2022 SoSH HOF Ballot

kfoss99

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For those of you who would vote Sosa in, what are your thoughts on Roger Maris being omitted?

Sosa has the better counting stats, but they seem like similar batters with similar peaks. And with out HGH/'roids Sosa's career stats probably are a lot lower.

If it's a Hall of FAME, both should be in. Hall of Statistical Excellence, neither I think.

Ps: Sosa had a canon for an arm, he was must watch in the field, too.
 

JMDurron

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Why aren’t people factoring in defense more in these recent posts?

Rolen was a great defensive 3B, 20 career defensive bWAR.

Sheffield was one of my favorite hitters ever but an awful defender, negative 27 career defensive bWAR.
For what it's worth, I thought the defensive argument for Rolen was so obvious that I didn't even think to mention it. It's also a major factor in why I ignored Jeff Kent. He really was a 2B in name only in my mind, a rich man's Dan Uggla with the glove.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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For those of you who would vote Sosa in, what are your thoughts on Roger Maris being omitted?

Sosa has the better counting stats, but they seem like similar batters with similar peaks. And with out HGH/'roids Sosa's career stats probably are a lot lower.

If it's a Hall of FAME, both should be in. Hall of Statistical Excellence, neither I think.

Ps: Sosa had a canon for an arm, he was must watch in the field, too.
Just looking at the stats on Baseball Reference, Sosa has more than a 20 WAR advantage on Maris, 58.6 WAR to 38.3 WAR (both fall short of the average for a hall of fame right fielder, which is 71.1 WAR). Going by 7 year peak, Sosa leads 43.8 WAR to 32.4 WAR. Going by black ink, he has a 28 to 18 advantage (average hall of famer is 27). Grey ink, Sosa’s advantage is 138 to 57 (average hall of famer is 144). As noted home run hitters, Sosa more than doubled Maris’ home run total, 609 to 275.

You can adjust the home run stats for era or apply a performance enhancing drug filter however you’d like on Sosa's career, and you can of course make the subjective claim that that Maris' chase of Ruth's record is a more deserving accolated in the "Fame" column than Sosa's part in the 1998 season that helped revitalized a post-strike MLB. But I don’t think the raw stats paint them as particularly comparably players over the course of their careers. I'm on the fence on Sosa (probably in, given the raw home run total and my general willingness to allow steroid users in), but I don't think Maris' omission really damages Sosa's case.
 

Max Power

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In general, the Hall of Fame voters have only recognized defense at second base and shortstop. The only notable exception I can think of is Brooks Robinson, who was regarded as by far the best ever at his position. Third base is seen as an offensive position by the voters, even if it's actually been more of a defensive position throughout the history of baseball. It's a weird mismatch.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Rolen was a terrific defensive player, but I'm not okay with that roundtable discussion using gold gloves as an argument. I mean, every single year we mock gold glove awards being given out because we know that in many ways, they're a joke. Given out for reputation or even because a player is a great *offensive* player. It's not like the GG awards means Rolen wasn't a great defensive player. It's that they're not really a gauge of how good defensively a player was. I mean, let's not forget that Rafael Palmeiro won three gold gloves at first when he was with Texas. In 1999, he played all of 28 games at first (128 as DH) and compiled a dWAR of -1.1, and still won the GG award as a first baseman. Derek Jeter won five GG awards, and here was his dWAR in those years:

2004: -0.4
2005: -1.8
2006: -0.7
2009: 1.1
2010: 0.0

So in only 2009 could it even remotely be reasonably argued that Jeter was the best fielding SS in the AL. 2010 he was replacement level. The other three years he was well below replacement level, and still won the GG award.

So I'm all for Rolen being terrific defensively. Using Gold Glove awards as a metric is a bad way, really, of arguing it.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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So I'm all for Rolen being terrific defensively. Using Gold Glove awards as a metric is a bad way, really, of arguing it.
Just because there have been some bad Gold Glove awards doesn't mean that many or most of them are not deserved. Zoilo Versalles, Steve Garvey and Juan Gonzalez (twice!) were crappy MVP picks but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look at MVP awards when talking about HOF worthiness.
 

ngruz25

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How much does injury history factor in to that elusive "feels like a Hall of Famer" metric?

I remember Rolen being a guy who had trouble staying staying on the field. And checking his career stats, it seems my general sense is correct. He was in the league for 17 years but didn't hit 140 games after his age 31 season. He played less than 130 games in 8 seasons (not counting his late season call up pre-rookie season).
 

BaseballJones

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Just because there have been some bad Gold Glove awards doesn't mean that many or most of them are not deserved. Zoilo Versalles, Steve Garvey and Juan Gonzalez (twice!) were crappy MVP picks but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look at MVP awards when talking about HOF worthiness.
There have been a lot of bad GG awards. We complain about it every year here on SOSH. And the MVP thing...only one finish in the top 13 of MVP voting in his entire career? In 1998 he finished with 6.7 bWAR - a fantastic season. And he was only 20th in the league in MVP voting. He was the 3rd third baseman in voting, behind Chipper and Vinny Castilla, of all people.

The year he had his second best MVP showing (14th in 2010), he was behind Aubrey Huff, Martin Prado, Jayson Werth, and Brian Wilson.

Again, he was an excellent player. Very good offensively, excellent defensively - an all around wonderful baseball player. But he was almost never in the running for best player in his league.

Don't get me wrong. If he gets elected I'm not going to complain. I have no dislike for the guy at all. Would love to have had him as Boston's third baseman during his career. I just think he's the poster child for "really really good MLB player that isn't quite at the HOF level", and there's obviously no shame in that at all.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm a big believer in using most if not all of one's allotted ballot entries. Single entry voters are the bane of the HoF's existence. My ballot:

Bonds - hate the person, but he was a damn good player pre-PEDs.
Clemens - Ditto
Andruw Jones - CF defense tips the scales for me
David Ortiz - DH is a position, no matter what the traditionalists claim
Manny - Was the best RHH of his era.
A-Rod - If I vote for Bonds/Clemens, I should add him as well.
Scott Rolen - I'm generally a big hall guy for the defensive stalwarts that show some offense
Gary Sheffield - It's really hard to ignore his 140 OPS+.

Notable ommissions:

Sosa - Was never that good pre-PEDs.
Schilling - Fuck him
Vizquel - Needs some amount of offense. Probably my 9th vote if forced.
Jimmy Rollins - He'll have other chances
 

Average Reds

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I agree with most of those who are saying that Bonds, Clemens and others shouldn't be kept out based on PEDs. I would still refuse to vote for Clemens.

I place Fat Billy from Ohio in the same category as Schilling or Pete Rose - he's such a horrible person that I just want him to crawl under a rock for the rest of his natural life. There is a trail of human wreckage associated with Clemens that is quite profound, and it includes minor characters like Andy "Misremembered" Pettitte and his wife Debbie, who he threw under the bus when first confronted with evidence that he used PEDs. Then we get to people like Brian McNamee, who may not be worthy of our respect, but probably didn't deserve to have his life ruined by Roger Clemens because he had the audacity to tell the truth under oath, and the late Mindy McCready, who Clemens started banging when she was 16. Then there is the matter of his perjury in front of Congress.*

That's a long way of saying Fuck Roger Clemens.

My ballot:

Abreu
Bonds
Kent
Ortiz
Ramirez
Rolen
Sheffield
Edit: ARod


*That fact that he wasn't convicted cuts no ice with me.
 
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John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I agree with most of those who are saying that Bonds, Clemens and others shouldn't be kept out based on PEDs. I would still refuse to vote for Clemens.

I place Fat Billy from Ohio in the same category as Schilling or Pete Rose - he's such a horrible person that I just want him to crawl under a rock for the rest of his natural life. There is a trail of human wreckage associated with Clemens that is quite profound, and it includes minor characters like Andy "Misremembered" Pettitte and his wife Debbie, who he threw under the bus when first confronted with evidence that he used PEDs. Then we get to people like Brian McNamee, who may not be worthy of our respect, but probably didn't deserve to have his life ruined by Roger Clemens because he had the audacity to tell the truth under oath, and the late Mindy McCready, who Clemens started banging when she was 16. Then there is the matter of his perjury in front of Congress.*

That's a long way of saying Fuck Roger Clemens.

My ballot:

Abreu
Bonds
Kent
Ortiz
Ramirez
Rolen
Sheffield


*That fact that he wasn't convicted cuts no ice with me.
No ARod?
 

Buck Showalter

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1. Bonds
2. Clemens
3. ARod
4. Ortiz

This would be "some" induction wouldn't it?

Most controversial by far....

I haven't watched an induction ceremony since Ryne Sandberg's --- let's get this done and watch the viewer-ratings receive an uptick.
 

Ale Xander

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I'm a big believer in using most if not all of one's allotted ballot entries. Single entry voters are the bane of the HoF's existence. My ballot:

Bonds - hate the person, but he was a damn good player pre-PEDs.
Clemens - Ditto
Andruw Jones - CF defense tips the scales for me
David Ortiz - DH is a position, no matter what the traditionalists claim
Manny - Was the best RHH of his era.
A-Rod - If I vote for Bonds/Clemens, I should add him as well.
Scott Rolen - I'm generally a big hall guy for the defensive stalwarts that show some offense
Gary Sheffield - It's really hard to ignore his 140 OPS+.

Notable ommissions:

Sosa - Was never that good pre-PEDs.
Schilling - Fuck him
Vizquel - Needs some amount of offense. Probably my 9th vote if forced.
Jimmy Rollins - He'll have other chances
What does this mean? You have 2 open spots on your ballot.
 

scottyno

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The biggest plus is his bWAR. 70.1 career WAR, and the average HOF 3b has 68.4 career WAR. He had a really nice long career. Was good with the bat and with the glove. But wasn't GREAT. He had one elite season (2004). A bunch of really good seasons. I mean, don't get me wrong - you could do a LOT worse than Scott Rolen at third. He was terrific. But I just don't really see the argument that he's a HOF player. I think he's in the Hall of Very Good, and that's it.
In addition to being 10th all time in bWAR for 3rd basemen he's 14th in WAR7 and 16th in WAR/162, so it isn't just that he had a long career. Those rankings also include some guys like Edgar that weren't even really 3rd basemen.

I find it hard to argue that a guy who was at worst top 15 all time at a position in a game that's been around for 120+ years wasn't great.
 

JMDurron

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I really don't understand the Abreu argument. Even in comparison to Jeff Kent (who is a borderline candidate himself), he pales offensively in counting stats, while simultaneously being a Corner OF in comparison to a middle IFer (a butcher defensively, but still a middle IFer).

Is this a purely OBP-based argument? It doesn't seem likely to be based on defense (1 GG, negative career dWAR per b-ref), fame (2 ASG selections in 18 seasons), power (a corner OFer with 18 seasons and under 300 career HRs), AVG (sub-.300 in the most offense-friendly era we've ever seen), excellence relative to his peers (highest MVP finish = 12th), or any kind of resume-enhancing postseason performances. I'm not trying to be disingenuous here, I'm legitimately baffled by why anyone would even consider him over, say, Todd Helton or Jimmy Rollins or Jeff Kent. Is it just OBP and longevity?
 

BaseballJones

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In addition to being 10th all time in bWAR for 3rd basemen he's 14th in WAR7 and 16th in WAR/162, so it isn't just that he had a long career. Those rankings also include some guys like Edgar that weren't even really 3rd basemen.

I find it hard to argue that a guy who was at worst top 15 all time at a position in a game that's been around for 120+ years wasn't great.
If he was so great, how could he have only cracked the top 25 in MVP voting in his league 4 times in 17 seasons, and cracked the top 13 in MVP voting just once? To me, it's pretty clear that he was very very good for a number of years, had one GREAT season, and was a terrific player.

I mean, Nomar won't sniff the HOF, but he was in the top 13 in MVP voting 7 times in a 14 year career. Devers has done it twice already in just 4 seasons in the bigs.

I know this isn't the only gauge, obviously. But when talking about GREATNESS, being consistently in the MVP conversation has to be part of the equation, right? And Rolen was only really part of the MVP conversation (forget winning it; just being in the conversation) one time in his whole career. Hell, Youkilis has been top 6 in MVP voting twice. Bill Mueller was top 13 the same number of times as Rolen. Gary Gaetti was top 10 in MVP voting twice.

Only one time was Rolen even in the conversation for being among those considered to be best player in the league.

So he was steady, really good, would love to have him. I just don't think he was a hall of famer.

But then again, I don't love the inclusion of guys who were good - not great - over a long period of time, though obviously there's a ton of value in being good for a long period of time and is definitely something to consider. Rolen is more like those guys, IMO, than guys who were legitimately great.

But he's probably going to get in at some point and all this will be moot. I'm just giving my opinion on the matter, not that anyone cares.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If he was so great, how could he have only cracked the top 25 in MVP voting in his league 4 times in 17 seasons, and cracked the top 13 in MVP voting just once? To me, it's pretty clear that he was very very good for a number of years, had one GREAT season, and was a terrific player.

I mean, Nomar won't sniff the HOF, but he was in the top 13 in MVP voting 7 times in a 14 year career. Devers has done it twice already in just 4 seasons in the bigs.

I know this isn't the only gauge, obviously. But when talking about GREATNESS, being consistently in the MVP conversation has to be part of the equation, right? And Rolen was only really part of the MVP conversation (forget winning it; just being in the conversation) one time in his whole career. Hell, Youkilis has been top 6 in MVP voting twice. Bill Mueller was top 13 the same number of times as Rolen. Gary Gaetti was top 10 in MVP voting twice.

Only one time was Rolen even in the conversation for being among those considered to be best player in the league.

So he was steady, really good, would love to have him. I just don't think he was a hall of famer.

But then again, I don't love the inclusion of guys who were good - not great - over a long period of time, though obviously there's a ton of value in being good for a long period of time and is definitely something to consider. Rolen is more like those guys, IMO, than guys who were legitimately great.

But he's probably going to get in at some point and all this will be moot. I'm just giving my opinion on the matter, not that anyone cares.
Seems like the difference in opinion here is you're arguing he wasn't a great baseball player in general whereas the arguments being made for Rolen are that he was a historically great third baseman by most measures of players that played that position. There is no MVP just for 3B.
 

jon abbey

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If he was so great, how could he have only cracked the top 25 in MVP voting in his league 4 times in 17 seasons, and cracked the top 13 in MVP voting just once? To me, it's pretty clear that he was very very good for a number of years, had one GREAT season, and was a terrific player.

I mean, Nomar won't sniff the HOF, but he was in the top 13 in MVP voting 7 times in a 14 year career. Devers has done it twice already in just 4 seasons in the bigs.

I know this isn't the only gauge, obviously. But when talking about GREATNESS, being consistently in the MVP conversation has to be part of the equation, right? And Rolen was only really part of the MVP conversation (forget winning it; just being in the conversation) one time in his whole career. Hell, Youkilis has been top 6 in MVP voting twice. Bill Mueller was top 13 the same number of times as Rolen. Gary Gaetti was top 10 in MVP voting twice.

Only one time was Rolen even in the conversation for being among those considered to be best player in the league.

So he was steady, really good, would love to have him. I just don't think he was a hall of famer.

But then again, I don't love the inclusion of guys who were good - not great - over a long period of time, though obviously there's a ton of value in being good for a long period of time and is definitely something to consider. Rolen is more like those guys, IMO, than guys who were legitimately great.

But he's probably going to get in at some point and all this will be moot. I'm just giving my opinion on the matter, not that anyone cares.
So a few hours after you rant about the stupidity of Gold Glove voting (fair), you make a case against the same player based on MVP voting? Odd.

From the article I linked above, “Rolen’s WAR from 1997-2004 was higher than any player in the Majors aside from Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. ”
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Seems like the difference in opinion here is you're arguing he wasn't a great baseball player in general whereas the arguments being made for Rolen are that he was a historically great third baseman by most measures of players that played that position. There is no MVP just for 3B.
I get that by some measurements he was a great third baseman. But it isn't the "Hall of Fame for Third Basemen". It's the Hall of Fame, which, IMO, is reserved for the truly great players in baseball. And when he basically was never in the conversation for being among the best players in his own league (only one time during his one great outlier season), how can we call him truly a great, hall of fame caliber player?

The beauty of this is that, I suppose, it's in the eye of the beholder, and I recognize that my view is probably the minority view, and he'll end up in the Hall. If so, I will offer my congratulations and I wish him nothing but the best. No ill feelings towards the guy at all. We're just discussing whether he should be in the HOF. In my view, he's more like in the Hall of Very Good, but not Hall of Fame.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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So a few hours after you rant about the stupidity of Gold Glove voting (fair), you make a case against the same player based on MVP voting? Odd.

From the article I linked above, “Rolen’s WAR from 1997-2004 was higher than any player in the Majors aside from Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. ”
You and I both know that winning a Gold Glove is very different from only one time in your entire career being even in the top 10 in MVP voting. So you make it sound like I'm making opposite (equivalent) arguments, but I'm not. If I made the argument that he never won an MVP, that would be more like the GG argument. But I'm just saying that he's almost never even been in the conversation for league MVP.

And yes I saw that information. That's a wonderful stretch for sure. Terrific player. Consistently very good with one outlier great season. Never led the league in any category ever.

And that's an interesting time frame. I mean it's legit, but Nomar put up almost the same WAR as Rolen over that time frame, and that includes one season (2001) where he was hurt and only played in 21 games and had a 0.5 WAR that year. And Nomar isn't sniffing the Hall.
 

jon abbey

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You and I both know that winning a Gold Glove is very different from only one time in your entire career being even in the top 10 in MVP voting. So you make it sound like I'm making opposite (equivalent) arguments, but I'm not. If I made the argument that he never won an MVP, that would be more like the GG argument. But I'm just saying that he's almost never even been in the conversation for league MVP.

And yes I saw that information. That's a wonderful stretch for sure. Terrific player. Consistently very good with one outlier great season. Never led the league in any category ever.

And that's an interesting time frame. I mean it's legit, but Nomar put up almost the same WAR as Rolen over that time frame, minus one season (2001) where he was hurt and only played in 21 games and had a 0.5 WAR that year. And Nomar isn't sniffing the Hall.
It's a stupid argument by you, based solely on the fact that MVP voters didn't seem to realize what an impact defender he was, but since I don't care at all either way, I will bow out.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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It's a stupid argument by you, but since I don't care at all either way, I will bow out.
That's a matter of opinion, which obviously you're welcome to. It's ok that I disagree, right?

But whatever. It's Scott Rolen and I don't care very much either. It only looks that way because people keep responding to me and I'm finding it to be an interesting conversation, so I keep replying. I can bow out as well.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I get that by some measurements he was a great third baseman. But it isn't the "Hall of Fame for Third Basemen". It's the Hall of Fame, which, IMO, is reserved for the truly great players in baseball. And when he basically was never in the conversation for being among the best players in his own league (only one time during his one great outlier season), how can we call him truly a great, hall of fame caliber player?

The beauty of this is that, I suppose, it's in the eye of the beholder, and I recognize that my view is probably the minority view, and he'll end up in the Hall. If so, I will offer my congratulations and I wish him nothing but the best. No ill feelings towards the guy at all. We're just discussing whether he should be in the HOF. In my view, he's more like in the Hall of Very Good, but not Hall of Fame.
You're a small Hall guy and that's cool. I used to be, but the under-representation of certain positions has made me re-think that position. I think a lot of players go under (or over) appreciated in their time, and the MVP argument proves that out better than anything.
 

scottyno

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If he was so great, how could he have only cracked the top 25 in MVP voting in his league 4 times in 17 seasons, and cracked the top 13 in MVP voting just once? To me, it's pretty clear that he was very very good for a number of years, had one GREAT season, and was a terrific player.
Because he didn't hit 45+ home runs or compete for batting titles, which were the measures that writers voted for MVP for back then?

A lot of his value came from being really really really good defensively, which didn't get you MVP votes back then.
 
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Seels

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Guys like Abreu and Kent really aren't remotely deserving of the hall. There's not a single point in the career of either of these players that anyone would have seriously pushed a hall consideration. Abreu is one of those guys who benefited much more from advanced stats than he actually was on the field. He's 872nd all time in MVP shares. He had a couple 6 war seasons on some very average Philly teams, but what is his case exactly? Abreu, at his peak, was traded for a bag of balls.

Jeff Kent is similar. So what, he got some RBIs batting after Bonds for a few years. This guy is like the showcase for hall of pretty good.

I'll be shocked if these guys combine for 15% of the vote in any particular year. -- oh wow, Kent had 32% last year. I still stand by what I said. Not a HOFer.
 

Ale Xander

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Guys like Abreu and Kent really aren't remotely deserving of the hall. There's not a single point in the career of either of these players that anyone would have seriously pushed a hall consideration. Abreu is one of those guys who benefited much more from advanced stats than he actually was on the field. He's 872nd all time in MVP shares. He had a couple 6 war seasons on some very average Philly teams, but what is his case exactly? Abreu, at his peak, was traded for a bag of balls.

Jeff Kent is similar. So what, he got some RBIs batting after Bonds for a few years. This guy is like the showcase for hall of pretty good.

I'll be shocked if these guys combine for 15% of the vote in any particular year. -- oh wow, Kent had 32% last year. I still stand by what I said. Not a HOFer.
Agree with you on Abreu

As for Kent, depends how much you value defense and stolen bases. (I "voted" for Andruw and Jimmy, FTR)

These are 2 2B, one is Kent, the other is one of the 3 best ever and in the HOF

.285/.344/.452 (.795 OPS) 114 OPS+, 282 career HR
.290/.356/.500 (.855 OPS) 122 OPS+, 377 career HR

 

Daniel_Son

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If he was so great, how could he have only cracked the top 25 in MVP voting in his league 4 times in 17 seasons, and cracked the top 13 in MVP voting just once? To me, it's pretty clear that he was very very good for a number of years, had one GREAT season, and was a terrific player.

I mean, Nomar won't sniff the HOF, but he was in the top 13 in MVP voting 7 times in a 14 year career. Devers has done it twice already in just 4 seasons in the bigs.

I know this isn't the only gauge, obviously. But when talking about GREATNESS, being consistently in the MVP conversation has to be part of the equation, right? And Rolen was only really part of the MVP conversation (forget winning it; just being in the conversation) one time in his whole career. Hell, Youkilis has been top 6 in MVP voting twice. Bill Mueller was top 13 the same number of times as Rolen. Gary Gaetti was top 10 in MVP voting twice.

Only one time was Rolen even in the conversation for being among those considered to be best player in the league.

So he was steady, really good, would love to have him. I just don't think he was a hall of famer.

But then again, I don't love the inclusion of guys who were good - not great - over a long period of time, though obviously there's a ton of value in being good for a long period of time and is definitely something to consider. Rolen is more like those guys, IMO, than guys who were legitimately great.

But he's probably going to get in at some point and all this will be moot. I'm just giving my opinion on the matter, not that anyone cares.
If it wasn't for Bonds being God in 2004, there's a decent argument he should've won it that year. 3rd highest WAR in the NL at 9.2, good for a line of .314/.409/.598. Hit 34 HR, 124 RBI, 158 OPS+, 30 DRS. Beltre had a better season at the plate, but Rolen was the best player on a 105-win team that featured prime Pujols and Jim Edmonds. Christ, that 2004 Cardinals team was stacked - I wonder whatever happened to them?
 

Ale Xander

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If it wasn't for Bonds being God in 2004, there's a decent argument he should've won it that year. 3rd highest WAR in the NL at 9.2, good for a line of .314/.409/.598. Hit 34 HR, 124 RBI, 158 OPS+, 30 DRS. Beltre had a better season at the plate, but Rolen was the best player on a 105-win team that featured prime Pujols and Jim Edmonds. Christ, that 2004 Cardinals team was stacked - I wonder whatever happened to them?
0-11 when it mattered.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa7pj2ZcxTs
 

OCD SS

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I get that by some measurements he was a great third baseman. But it isn't the "Hall of Fame for Third Basemen". It's the Hall of Fame, which, IMO, is reserved for the truly great players in baseball.
When you combine the lack of 3Bmen in the HOF with this argument, it tells me that the writers aren’t looking at the realities of the position. It’s as if the expectations are if you play a corner, you hit like a 1Bman, and it ignores the new assessment of the defensive spectrum, where the he importance of 3B is closer to 2B/CF.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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This Rolen discussion doubles as a preview of the Chase Utley discussion in a couple of years. One of the best in the NL from 05-11 (roughly), maybe the second-best behind Pujols, but didn’t get much recognition from the BBWAA and less famous than his teammates for most of those years. Not sure how many people were thinking “future HoFer Chase Utley” but he’s worthy in my book.
 

snowmanny

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Dec 8, 2005
13,576
I think Rolen is in, eventually. I'd have to think to see if I had room for him on my ballot this year. There are a few possible third basemen candidates in the pipeline...Beltre, Arenado, Rendon, Machado, Bregman, Devers, Ed-meant to mention Jose Ramirez...... Wright was a HOFer in his 20's but couldn't stay healthy.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
17,507
Just for fun, here's a comparison between Rolen and Nomar. Different positions, but played basically in the same time frame.

Career
- Nomar: 14 years, 1,434 g, 6,116 PA, 927 r, 370 2b, 229 hr, 936 rbi, .313/.361/.521/.882, 124 ops+, 44.3 bWAR (.031 bWAR per game)
- Rolen: 17 years, 2,038 g, 8,518 PA, 1,211 r, 517 2b, 316 hr, 1,287 rbi, .281/.364/.490/.855, 122 ops+, 70.1 bWAR (0.34 bWAR per game)

Avg per 162 games
- Nomar: 691 pa, 105 r, 42 2b, 26 hr, 106 rbi, .313/.361/.521/.882, 124 ops+, 5.0 bWAR
- Rolen: 677 pa, 96 r, 41 2b, 25 hr, 102 rbi, .281/.364/.490/.855, 122 ops+, 5.6 bWAR

Best season
- Nomar (2000): 599 pa, 51 2b, 21 hr, .372/.434/.599/1.033, 156 ops+, 7.4 bWAR
- Rolen (2004): 593 pa, 32 2b, 34 hr, .314/.409/.598/1.007, 158 ops+, 9.2 bWAR

Peak four years
- Nomar (1997-2000): 2,528 pa, 174 2b, 113 hr, .337/.386/.577/.963, 142 ops+, 27.7 bWAR
- Rolen (2001-2004): 2,570 pa, 149 2b, 118 hr, .288/.381/.530/.911, 137 ops+, 24.8 bWAR

Peak seven years
- Nomar (1997-2003): 4,083 pa, 270 2b, 169 hr, .325/.372/.557/.929, 135 ops+, 41.1 bWAR
- Rolen (1998-2004): 4,329 pa, 254 2b, 201 hr, .287/.380/.532/.912, 134 ops+, 41.7 bWAR

Awards
- Nomar
- ROY: 1
- All-star: 6
- MVP: 0
- Top 10 MVP: 5
- Top 13 MVP: 7
- Gold Gloves: 0
- Silver Slugger: 2
- Rolen
- ROY: 1
- All-star: 7
- MVP: 0
- Top 10 MVP: 1
- Top 13 MVP: 1
- Gold Gloves: 8
- Silver Slugger: 1

Postseason stats
- Nomar: 127 pa, .321/.386/.589/.975
- Rolen: 159 pa, .220/.302/.376/.678

I mean, the bat edge goes to Nomar. The fielding edge goes to Rolen. Rolen compiled a lot more numbers because he played longer and, even though he dealt with his own injuries, was healthier than Nomar. But that matters, and that counts. Health is a factor. You don't get credit for games you don't play, and Rolen was on the field more and thus earned those numbers.

I mean, it's pretty close, right? Nomar at his peak was every bit as good as Rolen. But Nomar fell off the HOF ballot in his second year, after receiving just 30 votes in his first year (he received just 8 votes his second year).

In terms of fielding, which is where Rolen has the edge, the key is that Rolen was more *consistent* than Nomar. But here are their five best fielding seasons by fielding bWAR:

Nomar: 2.5 (2002), 2.0 (1997), 1.9 (1998), 1.6 (2000), 1.5 (2003) = 9.5 over those five years (1.90 per year)
Rolen: 3.3 (2004), 1.8 (2006), 1.8 (1999), 1.6 (2005), 1.4 (1998) = 9.9 over those five years (1.98 per year)

Negligible difference when both were playing their best defense. Keep in mind that it's easier to play 3b as you age than it is to play SS as you age, as range is far less of an issue. Nonetheless, I'll happily give Rolen the edge in fielding, though I will just say that at their best, the difference was very small between the two of them defensively.

Anyway, this isn't super relevant to this year's HOF ballot. I was just curious to compare Nomar with Rolen. It's kind of amazing to me that Rolen will likely get in while Nomar got dropped after year two on the ballot, even though they were both similar quality players.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Aug 12, 2009
9,120
Agree with you on Abreu

As for Kent, depends how much you value defense and stolen bases. (I "voted" for Andruw and Jimmy, FTR)

These are 2 2B, one is Kent, the other is one of the 3 best ever and in the HOF

.285/.344/.452 (.795 OPS) 114 OPS+, 282 career HR
.290/.356/.500 (.855 OPS) 122 OPS+, 377 career HR
Hey, if Jeff Kent had won 9 Gold Glove at second base, he might be in already, too (which is your point, of course).

Interestingly though, Player A won seven Silver Slugger awards for being the best hitting second baseman in his league, the most for any second baseman (obviously the award didn’t exist pre-1980, so a limited sample of second basemen in that respect), while Kent only won four, so managers and coaches at least thought that Player A was a better hitter relative to his contemporary second basemen than Kent was to his, plus ten All-Star selections to Kent’s five, to the extent such things matter. It makes me wonder if just looking at league-wide OPS+ doesn’t capture the whole story if, for example, second basemen on as a whole were worse hitters relative to league average during Player A’s playing career (not sure how to look up or quantify that).
 

scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
9,404
Anyway, this isn't super relevant to this year's HOF ballot. I was just curious to compare Nomar with Rolen. It's kind of amazing to me that Rolen will likely get in while Nomar got dropped after year two on the ballot, even though they were both similar quality players.
Rolen played nearly 600 more games with the same offensive metrics as Nomar. If you added in another 600 games to Nomar's resume he would have had a good HOF case too, but he didn't so I don't see the comparison at all.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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Rolen played nearly 600 more games with the same offensive metrics as Nomar. If you added in another 600 games to Nomar's resume he would have had a good HOF case too, but he didn't so I don't see the comparison at all.
I'd add that when each burst on to the major league (each was Rookie of the Year in 1997), they immediately assumed the "face of the franchise" mantle because they were exciting, dynamic players on teams eager for a new star to put past disappointment behind them. Each had a great run but eventually wore out their welcome and got traded. The difference was that Rolen then went on to be a really good player on some really good Cardinal teams, while Nomar's career was basically a struggle against his damaged wrist.
 

BuellMiller

lurker
Mar 25, 2015
384
Hey, if Jeff Kent had won 9 Gold Glove at second base, he might be in already, too (which is your point, of course).

Interestingly though, Player A won seven Silver Slugger awards for being the best hitting second baseman in his league, the most for any second baseman (obviously the award didn’t exist pre-1980, so a limited sample of second basemen in that respect), while Kent only won four, so managers and coaches at least thought that Player A was a better hitter relative to his contemporary second basemen than Kent was to his, plus ten All-Star selections to Kent’s five, to the extent such things matter. It makes me wonder if just looking at league-wide OPS+ doesn’t capture the whole story if, for example, second basemen on as a whole were worse hitters relative to league average during Player A’s playing career (not sure how to look up or quantify that).
And also point out that player A didn’t get in until his 3rd try and squeaked in at 76% so even being one of the top all time wasn’t looked at all that great by the voters. And calling him top 3 is slightly misleading since there really is a top 2 in Morgan and Hornsby and then a drop off, at least in terms of perception, IMO. A lot might come down to the perception of 2b being less of the glamour infield position and more of the scrappy player, who was expected to hit like 2nd and just move over the lead off guy or maybe get a double once in awhile. Your Barretts, Reeds, Fletchers, etc, going back to the Red Sox of the 80s and 90s.
 

BuellMiller

lurker
Mar 25, 2015
384
Rolen played nearly 600 more games with the same offensive metrics as Nomar. If you added in another 600 games to Nomar's resume he would have had a good HOF case too, but he didn't so I don't see the comparison at all.
Probably really only needed 3 seasons like 2003 or slightly worse to get in. Even with a shortened career compared to the other SS of his era in Jeter, Arod, vizquel, I think say the following stats get it done:
2300 H, 1200 R and RBI, 500 2b, 300 HR, close to 60 WAR, and essentially the same triple slash line to go with that great peak of 97-03.
I guess regardless, with the Baines floodgate open, he would just need like Pedro and Papi (knock on wood) to get onto the Veterans committee and he’d have a chance still?
 

B H Kim

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Oct 24, 2003
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I really don't understand the Abreu argument. Even in comparison to Jeff Kent (who is a borderline candidate himself), he pales offensively in counting stats, while simultaneously being a Corner OF in comparison to a middle IFer (a butcher defensively, but still a middle IFer).

Is this a purely OBP-based argument? It doesn't seem likely to be based on defense (1 GG, negative career dWAR per b-ref), fame (2 ASG selections in 18 seasons), power (a corner OFer with 18 seasons and under 300 career HRs), AVG (sub-.300 in the most offense-friendly era we've ever seen), excellence relative to his peers (highest MVP finish = 12th), or any kind of resume-enhancing postseason performances. I'm not trying to be disingenuous here, I'm legitimately baffled by why anyone would even consider him over, say, Todd Helton or Jimmy Rollins or Jeff Kent. Is it just OBP and longevity?
That's primarily it for me. But it's not an insubstantial consideration. The only player with a higher career OBP than Abreu over at least 10,000 plate appearances who isn't in the Hall is Barry Bonds. I think he's marginal, but I think his qualifications are at least on a par with Kent's.
 

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,474
Re: Kent, not sure how people feel about JAWS around here, but he’s surprisingly low (I was surprised, anyway) on that leaderboard, 21st all-time behind Pedroia and Kinsler (I wouldn’t vote for either of them, sorry), though he is ahead of a few enshrined 2Bs.
 

amRadio

lurker
Feb 7, 2019
798
My ballot:

Barry Bonds - HOFer prior to steroid controversy; the best statistical player of all time.

Roger Clemens - HOFer prior to steroid controversy; 7 Cy Youngs, MVP as a pitcher, one of the best to do it.

Todd Helton - .332 BA for 10 consecutive years '98-'07, 133 OPS+ career, 61.8 career bWAR, scores a 175 on the James HOF Monitor. I think he deserves it.

Andruw Jones - 10 Gold gloves, I believe him to be the best CFer of my lifetime. Horrendous in his 30's but still accrued 62 bWAR in 17 seasons. Sentimental pick somewhat, but I think he's key to telling the story of the Braves and the NL East in the 90s and early 00's.

Jeff Kent - Scores a 122 on the James HOF monitor. Became one of the best offensive 2B of all time in his 30s. His .855 OPS would be second amongst HOF second basemen since the end of WW2 with only Jackie Robinson besting him. Only Robinson, Joe Morgan and Rod Carew would have a higher OPS+. There's obviously a diverse set of sets among admitted 2B's since WWII, but I think it's interesting. When I think of great hitting 2B's in my lifetime, Kent comes to mind right away.

David Ortiz - Tied for 8th all time in XBH with Ken Griffey Jr. and Rafael Palmiero. One of the best post-season performers in the history of the sport.

Scott Rolen - One of the best defensive 3B ever. Had a great start to his career offensively: .287/.379/.524, 133 OPS+ from 97-2004. Right on the edge by the HOF monitor with a 99 - but that only rates offense. His defense puts him over the top for me. Won gold gloves at ages 23 and 35 and to my memory his defense really remained consistently excellent whenever he was healthy throughout his career.

Curt Schilling - The career is worthy of induction. Hopefully he boycotts the whole thing and doesn't show up.

Gary Sheffield - 140 OPS+, 6 top ten MVP finishes, batting title winner and a nine time all star. One of the best middle of the order threats of his era.

Billy Wagner - Only 900 innings, but genuinely excellent statistics. In 16 seasons, 15 times he pitched more than 30 innings, and the worst ERA he posted in those years was a 2.85. Amazing career stats: 422 Saves, 11.9 K/9, a 3.99 K:BB, 0.99 WHIP and a 2.31 ERA. One of the best fastballs of his era.
I'm probably least confident in the Kent, Rolen and Sheffield votes, but I think they deserve it. They stand out a lot in my memory when I think about baseball in the late 90's and early 00's.
 
Last edited:

Ale Xander

killed off Vin Scully
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
50,438
My ballot:



I'm probably least confident in the Kent, Rolen and Sheffield votes, but I think they deserve it. They stand out a lot in my memory when I think about baseball in the late 90's and early 00's.
You have Sheffield, but no Manny?

Screenshot 2021-12-30 at 12-35-39 Manny Ramirez Stats Baseball-Reference com.png
 

amRadio

lurker
Feb 7, 2019
798
Yep. The way Manny was caught repeatedly at the end of his career was embarrassing and ruined his image for me. Sheffield was in the Mitchell Report, but wasn't caught repeatedly. I used 10 spots, if I'm treating this like a real ballot for fun, I'd say A-rod and Manny can wait.
 

Ale Xander

killed off Vin Scully
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
50,438
Yep. The way Manny was caught repeatedly at the end of his career was embarrassing and ruined his image for me. Sheffield was in the Mitchell Report, but wasn't caught repeatedly. I used 10 spots, if I'm treating this like a real ballot for fun, I'd say A-rod and Manny can wait.
Screenshot 2021-12-30 at 12-42-32 BALCO Jason Giambi Gary Sheffield Bobblehead SGA Bobble #289...png
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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May 5, 2017
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Yeah, Sheffield wasn't simply name-dropped in the Mitchell Report. He admittedly was involved with Balco and infamously and unquestionably used "The Clear & The Cream", although with the laughable excuse that he only did so because Bonds told him to and not to question him about it, which left Sheffield shocked when he later found out it was a steroid. He was also historically bad in the field, although during his early days in Milwaukee that was helped along by the fact he wasn't even trying since he was forcing his way out of town. If anyone is using steroids or character issues as a factor in their voting, they should be aware that there were few players more reprehensible than Sheffield during his era.