Dave Cameron of Fangraphs has a great post up that looks at the historical standards for the Hall of Fame and notes that Hall of Fame voters are being way, way, way harder on the current crop of candidates than their predecessors ever were on past candidates.
Specifically: typically, between 1% and 2% of major league players born each decade make it to the Hall of Fame. The players born in the 1960s are just about to make room for players born in the 1970s on the ballot and, at present, about .1% of them have been inducted. If you assume that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mariano Rivera will all make it, that’s still only .3% of the 1960s crop. Yes, PED-associated players cut into the number as they are most represented by players born in the 60s, but there are not enough of them — at least not enough of them for whom there is actual evidence of PED use — to account for the shortfall.
Cameron makes a strong argument that voters need to stop being idealistic about the Hall of Fame and holding its candidates to higher standards than players from the previous century were held. To start actually “putting Hall of Famers in the Hall of Fame.” That, even if voters don’t think the PED guys should go in, the best of the non-PED guys should go in so that the era in which these players played is properly represented. So that the Hall of Fame does not make it appear as though baseball was not played at an elite level from the 1980s through the early 2000s.
It all makes sense to me.
Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.
With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.
The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.
The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.
Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.
It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.