I love Fangraphs. They have discovered the baseball equivalent of Hole in Zone.
Deadspin, as usual, breaks the story. The author’s ballot — Larry Rocca is his name — consisted of Jack Morris, Hideo Nomo, Alan Trammell, and Tim Raines. He took the “moral high ground” by insisting that nobody in the steroid era would get his vote. (Shh, nobody tell him that all of his candidates played during the era, if you date it to 1989 like many historians do.) Personally, I think he just threw darts at his ballot, signed, and took a nap.
Interesting fact: I had originally slotted Murder, She Wrote here. I did an IMDB search for that show, and it recommended Monk, which was somehow left off my list entirely. So, if you’re a fan of Jessica Fletcher, sorry, but she missed the cut, since otherwise I’d have to reorganize the entire list. Plus, how is it that not one of the nefarious criminals on the show ever, like, just killed her? I mean, she’s an old woman. Kind of a big plot hole.
Basic premise: OCD detective.
Why it’s here: Monk is the first, but not the last, USA original series to pop up here. The premise is genuinely original and interesting. Plus, you get to see Buffalo Bill on the good side of the badge! (It will never cease being awesome that Stottlemeyer is Buffalo Bill. NEVER!) It did a great job of balancing the comedy with the tragedy, and if ever the term tragicomedy applied to a show, it’s this one.
Why it’s not higher: The gimmick ran stale. Disher, as a character, was kind of annoying.
Although I still think it’s more absurd that JT Snow got two votes — TWO — than Jacque Jones got one, I agree with Kevin’s last post. I still think some of the people who didn’t vote for Greg Maddux did so for strategic reasons (he’ll get in anyway, I’d rather vote in this guy). However, there are three topics I want to discuss here.
1) Tom Glavine. I know we make a big deal of Greg Maddux being the guy who out-thought hitters, who dominated without a great fastball or dominating Blyleven-esque curve. Yet Glavine is the bigger mystery, as per Fangraphs.
Clearly, the secret to Glavine’s success must come from one of two things — he was left handed or witchcraft. Maybe both.
2) Fun fact: Matt Morris had a better year than Jack Morris. But you know who I kept thinking of when people were singing the praises of Jack Morris? Another guy with a rubber arm, who pitched a lot of innings. The win totals aren’t there because the Twins were mindbendingly awful most of the time he pitched for them. And yes, Morris did pitch more innings. But Brad Radke is still a pretty damn good comp. Another fun fact: #1 on Jack Morris’ comp list? El Freakin’ Presidente. Almost literally the only difference between Jack Morris and Dennis Martinez is the post season performance. Oh, and by postseason performance, it’s really just the one game, since Dennis Martinez actually pitched better than Jack Morris in the postseason on the whole.
The real comparison is, of course, between that other guy what pitched really good once in a postseason game. Of course, Don Larsen was pretty much the definition of average, yet still somehow managed to get more than 10% of the HOF vote.
3) Can I build a Cooperstown case for Julio Franco? No. I’ve tried to bend the numbers this way and that, and the case boils down to his obscenely long career, the number of hits, and very good plate discipline. As a 2B, he’s 33rd — 33rd! — in history by JAWS. (between Eddie Stanky and Red Schoendienst.) And let’s be charitable — Julio Franco was a good 1B for a 2B. He pretty much has one chance to get into the Hall. He needs those extra 414 hits. Hey, the man’s only 55. Give him a uniform and a bat, I say!