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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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   101. Chris Dial Posted: January 01, 2010 at 06:44 AM (#3425848)
Assuming that Repoz is "representative" as last year, then:
this year's class:
87.1 - Dawson
85.5 - Blyleven
85.5 - Alomar
-----------------
next year's class (or at least future inductees):
61.3 - Larkin
54.8 - J. Morris
48.4 - Edgar
   102. LargeBill Posted: January 01, 2010 at 07:06 AM (#3425856)
Chris,

I assume you're right at least regarding this year. Martinez and Larkin's totals should continue to increase Morris may have plateaued around 50%. I think REPOZ' current total is well over ten percent of the total voters. IIRC last year there were just under 600 ballots returned. The guys over 85% tonight should stay over 75% (fingers crossed). Will we see three elected by the BBWAA? Find out next Wednesday.
   103. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 01, 2010 at 07:48 AM (#3425870)
Assuming a massive backlog of superstar players plus the addition of some more stars for the first time on the ballot (2013/2014), plus a magical relaxation of sphincters about steroids/PED usage, what do people think is the most number of players that would be elected in a single year? 5? 6?

I know the theoretical maximum is 13 (if my calculations are correct), but that would take some serious co-ordination by the voters to pull that off.
   104. RollingWave Posted: January 01, 2010 at 09:23 AM (#3425880)
So does Morris and Mattingly tells us that growing a cool stache helps your HOF chancse?

I guess that bodes well for Johnny Damon then
   105. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 01, 2010 at 06:30 PM (#3425966)
Assuming that Repoz is "representative" as last year, then:
this year's class:
87.1 - Dawson
85.5 - Blyleven
85.5 - Alomar


Even if they don't make it this year for some reason, they're HOF locks now (as long as nothing unseemly comes out about them, of course).
   106. Walt Davis Posted: January 01, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3425971)
#101 ... not sure what you're basing those numbers on. Anyway, I expect Edgar to drop substantially from these numbers; Raines too. If history is any guide, it's the saber-faves (Blyleven, Raines, Trammell who come in substantially lower than their Repoz total. That also probably makes sense under the assumption that the unpublished votes are from the older members, many of whom haven't covered baseball (on a regular basis) for many years -- i.e. they're less likely to vote for the lesser-known players without the milestones.
   107. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 01, 2010 at 06:51 PM (#3425974)
I believe Jack Morris has also typically come in higher on this tally than he does in the end. I think it's less about the saber-faves, as about the guys for whom there are active arguments going on, as with Blyleven, Raines, and Morris, and those are the guys I expect are being overrated in this tally. If you're voting for one of those guys, you've got an immediate hook for your column.

For whatever reason, no one gets worked up about Lee Smith. I think it's likely he's not completely stagnating, but it probably headed toward 50%.

EDIT: rewrote this post cause i thought it was wrote bad.
   108. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2010 at 02:48 AM (#3426095)
24 of 68 votes so far for McGwire.

17 of his first 82 last year.
   109. Chris Dial Posted: January 02, 2010 at 03:13 AM (#3426106)
not sure what you're basing those numbers on. Anyway, I expect Edgar to drop substantially from these numbers; Raines too. If history is any guide, it's the saber-faves (Blyleven, Raines, Trammell who come in substantially lower than their Repoz total. That also probably makes sense under the assumption that the unpublished votes are from the older members, many of whom haven't covered baseball (on a regular basis) for many years -- i.e. they're less likely to vote for the lesser-known players without the milestones.
I am basing it on the research that Jaffe provided. "saber faves" didn't drop by much. 5%. SO, I think they may drop *some*, but not "substantially" (which is a subjective amount).
   110. Ziggy Posted: January 02, 2010 at 06:17 AM (#3426141)
I'm not sure that the BBWAA voting so as to match the actual HOF standards is a good idea. Here are some reasons why not:

1. The VC isn't going to fail to elect anybody for many years running. That is, they're going to elect someone every once in a while. The lowest bar for the HOF was set by the Vet's committee. If the BBWAA matches the VC standard, the VC is going to elect players who failed to meet earlier VC standards. Which means that if the BBWAA matches the actual HOF standards those standards are going to become weaker over time. (That is, the VC will start electing players that in earlier eras it wouldn't have elected.)

2. There isn't, really, any HOF standard. There have been many, many standards over the years, and it's probably not useful to try to abstract away from those diverse standards so as to arrive at the " de facto" HOF standard. If there were such a standard I guess it would be Travis Jackson as the lower bar, and the HOF would be much, much larger than it is. (The standard also isn't the top 250 or whatever players. The HOM taught us that.) The history of the HOF tells the story of the frequently changing and often incompatible HOF standards, not the development of a single standard.

3. The actual HOF is too large. Here's an argument for a smaller hall: the HOM was designed so as to have the same number of inductees as the HOF, but it would do a better job of picking them. Even so, the HOM has some players who are nobody's idea of all-time greats; it has players who are too similar to too many other players for it to make sense to honor them in this way. Willie Randolph comes to mind. If the best method we have for picking the all time greats is used to select as many players to honor as the HOF has honored, and yet it comes up with more players than we can reasonably say there are all-time greats, we can reasonably conclude that we've set out to find too many players. That is, that the HOF is too large. And that is to say that the BBWAA ought not to vote so as to match the HOF actual standards - or, better, since I've already said I don't think it has any standards, that the BBWAA ought to have had stricter standards in the past, and so ought to try to find stricter standards for the future.
   111. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 02, 2010 at 01:09 PM (#3426180)
1. The VC isn't going to fail to elect anybody for many years running. That is, they're going to elect someone every once in a while. The lowest bar for the HOF was set by the Vet's committee. If the BBWAA matches the VC standard, the VC is going to elect players who failed to meet earlier VC standards. Which means that if the BBWAA matches the actual HOF standards those standards are going to become weaker over time. (That is, the VC will start electing players that in earlier eras it wouldn't have elected.)


I doubt they can elect anybody worse than Rube Marquard or Highpockets Kelly, unless Frankie Frisch's reanimated corpse is allowed to vote again.


3. The actual HOF is too large. Here's an argument for a smaller hall: the HOM was designed so as to have the same number of inductees as the HOF, but it would do a better job of picking them. Even so, the HOM has some players who are nobody's idea of all-time greats; it has players who are too similar to too many other players for it to make sense to honor them in this way. Willie Randolph comes to mind. If the best method we have for picking the all time greats is used to select as many players to honor as the HOF has honored, and yet it comes up with more players than we can reasonably say there are all-time greats, we can reasonably conclude that we've set out to find too many players. That is, that the HOF is too large. And that is to say that the BBWAA ought not to vote so as to match the HOF actual standards - or, better, since I've already said I don't think it has any standards, that the BBWAA ought to have had stricter standards in the past, and so ought to try to find stricter standards for the future.


The point where you draw the line is absolutely and indisputably arbitrary. With that said, whether or not you allow 50 or 500 inductees, make sure that the obvious ones get inducted. When a Santo is left out of an institution that has writers electing significantly inferior players, then there is something wrong.
   112. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: January 02, 2010 at 03:33 PM (#3426195)
The VC isn't going to fail to elect anybody for many years running. That is, they're going to elect someone every once in a while. The lowest bar for the HOF was set by the Vet's committee. If the BBWAA matches the VC standard, the VC is going to elect players who failed to meet earlier VC standards. Which means that if the BBWAA matches the actual HOF standards those standards are going to become weaker over time. (That is, the VC will start electing players that in earlier eras it wouldn't have elected.)


It is all but impossible for the writers to elect everybody as good as the average HOFer. They would have to elect 5-6 per year for a long time. The VC now has oodles of guys better than the average and they aren't electing them now. Guys like Santo and Simmons and Torre to name a few. Soon they will have Whitaker, Will Clark, Dick Allen, Grich, and the two Evanses. They may get Trammell and Raines and McGriff. I would not worry about the HOF quality going down anytime soon. Even Morris, while below average, isn't that below average.
   113. Gamingboy Posted: January 02, 2010 at 03:42 PM (#3426197)
If Alomar were to get in, what hat would he use? I'd have to think Toronto, right?
   114. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: January 02, 2010 at 03:55 PM (#3426202)
Gaylord Perry's
   115. jingoist Posted: January 02, 2010 at 05:11 PM (#3426251)
He tried to put Gaylord's hat on one time but it was so slippery it fell off his head
   116. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 02, 2010 at 05:55 PM (#3426281)
If Alomar were to get in, what hat would he use? I'd have to think Toronto, right?


He had the most value with the Blue Jays, so I would think yes.

Even Morris, while below average, isn't that below average.


He's comfortably better than Marquard and Haines, for example.
   117. Walt Davis Posted: January 02, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3426335)
What I'm saying is:

1. Given where Trammell and Raines started out, it would be odd for Edgar to poll in the mid-40s on his first ballot.
2. It would be odd for Raines to jump 20-25% in one year (along with Mac by 10, Trammell by 10).

Those are both possible of course but it's far more likely that our whopping 2-year sample of Repoz vs. final outcome has a wee bit of uncertainty in it and that you should put more faith in the historical trend (players rarely jump 20-25% in a year). To me that suggests these totals are probably more biased than they've been in the past.
   118. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 02, 2010 at 08:15 PM (#3426340)
1. Given where Trammell and Raines started out, it would be odd for Edgar to poll in the mid-40s on his first ballot.
2. It would be odd for Raines to jump 20-25% in one year (along with Mac by 10, Trammell by 10).
I'm totally with you on #2. Raines' vote count would be a pretty great achievement for the saber community even if he loses half of those gains on the final tally.

I don't really follow the logic of #1 though. Edgar's not at all similar to Trammell or Raines. He's a career .312 hitter and the greatest DH of all time. I thought Martinez would debut somewhat lower (maybe 30-35%) but this would hardly be shocking.
   119. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2010 at 08:41 PM (#3426354)
It would be odd for Raines to jump 20-25% in one year


This would surprise me, but I can see this one. Last year, Raines was competing with a direct contemporary whose skill set was more-or-less identical but who was clearly better - Rickey Henderson. It was also Jim Rice's last year on the ballot - one way or the other - and he entered the year right on the cusp of election. So, voters felt obligated to put a lot of thought and effort into determining whether or not to vote for Jim Rice (yes, yes, I know: how much thought does it take to see that Jim Rice isn't a Hall-of-Famer?). I could see how that wouldn't have left any extra time to really think about yet another corner outfielder, Raines, beyond a quick "poor man's Rickey Henderson" and moving on to the challenge of whether Bert Blyleven or Jack Morris was better (yes, yes, I know: ...).
   120. Sirotka's game-used Jays jersey Posted: January 02, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3426405)
I believe Alomar has gone on record stating he'd wear a Jays hat if elected. I think that's gone a long way to repairing his image in this city.

Richard Griffin revealed his ballot in his column this morning in The Star: Alomar, Dawson, Blyleven, Morris, Larkin, Raines.

Full article here
   121. Srul Itza At Home Posted: January 03, 2010 at 01:58 AM (#3426470)
From Griffin's article:

"It says here that if Ryne Sandberg was a first-ballot hall of famer, then so is Alomar."

Is he saying Alomar is not a first ballot hall of famer, or is he that ignorant/lazy that he thinks Sandberg was?
   122. Rich Rifkin Posted: January 03, 2010 at 03:50 AM (#3426504)
I believe Alomar has gone on record stating he'd wear a Jays hat if elected. I think that's gone a long way to repairing his image in this city.

The players don't decide which hat appears on the plaques. That is up to the HOF. But no team has a better case for Alomar than the Blue Jays. ... An interesting footnote to Alomar's great career, beside the fact that he played for 7 different franchises, is that he was traded away four times: San Diego dealt him to Toronto with Joe Carter for Tony Fernandez and the Crime Dog; the Tribe traded him to the Mets in a 3-way mostly prospects trade; the Mets traded him to the White Sox in a salary dump; and the D-backs traded him when he was out of gas to the Southsiders for his second tour, there.
   123. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 03, 2010 at 03:59 AM (#3426511)
The players don't decide which hat appears on the plaques.


They don't decide, but the Hall of Fame will take their wishes into account if the preferred cap is among the logical choices.
   124. ajnrules Posted: January 03, 2010 at 04:36 AM (#3426521)
Hmm. While it's too early to tell, there's still the possibility that Dawson might end up getting more votes than Alomar. Only once has a first-ballot Hall of Famer gotten fewer votes than a backlogged player in the same year, and that happened in 1985, when <u>Hoyt Wilhelm</u> out-polled <u>Lou Brock</u>.

I was a bit surprised that it's actually happened before, but then again, it is <u>Lou Brock</u>...
   125. Ziggy Posted: January 03, 2010 at 07:19 AM (#3426563)
Sure, the in/out line for the HOF is arbitrary, but we can still agree on where it should be. (Or, rather, on where it shouldn't be.) There's no objectively right answer, but there might be an intersubjectively right one. An analogy: the rules of baseball are arbitrary in the same way. There's no objectively right answer as to what the rules of baseball ought to be, but I think we can all agree that it ought to take fewer than 17 strikes for a batter to strike out. Objective truths about how the rules of baseball ought to be are thin on the ground, but that doesn't prevent us from saying useful things about how the rules of baseball ought to be. So it is, I'd like to suggest, with the HOF. Take a poll and see how many people think Willie Randolph should be in the HOF (or how many people would put him in their personal hall of fame). My bet is that very very few people are going to sign up for that. But if the best method we have for selecting the best players says that Randolph is the 258th (or whatever) best player in history, then we can reasonably say that the HOF ought to have fewer than 258 players, just like we can reasonably say that it ought to take fewer than 17 strikes to strike out, even though both are arbitrary - in a sense - and even though we can agree that there are no objective facts about such things.
   126. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 03, 2010 at 08:33 AM (#3426571)
Unfortunately, Dawson will probably go in with a Cubs hat, since to American voters his signature moment is the "fill-in-the-blank" collusion contract and the stupid MVP award. That, and they want to expunge the Expos from all our memories.
   127. Baldrick Posted: January 03, 2010 at 09:16 AM (#3426577)
Sure, the in/out line for the HOF is arbitrary, but we can still agree on where it should be. (Or, rather, on where it shouldn't be.) There's no objectively right answer, but there might be an intersubjectively right one. An analogy: the rules of baseball are arbitrary in the same way. There's no objectively right answer as to what the rules of baseball ought to be, but I think we can all agree that it ought to take fewer than 17 strikes for a batter to strike out. Objective truths about how the rules of baseball ought to be are thin on the ground, but that doesn't prevent us from saying useful things about how the rules of baseball ought to be. So it is, I'd like to suggest, with the HOF. Take a poll and see how many people think Willie Randolph should be in the HOF (or how many people would put him in their personal hall of fame). My bet is that very very few people are going to sign up for that. But if the best method we have for selecting the best players says that Randolph is the 258th (or whatever) best player in history, then we can reasonably say that the HOF ought to have fewer than 258 players, just like we can reasonably say that it ought to take fewer than 17 strikes to strike out, even though both are arbitrary - in a sense - and even though we can agree that there are no objective facts about such things.

But the only reason most people would say that is because they've grown up in an environment where the average HOFer is a much, much better player than Willie Randolph.

If your experiment produces a system that says Tony Gwynn is the lowest limit for acceptable HOFer, then over time a lot of players similar to Tony Gwynn are going to provoke an attitude of: who, that guy? I mean, sure he's vaguely as good as some HOFers, but he's no Carl Yastrzemski.
   128. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 03, 2010 at 12:49 PM (#3426587)
But the only reason most people would say that is because they've grown up in an environment where the average HOFer is a much, much better player than Willie Randolph.

If your experiment produces a system that says Tony Gwynn is the lowest limit for acceptable HOFer, then over time a lot of players similar to Tony Gwynn are going to provoke an attitude of: who, that guy? I mean, sure he's vaguely as good as some HOFers, but he's no Carl Yastrzemski.


Exactly. Our perception of what a HOFer should be has been shaped by who is in now (both BBWAA-elected inductees and through the Vets Committee). Through that lens, Willie Randolph is a HOF-caliber candidate (though I personally didn't vote for him for the HOM).
   129. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 03, 2010 at 02:52 PM (#3426591)
Gosh John, Willie was a h*lluva player.
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 03, 2010 at 04:16 PM (#3426614)
Gosh John, Willie was a h*lluva player.


He was, Harveys. I grew up watching him right from his first season with the Yanks and thought he was a marvelous player. I'm not even saying that he doesn't belong in the HOM, only that I have him rated more as a borderline choice.
   131. sunnyday2 Posted: January 03, 2010 at 04:18 PM (#3426615)
If the best method we have for picking the all time greats is used to select as many players to honor as the HOF has honored, and yet it comes up with more players than we can reasonably say there are all-time greats,


This assumes that HoFer = all-time great (that is, should be an all-time great), whereas some HoFer (and HoMer) clearly are not all-time greats but guys who were recognized or thought to be great within their era, but who have not stood up to the test of time for whatever reason. In hindsight we may wish that the line had been drawn above those guys, but it wasn't and it isn't. And to say that it shoulda been is a preference that may or may not reflect any kind of consensus, and the argument for which is going to be subjective.

One could argue that the test of time is not a fair standard, in fact, because as a practical matter you'd have to delay voting for, well, how many years in order to operationalize it? 5 clearly is not enough. 25? 50? And that would never happen. In fact, HoFers are all era-specific choices, some emerge eventually as all-time greats and some don't. You could argue that the VC is needed in order to pick up those players who emerge as all-time greats but were not recognized even as era greats in their day. As unlikely as that sounds, it happens--Sam Crawford, Johnny Mize.
   132. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 03, 2010 at 04:40 PM (#3426623)
John:

Understood. I am just very biased in favor of smart ballplayers. Overly so more than likely......
   133. Von Posted: January 03, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3426706)
I don't know if you have this or not but Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote about his ballot.
He chose Alamar, Larkin, Morris, Blyleven and Dawson

http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/blog/index.ssf/2010/01/terry_plutos_talkin_about_defe.html

I want to thank whoever started this compilation. It beats finding all of them myself!
   134. McCoy Posted: January 03, 2010 at 08:24 PM (#3426709)
IS there a list of the reporters that have been counted?

Did Bob Sansevere's vote already get counted?

Blyleven
Alomar
Morris
Larkin
Martinez
McGriff
Dawson
Smith
   135. McCoy Posted: January 03, 2010 at 08:34 PM (#3426715)
Charley Walters vote

Blyleven
Morris
Alomar
Larkin
Martinez
Raines
Trammell
   136. Repoz Posted: January 03, 2010 at 10:21 PM (#3426765)
Have them already, McCoy. Thanks
   137. lar @ wezen-ball Posted: January 04, 2010 at 06:22 PM (#3427163)
Repoz,

Is there some way you can create a google spreadsheet or something of the ballots that you have? Maybe candidates across the top and voters down the side, with X's to signify their vote (and then maybe a URL to link to their mention of it)? That'd be a nice visual of who's voting for who, and it'd also help us know if you have the ballot of someone we see online?

Of course, the results get released on Wed, so it might be moot. Still, the historical record might appreciate it (and if you need someone to compile that for you, let me know)
   138. Rich Rifkin Posted: January 04, 2010 at 09:20 PM (#3427413)
Mark Kreidler (formerly of the Sac Bee) said on the radio today he cast one lone vote for Alomar.
   139. DanG Posted: January 04, 2010 at 09:29 PM (#3427423)
PAT CAPUTO of The Oakland Press

Blyleven
Trammell
Morris
Alomar
Smith
Dawson
   140. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 04, 2010 at 10:52 PM (#3427513)
This assumes that HoFer = all-time great (that is, should be an all-time great), whereas some HoFer (and HoMer) clearly are not all-time greats but guys who were recognized or thought to be great within their era, but who have not stood up to the test of time for whatever reason.


The reason that they haven't stood the test of time is fairly obvious; what has changed is the perception of what makes a player an "all-time great", fueled in large part by the development of statistical analysis.

When there is a mismatch between contemporary opinion and statistical analysis, I think it makes sense to look at the reasons that the player was held in high (or low) esteem at the time and compare it to what statistical analysis shows. Most of the time statistical analysis illuminates reasons why the player shouldn't have been held in the esteem that he was - but on occasion, looking at contemporary opinion can point us to areas where statistical analysis doesn't paint a fair picture of the player.

-- MWE
   141. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2010 at 11:43 PM (#3427586)
1. The VC isn't going to fail to elect anybody for many years running. That is, they're going to elect someone every once in a while. The lowest bar for the HOF was set by the Vet's committee. If the BBWAA matches the VC standard, the VC is going to elect players who failed to meet earlier VC standards. Which means that if the BBWAA matches the actual HOF standards those standards are going to become weaker over time. (That is, the VC will start electing players that in earlier eras it wouldn't have elected.)
I discussed this in a thread about two weeks ago: this doesn't match what the VC is actually doing nowadays, which is not voting for players. (Non-players are still getting chosen.) I don't think that a writer should refuse to vote for a player who meets HOF standards on the theory that if he does, the VC won't be able to vote for this player later on and might vote for someone worse.

Plus, there simply is a big backlog of qualified players for the VC to pick over, so there's no danger of them electing Harold Baines or something. Remember, the size of MLB has doubled, but the number of players being inducted by the writers has not grown at all.

Finally, it's impossible for the VC to sink as low as it has in "earlier eras."
2. There isn't, really, any HOF standard. There have been many, many standards over the years, and it's probably not useful to try to abstract away from those diverse standards so as to arrive at the " de facto" HOF standard. If there were such a standard I guess it would be Travis Jackson as the lower bar, and the HOF would be much, much larger than it is. (The standard also isn't the top 250 or whatever players. The HOM taught us that.) The history of the HOF tells the story of the frequently changing and often incompatible HOF standards, not the development of a single standard.
I don't disagree with your points, but I disagree with your conclusion. The aggregation of those many standards over the years is the HOF standard. Take out the clear mistakes -- the outliers, the Lloyd Waners and Tommy McCarthys and such -- and what's left IS the HOF standard.

Take a poll and see how many people think Willie Randolph should be in the HOF (or how many people would put him in their personal hall of fame). My bet is that very very few people are going to sign up for that. But if the best method we have for selecting the best players says that Randolph is the 258th (or whatever) best player in history, then we can reasonably say that the HOF ought to have fewer than 258 players,
I agree that most people don't think Willie Randolph is a HOFer. But that's not because they think the HOF should have fewer than 258 players, and it's not because they draw the quality line so high that <258 players meet it. It's because they misperceive Willie Randolph's quality. (If it were because their standards were so high, then Jack Morris wouldn't be getting all the support he does; even his ardent fans don't think of him as an inner-circle guy. At least I don't think so.)
   142. JPWF13 Posted: January 04, 2010 at 11:55 PM (#3427598)
I think it makes sense to look at the reasons that the player was held in high (or low) esteem at the time and compare it to what statistical analysis shows. Most of the time statistical analysis illuminates reasons why the player shouldn't have been held in the esteem that he was - but on occasion, looking at contemporary opinion can point us to areas where statistical analysis doesn't paint a fair picture of the player.

-- MWE



Exactly, look at Lou Brock, he was held in high esteem because of

1: 118 Sbs in 1974
2: all time SB record
3: 3000 hits
4: World series performance
5: Repetitively mentioned as the good half of an all-time best/worst trade discussion.
It's pretty clear in hindsight that he was NOT remotely as good of a player as contemporary opinion held.

Nellie Fox is the opposite- very well regarded while playing, later generations said pshaw, but the contemporary opinion was more likely correct
   143. John DiFool2 Posted: January 05, 2010 at 02:41 AM (#3427748)
Remember, the size of MLB has doubled, but the number of players being inducted by the writers has not grown at all.


I wonder how much the increasing strength of the leagues has helped to tamp down the high end of the scale. Stiffer competition = less of a chance to stand out from the crowd, means fewer HoF votes. Of course we did have Barry, Mac, & Sammy putting up some pretty extreme numbers there for a few years, but well you know how they view that.
   144. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2010 at 04:52 PM (#3428173)
So, now we have the official groupthink results of BBTF -

Alomar 98.6%
Larkin 97.4%
Raines 97.4%
Blyleven 95.4%
Trammell 90.1%
McGwire 81.6%
Martinez 67.1%
Dawson 45.4%
McGriff 40.1%
Murphy 21.7%
L Smith 17.8%
Parker 6.6%
Appier 4.6%
Morris 4.6%
Ventura 4.6%
Mattingly 3.3%
Baines 2.6%
Galarraga 0.7%
Lankford 0.7%

Now we can assign each voter a score that shows how much they agree with BBTF groupthink using this formula:

20*(%)-10 for each player.

That gives the following point values for having each of these players on your ballot:

Alomar 9.72
Larkin 9.48
Raines 9.48
Blyleven 9.08
Trammell 8.02
McGwire 6.32
Martinez 3.42
Dawson -0.92
McGriff -1.98
Murphy -5.66
L Smith -6.44
Parker -8.68
Appier -9.08
Morris -9.08
Ventura -9.08
Mattingly -9.34
Baines -9.48
Galarraga -9.86
Lankford -9.86
Any other candidate -10

A failure to have that candidate on your ballot is worth the opposite point value.
   145. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2010 at 05:07 PM (#3428191)
Highest possible score would be a ballot of:

Alomar, Larkin, Raines, Blyleven, Trammell, McGwire, Martinez for a score of 174.98 [round to 175] (assuming nobody would put more than 3 "other" candidates on the ballot). If this was your ballot - congratulations, you get the groupthink seal of approval.

Here's my ballot:

Alomar, Larkin, Raines, Blyleven, Trammell, McGwire, Martinez, Dawson, Appier

And my score: 175-2*(9.08)-2*(0.92)=155 for adding Dawson and Appier.

Here's Heyman's ballot: Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Andre Dawson, Jack Morris, Dave Parker, Don Mattingly
and his score is 175-2*9.48-2*9.08-2*8.02-2*6.32-2*3.42-2*0.92-2*9.08-2*8.68-2*9.34 = 46.3. Sorry, that's not BBTF groupthink approved.

We can do the same thing when the BBWAA results are announced to rank ballots by who agrees with the BBWAA consensus best. Then we can divide the writers into two camps and fund the BBTF camp with guns and drug money to overthrow the BBWAA writers who don't agree with us.
   146. Anthony Giacalone Posted: January 05, 2010 at 06:03 PM (#3428262)
Ah, groupthink, what problems can't you solve?
   147. ajnrules Posted: January 05, 2010 at 08:22 PM (#3428531)
You probably already gotten it, but ESPN writers posted their ballot: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof10/news/story?id=4795616

Dawson and Alomar got 11/12 votes. Blyleven and Larkin got 8/12. McGwire and Raines got 7/12, and so on...

I presume SI writers and MLB.com writers will post their votes soon...
   148. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 05, 2010 at 09:05 PM (#3428596)
Poz's ballot is up: Alomar, Blyleven, Larkin, Martinez, McGwire, Murphy, Raines, Trammell.
   149. Repoz Posted: January 05, 2010 at 09:10 PM (#3428604)
I presume SI writers and MLB.com writers will post their votes soon...

S.I. never does a mass HOF article (not that they have many voters anyway) and last year in a real dooochbaggian move released their massive voting block just after the results were announced! I'M ####### WAITING HERE!!

BTW...would it freakin' hurt ESPN to include Peter Gammons' vote in their total? He only worked there since like forever which is almost before bad independent music.
   150. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 05, 2010 at 09:10 PM (#3428606)
Poz's ballot is up: Alomar, Blyleven, Larkin, Martinez, McGwire, Murphy, Raines, Trammell.
I wonder if any other writers will vote for 8 people.
   151. SoSH U at work Posted: January 05, 2010 at 09:12 PM (#3428612)
I wonder if any other writers will vote for 8 people.


Stark filled his ballot and hit all the ones we Groupthunked, plus a few others.
   152. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 05, 2010 at 11:13 PM (#3428853)
Mattingly appears to be in danger of falling off the ballot.
   153. hokieneer Posted: January 05, 2010 at 11:28 PM (#3428879)
You probably already gotten it, but ESPN writers posted their ballot: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof10/news/story?id=4795616

Buster Olney voted for Jack Morris, but not Bert Blyleven. I have yet to see any reason that someone would vote for Morris but not Bert. If you don't feel Bert is a HOF-er, then respectable people can disagree, but how can anyone think Morris had a better career than Bert?

Plus Jerry Crasnick votes on the HOF! Dear God.
   154. DL from MN Posted: January 05, 2010 at 11:40 PM (#3428907)
Oooh - Poz gets a groupthink score of 163.7!

I've been running 1 proportion tests. Alomar is a lock at this point. The 95% lower bound is just a hair under 75% for both Dawson (74.3) and Blyleven (73.2%). My software is not able to adjust for the fact that it is a finite set that we have 1/6 of the information from, these assume an infinite data set. That should adjust down the standard deviation in the estimate and predict Alomar, Dawson and Blyleven are inducted with >95% confidence.
   155. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 05, 2010 at 11:43 PM (#3428913)
I have yet to see any reason that someone would vote for Morris but not Bert.


Game 7 plus black ink in wins.

-- MWE

EDIT: Hey, I didn't say it was a GOOD reason!
   156. TR_Sullivan Posted: January 05, 2010 at 11:46 PM (#3428921)
Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar, Mark McGwire

You heard it here first....

TR.Sullivan@mlb.com
   157. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 05, 2010 at 11:50 PM (#3428929)
I've been running 1 proportion tests. Alomar is a lock at this point. The 95% lower bound is just a hair under 75% for both Dawson (74.3) and Blyleven (73.2%). My software is not able to adjust for the fact that it is a finite set that we have 1/6 of the information from, these assume an infinite data set. That should adjust down the standard deviation in the estimate and predict Alomar, Dawson and Blyleven are inducted with >95% confidence.

But these are not randomly selected ballots.

I will take 20-to-1 bets against Dawson and Blyleven.
   158. eamus catulli Posted: January 05, 2010 at 11:52 PM (#3428936)
Poz's explanatory article, which goes through all 26 candidates, is also an absolute model of the genre.
   159. Repoz Posted: January 05, 2010 at 11:53 PM (#3428938)
You heard it here first....

Thanks, T.R. I'll get right on it.

BTW...Do you know if MLB.com is going to allow their writers to release their ballots in a timely fashion (like now!)?
   160. DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:08 AM (#3428960)
They're not randomly selected ballots but I also can't think of any particular sampling bias at work. We took every ballot from everyone and there are some goofy anti-Blyleven ones in there.
   161. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:10 AM (#3428963)
Repoz, is this your biggest tally ever? I can only assume so.

Anyhow, if anyone wants to see how it's progressing, for my own purposes (to help myself out next year when I write my annual prediction column), I saved what the tally was at 58 votes. Comparing what they were like then vs. now (first, the 58 tally %, an then the current 100 tally one):

Alomar: 84.5%, 89.0%
Dawson 88.0%, 81.0%
Blyleven 84.5%, 80.0%
Larkin 60.3%, 57.0%
Morris 58.6%, 50.0%
Raines 39.7%, 43.0%
Martinez 48.3%, 41.0%
Smith 43.1%, 39.0%
McGwire 32.7%, 35.0%
Trammell 25.9%, 26.0%
McGriff 19.0%, 21.0%
Murphy 10.3%, 10.0%
Parker 12.1%, 9.0%
Baines 10.3%, 8.0%
Mattingly 10.3%, 6.0%

So, the overall tally has dropped from 6.28 to 5.95 names/ballot, which sounds better. Dropping hardest have been Dawson, Blyleven, Morris, and Martinez. I can't imagine Blyleven gets in this year. A few have gained, no one more than Roberto Alomar.
   162. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:12 AM (#3428965)
They're not randomly selected ballots but I also can't think of any particular sampling bias at work.


Actually, Repoz's tallies have always impressed me with how accurate they are, but, to the extent there are biases, I'd say they are "intensity" biases. Guys whose advocates are more vocal/outspoken tend to be over-represented. This would include the "sabermetric darlings" - your Blyleven and Trammell and Raines - but also would include Jack Morris. Whereas for somebody like Andre Dawson, who seems to be right around everybody's borderline, Repoz's tally has been spot on the last two years.
   163. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:20 AM (#3428988)
The bias is who decided to publish their ballot and who doesn't. By and large, it's the older, retired writers who are less likely to do so. So there is some generational impact. But the tally is really good, especially at this point when it features 100 out of 550ish voters.
   164. TR_Sullivan Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:24 AM (#3429003)
MLB.Com will publish our votes at some point but thought I would post mine here
   165. LargeBill Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:28 AM (#3429018)
The funny thing is folks that are voting Morris but not Blyleven may actually be killing Morris' chances. It seems Morris is not gaining traction because a clearly much better starting pitcher is on the ballot. So, if Bert ends up at 74% then he will return next year as the best starting pitcher on the ballot continuing to outshine Morris. If Morris stays at or around 50% next year he won't climb to 75% before the deluge of much better candidates in 2013. In the long run if Morris is correctly not elected he could blame Heyman, Olney and Chass and others of their mind set. While I'd prefer Blyleven get elected this year, I'll admit I'll get a little perverse satisfaction from knowing that those guys hurt the candidacy of the guy they thought they were championing.
   166. Repoz Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:29 AM (#3429019)
Repoz, is this your biggest tally ever? I can only assume so.

No, I believe I ended up with over 140 Full Ballots last year...but that included the MLB.com block and a batch of stragglers that came in after the results were announced.

So it was probably around 125 or so...AND WHERE'S MY PHIL PEPE BALLOT!
   167. DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:35 AM (#3429029)
> there is some generational impact

Who does that help and who does it hurt? Can you break down the current ballots by age and show me any trends?
   168. Lassus Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:36 AM (#3429030)
I don't know if anyone besides me heard, but Mariotti issued a pathetic rant on Around the Horn about how he didn't vote for for ANYONE this year because first-ballot is important, and Dawson and Bert don't belong because it's taken them this long, and he didn't care if the BBWAA took away his voting privileges.

So, anyhow, Repoz, there will be no Mariotti ballot.
   169. DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:36 AM (#3429031)
<unnecessary>
   170. DL from MN Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:38 AM (#3429036)
Did Mariotti send in a blank ballot or not send in a ballot? A blank ballot hurts a lot.
   171. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:41 AM (#3429044)
Hey Repoz, is TR's the first ballot to debut at BTF?

That's pretty cool, and it says something about the interest your efforts have gained. Well done.
   172. Lassus Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:45 AM (#3429050)
Did Mariotti send in a blank ballot or not send in a ballot?

Can't really remember his exact words.
   173. Repoz Posted: January 06, 2010 at 12:47 AM (#3429056)
MLB.Com will publish our votes at some point

Thanks, TR...I'm here all night (won't be able to sleep anyways with Willie Mitchell's death and all)

there will be no Mariotti ballot.

That's a killer...must track down.

is TR's the first ballot to debut at BTF?

I believe so...and big thanks to TR for that.
   174. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2010 at 01:00 AM (#3429071)
I want to commend TR for seriously and honestly considering the Blyleven issue. In December of 2008 TR and I had an e-mail exchange in which we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of Blyleven's case, since TR had written that he was having trouble supporting Blyleven. Towards the end of that e-mail exchange TR told me that, after having considered my points (no doubt along with those from others) he would likely be voting for Blyleven in January of 2008. I responded by thanking him for objectively considering the issues involved, and told him that no matter which way he ended up voting on Blyleven he had my respect (not that earning my respect is something people strive for, but I digress). In January of 2009 he wrote me to tell me that he did indeed vote for Blyleven. And I see he did so again this year.

Again, I commend TR and I only wish that more voters were like him.

(Though I see we're going to have to have some more e-mail exchanges on Raines, Larkin, and Trammell since TR seems not to have gotten the BTF Groupthink memo on this :-) )
   175. Lassus Posted: January 06, 2010 at 01:26 AM (#3429102)
That's a killer...must track down.

They re-run the show at various times on ESPNews and some such, but a better bet is probably the podcast. The rant is at the VERY END, really, the last 60 seconds, when he "wins" and gets to blather. You can parse what he said. It's posted to ESPN.com radio section later tonight. Not sure when exactly.
   176. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 06, 2010 at 01:38 AM (#3429119)
Mariotti issued a pathetic rant on Around the Horn about how he didn't vote for for ANYONE this year because first-ballot is important, and Dawson and Bert don't belong because it's taken them this long

So all Hall of Fame inductees should be between years 2 and 8 on the ballot. Good to know.
   177. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: January 06, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3429120)
The funny thing is folks that are voting Morris but not Blyleven may actually be killing Morris' chances. It seems Morris is not gaining traction because a clearly much better starting pitcher is on the ballot. So, if Bert ends up at 74% then he will return next year as the best starting pitcher on the ballot continuing to outshine Morris. If Morris stays at or around 50% next year he won't climb to 75% before the deluge of much better candidates in 2013. In the long run if Morris is correctly not elected he could blame Heyman, Olney and Chass and others of their mind set. While I'd prefer Blyleven get elected this year, I'll admit I'll get a little perverse satisfaction from knowing that those guys hurt the candidacy of the guy they thought they were championing.


I love this theory and endorse it fully.

NO BERT UNTIL 2012!!
   178. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 06, 2010 at 01:46 AM (#3429130)
I don't know if anyone besides me heard, but Mariotti issued a pathetic rant on Around the Horn about how he didn't vote for for ANYONE this year because first-ballot is important, and Dawson and Bert don't belong because it's taken them this long, and he didn't care if the BBWAA took away his voting privileges.

This is amazing. People watch Around the Horn?
   179. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 06, 2010 at 01:49 AM (#3429135)
89.1 - Alomar
81.2 - Dawson
89.2 - Blyleven
56.4 - Larkin
59.5 - J. Morris


I presume the last one is a typo Repoz. Is that now 50.5 or 49.5?
   180. LargeBill Posted: January 06, 2010 at 01:58 AM (#3429153)
179. SoSH, believe REPOZ meant 79.2 for Blyleven and 49.5 for Morris.
   181. Lassus Posted: January 06, 2010 at 02:00 AM (#3429156)
This is amazing. People watch Around the Horn?

Boredom and bad weather.
   182. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 06, 2010 at 02:03 AM (#3429159)
179. SoSH, believe REPOZ meant 79.2 for Blyleven and 49.5 for Morris.


I didn't even notice Bert's typo, since I've been tracking Jack's figures rather intently. I do like your theory, BTW, though we should probably not clue messers Olney, Chass and Heyman in.
   183. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 06, 2010 at 02:12 AM (#3429167)
there is some generational impact

Who does that help and who does it hurt? Can you break down the current ballots by age and show me any trends?

See post #59 in this thread.
   184. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 06, 2010 at 03:51 AM (#3429231)
Bill Plunkett (OC Register) posted his ballot in the comments here:

Larkin
Alomar
Edgar

-- MWE
   185. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 06, 2010 at 04:00 AM (#3429236)
This is amazing. People watch Around the Horn?

Boredom and bad weather.


that would be a good nickname for Mariotti
   186. Baldrick Posted: January 06, 2010 at 04:47 AM (#3429256)
Voting Morris over Blyleven is like voting for Pete Best to go into the Beatles HOF and not George Harrison.

Or like voting for 34 to go into the Hall of Numbers Between 10 and 20, but not voting for 15.
   187. hokieneer Posted: January 06, 2010 at 05:48 AM (#3429279)
This is amazing. People watch Around the Horn?

Boredom and bad weather.


HA, I've been snowed in the last 2 days, so I've had to work from home. Monday I watched ATH for the first time in ages. One episode was too much, I avoided it today.
   188. Repoz Posted: January 06, 2010 at 05:52 AM (#3429281)
Thanks, Mike...good catch.
   189. Lassus Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:10 AM (#3429289)
I have reviewed the Mariotti tape:

"The baseball gods can strike me down, guess what, I didn't vote for ANYBODY for the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. You know why, to me, first ballot is sacred. I think Roberto Alomar is an eventual Hall of Famer, not the first time. Edgar Martinez, designated hitter, eventually, but not the first time. And the same goes maybe for Fred McGriff. As far as Blylevyn, Dawson, if they haven't gotten in for years and years, I cannot vote them in now, Ripkin, Rickey Henderson, and Gwynn, they are true first-ballot Hall of Famers, but, I didn't vote for anybody, throw me out of the Baseball Writers Association - "

What follows is random sounds, voices, and noise, including Plaschke saying - with actual venom - something like "OK, throw him out" and the host, Reali (who I admit I kind of like as a voice of sanity amidst all these wankers) giving Mariotti a hard time for simply forgetting to send his ballot in and using this as an excuse.

From that little bit of evidence, despite the joking at the end, it does almost sound as if perhaps Mariotti did send a blank ballot in. This, however, is assuming he actually knows how to use the English language as he describes events. Which is kind of a leap. Really, anything could have happened.
   190.     Hey Gurl Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:13 AM (#3429290)
if they haven't gotten in for years and years, I cannot vote them in now


anyone know if this dingus voted for Rice last year?
   191. ajnrules Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:18 AM (#3429292)
It's interesting how most people thought Roberto Alomar wasn't a slam dunk Hall of Famer, but he just might get 90% of the vote, which is usually reserved for slam dunk Hall of Famers...
   192. EddieA Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:25 AM (#3429294)
13 mlb.com writers' votes are on the mlb.com website.
   193. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:34 AM (#3429300)
throw me out of the Baseball Writers Association


Please grant this man his wish.

At least people like Shaughnessy try to take their votes seriously, even if they use dumb reasoning.
   194. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:34 AM (#3429301)
I am now officially predicting an increase for Mark McGwire.
   195. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:42 AM (#3429307)
Results from the 13 MLB.com guys (including TR Sullivan, who was nice enough to list his ballot earlier in this thread and since been added to repoz's tally):

11 Alomar
11 Dawson
10 Blyleven
7 Smith
6 Larkin
5 Morris
4 Trammell
4 McGwire
3 Edgar
3 Raines
2 Murphy
1 Parker
1 Mattingly
1 Ventura (!!)
1 McGriff
   196. Baldrick Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:42 AM (#3429308)
Lots of stinky reasoning in those mlb.com votes. But this one really jumps out:

"Marty Noble: Barry Larkin and Dave Parker

Alomar will probably be elected, and based on performance through most of his 17 seasons, he ought to be. But he will go without my vote this year. I don't like to use the ballot in this manner, but the best second baseman since Joe Morgan -- and probably the best ever -- doesn't deserve my vote for at least one year because of two spitting instances. We're all aware of the one involving John Hirschbeck. I don't care that Hirschbeck forgave Alomar for spitting at him; I haven't. It was unacceptable behavior. And during his 222-game tour with the Mets, Alomar repeatedly spit in he face of the game by playing with conspicuous apathy. His father and brother didn't deserve that, nor did the game."

He goes on to say that he's more willing to forgive Parker's flaws than Alomar

Which is super.
   197. Baldrick Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:45 AM (#3429310)
Oh, and then there's Mark Newman (in regard to Blyleven):

"Go to Cooperstown and walk into the hallowed Gallery room and you are reminded that "really good" players do not belong in that room with plaques alongside Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth and Nolan Ryan."

Cobb, Mays, Ruth, Ryan...one of these things is not like the other.
   198. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:45 AM (#3429311)
I liked this from Gammons' vote on Bert

Think about the fact that his 15 1-0 wins are the most in the last 50 years, and he had more career shutouts than the American League has had the past 18 seasons.


If true (and I'm assuming he's talking about individuals throwing shutouts, not combined efforts), that's pretty amazing.

By the way, Gammo nearly got the BTF Groupthink Seal, with only Dawson in and Edgar out on his 7-person ballot.
   199. Lassus Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:52 AM (#3429315)
Noble's just plain pathetic.
   200. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 06, 2010 at 06:58 AM (#3429318)
Alomar will probably be elected, and based on performance through most of his 17 seasons, he ought to be. But he will go without my vote this year. I don't like to use the ballot in this manner, but the best second baseman since Joe Morgan -- and probably the best ever -- doesn't deserve my vote for at least one year because of two spitting instances. We're all aware of the one involving John Hirschbeck. I don't care that Hirschbeck forgave Alomar for spitting at him; I haven't. It was unacceptable behavior. And during his 222-game tour with the Mets, Alomar repeatedly spit in he face of the game by playing with conspicuous apathy. His father and brother didn't deserve that, nor did the game."


Dinging Alomar for the Hirschbeck thing is silly, but at least it arguably speaks to character. WTF is the Mets thing all about? That comes out of left field. Now a player's skills abandoning him means that he has "spit on the game"?
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