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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Sansevere: Stingy Hall of Fame voters likely to snub Morris

Sansevere HOF ballot? Not in this case!

HOF Ballot - Morris, Maddux, Glavine, F. Thomas, Bonds, Clemens, Mussina, R. Palmeiro, Sosa, Schilling.

Baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot arrived in the mail this week. I have put a check mark next to Jack Morris’ name on my ballot every year. I will do it again this year.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Morris will make it into the Hall of Fame in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. There is just too much competition.

First-year eligible players include Mike Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. All three should make it into the Hall of Fame this year.

Chances are, they won’t.

Too many voters are stingy with their vote, and have been since the very first year of balloting in 1936. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson were the first five inductees into the Hall of Fame and none were unanimous. Of the 226 ballots cast, 11 didn’t have Ruth’s name on it.

It’s still like that. There are voters who have anointed themselves sentinels of the Hall of Fame. Nobody ever has been a unanimous pick and, as long as they can hold a pen and vote, nobody ever will. Ballots have been turned in blank and that is likely to happen again.

Repoz Posted: December 05, 2013 at 10:12 AM | 74 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Moeball Posted: December 05, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4611015)
First-year eligible players include Mike Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. All three should make it into the Hall of Fame this year.


Gee, it's nice to know that Mike Maddux will get at least one vote!

Greg, on the other hand, is already shut out of the unanimous club.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 05, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4611018)
11 didn’t have Ruth’s name on it.

Mike Ruth, however, received 11 votes.
   3. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2013 at 10:39 AM (#4611021)
Sansevere is often an idiot and I don't support Morris, but this is a pretty darn good ballot. Not perfect, but he used all ten slots and voted for the best players (mostly). Heck I'll give Kudos to anyone using all ten slots.
   4. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 05, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4611035)
I doubt anyone else will have 6 pitchers. No easy way to check, but has anyone ever voted for 6 pitchers?
   5. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4611044)
I don't really care all that much, but it's tough for me to get behind someone who votes for Rafael Palmeiro and not Jeff Bagwell.
   6. bfan Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4611055)
I wouldn't call it "stingy" not to vote for Morris. Are those who vote for him "generous"?
   7. BrianBrianson Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4611057)
Concur. Morris is a bad choice but 9/10 is still an A. (Keeping in mind that any answer left blank should be marked as wrong.)
   8. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4611060)
it's tough for me to get behind someone who votes for Rafael Palmeiro and not Jeff Bagwell.


I think they are both Hall worthy, so it does not bother me much. Benefits of an overcrowded ballot I suppose.

Keeping in mind that any answer left blank should be marked as wrong


QFT.
   9. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4611061)
Yeah, I don't really have a beef with Palmeiro being on his ballot. My beef's more with not having Bagwell, and Palmeiro was the natural comp as a contemporary who played the same position.
   10. AROM Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4611078)
it's tough for me to get behind someone who votes for Rafael Palmeiro and not Jeff Bagwell.


Also Sammy Sosa. He beats Bagwell in homeruns, but Bagwell was a much better hitter all around, not particularly close. Sosa did last 200 games more than Bagwell, but in OPS+ Bagwell's 149 to 128 should be decisive, and Sosa is even the exact type of player (SLG heavy) who will be overrated by OPS+.

But that's nitpicking. Even with Morris this is better than 90% of the ballots will be. Vote for 10 spots, vote for the very best players - he did that.
   11. AROM Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4611080)
This is also a case of a writer filling out a full ballot, not giving a crap about steroids, and still finding no room for Mark McGwire. I can't blame him, I could not put Mark in my top 10 either.

McGwire is gone after this year.
   12. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4611086)
Sansevere is often an idiot and I don't support Morris, but this is a pretty darn good ballot. Not perfect, but he used all ten slots and voted for the best players (mostly). Heck I'll give Kudos to anyone using all ten slots.


And this is a perfect example of why the ballot cap has to go or virtually nobody will ever be elected. You know who's missing from his "pretty darn good ballot"? 4 of the 5 guys who got over 50% of the vote last year: no Biggio, no Bagwell, no Piazza, no Raines. There's no room for those guys to build support and if they don't build support, they'll never get elected.
   13. zonk Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4611089)
Let's say we were doing HoF voting/induction like a peace negotiation...

Allowing the grizzled old tymey voters to have their precious JackMo inducted allowed the Slide Rule Crew to induct X players from their list into the HoF.

How big does the number X need to be for people to make this trade? And which names would you put on X?

Personally, I'd do 1 for 1 -- but I'll start the negotiations at 3.

So far as players - I think I'd take in order: Whitaker, Stieb, and McGwire

Why those three and not say, Raines, Bonds, etc?

Whitaker because he's already off the ballot and I just don't see even the VC being able to rectify him. Stieb just because then we actually HAVE the best pitcher from the 80s in the HoF. McGwire because I think it would blow up the stupid PED paradigm for HoF voting once and for all.
   14. DavidFoss Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4611095)
I wouldn't call it "stingy" not to vote for Morris. Are those who vote for him "generous"?

This is the newspaper for Jack Morris's hometown (St. Paul, MN). I think that partly explains the Morris vote and mostly explains the tone of the headline.
   15. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4611096)
I would not allow a middling pitcher like Jack Morris into the Hall of Fame at any price. Unless we agree to also induct all of the 50 or 60 better pitchers than Jack Morris who aren't in.
   16. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4611100)
And this is a perfect example of why the ballot cap has to go or virtually nobody will ever be elected. You know who's missing from his "pretty darn good ballot"? 4 of the 5 guys who got over 50% of the vote last year: no Biggio, no Bagwell, no Piazza, no Raines. There's no room for those guys to build support and if they don't build support, they'll never get elected.


And he voted for Biggio, Bagwell, Raines and McGwire, and stated he would have voted for Piazza and Walker if his ballot had been large enough.

By the way, I don't think he's claiming that not voting for Jack is a sign of stinginess, just that too many voters don't use enough of their ballot (thus explaining why all three of Thomas, Maddux and Glavine won't make the Hall this year).


   17. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4611104)
I would not allow a middling pitcher like Jack Morris into the Hall of Fame at any price.


I am against Morris, but I don't think his induction really hurts the Hall or anything. I am not a big believer in slippery slopes and I am willing to forgive occasional errors.

This is the newspaper for Jack Morris's hometown (St. Paul, MN)


I think 1991 is more relevant, but St. Paul does like its hometown heroes. And it has had some great great players. OK now I am for Jack in the Hall, Winfield and Molitor need company, and having four* once Mauer gets in makes a nice Rushmore for the city.

* I may be missing some St. Paul HOF folks, no idea.
   18. John Northey Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4611111)
People will be elected, it just will be 2 or 3 at most each year with overcrowding for about a decade I figure.
My best guess... *=first year
2014: Maddux*/Glavine* (writers will like the teammate angle)
2015: Biggio/Randy Johnson*
2016: Pedro Martinez/Griffey Jr*
2017: Piazza/Raines/Bagwell (I-Rod best newbie)
2018: Chipper Jones*/??? (suspect we might see first PED guys get in, probably Clemens)
2019: Rivera*/??? (IRod maybe now, Bonds if Clemens breaks the ice)

So 2017 is the first year stuff can start clearing out, with 2020 likely the next chance for guys to get in. Jim Thome I suspect will take a bit under the Bagwell rule (hit too many HR during steroid era) and that will be the point we see guys start to really climb. My gut says Clemens will be the first big PED guy to get in due to his court case.
   19. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4611116)
It still blows my mind that Piazza didn't get in last year. I always figured he'd be a first ballot guy and the argument would be whether he'd have a Dodgers or Mets cap (it'll be Mets). I couldn't have imagined that it would take years to get him in.
   20. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4611120)
John:

You think Frank Thomas is going to have to wait that long, or did you just lose him in the mix?

Otherwise, I think that's a pretty solid projection (including the eventuality of the steroids guys).

   21. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4611124)
I doubt anyone else will have 6 pitchers. No easy way to check, but has anyone ever voted for 6 pitchers?

I'd be amazed if that hasn't happened. Check 1989 - Perry, Jenkins & Kaat all new to the ballot. Bunning, Tiant & Lolich all holdovers. Sparky Lyle & Roy Face both topped 5%.

And none got 75%, so all came back in 1990. The 1990 ballot had Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Bunning, Luis Tiant, Mickey Lolich, Roy Face, Sparky Lyle. And one guy even voted for Jim Bibby.
   22. zonk Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4611129)

And none got 75%, so all came back in 1990. The 1990 ballot had Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Bunning, Luis Tiant, Mickey Lolich, Roy Face, Sparky Lyle. And one guy even voted for Jim Bibby.


What's wrong with Bibby?

He's got as much black ink as Morris... well... unless you count times leading the league in walks and/or wild pitches in Morris' favor...
   23. Peter Farted Posted: December 05, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4611140)
What's wrong with Bibby?

He's got as much black ink as Morris... well... unless you count times leading the league in walks and/or wild pitches in Morris' favor...


Besides, it's fun to re-work the Gap Band's song thusly:
"You dropped a bomb on me, Jim Bibby..."

Anyone whose name works that well on such a classic funk song deserves a Hall of Fame vote (one).
   24. John Northey Posted: December 05, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4611157)
Oops, was intending to put Thomas in 2017 or 2016. I figure Biggio is too high up not to get in next year or this year while Thomas might hit issues due to steroid fears even though he is generally viewed as clean.
   25. Bob Tufts Posted: December 05, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4611159)
And like Steve Boros, Moe Drawbowsky, Vern Ruhle, Ted Uhlander - Bibby died from multiple myeloma.

I got to know Jim during off-seasons spent in Charlottesville at UVa. A wonderful person.
   26. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 05, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4611165)
I figure Biggio is too high up not to get in next year or this year


Biggio just LOST Sansavere's vote this year - and it's a perfectly reasonable decision (he replaced Biggio, Bagwell, McGwire, and Raines w/ Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, and Mussina).
   27. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 05, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4611268)
This is also a case of a writer filling out a full ballot, not giving a crap about steroids, and still finding no room for Mark McGwire. I can't blame him, I could not put Mark in my top 10 either.

McGwire is gone after this year.


McGwire would have to lose 67 votes, or 70% of his support, to fall under five percent. Last year, when Biggiopiazzaschillingclemensbondssosa debuted, he lost 16 votes.
   28. AROM Posted: December 05, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4611274)
McGwire would have to lose 67 votes, or 70% of his support, to fall under five percent. Last year, when Biggiopiazzaschillingclemensbondssosa debuted, he lost 16 votes.


The difference is there was still room at the end of the ballot last year, you just had to justify putting him ahead of someone like Edgar, Walker, or Palmeiro. It will be harder to do this year. The only people with room on their ballots are the ones who disqualify all those ever rumored to have heard about steroids. Those people obviously aren't voting McGwire anyway.
   29. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 05, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4611278)
McGwire would have to lose 67 votes, or 70% of his support, to fall under five percent. Last year, when Biggiopiazzaschillingclemensbondssosa debuted, he lost 16 votes.


There's fewer big names debuting this year, but they may get more support than last year's group. Because of the steroid taint on Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa, the average ballot last year included only 2.6 first-year players. There's no Bonds-Clemens-Sosa level perceived steroid taint, though, among any of Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Mussina, or Jeff Kent. Also, because nobody fell off of the ballot last year, repeat voters are going to have to either drop players or increase their ballot size and, with the cap, that's inevitably going to lead to a lot more full ballots this year than last, all of which gives a lot more opportunities for voters to drop Mark McGwire (as Sansevere just did). I've flogged this horse quite a bit, but I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at how low the vote percentages end up being for a lot of players.
   30. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: December 05, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4611289)
Also, because nobody fell off of the ballot last year, repeat voters are going to have to either drop players or increase their ballot size and, with the cap, that's inevitably going to lead to a lot more full ballots this year than last, all of which gives a lot more opportunities for voters to drop Mark McGwire (as Sansevere just did). I've flogged this horse quite a bit, but I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at how low the vote percentages end up being for a lot of players.

So if somehow nobody makes it in due to the crowded ballot* then there's a huge uproar by Cooperstown. They decide to up the limit next year, but they also decide that this ballot was unfair due to the large number of candidates. So they re-instate people who fell off for any reason (below 5%, last year on the ballot). Writers take this as an endorsement of Morris and many writers add him to their ballot next year and he makes it in on his 16th year of eligibility.

That's my prediction anyway.

*Enough people say "Maddux will skate it, I'm saving Player X from sliding down by putting him on instead of Maddux.
   31. LargeBill Posted: December 05, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4611290)
It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but am glad to see some of the early articles talking about full or nearly full ballots. Every open spot on a ballot will work towards pushing some players deserving of more consideration below the 5% threshold.
   32. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4611311)
#30 scenario would be awesome. Because you know, Black Jack, pitching to the score until the very end!
   33. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 05, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4611367)
McGwire's going down for sure, but he's not going bye-bye. A 75% drop is a lot to ask. That's one reason why the ballot crush is going to be gloriously destructive. If the voters would uniformly cut loose McGwire and Walker and Trammell and Mattingly and McGriff, then they could squabble about Bonds and Clemens until the bovine growth hormone comes home.

The more pressing question is, what will the average amount of names per ballot be?

2013: 6.6
2012: 5.1
2011: 6.0
2010: 5.7
2009: 5.4
2008: 5.4
2007: 6.6
2006: 5.6

I'll guess 6.9.
   34. Baldrick Posted: December 05, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4611370)
#32: nice.
   35. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4611374)
The more pressing question is, what will the average amount of names per ballot be?


If it is less than 7.2* then the terrorists have won. Which means it will be 7.0 even.

* Number pulled out of my posterior.
   36. alilisd Posted: December 05, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4611453)
It still blows my mind that Piazza didn't get in last year. I always figured he'd be a first ballot guy and the argument would be whether he'd have a Dodgers or Mets cap (it'll be Mets). I couldn't have imagined that it would take years to get him in.


If you look at historic voting support for catchers, it makes "sense." Berra, not a first ballot guy, had to wait a year. Carter took six years. Fisk was like Berra, had to wait until year two. Campanella took five years. Basically, if you're not Johnny Bench, you're not a 1st Ballot HOF catcher. They just don't know how to adjust for the position, the lack of in-season playing time and the shortened careers leaves catchers short of the big statistical hallmarks old school voters rely on. My .02 anyway.
   37. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 05, 2013 at 08:34 PM (#4611527)
Berra, not a first ballot guy, had to wait a year. Carter took six years. Fisk was like Berra, had to wait until year two. Campanella took five years. Basically, if you're not Johnny Bench, you're not a 1st Ballot HOF catcher.


Berra was before the modern voting patterns emerged. Fisk debuted with Ryan, Brett, and Yount. Carter was not an overwhelming candidate. Campy, see Berra. Piazza should have sailed in, or at worst been Fisked.
   38. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2013 at 08:40 PM (#4611533)
Moeball - vote for 1988 MMP
   39. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 05, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4611557)
Piazza should have sailed in, or at worst been Fisked.

If Piazza makes it in next month, he will have been. Of course, what are the odds of that?
   40. Booey Posted: December 05, 2013 at 10:08 PM (#4611594)
Clarity about how to vote came to me when I looked at the statistics for the eligible players and pitchers. That’s when it hit: Major League Baseball has not stricken any of these statistics from record books and has not ruled any of these players ineligible for Hall of Fame induction.


I like this line.

Overall a good ballot, Morris aside. His choices reflect a conundrum, though - I'm glad he picked Sosa and Palmeiro since they'll need all the help they can get just to stay on the ballot, but picking them over the guys who were over 50% last year that actually have a chance to get in - Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, Raines - means they'll have a harder time gaining the traction needed for their own election, which would help clear the backlog a little.

Damn you BBWAA. You could see this coming from a mile away and you did nothing to prevent it.
   41. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: December 05, 2013 at 11:36 PM (#4611638)
Damn you BBWAA. You could see this coming from a mile away and you did nothing to prevent it.

Who sets the rules, the BBWAA or the Hall of Fame?
   42. Booey Posted: December 06, 2013 at 01:34 AM (#4611681)
Who sets the rules, the BBWAA or the Hall of Fame?


Either one could've prevented the current logjam, actually. The HOF sets the rules, but the BBWAA shouldn't need the HOF to hold their hands to get them to elect obvious candidates.
   43. BrianBrianson Posted: December 06, 2013 at 04:34 AM (#4611704)
2014: Maddux*/Glavine* (writers will like the teammate angle)
2015: Biggio/Randy Johnson*
2016: Pedro Martinez/Griffey Jr*
2017: Piazza/Raines/Bagwell (I-Rod best newbie)
2018: Chipper Jones*/??? (suspect we might see first PED guys get in, probably Clemens)
2019: Rivera*/??? (IRod maybe now, Bonds if Clemens breaks the ice)


Without a rule change, you should expect:
2014: Maddux
2015: *crickets"
2016: Griffey
2017: *Crickets*
2018: *Crickets*
2019: *Symphony of Crickets*

It's simply too crowded, which is a runaway catastrophy. If you assume ~4 guys get in this year, next, etc., then it's fine. But if you assume that, you're a fool.
   44. jobu Posted: December 06, 2013 at 04:44 AM (#4611706)
Without a rule change, you should expect:
2014: Maddux
2015: *crickets"
2016: Griffey
2017: *Crickets*
2018: *Crickets*
2019: *Symphony of Crickets*


I agree that this scenario is plausible given recent patterns, but the symphony of crickets is going to be playing "Enter Sandman" in 2019. There is no way Rivera is not going in.
   45. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 06, 2013 at 08:31 AM (#4611718)
It won't get that far. The first time no one is elected from a slew of obvious candidates, the Hall of Fame will change the BBWAA voting procedures to open the gates. Induction weekend is a big deal in Cooperstown, and the town is seriously financially hurt when no relatively recent superstars are there to be inducted.
   46. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 06, 2013 at 09:04 AM (#4611723)
Induction weekend is a big deal in Cooperstown, and the town is seriously financially hurt when no relatively recent superstars are there to be inducted.


Sadly no one has ever come up with an idea to boost attendance for the Hall outside of induction weekend. :)

Seriously though I am not sure how valid any of the predictions are, because I am not sure how resistant to change the setup will be. Will tradition triumph and voting rules and patterns stay the same (super log jam) or will either the Hall or writers change course? Inertia is very powerful but so is money.
   47. zonk Posted: December 06, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4611740)
They basically redid the VC -- twice -- because it stopped electing people so I would bet good money that if the BBWAA doesn't start making some headway through the logjam, we'll see changes.

In fact, I'm coming around to the idea of rooting for no one getting elected just to put a stop to the recent madness.

Honestly, I think the problem is a lot less "active" voters than the lifetime vote thing... The BBWAA needs to get more active in taking votes away from people... I mean - the dude who "forgot" Rickey Henderson? Sorry, but that's a ballot-taken-away offense. It's not like you're on a clock in a room with a proctor - if you can't be bothered to carefully consider the candidates and double-check your ballot before sending it in then you shouldn't have a ballot.

People that send in blank ballots? Ditto - take 'em away... Looking back to the 60s on HoF balloting -- there is not single year when there wasn't an obvious, deserving candidate. Not one - and it isn't even close. With a certain backlog for the foreseeable future, no excuse for a blank ballot. Send one in blank - get it taken away.

People that miss returning a ballot - they get dropped from voting. We bemoan a lot of posted ballots - but frankly, these folks tend not to be the problem. The BBWAA ranks are bloated with writers/former writers who don't even LIKE baseball, but just happened to write for entity that paid BBWAA dues for them for 10 years. Bob Verdi's one who comes to mind -- not to pick on Bob, but he was a golf guy and to some extent, a hockey guy.... The BBWAA ranks are bloated with guys who most certainly do not take this "honor" as anything of the sort. I'd be fine with some sort of emeritus schema, but the current "Have someone pay your dues for 10 years and that's that for all eternity" is just dumb.

Random ballot testing ought to be instituted, too... Every year - some learned committee ought to audit some subset of ballots. Return a nonsensical ballot -- vote for say, Ray Durham but not Craig Biggio -- buh-bye to your ballot.

   48. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4611743)
The first time no one is elected from a slew of obvious candidates, the Hall of Fame will change the BBWAA voting procedures to open the gates.


That would have been last year, wouldn't it? Setting aside steroids (i.e., even ignoring Bonds and Clemens), what makes the candidacies of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Chipper Jones so much more "obvious" than Biggio, Bagwell, and Piazza?
   49. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4611744)
Without a rule change, you should expect:
2014: Maddux
2015: *crickets"
2016: Griffey
2017: *Crickets*
2018: *Crickets*
2019: *Symphony of Crickets*


It's simply too crowded, which is a runaway catastrophy. If you assume ~4 guys get in this year, next, etc., then it's fine. But if you assume that, you're a fool.


Not a chance. There will be at least one player elected every year. The only way there isn't is in the unlikely event that four go in one year.
   50. BrianBrianson Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:21 AM (#4611751)
SoSH, that's exactly backwards. The more that go in this year, the more that go in next year. And so on. And vice versa. If no one goes in this year (I think it's unlikely, but let's say), no one goes in until there's a rule change. If, by the direction action of our alien overlords who arrive tomorrow, Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, and Piazza went in this year, Johnson and Martinez, and possibly Biggio and Piazza go in in 2015.

But predictions are hard, especially about the future. The process will runaway - a lot of elections will lead to a lot more elections, as crowding is minimised, while more non-elections lead to even more non elections. Four guys being inducted this year means at least Johnson in 2015. Zero this year would mean Johnson has no chance.
   51. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4611756)
SoSH, that's exactly backwards. The more that go in this year, the more that go in next year. And so on. And vice versa. If no one goes in this year (I think it's unlikely, but let's say), no one goes in until there's a rule change. If, by the direction action of our alien overlords who arrive tomorrow, Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, and Piazza went in this year, Johnson and Martinez, and possibly Biggio and Piazza go in in 2015.


No, the only way we won't see any elections in those years if too many of the +50 percent crowd get elected one year, which isn't going to happen. It's just the way Hall elections work.

The mistake is assuming the BBWAA doesn't want to elect guys, which isn't the case. Last year's shutout was not surprising to some of us, due to the nature of who was coming on the ballot. That's not likely to repeat itself.

But I'm happy to put a long-range BBRef bet on it. I say there will be at least one player elected by the BBWAA in each of the next five years. It's actually a nice bet for you - you win if I'm wrong in 2015. I'm possibly dead before you have to pay off.
   52. AROM Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4611768)
Random ballot testing ought to be instituted, too... Every year - some learned committee ought to audit some subset of ballots. Return a nonsensical ballot -- vote for say, Ray Durham but not Craig Biggio -- buh-bye to your ballot.


If you could actually put together such a learned committee that is generally seen that way (wide overall acceptance, not just people who you like), then that committee should be doing the voting. I don't think that can be done.

I don't have a problem with the BBWAA - they have been proactive in expanding their membership past print media, to the point where we are not far away from Sean Forman having a HOF vote. Yes, there are some dumb votes in there, but that's an acceptable cost to having a democracy. Still better than the alternative.

Problem is that the HOF has been way to slow to address a problem that most of us have seen coming miles away. Fixing it would be very simple:

1. No limit to ballots. Vote for all you think are deserving. There are at least 20 candidates who meet historical HOF standards. Not lowest common denominator, better than Rice/Sutter. More like "the majority of players most comparable to the candidate are in the hall".

2. Elect 1 or elect 2 - If no candidate meets 75%, then top 1 or 2 votegetters are in.

3. Or as an alternative - lower percent needed to 60%, even 50%. Historically everyone who makes it this far gets in the hall anyway, except for Gil Hodges. That's a trade I can make - Hodges gets in but we don't have to live with this clusterfkck.
   53. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4611770)
That would have been last year, wouldn't it? Setting aside steroids (i.e., even ignoring Bonds and Clemens), what makes the candidacies of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Chipper Jones so much more "obvious" than Biggio, Bagwell, and Piazza?


While I agree with your overall point, Randy Johnson is a much more obvious candidate than any of those three guys from last year's ballot. He had both counting numbers and dominance.
   54. AROM Posted: December 06, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4611776)
I agree that this scenario is plausible given recent patterns, but the symphony of crickets is going to be playing "Enter Sandman" in 2019. There is no way Rivera is not going in.


You're probably right given the universal Rivera worship. But if only Maddux and Griffey make it for the next 5 years, here's the ballot:

Bonds
Clemens
Randy
Chipper
Pedro
Mussina
Glavine
Schilling
Bagwell
Thomas

leaving off Thome, Smoltz, Pudge, Biggio, Piazza, Manny, Sheffield, Vlad, Sosa, and plenty of others.

Ok, Mo will make it. If voters don't put Mussina or Glavine in for 5 years, they won't hesitate to leave them off the ballot to put Mo in.
   55. AROM Posted: December 06, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4611781)
Chipper's a bit ahead of Bagwell - neither one gets to the 3000 hit or 500 homer levels, but Chipper is closer in both while playing a tougher position.

Randy Johnson has the 300 wins going for him, plus 2nd alltime in K.

Martinez has peak value, perhaps the most dominant starter ever. Pretty much the Koufax thing except he lasted longer.
   56. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 06, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4611786)
Randy Johnson is a much more obvious candidate than any of those three guys from last year's ballot. He had both counting numbers and dominance.


You're right. I think that Brian in #43 is generally right, except that I think Randy Johnson will be elected first-ballot unless something untoward about him surfaces before then. Which actually makes the problem worse, because the BBWAA will have elected somebody in each of 2014, 2015, and 2016, which is likely to mute the recognition of how failed the system has become until you get the glorious ########### of a 2017 ballot that has something like a dozen players each getting between 30 and 50 percent of the vote with everybody having full ballots and nobody making any progress toward getting elected.
   57. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 06, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4611806)
which is likely to mute the recognition of how failed the system has become until you get the glorious ########### of a 2017 ballot that has something like a dozen players each getting between 30 and 50 percent of the vote with everybody having full ballots and nobody making any progress toward getting elected.


As noted above, I'd be very surprised if that comes to pass.

Obviously, I hope (and think it's quite possible) the Hall does something anyway - expanding the ballot to 20 at the very least (I have a suspicion that a ballot that is expanded, but still capped, will actually lead to the stingy crew voting for more guys than one that's made unlimited, though I have no way of proving this).

Historically speaking, voters do coalesce around guys who make their way up the ballot (most evident by Jack's march). I don't think that trend will be eliminated in the bulging ballot era. To that end, however, Sansevere's vote must be the outlier.

   58. bobm Posted: December 06, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4611812)
Martinez has peak value, perhaps the most dominant starter ever. Pretty much the Koufax thing except he lasted longer.

The idea that people would vote for Jack Morris and not Pedro is mind-blowing.

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2013, (requiring year_min>=1973), sorted by greatest WAR for Pitchers

                                                                            
Rk             Player   WAR From   To  GS   W   L W-L%     IP   SO  ERA ERA+
1       Roger Clemens 139.2 1984 2007 707 354 184 .658 4916.2 4672 3.12  143
2         Greg Maddux 104.8 1986 2008 740 355 227 .610 5008.1 3371 3.16  132
3       Randy Johnson 104.1 1988 2009 603 303 166 .646 4135.1 4875 3.29  135
4      Pedro Martinez  85.9 1992 2009 409 219 100 .687 2827.1 3154 2.93  154
5        Mike Mussina  82.7 1991 2008 536 270 153 .638 3562.2 2813 3.68  123
6      Curt Schilling  80.7 1988 2007 436 216 146 .597 3261.0 3116 3.46  127
7         Tom Glavine  74.0 1987 2008 682 305 203 .600 4413.1 2607 3.54  118
8         Kevin Brown  68.7 1986 2005 476 211 144 .594 3256.1 2397 3.28  127
9         John Smoltz  66.6 1988 2009 481 213 155 .579 3473.0 3084 3.33  125
10       Roy Halladay  65.6 1998 2013 390 203 105 .659 2749.1 2117 3.38  131
11   Dennis Eckersley  62.4 1975 1998 361 197 171 .535 3285.2 2401 3.50  116
12         David Cone  61.8 1986 2003 419 194 126 .606 2898.2 2668 3.46  121
13      Andy Pettitte  61.0 1995 2013 521 256 153 .626 3316.0 2448 3.85  117
14    Bret Saberhagen  59.2 1984 2001 371 167 117 .588 2562.2 1715 3.34  126
15       Chuck Finley  58.4 1986 2002 467 200 173 .536 3197.1 2610 3.85  115
16       Frank Tanana  57.6 1973 1993 616 240 236 .504 4188.1 2773 3.66  106
17         Dave Stieb  56.8 1979 1998 412 176 137 .562 2895.1 1669 3.44  122
18     Mariano Rivera  56.5 1995 2013  10  82  60 .577 1283.2 1173 2.21  205
19         Tim Hudson  55.4 1999 2013 426 205 111 .649 2813.2 1896 3.44  124
20       Kevin Appier  55.0 1989 2004 402 169 137 .552 2595.1 1994 3.74  121
21       Mark Buehrle  54.4 2000 2013 429 186 142 .567 2882.2 1660 3.84  117
22        CC Sabathia  54.4 2001 2013 415 205 115 .641 2775.1 2389 3.60  121
23        David Wells  53.5 1987 2007 489 239 157 .604 3439.0 2201 4.13  108
24     Orel Hershiser  51.7 1983 2000 466 204 150 .576 3130.1 2014 3.48  112
25       Kenny Rogers  51.1 1989 2008 474 219 156 .584 3302.2 1968 4.27  107
Rk             Player   WAR From   To  GS   W   L W-L%     IP   SO  ERA ERA+
26      Johan Santana  50.6 2000 2012 284 139  78 .641 2025.2 1988 3.20  136
27        Jamie Moyer  50.3 1986 2012 638 269 209 .563 4074.0 2441 4.25  103
28      Mark Langston  50.2 1984 1999 428 179 158 .531 2962.2 2464 3.97  107
29         Roy Oswalt  49.9 2001 2013 341 163 102 .615 2245.1 1852 3.36  127
30          Jimmy Key  49.4 1984 1998 389 186 117 .614 2591.2 1538 3.51  122
31    Dennis Martinez  49.4 1976 1998 562 245 193 .559 3999.2 2149 3.70  106
32      Dwight Gooden  48.0 1984 2000 410 194 112 .634 2800.2 2293 3.51  111
33         Ron Guidry  47.9 1975 1988 323 170  91 .651 2392.0 1778 3.29  119
34        Frank Viola  47.3 1982 1996 420 176 150 .540 2836.1 1844 3.73  112
35         Brad Radke  45.5 1995 2006 377 148 139 .516 2451.0 1467 4.22  113
36       Steve Rogers  45.4 1973 1985 393 158 152 .510 2837.2 1621 3.17  116
37      Bartolo Colon  44.7 1997 2013 405 189 128 .596 2583.2 1950 3.94  113
38        Jack Morris  43.9 1977 1994 527 254 186 .577 3824.0 2478 3.90  105
39          Bob Welch  43.6 1978 1994 462 211 146 .591 3092.0 1969 3.47  106
40     Javier Vazquez  43.3 1998 2011 443 165 160 .508 2840.0 2536 4.22  105

   59. BrianBrianson Posted: December 06, 2013 at 11:29 AM (#4611825)
In a sparse ballot, there's a lot of space for the votes to coalesce, so it happens. It's much harder for the vote to coalesce around ~15 viable candidates than the usual 2~3
   60. AROM Posted: December 06, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4611827)
The idea that people would vote for Jack Morris and not Pedro is mind-blowing.


They'll never have to go head to head on the same ballot.

But Murray Chass will ignore everything else about their careers, and say if Jack Morris had been born 12 years later and pitched for the 2003 Red Sox, no way he blows game 7 against the Yankees.
   61. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 06, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4611854)
In a sparse ballot, there's a lot of space for the votes to coalesce, so it happens. It's much harder for the vote to coalesce around ~15 viable candidates than the usual 2~3


It's possible, but not likely. I think as the ballot shakes out, we'll see some guys get the over-the-top ballot support they need, while others see support taper off. I don't think the 2013 election is going to be a terribly instructive ballot, for a variety of reasons (mostly, that the two most obvious candidates were not going to get elected any time soon)
   62. alilisd Posted: December 06, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4612023)
@ 37: So we shouldn't consider anything prior to what year to be modern?

Frankly, while I understand what you're saying, I think we should consider this is Yogi Berra we're talking about. Thee MVP awards, not lower than fourth in MVP voting for a seven year span which encompassed those wins and two other second place finishes, a member of 10 WS teams in the Mecca of baseball. Modern voting patterns or not, he is clearly the sort of player one would expect to sail in, to be a first ballot guy.

You say modern voting patterns hadn't taken hold yet, but in the 10 years preceding Berra's debut Feller, J. Robinson, Musial, and Williams all went in first ballot. That is the sort of star, the sort of player Berra was, yet he did not. It's not even that there were extenuating circumstances. The highest polling backloggers were Early Wynn, Kiner, and Hodges. The second highest newcomer was Nellie Fox at only 10.8%!
   63. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 06, 2013 at 02:01 PM (#4612252)
You say modern voting patterns hadn't taken hold yet, but in the 10 years preceding Berra's debut Feller, J. Robinson, Musial, and Williams all went in first ballot.

In the 10 years preceding Berra's debut, there were seven elections, two of which elected no one. The year after Berra's belated election, Whitey Ford didn't make it in.
   64. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: December 06, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4612382)
But Murray Chass will ignore everything else about their careers, and say if Jack Morris had been born 12 years later and pitched for the 2003 Red Sox, no way he blows game 7 against the Yankees.


Yeah, Orel Hershiser wouldn't have, either.
   65. Karl from NY Posted: December 06, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4612441)
it's tough for me to get behind someone who votes for Rafael Palmeiro and not Jeff Bagwell.

If it's strategic voting, that's quite defensible. Palmeiro is in danger of 5% death, Bagwell isn't.
   66. cardsfanboy Posted: December 06, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4612455)
If it's strategic voting, that's quite defensible. Palmeiro is in danger of 5% death, Bagwell isn't.


That is a poor strategy though. Bagwell has a legitimate (long) shot of actually going in this year, not voting for him hurts that chance. If you are making a strategic vote, then you take the vote from someone who is 1. going to be on the ballot no matter what 2. still has no real chance of making it 3. (more complicated reasoning, but don't take a vote away from guys "building" a case, as those votes help create a momentum train.)

You're right. I think that Brian in #43 is generally right, except that I think Randy Johnson will be elected first-ballot unless something untoward about him surfaces before then. Which actually makes the problem worse, because the BBWAA will have elected somebody in each of 2014, 2015, and 2016, which is likely to mute the recognition of how failed the system has become until you get the glorious ########### of a 2017 ballot that has something like a dozen players each getting between 30 and 50 percent of the vote with everybody having full ballots and nobody making any progress toward getting elected.


Bingo. We have a crowded plate for a few years, that is going to pretty much guarantee one in each year, and because of that it mutes the problem. It's to the point that the HOF should pass a temporary "extreme" measure rule and just automatically put in the top two (or even three) vote getter for the next three ballots. (of course that would suck on this ballot as it would probably put Morris in....so maybe start next ballot)
   67. alilisd Posted: December 06, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4612482)
@ 63: My point in identifying those players was not to argue modern voting patterns had been established. My purpose in pointing out those players is to show that, regardless of whether modern voting patterns were established, the idea of a first ballot HOF was clearly established. Your response does not seem to me to address this nor refute it.
   68. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 06, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4612490)
You say modern voting patterns hadn't taken hold yet, but in the 10 years preceding Berra's debut Feller, J. Robinson, Musial, and Williams all went in first ballot. That is the sort of star, the sort of player Berra was, yet he did not. It's not even that there were extenuating circumstances. The highest polling backloggers were Early Wynn, Kiner, and Hodges. The second highest newcomer was Nellie Fox at only 10.8%!


Yes, some guys did get in on the first ballot, but it was rarer than today (the current mess notwithstanding). But many other no-brainers floundered for a few years. The "start at the bottom and work your way up" attitude was strong. 300 game winner early Wynn took 4 ballots. Now, sabermetrically Wynn is not a no brainer, but 300 wins? He got the same number of votes his first year as a guy with a 119-121 career record on his 10th ballot. Duke Snider took 11 ballots and got only 17% his first year, finishing behind (among many other), Al Dark, Marty Marion, and George Kell. Eddie Mathews took 5 ballots, and took 4 ballots before passing Gil Hodges. Don Drysdale debuted 50 votes behind 10th year guy Johnny Sain (and Sain debuted with a "that sounds about right" 1 vote). Orlando Cepeda debuted with fewer votes than ballot veterans Ted Kluszewski, Mickey Vernon, and Harvey Kuenn. And of course, Ron Santo being one and done, getting many fewer votes than a pitcher with an 81-91 career record.

I'd say sometime shortly after the 5% rule was put into effect (1979 or 1980, I forget which) could be called "modern". It was then that writers could automatically blow off obvious candidates with a "I'll get to them later" attitude, because many of them might not be there next year, like Santo.
   69. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 06, 2013 at 06:04 PM (#4612551)
The idea of a "first-ballot Hall of Famer" wasn't a big deal when Berra was elected (or a year earlier, when he was not elected). You're not going to unearth a theme of columnists bringing the point up in the 1960s and 1970s. This is definitely a pre-voting pattern example, but the Joe DiMaggio confusion in the 1950s shows that the year of entry or denial of entry was not foremost on voters' minds. BB-Ref says, "As for voting patterns, the movement for first ballot Hall of Famers did not really begin until the late 1980s."

My guess is that the passage of time and accumulation of plaques was the driving factor.

Players elected by the BBWAA:
As of 1940-- 13
As of 1950-- 21
As of 1960-- 36
As of 1970-- 44
As of 1980-- 58
As of 1990-- 76
As of 2000-- 91

Only the original 1936 five were first balloters, for obvious reasons. The next first ballot player was elected in 1962, with the DiMaggio asterisk. The 1960s had four first ballot inductees, the 1970s had five, and the 1980s and 1990s each had ten.
   70. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 06, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4612577)
The next first ballot player was elected in 1962, with the DiMaggio asterisk.


Well, there's more than just Joe. Hornsby, Foxx, Grove, and Ott all were elected 5 or fewer years after retirement. Plus, how do you count Gehrig (and for that matter, Clemente. Both would have been obvious first ballot guys.)?
   71. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 06, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4612599)
Okey-doke, so make it 10, 0, 1, 4, 6, 10 and 10 by decade.

The "first ballot" status is most likely a product of that accretion. Eventually a list formed, and what do you mean Stargell is on the level of Musial? I doubt anyone was making lists of Worst Best Picture Oscars in 1950, either.
   72. alilisd Posted: December 07, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4613034)
Regardless of whether it was a big deal, or whether it was published, I'm comfortable with the sentiment existing and the practice being established by the example of the players cited. YMMV. Counter examples of Wynn, Drysdale, and Cepeda are less than compelling. Snider and Mathews are more reasonable, but have weaknesses, through a contemporary voter's POV, which Berra does not have.

Keep in mind I'm not saying I believe they should not have been obvious selections, or these are my beliefs, just that these are perceptions writers of the day may have held. Snider was just the third best CF in New York. I've also seen folks here discuss a possible sentiment against him for feasting on right handed pitching due to the Brooklyn lineup. Finally, he simply was not a great player after moving to LA. A gradual, graceful decline which leaves a positive impression for voters is important.

Mathews did not enjoy the same level of recognition as Berra. He played in Milwaukee rather than New York. While he did receive some MVP support, it was nowhere near Berra's. After turning 30 his BA plummeted. He was hitting .260 and striking out a ton in a time when average was king and K's were frowned upon. He did not maintain his HR and RBI production at a level to counteract this drop. Again, no long, slow decline for Mathews. This may lead to a perception problem with voters.
   73. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 07, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4613099)
Glavine is going in this year folks. Update your projections. 300 wins and a bunch of Cys and 20 win seasons from a clean guy will be irresistible.
   74. cardsfanboy Posted: December 07, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4613106)
Glavine is going in this year folks. Update your projections. 300 wins and a bunch of Cys and 20 win seasons from a clean guy will be irresistible.


I just don't see it. 50% of the 300 club didn't go in on their first ballot, it's not as automatic as people make it out to be. We know Maddux is a lock, and I fully expect Biggio to go in, Glavine has the problem of the crowded ballot along with being at best the third best pitcher on the ballot. I think Glavine gets a bump once Jack Morris is off the ballot, but not really sure he goes in on his first year.

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