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The Ultimate Quest for Candidates: Round 1 – The 1980’s (part 1)

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  • The Ultimate Quest for Candidates: Round 1 – The 1980’s (part 1)

    Welcome to the Ultimate Quest for Candidates! This thread will have the 13th poll in the first round, choosing the best candidates for the Hall of Fame from the MLB stars of the early-to-mid 1980’s. You will be asked to vote for your top SEVEN (7) players (out of 21); another thread with a companion poll will be posted for the stars of the late 1980's/early 1990's, where you will also be asked to vote for your top SEVEN (7) players (out of 21). This decade has more candidates (49) than earlier decades because of expansion, as well as their recent vintage. None of these candidates have been eligible for the reformed HOF Veterans Committee, so there’s still a lot of work to do. The polls will close three weeks after they open.

    I’m asking voters not to peek at the results of the voting until after they’ve cast their ballot. I would hope that voters are capable of independently assessing the candidates without worrying about whom the consensus is favoring.

    The threads in this project will always be posted a few days before the poll is added. This is done in order to encourage research and discussion of the candidates. I believe (paraphrasing Socrates) that the unexamined ballot is not worth casting. This also gives you a little time to make the case for a candidate not listed who you think deserves to be on the ballot (although you should sign up as a consultant if you really want to be involved in this aspect of the project).

    If someone wants to open a separate thread to focus on one of these candidates, go for it; we already see that a lot on this forum. All of these players are worthy of discussion, because the worst candidates here are on a par with the worst players in the Hall.

    I expect that everyone is familiar with Baseball-Reference.com and Baseballprospectus.com. These are essential sites for researching a player’s statistical record. I’ve also inserted links to each player’s bio at the SABR Bioproject or Wikipedia.

    We will be judging players by the same criteria that the Hall of Fame uses:

    “voting shall be based upon the individual's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the game.”

    So everything counts, their lifetime achievements on and off the field, along with their character and other intangibles.

    Again, your suggestions for candidates are always welcome. Below are the players we think are the top 49 candidates whose careers centered in the 1980’s and early 1990's. We will need to decide which seven of these to drop for the polls. Basic data are shown for each:
    Code:
    Pos	BJ	Player Name	 Win Shares	 WARP3	             Car WS Adj
    9/D	#42	Harold	Baines	(317: 25-24-22)	(97.6: 9.4-7.9-7.2)	+10
    5	#19	Buddy	Bell	(311: 27-26-25)	(105.3: 10.3-9.7-8.7)	+10
    7	#20	Albert	Belle	(256: 37-34-33)	(89.9: 14.4-12.1-11.7)	+13
    5/9	#41	Bobby	Bonilla	(277: 31-31-29)	(85.9: 11.4-10.1-9.0)	+10
    8	#25	Brett	Butler	(306: 27-27-26)	(96.7: 10.7-9.1-8.3)	+11
    9/D	#36	Jose	Canseco	(280: 39-31-26)	(85.1: 12.0-9.2-8.4)	+8
    7/9	#32	Joe	Carter	(246: 28-26-24)	(67.4: 8.9-8.4-7.4)	+6
    9/3	#27	Jack	Clark	(323: 33-31-30)	(87.9: 9.3-8.2-8.2)	+7
    3	#14	Will	Clark	(340: 44-37-34)	(100.9: 12.2-10.5-9.3)	+9
    3	#28	Cecil	Cooper	(251: 32-29-27)	(65.8: 8.6-8.6-7.5)	+10
    7	#29	Jose	Cruz	(321: 30-29-27)	(98.2: 10.6-9.9-8.2)	+8
    9/D	#64	Chili	Davis	(293: 22-22-21)	(85.5: 6.7-6.7-6.7)	+8
    9/8	#19	Andre	Dawson	(353: 36-29-28)	(104.3: 11.2-9.6-9.1)	+13
    7/D	#38	Brian	Downing	(303: 25-25-23)	(89.4: 9.6-6.8-6.6)	+5
    9	#22	Dwight	Evans	(357: 36-31-29)	(115.5: 12.1-10.1-9.1)	+10
    6	#24	Tony  Fernandez	(296: 25-25-24)	(109.5: 11.0-10.3-9.9)	+16
    5	#34	Gary	Gaetti	(255: 23-22-19)	(90.4: 8.7-7.9-6.2)	+6
    3	#32	Mark	Grace	(303: 27-26-25)	(85.1: 7.6-7.5-7.4)	+9
    9	#31	Ken	Griffey	(267: 27-25-25)	(68.0: 6.9-6.9-6.4)	+8
    9/3	#25	Pedro  Guerrero	(253: 35-32-30)	(70.6: 11.2-10.6-8.7)	+7
    3	#16	Keith Hernandez	(321: 33-30-29)	(96.9: 9.8-9.4-9.1)	+10
    3	#37	Wally	Joyner	(260: 25-22-22)	(75.0: 7.9-7.6-6.7)	+7
    8	#48	Chet	Lemon	(273: 26-24-24)	(97.1: 9.6-8.9-8.9)	+8
    3	#12	Don  Mattingly	(270: 34-32-29)	(82.9: 11.7-10.7-9.8)	+7
    3	#3	Mark	McGwire	(349: 41-30-30)	(107.8: 11.6-10.2-9.7)	+7
    8/9	#12	Dale	Murphy	(301: 33-32-32)	(84.8: 11.6-9.7-9.4)	+7
    9	#44	Paul	O'Neill	(269: 31-28-26)	(99.7: 11.5-10.2-10.0)	+10
    2	#19	Lance	Parrish	(256: 24-24-24)	(86.7: 8.6-8.3-8.0)	+8
    7/4	#66	Tony  Phillips	(277: 25-23-23)	(103.4: 10.3-9.9-9.1)	+9
    7	#8	Tim	Raines	(406: 36-34-32)	(126.8: 11.4-10.9-10.4)	+16
    4	#17	Willie Randolph	(318: 31-23-23)	(115.3: 9.3-8.7-8.4)	+6
    7	#27	Jim	Rice	(289: 36-28-28)	(79.9: 9.6-8.8-7.5)	+7
    9	#47	Dar. Strawberry (254: 30-30-26)	(71.1: 10.8-9.0-7.2)	+2
    6	#9	Alan  Trammell	(327: 35-29-29)	(125.9: 13.4-11.1-11.1)	+9
    5	#27	Tim	Wallach	(257: 28-26-24)	(89.7: 9.6-8.7-8.1)	+9
    4	#13	Lou  Whitaker	(363: 29-26-25)	(128.7: 10.7-9.3-8.9)	+12
    5	#23	Matt  Williams	(250: 28-28-26)	(90.4: 9.8-9.3-9.1)	+9
    8	#54	Willie	Wilson	(245: 31-25-24)	(80.0: 9.8-8.7-8.7)	+8
    1	#98	David	Cone	(214: 27-21-21)	(93.4: 10.4-9.9-8.5)	+9
    1	#66	Ron	Guidry	(179: 31-22-19)	(75.5: 12.0-9.1-8.2)	+5
    1	#83	Orel  Hershiser	(215: 25-23-21)	(85.6: 10.1-9.6-9.3)	+5
    1	---	Charlie	Hough	(238: 21-20-18)	(91.1: 9.9-8.2-7.2)	+5
    1	---	Dennis Martinez	(246: 19-18-18)	(86.0: 8.8-7.2-6.9)	+13
    1	---	Jack	Morris	(234: 23-21-20)	(83.0: 8.3-7.5-7.4)	+9
    1	#68	Dan Quisenberry	(163: 28-24-23)	(51.2: 8.8-8.1-7.1)	+6
    1	#79	Bret Saberhagen	(199: 28-24-23)	(91.0: 12.0-10.3-10.1)	+6
    1	---	Lee	Smith	(204: 19-17-17)	(85.4: 8.8-8.1-7.8)	+6
    1	#74	Dave	Stieb	(217: 25-25-24)	(85.1: 9.5-9.3-8.9)	+7
    1	---	Frank	Tanana	(244: 27-22-20)	(111.3: 10.9-10.6-10.4)	+3
    Pos – primary position(s)
    BJ – rank at his position in the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001)
    Win Shares – shown are career total and best 3 years
    WARP3 – from Baseball Prospectus; shown are career total and best 3 years (numbers in bold are increased for extra credit)
    Other – Players last active in 2003 or earlier are eligible for consideration, except for Rickey Henderson, who is a no-brainer (barring any PED revelations).

    Some other things to be aware of:
    1) Bill James’ rankings emphasize players’ peak years; this results in long steady careers being rated lower than what may seem right.
    2) Win shares in strike seasons 1972, 1981, 1994 and 1995 are increased to adjust them to a 162-game season. In addition, 1981 and 1994 have been gently normalized for surrounding seasons.
    3) You are free to credit players with minor league or foreign league play. I have given Fernandez credit for his year in Japan.
    168
    Buddy Bell
    0.60%
    1
    Jack Clark
    1.19%
    2
    Jose Cruz
    0.00%
    0
    Andre Dawson
    12.50%
    21
    Brian Downing
    0.00%
    0
    Dwight Evans
    8.33%
    14
    Pedro Guerrero
    0.60%
    1
    Ron Guidry
    2.98%
    5
    Keith Hernandez
    9.52%
    16
    Chet Lemon
    0.00%
    0
    Don Mattingly
    4.76%
    8
    Jack Morris
    5.95%
    10
    Dale Murphy
    11.31%
    19
    Lance Parrish
    1.19%
    2
    Dan Quisenberry
    8.33%
    14
    Willie Randolph
    1.19%
    2
    Jim Rice
    8.93%
    15
    Dave Stieb
    2.38%
    4
    Frank Tanana
    0.00%
    0
    Alan Trammell
    11.90%
    20
    Lou Whitaker
    8.33%
    14

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by Freakshow; 04-27-2008, 05:43 PM.
    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

    Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

  • #2
    --The hard part here will be narrowing it down to 7. The 80s have not really had a good review for the Hall and many excellent candidates are avaialble for us to choose from. Tim Raines and Alan Trammell are the slam dunks for me. Both are probably the most deserving player at their position outside the Hall.
    --Mark McGwire would claim that position at firstbase if not for questions about how much of his career is dependant on PEDS (another thig working against McGwire in this poll for me is that I consider him a 90s star and probably won't be willing to bump a real 80s player to give a slot to Big Mac). As it is I'd give the nod to Keith Hernandez. Hernandez is widely considered the best fielder ever at his position and his bat - while obviously not comparable to the inner circle guys - is within the range of several HoF firstbasemen (who don't have Hernandez glove and most of whom didn't play in as good of leagues). Some may perfer Don Mattingly. I see Mattingly as a modern day Sisler, except that the field is much tougher for him than it was for Sisler amoung contemporary 1Bs. Others may think Will Clark is the best 1B in this group and, if Win Shares is your primary evaluation tool, that is a very defensible position.
    --Andre Dawson is amoung the leaders in most career marks for non-Hall of Famers. Lou Whitaker has the most impressive career amoung eligible secondbasemen - although there are several peak candidates I might take ahead of him (and Willie Randolph is not THAT far behind as a career guy, although enough you can draw the line between them). Lance Parrish had a career that matches up fairly well with the second tier catchers, but is just under my line.
    --Jack Morris is the career candidate amoung the pitchers, but his case is larger based on being a workhorse for winning teams (and a few great postseason performances). IF a starting pticher from this group makes my ballot it will be Morris, but that is a big if. Saberhagen, Cone, Hersheiser, Guidry and Steib were all better pitcher at their best, but none had quite the peak to get my vote and none came close to the career value I expect from all but the truely dominating peak performers (Guidry did have 1 year at that level, but that isn't enough). Dan Quisenberry is the best eligible reliever outside the Hall and may be the only pitcher to make this ballot.
    --There are a number of peak hitters who merit consideration. Jim Rice, of course, is the one who is likley to be the next actual Hall of Famer. I know he is not popular amoung the statistically minded, but he sure seemed like a future Hall of Famer while active. Likewise for Dale Murphy. Murphy I think just needed a few more good seasons, but he really fell off a clifff. Albert Belle did have a monster peak, but the shortness of his career and his personal baggage work against him. As popular a candidate as Belle is around here, Pedro Guerro had a very similar career. Jack Clark also had a tremendous peak, although he scattered his big seasons around some. Bobby Bonilla I don't remeber being that good, but the numbers above suggest he was (although like McGwire I don't really see him as an 80s player). Julio Cruz isn't exactly a peak candidate, but he falls in the same general area as the others. Another outstanding player hidden away in the Astrodome.
    --Any way that is 18 guys I would give at least some consideration too. Raines, Trammell, Dawson, Rice, Whitaker and Hernandez will make my ballot. Quisenberry as the inside track at spot number 7, but I am lukewarm towards releivers in general and could be persuaded to go in another direction.

    Comment


    • #3
      Of that list, the players that can probably be dropped are Matt Williams, Charlie Hough, Darryl Strawberry, Cecil Cooper, Dennis Martinez, Wally Joyner, Gary Gaetti

      Matt Williams because all of his peak has pretty much been attributed to PEDs.

      Charlie Hough because he was a mediocre pitcher and a specialist who played for a very long time because of 1 pitch.

      Darryl Strawberry primarily because of his off the field problems with drug abuse.

      Cecil Cooper because he probably had the smallest impact on his generation of anyone else listed.

      Dennis Martinez because he was not a dominant pitcher during any time in his career.

      Wally Joyner was a great prospect who never played on the level he was expected to.

      Gary Gaetti was a solid thirdbaseman, but played at a position already stacked with talent.

      The first 4 are the ones I feel strongest about. The other three I could go either way on.

      It'll be tough to vote for 7 out of this field of candidates. Right now, the only locks on my ballot right now are Dan Quisenberry and Tim Raines.

      Comment


      • #4
        To clarify:

        Similar to what we did with the 1970's, the list above will be split into two vote-for-7 polls. The one posted here will include candidates whose career centered from 1980 to about 1986. The other poll will include candidates whose career centered from about 1986 to 1995, depending on whom we cut.

        So you will actually be voting for 14 players from the list above.
        Last edited by Freakshow; 04-23-2008, 09:03 AM.
        Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

        Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

        Comment


        • #5
          To give some idea of the "fun" I had putting the list together, here's a list of 25 more players I considered including:

          Bell J
          Boone B
          Caminiti
          Candelaria
          Davis E
          Finley C
          Gibson K
          Gooden
          Henke
          Hrbek
          Key
          Lansford
          McGee
          Orosco
          Reardon
          Righetti
          Sax
          Stewart D
          Sutcliffe
          Tekulve
          Templeton
          Tettleton
          Valenzuela
          Viola
          White F
          Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

          Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you're looking for names to drop, I'd go with:

            Charlie Hough: Long career but mediocre career doesn't cut it.
            Tony Phillips: Valuable and versatile, but never great.
            Willie Wilson: One trick pony with speed as his only asset.
            Gary Gaetti: 97 career OPS won't get it done.
            Matt Williams: Reasonable borderline candidate at face value, PED's sink his case.
            Wally Joyner: Somewhat short career and was never among the best firstbasemen in baseball.
            Dennis Martinez: May of had a shot if he never had problems with alcohol, but as he stands, despite an impressive ressuragance in Montreal, he's short of the line.
            "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame."
            - Sammy Sosa

            "Get a comfy chair, Sammy, cause its gonna be a long wait."
            - Craig Ashley (AKA Windy City Fan)

            Comment


            • #7
              As to who I'm gonna vote for, Trammell, Raines, Hernandez, Quisenberry, Smith, Belle, Murphy, and Dawson are locks to make my ballot. Rice, McGwire, Strawberry, Morris, Grace, and Mattingly are a couple of guys who are popular candidates that are not hall worthy in my book (though they may make my ballot as "filler" votes). I'm a fence sitter on Clark, Whitaker, and Randolph.
              "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame."
              - Sammy Sosa

              "Get a comfy chair, Sammy, cause its gonna be a long wait."
              - Craig Ashley (AKA Windy City Fan)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                To give some idea of the "fun" I had putting the list together, here's a list of 25 more players I considered including:

                Bell J
                Boone B
                Caminiti
                Candelaria
                Davis E
                Finley C
                Gibson K
                Gooden
                Henke
                Hrbek
                Key
                Lansford
                McGee
                Orosco
                Reardon
                Righetti
                Sax
                Stewart D
                Sutcliffe
                Tekulve
                Templeton
                Tettleton
                Valenzuela
                Viola
                White F
                I will take a closer look at these players later, but there is one I who I actually support for ther Hall as a borderline HOFer : Jeff Reardon

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                  I will take a closer look at these players later, but there is one I who I actually support for ther Hall as a borderline HOFer : Jeff Reardon
                  I kinda see him as the Chili Davis of relievers - he hung around long enough to compile some nice career numbers, but nowhere near a hall of fame level, given his lack of big seasons.
                  Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                  Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                    I will take a closer look at these players later, but there is one I who I actually support for ther Hall as a borderline HOFer : Jeff Reardon

                    --I think you need to work on your border security measures.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bottom line:
                      If 42 is the number, cut the four bold and three of the underline
                      If I must pull the trigger and do it right now, that's bad news for Joe Carter, Tim Wallach, and . . . drum roll
                      Darryl Strawberry.

                      Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                      So everything counts, their lifetime achievements on and off the field, along with their character and other intangibles.
                      That is one or two counts against Darryl Strawberry, although I understand keeping him.

                      Again, your suggestions for candidates are always welcome. Below are the players we think are the top 49 candidates whose careers centered in the 1980’s and early 1990's. We will need to decide which seven of these to drop for the polls.
                      easy
                      Cooper, Griffey, Joyner, Wilson

                      overmatched, although I understand keeping him
                      Joe Carter

                      birds of a feather
                      Bonilla, [Caminiti - did not make the cut], Gaetti, Wallach, Williams

                      Bill James and I both rank Buddy Bell and Robin Ventura (not quite eligible yet) ahead of this quintet. And from the preceding generation we have Boyer, Santo, Nettles, Evans, Bando, and Cey ahead of Bell and Ventura.

                      Is it a problem that we have so few infielders in this 1980s-90s group? Is that an argument for the batch of 3Bmen, that we have so few SS and 2B?

                      Short-term 3Bman Pedro Guerrero is also on the bubble.

                      Among the guys who "played a long time", some say in deprecation,
                      I rank Dennis Martinez and Chile Davis above Charlie Hough and Gary Gaetti.

                      Martinez is the equal of Tanana and Morris in my opinion, a clear keeper at
                      this stage, composing the ballot.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        19 names I'll consider voting for. Who gets dropped will result in large part based on how the ballots are divided.

                        Albert Belle
                        Will Clark
                        Mark McGwire
                        Tim Raines
                        Alan Trammell
                        Lou Whitaker
                        Andre Dawson
                        Dwight Evans
                        Keith Hernandez
                        Don Mattingly
                        Dale Murphy
                        Lance Parrish
                        Willie Randolph
                        Jim Rice
                        David Cone
                        Bret Saberhagen
                        Dan Quisenberry
                        Lee Smith
                        Dave Stieb
                        "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
                        "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
                        "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
                        "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The 7 weakest candidates I see are :
                          Chet Lemon
                          Wally Joyner
                          Brian Downing
                          Tony Phillips
                          Chili Davis
                          Ken Griffey
                          Frank Tanana

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I want to mention that when I sent the list to the ballot consultants, I was still intending to go with only 39 on the ballots, so I cut four players off the list I sent them. Those four whom I deemed the weakest were Chili Davis, Gary Gaetti, Ken Griffey and Wally Joyner. A couple days later, after some discussion, I came to see Cecil Cooper, Tim Wallach and Willie Wilson as the next three to drop.

                            I'm still looking for opinions on who to drop.
                            Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                            Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                              To give some idea of the "fun" I had putting the list together, here's a list of 25 more players I considered including:

                              Bell J
                              ...
                              White F
                              There are a few you listed that I think may deserve some stronger consideration.
                              I feel the following players have as strong a case as half the players in the original list of 49 :
                              Dwight Gooden
                              Tom Henke
                              Jeff Reardon
                              Howard Johnson - my pick
                              Bill Madlock - was he covered in the 70s?
                              Chuck Knoblauch - not 80s, but early 90s

                              Comment

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