Re: Bill James:"Dwight Evans belongs in Cooperstown" : An open letter to the Hall of Fame
posted at 2/12/2012 4:33 PM EST
In Response to Re: Bill James:"Dwight Evans belongs in Cooperstown" : An open letter to the Hall of Fame
In Response to Re: Bill James:"Dwight Evans belongs in Cooperstown" : An open letter to the Hall of Fame : the Hall does not compare players of different eras. They choose players who play from the same era. Some say the stipulation should be around being the best at your position for a decade or more. I believe that is the point of view implicit in James's thesis. That said: Take out the guys who were not contemporaries (Herman, Oliva, Ashburn, Hoy, O'Doul, and Belle) and those who did not play RF (Williams, Raines, Oliver-who spent most of his career as a marginal OF/1B and ended it as a 1b/DH) and your list is down to Parker, Walker and Belle. James provided proof as to why Evans was actually the better hitter, and far better fielder than Parker. And I already said I consider Walker deserving of consideration along with Evans (and over Parker). But Belle? Are you kidding? He has the inferior offensive stats AND couldn't hold a candle to Evans as a fielder. Was Belle even ever on a ballot?
Posted by parhunter1
Good idea? Maybe. James' thesis? Yes. But does the Hall operate that way? Absolutely not. They certainly don't take position vs. era into account, else they would not have been in operation for nealy 40 years with only three inducted third basemen.
As it stands now, Evans is not and would not be compared to his comtemporarioes in RF. He is evaluated against all outfielders of all eras, with certain era-related criteria taken into consideration.
Therefore, removing players who did not play RF might be James' argument, but he is already redefining the process. When it comes to awards and ballots, for some reason MLB does not differentiate between OF positions.
I actually checked and James' himself has most of those guys ahead of Evans (who is not listed) on the Hall of Fame monitor. That list includes Parker, giving James an argument both ways, I guess.
And Oliver was not a "marginal" outfielder or 1b. He was a seven time All Star with 3 Silver Sluggers, 9 top 20 MVP finishes, and a lifetime .300 average with over 2700 hits. Evans trails him in every single category I just mentioned. Not to mention, Oliver started out his career as a CF, although he might be more remembered for his days at 1B anf LF later in his career. Still he played more games in CF than any other position.
As for Albert Belle, are you serious? He was an offensive monster. .295 / .369 / .574 career line over 13 seasons. Only player ever with a 50 double/50 HR season, and would have won AL MVP in 1995 had he not been such an unpleasant person. (Mo Vaughn thanks him.) His downfall was the injuries that slowed his career, and that he was extremely disliked in the media. Evans has a huge defensive advange over Belle, but nothing else. Although I guess you were referring to the fact that Evans did hit 4 more home runs than Belle, and only took 7 more seasons to do it....