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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2007 BTF Hall of Fame Ballot Discussion

We’ll have one week of discussion and then the ballot thread will be posted next Monday (the election will end on Jan. 8).

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*.

Just to make sure everyone knows the rules, as we did last year, each ballot should follow BBWAA rules. That means you can have up to 10 players on your ballot in no particular order. Write-in’s are acceptable to add to your ballot, but as in reality, they wont count (sorry, Dan :-).

* 1st-year candidates

** Last year of eligibility

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 12, 2006 at 12:40 AM | 146 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 02:27 AM (#2269047)
hot topics
   2. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 27, 2006 at 03:21 AM (#2269073)
I want to first say that I hope we are going to do seperate the results as all of BTF and the HOM, I think the two different results are interesting.


Here is a meta-list, i.e. players I could one day support for the HOM. I won't vote for all of these guys.

Belle - Nice peak, probably deserves some strike credit for '94/'95
Blyleven - The usual reasons that BTF guys love him
Gossage - Only Rivera and Wilhelm were better
Gwynn - A little overrated but still great and one of my favorite players
Mattingly - The George Sisler of the 1980's, better fielder though
McGwire - I dont' care about the supposed steroid use, easy HOFer
Ripken - in the top 4 SS's ever, as high as #2 (though I prefer Vaughn)
Trammell - He isn't Ripken, which seems to be the problem. I don't see how he isn't one of the 12-15 best however. Probable better than Ozzie
Murphy - Nice peak and hanging on too long shouldnt' hurt him. But was his peak high enougha nd did he do enough outside of it?
Parker - I like him better than Rice or Dawson, best peak of the bunch.

Belle, Murphy, and Parker are the three least likely to get my vote as i keep being immediately impressed by their peaks and then realizing that there isn't much else. Belle is the best of the group.

As for the rest, I am no friend of Rice and Dawson. Both are VERY overrated IMO. especially Dawson. Tommy John is interesting but not quite my cup of tea.

How many other serious candidates are there?
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: December 27, 2006 at 03:37 AM (#2269084)
Hoo, I've got Gwynn Ripken Gossage Blyleven Trammell.
Gotta give Lee Smith a look.

As for McGwire - we vote by Hall of MERIT or Hall of FAME rules?
   4. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 03:38 AM (#2269085)
I want to first say that I hope we are going to do seperate the results as all of BTF and the HOM, I think the two different results are interesting.

The vote will be a combined one, Mark, though we will also have separate tallies of HoM and non-HoM voters.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 03:39 AM (#2269086)
As for McGwire - we vote by Hall of MERIT or Hall of FAME rules?

HOF rules, Howie, but with a HoM brain. ;-)
   6. karlmagnus Posted: December 27, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#2269090)
Blyleven, Ripkin, McGwire, Gwynn (Beckley, without the power). Gossage, Belle and Trammell are near misses. Mattingly and Murphy a bit further off.
   7. Srul Itza Posted: December 27, 2006 at 03:53 AM (#2269092)
Is this a more general thread in which all can participate? I abstain from HOM threads because I have no "system" for rating and comparing every player from the beginning of play; and because it looks like more work than play. I do enough work.

If it IS a general thread, here are my HOFers:

Cal Ripken, Jr.: The streak overshadows the fact that he was a great fielding short-stop who hit with power. Take away the streak and he is still a no-brainer.

Tony Gwynn: Another no-brainer. A great fielder until he began to look like Fielder. A great hitter. A good guy.

Goose Gossage: A better reliever than every reliever now in the Hall but one (Hoyt). Those of us who saw him pitch know he belongs among the immortals.

Bert Blyleven: Far from an inner circle guy, but well within the standards for the Hall of Fame. The Ks, the Shut outs, the post season performance. His plaque would stand for all the guys who made their living with a fantastic curve ball.


Alan Trammel: For me, a borderline guy. For others here, a no-brainer. They have talked me around on him, based on a thorough analysis of his career.

Andre Dawson: Of all the true borderline guys, he is the only one who, based on all of his tools and positional adjustment, plus his intangibles as a player, squeeks past the borderline for me. I don't expect him to get elected, but I wanted to give him my "down ballot" support.

------------------------

Of course, this thread will devolve into a McGwire thread at some point. That would be a shame. Maybe instead of re-hashing it, we could all just throw in a citation from an earlier thread, and let it go at that. So for me, please see Post 582..
   8. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: December 27, 2006 at 04:08 AM (#2269098)
I'd vote for 10 players, even if they don't deserve it, so:

1) Tony Gwynn -- Duh.

2) Cal Ripken Jr. -- Duh.

3) Bert Blyleven -- I think he's done enough.

4) Goose Gossage -- Shoulda gone in before Sutter.

5) Alan Trammell -- Who would you rather have for a 10-year period -- Tram or Ozzie? Even if people pick Ozzie, I don't think there's enough of an advantage to warrant an 80-percent voting difference. Lou Whitaker got an even bigger shaft, even though he's comparable to Sandberg.

6) Harold Baines -- Didn't have a below-average year with the bat until after age 40. A lot of partial seasons, unfortunately.

7) Andre Dawson -- Low OBP is a knock, but during his peak he was one of the most dynamic ballplayers of his era. Still fairly productive with bad knees, and the DH didn't bail him out until Age 38.

8) Dale Murphy -- Hard to find a better player between 1982 and 1987.

9) Tommy John -- Three top-five Cy Young finishes along with a long career.

10) Jose Canseco -- Long career, hit over 500 homers, stole 400 bases, durable, exciting, and memorable*.

*HOF opinion formed in 1989.
   9. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2269103)
Is this a more general thread in which all can participate?

Anybody can participate, Srul, though we're only discussing the players this week. Next Tuesday (if I'm feeling okay, I might post it on New Years Day :-) starts the election.

I abstain from HOM threads because I have no "system" for rating and comparing every player from the beginning of play; and because it looks like more work than play. I do enough work.

There is a lot of work, but it's more a labor of love than drudgery.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: December 27, 2006 at 04:25 AM (#2269105)
I agree it would be tough to walk in 'now' and vote HOM, although admittedly the last 3-plus real-life years have honed the old-timer field to fewer than 100 and realistically to 25 to 50 (depending on one's fortitude).

We probably DO want to further encourage Srul and others to enter this particular thread and next week's vote, somehow.
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 04:46 AM (#2269111)
We probably DO want to further encourage Srul and others to enter this particular thread and next week's vote, somehow.

That has always been our intention since the first time that we did this two years ago, Howie. It's always fun seeing new faces on our side of the fence at this time of the year.
   12. frannyzoo Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:02 AM (#2269120)
I'd love to be one of those HOM voter guys, but I never had the Latin...

In my HOF

1. Tony Gwynn. Interesting that Gwynn's age 37 year (1997) had him putting up an OPS+ of 156 in 651 PAs. In comparison, Dave Parker's 37th year (1988) was a 103 in 400 or so PAs. I think HOF voting has turned into too much about longevity (and those concomitant records), but Gwynn was both a consistently great hitter and capable of having a late career year that was a CAREER YEAR. As was said before, duh.

2. Bert Blyleven. For all the reasons I've read over the last two or three years here.

Out of my HOF

3. Cal Ripken, Jr. I'm sorry, I'm not seeing it (and yeah, I never really cared much for the guy either). I'm trying to think of someone who deserves more discredit for staying around too long, and I'm drawing a blank (I know others here will fill in that blank). One might be tempted by the "he led to the ARod generation of SS" argument but there are better hitting SSs in the Hall, Arky Vaughn, e.g.. After a killer season in '91, everything else is just blah...for ten years.

Others...
Trammell: liked him more than Ripken, still not HOF worthy.
Gossage: Sutter shouldn't have been voted in, so the "he's better than Sutter" argument doesn't work with me.
McGwire: I'm waiting to see what shakes out there. Full disclosure by MLB on the whole Era would help on many levels, including this one.
Murphy: not quite, and my PHOF is small.
Buhner: just mentioning him because I'm a M's fan and nobody else will.
   13. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:20 AM (#2269131)
I'm trying to think of someone who deserves more discredit for staying around too long

...

After a killer season in '91, everything else is just blah...for ten years


He deserves discredit for having a 96 OPS+ as a SS/3B?
   14. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: December 27, 2006 at 06:13 AM (#2269166)
I don't tend to analyze the numbers with a bazillion different rating systems. I tend to be "small hall".
IN:
1. Tony Gwynn: Really a no-brainer.

2. Cal Ripken Jr.: Ditto. The streak helped, but he was a fantastic player at a premium defensive position.

3. Mark McGwire: I've made my peace with the steroid thing.

4. Alan Trammell: I just think if your one of the top 10-15 at your position, all time, you should make the cut.

5. Goose Gossage: I agree, he should have gotten in ahead of Sutter.

NEAR MISSES:

Bert Blyleven: I wrote a lengthy piece last year at this time, and haven't seen anything to change my mind. He was quite good for a very long time, and I always enjoyed watching him. If he'd put up those numbers in a shorter career, and had gotten into a few AS games and more Cy Young votes, I'd be more comfortable voting for him. It wouldn't be a travesty if he got in.

The law firm of Belle, Parker, Dawson & Rice:You can probably find about 24 ways to rank the four of them, and I'm not sure any of them would be wrong. But they are all on the outside looking in.
   15. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: December 27, 2006 at 06:27 AM (#2269178)
3. Cal Ripken, Jr. I'm sorry, I'm not seeing it (and yeah, I never really cared much for the guy either). I'm trying to think of someone who deserves more discredit for staying around too long, and I'm drawing a blank (I know others here will fill in that blank). One might be tempted by the "he led to the ARod generation of SS" argument but there are better hitting SSs in the Hall, Arky Vaughn, e.g.. After a killer season in '91, everything else is just blah...for ten years.


Over 11 seasons Ripken was a 126 OPS+ hitter playing stellar defense at *THE* premium position in baseball. He had 113.3 WARP3 by then, 10.4 per season (if you remove his rookie year, it's 113.9, 11.4 per), so he's already a pretty slam dunk HoMer, and then adds a bunch of above-average seasons (5.5 WARP3 per for another decade). It lowers his OPS+ to 112 but that's not negative.
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: December 27, 2006 at 06:30 AM (#2269181)
I wasn't gonna vote for that Ripken guy either. I mean, there's at least 2 SSs in the history of the MLs who were better.
   17. WillYoung Posted: December 27, 2006 at 07:31 AM (#2269206)
My ballot:
Bert Blyleven
Rich Gossage
Tony Gwynn*
Mark McGwire*
Dave Parker
Cal Ripken, Jr.*
Alan Trammell
   18. frannyzoo Posted: December 27, 2006 at 08:29 AM (#2269216)
Better SSs than Ripken:

Wagner
Vaughan
Banks
Yount

Roughly equal (fielding, not so sure about)
Cronin
Appling
G. Davis

I realize it's still a small number, but then there's only roughly 20 SSs in the HOF, and the merit of several of them have been called into question, as I understand it. Let's just say there's more than two. I also realize I'm arguing a minority position here regarding the guy, but I really do think he's over-hyped in large part due to that stupid streak. And it was stupid, imho, much like what's happened to all the career records (home runs, etc.) Showboat marketing that doesn't help the team squat (e.g., Barry Bonds 2007).

And hey, at least we're not talking about McGwire and the steroids thing.
   19. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 27, 2006 at 09:30 AM (#2269225)
I don't know franny, I see the greatest SS's ever as:

Peak
1. Wagner
2. Rodriguez
3. Vaughan
4. Ripken

Career

1. Wagner
2. George Davis
3. Ripken

I really think he was that good, and I don't care much about the streak.

I think the problem with Ripken is that too many people compare him to other power hitters instead of other shortstops. He had about 4000 more PA than Cronin - so I don't really see the 119-112 OPS+ advantage as a big deal, I'll take the 4000 PA (I realize the true advantage here is a little lower, due to the shorter schedules). FRAA considers them equal as SS (according to rate), but Ripken has a huge edge because he did it over 459 more games (not to mention another 600 at 3B).

Appling had the same OPS+, but is about 2600 PA behind, and Ripken has him by over 100 FRAA.

Davis has a solid case. 121 OPS+, long career (10000+ PA with short schedules most of his career) and equal to Ripken as a SS.

But to be that high on both lists - that's an all-time great player, any way you slice it. Ripken's 1983-84 and 1991 are legendary seasons. GG quality SS with OPS+ in the 140s and a 162?!

And while a few of the 20 SS's currently in the Hall of Fame certainly were poor selections, there are just as many who have been left out that shouldn't be, so I think that's a red herring . . .
   20. Rusty Priske Posted: December 27, 2006 at 02:29 PM (#2269258)
Alphabetical:

Harold Baines
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Tony Gwynn
Tommy John
Mark McGwire
Dave Parker
Jim Rice
Cal Ripken Jr.
Alan Trammell
   21. DL from MN Posted: December 27, 2006 at 03:52 PM (#2269298)
Ernie Banks better than Ripken?! puhlease

I'll go alphabetical also

Bert Blyleven
Goose Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Mark McGwire
Cal Ripken Jr.
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

Possibly Albert Belle, Andre Dawson, Tony Fernandez, Orel Hershiser. I haven't run the numbers yet.
   22. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 27, 2006 at 04:43 PM (#2269331)
It's funny that we've basically gotten up to the point right before any of this year's candidates are HoM eligible. I have a feeling my ballot could look quite different next year.

Well, I have 8 guys left from last year's ballot, which makes things crowded. Here's how I see them off the top of my head:

Ripken/Gwynn - Absolute no-brainers

Trammell/Gossage/Blyleven - Strong holdover candidates, no real question

McGwire - I will not disqualify him for steroid use, although I do think it should deflate his numbers a bit. How much is hard to say. I will probably vote for him

John - I think he's qualified by the standards of the HoF and will keep supporting him

Parker/Dawson/Murphy - I kind of have them clumped together as relatively equal. Since I like to support induction on principle and fill out my ballot, I'm willing to have them round it out

Belle - I'm not that much of a peak guy, but his is quite strong. I voted for him last year and may well again

That's 11, so I need to do more work. I don't see any of the other new candidates as being really close to the ballot off the top of my head, since I'm not giving Canseco any "squealer's credit" like some sportswriters. But Baines, Bonilla, Fernandez and Hershiser probably at least deserve a once-over. I should also look at Concepcion again - I'm intrigued by Dan's ideas, although I'm cheap and don't wish to subscribe to his newsletter.
   23. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:12 PM (#2269349)
One comment before my list: I like to look at how many above average seasons a player had, and the quality of those seasons. I think it's a nice compromise between peak and career evaluations. For example, Ripken had 4-5 MVP level seasons, 7-8 more "allstar" seasons, and about 4 more seasons where he was an above average player. That's 16-17 seasons in which he made a significant contribution to his team. By comparison, Trammell had 3-4 MVP level seasons, 5-6 more allstar seasons, and 3 above average seasons. (this is just a quick and dirty analysis based on scanning BBREF and BPRO, so it's far from perfect)

1. Cal Ripken Jr.: No brainer. If frannyzoo isn't joking, he's out of his mind. The second or third best SS of all time.

2. Tony Gwynn: Again, no brainer.

3. Bert Blyleven: Excellent starter for a long period of time. I think he easily qualifies.

4. Goose Gossage: One of the top 2-3 relievers in baseball history. Far better than Sutter (a terrible selection IMO).

5. Mark McGwire: This is tricky. I'm torn re steroids, but, ultimately, I can't see voting against him given that (a) he was never actually caught violating the rules, and (b) there's no way to know how many other players of his era were also juiced.

6. Alan Trammell: Easily one of the top 15 SSs in history (maybe top 10), which makes him a no brainer IMO. He wasn't as good as Ripken, but that's not the standard.
   24. rawagman Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:12 PM (#2269350)
I've run through the numbers and compared them to my relative in/out line as I've established in my PHOM.

In order (non-exact) of the strength of their candidacy:
1)Tony Gwynn
2)Cal Ripken (almost interchangeable)
3)Dale Murphy
4)Rich Gossage
5)Bert Blyleven
6)Mark McGwire
7)Don Mattingly (I'm almost surprised at how much I like him)
In, but it's close:
8)Andre Dawson
9)Alan Trammell
10)Jim Rice
Out, but it's close
Tony Fernandez
Bret Saberhagen
Dave Concepcion
Albert Belle
   25. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:14 PM (#2269352)
BTW, of the remaining guys, the closest IMO is Dawson. Lots of good seasons, including a pretty good peak as a CF. I'm not sold at this point, but I could go either way.
   26. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:19 PM (#2269356)
I don't understand the support for guys like Mattingly and Murphy. Each had fewer than 10 full seasons in which they were above average players. And they weren't historically great in any of their good seasons.
   27. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2269386)
Alphabetically:

Albert Belle - Killer peak, and career ended early due to injury.
Bert Blyleven - For the reasons Saberheads have said for the past few years.
Rich Gossage - Far better than Sutter, probably the 2nd or 3rd best pure reliever ever.
Tony Gwynn - Next to "Pure hitter" in Webster's dictionary is a picture of Gwynn. Played excellent defense in his prime as well.
Tommy John - Not just for what he did on the field, but for pioneering something that has kept the careers of several HOF'ers to be going.
Don Mattingly - Sisler-esque, with better defense. A mix of Sisler's batting prime with Beckley's defensive prime. Another career shortened due to injury.
Mark McGwire - Steroids notwithstanding, the most feared hitter of his era. Unless he was proven to use steroids, I cannot see keeping him out.
Cal Ripken - He is overrated, but was still damn good. Peak/prime (at the time of Ripken's career) only eclipsed by Wagner and Vaughan amongst SS. The prototype for the 21st century shortstop.
Alan Trammell - Underrated as all get out - he was right there with Ripken in his prime.

OUT

Rice - No. Played in hitter's park, overrated by traditonal metrics.
Dawson - If his OBP wasn't in the low .300's, I'd have him right there with Belle, in terms of injury credit. It wasn't, and it can be argued his hack-tastic ways hurt his teams.
Hershiser - Great peak, nothing else. He's closer than the two above him.
Concepcion - Great fielder, but I wasn't an advocate of Mazeroski in, so I can't advocate Davey.
Murphy - Probably the closest to my ballot than anyone not on it. A little more defense gets him even closer.
Parker - Would be more sympathetic if he didn't snort his career up his nose.
   28. BDC Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:59 PM (#2269387)
It's not that exciting a HOF ballot, really. I would vote for Ripken, Gwynn, and Blyleven, and if I remember to show up next week, perhaps I will :)

Ripken: everything else is just blah...for ten years

You could say the same for quite a few legitimate HOFers.
   29. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 27, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#2269389)
Goose, Gwynn, Ripken, Trammell.

Everyone else is either peak without Peak or career without Career.
   30. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 27, 2006 at 11:57 PM (#2269650)
Better SSs than Ripken:

Banks


No penalty for the second half of his career? He deserves more than Ripken.
   31. DavidFoss Posted: December 28, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2269690)
FYI
2006 tallies for returning players:

Jim Rice 337 64.8
Rich Gossage 336 64.6
Andre Dawson 317 61.0
Bert Blyleven 277 53.3
Lee Smith 234 45.0
Jack Morris 214 41.2
Tommy John 154 29.6
Steve Garvey 135 26.0
Alan Trammell 92 17.7
Dave Parker 75 14.4
Dave Concepcion 65 12.5
Don Mattingly 64 12.3
Orel Hershiser 58 11.2
Dale Murphy 56 10.8
Albert Belle 40 7.7

I know at some point these were included with the ballots, but I'm not sure anymore.
   32. DavidFoss Posted: December 28, 2006 at 01:02 AM (#2269691)
Oops... forgot the code:

Jim Rice       337  64.8  
Rich Gossage   336  64.6  
Andre Dawson   317  61.0  
Bert Blyleven  277  53.3  
Lee Smith      234  45.0  
Jack Morris    214  41.2  
Tommy John     154  29.6  
Steve Garvey   135  26.0  
Alan Trammell   92  17.7  
Dave Parker     75  14.4  
Dave Concepcion 65  12.5  
Don Mattingly   64  12.3  
Orel Hershiser  58  11.2  
Dale Murphy     56  10.8  
Albert Belle    40   7.7 
   33. Lenny Posted: December 28, 2006 at 02:34 AM (#2269728)
I'll go with:

Ripken
Gwynn
McGwire
Gossage
Blyleven
John
And just for the fun of it, Garvey
   34. Juan V Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:06 AM (#2269736)
Prelim. I have eight players, counting the Big Mac (without any discounts), and I'll rank them, HOM style. BTW, I'm only using the OPS+/ERA+ tools, with a little glance at the uberstats and even considering defensive reputation, so the rankings between players are different than what would result from a rigurous HOM examination.

1) Ripken
2) McGwire
3) Gossage
4) Gwynn
5) Blyleven
6) Trammell
7) Murphy
8) Belle
   35. Rob_Wood Posted: December 28, 2006 at 08:05 AM (#2269862)
Prelim ballot:

Sure things --
Cal Ripken
Mark McGwire
Tony Gwynn

Others I'd vote for --
Bert Blyleven
Alan Trammell

Others I almost voted for --
Rich Gossage
Andre Dawson
Tommy John
   36. rawagman Posted: December 28, 2006 at 08:57 AM (#2269867)
Two interesting comparisons I found when putting this year's candidates through my system, Tony Fernandez is very similar to Vern Stephens and Bret Saberhagen is eerily similar (in overall value - still somewhat similar in career shape) to Dizzy Dean.

Albert Belle is more along the lines of a Frank Howard type value player. Maybe a bit less career, a little more defensive ability - but still similar.
   37. mulder & scully Posted: December 28, 2006 at 10:20 AM (#2269879)
HoM style
1. Gwynn
2. Ripken
3. McGwire
4. Grich (write in, not my fault the Hall of Fame is bunch of F*** Ups.)(Last year to write in as this is his 20th year after retirement.)
5. Gossage
6. Blyleven
7. Trammell
8. Whitaker (write in, not my fault the Hall of Fame is bunch of F*** Ups.)
9. Darrell Evans (write in, not my fault the Hall of Fame is bunch of F*** Ups.)
10. Dewey Evans (write in, not my fault the Hall of Fame is bunch of F*** Ups.

Lee Smith would be the only other candidate I would vote for.
10. Lou Whitaker
   38. mulder & scully Posted: December 28, 2006 at 10:21 AM (#2269880)
Delete the 10th place Whitaker vote, please.
   39. Cowboy Popup Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#2269904)
Gwynn - Gwynn's batting average was 8 points higher then the league OBP over the course of his career. Awesome. Stole 56 bases one year, which amuses me because I only saw the end of his career.

Ripken - Dial's defensive numbers convinced me that either he or Vaughan is the second greatest SS of all time. Also, Zoo, I can't see how you can discredit Ripken for hanging on and then go ahead and call Banks better then him. At least Ripken contributed defensively at important positions his entire career.

Trammel - I have a thing for guys who can hit and play SS. He wasn't consistent at the plate year to year, but his good years were really good. His 1987 must have been awesome to watch. Good D, 4 silver sluggers, and a great 1984 postseason all combine to make Trammel a HOFer.

Fernandez - I'm voting for him because I think he'll be way underrated by everyone. Does he deserve to be in? Probably not. But with his glove (Bpro and word of mouth, don't ZR or anything) he had a close to Hall worthy five year peak early in his career (86-90). Finished with an OPS+ of 101 as at least a plus defender up the middle and 2278 hits. He's a lot closer then people give him credit for.

Blyleven - Wasn't gonna vote for him, but changed my mind while looking at his BBRef page. He struck alot of guys out and pitched alot of innings. 14-12 W-L record in 1977 with a 151 ERA+? That's up there with Milwood having a losing record and winning the ERA title. Top ten in ERA+ 11 times from 1971 to 1989, 1st in 73. That's what pushed me into voting for him. Also, 287 wins is alot.

Thought about it but won't vote for:

McGwire - I haven't made up my mind yet and for some reason all the name calling in the steroids threads hasn't shifted my opinion one way or the other yet.

Rice - Seriously, I don't get it with this guy.

Dawson - I really like monster years out of my outfielders. Dawson by my count had one monster year (88 and 83 are close, but I can't get over the near league average OBP. Only played center for a full season 5 times (although he almost played half his games there). Just not enough high points for me overall to put him in with most of his games played in RF.

Belle - A couple years ago, Bpro's WARP convinced me that Belle's peak was as good as Koufax's and I thought he should be elected. It wasn't and I don't think he should be elected anymore. Without that hip disease, he probably would have retired a couple years ago and we'd all be worrying about whether his attitude issues would keep a worthy player out of the Hall.

Baines - Pretty close to 3000 hits. Played corner and DH positions his entire career and only had 4 top ten OPS+ finishes, two top tens in RBI. Led the league in slugging once, and it was his only top ten finish. He did receive alot of IBB, but that just doesn't make up for his lack of any HOF peak type seasons (other then 84 when he could still field well) and sort of puzzles me.

O'neil - I still have my O'neil jersey. Had a pretty good run from 93-95, Dial shows him as one of the best RFers of the last 20 years defensively, he's got a batting title, four rings with a decent batting line, and he set his career high in SBs at the age of 38, when he retired, also becoming baseball's oldest 20/20 player that year. That said, he's not really close, all the defense in the world can't make up for a RFer with a kind of short career and a 120 OPS+. It's funny that he was such a big man (6'4 or so) and yet he never really hit for the kind of power he should have been able to with his body. IIRC, he was supposed to be a pitcher, but the Reds converted him because he had such tremendous power potential, based on what they saw him do in batting practice.
   40. DavidFoss Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2269910)
Blyleven - Wasn't gonna vote for him, but changed my mind while looking at his BBRef page. He struck alot of guys out and pitched alot of innings. 14-12 W-L record in 1977 with a 151 ERA+?

I'm preaching to the choir here with Blyleven, but bb-ref's "Neutralize Stats" link sure is kind to him.

I know that link has causes some very odd results with 19th century pitchers (I tried to work out what was going wrong there, but didn't figure it out, maybe I'll try again later). For modern pitchers, in addition to scaling ERA appropriately it figures W/L using Pythag. Blyleven no longer looks like Kaat & John after neutralization (and guys like Morris and Burdette sure take a beating).

Anyhow, the choir already new that, but perhaps that link will win over some new converts.
   41. DL from MN Posted: December 28, 2006 at 06:15 PM (#2270004)
I ran the numbers, I'm underrating middle infielder hitting and I'll be adjusting my next HoM ballot accordingly.

HoM Style ballot
1) Blyleven - tremendous pitching value over lots and lots of innings.
2) Gwynn - great hitter, decent fielder
3) McGwire - no juice discount
4) Ripken - best SS of his generation
5) Gossage - one of the top relief aces
6) Saberhagen - a surprise here, his PRAR and PRAA are better than Gossage
7) Trammell - top middle infielder comparable to Pee Wee Reese

end HoF ballot - there are too many non-eligibles better to waste a vote on the rest

8) John - just misses the cut, low peak
9) Dawson - I see him as comparable to Willard Brown
10) Lee Smith - lower than Rollie Fingers but better than Sutter who was a mistake
11) Harold Baines
12) Albert Belle
13) Dave Concepcion
14) Dale Murphy
15) Dave Parker
16-20) Canseco, Mattingly, Rice, Hershiser, Fernandez
   42. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 28, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#2270149)
IN---The guys I'm voting for.

Bert Blyleven: I defy anyone to find 50 better pitchers than Blyleven based on on reasonable criteria. You can't do it. In fact, you probably can't find 40 better pitchers. For that matter even 30 is going to be tough. I don't get how any observer can deny him.

Andre Dawson: I used to oppose his candidacy, now I lean slightly to "in." He's the best CF of his league, then the best RF for a little bit. Long, long career, very productive for a long time, with lots of All-Star and MVP caliber years.

Rich Gossage: Best reliever since Wilhelm; only Rivera's close since then.

Tony Gwynn: Outstanding RF, too bad he couldn't keep the weight off, he might have hit .400 or racked up 4000 hits.

Mark McGwire: McGwire's borderline, believe it or not. He's just above it, and he's superior, IMO, to several HOF 1B: Beckley, Perez, Sisler, Terry, Kelly. His peak years are tasty, and his career is more than 300 WS. I'm aware of the elephant.

Cal Ripken, Jr.: I would reckon that there are two HOF SS types who Rikpen should be compared against for the honor of Third Best SS Ever. Wagner and Vaughan are not them. Instead it's Yount and Lloyd. Ripken and Yount are nearly identical, but because Ripken played SS longer, I prefer him to Yount. Lloyd's MLEs (lurkers and non-HOMites, please see his HOM thread) suggest very similar players. I probably lean slightly to Lloyd but I see it both ways. Call it a tie. The trick here is that A-Rod will soon blow by both of them. If the Rod returns to SS, which isn't out of the question, it'll be an easy win for him. If he never returns and plays a good while longer, it's an open issue.

Lee Smith: He's the dominant post-Sutter NL reliever with seasons in both the Gossage mode and the Rivera mode. I'm not comfy with this vote, because he's inferior to Gossage, but I prefer him to Rollie Findars.

Alan Trammell: I don't get the non-support for Trammell. He's not right on the borderline; he's a bit above it. He's basically got the same career as Barry Larkin in many respects. I don't care if he's the third-best SS of his time, he's a great player with a fine peak (particularly for his position) and a lengthy and valuable career.

BORDERLINE OUT---Guys I'm not voting for, but about whom I'm very unsure, and so I still might vote for them.

Albert Belle: I prefer him to Jim Rice all the way. Belle's stats are helped by park, but not nearly to the degree that Rice's are.

Bobby Bonilla: If you view him as a 3B, Bonilla's astonishingly close to the Hall and looks a lot like the Chipper Jones prototype. His sudden collapse in his mid-30s belies how good a player he was in his prime.

Dave Concepcion: He's really close, and Dan Rosenheck thinks he's in. ; ) I'm not quite on board with Dan, but I do think he's a HOVG member.

Dale Murphy: Basically Albert Belle with a little CF thrown in. Like Belle he's probably one peak season or two prime years away from induction. Unlike Garvey, however, he really was a nice guy.

Dave Parker: I struggle mightily with Parker. My HOM systems says he's an easy in. Why? He was the best player in his league for a little while; was best RF in his league for a longer while; had a few MVP type years; had plenty of All-Star type years; had a good long career with a few good seasons after his prime ended. But there's a little double counting that goes on in my system, and Parker's post-Coke years include only one legitimately good-to-great year (his 148 OPS in 1985) and just a couple other 110+ OPS years, which from a corner OF is mostly chopped liver. So his entire case comes down to the 1970s plus 1985 plus filler. Hmmmm.

Tony Fernandez: Same story as Concepcion, but I think he might have been a better player. The wrinkle here is that he had much more difficult intra-positional competition than Concepcion. There's two other things worth noting: the isolated 120 OPS+s late in his career...weird. But also Bill Madlock. When Madlock took Fernandez out, Sept 24, 1987, Tony was on pace for the best year of his young career. He was 26, and his OPS+ were trending upward in exactly the way you'd expect them to as a young player. After the injury, in 1988, Fernandez tanked and his OPS+ went under 100 for a good while. He wouldn't show much of a bat again until those 120 OPS+s. I can't prove it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Fernandez's was probably severely limited after Madlock's slide, and so I wonder if a HOF career was taken out too.

Orel Hershiser: Hershiser's five-six year prime from 1984-1989 is just ouststanding. He's got a very strong claim as the NL's best pitcher of that era, despite his own awful 1986 and the presence of Doc Gooden's 1985 and Mike Scott's 1986-1987. Particularly in those last three years, Orel emerged as the dominant pitcher in the senior circuit. Then he got hurt and left his fastball in the O.R., becoming a sinker/slider pitcher. He survived and even had some nice years in the 1991-2000 post-op period, but he never regained his stature or his stuff. So the question for me becomes whether or not his 1984-1989 dominance is enough to be "in." Frankly, it's close. You can make a reasonable argument that he's somewhat like Dizzy Dean with filler. But Dean is hardly a reasonable benchmark for election. Dean's a one-of-a-kind electee with a lot of "fame" buttressing his scant five years or so of performance. I could try to compare him to Koufax's six years, but he loses there pretty good because of 1986. So the peak + filler argument won't quite work. And while Hershiser would be a better selection than, say, Catfish Hunter, he's not really a guy who I can get behind and draw meaningful comparisons to.

Tommy John

Jim Rice: No way. He's George Foster, maybe a smidge better. The problem with Rice is that while you can apply the PF to him, it doesn't really adjust down enough. Here's his H/R splits:
HOME4075 AB207 2B208 HR320/374/546/920
ROAD
4150 AB166 2B174 HR277/330/459/798 


BB-ref says that his career PF was 107, but Rice is getting a 15% advantage in OPS. You can take any random year during Rice's career and the AL was netting out at a 3-5% home advantage in OPS+. I did a little fun-times figuring. If you ratchet Rice's H/R splits down to a 5% difference, his career line goes from
8225 AB373 2B382 HR298/352/502/8541459 RC 

to this
8225 AB337 2B354 HR284/338/471/8091308 RC 


I then used the SBE to find all the corners within 2000 PAs of Rice who had similar rate stats versus their leagues as Rice does with his home advantage reduced. Here's the list:

Willie Horton
Del Ennis
Tony Perez
Dave Winfield
George Hendrick
Andres Galarraga
Jim Bottomley
George Scott
Dave Parker
Bobby Bonilla
Rafael Palmeiro
Ed Konetchy

Three Hall of Famers. One is a mistake, Jim Bottomley. One is a seriously borderline selection, Tony Perez. Winfield is very good but despite the 3000 hits, he’s more like Billy Williams than Ted, closer to the borderline than the inner circle, plus he's got a lot more career value than Rice. Elsewhere, Parker is, in my mind, very similar to Rice, while Palmeiro is a better candidate given his longevity (depending on how you feel about the elephant in the ballpark). Konetchy is a long-forgotten star 1b of the deadball era, and slightly sub-borderline candidate. So when we take a more reasonable view of Rice’s totals, prick the Fenway balloon as it were, and compare his performance to his league and to other players against their leagues (instead of against raw, not relative, totals), the list is good, but it’s not screaming Hall of Fame.

The big-picture issue here is that Fenway f the 1970s and early 1980s boosts RH pull hitters tremendously and cuts off lefty pull hitters at the knees. If you look at Rice's H/R splits, he's gaining like 15% at home. If you reduce that to a more normal 5%, he's just a good corner, but no one getting HOF support. Hey, you can't be a big league slugger if you can't pull. I don't support Chuck Klein's election, nor Jim Rice's because pulling is not taking unique advantage of the park, it's de riguer for slugging. And as it turns out, Rice didn't pull quite enough.

enough commentary....

A LITTLE FURTHER OUT---Guys who I know are HOVG but who I also couldn't be convinced to vote for
Harold Baines
Ken Caminiti
Jose Canseco
Steve Garvey
Don Mattingly
Jack Morris
Bret Saberhagen

PLAIN OLD OUT
Dante Bichette
Scott Brosius
Jay Buhner
Eric Davis
Wally Joyner
Paul O’Neill
Devon White
Bbby Witt: I've mentioned it before, but Witt will get 1 or 0 votes, less than 5%, and drop off. Just like Lou Whitaker and Bobby Grich before him. Any system that equates Whitaker and Grich with Witt is funkin' crazy. And so are any voters that equate them.
   43. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 28, 2006 at 08:29 PM (#2270169)
I ranked 24 guys who I thought were borderline or better.

1. Ripken
2. Blyleven
3. Gwynn
4. Trammell
5. McGwire
6. Dawson
7. Gossage
8. Murphy
9. Parker
10. Belle
11. John
12. Mattingly
13. Concepcion
14. Fernandez
15. Hershiser
16. Smith
17. Saberhagen
18. Bonilla
19. O'Neill
20. Morris
21. Canseco
22. Caminiti
23. Baines
24. Rice

1-8 are definite yeses. 9-11 are borderline and I'm not sure about Smith yet. No on the rest.
   44. Kyle S Posted: December 28, 2006 at 08:53 PM (#2270200)
I don't understand why you'd discount Rice over and above the cut that a park factor takes. Sure, he may have benefited more than that, but the games the Sox won because of his hitting still counted in the standings, didn't they? I wouldn't penalize a pitcher with a great defense who lets the ball be put in play a ton - shouldn't he be rewarded for taking advantage of that great defense?
   45. DavidFoss Posted: December 28, 2006 at 09:17 PM (#2270219)
BB-ref says that his career PF was 107, but Rice is getting a 15% advantage in OPS.

Doesn't the PF calculation have a factor of 2 in there because a player only plays half their games at home? (with another small correction for no road games in the home park as well).

A career park factor of 107 means that his home park inflated scoring by about 14%. I don't know how that correlates with OPS's though as things can get a little weird in the calculations there ("OPS+" is a misnomer, its actually OBP+ plus SLG+ minus 100)

Plus, I agree with Kyle S about being able to take advantage of your surroundings. Still, he didn't dominate like Cravath or Klein did in that regard:

Top Ten OPS+ (*after* the heavy PF discount):
JR-1-4-5-6-6
GC
-1-1-2-3-4-7
CK
-1-2-3-3-6-9-9-10 


Jim Rice is not a good candidate because a career OPS+ of 128 is simply too small for a guy without a long career... not because of some home/road split thing.
   46. jimd Posted: December 29, 2006 at 12:07 AM (#2270391)
The problem with Rice is that while you can apply the PF to him, it doesn't really adjust down enough.

Jim Rice is not a good candidate because a career OPS+ of 128 is simply too small for a guy without a long career... not because of some home/road split thing.

Rice did not take unusual advantage of Fenway. My back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that he had a career 130 OPS+ at Fenway, and a 126 OPS+ on the road.
   47. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: December 29, 2006 at 01:27 AM (#2270478)
I'd love to be one of those HOM voter guys, but I never had the Latin...

LOL!!!!
Wow, another "Beyond the Fringe" fan! What are the odds? Way to go, frannyzoo -- now, if only your taste for shortstops was as good as your perception of comedy .... :-)
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: December 29, 2006 at 01:49 AM (#2270495)
Locks for me Gwynn, Ripken, Blyleven, McGwire, Trammel,

One I think I'll personally push myself over the edge Gossage,

And who I would really like to see discussed Dawson, Concepcion(I don't for a second think he belongs, but there is a seaming groundswell) Murphy, Belle (I lean towards Belle but not Murphy and find that hard to justify when adjusting for positional differences)

the rest just don't seem remotely like hof'ers to me (tommy john, Mattingly, Rice, Parker are about the only ones remaining with a chance--Lee Smith, no way one mistake like Bruce Sutter is too many)
   49. frannyzoo Posted: December 29, 2006 at 02:36 AM (#2270534)
Don: Glad I can bring back some some Peter Cook while also providing some derisive laughter concerning my turd in the Ripken punchbowl...a wee bit of "comfort the afflicted/afflict the comfortable" there I suppose.

Speaking of Ripken, interesting how the "he played SS longer" (i.e. Yount or Banks) has such power to some...and makes me wonder why Trammell hasn't gotten even more love here. For instance, Trammell had six years of OPS+ 130 or better, whereas Ripken only had four. The difference in career OPS+ is only 112 (Ripken) to 110 (Trammell). And Trammell played a better SS than Ripken during much of that time, imho. Not to mention having to sit in the dugout watching the Tigers during that 43-119 season in 2003. I say he gets some sort of Ted Williams "good player/bad manager" mojo for that, yet something tells me that's not helping his cause here for some reason.

I'm no Tigers fan, but think the Whitaker/Trammell duo perhaps deserve to split a plaque in Cooperstown. Maybe Ripken will have to split his by mentioning his brother at his induction speech.
   50. Chris Fluit Posted: December 29, 2006 at 03:12 AM (#2270543)
franny, Trammell's getting plenty of love here. Only two people haven't included him on their list of players they'd vote for and you're one of them. That's 18 for and only 2 against.
   51. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: December 29, 2006 at 05:52 AM (#2270666)
frannyzoo, Trammell's on my list too. I've got 8 so far:

Blyleven
Gossage
Gwynn
John
McGwire
Ripken
Smith
Trammell

If I go to 10, it'll be 2 from the outfield corps of Dawson/Murphy/Parker/Rice.

Your "hall" is probably a lot smaller than mine -- if Rip is at worst your 8th best shortstop and can't get in, it's minuscule.

On another note (and I'm going out of town tomorrow, so likely won't be responding till Monday), does the phrase "Rumble, rumble, rumble. Mutiny, mutiny, mutiny" ring a bell?
   52. DCW3 Posted: December 29, 2006 at 06:01 AM (#2270670)
I'd vote for six: Belle, Blyleven, Gwynn, McGwire, Ripken and Trammell. Dan Szymborski ought to be publishing an article in the next few days (I hope) that will explain my reasoning...
   53. rawagman Posted: December 29, 2006 at 09:33 AM (#2270740)
Can anyone explain why Dale Murphy is being snubbed?
Do people who value Jimmy Wynn so highly not think well of Dale Murphy?
Their career lengths and overall rate stats are very comparable. Murphy almost doubles him in ink and played in a very offense light era. Murphy also got hardware, was much better positionally (a true CF) and had immense acclaim while he was active. Now, he's forgotten.
He's my new Hugh Duffy.
   54. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 29, 2006 at 11:17 AM (#2270753)
Murphy doubles Wynn in ink because he played in the Launching Pad while Wynn played in the Astrodome and Dodger Stadium. One of the big reasons why I don't even consider ink.

Murphy's era was more like offensive neutral - Wynn's was lighter - especially when you consider the parks. Average park adjusted hitter for Murphy's era was .268/.336/.398 for Wynn it was .257/.323/.379.

I think both were league average CFs and Wynn played about a season more in CF than Murphy. Murphy played much more of his career outside of CF than Wynn did.

Wynn was a slightly better hitter, but Murphy played about 2 seasons longer. Their peaks are close . . . could go either way.

I think they are very, very close - I'd have a hard time if one got in and the other didn't.
   55. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 29, 2006 at 01:09 PM (#2270763)
Inner Circle

1. Ripken
2. Gwynn

[lower level, but still easily in]

3T. Blyleven
3T. Gossage

[marginal, but in]

5. Trammell


[too bad about the injury-shortened careers, but out]

Belle
Mattingly

[Hall of Very Good / alphabetical order]

Concepcion
Dawson
John
Morris
Parker
Rice
Smith

Hall of Shame
McGwire
   56. DavidFoss Posted: December 29, 2006 at 04:36 PM (#2270835)
Wynn was a slightly better hitter, but Murphy played about 2 seasons longer. Their peaks are close . . . could go either way.

Wynn's career was indeed two years shorter, but his 'prime' is two years longer. For guys without longevity, stuff like this really matters. Here's a simplistic OPS+ analysis:

JW-167-157-151-146-143-141-137-133-116-108-106
DM
-156-151-150-149-142-135-120-113-105-103-100 


Sure there's not a *huge* difference, but the difference is there and Wynn is clearly better. Currently, I don't vote for Wynn, but I see no problem with ranking Wynn above Murphy. Once you concede that Wynn is ranked above Murphy than its conceivable that the in/out line could very well be between them. (Wynn's biggest fans will disagree but I see both these guys as borderline guys)
   57. Juan V Posted: December 29, 2006 at 04:43 PM (#2270839)
I do see Wynn and Murphy as very similar. Wynn as the slightly better hitter, with is compensated by Murphy having more defense value. I keep Wynn in the middle of my HOM ballots, and will do likewise for Murphy when his time comes.

Murphy has turned out to be a very underrated player IMO. I simply can't understand voting for Rice over him, never mind a 55% difference. And he isn't getting much support here either.
   58. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 29, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2270846)
I have Wynn in the middle of my ballot and in the bottom third of the HOM. When Murphy becomes eligible, I iwll have him near or just on my ballot. I see him as anywhere from the bottom 20th of the HOM (i.e. just sneaking in) to one of the top 10-20 guys left out. Chances are I will not vote for him here (one of the weaknesses of this balloting system is that it makes one go a little conservative) but he is about a 45/55 shot to make my PHOM one day. Wynn is already there.
   59. DavidFoss Posted: December 29, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2270847)
And he isn't getting much support here either.

As a HOM voter, I'm not used to getting more than 2-3 elect-me votes a year... much less a whopping 10! :-) Basically after Ripken, Blyleven, Gwynn, McGwire, Gossage (and maybe Trammell), I want to kick back and wait for next year.

When he becomes HOM-eligible, it will be curious to see where Murph fits into the backlog.
   60. Juan V Posted: December 29, 2006 at 05:17 PM (#2270851)
More curiously, IIRC, he becomes eligible the same "year" as Yount/Brett/Ryan/Fisk, IIRC.
   61. sunnyday2 Posted: December 29, 2006 at 06:17 PM (#2270872)
Prelim

I'm personally a small hall guy. My personal HoF would have about the number of players who have been elected by the BBWAA, or about half as many as it actually has. However, this is not a vote for my personal, small hall, it is a vote for Cooperstown which is really two halls: A huge hall for pre-WWII days, a medium-sized hall for the brief interregnum 1945-1960, and a small hall for expansion/post-expansion era players. This sucks, by the way. The more recent players deserve to be measured against the same standards as before--and not the standard of the obvious mistakes of the VC, but against the realistic limit where pretty much all of the players above the line are in.

So in short I doubt that I would ever vote for fewer than 10 players, regardless of whether they are the best 10 not already in the HoF or not. There isn't a guy on this ballot who isn't better than some HoFers--well, OK, there are 3. But I will vote for the whole 10.

(My own small hall would go 4 deep for sure, maybe 7, no more. But for Cooperstown I would elect the top 10 easily and maybe all 15.)

Under consideration, in prelim order though I realize we won't be putting them in order officially:

1. Ripken--I see it. Best comp I can come up with is George Brett. IOW, he has no real comps, and there is no better SS not in the HoF.

2. McGwire--screw all the pompous moralizing. Comps are Mize and Greenberg. There is no eligible 1B who is better.

3. Gwynn--the greatest hitter of all-time? Well, not quite. Kaline, Crawford, Waner. There is no eligible RF who is better.

(gap)

4. Gossage. Fingers and Sutter. There are no eligible RPs who are more deserving.

5. Dawson--yes, really. Roush and Slaughter. There is no CF not in the HoF who is more deserving.

6. Trammell. No good comps--the really big hitting SSs (Ripken, Yount, Cronin) were better, the guys with similar value were your slappy types. Best I can do is Vern Stephens, which doesn't quite do Trammell justice. In a perfect world, I'd prefer Bill Dahlen at SS.

7. Blyleven. Sutton, Rixey, Lyons, for value obviously, not for style. There is no SP obviously more deserving though I could make a case for Bucky Walters or Eddie Cicotte.

8. Rice--I should have said, I'm more of a peak voter. Goslin, Minoso for value, not style, among LF.In RF, Slaughter and Winfield. Tim Raines is the only more deserving LF and he ain't eligible, though Minoso is virtually in a dead heat.

9. Parker. Not as good as Rice, Goslin, Minoso, Slaughter, Roush, Dawson, Winfield. More of a Klein, Flick, Keeler, Oliva. In a perfect world, I'd elect Oliva first.

10. Belle--best comp is Charley Keller. In a perfect world, Rice, Minoso and Shoeless Joe would go in first.

(Actually I might actually draw the line, even on a big hall, about here. Though, again, the next 5 would hardly be the worst HoFers.)

11. Mattingly. Cepeda, Keith Hernandez. McGwire, Dick Allen and Will Clark should all go first, though.

12. L. Smith. Comp is Gossage, though not nearly as good. Gossage obviously goes first, and I could argue Quiz as well. Like I said, I'm a peak voter.

13. Concepcion. Tinker, Maranville, Maury Wills are the comps. Dahlen, Glasscock, Vern Stephens and maybe Wills would go first.

14. Dale Murphy--not as good as Dawson. But comps are HoFers Averill, Duffy, Doby. Dawson, Pete Browning, Hines and Gore would go first among CF. In RF, Gwynn, Oliva and Parker, and Reggie Smith and Dewey Evans are riiiggghhhttt there. Bobby Bonds and Colavito are close.

15. Jack Morris--OK, so I used the last non-spot for a personal fave. Sue me. Long live the 7th game 1991. Comp is Vic Willis. Better than Chesbro, Hoyt, Pennock, Haines, Marquard. So Tony Fernandez and Tommy John are more deserving. And Bobby Bonilla and Baines and Canseco. So what? This is the 15th slot on a 10-man ballot. Deal with it. In a perfect world, Blyleven, Cicotte, Wes Ferrell, Dave Steib, Jim McCormick, Tommy Bond, Shocker, Bridges and Don Newcombe all go first. But they're not on the ballot.
   62. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 29, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#2270909)
Sure there's not a *huge* difference, but the difference is there and Wynn is clearly better.

I agree, David. Wynn packed as much career value as Murphy did in 1,000 less PA.
   63. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 29, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#2270912)
Murphy doubles Wynn in ink because he played in the Launching Pad while Wynn played in the Astrodome and Dodger Stadium. One of the big reasons why I don't even consider ink.

...or I, Joe.
   64. Andrew M Posted: December 29, 2006 at 09:57 PM (#2271050)
As of now:

Yes: Blyleven, Gwynn, McGwire, Ripkin, Trammell
Probably: Gossage
Possibly: Saberhagen, T. John, Murphy, Dawson
Probably Not: Concepcion
No: Everyone else
   65. Chris Fluit Posted: December 30, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#2271150)
New candidates who I would definitely vote for:
Cal Ripken Jr.
Tony Gwynn
Mark McGwire

Returning candidates who I would definitely vote for:
Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
"Goose" Gossage
Alan Trammell
Jack Morris
Jim Rice

Returning candidate who I debate about, but would probably vote for:
Lee Smith

That's nine, and that's probably it for me. I agree with sunnyday to an extent about trying to vote for as full a ballot as possible, but when I can't decide who that 10th player should be, I end up leaving it blank.

ps. I think that no single player has been hurt more by labor unrest than Harold Baines. He lost time in both '81 and again in '94/'95. Based on his steady performance, if he had played full seasons instead of partial seasons for those years, he would have definitely collected 3000 hits. He'd still be debated as a guy who played a lot of DH and was never an MVP-caliber player, but he'd certainly have a shot. For that reason alone, I'd probably go with Baines in that 10th sent. Ah, not probably. I will go with Baines in that 10th spot.

New candidate who I debated about, but would vote for:
Harold Baines
   66. Daryn Posted: December 30, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#2271166)
That's nine.

That's ten. Baines makes 11.
   67. Chris Fluit Posted: December 30, 2006 at 02:29 AM (#2271186)
You're right. Oops. Sorry, Harold.
   68. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 03:09 AM (#2271199)
Ins & Outs, with comments, criticisms, witticisms, optimisms, pessimisms, and existential angst:

In: (in no particular order)
Bert Blyleven - I fail to see why there's still a discussion to be had, here. Not an inner-circle Hall guy, but a no-brainer just the same.

Tony Gwynn - Fatty could run, too. (70 SB, 29 CS after age 33, by which point he was definitely, uh, filling out)

Mark McGwire - Pass.

Alan Trammell - My feelings on Trammell are not wildly different to my feelings on Blyleven.

Cal Ripken, Jr. - Bears an uncanny resemblence to my uncle Bobby, and once helped a wounded, naked man who showed up at his front door on Thanksgiving evening. No word on whether the man requested that his naughty bits be signed.

Rich Gossage - Lowest ERA+, '77-83: 173. Times with a workload that would likely lead relievers in today's game: 5, including throwing 130+ innings twice. And it's not like he stopped being good at that point.

Out:

Everybody else - None of these other men are Hall of Famers in any meaningful sense, as far as I'm concerned. Tony Fernandez has an argument; so does Tommy John. As an agnostic when it comes to fielding statistics, I see no compelling reason to enshrine Andre Dawson.

Wish I could Vote for, but It would be Lunacy:

Jay Buhner - Buhner was one of the lone bright spots during some very dark days for the Seattle Mariners when I was a kid. My dad used to watch the M's every day, but I never paid attention unless Buhner, Griffey, or Edgar Martinez was batting. (By the way, I intend on being completely and irrationally in favor of Martinez' induction.) He was still there, and still good, when the Mariners got good in the mid-90s. Also, not just a cannon arm -- it was a bloody Howitzer.
   69. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 03:20 AM (#2271204)
By the way, that CS figure for Gwynn is a typo. It should read 19 CS.
   70. DCW3 Posted: December 30, 2006 at 04:49 AM (#2271243)
By the way, here's my Hall of Fame article, in case it doesn't show up on the site until after the election.
   71. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 04:53 AM (#2271246)
By the way, the biway.
   72. DCW3 Posted: December 30, 2006 at 04:59 AM (#2271250)
By the way, I think every post until the end of this thread ought to begin with that phrase.
   73. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 06:21 AM (#2271275)
I really need to run Morris through my ringer - obviously the ERA+ says no, but he was amazingly durable, a workhorse for his time, and I don't think he was as bad as the ERA+ would have you think (though I'm not entirely sure why). I don't think he should just be dismissed out of hand.
   74. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 06:38 AM (#2271280)
OK, I ran Morris through, I guess I can dismiss him - his defenses were great, his bullpens pretty neutral, nothing really to show he was better - if anything, ERA+ overstates how good he was, I get his DRA+ at 100 (ERA+ is 105).

But there is still a ton of 'durability' value; nearly 4000 innings of league average pitching, with some pretty good years thrown in the mix is worth something.

Check the pitchers thread for an explanation, but for Pennants Added, I get him around Lefty Gomez, Eddie Rommell, Murry Dickson, Ron Guidry, Chief Bender, Tom Zachary and Hippo Vaughn.

Using the more 'peaky' measure, a modified version of Bill James' NHBA 'system' he doesn't fare as well, he's more in line with JR Richard, Nig Cuppy, Dean Chance, Harvey Haddix, Doc White and Wild Bill Donovan.

He's cleary out though. But it's easy to see how gets into the discussion - he's basically Chief Bender with about 4 or 5 extra replacement level seasons - and they elected Bender. He's exactly the type of guy that can land in the discussion if he plays for a very good team.
   75. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 06:54 AM (#2271285)
nearly 4000 innings of league average pitching, with some pretty good years thrown in the mix is worth something.

Yeah -- and I realize that this is not really what you were saying, but it strikes a chord with me anyway --, but, is "profoundly average" what you really want out of a Hall-of-Famer?
   76. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 06:59 AM (#2271288)
I know he's not on this ballot, which is a joke, but the guy that does have a reasonable case is Dave Stieb. I think he's just a hair short, but it's not indefensible to put him in.

In terms of Pennants Added, historically I get him in a group just behind Bucky Walters and Rube Waddell; just ahead of Dutch Leonard, Ed Cicotte, Luis Tiant, 3-Finger Brown, Dolph Luque, Bob Shawkey and Bob Lemon. That's pretty good company.

The James type peak ranking (he's ranked exactly the same on both lists) he's in there just behind Schoolboy Rowe, Whitey Ford and Noodles Hahn; just ahead of Rick Reuschel (better than people think - this is a positive, not a negative :-), Luque and Billy Pierce.

So he's in pretty good company on the bubble - I lean no, but there isn't much difference between Stieb and guys like Lemon and Pierce that we've elected. He's definitely ahead of Tiant, IMO.
   77. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:03 AM (#2271290)
Yeah -- and I realize that this is not really what you were saying, but it strikes a chord with me anyway --, but, is "profoundly average" what you really want out of a Hall-of-Famer?


No, which is what I said :-)

But it wasn't your typical - average - you don't get to 4000 innings if you are only average - he had several years at the end (1988-90, 1993-94) that drug his overall number down to average.

From 1985-87 he was outstanding. And all of those other innings he ate have value too. All I'm saying is that he was a lot better than his detractors think - yeah he was overrated, but he was pretty good too.
   78. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:07 AM (#2271292)
Do you have a link to where you explain "pennants added", by the way?
   79. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:08 AM (#2271293)
BTW, what the hell happened to Stieb in 1986 - was is just overwork from 1980-85? He fell off a cliff that year, while he got the effectiveness back (from 1988-91) he never threw those kind of innings (even relative to the league) again.

If he'dve gotten hurt a year later, his case would be very, very strong.
   80. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:12 AM (#2271294)
But it wasn't your typical - average - you don't get to 4000 innings if you are only average - he had several years at the end (1988-90, 1993-94) that drug his overall number down to average.

I agree, ultimately -- it would take a truly strange aging pattern to end up at roughly average without ever having been significantly above, at least if you played a long-ass time. It's just that, to me, a guy who wobbles between "pretty good" and "not bad" for a long time is not a hall of famer. Which I realize is not what you were saying. As I said before. Caveat, caveat, et cetera, ad nauseam.

Not that this explains my irrational love for Julio Franco or anything.
   81. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:12 AM (#2271296)
Voxter, check out post 247 of the 1992 Ballot Discussion Thread . . . or your 2002 edition of Baseball Prospectus.

Basically Pennants added is a way to give extra credit for the value a big season has on winning a pennant - it's a way to balance career and peak value.

Essentially a "10+0" is worth about 15% more than a "5+5" in terms of impact on winning the pennant. The complete formula is there on the thread mentioned above.
   82. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:17 AM (#2271298)
Voxter, check out post 247 of the 1992 Ballot Discussion Thread . . . or your 2002 edition of Baseball Prospectus.

Thanks. I was too poor in 2002 to be blowing money on BP, so it's good to have a free source.
   83. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:24 AM (#2271300)
I made a small mistake with Stieb - it doesn't change his mostly-peak rating much (drops him 3 spots), but it does drop his Pennants Added peer-group back a bit. I was treating him as if he didn't give up a run in 1998 - which gave him about 2 extra WAR . . .

So he drops back to Koosman, Newsom, Griffith, Adams Mays in terms of Pennants Added.

That puts him a lot further back on the bubble career wise, IMO. It's tight in there - which why I think they tend to be the guys that should be on the outside looking in. I've got 17 guys between 55.0-57.5 WAR. Just that one little mistake dropped Stieb from the top of that group to the bottom.
   84. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:30 AM (#2271303)
Actually one thing that shows up now just by resorting the list, is that Stieb is essentially Pierce with about 2 fewer seasons on the career.

Pierce - 115 DRA+, 3440.3 tIP, 62.4 WAR
Stieb - 114 DRA+, 3070.3 tIP, 55.5 WAR

Best 3 consecutive: Pierce 18.5 WAR, Stieb 19.9 WAR
Best 5 seasons: Pierce 32.0, Stieb 31.2

Modified Bill James Mostly-Peak Score: Pierce 22.65, Stieb 22.64

Bummer, I was really hoping he'd be just over the line instead of just behind it. He was one of my favorites.
   85. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 07:32 AM (#2271304)
So he drops back to Koosman, Newsom, Griffith, Adams Mays in terms of Pennants Added.

That puts him a lot further back on the bubble career wise, IMO


Yeah, and it makes a lot more intuitive sense, also. Dave Stieb was an excellent pitcher -- a truly great one for about four years there -- but the idea of him as an even borderline Hall guy threw me for a bit of a loop.
   86. rawagman Posted: December 30, 2006 at 08:49 AM (#2271320)
DC - very interesting charts, but the system seems to inherently dismiss closers. Is that your intention?
   87. DCW3 Posted: December 30, 2006 at 09:05 AM (#2271324)
DC - very interesting charts, but the system seems to inherently dismiss closers. Is that your intention?

I'm honestly not sure--though I do know that a replacement-based system would be even less kind to closers than the average-based one I used. As I wrote in the previous article, a lot of people would argue for a leverage adjustment to be applied to closers' numbers, but I'm not 100% sold on that--and I think then you'd have to also adjust for the fact that relievers' average ERAs are usually much better than starters. Obviously, I'd leave it up to people to decide for themselves, but I do kind of lean toward the position that it's close to impossible for even the best relievers*, pitching as few innings as they do, to add enough value to their teams to be legitimate Hall of Famers.

*This excludes Wilhelm--he falls outside my sample, but I did an estimate for him once, and his score was in the mid-30s, well over the borderline. And with Rivera, you have to take into account the value of his postseason brilliance.
   88. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: December 30, 2006 at 09:30 AM (#2271327)
My ten, which is the ten best players not in the HOF, in no particular order:

Ron Santo
Bill Dahlen
Bobby Grich
Tony Gwynn
Cal Ripken
Bert Blyleven
Mark McGwire
Alan Trammell
Dick Allen
Darrell Evans

Relatively back-of-the-envelope. Anyone that I'm missing or should change?
   89. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 10:33 AM (#2271332)
Well, don't forget when comparing relief aces, you should be comparing them to all relievers (at a minimum), not just aces. You don't only compare starters to number 1 starters . . . but really I think pitchers are pitchers.

Along the same lines, I also don't see how anyone can argue against leverage. Managers make a calculated trade off, fewer innings for higher quality (the reason why relievers ERAs are better) more important (leveraged) innings.

You can't penalize relievers for pitching fewer innings, then also turn around and not give credit for leverage, and then also say that they should be held to a higher standard in terms of ERA than starters.
   90. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 30, 2006 at 10:35 AM (#2271333)
James, I'd take Gossage over Allen. The rest of the list is pretty darned good - although there are some 19th Century guys (Ezra Sutton, Joe Start, Paul Hines) that I would take before Evans, but it doesn't look like you are going back before 1893 . . .
   91. DL from MN Posted: December 30, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#2271349)
Joe Torre over Evans
   92. yest Posted: December 31, 2006 at 02:03 AM (#2271539)
in
Bert Blyleven
Steve Garvey
Rich Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Tommy John
Don Mattingly
Jack Morris (see the bottom)
Dave Parker
Jim Rice
Cal Ripken

I really need to run Morris through my ringer - obviously the ERA+ says no, but he was amazingly durable, a workhorse for his time, and I don't think he was as bad as the ERA+ would have you think (though I'm not entirely sure why). I don't think he should just be dismissed out of hand.

ERA is an average and like all average's can be misleading
for a severly exatrated example
assuming all the details are the same (defense, park effect, time ect.)

if
pitcher A pitches 20 complete games and has a era of 5.00 and
pitcher B pitches 20 complete games and has a era of 4.00 most would atomaticly assume that pitcher B was better with out looking at anything else

but lets say that this was there game by game ER allowed
pitcher A 2 18 2 3 1 4 2 3 3 2 2 1 15 2 1 3 2 2 17 15
pitcher B 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

I'm assuming everybody here would think pitcher A was better

I did a quick look (I plan to do more when becomes eligable) at a game by game shows that Morris had a few games each season that racked his ERA even though he would of had won (despite his team) more games then would have been expeted with his high ERA even with nutrual run support
   93. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 31, 2006 at 03:40 AM (#2271570)
That is interesting yest, is there any chance of seeing a more detailed study by the time that Morris is eligible for the HOM?
   94. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 31, 2006 at 04:04 AM (#2271574)
AlphaVote: Blyleven, Gossage, Gwynn, McGwire, Murphy*, Ripken, Trammell

*probably wouldn't actually vote for him, but he was the player I loved first and most.
   95. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 31, 2006 at 04:09 AM (#2271577)
Yest, Joe Sheehan did a major article (series?) for his newsletter a few years back that pretty much debunked the theory that Morris gave up his runs disproportionately . . . if I can find it, I'll try to pull a few of the major details out for you . . . but needless to say I was convinced.
   96. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 31, 2006 at 04:10 AM (#2271578)
Chris J - what does RSI say about Morris - did you ever run him?
   97. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: December 31, 2006 at 04:20 AM (#2271585)
Blyleven
Gossage
Gwynn
McGwire
Murphy
Ripken Jr.
Trammell
   98. DCW3 Posted: December 31, 2006 at 04:50 AM (#2271600)
You can't penalize relievers for pitching fewer innings, then also turn around and not give credit for leverage, and then also say that they should be held to a higher standard in terms of ERA than starters.

No, but I think that if you do adjust for leverage, then you should also adjust for the superior ERAs of relievers.
   99. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 31, 2006 at 05:03 AM (#2271609)
The Morris - pitch-to-the-score issue interested me so I tried to do a quick study. I just pulled down all of the Game Logs for games where Morris was either the winning or losing pitcher - so this ignores games where he got a no-decision. Then, I just looked at how many runs his team scored and calculated how many games he SHOULD have won if he'd won at the same rate as the guys that Bill James looked at in his study of Blyleven - so, these are guys who had an average ERA of 3.32 (Morris had an ERA of 3.90).

For example, James says that these guys had a winning percentage of .474 when they got 3 runs of support, so for every game where Morris got 3 runs of support, I gave him .474 expected wins.

Anyway, adding it all up, I get that a pitcher with an ERA of 3.32 would have been expected to win 250 games given Morris's run support by game, whereas Morris won 251 games as a starter (he also won 3 games in relief in 1978 that I'm leaving out). So, if this makes sense, this says that Morris won games at the same rate as a pitcher with a career ERA of 3.32, which would be an ERA+ of around 123, or, put another way, Morris did a better job of winning games than Bert Blyleven.

So what did I do wrong?
   100. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 31, 2006 at 05:53 AM (#2271619)
"You can't penalize relievers for pitching fewer innings, then also turn around and not give credit for leverage, and then also say that they should be held to a higher standard in terms of ERA than starters.

No, but I think that if you do adjust for leverage, then you should also adjust for the superior ERAs of relievers."

Why? Managers make a conscious decision - lower ERAs for fewer innings. Starters get the benefit of throwing more innings, relievers get the benefit of having fewer runs allowed per inning. In the end, pitching is pitching.
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