Worst argument ever

Some clown in New York says Jeff Kent isn't a Hall of Famer.

Now, that's fine...I happen to think he's wrong, but whatever.

What is so stupid, though, is his argument about why Kent isn't a Hall of Famer...nevermind that Kent put up great numbers for a second baseman, according to this fool.  Middle infielders should be held to the same offensive standard as a first baseman or DH:

I say Kent cannot be looked at as a second baseman, especially in this day and age where middle infielders all over baseball are putting up numbers usually posted by outfielders and third baseman. We have to start judging players - other than catchers - as all part of the same pool. Is Nomar Garciaparra a Hall of Famer because he put up big numbers at shortstop?


Kent was never a great fielder. He had to hide somewhere and most teams chose to put him at second base. Also, Kent played in the steroids era, so all of the numbers from that time have to be judged on some sort of scale. 600 homers may have to be the new 500 homers.

And while Kent’s numbers may have gotten him into the Hall of Fame 10 years ago, they are comparable to several other players who will be retiring soon or have already retired and likely won't ever get in.

Albert Belle has more homers (381) than Kent. Is he a Hall of Famer?
Gary Sheffield has more homers (499), hits (2,615) and RBIs (1,633) than Kent. Is he a Hall of Famer?

Andres Gallarraga (399), Dale Murphy (398), Joe Carter (396), Jason Giambi (396), Vlad Guerrero (392), Craig Nettles (390), Dwight Evans (385), Harold Baines (384), Larry Walker (383) and Matt Williams (378) all have more homers than Kent. Only Guerrero has a legit shot to make it to Cooperstown.

Nevermind the stupidity of using home runs as a proxy for offensive ability.  Let's look at the guys he lists.

Belle, Sheffield, Carter, Guerrero, Evans, Baines, and Walker were all corner outfielders.  Murphy was a centerfielder.  Williams and Nettles were third basemen.  Giambi and Gallarraga were first basemen.

Only Murphy, Nettles and Williams were comparable on the defensive spectrum to Kent as a second baseman.  An argument can be made for Murphy, although his career as a great player was basically over by 31 (and he played almost as much in right field as in center), and Kent has better offensive numbers.

Nettles and Williams were both above-average players who put up big home run numbers, but whose OBPs and slugging percentages don't match up with Kent's.

And as a side note, of the guys he listed, Evans and Sheffield also deserve to be in the Hall, whether they have a legit shot or not.

But more importantly, the "defensive position makes no difference" argument is bogus, demonstrably so. B-R has splits for all the major leagues in 2008 by positions

And thus, by following that link, you can clearly see that first basemen put up an 817 OPS in 2008.  It was 798 for right fielders, 786 for left fielders.

Second basemen?  747 OPS.  And shortstops (who this guy wants to lump in with LFs, 1B, et al)?  718.

Saying that there should be no distinction made between the offensive numbers a second baseman puts up and the offensive numbers a first baseman or COF puts up is asinine, and reveals a fundamental lack of understanding about the game.

And annoys me enough for me to make a whole post responding to it.

 

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