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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2009 BBTF Hall of Fame Ballot Discussion

As in past years, anybody can pretend he or she is a BBWAA voter at BBTF!

We’ll have one week of discussion and then the ballot thread will be posted next Sunday (the election will end on Dec. 28).

The eligible candidates are: Harold Baines, Jay Bell*, Bert Blyleven, David Cone*, Andre Dawson, Ron Gant*, Mark Grace*, Rickey Henderson*, Tommy John**, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Jesse Orosco*, Dave Parker, Dan Plesac*, Tim Raines, Jim Rice**, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Greg Vaughn*, Mo Vaughn* and Matt Williams*.

Just to make sure everyone knows the rules, as we have done in the past, 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.

* 1st-year candidates

** Last year of eligibility

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 16, 2008 at 01:54 AM | 202 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Steve Treder Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:50 PM (#3031105)
The problem is that they were selected while George Davis and Bill Dahlen were passed over - Davis for another half century and Dahlen still on the outside. Between the late 90's - the heyday of Davis and Dahlen - and the late Oughts, when the Cubs ruled the world, there has to have been a major shift in the quality and quantity of press coverage and literary attention paid to major league baseball. With the HoF vote depending on reputation and anecdote, those who fell on the wrong side of that divide in the written word were at a disadvantage.

Yep.
   102. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 16, 2008 at 11:58 PM (#3031115)
The problem is that they were selected while George Davis and Bill Dahlen were passed over - Davis for another half century and Dahlen still on the outside. Between the late 90's - the heyday of Davis and Dahlen - and the late Oughts, when the Cubs ruled the world, there has to have been a major shift in the quality and quantity of press coverage and literary attention paid to major league baseball. With the HoF vote depending on reputation and anecdote, those who fell on the wrong side of that divide in the written word were at a disadvantage.

Yep.


Agree also. T-E-C did all this on of the greatest dynasties ever seen up to that time. That overshadowed the others. Heck, we still see that effect to this very day with today's players.
   103. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:33 AM (#3031144)
Will consider sympathy vote, but don't view as HOFer: John, Murphy
I think his work with the HOM puts him in...


Well, at least a Buck O'Neil Award thingy at the very least. ;-)
   104. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 17, 2008 at 12:52 AM (#3031157)
Think Jeter before Jeter reputationwise (read how the newspapermen of his time described him)


Exactly - except that Evers WAS a great defensive player.

-- MWE
   105. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:00 AM (#3031163)
> Baseball Valhalla's most wretched omissions

Except you'd have to work Blyleven into the poem somehow to make this statement true...
   106. jimd Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:28 AM (#3031215)
1945 BBWAA vote (top 36 vote-getters)
Name Count PerCent

Chance, Frank 179 72.5% VCE
Waddell, Rube 154 62.3% VCE
Walsh, Ed 137 55.5%
Evers, Johnny 134 54.3%
Bresnahan, Roger 133 53.8% VCE!
Huggins, Miller 133 53.8%
Cochrane, Mickey 125 50.6%
Collins, Jimmy 121 49% VCE!
Delahanty, Ed 111 44.9% VCE!
Griffith, Clark 108 43.7% VCE
Frisch, Frankie 101 40.9%
Jennings, Hughie 92 37.2% VCE!
Robinson, Wilbert 81 32.8% VCE!
Traynor, Pie 81 32.8%
Duffy, Hugh 64 25.9% VCE!
Clarke, Fred 53 21.5% VCE!
Maranville, Rabbit 51 20.6%
Tinker, Joe 49 19.8%
Brown, Mordecai 46 18.6%
Pennock, Herb 45 18.2%
McGinnity, Joe 44 17.8% VCE
Bender, Chief 40 16.2%
Plank, Eddie 33 13.4%
Schalk, Ray 33 13.4%
Terry, Bill 32 13%
Grove, Lefty 28 11.3% (played 1941)
Baker, Frank 26 10.5%
Hubbell, Carl 24 9.7% (played 1943)
Joss, Addie 23 9.3%
Youngs, Ross 22 8.9%
Vance, Dazzy 18 7.3%
Dean, Dizzy 17 6.9% (played 1941 & 1947)
Dickey, Bill 17 6.9% (played 1943 & 1946)
Kling, Johnny 12 4.9% VCE?
Gehringer, Charlie 10 4% (played 1942)
Rucker, Nap 10 4%

Nobody was elected, as Chance was 7 votes short.

Those above marked VCE played in the 19th Century and so were eligible for the Veterans Committee of that time. With no BBWAA selections, they then elected three 1880's stars (Jim O'Rourke, King Kelly, and Dan Brouthers) and everybody marked above with an !. Note that they left the top two vote-getters alone (perhaps figuring that the BBWAA would elect them next year) and elected everybody else above Joe McGinnity except for Clark Griffith (?).

Also note that this list is clogged with 2nd-tier stars. Everybody above Johnny Kling (34th) is in the HOF today. The 5-year rule had not been formalized yet, though most-but-not-all writers observed it, hence the curious results such as 11% for Lefty Grove.
   107. jimd Posted: December 17, 2008 at 02:59 AM (#3031240)
The BBWAA election was revised for 1946, adding a runoff for the top-20, if noone was elected. Noone was, from either election. The VC had been granted joint jurisdiction over the early deadball era, and then repeated what was done the previous year, though perhaps not without some favoritism.

Chance, Evers, Waddell, Walsh, and Griffith were 5 of the top 6 in the 1946 runoff (Miller Huggins was the other) and were then elected by the VC. McGinnity and Tinker also made the runoff and were also elected by the VC, while Brown and Bender were not so honored. They were joined by Tommy McCarthy and Burkett from the 19thC, and Plank and Chesbro from the deadball era. Meanwhile, everybody had forgotten about Kid Nichols, who would finally go in in 1949 along with Brown as the next VC selections.
   108. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:12 AM (#3031253)
If Mike Emeigh is still out there . . . I know you think Blyleven, is overrated by statheads because he seemed to pitch just well enough to lose . . . just wondering how overrated do you think he is?

Is he so overrated by us that you think he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame (assuming the Hall is it's current size, if you are a small hall guy, try to look past that). Where do you rank him among all-time SPs, etc.?
   109. TomH Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:31 AM (#3031269)
#98 was classic
   110. RedSoxBaller Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:32 AM (#3031270)
Here is who gets my vote, I like a big hall

Henderson
Raines
Blyleven
Tramell
Dawson
Rice
John
Smith
McGwire

Word
   111. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:51 AM (#3031285)
I always wanted to vote in the Hall of Merit but never got my act together; I've read most of the threads though.

I'll be voting for Henderson, Raines, McGwire, Blyleven, Trammell, in that order.

I'm on the fence about Dawson, but he's just out for me. HI supporters always cite his choice as MVP in 1987, but he didn't deserve it. OBP too low, didn't stay in CF long enough, just not quite there.

Rice is squarely out for me. Lee Smith - only if you think Sutter was a good choice. I can see the argument for Tommy John in a "the surgery was named after him" sort of way, I guess, but I don't buy it. Cone is Mussina with three less great seasons; he needed either more quality or more quantity. Morris....if you upped Mike Mussina's ERA every year of his career by a about a half run, you'd have something roughly the equivalent of Morris' career value. Mike Mussina retiring today with a 4.20 ERA doesn't sniff the Hall of Fame, and his postseason record isn't too shabby either (his 1997 playoff run: 4 starts, 29 innings, 41/7 K/BB, 1.24 ERA).
   112. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:27 AM (#3031307)
Bert Blyleven
Ricky Henderson
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
   113. zonk Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:38 AM (#3031313)

As for Smith, the guy is the Harold Baines of pitchers. He was just a guy after age 33 with nowhere near the mileage of a Gossage. The few times he was in the postseason he was lit up like a Christmas tree. Half the time he was in a All-Star game they didn't bother to pitch him because nobody noticed he was on the d*mn roster.

You wanna give Smith a gold watch for attendance like they do for mediocre employees who fill a role but never really distinguish themselves that's fine. But the Hall of Fame? Please


This Cubs fan is right there with you, Harvey. I suspect most Cubs fans that lived through the 80s are.

I realize some of Smith's best work happened after he left Chicago - and I was shocked his knees held up as long as they did - but this is just one case where I'll take my memories of the guy over the numbers. I say that even before docking him for the Garvey homer. Even before that choke job - no one ever felt 'secure' when Smith came in to close a game out.

Every recollection I have of the Cubs clinging to a late lead tells me Smith isn't a HOFer.

...and I'm a big hall guy. I'd vote for Jack Morris before I'd vote for Smith.
   114. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 17, 2008 at 04:54 AM (#3031325)
Rickey Henderson
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Bert Blyleven

It's depressing that the Hall has omitted these greats, All with strong arguments for ranking in the Top 100 players of all-time, Rickey maybe Top 25.

Mark McGwire - if we try to quantify how much PED's helped his game, we'd have to play the what if game throughout all of baseball history for whoever took an unfair advantage against competition. I hate the fact that MLB had a steroid era, but we have to suck it up and vote on who performed the greatest in that time frame. It's sad, because the accomplishments of a Fred McGriff type player, who appears to have been clean, may have pushed his Hall of Fame chances to slim, instead of likely.

All other players are open to interpretation, depending on the size of hall you prefer.

Andre Dawson
David Cone

I'd ballot these two. I built a Personal Hall of Merit around the current amount of elected Hall of Meriters (237).
Dawson and Cone might not crack the Top 200, but they are Top 237 for me.

Your mileage may vary, but I have these players amongst my consideration set for Top 350 players of all-time:
Tommy John
Dale Murphy
Lee Smith

Is Greg Vaughn the worst player to be on this ballot, as well as wearing that honor for players with a 50 HR season?

I would vote for these players if they had received the minimum 5% requirement:
Darrell Evans (Would be final year on ballot, the anti-Jim Rice)
Keith Hernandez
Rick Reuschel
Dwight Evans
Willie Randolph
Dave Stieb
Bret Saberhagen
Dwight Gooden

If I could do write-in votes, I would put Dewey Evans, Rick Reuschel, and Bret Saberhagen in, for a Top 10 eligible.


Any reason Joe Carter didn't get Jim Rice type of support from the BBWAA?
He was an RBI machine, and was quite feared. He even has the post-season heroics to top it off.
   115. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: December 17, 2008 at 05:13 AM (#3031337)
Any reason Joe Carter didn't get Jim Rice type of support from the BBWAA?
He was an RBI machine, and was quite feared. He even has the post-season heroics to top it off.
Joe Carter had the most RBis in baseball from 1986 to 1995. If that ten-year stretch had been from 1980 to 1989... yeah, he'd be in for sure.
   116. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 17, 2008 at 05:26 AM (#3031341)
You mean like Mark Grace who had the most hits from 1990-99?
   117. zonk Posted: December 17, 2008 at 05:26 AM (#3031343)
Joe Carter had the most RBis in baseball from 1986 to 1995. If that ten-year stretch had been from 1980 to 1989... yeah, he'd be in for sure.


Don't be so sure - Mark "most hits in the 90s" Grace will be lucky to stay on the ballot for a 2nd pass.
   118. zonk Posted: December 17, 2008 at 05:27 AM (#3031345)
jinx
   119. RJ in TO Posted: December 17, 2008 at 06:04 AM (#3031363)
Joe Carter had the most RBis in baseball from 1986 to 1995. If that ten-year stretch had been from 1980 to 1989... yeah, he'd be in for sure.


Joe Carter also hit 0.259 for his career. With his defensive position and that average, he needed either an MVP, or another 100 HR, before the BBWAA would have considered him to be a legitimate candidate, even with his 10 100 RBI seasons. With that being said, I'm still shocked that he dropped off the ballot in his first season - I expected him to linger for a couple seasons before dropping off.
   120. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 17, 2008 at 01:13 PM (#3031477)
Byleven
Henderson
McGwire
Raines
Smith
Trammell

It's going to be nice not arguing about Rice after this election, regardless of whether or not he's elected by the BBWAA.
   121. Fridas Boss Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:54 PM (#3031578)
When does the BBWAA announce the results of the5r election?
   122. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 17, 2008 at 03:57 PM (#3031582)
When does the BBWAA announce the results of their election?


In January.

-- MWE
   123. Thatguy Posted: December 18, 2008 at 12:07 AM (#3032139)
first off i'm a big hall guy so here's my list

Bert Blyleven
Andre Dawson
Ricky Henderson
Mark McGwire

They all should be in no matter what

Mark Grace: was never the best but was always that much better than the next guy
Don Mattingly: had he not got hurt i think he could have been a 3k hit guy
Tim Raines: 2600 hits 800 steals almost 1600 runs almost 1k rbi's and 1300 walks that's enough for a guy that stopped stealing bases 8 years before he retired
Jim Rice: see Mark Grace
   124. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: December 18, 2008 at 12:20 AM (#3032153)
When does the BBWAA announce the results of their election?

In January.

January 12.
   125. Guapo Posted: December 18, 2008 at 12:27 AM (#3032159)
Mark Grace: was never the best but was always that much better than the next guy

*hands Thatguy a cigarette and a blindfold*
   126. OCF Posted: December 18, 2008 at 12:30 AM (#3032161)
that's enough for a guy that stopped stealing bases 8 years before he retired

Tim Raines, 1994-2002 (8 seasons despite it being 9 years): 683 games played, 57-12 as a base stealer. Per 162 games, that 13.5 SB, 2.8 CS. Sure, it isn't what he was doing at his peak, but given the general effectiveness, I'm not sure I'd characterize 14-3 per 162 games as "stopped." Of course in the years 1979-1993, he was 751-134, or 67-12 per 162.

But the other thing: those 683 games over those 8 seasons are barely over a quarter of his total games played. He played 2500 games and had over 10000 PA. That's not a short career by any standards. Why focus on such a small proportion of it? (And he was still a good player in that last quarter of his career because he could still get on base; I don't want to take that away from him.)

You're voting for him anyway, so I shouldn't complain - but that seems a pretty backhanded way to say it.
   127. Thatguy Posted: December 18, 2008 at 02:59 AM (#3032258)
i was voting for Tim Raines because he was a amazing player and even in the end of his career when he was no longer a threat to steal a bag every time he was on 1st he was still a very good player and had a OPS+ of over 100 all but twice '99 and '02 he didn't play in '00 so that's why i didn't count it.
   128. OCF Posted: December 18, 2008 at 03:02 AM (#3032260)
Actually, I will complain about Thatguy's ballot: I just noticed that he left off Trammell.

Grace and Trammell had careers of essentially the same length, with Grace's career OPS+ being 119 and Trammell's 110. Grace's top 5 seasons in OPS+ were 141, 139, 134, 128, 127; Trammell's were 155, 138, 137, 135, 130.

Do you not notice what position a person plays, or do you think that a SS is the same as a 1B?
   129. Anthony Giacalone Posted: December 18, 2008 at 05:42 AM (#3032358)
Harold Baines
Bert Blyleven
David Cone
Andre Dawson
Rickey Henderson
Tommy John
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

Some fanboy votes, but I don't have a problem with that.
   130. Benny Distefano's Mitt Posted: December 18, 2008 at 06:09 AM (#3032370)
Bert Blyleven
Rickey Henderson
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
   131. Thatguy Posted: December 18, 2008 at 04:29 PM (#3032543)
you know your right about Alan Trammell when i was typing it up i was really on the fence about him.

Alan Trammell for the HoF!!!
   132. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 18, 2008 at 04:38 PM (#3032553)
Alan Trammell for the HoF!!!


Attaboy, Thatguy! :-)
   133. Rusty Priske Posted: December 18, 2008 at 05:21 PM (#3032607)
Am I the only person who will give a vote to Grace?
   134. RJ in TO Posted: December 18, 2008 at 05:29 PM (#3032616)
Thatguy has also voted for Grace - at least you'll have some company.
   135. bjhanke Posted: December 18, 2008 at 11:23 PM (#3033217)
Just a few McGwire notes from some guy who lives in St. Louis and was writing a newspaper column in 1998, and so had to agonize over the steroids. If you take Mark's rookie season of 49 homers in 1987 and run any reasonable projection system out, you'll get a few 60+ homer seasons. If you then make the ballpark conversion from Oakland to St. Louis in 1998 (the Cards had moved their fences in and the park was homer-neutral at that time), you'll get close to 70.

Jose Canseco specifically EXEMPTS the 1987 season from his steroid accusations (page 7 of the book). So 1987 was clean, and it projects to homer totals in 1998 in St. Louis that are about, well, 70 homers. In other words, Mark set the rookie homer record. Who is a better candidate to set the single season one later on?

One of the people here (Mike Emeigh?) noted that McGwire may have been taking corticosteroids during his injury period in Oakland in the early 1990s, because they help healing. My best sources agree with that, to the extent that they think there were steroids at all. The "other" type of steroids is the one that supposedly enhances performance. His HoF candidacy isn't based on those years anyway. The sources are very clear that there were no steroids in St. Louis. So, I have him down for something very close to what is actually there numerically. Since the numbers are way, way above HoF standards, I can't possibly make an adjustment that gets him out of there.

Oh, yeah. Andro. I've taken Andro, back when I did swordfighting. Andro is to steroids what tylenol is to heroin. Nothing. I gave it up because it didn't do anything. The presence of Andro in Mark's locker is actually evidence that he was NOT on steroids. To continue the analogy, if he were on heroin, why bother with tylenol?

I did note that the posted prelim ballots all seem to contain Rickey (safe by a mile, of course), McGwire (mostly), Raines, Blyleven, and Trammell. Many contain more guys than that, but those five seem to be the conservative consensus. I'm tending, right now, to go with that, and just list those five.

- Brock Hanke
   136. Anthony Giacalone Posted: December 18, 2008 at 11:26 PM (#3033225)
I've taken Andro, back when I did swordfighting.


You did swordfighting? Brock kicks ass!
   137. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 18, 2008 at 11:38 PM (#3033245)
The sources are very clear that there were no steroids in St. Louis.


But McGwire isn't - and that's the problem.

-- MWE
   138. Obama Bomaye Posted: December 18, 2008 at 11:48 PM (#3033254)
If you take Mark's rookie season of 49 homers in 1987 and run any reasonable projection system out, you'll get a few 60+ homer seasons.

But '87 was a homer-inflated year, for whatever reasons. I don't know if these projections are accounting for that. Also, I think one has to assume that '87 was spike/career type year for McGwire, even though it was his rookie year. I don't think you can project from the 49 as if that was his median ability at age 23. You'd have to take his previous minor league #s into account too, and the MLEs for '85-'86 don't come close to 30 major league homers for those seasons.


if he were on heroin, why bother with tylenol?

Deception?
   139. JPWF13 Posted: December 18, 2008 at 11:49 PM (#3033255)
But '87 was a homer-inflated year, for whatever reasons

no more inflated than 1994-2001
   140. Eugene Freedman Posted: December 19, 2008 at 03:17 AM (#3033448)
Bert Blyleven, Rickey Henderson, Tommy John, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell.

Some of my favorite players from my youth don't get my votes. Dawson, Rice and Morris (who I've not come to dislike b/c of the arguments for induction), and David cone.

Dawson and Raines were both collusion victims. Funny thing is Dawson won Raines' MVP, mainly b/c of collusion. Dawson's story was great- he took a blank contract and said, fill in the salary, while Raines missed nearly a month b/c nobody would offer him anything and he refused to sign. Cone was a union leader for many years and was the AL player rep during the '94 strike. He and Glavine held the union together when the replacement players scheme was gaining momentum.

I'm going with John b/c he took the chance and therefore innovated the game. Sure, without Dr. Jobe it doesn't happen, but John was the guinea pig. If he hadn't come back so successfully, maybe nobody else takes the risk.

Trammell should be in already and Whitaker should have been getting close, but he's not on the ballot. Oh and Ted Simmons. WTF?
   141. bjhanke Posted: December 19, 2008 at 02:23 PM (#3033770)
Obama says, about Mark McGwire, "But '87 was a homer-inflated year, for whatever reasons. I don't know if these projections are accounting for that."

As JPWF13 posted right after, there's no adjustment to make. Homer rates in the late 1990s (any time after 1994) were even higher than in 1987. I didn't add any homers to adjust for the higher homer levels, but I sure didn't make any deductions. The main reason I made no adjustments up was the reason Obama cites: it is possible that 1987 was a year where Mark hit more homers than normal, just by chance. But there's only the one certifiably clean year to work with, and the projections do lead right to what happened in the late 1990s, so I tend to trust it.

Mike Emeigh has a better point - the one point that really weighs against McGwire - his refusal to answer questions at the hearing. I would point out that he was not asked if he did steroids in St. Louis alone. He was asked if he EVER did steroids, which would include corticosteroids in Oakland. Given the witch-hunt fervor of the hearing, I don't see what else Mark could have done. The hearing wasn't going to listen to a long description of exactly what he took, how much and when, and for what reasons. A lot of people still aren't. If he said, "yes" in any form, he was going to get hung and probably banned, just to make an example of someone, especially someone who had broken a Sacred Record. It was like the flap over Maris' 61 (irony), only they were trying to find a person to hang, not just a number to asterisk. Right now, he could probably get away with a long, detailed accounting of himself, because he's been supplanted as the main target by Barry. But at the time? He'd have been burnt at the proverbial stake.

Oh, yeah. Anthony says, "You did swordfighting? Brock kicks ass!"

First, thank you! Second, I want to be clear. What I did for 30 years was something called the Society for Creative Anachronism, which is a medieval reenactment society. The fighting consists of wearing real armor (mine weighed 35 pounds, half of which was the helmet), and using "swords" made out of furniture rattan, of all things. The reason for the wooden swords is so we don't put each other in the hospital. We do in fact do this as a competition sport; in fact, every six months we choose our next king by means of a tournament. That is, it's not choreographed, like most of what you see at the Renaissance Faires; we hit as hard as we need to in order to win. I have worked a little with authentic swordfighting manuals dating back to the 1400s, and it's not exactly the same. Real killing swordfighting consists of some sword work, but a lot of, essentially, jiu jitsu, with arm locks and wrist locks and other things to pin down your opponent's weapon so you can stab him in the neck. Ours is more a hybrid between the eastern stickfighting you see on TV a lot and real sword work. Still, yes, if we're in a bar and a fight breaks out, give me the pool cue. I'm old and fat and my back gave out 7 years ago, but against someone who's never been trained, of course I have a large leg up. Oh, yes. One more thing. Our fighting is done medieval style, not late renaissance. I have no idea whatsoever what to do with an epee or foil; the only "fencing" I've ever done involved a torture device called a post-hole digger. Never let anyone talk you into using a post-hole digger. - Brock
   142. bjhanke Posted: December 19, 2008 at 02:27 PM (#3033774)
Eugene Freedman says, "He (David Cone) and Glavine held the union together when the replacement players scheme was gaining momentum."

You know, if you can document that statement, my opinion of David Cone will change overnight, and much for the better. - Brock
   143. DCW3 Posted: December 19, 2008 at 08:50 PM (#3034251)
Any reason Joe Carter didn't get Jim Rice type of support from the BBWAA?

I was recently reading a Sports Illustrated article from 1994 about Buck O'Neil that mentioned that O'Neil had scouted four "elected or near-certain Hall of Famers": Ernie Banks, Lou Brock, Lee Smith and Joe Carter.
   144. JPWF13 Posted: December 19, 2008 at 09:31 PM (#3034282)
I'm going with John b/c he took the chance and therefore innovated the game. Sure, without Dr. Jobe it doesn't happen, but John was the guinea pig.


I think John himself has said he didn't risk anything- without surgery HIS CAREER WAS OVER.
Jobe was looking for someone like John- not because John was willing to take a chance (sore armed pitchers can be a desperate lot)- but because John had an ideal injury from Jobe's POV- it was both catastrophic and clean.

A lot of times a pitcher has a lot of wear and tear, and peripheral fraying going on before the ligament/tendon snaps- even if you replace it all may not be right- John's break was "clean" by the standards of these things- sudden (relatively speaking)- he knew immediate;y when it snapped- other pitchers have 2% fraying all the time, and don't actually know exactly when the whole thing was loose.
   145. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 19, 2008 at 10:04 PM (#3034315)
I agree, John shouldn't be the one in the Hall of Fame for the surgery - (I do think his record as a player is plenty worthy) Jobe should, as a contributor, pioneer, etc.
   146. bjhanke Posted: December 20, 2008 at 01:06 AM (#3034427)
Just a note here to point to an interesting chart done by my good friend Don Malcolm. It's a chart and post about correlating MVP awards and RBI titles, rather than HoF stuff per se, but it does demonstrate what I think is an interesting change in awards voting patterns. I posted a long reply to his post (like you thought I'd do a short one), so there's that to avoid. It's in the Newsblog section here on BTF, with the title "THT: Malcolm, RBI and MVP." Jut FYI, in case you're interested in awards voting in general.- Brock
   147. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 20, 2008 at 01:34 AM (#3034442)
My picks:

Henderson
(gap)
Raines
(gap)
Trammell
Blyleven
(write-in: Whitaker)
   148. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 20, 2008 at 01:39 AM (#3034445)
My ballot:

Rickey Henderson
Bert Blyleven
Tim Raines
Lee Smith

...and that's all, folks.
   149. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 20, 2008 at 01:42 AM (#3034447)
To clarify, I will never cast a vote for anyone with a heavy steroids taint. Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, Clemens...none of them sniff my Hall of Fame ballot from here until eternity. I have no idea what to do about Sosa right now.
   150. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 20, 2008 at 01:44 AM (#3034448)
And crap, Lee Smith wasn't supposed to be on my ballot. He's an accidental leftover from my first-draft larger list! Somebody remember to remove him for me, could ya?
   151. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 20, 2008 at 01:47 AM (#3034452)
He was asked if he EVER did steroids, which would include corticosteroids in Oakland.


It would. But that's easily addressed. "I've never used an illegal performance-enhancing drug". That's exactly what Sammy Sosa said.

-- MWE
   152. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 20, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#3034697)
And crap, Lee Smith wasn't supposed to be on my ballot. He's an accidental leftover from my first-draft larger list! Somebody remember to remove him for me, could ya?


The lists here are only prelims. The ballot thread will be posted tomorrow, so you can post your official list then.
   153. bjhanke Posted: December 20, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#3034723)
Mike Emeigh said, "It would. But that's easily addressed. "I've never used an illegal performance-enhancing drug". That's exactly what Sammy Sosa said."

This is starting to get close to a heated exchange, so I'm starting to worry about it. On the other hand, this is a serious issue on this thread. So, sigh,

1. Sosa was not the feature exhibit in any of Canseco's writing, and held no home run records. He was under a LOT less pressure than McGwire. Saying that he had never done any illegal PE drugs got him off. If McGwire had said that, the committee would almost certainly have drilled deeper, into "have you ever taken any steroids of any kind at any time, legal or not?" No one else was going to get the grilling that McGwire was in for, no matter what he said. Clamming up was probably the best strategy he could mount.

2. I'm not sure of what was legal where and when, but it's possible that everyone included in the hearing had never taken anything that was actually illegal at the time they took it. Sammy said nothing about things banned by baseball but not illegal. As far as I know, anabolic steroids are still legal, with a prescription.

3. This is the same Sammy Sosa who had a corked bat blow up on him during a game and said it was a pitcher's bat, it was a practice bat, it was anything but what it probably was. In fact, of all the people at the hearing, Sosa was the only one who had actually been CAUGHT doing anything banned by baseball, as far as I know. And he talked his way out of it. Like I said, a LOT less pressure.

4. What Sosa said is the same thing that Rafael Palmeiro said. I doubt we'll ever know how many people at that hearing lied. The one person who did not lie was McGwire. He refused to address everything he was asked for, but he didn't lie. In fact, as I said above, given how easy it is for professional athletes to get prescriptions, there may well have been no one there who could not say, in perfect honesty, that he had never taken an ILLEGAL performance-enhancing drug. That is, even Palmeiro may not have actually lied.

5. Sammy Sosa is tremendous at manipulating people. He's outgoing, charming and friendly. Mark McGwire is shy to the point of nonverbal. Given the public exposure and the pressure of being Target #1, I am anything but surprized that McGwire's speeches were inept. That's the person and the public pressure.

In short, I am not a trusting soul when it comes to Sammy Sosa's word. There were people at that hearing whose word I might be inclined to trust, but Sammy Sosa is not one of them. Not after the corked bat. And I don't think that Mark McGwire could have gotten off with the simple statement that Sammy made. Mark was Target #1. Sammy was not.

I probably ought to add here that I have no problem with anyone who refuses to vote for McGwire because of steroids, as long as they refuse to vote for anyone else accused by Canseco. Your standards are your standards. I just want you to apply them all the time, not just in the most public cases.

- Brock
   154. Thatguy Posted: December 21, 2008 at 10:02 AM (#3035135)
i have given serious thought to the whole steroids issue as I'm sure most of you have and after debate, after debate, and story, after story on the subject. I'm inclined to almost ignore it and accept it as part of baseball at the time in question. The late 80's to the late 90's that's a decade maybe a little more of "inflated" stats, but these numbers do count. If we take one guys word blowing the whistle on a few players in a small circle of the sport then, I have to believe there there were others. Alot of others doing the same thing only they didn't have the luck of being on the same team with a guy like Canseco. I believe what he has said about steroids but, at he same time I also think that it was about as common in the locker as a beer was after the game. At some point most if not everyone tried it. Kyle Turley the offensive lineman said it best when he said "if your not cheating your not trying". I do not and will not ever condone cheating but when the amount of suspected people gets to a certain point I have to step back and say did anyone really have that much of a advantage over the next guy? And is it cheating if everyone is doing it? So I throw the whole steroids thing out. Palmeiro got 500 hr's, Sosa hit 60 3 times, Big Mac got 70, and Barry Bond is the second best player of all time. If any one thinks that the other HoF players never once cheated they are fools. Cheating has always been a part of sports and will always be. These players of this generation are being blacklisted and crucified for trying to be the best at the worst time. Now don't think for a second that I support cheating I don't and, I wish we could all be honest and good enough to be held to the honor system. That every game be completely fair but there not and never will be. So i make do with what i have. Sosa and McGuire saved baseball as the American pasttime in '98 with there hr race. The '94 strike had ruined baseball in my mind but '98 saved it and more. I fell in love with baseball after that historic race, two guys one in each league making a run at on of the most storied records in baseball and both of them beating the record. Nothing was ever better (except maybe the Sox in '04 but I'm trying to be objective) so for me at least I have enough reason to let the best of a bad era in to the HoF, cause you know "chicks dig the long ball."
   155. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: December 21, 2008 at 01:16 PM (#3035155)
I always thought that McGwire's alleged "steroid era" was characterized at least as much his renewed ability to stay healthy and in the line up as it was by increased power. McGwire at one point had become an injury plagued slugger.

I wonder how some of the above posts would read if McGwire had been traded to another team, for example the Mets, instead of the Cardinals.
   156. Howie Menckel Posted: December 21, 2008 at 04:07 PM (#3035194)
In case anyone misses it on the main BBTF page:

http://www.detroittigertales.com/2008/12/jack-morris-and-pitching-to-score.html

It tackles the "pitch to the score" issue and might impact some Jack Morris voters (though it could be seen either way) and Tommy John and Blyleven also duly noted.

Morris ranks 12th out of 46 pitchers (2000+ IP, 1977-94) with a "91" rating, meaning he pitched a little better when the game was close. Ron Darling's 59 was the best, and Tommy John's 72 was 5th.

Bad news for Morris, perhaps, is that his career ERA would only improve from 3.90 to 3.87 if he pitched as if every game was close, basically. So this doesn't solve the ERA+ weakness by any means.

Most interesting to me is that 2nd-worst (behind Jerry Reuss) is Nolan Ryan with a dreadful 139 mark. Blyleven 4th with a 123, and Stieb 6th with a 118.

It explains a lot about the W-L records of all three, it would seem, though of course run support is critical.
   157. bjhanke Posted: December 21, 2008 at 04:30 PM (#3035207)
Tom D says, "I always thought that McGwire's alleged "steroid era" was characterized at least as much his renewed ability to stay healthy and in the line up as it was by increased power. McGwire at one point had become an injury plagued slugger.

I wonder how some of the above posts would read if McGwire had been traded to another team, for example the Mets, instead of the Cardinals."

I agree with paragraph 1 almost entirely, although I would note that this is not what he was accused of doing. As for paragraph 2, that is a very fair question to ask me, since, being a Cardinals fan from St. Louis, I of course think the Mets are Pond Scum. On the other hand, I have no problems with either Dwight Gooden's or Darryl Strawberry's drug use, even though I am absolutely sure, both from research and personal experimentation, that cocaine does in fact enhance performance. So, BTW, does LSD. Dock Ellis wasn't kidding. That stuff, if you control the dosage right, is tremendous. If you take too much, of course, you end up spending your time looking at the pretty colors instead of playing ball, but if you get it right, you have boundless physical energy and laser mental focus. I hasten to add that I did not do any of these experiments in competition swordfights. I'd get a friend together and we'd go in the back yard and experiment. I wanted to win the SCA crown and be king very badly, and got close enough that a small edge might have done the trick (I finished second twice, and 6 more times in the semifinals), but not badly enough to cheat. If someone had offered me a million dollars if I could win a tournament, well, I don't know. It was never offered. I'm not a Major League athlete.

I think Bob Gibson hit the nail on the head during the flap over Canseco's book. He said, in print, that, being the competitive type that he was, if he thought that a drug would help him win, he would have been very tempted to use it, illegal or not. Since Gibson played during the amphetamine '60s, that's awfully close to a confession, referencing Jim Bouton. And that's the problem. It's been cocaine since the 1880s (yes, the 19th century), amphetamines from the time they were invented, alcohol during prohibition, corked, nailed and laminated bats, you name it. The only difference this time was that someone set a record and one of his old teammates, greedy for money and bitter about his own Hall of Fame snub, decided to sell out everyone he could in a tell-all book. Jim Bouton didn't name names. Considering when and where he played, the names would have been Berra, Mantle, and Ford. Amphetamines do wonders for hangovers. Imagine the flap THAT would have caused.

Again, if your standards are that anyone who used a performance-enhancing drug should never be in the HoF, then I respect that, as long as you apply it evenly. That is, if McGwire, then also Ruth (prohibition alcohol and a variety of illegal bats), Foxx and Waner (illegal booze), Sisler (illegal bat), Raines (admitted cocaine), probably Ty Cobb, who was connected to Coca-Cola during the time when it still had cocaine in it, and on and on. You're going to end up with a HoF containing Hank Greenberg (I think), Honus Wagner, maybe Rogers Hornsby and Tris Speaker, and a bunch of guys nicknamed "Deacon."

Otherwise, the simple reality is that if almost any human being has millions of dollars on the line, he'll cheat if he needs to, especially if all his competitors are cheating. It ain't just McGwire, and it ain't just baseball. Keep track some season of how many cars get banned by NASCAR for illegal modifications. - Brock
   158. John DiFool2 Posted: December 21, 2008 at 06:01 PM (#3035243)
Any reason Joe Carter didn't get Jim Rice type of support from the BBWAA?
He was an RBI machine, and was quite feared. He even has the post-season heroics to top it off.


This is due to the fundamental disconnect in how the voters (a proportion of the same voters vote for both awards) award RBI men. If voting for an MVP, they go all gaga over the top RBI guys, but all of a sudden when they show up on the HoF ballot, they look at batting average first. If Ryan Howard spent the rest of his career repeating his '08 season (with an average down phase), he'd be top 5 MVP almost every year-but likely would slip below the 5% threshold his first year on the HoF, unless he lasted long enough (with his late start) to reach 500 or 600 homers.
   159. evanecurb Posted: December 21, 2008 at 06:15 PM (#3035253)
I vote for Henderson, Raines, Blyleven, Trammell, Lee Smith, and Mark McGwire
   160. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 21, 2008 at 06:56 PM (#3035285)
It explains a lot about the W-L records of all three, it would seem, though of course run support is critical.


Only if you believe that a pitcher who leaves a lot of games trailing 3-2 was just unlucky and shouldn't be held accoutable for that. Since I look at a Hall of Fame pitcher as someone who should be WINNING more than his share of games with low run support - who SHOULD be holding teams two one run when his team is only scoring two - I DO hold them accountable.

-- MWE
   161. Howie Menckel Posted: December 21, 2008 at 07:34 PM (#3035316)
"who SHOULD be holding teams two one run when his team is only scoring two"

um, I'd rather just have a guy who only gave up one run in ANY game - or at least one who tried to minimize the amount of runs allowed each time.
   162. OCF Posted: December 21, 2008 at 07:42 PM (#3035322)
evanecurb: this isn't the ballot thread. If you want that to count, you'll have to re-post it over there.

MWE: You've explained why you're not voting for Blyleven. I disagree, but so be it. And not voting for McGwire - again, I disagree, but we understand where you might be coming from there. But why aren't you voting for Trammell?
   163. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 21, 2008 at 08:29 PM (#3035345)
Someone claimed that nobody ever thought that Alan Trammell was the best player in baseball. That is incorrect. I distinctly recall Peter Gammons touting Trammell as such though I have been unsuccessful finding it in any print archives. I know he made statements to that effect during an ESPN broadcast around either an ASG or playoffs.

It was for a short time. But it did happen.
   164. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 21, 2008 at 09:37 PM (#3035363)
But why aren't you voting for Trammell?


Because he wasn't good enough for long enough.

-- MWE
   165. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 21, 2008 at 09:48 PM (#3035365)
Only if you believe that a pitcher who leaves a lot of games trailing 3-2 was just unlucky and shouldn't be held accoutable for that.


Was he left to pitch games that he should have been taken out by his manager(s)?

The only fair way to ascertain whether or not Blyleven deserves this cross to bear is to go through every single box score and newspaper account for every game he played. Film and video of his games would be ideal.

Hey, I didn't say it would be easy. :-)
   166. Dykstra's Chew Posted: December 21, 2008 at 11:14 PM (#3035404)
New guy here, glad to see some real discussion going on and not just re-posting Keith Law's picks.
My ballot would definately include Rickey, Rock, McGwire and Blyleven. On the fence about Trammell and Dawson, but I'm a small hall kinda guy and will probablly just go with the above four. What I do love about the annual HOF eligible player list though is the process of reviewing the careers of players you remember. By the way, is Greg Vaught the worst 350+ HR player ever?
   167. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 21, 2008 at 11:27 PM (#3035412)
By the way, is Greg Vaught the worst 350+ HR player ever?


Kingman was worse.
   168. CraigK Posted: December 21, 2008 at 11:28 PM (#3035414)
Greg Vaught the worst 350+ HR player ever?

By OPS+, no; Gary Gaetti managed to hit 360 HRs for an OPS+ of 97 to Vaughn's 112.
   169. DL from MN Posted: December 22, 2008 at 12:20 AM (#3035445)
Gaetti was a good-glove 3B for years. Peak value I think I'd rather have him than Vaughn but I haven't looked into it deeply.
   170. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 22, 2008 at 12:32 AM (#3035453)
I would say it's Lee May, followed by Kingman and then Galarraga.
   171. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 22, 2008 at 02:56 AM (#3035517)
But why aren't you voting for Trammell?


Because he wasn't good enough for long enough.


Please compare him to Frankie Frisch and let me know how he wasn't good enough for long enough. He has an argument as the best player in baseball (absolutely top 5) from 1983-88. He has a 9375 PA career. His most similar player is Barry Larkin, based on raw stats and his "AIR" factor is 99 compared to Larkin's 106.

Have you actually looked over his record, or are you just going from how he 'felt' to you while he was active?
   172. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 22, 2008 at 03:08 AM (#3035527)
I would also add that Trammell's worst offensive years between 1978 and 1983, a 16-year period are basically average years for Ozzie Smith. There are 7 of those.

The other 9 years, he put up OPS+ of 113, 138, 135, 120, 155, 137, 130, 114 and 138. His 1987 is one of the most valuable seasons of the decade, all he did was hit nearly as well as Mark McGwire in his 49 HR rookie season while playing SS.

Trammell is ridiculously overqualified for the Hall of Fame, he'd be in the upper half for sure.
   173. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: December 22, 2008 at 04:47 AM (#3035594)
I agree with paragraph 1 almost entirely, although I would note that this is not what he was accused of doing. As for paragraph 2, that is a very fair question to ask me, since, being a Cardinals fan from St. Louis, I of course think the Mets are Pond Scum.


Of course I knew this since the "Pond Scum" characterization was in one of the Baseball Sabermetric's I read. That's fine, except as an analyst the dislike has to end there.

There is a difference between one thinking that McGwire's HOF numbers result from steroid use and thinking that The Immortal Babe hit 714 HR's partly because he was drunk or thinking that it was OK that X was on drugs. There is a pretty direct cause and effect thing going on with steroids that separates them from your garden variety recreational drug.

Trammell is ridiculously overqualified for the Hall of Fame, he'd be in the upper half for sure.


Treammell is hurt by ARod coming along and creating a new standard. Its bullshit, for want of a better term.
   174. DL from MN Posted: December 22, 2008 at 07:37 PM (#3035957)
Best 5 percenters -

Lou Whitaker
Dwight Evans
Rick Reuschel
Bret Saberhagen
Will Clark
Keith Hernandez
Dave Stieb
Willie Randolph
---in/out---
Chuck Finley
Buddy Bell
Frank Tanana

Sad that there's 11 players eliminated who would have warranted the 9th/10th slots on my ballot.
   175. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 22, 2008 at 09:59 PM (#3036117)
174. DL from MN Posted: December 22, 2008 at 02:37 PM (#3035957)

Best 5 percenters -

Lou Whitaker
Dwight Evans
Rick Reuschel
Bret Saberhagen
Will Clark
Keith Hernandez
Dave Stieb
Willie Randolph


No Darrell Evans?
   176. DL from MN Posted: December 22, 2008 at 10:18 PM (#3036146)
I thought Evans was no longer in the 20 year window. Retired after 1989 - this is a 2009 ballot. If this is his "final" year, then he's on my list ahead of Dewey.
   177. DanG Posted: December 23, 2008 at 05:59 AM (#3036483)
I thought Evans was no longer in the 20 year window. Retired after 1989
As did Jim Rice and Tommy John, now in their final year on the BBWAA ballot. Candidates for this election last played in 1989-2003. So this is Darrell's last year under BBWAA jurisdiction. He'll be eligible for the Veterans Committe election two years from now.

Next year is the final BBWAA year for 5-percenters Keith Hernandez, Dan Quisenberry and Fred Lynn.
   178. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 23, 2008 at 11:53 AM (#3036546)
177. DanG Posted: December 23, 2008 at 12:59 AM (#3036483)

Next year is the final BBWAA year for 5-percenters Keith Hernandez, Dan Quisenberry and Fred Lynn.


Rick Reuschel too!
   179. DanG Posted: December 23, 2008 at 03:25 PM (#3036600)
Rick Reuschel too!
No, his last year was 1991. He has two more years under BBWAA jurisdiction.

We need another reinstatment done, like they did in 1985 and 1986.

And make it the 0.5% Rule: get three votes and you stay on.
   180. Fridas Boss Posted: December 23, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#3036649)
Mike E., help me understand where you are coming from on Blyleven.

Are you proposing that he choked when it mattered most? That he selectively chose to give his best effort when games weren't close? That he had a different "ability" to prevent runs in different score contexts? That pitcher's in general have this ability?

I don't doubt the facts you present; I just don't see how and why you hang all of the "blame" on Blyeven that you do. Have you evaluated other pitchers in this context? What did you find there?
   181. JPWF13 Posted: December 23, 2008 at 04:45 PM (#3036664)
MWE: You've explained why you're not voting for Blyleven. I disagree, but so be it. And not voting for McGwire - again, I disagree, but we understand where you might be coming from there. But why aren't you voting for Trammell?


Hey someone has to take up BL's anti-stathead groupthink banner...

I think the stathead anti-Blyleven position is that he wasn't as good as his ERA+
he went 287-250, 118
a 118 ERA+ "should" have lead to a a 308-229 record (in 537 decisions- Blyleven is "missing" decisions too, with his IP he "should" have had about 550-550).

The stathead majority opinion seems to be that Blyleven was a 308-229 pitcher who was screwed by a lack of run support. It's been pointed out that Blyleven's run support was not actually that bad- even with the support he had he "should" have gone something like 300-237...
More importantly to some this discrepancy comes up most clearly in his "peak" seasons- which are thus just not as good as they look to a stathead.

Personally I've gone back and forth on this, but imho Blyleven's "true" winning % was roughly between his actual WP of .534 and his pythag wp% of .573- which would make him a .554 pitcher, and with 4970 IP, a "true talent" record of 306-246- which record would have lead to Blyleven's induction into the HOF...
   182. Dizzypaco Posted: December 23, 2008 at 04:59 PM (#3036678)
I think the stathead anti-Blyleven position is that he wasn't as good as his ERA+

This is my position, anyway. Even with this, I still think he deserves to be inducted, but I've never thought he was as great as some in the pro-Blyleven crowd makes him out to be.

That he selectively chose to give his best effort when games weren't close? That he had a different "ability" to prevent runs in different score contexts?

"Choice" and even "ability" have nothing to do with it. All that matters is what he did, not why he did it. If he didn't perform as well as might be expected in some important situations, it doesn't make any difference why. At the same time, it should be noted that the extent to which Blyleven underperformed compared to what would have been expected given his ERA+ was not overly substantial from what I've seen, which is why I think he still deserves induction.
   183. Fridas Boss Posted: December 23, 2008 at 05:11 PM (#3036690)
"Choice" and even "ability" have nothing to do with it. All that matters is what he did, not why he did it. If he didn't perform as well as might be expected in some important situations, it doesn't make any difference why.

I disagree. At stake here is understading why Blyleven's record doesn't jibe with his ERA+. Given that a won-loss record is not under sole control of the pitcher, I think it is exteremly important to 'call a spade a spade' and discuss why they don't match up and why it should be attributed to Blyleven's 'fault'. If the reasons are run support and random timing issues, I'd disregard the discrepency altogether when evaluating Blyeven's case.

That being said, I would also agree that even stipulating this negative as on Blyleven, he's a hall of famer anyway, so it should be a moot point.
   184. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 23, 2008 at 07:01 PM (#3036791)
Blyleven had pretty lousy defensive support too. His DERA - NRA is -.08 (according to my weighted innings, BPro has -.07), which is pretty bad (0 is average).

Combined his bullpen's + him as a reliever in terms of inherited runners cost him 1.7 runs over the course of his career.

He played on average in weak leagues. Expansion was rampant, and he was in the weaker league most of the time on top of that. This gets him a .07 'ding' on his RA/9IP, IMO.

Overall I get his RA+ at the same 118 as his ERA+ after adding it all up.

I also get him with 96 career WARP, which puts him right there with Steve Carlton, Phil Niekro and Christy Mathewson. He had a higher 'rate' than Carlton and Niekro, but fewer IP.

I haven't dinged him for not winning as much as his run support says he should have - but to drop him to the point that he's not a pretty easy Hall of Famer (65 or so WARP in my system is where it starts getting gray), seems insane to me.
   185. jimd Posted: December 24, 2008 at 02:54 AM (#3037418)
Trammell is ridiculously overqualified for the Hall of Fame, he'd be in the upper half for sure.

QFT.
   186. jimd Posted: December 24, 2008 at 03:17 AM (#3037429)
Blyleven went 287-250, a 118 ERA+ "should" have lead to a a 308-229 record

The discrepancy between the two is not statistically significant.

Even if it were, one would have to show that there were at least a handful of players that were more than two standard deviations away from their expected records in both directions. If there were only one or two, then that is what one would expect to find given a sample of say 40 pitchers with that many decisions. In other words, Blyleven was just unlucky, unless one can demonstrate that there are a number of pitchers that significantly overperform (were "clutch") and underperform ("chokers"). One or two examples prove nothing but lucky/unlucky. Many examples give some evidence that the distribution is not normal and provide a basis for another explanation.
   187. sunnyday2 Posted: December 24, 2008 at 02:20 PM (#3037608)
It sure seems like there's a double standard on Blyleven. I mean, except for Bert the mantra is, since when are wins are sensible way to evaluate a pitcher?

And as for Trammell, there may be a Hall of Fame for which he wasn't good enough for long enough. But it sure as hell ain't the one located in Cooperstown.
   188. David in Toledo Posted: December 25, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#3038215)
Blyleven, Raines, Henderson, Trammell
   189. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 25, 2008 at 07:13 PM (#3038258)
I don't know if that's right, sunnyday. I think looking at Win Probability Added instead of ERA+ is perfectly reasonable and defensible as a backward-looking, descriptive measure of value--if a guy truly pitched "away from the score" so much that his teams never won, I don't think he'd be Meritorious no matter how good his ERA+ was. And it is also true that Blyleven's WPA is not as high as his ERA+ and innings would suggest.

But the point is that Blyleven is SO far over the Hall's in/out line--he's really one of the most valuable pitchers ever--that knocking off a handful of wins for "pitching away from the score" just shouldn't have any substantive impact on his Hall case. It's almost like saying Babe Ruth shouldn't be in the Hall because he got caught stealing too much. Well, yes, Ruth's SB/CS were terrible, and he would have been even more valuable if he had never tried to run. But everything else he did made him the greatest player ever, and a few wins on baserunning are a meaningless drop in the bucket.
   190. Chris Cobb Posted: December 25, 2008 at 08:12 PM (#3038268)
My sense of the Blyleven thing is that the few BBTF voters who object to Blyleven on the WPA front are mostly using that as an excuse for the other issue that has been brought up against Blyleven, which is his attitude issue in Pittsburgh. My conclusion is that if Blyleven had quit the game in 1978 rather than play for Chuck Tanner (a position with which I could sympathize) and had gone to Nepal in search of the perfect pitch, then returned in 1981 and had the rest of his career, he'd probably be getting more support for the HoF than he is now. The value he added to his career during those three seasons is far less than the attitudinal negatives he accumulated in the minds of many--people who follow the National League mainly have that stint as their main image of Blyleven. It's not a flattering image, but it's only a small part of the total picture.
   191. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 26, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#3038384)
I concur with Chris' post above. I think if another pitcher had the same stats that Blyleven had without the bad press (rightly or wrongly) from '79, he most likely would have 100% support here.
   192. aardvark Posted: December 29, 2008 at 04:23 AM (#3039350)
Henderson
McGwire
Blyleven
Raines
and I'll give John a vote, as he gets a bit of a bump as a pioneer.
   193. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 29, 2008 at 01:35 PM (#3039445)
Think you were a little late, aardvark. Sorry about that.
   194. aardvark Posted: December 29, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#3039735)
oops, I guess I misunderstood.
   195. Paul Wendt Posted: December 29, 2008 at 08:21 PM (#3039746)
bjhanke
That is, if McGwire, then also Ruth (prohibition alcohol and a variety of illegal bats), Foxx and Waner (illegal booze), Sisler (illegal bat), Raines (admitted cocaine), probably Ty Cobb, who was connected to Coca-Cola during the time when it still had cocaine in it, and on and on.

Wikipedia: "Coca-cola" says 1903, and says that Candler of The Coca-Cola Company claimed to use only 1/10 the quantity that inventor Pemberton had used.
   196. Paul Wendt Posted: December 29, 2008 at 08:44 PM (#3039763)
> Wikipedia: "Coca-cola" says 1903,

That is, Candler and The Coca Cola Company dropped cocaine as one active ingredient in 1903. Candler acquired some recipe and ill-defined right from Pemberton in 1888.

--
163. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 21, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#3035345)
Someone claimed that nobody ever thought that Alan Trammell was the best player in baseball. That is incorrect. I distinctly recall Peter Gammons touting Trammell as such though I have been unsuccessful finding it in any print archives. I know he made statements to that effect during an ESPN broadcast around either an ASG or playoffs.

Many players are called the bst player in baseball if we count everyone who "may be the best player in baseball". Larkin was another. Puckett may be the best player in baseball, it was said when Boston wined him and dined him in the early 1990s. Regarding Trammell and Larkin, I suppose that it was a way of dissenting from the elevation of Cal Ripken. I might have been tempted to try that myself if I had been a baseball writer. George Will boosted Ripken's stock with some people; boosted Trammell's and Larkin's stock with others.
   197. Paul Wendt Posted: December 29, 2008 at 11:58 PM (#3039924)
reading forward, then backward,

173. Tom D Posted: December 21, 2008 at 11:47 PM (#3035594)
[quoting bjhanke]
> As for paragraph 2, that is a very fair question to ask me, since, being
> a Cardinals fan from St. Louis, I of course think the Mets are Pond Scum.

Of course I knew this since the "Pond Scum" characterization was in one of the Baseball Sabermetric's I read.</i>

Of course! But I recall reading here recently that bjhanke learned about the "Pond Scum" Yankees on the lap of his father, a St Louis Browns fan from 1911. The Mets thing may be merely a transfer of disaffection.

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177. DanG Posted: December 23, 2008 at 12:59 AM (#3036483)
> I thought Evans was no longer in the 20 year window. Retired after 1989

As did Jim Rice and Tommy John, now in their final year on the BBWAA ballot. Candidates for this election last played in 1989-2003. So this is Darrell's last year under BBWAA jurisdiction. He'll be eligible for the Veterans Committee election two years from now.


By current design that is the next election for recent veteran players, the "2011" election at the Baseball Winter Meetings in December 2010. John Murphy take note!

--
Is Greg Vaughn the worst player to be on this ballot, as well as wearing that honor for players with a 50 HR season?

The worst players on the ballot seem to me a lot stronger than they were a generation ago: Mike Jorgensen, Art Howe, &c;.

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102. Esteban Rivera Posted: December 16, 2008 at 06:58 PM (#3031115)
[Tinker-Evers-Chance] did all this on of the greatest dynasties ever seen up to that time. That overshadowed the others. Heck, we still see that effect to this very day with today's players.

Did people consider the Cubs a great dynasty in contrast to the Pirates and the Giants? and in contrast to Boston and Baltimore in the 1890s?

Did they in 1909 when the Pirates won again, their fourth in the Aughts, after finishing one game behind the Cubs in 1908? Did they in 1913 when the Giants won their fifth under McGraw, and their third in a row?

When did people decide that the Cubs had achieved a lot more than the White Sox, Red Sox, or Athletics in the American League?
   198. Mark Donelson Posted: December 30, 2008 at 12:05 AM (#3039929)
That is, Candler and The Coca Cola Company dropped cocaine as one active ingredient in 1903. Candler acquired some recipe and ill-defined right from Pemberton in 1888.

Luckily, Cobb also has the gambling rumors (the incident with Speaker) we can throw at him instead. ;)
   199. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 30, 2008 at 12:22 AM (#3039947)
By current design that is the next election for recent veteran players, the "2011" election at the Baseball Winter Meetings in December 2010. John Murphy take note!


I will, Paul. In fact, I have a computer reminder to take care of it for me at that time. :-)
   200. DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2009 at 05:37 PM (#3044459)
bump for new discussion
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