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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Rob Biertempfel: Six for the Hall of Fame

Rob Parker wasn’t enough!

At first, I expected my ballot to be full this year. After spending a few days of my Christmas vacation poring over stats, watching video and reading other reporters’ opinions on the candidates, I put checkmarks next to six names:

Craig Biggio
Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine
Frank Thomas
Lee Smith
Jack Morris

..Speaking of Bonds … yeah, I’m in that camp of voters. Mike Piazza was a very, very tough call for me. His admission of andro use tipped the scales against him — for now, at least.
I voted for Morris because he pretty much was The Pitcher of the ’80s. Awesome in big games, too. This is his final year on the ballot. If he’s not voted in this year, it will be up to the veterans committee fellas down the line to do it.

Jeff Bagwell, Mike Mussina, Tim Raines and Curt Schilling also were difficult decisions. I spent more time on these guys than any of the others, probably. And there’s a good chance each of them will turn up on my ballot somewhere down the line.

Repoz Posted: December 31, 2013 at 01:29 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: December 31, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4627180)
Biertempfel who??
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 31, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4627181)
That's a 35 on the TangoTiger scoring system.
   3. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 31, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4627185)
Biertempfel

I want to go to that guy's church.
   4. AROM Posted: December 31, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4627198)
Very crappy ballot just by only having 6 players, let alone who he's voting for. Come on, Lee Smith barely even beats Schilling in ERA+, never mind that he didn't have to pace himself for a full game and pitched less than half as many innings.

To vote Morris over Mussina, who beats him in absolutely every measure you can devise, you'd have to put enormous weight on 1991 game 7. But if you care about postseason that much, how in the world can you justify Smith? He was a postseason disaster. No standards.

Even with that, most of the guys he didn't vote for won't make it no matter what. Glavine and Maddux are looking like locks, which puts these guys nearest the bubble:

Thomas
Biggio
Piazza

So he actually scores 2/3 on the ones that really count.
   5. gehrig97 Posted: December 31, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4627208)
This clown claims to "take the responsibility seriously," then proceeds to produce this drek? The only thing worse than his ballot is his so-called reasoning behind his picks.

Seriously, they (the HOF) need to blow up the process and start over.
   6. John Northey Posted: December 31, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4627214)
Obviously he never watched baseball or has any idea on how teams win. </bbtf>

At least, on the bright side, he has Biggio, Maddux, Glavine and Thomas - the 4 most likely to make it.

   7. TJ Posted: December 31, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4627215)
FTFA...

"I voted for Smith the past two years. I don’t expect he’ll ever get in, but he was one of the players who always impressed me when I was a young (pre-beat writer) baseball fan."

How does the old biblical quote go? "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."? Time to grow up, Biertempfel...

And here I am trying to be nicer to BBWAA voters, but damn, this one is making it hard...
   8. Lassus Posted: December 31, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4627225)
At least, on the bright side, he has Biggio, Maddux, Glavine and Thomas - the 4 most likely to make it.

Piazza's ahead of Biggio on the Repozometer. No thanks to this idiot.
   9. Moeball Posted: December 31, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4627230)
About the only glimmer of hope I can hold forth when seeing ballots like this is that even this Neanderthal writer admits his mind could be changed on a few players somewhere down the road. The ability to revisit one's opinions and be willing to admit that just possibly the opinions need to change - this is one of the things that makes us - well, human. In a good way.

As we approach a new year I feel pretty optimistic that players such as Piazza, Bagwell and Raines are on their way to HOF induction even if not at quite the speed with which I had hoped.

I think the next decade will clear out a lot of the logjam with better results than originally expected.

Change is upon us and it will take some dinosaurs longer to adapt, but I think we will eventually get to a better place.

So here's wishing all my fellow primates a very Happy New Year, may it be a darn sight better than this one!
   10. TDF, situational idiot Posted: December 31, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4627264)
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate and try to defend the guy's thinking.

I think his ballot reveals his bias (and everyone has a bias) - to his way of thinking, there's no way there are more than 5 or 6 guys on any one ballot who are HOF worthy; after all, when was the last time that many guys were elected? On its face, that's a very defensible position.

He also may be working through what, exactly, a HOFer is - he admits that this is just his 3rd ballot. He also seems open to changing his mind on those he didn't vote for this year.

Finally, he seems a hard-line anti-PED guy. That topic's been argued ad nauseam here but the fact is that many people feel this way.

So who did he vote for?
- The guy everyone everywhere says is beyond reproach
- The "clean" guy with 300 wins
- The "clean" guy with 3,000 hits
- The guy who retired as the all-time saves leader
- The "clean" guy with 500 HRs
- "The winningest pitcher of the '80s"

His post has almost no defense for his picks, but Tango scolded us last week for expecting that (at least from him).

This is far from a perfect ballot, but it hits 4 very deserving "clean" players. It's certainly not the ballot I'd submit, but "idiot", "Neanderthal", "dinosaur", and "drek" do absolutely nothing to further any discussion or change any minds.
   11. flournoy Posted: December 31, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4627268)
Piazza's ahead of Biggio on the Repozometer.


Current "Gizmo" standings:
Biggio - 81.2%
Piazza - 74.1%

Biggio has always been ahead of Piazza, as far as I've seen.
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 31, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4627269)
On its face, that's a very defensible position.


No, it isn't. Biertempfel voted for all three of Schilling, Bagwell, and Raines last year. They didn't magically become less-deserving between then and now.
   13. JL Posted: December 31, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4627270)
Finally, he seems a hard-line anti-PED guy. That topic's been argued ad nauseam here but the fact is that many people feel this way.


I don't get the argument for andro (which is why he is leaving Piazza off). I have no idea if Piazza took it or not, but assuming he did, I don't know why that counts against him. It was legal and not against the rules either express or implied (like the MLB memo). I am not aware of any mention of it being problematic until much later. I get that it is not allowed now, but why retroactively apply that ban? Are golfing victories vacated because someone used a legal putter that is now banned?
   14. TJ Posted: December 31, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4627271)
TDF, if you can successfully defend this guy's thinking, then I'm calling you if I ever find myself in need of courtroom defense...
   15. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 31, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4627310)
Jeff Bagwell, Mike Mussina, Tim Raines and Curt Schilling also were difficult decisions. I spent more time on these guys than any of the others, probably. And there’s a good chance each of them will turn up on my ballot somewhere down the line.


If that's the case, why wouldn't he use the 4 unused ballot spots this year?

   16. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 31, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4627319)
No, it isn't. Biertempfel voted for all three of Schilling, Bagwell, and Raines last year. They didn't magically become less-deserving between then and now.


Add those three to this year's ballot, and it suddenly becomes much more defensible as a "best of the clean guys" ballot. Biggio, Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Smith, Morris, Schilling, Bags, Raines, and let's say one of Kent/Moose from his "will consider" list is a perfectly reasonable ballot for someone who isn't voting for players with heavy PED connections like Bonds, Palmeiro, or McGwire. You get to 10 candidates, which works against the logjam and 8/10 would be perfectly reasonable HOF picks.

This isn't an awful ballot at all. It's just not a great one.
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 31, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4627322)
Add those three to this year's ballot, and it suddenly becomes much more defensible as a "best of the clean guys" ballot.


Yeah, but he didn't vote for any of them. That's the whole problem.
   18. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 31, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4627335)
Yeah, but he didn't vote for any of them. That's the whole problem.


It's not a problem if you start with the idea that the HoF is supposed to be for the best of the best, and that even 10 players on a ballot is too many - I would guess that Biertempfel decided up front that he wasn't going to vote for more than 5-6 players. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with someone holding that position.

-- MWE
   19. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: December 31, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4627344)
It's not a problem if you start with the idea that the HoF is supposed to be for the best of the best, and that even 10 players on a ballot is too many - I would guess that Biertempfel decided up front that he wasn't going to vote for more than 5-6 players. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with someone holding that position.

-- MWE


I don't understand. The HoF being for the best of the best doesn't mean that 10 players on a ballot is too many, because as we're currently seeing, sometimes a ballot has ten of the 'best of the best' on it (seriously, there are ten fiftieth percentile Hall of Famers on this ballot). The only way you can connect those claims is if you understand 'best of the best' to mean 'the best five people on this particular ballot', and given the way baseball works that's a crazy way to think of engaging in this project.

I don't understand what you mean by saying that the position that a voters should only vote for five or six players is not intrinsically wrong. The institution we are talking about, the Professional Baseball Hall of Fame, has already determined what the maximum number of people on a ballot should be. Given that great players, given the nature of baseball, sometimes retire in clumps, why should we put further restrictions on how many to vote for? These are arguments that the position that a ballots should only have 5-6 names on it is wrong. I don't understand what 'intrinsically' is adding to it.

Maybe by 'intrinsically' you mean something like 'on face,' given other things you've said? But I dunno, given the arguments above, the position does seem wrong on face. But even if it weren't, why are we defending him by saying that his position has on-face plausibility? Shouldn't we be expecting people to do more analysis or research than that? Sure, the fact that this position might have some on-face plausibility might explain why his ballot is so bad--he did minimal work and just did what made immediate sense--but that still means his ballot is bad. In any case, he seesm to think he's put a lot of thought into ti, so why should we judge him only on 'on face' reasons?
   20. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 31, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4627361)
That's a 35 on the TangoTiger scoring system.

Anyone know what would be the lowest score so far by that system?

How does the old biblical quote go? "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."?

Hey! I just read that one today! First Corinthians: 13:11

(Not that it matters, but Chapter 13 of First Corinthians is one of the standout chapters of the entire Bible, but moving along .....)

Yeah, voting for 6 guys on a ballot this deep is bad.

It's not a problem if you start with the idea that the HoF is supposed to be for the best of the best, and that even 10 players on a ballot is too many

This approach ignores that the HoF is an actual place with standards built up over time. And some guys he's leaving off are well above the Hall's own standards. It ain't his personal HoF. It's the actual one in Cooperstown that we're talking about.
   21. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: December 31, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4627362)
It's not a problem if you start with the idea that the HoF is supposed to be for the best of the best,

And at any rate, if that's your position - why are you voting for Morris and Smith?
   22. SG Posted: December 31, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4627379)
Anyone know what would be the lowest score so far by that system?


According to this it's Juan Vene.

As I posted, vote this time for Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Jack (The Jack) Morris and Lee Smith.
   23. alilisd Posted: December 31, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4627407)
At least, on the bright side, he has Biggio, Maddux, Glavine and Thomas - the 4 most likely to make it.


But only if you ignore that, even if those four make it, it won't reduce the backlog, and three more clear, no PED question HOF hit the ballot next year along with Sheffield. I'm just not seeing a bright side to ballots like this no matter how you look at it.
   24. I Am Not a Number Posted: December 31, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4627410)
After spending a few days of my Christmas vacation poring over stats, watching video

Setting aside the fish-in-a-barrel ballot that he presents for our presumed teeth gnashing, and conferring upon him a respect that doesn't seem terribly well earned, what on earth could watching video do to sway you one way or the other? Seriously? (He does mention being impressed at Frank Thomas's 1994 homerun derby performance. Is this what he means?)
   25. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 31, 2013 at 07:06 PM (#4627414)
According to this it's Juan Vene.


That's only if Murray pulls the trigger on the Big Hurt. If he can restrain himself, he'll have his deserved spot at the top.

But only if you ignore that, even if those four make it, it won't reduce the backlog, and three more clear, no PED question HOF hit the ballot next year along with Sheffield.


If four go in, assuming none are Jack, the backlog will be slightly smaller next year.
   26. Srul Itza Posted: December 31, 2013 at 07:37 PM (#4627432)
three more clear, no PED question HOF hit the ballot next year along with Sheffield.


I don't think Smoltz makes it on the first ballot, although I'm prepared to be surprised.
   27. Bug Selig Posted: December 31, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4627452)
After spending a few days of my Christmas vacation poring over stats, watching video and reading other reporters’ opinions on the candidates,


Watching video? I bet I know which game...
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 31, 2013 at 09:09 PM (#4627460)
It's not a problem if you start with the idea that the HoF is supposed to be for the best of the best, and that even 10 players on a ballot is too many - I would guess that Biertempfel decided up front that he wasn't going to vote for more than 5-6 players. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with someone holding that position.


But then the problem is that he voted for Smith, Morris, Biggio, and Glavine. They are not the best of the best.
   29. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 31, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4627463)

If four go in, assuming none are Jack, the backlog will be slightly smaller next year.


No it won't, because the backlog is the overqualified steroids players. And for another year none of them will have been inducted.
   30. ptodd Posted: December 31, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4627468)
HOF=Irrelevant. Just say No to a Hall or Morality.
   31. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 31, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4627469)
After spending a few days of my Christmas vacation poring over stats, watching video

Setting aside the fish-in-a-barrel ballot that he presents for our presumed teeth gnashing, and conferring upon him a respect that doesn't seem terribly well earned, what on earth could watching video do to sway you one way or the other? Seriously? (He does mention being impressed at Frank Thomas's 1994 homerun derby performance. Is this what he means?)


The 2016 ballot (Garret Anderson) just got more crowded.
   32. Lassus Posted: December 31, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4627492)
I'm in the muddle of travelling and have read the thread, so only now do I realize my earlier statement was idiotic, even if someone already told me.
   33. John Northey Posted: December 31, 2013 at 11:36 PM (#4627511)
If 4 guys get in that will be amazing. If PED's were never an issue (aka 1998 when writers though 'so what' much like all NFL writers and fans) then it is a safe bet Bonds & Clemens would've been in last year with a chance Sosa and Biggio would've joined them on the podium. Earlier we'd have had McGwire and Palmeiro. This year would've been Maddux/Glavine/Thomas (as it will probably be) plus Piazza might have made it all the way in (one year 'penalty' for defense). Bagwell might have got in back in 2012 (weak year, his second). That would leave a much, much smaller backlog.

But regardless, 4 going in would be big as the last time 3 went in was 1999 (Ryan/Brett/Yount), 4 was 1955 (DiMaggio, Lyons, Vance, Hartnett). Before that was 1947 (Hubbell, Frisch, Cochrane, Grove) and 1936 (first election).

Think about that. 4 going in hasn't happened since there were 16 ML teams, the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, and just 4 years after the first "Official Encyclopedia of Baseball" was printed (have a copy of it too - extremely limited but key for stat junkies to have in their collection imo). Now that is a long time ago. If 4 go in this year it'll be amazing. Next year we might well have another near record crowd with Johnson/Pedro Martinez/Smoltz and Piazza. Scary that it will take that to clear the backlog, but such is the way it is.

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