One more thing about steroids and the HOF

Posted By on December 28, 2011 12:25 pm

Because I can’t help myself and this provides a good way to procrastinate from the story I’m supposed to be writing that I really don’t feel like writing…

I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t automatically DQ steroid users from my HOF ballot, for a lot of reasons. But I think the point that I need to make is that I’m not discounting steroids from the discussion. That’s not the case at all. In fact, I’m sort of putting steroids into the discussion for everyone.

See, I changed my whole stance on this steroid thing after the Mitchell Report came out, because that’s when I decided that no one was beyond suspicion for steroid use. If you played Major League Baseball after about 1990, and especially from 1990-2003, I think it’s very possible that you used steroids.

I’m not going to assume you did. But I’m also not going to assume you didn’t.


My HOF deliberations: McGwire and the juicers

Posted By on December 24, 2011 4:07 pm

I didn’t include anything on McGwire in my recent HOF deliberations series because I’ve been voting for him for a while and because I feel I’ve written a lot on my position on the juicers.

In case you missed any of that….

These links pretty clearly explain my stance on steroids and the HOF. Essentially, if I think a guy cheated, I deduct from his statistical resume somewhat, but I don’t disqualify him.

If he used steroids after 2003, I deduct a lot more, because that’s when there was testing and MLB made it clear that steroid use was no longer acceptable.

Anyway, read these…

My 2009 ballot

Manny cheated? Big deal

Manny cheated again? Uh oh

A vote for Barry

My HOF deliberations: Bernie Williams

Posted By on December 24, 2011 2:53 pm

We’ve come to the end of the road. I’ve voted yes for Bagwell, Larkin, Raines and McGwire, and I’ve decided to pass on Trammell, Edgar, McGriff and Walker.

Of all the new guys on the ballot, it seems the only one who didn’t warrant an immediate no is Bernie Williams. I didn’t really think that Bernie deserved much consideration either, but once I started looking at him, I decided to set him aside for a more thorough examination.

It’s easy to discount Bernie if you don’t take into consideration the fact that he was a center fielder.


My HOF deliberations: Larry Walker

Posted By on December 24, 2011 12:15 pm

Almost done, and I’ve still just got Bagwell, Raines, McGwire and Larkin checked on my ballot. Among the others I was giving a fresh look to, I’ve eliminated Trammell, McGriff and Edgar Martinez.

The last two for me are Larry Walker and Bernie Williams. I had a shot at Walker last year and did not vote for him, but enough people I respect have voted for him, so I feel I ought to at least give him another look.

For starters, there is no way to consider Walker without considering Coors Field. The easiest way to do that is just to use his career road numbers. For his career on the road, Walker was .278/.370/.495, with an OPS of .865. He played just about 1,000 road games, so I decided that Sea Level Larry would have those numbers over about 2,000 games. So, here are the guys who played roughly in his era (1975-2011), with at least 1,900 games, and an OPS between .850 and .880:


My HOF deliberations: Fred McGriff

Posted By on December 24, 2011 12:00 pm

Moving along, I still just have yes votes for Bagwell, Larkin, McGwire and Raines. I’ve eliminated Trammell and Edgar Martinez. I’ve only got three guys left to consider, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker and Bernie Williams, and we’ll do McGriff here.

First time he was on the ballot, I didn’t think he’d be a serious candidate, but then the more I looked at him, the more impressed I was. That tends to happen by the way. Invariably, the longer I look at someone, I’m more likely to raise their stock than lower it. Maybe that’s just me. I have gone from no to yes on a few people (Blyleven, Raines, McGwire), but not from yes to no on anyone.


All signs point to San Jose

Posted By on December 24, 2011 10:09 am

Bob Nightengale tweeted this morning that MLB sources tell him the A’s will be getting approval to move to San Jose by February.

This comes a day after Billy Beane said in his Gio Gonzalez conference call that he has to assume the A’s will get a ballpark until he hears otherwise.

I think all of this matches up with what I, and a lot of other people, have believed for some time.

First, Beane must know something. If he really had no idea about the ballpark, he could have kept Gio and Cahill and tried to be more competitive this year. They are still cheap, and if the A’s bandaged together some one-year deals for hitters, they could have at least made a cursory run at contending. Remember how they were chic picks to be good 12 months ago? But the fact that he’s totally punting 2012 and giving up controllable players tells you he’s not interested in a patchwork team. He’s interested in making a very good team in two or three years.

The second part of all this is: Why are the Giants territorial rights going to finally stop being an issue, after all these years?


My HOF deliberations: Edgar

Posted By on December 24, 2011 9:00 am

So far, I’ve checked the names of Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Mark McGwire and Tim Raines. I eliminated Alan Trammell after giving him another look, so I’m down to just four more guys on my bubble: Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker and Bernie Williams. Here we go with a close look at Edgar…

For starters, let me say that, when I was a kid, I was a die-hard Seattle Mariners fan. And I died a lot. From 1980 to 1997 (when I became a full-time baseball writer and abandoned by team allegiances), the Mariners mostly sucked.

Anyway, I rooted pretty hard for them. And Edgar Martinez was a big part of things when they finally turned it around and became good. In fact, his hit to win the 1995 NLDS against the Yankees is probably the pinnacle of my entire life as a sports fan.

But I have to put all that aside now.

The question is whether Edgar Martinez belongs in the Hall of Fame.