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How to Gain Page Views and Infuriate People

Or: How to Insure You Won’t Get a Holiday Card from one Omar Vizquel.

Jay Jaffe examines the Hall of Fame candidacy of a gifted infielder who has enjoyed a fine, long, career. In the process, gets lumped with Jose Mesa on Vizquel’s enemies list.

[Photo Credit: Ron Vesely]

Categories:  1: Featured  Baseball  Games We Play

Tags:  hall of fame  jay jaffe  omar vizquel

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1 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 28, 2012 10:08 am

I think Jaffe nailed it on that one.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 28, 2012 10:34 am

My feeling is that Vizquel is going to receive a lot of support from voters, a kind of anti-steroids-guy-in-the-steroids-era, case.

3 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 28, 2012 10:42 am

Nah. Guy did nothing they like, and wasn't flashy with his excellent defense. His teams never got over the hump. I don't see it at all.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 28, 2012 10:55 am

[2,3] He will get a lot of sympathy, but not enough support to get him in. And if he does, perhaps what's next is to reevaluate the standards for qualifying voters.

5 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 28, 2012 11:13 am

You watch, he'll get a lot of sympathy. They will "misremember" him for being better than he was.

6 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 28, 2012 11:47 am

[4] & [5] Sympathy, sure, but what about votes? Will he get more or less votes, than say, Bernie Williams? Bernie did things the voters loved, his teams won, and he could have been an anti-steroid statement, but got very few votes. And in the pecking order of HoF, never once did it ever occur to me that Omar Vizquel was ahead of Bernie Williams.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 28, 2012 11:58 am

7) I think Bernie has a better case. But I'll bet you a meal Vizquel ends up with more support.

8 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 28, 2012 12:03 pm

No way. 2,854 hits would be impressive for a 15 year career, but not for a 24 year career. Maybe we need a 'Hall of Longevity' for better than average guys who stay healthy and pile up some decent counting stats. Omar is good, but far from great.

9 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 28, 2012 12:11 pm

I'm not gonna say I bought a copy of Omar Vizquel's autobiography, entitled "OMAR!", at the $1 rack outside of the Strand.

But that's something I did.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 28, 2012 12:31 pm

[6] I'm on your side with this, but CF is probably held to a higher standard overall than shortstop. Even now with Ripkin, Jeter and Rodriguez having revolutionized SS to a high-offense position before and during Vizquel's prime, CF has always been perceived as golden territory. Nevertheless, Bernie was without question a far superior offensive player than Vizquel, so I don't even worth considering. Let's just say that if Vizquel merits entry, you have absolutely no reason not to include Bernie or Jorge.

Some of the dumb comments following Jaffe's post have alluded to Yankee bias, which says that if he were a Yankee he'd be in the HoF. Without addressing such stupidity, I would argue that Yankee bias regarding more recent players would probably work the opposite way; the argument being that there were so many contributors to the Yankee offense that won those championships and such that the fringe candidates like Jorge and Bernie will be penalized for playing on "deep" teams (never mind that they were a large part of why that offense was so deep). I don't agree with that logic either, but I believe it is more prevalent in the voters' minds than the opposite "they were Yankees and Yankees always get what they want" BS.

All-in-all though, I think the criteria for HoF entry has become too fluid to be taken seriously anymore, and is seemingly guided by self-righteousness, so I don't particularly care.

11 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 28, 2012 12:33 pm

[7] Al, I'm willing to take that bet. If Omar gets more support, to me that kinda proves my point about fluidity and self-righteousness.

12 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 28, 2012 12:40 pm

[7] & [11] I'm in, but it's a long time until the winner cashes in. Highest % of the vote that either receives, if they keep getting over 5%, could take awhile...

13 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 28, 2012 12:42 pm

And I agree with both Chyll and Al that voters are going to want to dump some votes on guys who are not obvious steroid cases in the coming years, but I think there are probably enough legit candidates coming that they won't have to prop up undeserving guys like Vizquel to do it.

14 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 28, 2012 1:26 pm

Here's a random Hall of Fame question. Who is the best candidate: Bernie Williams, Johnny Damon or Andruw Jones?

15 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 28, 2012 1:40 pm

Depends on your priorities. As an unapologetic Yankee-homer, I like them all, while Bernie takes the pole position.

It's Bernie's peak years & rings vs Damon's consistency & longevity vs Andruw's early defense & power.

If I could have one guy on my team at his absolute best, I think you probably have to pick Andruw for his glove. It's the most special talent in that group.

16 Hank Waddles   ~  Jun 28, 2012 2:49 pm

It'll be interesting if Damon gets to 3,000 hits. He's currently at 2,752, and considering he's only got 29 hits so far, the odds are not in his favor. But let's assume for a second that he does. Three thousand hits is probably the one true Golden Ticket that remains for the Hall of Fame, but Damon was an above average player throughout his career. His best season was 2000, and even then he finished 19th in the MVP voting. (He had a 6.0 WAR that year, 8th best in the American League.)

17 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 28, 2012 2:52 pm

[16] Damon's not likely to get 2800 hits, 3000 would require those Germans to invent a whole new set of surgeries and treatments.

18 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 28, 2012 3:02 pm

I know Jones tailed off quickly after he left Atlanta. Now, he's a good platoon player but far from a star. So he's going to have a long fade to black. But for a guy that was as good as he was in the field, he was considerably better than say, Curt Flood, offensively. I doubt Jones will get much Hall of Fame love but he was an amazing fielder for what, at least 6-7 years maybe more, right?

19 Bluenatic   ~  Jun 28, 2012 3:07 pm

Most of the arguments I've seen in support of Vizquel's HOF candidacy can also be made for Keith Hernandez. Both won 11 gold gloves. But Keith also won a batting crown, an MVP and a ring. And there's no way he's getting in.

20 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 28, 2012 3:37 pm

Yeah, that's another good one: Keith, Mattingly or Will Clark?

I'll take Dick Allen. LOL

21 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 28, 2012 6:34 pm

[20] Dick Allen, yep! We all know why he isn't in. :)

Got to put Andruw Jones in. Maybe the best defensive CF of the modern era (since Mays at least). 400+ taters. He should go in easy.

22 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 28, 2012 8:07 pm

21) Except he won't. Also, and I'm just asking, was Jones that much better than Maddox, Flood and Paul Blair?

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