Monday, April 10, 2006

Hurt So Good

Michael Kay was commenting on Frank Thomas the other night and his Hall of Fame chances and he put them at no better than 50/50. Now I think I've already made it clear how I feel about Michael Kay, but now that baseball season has begun, I get to make fun of his baseball knowledge as well.

Let me just rattle off a few of Frank Thomas' achievements. There are 9 people who have played baseball in the modern era (since 1900) who have a better OBP than Frank Thomas. Seven of them are in the hall and two of them are still active. I'd also discount Barry Bonds since he only moved ahead of Frank Thomas after his steroid fueled assault on the record books. He is 15th all time in slugging percentage. The only active players ahead of him are younger and their numbers may not remain ahead of his for their entire careers. The retired players are all in the Hall of Fame (except for Mark McGwire and he's not eligible until this year). He ranks 11th all time in OPS, once again behind a group of Hall of famers and few younger players. He won the MVP twice. He finished in the top three in voting 5 times. He had a string of seven straight years of batting .300, driving in 100, and scoring 100. That streak has only been bettered by Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams. I think you could easily make the argument that he is one of the five or six best hitting first basemen ever to play. He's also not quite done yet and I'm fairly sure that he'll stick around to hit 500 home runs, but even if he doesn't, I just can't see him not getting into the HOF.

Jeff Bagwell is just about done and I have seen many articles saying that he's a hall of famer. Now it just so happens that Bagwell and Thomas were born on the same day and played the same position and their numbers are fairly comparable. Bagwell has played about 100 more games and has a few more RBI's, Thomas has a higher Batting average and OBP. Bagwell stole a lot more bases, Thomas has a lot less strikeouts. They both have exactly the same number of home runs at this point. Now it's a fairly simple equation that if Bagwell is a Hall of Famer, then so is Thomas. And this is not a case of the Hall being watered down. They were both considered among the very best at their positions for a decade and they are definitely in the argument among all time players at their position.

During the 90's their was only hitter I feared as much as Thomas and that was Griffey. He hit his way into the hall during that decade. His accomplishments may be looked upon in an even better light if he comes out clean during the steroids investigation. The bottom line is that he's a Hall of Famer. Almost anyone who knows anything about baseball would realize that. Of course Michael Kay isn't really aware of these types of things. Perhaps if Frank would go on Michael's show on the YES Network, He could get Kay to kiss his ass and perhaps change his mind about Frank's Hall of Fame worthiness. I guess since Frank Thomas never played for the Yankees Kay is just unaware of his accomplishments. Or perhaps he's just an idiot.

I vote for the latter.



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