Originally posted by MUTigermaskWhich sort of goes to my point that if he wasn't a 2nd basemen he wouldn't be considered a shoo-in. All the guys on that list who are corner players are either not in the Hall, or just got in after a lot of tries(Jim Rice). The ones who are in besides Sandberg were great catchers who would have had a harder time getting in with their offensive numbers if they had played a corner position.
All of this "if he wasn't a second baseman" argument is a moot point. He played second base, a much more important and valuable position than the corner outfielders or first base. And while he wasn't "great" fielder, by most measures he definitely was above average. Only shortstops and catchers are higher-value positions, and third basemen and center fielders are about equal by most studies. First basemen and corner outfielders are expected to be better batters because their gloves are less valuable. Many people simply discount defense when looking at HOF resumes, or they only give it a cursory glance. Leaving aside age or salary requests, if you can have Jeff Kent's bat or an equally good corner outfielder's bat, you take Jeff Kent every time because he can also play second base, a much more difficult and valuable position. Comparing him to someone like Jim Rice isn't fair to Kent. You should compare him to other second basemen, or since they're close to equal by many measures, other third basemen or center fielders. Defense is half the game. Which is why, despite Bonds having much better numbers offensively than Kent in 2000, I don't mind the vote so much because a) Bonds missed 19 games to Kent's 3 and b) Bonds played a much less important defensive position. It can be argued that Kent's bat at second base was more "valuable" than Bonds' bat in LF.
For example, Jim Rice has a career OPS+ of 128, slightly higher than Jeff Kent's 123. I don't know how much to modify those numbers to account for the parks they played in; Jim Rice got a lot of help from Fenway while Kent didn't get much help at all in SF or LA, where he spent most of his career. So let's just call them about even. However, if you calculate Rice's OPS+ against ONLY corner outfielders, his number will almost assuredly drop. If you calculate Jeff Kent's OPS+ against ONLY second basemen of his era (or any other era), his will increase dramatically.
Originally posted by Super Shane SpearBasically, there was never a period of time where Jeff Kent truly dominated the game, which to me is the be-all end-all requirement for the Hall.
The problem is people seem to only look at batting numbers to determine who was "dominating" a period of time when again, defense is half the game and oftentimes just gets ignored unless the guy was either amazing or terrible. Would you say Ozzie Smith "dominated" any period of the 80s? Probably not. But he was obviously an excellent defensive shortstop, so people cut him some slack for his .650ish OPS+. How many runs though did Ozzie save with his glove in, say, 1987, compared to a corner outfielder who put up way better offensive numbers? It's hard to quantify, but we can make educated guesses, and then let's add them to the players' Runs Created totals (way better than RBIs). Smith had 102, the MVP Andre Dawson had 111. That's all offense-based. Did Smith save 9 more runs than Dawson on defense? Most likely.
It's understandable in a way, because defensive stats have sucked for so long and it's easy to just ignore them. But we should try to keep the context correct for people else we might be short-changing their value (or the opposite).
Originally posted by MUTigermaskSure, he put up great numbers as a 2B, but if he had played one of the corner outfield or infield positions his numbers wouldn't look as great.
his most similar players:
Carlton Fisk (881) * Ivan Rodriguez (861) Yogi Berra (848) * Johnny Bench (829) * Ted Simmons (824) Dave Parker (824) Jim Rice (823) * Luis Gonzalez (815) Ryne Sandberg (809) * Andres Galarraga (802)
I've always wondered about Baseball Reference's similar players. Is 881 really a close match? I always thought that if it wasn't above like 900 that they weren't that much alike. I don't think you can really compare him to most of those players anyway. Even if he wasn't on steroids he played in a better offensive age.
I'd say the better comparison would be to compare him to other players of his time. Are there any other second basemen in his era, other than maybe Alomar, that are even on the same level? (not counting Utley because their careers barely cross)
How does Hall of Fame elibility work? Does he go in with the Maddux, Piazza, Mussina class because his last season was 2008 or the Larkin, Alomar class because he announced his retirement in 2009? If it's the former he probably doesn't get in the first ballot, if it's the latter he might get in first ballot and I think that would be cool to possibly go in with Alomar and Larkin, make it middle infeilder year.
Originally posted by QuezzyHow does Hall of Fame elibility work? Does he go in with the Maddux, Piazza, Mussina class because his last season was 2008 or the Larkin, Alomar class because he announced his retirement in 2009? If it's the former he probably doesn't get in the first ballot, if it's the latter he might get in first ballot and I think that would be cool to possibly go in with Alomar and Larkin, make it middle infeilder year.
It's when your last season was. Kirby Puckett's glaucoma didn't come up until just before the 1996 season started, and he didn't retire until July of that year, and still went in after his 5 years. (I think that if he had played even one game in 1996 it would have pushed his HoF back by a year. Similarly, Wiki says Rickey never accepted that he had retired until 2007.
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