Monday, January 12, 2009

What Comes Out Of A Chinaman's Ass?

As you probably heard already, Jim Ed Rice was FINALLY elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame today, having been named on 76.4% of the ballots, just a shade over the 75% needed for election. At last, our long local sports TV/radio/print journalism nightmare is over. I think we've all grown a bit sick of 15 years of controversy over whether Rice was HOF-worthy or not. Well, he is now. Case closed.

But I'm not here to dissect Jim's stats, or ponder whether his 4-5 years of abject total awesomeness is offset (for HOF purposes) by his late-career stint as an above-average power hitter with an innate knack for grounding into double plays, or hypothesize what would have happened had he not been hit in the wrist late in the 1975 season, etc. etc. etc. Instead, I'm here to take potshots at Corky and the rest of the increasingly brain-addled Hall of Fame voters for the people they saw fit to possibly enshrine in the Hall of Fame. So here's a summary of the complete voting, with some pithy comments as necessary.

Rickey Henderson -- 511 votes (94.8%)

I probably don't need to fill you in on the whole "we, as a group, have decided to never elect anyone unanimously" bullshit with the voters. Asinine. If you're not going to take your vote seriously, give it to me. Anyone who did not vote for the unquestioned greatest leadoff hitter in the history of the game simply does not deserve to have a vote. And possibly should forfeit their right to view baseball altogether.

Jim Rice -- 412 (76.4%)

Personally, I think he's a borderline HOF case... but I'd still put him in.

Andre Dawson -- 361 (67%)

... but here's the problem. Andre Dawson is pretty much the same player as Jim Rice. Rice's highs were a bit higher, but Dawson was arguably more consistent over his career. Why is Rice significantly outpolling Dawson here? Could it be that Dawson's years toiling away in Montreal make a difference? Or could it be that THE FUCKING HALL OF FAME VOTERS DON'T BOTHER TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK??????


Bert Be Home Blyleven -- 338 (62.7%)

Sigh. Please, just look at the numbers. Every comparable pitcher is in the HOF -- except for Tommy John -- who may yet get in via the Vet's Committee for Meritorious Service In Accepting A Cadaver Tendon Into His Elbow, and Jim Kaat, who SHOULD have been given much more HOF consideration than he got. Pitching really good for 20+ years should get you more consideration, dammit.

Lee Arthur Smith -- 240 (44.5%)

A little story for you. One of the last games I ever attended with my dad before he died was a Sox/Blue Jays tilt back in '89, when Big Lee was the Sox closer. The Sox, behind the mighty arm of Mike Smithson, took a 10-6 lead into the ninth. Rob Murphy on the hill. He gives up a single to Tony Fernandez. Murphy was then pulled for Lee Smith. The Lee Smith who got 240 HOF votes. Lee Smith walks Kelly Gruber. George "Fucking" Bell (yes, that's his official nickname) pounds one into the left-field power alley to plate a run. Gruber, who had all the speed of a piece of farm equipment, failed to score on the play. Smith strikes out the then-young Fred McGriff for the first out. He then walks Lloyd Moseby to load the bases. Which was not a terrible outcome, mind you -- Moseby was a dangerous hitter, you're up by 3 runs, you load the bases to set up a force anywhere, and you've got the immortal Ernie Whitt at bat, a prime double play candidate. Unless, of course, you've been throwing batting-practice fastballs for the whole inning. Which is what Lee Smith was doing. The Lee Smith who got 240 HOF votes. So up comes Whitt, who had one hit on the day, an infield single that Jody Reed couldn't turn into an out.

Yeah, I don't need to tell you how this ends, do I? But it's not that Ernie Whitt hit the ball about 20 rows deep into right field.... it's that Ernie Whitt swung so hard at Lee Smith's pitch -- the Lee Smith who got 240 HOF votes -- that he was actually KNEELING ON ONE KNEE at the moment he hit the ball.

Also, right now Cubs fans are silently nodding their heads in agreement.

There are some closers who should be in the Hall of Fame. I don't think Lee Smith is one of them.

Jack Morris -- 237 (44%)

I used to be of the opinion that Jack Morris was a no-brainer for the HOF. Then I started reading Baseball Prospectus pieces like this. Now I'm not so sure anymore....

Tommy John -- 171 (31.7%) (Final Year of Eligibility)

A tough call. John was a great pitcher, but probably not HOF-great. He certainly should be behind Blyleven consideration-wise.

Tim Raines -- 122 (22.6%)

Tim Raines is one of the greatest players of his era. In any other era, he would have been easily the best leadoff hitter in baseball. Unfortunately, he played at the same time as Rickey Henderson, and in Montreal to boot. Plus, you know... well, there was some coke. If you're just looking at the raw numbers, though, it's difficult to see why Raines isn't getting more consideration.

Mack McGwire (friend of Sammy Sooser) -- 118 (21.9%)

Yeah, it was the milk. Sure.

Alan Trammell -- 94 (17.4%)

.316 .458 120 17 82 22 .975
.285 .415 110 13 71 17 .977

These are the 162-game averages of two shortstops for their careers. One of them is Alan Trammell. The other is someone who will WALK into the Hall of Fame when their time comes, possibly by unanimous consent without need for an actual election. In fact, they'll probably build him his own wing, where he can have gay sex with the third baseman to his heart's content. Wait, did I give you a clue about who shortstop #2 is? Oopsie!!!

Dave Parker -- 81 (15%)

Too much baggage. He's never going to get in.

Don Mattingly -- 64 (11.9%)

Better than you think -- but would have dropped off the ballot after one vote if he had played for, say, Minnesota instead of NY.

Dale Murphy -- 62 (11.5%)

Dale Murphy is, in many ways, the equivalent of Drew Bledsoe for the Braves. After Hank Aaron retired, the Braves were just plain awful. But Murphy brought some hope back to Atlanta, just like Bledsoe brought hope to the Pats. He was the first stone set in the foundation; Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz turned that foundation into an absolute pennant machine in the 1990s. And like Bledsoe with the Pats, Murphy wasn't around to enjoy any of it. His numbers don't jump out at you now, in the post-steroid era, but in his day he was a beast. Unfortunately, that lack of numerical pop is costing him when it comes to the Hall.

Harold Baines -- 32 (5.9%)

The last guy to remain on the ballot, Baines is... well, he's Harold Baines. He was around forever, but when he was around, he was just... around. He performed, he delivered, and he just blended into the background otherwise. I'm not sure if he's Hall of Fame material, but I know I'd definitely want him playing for my team instead of the other guy's.


Now we're into the realm of guys who didn't get the requisite number of votes (5%) to be listed again next year -- which means we're in the realm of "who could possibly have voted for that stiff?" Let's have some fun!!!


Mark Grace -- 22

Okay, at least Grace was kinda good. But really -- 22 people thought he should be mentioned in the same breath as Jimmy Foxx, Babe Ruth, and Ty Cobb?

David Cone -- 21

You say "former Sox guy who threw a perfect game and all that jazz." I say "guy whose road beef may have been forcibly gang-banged by Dwight Gooden, Daryl Boston, and Vince Coleman." It's tomato/tomahto, really....

Matt Williams -- 7

He married well, landing the uber-sexy Michelle Johnson of "Blame It on Rio" fame. (SFW) (NSFW) (also NSFW) They are now divorced, which means he probably found some 19-year-old to bang instead. So he's definitely in my Hall of Fame for that achievement alone....

Maurice Vaughn -- 6

Quoth GHABBY: "Mo Vaughn also got six votes, which surprised me because I didn't know they let strippers and the owners of Super China Buffet vote for the HOF."

You forgot about his parents, and John Valentin. I think that's six, right?

Jay Bell -- 2


Here's Jay Bell's career average OPS+: 101. JAY BELL IS THE LIVING DEFINITION OF AVERAGE!!!!! Yet not one, but TWO people think that Jay Bell should, theoretically, be enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame. Okay, we know that one of them was probably Corky in Tucson, who also voted for Regis Philbin, Mr. Snuffalupagus, and Matlock. But what about the other one? Was this person raised in a box and allowed to view nothing but Jay Bell at-bats? Was this ballot submitted at gunpoint? Did Jay Bell hold some writer's family hostage during the voting period? What... I .... mind not.... functioning.... can't.... comprehend voting.... Jay Bell....

/head asplodes

Jesse Orosco -- 1

Okay, now you're just fucking with me, aren't you? That's it, show's over!


SmartyBarrett said...

You'd think in a post this long I'd disagree with you at some point.

But no. Well done, sir.

HZMLS said...

This is epic-ly awesome, great work man. Loved it.

Anonymous said...

Yankee fans razzing Jim Rice in 1978:
"What comes out of a Chinaman's ass? RICE!"

Hungover Hal said...

You said: "One of the last games I ever attended with my dad before he died was a Sox/Blue Jays tilt back in '89"

How many games did you take your dad to AFTER he dies?
Damn few, I'd reckon!