Where Bad Sports Journalism Came To Die

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Friday, December 28, 2007



Okay, fine. More fun from Heyman.

3. Andre Dawson. On ravaged knees, he made eight All-Star teams, hit 438 home runs, drove home 1,591 runs, won eight Gold Gloves and finished in the top two in MVP voting three times, winning for the last-place Cubs in 1987.

I don't understand why Dawson supporters always cite his "ravaged knees" as a like thing that makes his numbers be better than they are. "He had bad knees! He gets bonus points!" You wouldn't say about Tony Gwynn: "The guy hit .320 every year -- and he was fat!" The Hawk had bad knees. That happens to athletes sometimes. Lou Gehrig had fucking ALS and he was still better than basically everyone else.

Despite the fact that The Hawk had bad knees -- which is immaterial -- he was a very very good baseball player. A baseball player who made crazy amounts of outs (evidenced by his career .323 OBP). The Gold Gloves are essentially pointless, the MVP voting is suspect at best, and his career numbers just don't stack up. Sorry. I loved the guy. I watched a lot of Cubs games on WGN and he was super fun to watch hit. But look at his career, man. I crunched all these #s for this post, and I'm too bored to do it again.

4. Rice. An absolutely dominant hitter for a decade in Boston. Like Morris, I think, Rice loses points on personality. And that's not right.

You know nobody loves Jim Ed more than I. But again...he just wasn't as dominant as everyone says he was. Look for yourself. It's true. He was awesome for like 3-4 years, but then his eyesight went south -- which maybe Heyman thinks should work in his favor -- and he had injuries and stuff. Then he had a resurgence later as a DH, but it was too late, and he was done at like 33.

People always say that Rice was "the most feared" and the "scariest guy to see at the plate" and stuff...but for many of the years he played, he wasn't actually the best hitter, or player, on his own team. Look at Rice, and now look at Dewey. And remember that Rice was not the greatest OF, and that he DHed a lot, and that Dewey was an excellent RF. Why Dewey doesn't get more love for the Hall I'll never know. I don't think he should be in, but he never even sniffs a "Consider This Guy" article, and Jim Ed gets them all the time.

Anyway, the point is, Jim Ed = no, not quite, sorry. Love you. First Sox jersey was 14. Saw you hit a mammoth HR at Fenway in 1984 that might still be airborne. Just didn't play long enough, or well enough.

5. Dave Concepcion. This is his 15th and last year on the ballot, and he's probably going to get his usual 10 percent of the vote again. The reason I am in that 10 percent is that I think he was perhaps the best all-around shortstop of his generation and an underrated piece of the Big Red Machine. Great defender (five Gold Gloves) and superb stealer (321 stolen bases), his career looks a lot like Hall-of-Famer Phil Rizzuto's to me -- without the announcing, of course.

Great fielder. Couldn't hit a lick. (And yet, still had the same OBP as Dawson, which should be the thing that closes the book on Dawson. If you're a big feared power hitter and you don't walk enough to have a higher OBP than Dave Concepcion...).

The only thing he has going for him is that he was an excellent fielder. He was not a "superb" stealer -- he stole 321 bases, which is good for 130th all time. Just ahead of Gwynn, who was fat, and just behind Gary Redus. He was also caught 109 times. That's about a 75% success rate. Eh. Pretty good. But the only thing he was "great" at was fielding. If he had 580 SB, like Ozzie Smith did, then maybe you have an argument. But he did not.

6. Dave Parker. He was an MVP,

That's good.

an All-Star Game MVP,

That's almost completely pointless. Jesus Christ. He was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI. This is a credential for the Hall of Fame?! On the same level as like, "He had 3000 hits!" or whatever? Lunacy. (He did have 2 assists, though, which is pretty awesome, to have 2 assists in an ASG. Maybe he should be in.)

(Ironically, BTW, one of them was Jim Rice, at 3rd.)

a two-time batting champion,

Not bad.

a seven-time All-Star

I am asleep. You just put me to sleep.

and a three-time Gold Glove winner.

He has that in common with Minnie Minoso, Joe Rudi, and Eric Davis. Ugh. Now I'm in a coma. Look what you've done.

Here are some people Heyman says are "close, but not quite Cooperstown."

7. Mattingly. Every year, I am more and more tempted to vote for him. a siren song, the pleas of thousands of impossibly under-informed dummies from the Hudson River Valley waft through the air and strike the cochleae of willing BBWAA numbskulls..."He was gooooood...he won a baaaaaaaating title...his nickname has the word "baseball" in it...that has to mean something...".

Don Mattingly gets into the Hall of Fame, I quit. Everything. I quit everything. He is nowhere close to being in the ballpark of being in the discussion of people who might possibly begin to be considered as potential people who might someday be on a long list of people who should be considered as people who might someday be considered to one day be part of the discussion of who are the players who maybe should be thought about as potential people who might one day be considered by the Committee to Discuss People Who Should Maybe Be Thought Of As Potential Hall of Famers Someday.

But this makes it eight years I've resisted so far. One of the game's best players from 1984-89, a back injury sapped his strength and greatness.

Do you get more HOF points for a back injury or bad knees? Can someone look that up?

Won an MVP, a batting title, nine Gold Gloves and the hearts of New Yorkers.

He had some very good years. The Gold Gloves are essentially pointless. And winning the Hearts of New Yorkers is not, the last time I checked, a fucking qualification for anything, least of all the Baseball Hall of Fame. You know who else has won the hearts of New Yorkers? Darryl Strawberry, Lenny Dykstra, Turk Wendell, and Luis Sojo.

8. Raines. He made the All-Star team his first seven seasons, then didn't make it the next 16. Certainly appeared to be on his way to Cooperstown early, and he lasted long enough to compile some impressive numbers, including 2,605 hits and 808 stolen bases. But for two-thirds of his career, he was merely a very good player, not an All-Star player. Good enough for review in future years, though.

I feel bad about how over-the-top I was in re: Mattingly. But as you all know, my computer's delete key is broken. So instead of going back and revising what I wrote about Mattingly, I will simply exercise admirable (yes, I said it) restraint when I argue for Raines.

Rock, who actually had 811 SB according to BP (but 808 according to Baseball-Reference), is lumped into the "maybe someday we'll think it over category." Excellent. Raines stole a crazy number of bases, at like an 85% success rate. His career OBP stands at .386, which is very very very good for a man with 9000 AB. The man had a .307 career EqA. He is borderline, I think, but a much better candidate than many other people on this list.

See? I can be reasonable.

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