The All Outside-the-Hall Team

As I’ve written several times in recent weeks, the past seven years have seen a flurry of candidates elected to the Hall of Fame — a record 22 by the BBWAA over that span, with another five by the various Era Committees. Eleven of those 22 were first-ballot selections by the writers, while another three made it in during their final year. Of the five committee selections, three spent a full 15 years on the writers’ ballot while the other two slipped below the 5% mark and fell off.

The mix of quick selections and long-awaited ones has been dizzying, and it’s significantly altered the landscape when it comes to the best players outside the Hall of Fame — the ones who might be considered in the on-deck circle. As it’s been a long time since I took a spin around the diamond in this context, I thought it would be a good way to close the books on this year’s election cycle. What follows here is a JAWS-driven spin in which I’ve identified both the best eligible candidate and the best who’s awaiting eligibility. That’s not to say that they’re all Hallworthy, or that I’d vote for all of them; in some cases, I’m merely pointing out the dearth of strong candidates. For the “eligible” category, the player must have been retired at least five years, even if he wasn’t on a 2020 ballot, and no, he can’t be under a lifetime ban, nor can he be stuck in that awful limbo between falling off the writers’ ballot with less than 5% of the vote and awaiting his 10-year eligibility window to expire. For the “not yet eligible” category, the player may be active, retired too recently to appear on a ballot, or stuck in that post-5% limbo. As I’ve written relatively recently about many of these players — and less recently at other sites about some of them — I’m going lightning-round style, with pointers to where I’ve expounded at greater length.

Best Catchers Outside the Hall
Status Player Career Peak JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Thurman Munson 46.1 37.0 41.6 12
Not Yet Elig Joe Mauer 55.0 39.0 47.0 8
HOF Avg 54.2 35.1 44.7
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Thurman Munson

With the Modern Baseball Era Committee election of Ted Simmons — the first player to gain entry after going one-and-done on the writers’ ballot — in December, the baton is passed to his long-neglected contemporary, who made his first appearance on a small-committee ballot. Munson’s death in a plane crash at the age of 32 was a tragedy, but before he died, he assembled a Hallworthy resumé, winning MVP and Rookie of the Year honors as well as three Gold Gloves, making seven All-Star teams, serving as the starting catcher for three pennant winners and two champions, and compiling the eighth-best seven-year peak among catchers, nearly two wins above the standard. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Joe Mauer

A number one overall draft pick who made good with his hometown team, Mauer made six All-Star squads, and won three Gold Gloves and three batting titles (the only catcher who can claim that) as well as an MVP award. Though he caught just 921 games (he was forced off the position due to post-concussion problems) and spent the last five seasons of his career as a more or less league average first baseman, his seven-year peak — all from his years as catcher — ranks fifth. I think he’ll be a first-ballot selection in 2024. (MORE)

Best First Basemen Outside the Hall
Status Player Career WAR Peak WAR JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Rafael Palmeiro 71.9 38.9 55.4 12
Not Yet Elig Albert Pujols 100.3 61.7 81.0 2
HOF Avg 66.9 42.7 54.8
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Rafael Palmeiro

One of just six players to reach both the 3,000 hit and 500 home run milestones (Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez are the others), Palmeiro was thrown off the Cooperstown path when he became the first star player suspended for failing a drug test in 2005; he lasted just four years on the writers’ ballot, never topping 12.6%. His 10-year eligibility window expired with the most recent election cycle, meaning that he could appear on the 2022 Today’s Game ballot, though that spot is hardly guaranteed, and getting elected in that context appears unlikely unless or until voters become more forgiving about the PED era. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Albert Pujols

It’s been some type of agony to watch Pujols’ Angels years, but his 11-year run with the Cardinals was so good — three MVP awards, two home run titles, a batting title, three pennants and two championships — that his 86.6 WAR from his St. Louis days alone would rank fifth among all first basemen. As it is, he’s the 31st player to reach 100 WAR, ranks second among all first basemen in JAWS, and has the most hits (3,202) and home runs (656) of any player born outside the US. (MORE)

Best Second Basemen Outside the Hall
Status Player Career WAR Peak WAR JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Bobby Grich 71.1 46.4 58.7 8
Not Yet Elig Robinson Canó 69.6 50.5 60.0 7
HOF Avg 69.4 44.4 56.9
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Bobby Grich

While Lou Whitaker’s appearance on the 2020 Modern Baseball ballot made waves because it was his first since going one-and-done on the 2001 BBWAA ballot, Grich outranks Whitaker in peak and JAWS and has been waiting since 1994 for his small-committee shot. A six-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, and a key member of five postseason teams with the Orioles and Angels, he combined elite defense with power and on-base skills, and finished in his league’s top five in WAR five times, but retired at age 37, with “only” 1,833 hits, due to back problems. He’s profiled at length in The Cooperstown Casebook. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Robinson Canó

The 37-year-old Canó has legitimate shots at both 3,000 hits and the home run record for second basemen; with four years to go under contract, he’s at 2,570 hits and 308 homers as a second baseman (not including his 16 at other positions), leaving him 43 short of Jeff Kent’s total at the keystone. Nonetheless, his 2018 PED suspension almost certainly consigns his Hall candidacy to purgatory. (MORE)

Best Shortstops Outside the Hall
Status Player Career WAR Peak WAR JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Bill Dahlen 75.4 40.2 57.8 10
Not Yet Elig Alex Rodriguez 117.8 64.3 91.0 2
HOF Avg 67.2 42.9 55.1
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Bill Dahlen

The owner of the highest WAR of any non-Hall of Fame position player who began his career in the 19th century (seventh-highest among all such position players), Dahlen was a hot-headed, hard-drinking two-way shortstop who spent 20 years (1891-1911) with NL clubs in Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, and New York. Aside from his carousing, his temper, and his fondness for horse-racing, he was known for his fielding prowess, but also briefly held the NL record with a 42-game hitting streak in 1894. Dahlen never led his league in WAR, but eight times he was in the top 10. Last considered on the 2013 Pre-Integration Committee ballot, he fell two votes short of election. He figures to get another shot next winter. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Alex Rodriguez

Classified as a shortstop in JAWS because he accrued the majority of his value there (63.6 WAR through 2003), Rodriguez showed unprecedented power for the position with six straight seasons of at least 40 homers and three league leads. With 613 homers through his age-34 season, he had a plausible shot at overtaking Barry Bonds for the all-time lead, but hip injuries and a year-long PED suspension derailed him, and he collapsed so dramatically that he retired in mid-2016, four homers short of 700. While his public persona has undergone an impressive transformation since the suspension, it’s virtually impossible to envision Rodriguez getting to 75% so long as Bonds and Clemens are on the outside for PED entanglements that predate testing. (MORE)

Best Third Basemen Outside the Hall
Status Player Career WAR Peak WAR JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Scott Rolen 70.2 43.7 56.9 10
Not Yet Elig Adrián Beltré 95.6 49.3 72.5 4
HOF Avg 68.4 43.0 55.7
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Scott Rolen

An exceptional but under-appreciated two-way player, Rolen combined power and patience at the plate with some of the best glove work the hot corner has ever seen. Even with an injury-shortened career that ended at age 37, he’s third at position both in fielding runs (+175) and in Gold Gloves (eight) and, depending upon your choice of metric, belongs among the top 10 or 20 hitters for the position as well. After debuting at 10.2% in 2017, he’s gained significant ground; given his 35.3% in the most recent cycle, it’s possible to envision him being elected by the writers. My best guess is on the 2025 ballot. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Adrián Beltré

Circa late 2009, Beltré was on his way out of Seattle after a five-year run that was considered a disappointment; to that point, he’d won two Gold Gloves but had never made an All-Star team or come close to living up to his big 2004 walk year with the Dodgers. Little did anyone know he was on the precipice of a nine-year run that turned him into a no-doubt Hall of Famer and one of the game’s most beloved personalities. In Boston and Texas, he made four All-Star teams, won three Gold Gloves, and played a significant part on two pennant winners. With 3,166 hits, 477 homers, the number two ranking in fielding runs at the hot corner, and the number four ranking in JAWS, he’ll be an easy first-ballot selection come 2024. (MORE)

Best Left Fielders Outside the Hall
Status Player Career WAR Peak WAR JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Barry Bonds 162.8 72.7 117.8 1
Not Yet Elig Ryan Braun 48.2 39.2 43.7 23
HOF Avg 65.7 41.7 53.7
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Barry Bonds

The all-time home run leader, owner of the fourth-highest WAR, and the only seven-time MVP in the game’s history has seen his candidacy stall due to PED allegations that date to the pre-testing era. Though he (and Roger Clemens, who’s in a similar boat) surpassed the 50% threshold in 2017, his fifth year on the ballot, he’s gained just 6.9% in the three years since, and now appears more likely than not to age off the ballot following the 2022 cycle. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Ryan Braun

Though he’s a six-time All-Star with MVP and Rookie of the Year awards on his mantel, Braun is by far the weakest of the not-yet-eligible position players here, even before considering his 65-game suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis clinic in 2013. Of the dozens of players suspended since 2005, he’s the only one who tried to impugn the integrity of testing personnel, throwing in allegations of anti-Semitism to boot. Beset by injuries in recent years — he’s averaged 130 games since the suspension — he recently hinted at retirement following the 2020 season, the final guaranteed year of his contract. That would make him eligible for the 2026 ballot, where he will be roundly ignored.

Best Center Fielders Outside the Hall
Status Player Career WAR Peak WAR JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Andruw Jones 62.8 46.5 54.7 11
Not Yet Elig Mike Trout 72.5 65.4 69.0 5
HOF Avg 71.0 44.5 57.7
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Andruw Jones

The defensive dynamo of the Braves’ dynasty, Jones won 10 Gold Gloves, racked up the highest total in fielding runs among center fielders (+236), and bashed 434 homer to boot. Despite his traditional and advanced stats, the suddenness of his career collapse at age 31 and disappearance at age 35 have scared voters away; even with a big gain in his third year on the ballot, he’s up to only 19.4% of the vote. I don’t think he’ll get in via the writers, but along with Kenny Lofton, he’ll make for a fine small-committee candidate. And if you’re asking: Lofton, who’s one notch above Jones in the JAWS rankings, will regain eligibility with the 2024 Today’s Game ballot, while Carlos Beltrán, who’s one notch above Lofton, will hit the BBWAA ballot in 2023 but could face resistance due to his involvement in the Astros’ sign-stealing mess. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Mike Trout

Remarkably, the not-yet-eligible player closest to the top of his position’s JAWS rankings besides Pujols is a teammate who’s 11 1/2 years younger. With just eight full seasons (two of them injury-shortened) plus a cup of coffee under his belt, the 28-year-old Trout nonetheless has the third-highest peak score at the position behind only Willie Mays and Ty Cobb. When he plays his first game in 2020, he’ll technically have reached the 10-season minimum for Hall eligibility purposes, though if he sticks around until the end of his $426 million contract, he won’t hit the ballot until 2036. (MORE)

Best Right Fielders Outside the Hall
Status Player Career WAR Peak WAR JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Dwight Evans 67.1 37.3 52.2 15
Not Yet Elig Ichiro Suzuki 59.4 43.7 51.5 17
HOF Avg 71.6 42.2 56.9
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Dwight Evans

Though he won eight Gold Gloves, Evans was otherwise relatively unheralded during a 20-year career (1972-91) spent almost entirely in Boston, where he was a key cog on four playoff teams and two pennant winners. He combined power (11 seasons of at least 20 homers, and 385 total), patience (six seasons of at least 90 walks, and a career .370 on-base percentage), and excellent range with a cannon-like arm, but made just three All-Star teams, and fell off the writers’ ballot in 1999, after just three years of eligibility. He didn’t get a shot at a small-committee ballot until this past December; he placed third behind Simmons and union leader Marvin Miller, all but ensuring he’ll get another look in 2023. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Ichiro Suzuki

Though he didn’t come over from Japan until age 27, Ichiro made an instant splash stateside, winning a batting title, Rookie of the Year, and MVP awards in 2001 while helping the Mariners to a record 116 regular season wins. He went on to make All-Star teams and win Gold Gloves in each of his first 10 seasons, break the single-season record for hits (262 in 2004, when he added a second batting title), and rack up 3,089 hits. Brief cameos in 2018 and ’19 will delay his eligibility until 2025, but his singular status as an international ambassador of baseball could pave the way for another run at a unanimous vote. (MORE)

Best Starting Pitchers Outside the Hall
Status Player Career WAR Peak WAR JAWS Pos Rk
Elig Roger Clemens 139.2 65.9 102.5 3
Not Yet Elig Justin Verlander 70.9 49.4 60.2 35
HOF Avg 73.2 49.9 61.5
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Roger Clemens

Like Bonds, he’s overwhelmingly qualified on the statistical front, with seven Cy Youngs, seven ERA titles, seven league leads in WAR, the number three all-time ranking in strikeouts (4,672), and the number nine ranking in wins (354). And like Bonds, he’s been sidetracked by PED allegations from the pre-testing era. His voting has tracked closely with that of Bonds, and he’s gained just 6.9% over the past three years, putting him in danger of falling off the writers’ ballot before getting elected. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Justin Verlander

Not even a subpar World Series performance prevented Verlander from capping a season that more or less clinched his berth in Cooperstown. He became just the sixth pitcher to toss three no-hitters, the second to record both his 300th strikeout of the season and 3,000th of his career in the same game, led the league in WAR for the fourth time, and took home his long-awaited second Cy Young award. Along the way, he overtook new teammate Zack Greinke for the active lead in JAWS, albeit by just 0.1 point. Signed through next year, he’s clearly got enough in the tank to pitch much longer. (MORE)

Best Relief Pitchers Outside the Hall
Status Player WAR WPA WPA/LI Avg Pos Rk
Elig Billy Wagner 27.7 29.1 17.9 24.9 6
Not Yet Elig Joe Nathan 26.7 30.6 15.7 24.3 7
HOF Avg 39.1 30.1 20.1 29.7
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Eligible: Billy Wagner

The holder of the all-time records for strikeout rate and opponent batting average, albeit at just an 800-inning threshold, Wagner is short of the admittedly slapdash JAWS standard established by the eight enshrined relievers, but he’s sixth in my preferred measure of reliever Hallworthiness, a hybrid average of WAR, Win Probability Added (WPA), and situational or context-neutral wins (WPA/LI), directly behind five Hall of Famers and well ahead of the other three. After lagging on the ballot with less than 20% in each of his first four years, he vaulted to 31.7% this past cycle, and has a real shot at eventual election. (MORE)

Not Yet Eligible: Joe Nathan

The same 2003 trade that sent Francisco Liriano from the Giants to the Twins as part of a three-player package for A.J. Pierzynski also included Nathan, who to that point was a 29-year-old setup man with one career save. Nathan blossomed in Minnesota and pitched until he was nearly 42, making six All-Star teams, posting six seasons with a sub-2.00 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning, and ranking among the league’s top five in saves seven times. He’s eighth in career saves (377) and seventh in the aforementioned hybrid stat, but he doesn’t have quite the hooks that Wagner does, and could languish when he becomes eligible in 2022. (MORE)

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Brooklyn-based Jay Jaffe is a senior writer for FanGraphs, the author of The Cooperstown Casebook (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) and the creator of the JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score) metric for Hall of Fame analysis. He founded the Futility Infielder website (2001), was a columnist for Baseball Prospectus (2005-2012) and a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated (2012-2018). He has been a recurring guest on MLB Network and a member of the BBWAA since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe.

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TKDC
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Member
TKDC

I wonder how Hall voters will treat the pitchers that only indirectly benefited from the banging scheme? Verlander May have lost his clinch status.

OddBall Herrera
Member
OddBall Herrera

I equate this with deflate-gate, where there was plenty of drama, and the occasional hard-liner or anti-Patriots fan likes to trot it out, but it didn’t take very long for people to just stop caring. It’s just not sexy enough to generate much lasting enthusiasm for a protest vote, particularly for players who were only tangentially benefiting – for example, if Fangraphs predicts that the Astros got something like 5 wins over the season from sign stealing, how much can you really say Verlander’s HOF case is built on that?

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC

My thought was really only about the character clause, not artificially diminishing Verlander’s accomplishments. Presumably the only statistical advantage Verlander could gain would be in wins. And if Verlander got one more pitcher win because of the banging scheme, I don’t think that will be a difference maker at all.

Also, the Patriots cheating, much like the Astros, has more of a cumulative effect on perception. But the public doesn’t really care about cheating in football like they do in baseball. Look at steroids.

Also, I don’t think you know any Patriots fans. Weirdly, they seem to have a harder time letting go than the haters, despite winning the super bowl.

JohnThacker
Member
JohnThacker

“But the public doesn’t really care about cheating in football like they do in baseball. Look at steroids.”

Conversely, look at HOFer Gaylord Perry. Perry made his (supposed) throwing the spitter and otherwise doctoring the ball into a joke that everyone just accepted as a wacky amusement. Corked bats have also been a tradition in baseball. On the extreme side, no one thinks that George Brett should be excluded from the HOF for the Pine Tar Incident, even if he technically broke the rules. Nor would anyone care about non-technologically aided sign stealing. (Throwing a game, OTOH, is clearly malum in se, unlike technologically aided sign stealing and steroids, which are just malum prohibitum.)

What tends to happen in baseball is that something new that violate the rules or find a loophole in them (or even new things that don’t, like bat flipping, but are just new) inspire outrage, but after enough decades people don’t care anymore and they’re “part of the game.” If you were the first person to come up with the Baltimore Chop, people would be outraged (particularly if you watered the infield to take advantage of it), but now it’s part of the rich history of baseball.

Rich
Member
Rich

JohnThacker,

I have a feeling that video-aided sign stealing isn’t going to follow that particular pattern. I’ll cede the examples given, but this is more in line with throwing games than just trying to get a slight edge.

Handsome Wes
Member
Handsome Wes

I don’t know if it’s fair to compare across sports… I don’t know why, but it seems like people care more about baseball transgressions. I mean – Pete Rose gambled on baseball and he’s a pariah; Paul Hornung and Alex Karras did in football and they’re in the Hall of Fame. Baseball doesn’t have a stellar record on race relations… but unlike the NFL, they never codified “you can’t sign black players”. Ray Lewis was fined for obstruction of justice in a murder trial, and he’s a Hall of Famer as well.

hombremomento
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hombremomento

OJ killed two people and is a Hall of Famer

Cave Dameron
Member
Cave Dameron

Allegedly.

Rich
Member
Rich

Cave Dameron,

No, he’s definitely in the HOF. No allegedly about it.

kevbren849
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kevbren849

the glove didn’t fit

TheGrandslamwich
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TheGrandslamwich

Does the football HoF have an integrity clause?

Vegas Baby
Member
Vegas Baby

Wait, what?

I thought OJ was “not guilty” of those killings?

Rich
Member
Rich

Vegas Baby,

There’s a reason that the justice system doesn’t use the word “innocent” in any situation. He was found not guilty, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, which of course everyone knows he did.

LenFuego
Member
LenFuego

Not guilty, but civilly liable.

FranklinP
Member
FranklinP

“I don’t know why, but it seems like people care more about baseball transgressions”

High-horse is easier to mount, “sanctity of the game” easier to pontificate on when the sport you like isn’t 22 people assaulting each other for 4 quarters.

“Pete Rose gambled on baseball and he’s a pariah; Paul Hornung and Alex Karras did in football and they’re in the Hall of Fame.”

Rose bet on his own games, denied it all til 2004, after which a bunch of his notebooks were found revealing the true scale of his extracurriculars. Karras copped to gambling on NFL games and was suspended/reinstated. Football didn’t have a Black Sox-style scandal, which made gambling on the Game the Unforgivable Sin. Also he was on “Webster.”

” Baseball doesn’t have a stellar record on race relations”

Congratulations “Understatement”! Someone has crafted the perfect example of you.

“but unlike the NFL, they never codified “you can’t sign black players.”

The International League set the post-Cap Anson hissy fit precedent of passing a resolution barring African-American players. after first releasing Fleet Walker and his brother in 1887. It is not a credit to Baseball that ownership signed no Black players for the next 60 years without an official “you can’t sign black players” edict from the League. The practice was already so codified, any resolution would have been “way ahead of ya, barrier’s already up” superfluous.

Lanidrac
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Lanidrac

Who counts a league that’s been defunct for over a century? If it were truly codified, then Branch Rickey would’ve had a much harder time arranging for Jackie Robinson to sign with the Dodgers.

drummie
Member
drummie

People loose their stuff over any major leaguer suspected of steroids, NFL no one bats an eyelash as it.

n8clark
Member
n8clark

A little less than fair to ray lewis, he was a material witness that wouldn’t cooperate for one questioning, then he was charged with murder, falsely, to force him to roll over, he did go as a prosecution witness where he flipped on his buddy’s, who were acquitted, they used self defense as a plea, it worked and they hate ray to this day. He testified against his former friend, so more of a snitch.

zurzles
Member
Member
zurzles

It won’t make the slightest difference

Pepper Martin
Member
Pepper Martin

Unlike PED’s, the Astros’ cheating was the type of quintessential baseball cheating that Hall voters have had basically no problems with. Gaylord Perry is in the Hall despite openly admitting to doctoring baseballs; the 1894 Orioles have SIX Hall of Famers despite open, rampant, and obvious cheating with various on-field chicanery. It might have cost Carlos Beltran his job, but it will have absolutely no impact on anyone’s Hall of Fame case.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

It won’t have any effect on Verlander’s candidacy, but Beltran’s not getting in via the writers.

He blatantly cheated, after the commissioner publicly announced that what he was doing was cheating, and he continued to do so through the playoffs and World Series.

There’s no ambiguity here, either…especially since there’s not a ton of daylight between him and someone like Dwight Evans.

martyvan90
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martyvan90

The Athletic had an interesting article yesterday from an Astros fan who amazingly listened to many hours of trash can banging and unfortunately CB came out on top.

Lanidrac
Member
Lanidrac

True, but that may just be because nobody enforced the character clause at all until the last couple decades. After all, there are amphetamine abusers in the Hall as well. Now that the clause is being enforced, it could very well be extended to other types of cheating by the voters, just as some of them have extended it to Schilling’s off-field character issues despite historically never caring about that, either.

olethros
Member
olethros

Hell, there are steroid users in the Hall, too. Steroids were a huge part of the game from at least the late 50s. Congress first got involved in 1973, and at least one player from that era has gone on the record claiming that roughly half of the league was using back then.

By the late 80s pretty much everyone knew that steroids were rampant in MLB, but no one gave a shit until SI broke the BALCO story with Game of Shadows.

The Duke
Member
The Duke

Tom house saying it doesn’t make it true. Not one person has ever supported that statement. He’s just talking shit

Rich
Member
Rich

The Astros’ cheating cannot be compared to any of the types of cheating you’ve described, but it still won’t have an impact on anyone’s HOF case. It’s going to be a black mark on the whole 2017 team, but as a team. Your examples are terrible support for the point, however.

32roland
Member
32roland

Have any position players been harmed because they indirectly benefited from PED use by others on their team? For example, plenty of players probably have more runs or RBIs than they would otherwise because they played in lineups with Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, etc. I’ve never heard of anyone getting penalized for such an indirect benefit though, so I doubt Verlander and similarly positioned pitchers will face any sort of backlash.

kevbren849
Member
kevbren849

I agree with you that it likely won’t affect Verlander’s chances, but I think there’s a difference in the Astro’s cheating being on an organizational level. A guy injecting steroids in his butt wasn’t doing it in the dugout where the whole team and cameras can see him. There was plausible deniability that you didn’t know your teammate who hit 40 homeruns was juicing. You can’t pretend Verlander didn’t know what was going on.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC

A player could claim they didn’t know McGwire was roiding up. There is somewhat plausible deniability.

On the other hand, strong players and I’d say Latin players with no connection to steroids may be harmed in the voting, like Bagwell or Andruw.

The Duke
Member
The Duke

In the PED world you may have suspected but you didn’t likely know. In the case of the Astros everyone on the bench knew. If Beltran and Cora were excommunicated what makes you think springer, Altuve, Verlander won’t have any repercussions. Unlike PEDs I suspect more players will talk over time and the story will get worse not better.

Maybe verlander gets a pass but he looks a lot like bonds now. A guy who had a hall of fame career but then decided to cheat – look how much the last three years have burnished his resume. He’s arguably the biggest beneficiary of the cheating and he knew it was going on.

NetflixnRichHill
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Member
NetflixnRichHill

Yeah, Verlander’s OPS has skyrocketed the last couple years….

Rich
Member
Rich

I’m afraid to ask about the mental gymnastics that would allow someone to leap from stealing the other’s pitchers signs to some sort of a benefit to Verlander. If you’re using ill-gotten wins as the measure, you are more clueless to the state of baseball today than any fan has a right to be. Verlander’s not striking out 300+ in a season because his lineup knows what the other team is throwing…

hombremomento
Member
hombremomento

Uh what? What stretches are you doing for these mental gymnastics? Verlander has always been good, but in Houston he just got a little better.

n8clark
Member
n8clark

Edgertronic cameras and spin rate fella, don’t remember him for his hitting,

n8clark
Member
n8clark

Lots of arguements that steroids were a clubhouse issue more than an individual issue, workout buddies and teammates. As opposed to 300 individuals buying pills from 300 different drug dealers,