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Friday, January 10, 2014

Jaffe: What to Expect Over the Next Five Years

Looking at such a scenario — which would come in the final year before I myself have a vote — I can take heart in the fact that it’s not too hard to envision paths to election for the likes of Piazza, Bagwell, Raines and eventually Schilling, with others such as Mussina and Martinez to follow further on down the line. I don’t see much resolution on Bonds or Clemens, and expect Sheffield and Rodriguez to move along more slowly than their stats would suggest.

Fortune teller predicts the future.  Do Primates agree?

Chris Fluit Posted: January 10, 2014 at 11:55 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chipper jones, hall of fame, ken griffey, jr., pedro martinez, randy johnson

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   1. SoSH U at work Posted: January 11, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4636181)
Do Primates agree?


Pretty solid evaluation, I'd say. Maybe a little more optimistic on the Piazza, Bagwell, Raines, Smoltz quartet (in terms of how soon they go in, rather than their chances) than I am, but generally a pretty spot-on in how he sees the various candidates.

   2. dejarouehg Posted: January 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4636183)
I don't see Bagwell or Piazza getting in. But then again, I'm still surprised so many people completely ignore the rumors surrounding Biggio over the years.

That said, I'm hoping Raines finally receives the appropriate level of appreciation. The comparison CC did on Raines v Brock was great. The guy was a flat-out great player. (The grand slam he hit off Orosco(?) when he came back in 87 was as stunning a regular season blow as I can remember.)

Will be disappointed that Trammell will not get in.

   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 11, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4636199)
Piazza's at 62% in his second year. He'll go in soon, probably in 2016. Bagwell is a more interesting case--at 54% on year 4 his chances seem strong, but what percentage of the voters are steroids hardasses that will refuse to vote for him based on empty rumors?
   4. PreservedFish Posted: January 11, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4636215)
Are there even rumors about Bagwell? Or is it purely a judgment on the particular form of his muscular structure?
   5. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 11, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4636219)
PreservedFish: The latter, as far as I know. Rumors and speculation aren't stopping Craig Biggio from being elected, but then, Biggio wasn't a big-muscled power hitter so obviously it's less likely he used steroids.
   6. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 11, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4636224)
Are there even rumors about Bagwell? Or is it purely a judgment on the particular form of his muscular structure?


Chass and Pearlman insist that Bagwell's use was an open secret during his playing days. I think I've read other writers who have said something similar. Something like his ex-wife's trainer also said Bags used. Also, he really was seriously muscular (not that he was a genetically gifted elite athlete or anything like that... oh, wait.) So, it's not the strongest case and it's weighted heavily towards hearsay.

FWIW, I actually tend to believe that Bags (along with most elite Steroid Era talent) used steroids, that there were rumors about it during his playing days, and that the writers heard them. There were certainly rumors about Bagwell around 2005, when he lost weight towards the end of his career. I also don't think there's a even shred of evidence about it beyond "look at him!", and thus no good reason to keep him out of the Hall.
   7. mog Posted: January 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4636225)
i think it's a pretty good starting point -- my one quibble is with smoltz:

Meanwhile, I’d expect Smoltz, Piazza and Bagwell all to top 60 percent, with Raines climbing back over 50 percent.


...jaffe's projecting smoltz to debut @ > 60%, which i can't see happening.

maybe i'm missing something, but i've always looked at moose, smoltz, and schilling as contemporaries:

P          IP     W   ERA  ERAK    WHIP  WAR  JAWS
Mussina    3562.2 270 3.68 123  2813 1.192 83.0 63.8
Schilling  3261.0 216 3.46 127  3116 1.137 79.9 64.5
Smoltz     3473.0 213 3.33 125  3084 1.176 69.5 54.1 

schilling had the strongest peak of the bunch with moose having the most career value by a small margin.

given where moose (20.3%) and schilling debuted (38.8%) along with schilling's drop to 29.2% on a crowded ballot this past year, what is the case for smoltz starting off so much higher than the others (while not similarly projecting a bump for either mussina or schilling)?

i get smoltz was a great reliever for 3 seasons, but.....is the eckersley career path really gonna push him that much ahead of the others?
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: January 11, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4636232)
maybe i'm missing something, but i've always looked at moose, smoltz, and schilling as contemporaries:


P IP W ERA ERA+ K WHIP WAR JAWS
Mussina 3562.2 270 3.68 123 2813 1.192 83.0 63.8
Schilling 3261.0 216 3.46 127 3116 1.137 79.9 64.5
Smoltz 3473.0 213 3.33 125 3084 1.176 69.5 54.1

schilling had the strongest peak of the bunch with moose having the most career value by a small margin.

given where moose (20.3%) and schilling debuted (38.8%) along with schilling's drop to 29.2% on a crowded ballot this past year, what is the case for smoltz starting off so much higher than the others (while not similarly projecting a bump for either mussina or schilling)?


It depends on how the writers look at him. If they see him as kind of a hybrid, like Eck (who went in immediately), he'll fare better than Schilling and Moose. If he's strictly compared to those two, he'll debut lower.

I think it will be somewhere in the middle, and thus he'll start at a higher point than them, somewhere around 50 percent.


Bagwell is a more interesting case--at 54% on year 4 his chances seem strong, but what percentage of the voters are steroids hardasses that will refuse to vote for him based on empty rumors?


I think it's more instructive to look at his peak - 59.6 percent in 2013 - rather than his most recent figure, as the former shows the percentage who have shown the willingness to vote for him.

We know there is a subset of voters holding out support for him based on rumors or suspicion. I suspect that, barring evidence, that position will soften over time with some of them. Combine that with natural turnover in the electorate over the course of 10 years (a change more likely to benefit the roiders), plus those votes who are simply holding out support because they're not convinced he's a Hall of Famer yet, and I think he will get the 16 percentage points he needs.
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 11, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4636239)
Will just reiterate that it is hard for most people to hold a grudge

That what this peds thing is at its base level

Between folks relenting and voter turnover the votes will come
   10. mog Posted: January 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4636251)
It depends on how the writers look at him. If they see him as kind of a hybrid, like Eck (who went in immediately), he'll fare better than Schilling and Moose. If he's strictly compared to those two, he'll debut lower.

agreed...i guess i only give him a minimal bump for that since he was a closer for just 3 years.
   11. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4636254)
Bagwell also doesn't have the landmark numbers that a lot of voters like to see, he has 1500 runs and RBI but also hit .297 and had 449 HR. Just like I think Piazza is being shafted by having his numbers compared to 1B and OF numbers rather than other catchers, I think Bagwell's lack of big round numbers hurts him. It's silly, of course, but it doesn't shock me. I think both make it into the hall of fame fairly easily in the next five years.

I think that also gives Bagwell and Piazza much more room to grow their vote totals, as opposed to inner circle all-timers like Clemens and Bonds who are being kept out only for PED reasons.
   12. Ray K Posted: January 11, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4636365)
But then again, I'm still surprised so many people completely ignore the rumors surrounding Biggio over the years.


Rumors, where? I followed the Astros religiously through 2004 and there were no PED "rumors" about Biggio beyond creatine.

Do you have any sources?

Of course not.
   13. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 11, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4636452)
But then again, I'm still surprised so many people completely ignore the rumors surrounding Biggio over the years.


I don't remember any rumors about Bagwell or Biggio. Of course, I followed the AL and lived on the East coast, and I mostly remember Biggio for limping his way to 3000 hits. No one thought he was on steroids then.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: January 11, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4636455)
Rumors, where? I followed the Astros religiously through 2004 and there were no PED "rumors" about Biggio beyond creatine.


Jeff Pearlman said it. That's good enough for Murray Chass.

As far as I know, that's the extent of it.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: January 11, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4636459)
No strong disagreements, just around the edges.

I've already said I think Smoltz is a wild card. He could debut anywhere from about 25% to 80% and where you stick his debut has a fairly big impact on precisely who/when inductions happen.

Quibbles ... I don't see any reason to expect Sosa to fall off next year. The 2015 ballot is less crowded because the top guys aren't as dominant as the ones just elected. Obviously he's close and it could happen in any year but unless there were a lot of Sosa but not Biggio ballots out there, I expect him to hold on. I think Sheff has at least as good a chance at not reaching 5%. Same goes for McGwire in 2016.

I think he's under-estimating Vlad who always seemed popular with the writers and I think my get Puckett-like treatment. Pudge is another wild card -- he hung on through a lot of the testing era and you never heard many peeps about his usage in the press, kinda like Ortiz. He has a chance at 1st ballot. I also think there's a reasonable chance that 2017 elects nobody, especially if Piazza goes in 2016. Anyway, 2017 is a mess with no slam dunk candidate, no slam dunk backlogger (probably) and I could see, what, 7 folks in the 50-70% range.

He's more optimistic on Raines and Bagwell but not wildly so. Still I don't see 2017 as a great shot for a Bagwell break-out -- why not choose Pudge or Vlad instead is you were a non-Bagwell voter? It probably gets worse for him in 2018 with Chipper and Thome coming on.

So Smoltz, Pudge, Vlad are the keys I think.
   16. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: January 11, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4636473)
It depends on how the writers look at him. If they see him as kind of a hybrid, like Eck (who went in immediately), he'll fare better than Schilling and Moose. If he's strictly compared to those two, he'll debut lower.

I think it will be somewhere in the middle, and thus he'll start at a higher point than them, somewhere around 50 percent.

Any evaluation of Smoltz is incomplete absent the post-retirement broadcasting and studio work factor. Heck, it's certainly possible that Seaver's record-high vote is owed in part to all of the color commentary. (Never mind his work in the Yankees booth, we sometimes forget that, while an active player, Tom Terrific was doing ABC/NBC postseason broadcasts.)
   17. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4636481)
Plus Smoltz pitched in "Game 7"
   18. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 11, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4636506)
I think Smoltz either goes in next year or waits until 2018 and goes in with Chipper.
   19. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 11, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4636512)
Jeff Pearlman said it. That's good enough for Murray Chass.

As far as I know, that's the extent of it.


Look, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell are clear and obvious HOF players, right? But let's not be coy. It's not a hard slog through Murray Chass's dementia to get "reasonable concerns" about the "Killer B's." It's actually a one step of guilt-by-association logic called "Ken Caminiti's best friends." You can write that off if you like. I don't care one way or the other. But let's be honest at least. Biggio and Bagwell went from wiry baseball players with moderate power to ripped up homer hitting body building models over the course of a few years, while hanging out with one of the most notorious roiders in the game. (And don't undersell that; Caminiti wasn't just a teammate, he was Jeff Bagwell's best friend.) That's where the "rumors" for those two guys come from. Houston had multiple users in the clubhouse (Caminiti, Clemens, Pettitte) when two "magical body transformation" guys were the "leaders of that clubhouse." Its not a long slog to thinking those two magical transformation guys were in on that same game.

   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 11, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4636519)
#19 = The New McCarthyism.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: January 11, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4636521)
It's definitely funny to hear the MLB Network guys discuss John Smoltz's Hall of Fame candidacy when John Smoltz is sitting right there :-)

It does seem that people close to the process are predicting Smoltz to be 1st ballot surprisingly often -- far more often than e.g. the seemingly comparable Schilling, about whom I'm not sure anyone predicted 1st ballot. So we would probably be remiss to ignore that information, even if we don't really see out of which body orifice insiders are conjuring this huge distinction.

Walt, I know you're a Cub fan, but you really think Sosa outlasts McGwire? :-) McGwire has a lot of things going for him that Sosa doesn't: a confession for the few who actually want to exercise mercy; hit 47 HR in a season as a skinny guy; is still working in baseball; is not working for a "needle-free injection" company. The only thing Sosa has over McGwire is the actual lack of evidence connecting him to steroids, which clearly none of these mooks cares about.

Just to make some stuff up:

2015: In: Big Unit, Biggio. Pedro & Smoltz just miss; people go ballistic. Off: Sosa, Nomar, Giles (5%), Mattingly (15 years).

2016: In: Griffey, Pedro, Smoltz. Off: Sheffield, L. Walker, Delgado (5%), Trammell (15 years).

2017: In: Bagwell, Piazza. Off: McGwire (5%), L. Smith (15 years. Although I wouldn't be too shocked if Hoffman knocks Smith off in '16.) Lack of a 1st-ballot lock makes it a critical year for Bonds and Clemens to get their arrows pointed the right way, if it's ever gonna happen. It also saves McGriff, who does have a small but reliable group of get-off-my-lawn supporters, from being knocked off.

2018: In: Chipper, Vlad. Off: McGriff, Kent, Edmonds (5%).

2019: In: Mariano, Thome. Off: Rolen, Abreu, Andruw (5%).

If I'm right, the end result is not an utter disaster... the no-doubters who "aren't PED guys" are still getting in, and even a couple of non-no-doubters in Smoltz and Vlad have found their way. But look at the ballot you'd still have. Three players deserving by any standard in Schilling, Mussina, and Raines, quite possibly to be joined by Jeter and Ichiro. Several players for whom the writers might vote in Hoffman, Vizquel, Pettitte and Damon. Several players for whom SDCNs might vote in Edgar, Halladay, Johan, Posada, Helton, and Berkman. All that, plus at least four "PED guys" in Bonds, Clemens, Manny, and Pudge, and possibly A-Rod as early as '19. Plus you've seen a bunch of very solid candidates fail to get 5% (or age out in Trammell's case) and drop off the ballot. It's not a disaster, but it ain't great.
   22. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 11, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4636524)
#19 = The New McCarthyism


A man that supports McCarthyism in actual national politics, where the state has power, pisses about it with regard to a freaking baseball player's reputation. Precious, Clappy. Just precious.
   23. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 11, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4636527)
2019: In: Mariano, Thome. Off: Rolen, Abreu, Andruw.


If Andruw Jones is one and done it's another cap in the "burn the entire thing to the ground" argument.
   24. Shoebo Posted: January 11, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4636544)
I think he is under estimating how much support Hoffman and Vlad will get. I also think that there is a pretty strong dividing line among the voters and there is a hard cap on many of the PED suspects until there is some ...ahem.... attrition among some of the older voters. That may come too late for some players. On top of that, the current PED "suspects" will no longer be suspects in 10 years,. It is more like to be widely accepted as a matter of fact they they were cheaters.

Dont be surprised if only 8 or 9 get in over the next 5 years.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 11, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4636584)
I think Hoffman is going to do very well in the balloting. We can talk about closers and saves all we want but I think voters are going to look at;

Rivera 652
Hoffman 601
Smith 478

and see that massive gap between Hoffman and Smith and the possibility that at that point no active player will have even 400 saves (Nathan and KRod are the only two above that number) and give a lot of credit to Hoffman.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 11, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4636611)
#22 = The Old McCarthyism.
   27. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 11, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4636618)
You're a national treasure, Luigi. An idiot, but a national treasure to be sure. Try not to breed.
   28. mog Posted: January 11, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4636624)
#19 - i'm a huge thome fan and i hope he turns out to be a 1st balloter, but....i just can't see it happening. maybe writers will remember his peak years more fondly, but i feel like he's the most underrated/under appreciated 500 HR hitter ever (even though he has 112 more than that).
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 11, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4636631)
I think Hoffman is going to do very well in the balloting. We can talk about closers and saves all we want but I think voters are going to look at;

Rivera 652
Hoffman 601
Smith 478

and see that massive gap between Hoffman and Smith and the possibility that at that point no active player will have even 400 saves (Nathan and KRod are the only two above that number) and give a lot of credit to Hoffman.

That's certainly possible. Hoffman had more saves than Rivera at a time when most regarded Rivera as a future Hall of Famer. But on a ballot that might have 15-20 deserving candidates, Hoffman could be the 11th (or higher) selection on a lot of ballots. He'd really benefit from expanding the 10-man limit.
   30. Squash Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4636642)
I've already said I think Smoltz is a wild card. He could debut anywhere from about 25% to 80% and where you stick his debut has a fairly big impact on precisely who/when inductions happen.

I've had the exact same feeling and I think the guy he potentially affects most is Bagwell. Piazza and Biggio are the only guys on the backlog above Bagwell, and both look to go in fairly soon, so in a sense Bagwell is at the top of the backlog in terms of the "steady gainer" path of induction. If Smoltz starts around 50-60%, which seems possible, I think he takes Bagwell's momentum and pushes him back a few years. Then Vlad could also ding him a year or two if he debuts in the 60-65 range.

In short Bagwell goes eventually, but it may take some time.
   31. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4636659)
People who think Pedro isn't going in first ballot live in fantasyland. He may not get 97%, but he'll coast over the line.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4636660)
Plus Smoltz pitched in "Game 7"


Didn't he lose game seven to non-hofer Jack Morris...(just pointing to the writers arguments)

I think most people around here are like me, and have Smoltz behind Schilling and Mussina, and I think that even the writers will see it close to that. I think Smoltz beats Schilling and Mussina's first year on the ballot,(breaking 30%) but not their second year on the ballot(they'll approach 40%). I think Pedro, Johnson and Biggio all go in pretty easily next year. Piazza and Bagwell gain ground but not much.

In short Bagwell goes eventually, but it may take some time.


I think the hardliner Anti-ped guys have pegged Bagwell as a likely and I'm not sure how long it takes for him to get past that large percentage of body, add in his relative lack of numbers and it could be a while for him, especially with better candidates on each ballot.


He is giving Edmonds more props than I think he'll get. Again Edmonds has a whisper roider campaign behind him, and doesn't have the flashy numbers if he breaks 20% I'll be surprised.

Hoffman will get in, maybe not his first year, but the longer he's on the ballot as the number two all time saves leader, the stronger his case gets.
For the most part I agree with most of his assessments, I think he has Smoltz a little too early I don't think he goes in before Schilling, although he probably goes in before Mussina and he's a little optimistic on Bagwell(and Rivera also.... I think Rivera is going to be closer to 90% than 95%) . I think Jaffe concentrates a little too much on the history in projecting the future, I don't think the rules of the past necessarily apply with the current glut of candidates.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: January 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4636672)
Walt, I know you're a Cub fan, but you really think Sosa outlasts McGwire? :-)

Me no write good. I meant my argument for Sosa holds even moreso for McGwire, who Jaffe had falling off the ballot at some point.

I don't see any particular reason to expect guys to drop off the bottom now. The 2014 ballot was the most crowded of all the ballots. The upcoming debuts generally have fewer dominant players and the fringe players don't have the amazing numbers of a Sosa or McGwire. Is somebody going to vote Edmonds over Sosa? Sheff over Sosa? People might give up on him for strategic reasons. But if Sosa was on your 2014 ballot, you had enough sense to also have MGT on that ballot then you've got room for Sosa on your 2015 ballot. The wild card is those with Sosa and without Biggio will likely drop him to ensure Biggio gets over (meaning Biggio will probably sail over with 80%+).

Another major wild card in all of this is where votes per ballot are going to go. In other threads I've guesstimated next year will have around 7 names. Assume Biggio, Johnson, Pedro elected plus Mattingly off and that frees up something like 2.6 votes -- carryover around 4.4. But with Griffey the only major candidate coming on in 2016, we might be lucky to see 6 votes per ballot.

The first big step for the backlog -- at least the backlog "we" care about -- was getting Morris off (and all 3 of MGT getting elected). This meant that even those with full ballots in 2014 won't be "forced" to drop somebody in 2015 even if the 10-man limit remains. The second big step will be getting Biggio over the line as that will mean the full ballots can add a player, which should help Piazza, Bagwell, Raines and Smoltz especially.
   34. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM (#4636673)
Any chance that Billy Wagner debuting the same year as Hoffman will depress his total? Or will the huge advantage in saves (not to mention fame) make the similarity in total value irrelevant?

I'd be curious to know what Wagner's JAWS is, actually.
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM (#4636676)
Any chance that Billy Wagner debuting the same year as Hoffman will depress his total? Or will the huge advantage in saves (not to mention fame) make the similarity in total value irrelevant?


I'm as big of a fan of Wagner as anyone and think he's probably top 6 or so reliever of all time, but I don't think he's going to be a factor at all in the hof voting. If he makes it through the first ballot, I would be shocked.

I'd be curious to know what Wagner's JAWS is, actually.


Hof future ballots, sort by saves to see where Wagner and Hoffman rank.

name---war---war7----jaws
Wagner--28.1--19.9---24.0
Hoffman-28.4--19.6---24.0


   36. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 11, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4636679)
The 2015 ballot is less crowded because the top guys aren't as dominant as the ones just elected.

Why would we think there are all these "freed up" votes just lying around following the 2014 election, the redistribution of which will make the 2015 election go more smoothly? Despite all the new "extra" votes this year, the amount didn't even cover Maddux's, Glavine's and Thomas' totals. That's why all but two carryover candidates lost ground.
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4636681)
The first big step for the backlog -- at least the backlog "we" care about -- was getting Morris off (and all 3 of MGT getting elected). This meant that even those with full ballots in 2014 won't be "forced" to drop somebody in 2015 even if the 10-man limit remains. The second big step will be getting Biggio over the line as that will mean the full ballots can add a player, which should help Piazza, Bagwell, Raines and Smoltz especially.


This is a good long term plan, and points how big of a difference things could have been if just two voters would have strategically voted for Biggio. I think we all knew he was going to be the borderline guy, and that him and Thomas (and if you are a Morris supporter) are the guys that everyone should have supported in a strategic vote.
   38. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4636689)
I'm as big of a fan of Wagner as anyone and think he's probably top 6 or so reliever of all time, but I don't think he's going to be a factor at all in the hof voting. If he makes it through the first ballot, I would be shocked.
I agree that Wagner likely falls off immediately cfb, I'm just wondering if his presence and similar stats (other than the save total) makes some additional people think twice about voting for Hoffman.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4636695)
I don't see how. The save difference is pretty much what people are going to look at. Add in that Hoffman has 14 30+ seasons to Wagner's 9... or Hoffman's 9 times over 40 in a season to Wagner's 2... It's all about the saves in this case. Nobody is going to care to compare the two players actual performance.

I don't think Hoffman goes in first ballot though, but he gets in a year or two after Rivera and Wagner will be off the ballot by then.

I think Rivera has now, and will for the future establish that a reliever in the hof needs to be relevant for more than 10 years to be taken seriously, and Hoffman has that, Wagner not as much.
   40. Walt Davis Posted: January 12, 2014 at 04:01 AM (#4636791)
Why would we think there are all these "freed up" votes just lying around following the 2014 election, the redistribution of which will make the 2015 election go more smoothly? Despite all the new "extra" votes this year, the amount didn't even cover Maddux's, Glavine's and Thomas' totals. That's why all but two carryover candidates lost ground.

Note, whether Sosa survives or not doesn't really matter. He's not making it by the BBWAA and whether he's at 10% or 4% is not too big of a deal.

Depends what total votes do. But historically, the backlog falls back in the wake of a strong debut class, stays steady or advances a bit in the wake of a regular debut class and gains ground (sometimes substantial) in the wake of a weak class. They've just survived the tsunami. They will likely hold steady next year, they will probably gain a bit of ground in 2016, they can gain fairly substantial ground in 2017 (unless Pudge and Vlad are viewed favorably which they may be).

Also Morris. His votes will mostly get split up among Schilling, Mussina, Smoltz. Not all of them of course and those guys still have to deal with being on the same ballot as Unit and Pedro in 2015.

Tied in with this is that although their debuts weren't great, this class included 35% for Mussina and Kent, another blow to the backlog. I don't expect Sheff, Nomar, Delgado, Giles to poll anything like that, I'm not sure any of them will top 5%. In 2016, you've got Griffey and Edmonds and I don't expect Edmonds to do very well either. So the number in the backlog won't be added to in those years.

2017 could be a bit of a mess with Pudge and Vlad and possibly Posada will fall in the 10% range (kinda doubt it with Piazza maybe still there, Pudge definitely there).

Finally, the extra votes come from reduced pressure on the 10-man limit. Take this hypothetical. Say the 2013 ballot had 10% 10-vote ballots, 10% 9-vote, etc. down to 1-vote ballots. The mean vote in that scenario would be 5.5 names.

Now say we added 3 unanimous HoF candidates (it's a hypothetical but this year was close enough). Without a 10-man limit, we might then see 10% 13-man ballots, 10% 12-man on down to 10% 4-man. The average vote would be 8.5

But with the 10-vote limit, all the 11/12/13 ballots become 10-man ballots. This drops the average to 7.9 names per ballot and the backlog has lost 60 percentage points. This is why I originally did not expect to see votes anywhere near 9 per ballot although I got a bit suckered by the Gizmo at the end. The only way you could achieve the 8.5 average in our hypothetical is if the short ballots in 2013 added guys from the backlog. That sort of thing happens of course but there's no particularly good reason to expect it.

Keeping with our hypothetical, 3 guys get elected in 2014, the carry-over is 4.9 names per ballot and nobody has more than 7 names to carry over. Suppose that only 2 unanimous HoFers join for 2015, now all those folks with only 7 carry-overs can add 3. Not all of them will -- the ones that were at 7 in 2013 might only go to 9 in 2015. But all those at 8-10 in 2013 now get to add back one of their guys in 2015. The average jumps by more than 2 to 7.2 ... that's still 30 percentage points shy of where they would be without the 10-man limit (in this hypothetical) but it's an improvement from 2014.

If 2016 adds just a single unanimous HoFer, then they make up another 20 percentage points. If in one of these years they are lucky enough to elect one of the backlog, then that opens up another slot for (most of) those with >10 choices.

We just finished something close to that scenario, with a mean vote even higher than 7.9. Heaps of votes were lost to the 10-man limit. Assuming almost all 10-man ballots had MGT on them, then they only carry over 7. Many also had Morris so they carry over only 6. They add Johnson and Pedro and then they have to choose between Smoltz and the players they dropped to reach 10 names (for those that did). This is a slightly good thing for the backlog.

If Smoltz debuts strongly or Sheff shocks me with 20% or something, then 2015 will pretty much be a repeat of this year. That's why I peg Smoltz as the wild card -- like I said, I can see anything from 25% to 80% ... about all I'm confident in is that he'll beat Mussina.

But basically we should see about the same number of 9-10 man ballots next year as we saw this year -- this year's 11-13 man ballots will start to be counted next year. I think I have to revise my estimate -- I'm pretty confident we'll see over 7 names next year.
   41. dejarouehg Posted: January 12, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4636816)
Rumors, where? I followed the Astros religiously through 2004 and there were no PED "rumors" about Biggio beyond creatine. Do you have any sources? Of course not.


There have been rumors for many, many years of both him and Bagwell. (Again, doesn't make it true - but it certainly shouldn't be such a surprise.)

FROM Marty Noble, excerpted in the Houston Chronicle on Jan 9th:
"If I have doubts about a guy for the Hall of Fame, I don't vote for a guy," said veteran MLB.com writer Marty Noble, who says he decided to omit Biggio from his ballot after some former players accused the Astro of using steroids. "I know what I heard and know the tone of voice that I heard from a lot of players. I really don't have any idea how many I spoke with over the course of a week."

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