If he is in, then Cole Hamels is certainly in.
by No Right Turn on Red (2022-01-14 13:32:30)
Edited on 2022-01-14 14:46:54

In reply to: John Lester retired this week ... Hall of Fame or no?  posted by JC


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