A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's Broke and It Needs To Be Fixed

"From my dealings with Cal Ripken Jr. in the past, he was very pleasant, a good ambassador for the game, and his numbers speak for themselves," Ladewski said. "But I don't have enough information on the [steroids] subject to make a decision."

Ok...fair enough. Punish everyone even though there are some guys on the ballot that clearly were free of steroids and giant craniums.

"In an attempt to uphold the Hall of Fame standards established by their predecessors, I will not vote for anyone who played in the 1993-2004 period, which I consider to be the Steroids Era," Ladewski wrote in an e-mail to The Sun last month. "That includes Tony Gwynn, Mark McGwire and Cal Ripken Jr."

Wow. Just a second ago I thought you didn't have enough information on the subject to make a decision and yet you decided that the steroid era was 1993-2004....give or take a year.

I'm not mad about McGwire not getting in obviously since I'm on the fence he should ever get in. I agree with Mr. Ladewski that it's not up to us or him to decide who's guilty of roids, but my point is that it doesn't matter. You have to look at the players and measure them against their era. This period of baseball is in stark contrast to the dead ball era. There is better scouting, better conditioning, better equipment, smaller strike zones, smaller foul areas, smaller parks, and a dearth of solid pitching. Expansion has diluted the talent pool for pitching drastically and the aforementioned factors sure do not help. Just because a player hits 500+ homers does not mean that player should be inducted into the Hall of Fame anymore.

When the top six homerun totals of all time happened in the span of four years and have not been touched since, that must be taken into context when weighing out someone's career in my opinion. And while steroids are not a reason to keep anyone out the Hall of Fame, skewed numbers over a short period time are. What I cannot get over is that Mark McGwire was known as a power hitter and hit 23% of his homeruns in two of his sixteen seasons. Just let that sink in. McGwire was a great ball player for a long time and otherworldly in two seasons. Not cutting it for me. Barry Bonds is a no doubt induction into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot juice or not.

We've been over the fact that cheating has been around the game for a long time and it is not up the writers to factor that stuff in and decide which cheaters were worse. You would like too have the Hall be an honest and pristine thing, but it is hard to make an exact determination as to the effects cheating had on the game if it appreciably inflated everyone's numbers. We can assume that to be the case, but we cannot know beyond a reasonable doubt. However, to abstain from voting anyone in who played over that period is just the wrong thing to do. For one, it is irresponsible. What if Goose Gossage was two votes away from being voted in and the two blank ballots would have put him over the top? To see these writers take the high ground after the majority of them got to where they are by not behaving in the most benevolent of manners is laughable. I'm sure most of these writers never crossed any line in their careers and have always been champions of morality.

“I understand this is an unusually hard-line approach, but I believe it's my responsibility to uphold the Hall of Fame standards in whatever way necessary,” Ladewski said.

The Hall of Fame has been tarnished from letting unworthy players in. There are few standards to uphold at this point. Frankly, it's even more of a mockery that not one player has been voted in unanimously. If anything speaks more to what is wrong with the system, I do not know what does. Babe Ruth? Ted Williams? Hank Aaron? Even Tony Gwynn? C'mon. That really speaks to the human element here of a few writers holding something against these players for some reason and crying about morality or crying about preserving tradition. The only tradition I see with the Hall of Fame is one of self importance. People thinking they are more important than they really are.

“I will say this about unanimity,” said Jack O'Connell, secretary-treasurer of the BBWAA. “I don't think it will ever happen, and am not sure that it should. “What is wrong with dissent? Isn't that part of the American character? Not everybody voted for George Washington or Abe Lincoln, a couple of slam-dunk Hall of Famers, if you ask me. At the risk of being blasphemous, even Jesus did not get a unanimous vote at the Last Supper.”

And why shouldn't it happen? As Jason Stark pointed out, Gwynn's career batting average was higher than anyone else's since Ted Williams played the game and is at least 20 points ahead of everyone else. He hit .350 or better five years in a row and won eight batting titles and finished in the top ten in every full season of his career and in the top five in all but two. 15 time All-Star! Five Gold Gloves! The craziest stat of all is that he struck out fewer than 25 times in each season he hit .350 or better and never struck out more than 40 times and topped 30 only five times. I mean really...what else does the man need to do to garner a vote from everyone? Even if you are abstaining because of roids, Gwynn was a pudgy non-power hitter.

“I personally don't think we look particularly good as a group that we've never had a unanimous Hall of Famer,” ESPN's Tim Kurkjian said. “I mean, really – Willie Mays, Hank Aaron – give me a reason why somebody didn't vote for them. That's preposterous.

“... The fact that we haven't had (a unanimous choice), I don't think that's a tradition we should be preserving. I think it's a tradition we should be ending.”

I find it hard to care about the Hall of Fame and that is the real shame because I love this game.

* * *

  • Ted Robinson is on board with the Mets making a run at Mulder.

    Mulder is a luxury the Mets can afford, a potential top-flight starter who needs time and space to fully recover from surgery.

    The Mets would likely seek assurance of a second year on the contract if Mulder rebounds

    He is the only pitcher out there that has some upside. While it is hard to see him gaining Cy Young candidate form, he is clearly a potential impact arm and we know he is not asking for a lot of years. Seems like a good fit for a team like the Mets who do not necessarily need to add a starter. I get the uncertainty between the young guys and Pedro already, but the Mets have enough arms that they should be confident a few of them actually stick.

  • Rob Neyer chat...

    Brendan (New York, New York) : It's a shame that Paul O'Neill will not be on any future Hall of Fame ballots. He was one of the most fiery competitors to ever play the game and was an integral part of the Yankees dynasty in the late 90s. The guy won five championships and deserves to be in the Hall.

    Ha! Jackass. Brendan my friend, how do you manage to get up and the morning and remember the underwear goes on the inside....actually...maybe I'm being too presumptuous here.

    Peter (Dubuque, Iowa: Thurman Munson should be in the Hall. Yes, he played for only 10 years but he played more games during that time, was ROY, MVP, All Star 7 times, and Gold Glover 3 times.

    Dave (PA): I admit this question is biased, but Donnie Baseball only got 9.9%. Is there any way at all that he is going to get a closer look? Is he going to have to wait for the veterans' committee, if at all?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: I think it's safe to say he's going to have to wait for a long while. He certainly was better than a number of first basemen who are in the Hall, but like Dale Murphy and Alan Trammell he's been overshadowed by the hitters of the 1990s.

    al (DC): gotta love NY-bias, whats next Chad Curtis?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Don't be silly. But you know, Luis Sojo did nothing but win World Serieses.

    If Sojo doesn't get in, it will be an injustice of biblical proportions.

  • It should be noted that Bobby Bonilla received two votes. You'd hope they were jokes, but I just do not know anymore.

  • Enough already...let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame.

  • There are few words that could describe how badical the iPhone is.

    Anonymous benny said...

    Paul Ladewski is a dick head.

    There are no unanomous votes for the same reason you said. These writers feel so important. And one of the worst part is that some of the guys with these votes don't even attend or watch games anymore they're soo old.
    THat's just horrible. I think its about time, the BBWAA allows internet writers some votes.

    For Paul O'Niel I translate "fiery competitor" with "big ass whiny cry baby".

    1:07 AM

    Anonymous DG said...

    ... and how expensive too! (iPhone)

    Just to carry over from yesterday: Concepcion's numbers are better than Vizquel BECAUSE of the higher ERA's these days. He's certainly no Mark Belanger, who played next to Brooks Robinson and was renowned for his glove and nothing else. Anyway, as I said yesterday, he's more of a Veteran's Committee type of choice. Or maybe he's just close without the cigar.

    Ladumbski refuses to vote for two players who clearly didn't use steroids? If he was so upset he had ample choice among some deserving older players, notably Goose Gossage, who really deserves to get in.

    Buster Olney had this long piece yesterday on why he did not vote for Burt Blyleven. He published this bit from Jim Kaat that should have swayed him to voting for the guy:

    "I cringe when I see the reasoning of some writers who are so out of touch with the game," Jim wrote, "and try to make an intelligent decision on who to induct … I tell my colleagues who question some decisions. … IT'S THE WRITERS' HOF … NOT THE PLAYERS.

    "I'm biased about Bert because he was a young protégé of mine … took him under my wing … passed on what Lopat and Sain and Pascual, etc. taught me … his longevity, power/control numbers, shutouts (I think he's right there with the Big Train on 1-0 wins, losses & decisions), ERA, innings pitched, complete games, are very HOF worthy. He was clearly one of the dominant pitchers of his era … was an ACE of the staff … helped a couple teams win World Series -- Pittsburgh and Minnesota … Without trying to sound like Reggie, Bert was a more powerful version of me … I'm being considered by the veterans committee as a 'body of work,' lifetime achievement type candidate … Bert is in that category, but more deserving … I'd pick him over Sutton anytime and Don is a good friend and is worthy of being in the HOF.

    "Final thought: Can you imagine his record if the bullpen was used like today??? He was always a candidate to have a no-no for the first 6 innings!! That's what makes it interesting … this HOF stuff … If Clemens & Maddux had to get the last 6 outs of most of their wins, would their record be as good???? And I have great admiration and respect for what both of them have achieved; they're just playing by today's rules -- let the pen finish it up."

    I really think there's a great lack of historical perspective when most people look back at certain players. People like Blyleven & Jack Morris should really be in the Hall. Dawson, Rice, etc., are more iffy in my book. But teams would kill for a pitcher like BB or JM today.

    Mulder is not coming to NY. He's going to decide today with apparently a big preference to stay in St. Louis. I would be very, very suprised although I've been pushing this idea for a bit. He certainly has the most upside, and a 3 yr deal is a bargain when you consider that Tomo Okha wants $18 mill for three years!!! I kind of get the impression that Omar is almost preferential to doing nothing at this point.

    PS That 23% figure is incredible. As I said before, I never bought into the McGwire thang. I always felt he had this "great white hope" aura that obviously appeals to a certain segment of the population. He wasn't quite Albert Belle in terms of attitude, but he was in the direction. And Albert was a more fully rounded player for all his royal shitassness. He doesn't belong in the HOF with or without steroids.

    Ah, but Gil Hodges, who I obviously never saw play and whose managing I witnessed as a nascent baseball fan barely out of diapers, most definitely belongs in the Hall!!!

    7:44 AM

    Anonymous DG said...

    And by barely out of diapers I mean, literally BARELY. I'm 40 so do the math. 1969 was an excitement around me; I knew something important was happening at least for us NYers but did I really watch? I cannot say. I do remember when he died and what a shock it was. There was just grief all around, which probably had a lot to do with so many jilted Dodgers fans living with that memory as opposed to his slender body of work with the Mets.

    7:51 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    That he is…he rivals Wallace Matthews in the worst writer category. I hope Mr. Matthews doesn’t have a vote to as that would be simply irreprehensible. Guys like Rob Neyer (like him or not, he’s still sensible) don’t have a vote and Ladewski and Matthews do? Yikes.

    Great point Benny…the vote until they die and abstain because yester years players were ‘better’ so they get no love and people hold back just so they don’t get 100%. Vote for the guy if you believe he deserves it and don’t worry about that stuff. Maybe I shouldn’t care as long as the guy gets in, but it kind of perturbs me when people get up on a pedestal.

    I agree on letting internet writers vote and somehow they should cap it....

    That Paul O’Neil comment is up there with the best of them.

    DG, the iPhone looks well worth it. It will be in my pocket as soon as I can get my grubby fingers on one.

    RE: Concepcion…I still do not think he was Ozzie Smith good with the mitt and you have to be to make it on mitt alone…just like you have be hit a TON of homers to make it on as a homer hitter alone. 500+ should no longer be a benchmark to get in and I do not think it is. Sosa and Palmeiero are not HoFers and McGwire is borderline one mainly because of all his top 10 and 20 MVP votes..but I think he’s still out.

    Great point on Morris and Blyleven with the bullpens of today, but each ERA has to be taken into context. I’m sure we can all agree the offensive game is a much more potent one and with small parks, etc..etc…it is hard to be as dominant. That is not to take anything away from them, they were certainly tops amongst their peers, but it is not quite the same thing. The game has change so much since the 80’s it’s silly.

    I agree that Mulder won’t be in NY…They have shown basically no interest and Omar would rather stand still than have three years of Ohka. If you cannot get one of these guys on a one or two year $4 to $5 mil a year deal, let them go elsewhere. They do not make the Mets much better, if at all. I believe in this team’s rotation either way…

    I think that figure of 23% is incredible two, which is why I cannot stop mention that. I’d really like to see the stats in regards to Hall of Fame power hitters to see if anyone rivals that anomaly of such a huge chunk of their homers over two years. McGwire was a big time power hitter with two outrageous years and I stand by the statement that he should be in.

    Belle sure doesn’t, but he was on his way to a Manny-like hitter career.

    I know nothing about Hodges…except I have one of his baseball cards.

    10:09 AM

    Anonymous DG said...

    Great card to have. I have some Seaver's from the '60, Reggie Jackson rookie card, stuff like that. Few from the 50's though. Actually I probably have a Hodges managerial card. Yeah, my pops is big on Gil, and I still hear Bums stories. As for me, the Dodgers play in L.A.

    Bly & Morris will get in on Veterans. No one fielded like Smith. One occasion where no one should disagree that he was the best SS defensively in history. Belle would have been an interesting case if he wasn't slowed by injuries. I mean, he was a dick, just plain bad people. But Manny is going to the HOF no doubt about it. I suppose I always hated McGwire so I'm not gonna manage much objectivity.

    Know anyone out there in the baseball wonk community who'd run with that statistic? 23% makes an enormous case for a lopsided career. Begs analysis by someone.

    Yeah, I suppose baseball was always better in the old days. Which speaks more for the flowers of youth than baseball actually. When you get old enough to realize these guys are not bigger than thou, that changes the relation. Anyway, baseball was better in '06, and I have a feeling it's going to stay that way!

    12:47 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Oh, I’m pretty sure the card is worth like $2.50. It’s not an early one and not a good one. I can pack that away with all my Kevin Greenwell and Kevin Seitzer cards.

    I just think to make it on glove or homers primarily, you have to be more than amazing.

    I have a card from someone from elias…I’m going to email him and see what the deal is…hopefully I can still find his card…Or I’ll emails Jayson Stark and hope he gets to it.

    An how do you argue which ERA was better? Do we know Babe Ruth would have still dominated today? Im sure no one argues that he would still be good, but as good and monstrous as he was?

    1:22 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    That last of course is hard to say. Everyone adapts to the period they are in, I guess.

    2:52 PM

    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    Pete Rose NEVER gets in to the Hall of Fame. He knew what he was doing. What he did was much worse than what Joe Jackson or Buck Weaver did, and they are still banned from baseball.

    My best baseball cards are signed Johnny Callison and Jim Rice cards. I also have Callison's signature on my 1964 Mets yearbook. He hit game winning homer in 1964 All-Star game at Shea.

    18 million for 3 years for TOMO OKHA? Is he on crack?

    3:32 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wait. WHAT??! What the hell is this??

    The Mets are close to signing left-hander Scott Schoeneweis to a three-year deal, ESPN.com reports.



    3:57 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    That’s if you think what he did off the field merits him being banned. I think the fact that he was one of the greatest should get him into the HoF regardless of the gambling. Like I said, you cannot start saying what guy A did was worse than guy B so guy B can get in and guy A cannot. Wrong is wrong in terms of what it means to get voted into the HoF. This is not a federal court, but a shrine for guys who were the best at what they did on the baseball field. Beating your wife, which is worse than gambling, should not keep someone out of the HoF. I just think it’s pretty silly that he is not in it. No one can deny what he did was wrong, but morals are different for all people. What is wrong to you might not seem wrong to someone else. I know it’s obvious, but it is impossible to impose your standards on other people. Laws could be broken, but it should come back to what was done on the baseball field.

    Did you read that tidbit on Tim Raines playing baseball with coke in his pocket and sniffing the good stuff during games? That seems just as damning as steroids would, but I’m sure that won’t factor into things. I’m not saying any of it is right, but cheating has been around since day one. Sadly, that has to be ignored and a player’s entire career has to be looked at to gauge whether they are inducted or not.

    Nokes, that makes no sense. None at all. Three years? I know he’s from New Jersey, but c’mon. I have no idea if they are looking for a spot starter type in the mold of Darren Oliver, but they already have one in Dave Williams. Truly scary rumor…where did you hear this one?

    4:21 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    I don't think this really can be matched with beating your wife because, well, firstly, you're not married. Seriously though, the reason why Shoeless Joe ain't there is the reason why Pete shouldn't be there (and not because he mauled Buddy Harrelson). Stupid or not, but when the integrity of the game (said through Bronx cheers) is compromised by the possibility of thrown games, then you've opened a can of worms that does rightfully exclude him from the HOF. It's not about whether the guy's a prick, like Ty Cobb apparently was (and like Albert Belle was to stay consistent with my daily cast of characters, though he's obviously not going to be considered for the Hall), gambling or potentially gambling on the outcome of the game your actually involved in - and not some other team - which is something we can rightfully expect PR did despite his denials, taints more than just the players. I have no problem with PR not getting there as I would/will be if McGuire doesn't get his bogus honor as well.

    More interesting than Shoenweiss as a lefty specialist (yawn) is this little tittybit:

    TORONTO -- John Thomson was surprisingly candid Wednesday about one of the reasons he chose the Toronto Blue Jays over the Mets: He didn't want to pitch to New York catcher Paul Lo Duca.

    Thomson agreed to a $500,000, one-year contract with the Blue Jays on Tuesday and will get a chance to win a spot in their rotation during spring training. The right-hander said the Mets also offered a major league deal, but he wasn't interested.

    "As far as just looking at Paul Lo Duca across the field, I'm not really into how he acts behind the plate," Thomson said on a conference call. "I know a bit about [Toronto catcher] Gregg Zaun and I know he wants to win and he's not going to let anything get in his way to do that, and I like that.

    "And then with Vernon Wells in center field, I'm not really concerned about the outfield with him out there. ... Just watching the Mets' outfield, if Cliff Floyd is still there it's not a real good fit for him out there. He can hit the ball, but as far as defense, he's a little shaky.

    "I just liked what's happening in Toronto."

    Floyd is a free agent and almost certainly won't be back with the Mets next season.

    Hey a good ole offseason cat fight. Too bad he signed on to the AL. We don't play Toronto this year do we?

    5:38 PM

    Blogger Whitney said...

    Comparing Vernon Wells to Cliff Floyd instead of Carlos Beltran -- when Floyd won't be on the team doesn't even make sense. Might as well compare Beltran's D to Frank Thomas's.

    And I'm baffled as to what he doesn't like about LoDuca. Maybe someone can explain what Greg Zaun brings to the table (besides a BA 40 points less and a worse CS%).

    Sounds like someone was bitter about finishing 18 games out this season. Take your bum shoulder, nearly-5 NL ERA, one career winning record in 11 seasons, and idiotic potshots up to Canada. We'll keep LoDuca and be just fine with it.

    6:06 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    John Thomson probably drank a 40 oz. of Haterade.
    I would have prefered him to a Schnowinwies signing.
    ANd no... I will not bother trying to spell his name right.
    This is probably the first Omar signing that has me confused. Mainly because of the 3 years, that's just... odd.

    8:40 PM

    Anonymous Sidd Finch said...

    I see your point about PR, but if what Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver did merits them being banned, then Pete is out as well.

    Don't forget Sheffield not trying so he'd get traded from Milwaukee, that's pretty crappy. Not giving your best is bad, no matter what the reason.

    I haven't heard any money on the Schoenweiss deal yet. I wonder what Omar is up to. Curious, indeed.

    I think Thomson would have been good pitching wise, but his attitude is crap. What is LoDuca doing behind the plate besides grabbing his nuts? Who cares, anyway?

    9:34 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Peter Rose’s indiscretions occurred after he was a player. That has to be factored in and where he differs from shoeless joe.

    ANd no... I will not bother trying to spell his name right.

    And why should you? It's ridiculous.

    No one can justify this move. They had Feliciano and Williams and plenty of guys that could have been marginal for this team without that crazy commitment. I can only assume Omar knows something I don't know.

    10:38 PM

    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    joe jackson batted .375 in the 1919 series and didn't make any errors. imagine if he was trying, hahahaha.

    i don't ever want to hear anyone complain about what baseball players make, now that David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy for 5 years 250 million.

    Omar knows something you don't know? No way! You are the effen man! keep up the great work, even if you have to post at 2 AM!

    4:04 PM


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