Point of Debate: Hall of Fame
Sorry guys, I hate to bring up those three dreaded words again…
I was having a text conversation with a buddy last night talking about what would happen if baseball ceased after this year. With the new CBA imposing financial penalties on irresponsible overspending, what would happen to the game if a dozen teams just folded up because they no longer could compete?
We ended up talking about how many currently active players would be Hall of Famers. We’re not talking the recently retired obvious choices like Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson, but guys who still show up at the park everyday and put on a uniform.
As we were tossing names at each other, I was writing them down; Pujols, Jeter, Ichiro, Chipper, etc. We agreed on the steriod guys like ARod and Pudge because if there was no more baseball no one would really care anyway.
(Speaking of not caring, neither of us mentioned Raines or Bagwell..lol).
As I looked down at the eight or so names on the list, we hadn’t listed one pitcher.
His feelings on closers are the same as mine, and despite Mariano Rivera being an obvious lock, neither of us mentioned him.
So, this morning, I went to Baseball Reference and checked a couple of pages.
**Geek Alert**Geek Alert**
To save time, I checked WAR, not because I recently had a stroke or sustained a head injury, but just to save time.
There are 68 pitchers in the Hall. Between them, they played an average of 17 seasons and posted a career WAR of 64. (Twenty-nine of the sixty-four had a WAR above 64).
The HOF pitcher with the lowest career WAR who was elected by the BBWAA is Catfish Hunter, with a 32.1.
There are currently 13 active ML pitchers who have pitched the prerequisite ten seasons to be eligible for induction with a career WAR equal to or better than Hunter.
Roy Halladay, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Tim Hudson, CC Sabathia, Johan Santana, Mark Buerhle, Jamie Moyer, Carlos Zambrano, Barry Zito, Bartolo Colon, Chris Carpenter and Derek Lowe.
Out of the group, none have a career WAR equal to the HOF average, Halladay’s 63.1 is closest, a 2012 season close to his career season average of 4.5 would push him to “slightly above” average. Even the “great” Rivera falls painfully short of “average” at 52.8.
WAR certainly isn’t the definitive stat, but based just on what it’s supposed to tell us, there is no current active pitcher who is an average HOFer.
Obviously, because he’s the all-time career leader in the most overrated, insignificant stat in all of sports, Rivera is a likely HOFer.
But if baseball really did end, and the decision was yours to make, would anyone else off this list get your vote?
None would get mine.
Tags: Hall of Fame