Rules Were Made For Exceptions
This might be the dumbest thing I've heard in awhile:
The Giants' Wall of Fame will add two new members Saturday when right-hander Jason Schmidt and center fielder Marvin Benard are honored in pregame ceremonies.
The Wall of Fame commemorates the accomplishments of retired players who performed for a minimum of nine seasons as a San Francisco Giant, or five seasons with at least one All-Star selection while representing the club.
Look ... this is crazy talk. I don't want to overstate this - I am a Giants season-ticket holder and I have no idea what the Wall of Fame is, let alone its location. But ... Marvin Benard? Just because some manager got it wrong one year and named him to the All-Star Game does not mean he needs to be honored.
But, despite that, there is this:
In 2002, the Giants leadoff man [Benard, believe it or not] stole five bases. He hit a homerun every 123 at-bats. He struck out every 4.7 at-bats. And he made $4.2 million in 2002 and 2003.Look, if I'm being fair - something I don't particularly want to be - Benard wasn't terrible. He just wasn't special, and was wildly overpaid and trotted out there despite being clearly not very good at his job. Here are the players he's most similar to statistically over his career:
- Beals Becker (956)
- Reed Johnson (955)
- Danny Bautista (954)
- Billy Sample (954)
- Felix Jose (952)
- Merv Rettenmund (951)
- Shane Victorino (950)
- Oddibe McDowell (949)
- Barry Bonnell (949)
- Terrence Long (948)
Look, I don't know who Beals Becker is either, but I doubt Reed Johnson, Danny Bautista, Terrence Long or Felix Jose are making any Walls of Fame anytime soon. I'm genuinely shocked to see Shane Victorino there, who is actually better than average. (I suspect these don't value stolen bases or defense nearly as much as they should.)
Here's a breakdown of Benard's career, courtesy of Baseball Reference:
|162 Game Avg.||478||80||130||10||47||19||8||.271||.343|
Marvin Benard should be able to afford many luxuries in life and obviously, as a former major leaguer, he's a great athlete. But he's not memorable ... and the Giants shouldn't try to force that.
The problem with this Wall of Fame is that there is base criteria - and it's all objective. There's no Sniff Test here, no "wait a minute...that guy?"
But , because there's no subjective analysis to this, there are others on the Wall of Fame who may be lovely people but were not special talents or even special Giants:
and ... wait for it ... Atlee Hammaker.
The Wall of Fame is dead to me.