Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Who let in the guy without a nickname?

Today, the BBWAA let in Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine to the Hall of Fame. In the process, they left Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza waiting at the altar, while Jack Morris will have to depend on the Veterans Commitee for induction.

There is much speculation as to whom, when and by what criteria to let in. While Morris isn't saddled with the added variable of steroid use, he's a prime example of a guy who was more valuable on the mound than on a stat sheet.

Biggio, Piazza and Bagwell suffer from having played in the so-called Steroid Era*. Their percentages seem to have a good amount of correlation to their respective levels of suspicion. No one believes Thomas was on the stuff, for he naturally had the biggest rump in the history of rumps. Steroids couldn't make that ass.

For Bokolis, there is also a wait-your-turn element at play here. Since the writers aren't yet ready to put in Bonds and Clemens, I'd think no one else with a fair amount of association would get in before they do. Bagwell has the further problem of having similar stats to a crop that includes juicing first-basemen. He's not markedly better than Delgado, Giambi, Helton, McGriff, McGwire, Palmeiro, Thomas or Thome. You really shouldn't be putting in more than two guys from each field position for a given generation.

Maddux certainly doesn't have to wait for anyone. He is Peyton Manning, complete with the ordinary postseason record. However, Bokolis was quite surprised that Glavine got in on the first shot with over 90%. What was everybody watching all those years?

Glavine could've stood to wait a few years; certainly, he did not deserve to go in before Randy Johnson or Pedro. Glavine also had pedestrian postseason stats, but the thing that backs him down is that he sometimes went years in between throwing a strike, yet always got the courtesy from the umpires. He lived four inches off the plate. While Maddux always seemed to run into the hot pitcher, my theory on Glavine was, as the strike zone expanded in the playoffs, it meant that everybody was now getting the same zone he'd been getting all along.

Savor the flavor, homes.

* - As a post-script, Bokolis will provide a cheap-seats assessment (READ: wild-ass speculation) of PED use among players mentioned in the above, other than those nearly universally thought to have used.

Maddux - no, but I wouldn't put it past him
Thomas - possibly at some point, even at Auburn, but probably not
Glavine - no, but I wouldn't rule out that he popped a few pills for shits & giggles
Morris - no, but we don't know what was in that chew
Biggio - on & off, did a few cycles
Piazza - on & off, did a few cycles
Bagwell - used throughout his career and had the good sense to retire when he came off
Delgado - on & off and flew under the radar
Helton - did and, like Pudge, was scared straight when they banned use
McGriff - slightly more likely than Thomas, but probably not
Thome - on & off and flew under the radar
Manning - NFL players are guilty until proven otherwise
Johnson - no, heaven forbid
Pedro - no, we should have been so lucky as to have a juiced-up Pedro on the mound

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