September 03, 2015

David Ortiz is still not a HOFer, PEDs, and DHing, aside

Boston's David Ortiz
Sadly, Ken Rosenthal wants to blame one or the other of performance-enhancing drugs (and yes, Sawks fans, Papi was on a leaked list), or playing as designated hitter, for reasons David Ortiz will be kept out of Cooperstown.

And, Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra, who can be sabermetrically selective at times, uncritically linked to Rosenthal and piled on.

The reality, as I Tweeted both sports persons, and cc-ed Papi, is much more simple. Sabermetrics are against his candidacy.

Per B-Ref, Ortiz is still below 50 WAR. That's not Hall of Fame territory. And, he's below 20 Wins Above Average. That's not even close to HOF territory.

And, at his age, Ortiz isn't significantly improving those numbers. The only way to do that would be to jump in a time machine and "discover" his wondering Boston hitting stroke when he was still in Minnesota.

Commenter CohnJusack at Craig's site notes the "defensive spectrum" of baseball and notes that Ortiz as a DH carries a greater defensive burden than even a first baseman. That's one big point. Related to that, when he has played first base, his range factor has been well below average, and his fielding percentage has been below average, too.

So, we go to his offense.

Ortiz never, ever, had a 7-oWAR season. None. Zip, zilch, nada.

Not a HOFer.

Let's take someone actually on the borderline of Cooperstown: Edgar Martinez. Gar has 20 more WAR, and 20 more WAA, than Papi, and did have one 7-oWAR season. Per CohnJusack, Carlos Delgado is a much better comp to Papi than is Gar.

I wish we could stop this nonsense.

To put it simply and directly, in terms Calcaterra, Rosenthal, and possibly a few Boston fans can understand: David Ortiz will not be in the Hall of Fame because he's not a Hall of Famer.

And, Rosenthal, especially, is supposed to be smarter than this. I hope he's not devolving into clickbait writing.


Old Gator said...

I see no reason why designated hitters should be barred from the Hall of Fame, any more than primitive hominids should be barred from the Museum of Natural History. How vacant would be those dioramas of club-happy Neanderthals stalking mammoths, wooly rhinoceri and erly musk oxen (while the impending cro-magnons hide in the bushes with their high powered rifles and binoculars, giggling softly to themselves) without those bearskin-clad lowbrows?

Henry Fairfield Osborn saw to it that the museum had a wing for primitive tool users and dire wolves (before they evolved into Grateful Dead lyrics). I say, let's have a comparable wing of the Hall of Fame for more primitive forms of baseball.

Gadfly said...

Nice snark! Snark aside, I'm not anti-DHers in the Hall. (As a good NLer, though, I will confess to not liking the DH.)

I'm become more sympathetic to Edgar, and had no problem with either Thomas, or partial DH Molitor, getting in.