Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Is Cooperstown Ready for an Attack of the Killer Bees?

Question: Would you trade 22 innings and a 1.23 ERA in 15 relief appearances for 449 HRs, 1529 RBIs, 202 SBs, and a .297 career BA in 2150 games?

Sorry Red Sox fans, but those are the final totals from the Larry Andersen for Jeff Bagwell/ Red Sox-Astros trade. I know, I know, Bagwell was a third baseman in the minors and you had Wade Boggs. And you couldn’t move Bagwell to first because you had top prospects Carlos Quintana and the Immortal Sam Horn (total stats with Boston: 35 HRs and 203 RBIs in 541 games).

So did the Astros acquire a future Hall of Famer for a reliever who once wondered if Chinese people threw hot dogs at weddings? I think they did. Not to be too much of a stat geek, but if you concede 25% of Bagwell’s power numbers to the juiced ball/ expansion pitching/ BALCO era, he still ends up with over 300 HRs to go with an average of over 100 RBIs a season for 15 years. Put his career numbers with a near-Triple Crown season in 1994 and an MVP trophy and he is modern version of Hall of Famer Tony Perez. Bagwell’s durability in his prime and his continuous service to one team should also help his chances and set him apart from contemporaries with nearly identical stats. Maybe Red Sox fans can convince Bagwell to wear a Pawtucket Red Sox hat on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Future Baseball Hall of Fame Breakdown
(active pre-1995 and not yet on ballot only):

In (1st Ballot)
Jeff Bagwell
Frank Thomas
Roger Clemens
Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine
Mike Piazza
Randy Johnson
Rickey Henderson
Ivan Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez
Craig Biggio
Trevor Hoffman
Pedro Martinez
Manny Ramirez

On the Fence (more than one ballot if at all)
Carlos Delgado
Gary Sheffield
Chipper Jones
Jeff Kent
Barry Larkin
Jim Thome
John Franco
Juan Gonzalez
Mike Mussina
Fred McGriff

Out (Veterans Committee if at all)
Roberto Alomar
Julio Franco
Mark Grace
John Smoltz
Edgar Martinez
Bernie Williams
Moises Alou
Luis Gonzalez
Larry Walker
Andres Galarraga