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Hall of Fame Polls: Joe Nathan and Jonathan Papelbon

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Ok, TwitchyJC said I shouldn’t have skipped over Joe Nathan, so we’ll do one for him and Papelbon. I was going to miss Jonathan too.

Joe Nathan had a 16-year MLB career. He came up as a starter in 1999 and made 29 starts over two seasons. Back to the minors, Joe got into 4 games in 2002 and then 78 in 2003. The following year he took over as Twins’ closer and would be an MLB closer for ten seasons (missing the 2010 season with injuries).

He had 377 career saves, putting him eighth all-time in saves. Joe went to six All-Star games, won the AL Reliever of the Year Award once, got MVP and Cy Young votes twice. He played in 787 games (57th all-time) and had a 3.09 career ERA.

His career 26.4 bWAR is pretty good for a reliever. It is hard to rack up the numbers throwing less than 80 innings a season, so it is tough to judge whether a reliever deserves the Hall.

I still think he falls short of where I think the line is for the Hall, but we can have a vote. I’m curious to see if he makes the 5% mark on the Writers’ ballots so that he can stick around for another year,

You can see Nathan’s stats here.


Would you vote Joe Nathan into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    (41 votes)
  • 80%
    (168 votes)
209 votes total Vote Now

Sometimes it is hard to separate my feelings about a player’s personality from his stats.

Jonathan Papelbon is one of those players I took a dislike to early, and he didn’t do much to make me change my mind.

And, when he felt like it was his job to discipline Bryce Harper for, I don’t remember (not running out a ground ball?) and decided that grabbing him by the throat and shoving him against a wall was the way to make his point, that reinforced my dislike of him.

Many teammates suggested that he wasn’t bright. A writer, Chris Jones, said, “Papelbon’s not stupid. He just hasn’t acquired ... an understanding of consequence: He says all the dumb things most of us probably think but keep back.”

Papelbon had several run-ins with players, umpires, reporters, and fans.

Baseball-wise, he had a 12-year MLB career, playing for the Red Sox, Phillies and Nationals. He had 368 saves (tenth in MLB history) and a 2.44 ERA in 689 games. In 725.2 innings, he struck out 808 batters and walked 185. Batters hit .213/.271/.321 against him.

He made six All-Star teams, finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2006, and has a World Series ring. He had a run of 10 consecutive seasons with 20+ saves.

I don’t see him as a Hall of Fame type, but I think his time with the Red Sox buys him some votes. I’ll be curious to see if he or Nathan gets more of the Writers’ votes.

You can see his stats here.


Would you vote Jonathan Papelbon into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    (26 votes)
  • 88%
    (195 votes)
221 votes total Vote Now