Thursday, January 25, 2018

A big Hall of Fame class

The writers voted in four this year: first-ballot candidates Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, plus holdovers Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman. Edgar Martinez missed making it five by 20 votes and will almost certainly get in next year.

Add in the two selected by whatever they called this cycle's veterans committee (Alan Trammell and Jack Morris) and it's going to be a long induction ceremony this summer.

It's a big class, and the writers finally made some progress on their backlog of candidates. They've had a number of multi-inductee classes of late -- this was the second time in four years that they've chosen four -- but the first time they didn't get there with a majority of first-time candidates.

Two of them were short-term Twins (Morris and Thome), and obviously neither will have a TC cap on their plaque. Morris' cap is obvious (Detroit), and I would think Thome will go in as a Clevelander over the Phillies or White Sox. I would vote Montreal Expos for Guerrero, but I can see a case for the Angels. He won his MVP award in Anaheim.

I'm not big on the Hoffman selection. It might look better a generation from now if the one-inning closer is still the standard, but I see that approach to bullpen management fading now, and it might become obsolete in my lifetime. Of course, the three-out closer has been a thing for 20 years now, and we already have Dennis Eckersley and arguably John Smoltz in as a result. Now Hoffman, and next year Mariano Rivera ... If it is a fading strategy, four is probably too many, but there are worse HoF selections than Hoffman.

One is Morris, but I've beaten that horse enough over the years.


  1. I never get too excited about who is in or not in the the Hall of Fame. It is after all the Hall of Fame not the Hall of Best Players.

    A reasonably good example of this is Brooks Robinson. Ken Boyer was his contemparary and was pretty clearly the better player. They played the same position and were both perennial All stars. Boyer was a much better hitter and probably pretty comparable with the glove. Robinson had one year where his OPS exceeded Boyer's career OPS. Although Boyer had a shorter career, he had more home runs, more stolen bases as well as more versatility. During his career despite being a 6 time Gold Glove 3B, he played many games at short and cf.

    Robinson was the more famous 3b playing on better teams, appearing in more post seasons, and having the reputation of being the best fielding 3b of all time. Even though Boyer played in the better league, had superior numbers, he hasn't come all that close to being selected to the Hall, even through the Veteran's Committee.

    I not all that sure that Boyer really belongs in the Hall and Robinson certainly does. But that is because it is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Best Players.

  2. The NFL is the other extreme from MLB ... too many players get in their HOF IMO.

    But, I am for loosening the MLB HOF standards a tad because I see Oliva not being recognized as an injustice. I expected the Veterans Committee to rectify the Oliva injustice, but ...

    Oliva not being there weakens the Hall.

    Kaat too, and others like him, do deserve membership.