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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Gammons: My Hall of Fame ballot explained (and, yes, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are on it)

The Athletic appears to be having technical difficulties (I can’t log in to RTFA, despite my subscription) but this title seems to disagree with Thib’s tracker, which has Gammons voting for Bonds this year but not Clemens, even though he voted for both in 2017.  Any idea what’s going on?  Has anyone gotten to read it?

Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: January 02, 2018 at 05:20 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: barry bonds, hall of fame, peter gammons, roger clemens

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   1. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: January 02, 2018 at 06:31 PM (#5599841)
Well, now I've read the fill article and I'm even more confused. He didn't vote for Clemens because he once wrote a book with him in 1987??!? WTF?
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 02, 2018 at 07:17 PM (#5599855)
Gammons voted for Clemens on the 2017 ballot - did he forget about that book then? When you cast a ballot, but don't vote for a player, you're not "abstaining" on that player, you're voting against him, and it takes 3 votes for that player to offset that omission. Gammons should simply vote for Clemens if he deems him worthy, remind everyone about their book, and let those who would think less of him to do so. Perhaps he could even give back his royalties as penance. That way, any harm for his vote would fall on the one casting it, Gammons, rather than Clemens, who doesn't deserve to have his HoF path made more difficult due to an unfortunate choice of a literary collaborator. Like many in the media, Gammons opts for self-promoting phony virtue signaling for which others bear the cost.
   3. Sunday silence Posted: January 03, 2018 at 08:09 AM (#5599930)
it takes 3 votes for that player to offset that omission


I dont think so. One person changing his vote would offset Gammon's non vote. Yes?
   4. dlf Posted: January 03, 2018 at 08:37 AM (#5599935)
Since Gammons has voted for Rocket in the past and since the pitcher won't get in this year, I think the verbiage - particularly from a respected old school writer - matters about as much as the missed vote. And if that salves Peter's ethical conundrum and lets him check off the box next year, I'm happy. But yeah, the logic here is just silly; you can abstain from the entire process as long as Clemens is on the ballot, but you just can't vote for others while withholding a vote for him for the stated reasons.
   5. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 03, 2018 at 08:43 AM (#5599938)

I dont think so. One person changing his vote would offset Gammon's non vote. Yes?
No. It takes 75% for admission, not 50%.
   6. Rusty Priske Posted: January 03, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5599941)
That's not what 'offset' means.

It is still stupid reasoning by Gammons.
   7. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 03, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5599944)
Yes, it is (stupid reasoning, I mean). There's obviously no conflict with a 30-year old book. But if there is, he should abstain from voting.
   8. DL from MN Posted: January 03, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5599953)
you just can't vote for others while withholding a vote for him


I don't see any issue if he fills his ballot with 10 other players he finds worthy.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5599971)

I dont think so. One person changing his vote would offset Gammon's non vote. Yes?

No. It takes 75% for admission, not 50%.


They're both true, it just depends on how you look at it. If a new voter comes in and votes no on Clemens, then it take three new votes to offset that.

If Gammons changes his vote from Yes to No, then that would be offset by Murray Chass changing his from No to Yes.

   10. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: January 03, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5599974)
I don't see any issue if he fills his ballot with 10 other players he finds worthy.


He didn't, though. He only voted for 9, according to Thib's tracker. He made a point of grandstanding about his supposed moral superiority, and then sat on his hands rather than vote for someone else. Admittedly, the others he left off all have good reasons for being left off, but at least he was consistent with last year's ballot with regards to each of them.

In his article he points out all of Clemens' merits, though he gets a few of the details wrong:

Roger Clemens

I would vote for him with an addendum. In 1987, I wrote a book with Clemens. So, while I now believe he belongs in the Hall, the 20-year-old book—which will not be confused with The Best and the Brightest—could be viewed as a conflict. So, I recuse myself and filled out my ballot without him. When his 10 years are I up, I hope that one blank square will not decide whether or not he is inducted.

The man won seven Cy Youngs for four teams. He had a 1.93 ERA in 1990; the league average was 3.91. He won the pitching Triple Crown 16 times. He won 355 games, all in a five-man rotation. He had two 20-strikeout/0 walk games.


He did not win the pitching triple crown 16 times, but he led the league in triple crown categories 16 times. He won it twice.

Also, it's a 30 year old book, not a 20 year old book. Man, Peter, you are old. ;-)

Also, that's not what an addendum is. An addendum would be "I'm voting for Clemens, and for full disclosure, don't forget that I once wrote a book with him." Failing to vote for him is the opposite of that, and makes no sense.

The real issue is that his reasoning for voting FOR Bonds - essentially that he already had a HoF career before he started juicing - is EXACTLY APPLICABLE TO CLEMENS. Clemens had 192 wins, a 144 ERA+, three CYA's and an MVP by age 33. He'd basically already had Sandy Koufax's career before he became a baseball demigod.



   11. Rally Posted: January 03, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5599990)
The real issue is that his reasoning for voting FOR Bonds - essentially that he already had a HoF career before he started juicing - is EXACTLY APPLICABLE TO CLEMENS.


Assuming you actually know when/if he started juicing.
   12. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 03, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5600012)

If Gammons changes his vote from Yes to No, then that would be offset by Murray Chass changing his from No to Yes.
Oh, ok, I see. Yeah, but unless Gammons was engaged in vote trading, I don't quite see how that mechanism works.
   13. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 03, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5600441)
Gammons submitting a ballot without voting for Clemens isn't recusing himself; rather, his non-vote counts against Clemens' denominator.

If he wants to recuse himself, then he should not submit a ballot at all. Which actually might be for the best, as he's dimmed a bit in his old age and was never the brightest bulb to begin with.
   14. TomH Posted: January 04, 2018 at 05:30 PM (#5601062)
643, I have no good read on how Gammons' wits are these days. But your opinion of him re: his good days would be contested by the majority of fans who got much from his decades of columns.
   15. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: January 04, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5601084)
A lot of people would also champion the merits of shitty TV from the three-network era.
   16. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: January 05, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5601324)
A lot of people would also champion the merits of shitty TV from the three-network era.


That's a little unfair. The fact that people had fewer choices back then does not mean that Cheers or MASH or Taxi weren't great shows. Gammons' "notes" columns years ago, back when most local writers only handled one topic and one team at a time, offered a level of insight and a breadth of information available nowhere else at the time.

Just because any schmo can write a blog these days and MLB itself has dozens of people churning out that stuff now doesn't mean that whatever Gammons had to offer back then was actually shitty.

   17. John Northey Posted: January 06, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5601952)
With Clemens the only spot to put the line is between 1997 and 1998 - when that trainer claims to have started Clemens on drugs. No one else has claimed an earlier time. So his first year as a Jay when he won the triple crown and had over 12 WAR is safe, his 2nd year not as much (triple crown but not as impressive a year). That puts him at 213 wins, 149 ERA+ 644 winning percentage, 4 Cy's, 1 MVP, 6 All-Star games. Sweet. After that he has 141 wins, 681 Win %, 133 ERA+, 3 Cy's, 5 All-Star games. What a career.
   18. bjhanke Posted: January 07, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5602311)
The voters who do not vote for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens or Mark McGwire, earlier, aren't interested in whether any of them had HoF careers before or after taking steroids. It's a MORALITY vote. You take steroids at any time while you were playing, you can't be in the Hall of Fame, no matter what you did when and under the influence of what. Apparently, Tim Raines being in the Hall, I believe, this does not apply to cocaine, even though cocaine is MUCH more heavily documented as a performance-enhancing drug than steroids are. As are amphetamines ("greenies" are amphetamines. I'm old enough that I took them myself when I was young and they were legal). My personal opinion is that no one should be allowed into the writer's wing of the Hall if he has ever taken a drink of alcohol while employed as a sportswriter. It seems MORALLY fair....

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