As I do my most extensive set of posts yet on potential Major League Baseball Hall of Fame candidates, it's time for a look at Lee Smith.
First, for those who haven't read other baseball-related posts of mine, I'm a definite Cardinals fan.
Second, I saw Big Lee set what was then the National League single-season saves record in 1991. And, with those being among Montreal Expos "home" games moved on the road because of falling Olympic Stadium concrete, I got box seats less than 30 rows from the Cardinal bullpen on the first-base line.
So, I can say Lee Smith is physically imposing.
I can also look at his HOF stats and say that he's not imposing career-wise. As is the case with most closers, ESPN-type overrating aside.
Career WAR of just 27.9 and WAA of 13.8 rule him out right there. So, too does the fact that he can't meet one of my two baseline hurdles. His WHIP of 1.256 is technically above my 1.25 cutoff for pitchers.
Now, he doesn't quite have the momentum of a Jack Morris, but he does have a couple more years of eligibility left. Hopefully, we won't need quite so much an anti-Lee campaign. But, he doesn't belong there.
Now, a little background to my Hall of Fame blogging —
I am a "small Hall" guy. In fact, I think there's plenty of people we should vote back OUT of Cooperstown. Here's some pitchers, and some batters, looking just at the modern baseball era, who need the boot.
Oh, and while you're here, please vote in my poll.
And, click the "MLB Hall of Fame" tag for more on other candidates on this year's ballot and my thoughts.