Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Baseball Post

Ron Santo, R.I.P. 

I agree with the commenters here: it's just awful that the various committees and voters at the HOF didn't get around to putting him in when he could enjoy it.  Ron Santo was a perfectly legitimate Hall of Famer, and I have no doubt at all that he will get in, sooner or later -- the pattern is pretty clear that anyone who gets that close eventually gets in. 

I was planning to do a post about the Vet Committee HOF ballot, but didn't get to it...I've said in the past that I'd vote for Tommy John, and I'd have to look very carefully at Ted Simmons and probably would vote for him, and I'd certainly vote for Marvin Miller.  Vida Blue was one of my very favorite players, but I think he falls short, alas, as do the rest of the names on the ballot.  I'm really not sure if George Steinbrenner was a HOFer or not...if I were voting I'd probably pass, this time around.  The standards for team owners strike me as pretty arbitrary, anyway. 


  1. What about Curt Flood? Other than Jackie Robinson, is there any player you can think of who so single-handedly influenced the course of baseball?

  2. Flood fought a losing battle that Miller expected to lose. Miller actually advised Flood against following the path he eventually chose.

    Flood fought the good fight and lost. Miller on the other hand took a path absolutely unrelated to Flood's. He secured independent arbitration (vital for what followed since otherwise Bowie Kuhn would have been the person hearing the Messersmith and company appeal) and then sought a ruling based on the plain language (rather that the commonly held interpretation) of the reserve clause. And won.

    And then won the appeal to the courts on the same type of technical decision that Flood lost on. Specifically that courts are very reluctant to over-rule a mutually agreed arbitrator.

    (Sorry Jonathan, the inner baseball nerd strikes)

  3. Joe Posnanski, on Ron santo, said that he has been universally regarded as the best living ex-player not to be elected to the HoF. Of course, as he also pointed out, someone will always be best ex-player not to be elected to the HoF. Santo just happnes to have been extremely well-qualified.

    My vote for the new "best living ex-player not to have been elected to the HoF" is Tim Raines.

  4. Ron,

    No need to apologize! Your comments are certainly most welcome.


    As much as I think Rock Raines should be in the HOF, I'd say Mark McGwire had a better career.

    I assume we're leaving out players who are not eligible. the top of my head, I'll go for: Simmons, McGwire, Grich, Trammell, Da. Evans, Raines, Lynn, Dw. Evans, Blyleven. Maybe Torre instead of Simmons?

  5. Jonathan I think McGwire should be counted separately. He'd have cruised in without the whole "I'm not here to talk about the past" (testimonygate?) and subsequent confirmation of everybody's suspicion.

    Sean Smith has Lou Whitaker, Barry Larkin, Bobby Grich, Edgar Martinez and Alan Trammell heading up the list (and basically all within method error). I think that's reasonable, but I can totally see choosing Raines over any of them (since it's basically an issue of how to weight better defensive players versus high peak offensive players)

    Whitaker and Grich are the obvious HOF mistakes. Martinez is the hard case.


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