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And here's the new Hall of Fame ballot...

Appearing for the first time:

Carlos Beltran
John Lackey
Jered Weaver
R.A. Dickey
Huston Street
Francisco Rodriguez
Bronson Arroyo
Matt Cain
Jacoby Ellsbury
Jayson Werth
Mike Napoli
J.J. Hardy
Jhonny Peralta
Andre Ethier

I can't see anyone here getting in this time round. Beltran must first undergo Ritual Punishment for the 2017 Astros. The rest will be lucky to stay on the ballot for another year.

Holdovers on the ballot (with their most recent vote percentage attached):

Scott Rolen (63.2)
Todd Helton (52)
Billy Wagner (51)
Andruw Jones (41.1)
Gary Sheffield (40.6)
Alex Rodriguez (34.3)
Jeff Kent (32.7)
Manny Ramirez (28.9)
Omar Vizquel (23.9)
Andy Pettitte (10.7)
Jimmy Rollins (9.4)
Bobby Abreu (8.6)
Mark Buehrle (5.8)
Torii Hunter (5.3)

I think Rolen gets in this time. Maybe Helton as well. The bottom three (at least) will likely fall off the ballot.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling have shuffled off this particular coil but will be popping up immediately on the Contemporary Baseball Era committee. Also on that ballot are Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, and Rafael Palmeiro.

I suspect the three M boys - Mattingly, McGriff, and Murphy - each have a fighting chance.
Hall of Fame Ballot | 29 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Monday, November 21 2022 @ 04:08 PM EST (#424457) #
Well, there definitely aren't 10 players worth voting for now- Rolen, Helton, Beltran, Andruw Jones and then it's the PED crowd.
Magpie - Monday, November 21 2022 @ 04:58 PM EST (#424460) #
I suppose a great deal depends on whether this year's voters, especially on the veterans committee, care for Peak value or Career value. I can never figure how the BBWAA feel about it (to be honest, I don't know how I feel about it.)

Tommy John still being on the outside would suggest the BBWAA looks down upon compilers. That should have been good news for someone like Mattingly, who is all about the peak. But here he is, handed off to the committee that voted in Harold Baines.

It's all very confusing.
Magpie - Monday, November 21 2022 @ 05:01 PM EST (#424461) #
Attention Dewey! You will have noticed, if no one else did, that I treated BBWAA as a plural noun in one sentence ("Baseball Writers") and as a singular noun (the acronym) in the next sentence.

I call that hedging my bets.
Dewey - Monday, November 21 2022 @ 05:24 PM EST (#424463) #
I’m sure you recall Ralph Waldo Emerson’s dictum, (in “Self-Reliance”), “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds . . .”? Nice of you to alert me, in any case.
Mike Green - Monday, November 21 2022 @ 06:18 PM EST (#424465) #
Dale Murphy and Josh Donaldson have had similar careers in peak and career value. Curiously both started out as catchers and moved to demanding defensive positions at a young age.
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 08:36 AM EST (#424477) #
IF Andruw Jones had Torii Hunter's decline that would be a. Easy vote despite his domestic violence issues that I learned about this year. ( I'm talking easy for most people performanc ewise, not me personally. The violence stuff is way worse for me than some people take PEDs).
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 08:57 AM EST (#424478) #
It's messy, isn't it?  Domestic violence is obviously more important from a societal perspective.  PED usage alters the playing field in an unfair way; less important from a societal perspective (by far) but actually relates to what happened on the field.

It sounds as though Jones had a serious alcohol problem on top of other issues.  In all the scouting reports about Druw Jones, there was nothing about his father's issues which couldn't have been easy to grow up with. 
Glevin - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 11:12 AM EST (#424484) #
Weak class. Rolen, Jones and Helton I'm on the fence about (for different reasons) and I'd be OK with any of them being in or not and Beltran is close but the cheating does hold him back. I care a lot less than I used to partly because of the HoF's refusal to allow the best players in and instead spending most of the last decade putting in marginal HOFers.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 11:17 AM EST (#424486) #
For the HOF I use a general rule of a minimum of 50 WAR to remotely consider unless a very weird situation has occurred.

So this year that would include....
100+: A-Rod - this is the dead lock unless PED area.
70-99: Rolen, Beltran - these are 'should be locks unless writers are drunk'
60-69: Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones, Todd Helton, Gary Sheffield, Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu - bubble guys, anything bad can push them off, anything really good can push them in.
50-59: Mark Buehrle, Jeff Kent, Torii Hunter - very marginal candidates who need a major boost to get in (WS moments, high peak short tail career, etc.)

Some are PED guys still - A-Rod, Man-Ram (3 times), Sheffield, Pettitte. Beltran has the garbage can issue, Jones the super fast fall off and most value via defense, Helton the Coors Field issue, Abreu never seen as one of the best - peaks of 151 OPS+, 6.6 bWAR. 4 years in the 6's, 12th in MVP his highest finish, just 2 ASG, 1 Gold Glove, 1 Silver Slugger - basically he was very good for a long time but never great.

So who would I vote for? I generally put minimal downgrades for PEDs but in Man-Ram's case I'd make an exception (caught that often is a very ugly thing). So I'd go A-Rod, Rolen, Beltran (I see the sign thing as irrelevant), Helton, Kent (love the most HR for a 2B thing). For relievers you gotta be Rivera level or a legend (Goose Gossage type) and Wagner isn't that with sub 30 WAR. If he hung around and got to 500 saves I'd put more consideration in for him (as he'd have cracked 30 WAR thus been high for a reliever) but still doubt I'd vote for him. K-Rod is similar with his 437 saves (15 more than Wagner) and 24 WAR. Both were solid closers for a long time, but HOF level? Nah. They'd be Bruce Sutter level imo - guys who did well in their role but were overrated due to that and didn't put in the career length needed imo.

I hope RA Dickey gets a vote from someone - just the one. I LOVE knuckleballers even if they can drive you nuts. I suspect he could still pitch and throw 150+ innings at a 80-90 ERA+ level but no team likes to give knuckleballs a chance due to the headache with the catchers and the variability in them even with the massive innings they can eat. Wilbur Wood in the 70's was the last guy to get 49 starts with a 5 year stretch of 40+ starts after leading the league in relief games for 3 years - just amazing. Peaked at 1531 batters faced in 1973. Shortly after Phil Niekro in 77-79 had 40+ starts a year peaking with 44 (a year he both won and lost 20+ games). I'd love to see another knuckleball guy show up and get 50+ starts, have him go every 3rd game. A team like the Pirates have nothing to lose - could let their better prospects with the 100 mph arms build up in the minors while a knuckleballer eats up ML innings.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 11:34 AM EST (#424489) #
Why on the fence about Rolen, Glevin?  Is there a better third baseman than him who is not in the Hall of Fame?  I can't think of any and I know that there are quite a few lesser ones (Jimmy Collins, Pie Traynor, George Kell).

There are 21 third basemen with 50 bWAR or more.  Rolen is 9th with 70, behind Schmidt, Mathews, Beltre, Boggs, Brett, Chipper Jones, Brooks and Santo.  Behind him between 60 and 70 career bWAR are Nettles, Buddy Bell, Boyer, Home Run Baker and Bando (don't know what's with all the Bs among the great third basemen).  Baker is in the Hall and the other 4 would all make reasonable choices.

If you place weight on peak,  Rolen's top 2 seasons were worth 15.9 bWAR. That's 2 MVP quality seasons.  Obviously, he wasn't as good as Schmidt or Brett from either career or peak perspective, but if that's your bar, almost all contenders fail. 

Among position players outside the Hall, the only ones with more bWAR are Bill Dahlen and Lou Whitaker.  And those are just obvious egregious mistakes. 
lexomatic - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 01:30 PM EST (#424491) #
PED usage alters the playing field in an unfair way;

My take is thar the league condoned stuff foe a while, and the voters have been inconsistent on applying character issues to past PED performance so I don't think k it's worth caring about.
Beltran's tarnish is a big deal, though his performance is good enough.
Jones's issues are both unforgivable but I want to have empathy. But there's enough people who had problematic parents dont have violence issues.I'd need to see something I've never seen from a pro athlete in terms of acknowledging wrong and working towards atonement for things to balance back into considering performance. Like it would be theoretically possible for me,
Arod Helton Rolen Sheffield. Could make a case for Kent but think he's just short. Dependa on how much you care about positional records and benefitting from playing with Bonds.

Hard no for Vizquel, Wagner, ManRam (repeat caught with PEDs and ridiculous excuses. In high school my best friend went to baseball camp and all their coaches were talking about this great kid Manny who was gonna be a star).
I probably like Abreu more than most but not sure I'd put him in the Hall.
Pettite just feels like a guy who gets the benefit of being on a winning team for consideration.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 02:26 PM EST (#424496) #
Pettitte I see as a borderline case in the first place - just over 60 WAR, just 3 years of 5+ WAR. His long postseason record is mainly due to being signed by the Yankees at just the right time (right place, right time). Without the PED issue he'd be borderline. But with the PEDs that gives him one big negative and one positive (playoffs) overall so leaving him on the edge. He started the year after the big strike, retired well before COVID so nothing external messed up his career.

For comparison, Halladay was a contemporary who had 3 seasons of 8+ WAR, 8 of 5+, 2 Cy's, but just 5 playoff games (2.37 ERA including a no-hitter). He had 'just' 65 WAR, 5 more than Pettitte.

Charlie Buffinton has exactly the same WAR as Pettitte - an 1800's pitcher so little to learn from that. Mark Buehrle is less than 1 WAR behind Pettitte, 4 times with 5+ WAR, 5 ASG's vs Pettitte's 3. It isn't hard to make a case that Buehrle was the better pitcher but he has no chance of getting in anytime soon. Of the 5 pitchers ahead and 5 behind Pettite in WAR including the tied guy you have 5 HOF'ers (Drysdale, Waddell, Bunning, Newhouser) and 5 non-HOF'ers (Bond, Mullane, Buffington, Buehrle, and Quinn) - talk about the definintion of on the line! Of the next 30+ below Pettitte you get only a few HOF'ers (often guys with short careers like Koufax or relievers like Rivera, plus ex-Yankee Whitey Ford) and lots of 'if only' guys like Stieb and Saberhagen.

In the pre-PED days Pettitte would've been a lock with the Yankee pedigree and 19 playoff wins to go with 256 regular season wins. I figure he'll get in via the Vets someday but there is no rush on his getting in.
Kasi - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 04:01 PM EST (#424501) #
Wasn’t sure where to post this but fits better here since HoF presumably cares about cheaters. Manoah called Coke the worst cheater in baseball history?? I find his spirit commendable and love to poke our rivals but uhh yeah that’s one wacky take.
Kasi - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 04:06 PM EST (#424502) #
Damn lack of edit (plus auto correct on phones) I meant Cole but maybe Coke was more funny given the NY angle.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 04:45 PM EST (#424505) #
I always found Pepsi to be more morally responsible. Soda lot of other people, including my Pop.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 05:34 PM EST (#424508) #
Safe to say Manoah is trying to build up more rivalry between the Jays and Yankees - like it needs more. Also safe to say Cole will probably laugh more than get mad at this at this stage of his career (making literally hundreds of millions while being about half way to the HOF but no rings). It'll be interesting to see how things go in 2023 between the two teams and those 2 pitchers.
Magpie - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 05:48 PM EST (#424509) #
I'm not sure what to think about closers - but it's become a position and several of them have already been inducted.

In which case, we can agree that Mariano Rivera was definitely better than Billy Wagner. But Billy Wagner might have been better than everyone else: Hoffman, Kimbrel, Chapman, Eckersley, Smith. Whoever.

He certainly could have hung around and padded his career totals a little more, not that 422 Saves isn't plenty. In his final season, he saved 37 games with an ERA of 1.43 (ERA+ 268) and fanned 104 batters in 69.1 IP. And his big mouth landed him in trouble more than once. But only Rivera was better. No one else.
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 05:54 PM EST (#424510) #
Except that Wagner was knocked around like crazy in the post-season.  If the premise is that closers are especially important because of the high leverage situations they thrive in, post-season situations are the highest leverage of them all. 

The difference between Wagner and Fingers in the post-season is enough to wipe out whatever advantage Wagner has during the regular-season.  And then some. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 06:03 PM EST (#424511) #
Jayson Stark at the Athletic points out that the next 2 crops of Hall of Fame eligible are loaded with names like Beltre, Ichiro, Utley and King Felix.

They really should vote Rolen in this year.
Magpie - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 06:24 PM EST (#424513) #
Wagner was knocked around like crazy in the post-season.

Indeed he was. He most surely was.

Of course, Willie Mays hit .230/.305/.270 in his 21 WS games and I don't hold it against him. (I can't hold anything against Willie, I admit.)

Quick little Data Table of the ten relievers with the most career saves, plus the ones who are also in the HoF, and my man Tom Henke, ranked by career ERA+
Pitcher               GP   IPT   SV ERA  ERA+

Mariano Rivera      1115 1283.2 652 2.21 205
Billy Wagner 853  903 422 2.31 187
Craig Kimbrel 709 688.1 177 2.31 177
Aroldis Chapman 667 640 315 2.48 167
Kenley Jansen 766 769 391 2.46 159

Tom Henke            642 789.2 311 2.67 157
Joe Nathan           787 923.1 377 2.87 151
Francisco Rodriguez  948 976 437 2.86 149
Trevor Hoffman      1035 1089.1 601 2.87 141
John Franco 1119 1245.2 424 2.89 138

Dennis Eckersley 710 807.1 390 2.85 136
Bruce Sutter 661 1042 309 2.83 136
Lee Smith 1022 1299.1 478 3.03 132
Rich Gossage 1002 1809.1 310 3.01 126
Rollie FIngers 944 1701.1 341 2.90 120

And the Blue Jays still haven't put big Tom's number up on the Level of Excellence or whatever they're calling it these days. Shameful. I prophesied many years ago that they would never win anything important again until this oversight was corrected. I hate to say I told you so, but hey - I told you so.
Magpie - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 06:26 PM EST (#424514) #
Kimbrel of course has 394 saves.
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 06:30 PM EST (#424515) #
After brief consideration, if I had a ballot, I'd vote for Beltran, Rolen and ManRam this year.
AWeb - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 06:59 PM EST (#424517) #
I actually have zero issue with the caught PED users for the following reason...MLB set the punishment for getting caught, and it didn't say they were ineligible for anything. Suspensions cost players entire years, seems pretty severe to me. If they want more, I'd be one who says they need to say so, directly. Same for the 2017 Astros. Don't have to like them.

Beltran the only newcomer
Rolen, Helton, arod, Sheffield, Ramirez, Jones, Pettitte. Kent and Buerhle too, why not.

I am anti-closer. Modern baseball, if it remains similar, is going to generate a lot of relievers with similar career values as increasingly young pitchers just start and stay there. Leverage index boosts are up to managers, not players. Hell, ws champion Houston used there 3 or 4th best guy at the end, it seemed. Give managers credit for bullpen management, not the players. And stop making the 'closer wing' bigger.
John Northey - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 07:51 PM EST (#424525) #
Agreed AWeb - especially on closers. It is VERY hard for a closer to have anywhere near the value of a regular player, let alone high enough to reach the HOF. No version of WAR puts any closer near the magic 60 mark outside of Rivera at 56.3. Eckersley was at 62.1 but also had years as a starter (all-star level) - he had 45.5 bWAR before going to Oakland with just 3 saves. 387 saves later but just 16.8 bWAR he was a HOF lock. Fingers was the first to crack 300 saves but just 25.6 WAR. Hoyt Wilhelm was the first reliever in the HOF and had 46.8 WAR (very marginal) but of note is how they made him a full-time starter briefly and he had a 2.19 ERA the year he had 27 starts to lead the league. Don't get why they stopped after 11 more starts the next year - guess because they had a LOT of depth in the starting rotation and felt they needed that guy in the pen (5 guys with 20+ starts and ERA+'s of 107+)

Bottom line... most relievers in the HOF are lower quality than those 3. Sutter 24 WAR, Gossage 41.1, Hoffman 28, Smith 28.9. Gossage was a Fingers era type - lots of innings helping that WAR grow. Modern guys like Kimbrel (21.8), F-Rod (24.2), Jansen (19.6) can't get up there even with insane ERA's thanks to being used for 1 inning at most and rarely on back-to-back games. Romano almost reached 3 WAR (2.9) this year but 20 years of that and he'd still be shy of 60. Yes, closers have value, but nothing compared to starters (Manoah at 5.9 this year) or everyday players (Springer 4.0). Thus I have a LOT of trouble putting them in the HOF unless they are exceptional ala Rivera (200 ERA+, even better in playoffs over 141 IP).
ayjackson - Tuesday, November 22 2022 @ 10:10 PM EST (#424530) #
"After brief consideration, if I had a ballot, I'd vote for Beltran, Rolen and ManRam this year."

Add ARod and Jeff Kent to that.
Glevin - Wednesday, November 23 2022 @ 10:57 AM EST (#424538) #
"Why on the fence about Rolen, Glevin? Is there a better third baseman than him who is not in the Hall of Fame?"

His peak was short and not that great. He finished top-5 in MVP voting once, never led the league in a single offensive category once, and was only top-5 WAR in the league once. He was never really one of the best players in baseball. He was good for a long time with a couple of great years sprinkled in which can make you a HOFer but it's a harder case for me. If you take 1995-2015, he has the 12th best WRC+ for 3Bman in this period. He is below all the metrics for likely HOfer in Baseball reference except for JAWS. I'd probably vote for him but he's not a slam dunk for me. Is Evan Longoria a HOFer? David Wright? Rolen is ahead of both these guys but not by much. His case rests mostly on his elite D and I simply don't trust defensive statistics to accurately reflect defensive value.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 23 2022 @ 02:06 PM EST (#424543) #
OK, Glevin.  I guess that in the particular case of Rolen's career, there are a few reasons why one might have more confidence about the accuracy of the defensive number:
  • the consistency of the various defensive metrics of the time (UZR/DRS) about his defensive value over his career
  • the fact that the numbers were also consistent in 4 different defensive environments, suggesting that there wasn't a weird ballpark thing playing a role
  • our own observation of him in Toronto when he was 33/34, and the question among those of us here seems to be whether he was the best ever in Toronto at the position or merely one of the best. 
In 2004, Rolen finished 4th in the MVP voting and amazingly, it wasn't really a questionable decision.  Barry Bonds led the league in WAR with video game numbers (aided by PEDs).  Adrian Beltre had the best year of his great career (with 9.6 bWAR to Rolen's 9.2 bWAR) and finished second.  Rolen's teammates, Albert Pujols and Jimmy Edmonds had years almost as good as his.  It's totally understandable how the vote among the three was split.  Beltre and Rolen was essentially a Mantle and Mays situation for a year. 

It should be noted that Rolen went head to head with Beltre in the Gold Glove during Beltre's time in LA.  Beltre was a great defender but won precisely zero Gold Gloves during their time in the same league 1999-2004, while Rolen won 5 during that time. 
John Northey - Wednesday, November 23 2022 @ 06:11 PM EST (#424547) #
Rolen has a few reasons why he isn't viewed as a HOF'er by many - played on 4 teams spread out fairly - 7 years in Philly, 6 in St Louis, 4 in Cincinnati, and 2 in Toronto. Traded mid-season twice. Tends to weaken how a player is viewed in any of those cities and by the public at large. On the positive side you have 7 All-Star games, a Rookie of the Year award, 4 times getting MVP votes including coming in 4th once. One WS ring (hit 421/476/737 in that series) but overall not good in the playoffs (220/302/376). Always took a fair # of walks but never a TON of them (never over 100 BB, 364 OBP despite a sub 300 Avg at 281). Good power but not 'wow' (peak of 34 HR), good speed but not 'wow' (118 SB 5 times over 10 but never 20). He was a very very good player for a long time (17 years) but with the team jumping and top skills the hidden ones (defense, plus good speed, good power, good average but none 'wow'), lots of good seasons but never a 600 Slg%, once a 400 OBP, twice a 300 Avg. All things that catch voters and fans eyes. Best year was during the era of Bonds (a 158 OPS+ when Bonds was cracking 200 annually) his 7 best OPS+ were between 1998 and 2006 (peak PED era). Odd bit of trivia - he NEVER played any position other than 3B in the majors - once a pinch runner, 23 times a pinch hitter (16 in his last 3 years).

Easy to see Rolen being forgotten if he was eligible a few years earlier vs first being on the ballot in 2018 ala Lou Whitaker (2001) and Kenny Lofton (2013). I find it quite ridiculous that Don Mattingly is on the HOF vets list this year instead of those 2 who are FAR more qualified for the HOF.
Dewey - Wednesday, November 23 2022 @ 06:48 PM EST (#424548) #
While Rolen was here, Cito Gaston said he was the best 3rd baseman he’d ever seen. And Cito was a baseball lifer; he’d seen a lot of 3rd basemen. That’s good enough for me.
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