Who: Craig Biggio
Hall of Fame Case: 3000 hits, rated one of the best 2Bs of all time by Bill James, excellent slash numbers, longevity and excellence at 3 key defensive positions, first ballplayer to wear full plate mail borrowed from Medieval Times in the batter’s box
Why He Didn’t Get In: Played with known steroid user Ken Caminiti early in his career and known steroid users Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens late in his career, when they could have shot his ass full of Captain America’s Super-Soldier Serum and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Had a really disgusting hat.
Hall of Fame Case: Most wins of any pitcher during the 1980s, one spectacular playoff start, extended streak of Opening Day starts largely built on incriminating pictures he had of his managers, the visceral loathing for his candidacy felt by baseball statheads which encourages the old-time contingent to talk him up just to put a dull stick in the nerds’ collective eye.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Wasn’t actually that good. A small but significant portion of the HoF voters can do math.
Hall of Fame Case: 449 home runs, largely compiled while playing in a home park slightly larger than Yosemite. Career OBP over .400. Career OPS+ of 149. Largest forearms of any human being since Ted Kluszewksi.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Suspected of steroid use by sportswriters whose steroid-detecting supervision could possibly be put to better use replacing backscatter devices at airports around the country. Played with known juicer Ken Caminiti and had enormous forearms. Had the ugliest beard in baseball history, sort of a Gimli-by-way-of-Scott-Ian-from-Anthrax thing going.
Hall of Fame Case: Greatest offensive catcher of all time, bar none. Best 62nd round draft pick of all time, bar none. Better at defense than people remember, escaped playing for the Marlins after only 18 ABs
Why He Didn’t Get In: Lingering suspicion of PED use, fueled largely by Larry David soundalike Murray Chass’ disturbing fascination with Piazza’s back acne. Enduring hatred of the blonde dye job he sported temporarily that made him look like Bill Pullman in Ruthless People.
Hall of Fame Case: Second greatest leadoff man of all time. 4 year stretch when he was the best player in baseball. 808 SBs, nearly 1000 RBIs as a leadoff guy, power, speed, defense. You name it.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Stubbornly continues to not be Ricky Henderson.
Hall of Fame Case: At one point, the all time leader in saves. Very, very large human being.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Nobody knows how to evaluate relievers. Is no longer career leader in saves. Has tested positive for non-dairy whipped topping on numerous occasions.
Hall of Fame Case: One of the best big-game pitchers of all time. Multiple 300+ strikeout seasons. The bloody sock.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Counting numbers aren’t that big, largely because he spent the first few years of his career with his head so far up his ass he couldn’t see the plate. Couldn’t keep his mouth shut if he dunked his lower jaw in concrete. Simultaneously borked his game company employees and the state of Rhode Island. Has a reputation as a L00t Ninja in World of Warcraft.
Hall of Fame Case: 7 Cy Young Awards. An AL MVP as a pitcher. 3rd all time in ERA. 9th all time in wins. Come on, you know who this guy is.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Let a guy who’d be played by Steve Buscemi in the movie of his life jam PEDs into his and his wife’s butts. Threw a bat at Mike Piazza, not because he was roid raged out, but because he thought it looked like the ball. Gimmick-named his kids. Was a bigger diva than Brett Favre over the back half of his career. Had a head that looked like it fell off a mountain in New Hampshire.
Hall of Fame Case: All time career HR champ. All time single season HR champ. Had a Hall of Fame career in Pittsburgh, then went to San Francisco and played the NL like he was Bo Jackson and it was Tecmo Bowl.
Why He Didn’t Get In: After years of HGH treatments, became the first chibi drawing to play Major League Baseball. Came across as such a titanic douchenozzle that he made Jeff Kent seem sympathetic. Target for crusty sportswriters eager to defend Hank Aaron’s honor while they conveniently forget they slagged Aaron to defend Babe Ruth’s honor. Did I mention his gigantic melon?
Hall of Fame Case: Best pure DH of all time. Insane rate stats, including a career OPS+ of 147.
Why He Didn’t Get In: You read the letters “DH” up there, right? Didn’t get started in the majors until age 27 because Mariners management was enamored of the Minnie Minoso career path. Was not permitted to play defense for fear that his knee ligaments would explode out of his body and kill spectators sitting by the third base dugout.
Hall of Fame Case: One of the best shortstops of all time.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Got jobbed out of an MVP by George Bell in 1987. Wasn’t Barry Larkin or Cal Ripken, Jr. In voters minds’, joined at the hip to Lou Whitaker, who got bounced off the ballot faster than MLB makes new promotional caps.
Hall of Fame Case: Monstrously productive RF with speed, power and a cannon arm. OPS+ of 141. 5 time All-Star, 1-time MVP, 3 time Batting Average champ. Liked to give baseballs to small children.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Short career, frequently injured. Once ran into known steroid user Ken Caminiti in a bar and they exchanged manscaping tips. Played in Colorado back when the Rockies home field was Moon Base Alpha, and had home-road splits like Napoleon invading Russia. Was fond of giving baseballs to small children when there weren’t 3 outs yet.
Hall of Fame Case: 493 home runs while staying indisputably clean. Frighteningly consistent, impeccable reputation for being a good teammate. Did those Tom Emanski instructional videos, the baseball equivalent of a Carvel “Fudgie the Whale” ad.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Didn’t rack up the counting numbers of the guys who were theoretically juicing and thus is theoretically not worthy. Yes, the logic makes my head hurt, too.
Hall of Fame Case: Multiple MVPs while playing center field. 7 time All Star, 5 time Gold Glover, Clemente Award winner. So clean he squeaked while he took batting practice. One of the 3 best players in the NL from 1980-1987. Could apparently eat everything in a restaurant except the rotating display cases and never gain a pound.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Forgot how to hit the way the Mel Brooks character in The Muppet Movie forgot how to say anything except “Ribbit”, once 1988 rolled around. Counting numbers aren’t up to the theoretically inflated standards of the steroid guys. Last few seasons were so bad, he was once traded for Jim Vatcher. Shared a rookie card with Bo Diaz.
Hall of Fame Case: Hit a lot of very long home runs. Broke Roger Maris’ single season HR record. Helped, with Sammy Sosa, rescue baseball from the post-strike doldrums by hitting a lot of very long home runs. Most prolific HR hitter in history, based on ABs/HR. Did I mention the home runs.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Was outed as a PED user by Jose Canseco, who was presumably jealous that McGwire was hanging out with the cool kids in St. Louis while Jose was bouncing fly balls off his head in the Atlantic League. Batting averages at the end of his career were miserable; after 1990 had very little idea what to do with the leather thing on the end of his hand when he wasn’t batting. I did mention the steroids, yes?
Hall of Fame Case: Was really good for a couple of years. Played for the Yankees. That’s about all I’ve got.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Was only good for a couple of years. After a back injury, lost his power faster than the Tunisian government. Neither counting nor rate stats add up. Titanic porn ‘stache frightens some voters.
Hall of Fame Case: Only man with 3 60+ HR seasons. Over 600 HR. With Mark McGwire, helped rescue baseball from the post-strike doldrums by hitting a lot of very long home runs. Best reaction to having his corked bat explode since Graig Nettles. Refused to pee on command for noted journalistic wombat Rick Reilly, making him a hero to millions.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Steroids. Was perceived as a mediocre player who only got good because of the drugs, which completely ignores his early career, but, what the hell. Viewed as a clubhouse cancer late in his career, and sharp drop-off in productivity retroactively tainted his earlier work. Came in a close second to Bonds in the gigantic melon sweepstakes. Pioneered the concept of Manny being Manny before Manny did.
Hall of Fame Case: 500 HR, 3000 hits
Why He Didn’t Get In: Got nailed for steroids after testifying to Congress that he didn’t use steroids, never mind tantalizing hints dropped by John Perotta that he was actually set up. Won the most ridiculous Gold Glove ever for a year when he hardly ever played the field. Did Viagra ads instead of Tom Emanski videos.
Hall of Fame Case: Was a very good centerfielder on a Yankee team that won a lot of games. Was a Yankee. Played his home games in the Bronx. Etc.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Cratered in his age 34 season and refused to fade away gracefully. Counting stats aren’t quite there. Plays jazz guitar, and everyone hates jazz guitar.
Hall of Fame Case: 6 time All Star, 4 time Gold Glove winner. Was the mainstay of my fantasy baseball team for several years.
Why He Didn’t Get In: Was a basketball player in college, so didn’t really get started in the bigs until he was 25. Was never perceived as the best player on his team. May have been confused with Willie “Mays” Hayes from the movie Major League during his years in Cleveland.