Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Get Goose on the Horn, We're Going to Hall-Con One
2008-01-08 05:58
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Even in defeat, Goose Gossage was fearsome. When Gossage gave up that long home run to George Brett in the 1980 playoffs, it wasn't so much that he threw a horrible pitch, it was that Brett, coming off his .390 season, was great enough to turn on it and blast it into the upper deck.

I think Gossage will be elected to the Hall of Fame later today, possibly Jim Rice too. Murray Chass has a piece on the Goose in the Times. Yesterday, I did an article on Gossage for


2008-01-08 06:34:56
1.   RIYank
Nice article, Alex.

Yeah, I think Goose is a heavy favorite for Cooperstown this time around.

I can't stop thinking about Clemens and McNamee, though.

2008-01-08 06:53:39
2.   ms october
1 Agreed - nice article and I also think Goose makes it this time. In fact I am very interested to see who gets in this year.

I also saw the link to BA yesterday with the Yanks top prospects, which was sort of known but nevertheless interesting (yet drew little or no comments)

Probably because I too cannot stop thinking about Clemens and McNamee - it's very hard to get a handle on the entire thing.
One thing I find interesting is the article linked to the other day about Roger basically asking McNamee permission to eat a steak and potato seemed to imply that Roger was overly dependent on McNamee; but some of the stories that came out yesterday and today suggest McNamee idolized Roger - seems like an odd relationship, but given the context, maybe not, I really don't know.

2008-01-08 07:02:27
3.   Shaun P
2 I had the same thought about that steak story, but then again, it was something that Jordan saw happen once. Maybe it happened infrequently, maybe all the time, but that's each of us adding our conclusions to the event Jordan wrote about.

This is how I got myself to stop thinking about the steak story at least. =)

I am very curious to find out more about who handled the Radomski investigation for the Feds, who McNamee spoke with, etc. I hope this comes to light in the Congressional testimony, which is still, IMHO, a grandstanding waste of time.

2008-01-08 07:12:01
4.   Raf
On a lighter note, today's Glass Carl's b-day.
2008-01-08 07:17:22
5.   ms october
3 Yeah - good point. Though how does Roger get his steak done?:}

And fully agree - it will be very interesting to find out more about the Radomski and McNamee investigations. I would like to know more about this Jeff Novitsky(sp)'s role in the whole thing as well since he was also seemingly heavily involved in the BALCO/Barry Bonds investigation.
How frequently do IRS agents involve themselves in investigations that may be beyond the scope of tax investigations? Obviously there have been instances in the past where people were brought up for tax evasion type charges rather than the bigger charge that the authorities would like to have brought against them.

I know Buster Olney is not everyone's favorite, but he makes an interesting point this morning that baseball, especially compared with the NFL and NHL, is basically not allowing the ped issue to die and move on from it. I saw some of the comments here in recent days about baseball's need to protect its anti-trust status with congress - which seems to lead to much of the "gradstanding waste of time."

2008-01-08 07:18:27
6.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
Here's a question, not trying to play devil's advocate, but a genuine question.

When making the case for Goose in the Hall (one with which I agree btw), people pretty much always cite the "decade of dominance" Goose put up. Rice often gets credit for the same type of period - the most feared hitter of the decade.

So my question is: where does one draw the line between dominance and durability? How good does one have to be to overcome lack of duration?

Here's some devil's advocacy for Donnie Baseball. Can we agree he had a 7 year period of dominance? Can we agree that he was more dominant per year for 7 years than Goose was per year for 10 years? If so, does the exchange rate even out in Donnie's favor?

Don't get me wrong - I don't think Donnie ever gets into the HoF (not as a player only anyway). His back saw to that.

But sometimes I wonder...

2008-01-08 07:33:37
7.   rbj
4 And he strained his ribcage trying to blow out the candles.

Definitely is Goose's year. I'd also like to see Blylevyn get in.

2008-01-08 07:47:10
8.   wsporter
3 "I hope this comes to light in the Congressional testimony, which is still, IMHO, a grandstanding waste of time."

MFD, I think you are right it is and will be a grandstanding waste of time. Our elected clowns will attempt to pillory the baseball clowns and we'll all feel good and depressed when they are finished. As Willie said "A tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing" in fact very much like the Mitchell report it self.

Go Goose!!!!!!

2008-01-08 07:51:29
9.   Shaun P
7 And Raines, though it will never happen this year.

Steven Goldman has a great piece at the Sun on the Clemens/McNamee/Mitchell thing -

6 Peak vs duration - its a hard balance to strike. Jay Jaffe's JAWS system does a great job of incorporating both. You can read more about it at his blog, Futility Infielder, and at, though many of those articles are subscriber-only. For specifics, it concludes Goose is a no-doubter ( - that one is free to all*), while Rice and Mattingly are both "no's". Donnie's duration was not enough, and while his peak (as defined by JAWS) was very good, it falls short of the average HoF 1B. Not only was Rice's duration not enough, his peak (again, as defined by JAWS) was well short of the average Hof LF ( - another free one).

*Note too where Mo falls all-time according to JAWS/RAJAWS

2008-01-08 08:14:54
10.   kylepetterson
Anybody know what time the announcement is being made?
2008-01-08 08:21:56
11.   ms october
10 HOF president is making the announcement at 2pm (est). Not sure if anyone comes before him though.
2008-01-08 08:27:39
12.   Bruce Markusen
Man, I hope this will be a Gossage day, and not a Clemens day.

I think Gossage will get in today, with somewhere around 78 to 80 per cent of the vote (not as narrow a margin as I once thought). Everyone else will fall short, including Rice, who will probably get somewhere around 70 per cent. They're the only two with any realistic chances of getting in.

Raines' percentage will be eye-popping low, somewhere around 40 per cent. Blyleven will be somewhere around 50 per cent, which is better than it's been, but still a long ways from election.

2008-01-08 08:33:03
13.   alsep73
Moss Klein, who covered the Yankees in the '70s and '80s for The Star-Ledger, wrote his own Goose story for today's paper:

2008-01-08 09:50:07
14.   JL25and3
6 The answer to the dominance-durability question is easy: it depends on how the writers feel that day. Each of us strikes his own balance, I think, on a case-by-case basis.

But the real problem with Gossage - and the reason he's difficult to compare with other players - is that he was a reliever, and we just don't have good ways to evaluate relievers. ERA and ERA+ are useful, kind of, especially when the differences are large; but it's hard to have great confidence in them as primary indicators of a reliever's effectiveness (much less dominance). W-L is useless for relievers, and saves are just useless. Peripherals are nice, but they're, well, peripheral - side dishes in need of a main course. Things like ARP and WXRL ar einteresting, but they're not exactly tried and true, and it can be hard to know how informative or reliable they are.

On top of all that, the usage pattern for relievers has changed so much, and so many times, that it's well nigh impossible to compare different eras. From Wilhelm to Gossage to Eckersley isn't that long a time, but the standards are entirely different.

It's easy enough for us to assess Mattingly's dominance, and his decline. We may argue about it, but we all understand the nature of the information. But relievers are like fielders; all we have is a lot of people saying, "He was dominant!" We just can't argue it one way or another.

2008-01-08 10:08:45
15.   Alex Belth
The Klein story is a good one, and featured in his book (co-authored by Bill Madden), "Damned Yankees."
2008-01-08 10:14:39
16.   williamnyy23
If you start with the premise that relievers should be considered for the Hall of Fame in their own role as opposed to simply as a pitcher, then the Goose definitely belongs for both duration and dominance. While I think the Goose belongs in by the slimmest of margins, I can't disagree to heartily with those who think he doesn't belong.

Jim Rice, on the other hand, simply doesn't belong. He didn't have a HoF career or peak. Should he make it in, his election will serves as a linch pin for so many others that it will significantly dilute the meaning of the Hall of Fame. For that reason, I'd rather see no one get in than have the Goose make it along with Rice.

2008-01-08 10:24:21
17.   williamnyy23
6 Donnie was definitely dominant over his six year peak. From 1984-1989, he ranked tied for 2nd in OPS+ (147); 3rd in BA (.327); 1st in SLG (.530); 1st in RBIs (684); and 2nd in Runs Created (721).

During that period, he won 1 MVP and finished in the top-5 three times (another top-7 and top-14 as well). He also made all six All Star Games, won five gold gloves and won a player poll for best player in the majors.

So, yes, for a 6-year period, Mattingly was definitely a Hall of Fame player. Unfortunately, six seasons is simply not enough. If only Donnie's back hadn't given out, but alas, it did.

2008-01-08 10:33:31
18.   dianagramr

(snark alert)

If only McNamee had been there to inject Lidocaine into Mattingly's back ...

(end snark alert)

re: HOF career duration .... does Kirby Puckett have the record for shortest career amongst recent inductees?

2008-01-08 10:51:16
19.   williamnyy23
18 Sadly, Donnie had more than his fair share of pain killer shots.

Johnny Bench (2157) is the closest recent inductee to Puckett (1783) in terms of games. Puckett is far from having the shortest HoF career, however. For example, he played 50 more games than Joe DiMaggio.

2008-01-08 11:03:10
20.   Shaun P
Goose is in!
2008-01-08 11:03:42
21.   Yankee Fan in Chicago


No Rice, falls short at 72.

And Raines gets only 24% from the knuckleheads.

2008-01-08 11:05:14
22.   Mattpat11
2008-01-08 11:08:31
23.   Shaun P
21 says on its front page that Rice was just 14 votes shy. Dammit, he'll probably be elected next year. What a crime.

Raines deserved far more.

I am thrilled to see Blyleven all the way up to 61.9% though.

2008-01-08 11:08:47
24.   Flip Play

Is it lock that he'll have an NY on his cap?

2008-01-08 11:10:07
25.   dianagramr
Player Total Votes Percentage
Rich Gossage 466 85.8%
Jim Rice 392 72.2%
Andre Dawson 358 65.9%
Bert Blyleven 336 61.9%
Lee Smith 235 43.3%
Jack Morris 233 42.9%
Tommy John 158 29.1%
Tim Raines 132 24.3%
Mark McGwire 128 23.6%
Alan Trammell 99 18.2%
Dave Concepcion 88 16.2%
Don Mattingly 86 15.8%
Dave Parker 82 15.1%
Dale Murphy 75 13.8%
Harold Baines 28 5.2%
Rod Beck 2 0.4%
Travis Fryman 2 0.4%
Robb Nen 2 0.4%
Shawon Dunston 1 0.2%
Chuck Finley 1 0.2%
David Justice 1 0.2%
Chuck Knoblauch 1 0.2%
Todd Stottlemyre 1 0.2%
Jose Rijo 0 0%
Brady Anderson 0 0%
2008-01-08 11:10:23
26.   williamnyy23
Rice will likely get in next year, which is a shame. Hopefully, those voting no on Rice can do a better job hammering their case home because you know the likes of Gammons are arm twisting for him.

The fact that only 25% voted for Raines is scary. I think the HoF seriously needs to consider revamping its selection process.

2008-01-08 11:11:42
27.   williamnyy23
24 I'd think so. He spent the most and his best seasons with the Yankees.
2008-01-08 11:15:14
28.   rbj
Yes, Goose!

Shame about Bert.

Dang, Bardy Anderson's been retired for five years already?

2008-01-08 11:16:05
29.   Shaun P
26 I am more scared that someone voted for Dunston and Todd Stottlemyre.

Dawson was better than Murphy, for sure, but not 62.1% better. Their achievements are an awful lot closer than their vote totals.

2008-01-08 11:17:35
30.   dianagramr

Jay Jaffe ( just noted that Bert's jump to 62% (from 47% last year) is a very good sign.

(this was in response to a question I asked Jay about Bert not getting enough love ... still)

2008-01-08 11:54:22
31.   JL25and3
29 I've never had a problem with a writer giving a player one courtesy vote, once. It doesn't mean that you think the player's a legitimate HOF'er, just that you want to tip your hat to the guy for one reason or another. It's just a gesture, and there's no harm done.
2008-01-08 12:57:08
32.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
9 and 14 - thanks for the links and info/thoughts. Appreciated.

17 - looks like my math was bad. You're of course right it was 6 years not 7.

Another interesting thought to ponder - if Donnie B had had these 6 years in the midst of say, 17 total years, thus giving him some accumulation "points" as well even if those years were (much) closer to average, would he be in?

And congrats to Goose!

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