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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Davidoff: My 2012 Hall of Fame ballot

Also featuring interesting commentary on the also-rans!

Mark McGwire : I’ve documented my feelings previously (see the older ballots) on why I’ve switched on McGwire; it ties into my comments on [Jeff] Bagwell that I see my role as upholding the laws at the time, rather than retroactively legislating…

Jack Morris : ... Morris felt like a Hall of Famer. He did to me, for sure… And I voted for Morris in my first two years with this privilege.

But there are simply no numbers to support his candidacy. I don’t see one…

Rafael Palmeiro : OK, so last year, he was a No for me, for this reason: I had 11 candidates that I really liked, and you can list only 10… he cheated, he was caught and he served the time, all fair and square - and for what it’s worth, that ‘05 positive test pretty much ended his career. But should that be a disqualifying factor for his Hall of Fame candidacy, or merely a damaging one?

I’m going with “damaging.” Next year, with the influx of candidates, I might find myself with a surplus once more and keep Palemeiro off. Right now, though, he’s a Yes ...

Lee Smith : I’ve gone from No (2007) to Yes (2008) back to No (2009-11) on him, and I’m staying on No . The big debate on closers is, “How much can one separate himself from the pack?” My belief is, “Not very much, unless you’re Rivera.” And you can’t get the dominance part of the equation if your Wins Above Replacement aren’t high…

Tony Womack : No , although, in his defense, he wasn’t a very nice guy .

End result: Bagwell, Larkin, E. Martinez, McGwire, Palmeiro, Raines, Trammell, L. Walker

The District Attorney Posted: December 27, 2011 at 04:59 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, hall of fame, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#4023930)
That's a pretty damn great ballot. I mean, it shouldn't be terribly difficult to see that Trammell and Raines are qualified and Morris isn't, but hey, good to see.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#4023943)
That's a pretty damn great ballot. I mean, it shouldn't be terribly difficult to see that Trammell and Raines are qualified and Morris isn't, but hey, good to see.


Davidoff's one of the more stat-friendly writers working, so it isn't surprising.

Updated tally Repoz?
   3. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#4023944)
I'm increasingly convinced that the BBWAA ought to just dispense with the whole 'association' thing and just give the keys to all the big decisions to Davidoff.

Whether awards or HoF voting, I think he consistently puts up the best ballots and also consistently displays solid reasoning behind them all while still being an interesting read.

I traded some e-mails with him a couple years ago when he served a term as President of the BBWAA, and found him to be digitally a heck of nice guy to boot in our exchanges.

I mean, it shouldn't be terribly difficult to see that Trammell and Raines are qualified and Morris isn't, but hey, good to see.


Not to play to SBB -- but while I'd have never tabbed Morris as the best pitcher in his league back then (I think I'm just a few years younger than Davidoff -- I'd have taken Stieb as the AL's best for most of the 80s), I do think there was a bit of an aura him in the days before the internet and readily available and accessible research. I think if you'd have asked me in 1990 if I thought Morris would eventually go into the Hall, I probably would have said yes.

Sober reflection and a lot more data would have me leaving him off the ballot - but if you're firmly of the belief that Hall of 'Fame' -- Fame in particular -- allows for some manner of mythos that should be allowed to maybe just occasionally transcend the raw, normalized output... I could see Morris. He'd be another Jim Rice -- a hallow performance case owing more to some odd sweet spot of nostalgia than reality of output -- but whatever. As plenty have noted, Morris was just really lucky to pitch in an era where the AL didn't really produce much in the way of good starting pitching. You had Stieb, but dogged by his constant stream of one-hitters, he was generally seen as a "not gamer" guy... You had Guidry for a bit, the start of Clemens... It wasn't much different in the NL -- Valenzuela for a while, a few years of Doc, Hershiser. The 1980s were just an odd time for pitching.

I've always been more concerned with deserving cases left out than undeserving players let in.
   4. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#4023948)
When he said his ballot had shrunk from '11' to 8, I wondered who he switched on (the other two being Blyleven and Alomar). But he didn't say he switched his vote on anyone this year, so I'm guessing he voted for Kevin Brown. It's as if the guy reads bbtf.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:10 PM (#4023952)
But he didn't say he switched his vote on anyone this year, so I'm guessing he voted for Kevin Brown.


Davidoff's 2011 ballot:

Kevin Brown: Ah, Brownie. How often do you hear that a guy is a big jerk, and then it turns out that he isn’t as bad as advertised?

Well, that wasn’t the case with Brown. Man, was he unpleasant.

And this is why I think we should use the five-year waiting period to distance ourselves from such visceral observations. Because when you toss aside such memories and examine Brown’s stats, he looks like a deserving Hall member, at least to me. He was outstanding from 1995 through 2001 and then again in 2003, and he added very solid years in 1992 and 1993. Even his first year with the Yankees, 2004, wasn’t too bad.

Yes, he was named in the Mitchell Report. Meh. He’s still a Yes for me. He was one of the best starting pitchers of his time, and surely in part due to his prickly personality, one of the underappreciated ones, too.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#4023953)
So seems like Bonds and Clemens will get at least one vote next year. :-)
   7. Zonk qualifies as an invasive species Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#4023958)
It's as if the guy reads bbtf.


I'm probably misremembering, but I thought that Davidoff did occasionally post here?
   8. LargeBill Posted: December 27, 2011 at 07:24 PM (#4023960)
3. zonk Posted: December 27, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#4023944)
I'm increasingly convinced that the BBWAA ought to just dispense with the whole 'association' thing and just give the keys to all the big decisions to Davidoff.


I do like his ballot and explanations for his voting decisions, but if you read his entire article you'd see he reassessed some players. My guess is even he would disagree with the idea of him making these choices on his own. The greatest strength of the HoF voting process is the number of voters. A much smaller group would result in a few bad or misguided voters having a larger impact on the results. We laughed at some voters omitting Rickey Henderson. However, the fact is those omissions had no real affect on the outcome.
   9. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 27, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#4023986)
That's a pretty damn great ballot.


Yeah, you take Edgar off and it's just about perfect.
   10. Srul Itza Posted: December 27, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#4024002)
but if you're firmly of the belief that Hall of 'Fame' -- Fame in particular -- allows for some manner of mythos that should be allowed to maybe just occasionally transcend the raw, normalized output... I could see Morris. He'd be another Jim Rice -- a hallow performance case owing more to some odd sweet spot of nostalgia than reality of output


Another analogy might be Catfish Hunter. He had a higher peak than Morris, but by our current standards he does not belong in the Hall any more than Morris. They both have a certain mythology about them.

If Morris did get it, I would view it as a mistake, but not as big a mistake as Jim Rice. I'm a Big Hall kind of guy, myself, and I see a place for the celebrated but overrated, as part of the history/myth of the sport. It is the reason I see no problem with having Lou Brock in, or Andre Dawson and his .323 OBP and undeserved MVP.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#4024009)
If Morris did get it, I would view it as a mistake, but not as big a mistake as Jim Rice. I'm a Big Hall kind of guy, myself, and I see a place for the celebrated but overrated, as part of the history/myth of the sport. It is the reason I see no problem with having Lou Brock in, or Andre Dawson and his .323 OBP and undeserved MVP.
Rice and Morris and Hunter are mistakes on the merit. Dawson's a perfectly cromulent borderliner who got elected. Rice was only one step better than Dawson with the bat, and Dawson has huge advantages in every other aspect of the game, and Dawson played nearly four more seasons of baseball on top of that.
   12. Srul Itza Posted: December 27, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#4024013)
Dawson's a perfectly cromulent borderliner


I like Dawson. I am glad he got into the Hall, especially because he was screwed so badly by Baseball during collusion.

But a .323 OBP is sad. And some of those extra years he hung around were not pretty.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 27, 2011 at 09:07 PM (#4024017)
It is. But Dawson did everything else you could want a ballplayer to do, besides draw walks - he hit for a good average, he hit for power, he played gold glove defense at an up-the-middle position, and he stole bases. Dawson's peak from 1980-1983 is a very solid Hall of Fame peak, and he was at least an averageish player until he left Chicago.
   14. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 27, 2011 at 09:10 PM (#4024018)
I like Dawson. I am glad he got into the Hall,


Even numbered years are good for ex-Cubs:

2012 - Santo
2010 - Dawson
2008 - Gossage
2006 - Sutter
2004 - Eck


2014 will surely see Maddux inducted. Maybe Sosa in 2016.
   15. CrosbyBird Posted: December 27, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#4024019)
Yeah, you take Edgar off and it's just about perfect.

That's my ballot as well.
   16. my2cents Posted: December 27, 2011 at 10:55 PM (#4024071)
I think the Hall of fame should tell the true story about baseball, warts and all. This isn't the 1950's anymore, we don't have to be afraid of the truth. The merit's of the great ones are even stronger in the presence of the tarnished ones. Context is more important in understanding and accepting ourselves than blind faith.
   17. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: December 27, 2011 at 11:22 PM (#4024080)
Even numbered years are good for ex-Cubs:

2012 - Santo
2010 - Dawson
2008 - Gossage
2006 - Sutter
2004 - Eck


2014 will surely see Maddux inducted.


Neat. Going backwards:

1994 Leo Durocher
1980 Chuck Klein
1976 Fred Lindstrom
1976 Robin Roberts
1970 Lou Boudreau (well, he never played for them but he did manage and announce for them)
1968 Kiki Cuyler
1954 Rabbit Maranville
1946 Frank Chance
1946 Johnny Evers
1946 Joe Tinker
1946 Clark Griffith (in as owner, but also a legit pick as a pitcher)
1946 Rube Waddell
1942 Rogers Hornsby
1938 Pete Alexander
   18. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2011 at 12:55 AM (#4024115)
Fergie 91 and Williams 87

(Sandberg was 05 but technically he wasn't an ex-Cub just briefly a not-yet Cub)

EDIT: also Wilhelm 85 ... he pitched 3.2 innings for the Cubs
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: December 28, 2011 at 04:39 AM (#4024199)
If Morris did get it, I would view it as a mistake, but not as big a mistake as Jim Rice.


I'm the opposite, Rice was a very bad choice, but no where nearly as bad as Morris. Rice at least had a peak, Morris at his peak was just a very good pitcher, and he wasn't very good long enough to earn the Palmeiro treatment from me.

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