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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

MLB.com writers weigh in on 2013 HOF ballot

NEXT YEAR’S ASSHATINESS…TODAY!! (and I didn’t even get a chance to close my scurverzoid HOF notebook up!)

Hal Bodley
I will not vote for anyone linked to steroids. Never! That means Bonds, Clemens, Sosa fall into that category and will not get my vote. I do not feel Piazza, Schilling and Biggio are legitimate first-ballot candidates. So the only candidate at this point I’m certain I’ll vote for will be Morris—in his 14th try. Between now and then I might change my mind and go for Bagwell.

Ken Gurnick
I’m not voting for anybody from the steroid era.

Richard Justice
Voting for: Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, Morris, Fred McGriff, Piazza, Schilling.

Steroids will dominate the conversation because Bonds, Clemens and Sosa will be on the ballot for the first time. Piazza, like Bagwell, has been connected to steroids by nothing more than rumors, and that’s not good enough for me. Schilling is a lot like Morris in that he was at his best when the games meant the most.

Terrence Moore
Beginning in 2013, I’ll consider something even more so than I have before, and they are two words on my Hall of Fame list of rules: “integrity” and “character.” It says voters must take those words into account when selecting Cooperstown, folks. So no Bonds, Clemens or Sosa for me.

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:09 PM | 76 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4033504)
What terrifies me when I read stuff like this is the serious stuff in life. I mean, as pissed off as I get the fact that Hal Bodley and many others can't recognize that Curt Schilling > Jack Morris it does not really impact me.

Later this year though I am going to have to help select the President of the United States (and many other important jobs). Are the people who write about those issues as woefully ill-informed and incapable of critical thought as a disturbingly large portion of baseball writers? Sadly I suspect the answer is yes.
   2. dave h Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4033522)
Jose, that's one good reason why our system tries to minimize the power of the President.

Also, I think many of these potential ballots are worse than the guy who didn't vote for anyone this year.
   3. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4033535)
Next year is going to be an insane ###########. Wow, we might get 365 days of anti-Bonds and anti-Clemens rants from the folks quoted above. Unreal.
   4. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4033538)
2013 would be Mussina's first year on the ballot, right?

EDIT: As in...does that mean none of these people voted for Moose? (Didn't RTFA)
   5.   Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4033539)
Jose, I've thought about that for a long time.

For example, when I'm wathing the news and they bring on some "expert" to talk about a subject I know nothing about, I think to myself: "I wonder if this guy is an expert in the same sense that baseball 'experts' are experts in baseball?" It is scary.
   6. The District Attorney Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4033542)
Are the people who write about those issues as woefully ill-informed and incapable of critical thought as a disturbingly large portion of baseball writers.
Nah, it's still better than political media. At least these guys are trying to find facts and then create opinions based on those facts. The political writers don't even see that as their job. The Hall of Fame "news" under the political coverage model would be a reporter telling us that Jon Heyman thinks Jack Morris is a Hall of Famer, but Rob Neyer doesn't.
   7. Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4033544)
Some enterprising soul should start collecting all the quotes, predictions etc for next year's vote.

(runs to store to steal more Bics)
   8. Fanshawe Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4033546)
The only "link" between Sosa and steroids (aside from speculation and "I mean, just look at him") is the alleged positive test from 2003 that no one actually saw, right?
   9.   Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4033549)
He hit 50+ homers after Jose Canseco invented steroids in 1996. That's evidence enough for me.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4033552)
2013 would be Mussina's first year on the ballot, right?

EDIT: As in...does that mean none of these people voted for Moose? (Didn't RTFA)


Moose isn't on the ballot until 2014. Five years after last game + 1 for the calendar change.

   11.   Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4033558)
I wouldn't trust the BBWAA to vote on what I'm having for dinner tonight.

Has there ever in history been a larger collection of complete fools?
   12. Fanshawe Posted: January 10, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4033563)
At least these guys are trying to find facts and then create opinions based on those facts. The political writers don't even see that as their job. The Hall of Fame "news" under the political coverage model would be a reporter telling us that Jon Heyman thinks Jack Morris is a Hall of Famer, but Rob Neyer doesn't.


And if sports coverage was like primary election coverage, you'd get a lot of stories like "Phillies supporters question the team's viability after 3-2 victory over lowly Astros fails to meet expectations."
   13. Booey Posted: January 10, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4033573)
It just boggles the mind that these writers will be given a ballot with the likes of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Tim Raines, Rafael Palmeiro, Alan Trammell, Curt Schilling, etc...and the only name some of them will select is Jack Morris, clearly one of the worst candidates on the ballot (excluding the one and done courtesy candidates). It would be a major stretch to include him even if voters used all their slots and were allowed to go 15 deep on their ballots.

Wow. Just...wow. It's beyond words.
   14. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 10, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4033576)
Ken Gurnick
I’m not voting for anybody from the steroid era.


Two questions:

1) Does he hold himself to this when a player he really likes (say, Maddux) gets on the ballot? Or will he just weasel-word his way around it and vote for someone from that era?

2) Does that mean he won't be voting for ANYONE for at least 20 years after the last positive PED test in MLB? If that's the case, why should they bother sending him a ballot?

   15. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 10, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4033589)
Jose, that's one good reason why our system tries to minimize the power of the President.


Congress, on the other hand, has earned our confidence! ;-)
   16. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 10, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4033593)
I wouldn't trust the BBWAA to vote on what I'm having for dinner tonight.

Has there ever in history been a larger collection of complete fools?


Congress, people! You keep forgetting about CONGRESS!
   17. Fanshawe Posted: January 10, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4033594)
I, for one, am petitioning the Hall of Fame to place an asterisk next to every Spink award that is given to someone who covered baseball during the Bill Conlin child sex abuse era (spanning from roughly 1965 through 2009). There are just too many questions and it's too hard to sort out who was and who wasn't molesting children during that time frame.
   18. mex4173 Posted: January 10, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4033598)
I do not feel Piazza, Schilling and Biggio are legitimate first-ballot candidates.


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


Which part of that ####### covers "how many years the player has been on the ballot weighted against his perceived value?"

Yogi Berra was on two ballots. Does that mean the standard for a first ballot catcher is literally Johnny ####### Bench?


Quick and silly: George Davis has 90 WAR and needed to be inducted by the Veteran's Committee. Therefore only 36 players in the history of the game have merited legitimate ballot election. Alternately, Eddie Mathews took 5 ballots, by WAR only 27 players are legitimate 4 ballot (or earlier)electees. Cy Young took 2 ballots, so only 4 players have merited first ballot election.
   19. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4033634)
One of the things that I would like to see the BBWAA crack down on is this first-ballot issue. There is nothing in the rules about first-year ballot Hall of Famers being given greater status than 15-year ballot Hall of Famers; there never has been anything in the rules about this. There are no tiers in the plaque gallery. A Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer, with no distinctions made between first-year and later ballots, and no distinguishing between writers' choices and Veterans' Committee choices.

The BBWAA has its rules, and its members should be made to follow them. It's really pretty simple.
   20. MelOtt4 Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4033649)
Richard Justice
Voting for: Biggio, Bagwell, Raines, Morris, Fred McGriff, Piazza, Schilling.



Barry M. Bloom
Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Rafael Palmeiro, Piazza, Tim Raines, Sosa and Clemens.


So a vote for Jack Morris is okay, if you vote for the ped-heads?
   21. BrianBrianson Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4033654)
I think I'm going to write a letter to the HOF and tell them I'm saving my next trip there for Mark McGwire's induction.
   22. cmd600 Posted: January 10, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4033686)
Not to out anyone in particular (and i feel its a systemic problem anyway) but, in the past, I've had a back and forth email with a writer who takes a position similar to Gurnick. I'm absolutely amazed that some voters seem to think steroids just simply didn't exist before Canseco.
   23. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 10, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4033713)
Oh Good Lord! Please stop the stupid!!
   24. The District Attorney Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4033722)
Congress, people! You keep forgetting about CONGRESS!
Those clowns in Congress are at it again. What a bunch of clowns.

One of the things that I would like to see the BBWAA crack down on is this first-ballot issue. There is nothing in the rules about first-year ballot Hall of Famers being given greater status than 15-year ballot Hall of Famers; there never has been anything in the rules about this. There are no tiers in the plaque gallery. A Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer, with no distinctions made between first-year and later ballots, and no distinguishing between writers' choices and Veterans' Committee choices.

The BBWAA has its rules, and its members should be made to follow them. It's really pretty simple.
They should also be made to follow the rule that says that pitchers are eligible for the MVP. Or, for that matter, that the MVP is based on offense+defense+games played+character, and need not go to a player on a contender. Even though writers have gone on the record explicitly stating that they do not and will not follow these rules, I have never even heard it suggested that the BBWAA might do something about it. The leadership doesn't really seem to see itself as "leadership."

Bruce, you're in better position to make it happen than I am ;-), so I wish you luck, but that's gonna be a tough one.
   25. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4033725)
Congress, people! You keep forgetting about CONGRESS!


Here's what I don't get. People hate lawyers, right? They are probably the most despised profession out there. Yet a _majority_ of the Senate has a JD (54 out of 100 this Congress apparently and 36% of the House). Not all of these are lifelong professional lawyers but most of them have been at some point in their life.

So why does the US population, which hates lawyers, keep electing so many fricking lawyers?
   26. TR_Sullivan Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:26 PM (#4033729)
"I wouldn't trust the BBWAA to vote on what I'm having for dinner tonight."

I vote you have steak, baked potato, salad and Pacifico
   27. dlf Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4033734)
Filet? Rib Eye? Strip? An overly simplistic answer showing a lack of deep analysis of the beefWAR rating scale. If I can't trust TR to properly grade cuts of meat, how can I trust him to grade baseball players?

P.S. Kidding aside, I really do appreciate that you drop by here, listen and respond. Thanks!
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 10, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4033745)
They should also be made to follow the rule that says that pitchers are eligible for the MVP.


That'll never happen.

   29. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4033752)

So why does the US population, which hates lawyers, keep electing so many fricking lawyers?


Because the other guy is also a lawyer.

In any case, I think the reason Congress is so despicable is not that they're lawyers - it's that, almost to a [wo]man, they are more concerned with their own careers than the public good, and nobody there does very much thinking. Which, speaking as the governed, is alarming and infuriating.
   30. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4033753)
Has there ever in history been a larger collection of complete fools?


Without thinking or reading further I can answer clearly - YES.

   31. cardsfanboy Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4033800)
They should also be made to follow the rule that says that pitchers are eligible for the MVP


Didn't a pitcher win an MVP award this year...(checking bb-ref)...yep says so right here, Verlander. Maybe many people rightly feel that a pitcher in today's game just isn't as valuable as a position player, and that they need to have a special year to earn the mvp vote? I don't think there has ever been a year in which at least one pitcher didn't make it onto the mvp final tally.

I have to say that Hal Bodley is the biggest idiot ever. That ballot is disgraceful.

Still don't get the Sosa concern, there is no credible evidence against him. And Piazza isn't a first ballot hofer? seriously? Heck Biggio isn't? I really thought old white people didn't do crack, but apparently that isn't the case with this group.

For example, when I'm wathing the news and they bring on some "expert" to talk about a subject I know nothing about, I think to myself: "I wonder if this guy is an expert in the same sense that baseball 'experts' are experts in baseball?" It is scary.


That is a sobering thought, sure if I don't agree with someone I'll usually research their comments(I started that when Rush Limbaugh started getting big around '93 I guess, and it was hilarious that I could find one lie within every ten minute segment, that it became a game to find the factual truth in something he said---much harder) but generally if an expert pops up without a controversial viewpoint, I'll take them somewhat seriously
   32. alkeiper Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4033806)
Questions of steroid use completely aside. Is Sammy Sosa one of the ten best candidates on the 2013 ballot?
   33. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM (#4033808)
Two questions, respectfully to T.R., who is a member of the BBWAA:

Why do writers give any credence to this first-ballot HOF worthiness, when there is nothing in the voting guidelines about it?

And why doesn't the leadership of the BBWAA emphasize its rules to its membership? Another example: some writers continue to write in Pete Rose's name on the ballot, when the rules specifically say that no write-in votes are allowed.
   34. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4033815)
Because the other guy is also a lawyer.


Douglas Adams had a bit on this phenomenon in one of his books:

Take me to your lizard

"the wrong lizard might get in" explains most of contemporary American politics.
   35. Olaf Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4033817)
What do you mean, "the wrong lizard MIGHT get in"????
   36.   Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4033824)

Without thinking or reading further I can answer clearly - YES.



I don't think that there are that many people who work at YES, although Michael Kay does a lot of damage on his own.
   37. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4033827)
This is going to be the best year ever.
   38. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:01 AM (#4033828)
Questions of steroid use completely aside. Is Sammy Sosa one of the ten best candidates on the 2013 ballot?


Career WAR (via BB-Ref), I have next year's ballot in this order:

1. Bonds
2. Clemens
3. Bagwell
4. Walker
5. Edgar
6. Trammell
7. Biggio
8. Palmeiro
9. Raines
10. McGwire (63.1)
11. Sosa (59.7)
12. Piazza (59.1)

I'd re-arrange a fair number of these. Piazza definitely moves into my top 10; Palmeiro slides below at least Raines and McGwire; Edgar's too high here.

But absolutely, you could put together a perfectly defensible sabr-friendly, steroid-ignoring 10-person ballot that leaves out Sammy Sosa.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4033830)
So why does the US population, which hates lawyers, keep electing so many fricking lawyers?

People hate Congress but generally rate their own rep quite highly and most incumbents win re-election easily. Probably the same with lawyers -- hate them except for yours (until yours screws you over as any bottom feeder eventually will ... sorry, did I type that out loud?)

Also, I assume most people who run for Congress are failed lawyers* so they can't be all bad right?

* If they were good lawyers, they'd never take the Congressional pay cut. Yes, some use their past as a "successful" prosecutor as a springboard to office but they wouldn't have become prosecutors to begin with if they could have been a real lawyer. :-)

I really thought old white people didn't do crack

They don't, they do Oxycontin.
   40. DanG Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4033837)
Why do writers give any credence to this first-ballot HOF worthiness, when there is nothing in the voting guidelines about it?
Because the Powers That Be have never formalized any system of differentiating players' quality among the Hall of Famers. It's obvious that

Willie Mays>>>Andre Dawson>>>Freddie Lindstrom

However, as Bruce affirms in [19] "There are no tiers in the plaque gallery. A Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer...."

So people are left to their own devices to make sense of the mess, usually thinking of the HOF in three tiers:

1 - First BBWAA ballot hall of famers
2 - BBWAA hall of famer, non first ballot
3 - Veterans (Old-timers) Committee selections

This system is fraught with problems, not the least of which is that some VC selections (Nichols, Vaughan, Mize) are much better than some first ballot selections (Brock, Puckett).

Why can't the Hall address this issue, enacting a system to separate the wheat from the chaff? At the very least, the HOF needs to establish an Inner Circle, a true honor for the truly elite. (More should be done, but that's about all we can realistically hope for.) How large should the Inner Circle be: 10%? 15%? 20%? 25%? 33%?
   41. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4033852)
EDIT to #38: EDIT: Oh, I missed Curt Schilling. He places 4th (67.7) just ahead of Larry Walker (67.3). So, give Piazza a catcher bonus, focus on career value over peak/prime, and you can plausibly drop Sosa to 13th on the ballot. (I still have an "EDIT" button there, but I can't save the edit).
   42. Walt Davis Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4033857)
How large should the Inner Circle be: 10%? 15%? 20%? 25%? 33%?

And this is why you don't create an Inner Circle. You have endless debate about how big it is or what the standards of election are. Then endless debate about who belongs and who doesn't. Then endless whining that those idiots didn't elect X. The endless whining that nobody knows who Eddie Collins is. Then endless debate that the Inner Circle is now watered down because 28.7% of HoFers are in the Inner Circle eventually requiring the creation of the Innermost Circle.

Granted, that's what we've already got. :-)

In semi-seriousness, there's no incentive for the HoF to do this (I don't think) because nobody is going to drive to Cooperstown for the induction of Cobb into the Inner Circle.
   43. hokieneer Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4033860)
Also, I assume most people who run for Congress are failed lawyers* so they can't be all bad right?

* If they were good lawyers, they'd never take the Congressional pay cut.


HA HA

Being a US senator or rep. is a well paying job.
   44. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4033873)

And this is why you don't create an Inner Circle. You have endless debate about how big it is or what the standards of election are


Wouldn't that be a feature, not a bug? You could even go all Simmons and have a five-tier Pyramid.
   45. LargeBill Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4033874)
Why can't the Hall address this issue, enacting a system to separate the wheat from the chaff? At the very least, the HOF needs to establish an Inner Circle, a true honor for the truly elite. (More should be done, but that's about all we can realistically hope for.) How large should the Inner Circle be: 10%? 15%? 20%? 25%? 33%?


Why can't the Hall do that? Who says they can't? The real question is why would the HoF enact a new status of elite of the elite or whatever? The only reason the HoF would make a change of that nature would be to find a way to monetize the new system. If they can sell the inner circle idea as a draw to increase attendance then they in time may do so. The opportunity to make such a change may be just a year or two away. Those of us who want to change the voting system or at least expand the voting pool will be more listened to after a dry election or two. If the writers are as big a group of fools as some of the early articles indicate the voting system may be taken out of their hands under the guise of reform and improvement.
   46. Booey Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:06 AM (#4033892)
You could even go all Simmons and have a five-tier Pyramid

I've actually always thought that Simmons' pyramid idea was a good one if it was done right. Problem of course, is that it wouldn't be. I'm guessing it would be like every "Greatest Players" list and include no one from the last 40 years in the highest level.
   47. Something Other Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4033897)
Why can't the Hall address this issue, enacting a system to separate the wheat from the chaff? At the very least, the HOF needs to establish an Inner Circle, a true honor for the truly elite. (More should be done, but that's about all we can realistically hope for.) How large should the Inner Circle be: 10%? 15%? 20%? 25%? 33%?
Hmm--for that to work you'd have to review every single current HOFer, and it gets ugly right away. You at least slightly sour the honor for every player you leave on the outside of that "inner circle". I don't see how formalizing an interesting albeit minor debate at the expense of most current HOFers helps anything.

AND, how the heck are you going to decide who's in this magic Inner Circle? Surely not the same clucks who are voting Jim Rice in and drop Lou Whitaker and Kevin Brown off the first ballot? If not them, who? The current Veterans Committee?
   48. mex4173 Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4033898)
Any attempt at establishing an inner-circle would quickly devolve into "why isn't Nolan Ryan inner-circle" and "what the hell is an Arky Vaughan and what does that have to do with baseball."
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:47 AM (#4033904)
Why do writers give any credence to this first-ballot HOF worthiness, when there is nothing in the voting guidelines about it?


There were 6 or so who gave it credence with Rickey Henderson. And it's arguable a couple of those were alzheimer victims. The first balloters in todays votes are nothing more than a minor annoyance. Basically they are the special bus kids that the bbwaa has on it's roster to meet some type of affirmative action quota.
   50. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:49 AM (#4033906)
Any attempt at establishing an inner-circle would quickly devolve into "why isn't Nolan Ryan inner-circle" and "what the hell is an Arky Vaughan and what does that have to do with baseball."


You say this like it's a bad thing
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:59 AM (#4033908)
I've actually always thought that Simmons' pyramid idea was a good one if it was done right. Problem of course, is that it wouldn't be. I'm guessing it would be like every "Greatest Players" list and include no one from the last 40 years in the highest level.
47. Something Other Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4033897)


Have you not paid attention to the last 40 years. Nolan Ryan is a top 100 player.

all kidding aside, baseball does a pretty good job of accepting other players into the top spots.

I mean look at the consensus position greatest players

1b Lou Gehrig(I guess, but to be honest it's not that real convincing argument. the problem is that Pujols only has 11 years on his career... by year 13 at the worse 14 it's his)
2b Hornsby/Morgan...sorry but nobody is in this discussion, and you can argue either way and Morgan is within that 40 year window...I think.
ss Wagner...thanks to Jeter, there is no discussion here either. Give Arod 4 more years here and there might have been
3b Schmidt. Again no discussion, less than 40 years
c Bench...still less than 40 years, and again no discussion.

you jump to the outfield and it becomes interesting sure Mays owns center and Mantle and Cobb join him, and Griffey is stuck in the fourth spot. The corners give you Bonds, Ruth, and Williams with Musial, Aaron and Robinson looking on. Seriously who would you have expected to take over those spots? Rickey is the only one in the conversation.
   52. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:15 AM (#4033916)
Tom Seaver had a grand total of 1 "I never vote for a first-year player" no vote, and that was 20 years ago. (The rest: 3 blanks, 1 mistaken omission.)

We still see writers using the vestigial shorthand to explain why so-and-so won't get his support. But it's become rhetorical where it was once literal. For the grotesquely overqualified players, the stupid if-Ruth-wasn't-unanimous idea is dead.

This doesn't solve the problem of the imbecile quotient; for example, those who didn't think Rickey Henderson was grotesquely overqualified. But that's a failure of brains, not philosophy. None of the hundreds of "no" votes for Clemens or Bonds will be because of personal first-year boycotts.
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:20 AM (#4033918)
Great post Gonfalon Bubble. I absolutely agree.
   54. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:26 AM (#4033919)
#51 - To me there would be a discussion in several of the places where you say "no discussion". My top 30 position players would look something like:

C - Gibson, Bench
1B - Oh, Gehrig, Pujols, Foxx, Anson
2B - Collins, Hornsby, Morgan, Lajoie, Robinson
SS - Wagner, Rodriguez, Ripken
3B - Schmidt
LF - Bonds, Williams, Musial, Henderson
CF - Mays, Cobb, Charleston, Mantle, Speaker, DiMaggio
RF - Ruth, Aaron, Robinson, Ott

Eddie Mathews and Al Kaline would just miss. The problem here isn't that there aren't enough players from the past 40 years, it's that there aren't enough players before 1900. I'm tempted to add Dickey Pearce.
   55. silhouetted by the sea Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:27 AM (#4033920)
The thing to remember all this next year whenever one of these assclowns says they will not vote for a steroid suspect is that they were the eyes and ears of the fans in the clubhouses.
   56. DanG Posted: January 11, 2012 at 03:50 AM (#4033925)
this is why you don't create an Inner Circle. You have endless debate
This is the main reason in favor of creating an Inner Circle. Debate and controversy are the lifeblood of the HOF.
about how big it is or what the standards of election are
It really doesn't matter how big it is. Probably not so high as 33%; the idea is that an avid fan will have little trouble remembering who all the immortals are. I like 15% (35 players currently) or 20% (47 players).
how the heck are you going to decide who's in this magic Inner Circle?
Very carefully. You decide what the aims are, then create a good system and implement it.

Here's one scheme. I think we would want to see some representation from players of all eras. So we build this into the system. Divide the game's history into three eras: 1) 1869-1920; 2) 1921-1960; 3) 1961-present. Then say that the initial 47 players of the Inner Circle must be composed of at least 22% (10 players) from each era but not more than 45% (21 players) from any one era.

To vote, get everyone involved. Create a 100-hall of famer ballot (the HOF could devise a reasonable list), to capture everyone who might be an Inner Circle player. (The era representation quotas could be used in devising this list.) Have four voting constituencies: 1) the fans; 2) SABR; 3) MLB players past and current; 4) a panel of 100 experts chosen by the HOF.

SABR members and the experts group would rank all 100 candidates; the fans and players would be asked to rank them into groups of ten players. Each group's results would be combined to create the final list of 47.

Well, that's probably an imperfect system, but the great minds here can surely tweak away any weaknesses. :-)
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:10 AM (#4033931)
#51 - To me there would be a discussion in several of the places where you say "no discussion". My top 30 position players would look something like


c. Nope. Negro leagues don't count. Sorry but that is the way it is.
1b.. really? um ok.
2b...yes I realized I forgot Collins nearly immediately.
ss... Ripken? seriously? I'm sorry, I am at a loss for words. Yes great shortstop, but not remotely on the same planet as Wagner or a theoretical Arod who didn't move to third.

as to the outfield, well whatever. there are a lot of names you could put on that list(and yes, I'm not a yankee fan so I honestly did forget Dimaggio)and again, unfortunately the Negro leagues could honestly never seriously enter these discussions, because of the way they ran the leagues...yes money is great and all, but for a legitimate analysis of the quality of their players, they ended up hurting their players by going for the better thing, which was money now. (not faulting, but because of that decision, you can't remotely think you can honestly rate any negro league player against a ml player...still I'll concede Gibson and Charleston, just wish the data was better overall) and I absolutely love Robinson(Frank) but, you have to extend the position out even further to include him. (same with Ott)
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:12 AM (#4033932)
This is the main reason in favor of creating an Inner Circle. Debate and controversy are the lifeblood of the HOF.


exactly. I mean ask someone to define inner circle, and you will run into a person who bases his hof upon the inner circle guys only. (you just hope he isn't stupid enough to be a voter) but the debate is always part of the enjoyment.
   59. Booey Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4034199)
I mean look at the consensus position greatest players

1b Lou Gehrig(I guess, but to be honest it's not that real convincing argument. the problem is that Pujols only has 11 years on his career... by year 13 at the worse 14 it's his)
2b Hornsby/Morgan...sorry but nobody is in this discussion, and you can argue either way and Morgan is within that 40 year window...I think.
ss Wagner...thanks to Jeter, there is no discussion here either. Give Arod 4 more years here and there might have been
3b Schmidt. Again no discussion, less than 40 years
c Bench...still less than 40 years, and again no discussion.



Yeah, but I wasn't talking about position; I meant overall rankings. Even though they were clearly the best ever at their positions, I've never seen any rankings that had Schmidt or Bench in the top 10 players of all time, and very few that even include them in the top 20. And there lies the problem; let's say the highest level of the pyramid contains only 20 players. I think it's very likely we could see 5 CF's in there (Mays, Cobb, Mantle, DiMaggio, Speaker)...and no catchers or 3B. And that just doesn't seem right.

And while you're young and reasonable enough to include Bonds and A-Rod on your list of upper level greats, I'm convinced the stuffy purists that would actually be voting on this would gladly use steroids as an excuse to keep them out (and Clemens too). Many of the old timers I know could barely conceal their glee when it was revealed that Bonds was juicing. Cuz now they didn't have to accept the fact that he really was on the same level as their hero's like Ruth and Aaron and Mays.
   60. Booey Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4034212)
Eddie Mathews and Al Kaline would just miss. The problem here isn't that there aren't enough players from the past 40 years, it's that there aren't enough players before 1900. I'm tempted to add Dickey Pearce.

Kaline really would just miss your top 30? He wouldn't make the top 50 on my list. Top 75 probably. Ott, Ripken, and J. Robinson (based on playing career only) aren't top 30 either, but they're a little closer at least (top 50, likely).

Also, 19th century baseball is so different it's almost a completely separate sport. I think it's great that committees have been assembled to make sure the 1800's get their proper representation in the HOF, but honestly, I also agree with all the "Greatest Players" lists that pretty much ignore the 19th century in their debates. How many players from the days of Red Grange are included on the lists of greatest football players of all time? How many guys from George Mikans days are included on the lists of greatest basketball players of all time? The formative years of a league are important in the sports history of course, but comparing those players to the more recent ones playing in a mature, well developed league is just apples and oranges.
   61. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 11, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4034221)
Well, that's probably an imperfect system, but the great minds here can surely tweak away any weaknesses. :-)


That's fine for the existing HOFers. How do new guys get in? If you did this tomorrow, how does Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Pujols... get in?
   62. Booey Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4034260)
For the grotesquely overqualified players, the stupid if-Ruth-wasn't-unanimous idea is dead.

I guess we'll see in two years when Maddux is eligible, a guy who's probably in the top 25 or 30 players of all time without any steroid connections - not even the imagined Bagwell/Piazza kind. I'd bet money he won't be unanimous, though I doubt any of the writers that don't vote for him will actually admit it's because of the "Ruth wasn't unanimous..." nonsense. More likely they'll use the "No one from the steroid era" nonsense and completely ignore their past voting history showing that they have voted for others from that era.
   63. DanG Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4034265)
How do new guys get in? If you did this tomorrow, how does Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Pujols... get in?
First, they would need to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Then Inner Circle elections would be held as needed, to maintain its membership at 20% of the total number of HOF players.

So with each five players elected to the Hall they would need to elect another player to the Inner Circle. You could have the same four electorates rank a 20-man ballot that lists newly elected HOFers, along with the top holdovers from the previous Inner Circle election, along with a couple wild cards (players finishing further down in the previous election but the HOF thinks they deserve stronger consideration).
   64. TerpNats Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4034273)
The vote won't be unanimous for Maddux solely because of his style. He was a master of the pitching arts beyond peer, no doubt about that, but he wasn't a strikeout pitcher, sort of the mound equivalent of a power hitter. Were Maddux a boxer, he'd have been Jim Corbett or Gene Tunney -- respected as a technician, but never truly loved by the masses. In a hypothetical situation where both Maddux and Clemens were implicated in steroids, guess who gets more support from the public?
   65. AROM Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4034274)
c. Nope. Negro leagues don't count. Sorry but that is the way it is.


No need for an apology, because you aren't any kind of authority on what counts or doesn't.

Josh Gibson is the greatest catcher who ever lived if I'm making my alltime team. You want to go with someone else, fine. To each his own.
   66. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4034280)
Were Maddux a boxer, he'd have been Jim Corbett or Gene Tunney -- respected as a technician, but never truly loved by the masses. In a hypothetical situation where both Maddux and Clemens were implicated in steroids, guess who gets more support from the public?


The one who wasn't generally regarded as a raging #######?

   67. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 11, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4034287)
There was a fairly significant period of time where Maddux was merely a pretty good pitcher who anybody would be happy to have on their team. I think that in and of itself will be enough for some moron with BBWAA credentials not to vote for him first ballot.
   68. Something Other Posted: January 11, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4034603)
1b Lou Gehrig(I guess, but to be honest it's not that real convincing argument. the problem is that Pujols only has 11 years on his career... by year 13 at the worse 14 it's his)
Say what? Gehrig has 2500 more PAs, with an OPS+ eight points higher, AND Pujols is probably in his decline phase. Pujols could play five more seasons with an OPS+ of 160 and he wouldn't unseat Lou.

Even something like four seasons with an OPS+ of 200 (rather better than any of his seasons to date) only pulls the Albert roughly even. That's how freaking good Gehrig was.
   69. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 11, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4034616)
Greg Maddux will miss 100% by three votes. The first from a San Diego Padres beat writer who didn't see anything special in Maddux, the second from a former St. Louis Browns beat writer who'll suffer an ill-timed silent stroke while running his finger between "Lofton" and "Mussina" on the ballot, and the third by a former Boston Beaneaters beat writer revolted by Maddux's potty mouth.
   70.   Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4034623)
I've been saying it for years....Jeter will be the first 100%
   71. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4034647)
I've been saying it for years....Jeter will be the first 100%


No way. I used to think it was possible for someone to get 100%, but not now. Not since that idiot forgot that Rickey Henderson was on the ballot. To get 100%, you have to overcome:

- Never on the first ballot guys
- Will not vote for anyone from the roid era guys
- as a protest, I'm voting only for known or suspected juicers
- various and sundry other reasons like "I forgot", "He treated women poorly", "Selfish for not moving for A Rod", etc.
   72. Repoz Posted: January 11, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4034655)
I've been saying it for years....Jeter will be the first 100%

Sift baskets for all voters!
   73. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4034673)
Greg Maddux will miss 100% by three votes. The first from a San Diego Padres beat writer who didn't see anything special in Maddux, the second from a former St. Louis Browns beat writer who'll suffer an ill-timed silent stroke while running his finger between "Lofton" and "Mussina" on the ballot, and the third by a former Boston Beaneaters beat writer revolted by Maddux's potty mouth.
Plus another who says that his "Chicks dig the longball" commercial effectively endorsed PEDs.
   74. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 11, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4034684)
Jeter will be the first 100%


No, while it's true that he's vastly overrated by many writers, there's also a backlash against him from others. Not enough to seriously hurt his likelihood of making the HOF easily in his first year, but enough to keep him from being unanimous. Even setting aside the "Wait, Derek Jeter was on the ballot? How'd I miss him?" votes, I could see people actually making an argument that Jeter's not worthy along the lines of "Eh, he's all a product of Yankee hype; if he spent his whole career in Pittsburgh, would we even be talking about him" and/or "Jeter was so bad defensively that it completely wiped out his offensive value; I like my shortstop to be able to field". I doubt there'll be more than 10-20 such voters, but I'm pretty sure there'll be at least one.
   75. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 11, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4034701)
Greg Maddux will miss 100% by three votes. The first from a San Diego Padres beat writer who didn't see anything special in Maddux, the second from a former St. Louis Browns beat writer who'll suffer an ill-timed silent stroke while running his finger between "Lofton" and "Mussina" on the ballot, and the third by a former Boston Beaneaters beat writer revolted by Maddux's potty mouth.

The problem with this theory is that it assumes Lofton will survive the 2013 ballot.
   76. jingoist Posted: January 11, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4034740)
"hey, Cy Young award winners over here"

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