Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 8, 2008
BASEBALL: The Hall Feels The Need For Speed

Goose Gossage goes in - Rice just misses - Dawson finishes third. Vote totals to follow; WFAN says 72% for Rice, 65% for Dawson. My case for the Goose here.

Full voting here.

Six Year Voting Trend:

L. Smith42.336.638.845.039.843.3

I'm disappointed in Blyleven's and Raines' showings, and alarmed by Dawson's rise. All the new candidates but Raines dropped off the ballot, but all the returning ones remained, although Harold Baines at 5.2% is dropping close to the line, and Dave Concepcion now goes to the Veterans Commitee. Rice and Tommy John will be on the ballot one last time next year, and Rice probably goes in then.

On further reflection, Blyleven's jump to over 60% probably does mean he's finally on track to make it.

Let me also point out something that should be screamingly obvious: Tim Raines was born in 1959 and played in the majors from 1979 to 2002. Lee Smith was born in 1957 and played in the majors from 1980-97. With the possible exception of the 1991-92 offseason, at no point during those years would anyone in their right minds have considered trading Tim Raines to get Lee Smith.

(2007 ballot here, 2006 here, 2005 here, 2004 here, 2003 here).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:56 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

I'd like to know who are the writers giving one vote to Todd Stottlemyer and Shawon Dunston.

Posted by: A.S. at January 8, 2008 2:25 PM

Until recently I hadn't given much thought to the Blyleven vs. Morris argument, but after looking closer, it's not even close. Even the one thing the Morris backers keep bringing up - his post-season performance - actually swings in Bert's favor. I hope Blyleven gets in. Granted you could argue against or for both guys getting in, but it seems a lot of the arguments pit them against each other.

I'm still on the fence about Rice. And I'm a little surprised that McGwire's totals didn't jump at all. So much for the "not on the first ballot" argument. It looks like the opposition is more firm.

Posted by: paul zummo at January 8, 2008 2:46 PM

The Raines showing is ridiculous. Do voters not care how stupid it makes them look when they do stuff like this?

Posted by: Geoff Young at January 8, 2008 3:37 PM

I'm not sure why you're so against Dawson getting in. I assume it's his low OBP (which wasn't a stat or even talked about when he played).
I hope it's not the fact he excelled at hitting, hitting for power, running, throwing, and fielding.

He's an easy HoFer (far superior to the one dimensional Rice) as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Robert in BA at January 8, 2008 3:38 PM

Robert, click the Goose link for the summary on Dawson - yeah, the OBP is the main thing, but also Dawson's power numbers are good but not great.

Geoff, for the typical BBWAA voter, the fact that you and I think they are idiots is a compliment. Because we, unlike they, never played sat on our asses in the press box at the game.

Posted by: The Crank at January 8, 2008 3:43 PM

Geoff, not caring about looking stupid is more or less a prerequisite for a career as a sportswriter.

Posted by: Jerry at January 8, 2008 3:47 PM

I'm torn on Dawson. The low OBP is really costly, but he did everything else well. The fact that he was a quality center fielder for a while is more important than his cannon arm, though. It's probably a no.

I don't think well-roundedness is important in a ballplayer, if the player can make up for it by doing just one or two things exceptionally well. Take Mark McGwire. He hit homeruns and took lots of walks. Lack of singles or stolen bases or bunting ability doesn't matter. (Of course, the whole PED issue does matter, but you get my point.)

Posted by: Sky at January 8, 2008 4:08 PM

Hawk was a GREAT centerfielder. And he's a CF, not RF. He played as many innings in center as Dale Murphy. Not Hawk's fault he was good enough to keep playing in right. In any case, the meat of his career, what gets him into the Hall, is based on his play in CF.

Posted by: tangotiger at January 8, 2008 4:39 PM

I don't think well-roundedness is important in a ballplayer, if the player can make up for it by doing just one or two things exceptionally well.

But Dawson didn't really stick out in any particular category either. Aside from his 1987 season, Dawson's career high in homers is 32, and his career high in RBI would be 113. In total, he only hit 30+ homers 3 times, and drove in over 100 runs just four times. I hate to do the Mike and the Mad Dog thing, but he has about 5 or 6 Hall of Fame worthy seasons. I just don't think he's quite there.

Posted by: paul zummo at January 8, 2008 4:40 PM

I'm with Paul Zummo -- how can Dawson's mini-peak of 1979-1983 warrant the HOF? His efforts in 1984-1985 were terrible. His 1987 was good but overrated.....and that's it.... not much to build on....

Jim Rice is just as alarming for me, as with 72.2 this year he's a LOCK to get it next year, unless it's a stellar class around him. His peak of 77-79 was just as good as Dawson's. His 1980-1986 were actually better than Andre, but bolstered by Fenway. His SLG during the Eighties was pretty average for a guy hitting in Boston...I don't get it...

Finally, the Raines total is a joke, as is the whole Hall of Fame. The less we talk about this, the better, as far as I'm concerned; it's yet another mockery in baseball...

Posted by: zorp at January 8, 2008 4:55 PM

I didn't think Raines would get in simply because to HOF voters en masse he is probably not a "first ballot" guy but to not even break 25% is ridiculous. Rickey is a first ballot guy (I get that) but Raines is only 33% (or so) of his tally. Absurd.

Posted by: jim at January 8, 2008 5:08 PM

Crank, did the HOF announcement include Veteran's Committee picks, or are they announced on a separate date?

Posted by: DubiousD at January 9, 2008 2:14 PM

They picked them already - five non-players (two managers, Dick Williams and Billy Southworth; two owners, Walter O'Malley and Barney Dreyfuss; and a commissioner, Bowie Kuhn).

Posted by: The Crank at January 9, 2008 2:19 PM

Rocky Colavito got overlooked again, huh?

Posted by: DubiousD at January 9, 2008 6:40 PM

We're about to enter an era of considerable lowering of Hall of Fame standards. The baseball writers way way way overexaggerate both "character" and the actual performance enhancement to be derived from steroid use, not to mention their callous willingness to abandon bedrock principles like presumptions of innocence. They are going to shun legit first ballot types like McGwire (yes McGwire), Bonds, Clemens etc and they are going to uplift the unworthy likes of Rice, Dawson, and all manner of 1-inning closers. Those of use who care about objectivity in determining the Hall of Fame membership need to seriously campaign to substitute sabermetricians and players for sports journalists in the voting process.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at January 16, 2008 1:56 PM
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