By In PosCast

PosCast Episode 16 — The Hall (Part 1)

It began as a lark — Michael Schur decided to go through all 32 players on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. I realized we were in trouble when we spent five minutes on the first guy, Garrett Anderson. In the end, we had to split the PosCast up in two, each one oppressively long.

Here’s the first one — we talk Hall of Fame candidates from Anderson to Hoffman, and then we draft movie franchises. It’s almost 90 minutes long. I fully understand you skipping it.

Tomorrow, Part 2 goes up.

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40 Responses to PosCast Episode 16 — The Hall (Part 1)

  1. Everyone says:

    Are you going to WRITE anything about the HOF this year? I love reading your perspective on it and it’s sad that we had to wait so long for anything substantial about it this year. Cmon Joe, we’re dying here, we need you to post post post about the HOF. This is by far your best and most compelling subject!

  2. jaack831 says:

    As a young person, I agree that Annie Hall is not funny.

    Blazing Saddles, which is a wee bit older, IS funny.

    • Agree. Annie Hall was a pretty good movie, but not laugh out loud funny. Blazing Saddles was laugh out loud funny. However, take a look at it today. It doesn’t really hold up anymore. Yeah, Slim Pickens is still really funny. Harvey Korman has his moments. But a lot of the N**** jokes start to get really annoying.

    • NevadaMark says:

      Blazing Saddles is one of the 3 or 4 funniest movies of all time.

  3. Frog says:

    For those who need it, it can be downloaded from:

  4. Cuban X Senators says:

    Blazing Saddles not funny.
    Annie Hall funny.

    The Marx Brothers woulda been better than any of these (‘cept arguably Star Wars & Godfather)
    Hell, The Thin Man woulda been too.

    • Dave Smith says:

      The Thin Man is number two on my list, right after Indiana Jones. I’m not sure why, such are the vagaries of taste.

  5. DjangoZ says:

    Yeah, people care that cyclists cheated and baseball players cheated.

    I enjoy your poscasts, but it would be fun if you did a cast with someone who took the other side of the PED/HOF argument.

    • heaveecee says:

      I agree that people care that cyclists cheated, but the major difference is that cycling had testing and clearly stated in their rules that PEDs were banned. I give Bonds, Clemens and McGwire a pass since their careers prior to 2003, when testing began, was Hall worthy. Particularly Bonds and Clemens who are all-time greats even before their suspected PED years. All 3 of those guys came out of an accepting culture in baseball that allowed amphetamines, welcomed new fitness regimes, creatine and muscle building powders and did nothing about it in their rules or testing until very late in the game.

      • Ed says:

        I think very few people care about Lance Armstrong cheating. I guess some people do. But it’s pretty well known that almost every cyclist cheats.

        The issue with Lance Armstrong is that he was such a massive asshole about it. He basically tried to destroy people’s lives for telling the truth about him in order to protect himself. Just a absolutely horrible, horrible person.

    • I think having someone represent the flip side of the steroid argument would be very helpful. Joe & Michael, to me, were misrepresenting the anti-steroid argument altogether. It’s not that Barry Bonds is a bad guy that makes him undeserving of the HOF, which btw leads to the Cap Anson and Ty Cobb are in the HOF and nobody today is a worse person than they are. No, the argument is that steroids inflated their statistics & distorted their career and single season numbers, which are a huge part of the HOF case. Does Barry Bonds hit 73 HRs in a year and break Hank Aaron’s career HR record without steroids? No rational person would say yes based on his career arc prior to steroids. He was definitely on his way to 500 HRs and possibly 600. But 762? No. That does leave room to argue that his work prior to steroids and his projected career arc at that time would have made him a HOFer anyway. But let’s stop with the silly and irrelevant comparisons between steroid users and Ty Cobb. That infuriates me.

      On another note, I’m very happy that Michael did recognize that he understood that Pete Rose wasn’t in because he broke the one indisputable rule that you can’t break…. and didn’t go into Pete Rose / Ty Cobb bad guy comparisons. I can live with the argument that Rose has done his time, I can’t live with the argument that “moralizers” are keeping him out, just as I can’t live with the argument that “moralizers” are keeping Barry Bonds out. Yeah, there’s some of that, but most of what I see is about the inflated & undeserved numbers steroid users compiled. There’s just no good way, in most cases, of unwinding what was legitimate vs. illegitimate. And, to the extent we can unwind it, it looks like there is a lot of unwinding to do. Numbers would not be nearly the same without the boost from steroids.

      • nickolai says:

        What about Joe’s / Michael’s point that the HoF very likely contains at least some steroid users, and many other abusers of (also illegal) amphetamines? Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle have all admitted to using amphetamines, which played at least some role in their career performance and longevity, including breaking some hallowed records like Bonds did. Why is steroids use during the 1990s/2000s somehow worse than the PEDs abused in previous eras?

        • duffy01 says:

          The Hall Of Fame is an honor, not a right. Much of what makes baseball timeless are the records. Because Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa cheated their way to the home run records they broke, baseball’s biggest and most important record will never be approached again. They forfeited their right to be honored by the Hall of Fame. It is true there are other cheaters (oops, I mean steroid users) in the Hall of Fame. That does not mean we have to continue to let in known steroid users.

        • Rob Pollard says:

          That’s easy.

          Amphetamines were an open “secret” in basically every clubhouse, distributed with approval from management by trainers and openly available (e.g,. in bowls). Players knew who used it, accepted it as part of the game. While they didn’t want anyone to talk “out of school” about it to the public, there was no hiding it among the players.

          Steroids were never that way. While it might have been common in a few clubhouses amongst certain players (e.g., Oakland), it was never as prevalent as greenies. It was not an accepted part of the baseball culture. Think about when Caminiti, McGwire, etc first started getting accused — there were plenty of baseball players who said they had never seen anyone take steroids, or if they had, it was just by a few players ; it was a very hush-hush situation, done in secret. No one ever admitted it, while playing, as they did with greenies.

          In short, Bonds, Clemons, McGwire, Sosa knew they were breaking the baseball rules/code/whatever you want to call it by taking steroids, and they were using them to get an advantage over the majority of players who did not take the stuff. They shouldn’t get a HoF spot, based on the numbers they put up while cheating the game.

          (I don’t care, for HoF purposes, if they were breaking the law or not; HoF is based on baseball).

          • Ed says:

            Just because other players acted like they had no idea it was going on doesn’t mean that’s the truth.

            Of course they would lie about it to avoid being tainted. I think it’s very naive of you to think it was only a small portion of players that were taking steroids.

      • duffy01 says:

        ESPN is the same way. You always have two guys talking about what a travesty it is that Bonds, McGuire, etc, aren’t in but you never see someone give an opposing view. The only argument you get is Buster Olney or another writer setting up a straw man to knock down. It’s like watching Fox News or MSNBC.

        • Rob Pollard says:

          Yes, not a strong job by those two. If you can’t rationally represent the other sides argument, then save time and don’t even bring it up.

      • David Brent says:

        I’m always amused when people discover that Internet baseball writers dwell in complete hivemind. This whole self-satisfied Internet baseball writer- hey, we’ll just make up our own rules for our HOF voting is beyond stale. If you’re not going to follow the simple rules given to you then give up your vote. I’m not a huge Verducci guy, but I respect him more and more because he actually has a stance and hasn’t flip-flopped like the vast majority of these schmucks.

  6. richiew13 says:

    I do not consider 90 minutes to be absurdly long for an in-depth conversation of HOF candidates.

  7. Kyle says:

    Feel like they missed an opportunity by neither picking the “Before” franchise. I know they’re not blockbusters, but each of those three movies is perfect in its own way.

  8. I’m going to have to disagree with you guys about closers. Yes, it’s true that a lot of failed starters can be converted to closers. But it’s also true that most of them don’t last very long. And even those that do — guys like Papelbon and Rodriguez — are still WAY short of putting up as many saves as Hoffman or Rivera. What separates those two is the longevity.

    • I think there is questionable to terrible logic to the “failed starter” argument. You could turn around and say that Chipper Jones was a failed shortstop. You could say that Edgar Martinez was a failed third baseman. You could say Frank Thomas was a failed first baseman. Pete Rose was a failed second baseman. And on and on.
      If a player is moved from one position to another and does better in the new position, why should they be judged on how they did playing the position where they were weaker? Why does that negate the success that they had at the new position?
      Now, I get the argument that the impact of a closer is less than a starter. So, maybe the position is overrated. But that has nothing to do with whether the guy was a good starter or a failed starter. The fact that Dennis Eckersley was a good starter who became a closer and Mariano Rivera was a poor starter who became a closer doesn’t make Dennis Eckersley a better closer. It’s irrelevant. The career you put up is the career you put up & has nothing to do with any prior position that you played.

      • Ed says:

        I think you’re missing the point of the argument. They aren’t saying he’s a failed starter so he shouldn’t make the Hall of Fame. They’re saying that an above average starter is more valuable than a great reliever, so if he wasn’t good enough to even be a starter, why would he deserve a Hall of Fame spot over starting pitchers? It’s crazy that Trevor Hoffman would be in the Hall of Fame and Kevin Brown wouldn’t, even though Kevin Brown was FAR FAR more valuable to his teams during his career than Trevor Hoffman was.

        The failed starter to closer thing is totally different than saying someone was a failed shortstop who turned into an OF. The whole point of it is that most starting pitchers would be lights out relievers, because it’s MUCH easier to pitch for one inning than it is to pitch for 6-7. That doesn’t mean every single starter would turn into Mariano Rivera (they wouldn’t), but there’s plenty of examples of guys who could not make it as a starter going into the bullpen and crushing it (just look at Wade Davis for a recent example). I’ve also seen numerous people (including people on this very blog) talk about how their experience as a pitcher bore out that they could be significantly more effective pitching one inning than they could as a starter pitching multiple innings.

        Beyond that, baseball teams recognize that a solid starter is more valuable than a great reliever… that’s why you occasionally see teams try to turn really good relievers/closers into starters (which almost always fails… there may be examples of it working, but I can’t think of any).

        • Ed says:

          i.e., the failed starter thing is arguing that the position of closer is dramatically overvalued because there are tons of people who could step in and do a fine job. Just move a former starter there. The two arguments are related; they aren’t separate arguments.

  9. Ed says:

    I love the long podcasts. The longer the better! They are great to listen to in the background.

    I’m going to skip the Hall of Fame talk and go straight to the movies.

    Star Wars — excellent. prequels were mostly terrible, but original three were wonderful and the new one is very good.

    Godfather — I’ve still never even seen part 3, but the first two are two of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

    James Bond — Bond is just all over the place. I don’t totally agree about the plots though… they are definitely mostly similar, but some are better than others. Goldeneye was leaps and bounds better than any of the other Brosnan films, for one, and Casino Royale was an excellent movie overall as opposed to just being a good Bond movie.

    Lord of the Rings — as good as anyone could have possibly done with the source material, even though leaving off the Scouring of the Shire sort of misses the whole point (but I understand why they cut it for a movie and don’t really have any complaints). Absolutely beautiful movies.

    Matrix — they pretty much hit the nail on the head here. The Matrix is a great, great movie. Matrix Reloaded had some really cool scenes, and a lot of ‘wtf is happening here?’ moments. Matrix Revolutions was just awful.

    Indiana Jones — I agree with Mike. Last Crusade is a terminally underrated movie; it’s so much fun. Connery and Ford are so good together. Raiders is perfect, and Temple of Doom is weird and strange and sort of feels like it came from a different franchise. But it’s not bad. Crystal Skull never happened.

    Back to the Future — I don’t have much to say about this. I’ve seen all three movies, but I honestly don’t remember that much about them because it’s been a long time. I do remember thinking the first one was great, though.

    Toy Story — also don’t have any thoughts on this. I’ve seen the first one long ago, but remember very little about it and have never seen 2 or 3.

    Harry Potter — I mostly agree with Joe. I love the books; the movie are just… meh. The only one that’s really a good movie on its own is Prisoner of Azkaban. I actually think Goblet of Fire is the second best movie, and I think it’s because it strays from the source material more than the other movies. Normally I prefer sticking closely to the source material, but the HP books are so big that things HAVE to be cut… so you’re better off taking what you can and then fashioning a movie that flows well out of that. I thought 5-7 were bad movies — especially 5. It felt less like a film than a series of vignettes taken out of the books and strung together with small connecting scenes that showed the passage of time.

    Jason Bourne — Just completely agree with Mike. Highly entertaining movies.

    They mentioned the Die Hard and Alien franchises, but I’m surprised neither Joe nor Mike at least mentioned Terminator. It has two excellent films (and then some really bad ones),which is more than the Matrix managed.

  10. Spaceman says:

    Nice podcast. There is a continuing argument that is used by many that I have trouble with; I was curious how others felt.

    A point was mentioned that Bonds has been left out because (paraphrasing) of the character clause – and since Ty Cobb is in and he was an awful person, Bonds should be let in. There is no arguing – based on documented history – that Cobb was an awful person and it clearly did not sway the initial vote despite this clause.

    My question for people that use this argument is this: shouldn’t we evolve from that mistake instead of using it as support for another player? Wouldn’t it be nice if starting now (i.e. as a result of the Steroid era) we DID start treating that clause with the importance and relevance it deserves? Let’s take the responsibility that our previous leaders did not seem to be able to carry. Why do we have to regress because of past mistakes? Can we not strive to employ that clause with reverence instead? It is almost as simple as “two wrongs don’t make a right”, to me at least.

    There are other “awful” humans in the Hall as well…but I am using Cobb as a conduit to this discussion since it was brought up. Can we not strive to make the Hall what it CAN be instead of making it was it HAS been? Let’s show our children and future generations what the Hall can and should be.

    Honestly, I am open to other’s thoughts on this topic – especially on this website because I find it to be intellectually sound. Hoping to read some feedback….Happy New Year to all!

  11. Pat says:

    HOW is Harry Potter still on the board when Toy Story and Lord of the Rings have already gone?

    … and now The Matrix? I no longer recognize the planet I’m living on.

    … AT LAST. If James Bond is Manziel, then Harry Potter is Brady.

    • Ed says:

      As movies? No way. The Lord of the Rings movies are 100x better than the Harry Potter movies.

      The Harry Potter books are great (not quite as good as LOTR, but still great), but the movies are just… meh. Most of them are mediocre at best.

    • Pat says:

      Well, there’s no accounting for taste.

      Excuse me: There’s no accounting for YOUR taste.

  12. BobDD says:

    I would put The Thin Man on my list, as well as Avengers. Powell and Loy set the standard for repartee in movies in that series. The Avengers are mostly giant blockbusters that other movies orbit within. Toy Story, Back to the Future, Matrix 2 and 3 were half and half just there and very good movies, but they did not move the dial on the whole industry as Thin Man, Avengers, and Star Wars have.

  13. Serge Blanco says:

    –They’re saying that an above average starter is more valuable than a great reliever, so if he wasn’t good enough to even be a starter, why would he deserve a Hall of Fame spot over starting pitchers?

    An above average CF is far more valuable than the best catcher. Should there be no catchers in the HOF because the best aren’t as good as other players on the diamond?

    • Ed says:

      Well one, I think you’d have a hard time proving an above average CF is better than the best catcher.

      But more importantly, it’s not the same argument. A closer and starting pitcher do the same except that closers pitch less. The argument you’d want to make is if a guy is an amazing defensive replacement and comes in the 8th-9th inning all the time, or pinch hits all the time, then he should be in the Hall of Fame as the best defensive replacement. And to be fair, even that isn’t quite the same, but it’s certainly closer than arguing the CF/C thing. Closers are closers because they aren’t good enough to be starters. Pinch hitters/defensive replacements are that because they aren’t good enough to be full time players.

  14. Marco says:

    Franchises worthy of consideration still on the board:

    Iron Man
    Star Trek
    Batman (either all, or cut it down to the dark knight trilogy)

  15. Dark Side of the Mood says:

    If this has already been noted my apologies. Did you notice that Michael Schur’s prediction regarding Griffey’s election percentage? His prediction was 99.38 percent; actual percentage was 99.318. Spooky.

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