BBWAA Releases Ridiculously Crowded HOF Ballot

Today, the Baseball Writer’s Association of America has released the official 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot, and because the organization did not induct a single candidate last year, the ballot is more crowded than ever. For reference, here are the 36 names on the list, along with their career WAR.


Name WAR
Barry Bonds 164.1
Roger Clemens 139.9
Greg Maddux 114.3
Curt Schilling 83.5
Mike Mussina 82.3
Jeff Bagwell 80.3
Frank Thomas 72.4
Rafael Palmeiro 70.0
Larry Walker 69.0
Tim Raines 66.3
Mark McGwire 66.3
Edgar Martinez 65.6
Craig Biggio 65.3
Tom Glavine 63.9
Alan Trammell 63.7
Mike Piazza 63.6
Sammy Sosa 60.4
Fred McGriff 57.2
Jeff Kent 56.6
Luis Gonzalez 55.3
Jack Morris 52.7
Moises Alou 48.2
Kenny Rogers 47.2
Don Mattingly 40.7
Ray Durham 30.3
Lee Smith 27.6
Hideo Nomo 24.0
Paul Lo Duca 17.8
Richie Sexson 17.2
Sean Casey 16.1
Jacque Jones 13.1
Mike Timlin 13.1
J.T. Snow 12.6
Eric Gagne 11.9
Todd Jones 11.2
Armando Benitez 9.0

A general rule of thumb is that +60 WAR is a pretty decent dividing line for Hall of Famers. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but generally, guys in the +60 WAR range get real consideration for the HOF, and once you get above +80 WAR, you’re basically a lock to get in. +50 to +70 is really the big gray area among which reasonable people can disagree on their candidacy, and obviously, you begin to dig into far more than just career WAR to evaluate their case.

There are six guys on this year’s ballot above +80, meaning that if it weren’t for PEDs, they’d essentially be automatic shoo-ins, or at least, they should be. There’s another 11 beyond those seven that at least cleared the +60 WAR barrier, and four more that are between +50 and +60, including Jack Morris, who is returning with the second highest vote total from last year. I’d say that you can make at least some kind of case for 21 of the 36 guys on the ballot, and can make a strong case for 17 of those 22.

And yet, voters are still limited to a maximum of 10 votes apiece. Even if a qualified voter believes that there are more than 10 qualified candidates this year, he is unable to have his ballot reflect that belief, because the BBWAA and the Hall of Fame continue to hold fast to an archaic 10 slot ballot that fills no actual purpose.

You want to keep Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Palmeiro, Sosa, and Piazza out of the HOF because you don’t like their body shape or the potential that you might be voting for someone who might have used PEDs at some point in his career? Fine, exclude them all, and I can still list off 11 worthy candidates. And if you happen to think that the Hall of Fame should recognize some of the greatest players the game has ever seen, whether or not they used PEDs, well, then you’re tossing worthy players who aren’t suspected of PED use of your ballot.

I’d imagine that we’ll clear a few names off the list this year. If Greg Maddux doesn’t get in, the whole thing becomes a total joke. Morris will probably get in because it’s his last chance and he doesn’t have to add too many more votes to get in. Biggio should get in as well, and was close last year. Thomas should have a very good chance of getting elected, but as a general rule, the BBWAA doesn’t induct classes of more than three players at a time, and I wouldn’t expect that to change this year. So one of the great right-handed hitters of all time probably won’t get in this year, and he can join Jeff Bagwell on the sidelines wondering what kind of system this is.

This whole system needs a complete revamp, but at the very least, the 10 player limit should be removed. I don’t know how someone can look at this year’s list of candidates and say that no one should be able to find more than 10 people to vote for. You might not agree with someone wanting to put more than 10 guys in, but at the very least, voters should have the right to believe that there are more than 10 HOF players listed up above.

If you want to compare the players on the ballots side by side, here is a custom leaderboard of the 36 candidates.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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AverageMeansAverageOverTime
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AverageMeansAverageOverTime
2 years 7 months ago

Don’t care. I lost interest in the Hall ages ago.

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles
2 years 7 months ago

So, why then did you click on this story and choose to take time to post? Hmm, something does not add up.

LaLoosh
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2 years 7 months ago

Hurdle:
posts like this are completely ridiculous.

matt
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matt
2 years 7 months ago

You’re awesome.

Bill S
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Bill S
2 years 7 months ago

Methinks thou dost post too much.

Shakespere
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Shakespere
2 years 7 months ago

doth*

The Sauce
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The Sauce
2 years 7 months ago

Dost is correct.
Also, Shakespeare*

Macbeth
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Macbeth
2 years 7 months ago

Ho, Snappeth

Chicago Mark
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Chicago Mark
2 years 7 months ago

Wait a second. Cameron writes an article about how he’s lost interest in the MVP award and he’s our hero. Average writes a post stating how he’s lost interest in the HOF and gets negative votes. Things that make you go HMMMMMMMMMMM!

readujt619
Member
readujt619
2 years 7 months ago

>>>>>>> what Chris said I am inspired that a stay at home mom able to make $7325 in one month on the internet. hop over to here……. Buzz16. com >>>>>>>

Plucky
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Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

Kenny Lofton is already an inexcusable casualty of the 10-player limit on ballots. Even if they change that rule (which they should but won’t), where does he go for justice?

cass
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cass
2 years 7 months ago

Veterans Committee.

Plucky
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Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

That’s what? 15 years from now?

Lou Whitaker
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Lou Whitaker
2 years 7 months ago

For me, it’s only 4 years from now.

Bobby Grich
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Bobby Grich
2 years 7 months ago

If Lou Whitaker can a shot than surely I do too

Forrest Gumption
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Forrest Gumption
2 years 7 months ago

Bobby Grich had a 69.1 WAR for his career!

Should have been 1st ballot. Shame…

Pirates Hurdles
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Pirates Hurdles
2 years 7 months ago

Is Lofton really inexcusable? He’s a bubble candidate anyway unless you’re a very big hall kind of guy. I agree he shoudl have lingered, but I doubt he was ever getting voted in.

Lou Whitaker
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Lou Whitaker
2 years 7 months ago

I think he meant it’s inexcusable that he got bumped off the ballot in his first year of eligibility, before there was any chance to debate which side of the bubble he was on.

I mean really, how much better was Kirby Puckett that he was elected on his first ballot.

Plucky
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Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

That is primarily what I meant. Reasonable people can disagree on the merits (I’d vote him in) but he’s the exact sort of player who ought to be the subject of years-long big hall/small hall debates, not bounced immediately. Instead we have them over players like Jim Rice

NickSorbello
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Dude, Kirby Puckett had Glaucoma or something. He’s an inspiration to us all. lol.

Andruw Jones
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Andruw Jones
2 years 7 months ago

Thurman Munson died even younger than Puckett, with about the same WAR.

Snowman
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Snowman
2 years 7 months ago

And as far as we know, Munson didn’t sexually assault women.

Joe R
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Joe R
2 years 7 months ago

Not to mention Kirby Puckett was actually a jackass in real life, or at least nowhere near the nice guy the media portrayed.

But of course, you want a difference between Puckett and Lofton?

Puckett: .318 BA
Lofton: .299 BA

that’s about the analytical depth that 80% of BBWAA voters take it.

Small Hall
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Small Hall
2 years 7 months ago

Agree. He had 62 WAR, which gets him in the conversation, but the bar for outfielders has always been a little higher and he doesn’t meet it, just ask Tim Raines. Heck, Larry Walker is going to have a tough time and he’s head and shoulders above those guys and also had his career shortened by injury.

Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption
2 years 7 months ago

Bobby Grich was a 2B and had 69.1 WAR and is not in. Way bigger travesty than Lofton, who was not even close to the player Tim Raines was.

I’d put all 3 in, along with Dick Allen.

tz
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tz
2 years 7 months ago

Grich is so underrated, he gets overlooked even in discussions of the most underrated players of all time.

I saw the latter half of Grich’s career when I began watching baseball. He passed the eye test, and at the time was regarded as an elite player. If Grich had played for, say, the Yankees of the 30’s or late 90’s, he wouldn’t have found a way to avoid getting into the HOF.

Plucky
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Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

I’m not a Indians homer (Astros fan), but I would have had him on my ballot last year. Lofton was a 62 WAR player over his career, on pure WAR a marginal but usually-in candidate. I’m not a big-hall guy, but for guys who are marginal I give bonus points for a) not getting into marginal-by-WAR terrotory by lingering with 5 1.5-WAR seasons b) being the best at your position/role over a long stretch of time. Lofton gets point from me on both fronts- he only put up 3 seasons south of 2 WAR, one of which was injury-shortened, and he was the best leadoff hitter in baseball for close to a full decade

Steve Holt!!
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Steve Holt!!
2 years 7 months ago

Well blow me down… another Astros fan on Fangraphs. Biggio and Bagwell forever!! (By that, I mean I think they will be awaiting HoF induction forever). Sigh.

Freakshow
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Freakshow
2 years 7 months ago

Ken Caminiti 2016 baby!

Steve Holt!!
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Steve Holt!!
2 years 7 months ago

Well, Ken Caminiti was at least famous. Plus, if I close my eyes and ignore everything I know, I can’t see a PED issue there either…

Baltar
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Baltar
2 years 7 months ago

If I had a ballot, I would just vote for the top 10 players on the list above and be done with it. All 10 of them certainly deserve to be in, as do several more, but the ballot only allows 10 votes.

JimNYC
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JimNYC
2 years 7 months ago

I gotta say, my list this year is only nine players (yes, I’m leaving off the steroid holdouts):

Thomas, Maddux, Mussina, Bagwell, Glavine, Biggio, Raines, Martinez, Trammell.

I could maybe be talked into Kenny Lofton, but I certainly wouldn’t vote for him at first blush.

Cool Lester Smooth
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Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 7 months ago

No Schilling?

Really?

JimNYC
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JimNYC
2 years 7 months ago

I’ve vacillated like crazy back and forth on Schilling — I supported him grudgingly last year, and this year I’m not as sure.

My main problem with Schilling is that when I think of him, my first thought isn’t all the playoff success with Boston and Arizona — it’s all the wasted potential in Philly. Whenever Schilling’s name pops up, I automatically think “damn, if only he’d been able to pull it together, those mid-90’s Philly teams really could have been something.”

Keep in mind; the guy didn’t have a 5 WAR season until he was past 30. That would be basically unique amongst Hall of Fame pitchers — the only other guy I can think of who would qualify there would be Dazzy Vance and a bunch of knuckleballers. Or guys who don’t belong in the Hall at all, like Jesse Haines. Add in all the injuries — he never managed more than 3 straight 200 IP seasons, which is also pretty unusual among HOF pitchers. Basically, he’s a guy who didn’t put it together until he was 30; retired when he was 40; and spent a whole lot of the time in between dealing with nagging injuries.

Which is ok if you’re, say, Pedro Martinez, and absolutely dominating your competition in ways that have never been seen before. You can live with short peaks if you’re that kind of pitcher. But Schilling was never the best pitcher in his league. You can make an argument that he was second-best to his teammate in Arizona for a few years, but it just… on first blush, it just doesn’t seem like enough. His WAR total is certainly there, of course. But for me, at least, Schilling smells too much like a “what might have been” pitcher than a slam-dunk Hall of Famer. Sort of like an inverse Doc Gooden, I guess.

Mac
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Mac
2 years 7 months ago

Ah the Schilling Dilemma. It starts for me with the fact that he was smack dab in the middle of the astounding Maddux-Martinez-Johnson-Clemens era. That’s a clear tier of surefire HOFers (leaving aside the PED part).

Then there’s everyone else. Schilling leads the best of the rest for me, but I’d say Schilling’s closer to the guys below him (Mussina, Glavine) than the guys above him.

I’d be interested to hear how you put Glavine in the hall while leaving Schilling out.

mr33
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mr33
2 years 7 months ago

Schilling is the all-time leader in K/BB. He dominated in a way never seen before.

NBarnes
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NBarnes
2 years 7 months ago

You’d really deny Shilling your hall vote (if you had one, of course) based on the fact that his three-year peak came at the same time as, on the same team as, Randy Johnson’s? That’s pretty cold, man.

cass
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cass
2 years 7 months ago

Schilling is a no-doubter for me. 3000 strikeouts. Greatest ever K/BB ratio. Amazing postseason performances. Helped break the curse. Whether it’s great stats or a good story, he’s got it all.

Forrest Gumption
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Forrest Gumption
2 years 7 months ago

Schilling with 83.5 WAR needs to go in.

Jamie
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Jamie
2 years 7 months ago

Come on. Piazza has no links to steroids at all. Leaving him off is silly.

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
2 years 7 months ago

That was my thought as well. It’s strange to include Bagwell and exclude Piazza. They’re both obvious HOF’ers based on production, and neither has a direct link to PEDs.

JimNYC
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JimNYC
2 years 7 months ago

“No links” is in no way accurate. There have always been links with Piazza. He’s always denied using steroids, but he’s admitted using androstenedione (which is, you know, a steroid), and he’s admitted to inquiring about human growth hormone, and there have always been solid rumors about his steroid use:

http://thesteroidera.blogspot.com/2009/03/mike-piazza-steroids-allegations.html

JimNYC
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JimNYC
2 years 7 months ago

@Vaivalajeter — there’s nothing but _pure_ conjecture linking Bagwell with steroid use. If you’re assuming Bagwell used steroids, you’re doing it entirely on the basis of guesswork.

Piazza has a much more substantial evidentiary background for steroid use, although of course it’s not as certain as in somebody like Clemens or Bonds or Palmeiro. There are his admissions in his autobiography of inquiring about HGH, and there are the reports from newspaper reporters that he admitted it off the record, and reports from teammates of his that say that it was an open thing that he used steroids… it’s not a slam dunk, but there’s enough there to give me pause.

PaulIchiro!
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PaulIchiro!
2 years 7 months ago

@JimNYC – Bagwell did Andro

http://www.fangraphs.com/not/to-the-sivault-jeff-bagwell/

not that I’m painting him with the illegal PED brush, but if you want to rag on Piazza for it, at least be fair.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

There is some precedent for players being put back on the ballot after being dropped. Ron Santo, for instance, returned to the ballot in 1985 after getting less than five percent of the vote in 1980.

Given the sheer volume of strong candidates in this day and age, I won’t be surprised if that happens to Lofton and others.

Jason B
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Jason B
2 years 7 months ago

“where does he go for justice?”

The hall of justice? The justice league?

hmk
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hmk
2 years 7 months ago

david justice.

Euruproktos
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Euruproktos
2 years 7 months ago

He went to Atlanta for Justice.

Doug Lampert
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Doug Lampert
2 years 7 months ago

The ten vote limit IS NOT THE PROBLEM. If it goes away, NOTHING is solved.

There are not ten new worthy candidates coming up this year, the ballot is so clogged because so many of the VOTERS refuse to do their job and actually vote for people.

Let people have 2,000 names on their list, and all that happens is that the “I don’t vote for anyone crowd” doesn’t even face the fact that their idiocy makes people fall off the ballot as a disencentive.

Kick every voter off the list who submits a ballot without the name “Greg Maddux” on it.

That strikes me as no more radical than upping the number of votes and as FAR more effective since making 75% is a lot easier when there aren’t 20% or more being deliberate dicks about how they vote.

I’d also kick off anyone who doesn’t vote “Barry Bonds”, the hall is full of known cheaters, greenies were every bit as illegal and as more modern PEDs and are clearly performance enhancing.

cass
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cass
2 years 7 months ago

Frank Thomas and Greg Maddux will get in. Thomas is the anti-Bonds (because he spoke out against steroids, apparently) and Maddux is the anti-Clements (because it’s so obvious he didn’t use anything!!!!!). And everyone who votes for Clemens and Bonds will vote for Maddux and Thomas too.

Glavine also seems a good bet, but after those three, who knows?

coldseat
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coldseat
2 years 7 months ago

What? No Richie Sexson & his 35 inch bat?. Mr. Mariner will be disappointed.

Llewdor
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Llewdor
2 years 7 months ago

No love for Big Sexy?

Ben
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Ben
2 years 7 months ago

Greg Maddux is my all-time favorite player, but why is it obvious he didn’t use PEDs? Felix Heredia got busted for steroids, and he was one of the skinniest, least muscular players I’ve ever seen.

Drew
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Drew
2 years 7 months ago

I think he was joking around.

cass
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cass
2 years 7 months ago

The people who won’t vote for Bonds because of steroids will think it’s obvious. These people think that steroids works like Popeye’s spinach – shoot up some roids and bash some homeruns.

I have no idea who used and who didn’t and won’t make any assumptions. But other people will. I was mocking this simplistic view by including all those exclamation points. Personally, I’d vote for Clemens and Bonds without a second thought.

My favorite example for PED’s is Nook Logan. He used HGH. That still makes me laugh.

TKDC
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TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

You should have a good idea about at least some people who did use, such as those who tested positive or who were convicted of crimes connected to their use. What you don’t know is who didn’t use, and for the rest of eternity we’ll never. know.

cass
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cass
2 years 7 months ago

Even about the people we know used, we often don’t know exactly what they used, how often they used it, when they used it, and what effect it had on their performance. Hank Aaron has admitted to limited use of amphetamines, but we don’t know whether he is telling the truth or not. We could just take his word for it cause he’s a decent human being, but in his era, we know that illegal PED use was rampant, just like during the era in which Bonds and Clemens played. We certainly don’t know how many fewer home runs Aaron would have hit without using illegal drugs.

But my main point is that we don’t know who didn’t use and, as you say, we never will.

Double J
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Double J
2 years 7 months ago

well now everyone who wants can have a fraction of a vote. Deadspin BOUGHT an HoF ballot. http://deadspin.com/deadspin-buys-hall-of-fame-vote-will-turn-it-over-to-d-1467003665

Well-Beered Englishman
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Well-Beered Englishman
2 years 7 months ago

My imaginary ballot: Maddux, Schilling, Moose, Bagwell, Thomas, Raines, E. Martinez, Biggio, Glavine, Piazza (10).

I simply do not understand the philosophy of voting against players just to vote against them, or just so they don’t get elected the first year. I do not understand the idea of “I will vote against Player X now but vote for him in two years.” I do not. If you support a player’s entry in the Hall of Fame, vote for him.

But that’s why they don’t let young drunken hoodlums like me do the voting.

Armando Benitez
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Armando Benitez
2 years 7 months ago

So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

jon
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jon
2 years 7 months ago

“You want to keep Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Palmeiro, Sosa, and Piazza out of the HOF because you don’t like their body shape or the potential that you might be voting for someone who might have used PEDs at some point in his career?”

It makes me sad for Piazza to get lumped in with a bunch of confirmed cheats :(

Josh
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Josh
2 years 7 months ago

Agreed. The accusations against Piazza are almost as ludicrous as those against Bagwell. Why can’t we just treat players as clean until someone proves they’ve used?

Pig.Pen
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Pig.Pen
2 years 7 months ago

Confirmed by who? Who confirmed any of those guys “cheated” other than Palmeiro? Maybe you could say confirmed PED users in the case of McGwire and Bonds, but it has to be against the rules for it to be cheating. A court of law couldn’t convict Clemens of cheating, so I’d hardly say he’s “confirmed.”

In the end, it makes me sad to be lumped in with a confirmed plagiarist like you Jon. :(

Anon21
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Anon21
2 years 7 months ago

but it has to be against the rules for it to be cheating.

Not sure I grasp your point. Use of PEDs was against the rules throughout the time Bonds and McGwire played, there just was no punishment associated with breaking the relevant rules.

A court of law couldn’t convict Clemens of cheating, so I’d hardly say he’s “confirmed.”

A court of law, using a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of proof that is not used outside the context of criminal trials, acquitted Clemens of knowingly lying to Congress when he said he never took performance-enhancing drugs. If there are other reliable reports establishing that Clemens did use PEDs (I don’t know if there are, because I don’t care who did or didn’t use PEDs), their validity isn’t called into question by that verdict.

Plucky
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Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

I’m pretty sure MLB did not explitly ban use of steroids, HGH, amphetamines, until the 2004 CBA. Now, without a doctors prescription it was illegal to use any of those, but it was not against MLB rules, nor did the CBA make general illegal drug use against the rules. In the case of steroids, those didn’t even become a controlled substance until the early 90s (what Canseco was doing in the ’80s was neither against MLB rules nor illegal).

With Clemens, a federal prosecutor with powers of subpeona tried to prove he used PED (proving use would have then proven perjury). The only evidence he came up with was the testimony of 1 shady trainer. No physical evidence whatsoever. The case was so weak and the prosecution so obviously vindictive that multiple jurors in their de-brief after the trial said not only was acquitting him easy but that the trial substantially reduced their faith in the fairness of the criminal justice system.

mr33
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mr33
2 years 7 months ago

This doesn’t address his point that different situations require different standard of proof. Not all cases are criminal cases. Surely, if there was any reason for somebody (with pockets as deep as Clemens) to sue Clemens, the plaintiff’s lawyers, with subpoena power, ability to do depositions, etc., would be able win a jury trial. Lance Armstrong may not have left any physical evidence, but he undoubtedly ends up paying back money to those currently suing him.

Pig.Pen
Guest
Pig.Pen
2 years 7 months ago

As to your point about Clemens, you’re mssng the pont, they couldn’t or didn’t convict him, so how is he confirmed?

As for it being against the rules, how can you have a rule that has zero consequences? I may be wrong, but I don’t believe it was against the rules.

TKDC
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TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

PEDs have been against the rules since the early 70s, and explicitly so for over 20 years. Otherwise, why were people hiding their use? If guys openly used steroids claiming they were legal, then you’d have a point. But you don’t. Say you don’t care that they cheated. Say it was part of the culture. Say it was not that bad because baseball condoned it. But to say it was not against the rules is a flat out false statement and makes your argument meaningless.

wally
Guest
wally
2 years 7 months ago

TKDC,

I don’t think you’re right. Steroid use for recreational purposes was not even illegal in the US until 1988. The Olympics only banned them in 1975, and they were one of the first large organized sporting events to do so (the first that I’m aware of actually, but I don’t claim to know every major sport events policies the world over).

But the line is still pretty fuzzy until relatively recently. As, for example, Andro is a steroid but was not classified as such until 1999.

So, in 1998, Andro was legal and was NOT against the rules of MLB. That’s why McGwire had it hanging out in his locker for anyone who looked to see. He wasn’t hiding it, because it wasn’t considered cheating.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

I wasn’t talking about Andro, nor was I talking about “legal” from a “go to jail” perspective. And nobody should be punished or even looked down upon for using Andro when in was not banned by baseball. McGwire admitted to using illegal steroids.

wally
Guest
wally
2 years 7 months ago

TKDC, you’re moving the goal posts there. First you said that PED were against the rules in the 70’s. That is dubious claim at best, for a lot of reasons, one of which is that what’s been defined as a PED has changed greatly over the last 40+ years. Steroids themselves, the PED we’re discussing here, weren’t illegal until 1988. At which point they were in a sense grandfathered into being against MLB rules, because all illegal substances are banned in MLB. That’s why the “legal” or “go to jail” sense matters, because for a good 10+ years that’s really the only way they were against the rules, and no how does that go back to the 1970’s.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

I’m not moving the goal posts, you’re nitpicking and parsing language, none of which changes the fact that every player that anyone ever discusses in the context of PEDs and the Hall broke MLB rules.

wally
Guest
wally
2 years 7 months ago

Its hardly a nitpick to correct the claim that steroids have been against the rules since the 70’s, because they haven’t. You pulled that out of your butt and now you know it.

Steroids have hardly been “explicitly” against the rules for 20 years either. To be so, they would have to stated clearly and in detail in the rule book. Instead, there was this often ignored clause that just made any illegal (like you go to jail, illegal) substances are against the rules. There was no specific rule against steroids with defined penalties until 2004. That’s 9 years.

Did guys break rules and/or laws, yes, probably. But you can’t sit back and say it was against the rules for 40 years, when it wasn’t even against the law for 25 and hasn’t been “explicitly” in the rule book for 10.

Sorry, that’s not parsing language. That specific factual information that you’re distorting.

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 7 months ago

Has to be cheating? Commisssioner Vincent stated that steroids (among other drugs) were illegal to use in 1991:

“The possession, sale or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by Major League players or personnel is strictly prohibited … This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs … including steroids.” – Source: http://thesteroidera.blogspot.com/2006/08/baseballs-steroid-era-timeline.html

Is that not against the rules? Heck, is it okay to do things in your workplace that are flat out illegal if your workplace doesn’t explicitly ban them? I can’t show up at my office and start popping speed: they’d fire me. I certainly wouldn’t be eligible for any honors after that.

While McGuire’s HGH might have been on the cusp (since it was banned a bit late), his use of anabolic steroids certainly wasn’t. Just because Bonds and McGuire were using in the pre-testing era doesn’t mean they weren’t cheating. And they both admitted it, so it’s not like there’s any big doubt.

Pig.Pen
Guest
Pig.Pen
2 years 7 months ago

Well, if a commissioner verbally stated something, it must have become the law of the land….so let it be written, so let it be done.

nada
Guest
nada
2 years 7 months ago

here’s the full text from the website, which ought to clear things up for you, Pig.Pen:

“After the U.S. Congress raises penalties for steroid possession, Commissioner Fay Vincent sends a memo to each team indicating that steroids would be added to Major League Baseball’s banned list. The memo stated: “The possession, sale or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by Major League players or personnel is strictly prohibited … This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs … including steroids.” The seven-page document didn’t include a testing plan — that had to be bargained with the union — but it did outline treatment and penalties.””

Vincent was saying that steroids were now on the banned substance list, therefore not to be used. It was already “the law of the land” (i.e. US federal law) that possession of steroids was illegal. So it was definitely, obviously, clearly not OK to use steroids as early as 1991.

Colin
Guest
Colin
2 years 7 months ago

Not guilty is not the same thing as innocent. Also, the trial was for lying to congress, not steroids (albeit is was lying to congress about steroids).

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 7 months ago

Did he say it was? I’m pretty sure he’s just saying that not guilty is the same thing as not confirmed.

Pig.Pen
Guest
Pig.Pen
2 years 7 months ago

At what point did I say any of them were innocent? My point was that none of them were CONFIRMED cheaters. Some haven’t even been confirmed as steroid users, others it takes some mental gymnastics to prove that they were cheating.

Ron
Guest
Ron
2 years 7 months ago

The fun question is who is going to get the least votes of those who get votes. My bet is Nomo gets 1 vote.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Nomo should automatically get into the Rob Neyer Hall of Amazing on the first ballot for throwing that no-hitter at Coors Field. Pre-humidor.

Small Hall
Guest
Small Hall
2 years 7 months ago

I don’t normally have any problem with the 10 person ballot maximum. It is necessary to keep certain person who have either don’t have the heart to say no or want to open the hall beyond its current borders from voting for 20 people in a given year. However, the Hall’s persistent inaction on the issue of steroids has created an unworkable situation here. They need to either state that a person suspected of using steroids is either eligible or not. I could see a legitimate case for 19 guys on this list and would vote for 14 of them if I had a ballot (with enough slots). Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, because Clemens, Bonds, Palmeiro, McGwire, Bagwell, Sosa and Piazza would either be in already or would be a lock to get in this year, opening up my ballot for next year. However, the fact that these guys are looking like they will be in purgatory while some people treat them as eligible and others righteously refuse to vote for them makes this problem a persistent one.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

The Hall has implicitly made its statement on the matter of steroids by putting suspected and admitted steroid users on the ballot. If Bonds, Sosa, Palmeiro et al. were ineligible according to the Hall, they wouldn’t be listed here.

However, the views of the Hall have only limited influence on the views of the electorate.

Tom Steele
Guest
Tom Steele
2 years 7 months ago

I know it’s easy to say something to the effect of, “Anyone who doesn’t vote for Maddux doesn’t deserve a vote,” but I think you can make the case now that it may be worth leaving off a certain honoree to vote for someone you think deserves to be voted in but who is at risk of not being named on 5 percent of the ballots.

And, of course, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz are joining the following ballot.

Which is to say: :(

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

You actually bring up a tough point- If you are a HOF voter, knowing the likelihood of deserving players getting axed by falling below the 5% threshold, should you vote strategically to prevent that? Give 4-5 votes to the no-doubters who probably get in, but the rest to guys you feel are deserving but not necessarily who you’d rank 6-10? It’s obviously a strategy that backfires if everyone does it, but do BBWAA rules forbid voters from discussing votes in advance with each other? Could enough of them band together to ensure worthies don’t fall off of future ballots without breaking the rules?

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

Plucky. I suspect they vote their people in. Given only 10 votes, I don’t think there would be a move to vote someone ‘just to keep them on the ballot’. If they were gonna do that, heck, just vote him in now and be done with him. There is always a ‘next year’ when more names are added. Looking at the list, there are easily 10 candidates for my vote. More if I include the ped guys. And what, more next year.

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

I get what you’re saying, but I guess I wasn’t clear about what I meant.

Suppose you are a voter who would like to put 15 guys on your ballot, and in #11-15 in your prefs are Sammy Sosa, Edgar Martinez, and Alan Trammel. For various reasons (assumed PED, DH-only, general underappreciation) and the exceptionally strong list of candidates you suspect those guys are at risk of getting less than 5% and falling off the ballot. Do you put one of them on your ballot instead of say, Larry Walker (even if you judge Walker more deserving) because a) he is likely to get well over 5% b) he is also highly likely to be well short of 75%, and thus your lack-of-vote won’t keep him out of the HOF or boot him from the ballot next year, whereas in the case of the others, a lack-of-vote might indeed result in them not being on the ballot in the future.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

no, I don’t think they would. Voting to ‘preserve’ a candidate basically, I don’t think would work, given the number of votes to maintain a place on the next ballot. The percentage of votes doesn’t really indicate it, but the number of the votes does – 569 ballots were cast for the 2012, and to keep a player on the ballot for next year would require 25 (5%) of them to vote for the player to be preserved. Yes, one or two might, but to expect 25 to do so would seem rather unlikely, given the marginal qualifications of the candidate in question.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

Given the numbers, 569, its almost like getting another group of 500+ people to agree on anything. We call it Congress. We know they cant even agree on if the sun is up or not.

wally
Guest
wally
2 years 7 months ago

Depends on where you are.

Franco
Guest
Franco
2 years 7 months ago

The MVP, Cy Young, Gold Gloves don’t really mean anything to me at this point. I don’t know why, but the HOF still does mean something to me. I wonder why with essentially the same dopes doing the voting.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 7 months ago

You know its a lot more fun to enjoy these awards for what they are rather than for what they are not. It doesn’t have to be perfect according to everyone’s standards to be meaningful. Ask the players how they feel about these awards.

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 7 months ago

Bonds and Clemens were at 36-37% last year, essentially half way home. How many years do the writers feel is sufficient punishment?

Anyway, the top 7 guys above are sure fire HOFs then you have a ridiculous task of picking 3 from a very crowded list of players. I wager the large number of quality candidates results in a shotgun spread of votes and few getting elected, but not too many being dropped off the ballot, thus making it even worse in 2015. As Dave says, many won’t vote for 10 because that “feels like too many”. It sure seems like a 90-00’s committee will be the only solution to clean this up.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

dontcha know, punishment isnt “not first ballot” but, “not in our hall”

Pitnick
Guest
Pitnick
2 years 7 months ago

Which joker voted for Clemens and not Bonds?

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

Considering every player ever has had people not vote for him, even those with characters that were fairly universally thought to be of a high quality, you could come up with a hundred crackpot theories, and one or two would probably be right.

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 7 months ago

Jesus, I vote for everyone from Bonds to Piazza, and I could be convinced on Sosa through Gonzalez.

Jesus
Guest
Jesus
2 years 7 months ago

olethros, I’d vote for Bonds through Piazza as well, and I’d also start campaigning for Olerud for the Veterans Committee too.

Then again, I can do pretty much whatever I want.

Rick
Guest
Rick
2 years 7 months ago

There were only 16 teams when the voting limit was set at 10 players. Why not expand the pool based on the current amount of teams, to say 18 players?

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Eh. The guys who have Hall of Fame level talent would have found their way onto rosters even if there were still only 16 teams. League expansion has had much more of an impact on the fringe players than the superstars.

wally
Guest
wally
2 years 7 months ago

Eh, population growth, expansion into other countries….don’t jump to conclusions

Pitnick
Guest
Pitnick
2 years 7 months ago

Eh, are we all starting comments this way now?

A Canadian
Guest
A Canadian
2 years 7 months ago

so what if we are, eh?

Gordie
Guest
Gordie
2 years 7 months ago

I’m from Canada, so they think I’m slow, eeeehh?

wally
Guest
wally
2 years 7 months ago

Eh, why not?

Eh
Guest
Eh
2 years 7 months ago

Would you people stop trying to drag me into this?

Brian
Guest
Brian
2 years 7 months ago

Morris may only need a few more votes, but if he was my 9th guy last year, he’s not on my ballot this year if I’m truly putting out my top 10, because no one got in last year. I’m putting Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas in there and dropping my 8th, 9th, and 10th guys from last year.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

Just like the Rock and Roll HOF (confused as to some of their people voted in), this one has become somewhat of a joke. They want to see themselves as some sort of “Morality Police” (taking a stance vs PED’s). As a result, the known ped users are out on just that. The problem with it is that the same stance also winds up including alot of “good performers” that have never been linked to ped’s, but still get the suspicion (bagwell, piazza, etc). Problem is, this is the HoF, and they want to elect the worthy, but if they put up ‘to good’ numbers, they fall under the ped cloud. Ironic, but, its the case. Its almost “We want the best, but not the best, if you know what we mean”.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Just imagine the Rock and Roll HOF without perforance-enhancing drug users.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

So, no Hendrix Purple Haze, Iron Butterfly..Inagottadavida (was to be ‘In the Garden of Eden’ btw), Jefferson Airplane.. heck, no 60’s-current? But then again, without them, we might still have Hendrix, Joplin, Presley and a few others still around.

Andruw Jones
Guest
Andruw Jones
2 years 7 months ago

And Joplin might have worked her way out of the R&R HOF. Jefferson Airplane nearly did.

John Lennon
Guest
John Lennon
2 years 7 months ago

Let me take you down cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.

db
Guest
db
2 years 7 months ago

I vote Moises Alou for my Hall of Very Good. He could play the opposite corner from Ellis Burks with Brett Butler in Center. I would add Wally Joyner at first, Edgardo Alfonzo at Second, Edgar Renteria at Short and Robin Ventura at third. For Catcher, Darrell Porter.

DD
Guest
DD
2 years 7 months ago

Not Jim Edmonds in Center?

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 7 months ago

Edmonds = HoF

db
Guest
db
2 years 7 months ago

Precisely. Hall of Very Good means no reasonable hall of fame argument, but was just a good baseball player.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Edmonds’ career is a classic example of what I call the Santo-Bando Zone. Anyone better than Ron Santo is a no-argument Hall of Famer, and anyone worse than Sal Bando has to settle for the Hall of Very Good

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 7 months ago

Edmonds is #12 all time in CF WAR. He should get in. Probably won’t, because counting stats, but he should.

Santo never should have been up for debate, either. His abrasive personality sealed his fate.

crapshoot
Guest
crapshoot
2 years 7 months ago

I think you can at least make a somewhat reasonable HoF case for Robin Ventura.

Blake L.
Guest
Blake L.
2 years 7 months ago

Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Bagwell, Thomas, Palmeiro, Biggio, Piazza, Sosa

Pig.Pen
Guest
Pig.Pen
2 years 7 months ago

On the down side, the best player to ever play baseball–or at least one of the top 3–probably won’t get in, due to a bunch of drunken gluttons trying to play morality police, but on the bright side, this could mean that Jack Morris doesn’t get in, so that would be good.

snack man
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

I like how you accuse them of playing “morality police” while throwing in a made up ad hominem attack on their “drunken glutton[y].”

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 7 months ago

Peralta just got forgiven for PED use by getting a rich new contract. Seems kind of hypocritical that the Bonds, Clemens group who were never tested positive or punished for PED use are still on the HOF shit list.

maguro
Guest
maguro
2 years 7 months ago

Pretty sure the BBWA didn’t give Jhonny Peralta a $53M contract and the St Louis Cardinals aren’t responsible for keeping Bonds and Clemens out of the HoF, so I’m not seeing the hypocrisy.

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 7 months ago

BBWA stands for Baseball Writers Association of America. The same group of writers that contiues to punish Bonds, Clemens yet says very little in written articles when a know PED user gets a big raise.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

The BBWAA voters also aren’t a homogeneous group. Many of the Hall of Fame voters are guys who no longer cover baseball. It’s entirely possible that the old-timers are the ones not voting for Bonds and Clemens, while the current beat writers who are covering Peralta et al. are also (if they have votes at all) voting for the steroid guys on the ballot.

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 7 months ago

Says very little? People have been crying foul since the second that deal was reported.

Chicago Mark
Guest
Chicago Mark
2 years 7 months ago

I’m not certain what Ian R. is saying. Just because some writers don’t cover baseball anymore doesn’t mean they don’t follow it. My opinion is, if they were qualified before they probably stay qualified now. Although I’d guess many of us would guess that many of them are not qualified in the first place. I also think he’s making a very wide ranging statement about who votes for what.
Additionally Hurtlockertwo believes none of these writers are writing articles about Peralta and his contract. That’s a pretty tough guess to believe in.

Marco
Guest
Marco
2 years 7 months ago

Kevin Brown still stuns me as a one and done.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 7 months ago

Agreed.

Rusty
Guest
Rusty
2 years 7 months ago

Sorry, to me Biggio was a very good player but not a spectacular one. His greatest asset was longevity which allowed him to pad his numbers over a long career. By contrast, Frank Thomas had a seven or eight year run where he was arguably the greatest right-handed hitter since Joe DiMaggio. No comparison – Big Hurt deserves to get in on the first ballot.

Bill James
Guest
Bill James
2 years 7 months ago

Pass

The mistaken Bill James
Guest
The mistaken Bill James
2 years 7 months ago

Also, did you know that secret service guy SHOT JFK?!?!

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 7 months ago

The Big Hurt’s rate stats are almost identical to Mark McGwire’s. If Big Mac were in the AL at the end of his career he would have had the same WAR too.

cass
Guest
cass
2 years 7 months ago

Also remember that Glavine had 88 RA9-WAR, which is probably more indicative of his actual talent. That would put him fourth on the list. FIP is not a good way to judge Glavine’s career.

tcnjsteve
Guest
tcnjsteve
2 years 7 months ago

Eh. The guy didn’t strike anybody out, and didn’t have an incredibly low walk rate either.

He’s sort of the ultimate anti-DIPS pitcher. I hope fangraphs does an article on his candidacy this off-season.

Of course he will get in fairly easily based on writers’ valuing won-loss record and ERA.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 7 months ago

Yeah, the only reason to use DIPS is if you don’t have a sample size of 5+ Years.

Wil
Guest
Wil
2 years 7 months ago

All the more reason he should get in. He still posted pretty elite numbers for not having great control or strikeout stuff.

It’s the same argument you can use with any GB or FB pitcher. FIP and thus WAR is always going to be hard on them.

Matthew Cornwell
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Even with FIP assuming he had zero impact on sequencing, BABIP, WP, GBDPs, controlling the running game, etc. FG WAR still has him ranked 41st all-time. With no mention of his batting or his postseason success.

Bbref WAR is much better for a guy like Glavine and shows him to be right in the Mussina/Jenkins/Roberts zone where he belongs.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

The Hall of Fame — meaningless until it gets the following people in

1. The All time Hits guy – Pete Rose
2. The All time HR guy – Barry Bonds
3. Guy who hit 60+ HR in 3 seasons – Sosa
4. Guy who hit 160 RBI in a NL season not in – Sosa
5. Guy with 500hr/3k hits not in – Palmiero
6. Guy with best HR rate (1hr/10/61atbats) – McGwire
7. Guy with 7 Cy Young awards – Clemens
8. Guy with 3rd most All Time K’s – Clemens

Do I want them in? Not necessarily. But, It is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of “People that led a nice clean life while doing well on the field”. All the above performed well above their peers, (and alot of their peers were using peds as well, leveling the playing field so to speak, for the era). The hall needs these guys in. Imagine walking thru it with your kid, and he asks “Dad, who holds the record for most hits and where is his bust?”. Its a fair question, given the reason the hall exists.

Baseball writers elect the people into the hall. The irony of this is that these same people, the writers, are the ones that touted the heroics, the ability, the utter power of these same stars in the midst of the steroid era. Every last one of them that wrote glowing stories of these stars, that does not elect a ped user is basically, a hypocrite, plain and simple.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

edit – 6. –> (1hr/10.61 at bats)

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Also, any writer who leaves out Bonds AND Pedro Martinez ought to be kicked out of the BBWAA.

Because there’s no way Pedro could have been juicing, not with that build. And for him to put up a Koufax-like stretch against the guys who are being blacklisted for PED’s, without the benefit of pitching from a juiced-up mound to a juiced-up strike zone in a dead ball era like Koufax did, well, it’s just obscene.

Ben
Guest
Ben
2 years 7 months ago

Again, look at Felix Heredia, who was juicing, before saying there’s no way Pedro could have been juicing.

cass
Guest
cass
2 years 7 months ago

Clemens and Bonds are in a whole different class than the rest of the guys you mention.

And betting is a far greater sin than PED use. I don’t understand the pro-Rose sentiment at all. The rule was posted in every clubhouse and it was well known that it would be enforced. Allowing betting would end MLB’s status as a competitive sport. It is an existential threat to MLB.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

Its not so much a “Pro-Rose” sentiment, rather a “hit king”. In a game of baseball, hits have meaning, whether it be 3k, or the ‘king’ of them all, the hit king belongs (due to title, not the name pete rose).

cass
Guest
cass
2 years 7 months ago

I disagree. Hits are kind of an odd stat. Times on base is more meaningful, in my opinion.

But he bet on baseball games that he managed. I can understand a permanent ban for that offense. You can’t allow that without putting the status of baseball as a competitive sport at stake. Look at what a joke boxing became.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

You know, the Hall of Fame museum recognizes those players’ records whether they’re inductees or not.

Also, Palmeiro and Sosa are fairly questionable candidates even if you take their numbers at face value. Palmeiro was very good for a long time, but he had a very low peak – was he ever even remotely in the discussion as the best player in baseball? Sosa’s peak seasons were pretty ridiculous, but they were in the context of years when offense was way up league-wide, and that five-year run of hitting for crazy power is basically his entire case.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

Ian, cant have it both ways. You get down on Palmiero due to his low peak, then discredit Sosa because of his high peak. Yes, league wide it was high, but Sosa’s was higher still. He is still the only player with three seasons of 60+ homers. Not even Babe Ruth, Mantle, Maris, Bonds, or Big Mac did this.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Nah, I’m discrediting Sosa because his career value isn’t all that high by Hall of Fame standards. It’s also worth pointing out that the Hall of Fame’s standards in right field are incredibly, ridiculously high – something about a couple of guys named Ruth and Aaron.

Yes, Sosa had three seasons in which he hit an arbitrary round number of home runs. Oddly enough, he didn’t lead the league in any of those three seasons, which goes to show how absurd league offense was at that time. His 2001 was legitimately fantastic (9.9 WAR) and his 1998 was awesome as well (7.1), but in his other big power years he was ‘only’ a 5-win player, thanks in large part to defense. That’s a good peak, but not a slam-dunk Hall of Fame peak.

JKB
Guest
JKB
2 years 7 months ago

You can always show your kid Ty Cobb’s bust instead of Pete Rose – Cobb got a lot of hits too, and since Cobb and Rose are similar players on a lot of metrics and Cobb is in the Hall and Rose is not, the implied difference is probably that Cobb was a better role model (e.g., never lied, well liked by his team mates and peers).

Instead of Clemens, you can show your kid Rube Waddell’s plaque, and marvel with him at Waddell’s amazing ability to pitch while intoxicated. Waddell was the greatest power pitcher of his time, similar to Clemens. There was no suspicion of Waddell using performance enhancing drugs though.

Hunter
Guest
Hunter
2 years 7 months ago

WTF are you talking about? Cobb and Rose are eerily similar, with the exception of the fact that Cobb was reinstated after being banned from baseball for gambling.

Spencer D
Guest
Spencer D
2 years 7 months ago

Cobb was a better role Model? Ty Cobb IS Pete Rose. They have an astonishing number of commonalities.

...
Guest
...
2 years 7 months ago

insert sarcasm font

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 7 months ago

What? I’m assuming you’re being sarcastic when you say that Cobb was well liked by his teammates and peers.

lovemesomebaseballs
Guest
lovemesomebaseballs
2 years 7 months ago

Great Point. While PED users can, through various routes, be construed as “cheaters” (Nobody cares about Corked Bats? *coughsSosaCoughsagainBelle)Pete Rose is a real travesty. It’s the Hall of Great Baseball players. Not the Pearly Gates. If it was then Ty Cobb would have to be thrown out.

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 7 months ago

Rose accepted his ban. The real travesty is Joe Jackson.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 7 months ago

Agreed, his first album was *great*.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Agree on Joe Jackson. He joins the following on the music version of the Dave Stapleton Club:

– Jefferson Airplane/Starship
– Neil Diamond
– Divinyls
– Red Hot Chili Peppers
– DJ Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince aka Will Smith
– Green Day (Basket Case should have been their only hit)
– and a lifetime achievement award for REM for their uninterrupted downward trend.

(honorable mentions to Mariah Carey, Nickelback, Poison, Norah Jones, and A Day to Remember)

Honorable mention to

Spencer D
Guest
Spencer D
2 years 7 months ago

Corked bats don’t make a difference in power-on-contact.

joe
Guest
joe
2 years 7 months ago

Kevin Brown – over 70 WAR and off the ballot in one year – amazing. really amazing.

Pitnick
Guest
Pitnick
2 years 7 months ago

Possible the BBWAA mixed up their giant contacts and confused him with Mike Hampton?

Barry Zito
Guest
Barry Zito
2 years 7 months ago

You mean there’s still hope for me?

Kevin Brown
Guest
Kevin Brown
2 years 7 months ago

Maybe they thought they were voting on me: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1001535&position=P

MrKnowNothing
Guest
MrKnowNothing
2 years 7 months ago

Barry Binds has roughly the same WAR as the bottom 11 combined.

Mike Green
Guest
Mike Green
2 years 7 months ago

Oh, for all this time, I thought it was the PEDs when it was really the BDSM that is the issue for the voters…

Stringer Bell
Guest
Stringer Bell
2 years 7 months ago

Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Bagwell, Piazza, Biggio, Raines, Edgar, Trammell, Schilling. There, that’s my ten. Leaving out PED guys when there are plenty already in is dumb.

FeslenR
Guest
FeslenR
2 years 7 months ago

Looks like Raines just misses the cut yet again

Mike610
Member
Mike610
2 years 7 months ago

thanks for the leaderboard…really helped put mussina into context, esp with glavine just below him.

Jonah Pemstein
Member
Member
2 years 7 months ago

Mike Trout has more career WAR than 9 guys on this list.

Jay29
Guest
Jay29
2 years 7 months ago

That’s nuts. What a head start he’s got.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

He’s the #142 CF of all-time right now, right between Bake McBride and Jose Cardenal.

My son’s the same age as Trout and currently lives in my basement.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 7 months ago

Dude’s name is Bake? Seriously? EZ-Bake McBride?

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Bake_McBride

Not his given name. Bake was actually short for “Shake N Bake”.

John K
Guest
John K
2 years 7 months ago

What exactly is a first-ballet Hall of Famer? Ah, you mean the self-created category of players that BBWAA have created in order to some-what distinguish certain kinds of players from others? I think I get it now…but wait, you can’t vote for a player that is on the ballot for the first time either! WTF, now I’m lost!

I still think a better system exists in which BBWAA do not vote–in many instances they are just as uneducated as the casual fan.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

I don’t get why the BBWAA cannot vote the PED guys in. For the duration of the PED era they were the ones turning these guys into hero’s of the game. Now they turn their hypocritical head away as if they don’t exist.

Bill Parker
Guest
Bill Parker
2 years 7 months ago

“What exactly is a first-ballet Hall of Famer?”

Barry Bonds trying to sit through “The Nutcracker” with his kids.

Colin
Guest
Colin
2 years 7 months ago

Scanning the active WAR leaders things should be interesting with some guys. Beltre is over 60 career largely on the back of his 3b defense, I have to wonder if he will get in. Cabrera is at 55 and only 30, he’s probably going to be a lock in 2-3 years. A-rod at over 100 seems likely to join Bonds.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin
2 years 7 months ago

My fictional ballot:

1. Bonds
2. Maddux
3. Clemens
4. Raines
5. Piazza
6. Walker
7. Thomas
8. Bagwell
9. Schilling
10. Mussina

Piazza was 16th on the WAR list. The guys I skipped:

Palmeiro- I penalize him for dickishness on the PED front. You used, you got caught, be a man about it. I’d vote for him in a few years as the ballot clears, but he wasn’t ever really great with any consistency. Just good for a long time with occasional greatness.

McGwire- Just not a more worthy candidate than Piazza in my book, considering position and performance relative to peer

Glavine- He had exactly 2 seasons at 5 WAR or greater. He had run suppression magic for a stretch, but he was very Palmeiro like to me. In a few years, if the ballot has thinned, I’d consider Glavine, but not now.

Edgar- A deserving candidate, but as the post talked about, there are more than 10 deserving candidates. I’d have him 12th or so on my ballot if it went that deep.

Biggio- Not a hall of famer to me. He spent the entirety of the 2000’s wasting space as a below average player. For the final 8 seasons of his career, he averaged less than 1.5 WAR. He was versatile in a Daniel Murphy sort of way. I’m not throwing away those 8 seasons, but I’m discounting them at whatever rate is necessary to declare him “not a hall of famer.”

Alan Trammell- Possibly a made up person. I have only vague memories of him, despite the majority of his career falling in line with the portion of my life where I collected aluminum cans from area garbage cans to buy baseball cards. It seems that his lofty career WAR is related to his defensive ability, and I’m not comfortable judging him one way or another on defense. I’m not voting for him, but I’ll make a promise to give Omar Vizquel all sorts of deep thought before ignoring him as well.

Not So
Guest
Not So
2 years 7 months ago

Ripken wRC+ 112
Trammell wRC+ 111

He wasn’t defense first.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin
2 years 7 months ago

Assuming he isn’t a made up person, you’ve given me something to think about.

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 7 months ago

If you only have vague memories of Trammell, you weren’t paying much attention to the game in the 70s/80s.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Because I remember the 80’s well, Trammell was the real deal. Belongs as much as Larkin, whom I regard as a no-brainer for the Hall.

Nate G
Guest
Nate G
2 years 7 months ago

They both were defense first. At least that is where their value comes from, being shortstops.

Cool Lester Smooth
Guest
Cool Lester Smooth
2 years 7 months ago

Of course, Ripken’s WAR is mostly from defensive value.

John K
Guest
John K
2 years 7 months ago

Some of the lower WAR values can be attributed to him moving to the OF. He clearly would have added more value at 2B.

John K
Guest
John K
2 years 7 months ago

Sorry, referring to Biggio*

Dustin
Guest
Dustin
2 years 7 months ago

How many bonus points should he be given for this hypothetical excellence?

cass
Guest
cass
2 years 7 months ago

It wasn’t “magic”. You don’t build up 20 FDP-WAR over your career based on “magic”. He was skilled. He had 88 RA9-WAR. Tom Glavine is a no-doubt first ballot HoFer, one of the all-time greats.

Some pitchers manage to limit balls in play more than you’d expect based on their strikeouts and walks. Knuckleballers are famous for this, but Glavine did it as well. And he managed to pitch in such a way that suppressed the number of runners on base who scored. Some people pitch better with runners on. It’s a skill. Most players are close to the mean so FIP works for them, but Glavine is obviously an extreme outlier. He was great at all the things that FIP doesn’t capture.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin
2 years 7 months ago

Put him on your ballot. This is my ballot. If Morris isn’t a HOF, and he’s not, Tom Glavine adding 600 innings on to the Jack Morris resume doesn’t get him in over the other 10 guys I voted for. As I said, clear the ballot of the deserving guys, then work on the maybes.

Matthew Cornwell
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

You are right re: his BABIP and sequencing…And controlling the running game and suppressing WP and HB and inducing double plays and playing great defense and hitting way above average for a pitcher and on and on. I can’t believe there are people who use FIP based WAR for pitchers with such a huge sample sizes of Batters Faced.

That being said, Glavine is still 41st all- time in FIP WAR.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

Glavine had “run suppression magic for a stretch…”

Yes, but that stretch was a 20-year career.

Jaack
Guest
Jaack
2 years 7 months ago

My biggest hope from this ballot is that Ray Durham gets someone’s sympathy vote. Todd Stottlemyre got one. Aaron Sele got one. Ray Durham deserves one.

Bill Parker
Guest
Bill Parker
2 years 7 months ago

I think sympathy votes are fun if there aren’t ten deserving candidates. There won’t be any excuse for anyone to give a sympathy vote ever again.

henry chinaski
Guest
henry chinaski
2 years 7 months ago

Dick Allen>frank thomas

Spencer D
Guest
Spencer D
2 years 7 months ago

That’s debatable. Big Hurt has a massive home run advantage, which seems to be important.

henry chinaski
Guest
henry chinaski
2 years 7 months ago

HR total is more than explained by difference in PA and the era each played in. Mr. Allen is 19th all time in adjusted ops+ on baseball reference (tied with Mays and thomas). Obviously Mr. Mays is above this discussion. Mr. Allen played the field (not well as far as the #s say) and was just as dominant as thomas.
Dick Allen seems to suffer from the same thing Jim Rice did as far as the bbwaa is concerned. I’m a big Rice fan (Bill James has that one wrong) but I’ll “say” this:
Dick Allen>Jim Rice

Spencer D
Guest
Spencer D
2 years 7 months ago

I don’t disagree, but there is great value in having a longer career.

John K
Guest
John K
2 years 7 months ago

Bagwell > Thomas

Eerily similar careers until Bagwell retired. Thomas went on to hit the 500 homer milestone but Bagwell still provided more value–in less time.

Eric R
Guest
Eric R
2 years 7 months ago

…and both were born on May 27, 1968

As far as I can tell, they would be the only pair of HoFers to be born on the same day

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 7 months ago

Thomas=McGwire

Dick Allen >> Edgar Martinez though.

Mike D
Guest
Mike D
2 years 7 months ago

Jack Morris got less votes in 2013 than 2012, not sure if more people will vote for him on the last ballot.

Pedantic grammar & usage guy
Guest
Pedantic grammar & usage guy
2 years 7 months ago

Got *fewer* votes.

cass
Guest
cass
2 years 7 months ago
TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

Not if you’re pedantic, which was fully disclosed.

Llewdor
Guest
Llewdor
2 years 7 months ago

I love that leaderboard. That Edgar Martinez had the highest career BABIP in this group (0.335) makes me happy.

Park Chan Ho's Beard
Guest
Park Chan Ho's Beard
2 years 7 months ago

Not enough love for Larry Walker in the comments. Larry Walker owns! He owns!

Spencer D
Guest
Spencer D
2 years 7 months ago

My favourite player after Hornsby, Bonds, and Halladay. He is a great “might-have-been” sort of player.

Mike D
Guest
Mike D
2 years 7 months ago

…and to think Andy Pettitte has a career WAR of 68.4….

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

… and himself, a self admitted ped user.

Mr. Gullible
Guest
Mr. Gullible
2 years 7 months ago

But…he only used once!! And then immediately felt terrible about it and repented and flushed the rest down the john gave a buncha money to impoverished and destitute peoples and spent the rest of his years decrying steroid use to impressionable schoolchildren.

BJsworld
Guest
BJsworld
2 years 7 months ago

Always puts a smile on my face to look at Walker’s 1997 campaign. For not juicing – that was such an incredible year.

Maddux, Schilling, Mussina, Bagwell, Thomas, Walker, Raines, Martinez, Piazza, Kent.

Tough to pass on Biggio, Trammel. Never was much of a Mussina fan but his numbers are really, really good. Glavine and the known juicers can sit out for awhile.

Miguelito
Guest
Miguelito
2 years 7 months ago

Lee Smith. I know it might be unfair to pick a guy who happened to be instrumental in changing the game of baseball and giving him undue significance for what may have been chance–but Smith’s contribution to the game of baseball is Hall-worthy for me. If number 1 on a list is a first ballot hall of famer (and rightly so), it just seems odd for me to exclude #2 and #3.

Don Baylor
Guest
Don Baylor
2 years 7 months ago

Damn that Biggio!

Barney Coolio
Guest
Barney Coolio
2 years 7 months ago

1. The 10 player limit is fine. The voters created this problem by making people wait. Everybody knows that Piazza and Biggio would make it. The fact that they didn’t make it last year crowds the ballot this year. Whether or not Morris makes it, the fact that this is now his 15th year on the ballot shows that the voters need to shit or get off the pot.

2. HOF voters tend to only induct a maximum of 3 players each year. That’s gotta change this year. Voters need to know that they need to really take this ballot seriously and we gotta stop pussyfooting around and elect some guys. Any voter who does not vote for at least 5 players should really question whether he deserves to even have a vote.

Cidron
Member
Cidron
2 years 7 months ago

agreed. If they dont elect more than three, the backlog only gets worse. We have seen the list of next years eligible, but there are more worthy candidates the following year, and so on. Granted, it does keep only the elite in, but man, it will turn away alot of people deserving of more attention (not at the top end, but alot of deserving will fall off due to <5% because of some stupid "max of 10 votes" per).

JamesDaBear
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t raise the limit. I would actually require voters to fill out 10 eligible names on their ballot for the next 5-10 years. Ideally, they would have started that two/three years ago and they could have avoided last year’s debacle. Seriously, if you can’t see 10+ names on that ballot who deserve it, whether or not you include PED abusers, your usefulness as a HOF voter has expired. You clearly didn’t spend enough time in the last 3+ decades watching and analyzing baseball to have an informed decision. Because of factors like expansion and increased media exposure and more international players, there are just more Hall of Famers every year than voters are used to. Either get with the times, or get out.

walt526
Guest
walt526
2 years 7 months ago

Can we revoke the voting rights of any voter who chooses Lee Smith to receive one of the ballots ten votes rather any of the 15+ reasonable choices?

Miguelito
Guest
Miguelito
2 years 7 months ago

I’ll voluntarily give up my BBWAA application form.

vlock1
Guest
vlock1
2 years 7 months ago

Information is so widely available, and so multifarious, at this point, why not just do away with the ballot altogether? Say the Hall just releases a list of everyone who’s newly crossed the “retired for five years” threshold and lets the writers – with the caveat that every voter has to be actively covering baseball, and have demonstrated significant longevity – have at it. No 10-name limit, no 5% fall-off. Maybe retain the 15-year cutoff, but that’s it. The Veterans Committee has long since turned the HOF into a big Hall, anyway (I’m sorry, but if Phil Rizzuto’s in, it’s a big hall) so why not make it official? These arguments just seem ridiculous and antiquated in 2013, and it’s only going to get worse as time passes.

Lenard
Member
Member
Lenard
2 years 7 months ago

Jack Morris was a bit before my time (Born in 1989), but besides what looks to be some truly incredible durability and reliability, his stats (including his “old school” stats) appear to be pretty good, but nothing exceptional. Why is he getting such heavy consideration?

Lenard
Member
Member
Lenard
2 years 7 months ago

From looking at his Wikipedia page, is it mostly postseason performance and “clutch”?

vlock1
Guest
vlock1
2 years 7 months ago

It’s the fact that he had the most wins of any pitcher in the 80s – which means nothing – the fact that he pitched a 10-inning shutout to clinch the ’91 Series (even though if Lonnie Smith knew how to run, the Braves would have won that game and that Series) and the fact that he was viewed as a gritty, take-no-shit gamer with a great mustache and a good nickname.
I was a kid when he was at the tail end of his career, but I do remember watching him pitch a couple of times, and I remember him as a decent pitcher with a weird off-balance windup and, yes, a great mustache.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

What was his nickname?

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 7 months ago

Black Jack

Lenard
Guest
Lenard
2 years 7 months ago

Thanks for the info. So basically, add +10 WAR for sweet facial hair and nickname and it becomes a bit more understandable.

Mark
Guest
Mark
2 years 7 months ago

Black Jack McDowell, not Morris

JamesDaBear
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Morris had it first.

He also was an oddity (or marvel depending on your viewpoint) in how many straight years he started on opening day, which used to mean a lot more in the past when there were fewer teams. Any one of these things by themselves would be irrelevant, but they all pile up for Jack Morris.

Wobatus
Guest
Wobatus
2 years 7 months ago

Morris led all starters since he started pitching (1977) in complete games, and it isn’t even close. 175 complete games in that span, almost 38% more than anyone else. Blyleven, since 1977, had 127.

Since the DH was introduced, Morris is second in complete games among Al pitchers to Blyleven (3rd overall, but Ryan had some in the NL). And he went 8 innings plus in 52% of his starts, and leads baseball in 8 inning starts since the DH. Something to be said for that versus guys who made their bones going 6+ innings with a bunch of relief specialists coming in to bail them out. Although that is already certainly reflected in the stats since he gets WAR points for all of the innings he threw and LOB% is smoothed out in his WAR via FIP.

I think there are obviously 10 guys better than Morris on the ballot, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him make it. He just barely beats Jim Palmer in career WAR, and he’s in the Hall.

Matthew Cornwell
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Palmer murders Morris in RA9 WAR. Why would we pretend Palmer had no impact sequencing or BABIp.

Again, FIP career WAR becomes way less helpful than RA9 WAR after a player has been around 10+ years.

pft
Guest
pft
2 years 7 months ago

The whole thing is a joke anyways if Clemens and Bonds are not in, Rose too.

Lets call it the Hall of Morals, but then you have the racists, adulterers, DUI’ers, spousal abusers, recreational drug (illegal) users who get a pass.

Put an asterisk next to the PED users, and a double asterisk next to Rose, but they were all a big part of the game when they played, and not to recognize them is rewriting history IMO. And thats what the HOF is to me, not a way to reward the player so much as to remember the past (for better or worse).

Simon
Guest
Simon
2 years 7 months ago

But Bonds, Clemens and Rose *are* already recognized. Right there in Cooperstown in the museum portion of the Hall Of Fame, as another poster ably pointed out. They simply aren’t being accorded HOF enshrinement — the single highest selective honor that can be bestowed upon a ballplayer.

BJsworld
Guest
BJsworld
2 years 7 months ago

I wasn’t aware that betting on the game and using illegal performance enhancers fell into the same category as being a racist?

People are not voting on the Hall of Morals. However, some people do not want to support players and coaches that jerk with the integrity of the game.

There is a rich history in baseball outside of the Hall of Fame. Clemens, Bonds, Rose aren’t going to be forgotten if they don’t make it in (though I suspect that they all will eventually).

Antonio Bananas
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Baseball has been around forever, there are a ton of guys in who if we voted again, may not be. My idea is to give it tiers. Maybe you have a Hall of Fame and then a Gold level or some other designation (I’m not feeling creative at the moment) for guys like Ruth, Mays, Maddux, and Trout (yes I’m joking on the last one….for now).

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Hopefully the split between the “regular” and Veterans Committee electees becomes correctly viewed as a first cut at a tiered system.

Within the “regular” tier, folks pretty much understand who the Gold tier players are. Well, except for those who voted Nolan Ryan as the Player of the Century.

Plucky
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Not to be a self-promoting jerk, but I’ll go ahead and be a self-promoting jerk- I thought of a solution to deal with the 5% problem. It’s slightly complicated so I’m linking elsewhere, but here it is:

http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2013/11/26/5149836/solution-to-the-10-vote-hof-ballot-problem

A Canadian
Guest
A Canadian
2 years 7 months ago

There’s no shame in sharing a good idea that doesn’t fit in the comment box.

self-jerking promoter
Guest
self-jerking promoter
2 years 7 months ago

Amen!

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

The problem with your system is that anyone who thinks another player is more deserving than one of your 4 auto-picks would not participate, and that would probably include most voters (Schilling and Mussina over Glavine?). There might be a foursome out there that 5% agree on, but they’d also have to be inclined to participate in something like this. If say, 20% of voters were inclined to do something like this, 25% of those would have to agree on the same top four, which I think is very unlikely (mine, btw, would be Maddux, Glavine, Thomas and Bagwell, who I noticed you left out because you’re an Astros fan).

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

Given that the purpose is merely to insure survival, the pool is capped at 90 submissions, roughly 15% of the voters. With 6 votes per voter (4 pool plus 2 special), 90 voters would be enough to guarantee 14-18 non-Maddux/Mussina/Schilling/Thomas players without any votes from the rest, which ought to be plenty. If the pool was at risk of blowing up the entire vote and keeping other deserving players out it would be a big problem.

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

Also, the choices of Maddux, Mussina, Schilling, and Thomas are not intended to be most-deserving but rather least-offensive. I am assuming that anyone who would wish to put 12-13 players on their ballot is almost certainly including all four of them. Furthermore, even if you think others (e.g. Glavine) are more deserving, you are probably not going to be bothered greatly if those four guys get elected and your guy is not. The 2 ‘special votes’ are there partially to insure that you can still semi-vote for guys you think are more deserving.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

Yeah, but why would I participate with your selections if I thought mine were better? Maybe with a vote within the vote I’d do this (where people who agree to do this in advance vote for their favorite 4 and then everyone is bound to vote for the top 4 out of that), but I’m not participating in your pushing your most favorite 4 guys when it clearly hinders my most favored choices.

And if the point is only to keep guys on the ballot, you can devise a system that basically gets tons of guys to 5% without then restricting the rest of the ballot.

Plucky
Guest
Plucky
2 years 7 months ago

Well, if you want to vote for your top-10 guys (or less than 10) and aren’t particularly concerned about the fate of the rest, then the pool isn’t for you to begin with. If you’re a small-hall guy who only thinks 4-5 guys here deserve to get in, then the pool also isn’t for you.

The pitch to any particular voter is that you are sacrificing some of your preferences in the interests of keeping guys on the ballot in the future, are not kneecapping the chances of several strongly deserving players, and are not inadvertently dropping guys off the ballot by strategic voting. Pretty obviously, your ballot will come out of this not looking the same way it would if you didn’t join. In exchange for your ballot not being perfect, you get a say in a system designed to make sure some of your top guys don’t get dropped. That’s the tradeoff. If the tradeoff isn’t acceptable to you, then you won’t be part of it and that’s OK. The setup was designed to minimize the number of people who get turned off or offended by the choices. It only needs 20-25 voters to move the needle and 50-70 would make it highly successful in its purpose.

I didn’t want to get super-acedemic in the explanation, but what we have here is a classic public choice & game theory problem. The short version is that problems of this nature have no solutions that guarantee ideal outcomes. The point is not to create a perfect system (which is mathematicalyl impossible), but to create a good one that adequately meets several competing priorities.

As a side note, those four guys are not my personal favorites. Those would be Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, and Bagwell. I did not make those the mandatory fill-ins because I did not want this system to be a PED argument- I wanted it accessible to everyone regardless of their feelings on PEDs, or on whether not particualr players may or may not have used them. No one with widespread PED suspicions gets an auto-vote, but if someone puts McGwire on the list, so it goes.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 7 months ago

I still don’t see why you can’t have basically the same type of system (you trade off part of your ballot), but then you can fill in the rest as you see fit. I do understand the purpose and the problem (though honestly I don’t personally really see it as a problem yet, that might change after this year).

Basically, what I’m saying is that if you devise a system to keep people on the ballot, say by having 3 groups of 30 pick 6 each, then let everyone pick the last 4 themselves, if the picks really are noncontroversial, they’d be made anyway. And it is also likely that since you are covering everyone, many of the ballots could have additional players besides those 4 as any system that picks 18 guys would have those guys on it too.

Another question, though. Doesn’t your solution kind of just kick this down the road? If more guys are coming on the ballot, a small number are being let in, and now you are trying to keep more on the ballot, won’t that just make the problem worse later on?

Aaron
Guest
Aaron
2 years 7 months ago

I really liked Lofton as a player. He seemed to have good character, and he was consistently one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball. I remember how much of a threat he was on the basepaths, and I remember my dad and I walking through the warning track at Jacobs Field looking up at how high up that scoreboard was. All we could both think of was how amazing Lofton’s vertical must have been because he made some amazing catches at that center field wall. He was a top notch fielder and a very fitting player for his role. He had a noticeable presence during all his years in mlb. I think Lofton should be in the HOF.

lovemesomebaseballs
Guest
lovemesomebaseballs
2 years 7 months ago

No offense A A Ron, but that sentimental story should and hopefully does not mean anything. I may think that Marcus Giles had great presence, and I know for a fact that Pete LaCock had the coolest name ever, but that does not get them a HOF vote. It is even more ridiculous than trying to quantify “value” for an MVP without considering who the best player in the league was. The Hall is for the best players.

Rusty Kuntz
Guest
Rusty Kuntz
2 years 7 months ago

How can you mention Pete LaCock without inserting my name?

JamesDaBear
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Lofton was also a scholarship basketball player for a big-time program… played in a Final Four. Easily explains his hops.

JamesDaBear
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Ok… I looked it up. Here’s this from his wikipedia page:

Wildcats head coach Lute Olson said of Lofton, “He’s quick and a great leaper.” At one point Lofton performed a 360-degree slam dunk for his suspecting teammates.

Klements Sausage
Guest
Klements Sausage
2 years 7 months ago

Who I’d vote for, not that anyone should care.

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Greg Maddux
Frank Thomas
Jeff Bagwell
Mike Piazza
Curt Schilling
Tom Glavine
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell

Chicago Mark
Guest
Chicago Mark
2 years 7 months ago

Dave, do you think voting in say 10 players deminishes the overall value of or excitement for the class? I understand that shouldn’t be a reason to keep a player out. But still, the question?

JamesDaBear
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

I think it diminishes the amount of focus given to each inductee. It’s unfortunate the voters have neglected their duties so often recently, so we’re left with this backlog of worthy candidates.

DD
Guest
DD
2 years 7 months ago

Hey Cameron, can we get a HoF poll opened up on here? Would be curious to see how things flesh out with the readership.

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 7 months ago

People really do hate democracy. Everyone is stupid or uneducated when the outcome of the vote does not accord with your vote (or in this case how you would vote). ….its a vote. Voters get to fill out their ballot however they want, using whatever criteria they want, or none at all even.

This site gets their panties in a bunch every time there is an award voted on. Everyone should realise that the voting is actually the interesting part. How many discussions do we have about who wins the Home Run crown for a given year? We never argue about it, because the definition is clear and we always know the answer. If we turn the HOF or the MVP into the WAR leaderboard as this site always implicitly argues for (even if they outwardly profess they are more subtle than that), then the HOF and the MVP become as boring as who wins the HR crown each year. Why would we want to take the fun and the complexity out of these things?!

lovemesomebaseballs
Guest
lovemesomebaseballs
2 years 7 months ago

Because, DNA, we want the voters to get it right. It sucks, but someday my sons will ask me about MVP winners, and instead of telling them it is the best player from each league, I will have to explain that it is actually blah blah blah. You think it is “fun” for Mike Trout? You think that Mike Mussina thinks the whole process is “fun” when Jack Morris gets into the Hall and he doesn’t?
Well do you?

DNA+
Guest
DNA+
2 years 7 months ago

Personally, I don’t think Mike Trout has earned an MVP award, nor do I think Mussina belongs in the HOF. That’s the fun of voting. People are allowed to disagree with you. If you want Mike Trout to win an MVP, convince the voters that he deserves it, don’t try to change the process by which it is awarded.

The Insular Readership (and rightly so)
Guest
The Insular Readership (and rightly so)
2 years 7 months ago

Go away.

Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption
2 years 7 months ago

Can I convince you to not post here anymore?

Brad
Guest
Brad
2 years 7 months ago

This is Fangraphs at its worst – DNA not once insulted anyone but yet is treated as if he said something utterly abhorrent. All he did is exercise his right to express his opinion. The more I watch the Fangraphs’ community, the more it comes off as a dogmatic entity in which (despite their outraged cries to the contrary) are largely nothing more than sheep who delight in their mathematical prowess and their dubious skills in establishing dialogue. Yuck. No thanks.

Chicago Mark
Guest
Chicago Mark
2 years 7 months ago

I like it Brad! Where are all the negative punches for Brad? I like to call them Dave’s little WAR minion. Is that the right word?

Chicago Mark
Guest
Chicago Mark
2 years 7 months ago

Sorry, I had to do it. It sounds good with this group.
min·ion
noun \?min-y?n\

: someone who is not powerful or important and who obeys the orders of a powerful leader or boss

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
2 years 7 months ago

Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, that’s it.

anonynous
Guest
anonynous
2 years 7 months ago

Maddux
Bagwell
Thomas
Walker
Raines
Biggio
Trammell
Morris

I’d also put in Martinez, Mussina, Glavine and Schilling but not on the first ballot.

JMo37
Member
JMo37
2 years 7 months ago

The HOF is for players who dominated the sport. Bonds was allowed to play and Clemens as well. If they were caught doing PED’s and given a lifetime suspension, then they would not be eligible.
I understand the idea regarding keeping baseball clean, but these guys played in an era where everyone from Sosa to K. Elster was on the juice. I don’t think moral judgment should exclude these men their baseball accomplishments. The sport is cleaner now and voting should be easier in the future.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 7 months ago

Kevin Elster juiced? I hadn’t thought about that guy in about 15 years…

JMo37
Member
JMo37
2 years 7 months ago

I really liked him when he played for the mets and went like 2 seasons without an error and absolutely hit for nothing. Then it must have been a contract year and he some how beefed up!!!

Drew
Guest
Drew
2 years 7 months ago

If you look at the league ISO, it jumped 40 points from 1990 to 1996. Generally, Elster’s overall line was consistent with previous years, in that he hit about 10-15% below league average.

If we had the batted ball data, I’m sure that his MONSTER ROID-FUELED 24 HOMER SEASON (really?) could easily be explained as flukey.

The guy was always pretty big, even in the 80’s. Then, in the 90’s, he was the same size. And even if he did become massive and ripped, it’s irrelevant because he continued to hit well below league-average.

Nothing to see here.

JMo37
Member
JMo37
2 years 7 months ago

In 1996 Kevin Elster joined the Rangers, a known steroid team, and hit a career high 24 HR’s (previous high = 10). *Think about Brett Boone, just for a second*
Elster’s salary went from $270,000 to $1,650,000

You may be right, he was a below average hitter, but somehow, for one year he gets up and becomes a power threat.

And I stand corrected, his 200lbs is the same in 1986 as 1996/1997.

Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption
2 years 7 months ago

“The sport is cleaner now”

Uh, no its not. Word on the street is that there’s a new 2 day cycle of ultra-strong PEDs that pretty much every player uses the day after they get tested. Its virtually undetectable after the 2 days.

Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot
Guest
Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot
2 years 7 months ago

BarryBondsRogerClemensGregMadduxCurtSchillingMikeMussinaJeffBagwellFrank ThomasRafaelPalmeiroLarryWalkerTimRainesMarkMcGwireEdgarMartinezCraig BiggioTomGlavineAlanTrammellMikePiazzaSammySosaFredMcGriffJeffKentLuis GonzalezJackMorrisMoisesAlouKennyRogersDonMattinglyRayDurhamLeeSmithHideoNomoPaulLoDucaRichieSexsonSeanCaseyJacqueJonesMikeTimlinJ.T.SnowEricGagneToddJonesArmandoBenitez

RageAgainstTheNarrative
Guest
RageAgainstTheNarrative
2 years 7 months ago

If I were voting, I’d be strongly tempted to leave both Thomas and Maddux off of my ballot. I only get to pick ten players, so why should I throw away my votes on guys that are going to get in anyway? There are at least 12 players that I think belong.

matt
Guest
matt
2 years 7 months ago

Barry Bonds has over 160 WAR. That’s TWO sure-fire hall of famers. That’s CRAZY

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Or, just for fun:

– Jack Morris AND Lee Smith AND a sure-fire hall of famer

– First-ballot HOFers Roy Campanella AND Kirby Puckett AND Mariano Rivera

– As much WAR in Pittsburgh alone as Moises Alou’s whole career AND enough WAR in San Fransisco to rank second all-time behind Willie Mays in Giants history (SF and New York)

– His dad, Bobby Bonds, was a borderline HOFer (at least in my book). Barry beat him by more than 100 WAR

Not bad for a guy who had fewer career WAR at age 25 than Mike Trout has right now.

Mr. Hankey
Guest
Mr. Hankey
2 years 7 months ago

Barry had 155 more WAR than any other poo in history! Howwwdy-ho!

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 7 months ago

1. Bonds
2. Clemens
3. Biggio
4. Maddux
5. Bagwell
6. Thomas
7. Glavine
8. Mussina
9. Schilling
10. Piazza

In no particular order, of course

Sean
Guest
Sean
2 years 7 months ago

I honestly think only Maddux will make it in this year. Too many worthy candidates and too many writers who refuse to vote the suspected PED guys, reserve the first-ballot honor, ignore advanced metrics, and/or only vote 4-5 names a year. With all the confusion and muddled ballots, getting that 75% is going to become very difficult to achieve. Kevin Brown and Kenny Lofton only lasting 1 vote and falling of the ballot was unfortunate. But when it turns into guys like Larry Walker and Edgar Martinez, it’s a travesty. And it’s only getting worse as Randy, Pedro, and Smoltz join the fray next year.

Matthew Cornwell
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

1. Maddux
2. Bonds
3. Clemens
4. Piazza
5. Bagwell
6. Schilling
7. Thomas
8. Mussina
9. Glavine
10. Biggio

rtcrules
Guest
rtcrules
2 years 7 months ago

I really hope the writers get it right this year and get at least 3 of these guys in. If they dont, the logjam will only get worse and I fear this will shortly either change the way the HOF votes on players or forces the Hall to start a committee on the Steroid Era playes. Both will get the guys who rightfully deserve to be in, but the Hall has historicaly proven their inability to change rules in a timely manner and surely they will over correct the problem and these rightfully deserving will be followed by the Johnny Damon’s and Mark Teixeira’s of the world.

JB
Guest
JB
2 years 7 months ago

Not sure I understand the “system is broken” argument.

This is the classic SSS issue. A few years with lots of candidates. It will resolve itself. The only reason it exists is because of PED usage. Probably 4-5 guys go through this year and next and what will be left will be PED/probably PED guys and a few borderline cases.

I predict Morris (don’t agree), maddux, Thomas, Glavine, schilling, and perhaps mussina.

love trammel and raines and don’t know how much time they have left but they will go down this year. I predict some of the PED guys start to fall off list like McGuire and Sosa for lack of votes

Doug Lampert
Guest
Doug Lampert
2 years 7 months ago

So the problem is a few years with a lot of candidates? NOT the fact that the voters voted in NONE of those candidates last year, and only one in 2012?

That’s the result of a systematic problem.

Bip
Guest
Bip
2 years 7 months ago

Very unlikely Schilling and Mussina make it this year.

Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption
2 years 7 months ago

The first 18 players listed above had careers worthy of Hall Of Fame induction.

Did we find out if Jeff Bagwell ever failed any tests? He didn’t? His career even ended a little early due to injury, no odd “rejuvenation” years in his late 30s/early 40s like so many users.

tz
Guest
tz
2 years 7 months ago

Bagwell has never been linked to any tests. Here are some pertinent facts:

– Bagwell was a big, strong guy coming out of high school, a multi-sport star who chose to play at the University of Hartford (to stay in CT)

– Despite hitting very well in college, Bagwell only went in the 4th round because of concerns that his thick frame would prevent him from staying at 3B.

– In 1990, Bagwell almost won the Eastern League batting title despite playing in perhaps the worst hitters park in organized baseball at the time. New Britain’s stadium was so rough on hitters that Ellis Burks held the all-time single season HR record….with 12. Bagwell, despite his power, only hit 4 HR for New Britain.

– After being traded to Houston, Bagwell’s HR totals increased dramatically. However, there have been numerous other excellent young hitters who developed the ability to square up on the ball vs. top-level pitching before developing their HR ability in the majors (some kid in LA/Anaheim has done that recently)

I think Bagwell’s omission from the Hall is a travesty. Not every well-muscled guy from the 1990’s was a PED user. Nor is every leap in HR totals attributable to cheating.

derekcarstairs
Guest
derekcarstairs
2 years 7 months ago

I think this argument has merit for limiting the ballot to ten players and for voting in fewer than ten players in any one year:

At the induction ceremony honoring these great players, you want to give individual attention to the accomplishments of each. If you have too many players inducted at the same time, none of the players gets the attention he deserves.

LillieSmith0
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LillieSmith0
2 years 7 months ago

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payroll
Guest
payroll
2 years 7 months ago

“because the BBWAA and the Hall of Fame continue to hold fast to an archaic 10 slot ballot that fills no actual purpose. ”

One might argue that the 10 vote limit is a built in adjustment to changes in sports medicine, run environments, etc. that over time inflates output to the point we reached in the 90s where all kinds of guys were amassing 500+ HR totals and the historical benchmarks which don’t take into account those environmental changes. I don’t know if I’d make that argument, but it is something we’d factor into any other analyses, yes?

hansioux
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hansioux
2 years 7 months ago

This just reminds us how great the Braves’ rotation was back in the mid to late 90s….

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