Hall of Fame blogging

Congratulations to Goose Gossage, who will be inducted this July into the Hall of Fame. Let the Cooperstown postings begin! I voted for him, Mark McGwire (as I did last year) and Lee Smith, as anyone who read this article on MLB.com (or looked at the completed ballot on my office bulletin board) could see. Jim Rice fell 16 votes short of election, and I notice that a significant bloc of that was from our MLB.com voting contingent. Barry Bloom, Carrie Muskat, Marty Noble, Jim Street, T.R. Sullivan and my own vote meant six, so if those change next year and everything else remains the same, that would put him just 10 away. As I told a Red Sox fan who emailed me this morning to ask why I didn’t vote for Rice, I will make a case for why a former player belongs in the pantheon of the legends with the likes of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Ty Cobb, but I will not make a case for why someone doesn’t belong. Let’s just say, though, that I disagree with my colleague Michael Bauman, who said, "Rice clearly meets a central criterion for election: He was dominant in his era." I watched that era and just don’t agree with the word "clearly" in that statement. I don’t think borderline belongs on a wall with the Splendid Splinter. That’s all. Have at it!

Updated 12:42 a.m. Wednesday: I saw my friend Kenny Rosenthal of FOX  said he thinks Rice will get in next year because writers who voted against him this time will swing that way. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe next year there will be a huge swing vote toward Big Mac. There’s no way to tell. I do know that lobbyist emails to me won’t matter.

Welcome to our friend David Mickey Evans, the director of the iconic baseball movie "The Sandlot." He directed the recent movie "The Final Season," which will be out soon on DVD and was a knockout film IMHO, telling the true story of the little Norway High School baseball team in Iowa. To me, it was the baseball equivalent of "Hoosiers," which I loved (as a native Hoosier myself). Now DME has an MLBlog, and it’s your chance to leave comments to a bigtime movie director.

One other trend you will be noticing. More and more clubs are using MLBlogs to communicate directly with their fans, filtering out the media. Another new one launches anytime now, and we’re just waiting for the first post from another. Scott Reifert of the White Sox was the first to do it.

14 Comments

Clearly, legends are a matter of taste. Writers have gotten it right much of the time. I also think they’ve missed the mark a few times — leaving out someone “worthy” and choosing someone “unworthy,” or not legend material. But, all in all, I can live with it. And I hope that Jim Rice can live with it, too. Garvey, far more of a legend in my mind than Rice was (or McGwire would have been w/o steroids), managed to get along with his dis. As it is, I’m thankful that the HOF is an institution that is set up on subjective votes. It makes things far more interesting. — Deidre

ha…that’s because you’re confusing this with a debate. i appreciate your opinions on your blog…like i said, have at it!

mark

Wait a minute, is this Mark actually Mark McGwire? That would explain why you voted for him.

Everytime somebody asks you something or brings up a point it is the same answer: “Thanks for your opinions, blah blah.” Sounds a lot like Big Mac at Congress: Did you do steroids? “I don’t want to talk about the past.” Were you clean? “I don’t want to talk about the past.” What did you have for breakfast? “Thanks for blogging.”

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

Thanks again for your opinions, I’m happy with my vote. Have fun blogging.

Mark

If writers only want to have the greatest of the greatest of the greats in there – the Schmidts, Ripkens, DiMaggios, Ruths – I can support that. The problem is the line (the borderline) has already been set lower by the voters (baseball writers) voting in some less-than worthy Hall of Famers. (I’ll follow Mark’s lead and not go into naming those players as I don’t want to bash good players.) If that extrememly high standard is what you want and you’re going to keep Rice out, there’s a lot of players in the Hall who should be taken out.

And Legends? Lee Smith? Mark . . .

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

“Hall. Of. Fame.”

Clubs typically have their own Halls of Fame. That’s nice. A good gesture. But there is a:

Hall. Of. Fame.

Legends.

Ripken/Gwynn types.

Yes.

Mark,

After reading your blog and the discussion, I did some research and wrote a comparison of Jim Rice to his contemporary Mike Schmidt on my blog. There really was no comparison in statistics between the two. Is that not the argument when talking about the Hall of Fame? It is not whether a player was good or great, but whether they were a legend.

http://philliesphorum.mlblogs.com

Thanks, Dan, I again respect the opinion. Thanks very much!

Thanks, Bill, likewise I appreciate your opinion. I’m not trying to sway anyone either way so I just enjoy the discussion. I earned my vote and I’m proud to have it forever.

Mark

I agree with your reasoning about Jim Rice. To get in the hall of fame you need to be the best of the best. Allowing these borderline players in cheapens the award and lessens the prestige of being a member of the hall.

http://philliesphorum.mlblogs.com

Sorry, one other thing: You said you don’t like voting in “borderline” players. However, by nature, when choosing players of any caliber, a line must be drawn someplace. So, therefore, no matter where you draw that line, there will always be “borderline” players. I agree Rice may be borderline; he isn’t Aaron or Williams. But I think he is on the right side of the border.

(Sorry for the multiple posts.)

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

You see things different, sorry? What about the numbers, Mark? I can appreciate you not wanting to insult a player by not wanting to make a case AGAINST them; but, at the same time, it almost seems like it could be a way to escape/dodge having to defend what may be a baseless opinion or a particular bias against a given player. I am sure it isn’t, but it would be interesting to hear your reasoning. Maybe you can explain how other AL hitters were more dominant during that time? Would love to hear it.

BTW, when you said you and Jayson sometimes see eye-to-eye, for a moment I thought you might have meant my brother (and co-blogger) Jason. You and he both see eye-to-eye on McGuire, which should cause you to immediately reconsider that vote.

Best,

Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

Thanks, Jayson’s my friend and he and I see lots of things the same and lots different. Different on this one. Sorry. I know you’re a Sox fan. Best,

Mark/MLB.com

Mark, I have to take issue with your statement that you watched that era and don’t think Rice was clearly dominant during that time. How did you miss it? He was THE most feared hitter in the A.L. The numbers don’t lie:

(From Jason Stark)From 1975 to 1985, Rice led the AL in home runs, RBIs, runs scored, slugging and extra base hits. And, aside from homers, only George Brett was even close to him in any of those categories.

Also, he has the most MVP votes ever for a player not inducted into the Hall. (I personally feel the number of MVP votes a player receives over his career is more indicative of greatness than, say, a benchmark number for home runs.) His combination of power and batting average was EXTREMELY rare at that time (read: it is unfair to compare him to the current era). The only reason his career average is just a bit under .300 was a couple atrocious years at the end of his career. He wasn’t taking steroids (like that other guy you voted for), to tack on some extra productive years.

I hope you reconsider/re-examine Rice’s case before next year’s vote.

I’ll have a lot more to say on this later on my blog (after my lame brother’s post has had it’s just due).

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

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