I was making the rounds this morning when I came across something written by ESPN’s Buster Olney that clearly is a similar sentiment to what I wrote yesterday in HOF: What Should Have Been. Here is the quote from Olney.
” I’m convinced that the baseball writers shouldn’t be involved in the selection of Hall of Famers at all — a belief I’ve written about before, a belief reinforced by the most recent round of voting.”
Here, here Mr. Olney for having the guts to state the obvious – those who vote for the Baseball Hall of Baseball really don’t have a clue what they are doing. I know we “internet” folks aren’t respected, we are even sneered at as being those “number guys,” but the bottom line is that I would bet money that a gathering of us “sabermetric geeks” would certainly lead to a more adequate HOF vote than what the “official” guys did, or more correctly, didn’t do when they selected only Andre Dawson for the HOF this week. You can read my thoughts on who should have made it in Is There Room for a DH?, and in what follows I’m going to look at this situation a bit differently. The biggest snub, one that strains credulity really, was the omission of Roberto Alomar. So I thought I would do something I haven’t seen done anywhere else. I thought I would directly compare the production of Alomar and Dawson – a difficult task considering only a portion of their careers overlapped, but I thought I could use the parallel to point out just how wrong the voters got it in 2010.
Alomar: .300 AVG
Dawson: .279 AVG
Not a big surprise here as even a rudimentary knowledge of the game would lead you to the conclusion that Alomar was a more effective hitter according to this measure.
Alomar: .371 OBP
Dawson: .323 OBP
That’s a whopping difference. Dawson was a below average player in terms of his ability to get on base (the league average during his career was .331). Alomar, predictably, produced a very strong number.
Alomar: .814 OPS
Dawson: .806 OPS
This might be the most shocking number of all. Despite a massive lead in homers of 228 (438 to 210), Dawson finished his career .008 points behind Alomar in OPS. If that doesn’t explain just how ineffective Dawson was in comparison to Alomar, don’t know what I would have to show you.
Alomar: 2,724 hits
Dawson: 2,774 hits
Alomar: 1,508 runs
Dawson: 1,373 runs
Though close, don’t forget that Dawson knocked himself in on homers more than 200 extra times compared to Alomar with those homers which further speaks to the distance between the two.
Alomar: 474 SB
Dawson: 314 SB
Dawson was the better combo of power/speed, but Alomar was a superior base runner with a far greater steal mark as well.
Alomar: Twelve All-Star appearances
Dawson: Eight All-Star appearances
Alomar made 50 percent more mid-summer’s classic squads. That says something doesn’t it?
Alomar: 3rd in AL MVP in 1999, 1.91 Career Win Shares
Dawson: 1987 NL MVP, 2.36 Career Win Shares
Dawson won the award once, and had a few extra MVP votes throughout his career, but it was still pretty close in terms of their MVP respect.
Alomar: Ten Gold Gloves
Dawson: Eight Gold Gloves
Two extra G.G.’s for Alomar at a much more difficult and important position (second compared to outfield) make this gap wider that it appears to be.
Alomar: Four Silver Slugger Awards
Dawson: Four Silver Slugger Awards
So what does all of this prove? It proves that Alomar, from a rather rudimentary look, was a better offensive player than Dawson – a fact clearly recognized with the amazing realization that he actually produced a better OPS. Alomar didn’t have the power of Dawson, but his ability to get on base, and his ability to contribute in all areas of the offensive game, was superior. When you add in the fact that Alomar was a more accomplished player defensively, suiting up at a more difficult position, the argument for selecting Dawson over Alomar completely vanishes, and with that I would suggest that every member of the HOF voting panel that chose Dawson while excluding Alomar should have their credentials immediately revoked. Harsh? Maybe. But we are talking about the legacy of baseball folks, and at this point I can’t say that I trust the men and women who have the ability to shape it at present since they clearly lack the ability to differentiate a very good player from a great one.
By Ray Flowers