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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gosselin: Why I now voted for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens

I also voted for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
I didn’t vote for either Bonds or Clemens last year, their first on the ballot. But the second year of eligibility is different in my eyes.

Ballot: Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Morris and Trammell

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 24, 2013 at 03:28 AM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 24, 2013 at 07:31 AM (#4623334)
8 names. Some of us will prattle on about how this is a good ballot because he's got Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell etc. Sorry, I think it's a sh*t ballot.
No Thomas, no Piazza, only 8 names and one of them is Morris. This is inexcusable. I can see the argument for pinging the PED guys, I can see having Morris if that's your thing, but to have only 8 names, include Morris and not have some combination of Thomas, Piazza, Raines, Schilling or Mussina is dreadful.
My main issue really is Thomas. There is simply no way you cannot have a full ballot, vote for other first timers and leave him off your ballot, he's the 4th/5th best guy on the ballot and is clearly above the standard required.
   2. BrianBrianson Posted: December 24, 2013 at 07:51 AM (#4623339)
7/10 is a "B-". That's somewhere between "okay" and "good". Not "very good" or "great", but "alright"
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 24, 2013 at 08:02 AM (#4623340)
#2,
What I really don't like about the ballot is the inconsistency. If you are against guys with PED suspicion, fine I get that. If you like to make people wait a year, ok, I think that's silly, however I can except that also. But to include Morris over Thomas and Piazza AND leave two spots blank is ludicrous. I give the ballot a C- at best.
   4. BrianBrianson Posted: December 24, 2013 at 08:12 AM (#4623341)
Morris is a wrong vote. Blank is a wrong vote (well, two wrong votes in this case). The other seven are all correct votes. It's a straight 7/10, which is a B-. In a ballot with 17~19 right answers and only ten slots, I don't believe you can really judge how someone picks 10 of the 18 correct answers (although I certainly have preferences). If you're giving a C- to someone who gets 70%, you're grading too harshly. C- is 60-63%.

Although I might be open to applying a curve after all the ballots are marked, I'm extremely leery of curving down. People become extraordinarily agigated when you curve their grades down. Better to make the next test unreasonably hard.
   5. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:01 AM (#4623344)
I'm not sure it's really 7/10. If there are 17-19 right answers and you get 8, you've whiffed on 9 to 11 of them--twice.
   6. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4623346)
Has Repoz posted a tally yet? I haven't found it.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:23 AM (#4623347)
Joe Sheehan:

Expanding the ballot, everyone's favorite solution, doesn't come close to addressing that problem. It's the Hall passing the buck as it has now for the better part of a decade. The ten-man ballot works because it gives value to a place on the ballot relative to the number of names under consideration, and changing it to avoid taking a stand on the so-called "Steroid Era" would cheapen the process for political expediency. The Hall, and the Hall alone, is responsible for this, by not issuing clear instructions about how the voters should handle players from the last 20 years. By outsourcing this one to the writers, the Hall has broken the voting system. This is an issue on which the voters want leadership and guidance, and the Hall, deathly afraid of taking a position that will alienate anyone, has walked away from them -- and by extension, baseball fans.

..As steroid hysteria and all of the bad math, history and chemistry that came with it fade into the past, smart people who weren't invested in our narratives will recognize that a place that honors the greatest players ever, but doesn't acknowledge these all-time greats, cannot stand.
   8. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4623348)
If you're giving a C- to someone who gets 70%, you're grading too harshly. C- is 60-63%.


Passing with a 60? What are you, a philosophy major?
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4623349)
I'm not sure it's really 7/10. If there are 17-19 right answers and you get 8, you've whiffed on 9 to 11 of them--twice.


Agreed. A ballot that isn't maxed out but still has room for Morris is lousy. It is made worse by the fact that he can't even use "no steroid guys" as an excuse to cut out some of the 15-18 worthy candidates.
   10. Booey Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4623353)
From the article:

If baseball won’t police itself, don’t ask the writers who vote on the Hall of Fame to do it for you


Nobody has. They've taken that task entirely upon themselves.
   11. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 24, 2013 at 09:43 AM (#4623356)
This is baseball; 36.6% is an A+.
   12. jdennis Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4623367)
#4

At every level of school, for every class I ever had, a 70 was a D-.
   13. BrianBrianson Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4623377)
Admittedly, in graduate school, we were only allowed to get three letter grades A (80-100), B (70-80), and F (< 70) (and we were only allowed one B). But when I got my undergraduate (physics) 50% was a passing grade (D-). On a cross school comparison, it doesn't matter much - you can always make tests harder (or easier). With a 50% is a passing grade, only 17 of the 68 people who started in physics got a physics degree at the end. If all the passing grades are clustered at high numbers, they're pretty meaningless. You want a nice, broad, normal distribution.
   14. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4623386)
When I was growing up, a 65 was passing, 65-69 was a D, 70-79 was a C (-/+), 80-89 a B (-/+), and 90-100 was A (-/+). The bottom part was just for the dumbs though, so it didn't matter much.
   15. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4623391)
Jack Morris always studied just enough to pass.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4623394)
There is good and bad in this article/ballot. I think the good outweighs the bad so he gets a C+. (loses a full grade for Morris inclusion and another full grade for the two blank spots)

   17. LargeBill Posted: December 24, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4623395)
Any ballot with less than 10 is incomplete. However, I don't think an I for Incomplete is the right grade. As someone else explained, with so many possible correct answers the penalty for incorrect or blank spots is magnified. Based on that, this ballot can't be graded as passing.

Separately, this is first one I've seen that clearly stated Bonds & Clemens were "punished" last year but this year will get his vote. There was a general assumption that they would get some bounce this year. I think they'll get a bigger bounce when some other greats who were assumed to be clean (Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Randy Johnson, Pedro, etc) are cleared from the ballot.
   18. Publius Publicola Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4623401)
If baseball wants to remove Bonds and Clemens from the ballot, as Cooperstown has done with Pete Rose, I would not be able to vote for them. But if baseball keeps them on the ballot, they are worthy Hall of Fame candidates.

And I will vote for them.

Just not on the first ballot.


This reasoning is idiotic. He makes the case that they are no-brainer candidates based on their accomplishments, which is true, but didn't deserve to get in last year because of their connection to roids, which is also true.

So he has two choices here. He can either not care about roids and vote for them, or care about roids and not vote for them. He can't care a little about roids, but not very much, and make some idiotic protest vote for one year that nobody cares about and nobody will remember.
   19. AROM Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4623406)
With only 10 options, there isn't any room to make plus or minus distinctions to the letter grades. Well, a perfect score should get an A+, but that's it. So class, here is the grading scale:

Grade # of legit HOFers on ballot
A+....10
A.....9
B.....8
C.....7
D.....6
Fail..5 or fewer.

So this ballot earns a C.
   20. AROM Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4623408)
I think that makes me an easy grader this year, in that I can give out an A+ even to some who leave Bonds and Clemens off the ballot. All you have to do is turn in a complete ballot, put Mussina and Schilling ahead of Morris, and show some love to the likes of Trammell, Raines, Walker, Edgar, or the like in some combination.
   21. Booey Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4623409)
So he has two choices here. He can either not care about roids and vote for them, or care about roids and not vote for them. He can't care a little about roids, but not very much, and make some idiotic protest vote for one year that nobody cares about and nobody will remember.


If they're kept out for a few years, people will remember that. With most candidates they won't, but with upper level legends like Bonds and Clemens, the stigma of why they weren't elected immediately will always follow them around, just like it will with Rose if his ban is ever lifted.

Why does it have to be black or white? It's not written anywhere in the rules that roids are an automatic or permanent disqualifier. If writers are allowed to make up their own criteria, this guys method is as good (or bad) as any. Not voting for them ever could just as easily be seen as an "idiotic protest vote" too, just one that happens every year rather than only once.
   22. LargeBill Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4623411)
Here is a link to a John McGrath column describing his struggle with voting for Morris. He is the first voter to note something I've said regarding voting for Morris. Anyone who votes for Morris has to give serious consideration to Jamie Moyer. More wins and his higher ERA is somewhat a reflection of the high scoring era during which he pitched.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/12/22/2960743/fretting-over-my-vote-for-hall.html
   23. Booey Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM (#4623414)
Grade # of legit HOFers on ballot
A+....10
A.....9
B.....8
C.....7
D.....6
Fail..5 or fewer.

So this ballot earns a C.


I think this is a little generous. A voter who fills only 9 slots shouldn't get an A, even if all 9 are worthy. I'd drop the A+ and put 10 as an A, 9 as a B, etc. This guy's ballot gets a D. It's barely passing.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4623424)
If they're kept out for a few years, people will remember that. With most candidates they won't, but with upper level legends like Bonds and Clemens, the stigma of why they weren't elected immediately will always follow them around, just like it will with Rose if his ban is ever lifted.


Ask the casual fan or even semi serious fan, "Why was Yogi Berra not a first ballot hofer?"

Mind you, I think publicus reasoning is ridiculous, and I also think the writer is being ridiculous, but I can't fault the writer the option of a one year deny, in this case. I can never support a "not a first balloter" thinking for guys who didn't vote for Rickey Henderson or other guys who were clearly deserving, but this one time denial, is a two pronged statement. As the writer mentioned, it's a statement to the hof to say something, and it's a statement to the players/game that there is some levels of ped taint.

   25. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4623429)

I think this is a little generous. A voter who fills only 9 slots shouldn't get an A, even if all 9 are worthy. I'd drop the A+ and put 10 as an A, 9 as a B, etc. This guy's ballot gets a D. It's barely passing.


He only had eight names, Ballot is not a player. I'm laughing because I made the same mistake, I counted nine names then started reading the comments saying "only eight guys".
And I agree, there's no logical reason not to come-up with 10 worthy (over-qualified) candidates. Shiity ballot.
   26. Booey Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4623442)
Ask the casual fan or even semi serious fan, "Why was Yogi Berra not a first ballot hofer?"


Well, like I mentioned, with most candidates no one is going to remember what ballot they went in on. But for the players whose election was delayed by the steroid scandal rather than by writer incompetancy, I'm guessing that stink will follow them around forever.
   27. pikepredator Posted: December 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4623443)
unless I'm missing some overarching satire, the ongoing judgment/grading thing feels as small-minded as the Morris voters. I think a small hall voter could have a justifiable ballot of, say, Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Thomas, Bagwell, and Piazza.

Biggio/Mussina/Raines can be viewed as compilers, Schilling can be viewed as a guy without quite enough bulk (ha!), Kent too for that matter. Walker might be a Coors mirage . . . I would disagree, but I wouldn't begrudge someone for that mindset. Rating ballots by "# correct" is a dumb as building a HOF based on 60 WAR.

Clearly there are 10+ that are deserving and overqualified based on the current HOFers, but why should someone with a history of small hall voting be expected to add people they think are undeserving just because the rest of the voting bloc is botching things?
   28. Booey Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4623446)
He only had eight names, Ballot is not a player. I'm laughing because I made the same mistake, I counted nine names then started reading the comments saying "only eight guys".


I credited him with only 8 names, and since one of them was a non-worthy (Morris), he lost 3 grades on my scale, dropping down to a D rather than the C he would've gotten if all 8 choices were legit.

I mentioned "9" in a hypothetical sense, responding to AROM's post #19 that a 9 person ballot should still get an A.
   29. John Northey Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4623447)
I think a key thing is 'did the writer vote for more people this year than last'. If so then that is good, ideally they added at least 3 (Maddux/Glavine/Thomas) if they had 7 or fewer last year.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4623448)
unless I'm missing some overarching satire, the ongoing judgment/grading thing feels as small-minded as the Morris voters. I think a small hall voter could have a justifiable ballot of, say, Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Thomas, Bagwell, and Piazza.


The problem is that there is no such thing as a historical small hall. The standards to have that small of a hall was wiped out long before most of the people voting were ever born, they lived in an age where Lou Brock, Dazzy Vance, Dizzy Dean, Paul Waner, Luke Appling, Joe Medwick are all considered solid reasonable selections. (and at least 14 names on the ballot clearly are better than all of those)
   31. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4623451)
I think a small hall voter could have a justifiable ballot of, say, Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Thomas, Bagwell, and Piazza.

They could. That doesn't make it good.
   32. Booey Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4623454)
Clearly there are 10+ that are deserving and overqualified based on the current HOFers, but why should someone with a history of small hall voting be expected to add people they think are undeserving just because the rest of the voting bloc is botching things?


Cuz the HOF isn't small and it hasn't been for a long time. Why should modern generations be held to much stricter standards than past ones? Obviously you don't lower the bar to the Frisch VC selections, but the BBWAA should try to establish some kind of consistency in their process. Being too exclusive when they never have been before is ridicule worthy in and of itself.

Edit: partial (watered down) cokes and stuff
   33. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4623465)
The problem is that there is no such thing as a historical small hall. The standards to have that small of a hall was wiped out long before most of the people voting were ever born, they lived in an age where Lou Brock, Dazzy Vance, Dizzy Dean, Paul Waner, Luke Appling, Joe Medwick are all considered solid reasonable selections.


Appling, Vance and Waner were solid reasonable selections, no?
   34. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4623466)
The problem is that there is no such thing as a historical small hall. The standards to have that small of a hall was wiped out long before most of the people voting were ever born, they lived in an age where Lou Brock, Dazzy Vance, Dizzy Dean, Paul Waner, Luke Appling, Joe Medwick are all considered solid reasonable selections.


That's not what he said. There may be no historical small hall, but the actual hall was built through the collected ballots of hall voters of all sizes. The guys who make it have done so by getting enough votes from the big and small hall voters (and, of course, the lowering of the floor through the Vets committee). But it's perfectly consistent to believe that the current group of candidates should have to face that same mix of voter preferences.

In other words, if you weren't one of the voters who would have supported (or didn't, if you're old enough) Brock when he was on the ballot, you shouldn't be compelled to vote for his equivalent on future ballots.

Having said that, the problem is that with the current mix, a small Hall voter should still be able to find 10 worthy names, rather than the 16 or 17 that a larger Hall voter would support.

   35. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4623470)

I credited him with only 8 names, and since one of them was a non-worthy (Morris), he lost 3 grades on my scale, dropping down to a D rather than the C he would've gotten if all 8 choices were legit.

I mentioned "9" in a hypothetical sense, responding to AROM's post #19 that a 9 person ballot should still get an A.


Apology, it must be the spiked eggnog.
   36. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4623494)
My grading system. 8 players or fewer is an automatic F in my book - with 16-to-19 really good candidates, as said above, someone with 2 empty spots has whiffed 10 times.

An "A+" ballot going 10/10 in naming the Top 16 guys.
An "A" ballot has 1 of Sosa, Kent, McGriff instead of one of the Top 16 guys.
A "A-" ballot has 2 of Sosa, Kent, McGriff instead of two of the Top 16 guys.
A "B+" ballot has Mattingly instead of one of the Top 16 guys.
A "B" ballot has Smith instead of one of the Top 16 guys.
A "B-" ballot has Smith *and* Mattingly instead of two of the Top 16 guys.
A "C+" ballot has Smith *and* Mattingly *and one of Sosa, Kent, McGriff instead of three of the Top 16 guys.
A "C" ballot has 4 of the players on the C ballot
A "C-" ballot has all 5 of the players on the C ballot or only 9 players on the ballot.
A "D" ballot has 9 or 10 deserving players, but missing at least two of Bagwell, Mussina, Glavine, Schilling, or Thomas. Or missing one of Bagwell, Mussina, Glavine, Schilling, Thomas and having Mattingly or Smith.
An "F" ballot has Morris at all, fewer than 9 players, writes in Rose, or does not have Greg Maddux.
   37. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4623496)
<deleted. wrong thread.>

   38. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 24, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4623520)
An "F" ballot has Morris at all, fewer than 9 players, writes in Rose, or does not have Greg Maddux.


So Murray Chass' ballot gets an "F-"?
   39. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 24, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4623535)
An "F" ballot has Morris at all, fewer than 9 players, writes in Rose, or does not have Greg Maddux.

Are you suggesting that people are voting for Morris in bad faith? If not, it's hard to see how someone could "fail" a subjective test where the test consists solely of a question of their interpretation, and where the criteria are subjective things like "playing ability" and "integrity" (and even, to a degree, "playing record.").

Why is the tone of baseball "critics" so much more shrill than, say, film critics getting together to give their Top 10 Films of 2013, wherein even choices that seem like outliers are discussed respectfully?(*) That's the interesting question that cries out for an answer.

(*) As happened on, e.g., this week's Filmspotting podcast.

   40. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 24, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4623549)
Are you suggesting that people are voting for Morris in bad faith?


I think it's more like what Sheehan says here in his hyphenthetical:

As had been the case prior to 2011, these votes [for Bagwell, Palmeiro, and McGwire] were fundamentally wasted on players who, despite their qualifications, had no chance of being elected by a larger voting body unable to handle the sports-drugs issue. In 2012, the three got 505 votes -- about 17% of the total votes!

In 2013, this -- not some ballot limitation -- is what broke the system. With Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa joining the ballot, more than one in three Hall of Fame votes was used on players who have no chance to be elected by this group of voters, not because they're unqualified -- my god, we're discussing Jack Morris seriously while dismissing Palmeiro and Sosa? -- but because a significant subset of the voting pool rejects them out of hand.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4623554)
Are you suggesting that people are voting for Morris in bad faith?


Wouldn't shock me. I fully believe the uptick in Morris popularity is a counter to the uptick in stats based analysis and Bert Blyleven going in.

Why is the tone of baseball "critics" so much more shrill than, say, film critics getting together to give their Top 10 Films of 2013, wherein even choices that seem like outliers are discussed respectfully?(*) That's the interesting question that cries out for an answer.


Because Morris isn't a quality movie, he's "Dude where's my Car?" or "Glitter" type of quality candidate. He's Jethro Tull to Metallica for the Grammy. If he was a movie he would be one of those forgettable 2 hour things you watch just to get out of the house.

A critic picking Glitter on a list of ten best while passing on Shawshank Redemption, Star Wars, Goodfellas, etc, is a critic to be criticized.
   42. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 24, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4623561)
Nah, Morris had at least an 80 Metacritic career. Metacritic 80s make a bunch of top film of the _____ lists.

my god, we're discussing Jack Morris seriously while dismissing Palmeiro and Sosa?

Yeah, but that's silly. Palmeiro and Sosa aren't getting dismissed because of quality or performance.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4623565)
Appling, Vance and Waner were solid reasonable selections, no?


Solid but no more spectacular than Trammell, Biggio, Schilling, Walker or Raines.
   44. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4623566)
Nah, Morris had at least an 80 Metacritic career. Metacritic 80s make a bunch of top film of the _____ lists.


I was thinking 50 first dates would have been a more comparable comparison... Glitter was too harsh of an assessment
   45. greenback likes millwall, they don't care Posted: December 24, 2013 at 02:18 PM (#4623570)
An "F" ballot has Morris at all, fewer than 9 players, writes in Rose, or does not have Greg Maddux.

I think you can make a bad argument for Morris, if you want to put extraordinary weight on that one game and you manage to stay away from the pitching to the score mythology. A No on Maddux or a Yes on Rose, though, is in the category of "they should have their ballots taken away."
   46. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 24, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4623576)

Solid but no more spectacular than Trammell, Biggio, Schilling, Walker or Raines


Fair enough, but I don't believe anybody in the know considers them mistakes or bottom tier on the Brock, Medwick, Dean level.
   47. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4623582)
I think you can make a bad argument for Morris, if you want to put extraordinary weight on that one game and you manage to stay away from the pitching to the score mythology. A No on Maddux or a Yes on Rose, though, is in the category of "they should have their ballots taken away."


You can make a Morris argument by strictly going relative to his peers and making an argument that constricts a generation into a time period that casts the most flattering light on Morris. It's not a good argument, but it's makeable and of course you then add "Once I cast a vote for a player, he stays on my ballot until he gets in or is no longer eligible" which is a perfectly reasonable course of action.

Fair enough, but I don't believe anybody in the know considers them mistakes or bottom tier on the Brock, Medwick, Dean level.


I don't think many, if any, in the bbwaa consider Brock, Dean or Medwick to be mistakes. Which was my point. Brock went in on a first ballot with nobody protesting it, and yet someone thinks that it's reasonable to imagine a small hall which keeps the ballot for this year to only five names?

Heck, if you are one of those protesting Brock, you are more than likely one of those educated enough to realize the quality of talent on this particular ballot.
   48. pikepredator Posted: December 24, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4623590)
SoSH:
Having said that, the problem is that with the current mix, a small Hall voter should still be able to find 10 worthy names, rather than the 16 or 17 that a larger Hall voter would support.


yeah I agree with you there. if you don't like the sluggers you have 5-tool guys like Walker, Biggio, and Raines. My point was that giving a grade based on # of names is lame, if someone is consistent in the way they vote that is good enough for me. For example I could see a Morris voter passing on Mussina and Glavine. Mussina and Glavine's cases rest largely on consistent, high-quality performance over a long career. But, I would expect a Morris voter to support Schilling because Schilling - while inconsistent during regular seasons over his career - always got the ball in the biggest moments, always wanted it, and always came through. And that is what Morris voters tell me The Jack did.
   49. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 24, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4623595)
Wouldn't shock me. I fully believe the uptick in Morris popularity is a counter to the uptick in stats based analysis and Bert Blyleven going in.


Tony Pena and Jim Rice made it without "let's stick it to the nerds" being a factor.
   50. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 24, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4623603)
You can make a Morris argument by strictly going relative to his peers

Rating players based on performance relative to their peer group is probably the core fundamental premise of the sabermetric endeavor.
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4623607)
Rating players based on performance relative to their peer group is probably the core fundamental premise of the sabermetric endeavor.


But to get Morris into the discussion you have to limit the "peers" to a select endpoints(extent of his career) that puts him in the most positive possible light, and even then, he's still not one of the 10 best of his selected era.

   52. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 24, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4623617)
Brock went in on a first ballot with nobody protesting it,


I'm reminded of the 1974 NL MVP vote when Brock set the SB record and a lot of people including Lou thought he was jobbed. Of course his claim for the award was just as valid as Garveys that year. Even at 15 yrs. old I thought Brock was nuts and knew he didn't deserve the MVP.
Of course I didn't think Garvey was such a terrible choice (a lot of RBI .300 BA team won), but I distinctly remember thinking Schmidt should have won and that if they wanted to go with a player from a winner, it should have been Toy Cannon.
Was there ever a worse top three then 1974 NL? Garvey 4.4, Brock 3.5, Mike Marshall 3.2.
   53. Walt Davis Posted: December 24, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4623620)
Please stop excerpting sheehan. he is being an idiot in those.

on grading people are being much too kind. With so many worthy candidates for just 10 slots there are essentially 2 correct answers for each question. Therefore a blank is -2. I would argue that a Smith or Morris vote should be -2 but will settle for-1 making this ballot a 5.
   54. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4623631)
Was there ever a worse top three then 1974 NL? Garvey 4.4, Brock 3.5, Mike Marshall 3.2.


Any year in which a reliever won probably.
Ecks year doesn't quite make it 1. Eck with 2.9, Puckett with 7.1 and Joe Carter with 2.5
1984 with Willie Hernandez 4.8, Hrbek 5.6 and Quiz 3.4 doesn't make it.
1981 and 1950 aren't close.

   55. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4623632)
Of course I didn't think Garvey was such a terrible choice (a lot of RBI .300 BA team won), but I distinctly remember thinking Schmidt should have won and that if they wanted to go with a player from a winner, it should have been Toy Cannon.


Really? I would have imagined that any thinking fan of that era would have gone with Bench, he bettered Schmidt in average, played catcher, beat him rbi, team came in second place with 98 wins, and was only beaten by Schmidt by 3 hrs.
   56. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 24, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4623639)
Was there ever a worse top three then 1974 NL? Garvey 4.4, Brock 3.5, Mike Marshall 3.2.


1987 NL?
Dawson - 4.0
Smith - 6.4
Clark - 5.0

Out of the top 3:

Gwynn - 8.5
Davis - 7.9
Murphy - 7.7
Raines - 6.7 (in 5/6 of a season)
Sutcliffe - 6.6
Straw - 6.4
Schmidt - 6.1

   57. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 24, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4623644)

Really? I would have imagined that any thinking fan of that era would have gone with Bench, he bettered Schmidt in average, played catcher, beat him rbi, team came in second place with 98 wins, and was only beaten by Schmidt by 3 hrs.


Personal bias? I hated Bench. He already had 2 MVP's. Schmidt just seemed to come out of nowhere and was just setting the league on fire before falling off a little and Wynn just came over to LA from Houston and was carrying them early in the season plus I just liked him.
Little guy with upper deck power who put a spark into his new team.
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4623645)
Raines - 6.7 (in 5/6 of a season)



Still 8 more games than Clark and his 5.4 war.(mind you projected out to a full season Raines still wins, with a 7.8 vs 6.7 for Clark, but neither would have beaten the top three)
   59. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 24, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4623657)
Still 8 more games than Clark and his 5.4 war.(mind you projected out to a full season Raines still wins, with a 7.8 vs 6.7 for Clark, but neither would have beaten the top three)


yeah, but I give credit to time missed for management malfeasance but not injury.
   60. vivaelpujols Posted: December 25, 2013 at 02:20 AM (#4623778)
Morris has been named on almost every ballot I've seen, looks like he's getting in. God damnit #### #### whore
   61. vivaelpujols Posted: December 25, 2013 at 02:43 AM (#4623781)
unless I'm missing some overarching satire, the ongoing judgment/grading thing feels as small-minded as the Morris voters. I think a small hall voter could have a justifiable ballot of, say, Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Thomas, Bagwell, and Piazza.

Biggio/Mussina/Raines can be viewed as compilers, Schilling can be viewed as a guy without quite enough bulk (ha!), Kent too for that matter. Walker might be a Coors mirage . . . I would disagree, but I wouldn't begrudge someone for that mindset. Rating ballots by "# correct" is a dumb as building a HOF based on 60 WAR.

Clearly there are 10+ that are deserving and overqualified based on the current HOFers, but why should someone with a history of small hall voting be expected to add people they think are undeserving just because the rest of the voting bloc is botching things?


This is a reasonable point, but clearly anyone who votes for Morris is not a small hall guy. If you have Morris in and do not have a full ballot, it's totally fair to rip on your ballot.
   62. Repoz Posted: December 25, 2013 at 06:57 AM (#4623788)
Morris has been named on almost every ballot I've seen, looks like he's getting in.

With 6.5% of the vote in Jack (The Jack) Morris is at 70.3%...tied with Mike Piazza.

   63. Walt Davis Posted: December 26, 2013 at 02:27 AM (#4623990)
I've got some time and a real computer so let me comment on the Sheehan quotes:

Expanding the ballot, everyone's favorite solution, doesn't come close to addressing that problem.

I wish the excerpt had told us what "that problem" is. There are two obvious choices:

1) nobody's getting elected! This was of course just a 2013 problem and everybody with a remotely objective viewpoint knew it was only a 2013 problem. The HoF has induct-able candidates lined up for the next decade. But it's true that extending the ballot to 15 names doesn't solve this problem in itself.

2) The clogging ... see below:

It's the Hall passing the buck as it has now for the better part of a decade. The ten-man ballot works because it gives value to a place on the ballot relative to the number of names under consideration, and changing it to avoid taking a stand on the so-called "Steroid Era" would cheapen the process for political expediency. The Hall, and the Hall alone, is responsible for this, by not issuing clear instructions about how the voters should handle players from the last 20 years.

Nonsense. First, the decision the Hall makes is one of eligibility ... and the Hall has declared these players eligible.

It is not and never has been the HoF's responsibility to tell voters how to vote. It is in fact quite clearly the Hall's responsibility to NOT tell voters how to vote.

In what way is "wink, wink, we think the voters should focus on a player's record not his morals, wink, wink" any less politically expedient than "we are fine with the way the process is working" (or whatever it was Edelson said).

Other than that, all that the HoF could have done was remove the character clause -- which still wouldn't guarantee election of those guys. You can't make voters vote the way you want.

By outsourcing this one to the writers, the Hall has broken the voting system. This is an issue on which the voters want leadership and guidance, and the Hall, deathly afraid of taking a position that will alienate anyone, has walked away from them -- and by extension, baseball fans.

Utter nonsense. The voting system isn't broken by the roiders. The ballot clogging is caused by the fact that Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Piazza, Biggio, Schilling entered the ballot at the same time, a ballot that already had Bagwell and Morris with high vote totals perfectly naturally. If voting had occurred without anti-roid backlash then the current ballot would be nearly as clogged -- Bonds and Clemens would have eaten up nearly 2 slots all by themselves. Probably one but only one of Sosa/Biggio makes it with the other one sitting where Biggio is now. Piazza, Bagwell, Morris, Raines are, if anything, a bit further back.

But who among those is adding to this year's clutter? Only Biggio and Piazza. Bonds, Clemens and Sosa ARE NOT CLOGGING THE BALLOT. They may be clogging the ballot of some voters -- but Sosa is 16th in WAR on this ballot, Piazza 15th so those voters were gonna be in trouble even if they had elected 3 guys last year.

..As steroid hysteria and all of the bad math, history and chemistry that came with it fade into the past, smart people who weren't invested in our narratives will recognize that a place that honors the greatest players ever, but doesn't acknowledge these all-time greats, cannot stand.

Are "smart people" a big part of the HoF's market? Are they a bigger part of the HoF's market than the "dumb people" who are pissed off about steroids? Does the HoF have an obvious choice as to which market segment to risk losing or are they damned if they do and damned if they don't.

It may end up that Bonds and Clemens won't be there and I think that would be a shame. But Maddux and Glavine and Thomas and Biggio and Johnson and Pedro and Griffey and Mariano and Jeter and almost certainly Bagwell and most likely Piazza will all be there.

And when a "smart person's" 12-year-old daughter asks why Bonds isn't there, the smart person will tell them it's because those who vote on the HoF punished him for using steroids. It's not hard to explain. The child can then make up her own mind and Dad will do what the child wants, not what Dad wants. (Or Dad will have his daughter taken away by ObamaCare!!!!!)

As had been the case prior to 2011, these votes [for Bagwell, Palmeiro, and McGwire] were fundamentally wasted on players who, despite their qualifications, had no chance of being elected by a larger voting body unable to handle the sports-drugs issue. In 2012, the three got 505 votes -- about 17% of the total votes!

This is idiocy. A vote for Bagwell is not a wasted vote. And 2012 was a very low-vote year.

In 2013, the 5 betes noire ate up only 1.12 votes per ballot. The 3 newbies accounted for less than .9

If I did my math correctly, in 2012 there were 5.1 names per ballot. Larkin was elected freeing up .86 names plus another .1 among the <5%ers so 4.14 names carried forward from 2012-13.

In 2013 there were 6.6 names per ballot, an increase of nearly 2.5 vs. the carry-over. As noted, Bonds, Clemens, Sosa ate up only .9 of that increase. That left 1.6 for Biggio, Piazza and Schilling -- not the Hall's fault that the voters didn't go for one of those guys and/or increase their number of votes even more. But even with roid backlash, there was plenty of room to elect somebody.

Biggio was #11 in WAR on the 2013 ballot. Of those ahead of him on that ballot, only Palmeiro would have been elected under normal circumstances by that time with an outside possibility of Bagwell, although I doubt it. Of the major competitors behind Biggio, only McGwire would have been already elected under normal circumstances. And of course, neither of those guys was really a problem because they weren't eating up votes anyway. (The others are Piazza, Sosa, McGriff, Morris and Smith -- many voters considering Piazza and Sosa to be ahead of Biggio ... but Walker, Trammell, etc. behind)

In 2013, this -- not some ballot limitation -- is what broke the system. With Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa joining the ballot, more than one in three Hall of Fame votes was used on players who have no chance to be elected by this group of voters, not because they're unqualified -- my god, we're discussing Jack Morris seriously while dismissing Palmeiro and Sosa? -- but because a significant subset of the voting pool rejects them out of hand.

I'll agree the ballot limitation didn't break the system in 2013, there was plenty of room on the ballot. The ballot limitation breaks the system in 2014 unless the voters are willing to jump to nearly 9 names a ballot.

But we were discussing Jack Morris seriously long before this mess started. Anyway, here's my hypothetical 2013 ballot results from the alternate universe:

McGwire, Palmeiro already elected.

Bonds 100%
Clemens 100%
Sosa 80%
Biggio 70%
Morris 60% (maybe 65%)
Piazza 55%
Bagwell 50%
Raines 50%
Smith 45%
Schilling 30%
Edgar 30%
Trammell 25%
Walker 15%
McGriff 15%
Murphy 15%
Mattingly 13%
the rest 10%

That look low to you folks? Cuz that's 7.6 names per ballot which seems too high to me. The closest parallel I can think of is the 99 election with Ryan, Brett, Yount and Fisk coming on. The previous year had seen about 5.3 names per ballot with about 1.3 names coming off so a similar carry-over. That year saw the votes rise to 6.7 names per ballot, about the same as 2012-13, with Ryan and Brett both at 98%, Yount barely elected and Fisk at 66% with Perez at 61% in the Bagwell role. We did see a jump of nearly that size in 2013 without anybody being elected so 7.6 isn't impossible with some guys getting elected but 7 is probably more realistic.

Anyway, to get it down to 7 names per ballot you've got to whack about 5% off everybody in the backlog. Fortunately 2.8 of those names would come off giving us again just 4.2 carry-over (not bad). With Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Mussina, Kent entering the ballot -- sorry, we need an average over 7 now just to keep up with nobody in the backlog making significant progress (and Mussina/Kent staying on with reaonable totals). With another 3 names coming off and Morris leaving the ballot, something like 3.3 slots could be open -- just in time for Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz and Sheffield (who would be a more serious candidate without PED backlash). I don't expect Johnson and Pedro to eat up quite as much as Bonds/Clemens/Maddux (Glavine is surprising me so far) and Smoltz/Sheff would debut back in the field so Biggio would probably be the 3rd elected in 2015 (or Thomas if Biggio elected in 2014) and Bagwell, Piazza and Raines might finally make some progress again. In 2016, it's pretty much just Griffey and finally a couple of back-loggers can get elected.

With 12 inductions from 2013-2016, the 2017 ballot would still have Raines, Edgar, Schilling, Mussina, Smoltz, Walker, Smith (final year), Edmonds, Sheffield, McGriff and Kent on it with Pudge, Manny, Vlad and Posada debuting. Yes, even on that hypothetical ballot, Kent is 12th in career WAR. Chipper, Thome, Vizquel, Rolen and Andruw loom in 2018 and Mo, Pettitte, Helton the year after. (Remember, we're in the no PED backlash universe so Manny seems a candidate for first ballot and Pudge a near certainty.) With non-zero chances of Jeter in 2018 and very likely 2019, ARod up in the air, Ichiro probably 2019.

Now, would a 15-man or unlimited ballot make enough of a difference to matter? Well, it can't hurt and there's no sensible reason not to adopt it. Last year we saw quite a few ballots at the 10-limit already -- I think it was on the order of 25% of ballots (there were quite a few at the BBWAA site). There were also a number of 8-9 name ballots who will want to add at least the big 3 from this year. We've already seen a few ballots this year saying they've at least considered and some that wanted to go beyond 10. With a large proportion already at 10, obviously it's difficult to push the average past 7 much less get it to 8 when the heavy voters are capped at 10. Roughly speaking, to achieve a mean of 8 with a cap of 10, only a handful can list fewer than 6 names -- and last year's average was just 6.6. But every person who went to 15 would "cancel" out 5 voters who listed only 5 and would just about cancel out a blank ballot. That could make a big difference for electing 4 or 5 in a year.



The problem is and was always going to be that 14 HoF-worthy guys (15 if you're a Lofton fan), including six slam dunk candidates, were going to enter the ballot from 2013-2015. Sure, if every deserving candidate had been cleared off prior to 2013, they could have gotten through this without major problems. Or, if they were willing to list 9 guys per ballot and elect 4-6 in one year, they could get around this easily. But that's not the way that HoF voting has ever worked.

Early results suggest names per ballot is going to be through the roof (relatively speaking at least) this year. Lots of voters are adding at least 3 names, very few seem to be dropping anybody although obviously those who were over 7 last year are in trouble.

Anyway, it was always obvious that something was going to "break", with or without roid backlash. It would have been nice if it had been the BBWAA having full ballots and electing 3-5 a year ... maybe it's not too late.




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