I know, I know, I haven't posted in a while. Sorry. June has been god awfully busy and July isn't looking any better. Once I hit August I should be good to go.
In the meantime, I want to bring your attention to this little ditty I read in the Star Tribune. It's a letter to the editors, and one they named "Letter of the Day" which I really hope was sarcastic. It's from some doof named David in Coon Rapids who thinks it's high time we get Roger Maris in the hall of fame.
Of course, when it comes to the hall, there are plenty of arguments to be had. Tim Raines? Andre Dawson? Bert Blyleven? Alan Trammell? Jack Morris? Sure, they all have a compelling argument to get in. No matter which side you fall on, you can find reasons to at least listen to the other side. Roger Maris? Not really. Sorry David from classy Coon Rapids.
Let's take a quick look at David from Coony's arguments, solid as I'm sure they are:
"While the sportswriters of the world ponder whether Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, etc., will ever make baseball's Hall of Fame, I would like to see similar questioning as to why a star from the past isn't there. Namely Roger Maris."You know why they ponder if Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa will ever make the hall and not Maris? Because Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa have the numbers - Maris doesn't. Here are their career home run totals: 762, 609, 583, and 275, ; career hits - 2935, 2408, 1626, and 1325; and career OPS+: 182, 162, 128, and 127. Guess which one in each group is Maris. Yep.
"there are only two players in history who have hit 60 home runs in a season without the specter of steroids hanging over their heads. One is Hall of Famer Babe Ruth, and Maris is the other."This is the one and only point I will concede in this letter. LETTER OF THE DAY.
"Maris was a spectacular fielder"One gold glove in 12 seasons, a below league average range factor, and just five runs allowed better than average per season.
"an outstanding baserunner"All of 21 career steals (Delmon has 28 already).
"a two-time MVP and played in six World Series, winning four."Two MVPS mean something. Winning four means less - particularly when you hit a combined .217/.298/.368. It especially means less when he actually won only three (1961, 1962, and 1967 while losing in 1960, 1963, 1964, and 1968) - and actually played in seven. You're a liar David in Coon Rapids. A liar and an idiot. And that's the worst kind of idiot.
"You also have to remember he broke Ruth's record at Yankee Stadium, despite hatred from even his own fans -- through no fault of Maris."Completely, totally, and unfathomably irrelevant.
"Skeptics always point to his lifetime batting average, but to me that would be like denying Greg Maddux a spot in Cooperstown because he wasn't a great strikeout pitcher."This is probably my favorite part. Maris's career average is .260, not in the top 1,000 career marks (that's as high as baseball-reference.com goes - that's baseball-reference.com, where we sponsor the Mo Sanford page). Greg Maddux struck out 3,371 batters in his career, good for tenth all-time, and if you want to get all pissy and insist we use K/9 instead, he ranks a respectable 211th (and is 19th in K/BB). Maris topped the .300 mark zero times in his career, with a career high of .283. Maddux struck out more than 190 batters in a season five times, with a career high of 204 (and was in the top 3 in the league five times) AND THE REST OF HIS STATS ARE SOME OF THE BEST WE HAVE EVER SEEN FROM A MODERN PITCHER HOW CAN YOU MAKE THIS COMPARISON YOU GOD DAMN REDNECK COON RAPIDS HICK!!?
Sorry. Idiocy causes me blackout rage fits. I'll just end this portion with the fact that Matt Stairs, Tony Womack, Stan Javier, and Neifi Perez all have more career hits than Maris. Hall of Fame? Really? You have more? Well by all means, carry on.
"Plus, isn't the Hall of Fame at least partly about achieving fame? I would venture that Maris' name is more familiar than at least half the current members of the hall."I'd bet more people know of Jose Canseco than Roger Maris. And if you want famous, how about Eddie Gaedel, the
Look, I get the argument that famous people should be in the hall of fame, but it's about numbers, too. You can't just toss dudes in there for a one-season trick. Earl Webb and George Burns have the two highest single-season double hitting seasons in history, but nobody's schlepping to get them in the hall. Of the players with the ten highest single season batting averages in history, four of them aren't any where near the hall, and they all should probably slide in before Maris. Hell, Joe Wood won 34 games in 1912, the second most ever by a pitcher since 1910. He ended his career with just 117 wins. Do you think he's going to get in?
And moments from great season actually are recognized. Pretty much everything. Ichiro's bat from his 262 hit season, Rickey's spikes from his 130 steal season, and almost certainly something from Maris's 1961 season (sadly, I can't find a comprehensive list of what's in the Hall anywhere). Look, if you have a great season, or even a great game (Kerry Wood's 20 K game is recognized) you will get a spot, even if it's just a glove, ball, or bat. It doesn't mean to get a plaque. There are only 289 inductees, only 202 are in for being major league players. It's a special thing. One hit wonders need not apply. You don't see Snow in the Rock and Roll HOF, do you?
"Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig must find a way for this blatant injustice to be corrected."
Blatant injustice? Really? Blatant injustice is what Dan Monson did to Rico Tucker. And Bud Selig couldn't correct his ass with both hands. The use of the words "blantant injustice" convinces me this is just a bit by David from Coon Rapids, because there's now way anybody could believe Maris is a sure-fire HOF candidate. No es posible.
Let's run down some career numbers.
HOME RUNS: 275. Kent Hrbek = 293
HITS: 1,325. Kent Hrbek = 1,749
RBI: 851. Kent Hrbek = 1,086
AVERAGE: .260. Kent Hrbek = .282
ON BASE: .345. Kent Hrbek = .367
SLUGGING: .476. Kent Hrbek = .481
RUNS SCORED: 826. Kent Hrbek = 903
TOTAL BASES: 2,429. Kent Hrbek = 2,976
OPS: .822. Kent Hrbek = .848
OPS+: 127. Kent Hrbek = 128
In case you weren't keeping track, that's Hrbek 10, Maris 0. Hey, I'm all for getting Hrbek in the hall, I love that slob. If getting a mediocre hack with one (or two) miraculous seasons in the hall can open that door, I say let's do it. Good call David in Coony, good call indeed.
[EDIT: I just remembered there is a comments section after star trib articles. I would leave my own comment, but for the life of my drunk ass, I can't figure out how. Instead, I will supply a quick sample of the comments.
GOOD: "Obviously this wasn't written by a person who knows a damn thing about sports or baseball HOF voting. This is another case of Minnesotan's being homers (even though he's from Minot[W'S NOTE: actually born in hibbing])"
BAD: "I can see the point that his career wasn't great, but what he did in one year will be remembered in baseball forever and to me that's worth it to get into the HOF."
UGLY: "I don't know why I didn't know that Roger wasn't in the Hall. I guess I didn't give it a second thought that he wouldn't be there. It is long overdue for him to be in the Hall of Fame. Or maybe without him, the Hall of Shame. Why isn't he there? I can think of a bunch a players that should have gone in AFTER Roger. It's time for baseball to right this wrong." [W'S NOTE: It says 15 of 16 people liked this comment. I hate everyone forever.]]