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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

BBWAA.com: No Players Elected for First Time Since 1996

Nobody. Not one. Ugh. Click the link to see the results.

A winning candidate did not emerge from the Hall of Fame balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and verified by Ernst & Young. There were 569 ballots cast, the third highest total in the history of the voting, but none of the 37 candidates in the 2013 vote gained mention on the required 75 percent for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Craig Biggio, who totaled 3,060 hits and was a seven-time All-Star while playing three positions (catcher, second base, outfield), topped the ballot with 388 votes – 39 shy of the 427 needed for election. His total reflected 68.2 percent of the electorate, which consists of BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage. Five blank ballots were among those submitted. Other players named on more than half the ballots were pitcher Jack Morris with 385 (67.7 percent), first baseman Jeff Bagwell with 339 (59.6), catcher Mike Piazza with 329 (57.8) and outfielder Tim Raines with 297 (52.2).

 

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:00 PM | 453 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, idiocy

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   301. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:35 PM (#4343697)
Well, again, what is the evidence that voters care about postseason performance? Is it Jack Morris, a player who hasn't gotten in? Is it Bernie Williams, a player who just fell off the ballot?


Your dogmatic insistence that the only way to show it matters is if they cross the line of in/out is ridiculous. The fact that Don Larsen stayed on the ballot for 15 years proves that it matters to some.(roughly about 5% of the voters) It's not going to singlehandedly put anyone in the hof, but it can help it out. And as pointed out, many of the voters pushing for Morris routinely point out three things. 1. Winning percentage 2. game 7 of the world series 3. 14 opening day starts. Is also enough evidence to show that it matters to a handful of voters.


WTF does winning percentage and opening day starts have to do with the postseason?

As for the voters citing Game 7, it's pretty clear that they generally cite things after the fact to justify their vote, but that they didn't base their vote on it.
   302. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:36 PM (#4343698)
So the only real "problem" is that the voters didn't vote the way you would have.


The real problem is the hypocrisy of the voters and their splitting of hairs on what constitutes cheating.
   303. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:39 PM (#4343700)
WTF does winning percentage and opening day starts have to do with the postseason?


Nothing, I'm pointing out the three primary reasons that the voters have given for voting for Morris. It would be remiss(or lawyerly) of me to not point out all the reasons they give and just to list only that they mention the world series game.

Nearly every writer who bothered to list their ballot with reasons, and who voted for Morris, points to that game.

As for the voters citing Game 7, it's pretty clear that they generally cite things after the fact to justify their vote, but that they didn't base their vote on it.


Gotcha... because you think they are thinking that? You are a person who are utterly incapable of seeing other peoples point of view, what in god's name makes you think you are able to figure out their mindset on something? Seriously you have no clue how other people on this planet think, and need to get out of the business of trying to guess their thoughts.
   304. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:43 PM (#4343702)
This year the average voter filled up two-thirds of his ballot. Many of them are very wedded to maintaining the facade of "Guardians of the Hall Gates", so will never cast a full ballot. These voters can maintain this same facade by voting for 10 on a 15-limit ballot, and some of them would.


If the Hall of Fame expanded the limit to 15 with an announcement that they were doing so because there are twice as many teams and players nowadays, I think face would be saved all the way around. And it has the benefit of being true.
   305. JJ1986 Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:46 PM (#4343705)
the way of Jay Mariotti


I did not know this:

...he argued with his former girlfriend...He allegedly pulled a chunk of her hair-extensions out, grabbed her cellphone, shouted at her, and ordered that she get plastic surgery because she was not satisfactory to his demands as a high profile sports writer and general celebrity...
   306. Moeball Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:49 PM (#4343706)
How I think the balloting will go over the next few years (not what I think should happen, necessarily, but what I think actually will happen):

Jan 2014 - Maddux, Glavine get elected
Jan 2015 - R. Johnson, P. Martinez
Jan 2016 - Junior, Biggio
Jan 2017 - I. Rodriguez, F. Thomas
Jan 2018 - Smoltz, Schilling

At this point I think the following contenders will still probably be on the ballot going forward:

Bonds
Clemens
Chipper
Mussina
Bagwell
Raines
Manny being Manny
Edmonds
Piazza
Sheffield
Vlad
McGriff
C. Delgado
Posada
M. Ordonez
T. Hoffman
B. Wagner
E. Martinez

That means I think the following major names will have fallen off the ballot by then:

L. Walker, Palmeiro, McGwire, Sosa, Kent, Trammell

I may be missing some others falling off that should be actual contenders.

Based on the remaining pool above, however, here is how I see the next few years after that:

Jan 2019 - Mussina, Raines, maybe Mariano Rivera(if he retires after 2013?)
Jan 2020 - Bagwell, Piazza (some "suspicions" start to relent)
Jan 2021 - Chipper, Vlad (funny how I've never heard anyone mention suspecting Vlad although all of him including his hat size was twice as big on the Angels as when he was in Montreal)

Jan 2022 - T. Hoffman

Jan 2023 - Bonds, Clemens - a decade after first appearing on ballot!

Hard to tell just how much writers' attitudes will change in next decade, but I can picture the above results happening. Obviously, I cannot tell for certain when currently active players will retire (Jeter?) so that may impact some other players coming onto the ballot in coming years that could skew the above results.
   307. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4343707)
The real problem is the hypocrisy of the voters and their splitting of hairs on what constitutes cheating.

But, again, that's only a "problem" if you adopt the position that amps are equivalent to steroids. That's wrong, but more importantly, it's a distinctly minority view.

This, too, reduces to: the voters aren't analyzing things as I do. That doesn't constitute a problem demanding a fix.

The writers are rejecting steroid users even more vociferously than I thought they would. That isn't a problem -- it just is. Under the rules of the HOF, and the procedures for election to the HOF, which have been in place for decades, steroid use appears to be a disqualifying factor. That, too, doesn't constitute a problem demanding a fix.

It takes a supermajority to be voted into the HOF, in other words, a wide level of support from a wide cross-section of voters. Always has. Steroid users are having a hard time getting a majority, much less the requisite supermajority. They really aren't even close to being elected -- another factor militating against this being a "problem."
   308. JJ1986 Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:51 PM (#4343709)
I don't think Ivan is going right in. Anyone holding votes for suspicion is going to hold his vote.
   309. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4343711)
But, again, that's only a "problem" if you adopt the position that amps are equivalent to steroids. That's wrong, but more importantly, it's a distinctly minority view.


It may be a minority view, but it doesn't mean it's a wrong view. The problem is the lack of consistency in trying to explain why one version of cheating is worse than others, how the degrees matter, and what the science says on the matter. The voters don't care one whit about that. They have their view that it's cheating to a level beyond acceptable and other forms of cheating are clearly on the other side and the difference is so vast that there is no reasoning with them.

The fact that they don't accept reasoning is proof their point of view is wrong/unsupportable. Look at the movement that Andy has made on the issue, he's a reasonable person, he still has his line in the sand, but as far as I can tell he's moved it. The writers aren't willing to listen to reason.
   310. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:04 PM (#4343713)
If the Hall of Fame expanded the limit to 15 with an announcement that they were doing so because there are twice as many teams and players nowadays, I think face would be saved all the way around. And it has the benefit of being true.


But ISTM there were quite a few ballots that had spaces left on them.
   311. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:04 PM (#4343714)
The steroids players won't be getting in any time soon. Does anyone feel otherwise?
   312. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:04 PM (#4343715)
What "fix" is possible to resolve the "problem" of writers who "wrongly" think amps weren't as bad as steroids?
   313. Esoteric Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4343720)
What "fix" is possible to resolve the "problem" of writers who "wrongly" think amps weren't as bad as steroids?
Simple: they should have their children taken away.
   314. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:11 PM (#4343721)
The steroids players won't be getting in any time soon. Does anyone feel otherwise?


By steroid players, who do you mean? Bonds, Clemens, McGwire and Palmiero most definitely not getting in soon(and McGwire and Palmiero probably never). If you mean Bagwell and Piazza, then I would say that they have a pretty good chance of getting in(now what you mean by soon is also important. I can see inside of ten years, the next five years the ballot's are going to be pretty crowded)
   315. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:12 PM (#4343722)
At this point I think the following contenders will still probably be on the ballot going forward:

.
.
.
Based on the remaining pool above, however, here is how I see the next few years after that:

Jan 2019 - Mussina, Raines, maybe Mariano Rivera(if he retires after 2013?)
Jan 2020 - Bagwell, Piazza (some "suspicions" start to relent)
Jan 2021 - Chipper, Vlad (funny how I've never heard anyone mention suspecting Vlad although all of him including his hat size was twice as big on the Angels as when he was in Montreal)

Jan 2022 - T. Hoffman

Jan 2023 - Bonds, Clemens - a decade after first appearing on ballot!


You're forgetting Thome, Jeter, Ichiro, possibly ARod, and probably a few others.

   316. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4343723)
What "fix" is possible to resolve the "problem" of writers who "wrongly" think amps weren't as bad as steroids?


There is no "fix" for that, it is what it is, and it's going to stay that way. It doesn't change the fact of the matter, that they are wrong. Until they admit that amps are ped's, the discussion isn't going to move forward. Once they admit it's Ped's but not as bad as roids, then the discussion can progress.
   317. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:15 PM (#4343725)
What is the evidence against Piazza, again? Is it just Chass's bacne, or is there more?
   318. Moeball Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4343726)
I don't think Ivan is going right in. Anyone holding votes for suspicion is going to hold his vote.


Yeah, I'm probably optimistic on that. Besides, they made Yogi Berra and Campanella wait a few years, too.

   319. Moeball Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4343730)
You're forgetting Thome, Jeter, Ichiro, possibly ARod, and probably a few others.


As I said, currently active players retiring could monkey up the ballot. I figure Jeter and Ichiro go in first ballot whenever that day comes, Thome will be in the "Bagwell" range - there's no evidence I've heard that he's done anything but I'm sure there are still a lot of writers with their suspicions that will dampen his percentages.

I wouldn't be surprised if most writers view A-Rod as "A-Roid" so he'll have to wait a long time before he has any chance to get in.
   320. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:22 PM (#4343731)
What is the evidence against Piazza, again? Is it just Chass's bacne, or is there more?


He hit homeruns.
   321. Lassus Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4343732)
Piazza not getting in until 2020 is going to enrage me.
   322. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:26 PM (#4343733)
I wouldn't be surprised if most writers view A-Rod as "A-Roid" so he'll have to wait a long time before he has any chance to get in.


Once the dam breaks, I don't think any legitimate candidate is going to be held back. First you'll get your suspected but no evidence guys in (Bagwell, Biggio and Piazza) along with looks like a roider but no suspicion guys (Thomas, Thome and maybe even Vlad and Irod) at that point in time I imagine some of the hold out writers will get tired and start voting based upon just best candidate(or at least estimating what they would have done without roids) and that will lead to your Bonds and Clemens going in. It's not going to happen overnight of course, but this election result makes me think that it will happen within the next 15 years.
   323. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4343739)
Francesa thinks Morris is a HOFer but not Biggio, Bernie, or Mussina.

He also said: "Pettitte wasn't allowed to say that Clemens used steroids."
   324. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:39 PM (#4343743)
The steroids players won't be getting in any time soon. Does anyone feel otherwise?


There's a huge amount of money involved in Cooperstown, in memorabilia, in card shows (I assume, do these still happen?). MLB wants this behind them, the Hall wants people to visit, the players want validation. I would would have to think that sharp people on all sides are sending out feelers.
   325. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4343744)
I don't know if this would fix it or not, but one potential rule change that I could see having an effect: After the vote, publish all the ballots, including who submitted which.
   326. John DiFool2 Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4343747)
I find the very idea of a 600 homer guy dropping completely off the ballot utterly obscene.
   327. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4343750)
I don't know if this would fix it or not, but one potential rule change that I could see having an effect: After the vote, publish all the ballots, including who submitted which.


I think that should be the requirement for any awards vote. If you aren't willing to stand behind your picks, then you shouldn't be allowed to pick.

Having said that, the hof has very publicly stated that they do not believe in releasing the ballot results. Heck as far as I know they don't even believe in releasing the voter names.
   328. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4343759)
The fact that they don't accept reasoning is proof their point of view is wrong/unsupportable. Look at the movement that Andy has made on the issue, he's a reasonable person, he still has his line in the sand, but as far as I can tell he's moved it. The writers aren't willing to listen to reason.

cfb, just for the record, I've always been 100% consistent on five major points WRT steroids and the HoF:

1. I've never equated hearsay with proof, and when the facts seem truly ambiguous and in conflict, I'm more than willing to hear all the evidence. You're right, though, in the sense that I first took the evidence against Clemens more seriously than I should have, but between the Clemens threads and the proceedings of the trial, I came to the conclusion that the evidence presented by the government was far short of being conclusive. This is why I would have voted for him today.

2. I've never believed in any "equivalency" between steroids and amps/spitballs/lasik/goat testicles/racism/corked bats, or any of the other comparisons that have been dragged into the question. That seems to be the fundamental difference between me and the majority opinion on BTF, and it's not likely to go away, as it's been hashed out for at least several dozen threads over the past half dozen years and so far nobody's budged.

3. That said, I've always respected the POV that says that while steroids are cheating, cheating of all types has always been a part of the game, and that the HoF has never taken any other type of cheating into consideration. I don't accept this POV any more than I accept the idea that shoplifting is equivalent to grand larceny,** but I do understand the point that's being made.

4. I've also always said that if Bonds (shorthand for known steroid users) should get elected to the HoF, I'd respect his election as evidence that the consensus towards steroids had truly undergone a change. That doesn't mean that I'd agree with that POV if it should come to pass, but it does mean that I don't consider myself any sort of a unilateral arbiter of what constitutes acceptable interpretations of the character clause. To me, it would be like respecting the election of a Republican as representing the will of the electorate, nothing more and nothing less.

5. And I've also said that if a current HoF member should either confess to or be outed about steroid use, I'd consider the entire steroid question to be over and done with. Such a confession / revelation would both sadden and disgust me, but once the horse has escaped there's no point in keeping the barn door locked.

Also, in case anyone hasn't figured it out, to the extent that I feel any kinship to any particular writers, it would be mostly with the 1.2% of them who voted for Clemens and not Bonds.

**Note that I don't say murder, as that comparison should be reserved for game throwing. What Rose did is more like the baseball equivalent of manslaughter or second degree murder.

   329. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:28 PM (#4343780)
5. And I've also said that if a current HoF member should either confess to or be outed about steroid use, I'd consider the entire steroid question to be over and done with. Such a confession / revelation would both sadden and disgust me, but once the horse has escaped there's no point in keeping the barn door locked.


I just don't get that. I mean I get the sadden part etc, but I don't get why that would all the sudden change your view on who should go in. If it's revealed a significant number of people goes in, then I would understand why it would change your view, but as I compared it to, one confirmed user in the hof, is like using Jim Rice as the hof standard. Mistakes happen.

I also know that your viewpoint is shared by many others on that issue, even though it's a concept that is beyond my grasp.


cfb, just for the record, I've always been 100% consistent on five major points WRT steroids and the HoF:


Then it's been other people's characterization of your viewpoint that has changed. I was under the impression that you were pretty strongly against anyone with any significant amount of evidence(including early Sosa, and McGwire before he admitted)
   330. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:35 PM (#4343786)
...looks like a roider but no suspicion guys (Thomas, Thome and maybe even Vlad and Irod)...


I-Rod is most definitely not a no suspicion guy. I'm pretty sure Canseco has accused him and I know I read dozens of articles about how much he "slimmed down" once testing started.

So the only real "problem" is that the voters didn't vote the way you would have.


IMO, the real problem is that the voters are basically at war with each other, and it's only going to get worse.
   331. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:47 PM (#4343795)
Bonds got 206 votes and Sosa got 71. So there are 135 people who were willing to vote for the most highly suspected juicer of them all, but were not willing to vote for Sammy Sosa. I guess that, like everything else in this mess, this result reflects a complex combination of factors. But am I the only one who thinks that's just a little bit whacky?
   332. Karl from NY Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:50 PM (#4343797)
10 assorted predictions that I could probably be talked into staking a BBRef sponsorship bet on:

- The HOF and BBWAA make absolutely no procedure changes this year.

- The HOF and BBWAA make absolutely no procedure changes in 2014 if anyone is elected then.

- If the 2014 election turns up empty, they still make no real changes, at most issuing a guideline to "consider players in the context of their time" or similar subtle encouragement.

- Maddux goes no higher than 82% in 2014. The ballot is too crowded and enough voters are dumb enough to forget who he was. He's not remotely sniffing 90%.

- Nobody reaches 90% before Jeter. He's the only clean upcoming candidate with enough name penetration to the GolfWorld goobers of this circus.

- Bonds and Clemens each gain no more than 10% in 2014. The "first ballot penalty" is wishful thinking on our parts. The voters are going to be just as sanctimonious next year as this.

- Morris stays out in 2014, but goes in via Vets Committee by 2020.

- Piazza stays out in 2014. The voters have no idea how good he was, how much his hitting outshined his defense, and how much credit simply playing catcher is worth.

- No newcomer besides Maddux enters in 2014 (no Thomas, Mussina, or Glavine.)

- Schilling gains at least 10% in 2014 and enters by 2020. He's a Story and the writers like that. He'd be the 2000's version of Morris if he weren't already qualified on the numbers.
   333. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4343801)
BBWAA.com: No Players Elected for First Time Since 1996

1996 ballot
6 of the top 8 eventually got in
   334. Sunday silence Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:01 AM (#4343802)
3. That said, I've always respected the POV that says that while steroids are cheating, cheating of all types has always been a part of the game, and that the HoF has never taken any other type of cheating into consideration. I don't accept this POV any more than I accept the idea that shoplifting is equivalent to grand larceny


I dunno if this snippet sums up your steroid position or not, but in any case:

If you feel this strongly that steroid taking is such a blight on the sport, then would you also agree that any teams with steriod users should have their pennants/world series wins taken away as well? We've seen this sort of thing in NCAA football and I guess recently with Lance Armstrong/Tour de France.

WOuldn't this be consistent with your position? I mean if Bonds does not deserve the HoF for steroid usage, then shouldn't teams that used steroids forfeit their titles? SUrely championships are more important than mere awards....
   335. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:02 AM (#4343804)
Maddux goes no higher than 82% in 2014. The ballot is too crowded and enough voters are dumb enough to forget who he was. He's not remotely sniffing 90%.

I agree with most of your comments, but not this one.

Going back to post 296: 1981 is the most recent election in which the Hall had a stronger returning backlog than this one (in terms of voting, not necessarily the actual quality of players).

In 1982, Hank Aaron joined the ballot, and was elected with 97.6% of the vote. Fine, you say, but Maddux isn't Hank Aaron. And you're right.

Frank Robinson also joined the ballot in 1982, and was elected with 89.2% of the vote. Again, this is the most-supported set of returning candidates in 30 years, plus Hank Aaron, and Robinson sailed in anyway. Maddux may not be Aaron, but he's roughly Frank Robinson, and there's no Aaron joining the ballot next year.
   336. flournoy Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:05 AM (#4343805)
Is McGriff a tactical vote there?


A little late with the reply, but no, not really. I think McGriff is worthy, and I like him. If I have nineteen guys on my ballot who I want to vote for, and half to cut nine of them, I'll give some preferential treatment to the guys I like.

Post 306 lists a lot of guys as "on the ballot going forward" who I think will fail to garner 5%, given the current voting structure.

Manny Ramirez, Jim Edmonds, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez, Billy Wagner, Jorge Posada, Carlos Delgado, and Gary Sheffield. These guys are one-and-done.
   337. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:07 AM (#4343806)
Bonds got 206 votes and Sosa got 71. So there are 135 people who were willing to vote for the most highly suspected juicer of them all, but were not willing to vote for Sammy Sosa. I guess that, like everything else in this mess, this result reflects a complex combination of factors. But am I the only one who thinks that's just a little bit whacky?


I see what you're getting at, but it's not that odd. I'd have put Bonds on top of my ballot, and I'm not sure I would have voted for Sosa this year because of the ten-name limit. By WAR, Bonds is almost three times as qualified as Sosa. Steroid suspicions aside, their vote totals might be just this far apart.
   338. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:13 AM (#4343811)
1996 ballot
6 of the top 8 eventually got in

I'm wondering why Don Sutton and Phil Niekro had to wait.

I think if I ran the HoF, then I would shorten the BBWAA period to ten, maybe even five, years. Somebody like Jack Morris or Ron Santo is going to the Hall of Fame. From Cooperstown's standpoint there's no benefit in letting this drag out an extra five or ten years so the writers can get on their individual soapboxes each January.
   339. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4343814)
Steroid suspicions aside, their vote totals might be just this far apart.


So steroid suspicions aside, Bonds gets 97% and Sosa gets 73%? Maybe, but "steroid suspicions aside" doesn't get at my puzzlement, because it's putting 100% of the difference in their vote totals on 36% of the electorate. Am I really supposed to believe that not a single one of the 60% or so who apparently did consider steroids would have left Sosa off their ballots if he were seen as squeaky clean?
   340. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:19 AM (#4343815)
5. And I've also said that if a current HoF member should either confess to or be outed about steroid use, I'd consider the entire steroid question to be over and done with. Such a confession / revelation would both sadden and disgust me, but once the horse has escaped there's no point in keeping the barn door locked.

I just don't get that. I mean I get the sadden part etc, but I don't get why that would all the sudden change your view on who should go in. If it's revealed a significant number of people goes in, then I would understand why it would change your view, but as I compared it to, one confirmed user in the hof, is like using Jim Rice as the hof standard. Mistakes happen.


I see the argument, but at that point I don't think it would be right to retain the honor for a player who made it in by lying while denying it to someone who got caught before the vote. The alternative would be to kick the first player out, but that's too much like rewriting history from my POV.

Where I differ from most people here, though, is that I don't see the point of making the assumption that current HoF members were using steroids in order to justify voting for a player about whom such usage is known.

cfb, just for the record, I've always been 100% consistent on five major points WRT steroids and the HoF:

Then it's been other people's characterization of your viewpoint that has changed. I was under the impression that you were pretty strongly against anyone with any significant amount of evidence(including early Sosa, and McGwire before he admitted)


I've never been impressed with the evidence against Sosa, but I did see McGwire's silence as an implicit admission of guilt, not just at the hearings but for all the years afterwards. It may have been wise legal strategy, but it wasn't convincing evidence that he had nothing to hide. Even when I at first thought that Clemens was guilty, I had a lot more respect for the way he reacted to the charges, and said at the time that I would await the trial before making a final judgment.

And while I think my viewpoint on this whole question has often been exaggerated and / or misrepresented, I usually consider the source and don't fret too much about it. By this time I should realize that Ray is always going to be Ray, and he's not likely to change his ways at any foreseeable point.

--------------------------------------------

If you feel this strongly that steroid taking is such a blight on the sport, then would you also agree that any teams with steriod users should have their pennants/world series wins taken away as well? We've seen this sort of thing in NCAA football and I guess recently with Lance Armstrong/Tour de France.

WOuldn't this be consistent with your position? I mean if Bonds does not deserve the HoF for steroid usage, then shouldn't teams that used steroids forfeit their titles? SUrely championships are more important than mere awards....


Denying Barry Bonds the honor of the Hall of Fame is a case of passing judgment on Barry Bonds. Stripping Barry Bonds of his statistical line, or stripping the 2002 Giants of their pennant, amounts to re-writing history in a crude and scattershot way. I don't think that the NCAA should exactly be our guide here, and Armstrong participated in an individual sport. If Bonds had been an Olympic champion I could see the comparison.
   341. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4343818)
Bonds got 206 votes and Sosa got 71. So there are 135 people who were willing to vote for the most highly suspected juicer of them all, but were not willing to vote for Sammy Sosa.

To me that shows just one thing: Those 135 voters were likely "steroid discounters" who mentally deducted a certain portion of his numbers (or just considered him "retired" after 1998) and came to the conclusion that he was still a HoFer. Whereas with Sosa (and McGwire) they discounted their numbers and figured that the revisions put those two under the dividing line.
   342. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4343819)
- Maddux goes no higher than 82% in 2014. The ballot is too crowded and enough voters are dumb enough to forget who he was. He's not remotely sniffing 90%.


Since Eric just disagreed but made no offer, I'm willing to take you up on this for that BBRef bet. I also agree with the rest, though I think Schilling's uninspiring showing kind of takes the air out of the "loves the story" angle.

I'm wondering why Don Sutton and Phil Niekro had to wait.


Because they weren't viewed as truly great while they were playing. And despite what you hear, there aren't any automatic numbers.

   343. OsunaSakata Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:30 AM (#4343821)
From Cooperstown's standpoint there's no benefit in letting this drag out an extra five or ten years so the writers can get on their individual soapboxes each January.


Threads like this and similar discussions on sports shows amount to free publicity for the Hall of Fame.
   344. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:57 AM (#4343856)
Just found this commentary from Mike Tanier attached to the end of Posnanski's SI column today:

Football writer here! What’s that? You say some of these players took performance-enhancing substances? Well, all of those suspensions they received for violating league policy should show up as blemishes on their record.

What’s that? You say there were no suspensions, no tests, and for most of these players’ careers, baseball’s so-called “policy” was a series of memos which treated steroids no differently than a bag of weed, and included no specified guidelines or procedures? Well, you should have had a better policy, even an imperfect one like the NFL’s. The temptation to use performance-enhancing drugs is an unfortunate, inescapable by-product of big-time professional athletics, and a measured system of deterrents and punishments appropriate to the infraction is a must. At least you are sure that these are the only players who used them.

What’s that? You say that untold hundreds of players at all levels of minor and major league competition may have used them? Well, gosh, that figures, since there was no real policy, and some players would start taking them just to remain competitive with other abusers. But at least there has been a comprehensive investigation and we now know for certain that the accomplishments of these players, some of the biggest stars in sports history, should be discounted.

What’s that? You say that even after congressional hearings and long circus trials, no one is entirely sure who did what when, and when one of these players admitted to using steroids, you assumed he was lying because he did not admit to doing them as often or as maliciously as you think he did? Well, I suppose if you want to write off an entire period of your sport’s history as The Steroid Era, cast a pall of suspicion and disgust over a decade’s worth of sports memories, and basically say that everything exciting and delightful that happened in baseball from about 1988 to 2002 was squirted from a syringe into the bloodstream of some villainous cad, you can keep a generation’s worth of all-time greats out of the Hall of Fame for being maybe-slightly guiltier than everyone else of a crime no one bothered to accurately define or enforce.

What’s that? You say that’s what many voters are perfectly willing to do? O-kay. Well, let me just concentrate on the Pro Football Hall of Fame and cast all my votes for Cris Carter.
   345. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:58 AM (#4343857)
Because they weren't viewed as truly great while they were playing.

And then two years later they were let in. The question "What changed?" is a tired discussion. The Hall of Fame would be better served to end this herding phenomenon, and force voters to think about who's qualified rather than figuring out which bandwagon they want to hop on. The composition of the Hall would be largely unaffected, but players would be enshrined five or ten years earlier.

And despite what you hear, there aren't any automatic numbers.

This is baloney, and there aren't many better examples than Don Sutton. Yes, if Adam Eaton had somehow pitched for a hundred years and compiled 300 wins, then he wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. No, the electorate won't literally behave like a line of code that says IF WIN_TOTAL(PLAYER_ID)>=300 THEN HOF(PLAYER_ID)=.T., but, steroids and game-throwing aside, in our universe it's true that 300 wins gets you into the Hall of Fame. The two year or three year wait accomplishes nothing except to make the voters look both irrational and spineless.
   346. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:16 AM (#4343862)
On my #264, I forgot to account for Larkin's votes. So the new guys amassed about 2.6 votes per ballot, ballots went up by 1.4 names per ballot and Larkin freed up another .8 so only .4 names per ballot were dropped.

I didn’t think there was any pattern in this voting that was much different from what we’ve had in the last few years.

Assuming he means only the McGwire ballots, I'd say that's about right. You had anti-roid voting just like in recent years; you had good (very good, even great) candidates getting short shrift -- Biggio, Piazza and Schilling this year; Alomar and Larkin and Trammell and Walker and Bagwell and Blyleven and Edgar and ... in years past. It is possible that the collective nuttiness is creating the silliest of all worlds -- guys with good stats must have been juicers; guys who didn't match the juicers' stats weren't the best of their era.

Well, again, what is the evidence that voters care about postseason performance?

I agree with you that it's overstated but Don Larsen is exhibit #1. Larsen didn't even have half of Morris' career yet he stayed on the ballot the entire 15 years, peaking over 12%. Given he should not have received a single vote, that's a lot of votes for one great postseason game.

Of course we never know for sure. Certainly Blyleven's postseason performance was one of the arguments Lederer put forward, who knows what impact it had but obviously in that case adding a mere 1 or 2% to the vote is huge.

But in the end, how many players are really known for their postseason performance? I doubt writers look at postseason numbers -- until b-r they weren't all that readily available -- so any postseason boost is probably based on performance in a given year or a given game. Morris's Game 7 -- this might not get him over the line but you can't say that there aren't tons of writers who raise it. Of course they also raise 7.4 consecutive seasons of throwing first pitch strikes to the leadoff batter in starts he won so maybe that's just another silly stat. You've got Larsen, you've got Reggie's big game -- Reggie was getting in easy anyway but being Mr. October obviously didn't hurt. Maz of course but he had a strange voting history so I'm reluctant to speculate if it helped. However it clearly didn't do much for Kirk Gibson.

In broad terms, that's what the "Hall of Fame Monitor" does. Although it is also primarily just a distillation of past voting patterns.

No, it also includes VC selections, etc. It's quite hard to judge the HoFM because the "average" HoFer is roughly a borderline writers' selection. It might work fine for eventual induction but I'm not clear it works for BBWAA induction. Still, Schilling at 177 is surely well above the average writers' selection ... but then as long as he's inducted within 15 years, it won't have been wrong about that either.

Bonds got 206 votes and Sosa got 71. So there are 135 people who were willing to vote for the most highly suspected juicer of them all, but were not willing to vote for Sammy Sosa. I guess that, like everything else in this mess, this result reflects a complex combination of factors. But am I the only one who thinks that's just a little bit whacky?

Possibly the supposed anti-McGwire argument that the only reason Sosa ever got on the radar was due to roids. Bonds was great, then cheated; Sosa was Alfonso Soriano then Ruth.

- The HOF and BBWAA make absolutely no procedure changes this year.

- The HOF and BBWAA make absolutely no procedure changes in 2014 if anyone is elected then.


I think there's a very good chance the ballot will be extended either before or after the next election but I'm not willing to bet on when. There's a reasonable chance of 35% full ballots in 2014 if they don't.

- If the 2014 election turns up empty, they still make no real changes, at most issuing a guideline to "consider players in the context of their time" or similar subtle encouragement.

No, something changes under this circumstance -- Maddux not getting in would be undeniable evidence the system is screwed up. OK, the voters could police themselves. Santo, etc. got back on the ballot largely because the writers themselves pointed out the idiocy. Similarly the big jump from Billy Williams I recall occurring after a pretty big outcry after his lousy debut; somewhat similar with Sandberg. The only non-Maddux voters will be either protesting something stupidly or they'll be "pox on all 90s players". No way there are 30% of them but if there are, they will relent in 2015.

- Maddux goes no higher than 82% in 2014. The ballot is too crowded and enough voters are dumb enough to forget who he was. He's not remotely sniffing 90%.

I will take this bet for just about any amount you want that doesn't require a second mortgage. Larkin pulled 86% last year, Alomar 90% the year before.

- Nobody reaches 90% before Jeter. He's the only clean upcoming candidate with enough name penetration to the GolfWorld goobers of this circus.

After Maddux, Griffey will. By the way, the GolferWest goobers voted for McGriff, Raines (2), Smith, Trammell, Edgar (3!), Biggio (3), even 2 of 3 votes for Piazza ... but you think Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux and Ken Griffey don't have enough "name penetration" to get on their radar?

This really is getting absurd. Many voters aren't voting for "roiders". That does not mean the voting process has become an irrational, random grab bag.

And if Bonds and Clemens had gotten all the votes their play deserved, chances are all of the candidates we are currently whining about would have LOWER vote totals than they do now. And, frankly, Bonds and Clemens only become a real problem for Biggio et al if they grow beyond their current 35%.

- Bonds and Clemens each gain no more than 10% in 2014. The "first ballot penalty" is wishful thinking on our parts. The voters are going to be just as sanctimonious next year as this.

With the guys coming on next year I'll be a bit surprised if anybody makes real gains except Biggio. I do agree that the "wait" crowd is going to keep waiting -- they were just trying to justify not voting for them.

- Morris stays out in 2014, but goes in via Vets Committee by 2020.

VC has a screwy structure at the moment so I'm not sure on the year but yes he goes in by the first VC that gets to consider him.

- Piazza stays out in 2014. The voters have no idea how good he was, how much his hitting outshined his defense, and how much credit simply playing catcher is worth.

There's no freaking way he can possibly pick up the votes he needs to jump that much. This would be true under these circumstances whether there were roids or whether they understood how good he is. But, really, stop freaking out -- Bench is the only 1st ballot C in history. Piazza not making it first ballot is not a sign of the apocalypse or that the BBWAA watches nothing but teletubbies -- just means they still don't come close to adjusting for position in a reasonable manner.

- No newcomer besides Maddux enters in 2014 (no Thomas, Mussina, or Glavine.)

I think it's more likely than not that at least one of Biggio, Glavine, Thomas, Bagwell joins Maddux next year. That's in roughly descending order of likelihood. That said, Biggio is farther away than I expected. I'll admit I don't have a good feel for how they're going to treat Thomas, he could start out in Edgar territory. Mussina's not going to debut particularly strongly, joining the same year as Maddux and Glavine. My pet theory is that Glavine and Smoltz will go in together, maybe 2016 or 2017.

- Schilling gains at least 10% in 2014 and enters by 2020. He's a Story and the writers like that. He'd be the 2000's version of Morris if he weren't already qualified on the numbers.

No to the first one, pretty sure I'd be happy to bet on this one too. Big names coming on the ballot, three of them pitchers, Morris possibly getting a last ballot bump. It's hard to see him advancing at all as at least two of the new guys (and maybe 4) will debut above him. Schilling will go in eventually but no significant advance until 2016 at the earliest then a big jump in 2017. The SPs will clear out. Mo will enter the ballot in 2020 probably -- interesting what effect he might have if Schilling is still on the ballot. I'll guess 2019 or 2021 for Schilling.

Because they weren't viewed as truly great while they were playing. And despite what you hear, there aren't any automatic numbers.

Also there were a lot of great players, especially great pitchers, on the ballot in those years. Niekro had a very strong debut at 66% -- that's really no doubt land if you debut there. That wasn't a super strong ballot but Reggie dominated with 94%. In 94, Carlton debuted and Niekro really faded in comparison to him, dropping nearly 10 points (plus the last ballot bump for Cepeda was a massive 14%, he just missed). In 95, another inner circle guy in Smith debuted and ate up 97%. 1996 nobody came on so in its way was kind of like this year as you had 3 guys in the high 60s -- i.e. all of the backlog got a boost. In 97, again nobody joined and Niekro just got in.

The Q&D way to judge how a guy is going to do is to ask where he ranks on that specific ballot. With the exception of the years when a couple of genuine superstars come on (Aaron/Robinson, Ryan/Brett), the #2 guy is generally going to end up in (roughly) the 65-80 range and it's kinda random which side of the line he falls on. (With 2 superstars, that's the #3 guy). Niekro was the #1 guy for the first time in 96 ... and ended up like Biggio. He was the #1 guy again in 97 and across he went.

Now Biggio is the top returning vote getter for 2014. Maddux will scream past him but probably won't steal a lot of votes. Glavine and Thomas pose a real problem and Morris is likely to get some sort of final year boost and he was just .5% behind Biggio. I shouldn't rule out Morris above although I don't think he's going to make it. Anyway, it will be a close race for the #2 spot behind Maddux and it will be pretty random whether the #2 spot can get across.

Anyway, the high backlog's problem is that for the next few years there is always 1-2 (and arguably more) who will debut above them. It is hard to make substantial progress when players debut above/equal to you. But there is enough separation between Biggio/Morris and Bagwell/Piazza that they probably don't have to worry too much about being passed from behind. Things clear a bit in 2016-17-18.

I will say that the current mess makes me wonder how well Chipper will do in 2018. I was pretty confident he would be first ballot but there could be so many good all-around players at the top of the backlog in that year that he might get a bit lost in the mess. Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, and Chipper are superficially similar plus they'll have to consider Thomas, Piazza and anybody else left over.

A 2014 vote for Biggio is a vote for necessary ballot relief. Of course so is a 2014 vote for Glavine and maybe one for Thomas too.





   347. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:27 AM (#4343868)
A bit more ...

6.2 votes per ballot returning I think somebody said. Out of an average 6.6 votes per ballot. That is pretty ugly.

New candidates should eat up something like 2.5 votes per ballot. Names per ballot is not going to grow by that much unless maybe they do expand ... but it will grow substantially. The only ballot relief is the .4 votes leaving the ballot (Murphy and <5%). But anyway, that's why, on average, you expect all of the backlog to drop back -- you need 8.3 names per ballot just for the backlog to hold steady. That .4 votes freed up might get eaten up by Morris alone. Palmeiro will be under 5% and Mac, Mattingly and Sosa will drop but you're probably not talking more than maybe another .2 slots opening up. I think Lee Smith will finally take a big hit and, unfortunately, I'm guessing Bagwell will take a good sized whack -- he and Thomas might end up together around 50%.
   348. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:51 AM (#4343875)
This is baloney, and there aren't many better examples than Don Sutton. Yes, if Adam Eaton had somehow pitched for a hundred years and compiled 300 wins, then he wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame. No, the electorate won't literally behave like a line of code that says IF WIN_TOTAL(PLAYER_ID)>=300 THEN HOF(PLAYER_ID)=.T., but, steroids and game-throwing aside, in our universe it's true that 300 wins gets you into the Hall of Fame. The two year or three year wait accomplishes nothing except to make the voters look both irrational and spineless.


That's because in our universe, winning 300 games is the thing only done by Hall of Fame-caliber pitchers.

Every pitcher with 300 wins is in the HoM. Were those gents wooed by the siren song of the round number? No, they determined that Sutton, despite the low peak, had provided enough value to merit inclusion. Just as the HoF voters did.

And if Adam Eaton with 300 wins isn't getting in the Hall, then it's not an automatic number.

There are a lot of things to complain about Hall voting, but the fact that not every guy gets in on the first couple of ballots seems like a peculiar one. The voting process is a conversation. Sometimes the conversation goes off the rails, as it has with the three relievers getting in or Morris getting close. OTOH, it's also how they finally got it right on Blyleven. Win some, lose some.

I don't think the process would be materially improved by your #### or get off the pot suggestion.

   349. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:57 AM (#4343877)
I think it's more likely than not that at least one of Biggio, Glavine, Thomas, Bagwell joins Maddux next year. That's in roughly descending order of likelihood.


I've been saying pretty much the same thing, though I'd probably stop after Thomas (and I too have no good feel for how he'll fare). Forced at gunpoint (why anyone would want my opinion that badly is a mystery), I'd pick Jack over Bags for that fourth spot.

   350. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 03:13 AM (#4343884)
3. That said, I've always respected the POV that says that while steroids are cheating, cheating of all types has always been a part of the game, and that the HoF has never taken any other type of cheating into consideration. I don't accept this POV any more than I accept the idea that shoplifting is equivalent to grand larceny,** but I do understand the point that's being made.


How can you understand the point, Andy, if you don't agree with it?

And the shoplifting vs. grand larceny thing is just saying that both spitballs and steroids are cheating, but you're only going to penalize the steroids user because he happened to find a more effective way of cheating. Makes no sense.

I'll give you credit for supporting Clemens, but as I've said before your overall presentation of convicting people of jaywalking ONLY if there is solid evidence of such sounds reasonable and all -- until one considers that you're hanging the people you do convict of jaywalking. So on the whole, it's not reasonable at all.

Nor is your position on amps vs. steroids but yes, we've been down this road before.

I also don't see what it matters to you if the Hall elects a steroids user. There would be new standards for steroids users? You've already shown that the standards for the amps users didn't need to be followed.
   351. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 03:19 AM (#4343886)

- Bonds and Clemens each gain no more than 10% in 2014. The "first ballot penalty" is wishful thinking on our parts. The voters are going to be just as sanctimonious next year as this.


I tend to agree that there is no "first ballot penalty" for steroids users. We didn't see that with McGwire or Palmeiro, who IIRC even lost votes as the years went on.

And it makes no sense anyway. "I found you so repulsive that I refused to vote for you in Year 1, but, hey now! It's year 2! So I'm totally gonna vote for you, dude!!!!"
   352. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2013 at 03:22 AM (#4343887)
I agree Bagwell's chances next year are pretty thin (certainly lower than Morris's) but even chances like 30, 20, 10 and 5% get you over 50% for at least 1 of the 4. But Morris, with Maddux, Glavine and Mussina joining and Schilling around -- he's got a really tough job. Poor old Bunning got up to 74.2% in 88 only to have Perry, Jenkins, Palmer and 3 first ballot hitters swamp the ballot in the next two years. Even the staunchest Morris supporter will have a hard time considering him better than the #3 pitcher on the ballot -- they'll all vote for him anyway since it's his last ballot. But there's very little incentive for the Morris non-voter to add him -- even last ballot sympathy won't be strong given there are better pitchers on the ballot, a crowded ballot and you know he'll go in by VC.

I'll admit I can't see any reason for Bagwell to pass Biggio but I might as well give my wishcasting a 5% shot. :-)
   353. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 03:26 AM (#4343888)
I just don't get that. I mean I get the sadden part etc, but I don't get why that would all the sudden change your view on who should go in. If it's revealed a significant number of people goes in, then I would understand why it would change your view, but as I compared it to, one confirmed user in the hof, is like using Jim Rice as the hof standard. Mistakes happen.

I see the argument, but at that point I don't think it would be right to retain the honor for a player who made it in by lying while denying it to someone who got caught before the vote.


But note what you're doing for amps players: they got in via one standard (the standard where the voters didn't care about performance enhancing drug use), and then the steroids players were given another standard, and you think that's fine.
   354. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: January 10, 2013 at 03:27 AM (#4343890)
Who is Lowell Hickey, and how do 'honorary' voters receive that status?
   355. MelOtt4 Posted: January 10, 2013 at 03:46 AM (#4343894)
Frank Thomas is the first steroid era slugger with the numbers and reputation to be on the ballot. Not sure if it will be enough for first ballot induction, but I think he gets in second or third.



   356. flournoy Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:08 AM (#4343898)
Frank Thomas is the first steroid era slugger with the numbers and reputation to be on the ballot. Not sure if it will be enough for first ballot induction, but I think he gets in second or third.


If the voters can fabricate steroid-use reputations for Bagwell and Piazza, they can do it for Thomas, too.
   357. MelOtt4 Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:08 AM (#4343899)
Veterans committee question. Which of three between Cox, LaRussa, and Torre is least likely to get in? My guess is LaRussa only because people will wonder if he's truly retired.
   358. BrianBrianson Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:09 AM (#4343900)
He also said: "Pettitte wasn't allowed to say that Clemens used steroids."


He's right. It's called perjury, and it's not allowed.
   359. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:18 AM (#4343902)
Well, again, what is the evidence that voters care about postseason performance?

I agree with you that it's overstated but Don Larsen is exhibit #1. Larsen didn't even have half of Morris' career yet he stayed on the ballot the entire 15 years, peaking over 12%. Given he should not have received a single vote, that's a lot of votes for one great postseason game.


Bill Wambsganss got at least one vote in four separate elections.
   360. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:24 AM (#4343905)
If the voters can fabricate steroid-use reputations for Bagwell and Piazza, they can do it for Thomas, too.

Easy-peasy. The guy tried to get his entire team to fail a drug test, so that he could hide among the herd. And when Congress held their hearing, guess who was too gutless to show up in person, and had to testify by video? Video can be edited. And oh, what a birthday "coincidence"; Craig Biggio picked up some of the rumor rub/contact high from Mr. Justlookathim, and Biggio was born in December. I'll save my vote for Human-Sized Hurts, thank you.
   361. Bhaakon Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:45 AM (#4343906)
And the shoplifting vs. grand larceny thing is just saying that both spitballs and steroids are cheating, but you're only going to penalize the steroids user because he happened to find a more effective way of cheating. Makes no sense.


I'd probably make the comparison of spitballing as picking someone's pocket, and PED use as mugging them at gun point. The intent the same, stealing the wallet, but the later is more serious crime because there's a potential of dangerous, or even deadly escalation. PED use exposes the cheater use drugs that are either known to be dangerous (like speed) or haven't been clinically tested enough to fully know the potential side effects (like most anabolic steroids), and pressures others to do the same.
   362. Richard Posted: January 10, 2013 at 04:49 AM (#4343908)
In addition to his congressional testimony Thomas was, of course, the only current player who (a) co-operated with the Mitchell Report people and (b) was prepared to be named as having co-operated. I am interested to see if voters who "linked" Piazza and Bagwell to PEDs do the same with Thomas, because it seems to me that Thomas is exactly the sort of candidate these voters should be voting for.
   363. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2013 at 08:16 AM (#4343920)
My main concerns about Thomas's candidacy -- and these are concerns about where he debuts and how long it takes him, I'm pretty confident he goes in ...

a) It's a tough ballot -- by WAR, Thomas is only tied for 8th. He's down at the Walker, Trammell, Raines, Edgar part of the world -- not exactly guys hauling in the votes. He'll get plenty of votes but only some of the folks who stop at 5 or 6 will list him.

b) He was quite good but kind of limped to the end (by Thomas standards) -- e.g. he didn't make an AS game after 29. Add any DH penalty and he's looking like some cross between Raines (who peaked early) and Edgar.

c) He ended up with a bit of a soft, whining reputation it seems.

In the long run, no problem but he'll be in the mix with Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell, Raines (and Glavine and Morris and maybe Mussina). I can see him elected and I can see him starting out around where Bagwell did (low 40s).
   364. homerwannabee Posted: January 10, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4343940)
Remember Thomas was unusually great in his prime. Two time MVP, and the only person to go .300, 100 walks, 100 RBI, 100 Runs, and 20 HR in 7 straight seasons. Hitting wise he was the best you could hope for. A person who could hit for average, for power, and had an eagle eye to draw out a ton of walks.

Also as far as level of suspicioun goes, he is the least likely. I personally think Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar, Kirby Puckett, Paul Molitor, Rickey Henderson,and even Cal Ripken come off as more suspicious, than Thomas.
   365. DL from MN Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4344008)
Every pitcher with 300 wins is in the HoM.


Not true. Mickey Welch is still on the outside looking in because pitchers made a ton of starts in that era and he was just an above-average pitcher.
   366. Ron J2 Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4344027)
Sam Rice got in on the 14th ballot, but he had 2987 hits.

Somebody should have fudged that for him


Given the record keeping of the day it's entirely possible he didn't know he was within spitting distance of a milestone.

Similarly there was little attention paid to such milestones in no small part because of the lousy record keeping.
   367. SoSH U at work Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4344032)
Given the record keeping of the day it's entirely possible he didn't know he was within spitting distance of a milestone.


He said his much after his retirement, which, for Sam, was really opening up.
   368. Karl from NY Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4344035)
In 1982, Hank Aaron joined the ballot, and was elected with 97.6% of the vote. Fine, you say, but Maddux isn't Hank Aaron. And you're right.

Frank Robinson also joined the ballot in 1982, and was elected with 89.2% of the vote. Again, this is the most-supported set of returning candidates in 30 years, plus Hank Aaron, and Robinson sailed in anyway. Maddux may not be Aaron, but he's roughly Frank Robinson, and there's no Aaron joining the ballot next year.

I will take this bet for just about any amount you want that doesn't require a second mortgage. Larkin pulled 86% last year, Alomar 90% the year before.

Yeah, you guys are right, 82% might be lowballing Maddux. Frank Robinson is a great comp in value and recognition. I still think Maddux doesn't hit 90% though.

- Nobody reaches 90% before Jeter.

After Maddux, Griffey will.

It'll depend on how crowded the ballot is by Griffey's time, but I think he'll miss 90% too. At least one out of ten voters will either think he declined far enough to not merit a first-ballot induction, or not fit him after their self-imposed 5-7 player limit, (or a combination that Griffey's first ballot ranks behind 5-7 returnees), or pull a Rickey and forget him, or even still be blank-ballot crusading.

There's no freaking way he [Piazza] can possibly pick up the votes he needs to jump that much. This would be true under these circumstances whether there were roids or whether they understood how good he is. But, really, stop freaking out

Oh yeah, Piazza will make it eventually, nobody opens over 50% then stalls. Just not 2014. Probably about 2016.

I also agree with the rest, though I think Schilling's uninspiring showing kind of takes the air out of the "loves the story" angle.

Schilling had a great showing. How many other pitchers open at 38% with under 220 wins? He's already ahead of Morris's path, in a vastly more crowded and noisy ballot environment. He'll go in by 2020.

Schilling's case will also depend in some part on whether the Red Sox turn it around back to national prominence, giving him chances to stay in the media eye. (I have a pet theory that HOF balloting correlates with contemporary success by that player's associated franchise, and will someday get my lazy ass in gear to seriously research that.)
   369. SoSH U at work Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4344043)
Schilling had a great showing. How many other pitchers open at 38% with under 220 wins? He's already ahead of Morris's path, in a vastly more crowded and noisy ballot environment. He'll go in by 2020.


He belongs in. He got 38 percent of the vote. It's not embarrassing, but neither is it a sign the writers are drooling over him and his story.

   370. Chip Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4344055)
Among the many reasons to suspect he used steroids, should the writers stumble into a Bagwell-ish narrative about him, there is no more damning one than this:

Thomas played SEC football in the 80s.
   371. John DiFool2 Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4344056)
This really is getting absurd. Many voters aren't voting for "roiders". That does not mean the voting process has become an irrational, random grab bag.


Even before this steroid mess, it had already become an irrational, random grab bag[/Private Pyle Voice]. You have the arguably 20th best candidate finishing 2nd in this year's balloting-it doesn't get any more irrational or messier than that, sorry. The current electorate is a huge chaotic mix of people with widely disparate and often-conflicting philosophical viewpoints who are unable in the case of most of the candidates to come to any sort of consensus, and on top of that a hopelessly flawed voting structure-you are virtually guaranteed in such circumstances to end up with a huge pile of swirling suck, even if a Maddux comes along once in awhile whom most everyone agrees belongs.

"Right shoulder HUH! Left shoulder HUH! This is my ballot! There are many like it but this one is mine! My ballot is my best friend! My ballot, without me, is useless. Without my ballot, I am useless. I must fire my ballot true..."
   372. Ron J2 Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4344062)
Don Sutton took so long for two reasons. The smallest part was that some voters remembered that he was slated to be suspended for scuffing the ball, threatened to sue and MLB backed off.

The biggest issue was that he was "just" an accumulator. "Never" great.
   373. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 10, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4344064)
The New York Times sports section is a bit moribund, but they printed a terrific first page today.
   374. Karl from NY Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4344091)
He belongs in. He got 38 percent of the vote. It's not embarrassing, but neither is it a sign the writers are drooling over him and his story.

Not drooling, but getting him noticed and visible. It's Schilling's story that separates him from Mussina and Brown and Cone and Saberhagen.
   375. SoSH U at work Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4344101)

Not drooling, but getting him noticed and visible. It's Schilling's story that separates him from Mussina and Brown and Cone and Saberhagen.


And his pitching. He's better than them (well, Moose is close). And Brown's failures have more to do with Brown (the Mitchell report, the arc of his career, the end, the fact that seemingly everyone hated him) than any comparison to Schiling. Cone, of course, was a level below all of them, and Moose hasn't even gotten rejected yet.

But sure, the exemplary postseason record will surely aid his case. As it should.

   376. AROM Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4344128)
Here are the players who received the most votes on the BBWAA ballot but not 75%:

2013 Biggio
1996 Niekro
1971 Berra
1967 Ruffing
1964 Appling
1960 Roush
1958 Carey
1950 Ott
1949 Gehringer
1945 Chance

Every one (except Craig) was later inducted. So just change the rule to induct either: Anyone over 75% or The top vote getter. Guarantees someone is there to give a speech, and does not water down the HOF membership.
   377. Delorians Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4344134)
Biggio: "I'm excited about the situation we're in...I'll study a little harder this time and hopefully get a 75 next year,"
   378. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4344149)
We need a wiki entry or something where people lay out the cases for and against the players from the BBTF perspective. Objectively, of course. :) I have a discussion at work going on right now about Lee Smith, Curt Schilling, Alan Trammel, etc. and while I know where I fall on these players after years of reading threads, I can't pinpoint the arguments to make.
   379. GregD Posted: January 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4344159)
1971 Berra
Good Lord! I had no idea that Yogi didn't make on his first ballot.
   380. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4344166)
Joe Sheehan writing in today's newsletter:

In the coverage on MLB Network the past few days -- which I admittedly did not consume whole, lest I end up on a three-state killing spree -- there was at least one reference made to steroids as "nuclear weapons" that changed the capability of players. I wonder if Jorge Piedra feels that way. I wonder if Matt Lawton and Eliezer Alfonzo share that opinion. The people who have the largest audiences are the ones getting the issue most wrong, and that's inordinately frustrating. They're reducing the question of the efficacy of these substances to a handful of data points, ignoring all of the evidence that those data points were influenced by a dozen factors specific to the era, not to mention everything we know about variance and outliers in baseball statistics. They're treating steroid use as qualitatively and quantitatively different from amphetamine use, for no reason other than they want to do so.

They're going to win. There is, at this point, no way to turn the tide on this issue. The bad math and the bad analysis is going to carry the day, because the people providing it are completely invested, in one way or another, in the narrative of the "steroid era", a specific period of time in which specific drugs were used to alter the game's record books, and they simply will not listen to reason nor allow more datacentric approaches into the room.

...The voters are wrong. There's simply no other way to put it. They're applying a standard that is not just inconsistent with that applied for 75 years of Hall elections, but one that is inconsistent with the one MLB applied both throughout the era in which these events happened and on to today. It's time for the Hall to stop cowering behind the bullies with ballots and lead, not with a cosmetic move for publicity's sake, but with a real one that serves the institution, the people who care about it, and the players who deserve to be in it.

   381. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4344181)
- Nobody reaches 90% before Jeter.

After Maddux, Griffey will.
Maddux maybe. Griffey's probably going to have to wait a year. If he makes it, he'll be in the 75-85 range.
   382. SoSH U at work Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4344184)

Griffey's probably going to have to wait a year.


I'd be delighted to BBRef wager with you on that claim.
   383. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4344189)
...The voters are wrong. There's simply no other way to put it.

Yeah, there is -- that the voters aren't wrong.

Where is this implicit entitlement to the Hall of Fame that people like Sheehan imagine, written? There's always been one path and one path only to induction to the Hall of Fame -- selection by 75% or more of the voters.(*) The steroid users are not even close to meeting this qualification.

(*) For people still eligible for writer induction, of course.

   384. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4344190)
I'd be delighted to BBRef wager with you on that claim.

I'm with SoSH. I think Griffey walks in with about 90% of the vote.
   385. bunyon Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4344193)
I think Griffey walks in with about 90% of the vote.

If he gets 90% of the vote he'll pull a hamstring. Best he get 75.0%
   386. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 10, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4344197)
If he gets 90% of the vote he'll pull a hamstring. Best he get 75.0%

We're all talking about Junior here, no? 630 home runs? Popularly believed to have been a good centerfielder for most of his career? No whiff of steroids? Most hyped player of his generation? That Griffey? I think you guys are being too cynical. Griffey coasts in and the narrative is he's the anti-Bonds, the superstar you can feel good about.
   387. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4344227)
My recollection of Griffey is he played about 80 games per season on a mediocre team for the last 18 or 19 years of his career. If he gets into the Hall of Fame in the first couple years on the ballot, it's going to be very close. Also true of Frank Thomas. And anyone else except Maddux and Jeter. There are too many people on the ballot and even with 6.6 names per ballot this year nobody got in and only one somewhat worthy person even got 60%.
   388. Moeball Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4344229)
I'm with Harveys interpretation on the writers attitudes. A change is a-comin' but it will take a few years. I think it will take 8-10 years, but "people will come (around), Ray, people will most definitely come."
   389. cardsfanboy Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4344250)
My recollection of Griffey is he played about 80 games per season on a mediocre team for the last 18 or 19 years of his career. If he gets into the Hall of Fame in the first couple years on the ballot, it's going to be very close. Also true of Frank Thomas. And anyone else except Maddux and Jeter. There are too many people on the ballot and even with 6.6 names per ballot this year nobody got in and only one somewhat worthy person even got 60%.


How old are you?

Griffey is as much of a lock as Maddux. More than Thomas, more than Glavine, more than Pedro. About the only upcoming names who could arguably be as big of a lock as Griffey is Jeter when he retires..... Not Chipper, not even Randy.
   390. JJ1986 Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4344254)
Griffey went out in really ugly fashion. He was napping during a game, then someone (Mike Sweeney?) challenged whoever publicized that to a fight and then George retired mid-season.
   391. Davo Dozier Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4344257)
Greg Maddux is a lock for induction.


Fwiw, if I had a ballot, I wouldn't vote for him.

I see 18 players on the ballot who I believe should be in the Hall of Fame. But I'm only allowed to vote for 10.

I'm voting for guys numbered 9 through 18 on my list, to ensure that the guys at the bottom at least stay above 5%.

So: No on Maddux/Bonds/Clemens. Yes on Kent/Sosa,Palmeiro.
   392. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4344263)
Griffey's probably going to have to wait a year

The one "clean" 50-hr slugger of the late 90's? The 13-time All-Star, 10-time GG winning, 1-time presidential candidate, backwards-cap wearing, All-Century team making Ken Griffey Jr?

I think it more likely that we will be getting articles about him talking about how much greater he was than Barry Bonds, prior to Barry starting PEDS. Most of the writers are going on narrative, and Griffey's narrative is as the best player of the '90s, deserved or not.

edit: Coke to Shooty...
   393. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4344266)
I remember several of Griffey's years in Seattle. All I'm saying is, there are any number of reasons why some voters who spend no time on their ballots would say "let's wait a little while on this guy". His career was a disappointment compared to expectations. There goes some of the vote. He only got to an LCS once, that doesn't help. As noted by JJ1986 his career ended not with him as a beloved leadership figure but as a bit of a joke. (also true of Bagwell) There was the whole thing where he insisted on being traded to Cincinnati and nowhere else, which rubbed some people the wrong way. And he hit 56 home runs in both 1997 and 1998! How could someone hit 56 home runs! Those numbers are wacky. And in 1998, the year the frauds pretended to save baseball and duped all those innocent writers! Hey, wait a minute!
   394. bunyon Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4344269)
No whiff of steroids?

He had dinner with Barry Bonds once. PED QED


Seriously, I agree that he'll go in. I think Junior and Maddux will be first balloters. I also agree they won't get as much of the vote as the probably should. My hamstring comment was a joke.
   395. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4344272)
Griffey coasts in and the narrative is he's the anti-Bonds, the superstar you can feel good about.

And that's important, given the fact that the induction ceremony is supposed to be a celebration of the inductees' careers.(*) Certainly there are things to admire about Bonds's career, or even stand in awe of ... but celebrate?

One thinks not.

(*) The inductees aren't supposed to be jammed down the throats of the game's various factions, and inducting Bonds and Clemens this year would be precisely that. Who could support such a thing, much less deem it mandatory?
   396. Squash Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4344274)
I'm with Harveys interpretation on the writers attitudes. A change is a-comin' but it will take a few years. I think it will take 8-10 years, but "people will come (around), Ray, people will most definitely come."

I think so too for the most part. There are still going to be guys like Verducci for whom the story is about him, but I think there are a fair number of writers who are going to look at this ballot as their "We showed them!!!" moment and lighten up in the years to come. 15 years is a really long time - what were you doing in 1998? At some point there will be an enough-is-enough movement and the big roid guys (Bonds, Clemens, etc.) will start going in. I could see year 10 or so. That's still a really long time away.
   397. JJ1986 Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4344275)
The inductees aren't supposed to be jammed down the throats of the game's various factions


Ryne Sandberg disagrees.
   398. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4344278)
There are still going to be guys like Verducci for whom the story is about him, but I think there are a fair number of writers who are going to look at this ballot as their "We showed them!!!" moment and lighten up in the years to come.

Mark McGwire has been on the ballot seven years. His already paltry support has shrunk by a third.

The writers are becoming less favorably disposed to the roiders as time marches on.
   399. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4344279)
McGwire is the "Steriods made him a HOFer" player. Bonds and Clemens are "Would have been a HOFer anyway, Steriods are just a reason for punishment".
   400. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 10, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4344281)
His career was a disappointment compared to expectations.

Hoo boy. What more could he have done? I think people are going to realize how great a player he was when the vote comes around. He was supposed to be the next Willie Mays, sure, but I don't think the voters will hold it against him he only became Frank Robinson. The last couple of years of his career were sad, and the end with Seattle was really sad, but that's just a footnote on his career. No one remembers Yogi Berra playing for the Mets or Steve Carlton reduced to a fungible middle reliever as a Giant or Babe Ruth stumbling around for the Braves, etc. etc.
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