The Angels have re-upped their "Hall of Fame" with two new members, Brian Downing and Chuck Finley, absolutely deserving of the honor. Well, no sooner was Fin's speech done than the crass politicking begins. For some reason, out of a list of possible names, blogger Steve Bisheff plays his grumpy old fart card and beat the drum for the inclusion of Bill Rigney into this prestigious institution. This was the Angels' first manager. BISHEFF BLOG LINK. This is a terrible idea.
The current Hall stands as: Don Baylor, Rod Carew, Brian Downing, Chuck Finley, Jim Fregosi, Bobby Grich, Jimmie Reese and Nolan Ryan.
Ideas like including Bill Rigney in the AHOF make it only a matter of time before someone wants the worst long-term player in Angels history (and that would be Gary "Loser" DiSarcina), or the biggest cancer in Angels clubhouse history (Jimmy "Showboat" Edmonds), in the Angels Hall of Fame, so let's not rattle off the list of who should be in. Let's figure out who is the best Angel who should NOT be in.The player with the most Plate Appearances as an Angel who sucked and is not AHOF-worthy is DiSarcina. He was the worst player over a long career that the Angel ever had. His OPS+ was 66 ... a league average layer is 100. A superstar is in the 140s. Get it? Save you "We lost in 95 because he got injured," we lost in 1995 because the pitching disappeared and a singles-hitting shortstop would not have been the difference.
One example ... out of MANY examples is that Gary had 340 more plate appearances than Adam Kennedy and scored only 2 more runs than Adam did as an Angel. And that is just scratching the surface at the lack of production that DiSarloser was overachieving at. If you are sold on Gary Glitter it is thru the endless drumbeat of announcers talking about chemistry that was broadcast in the lonely 1990s. Management (aka Bill Bavasi) signed a turkey to a long-term deal and you my friend were sold a drumstick without any meat on it.
Of the current AHOF members, Rod Carew and Don Baylor have the fewest Plate Appearances as an Angel of any of the position players with just under 3600. Vlad might surpass them if he averages 3+ PA average over the remaining 36 games this season. The Angels ahead of Carew and Baylor in PA: Kennedy, Joyner, Schofield, Figgins, Davis, Gary McLosah, Erstad and Anderson. Davis was here twice and or all his success here, he was the king of the 6-4-3. Without him and Gary and Schofield, this is your definite AHOF within the next few years.
Ditch Schofield and Gary, and you can safely put Kennedy as your bubble (if Adam is out, it is a small hall based on career standards, if Adam is in it can still be a small hall with a nod toward playoff excellence). If you go a little below Baylor and Carew you find Bob Boone, Buck Rodgers Sandy Alomar and Doug DeCinces all with more than 3000 Angel Plate Appearances. With Jim Edmonds hovering at 2,951 Angels PA, guess what my cutoff demand is? Yep, I say 3,000 Plate Apearances as an Angel minimum.
Of those below AK's Plate Appearances but above the "Showboat Line" if Boone is in, so is Buck and perhaps they should be inducted together next year because neither is getting any younger. This makes DeCinces a certainty and creates the tension of whether '02 Series MVP Glaus should be brought back into the fold. The only person below Edmonds' # of PA that would remotely qualify might be Bobby Knoop, but this is where the old-timers bring in Rigney and then idiots pipe in for Fred Haney and you have an Angels Hall of Fame that is an old boys club instead of a place that guarantees Angel Greats.
With Pitching, there are eleven obvious arms that will go into the AHOF to join Nolan Ryan and Chuck Finley: Witt, Tanana, Lackey, Langston, Wright, Chance and McCaskill as starters and Percival and Frankie out of the pen. If you include Bryan Harvey the touchy subject of Donnie Moore's wife and daughter facing the crowd that booed their dad to death bubbles up and is too touchy. Rudy May pitched more innings than Jim Abbott, but you can bet Jim will be here one day and that means Jarrod Washburn will, eventually, as well.
If one uses "GAMES" rather than "INNINGS PITCHED" to ensure that great relievers show up ... well lo and behold the only name that pops up as a surprise near the top of the list is Scot Shields!
MY POSITION PLAYER BALLOT (3000 min PA)
YES: Anderson, Salmon, Erstad, Joyner, Guerrero
MAYBE: Kennedy, Figgins, DeCinces
NO: DiSarcina, Davis, Schofield, Glaus, Boone, Rodgers, Alomar
MY PITCHING BALLOT (1,000 IP for Starters, 400 Games for Relievers)
YES: Witt, Tanana, Lackey, Langston, Wright, Chance, Washburn, Percival, Rodriguez
MAYBE: Abbott, Shields
NO: McCaskill, May