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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The 2013 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

The 2014 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

Final: Jan.9 - 11:30 ~ 209* Full Ballots ~ (36.7%* of vote ~ based on last year) (*new ballot/pct. record!)

99.5 - Maddux
95.7 - Glavine
89.0 - F. Thomas
79.4 - Biggio
———————————
67.9 - Piazza
61.7 - Jack (The Jack) Morris
56.5 - Bagwell
54.5 - Raines
42.1 - Bonds
40.7 - Clemens
36.8 - Schilling
26.8 - Mussina
25.4 - E. Martinez
24.4 - L. Smith
22.0 - Trammell
15.8 - Kent
12.0 - McGriff
10.5 - McGwire
  8.1 - L. Walker
  7.2 - S. Sosa
  5.7 - R. Palmeiro
———————————
4.8 - Mattingly
0.5 - P. Rose (Write-In)

Thanks to Butch, Ilychs Morales, leokitty & Barnald for their help.

As usual…send them in if you come across any ballots!

Repoz Posted: December 25, 2013 at 03:56 PM | 2002 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1301. arrabin56 Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4632348)
MLB.com seems to be the retirement home for writers who cannot get jobs elsewhere. I mean, sheesh.


Correct me if I'm wrong (and I may be confusing and mixing up their policy in regards to award voting) but I believe MLB.com only permits writers who had a Hall of Fame vote prior to joining MLB.com to vote. That would make it, almost by definition, a retirement home for writers, and their votes are not necessarily reflective of all MLB.com writers.
   1302. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4632351)
Jin Heyman's ballot is up, and it is just as you would expect:

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24401353/steroid-users-shouldnt-make-10player-hof-ballot-at-least-not-yet

In the order he listed them: Maddux, Thomas, Glavine, Morris, Raines, Schilling, Mattingly, McGriff, Trammel, Biggio.

"Near misses:" Mussina, Martinez


Unfortunately, he seems to be lumping both Piazza and Bagwell into the "steroid users" bucket. I still expect both of them to be elected to the Hall of Fame eventually within the next two to three years. But I do think that steroid rumors may well be what keeps both of them from being elected this year. Which is a damn shame.

EDIT: Although the edit that calls them "near-misses" makes me wonder. But how else do they end up below Mattingly and McGriff? Anyway, it's a damn shame that Piazza and Bagwell won't be elected this year.
   1303. The District Attorney Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4632358)
If HOF balloting had been one-and-done all along, of course, Palmeiro and a bunch of other guys would have dropped off the ballot years ago and the 10-man ballot limit wouldn't be an issue: who's the 10th-best 1st-year candidate on the ballot - somebody like Moises Alou?
JAWS has them: 1. Maddux, 2. Mussina, 3. Glavine, 4. Thomas, 5. Kent, 6. K. Rogers, 7. L. Gonzalez, 8. M. Alou, 9. Durham, 10. Nomo, 11. Sexson, 12. Lo Duca, 13. A. Benitez, 14. Timlin, 15. Casey, 16. J. Jones, 17. E. Gagne, 18. Snow, 19. T. Jones

I'd rather vote for Nomo based on intangibles than vote for a guy based on tangibles when he clearly doesn't have the requisite tangibles. So, yeah, it'd be Alou or Durham. I think I'd put Durham 9th and Alou 10th, myself.

I guess at least Heyman is acknowledging there isn't much concrete evidence "tainting" Sosa. So that's something...
   1304. Pete L. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4632366)
Madduxboy, that Morrisey ballot may or may not be his complete ballot... It looks incomplete to me. (Thomas, Maddux, Glavine; he talks about the ballot being "riddled" with guys tied to PEDs, and a slew of others who "raise eyebrows" when the subject comes up, but he doesn't really outline an anti-PED stance). This is more a pro-Thomas puff piece than a complete ballot. Not sure if Repoz counts what may be incomplete ballots or not...he certainly indicates support for the three he mentions, though.
   1305. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4632390)
The most shocking thing about the MLB.com ballots is they make the ESPN ballots look intelligent and insightful by comparison.
   1306. Pete L. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4632392)
@1301, arrabin56: That is my understanding, though it isn't because MLB.com won't allow them to vote. It is because the BBWAA, when they considered the inclusion of Internet-based writers / sites, specifically voted down MLB.com because its writers work for the teams they are covering. So, any MLB.com writer who votes is by definition an honorary (10+ year) member, as those who moved to MLB.com before they got 10 years would no longer be recognized as active members. So, yeah, it is by definition the Home for Retired Writers.

@1302, Kiko: Sorry for the late edit...I inadvertently hit "submit" before I completed writing where and how he categorized everybody. The link is there to see his reasoning. But this, from what he said about Piazza, may address your questions/concerns:

"Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Sammy Sosa are three of the hardest cases. But sorry, withholding a vote, which is being done here in these three cases, isn't the same as convicting someone without evidence. And it certainly isn't McCarthyism, as a couple overwrought bloggers would have you believe. In these three cases, I look at it as simply deferring a vote (a bit easier to do here where I believe there are at least 10 surely clean players who are also deserving based on merit). And in Piazza's case, he certainly isn't about to be knocked off the ballot (polls suggest he may even get in). Let's not forget this isn't a court of law, no one's being punished or convicted. It's simply a matter of whether the highest honor should be bestowed now. It isn't being assumed here that just because Piazza and Bagwell admitted taking Andro and issued quotes while playing that weren't necessarily negative about steroids/steroid takers that that's any sort of proof that they partook. But it does allow room for a deferral. Open for discussion again next year (unless he gets in)."

He does add that Bagwell is "not as obviously worthy on career accomplishments as Piazza," though.
   1307. Srul Itza Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4632414)
The most shocking thing about the MLB.com ballots is they make the ESPN ballots look intelligent and insightful by comparison.


I think it also puts Biggio's election this year in jeopardy, since the MLB writers probably more closely represent the average voter, the simple man, the common clay of humanity. You know... morons.
   1308. Lassus Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4632420)
Biggio falling...
   1309. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4632422)
Maybe my standards are just too low, but this ballot seems okay

All these ballots are ok, as long as they're done in good faith. That's why they have several hundred voters and decision by consensus. One person's "bad" ballot carries very little weight on its own.

   1310. Ray K Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4632424)
FWIW, I'd like to add some Astro-specific stuff on this thread since two prominent Astros are on it and involved in this discussion at various points...

-- someone made a comment about Bagwell/Biggio being linked to PEDs because of a link to Ken Caminiti. This is pretty misguided. Caminiti started using steroids in 1996 with San Diego, the year he won his MVP award and his second season in SD. If you want to play the "guilt by association" game for Caminiti, you should start with the 1995-1996 San Diego rosters. Someone on that roster is the probably his original steroid connection.

-- that said, Jeff Bagwell was a well-known "gym rat" (much moreso than Biggio) and admitted to using Andro when it was allowed. Biggio used creatine, but never copped to anything worse. For this reason, I can't blame someone assigning more of the PED "taint" to Bagwell than Biggio.

-- Biggio was absolutely great in the late 90s and every sabermetric fan who followed the game then knew it. We were a very small minority at the time, so he basically remained a local secret in the relatively low-press town of Houston. As he got older, he started committing earlier on pitches to compensate for a slowing bat speed. This actually boosted his raw power (noticeably homers), but at a real expense in his OBP (walks). This late-career HR boost is not similar to what we saw from the known PED users, but it still confuses some who focus too much on a single stat like HR.

-- I do not consider Biggio's poor defensive play in CF against his career totals because I understand the context in which it occurred. Biggio was a competent 2B at the time but, with Jeff Kent becoming a FA, he VOLUNTEERED to move to the outfield to give the team an opportunity to sign another quality player like Kent -- who clearly would not go to the OF. Biggio could have just as easily stayed at 2B, the team not signing Kent and winning fewer games as a result. To me, the move to CF strengthens Biggio's case for the HOF instead of weakens it.

   1311. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4632431)
I'm waiting for next year's blank ballot with the comment. "If Jack Morris isn't a Hall of Famer, then NOBODY is a Hall of Famer".
   1312. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4632434)
155 ballots: 9.032 ballots per name. Still over 9/ballot, but ever so baaaaarely.
   1313. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4632441)
All these ballots are ok, as long as they're done in good faith.


The point is, they are not done in good faith. "I won't vote for anybody from the PED era" is not a good faith argument. "I don't want more than 3 people getting elected in one year so I'm only voting for 3" is not a good faith argument. "I want my brother's ice cream because he's a poopy head" is just as good faith as the previous 2.
   1314. ajnrules Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4632443)
So sad we most likely won't be getting to meet Lisa in Cooperatown this year :(
   1315. maven of all things baseball Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4632444)
Madduxboy, that Morrisey ballot may or may not be his complete ballot... It looks incomplete to me. (Thomas, Maddux, Glavine; he talks about the ballot being "riddled" with guys tied to PEDs, and a slew of others who "raise eyebrows" when the subject comes up, but he doesn't really outline an anti-PED stance). This is more a pro-Thomas puff piece than a complete ballot. Not sure if Repoz counts what may be incomplete ballots or not...he certainly indicates support for the three he mentions, though.

Hi Pete. Rick and I were college classmates and I know that you don't know me at all, but I did send him a private message. In that message I asked him if his 12/18 column represented a complete or partial ballot. Her told me it was complete. We talked for a bit immediately after that, but beyond asking him if he minded me posting here, I don't want to characterize his ballot reasoning, as it's not my place to speak for him.
   1316. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4632445)
"I won't vote for anybody from the PED era" is not a good faith argument.

It certainly is. It wouldn't be my approach, but it's a perfectly valid one.

It's fair to say that there are ways to disagree, and to express disagreement with other people's perspectives, that are better -- and more respectful, social, and democratic (*) -- than other ways.

(*) Or republican, if someone wants to choose that word.
   1317. HGM Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4632452)
It certainly is. It wouldn't be my approach, but it's a perfectly valid one.

Only if you actually abide by it. There is no player on this ballot that didn't play during "the era of PED usage."
   1318. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4632456)
"I won't vote for anybody from the PED era" is not a good faith argument.

It certainly is. It wouldn't be my approach, but it's a perfectly valid one.


No, it really isn't. They have a responsibility to judge each individual player on their own merits. It's classic guilt by association, and ought to be discouraged in every situation.

edit: I mean, how would you feel about someone who didn't vote for Ted Williams because "I'm not voting for anybody from that racist organization."? Is that a good faith argument?

How about someone who refused to vote for Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, and Bob Feller because "I'm not voting for anybody who served in the US Armed forces because the Dersden bombing was a war crime."?
   1319. Pete L. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4632458)
Thanks for the clarification, Madduxboy.
   1320. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4632461)
There is no player on this ballot that didn't play during "the era of PED usage."

A bunch of them didn't. The era started in 1993-94. Morris overlapped it, but obviously the vast, vast majority of his career was played before it.

   1321. Srul Itza Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4632463)
As he got older, he started committing earlier on pitches to compensate for a slowing bat speed. This actually boosted his raw power (noticeably homers), but at a real expense in his OBP (walks).


Leaving the Astrodome for TenRun field, and having the Crawford boxes to aim at, also helped.

And he always managed to get a decent number of doubles, ending with 668, 5th all time.
   1322. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4632464)
The era started in 1993-94.


And you know this how?
   1323. HGM Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4632466)
A bunch of them didn't. The era started in 1993-94. Morris overlapped it, but obviously the vast, vast majority of his career was played before it.

1993-1994 marked the beginning of an era of high offense. It did not mark the beginning of the era of PED usage.
   1324. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4632470)
They have a responsibility to judge each individual player on their own merits.

Incorrect. Their obligation is to cast votes for the players they think belong in the Hall of Fame, based on the criteria set out by the Hall of Fame. If they do that in good faith and good conscience, their vote is perfectly valid. And the method of determining Hall of Famers by a consensus of several hundred such ballots is also perfectly valid and sensible.

The BTF-approved approach of "list 'em by WAR, tweak with peak" is a niche approach to the issue, and no more than that. It's quite similar in structure, tone, and tenor to those who insist that original intent is the only valid means by which a Supreme Court justice can interpret the Constitution and make decisions. As the original intentors have their bugaboo cases that they bluster about endlessly -- Roe v. Wade, Griswold, etc. -- the WAR-listers have their bugaboo ballots they bluster about endlessly -- Chass, etc.
   1325. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4632474)
And you know this how?

"Know" isn't really the right word there, but I come to that conclusion primarily through experience, intuition, and close observation.
   1326. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4632475)
They have a responsibility to judge each individual player on their own merits.

Incorrect. They're obligation is to cast votes for the players they think belong in the Hall of Fame, based on the criteria set out by the Hall of Fame.


I don't think the word "incorrect" means what you think it means here.

The criteria set out by the Hall of Fame explicitly instruct voters "to judge each individual player on their own merits": "Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."
   1327. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4632478)
Incorrect. They're obligation is to cast votes for the players they think belong in the Hall of Fame, based on the criteria set out by the Hall of Fame.


And how exactly are they doing that by saying "I won't vote for anybody who played between the years XXXX and XXXX? You are frequently wrong on the issues here, but you have never been more wrong about anything ever before. Wholesaling dismissal of everybody who played in a certain era is the exact opposite of the "criteria set out by the Hall of Fame."

The BTF-approved approach of "list 'em by WAR, tweak with peak" is a niche approach to the issue, and no more than that.


If Greg Maddux is not a HOFer, then nobody is. That said, if someone wants to make a fact backed argument against him, I'm all ears, and provided it is a good faith argument, no matter how ludicrous, I'd be willing treat it as such." Hell, I'd have a lot more respect for someone who thinks Morris is better than Maddux because he had more 20 win season than this clown.
   1328. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4632483)
The criteria set out by the Hall of Fame explicitly instruct voters "to judge each individual player on their own merits": "Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."

That's what I said. They use the criteria set out by the Hall of Fame, and then vote for players they think belong in the Hall of Fame.

Nor is it correct to conclude that a blanket ban -- again, not my approach -- on PED era players doesn't judge them on their individual merits. It's concluding that the low marks for integrity, sportsmanship, and character cannot possibly be sufficiently outweighed by the other factors for the voter to vote for the player. Again, not my approach, but a valid one.

If a school course is graded 1/3 midterm, 2/3 final and you get a "D" on the midterm, that puts a ceiling on your possible final grade. Same thing here.
   1329. Booey Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4632484)
How could you consider 1993 the start of the steroid era when guys like Canseco, Tom House, etc, admitted they were using well before that? (waaaay before that in House's case)
   1330. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4632486)
If Greg Maddux is not a HOFer, then nobody is.

A ballot without him is stupid. That doesn't invalidate said ballot, or the process.
   1331. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4632487)
That's what I said.


No what you said was that it was "incorrect" to assert that voters "have a responsibility to judge each individual player on their own merits." Right before you then said that voters had a responsibility to do exactly that.
   1332. LargeBill Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4632488)
1320. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4632461)
There is no player on this ballot that didn't play during "the era of PED usage."

A bunch of them didn't. The era started in 1993-94. Morris overlapped it, but obviously the vast, vast majority of his career was played before it.


Wrong. Canseco was booed over alleged steroid use well before Morris pitched the one game that separates him from Denny Martinez, Jamie Moyer and dozens of other okay pitchers who quickly fall off the ballot.
   1333. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4632489)
You really think no one used PED's before 1993?

No, I think people did.

And?

The beginning of an era isn't defined, necessarily, as the first time someone did the thing defining the era.

Canseco was booed over alleged steroid use well before Morris pitched the one game that separates him from Denny Martinez, Jamie Moyer and dozens of other okay pitchers who quickly fall off the ballot.

Well aware of it. See above.
   1334. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4632494)

Wrong. Canseco was booed over alleged steroid use well before Morris pitched the one game that separates him from Denny Martinez, Jamie Moyer and dozens of other okay pitchers who quickly fall off the ballot.


Actually, the fans used to say "STEROIDS STEROIDS STEROIDS" in unison whenever Canseco came to bat and that was probably right around his MVP year which would be 1988, so definitely before the "steroid era".
   1335. HGM Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4632496)
Defining the "era of PED usage" as beginning in 1993 is ludicrous and has no basis in fact.
   1336. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4632499)
Actually, the fans used to say "STEROIDS STEROIDS STEROIDS" in unison whenever Canseco came to bat and that was probably right around his MVP year which would be 1988, so definitely before the "steroid era".

Yes, the Fenway faithful screamed STEROIDS at Canseco, and Canseco did steroids, before the onset of the "Steroid Era."
   1337. Mark Armour Posted: January 07, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4632500)
The process would be much better and fairer with anonymous ballots. Take the vote away from the writer if he announces who he voted for or talks about it in any way.
   1338. Ron J2 Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4632506)
#1337 I see it exactly the opposite way. Take the vote away from anybody who won't:

a) publicize his ballot
b) write a column explaining his vote
   1339. rawagman Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4632509)
Defining the "era of PED usage" as beginning in 1993 is ludicrous and has no basis in fact.


The PED era is the baseball era. As long as people were paid money to play baseball, there were performance enhancing drugs of various efficiency available to those players and widely used by those players. From Lip Pike to the free agents of today.
   1340. Pete L. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4632518)
@ 1338, Ron: I agree. @ 1337, Mark: I am curious why you believe the process would be improved by complete anonymity in balloting. Although, I do agree that strident outrage screamed from the rooftops (or Twitter) is not productive. Nobody changes their mind that way....
   1341. Mark Armour Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4632521)
1338: I think the mess is caused precisely by your plan. This nonsense turns the writers into the "stars", people who get talked about more than ever before in their life. Murray Chass is a bigger star today than he was when he was winning awards at the Times. You get to stand up and say, "Listen to me! I am important!" It leads to most of the grandstanding and moralizing.

The HOF voting was intended to a classic "wisdom of the crowds" system. You get a few hundred voters, some of whom overrate winning teams, or underrate winning teams, or overrate intangibles, or underrate power. And when the votes are tabulated you see what the consensus is. That process worked pretty well in my view.

This two-month dissection of each ballot to decide which writers are "correct" and which are "morons" does not really help anyone other than bloggers.

The point of the HOF inductions is to celebrate the game and the inductees. Tomorrow at 12:00 there will be 50 times more writing about the process and the idiot writers than about the people who just got the best news of their life.

   1342. salajander Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4632523)
This two-month dissection of each ballot to decide which writers are "correct" and which are "morons" does not really help anyone other than bloggers.

I think all ballots should be either:
* Private, anonymous, and "illegal" to talk about
* Completely public

I'd prefer public, but having it a mix of both is awkward.
   1343. Pete L. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4632525)
I don't think I' e seen anybody post the NY Post link to all nine of their ballot-holding writers:

http://nypost.com/2014/01/07/post-writers-reveal-their-hall-of-fame-ballots/

Several of these have previously been posted individually (Davidoff, Hale, Vacarro), but at least for me, these ones were new:

DON BURKE (10): Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Kent, Maddux, E. Martinez, Mattingly, Piazza, Raines, Thomas

KEVIN KERNAN (7): Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, Morris, Piazza, Raines, Thomas

GEORGE A. KING III (10): Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, McGwire, Palmeiro, Piazza, Sosa, Thomas

MIKE PUMA (5): Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Piazza

STEVE SERBY (8): Biggio, Bonds, Glavine, Maddux, Morris, Piazza, Raines, Thomas

JOEL SHERMAN (10): Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, E. Martinez, Morris, Raines, Schilling, Thomas

   1344. Booey Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4632527)
The beginning of an era isn't defined, necessarily, as the first time someone did the thing defining the era.


So who gets to define the era then? It seems 1993 is handpicked to favor Morris, since if you move it back just two years, he loses the 1991 game 7 that's getting him half his votes. Do you think there was significantly more steroid use in 1993 than in 1991? it's possible, of course, but there's no way for any of us to know that or even a valid reason to strongly suspect it.
   1345. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4632528)
I think that the votes should be private until the HoF announcement, then all ballots should be posted publicly on the BBWAA Web site.

-- MWE
   1346. philphan Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4632531)
Ruben Sierra is evidence that the steroid era began well before 1993.
   1347. Rusty Priske Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4632533)
The idea that you can peg the 'steroid-era' to an exact year is a farce at best.

If you want to use a specific year for historical documentation purposes, go ahead. It is like claiming that activities in 1971 were part of the era that we call the 60's. It is arbitraty end-pointing.


There have been steroids used in baseball startign from the first time a player realized they would help him heal from injury faster. The was a lot before 1993.
   1348. bunyon Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4632536)
The beginning of an era isn't defined, necessarily, as the first time someone did the thing defining the era.

That is completely true. But if you look at the history of steroid use in all sports and society, the 1980s are way, way after the first use. Steroids were de rigeur in sports - sports that tested for them and for which people made far less money - by the late 1980s. The idea that steroids weren't a significant part of MLB in the 1980s requires either that ballplayers and trainers were incredibly moral, ethical and/or naive or that we the fans have our head in the ground.
   1349. Mark Armour Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4632538)
I think that the votes should be private until the HoF announcement, then all ballots should be posted publicly on the BBWAA Web site.

-- MWE


This would be a fine solution. I would prefer to get the writers completely out of the story, and this would get most of the way there. It would also make the voters accountable for those who want that.
   1350. alilisd Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4632544)
The idea that you can peg the 'steroid-era' to an exact year is a farce at best.


The idea that you can peg the steroid era to steroids alone is a farce at best. Two rounds of expansion in the 90's, something which has historically led to an increase in HR. Many new home run and offense friendly parks opened in the 90's. Who wouldn't believe MLB would juice the ball after two consecutive years of strikes had decimated attendance and the popularity of the game at large? Possibly maple bats may have had some small impact. Even players who were not using AAS were getting bigger and stronger through weight training. Did AAS play a role? Yes, absolutetly. Did other factors play a role? Yes, absolutely.
   1351. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4632546)
The HOF voting was intended to a classic "wisdom of the crowds" system. You get a few hundred voters, some of whom overrate winning teams, or underrate winning teams, or overrate intangibles, or underrate power. And when the votes are tabulated you see what the consensus is. That process worked pretty well in my view.

This two-month dissection of each ballot to decide which writers are "correct" and which are "morons" does not really help anyone other than bloggers.

The point of the HOF inductions is to celebrate the game and the inductees. Tomorrow at 12:00 there will be 50 times more writing about the process and the idiot writers than about the people who just got the best news of their life.


Yep.
   1352. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4632549)
If you want to get technical about it, the "PED era" perhaps extends back all the way to the origins of the game:

Pud Galvin

-- MWE
   1353. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4632553)
I think that the votes should be private until the HoF announcement, then all ballots should be posted publicly on the BBWAA Web site.


I would prefer to get the writers completely out of the story, and this would get most of the way there.


You guys realize that baseball benefits from articles written about the Hall of Fame and the inductions, right? And the free publicity of the many (hundreds) of articles written about the Hall of Fame and various vote articles is a large amount of the value MLB gets from the Hall. So you might (maybe) get slightly more fair (whatever that means) elections, but you would remove a huge chunk of the value of the whole enterprise from the standpoint of MLB.

I am pretty sure the three organizations who care the most about this subject (MLB, the Hall, and the BBWA) all much prefer things the way they are over the proposed solutions.
   1354. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4632554)
So who gets to define the era then?

Everyone, and then a consensus emerges.

No one gets to stomp their feet if someone disagrees, and go on and on and on and on about how stupid and corrupt the disagreer is.

The Hall of Fame voters have every bit as much right to interpret baseball history their way as you do to interpret it your way and as I have to interpret it my way.


   1355. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4632559)

The PED era is the baseball era. As long as people were paid money to play baseball, there were performance enhancing drugs of various efficiency available to those players and widely used by those players. From Lip Pike to the free agents of today.


I don't know, this strikes me as pushing back to the point of completely whitewashing the "steroid era" as like any other time. I think reality is somewhere in between.
   1356. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4632564)
This two-month dissection of each ballot to decide which writers are "correct" and which are "morons" does not really help anyone other than bloggers.

It helps the HoF by giving it weeks of free publicity all over sports sections, ESPN, sports radio, and the internet.

   1357. Mark Armour Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4632565)
You guys realize that baseball benefits from articles written about the Hall of Fame and the inductions, right?


Twenty years ago, the month of December was filled with stories talking about the individuals on the ballot. You might read a long article about Hoyt Wilhelm, what he was doing today, interviewing teammates and managers and opponents about how he pitched and what he was like, and interviewing Hoyt as well.

And then the month of January, and also July (when the induction was held) was a celebration of the inductees, and a nostalgic look back on what made them and their games and their era so great.

I don't see that replacing stories about baseball players with arguments and grand-standing and talking about how incompetent writers and the Hall of Fame are has really benefited anyone.
   1358. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4632566)
No one gets to stomp their feet if someone disagrees, and go on and on and on and on about how stupid and corrupt the disagreer is.


Did someone say you were corrupt?

That said other than hand waving you have presented zero evidence for why you think the time period is what you say it is, and others have presented evidence. And it is the internet, of course we get to disagree, stomp out feet, and call you names. Other than that and porn there is no point to the internet.
   1359. Pete L. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4632567)
@ 1340, Mark Armour: Thanks for the explanation of your point of view; I can appreciate that point of view and to some degree even agree with a lot of it. But let me outline why ultimately I come to the opposite conclusion.

At the end of the day (to use a Zduriencik-ian phrase), the Hall of Fame does not exist simply to honor the players. It is a way to honor the fans, and their connection with the game. The whole idea of fathers and sons (and mothers and daughters) visiting the Hall with elders explaining to their young how great so-and-so was, "I grew up watching this guy and boy was he great" is extremely important (and BTW, the idea of an entire generation seeing the greatest stars of their youth excluded is absurd, and can only serve to alienate them from the Hall, and by extension, the game).

The BBWAA already is needlessly exclusionary and lacks transparency in too many ways. Allowing fans some minor say in the process (even if only feedback) is a good thing because it helps the Hall achieve the goal of honoring the fan. Making the voters interact with, and accountable to the fans would be an improvement in the process, IMO - especially if there was some separate, internal process of review/critique and possible revocation of voting privileges, and especially more so if that review somehow considered the collective opinion of the fans. Not in any conclusive way, but what the fans think matters, and despite the history of the Hall, there is no really good reason why JUST the BBWAA should be the sole and final arbiter of the Hall.

I do understand and respect your position, though.

PS. We're both from the Puget Sound area, if I'm not mistaken, and I'm pretty sure we have some common friends, I am a part owner of a local brewery with a brewpub right down by Safeco (Elysian), and I would be happy to make this a much longer conversation over a beer sometime....
   1360. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4632569)
If you want to get technical about it, the "PED era" perhaps extends back all the way to the origins of the game:

I think the consensus opinion, which I happen to agree with, is that steroids represented a secular break in the history of PED use in the game, given their potency and their ability to provide continuous as opposed to episodic benefits. This combination of scope and continuity of physical benefit represented a break from, not a continuation of, the era of open and purportedly widespread amp use in baseball.

There's a further consensus, with which I also agree, that roughly 1993 represented a secular break in the impact of steroids on the sport, when usage reached a critical mass approaching a majority, as the silly belief that weightlifting hurt baseball players was fully eradicated and players started seeing the clear benefits steroids provided other players -- in a definitive, as opposed to a small, rump, sample size of users.

Those determinations use as their tools primarily the arts of historical interpretation -- which are always subject to outliers that don't fit; historical trends aren't neat and elegant and perfect -- as opposed to semantics and dissent.

It doesn't make it necessarily a correct interpretation, but it's pretty clear that the consensus of HOF voters share this historical interpretation.
   1361. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4632575)
I think the consensus opinion, which I happen to agree with, is that steroids represented a secular break in the history of PED use in the game


There's a further consensus, with which I also agree, that roughly 1993 represented a secular break in the impact of steroids on the sport,


So there is a general agreement on these two "facts"? What evidence do you have that there is a general agreement that 1993 is the start of the era? Have you taken a poll, are you reading tea leaves, what?
   1362. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4632578)
So there is a general agreement on these two "facts"?

They aren't "facts," they're interpretations.

Perhaps the confusing and conflating of these two very different things is the problem here.
   1363. Mark Armour Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4632584)
Not in any conclusive way, but what the fans think matters, and despite the history of the Hall, there is no really good reason why JUST the BBWAA should be the sole and final arbiter of the Hall.


I agree with this, and I suspect this will happen at some point. As an historian of the game, I would love a vote. Of course, I do not have a column so my vote would remain anonymous. :-)

However, changing the voters is not going to solve the problems that people have with the Hall unless you handpick the voters according to "people who agree with me". Try finding a group of people (fans, writers, historians, players, ...) who would give Barry Bonds 75% of the vote. It ain't happening. (I would vote for him, for what its worth.)

(I live down I-5 in Corvallis. However, I am in the Seattle area often, have many friends there, and have drank at your establishment. We shall meet again.)



   1364. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4632598)
I'm calling it now!
Jaffe is going to be correct, Biggio will scrape in at 76%. Morris is gone, everyone above and including Mattingly stays on ballot. Next year, Piazza goes in along with unit and Pedro, Smoltz will have to wait.
   1365. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4632599)
From up the page, re: Biggio --
As he got older, he started committing earlier on pitches to compensate for a slowing bat speed. This actually boosted his raw power (noticeably homers), but at a real expense in his OBP (walks).

Leaving the Astrodome for TenRun field, and having the Crawford boxes to aim at, also helped.

The Astros moved to Enron/Minute Maid in 2000. Biggio's home runs:

years      home  road
1988
-1999    64    88
2000
-2007    79    60 


Not much mystery there.
   1366. Pete L. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4632605)
Mark: One person I believe is a common friend is Dave E. (I think you'll know who I mean). You can always reach me through him. One benefit of drinking with ME at Elysian is the beer is free. :)
   1367. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4632624)
Jaffe is going to be correct, Biggio will scrape in at 76%. Morris is gone, everyone above and including Mattingly stays on ballot. Next year, Piazza goes in along with unit and Pedro, Smoltz will have to wait.

Randy Johnson is also on next year's ballot.
   1368. Astros1111 Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4632625)
I am so sick and tired of the PED discussion. Did Clemens, Bonds, and the rest of them use PEDs? I don't think it matters. These guys were hall of famers whether they used or not. Their numbers may be inflated because of the PEDs for a historical context but they would have still put up huge numbers whether they used or not. So Bonds may have ended up hitting about 575 homers if he wasn't using instead of 762? Would anyone deny a guy who hit 575 homers clean? No. It has been made known what they did pissed off a lot of people but its time to move on an acknowledge that in the case of guys like Clemens and Bonds, they would have made it even if they were clean. Furthermore, plenty of guys have been caught using and they weren't pitching shutouts and hitting homers (Ryan Franklin comes to mind in 2005. He got caught using and that year his ERA was 5.10 and he was 8-15 with a WAR of 1.0).

Or the alternative argument: by the logic of some, such as Ken Gurnick, if everyone is under suspicion during the "PED era" then everyone was using in one way or another. As a result, they were all playing on an even playing field. Therefore, during their "era" they were the best of thier peers by far and deserve admission into the HOF.

   1369. JustDan Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4632627)
Randy Johnson is also on next year's ballot.

I believe he's "unit"
   1370. Srul Itza Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4632629)
Unless he's referring to Moon Unit Zappa
   1371. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4632630)
Perhaps the confusing and conflating of these two very different things is the problem here.


Well I think the problem is you have still presented zero evidence to back up your "interpretation". You just pulled a number out of your ... back pocket ... and are suggesting that has equal weight to people who have shown evidence.
   1372. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4632632)
Randy Johnson is also on next year's ballot.


Oh, c'mon Chris, I had "unit" in the post! Pay attention man, we are nearly there. All kidding aside, your predictions look to be spot on, well done.
   1373. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4632633)
Oh yeah. Missed that.
   1374. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4632637)
holding a grudge/being consistently spiteful is not easy. it takes commitment, a vindictive spirit and the willingness to appear ridiculous.

it will be interesting how much longer some of these writers can hold out

as an expert in holding a grudge i look askance at some of these wanna bes. i doubt they have the staying power
   1375. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 07, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4632641)
Latest updates on what people need through 161 ballots;

Biggio - 73.5%
Piazza - 77.9%
Bagwell - 80.9%
Morris - 80.9%
Sosa - 4.2%
Palmeiro - 4.7%
Mattingly - 4.9%
   1376. John Northey Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4632645)
The steroid era I see as starting largely with Canseco in 1988 due to a couple of big factors.
Pre-Canseco body building (and weights in general) were viewed negatively. Check old interviews from the 70's and 80's and you'll hear often coaches, players, managers, talking heads, etc all saying how it builds the wrong muscles and you end up not being able to get around on the ball so there is no point to it. Then Canseco, who was well known for his workouts, came along and had a 40 HR 40 SB season which blew peoples minds back then. It screamed 'work outs won't hurt but will help'. Once that happened it was a short walk to get to steroids as they help you work out harder and longer which would've been viewed as useless by many before that.

Canseco was the proof of concept. By the 1994 strike you were seeing crazy totals - Tony Gwynn nearly hitting 400 (394), Bagwell with a 750 Slg% (unheard of then) and Belle & Thomas also over 700. At the same time we had weird pitching numbers - Maddux with a 1.56 ERA, Randy Johnson over 10 for K/9. By 1996 (first full season post-strike) we saw Kevin Brown with a sub 2 ERA, 5 starting pitchers with K/9 over 9, two guys with 50 HR and another 4 with 47+ (just one in Colorado), and 3 guys over 9 for WAR. Wide variation is a strong indicator that something is off. In the old days (pre 1900) you'd see crazy totals due to weak competition (one great player could dominate), during the 'steroid era' you'd see it as well. It is possible we just happened to see a batch of inner-circle HOF'ers (Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Johnson) at the same time (ala the 60's with Mantle, Mays, Aaron) but it does seem odd. A full study would be a good idea, checking if my eyeball is off on that. Btw, not accusing Gwynn and Maddux and others of steroid use, just pointing out how their totals were so off-the-wall compared to what we were used to seeing at the time. You'd get a Gooden '85 or Foster '77 here and there before but not consistently for any one player and not so many players doing it at once.
   1377. T.J. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4632646)
Thanks to Rob Neyer's recent article, there's this, from Buster Olney in 2006: "For years — beginning in 1989, in fact — I had heard executives, scouts and players speculate about steroid use. In the same way we chatted about a pitcher's control or a fielder's range, we talked about which players might be using steroids. I talked with colleagues about ways of reporting the story, but always it came back to this: No smoking gun. No specific link. No story."

   1378. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4632647)
There's a further consensus, with which I also agree, that roughly 1993 represented a secular break in the impact of steroids on the sport,


1993 saw a jump in offense, the jump in offense from 1992-93 (and to 1994) was broadly based, and affected almost all players, and despite what the MSM believes was almost certainly not due to PEDs (Or PEDs were at best a very minor part of the 1992 to 1993 jump)
   1379. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4632658)
for those not around at the time and know of what john speaks the 'wrong muscle' mantra was put on full display with a pitcher named Edwin correa.

correa was widely heralded and in 1986 pitched over 200 innings at age 20 and i think led all rookie pitchers in strikeouts. i see at bbreff he struck out 189 guys while walking 126. the next season correa showed up looking all bulked up in his chest, got hurt and didn't much. he was then out of baseball the next season due to injury.

now it could just be that correa was overworked at age 20 because he must have thrown a kajillion pitches because he was wild as h8ll in some outings. but the writers story was that 'weightlifting' killed his career

ruben sierra a few years later got the same treatment though to a lesser extent because he was able to stay in the game.
   1380. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4632662)
The steroid era I see as starting largely with Canseco in 1988 due to a couple of big factors.
Pre-Canseco body building (and weights in general) were viewed negatively. Check old interviews from the 70's and 80's and you'll hear often coaches, players, managers, talking heads, etc all saying how it builds the wrong muscles and you end up not being able to get around on the ball so there is no point to it. Then Canseco, who was well known for his workouts, came along and had a 40 HR 40 SB season which blew peoples minds back then. It screamed 'work outs won't hurt but will help'. Once that happened it was a short walk to get to steroids as they help you work out harder and longer which would've been viewed as useless by many before that.


This hits the historical progression well and, at least to me, before Canseco's example became widespread enough to denominate it an "era," a certain number of players had to buy in to both weightlifting and roids. You needed the anti-weightlifting nonsense to fully die out, and the example of roids to progress beyond a small number of people before you'd get wide enough buy-in -- in other words, some players were probably convinced by Canseco alone, but a much bigger number needed more examples, or examples closer to home, e.g., a teammate or someone they knew well. It's basically like any trend, some unique person gets it started, a few "hipsters" join in, and eventually it spreads to the Wal-Mart in Peoria.

A few hipsters were doing it between '86 and '92 or so, and the trend hit Peoria in around 1993 or so. The big jump in offense in 1993 and the crazy of 1994 confirm, though not definitively. Your mileage may vary.
   1381. AROM Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4632665)
At the same time we had weird pitching numbers - Maddux with a 1.56 ERA, Randy Johnson over 10 for K/9. By 1996 (first full season post-strike) we saw Kevin Brown with a sub 2 ERA, 5 starting pitchers with K/9 over 9, two guys with 50 HR and another 4 with 47+ (just one in Colorado), and 3 guys over 9 for WAR. Wide variation is a strong indicator that something is off.


Expansion might have something to do with that.
   1382. a-Bugs a-Bunny Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4632666)
Perfect HOF ballot: Todd Jones, Jacque Jones, Doug Jones, Norah Jones, Farmer Jones, Mother Jones, Mookie Wilson, Cookie Monster, Madonna, Doug Jones (again), Barbara Walters, Fred Flintstone, the number 23, the Keebler elves, one or more pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth Rock, Doug Jones (just in case they missed him), and the base that Lou Piniella uprooted during one of his famous tantrums.

I did not vote for Greg Maddux because Doug Jones had a mustache.
   1383. ThickieDon Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4632668)
Bonds would have 875, not 575, without PEDs, because he would have played the last five years and jacked over 100 homers.
   1384. esseff Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4632669)
Dunno if it's been mentioned in the previous 1,382 comments, but the New York Times Hall vote preview story by Tyler Kepner cites the BTF tally. In fact, it's based on the BTF tally.
   1385. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4632671)
Expansion might have something to do with that.

Except nothing of the sort happened in 1977, a more dilutive expansion (two teams into 24, as opposed to 26).

The difference in the two dates is, of course, the much higher roid levels of 1993, from virtually zero (*) to critical mass. Sounds like the beginning of a nice hypothesis.

(*) Though quite possibly, not precisely zero.

   1386. Pete L. Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4632672)
Question for @Weird_Meat, Ryan: think I know the answer to this, but will ask anyway: I've noticed that the number of anonymous ballots is decreasing. Are some of them revealing their ballots now, and thus moving into the realm of the "known, public" ballots?
   1387. ThickieDon Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4632674)
Maddux and Gwynn probably juiced. Just because they were schlubby / tubby means nothing.
   1388. John Northey Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4632675)
The problem with an 'offense based' PED marker is that pitcher took it too (otherwise Clemens would be in by now). A solid study checking for extremes in performance would probably be a better way to determine starting points. As steroid's were first being used early adopters who used it well (Canseco) would jump ahead of the pack, then as more and more used you'd see it peak (say, 10% of players using) then level off as more and more used. Of course, if early use was primarily by marginal players who shifted to full time but not all-star/superstar status then it wouldn't be so easy. It was guys like McGwire, Bonds, etc. using that changed everything as they went from solid & star to superstar and god-like. McGwire pre-30 143 OPS+, post 30 183 OPS+, Bonds pre-1999 164 OPS+, post 1998 214 OPS+ (age 34-42).

Clemens isn't as obvious with a pre-1998 ERA+ of 149 vs post 133 ERA+. His best ERA+ was at 42 in Houston but his K/9 and BB/9 and HR/9 were not crazy, just his H/9 were (his 2nd best figure ever after his 24-4 season in 1986) which could just have been good ol' dumb luck. His components were 0.8 HR/9 3.1 BB/9 8.6 K/9 post, and 0.6 HR/9, 2.7 BB/9 8.5 K/9 pre. Again, nothing that screams at you like Bonds and McGwire do.

Now, for a 'hmm' you get Randy Johnson pre-strike (30 and younger) K/9 of 9.6 vs age 31 to the end of 11.0. Nolan Ryan, who helped Johnson out around there, up to age 38 had a K/9 of 9.3 then went to 10.1 after that from 39 to 46, from a 110 ERA+ to a 115 while being known for one of the hardest workout routines in MLB (especially the legs as I recall). Did either of them do steroids? Maybe not but boy does that raise more of an eyebrow for me than Clemens does.
   1389. Ryan Thibodaux Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4632678)
Question for @Weird_Meat, Ryan: think I know the answer to this, but will ask anyway: I've noticed that the number of anonymous ballots is decreasing. Are some of them revealing their ballots now, and thus moving into the realm of the "known, public" ballots?


I don't have any insight into Repoz's anonymous ballots, but yes, based on his updates vs. known public ballots, some ballots that used to be anonymous must now be public.

I don't have any way of knowing if my "Anonymous" section is 100% accurate with regard to what Repoz has (and he may not be including some voters in his totals that I have on my sheet, such as Slusser), but I know they're pretty close.
   1390. ThickieDon Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4632683)
Bonds's power steadily and gradually increased over time, as did league-wide offense (especially from '93 onward), until a flukey spike in 2001 (again, when league-wide offense was very high) then trended back down again in his late 30's.
   1391. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4632691)
A few hipsters were doing it between '86 and '92 or so, and the trend hit Peoria in around 1993 or so. The big jump in offense in 1993 and the crazy of 1994 confirm, though not definitively. Your mileage may vary.


Wrong. Three things contributed uniquely to the offensive spike in 1993. None of them were steroid or PED related. In order of ascending importance (IMHO.)

1. Multiple smaller ballparks debuted in a short span of time. Camden Yards, Jacobs Field, and Mile High Stadium all jacked offense into the league, particularly HRs and SLG.

2. Expansion destabalized pitching across the league.

3. MLB moved production of baseballs from on-shore in the US to a facility in the Dominican Republic. The new baseballs were significantly tighter and flew significantly further than pre-1993 baseball.
   1392. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4632694)
With all this talk about when the "steroid era" began, SBB has successfully turned the conversation away from his absurd notion that writers have no duty or responsibility to evaluate each individual. A blanket "I will not consider anybody" is sufficient for an honorable ballot.
   1393. ThickieDon Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4632700)
#1391 - But you forgot #4: everyone in the league started "juicing" at the same time.
   1394. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4632701)
1. Multiple smaller ballparks debuted in a short span of time. Camden Yards, Jacobs Field, and Mile High Stadium all jacked offense into the league, particularly HRs and SLG.

2. Expansion destabalized pitching across the league.

3. MLB moved production of baseballs from on-shore in the US to a facility in the Dominican Republic. The new baseballs were significantly tighter and flew significantly further than pre-1993 baseball.


Let's assume all these are true (even though only one of those three parks debuted in 1993, and the wider "destabilization" of pitching in 1977 had little impact).

How does the presence of these other factors eliminate the possibility of increased PED use also being a factor?
   1395. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4632703)
Bonds's power steadily and gradually increased over time, as did league-wide offense (especially from '93 onward), until a flukey spike in 2001 (again, when league-wide offense was very high) then trended back down again in his late 30's.


Actually, it didn't. Yes, 2001 was the highest HR% of his career, but 2002-2004 were the 2nd-4th highest, much higher than anything he did before.
   1396. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4632707)
How does the presence of these other factors eliminate the possibility of increased PED use also being a factor?


It doesn't. PEDs were a minor impact as well, most likely. More of a factor was the dying off of old baseball wisdom, popular well into the early 1990s (especially for middle infielders) that weight work and mass from the gym negatively effected your flexibility and thus screwed up your swing. It wasn't until the early 90s that baseball players started training in the gym like other athletes. As they did, they also began experimenting with PEDs to supplement that weight training. Prior to that, baseball wisdom demanded that players avoid weight training because it was "bad for your baseball skills."

The point isn't that any single item caused the spike in offense in 1993-94. The point is that no single item - especially not "PEDs" which had been around for decades and prevalent for at least 5-6 years - was the single cause of that spike. The primary culprit was almost certainly the new baseball manufacturing process. It's the one single factor that aligns uniquely with the calendar.
   1397. John Choiniere Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4632712)
Larry Stone, Seattle Times - Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Martinez, Piazza, Raines, Thomas

source: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/mariners/2014/01/07/larry-stones-hall-of-fame-ballot-another-vote-for-edgar-martinez/
   1398. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4632716)
Except nothing of the sort happened in 1977, a more dilutive expansion (two teams into 24, as opposed to 26).

Something EXACTLY of this sort happened in 1977.

MLB HR% in 1992: 1.89%
1993: 2.31%, a 22% increase

HR% in 1976: 1.51%
1977: 2.26%, a 49% increase

Of course, some of the 1977 HR explosion was the fact that MLB added a team in Colorado that year... no, wait, that was in 1993.

Edit: Even if you go from '92 to '94, the percentage increase in HR rate only makes it up to 40%, still smaller than the jump from '76 to '77.
   1399. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4632718)
They also changed the baseball which they also did in 1993.
   1400. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 07, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4632730)
Larry Stone, Seattle Times - Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Martinez, Piazza, Raines, Thomas

source: http://blogs.seattletimes.com/mariners/2014/01/07/larry-stones-hall-of-fame-ballot-another-vote-for-edgar-martinez/


You could substitute in Mussina, Schilling, Trammell, or Walker for Martinez (and writing for the Seattle Times, I'm totally cool with Stone choosing Martinez from that group), but this is pretty much a perfect "I don't downgrade for PEDs and vote for the top 10 players" ballot, isn't it?
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