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  1. Interesting comparisons. I tend to think that Rice should not have been inducted, Raines is borderline, and measuring either of them against Henderson is like comparing that cute girl in biology to Heidi Klum.

    Comment by Dorsey — July 27, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

  2. I totally agree with you. Rice probably deserved it, but he only got the extra votes because it was his last year. Raines will get in eventually.

    Comment by Seth — July 27, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

  3. It’s too bad we don’t have UZR going back to the 70s, because I’m sure that Raines would only look better in comparison to Rice.

    Comment by Adam — July 27, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

  4. Agree completely. Me and my friend were discussing last week how Raines is so overlooked and was basically a poor man’s Rickey Henderson.

    Comment by JohnF — July 27, 2009 @ 8:25 pm

  5. Raines and Dawson both deserve to make it in. Hopefully they’ll make it next year.

    Comment by Justin — July 27, 2009 @ 9:21 pm

  6. raines will unfortunately continue to get overlooked for some time i feel. i’m pretty sure big mac got more votes than him this year.

    he doesn’t have hendu’s counting stats but their slash lines are so close it’s pretty ridiculous. i’m also pretty sure that raines has a higher career stolen base % to boot.

    Comment by aaron — July 27, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

  7. Tim Raines> Jim Rice. Rice shouldn’t be in the hall of fame.

    Comment by brian recca — July 27, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  8. One problem is that he simply played in an era with so many similar players, he tends to get overlooked. Sure he led the league in steals for a few years but he never stole a hundred like Rickey or Vince Coleman. He couldn’t match the batting average of some other top of the order types like Boggs or Gwynn. And he never had Eric Davis’s power. And that’s without even mentioning one of the others in a laundry list of guys with (at least some) similar skillsets like Willie Wilson, Willie McGee, Lonnie Smith, Gary Reedus, and Paul Molitor.

    Comment by Joe Twinsfan — July 27, 2009 @ 10:44 pm

  9. As many have said, Raines deserves to be in, Rice doesn’t. But neither is Rickey Henderson.

    Comment by Alex — July 28, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  10. I think it was absolutely appalling Rice got in. That “Most feared hitter of his generation!” crap was just mind-numbing to hear.

    Imagine if Blyleven or Raines had the Red Sox PR department behind them.

    Comment by Nick — July 28, 2009 @ 12:41 am

  11. It is hard to believe how much you hear about Rice being the best power hitter of his era, considering what Mike Schmidt was doing throughout Rice’s career. The “most feared” argument is even more annoying because there seems to be an implicit understanding that you can’t realistically say he was the best at anything, so an ambiguous term that doesn’t really have any concrete meaning is substituted.

    I think the whole Rice-Raines comparison is an enlightening illustration of where a lot of the biases in perception of player value lie. Hopefully Raines will someday get his due, maybe as these kinds of evaluations begin to enter the thought process of the voters (either through voter turnover or by increased exposure of the stats over time).

    Comment by Kincaid — July 28, 2009 @ 2:48 am

  12. I never REALLY thought Raines should or would ever get in, but since I rank Raines way above Rice, and now Rice is (undeservedly) in there, I have to support the argument that he needs to be in the HOF. He’s not the greatest ever, but there’s such an indifference toward him that it’s hard not to argue, especially when lesser players like Dawson and Rice are getting in.

    Even now, when old fashioned sportswriters/talk radio personalities talk about 2010 HOF prospects, they mention Alomar (should/will get in), Blyleven (should/won’t get in), and Dawson (shouldn’t/will get in). Not much mention of Raines at all.

    Comment by Drew — July 28, 2009 @ 7:58 am

  13. If you want retarded arguments against, look no further than Tim Raines.

    Some see him as a Vince Coleman type. I guess being a fast, black outfielder means your only value is stolen bases, because that’s the only place you can say Coleman belongs in the same category as Raines.

    Others see a lack of standout stats, because many of the BBWAA cannot for the life of them see a player wholistically (ex: Bobby Grich). They’d much rather get giggity to Andre Dawson’s 300-300 status (just like Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley!)

    My favorite one is that he was “not as good as Henderson”. Let’s just kick out 95% of the Hall of Fame based on that criteria.

    Comment by Joe R — July 28, 2009 @ 8:14 am

  14. It really just makes me mad. It’s no fair that something that should be nothing but a pure meritocracy becomes a campaign, and that most writers go off perseption rather than fact. If I wanted, I could probably mold an argument to get Juan Pierre in the Hall of Fame.

    Comment by Joe R — July 28, 2009 @ 8:16 am

  15. Just use FRAA. Raines absolutely KILLS Rice.

    I’m a Red Sox fan btw. I know for a fact the only reason Rice got in was because media talking heads convinced other talking heads that he wasn’t getting votes out of some dislike of him rather than performance. By the time Rice was inducted, it wasn’t even about the facts anymore, or the resume, it was a tug of war.

    Comment by Joe R — July 28, 2009 @ 8:19 am

  16. Oh, and although he wasn’t awful for his era, please don’t compare Willie Wilson to Tim Raines. Willie racked up a lot of cool counting stats, but wasn’t the same type of player at all.

    Even using traditional stats, we have:

    Raines .294/.385/.425
    Wilson .285/.326/.376

    Comment by Drew — July 28, 2009 @ 8:25 am

  17. And back to lumping Raines in with average-ish players based on what the old guard told us.

    BBWAA members think this way. it’s sad.

    Comment by Joe R — July 28, 2009 @ 8:29 am

  18. Life like baseball has a lot to do with luck. People don’t like to admit it but it’s true. If anything Raines was one of the most unlucky players in baseball history.

    If 5 or 6 different things would have happened He would probably be thought of more highly than he is at the current time. Most of them surround the labor problems of 1981-1995 and playing in pitcher’s parks. He was probably more negatively effected Labor strife them than any other player.

    1-1981: The strike cost Raines a shot at the all-time record for steals and cost Raines base hits to add to his career total. Rick Monday cost Raines an early shot to shine on a national stage in the World Series.

    2-Raines had most of his success in the baseball Siberia of Montreal.

    3-Something happened to the Stade Olympique during 1984-1985 because the park factors suddenly drop quite a bit, some people think it’s the retractable roof that was being installed. These lower park factors unfortunately take place during his best years.

    4-1987-He missed the entire month of April because of collusion and still has one of his best seasons. The month off cost him more hits. He probably wins the MVP that year if he played in April, he probably should have won it just on principle.

    5-1994-1995: he missed more time because of the strike. The time off cost him more hits.

    6-He basically played in pitcher’s parks all his life (Le Stade Olypique, Comisky park 2) plus he missed time because of labor problems ’81, 87, 94, 95. Put it together and that probably cost him a shot at 3000 hits.

    Put Tim Raines in a neutral park like St. Louis and start his career ten years earlier and he probably gets 3000 hits and has a lifetime .310 average and is a first ballot HOF.

    Comment by John Q — July 28, 2009 @ 10:13 am

  19. I’ve always though of Jim Rice comparable to George Foster.

    Compare their careers on fan-graphs.

    Comment by John Q — July 28, 2009 @ 10:20 am

  20. I always enjoyed watching Raines play when he was with the White Sox and he was one of my dad’s favorite players as well. He just didn’t play in the right era, a good defender who know how to take a walk and also had decent pop and good speed. A real 5 tool player that while not exceptional in anything was very good across the board.

    I really hope Rock gets the praise he deserves from the voters someday.

    Comment by Matt — July 28, 2009 @ 10:29 am

  21. I will say that this article motivated me to go JoeBaiting on Joe Morgan’s chat today.

    Thank you fangraphs for helping me add consistency to my day.

    Comment by Joe R — July 28, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  22. Career wOBA of Tony Gwynn: .371
    Career wOBA of Tim Raines: .374

    Except for Molitor, who is in the HoF, none of the players you mention even come close to Raines:

    Comparing Raines to Molitor and Gwynn gives a solid argument for his inclusion.

    Comment by Davidceisen — July 28, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  23. I bet Raines is hurt by the fact he was pretty much done as an everyday player by age 34.

    But jeeze, look at the body of work pre-age 30 of Raines. He was probably close to HoF caliber just from that.

    Comment by Joe R — July 28, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

  24. Not sure about Dawson. I mean I guess you can say he was a good defender, but FRAA says he was below average. He did get run out there a lot on defense even when he was aging and ineffective, so his FRAR of 254 (or 256, I forget) may be more fair to use. It’s about the same as Brock’s. Dawson was the better young player as evidenced here:

    So I guess if you think Brock was a good HoF selection, than Dawson should be in, too. Other than that, Dawson is marginal at best.

    Comment by Joe R — July 28, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

  25. I said it before in here, Rice wasn’t even about the stats in the end. In the end, the Boston media (CHG especially) had pretty much convinced everyone that Rice’s exclusion was based off a non-Bostonian MSM disdain of Rice. Rice was a clear battle of subjectivity, nothing else.

    Comment by Joe R — July 28, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

  26. Total Zone Rating.

    Comment by Victor — July 28, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

  27. I’m not saying they were, I’m just saying that a lot of the BBWAA writers are lazy and/or don’t have a firm grasp on player analysis and in their minds Rock doesn’t stand out because he played in an era with so many similar players. To be clear, I am most definitely on the Raines-for-HOF bandwagon.

    Comment by Joe Twinsfan — July 28, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

  28. Rice went into the Hall primarily because of his prolific 1977-1979 seasons. Except those numbers were grossly overinflated due to Fenway.

    Home: .321/.375/.683 27 HRs
    Road: .319 /.377/.509 12 HRs

    Home: .361/.416/.690 28 HRs
    Road: .269 /.325/.512 18 HRs

    Home: .369 /.425/.728 27 HRs
    Road: .283/.337/.472 12 HRs

    Comment by Rutherford — July 28, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  29. Good call on Foster. In fact, it is interesting to compare the career road stats of various players from that era.

    Rice career road stats:
    4150 ABs. 174 HRs. .277/.330/.459

    George Foster career road stats:
    3568 ABs. 164 HRs. .279/.338/,474

    Don Baylor career road stats:
    4240 ABs. 182 HRs. .267/.347/.449

    Dave Kingman career road stats:
    3380 ABs. 225 HRs. .234/.299/.478

    I am not suggesting that Foster, Baylor, or Kingman belong in the Hall. I wanted to illustrate that on the road, Rice was no more of a feared slugger than this threesome.

    Comment by Rutherford — July 28, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  30. Good call Rutherford, especially with the splits.

    The splits just make the case crystal clear. The writers don’t like War or Warp or win shares or any other saber stat but they could look at the splits and see the truth.

    I’ve never quite understood how the writers can understand that Coors field inflates numbers and not understand that Fenway does the same thing to a lesser degree.

    I’ve actually heard Rice and some baseball writers talk about How HARD it was for Rice to hit at Fenway and that Fenway actually HURT his overall numbers because of his batting stance or some other such nonsense.

    Sometimes I think a lot of these writers just decided in 1979 that Rice was a HOF and that’s it.

    It’s interesting that both Maury Allen and Ritter and Honing both had Foster and Rice among the top 100 players of all time in the 1980′s top 100 books. I think Foster was ranked 72nd in the Allen book.

    It’s interesting that in 2009 the idea of Foster as a HOF is laughable and Rice gets selected. The BBWA kept saying that Rice had 3 home run titles and 2 Rbi titles. Yet Foster had 2 home run titles and 3 RBI titles and is condsidered a joke HOF candidate by the writers. I’m not saying Foster belongs in the HOF but in reality I think Foster and Rice are very similar and about the 250th best position players of all time. And I think Foster just points out the terrible job done by the writers.

    So the writers correctly identify Foster as not worthy but somehow Rice is worthy? Where’s the consistency.

    Another interesting case will be when Moises Alou comes up.

    Alou: .303/.369/.516
    Rice: .298/.352/.502

    Both LF’s. I gurantee that Alou doesn’t stay on the ballot more than a year. The writers will probably come up with some B.S. like Alou wasn’t feared enough.

    Again I don’t believe Alou belongs but it just points out what a bad selection Rice was.

    Going back to Raines who really deserves to be in the HOF:

    Another point on Raines is that he became a part-time player too early in his career. So that probably hurts his perception with the east-coast media who only started to pay attention to him when he was with the Yankees in 1996.

    Comment by John Q — July 28, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  31. The tenth-placed batter all time in wRC doesn’t get in? Really? And that’s not even mentioning his other achievements

    Comment by SYH — July 29, 2009 @ 1:06 am

  32. Lou Gehrig?

    Comment by Kincaid — July 29, 2009 @ 3:44 am

  33. Wait, are you talking about Rickey? If that’s the case, Alex isn’t saying Rickey doesn’t deserve to be in, he’s saying that neither Raines nor Rice is on a level with Henderson, that Henderson is easily above both (i.e. “neither [one] is Rickey Henderson”). Rice is the only one Alex is saying doesn’t belong in the Hall.

    Comment by Kincaid — July 29, 2009 @ 4:13 am

  34. It’s this simple: 90% of media types decide who they think is a Hall of Famer, then build an argument.

    Very rarely do they say something like what Rosenthal said about Dawson, that it’s not entirely fair to crucify his low OBP because in his era, managers and players weren’t wise to the value of walks and Dawson did what he was supposed to do well, or in short, judge him by his era.

    I still disagree, but I mean, that stuff at least makes sense.
    Most just halfass their ballot.

    Comment by Joe R — July 29, 2009 @ 8:29 am

  35. Raines had a higher career stolen base percentage.846 than henderson .807. Somebody alluded to park factor. For comparative purposes raines had a career ops+ of 124 to Henderson’s 127. You could say that I am cherry picking stats but you can’t argue the merit of success rate or a hitting metric scaled for league and park factor. interesting tidbit: HOF Lou Brock had a sb success rate of .759 and a career ops+ of 109. Yes he stole 118 bases in 1974, but that doesn’t mean he was very good at stealing bases. Also, Brock played in an era before starters worked with stopwatches or streamlined their wacky windups. Maybe Raines’ omission has something to do with his admitted cocaine use or the fact that he went unnoticed playing his better years in Canada.

    Comment by james k — July 29, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

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