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No one made it, just like 1996 except this time it wasn't due to a lack of talented players.

Biggio was #1 at 68.2%, Morris had a late surge pushing him to 67.7% (last count at BBTF had him at 60%), Bagwell, Piazza and Raines all cracked 50% (just one player who cracked 50% didn't get in at some point).  Clemens & Bonds were well back in the 30's.

Player Years on
Total VotesPercentageLast year
Craig Biggio 1 388 68.2 --
Jack Morris 14 385 67.7 66.7
Jeff Bagwell 3 339 59.6 56
Mike Piazza 1 329 57.8 --
Tim Raines 6 297 52.2 48.7
Lee Smith 11 272 47.8 50.6
Curt Schilling 1 221 38.8 --
Roger Clemens 1 214 37.6 --
Barry Bonds 1 206 36.2 --
Edgar Martinez 4 204 35.9 36.5
Alan Trammell 12 191 33.6 36.8
Larry Walker 3 123 21.6 22.9
Fred McGriff 4 118 20.7 23.9
Dale Murphy 15 106 18.6 14.5
Mark McGwire 7 96 16.9 19.5
Don Mattingly 13 75 13.2 17.8
Sammy Sosa 1 71 12.5 --
Rafael Palmeiro 3 50 8.8 12.6
-----all below are removed from future elections-----
Bernie Williams 2 19 3.3 9.6
Kenny Lofton 1 18 3.2 --
Sandy Alomar Jr. 1 16 2.8 --
Julio Franco 1 6 1.1 --
David Wells 1 5 0.9 --
Steve Finley 1 4 0.7 --
Shawn Green 1 2 0.4 --
Aaron Sele 1 1 0.2 --
Jeff Cirillo 1 0 0 --
Royce Clayton 1 0 0 --
Jeff Conine 1 0 0 --
Roberto Hernandez 1 0 0 --
Ryan Klesko 1 0 0 --
Jose Mesa 1 0 0 --
Reggie Sanders 1 0 0 --
Mike Stanton 1 0 0 --
Todd Walker 1 0 0 --
Rondell White 1 0 0 --
Woody Williams 1 0 0 --
Empty Hall | 73 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 04:49 PM EST (#267808) #
For fun, I tried to imagine what a ballot without any actual or suspected PED user would look like.  Biggio, Raines, Schilling, Edgar, Trammell, Walker, Lofton, Murphy, McGriff and Bernie Williams.  The first seven names I would be completely comfortable with.  The ballots on (for instance) don't reveal much wisdom in sorting through the non-PED issues, and if you can't deal with that, the more nuanced PED issues are obviously going to be pretty much impossible. 
John Northey - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 05:51 PM EST (#267811) #
Ah Mike, but Biggio played with various guys accused of PED use therefore you don't know if he was clean.  Honest, some writers used that logic.  Raines did coke early on, Schilling might have faked the bloody sock (honest, I read that somewhere too), and I'm sure I could find other junk on each of them.

There is a penalty in place for PED use in place but it seems writers want a eternal ban for any use and will enforce it as best they can, even if it is just rumour and innuendo.  Sigh.

CeeBee - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 06:02 PM EST (#267812) #
I commented in a different thread before this one was opened. Still feel the same.
"Wonderful job once again by the BBWA. might as well let the fans do the voting..... couldn't be any worse!"
Craig B - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 06:32 PM EST (#267813) #
The fans doing the voting would be much better (provided that there was no encouragement to ballot-stuffing as there is with the All-Star Game). It would obviously be much better. It would be meaningful too; not one player ever said that he played to please the writers, but pretty much all of them say, quite honestly, that they play(ed) at least in part to please the fans.

But we're not the "right kind of people". The Hall of Fame thinks that the writers are smart, and that you and I are dumb.

And I think as highly of the Hall as it thinks of me.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 06:33 PM EST (#267814) #
CeeBee - actually it'd be about the same.
24,238 votes in and no one has even 70%, just like the real thing.  Big difference is Piazza is 2nd, Morris is at 32.3% and in 10th place.

Maybe a panel which knows it is expected to pick at least 1 and 3 at most each year with rare exceptions is the best route to go.  More dull perhaps, but at least someone would get in.  These years with no inductees are pretty dumb as every single time that has happened the guy with the most votes did eventually get in.  In fact, every single 1st and 2nd place finisher ever has got in.  Haven't checked 3rd place finishers yet.

John Northey - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 06:42 PM EST (#267817) #
Y'know, maybe Baseball Think Factory has it right - their server has issues today and I keep getting a screen saying...

"Disallowed Key Characters."
Subversive - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 06:56 PM EST (#267818) #
They really need to make the ballots public. A vote for Aaron Sele? 2 votes for Shawn Green? These writers need to be roasted. Anyone who votes for Aaron Sele for the Hall of Fame is making a mockery of the process by not giving one of his 10 votes to a real candidate.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 07:08 PM EST (#267819) #

I am disappointed in the reasoning used by the Hall Of Fame voters, considering some of those already in - it lacks consistency.   If they must hold out unconvicted (rumoured/innuendo) players, they can never again elect anyone to the Hall for those same reasons.   Should anyone be removed from the Hall?   That might be a debate for another time.

I would put Biggio, Morris, Bagwell, Piazza and Raines into the Hall Of Fame because of those who went before (might not be as good).   There was even less rumour/innuendo with these guys, and they were not only unconvicted, there was never even a sniff of a charge against them.

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 07:33 PM EST (#267821) #
John, the fans did a lot better than the writers.  The order of finish was Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Schilling, Clemens, Bonds.   For Jack Morris and Lee Smith to get as many votes as they did with the competition in this year's ballot reflects very badly on the writers. 
John Northey - Wednesday, January 09 2013 @ 11:46 PM EST (#267824) #
Next year will be interesting again.  Rafael Palmeiro might fall off the ballot as at 8.8% he barely survived this year and next year you add in Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, and Mike Mussina - 5 guys I expect to someday get in. 

If you use rWAR as y our measuring stick you get 14 guys with 60+ WAR (viewed as a good spot for a line) while McGwire, Piazza, Sosa, Kent are all in the 50's.  Of course then you add Jack Morris, Don Mattingly in the 30's and Lee Smith (27.6) who all will get their share of votes and you have one heck of a mess.

A WAR based ballot of 10 would be (in order) Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine, Jeff Bagwell, Curt Schilling, Frank Thomas, Larry Walker and Alan Trammell.  The next 10 include Tim Raines, Rafael Palmeiro, Edgar Martinez, Craig Biggio, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Kent, Fred McGriff and Luis Gonzalez.  The only guy I don't see ever getting in is Gonzalez. 

Notables for next years ballot (from a Jays perspective): Shannon Stewart, Esteban Loaiza, Mike Timlin, Eric Gagne (Canadian connection).  Note: Gagne has admitted to PED use but will be on the ballot with his Cy Young and 3 AS games I suspect (they try to put anyone with any kind of case on the list).  Whats funny is Gagne _just_ qualifies with exactly 10 seasons in the majors including a year with just 2 games and another with just 5.  Other notables include Kenny Rogers (219 wins, who knew?), Moises Alou (over 300 HR despite losing an early season due to a badly broken leg), Ray Durham (didn't notice he retired), Hideo Nomo, Paul Lo Duca (was viewed as the Dodgers catcher of the future when Piazza was traded iirc).

Sheesh - who would I vote for if I was a voter next year?  Given I don't care about PED use I guess Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Glavine, Bagwell, Schilling, Thomas, Walker, Trammell, Raines.  Wait a minute, I want to add Biggio, Piazza and Kent...hrm...maybe cut Thomas for Piazza (Thomas had a bad end here so why not, he probably doesn't get close anyways with physical size despite is strong anti-PED stance), and Schilling for being a pain in the butt so I can put Biggio on there.  I cut Mussina for his ASG show up of Cito and his attitude towards Tom Cheek being honoured.  Hey, with a ballot this jammed with quality players you gotta cut somewhere.  If they had 20 names allowed I'd go for the first 19 by WAR other than Mussina, and put a 'nice guy' vote to Timlin and a pioneer vote to Nomo.  Maybe not those last two, but I'd debate it.

Think about that, it isn't hard to come up with a reasonable 19 man ballot for next year.  That is just nuts.  And if less than 2 get in it gets messier the next year wtih Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield (509 HR but PEDs), and Carlos Delgado.  Then comes slam dunk Ken Griffey Jr., and serious candidate Jim Edmonds
lexomatic - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 02:39 AM EST (#267826) #
There are a lot of BBWA members who just plain screwed up and deserve to have voting privileges revoked.
Won't happen, HOF is a joke.

China fan - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 05:20 AM EST (#267827) #
I'm disappointed in the lack of intelligent analysis in this thread. Normally people here are a lot better at digging beneath the headlines to figure out what's really happening. "Fans smart, writers stupid" is about as useful an analysis as "Yankees suck."

I know a lot less about Hall of Fame voting than many others on this site, but just as a tentative starting point for discussion: is this the inevitable outcome of MLB's historical failures to decide on a PED policy? How much vote-splitting occurred because Clemens and Bonds were on the ballot? If the ballot was amended to eliminate those players who had legal proceedings against them (as a possible formal criterion), would that have allowed Biggio and Piazza (for example) to get into the Hall this year? Should there be an attempt to distinguish between "innuendo" and evidence, perhaps using the evidence from legal proceedings to eliminate some players from the ballot? Maybe a committee could be set up to review the evidence from formal proceedings to decide the eligibility of players, based on "balance of probabilities" (a civil standard of justice) rather than "proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt" (a criminal standard)?

It seems to me that the current voting is inevitably deeply muddled by the unresolved policy over PED. The writers don't have to adopt the same standard as MLB or a criminal court, but there needs to be an effort to deal with "moral" issues. An eligibility committee, digging into the evidence that's on the record from current proceedings in the courts or in congressional hearings, might be a way to start.

If the "moral" issues were settled, it might allow voters to concentrate entirely on on-the-field performance, which would surely improve the situation.

This began, of course, with the Pete Rose situation. If he was ruled ineligible because of off-field issues, why not others?
China fan - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 05:27 AM EST (#267828) #
"....John, the fans did a lot better than the writers. The order of finish was Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Schilling, Clemens, Bonds...."

I don't see this as superior to the current voting, because the fans are obviously still penalizing Clemens and Bonds for their PED issues. Or did the fans seriously conclude that Schilling had a better pitching career than Clemens, and Bagwell was a better hitter than Bonds?

Whether it's fans or writers, the same problem occurs: how do you respond to PED issues? It seems to me that players should either be eligible or not. It's pointless to expect any voters (fans or writers) to make a subjective ruling about whether each player should be penalized "a little" or "a lot" for his PED history. There is evidence that exists from court proceedings and other formal investigations. Why not simply review the evidence and decide whether a player should be eligible or not? This kind of review was done for Pete Rose, so it could be done for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.
SJE - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 05:47 AM EST (#267830) #
Although I rarely post anything on this site, I follow the others comments several times every day. I enjoy the healthy debate on anything Baseball related.One topic I spend no time in following is the HOF selection.I have been a baseball fan for over 40 years. Does that make me an expert, absolutely not. I have followed long enough to have opinion on which players were a step above all others. Its my opinion and I dont need a committee to either back or reject it. Others seem to want to spend their time discussing how to make the vote better. I am strongly against PED,and have an idea on who I think used them. Its still only my opinion.
Personally I dont care if the all or none get in. I grew up following everyone of Dave Stieb starts. Whether the Baseball Writers agree with or not, I could careless. In fact the more we debate their selection, a bigger power trip it seems to be for some of them. I am glad its over. Now we can get back to discussing the affairs of what should be an exciting. Have a good day and thanks to all for being a must check site every day.
robertdudek - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 06:21 AM EST (#267831) #
Anyone who didn't vote for Biggio is a pinhead.
robertdudek - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 06:24 AM EST (#267832) #
Hall of Merit rules!
John Northey - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 07:08 AM EST (#267833) #
The moral issues were covered by writers during the 1998 home run chase.  It was painfully obvious steroids were in play, especially for McGwire, by anyone who paid the slightest attention.  When a writer found the smoking gun (andro) he was blasted by fellow writers for it rather than having it slow down the fawning that was going on.  Fans didn't care either as everyone was into the chase and didn't want the story stopped due to drug use. As the Simpsons put it, would you like to think about it or do you want to see some dingers?

Now writers are forgetting they had the ability to kill the drug issue back then.  Had they done their job in 1998 and blown this issue up back then it is safe to say Bonds wouldn't have started (all reports indicate he was frustrated by the publicity McGwire got that year and decided 'screw it' as he didn't want to compete with one hand tied behind his back) and it might have killed the Clemens case (he is reported to have started in 1998, probably would've stopped quickly had McGwire's chase been destroyed publicly by the drug use) among others. 

A shame when people who were complicit in something decide they are going to be the ones who make things right by punishing others after the fact.  The fact is PED use happened, and for guys viewed as marginal otherwise (McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro) you can leave them out of the hall if you must (a future vet committee will put them in I'm sure).  But guys like Bonds & Clemens were clear HOF'ers pre-1998 and would've still been without PED's.  And that is without getting into the witch hunt that has dragged Bagwell, Piazza and even Biggio into it (some writers doubt Biggio due to the Astros having Clemens and others on the team).  As I stated above, next years ballot is an impossible one as no writer can include all the future HOF'ers on a ballot when there are nearly 20 of them on it (based on past standards) and that is without factoring in HOF calibre players who have dropped off (Lou Whittaker, Kenny Lofton) and how it is just going to get worse unless something big happens next year (ie: a bulk induction of 5 guys or something)
robertdudek - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 07:16 AM EST (#267835) #
Larger issue is the wholesale incompetence of BBWAA voting for the last 15-20 years.
robertdudek - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 07:17 AM EST (#267836) #
Full endorsement of John Northey's post.
China fan - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 07:59 AM EST (#267837) #
"....Now writers are forgetting they had the ability to kill the drug issue back then...."

That seems very exaggerated. There's been tons of media coverage of PED issues over the past 15 years, including a huge amount of negative publicity for Bonds and Clemens, and it never killed anything. It was the media pressure that led to the Congressional hearings, court cases, etc. That hasn't killed the support that Bonds and Clemens continue to receive from many writers and from many fans too (as we can see from the "alternative" fan voting for the Hall of Fame).

The reality is that the PED issue is a very divisive one. Many fans and writers will always support Bonds and Clemens and the other PED-users, while many others will not. That's why there needs to be a clear ruling from the Hall of Fame. Otherwise the hundreds of votes for PED-users will continue to divert support away from the Biggios and Piazzas.
Paul D - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 08:28 AM EST (#267838) #
CF, if the voters took the time to examine the ballot, there would be no need to have votes diverted from Biggio, Bagwell and Piazza - you can easily find room for all 3, plus every steroid user, or no steroid users but Morris, Raines, and Lee Frigging Smith if you want.
CeeBee - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 08:55 AM EST (#267839) #
I wonder how the folks in Cooperstown feel? How about Bud Selig? Has there been a phone call to the veterans committee..... " You guys have to elect 2 or 3 players this year... please.... and at least 2 have to have warm bodies."

On another note. How many of you have been to the hall? Did you spend more time looking at the builders, umps, media guys plaques and displays or the players? I know where I'd spend most of my time if I ever had the pleasure of going.
Dave Till - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 09:20 AM EST (#267840) #
Some of the newbies on the ballot suffered because some writers make a distinction between "first-ballot Hall of Famer" and "ordinary Hall of Famer". Biggio will almost certainly get in next year, and a couple of the others will go in as well.

As for the whole PED thing - it's not reasonable to assume that the famous names that have been outed as steroid users are the only ones who actually used. Some of the supposedly clean players probably just didn't get caught. Of course, this may be why some writers are reluctant to enshrine anyone from the Steroid Era. (And it may also be true that some writers might know about steroid use than they're telling.)

The vote for Aaron Sele is a classic WTF moment. Perthaps that writer filled in his ballot upside down by mistake.

Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 09:20 AM EST (#267841) #
CF, many ballots (with "reasoning") have been published.  Dave Cameron posted his theoretical ballot at fangraphs (it's another 9 years before he becomes eligible to vote) and it is thoughtful.  Every other ballot that I have seen ranges from poorly reasoned to bizarre (one vote for Jack Morris and nobody else, for instance).  It was shocking how many writers had six or fewer names on their ballots when there were so many good choices, no matter which side of the PED fence you are on. 
Paul D - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 09:31 AM EST (#267842) #
Biggio will almost certainly get in next year, and a couple of the others will go in as well. I don't know if this is true. Frank Thomas, Gred Maddux, Jeff Kent... there are lots of worthy additions next year, and the continued refusal by voters to elect people like Biggio is creating a glut of qualified candidates - there will easily be more than 10 deserving candidates next year (and yet most voters will still not vote for the maximum)
Dave Till - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 09:34 AM EST (#267843) #
How many of you have been to the hall?

I went to the hall in 1985. (Yes, I'm getting old.) I didn't spend a lot of time looking at the plaques - I went to their library, and a pleasant person gave me some interesting baseball books to look at. And I wandered around the town, which, with the whole James Fenimore Cooper thing and the baseball thing, wasn't so much a place to live as an iconic Reminder Of Days Gone By. (I refuse to be nostalgic for any era that predates reliable anaesthetics and antibiotics.)

Then I went to one of those machines that tells you how fast your best fastball is. Mine was so slow that I dare not repeat it in this space, for fear of being laughed out of the room.
hypobole - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 10:17 AM EST (#267844) #
There was a time I believed pitcher's Wins and hitter's RBI's were as important as any measure of player's worth and I truly cared about HOF voting.

That time has passed.
China fan - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 10:27 AM EST (#267845) #
"....It was shocking how many writers had six or fewer names on their ballots when there were so many good choices...."

From my casual reading here, I was under the impression that most Bauxites were opposed to a large hall with Jack Morris and others in. Which 10 would you have voted for?
robertdudek - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:11 AM EST (#267846) #
Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Clemens, Bonds, Trammell - all no-brainer hall-of-famers, even adjusting some for steroid use.
John Northey - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:11 AM EST (#267847) #
Actually China fan I remember quite clearly 1998 and my personal frustration over how the media was ignoring the PED issue with McGwire and, I suspected, Sosa.  McGwire was caught red handed with a drug that is banned by other sports and it got one day's worth of headlines then was promptly pushed down and forgotten.  The drug issue didn't take off until Bonds starting doing video game numbers in 2001 and continued putting those up through 2004 (OPS+ of 231 to 268 with OBP of 515 to 609 and Slg of 749 to 863).  Bonds Slg% those years would be a good OPS today.

Remember, the Mitchell Report wasn't out until 2007 (started in 2006), 2004 was the point the rules were put into place, first suspension in 2005, congress hearings in 2005 (including Palmeiro's famous statement), Juiced (Canseco's book) came out in 2005.  All evidence is the outrage didn't start until after Bonds hit 73 HR.

Of note: Tom House has said steroids were not unusual for pitchers to be taking in the 1970's, well before the late 1990's.  No shock really as the East Germans showed how useful they were in the Olympics at the time (people knew they were using but drug testing was far behind the drugs then).  In 1988 I remember very clearly the steroid chants directed at Jose Canseco yet cannot recall one article saying he should be kicked out of baseball for drugs but hundreds praising him for his 40-40 season.

The media ignored it, the public joked about it, and no one really cared that much until Bonds hit 73 home runs and had 4 seasons that could be viewed as the best 4 year stretch any hitter has ever had from the ages of 36 to 39.  Bonds was one of, if not the best, hitter ever.  From 1990 to 2007 his worst OPS+ was 156, his worst OPS was 924 (led league) then 970 (also led league) and 999 (4th best if he had the PA, officially 6th in league).  Pre-PED he was amazing, with PED he was impossible and that was the crime - writers could accept amazing (McGwire) but not Ruthian (Bonds).  If Bonds had resisted and played with a hand tied behind his back then I bet the whole issue would've faded and been a minor issue today (maybe testing in place, but few writers caring that much in voting).

Show me articles from pre-2001 that said steroids were killing the game, that PED users should be banned from the Hall.  Outside of guys who mainly did Olympic writing who complained?  I don't recall many, if any.
MatO - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:16 AM EST (#267848) #
Add me to the list of "I don't care".  This also includes who plays in the All Star Game,  year-end awards and any Olympic sport solely decided by judging.
John Northey - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:19 AM EST (#267849) #
Which 10 this year?  Including PED use - Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Bagwell, Raines, Schilling, Trammell, Walker, Biggio, Edgar Martinez.

Removing likely PED users and the 'strong rumour' guys (Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Bagwell plus Palmeiro, Sosa)...
Raines, Schilling, Trammell, Walker, Biggio, Martinez, McGriff, Lofton, Murphy, tempted to add Bernie Williams as he was the CF on the best team of the 90's/00's (sorry, the Yankees were that). 

If you remove PED guys then you have to adjust your view on McGriff to pre-silly ball days and Murphy was better than Rice in many respects (2 MVP's vs 1, gold glove defense in CF vs DH, just had a very quick end as Rice did).  Bernie Williams is now the forgotten guy in the Yankee home grown core (Williams, Jeter, Pettitte, Posada, Rivera).  I suspect a future vets committee will put Williams and Posada in (probably in 30-40 years) while Jeter & Rivera get in quickly and Pettitte waits awhile (each season he can push it back the better to reduce the PED outrage).
robertdudek - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:25 AM EST (#267850) #
Add me to the list of "I don't care".  This also includes who plays in the All Star Game,  year-end awards and any Olympic sport solely decided by judging.

How do you feel about ski jumping?
AWeb - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:26 AM EST (#267851) #

Next year (Maddux, Kent, Thomas, Mussina), you can basically make two entire starting lineups out of the available players that would not be crazy HoF choices:

1B/DH: Bagwell, Thomas, McGriff, McGwire, Palmeiro, Martinez

2B: Biggio, Kent

SS: Trammell

3B: Martinez (3 years counts for something)

C: Piazza, Biggio

LF: Raines, Bonds

CF: Bonds, Biggio (part-timers only, Bonds was very good there when young)

RF: Walker, Sosa.

SP: Clemens, Maddux, Schilling, Mussina, Glavine

Closer: Smith ( I don't think he should go in, but he meets the positional standard established)

This is crazy. The best lineup would definitely be better than an average HoF team, as would the second lineup (they'd need a SS and 3B, of course) . Steroids/PEDs or not, the 1990's era had a ton of great players, just like the 1980's era did not. Sometimes it happens this way, upper-end talent does not get evenly distributed across the years.

I would vote for every player listed above except Smith (Lofton would be on my list, except he's gone now)- Morris won't even be among the top 5 starting pitchers. He's not worthy in general, but it's amazing that 5 guys who were clearly better than him will also be on the ballot next year(I suspect Maddux goes in and no one else, barring a major change).

So yeah, the Hall of Merit looks a lot better now. I will do my best to tune out HoF talk next year, it's gotten politics-level in its pointlessness.

CeeBee - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:46 AM EST (#267853) #
What Aweb said ^^
Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:51 AM EST (#267855) #
Well said, AWeb. Maybe 26% of baseball writers believe that Greg Maddux applied the unclear and the cream to a baseball at times, and will make him wait a year or two.

It does look like both Trammell and Whitaker are going to be waiting for the Veterans' Committee.  I guess that writers thought that Trammell was behind Ripken and Ozzie among the shortstops of the eighties, while Whitaker was behind Sandberg among the second basemen of the eighties, and that was as far as the logic went.  Many writers believe that Morris was the best starting pitcher of the eighties, and that may be enough for them. 

Paul D - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:52 AM EST (#267856) #
John - I know you didn't meant anything by it, but there are no strong rumours about Piazza or Bagwell. The 'evidence' against Bagwell is that he had big arms and played in Houston. The 'evidence' against Piazza is that a guy who plays with a strap over his back in the heat 100 times a year, 3 hours at a time, had some backne. Those do not count as strong evidence. (Hell, they barely count as evidence at all)
MatO - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:55 AM EST (#267857) #

How do you feel about ski jumping?

Well, it's not solely decided by judging.  I don't get the style points part but generally the guy who jumps the farthest wins.  Baseball has a judging element in it as do most sports.

John Northey - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 11:59 AM EST (#267858) #
Yeah agreed Paul D, but they have been mildly lumped in with Bonds, McGwire and the rest.  Seems there are the 3 classes...
1) Guys who are not HOF without PED's who have 'strong' attachment to them: Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire - all sub 20% and won't be voted in by writers
2) Guys who were HOF quality but are viewed to have taken PED's: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens in the mid 30%'s and might get in after 10 years
3) Guys who have weak rumours about PED use due to body type/bacne: Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell in the high 50's and likely to get in within 3-5 years.

Then you can note how the writers ignored the risk in the past with guys who are very likely such as first ballot 'nice guy' (until a year or so post-election) Kirby Puckett. I'd be shocked if he didn't use but in the winter of 2000/2001 writers weren't on a witch hunt.
dan gordon - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 12:38 PM EST (#267861) #

I'm also in the camp that doesn't really care about HOF voting, all-star game voting, end of year awards etc.  Not a fan of judged Olympic sports, either.  Give me a score to decide who wins.  At least they are trying to make the "scoring" in events like figure skating more like an objective score - it might make for more honest scoring.

I went to the HOF on my way to Boston to see the Blue Jays play the Red Sox back in 1989, I think it was.  Interesting place in an interesting little town, what with the old Doubleday field, the restaurants with the baseball theme, etc.  The HOF has all kinds of interesting baseball stuff, and of course, many of the players who aren't "in the hall of fame" are represented there, but just not in the separate room with the plaques for those who have been officially inducted.

China fan - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 12:40 PM EST (#267862) #
John, you still haven't explained how it would have made any difference if the media had been on a "witch hunt" in 1998 instead of 2001. Same thorny issues would still be present today.
China fan - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 12:46 PM EST (#267863) #
".....Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Clemens, Bonds, Trammell - all no-brainer hall-of-famers, even adjusting some for steroid use...."

So you would adjust for steroid use? How much would you adjust? Or you wouldn't adjust? Are you saying that Clemens and Bonds deserve to get into the Hall because they would be very good even without PEDs, or are you saying that PEDs don't matter at all? Are you saying that the issue of PEDs is a "no-brainer" because every intelligent person should simply ignore it?

I'd love to see a poll of Bauxites on this, and I suggest we do one. If you were voting for the Hall of Fame, would you penalize a player somewhat for PED use, or would you disqualify him for PED use, or would you totally ignore the PED issue and allow anyone in? I'll bet Bauxites would be as divided as any other group of people.
John Northey - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 01:00 PM EST (#267865) #
China Fan, Actually, a lot of those issues wouldn't be issues.  Bonds was shown to have started into PED's in the book on it (Game of Shadows) due to the McGwire/Sosa home run chase and how the media, fans, and owners all papered over any steroid concerns.  He knew after that he was writing off millions of dollars in order to 'play clean'.  Thus a 'screw it' attitude led it to the insane numbers he put up in the early 00's.  For Clemens I suspect the same thing happened as it was 1998 that McNamee says he started Clemens onto the stuff (which Clemens denies).  If instead the media turned on McGwire once the Andro was found it is a safe bet MLB would've pushed hard for a drug testing plan earlier, players would've agreed earlier, Bonds & Clemens would've stopped or never started PED use, and the outrage would've never reached the heights it has.  We'd have seen McGwire where he is in voting today or worse, Sosa might have been in the same boat too but that would've probably been it outside of the guys who would've been caught a few years earlier.  Piazza, Clemens, Bonds all would've sailed in as examples of guys who 'played right' especially if Bonds came out and said something to the effect that he was tempted but knowing MLB/fans/media reacted to the situation he decided to stay clean and was glad he did.  Actually, Bonds might have had a few more years in him, came up shy in the HR record chase but still would've been clearly in the Ted Williams class of LF while Clemens probably would've got to 300 wins but not 350.  So 'sacred' numbers would still be in place and we'd have people getting into the hall this year.
Chuck - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 01:09 PM EST (#267867) #
Maybe 26% of baseball writers believe that Greg Maddux applied the unclear and the cream to a baseball at times, and will make him wait a year or two.

I hope isn't made to wait. I am hoping that his pear-shaped body will serve as a deterrant to being subjected to to the same suspicions as his peers.
robertdudek - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 01:12 PM EST (#267868) #
So you would adjust for steroid use? How much would you adjust? Or you wouldn't adjust? Are you saying that Clemens and Bonds deserve to get into the Hall because they would be very good even without PEDs, or are you saying that PEDs don't matter at all? Are you saying that the issue of PEDs is a "no-brainer" because every intelligent person should simply ignore it?

I'm only saying exactly what I said, and no more - read it carefully.
China fan - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 01:15 PM EST (#267869) #
Robert, you said "adjusting some" for PED use. So, my best careful read is that you prefer to "adjust some" for PEDs if you're voting for the Hall of Fame.

My question remains: how much is "some"? Because every voter will make a different adjustment, and I don't know how anyone could expect a consensus. As long as Clemens and Bonds are considered eligible, every voter will make "some" adjustment (except for the 35 per cent who wanted them in the Hall). And it's that adjustment that makes the entire process impossible.
robertdudek - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 01:28 PM EST (#267870) #
The point is each voter will adjust "some" according to their own definition - the aggregate will tell its own story.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 01:47 PM EST (#267871) #
I hope isn't made to wait. I am hoping that his pear-shaped body will serve as a deterrant to being subjected to to the same suspicions as his peers.

I wasn't suggesting (mostly in jest) a Roger Clemens suspicion, but rather a Gaylord Perry one.  A little dab'll do ya. Maddux, of course, ought to be a first-ballot automatic selection.  It isn't a sure thing- Pete Alexander got in with 80% of the vote and Lefty Grove got in with 76% of the vote. 

John Northey - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 02:24 PM EST (#267872) #
The HOF is a funny thing.  In 1971 you had Yogi Berra and Early Wynn on the ballot and no one got in.  Whitey Ford took 2 ballots, Eddie Mathews (the best 3B in MLB history at the time) took 5 ballots.

Yet somehow a single ballot was enough for Dennis Eckersley, Kirby Puckett, Willie Stargell, Willie McCovey, Lou Brock, Brooks Robinson, Al Kaline among others.  Interesting to note that after the first class of 1936 there wasn't another first ballot inductee until 1962 (Bob Feller & Jackie Robinson), followed by Ted Williams in 1966 and Stan Musial in 1969.  Weird that Feller got a higher vote than Robinson, doesn't say much for the voters that year.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 04:27 PM EST (#267880) #
On the PED front, HGH testing will commence this year.
JohnL - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 05:40 PM EST (#267881) #

I went to the HOF on my way to Boston to see the Blue Jays play the Red Sox back in 1989, I think it was

Same here. August, I believe.  Lots to see in the HOF, and Cooperstown is a lovely town to spend 2-3 days in. A couple of other museums (indeed, celebrating the past) and the whole town was in a  nice setting. Townspeople take very good care of their homes and their appearance. (They know the value of the tourist buck).  I found the main street a bit too huckster-ish.

I do remember that year, it seemed there was autographed Pete Rose merchandise everywhere. The HOF controversy of that day.


AWeb - Thursday, January 10 2013 @ 08:00 PM EST (#267884) #
Just thought - It's terrible how the only only voters who got what they wanted this year were those returning a blank ballot.
Magpie - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 12:43 AM EST (#267885) #
The 'evidence' against Piazza

... is Murray Chass' personal vendetta, nothing more. Piazza wasn't even mentioned in the Mitchell Report, which certainly seems significant to me. You'll recall that Radomski was one of Mitchell's key sources, he named a lot of names, and Piazza was actually playing in New York while Radomski was there.
Magpie - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 12:58 AM EST (#267886) #
I dunno. I figure sooner or later enough time will pass, the public shaming rituals will have been completed to everyone's satisfaction, and Bonds and Clemens will get in. Maybe even McGwire and Sosa. I must admit it bothers me that McGwire's numbers make him look like a better player than McGriff - he simply wasn't, except for that five year span when he mutated into a new lifeform and hit almost half his career homers. But everybody let it happen. A law that is not enforced is no law at all, you can't charge people at random. And it's not like he charged into the stands and beat up a guy with no hands....

On the HoF ballot fifty years ago, the following players did not receive enough votes to be inducted: Sam Rice, Red Ruffing, Eppa Rixey, Luke Appling, Phil Rizzuto, Burleigh Grimes, Hack Wilson, Joe Medwick, Kiki Cuyler, Red Faber, Lefty Gomez, Jim Bottomley, Waite Hoyt, Chuck Klein, Heinie Manush, Goose Goslin, Johnny Mize, Lou Boudreau, Al Lopez, Bobby Doerr, Tony Lazzeri, Fred Lindstrom, Chick Hafey, Earle Combs, Arky Vaughan, Ernie Lombardi, Ralph Kiner, Joe Gordon, Billy Herman, Hal Newhouser, Earl Averill, Jesse Haines, Travis Jackson, Leo Durocher, and George Kelly. Every one of them - every last one - has made it since (and one has to wonder about quite a few of them.)
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 09:05 AM EST (#267889) #
Of course.  Some of the long-term errors are pretty bad, though, and aren't fixed until after the player dies. 

Lou Whitaker and Kenny Lofton were both considerably better players than Jim Rice and Bruce Sutter (and Jack Morris); Lofton or Whitaker might be inducted in 2040 or 2050. 

Speaking of Lofton, I wondered about the comparison between him and McGwire (thinking of Bill James' old comparison between Cecil Fielder and Tony Phillips).  I knew that Lofton delivered a little more career value than McGwire (without any discounting for PEDs), but wondered about the players at their peaks (Lofton 93-94, McGwire 96, 98).  Amazingly, despite McGwire adding 50 more runs per season with the bat, Lofton topped him in overall value thanks to advantages in baserunning (13 runs per season), defensive ability (30 runs per season-+18 for Lofton, -12 for McGwire), and position (10 runs per season). 

And yet, in a year where the voters were punishing anyone with even a hint of PED use, 5 times as many voters checked the box next to McGwire's name as compared to the one next to Lofton's name. 

Chuck - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 09:26 AM EST (#267890) #
5 times as many voters checked the box next to McGwire's name as compared to the one next to Lofton's name. 

I think it's safe to say that players with a broad range of skills typically go undervalued by mainstream fans and far too many writers. Unless you're Brooks Robinson or Bill Mazeroski, defense seems to matter little come HoF time. Unfortunately, it's too easy to glom onto a single counting stat (HR, RBI, wins, saves, whatever) and build a narrative from there (maybe gold gloves is a counting stat, explaining the aforementioned). Lofton and Raines are probably both broadly thought of as "base stealers" with no appreciation for the many other facets of their game. I've tried arguing to casual fans that Rickey Henderson would have been a Hall of Famer even if he had not stolen a single base in his career.
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 09:41 AM EST (#267891) #
It has to do with the "fame" thing.  The whole point of the rules requiring that five years pass before a player becomes eligible was to allow for some sober reflection on a player's value, but it is evidently not enough in this time where marketing and hype are more advanced than they were 80 years ago.

Lou Whitaker and Kenny Lofton were not the kind of players who would have candy bars named after them.  Nor would they likely be on the front page of the sports section for reasons good, bad or indifferent. 

hypobole - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 10:16 AM EST (#267892) #
Unfortunately, half the writers who vote for the HOF would make worse GM's than some members of this board. It seems the narrative is what's important for too many, rather than the knowledge of what makes ballplayers truly valuable.

Chuck - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 10:28 AM EST (#267893) #

Lou Whitaker and Kenny Lofton were not the kind of players who would have candy bars named after them.

Very true. But they are the exact types of players who got drafted very early in my Strat leagues. You build an evaluation model where you quantify defense and include positional adjustments and voila, their value is blatantly apparent.

John Northey - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 10:38 AM EST (#267894) #
I give writers the benefit of the doubt - they aren't idiots when it comes to player value, they just know their job is to sell papers/generate clicks and posting 'Morris pitched to the score' or 'McGwire hit tons of HR but did nothing else' gets those, while 'Lofton was an amazing player in all areas but home runs' doesn't sell.

The writers doing the voting makes some sense for the hall as it gets them tons of publicity in the dead of winter, which also helps MLB teams as they also get extra coverage/attention especially if a guy who is close to HOF level is from that team.  When Alomar got in it meant the Jays were in the papers at the same level as the Leafs for a day - very hard to achieve even during a lockout (sigh).  Whereas if it was a panel doing it then you wouldn't have weeks of ballots appearing in papers, or the degree of controversy we see.  Instead it would all appear the day they released who made it/didn't make it and we'd have no idea what voters were thinking (although sometimes it might be better if we didn't know what leads one to vote for Morris but not Schilling or Clemens).

Ideally you'd have a committee of HOF'ers, top analysts, and GM's so you could get an inside view (HOF'ers), the view of people who make a living based on knowledge of players (GM's) and a historical comparison view (analysts).  The HOF'ers might push for Morris, but GM's would push for guys like Bonds (raw talent) and analysts would put into perspective how Morris is sub-average HOF level and Bonds is super-high up.  Sadly we'd probably end up with an old boys network and see buddies of the person who runs it get in while others have to sit it out.

Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 10:55 AM EST (#267895) #
"Morris pitched to the score" sells papers? Really? I would have thought "the Big Unit blows away 20" or "Schilling delivers gutsy performance" would have been a better headline, but what do I know?

In Morris' case, I don't think that the motivation of the writers who voted for him is a cynical one.  Rather, it is an image that propels them- "the workhorse ace of the 1980s".  Never mind that in historical terms, he really wasn't that much of a workhorse and he certainly wasn't much of an ace.  The narrative for Lofton is actually pretty simple- "the Gold Glove centerfielder and leadoff hitter par excellence of the 1990s", but it didn't capture the writers. 

lexomatic - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 12:28 PM EST (#267899) #
I don't have an issue with people voting against people who used steroids, even who were suspected of it (though hello, innocent until proven guilty). I am upset by (upset is too strong a word, but... what else am I gonna use) writers just handing in blank ballots, or protest ballots.
Because some voting members have publicly come out to say they would submit protest ballots, or wouldn't vote,
there have been a lot of articles the value of this.
Protest votes end up hurting legitimate candidates, instead of punishing people you're disappointed in/disgusted with blabla
Some writers have requested to be removed from the voting registry because they have no clue how to handle voting with the PED issue. I think that's commendable.  More voters should have done this. Apparently there are lots of voting members who haven't even covered baseball in years, so have no clue. That's something that should be changed.

The most useful suggestion I've seen, was that the voters needed some direction on how to handle PEDs
and this is where MLB failed.
What should have happened was a statement saying that the league believed that PED use was contrary to good behaviour clauses and that voters should take that into consideration.
They should have formally given guidelines for players under suspicion (if there's no proof of use, a player is considered not to have used)
Same for players who had clear start dates (as derived from court proceedings or something similarly official) and would have compiled HOF -worthy careers before those start dates (thinking of Bonds & Clemens here.

If there were clear recommendations or statements of belief by the league that would make it clearer and easier for the voting members. It wouldn't necessarily stop someone for voting for a PED user, but there wouldn't be stupid arguments over knee-jerk reactions to events that those people were complicit in.

There's a lot of self-righteousness and revisionism on the part of some of the writers. And that's what gets me, that this situation could have been avoided.

hypobole - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 12:42 PM EST (#267900) #
Doesn't MLB have confidential proof of use?

Magpie - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 12:56 PM EST (#267901) #
David Schoenfeld made the interesting observation the other day that the writers have always tended to honour one player per position for each decade - one catcher for the 80s, one for the 70s and so on for every position on the field. Except in those cases where multiple all-time greats were congregating at a single position at once (CF in the 1950s, RF in the 1960s, 1b in the 1930s.) And with the occasional exception, they don't seem to have much interest in starting pitchers who don't win 300 games.

The bar has been set especially high for centre fielders. If you begin with Cobb and Speaker... that's a pretty high bar to clear. DiMaggio makes that cut. Mantle and Mays. And Griffey will when his day comes. But everyone else gets rejected, or at least is going to have to wait a while.
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 01:29 PM EST (#267904) #
And that is kind of silly.  Lou Brock was a lot less of a ballplayer than Kenny Lofton, and was a first ballot selection.  Is the rationale that the bar should be lower for a left-fielder/leadoff hitter than for a centerfielder/leadoff hitter? If so, it's not exactly impressive reasoning...

They didn't wait for Kirby Puckett either, but I realize that there were "extenuating circumstances". 

Personally, I think that the problem for Lofton was two-fold.  First, it was a legitimately tough ballot. Second, there remains an under-appreciation among the old-school journalists for the importance of the skills of the leadoff hitter.  Those who are aware of the importance tended to prioritize things as a Raines vs. Lofton choice, in light of the other good choices on the ballot (Dave Cameron's theoretical ballot would reflect this understandable thinking).

Dewey - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 04:31 PM EST (#267909) #

There’s piece in today’s NYT about Fred McGriif and the HOF that many here might enjoy.  It’s called  “Quirks of the Game: The Case for Fred McGriff”  By STUART MILLER .
Mike Green - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 05:05 PM EST (#267911) #
The great first basemen of the late 80s were McGriff, McGwire, Mattingly and Will Clark.  It is hard to say who was the best (leaving aside McGwire's late career PED renaissance), but the answer is probably Will Clark (both by peak and career).  He, of course, got less than 5% of the vote the first time up.  I really couldn't argue if all of them fell just a little short, for a variety of  reasons. 
Magpie - Friday, January 11 2013 @ 11:33 PM EST (#267914) #
Lofton's got a touch of the Tim Raines problem. Raines was a leadoff hitter, and he obviously wasn't as good as Rickey Henderson. I think that's a big part of his problem. And Lofton wasn't as good as Raines.
Magpie - Saturday, January 12 2013 @ 12:03 AM EST (#267915) #
Lou Brock was a lot less of a ballplayer than Kenny Lofton

I think they're a lot closer as hitters than a first glance at their numbers suggests. There's a very big period adjustment to make. Brock played the heart of his career in the second Dead Ball era; when he was 27 the league OBP was. 313, Slug .384 - and that was a good year for offense compared to some of the others. When Lofton was 27, the league numbers were .345/.434.

As outfielders, of course, there's no contest at all. Brock could run like the wind, but he couldn't throw at all, didn't really know what he was doing out there ... and he made way, way more errors than any outfielder active in the 75 years. Blue Jays fans thought George Bell made a lot of errors? You shoulda seen Lou.
Mike Green - Saturday, January 12 2013 @ 11:45 AM EST (#267920) #
That's how I remember Brock, as well, and I concur about the overall evaluation of their hitting prowess.  Lofton was somewhat better as a hitter, but way better defensively and played a more demanding position.  Brock was a leadoff hitter and was an unusual first ballot selection, but was famous for the stolen base record and the World Series heroics.

The contest between Raines and Lofton is very close. Raines had significantly more O; Lofton significantly more D and was a centerfielder. 

Magpie - Sunday, January 13 2013 @ 01:06 PM EST (#267930) #
an unusual first ballot selection, but was famous for the stolen base record and the World Series heroics.

Not unusual at all. The man had 3000 hits. It's more unusual for those guys not to get into the Hall on their first attempt. I believe Biggio is the only 3000 hit man (saving the ones with Other Issues attached, like Rose and Palmeiro) who's had to wait even one year since Paul Waner was elected on his sixth try in 1952. Before Waner, you have to go all the way back Eddie Collins in 1939, when the HoF was just getting started and they were still clearing away the backlog. Since then, it's been 3000 hits and you're in on the first ballot.

Plus, after scuffling for a couple of years, Brock topped off his career with a very nice final season, which may have left a few more warm and fuzzy memories.

When I was a little kid, Lou Brock was one of my favourites. I may have believed he was the best baseball player in the world. Hear me out. There was practically no baseball on TV, ever - except for the World Series, when it was Brock's custom to run totally amok. (He was probably the greatest WS performer of the 1960s, non-pitcher division.)

Intuitively, one suspects that the Brock-Lofton skill set was much more valuable in the Dead Ball era of the 1960s than it was during Lofton's time. And that this accident of timing would have made Brock a greater offensive force in his game than Lofton was in his. But I don't know about that. In that low-run environment, there was far more pressure on Brock to try to steal a base. He was an extremely aggressive baserunner, who took enormous leads off first base - and this also resulted in many more caught stealing. Besides, I generally think that when offense is depressed - like in the post-season, or the 1960s - it's power that becomes more important, precisely because it's more difficult to put together a sequential offense.

Of course, Brock did have more power than Lofton.
Mike Green - Sunday, January 13 2013 @ 08:26 PM EST (#267937) #
Yeah, except every other 3000 hit guy ought to qualify (on merit) easily except for Palmeiro.  Brock is, by far, the least impressive of the 3000 hit club.  The closest player to him in quality (who almost got 3000 hits) was Jake Beckley and he was inducted by the Veterans' Committee.  Undoubtedly, you are right though that the voters probably attached some weight to the 3000 hits.  Whatever.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 17 2013 @ 08:11 PM EST (#268061) #
Funny thing.  Tomorrow is the birthday of Curt Flood (and Brett Lawrie, for what it is worth).  I don't have the clear mental image of Flood that I do have of Brock, but I went back and had a look at the numbers.  Flood was a better player than Brock, once you account for position and defence, albeit that he had a much shorter career (for historically important reasons). 
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