Tag Archives: Goose Gossage

Scandal! How Did These Guys Get Into The Hall Of Fame Before Gossage?!

29 Jul

Sorry to rain on Rich Gossage’s Hall of Fame parade, but I’d like to know just how come it took so long to get the Goose into the Hall of Fame.  Gossage has been incredibly gracious about the whole thing and I admire him for it.

I, not being Goose Gossage, don’t have to be gracious.  I’ve never been a Yankee fan.  In fact, I’m a card carrying Yankee hater, but I also believe myself to be capable of making unbiased calls on our all important Hall of Fame debates.

The reality is that Goose Gossage belonged in the Hall of Fame way before he actually got in.  To me, there are two ways to get into the Hall.  Actually, there are three ways and Gossage accomplished all three.

First, you can be a compiler.  This is a player with a long, consistent career who ends up putting up some very big career numbers.  Check that off for Gossage, who played over twenty years and was usually in the discussion of the top closers in the game.

Second, you can just be the top dog.  That category is reserved for the Ruths, Mantles, Mays, Seavers and Koufax types.  This is the kind of player who is simply the very best at his position for a very long time.  Check that off for Goose too.  Gossage was debatably the top closer in the game from the mid 70s through the mid eighties.

Finally, you can be a game changer or as they more typically say in football, a game breaker.  This is the kind of guy who strikes fear into his opponents’ hearts and singlehandedly changes the way the game is played.  Think LT in football.

Gossage was that in baseball.  He was an intimidater.  You knew that if your team didn’t put runs up before he got into the game you sure as hell were not likely to score any more once he got onto that mound.  In that respect, Gossage is very similar to today’s Yankee closer, Mariano Rivera.  Of course, Gossage was doing it two innings or more at a time…

So, by all my standards, Gossage was a clear Hall of Famer sincethe very moment he became eligible.  Yet, somehow the Goose didn’t make it in for nine long years.

Let’s take a look (and some admittedly cheap shots) at the guys who beat Gossage into Cooperstown and grade them as better or worse picks for the Hall than Goose Gossage:

Class of 2000 – This is the first year Gossage is eligible (if I counted backwards properly)

Tony Perez – RBI machine, but lots of guys in his position in the Big Red Machine’s lineup would probably be able to say that.  Outside of one or two truly great years, was he even ever the third best player on his own team (remember he played with Bench, Morgan and some guy named Pete Rose…)?  ADVANTAGE: GOOSE

Carlton Fisk – all time leader in most catching categories because he played for about 100 years, definitely one of the top 10 catchers ever.  Impacted the game both on offense and defense in a very critical position.  ADVANTAGE: FISK

Class of 2001

Dave Winfield – great athlete, played all three major sports, very good hitter for a long time, but he wasn’t Reggie Jackson as George Steinbrenner can tell you.  I agree with George for once!  ADVANTAGE: GOSSAGE

Kirby Puckett – may he rest in peace, great player who was on pace for some great numbers prior to his eye injury,  Championship Center Fielder on two Twins’ World Series Champs  ADVANTAGE: TIE

Class of 2002

Ozzie Smith – great defensive shortstop, couldn’t hit that much until later in his career.  Am always amazed at how easily Smith got in.  Sure he was The Wizard, but it should have taken him much longer to get to Cooperstown.  Consider that Alan Trammel will likely never get into the Hall, yet during their primes you probably wouldn’t have traded Trammel for Smith even up.  Trammel was way more valuable.  ADVANTAGE: GOOSE

Class of 2003

Eddie Murray – super consistent slugger, yet never hit for a truly amazing amount of home runs in any given year.  ADVANTAGE: MURRAY (But just slightly)

Gary Carter – I go with the Fisk argument here again.  A catcher with his offensive ability is a rare thing.  ADVANTAGE: CARTER

Class of 2004

Paul Moliter – the man could flat out hit.  If not for injury and some youthful foolishness, who knows what his numbers could be.  Interesting thought that essentially he, like Gossage, was a specialist for much of his career, yet that didn’t hurt him in the Hall vote as much as Goose.  ADVANTAGE: MOLITER

Dennis Eckersley – amazing career as a quality starter and then transitioning to a modern day bullpen ace.  Still, with all that, in my book you take care of the people who blazed Eck’s trail first.  ADVANTAGE: GOSSAGE

Class of 2005

Ryne Sandberg – hit great for a second basemen.  Had an amazing ten year run and then, poof!  He was done.  ADVANTAGE:  GOSSAGE (who had about double his run in baseball)

Wade Boggs – tough to argue with his lifetime batting average and the handful of batting titles.  ADVANTAGE: BOGGS

Class of 2006

Bruce Sutter – sure, he perfected a pitch that changed the game.  And sure, he was dominating.  But, he played about half as long as Gossage.  Gossage’s prime lasted longer and Sutter was never clear cut better than Gossage.  If the baseball gods were fair, they would’ve gone in together.  But, since, they’re not…. ADVANTAGE: GOOSE

Class of 2007

Tony Gwynn – like Boggs, only better.  No argument here.  ADVANTAGE: GWYNN

Cal Ripken Jr – how do you argue against a guy who breaks Gehrig’s record and “saves” baseball.  Plus, he revolutionized the position of shortstop and paved the way for guys like A-Rod, Nomar and oh yeah, Jeter.  ADVANTAGE: RIPKEN


Rice Undercooked by Hall of Fame & Other Horrible Puns

9 Jan

Go to fullsize imageLet’s get this out of the way first.  Congratulations to you Goose Gossage.  Well deserved and long overdue.  As a Red Sox fan growing up in the 70s, I hated you more than the Ayatollah Khomieni.  However, unlike my hatred of Iran’s former leader, my dislike of you was based on respect and a healthy dose of fear.  I knew if the Sox hadn’t put the game out of reach before you got in, that there was a very good chance I was going to sleep unhappy that night. 

Go to fullsize image

I remember my many Yankee fan friends (in between relentless taunting) hating Jim Rice for much the same reasons as I hated the Goose.  For a good ten years, Jim Rice was the dominant hitter in the AL.  I could spout numbers all day long, but the reality is with most HOFers you know it simply by your memories of the threat they presented to you as an opponent or how they delivered for you if you were lucky enough to have them on your side.  It’s the dreaded “it factor”.  It’s the same in politics, acting (mainstream or porn), and blogging.  You either have it or you don’t.  Jim Rice had it.  He was feared by opponents and came through for the BoSox faithful.

With any luck, the steroids story will continue to spin out of control (PS – Roger Clemens, time for a new team of advisers) and expose how inflated offensive numbers  became in the 90s and beyond.  Rice looks better and better the more you realize how many people above him on career statistic lists cheated to get there.

Let’s put it this way.  Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa all dwarf Rice on the career home run list.  Minus steroids (and in Palmeiro’s case even WITH the steroids), do you take any of the three before Jim Rice at his prime if you were starting a team today? 

Answer:  Only if you are an idiot.  In which case, you’d have a HOF vote and undoubtedly use it to deny Jim Rice his place in Cooperstown.


Gossage, Rice & Morris are Hall of Fame Worthy

29 Dec

images1.jpgGoose Gossage, Jim Rice and Jack Morris need to go into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame right now!  I’m going to keep the explanations brief for tonight, but here’s my list on who is Hall Worthy, who is not and who I’m not sure about at this late hour:

images11.jpgWhy Aren’t These Guys in Already?images6.jpg

Goose Gossage – I grew up hating the New York Yankees and the Goose personally made the late 70s very tough for me.  He lasted longer and was better that Sutter or Fingers.

Jim Rice – Most feared hitter in the AL for a good long time even though his career was shorter than some would have liked.  Plus nobody hit into a double play like him (kidding Jim! Still love ya!).

Jack Morris – The ace of about a thousand World Series winners and so very clutch.  Sure his ERA is a bit high, but so is his win total which if memory serves led the majors in the 80s. 

Why Do We Talk About These Guys & The Hall at All?

Mark McGwire – I bought it all at the time.  The super human home run rate, the Paul Bunyan body and his grace toward the Maris Family.  Too bad it all seems to have been a sham.  He got his millions.  He shouldn’t get into the Hall of Fame, but remains a shoe in for the Hall of Fake.

Don Mattingly – Shoulda, woulda, coulda.  He ended up being a lot better than Darryl Strawberry who came up around the same time as him, but a back injury robbed him of his power.  It’s a sad thing but a fact that Donnie Baseball just didn’t put enough good years together to make the HOF cut.  And I don’t buy the Kirby Puckett comparisons, but that’s for another day. 

And Finally Some I Need To Think More About:

Andre Dawson – Never struck me a HOFer, but many disagree.  Love the cool Hawk nickname though.

Dave Parker – Coke will mess up your life and HOF chances.

Tim Raines – Should get some serious consideration.

Bert Blyleven – Never seemed like he was on the Seaver or Carlton level, but there are some strong numbers there and he’s oh so close to 300 wins despite playing on mostly bad teams.

Alan Trammel – Do not understand how this guy is so undervalued.  You have to compare his stats to other shortstops of his day.

Harold Baines – Where’s that one moment of greatness or super fantastic season?

Lee Smith – Saves are cheap.  Get Gossage in there first and then we’ll talk.