TheYanks04 wrote:I have had this discussion before, but name the members of the HOF in solely for their glove...who got in with a 658 OPS lifetime? Please. By that logic Bellanger and Campaneris would get in too. Fact is, if it was notfor the fact that the guy was a showman and hosted TWIB an did backflips before games, he would have just been another very good glove, crummy bat SS that would have been noted but not enschrined in the HOF.
Good glove? The man was the best to ever play the game. Smith redefined the position. You are underrating his offense. Smith's job wasn't to hit home runs, or try for extra bases. No shortstop in that era had that as their job (I may be generalizing a bit here). He got on base more than the average player, with an OBP of .337 over the league average of .328. He was a very intelligent player. He made the plays, and had an exceptional strikeout to walk ratio. He never hit for power, but played in an era where shortstops didn't have to hit for power. They had to have good gloves, and Smith was the perfect idea of this image.
I will never say he was a good offensive player. He wasn't. He was a below-average offensive player, but he did get on base an above-average amount. His problem was power, but I've already gone over that.
You have to understand that until the 1990s, not every position had its best defined by the amount of home runs they hit. Most shortstops weren't noted for their ability to hit, players played shortstop because they could field.
It has nothing to do with his showmanship. Statistically, Ozzie stacks up as one of the greatest shortstops ever- again, not for his hitting but for his fielding. His range numbers are truly outstanding- the best of all time. His fielding % is well above average. He was about 500 plays above the average shortstop for his career, if I recall correctly.
Ozzie's HOF Monitor is 142.5. Any number over 100 indicates a likely Hall of Famer.
TheYanks04 wrote:Rizzuto and Reese, who were far better hitters than Smith ever was, were also great defensively and who you could make a good argument for not being in the HOF either. Both did not get in until decades later by the Veteran's committee. Yet Smith gets in without an after thought? And Smith's numbers were turf aided I might add for a good portion of his career.
Rizzuto couldn't hold Ozzie's jock as a defensive player. First of all, Riz played 11 full seasons in his career, Ozzie played 16. He's got longevity going for him. Secondly, Ozzie's offensive impact was about the same as Rizzuto's. Rizzuto had a career OBP of .351, which on the outset looks better than Ozzie's .337, but Rizzuto played in an era where people got on base 34.5% of the time. Rizzuto's OBP is actually worse than Ozzie's, in context. Rizzuto's slugging numbers are better, but not by much. For all practical purposes, they're even in terms of offensive production.
That leaves defense. Rizzuto's range numbers are good but not nearly as outstanding as Ozzie's. Ozzie made almost a full play more per game than the average shortstop. Riz made a full play more than the average shortstop per six or seven games. The difference is monumental in favor of Ozzie. Take into effect the importance weighted on defense at shortstop until the 90s, and it's clear who is better.
Reese has basically the same arguments... He was a better offensive player than Ozzie or Rizzuto, but not nearly as good a defensive player as Ozzie and didn't play as much. Granted, wartime service did cut into Reese and Riz's career, but you can't assume they'd have been any better a player then they were when they got back from the war.
Reese's HOF Monitor is 99.5, Rizzuto's is 87. Remember, Ozzie's is 142.5.
TheYanks04 wrote:Don Mattingly had his career shortened by injury too...his numbers also match Pucketts almost to a tee. Yet Mattingly is not in but Puckett is? Neither belongs in. And if Puckett gets in, why isn't Rice? You can't argue that Puckett was better than Rice?
You ever think that maybe Mattingly deserves to get in? But anyway... There is an argument that Puckett was better than Rice, but I'm not nearly energized enough to make it. Rice was probably a better player, but it's closer than you choose to pretend... Rice played in one of the best hitter's parks in the league which glorified his numbers. Rice is a very good player and probably a Hall of Famer, but it's not as if he was a perennial first-ballot...
TheYanks04 wrote:It all comes down to popularity contests with the writers. You could bet your bottom dollar that if Ozzie Smith was an a**hole with the personality of Albert Belle or Barry Bonds that he would not have gotten in the HOF. You can bet that is Rice was a nice guy like Puckett and not a pain in the a** with the writers, he would be in the HOF.
Eh... I doubt it. There are a ton of pure jerks in the Hall of Fame, and a lot of nice guys who won't ever make it. Taking out any of the biases and going with statistics, Oz is a Hall of Famer. Puckett is most likely a Hall of Famer.