There’s always a little bit of risk in placing hope in any of various Cooperstown committees, as evidenced by the fact that Minnie Miñoso is still on the outside looking in.
But he’s back on the ballot for the first time since 2014 on the Golden Days Era ballot, and there’s some reason to think this time could be different.
While Miñoso has fallen short of the 12 votes needed, finishing with eight and nine in his last two spins through the committee, this is the first time that he’ll be evaluated with his time in the Negro Leagues now counting as major-league production.
The reclassification of Negro Leagues stats was made official back in December, and as we’d discussed in the run-up to that decision, it has a fairly significant impact on the way Miñoso’s career is viewed. Incorporating his production from the New York Cubans gives him 2,110 major-league hits, not 1,994. Beyond the counting stats, placing Miñoso’s seasons with the Cubans on the same page as his time with Cleveland and the White Sox shows why he didn’t stick in the majors until 1951. It wasn’t for a lack of talent or a merit-based form of bad breaks.
What makes it tough is the competition, since a candidate needs 12 of 16 votes, and ballots are limited to a maximum of four names. Besides Miñoso, the ballot also includes Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Roger Maris, Danny Murtaugh, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce and Maury Wills. Miñoso is the only one of this group whose career is affected by the redesignation of the Negro Leagues, but Allen, who died last December, is somebody whose career has been subject to a steady reevaluation as the racial dynamics of his era are better understood.
Besides Miñoso and Allen, two other names are great to see on the committee ballots. It’s always nice to see Pierce resurface as a nod to his excellent career, if nothing else. He has a claim to being one of the best post-integration pitchers in White Sox history, and he posted his numbers while Al Lopez routinely leveraged him against the American League’s toughest teams.
And on the Early Baseball Era ballot, Buck O’Neil gets his first chance at gaining entry to the Hall of Fame since he and Miñoso were both stiff-armed during the special ballot for Negro Leagues players back in 2006. He died not long after, and the Hall of Fame compensated with the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, with a life-size statue greeting visitors in the first room beyond the admissions counters.
Speaking of O’Neil, the USA Today ran an excellent story about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum he helped establish, and its president, Bob Kendrick, who is keeping the enterprise strong. As always, consider a membership.
Sox picked up Kimbrel option. Idiots.
Now watch them have to pick up 8M of his salary to trade him, just to get a mediocre prospect of no importance at all.
It’s almost certainly a good decision that will return something of value. From the MLBTR post about it:
“Of course, Kimbrel is also one of the most dominant starters of the past 20 years, and his full season numbers (2.26 ERA, 42.6 percent strikeout rate) suggest he’s well worth a $16MM price tag.
The short-term commitment could also make Kimbrel an interesting trade chip, should the White Sox look to make a move.“
most dominant closers….
He has no ERA as a starter, so I guess that would make him one of the most dominant starters of the last 20 years in a way.
They don’t intend to keep him, and they would not pick it up if they didn’t have any leads on trade partners. Calm down, we White Sox fans have a much lower image of Kimbrel than everyone else.
Perhaps so (but you’ve got to consider the Sox history on veteran acquisition/trades, excluding Sale Quintana and Eaton). In either event they’ve just spent $15M they didn’t need to spend; that’s Jon Gray, the majority of Semien, Castellanos, Schwarber. Who would you rather have?
If they ALSO acquire a + RF and + 2B, OK; what are the odds of that happening?
If they somehow get more than $15M in value from a trade, OK; anything else and its $ down a rathole.
They haven’t spent anything on Kimbrel for 2022. As long as they find a trade for him (a virtual certainty), they won’t owe him anything. For the cost of the paperwork of picking up his option and White Sox fans freaking out for a few weeks, they’ll get likely get some player(s) for free in return.
In fact, this is probably the cheapest option. Even if they don’t get anything of value, they’ll find a taker for him. If nothing else, they at least avoid the buyout.
That they will find a taker for his full 16 million salary is hardly a certainty. My guess is they wind up paying half to trade him, and look like complete chumps for picking the option up.
They gave up Madrigal and Heur for him, not picking up the option would be a supreme waste of prospect resources. Let Jerry’s pocketbook do a bit of heavy lifting for once.
Picking him up, in my opinion, just risks an even greater waste of resources for questionable gain.
Maybe, but I always find it preferable to waste monetary resources than prospect resources. The Sox have already blown the more valuable of the two (in my eyes), I would rather they attempt to recoup that loss by any means.
Sure, but this is the White Sox, who commit minimal monetary resources but still usually manage to waste most of it.
There are 4 players on the Golden Era ballot who starred for the Sox for at least part of their careers (they each put up at least one 7 bWAR season for the Sox). Allen and Miñoso are clearly deserving of HOF in my mind even if I set all my Sox bias aside. I need a little Sox bias to make the case for Pierce but not much. Let’s hope we have some good news to celebrate after the vote.
Without getting into their entire careers, here’s what these players did for the Sox:
Pierce 49.4 bWAR in 13 years
Miñoso 41.5 bWAR over 12 years
Allen 15.4 bWAR over 3 years
Kaat 15.3 bWAR over 3 years
Pierce is 9th on the Sox career bWAR list just behind Wood and ahead of Buehrle. Miñoso is 12th on that list.
Didn’t Minnie Minoso’s snub enrage Reinsdorf so much he pushed so much harder to get Harold Baines inducted?