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The Ballpark Penalty

Fun idea from Brian Kenny – though I’m pretty sure he was joking. Of course, Brian knows me well enough now to know that I take even jokey ideas and do way too much with them.

He suggested if you want to penalize the players you suspect of using steroids but don’t want to disqualify them — a reasonable position, I think — what you should do is go to Baseball Reference and plug their careers into the worst possible ballpark context.  That would significantly penalize the player’s career numbers but if they were TRULY great then that should (or at least might) shine through.

So, yeah, I did that.

For hitters, I used 1968 Dodger Stadium. I could have gone back and used an old Deadball Park, but that didn’t seem right – that was a different game. How would the players who have in any way been connected with steroids do in that awful hitting environment?

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Baseball links

Got a Hall of Fame wrap-up that I’ll post here in a little bit, hopefully, but in the meantime a couple of baseball links for you:

The Rule of 10.

Puerto Rico, Roberto Clemente and the Hall of Fame path of Pudge Rodriguez.

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Raines reigns

I wrote a little bit about Tim Raines’ journey to the Hall. 

A little later on, I’ll have a piece up about the dreaded Rule of 10 and something from the Hall of Fame press conference.

Though the official announcement is to come, I’m guessing you can see my future here.

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Ballot 10: Vlad and Manny

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Manny Ramirez

Played 19 years with five teams

Twelve-time All-Star hit 555 home runs, won a World Series MVP, led league in slugging and on-base percentage three times. 69.2 WAR, 35.6 WAA

Pro Argument: One of the greatest hitters who ever lived.

Con argument: PEDs and was a subpar outfielder

Deserves to be in Hall?: Yes.

Will get elected this year?: No

Will ever get elected?: 45-50%

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Vladimir Guerrero

Played 16 years with four teams

Nine-time All-Star hit .318 for his career, twice led the league in total bases. 59.3 WAR, 29.4 WAA

Pro Argument: One of the greatest hitters who ever lived.

Con argument: Shortish career … he retired at 36 before he reached some of baseball’s magic numbers.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Yes.

Will get elected this year?: 43%

Will ever get elected?: 99%

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Ballot 9: Ivan Rodriguez

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Ivan Rodriguez

Played 21 years with six teams

Fourteen-time All-Star won 13 Gold Gloves and played more games at catcher than any player in baseball history. 68.4 WAR, 33.1 WAA

Pro Argument: MVP and good hitter who might have been best defensive catcher ever.

Con argument: PED rumors.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Yes.

Will get elected this year?: 75-80%.

Will ever get elected?: 98%.

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The Hall of Fame PosCast

The PosCast is back … I was going to say by popular demand but we all know that isn’t true. How about 80-plus minutes of Mike Schur and I babbling nonsense about the Hall of Fame?

You got it!

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Ballot 12: Gary Sheffield

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Gary Sheffield

Played 22 years with six teams

Nine-time All-Star won a batting title, hit 500 home runs. 60.3 WAR, 25.7 WAA

Pro Argument: One of the 50 greatest hitters who ever lived.

Con argument: PEDs and was by the numbers an especially poor outfielder.

Deserves to be in Hall?: I think so.

Will get elected this year?: No.

Will ever get elected?: 10-15%.

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Ballot 8: Tim Raines

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Tim Raines

Played 23 years with six teams

Seven-time All-Star won a batting title, twice led league in runs and stole 808 bases. 69.1 WAR, 35.0 WAA

Pro Argument: Multifaceted case of base stealing, getting on base and scoring runs – one of the 100 greatest players ever.

Con argument: Doesn’t have the obvious stats like 3,000 hits – was basically a part time player the last 10 years of his career.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Oh yes.

Will get elected this year?: Yes.

Will ever get elected?: Yes.

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Ballot 13: Sammy Sosa

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Sammy Sosa

Played 18 years with four teams

Seven-time All-Star and MVP winner hit 609 homers and topped 60 three times. 58.4 WAR, 28.0 WAA

Pro Argument: Hit 292 homers in five-year span, no one else is even close.

Con argument: PED questions, relatively low average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Depends on your view of era.

Will get elected this year?: No.

Will ever get elected?: less than 5%.

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Ballot 14: Jeff Kent

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Jeff Kent

Played 17 years with six teams

Five-time All-Star and MVP winner hit 377 homers, most ever for a second baseman. 55.2 WAR, 26.3 WAA

Pro Argument: One of the best offensive second basemen ever.

Con argument: Wasn’t a great all-around player.

Deserves to be in Hall?: No idea.

Will get elected this year?: No.

Will ever get elected?: 5-10%

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