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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kawakami: Yes, I cast my Hall of Fame vote for Barry Bonds, along with Dale Murphy

along with…Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio, Schilling, Raines…and Morris. But not for…

—DROPPED OFF MY LIST FROM LAST YEAR TO THIS YEAR/

*ALAN TRAMMELL (36.8% of the vote last year). I’m sure I’ll re-visit his case next year, as I did this year; I used to agree with the conventional railing that either a guy is a Hall of Famer or he’s not, why vary the vote from year… Now that I have the vote, it feels so much more fluid than that.

The elections aren’t conducted frozen in time–they come in relation to the moment we make them, to the developments of the day and the overall strength of the candidate pool.

I believe Trammell has a very strong case–compared to Barry Larkin last year, or whoever you want.

I voted for Trammell last year… barely. But mixed against this field, I withheld the vote this year, with an asterisk. Next time around, I will go through it again.

—NOTABLE FIRST-YEAR ELIGIBLES I DID NOT VOTE FOR/

*MIKE PIAZZA. Close call, great hitting stats (better than Johnny Bench’s career stats, mostly), but I’m wary of voting for such a mediocre defensive catcher. Plus, if you do any stat-siphoning, Piazza’s case gets very questionable. So I took a pass this year.

As I said last year, you might dislike the process, but it’s safer to pass on a borderline candidate with PED questions to let more info come in than to just elect a guy with large questions pending.

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:32 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 26, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4332617)
What an incoherent process. "I voted for Trammell last year but that was before I realized that Bonds and Biggio had ever existed. Reassessed in this new light, I've decided he's no longer worthy of the HoF. Until maybe next year unless I find out there were other great players at one time."

I can understand originally not thinking a guy was an HoFer and then, upon further reflection or as your fellow voters put in Jim Rice, changing your mind. I suppose there may even be rare cases where I can see changing your mind the other way -- maybe if a bunch of great SS had entered the game in the last few years to make Trammell look less special. But "mixed against this field" -- that only comes into play if you've filled your ballot and the guy falls off.

As to "stat-siphoning" ... so, based on raw stats, he's the greatest hitting C of all time ... so, if we siphon off stats just 'cuz he falls to the ... 3rd best hitting C of all-time? 4th best?
   2. LargeBill Posted: December 26, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4332676)
I read his entire article and feel considerable dumber for having done so. What a mish-mash of nonsensical rationalizations. He cites various stats on some players to support his position, but on Morris he avoids stats like the plague (okay, okay he mentioned 5 post season complete games and I suppose that is a stat). Also, he dismisses the greatest hitting catcher ever by saying he was just a mediocre defensive catcher. Sure, defense is important and I think a great defensive player should get extra consideration, but less than great defense is not enough to make a slam dunk Hall of Famer an after thought.
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4332748)
That Piazza excerpt...Jesus...reading these Hall of Fame articles is making me lose confidence in humanity. When did 'stupid' become the default setting for grown up, professional people?
   4. Bhaakon Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:44 AM (#4332788)
Also, he dismisses the greatest hitting catcher ever by saying he was just a mediocre defensive catcher. Sure, defense is important and I think a great defensive player should get extra consideration, but less than great defense is not enough to make a slam dunk Hall of Famer an after thought.


If some of the stuff coming out about catcher defense is accurate, that a catcher's receiving alone can be as valuable or detrimental as his offensive production, then that's not true.

The problem is that we don't (and probably never will) be able to properly evaluate Piazza's receiving, game calling, etc. All we can really do is say that he was an embarrassingly poor throwing catcher, and, as you say, it's a demerit that mars his case without negating it.
   5. greenback calls it soccer Posted: December 27, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4332793)
All we can really do is say that he was an embarrassingly poor throwing catcher

Wasn't he also very good at PB/WP?
   6. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 27, 2012 at 03:43 AM (#4332803)
That Piazza excerpt...Jesus...reading these Hall of Fame articles is making me lose confidence in humanity. When did 'stupid' become the default setting for grown up, professional people?

It's always been the default. The internet just lets everybody share their stupid with the world.
   7. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 27, 2012 at 04:35 AM (#4332805)
'fraid FPH is right--people have always been this dumb. It's only that now there's so much of it on display.

But God, that guy is dumb.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: December 27, 2012 at 05:31 AM (#4332808)
When did 'stupid' become the default setting for grown up, professional people?

Well, whore and pimp are presumably the oldest professions and they're usually pretty up on things. The third profession was probably the priesthood and so it almost certainly started there. Professional stupidity took a giant leap forward with the creation of the profession of "sportswriter." It entered the stratosphere with the creation of the life coaching profession.

Please don't take this as a complaint about professional stupidity, I find it pays quite well.
   9. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: December 27, 2012 at 07:05 AM (#4332816)
I read his entire article and feel considerably dumber for having done so.

And may God have mercy on his soul.
   10. Lassus Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4332829)
Oh god this is the worst yet.
   11. Tippecanoe Posted: December 27, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4332838)
The article really is kind of a dog's breakfast. He shows absolutely no solid foundation on which to base his judgments; here's where an afternoon on Baseball-Reference and even some 8th-grade-level analysis would come in handy. He ends up identifying a few of the right guys, but his thoughts are completely unmoored.

Am I crazy, or is Murphy going to top 40% on this vote? It would position him for the VC.
   12. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: December 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4332917)
If some of the stuff coming out about catcher defense is accurate, that a catcher's receiving alone can be as valuable or detrimental as his offensive production, then that's not true.

The problem is that we don't (and probably never will) be able to properly evaluate Piazza's receiving, game calling, etc. All we can really do is say that he was an embarrassingly poor throwing catcher, and, as you say, it's a demerit that mars his case without negating it.

What I love more about this is that available estimates of Piazza's game calling runs have him as one of the better catchers historically with regards to game calling.
   13. Repoz Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4332987)
Am I crazy, or is Murphy going to top 40% on this vote? It would position him for the VC.

Murphy is running about 20% right now...which looks to be a slight final whining year bump.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: December 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4332994)

Murphy is running about 20% right now...which looks to be a slight final whining year bump.


Can we get an updated ballot collecting gizmo count?

   15. TJ Posted: December 28, 2012 at 02:38 AM (#4333475)
Gentlemen, you have to check out Kawakami's ballot from last year, and conmpare it to this one. The changes in tone are amazing. I have my own Hall of Fame- The Leonard Koppett Bad Voter Hall Of Fame. Kawakami earned nomination for his 2011 ballot, and he is looking really good for induction this year based on this one...
   16. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4333535)
Am I crazy, or is Murphy going to top 40% on this vote? It would position him for the VC.


He's a borderline candidate and if these writers are going to slap down the PED users on integrity etc...then giving Murphy a little goose in the other direction seems pretty reasonable.
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 28, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4333728)
Candidates in their final year on the ballot typically get a boost just for being on their final year on the ballot.

Rizzuto-- +6.1%
Reese-- +2.0%
Vernon-- +4.5%
Dark-- -7.3%
Newcombe-- +3.3%
Kluszewski-- +1.0%
Ashburn-- -5.0%
Schoendiest-- +6.5%
Hodges-- +14.0%
N.Fox-- +13.7%
Burdette-- +0.6%
Maris-- +0.5%
Larsen-- +0.0%
E.Howard-- +1.7%
Face-- +0.8%
Kuenn-- -1.5%
Bunning-- +5.8%
Mazeroksi-- +10.2%
Wills-- +11.8%
Cepeda-- +13.9%
K.Boyer-- -4.5%
Oliva-- +3.8%
Flood-- +2.3%
Torre-- +11.6%
Allen-- -2.2%
Minoso-- -1.4%
Lolich-- -3.0%
Tiant-- +5.8%
Kaat-- +3.1%
Garvey-- -4.9%
Concepcion-- +4.9%
Rice-- +4.2%
John-- +2.6%
Parker-- +0.1%
   18. Ron J2 Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4333815)
#5 AROM's research indicates that he was a positive in all aspects of catching except (and yes, this is a big deal) throwing.

Seriously, he can't have been a disaster as a receiver because he's spotting the field a fair number of runs (because of his issues against the running game) and the staff he caught were generally successful.

EDIT: Study is linked in #12. Coke.
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4333818)
I have my own Hall of Fame- The Leonard Koppett Bad Voter Hall Of Fame.

?????? That's kind of like having The Abraham Lincoln Hall of Bad Presidents.
   20. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4333821)
Tim Kawakami is what passes for sports journalism in the Bay Area right now because he sucks up to the right teams (ie. Giants, 49er's,Sharks). I will be happy whenever this clown gets booted or leaves the SJ Mercury News.
   21. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4333867)
"That's not true Kawakami!!"
   22. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4333881)
"That's not true Kawakami!!"


You don't need a Grima Wormtongue anymore once the King is dead.
   23. Squash Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4333938)
What I love more about this is that available estimates of Piazza's game calling runs have him as one of the better catchers historically with regards to game calling.

This is one of the things that drives me crazy about the writers and their voting process for awards, the HOF, etc. They go on and on about the mysteries and vagaries of catching in articles or on the air anecdotally (calling games, framing pitches, blocking balls, "leadership", etc.) ... but when it comes time actually voting for anything, i.e. putting their money where their mouth is, catcher defense comes down to one, and one only, simple thing: throwing.
   24. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4333941)
The sheer number of entirely different ways in which ballots can be dumb is fascinating.
   25. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4333943)
And yet, the various idiocies cancel one another out, somehow. Because the process works, and we must respect the consensus.

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