Despite his ties to Tommy Lasorda, I wholeheartedly agree that Mike Piazza is most deserving of his selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was no Johnny Bench behind the plate, but his career was lengthy and stellar. Any slow footed catcher with a lifetime batting average of .308 has proven that he could hit the ball where they ain’t and damned hard at that. I am re-publishing this post from a year ago because it still, unfortunately, pertains.
What, however, about a guy who played seven more seasons than Piazza, played 590 more games, had an on base percentage 8 points higher, was a great defender and stole 791 more bases? Okay, that last part was not fair but of course I am talking about the great Tim Raines.
Many old timers seem to have gotten a rather easy pass to the Hall but it seems as though the voters have been a bit hardassed of late. Look, if Ty Cobb and some of those other varmints can be there, let’s not get too choosy on the character thing. I am okay with Peckerhead Rose being there (as a plaque, not in person) and , yeah, Barry Bonds and the despicable Roger Clemens too. It’s not as though they are trying to buy automatic rifles or something.
The accomplishments on the field are what matters most or else it’s a horseshit barn full of Dale Murphy types who never pissed off the writers.
Raines came close in the latest balloting and it pains me to read stuff like, “…he’s bound to make it next time” or “…it’s too bad he played at the same time as Rickey Henderson.” He’s qualified, okay, get him in there while he’s still walking. That comparison to Henderson bit is really lame. Maybe they shouldn’t have let Lou Gehrig in because he was concurrent with Babe Ruth.
Piazza’s slugging percentage lifetime was a stupendous .545 but Raines was no mere singles hitter as his .425 slugging percentage shows. He logged 713 extra base hits among his career total of 2,605, which is 478 more hits than big Mike. He tallied 134 outfield assists. The 808 stolen bases are almost enough alone to qualify Raines for the Hall. Joe Morgan had 689 steals and a lifetime average of .271. Raines batted .294 for his 23 year career.
There is something wrong with a system that denies a guy with all of those hits and steals and 1,571 runs scored. I don’t think it’s racism; I think baseball still has a way to go on racism but that it doesn’t discriminate on Hall of Fame selections that way. So, no excuse: let’s get it right next time, boys and girls.