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The Hall of Fame ballot is here, so let the arguing commence. There are 15 holdovers and 20 new names.

The holdovers are: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martínez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Manny Ramírez,Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Omar Vizquel, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker.

I think all but one of the 15 holdovers is a worthy Hall of Famer (sorry Omar) but Martinez and Mussina are the most likely to make it this year. Clemens and Bonds continue to gradually increase their vote shares. In all likelihood, they will eventually overcome the PED stigma and get over the hump. But not this year. Curt Schilling is back over 50% after actually losing votes in 2017, but the clock is starting to tick on him. He's obviously well qualified, but he's such an obnoxious jerk that it's fun watching him wait. The clock is actually running out on Larry Walker, who received his best vote total ever a year ago (34%) and was still behind Omar Freaking Vizquel. This will be Walker's ninth kick at the can and you only get ten these days.

This is the tenth year on the ballot for Martinez or McGriff, so if they don't make it this year they'll have to depend on the Veterans Committee to come through for them. Someday. Edgar should make it this time - he came close last year (70.4% of the vote) and there's only one obvious no-brainer joining the ballot this year. McGriff will slide off the ballot after he falls short this year. I think there's a good chance Andruw Jones just won't get enough votes to stay on the ballot. Sosa, Wagner, Sheffield, and Kent will probably live to fight another day but their candidacies aren't going anywhere at this point. I'm hoping to see a surge of support for Scott Rolen, who's one of the greatest third basemen in the history of the game.

New to the ballot are:  Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Lance Berkman, Freddy García, Jon Garland, Travis Hafner, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Ted Lilly, Derek Lowe, Darren Oliver, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte, Juan Pierre, Plácido Polanco, Mariano Rivera, Miguel Tejada, Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis, Michael Young.

Rivera is getting in this year for sure. The only drama is if he'll become the first ever unanimous selection. (He won't.) Halladay might get in this year as well, but I think it's more likely that he'll have to wait a year or two. (There will be some people who won't be all that impressed by 203 wins.) Andy Pettitte will probably be on the ballot for years and years. I think he'll make it eventually but in the meantime he'll assume the role filled by Jack Morris for the last fifteen years of Hall discussions. Todd Helton's candidacy will also linger for years - he's got the Larry Walker problem (it's spelled C-O-O-R-S). I don't think either Roy Oswalt or Michael Young will ever get in but they should at least survive on the ballot. I'm not so sure about Berkman, who was a hell of a player but the career seems a little short. Everyone else I think is going to be one-and-done, thanks for playing. You all had very fine careers.

PREDICTION: Rivera, Martinez, Mussina.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ayjackson - Monday, November 19 2018 @ 08:34 PM EST (#367838) #
My gut ballot says:



Mike Green - Monday, November 19 2018 @ 08:51 PM EST (#367839) #
Bonds, Clemens, Rivera, Doc, Mussina, Schilling, Rolen, Walker, Martinez, Andruw Jones would be my choices.
Richard S.S. - Monday, November 19 2018 @ 08:52 PM EST (#367840) #
I agree with Mariano Reivera going in 1st Ballot. I believe Roy Holladay is going in for sure, just not sure when. The rest of the candidates are ho-hum.
My Ballet:
Mariano Rivera
Roy Holladay
Edgar Martinez
Roger Clemens
Barry Bonds
Fred Mcgriff
Larry Walker
Jeff Kent
Curt Shilling
Andy Pettitte
That nine, can,t find more.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, November 19 2018 @ 10:01 PM EST (#367843) #
No love for Todd Helton, Richard ? Over 300 more career hits than Edgar Martinez and 20 points higher career OPS at .953. Edgar had higher career WAR but 61.2 for Helton is still pretty good. I'm not saying he'll ever make to the Hall but he's far from mediocre.
dan gordon - Monday, November 19 2018 @ 10:37 PM EST (#367844) #
I don't really pay any attention to Hall Of Fame voting because it's so subjective. There are deserving players who are out and undeserving player who are in. If you are interested in the various players' WAR numbers for their careers, here are the returning players - Bonds 163, Clemens 139, Mussina 83, Schilling 81, Walker 73, Rolen 70, Manny 69, Edgar 68, Jones 63, Sheffield 61, Sosa 59, Kent 55, McGriff 53, Vizquel 46 and Wagner 28. Among the newbies, Halladay had 66, Pettitte 61, Rivera 56, Helton 55, Bergman 52, Oswalt 50, and Young 25. For those who care, Pete Rose was 80.

Seems pretty ridiculous to me that Bonds and Clemens are out. They were among the best players in the history of the game. Sure they may have had some "help" at some point in their careers, but it seems very likely they were easily hall of fame worthy before/without the extra boost. The WAR numbers work against the poor fielders/DH's/1B like Edgar Martinez, Manny Ramirez and Fred McGriff. To me, I would say that if I go to the Hall Of Fame, I want to see the big hitters who dominated the game for long periods of time, like Martinez. Pretty clear that Walker belongs as well. Relievers are another animal. I guess it depends on how much extra value you assign for the fact they are pitching such a high percentage of high leverage innings, because the total volume of innings pitched just doesn't get it done. I think that deserves a lot of weight, and clearly Rivera is a hall of famer. If I use 70 as an arbitrary cut off, I have Bonds, Clemens, Mussina, Schilling, Walker and Rolen. Add Edgar and Mariano, and that's 8. I'm tempted to say Manny, because he was such a good hitter, but some of that may have been artificial, and he's marginal on WAR, (although his oWAR is over 80), so he's a NO. Sheffield is another great hitter, who had oWAR over 80, so maybe I'd add him to get me to 9. McGriff is another bat-first guy who is hurt by major negative dWAR, but he's maybe just under what I would vote for. Halladay is close, and I guess if you add in the post season no-hitter, and allow me a bit of Blue Jay bias, I add him to get to 10. Obviously, there is more to it than WAR, but it's a decent starting point.
dan gordon - Tuesday, November 20 2018 @ 02:42 AM EST (#367847) #
Of course, I should have said Berkman, not Bergman at 52 career WAR. As far as Helton is concerned, his career road OPS was just .855, not that great for a 1st baseman. Without Coors, his numbers are nowhere remotely close to Hall Of Fame caliber.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 20 2018 @ 07:12 AM EST (#367849) #
You may be right about the Coors advantage, Dan, but there are several Hall of Famers with lower road OPS including Dave Winfield (.841), Eddie Murray (.838 ), Rickey Henderson ( .836 ), Tony Gwynn ( .835 ), Al Kaline (.827 ), and George Brett ( .825 ).
Chuck - Tuesday, November 20 2018 @ 03:42 PM EST (#367871) #
there are several Hall of Famers with lower road OPS

Comparing OPS across eras requires normalization. Offensive levels have not been consistent over time.

Mike Green - Tuesday, November 20 2018 @ 04:16 PM EST (#367876) #
If you normalize, Helton's career OPS+ is 134 with 9450 PAs.  The closest first baseman to him (offensively) is probably Fred McGriff, a 134 OPS+ in 10,174 PAs.  Helton was, of course, a much better defender, and the best comps are probably John Olerud, Will Clark, Keith Hernandez and George Sisler.    None hit quite as well over their careers, but each was probably better defensively.  Interesting Hall of Fame issue.

Berkman had a 144 OPS+ over 7800 PAs.  He was a consistently great hitter, adding almost exactly the same amount of value with the bat in 7800 PAs as Helton did in 9400 PAs, but it was a short career and he wasn't a great defender.  The closest comparable was Norm Cash- Berkman was noticeably better and certainly more consistent.  I think that he's just below the line.
Magpie - Tuesday, November 20 2018 @ 10:25 PM EST (#367898) #
Adrian Beltre retired today and it's going to be five years before he's eligible but he clearly should stroll in on the first ballot. You could make a not-insane argument that he's the second-greatest third baseman of all time, him or Eddie Mathews and while Mathews was clearly a greater hitter, Beltre was much more valuable with the glove and he could hit a little himself.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 20 2018 @ 11:31 PM EST (#367901) #
Beltre was damn good but Mike Schmidt was absolutely amazing. No discussion of the best at third can exclude Schmidt. 106.8 WAR, Led league in OPS+ 5 straight years, slumped with a 149 then led again at age 36. He was simply amazing. At the same time George Brett - aka Blue Jay killer - was playing as was Wade Boggs who was amazing in Fenway and nearly was a Jay (Gillick was tempted to take him in the Rule 5 draft but didn't, then regretted it the next year and was going to take him but the Sox protected him sadly).

Beltre's 95.7 WAR is excellent, but a full Barry Bonds level season away from Schmidt. Beltre never led in OPS, OPS+, Slg, OBP, or Average. Never won an MVP (Schmidt has 3). Being just 23 HR shy of 500 I'm a bit surprised he didn't hold on for another year or two (had 15 last year).

For this year, I'd be voting Halladay (of course), Rivera (closer or not, he was damn good), Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Walker, Rolen, Edgar Martinez, Helton (want him over 5%), McGriff (OK, I know he really isn't 10th best, but it is his last year on ballot and an ex-Jay). I'd like to add Pettitte, Kent, and yeah, Mussina should be in too but as long as I have 10 others I feel belong he'd be after them due to the All-Star mess and when Tom Cheek was being honoured and his attitude towards both. Guess it is lucky I don't have a ballot eh?
Magpie - Wednesday, November 21 2018 @ 12:55 AM EST (#367905) #
Mike Schmidt was absolutely amazing.

No kidding. Way, way, way ahead of anyone else. After him you have a few knots of players: Beltre-Mathews-Jones-Boggs-Brett then Rolen-Robinson-Santo then Nettles-Bell-Rodriguez. Rodriguez' tenure at third is roughly equivalent to the second half of Schmidt's career. But without the defense.

Yeah, we don't talk about Pie Traynor any more.
rpriske - Wednesday, November 21 2018 @ 08:37 AM EST (#367920) #
The last bunch of years I am baffled when anyone doesn't have ten names.

I would vote for 14 if I could (and there are five more than some other people would vote for but I wouldn't.)
Barry BondsRoger ClemensMariano Rivera
Roy HalladayMike MussinaCurt SchillingLarry WalkerScott RolenManny RamirezEdgar Martinez
More or less in that order as well.
The would-if-I-could list:
Andruw JonesTodd HeltonGary SheffieldAndy Pettitte
The 'notable no' list:
Sammy SosaJeff KentOmar VizquelLance BerkmanRoy Oswalt

rpriske - Wednesday, November 21 2018 @ 08:38 AM EST (#367921) #
I don't know why it formatted like that. I did not type it like that.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, November 21 2018 @ 06:04 PM EST (#367953) #
I agree with Jonan Keri,Roy Holladay is that good. For me, 1st ballot.
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