Inside Baseball

The Baseball Hall of Fame just announced this year’s class of inductees, and there were some notable names missing. Here’s Nate Silver on the numbers. His point is basically that good baseball players today are better than great baseball players of yesteryear.

If you’re not willing to reserve a place for players who meet or exceed the statistical standards of the average Hall of Famers at their positions, however — players like a Larkin or a Bagwell — the discussion really ought to turn to which players we need to kick out. No Barry Larkin? No Travis Jackson. No Tim Raines? No Max Carey. No Jeff Bagwell? No High Pockets Kelly. No Trammell and Whitaker? That’s fine: let’s boot Tinker and Evers.

Barry Larkin and Jeff Bagwell, 2 players who didn’t make it but should have, are indicative of how people vote now. Barry Larkin didn’t make it because he was merely spectacular for close to a decade, not eye poppingly amazing, during an era of steroid use. Jeff Bagwell, on the other hand, had amazing stats, also during an era of steroid use. It seems like Larkin is being compared unfavorably in light of ballooning offensive stats, for not doing steroids. On the other hand, Bagwell is being punished for having those stats during the same era, even though there’s never been evidence of steroid abuse.

Inside Baseball

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