Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Four for My Personal Hall

When we collaborated on our Personal Hall of Fame project last year, my (mostly) High Heat Stats pals and I never discussed if it was something we'd be updating on an annual basis, but that always was my intention.

Since there's a ton of Hall of Fame discussion surrounding the time of year the BBWAA voting is announced, I decided I'd unveil my "inductees" just prior to the actual induction ceremony. Since that's this weekend, I'd say it's about time to reveal my fairly predictable selections for the class of 2014. 

Greg Maddux
No big surprise that the pitcher who's 8th all-time in Wins and pitching WAR is the easiest choice here. 

Frank Thomas
Thomas will become the first Hall of Famer to have fielded a position in less than half his career gamesPaul Molitor came close, but still played the field more than he didn'tyet Edgar Martinez continues to be considered as less than a complete player. Perhaps The Big Hurt will mention Edgar in his speech. Don't count on it. 

Tom Glavine
Well, that wasn't much of a tribute to Thomas there, was it? No offense intended. I am putting him in my personal Hall, after all, so it should be pretty clear what I think of him. The same goes for Glavine, but, as with Thomas, his induction reminds me of another slight, this one perhaps even bigger than Martinez...

Mike Mussina
Mussina compares pretty favorably to Glavine. Sabermetrically speaking, he's actually a superior candidate (82.7 to 74 WAR over 850 fewer IP, 161 to 147 Hall Rating), while falling a little short by traditional standards (270 to 305 wins, 0 Cy Young awards to Glavine's 2). Glavine may very well be more Hall-worthy than Mussina, but this little comparisona compromise of sorts between old school and new schoolshows how truly close they are.

In my opinion, Glavine is perceived more as a Hall of Famer because he combined a couple dominant (i.e. Cy Young caliber) seasons with considerable longevity. I suppose Mussina is thought of as a guy who was just consistently very good, but the rate statsand those that consider contextshow he was a better pitcher than Glavine, just over a shorter period of time. 

Don't misinterpret this. I think Glavine is a no-doubt Hall of Famer. But, so is Mussina.

Of course, a bunch of guys who fell short on the actual 2014 ballot are already in my Personal Hall, but there are a few who I'd like to consider further, most notably Jeff Kent. However, I'm not dropping anyone from consideration. It's just that most of the rest of the eligible players won't be very high on my radar moving forward.