Projecting the Hall of Fame Ballot Through 2023

A lot of people are disappointed that Edgar Martinez hasn’t been elected to the Hall of Fame yet — and, by extension, that he wasn’t elected during this most recent round of voting. But there’s good news on this front: Martinez’s chances of making the Hall of Fame have never been better.

Martinez debuted on the ballot eight years ago, garnering 36.2% of the vote. Five years after first becoming eligible for the ballot, though, his case had gained little headway. In fact, by 2014 and -15, he’d actually backslid a little, appearing on just 25.2% and 27.0% of ballots, respectively, in those two seasons. At that point, it appeared as though he had little chance of making the Hall of Fame.

In 2016, Martinez benefit from a healthy bump (to 43%) and then another big bump (to 59%) the next year. And while that improved his overall chances of earning admission, the probability that it would occur this year remained low. Consider: over the last 50 elections, only Ralph Kiner has been elected in one year after receiving less than below 60% of the vote the year before. Martinez will almost surely make it next season after a strong 70% showing this year.

Martinez’s own history on the ballot, as well as the sort endured by players like Bert Blyleven and Tim Raines makes it difficult to project any given player’s vote totals more than two or three years out. It’s difficult to forecast voting habits even one year away. Consider what I said at this time last year in an attempt to project future Hall of Fame votes.

It’s going to be tough next season. Getting four guys in will be a positive step, but it could cost players like Edgar Martinez needed momentum, and the 5% rule could force out guys like Andruw Jones and Scott Rolen, who deserve a longer look.

I correctly picked the four players who would gain entry to the Hall, but I was wrong on Martinez — he did get necessary momentum — and on Jones and Rolen, who both survived the initial cut. As I’ve already discussed in another piece, next year presents a fascinating, somewhat unpredictable situation. Four players who averaged 90% of the vote just left the ballot, freeing up a lot of room for other names to earn votes. Only Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay have really good cases of the first-time players. That’s going to leave a lot of free votes for players who need some momentum.

Below, I’ve looked at the Hall of Fame-eligible class for each of the next five years. For each player, I’ve included a number a number of relevant metrics, including Hall of Fame rating. If you’re unfamiliar with Hall of Fame rating, you can find the introduction here. It works similarly to Jay Jaffe’s JAWS except that it uses FanGraphs WAR instead of Baseball-Reference and measures peak in a different way, so as to encompass all of a player’s good seasons. HOF AVG and MEDIAN denote the average and median HOF Ratings of players at a candidate’s respective position. BBWAA AVG and MEDIAN denote the same thing, except consider only those players voted in by writers (and not those inducted by, say, the Veterans’ Committee).

2019

2019 Hall of Fame Ballot Newcomers
Player HOF Points WAR HOF RATING HOF AVG HOF MEDIAN BBWAA AVG BBWAA MEDIAN
Mariano Rivera 12 39.7 25.9 21.2 17.7 21.2 17.7
Roy
Halladay
54 65.2 59.6 54.5 48.9 66.9 63.3
Todd
Helton
45 54.8 49.9 59.0 57.1 65.6 57.3
Andy
Pettitte
33 68.9 51.0 54.5 48.9 66.9 63.3
Lance
Berkman
45 56.1 50.6 55.7 49.7 62.7 52.5
Roy
Oswalt
52.5 37 44.8 54.5 48.9 66.9 63.3
Miguel
Tejada
20 39.7 29.9 54.8 51.5 62.0 57.8
Those above the median Hall of Famer at their position are highlighted in blue.

First Ballot No Doubters
Mariano Rivera

First Ballot Likely Hall of Famers
Probably None

Should Be In at Some Point
Roy Halladay

Deserve More Consideration
Todd Helton, Andy Pettitte, Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt

Holdovers In
Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina

Last Chance
Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff

Notes
When I did this exercise last season, I did not have Mike Mussina getting elected in the 2019 cycle. His strong increase this year to 63.5% puts him within shouting distance of the Hall, however. Typically, about one in four players at Mussina’s percentages makes it to the Hall the following season. Mussina has a lot of things going for him, particularly the positive momentum from this season and a slightly less crowded ballot. As the second-leading returnee and only Rivera emerging as a first-ballot lock, Mussina should be able to make up considerable ground with small-Hall voters and pick up a few votes from those who vote for 10 every year but left Mussina off this past cycle.

2020

2020 Hall of Fame Ballot Newcomers
Player HOF Points WAR HOF RATING HOF AVG HOF MEDIAN BBWAA AVG BBWAA MEDIAN
Derek
Jeter
51 71.7 61.4 54.8 51.5 62.0 57.8
Bobby
Abreu
35 59.2 47.1 62.4 49.5 82.1 67.1
Jason
Giambi
36 49.7 42.9 59.0 57.1 65.6 57.3
Cliff
Lee
34 47.4 40.7 54.5 48.9 66.9 63.3
Those above the median Hall of Famer at their position are highlighted in blue.

First Ballot No Doubters
Derek Jeter

First Ballot Likely Hall of Famers
None

Should Be In at Some Point
None

Deserve More Consideration
Bobby Abreu

Holdovers In
Roy Halladay

Last Chance
Larry Walker

Notes
If Mussina is elected on the 2019 ballot and Halladay can make a strong debut next season, I could see the latter earning a place in the Hall on the second try. If Halladay is at 40% or so next season, then it will take a while, but two Cy Young awards, two times the runner up, and three other top-five finishes is tough to ignore. There’s also, of course, his unfortunate death this past year to consider.

Bobby Abreu had a nice long career but probably doesn’t captivate the imagination the way Vladimir Guerrero did. He deserves a few looks, but could fall off the ballot after one try. Jason Giambi had a nice career, but it wasn’t amazing and he has a PED stain. Cliff Lee was really good, but his career wasn’t that long.

Larry Walker is going to need a massive jump in each of the next two voting cycles to make it in. It can’t be ruled out, given the solid jump he made this year even with a crowded ballot, but it’ll be tough to gain the necessary votes for election. It would have been nice for him if Edgar Martinez had been elected this year to open up some space on ballots. He’s going to need a major campaign starting now.

2021

2021 Hall of Fame Ballot Newcomers
Player HOF Points WAR HOF RATING HOF AVG HOF MEDIAN BBWAA AVG BBWAA MEDIAN
Tim
Hudson
22 51.1 36.6 54.5 48.9 66.9 63.3
Mark
Buehrle
23 52 37.5 54.5 48.9 66.9 63.3
Torii
Hunter
19 41.5 30.3 64.6 49.2 92.1 77.1
Those above the median Hall of Famer at their position are highlighted in blue.

First Ballot No Doubters
None

First Ballot Likely Hall of Famers
None

Should Be In at Some Point
None

Deserve More Consideration
None

Holdovers In
Bonds? Clemens? Schilling?

Last Chance
None

Notes
Is this the year nobody is elected? Or will a few of the players who aren’t in the Hall of Fame for non-on-field reasons get the call? At this stage, the ballot will have Bonds, Clemens, Schilling all in their ninth try along with other players from the same era with PED questions — players including Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, and Sammy Sosa. Jeff Kent and Billy Wagner will still be hanging around, as well.

Omar Vizquel is probably going to have a tough time cracking 75%, but he will still have a decent amount of support. Andruw Jones and Scott Rolen and might be making some slow inroads. Berkman, Helton, and Pettitte might still be on the ballot. I think it might take Bonds and Clemens one more year. If they gain four points in each of the next two, they will still be 10% short heading into 2021. Gain another five points in 2021, and they might have a shot in their final ballot the following year.

2022

2022 Hall of Fame Ballot Newcomers
Player HOF Points WAR HOF RATING HOF AVG HOF MEDIAN BBWAA AVG BBWAA MEDIAN
Alex
Rodriguez
106 113 109.5 54.8 51.5 62.0 57.8
David
Ortiz
25 50.5 37.8 59.0 57.1 65.6 57.3
Mark
Teixeira
25 45 35.0 59.0 57.1 65.6 57.3
Jimmy
Rollins
25 49.3 37.2 54.8 51.5 62.0 57.8
Carl
Crawford
24 42.1 33.1 55.7 49.7 62.7 52.5
Jake
Peavy
22 44.6 33.3 54.5 48.9 66.9 63.3
Those above the median Hall of Famer at their position are highlighted in blue.

First Ballot No Doubters
None

First Ballot Likely Hall of Famers
David Ortiz

Should Be In at Some Point
Alex Rodriguez

Deserve More Consideration
None

Holdovers In
Bonds? Clemens? Schilling?

Last Chance
Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Sosa

Notes
This is potentially the last stand for Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling — as well as Sosa, who isn’t likely to be close. As they leave, Alex Rodriguez arrives. Rodriguez, of course, was another of the greatest players of all time and another one for whom PEDs are an issue. Along with him comes David Ortiz, who has some whispers of his own and doesn’t measure statistically as a Hall of Famer, but who seems destined for entry all the same.

None of the other first-ballot players — a class that also could include David Wright — will merit serious consideration, which means that this year will mark the end of the ballot congestion that has been raging for a decade.

2023

2023 Hall of Fame Ballot Newcomers
Player HOF Points WAR HOF RATING HOF AVG HOF MEDIAN BBWAA AVG BBWAA MEDIAN
Carlos
Beltran
47 67.2 57.1 64.6 49.2 92.1 77.1
Those above the median Hall of Famer at their position are highlighted in blue.

First Ballot No Doubters
None

First Ballot Likely Hall of Famers
None

Should Be In at Some Point
Carlos Beltran

Deserve More Consideration
None

Holdovers In
Probably none

Last Chance
Jeff Kent

Notes
We could still see a few more players added to this list, including Ichiro Suzuki, who would be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Others meriting some consideration could be Matt Holliday, John Lackey, Joe Nathan, and Bartolo Colon. Carlos Beltran might benefit from the relative lack of players on the ballot and gain entry on his first try, but the ballot has been pretty brutal to center fielders throughout history.

Alex Rodriguez will probably still be on the ballot. Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Scott Rolen, Gary Sheffield, Omar Vizquel, and Billy Wagner will likely still be around, too. It would be unprecedented for Jones and Rolen to even approach 75% in 2023 given their results from 2018 voting. That said, the ballot on which they started is pretty unprecedented to begin with. They should be seeing a lot of momentum by this point, and it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that they would be within range.

We hoped you liked reading Projecting the Hall of Fame Ballot Through 2023 by Craig Edwards!

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Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Member
Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Ok, so Schilling is not on my list of favorite people, but any system that has Mussina as a shoo in this year or next, and Schilling as a ‘maybe, sometime?” isn’t doing its job properly.

Simply put, which career would you rather have had on your team?

Top 10 WAR seasons:

Sch Muss % Diff
9.3 6.9 74
8.3 6.1 73
8.2 6 73
7.2 5.4 75
6.5 5.3 81
5.6 5.3 94
4.7 5.2 110
4.6 5.1 110
4.6 5.1 110
4.5 4.6 102

I do not see a rational argument for one and not the other that doesn’t put undue weight on ‘well I don’t like Schilling’s politics’. In the above, he’s being lumped in with the avowed cheaters for god’s sake! Or should we really have a purge of hall of famers who are/were assholes?

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot

“any system … isn’t doing its job properly.”

As far as I know (though I’m open to correction) all of the “systems” being discussed here are designed to model the likely behavior of Hall of Fame voters, not to prescribe the right or smart or consistent way for them to vote.

Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Member
Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Yep! I am criticizing voter behavior and not the projections in the above article. The projections seem pretty plausible to me.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot

Ah, okay. In that case, I think my only disagreement is that thinking most Hall voters have a “system” of any kind whatsoever is wildly optimistic. I suppose we’re agreeing entirely here.

emh1969
Member
emh1969

Looking at the voting patterns for both of them (Schilling entered the ballot one year before Mussina).

2013: Schilling (38.8%)
2014: Schilling (29.2%), Mussina (20.3%)
2015: Schilling (39.2%), Mussina (24.6%)
2016: Schilling (52.3%), Mussina (43.0%)
2017: Schilling (45.0%), Mussina (51.8%)
2018: Schilling (51.2%), Mussina (63.5%)

So Schilling was on track to get elected before Mussina. Until the 2017 election when many voters withheld their support based on his sharing a meme about lynching journalists. He recovered some this year, but is still below his 2016 vote percentage.

matth47
Member
matth47

Obviously some other considerations at play here, but I think any comparison of Mussina and Schilling require a mention of Kevin Brown.

These three played in nearly perfectly overlapping eras and put up remarkably similar numbers. It’s not at all surprising that Brown didn’t make it, but it is fascinating that he couldn’t even get 5%. I think the public has forgotten how great Brown was. Guys like Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, and Rafael Palmiero stuck around on ballots in spite of inferior credentials and similar allegations.

Assuming that Rodriguez, Clemens, and Bonds all make it eventually, is Brown the best player excluded from the Hall of Fame explicitly because of steroids?

Pepper Martin
Member
Pepper Martin

You have to keep in mind that Kevin Brown the human being was widely despised during his playing career, which is probably why he fell off the ballot. Also, having his best seasons with teams like the Padres and Marlins, and not being associated with any one fan base, are factors that didn’t help him. I agree that he was a great pitcher of course, and I probably would have voted for him — though I wouldn’t have voted for Schilling, because I am one of those people who takes character into consideration in such things.

The Real McNulty
Member
The Real McNulty

Kevin Brown played on the Padres for one year and the Marlins for two years. Rangers 6+ years and Dodgers 5 years

Pepper Martin
Member
Pepper Martin

Yeah, but keep in mind that his Dodgers years were mostly remembered for his albatross of a contract — Major League Baseball officials were seriously unhappy about the first-ever $100 million contract (Sandy Alderson, who was the Executive Vice President of major league operations at the time, referred to Brown’s contract as “an affront and an insult to the commissioner of baseball”), and nobody at the time really realized that signing a 34 year old pitcher to a 7-year contract would inevitably end poorly. There was a lot of bad blood between him and Dodger fans as a result of that contract.

And while he was good with the Rangers, he didn’t become great until after he left them.

Anon
Member
Anon

Is Brown really that strong of a candidate? I know this is a sabermetric-friendly board and WAR rules all, but Brown doesn’t check many of the non-saber boxes. His 3.28 ERA and 127 ERA+ would look pretty nice in the HOF but no Cy Youngs, 211 wins, only 2,397 K’s. Combine that with steroids and the fact that he was not anybody’s favorite guy and I can understand why he was bounced. I’d probably have voted for the guy, but in terms of understanding it, I can get it.

Chris
Member
Chris

Not to mention their post season careers. Schilling was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA whereas Mussina was 7-8 with a 3.42 ERA. Schilling is clearly being black-balled for his political opinions which, though I don’t agree with him, is a ridiculous reason not to vote for someone.

Pepper Martin
Member
Pepper Martin

Yes, it’s ridiculous that the results of an award which is voted on by journalists is affected by the candidate’s advocacy of murdering journalists.

Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Member
Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Well, when you characterize it like that the conclusion is fairly simple, isn’t it?

But you are choosing one of many characterizations, it just so happens the most prejudicial one.

Pepper Martin
Member
Pepper Martin

It’s not a “characterization.” He sent out a tweet that advocated murdering journalists, specifically, which he labelled as “so much awesome.” I don’t know what other characterization you could have of that?

bjsguess
Member
bjsguess

Let’s be real. He actually does not believe that. It was hyperbole. He called it “sarcastic”.

If you believe that Schilling really meant all journalists should be lynched then you should also be advocating for the death penalty of Kathy Griffin and her stupid beheading of a President. I mean seriously, do we have to point out example after example or someone using hyperbole and sarcasm?

You are free to hate the guy because you lean Left in the political spectrum but we’re talking about baseball here and his career. There is really no good reason to keep him out of the HoF. The guy was a great pitcher and deserves to be recognized as such.

Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Member
Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Exactly, this actually goes to what I was saying below. Bias manifests itself often in the witholding or granting of the benefit of a doubt. Statements from someone we like are treated jocularly, while if we hear something similar from the other end of the spectrum we suddenly become convenient literalists.

This is why I was making the below argument about him being punished not for his comment, but his political beliefs. We would’ve been much more inclined to dismissed the comment as frivolous if not for his association in our minds with Trump, so he loses the benefit of a doubt and the comment becomes earnest and proof of his being a monster.

Famous Mortimer
Member

This is a stupid argument. If there’s a comedy Hall of Fame, I will withhold my vote from Kathy Griffin for her behaviour, just like many people are doing to Schilling. Cool?

Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Member
Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

It is absolutely a characterization…do we really need to review the myriad of intentions with which someone can make a statement?

Satire, metaphor, ill conceived humor, or even just a retweeted brain fart with no intention at all (this is Twitter after all)

So yes, choosing absolute murderous seriousness as his intention IS a characterization, and one that, given the obvious absurdity of the idea of tweeting a call to arms to literally lynch journalists, isn’t in my opinion likely (but not impossible) to be accurate.

Paul-SF
Member
Paul-SF

Believe it or not, it’s possible to both 1) understand that Schilling was not literally advocating the murder of journalists, and 2) find his statements abhorrent to a level affecting his HOF candidacy. Objecting to jokes about the murder of journalists should not be considered evidence of “leaning left.” It should be considered evidence of a conscience.

Schilling clearly deserves to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, and I would vote for him, even understanding that he’s a terrible human being who has jokingly advocated the murder of several of my close friends (and, had I stayed in the profession, myself). But I don’t begrudge any voter the decision to leave him off the ballot for a year or two as a punishment, meager and symbolic though it might be.

I think the message has been sent, as shown above. Schilling was well known as a narcissistic conservative gasbag when he became eligible for the Hall, and he nevertheless was on his way to induction in 2019, at least based on his vote totals before he sent that tweet. Now he’s likely waiting until at least 2020, while the marginally worse Mike Mussina leapfrogs him. Too bad, so sad. Schilling will make it into the HOF regardless, as he should. But let’s not act like he’s being punished for “conservative views.” He’s being punished by journalists who rightly take a dim view of statements that we have the luxury of assuming are jokes because of where we live – but which are deadly serious elsewhere in the world, and which are objectively unfunny to any decent human being.

The Duke
Member
The Duke

One interpretation could be that he thought the t-shirt was awesome.

Call me crazy

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

I don’t know if we’ve ever seen a case quite like Curt Schilling. On the playing merits, he’s a surefire Hall of Famer. His regular season record is above the bar. His postseason record is way above the bar. He has an iconic moment with the Bloody Sock. There is no way on-field performance falls below the bar for the Hall of Fame, period.

And during his playing days, the idea that he would have run afoul of the character clause was ridiculous. He won the Branch Rickey award. He won the Lou Gehrig award. He won the Clemente award. He got along with his teammates. And while he annoyed some of them with his politics, Gabe Kapler said they used to have good conversations about politics despite their differences.

But the whole lynching journalists thing, as well as continued advocacy on behalf of people who are clearly anti-freedom-of-the-press, is pretty awful. (This doesn’t even consider his advocacy on behalf of some of the worst actors in American politics of the last 50 years, but that’s somewhat more of a judgment call). Do you really want to give him a platform?

My take on it is colored by an incident earlier…that it was ridiculous when the Hall of Fame decided to ban the Bull Durham celebration because they were worried about Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon lighting into the Iraq war. I just didn’t think that was right. So I think that the voters should elect Curt Schilling, given that his violations of the character clause really have nothing to with baseball as an institution (and indeed, happened well after he retired). And then we should let Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon give speeches too.

But yeah, it’s not easy for me to say that because I hate Schilling’s guts too.

emh1969
Member
emh1969

I agree with everything you wrote except for the part about him getting along with his teammates. At least one journalist who covered him claims that’s not true.

http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2017/01/why_this_scumbag_me_will_never_give_curt_schilling.html

Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Member
Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Bear with me on this because I’m going to speculate rampantly.

I by no means want to start a political argument here, I am just toying with an idea. The fact that they were neck and neck until 2017 *could* mean he’s just being punished for his comments. What else has changed, though? Trump, a guy Schilling is very much aligned with, is president now. Is it possible that voters who may already have been inclined to withdraw their support because of his comments, were even more likely to do so because it would fit contextually as part of a larger protest? Could he be basically standing as a proxy for voters who are unhappy with our current political climate?

I don’t know the last time a player was so publicly aligned with a political figure like this. It will be an interesting test of this hypothesis to see if, come 2020 and (ok, I’ll just leave it at “this seems more likely than not”), some other person is president, sports media suddenly rediscovers the merits of Schilling’s career.

Pepper Martin
Member
Pepper Martin

The bigger factor for Schilling is this tweet he sent on on November 7, 2016:
comment image

emh1969
Member
emh1969

Yeah, in 2017 several voters stated that they were taking Schilling off of their ballot because of that tweet. Some may have returned him this year but I imagine others decided they were done with him.

That being said, (and as much as I despise Schilling), I’m not sure I agree with their decision. The actual words of the “character clause” say:

“Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

That to me implies that the character clause should be applied to their playing days, not to actions afterwards.

tung_twista
Member
tung_twista

I don’t think it is clear that it should be limited to the players’ playing days.

Here is a thought experiment.
What if, say, Jeter is found out to be a serial rapist, all of his crimes happening after he retired?
Do you think they should still induct him into HoF?

emh1969
Member
emh1969

I honestly don’t know. But what if they found out after he was already elected? Should they then try to take him out of the Hall?

tung_twista
Member
tung_twista

The fact that you don’t know shows that you are not perfectly comfortable with the character applying to only the playing days.
Frankly, most voters would not vote to enshrine a know serial rapist into Hall of Fame, nor should they.

The question is not whether the players’ characters after they retired should be taken into consideration or not(Hint: they should), but rather whether their behaviors are egregious enough to warrant voting against them and whether their careers are great enough to overcome their transgressions.

LenFuego
Member
LenFuego

I am curious as to the reason you think that implication is made, because I see nothing that suggests that. I parse that clause as:

Voting shall be based upon the player’s
(1) record,
(2) playing ability,
(3) integrity,
(4) sportsmanship,
(5) character, and
(6) contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

Is it simply the use of the term “player”, which somehow implies to you that all 6 categories apply to a player’s playing career? Because when the rules want to refer to the period of the player’s playing career, they use “active player”. (E.g., one of the eligibility qualifications is that “Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.”

The only way I see to parse the character clause as not applying other than during the player’s playing career is really really really wanting it not to apply.

What am I missing?

emh1969
Member
emh1969

In response to LenFuego: “I am curious as to the reason you think that implication is made, because I see nothing that suggests that.”

1) The whole point of the HOF voting is to evaluate someone based on what they did during their playing career. Why should the character clause be extended to a different time period then their playing career?

2) If you really want to be pedantic about this, I’ll point out that the text never mentions anything about Major League Baseball. So should voters also consider a players stats in Little League, College, Minor Leagues, Japan, etc?

3) Ultimately what you’re suggesting (that the character clause can be extended after a player’s career is over) becomes an exercise in ridiculousness. By that standard, no one should be voted into the HOF until after they’re dead, to make sure that they never do anything to violate the clause.

Of course, we could also look to see what the President of the Hall of Fame has to say:

“Everyone should understand that ‘character’ is not to be used as a moral compass, but refers to how they respected the game, how they treated the game, how they used that character in the contributions they made to their teams.”

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/40926358/

LenFuego
Member
LenFuego

If we just wanted to identify the best baseball players, we could go on baseball-reference.com and sort by WAR or OPS or something, and then limit ourselves to looking only at the top 300 or so. We have a Hall of Fame because players are people and we want to celebrate excellence in people and the pursuit of excellence in people and to hold excellent people up as role models for our children – their outside-baseball character is certainly relevant to all of that.

Bottom line: voters, like players, are people, and subject to all the biases and prejudices that go along with that, and if you are expecting that voters will not be influenced by a player doing things they think are reprehensible or despicable inside or outside their playing career, you are going to be disappointed time and time again.

(The HoF President’s comments are interesting, and I think voters are entitled to consider what he said in interpreting their voting duties, but they are also just one man’s opinion and they are also entitled to reject that — if the HoF really wanted to limit the character clause to the player’s playing career, it would be ridiculously easy to do.)

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot

There is still a character clause, after all.

Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Member
Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

I don’t know about you, but invoking the character clause to punish speech seems like a bit of a slippery slope to me.

Look at it this way – if the character clause covers statements we find to be objectionable, then voting for someone becomes an implicit degree of approval of any public statements they’ve made (i.e. they have not violated the character clause by making them).

emh1969
Member
emh1969

I generally agree. Chipper Jones also lost a vote this year because he sent out controversial tweets. But why does he only lose one vote and Schilling loses a lot more than that? Were his tweets somehow less controversial than Schillings? But who gets to decide that?

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/jose-de-jesus-ortiz/ortiz-integrity-and-character-matter-when-weighing-hof-vote/article_dc7d1422-176a-5b4f-b837-600878a334ee.html

LenFuego
Member
LenFuego

I generally agree, too, but when you ask “But who gets to decide that?”, I think the answer is really simple: the voters – each voter gets to decide for themself. That is the inherent nature of a vote.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot

The character clause is all the way at the bottom of that slippery slope. It’s impossible to invoke it any other way. But as long as it’s there we are going to have to deal with the fact that voters will, with justification, be passing the judgements they find valid on players’ character.

Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Member
Kyle Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

Agreed, they should clarify that character for voting purposes is defined as (1) criminal acts that are morally deplorable or (2) acts that unduly compromise the integrity of the game. There is wiggle room but not nearly as much.

People get to use the ambiguity here as air cover for all sorts of nonsense.

GoNYGoNYGoGo
Member
Member
GoNYGoNYGoGo

Besides the tweets and rants and seemingly ripping off states for hundreds of millions of dollars, for traditional counting-stat voters the reason Mussina has started to outpoll Schilling is that Mussina had 270 career wins, and Schilling had 216.

timprov
Member
timprov

I’m a little surprised to see a lot of talk about Schilling’s politics as a reason for not putting him in, and zero talk about him using his baseball fame to defraud his fans and the taxpayers of Rhode Island.

He can be a jackass all he wants, it’s not like the Hall isn’t already full of them. But that’s the thing that puts him in a category with Pete Rose for me.

LHPSU
Member
LHPSU

For what it’s worth, Kingdoms of Amalur was a pretty good game!

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

I had a friend or two who said that game was really good.

It just goes to show that running a business is only partially about having a good product.

Paul G.
Member
Member
Paul G.

Please note the definition of “defraud” necessarily requires “fraud” which is “deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.” If you believe that Schilling took the money with the full expectation that the project would fail and the investment lost, and/or that he has squirreled away a good chunk of the money in the Cayman Islands, or some other similar nefarious act, then it is the appropriate use of the word. If Schilling’s project simply failed, even if it was because of his own gross incompetence, then it is not fraud. This is important to note because “fraud” tends to bring criminal charges.

Personally, I think that a state government subsidizing a video game company is extremely poor stewardship of taxpayer money.

LHPSU
Member
LHPSU

I agree, but I have to say it’s pretty high hypocrisy that someone self-proclaimed to be far right would have no qualms about using taxpayer money to fund HIS private projects.

rosen380
Member

Just to get into the current decade, no need to do that sort of side-by-side when we have Fangraphs WAR Graphs…

https://www.fangraphs.com/graphsw.aspx?players=642,90,837,73&wg=2

Adding in Glavine as well, who waltzed into the Hall of Fame on his first try with 91.9%. I was going to include fellow first-ballot-guy in John Smoltz, but figured his time as an elite closer kind of makes him different.