Tag Archives: Raines

3 make Hall of Fame. Posada one and done.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

A few days ago, I wrote about how it was appearing that Jorge Posada would be one and done in the Hall of Fame balloting. Unfortunately, that came to pass as Posada only got 3.8% of the vote, short of the 5% needed to stay on the ballot for another year.

It amazes me how people like Posada, Bernie, Cone, Tino, Wells and O’Neill could fall off the ballot after only a year or two. I’m not saying they are Hall of Famers. I’m saying that I’m surprised they didn’t last longer on the ballot.

Here are the vote totals. 75% was needed for induction.

Some notes on some.

Jeff Bagwell, 381 votes, 86.2%
Tim Raines, 380 votes, 86.0%
Ivan Rodriguez, 336 votes, 76.0%
Trevor Hoffman, 327 votes, 74.0% Missed by 5 votes.
Vladimir Guerrero, 317 votes, 71.7% Just missed by 15 votes.
Edgar Martinez, 259 votes, 58.6%
Roger Clemens, 239 votes, 54.1% Picking up steam despite the PED allegations.
Barry Bonds, 238 votes, 53.8% See Clemens.
Mike Mussina, 229 votes, 51.8% Nice pickup in voting.
Curt Schilling, 199 votes, 45.0% Recent comments hurt him.
Lee Smith, 151 votes, 34.2%
Manny Ramirez, 105 votes, 23.8%
Larry Walker, 97 votes, 21.9%
Fred McGriff, 96 votes, 21.7% 493 HR, no steroids, no respect.
Jeff Kent, 74 votes, 16.7% One of best hitting 2B ever. 377 HR
Gary Sheffield, 59 votes, 13.3% 509 HR and ….
Billy Wagner, 45 votes, 10.2% Probably better stats than Hoffman
Sammy Sosa, 38 votes, 8.6%

Jorge Posada, 17 votes, 3.8% Too bad off ballot so soon.
Magglio Ordonez, 3 votes, 0.7%
Edgar Renteria, 2 votes, 0.5%
Jason Varitek, 2 votes, 0.5%
Tim Wakefield, 1 vote,0.2%
Casey Blake, 0 votes, 0.0%
Pat Burrell, 0 votes, 0.0%
Orlando Cabrera, 0 votes, 0.0%
Mike Cameron, 0 votes, 0.0%
J.D. Drew, 0 votes, 0.0%
Carlos Guillen, 0 votes, 0.0%
Derrek Lee, 0 votes, 0.0%
Melvin Mora, 0 votes, 0.0%
Arthur Rhodes, 0 votes, 0.0%
Freddy Sanchez, 0 votes, 0.0%
Matt Stairs, 0 votes, 0.0%

So Raines gets in. Long overdue in my opinion. 2605 hits. 808 SB. .294. OPS+ 123. One of the best leadoff hitters ever. 1979-2002. Expos, White Sox, Yankees, A’s, Expos again, Orioles and Marlins. Member of 1996 and 1998 Yankees, albeit as a part-timer then. 7x all star. 3x top 10 in MVP voting. Runnerup for 1981 ROY. Led league in runs scored 2x, batting average once, SB 4x. Doubles once. 162 g. average .294-11-63 with 52 SB.

Bagwell 1991-2005, all with Houston. 449 HR. .297. OPS+ 149 which is outstanding. ROY 1991. MVP 1994. Top 10 in MVP 5x, runnerup in 1999. 4x All Star. Led league in runs scored 3x, doubles once, RBI once. 100 or more RBI 8x, led league once, averaged 106 walks/yr. For a 1B, 202 steals, did 30/30 twice. Led league in walks once. Avg. `162 g. .297-34-115, 15 SB.

Rodriguez 1991-2011. Rangers, Tigers, Yankees (where he was lousy, just 3 RBI in 33 games) Astros, Rangers again, Nationals. 1999 MVP. 2844 hits. 14x All star. 13 Gold Gloves. 4x Top 10 MVP voting. For a catcher, 17 x had 100 or more games in a season. OPS+ 106. 162 g. ave: .296-20-85.

Ok. There are rumors about Bagwell and Rodriguez’ PED usage. Sosa didn’t pick up ground, but Bonds and Clemens did. Manny Ramirez came in low despite his 555 HR because of his two suspensions for PED usage. Where these voters stand on PED usage is anyone’s guess.

As for next year’s newcomers to the ballot, I expect Chipper Jones and Jim Thome to get in, and Andruw Jones to miss out.

This year’s HOF ballot

Chad Jennings gives his take on the LoHud blog, here is mine:

An X symbolizes who I would vote for if I had a vote. I believe voters can vote for up to 10. I choose seven.

The full list of candidates
Roberto Alomar X
Kevin Appier
Harold Baines
Bert Blyleven X
Ellis Burks
Andre Dawson X
Andres Galarraga
Pat Hentgen
Mike Jackson
Eric Karros
Ray Lankford
Barry Larkin X
Edgar Martinez
Don Mattingly
Fred McGriff X
Mark McGwire
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Tim Raines X
Shane Reynolds
David Segui
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell X
Robin Ventura
Todd Zeile

Some are close calls. Parker, Murphy, Morris, Smith are to me, all close but no cigar. Others will disagree. Baines and Edgar are tough calls because of the DH. You would like to recognize their obvious offensive talents, but do you also detract because of the fact that their stats were padded because of the DH? Gallaraga good, but voters may (and count myself) take Colorado into account. McGwire in my mind, still needs to be “penalized.” Maybe one day the steroid era will be taken into account and something done about it. Until then the only way to get your point across is to keep them out of the HOF or make them wait until the very last ballot.

As for Donnie Baseball, you really wish you could vote for him. But the two distinctly separate careers hurt him. Awesome 1984-1989. Good 1990-1995. He needed more of those awesome years.

Some guys have better numbers than you’d think. Did you know that Ellis Burks hit .291 with 352 HR? Compare him to say Parker (.290, 339 HR) or Murphy (.265, 398 HR).

So, my magnificent seven:

Alomar. One of, if not THE, best second basemen I’ve ever seen. (Figure 1967 on). Right up there with Morgan at his peak. A five-tool player.  .300, 210 HR, 474 SB and 10 GG. Five top-six MVP finishes. A leader and star on three different playoff teams (Blue Jays, Orioles and Indians). To me, he—more than anyone—symbolized those 1991-1993 Toronto teams that won 3 division titles and 2 WS. 2724 hits. It’s still inexplicable to me his dropoff from 2001 to 2002 when he seemed to still have three or four more great years left. Only 33 in his last great year. The 1992 ALCS MVP.

Blyleven. I wish Kaat and John were on the ballot. All three are thisclose. Long careers. 280+ wins. Years of dominance, many years of very good. Tough calls on all three. Blyleven was only once a 20-game winner but wound up with 287 wins, a 118 ERA+ and 3701 K’s. On the 1979 Pirate and 1987 Twins WS Championship teams. 3.31 ERA (Kaat 283 wins, 1982 Cards at the end of his career, 3.45 ERA, 107 ERA+ Higher ERA and ERA+ 3x 20-game winner; John 288 wins, 3.34, 110 ERA+; Blyleven slightly better ERA+ than Kaat and John. 3x 20-game winner). All three are close. Kaat and John aren’t on the ballot however, and Bert is. The ERA+ for Bert is better. I feel he (3.31, 287 wins 118 ERA+) is much more deserving (despite one 20 win season) than Morris (3.90 ERA, 105 ERA+ but 3x 20-game winner).

Dawson. Knees ravaged from the turf in Montreal. But still 8 GG. “Only” .279 but over 2770 hits, 438 HR. Over 300 SB. 1987 MVP. Runnerup in 1981 and 1983. ROY 1977. He has his detractors, and his limited postseason play saw poor numbers.   

Larkin. I truly believe that you have to hold middle infielders to a different standard. You can’t compare Larkin and Trammell to a Parker, Murphy or McGwire. SS to OF/1B/DH are like apples to oranges, especially defensively. The 1995 MVP finished his career with a superb (for a SS) .295 BA and stole 379 SB. A 12X All-Star. HIt .338 in 17 postseason games.

Trammell. I jump to him to keep the SS together. Larkin had 2340 hits and a 162 g. average of .295-15-71-28 SB. Trammell was slightly below, .285 with 2365 hits. His 162 g. average was .285-13-71 with 17 SB. OPS+ numbers? Trammell 110, Larkin 116. Edge Larkin, but Trammell isn’t that far behind. Runnerup for the 1987 MVP in a close vote, and winner of the 1984 WS MVP. Once again, his postseason numbers are similar to Larkin—.333 in 13 games.

McGriff. Ok, he might be “borderline.” But his 493 HR (same as Gehrig) look more impressive when you compare him to the steroid boys. The Crime Dog had a .284 BA and an excellent 134 OPS+. His acquisition by Atlanta in 1993 enabled the Braves to catch SF in a truly remarkable pennant race for the NL West (the Braves moved to the NL East in 1994 when the two divisions became three and the wild-card [not needed with the 1994 strike] came into being). Never hit 40 but was remarkably consistent. 34-36-35-31-35-37-34 (strike year)-from 1988-1994. Six top-10 MVP finishes. Quiet and did his job. … and one of the worst trades the Yankees ever made when the Yanks traded the then-minor leaguer after the 1982 season. Hit .303 in the postseason with 10 HR.

Raines. I got into an argument with people several years ago and still defend Raines, who was one of the greatest leadoff hitters ever—only to be overshadowed by his contemporary, Rickey Henderson. Just look at last year, when Rickey made the HOF. Raines didn’t steal 1406 bases like Rickey, but 808 surely isn’t shabby, not to mention .294 and over 2600 hits.  

Those are my picks. If given a ballot, who would you vote for?

Interesting though….with McGriff, Alomar, Raines and Dawson on my list, it would be Canada’s (Toronto and Montreal) year.

Rickey selected to HOF. Rice joins him on his last try.

Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice have been selected to the HOF. They will join the late Joe Gordon, who was selected by the Veterans Committee. Rickey got 94.8% of the vote. Now to find out who the 5.2% are who left him off. They should turn in their ballots. Jim Rice’s total? 76.4%. It was his 15th and last year on the writer’s ballot and he made it…. by just 1.4%, but he made it.

3rd was Andre Dawson with 67%. Maybe next year. Blyleven got 62.7%. Maybe next year for him, too. But the Hawk and Blyleven do need significant jumps to that magic 75% mark. Meanwhile, Tim Raines only got 22% of the vote, and the BBWAA should be ashamed of themselves. Henderson was probably the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time, but Raines wasn’t far behind…definitely top 10 if not top 5. Only 22%? For shame.

Rickey, I would guess, would go in as an Athletic. He was with the A’s 1979-1984, Yankees 1985-1989, A’s II 1989-1993, Blue Jays 1993, A’s III 1994-1995, SD 1996-1997, Angels 1997, A’s IV 1998, Mets 1999-2000, Seattle 2000, SD II 2001, Boston 2002 and the Dodgers 2003. His A’s tenure sounds like Billy Martin’s tenure as Yankee manager. You need the roman numerals.

Nevertheless, 3055 hits, 2nd all-time in walks with 2190. 4th in games played, the all-time leader in runs scored. 297 HR. A record 1406 SB, which is 468 more than the #2 man (Lou Brock). Power with speed. A 162 g. average of .279-16-59-74 SB with 115 walks. OPS+ 127. The 1990 MVP. 2nd in 1981, 3rd in 1985. Three other top-10 finishes. A record 130 SB in a season (1982). The Yankee team record of 93 in 1988. Three seasons of 100 or more SB. A LF, with the Yanks he played more CF than LF. In the postseason, Rickey played in 14 series (combined), hitting .284-5-20 and stealing 33 bases in 60 games. The 1989 ALCS MVP.

Rice’s career tailed off after the age of 33. He spent his entire career with the Red Sox, playing from 1974-1989. 382 HR, .298 average. 3x AL HR leader. 2x RBI leader. The 1978 MVP (Guidry was 2nd). But from 1975-1986, he finished in the top five for MVP six times. Six times top-five in a 12 year period. 128 OPS+. He missed the 1975 WS due to injury (a year in which Fred Lynn won both the ROY and MVP; Rice was 2nd in ROY and 3rd in MVP that year). If he could have played, who knows? Maybe there would have been no talk of the “Curse of the Bambino,” and maybe the big Red machine of the 1970s would have the same rep as the Braves of the 1990s…as a team that was always there but only won it all once. And….maybe Joe Morgan would be quiet.

As it was, Rice only made two postseasons and one WS. Three postseason series. In 18 postseason games, Rice only hit .225-2-7 in 71 AB. That didn’t help his HOF cause, nor did the fact that he DH’d in over 500 games. Still, the BA and power…and to me anyway, those six top-five MVP finishes in 12 years (and yes, we do know that the BBWAA vote is very shaky a lot of the time) put him in.

Looking at this, you wonder why Rice had to wait so long (from baseball reference):

Black Ink: Batting – 33 (49) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink: Batting – 176 (57) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting – 43.0 (114) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting – 144.5 (89) (Likely HOFer > 100)

McGwire lost 10 votes. Down to 21.9% of the vote. Seeing what is going on with him, you have to think Bonds and Clemens are also in trouble down the road. Not to mention Sosa, Juan Gonzalez and some others. If there is even a whiff of suspicion…

Rich “Goose” Gossage makes the Hall of Fame

2:55 p.m. Rich “Goose” Gossage has made the HOF. He was the only member voted in by the BBWAA. He received 86% of the vote.

Goose was 124-107 with 310 saves in his career, but look past the numbers. His breed of closer was the kind that didn’t just go one inning (no offense to Mo). From 1975-1985, Goose never had an ERA over 3 (except for 1976, when he started). FOUR times his ERA was under 2.00 in that span, and in 1975 it was 1.84 in 141 2/3 innings—all in relief, and in 1977 it was 1.62 in 133 innings. That is significant work—the work of someone coming in in the 7th inning or 8th inning and who had no safety net behind him. Heck, all you have to do is look at the “Bucky Dent” game, Oct. 2nd, 1978. Game 163 for the A.L. East title. Loser goes HOME. NO WILD CARD. Goose got the last eight, count them, EIGHT outs in that game. Granted he walked a tightrope with 2 on when he got Yaz to pop up for the last out, but he went 2 2/3 for the save. Oh yeah, that year he just missed yet another sub-2.00 ERA. He wound up with a 2.01 in 134 1/3 IP.

In three years, 1975, 1977 and 1978, Gossage pitched a total of 409 innings in 195 games. That is an average of 2.08 IP per appearance.

I didn’t hear what hat would be on the “Goose’s” plaque. After all, he pitched for the White Sox, Pirates, Padres, Cubs, Giants, Rangers, A’s and Mariners besides the Yanks. My guess is that it will be a Yankees cap. It seems to be where Goose had his greatest seasons, and it’s where he won his only World Series ring (1978). The Hall makes the call. Can there be a blank cap? Sure. Before the Hall took control and the players asked for a certain team’s cap, Catfish Hunter couldn’t decide on the A’s or Yanks. The “Cat” has a blank cap on his plaque.

I heard Keith Law on Jim Rice. I disagree with Law entirely, and really have to blast him. I’d love to know Law’s age. I’m 46 and was 16 in 1978. I saw Rice’s whole career, a career that saw six top-5 MVP finishes in 12 years. It was a time when Graig Nettles could lead the A.L. with 32 HRs (1976). You have to compare him to his time, and Rice was one of the top hitters in the A.L. from 1975-1986. Law’s argument on ESPNEWS was ridiculous, and I don’t think he saw Rice in his prime. I think he is strictly going by the numbers, and even though I’m a stats guy, I’m also going by what I saw. Let’s face it, if Law is say, 35 years old, then he was born in 1972 and was 14 when Rice had his last prime year. Believe it or not, this was one argument when Steve Phillips was right.

Jim Rice missed by just 16 votes. Next year he will be in his last year on the ballot, and no one who has gotten this close has missed out. I think it will be a shame if Rice misses out.

In his first year on the ballot, Tim Raines got only 24%. I have to wonder what the heck the voters were thinking there. He is one of the best leadoff men EVER. .294. 2605 hits and 1330 walks equal 3935 times on base right there. 808 steals. The only man EVER (nope, Rickey didn’t do it) to have six consecutive years of 70 or more steals. Isn’t that what you want? A leadoff guy who gets on base and can steal a base? A winning ballplayer. The best Expos teams were those with Raines and Dawson on them (outside of 1994). The White Sox went ten years without a playoff appearance (1983 to 1993). Who was on the 1993 team to help lead them to the playoffs? Raines. In 1996 the Yanks won their first World Series in 18 years. Who was on the team (albeit only as a backup?) Raines. Hearing Phillips on Raines, he is back to his ridiculous self.

Of all the newcomers next year, only two stand out. Rickey Henderson is a bona-fide first ballot Hall-of-Famer, and will deservedly get in with his 3055 hits and 1406 stolen bases. In my opinion, the only other newcomer next year who will draw some support will be David Cone, but Cone comes up short of HOF consideration. With 194 career wins, Cone probably needed 50 more for true consideration, and I’d be shocked if he gets over 30% of the vote.

As for others, Andre Dawson got 66% (looks good for him in the future), and Bert Blyleven received 62%. As for Mark McGwire, no significant bump from last year, either up or down. He got about 23.5% last year, and received only 23.6% this year. Ironically, the number of votes for him were the same.

Player Votes Pct.
Goose Gossage 466 85.8
Jim Rice 392 72.2 (16 short)
Andre Dawson 358 65.9
Bert Blyleven 336 61.9
Lee Smith 235 43.3
Jack Morris 233 42.9
Tommy John 158 29.1
Tim Raines 132 24.3
Mark McGwire 128 23.6
Alan Trammell 99 18.2
Dave Concepcion 88 16.2
Don Mattingly 86 15.8
Dave Parker 82 15.1
Dale Murphy 75 13.8
Harold Baines 28 5.2

Others receiving votes

(or, as I call it, THESE IDIOTS SHOULD HAVE THEIR VOTING RIGHTS REVOKED):

Rod Beck 2, Travis Fryman 2, Robb Nen 2, Shawon Dunston 1, Chuck Finley 1,
David Justice 1, Chuck Knoblauch 1, Todd Stottlemyre 1.

6:40 p.m. Something I should have added before. In 1985, the Yanks won 97 games, as they were led by Henderson, Mattingly and Winfield. The rest of the lineup was a bit shaky. For example, Don Baylor had 23 HR and 91 RBI but only hit .231. Pags had 19 HR but only hit .239. Wynegar hit .223, Meacham .218 (Yup, the same Bobby Meacham who is the new 3B coach) The pitching saw a good bullpen but outside of Ron Guidry (22-6, 3.27 in his last good year) the starting pitching was suspect. Still, 97 wins. Not enough. 2 games back of Toronto, and no wild card back then.

Now suppose if Goose would have stayed in NY and been the closer in 1985. Suppose Righetti had remained in the rotation. Goose went 5-3, 1.82 with 26 saves in S.D. that year. Granted he pitched less innings than Righetti, but who knows how many innings would have been needed by Goose in NY if Rags solidified the rotation. Righetti went 12-7 with 29 saves and a 2.78 ERA. The 1985 Yankees had 24 starts that year from Dennis Rasmussen (16) and Marty Bystrom (8). Combined they were 6-7, 4.48. 11 other starts were by spot starters/long relievers Rich Bordi and Bob Shirley. There was 35 starts. You know that if Rags had those 35 starts, he would have done better than that quartet (and Bordi and Shirley could have been bullpen only). Who knows. Had Goose stayed and been the closer in 1985 with Rags in the rotation, maybe Donnie Baseball would have been in the playoffs in his prime rather than at the close of his career. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. We’ll never know, but we can speculate…