Is Andruw Jones A Hall-Of-Famer?

I wrote a piece for ESPN Insider today that talks about defensive metrics and Hall Of Fame voting. The main example used in the story is Andruw Jones, who you might be shocked to learn has accumulated +70.5 WAR in his career, putting him in a dead-even tie with Derek Jeter. Of course, Jeter did most of his damage with the stick, while Jones has racked up a huge percentage of his career value on defense, and there is usually far more acceptance of offensive value than defense value.

I’m curious, though, what our readers think, given what you know about Jones’ career, and, even with his lofty WAR ratings, would you support his candidacy for the Hall Of Fame? Poll after the jump.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


223 Responses to “Is Andruw Jones A Hall-Of-Famer?”

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  1. Dingers says:

    Yes. There’s two people who deserve to be in the Hall for defense, and that’s Andruw Jones and Mark Belanger.

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    • Da says:

      Not to mention, unlike Belanger, Jones was a ridiculously good hitter for most of his career too. The HoF loves HR.

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    • fghcfgv says:

      kvhnhhg

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    • Locke says:

      Honestly surprised that the voting isn’t more in Jones’ favor. Basically undisputed top 2 best fielding CF of all time, 400 HRs, 115 wRC+, 10 Gold Gloves, 5 All Star games. If he had a ring I feel like this poll would be another 20-30% in his favor… and that fact is why I hate HoF voting.

      We, and the actual HoF voters, vote more on circumstance as opposed to the actual player and criteria.

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  2. opisgod says:

    He spent an entire decade with the reputation of being the best center fielder in baseball and is known as one of the best defenders of his era. 10 Gold gloves in a row, will approach 500 home runs dependent on career length; regardless, the voters will put him in even if all he has to do is trudge through two or three more seasons.

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  3. GZ says:

    Nooooo. Don’t we need to wait a decade or two to figure out if defensive metrics are accurate before we start putting people in the hall based on them?

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    • sourbob says:

      I understand the skepticism toward new defensive metrics, but Jones’ defense isn’t exactly a borderline case. Scouting reports, reputation, traditional stats, and even the naked eye have him as one of the greatest defensive outfielders who ever played the game. Time and better understanding of defensive evaluation may alter where he ranks on that list, but I don’t think there are many people in the world who would argue that he belongs on that list.

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        Exactly, which is why Ozzie Smith is a better comparison than Jeter. Smith had a .262 average and 96 career wRC+.

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      • sourbob says:

        This is exactly what I am saying. Maybe he’s the 1st or 2nd best defensive outfielder who ever lived or maybe he’s the 4th or 5th best. But in either case, can’t you add a 9/10 year monster peak as one of the best players in the game, 400+ home runs, and all of his various awards and hardware and make a pretty substantial HoF case for him?

        Again, I really feel he’s being underrated, all-time, based on the sour taste from his last few lousy seasons. But had he died in a plane crash instead of suddenly becoming ordinary, he’d have much more support. The body of work is there.

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      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        DavidCEisen, Jones’ career wRC+ is 115 . . . he’s not really another Ozzie.

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      • PL says:

        Andruw Jones is/was a MUCH better player than Jim Rice, who is in the HOF, ergo, Jones deserves to be in.

        One thing thats being overlooked here is if Bagwell and his 83.9 WAR don’t get in because he hit HR’s in the roid era, Jones might fall into that category too.

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      • Jason B says:

        “Andruw Jones is/was a MUCH better player than Jim Rice, who is in the HOF, ergo, Jones deserves to be in.”

        Noooo…Jesus Lord no. You don’t use previous errors and compound them by making others just like it. Not saying an election of Jones would be an error, but you don’t set the bar at the lowest possible level and let in everyone who clears it.

        A MUCH better question is, is Jones (or any candidate) like an *average* hall of famer at his given position, not is he better than the *worst possible* HOF’er at his position.

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    • vivalajeter says:

      I agree completely. If his WAR is overstated by 10 over the course of his career, that could have an enormous impact. I’m skeptical that WAR really works in extreme cases (excellent and horrible defensive players). Before voting for him, I’d have to be convinced that his defense was really that much better than everyone else’s.

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      • mowill says:

        Bingo.

        The effects are vastly overstated on the high and low end of defensive metrics.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I think you can take AJ’s defensive metrics, and regress them to the mean, and he still has enough WAR to get into the discussion … although whether his WAR is 70 or 60 (as you say) can be ALL the difference. THAT’s the KEY.

        Keither Hernandez has 60 WAR, an MVP, 2 rings, a great rep as leader, best defensive player at his position, and is on the outside looking in.

        As for AJ, 10 Gold Gloves pretty much solves it from a HoF and writers perspective, though. It really doesn’t matter what advanced defensive metrics show. Writers are not going to accept Anduw Jones as a “league average” fielder … and I’m not sure they should.

        Jones is going to struggle in HoF voting, because so much of his WAR comes from defensive value and replacement level (54/70 = 77%). See Mex for another example.

        Comparing Jones to Jeter is misleading because so much of Jeter’s “value” is wrapped in rings and leadership.

        Andruw Jones could be much more valuable than Mex, or he could be the same value in a different position.

        It’ll be interesting. Because AJones leads to JEdmonds who leads to LWalker. There’ll be a whole host of 60-70 WAR OF’s coming up in the HoF discussion.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Keither Hernandez has 60 WAR, an MVP, 2 rings, a great rep as leader, best defensive player at his position, and is on the outside looking in.

        As for AJ, 10 Gold Gloves pretty much solves it from a HoF and writers perspective, though. It really doesn’t matter what advanced defensive metrics show. Writers are not going to accept Anduw Jones as a “league average” fielder … and I’m not sure they should.

        Maybe a contradiction there. I was thinking Hernandez’s primary value was his glove, wheras Jones was a big bat at a defensive position. That may be wrong.

        However, Mex was worth 307 BRuns, Jones only 160.
        Jones gets 28 WAR just for playing CF. Mex gets 16 for playing 1B.
        Jones gets 27 WAR for defense, Mex gets 12 WAR.

        Sabermetrically, Jones’s value is highly dependent on the reliability of defensive metrics. It literally decides whgether he’s a 70 or 60 WAR player.

        I was thnking it wouldn’t matter because the writers would see GG’s and that would be that. However, they see GG’s for Hernandez and other stuff, and it’s not enough. Mex was better withthe bat than Jones.

        So, AJ, may be on the outside looking in.

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      • Mr. Sanchez says:

        Then you never saw him. From someone who did on a regular basis, it was an absolute treat. No one can get a jump on a ball like Andruw, and no one made the spectacular catch look more routine than he did. He was an absolute magician in the field the way he made hits disappear.

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    • The Ancient Mariner says:

      8 year peak, really, because he had that one year in there where he was only average with the bat — but for 8 years he was an above-average to great hitter and easily the best CF in the game. He doesn’t have as much to fill around that as one would like, but that’s a solid Hall of Fame career.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Peak > than consistently very good.

        Ask Raines and Whitaker.

        Sandberg gets into the HoF for a slightly less peak and less defense.

        Being the best CF in the game for a decade should be enough, wouldn’t ya think? Who care what they did before or after that. Best at your position for a decade.

        If true, that should be enough.

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  4. Zach Sanders says:

    Jones is borderline for whether or not he deserves to get in, but unless he reaches the 500 HR benchmark, the voters aren’t going to let to let him.

    .256 career batting average? Forget about it.

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      The problem is that for the rest of his career he isn’t going to accumulate many UZR-related wins. If he spends the rest of his carrer hitting 20-25 home runs a year as a DH, it might be more difficult for him to make it. If he plays in the field he might lose some career UZR.

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    • Donnie says:

      For all the sturm & drang – you hit it on head, pal. Well said. Stick a fork in him….

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  5. Mark M says:

    Gz: but in this case, the advanced metrics and scouts all agree that his defense was phenomenal. A more interesting case might involve a guy with lukewarm scouting reports and an awesome uzr.

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  6. piper108 says:

    Baseball-reference.com has him down for 59.9 career WAR, which is pretty different from the 70.5 Fangraphs has. Once again, that by itself somewhat demonstrates how much of an unknown it still is in valuing defense.

    I don’t know, however, if the difference is all in defense or not as baseball-reference does have Jones second all-time in defensive WAR, and I can’t find such a breakdown on this site.

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    • Austin says:

      Baseball-reference uses a higher replacement level than Fangraphs does, so there are fewer rWAR in the league than there are fWAR. Basically, you can’t just look at them side-by-side straight up – 60 rWAR is a very strong Hall of Fame case, more so than 60 fWAR.

      Jones is definitely borderline for me. I have enough confidence in the defensive metrics that I don’t think that they can possibly be overstating his value by more than half; i.e., I might be comfortable looking at his Hall of Fame case with his 272 defensive RAR replaced by 180 RAR, but nothing lower. That, of course, would put him just above 60 WAR, which is on the low end of legitimate Hall of Famers. I do think that I would still vote for him because I see enormous value in one area (offense, defense, baserunning, whatever) as being a good tiebreaker.

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      • Joe R says:

        Yes, the ole “Andre Dawson” level of just good enough.

        I mean if we want to use Dawson as a barometer and look at just a proven commodity, which is hitting.

        Dawson had a 120 wRC+ over 10,769 PA, and the average hitter (100 wRC+) generated 0.125 runs per plate appearance.

        Jones had a 115 wRC+ over 8,173 PA, when the average hitter generated 0.124 runs per plate apperance (less? really? hm, weird). So whatever, the same.

        So it’s pretty clear that Dawson was a better hitter. But, does one thing Jones was 100-150 runs better defensively than Dawson? If yes, then I think he has to go in.

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  7. Norm says:

    I’ve honestly lost a bit of confidence in fielding metrics after following along the Inside the Book blog discussions.
    How about adding wOBA Graphs so we can compare players offensively? Is that possible, to compare players from different era’s using wOBA?

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  8. Scout Finch says:

    Let’s get over the Hall-of-really-good-for-a-stretch and remember it is the Hall of Fame. Subjectivity is part of the deal. Andruw Jones doesn’t quite pass the sniff test. The .256 BA doesn’t help. The main obstacle is the career trajectory. His rocket ran out of fuel.

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    • Nathaniel Dawson says:

      As far as I know, he hasn’t retired yet, and has a chance to add to his resume in the future.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Yeah, but WAR accumulated at this point shouldn’t help his HoF chances, should it? I don’t want a string of 2 WAR seasons to nudge him into the HoF. That seem contradictory.

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      • Cidron says:

        You’re right Nathaniel. He could go out and lower his batting avg, and maybe hit a handful of homers, while doin DH duty. I am not sure he is .. quite a top flight CF anymore (at least an everyday type). His resume is filled already. What he does now, isnt going to change minds.

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      • Joe R says:

        @CircleChange11

        No one ever makes the point that they don’t want hits that Pete Rose accumulated for 6 seasons when he was awful to be included in discussing his greatness.

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  9. aweb says:

    I see him as similar to Albert Belle – huge peak, and so far, absolutely no career end where they accumulate counting stats. Discounting defense value as not being equivalent to offensive value when it comes to the HoF, in general.

    If Jones hadn’t had one of the worst seasons imaginable in 2008, the last few years would be seen as natural decline from greatness and he’d still have a fulltime job somewhere, but every time he slumps now, people figure he’s done. It’s not likely true, except that by not giving him a chance to get 600 ABs again, it’ll look that way.

    ~.800 OPS and good corner OF defense is exactly what you should have expected to get from him in his early-mid 30s, and that seems to be what he offers, except no one is willing to chance a total collapse again.

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    • JRoth says:

      I think this captures why no one (popularly) thinks of AJ as a “future HoFer”: 2008 was SO bad that it infected the previous few seasons, and in retrospect he started to seem like a guy with a shorter peak than he really had (.314 wOBA in 2007 is pretty weak as well). I think if you asked an AL fan who grew up on TBS to compare Dale Murphy and Andruw Jones, they’d put them in roughly the same category – slick-defending CF with some great offensive years, but then a precipitous decline. It’s a misperception, but I think it’s out there, and it’s primarily due to 2008. Lots of HoFers have awful seasons, but they’re usually tacked on at the end, as the player approaches 40 (most famously Mays, of course, but lots of others). No one blames a 38-y.o. for hanging on a bit too long; but for a 31-y.o. to put up a -0.9 season (in 75 games, no less)… that doesn’t seem Hall of Famish.

      That said, I think he’ll get a low total his first year or two on the ballot, then build momentum as people begin to state his case (this would be the Dawson model). He just needs to pick the right year to retire – if his first year is on a ballot like the current one, he could get his ass kicked and then *that* would harm the perception of him: “Well, if only 10% of voters liked him his first year on the ballot….”

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  10. Ratwar says:

    Andruw Jones is easily one of the best defensive centerfielders in the history of the game (if not the best, but I’m a Braves Fan). In a theoretical Hall of Fame that values all aspects of the game equally, he should be in there no questions asked. Really, the only true knock against him is longevity. He started to decline when he was only 28, and by the time he turned 32, he was basically one as a starter.

    That being said, the Hall of Fame is not about defense. Very few defensive players have made it to the Hall, and Jones’s early flame out (especially with his admitted laziness after he left the Braves) means he won’t make it in.

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    • Jon says:

      I think longevity is a pretty key aspect to the Hall though. There are quite a few players with great peaks that also fall off a cliff just as quickly. Having a long, productive career is *much* more difficult, hence why so many fewer players have the slow declines necessary for most candidates that make the cut.

      Jones – as great a defender as he is/was – is a borderline candidate in my mind mainly because he hasn’t had even a +3 win season since his 30th birthday.

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      • cavebird says:

        Of course, he is still 32 years old or so. (33?), so he could end up having those seasons—one big season as a fourth OF when someone goes down and he’ll get starting gigs again. If he keeps himself in shape, which he has improved upon the last couple of seasons, but still isn’t good.

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    • Jim says:

      You’re saying Jones is better, just so we’re clear here right?

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    • suicide squeeze says:

      Not necessarily….just saying you could make the case.

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    • Jon says:

      Interesting. I think this is actually a better graph for arguing why Dawson *isn’t* a deserving candidate rather than for arguing that Jones *is* deserving. Enshrining guys like Dawson and Rice only serves to lower the talent pool, which makes it easier to construct an argument that Player X deserves to be in the Hall because he was roughly as good as Andre Dawson/Jim Rice/Tony Perez/Jack Morris.

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      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        Jack Morris isn’t in the Hall of Fame.

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      • Jon says:

        Nathaniel: Was assuming he’ll make it this year. Probably should have left him off the list though.

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      • Jason B says:

        Jon’s point is spot on – when the bar gets lowered, it becomes easier to make cases for so, so many other players. Kicks the barn door down so to speak, instead of leaving it just slightly ajar.

        I mean, if Morris gets in, then you can make cases (granted not *good* cases, but cases of “if not X, then why not Y?” for everyone from Dave Stieb to Kevin Brown to Kevin Appier to David Cone to…to…to…etc.)

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    • 200tang says:

      So, Andre Dawson had 4 season at or above 6 WAR and 2 at or above 4 while Andruw Jones had 7 above 6 WAR (2 at or above 8 WAR) and 2 at or above 4 WAR. Yeah, their peaks seem SOOO similar. All that graph tells me is that they’re not comparable and and Jones was the better player during his peak by a longshot.

      This would have been a much better graph : http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=&playerid3=1003091&playerid4=826&playerid5=

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  11. Ben Duronio says:

    Ozzie Smith in the Hall as top SS, Jones played CF as good as anyone in the history of the game. Nobody could come in on a ball like him and CF is a top defensive position. He is deserving, in my opinion.

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    • Jon says:

      That’s true, but Ozzie also played SS at a high level late into his career, while Jones hasn’t had a +10 UZR since he turned 30.

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    • Mitchell says:

      I thought the genius of Andruw Jones was his ability to play shallow and go back on a ball, wasn’t it? In any case, this is why anecdotal evidence is unreliable.

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  12. jim says:

    No. I think he is less a player than Jim Edmonds and Edmonds will probably be considered a borderline candidate. If you can’t hold down a job at age 30 then you most likely won’t be considered an all time best at what you do. Maybe that is unfair since he did have a more than solid 10 years prior to that, but how many guys in the HoF lost their jobs after 10 years unless they were hurt or sent to war? But then again, the HoF voting is getting to be a joke and if he isn’t suspected of doing PEDs then he will have a better chance of getting in than a guy like Edmonds.

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    • Mr. Sanchez says:

      The balls Edmonds had to go flying for, Andruw was waiting comfortably for seconds on. To compare the two is a joke, and he isn’t suspected for PEDs by anyone who saw him. Look at the man, he was never cut, never in amazing shape, to claim he took PEDs would be like saying Greg Maddux took them because he played in the same era and was amazingly ahead of his peers.

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  13. sourbob says:

    My gut instinct is that his case is going to be similar to Dale Murphy’s, in a way. If either had done what they did during their ten year peak from age 25 toage 35, then retired early a la Kirby Puckett for some some sympathy-garnering reason, he’d be a shoo-in. But by washing out early, then hanging on even after they were shadows of their former selves, they left a bad taste in people’s mouths that will make it tough.

    Breaking down the numbers more carefully might change my mind, but that’s my gut feeling.

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    • Scout Finch says:

      Gut instinct actually matters. The Hall of Fame is a heart and mind decision. Braves fans would harbor more sentimentality for Dale Murphy and Andrew Jones than subjective voters elsewhere.

      Kirby Puckett is an excellent example: The career batting average right about .320, the stocky frame, the home run robbing highlights, the gold gloves and World Series heroics (as the only black dude in Minnesota other than Prince). HOF’er for sure.

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      • sourbob says:

        I wasn’t arguing that gut instinct will favor him; I was arguing it will hurt him. Although he has a case that his performance until 30 in and of itself makes him a HoFer, he’s going to be penalized for stinking it up since, whereas if he’d suddenly and/or tragically left the game instead of declining in front of us, he’d quite possibly be a shoo-in.

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      • merizobeach says:

        It’s an interesting point, sourbob. My gut instinct reaction to the survey had me asking “where is the choice for ‘not a chance’”?

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  14. GTStD says:

    I have a hard time envisioning someone with half of a game as a hall of famer. WAR is a good metric for overall contribution to a team, but I have always felt that the people going to the Hall should be more than one-dimensional. Andruw was one of the best defensive CF the game has ever seen, but I think you need to be one of the best in both offense and defense.

    A career average of .256 and OBP of .338 just don’t seem good enough to warrant it, even given 400+ home runs, and especially given that he wasn’t getting home runs by hitting well, just hitting hard. A career .274 BABIP with a HR/FB rate of 19.1% with a K% of 22.5% (as well has being a Braves fan and watching him for 10 years) tells me that his power was entirely “Swing for the fences and hope it goes out… if not, he’s headed back to the dugout”. His 111 OPS+ is probably good enough to couple with his defense to say *maybe* on the Hall, but at a first glance at his numbers, I’m skeptical of his Hall credentials.

    And before people come after me with Ozzie… I probably wouldn’t have voted him in either. I appreciate that he was absolutely incredible with the glove, but I’m a small-hall guy, and I feel a player needs to be complete in order to make it onto my ballot. And Ozzie’s offense wasn’t what you could call even average (87 OPS+). I would probably never elect a predominantly DH either. I don’t care how good a player is at one aspect of the game, if they aren’t at least above average at everything else, they don’t deserve to be in the Hall.

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    • GTStD says:

      also of note is that I don’t have a ballot… so its more of a hypothetical when I say “on my ballot” :).

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    • Jon says:

      Where I would disagree with you is that – at its most basic level – baseball is about scoring more runs than your opponent. However you create that run differential, either through scoring runs on offense or preventing them on defense, is mostly irrelevant as the end result is the same.

      Additionally, there are plenty of 1B and corner OF in the Hall who could absolutely mash yet weren’t anything special with the glove. It’s a bit hyperbolic, but I’m guessing Babe Ruth was a below average fielder yet he never had any trouble getting into a game.

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      • GTStD says:

        Your point is valid that however you get runs is the most important thing. But I see that as important from a team perspective, not from a Hall of Fame perspective. I don’t care what his bat was, I would want the Wizard on my team, and he’d be out there every day. He’d bat 8th (or 9th depending on if I’m Tony LaRussa), but he’d be there for his glove.

        The thing is that you can be average at everything and still have a tremendous amount of value to a team. Or you can be great at one thing, and have the same amount of value because you are replacement level at everything else. For me, the Hall is for those who are at least great at one thing and at least good at everything else.

        Its kind of subjective what “good” is, I’ll admit. And its possible that someone could be SO great at one thing that it would be stupid not to include them, but that would have to be an incredibly special case, in my opinion. The Wiz might have been that kind of case… Andruw I don’t think is.

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      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        I’m not sure I understand your argument. Andruw Jones was great at two things: playing defense and hitting home runs. As well, he was good at just about everything else that’s measured on a baseball field. So he would seem to satisfy your requirements. His average and OBP% weren’t stellar, but they are right around league norms. He certainly wasn’t slow, he hit plenty of doubles, was good at drawing walks…….the only thing he hasn’t been particularly good at during his career is hitting singles.

        So what you’re saying is that you would exclude Jones on the basis of his inability to hit a lot of singles.

        Just wanted to clear that up.

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      • erich says:

        i don’t want to put words in either of your mouths, but it seems like you’re arguing over the merits of AJ’s HOF resume as a hitter.

        if elected, jones would the lowest AVG of any current HOF OF. kind of an outlier. his OPS doesn’t save him either.

        since you mentioned the HR numbers as “great”, i think it’s important to view them not within alltime context–46th–but where they rank within his generation. he ranks around 20th there. IMO i don’t see the case for him as a hitter, even with the quasi-sexy HR numbers.

        not that there isn’t a case for him as a defensive player.

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      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        I don’t see it as being a case for Andruw Jones as a hitter, or Andruw Jones as a defensive player. I see his case for Hall-worthiness being as a player.

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    • cavebird says:

      GTstD, you are going to have a *very* small Hall of Fame if you insist on both great offense and great defense. Not only do you lose the Ozzie Smith’s, you lose the Killebrew’s as well. And there are a lot more great hitting, crappy fielding HOFers than there are great fielding iffy hitting HOFers.

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  15. DIVISION says:

    As echoed by others here, I believe he won’t make it in because his career essentially fell off a cliff before he was thirty.

    That’s virtually unheard of for someone who was considered the best defensive OF of his era.

    Even though it shouldn’t, his career BA will hurt him badly. He was never a high BA type of hitter anyway, more of a slugger to be sure.

    If he’d only kept his conditioning and remained in shape, I don’t think he’d have a problem.

    Andruw Jones is why Andruw Jones is NOT a HOF’er.

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  16. Jesse says:

    According to WAR, Andruw Jones was a top 3 player in baseball over the 9 year stretch that was 98-06 (behind Bonds and A-Rod, both known juicers if that still means anything to anyone). A 9 year prime as one of the mega-elite’s is good enough for me.

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  17. Mike R. says:

    The fact that he has been nearly worthless starting at age 30 will keep him out. Of course that begs the question: Does the enormous amount of value he contributed pre-collapse overcome his current state?

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    • suicide squeeze says:

      He’s kind of similar to Ralph Kiner in that regard, and Kiner was one of the closest calls ever, so I guess that means….maybe.

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  18. Spunky says:

    It sounds like he compares well to Andre Dawson, worse offensively and better defensively. Dawson only has a 62.3 WAR compared to Jones’ 70.5, so I think the comparison is decent. And of course, Dawson made it to the Hall but was considered a weak choice by some.

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    • James says:

      I agree, Andre Dawson is probably a good comp…but isn’t that part of the problem? In my opinion, at least, Dawson doesn’t belong in the Hall. I think things kind of went sideways when borderline guys like Dawson and Rice made it in. Why correct a mistake with another one? It seems like the bar has been lowered–which is exactly what so many people were worried about.

      Jones’ closest comps on BR include Dale Murphy and Jim Edmonds, both very appropriate comparisons. I think most writers will look to them, and I’d be surprised if Jones garnered a little more than Murphy’s 11% of the vote.

      Jones may have been better defensively according to advanced metrics, so he’ll have more WAR than someone like Murphy, but I don’t think those have really taken off in the mainstream media yet.

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  19. gu03alum says:

    Shouldn’t Mike Cameron be considered for the Hall of Fame then too? He was a better outfielder than Jones for a lot longer than Jones.

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    • Jon says:

      I’m going to disagree with that. He held his value as a fielder longer than Jones has, but Jones has 7(!) seasons with a UZR higher than Cameron’s best season. Cameron’s a great fielder, but not on par with Jones.

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    • bSpittle says:

      nope, cameron doesn’t come close to jones defensively.

      not even close.

      according to fangraphs anyway.

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  20. Alex says:

    Should Adruw Jones get into the Hall of Fame? I think he probably should. He’s arguably the greatest defensive center fielder in baseball history and also happens to have 400+ home runs to his name. His career WAR is certainly at the level that would warrant Hall of Fame consideration, and he was one of the best players in baseball for nearly a decade.

    My only concern is that, when we strictly look at these WAR figures out of context, we can end up calling half the great players of any era Hall of Famers. Guys like Bobby Abreu, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rollen and so on were great players and they had great numbers. But I fear that, in many cases, we are comparing them to players who either should not have been in the Hall of Fame or got into the Hall of Fame due to a superior prime.

    I don’t think Jones is one of these players. He had a great prime that started in the late 90s when he was just 21 years old and extended until he left Atlanta in 2007. At his best, he was an MVP candidate. He clearly had Hall of Fame caliber power, and Hall of Fame caliber defense. And I think had he been 24 or 25 in 1997 instead of 21, people wouldn’t think so much of his decline. But even as a great support of the WAR method of player evaluation, we need to dig deeper when evaluating a player.

    Will he get in?

    There is a statistical bias against defense, no question. But I think Jones has some chance of getting into the Hall of Fame due in large part due to a statistical bias in favor of home runs. 400 home runs will get Jones some serious consideration, and that combined with 10 straight Gold Gloves in center field gives him a reasonable case for the more traditional voters. And as we’ve seen with Bert Blyleven’s case, the voters can often be won over with a reasoned argument.

    Jones probably has a few more years left. He can compile statistics a bit in that time, and then will have a five year waiting period plus 15 potential years on the ballot. By the end of his time on the ballot, if he’s not already in the Hall of Fame, I would guess a large percentage of voters will have a much greater knowledge of statistics and that defensive statistics will be far more reliable.

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  21. Tom says:

    Due to the fact that he was one of the best players in the game for a decade, he will make it.

    Think about it this way, say he retired after 2006, would he have made it? I think the clear answer to that is yes. You can’t only use recent memory to judge players. Yes, he has bottomed out in the past few years. Who knows the reasoning for this, but it happened.

    He was one of the main reasons that the Braves were as good as they were during the 90′s. Not only did he provide wonderful defense (the Braves pitching probably wouldn’t have been as good as it was without Andruw patrolling CF) he was the main power threat in those lineups.

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  22. Mark says:

    For CF’s with at least 7000 PA between 1990 and 2010 Jones ranks 7th among CF’s in wOBA and 5th in OPS. In the wOBA group only Kenny Lofton was close to the type of defender Jones was, although you could make an argument for Edmonds or Beltran. Only Griffey Jr has a higher WAR over that time, although Edmonds & Lofton are close.

    It’s pretty clear he was one of the most balanced CF’s in the game, thanks to the fact he was an outstanding hitting CF and a tremendously gifted defensive CF. But he’s a tough case, because his counting stats suck. If he has a couple more good years I think he’d be an easy choice, but for now it’s something I’d have to think about.

    Right now I’d say yes to Lofton/Edmonds, but no to Jones. I say no right now to Jones because I don’t believe that any CF can maintain a 20-30 UZR. If he has another good season or two, I’d probably say yes.

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    • Nathaniel Dawson says:

      Right now, Jones has over 400 HR’s, as well as 1100 runs, 1200 RBI, and 150 steals. Depending on how the rest of his career shakes out, he could easily end up with 400+ 2b’s, 450+ HR’s, 1200+ runs, 1300+ RBI’s, 1000+ BB’s. While that doesn’t put him in with some of the elite hitters in the Hall, you can find plenty of others that come nowhere near those numbers. His counting stats are anything but “sucky”.

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  23. Cyril Morong says:

    On fielding, Bill James had him with the following ranks in fielding Win Shares among NL OFers starting with 1997: 2-1-1-1-1 (my electronic Win Shares only goes up through 2001). It looks like lots of different fielding metrics rate him very highly. On the other hand, Jones only has 264 total Win Shares through 2010. He only had one season with 30+ WS (30 in 2000). That is an MVP type of season

    The .256 AVG is not that important if he has a good OBP & SLG. He has .338 and .488. Not bad, but not great. His OPS+ is 111. Not great either.

    Baseball Reference has him as 4-2-3 in WAR from 1998-2000. That is a pretty good peak. They have him with 59.9 WAR. 108th all-time. That is pretty good.

    Baseball Reference had Edmonds with 68.3 WAR which is 63rd among position players and he had 4 top 5 finishes between 2000 and 2005. They were 5-x-2-6-5-3. Pretty good peak value. He has 301 career Win Shares. That is good but maybe not enough.

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  24. Mo says:

    Interesting Ken Rosenthal Sporting News article excerpt from 2001 when you consider how people thought of Andruw defensively a decade ago, but were struggling with a way to quantify it:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_49_225/ai_80680871/

    Manager Bobby Cox estimates that Andruw Jones saves the Braves 100 runs a season, claiming that his center fielder has “RBIs in his glove.” The exact number of Jones’ RBIs is well-chronicled. His most obscure offensive statistics are reported widely. But good luck finding an accurate gauge of his defensive value.

    Fielding percentage? It doesn’t measure how many fly balls Jones catches that other center fielders would fail to grab. Number of assists? It doesn’t reflect how many runners decline to challenge Jones’ powerful arm. Total chances? Jones routinely leads all major league outfielders, but his totals might be even higher if he didn’t play behind a ground-ball pitching staff.

    In an age of increasing offensive data, the difficulty in judging a player’s defensive value colors everything from arbitration hearings to MVP debates. As Phillies center fielder Doug Glanville says, “It’s a shame that when a guy steps to the plate, they just put up your average, home runs and RBIs.”

    Players aren’t just recognized for offensive prowess; they’re paid for it, even when they have defensive shortcomings. As much as teams complain about high salaries, one would think they would pay greater attention to a player’s total game, especially when better information is becoming available.

    “We’ve had managers and coaches say that Andruw Jones is the best center fielder they’ve seen since Willie Mays,” Boras says. “It’s a visual understanding. Andruw’s routes to balls are excellent. His first step is excellent. His ability to come in and go back is excellent. He can catch the ball running at many different angles.”

    And then this from Paul Newberry in 2007:

    http://www.theworldlink.com/sports/article_066ce1d3-7cb7-54c2-bd0c-7218d097361a.html

    No one plays defense quite like Andruw Jones. His instincts are unmatched, allowing him to take a step or two in the right direction before the pitch is even thrown. Once the ball is struck, he gets a better jump than anyone else, making tough plays look routine and putting him in position to go for catches that most outfielders wouldn’t even attempt. Plus, he’s fearless with his body, hurling himself onto the grass and into the wall if he’s got a chance to catch the ball. “He’s on top of his game defensively,” Bobby Cox said. “He catches every ball that’s catchable. He’s as good as there’s ever been in the outfield. … I can’t tell you how many earned runs he’s saved us over the last 10 years.”

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Horace says:

      Exactly. Best defensive center fielder ever. All the various systems like him similarly. Anyone who had a pulse over the last 15 years knows he is the greatest defensive player in decades.

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    • Cidron says:

      Mo, you had me right up to the moment you quoted Scott Boras (who of course might have a vested interest in Mr Jones percieved value)

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  25. Thomas J. says:

    Not at this time. But if defensive statistics hold up over the next ten years and it looks like the current judgment is accurate, I’d be inclined to say yes.

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  26. bSpittle says:

    Interesting things.

    - Barry Bonds in 1989 accumulated a higher fielding value than ozzie smith ever did in a single season.

    - Andruw Jones accumulated more fielding value in his first 10 years than smith did in 18.

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    • JRoth says:

      I have serious doubts about comparing fielding value across eras – the farther back you go, the more dubious the valuation. Bill James says (and most people agree) Bill Mazeroski was the best defensive 2B in history; Fangraphs credits him with an average of ~10 runs saved per (full) year. Smith is credited with almost 14. Let’s just say I don’t take that as gospel.

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  27. adam says:

    This has been said but:

    I don’t think Andruw Jones passes the sniff test. I will admit I am probably a small HOF guy but only because I think it should be restricted to the elite of eras or generations and not just the top 50 guys of every 10 years.

    At first glance on baseball reference; He ONCE placed in the top 10 in offensive WAR in the NL! He once placed in the top 10 in slugging in the NL. He once was in the top 10 in runs scored for the NL. 3 times in the top 10 for RBI (not a fan of stat). I just don’t ever remember him being truly dominant. I by no means think he is a top 3 player from 1999-2006 and I would put Jim Edmonds, among many others, ahead of him. He has 3 seasons with an OPS+ greater than 125 with two seasons at 126 and a peak of 136. Not dominant. One season of .300 batting and 1 50+ HR and 2 40+ HR seasons.

    As for defensive: He was truly great but I don’t believe he is an all-time best when you consider Griffey was similarly blessed with a glove, range and arm. I tend to believe that gold gloves win gold gloves after awhile, though it’s one guys opinion. There’s not much to say here when my argument is Griffey may have been as good.

    I think an equal candidate for HOF is Jim Edmonds as his peak was greater and his career numbers nearly equivelant though in the end I believe neither deserve to be in.

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    • moot says:

      Griffey wasn’t even in the same ballpark as Jones defensively.

      I think the jury is still out. If he can somehow string together two or three years of marginal value the I think he can slide in. If not, I think that 2008 is really going to hurt him in the minds of the voters. Has any HOF’er had anywhere near such a horrific age 31 season?

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      • Alex says:

        Leo Durocher /sarcasm

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      • CaR says:

        Griffey was an amazing CF for the first 8-10 years of his career. I think that Jones was superior, Edmonds had the ability to highlight reel and Mike Cameron was pretty awesome for a long time as well. Not in the same ballpark? That’s an over-statement.

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  28. puffy says:

    Jones vs Mays with the glove would be a fun study if possible to do intelligently. (Intelligently = Not using human interpretations of batted balls.) Hard to imagine better than Druw being humanly possible, but if you read on Mays, he has quite a defensive legacy amongst those that saw him.

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  29. Aaron says:

    Center field is under-represented in the hall of fame, and I think this is precisely because defense hasn’t been valued there as much as it should be. There has never been a center fielder enshrined based primarily on his defense. Andruw Jones and Jim Edmonds are both good test cases for how much defense will be considered at this position. I used the WAR graphs to compare these two with Larry Walker (a somewhat similar contemporary) and Richie Ashburn (a quite reasonable hall of fame center fielder):

    http://tinyurl.com/239o62y

    All four of these guys had similar career value, though they accumulated it in different ways. In Jones case, 9 years of sustained excellence with historical quality defense provides a good argument for inclusion in the hall of fame. It’s not as if he was Darryl Strawberry, who wasn’t nearly as good a defender and self-destructed after ~7 years.

    I also compared Jones with hall of fame players from other positions who are viewed as defensive wizards:

    http://tinyurl.com/2fplzl9

    Here again he compares very favorably with Ozzie Smith and Luis Aparicio in total career value, even though in Jones case this value came through really just 11 productive years (9 awesome ones plus a couple of other good years leading into and out of that peak). Brooks Robinson has much more career WAR than any of the others considered here, and this seems to be because his batting numbers, while not appearing to be great at first glance, were really quite good relative to the depressed offense of the era in which he played.

    Note I haven’t cherry-picked the comparisons here. Jones (and Edmonds and Walker) are clearly better than some of the weaker outfielders that have recently been elected to the hall. For example:

    http://tinyurl.com/24yr3ph

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    • Griggs says:

      Those are great comps. I especially find Puckett an almost perfect comparison. I think this site overrates Jones’ defensive value and underrates Puckett’s. Jones is definitely better but Puckett IMO was also a great defensive center fielder and that is why I supported his enshrinement even though it was a short career. Obviously anyone that accepts these WAR figures as the truth should support Jones as a ‘no brainer’ 1st ballot HOFer and should be wondering how Puckett is in at all.

      Walker and Edmonds also make for good comparisons and especially with each other as both suffered from the same problem of not staying healthy. If they could of just had another 100-150 plate appearances during their good years, they would be easy yes votes.

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  30. Ken Bland says:

    Some degree of HOF candidacy is based on image. Such as the “image” of a winner, by playing on a winning team. I don’t doubt that because of his first half offense, and sterling defense, its not a waste of time to consider him. But after the debacle in LA, and less than great numbers since, defense, great as it is/was, just doesn’t warrant a vote. He needs to finish remarkably strong the rest of the way, a strong improbability.

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  31. Disco says:

    Yes.

    I believe to be eligible you need to have a 10+ year playing career.

    Jones was a great player for about 10-11 consecutive seasons. There are several players in the HOF who have had less consecutive and less total great seasons.

    He should be in.

    From 1998-2006, nine seasons, he had 7 seasons where his WAR was above the MVP level of 6.0. The other two years? 5.4 and 5.8. Yeah, so he essentially was an MVP caliber player for a straight nine seasons. In 1997 and 2007 he was in the 3 WAR range, which is good.

    A center fielder who hit .338/.488/.353(OBP/SLG/wOBA) with a career fielding score of 274! 274!

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    • Thomas J. says:

      I don’t ever find the “there are worse players in the HoF than X” as persuasive, because it’s based on the premise that the Hall’s weakest links should be the standard by which future hall of famers should be judged, which in turn seems to be based on the notion that everyone currently in the Hall really is deserving of being there and should therefore be used as a standard. Just my opinion of course.

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      • Disco says:

        Still, he was an MVP caliber player for pretty much a decade. If that’s not HOF worthy, then I don’t know what is.

        As someone else here noted, you can’t judge players on recent performance, which is what you’d be doing with Andruw Jones if you don’t vote him in.

        Sure, it would have helped his cause had he been productive in his thirties, but he did more than enough during his twenties.

        Even if you use rWAR, he still has a career 60 WAR and 240 defensive value. People don’t think his offensive numbers are too great, but for a center fielder they are good (if not as good as contemporaries in Griffey and Edmonds) and his defensive numbers are INSANE.

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  32. Barry Johnson says:

    I think the comparison to Griffey is instructive, especially because they both stopped accumulating WAR about the same time in their careers (age 31 or so). Griffey is superior, though not overwhelmingly, and he has key HoF authenticating numbers, specifically HRs, and the “right” personality/story/historical legacy.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=96&playerid3=327&playerid4=&playerid5=

    You could argue that Jones redefined our idea of what CF defense could be and had a valuable bat to boot. That he wasn’t as a good as Griffey overall, but in the conversation about the best CFs of the past 20 years. The argument against: His bat wasn’t good enough to preserve some of his value at corner OF spots as he got older, and he didn’t accomplish quite enough over a career to make his election a sure thing. I go with the former.

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  33. Devon says:

    Watched him a lot of years on TBS, and frankly, he’s the best defensive centerfielder I’ve ever seen. He’s kinda like the Ozzie Smith of centerfield with a 50 HR season included. How could anyone seriously dismiss that?

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    • GTStD says:

      because when he wasn’t hitting homers he was popping up, striking out, or grounding out because he wasn’t running at full speed… Power isn’t everything in hitting, and his HR total masks the fact that he wasn’t all that great a hitter. He hit over .300 only once, and his career OBP (.338) isn’t HOF caliber.

      He is a classic case of raw talent overwhelming growth. Looking at his offensive numbers, his best overall offensive season was when he was 23. He never grew beyond that, and as age and conditioning slowed his bat down, he failed to make adjustments or corrections, and just swung harder.

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      • Ken says:

        Your comments on Andruw consistently indicate that you spent most of his time in Atlanta ticked off about what he wasn’t or what you wanted him to be rather than appreciating him for everything he was, which was pretty damn good. The tone and content of your posts on the subject say more about you as a fan and observer than they do about Andruw.

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  34. He deserves it, as the HOF should be a shrine for the most valuable players in history, be it offensively, defensively or a combination. The one thing that may hold him back would be the era he played in. Though I am not of this belief, many will argue his decline in production correlates with when steroid testing became prevalent, and not vote for him.

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  35. DownwiththeDH says:

    I voted ‘Not yet, but he could get in if he finishes strong’. My issue with Jones when he was in his prime was his effort level. He caught the “I’m so good I don’t have to give 100%” bug for quite a few years. That’s not a HOF attitude. Effort put in to actualizing potential is an issue he could overcome with a strong finish though.

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    • rogower says:

      The Phillies are a beloved franchise right now and figure to compete at a very high level for the next couple of years, perhaps winning a World Series or two… that is, IF they can add a good right-handed bat in the outfield to balance out that lineup. A good buddy of mine who is a hard core Phillies fan was bemoaning this problem a while ago and I suggested that the best option out there was to sign Andruw Jones and platoon him with Dominic Brown in RF. If Philly were to sign Jones, and he plays well, and, maybe most importantly, he is able to shed his underachiever/bad attitude label in the process, this may be his ticket. Particularly if Philly wins the Series. If Jones could average 21.5 HRs per season for the Phillies in 2011 and 2012, and then he calls it a career, he’s at 450 HRs lifetime, and the list of eligible players with 450 or more HRs who aren’t in the Hall is a short one: Fred McGriff and Jose Canseco. And neither one of those two players is considered one of the five best defensive CFs in the history of baseball.

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      • Adam says:

        If he was hitting 20 HR’s a year for Philly in 2011 and 2012, he wouldn’t call it a career. Remember, he’s still only in his early 30′s. That being said, it would kill me to see Andruw with the Phillies. That would just be mean to Braves’ fans. On the other hand, a homecoming with him outplaying McLouth for playing time and a return to his .250/35 HR days sounds like a much happier ending to this story. ;)

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    • Mo says:

      I guess you missed him playing everyday for a decade. Also guessing that you missed him diving all the field, and crashing into walls for a decade as well. Too bad. It was fun to watch. He played really hard for a really long time. His Hall of Fame manager also called him a workaholic, but whatever.

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  36. I’d like to see a post on Scott Rolen. Similar to Jones, he’s in the discussion for the best all-time fielder at his position, and he has 66.1 Baseball Reference WAR right now, and probably figures to accumulate at least five more, maybe ten. Neither pass my HOF sniff test (I only see Jones’ prime as 2000-06, at 269/348/517 w/a 119 OPS–I don’t think his [fantastic] defense adds enough to that good [but not great] an offensive prime to warrant induction), but I think Rolen is a better candidate than Jones.

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  37. Perhaps it’s already been mentioned, but how about Brooks Robinson? Career OPS+ of 104…he got in because of is glove.

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  38. jonnybardo says:

    I have a hard time voting for Andruw if Jim Edmonds doesn’t get in and Edmonds won’t get in. Both, I think, are borderline cases in the Dwight & Darrell Evans vein. The media darlings in that category get voted in, the quiet guys and understated stars don’t.

    Interestingly enough, Jones and Edmonds show just how different the Baseball Reference and Fangraphs WAR are. Check it out:

    FANGRAPHS
    Jones 70.5
    Edmonds 68.1

    BASEBALL REFERENCE
    Jones 59.9 (23.7 from defense)
    Edmonds 68.3 (8.8 from defense)

    I can’t figure out how much of the Fangraphs WAR is from defense, but intuitively the B-R numbers look more accurate. Edmonds seems like a more valuable player career-wise than Jones, especially given his 2000-05 peak in which, without looking, he might have been the best player in baseball after Bonds, Rodriguez, and maybe Pujols (who started in 2001).

    But Jones has a 111 OPS+ in 2025 games, while Edmonds has a 132 OPS+ in 2011 career games – that’s quite a difference and Edmonds was no slouch with the glove.

    Who would I take at his very best? Edmonds. Who would I take during his best five-year period? Edmonds. Who would I take over the course of his career? Edmonds. It is close, but I’ve got to go with Jimmy.

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    • Adam says:

      I see your guy instinct on this, but I think what Fangraphs gets and BR doesn’t is that while Edmonds was a good defensive OF, Andruw really was that much better. I think they are pretty similar cases with opposite advantages. As you note, Edmonds was/is (neither has retired) the better hitter, and the 132-111 OPS plus stats seem like a pretty accurate measure of the difference between them. On the other hand, I think the defensive difference was similar. Edmonds was pretty good, but Andruw was all-time great good.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        BR has Jones with 14.9 more dWAR than Edmonds.
        FG has Jones with 21.6 more dWAR than Edmonds.

        No matter how you look at it, that’s a big difference.

        We’re talking about guys that have 60-70 career WAR, so both 15 and ~21 are significant differences. The difference between BR and FG is 6.7 WAR or 67 fielding runs over 15 seasons.

        I don’t know the full calculation of dWAR, but would the difference essentially be 130 BIP caught, or about 8 or 9 per season?

        What would be interesting would be to see a visual of all the balls caught by both guys. I’m guessing a lot of balls Edmonds gets to, Jones catches without the dive … or the tumble … or the crash … or anything else Sunshine does for dramatic effect. I love Jim Edmonds, but his primary defense skill was knowing just how ‘fast’ to run so the catch would end with a dive, heck even when you catch it at wist level, you still tumble for effect. *grin*

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  39. rogower says:

    Top CFs all-time, according to Baseball Reference, broken up into (admittedly somewhat arbitrary) tiers:

    Tier 1

    1 Ty Cobb 159.4 WAR
    2 Willie Mays 154.7 WAR

    Tier 2

    3 Tris Speaker 133.0 WAR
    4 Mickey Mantle 120.2 WAR

    Tier 3

    5 Joe DiMaggio 83.6 WAR
    6 Ken Griffey, Jr. 78.5 WAR

    Tier 4

    7 Billy Hamilton 69.6 WAR
    8 Jim Edmonds 68.3 WAR
    9 Duke Snider 67.5 WAR
    10 Kenny Lofton 65.3 WAR
    11 Reggie Smith 63.4 WAR
    12 Andruw Jones 59.9 WAR
    13 Jimmy Wynn 59.8 WAR
    14 Richie Ashburn 58.0 WAR
    15 Willie Davis 57.2 WAR
    16 Andre Dawson 57.0 WAR
    17 Carlos Beltran 56.5 WAR

    Tier 5

    18 Jim O’Rourke 53.9 WAR
    19 Cesar Cedeno 52.2 WAR
    20 Tommy Leach 50.9 WAR
    21 Max Carey 50.6 WAR (and let’s just make 50.0 WAR the cutoff point, for our purposes)

    The players in Tiers 1, 2, and 3 are all either in or, in Griffey’s case, will get in. It’s when we move on to Tier 4 that the discussion starts getting interesting. We often hear about how third basemen are underrepresented in the Hall, which is true. But at least they’re aren’t many undeserving 3Bs in the Hall; I count only three: Pie Traynor, George Kell, and Fred Lindstrom. Of the 18 CFs presently in the Hall, nearly half (eight), are arguably undeserving: Hugh Duffy, Larry Doby, Edd Roush, Earl Averill, Kirby Puckett, Earle Combs, Hack Wilson, and Lloyd Waner. Add Jim O’Rourke to the list, if you’d like, in which case nine of the 18 are undeserving. No other position has such a high percentage of its Hall electees in the undeserving camp, although C comes close.

    What this suggests to me is that HOF voters have historically been motivated to vote in CFs but were voting in folks who weren’t quite up to snuff. We are on the verge of having several modern era players become eligible who ARE all up to snuff. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. One possibility: The Andruw Jones HOF talk ends up highlighting the fact that two of his contemporaries, Jim Edmonds and Kenny Lofton, were both as good or better. Will this result in all three getting in or none of them getting in? The Jack Morris vs. Bert Blyleven discussion likely results in both of these players getting in, which may serve as an indicator of what will happen with Jones, Edmonds, and Lofton.

    Another way things might play out is that writers end up promoting Andruw Jones as a player who was hitting a bunch of home runs, at the CF position, no less, despite the presumption that he never used steroids. Here is where the fact that Jones didn’t take very good care of his body interestingly works in his favor; we have seen the players who, during Jones’ era, WERE obsessed with taking care of their bodies, and Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds are the poster children. Voters may begin to ask, “What if nobody were using steroids? Wouldn’t Jones’ power numbers suddenly look historic?”

    Voters may also associate Jones with what the Braves accomplished from 1995 to 2006: an incredible run of twelve (!) straight division titles. Jones played CF for the Braves during every single one of these seasons except one, 1995. When all three members of the pitching staff’s big three of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz are all voted in–presumably by 2015–then voters may be feeling so good about those Braves teams that they sort of forget about Jones’ reputation as an underachiever.

    It’s Jones’ reputation as an underachiever that makes his candidacy a tough call. Voters are ultimately a bunch of aging males who have worshipped athletes and their accomplishments for their entire lives, who would have given anything to be one of them. Underachievers or perceived underachievers and/or players who do have or are perceived to have an “attitude problem” piss these sorts of people off, which leads to the irrational decision making that is, in my view, the most outstanding quality of the typical HOF voter.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      According to the WAR in your post (presumably rWAR), Andruw Jones is closer ro Cesar Cedeno than he is Jim Edmonds.

      Certainly, I cannot be the only one that notes a problem in a discussion of Jones’s WAR being somewhere between 60 and 70.

      It’s Jones’ reputation as an underachiever that makes his candidacy a tough call. Voters are ultimately a bunch of aging males who have worshipped athletes and their accomplishments for their entire lives, who would have given anything to be one of them. Underachievers or perceived underachievers and/or players who do have or are perceived to have an “attitude problem” piss these sorts of people off, which leads to the irrational decision making that is, in my view, the most outstanding quality of the typical HOF voter.

      Throw in that the majority of HoF voters are white, and this particular underachiever is not, and that just adds another strike against Jones. How dare he not use every ounce of talent or potential, when most people would kill just to smell the grass of a major league stadium once. That seems to be the mentality. Meanwhile, we are justified in our underperformance, because well, our job sucks, and we’re underpaid, and on and on.

      Anyway, I think your last comment might be most important of the bunch. It doesn;t matter whether he “earned” HoF recognition or not. What matters is whether a bunch of writers deem him to “earn it”.It may not be a subjective decision, and certainly there are emotional and illogical aspects that enter the equation … not the least of which is Eckstein-ness”.

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      • rogower says:

        I wasn’t going to bring up the race issue because discussions, sports-related or otherwise, generally devolve when that happens, but yes, I agree that this is a big issue here. A white centerfielder who played the field like Jones, and who was not perceived to have an attitude problem by voters, would likely be viewed as “making the game look easy” or some such thing. Jones, however, is perceived as “dogging it.” Take, for example, Cliff Lee’s casual fielding during the 2009 playoffs. Most white sportswriters and fans were greatly amused, even impressed, by these antics. Had a black player, particularly a black player perceived as “angry” or “underachieving” or possessing a “bad attitude,” pulled such stunts on such a grand stage, they would have been ripped to shreds.

        As a general rule, in the minds of many white sports media folks (and obviously whte fans), white players, in any sport, are successful because of hard work and their ability to out-think the (presumably largely black) competition, whereas black players are successful because of their god-given athleticism. “The LEAST these black athletes can do is to actually make the most of that god-given athleticism! And, if they don’t, well, that’s not fair, and it satisfies me to no end to see them upstaged and outsmarted by the likes of Greg Maddux and John Stockton and Steve Largent!”

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      • rogower says:

        Correction: 14 consecutive division titles, not 12, and from 1991 to 2005, not 1995 to 2006. Still, Jones was the CF for ten of those fourteen teams.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        As a general rule, in the minds of many white sports media folks (and obviously whte fans), white players, in any sport, are successful because of hard work and their ability to out-think the (presumably largely black) competition, whereas black players are successful because of their god-given athleticism. “The LEAST these black athletes can do is to actually make the most of that god-given athleticism! And, if they don’t, well, that’s not fair, and it satisfies me to no end to see them upstaged and outsmarted by the likes of Greg Maddux and John Stockton and Steve Largent!”

        Unfortunately, I think this is the case more times than it is not.

        As a bit of humor, I remember hearing an Irish comedian breach the subject by suggesting that white basketball players have thought about driving the lane and dunking over 3 opponents before. *grin* Turns out, as he says, it’s harder than it looks. The funny part was the mock discussion between white coach and white player describing the actual suggestion that the player try and dunk over everyone, and the reply of “Yeah coach, you’re right, that would be easier than all this screening and passing the ball around.” Classic.

        I’m not saying that race or racism keeps players out of the HoF. I am saying race often plays a role in how we perceive a player’s work ethic, effort, conditioning, etc.

        One example that creeps up here ALL the time is Miggy Cabrera’s “fatness”. I’m assuming most of the commenters here are white, and from a European background … who have a certain bodytype. So, when other ethnicities from other countries have a different bodytype (genetics) as well as eating habits, anything different than the “European” type is not classified as different, but inferior. That HAS to change.

        That thinking is why Pujols got drafted in the 13th round. Because he was chunky (played SS) and as such, his effort was called into question. I read a lot about his younger years. He set home run records everywhere he played. I’ve heard coaches (at conferences) describe the way he struck a ball was like nothing you’ve ever seen or heard. He hit immediately in MiLB, and he immediately and consistently in MLB.

        White people fall for and buy into the “fake hustle” part A LOT. It’s why they/we love Pete Rose. Why trot into 3rd, when you can dive head first even though there’s no play? Why just let the ball go into the 20th row, when you can climb the wall and act like you’re really trying to catch it? (i.e., the latter is the situation where Mickey Mantle supposedly gave Rose the sarcastic nickname of “Charlie Hustle”). Athleticism looks smooth, smooth looks effortless, and the assumption is that there really is not effort being put in.

        We’re a nation of underdogs, a nation that roots for underdogs. Often in sports, white folks are the underdog. So that plays a role also.
        Always interested me that whatever demographic is on the bootom in terms of socioeconomic status, often dominates sports. It’s been that way with the Irish, Italians, African-Americans, and increasingly Hispanics.

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  40. Bobby says:

    If he stayed in shape

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Do you know that he worked less or with less effort than his teammates? I’m asking that both to make a point as a serious question for your basis. You sound as if you have some inside information, and I like to hear it.

      Are Chipper Jones’s injuries the result of laziness? Again, mostly to make a point.

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      • Mo says:

        From an article talking about Andruw:

        http://www.theworldlink.com/sports/article_066ce1d3-7cb7-54c2-bd0c-7218d097361a.html

        “For some reason, though, there are fans who continually gripe that Jones is too blasé, who say he should show more passion when he strikes out or makes the rarest of errors. That’s just not his way, but it leads some people to accuse Jones of never reaching his full potential because he doesn’t really want to. Nothing could be further from the truth. “He’s never had a temper problem or anything like that. He never gets down on himself when he’s struggling,” Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “But he’s got a good heart for the game. He always wants to win the game.” Looking toward the clubhouse, the manager adds, “He’s one of the leaders in there. He always has fun when he plays the game. And talk about a workaholic.”

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  41. chris says:

    I do not see Andruw Jones as a HOFer, nor do I see Jim Edmonds or Kenny Lofton as HOFers. All without a doubt great players, but none true Hall quality. Jones had a great peak, but he has had no sustainability. I have really never seen another player fall off like he has. Career longevity is an important factor which Jones did not have. It is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Really Good, baseball has become too leninent on who have been let in.

    Also, the HOF veteran committee gets worn down eventually and lets players like Santo or Dawson in because of general likability. The Hawk and Santo were loved by Chicago and most other fans for there attitude towards the game. Andruw Jones was generally loathed by the public because of his me first and lazy attitude. Also, the fact this his numbers completely fell off after the steroid era puts a rather large question on his number. I believe that will be his downfall.

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    • Adam says:

      Given his conditioning, I can see the lazy attitude part, but I don’t recall anything that indicates a me-first attitude. Care to elaborate?

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  42. Disco says:

    More on the topic…

    The HOF median WAR for hitters is 58. The median WAE is 21.5. The median WAM is 2.6. Jones has an fWAR of 70.5, well above the HOF median. His WAE is 35.5, well above the HOF median. His WAM is 7.6, well above the HOF median. And WAM wouldn’t include two seasons of exactly 6.0 WAR.

    Also, go make your own WAR graph of Jones, KGIII, Lofton, and Edmonds.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?playerid2=96&playerid3=1003346&playerid4=1012230&playerid5=1000335

    Or that graph of Jones, Doby, Snider, Ashburn.

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  43. jsey says:

    Outside of internet banter, there’s really no debate, he’s in. His prime was a spectacle to be seen.

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  44. Cyril Morong says:

    I don’t know how much race affects HOF voting. When I ran regressions on the voting I had tried putting in a dummy variable for race (1 for white, 0 for non-white). I did not break things down by black and hispanic, so it was not very sophisticated. But no matter how I did it, the race variable was never significant. In fact, as I recall, I think being white was slightly negative

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    • rogower says:

      In my view, racial bias (see my argument above) may have negatively impacted (or may be negatively impacting, or may eventually negatively impact) the HOF candidacy of all of the following players:

      Roberto Alomar
      Rafael Palmeiro
      Lou Whitaker (compare the perception of his career to the perception of Ryne Sandberg’s career)
      Willie Randolph
      Dick Allen
      Barry Bonds
      Manny Ramirez
      Tim Raines
      Minnie Minoso
      Jose Cruz
      Kenny Lofton
      Reggie Smith
      Jimmy Wynn
      Andruw Jones
      Willie Davis
      Cesar Cedeno
      Gary Sheffield
      Vladimir Guerrero
      Sammy Sosa
      Bobby Abreu
      Bobby Bonds

      Barry Bonds more so than others, obviously. Compare the perception of the antics of Barry Bonds to, say, Babe Ruth or Joe Namath. Bonds is “arrogant,” while a Namath is merely “brash” or “colorful.” [We'll see who gets forgiven first between Barry Bonds, the #2 position player all-time, according to Baseball Reference, and Roger Clemens, conveniently the #2 pitcher all-time, according to Baseball Reference; my money is on Clemens getting in before Bonds. Each player's last game was in 2007, which is also very convenient!] Roberto Alomar’s umpire-spitting incident is unforgivable because non-whites simply cannot so openly disrespect white authority in this country and expect to get away with it. Tim Raines’ cocaine use makes him, in the eyes of many older white voters, typical of his “kind”; this is a white man’s sport that white people are kind enough to allow non-whites to play, and if you’re going to play “our” sport, you have to assimilate. Mark McGwire may ultimately be forgiven for his steroid use but Rafael Palmeiro likely will not. Manny Ramirez has, like many non-white players, been labelled an underachiever, despite his remarkable statistics that suggest otherwise and the fact that he flat out loves (or used to, anyway) playing the game of baseball. [His enormous paychecks as a member of the Red Sox would get tossed in his locker, uncashed, where they would sit for weeks; what's not to love about that?] Manny’s lousy outfield play would, I think, be mostly overlooked if he were a white player. Jones’ reputation has already been discussed, and this reputation’s origin largely lies in racial bias (again, see my arguments above). Gary Sheffield has also been the recipient of many classic racist labels, e.g., “malcontent,” “selfish.” Dick Allen was, of course, openly critical of white authority during the civil rights era; so much for his candidacy. Reggie Smith threw his batting helmet at a fan who was taunting him, a classic example of your “angry black man;” it probably wasn’t helpful for Don Sutton to proclaim that Smith was a more valuable player (on those late 1970s Dodgers teams) than Steve Garvey, Mr. Apple Pie at the time. Meanwhile, non-white players who quietly went about their business simply went relatively unnoticed/unappreciated, players like Lou Whitaker, Willie Randolph, Jose Cruz, Kenny Lofton, and Jimmy Wynn.

      Having said all that, the fact that sabermetrics analysis is relatively new surely has a lot to do with some of these players’ failed candidacies, particularly high OBP types such as Whitaker, Randolph, Raines, Minoso, Wynn, etc. Also, having said all that, there are certainly any number of white players whose candidacies have lagged, but I would argue that such white players only have to deal with the problem of many voters resisting/rebelling against sabermetrics analysis, which they ultimately are either unwilling or unable to understand. [See Richard Hofstadter's classic "Anti-Intellectualism in American Life."] Ron Santo, Bobby Grich, and Dwight Evans would be the most obvious examples of this phenomenon. At least these three guys doesn’t have to deal with the racial bias problem, though!

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      • Bob says:

        I have heard a lot of arguments about why certain players are in the Hall, but racism is not one that I can support. Look at Mark McGwire, last time I checked he is white and he has a very poor percentage that does not support your argument that he may be forgiven but Pameiro may not. Dick Allen is not worthy, race is not an issue. And who has lebeled Manny Ramirez an “overachiever”? That’s ridiculous. Look, Jim rice is black and he is in the Hall even though he does not deserve it. And the Bonds vs. Namath argument is just as stupid – Bonds cheated to get his home run record. That is one crazy post by rogower. I know that racism exists and is a horrible thing but that has to be one of the silliest posts I have ever read.

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      • wobatus says:

        Bob, I agree. I read some of the posts and can’t help but think there is a a bit of “look how enlightened I am, i can suss out the subtle [or not so subtle] racism of my fellow white fans.”

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      • Adam says:

        Bob, Dick Allen was worthy. That being said, I am not sure of the affect of race on voting. I am doubly not sure of the affect of race on voting in relation to Andruw Jones. Of all the players on the list above, Andruw is the only one who is neither Latino nor black.

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    • Mo says:

      Some other random notes:

      For National Leaguers aged 20 thru 29 since 1901, Andruw had the 9th most rWAR, behind only Hornsby, Aaron, Ott, Mathews, Bonds, Mays, and Musial, and just ahead of Bench and Pujols.

      For National Leaguers aged 20 thru 29 since 1901, Andruw’s 337 homers were the 3rd most homers, behind only Aaron and Eddie Mathews, and just ahead of Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Kiner, Bench, Pujols, Mays, Strawberry, Snider, Banks, Cepeda, Bonds, Santo, and Sammy.

      For National Leaguers aged 20 thru 29 since 1901, Andruw scored the 8th most runs, and drove in the 5th most runs. (Say what you want but HOF voters still care about it so it must be brought up).

      For National Leaguers aged 20 thru 29 since 1901, Andruw’s 1576 games played were the most games ever played. And people wonder why he broke down so early? Trying playing every damn day for a decade, diving all over the field, and crashing into every wall, and see how your body feels when you turn 30. Do we act shocked when running backs hit a wall at 30 after abusing their bodies the way they do in their twenties? Maybe Andruw should have given as less of a damn as he was often wrongly accused of, and just never played everyday, never dove after all those balls, never crashed into all those walls. Maybe then his career wouldn’t have hit a wall at 30.

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  45. Phantom Stranger says:

    Andruw Jones in his prime was the greatest defensive outfielder I ever saw, and it really is not close. He read the ball’s trajectory off the bat better than anyone has ever done it. I think he deserves to be in the Hall, but only if he can tack on a couple more solid years at DH or as a corner outfielder. An extremely durable player that almost never took days off, though his lack of conditioning shortened his career in center.

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  46. Da says:

    To people saying definitely not: You do realize Jones has those numbers and is still only 33, right…? Dude is one of the best defenders of all time AND has a legit shot at 500 HR.

    Obvious yes vote.

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    • Thomas J. says:

      The 500 homers is not relevant to me. What is relevant are the 7 seasons where he hit more than 30, and I think 9 where he hit over 25.

      But if he hits another 10 or 20 a year for another 5 or 10 years, that doesn’t really change anything in his case for me. There’s nothing partciularly outstanding about that. It just mean he was able to tack on a mediocre second decade to a phenomenal first decade.

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  47. CircleChange11 says:

    Repeating something I said over at Tango’s blog …

    It seems strange that when we have HoF discussions, we liit ourselves to career WAR. It leaves out some very important things that factor in (sometimes strongly) to how we value a player, especially in terms of their “Fame”.

    [1] Postseson performance
    [2] Player Awards
    [3] Championships.

    I’m not saying we go all NFL or NBA, where players are often measured by “rings”, but that we should factor in thse things.

    For example if we view WAR as “points”, then why couldn;t we give some points for things like Championships, GG, AS, MVP, etc … since they do factor into how we value a player.

    Derek Jeter has 70 career rWAR. There is no way we would view Jeter and another SS as “equal” in terms of HoF status if the other guy did not have the titles, AS, etc. We count those things (in our mind) because they affect how we view a player’s FAME.

    Brooks Robinson and Reggie Jackson greatly added to their reputations based on what they did in the post-season, and championships are somethng we should … and do … value.

    In this case, some of Jones’s value does incorporate his great defense. But by awarding points for winning gold gloves, would accentuate it even more. Player awards matter in how we view a player.

    Career WAR does not totally encapsulate what a player did in their careers, but in our discussions, we limit ourselves to that, and it doesn;t make sense to me.

    The example I use is Keith Hernandez, who I fell in love with as a 6yo Cardinal fan, so I am not claiming “no bias”. But an MVP, 5 AS, 12 GG, 2 WS titles. Those things should count toward him in terms of a HoF discussion. They matter. They define his fame, his value.

    I’m, not saying we give points for every no-hitter, 4 HR game, etc (even though we could). But for the major stuff like end of year awards, post-season performance, etc they should count.

    I had Jones as a “no” for HoF, but I’d have to drastically rethink my position because 10 straight GG’s (10 STRAIGHT!), 10 straight post-season appearances, etc have to count … even more than what is encapsulated in WAR. The number of CF’s that can say that are well … I’m not saying he’s Willie Mays or Junior, but compared to his peers, he owned CF. One could say he dominated his era at his position (the same way we say that about Santo and NL 3B’s). I might have to change my opinion.

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  48. Yowling says:

    This statement by that clown calling himself Rogower is absolutely ridiculous:

    Roberto Alomar’s umpire-spitting incident is unforgivable because non-whites simply cannot so openly disrespect white authority in this country and expect to get away with it.

    What? So you’re saying that the only reason Alomar isn’t in the HOF is because of this spitting incident? Nonsense – and what happens when Alomar gets in the HOF this year? Is it because the voters are somehow no longer racist?

    Another idiotic statement by Rogower:

    Tim Raines’ cocaine use makes him, in the eyes of many older white voters, typical of his “kind”; this is a white man’s sport that white people are kind enough to allow non-whites to play, and if you’re going to play “our” sport, you have to assimilate.

    Rogower, the purchase of cocaine is a FELONY under US law. If writers are critical of cocaine users, I don’t think it’s because of some racial bias relating to Raines’ “failure to assimilate.” Moreover, while I think that Raines should be inducted and will likely one day get in the HOF, I don’t think the delay has anything to do with race. Out of the four major US sports, the baseball HOF is clearly the most exclusive and voters are extremely discriminating. Of course, while you think that the word “discrimination” relates solely to race, I think that discrimination is sometimes warranted and proper – i.e., to note or observe a difference; distinguish accurately; differentiate between two things.

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  49. Jack Blacktop says:

    Rogower is the typical black racist who decries racism but yet is himself racist with respect to all whites.

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  50. Check the Tower Log says:

    Another stupid statement by Rogower:

    Gary Sheffield has also been the recipient of many classic racist labels, e.g., “malcontent,” “selfish.”

    Rogower, as a third baseman on the Brewers Sheffield deliberately threw balls into the stands in order to force the Brewers to trade him! And what 500 homerun guy has been on eight teams? Were all of these teams racist?

    Rogower is one of these black guys who suffers from a persecution complex. He claims that every decision that penalizes someone who is black is the result of racism, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes people are penalized, and justifiably so.

    Whether black, white or any other color, if you act like a jerk and treat people around you like garbage, it eventually catches up with you. It’s called karma. Sheffield ran himself off almost every team he played on because he was an asshole to the vast majority of people he encountered.

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    • Godfrey says:

      “This statement by that clown calling himself Rogower is absolutely ridiculous”

      “Rogower is the typical black racist who decries racism but yet is himself racist with respect to all whites.”

      “Another stupid statement by Rogower”

      “Rogower is one of these black guys who suffers from a persecution complex.”

      To Check the Tower Log, Jack Blacktop, and Yowling: I can’t imagine why Rogower would have a persecution complex with civil way in which you are responding to his posts. WOW! What’s funny is that the guy (if he is indeed a guy) said in an earlier post that he normally doesn’t even get into the race issue. Then when I read his rather detailed post about how blacks and latinos are viewed differently, I expected to read a diatribe. But what I read was…a detailed, well-thought out, reasoned post to START A CONVERSATION.

      It seems odd to me that you three would react with such invective if he was so clearly off the mark. In my experience, we dismiss people like that. Which makes me wonder — WHY are you so angry about a fairly innocuous post like Rogower’s?

      We can go down the list of people he talked about one by one and poke holes in it, but you haven’t really said anything nuanced to further the discussion. For example, Roberto Alomar is as clear a first ballot hall of famer as there is. For 12 years he was the best 2nd baseman in the world. Period. End of discussion. By every rubric, metric, sight-test, you name it. Every major sportswriter for SI and ESPN agreed that it was a mind-numbing vote last year. So couldn’t it possibly, POSSIBLY have a little to do with race. No one is calling anyone a racist here, but we have to at least acknowledge that race is at least a part of the equation. We can’t NOT see race. It’s just human nature. How do we DEAL with it, is the issue — and I don’t think baseball, but particularly HOF voters have any idea of their blind spots regarding race. In fact, they have blind spots with race, image, and numbers, among other things. In any case someone, (or “eight someones”) was punishing Robbie Alomar for something.

      The spitting incident is interesting — Alomar is very close to the Hirschbeck family and has donated lots of money to Hirschbeck’s foundation. Something very, very good came out of that situation. Character is not about doing the right thing all of the time, but admitting you are wrong and taking steps to correct an error in judgment before it becomes a mistake. To me, Alomar is first ballot.

      We should have this same conversation a few years from now when Jeff Kent is up for election — I’ll be curious to see if he’s a first ballot guy and how the media will spin that one. He probably won’t be, but it’ll be interesting. It is also interesting that Sheffield was considered such a jerk, but then again, so was Jeff Kent. But Jeff Kent never got run out of town from a team that I know of. I’m not saying he pulled a Manny Ramirez (which was shameful, but no more shameful than bigotry and bile hurled at Jackie Robinson by a myriad of Hall of Famers in the late 40′s!), but he was a pure, Grade-A asshole. And it NEVER caught up to him. And you know what? I still think Kent’s a hall of famer, just like I think Sheffield is one.

      Finally, you cannot ignore the difference between the way McGwire was treated and Bonds was treated with the whole steroid affair. Can you imagine if Bonds had been caught with Andro in his locker? I mean really? Other sportswriters shouted down the one writer who was trying to raise the issue — in effect, trying to stop this guy from being a wet blanket on the home run chase and how it saved the game. However, during Bonds’ record setting run, which, if you’ll remember, DID mesmerize the nation after 9/11, the whispers of steroids became downright squeals. Yes, timing was a part of that — it was a few years later and we knew more. However, it is INTERESTING how the two sluggers were treated differently (I’m not really including Sammy Sosa in this, because he kept playing the “dumb-latin player stereotype” to the hilt: “Baseball been very very good to me!”). McGwire was just as surly with the media as Bonds was. But that was okay — he was good for the game. Yeah, he’s paying for it now. But had they not hauled him in front of Congress that day, the questions about Bonds would remain and McGwire would probably be in the HOF by now.

      It’s something to think about.

      By the way, Andruw Jones was the best CF for a decade in the NL. Period. Done. End of Story. THAT is a Hall of Famer. He was dominant for a decade. If Sandy Koufax can get in with 5-7 years of dominance, Andruw Jones can get in for ten years. I don’t care where he ends up in home runs or what. And while I was at it, I’d put Edmonds in too. Not sure about Lofton — he should probably wait awhile. It’s just that the IMPACT Jones had was so massive. Same with Edmonds. He may not have gotten the numbers, but the IMPACT was there.

      Here’s to more civil discussions!

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  51. Fatso says:

    Andruw Jones isn’t a HOF in my book, and it isn’t close.

    He didn’t run the bases well, he didn’t hit for average, and his career OBP is .338.

    His career OPS is .826, and he really offers nothing (absolutely nothing) except homeruns and defense.

    While he was a great defensive player, his 407 career homeruns is not that much when considering that he played during the Steroid Era – many, many guys accumulated many more homeruns during the years he played in the 1990s and 2000s.

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    • Mo says:

      Andruw was actually a good baserunner. He just didn’t steal alot of bases. Made little sense for a guy who was expected to provide power batting 4th or 5th, and who was an elite defender to risk injury stealing bases.

      As for people hitting many more home runs than him during his era, his first full major league season was 1998. From 1998 thru 2007, Andruw’s 345 homers were the 8th most homers in the majors (coming from the one of the best defensive centerfielders in the history of the game). The guys ranked ahead of him in homers during that 10 year period of time were Arod, Sammy, Barry, Manny, Thome, Delgado and Vlad. The 6 home run hitters immediately ranked behind him in homers during that time were Giambi, Chipper, Sheff, Junior, Helton, and Palmeiro. That’s a who’s who list of potential future HOFers.

      Since he made his debut in 1996 thru today, Andruw is ranked 12th in homers with 407. The guys ranked ahead of him are Arod, Thome, Manny, Sammy, Barry, Delgado, Griffey, Chipper, Vlad, Giambi, and Pujols. Again, a who’s who list of home run hitting potential future HOFers.

      Andruw’s 371 homers as a National Leaguer since 1996 ranks him 5th behind Barry, Sammy, Chipper and Pujols, and just ahead of Dunn, Bagwell, Helton, Piazza, and Berkman. And if you look from his first full season in 1998 thru 2007, Andruw’s 345 homers during that time ranked him 3rd in the National League, behind only Sammy and Barry, and ahead of Chipper, Helton and Pujols.

      FWIW to HOF voters (and it still is worth something to HOF voters for good or bad) , Andruw’s 1034 RBIs from 1998 thru 2007 were the 2nd most in the National Leauge behind only Helton’s 1076 RBIs. Helton, Andruw, and Kent were the only ones to break 1000 RBIS in the NL during that 10 year period of time. Andruw’s RBI total during that period of time was good for 6th in the majors. Andruw’s 974 runs scored from 1998 thru 2007 was good for 4th in the NL, behind Helton, Chipper and Barry.

      According to baseball-reference WAR, Andruw had the 3rd most WAR in the NL during that time, just ahead of Chipper. According to fangraphs WAR, Andruw had the 3rd best WAR in the majors, and 2nd best WAR in the NL during that time.

      FWIW, Andruw’s 1577 games played from 1998 thru 2007 were the most games played by any major leaguer during that 10 year period of time.

      Arguments against arbitrary endpoints be damned! :)

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      • Mo says:

        Some other random notes:

        For National Leaguers aged 20 thru 29 since 1901, Andruw had the 9th most rWAR, behind only Hornsby, Aaron, Ott, Mathews, Bonds, Mays, and Musial, and just ahead of Bench and Pujols.

        For National Leaguers aged 20 thru 29 since 1901, Andruw’s 337 homers were the 3rd most homers, behind only Aaron and Eddie Mathews, and just ahead of Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Kiner, Bench, Pujols, Mays, Strawberry, Snider, Banks, Cepeda, Bonds, Santo, and Sammy.

        For National Leaguers aged 20 thru 29 since 1901, Andruw scored the 8th most runs, and drove in the 5th most runs. (Say what you want but HOF voters still care about it so it must be brought up).

        For National Leaguers aged 20 thru 29 since 1901, Andruw’s 1576 games played were the most games ever played. And people wonder why he broke down so early? Trying playing every damn day for a decade, diving all over the field, and crashing into every wall, and see how your body feels when you turn 30. Do we act shocked when running backs hit a wall at 30 after abusing their bodies the way they do in their twenties? Maybe Andruw should have given as less of a damn as he was often wrongly accused of, and just never played everyday, never dove after all those balls, never crashed into all those walls. Maybe then his career wouldn’t have hit a wall at 30.

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  52. Mad Max says:

    If you called Rogower a piece of shit, I wouldn’t disagree.

    Actually allow me to just come right out and say it – Rogower is a piece of shit.

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  53. Darling says:

    Perhaps Rogower can offer impassioned defenses of Milton Bradely, Ron Artest, Laurence Phillips and other degenerates.

    While the white race has many similar embarrassing examples of people who just don’t “get it,” unlike people like Rogower, you don’t hear white people claiming that the criticism individuals like these receive is due wholly to racism.

    Certain people deserve to be criticized as their actions are reprehensible. Rae Carruth is one such example. It is not racism if you criticize Rae Carruth’s action.

    Rogower should be ashamed.

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  54. Clifford says:

    Rogower AKA Dumbgower:

    How do you explain things like Pete Roses’s lifetime ban? If Rose was African American, you’d be going ballistic and calling the decision racist. But because Rose is white, you say nothing and the ban is justified.

    To say that Alomar isn’t in the HOF because he is being punished for disobeying white authority is absurd. What if he is elected this year as Yowling said? Does that mean the writers are no longer racist or somehow have now forgiven him for disobeying white authority? And what if the umpire whose face he spit in was African American? Would the voters still be punishing him for disobeying white authority?

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    • Crumpled Stiltskin says:

      Rose has a liftetime ban for sure, but Rose also gets almost no public criticism for what he did. It’s mostly support. And the same for a guy like “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

      It’s not that being black is only the reason why a guy like Barry Bonds or even Lebron James gets criticized or villain-ized, but anyone who thinks it’s not a factor, and likely the largest factor is kidding themselves. Yes, Barry Bonds was an a$$, but was there one story that pointed out that the drugs that Barry Bonds was using weren’t even technically or legally steroids until after he stopped using them? (This is besides the point of if he knew or not.) That’s right, what is and is not considered a steroid is fluid? Or did anyone point out that cortisone is also a steroid and also a performance enhancing drug, as it alleviates pain, and that this is a drug commonly used in all major sports? Etc, etc . . .

      Race is definitely a factor in how we view each other, but the dangerous thing, as suggested by that Justin Wolfers (i think) NBA basketball ref study a few years ago, it’s not overt racism by those who would consider themselves racist. It’s a racism that subconsciouslly manifests and insidiously displays itself without our noticing, and that is why it’s so dangerous. Precisely because we don’t notice it. Precisely because we don’t want to.

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  55. Glen Shutte says:

    Playing the race card is weak – period.

    Almost all of those guys cited in the article above have been treated as deserved (I don’t know about Reggie Smith, though – don’t know his career).

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  56. Tonzy says:

    Rogower is a jackoff. You know it and I know it. Don’t get yourself worked up about it.

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    • Nathaniel Dawson says:

      You’d come off as more intelligent and less of a jackoff yourself if you would actually debate Rogower’s points with some good arguments, rather than resort to juvenile name-calling.

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    • The Nicker says:

      Did some guy make a New Year’s resolution to make inciteful racist posts on Fangraphs?

      I mean, is it just coincidence that there were like 7 posts in a row from “different” people all making the same stupid attacks on Rogower from 8-9 AM on Jan. 1? I mean, who’s even up at that time?

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  57. Danlby says:

    The only solid justification for leaving Jones out would be skepticism about the defensive metrics. His holes as a player are fine–many HoFers had holes in their game, but their virtues as a player covered for them.

    Nearly every argument for a player lists all his exceptionally good characteristics, and nearly every argument against a player lists all his exceptionally bad characteristics. Both sets of arguments are mostly a waste of time: LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE.

    Since I accept the defensive numbers as getting relatively close to the truth over a decade of baseball, I see a guy who had a typical HoF peak from 21-30 that nearly all other players have from about 24-33 or so. The WAR graphs of him and other players do an exquisite job of showing it. Why is Jones penalized for producing earlier in his life than others if the net is the same?

    Jones should also get credit for cramming nearly all of his production into 9-10 years instead of spreading it out. We all recognize the greater value of ten 6.0 WAR seasons than fifteen 4.0 WAR seasons.

    He’ll be worthy of debate when the time comes.

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  58. Thomas J. says:

    Something that I find incredibly convincing: between 1997 and 2007, which you could call his prime decade, he was 3rd in MLB in WAR. He was well behind A-Rod and Bonds who a) were in another stratosphere and b) were on roids (we have no damning evidence on Jones), and well ahead of such contemporaries as Chipper Jones, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds, Vlad, Jetes, and Manny.

    If the defensive statistics are in the ballpark in measuring how valuable his contributions were versus his contemporaries, it’s hard not to see him as a hall of famer in that light…

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  59. Adam says:

    Sorry, but isn’t this the same website that suggested Jim Edmonds fits into the Juan Gonzalez category of player: good, will be forgotten, no hall of fame. How on earth can you argue for Andruw Jones and say Jim Edmonds….who was a much better hitter and a slightly worse fielder doesn’t belong?

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    • Danlby says:

      Adam, I suggest you either reply directly to posts you want to debate or at least quote the statement. I’ll assume you’re replying to Thomas J.

      TJ’s statement references 1997-2007 specifically. Over those 11 years, here’s Jones and Edmonds WAR figures:

      Jones: B-R 60.0, FG 68.7
      Edmonds: B-R 54.3, FG 53.1

      Jones 11-year peak stands above all but Bonds and Rodriguez. He compares favorably to Edmonds, if you ignore the rest of their careers. I expect nearly all players ranked 3rd in WAR for an 11-year span are in the HoF or will be. I don’t particularly like cherry-picking, however. Here’s the rest of their WAR data outside ’97-’07:

      Jones: B-R -0.1, FG 1.8
      Edmonds: B-R 14.0, FG 15.0

      Add them all up, and Edmonds comes out ahead. You could also cherry-pick differently and get a different comparison. Here’s Jones and Edmonds best 11-year stretches:

      Jones (’97-’07): B-R 60.0, FG 68.7
      Edmonds (’95-’05): B-R 63.8, FG 60.7

      Not so different, were they?

      I’d prefer a Hall that includes both of these guys. They’re not so different given the whole picture. As has been noted, CF is underrepresented.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Am I the only one that thinks that comparing Jones to Edmonds hurts Jones’s chances?

        I say that as a Cardinal fan, but Jones had a much better peak than Edmonds, better defense (consistently).

        I’m also one that doesn’t give as much credit for longevity. I’d rather see dominance at one’s position or in one’s era.

        The 2-3 WAR seasons tacked on after the peak to accumulate enough WAR aren’t impressive to me. I’d rather see a decade of dominance.

        The differences as I see them …

        [1] Jones was a better defender for longer.
        [2] Edmonds BABIP .342, Jones .274
        [3] Edmonds 12% BB, Jones 10%

        You could give Jones credit for playing on division winners for like 32 consecutive years,if you wanted to. Both guys have some pretty good post-season highlights.

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  60. Jim says:

    Just in case anyone missed it, CircleChange11 is advocating that voters take into account GG, AS appearances, and best of all, championships (Julio Lugo, you have a HoF case!).

    Yes, I realize he’s not saying to weight these things heavily, but they should be completely ignored. And this is a guy who posts here often and other places, so next time you’re reading one of his posts, please don’t take him seriously.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Let me know if you’re saying that championships, individual awards, etc don’t count toward a player’s fame and/or value.

      Which one makes more sense? They do count or they don’t.

      There are plenty of reasons not to take me seriously … I post too much, I’m impulsive, I repeat myself, and blah, blah, blah.

      But saying that individual awards, championships, etc matter in regards to how they shape our view of a player’s fame and value is one of the things I got right (IMO).

      Are we seriously acting like what Brooks Robinson did in the WS had little impact on what people think of him as a player?

      We are talking about the Hall of Fame. Things other than regular season stats should count.

      Are you seriously saying they shouldn’t? And then compounding it by employing a junior high mentality where we mock someone with a different view?

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Here’s what I am getting at … and using an example that gets used very often … Ron Santo v. Brooks Robinson.

        Often the career WAR gets brought up and “that’s it”. End of story. Santo’s career was just as good as Robinson’s. This single number represents that. Just take our word for it.

        Santo: 66.4 rWAR
        Brooks: 69.1 rWAR

        Ta-Da!

        But ignore the “differences” in their careers …

        All-Star Games
        —————-
        Santo: 9
        Brooks: 15

        MVP
        ——-
        Santo: 0
        Brooks: 1

        Gold Gloves
        ————-
        Santo: 5
        Brooks: 16

        Post-season
        ————
        Santo: None
        Brooks: 4 WS, Won 2.

        These players may have similar WAR, but they did not have similar careers. Not even close.

        We can say they “should” be viewed the same, but that doesn’t reflect what really happened. They could both be in the HoF and deserve to be there, but my point is that WAR does not tell the WHOLE story in terms of their fame and value … and when discussing the HoF, I want to look at everything.

        Kirby Puckett’s 49 WAR and Keith Hernandez’s 61 WAR doesn’t tell me everything about them (IMO). Only through their AS selections, gold gloves, world series titles, MVP, etc do I get the full measure of their impact.

        Perhaps I am wrong, but I was not aware (seriously) that the view of the sabermetric community was that things like player awards, championships, and other postseason performances stuff should be completely ignored when considering HoF.

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      • adam says:

        I can’t reply to below so i will here. I don’t know why you wouldn’t take individual awards and achievements into consideration. They help instruct how fans or experts saw them in the moment. I can here all the opinions about how ‘Andruw Jones was above and away the greatest defensive CF’ but its an absolute overstatement. This is not taking away that statistically he is the greatest and by any learned opinion he is in the elite tier. But making these sweeping statements on defense ignores how closely talented the average MLB player is and the great ones. He was an amazing defender though I think his defense prowless is less impressive than brooks or ozzie who worked in the infield or pudge who was in the hardest defensive position of all!

        I think looking strictly at career war ignores how streaky Druw truly was and how i remember him growing up. 1-4 2 so’s and a 2-run hr was his go-to stat line.

        His individual seasons show this with a peak OPS+ of 136. I understand the comparisons of ozzie’s offence and druw but were talking about completely different positions. I also believe giving so much credence to druw’s defensive ability takes away from players like Vlad in situations where you can’t quantify the arm strength in statistics though it undoubtedly affected the decisions of baserunners. If druw was an elite NL outfielder as stated many times than why does he only have 5 AS appearances? He was actually a better career first half hitter than second half.
        I don’t think the fans participating in the voting in those years saw him in the same light many are seeing him on paper today. He was a very good MLB CF with amazing defense and that’s how I will remember him. I read many posts that nearly swayed me to a “yes” vote but I still can’t see historic greatness. I see Jones as similar to Canseco in many respects because he was the ultimate power in baseball (comparable to jones’s defense.) and he had great speed, could get on base without a hit as well as hit for average. There is even a comparison of Canseco’s defense to Druw’s batting average and OBP. I don’t consider Canseco a HOF by any means.

        Finally, the OBP doesn’t tell the whole story. OBP with a high batting average like Vlad shows that he was constantly putting the ball in play which is infinitely better than striking out. The little things like this is why I see Vlad as a HOF and not Jones and further; why ozzie is a HOF because of his ability to put the ball in play, move runners and constantly contribute to his team.

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  61. rick p says:

    “I have a hard time envisioning someone with half of a game as a hall of famer.”

    I hear ya, Reggie, Ozzie and Bruce Sutter. 51 homers from the acknowleged king of the CFs. Tough crowd

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  62. John DiFool says:

    His entire case revolves around how his D is evaluated. Consider the following:

    Jones holds the (BBRef) record for TZ runs for a CF, at 221 (here I am sure it would be even bigger, as already discussed), and 242 for all OF positions. Willie Mays and Paul Blair are the only other ones close, at 178 & 176 respectively, while at other positions only Brooks Robinson, Ozzie, and Belanger outrank him. He also owns 4 of the top 19 single season marks (there’s a huge logjam at 20). The question then becomes a discussion of just how big the error bars are on all that, as well as examining 2nd/3rd/4th “opinions” from other defensive systems. Until I know that, and can state with confidence that those 242 runs are reasonably close to a true statement about his value, I’ll err on the side of caution and say he isn’t HoF quality.

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  63. John DiFool says:

    Clemente is also over 200, at 205, and Barry is at 191.

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  64. NEPP says:

    I went with maybe.

    Jones is just one of those odd cases. I dont think he’ll ever get in personally.

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  65. Scott says:

    Druw is an interesting case. For me he deserves to be in, a strong finish may even convince the people who aren’t into sabermetrics will vote him in. If he can get to 500 homers his odds at getting into the hall are very high. The combination of over a decade as being one of the best defenders of all time, plus being a not too shabby offensive force.

    Ozzie got in on his defense, and he was a career .311 wOBA hitter, Druw is sitting at .353 right now. If he can have 5 more years like last year (I wouldn’t consider it out of the realm of possibility given him still being under 35) and his rate stats are around the same, but with the counting 500 homers, plus the world class defense. I don’t see how they could keep him out. THough i guess you can’t put anything past hall voters, since blyleven is still waiting.

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  66. Mo says:

    From Sports Illustrated in 2005, discussing how Andruw was burdened by expectations created following the 2 homers at age19 at Yankee Stadium in 1996, and how he was always going to be seen as an underachiever because of it:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1103875/index.htm

    “No other player has been so burdened by two plate appearances in the infancy of his career. In the cathedral of Yankee Stadium, a 19-year-old Jones homered in his first two World Series at bats without bothering to genuflect. As Smoltz expresses it, from that point everyone expected this wunderkind from Curacao “to be Mickey Mantle. Or better.” Directions to Cooperstown? Play 15 years and hang a left. Jones was not merely a plaque in waiting, he was cool: trademark smirk, languid swing, satiny stride as he closed on fly balls in centerfield, one-handed catches at shoulder level. Some thought that Jones cruised on his innate ability, a harsh assessment for an All-Star who, through Sunday, had 276 career home runs, three seasons with more than 100 RBIs and enough Gold Gloves–seven–to fill a window at Tiffany’s.”

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  67. Kaplan says:

    Why do people keep bringing up this 51 homer season as if this punches Andruw Jones’ ticket to Cooperstown?

    A LOT of baseball players hit the snot out of the ball one year (see Batista, Jose); the litmus test is whether a professional has had sustained exceptional success over an extended period of time.

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    • Gee says:

      I’m pretty sure no one is saying that 51 home runs in a season puts someone in the HOF. They are just saying that it helps one get into the HOF. It’s another brick in the wall, so to speak.

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  68. Jim says:

    “Let me know if you’re saying that championships, individual awards, etc don’t count toward a player’s fame and/or value.”

    Wow, talk about a misleading sentence. To put championships and individual awards in the same category is stupid (call me Junior High all you want, I don’t pull punches, not trying to be insulting just honest). To put fame and value in the same category is stupid.

    If you’re seriously trying to argue that the “fame” in Hall of Fame is to be taken literally, just let me know so I can stop responding right now.

    count toward a player’s fame and/or value.”

    Wow, talk about a misleading sentence. To put championships and individual awards in the same category is stupid (call me Junior High all you want, I don’t pull punches, not trying to be insulting just honest). To put fame and value in the same category is stupid.

    If you’re seriously trying to argue that the “fame” in Hall of Fame is to be taken literally, just let me know so I can stop responding right now.
    count toward a player’s fame and/or value.”

    Wow, talk about a misleading sentence. To put championships and individual awards in the same category is stupid (call me Junior High all you want, I don’t pull punches, not trying to be insulting just honest). To put fame and value in the same category is stupid.

    If you’re seriously trying to argue that the “fame” in Hall of Fame is to be taken literally, just let me know so I can stop responding right now.

    All-Star appearances are based on less than half a season of performance, and many of the voters use meaningless criteria like RBI, etc to make their decisions. It’s also a popularity contest.

    MVPs are the same story, to a lesser extent. Are there many MVPs who didn’t have great seasons? No. But it’s an obsolete method when I can simply look at the player’s actual season, as well as other players in the same year who weren’t lucky enough to win the MVP to see how valuable each of them was. The fact that Player A won an MVP and player B won zero, that fact in a vacuum, means zero. It is not a check in Player A’s column as you suggest.

    As for winning a championship/appearing in the postseason, this is beneath discussion. But since you’re either that dumb, or just being obtuse, I’ll lower myself to point out that players have no control over the quality of the teams they play on, only their own performance.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Wow, talk about a misleading sentence. To put championships and individual awards in the same category is stupid

      They are simply lumped together in the “ignored” category in regards to HoF discussions that are self-limiting to career WAR. They are not in the same category, nor should they be given equal weighting. I did not ignore them in my discussions, so call them whatever you want.

      call me Junior High all you want,

      I called you “Junior High” because you told everyone to “not take me seriously” right after you used my words to make a jestful HoF case for Julio Lugo, as if that’s what I am saying.

      If you want to stick your chest out with internet bravado telling me how you shoot straight and talk bluntly, then shoot straight and talk blunty.

      I am simply describing reality. HoF voters, dy definition and practice, are not self-limiting in HoF voting to “career WAR”. Other things play into a player’s “HoF case”, and I simply listed some of them.

      All-Star appearances are based on less than half a season of performance, and many of the voters use meaningless criteria like RBI, etc to make their decisions. It’s also a popularity contest.

      I don;t see where you can make mock my comments and then say fans vote on ASG’s by what happened in the 1st half of the season. We have annual discussions complaining that does NOT happen. IMO, ASG appearances can be a gauge of a player’s “superstar factor” with the fans. The fans vote for the player they think is the best at that position, not who is having the best 1st half. (Often they can be the same gorup of guys, but not always).

      I’m talking about what it, not what “should be”.

      The fact that Player A won an MVP and player B won zero, that fact in a vacuum, means zero.

      To talk of anything in a vaccuum is irrelevant. I have no idea why you even bring it up.

      I keep talking about the “whole story” (and used those EXACT words. YOU’RE talking about things in a vaccuum.

      I’m just saying that winning an MVP has an impact on how people can or may view a player. Since we’re talking about HoF electability, it seems relevant.

      I highly doubt that there is a single case where a player gets into the HoF over a player with similar career WAR, just because he has an MVP … although I suppose Andre Dawson could be a case study.

      My comments are not about HoF voting, they are about the FG community’s discussion of the HoF. We stop the discussion at “career WAR”, when that’s not all there is to it. The Santo-Brooks example is a great one. Similar career WAR numbers, completely different careers.

      I think we can and should use career WAR to point out how under-appreciated Santo was, and also to illustrate how Santo deserves to be in the HoF. But, we should not use career WAR to show that Santo and Brooks had comparable careers. They did not.

      As for winning a championship/appearing in the postseason, this is beneath discussion. But since you’re either that dumb, or just being obtuse, I’ll lower myself to point out that players have no control over the quality of the teams they play on, only their own performance.

      This is where it would help if you would hold the damn target still, instead of moving it all over the place. I was not saying whether a player controls his team’s quality. i was saying that fans/voters do give players “credit” for playing on a winning team … so do voters … which is why w see so many NYY’s from the 50s and 60s.

      I’m describing reality, you’re talking about your preference. The reason for the disconnect is obvious.

      When they write about players, they start by listing their milestones, awards, all-star selections, gold gloves, etc. They do not start with the player’s career WAR, OPS+, etc.

      I am describing reality, you’re giving your opinion on how it should be. Good luck with that.

      My simple point was that we should not self-limit ourselves to “career WAR” in HoF discussions, because that does not reflect the reality of the situation.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Wow, talk about a misleading sentence. To put championships and individual awards in the same category is stupid

        They are simply lumped together in the “ignored” category in regards to HoF discussions that are self-limiting to career WAR. They are not in the same category, nor should they be given equal weighting. I did not ignore them in my discussions, so call them whatever you want.

        call me Junior High all you want,

        I called you “Junior High” because you told everyone to “not take me seriously” right after you used my words to make a jestful HoF case for Julio Lugo, as if that’s what I am saying.

        If you want to stick your chest out with internet bravado telling me how you shoot straight and talk bluntly, then shoot straight and talk blunty.

        All-Star appearances are based on less than half a season of performance, and many of the voters use meaningless criteria like RBI, etc to make their decisions. It’s also a popularity contest.

        Your comments above are contradictory. The ASG is either a popularity contest, or it’s based on the 1st half stats.

        You’re arguing against the validity of the AS selections. I’m saying that playing in the ASG reflects and influences how we view a player. Being a 10-time AS is different than a 1-time AS, even if career WAR is the same.

        The fact that Player A won an MVP and player B won zero, that fact in a vacuum, means zero.

        To talk of anything in a vaccuum is irrelevant. I have no idea why you even bring it up.

        I keep talking about the “whole story” (and used those EXACT words). YOU’RE talking about things in a vaccuum.

        I highly doubt that there is a single case where a player gets into the HoF over a player with similar career WAR, just because he has an MVP … although I suppose Andre Dawson could be a case study.

        —————————–

        I think we can and should use career WAR to point out how under-appreciated Santo was, and also to illustrate how Santo deserves to be in the HoF. But, we should not use career WAR to show that Santo and Brooks had comparable careers. They did not.

        As for winning a championship/appearing in the postseason, this is beneath discussion. But since you’re either that dumb, or just being obtuse, I’ll lower myself to point out that players have no control over the quality of the teams they play on, only their own performance.

        You sir are a master at framing the discussion. Thanks for lowering yourself to my level. You do realize that your Big White Horse is really an albino donkey, right?

        This is where it would help if you would hold the damn target still, instead of moving it all over the place. I was not saying whether a player controls his team’s quality. i was saying that fans/voters do give players “credit” for playing on a winning team … so do voters

        When they write about players, they start by listing their milestones, awards, all-star selections, gold gloves, championship teams, etc. They do not start with the player’s career WAR, OPS+, etc.

        I am describing reality, you’re giving your opinion on how it should be. Good luck with that.

        My simple point was that we should not self-limit ourselves to “career WAR” in HoF discussions, because that does not reflect the reality of the situation. If I am wrong about the reality of the situation, please just prove it without all the bad comedic attempts and *cough* straight talk.

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      • The Nicker says:

        CC11, I agree with your general point that these things should be taken into account, but I disagree that we need to approximate their value in WAR and incorporate them into WAR.

        I understand it’s nice to have a nice round WAR number by which to evaluate everyone, but not all AS games (see Ripken Jr, Cal), and certainly not all GGs (see Jeter, Derek) should be weighted equally. Sometimes, as with defensive evaluations and pitching metrics, in my opinion (ERA, tERA, FIP, xFIP). should all be looked at).

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I wasn’t saying “add it to WAR”.

        I was saying “come up with Hall of Fame Points”.

        I do see how that could be misinterpreted because 1 WAR = 1 HoF Point.

        Really, i was trying to come up with a way of quantifying things that people have trouble quantifying. Puckett’s heroics. Gibson’s homer. Morris’s 7th game.

        Really, I’m just fatigued of all the Morris-Blyleven stuff, and it’s mostly the sabermetric community that keep the dichotomy going (it does make it easy to hammer the traditionalists).

        I just want to say “fine give Morris an MVP Season’s worth of points (8 WAR) for Game 7 … he’s still not in. Next issue.”

        But, i did also want to get a good overall picture of guys like Hernandez, Puckett, etc that I personally feel are shorted by WAR a bit. But, if that’s what required to get them HoF consideration, then they probably are not worthy.

        Weighted War is sufficient to me, or a scalar quantity, where the peak season are magnified to a grater degree. That’s probably a better option than “Hall of Fame Points” (trademark pending, by the way …. Ha Ha ha)

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  69. another jon says:

    I read the ESPN article. For numbers-crunching stat geek purposes, could you please define “numerous”? I count exactly one World Series championship under Derek Jeter’s captaincy.

    If I am to accept one as numerous, how seriously should I take the rest of your numbers? Or the rest of your work?

    That is a relatively simple number to look up and an unacceptably sloppy – or lazy, if you prefer – piece of work.

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  70. PL says:

    I think any player with 70+ WAR belongs in the HOF.

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  71. Jim says:

    “I am describing reality, you’re giving your opinion on how it should be. Good luck with that.”

    This is a quote from you:

    “I’m not saying we go all NFL or NBA, where players are often measured by “rings”, but that we SHOULD FACTOR IN THESE THINGS.”

    Stop wasting my time, you’re just backtracking now. Embarrassing.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      It’s a simple question: If you had a vote, would you factor in rings? And don’t give me some BS about how you would factor them in because “most people do”.

      What we’re going to skip the quote mining and insults? I thought that was the best part of the discussion? We should have just started with that right from the beginning. I could have pulled out my favorite insulting names like Smegma Breath, and made a bunch of jokes about your unmanliness and your mom and …

      So, would I factor in rings? Yes.

      My breakdown would be something like this:
      [1] Career WAR, 85-87%
      [2] Individual Awards/Accomplishments/Milestones: 10-12%
      [3] Championships, post-season performance: 3-5%

      It could be 90/8/2. Championships would factor in, to a small degree. The only way it would be a “big” deal is if a player won a bunch of them, and it still would not push a 40 WAR player into the HoF.

      The big thing that I have said that applies to other people would be that using only “career WAR” leaves out some important other factors.

      I think if you look at my quotes that I selected and look at the context they are in, whether that applies to my own conclusions or other peopple’s conclusions, I think you’ll find 2 different situations being discussed.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Jim, I’m saying we (Fangraphs) should because reality does. We know that player awards and team success factor in how fans/voters view players. Advanced metrics demonstrate this with players all the time.

      To be more specific “we” would describe anyone involved in a HoF discussion that limits itself to career WAR (only regular season games).

      The fangraphs discussions/limitations do not reflect reality. The HoF is limited to being the Hall of WAR.

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  72. Jim says:

    “I had Jones as a “no” for HoF, but I’d have to drastically rethink my position because 10 straight GG’s (10 STRAIGHT!), 10 straight post-season appearances, etc have to count ”

    Again, you’re clearly talking about what should happen here, not simply predicting what will happen. Backtracking idiot.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      I was saying that *I* should consider, to be consistent with my comments.

      Absolutely no backtracking.

      IMO, you’re in such a hurry to put me in my place, you’re missing context.

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  73. Jim says:

    It’s a simple question: If you had a vote, would you factor in rings? And don’t give me some BS about how you would factor them in because “most people do”.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Jim, much of my comments are just off the cuff discussions, and not a thoroughly developed system that one might construct for a professional article.

      Here is what I specifically AM saying …

      [1] We [the baseball community, fangraphs discussion group in this specific instance] should NOT set up a HoF system where career WAR is THE sole determining factor for selection. In other words, don’t set up a system where X<65 WAR is automatically NOT in the HoF. I am fine with setting up a system where a certain number of career WAR is an automatic in. If that is a logical fallacy, I would ned to correct my thinking.

      I say this primarily because (A) players play for different lengths of careers and at various peak levels, and (B) it ignores anything outside of regular season stats.

      [2] DO use career WAR to show how some players have been under-valued because they were on losing teams (Santo v. Robinson) or were over-shadowed by all-time great peers (Raines v. Henderson) … or even that certain players were over-valued because they were on winning teams.

      [3] DO use career WAR to show that players with lesser peaks, but sustained "very goodness" get the short end of the stick (Whitaker v. Sandberg).

      I would not penalize players for not being on championship teams, nor would I penalize players for NOT winning individual awards … but I would give some small-medium credit to such things for those players that find themselves in the "borderline" category in regards to HoF. I am NOT saying Eckstein deserves to be in the HoF b/c he won two championships, and was a WS MVP in one of them.
      The best example that illustrates what I am specifically saying is Keith Hernandez. His 61 career WAR puts him rather solidly in the NO HoF category. My point is that his career WAR does not tell the whole story of his career. I, personally, would factor in his 12 Gold Gloves, 2 WS titles (namely because he was reputed to be a team leader and key member of those teams), and that awards such as ASG and MVP, would push him from the "no" group, to the "maybe" group.

      That's it.

      In this particular thread, I applied my own comments/thinking to my decision on Andruw Jones. I had him as a "no" with 70 WAR. I then included his 10 consecutive gold gloves, and being a key member of an all-time successful team to push him into the "maybe" or even the "probably so" category, in order to be consistent.

      I do not understand how one could say "Santo is a yes because he has 66 rWAR", but "Jones is a no because he only has 60 rWAR". To me, Jones accumulating an additional 5-6 WAR over the next 4-6 years, would not (or should not) be the difference between him being in the HoF or not.

      If there is anything fundamentally wrong with my thinking or comments, give me Hell for it.

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  74. Cidron says:

    To just look at WAR, or any other tool, metric, etc would be doing the rest of a picture a disservice. You have to look at the whole picture. Much like, you dont look only at Mona Lisa’s nose. You look at that entire picture too. In the case of the Mr Jones,

    the good…
    1. defense without peer (at his position, and almost without peer, anywhere on field)
    2. power, both in terms of a peak season, as well as over a good part of career (51 in ’05 / 407 career)
    3. awards, accolades, including gold gloves, all-star appearances, world series appearances (as a principle player (to distinguish from those that might say “sid bream got a ws appearance, he is a hof”r)
    4. career longevity at productive rates..
    5. 156 steals

    the bad.
    1. career avg — .256
    2. “magic numbers” … well short of 3000 hits, a bit short of 500hr

    other factors that may affect hof voters
    1. How fan/media friendly was he? (this i am not sure of)
    2. Was he overshadowed by his champion teammates? (chipper, maddux, smoltz, glavine, mcgriff, heck, even cox) ..?
    3. Perceptions of his workout ethics
    4. He never did the “team leader” or “captain” thing, never accepting the role, or taking it on himself.

    Yes, I am sure i missed some on all the above areas, but …

    I will be honest, I didnt see him as a HOF intially… but I will admit to some reconsideration for sure. Enough to change my mind or not, dunno. But, some of the numbers make me wonder.

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  75. CircleChange11 says:

    Another good/tricky example is how to handle a player like Kirby Puckett …

    Career WAR: 44.8 (rWAR)

    Player Awards
    ————-
    ROY
    Top 10 MVP: 7
    Gold Gloves: 6
    All-Star: 10
    Silver Sugger: 6

    Post-Season
    ———–
    .309/.361/.536
    ALCS MVP
    2 WS Titles.

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  76. Jim says:

    I haven’t said one thing about WAR here, you’re wasting your time with that. Never said it’s all we should use.

    “Jim, I’m saying we (Fangraphs) should because reality does. We know that player awards and team success factor in how fans/voters view players.”

    So we should factor in RBI then as well, right? Certainly they still factor in heavily with how fans/voters view players.

    I don’t care if you give a (legit) borderline guy a small bump because he won a ring. It’s not the end of the world. But your entire logic/reasoning behind it is silly. Yes, it’s a reality that people value meaningless things. And it’s a reality that I and many others don’t value those things. Both are reality. I’m not sure but I don’t think on that HoF voting instructions it says that should try to “reflect popular thought” with your vote.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      You’ve completely lost me on the “reality bit”.

      I’m saying we should include player awards and non-regular season aspects in our FG HoF discussions (we currently limit them career WAR), for a few reasons … [1] it reflects reality (voters are not self-limited to career WAR, why should we?), [2] Voters do NOT relegate themselves to regular season only, and [3] we all know postseason stuff and player awards matter, so why ignore them?

      In your post you say you and many others don’t value meaningless things.

      [1] Meaningless things? Seriously?
      [2] Who are these “others”? Do they have a HoF vote? I ask because the people that do vote for the HoF seem to value meaningless things a whole lot more than even I do.

      Reflecting popular thought and incorporating voting reality are two different things. It is the FG community that is being “unreal” in its HoF discussion approach, IMO … by ignoring anything outside of regular season stats (career WAR). Voters are instructed to do the exact opposite, even give weight to things like character and sportsmanship.

      I’m not sure you even realize what is being discussed in our conversation.

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      • Jim says:

        I notice you conveniently ignored the RBI question. This is the crux of the entire discussion, not surprising you would dodge it.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        So we should factor in RBI then as well, right? Certainly they still factor in heavily with how fans/voters view players.

        I didn’t dodge the question. I got preoccupied with whether we were discussing “reality” or “reflecting popular thought”.

        I think we should factor in everything. I’m not one of those guys that runs around saying RBI are a meaningless stat. They tell us something, while not being the most descriptive stat available. I wouldn’t place a great amount of weight in RBI, while not ignoring them completely. On a scale of 10, they’d be around the 1 or 2 level.

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  77. Heathbar09 says:

    Outside of metrics (mainly because the hall of fame voting survived without metrics before), Jones has had a phenomenal career. However, his offense alone is not nearly enough to get him in the Hall; and his defense alone (although above HOF standards) is not enough. But together, they make for a HOF career. He is arguably the 2nd best defensive CF of all-time (with gold gloves and many shocked fans to support this). Any baseball fan or Braves fan would know that not only did he make spectacular catches, but he also made countless catches easily on the run that 95% of all of other outfielders would have to dive for (or not even catch). Should also be noted that he had a GREAT arm in his prime. 120 career assists I believe???

    It is sad that 500 homeruns have become somewhat of a “benchmark.” If Jones has 5 or 6 mediocre seasons of 15-20 HRs a year (which is possible since he is only 33), then everyone will say “no doubt HOF because he has 500 HRs (another argument is Fred McGriff with 493 HRs, leave that one for another day). But, personally I don’t believe mediocrity should get someone in the HOF. As of right now, Jones’ has had an outstanding HOF career and he does not need 5 or 6 mediocre seasons to substantiate that.

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    • Nathaniel Dawson says:

      I’m pretty sure Hall of Fame voters have relied on metrics since the Hall’s inception. Batting average, Runs, Home runs, RBI’s, ERA, Wins, Losses, Stolen bases, those are only a few. Of course, I don’t believe they called them metrics back in the day. That’s been a more recent trend, borrowed from business and industry.

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      • Heathbar09 says:

        Natianiel,

        Sorry, I meant to write sabermetrics. Such as WAR, UZR, etc. Statistics has been used for a benchmark since the Hall’s inception, but not sabermetrics. I am somewhat old school and put more value in statistics rather that sabermetrics. Although, I do not write them off entirely. Sorry for the confusion.

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  78. Raul says:

    He’s never been linked to steroids. 10 gold gloves, 5 all-star teams, arguably the best defensive center fielder of the era.

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  79. Joe R says:

    I voted realistically.

    I think he deserves to be enshrined as one of the great defensive players of all time, but he just doesn’t have that reputation.

    The fact that he was done so young, though, will hurt him. People will remember the DH-version of Jones more than anything. It’ll be a hard sell to say that Jones was 275 runs better than an average CF in his career. Even if he was half that, though, he’d have a case IMO.

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  80. Mike says:

    While he didn’t hit for power like Andruew Jones, one can make a similar case for Dom DiMaggio whom many say was just as good as a CF as his brother or even better. DiMaggio missed three seasons due to the war and ended up with a .298 BA. I don’t think Jones’ name screams HOF and his recent loafing in past years doesn’t help. He’s still young enough to have a few great seasons left.

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  81. Jerry says:

    Can`t put him in the HOL , as good as he was defensively, his last year in Atlanta , mine too…. he won that GG on reputation. Balls that were normally caught & others that were regularily cut off that rolled to the warning track/or wall gave that away. Still he played a good center field , Just not GG caliber.

    Jones had too many RBI opportunities when he made bad outs ( K`s , DP`s) and enought bone head running mistakes for me not to even consider comparing him to Derek Jeter…who might not have the range in the field , but always seems to be in the right place and he makes all the routine plays. No comparison between the two on the bases , Jeter hands down. Hitting regardless of homers still an edge for Jeter.

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  82. Spunky says:

    One other thing I noticed about Jones is that since 2002, his Dollars stat has totaled to $133.8 million, while his actual salary was $89.7 (+30ish, a guess since fangraphs doesn’t have his salary the last 2 years) = $120ish million dollars. While I’m not usually a fan of the “he made X million dollars, he’d better damn produce!” argument, in his prime Jones received good money while performing almost double what he was worth. (He later became a waste and thus cancelled much of it out.

    It’s obvious that performing above what you’re paid is a good thing on a personal level, but I never hear people talk about it with regards to the Hall of Fame. But why not? If you’re playing as well as guys who make twice what you make, or if your low salary allows your team to spend more on other players, you should get credit for that. Now I’m not sure specifics of it (how much did his salary really help his teams?) but I think it’s worth a look.

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    • The Nicker says:

      No way.

      Are we really going to punish players in the HOF voting for hiring Scott Boras?

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    • Orangeman94 says:

      So Longoria’s got your vote already?

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      • Superhans says:

        Yes…?

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      • Spunky says:

        If he keeps making what he’s making and producing like he’s been, then probably yes. But take a crazy example: guy plays well (like, as well as Andruw Jones) but only makes $5 million a year. Since he’s really worth $20 million a year, this means his team can add an additional star to the roster (and drop someone who’s not so good). Surely this should mean something. If VORP penalizes players for missing games because AAA-level guys, then shouldn’t guys get awarded for having such good contracts that their teams can bring in more talent?

        Maybe this is too tough to decide, since really the team and the agent are involved here, and since this would mean A-Rod was actually a bad thing for Texas since he cost so much, but I still think it’s worth at least considering when discussing a person’s credentials. At the very least, if a guy intentionally took a pay cut and outperformed his salary, that should help in the “Character” clause.

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  83. Clifford says:

    To GODFREY:

    You are entitled to your opinion, but I don’t agree with anything that you say – to say that Rogower’s comment is a detailed, well-thought out, reasoned post is foolish. Let’s call garbage what it is – garbage.

    Whether or not Rogower “normally gets into the race issue” is wholly irrelevant. People who espouse theories like Rogower’s automatically see a certain result (or effect) and immediately jump to the conclusion that race is the cause of that effect – non sequitor! A million other reasons exist other than race, yet why does he automatically assume that the reason Alomar wasn’t elected on the first ballot was this notion that he “disobeyed white authority by spitting in the face of an umpire.” Please. Does he have any proof of that? Further, forget about proof – the quote unquote circumstantial evidence doesn’t even REMOTELY hint that racism is the reason for his rejection on the first ballot. Do you have any idea how many standout HOFers weren’t elected on the first ballot? A very, very small percentage of HOFers have been elected on the first ballot. It is no crime for him to be elected in his second year of eligibility, which he very well will be.

    I don’t think Rogower’s comments are “innocous” at all. Always searching for race-related reasons to every outcome is dangerous and promotes racial disharmony rather than harmony especially when, as here, there is absolutely no evidence that race had anything to do with the voters’ failure to elect Alomar last year.

    Have you considered the fact that voters held against Alomar these claims of women who claimed that he had sex with them while knowing he had the AIDS virus? I think it far, far, FAR more likely that voters punished him for these allegations than for anything relating to the fact that he “disobeyed white authority by spitting in the face of an umpire.” The HOF has a character element and voters may have punished him for (1) these unseemly AIDS allegations and (2) perhaps the spitting incident, but not due to the fact that he is Latino and the ump was white – that theory just doesn’t hold water.

    Godfrey further states that “[C]haracter is not about doing the right thing all of the time, but admitting you are wrong and taking steps to correct an error in judgment before it becomes a mistake. To me, Alomar is first ballot.” First of all, this definition makes no sense in the current context – “..taking steps to correct an error in your judgment before it becomes a mistake….” Alomar made an error in judgment that was also a mistake – there was no time for him to “correct an error in judgment.” Other than that glitch in language, though – I think the intent behind your definition is fine with me, i.e. – that he made a mistake and accepted responsibility. But that is YOUR definition of character, Godfrey – not everyone’s! Others would say that if a player shoots roids or spit on an ump, he shouldn’t be in the HOF, and some of the writers believe that whether or not you or I concur.

    In short, if you are going to request more civil discussions, think about the other side of the coin as opposed to this foolish sentiment that Alomar is not in the HOF because he disobeyed white authority. That is the dumbest thing I’ve read on FanGraphs thus far.

    And no, I don’t think Andruw Jones is a HOFer and I hope he doesn’t get into the HOF – period. That has nothing to do with the color of his skin. I also don’t think Jim Edmonds is a HOFer and hope he doesn’t get elected either. The baseball HOF is extremely exclusive and hopefully that continues in the future.

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  84. Will says:

    I know the subject of race here is absurd because we have 200 gazillion comments about it as opposed to the handful about Andruw Jones’ HoF plea.

    I voted no but I was fairly unaware of Jones’ defensive prowess. I like BAs over .280 and A-Jo is lacking there. Although one thing for sure is that he won’t improve his odds throughout the rest of his career unless he manages to save someone’s life by hitting a ball at a potential assassin. He’s pretty much set as far as the HoF is concerned.

    Side note, our main argument for someone being in the HoF shouldn’t be “Well so-and-so is in so this guy should be too!” That’s a slippery slope. Let the player stand on his own.

    I’d change my vote if I could mainly because I haven’t heard any compelling arguments for him to be held out.

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  85. Nomad says:

    Will, I would say that the compelling argument for him to be out of the HOF is that defensive WAR statistics are still in their infancy, and I wouldn’t rely on them at this juncture. When Andruw Jones is eligible five years after they retire, this may be a different story, but at this stage I wouldn’t vote him when a large percentage of his 70.5 WAR is related to defense, and that value is not reliable.

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  86. Jim says:

    “I think we should factor in everything.”

    This just makes no sense. Why? And how do you define “everything”? Should we give points for awesome facial hair, too? Sounds like I’m joking, but it’s about equal in relevance with RBI.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Is it really a big deal?

      Let’s just stop and ask ourselves what’s really being debated here.

      Whether I give RBI1 out of 10 worth of importance or 0 out of 10, does that really matter? Is there a single case of a HoF where that 1 out of 10 is going the difference between in or out?

      Will ignoring RBI completely make the sun shine a little brighter, make the flowers a little more colorful, and put a little extra strut in our step?

      I guess I’m just not seeing the travesty here.

      Fine, I’m convinced. I’ll give Don Mattingly and Jack Morris 1 out of 10 consideration for facial hair. *Considering* No, they’re still not in. Keith Hernandez is still on the fringe, and the Just for Men commercials are moving him further away.

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  87. Jim says:

    Actually it’s more relevant, at least a player has control over the style of his mustache.

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  88. Bowser says:

    If facial hair mattered, Keith Hernandez would be the in HOF.

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  89. Jim says:

    I didn’t say it was a travesty, it’s just wrong. If you buy a donut and your change is 75 cents and you get back a penny, you’d probably say something.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      How is it wrong to say RBI are not completely meaningless?

      Truth is it is not wrong. It’s just a different opinion that some others hold.

      Had I stated that RBI is a very useful stat that tells us a lot about a player’s contribution to the team and was using it as a primary piece of player valuation, then that is a situation that I think could be demonstrated as inaccurate.

      A better comment to make to me (IMO) is “So, if you give it a low level of importance, and it never really makes a difference … why even examine it at all?” … and I would probably say “Good point, I probably could ignore it altogether.”

      My big problem with the whole RBI deal, and we’ve now gone off in a different direction, is just because Joe carter and Tony Bautista have “empty RBI” doesn’t mean everyone does. For example, lots of people will say “Ah, Ryan Howard gets RBI because he plays on a team with lots of guys on base.” When the reality of the situation is Ryan Howard gets a lot of RBI because he hits a lot of HR and hits very well with RISP.

      I don’t handwave off anything, nor do I really like zero tolerance policies or systems. They remove critical thinking, for the sake of simplicity. They make grey areas black or white, so that people that don’t like to think, don’t have to. That’s my hang up.

      I could be convinced to ignore RBI completely, but not by saying “they’re meaningless”, because they aren’t.

      If I tell you that a player has 1500 RBI, and then ask you “Is that a good player?” You could say “Yes” and 9 times out of 10 (or more) you’d be right. It tells you something.

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  90. Cidron says:

    RBI … I am ok if that stat goes away as imo its semi meaningless.. (yes, only semi). It shows only that a run scored on your at-bat. I know, the whole idea of an at-bat is to “do good” and one way is the RBI. But, if the other team is a bunch of stiffs who cant get on even when batting in the little league father son day…. your RBI count will be low. And, if your team is a pitching/defense team, same problem. Now, if your team was built to mash and outscore your opponent by 8 each night… you will have a ton. Does the team philosophy and composition increase YOUR HoF chances (by increasing your RBI totals).. I hope not. That decision was made by the GM, Manager, and others of similar ilk. All they did was to put you in that spot.

    It is to batters what wins are to pitchers.. imo. A bit out of the control of one person (at the plate for batters, or on the rubber for pitchers) for it to be a reflection of that persons talent.

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  91. Andrew says:

    It seeems that the argument against Andruw Jones HOF case is that he was all peak. Yet Edgar Martinez has been a darling of Sabre voters for a while now, and his peak didn’t even last long enough to garner him more than 306 home runs.

    I think Andruw should get in, or at least is a borderline case. But I have a feeling he will get the same treatment as Dale Murphy, another great Atlanta CF.

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  92. A Jones says:

    I recently moved from Texas to New York. Before I had lived in LA and Atlanta, as well. Anyway, I would just say Jones sounds like the best player who ever lived. Here’s a quote from Bobby Cox, who I happen to know: “He’s pretty awsome.” There. Nuff said.

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  93. A Jones says:

    I also lived in Chicago. Sorry i had forgot that

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  94. chris k says:

    brooks robinson was another guy who had a decent stick but was the absolute best at his position for a long time although not an outfielder i think their careers kind of parralel nicely for comparison

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  95. KB says:

    “Andruw Jones was generally loathed by the public because of his me first and lazy attitude.”

    Really?

    The 75 million contract he signed arose like this. Andruw and his father called his agent Boras and asked what he was worth. Boras said 95 – 100 million. Andruw and his father then called the Braves GM and said lets call it 75 and get this over with. John Shurholz said yes and it was done; you can read it in John’s book.

    Go back and look at every Atlanta home run hit while AJ played with Braves. You will find him, without exception, if not on deck, to be the player at the first dugout step first to welcome the HR striking teammate.

    As another poster noted, Bobby Cox called him a workaholic. There is a lingering story about Cox pulling him in mid-game as a young center fielder for loafing. I know from two Braves coaches that he was pulled because Cox was concerned he played less aggressively (i.e. worried a ball might get by him) when his hitting was not going well, not because he was loafing.

    When Terry Pendleton returned to Atlanta as hitting coach, he decided to go to the spring training clubhouse early on on his first day; he arrived at 6 AM to find Andruw dressed with a bat in his hand asking to get started.

    Sorry but I’m tired of the lazy selfish balderdash.

    Andruw will have three HOF pitchers arguing his case. When Glavine played with the Mets, he was asked to compare pitching for the Mets with pitching for the Braves. He declined, saying it was unfair to compare a team with Andruw in center field to any other team.

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  96. Afbutler13 says:

    The truth is that if he played from the 80s he would be a cinch. But since he played in an era where hitting takes precedence he’s going to be hurt by his last few years. Much like dale Murphy who ended his career in the same era on a downfall. If he retired 4 years earlier then he would have also been a hall of famer. If you look at his zone runs saved in a career as a CF, andruw is 46 above second place who happens to be Willie mays. All time he is second behind brooks who has 6 years on him. He could have passed him in 2 years. Willie, happened to play 5 more years.

    I place heavy precedence on defense, especially on a team that had dominating pitching. If you ask maddux and the rest of them, they’d tell you he helped out there era bigtime.

    He may be legi

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