Help Me Understand

Let’s take a few players and compare them.

Player A hit .307/.358/.471 over his 1,785 game career. He amassed 2,153 hits and 222 homers. His OPS+ was 127 for his career.

Player B hit .295/.371/.444 over his 2,120 game career. He amassed 2,340 hits and 198 homers. His OPS+ was 116 for his career.

Player C hit .297/.381/.477 over his 2,076 game career. He amassed 2,336 hits and 287 homers. His OPS+ was 125 for his career.

Sharp-eyed Yankees’ fans may have figured out that Player A is Don Mattingly and Player C is Bernie Williams. As for Player B, he is the latest member of the Hall of Fame, Barry Larkin.

Now, I am not saying that Larkin is undeserving of induction, I think he absolutely deserved it. But I am left scratching my head that 86% of the voters saw fit to vote for him while only 18% voted for Mattingly and 10% for Bernie Williams. I get that Larkin is a shortstop and therefore, his offensive numbers are more impressive for his position, but it still seems like an odd disparity. Then again, I have never understood how the writers voted for the Hall of Fame.

And there are plenty of other complaints you can make about this year’s results. You always hear the argument that Hall of Famers should be the best players of their generation. Well wasn’t Jack Morris the best pitcher in the AL for most of the 80’s? Tim Raines had over 2,600 hits and 800 steals and he can’t get 50% of the vote. And finally, how does Mark McGwire get more votes than Rafael Palmeiro? They both cheated, so that’s a wash, but Palmeiro had over 500 homers and 3,000 hits. McGwire had 1.626 hits and only hit 14 more homers than Palmerio. They both played first, so on what basis can you say McGwire is more deserving than Palmeiro? I also wonder how the writers who refuse to vote for McGwire and Palmeiro feel about Ryan Braun?