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The Hall of Fame Vote Review Continues
by Asher B. Chancey, Baseball Evolution
January 27, 2006
Cesar Cedeno and Lou Brock
One thing I decided that it was important that I not
do when casting my Hall of Fame votes was to take a player out of the Hall of Fame who I think didn't deserve to be there while putting in a player to whom that player was similar. For example, Catfish Hunter is in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, while Ron Guidry is not. I feel that Ron Guidry is very similar to Catfish Hunter. Thus, there are two ways to deal with this situation – a) If Catfish Hunter is in the Hall, then Guidry should be too; or b) since Catfish Hunter and Ron Guidry are similar players, and Hunter doesn't belong in the Hall, then neither is in.
It would have been an error to fall somewhere in between, reasoning that since Hunter is in, then Guidry should be in, and then after putting Guidry in, reasoning that Hunter should not be in. The result would have been the inclusion of Guidry and the exclusion of Hunter – again, two similar players treated inconsistently.
My point is that I am accusing Keith of doing just this in at least one situation – Cesar Cedeno and Lou Brock. It appears to me that Keith said to himself, “you know what? If Lou Brock is going to be in the Hall, then Cesar Cedeno surely belongs in the Hall,” and for that reason included Cedeno in his voting. Keith then turned around and said, “Lou Brock doesn’t belong in the Hall,” and excluded Brock while including Cedeno.
I will take up this issue separately, but in a quick sentence I will say that in my mind there is room for milestone achievers in the Hall. While I don’t think a guy with 3,000 hits necessarily belongs in the Top 100, I think that 3,000 hits carries a strong presumption that someone belongs in the Hall. For that matter, I think 3,000 hits plus being the career stolen base leader ahead of Ty Cobb for over a decade carries an even stronger presumption. But I am getting off track. Point being, I think Brock belongs in the Hall as a no-doubter based on his career milestones (though he may not even make my Top 200
In support of Cedeno, Keith sites Cedeno’s counting stats – “Cedeno - 199 HR, 550 SB. Cesar also had over 2,000 hits and well over 400 doubles” – as well as his rate stats – “Cedeno's 75.4 SB% is better than supposed-Hall of Famer Lou Brock's.” There is no doubt that Cedeno has Brock trumped on rate stats, besting him in both on-base percentage and OPS+. But if you are going to compare Cedeno and Brock, counting stats favor Brock all the way to the bank. Brock finished with 3000 hits, 486 doubles, 1600 runs, and over 900 stolen bases. You can decide for yourself whether Brock is in or not, but if Cedeno is in, then Brock has to be, in my opinion.
Though, I just checked this, it appears that Cedeno was WAY better than Brock defensively. So . . . we'll see.
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Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Asher B. Chancey resides in Alexandria, Virginia, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org