Sunday, July 01, 2007

Hall of Fame

Interesting question raised here: Does Craig Biggio belong in the Hall of Fame? Such questions used to be easy for me. If a batter gets 3,000 hits or 500 home runs, or if a a pitcher gets 300 wins, he's in. Biggio is closing in on 3,000 hits, but even a Biggio fan like me has a hard time seeing him in the Hall. As the article notes, the old rules don't quite apply.

UPDATE: The revived What's Right in Montana already is being taken over by lying trolls, which is sad because Eric deserves better. But he's got to lay down the law over there or his blog will be destroyed again.

So I won't comment there, but Eric does bring up an always interesting debate: Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame?

Here I break my usual rules and say no. Rose certainly has the numbers to be there, and I generally don't think what players do off the field should influence their election to the Hall. If it did, then as Kirk Dooley notes in comments below, Ty Cobb would never have made it.

But while Rose's gambling happened off the field, it affected what happened on the field, and he was very much in the game when it all happened. It was way outside the boundaries, and he has earned permanent punishment.

Perhaps even more interesting is the question of what to do with the steroid athletes, especially those who never admit it and against whom it can never be proved. That's a tough call, and I don't have the energy tonight to make it. Game called.


Dave Rye said...

The qualification for Hall of Fame membership was formerly to have been a GREAT player. In the last decade, that requirement appears to have been downgraded to VERY GOOD. Biggio is in the latter category. I like his playing and what appears to be his very nice personality, but I think the Hall ought to be a bit more exclusive than that.

I do admire Biggio's courage in continuing to "dig in" at the plate, since I believe he's close to setting the all-time record for times hit by a pitch.

Anonymous said...

I think 3000 hits belongs in the hall.

It's still something that's rarely done.

Is Craig Biggio as good of a batter as Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, or Hank Aaron?

Not quite. They all have 500+ home runs too.

The only person I really think is missing from the Hall of Fame is Pete Rose.

When he was playing, he put out 150% every day. He was one of the all-time greats.

If they let steroid-users get into the record books without an asterisk beside their names, I don't see why not let Pete Rose in.

Jay Stevens said...

Not great? Biggio is among MLB's leaders for runs scored, stolen bases, doubles, and walks while playing CF, C, and 2B, some of the hardest positions in the sport!

During his time, who was a better second baseman? Roberto Alomar was better defensively and hit for better average, but Biggio had more power. Jeff Kent had more power, but couldn't hold Biggio's jock strap in the field.

To me if the guy was arguably the best at his position during his era, he's a HOFer.

David said...

Jay, You make an excellent case.

KIrk Dooley said...

Biggio deserves to be in Cooperstown not only for the numbers he put up, but because he was the kind of player who brought honor to the game. Rose belongs in the Hall as well for the way he played the game (although I would never allow him back into the game in any capacity except to be an example to others in the game to stay away from bookies).

Bonds also deserves to be in Coopertown. If Ty Cobb deserves to be there (and Cobb not only was an a**hole, but a racist a**hole), then Bonds (who was putting up HOF numbers before he got close to illegal pharmaceuticals) should be there as well. But Biggio should get in first. (Although I hope his plaque has a clean cap...)

Anonymous said...

It still makes my head hurt to try to objectively compare 'todays' players with those of yesteryear.

David said...

Eric, There's no reason to try to objectively compare players from different eras. Players should be judged by how they performed against the competition that was available at the time. Just imagine how the record books would have to be rewritten if, say, black players had not been excluded all those years. But you can't hold it against Babe Ruth that he never had to face Bob Gibson. You deal with what you've got.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm wondering again....would Barry Bonds have batted over .300 against Bob Gibson........?

Starting to make my head hurt. LOL
Thanks for the fun post.

KIrk Dooley said...

Eric, Gibson would've hit Bonds 300 times (especially if the Man Whose Hat Size was Huge Before He Started Using Chemicals did one of his hot dog home run trots). And if Bonds had charged the mound to complain, Gibson would've kicked his ample behind, as well.