. From 1998 to 2004, Abreu produced an average cut line of .308 / .416 / .525, with a low bWAR of 5.2 and a maximum of 6.6 (average of 5.9). That is outstanding. And he reached the base through a hit or walk 3,979 times in 2,425 career games; Tony Gwynn reached the base 3,955 times in 2,440 games. More good company.
There was a decline in his 30 years, although not as precipitous as that of some of the other players on this ballot (we will reach them in a minute). From his age of 31 to 40 seasons, Abreu averaged .278 / .379 / .434, with a bWAR average of 2.0. He is still a productive player, but not the All-Star he had in his 20 years.
Abreu does not reach the average of bWAR (71.5) and JAWS (56.8) for the right gardeners of the Hall of Fame, he is 60.0 and 50.8, but he must also consider how those numbers are affected by Babe Ruth's totals (162.1 bWAR, 123.4 JAWS), Hank Aaron (143.0, 101.7) and Stan Musial (128.3, 96.1). Abreu is not equal to those three players, but their numbers are very similar to those of the right fielders chosen by BBWAA Dave Winfield and Vladimir Guerrero.
Look, I'm not sure Abreu belongs to the Hall of Fame. But I am torn enough that, with the recent election of the Ted Simmons committee after having been 5 percent in their only year on the BBWAA ballot, I will vote for him this year in an effort to keep him on the ballot, and in the conversation for at least one more lap.
Thoughts: Do you remember what I wrote about Larry Walker? The same for Scott Rolen, essentially. Rolen was undoubtedly one of the best defensive third basemen of all time, right there in the conversation with Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt. And he was also an excellent hitter in the middle of the lineup, with an OPS of .903 and an average of 28 homers, 102 RBIs and a 133 OPS + of his age from 22 to 29 seasons. If he had remained healthy, there is no doubt that Rolen would have been a member of the Hall of Fame. Instead of just reaching 10 percent of the votes in 2017, their first vote, we could have been discussing whether it was the best third base in the history of the MLB.
But he did not always stay healthy. Scrapping his rookie year, he wasn't called until August 1996, Rolen played 16 seasons in the majors. In those 16 years, he played more than 142 games only five times. He played 115 or less six times. Those injuries hurt his traditional counting statistics (home runs, driven races, etc.) not only because he missed the real games, but because his chronic shoulder problems often destroyed his power when he was at the plate.
Still, Rolen's metrics help to resume her Hall. There are 15 primary third basemen consecrated in Cooperstown, and they have an average WAR of 68.4, with an average JAWS rating of 55.7. Rolen finished at 70.2 and 56.9, so he is above the average third baseman of the Hall of Fame, not just above the worst third baseman of the Hall of Fame.
However, I will point out that the additions to the veterans committee like Freddie Lindstrom (28.3, 27.3), George Kell (37.4, 36.2) and Deacon White (45.5, 35.7) significantly reduce those averages from those at the top of the list. list of positions, Schmidt (106.5, 82.5), Eddie Mathews (96.4, 75.4) and the recent incorporation of Chipper Jones (85.2, 66.0).
Rolen played for the Phillies, the Cardinals and the Reds; He made the National League All-Star squad with each team (seven in total) and also won at least one Gold Glove with each team (eight in total). His postseason was a mixed bag. He hit .310 with three homers in the 2004 NLCS, helping the Cardinals to the World Series, but then he was 0 of 15 against the Red Sox. But then he hit .421 in the 2006 World Series, helping St. Louis beat Detroit in five games. Overall, he hit .220 with an OPS of .678 in 39 playoff games in his career.
I'm pretty sure someday it will end in Cooperstown. Rolen was not in the top 10 on my list in 2018, but I voted for him anyway, hoping he would reach the 5 percent needed to remain on the ballot. He did it, barely, at 10.2 percent. Last year, it was the tenth place on my ballot and ended with 17.2 percent of the vote. With the recent wave of elections clearing the ballot (eight players were elected in their first two years of eligibility), Rolen rose more than 45 percent in the Tracker. It's not that only 10 percent of BBWAA voters thought he was worthy of Cooperstown in 2018, it's just that the 10-player vote meant that decisions had to be made, and now that the vote is not so full of future members of the Hall of Fame, voters can vote for players who believe they belong
Thoughts: Sheffield was an incredible hitter, although injuries limited him to only two seasons of more than 125 games in what should have been his first seven full seasons in the majors, until his age of 26. He hit better than .300 eight times and finished with 509 homers and an .907 OPS. It was nine times All-Star and finished in the top nine of the MVP six times (three times in the top three).
During his first five years on the ballot, it seemed that his connections with the PEDs (he was named in the Mitchell Report) crushed his chances in the Hall. He was between 11.1 and 13.6 percent each of his first five years. But with the electoral ballot disorder in recent years, Sheffield has climbed about 40 percent on the tracker this year, a big jump. Their voting numbers are similar to those of Manny Ramírez (a player who was suspended twice for PED use), so let's compare the two.
Sheffield 2,576 games, .292 / .393 / .514, 509 HR, 1,676 RBI, 253 SB, 140 OPS +, 60.5 bWAR
Ramirez: 2,302 games, 312 / .411 / .585, 555 HR, 1,831 RBI, 38 SB, 154 OPS +, 69.5 bWAR
Ramírez has the advantage in most categories, although Sheffield made the teams pay attention to the base roads; He had 14 seasons with at least 10 stolen bases (a personal record of 25). Nor were they good defenders.
Now, let's compare Sheffield with Vladimir Guerrero, a recently elected Hall of Famer who also played primarily in the right field.
Sheffield 2,576 games, .292 / .393 / .514, 509 HR, 1,676 RBI, 253 SB, 140 OPS +, 60.5 bWAR
Warrior 2,147 games, .318 / .379 / .553, 449 HR, 1,496 RBI, 181 SB, 140 OPS +, 59.4 bWAR
Well, that's interesting, isn't it? Guerrero lived up to the elections in his first year on the ballot (71.9 percent) and was elected on his second attempt. Guerrero, of course, has no PED links, which is the differentiator for many voters. But Sheffield gets my vote this year, for the first time.
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Other Hall of Fame considerations …
Thoughts: There are only 11 players in MLB history with at least 2,000 games and a diagonal line of .310 / .410 / .510 or higher. Nine of those players are in the Hall of Fame: Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Harry Heilmann, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Jimmie Foxx and Edgar Martinez. The other two? Manny Ramírez and, yes, Todd Helton, with a career of .316 / .414 / .539 line. That is a crazy and impressive company, no doubt. Gehrig and Foxx are the only other first first base players on the list; The 369 homers of his career at Helton do not reach Gehrig (493) and Foxx (534).
Helton, of course, played his entire career with the Rockies. I want to stop for a moment and say that I hate what comes next, the implicit standard / critical comparison of the career / home divisions for any player wearing a Rockies uniform. The point is not to criticize and tear down, but to provide context in a Hall of Fame debate.
Home: 1,141 games, .345 / .441 / .607, 1,048 OPS, 227 home runs, 859 RBIs, 2,452 total bases
Road: 1,106 games, .287 / .386 / .469, .855 OPS, 142 homers, 547 RBIs, 1,840 total bases
That is a fairly large gap, although as with Walker, a percentage of .386 at the base on the road is still really impressive. During its absolute peak, from 1999 to 2004, Helton hit an incredible .383 at Coors Field and a very good .303 on the road.
But perhaps more damaging to his chances in the Hall were the injuries that destroyed most of his power and changed who he was as a player. Helton did not hit more than 20 home runs after his 30-year season, and his overall production fell from the table after his 33-year season.
Averages of the first 10 years: 154 games, .332 / .432 / .585, 1.017 OPS, 30 home runs, 108 RBIs, 144 OPS +, 5.5 bWAR
Averages of the last 6 years: 112 games, .279 / .373 / .430, .803 OPS, 11 home runs, 53 RBIs, 104 OPS +, 1.1 bWAR
I think Walker's induction … fingers crossed! – It helps the possibilities of Helton, but I also believe that Walker has a Cooperstown curriculum much better than Helton, so Helton is not on my ballot.
Thoughts: For some superstars with obvious Cooperstown talent, the countdown begins around year 7 or 8. "Only two years until it is a Hall of Fame lock, even if it is removed immediately after its tenth year." That is the case of Albert Pujols during his St. Louis decade, and it is the case of his current Angels teammate Mike Trout. Want a test case on how to potentially sink a Cooperstown candidacy after the first decade? Look at Andruw Jones.
After an impressive race with the Braves, as a defensive center fielder from another world and a reliable bat in the middle, an Atlanta lineup that appeared regularly in October, Jones played his last five seasons with the Dodgers (LA gave him two years, $ 36.2 million free – agent to leave Atlanta that became a disaster), Rangers, White Sox and Yankees. Starting with the 31-year season, his first in Los Angeles, Jones struggled with injuries, inconsistency and strikeouts: in those 435 games, Jones hit .210 and had 104 strikeouts more than punches, and was a shell of his former defensive self. , having been forced mainly to the corners of the garden when it was not a DH.
So it's almost easy to forget young Andruw. But, wow, young Andruw was brilliant. Watching the Braves' games, he held his breath when an opposing batter hit a baseball toward the center garden wall or the power alley gaps. Not because you were worried because he would drop the ball, but because you anxiously anticipated how it would make a seemingly impossible capture seem impossibly easy. He was, during the first seasons of his career, one of the best central defensive gardeners anyone has ever seen in this sport. He won the Golden Glove 10 years in a row and was a regular All-Star. And because he was so good with the glove, it was easy to overlook his contributions on the plate. Young Andruw hit two home runs in his first World Series game (he was 19 at the time) and averaged 34 home runs, 13 stolen bases, 102 RBIs and an .852 OPS during his 29-year season.
But looking at your full resume, I'm not sure that the first 10 years were enough to compensate for the last five.
Thoughts: With the induction of Trevor Hoffman in 2018, the election of Lee Smith (through the committee) last year and the unanimous election of Mariano Rivera by BBWAA, Wagner's road to Cooperstown is suddenly not so murky.
I voted for Rivera (obviously), but I didn't vote for Hoffman, and I haven't voted for Wagner. If I had to choose Hoffman or Wagner, I would choose Wagner. Unlike Hoffman, who fought during a difficult final season in search of his 600th save (at 42, Hoffman had a 5.89 ERA in 50 games), Wagner retired while still one of the game's most dominant closers. . The left-hander turned 38 during the 2010 season, when he had 37 saves and a tiny effectiveness of 1.43 for the Braves; He averaged 13.5 strikeouts by nine, against just 4.9 hits by nine. Wagner retired with 422 saves in his career, although he could clearly have pursued at least the 500 save mark. Hoffman, for example, had 119 saves from 39 to 42 years. However, Wagner decided to walk away. He had missed most of the 2009 season with an elbow ligament replacement surgery, and the time he spent at home with his wife and children was powerful.
He then retired with 422 saves, which is currently the sixth of all time. Hoffman kept pitching until he was 40 and accumulated a lot more saves. And don't take this as if I had slept with Hoffman for staying. Personally, I love the idea of athletes playing as long as their bodies allow. One of my favorite things about Rickey Henderson is that he played independent baseball after he finished his MLB career, just because he loved the game so much. But Wagner was the most dominant pitcher. Let's look at some of his percentage / rate statistics among the 37 pitchers in MLB history with at least 250 saves in his career.
WAS: 4th (2.31)
Independent Launching of Fielding: 5th (2.73)
PAHO Opponents: 5th (.558)
Average batting opponents: 4th (.187)
Percentage of opponents based: 3rd (.262)
The opponents of the blows 4th (.296)
Hits for 9 tickets: 3rd (5.99)
Strikethrough percentage: 4th (33.2)
Proportion of strikethrough on foot: 5th (3.99)
Anyway, Wagner was an elite reliever, elite when he was on the mound.
Pero también hay esto: ningún lanzador ha sido elegido para el Salón de la Fama (aparte de Satchel Paige, quien pasó la mayor parte de su gloriosa carrera lanzando en las Ligas Negras) con menos de 1,000 entradas en su carrera. Bruce Sutter está bajo en esa lista, con 1,042 entradas. Wagner lanzó solo 903 entradas en su carrera. Estoy dispuesto a cambiar de opinión, pero por ahora estoy pasando.
Pensamientos: Vizquel fue un jugador sobresaliente durante mucho tiempo, acumulando muchos premios Gold Glove, robando muchas bases con sus piernas (y golpes básicos con su guante) y acumulando 2,877 hits en una carrera que abarcó 24 temporadas. Encontrará a muchas personas inteligentes en el béisbol que creen fervientemente que la maravilla defensiva pertenece al Salón de la Fama, y muchas personas inteligentes en el béisbol que son tan inflexibles que está muy por debajo del estándar de Cooperstown. Me siento en algún lugar en el medio. El campo corto promedio del Salón de la Fama terminó con 67.0 bWAR y 55.0 JAWS; Vizquel terminó en 45.6 y 36.2. Esa es una gran brecha. Recuerde, el otro campocorto del que hablamos en esta boleta, Derek Jeter, tiene 72.0 y 57.4.
Y piense en esto: en esas 24 temporadas, Vizquel recibió exactamente un voto MVP. Ni un voto de primer lugar, eso sí. Solo un voto, siempre. En 1999, un escritor le dio a Vizquel el octavo lugar en su boleta. That's. Nunca apareció en ninguna otra boleta de MVP. Esto no es como si Mike Mussina o Schilling nunca ganaran un premio Cy Young o Edgar Martínez nunca recibiera un premio MVP. En toda su carrera de 24 años, solo un votante pensó que Vizquel era incluso uno de los 10 mejores jugadores de su liga. Si nunca has sido considerado uno de los 10 mejores jugadores de tu liga en un año determinado, ¿cómo eres un miembro del Salón de la Fama? Y no se trata de que los shortstops estén infravalorados en la votación MVP. Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken Jr., Ernie Banks, Robin Yount y Lou Boudreau ganaron premios MVP como paradores en corto. Ozzie Smith, Arky Vaughan y Luke Appling estuvieron tan cerca de ganar los premios MVP. Vizquel, sin embargo, rara vez era incluso una consideración.
Pensamientos: Si crees en la excelencia extendida sobre el rendimiento máximo, el caso de Pettitte podría dejarte llevar fácilmente. Personalmente, tiendo a inclinarme, pero soy consciente de que los jugadores que representan a ambas escuelas de pensamiento están en el Salón, y Pettitte tiene un currículum interesante. No me importan sus 256 victorias en 18 años, para ser honesto, porque no fue difícil coleccionar Ws con la alineación que Pettitte solía apoyarlo con los Yankees.
Pettitte era Mr. Reliable para los Yankees y los Astros; En sus 16 temporadas con al menos 20 aperturas, el zurdo tuvo un bWAR de al menos 2.1 en 14 de esos años. La fiabilidad es una característica maravillosa en un lanzador abridor. Por otro lado, tuvo un bWAR superior a 3.8 en solo tres de esas 16 temporadas. Eso no es genial. Pettitte fue el mismo lanzador consistente en la postemporada que en la temporada regular. En la temporada regular, tuvo una efectividad de 3.85, 1.351 WHIP y 2.37 K / BB; en 44 comienzos de playoffs, los números se ven muy similares (3.81, 1.305, 2.41). Mira, Pettitte era EXACTAMENTE lo que los Yankees necesitaban durante todos esos años, y se ganó su lugar innegable en la gloria de la franquicia, pero no creo que alcance el estándar del Salón.
Sin embargo, creo que es el tipo de jugador que merece la oportunidad de quedarse en la conversación. Creo que tiene valor votar por los jugadores para que permanezcan en la boleta electoral, incluso si no creo que terminen en Cooperstown y es posible que no vuelva a votar por ellos en el futuro. Lo hice con Santana y Rolen, y lo volveré a hacer en el futuro. I almost did with Pettitte, but he was around eight percent on the Tracker when I submitted my ballot, so I figured he was safe. And thankfully, he was. Even though I’m not voting for him, I’m glad he’s still in the Cooperstown conversation.
Thoughts: On one hand, Lee had a career full of wonderful moments and seasons, but he was hurt far too often to eventually wind up in Cooperstown. On the other hand, I voted for a first-year-on-the-ballot player with a similar situation a few years ago, Johan Santana. So I had to give serious thought to voting for Lee, too, with the thought of keeping him on the ballot one more year.
Lee won the AL Cy Young award in 2008 and finished in the top seven of the voting four other years. After a tumultuous start to his career, Lee found himself starting with his Age 29 season, and he posted a 2.93 ERA/2.85 FIP from 2008 to 2014. In that stretch, he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game; his 10.28 K/BB ratio in 2010 is one of only three seasons in MLB history over 10.0. In 11 playoff starts from 2009-11, for the Phillies and Rangers, Lee fashioned a 2.52 ERA.
But if the comparison here, for a spot on my ballot, is Lee vs. Santana, Lee falls a bit short. Santana bests him in bWAR (51.1 to 42.8), ERA (3.20 to 3.52) and strikeouts (1,988 to 1,824). And, if I’m being honest, this, too: I do believe that Johan Santana has a solid chance of one day being elected by a veterans-type committee, but I don’t feel the same way about Lee.
Thoughts: There’s little doubt that Sosa took a PED-enhanced path to all those home runs. But I’ve had this one thought running through my head for a long time: If I’m going to vote for Bonds and Clemens and Ramirez (among others), how can I not vote for Sosa, a guy who finished with 609 career home runs and topped the 60-homer mark in three separate seasons? I honestly don’t have a great answer for that question. It,amp;#39;s easy to forget how much of a lift that Sosa’s power — and joy on the field — gave baseball during the post-strike struggles. On the other hand, even with all those home runs, Sosa’s career WAR of 58.4 falls way below the standard for average Hall of Fame right fielders (it’s 71.4). In fact, only one right fielder with a lower WAR has ever been elected to the Hall by the BBWAA, Wee Willie Keeler (54.0 WAR), back in 1939.
Thoughts: Kent’s power and production at second base were pretty elite, and the 2000 NL MVP doesn’t hurt his resume, either. Kent has a better resume than has been reflected by his voting totals, and it’s easy to think that the crowded ballot has hurt him — with a really good but not slam-dunk resume — as much as anyone.