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Monday, December 28, 2009

Hall of Fame Ballot Gathering Machine

FINAL…unless I find out that Lisa Olson’s blank ballot was sent in. Then everybody drops.

% Leaderboard after 128 Full Ballots…

87.5 - Alomar
80.5 - Blyleven
79.7 - Dawson
54.7 - Larkin
47.7 - J. Morris
42.2 - Lee Smith
41.4 - T. Raines
37.5 - Edgar
33.6 - McGwire
25.0 - Trammell
20.3 - McGriff
10.9 - D. Murphy
 9.4 - Parker
 6.3 - Baines
 6.3 - Mattingly
 0.8 - Ventura

Top Partial Ballot Leaders… (146 Full/Partials)

116 - Alomar
108 - Dawson
102 - Blyleven

And mega-tnx to Rene` on the twitter feeds.

Repoz Posted: December 28, 2009 at 08:47 PM | 418 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, media, site news

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

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   1. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 28, 2009 at 09:39 PM (#3423452)
Baines is getting more votes than McGriff? Damn.
   2. Banta Posted: December 28, 2009 at 09:46 PM (#3423455)
I can't believe that McGriff isn't getting more support. Not that I think that he's necessarily a HoFer, but it'd be ashame if he fell off the ballot.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 28, 2009 at 09:51 PM (#3423459)
It really looks like Dawson and Blyleven might be getting in. Cool. I don't think I'd vote for Hawk, but he was a favorite of mine during his Expos years and he seems like an admirable man so I'm still happy he's getting in. Hopefully he'll give a plug for Raines.
   4. rr Posted: December 28, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3423460)
GO BARRY!
   5. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 28, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3423466)
I wonder how The Hawk's career would have played out had he not spent so many years on the Big O's turf. Joe Dimino and I once talked about that.
   6. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 28, 2009 at 09:57 PM (#3423468)
Baines is getting more votes than McGriff?


I suspect this is biased by a Chicago-heavy sample. The Trib always prints votes from all of their voters - they have 7 and they appear to have printed all of their votes yesterday (here). I haven't checked them this year, but Baines has always done really well here - it's basically his only constituency. Dawson also tends to do really well here in Chicago, so you may want to mentally lower him a smidge too. Unless Repoz hasn't included these ballots, in which case I don't know what to tell you.
   7. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:02 PM (#3423472)
It really looks like Dawson and Blyleven might be getting in.


As has been noted before, this sampling usually overstates the support - the guys who tend to vote for only a few (or no) players don't usually explain why.

-- MWE
   8. LargeBill Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:07 PM (#3423479)
Have to agree with Mike. These early numbers don't make me feel especially confident for Bert or Robbie. Far too early to draw any positive conclusions about individual players. Only thing you can be sure of is players with very little support are not going to reach 75% this year. It seems like is easier for percentages to drop than climb as more ballots come in.
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:16 PM (#3423486)
Right. Rickey Henderson was unanimous, unanimous, unanimous until that one vote from Gummy Forgetitall came in and everybody went on the attack. Then the full results came in, and it turned out that another 25+ under-the-radar Rickeyless ballots had shown up.
   10. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:21 PM (#3423495)
It really looks like Dawson and Blyleven might be getting in.


As has been noted before, this sampling usually overstates the support - the guys who tend to vote for only a few (or no) players don't usually explain why.

Yes, but I do think Dawson and probably Robbie get enshrined this year, and Bert will follow in 2011.
   11.  Hey Gurl Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:24 PM (#3423497)
So what's a good rule of thumb? Knock off 10%? I'm sure Repoz has historical counts.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:32 PM (#3423506)
In other news, the returns from Kentucky are now in, and Sarah Palin is our next president.
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:40 PM (#3423514)
As has been noted before, this sampling usually overstates the support - the guys who tend to vote for only a few (or no) players don't usually explain why.


Right. What we should be looking at now is last year's tally at this point to see where Bert and Andre stood - are they out front to a greater degree this year or are they roughly where they were in 2008?
   14. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:47 PM (#3423520)
Right. What we should be looking at now is last year's tally at this point to see where Bert and Andre stood - are they out front to a greater degree this year or are they roughly where they were in 2008?

This column from last year compares Repoz's 2008 tally with the actual result. On average, he was within 5%. Actually, there were only five guys he was off by more than 5% on - and one of those was Tommy John, who is no longer there. Heck, it you look you'll see repoz pretty much nailed Dawson's total in '08.

The only thing I can think to add is that this ain't the full tally yet and (obviously) sometimes people shift. When in doubt, expect some plexiglass-principling to go on. Two years ago, for example, I remember repoz's early returns had Raines sitting at 40%ish, then the late released dropped it down to about 30% -- which was still high.

Just eyeballing it, I think the actual results will end up lower than the current vote totals for almost everyone - especially Edgar Martinez.
   15. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:51 PM (#3423525)
As has been noted before, this sampling usually overstates the support - the guys who tend to vote for only a few (or no) players don't usually explain why.

The early sampling does, but not so much later on. Going back to the real vote vs. full sample in 2008 linked to in post #14, that year repoz was low on eight and high on six. And those he was high on usually wasn't hugely so (Gossage by one, McGwire by two, Morris by four, Blyleven by five, Trammell by five, and Raines by seven was his worst overshoot). The biggest misses overall were the ones he fell short with (John by nine, Smith by nine, Mattingley by ten).
   16. Dunn Deal Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3423529)
Uh oh - I've been worried about this for quite some time. If Barry Larkin is not voted in this year, I'm going to be difficult to be around. I'm going to complain about it until he's finally (and correctly) inducted into the HOF. And it's not going to be pleasant for anyone within earshot.
   17. Sean Forman Posted: December 28, 2009 at 10:57 PM (#3423532)
http://www.walkoffwalk.com/2009/01/baseball-think-factory-is-the.html
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:03 PM (#3423541)
Uh oh - I've been worried about this for quite some time. If Barry Larkin is not voted in this year, I'm going to be difficult to be around. I'm going to complain about it until he's finally (and correctly) inducted into the HOF. And it's not going to be pleasant for anyone within earshot.

Tell you what: I just got a truly bizarre e-mail from an old girlfriend who out of nowhere accused me of writing an inscription in one of her cookbooks---25 years ago. If you want, I'll put you in touch with her and you can both howl at the moon together. How's that?

P.S. If Larkin doesn't get in, I might be doing a bit of howling myself.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3423545)
So last year McGwire had 20.7% with 82 ballots counted -- or 17 votes out of 82 ballots. This year McGwire has 32.5% with 40 ballots counted -- or 13 votes out of 40 ballots. So in order to be reduced to last year's pace after 82 ballots are counted this year, he'll have to get only 4 votes out of the next 42 ballots, or only 9.5%. It seems unlikely that he'll only get 4 of his next 42.

It would be interesting to look at the 42 ballots to see if he's picking up any votes from people who didn't vote for him last year. That would be more evidence of a real increase. I'd guess voters would be more inclined to switch from not voting for him to a YES vote rather than the other way around.
   20. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:07 PM (#3423546)
Uh oh - I've been worried about this for quite some time. If Barry Larkin is not voted in this year, I'm going to be difficult to be around. I'm going to complain about it until he's finally (and correctly) inducted into the HOF. And it's not going to be pleasant for anyone within earshot.


If he gets around 50% this year and keeps his nose clean for a few years beyond that, Larkin will make it. He won't have to wait for the Vets Committee.
   21. rr Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:10 PM (#3423548)
Uh oh - I've been worried about this for quite some time. If Barry Larkin is not voted in this year, I'm going to be difficult to be around. I'm going to complain about it until he's finally (and correctly) inducted into the HOF. And it's not going to be pleasant for anyone within earshot.


Larkin is my favorite player, as I have said several times. Complain away, but I do not think he gets in this year.
   22. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:12 PM (#3423550)
It would be interesting to look at the 42 ballots to see if he's picking up any votes from people who didn't vote for him last year. That would be more evidence of a real increase. I'd guess voters would be more inclined to switch from not voting for him to a YES vote rather than the other way around.


I agree, Ray. Any deviation from previous elections would almost certainly mean an increase in support. He still has a long, steep hill to climb, though.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3423558)
It would be interesting to look at the 42 ballots to see if he's picking up any votes from people who didn't vote for him last year. That would be more evidence of a real increase. I'd guess voters would be more inclined to switch from not voting for him to a YES vote rather than the other way around.

Here, to spare you Swamis the trouble, I got a free Tarot Card reading for McGwire. I'll leave it up to you all to interpret it, but at least it's cheaper than King Tut's Dream Book.
   24. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:29 PM (#3423567)
Larkin is my favorite player, as I have said several times. Complain away, but I do not think he gets in this year.
Trammell was my favorite shortstop growing up. Imagine how I feel. BAH!
   25. rr Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:30 PM (#3423570)
Trammell was my favorite shortstop growing up. Imagine how I feel. BAH
!

Trammell IIRC is Larkin's top comp at BREF.
   26. LargeBill Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:32 PM (#3423571)
Repoz already does a fantastic job with the vote tally, so I'd hesitate to ask for more. However, it would be interesting to know how many voters are going from no to yes on holdover candidates. In the absence of candidates talking bad about a voter's mother I don't imagine many lose support. In a couple years when a glut of greats hit the ballot the mommy insult won't be necessary.

I've only seen one article where a voter specifically mentioned previously omitting Blyleven but now voting for him. If that continues, is one more yes vote out of every 40 ballots enough to get him to 75%?

As far as McGwire goes, I expect him to increase at least 10% each of the next couple years. The steroid hatred has started to run its course. Returning to the field as a coach with St. Louis will also help.
   27. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:32 PM (#3423572)
Larkin is my favorite player, as I have said several times. Complain away, but I do not think he gets in this year.

Trammell's among mine, top 5. Both are getting screwed. They're caught in a pincer action of Ripken/Ozzie on one flank, and the SS mashers of the 00s on the other. The voters are hopelessly confused about how to judge all but the very best of the players between the late 70s and 00s.(**)

(**) I don't know how well it travels, but there's an hour-long documentary SNY shows about the '86 Mets, called "Simply Amazin'" They've showed it dozens of times and I've watched it two or three. They cross-cut between highlights and narrative and player/management reminiscences to four or five born and bred New Yorkers and Mets fans. The first ten minutes or so is dedicated to the organization between 1969 and 1986, during which transpired the infamous Tom Seaver trade. Some highlights of Seaver, some voice-over narrative from Gary Cohen, cross-cut to a fan. He's about 50, outdoors sporting nice sunglasses, and in quintessential dismissive, sarcastic, utterly impatient with incompetence New Yorkese, says, bile dripping from each name, "For PatZachrySteveHendersonDougFlynn and Dan Norman." Pause, turn palms up, scrunch lips: "Whatayou, kiddin' me?" Unspoken word between "you" and "kiddin'" starts with "f", ends with "n'"

That ten seconds encapsulates everything I love about NY sports.

Tim Raines, 40%. Whatayou, kiddin' me?
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:34 PM (#3423573)
Trammell was my favorite shortstop growing up. Imagine how I feel. BAH!


Not that this is parallel since Trammell and Larkin are deserving while Rice is not, but Rice was my favorite player growing up -- even though I only saw the tail end of his career -- and not only did I not support him for the Hall, but I derived no special satisfaction from seeing him get there.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:43 PM (#3423577)
If he gets around 50% this year and keeps his nose clean for a few years beyond that, Larkin will make it.

Larkin should get a big enough vote that people who didn't take a good look at him do so next year. That and the folks who follow the higher standard for the 1st ballot could be enough to put him over next year, although it wouldn't be totally shocking if he made it this year. Being Derek Jeter's most similar batter will only add to Larkin's stature in succeeding years.
   30. OCF Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:52 PM (#3423578)
So my favorite player growing up was Lou Brock - elected quickly to the Hall of Fame, before I started reading Bill James. Ask me if Brock belongs, and I'll mostly just smile and nod and try to stay out of the arguments.

At the Hall of Merit we have the distinction between in and out, and we have the distinction between backlog candidates whose votes get mixed together with many others, including many who are not elected, and we have "frontlog" candidates for whom the great majority of the electorate place them above mixing with those others. Since we have a quota for election per year, it is possible for a frontlog candidate not to be elected in his first year (Eddie Collins, John Henry Lloyd, and Joe Williams were unquestionably frontlog candidates, but we had to elect Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker first), and, depending on your definitions, it might be possible to elect a backlog candidate in his first year: Bill Terry for instance, or, arguably Edgar Martinez this year. Or maybe Terry and Martinez belong to a "midlog" gray area.

If it makes you feel any better, SBB, we have Trammell as a clear frontlog electee. In his first and only year of eligibility, he was nearly tied with Ozzie Smith, also in his first year. We did not cleanly separate the two.

HoM status of the list at the top of the page:

Dawson: elected, backlog
Alomar: elected, frontlog (but behind Larkin)
Blyleven: elected, frontlog
Larkin: elected, frontlog
Morris: not elected, scattered votes but not close
Smith: not elected, some votes (more than Morris) but not close
Martinez: elected, first-year but arguably backlog
Raines: elected, frontlog
McGwire: elected, frontlog
Trammell: elected, frontlog
Parker: not elected, scattered votes
Mattingly: not elected, scattered votes
Murphy: not elected, some votes (more than Parker or Mattingly)
Baines: not elected, few if any votes
McGriff: not elected, high in the backlog
   31.  Hey Gurl Posted: December 28, 2009 at 11:56 PM (#3423580)
Morris has gotten exactly one vote per year since 2000, all in the 10-13 range.

Does he have one supporter that shifts him around a bit, or something else?
   32. OCF Posted: December 29, 2009 at 12:01 AM (#3423582)
Shock: I just checked four or five of those year, and it's the same voter each time.
   33. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 29, 2009 at 12:04 AM (#3423584)
Not that this is parallel since Trammell and Larkin are deserving while Rice is not, but Rice was my favorite player growing up -- even though I only saw the tail end of his career -- and not only did I not support him for the Hall, but I derived no special satisfaction from seeing him get there.


Tom Seaver was my favorite player and Mike Schmidt was my favorite non-Met as a kid. Oh wait, they sailed into the HOF... I guess I can pick 'em. :-D
   34. Dunn Deal Posted: December 29, 2009 at 12:32 AM (#3423593)
Tell you what: I just got a truly bizarre e-mail from an old girlfriend who out of nowhere accused me of writing an inscription in one of her cookbooks---25 years ago. If you want, I'll put you in touch with her and you can both howl at the moon together. How's that?


25 years? Wow, I would have bet that the statute of limitations wrt unwanted cookbook inscriptions is significantly shorter than 25 years.

I can't figure out if this means my complaining is unjustified, or merely unproductive. Either way I'm not going to be happy.
   35. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 29, 2009 at 12:57 AM (#3423596)
I can't figure out if this means my complaining is unjustified, or merely unproductive. Either way I'm not going to be happy.


It's definitely justified, but if you have a little patience, Mr. Larkin goes to Cooperstown in the near future regardless.
   36. John DiFool2 Posted: December 29, 2009 at 01:33 AM (#3423610)
What's strange to me is that Larkin and Alomar were very similar players. Their AVG, OBP and SLG are within mere hundredths of each other, counting stats are very similar, stolen bases, etc., OPS+ are identical. Only a 1,000 PA advantage gives Alomar an edge (which is also why he has about 200 RBIs and Runs on Barry-that and some better offenses with DHs hitting around him, esp. in Cleveland). Alomar is 8th on Larkin's comp list (and Larkin is likely 11th I'd guess on Alomar's). But you'd think being a SS would help overcome that and make them even again.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2009 at 05:50 AM (#3423673)
Some of these guys might make nice jumps over the next couple of elections because the candidates aren't that strong. Alomar makes Larkin and Raines look good -- i.e. they're roughly the same hitter with Raines having an OPS+ and base-stealing advantage to make up for playing LF. And yes, I meant even in non-saber terms they're very similar (Alomar/Larkin/Raines):

BA 300/294/295
PA 10k/9k/10k
R 1508/1329/1571
HR 210/198/170
SB 474/379/808

Larkin and Alomar dominate the AS battle (12 each vs. 6) and Larkin has the MVP. Alomar has a ton of GG, Larkin has a few, Raines has none. Alomar's defensive rep is probably enough to overcome the MVP and positional advantage of Larkin; Raines is clearly 3rd in this group by mainstream HoF standards (and probably by saber standards ... depending on defensive ratings). Raines probably has the best peak (he says without even bothering to look).

I think Alomar gets in and, if they bother to compare, most Alomar voters should also vote Larkin and many/most Raines. Then next year, with possibly Dawson and Blyleven also off the ballot, Larkin is probably the leading candidate (though I can't remember who comes on) and will be elected or come close and should help pull Raines up. Basically, anybody voting for Alomar should be asking themselves why they aren't voting for the nearly identical Larkin; those voting for Larkin should ask why not Raines. This isn't like comparing Rice and Raines because their value was generated in very different ways and Rice had teh fear. This is an apple-apples comparison with the main difference being position -- which the traditional HoF voters seem to make little correction for.

If Raines is sitting in the 40s by 2012, he should be able to survive the glut.
   38. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:39 AM (#3423708)
I think Alomar gets in and, if they bother to compare, most Alomar voters should also vote Larkin and many/most Raines. Then next year, with possibly Dawson and Blyleven also off the ballot, Larkin is probably the leading candidate (though I can't remember who comes on) and will be elected or come close and should help pull Raines up.

2011: Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro, Larry Walker, Kevin Brown, Juan Gonzalez, John Franco, John Olerud

2012: Bernie Williams, Tim Salmon, Brad Radke, Javy Lopez, Ruben Sierra

2013: The deluge begins.

When Bernie Williams is presumably the #2 candidate, that's the holdovers' window. It slams down real hard in the winter of 2012.
   39. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:37 AM (#3423712)
It will look a bit odd once Palmeiro with 3000 hits and 500 home runs is not in the HOF.
   40. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 29, 2009 at 12:59 PM (#3423720)
It will look a bit odd once Palmeiro with 3000 hits and 500 home runs is not in the HOF.

If one is an "adjuster," it won't. He won't be a 3000 hit guy with adjustments and arguably not a 500 HR guy (not that the latter matters). An adjuster isn't true to the exercise if he isn't capable of adjusting from one side of customarily laudable accumulation numbers to the other and voting accordingly.

With adjusters and "no steroid guys" voters saying "nay," the bludgeon will likely hit harder than his career warrants but it's imperfect system.
   41. John Northey Posted: December 29, 2009 at 08:02 PM (#3424004)
2013 is the scary year. Raines, Larkin, E Martinez, Smith, Morris and McGwire all have to hope they sneak in before then or it is a big ugly mess.

2011 will be Bagwell's year and hopefully Larkin. 2012 for Raines and Morris (if still on ballot) I suspect with 2013 being remembered as the steroid ballot (apologies to Biggio and anyone else not currently viewed as PED users).

2013 will make the ballot a mess as I figure at least 25% of voters will refuse to vote for PED guys still at that point but at least 25% willing to thus filling a lot of slots (McGwire, Palmeiro, Clemens, Bonds, Piazza, Sosa - am I missing someone?). Imagine if Larkin and Raines and Martinez are not in yet by then - a smart 10 man ballot could be...
McGwire/Palmeiro/Clemens/Bonds/Piazza/Sosa/Larkin/Raines/Biggio/Martinez with many qualified guys (such as Curt Schilling) being on the outside looking in.
   42. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:09 PM (#3424072)
2013 is the scary year.

1. I have little doubt that the "smart" voters will toss Palmeiro to the wolves. Even if he's still on the ballot in 2013, there will likely be too many deserving guys who put up better numbers than Palmeiro and/or didn't actually test positive for steroids. In short, any voter who lists Palmeiro on their ballot is likely going to have to omit one of Mac, Sosa, Larkin, Raines, Edgar, Schilling, Brown, etc. And the ballot only becomes more crowded in 2014. Why do that for the biggest buffoon of the steroid mess?* Anyway, if the ballot becomes crowded, "smart" voters are going to have to perform triage and Palmeiro will be an easy guy to let go of. The only reason to vote for him at that stage would be to make a statement that steroids shouldn't matter -- which might be a legit point but not at the expense of deserving HoFers. (If the crowding isn't so bad and Palmeiro clearly deserves a top 10 spot, then no issue).

* OK, LoDuca might be the biggest buffoon of the steroid mess but I'm not too concerned about his HoF chances. OK Selig is the biggest buffoon of the steroid mess and he will sail into the HoF but whatcha gonna do?

2. I am more concerned that Walker, Williams, Edmonds, maybe Kent (I think he's safe enough) will get tossed aside early. I wish we had more reliable defensive numbers but I think you can make a case for Walker being as or more valuable than McGwire. Edmonds might well be among the top 10 CF of all-time -- he's got to be close -- and with Puckett in, Edmonds clearly deserves at least serious consideration. Williams I think is clearly on the HoVG side so I won't be too upset when he falls off the ballot but it will still be an embarrassment to the process. I support Walker (at least for now), maybe Edmonds, almost certainly Kent (I haven't given him a serious look yet) and not Williams but I think they all "deserve" a good number of votes.

3. If things get as bad as they might, there will probably be a review to put some guys back on the ballot and maybe a change to the 5% rule. They did this for Santo and a few other embarrassing omissions 25 or so years ago.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:22 PM (#3424093)
I'll add that while I know those %s are early, I'm surprised Edgar's getting that much support so far. Even though I don't support him, he deserves serious consideration and I wouldn't object to him being elected. I really thought the DH, short career, low HR total and fragile reputation were going to work heavily against him.

Edgar vs. Mac is an interesting study in the impact of "steroid taint" on HoF voting. There's no doubt in my mind that McGwire would have sailed in without the steroid controversy while Edgar is being treated more in line with how the HoF has usually treated high-peak, short-career 1B/LF/RF. Based on performance, there's really no reason to vote Edgar but not McGwire -- but the gap is currently +13% for Edgar. Whatever the final gap ends up being will set the lower bound of the steroid impact. (The upper bound is something like 70% of the vote) Anyway, it sure doesn't bode well for Sosa -- other than HR totals, there aren't clear and obvious reasons to vote Sosa ahead of Edgar (although I would ... but I may not be objective) and if he's gonna lose at least 10-15% of his vote, he's in trouble.
   44. John Northey Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:42 PM (#3424114)
Yeah, I was worried Edgar would be off the ballot after just one shot due to voters going 'DH/no 3000-500/not obvious to us'. Right now he probably has enough votes to stick though (25 votes should be plenty to stick no matter what, he has 19 already which works for a 380 ballot received situation).

I'd love for Walker and Kent to get in (Canadian and started with the Jays - hometown bias don't ya know) but the voters have been odd lately and I doubt Walker sticks around long while Kent will have a long battle (10 years I bet) but should get in eventually.
   45. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:44 PM (#3424116)
At the risk of nitpicking . . .

% Leaderboard after 42 Full Ballots…

46.3 - Edgar


This doesn't make any sense. 46.3% of 42 is 19.4 ballots. The 42 ballots work for the other percentages, but not this one.
   46. Repoz Posted: December 29, 2009 at 09:51 PM (#3424125)
Robothal's HOF picks...

(Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff) in addition to five holdovers (Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell). .
   47. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:00 PM (#3424136)
(Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff) in addition to five holdovers (Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell).


They weren't all on my ballot, but that's a hard one to find fault with.*


* Ray excepted.
   48. Repoz Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:09 PM (#3424148)
This doesn't make any sense.

You have to remember...I'm doing all of this counting with my fingers.

And Chris...as far as last year's totals go. I'm still searching for them.

For it seems as if Evil Twin Son #2 has scrambled things up with his computer fixing/porn venture biz.
   49. LargeBill Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:19 PM (#3424156)
A well written explanation of his position on each he voted for as well. I particularly like that he addressed the problem of <5% guys falling off the ballot:

I believe each of my choices is worthy. And I will admit something else: On close calls, I generally lean toward voting for a player instead of against him. That's the opposite of the way many voters think, but I'm more lenient because a player who fails to attain 5 percent of the vote is removed from the ballot permanently.

The rule is too harsh; all players should remain on the ballot 15 years, not just those who meet the 5 percent standard. But until the rule is changed, marginal candidates should receive every consideration. You might say, “C’mon, even marginal candidates get 5 percent.” Not true. Lou Whitaker — a better-than-marginal candidate — dropped off the ballot after one year in 2001.

Maybe Whitaker isn’t a Hall of Famer, but he deserved better.


Whitaker isn't the only example, but he is a darn good example of a guy who seemed to fall off the ballot without being fully considered.
   50. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:30 PM (#3424173)
Repoz - thanks. If you can't find it, I can manage.
   51. Baldrick Posted: December 29, 2009 at 10:58 PM (#3424202)
Edgar is performing a little better than I expected. But I pointed out a while ago that I thought people were underestimating how much "non-tangibles" were going to matter for the voters on his case.

Whole career with one team, the epitome of a 'good guy' and someone with zero steroid associations, someone who was still fantastic almost right up until the end (no long decline to confuse voters). And yes, a decent number of them will give him a little bump because he got a later start than he almost certainly deserved.

Edgar is a borderline sabermetric candidate, and he's also a borderline mainstream candidate - but there are some very different factors that drive him toward the HOF for each side.

I think I guessed he'd be at about 15-20% this year - and that it would give him a decent but not great chance of eventual election. If he does significantly better than 20% I think it increases his chances a lot.
   52. Sean Forman Posted: December 30, 2009 at 01:10 AM (#3424290)
I suspect that the sabermetric guys are well overestimated in Repoz's sample as he has the players who are on publicly posted ballots. That has to be a more sabermetrically inclined group. I would imagine.
   53. Jose Canusee Posted: December 30, 2009 at 01:41 AM (#3424309)
Jingle Bert, Alomar, Andre the Hawk
Deck the Hall time but not for the Rock
Larkin, and Morris, and also Lee Smith
Will be backlogged for next year list

Edgar’s up, Trammell and also Big Mac
Powerful swings but not many Ringzz
Waiting, not fading, in Cooperstown Square
In the frosty air

Well the Crime Dog was a fine dog
But just like Harold Baines
Just enough friends so he won’t end
Up riding on the one year flame
   54. Don Malcolm Posted: December 30, 2009 at 02:28 AM (#3424345)
I suspect that the sabermetric guys are well overestimated in Repoz's sample as he has the players who are on publicly posted ballots. That has to be a more sabermetrically inclined group. I would imagine.

Well, there's a way to test this hypothesis, if Repoz managed to record the order of his ballots and the individuals who voted. Right now we have about half as many ballots in as were compiled in last year's sample (43/82)* and it might be worth seeing if this "early sample" actually held up as a fairly accurate indicator of the final vote (per Chris' earlier comps, which made use of the final tallies). While some may see that as a waste of time due to sample size issues, it might shed light on both Sean's hypothesis (as well as Mike's earlier in the thread.)
--
<i>*per the Walkoff Walk article data
   55. John DiFool2 Posted: December 30, 2009 at 02:37 AM (#3424351)
Edmonds might well be among the top 10 CF of all-time -- he's got to be close -- and with Puckett in, Edmonds clearly deserves at least serious consideration. Williams I think is clearly on the HoVG side so I won't be too upset when he falls off the ballot but it will still be an embarrassment to the process.


At first glance this is an almost shocking conclusion (Edmonds vs. Bernie). My initial sussing of the two would seem to put them almost dead even, at least as offensive players. Bernie has about 1300 plate appearances on Jim, and the OPS+ gap is only 7 points in favor of Edmonds. But the WAR site has a huge 200 run chasm in their defense (range & arm), which explains the 20 win gap in WAR. Bernie was slow at the end of his career, but even during his prime he was between -7 and -20 on his D. I'm not sure 200 runs passes the smell test (yes I know people have said that the gaps may be even bigger, in general).
   56. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 30, 2009 at 02:39 AM (#3424354)
Phil Hersh has been a frequent pinata around here, no? He turned in a fine ballot:

Blyleven
Morris
Larkin
Alomar
Trammell
Dawson
Mattingly
Edgar
Lee Smith

He hit all the biggies, and the Mattingly vote is harmless.

edit: He did miss Raines, so not all the biggies.
   57. John DiFool2 Posted: December 30, 2009 at 02:51 AM (#3424359)
Meant to add: perusing the 1998 Yankees' squad, a few things jump out at you; they led the league in H/9 by .4 hits, with a K rate only .3 above the mean. Someone on that team was turning batted balls into outs-Jeter actually had a decent year (+2), but Bernie was at -14. All told adding up all the regulars gets me +23 (Brosius and O'Neill were the only ones above +10). It's hard for me to imagine a team doing that, winning 114 games, with a CF who stinks, but I guess it's possible.
   58. DL from MN Posted: December 30, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3424369)
A ballot like #56 gives you hope you could convince him on Raines.
   59. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 30, 2009 at 04:59 AM (#3424440)
Based on the concern that repoz's tally is high I did a bit of checking. Based on the link in post #17 and the actual vote totals . .

Last year (of the 11 guys I have repoz info for - there's a few backloggers not listed in post #17's link), the tally was high on eight guys and low on three. The average margin of off-itude was 6.1%. The biggest difference was Blyleven, who repoz had at 77% and came in at 63%. The second biggest was Lee Smith, who Repoz's tally UNDERestimated. (Repoz's tally said 34%, the vote said 45%).

The next biggest difference was Tommy John, who the tally also undershoot. It also undershot him in 2008, showing that there is some consistency in who the tally is off on - which makes sense given that it's mostly the same guys writing the HoF columns. As a result, I'd expect this year's tally to be high on Blyleven (IIRC, it was high last year).

That said, in 2008, the tally was pretty much dead right on Dawson, and last yaer it was again. As noted, it's mostly the same writers we're tracking here.

Based on that, here are the tally differences with the actual ballot in '09:

Blyleven: tally high by 14%
Dawson: tally high by 1%
Morris: tally high by 5%
Smith: tally LOW by 11%
Raines: tally high by 4%
Trammell: tally high by 7%
McGwire: tally LOW by 1%.

I'm not including Rice, Rickey! or John because they ain't on the ballot anymore.

As long as I'm doing this, here's how the full tally compared with the actual results in 2008:

Blyleven: tally high by 5%
Dawson: tally low by 1%
Smith: tally low by 9%
Morris: tally high by 4%
Raines: tally high by 7%
McGwire: tally high by 2%
Trammell: tally high by 5%
Mattingley: tally low by 10% (!! - tally said 6%, reality said 16%)
Parker: tally low by 7%
Murphy: tally low by 4%
Baines: tally low by 1%

Short version of results:

BLYLEVEN: expect the actual vote to be less than what tally ends up at

DAWSON: he'll be right around where repoz tallies

MORRIS: expect the tally to be around 4-5% high

SMITH: take the tally and add 10%

RAINES: take the tally and subtract 5%ish

TRAMMELL: Ditto what I said for Raines.

MCGWIRE: about what the tally says, a tad under but negligably so

THE OTHERS: I only have one year's sample and there are significant differences in some cases with it and what's above (most especially with Mattingley). Anyhow, the other guys have been on the bottom of the backlog for a while. Expect them to stay there.

Finally - let me say how much I appreciate what repoz does every year. This is fun and valuable info.
   60. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 30, 2009 at 05:21 AM (#3424454)
Phil Hersh has been a frequent pinata around here, no? He turned in a fine ballot:

Blyleven
Morris
Larkin
Alomar
Trammell
Dawson
Mattingly
Edgar
Lee Smith

He hit all the biggies, and the Mattingly vote is harmless.

edit: He did miss Raines, so not all the biggies.


He picked Morris and Mattingly, missed on Raines, missed on McGwire. Mattingly is in, but McGwire and McGriff are out? That's a "fine ballot"? I return him to pinata status.
   61. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 30, 2009 at 02:33 PM (#3424586)
Short version of results:

BLYLEVEN: expect the actual vote to be less than what tally ends up at

DAWSON: he'll be right around where repoz tallies

MORRIS: expect the tally to be around 4-5% high

SMITH: take the tally and add 10%

RAINES: take the tally and subtract 5%ish

TRAMMELL: Ditto what I said for Raines.

MCGWIRE: about what the tally says, a tad under but negligably so

THE OTHERS: I only have one year's sample and there are significant differences in some cases with it and what's above (most especially with Mattingley). Anyhow, the other guys have been on the bottom of the backlog for a while. Expect them to stay there.

Finally - let me say how much I appreciate what repoz does every year. This is fun and valuable info.


If I'm reading this right, Chris, you think Dawson is a lock and Blyleven might sneak in. Is that correct?

Very interesting and informative. Thanks!
   62. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 30, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3424695)
John,

I think Dawson's going in but I'm not so sure about Blyleven. Please note post #59 is based on the fully tallies from previous years while this is only about half a tally so far. When in doubt, I'd expect everyone above to regress to last year's score with the remaining ballots to be tallied. Between that and what I wrote in #59, I doubt Blyleven goes in this year.
   63. Repoz Posted: December 30, 2009 at 05:24 PM (#3424735)
I doubt Blyleven goes in this year.

Dag...I'm pretty sure I've seen 2-3 past non-Blyleven's flip this year already.

Small samps, of course.
   64. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 30, 2009 at 05:44 PM (#3424765)
Repoz,

I'm sure there will be some increase, but I don't think it'll be enough. It could be, but I'm skepectical. I'm also skeptical three guys will be elected in one year. Last time that happened was Ryan-Brett-Yount -- and Yount just barely squeaked through.
   65. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 30, 2009 at 05:46 PM (#3424769)
I'm sure there will be some increase, but I don't think it'll be enough. It could be, but I'm skepectical. I'm also skeptical three guys will be elected in one year. Last time that happened was Ryan-Brett-Yount -- and Yount just barely squeaked through.


By the same token, wouldn't it be pretty surprising if he didn't get the call in 2011?
   66. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 30, 2009 at 05:56 PM (#3424778)
SoSH - absolutely. Blyleven's chances of getting elected at some point are FANTASTIC at some point.
   67. John Northey Posted: December 30, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3424794)
Interesting checking B-R HOF voting page. They have future ballots there too, showing that 2013 will be...
Last year: Dale Murphy
10+ years (if not elected first): Jack Morris (14), Mattingly (13), Trammell (12), Dawson (12), Lee Smith (11)

Milestones (years on ballot in brackets)
3000 Hits: Biggio, Palmeiro (3)
500 HR: Bonds, Sosa, McGwire (7), Palmeiro (3)
1500 RBI: Bonds, Palmeiro (3), Sosa, Baines (7), Dawson (12), McGriff (4), Bagwell (3)
300 wins: Clemens
200 wins: Morris (14), David Wells, Schilling, Kevin Brown (3)
400 Saves: Smith (11), Franco (3)

Other notables likely to be there (ie: get 5% or more every year till then):
Raines (6 but hopefully in before then), Edgar Martinez (4), Juan Gonzalez (3), Larry Walker (3), Galarraga (4), Alomar (4 but likely in this year), Larkin (4 but likely in before then)

Other notable first year guys:
Piazza

Phew. I'm betting guys will lose votes big time just due to voters having full ballots depending on voters getting less 'no way' on PED's before then. Each time I look at that ballot it seems more crowded.
   68. John Northey Posted: December 30, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3424801)
As to the 1999 ballot, 8 of the top 9 guys did get in (Ryan, Brett, Yount, Fisk, Perez, Carter, Rice, Sutter) with just Steve Garvey missing. #10 was Jim Kaat who probably gets in someday. Others on that ballot included Tommy John (safe bet to get in somehow someday), Bert Blyleven, and Minnie Minoso (has many supporters). Thus the 1999 ballot had at least 8 HOF'ers and possibly as many as 12. Not to mention guys who should've had more support (given Rice) like Dwight Evans, Dale Murphy, and Dave Parker.

For comparison a few 10 years ago ballots and how many eventually got in...
1989: 7
1979: 11
1969: 16
1959: 1 (doesn't list vote totals except for the one who got in)
1949: 51 (none made it in initial vote so they did a run off - all 20 in the run off eventually got in)
1939: 56 + Gehrig (top 31 all made it, guess Johnny Kling just didn't make enough friends)
   69. LargeBill Posted: December 30, 2009 at 07:20 PM (#3424848)
Short version of results:

BLYLEVEN: expect the actual vote to be less than what tally ends up at

DAWSON: he'll be right around where repoz tallies

MORRIS: expect the tally to be around 4-5% high

SMITH: take the tally and add 10%

RAINES: take the tally and subtract 5%ish

TRAMMELL: Ditto what I said for Raines.

MCGWIRE: about what the tally says, a tad under but negligably so


Can we infer from those notes that voters who vote for Blyleven are more likely to mention it in a column and those who vote for Smith are less likely?
   70. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 31, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3425161)
Phil Hersh has been a frequent pinata around here, no? He turned in a fine ballot


He's a new Blyleven voter this year (also added Morris for the first time).

Linky.

-- MWE
   71. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 31, 2009 at 03:40 AM (#3425163)
Partial from Seattle's Kirby Arnold:

As for the Hall of Fame, yes, I voted for Edgar Martinez. I suspect just about every voter in the Northwest did, too, because they looked beyond Edgar's basic career numbers and saw first-hand what he did to define not only the Mariners' offense, but the designated hitter position.

Yes, I said position.

The detractors will say Martinez essentially was half a player, that because he didn't play the field during the heyday of his career, then he doesn't deserve consideration for the Hall of Fame. I hope those same people use the same logic when deciding whether to vote for Trevor Hoffman or Mariano Rivera or Lee Smith, who in my mind are all worthy of the Hall (I won't divulge my entire ballot, but I voted for Lee Smith as well).


-- MWE
   72. DL from MN Posted: December 31, 2009 at 03:45 AM (#3425165)
Expect Alomar's total here to be high. The secret cabal of "not a first ballot guy" doesn't publish their ballots. If he gets in it will be a squeaker.
   73. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 31, 2009 at 03:51 AM (#3425170)
Can we infer from those notes that voters who vote for Blyleven are more likely to mention it in a column and those who vote for Smith are less likely?

No. Repoz only includes complete ballots in his tally. I think it's far better to infer this is the sort of noise you get with the signal when conduting a tally like this.
   74. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 31, 2009 at 03:51 AM (#3425171)
Scott Bordow (East Valley Trib) ballot:

For the record, here are the seven players I voted for: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven (it’s a crime he’s not in already), Dawson, Barry Larkin, Morris, Tim Raines and Alan Trammell.


-- MWE
   75. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: December 31, 2009 at 04:14 AM (#3425183)
Dumb question... who gets on the ballot in 2013?
   76. Repoz Posted: December 31, 2009 at 04:57 AM (#3425204)
Thanks, Mike... Hadn't caught that Arnold had leaked L. Smith.
   77. Honkie Kong Posted: December 31, 2009 at 04:58 AM (#3425205)
Whats with the Morris support?! Its rocketed up.
   78. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 31, 2009 at 05:04 AM (#3425208)
Dumb question... who gets on the ballot in 2013?

Not dumb... Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Piazza, Biggio, Schilling, D. Wells, Lofton, Finley, etc.
In 2014, add Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Kent, Mussina, Edmonds, and others.
   79. Ziggy Posted: December 31, 2009 at 05:26 AM (#3425215)
The BBWAA is known for sins of omission, but it seems that in the past few years they've committed most of their few sins of commission. Most of the really lousy HOF choices were vet's committee picks, but recently the BBWAA has given us these guys: Pucket, Perez, Rice, Sutter, and soon Jack Morris. What happened?
   80. Repoz Posted: December 31, 2009 at 05:27 AM (#3425217)
Whats with the Morris support?! Its rocketed up.

He's also creeping up in the Partial Ballot vote with 35 now.

Unfortunato...it looks like he will eventually get in.
   81. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: December 31, 2009 at 05:28 AM (#3425218)
78... eeek. That's gonna be fun. How long to clear out the backlog?
   82. adamadkins Posted: December 31, 2009 at 05:29 AM (#3425219)
...They're the BBRAA? I don't usually attribute intelligence to our current crop of mainstream baseball writers. I'm cynical, though.
   83. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 31, 2009 at 07:03 AM (#3425244)
Most of the really lousy HOF choices were vet's committee picks, but recently the BBWAA has given us these guys: Pucket, Perez, Rice, Sutter, and soon Jack Morris. What happened?


Personally, I'd wait until Morris finally cracks 45 percent on actual ballots before penciling into the HoF.

And Adam, now that Keith's a member of the club, is his dickish slight still applicable?
   84. Dan Posted: December 31, 2009 at 09:04 AM (#3425271)
I think Morris is going to be ###### as far as getting in because of guys like Kevin Brown, Wells, Schilling, and Mussina getting added to the ballot in the next couple of years (plus Clemens and Maddox likely going in as pitchers). I don't see him getting in unless he's able to jump up quickly enough to beat that 2013 ballot.
   85. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 31, 2009 at 09:14 AM (#3425274)
As always, the sizable contingent of voters whose thought processes behind their votes consist of "I don't see anyone on this ballot who deserves to be in the same Hall of Fame as Rickey Henderson and Nolan Ryan. And none of the newcomers deserve to be first-ballot Hall of Famers. But I guess I'll vote for Keith Hernandez again, he was such a likeable guy." are not going to write columns about the thought processes behind their votes.

This process has shown me that that contingent is not as big as I had imagined, though.

I think Morris is going to be ###### as far as getting in because of guys like Kevin Brown, Wells, Schilling, and Mussina getting added to the ballot in the next couple of years (plus Clemens and Maddox likely going in as pitchers).


Garry Maddox and Clemens Westerhof definitely won't be going in as hitters.

Will Kevin Brown or David Wells top 5% of the vote? I doubt it.
   86. Repoz Posted: December 31, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3425345)
Dawson sweeps USA Today HOF Ballots! Now up to 87.2%!

Plus some luv for McGriff.
   87. EnglishMariner Posted: December 31, 2009 at 07:00 PM (#3425500)
StoneLarry

My HOF ballot: Edgar, Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, Larkin, McGriff, McGwire, Raines, Trammell
   88. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 31, 2009 at 07:17 PM (#3425513)
I'm updating my post 19 on McGwire now that 17 more ballots are in and McGwire is holding steady at >30%:

---
So last year McGwire had 20.7% with 82 ballots counted -- or 17 votes out of 82 ballots. This year McGwire has [[32.5%]] 33.3% with [[40]] 57 ballots counted -- or [[13]] 19 votes out of [[40]] 57 ballots.

So in order to be reduced to last year's pace after 82 ballots are counted this year, he'll have to get only 4 votes out of the next 42 ballots, or only 9.5%. It seems unlikely that he'll only get 4 of his next 42.


In fact, he got 6 of his next 17.

Therefore, he is now ahead of his 82-ballot pace from last year, thus far by 2 votes with 25 ballots still to go to reach 82 ballots. It seems that he's gaining ground this year.
   89. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 31, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3425520)
Therefore, he is now ahead of his 82-ballot pace from last year, thus far by 2 votes with 25 ballots still to go to reach 82 ballots. It seems that he's gaining ground this year.


That seems somewhat inevitable. It's hard to imagine guys suddenly become hardliners on steroids and changing a Yes vote to No, while it's easy to see guys softening their stance as time goes by and coming around on Mac (as Davidoff did). I don't know if it will ever amount to 75 percent of the vote, but he'll probably continue to make progress throughout his time on the ballot. It will be interesting to see what kind of effect other alleged or confirmed juicers with different stories have on his candidacy.
   90. esseff Posted: December 31, 2009 at 09:19 PM (#3425644)
Henry Schulman's ballot, per Twitter: Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, E. Martinez, Raines, L. Smith. Maybe next year, Mr. Larkin.

EDIT: The link
   91. LargeBill Posted: December 31, 2009 at 09:44 PM (#3425664)
Larry Stone's ballot:
My HOF ballot: Edgar, Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, Larkin, McGriff, McGwire, Raines, Trammell
Link: http://twitter.com/StoneLarry
   92. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 31, 2009 at 09:54 PM (#3425667)
If I had a ballot, I'm not sure I'd announce who I voted for.
   93. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2009 at 09:58 PM (#3425670)
Most of the really lousy HOF choices were vet's committee picks, but recently the BBWAA has given us these guys: Pucket, Perez, Rice, Sutter, and soon Jack Morris. What happened?

Well, the one thing that clearly happened is that enough of the BBWAA decided that "modern closers" belong and elected Eck on the first ballot. Once Eck was in, a number (understandably and, if you're a fan of precedent, correctly) decided that Gossage and Sutter belong -- although Sutter is pretty borderline. If Eck, Gossage and Sutter are in, it's hard to argue against Lee Smith who retired with the saves record by a healthy margin and probably compiled more career value than Sutter. I don't know if Smith will make it but he's certainly having a good run. Rivera will obviously go in and I suspect Hoffman will too. I'm not a fan of closers in the HoF but I do understand the rationale for putting them there and, if you're going to put them there, I have no serious argument with their choices except that Franco should have gotten more votes.

On the others, pick and choose among the following:

(1) after having fairly stable and certainly high standards, the BBWAA finally substantially adjusted its standards to better reflect the HoF as it actually is. Again, if you believe in precedent and you believe that an HoFer is an HoFer no matter how they got there, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

(2) the relative dearth of solid candidates playing from about 1975 to 1995 left them with ballots without many slam dunk choices and so marginal candidates benefited. This was especially true with regard to starting pitching (which I think helped the closers). I believe that's consistent with past HoF voting, it's just this may have been the longest fallow period in HoF voting history.

(3) there's a long-running trend of the media in general increasingly making itself the center of attention and journalism has become increasingly opinion-driven (even in "news" stories) over the last 30-40 years and this is just another sign of that -- i.e. the sportswriters are starting to believe their BS about intangibles, that they are experts and know HoFers when they see them, etc. (Granted, there's never been a time when the media didn't take itself too seriously and there have been plenty of periods when opinion and "news" were hard to separate.)

I go with a mix of (2) and (3). What I'm certain of is that with the flood of candidates coming, their standards are going to shoot up ridiculously high and I don't think we're gonna see any Tony Perez types between 2013 and 2023 -- because they'll have almost no choice but to shoot up ridiculously high. I suspect that sometime around 2020-2025, the HoF is gonna appoint a committee to go back through and rescue players who "unfairly" didn't get 5% of the vote ... or something similar.

Investigating the "fallow period" -- it's not as bad as I always think it is. One thing that may have changed is the number of marginal candidates surviving. Looking at the 1995 ballot (Schmidt elected), 25 players received at least 5% of the vote. Five players other than Schmidt eventually made it in -- Niekro, Sutton, Perez, Rice and Sutter. The other high vote-getters were Steve Garvey, Tony Oliva (in his 14th year) and Ron Santo (in his 12th) -- so those latter two didn't have enough time left to build more momentum. Jim Rice and Tommy John were the non-Schmidt newcomers of note (lord John lasted forever, 1963-1989).

In 1996, the highest vote total for a new entrant was Bob Boone at 7.7% -- laughably outpolling Fred Lynn! Hernandez was the only other newcomer to survive that first year. So with no new candidates of note (by their wacky standards ... how Rice gets 30% and Lynn 5.5% in their debuts would make no sense to a thinking human being), nobody was elected but Niekro, Sutton and Perez were all over 60% (each up about 6% from the previous year). Rice up 5% to 35 but everybody else looks steady except Garvey down. The 5% threshold count holds at 25 but Oliva, Pinson and Flood are in their last year of eligibility.

In 1997, the biggest newcomer was Dave Parker (17.5%) with Dw Evans being the only other one to hit 5%. Niekro is in, Sutton is incredibly close, everybody else is holding steady. The 5% count is down to 20 -- Lynn, Staub, Bobby Bonds and Nettles have dropped below 5%. Joe Torre will be leaving the ballot.

In 1998, Gary Carter (42.3%) and Blyleven (18%) join the ballot. Sutton cruises in, Perez is at 68%, Rice jumps about 7% to 43, Sutter cracks the 30% threshold. The 5% count is at 19, Santo's leaving the ballot.

In 1999, finally some real HoFers join the ballot. Ryan, Brett, Yount and Fisk are the top 4 vote getters and Dale Murphy chimes in at 19%. All of the marginal candidates take big hits -- Rice loses nearly 14 points and is below 30. Perez loses 7%, Carter loses 9. The 5% count is up to 21 ... but 3 were elected and Lolich and Minoso are leaving the ballot.

In 2000, Fisk and Perez sail in. The big newcomers are Gossage (33%) and Morris (22%). Seemingly out of nowhere, the marginal candidates* post big gains. Perez was up 17%, Rice jumps 22%, Carter jumps 16%, Sutter jumps 14%. But the 5% count is down to 17 (Boone falls below 5%).

In 2001, Winfield and Puckett get in easily on their first ballot. Carter up 15%, Rice 6, Gossage and Sutter 9. That's interesting giving two first ballot inductees. The other notable debuts are Mattingly and Dave Stewart. The 5% count is at 19 with 2 elected.

In 2002, the Wizard (91%) and the Hawk (45%) and the Detroit SS without a good nickname (16%) debut. Carter's at 73%, Rice down a smidgen, Sutter up a smidgen. Pretty stable. 5% count is at 18 with Guidry and Stewart falling off and Tiant is leaving the ballot.

In 2003, Murray (1st ballot) and Carter are in. Sandberg (49%), Smith (43%) and Valenzuela are the other major debuts. Dawson jumps 5% but everybody else is pretty steady. The 5% count is up to 20 as nobody fell off but Kaat will leave the ballot. The "problem" is that they now have 6 candidates sitting between 42% and 54% plus Blyleven at 29%.

2004 might be the pivotal year because it's kinda strange. Molitor and Eck debut and are in easily but no other new candidate gets 5% while Hernandez and Valenzuela fall off (5% count at 17 with two elected). Eck may be the key. Understandably, Sutter jumps this year -- if you're gonna vote Eck on his peak as a closer, why not Sutter especially since he was the "first" closer. But oddly Gossage and Smith both dip ... and we see a jump for Blyleven and especially Morris which I think might have been a reaction to the anointing of closers. Sandberg also takes a big jump.

The 2004 pattern continues in 2005. Boggs (1st ballot) and Sandberg are in. Sutter and Gossage get big boosts from Eck's election but so do Blyleven and Morris. Rice is closing in on 60%. Willie McGee debuts and somehow hits 5% with the count holding at 17. The muddle continues -- 15 holdovers, 7 of them between 33% and 67%.

2006 didn't help. The top debuts were Hershiser (11%) and Belle (8%) and McGee falls off. Sutter's in, Gossage, Morris and Blyleven all jump -- continuing the trend from 2004 -- if Eck is in, why not Sutter and Gossage (and Smith)? If guys with 1000 IP are in, why not Blyleven and Morris? Rice jumps another 5% as does Dawson, both benefiting from the lack of "good" position candidates.

We'll jump ahead to 2010. The ballot has only 11 holdovers from 2009! Dawson and Blyleven are in the 60s, Smith and Morris in the 40s. Parker will leave the ballot after 2011 and Baines might well drop below 5% this year or next. None of Larkin, Alomar or Martinez are slam dunks and will likely add to the muddle.

I think what we've seen is a double squeeze, especially since 2000. Not a big number of good but not great candidates -- the ones who've debuted have generally been no-doubters or 5%ers. The number of holdovers keeps dwindling so instead of the "marginal" vote getting spread out, it gets concentrated. This has been particularly helpful to Blyleven (pretty clearly an HoFer in my book even though I think I view him as more marginal than others here) and Dawson (who I consider borderline but would love to see go in) ... but also Rice of course.

Anyway, the key point is that the number of holdover candidates from 1995 to 1996 was 23; from 2009 to 2010, it's 11. If BBWAA standards have changed, it may have been more at the bottom of the ballot. While somehow Baines holds on, it's hard to see why Fred Lynn isn't chugging along at 10% in competition with Murphy (not to mention the Whitaker, Nettles and Dw Evans debacles). It does seem that they're not paying much attention to stats (especially career) but rather reputation/fame at the lower end of the ballot -- Valenzuela, Guidry, Mattingly survive at least for a while. Still, while the flow of no-doubters from 1995 on was pretty good, the flow of bottom-tier HoFers kinda dried up -- at least by the sort of standards the voters tend to use.

Still I think the big event for the pitchers was the election of Eck. Gossage and Sutter and Smith debuted with solid vote totals, so it's not as if a large number of the voters hadn't already decided that closers were worthy of the HoF. And it's not at all surprising that the election of Eck would have a big positive effect -- and it has for Gossage and Sutter, Smith is actually pretty much where he was when he debuted.

What I didn't appreciate before this little exercise was the impact Eck's election seems to have had on Blyleven and Morris. In 2003, they sat at 29% and 22% respectively. Then they both got a 5% bump in 2004 when he was elected, Blyleven got another 5% in 2005, then they both got a big boost in 2006. Morris has held steady since then while Blyleven has continued to climb. I'm starting to think that there'd be no Blyleven without Eck.

*I don't consider Gary Carter a marginal candidate, I mean in BBWAA terms.
   94. Repoz Posted: December 31, 2009 at 09:59 PM (#3425671)
Thanks guys...keep 'em coming!
   95. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 01, 2010 at 01:23 AM (#3425768)
Since I posted #88 McGwire got 3 of his next 5 to inch up to 35%....

22 of 62 votes so far.

17 of his first 82 last year.
   96. Repoz Posted: January 01, 2010 at 01:49 AM (#3425774)
Since I posted #88 McGwire got 3 of his next 5 to inch up to 35%....

22 of 62 votes so far.

17 of his first 82 last year.


McGwire is also on 6 Partial Ballots.
   97. LargeBill Posted: January 01, 2010 at 02:03 AM (#3425777)
Jim Caple ballot: Alomar, Blyleven, Dawson, Larkin, Edgar, McGriff, McGwire, Morris, Raines and Trammell
   98. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 01, 2010 at 02:22 AM (#3425780)
10 names for Caple... he should have stopped at 7, although I can't quarrel with Edgar and Dawson _too_ much. The Morris vote is laughable and is way too ungroupthinky.
   99. natebracy Posted: January 01, 2010 at 06:15 AM (#3425839)
Two Ballots:
Larry LaRue, Mariners writer
•Roberto Alomar
•Harold Baines
•Bert Blyleven
•Andre Dawson
•Mark McGwire
•Edgar Martinez
•Tim Raines
•Lee Smith

John McGrath, News Tribune columnist
•Robbie Alomar
•Bert Blyleven
•Andre Dawson
•Barry Larkin
•Edgar Martinez
•Fred McGriff
•Dale Murphy
•Tim Raines
•Lee Smith
•Alan Trammell
   100. Banta Posted: January 01, 2010 at 06:37 AM (#3425846)
Baines but no Larkin sort of blows my mind.

EDIT: Or is it OUR mind? This groupthink thing has me all confused.

EDIT EDIT: Or does it have us confused?!
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