Tom Henke was not a Hall of Famer… but he could have been

In 2001, Tom Henke got six Hall of Fame votes for 1.2 percent of the ballots, far short of the five percent needed. And while his final career numbers fell short of Cooperstown, how he left the game sparked an intriguing “what if?” about his Hall of Fame prospects.

Hall voters have been remarkably slow to embrace the relief pitcher. It took eight ballots to get Hoyt Wilhelm in. Rollie Fingers wasn’t in on the first ballot. It took 13 turns to get Bruce Sutter in. Goose Gossage, the biggest no-brainer other than Fingers, inexplicably took nine ballots before getting in.

So when the undeniable greats had trouble getting voted in, a borderline candidate like Henke has little to no chance.

image

But take a close look at Henke’s career. His Baseball Reference page lists his similar pitchers as the likes of Robb Nen, John Wetteland, Todd Worrell, Dave Smith, Rod Beck and Troy Percival. That seems about right. Each one of those pitchers were dominant pitchers for a stretch before injuries caught up with their careers.

Armando Benitez is also listed as a similar pitcher, which is a slap in all of their faces. Flush all of his stats down the drain. Being compared to Benitez as a reliever is like comparing a singer to Alfafa from the Little Rascals.

Henke broke into the majors with the Rangers and went to Toronto in the compensation draft. For those of you who have no idea what the compensation draft is, it is the answer to the question “Why was there a strike in 1981?”

When Henke’s career turned a corner as a 27-year-old middle reliever for the 1985 Division Champion Blue Jays, he looked like a late bloomer. But in 1986, Henke no longer fought for saves with Bill Caudill and Jim Acker and became the closer by himself. The result was he became one of the most feared relievers in the game.

Partially fear because of his imposing height, his big glasses couldn’t have made batters feel any more comfortable. “He throws that hard and can’t see? Maybe I shouldn’t dig in.”

He struck out 9.8 batters over nine innings over 14 seasons in the bigs. His individual season save total wasn’t as gaudy as some of his contemporaries (like his fellow Hall of Fame ballot rejects Dave Righetti and Steve Bedrosian who racked up some eye popping regular seasons.) But by the late 1980s, Henke was saving games along side Duane Ward and being part of a devastatingly deep Toronto bullpen.

In 1989, when the Blue Jays returned to the playoffs, Henke saved only 20 games. But he finished 56, struck out 116 batters in only 89 innings and pitched to a 1.92 ERA. Over the next three seasons, the Blue Jays made the post season two more times with Henke leading the deep pen, instead of being a compiler, while keeping up around a four-to-one strikeout to walk ratio.

In 1992, when future Hall of Famer and saves compiler Dennis Eckersley couldn’t contain Roberto Alomar and the Blue Jays, Henke clinched the pennant in Toronto. He lacked that great career highlight moment, as he blew the save in the ninth inning of Game Six of the World Series against Atlanta. The Jays would win the game in extra innings and it was Mike Timlin who closed out the series.

But Henke saved two games in the series and outshone his Atlanta counterpart, Jeff Reardon, who was roughed up in Games Two and three.

The Blue Jays decided to stick with Duane Ward as their closer after the World Series, and Henke went back to Texas. There he saved 40 games for the first time in his career. Then after the 1994 strike, he landed in St. Louis. The result was one of his best seasons. He saved 36 of the Cardinals 62 wins, pitched to a 1.82 ERA and made the All-Star team. At the end of the season, he was the 1995 National League Rolaids Relief Award winner. He had never received that honor in all of those years pitching in Toronto.

In 1995, after years of piling up substantive seasons of leading the bullpen and being one of the most respected—but not one of the most celebrated—closers in the game, he seemed poised to start to pile up the stats and pad his Cooperstown resume. Sure he was 37 years old, but he wasn’t logging 200 innings a season. He could start climbing up the saves leader chart and maybe pick up another Rolaids Award.

Maybe he would join a playoff-bound team and get another shot at a ring (and a chance to close it out himself.) And when all was said and done, writers would look at his career and say “Wow, he just might be a Hall of Famer!”

So what did he do?

How an Ace Performance Impacts Reliever Workloads
Bullpenning has its advantages, but it's great when an elite starter eats up a bunch of innings, too.

He retired.

That’s right. He was declared the league’s top reliever and hung up his spikes. Maybe he wanted to go out on top.

Maybe he knew that piling up saves wasn’t going to make a compelling Cooperstown case. (It sure never helped Lee Smith, Reardon and John Franco.) Maybe he saw the late Dan Quisenberry, who has an argument for election, be dropped after the first ballot.

Or maybe the Hall of Fame never entered his mind, and he was a humble family man who was content with 14 big league seasons, multiple All Star appearances, a World Series ring, millions of dollars in the bank, love and respect from a fan base and walking away on top.

If only he were greedier. He might be in the Hall of Fame.

References & Resources
Baseball Reference, CNNSI.com


Print This Post
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Dr. Doom
Guest
Dr. Doom

He’s in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, for what it’s worth.

Detroit Michael
Guest
Detroit Michael

It seems to me that BBWAA Hall of Fame voters have been too hasty to embrace the relief pitcher, with Fingers and Sutter looking like mistakes.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

I assume calling Rollie Fingers a mistake is a joke

Bob B.
Guest
Bob B.

Nice article! I was a big Henke fan back when he was pitching so it’s especially cool to see this article on him.

I can’t say for sure whether Detroit Michael (in the 2nd comment) was joking or not but I assume not. And if he was, I’ll say I’m not in agreeing that Fingers election is a mistake. I had been surprised to read that you considered Fingers a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

The greatest relievers in history are Rivera, Fingers, Wilhelm, Eckersley and Gossage.

When you are in the top 5 all time, you belong in the Hall of Fame

Bob B.
Guest
Bob B.

I’m really not sure how many relievers should be in the Hall of Fame… I haven’t really made up my mind considering how little pitching is actually done but in very high leverage situations. That being said, however, I really don’t think Fingers is one of the top 5 all time.
Off the top of my head I don’t know who I would consider the top 5… maybe I’ll take a look and ponder it later.

Steve Treder
Guest
Steve Treder

“The greatest relievers in history are Rivera, Fingers, Wilhelm, Eckersley and Gossage.”

Let’s assume this is true.  (And it might be; if not, it isn’t far off.)

“When you are in the top 5 all time, you belong in the Hall of Fame”

Okay.  Well, let’s assume that Ron Northey, Smoky Burgess, Jerry Lynch, Gates Brown, and Manny Mota are the greatest pinch-hitters in history.  (And if they aren’t, they aren’t far off.)

Do they belong in the Hall of Fame?

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
Nope, I don’t believe Manny Mota et al belong in the Hall of Fame. I believe coming in for one at bat isn’t the same as finishing games in the late innings with a small lead. Not all innings are created equally and the innings where a great closer is pitching in are the most important of the game. I never understood the lack of respect a great closer gets. I am not talking about a save compiler. I am talking about those rare pitchers who come in and shorten the game. Todd Jones never shortened the game, no matter… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

Bob B… if your top 5 includes Trevor Hoffman and NOT Rollie Fingers, you will need to show your work

Steve Treder
Guest
Steve Treder
“I believe coming in for one at bat isn’t the same as finishing games in the late innings with a small lead.” Fair enough.  (Though it is the case that most of the pinch-hit at-bats those great pinch-hitters took were in the late innings with a small deficit.  Their impact on game outcomes was disproportional to the duration of their game appearances.) But the point I’ve labored to make is that relief pitcher is a mode of using a pitcher, not a position, just as pinch-hitter is a mode of using a hitter, not a position.  For their worthiness for… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

By the way, I must say I love the comments on The Hardball Times. Even when someone doesn’t agree with me and we may have a debate and never find a middle ground, it is coming from a place where two people who clearly know baseball disagree about something.

The other day my own blog got a TON of readers on a Mets post I did. Granted, my post was dripping with sarcasm. But MAN those Met fans can be nasty.

I love it when someone says “your dumb”

Ahhhh the irony

Devon & His 1982 Topps blog
Guest
Devon & His 1982 Topps blog

Henke actually has one of the BEST ERS’s in save situations in history… which, is really how we need to start valuing closers. Due to that & the fact I hated to see him pitch against my teams… he really should be in Cooperstown or at least be considered best closer that isn’t in the Hall.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

Explain for the folks at home ERS’s

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
I disagree about the average pitcher becoming a star reliever. I think an average pitcher could become a saves compiler and we have seen many do that over the years. But compilers like Lee Smith, Jeff Reardon, John Franco and Trevor Hoffman aren’t who I am talking about. They shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame without a ticket. I am talking about game changers… the ones who affected how the other team played and managed. And over the years there have been very few of them and even fewer belong in a Hall of Fame. It’s a select few… Read more »
David P Stokes
Guest
David P Stokes

No way Fingers is one of the top 5 relievers in history.  I doubt that he’s in the top 20.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

OK David, I’ll bite.

What criteria are you using to make that statement and could you name some of the other 15 relievers you think are superior?

Ferris Asaph
Guest
Ferris Asaph

just ask some of the hall of fame hitters that had to face him …  end of story !!

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
David, Interesting list. I respect any list that has someone named Firpo. My own criteria of coming up big in the biggest games would eliminate Lee Smith for me. Duane Ward had about 4 great seasons where he was paired with Henke. The underlying theme of this post was that Henke and Ward were matched up together and Henke’s save compiling didn’t start until he left Toronto. I am very glad you included John Smoltz. I had argued with someone that the Braves would have won at least 2 more World Series if they had made John Smoltz the closer.… Read more »
Bob Rittner
Guest
Bob Rittner
I don’t agree with your emphasis on “coming up biggest in the biggest games”. I do think that performance in the post-season can be an added factor for a player about whom you are on the fence, but I do not think it is a determining factor or even particularly important. In Hoffman’s case, he appeared in 12 post-season games over 6 series and pitched a total of 13 innings. He had some noteworthy failures, but in two of those series he pitched quite well, holding 1 run leads for SD in one case by striking out the side in… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
Steve, some of it IS subjective. I don’t think the Hall of Fame should simply be a number crunching place. (Frankly I think using only stats is kind of lazy. And using only emotional reasons is lazy as well. It should be a combination.) And my own subjectivity makes me I think makes me harsher in terms of Cooperstown. Let’s take, in the opposite end of the spectrum, the case of Armando Benitez. Looking at his stats and you see a guy who saved a lot of games, had a low ERA, struck out a lot of batters per innings… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
Bob… Hoffman was a big big BIG flopper in the big games. Sorry, but that is the case. Loses or blown saves in the 1996 Division Series, 1998 Division Series, 1998 NLCS and a bone crushing loss in the 1998 World Series. And the back to back blown saves to sink the 2007 season (which the Padres would probably have won the pennant that year had they gotten into the playoffs) Seriously, he had a nice career and his durability should be saluted. But I can say the same about Jamie Moyer. Hoffman would have been run out of town… Read more »
John
Guest
John
I’m old enough to remember them. Rollie and Goose were Hall of Famers. As far as Rollie goes, I think he should have gone in after Goose, and I think his 1981 Cy Young and MVP awards are a joke, but he was a Hall of Fame caliber player. Sutter was a mistake. If Bruce Sutter is a Hall of Famer, so is Dan Quisenberry. Neither one of them had enough dominant seasons, in my opinion. Eckersley was almost a Hall of Fame caliber starter, and then had a career as a reliever where he was dominant for five years… Read more »
Keith
Guest
Keith
Gossage, Finger, and Sutter are all among the worst Hall of Fame selections of all-time.  I can only assume they got in primarily because of their facial hair, or in the case of Gossage, incessant whining. Gossage had a career save percentage of 73.5%.  While Fingers was slightly better at 75.8%, his ERA was only 19% better than league average.  Sutter had the nifty ERA, but also a poor save percentage (74.8) and lacked longevity.  Yes, relievers of that era deserve some consideration for being asked to complete multi-inning saves, but the fact is their save percentages were only average… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

I will address this tomorrow…

But right away cross John Franco and Trevor Hoffman off the list. Please. Putting them on the list is insulting.

Rivera, Wilhelm and Eckersley are fine picks.

Billy Wagner is very interesting. I am big fans of Quisenberry and obviously Henke.

But are you only using save percentage as a criteria?

Are you looking into the number of relief innings they pitched and the era?

Bob B.
Guest
Bob B.

Well, I haven’t been able to come up with a list of my top 5, although I did fiddle about looking at career numbers for some of the relievers in question…. but I must ask: Why do you think that Keith’s inclusion of Franco and Hoffman are insulting? I don’t know if I would put them above Fingers, but they certainly had damn fine careers.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
Sure they had nice careers. But in any Hall of Fame discussion they are the red shirted Ensign beaming down to the planet with Kirk and McCoy. I have become a big Wagner fan and would listen to a Wagner candidacy. But I also watched John Franco in my 15 years of living in New York and never saw him as anything else but a save compiler. Same with Hoffman. I lump them in with Reardon, Todd Jones, John Wetteland and Roberto Hernandez. All good pitchers with nice careers to be sure. And maybe had a year or two where… Read more »
Mark
Guest
Mark

This is a must listen in this discussion

The Ballad of Tom Henke

http://www.torontomike.com/2008/03/the_ballad_of_tom_henke.html

Asher Brooks Chancey
Guest
Asher Brooks Chancey
Paul Francis Sullivan, I have some real issues with some assertions you are making here. You have stately very matter-of-factly, without significant support in the evidence, that The greatest relievers in history are Rivera, Fingers, Wilhelm, Eckersley and Gossage. I take no issue with Wilhelm or Rivera.  I have River number one and Wilhlem number two. But how is Dennis Eckersley NOT a mediocre starter who became a dominant reliever?  His career ERA as a starter was 3.71, and as a reliever was 2.85.  His strikeout-to-walk ratio as a starter was 2.63; as a reliever it was 6.29.  The remainder… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
First of all, I love that you address me by my full name. It makes it sound like I am in trouble with my mother. Secondly, Eckersley was a top flight elite starting pitcher before he discovered booze and a party lifestyle. LaRussa and company saw to harness that stuff one inning at a time rather than stretch it out. Eckersley at his peak as a reliever was so good that it wasn’t fair when he came in. Thirdly, I was going against the assertion that it is easy to turn a mediocre starter into a star reliever. It is… Read more »
Steve Millburg
Guest
Steve Millburg
This sounds dangerously close to “I don’t care about the numbers; he just feels/doesn’t feel like a Hall of Famer to me.”  (Or “I don’t care what all you figure filberts say about Jim Rice’s statistics away from Fenway Park and all that other Moneyball nonsense.  He’s a Hall of Famer.  Period.  The man was FEARED, even if he did get fewer intentional walks than Ozzie Smith.  How do I know he was feared?  Because I was THERE!”) Your sole criterion (or at least your main criterion) for identifying a Hall of Fame relief pitcher seems to boil down to:… Read more »
David P Stokes
Guest
David P Stokes

Rivera, Wilhelm, Face, Sutter, Quisenberry, Henke, Ward, Eckersly, Gossage, Tekulve, Smith, Wagner, Marberry, Smoltz.  Those guys were all better than relievers than Fingers.  That’s 14, and that was just off the top of my head.  I’m sure I could come up with 6 more who were better than Fingers if I put some effort into it.

Steve Millburg
Guest
Steve Millburg
Re the Jeff Bagwell reference: I’m sorry, but I have a BIG problem with this sort of smear-by-innuendo.  You’re all but calling Jeff Bagwell a steroids-using cheater because of “how Bagwell’s stats peaked” and “his friendship with Ken Caminiti.” Frank Thomas’s stats peaked similarly, though injuries ended (at least temporarily) his peak a little earlier and he was able to recover for a while from his injuries while Bagwell was not.  According to you, Thomas, noted for his outspoken opposition to performancing-enhancing drugs, should be suspected of being a steroids cheater.  Al Rosen had an enormous peak from age 26… Read more »
Bob B
Guest
Bob B
I’m still skeptical of Fingers being Hall of Fame material. Here’s a goofy list based on ERA+ and innings pitched of a bunch of relief pitchers mentioned in these comments and anywone else with 300 saves. [I’m using ERA+ to create an expected winning pct and basing expected decisions based on every 9IP. From there I’m simply subtracing “expected losses” from “expected wins”. Like I said, this is a goofy list]: Hoyt Wilhelm 92, John Smoltz 85, Mariano Rivera 79, Billy Wagner 56, Dennis Eckersley 54, Goose Gossage 46, Kent Tekulve 43, John Franco 43, Dan Quisenberry 43, Trevor Hoffman… Read more »
Bob B.
Guest
Bob B.

And here’s a list based on WAR (the baseball-reference version, not the fangraphs version):
John Smoltz 63.9, Dennis Eckersley 58.7, Mariano Rivera 52.9, Hoyt Wilhelm 41.3, Goose Gossage 40.0, Trevor Hoffman 30.7, Lee Smith 30.3, Billy Wagner 29.7, Firpo Marberry 29.4, John Franco 25.8, Bruce Sutter 25.0, Kent Tekulve 24.8, Rollie Fingers 24.4, Dan Quisenberry 24.3, Tom Henke 23.1, Doug Jones 21.5, Rick Aguilera 21.3, Jeff Montgomery 21.1, John Wetteland 20.8, Jeff Reardon 20.3, etc. Again, this wouldn’t be how I would rank them, but with all these arguments I couldn’t resist posting a couple lists.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

“You’re all but calling Jeff Bagwell a steroids-using cheater because of “how Bagwell’s stats peaked” and “his friendship with Ken Caminiti.”

No, I am saying how NOT FUN Hall of Fame debates are going to be in the next bunch of years.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
Steve, I am not throwing Bagwell under the bus. I am saying this sort of stuff is what Hall of Fame arguments are going to be like with the steroid era players eligible. And there are going to be some things that are not fair. Jeff Bagwell transforming from a player with decent power to a Hall of Fame caliber slugger is going to make people raise eyebrows. Is it fair? Nope. But that is what the next 10-15 years of Hall of Fame discussions will be like. Personally, I say Bonds and Clemens belong IN the Hall of Fame.… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

I dig the list, Bob B

Bob Rittner
Guest
Bob Rittner
I reiterate, in an 18 year career spanning 1035 games and 1089.1 innings you choose to focus on 12 games and 13 innings to make your case. I concede he was generally not effective in the post-season, but that is simply not enough to make any difference in my evaluation of him. That is akin to the criticism of Ted Williams for his poor performance in the one World Series he played, and as I recall was part of Colonel Egan’s hatchet job when he listed the 10 biggest moments in Ted’s career, in all of which he failed. Or… Read more »
David P Stokes
Guest
David P Stokes

Basing the evaluation of a player’s career on their postseason record is roughly like basing it on their record during the 4th week of May.  Sure, performance in, say, 10 innings pitched in the postseason are more important than that in any 10 regular season innings, but it doesn’t reveal anything more about a pitcher’s ability.  Using postseason performance to move a player very slightly up or down in your ratings is reasonable, because after all, those are the most important games, but you should never make them a major part of your analysis.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
“Basing the evaluation of a player’s career on their postseason record is roughly like basing it on their record during the 4th week of May.” Sure, if you look at baseball as a numbers game and no one game or no one statistic means more than any other. And if that is how you watch the game, then fine. I can’t change how you watch a game. I tend to look at the post season as more important than a game in May. I know you will disagree with me on this statement, but I think there is actually more… Read more »
Keith
Guest
Keith
Paul, I am curious on your thoughts regarding Barry Bonds.  You mentioned earlier that he should be inducted into the Hall of Fame, an opinion I obviously agree with.  But prior to 2002, his postseason performance was awful, tot the tune of a .196 batting average, one home run, and six RBI in 97 at-bats, a larger sample size than you are judging most of these releivers’ postseason success by. Now, his statistics in the 2002 postseasson were epic, arguably the best single postseason performance of all time for a hitter. Would Bonds have been a Hall of Famer in… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

I can imagine Jose Mesa in his press conference after blowing the save in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.

“Hey, I blew this game. Sure. But what you have to remember is I DID get the save on April 24th against Milwaukee… so you shouldn’t weigh tonight’s game any heavier than that one.”

Bob Rittner
Guest
Bob Rittner
Yes, I understand the view that performance in post-season games may be given some extra weight, but when we are talking about 13 innings and assuming that success in those has something to do with internal fortitude I think we are on very shaky ground. As his record indicates, Hoffman did perform well in 3 of those innings and his “failure” in 2 others was obviously due to random luck (slow roller and an error), so he apparently did perform well under pressure in some big games. I don’t think you can decide a player’s worthiness for the HOF based… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
I know it seems inconsistent from me, but hear me out. As I said before, the bullpen closer is the only position that I put so much weight on the post season appearance. You can’t judge a specialist like Rich Gossage with the same criteria as an everyday player. As people are quick to point out, they have a much smaller sample size to evaluate and they have only one job: Close out close pressure packed games. So I put the most weight on the games that have the most pressure. An everyday player has to deliver 1st inning through… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

If Hoffman has a dominating 2005 or 2006 post season, I would probably be more lenient.

If Hoffman held onto that lead in Game 3 of the 1998 World Series and the Yankees still went on to win, I would probably be more lenient.

But Hoffman’s meltdown in 2007 in back to back “Padres are 3 outs from the playoffs and probably would be the best team in the NL side” games go a long way against hypothetical 2006 triumphs.

Again, I think Hoffman will eventually get into the Hall of Fame and I won’t complain. I just won’t agree with it.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

I don’t give Eckersley a pass… But, as I typed before, he had some dominating post season performances.

Hoffman never did.

Normally I agree about weighing the career over the small sampling.

But because by definition a reliever pitches in a small sampling and is a specialist position, I think you need to weigh the big games more than piling up the saves.

You and I may never agree on that and I suppose it is a difference of philosophy.

Sorry if I get a smidge sarcastic. It’s how I was raised

Dan McCloskey
Guest
Dan McCloskey
Sully – While I don’t agree with all of your points, I really have to commend you for how you try to respond to every comment and never really get snide with anyone. OK, maybe there was a bit of sarcasm, but it’s always humorous. Speaking of which, guys if you haven’t checked out Sully’s videos, they’re quite hilarious. My favorite is the one on defensive indifference: http://www.youtube.com/user/sullybaseball I really want to take a closer (no pun intended) look at the argument regarding Closers and the Hall of Fame. I’m more of a stats guy than an emotions guy, but… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan
Thanks Dan. The comments here are a breath of fresh air compared to some on my blog. I said I think the Mets are going to lose 90 games this year. They aren’t a good team, they play the Braves, Phillies and Marlins 54 times and the fact that they are going to lose $50 million and are under the weight of the Madoff scandal means they will probably trade away any valuable player for financial reasons. I wrote that and MAN the Met fans showed their class! At least here, I can disagree with people and probably never reach… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

Wagner is really an interesting case…

His stats impress me more than Hoffman’s and he always struck me as a game changing closer.

Yet his post season record is not very impressive…

I think his case for Cooperstown is better than Hoffman’s but I would really need to sit down with a microscope and figure it out

Dan McCloskey
Guest
Dan McCloskey
After I commented here, I went over to your blog to read that Mets post, and I was going to comment “I take back what I said on Hardball Times about you responding to every comment in a respectful manner.” Seriously, a little out of control over there, especially considering the post was just plain funny. Big deal if you predicted the Mets will lose 90 games. Wagner’s career ERA+ of 187 is incredible, topped by only Rivera as far as I know. He may have a better Hall case than Hoffman, but we both know Hoffman has a much… Read more »
Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

I have a rule…
If you disagree with me in a respectful manner, I will counter argue as respectfully as I can. Inevitably some sarcasm will come out but that is just who I am.

If you come on my blog and say “your just dumb and fat and should go to the gym” then I have every right to take off the gloves and go at them, including the ironic grammar.

Detroit Michael
Guest
Detroit Michael

It was not a joke when I wrote that putting Rollie Fingers into the Hall of Fame looks like a mistake.  I don’t know why you would assume that.

I think when Fingers was voted in, the writers should have been able to realize that the relief pitcher’s role was still in flux and that it probably was too soon to make clear judgments about which of them were in the Hall of Fame.

I liked this Rob Neyer article putting relievers into tiers based on their WAR:  http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/6742/one-and-done-for-john-franco

dinty moore
Guest
dinty moore

but…but, what about Dick Radatz?

Paul Francis Sullivan
Guest
Paul Francis Sullivan

Except that it is his job to close out the big game… and when the games were biggest he couldn’t do it.

Hey, it is subjective. And if he gets in the Hall of Fame I won’t send in the Westboro Baptist Church to protest. I just don’t think of him as elite because the elite closers get those jobs done

wpDiscuz