Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 19, 2004
BASEBALL: Another One for the Crime Dog

I meant to link to this one back when I was looking at Fred McGriff - Rich Lederer stands up for McGriff as a Hall of Fame candidate.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:36 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

What current HOF first baseman is CrimeDog better than? Willie Stargell? Tony Perez? Orlando Cepeda?

Posted by: Jack Tanner at April 19, 2004 10:42 AM

Perez, definitely; McGriff was Perez with fewer errors and an extra 30 walks a year, even after you adjust for the era. I'd say Cepeda as well, although it's close. McGriff was a lot more consistent than Cepeda. Stargell was better than McGriff, but not by a huge margin.

Others - George Kelly, of course, but lots of people are better than George Kelly. Maybe Jake Beckley, who was comparable. Frank Chance, although you can't really compare Chance because he's in partly as a manager. The same probably applies to Bill Terry, who was a comparable hitter with a shorter career. Eddie Murray is comparable, but had a longer career than McGriff and was better in his 2 or 3 best years. McGriff almost certainly had a better career than George Sisler, but Sisler's in for the handful of years at his peak. McGriff's 1988-94 peak was plenty impressive, but not like Sisler's.

McGriff would be in the bottom half - he's no slam dunk. But the case for him in is at least as strong as the case for him out.

Posted by: The Crank at April 19, 2004 11:04 AM

I've got nothing against the Crime Dog but both Stargell and Cepeda were MVPs on World Championship teams and I think they're both marginal HOFers. If he's better than Perez certainly not by much and I don't think Perez deserves to be in the HOF. Eddie Murray was a much better player Fred McGriff. Plus how much credit do you deserve for playing for Tampa and hitting 95 homers in an overexpanded era? To me McGriff's almost the embodiment of the criteria, not for the very good, only for the very best.

Posted by: Jack Tanner at April 19, 2004 12:48 PM

If you are generally taking the view that it should get harder to get into the Hall, then I can see the argument against McGriff. He's similar to Perez - a great player early in his career who has filled out his career numbers by hanging around. But ut;s not as obvious that he's done that because of the statistical inflation - his great years and his filler years look a lot alike, even though in context they are very diffferent.

I do think, though, that McGriff can reasonably be considered as good as a number of players at first base or outfield that are already in the Hall, and not just Veterans Commitee guys from the 20's and 30's, either. He could go either way, but the Hall will be maintaining it's established standards, not lowering them, if it takes him.

Posted by: Jerry at April 19, 2004 4:40 PM

Fred McGriff should never make the HOF, simply for this inning on April 11, 2002 (Cubs lose to NY 3-2)
"F McGriff singled to deep left" = "McGriff thinks he hit a home run. Stands at the plate. Eventually realizes that the ball is not going to be a HR. Runs. Barely makes it to first". Not getting a double cost the Cubs
both a run, and then an out when he got doubled off third when he wasn't paying attention. Not a HOF player.
-Bottom of the 8th inning
-C Patterson grounded out to first.
-S Sosa homered to left.
-F McGriff singled to deep left.
-K Davis relieved P Astacio.
-A Gonzalez singled to left, F McGriff to second.
-R Brown reached on infield single to second, F McGriff to third, A Gonzalez to second.
-M Encarnacion hit for J Borowski.
-T Perez in right field.
-S Strickland relieved K Davis.
-M Encarnacion lined into double play, pitcher to third, F McGriff doubled off third.

Posted by: Chuck C at April 19, 2004 6:12 PM

Not that Cubs fans are bitter or anything.

Posted by: The Crank at April 20, 2004 2:42 PM
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