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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Henning: On this ballot, yes, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens belong in Hall of Fame

Since a few people have asked…HOF Update with just over 6% of the BBWAA vote in.

74.3 - Bagwell
68.6 - Piazza
65.7 - Biggio
62.9 - J. Morris
57.1 - Clemens
57.1 - Raines
54.3 - Bonds

As incendiary are the votes for those presumed outlaws, Bonds and Clemens, most of the Tigers camp will be miffed that Jack Morris is missing from names one man believes should be enshrined at Cooperstown, N.Y.

His merits, or lack thereof, will be detailed later, but, briefly stated, Morris’ numbers fall short. For most of baseball’s HOF students, Morris is a lesser issue than the matter of why someone would vote for Bonds and Clemens when he chooses to dismiss the candidacies of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro.

Henning’s glorious ballot…. Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Martinez, Piazza, Raines and Trammell.

Repoz Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:15 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. John Northey Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4329199)
Woohoo - a summary of votes so far at last. Was missing that, even if it is less than 10% of writers. Bagwell doing better than I expected, as is Piazza while Biggio is doing worse as is Morris. Sure wouldn't have expected Raines to hold over 50% but I'm guessing guys holding PED players off are more likely to find room for him.

Looking at the number of guys over 50% one wonders what the record is for that. 1947: 9 people had 50%+ and 4 got in with 75%+. The highest in a year no one got in was 7 in 1950.
   2. John Northey Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4329200)
FYI The year with 9 over 50% had the top 17 eventually get in and 12 more also get in. 1950's no admittance crowd eventually had the top 23 get in plus another 25 including 5 guys who only got 1 vote in 1950.
   3. bachslunch Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4329253)
By and large a good ballot, especially given the assumptions he's making. Have seen lots worse.
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4329258)
Yes, a very good ballot especially considering he's a Detroit writer who isn't voting for Morris. I would've added Walker, Schilling, and maybe Lofton but these are small quibbles.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4329299)
Woohoo - a summary of votes so far at last. Was missing that, even if it is less than 10% of writers. Bagwell doing better than I expected, as is Piazza while Biggio is doing worse as is Morris. Sure wouldn't have expected Raines to hold over 50% but I'm guessing guys holding PED players off are more likely to find room for him.


Rock seems to have the biggest split between his early Repoz numbers and where he ends up, from what I remember from past ballot collecting gizmos. Morris tends to gain a little on the final numbers.

It'd too close (or too early) to call on any of them, though it would sure be nice (and pleasantly surprising) if Bagwell takes another major step forward.
   6. deputydrew Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4329315)
There isn't much time left, but Alan Trammel seems like a really obvious candidate for a Blyleven-like effort to push him over 75%. He's got the stats crowd behind him, but he would also seem to have the gritty, winner, old-school type voter, too. Has he a ways to go, but he's also seen quite a bump in the last few years. Any chance?
   7. AROM Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4329331)
Thanks Repoz for keeping up with this. 6% is pretty early in the game, but it's encouraging to see Bagwell so close.

Whlie I'd vote for the beeg guys, Clemens and Bonds, I don't consider them to have any shot at 75% this year. Resigned to that, a vote that puts Biggio and Bagwell along with Piazza in might be the best reasonable possible outcome.

I'm not sure which would be the worst outcome, nobody going in at all, or Morris going in by his lonesome. Probably the latter, as the sanctimonious from the old media would be nauseating, and the former would at least prompt some talk of reforms - maybe a guaranteed "elect 2" no matter what percentage they get, and removal of the 10 player cap that prevents people like Ken Davidoff from voting for everyone he believes is deserving.
   8. AROM Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4329334)
There isn't much time left, but Alan Trammel seems like a really obvious candidate for a Blyleven-like effort to push him over 75%. He's got the stats crowd behind him, but he would also seem to have the gritty, winner, old-school type voter, too. Has he a ways to go, but he's also seen quite a bump in the last few years. Any chance?


Sadly, no. There isn't enough attention available to focus on him. Too many bigger names, and next year we add 4 greats with little or no steroid suspicion who should be slam dunk candidates - Maddux, Glavine, Moose, and the Hurt. Trammell is lost and I don't think he can be found. Maybe one day he and Lou can get in together on a VC ballot.
   9. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4329382)
Based on his 1996 retirement, under the current Expansion Era format, Trammell should be eligible for the Dec 2018 VC vote. Whitaker (and Morris if BBWAA doesnt put him in) would be eligible on the Dec 2015 VC vote
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4329405)

Based on his 1996 retirement, under the current Expansion Era format, Trammell should be eligible for the Dec 2018 VC vote. Whitaker (and Morris if BBWAA doesnt put him in) would be eligible on the Dec 2015 VC vote


I believe the expansion era committee will vote in 2013 for induction in 2014 (it first voted in 2010 for 2011 induction, and there are three current vet's committees). The rules require 21 years since the last game (players on the first Expansion Era ballot couldn't have played after 1989). That would leave Jack and Lou ineligible for the next vote, and Tram not on the ballot until 2019 (2020 election).

   11. Repoz Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4329418)
Resigned to that, a vote that puts Biggio and Bagwell along with Piazza in might be the best reasonable possible outcome.

Bagwell just climbed to 75%...
   12. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4329429)
Resigned to that, a vote that puts Biggio and Bagwell along with Piazza in might be the best reasonable possible outcome.

Bagwell just climbed to 75%...


Anyone interesting below 5%?
   13. John Northey Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4329482)
Maddux & Glavine are slam dunks next year, but I could see some not voting for Thomas due to the DH thing and Mussina due to his single 20 win season, never winning an ERA title, just once being top 3 in Cy Young voting. His black ink is very low for a potential HOF pitcher - just 15 (average HOF is 40). Highlights are one pitcher WAR title (BR), one win title (1995), the 20 wins in his final season. His 7-8 postseason record doesn't help, nor does his 0 WS titles. He was a very good pitcher for a long time but never really was viewed as the best at any one time, nor do I recall him being talked about as one of the best just as a good #1 but not an 'ace'. Plus, of course, most Toronto fans would knock him down over his general a-hole-ness regarding Tom Cheek (complained about a ceremony honouring the broadcaster) and his All-Star game antics in 1993.
   14. AROM Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4329483)
Anyone interesting below 5%?


I kind of expect that's where Palmeiro will end up. Maybe even Sosa and McGwire. For those guys to get votes they need voters who:

A) Ignore steroids
B) Focus on HR totals as opposed to WAR
   15. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4329508)
McGwire has been comfortably ahead of that number for a few years now. I'd be stunned if he fell that far. I'll be similarly stunned if Palmeiro is above 5% and I think Sosa is going to be damned close.
   16. John Northey Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4329519)
Sosa has been missing on a lot on ballots, as has Palmeiro. McGwire does have the 70 HR season and the rookie 49 HR which helps push him above Sosa & Palmeiro for the 'seemed like a HOF' thing that some writers use. I remember near the end of his career how many voters were debating Palmeiro even before he was caught so I'm sure he'll fall off ballot this year. Sosa ... hrm ... 600 HR is a lot for some writers to ignore regardless of the rest, but he also was viewed as a mediocre player pre-1998 thus doesn't have the same argument Bonds, Clemens, and McGwire (to a lesser degree) have (that he was high end pre-PED).

Who knows? Maybe the 5% thing will help clear out the ballots.
   17. AROM Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4329542)
McGwire has been comfortably ahead of that number for a few years now. I'd be stunned if he fell that far.


McGwire is 9th in vote% among the returning candidates. I assume that anyone who voted McGwire will not hesitate to vote Clemens and Bonds. And most will probably vote Biggio and Piazza at least. Now there is plenty of overlap there, I would presume that most of the 66.7% who voted Morris and 50.6% voting for Lee Smith did not vote McGwire. But at the same time, few voters max out their ballots at 10.

I think McGwire falls not because the 19.5% who voted for him have gone moralistic, but because they will find better candidates to support.

Repoz, if you're reading, what percent of ballots so far have Mac, Sosa, and Raffy?
   18. Repoz Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4329564)
18.9 - McGwire
16.2 - Sosa
13.5 - Raffy

Hanging around the 5% border...

5.4 - Mattingly (who always comes on strong later on)
5.4 - D. Wells
5.4 - Bernie Williams
2.7 - Lofton
   19. Walt Davis Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4329615)
I think even in a normal or even pretty dead year that Moose would not come that close on a first ballot; coming on the ballot the same year as Maddux and Glavine virtually guarantees him a Jenkins/Perry fate at best. And then he gets hit by Johnson, Pedro and Smoltz which probably puts him on a Niekro/Sutton and maybe even Blyleven track. My gut tells me that Glavine won't quite make it on his first ballot and that they will put Glavine and Smoltz in together (Smoltz having magic closer pixie dust sprinkled on him in addition to being a great starter). Mussina and Schilling are really the interesting cases for how far the voters have come in adjusting their standards to current pitcher usage.

And don't get too excited folks -- 6% is, what, 32 ballots. OK, looks like it's 37 ballots. So that's 1 vote for Lofton, 2 for Wells, etc. Those lower vote totals really don't mean anything. Piazza, Biggio and Morris are within 2 votes of one another. Still, I am surprised to see Bonds and Clemens doing that well -- a good sign.

I feel the issue is at the time of voting there is substancial evidence that that they are PED users. The integrity of the game, and honesty of fair play is the issue and they fail miserably. They should be excluded.

Even if we grant your first two sentences, why does this merit exclusion? The "character clause" is just one of the set of criteria set out for assessing the worthiness. There's nothing in the voting guidelines to suggest that coming up short on the character clause, in and of itself, makes a player unworthy.

"Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played."

Bonds' and Clemens' (in particular) receive pretty much the highest possible ratings on record, ability and contribution to team. Why does PED use at a time when it was not against the rules and was fairly common and open practice among the players constitute a violation of "integrity, sportsmanship, character" so massive that it completely wipes out the other criteria? For McGwire, I can see how one could claim his playing record was sufficiently borderline that the character clause is enough to drag him below the line (assuming one feels PED use is a major violation of the character clause).

But to apply that standard to Bonds and Clemens is to give primacy to the character clause, primacy it was clearly not intended to have in the voting guidelines. It is also clear that the HoF has taken the position that PED use, even a positive test, does not make one ineligible for the HoF.*

The election of great-playing ######## is completely consistent with the voting guidelines.

*Marking the distinction with Rose. We also have a practical distinction with Joe Jackson in that he never got more than 1% of the vote and seems to have appeared on only one ballot (the very first one; also a 1% on a "nominating ballot" in 1946) compared to McGwire puttering along at 20%.
   20. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4329619)
I think McGwire falls not because the 19.5% who voted for him have gone moralistic, but because they will find better candidates to support.


No I get that but to lose that much of the vote would be shocking. Let's assume that those who voted for Mac maxed out at 7 last year; McGwire, Palmeiro, Raines, Trammell, Walker, Edgar, Bagwell. This year's adds would likely be; Clemens, Bonds, Piazza, Biggio, Schilling, Sosa, Lofton. So for a likely Mac voter we've got about 14 potential candidates. Clemens, Bonds, Piazza, Biggio, Schilling, Raines and Bagwell probably go ahead of Big Mac (worst case scenario for Mac).

So from the group of; McGwire, Walker, Edgar, Trammell, Sosa, Lofton, Palmeiro you need 75% of the voters to decide that McGwire is not better than 4th on that list. I'd be surprised if that many feel that way. I think a drop is probably likely but I think he's in around 12-14% and a virtual lock to stay on the ballot.
   21. John Northey Posted: December 20, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4329627)
Of note, 37 of 500 ballots (just as an example) would be +/- 15.5% 19 times out of 20, meaning someone currently with 50% of the vote would likely end up between 35% and 65% in the end. Of course, that also assumes the sample of 37 is random but we know that it isn't, that the writers who don't publish their ballots tend to be 'small hall' voters who probably will be more moralistic about steroids and more Win/Home Run/Hit based on their voting. Good for Biggio, bad for all PED suspected guys.

Thus at this point no one can be said to be a lock to be under 5%. To be a statistical lock they'd have to be at 0.6% or less with 250+ ballots counted. At this point to be a lock (19 times out of 20) to not be under they'd have to be over 20.5%.

So we can safely say that Biggio, Piazza and Bagwell are the only guys with a realistic shot this year and that the odds are strongly against Morris unless his voters are less likely to print their ballots (which they are, but to what degree is hard to say). Clemens and Bonds I'd put at locks to be around 50%, given I suspect the anti-PED group has lots of retired writers in it.
   22. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4329646)
So we can safely say that Biggio, Piazza and Bagwell are the only guys with a realistic shot this year

Well I think all of us here would agree that this wouldn't be such a bad thing having at least these 3 guys go in. Once you eliminate the steroid taint guys, then these 3 stand above the rest anyway. I would of course still like to see more love for Trammell and Raines overall. I too concur with the sentiments regarding the ballot above. If you are only picking 8 guys, he's got it pretty spot on. Though I'd probably put in Schilling over Martinez.
   23. flournoy Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4329736)
So It's Over for Morris?
   24. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM (#4329860)
Well I think all of us here would agree that this wouldn't be such a bad thing having at least these 3 guys go in.

Yes, if 2 or 3 of those guys gets in this year then, with Morris either going in or coming off the ballot after 2014, a lot of the "logjam" pressure will be relieved. A good chunk of the rest of the pressure could be relieved by getting rid of the 10-player limit.

So from the group of; McGwire, Walker, Edgar, Trammell, Sosa, Lofton, Palmeiro you need 75% of the voters to decide that McGwire is not better than 4th on that list. I'd be surprised if that many feel that way. I think a drop is probably likely but I think he's in around 12-14% and a virtual lock to stay on the ballot.

Another reason to drop McGwire is for strategic reasons -- he seems a hopeless case at this point and if you want to keep Walker alive or help Edgar hold his own against the coming wave or you hope that Trammell can somehow pull off a miracle, you vote them over McGwire.

For these voters it is now the case that a vote for McGwire is a vote "against" other deserving candidates you leave off the ballot. There's no way McGwire or Palmeiro would make my ballot this year for this reason. (That might not make it anyway for the reason you mention but I feel I've been left with no choice but to write their candidacies off.)
   25. base ball chick Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4329868)
bagwell and biggio going in together this year - a fitting way to say goodbye to the astros baseball club

CMON BAGGY!!!!!

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