Posted December 12, 2012

JAWS and the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot: Craig Biggio

Craig Biggio, Hall of Fame, Houston Astros, JAWS
Craig Biggio, a member of the 3,000 hit club, might be one of the few candidates people can agree on this year. (John BIever/SI)

Craig Biggio, a member of the 3,000 hit club, might be one of the few candidates people can agree on this year. (John BIever/SI)

The following article is part of my ongoing look at the candidates on the BBWAA 2013 Hall of Fame ballot. For a detailed introduction to JAWS, please see here.

In a year where the Hall of Fame ballot’s most high-profile newcomers are attached to controversy, the holdover closest to election is one of the most polarizing candidates in recent memory and large Hall-minded voters may not have room to list all of the potentially deserving honorees within their allotted 10 slots, Craig Biggio is the safe choice. A seven-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner who spent the entirety of his career with a single team, his candidacy is strengthened even further by his membership in the 3,000 hit club, which historically has guaranteed election. If otherwise contentious writers can’t form a consensus around what to do about Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jack Morris or Jeff Bagwell, surely they can agree on Biggio, right?

Because of the ballot’s breadth, the weight of the performance-enhancing drug issue, and the old stats/new stats fault line, there exists a legitimate possibility that none of the 37 candidates will receive the requisite 75 percent of the vote needed for election this year. Such a result would be a disaster for the Hall of Fame, which is after all a privately-owned museum that depends on tourist traffic for the bulk of its revenue — particularly at the time of the July induction, when tens of thousands of fans swarm to Cooperstown en masse, giving the entire local economy a boost. As worthy as the three Pre-Integration Era honorees announced last week may be, they’ve all been dead for nearly 75 years. Not many people are going to break out their replica Deacon White jerseys to make a pilgrimage to upstate New York simply to see Paul Hagen collect his J.G. Taylor Spink Award or the family of the late Tom Cheek accept his Ford C. Frick Award, however deserving those winners may be.

The Hall of Fame board of directors has no means of rigging the BBWAA’s vote to guarantee at least one living great gains entry, and in fact, a shutout has happened as recently as 1996, when Phil Niekro topped out at 68.3 percent. Prior to that, you have to go back to 1971 to find another. Privately, the Hall board must be praying that consensus forms around someone, lest the whole regional economy dip into a recession.

The BBWAA may be sweating the potential results as well, since blank slates tend to trigger calls for reforming the voter process. For evidence of that, look no further than the frequent changes that the Veterans Committee has undergone over the past decade. When the VC voting body was radically expanded in 2001, from a less-than-popular panel of 12 men in a smoke-filled room to include all living members of the Hall proper as well as living Spink (writer) and Frick (broadcaster) awards, the voters pitched shutouts in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and change arrived again. When the retooled VC elected just one player over the next two cycles, it was revamped into its current form, dividing candidates into three chronological eras.

It’s doubtful that one goose egg would be enough to pressure the Hall or the BBWAA into changing, but two in a row probably could. The issue of PEDs isn’t going away, and the backlog of candidates is only going to get larger when luminaries such as Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Mike Mussina, Jeff Kent and Frank Thomas reach the 2014 ballot, making consensus even more difficult among an ever-growing pool of players.

So . . . how about that Biggio guy?

Player  Career Peak JAWS HR  SB  BA  OBP  SLG  TAv
Craig Biggio 62.1 40.6 51.3 2850 3060 291 414 .281 .363 .433 .282
Avg HOF 2B 66.0 42.8 54.4                
Avg HOF Md
(C+2B+SS+CF)
62.3 40.4 51.4

Long Island native Craig Biggio was drafted by the Astros out of Seton Hall University in 1987, the 22nd pick in a first round that kicked off with Ken Griffey Jr. and also included Jack McDowell (fifth), Kevin Appier (ninth), Delino DeShields (12th) and Travis Fryman (30th) among the 25 major leaguers it produced. Biggio was drafted as a catcher despite his relatively small size for the position (5-foot-11, 185 pounds), and didn’t spend long in the minors — just 141 games at two levels — before making his major league debut on June 26, 1988. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and a steal, but must have called a good game, as Jim Deshaies and Larry Anderson (a name you’ll hear again this voting season) combined for a seven-hit shutout of the Giants, with Biggio gunning down Jose Uribe attempting to steal third base.

The 22-year-old Biggio didn’t hit much in his 50-game rookie season (.211/.254/.350 with three homers), but he earned Silver Slugger honors in his second year, hitting .257/.336/.402 with 13 homers and 21 steals in 24 attempts, exceptional numbers for a catcher, particularly one toiling in the hitters’ graveyard that was the Astrodome. Foreshadowing his itinerant career, position-wise, he also made five appearances in the outfield when he wasn’t catching. The next year he played 50 games in the outfield, and in 1991, when he earned All-Star honors via a .295/.358/.374 showing en route to a strong 4.1-WAR season, he took three starts at second base during the season’s final week.

That winter, the Astros decided to move him to second base and install him as their leadoff hitter, and Biggio proved more than up to the task. He played every game in 1992, led the league with 721 plate appearances, drew 94 walks (53 had been his previous career high) and hit .277/.378/.369 with 38 steals, for a .287 True Average in Houston’s run-parched environment. His defense at second may have been rough (Total Zone rated him at −6 runs, Fielding Runs Above Average at a less-charitable −22), but he was worth 4.1 WAR for the second year in a row, and he earned All-Star honors again, still the only player ever to do so at both positions. Aided by an improving nucleus that also included first baseman Jeff Bagwell, third baseman Ken Caminiti and centerfielder Steve Finley, the Astros vaulted from 65-97 in 1991 to 81-81 in ’92.

Biggio settled in at second base. From 1992-96, he hit a combined .293/.390/.441 — still playing half his games in the Astrodome, mind you — made four All-Star teams, and averaged 4.8 WAR per year. That set the stage for a monster 9.3-WAR campaign in 1997 (second among NL position players behind MVP Larry Walker): .309/.415/.501 with 22 homers (tying his career high to that point) for a .324 True Average (seventh in the league) and a league-leading 146 runs. To his 84 walks, he added a whopping 34 hit-by-pitches; always willing to take one for the team, he would eventually total 285 plunkings, the most in modern baseball history (19th century player Hughie Jennings was hit 287 times).

The Biggio/Bagwell-powered Astros went 84-78, capturing the NL Central for their first playoff berth since 1986. That was the first of three straight division titles; they would win 102 games the following year, another tremendous season in which Biggio hit .325/.403/.503 with a career-best 210 hits and a league-leading 51 doubles, and 97 in 1999, their final year in the Astrodome. Alas, they couldn’t get out of the first round.

Biggio suffered the first significant injury of his career in 2000, tearing the ACL and MCL of his left knee, ending his season on August 1. Even before the injury, and with the move to the more hitter-friendly Enron Field, his decline phase had begun, hardly a surprise given that it was his age-34 season. He rebounded to play 155 games, collect 180 hits and 20 homers, and help the Astros to another first place finish (and alas, another first-round exit) in 2001, but it would be all downhill from his 3.1 WAR over the remaining six years of his career.

In 2003, the Astros decided to move Biggio again, this time to centerfield to accommodate the arrival of free agent second baseman Jeff Kent, another big bat for a lineup that now included leftfielder Lance Berkman and third baseman Morgan Ensberg as well. Despite Biggio age (37), he wasn’t a mess in centerfield according to the defensive metrics, but the 87-win Astros fell short of the playoffs. Biggio moved again, this time to leftfield, upon the addition of one more “Killer B” in mid-2004; Carlos Beltran took over centerfield, put the team on his back and hit 23 regular season homers and eight postseason ones as the Astros came within one win of the World Series, losing a seven-game NLCS to the Cardinals.

Beltran and Kent would depart as a free agents after that year, freeing Biggio to move back to second base. While he was subpar defensively, and Bagwell was reduced to a shell of his former self by a shoulder injury, the pitching-rich Astros (who had Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens to front their rotation) finally reached the promised land of the World Series in 2005, their first pennant in franchise history. Alas, they were swept by the White Sox and Biggio went 4-for-18.

Biggio turned 40 that winter, and with 2,795 career hits, he set his eye on joining the 3,000 hit club. His performance at the plate and in the field had deteriorated, however. Over his final two seasons, he hit a combined .249/.296/.402 and was 2.1 wins below replacement level once that was combined with subpar defense. Even so, he collected his 3,000th hit with a single off the Rockies’ Aaron Cook on June 28, 2007; he was thrown out trying for second, but he did go 5-for-6 that night. He was the 27th player to reach 3,000, and the ninth to do so with one team.

That marker may be enough for Biggio to gain entry to Cooperstown without delay. Of the 28 players (including Derek Jeter) who have 3,000 hits, all but the banned Pete Rose, the PED-tainted Rafael Palmeiro, Biggio and the still-active Jeter are in the Hall of Fame. With the exception of Rose and Palmeiro, every one of the Hall-eligible players to reach 3,000 hits since the end of World War II has been elected on the first ballot. Paul Waner, the only player to reach 3,000 between 1925 (when Tris Speaker and Eddie Collins did so) and 1958 (Stan Musial) had to wait until his fifth ballot to gain entry, but the voting rules were much different then. Among the first-time eligible 3,000 hit club members since Waner, only Lou Brock (79.7 percent in 1985) and Robin Yount (77.5 percent in 1999, sharing space on a crowded ballot with George Brett and Nolan Ryan) even polled below 84.5 percent.

On the strength of that precedent as well as his other traditional merits, Biggio is likely to win election this year. However, his case is fuzzier with regards to JAWS. He’s a bit below the standard at second base in terms of both peak and career scores, and his JAWS ranks 13th among second basemen, with non-Hall of Famers Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker among the dozen players above him (the rest are enshrined). That said, Biggio did spend some 13 percent of his career as a catcher (according to plate appearances taken while in the lineup at that position) and another nine percent in centerfield, making it more appropriate to refer to the aggregate for up-the-middle Hall of Famers (catchers, second basemen, shortstops and centerfielders), and there, he’s within a rounding error — a run, maybe — of meeting the standard.

Considering that any shortfall basically owes to the gray area of his less-than-stellar defensive performances and minor discrepancies between various metrics (-62 FRAA, −70 TZ, −68 DRS, albeit all since 2002), it’s not worth sweating decimals. Craig Biggio looks like a Hall of Famer from here, and the bet is that even in this contentious season, he’ll get at least 75 percent of the vote.

19 comments
Ron aka Buddy
Ron aka Buddy

Why do you have 15 years to get inducted? Either you're worthy or your not. Their stats and other contributions aren't going to change over time. 

benback2cu
benback2cu

Start with the obvious--there is no "criteria" for Hall of Fame induction.  In a nation of over 300 million, a few hundred baseball guys sit around and compare their statistical models--which all pretty much look the same.  These days, all the Hall candidates start to look like Biggio: a very good player who was smart enough to stay in shape and keep his nose clean so he could play until he was completely out of gas.  What do we have to look forward to?  Edgar Martinez?  Rafael Palmeiro?  Jamie (Heaven forbid) Moyer?  In the meantime, we still have to accept that Ozzie (Backflips!) Smith got in while Alan Trammell (a superior player and teammate) doesn't have a shot until he turns 80.  The Hall of Fame is like voting for the high school homecoming queen; the only person it glorifies is the one who jumps up and shows off their ballot with all the names of whoever gets picked that year.

TimJohnson
TimJohnson

In my ebook on the Hall of Fame, I used the standard for induction the middle tier of those already in Cooperstown, by position. Without going into the metohdology used, Biggio would rank comfortably in the middle tier of HOF second basemen already inducted, which to me says he is a worthy HOFer. No, he's not Rogers Hornsby or Joe Morgan, but Biggio was as good as the middle tier guys...

therantguy
therantguy

I am not sure why this is even a discussion? Biggio has 7 years of OPS+ under a 100 and 13 under 115...in other words, if not for him hanging on and hanging on and hanging on for 3000 hits, this wouldn't even be a discussion...he was a very solid player but nobody has ever said the words "let's go see Biggio play" as a reason to head to the ballpark...he isn't a hall of famer...he's a hall of very good...and there is a zero percent chance he goes in this year.

jcyzman
jcyzman

You can't possibly be advocating electing Biggio simply so the "privately owned Cooperstowen Museum" will get a financial jolt????   The fact that so many of the current BB writers want to believe they've been watching THE GREATEST PLAYERS OF ALL TIME is irritating.  Everyone/everything can't be The Greatest of All Time.  Biggio doesn't cut it.  Move on.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

"The Hall of Fame board of directors has no means of rigging the BBWAA’s vote to guarantee at least one living great gains entry"

 

Ummm ... you think? It's unconscionable for you to somehow make the absurd connection between Hall voting and propping up the local economy of Cooperstown. The purpose of the baseball Hall of Fame is to commemorate the game's greatest. Isn't that enough? It's not some kind of contrived economic stimulus package.

 

This has been a good series of articles. Don't choke now.

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

Rafael Palmeiro, despite being 3000-500, is not a HOFer even without the PEDs at the end of his career.  Compared with Eddie Murray and Frank Robinson, two other BAL 1B's at points in their careers, he is missing the AS appearances, MVP top-10's and top-5's, MVP's, SS's, WS's, and the ROY.  He was a good player, but he never stood out above his peers in an offensive era.Similarly, Biggio was a good player who racked up 3000 hits, but he has no defining moments, few MVP considerations (3 top-10's, one of those 3 he was below Bagwell on the ballot), no postseason heroics, nothing that ever grabbed national attention.  His biggest claim to fame is hitting the ball with his ribcage instead of the bat.  He was mostly irrelevant for over half a decade at the end of his career.  Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin are already in as the best middle infielders of the decade, both with WS titles,.  Biggio is an also-ran who hung on at replacement level for a few more years.  For me, he doesn't make the grade.  For further review, a list of all the HOF second basemen of the Topps baseball card, post-WWII era:Robbie AlomarRyne SandbergRod CarewJoe MorganBill Mazeroski

Nellie FoxJackie RobinsonThat's an average of one every 7 years or so.  Maybe Chase Utley goes next in line.  Biggio's career was outshined by Alomar during the same time frame, and the Hall generally doesn't take two 2B's at a time.

Michael10
Michael10

So the argument for Biggio being a first ballot Hall of Famer starts with a warning about what might happen if they don't vote SOMEBODY in? A little less than subtle, don't you think? This may scare enough people into putting Morris over the top, too. Before a dozen Astros homers jump on me, let me preface this by saying Biggio WILL get in soon if not now, and that he probably belongs, being one of the 15 best secondbasemen of all-time (he was a very substandard catcher and centerfield early and late in his career, so the reminder that he played there, too, does not help his case). Jaffe mentions at least a dozen at the position with better JAWS scores, and I would be inclined to rank Joe Gordon's (if not Billy Herman's) war-shortened career above Biggio's as well. Of all the secondbasemen currently in the Hall, only Jackie Robinson and Joe Morgan went first ballot. That means guys like Hornsby, Collins, Lajoie, Gehringer, Sandberg, Alomar and others all waited at least a turn or two, usually (not always) because there were more qualified player on earlier ballots. Such as the case this year, where at least ten players have better JAWS scores than Biggio (the driving statistic of this series arguments). A few more players rank just behind despite much shorter careers. So just as there are at least a dozen secondbasemen who have put together more valuable careers than Biggio, there are probably a dozen players on this SINGLE ballot who rank ahead of him -- players who just eight years ago would have been the "no-brainer first ballot" types that would have Biggio taking a number like Fisk, Sandberg, Alomar, Dawson and Larkin had to in recent years, guys with more All-Star appearances or Gold Gloves or championships or MVPs or all of the above. Yes, he stuck around long enough to get 3000 hits -- just as Johnny Damon might, just as Omar Vizquel almost did -- but all other historical and statistical indicators suggest he is a middle-of-the-road Hall of Famer, a guy who won't raise the standard but won't be an embarrassment either (see Jack Morris). In the next few years, we may have a half dozen 500-HR guys on the outside looking in -- it's not outrageous that a milestone player like Biggio would have to wait a year or two. But he won't. Because of a perfect storm of fear (what if no one gets in?), anger (Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, Palmiero), suspicion (Bagwell, Walker), indifference (Lofton, Smith, McGriff), ignorance (Morris over Raines?) and offensive prejudice (Martinez, Piazza), Biggio will be voted in first ballot. Best case scenario is he goes in with Bagwell. Worst case scenario is he goes in with Morris and the push begins for Jeff Kent and Alan Trammell in 2014.

Michael10
Michael10

You need a few years.  Not everyone is going to get voted in on the first ballot whether they deserve it or not.  Politics play into it (unfortunately); some guys won't vote for ANYONE the first time around.  Voters also like to use the bully pulpit to "punish" (this is why Alomar had to wait a year).  Backlogs like the one that will run the next three to five years are another reason.  There is also the important matter of context -- sometimes it takes more than the obligatory waiting period to consider how a player measures up not just against his immediate contemporaries but in regard to the eras that overlapped his career and baseball history overall. (This is especially relevant given how many people are at a loss over how to handle the steroid era.)

 

Still, 15 years is probably way too long.  Cut it in half, seven years, perhaps -- like a statute of limitations.  And no Veterans Committee.  It's like affirmative action -- it has served its purpose (and been abused along the way), but the writers are much better now at getting it right in the first couple years.

Michael10
Michael10

 @benback2cu I'm not even sure how you could possibly quantify Trammell as a better teammate than Ozzie, but on what basis was he a superior player?  Was he a better hitter?  Sure.  Is that the end-all, be-all indicator of a HOF shortstop?  Ozzie is obviously not in the Hall for driving in runs, but he still produced more total career value than Trammell (only Wagner and Ripken produced more value while playing shortstop).  In fact, according to WAR, no position player ever has ever been more valuable WITHOUT a bat (defensive and baserunning WAR combined).  Just on the basis of glove and legs, he was probably the most impactful player ever to play the game. 

 

ALL things considered (including offense), Ozzie was arguable the third best shortstop of all time.  He's also got 15 All-Star appearances, 13 consecutive Gold Gloves, three pennants and a championship in six years (and an NLCS MVP), character-based honors like the Gehrig, Rickey and Clemente Awards, comparable counting stats to Trammell (over the exact same span) and was MVP runner-up the same year as Trammell.

 

Oh, yeah...and he had an awesome backflip.

Michael10
Michael10

Jaffe has already laid out the politics above.  If he goes in this year and whether he deserves it are two completely different issues...

Falcor81
Falcor81

@MattBugaj

First, the argument that Biggio is not worthy because Alomar, who played mostly in AL during the same time period, is already in the Hall of Fame does not make sense.  Either a player is a Hall of Famer or he is not.  Should Duke Snider not be in the HOF because Mickey Mantle was a better center fielder and played during the same era?  

 

Second, really looking at the statistics shows that Biggio and Alomar were very similar offensively.  They both were below average hitters during their last three years playing: (Biggio .254/.306/.425/.731, Alomar:  .262/.331/.367/.698).  Looking at each player's average season in his prime, however, is revealing. 

 

Alomar's average season (1989-2001):  97 Runs, 32 2B, 14 HR, 75 RBI, 32 SB, .309 BA, .381 OBP, .461 SLG, .842 OPS

 

Biggio's average season after moving to second full time (1992-2004) 107 Runs, 38 2B, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 25 SB, .289 BA, .380 OBP, .449 SLG, .829 OPS

 

The similarities offensively cannot be denied.  Additionally, it is also worth noting that neither Biggio nor Alomar was ever voted MVP, but they both had two top-5 MVP finishes.  

dhzlatar
dhzlatar

 @MattBugaj You are quite right. Although Biggio was a solid player for almost 20 years and the face of a franchise, he wasn´t the best of his class. That´s a constant debate on HoF voters: Should we get the truly greats? Or can we consider somebody who was close to the best for a long time? How can be compared to others 2B, like Kent? I don´t think Biggio is a first ballot, but he will be in someday. It´s not that easy to get 3000 hits.   

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

 @MattBugaj You're going mostly by "eye appeal" of a player, which in general I would tend to agree with. To me, the defining qualification for getting into the HOF is simply ... did this player dominate his era? It's why, for example, Sandy Koufax went in easily even though he won only 165 games.

 

Obviously, there's a lot of personal interpretation of what it means to "dominate", which is why Hall membership is based on human votes instead of some slick sabremetric formula.

 

The biggest problem I have with "eye appeal", though, is that it's based to a large extent on national media exposure, which Biggio didn't get a lot of. I don't disagree that Alomar and Larkin were the best middle infielders of the era, but are you sure we really know how good Biggio was? All that normal fans have to go on, for the most part, is the national press coverage he got, since obviously we didn't see him play every day. The voting writers presumably have more to base a judgement on.

 

And there's those 3,000 hits, which till now has been a guarantor of election. Will the voters ignore the "eye appeal" factor, stay with tradition, and vote Biggio in because of his career hit total? I guess we'll find out.

 

Michael10
Michael10

     ***     Twenty points of batting average?  That's as similar as Placido Polonco and Miguel Cabrera.  Alomar additional RBIs and SBs surely offset not-quite-leadoff run totals.  Yes, Biggio produced a few more 2Bs and HRs in the selected span, but he did so in almost a year's worth of extra PAs (note the slugging percentages; Alomar also produced 30 more triples over that stretch). 

 

     ***     As for the tail end of their careers being similar, Biggio was a below average player his last EIGHT years (despite playing all at Minute Maid).  In contrast, Alomar's last eight seasons saw 5 All-Star appearances (and an AS MVP), 4 Gold Gloves, 2 Silver Sluggers and 3 MVP finishes (including 3rd and 4th); Biggio earned none of these in that span.

 

     ***     But what truly sets Alomar apart is that in the 12-year span you mention, he made 12 consecutive All-Star appearances, earned 10 Gold Gloves, won back-to-back World Championships (and an ALCS MVP), and had 5 top-six MVP finishes (yes, he just missed the top-five three straight years).  He outhit and out-OPSed Biggio by nearly twenty points each.  If you're a WAR guy, Alomar produced more value over his career in about 2200 fewer plate appearances, or roughly four full seasons. 

 

     ***     Biggio played longer, accumulated some additional counting stats--that's what he did better than Alomar (that and crowd the plate).  By all other measures, Alomar is a tier above Biggio.  Even at that, Alomar had to wait a year to get into the Hall (Sandberg, who is a much better comp for Alomar, had to wait three). 

 

     ***     Biggio will get in this ballot, due largely to the sort of fear-mongering Jaffe is promoting here, but that doesn't mean he should.

Michael10
Michael10

It's certainly not easy to do it the way Biggio did.  600 of those hits came in more than 2500 plate appearance in his last four season -- four seasons in which he produced a grand total of 0.8 wins above replacement (he actually cost his team 2.3 wins in his final years as he collected his last 130 hits). 

 

It's not easy to reach 3000 this way because what team would hold open not only a roster spot but their everyday leadoff slot for a weak-hitting forty-something outfielder who earns $5 million to produce like a minor leaguer?  A team that has failed to win a championship or produce a Hall of Famer in fifty years of existence.  Biggio essentially climbed 30 places up the all-time hit list in those last two horrible seasons.  Is this the difference between a Hall of Fame and Omar Vizquel, Harold Baines, Johnny Damon, Vada Pinson, Al Oliver, Rusty Staub or Bill Buckner?

 

The reason Biggio is seriously being debated as the first 3000 hit-man to be a borderline HOF case it that is ALL he has.  Who else merely by virtue of sticking around long enough to reach that single milestone?  The rest of that club is chock-full of .300 hitters, 400 HR-men, stolen base kings and multiple MVP winners.  (Not to mention All-Star, Gold Gold or championship ring totals that dwarf Biggio's.) 

 

No one else got in just because they reached 3000 hits; they all reached that milestone as a byproduct of already HOF-calibre careers. (The same is true of doubles; 57 players have accumulated 500 or more.  Yeah, Biggio had a lot, but no one is in the Hall of Fame for collecting doubles; they come with the hits...)

modsuperstar
modsuperstar

 @dhzlatar  @MattBugaj Of course Biggio isn't the best of his class. When your class includes Bonds and Clemens it's tough. We're only having this discussion because of the taint of steroids. I think most people know that Bonds was a Hall Of Famer before juicing, only when he juiced he pushed his numbers from borderline to top 10 all time. Clemens is much muddier. Lets say he signed with the Blue Jays and muddled his way through the rest of his career averaging 13 win seasons and hung around until 40. He would have got 283 wins which would have left him short of being a slam dunk candidate with too short of a career peak to merit inclusion.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

 @dhzlatar  @MattBugaj "It´s not that easy to get 3000 hits"

 

No, it isn't, and I think the voters should think long and hard about Biggio because of it.

 

But like you say, it ain't the Hall of the Very Good. To my way of thinking, there's no such thing as a "borderline Hall of Famer". You're either an obvious choice, or you're not.

 

Biggio was a fine player. But he's not an obvious choice.

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

 @John NoLastName  @dhzlatar  @MattBugaj @falcor81 One, I don't think 3,000 has to make you a HOFer anymore.  It's a hang-on stat and he wasn't above replacement level after about 2,500 hits.  Jeter, by contrast, has still had some serious relevance to the game after 3,000 hits.  Palmeiro is the most similar, and I've said he doesn't get my vote even if he's clean.  As far as the small market eye test, his best years were all played with Bagwell, whose name was always in the national spotlight, who has a much better HOF case with an MVP and ROY than either of the two 3k guys mentioned.  I'd check yes on Bagwell before Biggio.  He's Whitaker and Trammell.  Very good, but if they don't make it, neither does he.  Alomar was a key cog in the last two B2B WS champs.