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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rogers: Baseball writers need guidance from Hall of Fame

As ace turned not such an ace, Whammy Douglas Bader, once said…“Baseball rules are for the obedience of wise men and the guidance of fools.”

The whole thing is beyond a slippery slope. It’s an icy crevasse.

The one thing that is clear is that players with any link to performance-enhancing drugs aren’t currently welcome in Cooperstown. McGwire, the test case, has been on the ballot five years, never has received more than 23.7 percent of the vote and received 13 fewer votes in 2011 than in 2010.

While Jeff Bagwell never was linked to steroid use, he improved his body taking androstenedione when it was sold off the shelves at GNC and told ESPN in 2010 that he had “no problem” with a player juicing up. He received 41.7 percent as a first-timer and returns for his second year on the ballot in the voting that ends Sunday and will be released Jan. 9.

It’s impossible to know if that 42 percent rating is a reflection on his play - he’s a Hall of Famer in my book - or if he’s considered a steroid user, even if his only real tie is to androstenedione when it was sold over the counter.

My interpretation says guys who took advantage of baseball’s lack of testing to do as they pleased - Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Clemens, Rodriguez and Palmeiro, among others - disqualified themselves for the Hall because integrity is among the listed factors for voting. But I need some evidence. I don’t believe I can eliminate every brawny player on suspicion alone.

 

 

Repoz Posted: December 31, 2011 at 02:44 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, rumors, steroids

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   1. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 31, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#4026289)
My interpretation says guys who took advantage of baseball’s lack of testing to do as they pleased - Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Clemens, Rodriguez and Palmeiro, among others - disqualified themselves for the Hall because integrity is among the listed factors for voting. But I need some evidence. I don’t believe I can eliminate every brawny player on suspicion alone.


Uh, you just did.
   2. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: December 31, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#4026291)
While Jeff Bagwell never was linked to steroid use, he improved his body taking androstenedione when it was sold off the shelves at GNC and told ESPN in 2010 that he had “no problem” with a player juicing up.


STONE HIM!
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 31, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#4026300)
Rogers may be ruling out too many guys here, but his point is that he doesn't know what to do because it is obvious that STERIOD FRUADS are being ruled out by enough voters to keep them out forever, despite there being no official reason to even consider voting against them -- so he doesn't know if he should bother voting for them since they are de facto disqualified. And he wants the Hall of Fame to make some sort of statement on the subject. Which they will have to do sometime. Very thoughtful article by Phil Rogers standards.

He goes on to say

Bernie Williams is the best of the newcomers to the ballot. But his legacy was built heavily around being the Yankees’ center fielder during a run of titles in the era of expanded playoffs, which gave him the chance to play 121 postseason games, including 32 in the World Series. It will be a shame if he gets more votes than Trammell.


I wonder if even the reserve army of 80-year-old retired New York BBWAA members are going to cancel out this seeming consensus, an anti-NYC bias, you might say, that Bernie Williams should be given short shrift because he was a product of NYC bias.
   4. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 31, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#4026321)
I do think there needs to be some clarification about what the whole steroids standard should be in voting for the HOF. Otherwise, it's going to be very difficult for any of these all-time greats to get in over the next 15 years, and it will clog the pipeline for any players who appear (note the word appear) beyond reproach on the topic.

What's especially difficult to me about this subject is that, if you are somebody whose vote is severely impacted by how you view steroid use, you have at least three rational means of expressing that opinion:

1) Idealistic: If you used PEDs, I cannot vote for you, no matter what.
2) Surgical: If you used PEDs, I have to discount the benefit you received from it, and then figure out if you would've been a HOF without the help. Example: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were going to be HOFers, even if you take 300 HRs away from Bonds, and 75 wins from Clemens. Somebody who would be harmed significantly by this sort of thought process might be Palmeiro, who saw huge increases in power later in his career, and would've been Mark Grace without the help (you could argue).
3) Pragmatic: Let's be honest - nobody really knows who used and didn't use, or when they started using, or even how much impact PEDs really have on performance or career extension. It sucks, but we should just vote for this generation of ballplayers on its face, and look at the 1990s as an unethical version of the 1930s, statistically, when numbers were inflated by the circumstances of the era.

Personally, I think option #2, erring on the side of inclusion, is the way to go. Really - how do we know who did and didn;t use PEDs = by the size of their biceps? That's what Bagwell's problem is - people think he was too jacked not to have used something, which is silly. Geez, Manny Alexander got nailed for steroids - the year he hit .211/.261/.325 for the Red Sox. Unless we know somebody used, and we believe they are right on the HOF in-out line to begin with, I don't really know how much we can discount somebody's career.
   5. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: December 31, 2011 at 09:07 PM (#4026349)
Bernie Williams is the best of the newcomers to the ballot. But his legacy was built heavily around being the Yankees’ center fielder during a run of titles in the era of expanded playoffs, which gave him the chance to play 121 postseason games, including 32 in the World Series.
Oh, bullsh!t.

If Bernie Williams has a legacy, it's that he had an 8-year run where he hit .321/.406/.531 (142 OPS+) while manning CF (admittedly, not terribly well).
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 31, 2011 at 09:31 PM (#4026365)
Steve (# 4),

Your heart's obviously in the right place, but the main problem with your suggestion is that there's no real way to enforce it. The competing views on steroids are (at least for now) completely irreconcilable, no consensus exists, and they involve matters of ethics and conscience that can't be squashed by fiat. No matter which of those 3 guidelines you chose, you'd have an uproar from one side or the other, and you'll wind up worse than you were before.

Personally, I'd like for writers not to play guessing games about rumors and muscle size, but even there, how can you really prohibit it? And how could you tell a writer who falls in your category # 3 that he can't vote for Barry Bonds? His conscience is every bit as important to him as the conscience of the writer who wouldn't vote for him under any circumstance.

The truth is that no matter how much we grieve at the thought of a possible "logjam", there's nothing that's going to be "resolved" more than one writer at a time, and we're just going to have to live with it. Perhaps everyone concerned should have thought about this a long time ago, but they didn't, and we're stuck with the consequences.
   7. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 31, 2011 at 09:52 PM (#4026377)
And he wants the Hall of Fame to make some sort of statement on the subject. Which they will have to do sometime.


"Some sort of statement" isn't going to make a damned bit of difference, unless it's a declaration that specific players are ineligible for specific reasons. Does anyone really think that the sizable block of voters who are currently disqualifying anyone associated with steroids would suddenly start voting differently starting next year just because Jeff Idelson issued a statement that said that the HOF did not consider PED use to be relevant to the consideration of "character, integrity and sportsmanship"?
   8. Babe Adams Posted: December 31, 2011 at 10:17 PM (#4026386)
Reduce the BBWAA eligibility period to five years. Problem solved.
   9. The District Attorney Posted: December 31, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#4026391)
Does anyone really think that the sizable block of voters who are currently disqualifying anyone associated with steroids would suddenly start voting differently starting next year just because Jeff Idelson issued a statement that said that the HOF did not consider PED use to be relevant to the consideration of "character, integrity and sportsmanship"?
I never thought about it before, but yeah, if the HOF flat-out ordered the writers not to consider PED anymore, I think most of them would abide by the now-explicit rules. Would literally every single writer go along? Probably not. But the vast majority, I think.
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 31, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#4026393)
I never thought about it before, but yeah, if the HOF flat-out ordered the writers not to consider PED anymore, I think most of them would abide by the now-explicit rules. Would literally every single writer go along? Probably not. But the vast majority, I think.\

Really? And what if the BBWAA flat-out ordered the voters to consider proven steroid use to be an absolute violation of the character clause? How do you think that might go down?

Seriously, any such mandate, no matter how it were to be worded, would be the equivalent of an American political party's mandating a party-line vote on abortion, or on some other matter of conscience. It simply wouldn't fly, for the very good reason that it shouldn't.
   11. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 31, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#4026399)
And he wants the Hall of Fame to make some sort of statement on the subject. Which they will have to do sometime.


Why? What would possibly be the benefit to the Hall of Fame in making a statement about the eligibility of steroid users and the standard of evidence for calling one a "steroid user"? There is a subset of baseball fandom that passionately believes that steroids are a vile scourge and that no steroid user should ever be allowed within 1,000 miles of the hallowed walls of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There is a subset of baseball fandom that believes that the Hall of Fame would become a joke and an irrelevancy if it doesn't induct the greatest players of the "steroid" generation. The latter group is well-represented here, but don't make the mistake of therefore assuming that the former doesn't exist. The Hall of Fame has thus far played this exactly right: deferring entirely to the body it has chosen to elect its members to make its own individual judgments as to whether steroids should affect one's Hall-of-Fame qualifications.

As a practical matter, if McGwire's and Palmeiro's support never moves up from where it is right now (under 20%), supporters of these two might need to consider whether to continue "wasting" ballots on them, especially if the ballot becomes sufficiently crowded that the 10-man ballot limit starts coming into play. On the other hand, if the BBWAA membership begins to soften its anti-steroid stance and McGwire starts to see some positive momentum in his vote totals over the next couple of years, I would expect to see voting patterns to continue to trend in that direction. Either way, this issue is going to resolve itself over time and the Hall of Fame would gain no benefit whatsoever from trying to force the issue one way or the other.
   12. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 31, 2011 at 11:18 PM (#4026403)
Really? And what if the BBWAA flat-out ordered the voters to consider proven steroid use to be an absolute violation of the character clause? How do you think that might go down?


I think something like this needs to be done. Either "steroids are evil and a disqualified" or "steroids don't count." To me having a Hall of Fame where Barry Bonds is eligible but not in just makes no sense. It's going to create the backlog that we've discussed at length here and just needs to be eliminated.

Personally, I'm of the "vote for the best of the era" camp but if the Hall/MLB/BBWAA wants to put in a banishment rule, so be it.

Either way, this issue is going to resolve itself over time and the Hall of Fame would gain no benefit whatsoever from trying to force the issue one way or the other.


I think the benefit is creating a non-backlog situation. The absolute worst case scenario for the Hall is a no-induction year or years and that is a distinct possibility. Additionally, if a generation of fans grow up without their heroes in the Hall, they aren't going to go to the Hall as visitors. Part of the appeal for me at the Hall is seeing the plaques of Yaz, Brett, Schmidt, etc...that I grew up watching. When the kid who was born in 1987 starts taking his family on vacation (not that far away now) Cooperstown is not going to be as appealing if Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, etc...are not there.
   13. The District Attorney Posted: December 31, 2011 at 11:27 PM (#4026405)
what if the BBWAA flat-out ordered the voters to consider proven steroid use to be an absolute violation of the character clause?
I think a similarly very high percentage of the voters would then consider their vote to be governed by that.

(Of course, it's an easier thought process not to consider something than it is to consider it. Different voters would then have different definitions of "proven", or perhaps even "steroid." But I think the vast majority would attempt to abide by their interpretation of the new rule, as opposed to ignoring it.)
   14. CrosbyBird Posted: December 31, 2011 at 11:36 PM (#4026410)
Either way, this issue is going to resolve itself over time and the Hall of Fame would gain no benefit whatsoever from trying to force the issue one way or the other.

"Over time" is the issue, I think. The worst-case scenario is that we have 10 players that jam the ballot up for fifteen years, at which point they fall off the ballot. I'm fine with the BBWAA sorting this mess out for itself, but the HOF might not be as an institution (in fact, I agree that the HOF should defer to the voters).

I don't even think the character clause in the HOF guidelines is a problem, vague as it is. I think many voters don't spend enough time carefully considering what it means to say that steroid uses represents a HOF-barring character issue while amphetamines, corked bats, spitballs, overt racism, wife-beating, and drunken driving do not. That doesn't sound like what anyone would consider to be a reasonable place to draw the line so much as selectively applying the character clause to exclude one particular sin and otherwise practically ignoring it. I could even accept that if such voters were consistently upfront about it: "In my opinion, steroids represent such a widespread and serious issue for the game of baseball, that, like gambling, they demand what would otherwise appear to be a disproportionately harsh penalty. To this end, I will not be voting for any player with a positive test result, a confession, or a significant amount of suspicion." (I'd disagree, but it's at least a principled position.)

My main issue with HOF voting is that it isn't taken seriously enough by many of the writers who have votes, and the voters aren't held to a high standard (or really much of a standard at all) by anyone. I think a statement like "I didn't know Bagwell was on the ballot last year" should receive a strong and prompt rebuke from the HOF as inappropriate behavior from someone given the honor of a HOF vote. If the HOF is going to address voting issues, that's a good place to start.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 31, 2011 at 11:39 PM (#4026411)
Really? And what if the BBWAA flat-out ordered the voters to consider proven steroid use to be an absolute violation of the character clause? How do you think that might go down?

I think something like this needs to be done. Either "steroids are evil and a disqualified" or "steroids don't count." To me having a Hall of Fame where Barry Bonds is eligible but not in just makes no sense. It's going to create the backlog that we've discussed at length here and just needs to be eliminated.


I think that both Kiko and I have addressed the objections to this fairly well already. It's one of those "cures" that would be far worse than the existing disease. It would make the debate even more polarized and dug in than it is today, and in fact you'd almost certainly have an outright rebellion on your hands, even among writers whose particular POV was the one being mandated. Nobody likes to be told what they "have to" do involving matters of conscience, and writers are no different in that respect than anyone else.

When the kid who was born in 1987 starts taking his family on vacation (not that far away now) Cooperstown is not going to be as appealing if Bagwell**, Bonds, Clemens, etc...are not there.

First, the plaque room is but one part of the Hall of Fame experience, and those players will be well represented in other parts of the museum. And second, the four most prominent steroid users (McGwire, Bonds, Clemens and A-Rod) are just about the most UNpopular superstars the game has ever known, outside of perhaps St. Louis (McGwire), San Francisco (Bonds) and Texas (Clemens---and I'm just guessing on that one). I doubt if you'd be seeing too many boycotts just because tainted stars like that were missing from one room.

**The above paragraph is NOT directed at Bagwell.
   16. Something Other Posted: January 01, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4026448)
I think something like this needs to be done. Either "steroids are evil and a disqualified" or "steroids don't count." To me having a Hall of Fame where Barry Bonds is eligible but not in just makes no sense. It's going to create the backlog that we've discussed at length here and just needs to be eliminated.
There were a number of suggestions on recent threads that the BBWAA simply increase the number of votes a voter has, from, say, ten to fifteen.

Backlog gone.
   17. shoewizard Posted: January 01, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4026471)
I think that

1.) The HOF/MLB/ and the BBWAA need to get together and come up with a consensus definition of what constitutes "evidence"....

for example, a failed test, a public admission, would constitute evidence. (There could be more.....would like to hear from others what else could be considered evidence)

2.) Once they have that definition, the writers should still NOT exclude any player on the basis of such evidence. It clearly was a part of the game, half the players were juicing, half or more of the guys in minors trying to take jobs away were juicing, and juicing still goes on today.

3.) Any player inducted into the HOF that DOES have evidence against them should have it mentioned on his plaque in Cooperstown.

"Was found to have used Illegal Performance Enhancing Drugs"


Of course the problem here is you have writers that will ignore number 2, and just refuse to vote for certain guys, but I think that if number 3 is enacted, then that will free up a lot of writers to justify a vote.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: January 01, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4026483)
And he wants the Hall of Fame to make some sort of statement on the subject. Which they will have to do sometime.

Andy and Kiko have addressed this. I will simply add that the HoF has already done this, first informally and then semi-formally.

The HoF's position is clear -- steroid users are eligible, the voters can assess them (presumably under the character clause) however the hell they want. And last year, what's his name said the HoF has no concerns about the current voting which is a tacit endorsement the current approach.

And if my job was CEO of the HoF I'm pretty sure I'd take exactly that position too. By all mean, pass the buck onto the people you've suckered into taking the responsibility of voting. If the HoF ever makes a clear statement that Bonds will/won't be inducted, they run the risk of annoying a large chunk of their potential customers whichever way they rule (not to mention annoying a big chunk of the BBWAA). Right now they have plausible deniability with the customers.

On the other hand, yes I think it would have a large, but not necessarily "large enough", impact on the voting if the HoF were to signal it was OK if steroid users came through. If the HoF were to publicly (and maybe repeatedly) state something like "we remind voters that the use of PEDs was not against baseball rules until XXXX", there'd be a reasonable move in the totals. I think there are a reasonable number of voters out there who do just want some cover (Rogers sounds like one). They don't want to write the article defending their choice of McGwire but would choose him if they could blame it on the HoF.

On the other hand, the HoF Prez could easily just let slip "the use of PEDs does seem to be outside the spirit of the rules" and while I'm not sure you'd see the anti-PED voting increase, they'd become even further entrenched and you'd see very little "Bonds was an HoFer before he used" excuses. (We may see very little of that anyway.)

There were a number of suggestions on recent threads that the BBWAA simply increase the number of votes a voter has, from, say, ten to fifteen.

Backlog gone.


That's only true if there's a substantial percentage of voters using up all 10 spots, otherwise it will have no impact And it assumes those extra votes are going to go to viable "clean" candidates rather than to steroid pariahs (Mac, Palmeiro) and or viable but not top 10 low-vote candidates (McGriff and Walker).

Anyway it is true (at least in theory) that the backlog problem won't come to pass if the votes per ballot goes up enough and allowing more than 10 would obviously raise the votes per ballot some. I'm just not sure it will raise it by much.

But let me say this again. The issue of the backlog is NOT that nobody will get elected.* There are tons of "clean" candidates ready to sail through over the next 6-7 years (by which time Jeter, then Pujols, then ... hit the ballot and sail through). The issue of the backlog is that a set of perfectly good borderline candidates who would normally progress and make it after a few years might get decimated or at least pushed back far enough they won't make it. Even somebody like Raines might have a problem. He'll get close to 50% this year but I think he drops back some each of the next 3-4 ballots such that he's maybe at 35-40%.

He should get some movement in 2017 (I don't think there are any big names coming on) which is his 10th ballot. But I think you then start getting big names again (Thome, Mo). Anyway, he should still have enough time to make it but it's going to be cutting it close.

* The exception here being if the "ignore steroids" crowd engage in some "civil disobedience" and refuse to vote for Maddux et al until the other side starts voting for Bonds et al. That seems unlikely. I guess it's also possible that the anti-steroid crowd, high on power, starts painting damn near everybody with the steroid brush (Biggio, Schilling, Thomas, Piazza, etc.) but I don't think that's going to happen either.

Still I think the BBWAA will start showing some fracture lines. We saw a few last year, a few writers taking shots at other writers over this issue. I'm surprised the Braun thing has simmered down -- I don't know if it's the holidays or a surprisingly calm attitude to wait for the results of the appeal. The Conlin mess is likely to cause some friction. And you've got the old school vs the new school and you've got the papers vs the internet. The most likely "dramatic" outcome of this (not that the odds are very high) is that the BBWAA gives up its voting privileges.
   19. CrosbyBird Posted: January 01, 2012 at 04:43 AM (#4026514)
That's only true if there's a substantial percentage of voters using up all 10 spots, otherwise it will have no impact And it assumes those extra votes are going to go to viable "clean" candidates rather than to steroid pariahs (Mac, Palmeiro) and or viable but not top 10 low-vote candidates (McGriff and Walker).

Have we ever even seen a published 10-man ballot? We're getting into a unique scenario with the next few years, so that might change. We won't really know until we see how the voters ultimately treat Bonds and Clemens, neither of whom can arguably said to be candidates that wouldn't have had HOF-quality performance but for PEDs.

My 2012 ballot would be Walker, McGwire, Palmeiro, Bagwell, Trammell, Larkin, and Raines. Larkin has a very good chance of going in, and if he is the only one, then I'm at 11 guys in 2013 (add Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, and Sosa). I'm probably dropping Raines if I'm limited to 10 guys.

I don't think it's going to be limited to even borderline candidates. I could see a 2014 ballot that includes the following players: Edgar Martinez, Walker, McGwire, Palmeiro, Bagwell, Trammell, Raines, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Kent, Glavine, Mussina, Frank Thomas, and Maddux. The 11th best player on that list is going to be well over the borderline for all both the smallest hall voters; I'm a small-hall guy and the only player that isn't a clear HOFer on that list for me is Edgar Martinez (and he's pretty much as close as you can be to the line as possible and not get my vote).

It's not like it lets up either. In 2015, you're adding Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Gary Sheffield. I could see a fifteen-man ballot still not being enough to include all of players I'd want to induct.
   20. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 01, 2012 at 06:31 AM (#4026530)
I could see a 2014 ballot that includes the following players: Edgar Martinez, Walker, McGwire, Palmeiro, Bagwell, Trammell, Raines, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Kent, Glavine, Mussina, Frank Thomas, and Maddux.


Palmeiro got 11% of the vote this year and is under 10% in Repoz's poll as I type this. There are very few actual voters who are going to run into this sort of ballot logjam. The overwhelming majority won't include Palmeiro, most won't include McGwire, most won't include Trammell (not because of steroids, of course), most likely won't include Martinez (he dropped in his 2nd year just under 33%), Walker will still be well below 50%, Kent will debut below 50%, Sosa will end up in Palmeiro-McGwire country. Which leaves ample room on most voters ballots to include Bagwell, Piazza, Glavine, Mussina, Big Hurt, and Maddux (a couple of whom might have already been elected by 2014 anyway), with 4 free slots for Bonds, Clemens, and/or the voter's particular favorites.
   21. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4026550)
Why? What would possibly be the benefit to the Hall of Fame in making a statement about the eligibility of steroid users and the standard of evidence for calling one a "steroid user"? There is a subset of baseball fandom that passionately believes that steroids are a vile scourge and that no steroid user should ever be allowed within 1,000 miles of the hallowed walls of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. There is a subset of baseball fandom that believes that the Hall of Fame would become a joke and an irrelevancy if it doesn't induct the greatest players of the "steroid" generation. The latter group is well-represented here, but don't make the mistake of therefore assuming that the former doesn't exist.


As time passes, and new drugs and treatments become acceptable not only in the society at large but in sports in general, people are going to look on the hysteria over steroids with bewilderment. They'll then wonder why the greatest players of this past generation - including arguably the greatest pitcher and hitter ever -- aren't in the Hall because of this. It will look utterly silly to anyone with a functioning brain cell. I realize that leaves some people out.
   22. Ron J Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4026554)
#14 We've got a gambler in the HOF. Few things are easier to prove than that Cap Anson bet on his team to win. Repeatedly. And not token bets -- real bets, serious money.
   23. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 01, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4026564)
As time passes, and new drugs and treatments become acceptable not only in the society at large but in sports in general, people are going to look on the hysteria over steroids with bewilderment. They'll then wonder why the greatest players of this past generation - including arguably the greatest pitcher and hitter ever -- aren't in the Hall because of this. It will look utterly silly to anyone with a functioning brain cell. I realize that leaves some people out.

Well, if all that's true, then the problem will eventually resolve itself, either through the BBWAA itself or the Veterans Committee. But the evolution you're talking about isn't going to take place via some unilateral edict that's ahead of its time, an edict which of course is never going to be made to begin with.
   24. Something Other Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4026684)
   25. CrosbyBird Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4026709)
There are very few actual voters who are going to run into this sort of ballot logjam.

If 25% care about each player (and it can be a different 25% for each of them) it can cause a logjam, and in reality, it is less than that. It is unlikely that most voters will fill their ballots, because there's something that just feels wrong about voting for ten people. We saw a ballot this year with one vote. There's a good chance that at least some voters will use one or two spots for "nice guy, won't win, but will appreciate the thought" votes on completely ridiculous players (didn't David Segui get a vote?) and it's a near-certainty that a bunch of them will use one or two spots on more qualified (but still) ridiculous candidates like Mattingly. There are voters who won't vote for anyone on the first ballot. And of course, there's a chance that at least one or two voters just leaves a name off of a ballot out of sloppiness.

I expect that of the players I mentioned (Edgar Martinez, Walker, McGwire, Palmeiro, Bagwell, Trammell, Raines, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Kent, Glavine, Mussina, Frank Thomas, and Maddux), only Maddux and perhaps Frank Thomas gets in on the 2013 ballot. I left off Biggio because he's on the 2013 ballot and I expect him to get in on the first ballot as well.

I also think you're remarkably optimistic on Bagwell to think that he'll go from ~41% to 75% in 1-2 years. I suppose it might happen if there's a very large group that wants to co-induct the Killer B's.

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