October 10, 2015

David Ortiz & The Hall Of Fame

David Ortiz Is Definitely A Hall Of Famer
Chad Finn, Boston.com, September 16, 2015
I think he gets in with relative ease, perhaps not on the first ballot, but without much suspense or drama a year or two or three after he is first eligible. He has at least a year left of playing, maybe a couple more given that he has 28 homers in his last 79 games, then the obligatory five-year waiting period before he’s on the ballot. I’d suggest Papi should have what is likely to be the second-best speech of his life ready by, oh, 2024.

Looking Beyond 500, Punch A Ticket To Cooperstown For David Ortiz
Christina Kahrl, ESPN, September 15, 2015
I would bet on his ultimately making the Hall of Fame, not merely because of a magic round number like 500 home runs -- although that helps -- but because he was a key contributor in all three of Boston’s World Series wins, capped by his MVP performance in the 2013 victory against the Cardinals. ...

If I get the opportunity ... and have the space on my ballot, I will vote for Ortiz. After all, if the history of the game is what is at stake, how do you tell the story of the game over the past 15 years without Ortiz?
Ortiz Isn't A Bad Guy - Or A Hall Of Famer
Rob Neyer, Just A Bit Outside, March 31, 2015
His career numbers aren't really Hall of Fame-worthy, considering his nonexistent value as a defender and the shutouts of (so far) Edgar Martinez and Mark McGwire (among others).

Really, a good Hall of Fame case for Ortiz must give seriously heavy weight to his postseason performance. I have recommended using postseason performance as a sort of tiebreaker . . . but oddly, Ortiz hasn't been tremendously important in postseason games, according to this metric anyway (which doesn't include 2013, and Ortiz did hit a few big homers that October).
David Ortiz Not an Easy Choice for the Hall of Fame
Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, August 19, 2015
Ortiz may be inducted someday. But to get him there, many of the unwritten rules of Hall of Fame voting will have to be ignored.

As it stands, he has three major strikes against him, each of which has been enough for voters to exclude players in the past. ...

Ortiz is a special case because of how exciting his career has been and how much success his teams have had. There are numerous examples of players who overcame being short of the typical benchmarks because of their unique abilities or because their primes were so bright. Ortiz would easily fit in with players like Catfish Hunter, Sandy Koufax, Kirby Puckett and Phil Rizzuto.

But to get to the Hall of Fame, he will need voters who have seemed hesitant suddenly to accept that a full-time designated hitter with less-than-stellar career totals and a positive drug test should be elected. (my emphasis)
For the record, the drug test the supposed Paper of Record confidently describes as "positive" was actually labelled as "inconclusive" by both the Players Association and MLB. A 2009 Yahoo article noted that no one "[can] say with any certainty that he even tested positive."

The Daily News reported that "Ortiz could be one of the eight players who are believed to have tested positive for a spiked dietary supplement in 2003, rather than for hard-core injectable steroids".

Is David Ortiz A Hall of Famer?
Marc Normandin, Over The Monster, September 14, 2015
(That, by the way, is the entire article!)


Maxwell Horse said...

If a DH isn't going to be considered Hall-worthy because he rarely ever plays defense, then they should also scratch American League pitchers off the list. After all, batting is a huge part of the game, and the fact that AL pitchers are exempt from it means that they aren't real baseball players, or something.

Maxwell Horse said...

I'm also glad you emphasized something that was unbeknownst to me until recently--that "list" that Ortiz's name is associated with: Not only could he have tested positive something much milder than steroids in terms of "taboo"... not only could it have been something that AT THE TIME was allowed in baseball... not only could it have been something that was part of a popular supplement that many players openly took... But he didn't even freakin' test positive at all.

laura k said...

If DHs won't be allowed in the Hall of Fame, then they shouldn't be allowed in baseball.

FenFan said...

Where would Red Sox fans be had David Ortiz not been "positioned" as Boston's DH for the past 13 seasons? I would argue that we'd be staring at a 97 year championship drought.

Perhaps Mariano Rivera isn't worthy of the Hall of Fame, either. After all, he appeared in less than half of all games played, he rarely pitched more than 75 innings in a season, and he averaged just over an inning per appearance. At least Ortiz plays almost every day. 652 career saves? *yawn*

Nothing pisses me off more than the "unwritten rules" that sportswriters mindlessly follow to judge the worth of a player, be it for seasonal awards or the Hall of Fame.