Japanese stats and the Hall of Fame
Jim Caple raises — and does not answer — the question of whether stats from Japan should be considered in Ichiro’s Hall of Fame case.
I wouldn’t argue in favor of weighting Japanese statistics on a 1-to-1 basis — that’s why Japan’s own Hall of Fame exists — but realistically, it will have to play in voters’ minds that the guy they’re voting on was an exceptional player for years elsewhere.
Besides, I think Ichiro will have a solid Cooperstown resume based solely on what he accomplishes on this side of the pond. Hideki Matsui, on the other hand, would probably need a lot more points for his achievements with Yomiuri. Those two extra prime years make a big difference.