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Thread: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

  1. #61
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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    No question in my mind, having seen both of them play, that Dale Murphy was a better player at his peak than Jim Rice was at his...and of course, as this is a discussion of HoF-caliber players, that's not saying anything bad about Rice. Murphy had so many different ways to beat you...with the long ball, with the place hit, on the basepaths, with the glove. I don't recall him ever having a bad game, because even if he went 0-for-4, he could still draw a walk, steal a base, or make a throw from the outfield. He tailed off quite a bit at the end and became more one-dimensional; I know he had some injuries, but I remember at the time wondering what the heck happened.

    Trammell is a borderline case; I'm as inclined to keep him out. He was basically a glove guy who managed to hit. I don't even recall the Tigers ever really basing their team around him - it was the tandem of Trammell and Sweet Lou Whitaker. Together, they were phenomenal, and much more than the sum of their parts. Trammell himself, well...his career averages out to 167 hits a full year, with 13 HR, 71 RBI, and 17 steals. He earned 4 Gold Gloves (early on) and 3 Silver Sluggers (later on) at shortstop - in other words, whenever Cal had an off-year. His defense was helped by having Whitaker next to him (though to his credit, there was a parade of palookas at third he had to cover for).

    And all the "positional talent" or whatever the phraseology is a bit overblown. Yeah, there were more Mendozas at short in those days, but the position was in the midst of being redefined. There were other shortstops with some pop in their bat who were playing earlier - Roy Smalley comes to mind. Besides, if you do play the positional argument, you have to pick up the non-statistical slack by performing at that position. Trammell's defense was remarkably solid, and he earned the Gold Gloves. Cal Ripken may have been able to get into the HoF on his glove alone, and Ozzie Smith changed the game he was in so much by being at SS that it completely overshadowed his bat. Trammell, with one or two notable years as exceptions, wasn't the most valuable, game-changing player on his own team.

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  2. #62
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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    How about if I say that I think Lou Whitaker belongs in the Hall as well, and I think it's borderline insanity that he fell off the ballot on his first try? Bobby Grich, though, is the greatest all-time HoF snub in the middle infield. That guy's so overqualified that it's ridiculous he didn't get the writers support and is now being overlooked by the Veteran's Committee.

  3. #63
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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by oriole^ View Post
    No question in my mind, having seen both of them play, that Dale Murphy was a better player at his peak than Jim Rice was at his...and of course, as this is a discussion of HoF-caliber players, that's not saying anything bad about Rice. Murphy had so many different ways to beat you...with the long ball, with the place hit, on the basepaths, with the glove. I don't recall him ever having a bad game, because even if he went 0-for-4, he could still draw a walk, steal a base, or make a throw from the outfield. He tailed off quite a bit at the end and became more one-dimensional; I know he had some injuries, but I remember at the time wondering what the heck happened.
    Agree completely. Murphy was a VERY special player in his CF days. I was too young for that, but I recall the later period of his career, where he moved to RF, was on TBS every day, and where his main purpose was to hit home runs. However, even then, a game wouldn't go by where some mention wasn't made about Murphy's early 80s play, or his sportsmanship. Murphy is true baseball, and that's the best argument I can make to myself for him as a HOFer. I want him to be in, but I couldn't vote for him if I had a vote. I'm too strict about what I think makes a HOFer. He's one MVP shy, or maybe one GG shy, or 50 HRs shy. Pretty much any ONE additional, tangible feat from him would get him on my hypothetical HOF ballot.

    Trammell is a borderline case; I'm as inclined to keep him out. He was basically a glove guy who managed to hit. I don't even recall the Tigers ever really basing their team around him - it was the tandem of Trammell and Sweet Lou Whitaker. Together, they were phenomenal, and much more than the sum of their parts. Trammell himself, well...his career averages out to 167 hits a full year, with 13 HR, 71 RBI, and 17 steals. He earned 4 Gold Gloves (early on) and 3 Silver Sluggers (later on) at shortstop - in other words, whenever Cal had an off-year. His defense was helped by having Whitaker next to him (though to his credit, there was a parade of palookas at third he had to cover for).

    And all the "positional talent" or whatever the phraseology is a bit overblown. Yeah, there were more Mendozas at short in those days, but the position was in the midst of being redefined. There were other shortstops with some pop in their bat who were playing earlier - Roy Smalley comes to mind. Besides, if you do play the positional argument, you have to pick up the non-statistical slack by performing at that position. Trammell's defense was remarkably solid, and he earned the Gold Gloves. Cal Ripken may have been able to get into the HoF on his glove alone, and Ozzie Smith changed the game he was in so much by being at SS that it completely overshadowed his bat. Trammell, with one or two notable years as exceptions, wasn't the most valuable, game-changing player on his own team.
    Agreed again, and couldn't have said it better.

    Trammell was a great player, there's no doubt. But I can't see him as a Hall guy. He just wasn't *that* special. In my opinion, the line for a Hall of Fame shortstop is somewhere between Trammell and Larkin. Larkin dominated his position in his league for a decade, was incredibly consistent, greatly exceeded the offensive expectations for the position, and had a fantastic glove as well. Trammell did these things to a lesser extent, with slightly less impressive career stats. If Cal Ripken never existed, or had played some other position, Trammell might have a far better HOF case, because he'd have more Silver Sluggers and way more All Star game starts.

    I believe that the best players at their position in their decade should all be automatics. Unfortunately for Trammell, Ripken owned SS for about 15 years. Furthermore, Trammell was never spectacular, was only GG or SS caliber for a few years at a time, and has a total career value that pales in comparison to what I consider to be a standard HOFer.

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Here's a rough test that one can do when evaluating a player for the Hall of Fame. Take a look at the shortstops in the Hall. Compare Trammell to them. Of that list, we can throw out George Wright and Leo Durocher as they got in for reasons beyond their playing record. Jay Bell's there because he's on the ballot, so throw him out, but let's add Ernie Banks. He didn't make the cutoff because most of his games came at first base but, clearly, he's in because of his time at shortstop. So, that's 20 guys.

    In my opinion, these guys are better than Trammell: Honus Wagner, Arky Vaughan, George Davis, Robin Yount, Cal Ripken, Luke Appling, Ozzie Smith, Ernie Banks, and Joe Cronin. That's 9 guys. The 11 that I find worse than Trammell are Lou Boudreau, Bobby Wallace, Hughie Jennings, Joe Sewell, Travis Jackson, Pee Wee Reese, Joe Tinker, Phil Rizzuto, Luis Aparicio, Rabbit Maranville, and Dave Bancroft.

    Using that, for me, Trammell fits in squarely in the middle of Hall of Fame shortstops. In my opinion, such a player is more than deserving of being inducted.

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Trammell and Larkin's career stats are nearly identical, by the way. I'd rank Larkin ahead of Trammell because he had more seasons at a high level, but I think both are more than qualified for the Hall. Yes, Trammell was overshadowed by Cal Ripken while Larkin had no real competitors until the A-Rod/Jeter/Nomar era, but I don't hold that against Trammell. Personally, I look strictly at what that player provided, how it compares to other Hall of Famers, and my own, somewhat nebulous, standard of a Hall of Famer.


    Also, just for one other perspective, Baseball Think Factory's Hall of Merit has inducted Trammell and ranked him 15th amongst their 25 shortstops, which includes Negro Leaguers and some players that aren't in the Hall of Fame such as Bill Dahlen (and also includes George Wright, who I dismissed above, on the basis of his play in the National Association).

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonGM View Post
    How about if I say that I think Lou Whitaker belongs in the Hall as well, and I think it's borderline insanity that he fell off the ballot on his first try? Bobby Grich, though, is the greatest all-time HoF snub in the middle infield. That guy's so overqualified that it's ridiculous he didn't get the writers support and is now being overlooked by the Veteran's Committee.
    I'd say at least you were consistent.

    I can't give an opinion on Grich; I'm too biased. I remember when I was a kid and he signed with the Angels...I was so broken-hearted I ripped up a picture of him in his Orioles cap and stuck in on the wall next to my desk. Tough loss to take for a kid.

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by oriole^ View Post
    I'd say at least you were consistent.

    I can't give an opinion on Grich; I'm too biased. I remember when I was a kid and he signed with the Angels...I was so broken-hearted I ripped up a picture of him in his Orioles cap and stuck in on the wall next to my desk. Tough loss to take for a kid.
    That is the saddest story ever

    The only people who left the Mariners while I was still pretty young that I can remember was Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr. Neither was truly upsetting though because Griffey got to play where he wanted and as a Kid I was more in to offense than pitching so Johnson wasn't heart breaking for me. Plus, both were traded.

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonGM View Post
    In my opinion, these guys are better than Trammell: Honus Wagner, Arky Vaughan, George Davis, Robin Yount, Cal Ripken, Luke Appling, Ozzie Smith, Ernie Banks, and Joe Cronin. That's 9 guys. The 11 that I find worse than Trammell are Lou Boudreau, Bobby Wallace, Hughie Jennings, Joe Sewell, Travis Jackson, Pee Wee Reese, Joe Tinker, Phil Rizzuto, Luis Aparicio, Rabbit Maranville, and Dave Bancroft.
    I don't have enough time right now to re-analyze all these players, but I probably wouldn't consider many (maybe most) of those 11 players as more deserving than Trammell. Off the top of my head, I'd say Reese and Aparicio are more deserving because they were the cream of the crop in their time, for a more prolonged period than Trammell. I weigh both YBY awards/accolades and career totals pretty evenly.

    Again though, I'm a small Hall guy. As a result, I try to avoid looking at the current HOF to measure my judgment of players, because there's already a slew of players in there that I would disagree with.

    More than anything, I think it's hard for me to see Trammell as a HOFer. He fits pretty squarely into the era in which I started to take up a huge interest in baseball, and I can't say I ever recall him being a standout player. Of course, I was either not in existence, or just a little kid, for most of his career, so I'm sure I didn't understand his SABR qualifications. Still, there are numerous players from that era that stand out far, far, FAR more in my mind, and in retrospect, than Trammell.

    It's difficult for me to peg him as a Hall of Famer. But, yet again, small Hall guy here...

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    I tend to think that the size of the Hall of Fame is just right. Of course, I'd disagree on numerous guys that they have included and numerous guys that have not been inducted...which is why I prefer the aforementioned Hall of Merit, as it's intentionally the exact same size as the Hall of Fame, but is also intentionally based purely on performance. I, of course, disagree with some of the inclusions and exclusions of the HoM, as well, but less so than the HoF.

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Some really good arguments. I would take Alomar though because he can spit farther than Trammell. Ha Ha. Both great and should both make it I hope.

    What kind of amazes me is Rice. Yes I saw him play. Yes he was pretty good. Ok numbers, etc. Still not what I would call HOF.

    Apparently since the whole substances issue, alot of older guys who wouldnt have normally made it are now going to make in the next few years. If we werent worried about steroids, McGwire would be in and Rice out. This is gonna be how it is for a long while and should be interesting

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
    What kind of amazes me is Rice. Yes I saw him play. Yes he was pretty good. Ok numbers, etc. Still not what I would call HOF.
    What kind of amazes me is all the writers that claim "If you saw him play, you'd know he's a Hall of Famer", despite the fact that there's a) many people that saw him play that don't think so and b) of the writers closest to his career, only roughly 29% believed he was a Hall of Famer.

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by 200tang View Post
    That is the saddest story ever

    The only people who left the Mariners while I was still pretty young that I can remember was Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr. Neither was truly upsetting though because Griffey got to play where he wanted and as a Kid I was more in to offense than pitching so Johnson wasn't heart breaking for me. Plus, both were traded.
    Seriously, I was furious when they traded both of them. I was upset in FEB 2000 when Griffey asked then demanded a trade.

    Randy Johnson was totally not putting his best stuff forward in 1998. Take a look at his HOuston stats and tell me otherwise. Johnson is an SOB.

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonGM View Post
    Here's a rough test that one can do when evaluating a player for the Hall of Fame. Take a look at the shortstops in the Hall. Compare Trammell to them.
    Ah, yes, but you also said, earlier in this very thread, oh-ye-who-often-quote-yourself :

    Murphy, to me, clearly has the better Hall of Fame case than Rice, but I don't ever want to use that "If Player, then Player B" argument, because then you can easily say "If Jesse Haines, than every league-average pitcher that played for 10 full seasons".
    You call it the Jesse Haines Test; I call it the Pee Wee Reese Test. Your Mileage May Vary.

    That's no knock against you, btw. The Hall of Fame isn't an exact science and doesn't have the clear admission standards - and IMHO, I think that's a good thing. The impetus for creating a "Hall of Merit" is so one can just trot out the stats and prove one's case beyond a shadow of a doubt without ever having to resort to "saw him play" arguments (see elsewhere for my curmudgeonly rants on that), but we must accept that even though baseball is the most stat-heavy sport there is, it is still played on a field of grass on a summer day, and as such, not everything the players or teams do is or should be reflected in a number. We can argue whether Jack Nicholson is a better actor than Al Pacino, or whether we should place Tom Hanks in a class with either of them, without denigrating the fact that they are all tremendously talented actors, regardless of the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and so on.

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    Re: As expected, Henderson and Rice inducted into Hall of Fame

    Quote Originally Posted by oriole^ View Post
    Ah, yes, but you also said, earlier in this very thread, oh-ye-who-often-quote-yourself :

    You call it the Jesse Haines Test; I call it the Pee Wee Reese Test. Your Mileage May Vary.
    There's a difference. I wouldn't use ONE player to justify another player. I wouldn't say "Alan Trammell is better than Rabbit Maranville, so he belongs." There's many shortstops better than Rabbit Maranville that don't belong in the Hall. However, when you're better than half the shortstops in the Hall, that's a different story. You're better than the established HoF standard for a shortstop. To me, that makes you a Hall of Famer.

    In other words - being better than the worst Hall of Famer doesn't make you a Hall of Famer, but being better than the average Hall of Famer does.

    The impetus for creating a "Hall of Merit" is so one can just trot out the stats and prove one's case beyond a shadow of a doubt without ever having to resort to "saw him play" arguments (see elsewhere for my curmudgeonly rants on that), but we must accept that even though baseball is the most stat-heavy sport there is, it is still played on a field of grass on a summer day, and as such, not everything the players or teams do is or should be reflected in a number.
    The impetus for creating the Hall of Merit was to identify the best players in baseball history.

    "What is the Baseball Hall of Merit? A pantheon conceived of by our founder and commissioner Joe Dimino as an alternative to the Baseball Hall of Fame located in Cooperstown. Our purpose is to identify the best players in baseball history and thereby identify the omissions and errors that can be found in the other venerable institution. "

    Here is the really long article that introduced the Hall of Merit.

    Also, the Hall of Merit isn't about giving each player a number and proving cases beyond a shadow of doubt. It's voted upon by a large amount of people, and there's often significant disagreements among the voters because, as I said in another thread, even when using statistics, there's plenty, PLENTY of room to disagree. The HoM follows a different voting procedure than the HoF. Instead of being a pure yes/no vote and players with X% of the yes vote getting in, each voter submits a ranked ballot of 15 players (and players never become ineligible. They recently inducted John McGraw after over 100 years on the ballot). Each player gets pointed based on where the voter placed him on the ballot, and, currently, the top 3 players in points make the HoM each year, which means that sometimes players get elected without getting majority support from all the voters, but while getting top-ballot support from a good amount of voters and lower-ballot support from the rest. For past years, it was a different number each year but a lot of work went into figuring out just how many candidates should be elected each year. It was designed to match the number of Hall of Fame players exactly (and since the HoF also elected 3 players this year, the pace is kept).

    We can argue whether Jack Nicholson is a better actor than Al Pacino, or whether we should place Tom Hanks in a class with either of them, without denigrating the fact that they are all tremendously talented actors, regardless of the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and so on.
    I'm not following this point. We can argue over which baseball players are better than others, with a higher level of accuracy because often times it's not a case of personal preference, while using statistics, without denigrating the fact that all the players in the discussion are tremendously talented ballplayers. In order to even be remotely close to the discussion of the Hall of Fame (or the Hall of Merit), you had to have been a very talented player.

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