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Jonah Keri on Tim Raines
In his book dedicated to the Expos, Keri takes on the case for Tim Raines (pdf).
Tim Raines and his peers
Baseball is about runs, not hits.
Tim Raines is one of three players in modern-day baseball eligible for the Hall of Fame with at least 1500 runs scored, but not enshrined (Jeff Bagwell has 1,517 and Rafael Palmeiro with 1,663). The previous record holder was Dwight Evans with 1,470. Raines obliterated that record, with 1,571 runs scored, and he was subsequently succeeded by Palmeiro.
294 writers didn't vote for Raines in 2012
JAWS and Tim Raines
Read about Raines and his 2013 Hall of Fame candidacy according to JAWS.
The Tim Raines Interview
Read our interview with the man himself.
Congratulations to the recently-converted:
Best reasons to keep Raines out of The Hall
Worst reasons to keep Raines out of The Hall
Raines' case was hurt by his reluctance to run in all situations, as Rickey Henderson did. Raines seemed at times too concerned about preserving his stolen-base percentage.
— Gerry Fraley
The steals are a plus, but on non-contending teams you can run every time you get on base after the all-star break, as henderson did in 1982.
— Anonymous Hall of Fame voter
How are we supposed to appeal to these two voters? One says that Raines was too careful in stealing. The other says that he was running all the time when it didn't matter. And, neither offers any supporting evidence for their claims.
The biggest debates for me were Tim Raines, who obviously was overshadowed by Rickey Henderson, but also if you take Vince Coleman's five top years, I would say he outperformed Raines, too, and I don't see Coleman as a Hall of Famer.
— Tracy Ringolsby
Just for fun, I took Vince Coleman's 5 best years. They were hard to find, but I settled on this: 85, 87, 89, 90, 92. That totaled 2818 PA. (If you prefer different seasons, let me know. ) I looked for Raines worst years (which includes alot of abbreviated seasons) to match that total. I came up with these years: 79, 80, 82, 91, 94, 96, 98, 99, 02. The total of Raines' worst years was 2820 PA. Ok, so we have two partial careers of exactly the same length (in plate appearances), one for the guy at his best, and the other for the guy at his worst. Coleman outscored Raines, by 25 runs. Raines outRBIed Coleman by 78. Raines also did that while using up 99 less outs.
The batting line:
0.275 0.337 0.355 Coleman
0.266 0.363 0.371 Raines
Raines, at his very worst, is better than Coleman at his very best.
As a player whose key Hall of Fame attribute was his speed, I want to examine a little further whether the use of a stimulant could have enhanced his performance whether he used it for that purpose or not.
— Dave Buscema
I look forward to his report. I'm not sure why Paul Molitor gets off so easily, while Tim Raines has to put up with this. How many players would voluntarily come forward at the age of 23, admit a problem, seek help, beat the problem in short order, and let the world know about it? And, as it so happens, Raines's worst season with the Expos (1982) coincided with his drug problem.
I also look forward to his report of the thousands of players—who have taken actual stimulants, amphetamines (aka greenies)—some of whom are undoubtedly in the Hall of Fame, with nary a word.
If he had dominated over a longer period, he would have received my vote.
— Mark Gonzales
A quote about Jim Rice? Nope, it's about Tim Raines. He voted for Rice: "Rice's credentials go well beyond his impressive numbers."
Thanks to AJM for the quote.