Let me say that I genuinely like Harold Baines. His handful of years as a Baltimore Oriole, and otherwise. While in Baltimore, Baines didn’t hit for power. But he did DH and pinch hit to a tune of approximately .300 for his years in Baltimore. Admittedly, that’s impressive for a guy in the waning years who is bouncing around and trying to keep a career going.
My point is, I like the guy. Sincerely.
But a HOF’er he is not. Or rather he is, but shouldn’t be. IMHO.
You can make the arguments about him missing out on plate appearances due to strikes, etc. and he COULD have reached the 3,000 hit, 400 HR plateaus if it wasn’t for that. But no…that doesn’t fly. Everyone, even HOF’ers, miss games in their careers for various reasons whether it be injury, strikes, or otherwise.
Really? These Fuckin’ Guys? (Deadspin.com)
What’s either less fine or just really fucking weird is the Baines election. Baines put up good counting stats for a long time, but over 22 seasons he still only managed to rack up career totals of 2,866 hits, 384 dingers, and 38.4 fWAR. The most generous possible stat to Baines is offensive runs above average, since it’s a counting stat that doesn’t factor in defense, and even then he ranks an underwhelming 188th on the career leaderboards. If Harold Baines is a Hall of Famer, then the Hall should also consider Remembering the following Guys: Adam Dunn, Scott Rolen, Hanley Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Magglio Ordonez, Mark Teixeira, Ryan Klesko, and Jeff Kent, all of whom did about as much total damage as Baines with their bats in a smaller number of games. (It should go without saying that all of those guys are worse than Edgar Martinez, who’s entering his final year on the writers’ ballot.)
“Wasn’t really expecting it, but very grateful that it happened,” Baines said of his election. When even the guy being honored doesn’t seem to think he’s a Hall of Famer, something might be off.
(bold added by me for emphasis)
I’m happy for Baines. Really. But even he knows this is a travesty.