View Poll Results: Hit Dog for the Hall?

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Thread: Bill Madlock

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    GULP!? All I know is that the 2 years that the Giants had Madlock and Evans, Mad Dog was clearly the superior player
    Didn't Madlock get moved to 2B in '78 while Evans stayed at 3B? What was that all about other than they had McCovey/Ivie at 1B?

  2. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    Sure. But only because others are legitimately writing him off and it gives you a chance to rally against things that you keep saying people here are pushing but actually aren't.
    Consider the avatar. Jim Ray's fans must have been thrilled when Madlock showed up.

    In fairness to JR, this beats the Garvey for HOF campaign. I'd like to see an Eddie Stanky-Bill Madlock thread, though.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  3. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    Consider the avatar. Jim Ray's fans must have been thrilled when Madlock showed up.

    In fairness to JR, this beats the Garvey for HOF campaign. I'd like to see an Eddie Stanky-Bill Madlock thread, though.
    It was said earlier, with better power, better glove, better durability, he'd have a great case. But he didn't hit with much power, he didn't have a long career and his glove wasn't good. If JR's case is based upon his own distaste for how well Darrell Evans (who no one here actually endorses as a HOFer) is regarded here, Evans has some big advantages over Madlock once the impressive four batting titles is brought up. That does put Madlock in the argument based on what the HOF has actually done via elected players. He's well in place with some fine third basemen who are short of the mark, to me.
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  4. #79
    Fuzzy-

    Nice work. I like your posting style- fair, and even handed. You're doing the history justice by trying to present all sides of the story.

    However, regarding the batting titles/missing games position, someone levied the claim awhile back that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
    To answer your question: Madlock is the only four time batting champion not in the HOF. There are some things that need to be pointed out about this, however:

    2. Madlock was obsessed with winning the batting title and had a reputation for faking injuries and not playing to maintain his batting title lead
    I presumed this poster was working entirely off of one small blurb in the New James Abstact about Madlock's reputation for intentionally sitting out games to win batting titles. So I went back to assess the validity of this claim and did some in depth empirical reserach on Proquest, going through the boxes/wrapups. I knew nothing about Madlock aside from his statistics, so I went in tabula rasa. Here's what I found/composed:

    I looked in depth at 1975, the year Madlock won his first batting title. I used Proquest to access the wrapups/boxscores to examine why he missed games, and then correlated that with the game logs at retrosheet to see when he missed time, the ebb and flow of his average and that of his competitors, and who was pitching when he missed games. I queried 7 of the largest national newspapers and also APS Online (which houses thousands of periodicals). It's very easy to unyieldingly follow Bill James and make blanket statements as you did. In point of fact, though, Madlock was a victim of several injuries/incidents which conspired to cause him to miss lots of games.

    Madlock severely sprained his ankle on May 5, 1974- the Chicago Tribune has a picture of the incident- and his foot is sideways upon impact at 1st base. This is germane because it never healed properly, gave him chronic pain, and was probably just one of the factors that caused him to miss so many games and forced him into early retirement.

    Madlock tore his hip flexor in late June, 1975. The doctor who examined him listed his condition as "dubious at best". The Tribune on July 4th, 1975 noted that Madlock, hitting .351, vetoed the idea of sitting out the rest of the year injured and taking his chances on a batting title.

    He fractured his thumb on Sept 11th, 1975 on a high and tight fastball from Bruce Kison of the Pirates. He was already serving a three day suspension due to a run in with umpire Jerry Dale. Another bunch of games missed due to injury.

    Madlock had a pinch hit trial at bat on the 21st, and jumped back into the lineup on the 24th to face Tom Seaver, who pitched 10 shutout innings of 3 hit ball (Seaver's no hit bid was foiled in the 9th inning and made headlines in every newspaper in the country). Had Madlock been malingering or obsessed with the batting title, wouldn't he have sat out against the greatest pitcher in baseball (especially with a healing fracture)?

    1976:
    In September of 1976, Madlock had a cyst removed from his right knee, before departing to attend the funeral of his grandfather who had apparently raised him. And there isn't evidence that his absence was indicative of purposeful absenteeism; while he was out, the Pirates faced lousy, nondescript pitchers for San Diego and Montreal.

    Madlock missed a series of games in late September of 1976- he was mugged and hospitalized on Sept. 24th, and suffered a concussion on the back of his skull outside a NYC hotel. I attached the account of the incident as detailed by both The Tribune and The New York Times. He was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital after the attack.

    And in case you consider that he might have extended his time on the DL to win the batting title, consider that Madlock was trailing Ken Griffey Sr. at the time of the incident.

    In fact, on the last day of the season, with he and Griffey in a virtual deadlock, Griffey decided to sit out and try to preserve the lead, and Madlock played, going 4-4 to capture the title.

    The Chicago Tribune related the entire saga:

    "In the sixth off Dale Murray, Madlock pulled his fourth single over the head of Garrett. Word by now had reached Chicago that Griffey hadn't played, but the fourth hit by Madlock lifted his average to .3385 and Griffey was at .3375 so Ken had to get off the bench""Griffey, attempting to back into the title, was withheld from the lineup in Cincinnati. Then he fanned as a pinch hitter in a vain attempt to catch Madlock" (this was Griffey's final AB of the season)

    It's infinitely easier and less cognitively taxing to endlessly reproduce the ideas of moguls like Bill James and presume them to be true, to go on reputation, or to base conclusions of off naked numbers ex post facto....but these quick and dirty routes often lead to erroneous conclusions. This is simply one discrete case where (at least in the batting title seasons I had the time to research) the facts belie the commonly held misperception, which has seemingly been propagated and blown out of proportion over time.
    Last edited by csh19792001; 02-08-2013 at 09:37 AM.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by leecemark View Post
    --That was some nice research Chris and the reasons why Madlock missed so much playing may well be less sinister than is often assumed. The fact does remain that Madlock could be counted on to miss games with alarming frequency. Thus both his seasonal and career counting stats are far less impressive than is rate stats. That said, he would certainly be a Hall of Famer if he had played in the 1920s or 30s. Unfortunately for him he played at a time when the depth of talent at 3B was probably higher than at any other time in history. He wasn't as good (or at least didn't accomplish as much) as the 3 contemporaries who are in Cooperstown and at least that mnay who aren't.
    Madlock's injury history, as posted here, is interesting. It begs the question of how he got his negative reputations.

    One negative rep Madlock had was the rep for being obsessed with the batting title, to the point where he'd fake injuries to maintain a batting title. Another negative rep had was for being injured due to poor conditioning. These reputations may well not be accurate; there's been some solid debunking of a good deal of the batting title myths, and I'm willing to believe that a good part of the negative image of Madlock is overblown, but the reputations were real, and they stuck. Madlock was a guy who won batting titles, and who was an All-Star who played on a World Championship team. How is is that he became so lowly regarded after winning 4 batting titles? How is it that bad reputations, some of which appear in hindsight to be unfair to Madlock, manage to stick?
    "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

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  6. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
    How is it that bad reputations, some of which appear in hindsight to be unfair to Madlock, manage to stick?
    Did you read the post of a few years back that provided a litany of Madlock's crimes against humanity?

    It sounded like a lot of people didn't like him, partly from his habit of punching out pitchers who threw at him. A guy whose own teammates goad a pitcher into hitting him, knowing his reaction, doesn't sound like someone who will get glowing references in others' interviews.

    Otherwise, he seems abrasive, but no worse than a lot of others who don't have the rep.

    So there's not a lot of motivation for a reporter or Bill James to do the work to check up on casual allegations and rumors to set the record straight. "If he wasn't malingering, he probably did something worse that he didn't get caught for."

    Thanks, csh, for your fine research.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  7. #82
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    Yeah that was great csh, impressed. Maddog was a surly guy who got into trouble enough so that the press was never going to allow him to escape that image no matter what. Consider Dick Allen and James take on him vs Craig Wright. Perceptions and proquest, a good mix.

  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Bear View Post
    How is it that bad reputations, some of which appear in hindsight to be unfair to Madlock, manage to stick?
    Hi Fuzzy,
    Good to see you here again (on this same thread) after all these years.

    Madlock's rep may be very much true, and what others here suppose about him quite valid. My little project from years ago is certainly is far, FAR from exhaustive, or mutually inclusive. I haven't read Madlock's biography (if one exists).

    Chipper Jones had the rep of sitting out games with "injuries" or malingering, generally, to improve his stats. Especially against the toughest pitching.

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    Did you read the post of a few years back that provided a litany of Madlock's crimes against humanity?

    Thanks, csh, for your fine research.
    Quote Originally Posted by TomBodet View Post
    Yeah that was great csh, impressed. Maddog was a surly guy who got into trouble enough so that the press was never going to allow him to escape that image no matter what. Consider Dick Allen and James take on him vs Craig Wright. Perceptions and proquest, a good mix.
    Thanks, for the comps, guys. I really appreciate it.

  10. #85
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    Sometimes, in reading James or whomever, you bet the impression that to them batting crowns are either irrelevant or a bad thing. Winning 4 of them, no matter when or where, to me, is a big deal. Madlock merits a better rep As a Player than he has.

  11. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by TomBodet View Post
    Sometimes, in reading James or whomever, you bet the impression that to them batting crowns are either irrelevant or a bad thing. Winning 4 of them, no matter when or where, to me, is a big deal. Madlock merits a better rep As a Player than he has.
    Winning the crown itself as opposed to, say, hitting .xxx in a league with a BA of .yyy, is a distorting influence. It isn't like winning a pennant, where there's a qualitative difference between the winner and everyone else. The winner is better than the number two guy, who's better than the number 3 guy, maybe a lot better, but that difference isn't noticed.

    The winner one year may have nowhere near as good a BA year as the third runner up the next year.

    So if as some writers believe, players duck difficult pitchers or otherwise let their teams down in order to win batting titles, it would have not just a distorting but harmful influence on the game. Then you have the Lajoie Cobb stink, and some others. I don't believe thay actually amount to much in the long run. But "He won 4 batting crowns" isn't as important as, say, leading the league in BA over that period, which Madlock did by 10 points, .317 to .307 over Dave Parker. Hitting .317 from 1975 to 1983 is really something.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  12. #87
    When I was a kid, he signed a baseball and tossed it to me. That does not make him a HOFer, or even close to a HOFer, but he definitely wasn't a jerk.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    Consider the avatar. Jim Ray's fans must have been thrilled when Madlock showed up.

    In fairness to JR, this beats the Garvey for HOF campaign. I'd like to see an Eddie Stanky-Bill Madlock thread, though.
    Yeah no one ever considered Garvey a HOFer

    Hall of Fame
    1993 BBWAA (41.6%)
    1994 BBWAA (36.4%)
    1995 BBWAA (42.6%)
    1996 BBWAA (37.2%)
    1997 BBWAA (35.3%)
    1998 BBWAA (41.2%)
    1999 BBWAA (30.2%)
    2000 BBWAA (32.1%)
    2001 BBWAA (34.2%)
    2002 BBWAA (28.4%)
    2003 BBWAA (27.8%)
    2004 BBWAA (24.3%)
    2005 BBWAA (20.5%)
    2006 BBWAA (26.0%)
    2007 BBWAA (21.1%)

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    It was said earlier, with better power, better glove, better durability, he'd have a great case. But he didn't hit with much power, he didn't have a long career and his glove wasn't good. If JR's case is based upon his own distaste for how well Darrell Evans (who no one here actually endorses as a HOFer) is regarded here, Evans has some big advantages over Madlock once the impressive four batting titles is brought up. That does put Madlock in the argument based on what the HOF has actually done via elected players. He's well in place with some fine third basemen who are short of the mark, to me.
    SABR Matt
    Darrell Evans is absolutely a HOFer.
    Third base is a TERRIBLY weak position historically. Not many great players play there for long. Evans was one of the best who qualified at third.

    yankillaz
    hope that future advanced stats make of this man a HOF candidate at least by VC.

    Dude paskert
    I think Evans has a good case to get in the HOF but not an overpowering one,


    chicagowhitesox117
    don't think Evans is in the same grade as Byleven but he does have a pretty good case.

  15. #90
    Ok, one real endorsement by a current regular poster and two who says he deserves a closer look (hyperbolize that if you like). What are you looking at besides batting average to disqualify him so readily? There is a reason why he was the most sought-after free agent after the 1983 season. Plenty of teams saw what the Giants were missing-a good glove and good power guy who could help a team win, which he actually did. Not the whole site, which you seem to love to call out regardless of your sweeping perceptions not even close to being true. But what's the harm in living your own lie?

    I'd say the two are about even, with both deservedly on the outside. Which, to you, probably, means a vote for Evans only.
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  16. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by JR Hart View Post
    Yeah no one ever considered Garvey a HOFer

    Hall of Fame
    1993 BBWAA (41.6%)
    1994 BBWAA (36.4%)
    1995 BBWAA (42.6%)
    1996 BBWAA (37.2%)
    1997 BBWAA (35.3%)
    1998 BBWAA (41.2%)
    1999 BBWAA (30.2%)
    2000 BBWAA (32.1%)
    2001 BBWAA (34.2%)
    2002 BBWAA (28.4%)
    2003 BBWAA (27.8%)
    2004 BBWAA (24.3%)
    2005 BBWAA (20.5%)
    2006 BBWAA (26.0%)
    2007 BBWAA (21.1%)
    Thanks, JR. Appreciated.

    Actually, Garvey got 44% at BBF. Ron Cey was the only other guy on the ballot, though.

    So, I take it "JR 'Buckner before Evans' Hart" is OK with you as a tribute nickname?
    Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 02-11-2013 at 02:50 PM.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  17. #92
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    Winning 4 batting titles is winning 4 titles, yes context counts but don't oversell that. He did it Wrigley and did it in Pitt, over 8 yrs. To me too much is said about what's 'wrong' with Madlock and (and batting ave specialists in general) while what he did well gets ignored. There is something unfair, frankly, about how Maddog is treated historically, while he was his own worst enemy you'd hope the man at least got his due.

    As for Darrell Evans, I was a fan for ages, and wouldn't be sad if he or say Nettles made the Hall. Its not like it has to be an either/or proposition-you can like them and say Lansford/Madlock too. Evans was very good. So was Lansford.

    I think Vada Pinson is another unfairly neglected guy, ditto Willie Davis. Neither walked much
    so guess what you hear from the Warcrowd @ either more often than not? Pinson had power, speed, very good glove, you name it. Davis was all that and on a series of great teams. There's more to a guy's career than just their ave or walks. That's frankly insulting. You're not allowed to like Sam Rice, Mr. Manush or George Sisler in some circles. Boggles my mind. Same mindset had filtered into the assessments of say Garvey, Mike Young and Al Oliver. 'He no Walk. Hulk not like no walk. Hulk say Garvey suck. Hulk smash puny Rbiman take That Dawson--!'

    You'd think Garvey was David Segui or James Loney if you buy into this. Or Jim Rice was Rob Deer. Mike Young gets the same crap. But be sure to keep pushing Jimmy Wynn for the Hall.
    Egads.
    Last edited by TomBodet; 02-11-2013 at 04:32 PM.

  18. #93
    Tom, few players' reputations have benefited more than Willie Davis from the holistic approach of WAR. I think your criticism holds better for the posts here of some while back, when you actually had to dig around a while to find a broad based uberstat like WARP I, II, or III.

    Willie Davis was ranked 27 among center fielders by Bill James, who has been repeatedly eloquent about Davis's unfair reputation due to Chavez Ravine and the second dead ball era. Davis ranks 31 by OPS+, and I think that's no coincidence.

    WAR ranks Davis at 11 (EDIT 13, I initially specified defensive runs above zero) largely because he is ranked 8th in fielding runs, an evaluation no one heard of before WAR. I'm not going to weigh in on its reliability, but it is certainly greater than the three world series errors he made in one game that killed his defensive reputation forever.

    Anyway, it rates him just above Jim Wynn.

    Tom, you are a smart guy, but even a smart guy has to know the subject. Bringing up Davis as an example of neglect by WARriors is a giveaway.
    Last edited by Jackaroo Dave; 02-11-2013 at 05:09 PM.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackaroo Dave View Post
    Thanks, JR. Appreciated.

    Actually, Garvey got 44% at BBF. Ron Cey was the only other guy on the ballot, though.

    So, I take it "JR 'Buckner before Evans' Hart" is OK with you as a tribute nickname?
    I have no problem with that.

  20. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by TomBodet View Post
    You're not allowed to like Sam Rice
    Tom, Sam Rice got 48 WAR becoming a regular at age 27. That's terrific. He has about 15% higher WAR than Rusty Staub, who played forever and walked all the time. What would it take to make you happy?

    I've noticed and mentioned a number of times when you've taken the WAR side in player comparisons without realizing it. The problem is, maintaining a position through sarcasm, exaggeration, and mockery makes it hard for you to change your mind in light of new information.

    Now, I think that Martin Heidigger is the most overrated philosopher of the 20th century, if not for all time. I've read enough about him to know his views, and I've seen his pernicious influence on other philosophers. But I haven't read anything by the little Nazi, and I don't plan to. Another thing I don't plan to do is go on the Continental Philosophy Fever forum and make fun of him and his fans who have actually--some of them, anyway--read his work.

    You and a couple of other guys have vowed not to take WAR seriously enough to actually study it, but at the same time you can't stop making fun of it and people who do understand it. This is really making yourself an enemy to the advancement of knowledge and does your intelligence no credit.
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  21. #96
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    A Martin Heidegger sighting!

    I'm a Camus guy, myself.

    Tom has the basis of a good insight. People are far too quick, (and far too deep), in their dismissal of too many high quality players who didn't walk as much as we'd like them to have in retrospect.
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  22. #97
    I'm just reiterating what a lot of people have already said, but Madlock was a very good player, though his production was somewhat "empty." Yes, he hit for average, but he did so while not producing big numbers in any other categories. He never scored 100 runs (team dependent in part, but also because he liked to steal himself into an out), he never had 100 RBI, he wasn't much of a power hitter or extra base hitter, he had speed but he got caught stealing a lot, his defense left a lot to be desired and his OBP eclipsed .400 only twice, despite posting such high averages. He didn't play a ton (averaging only 130 games a year from 1974 to 1985) and he spent the past four years of his career--from ages 33 to 37, years when a player can still be productive, in an unsavory decline in which he hit only .268 with a 101 OPS+.

    He wasn't a bad player, however. He struck out less than he walked, he slugged for a decent percentage from time to time, he performed well in the playoffs and he did get on base. But he never really led the league in anything outside of batting average (he paced the loop in GDP once and HBP once) and he was a bit inconsistent.

    A very good player, but not a Hall of Famer.

    EDIT: I say all that and, apparently, when I voted on this poll those many years ago, I went with "yes." It's amazing how attitudes and opinions change!
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  23. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by Los Bravos View Post
    A Martin Heidegger sighting!

    I'm a Camus guy, myself.

    Tom has the basis of a good insight. People are far too quick, (and far too deep), in their dismissal of too many high quality players who didn't walk as much as we'd like them to have in retrospect.
    "Dot's an insight?" Who are these people? And where do they get their currrrrazy ideas?

    Looking at some of the recently revived posts, it's clear that before BBREF made its advanced stats available, a lot of the bickering here was between people who took into account bases on balls and run-scoring environments and people who didn't. One guy in particular, whose handle is all numbers, was relentless. The old guard didn't do too well, since their position wasn't tenable, although it still has some tenants.

    So the idea that bases on balls are overemphasized has a long history here, and an even longer one elsewhere. (I can recall a contemporary speaking scornfully of Duke Snider being glad to take a walk, of being relieved. Who knows what they said about Roy Thomas.)

    But with the wider availability of more detailed stats, in particular WAR , and in even more particular, its components and their raw ingredients, a much broader spectrum of previously overlooked or underrated abilities has been quantified and is now easily available. So reading a burlesque of the WAR-numerate as inarticulate Neanderthals who can't see beyond bases on balls, well, that strikes me as exactly wrong, a confusion whose source I believe I understand.

    When I think of people whose player analyses resemble the Hulk's, the names that come to mind are not the denizens of the Stats forum: Brett, or ubiquitous, or filihok, or Matthew C, or DNC, or Dr. Strangelove, or a bunch of other guys who hash things out there. And certainly not, on the other side, Tom. In fact, it's from these guys that I learn stuff. Sometimes one or two of them might be a little, ummm, curt, but nothing compared to some of the raw exchanges that have gone down here, on this very thread.

    I realize most of those tirades are just venting, and it's pompous and officious of me to take it seriously, but I can't help it. "It's a veakness."
    Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

  24. #99
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    Well, I did write "the basis of a good insight", so...

    All I mean is that there is a tendency among some people here to take the basic point (which I think everybody can endorse) that drawing walks and getting on base is a valuable thing in and of itself and project it into the past.

    In doing so, they ignore a basic fact that is illustrated by that same Snider anecdote (which is in The Boys of Summer) and all of the contemporary criticism of Ted Williams: drawing walks was, until relatively recently, seen not only as sometthing that held less value than we now know that it does, it was actively disdained, especially for a guy with power. Seen as more of an abdication of responsibilty than anything else.
    3 6 10 21 29 31 35 41 42 44 47

    Im honored to go into the Baseball Hall of Fame with such a great group of men. - Tom Glavine.

  25. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    Ok, one real endorsement by a current regular poster and two who says he deserves a closer look (hyperbolize that if you like). What are you looking at besides batting average to disqualify him so readily? There is a reason why he was the most sought-after free agent after the 1983 season. Plenty of teams saw what the Giants were missing-a good glove and good power guy who could help a team win, which he actually did. Not the whole site, which you seem to love to call out regardless of your sweeping perceptions not even close to being true. But what's the harm in living your own lie?

    I'd say the two are about even, with both deservedly on the outside. Which, to you, probably, means a vote for Evans only.
    I just don't get why all of you support Darrel Evans but not Howard Johnson. I mean, those 30-30 seasons count for something, right, plus he had a 6.8 WAR season whereas Madlock was only a 5.9 ?

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