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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ryan Thibs has his HOF Ballot Tracker Up and Running!

Ryan has received his first official ballot, courtesy of Adam Rubib. Ten votes, including Vizquel.

So who gets a higher percentage of vote this year, Trammell with the VC or Vizquel with the BBWAA? (Only partly a tongue-in-cheek question…)

TJ Posted: November 22, 2017 at 02:48 PM | 324 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   201. Booey Posted: November 30, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5583361)
flip
   202. Rennie's Tenet Posted: November 30, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5583633)
Last year's thread:

2017 Tracker thread

On November 30, 10 ballots were in, and everyone had been left off at least one ballot.
   203. QLE Posted: November 30, 2017 at 08:16 PM (#5583825)
If it be not inappropriate for me to do so, some comments on #3 in the 2017 thread, compared to the ultimate results:

1. Bagwell and Raines making it is top priority. Either missing out and the exercise failed IMO.


Well, they made it, so there's that, at least.

2. Strong showing for Pudge (who might make it this year, though I doubt it) and Vlad.


Well, Pudge did make it, and Vlad ended up with over 70% of the vote and should make it this year.

3. Hoffman. I am ambivalent, but since he's going to make it eventually let's get it done.


His support didn't grow as much as many of us were anticipating- but all he needs are five more votes, and that could be made up just by all the people who supported him on the 2016 ballot but abandoned him in 2017 returning.

4. Improvements for Schilling/Mussina, who are likely on track if Schilling will shut his pie hole for a few years.


Instead, Schilling's vote declined, though Mussina gained almost 9% of the vote and still has (counting this one) six ballots to go.

5. Improvements for Bonds/Clemens, who are NOT on track but could use a strong statement for later committee.


It did improve- and the Joe Morgan letter is rather obvious backlash to that.

6. No one else has any shot with the BBWAA ever.


Instead, Edgar Martinez gained 15% of the vote- and, as a result, now is a rather viable candidate, especially for next year.

Interesting to wonder what predictions we make at the start of this don't go quite as expected- there always seems to be something, and what it is tends only to be apparent in hindsight.
   204. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 30, 2017 at 08:41 PM (#5583835)
Vlad, Chipper and Thome are going in for sure.

Thome and Chipper are cases that don't require discussion. Vlad too close to miss now.

Hoffman should go in also. I'm not ambivalent. No relief pitcher ever should be in the HOF. Great pitchers start games and are able to work through a line up more then once.

Clemens is 10 for 10 so far. Is it really possible he could get in this year?

Do voters have a herd mentality? Will they see his support and just figure that it's ok to vote for him now. After all he was one of the 5 greatest pitchers ever. The resume speaks for itself.

I can see Mussina and Edgar gaining quite a bit of momentum and going in the next year or two(well next year for Edgar)
   205. Rally Posted: November 30, 2017 at 08:56 PM (#5583842)
Chipper is a case that requires no discussion. That much was obvious from the day he retired.

Thome should go in easily as well but the recent history of HOF voting made me wonder if that would really happen. I would be thrilled to be wrong and see him get 85% or so in year one.
   206. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5583959)
Clemens is 10 for 10 so far. Is it really possible he could get in this year?


Always remember this when looking at the numbers of guys who missed before. It's not the raw total that matters, it's the number of votes they've gained from writers who were previously "no's" and, to a smaller extent, their totals among 1st time voters.

Last year, Bonds was at 54%, and this year, he's 8-for-10. But he's actually lost ground in the voting, because he went 9-for-9 with those writers last season, and the 1st time voter didn't vote for him.

Edgar, on the other hand, has gone 7-for-9 with a group he only went 4-of-9 with last year. Walker has gone 3-for-9 with a group he went 0-for-9 with.

So, to your Clemens point, he's 10 for 10, but 9 of those writers voted for him last year, so he hasn't really improved much
   207. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 09:45 AM (#5583962)
Thome should go in easily as well but the recent history of HOF voting made me wonder if that would really happen. I would be thrilled to be wrong and see him get 85% or so in year one.


I remember arguing for a long time that I just didn't see what group of voters was not going to vote for Thome. He has great counting stats. He's got a very good WAR. He's never been seen as a malcontent, and he hasn't—to my knowledge—been the subject of whispered PED rumors.

Obviously, he's got going to get 100%. But there doesn't seem to be a flaw in his candidacy that would get 100+ voters to say "no" the way there could be for Omar (low WAR) or Walker (Coors) or Wagner (Lack of saves)

Now, I feel the same way about Mike Mussina, and he's been on the ballot for 5 years now. But I never doubted Thome
   208. McCoy Posted: December 01, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5583970)
On the other hand I never really thought Thome had much of a chance to get in. He's a power hitting first basemen/DH in an era that was awash with them and the voting group has devalued home runs a great deal because of it.
   209. PreservedFish Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5583994)
That was also my feeling.
   210. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5584007)
He's a power hitting first basemen/DH in an era that was awash with them and the voting group has devalued home runs a great deal because of it.


Yeah, but he also posted a .402 OBP and 73 WAR, and those stats are bigger parts of discussion now.

He certainly could have suffered from He doesn't feel like a Hall of Famer-itis, but, assuming cleanliness, I always thought the numbers were there.



   211. Rally Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:33 AM (#5584008)
Oh, Thome will get in. I don't think that was ever in doubt (barring a positive steroid test) once he hit #600.

The question is whether he gets in on first ballot or waits a few years like Harmon Killebrew did.
   212. TJ Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:53 AM (#5584035)
Looks like the 11th ballot hit the Tracker, the first without a Thome vote. Guess only Vlady and Clemens (!) are still at 100% so far...
   213. Booey Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5584081)
Clemens is 10 for 10 so far. Is it really possible he could get in this year?


Is it possible that Clemens actually benefits from Joe Morgan's letter? Morgan's letter mentioned keeping out players who admitted to use, were mentioned in the Mitchell report, or tested positive. Clemens has none of that. People might finally be catching on to the fact that the 'evidence' against Rocket is actually pretty weak.

Oh, Thome will get in. I don't think that was ever in doubt (barring a positive steroid test) once he hit #600.

The question is whether he gets in on first ballot or waits a few years like Harmon Killebrew did.


I never doubted Thome would get in relatively quickly. I wasn't sure about first ballot, though. The flaw in his candidacy (for the type of voters that look for one) is that his career was a bit compiler-ish rather than dominant. Just 13 pts of black ink, 118 pts of grey ink. 612 homers but only led the league once. 1699 rbi but never led the league. .276 avg. .402 OBP but never led the league. .554 slg and 147 OPS+ but only led the league once a piece. Only 5 all star appearances and just 1 top 5 MVP finish (4th in 2003). Killebrew, for example, made the all star team in 11 seasons, won an MVP and had five other top 5 finishes, and won 6 HR titles and 3 rbi titles (48 pts of black ink total).
   214. PreservedFish Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5584101)
Morgan's letter mentioned keeping out players who admitted to use, were mentioned in the Mitchell report, or tested positive. Clemens has none of that. People might finally be catching on to the fact that the 'evidence' against Rocket is actually pretty weak.


I don't know how many voters care to dive into the nitty-gritty on this.
   215. SoSH U at work Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5584106)
Is it possible that Clemens actually benefits from Joe Morgan's letter? Morgan's letter mentioned keeping out players who admitted to use, were mentioned in the Mitchell report, or tested positive. Clemens has none of that. People might finally be catching on to the fact that the 'evidence' against Rocket is actually pretty weak.


As Ithaca notes, Clemens is still net zero when it comes to returning voters. His sole pickup is a new voter.
   216. soc40 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5584147)
Too early to call after only 11 votes, but I'm guessing this is the last year we see Sheffield and Wagner on the ballot
   217. Sweatpants Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5584192)
Clemens was in the Mitchell Report.
   218. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5584194)
Too early to call after only 11 votes, but I'm guessing this is the last year we see Sheffield and Wagner on the ballot


I bet they survive. Wagner cleared the bar by 23 votes last year, and Sheffield by 37. Both were moving forward in 2017, at +3 among returning voters and above 5% among first timers. It's going to be very hard for them to lose several dozen votes without pulling a Schilling.
   219. soc40 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5584200)
I bet they survive. Wagner cleared the bar by 23 votes last year, and Sheffield by 37. Both were moving forward in 2017, at +3 among returning voters and above 5% among first timers. It's going to be very hard for them to lose several dozen votes without pulling a Schilling.


The irony. Shef gets his first vote now
   220. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5584236)
One thing to remember...at least for the voters we see in the tracker, is that, on the whole, returnees gain voters more than they lose them. A look at Thibs' tracker shows almost everyone gains votes

   221. QLE Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:22 PM (#5584239)
I bet they survive. Wagner cleared the bar by 23 votes last year, and Sheffield by 37. Both were moving forward in 2017, at +3 among returning voters and above 5% among first timers. It's going to be very hard for them to lose several dozen votes without pulling a Schilling.


That, and I don't think the voters we've heard from are the right ones for making such a call- none of them had Wagner on their ballots last year, and the only one who had Sheffield last year kept him on the ballot.

If the ones who have been backing them start to abandon them, then we'd be in a better position to make that call.
   222. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5584246)
If anyone is interested here is John Tomase's ballot (Boston Herald)

Here's my full ballot, by the way: Bonds, Clemens, Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Edgar Martinez, Curt Schilling, Jim Thome, Sheffield.
   223. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5584247)
If the ones who have been backing them start to abandon them, then we'd be in a better position to make that call.


Yup. Wagner could be 1-for-100, but if none of them voted for him last year, he's actually better off
   224. Baldrick Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:53 PM (#5584286)
Here's my full ballot, by the way: Bonds, Clemens, Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Edgar Martinez, Curt Schilling, Jim Thome, Sheffield.

People who are willing to vote for Bonds, Sheffield, and Edgar, have space on their ballot, and don't vote for Manny...

I do not understand. Not even a little bit.
   225. bachslunch Posted: December 01, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5584289)
People who are willing to vote for Bonds, Sheffield, and Edgar, have space on their ballot, and don't vote for Manny...

I do not understand. Not even a little bit.


Manny tested positive for PEDs twice post-2005. None of these other folks did. My guess anyway.
   226. Rally Posted: December 01, 2017 at 02:06 PM (#5584298)
Would have been nice to see Mussina on that ballot.
   227. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 01, 2017 at 03:03 PM (#5584345)
People who are willing to vote for Bonds, Sheffield, and Edgar, have space on their ballot, and don't vote for Manny... I do not understand. Not even a little bit.

Quite obviously some voters see proven PED violations from the testing era - repeated violations, actually - in a different light than mere accusations and rumors (or worse) from before MLB had a clear no-PED policy. Not the only way to look at it, but it shouldn't be surprising that many see Manny in a different category than those who never failed a PED test.
   228. Srul Itza Posted: December 01, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5584373)
Thome is not just some anonymous 1B-DH slugger who gets lost in the silly-ball/steroid era.

1. Unlike many of the others, there has never been anything to tie him to steroids.
2. While 500 home runs may have been devalued, 600 is still very rarefied air.
3. He made a lot of stops, and seems to have piled up good will in all of them, even his short stint in Minnesota. I expect them to beat the drums for him, so speak, in most of the towns he played in.
4. He has a "good guy" aura about him, that will make it easy for people to vote for him.
5. He hit some really impressive home runs, even late in his career. Expect to see videos of them start to get play.


All of this is to say that, even if he does not get first ballot status, he will not be around for more than 3.

The idea that he was unlikely to get in ever, really has no basis.
   229. The Duke Posted: December 01, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5584495)
Guys like thome and McGriff get devalued by the excessive numbers by their PED counterparts. These are the guys the voters should be rallying around. If you take away the people who are suspected of PEDs - these guys look much better but the Hall voters can’t do that. Even if they say they are anti-PED it doesn’t translate to better answers for the non-PED players. You have to think if you removed all the questionable hitters, Thome would be first ballot and McGriff would be doing better
   230. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 01, 2017 at 07:25 PM (#5584541)
Trevor Hoffman, just 5 votes short last year, lost a vote today as Mark Newman of MLB.com dropped him for Larry Walker. I'm in the camp that favors electing Hoffman now rather have him suck up hundreds of votes for years to come, although his case is borderline.
   231. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 01, 2017 at 07:35 PM (#5584547)
Vizquel down to 50% with 14 votes. Maybe our very short national nightmare is over.
   232. Rob_Wood Posted: December 01, 2017 at 08:05 PM (#5584561)
I don't think it's nice to call Vizquel very short.
   233. Howie Menckel Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5584599)
this whole thread so far is quite a "sample size" example - and we may not be done yet, what with hundreds of votes still to come
   234. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:29 PM (#5584608)
Vizquel down to 50% with 14 votes. Maybe our very short national nightmare is over.


Perhaps the righteous anger poured down on the early returnees scared the latter voters off. Or it could just be noise. I've seen teams have winning streaks and losing streaks of more than 7 games each adjacent to each other.
   235. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 01, 2017 at 11:43 PM (#5584616)
this whole thread so far is quite a "sample size" example


Sorry we are only allowed to complain about sample size when it does NOT involve any primer discussions with respect to the HOF. Dammit, Clemens is going in and will be the first unanimous inductee...based on this sample so far!
   236. The Duke Posted: December 02, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5584743)
Well if vizquel is doing this well with the “enlightened” voters - ie the pro-PED crowd, he will do much better with the older crowd who saw him in his prime (so to speak), and are not as sabr-focused. I would not be surprised to see him around 55-60%.
   237. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 02, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5584836)
15 votes in, only Clemens and Thome at 100%. I'm not sure how far he got, but Griffey went at least 152-0.
   238. Adam Starblind Posted: December 02, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5584875)
this whole thread so far is quite a "sample size" example - and we may not be done yet, what with hundreds of votes still to come


Not really fair. Most people are focusing on votes lost/gained, which is a counting stat, not a rate stat.
   239. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 02, 2017 at 03:51 PM (#5584884)
Larry Walker has gained 4 votes from returning voters, and perhaps surprisingly, they are the only votes he has. Mr. Unanimous, Roger Clemens, is still at 100% without picking up any new votes from returning voters. My theory is that the quirky BBWAA voters got together and decided to troll BBTF by announcing their votes early.
   240. shoewizard Posted: December 04, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5585746)
Is it just me or is the pace of votes being publicized behind previous years ?

EDIT: nvm. Just saw #202

10 by 11/30/16, 20 by 12/7/16. Today so far 15 on 12/3/17
   241. PepTech Posted: December 04, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5585825)
Edgar on 12 out of 15 total, with four pickups. Encouraging to this M's fan, if not this year, then next!
   242. reech Posted: December 04, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5585833)
So, has everyone stopped clutching their pearls now that Vizquel is under 50%?
   243. Rob_Wood Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5585893)
No, but thanks for asking. I honestly didn't know if Vizquel would even get 5% to stay on the ballot.

Whether that reflects my personal view of Vizquel will remain an exercise for the reader.
   244. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:31 PM (#5585910)
So, has everyone stopped clutching their pearls now that Vizquel is under 50%?


When he was 7/7 I threw my pearls in the garbage.
   245. Booey Posted: December 04, 2017 at 03:43 PM (#5585931)
He's still got 9 more years of eligibility left. I'll keep my pearls close at hand, thank you very much.
   246. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:43 PM (#5585984)
When he was 7/7 I threw my pearls in the garbage.

I clutched my pearls hard enough to crush them into a fine powder, which I then snorted. It only made things worse.
   247. gabrielthursday Posted: December 04, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5585988)
I suspect Rolen will take over the Tim Raines memorial online outrage candidacy - and worthily so. Third basemen have suffered enough at the hands of the BBWAA! The apparent disparity between his support and that for Vizquel might help keep us engaged. It's really odd that an outstanding defensive shortstops is being given serious consideration while an equally great defensive third baseman looks like he'll linger with the Kents and McGriffs at the bottom of the ballot.
   248. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 04, 2017 at 07:01 PM (#5586095)
@247

You're assuming Rolen lives to see another ballot. If he doesn't, he inherits the Ron Santo, Bobby Grich/Lou Whitaker mantle instead.
   249. taxandbeerguy Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5586446)
Just saw the Juan Vene ballot. Can't make sense of it. Went back to prior years Tracker to see if at least he is consistent (he isn't). BTW, the tracker is one of the things I look most forward to every Christmas season. Vene's pitching picks aren't horrible (although 2 inner circle pitchers in Maddux and Unit make that a little easier), but I have absolutely no clue when it comes to position players.

2012 - Votes only Morris
2013 - Data not captured in the tracker, presumably if he voted would have voted for Morris and maybe Lee Smith.
2014 - Votes for Morris, newcomers Maddux and Glavine and (adds?) Lee Smith. No vote for Frank Thomas.
2015 - Morris (eligibility runs out), Maddux and Glavine (both elected) are replaced with Unit, Pedro and Smoltz. Votes Lee Smith and adds McGriff and Delgado?
2016 - Griffey, Hoffman, Smith, adds Piazza but drops McGriff? The three first time pitchers form 2015 are all elected and Delgado drops off.
2017 - Vlad and Pudge as first timers, Smith, adds to Raines's 10th year push, puts McGriff back on, but drops Hoffman.
2018 - Vlad, firsttimers Thome and Chipper, puts Hoffman back on and keeps McGriff.

What can we take from this?
1) PED suspicions keep you off his ballot unless you are a catcher. (Bagwell, Sheffield, Sosa, Clemens, Bonds, Manny)
2) Depending on the year he flips a coin on Hoffman and McGriff.
3) If a pitcher is questionable, he prefers they have pitched the bulk of their career in the 1980's (Morris and Smith)
4) Thome (and Guerrero) have enough personality and likeability relative to Frank Thomas and Edgar Martinez (and Larry Walker) to edge him over the line and those guys are left off. I find all three to be quite similar. Bagwell too although he is slightly ahead of the pack. Maybe Thome (and McGriff?) played less DH and that's why he's on Vene's ballot. They are all hitters first with little defensive / position value.
5) He may give a vote to someone who thinks may not be deserving, but does not necessarily object to someone voting for them either (Piazza and Raines).

This ballot got me thinking about the possibility of a consistent 1 vote ballot. Small hall, hardline stance against PED's and suspicions. Could yield a vote with only Chipper Jones on it.

Also early takeaways are that I'm pleased with Rolen's 4 votes already, think he has a good chance of staying on for some time now, loving the increases for Walker, but it's too little too late, maybe this sets him up with a Veteran's committee vote somewhere down the road, as echoed here and elsewhere, I don't understand the Vizquel love, all he's got is durability, longevity and very good to possibly great fielding but nothing else and there's a pretty good chance at 4 electees this year (Thome, Chipper, Hoffman and Vlad).
   250. Downing Almost Deserves It Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:35 PM (#5586452)
I have absolutely no clue when it comes to position players

You, sir, are not the one without a clue.

Given that Vizquel is from Venezuela, Vene is a terrible voter, and Vene is from Venezuela, I'm a little surprised a vote didn't go in that direction. But maybe he thinks five is the limit?
   251. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:37 PM (#5586453)
You're assuming Rolen lives to see another ballot.


He's got 4 votes through 19 ballots. He's not going to fall off.
   252. taxandbeerguy Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:43 PM (#5586460)
@250

It's certainly possible that Vene thinks 5 is the limit, but he did vote for 6 in 2015 with Carlos Delgado being one of the votes. Being a Jays fan, I love Carlos, but on that ballot, there had to be at least 15 others players I would pick before him, although on a less crowded ballot I could certainly see some writers giving a vote for him (especially the Toronto writers).
   253. Srul Itza Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:05 PM (#5586480)
Through 20 ballots, only Thome is on every ballot. I would not have expected that.

If anyone, I thought it would be Chipper. The guy who left him off voted for Wagner, Vizquel, Kent and McGriff, among others, so I have no idea what his thought process was.



   254. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5586488)
If anyone, I thought it would be Chipper. The guy who left him off voted for Wagner, Vizquel, Kent and McGriff, among others, so I have no idea what his thought process was.


Srul, this was talked about earlier in the thread I believe. Chipper has said some dumb things on twitter, so, he failed the character clause in that voter's eyes.

   255. dlf Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5586489)
If anyone, I thought it would be Chipper. The guy who left him off voted for Wagner, Vizquel, Kent and McGriff, among others, so I have no idea what his thought process was.


He stated is was the character clause and pointed out some, shall we say less than enlightened, tweets from Jones.

Edit: what is the drink of choice Senor Berroa?
   256. Baldrick Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5586499)
Vene is consistently one of the worst voters, so it's not surprising that his is the worst ballot so far (by far)
   257. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5586503)
Willie Smith drops Mussina and Wagner, adds Sosa, Vlad, and Hoffman. Sure.

We're looking at a minimum of four guys elected this year. Hoffman missed by five votes last year, and is +1. Vlad missed by 15, and is +3. Thome and Jones look like locks.

In other news, Sosa's not only +2, he's done it on ballots where guys with legitimate shots at being elected are being dropped.
   258. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5586506)
Edit: what is the drink of choice Senor Berroa?


Refrescos Country Club, por favor

   259. BrianBrianson Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5586515)
1) PED suspicions keep you off his ballot unless you are a catcher. (Bagwell, Sheffield, Sosa, Clemens, Bonds, Manny)


Fat guys didn't take steroids, duh. Why do you think Thome is totally suspicion-free?
   260. taxandbeerguy Posted: December 05, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5586535)
Why do you think Thome is totally suspicion-free?


He may not be totally suspicion free, but how often has this discussed by the writers? With the others there was either the Mitchell Report, suspicions based off of teammates (Bagwell) or various other instances in the public domain including getting caught (Manny).

Certainly he could've juiced, I mean look at that graceful decline, but I don't recall Thome's body changing the way some of the others did either. You could make that argument about just about anyone (Griffey kept getting hurt later in his career a-la A-Rod, Biggio was teammates with Bagwell and Caminiti, Thomas was massive from day and looked like a linebacker at the plate and so forth.)

I think it's a matter of where are the loudest whispers coming from and where is the most damning proof coming from? None of it was directed at Thome.
   261. Booey Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:19 PM (#5586724)
You're assuming Rolen lives to see another ballot.


He's got 4 votes through 19 ballots. He's not going to fall off.


I'm starting to think you might win this bet after all, SoSh. ;-)

Am I mis-remembering things that we had a 2nd ballot caveat, though (seriously - I don't remember), whereas if Rolen dropped off on the 2nd ballot we'd call it a draw? Cuz I do remember being 50/50 with my 1st ballot/2nd ballot prediction; I could imagine him squeaking by on his first try and then being gone on his 2nd, a la Nomar, Juan Gone, Belle, etc. If I'm not imagining this, I reserve the right to hold off on payment if Rolen finishes around 10% or less; there's been a few guys that started as high as 10 or 11% and then dropped off the ballot their 2nd year (Hershiser, Bernie, etc).

If Rolen gets over, say, 15% - or if I'm mis-remembering this 2nd ballot caveat entirely - I will concede defeat and pay up this January rather than waiting until next year. ;-)
   262. reech Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:21 PM (#5586725)
It appears that there are some voters who have added 'roid users when they hadn't in past years.
I wonder if this is a reaction to Selig's election last year or Morgan's pontification this year.
   263. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:29 PM (#5586734)
Am I mis-remembering things that we had a 2nd ballot caveat, though (seriously - I don't remember), whereas if Rolen dropped off on the 2nd ballot we'd call it a draw?


I think the determination was that if he falls off after one ballot, we both lose (in that case, we each send a donation to BTF).
   264. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5586765)
Primey nomination for posts 242-246

the best comedy just keeps going up the ladder
   265. Booey Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:43 PM (#5586815)
I think the determination was that if he falls off after one ballot, we both lose (in that case, we each send a donation to BTF).


I thought that was for the 2nd ballot? So if he went one and done, I win. If he makes it to a 3rd ballot, you win. If he falls off after the 2nd, we call it a draw and each donate to BTF.
   266. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:48 PM (#5586826)
I thought that was for the 2nd ballot? So if he went one and done, I win. If he makes it to a 3rd ballot, you win. If he falls off after the 2nd, we call it a draw and each donate to BTF.


Yes, that's what I meant to write.
   267. Downing Almost Deserves It Posted: December 05, 2017 at 08:38 PM (#5586913)
It's certainly possible that Vene thinks 5 is the limit, but he did vote for 6 in 2015 with Carlos Delgado being one of the votes.

Of course, it's dangerous to guess what people are thinking, particularly those whose thinking is so far from reality.

As for Delgado, I love his style and his willingness to speak out.

Regarding his Hall case, I think he's quite a bit like Orlando Cepeda, so there's a shot. Bottomley and High Pockets are clearly worse. I'd object, but not as much as for many.
   268. TomH Posted: December 06, 2017 at 08:15 AM (#5587040)
re: Vizquel -- nice article on fangraphs today about Vizquel=Jamie Moyer. Super long careers with imilar overall value, no peak/prime, one strong skill (Omar defense, Moyer control), ergo Moyer should get some HoF votes if Omar does. Required reading for Omar voters.
   269. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 06, 2017 at 11:30 AM (#5587218)
23 public ballots in, and Kent has lost three votes already. One was a straight up "I've realized I don't think he's worthy" and two others look like they were 10-vote limit. Kent was -1 last year, and went 0-for-15 among first-time voters. He's almost certainly safe from being dropped, but that's not encouraging
   270. bachslunch Posted: December 07, 2017 at 12:39 PM (#5587996)
Looks like we've got our worst ballot up so far (which is saying something after Vene) -- at least until we hear from The Evil One. Bill Livingston voted for Thome, Vizquel, and nobody else. He's a Cleveland based writer, so no surprise he went hometown, I guess.

His "rationale," such as it is. He had abstained before, and it's too bad he didn't continue to do so:

http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/index.ssf/2017/12/my_baseball_hall_of_fame_ballo.html
   271. Booey Posted: December 07, 2017 at 12:54 PM (#5588006)
#270 - Read his "rationale." It's basically "No one from the steroids era...unless they played for my team."

The HOF shouldn't count ballots from writers that openly admit to biases like this, IMO.
   272. Baldrick Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:05 PM (#5588023)
I'm not sure it's possible to have a worse ballot, honestly. Obviously, voting for just Kevin Millwood or something would technically be worse. But making it significantly harder for a bunch of worthy candidates to get election just so you can vote for 'your guys' actually feels more offensive to me. It's not JUST being stupid; it's being stupid and 100% unconcerned with how your actions affect other people. He knows full well that plenty of these other guys are as deserving. He's just an ass.
   273. Downing Almost Deserves It Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5588030)
He had abstained before, and it's too bad he didn't continue to do so:

I don't think he has abstained. As he tells it, he sends in a ballot explaining his abstention. And that means it's a blank ballot. Right?
   274. Downing Almost Deserves It Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:15 PM (#5588033)
He had abstained before, and it's too bad he didn't continue to do so:

I don't think he has abstained. As he tells it, he sends in a ballot explaining his abstention. And that means it's a blank ballot. Right?
   275. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:19 PM (#5588039)
But making it significantly harder for a bunch of worthy candidates to get election just so you can vote for 'your guys' actually feels more offensive to me.

Well, "significantly" harder doesn't seem quite right. It's a very bad ballot, with a very poor justification, but it's only one vote. It'd be a problem if a lot of voters cast similar votes, but they don't. The best feature of the relatively large BBWAA voting pool is that its size cures most of the problems that come from the handful of idiosyncratic voters.
   276. Rusty Priske Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:20 PM (#5588040)
23 public ballots in, and Kent has lost three votes already. One was a straight up "I've realized I don't think he's worthy" and two others look like they were 10-vote limit. Kent was -1 last year, and went 0-for-15 among first-time voters. He's almost certainly safe from being dropped, but that's not encouraging


I was reading along with you until the last line. I thought it WAS encouraging.

There are at least 14 more deserving candidates than Jeff Kent.
   277. Booey Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5588043)
The best feature of the relatively large BBWAA voting pool is that its size cures most of the problems that come from the handful of idiosyncratic voters.


Yeah, but simply not counting the ballots of writers who openly admit to biases or to spite voting seems like an easy solution. Those types of ballots are just as much an attempt to sabotage the process - and just as worthy of "punishment" - as the LeBatard/Deadspin debacle, IMO.
   278. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:35 PM (#5588065)
The best feature of the relatively large BBWAA voting pool is that its size cures most of the problems that come from the handful of idiosyncratic voters.

Yeah, but simply not counting the ballots of writers who openly admit to biases or to spite voting seems like an easy solution.]

Deciding whose vote, or rationale for the vote, is bad enough to nullify the vote or revoke voting eligibility seems like a real slippery slope. I wouldn't go there. By making votes public, the Hall provides some check on the worst abuses - the voter has to live with the mockery. Since the size of the electorate makes a small handful of bad votes almost irrelevant, I don't see a problem worth addressing, as much as I might enjoy the prospect of a Murray Chass show trial.
   279. Booey Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:45 PM (#5588076)
Deciding whose vote, or rationale for the vote, is bad enough to nullify the vote or revoke voting eligibility seems like a real slippery slope.


Agreed; I'm not suggesting they should ignore everyone who submits a bad or stupid ballot, only ones that openly admit to doing something that seems like it's against the spirit of the election process itself. Like LeBatard. They had no problem stripping him of his vote (and would have ignored it had they known who it was in advance). What's the difference between that and a Chass type that says they're submitting a blank ballot just to spite their critics? Or this guy that basically says only guys who played for his team are eligible for his vote? Neither of those ballots qualify as being merely "bad". And I'm not suggesting we should just assume nefarious motives based solely on their choices, either. But if they write an article flat out admitting it...
   280. SoSH U at work Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:52 PM (#5588086)
I don't think he has abstained. As he tells it, he sends in a ballot explaining his abstention. And that means it's a blank ballot. Right?


I doubt it. If he's publicly telling the Hall he's abstaining from voting, I would assume they'd count that as an abstention even if he did it on the wrong letterhead.
   281. Booey Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:54 PM (#5588088)
By making votes public, the Hall provides some check on the worst abuses - the voter has to live with the mockery.


Didn't the Hall reject the proposal to make all votes public anyway?
   282. Baldrick Posted: December 07, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5588097)
"I am making a dumb, principled stand, but I carved out two exceptions because it would give me a sad to not vote for them" is significantly more offensive than "I am making a dumb, principled stand."

Someone who publicly states that they are voting based exclusively on favoritism, and are not even willing to look at the cases of other players, has no business being allowed to vote for the HOF.
   283. Baldrick Posted: December 07, 2017 at 02:02 PM (#5588103)
Meanwhile, Jon Heyman also has some thoughts today.

"I realize I am one of the few who separate Bonds and Clemens, but I am just not sure what to believe with Clemens since he was willing to go into Congress and court and lie about his steroid abuse even if it meant ruining the trainer who aided his career."
   284. Peter Farted Again Posted: December 07, 2017 at 04:01 PM (#5588259)
Seeing Edgar drop off Heyman's ballot is a dagger in the heart, but I understand his reasons. The 10-vote limit does lend itself to some creativity.

Philosophically, would you consider it wrong to vote for someone just to get them off the ballot? If I were a voter, I'd have a hard time voting for Hoffman without also voting for Wagner (and I would not have voted for either in the past two years). But with Hoffman so close, I'd be sorely tempted to vote for both this time, watch Hoffman get his balloons and champagne, then stop voting for Wagner again next year (if he's still on).
   285. bachslunch Posted: December 07, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5588301)
Heyman’s ballot other than dropping Edgar is a little eccentric but actually pretty darned good: Bonds, Vlad, Hoffman, Andruw, Chipper, McGriff, Mussina, Schilling, Rolen, Thome.

He got the four most likely to get in (Vlad, Hoffman, Chipper, Thome), he voted to keep Andruw, Rolen, and McGriff around, evened the score with Bonds vs. Clemens, didn’t buy into the Vizquel hype, and still voted for the two non-Clemens starting pitchers. Interesting strategy.

My guess is he puts Edgar back on next year, as it will be his last.
   286. Baldrick Posted: December 07, 2017 at 04:55 PM (#5588308)
This isn't a new thought by any means, but I'm struck again today by the weirdness of people not voting for Edgar because he was a limited player while happily treating Hoffman as an obvious HOFer.
   287. Booey Posted: December 07, 2017 at 05:31 PM (#5588322)
This isn't a new thought by any means, but I'm struck again today by the weirdness of people not voting for Edgar because he was a limited player while happily treating Hoffman as an obvious HOFer.


How many saves did Edgar get? Less than 600, I bet.
   288. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 07, 2017 at 05:34 PM (#5588328)
#286. Thank you.
Why does a closer get some mythical bump in credit, yet the part time player, DH in this case (who accrued a heck of a lot more value then any reliever ever) gets punished? You either recognise each roll as a special skill set and vote accordingly or you look at overall value and go for there.

Nice to see the ship has sort of righted itself with Vizquel just above 50%

I see Schilling has picked up 2 votes. I suppose now the bar is so low about what people can twitter that anything that Schilling puts out there will be considered mild.
   289. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 07, 2017 at 05:54 PM (#5588343)
And I should never post without re-reading, then jump into a meeting which eliminates any chance to edit for spelling or grammar.... Should be "role" and go from there....
   290. Greg Pope Posted: December 07, 2017 at 06:42 PM (#5588367)
I realize I am one of the few who separate Bonds and Clemens, but I am just not sure what to believe with Clemens since he was willing to go into Congress and court and lie about his steroid abuse even if it meant ruining the trainer who aided his career.


Wow. So he knows he's completely correct and no evidence will change his mind. That's wonderful.

I mean, if he had said: I realize I am one of the few who separate Bonds and Clemens, but I am just not sure what to believe with Clemens since he was willing to go into Congress and court and testify about his alleged steroid abuse even if it meant ruining the trainer who aided his career., that would be a logical reason to vote for Clemens but not Bonds.
   291. Rob_Wood Posted: December 07, 2017 at 07:10 PM (#5588378)
I was wondering whatinhell Heyman meant there but then thought it probably wasn't worth trying to figure out!
   292. toratoratora Posted: December 07, 2017 at 09:30 PM (#5588458)
For years I've said I didn't think Thome was first ballot.* I remember a few years back writing that he would get in on the 2nd or 3rd. Color me shocked. Seriously thought the steroid era had devalued HR and too many writers would remain against any big slugger of that era.

Shrugs. Course I also thought Vlad would get in on the 1st. Always figured the writers would buy into the narrative first and foremost and put him in ASAP.

Personally Thome always reminded me of Kilebrew. Nice, country, gentle giant of a guy.Lots of K's. Lots of walks. Lots of blap. Not so much of speed or defense. And I kinda saw the Hall giving him the same treatment.

As for Heyman's comments on Clemens, that's just sheer idiocy. If anything, Clemens argument should go the exact opposite way. He's done damn near everything possible to look and act like an innocent man. They said he did roids. He said he didn't. They said make a statement. He did. They said we don't believe that statement. You need to testify in Congress to prove it to us. So he did. Walked into a trap knowing it was there, a setup he had no reason to risk big money on expensive lawyers not to mention his freaking freedom and denied using. They said, we don't believe you.You committed perjury. So they took him to court. Spent millions and millions investigating. Had teams of FBI agents go through his life with a fine tooth comb for four years. And came up with nada but a rapist with a history of lying. And he beat that. Beat it cold. Jury deliberated two days and came back unanimous. He has risked fame fortune and freedom and they keep moving the goalposts on him. After all that, all those shenanigans, that Clemens has to have an idiot lackey like Heyman lay some #### like this on him is disgusting.

I'll close with a quote from a Feldman Grantland article about the case:
"The government spent more than $120 million and countless hours pursuing Clemens. They examined 15,732 pages of Clemens’s family bank records from JPMorgan Chase, 1,139 pages of records from American Express credit cards, more than 300 pages of medical records from MLB teams for which Clemens played, and hundreds of pages of phone records. Ninety-three agents also interviewed 179 people in 68 different locations and produced 235 reports of their interviews. They called 24 witnesses. And yet all they had to show for it was a flawed “star” witness (who was obviously known to them before the investigation started), a mistrial, and not-guilty verdicts on all counts.

Other than that, the government’s pursuit of Roger Clemens was a smashing success.


*Notes that I personally see Thome as 1st ballot but no way thought the writers would
   293. Srul Itza Posted: December 08, 2017 at 01:01 PM (#5588819)
The thing that sticks with me about Thome is that, in the latter stages of his career, when he was still blasting monster shots, everyone seemed to like him. We may know nothing about him personally, but he seemed to be well-liked everywhere, both with his own team and the fans of the other teams. That sort of good will can make it very easy to vote for him, where the numbers support it.
   294. Hysterical & Useless Posted: December 08, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5588943)
edit for spelling or grammar.... Should be "role"


Jeez, I'm glad I was late getting here and you'd caught that. Thought I was gonna die!

I can't agree with the logic of voting for an unworthy player in order to clear them from the ballot. If you don't think a particular player--for argument's sake, we'll call him "Trevor F Hoffman"--belongs in the Hall, you should lobby your colleagues not to vote for him, rather than joining them in their mistake. Because before you know it, there'll be another unworthy player--we'll call him, let's see, "Omar F Vizquel"--who'll be knocking on the door, and then you'll be voting for him too.
   295. Adam Starblind Posted: December 08, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5589013)
As for Heyman's comments on Clemens, that's just sheer idiocy. If anything, Clemens argument should go the exact opposite way. He's done damn near everything possible to look and act like an innocent man.


That's not how Canseco saw things, and Canseco is always right.
   296. QLE Posted: December 08, 2017 at 07:00 PM (#5589089)
#284- It ultimately depends on one matter, in my mind:

Is it a question of "fit player, but others ahead of him on my personal ballot", or "unfit player"?

If the former, I'd say that strategic voting can have merit- the ballot I'd cast if I were in the BBWAA is not the one I'd cast here, as 1) There is a player who is 12th or 13th on my theoretical ballot who was at over 70% last year, and there is value in seeing him clear, and 2) There is a player I am very much on the fence about (as his claim has elements to it that may be highly questionable), but who I am worried will fall below 5%, and who I want to have more time to discuss the case of than is possible at the moment.

If the latter, I cannot justify it- if said unworthy player can't get in without my support, I see no reason to give it to him. Moreover, I'm sincerely not convinced that clearing said players will help- getting rid of my 1) would probably help Martinez, Rolen (if he survives) and Walker in later years, but I have a bad feeling that the vote for a certain unfit player currently on the cusp of induction will either break to the other unfit player with a lot of support at the moment or to other unfit players who have the same role, rather than the players we'd hope this would aid.

Yes, the ultimate goal is induction, but one can work for that without being Frankie Frisch.
   297. Greg K Posted: December 08, 2017 at 07:14 PM (#5589093)
How many saves did Edgar get? Less than 600, I bet.

Only because the Mariners left him buried in the minors so long.
   298. Srul Itza Posted: December 08, 2017 at 08:25 PM (#5589109)
Do you think any voters look at the Thibs spreadsheet, and that it has an impact on their voting?

Given human nature, and the fairly wide slice of people who have votes, you'd have to think that there were at least SOME people who were using it in some way, if only to validate their preconceptions.
   299. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 09, 2017 at 09:02 AM (#5589177)
That's not how Canseco saw things, and Canseco is always right.


And yet Ivan Rodriguez sailed in.
   300. bachslunch Posted: December 09, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5589240)
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