Must be a slow day at the Hall of Fame

8 01 2008

Duck, duck, Goose?

Rich “Goose” Gossage was elected into the Hall of Fame. Gossage appeared on 86% of the ballots but what I do not get is why? Did they just want someone elected in 2008 to take the attention away from Barry Bonds’ subpoena, the Mitchell Report, and Jose Canseco’s next book due out by Spring Training? I mean, “Goose” is 17th all-time on the saves list behind such legends as Rob Nenn and Jose Mesa. In his best season he saved 33 games. Bobby Thigpen crapped all over Goose in 1990. Hey, at least he reached double digits in wins 4 times in his career…4 times in 22 seasons.

Congratulations, Mr. Gossage!


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6 responses

8 01 2008
chemgod

I think you are forgetting to realize that it was a different time when he was saving games. He has I believe close to a hundred saves in which he pitched 2 innings. Mariano Rivera has only 4 of those. He really defined (along with Rollie Fingers)the idea of a closer. Note that Fingers got in in 1992 with only 31 more saves.

8 01 2008
Jason

You are way way off here. Gossage was pitching in a totally different era – closers were used much differently back then (like to save the game regardless of situation, instead of just being brought in for saves)

This is from Jayson Stark:

I’m going to unfurl this rant one final time: Goose Gossage was the most dominating closer ever. Ever. And I don’t care who else you want to throw up there against him. Go right ahead. Want to take Mariano Rivera? Great. Let’s compare them.

Stacking up save totals doesn’t work, because Gossage was pitching in a time when managers were mysteriously using their closers in an attempt to (gasp) win games, as opposed to just helping them pile up save totals. So let’s toss out saves and stack up Rivera’s 11 full seasons as a closer versus the Goose’s first 11 full seasons as a closer.

Want to pick a category? Be my guest. ERA? Gossage 2.21, Rivera 2.35. Strikeouts? Goose 8.54 whiffs per 9 innings, Rivera 8.09. Unhittability? Gossage 6.59 hits per 9 innings, Rivera 7.17.

So … any more questions? And remember, the Goose was unleashing all that domination even though he was routinely being asked to pitch 100 to 141 innings (yep, 141) a year.

Great blog, but in this case you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

8 01 2008
Mario C.

Thanks for the comment, Jason. I did know that closers pitched way more than 1 inning back in Goose’s time but those numbers thrown out by Jayson Stark are pretty shocking.

I’d still pick Dennis Eckersley over Goose any day of the week, though!

8 01 2008
Steve G.

The problem with the Eckersley argument is that he started his career as a starter in the same era as Gossage and didn’t become a dominating closer until his career was half over. The change actually saved Eckersley’s career. He had a horrible year for the Cubs in 1986 going 6-11 as a starter. He was traded to the Athletics the following year and was converted into a reliever sometime in the middle of the 1987 season.

9 01 2008
Joey

Gossage should have been in a long time ago. When this guy came out of the bullpen it was like unleashing a lion into a pen with injured lambs.

10 01 2008
JT

I’m still torn on Gossage. I liked the guy and always viewed him as a HOFer, but not over some of the guys that have been passed over (albeit at other positions). I’m glad he’s in, but I do not think he was the most deserving on the ballot.

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