What’s in Store for the HOF in 2015?

The votes are in, and Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas are in. Craig Biggio is out, barely. Jack Morris‘ 15 years of ballot eligibility are up, and his candidacy will be turned over to the Veterans’ Committee. Rafael Palmeiro didn’t receive the minimum 5% of the vote necessary to remain on the ballot. These results were certainly not the worst-case scenario, but they were far from the best. Let’s touch on a few of the points raised in my pre-results article from last week, and take a look at what the future might hold.


Year AVG VOTES ELECT #1 ELECT #2 ELECT #3 New New New New New New
2000 5.6 Fisk T.Perez   Gossage (J.Morris)        
2001 6.3 Winfield* Puckett*   Mattingly (Whitaker)        
2002 6.0 O.Smith*     Dawson Trammell        
2003 6.6 Murray* G.Carter   Sandberg L.Smith        
2004 6.6 Molitor* Eckersley*   None          
2005 6.3 Boggs* Sandberg   None          
2006 5.6 Sutter     None          
2007 6.6 Ripken* Gwynn*   McGwire          
2008 5.4 Gossage     Raines          
2009 5.4 R.Henderson* Rice   None          
2010 5.7 Dawson     R.Alomar Larkin E.Martinez McGriff    
2011 6.0 R.Alomar Blyleven   Bagwell L.Walker (Palmeiro)      
2012 5.1 Larkin     (Be.Williams)          
2013 6.6 None     Biggio Piazza Schilling Clemens Bonds Sosa
2014 8.4 Maddux* Glavine* F.Thomas* Mussina Kent        
2015         R.Johnson P.Martinez Smoltz Sheffield Garciaparra C.Delgado
    * = 1st time on ballot     ( ) = No longer on ballot          

Above is an update of the table from last week’s article. One obvious key point, for which the BBWAA should be given some credit. The average votes per ballot increased significantly for the second consecutive year, from 5.10 in 2012, to 6.60 in 2013, to 8.39 in 2014. More and more voters have taken notice that there are a historically significant number of Hall of Famers on the ballot, and are adjusting their behavior accordingly. We should not get too excited, however, by the second key point, which is that none of the many deserving holdovers on the ballot were elected. Yes, the number of overall votes rose sharply in both 2013 and 2014, but one argue that this was solely due to the astounding influx of talent onto the ballot in those two years, not to some new awareness on the part of the voters. Even with the increased number of votes cast, there remains about 20% of unused ballot capacity, with more than 10 viable talents remaining on the ballot, even before you consider next year’s influx of talent, which includes Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado.

The process is becoming more and more public, and this is a very good thing. Many voters are demonstrably using all 10 ballot spots, and explaining their respective rationales. One of the chief reasons that almost 20% of ballot capacity remains unused is what can now be called the Gurnick Factor. Ken Gurnick, of course, is the writer who voted only for Jack Morris, choosing to pass on the rest of what he deems “The Steroid Era”. While I certainly do not agree with his vote, he is at least being transparent and public, and he has apparently decided to abstain from voting in the future. After all, they are called Hall of Fame electors, and if one is no longer an “elector”, it is probably best to no longer accept the privilege of the role. Every elector that follows Gurnick’s lead toward abstention helps unclog the system – subtracting from the denominator helps just as much as adding to the numerator.

One word on Craig Biggio’s near-miss would be appropriate at this point. The “fault” for this result does not lie with the handful of voters for whom Biggio was vote #11 – it lies with the Gurnicks who left lots of blank space on their ballots. There appears to be some degree of momentum building for expansion of the maximum number of votes per writer above the current ten, but I still don’t think it is necessary. Get as many voters as possible to use the current maximum number of votes, get through the current logjam, and things should return to normalcy in a few years. In a decade or less, we should be back to a more typical ballot, with less than 10 near slam-dunk candidates on it.

The 2014 results would appear to suggest a somewhat greater reliance on advanced analysis by the BBWAA. One shouldn’t exult over the plight of Jack Morris, but the decline in his vote total in his last year of eligibility would seem to be evidence of this fact. Given the limitations of the 10-player maximum, electors had to cut somewhere, and many of them cut Morris. An even more stark indicator of the greater emphasis on analysis occurred farther down the ballot, where Lee Smith went from 47.8% of the vote in 2013 to 30.0% of the vote in 2014. That makes him this year’s biggest loser in terms of raw votes. He has only three years left on the ballot, and now has no realistic shot at being enshrined by the BBWAA. It is likely not a coincidence that he would likely be ranked last among viable candidates by analytically inclined voters.

What did this year’s vote say about steroids? Well, not much changed, raw vote wise. What is changing, for the better, is the quantity and quality of the discussion. More and more voters are making their votes public, and are very publicly anguishing over their reasons for player inclusion or exclusion for a variety of reasons including steroids. No one is 100% right or wrong, but many discussions that could or should have taken place a long time ago are finally taking place. I’ll reiterate my opinion from last week’s article – Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are inner-circle greats who are clear Hall of Fame talents, without any of the help they might have gotten from steroids. One might make the same arguments about others on the ballot as well. Let’s get Bonds and Clemens in the Hall, and fight the battle farther down the ballot.

PLAYER % OF VOTE % CHANGE YRS ON BAL
Biggio 74.8 6.6 2
Piazza 62.2 4.2 2
Morris 61.5 -6.2 15
Bagwell 54.3 -5.3 4
Raines 46.1 -6.1 7
Clemens 35.4 -2.2 2
Bonds 34.7 -1.5 2
L.Smith 30.0 -17.8 12
Schilling 29.2 -9.6 2
E.Martinez 25.2 -10.7 5
Trammell 20.8 -12.8 13
Mussina 20.3 1
Kent 15.2 1
McGriff 11.7 -9.0 5
McGwire 11.0 -5.8 8
L.Walker 10.2 -11.4 4
Mattingly 8.2 -5.0 14
Sosa 7.2 -5.3 2
Palmeiro 4.4 -4.4 4

Lastly, what do these results mean for the future? This year’s results for meaningful holdovers are listed above. As stated earlier, votes per ballot did increase by 1.79 from 6.60 in 2013 to 8.39 in 2014, but over 3.0 votes per ballot were allocated to 2014 ballot newcomers. Again, zero of the many deserving holdovers were elected, thanks to Biggio’s near miss. Next year’s newcomers are comparable in quality to this year’s, and Johnson, Martinez, Sheffield, Garciaparra and Delgado should be good for at least 3.5 votes per ballot. If you eliminate the ineligible Morris and Palmeiro from the list above, about 5.0 votes per ballot were dedicated to the others in 2014. If you assume some upward drift to about 9.0 votes per ballot in 2015, that leaves room for 0.5 votes per ballot of growth for the holdovers in 2015. That leaves no room for bold upward moves. Expect the BBWAA to rally around more viable electees such as Biggio, Piazza and Bagwell at the expense of those beneath them.

Fearless Predictions for 2015:

– Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio are elected.
Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell again earn over 50% of the vote and are well positioned for 2016.
– Gary Sheffield lands in the 35-40% ranges and settles in as a long-term, borderline candidate who deserves better, a la Edgar Martinez.
Nomar Garciaparra and Carlos Delgado earn over 10% of the vote, and remain on the ballot.
– All other holdovers see their vote totals trickle downward. Sammy Sosa falls off of the ballot due to lack of support, while Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire and Larry Walker barely survive.
– Voters look to 2016 for potential relief, as only one slam-dunk, Ken Griffey, Jr., arrives on the ballot. If the average number of votes per ballot can remain around the projected 2015 level of 9.0, some damage can finally be done to clear the HOF logjam.



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Professor Ross Eforp
Member
Professor Ross Eforp
2 years 8 months ago

Apropos of almost nothing, does anybody else believe that Tommy John should be given a serious looksie by the Veterans? To me, he warrants a hell of a lot more discussion than Jack Morris.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Tommy John actually was on the Veterans ballot this year, though he wasn’t elected.

To me, he’s a fairly deserving candidate (and a better one than Jack Morris), but he’s not the best pitcher eligible for Veterans consideration. Rick Reuschel and Luis Tiant are the guys I’d like to see inducted from that era.

derp
Guest
derp
2 years 8 months ago

His value comes a big part due to the surgery named after him. If he didn’t risk it and play more than half his career on a second elbow the surgery would not be saving hundreds of careers to the extent that it is today. It wouldn’t be the first time events off the field got players in the hall.

Ironically enough, it’s likely BECAUSE he lost a year to that surgery that he doesn’t have 300 wins, as i’m sure if he didn’t get hurt it would have been easy to get 12 wins in that extra season.

Stringer Bell
Guest
Stringer Bell
2 years 8 months ago

He’s in the same boat as Hideo Nomo. Both are important for their contributions (the surgery, Nomo starting the transition of Asian players to the MLB), but neither are necessarily worthy just on their resumes.

grandbranyan
Member
grandbranyan
2 years 8 months ago

My favorite is how the “steroids don’t help” crowd will defend the candidacy of Clemens and Bonds all day long, yet Sammy Sosa gets no love. Only player to hit 60 home runs in three different seasons.

Menthol
Member
Member
Menthol
2 years 8 months ago

I’m not in the “steroids don’t help” crowd, but I think it’s pretty self-evident that Bonds and Clemens were both far more complete and better players than Sosa.

grandbranyan
Member
grandbranyan
2 years 8 months ago

No doubt that Bonds and Clemens are superior players to Sosa. As many will point out, they each had two separate Hall of Fame careers.

I guess it’s just the way that I look at it, if Bonds & Clemens are Hall of Famers than so are McGwire and Sosa. If you are going to vote for the first two you have to vote for the last two if you wish to maintain any sort of consistency of reason.

Then again, it’s the BBWAA, so I’m not necessarily surprised by the lack of consistency of reason.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor
2 years 8 months ago

Why would voting for the two superior players require voting for the two inferior players to maintain consistency? Does voting for one player who took steroids require you to vote for all of them? Was Brady Anderson on your Hall of Fame ballot?

Eric R
Guest
Eric R
2 years 8 months ago

I’d say more of the reverse— anyone voting for McGwire and Sosa should also be voting for Bonds and Clemens [and Palmeiro]

grandbranyan
Member
grandbranyan
2 years 8 months ago

I would not vote for Brady Anderson because his statistics don’t stack up favorably with players already enshrined.

Sosa & McGwire have the 8th & 10th most home runs of all time with every eligible player (with no PED ties) ahead of them on the list elected in their first year of eligibility.

Dan
Guest
Dan
2 years 8 months ago

Sure, but the argument is that Bonds and Clemens were Hall of Fame worthy before it is assumed they started using steroids, whereas Sosa & McGwire’s careers would be pretty unremarkable if not for their steroid use and power numbers. Bonds was a five tool player for over a decade before his steroid use. Sosa and especially McGwire were fairly one-dimensional, at least from a perspective of Hall of Fame worthiness.

Spencer
Guest
Spencer
2 years 8 months ago

Mcgwire’s power didn’t come exclusively from steroids as you insinuate, and it seesm to have done in Sosa’s case. He was a stereotypical low average high walk slugger until 1994. The biggest thing that steroids did for him was keep him healthy.

Iron
Guest
Iron
2 years 8 months ago

He hit ~35/year in his normal ‘peak’ age 26-30 years. He hit ~60/year his age 33-36 years, presumably while juicing. It is fair to speculate that steroids converted plenty of his fly balls to home runs.

Spencer
Guest
Spencer
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t disagree with that. But without steroids, I imagine he likely would have hit ~5-10 and play in ~50 games per year.

Drew
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Brady Anderson only roided one season, then stopped roiding and working out immediately after that season.

Like Roger Maris!

Drew
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

It’s not at all fair to say that.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Squeeze theorem could be used here
If some function is greater than another function and the lower one is divergent than the higher one is also divergent.However if you only know the higher one is divergent, then you don’t know what the lower one is.

If Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are HoFers, than because they are lower candidates than Bonds and Clemens you must vote for Bonds and Clemens to remain consistent.
However, if Bonds and Clemens are HoFers you don’t know if McGwire or Sosa is because you started high and are now looking low.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Shoot, Eric R said essentially the same thing first.

Garry
Guest
Garry
2 years 8 months ago

Maybe they should come up with a HOF Steroid Supplement publication for the players that are the Steroid Users. That way they are kept out of the HOF, but have a HOF Steroid Publication developed just for those steroid users, and rank showing how great they were based upon steroid usage.

Wally
Guest
Wally
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t think its the “steroids don’t help” argument so much as the “even without steroids they would be inner-circle HOFers.”

Both Bond and Clemens were clear HOFers their whole career and apparently only started using steroids relatively late. So if you do a steroids adjusted performance, it might just cut short their careers a little and trim some of the production from those later years, but that still way more than is needed to get into the HOF.

Now some voters won’t buy that and stick to the whole “character” thing. But that’s a separate issue.

M W
Guest
M W
2 years 8 months ago

“apparently”

Wally
Guest
Wally
2 years 8 months ago

Well of course we can’t know for sure they didn’t use earlier, but we also have no reason to suspect it either.

libre
Member
Member
libre
2 years 8 months ago

The “steroids don’t help crowd” exists, but I’m not sure that’s what Mr. Blengino was saying in this piece. Not to put words in his mouth, but I think he was saying that if you look at the careers of Bonds and Clemens before they were alleged to take steroids, they are inner-circle HoF-ers already (Bonds with 101.5 through 1999, Clemens with 83 before leaving Boston). Sosa is a bit trickier because he’s a borderline candidate even with the homers. Never really got on base at a great clip, played pretty lousy defense late in his career, barely over the 60 WAR mark. Jim Rice has a higher wRC+. He wouldn’t be the worst guy in the Hall, but I think he’s less of a slam dunk than you think.

KDL
Guest
KDL
2 years 8 months ago

I think this is funny.
1)Writers don’t do in depth analysis. Focus on things like dingers.
2) Steroid era happens.
3) Now writers have to wrestle with the candidacy of guys like Sosa and McGwire and Palmeiro because they’ve hit a lot of their relatively thoughtless and simplistic benchmark numbers.

If they just thought a little harder about electing the best players all along all the steroid angst wouldn’t be quite so palpable.

Bill
Guest
Bill
2 years 8 months ago

I’m not sure how anyone sane can argue that steroids don’t help (why would they risk their legacy by using them if they didn’t help?), but both Clemens and Bonds had Hall Fame resumes before they began juicing. They should be in. Put an asterisk on their placard and don’t let them speak at the ceremony. That’s sufficient punishment at this point.

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t see any way that the 2016 Votes/Ballot will remain at 9 with only Griffey a slam dunk. Those people who don’t think Larry Walker is a HOF guy won’t vote for him any more than they are now.

Wally
Guest
Wally
2 years 8 months ago

Jim Edmonds comes on the ballot in 2016, and he’s got 60 WAR. He’ll help keep that total up closer to 10, but that doesn’t exactly mean it will help clear the logjam. Brian Giles is another boarder line guy that will get some votes.

If you look down the list of probables still on the ballot in 2016, here’s how they rank in WAR:

Barry Bonds 162.5
Roger Clemens 140.3
Ken Griffey 83.7
Mike Mussina 83
Curt Schilling 79.9
Jeff Bagwell 79.5
Larry Walker 72.6
Alan Trammell 70.3
Tim Raines 69.1
Edgar Martinez 68.3
Mark McGwire 62
Gary Sheffield 60.4
Jim Edmonds 60.3
Mike Piazza 59.2
Sammy Sosa 58.4
Jeff Kent 55.2
Fred McGriff 52.6
Brian Giles 50.8
Carlos Delgado 44.3
Nomar Garciaparra 44.2
Jason Kendall 41.5

That’s still 13 people above 60 WAR. But in you example, Larry Walker moves up from 9th to 7th. So, I could see a lot of the people maxing out their ballot adding him.

Moses
Guest
Moses
2 years 8 months ago

Am I the only guy who did not know Brian Giles was anywhere close to 50 career WAR? Career .400 OBP and 136 wRC+. Good for him.

My echo and bunnymen
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

A very forgettable player for me too.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Giles was one of the best outfielders in the NL when he played for the Pirates. The problem was, well, he played for the Pirates.

He’s a borderline candidate at best, but he did have a better career than several guys in the Hall.

Atom
Guest
Atom
2 years 8 months ago

He should’t be though. At his peak, the guy was pretty amazing.

His average season, 1999-2002
37 HR, 109 RBI, .309/.426/.604

In 2002, he put up a .450 OBP and would have lead the league in OPS had it not been for Barry Bonds doing his Babe Ruth impression.

cody
Guest
cody
2 years 8 months ago

Ivan you are wrong. Many people left Walker off their ballots not because they don’t think he belongs but rather because they had already filled their 10 spots with more deserving players. When some of those players are off the ballot (for whatever reason) then they will vote for him.

ReuschelCakes
Guest
ReuschelCakes
2 years 8 months ago

well, let’s look at the #s… There are 1,958 “freed” votes (49 votes for players who didn’t get 5%, 1,558 votes for the 3 inductees, Morris’ 351 votes).

Reasonable assumptions on the new class are ~1,700 votes (feel free to make your own assumptions here.) This leaves 258 possible “freed” votes. If we further assume that 50% of these votes came from someone with a 10-vote max that leaves 129 votes that are “freed” and will def be used on a new player.

Assuming that Walker is one of sever players above who got +10% of the vote and are un-tainted by PEDs or the DH arguments (EMart) – Walker, Trammel, Raines, Schilling, Mussina, McGriff and Kent.

That means we should assume that 1/7 x 129 = 18 incremental votes for Walker or his % moving from 10.2% to 13.3%

So yea, it doesn’t matter….

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

Not in 2011 or 2012 they didn’t fill their 10 slots. Walker’s been eligible for a while. Schilling’s been on for 2 years and he’s not sniffing 50%. Biggio and Piazza will probably get in but I don’t see anyone else getting in from that list barring a Blyleven-style campaign.

PXF
Member
Member
PXF
2 years 8 months ago

“Get as many voters as possible to use the current maximum number of votes” — in practical terms, this means asking voters who don’t use all 10 spots to justify themselves. You can’t make someone vote for people s/he doesn’t find worthy. (At least we know that the voters who don’t use all 10 spots are not ranking players or voting strategically — we know they think that x players are worthy of induction.) So the thing to do is: dispose of the notion of the “first-ballot hall-of-famer.” You’re good enough to be in the Hall, or you’re not, there should not be a tier of first-ballot players if it means other worthy players will be dropped from the ballot in future years. In a larger sense, this means asking everyone to do their homework: if you have empty spots on your ballot, please justify yourself and explain why none of the eligible players is worthy.

Eric R
Guest
Eric R
2 years 8 months ago

“You can’t make someone vote for people s/he doesn’t find worthy”

you can’t? How do the MVP and Cy Young voting work? The voter names 10 or 5, respectively, guys in an ordered list. If the voter feels that Cabrera is the MVP and that’s that, he still needs to fill out nine other names.

The HoF could be the same where you are being asked for the names of the 10 most worthy players, not who you would elect if you were the sole voter. It could be an ordered list too, where “first-place” votes carry extra weight…

David
Guest
David
2 years 8 months ago

The problem with an “n-vote must” rule, is that in years where there is a paucity of qualified candidates you’ll end up electing mediocrities to The Hall.

It may be true that _someone_ has to be the Cy Young winner every year, no matter how bad pitching might have been league wise. The same is not true of HOF worthiness.

ReuschelCakes
Guest
ReuschelCakes
2 years 8 months ago

so you are saying that Mike Trout should have won the AL Cy Young?

Ruki Motomiya
Guest
Ruki Motomiya
2 years 8 months ago

No, silly.

Mike Trout should have won the NL Cy Young.

Hermida Potential
Guest
Hermida Potential
2 years 8 months ago

Interesting that Schilling was a big loser, year-on-year, too. I’m assuming that may have had some to do with the crowded class (although I don’t think I’d put Mussina over him), but maybe some ill will towards his negative-WAR career as an entrepreneur?

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

“maybe some ill will towards his negative-WAR career as an entrepreneur?”

nice.
Yeah, I imagine defrauding the state of Rhode Island of several million dollars doesn’t help that much, certainly not on the “character” or “integrity” fronts.

Spencer
Guest
Spencer
2 years 8 months ago

Was he charged?

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

not criminally, but there’s a civil suit in the courts right now, filed by the AG of Rhode Island in order to get back whatever of the $75 million in loans they can.

source
http://www.boston.com/businessupdates/2012/11/01/rhode-island-sues-studios-recoup-losses/SynjPoPhAvCQoLSknkDcXL/story.html

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 8 months ago

Wasn’t fraud, just a terrible investment by RI. They gave a loan (a big one) to an unproven business run by people without a long track record in that field. Fraud would be if the money was spent on something untoward.

While there might have been issues with book-keeping (a real shocker for a company that goes bankrupt), Schilling and his group said, “Lend us money and we’ll make a video game company, employ people, and try to grow this company.” And well, they tried. Ran that company straight into the ground, taking the RI loan and much of Schilling’s life savings too.

Everybody lost their shirt, in what was a completely ill-advised effort. To be frank, RI seems to be suing to save face, because well… there’s not much money to be had. If they could shake Schilling and other investors down for enough to cover all the court costs and collect a couple million of the $90m due, it would be be a miracle. Can’t say that makes me doubt Schilling’s character, particularly, though his business chops are obviously lacking.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t think that’s the full story. It’s more likely ineptness than fraud, but the boundaries become blurry in this case.

RI is accusing Schilling and his partners of deceiving them about the company’s finances. That’s a very real possibility. If the company said something like “our company is awesome and our video game is almost done and we’re going to make a bunch of money!” even while Schilling knew that they were screwed, their new game was far from finished and they were likely to go bankrupt, that would be fraud(-ish; again, things are blurry).

I’m probably in your camp–I think everybody just screwed up, most impressively Schilling and RI–but it’s grey enough that it’s not clear. Certainly, Schilling handled it poorly from the start, and especially given his, ahem, conservative views about gov’t handouts (http://www.salon.com/2012/05/31/welfare_baby_curt_schilling_i_am_not_a_welfare_baby/).

The worst thing was, the video game was actually pretty good! Too bad they went bankrupt, it could have actually been a decent studio.

Eric Blair
Guest
Eric Blair
2 years 8 months ago

Clements and Bonds clearly cheated, made millions doing it and deprived other players of awards in the process. Who knows what their stats would have been if they had not used PEDS. I agree with the vast majority of current living members of the HOF that they should not be allowed in the HOF.

BMac
Member
BMac
2 years 8 months ago

I am totally with you, Eric. This nonsense about ‘when they started cheating, and they would have been in anyway…’ how do we know that they started cheating at such&such time? What is more, their actions brought the entire sport into disrepute.

It is so hard to catch cheating, when someone is caught, you should assume that this isn’t the first time. Clemens & Bonds do NOT belong in, ever. The BBWAA may not all be good at stats, but I think their judgement about character is right on here.

Steroid use is not like spiking your coffee; the physical effects are fairly dramatic. If its use were not curtailed, the sport would have become grotesque.

If these guys and their ilk ever get into the HOF, then they will have totally gotten away with it. That would not be fair.

Wally
Guest
Wally
2 years 8 months ago

I don’t see the logical connection from cheating => never in the HOF.

Cheating has penalties, which are dependent on what kind of cheating , exclusion from the HOF is not one of them, except in a very limited number of circumstances.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

that’s not true. MLB can’t impose a “No HoF” penalty, because they don’t administer the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame voluntarily decides to honor the “Banned from baseball” penalty that MLB does administer in certain rare cases (Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose).

They are two separate bodies, and the HoF specifically demands (independently from MLB) that the BBWAA voters consider “character”, one element of which can certainly be considered “Did the player cheat and how?”
It’s not like the Hall criteria are collectively bargained, like the drug-testing penalties are.

TL;DR : Cheating has a penalty from MLB (suspensions and so on), and also potentially a penalty from the Hall of Fame voters, separately.

Drew
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

Bonds would have had 850 to 900 homers without PEDs because he wouldn’t have been blackballed by MLB teams after 2007.

ajmack
Guest
ajmack
2 years 8 months ago

That’s just funny.

Brandon
Guest
Brandon
2 years 1 month ago

Barry Bonds only played in 270 games where he actually “cheated”, as steroid use did not become banned from the game of baseball until the start of the 2005 season. His statistics during those 270 games while very good were not spectacular. I understand that using PEDs is seen by most as immoral, but I think it could be conceivable for an athlete to think that steroids were going to become a part of the future of baseball as it brought more excitement and extended careers. From this perspective someone could compare it to the use of tommy john surgery in baseball today.

grant
Guest
grant
2 years 8 months ago

I think he overstates the number of votes for next year’s newcomers a bit, they’ll probably be more like 2.5 – 3 per ballot. There’s no way Sheffield gets 35-40%, he’s as clearly associated to PED as are Clemens and Bonds, and even without that taint he’s not a bit of a fringy candidate. I don’t see how he gets more votes than guys like Sosa, McGwire and Palmerio. Garciarparra and Delgado will be lucky to clear 5%, and even Smoltz may wind up nip and tuck on getting in his first year. Should be more room for down ballot guys than there was this year.

Eric R
Guest
Eric R
2 years 8 months ago

“I think he overstates the number of votes for next year’s newcomers a bit, they’ll probably be more like 2.5 – 3 per ballot”

Shouldn’t Johnson, Smoltz and Pedro be very close to 2.5+ votes on their own?

RJ almost certainly has to be a 95%+ guy; I can see Pedro getting a little less support for a shorter career and Smoltz perhaps squeaking by; at 95%/85%/75% that is 2.55 votes per ballot and I think that is the lower end.

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
2 years 8 months ago

But that pretty much correlates with Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas this year, who won’t be drawing any votes next year.

Eric R
Guest
Eric R
2 years 8 months ago

I think that is the point. The voters used alot of their slots– I believe 8.39 per ballot. That is one of the highest votes per ballot rates in the history of the HoF BBWAA voting; last 50 years:

*2014 8.39
1983 8.36
1974 8.25
1982 8.06
1973 8.01
1967 7.95

1997 5.59
1998 5.41
2009 5.38
2008 5.35

If the three major newcomers essentially take all of the votes that Maddux-Glavine-Thomas got, then there isn’t much more to add for any other newcomers and the backlog [granted, Morris and Palmeiro falling off helps them a little]

dch
Guest
dch
2 years 8 months ago

What would all those anti PED HOFrs numbers have been if they didnt do uppers or greenies their entire careers?

Hrmm
Guest
Hrmm
2 years 8 months ago

I feel like fangraphs hasn’t made it completely clear why the site is so collectively and strongly for a more inclusive process and a larger Hall. Why is not using all the ballot space a bad thing? I’d probably only vote 8 or 9 on this year’s ballot.

Eric R
Guest
Eric R
2 years 8 months ago

Who are your 8 or 9?

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

the most common and well-articulated reason is that the Hall’s criteria for induction seem to have abruptly changed for players born recently (by recently, I mean since ~1965). The idea is that it’s not fair to those players to have changed the rules about the kind of career you need for induction. So we need to induct some more people, for the Hall to stay on its historical pace.

Of course, the obvious reason the standard changed was that steroids happened. Even arguably the greatest player ever may or may not be worth induction, if he used steroids. But Cameron, maybe Blengino, and perhaps others, seem to believe that we ought not to consider steroid/PED use at all in making a decision. “Just the numbers, please.”

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

The thing is: the Hall IS going at its historical pace. Just look at the chart: The number of guys getting in before and after the steroid cases got on the ballot is almost the same.

I have to say also, when I hear the complaints from the “increase the size of the ballot” crowd and they include their candidates and I shudder. It seems like they include every borderline guy as a “lock” and then go from there. If we increase the size of the ballot we’re suddenly going to have 3-5 guys going in every year and the integrity of the entire hall will go town the tubes.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

I mostly agree with you, Stan. However, the argument that the Hall is shrinking according to Dave is this:
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-hall-of-fames-standard-and-its-biggest-problem/

In addition, it’s a little known fact that there are actually more HoF-caliber players born recently (http://makenolittleplans.net/the-hall-is-getting-smaller/).

I don’t know; I’m not even quite sure that the number or percent of inductees ought to remain constant through time, nevermind whether it actually is remaining constant. This post (http://www.fangraphs.com/community/a-different-look-at-the-hall-of-fame-standard/) from the community research finds, in contrast to Dave’s article, that we are on track for a relatively steady level of HoF inductions, as long as you allow for the next couple of years of players to get in.

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

@ aehrc

I saw that here and in other places. I find it kind of stunning that people think that the increase in the number of mlb players merits an increase in the number of hall of fame players. Such an argument presupposes that the number of great players also increased when the number of players increased.

If anything, the massive expansion in the number of MLB players should count against today’s HOF candidates because the talent pool is so diminished. The value of a replacement player today is far below that which players in the 40’s and 50’s faced. Players in the modern era should have their numbers mitigated just like players in the segregation era, not have an easier path to the Coop.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 8 months ago

The value of a replacement player today is far below that which players in the 40?s and 50?s faced.

Yeah, nobody was ever any good unless they were white.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 8 months ago

Also, the labor market for athletes hasn’t changed at all from the 50s when they were barely making a living wage.

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

Tim- why do you think I chose the 40’s and 50’s, when desegretation happened? I pointed out in the next paragraph that that’s when the talent pool deepened (and baseball became an extremely lucrative profession, to counter your other point). Baseball players may not have been uber-rich like they are today, but if you think guys were turning down baseball careers to be middle class workers than you need to re-read your history books.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

The general population is larger today than it ever has been, and MLB teams are looking for talent in more places than ever before. It makes sense that the number of HoF players born in, say, the 1970s would be higher than the number born in the 30s, just because more total people were born in the 70s. Moreover, HoF talents are less likely to be missed today than before.

blue
Guest
blue
2 years 8 months ago

“The value of a replacement player today is far below that which players in the 40?s and 50?s faced.”

Not just wrong, the opposite of true.

Today’s AAAA talent would be second division starters back in the 1950s.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

I’m a Braves fan, but I just don’t see Smoltz getting in on the first ballot. He will eventually, but look at Mussina and Schilling. Why would Smoltz get in while those guys don’t?

Erik
Guest
Erik
2 years 8 months ago

Because the BBWAA works independently of logic.

Professor Ross Eforp
Member
Professor Ross Eforp
2 years 8 months ago

He will get in first time because he, “STARTED AND CLOSED!”

I think he is probably deserving, so I’m OK with him getting in, but that will be the logic of many as terrible as it is.

Hermida Potential
Guest
Hermida Potential
2 years 8 months ago

So did Schilling… although not nearly as good at the latter.

BurleighGrimes
Guest
BurleighGrimes
2 years 8 months ago

The same reason Glavine was a slam dunk while Mussina and Schilling languished. A lot of the voters obviously still go by “feel” & mystique, and that Braves rotation has those things in spades.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
2 years 8 months ago

don’t think so.. a lot of the voters went by Glavine’s Peak… that’s what all of his critics around are missing. Peak was Hall of Fame, career was Hall of Fame

cass
Guest
cass
2 years 8 months ago

TBS

Depends on if Glavine got in due to the fact that he was a Braves pitcher or because he hit the magic 300 wins threshold. If the latter, then Smoltz will take a few years. If the former, he could go in next year.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
2 years 8 months ago

@TKDC what? did you watch baseball in the 90’s.. and Smoltz pitch or did you forget

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

I probably watched in the neighborhood of 1400 Braves games in the 90s, and I remember. I’d vote him in a second (not only am I biased, I’m also a big-hall guy). I just don’t think it will actually happen. I guess the “started and closed” nonsense might get him in first ballot? I still doubt it. Schilling especially compares to Smoltz. Great career, but well short of 300 wins. Great postseason player. Played on a bunch of winners.

This was the first year in a long time the BBWAA even put three players in. I think everyone agrees there are 3 other guys more likely than Smoltz, so it’s asking a lot (well not really, but it isn’t going to happen).

batpig
Member
batpig
2 years 8 months ago

“Every elector that follows Gurnick’s lead toward abstention helps unclog the system – subtracting from the denominator helps just as much as adding to the numerator.”

NERD ALERT

Technically subtracting from the denominator does NOT help nearly as much as adding to the numerator.

To illustrate with very simple math:

– If you get 5 out of 10 votes, you are at 50%
– If you get 6 out of 10 votes, you shoot up to 60% (adding one to numerator)
– If you get 5 out of 9 votes, you are only up to 55.6% (subtracting one from denominator)

Squirrel
Guest
Squirrel
2 years 8 months ago

Claim: let n < m-1, then n/(m-1) 2
Proof: From assumption, 0 < m-1+n
then m*n < m*n + m-n -1 = (m-1)*(n+1)
then n/(m-1) < (n+1)/m as desired. QED.

As a corollary: n/(m-k) < (n+k)/m provided n+k < m and k,n,m are positive integers.

rusty
Guest
rusty
2 years 8 months ago

While this is true for a single vote, a HoF non-vote essentially counts as a non-vote against every other player on the ballot. Voting one additional candidate helps that guy alone, whereas abstention helps all of the other candidates.

Assuming that we agree that the Morris-only ballot (or a blank ballot) is harming more that one candidate’s chances, abstention makes a bigger difference in total.

Gabriel
Guest
Gabriel
2 years 8 months ago

Time for the Alan Trammell campaign to begin? He seems like the kind of guy that people on all sides of the steroids debate could support, both sabr and non-sabrmetric analysis is positive on, and he could even pick up some “gritty heart of the ’80s Tigers” voters who gave their support to Morriss over the years.

With only two years left on the ballot, he seems as deserving as anybody of public support in the near-term, since he’s the only legit candidate who could drop off soon. Well, Sosa’s also legit and may disappear next year, but Trammell had higher career WAR and more voters support him for the reasons I already listed.

Don Zimmer's jowl sweat
Member
Don Zimmer's jowl sweat
2 years 8 months ago

Hopefully before he gets Whitakered.

KDL
Guest
KDL
2 years 8 months ago

The thing is, I don’t see it as a primarily sabr v. writers thing on the steroid issue. It’s the writers saying we’re more qualified to make these decisions, because…and then it gets fuzzy.
They’ve already made it clear – Trammell doesn’t cut it. I’m not sure why they would change their mind. I’m sure it would feel like weakness to them to reconsider his clearly worthy candidacy. I think the fact that sabr types support him probably hurts him as much as much as it helps.

Bob
Guest
Bob
2 years 8 months ago

I really doubt that Sheffield gets close to 35%-40% of the vote. He is a borderline candidate, and that’s if you ignore his personality conflicts with the media, that he used “the cream” from BALCO, and being named in the Mitchell report.

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah, his only hope is that he can stay on the ballot long enough for someone somewhere to declare that steroid cases need not be shunned. He’s going to get the Sammy Sosa treatment if not worse.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
2 years 8 months ago

Totally agree, I don’t think he will come close to 40%. I expect closer to ten.

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

When I look at that table I see more evidence that the 10 person ballot limit need not be changed. Before the roiders got on the ballot (2007 with McGwire), 12 guys made it in 7 years. From 2007 on, 12 guys made it in 8 years.

me
Guest
me
2 years 8 months ago

with a little strategic voting it should be easy for sabr inclined voters to clear out the logjam.

for 2015 vote for everyone of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell that the voter thinks is worthy since these are the players that have a realistic shot of being inducted next year. then make a list of the other players which the voter believes should be inducted and use a random number generator to choose who to vote for to ensure all worthy players get at least 5% of the vote so they survive to a less crowded ballot.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 8 months ago

My hope is that by 2015 we will have serious hope of having the BBWAA fired from choosing Hall of Famers.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

who (what group or voting body or person) would you have picking players for the Hall?

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

How about a group composed of living hall members plus any person who was a manager or GM for at least 15 years?

David
Guest
David
2 years 8 months ago

You do realize that living hall members are likely even less informed than BBWAA members, right?

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

Why would you make such a sweeping generalization? I doubt very much that is true considering the ballots we’ve seen published in the last few weeks.

olethros
Guest
olethros
2 years 8 months ago

Living Hall members did have VC votes for a time and inducted precisely no one. If anything, as a group, they tend even more towards the wagon-circling behavior the BBWAA has engaged in recently.

For example, even though they all took greenies, at least some of them undoubtedly took steroids, and it’s a mortal lock that several of them cheated in other ways, they, again as a group, are vocally against allowing anyone with a whiff of public steroid suspicion anywhere near they’re club.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

that would be my hypothesis as well. In my experience, a lot of very successful people who have been honored in some serious way turn around and say that nobody should be honored in that way ever again. Only they were special.

I suspect that’s exactly what would happen if you gave players the vote; nobody would get in again.

KDL
Guest
KDL
2 years 8 months ago

Counter-point: Did you ever hear Joe Morgan or Tim McCarver talk about baseball?

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
2 years 8 months ago

Ever hear of the Veterans Committee?

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

@olethros. Of course I remember how living hall of famers used to run the Vets Committee. It is patently untrue that they didn’t elect anyone. There were years when they didn’t elect anyone, but they also did induct an average of one player a year when they had the choice.

Ian R.
Guest
2 years 8 months ago

When the VC consisted of ALL living Hall of Famers, they didn’t elect anyone.

When the VC consisted of a select group of living Hall of Famers, they did induct some players, but for the most part those guys were friends and teammates of the players on the committee. In the ’70s, it seemed like “played with Frankie Frisch” was the single biggest criterion for the Hall. That’s how we got High Pockets Kelly and Freddie Lindstrom and others.

Neither incarnation gives me much confidence in the living Hall of Famers as the body to choose future inductees.

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

They could let everyone vote like for the ASG. It won’t be any worse and is certainly more democratic. Otherwise I’d have SABR members vote if you want a “expert” opinion. Writers voting is neither rigorous nor democratic. It’s just silly.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 8 months ago

I’d hire a committee, probably from among qualified baseball historians. I’d pay them to keep up, and expect them to turn out results that reflected that.

But honestly, it almost doesn’t matter, as long as some system with some sort of oversight is put into place. One of the biggest problems with the BBWAA is that voters get to keep voting no matter how badly they do their job.

siddf
Guest
siddf
2 years 8 months ago

I just don’t agree with this. They enjoy a lot of freedom to vote as they see fit, for something that is (deliberately) very ambiguously defined. That allows them to think outside the box as needed without having to look over their shoulders or pander to common sentiment.

And yet, they can be fired if the process they follow slides out of bounds.

All in all, I think they do a good job, and the process is made more robust by the sheer numbers of them. We complain about the outliers, but guys like LeBatard and Gurnick have a muted effect even when they ride off the range.

Jose
Guest
Jose
2 years 8 months ago

Here’s my ballot next year if I had the vote:

1. Bonds
2. Clemens
For the reasons mentioned in the article.

3. Biggio: Aside from his credentials (which put him in, not one of the all time greats, but definitely in), he’s so close that he needs to get elected to clear the ballot.

4. McGwire
5. Sosa
I would hate to see these guys fall off the ballot. PED use or no, these guys belong in. They have that one amazing season where they saved baseball, as well as high home run totals for their careers. It’s called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of WAR. Sure, they were one dimensional. If there’s one dimension that’s more important for a hitter than any other, it’s power.

6. Jeff Bagwell
7. Mike Piazza
A little more complete as hitters than the previous two, they didn’t reach the big milestones but they still should go in. Piazza especially because he was a catcher.

8. Tim Raines
This one’s a maybe. He deserves to go in but he’s not as good as some of the other guys I’d have to leave off just to keep other worthies on the ballot.

9. Jeff Kent
10. Fred McGriff
Would have liked to vote for Martinez, Johnson, and Schilling, but Kent and the Crime Dog are in danger of falling off the ballot. Johnson especially wouldn’t need my help getting in.

Any other readers have hypothetical ballots?

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

I’d go Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, Martinez, Johnson. Those guys are all locks. For the other two slots I’d probably go Trammel and Walker, with strong consideration for Raines, Kent and Schilling.

Fry
Guest
Fry
2 years 8 months ago

Not sure if poster is drunk or trolling.

Trying to vote for crappy candidates instead of good ones so that the crappy candidates don’t fall off the ballot? It’s one thing if it’s people who eventually have a chance at getting in, like Schilling, but folks like McGwire, Kent, Sosa, and McGriff won’t get in ever, nor do they deserve to.

Mine would be Raines, Bagwell, Piazza, Johnson, Smoltz, Schilling, Martinez, Trammell, Biggio.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
2 years 8 months ago

The person that I don’t agree with must be drunk or trolling. No other explanation is possible.

Fry
Guest
Fry
2 years 8 months ago

Just a joking reference to this meme.
http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/131351-futurama-fry-not-sure-if

Don’t actually think poster is drunk or trolling, but I do strongly disagree with their picks.

And in any case… it doesn’t matter.

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 8 months ago

When you’re voting for McGriff, Kent, and Sosa over Pedro and Randy Johnson? No other good explanation is possible, at least. You can vote for them every year til the cows come home to try to “keep them on the ballot.” None of those five guys will stay on the ballot. The last two will be in the HOF, the first three will be dropped.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
2 years 8 months ago

Excluding Smoltz makes me sick… if you watched baseball at all in the 1990’s… how do you not have John Smoltz? not mentioned.

Youppi!
Guest
Youppi!
2 years 8 months ago

i hope Raines doesn’t get lost in the power hitting/pitching eligible deluge because he was a really great ball player from 1981-1992 in ways people just didn’t see happen. like all old Le Stade players, their knees died. see Vlad, Walker, Dawson, etc.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle
2 years 8 months ago

I’d would vote for Bonds, Clemens, Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Mussina, Raines, and Schilling.

If the ten vote limit were removed, I would add Trammell, Walker, Edgar Martinez, McGwire, Kent, and Sheffield.

I just can’t get behind the cases of Sosa and McGriff.

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

Is Smoltz eligible in 2015?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
2 years 8 months ago

Yeah people excluding him in the comment section.. not sure why.. do we not remember John Smoltz… he’s gonna be voted in next season.. do we not remember the 90’s

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
2 years 8 months ago

“Let’s get Bonds and Clemens in the Hall, and fight the battle farther down the ballot.”

There is a “character” clause. If you don’t think they pass, why elect them?

KDL
Guest
KDL
2 years 8 months ago

If you believe – truly believe in the character clause I suggest you stop thinking or caring about the Hall of Fame altogether. The “character” guys that fill the Hall already should -if you truly care about the spirit of the character clause – have already made you so disgusted with the Hall as to not even give a crap.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

That’s not logical. Just because someone messed up once doesn’t mean we need to keep making the same mistake.

If Ty Cobb, favorite of the people who advance KDL’s argument, renowned racist and physically violent abuser of fans, were up for election today, do you think he would get in? I doubt it, and with good reason (actually, he would have been fired from MLB long before he could sustain a career, but that’s a separate thing). The fact that he is in does not necessarily mean that we should continue to elect people like him.

I’m not disgusted because I know when Cobb was elected, in 1936, it was perfectly acceptable to be a racist. Standards have changed; that’s a good thing. We shouldn’t be guided by what was moral in 1936. I don’t begrudge the Hall keeping him in, but nor do I care for adding any more terrible, racist, violent assholes (or murderers, rapists, and many other kinds of douchebags).

In other words, two wrongs don’t make a right. Character’s in the criteria for induction, as is integrity.

ankle explosion hr celebration
Guest
ankle explosion hr celebration
2 years 8 months ago

“If Ty Cobb, favorite of the people who advance KDL’s argument, renowned racist and physically violent abuser of fans, were up for election today, do you think he would get in?”

I should clarify, not Cobb himself, but a version of Cobb transported into the recent past so that his career unfolded in the last 20-30 years. I would think that the electors now would vote Cobb himself in, knowing full well that standards of behavior were different in the 1920s.

Jon L.
Guest
Jon L.
2 years 8 months ago

A version of Cobb transported into the recent past so that his career unfolded in the last 20-30 years would not act the way he did at the turn of the century. Even if you could have him raised in the late 19th century and then instantly transported to the 20th century, he would immediately and forcibly begin to adapt his behavior to the situation.

It seems you want to posit something to the effect of, what would happen if a raging monster who couldn’t conform to the standards of humanity was somehow recently great at baseball? Most likely he’d either be socialized or self-destruct. Or just maybe he’d handle it like Albert Belle did, and channel all his rage into Fernando Viña.

B N
Guest
B N
2 years 8 months ago

For Bonds and Clemens, I wouldn’t put them on my ballot and would encourage others to leave them off as well. They both almost certainly juiced. They both, on their performance, will be in the HOF eventually. Let the Veterans Committee do it. In 15 years, their numbers will still look good, the PED thing will have settled down some. No harm, no foul, just a little time in the penalty box.

Gyre
Guest
Gyre
2 years 8 months ago

“Get as many voters as possible to use the current maximum number of votes”

So every year there are 10 players that MUST goto the Hall.

Not using all 10 votes makes plenty of sense, as does replacing repeat non-voters with representatives from other forms of modern media (non-existant in the 1930s when the archaic HoF rules were formulated). But this is all a tempest in a teacup, in a couple of days (after the next big signing) nothing further will happen until next year when the circus returns.

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
2 years 8 months ago

Sorry, but I’m not playing this game of would they be Hall of Famers without PEDs (which should definitely include Palmeiro, anyway). If you’re willing to vote for Bonds and Clemens, then you should be willing to vote for the others as room on your ballot permits. Otherwise, don’t vote for any of them and help get guys like Piazza, Bagwell, and Smith into Cooperstown.

Personally, I’d just keep voting for the PED players. There’s no way to know who juiced up without getting caught, and we’ve already elected cheaters like Gaylord Perry not to mention racist jerks like Ty Cobb. The character clause is an absolute joke and should just be abolished.

Garciaparra, really? While he was a good player for many years, his peak of greatness was way too short to allow him serious consideration for the Hall.

Lanidrac
Guest
Lanidrac
2 years 8 months ago

By the way, my hypothetical 2014 ballot would probably consist of Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, Sheffield, Biggio, Bagwell, Smith, Bonds, Clemens, and McGwire, with Raines and Piazza barely missing the cut.

Sarcastic Guy
Guest
Sarcastic Guy
2 years 8 months ago

“we’ve already elected cheaters like Gaylord Perry not to mention racist jerks like Ty Cobb. The character clause is an absolute joke and should just be abolished.”

Right, cause if you’ve messed up one time in some way, you should just go ahead and double down! Keep on going; all the other screwups don’t count after that first one.

Trust a bad person, get burned; trust everyone! Make a poor character judgment, suffer loss of respect from your friends, you stop making character judgments at all! Know a guy who totally screwed you one time, keep hanging out with that guy. See if he has any friends who are also assholes, get to know them while you’re at it!

That’s rational, right? I’m pretty sure that makes sense.

stan
Guest
stan
2 years 8 months ago

Surprised Fisk is always left out of these discussions. The “evidence” of his steroid abuse was even stronger than that being used against Bagwell and Piazza. i.e. “everyone knew” that he was juicing and his physique transformed greatly during a late-career surge. He would never have been elected if he were on the ballot today.

Jon L.
Guest
Jon L.
2 years 8 months ago

Interesting. I looked Fisk up on bref, and he had the best three consecutive years of his career in batting runs produced at – wait for it – ages 40-42. Even Barry Bonds was done peaking by age 39.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
2 years 8 months ago

All you know it all’s in the comment section… explain to me how you list 10 and not even mention John Smoltz… here’s another one how do you have Shilling and not Smoltz? now i’m for Shilling but how can you have him and Not Smoltz? Smoltz will get in next year… he would have been and 300 game winner if he hadn’t changed to the closer role.. but when he was a closer he was the best in the game and one of the best all time…He may be just shy in WAR barely when you look at JAWS but WAR doesn’t do as much justice for a closer.. that’s a lot of WAR he would have garnered in the late part of his career… he will get in next season, he’s a hall of famer… and how do justify Shilling and not Smoltz.. you can’t

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
2 years 8 months ago

Just go look at Smoltz career.. he lost a few games in the first 5 years of his career.. but do you remember just how terrible those Braves teams were he went 70-58 with a 3.42 era from 89-93 and still made 3 all star games… then look at 95-07 age 28 to age 40 he was 129-70 with a 3.05 era.. an era+ 142.. and remember getting injured and changing to a closer how dominant he was as a closer.. then from age 38 to age 40 he went back to being a Starting Pitcher went 44-24 with a 3.22 era.. and you mean to tell me he wouldn’t have had a better WAR then Shilling or even won 300 games if not going to the closer role for a short time.. I rest my case.. and you can exclude him, but he will get in the Hall of Fame next year

Daniel
Guest
Daniel
2 years 8 months ago

*89-93 and *95-07 are time period’s in years

Jose
Guest
Jose
2 years 8 months ago

Honestly, I did forget about Smoltz (which I think says something.) Like many commenters, I used Wally’s handy WAR chart a few comments above and he’s not on there. Still, there are so many pitchers better than him on the ballot, and his two more well known teammates were just elected. Maybe Smoltz gets in on the Eckersley plan in a few years, but I don’t think he’s a first balloter with the huge backlog of talent.

I’m starting to rethink Schilling as well. He was flashy and outspoken with a lot of postseason success and that sock. Maybe that’s made him better in my mind than he really was.

Mr. Nanotech
Guest
Mr. Nanotech
2 years 8 months ago

The PED era has only just begun. It’s time to get over it. Let it be.

john
Guest
john
2 years 8 months ago

Bagwell and Piazza seem to have done poorly this year. I thought they would be knocking on the door but Piazza only made a mall second year move and Bagwell went down.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin
2 years 8 months ago

There is no one at “fault” with Biggio falling short. There is a very compelling case against him being a hall of famer. He gets in next year, so there is obviously a compelling case to let him in, but the notion that a guy who was a below average player hanging on as a compiler for the final 8 seasons of his career is a no doubt guy is ridiculous. You can tell the story of baseball in the 90’s and 00’s just fine without Craig Biggio.

The Juice
Member
The Juice
2 years 8 months ago

I’m an Astros and Biggio fan and think he is a HOFer. Just. You’re right though, there is a good argument against him being a HOFer. Certainly in terms of advanced metrics he’s an excellent example of a borderline candidate. I’m in the metrics camp, of course, but I do think more traditional factors have at least some value and worth. 3000 hits is at least worth mentioning, as are the position changes and what he meant to Houston baseball.

My problem would be the logic of the voters. If you say that statistically he isn’t worthy then I’m fine with that argument. However, I heard one writer say that he didn’t vote for Biggio because (and I’m paraphrasing) he didn’t want to taint the narrative of the induction of Thomas, Maddux and Glavine and that he would probably vote for him next year instead. He’s perfectly entitled to do that but it’s fairly thin on reason and only contributes to the backlog problem.

Some Guy
Guest
Some Guy
2 years 8 months ago

Perhaps, if the larger baseball world had an all-in-one stat as revered as WAR is among sabr guys, we could see a sort of “negative ballot”. So you’d take all the eligible candidates, stack them by WAR, and then the top 10 of that list will get in unless one of them has 75% or more of voters say that a player should NOT get in. E.g. if one of those top 10 gets “voted out”, the 11th gets in, and so on. Let’s make writers really spell out why they don’t want to see someone in. Same rules apply otherwise as far as 15 years on th ballot, etc.

The Juice
Member
The Juice
2 years 8 months ago

I think Bagwell is an interesting case. I’ve spoken to a few people recently who are irked by the disparity between his vote total and that of Frank Thomas. Don’t get me wrong, Frank Thomas is a no-doubt HOFer in my mind and I don’t have a problem with him being a first ballot guy either. Bagwell does have a strong case though. 80.3 career WAR (to 72.4 for Thomas), wOBA of 149 (154 for Thomas), MVP, ROTY, 400-200 club as a 1B, no bad years of being a compiler etc. In fact, amongst position players from 1973-2013 (years picked to include all the players likely to have had careers that overlapped with his) Bagwell is 10th in WAR and ahead of slam dunk candidates like Jeter.

So what is the reason for the disparity? Is it purely the steroids talk? Is it not reaching 500 HR? Frank Thomas did have a better, longer offensive peak and was better overall offensively. Does that stick in the minds of voters? Combo of all those things? I’m not really sure what the answer is.

The Juice
Member
The Juice
2 years 8 months ago

Correction: wRC+, not wOBA.

Sabertooth
Guest
Sabertooth
2 years 8 months ago

Bagwell had negligible production as a DH.

The Juice
Member
The Juice
2 years 8 months ago

Yes he did.

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