FIRE JOE MORGAN: The Hall of Very Weird


Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

FJM has gone dark for the foreseeable future. Sorry folks. We may post once in a while, but it's pretty much over. You can still e-mail dak, Ken Tremendous, Junior, Matthew Murbles, or Coach.

Main / Archives / Merch / Glossary / Goodbye

Friday, July 13, 2007


The Hall of Very Weird

Every time -- and this is not an exaggeration; I literally mean every single time -- a sportswriter writes an article about whether Player X is good enough to make the Hall of Fame, and that sportswriter has decided that: no, Player X is not quite good enough to make the Hall of Fame, the sportswriter smugly and anti-humorously writes some variation of the sentence: "It's not called the 'Hall of Very Good.'" Some incarnations include:

Classic: "It's the 'Hall of Fame,' not the 'Hall of Very Good.'"
Positive: "He belongs in the 'Hall of Very Good.'"
Sarcastic: "Maybe he'd get my vote for the 'Hall of Very Good.'"
Dickish/Cowherd-ian: "Um...hello? It's not called the 'Hall of Good.' It's called the 'Hall of Fame.' Fame, as in famous. 'Fame' is part of the equation!!!!! I am bad at my job!!!!!!!!'"

The #1 thing (out of eighteen or so total things) that bothers me about this, is that it's a purely semantic argument. If it were called "The Hall of 500 Homers" and a guy ended with 496 homers, then you could write an article where you sneeringly said, "Sorry -- it's not called the 'Hall of 496 Homers.'" But in this case, the term "Hall of Fame" itself is a vague, ill-defined phrase that is not clarified or elucidated in any way by contrasting it with the equally odd and ill-defined "Hall of Very Good." (Indeed, one could argue, there are already a lot of only "Very Good" players already in the Hall of Fame, so the whole thing is moot, and certainly should not be argued in the snide/condescending way in which it is frequently argued.)

Not exempt from this crew -- again, because there are literally no exemptions -- is Jean-Jacques Taylor of the Dallas Morning News, who wrote this little number about whether Craig Biggio belongs. Let's get right to the trite:

Biggio is in the Hall of Very Very Good.

Cue the band. Release streamers. Exit to your left.

The article isn't really offensive -- he merely argues that the old benchmarks of 500 HR and 3000 H might need to be adjusted as "shoo-in"-type numbers to account for steroids and the offensive explosion and so forth. Fine. But at the end, he writes this: (and this is the complete list. I have made no edits).


No Question:

Roger Clemens: Best pitcher of "live ball" era.

I agree.

Ken Griffey Jr: Injuries cost him a shot at Aaron's record.

Griffey is in. Yes.

Derek Jeter: Four rings say it all.

Really. That says it all. Really. Okay.

Well, congratulations, Ramiro Mendoza, Andy Pettitte, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, El Duque, Chuck Knoblauch, Gene Tenace, Dal Maxvill, Don Gullett, Bump Hadley, Luis Sojo, Mike Stanton, and Snuffy Stirnweiss -- you're in!

Mariano Rivera: The most dominant closer in the game.

I'd vote for him.

Alex Rodriguez: The game's best player.

Him, too.


Wait -- there are other no-brainers. Randy Johnson, Greg

Craig Biggio: I love the consistency, but where is the greatness?

I guess that depends on how you define "greatness." He did play two very difficult positions, and a third, easier position... plus, 3000 hits is nothing to sneeze at. He stole 400+ bases at a 77% success rate. That's pretty good. I don't know. His career OPS+ is only 113. He's very definitely borderline. Unlike...

Jose Mesa: Don't laugh.

Too late.

If we don't adjust the standard, you must consider him because he has more saves than Bruce Sutter (300) and Goose Gossage (310).

He also has a career ERA+ of -- wait for it -- 101. He is 1% better than the average pitcher of his era, ERA-wise. His career WHIP: 1.473. He has about 1000 Ks in 1500 innings.

For comparison: Bruce Sutter had a 1.14 WHIP and a 136 ERA+. 800+ Ks in 1000 IP. He was a weird choice, but he's way better than Jose Mesa. Goose: 1.23 WHIP and 126 ERA+. 1500 Ks in 1800 IP.

I must not consider him. For anything. Saves are dumb.

Gary Sheffield: Will steroid allegations slow the only man to represent five different teams in the All-Star Game?

I don't know. I do know that he has a .926 OPS and a 146 OPS+ in 20 seasons and is still probably the best or second-best hitter on his team at 38. If he keeps hitting this way for a few more years, his numbers will be indisputable. They probably already are. As far as steroids go, I don't know why, but I kind of believe him when he says he didn't know what they were when Bonds gave them to him. He is so crazy, he might have actually believed they were flaxseed oil.

Oh -- also, the All-Star Game is stupid and should not be used to discuss a player's Hall of Fame candidacy. And the fact that he represented five different teams is probably a strike against him, if you take the "character" issue into consideration. (Not saying you should, but if you do, he's clearly a son of a gun, this guy.)

Frank Thomas: The former two-time MVP fell so low, he has also been Comeback Player of the Year.

How dare three awards?

Frank Thomas has a .984 career OPS (11th highest all-time). He has a 158 career OPS+. He has a .422 career OBP. He has 500 HR. He has a .341 career EqA.

This is not really a question. Or if it is, it is pretty easily answered.

Jim Thome: Is he an overrated, one-dimensional player?

Thome needs a few more good years to solidify his bid, but he has a 149 career OPS+. He will go if he stays healthy for a while longer. He's definitely not overrated as a hitter.

And that's it. Those are the only people he mentions, for either category.

There are so many people to talk about. Manny, Bonds, Chipper, Glavine, Smoltz, Piazza, Trevor Hoffman, Helton, Vizquel...

Instead, he talks about Jose Mesa.

This puts him in my: Hall of Very Weird.

Labels: , , ,

posted by Unknown  # 9:35 PM
Snuffy Stirnweiss is hereby declared to be the only label on this blog which carries capital letters.

Also: is it "shoo-in" or "shoe-in?"
And yes, reader Ryan, Pedro is also a guy we should talk about. Deep breath.
Post a Comment

<< Home


04.05   05.05   06.05   07.05   08.05   09.05   10.05   11.05   12.05   01.06   02.06   03.06   04.06   05.06   06.06   07.06   08.06   09.06   10.06   11.06   12.06   01.07   02.07   03.07   04.07   05.07   06.07   07.07   08.07   09.07   10.07   11.07   12.07   01.08   02.08   03.08   04.08   05.08   06.08   07.08   08.08   09.08   10.08   11.08  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?