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February 6, 2012

BP Unfiltered

The Weakest Of The Weak

by Ken Funck

The votes have been tabulated, and five nominees have been deemed worthy of enshrinement in the Hall of Famously Weak Arguments. Here they are in descending order of support:

  1. “You can’t know how good he was unless you saw him play.”

By a wide margin, voters chose this most subjective of arguments as the weakest of the bunch. With so much objective evidence available to judge players over time, there’s no need to rely on the vagaries of inexpert observation to determine whether Jack Morris was a truly great pitcher.

  1. “He’s one of only a small number of players to reach this random collection of stat thresholds.”

Bacon is bacon. Mayonnaise is mayonnaise. Having properties that allow you to be described as both bacon and mayonnaise does not somehow make you better than very good bacon or very good mayonnaise. Or, to put it another way, blends are fine, but they can't really compare to a great single malt.

  1. “Slow players that draw walks merely clog the bases.”

We all knew Dusty’s utter misunderstanding of the value inherent in avoiding outs was clearly a first ballot Hall of Famer, and BP voters have now branded it as such.

  1. “He’s a winner!”

Or, “Hey kids, let’s just ignore everything we’ve ever learned about correlation and causation!”

  1. “Sabermetrics takes all the fun out of the game.”

Just like physics takes all the fun out of space travel.

 **********

Additionally, these four nominees didn’t garner enough support to remain on the ballot:

  1. He was the most dominant player (on his team/at his position) during his era.
  2. Anyone can close.
  3. Home runs are rally killers.
  4. Baseball players are overpaid.

My thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

Ken Funck is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Ken's other articles. You can contact Ken by clicking here

3 comments have been left for this article.

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