Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bill Deane: The 2014 Hall of Fame election forecast

While I disagree on a few…it sure beats Pigskin Pete Predicts!

This is my 33rd year predicting Hall of Fame elections.  I think the acid test of prognostication performance lies in guessing the fate of men who finish within 10% either way of being elected (i.e., who receive between 65-85% of the vote).  Among such candidates, I have gone 50-12 (.806) in correctly predicting who would or would not make it over the years.  I was one of the few who correctly, publicly forecast the 2013 shutout.

...Here’s the way I foresee the rest of the election shaping up, with newcomers in bold and predicted percentages in parentheses:

Greg Maddux (94) – The winningest right-hander of the past century, Maddux went 355-227 with four straight NL Cy Young Awards (1992-95).  He’ll make it to Cooperstown easily.

Tom Glavine (67) – Though seldom considered the ace of his own team, Glavine won two Cy Youngs himself while going 305-203.  In this crowd in this year, that won’t be good enough for Cooperstown.

Frank Thomas (63) – The most fearsome slugger of the 1990s, The Big Hurt finished with 521 homers and a .301 average, winning the 1994 and ’95 AL MVPs.  See the Glavine comment.

Craig Biggio (61) – An excellent but not dominant player who amassed 3060 hits, 1844 runs, 668 doubles, and 414 stolen bases.

Jack Morris (58) – The winningest pitcher of the 1980s, he went 254-186 in his career without ever posting an ERA below three or a Cy Young Award finish above third.  This is his final try on the BBWAA ballot.

Mike Piazza (54) – The best offensive catcher of all time (419 homers, .308 average), he managed to survive steroids rumors and a poor defensive reputation.

Jeff Bagwell (48) – Batted .297 with 449 homers and 1529 RBI in just 15 seasons, winning the 1994 NL MVP Award.

Tim Raines (45) – Rock was an outstanding player whose credentials (including an 808-146 stolen base record) are only starting to be appreciated by voters.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:05 AM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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

   1. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4618724)
Believe he is low on a few. I can not believe Maddux will be omitted on more than a couple ballots. Hard to fathom Glavine coming in at less than 85%. Whatever he bases his predictions on probably uses a model of past voting patterns and this year (and likely the next few) won't be at all similar to the recent past. Depending on your individual standards there are 18 or 19 viable HoF'rs on this ballot and in the early returns many voters are filling their ballot. A couple have said I have never had more than 5 or 6 but this year I used all ten slots . . . I get the sense that most voters realize the ballot backlog needs to be cleared and that will only happen if they fill out complete ballots.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4618726)
Only 7% for Mussina? Keerist.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4618727)
I can not believe Maddux will be omitted on more than a couple ballot.


Rickey Henderson only got 94.8%, and that was on a much less crowded ballot. Some people are just idiots, or reflexive contrarians, or people who turn in blank ballots as a protest against something or other.
   4. Chris Needham Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4618729)
If you think there are 15 or so good candidates on the ballot (a reasonable position), then it's defensible, and perhaps even optimal, to not vote for Maddux.
   5. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4618738)
Some people are just idiots, or reflexive contrarians, or people who turn in blank ballots as a protest against something or other.

I have actually seen voters who claim one or more of the following:

1. Don't vote for anyone on their first ballot
2. Don't vote for anyone who went on strike
3. Don't vote for anyone who played during the steroid era
4. Blank ballot because Pete Rose isn't eligible

Those are the only reasons I remember that would cause someone not to vote for Maddux. The question is just how many.
   6. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4618741)
1. Don't vote for anyone on their first ballot
2. Don't vote for anyone who went on strike
3. Don't vote for anyone who played during the steroid era
4. Blank ballot because Pete Rose isn't eligible

Those are the only reasons I remember that would cause someone not to vote for Maddux. The question is just how many.


Don't forget

5. Forgot about him.
   7. AROM Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4618746)
6. Don't vote for anyone without a world series game 7 1-0 shutout on their resume.

While Chass's position might also fit into #3, his lack of support for Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, or Tim Raines makes his ballot unique.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4618747)
Those are the only reasons I remember that would cause someone not to vote for Maddux. The question is just how many.


If I were a voter, I probably wouldn't vote for him out of strategy, so I could get ensure some of the other guys that warrant consideration (Walker? Edgar? Raffy? Sosa? McGwire?) stay above 5%.
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM (#4618749)
Jack Morris (58) – The winningest pitcher of the 1980s, he went 254-186 in his career without ever posting an ERA below three or a Cy Young Award finish above third. This is his final try on the BBWAA ballot.


Two points:
1) He has Morris losing ground this year - I presume this is simply because additional obviously stronger candidates have joined the ballot, including multiple starting pitchers. You cannot say that Morris is the best starter on the ballot, and I think that may have been an argument for some folks the last few years. As it is, Morris, Raines,and Lee Smith are the last of the players from the late 70s to mid-80s period with a chance to get in the HOF via the writers. As I approach my 40th birthday, this is another reminder that times keeps moving forward.

2) Despite all the talk about Morris' deficiencies on BBTF, I did not realize either of the two facts about him that Deane lists. Never an ERA below 3, and never even a 2nd place finish for CYA. Blyleven didn't finish higher than 3rd, either, but had tons of flashy ERA seasons. Same thing with Sutton.
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4618753)
Only 7% for Mussina? Keerist.
Anyone who doesn't vote for Mussina who isn't submitting a full ballot should lose their ballot.
   11. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4618756)
He reckons 7.45 names per ballot, not including guys falling under 5%. So maybe 7.5-7.6. That would be the most names-per-ballot since 1983. I'm not saying he's wrong, but it just shows how crowded this ballot is.

My hunch is that Maddux & Glavine both go in. I'm doubtful on Thomas.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4618767)

My hunch is that Maddux & Glavine both go in. I'm doubtful on Thomas.


I don't think Thomas beats Biggio in the voting. Nor Morris.

If I were a voter, I probably wouldn't vote for him out of strategy, so I could get ensure some of the other guys that warrant consideration (Walker? Edgar? Raffy? Sosa? McGwire?) stay above 5%.


If I'm a voter, I would take pride in the fact that I voted for an all time great. The real offense I find with these "not on the first ballot" guys is that when they are talking to their grandkids about their votes, they can say "I never voted for Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson or Cal Ripken...but I did vote for Bruce Sutter, Jim Rice and Andre Dawson into the hof."

I think as a voter, if I'm strategically voting, I either accept that some guys are going to go off the ballot or use my strategy for mid tiered guys. No way would I want to say "I didn't vote for Maddux."


   13. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4618777)
Believe he is low on a few.... Whatever he bases his predictions on probably uses a model of past voting patterns and this year (and likely the next few) won't be at all similar to the recent past.


The second sentence explains the first. As Dag notes, he's predicting that voters will name more players than they have in at least 30 years. I would be surprised if any returning candidates get more votes than they got last year, which means, of course, that none of them get elected this year either. We've only seen a few ballots so far and I might have missed a couple of threads, but so far, most of the voters we've seen are filling their ballot and, in doing so, they're dropping people they voted for last year to find room for some combination of Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Mussina, and Kent (that's half a ballot right there). I haven't seen anybody drop Morris (which isn't enough to get him elected, of course), but we've already seen at least one voter drop Biggio to make room for first-year guys.
   14. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4618784)
Two points:
1) He has Morris losing ground this year - I presume this is simply because additional obviously stronger candidates have joined the ballot, including multiple starting pitchers.


Historically this is what has happened- see Bunning, Tiant, etc., but historically we haven't seen too many pro/anti internet campaigns either. I think Morris will do better than past history suggests, but don't think it will be enough.
   15. SG Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4618792)
Billy Deane should have never written this forecast.
   16. AROM Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4618801)
Blyleven didn't finish higher than 3rd, either, but had tons of flashy ERA seasons.


One thing about Bert that I ran across - he was probably worked harder than any live ball pitcher in his early years, and it's not remotely close. I looked at innings up to age 25 since 1920. In the dead ball era pitching lots of innings was not nearly as tough. Anyway,

Bert 1909
Drysdale 1629 - done at 32
Dierker 1624 - done at 30
Newhouser 1609 - last full season at 29, done at 34
Catfish 1586 - done at 33
Fernando 1554 - done as an ace at 26, had a few surprises left (age 35 with Padres), hung around forever in Mexican league
Gooden 1523 - done at 35, last season of 200 IP at 28
McLain 1501 - done at 28, no good seasons after 25

Amazing that Bert not only survived that, but turned in a Cy Young contender year at 38 and pitched to 41.
   17. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4618803)
The second sentence explains the first.


Sure, but I'd say he's still low on Glavine and Jack (I think he'll dip a little, but he won't lose that much ground).

My guess about a month ago was Maddux easily, with Glavine just making it. From the very early returns, Glavine's support is stronger than, I think, any of us expected.

   18. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4618811)
Glavine's support is stronger than, I think, any of us expected.


I agree with this, although it's still very early.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4618813)
Sure, but I'd say he's still low on Glavine and Jack (I think he'll dip a little, but he won't lose that much ground).

My guess about a month ago was Maddux easily, with Glavine just making it. From the very early returns, Glavine's support is stronger than, I think, any of us expected.



Only problem is that the early returns feature mostly "sane"/reasonable writers....that percentage of voters makes up a very small percentage of the total. When the crazies, gut-feelers and the moralist start turning in their ballot, we can probably expect to see some strange ballots.

   20. John Northey Posted: December 16, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4618816)
I hope he isn't correct, but these results are a strong possibility. I figured Mussina was a high risk of dropping below 5% due to the depth of starting pitching and how many writers will limit how many people they'll vote for at any one positions. Easy cases can be made for Maddux, Glavine, Clemens to be ahead of Mussina and less easy but still relevant cases for Morris (playoffs), Schilling (see Morris), and Lee Smith (all-time save leader). That gives you from 2 to 6 pitchers to vote for before Mussina (depending on strength given to playoffs, PED's, and saves) not to mention the whole 'first ballot' thing.

Palmeiro & Sosa have long been viewed as risks for falling below 5% with Jeff Kent also seen as at risk thanks to the 'first ballot' thing and the fact there are 10+ better players on the ballot including another guy who mainly played 2B (Biggio).

Strategic voting seems a waste to me. If a guy is sub 10% the odds are he'll fall off next year (Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz...poor Moose seems doomed...Sheffield and Delgado) unless a major campaign starts up for him. If Biggio can sneak in it'll help Kent as he'd be the last middle infielder other than Trammell should he crack 5% with no other serious middle infielder candidates until Omar Vizquel in 2018.

Forgot that 2019 is also getting crowded as I forgot about Todd Helton while the writer here forgot about Roy Halladay (probably due to the very recent retirement notice). Mariano Rivera might be a near unanimous candidate - other than being a reliever what else is against him? Andy Pettitte will get votes but not in for a few years I'd think.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: December 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4618820)
I think the first ballot thing only applies to guys who are likely to get in on the first ballot. It's also not nearly as prevalent as it was 10+ years ago. I don't think it's going to factor into guys like Mussina or Kent... I'm also pretty sure Mussina easily clears 5%....Kent on the other hand is going to struggle for that percentage.
   22. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4618821)
Only problem is that the early returns feature mostly "sane"/reasonable writers....that percentage of voters makes up a very small percentage of the total. When the crazies, gut-feelers and the moralist start turning in their ballot, we can probably expect to see some strange ballots.


Of course, but Glavine was polling at 100 percent in the very early Gizmo. I wouldn't have expected him to be running dead even with Maddux in any samnpling.

Strategic voting seems a waste to me. If a guy is sub 10% the odds are he'll fall off next year (Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz...poor Moose seems doomed...Sheffield and Delgado) unless a major campaign starts up for him. If Biggio can sneak in it'll help Kent as he'd be the last middle infielder other than Trammell should he crack 5% with no other serious middle infielder candidates until Omar Vizquel in 2018.


Agreed. Strategic voting to keep a guy on the ballot a little longer is a great way to make the ballot crowding problem go on forever. Some herd culling needs to happen, even if some very legitimate Hall candidates get caught up in it.

On the other hand, strategic voting for Biggio (or Thomas or Glavine, if you believe they're Hall worthy but not in your personal Top 10) makes perfect sense.
   23. BrianBrianson Posted: December 16, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4618823)
The number of BBTF commenters who seem to think the average ballot is going to have 14+ names is astounding. Not everyone deserving can get anywhere near 75%.
   24. Peter Farted Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4618910)
Yep. The key concept here is, it's impossible for most holdovers NOT to lose votes. The 10-player limit is a cold, strict reality.

Here's a simple test. Come up with your own estimated vote percentages for each candidate. Now figure out the total number of votes, based on some reasonable estimated number of voters (say, 500). Then calculate the average votes per ballot. If your number exceeds 10, you're looking at a mathematical impossibility. If it even approaches 8, you're probably dreaming.

I do sense a bit of a "tailwind" from Maddux/Cox that might put Glavine in. If it continues, that may mean the holdovers are in for an even bigger shock than this Bill dude predicts.
   25. Peter Farted Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4618923)
As a chilling example, suppose the first timers get this percentage:
Maddux 95, Glavine 75, Thomas 60, Mussina 30, Kent 10

Biggio and Morris stay put, all other holdovers lose 7.5 points.

That scenario would result in an average of 7.87 votes per ballot, a near impossibility.
   26. JoeC Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4618928)
I'm doubtful on Thomas.


I see what you and your Bible blog did there. ;)
   27. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 16, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4618937)
I see what you and your Bible blog did there. ;)

That actually was unintended, but - huh. It works.
   28. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: December 16, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4618967)
I thought it was intentional as well.
--
Nice work by Deane here.
   29. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4618990)
[25] So far the fewest names I've seen on a posted ballot has been eight and most have been full...
   30. Don Malcolm Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4618995)
One thing about Bert that I ran across - he was probably worked harder than any live ball pitcher in his early years, and it's not remotely close. I looked at innings up to age 25 since 1920. In the dead ball era pitching lots of innings was not nearly as tough. Anyway,


That's because you overlooked Bob Feller, which is easy to do because WWII took him away after his age-22 season and almost certainly saved him from the fate of so many of the others on that list. When we look at all pitchers from age 18-22, it's Feller who runs away from the pack, with Blyleven ranked third behind deadball pitcher Pete Schneider, whose career came to an abrupt end at the age of 23. A number of deadball pitchers were overworked at a young age, but they actually had fewer IP through age 22 than Bert. Johnson and Mathewson managed to survive the abuse, but others--just like their live ball counterparts--weren't so lucky.

Babe Ruth and Joe Wood were fortunate enough to have another dimension to their game that kept them on-field after their arms were trashed. (Schneider, BTW, turned into a terrific hitter in the PCL after his pitching days were over; it's a bit surprising that he never got a shot in MLB as an outfielder.)

Another guy who falls off the list when it's expanded to age 25 is Mike McCormick, who ranks 6th in IP through age 22.
   31. John Northey Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4619014)
So far the ballots have been full or near full but the smallest ballots always are the ones that are never revealed. The old timers who put one or two names on, feeling that is all that should ever get in.

Lets see if that is the case though... Last years gizmo had 194 ballots counted. If I have my math right it estimated 6.62 votes per ballot. The real final total was 3756 votes by 569 writers = 6.60

Huh. Surprise surprise. It worked out as close as one could ever hope. Of course, the totals were for the final tally, not the early days (wasn't posted at all until December 27th) so who knows until we start seeing 100+ ballots. Still fun to speculate. What is the record for most names per ballot?
   32. AROM Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4619019)
Feller is 10th on the list despite WW2, so you're right, he would have been ahead of Bert without the war. Probably way ahead, had he thrown 300 IP per year as he was doing, that puts him over 2300 innings before 25. Almost to Roy Halladay's career total.

Looking at all pitchers 25 and under, Bert only ranks 29th, with a bunch of 19th century guys ahead. Tommy Bond is #1 with 3384 innings. It's hard to compare workload between those times with the distance of pitcher's mound, pitching style, and the danger of homeruns. I have no idea what should be considered an acceptable workload for that time, though whatever it was Bond clearly surpassed it. He had his last good season at age 23.
   33. BDC Posted: December 16, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4619027)
Did Babe Ruth have a sore arm? I don't remember that from the biographies, but I don't remember a lot of stuff. I'd reckoned he just stopped training as a pitcher once the outfield gig started going so well.
   34. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 16, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4619042)
Blank ballots:
2013: 5
2012: 9
2011: 5
2010: 5
2009: 2
   35. AROM Posted: December 16, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4619057)
Did Babe Ruth have a sore arm? I don't remember that from the biographies, but I don't remember a lot of stuff. I'd reckoned he just stopped training as a pitcher once the outfield gig started going so well.


I've never heard that, but I've speculated a lot mostly based on his declining strikeout rate: (league average)

1915 4.6 (3.9)
1916 4.7 (3.7)
1917 3.5 (3.3)
1918 2.2 (2.9)
1919 2.0 (3.2)

Strikeout rates overall were going down, but Ruth's were declining faster than average. I don't know if his arm was sore, but it looks like he was losing stuff, and towards the end of his time in Boston was relying on their outstanding defense. Considering the history of most pitchers with high workloads in their youth, I don't think the Babe would have lasted much longer as a pitcher anyway. Though maybe he could have turned into the Frank Tanana of the 20's.
   36. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 16, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4619136)
Strikeout rates overall were going down


never noticed that before

topped out at 4.2 in 1911/12 then slowly headed down until reaching 2.7 in 1924/25, and then slowly heading back up, but not reaching 4.2 again until the 1950s.

Wonder why that was?

Ks began dropping after 1912
1913 4.0
1914 4.1
1915 3.9
1916 3.7
1917 3.3
1918 2.9

The spitball wasn't banned until Ray Chapman was killed in 1920 so that wasn't it

BB rates were holding constant (they would begin to rise around 1925.)

K rates are something I assumed were always rising - and in fact from 1925-68 they pretty much continuously rose... but they dropped rather sharply going from 6/9 in 68/69 to 5 per 9 in 75/76, and they've pretty steadily climbed ever since then. (In fact the mid/late 70s saw the lowest K rates since the early 50s, never noticed that before, but in league context Seaver's k/9 rates were stunning)
   37. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: December 17, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4619720)
Blank ballots:
2013: 5
2012: 9
2011: 5
2010: 5
2009: 2


Anyone who turns in a blank ballot, for any reason, should be immediately dropped as a HoF voter. (And anyone who turns in a blank ballot and then brags about it in the newspaper should be horsewhipped.)
   38. AROM Posted: December 17, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4619802)
K rates declining after 1968 are easy to explain, with the lowered pitcher's mound.

Rates being lower in the 1920's than a decade earlier is probably from using a cleaner baseball, removing scuffed or dirty balls either. Maybe that was a gradual thing.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
JPWF13
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 1 OMNICHATTER
(558 - 11:30pm, Oct 21)
Last: boteman

NewsblogMike Scioscia, Matt Williams voted top managers
(8 - 11:26pm, Oct 21)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogSielski: A friend fights for ex-Phillie Dick Allen's Hall of Fame induction
(108 - 11:19pm, Oct 21)
Last: GregD

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(2898 - 11:11pm, Oct 21)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogDombrowski told that Iglesias 'will be fine' for 2015
(21 - 10:22pm, Oct 21)
Last: fra paolo

NewsblogAs Focus Faded and Losses Piled Up, Royals Change Their Game
(1 - 9:43pm, Oct 21)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogRoyals’ James Shields passed kidney stone during ALCS but is ready for World Series | The Kansas City Star
(39 - 9:32pm, Oct 21)
Last: rlc

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(314 - 8:51pm, Oct 21)
Last: steagles

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(852 - 8:40pm, Oct 21)
Last: Biff, highly-regarded young guy

NewsblogBaseball's hardest throwing bullpen - Beyond the Box Score
(10 - 8:02pm, Oct 21)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogMorosi: Could Cain’s story make baseball king of sports world again?
(107 - 7:04pm, Oct 21)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogFan Returns Home Run Ball to Ishikawa; Receives World Series tickets
(55 - 6:26pm, Oct 21)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogBaseball Prospectus | Pebble Hunting: An Illustrated Guide to the People of Kauffman Stadium
(10 - 6:00pm, Oct 21)
Last: Perry

NewsblogCardinals proud of fourth straight NLCS appearance | cardinals.com
(58 - 5:44pm, Oct 21)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogBrisbee: The 5 worst commercials of the MLB postseason
(173 - 4:45pm, Oct 21)
Last: Squash

Page rendered in 0.5880 seconds
52 querie(s) executed