The Baseball Hall Of Fame Ballot

As members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) begin to fill out their ballots for the Hall of Fame this year, they are confronted with the names of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa for the first time. I think there is a greater chance that Nancy Pelosi will be the Tea Party’s nominee for President in 2016 than there is that any of these three gentlemen will make it to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Therefore, instead of focusing on those three names, I would like to look at a few other folks on the ballot and offer an opinion.

    Edgar Martinez: Many think that he spent his entire career as a DH; he did not; he also played third base. His career batting average was .312 and his career OPS was .933. There are plenty of players in the HoF with less impressive hitting stats.

    Jeff Bagwell: Career batting average was .297 and career OPS was .948.

    Larry Walker: Career batting average was .313 and career OPS was .965.

    Dale Murphy: He won the NL MVP Award two years in a row. Only about a dozen players in the history of baseball ever won the MVP Award in consecutive seasons.

    Mike Piazza: This is his first year of eligibility too. He had a career batting average of .308 and an OPS of .922. Comparing his numbers with those of Martinez, Bagwell and Walker, he surely should not go in on the first ballot.

With regard to Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, I wonder if it would be inappropriate for folks to needle them after they do not make it into the Hall on the first ballot. Just asking…

Yesterday, I posed a question to Sixers’ fans asking how the Andrew Bynum trade was working out. That generated a comment from a reader and a response from me. However, as I was composing the response, I realized that there was a corollary question that I had not asked:

    Question: How is the Andrew Bynum trade working out?

    Corollary Question: Is Andrew Bynum working out on his own yet?

College football coaches are starting to grab seats before the music stops in their annual employment shuffle. Boston College, North Carolina State, Arkansas and Auburn have filled their jobs creating new openings at places like Temple, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and Arkansas State. The interesting name still out there looking for a place to land is Bobby Petrino. I know; Petrino comes with enough baggage that he qualified as a finalist for American Tourister’s Man of the Year. But here is the thing about Petrino in college football jobs:

    He wins a lot of games…

On Wall Street, they say price is the great equalizer. A company may be in a stagnant industry and the company may not have any real growth prospects and perhaps it has a disgruntled workforce and the Feds are investigating it for some kind of shady dealings. Even in that condition, it might be worth buying shares in that company if the price of the shares were significantly less than the value one would receive if they just liquidated the company. Bobby Petrino’s teams win lots of college football games and in college football, winning is the great equalizer.

The NHL negotiations reached a point yesterday that presents a classic “glass half full/glass half empty” metaphor.

    Half Full: The two sides met for almost 8 hours yesterday with reports that Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux and Penguins’ co-owner Ron Burkle were working to establish trust on both sides of the table in the folks on the other side of the table. The two sides scheduled meetings again for today. The two sides held a joint press conference after this bargaining session instead of two separate press conferences.

    Half Empty: Neither Gary Bettman nor Donald Fehr participated in yesterday’s meeting; moreover, neither is scheduled to be at today’s meeting. Nothing will be finalized without those two folks in the room at the same time and there is nothing to indicate that either of these gentlemen has bought in to whatever the “Crosby/Lemieux/Burkle” initiative might be.

The most wonderful thing about the Half Full/Half Empty metaphor is that no matter which side of the argument you might want to take, there is one absolute truth conveyed by the metaphor:

    The glass is twice as big as it needs to be. If the glass were half the size, the debate would be over…

I found this item regarding the NHL lockout in Gregg Drinnan’s column in the Kamloops Daily News:

Iain MacIntyre, in the Vancouver Sun, after the NHL cancelled its 2013 All-Star Game: ‘This is the first good thing to come from the lockout because nobody wants to go to Columbus in January so the NHL, a league teetering on a very high ledge, can celebrate itself.’ “

Finally, here is an item from Scott Ostler in the SF Chronicle that will give you just about all you need to know about a WNBA happenstance:

“Retired WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw allegedly smashes an ex-girlfriend’s car window with a baseball bat, then fires a gun into the car. So Chamique can still crash the glass and shoot.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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  • Ed  On December 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Actually, a case can be made Piazza has the best case for induction – he achieved his numbers playing as a catcher (though not well) and primarily in two pitchers parks (Dodger Stadium and Shea). Walker got to play in pre-humidor Coors/mile High. Walker’s ROAD career BA/SLG/OBP is only .278/.495/.865. MUCH worse than Piazza’s .320/.572/.960. Bagwell also hit better at home, with a road of .291/.521/.919

    I’d actually rank them Piazza/Bagwell/Walker/Martinez. Not sure if I put in Martinez, the other 3, yes. Plus they should be sure to get Jack Morris in via the writers, and it is a crime they did not get miller in before he passed.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On December 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm


      Obviously, I think that the quartet of Piazza, Walker, Bagwell and Martinez should all be in or all should be out. They have awfully similar credentials…

      In any event, I do not think Piazza should go in on the first ballot. That is an addition honor bestowed only on the best of the best – – and he does not make it to that stratum as far as I am concerned.

      I agree about both Jack Morris and Marvin Miller. Morris is on the writers’ ballot this year; Miller is not on the Vets’ Committee ballot.

  • Doug  On December 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Dale Murphy was one of favorite players for several years, but his numbers are just not good enough. He had 5-6 good seasons, than feel off considerably. The other four should all be in the HOF, but maybe not on the 1st ballot.

    • Doug  On December 6, 2012 at 11:55 am


    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On December 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm


      I agree that Dale Murphy is a notch below the other players I listed. However, the fact that Murphy was MVP two years in a row puts him in some rare company such as Yogi Berra, Mike Schmidt, Barry Bonds, Joe Morgan, Ernie Banks, Jimmy Foxx, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Not only is that good company to keep, consider the great players who did not accomplish this feat such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Johnny Bench, Roberto Clemente …

  • Ed  On December 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Note Maris is not in the Hall either. Murphy and Maris had some HOF years – but not many of them. To make the Hall, you have to do it well enough, and long enough. Those are two men who did it well enough, but not long enough.

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On December 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm


      I would not vote for Murphy if I had a vote even though I would give him serious consideration because the bar for entry into the HoF has been lowered significantly in the last 10-15 years. I believe Murphy – and Maris too – belong in the Hall of Really Good Players not the Hall of Fame.

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