Jayson Stark is a comedian. He know just enough to be dangerous and he has a national stage at ESPN. If you want to read people who know something about baseball, stick with Rob Neyer and the guys at Baseball Prospectus - Chris Kahrl, Joe Sheehan, Rany Jazayerli, Clay Davenport, etc.
He's Rolie Polie Olie - and in his world of curves and curls, he's the swellest kid around.
Eddie Murray's going to be an intersting trial baloon - isn't he the first (mostly-)DH canadiate? His candicacy is gonna be less about what he did, and more a debate on the worthyness of DH's at all, and what benchmarks they need to be considered.
All's that a roundabout way of saying I wouldn't reserve hotel space to be at Murray's induction cermony next year - and maybe the year after that.
Eddie Murray? You're talking about a guy who had a bunch of average - good seasons which lead to 3000 hits. He got lucky in that he was never or rarily hurt, and managed to find playing time every single day.
I wouldn't be surprised if alot of writers don't give him a second thought because of the fact that he was never impressive, just good, and like Cubs mentioned, he was a DH.
Not to mention, I don't have the stats in front of me, but I don't think he had much All Star time...
Bored bored bored - the worst part about having no life and recapping Jakked (though I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, nope) is that when it gets bumped to 4AM and you're up at 2, do you wait up?
21 Seasons 504 HR (avg 24 a season, career high 33) 1917 RBI .287 BA (.359 OBP/.476 SLG) 2 Sacrifice Bunts!
AL ROY (1977) AL 1B Gold Glove (82, 83, 84) No AL MVPs, but 6 times in the top 5 (AL: 81 (5), 82 (2), 83 (2), 84 (4), 85 (5); NL: 90 (5))
Based on being considered as a TOP guy for 5 years running (and not completely falling apart for most of the other 16), he's got a strong case.
Interstingly enough, this is his top 10 similar list
Dave Winfield (885) * Carl Yastrzemski (833) * Al Kaline (796) * Frank Robinson (788) * Harold Baines (774) Mel Ott (771) * Reggie Jackson (770) * Cal Ripken Jr. (742) Tony Perez (726) * Andre Dawson (725)
All the * guys are in, Ripken will be in, Dawson's gonna be at least talked about for more years - but the comparison with Baines (who wasn't voted as a top person in his league nearly as much) is gonna be the one he wants to avoid.
I was actually going to compare him to Cal Ripken initially, but realized by doing so it would be counter productive to my argument that Murray SHOULDN'T be in - seeing as how Cal is more or less a lock.
Cal's defence was good - great depending on the year. Murray doesn't have that added benefit. On top of that, Cal the letters MVP next to his name, as well as that streak. Murray was a poor man's Cal Ripken who required someone to catch the ball for him.
Harold Baines is a GREAT guy to place Murray in the same category with. A good player year in and year out who's great to have plugged in to the middle of your lineup and will NEVER be noticed.
And as blasphemous as this is gonna sound, I find Baines to be the better hitter of the two.
I'll end with this... If we let Eddie Murray into the hall of fame, where do we stop? Fred McGriff will clearly deserve a pass. After all, he has good career numbers AND he played first to boot! What about Albert Belle? And even Harold Baines...
Hall Of Fame is a touchy subject. Especially considering we're on the cusp of entering the era of inflated batting stats, and different numbers for the pitchers.
I don't like to be a numbers guy... because really the numbers are deceiving between eras.
That said, you just can't ignore 3000 / 500. Can you?
25 guys (today) at 3000 or above...
From 77 - 87 it was a different era for power hitters than what we see today. 30 Home runs used to be important, not a role player on the team...
I'm torn. I don't like the DH, I don't like people getting in on DH numbers, but how do you pass up on him?
Will a guy like Edgar Martinez even get a look in 4 or 5 years, assuming he gets another batting title and keeps his OBP around .400? I can see Edgar hitting over 300 homers, 2500 hits, a few batting titles... and dropping off the list in his first year. Is that fair?
//edit: assuming 4 or 5 years of playing time, not the 5 years til he gets reviewed... I love it when a plan comes together
That said, you just can't ignore 3000 / 500. Can you?
As scary as it is, 500 homeruns CAN'T guarantee a pass anymore. Take a look at what's coming! Sammy Sosa has averaged 60 homeruns over the course of the past 4 years. That's TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTY freakin' homeruns in 4 years! On that pace, that's 500 in just 9.
Offense is up like never before.
Now, Murray DID just miss the offensive boom. Barely. If he gets in, it's because of the fact he did put up those numbers in his era over the span of 20 years. Even as a DH.
But 3000/500 isn't going to be an automatic entry anymore very soon... When you consider Shawn Green batted 50 over the wall last season and no one blinked, some long standing hall prerequisites are going to need changing.
I have to agree with you cfgb, that 500 homers cannot assume a pass anymore, but you have to look at the numbers in the context of when they were accomplished, not in the time period of the voting. Most of Murray's 500 homers came when NO one was hitting 50, or usually even 40 homers a year.
As for the DH debate, I am not a fan of the DH, but Murray played most of his career at first, with only the last 3-4 as DH, so I don't think he will be the player to have the great DH debate about. That player will probably be Baines or Canseco (no, I don't think either should get in).
>That said, you just can't ignore 3000 / 500. Can you?
Canseco has 462 HRs at age 37. He will likely get 500 - that's all he's playing for, he's said many times, because he believes 500 gets him in, and he's gonna be cheap enough that someone will pick him up to platoon, at least. Canseco has one MVP, one more than Murray.
There's no way Jose Canseco is getting in, you know?
I keep seeing that Eddie Murray was a DH, and as such his stats should be taken with a grain of salt. Well, after some very quick research, here's some of his fielding stats:
Games at 1B - 2413 Games as DH - 573
So he was mainly a 1B. He was a DH in 1977, his rookie year, but the first year he was a DH for the majority of a year after that was 1994, his first with Cleveland, when he was 38. But from 1978-1993, he played less than 149 games at fist in a season only 3 times, one being the strike shortened 1981 season.
He lead the AL in fielding percentage twice, once in the NL with the Dodgers. Throughout the rest of his he was a very consistant fielder. Again, from 1978 to 1993, his fielding average was below .991 only 4 times.
So to say he was just a DH is just plain wrong.
And when the above is added to the fact he was selected to the All-Star team 8 times, and is 12th all time in hits, 8th in RBI, and did hit 504 HR in a time when that was amazing, and played consistantly good baseball for 20 years, he would easily get my vote.
"You can see a million miles tonight, but you can't get very far." - Adam Duritz
The fact that Murray got most of his stats right before the offensive boom should mean something, and I agree that he should be considered a 1st baseman.
As for Edgar Martinez...well the fact that I'm a Mariner fan and he is one of my alltime favorite players is enough for me to vote him in. But if baseball wants to consider the DH a true position than I think that voting the best DH of all time in the Hall is important. Edgar is one of the first guys to become a full time DH. One way to look at it would be Griffey's numbers. With Edgar protecting Griffey, Griffey's numbers soared. But while Edgar was hurt or now that Griffey doesn't have that protection he isn't seeing the pitches he once did.
I would vote Edgar in on the basis that he is the best DH to ever play the game and he really is the backbone of the batting lineup.
I was watching that game live - I think they edited out all the really fun close-ups where Jenkins' leg was going one way and his ankle was just kind of hanging in another direction entirely; it was quite sick, nearly lost my dinner at that.