2010 Cooperstown candidates (The ones that are seriously worth considering).
Andre Dawson: Dawson was ferocious for a four-year period,
posting a ‘WAR’ of 6 or more in each year. And if you want to read a
really good article, check out Kurkjian’s take over at ESPN. His enthusiasm — and the word “breathtaking” in reference to watching the Hawk — are why the column attracts.
But do I agree with Kurkjians ultimate destination? That Dawson is a Hall of Famer?
No. Because as you all know, I value ‘WAR,’ alot. Maybe more than I should…
But he had four great years, and I feel that great players often
exceed that. Which would mean that I don’t feel that Dawson was quite
as good as he needed to be, to be in the Hall at least.
Had he had been able to man center field his entire career, then his
case would have heightened. But his knees wore, and the turf in
Montreal was blamed.
Injuries happen. But people have been hurt before, and not made it
to the Hall because of it. It sucks, but that is the way it is.
And Dawson reached base less than the average hitter. Less.
Meaning that he made more outs than Coco Crisp probably would have.
Many suggest that Dawson was the center of a team, and needed to
drive in runs. In fact, Tony Gwynn suggested that very thing. So
maybe if someone told him to be more patient, make fewer outs, than he
might have responded. After all, the game was different.
But an out is bad. There are two outcomes that are possible when a
batter steps in, he either makes an out, or he doesn’t. And Dawson did
the latter too often for my taste.
Keith Law always says something like this, “Are you telling me that they didn’t know that making outs was bad back then.”
And he says it kind of sarcastically. I actually dislike it.
Because, Keith, they didn’t emphasize it the same way back then. It
wasn’t recognized like it is now. They sacrificed a few more outs, at
times, in order for the opportunity to drive in a few more runs.
But either way, we look at OBP as the most important statistic when
referencing run scoring. And whether or not Dawson knew or not, it
hindered that ability.
So Dawson is a no in my mind.
Barry Larkin: The stat guys love Larkin. His talent was
apparently through the roof. I wouldn’t know, for I cannot even recall
if I kept his baseball cards in a binder — rather than in several
shoe-boxes that were stacked upon each other.
But Larkin was roughly the same, offensively, that Dawson was (maybe
more valuable because he had a much higher OBP, however less power).
And he was a good defensive shortstop as well. The problem was that he
too, wasn’t a model of health.
He basically had three seasons of 6 or greater ‘WAR’ (one being 5.9
out of those three). Albert Pujols has nine seasons of roughly six or
more (and several way more). So while we shouldn’t compare all Hall of
Fame candidates to Pujols, we should show a measure of greatness. And
Pujols is great, historically so.
Larkin did rack up 63 total wins though, which is more than Dawson
did. But it wasn’t as if he was a dominant player for any period of
time. His seasons fluctuated; good, great, good, good, good, hurt,
great, great, hurt, good, good, good. Or something like that anyway.
But even now is he really as sure a thing as some of these “experts” believe?
I will say no for now, but only because he is someone that I
need more time to look at. If of course, I was getting paid for this,
then I would have invested plenty of time and come up with a conclusion.
Ultimately I feel that I would help send Larkin in, but I am still undecided.
Bert Blyleven: Sure doesn’t feel like a Hall of Famer. Zero cy youngs. But his ERA+ sits at 118, and he pitched a ton of innings. A ton.
Now maybe he wasn’t as dominating as Pedro, or Bob Gibson. But he sure did pitch significantly well over many years.
Blyleven deserves it.
Mark McGwire: Let us ignore PED’s for a second. McGwire is a Hall of Famer. Then take into account that he might have used PED’s.
The picture starts to fade…
But I am not sure he used, nor do I know the effects. I vote him in. But I don’t blame others for leaving him out
But he is one of the greatest home run hitters of all time *
Tim Raines: The thing that bugs me about Raines is that he
was a corner outfielder with an OPS+ of 123, and some in the stat
community believe he is a shoe-in.
Now, the guy was a better player than Jim Rice. But he wasn’t too
far off from a player like Dwight Evans. And Evans simply isn’t a Hall
I guess it all depends on one’s definition of dominant. Was Raines
dominant? I know it isn’t easy to “dominate” in baseball like it is in
say, basketball. But, in comparison, was Raines seriously great?
He’s a borderline candidate for me, but maybe that is because my standards are a little too high.
Undecided still, which makes me say no.
Roberto Alomar: In, no doubt in my mind. One of the
greatest middle infielders ever, who reached base well above the
league-average, and flashed more power than most second baseman.
He isn’t Joe Morgan, but then again, who is?
Dave Parker: No, not even close.
Parker had a three year period where he was very dominant. But that is where his dominance stayed, within three years.
An OPS+ of 121 for a right fielder, need to do better than that.
And his OBP was only .339. He wasn’t any better than Jim Rice, and we
all know how I feel about Rice’s induction
Alan Trammell: Give me a shortstop with four seasons of WAR
greater than six any day of the week. But was he a Hall of Famer?
Sure is close. He like Larkin are debatable for me.
But I will say yes on Trammell.
Even if he was a DH, his bat produced more runs than Dawson’s entire repertoire.
Fred McGriff: No, a 50 ‘WAR’ for a position player is simply
not enough. He had a few really great years, but he played way too
long for only 50 wins.
Don Mattingly: For four years, he was as good as it gets.
But Mattingly didn’t tally enough of the couting stats, particularly
wins, to get my imaginary vote. He sure was great for that four-year
stretch, and is my bro’s all-time favorite player.
No for Donnie Baseball.
Lee Smith: No way. If you are a reliever, and your case is debatable, then you probably won’t get my vote.
Although, he was a very good arm out of the pen.
Jack Morris: I don’t even know why I am addressing this to be
honest. The guy isn’t close to being in Cooperstown. His legacy was
made off of one playoff start. I have seen several pitchers make great
starts in the postseason that simply do not deserve to be in
Cooperstown. M0rris is no different.
Harold Baines: Baines’ baseball cards definitely never saw
“plastic” in my collection. But that doesn’t necessarily leave him out
of the Hall. However, his ‘WAR’ does.
Baines was never even worth four wins. I think of six as a nice
standard for truly great seasons, and Baines fell more than two wins
short of this every year of his career.
He has less of a case than Jack Morris.
Dale Murphy: Sorry, Peter, Murphy too is a no for me :)