Trevor Hoffman got 74 percent of the vote for the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, which put him one percentage point—or five measly votes—away from getting the Cooperstown call.
Even though I wrote that I wouldn’t have voted for Hoffman if I had a ballot of my own, I can certainly understand the argument that he’s a Hall-of-Fame level player, and I can further understand the disappointment for a city of sports fans looking for something to cling to.
Hoffman didn’t get in because he came up five votes short, obviously, and also because he’s something of a borderline candidate (also potentially because of a Boston bias). Nobody really knows how to handle relievers, and Hoffman—much as it pains me to admit—isn’t close to the Mariano Rivera level of relief pitcher dominance. Nobody is, really. So he hovers on the Hall periphery, gaining more support from the old-school voters than from the younger ones, more support from the west coast than from the east coast.
Today’s the day. The National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be announced at 3pm PST today. Who will get in? Who will be snubbed?
I’m not a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). I know, big shocker there. But I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBBA). And, like the BBWAA, the BBBA votes for the Hall of Fame every year, using the same rules and the same ballot. Does it mean anything? Not in the least. But it’s fun.
Like a lot of BBWAA members, I believe in making your Hall of Fame vote — official or not — public for all the world to see and yell at you for.
Here’s how I voted.
Believe it or not, I don’t have an actual Hall of Fame vote. But if I did, here’s what mine would look like.
On the Ballot
Barry Bonds—In 2004, Bonds’ worst month was May, where he hit .250/.532/.542. He had 29 walks and four strikeouts in 77 plate appearances . . . in his worst month of the season. At one point in 2002, Bonds—the game’s preeminent power hitter—went 20 straight games without striking out, racking up nine home runs, 24 walks, and a 1.622 OPS over the stretch. Warts and all, you can’t have a respectable Hall of Fame without Bonds.
Bonus points for:
- Posting a .480 on-base percentage in his final season, at age 42.
- Going 30-for-33 on steal attempts over the last six years of his career.
Roger Clemens—Clemens won at least one Cy Young award on four different teams (he won seven total), spanning three decades. And he should have won more. In 1990, he lost out to Bob Welch, despite racking up over seven bWAR more than Welch (Welch went 27-6 vs. Clemens’ 21-6); that’s like a full Max Scherzer of separation. He also could have/should have won in 1988 (finished 6th), 1992 (3rd), 1996 (no votes), and 2005 (3rd). Sure, there’s a big ol’ elephant in the room here, but like with Bonds, Clemens was too good to keep out.
It’s everybody’s favorite time of year – Hall of Fame voting season! Every year, we gnash our teeth and argue in circles over mostly stupid things. The most recent trend seems to center on excluding players who played during the “Steroid Era” (but not those who we perceive as being clean, because you can just tell…you know?), which completely avoids context and usually devolves into general shouting at clouds. And then there’s Curt Schilling, who deserves to be in, but is an all-around awful/racist/xenophobic human being…which was probably enough to keep him out (for now), but several writers have finally decided he was bad because he posted a picture a shirt implying journalists should be hanged. Which is awful, but that was the tipping point? Anyway, enough garbage – we’re here to talk about Trevor Hoffman’s candidacy.
Thanksgiving, still my favorite holiday of the year.
Also, the time of year where everyone’s “[XX] Reasons For [insert team name] Fans To Be Thankful” pieces come out. And I do mean EVERYONE’S.
Two years ago I wrote about the things I was thankful for as it relates to the Padres. I thought it would be fun to go back and look at how those things worked out then give a new reason to be thankful.
Mike Dee needs to go away.
There, I said it.
In the three years Mike Dee has been the president of the Padres, the amount of public relations screw-ups, oopsies, and outright disasters have far outweighed any good that may have come during his tenure.
From forcing general managers to waste draft picks on alcoholic football players, to naming a part of Petco Park after a reviled figure in baseball, to just straight up screwing the pooch when it comes to fans complaints, Dee’s reign at the top is marked by failure.
Mike Dee needs to be fired.
I promise I’ll stop writing about second basemen. But not yet. Presented here mostly without comment, are the combined wRC+ and WAR totals for Padres second baseman the last 15 or so years. You might notice a light shining from the heavens on Mark Loretta. The worst mark came last year thanks to the awful start to Jace Peterson‘s career, and my boy Jedd Gyorko not exactly picking up Jace’s slack.
I’ll leave the analysis for elsewhere. For now there’s just context.
Sometimes things get a little fuzzy after Matt Kemp hits for the cycle. Here’s a friendly reminder of what you may have missed while you were in shock.
No Padres player had ever hit a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game. Until last night, when Matt Kemp hit a home run in the first inning, a single in the third inning, two-out double in the seventh inning, and a triple off the right-center field wall in the ninth inning. Finally, after 45 1/2 seasons, 7,444 games, 361 times when a player came just a hit short (258 of those were a triple short) the Padres had a player hit for the cycle.
Oh, and the Padres (55-61) scored more runs than the Colorado Rockies (47-67), 9-5.
Tyson Ross (8-9, 3.40) finally received some run support in Denver, but wasn’t able to hold the lead. Ross pitched five innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Nolan Arenado hit a first-inning two-run home run with two outs.
Yohan Flande (2-1, 4.19) surrendered four runs in his six innings on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Besides Kemp’s first inning home run, Derek Norris led off the fifth inning with a solo home run. and Jedd Gyorko connected off Rafael Betancourt for a three-run h0me run with two outs in the seventh inning.
Tonight at 5:10pm PDT at Coors Field, the Padres send Andrew Cashner (4-12, 4.09) to the hill against Jon Gray (0-0, 2.70) in the second game of the three game series.
Thirteen years ago today, the Padres beat the Dodgers, 8-0, at Qualcomm Stadium. The victory improved San Diego’s record to 43-58 and pulled them to within 4 ½ games of the fourth-place Colorado Rockies. It was epic.
Also epic: Bobby Jones. The Padres employed two pitchers with that name. This is the right-hander from Fresno, not the left-hander from New Jersey (though they sometimes pitched in the same game).
Jones spent 10 years in the big leagues, his final two with the Padres. He went 15-27 with a 5.26 ERA in two seasons here. Opponents hit .303/.334/.511 against Jones, who led the National League in losses (19) and home runs allowed (37) in 2001.
What I’m trying to say is that he had trouble getting guys out, which is probably why he stopped pitching after his stint in San Diego. But he had a nice run as the precursor to Joe Blanton and even made the NL All-Star team in 1997. Hell, he one-hit the Giants in the 2000 NLDS.
Jones wasn’t very good by the time he came to the Padres. But on a warm Wednesday in July, he dominated a Dodgers team that would go on to win 92 games.
*Back in 1988, Padres fan and local San Diegan Joe Furtado, started writing a book based on Padres history up to that point. 21 Chapters later he finished it and after a few failed attempts at getting it published, put it back on his shelf never to see the light of day…..that is until now. To read the other entries, click here.
By Joe Furtado:
When the last out of the World Series is recorded, although there is only one champion, every ball club feels optimistic about their chances for the upcoming season. With the exception of the two new entries in the American League (Seattle and Toronto), the new year brought visions of World Series shares to everyone, including the Padres.
No team had improved themselves in the off-season as much as San Diego. With the addition of Gene Tenace, Rollie Fingers, and George Hendrick, and the emergence of rookies Bob Shirley, Bill Almon, Mike Champion, and Gene Richards, there were those who felt the Padres were finally ready to challenge the Dodgers and the Reds in the Western Division.