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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ryan Thibs has his 2017 HOF Tracker Up and Running

7 Ballots in as of 11/29/16, and Schilling has already lost 2 votes from last year.

reech Posted: November 29, 2016 at 02:29 PM | 932 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, hof

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   101. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 09, 2016 at 06:20 PM (#5365954)
One factor: ballots went out on November 9 last year, returned by December 21, announcement on January 6. This year it's November 21, December 31, and January 18.


Well, in that case, we're at worst right on schedule. Last year, the tracker appears to have hit 25 ballots on December 1st - 22 days after ballots went out and 20 days before ballots were due. We're at 25 today, which is 18 days after ballots went out and 22 days before ballots are due.

I thought the announcement of the HOF ballot seemed late this year. I guess December 31st does make sense as a deadline that's easy to remember.
   102. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 09, 2016 at 06:45 PM (#5365961)
Early candidate for strangest ballot: 26th ballot is up - Jim Moloney: who dropped Curt Schilling and Billy Wagner to make room on his 10-man ballot for 4 newcomers, including Edgar Renteria. His 10-man ballot also has no room for Bonds, Clemens, or Sosa, but does have room for Manny Ramirez.
   103. TJ Posted: December 09, 2016 at 06:55 PM (#5365964)
Only two possible reasons for Molony to vote for Renteria:

1. He wanted to vote for "Edgar", could not remember which one was HOF-caliber, so he decided to cover all bases.
2. Accidentally checked the wrong box and meant to vote for the player listed right below Renteria, Arthur Rhodes.

Aide from that, I cannot fathom why he voted for Renteria...
   104. alilisd Posted: December 09, 2016 at 07:09 PM (#5365968)
Was there an article by Molony, no E, because that is one wacky ballot!
   105. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 09, 2016 at 07:35 PM (#5365982)
Was there an article by Molony, no E, because that is one wacky ballot!


There doesn't appear to be: Thibs tweeted a picture of his ballot and there's nothing in his spreadsheet for Molony under the column for "Ballot Link". Googling Jim Molony (no "e" - thanks, alilsd!), I would guess that it's this guy, who is the copy desk editor of the Houston Chronicle and former Astros beat reporter for the Houston Post (sometime between 1977 and 1995). None of which would seem to help explain his affection for Edgar Renteria. I even checked Renteria's career splits vs. the Astros and they're pretty unremarkable (.727 OPS vs. HOU - .741 overall career OPS).
   106. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 09, 2016 at 08:20 PM (#5365999)
Here's more about Jim Molony: http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pearland/sports/article/Time-to-give-Bagwell-his-due-9513337.php

His bio from his 2012 explanation of his vote (he's been a voter since 1998):

I don’t know how my colleagues will vote, but Bagwell is on my ballot, along with Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Jack Morris, Lee Smith and Larry Walker.

Editor’s note: Jim Molony covered Major League Baseball for 21 years. He was the last Astros beat writer for The Houston Post and a regional writer for MLB.com for eight years. He has been a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America since 1988 and a Baseball Hall of Fame voter since 1998.
   107. AROM Posted: December 09, 2016 at 09:02 PM (#5366009)
2 voters voted for Manny Ramirez yet did not vote for Clemens or Bonds. That's hard to justify. Be the best pitcher or hitter in the modern era and (allegedly) use steroids, no vote. But be a great hitter, but not an inner circle guy, comical defender, and get busted for steroids not once but twice, no problem there.
   108. AROM Posted: December 09, 2016 at 09:05 PM (#5366010)
I guess it's strategic voting, since they had 10 names.
   109. alilisd Posted: December 09, 2016 at 10:24 PM (#5366023)
Yeah, all I could turn up on Molony was the Houston connection. Couldn't find any ballot article. Guess if you spell your name so oddly, you have to vote oddly, too! :-)
   110. PreservedFish Posted: December 09, 2016 at 10:38 PM (#5366025)
Manny's lovable, Bonds and Clemens are grumpy.
   111. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 09, 2016 at 11:35 PM (#5366044)
I can imagine an opinion that since Manny did his suspensions, he's paid his debt to society and is deserving of a vote.
   112. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 09, 2016 at 11:46 PM (#5366052)
I can imagine an opinion that since Manny did his suspensions


That argument works better for A-Rod or Ryan Braun (or even Rafael Palmeiro). Technically, Manny never served his second suspension. He retired rather than serve it, then tried to come back some time later arguing for "time served".
   113. John Northey Posted: December 10, 2016 at 12:10 PM (#5366158)
Just for fun...
Ballot based only on...
brWAR: Bonds; Clemens; Mussina; Schilling;Bagwell;Walker;ManRam;Raines;I-Rod; Edgar Martinez - only Sheffield is left off with 60+ WAR
JAWS: same names, almost exact same order - Bonds;Clemens;Schilling;Bagwell;Mussina;Walker;Martinez;Raines;Man-Ram;I-Rod - with Sosa & Vlad over 50 but not in, Scheffield has less than 50 JAWS to go with 60+ brWAR

Last ballot guys: Lee Smith-up 2 votes so far; Tim Raines up by 3; Raines needs 23 more votes than last year, Smith needs a miracle (180 more).
   114. bachslunch Posted: December 10, 2016 at 01:19 PM (#5366192)
Also interesting to read that five voters so far have changed their "no" votes on Bonds and Clemens to "yes" after Bud Selig was voted in by the VC. Sounds fair to me, especially since LaRussa and Torre (both of whom managed clubhouses with multiple PED users, LaRussa two of them) also got in not long ago.
   115. Ryan Thibs Posted: December 10, 2016 at 07:11 PM (#5366299)
Perhaps my memory is off, but votes seem to be coming in very slowly this year. Possibly an anti-Thibs conspiracy?

Fear not, Clapper. As others have said, things got off to a later start this year. I fully expect to have at least 200 ballots on 1/19, no worse than last year.
   116. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: December 11, 2016 at 12:23 AM (#5366361)
Why is the announcement so much later this year?
   117. Baldrick Posted: December 12, 2016 at 06:43 PM (#5367243)
33 ballots in, and Edgar continues to lead the way in net-gain, with a +5. Raines is at +4 and is still converting 50% of no votes, which continues to be good news for his chances. Bonds and Clemens are also making modest gains, though I have a hard time telling if that means anything. Only one of the four people to add them has a public comment (Pat Caputo), who says it's because he now knows 'for certain' that a PED guy is in the Hall so the firewall has been broken.

Which does invite the question: if the change is happening this year, it has to be because one of the 2016 inductees is a 'certain' PED user. I guess he means Piazza?
   118. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 12, 2016 at 07:02 PM (#5367258)
Which does invite the question: if the change is happening this year, it has to be because one of the 2016 inductees is a 'certain' PED user. I guess he means Piazza?

Selig.
   119. AROM Posted: December 12, 2016 at 08:25 PM (#5367299)
Either that or someone gave him credible evidence that a previously inducted player was a PED user.
   120. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 12, 2016 at 08:56 PM (#5367308)
How is it the Bob Padecky only voted for 3 guys? 3? He's got Raines and Bagwell which is great. He's got Hoffman, which I think stinks as I'm of the no reliever should ever be elected camp, then that's it.
He would seem to be no PED's (rumours included) so not even I-rod got a nod(maybe it's a first time on ballot thing as he voted Bagwell but not Vlad).

Obviously doesn't think Mussina, Schilling, Edgar, Walker etc. belong so he would also appear to be a small hall guy to go along with all those other caveats.

Not sure what some of these guys are thinking, but for this guy those things I listed are all I could think of.
   121. cardsfanboy Posted: December 12, 2016 at 10:57 PM (#5367334)
Which does invite the question: if the change is happening this year, it has to be because one of the 2016 inductees is a 'certain' PED user. I guess he means Piazza?


I'm thinking maybe people are finally realizing that Nolan was a ped user.
   122. cardsfanboy Posted: December 12, 2016 at 10:59 PM (#5367335)
Also interesting to read that five voters so far have changed their "no" votes on Bonds and Clemens to "yes" after Bud Selig was voted in by the VC. Sounds fair to me, especially since LaRussa and Torre (both of whom managed clubhouses with multiple PED users, LaRussa two of them) also got in not long ago.


Why does Cox get the pass here? Sheffield did Balco in 2002 and was part of the Braves team.
   123. cardsfanboy Posted: December 12, 2016 at 11:01 PM (#5367336)
Obviously doesn't think Mussina, Schilling, Edgar, Walker etc. belong so he would also appear to be a small hall guy to go along with all those other caveats.

Not sure what some of these guys are thinking, but for this guy those things I listed are all I could think of.


Maybe he's just a follower and decides if a guy hits over 50% or so, he should get his vote.
   124. Baldrick Posted: December 12, 2016 at 11:01 PM (#5367337)
Sidenote: can someone with keys please sticky this post?
   125. Baldrick Posted: December 14, 2016 at 12:29 AM (#5367987)
Mark Newman undertook a radical ballot overhaul. Pretty impressive, actually.

"Last year, after mailing back my ballot and then monitoring Ryan Thibodaux's BBHOF Tracker, I decided to start with a blank slate. I sought helpful counsel from Cory Schwartz, our vice president of statistics here at MLB Advanced Media, on better ways to evaluate and compare numbers. I had a similar discussion with Mike Petriello, our analyst and host of the Statcast™ podcast. It is less clear to me that we in the media are the best electorate for this process, but I continue to do my part and this year promise to do a better job with the allotted 10 boxes."

There's still a lot I disagree with in his commentary, but he fills out a very solid ballot. And man, major kudos to him for taking stock of his habits and deciding that they could use some tweaking. There are few people in any business who could find it in themselves to do that.
   126. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 14, 2016 at 01:21 AM (#5367993)
Mark Newman undertook a radical ballot overhaul. Pretty impressive, actually

Pretty good ballot, although he does garble up Raines status, saying he is in his 15th year on the ballot, having been grandfathered in, when in fact Raines was the primary victim of cutting back the eligibility period to 10 years on the ballot. He voted for Raines, so I suppose that is the more important aspect.

I'm fairly optimistic that the voters are finally taking the time to give Raines a thorough evaluation. Thibs is up to 36 public & 3 anonymous ballots, and Raines has 35 votes, for 90%. That includes 5 new votes from prior voters, with even the guy who only voted for 3 including Raines. There are also 5 partial ballots listed on the bottom of the spreadsheet, and Raines is on all of them, so he is really 40 for 44, or 91%. Still a bit early, but so far it is a best case scenario for Raines.

Good chance that Bagwell & I-Rod make it too, with Hoffman also a possibility. With Smith on his 15th and last year, that could leave a lot of votes available for other candidates next year.
   127. TJ Posted: December 14, 2016 at 09:44 AM (#5368050)
Mark Newman undertook a radical ballot overhaul. Pretty impressive, actually.


With upwards of twenty candidates with legit HOF cases (if you are a big Hall type), it doesn't take much to put together a solid ballot. As I have no personal interest or investment in any candidate, I judge ballots by the effort and system the voter used to select their inductees. Mark Newman went at his in about a professional manner as one could hope- identified pros and cons, considered numbers both traditional and analytic, took into account award hardware and achievements, gathered input from others and used it to challenge his own preconceived positions. In my racket (museum historian), that approach would pass professional muster. Like Baldrick, I may disagree with some of his commentary, but I respect it since he gave it a more professional effort than deciding to vote for a player based on whether you would buy a ticket to see him play.
   128. bachslunch Posted: December 14, 2016 at 10:31 AM (#5368100)
Absolutely a major +1 to Mark Newman. Very good ballot by and large, and it's great to see one of these voters willing to re-evaluate their thinking. Most don't seem to bother, especially the worst ones. A few quibbles here and there, but that's minor in the general scheme of things.
   129. AROM Posted: December 14, 2016 at 10:41 AM (#5368112)
Pretty good ballot, although he does garble up Raines status, saying he is in his 15th year on the ballot, having been grandfathered in, when in fact Raines was the primary victim of cutting back the eligibility period to 10 years on the ballot. He voted for Raines, so I suppose that is the more important aspect.


Yeah. No harm done. If he had said "Raines is in his 10th year but thanks to being grandfathered in he'll have 5 more cracks at the Hall and I may consider him in the future", that would be pretty bad.
   130. AROM Posted: December 14, 2016 at 10:43 AM (#5368115)
Hoffman is not one of the 10 best candidates in my opinion, but I hope he gets in and therefore unclogs the ballot for next year. Hoping for a big class - Bagwell, Hoffman, Raines, and Pudge.
   131. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 14, 2016 at 12:35 PM (#5368191)
The sample is still to small to really make out anything, but....

Schilling at -5 (+2 and -7), I think its quite likely he'll lose ground this year. (clear HOF caliber P imho- I don't think his politics hurt him in previous years, he wasn't getting screwed any worse than Moose or Brown did- but this year it very well may be hurting him)

Hoffman at -4, I have no idea what's going on. (IMHO clearly not HOF caliber, and he got more votes last year than I thought he would, and I don't know why he seems to be losing votes this year)

Raines at +5, last year he was at 69.8, this year is his LAST year (he's gonna make run for it I think, last year on the ballot and all that, so far 2 of his 5 pick ups come at no one's expense, otherwise he seems to have gained at Moose's, Hoffman's and Kent's expense)

Edgar Martinez +7, I have no idea what's going on. (Not sold on the Big Papi spotlight theory- I will note that three of his pick ups seem to come at Schilling's expense, how was Edgar's relationship to the press? With Schilling?

Barry & Roger, +4 each, I suppose some have decided to end their PED suspect boycott, why now? Is it because Piazza got in? Everyone assume Seligula is getting in? Trump was elected so morality doesn't matter anymore?

Larry Walker, +3, Maybe since Coors doesn't play as extremely as it once did he's not getting dinged as much, maybe folks really are looking at WAR more often, he's really far away, and maybe it's random fluctuation, was at only 15% last year, wouldn't be surprised to see him tick up to 20-25% before he's off the ballot.
   132. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 14, 2016 at 01:05 PM (#5368214)
Hoffman at -4, I have no idea what's going on. (IMHO clearly not HOF caliber, and he got more votes last year than I thought he would, and I don't know why he seems to be losing votes this year)


He's at zero, not -4.

Looks like one lost ballot was due to Bonds/Clemens being added, one was due to a voter adding four first-timers (including Posada) to fill out his ballot. Vene's, who knows? Willis' seems strategic in a way, adding players (Edgar, Mussina, Smith) who have to make up a lot of ground in a little time, while bailing on guys who are safe to appear on the ballot next year.

I've often wondered if some voters are simply being more pragmatic about things. Politi added Martinez and dropped McGriff. Seems like, if you're torn between the two for the last spot, you might as well vote for the guy who actually has a shot at getting in.
   133. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 14, 2016 at 01:24 PM (#5368227)
He's at zero, not -4.


my bad, don't know why I misread that.
still don't know why the 4 who dropped him dropped him, as for the adds, I notice one guy who did so while dropping Moose... that's just so wrong.
   134. cardsfanboy Posted: December 14, 2016 at 01:25 PM (#5368229)

With upwards of twenty candidates with legit HOF cases (if you are a big Hall type), it doesn't take much to put together a solid ballot. As I have no personal interest or investment in any candidate, I judge ballots by the effort and system the voter used to select their inductees. Mark Newman went at his in about a professional manner as one could hope- identified pros and cons, considered numbers both traditional and analytic, took into account award hardware and achievements, gathered input from others and used it to challenge his own preconceived positions. In my racket (museum historian), that approach would pass professional muster. Like Baldrick, I may disagree with some of his commentary, but I respect it since he gave it a more professional effort than deciding to vote for a player based on whether you would buy a ticket to see him play.


I have to agree with this comment 1000% percent.... this is all I really want from the electorate, they don't have to agree with me, they just have to take it serious enough to do a professional job in the privilege that they have been granted. I can see arguments for a lot of people, I've even argued in the past that if you have 10 names on your ballot, you don't necessarily have to put the ten best names(in your opinion) for a strategic option.

To me, if a writer puts 10 names on a ballot, he's a bit safe from scrutiny, because there is no rule saying you put the best names, just hof worthy players.


I do recommend that Mark Newman article, someone should actually submit that for consideration, that is a great article.
   135. Baldrick Posted: December 14, 2016 at 01:27 PM (#5368231)
Edgar Martinez +7, I have no idea what's going on. (Not sold on the Big Papi spotlight theory- I will note that three of his pick ups seem to come at Schilling's expense, how was Edgar's relationship to the press? With Schilling?

Universal adoration in Seattle, where he's probably the most beloved Mariner of all-time. I don't think the national press ever had all that much to say about him, but he's generally regarded there as a consummate professional, a hard worker, generous, honest, etc.

Hard to see that being the causal explanation here, though. Certainly seems more likely that the Ortiz retirement and reduced ballot clog are the major contributors.
   136. cardsfanboy Posted: December 14, 2016 at 01:32 PM (#5368233)
Schilling at -5 (+2 and -7), I think its quite likely he'll lose ground this year. (clear HOF caliber P imho- I don't think his politics hurt him in previous years, he wasn't getting screwed any worse than Moose or Brown did- but this year it very well may be hurting him)


I do think his politics are hurting him, I think if given a chance and a voter has to remove someone from the list, then he's the first name that they look at removing. I also think people are starting to realize him and Mussina are equal so it's hard to have a ballot with Schilling and no Mussina. How many of his lost votes have been by voters who put 9 or 10 names on the ballot? He's being squeezed off of ballots, which could happen to everyone, but it seems likely that the writers are picking him for whatever reason as the name to remove, and I do think his vocalness plays a part.
   137. TJ Posted: December 14, 2016 at 03:24 PM (#5368312)
Jay Dunn of The Trentonian just released his ballot (the link is on the Tracker). Jason Varitek gets his first vote. Here's Dunn's reasoning...

"Varitek was the catcher when the Red Sox won championships in 2004 and 2007. He was an iron man on both teams, catcher almost every game not started by knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Probably no one, not even David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez, had more to do with the success of those teams than Varitek did."

A bit of a letdown after the Mark Newman piece...
   138. SoSH U at work Posted: December 14, 2016 at 03:34 PM (#5368325)
I thought Varitek had a chance to become that guy who got way more Hall support than his numbers warranted, for that very reason Dunn offered.
   139. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 14, 2016 at 03:37 PM (#5368331)
Probably no one, not even David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez, had more to do with the success of those teams than Varitek did."


This is where the Doc Rivers Confused Face Gif would be used.
   140. AROM Posted: December 14, 2016 at 03:57 PM (#5368353)
It's surprising that Varitek had such a late start to his career. He played one MLB game before the age of 26. He'll always be strongly linked to Posada as they were contemporaries for the biggest years of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, and somewhat similar as switch hitting catchers with power. Posada played only 69 games before his age 26 year.

With Varitek, he's no Edgar on the late start. It's partially due to his (and his agent's) inability to work out a deal. He was a first round pick in 93, didn't sign, again in 94, and didn't sign in time to play any games in 1994. He was 23 (or close enough, born 4-11) before playing his first professionally game. He didn't exactly set the world on fire though. Even playing in the PCL when he got to AAA, his OPS was only mid 700s. He hit a lot better than that once he made the majors though.
   141. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 14, 2016 at 03:57 PM (#5368354)
A bit of a letdown after the Mark Newman piece..


I'll say, He was a fine player but Varitek is not even in the next zip code over from the HOF

This is where the Doc Rivers Confused Face Gif would be used.


If you are a big believer in bWAR, Tek has an argument to being Boston's 2004 MVP (basically a way tie between him, Damon, Ortiz and Papi- if you exclude Schilling who lapped the field that year...)
   142. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 14, 2016 at 03:59 PM (#5368358)
as for the adds, I notice one guy who did so while dropping Moose... that's just so wrong.


As the biggest Mussina supporter on this site (probably) I actually think that's great.

The biggest hinderance to clearing this backlog is the guys taking up a slot on a significant number of ballots year after year while not getting elected. What if Hoffman just sits in the mid 60s like Lee Smith sat in the upper 40s? I'd rather voters clear the ballot by nudging Hoffman over 75%* That's going to help Mussina's candidacy more than moving from 52.1% to 52.3% this year will.

*I'm pretty anti-closer when it comes to the Hall. But I'm pro-Mussina, and I've decided to be pragmatic about Hoffman
   143. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 14, 2016 at 04:11 PM (#5368374)
It's surprising that Varitek had such a late start to his career.


Wasn't there some story about how he didn't sign after the Twins drafted him so he waited another year...
EDIT: and now I read all of AROM's post... My vague recollection is that Boras actually fell on his sword and said the failed signing was his fault (which in my mind makes it crystal clear that it was Tek's fault)
   144. Chris Fluit Posted: December 14, 2016 at 04:14 PM (#5368379)
Edgar Martinez +7, I have no idea what's going on. (Not sold on the Big Papi spotlight theory- I will note that three of his pick ups seem to come at Schilling's expense, how was Edgar's relationship to the press? With Schilling?

Larry Walker, +3, Maybe since Coors doesn't play as extremely as it once did he's not getting dinged as much, maybe folks really are looking at WAR more often, he's really far away, and maybe it's random fluctuation, was at only 15% last year, wouldn't be surprised to see him tick up to 20-25% before he's off the ballot.

This might actually be the same effect. I could guess that, on a crowded ballot, Martinez and Walker would be 11th or 12th for a lot of voters. As the logjam begins to clear with the election of some and the expired candidacy of others, those voters now have room for Edgar and Larry that they didn't before. Anyone want to bother looking up to see how many of the added votes are coming from maxed out ballots?
   145. TJ Posted: December 14, 2016 at 04:40 PM (#5368400)
The Newsday guy, Steven Marcus, who only voted for Griffey and Hoffman last year, has his ballot on the Tracker. This year it is...wait for it...Hoffman and Vlad. That's it. Miniscule reasoning at Newsday. The halcyon days of Mark Newman seem such a distant memory...

There is another Steven Marcus who teaches English and comparative lit at Columbia. I see he has written a book titled The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England. If you have to give a HOF vote to a Steven Marcus, I think I would prefer this one...
   146. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 14, 2016 at 04:46 PM (#5368402)
Jay Dunn of The Trentonian just released his ballot (the link is on the Tracker). Jason Varitek gets his first vote. Here's Dunn's reasoning...

That reasoning would seem to require a vote for Posada, and, of course, I-Rod, and I see Dunn did vote for them all. So, he's got some consistency there as opposed to those who seemingly apply ad hoc criteria that varies year by year or player by player.
   147. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 14, 2016 at 04:46 PM (#5368403)
Anyone want to bother looking up to see how many of the added votes are coming from maxed out ballots?


Skimming through for Edgar, I think the answer is, "all of them". And I think that's the most encouraging thing I'm seeing in the voting. The average names per ballot and the number of full ballots took a huge spike upward in 2014 and stayed there in 2015 and 2016. With all of the guys falling off the ballot over those years - 9 guys elected in three years, I think; plus Morris, McGwire, Trammell running out of time - and a less impressive debut class (Guerrero and Pudge have solid cases, but not exactly Greg Maddux / Ken Griffey, Jr. cases; Manny has issues; Posada's the only other guy probably worth an even half-serious look), it would have been easy for a lot of voters to just leave the new free spaces on their ballots blank and see the average names per ballot drop back to pre-2014 levels. But, based on what is admittedly a pretty small sample, it looks like a lot of those freed-up ballot slots are being filled by the guys who had been sitting 11-12-13 in voters' minds.
   148. reech Posted: December 14, 2016 at 05:41 PM (#5368444)
The Newsday guy, Steven Marcus, who only voted for Griffey and Hoffman last year, has his ballot on the Tracker. This year it is...wait for it...Hoffman and Vlad. That's it. Miniscule reasoning at Newsday.


My hometown paper. Blecch.
   149. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 15, 2016 at 12:09 AM (#5368612)
Raines still looking good through 42 ballots (47 counting the partial ballots at the bottom of spreadsheet), which brings up the question: What's the highest vote percentage for someone elected in his final year on the ballot?
   150. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 15, 2016 at 01:03 AM (#5368618)
What's the highest vote percentage for someone elected in his final year on the ballot?


Jim Rice's. Or Red Ruffing's. The only two guys elected in their final years.

Rice got 76.4 percent. Ruffing got 86.9 percent, but that was in a run-off election, after receiving 72 percent in the original voting.

Dazzy Vance was elected in his 16th try, but that wouldn't have been his last ballot.

And I'm sure someone is going to say: Ken Griffey Jr.

   151. bookbook Posted: December 15, 2016 at 02:01 AM (#5368625)
Edgar may also be gaining because he's a hitting coach for the Mariners now. First, being around seems to help with too many voters, as opposed to being out of sight, out of mind. Second, the Ms had a good year, with better offensive performances than we might have predicted going in. Third, Mark Trumbo hit a #### ton of Home Runs for Baltimore. He credited the help Edgar had given him back in Seattle, at least in a few interviews.

Or maybe it's just that Ortiz is about to go in by acclamation. One of his strongest points is several wins of the Edgar Martinez award, named for the DH who was clearly better than him. It's awkward for voters to maintain that level of cognitive dissonance (outside of a presidential election, where no level of cognitive dissonance is too much).
   152. DanG Posted: December 15, 2016 at 08:55 AM (#5368668)
Jim Rice's. Or Red Ruffing's. The only two guys elected in their final years.
Ralph Kiner (75.4% in 1975) and Joe Medwick (84.8% in 1968) were also elected in their final year eligible.

Kiner's total I suspect may have been finagled to get him over the 75% mark. Medwick was almost elected the previous year. He had 73% in the regular election and 81% in the run-off, but only one player could be elected in the run-off and Ruffing had more votes.
   153. TJ Posted: December 15, 2016 at 10:05 AM (#5368721)
Today from one of my least favorite HOF voters, Cincy's Paul Daugherty:

On Curt Schilling (who Daugherty will not vote for, not because of Schilling's views but because he feels Schilling is undeserving):

"He (Schilling) was very good. (214 Ws, 56 fewer than Mike Mussina who got about a fourth of the votes last year, OK 3.48 lifetime ERA.) Very good doesn’t make for a plaque.

Schilling’s biggest pluses are his Ks and his postseason dominance. I don’t coronate Ks the way lots do. Give me a pitch-efficient, groundballer. Also, if we don’t consider postseason when voting on annual awards such as MVP and Cy, why should we give October a look when voting for the Hall? Lots of Hall-worthy pitchers didn’t make it to October much."

Paul Daugherty voted for Jack Morris...

   154. SoSH U at work Posted: December 15, 2016 at 10:18 AM (#5368730)
Ralph Kiner (75.4% in 1975) and Joe Medwick (84.8% in 1968) were also elected in their final year eligible.


Why were they in their 13th and 9th years on the ballot?

   155. cardsfanboy Posted: December 15, 2016 at 03:11 PM (#5369058)
Schilling’s biggest pluses are his Ks and his postseason dominance. I don’t coronate Ks the way lots do. Give me a pitch-efficient, groundballer. Also, if we don’t consider postseason when voting on annual awards such as MVP and Cy, why should we give October a look when voting for the Hall? Lots of Hall-worthy pitchers didn’t make it to October much."


And his historically low total of unearned runs, going by era or era+ for Schilling does him a disservice.
   156. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 15, 2016 at 04:04 PM (#5369122)
Now 47 ballots in, almost 11% of the expected total. Bagwell (89%) & Raines (87%) leading, with I-Rod at 81%, and Hoffman at 74%. Hoffman did have higher support on non-public ballots last year, so he might make it even if he ends up just under the 75% threshold on the public ballots. Big gainers among returning voters: Edgar (+8), as well as Bonds, Clemens, Raines & Walker (all +5). Pretty volatile year, Hoffman lost 4 voters, but gained 5, while Mussina was +6 and -3. Schilling had 10 returning voters change their stance, for a net loss of 8. Politics being the obvious cause there.
   157. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 15, 2016 at 04:27 PM (#5369143)
Looking at the partial ballots:

"Larry Stone (9 of 10) Considering Hoffman, Walker (probably not Manny) at #10"

This is where I hope strategic voting comes out.

I mean, these numbers aren't going to hold, but we've got nine guys currently receiving at least 60% of the vote. 28 of 47 ballots are maxed out, and 38 of 47 have nine or 10 listed. There's zero hope for a guy whose case needs more digging (Edmonds, Lofton, Rolen) to get a fair shake unless we start getting these players off the ballot.
   158. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 16, 2016 at 05:12 PM (#5369862)
Now 52 ballots in, and Raines is still at 88%. That's a little less than 1/8th of the expected vote in, with Raines already having picked up a bit more than 1/3 of the additional votes needed (7 of 20).
   159. bachslunch Posted: December 16, 2016 at 05:35 PM (#5369879)
Also, Bagwell in theory only needs to pick up 12 more votes, of which he has gotten two. There's still time.

Edgar is up 8 additional votes (63%) while Bonds and Clemens are up 5 votes (67%). While those percentages likely won't hold up, that probably translates to a decent improvement generally. Even Walker is up 6, though he remains a long ways away at 23%.
   160. DanG Posted: December 16, 2016 at 09:21 PM (#5369958)
Why were they in their 13th and 9th years on the ballot?
Because the BBWAA didn't have elections in 1957, 59, 61 ,63, and 65.

BBWAA Election Rule 3.A.
A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning fifteen (15) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.

Prior to the 2015 election the bold section said "twenty (20)"; prior to the 1964 election it said thirty (30). Before the 1947 election it wasn't specified.

As far as I know, the written rules never said that players get 15 years on the ballot. However, this became the practice sometime after the HOF reinstated players to the ballot for the 1985 election. The first player allowed on the ballot in violation of the 20-year rule was Ken Boyer for the 1990 election. After him came Flood, Santo and Pinson. Dick Allen was cheated out of his 15th year when they forgot to put him on the ballot in 1998.

This failure to follow their own election rules is symptomatic of the slipshod manner in which the Hall has conducted its elections throughout most of its history. Remember eleven years ago when they forgot to put Ken Caminiti on the 2006 ballot? He was eligible due to the death rule.
   161. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 17, 2016 at 02:51 PM (#5370121)
54 votes in. Bagwell & Raines tied at 89%, with Raines (+8) having picked up more ground than Bagwell (+2). That "last year on the ballot" thing does seem to have focused the voters attention. I-Rod at 80%, maybe not enough of a cushion if he dips on the non-public ballots. Hoffman on the cusp at 76% but he actually did better on the non-public ballots last year, so he may be OK even if he slips a little. Vlad at 74%, pretty good start, and probably enough to get him in next year if he doesn't make it this year. Might be some large induction classes the next two years.

I wonder how many voters are consulting the spreadsheet before voting.
   162. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 17, 2016 at 03:05 PM (#5370132)
The voter who picked 10 players, adding Walker, and says he's have added Raines if he had more room is blowing my mind.

You think Tim Raines is a Hall of Famer, and rather than voting for him in his last year on the ballot, when he'll need every vote he can get, you vote for Walker, who has almost no shot at getting in? Sigh
   163. Baldrick Posted: December 17, 2016 at 03:39 PM (#5370149)
You think Tim Raines is a Hall of Famer, and rather than voting for him in his last year on the ballot, when he'll need every vote he can get, you vote for Walker, who has almost no shot at getting in? Sigh

I'm going to throw out a crazy idea here. Maybe the voter thinks...and this is pretty radical but stay with me...maybe the voter thinks that you should vote for the players in order based on how good they were.
   164. cmd600 Posted: December 17, 2016 at 04:03 PM (#5370162)
I'm going to throw out a crazy idea here.


I know sportswriters aren't generally a smart crowd, and that game theory can be difficult at times. But, yeah, this is crazy. It's not hard to see how much more important a vote for Raines rather than Walker is.
   165. cardsfanboy Posted: December 17, 2016 at 05:05 PM (#5370194)
I'm going to throw out a crazy idea here. Maybe the voter thinks...and this is pretty radical but stay with me...maybe the voter thinks that you should vote for the players in order based on how good they were.


I know that you are being sarcastic here, but again it points to an issue about the competency level of the voters if they are doing that. The system is messed up because they don't allow more than ten names, even though several voters feel they could list more than ten names. If that is the case, any basic analysis would say "if you think Tim Raines is a hofer, and you have 11 names you feel are deserving, he's one of the names you should vote for." Not voting for Raines when you think he is worthy, but you are trying to prove a point about the balloting system, or just being stubborn because he's your 11th pick, is just ignorant.


Not voting for Raines, means there is a real possibility, a person you think is hof worthy, will not make the hof and will be subject to a voting body like the veteran's committee, that has shown nothing other than incompetence for the past decade(Santo excluded---well kinda, he should have been in sooner) While not voting for Hoffman or whoever else he picked, just means a possibility of a one year delay.

Vote for the guys you think are on the borderline either of going in, or being dropped off the ballot, but just voting for the ten best is a lazy idea.
   166. cardsfanboy Posted: December 17, 2016 at 05:52 PM (#5370220)
Just saw a vote on Twitter by some guy named Sam Mellinger, and he put up a near identical ballot to what I would have had (Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Mussina, Raines, Bagwell, Irod, Manny Walker, Edgar)

I debate that I might have swapped out Manny for Vlad, or even Hoffman, but beyond that, it seems a near perfect ballot .
   167. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 17, 2016 at 06:16 PM (#5370226)
any basic analysis would say "if you think Tim Raines is a hofer, and you have 11 names you feel are deserving, he's one of the names you should vote for." Not voting for Raines when you think he is worthy, but you are trying to prove a point about the balloting system, or just being stubborn because he's your 11th pick, is just ignorant.


There are people on this site who have argued that the voting rules, as written, require a voter to vote for the 10 most worthy players in that situation. I disagree with that interpretation but I can actually see the logic of it and I certainly don't think it rises to the level of "ignorant".
   168. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:12 PM (#5370247)
I keep finding more spreadsheet features! If you scroll all the way to the right side, there is a column for those who would receive votes if not for the 10-player limit. Maybe everyone already saw it, but with the way the spreadsheet displays on my iPad, I never noticed. Some players should have a few more votes guaranteed if the current trends holds and 2-4 players are elected this year.
   169. cardsfanboy Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:20 PM (#5370250)
There are people on this site who have argued that the voting rules, as written, require a voter to vote for the 10 most worthy players in that situation. I disagree with that interpretation but I can actually see the logic of it and I certainly don't think it rises to the level of "ignorant".


I debated the use of the word ignorant, but my brain wasn't working hard enough to come up with a better word. I agree the word ignorant was too harsh of a way to word it. But basically I was arguing that simply doing a top ten list is a relatively lazy way of doing it while being in a position that would require a degree of knowledge on a lot of variables to make the best selections supporting the players that you as a voter have decided are hof worthy.


And yes, I've seen plenty of people argue top ten for the hof, and I think they are clearly wrong if you think there are more than 10 hof worthy players and care at all about ensuring the best odds of getting as many worthy candidates in, instead of just being a button pusher. Just being a button pusher, is simply as lazy as voting for Jack Morris because he had the most wins in the 80's... it's not a position I'm going to respect that much.
   170. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 17, 2016 at 08:51 PM (#5370257)
I'm going to throw out a crazy idea here. Maybe the voter thinks...and this is pretty radical but stay with me...maybe the voter thinks that you should vote for the players in order based on how good they were.


Hey, if that's the hill the voter wants to die, fine.

If they'd rather help Larry Walker not get elected with a fractionally higher percentage of the ballot than help Tim Raines actually get into the Hall of Fame, they can do that. It's not against the rules.
   171. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 18, 2016 at 03:26 PM (#5370406)
I think that if you take a hard position on the question, you should come down on the side of voting for the best ten on the ballot. The rule that states what voting should be based on doesn't seem to give the voter any latitude to consider how many players will be inducted. A ballot that tries to maximize the number of inductees should be as invalid as the ballots we sometimes see where a writer arbitrarily decides only three players should be allowed on the platform at a time.
   172. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2016 at 03:39 PM (#5370409)
I think that if you take a hard position on the question, you should come down on the side of voting for the best ten on the ballot. The rule that states what voting should be based on doesn't seem to give the voter any latitude to consider how many players will be inducted. A ballot that tries to maximize the number of inductees should be as invalid as the ballots we sometimes see where a writer arbitrarily decides only three players should be allowed on the platform at a time.


If you take a hard position on the question, you take voting privileges away from the guy who voted for only Guerrero and Hoffman. Or the guy who voted for Renteria but left off Bagwell, Mussina, Schilling, Sheffield, and Walker. With fewer of those obviously blatant disregard for the process, they guy who has no room for Raines wouldn't be in this situation. Lets treat the sucking chest wound before we worry about the sprained wrist.
   173. cardsfanboy Posted: December 18, 2016 at 03:48 PM (#5370411)
I think that if you take a hard position on the question, you should come down on the side of voting for the best ten on the ballot. The rule that states what voting should be based on doesn't seem to give the voter any latitude to consider how many players will be inducted. A ballot that tries to maximize the number of inductees should be as invalid as the ballots we sometimes see where a writer arbitrarily decides only three players should be allowed on the platform at a time.


. No where in the rules does it say you take the ten best, it says you vote for players you think are worthy. That is it, the ballot limit forces you on a crowded ballot to NOT vote for players you think are worthy. No amount of rules lawyering or splicing the voting rules would lend anyone to believe it implies you take the ten best. And once you have that open latitude, then it makes absolute sense to game the ballot.
   174. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 18, 2016 at 03:52 PM (#5370414)
Thought we'd see quite a few ballots today, as the baseball writers explained their votes in prime Sunday paper columns, but no new votes since yesterday afternoon. I suppose Thibs could be slacking, but that seems unpossible, and I note there are no new individual ballot articles posted, either. Guess we have to chalk it up to further evidence of the decline of the news biz.
   175. Chris Fluit Posted: December 18, 2016 at 05:12 PM (#5370442)
I keep finding more spreadsheet features! If you scroll all the way to the right side, there is a column for those who would receive votes if not for the 10-player limit. Maybe everyone already saw it, but with the way the spreadsheet displays on my iPad, I never noticed. Some players should have a few more votes guaranteed if the current trends holds and 2-4 players are elected this year.

I hadn't noticed that. Thanks for pointing it out!

Edit: Looks like there's a lot more support for Edgar Martinez that could show up over the next two ballots.
   176. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 18, 2016 at 05:31 PM (#5370453)
A ballot that tries to maximize the number of inductees should be as invalid as the ballots we sometimes see where a writer arbitrarily decides only three players should be allowed on the platform at a time.


If you feel Tim Raines is worthy for the Hall of Fame, and you vote for him, in what way are you invalidating your ballot?
   177. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 18, 2016 at 07:02 PM (#5370475)
OK, one more vote in, another voter who added Raines this year. That's 9 new votes with none lost, and 51 of 57 votes tabulated (89%). Raines is also 5 for 5 on the partial ballots listed on the bottom of the page. Best case scenario, so far.
   178. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 18, 2016 at 07:20 PM (#5370480)
Correction to #177. Some of the initial partial ballots appear to have now been incorporated into the spreadsheet tally; Raines is currently 3 for 3 on the partial ballots listed at the bottom of the page.
   179. soc40 Posted: December 19, 2016 at 02:02 PM (#5370859)
Food for thought: It's looking promising for Raines at this point in his 10th and final year on the ballot. What if Rickey Henderson never existed and his lofty leadoff numbers and stolen bases didn't either. How would we look at Raines now? Clearly the best leadoff guy in his generation in this argument, but would he be a 1st ballot guy, 2-5 yr inductee, 6-10 final yr guy? I think he's in the 2-5 yr induction tier, but still fall short of 1st ballot.
   180. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 19, 2016 at 02:11 PM (#5370867)
I see that Barry Rozner, who last year inexplicably voted for Bonds but not Clemens, has rectified that and voted for both. other voters who did one but not the other have yet to weigh in:

John Heyman, Bonds only
Chris Elsberry, Clemens only
Dave Barron, Clemens
Ray Buck, Clemens
   181. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 19, 2016 at 02:38 PM (#5370903)
Food for thought: It's looking promising for Raines at this point in his 10th and final year on the ballot. What if Rickey Henderson never existed and his lofty leadoff numbers and stolen bases didn't either. How would we look at Raines now? Clearly the best leadoff guy in his generation in this argument, but would he be a 1st ballot guy, 2-5 yr inductee, 6-10 final yr guy? I think he's in the 2-5 yr induction tier, but still fall short of 1st ballot.


He'd be considered a much better version of Lou Brock, in all likelyhood.

I think part of the reason Raines is underrated is because Henderson was, in fact, underrated. I mean, I know he was a first-ballot guy, but I think in some ways, calling him the greatest leadoff guy ever undersells him. I mean, he played forever, but like Walker, had a knack for missing 15-25 games during his prime. His two best seasons by WAR came in seasons he played 143 and 136 games. He had 6.6 WAR in just 108 games in 1981. I think, if Henderson were viewed as a top 15-20 position player all-time*, Raines would be held in higher esteem

*His career WAR is 14th, but even if you stopped counting at the point at which his WAA becomes negative, he's right at Joe Morgan/Pujols in 20/21. Factoring in integration, it's not a huge stretch...
   182. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 19, 2016 at 02:49 PM (#5370911)
had a knack for missing 15-25 games during his prime. His two best seasons by WAR came in seasons he played 143 and 136 games. He had 6.6 WAR in just 108 games in 1981.


Henderson was not particularly durable, but he was a full time player in 1981.
   183. Greg Pope Posted: December 19, 2016 at 03:02 PM (#5370921)
I see that Barry Rozner, who last year inexplicably voted for Bonds but not Clemens, has rectified that and voted for both. other voters who did one but not the other have yet to weigh in:


I think voting for Clemens but not Bonds can be justified. But not the other way. There's more evidence that Bonds used than that Clemens used.
   184. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 19, 2016 at 03:08 PM (#5370924)
I think voting for Clemens but not Bonds can be justified. But not the other way. There's more evidence that Bonds used than that Clemens used.


I just read Rozner's column. He's always voted for Bonds, or so he says, because he knows exactly when he started using and he says he was a HOFer before that. He hasn't voted Clemens before because he doesn't know when he started using, but the election of Selig makes it all moot.

Not the greatest logic in the world, but it has its own perverse internal consistency.
   185. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 19, 2016 at 03:19 PM (#5370936)
62 votes now in, a seventh of the expected total. Bagwell & Raines at 90%, looking very good so far. I-Rod at 82% has a chance, too; and Hoffman is on the cusp at 76%. He got a higher percentage on the non-public ballots last year, so there is a chance we could see a 4-man induction class. Biggest surprise is Bonds & Clemens hitting 71% - didn't see that coming this year, and wonder if it will hold up. Vlad at 69%, followed by Martinez & Mussina at 65%. Even with the large induction class, the next ballot could still have 5 returning candidates with more than 60% of the vote. Maybe the voters are getting the message.
   186. Booey Posted: December 19, 2016 at 03:46 PM (#5370968)
He'd be considered a much better version of Lou Brock, in all likelyhood.


He really IS a much better version of Brock, of course, but would the voters see it? Lou had 3000 hits, more SB (including the single season and career records at one point), and the postseason heroics. Raines was a great all around player with a nice peak, but he's lacking the signature "hook" achievements to his career that got Brock in so much easier than his actual value warranted.

I think voting for Clemens but not Bonds can be justified. But not the other way.


Maybe that voter drew a 150 WAR cutoff for his personal HOF and Clemens doesn't quite pass muster.
   187. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 19, 2016 at 03:52 PM (#5370973)
Maybe that voter drew a 150 WAR cutoff for his personal HOF and Clemens doesn't quite pass muster.


Last year Rozner voted for Hoffman, Smith, and Kent.
   188. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 19, 2016 at 04:10 PM (#5370993)
Henderson was not particularly durable, but he was a full time player in 1981.


Yes, that was the strike year. The larger point was about how Henderson's best seasons were always shortened by something, I should have made that clearer. He's probably an 8-9 win player that year if not for the labor issues.
   189. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 19, 2016 at 04:28 PM (#5371011)
Biggest surprise is Bonds & Clemens hitting 71% - didn't see that coming this year, and wonder if it will hold up.


They had a big drop off last year from Thibbs to the actual totals, but still they've picked up a net 6 or 7 out of 62 votes which is a pretty good rate increase: they showed no improvement from 1st to 2nd to 3rd year on the ballot, then they both ticked up last year.

I don't think the ballot glut easing up is a major factor so:

1. New voters?
2. Attrition, old voters dying, dropping off/getting purged?
3. change in opinion re PEDs?
4. related to 3- I've seen at least 2 writers specifically mention Selig's pending induction as a reason/justification to vote for PED era guys...
5. all of the above? (including ballot glut)
   190. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 19, 2016 at 04:29 PM (#5371014)
Hoffman is on the cusp at 76%. He got a higher percentage on the non-public ballots last year, so there is a chance we could see a 4-man induction class


But he's also just a +2. I suspect he's had a more favorable cross-section of voters so far. It almost seems like he's being pulled in two directions. Seven new voters and five lost voters.

My gut: Bagwell, Raines, Rodriguez
   191. Chris Fluit Posted: December 19, 2016 at 04:56 PM (#5371033)
I'm still going with just Bagwell and Raines, with Rodriguez and Hoffman falling a bit short.
   192. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 19, 2016 at 06:06 PM (#5371089)
Hoffman is on the cusp at 76%. He got a higher percentage on the non-public ballots last year, so there is a chance we could see a 4-man induction class

But he's also just a +2. I suspect he's had a more favorable cross-section of voters so far. It almost seems like he's being pulled in two directions. Seven new voters and five lost voters.

Hoffman also picked up a vote from one of the two first-time voters currently listed, although 50% in that category wouldn't be that good in the long run. Raines has them both, FWIW. Hoffman's vote seems unusually volatile, and it would be weird if he missed by the margin of those who voted for him last year but dropped him on the current ballot.
   193. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 19, 2016 at 07:06 PM (#5371102)
Hoffman was at 67% last year his first time on the ballot- not getting in by the BBWAA after such a debut would be unprecedented, but I suspect that if he doesn't clear 70% this time around he's gonna have to wait a real long time- Hoffman's problem is that he's really objectively a terrible candidate, he's the type of guy who after you vote for it becomes really hard to justify not voting for someone else*. I think he's lost a few votes because some guys took a long hard look and decided no, he's gained votes because he's so close- guys up that high almost always keep gaining votes, and the you have new voters- who I suspect are more likely to be conversant with advanced metrics and/or less impressed by how Hoffman's career long usage goosed his saves totals- if he gets just 50% of new voters he's in trouble.

But he's most likely in this year or next I think.


*Rice lead to Dawson, Sutter to Goose... Hell Goose got some votes from guys who had voted against both him and Sutter- how could you vote no on Goose when the HOF had just voted in a clearly comparable and inferior candidate?
At least the Hoffman voters don't have to worry about what to do with Lee Smith if Hoffman gets in this year
   194. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 19, 2016 at 10:27 PM (#5371184)
Hoffman also picked up a vote from one of the two first-time voters currently listed, although 50% in that category wouldn't be that good in the long run


And he was 50% with 1st-time voters last year. He's got a lot more work to do than it looks.

One thing I've wondered, especially on this crowded ballot: how many "lost" voters are temporary, due to moving around various candidates at the bottom of the ballot, and how many of them are voters who took a second look and said "Actually..." If they're the former, Hoffman might be okay. But if it's the latter, he's in serious trouble.
   195. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 19, 2016 at 11:58 PM (#5371207)
Hoffman:

1) The more you think about Hoffman as a candidate, the worse he looks. I mean, if you are a voter who takes a second, thinks about taking your grandkid to Cooperstown, and gazing at the Hoffman plaque. "Grandpa, tell me a story about Trevor Hoffman..." "Um..."

2) As voters begin to gravitate to Bonds and Clemens, it is taking a lot of slots from ballots. Add to that Raines and Bagwell being on the cusp, a lot of hitters who will get between 10%+ (Walker, Edgar, Manny, Vlad, Kent, Sheffield), and you could run out of slots pretty quickly for Hoffman.

3) Once you get your mind around voting for Clemens and Bonds, it sort of makes a lot of other candidates look pretty marginal. Roger Clemens may be one of the five greatest pitchers of all time. Bonds is almost certainly one of the five best hitters of all time. Trevor Hoffman? Whatever.
   196. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: December 20, 2016 at 12:02 AM (#5371208)
I *would* vote for Hoffman, even though he's very borderline. Inducting Hoffman makes it easier to induct other players. The logjam is the biggest problem right now inducting worthy HoF candidates.

In our quest to honor worthy players, it's far better if the 4th-through-13th best candidates all get in this vote rather than the 1st-through-3rd. Every ballot with more than 10 easy candidates and a 10-man limit just furthers the disaster and one of these conditions has to be removed.
   197. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 20, 2016 at 12:10 AM (#5371209)
Once you get your mind around voting for Clemens and Bonds, it sort of makes a lot of other candidates look pretty marginal. Roger Clemens may be one of the five greatest pitchers of all time. Bonds is almost certainly one of the five best hitters of all time. Trevor Hoffman? Whatever.


This. If you look at the voting most of us did with our mock HOF ballots in the other thread, the common theme is Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, I-rod and Raines. Those are the no doubt, slam dunk HOFers on the ballot. Then all of us have a varied collection of Mussina, Sosa, Shilling, Walker, Vlad, Edgar, Kent, etc.
So even amongst ourselves there is some room for discussion as to who should fill the remaining ballots.
But as Balboni notes, then you look at Hoffman and think...no, don't think so, how can a reliever even be close to those guys in greatness?
One caveat though: I don't think any failed starter(cough, sorry relief pitcher) should ever be enshrined in the HOF.
   198. Sweatpants Posted: December 20, 2016 at 12:15 AM (#5371213)
1) The more you think about Hoffman as a candidate, the worse he looks. I mean, if you are a voter who takes a second, thinks about taking your grandkid to Cooperstown, and gazing at the Hoffman plaque. "Grandpa, tell me a story about Trevor Hoffman..." "Um..."
How is this any different from Larry Walker? What Larry Walker stories are there besides "One time Larry Walker forget how many outs there were"?
   199. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 20, 2016 at 12:23 AM (#5371216)
What Larry Walker stories are there besides "One time Larry Walker forget how many outs there were"?


Well, the 33 games he got 4 hits. The three games he hit 3 HR including the game he drove in 8 runs. The two other times he drove in 6.
   200. Sweatpants Posted: December 20, 2016 at 12:48 AM (#5371221)
Those aren't really stories any more than Hoffman recording nine 40-save seasons is.

Walker did have that season when he was over .400 past the halfway point.
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