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Goose Egg, but not for Sutter (updated)
2006-01-10 17:00
by Cliff Corcoran

The BBWAA has elected Bruce Sutter, and Bruce Sutter only, to the Hall of Fame. Goose Gossage gets snubbed once again. You can find the vote totals here.

Bruce Sutter's career record.

Rich Gossage's career record.

Jim Rice's career record.

Bert Blyleven speaks politely about missing out in 2006.

Update looks at Sutter as a Cub through the work of Ed Hartig.

2006-01-10 11:27:55
1.   Ken Arneson
How do you vote for Sutter and not for Gossage? I don't get it.

And who the heck voted for Walt Weiss?

2006-01-10 11:28:06
2.   Bob Timmermann
No votes for Gary DiSarcina! A travesty!

However, why 64 voters thought Sutter was a Hall of Famer, but Gossage wasn't, is a distinction I don't wish to learn about.

Ozzie Guillen won't make it into the HOF as a player now either.

2006-01-10 11:30:09
3.   Bob Timmermann
And 40 votes for Albert Belle. That pretty much means his chances of ever making it into Cooperstown are zero unless he wins a Nobel Peace Prize.
2006-01-10 11:37:37
4.   Cliff Corcoran
Also, Will Clark didn't even get the requisite 5% to stay on for next year (Belle at least got that).

Two other observations:

1) Blyleven is above 50% for the first time

2) Alan Trammell picked up just five votes from last year. Awful.

2006-01-10 11:41:18
5.   Cliff Corcoran
Oh, and the top 11 names appear in the same order as on last year's ballot. That implies that Goose won't get in 'til Rice does, Blyleven won't get in until Rice, Goose and Dawson do, and Trammell won't get in until Rice, Goose, Hawk, "Be Home," Lee Smith, Jack Morris, TJ, and Father Garvey do.

Finally, Belle and Hershiser are the only first-year guys who will remain on the ballot next year.

2006-01-10 11:56:10
6.   Bob Timmermann
Belle and Hershiser are a pair to draw to.

And they were teammates to boot!

2006-01-10 11:57:31
7.   Bob Timmermann
And the question:

Cubs cap?
Cardinals cap?
Braves cap?
Blank cap?

2006-01-10 12:19:30
8.   Derek Smart
I say - and I'm only partially kidding about this - that in cases such as Sutter's where there's no clear-cut right answer on the cap question they should just give it to the highest bidder.

Or better yet, have the competing franchises and their fan bases see who can raise more money for charity between the announcement and the induction, and whichever group does the most good for the planet gets to have Bruce Sutter wearing their club's chapeau.

2006-01-10 12:42:03
9.   Bob Timmermann
Sutter's saves by team
Chicago - 105
St. Louis - 155
Atlanta - 40
2006-01-10 12:44:24
10.   joejoejoe
I think this is encouraging because each year a few players who I think should get elected (Rice, Gossage, Dawson) get closer.

Here are the 2005 totals for Sutter and 2006 totals for those who got close (+/- 15%)

2005 Bruce Sutter 66.7
2006 Jim Rice 64.8%
2006 Rich Gossage 64.6%
2006 Andre Dawson 61.0%

And Blyleven is just shy of that at 53.3%. So I think all of the above (including Blyleven) will creep ever closer until they are finally elected. It's almost a better tribute to have their names come up year after year and their records recounted then to be elected and then forgotten. Nobody debates Rollie Fingers too much these days but Gossage has a moment in the sun every year.

2006-01-10 12:51:32
11.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps we can adopt the Roman Catholic Church model for canonization.

Sutter is now a Saint.

Rice and Gossage are now called "Blessed"

Those over 50% are "Venerable"

2006-01-10 12:54:46
12.   Levy2020
I'm curious about players who got over 50% and didn't get in.

Also, I think they should let the players pick the caps again.

2006-01-10 13:00:10
13.   Bob Timmermann
Gil Hodges got 50% or more of the vote 11 times and never got in. All but one of those years came after he passed away. Hodges peaked in his last year of eligibility in 1983 at 63.37% But that was only good for seventh place in that election. Brooks Robinson and Juan Marichal were elected that year and Harmon Killebrew, Luis Aparicio, Hoyt Wilhelm and Don Drysdale were ahead of Hodges.

1983 was also Jim Wynn's first year of eligibility.

He received zero votes.

2006-01-10 15:26:59
14.   das411
Nobody is mentioning the badass-est 4 HOF vote player of all time...
2006-01-10 16:42:59
15.   Jacob L
14 Gary Gaetti?

For my money, Sutter is a Cub. We used to go to a lot of Cub/Dodger games in LA when I was a kid. At the time, he was kind of a larger than life baseball figure to me. Probably related to the fact that I was smaller than life.

I also remember a pretty classic Sutter Topps baseball card from around 1977. Powder blue pinstripe roadie and giant beard. A bullpen mountain man wearing pajamas.

2006-01-10 18:17:53
16.   Cliff Corcoran
I was leaning Cardinals because of the then-record 45-save season and the WS appearance, but then I looked at his All-Star appearances, most of which came as a Cub, and his Cy Young (which I don't think I even realized he had won) in '79 and the fact that he was more consistantly excellent as a Cub, and for one extra year, and I think he should go in as a Cub as well.

I still have issues with his selection. He pitched just twelve years, all in relief, and was bad in four of the last five, two of which were injury shortened.

Check his comparable players:

Doug Jones, Tom Henke, Jeff Montgomery, Roberto Hernandez, Robb Nen, John Wetteland, Jeff Reardon, Todd Worrell, Dave Smith, Armando Benitez.

All with scored above 910. Not a Hall-of-Famer (present or future) among them.

Now check Gossage's:

The only guy above 890 is Rollie Fingers, and the next guy on the list is Hoyt Wilhelm. The '70s answer to the '80s/'90s relievers on Sutter's list follows, but only Lindy McDaniel ranks above the 850 cutoff for "essentially similar," where as all of Sutter's comps rank above the 900 cutoff for "truly similar." Uniqueness + those players who are most similar all being in the Hall = Hall of Famer. Gossage in, Sutter out.

The more I think about this the angrier I get. I sure hope Buck O'Neil gets in a steals the show.

2006-01-10 18:50:57
17.   Bob Timmermann
If George Brett had gotten the chance to bat against Sutter, perhaps voters wouldn't have had such fond memories of him.
2006-01-10 21:55:16
18.   Cliff Corcoran
Or Kirk Gibson ("he doesn't wanna walk you!")

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