Nick: Galarraga had some decent years in Montreal, and a couple great years in Atlanta bracketing a battle with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma – a form of cancer.
I doubt however, that he will ever be able to shake the specter of hitting in Coors Field pre-humidor. 1994 was his aberration in Colorado, while only his 1998 in Atlanta ranked better than his other four seasons with the Rockies in OPS.
Galarraga was no doubt a good hitter, just not elite enough to make my Hall of Fame.
Josh: The Big Cat has a couple of strikes against him from the start — early Coors Field experience and the dreaded Red ‘S’ by his name. The steroid discussion has tossed plenty of of names out there, and Andres Galarraga won’t be the last. It is admirable that the former Cardinal overcame cancer to keep playing the game he loved, but he won’t be on the ballot for long.
Nick: I really dislike hanging the steroid cloud over anyone’s head – particularly in an era when it was apparently so widely accepted, or at least not openly discouraged.
Your point about “a couple of strikes” led me to one more point I wanted to make about Galarraga’s career though – he struck out a LOT. Led the league in K’s several times.
I refuse to use the steroid cop-out on Andres, I just don’t believe his numbers stack up.
Off the ballot?
Josh: I won’t argue about disqualifying case by case for steriods, but I’m starting to wonder if it helped a number of players like Andres extend careers after injuries/other cases. I intended to bring up that he was the first so far (McGwire aside) to be in the steroid discussion and makes inflated numbers harder so debate. I do think the case for Dawson and others will not be hurt due to how many players are now associated with PED’s.
Big Cat has to have a certain percentage to remain on the ballot, correct?
Nick: Well, extending careers is an interesting way to look at the steroids issue – but I still maintain that if it extended Galarraga’s career, it’s possible it extended someone else for many years that no one will ever know about. Sure, sounds hokey – but I doubt we’ll ever know the full extent to which performance enhancers ran rampant through the game, perhaps even still.
At any rate, I still contend that Andres’ numbers do not command a vote for enshrinement.
Players must receive a minimum of 5% of the vote to remain on the ballot. They are eligible to remain on the ballot for 15 years under those terms.
Shall we close the book on the Big Cat?
Josh: Stick a cat nip toy instead of a fork in this one…
And you make a very interesting point with not knowing everything about performance enhancers. As you said about Rocket Clemens, that should be a doozy of an argument even more than Big Mac. Further more I’m going to keep my pro/con arguments to stats and other baseball-related items. I think just reading that the Big Cat was Palmeiro’s back-up in 2001 set me off…
Nick: I know many will disagree, I just find too many unknowns in going down that path to make accusations. What is the accepted protocol for someone who did use? Are all going to be barred from the Hall of Fame, or will those who “expressed enough regret publicly” be pardoned from the voting contingent’s scorn?
I don’t intend to turn this into a debate on steroids in the game – we’ll go on all day.
Andres Galarraga – you had a very good career. PH8 will not be casting a bust of your head anytime soon.