Thursday, December 30, 2010

If You Believe Joe Posnanski, Jeff Bagwell IS a Hall of Famer

So, yeah, um, maybe I didn't give Jeff Bagwell the fairest look as a Hall of Fame candidate.  I thought he was very good, but perhaps not elite.

Joe Posnanski has been writing loads about his Hall of Fame ballot.  His latest effort discusses his eight definite votes.  Bagwell is one of those, in part because JoePo loves him some Bill James.

Which I do not.  I consider the stats, of course, and sometimes they're too much to overlook, but a lot goes into my thinking when talking about the Hall of Fame, which is precisely what voters are supposed to do:
“Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played.”
But JoePo writes (and I agree with him here):
I think my e-migo Craig Calcaterra has made this point on Twitter, but I’d like to also make it as strongly as I can: I’d rather a hundred steroid users were mistakenly voted into the Hall of Fame over keeping one non-user out. I don’t know if Jeff Bagwell used or didn’t use steroids. But there was no testing. There is no convincing evidence that he used (or, as far as I know, even unconvincing evidence). So what separates him from EVERY OTHER PLAYER on the ballot? Were his numbers too good? That’s why you suspect him?
To me, the key is to stop using the steroids thing as a reason to keep players out, based ONLY on speculation.  Let's go down this road again...we all KNOW Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds (and Alex Rodriguez and on and on) were heading to the Hall of Fame before their so-called era of using.  We also KNOW they used (I mean, we're pretty positive in the cases of the Rocket and Bonds).  So why don't we just all stop being so snooty?  Just sayin'.

So, going with Posnanski, then Bagwell should be in the Hall.  Joe, of course, rants furiously about the case for Bert Blyleven, and compares him to Jack Morris.  Here's where I use my Don Mattingly clause: so long as Keith Hernandez never makes it to Cooperstown, I have no problem with Mattingly not being elected.  Same here.  Elect Blyleven?  Elect Morris.  Seems fair.

I know it doesn't work like that, but if Mex ever goes in and Donnie Baseball doesn't, then you can expect one of the great profane rants of all-time here.

If you didn't read the rest of Posnanski's piece, be prepared for the other players that will get his vote.  I was surprised.

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