October 04, 2008

The Tao of Fred McGriff - Day 12

One of the basic tenets of the Tao of McGriff... Be consistent. Example: Fred McGriff performed in post-season play the same way he did during the regular season: consistently well. Or, I consistently get my hopes up, only for it to result in heartbreak.

Staying up late to watch the Red Sox crush the will of the Anaheim of Los Angeles of Interstate 5 of California Angels has given me ample time to contemplate Vlad Guerrero and the importance of post-season performance in the eyes of Hall of Fame voters.

For all that has been said about Guerrero's post-season drought, I am completely convinced that, when he is first eligible for the Hall of Fame, he will be elected with one of the highest vote percentages in recent memory. I'm thinking in the neighborhood of 92-94% on the first ballot.

I'm not entirely convinced that post-season exploits should weigh that much in the mind of the voter. Sure, it will help McGriff's case that his career postseason batting average is over .300 and he's socked 10 post-season home runs. Post-season success will also help someone like Curt Schilling. His performance with the Diamondbacks in 2001 and with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007 will bolster his resume in the eyes of the HOF voters.

But really if there's anything that should push Schilling into the Hall, it's his character; his playing through pain in clutch situations. I, for one, don't think I could walk around with a tendon stapled to my ankle, let alone pitch. (Well, I guess I could if I was allowed to bring a folding chair to the mound and pitch to Little Leaguers. And I was high on morphine.)

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