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  1. I’m gonna go build my own Hall of Fame, with blackjack! And hookers! In fact, forget the blackjack.

    In all honesty, if they don’t change it, someone really should just make their own, following your rules, send out ballots, and even if it lacks all the pizzazz of the current system, eventually the heads in charge will recognize that enough people want this fixed. Stodgy old baseball types (the anti-instant replay crew) who constantly talk about how nothing should ever change will be outvoted, and progress will occur.

    Comment by Radivel — January 7, 2013 @ 11:10 am

  2. Check out the Hall of Merit at Baseball Think Factory.

    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/hall_of_merit/

    Comment by Dave Studeman — January 7, 2013 @ 11:15 am

  3. Petition signed.

    Comment by Nate — January 7, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  4. I agree, the HoF voting process is broken. And, its hypocritical too. The votes (at least in part) are cast by BBWAA – aka Baseball Writers Association of America – aka the very same people who reported the glories of the sluggers on steroids IN A FAVORABLE LIGHT. They were game changers, winners, feared sluggers (or the pitching equivalents)of all time, according to the writers, as they sent stories off to print. There were/are many sides to this story. The players, the managers, staff of course. The fans liked what they saw, so much so that more players tried steroids to keep up, and/or garner fan appeal. But, the writers? They wrote the stories that made players into “gods” In the last few years, when alot of those players come up for HoF voting, the BBWAA tries to wash their hands clean of this situation, pretending as if they had no part in it, by not only not voting for their suspected players. Instead they now write stories of scorn, ridicule, and how they cheated or ruined the game. Writers, you can’t have it both ways. Either you favor the players (as you did in the steroid era), or you don’t (as you are trying to have us believe you did all along). Quit being hypocrites. Let them in. Yes, they altered themselves, but given the volume of players that did (or suspected), did it really unbalance the game if everybody (or most anyways) did?

    Bottom line, your stance on steroids is ruining the hall. You can’t agree on what is and isn’t a HoF player. Even if you were to exclude those that did steroids.. there is no list (aside from the Mitchell report) that lists them. And, you are harming the chances of those that didn’t (Lofton, Morris, etc), those that have no proof they did aside from unsubstantiated rumors (Piazza, Bagwell, etc). Get off your high horse, and get back to getting players in. It isn’t the Hall of Fame of the “pure, clean, righteous baseball players”.

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 11:30 am

  5. i think adding a bunch of governing bodies into the equation is going to cause more harm than good.

    Comment by SF 55 for life — January 7, 2013 @ 11:39 am

  6. I was hopeful that “Time to push the reset button” was an article on the website redesign.

    But this is good too!

    Comment by Jason B — January 7, 2013 @ 11:52 am

  7. Take a deep breath people. I agree that the BBWA won’t be able to fix the problems of the PEDs era. Which only makes sense because the BBWA played a major part in creating the problem in the first place and they long ago threw any of their journalist/professional ethics into the toilet. And like pretty much everyone else in America, they are a bunch of fat whiny immature entitled crybabies who think “someone else” needs to step in and solve problems for them.

    But so what? So what if an entire generation of overpaid entitled (and perhaps cheating) players doesn’t get into the Hall of Fame via the BBWA route? Maybe the best way for the entire era to actually get resolved is to go through a few years of gridlock. Maybe time is precisely what will bring some of the remaining PEDs questions to light. Maybe time is what will force the BBWA/owners/game to admit that they were a big part of the problem. Maybe time is what will give sabermetricians and Internet bloggers a character attribute they sorely lack (humility and perspective).

    And, just perhaps, the group best equipped to judge the entire era happens to be the one that gets to vote on players in 15 years – the Veteran’s Committee.

    Comment by jfree — January 7, 2013 @ 11:56 am

  8. I was hoping this article was on the website resign, too.

    I’m more in the small Hall of Fame camp and haven’t much to add here other than I do not like the idea of the fans voting.

    Comment by AverageMeansAverageOverTime — January 7, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

  9. 1. Forget the PED stuff. I suspect we will never know who really cheated and who didn’t. The fact the Bonds and Clemens got all the press doesn’t excuse the others that likely used the substances too. You will never see MLB change the stats so just look at that era as a “juiced ball” era, like 1920.
    2. Establish some measurable way to decide who is eligible to be voted upon. If you make the cut you get only five chances, no more Vet Committee to “right the wrongs”.
    3. To be in the HOF you should be much better than league average throughout your career. (ten years) The measure could be determined easily and maybe remove some of the “cumulative” guys who look better as a whole but were not really the best players individually.
    4. Establish a HOF voting team made up of a cross section of players, fans writers, managers, executives. Make the ballot visible with a reason the voter chose a player to be enshrined.
    5. Players should be rated against their peers. The best closers should be in the HOF, the best DHs should be in the HOF.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — January 7, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

  10. Although I don’t disagree with your points, it’s true that many people have felt for 50+ years that HOF voting was “broken” or being skewed by some new factor. PEDs are just the latest. While I’m not suggesting we stick our heads in the sand and assume that everything will work out fine, I also don’t feel quite as panicked as you seem to.

    Comment by Andy — January 7, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

  11. A big problem with the gridlock is the fact that people will slip off the ballot due to not getting enough votes to stay on. There are only so many votes to go around. Some “worthy” people won’t get consideration due to the spread that the gridlock causes. In a alternate universe, they may have the votes easily, as the gridlock doesn’t exist. Yes, they may be fringe hall of famers… but, they would still be hall of famers. 50 yrs down the road, they will be remembered as hall of famers.

    The gridlock really hurts the following – Fred McGriff, Kenny Lofton, David Wells, Larry Walker, D. Murphy.. all with (currently) under 20%. (with Lofton and Wells under 3%). Am I saying they are worthy of being in? No, and yet yes. But, if they slip off, they don’t even get considered again. That is the problem with the gridlock.

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

  12. Could someone please explain what the deep flaw is?

    Comment by philosofool — January 7, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

  13. Hey Dave,

    Interesting take, but you make a couple of assertions:
    “but it’s already clear that the process is deeply flawed” — how is that already clear? I am not sure that it is clear that it is deeply flawed. If you look at who eventually gets in and who doesnt, I think they do a pretty good job. Not perfect, some non-deserving guys get in, but thats the exception. Baseball is a game, you cheat the game, you pay the price. This is what happens when you cheat in any aspect of life — thinks get confusing, there is collateral damage. It doesnt mean that the institution is flawed because it doesnt have a way to deal with succesful cheaters!!! That argument makes no sense.

    You want steroid guys in, thats just an opinion, one that is status quo in the stat community, but nowehere else. I have never heard the case for this. Is it because you dont think we can quantify steroid v non-steroid performance? You beg this question.

    “This would be a travesty.” Some people think that the last 30 years of watching cheating players is more of a travesty. The travesty is that these guys cheated. Records that once had meaning to every lunch pale fan, have no meaning, the single season and career HR records no longer have any meaning, and they never will. Thats a travesty. The hundreds of games impacted by cheaters, thats a travesty. The careers that will never get recognized simply because a player chose not to cheat, thats a travesty.

    Comment by Nelly — January 7, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

  14. Why do people keep saying Barry Bonds is arguably the greatest hitter of all time? Arguably the greatest position player, given uncertainty in fielding stats, but I find it hard to see an argument that Bonds was a better hitter than the Babe.

    Comment by Anon21 — January 7, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

  15. Allow me to clarify the question: I understand that many people won’t like the results of the process, but how does that reveal a problem in the voting procedure itself?

    Comment by philosofool — January 7, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

  16. i think the solution would be for the hall to issue guidance stating, explicitly, that steroid / ped use, either confirmed or speculated, shall not be used as a cause to preclude admission into the hall of fame. and mose generally, that cheating also does not preclude admission into the hall of fame. because, as we all know, there are quite a few celebrated cheaters in the hall, and there are quite a few users of performance enhancing drug users in the hall (monkey testosterone, amphetamines, whatever).

    voters are free to contextualize hte performance of those players caught using or suspected of using ped’s any way they feel, as they are also free to contextualize the performance of any eligible player.

    the hall could go further to acknowledge the steroids era as a real thing that affected the landscape of the game, and could go further to suggest that its simply ridiculous to use suspected ped use as a means of exclusion.

    as far as the character clause, players have been guilty of far worse than using steroids, and have been granted admission into the hall by the same esteemed and aggrieved electorate.

    and finally, while there may be a case made that gambling on your team may not necessariy be appreciably worse than using peds, it doesn’t change hte fact that pete rose is on the ineligible list, whereas the ped-users are not. so shaddupaboutitalready.

    Comment by metsmarathon — January 7, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

  17. I like some of your ideas, but with regards to guidelines for the “steroid era”: what do we define as the “steroid era”? Everyone has it differently. Some might consider the use of amphetamines in the 1960s as the start, some might say it was the day Jose Canseco made his big-league debut. For me (and I’m sure many others), the steroid era began the day MLB decided to introduce mandatory drug testing. Before that day, you could be a walking pharmacy and no punishment will ever come to you. There were no rules saying you couldn’t take whatever, and you couldn’t be caught because there was no testing. I would have a much harder time voting for Palmeiro or Manny Ramirez, even though I always loved Manny and it pains me to say that, because they were caught cheating according to the game’s laws. But that’s just me.

    Another thing that needs to be done is open up the ballot. The limit of 10 really hamstrings voters, and thanks to a larger 30-team league there’s more borderline candidates. The limit of 10 really hurts a guy like Kenny Lofton, who had a fantastic career and warrants some serious consideration at the very least. And yet, you don’t want every Joe Schlub getting in. So here’s what I propose: allow BBWAA voters to vote for a maximum of 15 players, but you must give votes to at least 10 players. So no more of these ballots with 3 guys, or the blank ballots that play into percentages instead of being deemed spoiled. At the same time, a maximum of 15 would allow BBWAA members to vote for the first-ballot legends coming down the pipe — Bonds, Clemens, Griffey, Pedro, etc. — and still have room for the deserving and/or borderline consideration guys like Trammell, Lofton, Raines, Edgar, Larry Walker, hell even a Jack Morris-type if you want to put him in that category. I think that would help ease the glut, especially if Bonds, Clemens et al keep hanging around the ballot for awhile yet.

    Comment by Sharkey — January 7, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  18. +1

    Comment by shane — January 7, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

  19. What counts as a cheater? Is it anyone who used steroids, or is it anyone who used steroids after they were banned?

    Is Gaylord Perry a cheater because of his spitball? Is Sammy Sosa a cheater because of his corked bat?

    If you want to call Perry and Sosa cheaters for those reasons, I’d agree. If you want to call Manny Ramirez a cheater because he failed a drug test when those drugs were banned, fine. But it’s not accurate to call someone a cheater when the thing he did wasn’t against the rules of the game.

    Comment by Howard — January 7, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

  20. I don’t see any reason why there would be any need to go past the first category. The PED issue should be addressed: either say they don’t matter, say the voters should weigh it against the overall career, or say that anyone who the voter thinks did PEDs shouldn’t be eligible. However, the HoF has to say SOMETHING. However, after that happens I don’t think any further reform is necessary. I’m very comfortable with the way that new stats are being used within the old rigid counting numbers format and I’m very comfortable with the failsafe that is the Veteran’s Committee.

    Ron Santo and Bert Blyleven were non-traditional HoF candidates who were probably deserving and they finally got in. Do we need to comb through history to find other new stats guys that might be deserving? I’m sure there are some. However, guys who had a short peak like Edgar really have no business in the hall in my humble opinion, especially with the steroids and DH asterisks hanging around. The fielty that some voters have for counting stats takes that into account.

    Comment by stan — January 7, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

  21. and, I should add that guys who have such a long career that their counting stats get up to 3,000 hits, etc. should get in regardless if their peaks weren’t as good as some of the others they played with. Sure, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor and Cal Ripken don’t have the rate stats of some of the other sluggers of their time, but their career records have to count for something, IMHO.

    Comment by stan — January 7, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  22. If you ask everyone who the greatest baseball player they ever witnessed play the game, you will get a thousand answers. To me, Barry Bonds is that guy. He was a HOF player even before the suspected juicing occurred. I know there is a moral component to the election. Just the common perception of using PEDs will automatically disqualify Bonds in many voters eyes. For a Fangraphs reader, my voting process is very unscientific. If you ask me if a player is a HOFer, I have to immediately answer “yes” in my head for him to be considered. If I have to even debate it, then I don’t consider it. I am a “small hall” kind of guy. For the record, Barry Bonds is one of those players.

    Comment by Atari — January 7, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

  23. Unfortunately, the Hall of Merit folks seem just as closed-minded as the BBWAA voters. There’s an incredibly strong bias toward early/DBE players and a general reluctance to consider players based on the understanding of the game as it was when they played. For example, there’s enough debate over defensive metrics as they exist now; few people outside that bubble would do anything but laugh at the thought of using them to condemn players from the 40s and 50s.

    Comment by gnomez — January 7, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

  24. Well, they could still be voted in by the Veterans Committee.

    Comment by Atari — January 7, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

  25. My own preferred change to the Hall of Fame is more radical, and most people won’t like it. The first thing is to take the name seriously. It’s a hall and not a list. Build a museum that contains things that would interest baseball fans the most. It would probably contain lists of players, teams and events that are famous and, I would add, interesting. Some things that I would put in the Hall of Fame (and maybe are) include Don Larsen’s perfect game in the World Series, Roy Face’s astounding 18-1 W-L as a reliever, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych’s brief but spectacular career and the great excitement that occurred whenever he pitched and the fascinating Jimmy Piersall.
    Remember, it’s Hall of Fame, not List of Players Who Performed Well Over a Long Period of Time.
    A board of curators (how selected, I don’t know) would decide what the exhibits are, just as with any hall or museum.

    Comment by Baltar — January 7, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

  26. The HOF was already in trouble before PEDs, I think, as a result of a change of emphasis from peak (and team) performance to longevity. Until fairly recently a guy who played over 2000 games, won Gold Gloves in CF, won a batting title,and was the best position player on three World Championship teams (and a close second another time) would have been a sure Hall of Famer; whereas a corner infielder who was never better than the third-best player on his team, couldn’t field much, and never led in anything except GIDP would not be a HOF contender even if he played 2700 games. Now it’s the reverse.

    [Actually this even applies to shorter timespans – the basic argument for Jack Morris is that “he was the best AL pitcher of the 80s,” when really Clemens was better but didn’t pitch as many years.]

    As a result, all of the comparisons between current HOF members and aspirants are basically meaningless. We’re simply talking about different standards. I’m not saying we should go by set criteria like the LPGA, but I do think that arguments along the lines of “if X is in, Y should be too” should be ruled out.

    Comment by Mr Punch — January 7, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

  27. Anyone else see that interview on MLB Net with Murray Chass this morning? Ugh…

    Comment by BrocNessMonster — January 7, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

  28. If nobody gets 75% of the vote, I won’t treat that as evidence that the Hall of Fame process is irretrievably broken and ought to be replaced with an elitist system. It is a difficult ballot for a number of reasons, and the absence of sufficient consensus is understandable, in my view.

    Curt Schilling is a clear Hall of Famer. Jack Morris is clearly not. This has nothing to do with PEDs It is nonetheless likely that Morris will get more votes than Schilling, which is a reflection of the makeup of those eligible to vote. The makeup of the electorate is changing, and will continue to change.

    If you wanted to modify the process (but not the electorate), you could do something like this:

    1. the player with the most votes each year would be inducted, and
    2. every 10 years, hold a conference with all eligible electors invited. At the end of the conference, those present can vote and the 10 players with the most votes are admitted.

    That way, you end up with two players per year, and it is more manageable administratively. The easy cases should get resolved (in the main) easily, and most of the harder cases get resolved at the conference.

    Comment by Mike Green — January 7, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

  29. Just say, “Players should be considered in comparison to the era they played in.”

    Was it a PED era? Sure. Was Bonds the best player of that era? Yup. So, he goes in. This eliminates the “historical context” stuff that is ultimately meaningless. The game changes over time, from uses of illegal PEDs, to use of legal PEDs, to surgeries that prolong careers far beyond what they would’ve been decades ago, to integration, to changes in the mound, the ball itself, fences in or out, the uses of computers to help analyze things, etc… It’s barely the same game in some respects. 3000 hits today is not the same as 3000 hits from a guy in the 40s. Today, it’s almost as much a result of medicine as it is skill.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — January 7, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

  30. “Yes, steroid users were cheaters”.

    No, for most of the history of baseball, there were no rules against them. We’ve had steroids in baseball since the 50s. I’m not sure why everyone seems to think they became a problem in the 90s.

    Comment by Synovia — January 7, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

  31. I take some exception to the statement that “we” all looked the other way. I would say rather that those with a stake in the game (including writers – paid to write about the game) looked the other way. The general public had no opportunity to look either way.

    Now many writers are trying to excuse themselves from responsibility by saying everybody was doing it (looking the other way), eerily similar to the excuse for players using PEDs, as if that’s some sort of justification.

    Writers, owners, managers, and Bud Selig were all enablers for the PED era and , like many enablers when exposed, are trying to wash their hands of the whole mess with the argument that it’s irresolvable. Lazy.

    Any resolution of the PED issue to get into the Hall of Fame should be child-tested first. Tell a child that because “everyone was doing it” it’s okay for PED users to enter the Hall of Fame. Tell children that cheating is not only allowed but rewarded in baseball. Tell children that in life, just like in baseball, anything that gets you ahead is permissible.

    Comment by PackBob — January 7, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

  32. Who says that Lofton, MOrris, etc, didnt?

    Comment by Synovia — January 7, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

  33. The Hall of Fame has numerous exhibits honoring those kinds of milestones, like Fernando Tatis’ two grand slams in one inning. It’s a museum celebrating the history of baseball. The wall of enshrined players’ plaques (which I recall as being oddly placed right next to the gift shop?) is just one part of the museum.

    Comment by adam w — January 7, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

  34. When arguably the best player in the history of the game doesn’t get in, thats a process problem.

    Comment by Synovia — January 7, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

  35. Bonds hit against drastically better pitchers than Ruth did. Bonds hit to drastically better defenders than Ruth did.

    Comment by Synovia — January 7, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

  36. Some of us don’t care whether or not “everyone was doing it”.

    We don’t care that anyone was doing it. We think its irrelevant. They played. It happened. It was part of the game.

    Baseball makes a point of not changing things that already happened. This isn’t Cycling where you vacate championships years after they happened. When the game is over, its over, and it goes into the books.

    You want to get rid of Barry Bonds? Get rid of Babe Ruth and his sheep testosterone injections. Get rid of Hank Aaron and his greenies.

    If you want to discount everyone in the Steroid Era, get rid of everyone in the Amphetamine Era. Get rid of everyone in the Cocaine Era. Get rid of everyone in the Doctored Ball Era.

    You want to do the “child-test?” Dump the whole hall of fame, because nobody passes.

    Comment by Synovia — January 7, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

  37. That’s not a process problem, that’s having a problem with the way people interpret the voting criteria. You can’t eliminate that with a change to the voting process, though you might be able to change what the interpretive problem is.

    Comment by philosofool — January 7, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

  38. Don’t pretend like there aren’t degrees of cheating. That’s fallacious.

    Comment by philosofool — January 7, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  39. your kids will learn that cheating pays off eventually, might as well let baseball teach them.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — January 7, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

  40. Don’t pretend like there aren’t greater scourges in baseball than roids that have been nicely glossed over. That’s also fallacious. Don’t forget that the biggest push to clean roids out of baseball came not from within baseball itself. Nor from the members of the oh-so-holy BBWAA (And jeopardize access to locker rooms and confidential sources? HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!) but from a bunch of do nothing grandstanders in CONGRESS. So there’s that. But yeah, let’s keep Jeff Bagwell out of the HOF because former Rep. Tom Davis got a chubby for some face time in front of the camera…

    Comment by David — January 7, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

  41. Do not like the idea of a fan vote at all. It would be too much of a popularity contest. Do we really want Michael Young in the HOF?

    Comment by Aidan — January 7, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

  42. Can you please back this up with evidence, citations or sources?

    Comment by philosofool — January 7, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

  43. Which would be a good argument if they were roughly equivalent hitters relative to their leagues–you take the guy who faced stiffer competition. But Ruth’s accomplishments, taken as a whole, so surpassed his competition that I can’t see the argument that Bonds is the best ever. There’s got to be a level of performance that goes past the error bars associated with comparing different eras, otherwise we’d have no way of knowing that Babe Ruth is a greater hitter than Jeff Francoeur. And to me, Ruth passes that level of performance compared to every hitter who ever played: even if you deduct a lot for era, you’re still left with a level of performance so unique that he’s the best ever.

    Comment by Anon21 — January 7, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  44. The biggest problem with the steroid/cheating scenarios that are commonly cited is a fundamental misunderstanding of the rules. Steroids have been banned in baseball for decades. Prior a few years ago, there was no testing or mandatory punishment, but they were against the rules.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1151761/index.htm

    Comment by TKDC — January 7, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

  45. Bruce Chen 4 HOF.

    Comment by samuelraphael — January 7, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  46. to most, greatness takes the context of the era into account very heavily.

    Comment by TKDC — January 7, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

  47. I hope Dale Murphy gets in, (though I know he won’t) I know his statistics are debatable and fringe (at best) HOF numbers.

    But I also feel like if we are going to use the character rule to exclude people from the Hall, we should also use it to include the guys like Murphy who were true ambassadors of the sport.

    Plus he was one of only ten players to win back to back MVP awards.

    Comment by Wil — January 7, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  48. The biggest clarification I think that should be made is that writer’s should not vote based on speculation. Sure, maybe Bagwell did roids. But there have been a lot of guys already voted in who might have done roids, too. At the very least, “punishment” should be based on substantial evidence of use.

    Personally, I would only punish players where it seems fairly clear that they would not be HOF quality players without roids. This still creates some close cases and requires some leaps of faith, but I think a HOF without some of the greatest players ever (Bonds, Clemens, Arod) is silly, but I think allowing a guy in like Sosa or McGwire, while leaving out guys like Larry Walker or McGriff, who I think would have had better careers than the former if they did not use roids, is wrong. I’d still have problems even with my rules, with guys like Palmiero and Ramirez, who are clearly worthy based on numbers, but it is not as clear to what degree those numbers were only achieved through cheating.

    Comment by TKDC — January 7, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  49. There will be an entire Yankee wing. They might as well move the ceremonies to New York. On the ESPN poll that’s up right now, which lists the top 25 candidates and allows voters to vote for only 10, Don Mattingly is 3rd. Its insane that he’s even among the top 25

    Comment by stan — January 7, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

  50. Put up or shut up on “heavily.” We know Ruth is a greater hitter than 99% of everyone who ever took a pitch in an MLB game. But should we know that? After all, they faced such different competition!

    I don’t think you get to hand wave away the difference between a 172 wRC+ and a 197 wRC+ with “era.” For me, Bonds is not in the conversation for greatest hitter ever. That conversation starts and ends with Ruth. If you want to say differently, at least make the argument, and don’t just gesture in the direction of an argument.

    Comment by Anon21 — January 7, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

  51. I just checked back and Mattingly is down to 7th. Still, 39.2% of the voters voted for him. That means that you can count on any “true Yankee” to get that many votes if you were to let fans do the voting.

    Comment by stan — January 7, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

  52. I am merely putting them in the category of “didn’t” due to the total lack of mention of them doing. The next category (bagwell, piazza) have suspicions, but never really substantiated. I am not trying to be a judge of who did, and who didn’t. Just stating how I have read it, and the players of the era.

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

  53. It is flawed because it lacks, or refuses entry to the following people.
    1. Pete Rose – all time hits king
    2. Barry Bonds – all time HR king
    3. Sammy Sosa – 1 of 2 NL players with 160+ RBI seasons, 60+ HR/seasons three or more times (only person), 600+ HR,
    4. Rafael Palmiero – 500hr/3000 hit (one of four),
    5. Roger Clemens – 350+ wins, 4500+ K, 7 Cy Young, 20K in a game

    Granted, those people all have baggage in regards to PED’s. But, if the hall cannot put those (statistics) in, then really, is it a hall of fame? It would be missing the HR king, Hits king, arguably one of the top pitchers of this generation, and alot of “one of x people to do this”. If that isn’t a deep flaw, what is?

    We have other “dubious” characters, who did dubious stuff, both to themselves, as well as others in the hall. Why cannot we find room for these people?

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

  54. Anon, I cant agree with you on Ruth being one of the great hitters… Sluggers, I can agree with you. But, not hitters. There is a fine distinction. Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn – great hitters.. Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, great sluggers. See the distinction?

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  55. I certainly see the distinction, but I cannot see how it applies to Ruth. The man batted .342 for his career and got on base at a .474 clip. And yes, he also hit for a preposterous amount of power. But the presence of power doesn’t wash out his greatness as an all-around hitter; rather, it’s one component of that greatness.

    But maybe I’m not getting your distinction after all. What are some marks of a great hitter that Ruth failed to meet? And in explaining, please compare him to other players, not to himself; having an incredible ISO is not in any way evidence that a player was not a great hitter.

    Comment by Anon21 — January 7, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

  56. ok, I can concede a few parts. But, some of his ability was due to the “horse” mentality of pitchers wanting to pitch every day, every inning, every month and year. Pitchers had tired arms then. Now, they have a fresh arm in the sixth inning on. And, a new person every day for five or six days. Not saying that pitching TALENT is deeper (but I would agree it is). Rather, the point I am making is that he faced many tired arms and abused them with his bat.

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

  57. I cannot tell which writers earning a paycheck during the steroid era knew about the roids and condoned it, which writers knew about them and did nothing, or which writers didn’t know about the roids. Hence I think they should all be disqualified from the voting process

    Comment by Irony — January 7, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

  58. Why are you assuming Larry Walker and Fred McGriff didn’t do roids?

    Comment by RC — January 7, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

  59. THat there were steroids in baseball before the 90s?

    BABE RUTH WAS INJECTING HIMSELF WITH SHEEP TESTOSTERONE. IN THE 20S.

    Do you really think that they just dissapeared for 70 years?

    Comment by RC — January 7, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

  60. “, that’s having a problem with the way people interpret the voting criteria. ”

    When people don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing, thats a process problem.

    Comment by RC — January 7, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

  61. What a mess… The Moody Blues are NOT in the Hall of Fame but Charles Comiskey is in? Something smells like apples and oranges here.

    Comment by algionfriddo — January 7, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

  62. I just want to provide some food for thought for anyone who trivializes the era consideration. Johnny Weissmuller was a dominant Olympic swimmer during the 20’s; in fact, many considered him to be the greatest swimmer ever at the time. He went on to star as Tarzan in the movies. He was a pretty big deal.

    I just checked the 2012 high school state championship results of my state of residence (tiny Delaware), and his time would have lost out to a freshman girl in the 100 free. I fully recognize that this is not close to an apples-to-apples comparison, but just keep this in mind when considering era adjustments.

    I would personally find it difficult to believe that Ruth would crush Bonds even though Tarzan would lose to some 14-year-old girls, but perhaps others think baseball is *so* different from other sports as to render such comparisons completely worthless.

    Comment by mickeyg13 — January 7, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

  63. why are you assuming everybody did?

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

  64. as far as we know of, only 89 people were named in the Mitchell Report, and only a handful (of others) afterwards have positively tested for PED’s.. So, appx. 100, give or take have taken PED’s (given the evidence of investigation (mitchell) or test. That is appx 1/30ish of MLB, given that there are 25 on a roster, and there are 30 teams. Okay, there are players added to rosters, but not enough to skew the appx number. So, I ask, Why are you judging all the good players by a statistical minority?

    The recent conclusion is If a player is good, he must be on PED’s.. That conclusion is just wrong. Terribly wrong to those that actually got where they are by hard work.. honest hard work. (it happens, really!)

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

  65. correction.. 4/30

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

  66. This means way more to most players than it does to us. There’d be no greater feeling to an inductee than to be nominated and elected by their peers. Let baseball police their own (and reward their own). Most of these guys hate talking to the media every day so the writers’ bias inherent in the antiquated BBWAA voting is off the charts.

    Give every guy who played in one All-Star game (I know, also a biased process) during the time of the candidate’s tenure in the league a vote. 75% still passes. Done.

    Comment by Brent Daily — January 7, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

  67. But you know what they’re supposed to be voting for, right, RC? You know what “integrity, character and sportsmanship” means with exactness, right, RC?

    You know, don’t you RC, what the concepts of justice, fairness, and equaltiy mean?

    So we don’t need to vote anymore, right? We can just ask RC what’s best. No need for democracy, right?

    Comment by philosofool — January 7, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

  68. TY Mickey. Yes, Ruth dominated his era, but frankly, given his reported work ethic, night habits, etc etc, I am not even sure he would make a roster today (unless he changed those flaws in his habits).

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

  69. frankly, given his reported work ethic, night habits, etc etc, I am not even sure he would make a roster today (unless he changed those flaws in his habits).

    This…. this is just fucking dumb. Bats are the same, balls are the same. You plop Babe Ruth down in 2012, he’ll hit. Maybe not as well as he did, and maybe not right away, but the man is a goddamn titan at this game, and to say he’d be unrosterable today is just ignorant.

    Comment by Anon21 — January 7, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

  70. I halfway agree with you – Shilling in. But, Morris not even a HoF’r? Just read an article outlining his credentials.

    1. Opening day pitcher 14 straight years, for three teams.
    2. Game One pitcher in playoffs, 6 of 7 yrs, for three teams.
    3. Winningest pitcher 1980’s. 20% more than anybody else.
    4. Pitched 18% more innings than any over 1979-1992.
    5. Pitched 8+ innings 45% of the time (career)(next is C. Hough at 75 less games)

    Yes, He started the season, and ended it. Was the choice of the manager in important games, and was a durable workhorse who didn’t give in. That is more than a mere pitcher. That’s the criteria for ACE. He didn’t just come close, he did it, and then some. Evidence, Game 7 1991 is his crowning achievement, pitching all 10 innings in the WS finale that year, winning it 1-0, and with it, the WS MVP. What else do you want your pitcher to do?

    Comment by Cidron — January 7, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

  71. I actually agree with Larry Bowa for once……just put a plaque that say this was the PED era and call it a day.

    Comment by DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy — January 8, 2013 @ 12:21 am

  72. No one does, thats kind of my point asshole.

    Comment by RC — January 8, 2013 @ 12:37 am

  73. No, its not.

    Look at football. 50 years ago, Linemen were 220 lbs. Now they’re 350.

    75 years ago, the pitchers Babe Ruth was hitting were guys who took a couple weeks off from harvesting corn to play baseball. Now they’re people who are groomed from the time they’re 6 years old to play the game.

    Comment by RC — January 8, 2013 @ 12:39 am

  74. The Mitchell report accounted for one trainer, out of 30. And we got roughly 1/30th of baseball.

    We can only test for a small fraction of whats out there. The testing is 20 years behind the market.

    Comment by RC — January 8, 2013 @ 12:41 am

  75. You’re just exaggerating, or possibly conflating 19th century baseball with the 1920s and ’30s. Baseball was very much a professional sport when Ruth played; not all the players made a good living off it, but they were all professional athletes, not farmboys.

    And the comparisons to swimming and even football aren’t good ones. Baseball is much less a test of raw physical ability than any other major sport; speed, strength, and endurance won’t get you anywhere if you can’t also pick up some skills that have little to do with physical talent. The batter-pitcher confrontation at the heart of the game has changed in the past 80 years, but the fundamental structure is intact, and I don’t know of any reason to think that today’s players are so much better at hand-eye coordination or bat control than were their peers in the 1920s.

    I’m really interested to see what some of you other intense Ruth skeptics think the appropriate Ruth comparison point is. Cidron’s on record with his stupid view: Ruth wouldn’t make a major league roster if he somehow traveled to the present day. Do the rest of you agree, or do you think he could be as good a hitter as, say, Justin Smoak if he were brought to 2012 during his prime?

    Comment by Anon21 — January 8, 2013 @ 12:51 am

  76. Players who cheated should voluntarily exclude themselves from consideration for the HoF.

    It would solve a lot of the problems, and be a suitable way to atone for tarnishing the image of the game they claim to love. Since their cheating destroyed the dreams of many AAA and AAAA players who never made it to the show, setting aside their dreams of the HoF seems fitting.

    Problem solved.

    Comment by Sivart — January 8, 2013 @ 1:46 am

  77. Just a thought- Would a power of veto for current Members of the HOF be used be feasible if say, 75% of current members didn’t want someone inducted?

    Comment by Paul4671 — January 8, 2013 @ 2:08 am

  78. Why do you think this would be a good idea. Had we had this in the 50s, there would be no black players in the HOF. If we did it now, probably no gay players will ever be in the HOF.

    Comment by RC — January 8, 2013 @ 8:56 am

  79. Might as well call it the “Empty Hall” at that point. The only people left would be the dead guys who can’t voluntarily exclude themselves.

    Comment by RC — January 8, 2013 @ 8:57 am

  80. Yeah, agree that fans voting is a really bad idea.

    Comment by Kris — January 8, 2013 @ 9:17 am

  81. I had a bunch of friends in college who were scholarship athletes in a sport where there’s no chance of making a career out of it (not baseball). The rewards for PED use were lower, the penalties were higher (possibly expulsion and charges), and the testing was more frequent.

    And yet, it was rampant there. Some guys were on stuff that couldn’t be tested for (yet) and the other guys found ways around it (other people’s urine, etc). I’m not naive enough to think these guys just stop when they hit the pros.

    Comment by Synovia — January 8, 2013 @ 9:25 am

  82. I want my “ace” to be better than league average at keeping the opponent from scoring runs. Or is that not a consideration for the effectiveness of a pitcher anymore?

    Comment by Kris — January 8, 2013 @ 9:30 am

  83. So is this just you complaining about not having enough sabermetric friendly people voting?

    Comment by Average Fan — January 8, 2013 @ 9:50 am

  84. RC,

    I’m not assuming they aren’t on roids, I just would not think to punish someone for no reason. I don’t whether or not you cheat on your taxes, but I’m not going to go around claiming you do because you drive a nicer car than me.

    Comment by TKDC — January 8, 2013 @ 10:54 am

  85. And to clarify, I never even claimed that anyone wasn’t on roids. I said I thought Sosa and McGwire would not have had nearly the careers they had if THEY were not on roids. The problem with taking the roids argument to the extreme is that then you can’t make any conclusion. For some, this means just voting based on what happened on the field. I’m fine with these people. I don’t agree with them, but I understand the “throw your arms in the air” mentality.

    Comment by TKDC — January 8, 2013 @ 10:58 am

  86. I don’t agree with your rationale, but this is a stupid idea. Why the hell do we need a vindictive process to remove (probably dead) people from the hall of fame?

    And at least 25% of voters would be fundamentally against this so it would never happen. If Robin Yount came out tomorrow and said he used steroids, you would not find 75% of sports writers who think he should be kicked out of the hall of fame, whatever that means.

    Comment by TKDC — January 8, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  87. The first and easiest change to make is to increase the number of players voters can vote for. To save face, you can base the change on the fact there are about twice as many players (since there are about twice as many teams) as there were in 1936. I think it should be unlimited, but 20 would be enough for almost everyone to vote for all of their prefered selections.

    Comment by TKDC — January 8, 2013 @ 11:05 am

  88. “Cidron’s on record with his stupid view”

    In other words, “that jackelope disagreed with me; how dare he! Ergo his opinion must be stupid.”

    That’s a healthy way to approach debate or disagreement.

    Comment by Jason B — January 8, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  89. RC for the win!

    Comment by Jason B — January 8, 2013 @ 11:33 am

  90. I’m not going to apologize for calling a spade a spade. There’s a range of reasonable disagreements, and then there’s stupid. It’s like if you were debating gun control, and your opponent said “Not only do guns not kill people, they’re not even capable of killing people, because the only bullets that exist are made of foam rubber!” Some opinions deserve neither respect nor consideration.

    Comment by Anon21 — January 8, 2013 @ 11:57 am

  91. “And the comparisons to swimming and even football aren’t good ones. Baseball is much less a test of raw physical ability than any other major sport”

    This is so much bullshit its unbelievable.

    Comment by Synovia — January 8, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

  92. ” The problem with taking the roids argument to the extreme is that then you can’t make any conclusion.”

    Right, but this goes either way. There’s no real difference between assuming everyone did it, and assuming that guys who didn’t test positive at some point are clean.

    We don’t know. Either disregard the whole era, or include it. Anything else is just acting on ignorance.

    Comment by Synovia — January 8, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

  93. Career ERA- of 95. So, ever so slightly better than league average.

    Comment by diegosanchez — January 8, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

  94. Perhaps you’d care to nominate any major sport that’s less dependent on raw physical ability than baseball? I mean, it’s almost a joke how there are so many baseball players who clearly don’t give a shit about staying in shape )in the sense of maintaining an athletic physique) who nonetheless find success in the major leagues.

    Comment by Anon21 — January 8, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

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