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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 BBTF Hall of Fame Ballot

IMPORTANT: Please read:

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

The election will end next Tuesday on Jan 4 (8 PM EST). Results will be posted at the same time.

Please don’t post any vote tallies on this thread.

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

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

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

4. Method of Election

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

5. Voting — Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

The eligible candidates are: Roberto Alomar, Carlos Baerga*, Jeff Bagwell*, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Bret Boone*, Kevin Brown*, John Franco*, Juan Gonzalez*, Marquis Grissom*, Lenny Harris*, Bobby Higginson*, Charles Johnson*, Barry Larkin, Al Leiter*, Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez*, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff, Raul Mondesi*, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, John Olerud*, Rafael Palmeiro*, Dave Parker**, Tim Raines, Kirk Reuter*, Benito Santiago*, Lee Smith, B.J. Surhoff*, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker*.

* 1st-year candidates

** Last year of eligibility

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 28, 2010 at 03:47 PM | 180 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. JoeC Posted: December 29, 2010 at 08:45 PM (#3719617)
I actually agree with your overall point, but these two reasons don't support it at all. These increase the effectiveness for all pitchers, meaning it is no easier to get more value per inning. In essence, it lowers every pitchers ERA, which in turn moves the replacement level ERA to a lower threshold.


Sure, it would affect everybody - but great pitchers would be able to distinguish themselves further from their peers. If Adam Eaton and Roger Clemens both get a 10% boost in value, Roger adds more WAR than Adam.

I will say that it's tough to imagine either #2 or #3 actually making pitchers' numbers *better* - just taking #3, for example, pitchers would have to be below replacement the 4th time around for that to make sense, and I don't think managers were quite that irrational. But they do mean that you can't scale linearly and say "they're getting 20% fewer innings, so I'll give them a 20% bump." And in combination with other factors, it might well mean that 60 WAR is less difficult to achieve than it used to be, not more. (Whether that matters in your particular HOF calculus is an entirely different question.)
   102. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 29, 2010 at 08:46 PM (#3719620)
I feel there are about 14 viable candidates on the ballot.

That's the jeopardy answer to "This total summarizes the number of relatives whom Harvey believes are not a total waste of skin."
   103. JoeC Posted: December 29, 2010 at 08:58 PM (#3719630)
In addition (I have not looked into this) you could argue that the lower ERA's from relievers artificially lower the league ERA further, making it actually harder for starters to accumulate value.


This could definitely be true - not just the max-effort factor or the familiarity factor, but also the % of high-leverage PAs in which the defense has the platoon advantage (or gets to face the lower-quality pinch hitters that come in to prevent this).

One thing that WAR analysis can't capture in all of this is the fixed number of roster spots. Have Roy Halladay's teams been able to avoid employing that third LOOGY in favor of a position player because he completes more starts? (And if they could, but they're not smart enough to, do we give Roy credit anyway?)
   104. VoodooR Posted: December 29, 2010 at 08:59 PM (#3719632)
1. Bagwell
2. Alomar
3. McGwire
4. Blyleven
5. Larkin
6. Raines
7. Trammell
8. Walker
9. Martinez
   105. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 29, 2010 at 09:13 PM (#3719642)
you could argue that the lower ERA's from relievers artificially lower the league ERA further, making it actually harder for starters to accumulate value.


Except that the only relievers who actually have lower ERAs are the elite relievers, who pitch a relatively small fraction of the league's innings. The guys who pitch the low-leverage relief innings generally have higher ERAs - and there are more of those innings than there are high-leverage relief innings.

-- MWE
   106. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 29, 2010 at 09:30 PM (#3719655)
Sure, it would affect everybody - but great pitchers would be able to distinguish themselves further from their peers. If Adam Eaton and Roger Clemens both get a 10% boost in value, Roger adds more WAR than Adam.


Uhm, yeah... no.

The problem is that the value you speak of here is derived from earned (or unearned if you want) runs, which don't need to be maximized, but minimized. Say that pitcher A gives up 50 runs in 200 innings, pitcher B gives up 100 in 200 innings, meaning there is about a 5 win difference. Now everyone improves by 10%. Pitcher A now gives up 45 runs, and pitcher B 90. The difference is now only 4.5 wins. In other words, it becomes harder to dominate in a lower run environment.
   107. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 29, 2010 at 09:37 PM (#3719662)
Except that the only relievers who actually have lower ERAs are the elite relievers, who pitch a relatively small fraction of the league's innings. The guys who pitch the low-leverage relief innings generally have higher ERAs - and there are more of those innings than there are high-leverage relief innings.

-- MWE


I'm not sure I follow, what has leverage got to do with the ability of starters to accumulate value. Relief pitchers as a group have a lower ERA than starters. IIRC ATM league average ERA+ for starters is abuot 96, and for relievers it's 104. IOW the use of relief pitchers reduces the overall league average ERA. This relatively speaking hurts the starters, when you make evaluations that are based upon league average ERA, or a derived replacement level.
   108. CrosbyBird Posted: December 29, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3719700)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

I am shocked that I have a 10-man ballot; I consider myself a pretty small-hall guy. Then again, Alomar, Blyleven, McGwire, Raines, and Trammell all would have already been in the HOF and I didn't need any more slots to get everyone I wanted.
   109. Martin Hemner Posted: December 29, 2010 at 10:29 PM (#3719707)
And it's not like Al Leiter would embarass the HOF. He is a more deserving candidate than Catfish Hunter, or Herb Pennock, or Jesse Haines, or Rube Marquard... Granted, we recognize them as mistakes, but still: They're in the Hall of Fame. He's comparable to the worst HOF starting pitchers whose elections are not generally regarded as a mistake...Lefty Gomez, Dizzy Dean, Bob Lemon, Chief Bender, etc.

I guess that's fair, but Leiter is a pretty far slide. In the next ten or so years, the following pitchers will be on the ballot:

Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, Brown, Pedro, Schilling, Mussina, Smoltz, Glavine, Pettitte, Oswalt, Halladay, Santana, Hudson, and Zito, just off the top of my head. Cone and Hershiser are off the ballot and are better.

All of those guys are better than Leiter (maybe Zito is at the same level). If they all go in, do we still need Leiter in the hall to correct that imbalance?
   110. JoeC Posted: December 30, 2010 at 12:39 AM (#3719796)
Uhm, yeah... no.


Please don't do that - can we try to find the truth rather than win an argument?


The problem is that the value you speak of here is derived from earned (or unearned if you want) runs, which don't need to be maximized, but minimized. Say that pitcher A gives up 50 runs in 200 innings, pitcher B gives up 100 in 200 innings, meaning there is about a 5 win difference. Now everyone improves by 10%. Pitcher A now gives up 45 runs, and pitcher B 90. The difference is now only 4.5 wins. In other words, it becomes harder to dominate in a lower run environment.


It's less than that, since lower environments reduce the runs per win, but I get what you're saying. "10% boost in value" is a vague, ill-defined concept which doesn't mean "gives up 10% fewer runs per IP," and I shouldn't have used it without defining it. I was trying to get at something that would give everybody a 10% boost in WAR, but it's doubtful anything would actually work that way.

Going back to my original claim #2, it's that being able to pitch at a higher effort level might raise starters' value per inning compared to starters of previous eras, mitigating the drop in seasonal innings. If starters could pitch with more effort since they don't have to go as long, what would happen? They'd be able to get closer to what they would do if they were closers. It would reduce the difference between starter and closer ERAs, and give starters more value per inning relative to closers than they used to have. I say "closers" and not "relievers" since the pool of relievers would not stay constant - more innings would have to be pitched by relievers. I think, but haven't checked, that this hasn't meant that many more innings for closers and setup men; it's meant more innings for the back of the bullpen and for 12th and 13th pitchers who used to be in AAA. Those innings aren't pitched at 104 ERA+, so it would raise bullpen ERAs and reduce the difference between starter/bullpen ERAs. (Has this actually been happening? The starter/reliever relative ERAs should at least be out there, not that I can find them.)

Yes, it would affect every starter if usage patterns changed uniformly, but it wouldn't necessarily reduce the run environment - it would replace innings from tired starters (but still presumably above replacement level) with more innings from the back of the bullpen (presumably right around replacement level), and counteract that effect by making starters' first 6-7 innings better. Now, it wouldn't be rational for teams to make a change like that if it *didn't* add up to a reduction in the run environment, but even if it did, since more of the overall pitching value might be concentrated in starters despite the fewer innings, it could still lead to starters having more WAR/inning. And teams might not be rational, either - or they might not be changing usage patterns uniformly.

It's getting really unsatisfying to keep saying "might" and "could" - time to go look at what's actually happened, but at least I'm trying to show why it's a hypothesis that can't be rejected.

[PS. The question of whether Roger Clemens would take more advantage than Adam Eaton is a red herring, and I apologize for bringing it up. I don't know how velocity, movement, control, and pitch selection are affected by fatigue and familiarity, and whether that's the same for elite pitchers as for below-average pitchers. As for lower-offense eras being harder to dominate, I get the math of it, but why aren't more of the best pitching seasons from the 30's, 90's, and 00's? Is it because in a low-offense era it only takes a few fluke runs that you don't give up to make your ERA+ and WAR jump? If we looked at 3-year stretches, would most of the best pitching performances be from high-offense eras?]
   111. OCF Posted: December 30, 2010 at 01:31 AM (#3719831)
As for lower-offense eras being harder to dominate, I get the math of it, but why aren't more of the best pitching seasons from the 30's, 90's, and 00's?

There are more dominant (extreme high ERA+) years in 90's and 2000"s - but it's not because they're high offense. And you're right, they're not there in the 20's and 30's (and Lefty Grove really sticks out from his own time). There are a lot of very high ERA+ years in the deadball 1900's and 1910's, some of them by pitchers who didn't have great careers. And the semi-deadball 60's had Gibson's outlier year, Koufax's career and an outlier year by Dean Chance.

There seems to be a very direct connection between the higher league-leading ERA+'s since 1990 and the change from the 270 IP season to the 215 IP season. Starting pitchers now pitch fewer innings than starting pitchers past; that they can now create more value per inning is a partial compensation for that.
   112. JoeC Posted: December 30, 2010 at 02:19 AM (#3719848)
By the way, for those of you who get your Poz at SI these days, the current tallies on his own blog's HOF vote are a little surprising - only three guys over the threshold. I won't post the numbers here, because the thread says not to post any tallies, but check it out if you want to vote there.
   113. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 30, 2010 at 02:43 AM (#3719860)
Looking at the three who made it over the threshold and the four runnersup, I get the feeling that Poz's voters are a big cut above the average BBWAA writer, and in this case a testament to the wisdom of informed crowds.
   114. JoeC Posted: December 30, 2010 at 02:47 AM (#3719864)
Agreed. I would have expected more over 75%, but the ordinal ranking makes me a lot happier than the BBWAA's does.
   115. bjhanke Posted: December 30, 2010 at 08:35 AM (#3719986)
Here are mine, without any comments. I can get into enough trouble in the Hall of Merit writing 20,000-word ballots, and this is supposed to be by the HoF rules, where you don't explain anything to anyone and can vote anonymously if you want. The one oddity is that my ballot only disagrees with Zop's (comment #11) in two cases: McGwire and Brown. Those of you in the HoM will remember the trouble I got into with Zop, trouble that I wish we had taken the time to work out, since Zop's points weren't stupid. He didn't know the contexts I use, especially when dealing with early baseball, but he was making me think, and that's the point of all those words I crank out. I'm glad to be mostly in agreement with someone who is that bright and that committed, even if he's Kevin Brown's best friend and I am apparently his worst enemy in the HoM. If I had to vote for one more guy, it would be Martinez.- Brock Hanke

Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Larkin
McGwire
Raines
Trammell
Walker
   116. bjhanke Posted: December 30, 2010 at 08:51 AM (#3719990)
Two of the features discussed here for pitchers combine, I think, to point out why there are "closers." First, it's probably true that most pitchers do wear down during a game, and that some hitters can hit that pitcher's fastball if it's just a couple of mph slower. This combines with the concept of the "one-pitch" closer: the guy who only has one major league pitch, but it's a doozy. Just from my memories as a Cardinal fan, I can think of two examples. First, Bob Gibson in game 7 of the 1964 series. He had a 4-run lead in the 9th, and gave up two homers by just throwing fastballs down the pipe and letting his fielders and his lead do his work. He was exhausted, but put up the only example of "pitching to the score" that I've ever thought was really true. I mean, this is Bob Gibson, and he gave up a homer to Phil Linz because Linz got a fastball down the middle. And his manager wasn't going to take him out, either. The other side of this is Todd Worrell. When Todd came up to the majors, it was as a closer, but he had been a starter in the minors. Then one of the minor league guys figured out that his ERA was tremendous for the first 3 innings, and then went south, game after game. Well, Todd only really had a heater, and it wore him down quick and everyone knew that was all he had. So one trip through the lineup was all for him, even at the AAA level.

Nowadays, Gibson would come out and Worrell would come in. In Gibson's day, Worrell would probably never have made the majors at all because he couldn't go deep into games and people didn't get into the bigs as "closers." They got converted to closer after they got to the majors.

- Brock
   117. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 30, 2010 at 02:15 PM (#3720012)
Going back to my original claim #2, it's that being able to pitch at a higher effort level might raise starters' value per inning compared to starters of previous eras, mitigating the drop in seasonal innings. If starters could pitch with more effort since they don't have to go as long, what would happen? They'd be able to get closer to what they would do if they were closers. It would reduce the difference between starter and closer ERAs, and give starters more value per inning relative to closers than they used to have. I say "closers" and not "relievers" since the pool of relievers would not stay constant - more innings would have to be pitched by relievers. I think, but haven't checked, that this hasn't meant that many more innings for closers and setup men; it's meant more innings for the back of the bullpen and for 12th and 13th pitchers who used to be in AAA. Those innings aren't pitched at 104 ERA+, so it would raise bullpen ERAs and reduce the difference between starter/bullpen ERAs. (Has this actually been happening? The starter/reliever relative ERAs should at least be out there, not that I can find them.)


YR; Lg ERA; Starter ERA

1971 3.47 3.47
1976 3.52 3.59
1981 3.66 3.79
1986 4.19 4.25
1991 4.10 4.26
1996 5.00 5.17
2001 4.48 4.67
2006 4.56 4.73

I'm to lazy to do a full year by year, but the 5 year snapshots certainly seem to confirm my suspicion that modern bullpen usage has increased the gap between average pitching and average SP, and not the inverse.
   118. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 30, 2010 at 02:48 PM (#3720024)
Ugh. Just realized that I was inadvertently looking at AL totals only. Dumb of me. When I clicked on the link for league stats, I automatically assumed it would take me to the whole of MLB, not just the AL. I blame BR. You hear me Sean, I'm blaming YOU!
   119. Rusty Priske Posted: December 30, 2010 at 02:52 PM (#3720028)
I want to vote for 13...

Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

Deserving but no room:
Fred McGriff
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
   120. karlmagnus Posted: December 30, 2010 at 03:49 PM (#3720074)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell

I Think I'm small-hall enough to reject Palmeiro and Walker, at least for the present. One problem is that the electors have done a poor job of electing past worthy candidates, so there's a lot of clutter on the ballot.
   121. alilisd Posted: December 30, 2010 at 06:29 PM (#3720227)
Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Raines
Trammell
   122. cookiedabookie Posted: December 30, 2010 at 08:28 PM (#3720338)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   123. steagles Posted: December 30, 2010 at 09:34 PM (#3720405)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown*
John Franco*
Barry Larkin
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker*.


i had 13 candidates i would vote for, but edgar martinez, jack morris, and dale murphy (i really wanted to vote for murphy) got squeezed out.
   124. Juan V Posted: December 30, 2010 at 10:08 PM (#3720426)
I filled up my ballot.

Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Brown
Larkin
McGwire
Murphy
Raines
Trammell
Walker

EDIT: Forgot about Raines. He goes in, Raffy (because of the positive test and because he has one of the lowest scores in my HOM spreadsheet among those listed before) goes out.
   125. Adam Schafer Posted: December 30, 2010 at 11:03 PM (#3720474)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
TIm Raines
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

honorable mention: Larry Walker - I wanted to vote for him, but there wasn't enough room
   126. ronw Posted: December 30, 2010 at 11:30 PM (#3720495)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

Good class. All already members of the HOM, and I had to leave off Rafael Palmeiro and Lee Smith, both of whom might make the HOM some day soon.
   127. Chris Fluit Posted: December 31, 2010 at 01:08 AM (#3720552)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   128. lieiam Posted: December 31, 2010 at 01:54 AM (#3720574)
Alomar, Roberto
Bagwell, Jeff
Blyleven, Bert
Larkin, Barry
Martinez, Edgar
McGwire, Mark
Palmeiro, Rafael
Raines, Tim
Trammell, Alan
Walker, Larry

The one I leave off is Brown. It's hard to believe there are so many high quality backlog candidates on the ballot.
   129. Steve M. Posted: December 31, 2010 at 03:47 AM (#3720607)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Tim Raines
   130. Outdoor Miner Posted: December 31, 2010 at 05:10 AM (#3720626)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
   131. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 31, 2010 at 05:27 AM (#3720635)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

Brown gets left off my ballot until next season. It came down to him v. Martinez for the last slot, and sentimentality won out.

Usually I wouldn't fill a ballot, I don't think, but there are some very strong candidates here, including two (Alomar & Larkin) I had assumed would go in on their first ballot last year.
   132. Mike Webber Posted: December 31, 2010 at 06:05 AM (#3720650)
I would vote for 10, and I would probably have voted for Palmiero too if I had 11 slots.


Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, Alan Trammell, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Kevin Brown


Brown is the last guy in on my ballot, Raffy first guy out.
   133. MBL Posted: December 31, 2010 at 10:46 AM (#3720708)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell

Would also vote for Larry Walker and Rafael Palmeiro if I had the space.
   134. Rusty Priske Posted: December 31, 2010 at 02:31 PM (#3720723)
Nobody is voting for Parker? Now I really wish I could squeeze him in, just so he would get a vote...
   135. yeager Posted: December 31, 2010 at 06:28 PM (#3720819)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   136. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 31, 2010 at 07:07 PM (#3720856)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

Edgar is just barely ahead of Palmeiro for the last spot. Since I usually try to fill up my ballot, there's a bunch of guys I've voted for in the past who don't make it this time.
   137. andrew siegel Posted: December 31, 2010 at 08:13 PM (#3720890)
I'm with everybody else--the ballot is crazy crowded. No room for guys I have voted for in the past (e.g., Smith, Murphy). No room for Palmiero (edged out by Edgar and Walker based on the heights of their respective primes).

In rough order, I have it:

(1) Bagwell
(2) Blyleven
(3) Raines
(4) Larkin
(5) McGwire
(6) Trammell
(7) Alomar
(8) Brown
(9) Walker
(10) Martinez
   138. Brent Posted: January 01, 2011 at 03:17 AM (#3721116)
Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Brown
Larkin
E Martinez
McGwire
Raines
Trammell
Walker

Honorable mentions go to McGriff, Murphy, Palmeiro and Parker.
   139. eric Posted: January 01, 2011 at 03:28 AM (#3721119)
Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Brown
Larkin
E Martinez
McGwire
Raines
Trammell
Walker
   140. Banta Posted: January 01, 2011 at 03:58 AM (#3721130)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

Couldn't really decide who was better, Martinez or Walker, so I went with the NLer.
   141. Eugene Freedman Posted: January 01, 2011 at 04:00 AM (#3721131)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   142. bobm Posted: January 01, 2011 at 04:30 AM (#3721139)
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Dale Murphy
John Olerud
Dave Parker
Tim Raines
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell
   143. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 01, 2011 at 05:33 AM (#3721153)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell


That was my original ballot earlier (#34), but I just now realized that I accidentally left off Edgar Martinez, whom I've always considered a HoFer. So whoever's doing the tallying, add that to his total.
   144. OCF Posted: January 01, 2011 at 05:50 AM (#3721157)
Got it. (And it was #56, not #34.)
   145. Walt Davis Posted: January 01, 2011 at 07:07 AM (#3721164)
I didn't know this was going on. "official" ballot at the bottom. I've discussed pretty much everyone somewhere but will say a bit more about the final 4 I've considered for the bottom 2 spots. Not that it makes much difference by me but this is an HoF thread, not an HoM thread so I'll apply HoF standards. I see 12 guys who are at least serious borderline candidates.

Lee Smith. I'm not a fan of Fingers in the HoF and I don't think Eck, Gossage or Sutter have any real business being there either. But there they are and I have to accept that HoF standards now include closers. By those standards, I think Smith has a decent case. If this was last year's thread (was there one?), he'd get more serious consideration; but this year's ballot is too crowded.

Palmeiro. Were this a real vote, he wouldn't get mine. As I've noted elsewhere, for "strategic" reasons, I think he has zero chance of election and I want him off the ballot ASAP so he doesn't still any votes when the ballot glut really hits. But this ain't a real vote. So then it becomes whether his career length is enough to offset that he is probably the worst overall among the qualified position players.

Edgar. Didn't support him last year, don't want to support him this year. I've explained elsewhere why I'm not as impressed by Edgar's offensive numbers as others apparently are. I hate having to figure this out for guys who spent most of their career at DH -- it's too much of a "what if" game. Sure, without the DH, Edgar would have been stuck at 1B or maybe gotten a couple more years at 3B before making the move to 1B. But how much shorter would his career have been, how many more games would he have missed, just how bad would his defense have been, would his hitting have been affected? Does something like the WAR positional adjustment sufficiently correct for the real-life baseball differences between guys like Palmeiro and Edgar? It's certainly not beyond my imagination that, without the DH, Edgar would be Norm Cash (for example). And it's one thing to say that Edgar shouldn't be penalized for having an advantage Cash didn't but this is the HoF and we are supposed to decide if these players meet an historical standard. I want to vote for the "great" (or "excellent") players, not necessarily the "most valuable." If he's Norm Cash, he's out; if he's a slightly less durable Bagwell, he's in.

Brown. I simply don't know what to do. He might be the anti-Palmeiro for me. If I had a real vote, I might give him one because I do want more time to consider it. But then, if I had a real vote, I'd have probably considered more deeply and sooner. Oh well, not a real vote so for now, I'm saying career too short (<3300 IP) and peak not high enough. Yet somehow I'm probably voting for Mussina, Schilling and Smoltz. Sue me for hypocrisy later.

I am very glad I don't have a real vote because those last 3 are killing me.

Ohh-fishul ballot (in no particular order):

1. Blyleven
2. Alomar
3. Bagwell
4. McGwire
5. Walker
6. Raines
7. Trammell
8. Larkin

It would be a shame if, while I turn my back to ponder my own brilliance, somebody was to scribble in the names of two of Palmeiro, Edgar, Brown.
   146. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: January 01, 2011 at 07:49 AM (#3721177)
1. Blyleven
2. Alomar
3. Bagwell
4. McGwire
5. Raines
6. Palmeiro
7. Trammell
8. Larkin
9. Walker
10. Martinez
   147. JJ1986 Posted: January 01, 2011 at 09:53 AM (#3721191)
Bagwell
Blyleven
McGwire
Alomar
Raines
Larkin
Trammell
Brown
   148. DCA Posted: January 01, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3721357)
I'm presuming for this exercise that I'm being asked to list the (up to) 10 most deserving candidates, not how I'd vote for the HOF if I actually could. It would be a significant difference in a year like this (and for the foreseeable future), when there are >10 obvious HOFers, as I would be voting strategically in real life.

Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Brown
Larkin
McGwire
Murphy
Palmeiro
Raines
Trammell
   149. SWW Posted: January 01, 2011 at 10:38 PM (#3721406)
This is the first time I can recall wanting to use all 10 slots. I kinda would've liked 11, actually, as I'll explain in a moment. My votes, alphabetically:

Roberto Alomar Velazquez
Jeffrey Robert Bagwell
Rik Aalbert Blyleven - "The Dutch Master"
Barry Louis Larkin
Mark David McGwire - "Big Mac"
Rafael Palmeiro Corrales
David Gene Parker - "Cobra"
Timothy Raines - "Rock"
Alan Stuart Trammell
Larry Kenneth Robert Walker

In a different year, I probably would have had Dale Murphy ahead of Parker. But this is Parker's final year on the ballot, so I felt obliged to give him the nod. I guess you could call it lame duck credit.
   150. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 02, 2011 at 12:25 AM (#3721449)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   151. Clint Posted: January 02, 2011 at 02:08 AM (#3721517)
1. Alomar
2. Bagwell
3. Blyleven
4. Larkin
5. McGriff
6. Murphy
7. Parker
8. Raines
9. Smith
10. Trammell
   152. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 02, 2011 at 03:08 AM (#3721545)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   153. BFFB Posted: January 02, 2011 at 03:20 AM (#3721546)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   154. EricC Posted: January 02, 2011 at 04:40 PM (#3721760)
1. Alomar
2. Bagwell
3. Blyleven
4. Brown
5. Larkin
6. E. Martinez
7. McGwire
8. Palmeiro
9. Raines
10. Trammell
   155. fra paolo Posted: January 02, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#3721788)
However, we hope to see only players that each voter feels belong on their ballots - if you don’t feel he really is a HOFer, then please refrain from posting that player’s name... Leaving 1st-year candidates off your ballot is also frowned upon. IOW, we would like to see an absence of some of the silliness that permeates Hall of Fame voting by the writers.

This little homily had no influence on my ballot. For one thing, I don't think you can apply 'all-Hall' standards to the BBWAA electees.

Barry Larkin
Tim Raines
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell
Mark McGwire
Jeff Bagwell
   156. Langer Monk Posted: January 02, 2011 at 06:35 PM (#3721800)
1. Alomar
2. Bagwell
3. Blyleven
4. Larkin
5. McGwire
6. Raines
7. Trammell
   157. Jick Posted: January 02, 2011 at 07:44 PM (#3721830)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   158. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: January 02, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3721906)
Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Larkin
E Martinez
McGwire
Raines
Trammell
Walker
   159. Adam B. Posted: January 02, 2011 at 09:43 PM (#3721924)
Alomar
Bagwell
Larkin
E Martinez
McGwire
Raines
   160. DL from MN Posted: January 03, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3722288)
Just a reminder - There is another ballot going on simultaneously. The mock-VC ballot is getting a lot less attention.
   161. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 04, 2011 at 01:09 PM (#3722900)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
   162. Al Peterson Posted: January 04, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3722931)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell*
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown*
Barry Larkin
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro*
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker*

Next in line would have been Edgar, McGriff, and Smith I guess. A stacked list indeed. The fun thing to do now is probably go and order the 33 listed players. Lets break down who is more valuable across a BJ Surhoff, John Franco, Jack Morris, Benito Santiago spectrum. I'm pretty sure of the last slot (I'm looking at you Lenny!).
   163. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: January 04, 2011 at 02:47 PM (#3722941)
Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Larkin
McGwire
Murphy
Raines
Smith
Trammell
Walker
   164. dlf Posted: January 04, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3722943)
Alomar
Bagwell
Larkin
McGwire
Murphy
Raines
Trammell

In my opinion, walking off the Pirates in 1980 is a serious black mark against Blyleven. Steroids are something purportedly designed to allow players to perform better or at least more often; quitting on the team -- unless you are Rey Ordonez -- has the opposite result. I find the latter significantly more damaging than the former.

I am on the fence about Walker. I don't think "neutralizing" his stats such as via OPS+ works, I don't think doubling his road stats works. But I don't know how to get my mind around the candidate most significantly impacted by park effects since Chuck Klein.

I think Martinez and Palmeiro are close, but my starting place is dominance within an era and there are already two overlapping 1Bs on my ballot. Willie and Mickey are clearly in, the Duke slips over, but I think Ashburn and Doby (absent pioneering credit) cross the line into too much from too small an era. Brown has the same problem with candidates not yet on the ballot like Clemens, Maddux, Pedro, Unit, Glavine, Schilling, Mussina, and, of course, Frank Tanana.
   165. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 04, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#3722972)
Fred McGwire
You know, I've seen this name misspelled as "McGuire", but I've never seen "Mark" spelled that badly.
   166. flournoy Posted: January 04, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3722981)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Kevin Brown
Barry Larkin
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
   167. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: January 04, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3722984)
Can I vote here although I have not done a Hall of Merit ballot in a long, long time? I hope so.

Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Mark McGwire
Fred McGriff
Dave Parker
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

I would also have voted for Martinez, and would give strong consideration to Brown.
   168. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 04, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3722985)
I'm not going to give any kind of tally, but we ain't doing much to dispel the "groupthink" meme in this thread. ;-)
   169. CrosbyBird Posted: January 04, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#3723056)
I'm not going to give any kind of tally, but we ain't doing much to dispel the "groupthink" meme in this thread.

Really? I thought the opposite. I think there's quite a few players that are going to show that we're not all in lockstep.
   170. DanG Posted: January 04, 2011 at 06:59 PM (#3723160)
From "Fixing the Hall of Fame":
A “Hall of Famer” is one of the top 232 players retiring in 2004 or before (not including banned players such as Pete Rose and Joe Jackson). Thus, the Hall’s electorate can be said to be in error when it elects a player who is not one of the top 232 eligible players, or when it fails to elect a player who is among the top 232.

The Hall of Fame should communicate to the BBWAA voters that they must stop denying election to so many deserving players; that the voters have a mandate to comprehend and acquiesce to the standards established over 75 years of electing players to the Hall.

Advocates for a "small hall" and "higher standards" disagree, of course. IMO, those views deny the reality of what the HOF has become. At this late date, to apply a standard that is out of step with what the HOF standards actually ARE (top 232 eligible), only adds to the errors of omission.

Recognizing this, my ballot always errs on the side of inclusion, because it takes three yesses to compensate for each non-vote. Even on this loaded ballot, many voters are still unable to identify more than six or seven players as deserving; also, given the archaic rule of the 10-player limit to ballots, these guys need all the support we can give them.

Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

Aplogies to Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff and Kevin Brown.
   171. CrosbyBird Posted: January 04, 2011 at 11:53 PM (#3723476)
Advocates for a "small hall" and "higher standards" disagree, of course. IMO, those views deny the reality of what the HOF has become. At this late date, to apply a standard that is out of step with what the HOF standards actually ARE (top 232 eligible), only adds to the errors of omission.

Errors of omission are correctable, errors of commission are forever. I think the BBWAA portion of the vote, in particular, should absolutely err on the side of omission for this reason.

I also think that it's not realistic to say that the HOF has some sort of static set of standards. Some of the terrible HOF selections would not be chosen today, not by the BBWAA, and not even by the VC. There was a period of time where the HOF was ridiculously inclusive, and a period of time where the HOF was ridiculously exclusive. To say that we've magically arrived at the right number is like saying the guy with one foot in a pot of boiling water and one foot in a pot of ice water should be comfortable.

My HOF standards, as a small-hall guy, are actually not very different in quantity from the current HOF standards; what the voters have been doing recently. The differences are primarily which players I'd exclude (ex: Puckett, Rice, Dawson, Gossage, Sutter) and which ones I'd put in (ex: Whitaker, Allen, Trammell, Blyleven, McGwire).
   172. Cat Named Manny Posted: January 05, 2011 at 12:12 AM (#3723487)
My ballot (reasoning is here, if you're curious):

Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

I really wish I could have voted for Fred McGriff. Brown was a closer call, but there weren't enough spots to even make it close.
   173. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: January 05, 2011 at 12:14 AM (#3723491)
Alomar
Bagwell
Blyleven
Larkin
Raines
Trammell
Walker
   174. Dykstra's Chew Posted: January 05, 2011 at 12:25 AM (#3723493)
Not a bid poster, but I do love me some HOF talk.

My ballot in no particular order:

1) Jeff Bagwell
2) Bert Blyleven
3) Tim Raines
4) Barry Larkin
5) Roberto Alomar
6) Alan Trammell
7) Kevin Brown
8) Edgar Martinez
9) Mark McGwire
10) Rafael Palmerio
   175. Fog City Blues Posted: January 05, 2011 at 01:05 AM (#3723515)
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
   176. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: January 05, 2011 at 01:19 AM (#3723525)
The mock-VC ballot is getting a lot less attention.

Odd, as it's so timely.
   177. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 05, 2011 at 01:28 AM (#3723533)
FWIW, the VC ballot always lags behind, whether or not it's before of after the real election.
   178. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 05, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#3723553)
The election is now over. Results will be posted at 10 EST.
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