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Cyclone792
01-10-2006, 10:39 PM
Disclaimer: This is an exceptionally long post. Since this year's Hall results were announced, I originally set out to take a quick glance at Barry Larkin's Cooperstown credentials, but the next thing I knew a quick glance had morphed into a 12 page beast with links to other references, quotes, stories, etc. Nevertheless, I'm hoping the Larkin for Cooperstown campaign train fires up the engines on all cylinders, because he might need it. For now, here's the fruit of my labor. Enjoy :)

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Larkin is one of the most complete players in baseball history. Heís a .300 hitter, has power, has speed, excellent defense, and is a good percentage player. He ranks with DiMaggio, Mays, and a few others as the most well-rounded stars in baseball history.
Ė Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract

Does anybody remember August 13th, 1986? (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B08130CIN1986.htm) At a mere four years of age, this fan clearly does not, but those who do remember that night may remember it being a game featuring the likes of aging stars Pete Rose and Tony Perez, plus up-and-coming Giants first base slugger Will Clark. It also featured the debut of a lanky shortstop fresh off a hitting clinic to the tune of a near .900 OPS in Triple-A Denver in 1986 after being drafted 4th overall in the 1985 amateur draft.

In the bottom of the 5th inning that night at Riverfront Stadium, with the Reds already trailing the San Francisco Giants 5-0, Barry Larkin stepped to the plate for the first of his 9,057 plate appearances. Nick Esasky led off the inning with a double, and two batters later after a Ron Oester walk, Larkin was summoned to the plate in a pinch hitting first-and-third situation with only one out.

For Larkin, his first plate appearance was likely eventful and uneventful at the same time. He grounded out to short, but scored Esasky from third for the first run of the game and advanced Oester to second. He would then put the batting gloves away and watch as the Reds would ultimately mount a late game rally and come back to win 8-6.

Larkin would make his first start two days later on August 15th (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B08151CIN1986.htm), lead off with his first major league hit, a single to right, and eventually score on a Buddy Bell home run. He would then go on to start 35 more games that season, finishing the year with a respectable .722 OPS, which was impressive considering run scoring was much more suppressed then than it is now.

The following season, 1987, Larkin struggled as he appeared in 125 games and put up a subpar .678 OPS. But in 1988, he took off with a .296/.347/.429 line to go along with 40 stolen bases in only 47 attempts. Larkin had proven he was an offensive force in the National League, and by the time of his retirement in 2004, he had amassed MVP honors in 1995, 12 All-Star appearances, nine Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Gloves and a World Series championship in 1990.

All of which begs three simple questions Ö 1) where does Larkin rank historically among the gameís greatest shortstops, 2) should Larkin make the Hall of Fame and 3) what are the chances that he actually does make the Hall of Fame? One by one, letís examine those issues.

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Using win shares, a system designed to wrap up a playerís total value in one simple number, Iíve compiled a rough list of 35 of the greatest shortstops in history. I did make allowances and give credit to players who missed playing time due to circumstances beyond their control, such as wars and strikes. For Larkin, I gave him 4 win shares of additional credit for his MVP season of 1995 and 8 win shares of additional credit for 1994, pushing his totals for those seasons to 34 and 27.

Players in bold are Hall of Famers, with their year inducted and how they were elected listed. The categories and column headers are games, shortstop games, career win shares per 162 games, career total win shares, five year peak win shares and career OPS+. From the bottom up, hereís how Larkin compares to each shortstop Ö



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116

Herman Long 1874 1794 22.91 265 125 94
Dave Bancroft 1913 1873 22.78 269 127 98 VC 1971
Tony Fernandez 2158 1573 21.63 278 119 101
Travis Jackson 1656 1326 20.64 211 111 102 VC 1982
Al Dark 1828 1404 20.03 226 119 98

Dave Bancroft and Travis Jackson have deceivingly impressive raw stats due to playing in the high-powered era of the 1920s and 1930s. They are often cited as being among the worst players in the Hall of Fame and are clear examples of past mistakes by the Veteranís Committee. Fernandez was a Larkin contemporary, and it was a widely held opinion that Larkin was vastly superior. Herman Long was a 19th century star, and contemporary to George Davis and Bill Dahlen, and Al Dark had a couple solid seasons for the New York Giants in the early 1950s.

With Larkin, there isnít much comparison as he is rather obviously well ahead of all five.



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116

Nomar Garciaparra 1071 1024 28.29 187 141 132
Bert Campaneris 2328 2097 19.48 280 120 89
Dave Concepcion 2488 2178 17.52 269 117 88
Maury Wills 1942 1555 21.11 253 128 88
Joe Tinker 1804 1743 23.18 258 120 96 VC 1946

People may wonder why Garciaparra is low on this list, and itís because his career simply isnít long enough yet. If heís able to come back with some more solid seasons, heíll fly up the list considerably, but it isnít a guarantee he can do that. Campaneris and Concepcion were contemporaries and very similar in being slick fielding/light hitting shortstops. Willsí best attribute was stealing bases, and Joe Tinker is in the Hall of Fame largely because of a Franklin P. Adams poem in 1910.

Like the previous five, there isnít much comparision here with Larkin. Only Garciaparraís peak compares, but Nomarís career has only been half as long as Larkinís.



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116

Luis Aparicio 2601 2583 18.26 293 102 82 BBWAA 1984
Rabbit Maranville 2670 2153 18.32 302 118 82 BBWAA 1954
Bobby Wallace 2382 1826 23.45 345 122 105 VC 1953
Hughie Jennings 1285 899 26.98 214 150 117 VC 1945
Johnny Pesky 1270 591 24.04 253 132 108

Five more shortstops, four of which are in the Hall of Fame. Aparicio and Maranville were both BBWAA selections, and both were slick fielding/light hitting shortstop varieties. Maranville was also an entertainer on the field and a heavy practical joker on and off it; in short, the guy was an all-around character. Bobby Wallace and Hughie Jennings were slight contemporaries, with Wallace being overshadowed by Honus Wagner during much of his career. Jennings was an outstanding hitter and fielder during his career, most of which was in the 19th century, however, his career was short with just under 1,300 total games. Johnny Pesky was robbed of three seasons due to World War II Ė though I did give him some credit Ė and was an on-base machine during his playing days with Teddy Ballgame and the Red Sox.

How does Larkin compare? In career value, Bobby Wallace is close to Larkin but didnít produce at the rate at which Barry did, nor did he have a peak as remotely as good as Larkinís. Jennings had a peak that compares well with Larkinís, but doesnít have the career value Barry has. Aparicio and Maranville may have been better defensive shortstops than Larkin, but offensively they are not able to stack up with him.



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116

Ozzie Smith 2573 2511 20.53 326 128 87 BBWAA 2002
Jim Fregosi 1902 1396 22.23 261 141 113
Vern Stephens 1720 1330 24.96 265 141 119
Phil Rizzuto 1661 1647 21.56 279 131 93 VC 1994
Joe Sewell 1903 1216 23.58 277 131 109 VC 1977

Three more Hall of Famers, and two guys in Fregosi and Stephens that have had Hall arguments in their favor at one time or another. We all know about Ozzie Smithís defensive genius, which is likely what landed him in the Hall as he is arguably the greatest defensive shortstop ever. Rizzuto was also an outstanding defensive shortstop for the Yankees in the 1950s and he also had a couple nice seasons with the bat, including an MVP in 1950. Sewell played alongside Dave Bancroft and Travis Jackson in the high-powered 1930s, though Sewell was a bit better than both and isnít a terrible Hall decision like they are. Fregosi is a guy who may have suffered a poor fate due to his era being pitching dominated as his raw stats are nowhere near as impressive as his era adjusted statistics. Vern Stephens was an alcoholic who had quite a few solid seasons, though some was against some of the war depleted competition during World War II.

Cardinals fans will most likely always maintain that Ozzie was greater than Larkin, but donít believe it. True, Ozzie was better than Larkin with the glove Ė though Ozzie probably won a Gold Glove or three that really belonged to Larkin Ė but a small difference in the field simply cannot make up for the massive advantage Larkin had at the plate. Per 162 games, Larkin averaged 5 more win shares than Ozzie did, and that includes defense. Larkin amassed more career win shares than Ozzie, and he did so in about 400 fewer games.

As for Larkin vs. the others, two of which are also in the Hall, Barry has them all rather easily in both career and peak value.



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116

Bill Dahlen 2443 2132 26.06 394 139 110
Pee Wee Reese 2166 2014 23.85 383 137 99 VC 1984
Alan Trammell 2293 2139 22.47 318 145 110
Lou Boudreau 1646 1539 27.26 277 152 120 BBWAA 1970
Derek Jeter 1525 1520 26.03 245 142 121


Weíre into the top 15 now, and have now reached a group of players that includes Mr. Wonderful himself, Derek Jeter. Also included are two more Hall of Famers, Pee Wee Reese and Lou Boudreau, along with two other deserving Hall of Famers, 19th century star Bill Dahlen and Tigers star Alan Trammell.

This is where it starts to get interesting for Larkin in the comparison camp. Lou Boudreauís peak is arguably greater than Larkinís, but his career value is short. Advantage Larkin. Pee Wee Reeseís career value is very close to Larkinís Ė Iíd take Larkinís due to his rate of performance Ė but his peak value comes up short. Advantage Larkin. Bill Dahlenís career value may in fact be slightly higher than Larkinís, however, Barryís peak advantage is substantial and enough for me. Advantage Larkin. Alan Trammell? Larkin has him beat in both career and peak value, but not a whole lot in either, which may be a factor for Hall of Fame voters, unfortunately. Still, Larkin has a real edge on Trammell. Advantage Larkin.

That leaves us with Mr. Wonderful, the All-American boy whom many could perceive as being the greatest clutch hitter of all-time if youíre ever forced to listen to the oftentimes annoying diatribes of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Of course, Jeterís postseason statistics are neither better nor worse than his regular season stats, so what do Buck and McCarver really know?

But Iím digressing here, whether or not Jeter is a clutch hitter doesnít pertain much to his comparison with Larkin. In Jeterís best season, 1999, he had 35 win shares and was one of the best players in the American League. Good for Jeter, but Larkinís MVP season of 1995 where he has an adjusted total of 34 win shares is arguably just as impressive. Regardless, for the sake of the argument, weíll call them a wash.

How about Larkin and Jeterís next four best seasons? For Larkin, the win shares totals read as follows: 32, 31, 28 and 27. For Jeter, they are 28, 27, 26 and 26. Advantage Larkin. Their career rate of win shares per 162 games is almost identical through Jeterís career currently. If Jeter plays another four to five seasons at his current rate of play, he will match Larkin in career value. But will he top Barry in peak value? Maybe, maybe not, but to do so would require a few more seasons of win shares around the 30 barrier. Also, it is important to remember that Larkinís rate of 25.89 win shares per 162 games includes his decline phase while Jeterís rate of 26.03 win shares per 162 games does not include his decline phase.

So who is/was greater? So far, itís still Larkin, and I believe it will still be Larkin for another couple seasons. Theyíve had very similar career paths and Jeterís current pace projects him to possibly follow Barryís career path well into his 30s. Not to downsize Jeterís accomplishments at all, but it is important to stress that so far he has not yet eclipsed Larkin in the shortstop ladder, and may never do so.

And who really thinks Derek Jeter will not make the Hall of Fame?



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116

Cal Ripken, Jr. 3001 2302 23.08 436 160 112
Robin Yount 2856 1479 23.99 423 164 115 BBWAA 1999
Joe Cronin 2124 1843 25.40 333 163 119 BBWAA 1956
Luke Appling 2422 2218 24.70 412 154 112 BBWAA 1964
Ernie Banks 2528 1125 21.28 332 153 122 BBWAA 1977
George Davis 2368 1372 27.23 398 142 121 VC 1998

Into the top 10 now, and with six other shortstops listed next to Barry, it signifies that he belongs in this tier of shortstops for me. Whatís important to note here is five of the six are in the Hall of Fame Ė with Ripken to follow as a sure-fire bet in 2007 Ė and all of them are very deserving to be in the Hall of Fame. Not only that, but Robin Yount, Joe Cronin, Luke Appling and Ernie Banks are all BBWAA selections, leaving only the 19th century star George Davis as a Veteranís Committee selection, one of the best selections theyíve ever made.

Where Larkin fits in with the above list is open for debate. George Davis has a slight edge in career value, but Larkin has an edge in peak value. The Baseball Prospectus (http://www.baseballprospectus.com) stat, WARP3, has an era adjustment in it which pushes the favor to Larkin. Davis is largely underrated by many so it is difficult to understand his true placement among other shortstops, but I still prefer Larkin.

Ernie Banks is another tough comparison with an extra caveat thrown in that half of Banksí career was at first base. Banksí peak was at shortstop, however, and thatís where he achieved his fame so itís proper to rank him among shortstops. His peak essentially also matches Larkinís peak in value, but in career value he appears to come up a bit short. Given a slight advantage in career value to Larkin and considering that Larkin played his whole career at shortstop while Banks did not, Iíll take Larkin.

Regarding Luke Appling, thereís two important factors: 1) I gave him war credit for 1944 and 1945 and 2) his 1943 season of 40 win shares is likely inflated due to playing against war depleted competition (I did not adjust down for that in the numbers). That means that Larkin most likely does have a slight edge in peak value on Appling and Larkinís win shares per 162 edge on Appling may be a bit higher. Applingís career value is arguably greater than Larkinís, but does it outweigh Larkinís other advantages? Itís a tough call, but Iíll take Larkin while others may take Appling.

Joe Cronin is also a very similar comparison to Larkin, and like Appling, you can make a case for one over the other. Larkinís career value is possibly slightly higher than Croninís, but Croninís peak value is slightly higher than Larkinís. In WARP3, both players are again too close to call. Larkin did play 242 more games at shortstop than did Cronin, which is good enough for me to break the virtual tie and rank Larkin one spot higher than Cronin. Still, itís a judgement call and a matter of preference, and I wouldnít argue with someone preferring to rank Cronin over Larkin.

With Cal Ripken and Robin Yount, this is where Larkin begins to lose a bit of steam among great shortstops. Yount won an MVP as a shortstop, and a case could be made for Larkin over Yount due to the fact that roughly only half of Yountís career was at shortstop, but all Robin did was move to center field and go on to win another MVP. Yount has a bit more career value and a bit more peak value in my eyes, so Iím forced to take him over Larkin. Ripken is essentially the same way; slightly more career value and slightly more peak value. Cal had his share of merely above average seasons, but he also had quite a few phenomenal seasons. Like Young, I have to take Ripken over Larkin.

Among the grouping of those seven players, this is ultimately how I would rank them: Ripken, Yount, Larkin, Cronin, Appling, Banks, Davis.



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116

Honus Wagner 2792 1887 38.01 655 238 150 BBWAA 1936
Arky Vaughan 1817 1485 31.74 356 178 136 VC 1985
Alex Rodriguez 1592 1272 32.46 319 180 145

Not bad company here. Honus Wagner is the greatest shortstop of all-time, hands down, and arguably the greatest player of all-time. Wagner was immensely popular in the first half of the 20th century in Pittsburgh, where he dominated in the Dead Ball Era from the late 19th century until World War I. In 1917, Wagnerís final season, Pittsburgh and several other National League cities, including Cincinnati, held Wagner Days to honor the legendary shortstop. After retirement, Wagner coached with the Pirates for several years and one of his pupils was none other than Arky Vaughan. Vaughanís 1935 season of .385/.491/.607 is one of the greatest seasons ever by a shortstop. Unfortunately, the BBWAA shafted Vaughan for the Hall, and it wasnít until the Veteranís Committee finally elected him in 1985 that Arky landed in Cooperstown.

As for Alex Rodriguez, well, nothing much needs to be said about him. Heís already arguably the second greatest shortstop ever, and will likely retire firmly planted in the second slot behind only Wagner.

To summarize and to illustrate just how great Larkin was, here is all 35 guys in one list together:



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Honus Wagner 2792 1887 38.01 655 238 150 BBWAA 1936
Arky Vaughan 1817 1485 31.74 356 178 136 VC 1985
Alex Rodriguez 1592 1272 32.46 319 180 145
Cal Ripken, Jr. 3001 2302 23.08 436 160 112
Robin Yount 2856 1479 23.99 423 164 115 BBWAA 1999

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116
Joe Cronin 2124 1843 25.40 333 163 119 BBWAA 1956
Luke Appling 2422 2218 24.70 412 154 112 BBWAA 1964
Ernie Banks 2528 1125 21.28 332 153 122 BBWAA 1977
George Davis 2368 1372 27.23 398 142 121 VC 1998

Bill Dahlen 2443 2132 26.06 394 139 110
Pee Wee Reese 2166 2014 23.85 383 137 99 VC 1984
Alan Trammell 2293 2139 22.47 318 145 110
Lou Boudreau 1646 1539 27.26 277 152 120 BBWAA 1970
Derek Jeter 1525 1520 26.03 245 142 121

Ozzie Smith 2573 2511 20.53 326 128 87 BBWAA 2002
Jim Fregosi 1902 1396 22.23 261 141 113
Vern Stephens 1720 1330 24.96 265 141 119
Phil Rizzuto 1661 1647 21.56 279 131 93 VC 1994
Joe Sewell 1903 1216 23.58 277 131 109 VC 1977

Nomar Garciaparra 1071 1024 28.29 187 141 132
Bert Campaneris 2328 2097 19.48 280 120 89
Dave Concepcion 2488 2178 17.52 269 117 88
Maury Wills 1942 1555 21.11 253 128 88
Joe Tinker 1804 1743 23.18 258 120 96 VC 1946

Luis Aparicio 2601 2583 18.26 293 102 82 BBWAA 1984
Rabbit Maranville 2670 2153 18.32 302 118 82 BBWAA 1954
Bobby Wallace 2382 1826 23.45 345 122 105 VC 1953
Hughie Jennings 1285 899 26.98 214 150 117 VC 1945
Johnny Pesky 1270 591 24.04 253 132 108

Herman Long 1874 1794 22.91 265 125 94
Dave Bancroft 1913 1873 22.78 269 127 98 VC 1971
Tony Fernandez 2158 1573 21.63 278 119 101
Travis Jackson 1656 1326 20.64 211 111 102 VC 1982
Al Dark 1828 1404 20.03 226 119 98


Does Barry Larkin deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Aaron Gleeman ( http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/larkin-for-the-hall/) of The Hardball Times definitely thinks he does as he spells out a highly persuasive case for Larkin. Internet bloggers, such as Andrew Koch ( http://www.andrewkoch.com/archive/000205.html) agree with Gleeman and have used other methods of evaluation to lay out their own case for Barry.

Obviously, if any of the above statistics and comparisons are to be factored in, the obvious answer is not only yes, but that it would be an absolute travesty if Larkin did not make it to Cooperstown. I have Barry ranked 6th, as does Bill James, and arguments can be made to rank Barry anywhere from 4th down to 10th. Still, any player ranked in the top 10 of their position, and arguably in the top five, is a clear Hall of Famer. In fact, Larkin is also arguably the greatest shortstop the National League has ever seen since just after World War II when Arky Vaughan retired. Just think about that.

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Whatís the nicest thing another player could say about you?
ďThat whoever it is youíre speaking of gives his all every time out there,Ē Larkin says.
That would be you. You that ďIím speaking of.Ē
ďRight,Ē Larkin says. ďThat would be the ultimate compliment.
-- Paul Daugherty, ďMr. ShortstopĒ, The Cincinnati Enquirer, August 20, 1995

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In 2009, Barry Larkin will appear for the first time on the Hall of Fame ballot for the 500 plus writers on the Baseball Writerís Association of America. After a fairly well-reasoned assessment laid down to determine that Larkin belongs, the question for the BBWAA is will they get it right with Barry?

Looking at precedents, the BBWAA has elected nine shortstops to the Hall of Fame, and Cal Ripken will be the 10th in 2007. Of those 10 shortstops, Larkin is clearly greater than four of them, compares very well to five others and is only clearly behind Honus Wagner. Unfortunately, that does not mean the BBWAA will automatically throw Larkin into the Hall. As seen with Arky Vaughan, they shafted a legendary shortstop during Vaughanís stay on the ballot and only the Veteranís Committee was around to correct that massive mistake. The BBWAA has shafted other players also, and if they can shaft Vaughan then they can also shaft Larkin.

On February 15th, 2004, ESPN SPORTSNATION ran a poll on Larkin's candidacy for the Hall ( http://sports.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/story?page=thepulse050215). With over 75,000 votes, only 53.8 percent of voters believed Larkin should be in Cooperstown. In the states of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Larkinís support dropped to 44.7 percent. Itís one thing for Larkin not to be around the required 75 percent for the BBWAA, but unfortunately in the minds of casual fans heís barely receiving half the support.

After the 2003 season, John Erardi took a sample of 14 BBWAA voters ( http://reds.enquirer.com/2003/09/28/wwwred1barry.html) and how they would vote on Larkin. Four said yes, four said no and the other six were undecided. When you take into consideration the 75 percent barrier required for election, thatís a rather disheartening set of results from that small poll.

Alan Trammellís support from the BBWAA is another cause for concern for Barry. In the latest election results announced in 2006, Trammell received a scant 17.7 percent of the vote. Larkin was a better player than Trammell, both in career and peak value, but how will the voters judge the two? Will more than half of the voters who did not vote for Trammell see a clear, black line between the two and mark down a vote for Larkin? Trammellís support has been inching higher each year, but still remains far too low for it to not be a bad omen for Larkin.

Per BBWAA voter tendencies, some points in Larkinís favor:
1995 National League MVP.
12 All-Star selections (1988-1991, 1993-1998, 1999-2000, 2004).
Nine Silver Slugger Awards (1988-1992, 1995-1996, 1998-1999).
Three Gold Gloves (1994-1996).
HOF Monitor score of 118.5 (likely HOFer is > 100).
First 30/30 shortstop in MLB history.
Was the Reds' best player during their 1990 World Series championship season.
.338/.397/.465 with eight stolen bases in nine attempts in 17 postseason games.
Played his full career as a shortstop, down to his last season.
Played for one team during his entire career.
While he preferred to stay out of the limelight, he wasnít disliked by the bulk of the press.

Per BBWAA voter tendencies, some factors that may hurt Larkin:
A wide perception Ė maybe fair, maybe not fair Ė that Larkin was injury prone throughout his career.
Failure to account for 1986-1993 being a pitching dominated era as offense didnít boom until 1994, which was midway through Larkinís career.
The Rodriguez/Jeter/Garciaparra/Tejada perception that great shortstops should suddenly hit like first basemen or corner outfielders.
He wasnít adored nationally like Cal Ripken.
Ozzie Smith unfairly overshadowed him, and Smith may have won some gold gloves that deserved to go to Larkin.
Failure to account that more than half of Larkinís career was leading off or batting second, which hindered his RBI total and kept him below 1,000 career RBI (his lifetime total is 960 RBI). Thanks to Retrosheet (http://www.retrosheet.org) we now know the lifetime batting splits for Larkin. (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/Jlarkb0010.htm)
He doesnít have gaudy raw statistical totals, such as hits, runs, home runs, etc.

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"As long as I've been a baseball fan, there have been 40-year-old pitchers who were very effective. Warren Spahn was 23-7 when he was 42. (Steve) Carlton was great when he was 40. There have been others who were very good in their 40s. But I don't know if I've ever seen a 40-year-old shortstop playing like he [Larkin] is."
Ė Bill James, quoted by John Fay, ďReds InsiderĒ, The Cincinnati Enquirer, May 23, 2004

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On October 1st, 2004 (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B10010CIN2004.htm), a friend and I made a special trip to Great American Ball Park to catch in person what would likely be the last time we saw Barry Larkin in a major league game. The Reds were hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates, and thanks to yet another disastrous season on the mound for the Reds, there really wasnít much at stake in the actual game. But I was down there anyway, not to check out young players to pin future hopes and agony on or to inform an entire section of fans how much I despised Dan OíBrien. I was just down there to see Barry.

Go see Larkin now before itís too late and you wonít get another chance, my mind had been telling me during the final few weeks of the season.

We drove down that afternoon, bought cheap seats and planned to move around the stadium as the game rolled along. By the bottom of the 7th inning, the Reds led 4-1 and Paul Wilson was in the midst of throwing a complete game, a surprising performance given the state of our pitching staff. The crowd had thinned a bit and we were sitting comfortably in the lower deck along the right field foul line, underneath the hangover from Club 4192. Felipe Lopez led off the inning by striking out, leaving the situation at one out, nobody on.

In steps Barry.

Larkin had struggled in his three previous plate appearances that night and walked to the plate 0-3 with a pair of groundouts and a strike out. Frank Brooks was on the mound for the Pirates, a late season callup who had made his debut a mere month earlier. Given that the Reds were leading in the game and had only five outs remaining until the 9th inning, it was likely that this was going to be Larkinís final plate appearance that night.

ďThis is it,Ē I said to my friend. ďThis is probably Barryís last at bat tonight. Letís see if he can give us something.Ē

I donít remember the pitch, nor do I remember the count, but I do remember Barry sticking the bat out over the plate and sending a line drive deep into right field. All in one moment you could feel the entire ballpark gasp as Rob Mackowiak turned around, and with his back facing the plate, darted to the wall.

ďGet out! Get out!Ē fans roared as the ball was still in flight. Mackowiak, racing back, was confused, not sure if the ball was going to leave the yard or bounce back to him. The ball was cold-cocked out to right on a low trajectory and quickly slipped into the right field seats.

The crowd erupted, as loud as a smattering of 15,000 fans could erupt, and everybody, everybody, was on their feet. Larkin bounded around the bags like he always did when he drove one to the seats, but the aura of the park was vastly different. The fans, now as vibrant as ever that night, grew louder as Larkin touched the plate and headed for the dugout. His 198th career home run acted as a type of metaphor for a farewell tour, and the few lucky fans still at the park ate every bit of it up.

A curtain call would soon follow, resulting in another eruption of happiness from the crowd. It was one of those moments that allowed you to forget everything negative, even if it was only very temporary. Gone at that instant was the aggravation with Dan OíBrien, the annoyances with a historically bad pitching staff and the scarring of Jim Bowdenís recent amateur drafts. That very moment that night was all about recognizing and appreciating Barry and everything he had done for the Reds during his career.

Did Reds fans collectively take for granted the immense amount of value he provided during his career? Perhaps so, perhaps not. Sometimes itís difficult to recognize what you have until itís gone. Granted, his contract extension from 2001-2003 likely held the club back financially, but who knows how and where Bowden would have otherwise spent the money. Until 2005, all I ever knew at shortstop for the Reds was Barry Larkin. No free agent acquisition, no question marks whatsoever about the level of production, and until Larkinís final years, no up-and-coming youngster set to supplant him. It was Larkin at shortstop, one of the greatest ever at his position, and that was that.

Right now Iím only hoping to have to make plans to head to Cooperstown in July, 2010.

Redsland
01-10-2006, 10:59 PM
That's an amazing post. Truly professional quality work.

:clap:

Is Barry a Hall of Famer? I think so.

Do the Baseball Writers of America think so? I doubt it.

westofyou
01-10-2006, 11:02 PM
Does anybody remember August 13th, 1986?Living in Berkely I very likely saw that game (or listened to it on the radio), That was the closest I got to the Reds in the 80's except trips back east and to Candlestick, then ESPN kicked the door in.

Good Stuff.

remdog
01-10-2006, 11:04 PM
I'm a big fan of Davy Concepcion, yet I'm on the bubble as to him being in the HOF, as well as Ozzie Smith. My opinion is that if one of those two are in the other should be also.

As this relates to Barry: IMO, Barry 'stretched' the SS position. He could hit, hit with power, run, throw and field. There were not too many SS's before him that carried the 'hit with power' tag and could still field with his range and smoothness.

Barry may suffer from playing in the 'midwest' but if Bruce Sutter can get elected then there is hope for BL.

Rem

RedsManRick
01-10-2006, 11:25 PM
Bravo!

NDRed
01-11-2006, 12:04 AM
Very impressive work. Thank You!

My guess is Larkin get gradually growing support and gets elected in on one of those lean years without any spectacular nominees.

M2
01-11-2006, 12:16 AM
Cyclone, fantastic work. Two quick points about Ripken and Yount. Ripken's advantage was all in durability. If you had to pick between Larkin at his best and Ripken at his for a series to save the universe, Larkin would be the pick. As for Yount, well, he wasn't able to hack the position past age 30. He played almost half his career in the OF. IMO that deserves some fairly massive deductions when comparing him against players who were able to handle the most athletic position in the field for most a their careers.

Jpup
01-11-2006, 03:36 AM
First of all, I want to say that Cyclone has graced us with a great post. It is one of the best, well thought out, well researched posts that I have ever read. :thumbup:

As for Barry? 1st ballot Hall of Famer. Anything else would be a travesty. :)

Who else is up for the Hall in 2009?

KronoRed
01-11-2006, 04:13 AM
I'm a big fan of Davy Concepcion, yet I'm on the bubble as to him being in the HOF, as well as Ozzie Smith. My opinion is that if one of those two are in the other should be also.

My thoughts exactly, I don't think either should be in but it's wrong that one is without the other.


Great write up Cyclone :beerme:

RedsBaron
01-11-2006, 06:41 AM
Great, great post. I have no doubt at all about Larkin's qualifications for the Hall of Fame: He clearly should be inducted on the first ballot. I do have great doubts about the voting wisdom of the writers, and suspect it will take Larkin several years on the ballot before he is finally elected.

RANDY IN INDY
01-11-2006, 07:58 AM
I do have great doubts about the voting wisdom of the writers,

One of the travesty's of baseball. 13 blank ballots handed in yesterday. There should be a better mix of folks that are more qualified for the job of electing Hall of Famers.

RedsBaron
01-11-2006, 09:08 AM
One of the travesty's of baseball. 13 blank ballots handed in yesterday. There should be a better mix of folks that are more qualified for the job of electing Hall of Famers.
Hall of Fame voting being given to some writers is an accident of history. Perhaps there was no better choice than to give it to the writers in 1936, but such is not the case anymore.

RFS62
01-11-2006, 09:15 AM
Outstanding post.

:beerme:

Puffy
01-11-2006, 11:03 AM
2009: Mark Grace, Rickey Henderson, Dean Palmer, Dan Plesac, Matt Williams, Barry Larkin

Henderson is a sure thing. Grace will get some support, but likely in the 25% category. Larkin is the wildcard.

FlyingPig
01-11-2006, 11:39 AM
How's this for respect..the Hall of Fame site doesn't even list Larkin as a nominee in 2009...

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hof_weekend/future_elections.htm

registerthis
01-11-2006, 12:22 PM
How's this for respect..the Hall of Fame site doesn't even list Larkin as a nominee in 2009...

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hof_weekend/future_elections.htm

Well, you know, Lark was good in his time...but he was no Dan Plesac.

Cyclone792
01-11-2006, 12:28 PM
Thanks for the kind words, everybody. :thumbup:

What I'm fearing the most with Larkin's chances for the Hall is that he just simply might get Ron Santo'd, which would be utterly ridiculous but I still think there's a chance it could happen.

I just look at a guy like Will Clark and see that he didn't even reach the minimum 5 percent barrier to even stay on the ballot and wonder what is going on. Clark isn't a definite Hall of Famer, but he's at the very least borderline and worthy of an in-depth analysis. From 1987-1992, Clark had three phenomenal seasons along with three very good seasons. The National League averaged 4.09 runs per game during that stretch. From 1993-2004, the National League averaged 4.67 runs per game.

My guess for Clark's poor support is voters are seemingly forgetting how suppressed offense was for a stretch prior to 1993, and they're making the mistake of comparing Clark's 87-92 peak to the offensive levels we began seeing in 1993. That's troublesome for Barry because instead of voters correctly putting his early career of 1987-1992 into context and stating "Larkin was outstanding," they'll instead compare his raw totals to what guys were doing 10 years later and merely state "he was good, but not Hall worthy." It just isn't fair to not properly put Larkin's whole era into context, but some voters will fail to do so anyway.

When you hear the media talk about Ripken, Gwynn, Henderson ... guys like that, it's simply "sure-fire Hall of Famer," but you don't hear them say that with Larkin. It just blows me away because Larkin is easily a top 10 shortstop, and you can make the argument that's he 4th greatest shortstop to ever play. If that isn't a Hall of Famer in the voters' eyes, it makes you wonder what a Hall of Famer is.

westofyou
01-11-2006, 12:35 PM
My guess for Clark's poor support is voters are seemingly forgetting how suppressed offense was for a stretch prior to 1993,And the fact that he was a prick. I saw Will the Thrill come up and go down each season as a Giant, at best he had a Dale Murphy career at a position that has been flooded with hitters throughout history.

Then he was an accused racist, surly guy from Mississippi in the Bay Area, not the stuff Roger Angell essays are usually about.

Will was great, but Matt Williams and Kevin Mitchell were more well loved in that marketplace, 15 years later that's probably still playing out as well.

Cyclone792
01-11-2006, 12:39 PM
And the fact that he was a prick. I saw Will the Thrill come up and go down each season as a Giant, at best he had a Dale Murphy career at a position that has been flooded with hitters throughout history.

Then he was an accused racist, surly guy from Mississippi in the Bay Area, not the stuff Roger Angell essays are usually about.

Will was great, but Matt Williams and Kevin Mitchell were more well loved in that marketplace, 15 years later that's probably still playing out as well.

I had forgotten about Clark's 'tude toward the press. :laugh: You're definitely right, whether it's deserved or not Clark lost votes for his demeanor.

Luckily Barry got along with the press well enough that it is hopefully more of a help than a hindrance.

RFS62
01-11-2006, 02:07 PM
I heard that his answering machine had the first couple of lines of BB King's "The Thrill is Gone" on its message.

redsfanmia
01-11-2006, 03:27 PM
Why does being a prick take away from your Hall of Fame credentials? The writers who do not vote for certain individuals because of personal reasons should not have a vote.

Cyclone792
01-12-2006, 05:56 PM
Why does being a prick take away from your Hall of Fame credentials? The writers who do not vote for certain individuals because of personal reasons should not have a vote.

Here's the rule ...

Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

Not that I necessarily agree with it, and many feel the same as I do, but that's the guidelines the writers follow. For the vast majority of players, it is usually only their perceived performance from each voter's view that determines whether or not that player gets a vote. When guys are borderline, such as Will Clark, Albert Belle or Kirby Puckett, the writers start to factor in their opinion of a guy's character, sportsmanship, etc. Basically, if you're borderline performance-wise and you're perceived a good guy, you're likely to go in the Hall (see Puckett). If you're borderline performance-wise and perceived a prick, you're likely not to make it (Puckett and Clark). Dick Allen is the only example of a guy I can think of that clearly belongs in the Hall based off his performance, but never got in strictly because of his character reputation.

Also, here's some more Larkin stuff I've found, including another player comparison for Larkin that I didn't include in the original post, but people may be interested to see ...



Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+
Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116
Miguel Tejada 1260 1257 24.30 189 138 112

Obviously Tejada does not yet have the career value, but like Jeter and Garciaparra, he's also still trailing Barry in peak performance thus far in his career. True, Tejada won't turn 30-years-old until May of '06, but he still has plenty of work to do to pass Barry. It seems in recent years we've heard of the quartet of Rodriguez/Jeter/Garciaparra/Tejada seemingly being superior to Larkin, but really only Alex Rodriguez can make that claim up to this point.

Another article I've found by John Erardi of the Enquirer (http://reds.enquirer.com/2004/10/17/red1a.html) in 2004 discusses the chances of Larkin's Hall chances. In that poll, 22 voters gave a yes/no answer (17-5 yes, 77.3 percent) with eight others being undecided. Erardi also states that he believes Larkin's support in 2010 will be in the 40-50 percent range. In Paul Daugherty's column upon Larkin's retirement (http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050214/COL03/502140361/1071), Daugherty states that Larkin should be "a slam dunk" for the Hall.

In the past few days I've read hundreds of Internet forum posts on a variety of baseball forums where net posters have discussed Larkin's merits and whether or not they believe he will eventually get in. In my extremely unscientific perception, it seems to me that fans who are well-versed in advanced statistical metrics heavily favor Larkin for the Hall - probably well over 80 percent - while those still preferring the old traditional mode circle around the 50 percent barrier. Like Erardi, it seems that many fans expect Larkin to receive about 50 percent support in his first year of eligibility and will ultimately get in the Hall three to five years later.

RedsManRick
01-12-2006, 06:20 PM
I think the fact that the above four all had peak years within a few years of each gave a false perception to their final career value. If each of them continued on their highest projected path, they were all better than Barry. But as they each being to reach their decline phases, particularly by 2010, we'll have a better perspective on where Barry really stands in relation to them.

My guess is:
- Jeter will be in the tail end of his career; seen as Larkin's best comp , but with a bigger spotlight and a little more durability and much worse defense -- a shoe in for the Hall.
- Nomar is done being a star and won't touch the HoF discussions -- possibly in the Jim Rice type context if he can another solid 1000 at bats.
- ARod will be in the same discussions as Ruth, Williams, Mays, Aaron, and Bonds
- Tejada will be on downside of a solid, borderline Hall of Fame career.

Cyclone792
01-09-2007, 03:03 AM
One of the things I've heard in the past regarding Barry Larkin's Hall of Fame credentials is how well he'll ultimately stack up against the new crop of shortstop talent we've seen during the last decade, namely Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, and Miguel Tejada. Since that comparison may still be pertinent and with the 2007 BBWAA Hall results about to announced in about 12 hours, I figured I'd update the statistical portion of my original post in terms of Larkin vs. the magical four.


Player Games SS Games WS/162 Career WS Peak WS OPS+

Barry Larkin 2180 2085 25.89 358 152 116

Alex Rodriguez 1746 1272 31.92 344 180 145
Derek Jeter 1679 1670 26.73 277 152 123
Nomar Garciaparra 1193 1024 27.84 205 141 130
Miguel Tejada 1422 1407 24.15 212 138 114

As was already stated last year, Alex Rodriguez is well on his way to finding himself among some of the greatest players the game has ever seen. Despite now playing third base - I really do wish the Yankees would have kept Rodriguez at shortstop and moved Jeter to third - Rodriguez is still putting up the offensive numbers. His 25 win shares in 2006 was subpar for him, but that's still not a bad season by any means. Rodriguez now has 344 career win shares, and he's still averaging nearly 32 win shares per 162 games.

I was perhaps a bit harsh on Derek Jeter last season when comparing him to Larkin, but in 2006 all Jeter did was go out and have arguably his greatest season ever. He hit .343/.417/.483, good for a 138 OPS+ and 33 win shares to lead the American League, and his 152 peak win shares (best five seasons) now matches Larkin's 152 peak win shares.

Jeter will be 33-years-old in June of this season, and it's still not known how soon and how quickly he'll fall off his peak production. For his career, Jeter trails Larkin by 81 win shares, and he's about 3.5 seasons shy from matching Larkin's games played total (remember, the Reds lost 66 total games due to the 1994-95 strike so Barry would have well over 2,200 games played if there was no strike). If Derek Jeter never played another big league game in his life, Larkin would rank comfortably ahead of him. Jeter does lead Larkin slightly in win shares per 162 games, however, that rate includes Larkin's decline phase while Jeter has yet to hit his decline. When Jeter hits his decline, expect his win shares per 162 games rate to drop.

Whether or not Jeter will surpass Larkin is still unknown, though IMO their careers show a remarkable parallel. The main difference is that Barry Larkin was essentially a more complete version of Derek Jeter before there ever was a Derek Jeter. And we all know Derek Jeter won't have a problem unlocking Cooperstown's doors.

Nomar Garciaparra returned from the disabled list and had a pretty good comeback season in 2006 with 18 win shares, but the caveat is it now looks like he's done playing shortstop. Garciaparra played in 122 games total, including 118 in the field, but when he was in the field, it was at first base. Nomar will be 34-years-old in 2007, and he's still trailing Barry by a significant margin in both career value and peak value. Given that it now appears he's going to be a regular first baseman for the Dodgers instead of playing shortstop, the chances of Garciaparra passing Larkin in overall greatness are just about gone. Depending on how long Nomar remains in the big leagues, his career could be like a modern day Ernie Banks.

Miguel Tejada is the youngest of the four new shortstops as he'll turn 31-years-old in 2007. Once again, he played in all 162 games to keep his consecutive games streak alive. Tejada also had a pretty nice season himself, batting .330/.379/.498, good for a 126 OPS+ and 23 win shares. Despite the nice season in 2006, Tejada still trails Larkin significantly in peak value, and he may or may not catch Larkin in career value since he trails by 146 win shares in that category. IMO, Tejada needs to turn it up and produce at least one more career year type season along with several more very good seasons to catch Barry.

--------------------------------------------------

For my own personal rankings of all-time shortstops, I've made a few changes since this original post. I've moved Larkin up to 5th from 6th, swapping him with Robin Yount, and the primary reasoning for that is Larkin was a regular shortstop for his entire career while Yount was not. My top five now currently stands at Honus Wagner, Arky Vaughan, Alex Rodriguez, Cal Ripken, Jr., and Barry Larkin. Maybe my own personal bias has Larkin ranked too high, but one thing I do know is he's absolutely no worse than a top 10 shortstop of all-time. That's absolutely deserving of Cooperstown in my eyes.

I've also made a slight change with Alan Trammell, moving him up to 11th on my all-time shortstop list. Trammell's been getting shafted by BBWAA voters, but IMO, he's a very deserving Hall of Famer. Here's his HOF vote results:

Trammell 2002: 15.68 percent
Trammell 2003: 14.11 percent
Trammell 2004: 13.83 percent
Trammell 2005: 16.90 percent
Trammell 2006: 17.70 percent
Trammell 2007: ???

Trammell's had a very slight boost in support the last two elections, but he's still extremely far away from getting elected. The more support that Alan Trammell receives, the better the chances for Larkin to get elected and get elected early once he becomes eligible. I don't at all expect Alan Trammell to be elected in 2007, but when the results are released today, I can only hope that his support has increased.

One thing I do hope works out in Larkin's favor is the advanced statistical community's recognition of Larkin's value. Most every sabermetric type discussion I've observed has been fully supportive of Larkin's Hall credentials, and a current parallel is Bert Blyleven. Here's an interesting snippet from Jayson Stark (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof07/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=2724111) regarding how he's changed his mind on Blyleven due to statistical recognition by the sabermetric crowd:


If Blyleven ever makes it to Cooperstown -- and he might, now that he's finally over 50 percent of the vote -- he'll owe it to men like Bill James, Rob Neyer and the bright statistical minds who now look at baseball in so many insightful new ways.

Until last year, I was one of those people who thought of Blyleven as a not-quite candidate, 287 wins or no 287 wins. But James did an incredible start-by-start study of Blyleven's career that convinced me it was only bad luck that kept him out of the 300-win club.

And Lee Sinins' indispensable Complete Baseball Encyclopedia proved just how dominant Blyleven was by computing how his Runs Saved Above Average compared to the greatest pitchers of modern times.

Blyleven gave up 344 fewer runs in his career than the average pitcher of his time. In the entire live-ball era, the only eight pitchers who beat him in that department are Roger Clemens, Lefty Grove, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Tom Seaver, Carl Hubbell and Bob Gibson.

Does a guy who hangs out with that crowd sound like a Hall of Famer to you? He sure did to me -- finally.

For what it's worth, Bill James ranked Larkin 6th all-time at shortstop in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, which he published in 2001.

Lee Sinins' Complete Baseball Encyclopedia also has a stat called Runs Created Above Position (RCAP) for offensive players, and Larkin put up 488 runs created above position for his career. That's 4th all-time among shortstops, trailing only Honus Wagner, Arky Vaughan, and Alex Rodriguez.

Puffy
01-09-2007, 10:33 AM
Ahhhh, what might have been if the Reds had drafted Jeter and had Larkin to groom him.

Jeter might then be considered one of the great second basemen of all times....

Highlifeman21
01-09-2007, 02:40 PM
Unfortunately I think you'll see a media market impact on Trammel/Larkin vs. Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter will continue to rack up the counting stats, primarily 3000 H (I would be surprised if he were to not get there) and plays in the biggest media market in the world.

Trammel and Larkin played in non-existent media markets, yet put up solid HOF creds.

Garciaparra and Tejada haven't put up HOF creds, IMO, but they've played in much much larger markets than Trammel and Larkin, and will unfortunately receive more HOF voting love.

I fear that without a solid campaign effort from the Reds organization for Larkin, he'll be on the outside looking in at Cooperstown for a long long time.

redsfanmia
01-10-2007, 07:12 AM
If Ripken is in then Larkin should be in. Larkin is a superior player who just couldnt stay healthy.

redsmetz
01-10-2007, 07:24 AM
Unfortunately I think you'll see a media market impact on Trammel/Larkin vs. Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter will continue to rack up the counting stats, primarily 3000 H (I would be surprised if he were to not get there) and plays in the biggest media market in the world.

Trammel and Larkin played in non-existent media markets, yet put up solid HOF creds.

Garciaparra and Tejada haven't put up HOF creds, IMO, but they've played in much much larger markets than Trammel and Larkin, and will unfortunately receive more HOF voting love.

I fear that without a solid campaign effort from the Reds organization for Larkin, he'll be on the outside looking in at Cooperstown for a long long time.

Frankly, they should have been doing this for a number of years. They've gotten behind Davey's campaign, probably too little, too late. But they should be priming the pump for Barry now so that voters know it when the initial vote comes up. They should continue their efforts for Davey and put a plug in for Dave Parker who should get some further consideration.

It boosts your club when your players make the Hall of Fame, particularly "lifers" like Larkin and Concepcion.

TRF
01-10-2007, 10:46 AM
Davey's best chance lies with the Veteran's committee, and quite frankly I place no faith in the writers to determine who is worthy of the HOF. It should be a combination of writers, fan vote and current and former players. I'm not sure how you would weight it, but that is probably the best way.

And when I say writers, I mean more than just beat writers. Establish a criteria like a minimum number of baseball articles/books written.

As it is, while the HOF is hallowed ground for baseball, the gate keepers are little more than bullies voting for fan favorites or worse, voting as a herd mentality. Remember these are the same people that gave Palmeiro a GG for 39 games played at 1B

redsmetz
01-10-2007, 10:49 AM
Davey's best chance lies with the Veteran's committee, and quite frankly I place no faith in the writers to determine who is worthy of the HOF. It should be a combination of writers, fan vote and current and former players. I'm not sure how you would weight it, but that is probably the best way.

And when I say writers, I mean more than just beat writers. Establish a criteria like a minimum number of baseball articles/books written.

As it is, while the HOF is hallowed ground for baseball, the gate keepers are little more than bullies voting for fan favorites or worse, voting as a herd mentality. Remember these are the same people that gave Palmeiro a GG for 39 games played at 1B

With regards to the writers, I think it's time they recognized the changes in the media coverage of the game. For instance, broadcasters don't have any vote in it, yet many of them cover games as much as the beat writers. It doesn't take into account alternative medias now, such as the Internet etc.

I assume all that goes out are ballots, but maybe they send out a bio. Again though, I'd like to see the Reds be more proactive talking up their players. I know it's not unheard of for a team to send info highlighting a players career or put them in the context necessary to make a wise choice.

NJReds
01-10-2007, 10:52 AM
Unfortunately I think you'll see a media market impact on Trammel/Larkin vs. Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter will continue to rack up the counting stats, primarily 3000 H (I would be surprised if he were to not get there) and plays in the biggest media market in the world.

Trammel and Larkin played in non-existent media markets, yet put up solid HOF creds.

I fear that without a solid campaign effort from the Reds organization for Larkin, he'll be on the outside looking in at Cooperstown for a long long time.

Driving home yesterday listening to NY sports talk radio -- the afternoon drive guys (who have the most popular show in the area) were debating the merits of various players for the HOF.

On Larkin, I believe the exact conversation on Larkin was: "Larkin...good player, but not a Hall of Famer."

So I fear what you said above is absolutely correct. You think Reds fans are upset about Davey? Wait until Larkin gets snubbed.

dfs
01-10-2007, 11:00 AM
Ripken's advantage was all in durability. If you had to pick between Larkin at his best and Ripken at his for a series to save the universe, Larkin would be the pick. As for Yount, well, he wasn't able to hack the position past age 30. He played almost half his career in the OF. IMO that deserves some fairly massive deductions when comparing him against players who were able to handle the most athletic position in the field for most a their careers.

It pains me to say it, but Ripken's peak was higher than Larkin's. Do an ordered sort of their OPS+ Ripken wins the first 4 years. Now, I'll take Barry, but then that's because I'm a homer.

Ripken Larkin
162 156
145 143
144 139
139 134
128 132
124 132

On the one hand you can penalize Yount for moving from shortstop, but I have to at least voice the thought that if Barry had moved off shortstop and put the reds into a more conventional lineup with a glove at shortsop and a healthy Larkin hitting someplace else in the lineup, the team might have been more successful. Particularly during the Ray Knight years when people like Eric Owens and Chris Stynes were seeing time in left field.

I maintain that after 96 Barry Larkin's real value to the reds was his ability to hit. With a healthy Larkin in the lineup, the reds competed. When he was hurt, they were terrible and they lost so much because he was hurt so often. Remember, he did take the field obviously hurt several times towards the end of his career. That hurt not only his bat, but his glove.

Paul Molitor is a decent model for what I mean. At one time Molitor was percieved as a brittle middle infielder who had trouble staying on the field. At the age of 33, he became a bat and literally divided his career in half. Ernie Banks would be another comparable. Both Yount and Ripken moved and the movement benifeted both the teams and the players. If Barry had been willing to settle for less than the role of "starting shortstop" he would probably still be good use of a roster spot today.

Oh, yeah. Nice post Cyclone. It is very much my fear that Larkin isn't going to be reconized by the national press. If Barry Larkin doesn't get into your hall of fame, then perhaps you're a wee bit too exclusive. He's pretty much a slam-dunk case.

TRF
01-10-2007, 11:19 AM
Those years that Ripken had the higher OPS+, the difference is marginal. Now defensively those years, I take Barry every time. Larkin also had the advantage of being a better baserunner, certainly a better base stealer.

I take Barry not because I'm a homer for him, but because he was a better player at his peak.

Cyclone792
01-10-2007, 11:37 AM
Driving home yesterday listening to NY sports talk radio -- the afternoon drive guys (who have the most popular show in the area) were debating the merits of various players for the HOF.

On Larkin, I believe the exact conversation on Larkin was: "Larkin...good player, but not a Hall of Famer."

So I fear what you said above is absolutely correct. You think Reds fans are upset about Davey? Wait until Larkin gets snubbed.

This is precisely what I'm also fearing with Larkin, and the so-called "East Coast Bias" hasn't been showing him much support. It wouldn't surprise me if there's a chunk of writers from that region who also feel the same way about Larkin as those NY sports talk radio personalities, and that's a shame.

A few years ago - it may have been in early 2005 when Larkin announced his retirement - there was an ESPN Sportsnation (http://sports.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/story?page=thepulse050215) poll that I referenced in the original post that highlights this factor ...



SportsNation Vote: Barry Larkin's Cooperstown Fate

If Barry Larkin eventually wins election to the Hall of Fame, slap a big loss on the East Coast Bias. Freshly retired and off to help explain why Vinny Castilla and Cristian Guzman are worth all that money in Washington, Larkin looks like a borderline Hall of Famer from Tuesday's SportsNation poll. But dig deeper, and it's clear most of the country thinks he deserves a place.

Is Barry Larkin a Hall of Famer? (78,642 votes)

53.8% Yes
46.1% No

Votes from Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island: Is Barry Larkin a Hall of Famer? (9,959 votes)

55.3% No
44.7% Yes

dsmith421
01-10-2007, 02:36 PM
They should continue their efforts for Davey and put a plug in for Dave Parker who should get some further consideration.

Parker is such a sad example. If you look at his lifetime stats, he was an unholy terror from 1975-79, easily one of the top hitters in baseball. And then, in his age 29-33 seasons, just when you would expect him to consolidate a HOF career, he regressed from an All-Pro to a slightly above average ballplayer besotted with injuries. Once he beat his cocaine problem in the early 80s, Parker returned to a relatively high level of production for a player in his mid- to late-30s. This is best demonstrated by looking at his HR totals: 76 jacks in 77-79, but only 64 over the next FIVE seasons. After moving to the Reds, he put up 30+ HR seasons in both 1985 and 1986.

I would be interested to see what kind of career counting stats Cobra would have ended up with given a normal career development arc. I don't think it's outlandish to think he could have finished with 3300-3400 hits, at least 400 HRs, and close to 1800 RBIs. I also suspect his career average would have been at least .300 (.290 in real life) and his career OPS close to 850 (810 in real life).

Just a shame. One of the best ballplayers I ever saw, but consigned to the Hall of Very Good.

harangatang
01-10-2007, 03:30 PM
As this relates to Barry: IMO, Barry 'stretched' the SS position. He could hit, hit with power, run, throw and field. There were not too many SS's before him that carried the 'hit with power' tag and could still field with his range and smoothness.

Barry may suffer from playing in the 'midwest' but if Bruce Sutter can get elected then there is hope for BL.

RemI think Barry will most suffer from the fact of amount the offensive shortstops in the past 5-10 years such as A-Rod, Tejada, Jeter, and Garciaparra. While there weren't many before him, the A-Rods of the world may tarnish Larkin's image as a great offensive shortstop. I think he should be in there, but unfortunately it's not in my hands.

Yachtzee
01-10-2007, 04:30 PM
Here's a question. How much longer does A-Rod get to be considered a shortstop? If he stays with the Yankees at 3B for the rest of his career, do you still consider him a HoF shortstop, or does he become a HoF third baseman?

RedsManRick
01-10-2007, 05:34 PM
Here's a question. How much longer does A-Rod get to be considered a shortstop? If he stays with the Yankees at 3B for the rest of his career, do you still consider him a HoF shortstop, or does he become a HoF third baseman?

I'd say most people consider Ernie Banks and Robin Yount HoF SS -- even though they played much of their career elsewhere.

ARod is 5 full seasons at 3B away from tying his SS games figure. I'd say if he plays the rest of his career at 3B, he'll be considered a 3B. I guess that he becomes a 1B or DH around the time he would have tied his games played at SS. And if he gets traded in the next year or two, he could go back to SS.

westofyou
01-10-2007, 05:37 PM
Here's a question. How much longer does A-Rod get to be considered a shortstop? If he stays with the Yankees at 3B for the rest of his career, do you still consider him a HoF shortstop, or does he become a HoF third baseman?

Strat is no longer listing him as a SS next year, last year they gave him a SS rating and top notch fielding.

Chili had him in our league, this is what he did.


NAME BAVG GM AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO HB SH DP SB CS E
A.Rodriguez .289 162 634 132 183 20 1 60 134 79 148 16 0 17 8 1 10

NAME OB% SLUG SB% RC RC/27 TOTAVG PROD ISOPW TB AB/HR
A.Rodriguez .380 .607 .889 147.5 8.45 1.041 .988 .319 385 10.57

And he won the MVP.

Cyclone792
01-10-2007, 06:30 PM
Here's a question. How much longer does A-Rod get to be considered a shortstop? If he stays with the Yankees at 3B for the rest of his career, do you still consider him a HoF shortstop, or does he become a HoF third baseman?

I'd say it depends on two factors, 1) the obvious, how many games will he ultimately play at third base, and 2) what position was he playing during his peak years.

Rodriguez has 1,272 career games at shortstop, which is actually a pretty good chunk when you think about it. Roughly 82 percent of Arky Vaughan's games were as a shortstop, and his shortstop game total was 1,485. Ernie Banks' shortstop games total was only 1,125; Rodriguez already has Banks beat.

If Rodriguez stays at third base for the bulk of his remaining career, he may reach 1,500 games at the hot corner, and that's when the debate would heat up. From there, it probably reaches out to what seasons constitute his peak, and what position was Rodriguez playing during those seasons. Right now, I think he has six to eight specific seasons that stand out as a group ahead of his others (I've put those seasons in bold) ...

1996: 34 win shares, 11.3 WARP as SS
1997: 22 win shares, 6.2 WARP as SS
1998: 30 win shares, 9.6 WARP as SS
1999: 23 win shares, 6.9 WARP as SS
2000: 37 win shares, 12.2 WARP as SS
2001: 37 win shares, 11.6 WARP as SS
2002: 35 win shares, 11.1 WARP as SS
2003: 32 win shares, 10.7 WARP as SS


2004: 30 win shares, 7.9 WARP as 3B
2005: 37 win shares, 10.6 WARP as 3B
2006: 25 win shares, 5.5 WARP as 3B

Six of his eight seasons at shortstop stand out, and two of his three seasons at third base stand out. If Rodriguez doesn't put up anymore peak level seasons in his career, then he'll probably always be considered a HOF shortstop due to the bulk of his best seasons coming as a shortstop. Also, Rodriguez's two best seasons so far are likely 2000 and 2001, both of which came with him playing shortstop. If he's able to put up a few more seasons like his 2004 season while playing third base, then it's very possible that people would start considering him a HOF third baseman.

Highlifeman21
01-10-2007, 06:58 PM
Frankly, they should have been doing this for a number of years. They've gotten behind Davey's campaign, probably too little, too late. But they should be priming the pump for Barry now so that voters know it when the initial vote comes up. They should continue their efforts for Davey and put a plug in for Dave Parker who should get some further consideration.

It boosts your club when your players make the Hall of Fame, particularly "lifers" like Larkin and Concepcion.

I couldn't agree more, but I fear that past regimes could have given a rat's behind about campaigning for potential HOFers. Hopefully the good ship BCast will correct this unfortunate oversight. If this ownership/front office does so, then we'll now see a slippery slope situation where they'll have to pick and choose which potential HOFers to back. They should completely back a Larkin, or a Concepcion, and possibly a Parker, but then do they back a Davis, or a Rijo? I would hate to see the ownership/front office have to pick and choose who they support in terms of a Cooperstown push.

I don't want to hijack this thread, so I'll ask my lastest question in a new thread.

Highlifeman21
01-10-2007, 07:05 PM
Here's a question. How much longer does A-Rod get to be considered a shortstop? If he stays with the Yankees at 3B for the rest of his career, do you still consider him a HoF shortstop, or does he become a HoF third baseman?

Depends how many games he plays at each position.

To me, he's still a SS, and the best SS on the Yankees roster right now.

Ripken was a SS, but finished his career at 3B, IIRC.

Yachtzee
01-10-2007, 08:44 PM
Depends how many games he plays at each position.

To me, he's still a SS, and the best SS on the Yankees roster right now.

Ripken was a SS, but finished his career at 3B, IIRC.

I still think its ridiculous that they moved A-Rod to 3rd for Jeter's sake. I think Jete should have realized that A-Rod's defense at SS was much better than his and moved to 2nd. It would have greatly improved the defense up the middle and given the Yankees two solid bats at positions not necessarily known for offense. Of course, since I don't like the Yankees, keeping Jeter at SS and moving A-Rod to 3rd is fine by me.

The reason why I ask is that A-Rod, still being young, has the chance to play the majority of his career at 3rd if Jeter continues at short. It's easy to think of A-Rod as a SS now because it wasn't so long ago that he was the best SS in baseball. Do you compare players who played the vast majority of their career at one position to others who played there for only half their career?

Didn't Ripken start at 3B as well? Of course in between he did play a few games at SS. ;)

Cyclone792
01-10-2007, 11:28 PM
Well, The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/) finally updated their list for candidates for future elections. Previously, the 2010 ballot included only a handful of players, such as Edgar Martinez, but players such as Larkin were not listed.

Here's the updated listing of candidates eligible in the next four elections ...

2008: Brady Anderson, Andy Benes, Delino DeShields, Shawon Dunston, Chuck Finley, Travis Fryman, David Justice, Darryl Kile, Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Morgan, Robb Nen, Tim Raines, Greg Swindell, Randy Velarde, Mark Wohlers
2009: Steve Avery, Jay Bell, John Burkett, David Cone, Mike Bordick, Ron Gant, Mark Grace, Rickey Henderson, Denny Neagle, Dean Palmer, Dan Plesac, Greg Vaughn, Mo Vaughn, Matt Williams, Mike Williams
2010: Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Rod Beck, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Shane Reynolds, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile
2011: Wilson Alvarez, Carlos Baerga, Bret Boone, Kevin Brown, John Franco, Juan Gonzalez, Marquis Grissom, Mike Hampton, Al Leiter, Tino Martinez, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo, John Olerud, Rafael Palmeiro, Troy Percival, Benito Santiago, Sammy Sosa, Ugueth Urbina, Larry Walker

Jerry Crasnick wrote an article today (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof07/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=2726275) examining some of the future candidates, and here's what he had to say about Barry Larkin and the 2010 election ...



2010 first-timers

Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Fred McGriff, Edgar Martinez, Andres Galarraga, Robin Ventura.

Alomar and Larkin, two of the elite middle infielders of their generation, should both receive serious consideration from the electorate. Bill James ranks Larkin as the sixth-best shortstop in history, right behind Arky Vaughan and Robin Yount. The only factor weighing against Larkin might be his injury history; he appeared in more than 140 games only seven times in 19 seasons.

Alomar unexpectedly fell off a cliff in his mid-30s, and there's the little matter of that spitting incident in 1996. But those 2,724 hits, 12 All-Star appearances and 10 Gold Gloves make him tough to overlook.

Although McGriff was a model of consistency, he never hit 40 home runs and fell short of the 500 club by seven. Regardless of whether he makes it to Cooperstown, the Crime Dog will be immortalized for eternity in those Tom Emanski instructional videos.

Martinez, universally admired as a hitter, has a combined career on base-slugging percentage of .933. That's better than Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson, among others. Unfortunately, it also puts him in a dead heat with Albert Belle, who dropped off the ballot this year for failing to receive the requisite 5 percent of the vote.

Martinez, of course, is burdened by the perception that a pure DH must go above and beyond statistically to make it to Cooperstown. While his "rate" stats (e.g., a .418 on-base percentage) are terrific, his "counting" stats (2,247 hits and 309 homers) aren't exactly overwhelming for a one-dimensional player. And Harold Baines' meager 5.3 percent haul this year certainly didn't help his cause.


The key holdovers from 2007 - excluding Mark McGwire - are Goose Gossage, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, and Alan Trammell. With Gossage receiving over 71 percent of the support this year, I fully expect him to finally be elected next season and not be an issue in 2010. Jim Rice has only two more years of eligibility and is off the ballot by 2010 regardless if he gains election. Dawson and Blyleven are two potential 2007 holdovers that may still be around in 2010.

We can't forget about Alan Trammell either, because he's a player voters will compare Larkin to and Trammell's lack of support has been nauseating, including only 13.4 percent in 2007.

In 2008, Tim Raines is the big name of the class, followed by David Justice. Justice will get a look from a few voters, but likely not a serious look by many. Raines may fall into the Bert Blyleven trap of being highly underappreciated by BBWAA while also being a guy whom sabermetric fans embrace. It's very possible that Raines is still on the ballot when 2010 rolls around.

2009 provides a slam dunk Hall of Famer in Rickey Henderson and a guy who may receive some support in Mark Grace. Henderson will get in on the first ballot, but I don't expect Grace to receive considerable support.

All that said, the key holdovers to watch heading into the 2010 election may very well be Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Alan Trammell, and Tim Raines.

Now, onto 2010 ...

Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez, and Fred McGriff will join Larkin in new players receiving a serious look and garnering heated debate. Andres Galarraga may spark a little bit of debate, but I think he'll be a non-factor ... kind of like David Justice in 2008. Each of the big three joining Larkin, however, may have some interesting side stories. Martinez will spark a debate about the DH effect, and McGriff will probably bring a steroids discussion back on the table (for example: will the voters reward a guy like McGriff who was presumably clean and almost hit 500 home runs?).

Still, those two aren't the guys that grabbed my attention to most when trying to analyze how Larkin may be affected. Roberto Alomar joining Larkin in 2010 provides a very interesting outlook.

The similarities between Barry Larkin and Robbie Alomar are striking. They were direct contemporaries, though Larkin played his entire career in the National League while Alomar spent the vast majority of his career in the American League.

Both were very solid defensive middle infielders, Larkin being an excellent defensive shortstop and Alomar being at least a good defensive second baseman.
Larkin's career rate stats are .295/.371/.444 while Alomar's career rate stats are .300/.371/.443.
Larkin's career OPS+ is 116 while Alomar's career OPS+ is also 116.
Larkin stole 379 bases at an 83 percent success rate while Alomar stole 474 bases at an 81 percent success rate.
Larkin was a 12-time All-Star during his career, and Alomar was also a 12-time All-Star during his career.
Larkin was a key member of a World Series Championship team and played well in the postseason while Alomar was also a key member of two World Series Championship teams and played well in the postseason.

That's simply amazing.

There are a handful of differences between the two, however, some favoring Larkin with others favoring Alomar. Larkin won an MVP in 1995; Alomar never won an MVP (though he did finish third once). Larkin won nine Silver Sluggers compared to Alomar's four Silver Sluggers, but Alomar won 10 Gold Gloves to Larkin's three Gold Gloves (screw Ozzie Smith). Alomar was also more durable during his career than Larkin, playing in 199 more games despite 1.5 fewer seasons. Of course, Larkin did play shortstop to Alomar's second base, and shortstop is the more premier position of the two. Lastly, Larkin should have the label of being a class act on and off the field, but that may not necessarily be the case for Alomar due to the spitting incident in the late 1990s.

Here's how they compare in Win Shares and WARP (I've made adjustments to give them credit for missed games due to the 1994-95 strike) ...


Win Shares and WARP

Player WS/162 Career WS Peak WS WARP3/162 Career WARP3 Peak WARP3

SS Larkin 25.89 358 152 9.09 125.7 52.8
2B Alomar 25.24 380 167 8.96 134.9 56.4

Could any two players be more similar to one another than Larkin and Alomar? I'd be hard-pressed to find another pair quite like these two.

Intuition leads me to believe that having Alomar on the ballot should help Larkin's case too, but then again we really don't know with the BBWAA. The key question surrounding both Barry Larkin and Roberto Alomar in the BBWAA voters' minds should then become ... if one is a Hall of Famer, how is the other one not a Hall of Famer?

In my mind, if a voter decides to vote for Roberto Alomar, then they should also undoubtedly vote for Barry Larkin, and vice versa. I really don't see how a voter could draw a line between the two and vote for one while voting against the other. Hopefully the BBWAA voters realize this when the 2010 ballot comes up in a few years. If a voter plans on voting for Roberto Alomar, as he should, then he also should vote for Barry Larkin, as he should ... and vice versa.

M2
01-10-2007, 11:44 PM
The 2011 class is fascinating. You've got two roidsballers (Sosa and Palmeiro), one of the most unpleasant people ever to draw breath (Brown), a reliever who has some numbers because he pitched for an eternity (Franco) and a guy with career numbers that are a mirror of Duke Snider's, but who has virtually no chance of being elected (Walker).

mth123
01-11-2007, 04:15 AM
The 2011 class is fascinating. You've got two roidsballers (Sosa and Palmeiro), one of the most unpleasant ever to draw breath (Brown), a reliever who has some numbers because he pitched for an eternity (Franco) and a guy with career numbers that are a mirror of Duke Snider's, but who has virtually no chance of being elected (Walker).

and of the less serious candidates on the ballot there are other guys who make you wonder in Boone, Mondesi, Santiago, Gonzalez, Baerga. Also there is the first real succesful asian guy in Nomo, and a guy in jail for muder (Urbina).

The new era has begun to retire I guess. Makes me feel old.

I'd vote for Sosa, Palmeiro, and Walker from that group.

Others who I think should get in by then:

Rice, Dawson, Henderson, McGwire, Trammell, Larkin, Alomar, Gossage, Blyleven.

Others who've been passed by and should be in IMO: Tommy John, Ron Santo, Dick Allen, Steve Garvey.

Guys I'm undecided on who aren't in: Dave Concepcion, Tim Raines, Jim Kaat, Lee Smith, John Franco, Vada Pinson, Ted Simmons.

All these guys get in and the Hall would be complete for me with the exception of Pete Rose and Joe Jackson who should both be in IMO.

RedsBaron
01-11-2007, 09:28 AM
In the class of 2010, I'd vote for Larkin, Alomar and McGriff.

paintmered
01-11-2007, 11:56 AM
In the class of 2010, I'd vote for Larkin, Alomar and McGriff.

I have to vote for McGriff, if only for this:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g55/Vermigli/emanskiMCGRIFF.jpg

NJReds
01-11-2007, 12:25 PM
I have to vote for McGriff, if only for this:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g55/Vermigli/emanskiMCGRIFF.jpg


If he gets voted in, he should have to wear that hat.

NJReds
01-11-2007, 12:29 PM
and a guy with career numbers that are a mirror of Duke Snider's, but who has virtually no chance of being elected (Walker).


Larry Walker will be tough to keep out, even if he isn't first ballot. He's got quite a resume...Gold Gloves (7), Batting Titles (3), an MVP to boot. As you noted, he mirrors Duke Snider and many other HOFer's. The only think that could keep him out is the Colorado factor...

westofyou
01-11-2007, 12:31 PM
I'd vote for Sosa, Palmeiro, and Walker from that group.

Others who I think should get in by then:

Rice, Dawson, Henderson, McGwire, Trammell, Larkin, Alomar, Gossage, Blyleven.

Others who've been passed by and should be in IMO: Tommy John, Ron Santo, Dick Allen, Steve Garvey.

Guys I'm undecided on who aren't in: Dave Concepcion, Tim Raines, Jim Kaat, Lee Smith, John Franco, Vada Pinson, Ted Simmons.

Raines become eligible next year.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5801&PHPSESSID=df17958065c41b9bbbfdd554ff7c92b9

Now, about those weak classes coming up. By far, the best player entering the ballot next year is Tim Raines. Now, the actual pool of Hall of Fame voters isn't likely to see Raines as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, or perhaps not a serious candidate at all. This, of course, is ridiculous. Just to steal Jay Jaffe's methodology one final time…


EQA BRAR BRAA FRAA WARP3 peak JAWS
Rice .295 648 379 -16 89.3 58.2 73.8
Raines .308 893 596 37 131.8 72.3 102.1
AVG HOF LF 752 477 7 111.1 62.6 86.8

Raines isn't just qualified for the Hall of Fame. He’s an above-average Hall of Famer. He's one of the 120 or so best players in baseball history. His comparables aren't the guys on the ballot like Rice and Dawson and Dale Murphy; his comps are recent inductees like Gwynn and Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor. Raines has nearly 40 wins on Kirby Puckett, who was a first-ballot selection. Sentimental value can't possibly be worth that much.

If you go beyond the numbers, you see that Raines was arguably the best player in baseball for a time at his peak, a ten-win player for five straight years from 1983 through 1987. He was at the forefront of the game’s speed renaissance, stealing 70 or more bases in six straight seasons, and finishing his career with 808 steals and an 84% success rate. He’s second only to Rickey Henderson in career net steals (SB-2*CS), with 516. He was an OBP machine and a superior defender, albeit with a weak arm, in left field. He would go on to be a key contributor to two World Championship Yankee teams at the end of his career.

Raines, of course, has a black mark on his record, that being his use of cocaine in the 1980s. I would argue vociferously, however, that the BBWAA has made it clear that it doesn't believe that to be a serious offense. My evidence? Paul Molitor, who also used coke in that period, appeared on one ballot and was swept into the Hall with 85% of the vote. If Raines' use becomes an issue in his candidacy after that experience, I would strongly suggest simply ending the process of electing players to the Hall.

It's instructive, in the current environment, to remember how big a deal it was in the mid-1980s to learn that all these baseball players were doing cocaine, and how little it mattered when one of them came up for Hall of Fame consideration.

Folks, Tim Raines is the new Bert Blyleven. He's overwhelmingly qualified for the Hall of Fame, and in a just world, would be elected next year, when he'll be the best player on the ballot other than Blyleven. The analyst campaign to get him elected to the Hall of Fame is going to make the campaign for Blyleven look like the fight for Associate Dogcatcher in a two-streetlight town outside of Glendive, Montana.

We can only hope that it doesn't last nearly as long as the Blyleven argument.

RANDY IN INDY
01-11-2007, 12:38 PM
Raines was a wonderful player who really was a difference maker. Always loved his game and wished that the Reds could somehow acquire him.

Yachtzee
01-11-2007, 12:43 PM
Raines suffers from playing much of his career in Montreal and playing at the same time as Rickey Henderson, neither of which should be held against him, but you never know with those wacky baseball writers.

Cyclone792
01-11-2007, 12:47 PM
Tim Raines is probably one of the 10 greatest left fielders of all-time. James has him 8th between Al Simmons and Willie Stargell, both of whom are clearly Hall of Famers themselves. Unlike some of James' shortstop rankings, his ranking of Raines 8th in left field seems pretty accurate and appropriate to me.

Joe Sheehan is correct though in the article that woy pasted in. Tim Raines will be the newest version of Bert Blyleven in that he'll be highly supported by the statistical community and ignored by far too many BBWAA voters.

Highlifeman21
01-11-2007, 09:21 PM
Raines was a wonderful player who really was a difference maker. Always loved his game and wished that the Reds could somehow acquire him.

1. He could probably be a better CF right now than KGJ, having never played CF, IIRC.
2. I wouldn't put it past Krivsky to make a ST invite offer to Raines.
3. If he somehow doesn't end up on the Reds for 2007, he should definitely end up on the Giants, and he'd definitely be one of the younger members of that team.
4. In all seriousness, I foresee Tim Raines as being a snub initially from the HOF, mostly due to the whole Montreal thing.

Cyclone792
08-15-2007, 02:35 AM
For those currently unaware, the Reds Hall of Fame 2008 ballot is now available both online and at GABP and will be open through the end of August. Results will be announced next month, and the player elected will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame next season. The link below will take you directly to the online ballot.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/fan_forum/hof_ballot.jsp

And the reason why I've posted the Reds Hall of Fame ballot in this thread is because ... Barry Larkin is on the ballot. Larkin should be an absolute slam-dunk in this election for the next Reds Hall of Famer, and getting him into the team Hall of Fame immediately will hopefully be a baby step toward getting him into Cooperstown when he becomes eligible.

Also, earlier this month an interesting online article was written and posted by Justin Zeth titled Larkin is a Hall of Famer; Vizquel is not (http://athomeplate.com/regular_articles/larkin_is_a_hall_of_famer_vizquel_is_not.html). It's a rather odd article with a weird Jay Bell reference, but it was also posted up at Baseball Think Factory (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/ahp_zeth/), and due to the article's title, there were some interesting comments posted at BTF regarding Larkin. Here's some highlights ...


I'm not convinced that Larkin is a Hall of Famer.

Convince yourself. Barry Larkin _raises_ the level of the average player in the Hall of Fame. If you don't induct Barry Larkin from the current era I'd suggest not inducting anyone but Rickey.


In other news, water is wet.

OK, that's a little too flippant, given that a lot of outstanding players have gotten shafted in the HOF voting recently (Trammell's the one I'm thinking of most, since he played Larkin's position), so I suppose it's not a given that Larkin gets in, but I think he's clearly a HOFer by historical standards for shortstops. 12-time allstar, 1-time MVP, over 2300 hits, career 116 OPS+, good defensive reputation (backed by 3 gold gloves), and a regular for a WS winner (though during one of his weaker seasons). And he was generally regarded as the best shortstop in the NL for many years once Ozzie Smith got old. He might not get in for a few years, but I'll be shocked if he doesn't make it past 5 percent his first year of eligibility, and I think he'll get in eventually. His candidacy will probably be hurt by the fact that his peak was followed immediately by the ascent of ARod, Jeter, Tejada and Nomar.


My prediction for Larkin is that he gets a good amount of support, but falls a little short.

I don't know, I think sportswriters may like the guy. I think if you spend your entire career with one team, that helps your Hall chances. And the voters liked him in 1995 (not as much in 1996 when he had a much better year though.) He's a twelve time All-Star and I think most sportswriters recognize he came around just before the Jeter/ARod years. I think he gets in on a second or third ballot.


Larkin = Ryne Sandberg

It'll take a couple years, but he'll make it in pretty easily.


I think Larkin is a slam dunk HOFer, but, as with Trammell, I have a feeling he'll get shafted.


My personal opinion: if Barry Larkin is not elected to the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible, he would immediately become the best eligible player not already in the Hall of Fame.


# of 12 time All-Stars who aren't in the Hall of Fame = 0 (Bill Freehan has the most AS of non-HoF players with 11)

Players with 9 or more Silver Sluggers: Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, Barry Larkin

Throw in a Clemente award and an MVP. I don't know how you could not vote for him.


Larkin wasn't just the premiere SS of his time, he easily ranks as one of the 10 best SS of all time. Here's my quickie ranking of the best all-around shortstops, taking into account hitting, fielding and baserunning:

1. Honus Wagner
2. Arky Vaughn
3. Cal Ripken
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Robin Yount
6. Joe Cronin
7. Barry Larkin
8. Ernie Banks
9. Luke Appling
10. Ozzie Smith

Just missing the list are Alan Trammell and Joe Sewell.

I fully expect others to quibble, but I think that when talking about the greatest SS of all time, this is the dozen players that are in the discussion.


I know Larkin has one significant negative which will have to be factored in, namely in-season durability.

That is, I think, the only legitimate knock on him. It is counterbalanced by a long career in terms of years, but it really cut into his career bulk, and is the reason why none of his career totals are particularly impressive.

Larkin was a very productive offensive shortstop, especially for his times, and a good defensive player. I think he also gets more press than Trammel did. So I rate his chances well above Trammel, but the results of the first vote will be very interesting.

These are the most noteworthy names in the "Class of 2010", not including possible hold overs:

Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff.

No real blockbusters here. I expect Alomar to draw a lot of support, and he may even be a first ballot guy; Martinez to draw support but be dinged for DHing and a short career; and McGriff to get some support, but to come up short compared to the first basemen that followed him. I don't see Larkin as a first ballot guy, but I think he will get enough support in that first vote, and eventually get in.


Larkin is probably my all-time favorite player. I saw him come up, I am only a couple of years younger than he is, saw him get the ring, and always liked his on-field game and his off-field public persona. One reason, I think, among many, that I have shifted into being more of a "baseball fan" than a rooter is Larkin's retirement.

........

Larkin at his peak did everything well, but nothing spectacularly. I think the old Bill James line about players who do many things well being underrated will affect Larkin. Also, he was never really famous, like Puckett, and is not at all visible now. You add these factors to the Ripken/ARod/Jeter SS paradigm shift, and I think Larkin will have a tough time getting in.


Part of Larkin's problem is Ozzie Smith. Now, Ozzie really was that good. The various top-shorstop lists above have Ozzie ranked 7, 10, 7, 12, 8, and I'm inclined to agree with the better of them. He's a career case, and he belongs to a different generation to Larkin. Ozzie was the best shortstop - including the best-hitting shortstop - in the NL for a 4 or 5 year stretch in the mid 1980's, and including his defense, he might have been the best SS in the NL for 8 or 9 years, dating back to 1980 or earlier. But somewhere around 1988 or 1989, that torch got passed - from then on, the best SS in the NL was Larkin. But because of Ozzie's general popularity and general inertia, he kept getting elected - overwhelmingly - to All-Star teams when by rights the position should have been Larkin's. That quote about not ever thinking "Hall of Famer" while watching him - that may well be subtly influenced either by those All-Star votes or by the same tendencies that fueled those votes.


I'm more optimistic. The older voters will include those who gave him the '95 MVP, and the younger ones may be more influenced by sabermetric analysis. And, there's also all those All-Star games to make a case for his perception.

11larkin11
08-15-2007, 02:47 AM
For those currently unaware, the Reds Hall of Fame 2008 ballot is now available both online and at GABP and will be open through the end of August. Results will be announced next month, and the player elected will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame next season. The link below will take you directly to the online ballot.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/f...hof_ballot.jsp

Gosh darnit I wanna vote for Eddie Taubensee!!!!

KronoRed
08-15-2007, 01:28 PM
That is an odd list, some of those guys did squat when they were with the Reds (hello Paul O'Neil)

Highlifeman21
07-14-2008, 06:21 PM
My roommate (ThatPitchIsDunn) passed along some of Cyclone's work re: Barry Larkin to an ESPN.com editor we know. This is a PM he recently sent me.


So Deuce (our favorite Norris Hopper lookalike) and I had been talking on the train ride back from the Bronx, and he didn't realize Cyclone contributed as much stuff as he did on RZ and whatnot. So, to give him an idea of his musings, I sent along the monster Larkin HOF post he made a few years back to Deuce to read over.

Sure enough, Deuce ends up BSing with one of the analysts at ESPN (he didn't say which one; he only specified they had a HOF vote), and when the topic came up about whether Larkin was a Hall of Famer or not, Keith was like "why don't you look over something I'll send you".

So wow man, Cyclone's words may help influence a HOF voter! Well done! I'll have to send him a PM too!

ThatPitchIsDunn sent Deuce a link to Cyclone's 1st post in this thread, and Deuce directed the analyst to this thread, and RedsZone.


Hopefully with such powerful and passionate, yet entirely accurate words reaching a HOF voter re: Larkin, his chances for making the Hall can only increase!


The great part is that Deuce, our editor friend at ESPN.com does look like Norris Hopper.

Cyclone792
07-15-2008, 06:18 AM
My roommate (ThatPitchIsDunn) passed along some of Cyclone's work re: Barry Larkin to an ESPN.com editor we know. This is a PM he recently sent me.

ThatPitchIsDunn sent Deuce a link to Cyclone's 1st post in this thread, and Deuce directed the analyst to this thread, and RedsZone.

Hopefully with such powerful and passionate, yet entirely accurate words reaching a HOF voter re: Larkin, his chances for making the Hall can only increase!

The great part is that Deuce, our editor friend at ESPN.com does look like Norris Hopper.

Hopefully it's worth a HOF vote or three in Larkin's favor. ;)

I'll be interested to see if there's any noteworthy articles this weekend regarding Larkin's chances at Cooperstown since he'll be getting inducted into the Reds team Hall of Fame.

Degenerate39
07-15-2008, 07:31 AM
I have to vote for McGriff, if only for this:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g55/Vermigli/emanskiMCGRIFF.jpg

That will be on his plaque.

Cyclone792
11-03-2009, 09:08 AM
Rob Neyer originally wrote this back in January, but it's still an interesting read considering that the election is right around the corner. Neyer thought back in January that it may take Larkin a few years. Note that this is what Neyer thinks will happen to Larkin, not what he thinks should happen - Neyer correctly asserts that Larkin is a top 10 guy at shortstop.

Anybody considering heading up to Cooperstown next July if Larkin is elected?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof09/columns/story?columnist=neyer_rob&id=3829454


With Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice safely ensconced in the Hall of Fame, we can turn our attention to 2010, and what promises to be an interesting and contentious election. We know that Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven will be back for another go, and both are likely to improve upon their 2009 showings. In addition, we'll have four first-timers on the ballot with compelling cases.

Roberto Alomar's case doesn't rely on reputation, or the opinions of baseball writers 20 years ago, or consideration for only the best eight or nine years of his career. In Alomar's case, the most basic statistics should suffice. Among all second basemen, Alomar ranks sixth in hits, seventh in runs and 10th in RBIs. Not enough? I suppose some voters will wonder if Alomar's career was perhaps a bit short for a Hall of Famer; after all, he was just 36 when he played his last game. But if a player piles up Hall of Fame numbers, should it matter how old he is when he does it?

If those hitting stats aren't enough, though, Alomar has a couple of aces up his sleeve. First, with 474 steals, he's fourth all-time among second basemen. And second, he won 10 Gold Gloves, tops among second basemen. It's foolish to try to predict what the Hall of Fame voters will do, but it's hard to imagine a Hall of Fame without Roberto Alomar.

I'm afraid the case for Barry Larkin is a bit more subtle. Among shortstops, Larkin ranks 12th in hits, ninth in runs and 12th in RBIs. He can't match Alomar's steals or Gold Gloves, either. In fact, in all these categories except RBI, Larkin actually trails Omar Vizquel.

Among shortstops with at least 5,000 career plate appearances, Larkin's 116 OPS+ ranks ninth. This is what separates Larkin from Vizquel, and by a lot, as Vizquel's OPS+ is 64th best. That's a massive difference, and it simply isn't balanced by Vizquel's durability and his marginal edge with the glove (notwithstanding all his Gold Gloves). And the list of eight players ahead of Larkin on that list includes Alex Rodriguez (who will wind up playing more games at third base than shortstop), Nomar Garciaparra (whose career sputtered early), along with Lou Boudreau and Vern Stephens (both of whom did much of their best work during World War II, when most of the best pitchers were serving their country). In fact, Larkin might be one of the five best-hitting shortstops ever, in a group that includes Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken, Derek Jeter, Joe Cronin and Arky Vaughn -- all of whom are in the Hall of Fame (or, in the case of Jeter, will be).

Unfortunately, it's easy to miss Larkin's greatness, because he didn't do any one thing brilliantly, and also because he had problems staying in the lineup. Though Larkin was still playing (and playing well) when he was 40, he didn't pile up massive numbers because he managed to play in 150 or more games in only four seasons. Larkin spent time on the disabled list -- often significant time -- in 10 different seasons. If Larkin hadn't been injured so often, he'd be one of the five greatest shortstops who ever lived. But even with all the injuries, he's in the top 10.

I believe Alomar and Larkin will draw the most support among the first-time candidates, and I believe they're the only first-time candidates with even a shadow of a chance of being elected next year. There are, however, two other first-timers who will draw passionate support (and with good reason).

Officially, there are exactly a dozen first basemen in the Hall of Fame. Only five of them drove in more runs than Fred McGriff, only four hit more home runs, and only three scored more runs. Mostly, we're talking about Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Willie McCovey and Eddie Murray. If we'd been having this conversation about a player 15 or 20 years ago, that would just about seal the Cooperstown case already. But we're not. We're having this conversation right now, and right now McGriff also trails the likes of Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome and Mark McGwire in some of those categories. All of these fine players were to some degree McGriff's contemporaries, and all (for various reasons) have less-than-clear paths to Cooperstown.

McGriff's supporters will argue that he doesn't belong in a group with those guys (or at least not all of them) because there's never been even a scintilla of suspicion that McGriff needed andro or HGH or any of those other concoctions to hit his 493 home runs. Maybe they're right. But that argument isn't likely to carry the day.

The argument for Edgar Martinez -- and I can hear it right now because I've already heard it -- goes something like this: "Edgar Martinez was the greatest DH ever. And you can't discriminate against him just because he was a DH."

There are only a couple of problems with that argument: He was not the greatest DH ever, and I can discriminate against whomever I choose.

There have been six players with long careers who played at least 50 percent of their career games as the DH. Yes, I cherry-picked that 50 percent; if I made it 60 percent, there would be only three players. But 50 percent is an elegantly simple cutoff, and it also gets us what we really want: a list of players with long careers and very little defensive value. We could, of course, extend the list to poor-fielding first basemen and corner outfielders, but that wouldn't do Edgar Martinez any favors. So we'll stick with these six: Harold Baines, Frank Thomas, Don Baylor, Edgar Martinez, Hal McRae and David Ortiz.

Is Martinez the most impressive hitter in this group? Clearly, he is not. He's third in hits and times on base, and fourth in home runs, runs scored and RBIs. Quantitatively, he's nothing special. Qualitatively, though? That's where Edgar shines. His .418 career on-base percentage is second-best, just a hair behind Thomas. And his .515 slugging percentage trails only Thomas and Ortiz (and, of course, Ortiz's decline phase is still ahead of him). I don't have any qualms about describing Martinez as the second-greatest DH in American League history.

Does that make him a Hall of Famer? I suspect not. He was a great hitter, one of the best of the past 20 years, comparable to Bagwell and Thome. But because Martinez got a late start and had problems staying healthy, he didn't pile up the career numbers those players did (and Thome continues to do). Edgar's lack of defensive value is a problem, but perhaps a bigger problem is the fact that during his career a lot of guys were piling up numbers and there's little to set him apart from his peers.

Prediction: Next year, both Alomar and Andre Dawson will be elected. In 2011, Blyleven and perhaps Larkin, with a great deal of talk about (but not enough votes for) Bagwell and Palmeiro. In 2012, none of the first-timers will get (or deserve) more than token support, perhaps leaving the door open for Larkin, Bagwell or -- in his last year of eligibility -- Blyleven. And in 2013, things should really be interesting as steroids era poster boys Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa all become eligible for the first time, accompanied by Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza. That's going to be one crowded ballot.

Scrap Irony
11-03-2009, 12:57 PM
My ballot would have Larkin on it, along with Alomar (easily) and Martinez. Of course, it'd also have Blyleven (something to be said for career numbers that good) and Dawson (best CF/RF of his generation, with apologies to Dave Parker).

Slyder
11-03-2009, 01:20 PM
Would you put McGriff on and in as a message to the youth that you get rewarded for "playing the game the right way" and not using HGH or anything else? While leaving McGwire, Palmeiro, Bonds twisting in the breeze a few years?

RichRed
11-03-2009, 02:10 PM
Anybody considering heading up to Cooperstown next July if Larkin is elected?


I'd have to seriously consider it. I went to the HOF for the first time this past May and it was fantastic. Great little town too.

dfs
11-03-2009, 03:00 PM
.....While leaving McGwire, Palmeiro, Bonds twisting in the breeze a few years? I think this year's vote will help inform us if McGwire is being left "twisting in the breeze for a few years" of if he's just been outright rejected.

I'm thinking it's the latter, but then I've never understood the rationale behind not voting for somebody because the don't deserve it in the first year. If they belong in, then vote for them.

westofyou
11-03-2009, 05:13 PM
I'd have to seriously consider it. I went to the HOF for the first time this past May and it was fantastic. Great little town too.

I'll be there..... BTW Cooperstown is named after the Cooper family, James Fenimore Cooper, author of Last of the Mohicans

Yachtzee
11-03-2009, 09:48 PM
I'll be there..... BTW Cooperstown is named after the Cooper family, James Fenimore Cooper, author of Last of the Mohicans

Note the references to "Leatherstockings" around town. They do not refer to Jim Bowden. :)

Caseyfan21
11-03-2009, 10:14 PM
Anybody considering heading up to Cooperstown next July if Larkin is elected?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof09/columns/story?columnist=neyer_rob&id=3829454

My dad and I have talked about going ever since Larkin retired. I think we would have to make the trip this year if Barry goes in.

Caseyfan21
11-03-2009, 10:19 PM
How cool would it be if by some chance Larkin got in and Joe Nuxhall got the Ford Frick Award? Would be very cool....

Caveat Emperor
11-03-2009, 11:34 PM
If Barry goes in, I'll be there.

Looking at the numbers, this just seems like a no-brianer -- even taking off my Reds-fan hat, I honestly don't see what the debate is. Sometimes it seems like Barry's greatest sin was playing in the same time-period as Ozzie Smith, who sucked all of the oxygen out of the room when it came to defensive prowess.

Cyclone792
11-04-2009, 09:14 AM
How cool would it be if by some chance Larkin got in and Joe Nuxhall got the Ford Frick Award? Would be very cool....

That'd be spectacular!



If Barry goes in, I'll be there.

Looking at the numbers, this just seems like a no-brainer -- even taking off my Reds-fan hat, I honestly don't see what the debate is. Sometimes it seems like Barry's greatest sin was playing in the same time-period as Ozzie Smith, who sucked all of the oxygen out of the room when it came to defensive prowess.

Would you be flying or driving, CE? Looking like flights from this area would be around $250-300ish, but unfortunately there'd still be a bit of drive after landing in NY. As much as I don't want to think about a 650 mile drive, that may be the option we take.

RichRed
11-04-2009, 09:22 AM
I smell a potential RedsZone: Cooperstown Gathering.

Eric_the_Red
11-04-2009, 09:23 AM
I smell a potential RedsZone: Cooperstown Gathering.


That would be something I'd be interested in. I've always wanted to get up to Cooperstown.

Caveat Emperor
11-04-2009, 11:49 AM
Would you be flying or driving, CE? Looking like flights from this area would be around $250-300ish, but unfortunately there'd still be a bit of drive after landing in NY. As much as I don't want to think about a 650 mile drive, that may be the option we take.

Not certain -- it'd probably depend on how many other people were going and what work schedules looked like. Theoretically, I'd love to fly to NYC, stay there, rent a car, and make the drive up to Cooperstown. However, economics might be better driving if there was at least a couple people to split driving duties.

membengal
11-04-2009, 11:52 AM
I went for Tony's induction (and Marty's) and it was a great time. When Larkin is inducted, I will be there.

RichRed
11-04-2009, 01:07 PM
Not certain -- it'd probably depend on how many other people were going and what work schedules looked like. Theoretically, I'd love to fly to NYC, stay there, rent a car, and make the drive up to Cooperstown. However, economics might be better driving if there was at least a couple people to split driving duties.

I flew into LaGuardia last time and it's still a 5-6 hour drive to C'town from there (seems like half of it is just getting out of the city). It'll be more expensive but I'm going to look at flying into Albany next time, which I think is only ~2 hours out by car.

westofyou
11-04-2009, 01:18 PM
Albany is the shortest distance

princeton
11-04-2009, 01:20 PM
I'm spending the previous week in Cooperstown. Li'l princeton's team is playing in a tournament there.

pricey accommodations. the town makes most of its tourist money in a short period of time every summer.

George Anderson
11-04-2009, 01:45 PM
How cool would it be if by some chance Larkin got in and Joe Nuxhall got the Ford Frick Award? Would be very cool....

with Bench, Perez, Robinson, Morgan and Sparky also part of the ceremony.......oh and don't forget Pete will be hawking his signature outside the gate. :rolleyes:

redsmetz
11-04-2009, 02:12 PM
When our family visited Cooperstown, we stayed at a motel up in Herkimer NY. I can't recall the name of it, but it was independent. Nice clean place, although that was about 10+ years ago. BTW, there are quite a lot of minor league clubs surrounding the Cooperstown area. I think Elmira was playing while we were there.

Cyclone792
11-04-2009, 02:48 PM
Not certain -- it'd probably depend on how many other people were going and what work schedules looked like. Theoretically, I'd love to fly to NYC, stay there, rent a car, and make the drive up to Cooperstown. However, economics might be better driving if there was at least a couple people to split driving duties.

Sounds like you're in a similar situation as I am in. If we get a group of three or four, it makes a lot more economical sense for our group to just split the costs, rent a large sedan and drive up rather than fly. Since we're also trying to get a group together to head to Seattle next June for the Reds series, it might be tough to swing two airfare trips within five or six weeks.

OldRightHander
11-04-2009, 04:15 PM
Albany is the shortest distance

Yep, just spitting distance from there.

Caseyfan21
11-04-2009, 09:35 PM
That'd be spectacular!




Would you be flying or driving, CE? Looking like flights from this area would be around $250-300ish, but unfortunately there'd still be a bit of drive after landing in NY. As much as I don't want to think about a 650 mile drive, that may be the option we take.

I'm not sure about you Cincinnati guys, but I'm going to look into Southwest if I look for a flight. They fly from Chicago where I live and go into Albany, NY (about an hour and a half from Cooperstown judging by a google map search). Could be an option for some near airports where Southwest flies (although I know they don't fly out of Cincinnati).

MWM
11-04-2009, 09:37 PM
If Barry gets in, I'm there for the induction as well.

D-Man
11-04-2009, 09:50 PM
If Barry goes in, I'll be there.

Looking at the numbers, this just seems like a no-brianer -- even taking off my Reds-fan hat, I honestly don't see what the debate is. Sometimes it seems like Barry's greatest sin was playing in the same time-period as Ozzie Smith, who sucked all of the oxygen out of the room when it came to defensive prowess.

The conventional metrics of HOF greatness don't help Larkin's case: his counting stat career totals, Triple Crown category black ink tests, MVP totals, and Gold Gloves don't point to a serious HOF candidate. Notably, his closest career comp (Trammell) has been left on the outside.

To see Larkin's greatness, one needs to aggregate measurements across lots of areas, examine rate stats (as opposed to counting stats), and adjust for positional norms. Quite frankly, Larkin's biggest hurdle is overcoming voters' crutches in evaluating HOFers.

I don't think it's hyperbole to say that, when (if?) he is enshrined, Larkin will be the first Sabermetric HOFer candidate elected.

Red in Chicago
11-04-2009, 10:03 PM
I'm not sure about you Cincinnati guys, but I'm going to look into Southwest if I look for a flight. They fly from Chicago where I live and go into Albany, NY (about an hour and a half from Cooperstown judging by a google map search). Could be an option for some near airports where Southwest flies (although I know they don't fly out of Cincinnati).

Did you just put your location down under your user name? I didn't realize you were a fellow Chicagoan.

fearofpopvol1
11-04-2009, 10:36 PM
I'll absolutely go if Barry is inducted.

Caseyfan21
11-04-2009, 10:43 PM
Did you just put your location down under your user name? I didn't realize you were a fellow Chicagoan.

Nope, I've had it there since I moved back at the end of July (or shortly after). I just have been way too busy with work and the real world to post much since I've moved. I'd love to see my posting stats before vs. after I moved on some of the various boards I follow. Working 10-12 hrs a day really cuts down on the amount of time I have for other stuff in life (compared to college).

I do enjoy the city and the area though. Really love Naperville and the people I work with. :thumbup:

Chip R
11-04-2009, 10:44 PM
When would induction weekend be?

Caseyfan21
11-04-2009, 10:46 PM
When would induction weekend be?

Per wikipedia, July 25.

"The elections to select the 2010 class of inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame will proceed according to revised rules enacted in 2001 and further revamped in 2007. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) will hold an election to select from among recent players. In keeping with the 2007 rules changes, the Veterans Committee will hold one election to select managers and umpires, and another to select executives. Elections to select players were held prior to the 2009 inductions; the next election for players whose careers began in 1943 or later is scheduled for the 2011 class of inductees, while the next election for players active prior to that point is scheduled for the 2014 class.

The induction ceremonies will be held on July 25, 2010 at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, with Commissioner Bud Selig presiding."

Chip R
11-04-2009, 10:51 PM
Thank you.

cincinnati chili
11-07-2009, 10:57 AM
I shudder to think that something so shallow should make a difference. But I wonder if Barry Larkin's increased media presence (MLB Network) will allow him to spend more time with the writers and positively influence the opinions of those writers who are on the fence.

His candidacy should come down to this: how big should the Hall of Fame be? Should it have 5 shortstops? 10? 15? 20?

Unless you want to limit the club to 7 or fewer shortstops, he should be a first-ballot guy.

RFS62
11-08-2009, 03:39 PM
I shudder to think that something so shallow should make a difference. But I wonder if Barry Larkin's increased media presence (MLB Network) will allow him to spend more time with the writers and positively influence the opinions of those writers who are on the fence.

His candidacy should come down to this: how big should the Hall of Fame be? Should it have 5 shortstops? 10? 15? 20?

Unless you want to limit the club to 7 or fewer shortstops, he should be a first-ballot guy.



I absolutely think it will be a factor. He's in the baseball world's consciousness now all the time. And he's really improved his on air presence with experience this year.

Shouldn't have anything to do with his qualifications in a perfect world. Electing guys to the HOF is anything but a perfect world. It's political, and this will help his cause, IMO.

Razor Shines
11-09-2009, 11:15 AM
Pos had quite a bit to say about the HOF candidates for this year. Here is what he had to say about Larkin:


* * *

I remember a few years ago, the Cincinnati Enquirer did a baseball special cover that featured a Hall of Fame plaque for Barry Larkin. This had to be 1996 or so, he was only 32 at the time, and it seemed a bit early to call Larkin a future Hall of Famer. Yes, he won the MVP in 1995, and he’d had a better year in 1996, but it just seemed too soon. I remember telling people then: Let’s see how the rest of his career turns out.

As it turned out, he was injured in 1997, he had very good 1998 and 1999 seasons, more injuries in 2000 … and that really was it for his career. He played four more injury-riddled years when he mostly bickered with the Cincinnati Reds about money and being treated with respect.

And now I look back at Larkin’s career — well, it’s interesting. I spent a lot of time around him in the mid-90s when I wrote columns in Cincinnati, and I always found him to be a series of contradictions. He grew up in CIncinnati and he played his whole career in Cincinnati, but I never got the sense that he particularly liked Cincinnati. He was obviously charismatic and lucid and interesting when he wanted to be — there seemed little doubt even that that he had a TV career ahead if he wanted one. But he rarely seemed all that interested in talking. He was the team leader that did not seem to enjoy being the team leader — and other players did not seem to enjoy it either. It was weird.

As a player … well, Larkin was an amazing player to watch every day. Yes, I cringe too when I hear that “you have to see him every day to appreciate him” cliche … but it really was amazing how many times we would be watching from the box and Barry Larkin made a play that left you shaking your head in admiration. I suppose it felt that way because he was such a well-rounded player — Bill James in the New Historical Abstract called Larkin one of the ten most complete players in baseball history (italics his). He could do so many different things that could impress you.

– Larkin stole 379 bases — and at remarkable 83% success rate.
– Larkin never struck out 70 times in a season, and walked 112 more times in his career than he struck out.
– Larkin hit double digit home runs nine times, and as many as 33 in a season.
– Larkin finished Top 10 in batting average four times, runs scored five times, walks three times, stolen bases five times, on-base percentage three times, slugging twice. He won three Gold Gloves. He won the MVP, the Lou Gehrig and the Roberto Clemente Awards. He made 12 All-Star Teams. He hit .353 in his one World Series appearance. And he played with a certain style — he was just a graceful player. He made great defensive plays without diving, and stole bases with a seeming effortlessness.

I remember in 1995 — his MVP year — he seemed to always come through in the big moments. The numbers show that my memory isn’t completely faulty. Larkin hit .345/.453/.591 with runners in scoring position that year. He hit .347 and slugged .653 with runners in scoring position and two outs. He hit .397 in Late & Close situations. It was just one year, of course, but I remember manager Davey Johnson saying with wonder that he could never remember a player who was so guaranteed to give you a good at-bat in those pivotal situations as Barry Larkin. And it sure seemed that way.

So that seems like a slam-dunk Hall of Famer, right? Sure. The knock is … injuries. Only four times in Larkin’s career did he play 150 games or more.

When he played, he was outstanding. And over the course of his career, he played almost 2,200 games. But he had SO MANY partial seasons — 97 games in ‘89, 123 games in ‘91, 100 games in ‘93, the two strike years took away games, 73 games in ‘97, 102 games in 2000, 45 games in 2001 and so on.

This, I suppose, can make Larkin look like a borderline Hall of Fame choice. He only once finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting other than the year he won it. He never led the league in a single counting statistic. We all know how I feel about runs and RBIs — they are context stats — but that doesn’t change the fact that Larkin only twice scored 100 runs* in a season and only once drove in more than 75 RBIs — and never 90. People look at those counting stats.

*I wondered how many fast, good-hitting Hall of Famers scored 100 runs fewer than two times in a career … and I was stunned to find out that Rod Carew — ROD CAREW! — only scored 100 runs once in his career. Those were low scoring days and Carew did score 98 and 97 in seasons. Still, that’s shocking to me.

When you add it all up, I feel strongly that Larkin is a Hall of Famer. I’ll vote for him. He did so many things well over a long career. But, the more people I talk with about him, the more I sense that he has a long uphill Hall of Fame climb.http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/11/08/hall-of-fame-thoughts/

I thought he was going to give us more of a reassurance that Larkin would get in.

RedsManRick
11-09-2009, 12:37 PM
Pos had quite a bit to say about the HOF candidates for this year. Here is what he had to say about Larkin:

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/11/08/hall-of-fame-thoughts/

I thought he was going to give us more of a reassurance that Larkin would get in.

Interesting take from Joe Poz. I happen to think he's right. What HOF voters seem to value more than anything else is a coherent narrative -- they are mostly journalists after all. It it still a Hall of Fame and fame is about stories, not stats. Jim Rice's "most feared" narrative finally carried him in to the hall. Sutter is "the guy who invented the splitter." What is Blyleven's narrative, other than the guy who deserves to be in the hall but isn't? What about Tim Raines?

Larkin's, in my estimate, is a guy who was pretty good, but overshadowed by Ozzie early in his career, Jeter/ARod/Tejada/Nomar late in his career, and injured off and on throughout. That's not a HOF narrative. If Larkin is to make it, his supporters will need to work together to craft one.

HokieRed
11-09-2009, 07:55 PM
[
Larkin's, in my estimate, is a guy who was pretty good, but overshadowed by Ozzie early in his career, Jeter/ARod/Tejada/Nomar late in his career, and injured off and on throughout. That's not a HOF narrative. If Larkin is to make it, his supporters will need to work together to craft one.[/QUOTE]


Yet Ozzie's own manager, Whitey Herzog, said that if there were one player he could choose to build a team around, it would be Larkin. Maybe that can be part of the narrative.

MWM
11-10-2009, 01:05 PM
Yet Ozzie's own manager, Whitey Herzog, said that if there were one player he could choose to build a team around, it would be Larkin. Maybe that can be part of the narrative.

I've never heard that before. Where did you read that? I'm curious.

HokieRed
11-10-2009, 04:42 PM
I've never heard that before. Where did you read that? I'm curious.

Don't really remember, but I'm 99% certain it's accurate. May have been in a book about Herzog, just called Whitey, as I remember. It's been a while; it was very early in Larkin's career.

fearofpopvol1
11-27-2009, 02:49 PM
Just posted today on ESPN.com.

What do you think Larkin's chances are for '10?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4693591

Martinez, McGriff also among candidatesComment Email Print Share Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Roberto Alomar is among 15 first-time candidates of this year's Hall of Fame ballot, joining holdovers Mark McGwire, Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven.

Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin and Fred McGriff are also new to the ballot this year. There are 26 candidates, three more than last year, when Rickey Henderson was elected in his initial appearance and Jim Rice made it on his 15th and final try. Dawson fell 44 votes shy of the 75 percent needed and Blyleven was 67 short.

Also on the ballot for the first time are Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile.

Other holdovers on the list announced Friday include Harold Baines, Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.

McGwire, hired last month as hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, is on the ballot for the fourth time. Although he hit 583 homers, eighth on the career list, he has been stigmatized since his 2005 congressional committee testimony, when he evaded answering whether he had used steroids. He received 118 votes (22 percent) in last year's vote, down from 128 in each of his first two tries.

Segui has admitted he used steroids.

Alomar, a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove second baseman, had a .300 batting average, 210 homers and 474 steals in 17 major league seasons.

Martinez spent all 18 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, winning two AL batting titles and finishing with a .312 average and 309 homers. A seven-time All-Star, he was a designated hitter in 1,412 of 2,055 career regular-season games.

Larkin was a 12-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove shortstop in 19 seasons, all with the Cincinnati Reds. He had a .295 career average with 198 homers and won the 1995 NL MVP award.

McGriff is tied with Lou Gehrig for 26th on the career home run with 493 and had a .284 average in 19 seasons. He led the AL in homers for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1989 and the NL for the San Diego Padres in 1992.

Reporters who have been in the BBWAA for 10 or more consecutive years are eligible to vote, and results will be announced Jan. 6. Inductions, which will include anyone elected by the Veterans Committee, are scheduled for July 25 at Cooperstown. The Veterans Committee vote will be announced Dec. 7.

The complete ballot: Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Ellis Burks, Andre Dawson, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

Blitz Dorsey
11-27-2009, 05:16 PM
C'mon Lark! You deserve it.

He'll get in eventually no matter what, but I'd love to see him as a first-ballot HOFer.

Ron Madden
11-27-2009, 05:25 PM
I believe Larkin will get in but I doubt he gets in on the first ballot.

Red in Chicago
11-27-2009, 06:08 PM
While I certainly believe that Barry deserves to get in, if I had to place a bet on whether or not it happens, my chips would be on the "no" side.:(

Ron Madden
11-28-2009, 12:41 PM
There is no doubt in my mind Larkin deserves to get in. I do have doubt that the BBWA have enough sense to vote him in on this ballot.

:(

OnBaseMachine
11-30-2009, 05:26 PM
From Fay:

Update: Since the original post went up, the Reds have announced that Barry Larkin will attend Redsfest on Friday. Iíts his first time back since retiring, I believe.

A few Monday tidbits:

The Reds threw their support behind Barry Larkin for the Hall of Fame. The club sent e-mail out to voters with Larkinís bio and a letter of support from Bob Castellini out today.

Larkinís on the ballot for the first time.

Iím among the voters. Larkin will get my vote. His numbers tailed off at the end of his career and that will hurt him. But he still finished with more home runs and than all but three Hall of Fame shortstops, more stolen stolen bases than all but five and .295 career average.

Ozzie Smith was first ballot guy. Answer this question: Youíre playing in a seven-game series, who do you want at short? Larkin or Smith.

I donít think Larkin gets in this year. But heís got a chance eventually.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
11-30-2009, 05:30 PM
Dear Hall of Fame Voter:

As you prepare to vote for the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2010, please accept this letter in support of Barry Larkin.

The Cincinnati Reds organization is extremely proud of Barry's accomplishments during an extraordinary 19-year Major League career, spent entirely with his hometown team.

On and off the field, Barry represented himself and the Queen City with the class and professionalism consistent with the ideals of Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Even today, he continues to be one of our game's greatest ambassadors.

On the following two pages, please review Barry's remarkable accomplishments produced over what the Reds family feels is a Hall of Fame career. On behalf of our organization and Barry individually, I thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Robert H. Castellini
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cincinnati Reds

http://redsintern.mlblogs.com/

OnBaseMachine
12-01-2009, 04:22 PM
Does Larkin need a PR campaign?
By Hal McCoy | Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 01:08 PM

The Hall of Fame ballot was announced this week and Cincinnatiís great and wonderful shortstop, Barry Larkin, is on it.

Hall of Famer? Absolutely. His numbers speak like a foghorn on a battleship.

But I shuddered a bit when I received another e-mail. This one came from the Reds and it was sent to all Hall of Fame voters. It extolled the virtues and the qualifications of Larkin as a Hall of Famer.

Iím not sure how it struck other voters, but to me it smacks of tackiness and Iím not certain it will help Larkin, who deserves enshrinement.

Voters do not like campaigning. It isnít a political campaign. Votes are not up for bids, donít go to candidates with glossy public relations paraphernalia.

I donít blame the Reds for trying. Others have done it. The Tampa Bay Rays sent out a similar e-mail this week asking voters to consider Fred McGriff.

But it doesnít sit squarely with most voters. The Reds merely want to make voters aware of Larkinís qualifications, which are Hall of Fame calibre. They want to make certain voters are aware of those stellar figures.

I guess what bothers me a little bit is that the Reds never did this for Dave Concepcion, another Reds shortstop worthy of the Hall who didnít make it.

In the last two or three years of Daveyís eligibility, he hired a public relations guy to put his name in the forefront. He scheduled public appearances, put Davey on TV and on the radio. He showed up at baseballís winter meetings, trying to corral votes.

It didnít work. I know some voters resented the PR ploy.

In the Redsí e-mail to voters, there was a cover letter from CEO Bob Castellini, who pointed out some of Larkinís many and myriad qualifications.

One of his points was that Larkin played his entire 19 years with the Reds, conveniently neglecting to say that the Reds once traded him to the New York Mets. Larkin invoked his no-trade rights as a 10-and-5 player - at least 10 years in the majors and at least the last five with the same team.

Thatís the only reason he didnít move on to New York. But thatís hair-splitting. He did play his entire career in Cincinnati.

And Larkinís highlights are beyond reproach:

-12-time All-Star, five times as a starter.

-One NL MVP.

-Nine Silver Slugger awards as the yearís best hitting shortstop.

-A .295 career average, nine times over .300.

-The only major-league shortstop in history with at least 2,300 hits, 190 home runs and 370 stolen bases.

-An 83 per cent stolen base ratio (379-456), fourth all-time since caught stealings became a statistic.

-The only shortstop in history to have 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in one season (1996).

There is more, much more. Bill James, baseballís guru of crunching numbers, calls Larkin one of the 10 best all-around players of all time.

And thatís just the on field stuff. In my 37 years of covering the Reds, Larkin was probably the best leader the team ever had. His clubhouse presence was stately, like a Winston Churchill. When Larkin spoke, everybody listened.

He taught rookies how to be major-leaguers, how to act in the clubhouse and how to act on and off the field. When Larkin was with the Reds, there was seldom any problems in the clubhouse and every player knew how to interact with the media. Larkin made certain of that.

Larkin has some stiff competition in this yearís class, which is another reason the Reds probably took matters in hand.

His competition:

Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Ellis Burks, Andre Dawson, Andres Galaragga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Edgar Martines, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile.

Thatís a tough field for Larkin and maybe heíll lose votes because voters think others are better. Letís just hope some of my colleagues arenít turned off by a public relations campaign.

Larkin has my vote, just as Concepcion got my vote every time he was on the ballot.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2009/12/01/does_larkin_need_a_pr_campaign.html?cxtype=feedbot

top6
12-01-2009, 04:43 PM
God I hate the Hall of Fame voters. Letting a bunch of sports writers select Hall of Fame entrants makes as much sense as giving every active baseball player a vote on the Pulitzer Prize in journalism.

RedsManRick
12-01-2009, 05:29 PM
Concepcion was a very nice SS, but he was no Barry Larkin. I can see Hal's point that it's a bit tacky, but I think it's naive to think that Larkin doesn't need it. That's not to say voters should need to be made aware of his place in the game's history, but given their track record, it's best to err on the side of giving them more info than less.

redsmetz
12-01-2009, 09:54 PM
Concepcion was a very nice SS, but he was no Barry Larkin. I can see Hal's point that it's a bit tacky, but I think it's naive to think that Larkin doesn't need it. That's not to say voters should need to be made aware of his place in the game's history, but given their track record, it's best to err on the side of giving them more info than less.

Frankly, it is something the Reds should have done with Concepcion. Likewise, there are a number of deserving first timers this time, although I can't say any are absolute sure things for on the first ballot (including Larkin). By that I mean that there are some writers, I think, who choose not to select some players on their first time. But I think Larkin, Alomar and Martinez should be given votes. And that's not mentioning quite a number who still deserve to get in from that list. But that's something to debate another day.

Matt700wlw
12-01-2009, 11:01 PM
I've always liked the writers (and I remember having or hearing one on Lance's show - I honestly can't remember if I was working there at the time...lol) who don't vote for a guy one year, but do in another, or visa versa...I believe Dave Parker was the candidate in question at the time of the interview...

Did the numbers change?? Are they or aren't they??

Chip R
12-01-2009, 11:50 PM
I've always liked the writers (and I remember having or hearing one on Lance's show - I honestly can't remember if I was working there at the time...lol) who don't vote for a guy one year, but do in another, or visa versa...I believe Dave Parker was the candidate in question at the time of the interview...

Did the numbers change?? Are they or aren't they??

I remember hearing Lance talking about that. Can't recall who the writer was.

REDblooded
12-02-2009, 01:10 AM
Larkin won't need a huge PR campaign... He'll be a HOF'r, just not a first-ballot guy.

Ron Madden
12-02-2009, 02:38 AM
Larkin won't need a huge PR campaign... He'll be a HOF'r, just not a first-ballot guy.

If he put up numbers worthy of the HOF (I believe he did) why shouldn't he get in on the first ballot?

Some members of the BBWAA are lazy arrogant idiots in my humble opinion. A PR letter from a MLB Club shouldn't sway them in any way from doing the research necessary before casting their votes.

REDblooded
12-02-2009, 02:44 PM
If he put up numbers worthy of the HOF (I believe he did) why shouldn't he get in on the first ballot?

Some members of the BBWAA are lazy arrogant idiots in my humble opinion. A PR letter from a MLB Club shouldn't sway them in any way from doing the research necessary before casting their votes.

Because First-Ballot status is pretty lofty and usually only granted to the top players in the game... While Larkin was a stud, I wouldn't say he was one of the best to ever play the game... As long as he gets in, I don't really see the issue.

Chip R
12-02-2009, 06:03 PM
Jim Caple says he will vote for Larkin

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/091202&sportCat=mlb

Ron Madden
12-03-2009, 03:04 AM
Because First-Ballot status is pretty lofty and usually only granted to the top players in the game... While Larkin was a stud, I wouldn't say he was one of the best to ever play the game... As long as he gets in, I don't really see the issue.

I know that many agree with your opinion concerning first ballot inductees.

I respectfully disagree. In my opinion a player is worthy of the HOF or he's not.

Players should be inducted for their body of work. If they have the numbers they shouldn't have to depend on the quirks and whims of the BBWAA.

:)

Scrap Irony
12-03-2009, 03:07 AM
I agree, Ron. I'd think those writers should be used to researching stats. Give a player one year on the ballot. If he makes it, he's a HOF member. If not, give a Veteran's Committee one year a decade later to rectify the writer's mistakes.

That's it.

Dom Heffner
12-03-2009, 08:24 AM
I think they've turned the Hall of Fame process into a cruel joke. Nobody is unanimous, you have to be this good to get in on your first try, some vote for you once but not another.

I appreciate making it so Rafael Landestoy isn't inducted, but if Hank Aaron isn't unanimous, then they need to scrap the process.

Who didn't vote for Aaron? Mays?

It's stupid.

Roy Tucker
12-03-2009, 08:50 AM
I think a PR campaign is a good idea. I mean, look at Derek Jeter. With the power of the NY press behind him, the guy is SI Sportsman of the Year and the Legend Continues and all that. And I'll take Larkin over Jeter any day and twice on Sundays.

I love Barry (in a manly way of course ;) ) Its the first time I got to watch the arc of a career in my adult life where I could fully appreciate what he did from start to end. I just wish he was in the Reds' organization somehow somewhere.

redsfandan
12-03-2009, 09:46 AM
I agree that there isn't a player that is a lock to make it but I don't think it's that big of a deal the way things are. If the writers weren't the voters who would be? The fans? Managers? HOF'ers? I'm not sure that there is a way to structure the voting process without having at least some complaints.

There are quite a few that I wouldn't mind seeing elected: Larkin, Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, Martinez, McGriff, McGwire, Morris, Murphy, Parker, Raines, Lee Smith, & Alan Trammell. But I know that anything can happen and that a couple of those guys could even fall off the ballot. I'm not too worried about Larkin though. Maybe he'll make it in on his first try. Maybe he won't. But I think he'll be in eventually. Hopefully a few of those guys make it this time.

Chip R
12-03-2009, 09:55 AM
I just think that if you aren't elected on the first ballot it gets harder and harder to make the HOF every year that passes. The pool of players gets larger and votes get siphoned off.

RedsManRick
12-03-2009, 11:35 AM
I just think that if you aren't elected on the first ballot it gets harder and harder to make the HOF every year that passes. The pool of players gets larger and votes get siphoned off.

This is my problem with some people treating the first year on the ballot like a special reward for only the inner circle guys. Voting history has borne out that people base their votes on the votes of others to a large degree. If a guy doesn't get a good number of first ballot votes, he may never get voted in at all even though he deserves it.

I think it would be interesting to add a layer on the voting where each year a voter can make up to three of his votes include a "with distinction" tag or something like that -- so you can additionally reward the most elite without punishing those who are mere deserving members.

top6
12-03-2009, 11:51 AM
Guys, who cares? Seriously. The Hall of Fame is a complete joke. Putting aside that the all-time hit leader is not in, in 3 (?) years, the all-time home run leader (both career and single season) might get in. The men who hit 500+ home runs and transfixed the nation by both hitting 60 home runs in 1998 will not be in. Roger Clemens - maybe one of the 5 best pitchers ever - may not be in. And all because a bunch of writers think they are somehow capable of judging who is "deserving" and who isn't, and who cheated and who didn't, even though for all we know every player in the game was doing steroids for 20 years.

It appears likely that most of the great players from the time I grew up watching baseball are not going to be in the Hall of Fame. But players who played when baseball was RACIALLY SEGREGATED or when owners ADMITTEDLY CHEATED AND COLLUDED are free to enter this joke of an institution, since most of the old farts who vote on this meaninglessness saw them play when they were kids (and therefore think the game was pure, yeah right).

I am just at a loss for why anyone cares whose name and face gets on a stupid random plaque - especially when vastly and indisputably better players will not have their face on stupid random plaques.