Posts Tagged ‘Baseball Hall of Fame’

Dusty Baker is a Hall of Fame Manager

Friday, September 29th, 2017

by Gus Griffin






Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker looks on from the dugout before a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker looks on from the dugout before a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As the Washington Nationals prepare for the post season, it should be noted that this is old hat for manager Dusty Baker. In fact, it’s as good of a time as any to make the case that Dusty Baker should one day be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

That’s right, I said it, and the reasons people resist this idea are as interesting as the case that he is, so let’s start with those reasons.

Not only has Dusty Baker never managed a World Series winner, but he has presided over some of the most infamous pennant race and post season collapses in recent baseball history.

He has been the Marty Schotenheimer of major league baseball managers.

The list is as follows:

  • 1993 Giants had an 8 game lead over the Braves in August. Though the team would win a franchise record 103 games, they would lose the Western Division on the last day of the season (losing to those damn Dodgers). That team would not make it to the post season. Many consider that season’s outcome to be the primary basis for the development of the wild card in baseball, giving the best second place team a place in the post season;
  • 2002 Giants have a 3 games to 2 lead over the Angels in game 6 of the World Series and are 5 outs from winning their first world series since 1954. Then it all fell apart and the Angels go on to win in 7 games;
  • 2003 Chicago Cubs and the infamous Bartman game and series. The Marlins win that game 6 and eventually game 7 in Chicago, and beat the Yankees in the World Series.
  • 2012 Reds win the first two games in San Francisco of a best of 5 series, only to lose 3 straight to my Giants in Cincinnati. The Giants go on to win their second World Series of 3 in a 5 year span.

As sports fans, we tend to remember individual failure more than cumulative success.  Ask any fan what they remember most about Billy Buckner and they are likely to cite the 1986 World Series error rather than the 2700+ career hits and 1980 NL batting title.  The same is true of Ernest Byner in football.

It is fair to cite Baker as the only common denominator in all of the above noted collapses.  My primary response is that only an exceptional manager would continually be in these situations.

The case for Baker is as follows:

  • His 1800+ wins are more than Earl Weaver, Tommy Lasorda, or Dick Williams, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame;
  • He is one of only 4 managers to take 4 different teams to the post season, along with Williams, Billy Martin, and Davey Johnson. Martin and Johnson each have their own Hall of Fame cases;
  • He has ten 90 win seasons. All managers with this number or more are in the Hall of fame;
  • He managed Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent over multiple 162 game seasons, which is every bit as difficult as coaching Shaq and Kobe.

So exactly what factors most impact a manager’s success? I say 4, which are communication skills, baseball tactics, instincts, and situation. The manager actually only has control of the first three.  By all accounts, Baker is a great communicator. The problem is that this skill is the least observable to fans and even the sports writers who vote for the Hall of Fame.  So Baker’s greatest skill is the least measurable. His baseball tactics and instincts would have to be above average to win nearly 2000 games. Sure, anyone can find a decision on bullpen or bench management here or there, to dispute over the course of 23 years and 162 game seasons. But surely not enough to question his deserving of Hall of Fame status. The last factor would be the situation, and the manager has little to no control over that factor.  Situation includes the owner, timing, talent, etc. Let’s be clear about this, Joe Torre managed 3 different teams before he took the reins of the Yankees.  In the years before he got there, notoriously meddling owner George Steinbrenner was suspended from the day to day operations of the team.  His history was to win now, future be damned.  What this resulted in was young talent being traded away for veterans.  Due to his suspension, this did not happen in the mid-90s, and thus, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Petite, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter remained in their system and awaited Torre’s tutelage.  The rest is history.  From 1996-2000, the Yankees would win the World Series four times.

Joe Torre did not suddenly learn how to manage in New York with the Yankees.  But the fact is, if you take away his Yankees tenure, his career managerial record is sub-500.  Situation matters.

Dick Williams found working under A’s owner Charlie O Finely so difficult, he resigned from a 2-time defending champion team after the 1973 season, in a similar way that Jimmy Johnson left the Cowboys. Situation matters.

Regardless of the situation, Dusty Baker has won and he has won a lot. This should earn him a bust in Cooperstown someday.


Gus Griffin, for War Room Sports

The Official Reading Between The Seams 2014 Hall of Fame Vote

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

LeRoy McConnell III & the RBTS Crew

Leroy Blog






The writers of our own blog Reading Between the Seams embarked on the opportunity to evaluate this year’s deep Hall of Fame ballot and see if our thoughts might be an indicator for the final results (to be released on Wednesday, January 8).  With our sample size of six voters, it takes five to meet the Hall’s 75% necessary for election.  A sample of four (with three positive votes) would have played  to the right percentage, but a larger sample size is probably appropriate given the persnickety history of Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voters.  Our Hall of Fame writing cast had differing opinions on supposed PED users, but came to a consensus that could very well match the BBWAA results.

As for the voting mechanics, all bloggers submitted a private ballot without influence.  Once totaled, a brief group discussion took place on our private Facebook page, with a focus on those who didn’t vote for the more popular candidates (which we’ll include in the discussion below).  Without further ado…

The elected:

Greg Maddux (100%)

Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

We vote in Maddux at 100%, he’ll be in for sure
Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

The question for Maddux isn’t if, but by how much.  With 355 wins, an ERA just over 3.00 in a strong hitters era, no ties whatsoever to PEDs (I mean just look at him), “The Professor” is a shoe in.  Some rumors are “unanimous”, however if Stan Musial isn’t named on 23 ballots his first year, and Cy Younghad to wait two years to get in, it won’t quite be that way.

Craig Biggio (100%)

Biggio with 3000 hits will get in eventually, probably this year Credit: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Biggio with 3000 hits will get in eventually, probably this year
Credit: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

Biggio only needs a bump of 7% over last year’s results and is likely to get it, given the first ballot avoidance given by some writers.  With 3,000 hits, he’s in for sure eventually. His total will probably be more like 80% when the dust settles.

Tom Glavine (83%)

Glavine and his 305 wins gets in on our ballot Credit: AP

Glavine and his 305 wins gets in on our ballot
Credit: AP

Glavine accumulated 305 wins and a 3.54 ERA, both worthy.  Only one voter did not put in Tom Glavine, and interestingly enough, he did cast a vote for Mike Mussina. Mussina has a better winning percentage and his ERA is about even given the AL/NL DH factor. However, enough voters put in the lefty, we expect Glavine to be voted in by the BBWAA as well.

Frank Thomas (83%)

Nobody on the blog penalized Frank Thomas for being a DH Credit: AP

Nobody on the blog penalized Frank Thomas for being a DH
Credit: AP

Thomas is the headline new hitter on the ballot for sure.  With over 500 HR and as an ardent critic of PED users, he’s legit.  A .301 average, and he reached base over 4,100 times with walks.  The only non-voter thought he was close, but didn’t think first ballot worthy in lieu of the huge power numbers of his era.

Missed it by that much, these candidates were one vote shy of election:

Jeff Bagwell (67%)

Bagwell's defense is probably being overlooked by HoF voters Credit: AP

Bagwell’s defense is probably being overlooked by HoF voters
Credit: AP

Bagwell remains an enigma. He has a few detractors who believe he might have used PEDs.  Others question straight up whether his numbers are good enough.  At 59.6% on the BBWAA ballots last year, he won’t make the leap to 75% and will probably fall short of our 67% tally.  One voter who didn’t put him in thought he was just short on career numbers, below 450 HR, below .300 average, and below 2,500 hits.  The other non-voter thought McGriff deserves in first based upon HR total. Both fair judgment, neither cited PEDs.

Roger Clemens (67%)

Too many PED questions doomed Clemens on our ballot Credit: AP

Too many PED questions doomed Clemens on our ballot
Credit: AP

Clemens was by far the biggest lightning rod for discussion after the votes were tallied.  Two bloggers did not vote him in.  One stated:

I have trouble voting for a guy who won 11 games or fewer per season from the age of 29 to 33, then “suddenly” captured youth and dominated again from his mid to late 30′s onward (162 wins after that). With the PED evidence, I have too many questions.

the other stated:

I like Clemens unfortunately, since he was linked to PEDs they would all [steroid users] have to be in.

No question, with 350 wins and an ERA better than Maddux, he’s just as qualified.  Much like the real BBWAA voters, enough of our electorate will not put in PED users.

Others getting votes:
Tim Raines 50%
Edgar Martinez 50%
Barry Bonds 50%
Larry Walker 33%
Lee Smith 33%
Mike Piazza 33%
Jeff Kent 33%
Mike Mussina 33%
Fred McGriff 33%
Don Mattingly 17%
Mark McGwire 17%
Jack Morris 17%

Noteworthy who did not get votes: Curt Schilling, Alan Trammell, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Luis Gonzalez, and Moises Alou.

I believe that plus or minus one, this vote will be who really gets in. Frank Thomas may suffer first ballot jitters, Jack Morris may get last ballot sympathy (at 67.7% last year).  Nobody below the Bagwell line (<60%) will get in including Bagwell.  The next best first ballot guys after Thomas are Jeff Kent, Moises Alou, and Luis Gonzalez, none are clear cut.

Thanks to the guys for pulling this together, I think we are smarter than we get credit for!

– RBTS Staff


LeRoy McConnell III & the Staff of Reading Between the Seams

The Baseball Hall of Fame is Missing 9 Position Players

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

By LeRoy McConnell III

As the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend comes upon us, we should give considerable recognition to some of the Major League Baseball veterans that have been overlooked by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.  Each year, it seems that the criteria to get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is as difficult as getting you girlfriend’s father’s blessings.  You have to reach benchmarks of 3,000 hits, 500 home runs or 300 wins to even be in the conversation.  Don’t even get the voters started on whether or not each candidate is clean from performance enhancing drugs.  I have selected nine position players worthy of immediate consideration to be the next candidates inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1B Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff 1986-2004 Tor, SDP, ATL, Tampa

Fred McGriff was a blue-collar first basemen who brought his hard-hat and lunch pail to the game. In his 18-year career, the “Crime Dog” produced 2,490 hits, 493 home runs, 1,550 RBI and 1,305 walks. Fred didn’t hit those benchmark numbers that we mentioned earlier, but hey, he produced humanlike numbers in the steroid era and not one time was his name ever linked to the use of PEDs.  McGriff was a five-time All-Star player, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 1995.  He has been on the ballot for only three years now, but it is an embarrassment that he only holds 23.9% of the votes to get in.  He needs at least 75% to reach the Hall.  Hopefully the baseball writers will consider Fred McGriff as a future member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

2B Lou Whitaker 1977-1995  and SS Alan Trammell 1977-1996, both Detroit Tigers

These two characters were more popular than Starsky & Hutch, Batman & Robin and Tom & Jerry!  Lou & Alan have been the dynamic duo since the minor leagues.  Both of them came into the Majors together and took over the starting positions for the Detroit Tigers at the start of the 1978 season.  The duo spent the next 18 years turning more double plays than anyone in Major League history.

Lou Whitaker batted .276 with 244 home runs, 1,084 RBI, 1,386 runs and 2,369 hits.  The second baseman was a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, three-time Gold Glove Award winner and a World Series Champion with the Detroit Tigers in 1984.  Whitaker is ranked 74th all-time in wins above replacement! The troubling part about Lou Whitaker’s situation is his stats compare to all second basemen in the Hall of Fame, but he did not receive the required five percent of the votes in his first year of eligibility. Because of that, he is no longer on the ballot.

Alan Trammell’s career batting average was .285, and he batted over .300 seven times.  He hit 185 home runs with 1,003 RBI, 1,231 runs and 2,365 hits.  He was a six-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner, three-time Silver Slugger Award, World Series MVP and World Series Champion in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers.  Trammell has been on the Hall of Fame ballot for eleven years now with no success.  He received 36.8% of the votes, so he is still in the hunt.  There is still hope, and the fact that Barry Larkin will be enshrined this year has to bring up serious considerations, as both ball players have similar numbers.  Here are Larkin’s career numbers:  .295 ave., 198 home runs, 960 RBI, 1,329 runs and 2,340 hits.

3B Steve Garvey AKA “Mr. Clean”1969-1987 LAD,SDP

Detroit had Whitaker & Trammell, but what about the LA Dodgers?  The law firm of Cey, Lopes, Russell & Garvey were the together for over eight and a half years!  Garvey was both a first and third baseman, whose career batting average was .294 with 272 home runs, 1,308 RBI, 1,143 runs and 2,599 hits.  He had six seasons with at least 200 hits.  Steve was a 10-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner, NL MVP in 1974, two-time MVP of the All-Star game, two-time MVP of NLCS, and World Series Champion in 1981.  His 15-year run on the ballot has expired and the highest voting percentage he received was 41.6%. The only thing I see that is the problem is that his home run numbers for a corner infielder are not very high.  After 1980, Garvey played eight more seasons, only hitting over 20 homers once.  Nonetheless, his numbers and his accolades warrant an induction by the Veteran’s Committee.

C  Ted Simmons 1968-1988 STL, MIL, ATL

 Ted Simmons played in the Golden era of catchers with  Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and Gary Carter. Each of these players have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Simmons was a switch-hitting catcher with a career batting average of .285. He hit over .300 seven times. Simmons had 248 home runs, 1,389 RBI, 1,074 runs and 2,472 hits. He was an eight-time All-Star and won one Silver Slugger Award. Ted didn’t have the home run numbers of Bench, Fisk and Carter, but he made up for it by having more hits and RBI.  Only Ivan Rodriguez has more hits and runs batted in as a catcher.  The puzzling thing about the Ted Simmons case is he never received more than four percent of the Hall of Fame votes and he is no longer on the Veteran’s Committee ballot. It’s all but a dead issue.  Put Ted’s numbers against any catcher that ever played in the league and he will for sure be mentioned amongst the greats.

OF Tim “Rock” Raines 1979-2002 MON, CHW, NYY, OAK, BAL, FLA

Rickey Henderson says he was “The Greatest of All Time!”  He was, but Tim Raines was a five-tool ball player as well. Rock was a tremendous lead-off hitter for the Montreal Expos for years. His career batting average was .294, while batting over .300 six times.  He had 170 home runs, 980 RBI, 1,574 runs, 2,605 hits, .385 on base percentage and 808 steals.  Raines was also known as an excellent fielder. His accolades include being a seven-time All-Star, winning a Silver Slugger Award, a 1986 NL Batting Title, earning the 1987 All-Star MVP and being a three-time World Series Champion.  Rock Raines has been on the Hall of Fame ballot for five years now and has 48.7% of the writers’ votes.  There is no excuse for keeping Rock out of the Hall. Anytime a player can turn a walk or a single into a man in scoring position, he is positively making a big impact on the game.

OF Dave “Cobra” Parker 1973-1991 PIT, CIN, OAK, MIL, CAL, TOR

The “Cobra” had the biggest shoes to replace when the legendary Roberto Clemente’s unfortunate plane crash occurred after the ’72 season.  He did not disappoint as he made a living as the Bucs right fielder for the next 10 seasons.  Everybody that was a baseball fan in the seventies remembers the ’79 “We Are Family” Pirates.  His batting average was .290 with 339 home runs, 1,493 RBI, 1,272 runs and 2,712 hits.  He was a seven-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove Award winner, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, a two-time NL batting champion, 1978 NL MVP, 1979 All-Star MVP and two-time World Series Champion.  Dave Parker was the game’s best player in the late seventies and early eighties, which led him to be the first Major League ball player to have a million dollar contract.  Parker had been part of a cocaine scandal, where he admitted to use of drugs, which may have cost him an MVP award in a season where he led the league in hits and batting average.  Dave never received more than 24.% of the votes from the baseball writers and his eligibility has now run out.  He still has hopes of getting in by the Veteran’s Committee.

OF Albert Belle 1989-2000 CLE, CHW, BAL

Belle’s production makes him a sure-fire Hall of Famer. His career batting average is .295, while batting over .300 four times.  He had 381 home runs, 1,239 RBI, 974 runs and 1,726 hits in 12 seasons.  His career ended abruptly with a degenerative hip.  He was a five-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner.  In 1995, Belle was the only player in Major League history to hit 50 home runs and 50 doubles in a season.   He lost the MVP to Mo Vaughn, whose numbers did not compare to Albert’s, and that is probably because of his reputation being a jerk with the media.  In a three-year span, he finished in the top three in the MVP race never to win.  Albert lost his eligibility after the first year by only receiving 7% of the votes.  As long as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America have anything to do with Albert getting in the Hall, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!  Albert Belle may very well be the most hated baseball player ever, but in those 12 seasons in the league, he was definitely the most feared.

DH Edgar Martinez 1987-2004 Seattle Mariners

To all the beat writers who have a vote in the HOF:  The designated hitter has been part of the game since the 1973 baseball season.  During his playing career, Edgar Martinez was the greatest designated hitter of his time.  His lifetime batting average sits at .312 with 10 years batting over .300.  He has 309 home runs, 1,261 RBI, 1,219 runs and 2,247 hits.  Only David Ortiz’s numbers are better.  Martinez was a seven-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger Award winner and two-time AL Batting Champ.  Edgar has received 36.5% of the votes in his third attempt.  He is for sure a candidate and the first designated hitter to be enshrined.  He was a ferocious hitter in that Mariners line-up that consisted of Griffey, Buhner and A-Rod.  Don’t punish Edgar Martinez because he was a DH. Major League Baseball recognizes the position and so should Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Pitcher Jack Morris 1977-1994 DET, TOR, MIN, CLE

Known as the winningest pitcher of the 80′s, the workhorse posted 254 career wins,  2,478 strikeouts, an era of 3.90, 175 complete games and 28 shutouts in eighteen years of service.  Morris is a five-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion. He earned the MVP Award of the 1991 World Series. In Game 7 of that series, Morris posted a 1-0 win in a 10 inning shutout against the Atlanta Braves.  Jack has been on the ballot for 13 years now, finishing with 66.7% of the votes and second to only Barry Larkin who will be inducted in 2012.  With the likes of Clemens, Bonds, Palmeiro, Bagwell, Sosa, Piazza and Biggio, it will be difficult for Morris to get the final 8% votes.  Then again, with some of the most dominating players of all-time having a black cloud over their heads, Jack Morris may be having his own party next July.

LeRoy McConnell III of “A Fan’s Point of View”, for War Room Sports

Clemens & Bonds: Let My People Go…Into The Hall of Fame

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

by Jimmy Williams

Bonds & Clemens

Although the trial of Roger Clemens ended in a mistrial, (as of now it is unclear whether or not they will retry him) no one believes he DIDN’T use steroids.  This puts his chances of going into the Hall of Fame in jeopardy, even though his numbers clearly make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Growing up as a huge baseball fan, there were many great players that put up crazy numbers, but the best pitcher of my generation was clearly William Roger Clemens, and the best player was without a doubt, Barry Lamar Bonds.  Now both of these athletes may never get the honor of going into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of their connection to steroids.  To me this is unfathomable.  I believe all of the great players and products of my era should be honored.  Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Nike ‘95’ Air Max, Reversible Nautica Jackets, Issey Miyake Cologne, The “Illmatic” Album, Voltron Cartoons…you get the point.

I don’t know whether or not they will ever make it into the Hall of Fame, but I hope the Baseball Writers Association of America does not wait until they are damn-near ineligible to put them in the HOF.  That would be equivalent to the writers of “Who’s The Boss” waiting until the last season of the show to make Tony and Angela hook up.

The steroid era has forever changed baseball.  Any time anyone puts up any power numbers, people automatically start with the steroid talk.  It’s sad what has happened to the game but what is more sad is how there is a cloud of suspicion over most of the great players of my era.

Jimmy Williams