Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas Elected to Hall of Fame

Because of the release of ballots over the last few weeks, we’ve had a pretty good idea that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas would get elected into the Hall of Fame on their first attempt. Today, that was made official, as all three cleared the 75% threshold and are now members of the Hall. All three are more than deserving, and raise the level of the Hall of Fame by their enshrinement.

Because today should be about celebrating greatness, here is my homage to Greg Maddux and Jeff’s tribute to Tom Glavine, with a similar piece on Frank Thomas on the way. These players are worth celebrating.

Of course, as is often the case with announcements of this sort, the players who missed can overshadow the players who made it, and the vote total for Craig Biggio is probably going to be the story that gets the most traction. Biggio received 427 votes out of a possible 571, putting him at 74.8%, just two votes shy of election. It is the most narrow miss in HOF voting history, tying him with Nellie Fox and Pie Traynor, both of whom ended up getting elected later. Biggio is basically a mortal lock to get elected next year, but that he missed by two votes this year is going to be the source of a lot of consternation for the next 12 months.

And really, it is perhaps the perfect example of why the 10 player limit on the HOF ballot needs to be removed immediately. There are almost certainly confirmed more than two voters who did not include Craig Biggio on their 10 player ballot because there were 10 players they felt were more qualified on this particular ballot, but would have voted for him had the 10 player limit not been in place.

In other words, more than 75% of the voters would vote yes for Craig Biggio if that was the only question that was posed to them, but the limit means that is not the question they were asked, and they had to weigh his candidacy against the many other deserving candidates who made up this historically crowded ballot.

The fact that more than 75% of the voters would vote for Biggio, but could not because of an archaic rule that serves no purpose, but he did not get elected because of that rule, is reason enough to discard it post haste. Craig Biggio is, in the minds of 75% of the HOF voters, a Hall of Famer, but is being kept out by a technicality.

While I do not wish to be morbid, it is possible that Biggio does not live to see the 2015 Hall of Fame class get announced, and the Hall could be forced to posthumously elect a player that has already exceeded the threshold of 75% support among the voters. That would be a travesty, and motivation enough to remove the 10 player limit before we actually have a situation where a player is honored after he passes simply because the BBWAA is clinging to an outdated rule that has no use.

I believe the 10 player limit will be changed before next year’s ballot. Craig Biggio’s two vote miss ensured that this issue will not go unstudied, and once it becomes clear that indeed more than two voters would have voted for him if they could have, change will essentially be forced. In that sense, this is a good result for the Hall of Fame, even if it means another year of frustration for Biggio himself.

Overall, though, this is nearly as good of a result as could be hoped for, given the current rules and electorate. Three deserving players got in, no undeserving players are going to lower the Hall’s standard for future enshrinement, and a bad rule will now be heavily scrutinized. The process still needs improvement, but this is a much better day for both the Hall of Fame and the BBWAA than last year’s announcement.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

242 Responses to “Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas Elected to Hall of Fame”

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  1. SF 55 for life says:

    Odds of voting reform in the near future?

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    • ryan says:

      “I believe the 10 player limit will be changed before next year’s ballot.”

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      • Jay29 says:

        Not sure why Dave would think the BBWAA would see reason and admit a mistake.

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        • Dave Cameron says:

          Because I’m a member of the BBWAA and have been involved in conversations with other members who are also agitating for change?

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        • Jay29 says:

          True, and I have hope for the future, just not sure it can happen that quickly (e.g., I’m not concerned about the low vote counts for Schilling and Mussina, because they have over a dozen years to get more support).

          But of course I forgot that you are in the loop and can influence a lot of the writers.

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        • If we’re going to talk about ideal HOFs, not an upstate NY tourist trap, let’s have writers put one spot on the ballot for voting somebody OUT of the HOF. If one person hits 75 percent, boom!

          We can get rid of the 1930s Veterans Commission dead wood. (And vote Jack Morris back out whenever a modern VC is dumb enough to vote him in.)

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        • Jon C says:

          DC might “believe” one thing, and he’s must certainly going to politic for a change. That by no means makes it a fact that it will or even should be changed.

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        • Eric Feczko says:

          Even to a well-read fan, there are clear signs that the limit may be changed.

          If you ignore the Chasses, Gurnicks, curly-haired boyfriends, and Nobles of the BBWAA (which make up a minority, not a majority), many other baseball writers have written/spoke about their problems with the 10-vote limit.

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      • I hope not. I had him on my 10-player mock ballot and on voting at Deadspin. I didn’t have Walker on my ballot. Above all, I didn’t have Bonds and Clemens on my ballot. I mean, Big Mac made a halfway confession at least.

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        • HAL9100 says:

          Oh, its the Hall of Honesty now?

          Because Mark McGwire was not as good at baseball as Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.

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        • Never said Big Mac was. Never said that roiding confessions were only about honesty, either. Instead, I want that knowledge in part to improve future testing. I also want it in part to make it better to make a guesstimate at Roids+ (or Roids-) to parallel ERA+ and OPS+.

          Details here, where I also note that roids weren’t the only factor in the power explosion: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2014/01/cooperstown-central-were-roids-and-peds.html

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        • Eric Feczko says:

          That blog piece is more vapid than Jenny McCarthy on the view.

          First of all you say that steroids account for 35 percent of the power explosion, without any evidence whatsoever.

          Even if we assume this to be true. You then apply the rate cuts across the board. Therefore, you are making the assumption that the entire “steroid era” should be adjusted, so that we can compare it to other baseball periods.
          The assumption itself is reasonable, but you seem to misunderstand the statistics you cite. Rate stats like OPS+ and ERA- are calculated relative to the baseball period, as are cumulative stats like WAR. In the context of such stats, the “steroid era” already has an adjustment.
          You then make the assertion that if Bonds admits he used steroids, this admission would somehow lead to improved drug testing. Ironically, such a ridiculous assertion actually has evidence AGAINST it; investigations that are intended to maintain confidentiality improve testing, but not individual admissions. When Ken Camniti admitted, while playing, that he used steroids, absolutely nothing happened. However, when an independent investigator examined the level of PED use in the major leagues, the report spurred improvements in testing schedules.

          My guess is that you left off Bonds and Clemens because you don’t like them. That’s perfectly all right, but please, be honest with yourself about your thought process.

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        • jim says:

          oh good, thankfully you wrote a blog piece explaining the reasoning behind your ballot.

          oh, you don’t actually have a ballot?

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        • Eric: WAR, OPS+, et al, still ignore counting stats, and how they would have been affected. The same applies to Larry Walker and the Coors effect. I note explicitly that issue in my blog.

          As for the exact percentages, they’re guesstimates, yes. But, I’m far from alone in talking about steroids in larger context of hitter-friendly changes. In that larger context, I think my guesstimates are reasonable.

          Given that I’m not alone in such lines of thinking, they’re certainly not vapid.

          Jim: It’s not like I’m the only person who took part in voting on Deadspin’s vote **which did have a ballot** and then did his own blog post about it. Bite me.

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        • Second note to Eric: OPS+ and ERA+ would only **perfectly** adjust for roiding if everybody in baseball was roiding.

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    • Jon C says:

      Yup, time for overreaction from sabr heads. It’s a minor holiday like Opening Day or trade deadline. Nothing happened that requires fixing. Biggio will get in next year after a social effort. Palmeiro falling is no big deal. He cheated, so he could make himself richer when he already had enough. I would bet the two confirmed people that had Biggio as their eleventh vote also voted for Bonds and Clemens, which is throwing their vote away just like turning in a blank sheet is. Those two will never get in on writer’s votes. Palmeiro wasn’t going to ever either.

      Why not backlash towards those voters who somehow thought Biggio was the eleventh best player on the ballot? Who they spending votes on, anyway?

      People got in, people fell off, the ballot will be fine next year without a change. Other players had to live with voting maximums, why should it get changed now to help this era of players?

      People are missing the major travesty of this vote. Alan Trammel is losing support. We knew he wouldn’t get on writer’s vote but his loss of support doesn’t bode well for expansion era vote either.We can blame the Gurnicks of the world, and yes I think his ballot was entirely stupid, but this is not the time to overreact.

      Maddux and Glavine and Thomas got in. Biggio WILL get in. No amount of ballot maximum changes will get Bonds or Clemens in. What exactly is the fuss over?

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      • Drew says:

        The fuss is over Morris getting any votes.

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        • Jon C says:

          You need to try harder than that to get a rise out of me.Morris didn’t get his views, no big deal. I seriously doubt anyone that had Morris on their ballot left off Biggio, mostly because most of the Morris voters would not have a full ballot because they wouldn’t vote for Bonds et al.

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        • Jon C says:

          stupid phone, views should be votes

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        • JayT says:

          Ken Gurnick voted for Jack Morris and no one else. I’m sure there were others that voted for Morris and not Biggio.

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        • Jon C says:

          Voted for Morris, and had Biggio off due to a full ballot is not the same as what you said, and I doubt it happened once much less twice. Bonds and Clemens fucked it up for everyone. Blame them, and the people that filled up this year’s ballot voting for them, not voter limits.

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      • Jon C says:

        I love how the fangraphs people try to piss people off with a downvote. What you don’t get it is people don’t care if you down vote them. I knew you’re all a hivemind of indoctrinated people a long time ago. Keep voting and thinking it matters if it makes you happy, but I already knew I was in the minority opinion before I posted, I didn’t need a reminder.

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        • DrBGiantsfan says:

          We’re not trying to piss you off; you appear to be naturally bitter anyway. We downvoted because your comments are terrible.

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        • Denial, she ain't just an Egyptian river... says:

          …and clearly they do bother you, for you to comment on them so, so often.

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      • Eric Feczko says:

        People are voting you down because you are being foolish.

        Clemens and Bonds still garnered ~35% of the vote in their second year. This was not a large dropoff, and it is entirely conceivable that they will get elected within the next 13 years.

        Voters had multiple opportunities to vote in non-steroid users in the past (Trammel, Raines and Bagwell immediately come to mind). They did not. It is the collective voting over multiple years that has led to a clogged ballot, not simply Bonds and Clemens.

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        • Jon C says:

          Yeah Bonds will get in, and Santa is my neighbor. He needs not only votes, but a new electorate. This isn’t a referendum of Bonds’ skill, it’s a total contempt for cheating. It’s not the same as when Blyleven needed and got a push to the finish line. You need to convert people to a different mindset.

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      • mark-in-sydney says:

        I realize that this topic is done to death but for the last two years it continues to get my goat. The issue isn’t really steriods, the issue is the BBWAA members’ response to steroids. Basically, I think it amounts to guilt.

        There is no doubt that Clemens and Bonds are both worthy of the HoF. There is also no doubt that, at the time they played, the baseball establishment, including Selig and most BBWAA members, were far more interested in their prowess than in rumours that they were on PEDs, despite Jose Canseco and others being very clear about. Then there was the Mitchell Report and they were shown up to be rather foolish.

        So now these same guys feel guilty. And they do what most people do in such a situation, look for a scapegoat. Bonds and Clemens become it. And the writers mouth, hypocritically in my opinion, that they are “teaching them a lesson” and that “cheats never prosper” by not voting for them. I call BS on that. They just don’t have the balls to say that, despite the PEDs they are deserving. Not that my little rant will change anything…

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        • Half correct.

          Everybody here should read Bryan Curtis’ “The Steroid Hunt” on Grantland. Writers were already filling in the blanks in 1995, and he’s got articles linked.

          But, half the writers are looking at “small Hall” voters as being guilty, because plenty of them want to vote in Bonds & Clemens AND a dozen others.

          So, I don’t feel sorry for the Bobbesey Twins. I also don’t feel sorry for ESPN writers who keep voting for them and then complaining about too small a ballot, especially when a lot of them were either columnists or beat writers back then.

          http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10261642/mlb-hall-fame-voting-steroid-era

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      • Dprat says:

        Over at Weird Meat’s HOF tracker, actual ballots are tabulated, currently 192 of them, almost exactly one third of the total. I count nine full ballots (10 players voted for) that have a Morris vote but no Biggio vote. So you can extrapolate that out to 20 to 30 votes, maybe even more. In short, you are wrong by a factor of 20-30+. Nice work.

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      • Other travesties? Mussina only getting 20 percent; Raines’ support slipping a bit.

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  2. M. Incandenza says:

    Damn – Biggio missed by just two Gurnicks.

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    • Slats says:

      The Hall of Fame is a joke without Pete Rose.

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      • Rippers says:

        Cannot disagree with any of these players, but it blows my mind how Biggio still hasn’t been inducted.

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      • Jon C says:

        Why exactly, are the sheep of fangraphs downvoting this comment?

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        • philosofool says:

          Probably because one very poor decision by the BWAA doesn’t ruin the entire concept nor institution. It’s the sort of hyperbolic comment that leads to an obnoxious and unproductive comment thread.

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        • Jon C says:

          But one year of voting is ok to spawn an overreaction?

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        • SF 55 for life says:

          This isn’t a one year problem

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        • Visitor says:

          “I love how the fangraphs people try to piss people off with a downvote. What you don’t get it is people don’t care if you down vote them.”

          “Why exactly, are the sheep of fangraphs downvoting this comment?”

          If you not only don’t care about downvotes but know for a fact that no one cares about them, why are you asking about them?

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        • Jon C says:

          call it a social experiment.

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        • Buck Turgidson says:

          “The rules aren’t bad. You simply had something happen you didn’t like and feel the need to blame someone. You know what, life is a bitch sometimes, suck it up buttercup.”

          -Jon C, a comment a little further down.

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    • JS7 says:

      And once again, we spend time mixing metaphors and examples and don’t discuss the real problem – The Hall of Fame itself.

      The rule for years that declares you “permanently ineligible” from participating in baseball. After Pete was banned, the powers that be got together and decided that as of NOW, this same rule applies to the Hall as well. I agree, Pete should never be allowed to participate in baseball – coach, manage, etc. That’s the penalty. The Hall salutes past achievement, and Pete deserves that. Being in the Hall is not participating, and changing the rule after Pete’s lifetime ban was petty and unfair.

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    • Westy says:

      Well, if Gurnick isn’t going to vote for anyone in the steroid era, then he won’t be doing much voting over the next 15 years. Take away his vote and give it to someone that isn’t trying to push an agenda. Idiot.

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      • Jon C says:

        Pretty sure he’s giving it up voluntarily.

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      • Eric Feczko says:

        Gurnick voted for someone who played in the steroid era: Jack Morris. In fact, steroid users in the MLB were present since the start of his career.

        Jack began his career in 1977 (sort of, first 150+ innings pitched was in 1979), Tom House, an admitted steroids user, was active from 1971-1978.

        Jack’s career continued through the 80′s, when Jose Canseco played. This included his 1991 performance in the World Series. I believe the bash brothers (McGwire and Canseco) were playing in Oakland at the time.

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  3. Zobmie says:

    Dave, Have you read Tom Tango’s recent post on a proposed change to Hall of Fame Voting? (http://goo.gl/hXSG9J) I’d love to know what you think about it. It doesn’t address the 10 player limit, but I found the idea intriguing.

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  4. Anon21 says:

    It’s hard to even understand the ostensible purpose of the 10-player limit. If you take a historical look at the BBWAA voting, there’s just no danger whatsoever that a bunch of terrible (or even very-good-but-not-great) candidates would get swept in just because it cost the writers nothing to throw a vote their way. BBWAA has always been incredibly stingy with the honor; there’s no need to add artificial constraints to that stinginess.

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    • rustydude says:

      Homo Sapiens have 10 fingers, so this totally makes sense to me.

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    • JonL says:

      I’d like to buck local dogma by

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    • Jon L. says:

      I’d like to buck local dogma by saying that I support the arbitrary ten-person limit. I see two clear benefits:

      1. A player must be a consensus top-10 candidate in order to get in. Jack Morris is still not in, and if only we’d had a backlog much sooner, Jim Rice wouldn’t be either.

      2. Not only does it help ensure the quality of entrants, but it also limits the flow. It’s easier to individually honor 2 or 3 guys than an pool of 6 or 7, and the small numbers being inducted help preserve the Hall’s prestige.

      I’m not sure we’d only see a horde of deserving candidates voted in at once if the rule were changed. I think we’d see more borderline Hall of Famers, and would dilute the honor of induction.

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  5. JohnF says:

    I think the ten player limit is not an issue. My problem is with the jackwagons who send in a blank ballot. If you don’t believe anyone should get elected, don’t send in a ballot. I’d rather see a rule change so that a blank ballot doesn’t count as a vote.

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    • Jon says:

      Why? A blank ballot means no votes. What if there’s only one remotely reasonable candidate in a given year (i.e. he’s the only one who gets any votes at all). 50 writers vote for him and him only. The rest vote for nobody. You’re saying you want him elected with 100% (50 out of 50) of the vote??

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    • JJ says:

      There may never be a more clear cut HOF pitcher in my lifetime than Maddux. Only comparable pitchers of that era were Pedro, Randy Johnson, and Clemens. He was the only one to do it without simply blowing by guys with gas and finished out his career with class. One of the best to ever do it. You don’t vote in Maddux and you don’t deserve to watch baseball let alone have a vote for the HOF.

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      • KDL says:

        I’m not giving Gurnick(sp?) a pass.
        But there were few enough voters that didn’t vote for Maddux that I’m willing to grant that at least 2 or 3 non-Maddox voters were being strategic in response to the 10 limit.

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    • triple_r says:

      Jackwagons?

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      • JohnF says:

        R. Lee Ermey:
        “You know what makes me sad? YOU DO! Maybe we should chug on over to mamby pamby land where maybe we can find some self confidence for you, you jack wagon!” (Geico commercial asking does a former drill sergeant make a good therapist?)

        From Urban Dictionary:
        1. jack wagon
        Loser. Someone who is totally worthless.

        2. Slang term derived from the Freight or Chow wagons used in the late 19th century. These were often the last wagons in a wagon train, making them the least favorable to drive due to the dust, waste, and debris from the front of the train.

        When used as in insult it refers to one’s lack of intelligence, implying the insultee is capable of no more than operating a Chow wagon.
        You’re doing it wrong, you Jack wagon!

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  6. Ron says:

    I don’t know if you can say that it is “almost certain” Biggio gets in without the limit. You would have to see if any of the full ballots left Biggio off to even start that argument. Then you would have to know what those writers thought of Biggio.

    Since Biggio didn’t seem like super borderline case it is as likely that everyone who maxed out the ballot voted for him or choose not to vote for him at all. This kind of snap judgment that the limit cost him seems out of place for a blog that values critical evaluations.

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    • ryan says:

      Look at Keith Law’s twitter; he’s found at least two already.

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    • Phil says:

      Good points, except for the fact that you are completely wrong and clearly haven’t read the article.

      There are already two confirmed voters (and probably more) who would have voted for Biggio without a 10 player limit

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    • Ron says:

      Ok the Twitter additions do make this better. Still Have to question those guys judgment for not including him.

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      • Phil says:

        I don’t question their judgement, just the judgement of those who set the rules. People shouldn’t have to vote tactically to get guys in

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        • TKDC says:

          I don’t question the judgment of the people who set the rule nearly as much as the people who continue to not amend it.

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      • KDL says:

        Maddux
        Clemens
        Glavine
        Raines
        Bonds
        Thomas
        Trammell
        Piazza
        Schilling
        Edgar Martinez
        You can make a VERY VERY solid case for those players being ranked above Biggio. There is nothing wrong with one’s judgment if one were to leave Biggio off of this year’s ballot. The problem is the 10 player rule. Not the judgment of the few voters who had him ranked lower than 10th.

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        • Wally says:

          And now that Maddux, Glavine and Thomas are off the ballot for 2015, Biggio only has to deal with Randy Johnson, Pedro and Smoltz coming in as serious contenders for a quick HOF admission. Then Sheffield, Delgado, Nomar, and Giles will all get at least some voters and a few random voters might pick them over Biggio.

          Now, I’m sure Biggio will eventually get in and after the publicity of missing by just two votes this year, he’ll almost certainly get in despite the additions next year, but still. It shows that the ballot isn’t getting any less crowded and one could still argue that there are 10 players more deserving than Biggio next year too….Heck he’s “only” 13th on the list for the 2015 HOF ballot if you rank it by WAR.

          BTW, how about Mike Mussina only getting 20% of the vote with his 83 WAR? Whole crap balls. That must be one of the worst 1st year showings for a guy with that much WAR.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          that’s what happens when you gather your WAR 4-6 at a time, every year like clockwork. I wonder if, given his 80 WAR, he has the worst maximum single-season WAR (6.9) of any player with that much total career value. (if that makes any sense?)

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          Indeed, some FG perusing later, and:

          Of the 20 pitchers since 1900 with more than 80WAR, Mussina has by far the lowest peak value. Even if you go down to 70, he’s only joined by Tommy John and Eddie Plank. Not saying that’s necessarily a good reason to exclude him, but it is a reason.

          It’s amazing that he was so consistent to get to 80, with such a low ceiling.

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        • Eric R says:

          I grabbed all SPs with +/- 10% of Mussina’s career rWAR. I tacked on Pud Galvin and Ted Lyons on the bottom, so that the sample average would match Mussina’s 83.0 career rWAR. Sample is 17 pitchers including Mussina.

          Baseball-ref graciously includes the seven year peak for each player;

          Group: 55.6 WAR peak, 27.4 WAR otherwise
          Mussina: 44.5 WAR peak, 38.5 WAR otherwise

          Lets split that up into per year numbers:
          Group: 7.9 WAR per year peak, 2.5 WAR per year [for 11.1 years] otherwise
          Mussina: 6.4 WAR per year peak, 3.5 WAR per year [for 11 years] otherwise.

          So the question is, if ‘Group’ was a single pitcher, is that better than Mussina or the same?

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          Eric R, thanks for doing the work on that, much more thoroughly than I did.

          Now that I think about it, and the way you phrased it, Group does seem like a much more worthy HoFer than Mussina.

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  7. Robbie G. says:

    How many (living) people in the U.S go by “Pie,” either as an actual first name or a nickname? Six? Zero, maybe?

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  8. KCDaveInLA says:

    I thought that the limit would result in a lot more players falling below the 5% threshhold, but there we are with only Rafael Palmeiro falling off.

    Hoping next year will be a dream five-man rotation in the HOF (Johnson, Smoltz, Pedro, Mussina and Schilling).

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    • TKDC says:

      That would be great, but it will probably be Biggio, Johnson, Pedro.

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      • Jason B says:

        Agreed, with Smoltz a maybe. Schilling is almost certainly too far off to make that leap in one year, and Moose definitely is (such that I really question whether he will ever get in; highly doubtful with that starting point).

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        • TKDC says:

          Selfishly, I sort of hope Smoltz lingers on the ballot until Chipper is up and they go in together. I don’t want to have to make three trips to Cooperstown in the span of five years.

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    • Scott J Marcus says:

      As a big fan of the Braves in the 80′s and 90′s (went to school at GA Tech), I would have loved to see Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz all go in together — but of course Smoltz made that impossible by playing the extra year.

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  9. Mike Green says:

    Concur. The voters did, on average, put more names on their ballots. And mostly, these were the names that ought to be there.

    If given an unlimited number of players to vote for, I would probably have voted for 14 (Maddux, Clemens, Bonds, Bagwell, Thomas, Glavine, Schilling, Piazza, Mussina, Biggio, Raines, Trammell, Walker, and Edgar) despite being in the middle on size of Hall and PED issues. Most years, I would vote for 8-10.

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    • Phil says:

      I’d challenge you on ‘most years, I’d vote for 8-10′ as a middle sized hall guy. If the 14 guys you mention got voted in, you wouldn’t need to vote for that many surely. There are some locks hitting the ballot next year, but who else would you vote for?

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      • vivalajeter says:

        I don’t think he’s saying there are 8-10 good new candidates that show up each year. Rather, he’s saying that some of those 14 won’t be voted in, and he’d vote for them again next year.

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        • Phil says:

          I know – my point was that if voters just put a tick next to who deserved to be in, and didn’t make tactical votes (x isn’t worthy of getting in in the first 5 years etc) then the 10 player limit would be an irrelevance – there are never 10 new candidates worthy of enshrinement. The problem is a backlog caused by stupidity

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  10. grant says:

    Many voters published ballots saying “I would have voted for ___ but for the limit …”. It’s pretty safe to say nearly all of the candidates with between 10 – 74.8% would have had a little more support without the limit.

    I thought I read somewhere that bbwaa already struck a committee to study the issue. My guess – pure guess – is that they’ll make an incremental change first, like maybe raise it to 12 or so for the time being.

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    • Joe R says:

      Agreed, as they should. But it is the bull-headed subjectivity and big hall for you, small hall for you voting patterns of many voters (cough*JON HEYMAN*cough*TRACY RIGOLSBY*cough) that got us into this mess of well over a dozen deserving guys being stuck on the ballot.

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  11. db says:

    Who fell off?

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    • Pirates Hurdles says:

      Palmeiro and his 3000H and 500HR.

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      • jg941 says:

        You mean 3000*H and 500*HR.

        FTFY.

        -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Pirates Hurdles says:

          No I don’t mean that. They happened, the records state they did, the games counted, its part of MLB history. We are discussing a museum dedicated to the game of baseball.

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        • Ruki Motomiya says:

          3000 x H and 500 x HR?

          Time to find the value of H…

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        • jg941 says:

          Or, apparently, the value of HGH :-)

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        • Jon C says:

          Would be really awesome if MLB vacated the records of cheaters like NCAA and other sports associations do. Then Bonds wouldn’t merely get an asterisk from fans, he’d get a big fat “fuck you” on his stat sheet.

          -11 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • RC says:

          Bond’s “Fuck you” can go right with Babe Ruth’s and Hank Aaron’s, when they vacate their stats for exactly the same thing (Aaron- greenies, Ruth – artifical testosterone, and greenies, and coke, and pretty much everything else he could take.)

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        • IHateJoeBuck says:

          Also, it’s never been proven that Barry Bonds used illegal substances. You’re going down a real slippery slope there.

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  12. Bob says:

    With Bonds and Clemens percents going down, I don’t necessarily view this as better than last year entirely, but it wasn’t a disaster.

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  13. Erik says:

    I think it is the one constraint they have on the size of the Hall. While the opinions of the BBWAA is the number one constraint limiting the amount of players in the Hall this is the one rule that is in place to actually limit the number of players who get in.

    Also, this rule should ensure that Biggio’s election is saved for another year in which there are a smaller number of deserving candidates. From the perspective of the Hall it is better to have 3 elected per year than to have 0-5.

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    • Richie says:

      What Erik says. Exactly. They do not want to be the NFL Hall, with so many players in it. All of them good, but if I asked you to name every receiver in it, I don’t think the curator could do so, or even come close. ‘Max 10′ is the only size constraint I can think of that the Baseball Hall has.

      With Erik’s second paragraph being even more telling from the Hall’s perspective. They absolutely want 3 at a time, rather than a huge honkin’ bunch this year and then none the next. If you don’t give a crap about the business needs of the Hall or Cooperstown, fine. Just don’t pretend that they should nevertheless care what you think.

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      • Ian R. says:

        Name every left fielder in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I’ll wait.

        There are probably 50 or more Hall of Fame players whom nobody has ever heard of, and to the extent that Lloyd Waner and High Pockets Kelly and others are famous at all, they’re famous for being among the least deserving players in the Hall.

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      • jpg says:

        As I wrote below the NFL and MLB Halls shouldn’t be compared. The baseball Hall doesn’t have to ever become fearful of “turning into” NFL Hall because the pool of deserving players is a fraction of the size. The NFL could put six guys in every year and have another six deserving players on the outside looking in. That’s EVERY YEAR.

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      • Michael Scarn says:

        The NFL Hall of Fame has 22 WRs in it. That’s for like 50 years of “Modern era” football. How is having 22 guys after 50 years considered excessive?

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  14. Brian says:

    Who in the world voted for Jacque Jones to be in the Hall of Fame? He was an alright player but look at his stats, they are nowhere close to being a Hall of Fame player, the person that voted for him should not be allowed to vote anymore.

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    • Blue says:

      I’ve never had a problem with one or two recognition votes for guys like him. It’s just an attaboy.

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      • Jay29 says:

        But when “attaboy” votes happen in a year with such a stacked ballot, it’s a wasted vote, one taken away from a much more deserving player.

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        • That Guy says:

          This is rapidly coming to be my favorite time of year to be online and reading the comment sections of articles.

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      • crapshoot says:

        It wouldn’t be a problem if there wasn’t a limit on the number of players you could vote for. But if you’re throwing a vote away on Jacque Jones at the expense of somebody actually deserving then you’ve done a disservice.

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  15. Ghost of Jack Morris says:

    Over 25 percent of voters voluntarily choose to leave Biggio off their ballot. That does not equal 75 percent support to me. He missed by a hair, nothing more, nothing less.

    I can’t believe the “he might die before next year” card was played.

    Maybe (probably) next year Craig.

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    • Evan says:

      >75% of voters wanted to put Biggio on there ballot but couldn’t because of an outdated restriction on the ballot.

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      • RC says:

        But that’s a silly argument. I’m sure there are writers who would put 50 guys on the ballot if they could. Just as there are jackwagons who send in blank ballots.

        Frankly, I think the best thing would be to force them to vote for exactly 10.

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        • Jason B says:

          “Frankly, I think the best thing would be to force them to vote for exactly 10.”

          Yikes. This is the worst solution I’ve ever seen proposed. Sure there appeared to be 10 or more qualified candidates to many voters this year, but vote for exactly 10 even in years when there may be 3-4 qualified, eligible candidates? Pass!

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  16. Moose says:

    Did anybody else find that Mussina getting only 20% of the vote a bit strange?The underlying data suggests he was very close to Glavine in many respects and it is arguable that Moose was actually the better SP.

    I am not suggesting that Mussina was a deserving 1st ballot guy but the differential shows how much voting is impacted by milestones like a 300 W career or numerous 20 W seasons.

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    • Baltar says:

      If a writer thinks a player is qualified for the Hall of Fame, he should vote for him. What difference does it make whether it’s the first ballot or not?

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      • Moose says:

        First ballot wasn’t really my point.

        It was that Mussina is seemingly much more qualified than his 20% vote might suggest. He dominates Glavine in terms of WAR 82.5 to 64.3.

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        • Jay29 says:

          Not to mention that WAR doesn’t include the fact that he was in the AL East all his career. Probably more like a 85-90-WAR player?

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        • cass says:

          Fangraph’s regular WAR is a terrible way to measure Tom Glavine’s value. Please see Sullivan’s piece on this. RA9-WAR is a much better measurement in his case and he clears the 80 mark in that measure easily. Tom Glavine was the rare pitcher who could beat his peripherals by quite a large margin. FIP doesn’t work for quite everyone.

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        • Mr. Jones says:

          Read Sullivan’s post on Glavine. fWAR likely greatly undervalues him. I agree with you, though, that Mussina was still arguably just as good.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          I put this up above, but an interesting thing about Mussina is that for a pitcher with so much WAR, he had an incredibly low peak season (only 6.9WAR). No other pitcher with so much career WAR had such a weak “best season”.

          As above, I am agnostic on Mussina, but I think the lack of a “signature year” in which he was obviously one of the best pitchers in the league seriously hurts him in terms of electability. In his best three seasons, he was the 3rd, 5th, and 6th best pitcher in MLB by fWAR.

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        • TKDC says:

          I think a closer look at the AL East argument with Mussina would reveal that it doesn’t hold up. First, unbalanced schedules were adopted in the late 90s, so before that it was meaningless. Second, from the late 90s to the mid-2000s, the AL East was two very good teams, and that was it. Mussina played on one of those teams. How much extra credit are you giving him for having to start against Boston 1-2 more times per year than non-AL East pitchers?

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    • Drew says:

      His numbers are certainly much much better than Jack Morris’s.

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      • Jon C says:

        Of course they are, no one said otherwise. Stop making strawman arguments.

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        • Drew says:

          Did you hear the news?

          The BBWAA vote totals were released.

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        • Jon C says:

          Umm… who doesn’t know?

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        • KDL says:

          About 40% of the HOF voters said so…it’s not a strawman argument if you’re reacting to something that actually happened.
          By the way, how did you like that Intro to Critical Thinking class last semester?

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        • Jon C says:

          Drew was only attempting to troll me, and either you knew that already and are being a dick, or you didn’t in which case now you do.

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        • paperlions says:

          Stop using “strawman argument” incorrectly.

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        • Jon C says:

          Drew was speaking to me specifically in a lame attempt to troll. Since I never said Morris is better than Mussina, my post is, was, and always will remain, true.

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    • Jon L. says:

      The voting was also colored by the writers not having a strong desire to see Mussina get in together with Maddux.

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  17. stan says:

    I don’t have a problem with the 10 player ballot. At the very worst its going to make a couple of worthy candidates wait a couple of extra years. However, if you take it away and let some voters vote for 15 or 20 guys like they are threatening to do, it could lead to a slew of unworthy players getting into the hall. The danger of making a worthy player wait a few years is smaller than the danger of letting in a wave of mediocre ones.

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    • srpst23 says:

      I don’t think you will have to worry about that since most of the old curmudgeon voters only vote for 1-2 players per year at best. These guys, the ones who have been retired for 10+ years and really don’t watch much baseball anymore, and compare the current players to the more “pure” amphetamine using players of the 60s and 70s, are the bottleneck. There are enough of these voters out there to prevent any even remotely marginal player from getting into the hall. Every idiot that sends in a blank ballot hurts everyone’s chances regardless of how many people one is allowed to vote for.

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      • stan says:

        While I don’t support the curmudgeon guys, I do think they’ve set a standard for what is hall-worthy that seems like it will evaporate if the 10 person ballot is eliminated. The football hall limits the number of inductions per year, which seems like a fair thing to do given that the number of rookies and retirees is going to be the same every year as well.

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        • jpg says:

          Comparing the NFL Hall and MLB Hall is an apples to oranges comparison. In football there are now more teams and significantly larger 53-man rosters. The NFL has 22 legit Hall “eligible position” with the 11 starting positions on both sides of the ball all represented in the hall. The only prominent “specialist” positions that aren’t represented are kicker, punter and kickoff/punt returner. Contrast that with baseball where the rosters are only 25 men with six spots (the six relief pitchers other than closer) that are held by specialists that get no support. Because the pool of deserving players is so massive, you could make the case that NFL doesn’t elect enough guys. A guy like Cris Carter waited several ballots despite being #2 to Jerry Rice in many of the categories relevant to the wide receiver position. Heck as a Giants fan I remember the anger surrounding the candidacy of Harry Carson because it took eight years to get him despite being one of the great linebackers to ever play.

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        • That Guy says:

          jpg: Don’t forget about the situation with Art Monk, either.

          You might well be right – there isn’t /enough/ members in the pro football HOF.

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      • Pirates Hurdles says:

        The impact of the “dumb” or “old school” voters is huge. Lets say only 20% of the 500 voters are in this group. That basically eliminates 100 votes from borderline players and the PED era. To get 75% a guy needs 375 of 500, with a voting block of 20% removed the player needs 94% of the remaining 400 votes. That is really hard to swing for any candidate. So, even if 80% of the electorate is OK with the PED issue even Bonds would barely get the votes. That is what Piazza and Bagwell face. For someone like Mussina its a huge obstacle to overcome and he’d only ever get in if teh 20% block goes away.

        At any rate, to the larger point, allowing more votes per ballot will not result in a flood of unworthy players. All it would do is help to resolve the current mess due to the logjam of qualified players.

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    • Richie says:

      The way this would work is, if you don’t leave some arguable players for the VC to induct, just to be doing something they will start inducting the merely good, distinguishing within that large pool according to who they were buds with. So yes, a larger ballot will move us to a larger Hall.

      Not using that to argue against it. Just pointing out that heck yes that will be one of the consequences.

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      • Pirates Hurdles says:

        Disagree, the Veteran’s Committee doesn’t have to put any players in, as they chose to do this year. Even with a larger ballot, the small hall voting block will prevent any borderline guys from getting in. Even if half of the voters want to vote for 15 guys it would not be able to get a guy like McGriff past the remaining voters.

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  18. Don Eazell says:

    We should change the rules becuase poor Craig Biggio didnt get into the Hall of Fame. It isn’t his last year of eligibility. The rule was put in place for a reason and every Hall of Famer has had to deal with this 10-player limit.

    I dont understand for the life of me, why today everyone wants to get rid of long-standing rules just because it inconveniences a player they love. Try to be un-biased a little for once in your life.

    -21 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Evan says:

      I don’t understand why people today should have to suffer through bad rules just because people in the past did.

      +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jon C says:

        The rules aren’t bad. You simply had something happen you didn’t like and feel the need to blame someone. You know what, life is a bitch sometimes, suck it up buttercup.

        -14 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • JayT says:

          Why is the rule good? What purpose does it serve?

          Personally, I’ve always felt that they should be allowed to vote for anyone that has been retired for five years. Sometimes (Bobby Grich for example) it takes more than 15 years to appreciate someone’s greatness.

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        • KDL says:

          I am ok with Biggio not getting in. He had a couple amazing season’s. But I’m a small Hall guy who isn’t a fan of any player that smells like a compiler.
          I also think the 10-player rule is stupid. So, your overly simplistic theory as to why people oppose the rule doesn’t hold water.
          I’m content with the result of it’s use, but still think it’s a dumb rule.

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    • Jon C says:

      The fangraphs sheep won’t listen to reason.

      -11 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • KDL says:

        You haven’t offered any reasons, Jon C. You’ve just made whiny statements. That’s what fangraphs readers don’t respond to. (This comment notwithstanding.)

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        • Jon C says:

          You guys are whining. Morris didn’t make it in;I’m not bitching about the voting process. It is what it is.

          The people that didn’t put Biggio on their ballots are the same people that put Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, on their ballot and had Biggio 14th. It’s virtually the same as turning your vote limit to seven by your own will.

          There’s no need to whine and bitch about the limit. It’s been there from the start. All the players had to live with the limit. It serves a purpose. You want Biggio in, don’t waste your votes making a statement for Bonds et al. They are never making it in via writers.

          You want to blame someone for the backlog; I get it. Blame Bonds and Clemens. If they didn’t Fuck it up they would have been in last year and Biggio have too. Stop displacing the blame.

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        • SF 55 for life says:

          Oh look, an appeal to tradition fallacy.

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        • Jon C says:

          That’s not what it is at all. It’s an appeal to fairness fur the past playes, and more importantly, it’s seeing through the utter crap DC wrote to get to his agenda.

          Why does Dave want the rule changed? So he and his cronies can waste votes on the Bonds and Clemens bunch without feeling the guilt associated with the fallout for it. Well guess what Dave? Bonds and Clemens aren’t getting in on writer’s votes, ever. You can change whatever rules you want for ballot maximums and do all you want and the only thing that’s going to happen is more fallout for you to deal with. Keep on this path, I want to see where it takes you.

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        • SF 55 for life says:

          There are more than 10 players worthy of the hall of fame without considering Bonds and Clemens.

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    • Seth says:

      So many downvotes. I totally agree. Everybody’s obsessed with this whole “first ballot HOFer” thing, and complains that the media doesn’t take that seriously enough, but being a “first ballot HOFer” is a concept that was CREATED by the media in the first place! Who cares when they get in, or what percentage of the votes they get. Those numbers are footnotes, not the story.

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  19. Roger says:

    The problem is not necessarily the 10 vote limit, which does theoretically serve a purpose towards limiting a big Hall mentality. In my opinion the problem is voters who draw asinine lines like “I won’t vote for anyone of the Steroid Era.” I believe the Hall should focus more on voter qualifications.

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    • stan says:

      Its kind of funny to see who drew the line at “I won’t vote for known steroid users”: apparently about 35% percent based on the Bonds/ Clemens results. And then there’s the “I won’t vote for guys I’m pretty sure used them”: apparently about 60% based on the Piazza/ Bagwell results. More than anything I think the Hall needs to make a statement about how voters should treat steroid users. Is it cheating? Does it matter if it is?

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      • stan says:

        I should have added the “I don’t care at all if a guy used”: the McGwire line of 11% and “I’ll vote for any Yankee”: the Mattingly line of 8%.

        Seriously, how is Don Mattingly still on the ballot and guys like Kevin Brown, Lou Whitaker and Albert Belle are off of it?

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      • Roger says:

        Just to be clear, I’m not saying it’s asinine to leave out the known or seriously suspected users. I may not agree with those on where they draw the line, but I can understand their position. I have a real problem with a voter like Ken Gurnick leaving out an entire era. This is a museum, and ignoring an era is offensive. It’s in effect saying my childhood heroes aren’t as valid as yours because you failed to report their cheating in a timely manner.

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    • Roger says:

      By the way, somewhere in this notoriously crowded vote, voters found room to give a vote each to the likes of Jacque Jones, Kenny Rogers, and Armando Benitez.

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    • Pirates Hurdles says:

      I don’t think the purpose was to ensure a small hall, but rather to ensure a smaller ballot each year. The goal is to get guys of marginal candidacy off the ballot quickly. A writer’s #14 player is never going to get 75% under any circumstance. Even a silly situation like we have now with writers trying to ignore a whole era of baseball. Even now, the issue impacted the #4 finisher and it only had that effect because of strategic voting. If you remove the limit then every man who teh writer thinks is a HOF gets a vote, its common sense.

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  20. Mr Punch says:

    Glad to see Frank Thomas elected – he’s deserving. Not nearly as good a fielder as David Ortiz, though.

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    • LaLoosh says:

      no idea how to justify Thomas w/o also Bagwell, Edgar, and Walker. Those 3 are all getting hosed.

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      • HAL9100 says:

        If that’s sticking in your craw, I’d like to point out that Mike Mussina received 20% of the votes while Tom Glavine received over 90%.

        This has not, in any way, been a knock on the excellence of Tom Glavine, but it seems strange to me that Glavine gets in for having results far better than his peripherals, but Mussina and Schilling are left out because they could ‘only’ manage the same kind of Hall-worthy results with superior skills.

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        • LaLoosh says:

          No argument from me. Problem is that 90% of HOF voters have no idea what FIP is much less wins above replacement. I’ll concede that war prob isn’t a great yardstick for pitchers but these guys still likely vote by pitcher wins. That’s tragic.

          Glavive was very good and durable for a long time. I don’t begrudge that he got in, but I agree that if he’s in then Mussina and Schill have to be in with him. No brainer.

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        • RageAgainstTheNarrative says:

          All three are no-brainers.

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  21. brad says:

    I wonder to what degree Morris now falling off the ballot will impact the troll vote of Chass and his ilk. Murray won’t vote again, he claims. But that denies him a chance to seek attention, so who knows.

    But more seriously, what’s going to happen to that nostalgia vote? Is David Eckstein going to stay on the ballot for the full 15 years from it?

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    • Pirates Hurdles says:

      Murray already said he will continue voting to spite his critics. He had a blog entry after his ballot and Biggio accusations were crushed by others.

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      • HAL9100 says:

        Not to spite his critics, per se, but to spite Craig Calcaterra and Rob Neyer specifically.

        Hilarious footnote: Because he views them as ‘mere bloggers’ despite not being employed by any journalism outlets.

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        • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

          link? That does sound hilarious.

          Looking on Chass’ blog, which is a little sickening, I found this nugget about Piazza:

          “Yet Piazza’s fans still scoff at the acne evidence.

          Wrote one supporter: “I had back acne for many years and, this might be tough to believe, I’ve never used steroids. Eventually, it cleared up.”

          I’ll bet it didn‘t clear up when baseball began testing for steroids. That’s when Piazza’s back cleared up. Through 2003 acne covered his back. Once testing began, no more acne. The Piazza fanatics don’t want to recognize the timing of the change in his back.”

          THE PROOF IS IN THE BACKNE!

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  22. Richie says:

    If you’re not a ‘Big Hall’ guy, and are – like me – the type of mouth-breather who doesn’t see PED tolerance as the shining totem of my superior intellect, then is there a backlog at all? No. Just a handful of guys who aren’t yet in that ‘I’ am sure should already be. As has been and will be the case thoughout all baseball eternity.

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    • stan says:

      To me, the “backlog” really started before the PED users got on the ballot anyway. The voters were only letting in a player or two every year anyway, and aside from last year they’ve pretty much kept that pace.

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    • BearHunter90 says:

      The backlog is that there are more than 10 deserving candidates on the ballot that a lot of people feel should be in the hall. With more coming.

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  23. jerome atrick says:

    Dave,

    I think that Biggio is a hall of famer, and should have gotten in by now. That being said, i don’t see how the 10 vote rule is the reason he’s not in. Especially when the average amount of names on the ballot per year is nowhere close to the limit per ballot. Because the 3-4 people you’ve confirmed “couldn’t” vote for him to get into the hall, doesn’t mean the 10 name rule has to go.

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    • Pirates Hurdles says:

      Well for Biggio those 3 to 4 people are a pretty damn big deal this afternoon.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jerome atrick says:

        I agree with that statement. But shouldn’t those 3 or 4 voters take into consideration the fact that biggio had a chance of getting in the hall and say… Bonds, clemens, etc. did not? What i’m saying is, there are probably 4 guys on these ballots that everyone knows isn’t getting in the hall… so why waste your vote on them, when you could be voting for biggio(who they agree should be in the hall). I don’t understand the point of, when having 10 votes, you vote for someone who clearly isn’t going to make it.

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        • Pirates Hurdles says:

          Oh I agree that it is stupid, but what is the dumbest is even having to decide due to an arbitrary number. I’m with Dave all the way, if 12 guys are worthy, vote for 12, if you think 5 are vote for 5.

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    • me says:

      8.4 votes per ballot this year. That’s pretty damn close to the limit of 10.

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      • jerome atrick says:

        8.4/10 still leaves room for biggio. There were only 427 votes for biggio, and 3 or 4 just “couldn’t find space” for him…. what about everyone else who didn’t vote for him??? did they not have any room on the ballot? apparently there were some blank spaces left or it’d be 10/10.

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        • KDL says:

          You’re making a baseless assumption that all ballots less than full didn’t already have Biggion on them. Someone could have only included 7 on their ballot with Biggio among those 7.
          The folks who have come forward have pointed out things like I had him ranked #11.

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        • Jon C says:

          I’m reasonably sure they had wasted Bonds and Clemens votes too.

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        • IHateJoeBuck says:

          It’s not wasting votes on Bonds and Clemens if the writer deems them worthy.

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  24. Evan says:

    It looks like there was a total of 4787 votes cast on the 571 ballots for an average of ~8.38 votes / ballot.

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  25. Bill says:

    Couldn’t those same writers have voted him in last year?

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    • KDL says:

      Do we know for a fact those guys didn’t vote for him last year? Maybe they did and other people changed from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ votes this year.

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  26. Robbie G. says:

    Do we know the names of the 16 voters who refused to vote for Greg Maddux, and do we know their rationales? Greg Maddux! I would love to see someone contact all 16 individuals and see all 16 rationales published in an article.

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    • Pirates Hurdles says:

      I bet most of it was strategic voting, ie. Maddux is in anyway, I’ll vote for Trammell or Mussina with that slot to keep them on the ballot.

      Of course there is also Gurnick who didn’t vote for Maddux because he played in the steroid era (while he only voted for Morris).

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  27. Kris Gardham says:

    While I think the idea of restructuring the HoF voting process is probably needed, I have trouble digesting this particular fix without at least considering the ramifications. Relying on revisionism to assume that because you’ve found multiple writers who would’ve voted for Biggio had the limit been larger, Biggio would’ve been inducted. Adding spots to the ballot changes the game and the voting patterns. There are voters in the BBWAA that have been voting strategically to further their own agendas. If the rules change, I have no reason to believe that their strategies will not follow suit.

    There are two ways to eliminate agendas: Add in a bunch of votes (number of ballots or spots on the ballot) to dilute them or address the problem at hand.

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  28. LaLoosh says:

    hope we can all get back to some hot stove activity now. what an empty distraction the HOF has become…

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  29. bowie says:

    I think the judgment of many voters is a bigger problem than the 10 player limit. The 10 player limit thing has not been a long standing problem, has it? I would rather wait until we see the problem recur before changing the rules on that.

    I think the major issue here is that many of these voters have no idea what they are doing.

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  30. brad says:

    Something I can’t help but note is that even with a large dropoff Lee Smith’s 27-29 f- or bWAR got him roughly the same number of votes as the combined PED whiff free candidacies of Larry Walker plus either Mussina or Trammel, which would be ~150 or ~130 WAR total.

    Meh.

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  31. Drew says:

    Bonds was the greatest player who ever lived.

    Jack Morris is maybe in the top 15-20 pitchers of his era.

    Solid vote, BBWAA.

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    • Ruki Motomiya says:

      “Bonds was the greatest player who ever lived.”

      Babe Ruth?

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      • ankle explosion hr celebration says:

        Ruth, by far..

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        • eayres33 says:

          Well he could pitch as well, but as an offensive player its Bonds, because you know the darker skinned folk couldn’t play during the Babe’s era. It always confuses me how people forget segreation and racism in their accounts of player performance.

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      • IHateJoeBuck says:

        You’re quibbling over his statement about Barry Bonds, rather than recognize his point in that Morris wasn’t very good.

        Maybe he should have said “Relative to the eras they played in, Barry Bonds was the best player, while Jack Morris was the 10-15th best pitcher”

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  32. JJ says:

    And if you are positive that Maddux was clean and many of the big hitters of his era were dirty, doesn’t that make his stats and therefore his Hall case even better?

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    • KDL says:

      Good luck being the center of attention with that kind of rational thinking.

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        • eayres33 says:

          With speed players, utility players and pitchers being the ones that have most often been popped by drug testing why would you assume Maddux was clean. Becuase he wore glasses and was slightly built.

          I don’t think he used but using body type as your determining factor is B.S.

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  33. jg941 says:

    Dave, I don’t necessarily agree that the limit should be 10, or 5, or 50, but your argument that the 10-player limit kept Biggio off is misguided, to say the least. You’re trying to present as some kind of fixed element or constant that the anecdotal responses of a few guys who simply said the sole reason they didn’t vote for him was the 10-player limit.

    Well, how about we press those guys on why they thought ALL 10 of the guys they DID include were better than Biggio? Or why they included “X” number of steroid guys instead of Biggio (don’t know if they did – haven’t looked at their ballots, but I’m guessing they did).

    I’ve seen ballots today with, say, Lee Smith, on them……and not Biggio. Or, worse yet, ballots with blanks left open……and not Biggio.

    And you’re venting on a part of the process that, by definition, wouldn’t allow the 11th-best guy in a given class into the Hall? Really…..that’s the part of the argument worth focusing on?

    Biggio is more like a top 5 guy in any given year at this point – why are you focusing any part of the argument on knuckleheads who can’t seem to “squeeze” a Top 5 guy into their 10 given opportunities. The onus is on those guys – and their head-scratching thought processes, whether it’s including or not including the cheaters, leaving blanks, voting for Mike Timlin or simply making bad decisions of this player over that.

    If the population of voters includes guys who did NOT vote for Greg Maddux at all, as well as guys who voted for Mike Timlin, then guess what? It’s time to thin the herd, or eliminate the herd altogether.

    If you think that the Biggio miss will get more discussion this year, then why don’t you get it started by posting every ballot that didn’t include Biggio on Fangraphs. I guarantee that your knowledgeable fanbase will realize – very quickly – that Biggio missing by two votes had absolutely nothing justifiable to do with less than a handful of writers lamenting their lack of an 11th spot.

    I think it’s kinda laughable that those writers are trying to pawn off maybe some otherwise poor decision-making on their Top 10 to the lack of Spot 11, and I think it’s unfortunate that you’re picking up that thread and trying to make it seem like it’s any meaningful part of the actual problem, IMO.

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  34. Rich Mahogany says:

    Is Palmeiro the best player ever to drop off the ballot before his 5th year of eligibility?

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  35. Kenneth Beard says:

    Maddux should have been unanimous. Just because it has never happened before is a terrible excuse.

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  36. Brian says:

    I don’t fully comprehend why so many voters vote for 10 players. IMO, Glavine, Mussina, Maddux and Thomas are a cut above. I wouldn’t vote for players that I perceive as lesser than my top tier.

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    • eayres33 says:

      I don’t understand this at all. The HOF isn’t a tiered system, if you think 10 guys or more are worthy to get in the HOF you vote for the 10 you can.
      Bonds and Clemens do laps over Maddux, I’d still vote for Maddux and for the 7 other guys I felt were worthy.

      I mean Jim Rice and Andre Dawson are in the HOF.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Brian says:

        It’s not a tiered system, but at some point you have to cut things off…Craig Biggio isn’t in the same stratosphere as Glavine, Maddux, Mussina and Thomas.

        I’d consider voting for him next year, but IMO there shouldn’t be such huge gaps between the players in (unless it is a difference between a clear first ballot guy and someone who was just a star).

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  37. Chris from Bothell says:

    While I do not wish to be morbid, it is possible that Biggio does not live to see the 2015 Hall of Fame class get announced

    And darn you for making me quickly check his Wikipedia page to see if he had been diagnosed with something.

    Dude’s only 48. Do you know something about Craig Biggio’s health that we don’t?

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  38. Chris from Bothell says:

    You know that moment when the alarm clock goes off for the first time, and it got set to some talk radio show you don’t recognize, and you can’t tell if the conversation is real or if you’re still dreaming, and what you catch of the conversation is annoying but not enough to get you out of bed? And then you curse and fumble for the snooze button; you finally wake up on the second alarm and while you’re not ready for the day you feel a smidge better.

    Yeah. The sleepy time is the hot stove season, the first alarm is HOF announcement week, the second alarm is pitchers-and-catchers.

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  39. Seth says:

    I think there could be some voting reform necessary, but I like the 10 person/ballot limit. If the voters truly don’t consider someone to be one of the top ten players out of a very small time period, they don’t necessarily deserve to be elected that year. Biggio still has a very good chance of getting in, and probably will. The biggest change I would make would be to change the electability period from 15 years to 5. If a player isn’t a top player of their era 5 years after they retire, what makes them eligible 20 years after they retire?

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    • Roger says:

      20 years is a bit excessive, but it should be at least 10 as long as the voter eligibility rules say a writer must be a BBWAA member for 10 years before he can vote.

      I would like to see retired writers ineligible to vote and reduce the wait to 5 years of BBWAA membership.

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  40. Jeff Bagwell says:

    How many of the BBWAA writers ever took No-Doze or a 5-Hour Energy Drink to keep themselves hyper-alert when they had to get something written in time to make the next day’s papers?

    Just saying.

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    • RageAgainstTheNarrative says:

      Not remotely the same thing. Caffeine, in moderation is actually good for you. Steroids are illegal precisely because they can kill whoever uses them. Same with blood doping.

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      • eayres33 says:

        One Bagwell has not even been linked to taking caffeine.

        Two most sports drug’s arent steriods they’re the same crap you can buy at GMC.

        Third Steriods kill whoever uses them,really they kill you, do they kill you in a year, because I thought they helped you recover from injury and made you play great longer. When do they kill you when you are 90 and about to die anyway.

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  41. Hurtlockertwo says:

    Say they raise the vote limit to 20 and Biggio is number 21?? The number of votes is arbitrary, if a player belongs in the hall he will get in eventually. I can’t believe that over a 15 year period a player is eligible that he will consistently be just short a few votes short due to a large deserving field of candidates.

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  42. Hank says:

    This 10 vote limit does need to be fixed.

    It’s unbelievable that Biggio will now never make the HOF because of this ridiculous limit. Wait he’s on the ballot again next year? Players have 15 years to get the vote? Huh…

    I wonder how the writer of this article would have felt if an expanded ballot would have been enough to get Morris in? Instead voters were forced to pick the best 10 (presumably) and a fringe guy didn’t get in (and shouldn’t have); and for most of those guys they have 5, 10, maybe as much as 14 more years to get voted in.

    When something needs to be fixed IMMEDIATELY, the impact of the “problem” should be pretty clear. The only thing I see is an issue over what year a player actually gets in and yet another prisoner or the moment article “fixing” the HOF or the HOF process.

    So specifically, what is the problem? And what is the tangible impact – who’s being left out of the HOF as a result of this traveshamockeryness? Or is it just outrageous enough that a player may take an extra year or two to get elected, thus demanding an immediate fix?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jon C says:

      What Dave Cameron and his cronies want is to be able to show support for the cheaters who have practically zero chance at getting in without doing so at the science expense of a legitimate hall of famer like Biggio.

      Change the rules, whatever. Dave, you’re never going to get the cheaters in the hall. The practical solution would be for Dave and his cronies
      to gracefully admit defeat on their front without all the needless casualties of war, pun intended. But he won’t. He is not a man of honor but a misguided fanatic of number worshipping.

      -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  43. Adam S says:

    I expect Biggio will get in next year, but it’s hardly a done deal.

    Voters with blanks and no Biggio won’t add him. Voters who used all 10 names and didn’t include him have openings due to Maddux, Thomas, and Glavine (and maybe Morris) but need to list Pedro, Johnson and Smoltz (and maybe Sheffield).

    The voters may change next year and some who had Biggio 11th may include him next year because he’s on the bubble. But there’s not a class of ballots that has room for him because 3 or 4 guys “dropped off” the ballot.

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    • Jon C says:

      Right dude. I’m sure it was Morris and not Bonds, Clemens, et al.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • eayres33 says:

        Well Bonds and Clemens are HOFer’s and Morris is 4 wins better the Polanco for his career. Not that WAR is the end all be all but 120 to 100 WAR or 40 yeah we need to dig deeper then the 60 to 80 war differnce.

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        • Jon C says:

          I was talking about wasted votes. Morris had at least a tiny shot, Bonds and Clemens had zero.

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  44. walt526 says:

    So here’s how next year’s ballot will look:

    _Returning_
    Player (Yrs on Ballot) 2013%
    Craig Biggio (3) 74.8
    Mike Piazza (3) 62.2
    Jeff Bagwell (5) 54.3
    Tim Raines (8) 46.1
    Roger Clemens (3) 35.4
    Barry Bonds (3) 34.7
    Lee Smith (13) 29.9
    Curt Schilling (3) 29.2
    Edgar Martinez (6) 25.2
    Alan Trammell (14) 20.8
    Mike Mussina (2) 20.3
    Jeff Kent (2) 15.2
    Fred McGriff (9) 11.7
    Mark McGwire (9) 11
    Larry Walker (5) 10.2
    Don Mattingly (15) 8.2
    Sammy Sosa (3) 7.2

    _First Timers_
    Randy Johnson
    Pedro Martinez
    John Smoltz
    Gary Sheffield
    Nomar Garciaparra
    Carlos Delgado
    Brian Giles
    Darin Erstad
    Tom Gordon
    Jason Schmidt
    Jarrod Washburn
    Cliff Floyd
    Jermaine Dye

    In addition to Mattingly, probably 7 of the first timers will get dropped (Delgado, Giles, Erstad, Gordon, Schmidt, Washburn, Floyd, Dye). And there is a very real possibility that Sosa won’t survive the 2015 ballot.

    2015 inductees are probably Biggio, Johnson, and P Martinez.

    Among incumbents on the ballot, it seems to me that Mussina and Schilling are probably poised to receive biggest increase in vote totals from a slightly less crowded ballot. Now that Morris is off the ballot, Schilling might become the new old school favorite for being a playoff gamer (I think that he’s probably deserving, in part because of his post-season contributions).

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  45. Dan LeBatard says:

    Who’s awesome?

    This guy.

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  46. Max Grady says:

    It’s impossible to determine where to draw the line definitively between the PED users and clean players since not everyone gets caught. The entire voting process would be a lot simpler if the Hall of Fame took a stance on the issue and created some type of basic rule ballot eligibility. E.g., If a player is suspended for drug use even one time, then he is ineligible to be included on a Hall of Fame ballot. Some will still inevitably slip through the cracks and cause ballot-voting controversies, but at least some criteria could be defined to keep “convicted” PED users from taking up ballot space.

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  47. Bad Bill says:

    In general it is poor legislative policy, whether in HoF voting or in Congress or anywhere else, to make a sweeping change to a law/rule because of one singular situation where somebody got screwed. The Law of Unintended Consequences has a nasty habit of rising up and smiting those who try to make such changes due to one-of-a-kind anomalies. Biggio did get screwed here, I see little doubt of that. It’ll get fixed next year, or at worst, in the 2015 voting. And then what? The backlog of deserving candidates will clear by about 2015 and this “problem” won’t exist again for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, it has not been demonstrated, or convincingly argued, that the sweeping change is not going to have unintended, negative consequences for the Hall (see Morris, Jack). If there is no long-term problem that needs solving — and the current glut is a short-term, not a long-term, problem — then the burden of proof should be on those who want the change.

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  48. GilaMonster says:

    I’m kinda upset about Glavine getting in first go. It just proves the HoF is concerned with longevity over dominance.

    Glavine was good pitcher for a long time. A really long time. But in my mind, he was a excellent pitcher,But outside of IP/Wins, why would he get in and not Mussina/Schilling/Smoltz on the first ballot? Schilling and Smoltz hit the 3000 K mark.

    If Randy Johnson,Pedro, and Smoltz aren’t first ballot HoFer, I will be very confused and upset. I kinda look at Pedro as the anti-Glavine. Absolutely dominant with an unfathomable peak, but didn’t hit 3000 innings.

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  49. eltorostrikesagain says:

    I wouldn’t vote for any of the steroid guys, but how do the people that vote for Bonds and Clemens justify not voting for Palmeiro?

    Is it like, “I’m not voting for him because he was dumb enough to actually fail a pee test”.

    His numbers are sick.

    So tell me Bonds lovers, there’s a lot of you here I know, why is this?

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    • Bad Bill says:

      I am hardly a “Bonds lover,” quite the contrary, but he would have been on my HoF ballot because his baseball achievements were so remarkable that they would have trumped his “character” deficiencies even if one devalues them by some fairly large factor for PED use. That isn’t the case for Palmeiro. Suppose for purposes of argument that you decide to dock Bonds 20% of his counting stats in considering his HoF case, on the (plausible) grounds that steroids unethically extended his career. What remains is still a guy with over 600 HRs, by far the most intentional walks ever seen in the game, and so on. Do the same to Palmeiro and you have a guy squarely in the Hall of Very Good.

      Similar arguments apply for rate stats and also derivative stats like the various WAR variations, and also for what you dock Clemens. These guys would have been all-time greats without PED use. It is not so clear that Palmeiro would have.

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