Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Guest column on the MLB Hall of Fame

Hello and welcome to the Rush Pigboy show.  It's been a busy day, between fighting for the rights of our schoolchildren to bear arms, lowering the tax rates for me and my neighbors, and keeping illegal Ewoks, Rodians, and Gamorreans out of our country.  But this time of year one question overshadows all the others:  Who should go into the baseball hall of fame? It just so happens that I am an expert on the sport, so I will share my judgment on the 2013 candidates.  I put far more weight on the impact the player has had on the game and his legacy than I do with any of these newfangled statistics, but I do look at the stats.  When I hear the player's name, what do I think of?  I don't necessarily care about steroids, unlike so many of the human reporters.  Once you've seen a Wookie throw a 125 MPH fastball you tend to not be impressed by the miniscule level of playing field differences among humans who might have taken a few teeny weeny chemicals and those who didn't.
So on to the players, what I think when I hear the name, and my verdict
Julio Franco:   Old. Like Yoda.  Just being old is not enough.
Steve Finley: Wasn't he into new age crap?  Like hippies? I don't like hippies, so no.
David Wells: Gout. And sloppy uniform.  No chance.
Sammy Sosa: Hit a lot of homers, but never won anything.  No.
Craig Biggio: Hit .234 in the postseason.  Never won. No.
Kenny Lofton: Speedy. Made the postseason 10 times with 6 different teams, yet never won the big one.  Made the last out in 2002.  No.
Curt Schilling: Gamer. Best candidate so far. Won the series twice in Boston and once in Arizona.  But what about 1993?  Threw a shutout in game 5, but watched helplessly from the bench in game 6 as Joe Carter took Mitch Williams deep.  Had Curt done what Randy Johnson did for him in 2001, coming out of the bullpen to bail out his team, I'd say yes.  But he didn't, so no.
Mike Piazza:  Best hitting catcher, but couldn't throw, never won, and hit poorly in the postseason.  Also let us down in homerunderby.  No.
Roger Clemens:  I remember him limping off the mound in 2005 and 2007 as his team was eliminated.  He also pitched poorly inthe 2004 elimination game, but Mussina, Rivera, and Aaron Boone bailed him out.  Never could beat Dave Stewart.  Won 2 World Series with Yankees but he was not the ace, just along for the ride. Only their 4th best starter in 1999. For all his exploits he never won a big postseason, nail-biting elimination game. OK, one, game 4 of the NLDS in 2005, but that was in relief.  So no on Roger. 
Barry Bonds: The homerun king.  But he never won. There's the Sid Bream game,and despite all the homers he hit in 2002, what happened when the Angels mounted their game 6 comeback? He fell flat on his ass when Garret Anderson hit the ball in his direction.  This 8 timeglover could not field in the clutch.  So no on Bonds.
Bernie Williams: Pop gun for an arm, but Bernie could win.  4 time champion with 22 homers and 80 RBI in the postseason.  Bernie gets my vote.
Rafael Palmeiro:  The finger wagging in front of congress. Sure, I said I don't care about steroids, but Raffy made that his defining image and that does not speak of greatness.  Never won anything big or hit well in the postseason anyway.
Dale Murphy:  A fine player and a fine Republican.  But he never had a postseason extra base hit or won a postseason game.  No.
Don Mattingly: Yankees went to the world series in 1981.  They didn't make it back until 1996.  Mattingly played from 1982 to 1995.  He's no Mantle, Ruth, or Jeter, just the best player on a bad team of Mels, Alvaros, Azocars, and Melidos.  No on Don.
Mark McGwire: Hit .217 in the postseason.  His only world series win was overshadowed by an earthquake.  No.
Larry Walker: Never won. OPS of 1.366 against Red Sox in 2004, but it didn't even lead to a single win.  No.
Fred McGriff:  I like the Crime Dog.  Only won a single world series, but a fine .917 postseason OPS. I'll bite: Yes
Edgar Martinez: I remember his 1995 hit chasing Griffey around the bases.  But did you know that in the next series he was 2 for 23? No vote.
Alan Trammell: Played great in 1984 world series.  Never got back there.  No on Trammell.
Tim Raines:  Only world series wins were as a part timer for the Yankees.  I prefer to reward the dominators like Bernie. No.

Lee Smith: I think of Steve Garvey taking him deep in the 1984 choke job.  More postseason losses(2) than saves (1), and an ERA of 8.44. No.

Jeff Bagwell: .226 postseason hitter.  Pass.

Jack Morris:  I think of game 7 in 1991.  Forget all the rest.  Jack's got my vote.

To summarize: Yes votes for Jack Morris, Bernie Williams,and Fred McGriff.


At 8:03 PM EST, Blogger Jeffrey Lamar Lewis said...

And believe it or not, if Rush's votes became HOFs this year, it would have been better than what the writers did.

At 12:16 AM EST, Anonymous Peter Gammons said...

Excellent take...but how do you leave out the bloody sock?! Schilling has to be in because he bled!

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