MLBRT 12/3: Talking some Hall of Fame business

MLBRT with SS.3


1) It’s strongly assumed that Pete Rose, if placed on the Hall of Fame ballot, would get in, and, in a heartbeat. It’s darn right unimaginable that the all-time hit leader wouldn’t be elected on the first round.
But, if you had to rate Rose among the all-time greats where you would really place him? First tier… Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Barry Bonds… or maybe what could arguably be called the second tier of players like Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt, and Eddie Matthews… or somewhere else entirely?

Archie1-300x277Archie: Okay, this question really leans toward the type of game a fan
really likes.

IF, you are all about the 150 strikeouts per season is acceptable if you hit 40 dingers then Rose does not make you top 5. IF, you are a scrapper and love hustle and tenacity, then Rose is probably among your top 3 all time. I am one of the latter but even for me, and as much as I feel Petey belongs in the hall, I would still have to place him in the second tier players of greatness.rose hit

But only behind those 5 or so that are lsited i nthe question. His 118 lifetime OPS+ explains very well that Pete was a “slasher” that hit the ball to all fields and it was his hustle that made him fun to watch.

Dan 3Dan: I would say that Rose was a second-tier player.

While he does have the hits record, he posted a .303 batting average over his career which is good, but, he only has a 118 OPS+ rating which doesn’t really put him into the category of Lou Gehrig (179 OPS+), Babe Ruth (206 OPS+) or Willie Mays (156 OPS+). Honestly, I think the rest of his stats are good enough to put him into the second-tier but I just don’t think he is a member of the very select top tier.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I would place Pete in the 2nd tier.

Yes, he is obviously a no brainer Hall of Fame player, but, I do not hold him in the same reverance that I hold Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron etc… He isn’t quite on that level in my mind, but he would belong in the same tier as a Mickey Mantle, a Barry Bonds etc…

Me (2)Joe: To some Pete Rose was a compiler… played long enough to get 3,000 first and then ultimately go on to play long enough to set the all-time record total of 4256. He also set the record  for games… 3562… plate appearances… 15,890 and ABs… 14,053, hence the compiler tag.

But, when you have that many hits, plus, you also scored 2,165 runs (6th) and had a total base number of 5,752 (7th), then, I say, the hell with that compiler tag… it still means something. 

Top tier all time player?
Top tier all time player?

Having said that it is also true that Pete’s other stats are very good but not really upper tier good… his BA was .302 which ties for 172nd all-time, and his power numbers, specifically HRs, were not great… only 160. He had a decent RBI total…1,314 (tied for 103 all time), but nothing impressive.

He was a table setter; not the big bopper in the great scheme of things and that is what ultimately relegates him to the second tier level of all time greats… albeit in the upper level of that second tier.
Steve-01-288x300Steve: Mickey Mantle is a second tier player?? Not in my book.

But, to answer the question…

While I don’t think that Rose is in the conversation of those likes of Babe Ruth, Gehrig, Aaron, etc… He is easily in that second echelon of players. How can you leave the all time hits king off that list? You just can’t. I have always maintained that it is a crying shame that Pete Rose is not in the Hall of Fame. I don’t think, even if they allowed him on the ballot, that he would get in because of that code of conduct that the committee holds players to. 

2) Speaking of the Hall of Fame and voting… In your opinion why do relief pitchers seem to be an ignored class of player by the baseball writers? Is it justified or not justified that relief pitchers tend to be arguably largely ignored when it comes time for the Hall Call?


Archie: The BBWAA does and probably always will look upon relief pitchers
with barely a glance. Unless your name is Mariano, don’t look to make the
Hall based solely on your relief stats. And, that is usually the problem as
well; holds, relief innings, Ks per inning and all the other stats that quantify a relief pitcher gets lost in the shuffle of a 162 game season.

Let’s take a quick comparison look between starters and relievers.lee-smith

Clayton Kershaw leads ALL active pitchers with 1000 IP with a 154 Adjusted ERA+
while Craig Kimbrel has a 233+. At the rate he is going Kershaw will be a shoo-in for the Hall. There are those wondering if Mariano Rivera will make it in and he had a lifetime 205+. Smoltz made it in on first ballot based on the fact that he was the ONLY pitcher in MLB history to record 200+ wins and 150+ saves; that and the fact that he did dominate in his prime.

The 2016 vote will really show how the voters feel when they have to put their money where their mouth is when they look at Trevor Hoffman. With 600+ saves he
SHOULD be the first relief pitcher to make it on 1st ballot (as far as I know, Lee Smith is still not in and can’t think of anyone else that MAY have made it 1st ballot).

Dan 3Dan: I think because they only end up pitching a certain amount of innings. You see closers get put in because there are stats to record their effect (saves, blown saves, losses, wins, etc). They’re known as a vital part of a team. But, when you look at the media today, they don’t talk about bullpen all that much. It’s either the starter, the closer or offensive players.

If, you have a solid set-up man and had him play for your team his whole career, he retires as the best set-up man ever, let’s say. How do you record how he compared to other set-up men? Their strike out totals won’t stand out. Their win-loss records won’t stand out. People won’t take their ERA or WHIP seriously, if, it’s extremely low due to their low innings pitched but their ERA/WHIP can balloon quickly by a couple bad outings. It’s just harder for them to put up stats in order to make them stand out for the Hall of Fame.

Another factor is a lot of people don’t have name recognition on bullpen pitchers. Closers, starters yes. Bullpen? No.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: It is not justified in my opinion.

I understand putting a higher level of importance on a starter, no doubt, but relief pitchers should not be ignored. They are the lock down guys that solidifies your wins.

A guy like Dennis Eckersley comes to mind. He was a big figure in my youth, and, when Mariano Rivera comes up for selection in a few years, I think he’s also going to get a high percentage of votes, but, they need to rate relievers instead of ignoring them.

Me (2)
Joe: As far as closers go I think the BBWAA does a great disservice when it comes to relief pitchers… Lee Smith and Billy Wagner are on the outside looking in?Mets

That’s just wrong. They need to join Rollie Fingers, Rich Gossage, Bruce Sutter and it should be this year in my book.

As for the other relief pitchers…middle relivers and the like… I’m not sure how you would judge them, as outside of holds and blown saves, you really can’t easily quantify what they do in the play of the game.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: I think its because the margin for error is that much less than any other position player. Billy Wagner has numbers that on paper would be lights out and easily elected into the Hall of Fame. Something like 11 strikeouts per 9 innings. But had he been a starter, that would not be the case.

I do think that Hoffman and Wagner deserve a lot of consideration, and, Hoffman would have my first ballot vote, while I would probably elect Wagner somewhere down the road. 

3) Edgar Martinez was primarily a DH for his career… he also was an excellent hitter. Is it time for the BBWAA to start seriously considering players who were DHs for their career? And, if so, is Martinez worthy of a Hall Call?

Archie1-300x277Archie: This, kind of is like the relief pitchers, and is going to be one of those things the writer’s association will frown upon when placing their votes.

While he was never implicated in steroid use he also was NOT a big time
power hitter. While he was as steady as a rock when he was in the lineup, he
only met minimum ABs to qualify for yearly hardware about 8 of his 18
seasons. Voters look at those kinds of things and unfortunately they hold
them against guys like Martinez.Edgar Martinez

When you put his numbers up against someone like Chipper Jones, a player we all know to have multiple injuries through his 19 season career, he does not match up well. Chipper still had much more of everything to include an additional 1700 more Abs. You got to be in there to make the news. And while Gar was steady he was just kind of “short term” great.

Dan 3Dan: Yes, I believe they should.

They don’t discredit pitchers because they can’t hit, so why discredit DHs because they might not be good fielders or their team didn’t have a spot for them and they fit best at DH?

Look at Frank Thomas. He was a DH most of his career. He was a great player with a lot of power in his bat. He’s a Hall of Famer.

Look at David Ortiz. When he retires and gets placed on the ballet, he should become a Hall of Famer, too.

I believe that Edgar Martinez deserves to be a Hall of Famer and will get in with his statistics. He was an excellent hitter, had over 300 HRs, .418 OBP, .312 batting average and a 147 OPS+. He’s a deserving candidate for the Hall and when David Ortiz gets in, that’ll make 3 DHs.

E_J_-12-238x300Earl: I wouldn’t rate Martinez real high, but, the game is changing and the designated hitter position is a big part of it. Players that make their whole careers there, do put up the big numbers necessary for induction.

But, I wouldn’t put Martinez in, personally, but, I also would not ignore him solely because he was a designated hitter.

Me (2)Joe: Edgar Martinez has a very good slash line of .312/.418/.515 that probably ranks right up there with some players already in the Hall… if, not better than some… guys with names like Gwynn, Biggio, Ripken, Yount, Rice and Cepeda.

But… his overall totals outside of that slash line are really not overly imprssesive and I’m afraid means that he is in the Hall of the Very Good and not the Hall of Fame.  edgar-martinez-getty

But, despite my opinion on Martinez’ worthiness to get into the Hall, I do think that just because he was mostly a DH that that distinction should not be held against him or any other player when they are being considered for election to the Hall. Like when it comes time for David Ortiz… who primarily was a DH for his career… he should get in… maybe not his first year but I think he should get a Hall Call eventually.

Steve-01-288x300Steve: Martinez is in the Hall of Very Good. I don’t think he is a Hall of Famer.

He hit under 400 HR’s and had a great batting average of .312 for his career. Excellent numbers. However, the bar is so high when it comes to a DH, that you have to have surreal numbers to get in. David Ortiz has those surreal numbers after hitting 500 plus homeruns for his career. Martinez just didn’t hit that bar. 

4) Is Mike Mussina worthy of the Hall of Fame?

Archie1-300x277Archie:Man, this one is tough. He did Not make the 3K KO club. He did Not
make the 300 win club. While he Did have an impressive 226 innings per
season average his combined lifetime ERA of 3.68 is just sort of “good” not

His lifetime ERA+ of 123 is better than Tom Glavine but will the voters hold it against him that he played for a lesser team? Maybe, usually they do. And if you try to match him to Glavine’s overall successes you will see where Glavine’s AS appearances double Moose’s; among other stats.

He may get in but I don’t think it will be on 1st or 2nd ballot.

Minnesota Twins v Baltimore Orioles
Dan 3Dan: Yes, I think Mike Mussina is worthy.

According to the grey ink on, an average Hall of Famer scores 185. Mussina scored a 250. On the Hall of Fame Monitor, an average Hall of Famer scores 100. He scored a 121. On Hall of Fame Standards, he scored a 54 while the average Hall of Famer scores a 50.

He posted a 3.68 career ERA, had 270 wins, 2813 strikeouts and an OPS+ of 123 with a WHIP of 1.192.

In my opinion he is a worthy candidate.
E_J_-12-238x300Earl: Absolutely. 300 game winners are likely the thing of the past, so, Mussina with his 270 wins is the next closest things.

He also finished his career with over 2,800 strikeouts, was a multi-time All-Star and Golden Glove winner. His ERA isn’t the strongest, and, his postseason career could be better, but, I would still place him in to the Hall.
Me (2)Joe: Mussina’s key career stats… Wins: 270; Strikeouts 2813; WHIP: 1.19. Walk to strikeout ratio: 3.5 to 1 and ERA: 3.68.

That damn ERA is one thing that the BBWAA will look at that steers some from voting for him.

Another thing that will work against Moose is that some writers  will say he only won 20 gaes once in his career… his last year that he played, in fact…and that he never won a Cy Young award.mussina

My answer to all that is… his WHIP trumps that ERA, he never had a losing record except for his rookie year when he went 4-5 with a 1.18 WHIP; he never failed to win in double figures ever… except for that rookie number… won 19 games twice… lead the league in wins in 1995… 18 games thrice; had only one losing season… 2000 when he went 11-15 with a 1.18 WHIP… he had a career .638 won/loss percentage… which is 38th all time… his career strikeouts (2813) is 19th all time and his win totals rank 33rd all time.

I fear he won’t ever get in the Hall, but, in my opinion, he is a Hall of Famer.
Steve-01-288x300Steve: I was watching the MLB Network with a couple of writers. One said that Mussina will not get in solely because he never won a CY Young Award. Okay, I call bull shit.

Guess who else never won a Cy Young Award. Yep…Nolan Ryan.

Mussina had great numbers for 17 years, and really never had a bad year. I think that Mussina is a Hall of Famer.

5) In your opinion… the Yanks trade for Aroldis Chapman… good, bad or indifferent?

Archie1-300x277Archie: It’s only going to benefit the Yanks IF their starters can give them quality starts at a better rate than last year and keep it close. Otherwise this is an “indifferent” for the most part trade.

Cashman (L) says there are "serious issues" but the price was right for Chapman
Cashman (L) says there are “serious issues” but the price was right for Chapman

For the Reds, however, don’t look for the turnstiles to be rotating rapidly this season.
The Reds’ fans will probably boycott a majority of the games.
Dan 3Dan: I think the Chapman trade was a good trade.

MLB Network had a statistic that popped up on one of their shows that talked about their 3 bullpen stars. They have Chapman, Betances and Miller all in the bullpen. The 7th, 8th, 9th looks dangerous for opponents as these pitchers don’t allow runs and are all heavy strikeout pitchers.

Betances posted a 1.50 ERA in 84 innings last year with a 14 k/9.

Miller posted a 2.04 ERA in 61.2 innings with a 14.6 k/9 last season

And, Chapman,while in Cincinnati, posted a 1.63 ERA and a 15.7 k/9 in 66.1 innings pitched.

It was a great trade for the Yankees. 
E_J_-12-238x300Earl: It’s a steal.

Yes, Chapman will likely be suspended due to his domestic violence situation but with Betances and Miller in the bullpen the Yankees can get away with Chapman being out for a period of time.

In acquiring Chapman, the Yankees turned a 9 inning game into a 6 inning game from their starters, and 3 from their very dominant relievers. They also traded nothing of worth to get him. The four minor leaguers they gave up do not have high ceilings, so it’s a great deal from the Yankees perspective

Me (2)Joe: The Yankees got a dominant, if not the most dominant relief pitcher/closer in the game today and gave up little to nothing from their minor leagues. Combined with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances they arguably have one of the best 7th, 8th and 9th inning combination of pitchers in the game today, too. I’ll say right now this was a good trade but won’t go so far as to declare it a great trade.

Dellin Betances (L), Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller (R) could form an all-time great trio in the Yankees bullpen in 2016
Dellin Betances (L), Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller (R) could form an all-time great trio in the Yankees bullpen in 2016

Chapman, in all likelihood, has a suspension to deal with and then it still remains to be seen if he can fit into the Yankees’ clubhouse, their lineup/bullpen, etc…

So, although I think this is a good trade I’ll straddle the fence a bit and also give it an incomplete grade.
Steve-01-288x300Steve: My god that bullpen is going to be freaking unreal. Betances, Miller, Shreve, and now Chapman? Who is going to close the games? They have their pick, and that is scary. Great move by the Yankees to acquire Chapman for peanuts.

But, I look at the long term picture. It gives them some trade options at the trade deadline to really make a big move for a much needed bat in the event their offense falters. I like the move, but, hate it as I’m not a Yankee fan.

Extra Innings…

On this date in 1972 – A plane carrying Roberto Clemente to Nicaragua on a mercy mission for earthquake victims crashes into the Atlantic Ocean.clemente

Clemente, who batted .317 in eighteen seasons with the Pirates, is died at age thirty-eight. In his last regualr season at bat in MLB he got his 3,000 hit. The five year waiting period was waived fot Clemente to be put on the 1973 Hall of Fame ballot and he was elected with 92% of the vote.

Clemente was an All-Star for twelve seasons and fifteen All-Star Games. He was the NL Most Valuable Player in 1966, the NL batting leader in 1961, 1964, 1965, and 1967, and a Gold Glove winner for twelve consecutive seasons from 1961 through 1972. His batting average was over .300 for thirteen seasons and he had those 3,000 hits during his career. He also played in two World Series championships. Clemente is the first Latin American and Caribbean player to help win a World Series as a starter (1960), to receive an NL MVP Award (1966), and to receive a World Series MVP Award (1971).

He deserved to be a Hall of Famer. His charitable work also places him in the Hall of Fame of Life.

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