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2020 Hall of Fame Thread

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Still one of the greatest columns ever written:

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Joe Posnanski May 31, 2014      
 
wpid-Bo7DZ0MCcAEVupa-2014-05-31-17-40.jpg

 

On Twitter, Jesse Lund puts up this amazing -- absolutely amazing -- screenshot from the Friday night broadcast of the Yankees and Twins. It may be the greatest thing ever produced by man, including Hamlet and The Godfather and chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.

Some years ago, I invented the word “Jeterate” which means — “to praise someone of something of which he or she is entirely unworthy of praise.” It has appeared in the New York Times! Perfection in Jeteration is when you can so perfectly present over-the-top praise for the Derek Jeter that it sounds like you’re making fun of him.

This is not as easy as it sounds. Many have tried, many have failed. See, it’s very hard to get Jeteration exactly right because he truly is a great ballplayer, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, one of the better shortstops in the history of baseball. He has more than 3,300 hits and is 11th all-time in runs scored. He has been an important man, both as a player and as a leader, in the Yankees great success the last 20 or so years. He has done well in representing baseball.

So any fair mocking of the Jeteration Phenomenon -- where people long to give Jeter Nobel Prizes for things like running out ground balls -- must begin with his excellence as a given or the joke loses its power. If you say: Ah, Jeter’s not that good a player, it doesn’t work (though Mike Schur keeps trying). Jeter really been a superb player. If you say: Ah, Jeter’s not a leader, the joke loses its force. He IS a leader. He’s just not the world’s 11th greatest leader.

THAT’s where the joke gains its strength -- that space between, “Yeah, Jeter does a good job leading his baseball teammates,” and “As a leader he ranks just behind the Dalai Lama and a little bit ahead of Gabby Giffords.”

There has been some high-quality Jeteration lately -- Rick Reilly recently wrote a letter to Derek Jeter’s unborn children that had some doozies like, “He was the best player in baseball for 10 years straight,” and called him “A kind of prince in baseball cleats” and remarked, “If there was a better man in sports, I never met him.” I didn’t think that was going to be topped.

But in a simple box, I think this little scouting report roars past any story written so far. If you were doing something resembling an actual scouting report for Derek Jeter in 2014, it might look something like this:

wpid-Jeter-2014-05-31-17-40.jpg

Instead the three bits on the scouting report are:

1. Consummate pro and leader.

2. Plays the game the right way.

3. Example to players of all ages.

How fantastic is that? On a basic level: How exactly is that supposed to help you as a scouting report. Of course, I immediately imagined the catcher coming out to talk to the pitcher before Jeter’s at-bat.

CATCHER: Hey, did you get the scouting report on this guy?

PITCHER: No, I had to go see my family.

CATCHER: Oh, that’s bad.

PITCHER: Hey, I know, he’s Derek Jeter. What’s left to know right? He’s a pro.

CATCHER: No, that’s not it. He’s the consummate pro. F

IRST BASEMAN: And consummate leader.

PITCHER: Wait, when did you get here?

FIRST BASEMAN: This is Jeter, man. I heard you missed the scouting report.

PITCHER: I don’t need a scouting report, the guy’s been playing for a thousand years. I grew up watching this guy.

CATCHER: Then you know ... he plays the game the right way.

PITCHER: Yeah, I know that.

FIRST BASE: No you don’t. You missed the scouting report.

CATCHER: Believe me when I tell you ... he plays the game the right way.

PITCHER: OK, he plays the game the right way. Fine.

FIRST BASEMAN: And he’s a consummate pro.

CATCHER: And leader.

PITCHER: Right. OK, can we get back to the game? I’m going to bust him inside with a fastball.

THIRD BASEMAN: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

PITCHER: You’re here too.

THIRD BASEMAN: Did you guys cover the fact that he plays the game the right way?

CATCHER: Yeah, just going over that. And that he’s a consummate leader.

FIRST BASEMAN: And pro.

PITCHER: FINE! Man, I’m sorry I missed the scouting session, all right?

UMPIRE: OK, break it up guys. Let’s play ball here.

PITCHER: Thank you ump. That’s what I’ve been saying.

CATCHER: We can’t. He missed the scouting report on Derek Jeter.

UMPIRE: Oh, that’s bad. OK then but make it quick.

CATCHER: There’s one more thing you need to know before facing him.

PITCHER: That he’s 40 years old and has a .318 slugging percentage?

CATCHER: No.

UMPIRE: That’s disrespectful.

PITCHER: I apologize.

FIRST BASEMAN: Derek Jeter is an example to players of all ages.

PITCHER: Yeah, I know.

FIRST BASEMAN: No, that’s the third part of the scouting report. He’s an example to players of all ages.

PITCHER: Oh.

UMPIRE: Are we clear here guys? Let’s play some ball. Mr. Jeter wants to inspire some young people.

Of course, this wasn’t actually a scouting report for the players ... it was a scouting report for those viewers who apparently were unaware that many consider Derek Jeter to be the consummate pro and leader who plays the game the right way and is an example to players of all ages. Those viewers who did not know that would be ... I have no idea.

Part of me thinks this was a joke pulled off by some very clever graphics people. And if that’s the case ... I’m raising a glass to you because nobody could have told the end story better. Derek Jeter has been a very good baseball player. He might have been the best player in baseball around 1998 or 1999 ... after that he certainly wasn’t the best -- not in the age of Bonds and Pujols and A-Rod and Utley -- but he was good. I have him as one of the four or five best shortstops of the last 100 years, which is a pretty great thing to be. He hit well and fielded ... he hit well.

He managed to stay controversy-free in the age of controversy.

He was never caught or suspected of using steroids in the age of steroids.

He played shortstop and served as captain for the dominant team of the era. It’s a career worth celebrating.

And the rest ... well, the rest is Jeteration. I can only hope the next scouting report looks like this:

wpid-JETER1-2014-05-31-17-40.jpg

 

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So you knew the answer but posed the question anyway?
Yes, maximum range is what makes a hall of Famer. Dont be a dumbass.

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I would have voted for him, and I think anyone who didn't is stupid.  However, you're charging in here with the absolute wrong reasons to vote for him.  He was a fantastic offensive player for a SS and a terrible defensive SS. 


I would have also, but I am also glad the HOF kept up with their stupid ways. The HOF hates closers but elects one as the first unanimous player ever, no need to make Jeter the second one.

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5 minutes ago, shnsajax said:

 


I would have also, but I am also glad the HOF kept up with their stupid ways. The HOF hates closers but elects one as the first unanimous player ever, no need to make Jeter the second one.

 

I have trouble working up a dander over one voter not voting for Jeter, when a bunch of guys didn't vote for Willie Mays or Hank Aaron.  

I think people should be upset about the 4+ who voted for Jeter only, because they have a ballot, yet don't seem to understand that Ted Simmons is also going to be enshrined.  

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I'm glad Walker got in and I'm pleasantly shocked that Jeter wasn't unanimous.  It would have been quite the geographical and temporal oddity for the only two players in the history of the game worthy of such an honor to play for the late 90s Yankees.  I still can't believe that precedent was broken for a guy with less than 1300 innings.

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Kudos to the voter who didn't vote for Jeter.  Well done. 

Amazing that No. 88 and 229 in career WAR were basically unanimous selections while No. 4, 6, and 16 may never get in.  There are only 4 players on Baseball-Reference's list of the top-20 in career WAR with color photos and Hank Aaron (last game played in 1976) is the only one of them in the HOF. 

 

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1 minute ago, alincoln said:

Kudos to the voter who didn't vote for Jeter.  Well done. 

Amazing that No. 88 and 229 in career WAR were basically unanimous selections while No. 4, 6, and 16 may never get in.  There are only 4 players on Baseball-Reference's list of the top-20 in career WAR with color photos and Hank Aaron (last game played in 1976) is the only one of them in the HOF. 

 

I get what you're saying, but the unanimous / first ballot game that the writers have always played is kind of stupid.

Jeter is a HOFer. He is certainly not one of the 2 best players ever (and neither, obviously, is Rivera), which, in a vacuum, their vote% would tacitly indicate. But withholding a vote for him for strictly symbolic reasons (i.e., because he's not good enough to be unanimous), to me, doesn't make a lot of sense. You either think someone belongs or you don't, and should vote accordingly. 

The fact that Ruth or Williams or Mantle or Mays were not unanimous selections tells you all you need to know about why that is a "tradition" that should be discontinued. I'm glad Rivera was unanimously selected, because nobody could seriously argue that he's the best player ever - which seems to be the rationale for voters throughout history withholding votes for certain players. 

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4 hours ago, Hank Chinaski said:

But withholding a vote for him for strictly symbolic reasons (i.e., because he's not good enough to be unanimous), to me, doesn't make a lot of sense. You either think someone belongs or you don't, and should vote accordingly. 

We don't know why the one voter didn't mark Jeter.  It could have been because he thought 11 guys were deserving candidates and was only allowed to vote for 10, and he knew Jeter would get in even without his vote.

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27 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

We don't know why the one voter didn't mark Jeter.  It could have been because he thought 11 guys were deserving candidates and was only allowed to vote for 10, and he knew Jeter would get in even without his vote.

Exactly. If he voted for 10 other guys then that presents this easily defensible logic.

If he didn't then it gets dicey. I understand both sides at that point. It's dumb not to vote for him if you think he's a Hall of Famer, but at the same time while unanimity shouldn't be a thing it unfortunately is a thing that gets talked about a ton.

Edited by Huckleberry

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2021 might be the year for Bonds and Clemens. Next year's ballot has no slam-dunk first-ballot nominees, or even any supersolid new candidates: Buerhle, Tim Hudson and Torii Hunter are the only ones with WARs above 50, and none crack 60.

Top 5 WAR on 2021 ballot: Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Rolen, Manny

Top 5 returning from 2020 voting: Schilling, Clemens, Bonds, Vizquel, Rolen

Top 5 returning w/o roids*: Schilling, Vizquel, Rolen, Wagner, Helton (who has a Rockies *), so add Kent

Schilling has his own set of problems but probably gets in next year. I wouldn't pitch a fit over Rolen; Vizquel is overrated in balloting, love Wagner, but man, the HOF is gonna be full of closers and shy of starters soon if present trends continue much further into the future. 

 

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1 hour ago, MaybeACoordinator said:

2021 might be the year for Bonds and Clemens. Next year's ballot has no slam-dunk first-ballot nominees, or even any supersolid new candidates: Buerhle, Tim Hudson and Torii Hunter are the only ones with WARs above 50, and none crack 60.

Top 5 WAR on 2021 ballot: Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Rolen, Manny

Top 5 returning from 2020 voting: Schilling, Clemens, Bonds, Vizquel, Rolen

Top 5 returning w/o roids*: Schilling, Vizquel, Rolen, Wagner, Helton (who has a Rockies *), so add Kent

Schilling has his own set of problems but probably gets in next year. I wouldn't pitch a fit over Rolen; Vizquel is overrated in balloting, love Wagner, but man, the HOF is gonna be full of closers and shy of starters soon if present trends continue much further into the future. 

 

I think Schilling gets in if he can just keep his yap shut for a year.  Not sure he can do that.  I also wonder if voters are going to hesitate voting for him because a HoF weekend with no inductees might actually outdraw a HoF weekend inducting only Schilling.  IIRC, there's no committee voting next year, so if Schilling is the only one elected, he'll be the only one speaking.  I think he should be in, but I wouldn't even watch that on TV.  

I think Rolen will be the next Larry Walker, but he's too far away to get in next season.  I don't think Bonds and Clemens get in -- there are just 100+ voters who won't vote for them regardless, and that's enough to keep them out; if those people didn't change their minds when Selig got put in, they're not going to reconsider now.  I also think Vizquel is basically maxed out.  The guys who have earned big jumps (Walker, Raines) are guys no one realized were that great until you start looking at them through advanced stats prisms and recognized they were underrated.  Omar is the opposite.  

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I think Larry Walker was a very good player, but if you asked 100,000,000 baseball fans who is the better player, Walker or Bonds, there would be 99,999,999 votes for Bonds and maybe Larry's wife as the other vote.

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7 hours ago, Fastbreak said:

I think Larry Walker was a very good player, but if you asked 100,000,000 baseball fans who is the better player, Walker or Bonds, there would be 99,999,999 votes for Bonds and maybe Larry's wife as the other vote.

You could replace "Walker" with almost every other HOFer and your statement would hold up. Bonds is arguably second only to Ruth in baseball history. He's not on the outside due to his production or ability, obviously. 

I agree that he's not getting in through the general baseball writers vote...just too many guys who won't vote for him. I personally think he should be in, but I get the other side of the argument. 

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Bonds is arguably the best offensive player ever. Clemens is arguably the best pitcher ever. The HOF is not valid if people like Walker or Halladay are in, but those 2 are not.

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We could start a whole other thread about people that probably shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. 

Just look at last year, Edgar Martinez.  The guy that broke the mighty 180-hit benchmark, a whopping TWO times in his storied career that spanned 14 full seasons, all you can ask for from the fucking DH!  Fucking Tim Raines, really?  Barry Larkin.  Blyelven.  Jim Rice.....enjoyed all of them growing up but none belong in the hall.  Fucking Goose Gossage.  If you're gonna be a top-end closer, maybe save over 30 games more than ONCE in your whole fucking career which included TEN years as a middle-relief guy.  And Bruce Sutter?  The guy was a closer for a whopping one decade.  Yes likely the best closer from '77 to '85, but come the fuck on.  That makes a hall of fame career?  Fuck that.  Tony "Pretty Good" Perez---bullshit vote.  And then fucking Rollie Fingers?  I know relievers lose games, but a fucking .491 winning percentage, having only led the league in saves 3 times, an ERA at 3?  Come on.  I appreciate he was always good for two innings each outing, but he's a fucking scrub.  And finally, Hoyt Wilhelm?  The fuck?  We're all real proud he pitched until he was 79  with  an ERA of 2.50 in 2300 IP.....no matter when in the game you get the ball is damn impressive...but he was just a journeyman spot pitcher before the game knew it needed them.  Give him points for pioneering, but he doesn't need a wing in the Hall of Fame.  And what kind of an asshole plays in for 9 teams in the 1950's and 1960's before free agency?  He must have been a real shitheap of a teammate.  Drysdale has 12 good seasons.  Impressive run, but not Hall worthy.  And that concludes about as far back as I can remember as a serious fan of the game.  Everybody before that deserves to be in because I was too young to have at least heard your exploits or failures from my father.  

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2 minutes ago, Lobo said:

We could start a whole other thread about people that probably shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. 

Just look at last year, Edgar Martinez.  The guy that broke the mighty 180-hit benchmark, a whopping TWO times in his storied career that spanned 14 full seasons, all you can ask for from the fucking DH!  Fucking Tim Raines, really?  Barry Larkin.  Blyelven.  Jim Rice.....enjoyed all of them growing up but none belong in the hall.  Fucking Goose Gossage.  If you're gonna be a top-end closer, maybe save over 30 games more than ONCE in your whole fucking career which included TEN years as a middle-relief guy.  And Bruce Sutter?  The guy was a closer for a whopping one decade.  Yes likely the best closer from '77 to '85, but come the fuck on.  That makes a hall of fame career?  Fuck that.  Tony "Pretty Good" Perez---bullshit vote.  And then fucking Rollie Fingers?  I know relievers lose games, but a fucking .491 winning percentage, having only led the league in saves 3 times, an ERA at 3?  Come on.  I appreciate he was always good for two innings each outing, but he's a fucking scrub.  And finally, Hoyt Wilhelm?  The fuck?  We're all real proud he pitched until he was 79  with  an ERA of 2.50 in 2300 IP.....no matter when in the game you get the ball is damn impressive...but he was just a journeyman spot pitcher before the game knew it needed them.  Give him points for pioneering, but he doesn't need a wing in the Hall of Fame.  And what kind of an asshole plays in for 9 teams in the 1950's and 1960's before free agency?  He must have been a real shitheap of a teammate.  Drysdale has 12 good seasons.  Impressive run, but not Hall worthy.  And that concludes about as far back as I can remember as a serious fan of the game.  Everybody before that deserves to be in because I was too young to have at least heard your exploits or failures from my father.  

I agree with you on a lot of these, but some of these guys are legit HOFers. Raines and Larkin are definitely deserving IMO. 

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On 1/23/2020 at 2:16 AM, Fastbreak said:

I think Larry Walker was a very good player, but if you asked 100,000,000 baseball fans who is the better player, Walker or Bonds, there would be 99,999,999 votes for Bonds and maybe Larry's wife as the other vote.

Better player b/c he was a roided out douchebag cheater? 

 

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We could start a whole other thread about people that probably shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. 
Just look at last year, Edgar Martinez.  The guy that broke the mighty 180-hit benchmark, a whopping TWO times in his storied career that spanned 14 full seasons, all you can ask for from the fucking DH!  Fucking Tim Raines, really?  Barry Larkin.  Blyelven.  Jim Rice.....enjoyed all of them growing up but none belong in the hall.  Fucking Goose Gossage.  If you're gonna be a top-end closer, maybe save over 30 games more than ONCE in your whole fucking career which included TEN years as a middle-relief guy.  And Bruce Sutter?  The guy was a closer for a whopping one decade.  Yes likely the best closer from '77 to '85, but come the fuck on.  That makes a hall of fame career?  Fuck that.  Tony "Pretty Good" Perez---bullshit vote.  And then fucking Rollie Fingers?  I know relievers lose games, but a fucking .491 winning percentage, having only led the league in saves 3 times, an ERA at 3?  Come on.  I appreciate he was always good for two innings each outing, but he's a fucking scrub.  And finally, Hoyt Wilhelm?  The fuck?  We're all real proud he pitched until he was 79  with  an ERA of 2.50 in 2300 IP.....no matter when in the game you get the ball is damn impressive...but he was just a journeyman spot pitcher before the game knew it needed them.  Give him points for pioneering, but he doesn't need a wing in the Hall of Fame.  And what kind of an asshole plays in for 9 teams in the 1950's and 1960's before free agency?  He must have been a real shitheap of a teammate.  Drysdale has 12 good seasons.  Impressive run, but not Hall worthy.  And that concludes about as far back as I can remember as a serious fan of the game.  Everybody before that deserves to be in because I was too young to have at least heard your exploits or failures from my father.  
If this was a Murray Chass impression, I award you 100 points. If this is an actual take, I award you -50.

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