John Lester retired this week ... Hall of Fame or no?
by JC (2022-01-14 12:36:31)

- 16 years,
- 200 wins - one of only three active pitchers to achieve that level at the time of retirement. Typical of the 5 starter era.
- 3.66 ERA lifetime, 2,488 strikeouts
- 5X all-star,
- 3X WS champion, helped end the 2 longest WS droughts in history
- NLCS MVP for the Cubs in 2016.

No Cy Young award

He's not a first ballot no-brainer, but I think he deserves a spot. I would vote him in.


yeah.... in the Red Sox, Cubs respective halls *
by kdh325  (2022-01-15 20:12:02)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Right after Mark Buehrle
by dfw  (2022-01-15 16:55:31)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

More wins, basically same era (with more years in AL), 1 WS, key to breaking 3rd longest WS streak, Perfect game and a no-hitter, 5x all-star, 4 GG, Pitcher WAR 60 (44.3 for Lester) could actually pitch a game in under 2 hrs...


I was at the 2005 Sox opener...
by Kbyrnes  (2022-01-17 11:20:12)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

...Buehrle pitched a 1-0 win in 1:51 or something like that. I thought the fact that their last game of the season (game 4 in the World Series) was also a 1-0 win was a tribute to how the Sox won with great pitching that year.


Do you think Buehrle will make it?
by irishsundevil  (2022-01-15 23:00:49)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I was at his perfect game. It was a random day game against the Rays. My cousin got free tickets and talked me into going. Midway through the 7th we both noted the occasion without actually saying it. I still have the ticket stub.


I was there as well
by El Kabong  (2022-01-16 17:40:14)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I was also at Buehrle’s next start, where he was perfect through the first five innings.

I also was one Carlos Rodon pitch from seeing two perfect games


That second game was in Toronto, right? *
by irishsundevil  (2022-01-21 18:51:32)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Not in Toronto...
by El Kabong  (2022-01-22 10:32:24)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

...but looking at the 2009 schedule, it seems the Sox's next seven games were on the road, so I must be thinking of a different game.


No unless Jerry is still around when he hits vet committee *
by dfw  (2022-01-16 15:04:16)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Agreed. And Buehrle is an absolute favorite.
by Mjmcend  (2022-01-15 17:05:45)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

And it was the 2nd longest drought. Red Sox were 3rd.


I went the lazy route via Baseball Reference and looked up
by G.K.Chesterton  (2022-01-15 01:02:25)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

his "similar player" stats. Only one out of the top ten is in the Hall of Fame. Amazing that Halladay got in with only five playoff starts.

Similar Pitchers
Dwight Gooden (945.6)
David Cone (913.7)
Tim Hudson (911.3)
Justin Verlander (908.7)
Roy Halladay (900.7) *
Jimmy Key (900.0)
Zack Greinke (895.6)
Cole Hamels (894.8)
Kevin Brown (894.3)
John Lackey (894.2)
* - Signifies Hall of Famer


Verlander and Greinke are probable.
by tdiddy07  (2022-01-15 08:38:34)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Both are more impressive. But it ook Verlander’s last three seasons to guarantee his position.


Did it though?
by DakotaDomer  (2022-01-15 16:54:57)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

You don’t think Verlander was a HoF player without his last 3 years?


He wasn’t a shoo in.
by tdiddy07  (2022-01-15 17:34:49)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

He would match up similar to Lester. The last couple years were two of his best four in his career and puts him clearly ahead of Lester, Hudson, and company. Similarly, Votto was probable on reputation until last year. But only after last year am I confident that his legacy is secured.


I forgot that this list had active players.
by G.K.Chesterton  (2022-01-15 15:29:32)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Thanks for pointing that out.


so what exactly does post-season appearances have to do
by kdh325  (2022-01-15 04:25:03)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

with HOF worthiness? If you don't play on great teams, your playoff appearances will be limited. WTH, Walter Johnson only had 5 post season starts. Who in their right mind would question his worthiness? Ted Williams only had 1 post season RBI. Should his plaque be taken down?


I think GK’s point was if 90% of one’s “similar players”
by Father Nieuwland  (2022-01-15 09:09:37)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

have not been elected, one must have something specific and special in his career to move out of that group and be elected. The post season sometimes provides those stand out moments.

Not that one needs post season appearances, but that post season appearances provide opportunities for bonus points.

Cold as it sounds, I think Halladay’s stand apart moments for election were a combination of his post-season no-hitter and dying.


That was it. It's the Sonny Jurgensen story.
by G.K.Chesterton  (2022-01-15 15:39:00)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Sonny Jurgensen is in the Pro Football HOF, but he never started a playoff game and in the only playoff game he appeared in, he was 6-12 for 78 yards and 3 INTs, including a pick-six.

I have not looked at Roy's playoff record - perhaps he won all five games.


I beg your pardon then. Because I tend to think that post
by kdh325  (2022-01-15 19:54:55)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

season should be ancillary, not primary. E.G., in my humble opinion Eli Manning is in no way, shape, or form an HOF qb, despite 2 SB wins. He was a any average qb for the better part of his career.


Halladay didn’t need that to stand apart.
by tdiddy07  (2022-01-15 13:18:43)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

He has nine seasons with an ERA+ of 140, 6 seasons with a sub-3 ERA and 2 Cy Youngs. He is not in the same discussion as Lester or Hudson or David Cone. He was actually one of the most dominant pitchers of his era. He was a likely Hall of Famer anyway. The no hitter at most made him a lock.


Agree 100%. Excellent for ten years. Well earned. *
by bizdomer09  (2022-01-15 17:13:11)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Absolutely correct. He was the best pitcher of the decade. *
by No Right Turn on Red  (2022-01-15 13:30:08)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


as cold as it sounds, I pretty much agree. *
by kdh325  (2022-01-15 10:16:41)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


Dwight Gooden's resume' is just as impressive
by kdh325  (2022-01-15 00:01:15)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

and he has next to zero chance.


Does he have a pulse? Then, yes the vets committee will
by 84david  (2022-01-14 16:29:31)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

vote him in. Shoo-in.


As a cub fan yes, but sadly, No. Hall of Very Good for me *
by DomerJon  (2022-01-14 16:02:13)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


No *
by brewcitydomer  (2022-01-14 15:35:15)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


I want to say yes
by bizdomer09  (2022-01-14 15:17:39)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

but then I also think Tuffy Rhodes merits consideration.

Seriously, after reading the counter arguments below, I don’t see him getting in. You give a nice summary of a damn fine career though, and his signing was absolutely essential to ending our lifelong torture. Thank you, Jon.


If he is in, then Cole Hamels is certainly in.
by No Right Turn on Red  (2022-01-14 13:32:30)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Both pitchers had remarkably similar careers. Both debuting in 2006 at age 22 with only 42 innings pitched over 29 games separating the two (Hamels retired last year).

Hamels has Lester beat in every important category: ERA (3.43 to 3.66), ERA+ (123 to 117), FIP (3.68 to 3.78), WHIP (1.183 to 1.278), K (2560 to 2488), BB (767 to 892), Hits/9 (8.1 to 8.6), Walks/9 (2.6 to 2.9), Ks/9 (8.5 to 8.2), K:BB ratio (3.34 to 2.79), bWAR (58.3 to 44.3) and fWAR (51.6 to 46.2). Those WAR gaps are pretty large.

The only thing Lester has over Hamels is wins (200 to 163) and one extra All Star appearance. Lester's Red Sox and Cubs teams had a .555 win percentage while he was with those teams. Hamels' Phillies, Rangers, and Cubs teams went .522 while he was on those teams. Hamels has both an NLCS MVP and a WS MVP. Both had four seasons getting top-10 Cy Young votes.

I'm not necessarily arguing against either candidate, but there's a logjam in the ballot right now (because the process is broken), and I have a hard time putting either in the Hall when a guy like Johan Santana, who was a more dominant pitcher than both, couldn't even get 5% his only year on the ballot.

P.S. Lester debuted in 2006, two years after the Red Sox ended their drought.


EDIT: Lester's WAR will hurt his case. Of all the players who finished their careers with between 40 and 50 WAR, only 21% have made the Hall of Fame, almost all of them guys who retired before ND's last national championship. Jack Morris is the most recent pitcher with that low a WAR to get in the Hall, and it took the Veterans' ballot to get in. I don't see an easy path for Lester beside having played in two major markets.


Hamels actually isn’t retired
by NavyJoe  (2022-01-15 10:26:42)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

He was injured at end of 2020, and then had a setback after he signed with LA in August 2021. Not saying he will ever pitch again, but he did say he plans to come back in 2022.


Interesting. Best of luck to him. *
by No Right Turn on Red  (2022-01-15 11:10:08)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


I would be more inclined to vote for Santana than either.
by tdiddy07  (2022-01-14 22:06:23)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

He was indisputably one of the best couple at his position for a seven year stretch.


Santana has a strong argument and should have lasted more
by No Right Turn on Red  (2022-01-14 23:17:47)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

than a year. He shouldn't be punished for having a shorter career. During a nine-year stretch (the bulk of his career), he won 130 games with a 2.90 ERA and 150 ERA+ and had a 50.5 WAR. Five top-5 Cy Young finishes, two wins, arguably should have won three in a row. He and Halladay were the two best starting pitchers of the 2000s.

To crap on Jack Morris some more, his best seasons would barely crack the worst of Santana's nine-year stretch. One of these two pitchers was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018, while the other got the same amount of votes as Jamie Moyer (10 votes, 2.4%).


More importantly, which is a better spoonerism?
by Go_Crazy_Folks  (2022-01-14 15:09:21)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Lawn Jester
Hole Camels

Two all-time greats


Borderline.
by voidoid  (2022-01-14 13:05:56)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I actually almost made this same post the other day. Three top-5 Cy Young finishes over a 16-year career isn't particularly impressive. World series rings aside, he pales in comparison to Scherzer and Verlander (his rough contemporaries) by just about every statistical measure.

Agree with tdiddy, he's a very good pitcher who falls into the realm of Kevin Brown, Tim Hudson, David Cone, Andy Pettitte...


No. He's a poor man's David Cone.
by tdiddy07  (2022-01-14 12:45:56)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

And distinguishable from Tim Hudson only because of the offensive teams he was able to play on that produced post-season success. Nice career. He'll be remembered fondly. But only 2 sub-3 ERA seasons. Only 3 seasons with an ERA+ of 140. He was not one of the best all time at his position.


He's a yes for me.
by doug dascenzo  (2022-01-14 12:39:05)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Though I'm pretty biased.