Montreal Expos

I have no idea if this is even Jays-related, technically. Is Tim Raines still with the organization? There was a rumour, before Tim Leiper got the gig, that he might be in line to be the club’s first base coach in 2014, and his name is still on the club’s front office directory, but that’s currently a bit outdated.

Whatever, though. He’s an Expos legend! And in my book, pretty much anything Expos is fair game, especially when it’s this delightful– and when it comes from the den of awesome that is Cespedes Family BBQ (who last month were kind enough to have me give them a hand rating the top ten Jays shirseys, even though I’m not funny anymore now that I don’t write posts while half in the bag– still employed though!).

So on what’s sure to be a disappointing — yet hopefully encouraging — Hall of Fame announcement day for Raines, I pass along these blessings (after the jump)…

Seriously, though. Guy is a total Hall of Famer.

As I’ve mentioned in this space before, I’m trying hard not to care this year, but Raines really is emblematic of one of the major problems — and there are several, notably the P.E.D. stuff, of course — with the voting process. That’s the fact that it’s just so easy for voters to entrench themselves their long-held positions (even if those are often pure fantasy, as evidenced by the fact that only 22.2% thought Jack Morris was Hall-worthy in his first year, with totals of just 19.6%, 20.6%, and 22.8% in the years after that), and to get their backs up about smarmy post-Moneyball seamheads telling them what they should think. It plays so easily into an already existing divide, and I think makes it harder for those who Were There to accept that it’s probably a good idea — not to mention the intellectually honest response — to actually consider those hated new numbers, which they and their long-held opinions and decades of wisdom were beaten with over and over as the internet and social media exploded during the last fifteen years, and the possibility that maybe they weren’t quite valuing the most valuable things, and that maybe using the breadth of data now available isn’t about turning Cooperstown into the Hall of Stats, but about putting a player’s achievements into a proper, neutral context, and not one coloured by fuzzy memories and quiet agendas.

Then again, that’s a bit of a gross oversimplification, too. There are lots of way to think about it and lots of ways to vote. Some will point to the word “fame” and say that it’s more about perception than reality anyway. And some will tell you that the number of people actually working daily in the industry, as opposed to legacy voters, who could be characterized by the above whining is smaller than anyone who’d bother to go pissing and moaning about it probably wants to believe anyway.

Others still, like Ray Ratto of CSN Bay Area, in his outstanding, unapologetic piece on his ballot, will say this about his vote for Jack Morris:

He was a dominant figure in an era with few dominant pitchers, and while I like math as much as the next guy who didn’t date much in high school, I as a voter acknowledge all eras – even the drug-infested, racially restricted, dead-ballish and just plain crap eras. The Hall of Fame is the history of the game, good, bad, cheap, stupid, hateful, arrogant, smug and even Jack Morris-y.

Yeah… that’s fine, too.


Raines, though…

Comments (91)

  1. Jack Morris should be in the Hall of Fame just for that Game 7 series win alone. What a performance.

    • Weak and unoriginal trolling.

    • Thank you for a statement so dumb that we can’t even begin to get into this nonsense with it.

      • Too bad you gents are so grumpy and not excited by baseball great moments. It was a great moment of a great career. He played hard to win, sorry you can’t see that. That is what the game is about , not stats.

        • Weak and unoriginal trolling or just dumb.

          Just because you can’t distinguish between a great game and a HOF career doesn’t mean no one can.

        • That’s right – it’s about playing hard, not stats. That’s why the Jays recorded so many Didn’t Play Hard Enoughs, which greatly outnumbered their Play Hards.

          Now, if only someone had a system to track all those DPHE and PH. Maybe even a way to translate them into, I dunno, numbers. Not for statistical purposes, just to figure out, like, how many runs are scored and who wins the games. Which has nothing to do with stats.

      • that “he has decided to reigsn in light of his move into more sports and music events and away from wine”! And you really want us to believe this? Please, show some respect!

  2. You don’t even write guest posts a little lit? That’s disappointing.

    • I do still all the time, actually, just not as much. When there were more writers the content grind wasn’t so consuming and I found it a little easier to waste my time writing dumb shit is really the answer, but that’s not as good a line.

  3. Shouldn’t the fact that there is so much discussion whether Morris is a hall of famer or not mean he should ultimately get in?

    Why shouldn’t we give players the benefit of the doubt? Who does it hurt if Jack Morris is in the Hall of Fame? Whose lives are ruined if he gets in.

    So what if he would have the highest ERA of anyone in the hall? So hes the worst of the best, thats not a bad thing.

    • Hey, and if we want to put Homer Bush in, I say WHY THE FUCK NOT???

      • You obviously don’t read comments before replying. I said when there is such debate over a players HOF resume. Theres no debate over Homer Bush. Not really funny but good try.

        You didnt answer the question posed: Why shouldnt the player get benefit of the doubt? Who does it hurt if Morris gets in?

        I also find it weird that internet bloggers who never played the game can sit there and rip Jack Morris’ career, meanwhile, whether hall of famer or not, was very very good.

        • Sigh.

          • I’m a stat head guys. I know all about what the analytics say. What bothers me is how far people will go to stop something good from happening to someone. Jack Morris was a very good pitcher. Is he overrated? Sure. Thats not the point. The whole crusade to stop him from getting into cooperstown is disgusting. If he gets in, great, happy for him, but who really cares. If he doesnt make it, who cares either.

            Think about what were discussing here: Whether or not someone should be honoured for their acheivements in their profession. Thats it.

            If we started a campaign to keep Stoeten and DJF from being entered into the hall of blogger fame, would that be right? Who gives a fuck is the bottom line. I hope Morris gets in and he can enjoy the honour with his family and friends.

        • You can take a “big hall” approach if you want, but that means that every pitcher that was better than Morris should get in too.

          • I’m for the system that allows us to recognize very good players without an endless debate that leads to the utter disrespect that has been shown to players like Morris, Rice, etc.

            • The Hall has a standard, they’re obviously outside of it, people invent reasons why it shouldn’t matter, it gets debated. It’s pretty simple.

              And your characterization of what’s happening — that people are trying to stop something good from happening to someone — is beyond off base. I understand why someone who favours Morris would shade it that way, but that’s not what’s happening in the slightest. These are test cases in the bigger arguments about how to value players and how to incorporate new modes of thinking about the game into performance in eras where they don’t tell people what they want or expect to hear. It does get personal sounding, but it’s not personal.

              • Im not a Jack Morris supporter. Im a baseball fan who doesn’t think we should be reducing players to just numbers and judging only based off that.

                By the way, try telling Jack Morris it isn’t personal. If he read half of the stuff posted online in regards to his hall worthiness, id assume his self confidence would be shot. I think if a player is borderline, he should get in. It hurts no one to give him that recognition.

                • That just readjusts the border though. Doesn’t fix anything.

                  And who cares if Morris mistakenly thinks it’s personal? It’s not.

                  • There is no set border. Its make believe. Thats the problem. Thats why anyone who says Morris should be in the HOF cant be wrong. There is no set prerequisite. Nowhere does it say your ERA must be below 3.90 or you need more than 300 wins or 3000K’s. Those are made up benchmarks.

                    • You’re missing the point: if it’s not Morris, it’s always going to be someone who is borderline. Just letting him in doesn’t fix the issue– especially because, again, it’s not personal.

                    • The most “make believe” or grey area seems to be with integrity/character and is why this whole PED debacle with respect to voting is so prevalent beyond even putting stats into question.

                      5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

                      Morris the good guy and Rains the coke head. Even without PEDs you would probably see some clown not vote for Bonds because of his bad image.

                      The writers are going to disqualify players based on a lack of integrity when they often either think low integrity because they weren’t media friendly or have no idea the type of person the players actually are behind closed doors for the most part but catch wind of some report on a particular guy that was blown up. For all they know Morris was a coke head and what does that and firendliness with media have to do with playing baseball with integrity?

                • Doesn’t a Morris inclusion then, ipso facto, change the contours of the border? And then you’re “borderline” cases keep moving such that the standard changes and then there really is no standard?

                  • If Morris should go in for a great moment, shouldn’t Joe Carter? Isn’t he just as marginal?

                    • Maybe I’m nuts, but I don’t even see why Carter would be a ‘marginal” HOF case. Dude hit the highest-leverage HR in the history of the game.

                      Bill Buckner obviously belongs in the HOF, too.

          • You’re on top of the game. Thanks for shgrnia.

  4. Why can’t actual baseball things happen??? Is it me or has this been the most uneventful 3 months of Blue Jays off-season in recent history.

    • Tanaka.

      • I’m sure it’s been discussed here ad nauseam, but I’m out of the loop. When does he figure to be signed?

        • Deadline for posting is Jan 24. He’ll sign soon after that I guess…

          Also, no this is not the most uneventful 3 months ever. remember Stand Pat Gillick? Or AAs first few offseasons? (excluding the Halladay bit)

          • My understanding is that Jan.24 at 5PM is the deadline for signing. I could be wrong.

            • Well there you go.

              Also, bidding just got even easier:

              … pretty much everyone will likely be in on this, so he’s basically a free agent.

            • That’s it Radar, from what I can tell. If you post your $20 MM you get to negotiate with the guy (read, his agent) and he decides on the 24th. Nothing prevents him from deciding before that though. I think the Yankees would want to know whether they’re paying ARod’s $25 MM before they make their pitch, because, it could put them over the cap.

  5. Did anyone see that in Jonah Keri’s article he lists the Jays as a team to improve, in part because “the mere act of deleting them from the roster (Arencibia, Cabrera, and Bonifacio)… portends a giant improvement.” (I hope that quote was short enough not to be deleted).

    I am particularly focused on the Cabrera part of it. Is it a typo, or does Keri know something we don’t?


    • Definitely not enough to be deleted, man. I usually only do that if it’s a whole article, or if it’s a TONNE of something from behind a paywall. I mean, obviously I quote from paywalled stuff pretty liberally myself, so I can’t be THAT much of a hardass.

      The Cabrera part is a typo. Obviously.

    • Pretty damn concise summary of how unlucky the Jays were in 2013.

      While the leaky pitching staff rightly shouldered most of the blame for Toronto’s disappointing season, the Jays also suffered multiple lineup setbacks. Colby Rasmus’s breakout season was undermined by 44 games lost to injury. Jose Bautista maintained his status as one of the AL’s top sluggers, but he, too, missed 44 games. Brett Lawrie’s track record suggests he’ll do better than .254/.315/.397 when he’s not missing 55 games. Jose Reyes carries an extensive history of injuries, but his 93 games played in 2013 marked his second-lowest total since becoming a full-time player in 2005. J.P. Arencibia, Melky Cabrera, Emilio Bonifacio, and Maicer Izturis were so bad that the mere act of deleting them from the roster (Arencibia and Bonifacio) or relegating them to the bench (Izturis) in favor of anyone portends a gigantic improvement.

    • Haha, Keri calls Brandon Morrow an injury risk. Does that make him a moron or is he just trolling Stoeten?

  6. This guy put my kids through college!

    “He used cocaine before games, in his car, after games, and on some occasions, between innings in the clubhouse.[9] Raines would later testify at the infamous Pittsburgh drug trials, in September, 1985.”

    • Hey, so he’s basically every athlete ever.

    • Cocaine is most defintiely a PED, could be why Raines isnt getting the votes.

      • riiiiiiight….

        • If greenies are, there ain’t much difference.

        • Cocaine is a stimulant. There is no arguing that.

          • So is Red Bull.

            • Performance Enhancing DRUG…Keyword drug, which Cocaine is.

              Red Bull isn’t a drug. Good try though.

              • Red Bull contains the following according to Wikipedia: caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, B-group vitamins, sucrose, and glucose.

                And according to wikipedia: “Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid and a stimulant DRUG”

                … good try though….

                • PED’s dont stand for Performance Enhancing Drinks. Good try though. The fact youre comparing the ingredients and affects of Red Bull to those in cocaine is insane. Stop. Just stop.

                  • I think we’re done here.

                    • Once you used wikipedia as a source we were done lol

                    • Cocaine is a stimulant. Caffeine is a stimulant. Cocaine is a drug. Caffeine is a drug. I don’t see the issue in comparing apples to apples.

                    • How many cups of coffee before you fail a stimulant test?

                    • There are different levels to which a stimulant can work. Caffeine isn’t much of one, relatively, which is why it isn’t banned. It’s still a drug, though. No idea about that other shit in Red Bull, but obviously it’s not banned either.

                      However, I think cocaine is technically banned as a “drug of abuse,” not a PED, even though it does have performance enhancing properties.

                      And now we’re done here.

                    • From a Slate article on whether ARod will win his appeal:


                      “The JDA* is a tediously detailed document that sets forth (and then lists by name) three categories of banned substances: drugs of abuse (think marijuana and other drugs that aren’t likely to improve on-field performance), “performance-enhancing substances” (the agreement lists 70 different PEDs), and stimulants.”

                      JDA = Joint Drug Agreement agreed on in the 1990s by the MLBPA and MLB.

                      So there are 3 general types of drugs listed and whether they’re ingested with a drink or injected through a syringe you still can’t have banned substances in your system.

                  • Red Bull less fucked up than cocaine? Thanks for a good laugh.

            • Ya Red Bull and shnay… Same thing basically, right?? Dumb as Fuck

          • I know every time I used I was confident that I could hit a mjor league fastball.

            • Its not about performance with coke and Rains its about image and integrity for why people wouldn’t vote for him.

              • You don’t have to make sure to slide into second head first every time when you’re high on Red Bull…

              • Thanks Anon. I certainly innetd to publish (or link) to the result of Parker’s investigation if possible. I would hope that it will published where it will be free for all to view not not just on erobert.

    • I can’t help but think this might have something to do with his HOF issues… I heard the guy was always sliding headfirst because he had a vial in his back pocket.


    • That’s awesome. Just imagine doing a rail before a big at bat? That’s hilarious. Oh to be an MLB player in the 80′s.

    • I aptaicerpe you taking to time to contribute That’s very helpful.

  7. So when will tanks sign?

    • Gosh if only there was some way to find out! Like, oh, I don’t know, reading even 10% of the posts above yours… or using the internet to find information.

      • *slow clap*

        • A lot of people in the older generation look at drug use as a moral deficiency. I know this didn’t affect Molitor, but he was white.

          • Just checked….Molitor is still white

            • Blushes may have been spared.From the IMW’s westbie:Statement with regard to the resignation of Pancho Campo03 May 12 In light of Pancho Campo’s resignation from the Institute of Masters of Wine, the investigation into alleged breaches of the Institute’s Code of Conduct has been terminated.

    • Anon. As far as I know resignation from the Institute of Masters of Wine means that you are no loengr entitled to use the title MW. Pancho Campo has already been removed from the Institute’s list of members as shown on their website.

  8. Cheeky basterds.

  9. Having just read up on the new posting system I’m very surprised that the Japanese team will be the one setting the posting fee.

    If I was NPB I would have insisted that the posting fee is determined first by blind bid amongst the 30 MLB teams, even if it is up to a max of $20MM. Actually, just as a fan of baseball I would have enjoyed this. First of all it increases the potential that a team would be willing to pay the entire $20MM for an average player just to reduce the number of teams he could negotiate with. Secondly, the current system is really kind of stupid. Tanaka is basically a free agent who will cost $20MM more than his signed contract over the first two years.

    Where’s the fun in that?

    • It would also have been fun to have teams have to pay a negotiating fee of like $5MM just to talk to the player. I don’t really know what the Game Theory impact of doing that would be, but it would definitely up the stakes of every negotiation since you’re out $5MM no matter what happens.

      I dunno, there are a lot of ways they could have gone with this. I don’t like the way they went.

    • Given that the mutually agreed upon maximum is $ 20 MM, I’m sure no one would complain if an NPB team set a fee of $ 2 MM for a player. The blind bid is how it used to work up til Dec.

  10. I propose a weekly Stoeten half in the bag post.

  11. They shouldn’t even put bullsh*t names on the HOF ballot. Does anybody think Richie Sexson, MIke Timlin, JT Snow, Armando Benitez deserve to be there?

    • Yeah but them someday a decision will be made to exclude someone and it’ll be “controvertial”
      Probably better just to have clearly set rules (I don’t know what they are and don’t feel like looking them up but I imagine it’s something like “played long enough to earn a pension”) and then just go from there.

  12. Stoeten, I am gaining a new appreciation for your patience today…

  13. To me the biggest problem is that those who have a vote for the HOF don’t use them consistently. Some idiot only writes in 3 names and a guy with 3,000 hits and the most doubles of any right handed hitter in the history of the game is left waiting another year. It would take the fun out of it if they set arbitrary bench marks to determine entrance but leaving the voting to people who don’t take it seriously, or take it too seriously I suppose, makes a mess of it. Fill out the ballot, increase it to fifteen names even and then let the chips fall.

  14. Tim Raines should be in the Hall way before Jack Morris anyways ;-)

    • Jim your drilling down on this is comeandmble, the wine industry needs more police (way more). Hope your attorney has a reasonable retainer fee for you. ‘Cause I can’t imagine that Roberto will let up.Good luck with all that and keep up the good work.

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