Pat Caputo and the Hall of Fame

It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.

I had never heard of Pat Caputo before this morning, but found a link on The Book Blog and had to check it out. Tango highlighted how Caputo won't vote for Craig Biggio because, well, because Caputo is an idiot I guess.

I will not mark the names of Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens on my Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

While I don't agree with this since both were outstanding players, I can at least understand the decision to leave them off the ballot. I think it makes the Hall of Fame worse and more irrelevant, but I don't visit the place and can honestly say I have no intention of doing so.

Nor will I vote for Sammy Sosa or Mike Piazza or Craig Biggio.

You can put Sammy in with Bonds and Clemens. There's more than enough evidence that he used. Again, I disagree with it, but one could even argue with so many Hall of Fame caliber players on this ballot and the limit of 10 that Sammy shouldn't get a vote this year ahead of others.

Mike Piazza has reportedly said he used androstenedione for awhile, which is the same drug that McGwire took. It was not banned at the time and aside from that it's nothing but conjecture that he used anything else.

There are two parts of the article I want to touch on: Biggio and this comment by Caputo:

I do remember Sosa suddenly not being able to speak English before Congress, and his corked bat incident. He went from a skinny, marginal regular with little power to Superman. That doesn’t happen magically. Same with the transformation of Mike Piazza from extremely late-round draft pick into SuperDuperStar.

First of all, Sosa would have been a complete dumbass to not speak through an interpreter while in front of Congress. Anybody who heard him talk to the media over the years knew he didn't possess the greatest English. Anyone who suggests this is evidence of anything is a complete fucking idiot.

As for being a marginal regular, what the hell does he even mean? At the age of 24 in 1993 Sosa had his first good offensive season. The year before was an injury-shortened season and he was actually league average at the plate, but in 1993 Sosa had a 106 wRC+ and thanks to some great fielding he was worth 4.6 fWAR and 3.8 rWAR. He also hit 33 home runs that year. The following year he had a 125 wRC+.

In 1995 he was worth more than 5 fWAR and rWAR. He played in all 144 games that year and hit 36 home runs. He was an all-star, finished 8th in MVP voting and won the silver slugger. Not bad for a guy with little power.

In 1996 Sammy suffered a season-ending injury on August 20th (separated shoulder?). Despite that, he hit 40 home runs in just 124 games. Over 162 games that works out to 52 home runs. Again, not bad for a guy with little power.

The guy with little power hit 170 home runs between 1993 and 1997. Only 9 players in baseball had more home runs during that time.

Say what you want about Sammy Sosa, but "little power" before 1998 is bullshit. What happened to newspaper editors? There's no way that comment should have been published. It's easily disproved.

Bagwell and Biggio present more interesting cases. They get much more benefit of the doubt from writers, and not without some justification because their names haven’t shown up on lists or in a book.

But look at all their connections to the Astros of that era — Ken Caminiti, Clemens, Andy Pettitte.

Bagwell’s body had an incredible amount of muscle given his frame. It was like Barry Bonds’ head in 2001 — it just didn’t look normal.

Biggio is far less suspected because of his smaller frame, but he was on those teams, and reportedly close to those players, and his power numbers did suddenly and magically rise at one point of his career (not just home runs, but doubles), and before the Astros moved into a more hitter’s friendly ball park. Again, I am very skeptical about there being any “magic” involved.

He's got to be joking. Biggio added some power in the middle of his prime? That's evidence? Maybe the guy also noticed that around this same time Biggio moved away from a physically demanding position behind the plate to 2nd base.

Pat Caputo is a lot of things. A good journalist isn't one of them. Neither is logical. Or rational. He is a lying scumbag though so he's got that going for him.

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