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Monday, December 11, 2006

2007 BTF Hall of Fame Ballot

IMPORTANT: Please read:

This election should follow BBWAA rules, not Hall of Merit rules. However, we hope to see only players that each voter feels belong on their ballots - if you don’t feel he really is a HOFer, then please refrain from posting that player’s name (examples of whom I am referring to are Mookie Wilson, Scott Broscius, Buddy Biancalana - players who were well liked or were underdogs, but have no creditable HOF resume). Leaving 1st-year candidates off your ballot is also frowned upon. IOW, we would like to see an absence of some of the silliness that permeates Hall of Fame voting by the writers.

The election will end next Monday (8 PM EST).

Here are some of the rules by the BBWAA that pertain to our electorate:

3. Eligible Candidates — Candidates to be eligible must meet the following requirements:

A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3 (A).
C. 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.
D. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
E. Any player on Baseball’s ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.

4. Method of Election

A. BBWAA Screening Committee — A Screening Committee consisting of baseball writers will be appointed by the BBWAA. This Screening Committee shall consist of six members, with two members to be elected at each Annual Meeting for a three-year term. The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.
B. Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted.+
C. Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent (75%) of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

5. Voting — 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.

The eligible candiates are: Harold Baines*, Albert Belle, Dante Bichette*, Bert Blyleven, Bobby Bonilla*, Scott Brosius*, Jay Buhner*, Ken Caminiti*, Jose Canseco*, Dave Concepcion, Eric Davis*, Andre Dawson, Tony Fernandez*, Steve Garvey**, Rich Gossage, Tony Gwynn*, Orel Hershiser, Tommy John, Wally Joyner*, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire*, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Paul O’Neill*, Dave Parker, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken, Jr.*, Bret Saberhagen*, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Devon White*, and Bobby Witt*.

+ Write-ins are allowed, but wont be included with the official tally.

* 1st-year candidates.

** Last year of eligibility.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 11, 2006 at 11:10 PM | 315 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. John M. Perkins Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:25 PM (#2272513)
1) Blyleven
2) Ripken
3) Gwynn
4) Trammell
5) McGwire
   102. DavidFoss Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:26 PM (#2272514)
bump
   103. Daryn Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:27 PM (#2272515)
I don’t think there is a good argument against the idea that the definition of a hall of famer is: whomever the HOF has elected. We then refine this by attempting to discern at what level of value do the players in the HOF outnumber those not enshrined – that level is the actual de facto standard of value employed by the hall. I believe this level is near a point that would indicate about 20% of HOF players as being substandard.

A hall of famer, as currently defined by the HOF, is one of the top ~250 players in history.


I'll ignore the insults in the post and get to the inconsistency. The two standards you cite, while belittling other standards, are themselves inconsistent and contradictory. The two bolded classes -- both of which you characterize as the "definition of a Hall of Famer" only have about a 75% overlap.
   104. djrelays Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2272516)
pardon the double!
   105. djrelays Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:31 PM (#2272519)
Oops, a ps:

Does a HOF write-in not count, or does it go so far as to nullify the entire ballot?
   106. DanG Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:54 PM (#2272535)
both of which you characterize as the "definition of a Hall of Famer" only have about a 75% overlap.

Yeah, I can be insulting, but again, it’s nothing personal.

A more careful reading of my post would show you we are nearly in agreement: you said 75%, I said 80%. It’s somewhere around there.

See, my “two standards” are really the same thing. “whomever the HOF has elected”, adjusted by setting aside the +20% who are substandard, gives us “one of the top ~250 players in history.”
   107. Andrew M Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2272549)
I'm voting for the full 10. There are 15-20 eligible candidates who are better than the lowest rung of HoF players.

1. Ripken
2. Gwynn
3. Blyleven
4. Gossage
5. Trammell
I assume no explantion is required for these first 5.
6. McGwire
I don't know what he did, when he did it or who else was doing it. He's eligible, so I'm voting for him.
7. Murphy
8. Dawson
I think these guys were about even. Dawson played longer, Murphy's peak seems a little higher. Both seem comfortably above the HoF's standards, whatever they are.
9. Saberhagen
Short career, high peak. Two Cy Young awards, 126 ERA+, 3.57 DERA. His BPro career number suggest he had similar value to Gossage.
10. Baines
2866 career hits. Babe Ruth had 2873 hits. With his lost hits from the strike season, Baines would have more hits than Babe Ruth. Are you going to keep Babe Ruth out of the Hall of Fame? Historically, getting lots of hits has gotten you into the Hall of Fame, and it's not like Baines didn't have some power. It's too bad he didn't play for the old Washington Senators--I'm pretty sure he was a better player than Sam Rice or Heinie Manush.
   108. Francisco Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:14 PM (#2272550)
1. Cal Ripken: an easy #1 - monster peak, long career, in without the streak

2. Bert Blyleven: I see him as essentially equivalent to Tom Glavine - consistently among the elite pitchers in the game for more than a decade

3. Alan Trammell: close in value to Barry Larkin, Joe Cronin, as well as Derek Jeter plus another two to three good seasons. If only he could've been consistent, he would be right up there with Ripken.

4. Mark McGwire: too good of a hitter to leave off my ballot. Probably similar in value to Hank Greenberg.

5. Goose Gossage: eight dominant seasons as a relief pitcher is just enough to make my ballot.

Write-ins: Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker

Just below the in/out line: Andre Dawson
   109. Francisco Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:17 PM (#2272553)
On above post, Tony Gwynn should be slotted in at #4.
   110. sunnyday2 Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2272556)
>108. Andrew M Posted: January 02, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2272549)
I'm voting for the full 10. There are 15-20 eligible candidates who are better than the lowest rung of HoF players.

Bravo.

Like I said before, all those small hall ballots have nothing whatever in common with the Cooperstown that is.
   111. DavidFoss Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:38 PM (#2272569)
But actual BBWAA members frequently submit "small hall" ballots, and they're the ones who have determined the Cooperstown that is. What's wrong with submitting a ballot that looks like one an elector would submit?

This is a complex issue. In one way, you are right. If you state that you are submitting a BBWAA-style ballot then yes, it will be a smaller ballot.

On the other hand, the HOF is not determined solely by the BBWAA. Its recent stinginess (along with the Vets Committee's stinginess-by-design) is leading to a growing backlog of worthy candidates. At some point, some committee will notice this descrepancy and "correct" the issue. Bill James notes in his HOF book that this cycle of stinginess-then-correction has repeated itself a few times throughout the history of Cooperstown. Its been a problem in that these mass inductions by non-contemporaries are where Cooperstown has made its most mistakes (and where its most likely to make future mistakes).

So, be stingy today if you like, but there will be a price to pay down the road for that stinginess.
   112. Chris Fluit Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:19 PM (#2272593)
1. Cal Ripken, Jr.
2. Tony Gwynn
3. Mark McGwire
4. Bert Blyleven
5. Jim Rice
6. Andre Dawson
7. "Goose" Gossage
8. Jack Morris
9. Alan Trammell
10. Lee Smith
   113. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:26 PM (#2272595)
Does a HOF write-in not count, or does it go so far as to nullify the entire ballot?

The former.
   114. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:26 PM (#2272597)
So, be stingy today if you like, but there will be a price to pay down the road for that stinginess.


Which is?

Is BTF going to organize some future imaginary version of the Veterans Committee to correct (and, in the process F-Up) the oversights of the imaginary electorate? :)

Seriously, if only 8-10-player deep ballots were reasonable because "Small Hall voters have no place here", DanG should have included that in the voting rules at the start of the thread. Of course, as Cowboy pointed out, that's kind of a boring exercise.
   115. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:29 PM (#2272598)
> But I'll rely on those writers who are paying more attention to make that decision

That's pathetic and lazy. Blyleven has more than 50% of the other elector's support and you can't bother to think for 15 minutes about it? Why vote at all if you aren't willing to put in effort? Do you participate in our democratic society? Are you able to choose what to eat for breakfast or does someone else make that choice for you also? Do you baa or moo?
   116. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:38 PM (#2272600)
117, I think that entire post and ballot was tongue in cheek, writing and voting as if he really were a baseball writer. I might be wrong though.
   117. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:42 PM (#2272603)
That's pathetic and lazy. Blyleven has more than 50% of the other elector's support and you can't bother to think for 15 minutes about it? Why vote at all if you aren't willing to put in effort? Do you participate in our democratic society? Are you able to choose what to eat for breakfast or does someone else make that choice for you also? Do you baa or moo?

Ouch!

With that said, I feel we owe it to each candidate to give him a fair hearing before we pass judgment on him. No, our vote doesn't count, but some BBWAA writers do check this site out. A well reasoned and intelligent post could sway one of them to add or remove a player from their ballot in the future.
   118. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:43 PM (#2272604)
of course, against the rules ... by which I mean those of the federal government.

Just because the government likes to be stupid and tell people what they can and can't take, doesn't mean I have to respect it.

Re: "Small Hall", I really can't understand voting for fewer than 5/6 guys. If you think the HOF should have 50 guys in it that's fine (though I don't know how much a fun a HOF with only 50 people in it would be), but, as others have said, that's not what the real HOF is.
   119. Jim Sp Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2272606)
Corrected ballot:

Ballot:
1. Ripken
2. Bert Blyleven
3. Alan Trammell
4. Rich Gossage
5. McGwire
6. Gwynn
7. Tony Fernandez
8. Dave Concepcion
9. Bret Saberhagen
10. Albert Belle
   120. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:53 PM (#2272610)
"Re: "Small Hall", I really can't understand voting for fewer than 5/6 guys. If you think the HOF should have 50 guys in it that's fine (though I don't know how much a fun a HOF with only 50 people in it would be), but, as others have said, that's not what the real HOF is."

I voted for 6 guys, but this is starting to bug me. Where was all this in the Hall of Fame ballot discussion thread? And if we start inducting all the guys from the 80s who were better then a some HOFers, then the ballot size is going to have to be increased once we get to the players in the 90s. The big hall guys are being short sighted and are going to run out of votes when we get to the talent explosion in the mid to late 90s;
   121. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:57 PM (#2272613)
And if we start inducting all the guys from the 80s who were better then a some HOFers, then the ballot size is going to have to be increased once we get to the players in the 90s.

Wouldn't that makes sense? More players, more ballot slots?

I don't think there should be a limit on the number of players you can vote for anyway.
   122. DavidFoss Posted: January 02, 2007 at 11:03 PM (#2272614)
Which is?

Fair enough. :-) I didn't mean to pump up the drama too much with my post.

Is BTF going to organize some future imaginary version of the Veterans Committee to correct (and, in the process F-Up) the oversights of the imaginary electorate? :)

You know, when the VC does vote, there will probably be a BTF version of that election. And if a committee was put in place to correct oversights and was planning on a large induction, then BTF probably will have a version of that. :-) It'll make for great discussions. The "price" is that it would be better for a guy like Alan Trammell to be judged now rather than 20 years from now by some oversight committee.

Seriously, if only 8-10-player deep ballots were reasonable because "Small Hall voters have no place here", DanG should have included that in the voting rules at the start of the thread. Of course, as Cowboy pointed out, that's kind of a boring exercise.

I think DanG & sunnyday2 are simply making a strong argument in support of a larger ballot. As a HOM voter, I've gotten used to these types of strong statements. Feel free to disagree if you like. Personally I agree that the HOF will end up much bigger due to "corrections" down the road, but those corrections will include many guys whose candidacies have already expired and are no longer on the ballot, so I might just vote for 5-6 guys from the list above.

As far as "boring exercises" go, with a 75% requirement for induction, there's not a lot of room to spice things up (like when a magazine makes a bizarre pre-season prediction in order to get people to buy a copy).
   123. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2007 at 11:13 PM (#2272619)
You know, when the VC does vote, there will probably be a BTF version of that election. And if a committee was put in place to correct oversights and was planning on a large induction, then BTF probably will have a version of that. :-) It'll make for great discussions. The "price" is that it would be better for a guy like Alan Trammell to be judged now rather than 20 years from now by some oversight committee.


But I presume the BTF version of the VC won't be correcting the oversights of this election (which is where any price would have to be paid), but the ones by the real HOF electorate. Otherwise you're looking at some really confusing discussions.
   124. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 02, 2007 at 11:28 PM (#2272623)
You know, when the VC does vote, there will probably be a BTF version of that election.

That's a good idea, David. Maybe we should do it right after the '94 HoM election, since the Vet election will be at the end of February.
   125. DavidFoss Posted: January 02, 2007 at 11:37 PM (#2272625)
But I presume the BTF version of the VC won't be correcting the oversights of this election (which is where any price would have to be paid), but the ones by the real HOF electorate. Otherwise you're looking at some really confusing discussions.

Sure. We 'inducted' Blyleven, Gossage and Trammell here in 2005 (with others). The BBWAA didn't agree so we 'inducted' them again in 2006. Again the BBWAA did not agree so we are voting for them again this year. That's the nature of these mock elections.

Yeah, there's no "price" for the results of *our* mock votes. These mock elections are often just appeals to the BBWAA (though I believe their votes may already be in) or, more generically, the overall HOF-induction-system.
   126. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2007 at 11:43 PM (#2272628)
> those corrections will include many guys whose candidacies have already expired and are no
> longer on the ballot, so I might just vote for 5-6 guys from the list above.

That's my position. There's 7 guys who would make my top 17 for unelected retirees from 1987 to 2002. I voted for those 7 and I could have easily justified voting for only 6. There's ten 'non-eligible' contemporaries better than the 7th best guy eligible on this ballot. I'm all for enshrining the same number of people now as were honored then, I just don't think the right guys are even eligible.
   127. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 03, 2007 at 12:01 AM (#2272636)
NOT IN
MARK MCGWIRE - "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."

At this point, he's only making it on about half of these. I would vote for McGwire to the HOM, and would have to reconsider this vote on an annual basis. I'm not set in stone with him like many voters are; it's a tough one. The Congressional testimony was just so offensive.


Why? Because he didn't name names? Because he didn't incriminate himself?

I have never, ever, for a second thought McGwire spoke a single word improperly that day. He saw it for what it was: Politcal grandstanding, plain and simple, and he didn't want to get into that crap. Bully for him.

You know as well as I do he was dragged in front of the committee for one reason, and one reason only: The HR Record, hallowed be its name. Look at the players there - McGwire, "No Englais" Sosa, the finger pointer, and quote-a-second Shilling. Why no Clemens? Why no Alex Sanchezes? Why none of the old amp users? It was a set up from the beginning (because everyone knows that steroids only help HR hitters), and McGwire wanted no part of it.

No one ever questioned McGwire's "integrity, sportsmanship, (or) character" before this incident, and he did nothing to disuade me during it.
   128. Howie Menckel Posted: January 03, 2007 at 12:36 AM (#2272653)
Too bad McGwire didn't make THAT speech; it would have been a lot less offensive.
   129. Brent Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:08 AM (#2272751)
2007 HOF ballot

1. Cal Ripken
2. Bert Blyleven
3. Mark McGwire
4. Tony Gwynn
5. Goose Gossage
6. Dave Parker
7. Dale Murphy
8. Albert Belle
9. Don Mattingly
10. Alan Trammell
   130. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:32 AM (#2272762)
1. Cal Ripken, Jr.
2. Rich Gossage
3. Tony Gwynn
4. Mark McGwire
5. Bert Blyleven
6. Alan Trammell

Roughly in order. No particular comments.
   131. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:35 AM (#2272763)
I have never, ever, for a second thought McGwire spoke a single word improperly that day. He saw it for what it was: Politcal grandstanding, plain and simple, and he didn't want to get into that crap. Bully for him.

That's one of the better examples of believing six impossible things before breakfast that I've ever read. As if McGwire was motivated by anything other than a fear of perjuring himself!
   132. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 03, 2007 at 07:21 AM (#2272800)
Actual HOF results will be announced on Tuesday the 9th. Anybody know what time?
   133. Sean Gilman Posted: January 03, 2007 at 07:32 AM (#2272802)
In alphabetical order:

Albert Belle
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Rich Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

Too many write-ins to write in, so I won't bother. I'm anxious for Concepcion to become HOM-eligible, as I'm not yet privy to all the new information that's come to light. It's a complicated case, lotta ins, lotta outs.
   134. McCoy Posted: January 03, 2007 at 08:00 AM (#2272809)
To me this has nothing to do with the size of the Hall of Fame how many were elected before and who is in. It is about players that I think deserve the games highest honor. Yeah that is a cliche but to me Andre Dawson doesn't deserve that honor, and just because Enos Slaughter got it doesn't change that view for me. If they enshrine Adam Everett does that mean I have to reevulate my views on the hall? To me if I am a writer with a vote then I am entrusted with the responsibiliy of electing those players that I feel deserve the enshrinement, and just because some yokel got in beforehand shouldn't water down my view.

I'm not for a small hall, I'm not for a big hall. I"m for a Hall of Fame that when you walk into the enshrinement room you don't scratch your head at the plaques and go "this guy is a hall of famer?"
   135. sunnyday2 Posted: January 03, 2007 at 12:12 PM (#2272838)
>I have never, ever, for a second thought McGwire spoke a single word improperly that day. He saw it for what it was: Politcal grandstanding, plain and simple, and he didn't want to get into that crap. Bully for him.

>That's one of the better examples of believing six impossible things before breakfast that I've ever read. As if McGwire was motivated by anything other than a fear of perjuring himself!

I'm with TDF. The Congressional hearing was offensive all right. This Congress didn't do a gd thing for 4 years...oh, except it outted Mark McGwire. Nice job. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and this Congress was the enemy of the simple interests of the American people. Bully for Mark McGwire.
   136. TomH Posted: January 03, 2007 at 01:02 PM (#2272846)
gee, sunny, we could easily take this to absurd (and non-baseball) lengths. Anyone who denounces the patently ridiculous Ninth Circuit Court is now my HoM-boy!
   137. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 03, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2272855)
But just think... if McGwire hadn't said he wasn't there to talk about the past, 300 sportswriters wouldn't have the identical "then why should I...?" snappy comeback to pad out their kneejerk columns. (And what's with these VCRs blinking "12:00" over and over again? Hi-yo!)

I've seen a few sportswriters express their McGwire "no" vote in thoughtful language. But man, a whole lot of these writers are just like a clique of sixth-grade girls giggling over who they're not going to invite to their birthday party.
   138. DKDC Posted: January 03, 2007 at 01:41 PM (#2272857)
1. Cal Ripken
2. Tony Gwynn

I hesitated to submit such a short ballot, but I don't have a comprehensive numerical rating system that I trust. I used a combination of my own impression of a player's career along with a review of their career stats.

I realize that a short ballot is essentially a non-vote for players on the bubble, but I simply can't compare players I barely saw play to two players I know are hall of famers. These are the only two eligible players that I saw play for the majority of their careers that seem worthy to me.

McGwire is close - Fairly or unfairly, I am haircutting what he did in 1998-2000, and without that he just doesn't have the career value I'd like to see in a hall of famer.

I like Baines' Career, Belle's peak, and I have fond memories of Eric Davis, but they all have too many warts to make the final ballot.
   139. Howie Menckel Posted: January 03, 2007 at 01:41 PM (#2272858)
For some reason, many people seem to expect people to lionize either the hearings OR McGwire.
Can't one be critical of both?
   140. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 03, 2007 at 01:41 PM (#2272859)
Say, kids! A thread with steroids and politics in it! Who needs a nuclear weapon when you have an explosive combination like that!

(sigh...)
   141. sunnyday2 Posted: January 03, 2007 at 01:53 PM (#2272864)
Well, TomH, I'm with Gonfolan, too. And we could take *this* to absurd Iengths, too.

>I simply can't compare players I barely saw play to two players I know are hall of famers.

Oh, wait, we already have. I mean, I never saw Babe Ruth play. How the hell did he get into the HoF, anyway. Stats? What stats?Throw the bum out.

Besides, if you discount McGwire for 'roids and small ballparks, then he really only hit 499 HR. Not half the player George Kelly was.
   142. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 03, 2007 at 01:58 PM (#2272868)
For some reason, many people seem to expect people to lionize either the hearings OR McGwire.
Can't one be critical of both?


I was, Howie, but that appears to have placed me in a tiny minority.
   143. DanG Posted: January 03, 2007 at 02:21 PM (#2272884)
I'm not for a small hall, I'm not for a big hall. I"m for a Hall of Fame that when you walk into the enshrinement room you don't scratch your head at the plaques and go "this guy is a hall of famer?"

Which makes you a small hall voter. I note you voted for only three players on your ballot, Gwynn-Ripken-Gossage. Those three are no-brainers. It doesn’t take any analysis to come up with that, so why even bother? Nobody else seemed like a hall of famer to you, which is exactly what me and others are decrying.

Suppose I’m a BBWAA voter. I’m explaining to Alan Trammell that I didn’t vote for him because he doesn’t seem like a hall of famer to me. That, by my personal standards, Trammell doesn’t make the DanG HOF. Well, Trammell, having personally studied the HOF membership and its history, patiently explains to me that my job isn’t to elect people to the DanG HOF. I’m supposed to be evaluating players as being worthy to join the NBHOF and Museum in Cooperstown.

I say, Gadzooks, you’re right! Just look at the hall of fame shortstops; you’re better than Jackson, Tinker, Bancroft, Aparicio, Rizzuto and Maranville. You’re as good as Smith, Boudreau, Sewell, Wallace and maybe a couple others. I guess if you rank in the middle of the pack among HOF shortstops, it would be pretty unfair of me to reject you just because your name doesn’t come tripping off my tongue when thinking about all-time great shortstops. And, gee, knowing now how much you’re deserving, I feel ashamed that I was gonna make you wait for the VC to consider you when you were really old—or even dead. Oh, man, I’d hate myself if you didn’t get in ‘til after you died. That’d be heinous!

Tram thanks me and wishes every voter was as open and fair-minded as I was. He said that he had to go now, as he was personally paying a visit to every BBWAA voter to explain to them what their job was: to discern players’ worth not on some vague personal standard, but from the standard set by 70+ years of enshrining more than 220 players.

And if you don’t have the time to run a few numbers, to really consider the bubble candidates, then don’t vote. Just voting for the guys “you know” are hall of famers is $crewing the guys on the bubble and skewing the results.
   144. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 02:37 PM (#2272892)
But just think... if McGwire hadn't said he wasn't there to talk about the past, 300 sportswriters wouldn't have the identical "then why should I...?" snappy comeback to pad out their kneejerk columns.

And 300 Primates would have been denied the thrill of pretending that they're fighting Joe McCarthy instead of just admitting that they don't want you to know beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not Mark McGwire took steroids.

For some reason, many people seem to expect people to lionize either the hearings OR McGwire. Can't one be critical of both?

Of course you can, but unless your hidden agenda is just to continue the coverup, you also should have been calling for random unannounced testing for steroids before those hearings began. We can acknowledge that Congress was acting for less than highhanded motives, but it was also acting in the aftermath of a case of widespread consumer fraud involving some of the game's top players, implicitly enabled by both the Players' Union and the Commissioner's Office itself.

The opponents of the congressional hearings can often be quite eloquent in their decrying of Salem Witch Hunts, invasion of privacy, trivial subject matter, blah blah blah, but underneath most of their rhetoric is an obvious agenda: They don't want you to know who was juicing, because then you'll start making all sorts of nasty inferences about the juicers and their statistics.

And if they can keep erecting barriers along the path to such knowledge (can't have random testing; can't publish the results; can't have congressional hearings; can't release the BALCO testimony), they can then turn around and piously proclaim that "we really don't know" who was juicing. A sleight of hand worthy of a good kindergarten magician.

And instead of focusing on guilty individuals, they can then shift the focus of the debate to such grand generalizations as "the steroid era," with Cal Ripken as implicated as Mark McGwire, and where eventually everyone will just say the hell with it, just look at the numbers. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is mostly what all the smoke about those congressional hearings is about.

But guess what: Nobody's buying it. You can blather all you want about steroid fascists, but at the end of the day the public still knows that Mark McGwire implicitly admitted that he juiced, that his records are phony, and that the Hall of Fame should take these facts into consideration. And the proof of that will come next Tuesday.
   145. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 03, 2007 at 02:40 PM (#2272893)
Tram thanks me and wishes every voter was as open and fair-minded as I was. He said that he had to go now, as he was personally paying a visit to every BBWAA voter to explain to them what their job was: to discern players’ worth not on some vague personal standard, but from the standard set by 70+ years of enshrining more than 220 players.

And if you don’t have the time to run a few numbers, to really consider the bubble candidates, then don’t vote. Just voting for the guys “you know” are hall of famers is $crewing the guys on the bubble and skewing the results.


That's funny, Bert Blyleven just visited me and said the same exact things!
   146. rawagman Posted: January 03, 2007 at 02:41 PM (#2272894)
the Hall of Fame should take these facts into consideration. And the proof of that will come next Tuesday.


What happens next Tuesday will not come close to approaching proof. An election is not proof. Hanging chads, or no.
   147. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2272901)
But guess what: Nobody's buying it. You can blather all you want about steroid fascists, but at the end of the day the public still knows that Mark McGwire implicitly admitted that he juiced, that his records are phony, and that the Hall of Fame should take these facts into consideration. And the proof of that will come next Tuesday.

What happens next Tuesday will not come close to approaching proof. An election is not proof. Hanging chads, or no.


Of course the proof I was referring to concerned the proof that the public isn't buying the "we really don't know" smokescreen in the wake of McGwire's testimony, not the sort of proof about McGwire's steroid use that would convict him in a court of law. Such distinctions are apparently too subtle for some people to grasp.
   148. sunnyday2 Posted: January 03, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2272931)
>And the proof of that will come next Tuesday.

Here, I'm with Andy. The proof will come next Tuesday that crucifixions and witch hunts and pompous moralizing are still the height of style.
   149. rawagman Posted: January 03, 2007 at 03:16 PM (#2272933)
Andy - I understood you.
I don't think you got me.
What I mean is that the voting pattern of the BBWAA does not mirror the opinion of the public.
That isn't to say that the ballot submitted here come any closer, but they do offer a valuable, different perspective.
I believe it is safe to say that the baseball-interested public does not agree with the voting standards of the BBWAA.
   150. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 03, 2007 at 03:18 PM (#2272937)
Of course the proof I was referring to concerned the proof that the public isn't buying the "we really don't know" smokescreen in the wake of McGwire's testimony, not the sort of proof about McGwire's steroid use that would convict him in a court of law. Such distinctions are apparently too subtle for some people to grasp.

As is the distinction between 10-year members of the BBWAA, and the public. Some people...sheesh!
   151. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 03, 2007 at 03:26 PM (#2272951)
That isn't to say that the ballot submitted here come any closer, but they do offer a valuable, different perspective.
I believe it is safe to say that the baseball-interested public does not agree with the voting standards of the BBWAA.


Having read through this thread, I'm not sure that the ballot submitted here is going to be all that different from the BBWAA when it comes to McGwire - Blyleven and Trammell, sure, we're different, but I don't think we'd be electing McGwire either and I'd be surprised if a true random poll of baseball fans found 75% support of Mac in the Hall of Fame this year. Do you have any evidence to suggest otherwise?
   152. Hammered to the Gap Posted: January 03, 2007 at 03:35 PM (#2272962)
2007 HOF ballot

1. Tony Gwynn
2. Cal Ripken, Jr.
3. Goose Gossage
4. Bert Blyleven
5. Alan Trammell
   153. rawagman Posted: January 03, 2007 at 03:40 PM (#2272967)
Kiko - I'm counting the ballots.
I know only a small percentage of BBWAA voters post their submissions in public, but if what I've read is anything to go by, we're a lot higher on McGwire than they are.
   154. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2272982)
Andy - I understood you.
I don't think you got me.
What I mean is that the voting pattern of the BBWAA does not mirror the opinion of the public.


What polls would you have to back this up with? I haven't seen any evidence that the public thinks Mark McGwire should be in the HOF.

That isn't to say that the ballot submitted here come any closer, but they do offer a valuable, different perspective.

I agree with that. I just take the HOF debates I read here and apply them to the HOM. Read that way, they certainly do provide many new and interesting perspectives, and they've influenced my own views on many players. But they still don't convince me that steroid users deserve membership in the HOF. That's an entirely separate argument from the one surrounding the HOM.

I believe it is safe to say that the baseball-interested public does not agree with the voting standards of the BBWAA.

That's a statement which itself raises so many questions that it's hard to argue with: What exactly does the "baseball-interested public" consist of? SABR members? Fantasy Leaguers? Spouses who attend games for the company? Fans who can name about a hundred or so active Major Leaguers and who follow one team fairly closely and maybe watch some of the postseason, but who wouldn't be able to name the best new players in any given year until they visit those fans' home towns or get to the postseason?

>And the proof of that will come next Tuesday.

Here, I'm with Andy. The proof will come next Tuesday that crucifixions and witch hunts and pompous moralizing are still the height of style.


Come to think about it, Mark McGwire does look a bit like Jesus on steroids, doesn't he?
   155. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:07 PM (#2272987)
1. (C)an't have random testing
In my mind, no one should be subjected to random testing, unless they agree to it. Once the players agree to it, fine; but forcing it on them is pretty much the definition of "invasion of privacy".

2. (C)an't publish the results
This is what the parties agreed to. For the gov't to do an end-around, simply to try to "get" one guy, is chilling.

3. (C)an't have congressional hearings
First, I don't see the reason for the hearings. If steroids are such a scurge, why only baseball? Why not bodybuilding? Why not "World's Strongest Man" competitors? But even if they were necessary, they way they were handled was atrocious. Instead of real insight, we got the crying parents, the bulked-up HR hitters, and the self-righteous "veteran voice" (Schilling) (also note that so far, the vast majority of those caught have been pitchers, not hitters). Meanwhile, those that have been caught so far (except for Palmiero) have all been fringe players. Aren't you curious that even in the minors, where testing has been taking place for years, the only ones caught were marginal players? Obviously, our elected officials weren't.

4. (C)an't release the BALCO testimony
As has been argued endlessly, this was grand jury testimony, which for the purity of our legal system really needs to be kept secret.

They don't want you to know who was juicing, because then you'll start making all sorts of nasty inferences about the juicers and their statistics.
Quite the opposite. Those like you want the "juicers" outed, because to you the record is sacred. To me, it is what it is. Is Maris a greater HR hitter than Mantle becasue he held the single-season record? No one would argue that. Is Bonds a greater HR hitter than Ruth or Aaron? No one would argue that. But to many "holding the record" is the most precious thing there is.

Further, there is a romaticism in baseball that I find almost creepy. In other sports, time and effort is spent building up the current players, trying to show how superior they are to those in the past; in baseball, it's just the opposite. Who's the greatest player? Ruth, who hasn't been around for over 70 years. Pitcher? Walter Johnson, who retired 80 years ago. In fact, these are widely considered "The Greatest Ever" at their positions:

C: Josh Gibson, last played 1946
1B: Lou Gehrig, 1939
2B: Rogers Hornsby, 1937
SS: Honus Wagner, 1917
3B: Mike Schmidt, 1989
LF: Ted Williams, 1960
CF: Willie Mays, 1973
RF: Babe Ruth, 1935
SP: Walter Johnson, 1927
RP: Mariano Rivera, current

Of 10 positions, 5 retired before my 82 year old mother graduated from high school; I'm 44, and I only saw two through the best part of his career (though "relief pitcher" is a relatively new position). Compare that to hockey, where much is made to justify Gretsky and Lemieux over Orr and Howe; or football, where the current stars are always considered greater than those of the past (heck, there are people arguing that Tomlinson just finished "the greatest season in history"). The NBA is much younger than the other pro sports (only 3 of the "Greatest 50 in the First 50 Years" are deceased), yet even there Scottie F. Pippen was among those top 50.
   156. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:10 PM (#2272990)
Someone should just go ahead and change the name of this thread from "2007 BTF Hall of Fame Ballot" to "2007th Time BTFers ##### At Each Other About Steroids"
   157. Repoz Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:20 PM (#2273004)
I'm counting the ballots.
I know only a small percentage of BBWAA voters post their submissions in public, but if what I've read is anything to go by, we're a lot higher on McGwire than they are.


I have McGwire running at 38% of the disjointed BBWAA ballots...a bit higher than the one run by the AP.

Tho I expect than number to drop when the retired old codger votes come in.
   158. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2273009)
Someone should just go ahead and change the name of this thread from "2007 BTF Hall of Fame Ballot" to "2007th Time BTFers ##### At Each Other About Steroids"

A simpler solution would be to eliminate all HOF debates and replace them with HOM debates, and with the introduction to each steroid-tainted candidate spelling out the distinction between the two institutions. Because then the only questions about steroids would be technical, and moral questions wouldn't enter into the discussion.

But as long as there continue to be HOF threads where Mark McGwire's name comes up, you'll never eliminate that Elephant in the Room. Nor should you.
   159. Chip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:38 PM (#2273018)
The Baseball Hall of Fame: "Where Morality Matters."













Except when it doesn't.
   160. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:39 PM (#2273019)
I have McGwire running at 38% of the disjointed BBWAA ballots...a bit higher than the one run by the AP.

Tho I expect than number to drop when the retired old codger votes come in.


I have no real basis for thinking this but it wouldn't surprise me to see just the opposite - that McGwire does BETTER in voting among those who don't write columns explaining who they're voting for. It seems to me that the strong (maybe we could call it 'Andy-level') anti-McGwire position is one that a professional writer would want to write about - it makes for a good column, whereas writing a column saying that you're going to vote for that damned McGwire, steroids or not, may be either (a) more nuanced than is easily explained in a column or (b) opening oneself up to criticism from the anti-steroid crusaders.

I'm actually interested in seeing a comparison of BBWAA votes v. Primer votes v. a general poll on the subject of McGwire's HOF-worthiness. If I had to guess, I'd put the over/under at about 50% for all three, but that's just wild-ass guessing on my part (well, aside from the Primer one where the voting's public - although here I am admittedly too lazy to actually count the votes).
   161. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2273024)
They don't want you to know who was juicing, because then you'll start making all sorts of nasty inferences about the juicers and their statistics.

Quite the opposite. Those like you want the "juicers" outed, because to you the record is sacred. To me, it is what it is. Is Maris a greater HR hitter than Mantle becasue he held the single-season record? No one would argue that. Is Bonds a greater HR hitter than Ruth or Aaron? No one would argue that. But to many "holding the record" is the most precious thing there is.


I'm not sure who you're referring to here, but it certainly can't be me. I've argued on countless threads the supremacy of the modern game (meaning the game from the 80's to the present, when the worldwide talent pool assumed mammoth proportions) over all previous eras. One of the longer debates I've been in here was when I argued that the 1927 Yankees would have absolutely no chance to match the best teams of the modern era if they played under neutral conditions. So whatever you may think of my views on steroids, please don't assume that I hold those views because I have some sort of a mancrush on Babe Ruth or (good grief) Roger Maris. I care much more about the unfair advantage that Mark McGwire obtained over his contemporaries than I do about whether he unfairly moved Roger Maris down a notch. That latter issue is not wholly irrelevant, but it's a byproduct of the former concern, and not at all the central issue.
   162. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:45 PM (#2273028)
But as long as there continue to be HOF threads where Mark McGwire's name comes up, you'll never eliminate that Elephant in the Room. Nor should you.

That Elephant has been beaten to death so many times it's not even recognizable anymore. It's just a grey wad of flesh on the ground, covered with the spittle and blood and sweat and semen and tears of the 2000 arguments and 50 million words that have come from the last few years.
   163. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:50 PM (#2273032)
My Ballot (alphabetically ranked):

1. Albert Belle -- Notwithstanding his career-ending injury, he was a consistently outstanding hitter with four seasons with an OPS+ over 150+.

2. Bert Blyleven -- Most likely the best eligible player in this group to have been snubbed to date (keeping in mind that Santo isn't on this list).

3. Andre Dawson -- Admittedly a sentimental vote, but I also believe that he stands out from the Murphy/Rice group with better defense and periods of flat-out dominance throughout his Montreal and Chicago career. The best NL centerfielder from '77-'82.

4. Tony Gwynn -- No comment really necessary other than to say that he's perhaps the best "pure hitter" (for BA) in the '90s.

5. Cal Ripken, Jr. -- Again, no comment really necessary; though I don't idolize him as much as many, he redefined the SS position to being one of both offensive importance as well as defense.

6. Alan Trammell -- I have to admit that 5 years ago, I wouldn't have voted for him, mainly because I didn't pay as much attention to the AL as I should have. As my knowledge and understanding of the game has expanded, so has my opinion of his play (as well as Lou Whitaker's).

I don't want to get into a lengthy discussion of my "snubs," other than to briefly comment on what I believe are my "notable omissions":

Harold Baines -- credit for being a very good player with longevity, but just short
Dave Concepcion -- also a good player, but I've never really considered him beyond that
Steve Garvey -- the antichrist
Rich Gossage, Lee Smith -- Both are better than Bruce Sutter, but I admit to a bias against relievers. I would either vote for both or (in this case) neither.
Orel Hershiser, Tommy John, Jack Morris -- all very good pitchers who just miss; perhaps the pitching equivalent of the Dawson/Rice/Murphy group
Don Mattingly -- if only he was healthy longer . . .
Mark McGwire -- putting aside the '98 HR race, I believe his record is borderline as it is; the PED question is the clincher
Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Jim Rice -- all very good hitters who just miss the cut because of a sudden drop-off (Murphy), drug use and spottiness (Parker), and lack of defense (all, though Parker had the best OF arm in the NL)
   164. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2273036)
I'm actually interested in seeing a comparison of BBWAA votes v. Primer votes v. a general poll on the subject of McGwire's HOF-worthiness. If I had to guess, I'd put the over/under at about 50% for all three, but that's just wild-ass guessing on my part (well, aside from the Primer one where the voting's public - although here I am admittedly too lazy to actually count the votes).

I don't think McGwire would approach 50% among the general public, but he certainly seems to be getting at least that much support among the stats uber alles types here, and it wouldn't shock me if he got around half of the writers' votes as well. Your argument that there's more motivation to publish an anti-Mac column than a pro-Mac column seems plausible.
   165. DanG Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:05 PM (#2273054)
Sorry for another off-topic (not McGwire) posting.

Another reason to fill the ten slots on your ballot is the 5% rule. Maybe you’re not sure a guy is a hall of famer. But, unless you’re sure he ISN’T a hall of famer, you should vote for him. Or else he could get Griched, one and done. Or he could get Dwighted (3 and done).

To me, the voters are approaching their task negatively: let’s keep guys out, bar the doors against those who may not belong. (Yet, they elect Sutter!) I take a positive approach: let’s elect more guys, while they're still alive. And, since there has never been a BBWAA ballot with less than a dozen candidates who are comfortably above the standard set by the worst 15% in the HOF, it is easy to fill my ballot.

And don’t worry, this approach is not, not, KNOT! going to let in anyone who is undeserving. Because I am sure there will always be more than 25% of voters who consider themselves Guardians of High Standards, the BBWAA will never elect many (any?) bubble candidates.
   166. rawagman Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:10 PM (#2273062)
Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Jim Rice -- all very good hitters who just miss the cut because of a sudden drop-off (Murphy), drug use and spottiness (Parker), and lack of defense (all, though Parker had the best OF arm in the NL)


Murphy won 5 gold gloves> he was a great CF.
   167. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2273067)
Sorry for another off-topic (not McGwire) posting.

Another reason to fill the ten slots on your ballot is the 5% rule. Maybe you’re not sure a guy is a hall of famer. But, unless you’re sure he ISN’T a hall of famer, you should vote for him. Or else he could get Griched, one and done. Or he could get Dwighted (3 and done).

To me, the voters are approaching their task negatively: let’s keep guys out, bar the doors against those who may not belong. (Yet, they elect Sutter!) I take a positive approach: let’s elect more guys, while they're still alive. And, since there has never been a BBWAA ballot with less than a dozen candidates who are comfortably above the standard set by the worst 15% in the HOF, it is easy to fill my ballot.

And don’t worry, this approach is not, not, KNOT! going to let in anyone who is undeserving. Because I am sure there will always be more than 25% of voters who consider themselves Guardians of High Standards, the BBWAA will never elect many (any?) bubble candidates.


To whom are you directing these instructions? Is it to the BBWAA, who (presumably) already completed its voting? Or to the evil Small-Hall BTFers here?
   168. DanG Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2273080)
To whom are you directing these instructions? Is it to the BBWAA, who (presumably) already completed its voting? Or to the evil Small-Hall BTFers here?

Both.
   169. McCoy Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2273087)
Which makes you a small hall voter. I note you voted for only three players on your ballot, Gwynn-Ripken-Gossage. Those three are no-brainers. It doesn’t take any analysis to come up with that, so why even bother? Nobody else seemed like a hall of famer to you, which is exactly what me and others are decrying.

I watched Andre Dawson play and while he was very good I never got the sense that I was watching something special. Same for McGwire, except with McGwire he had probably a few more "moments" where it looked like he was something special. Belle probably was on his way to the Hall but I don't think he got there before his injury. Alan? Well I always considered him a very good player but I never thought of him as somebody that people will remember in 40 years.

I'm not small hall but I just don't see the need to honor players who were simply very good. We have the all-star game for that.


say, Gadzooks, you’re right! Just look at the hall of fame shortstops; you’re better than Jackson, Tinker, Bancroft, Aparicio, Rizzuto and Maranville. You’re as good as Smith, Boudreau, Sewell, Wallace and maybe a couple others. I guess if you rank in the middle of the pack among HOF shortstops, it would be pretty unfair of me to reject you just because your name doesn’t come tripping off my tongue when thinking about all-time great shortstops. And, gee, knowing now how much you’re deserving, I feel ashamed that I was gonna make you wait for the VC to consider you when you were really old—or even dead. Oh, man, I’d hate myself if you didn’t get in ‘til after you died. That’d be heinous!


I didn't vote for those guys. If I was a voter and I voted for those guys then yes I should and would also vote for Alan. But I didn't so why should I vote for Alan? For some of these guys the regular voters never voted them in, then a bunch of ballplayers put them in so now the voters who for the most part have been pretty consistent should have to change their voting ways?


And if you don’t have the time to run a few numbers, to really consider the bubble candidates, then don’t vote. Just voting for the guys “you know” are hall of famers is $crewing the guys on the bubble and skewing the results.

Well this is just arrogant. Where in the world did I say I didn't run the numbers? Also why should guys on the bubble be allowed in? I mean isn't there a reason why they are on the bubble?
   170. The Balls of Summer Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:42 PM (#2273094)
My ballot:

Blyleven - On both peak and career, he gets in
Gossage - Best reliever ever, hell of a lot better than Sutter
Gwynn - Very good and very consistent
McGwire - I'm not keeping anyone out for steroids before they were against the rules. My personal opinion.
Ripken - Durable, consistent and great.
Trammell - Not too far behind Ripken. Underrated.
   171. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:48 PM (#2273099)
To whom are you directing these instructions? Is it to the BBWAA, who (presumably) already completed its voting? Or to the evil Small-Hall BTFers here?

Both.


But we're involved in different elections, so you may want to stop conflating the two.

McCoy, CrosbyBird, DKDC et al CAN'T GRICH ANYONE. So the 5 percent rule is immaterial when voting in this mock election. Voters here can elect the guys they believe belong in the HOF, and they ought to feel unencumbered to place those bubble guys on the other side of the ledger, regardless how many ways you want to find to insult them for doing so(since I voted for Trammel, I guess I'm safe).
   172. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 03, 2007 at 05:52 PM (#2273106)
They don't want you to know who was juicing, because then you'll start making all sorts of nasty inferences about the juicers and their statistics.

Quite the opposite. Those like you want the "juicers" outed, because to you the record is sacred. To me, it is what it is. Is Maris a greater HR hitter than Mantle becasue he held the single-season record? No one would argue that. Is Bonds a greater HR hitter than Ruth or Aaron? No one would argue that. But to many "holding the record" is the most precious thing there is.

I'm not sure who you're referring to here, but it certainly can't be me.


Well Andy, one gross generalization deserved another.

Personally, as I've made clear in numerous threads, you can't call steroids "cheating" or "unsprortsmanlike" if you don't include spitballs, corked bats, and amphetamines, which no one wants to do. So I can't question steroid users, either known or suspected, nor their accomplishments. And despite the efforts of many here, no one has even begun to convince me otherwise.
   173. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 06:26 PM (#2273134)
Personally, as I've made clear in numerous threads, you can't call steroids "cheating" or "unsprortsmanlike" if you don't include spitballs, corked bats, and amphetamines, which no one wants to do. So I can't question steroid users, either known or suspected, nor their accomplishments. And despite the efforts of many here, no one has even begun to convince me otherwise.

While I don't agree with that, there's at least an honorable and consistent POV there. But think about it: You'd still hold those views even if (for example) McGwire confessed. And your holding onto that opinion would then give it even more standing, since it'd be based on the full knowledge of the facts.

What bothers me far more than what you're saying is the POV that not only should we not penalize steroid users, but that we shouldn't even be allowed to find out who they were, and that since we can't find out who they were "for sure," we then can't penalize them. This really is some sort of a Reverse Catch-22, as practiced by defense lawyers. Each separate part of these last two lines of defense is honorable and consistent, but not the two taken together.

And I know that you still wouldn't penalize them anyway, but by blocking the full pursuit of information you're effectively denying the rest of us, to whom guilt or innocence is decided on a case by case basis and not through catchphrases like "the steroid era," a basis for making a fully informed judgment.

Which means that in some cases (like McGwire's) we're forced to make a call based on logical inference rather than complete information, whereas in other cases (like Sosa's) we often still give the benefit of the doubt but are left with possibly unwarranted suspicion. And though in McGwire's case it seems 99.9% certain that he was juicing, his is more the exception than the general rule, and in many cases I'm sure that people are unfairly making assumptions based on random factors such as body type and personality. When it comes down to a case of accurate assessment vs privacy, I'll take accurate assessment based on as many facts as are pertinent.
   174. DanG Posted: January 03, 2007 at 06:42 PM (#2273145)
But we're involved in different elections, so you may want to stop conflating the two.

This is a mock Hall of Fame vote being conducted under their rules. We are subject to the same constraints, in order to compare our results to theirs, apples to apples. Since we are assuming the role of BBWAA voters, it follows that we ought to adopt the mindset that this vote really counts. That is, cast your ballot as if you were actually a ten-year BBWAA voting member. It's a lot less "boring" if you make it real.

If we end up Griching someone, we are saying that player should be Griched - we, the BTF Mock HOF electorate, say get him off the ballot now. In that another purpose for this exercise is in hopes of bringing information to, and perhaps influencing, the actual voters, we ought to be careful about who we are Griching.

Where in the world did I say I didn't run the numbers?

Sorry, it's just there was zero evidence of any analysis.

Also why should guys on the bubble be allowed in?

Why shouldn't some of them? By definition, these are the guys open to debate - some deserve to be in, some don't. By blithely sweeping them all aside you're contributing nothing to the attempt to make the tough calls on the Hall's in/out margins.
   175. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: January 03, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2273152)
Gwynn
Ripken
Trammell
Gossage

Wait on McGwire, and hope we can spur a discussion of what we want the HOF to be. If you put a gun to my head, I'd vote for him.
   176. McCoy Posted: January 03, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2273159)
Why shouldn't some of them? By definition, these are the guys open to debate - some deserve to be in, some don't. By blithely sweeping them all aside you're contributing nothing to the attempt to make the tough calls on the Hall's in/out margins.

Of course some should get in, I just don't see this batch of bubblites getting in. Or I should say I don't think this batch should get in.
   177. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 03, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2273172)
You'd still hold those views even if (for example) McGwire confessed. And your holding onto that opinion would then give it even more standing, since it'd be based on the full knowledge of the facts.

Gaylord Perry, Hall of Fame member, wrote a book detailing his spitball usage before his induction. Mike Schmidt, Hall of Fame member, has admitted amphetamine usage. I don't see the problem with holding the same position with admitted steroid users.

What bothers me far more than what you're saying is the POV that not only should we not penalize steroid users, but that we shouldn't even be allowed to find out who they were

(1) As HOF voters (2) to be consistant, it doesn't matter who they are.

But there's a larger issue here, which I've also addressed previously: Steroids and amps are illegal as they've been used in sports. From the beginning, I've wanted them weeded out for that reason; however, because it appears a very large number of players have used both, with the full knowledge of the managers/GMs/owners, in baseball I don't see how you punish them, even from post-career honors.

If instead of trolling for sluggers Congress had called in those minor leaguers who'd tested positive, maybe we would have found out some significant information: Where they're coming from, why they're using, how to address the problem. That would have been helpful.

And I know that you still wouldn't penalize them anyway, but by blocking the full pursuit of information you're effectively denying the rest of us, to whom guilt or innocence is decided on a case by case basis and not through catchphrases like "the steroid era," a basis for making a fully informed judgment.

Again, if "full pursuit of information", without trampling things like the Bill of Rights, is used to rid the game of illegal drugs, go for it. However, that's not what "the people" want - they want to know who to punish so they can still point to their childhood heroes and say "See? Henry Aaron didn't need steroids to hit homers."

I'll go further - even if there is no evidence other than Canseco's book and his non-answers in Congress, a large percentage of people will still assume McGwire did steroids. Look at the members of this board - no one is saying "Until I see evidence he did..." Hell, even with testing, kevin is convinced Giambi is on some new, undetectable potion. There will never be "fully informed judgement" when it comes to steroids, just "How much do I believe?"
   178. Guapo Posted: January 03, 2007 at 07:13 PM (#2273178)
So who is in danger of being "Griched" by the BWAA this year?

All the first years except Ripken, Gwynn, and McGwire, obviously. The only other first years you can really make a case for are (IMO) Baines, Canseco, and Fernandez- maybe Saberhagen if you're superpeaky. I believe they're all likely to be one-and-out based on past voting.

Albert Belle only recorded 7.7% last year, so it seems like he's in significant danger.

Dale Murphy was next lowest, at 10.77%, but his support has been steadily in that range over the last 4 elections. He's probably OK.

Hershiser recorded 11.15% last year, his first year on the ballot. He might be in trouble, but in looking through the last few elections, guys who poll over 10% seem to be able to stick on the ballot pretty consistently.

Mattingly's at 12.3% and he's been around there consistently for the last 4 elections.

Concepcion, at 12.5%, has polled 10%-15% every election since 1999.

Dave Parker, at 14.4%, also polls in that range regularly.

Alan Trammell, at 17.7%, got his highest support in 2006 and there's no reason to think he'll drop precipitously.

I wouldn't consider anyone who polled over 25% a risk.

So the guys at serious risk of being dumped off the ballot this year are probably all the first years except the big 3, and Albert Belle.
   179. Guapo Posted: January 03, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2273180)
So who is in danger of being "Griched" by the BWAA this year?

All the first years except Ripken, Gwynn, and McGwire, obviously. The only other first years you can really make a case for are (IMO) Baines, Canseco, and Fernandez- maybe Saberhagen if you're superpeaky. I believe they're all likely to be one-and-out based on past voting.

Albert Belle only recorded 7.7% last year, so it seems like he's in significant danger.

Dale Murphy was next lowest, at 10.77%, but his support has been steadily in that range over the last 4 elections. He's probably OK.

Hershiser recorded 11.15% last year, his first year on the ballot. He might be in trouble, but in looking through the last few elections, guys who poll over 10% seem to be able to stick on the ballot pretty consistently.

Mattingly's at 12.3% and he's been around there consistently for the last 4 elections.

Concepcion, at 12.5%, has polled 10%-15% every election since 1999.

Dave Parker, at 14.4%, also polls in that range regularly.

Alan Trammell, at 17.7%, got his highest support in 2006 and there's no reason to think he'll drop precipitously.

I wouldn't consider anyone who polled over 25% a risk.

So the guys at serious risk of being dumped off the ballot this year are probably all the first years except the big 3, and Albert Belle.
   180. CrosbyBird Posted: January 03, 2007 at 07:26 PM (#2273197)
Since we are assuming the role of BBWAA voters, it follows that we ought to adopt the mindset that this vote really counts. That is, cast your ballot as if you were actually a ten-year BBWAA voting member. It's a lot less "boring" if you make it real.

I don't disagree at all. I posted only a ballot because there were two threads, a discussion one and a ballot one. My arguments mirror many other people and I saw little value in duplicating words to extend my well-deserved reputation for verbosity in my posts.

But this was part of the framework that I followed in my selection:

we hope to see only players that each voter feels belong on their ballots - if you don’t feel he really is a HOFer, then please refrain from posting that player’s name

My ballot (Gwynn, Ripken, McGwire, Blyleven) is precisely the ballot I'd fill out if the vote was legitimate. It is my opinion that the current voting scheme is pretty close to what the HoF should look like, and that it is not an overcorrection. I'd have given Blyleven the nod and not Sutter, and I would not have taken Puckett. But generally, a player or two a year is pretty close to the percentages I expect for the HoF. I consider this ballot to be a fairly heavy one, with three very strong candidates (and a "correction" in Blyleven, who should already be in). I'm comfortable with an empty ballot too.

I reject the idea that I would only choose "no-brainers;" McGwire is a borderline candidate in my book, based on the quality of his contemporaries. I reject Gossage because I don't think relievers should be enshrined; whether or not you characterize that as an extreme position is your prerogative, but it certainly is not a frivolous or unthinking position.

Everyone who cares at least a little about the subject has some idea of what their personal hall should look like, for legitimate reasons, and they should vote accordingly.
   181. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 03, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2273210)
So who is in danger of being "Griched" by the BWAA this year?

I won't be surprised if Tony Fernandez is down in the 2-3% range. I will be somewhat surprised if Baines isn't above 5%.
   182. Al Peterson Posted: January 03, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2273213)
2007 ballot- roll call in alphabetic order

1. Blyleven - His curveball wasn't Uncle Charlie. It was Sir Charles.

2. Dawson - Best years north of the border on the dreaded turf.

3. Gossage - To say he was intimidating doesn't do justice to him. Scary works.

4. Gwynn - Could hit .300 rolling out of bed or the nearest McD's drive thru.

5. McGwire - Popeye forearms; wonder where they came from?

6. Ripken - 11,551 ABs, around 2,000 different batting stances.

7. Smith - Still walking in from the bullpen. Take your time Lee Arthur.

8. Trammell - Not here due to the managing that's for sure.

Apologies to the rest. Your name on the ballot reminds me of the good things you did. Well maybe not Bobby Witt but his starts were entertaining all the same.
   183. Tiboreau Posted: January 03, 2007 at 08:17 PM (#2273275)
Bert Blyleven
Goose Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Cal Ripken Jr.
Alan Trammell
   184. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 03, 2007 at 08:20 PM (#2273278)
Two comments (sorry to the ballot counters, we should move all discussion over to the discussion thread, it can be found on the HOM page).

1. Fernandez and baines won't be 'griched' because they are borderline HOFres at best. They are better than the Tommy McCarthy's and Travis Jackson's, but that isnt' really saying much.

2. I really don't understand the argument that McGwire's record, steroids adise, is one of either a borderliner or a HOVG guy. Honestly, can someone explain this to me? Is it because he wasn't as good as Thomas or Bagwell? Is it because these people have no idea what they are talking about? Honestly, what's the argument?

He has as much career value as someone like Olerud with a peak far and above that of Olerud. Yes, he was only one or two dimensional (power and walks)but those are the two most important dimensions and Tony Gwynn was only one dimensional for most of his career.
   185. DanG Posted: January 03, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2273305)
if you don’t feel he really is a HOFer, then please refrain from posting that player’s name

I really don’t think John worded that very well.

Do the HOF voting rules instruct voters to consider the qualifications of those already inducted?

No, which (among other reasons) is why they’re an abomination.

Guys who got 75% before will get 95%; guys who got 50% will get elected.

Exactly. Than we could get rid of the VC and elect guys before they’re dead.

What are the new "standards" anyway?

Quoting myself: “the standard set by 70+ years of enshrining more than 220 players.”

Everyone better than the worst player inducted?

Nobody buys that one.

Only players better than the median player inducted?

No, this should also be obvious. We’re looking for the level at which most of the eligible players are in the Hall. My reckoning pegs it near the Hall’s 20th percentile; I believe that anyone who does a careful analysis will reach a similar conclusion. IOW, if a player is better than the 43rd to 47th worst players enshrined, then he should get your vote.

Everyone who cares at least a little about the subject has some idea of what their personal hall should look like, for legitimate reasons, and they should vote accordingly.

OK, I admit that the idea of sublimating your personal notion of greatness to the consensus of decades of HOF voting is my own notion of how to approach the issue in a just manner.
   186. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 03, 2007 at 08:57 PM (#2273321)
We’re looking for the level at which most of the eligible players are in the Hall. My reckoning pegs it near the Hall’s 20th percentile; I believe that anyone who does a careful analysis will reach a similar conclusion. IOW, if a player is better than the 43rd to 47th worst players enshrined, then he should get your vote.

Or, we could look at the fact that 220 players have been enshrined in 70 years, conclude that the de facto standard is to induct 3 players per year, vote for Ripken, Gwynn, and Gossage, and be perfectly satisfied that we have voted consistent with "the standard set by 70+ years of enshrining more than 220 players."
   187. DanG Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:05 PM (#2273330)
Or, we could look at the fact that 220 players have been enshrined in 70 years, conclude that the de facto standard is to induct 3 players per year, vote for Ripken, Gwynn, and Gossage, and be perfectly satisfied that we have voted consistent with "the standard set by 70+ years of enshrining more than 220 players."


That only works if you can convince 75% of the other voters to replicate your ballot. Not likely. For the BBWAA to start to induct three per year consistently, the average ballot will need to be full, or very nearly.
   188. Chris Cobb Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:12 PM (#2273338)
This discussion reminds me of why the rank order ballot with 15 names required and fixed induction schedule are SO good for the Hall of Merit!
   189. sunnyday2 Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:18 PM (#2273347)
>Also why should guys on the bubble be allowed in?

50-75 of them already have. Should guys who retired after 1970 be the only ones who don't have that chance?
   190. sunnyday2 Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:20 PM (#2273351)
>Also why should guys on the bubble be allowed in?

50-75 of them already have. Should guys who retired after 1970 be the only ones who don't have that chance?

>Only players better than the median player inducted?

Even this would allow some of the bubble candidates in.
   191. DavidFoss Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:20 PM (#2273352)
This discussion reminds me of why the rank order ballot with 15 names required and fixed induction schedule are SO good for the Hall of Merit!

Don't forget the never-expiring candidacies.
   192. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2273354)
For the BBWAA to start to induct three per year consistently, the average ballot will need to be full, or very nearly.

Actually, if I did the math right, with 32 names on the ballot, if every voter randomly selected 10 names to put on his ballot, you'd expect almost exactly 3 names to show up on 75% of the ballots. Given that there are always going to be 1-2 guys who will appear on everybody's ballot and 10-15 guys who will appear on no one's ballot, the reality is that, if every BBWAA member listed 10 guys on his ballot, something more like 6-7 guys per year would be inducted.
   193. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:37 PM (#2273381)
TDF,

That was a very well expressed post (#179), even if I disagree with it. I've been over the points you raise with others many times, and other than to reiterate that (1) I don't equate steroids with amps or spitballs; (2) I don't see the congressional hearings as having violated any substantive rights---McGwire is not being punished for his evasiveness either by Congress, the courts or by baseball itself, and his loss of reputation is 100% self-inflicted; and (3) I plead guilty to assuming that McGwire's evasiveness before Congress represented well informed legal advice rather than any conscious act of moral or political defiance, I don't feel the need to rehash the reasoning behind those positions for the umpteenth time. This is one of those cases where I think we'll just have to acknowledge our different starting points and leave it at that. But I do respect your consistency and willingness not to engage in namecalling or irrelevant non sequiturs. And I do recognize that there will never be a final, definitive answer to all this. But not wanting to find out whatever we can about the users is not going to make our opinions better informed. To me this principle is self-evident: The more we know, the better. And if our knowledge is imperfect or decontextualized, try to fill in the gaps instead of complaining about its imperfections. Don't just throw up our hands in despair.
   194. DanG Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:37 PM (#2273382)
Given that there are always going to be 1-2 guys who will appear on everybody's ballot and 10-15 guys who will appear on no one's ballot

Check these. Nobody has ever appeared on everybody's ballot. In the past decade the leading vote getter has averaged 86%. In addition, there are typically 5-6 guys receiving zero or one vote, not "10-15".

Also, voters don't vote randomly, so you need to fix that assumption for any calculations to be plausible.

Hope this helps.
   195. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 03, 2007 at 09:45 PM (#2273387)
voters don't vote randomly

Perhaps you miss my point. This makes it MORE likely that a player will get 75%, not less.
   196. CrosbyBird Posted: January 03, 2007 at 10:23 PM (#2273426)
OK, I admit that the idea of sublimating your personal notion of greatness to the consensus of decades of HOF voting is my own notion of how to approach the issue in a just manner.

There is no such consensus. Writers submit full ballots and sparse ones.

You look at the aggregate of decades of voting and assume that to be some sort of indication of what an individual ballot looks like. That's simply not the case.
   197. jimd Posted: January 03, 2007 at 11:06 PM (#2273471)
Actually, if I did the math right, with 32 names on the ballot, if every voter randomly selected 10 names to put on his ballot, you'd expect almost exactly 3 names to show up on 75% of the ballots.

Not quite close. If every voter selected 10 names to put on his ballot, you'd expect the average candidate to receive 10/32 (31.2%) of the votes. The chance of someone getting elected is practically non-existent. (Assuming about 500 votes cast, the electoral threshold is about 20 standard deviations from the mean.)
   198. jimd Posted: January 03, 2007 at 11:08 PM (#2273472)
If every voter selected 10 names

If every voter randomly selected 10 names...

Forgot one KEY word.
   199. jimd Posted: January 03, 2007 at 11:11 PM (#2273475)
ba-ba-bump
   200. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 03, 2007 at 11:22 PM (#2273485)
jimd, you are correct. My apologies. I had brain-lock and thought that the odds of appearing on 3 ballots out of 4 voters would extend to 3/4 of any number of voters. Obviously, that's wrong, and given what I do for a living, that's really embarassing.

I will now leave this topic, which ideally should be in the 'Ballot Discussion' not the 'Ballot' thread anyway.
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