Hey, if we can wonder who will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2013, why not wonder about the logos on their caps? The Hardball Times' Pat Andriola starts with Mike Piazza. After running through the numbers, Andriola's big finish:
Although he played better ball as a Dodger, he played longer while on the Mets, and exposed himself to the playoffs and the New York media, ultimately cementing himself as part of the franchise. Again, I admit personal bias, but if I had to guess, I'd say Mike goes into the Hall of Fame in 2012 with a NY cap on his head.
I agree that Piazza should go into the Hall of Fame as a Met. But it's close enough that his input might play a role, and I don't have any idea which way he's leaning. I'm also not so sure he'll be elected in 2012. Or rather, 2013.
Piazza last played in 2007, so he's not Hall-eligible until 2013. Also eligible in 2013: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, and Sammy Sosa. Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa all will lose some votes because of the drug questions but isn't it possible that Piazza will, too? At least one voter has thrown out some wild accusations, and there's no telling what else might be thrown out between now and 2013.
Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. Yes, a Mets logo would seem to be in order if and when Piazza is elected.
What about some other top candidates and their plaque-caps?
Clemens won 193 games (including postseason) with the Red Sox, 84 with the Yankees, 42 with the Astros, and 41 with the Blue Jays. He won three Cy Youngs with the Red Sox, two with the Jays, and one apiece with the Yankees and Astros.
Verdict: Red Sox, obviously. No matter what he says.
Schilling is a tough one. Of his 216 regular-season victories, 101 came as a Phillie. He won 58 as a Diamondback and 53 while wearing the Red Sox. But when you think of Schilling, do you see him in a Phillies uniform? I don't. I see him in a Diamondbacks uniform, pitching brilliantly during their 2001 World Series run. And I see him in a Red Sox uniform, with that famously bloody white sock.
Verdict: Let him decide.
Mike Mussina's an easy one, I guess. He won 147 games as an Oriole, only 123 as a Yankee. He posted a 3.53 ERA as an Oriole, just 3.88 as a Yankee. He never won a Cy Young Award, but did have six top-5 finishes; five came with the Orioles. Mussina did record his only 20-win season as a Yankee. He won only two postseason games as an Oriole, and five as a Yankee, but never more than one in a single postseason, and just once in the World Series. It's close, but ...
For Randy Johnson, it's obviously the Mariners or the Diamondbacks. As a Mariner, he went 130-74 with a 3.42 ERA. As a Diamondback, he went 118-62 with a 2.83 ERA. Slight edge for M's, maybe. But Johnson's winning percentage was slightly better with the Diamondbacks, plus he won four Cy Young Awards with them, plus he won three games in the 2001 World Series.
Gary Sheffield has played for eight teams. He's got four top-6 MVP finishes, each with a different team. He's spent as many as four seasons with just one team (the Marlins) but was on the DL for big chunks of two of those seasons. So, what do you do with him?
Well, let's start by eliminating the Brewers (bad memories), Braves and Tigers (two seasons), Padres (just one-and-a-half seasons) and Mets (one season). That leaves the Marlins, Dodgers, and Yankees. But Sheffield played only 347 games as a Yankee, and didn't play particularly well (by his own standards).
Which leaves the Marlins and Dodgers. Sheffield played 556 games as a Marlin, with a 156 OPS+. He played 526 games as a Dodgers, with a 160 OPS+. Close enough to a tie, right? Except for two things. Sheffield was a key to the Marlins' World Championship in 1997, while he never played a postseason game with the Dodgers. Also, Sheffield is a Florida native.
If Ken Griffey, Jr. had finished his career with the Reds -- as many of us might have expected -- there might be some argument here. Just in terms of seasons, Griffey would have wound up playing as many seasons (if not more) in Cincinnati as in Seattle. Sure, his best years would have come with the Mariners. But when you throw in Cincinnati being his home town (of sorts), there was an argument there.
No more. With Griffey spending a couple of months with the White Sox, then returning to Seattle for one season (so far), there shouldn't be any question here.
See, that wasn't so hard.