Thursday, August 19, 2004

Bobby Grich, I believe, deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. I've been intending to do a massive series of entries defending this point, but it seems like something that's going to have to wait for the off-season. But I make (part of) the case in the 47th and 49th posts of this PrimerBTF thread, and I repeat (i.e. cut-and-paste) some of the same points over on the Assclown site* (a site that is hard to explain, really; its very premise is like an in-joke wrapped in an allusion wrapped in a footnote).

To sum up, Grich suffers because his raw totals and rates were cut down by his era and ballparks. Taking that into account, he's the best hitter of any eligible second-baseman not in the Hall, and is at least a good a candidate as perennial deservee Ron Santo (Santo's only edge over Grich is peak value; they have identical career value, according to Clay Davenport's measures at BPro, even though Grich played 235 less games -- two seasons worth).

*At least, I think I repeat it. Blogger doesn't seem to like my comments and I have no idea if they're really going to show up there, so caveat emptor.

Interesting. The Jamesian Hall of Fame Monitor doesn't even show Grich. I'd be interested to see where Grich shows up in James' Historical Baseball Abstract when I get home.
The problem is the monitor is about *will* as opposed to *should*, and the era/parks hammer Grich's numbers.
His win shares are pretty darn good (26.54 per 162), putting him right with or better than guys like Gehringer, Frisch, and Sandberg. He certainly merits some consideration. It’s hard, because he’s right on that borderline between being truly deserving of immortality and just being the beneficiary of lower HOF standards.

Compared to the many of the other names in the hall at the position (like Evers, Lazzeri, and Sandberg) he should definitely be in, but voting like that is just perpetuating the cycle.

Personally, I think he just misses out- but that’s just me.
This is something I'm going to get into when I finally get around to doing posts on this, but Grich does not lower the standards for HoF second basemen -- he epitomizes them. The average OPS+ for HoF 2B is 120; Grich is at 125. Grich is within 2 WARP3 of the average HoF 2B, and I for one don't think WARP3 is exact enough to exclude him based on two wins. He is well-above the average HoF 2B is WARP3/162 games, at 9.2 over 8.7.

I think there are only seven second basemen ever that we can say with certainty were better than Grich (in no particular order): Eddie Collins, Joe Morgan, Rogers Hornsby, Jackie Robinson, Nap Lajoie, Charlie Gehringer, and Roberto Alomar.
I'm not saying that Grich would lower the bar (exactly the opposite- he's far more qualified than several 2B in the hall)- I'm saying the bar is already too low.

Grich is probably right about at the bar. Hell, he's almost the definition of the bar. Does that mean he should be in? It could easily go either way. I think it’s a matter of whether you think a player has to be at the bar, or clear the bar.

I tend to be very conservative when considering the HOF, so my opinion is that a HOFer should be ‘great’. I think Grich was just really, really, really good. But then again, if I ran things the hall would only be half the size it is today, so maybe I’m just being harsh.
That's certainly reasonable; many people are "small Hall" types and there's a certain degree of sujectivity and personal preference that is unavoidable.
Hm. According to the Jamesian HoF Monitor, he should have a score of 49.5. (Note that, for whatever reason, he's not on the board.) That makes for a very weak case indeed. Also, I'm not sure I buy the argument that he hit in a "dead ball" era; IIRC the second dead ball era (the "expanded strike zone" era) was from about 1961-1971 or so, perhaps not incidentally coincidental with the productive part of Sandy Koufax's career. There's a case to be made -- or not -- here, and I don't feel it's been done yet. I'd really like to see how he stacks up to league averages at his position.
Damn, I didn't realize that you were the "Chronicler", although I guess I should have. Didn't put two and two togther. Oh well, live and learn.

-Shred, aka "Still an Assclown".
James has Grich 12th among 2nd basemen in my 2001 copy of his Abstracts. I'm just gonna say that Bobby Grich was no Jerry Remy.
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