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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best
Monday, December 05, 2016
2017 Hall of Merit Ballot
Welcome to the 2017 Hall of Merit Ballot thread. Balloting is open from now (December 5) through December 19, 2016 at 8 p.m. EST.
I’ve posted this the last several of years, but as a reminder:
“This has been an issue in the past, so I’ll repeat it now for clarification . . . the posting of the ballot to the discussion thread for new voters is not just a formality. With the posting of the ballot you are expected to post a summary of what you take into account - basically, how did you come up with this list? This does not mean that you need to have invented the Holy Grail of uber-stats. You don’t need a numerical rating down to the hundredth decimal point.
You do need to treat all eras of baseball history fairly. You do need to stick to what happened on the field (or your best estimate of what would have happened if wars and strikes and such hadn’t gotten in the way). You may be challenged and ask to defend your position, if someone notices internal inconsistencies, flaws in your logic, etc.. This is all a part of the learning process.
It isn’t an easy thing to submit a ballot, but that’s by design. Not because we don’t want to grow our numbers (though we’ve done just fine there, started with 29 voters in 1898, and passed 50 eventually), not because we want to shut out other voices. It’s because we want informed voters making informed decisions on the entire electorate, not just the players they remember.”
So if you are up for this, we’d love to have you! Even if you aren’t up to voting, we’d still appreciate your thoughts in the discussion. Some of our greatest contributors haven’t or have only rarely voted.
Chris Fluit posted this last month, also relevant and well said.
First of all, yes, we welcome new voters. If you have never voted in a HoM election before, you are invited to participate in this year’s vote. You’re asked to post a preliminary ballot in this thread and then defend your ballot. That last part sounds rough, but it doesn’t have to be. We don’t expect (or even desire) unanimity. But we do want your ballot to be internally consistent. We also figure that most members om this site will have at least a passing familiarity with sabrmetrics but that’s not written into any by-laws.
Second, new, newer and even some long-time voters may be wondering about the one-year boycott by-law. Basically, the founders of the Hall of Merit didn’t want a Hall of Fame style character clause that would leave some candidates in unofficial and perpetual purgatory. The Hall of Merit is about on-the-field contributions, period. However, the HoM recognizes that voters may sometimes have difficulty voting for players whose conduct was detrimental to the game in some way. The HoM therefore allows for a one-year boycott for first-year candidates.
To date, voters have exercised the one-year boycott for five candidates: Cap Anson, for his role in developing the color line in professional baseball; Shoeless Joe Jackson, for his role in the Black Sox scandal; Pete Rose, for betting on baseball; Mark McGwire, for his confessed use of performance enhancing drugs; and Rafael Palmeiro, for failing a test for performance enhancing drugs. In some cases, the boycotts meant that the player was inducted with a lower percentage than would have otherwise occurred. In other cases, the boycotts delayed the candidate’s induction by one year. It should be acknowledged that voters with a strong stance against steroids dropped out of this project after McGwire and Palmeiro were inducted over their objections. That’s why additional PED users and suspected users, like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, were not boycotted.
However, it was their decision to leave and not one forced upon them by other voters. You are welcome to participate in this project even with strong reservations about PED users as long as you abide by our by-laws.
To get specific: Yes, you may boycott Manny Ramirez for failing multiple PED tests if you so choose. And, yes, you may even boycott Ivan Rodriguez for being a suspected PED user (although many observers would draw a line between those two categories). However, you must indicate on your ballot that you are doing so. In addition, if either of those candidates fail to be elected this year, you may not boycott them in their second year of eligibility. You may not boycott any other holdover candidates. It’s a one-year boycott only.
Voters should name 15 players, in order. Thanks!
Don’t forget to comment on each of last year’s top ten returnees. As a reminder those guys are:
Jim Edmonds, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Kent, Kenny Lofton, Ben Taylor, Luis Tiant, Buddy Bell, Vic Willis, Bobby Bonds, Tommy Bridges.
Phil Rizzuto, Gavy Cravath, Bucky Walters and Sal Bando were right there with the back end of this group also.
Newcomers on the 2017 ballot. Note, the WAR numbers below are a bit outdated. Generally they are a bit low.
2016 (December 14, 2015)—elect 3 WS WAR Name-Pos 394 69.1 Manny Ramirez-LF/RF* 338 68.4 Ivan Rodriguez-C 324 59.3 Vladimir Guerrero-RF 243 46.5 Mike Cameron-CF 258 42.7 Jorge Posada-C 245 38.5 Magglio Ordonez-RF 206 44.9 J.D. Drew-RF 170 46.0 Javier Vazquez-P 233 34.3 Derrek Lee-1B 236 32.1 Edgar Renteria-SS 176 34.6 Tim Wakefield-P 142 34.5 Chris Carpenter-P* 160 28.2 Melvin Mora-3B 197 21.4 Orlando Cabrera-SS 147 27.7 Carlos Guillen-SS 181 18.8 Pat Burrell-LF 141 24.3 Jason Varitek-C 138 22.3 Craig Counsell-2B/SS 116 24.9 Casey Blake-3B 124 20.8 Aaron Rowand-CF 158 14.3 Matt Stairs-RF/DH 124 13.6 Julio Lugo-SS
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