The Hall Feels The Need For Speed

Baseball Crank

A nice trend chart from the Baseball Crank shows that the longer you stay on the ballot the more writers support you for the Hall, though I can’t think of a good reason why that should be. I don’t take the Hall seriously enough to worry about the borderline cases. They make it or they don’t, and that’s fine.

I do find it hard to see why Tim Raines or Mark McGwire look like they should be in, if only there wasn’t the cocaine and the steroids. Based on the numbers both were very good ballplayers who were at best borderline when it comes to induction numbers. Given their questionable pasts the voters’ reluctance to enshrine them doesn’t seem that crazy.

1 thought on “The Hall Feels The Need For Speed”

  1. There is a Tyler Kepner post at Bats, the NY Times baseball blog, that compares Raines and Tony Gwynn in certain key categories, and for sure it looks like the two players are essentially equivalent. The interesting twist is that Kepner uses OBP rather than BA, a point that leaps out when he later admits that Gwynn won eight batting titles, while Raines won one.

    Gwynn was also a paradigm of civic involvement and giving back, while Raines (who I think of as a good guy) did have his outlaw days, which tarnished his rep (moving his coke stash in his pocket so he could slide when stealing was particularly colorful).

    More interesting, despite our infatuation with on base percentage, Gwynn’s batting titles make the difference. They are a significant step above everybody else who played the game in his days, except for Wade Boggs, and the reason why he got in on the first ballot, and Tim Raines seems kind of marginal.

    I’m not sure that’s fair, but it’s not clearly unfair. What is Fame if not being better? Gwynn was clearly better at one thing that folks tend to value than a lot of things they don’t pay as much attention to.

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