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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Walker Likely to Retire

Larry Walker announced that he will likely retire this offseason marking the end of a stellar career. Even with all the notoriety Walker has recieved in his career, I still feel he was underrated or underappreciated by many baseball fans. Maybe it's because he played most of his career for a bad Rockies team that he doesn't come to mind when fans think of the best players of the past decade. Maybe fans feel like his numbers were severly inflated by the thin Rocky Mountain air. While that may be true, I still view Walker as a premier hitter and a sure fire Hall of Famer. But will the voters give him the same due credit as I do? At first glance, you'd have to assume so based on his career numbers.


Those look to be HOF numbers without a doubt. But remember, this time last year there was an arguement over whether or not Edgar Martinez is a Hall of Famer. His numbers a very similar to those of Larry Walker.


Not to much of a difference between the two and Edgar's candidacy is still up in the air. So will Walker's candidacy be questioned too? I would doubt it. The big arguement against Martinez is that he spent his career as a DH. Walker won 7 Gold Gloves in right field. Walker was also named NL MVP in 1997. Martinez never finished higher that 3rd in the ballot.

It seems the only arguement against Walker being in the Hall could be made (weakly) by pointing to the Coors Field advantage. Voters are likely to consider this when the time comes to put Walker in the Hall. They should remember that he did spend 8 of his 18 seasons in Montreal and St Louis. Somehow I doubt the would look at metrics like park adjusted numbers, but if they did they would see that Walker is still +.30 BA/+.40 OBP/+.123 Slugging over the average major leaguer with park adjusted numbers.

In the end I fully expect Walker to be inducted into the HOF. The Coors Field factor will be debated, but ultimately Walkers numbers will be impressive enough to outweigh any park advantages. This is all what I presume will happen. HOF voters have proved me wrong before. Since Walker will be the 1st of the Rockies to be considered, I feel his candidacy will set precedent for all future Rockies.

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