Thursday, January 04, 2007

Still playing catch-up

My next stop was good ol' FJM. They had a lot of fun while I was away, particularly with Jon Heyman. (It's a fun piñata to smack at, especially since Skip Bayless isn't writing for Page 2 any more.)

This post was the one that got my eye, though. (Warning - like many FJM posts, there's a language alert.) Scott Brosius for the Hall of Fame? Because he had a few good postseason games?

Let's just contrast this case with another fellow who had a few great postseason games - a guy name of James Lamar Rhodes.

Back in '54, Rhodes' New York (baseball) Giants were facing down the vaunted Cleveland Indians - winners of 111 games, whose top three starters were Bob Feller-Bob Lemon-Early Wynn (each of them are in the Hall of Fame). Rhodes was a pinch-hitting specialist who'd hit .341 that year, slugging nearly .700 in his limited at-bats. His Series line against the great Indians: 3 games, 4-6, 2 hr-7 bi. His 3-run homer won Game One, far more famous for Willie Mays' over-the-shoulder catch of Vic Wertz' 500-foot fly ball.

He didn't last long after that - Dusty Rhodes (as he is better-known) was never able to amass even 250 at-bats in a single season, and was out of baseball by the age of 32. In that respect, Brosius had far the better career. And even so, his "most similar players" are guys like Mike Pagliarulo and Ed Sprague. This is not a career that admits one into the Hall of Fame, even if a few of his brightest moments may warrant mentioning.

I'm beginning to appreciate the Sports Guy's view that Cooperstown is just as valuable as a museum than as a Hall of Fame, and the whole of the story ought to be told, good and bad. I am not in favor of Mark McGwire's candidacy, for example, primarily because the guy was essentially Dave Kingman until the andro, an oft-injured power hitter good for .230, 35 dingers, and 120 whiffs per year. But the SG has a point - if you put him in, put all of that right on the plaque and let the visitors decide whether he was a cheater or a lovable Bunyan.

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