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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

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   501. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 01, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4627641)
According to an article I read from Hal Bodley ( http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/columnist/bodley/2006-12-21-bodley-ripken-hall_x.htm ) the 5 "non-Seaver" ballots included 3 writers who submitted a "blank" in protest re: Pete Rose not being on the ballot. Of the other two, one was supposedly an oversight by a writer recovering from heart surgery who didn't see Seaver's name on the ballot (really?!? Seaver snuck up on him?) and the final one was by a writer who NEVER votes for first-time-on-the-ballot candidates. My curiosity revolves around those 5 guys. Have they ever been "outed?"


If this is true, then we can winnow the non-Maddux pool (from these five at least) down to 1.

The 3 "blank" protest votes from 1992 are unlikely to remain. The Pete Rose Hysteria has faded in most every quarter except Pete Rose's house.

The guy from heart surgery, if he's still voting, will not likely be in recovery again.

That leaves the final guy that "NEVER" votes for first time candidates. Maybe that guy died.
   502. ajnrules Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4627648)
498, Mike Dyer published a Glavine-free ballot yesterday. Repos tweeted it, but it doesn't seem to be in this thread.

FTFT:
The Glavineless Mike Dyer HOF Ballot: (10) Maddux, Clemens, Bonds, Piazza, F. Thomas, Palmeiro, Sosa, Raines, L. Walker, E. Martinez.
   503. LargeBill Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4627650)
REPOZ,

Do you already have Jerry Crasnick's ballot? https://twitter.com/jcrasnick/status/418430645942358016/photo/1 Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Kent, Maddux, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling and Thomas

Also, says he previously voted Morris & Smith just no room this year.

   504. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4627653)
I think Lee Smith has been between 40% and 50% on every ballot since he debuted 10 years ago. If he's really down to 20.8% now, even with the increased number of players per ballot, that's another good sign which I was too cynical to predict.
   505. TJ Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4627655)
Suspect #1 to leave Maddux off his HOF ballot- the infamous Paul Ladewski. The evidence:

1. Didn't vote for either Ripken or Gwynn in their first year.
2. Has publicly stated he won't vote for anyone on the first ballot because Ruth, Cobb, blah blah blah.
3. Has said he won't vote for anyone who played from 1993-2004,aka "The Steroid Era", because he has no proof who didn't use. That was his reason for not voting for Ripken or Gwynn.
4. The only HOF ballot I can find that this guy submitted contained only vote- Bert Blyleven.

I haven't found anything about whether Ladewski's anti-PED stance applies to pitchers, but there is still the "I don't vote for first ballot" crap to deal with. Maybe he will reconsider for Maddux but, if he didn't for Ripken, I wouldn't bet on it...
   506. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4627659)
The Glavineless Mike Dyer HOF Ballot: (10) Maddux, Clemens, Bonds, Piazza, F. Thomas, Palmeiro, Sosa, Raines, L. Walker, E. Martinez.


This is the Platonic form of the "your line of demarcation for pitchers is probably too high" ballot. There's no real justification for voting for Palmeiro or Sosa over Glavine (or Mussina, really.)
   507. ursus arctos Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4627660)
Lee Smith's HOF votes, quite remarkably consistent:


2003 BBWAA (42.3%)
2004 BBWAA (36.6%)
2005 BBWAA (38.8%)
2006 BBWAA (45.0%)
2007 BBWAA (39.8%)
2008 BBWAA (43.3%)
2009 BBWAA (44.5%)
2010 BBWAA (47.3%)
2011 BBWAA (45.3%)
2012 BBWAA (50.6%)
2013 BBWAA (47.8%)
   508. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4627661)
Also, says he previously voted Morris & Smith just no room this year.


Yes, and that includes 2013 (for Jack, not Lee). So Morris is still running pretty close to even in terms of gains and losses.

   509. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4627666)
Smith's pretty clearly getting crowded out of a lot of ballots by the new high-quality candidates, Morris isn't. For whatever it's worth.
   510. DL from MN Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4627670)
It's Morris' last turn but it isn't for Lee Smith.
   511. The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4627671)
The only HOF ballot I can find that this guy submitted contained only vote- Bert Blyleven.
Jeez, that's weird.

I definitely feel like that guy is showing more disrespect for the process and the institution than whoever sold their vote to Deadspin.
   512. ursus arctos Posted: January 01, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4627678)
In 2010, Ladewski voted for Roberto Alomar in his first year on the ballot, so it appears that he has gotten over the absolute bar on first ballot candidates.
   513. LargeBill Posted: January 01, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4627685)
Ladewski currently works for the Chicago Baseball Museum and near as I can tell he does not write for any publication currently. Also checked his Facebook page and last entry is more than a year old.

Funniest thing I found while looking for his ballot is this snippet from his bio:
In the 2007 Hall of Fame vote, Ladewski earned great respect in the baseball community when he turned in a blank ballot because of reservations about alleged rampant use of performance-enhancers in the game. His stance increased awareness of the issue around the country and effectively raised the bar for current and future Hall of Fame candidates. "That Paul would be one of only a few voters to make such a conscientious decision says a lot about his respect for baseball history," Dr. Fletcher said. "His mission to seek and maintain honesty and integrity in the game is precisely that of the Chicago Baseball Museum as well."
   514. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 01, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4627688)
Paul Ladewski wrote for the Daily Southtown in Chicago's suburbs from the 80s until late 2007 when he was fired/bought out/downsized.

Then he started writing about the Pirates (and Penguins) for The Ogden Newspapers, meaning The Steubenville Herald-Star, The Altoona Mirror, The Wheeling Intelligencer and The Weirton Daily Times. The latest articles I can find by him in any of those is from September 2011. He continued with Bleacher Report and the now-nonexistent PiratesReport.com until April 2012. He also wrote a bunch of craptacular Scholastic books about the NBA. Now he appears to be retired.

But at least he's maintaining an active presence in social media!

Edit: Wow, two people doing Ladewski research simultaneously!
   515. maven of all things baseball Posted: January 01, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4627703)
Paul Ladewski wrote for the Daily Southtown in Chicago's suburbs from the 80s until late 2007 when he was fired/bought out/downsized.


I know Ladewski a little. He's not a bad guy, but he is rather old school when it comes to baseball. On a different topic, is there a list of "who" the 96 full ballots are?
   516. Lassus Posted: January 01, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4627722)
Tsk. Piazza's total going down irritates me, just for the good four would do to clear the ballot over anything else. Biggio as well. Ack.
   517. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 01, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4627749)
I read this page and the previous page, and it wasn't mentioned... so who wrote-in Pete Rose?
   518. Repoz Posted: January 01, 2014 at 04:21 PM (#4627757)
so who wrote-in Pete Rose?

As he does every year. Capt. Jack McCaffery.
   519. Pete L. Posted: January 01, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4627762)
"Also, says he [Crasnick] previously voted Morris & Smith just no room this year."

Crasnick previously voted for Edgar Martinez, too. Every year he's been eligible, until this year.

I haven't collected as many ballots as Repoz has (I'm sitting at about 80 recorded votes for an Edgar vote-tracking effort and struggling to keep up with the Gizmo), but w/r/t Edgar, Crasnick is far from the only previous supporter to drop him this year (and I completely understand why - just hope he'll get enough votes to remain not only on the ballot, but relevant on future ballots). Others who voted for Edgar previously, but not this year: Antonen, Botte, Tim Brown, Edes, Fraley, Joe Henderson, Henning, Herzog, Justice, Klapisch, Madden (went to "no" last year), McNeal (don't have his vote yet, but went to "no" last year), Miles, Silverman, Tomase, Waters (no vote in yet, but stopped voting for Edgar two years ago after initially supporting him). That's approximately 20% of support lost from my sample. He has picked up only one previous "no" voter - Marc Maturo.
   520. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 01, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4627779)
As he does every year. Capt. Jack McCaffery.

Thanks. Good Lord, he's not even a Cincinnati writer.
   521. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: January 01, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4627787)
Is that McCaffery guy the CNN McCaffery?!?

EDIT: Nevermind. It is not.
   522. TJ Posted: January 01, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4627819)
In 2010, Ladewski voted for Roberto Alomar in his first year on the ballot, so it appears that he has gotten over the absolute bar on first ballot candidates.


If his ballot is right over at teamnerdrage.com, then Ladewski didn't vote for Alomar in 2011. Double weird...
   523. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 01, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4627849)
Suggestion: Would be nice to easily see the improvement/decline from last year. Maybe like:

100 (new) - Maddux
98.0 (new) - Glavine
89.8 (new) - F. Thomas
80.6 (+12.4) - Biggio
———————————
72.4 (+14.6) - Piazza
65.3 (+5.7) - Bagwell
63.2 (-4.5) - Jack (The Jack) Morris
57.1 (+4.9) - Raines
43.9 (+7.7) - Bonds
   524. flournoy Posted: January 01, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4627855)
Would that be change with respect to last year's ballot or last year's Gizmo? Both would be nice.
   525. Srul Itza At Home Posted: January 01, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4627856)
I seek Biggio trending down, but on the whole doing better than he did last year. I will bet that Biggio does not do as well on the unpublished ballots as he does on the published ones; but I will also bet that he does better on the unpublished ballots this year than he did on the unpublished ballots last year. So I think he still has a good chance.
   526. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 01, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4627858)
I meant with respect to last year's ballot, but yeah, with respect to last year's Gizmo would be interesting too.
   527. Pete L. Posted: January 01, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4627864)
@ 525, Srul Itza

"...but I will also bet that [Biggio] does better on the unpublished ballots this year than he did on the unpublished ballots last year. "

I agree. Not sure there is much basis for that agreement other than a somewhat educated guess, but after getting to nearly 70% last year, even on a crowded ballot I'd expect to see some "bump" effect, and maybe even that effect would be more pronounced among the Silent Majority. Besides, even though he is trending very slowly downward, he's still over 80% in what is now getting to be a reasonably-sized sample - about half the size of last year's Gizmo, which over-represented his support (vs. the actual, final %) by only 1.9%. Even if you figure the smaller-by-half sample doubles the error rate there, and there is no "bump" at all, he still seems to me to be in safe territory....

[Edit: I think I screwed up the math of that; the final % for Biggio was 1.9% lower than the Gizmo, but the percentage he got among unpublished ballots was 2.9% lower than the percentage of published ballots counted in the Gizmo. I don't know how stable the sample is at half or so of last year's ballot sample, but I suspect he's a little less safe than I originally concluded, at least without some kind of "bump" effect. I still agree with you, though, that we'll see that effect. Instead of being over-represented by the Gizmo, I think he'll be neutral or even slightly under-represented this year.]
   528. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 01, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4627872)
Last year's Gizmo through 94 ballots:
Biggio: 70.1%
Piazza: 60.3%
Raines: 59.8%
Morris: 59.3%
Bagwell: 59.3%
Bonds: 45.4%
Clemens: 44.3%
Schilling: 39.2%
L. Smith: 38.1%
Trammell: 37.6%
Edgar: 35.6%
McGriff: 20.1%
Murphy: 18.6%
L. Walker: 16.5%
McGwire: 14.4%
Sosa: 13.4%
Palmeiro: 12.9%
Mattingly: 8.8%

Comparing that with where the Gizmo stands through 98 ballot (it's not perfect because it's not exact same guys posting early each year - but there is quite a bit of overlap so I think this works better than looking at the full 2013 Gizmo).

Anyhow, it's 2013 Gizmo through 94 ballots, then the 2014 Gizmo through 98 ballots, and then the difference:

Biggio: 70.1%...80.6%...+10.5%
Piazza: 60.3%...72.4%...+12.1%
Raines: 59.8%...57.1%...-2.7%
Morris: 59.3%...63.2%...+3.9%
Bagwell: 59.3%...65.3%...+6.3%
Bonds: 45.4%.....43.6%...-1.8%
Clemens: 44.3%....42.9%...-1.4%
Schilling: 39.2%....39.8%...+0.6%
L. Smith: 38.1%....20.4%...-17.7%
Trammell: 37.6%....23.5%...-14.1%
Edgar: 35.6%....20.4%...-15.2%
McGriff: 20.1%....16.3%...-3.8%
Murphy: 18.6%....XXXXX
L. Walker: 16.5%....10.2%...-6.3%
McGwire: 14.4%....11.2%...-3.2%
Sosa: 13.4%....8.2%...-5.2%
Palmeiro: 12.9%....7.1%...-5.8%
Mattingly: 8.8%....5.1%...-3.7%

Gainers (in order): Piazza, Biggio, (huge gap) Bagwell, Morris, Schilling.

I find it impressive that on a ballot with Maddux, Glavine & Mussina debuting, that two pitchers are going up.

Loses (in order): Lee Smith, Edgar, Trammell (big gap), L. Walker, Palmeiro, Sosa, McGriff, Mattingly, McGwire, Raines, Bonds, Clemens.

The top 8 returnees from last year all doing well. The rest aren't - especially that juicy middle section.

Applying the difference to their 2013 vote:
Biggio: 68.2% becomes 78.8%
Morris: 67.7% becomes 71.6%
Bagwell: 59.6% becomes 65.9%
Piazza: 57.8% becomes 69.9%
Raines: 52.2% becomes 49.5%
L. Smith: 47.7% becomes 30.0%
Schilling: 38.8% becomes 39.4%
Clemens: 37.6% becomes 36.2%
Bonds: 36.2% becomes 34.4%
Edgar: 35.9% becomes 20.7%
Trammell: 33.6% becomes 19.5%
L. Walker: 21.6% becomes 15.3%
McGriff: 20.7% becomes 16.9%
McGwire: 16.9% becomes 13.7%
Mattingly: 13.2% becomes 9.5%
Sosa: 12.5% becomes 7.3%
Palmerio: 8.8% becomes 3.0%

This shouldn't be taken too seriously. The people in the Gizmo change each year - and those still in it aren't always the earlier returners each year. So there is plenty of wiggle room. But right now Biggio looks good, but the others don't. Still - Morris & Bagwell are both in striking distance.

Incredible. This goes so incredibly against what I expected from the 2014 vote. In previous years there was a big incoming class of rookie candidates, the backlog was massacred. That happened in 1999 (Ryan, Brett, Yount, Fisk, Murphy). It happened in 1989 (Yaz, Bench, Perry, Jenkins, Kaat). But it isn't happening now.

Also amazing - the pitchers are holding up well (aside from Lee Smith). Normally, when comparable candidates hit the ballot, it really impacts the comparable backloggers. For example, Luis Tiant, Mickey Lolich, and Jim Bunning were especially hit from 1988-89. But not this bunch of pitchers with the big armed newbies this year.
   529. alilisd Posted: January 01, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4627882)
Thanks Dag, very cool stuff there!
   530. brutus Posted: January 01, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4627911)
Jon Becker ballot:
Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Piazza, Raines, Thomas, Trammel, Walker

Sorry goes out to Biggio.
   531. brutus Posted: January 01, 2014 at 09:46 PM (#4627932)
Jack Magruder ballot:
Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Palmeiro, Piazza, Sosa, Thomas, Walker
   532. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 01, 2014 at 09:52 PM (#4627937)
So that's the 3rd made public to leave Glavine off?
   533. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 01, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4627942)
Five Seaver no-voters--
My curiosity revolves around those 5 guys. Have they ever been "outed?"


I know that the names of the heart ailment guy and the "no first ballot" guy are out there somewhere on the internet.
   534. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 01, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4627943)
He should have roided.
   535. Repoz Posted: January 01, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4627947)
So that's the 3rd made public to leave Glavine off?

If it's any comfort...creepy Jeb Magruder has formed a committee to elect Glavine.
   536. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 01, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4627948)
Lee Smith's HOF votes, quite remarkably consistent:


2003 BBWAA (42.3%)
2004 BBWAA (36.6%)
2005 BBWAA (38.8%)
2006 BBWAA (45.0%)
2007 BBWAA (39.8%)
2008 BBWAA (43.3%)
2009 BBWAA (44.5%)
2010 BBWAA (47.3%)
2011 BBWAA (45.3%)
2012 BBWAA (50.6%)
2013 BBWAA (47.8%)


It's like the Bonds and Clemens votes. There seems to be a much more black and white view of his candidacy than for most players. The people that think he's deserving won't be swayed and would rather not leave him off but the people who don't think he's deserving feel strongly enough about it that they won't change their minds.
   537. maven of all things baseball Posted: January 01, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4627949)
Is there any way to get a "list" of the names of the BBWAA members included in the count (short of going back through the posts)?
   538. Repoz Posted: January 01, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4627959)
Is there any way to get a "list" of the names of the BBWAA members included in the count

I get a number that don't want their name attached to the ballot...and can you blame them!
   539. Pete L. Posted: January 01, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4627961)
I don't blame them...aaaand that explains why I don't have the number of ballots in my spreadsheet that you have in the Gizmo - I only have the public ones!

For those of you interested in the names of the voters, check out Repoz's tweets @RRepoz. I suspect that if he can make them public, they're there.
   540. TJ Posted: January 01, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4627963)
A refreshing carbonated beverage to Repoz for the "creepy Jeb Magruder" remark...can't get enough Watergate comments!
   541. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 01, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4627966)
Biggio below 80%.
   542. Walt Davis Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:12 AM (#4628002)
If I added stuff up correctly, the Gizmo ballots are still ticking along at 9.3 names per ballot. Last year's carry-over was 6.4 and on average we're seeing 2.9 more names per ballot (which jives with the new + gains - losses).

I'm really pretty stunned by that. I'm not sure how many we've seen of last year's 8+ name ballots, all of whom are pretty much forced to drop at least one name but still ... we can criticize their roid stance and not pushing through 2-3 more guys over the last couple of years but the BBWAA in general is stepping up to the plate and submitting very full ballots.

If those percentages roughly hold then about 4.3 slots get cleared, leaving a carry-over of about 5. That's not so bad really and leaves plenty of room for Johnson and Pedro without punishing the backlog ... Smoltz I assume will debut fine (the Schilling/Mussina range, maybe a bit better) and Sheffield probably not enough to matter too much.

The key question at the moment is whether Biggio can hang on. But even if he doesn't make it this year, it won't necessarily be a huge deal and he gets pushed across next year with Johnson and Pedro. If Piazza is really gaining at that level this year, he's got a real shot for 2015 (esp if Biggio makes it this year) and is nearly certain for 2016.

I've got to say I didn't expect this. I am quite surprised they have even come this close to electing 4 in a year and there's a very good chance of at least 8 over these three years. They've also been more ruthless on the bottom of the ballot than I expected -- I knew Smith would get walloped but not this bad. I didn't expect to see any gains among the backlog except maybe Biggio and a more even reduction (5-10%) for everybody else.

One interesting thing is that ... Morris off after this year, Mattingly off after next year, Trammell off after 2016, Smith off after 2017 but then nobody comes off until after 2021 (McGwire). That is there's a bit of a gap in the time on ballot numbers so the ballot is likely to remain crowded until something like 2025.

2017 is now looking like another year that could see nobody elected or could see a 2012 style result. The top debuts will be Pudge (PED questions?) and Vlad. The top backlog will be Bagwell (unless he squeaks over in 2016), Raines and the trio of Schilling, Smoltz and Mussina -- not sure how they'll have shaken out by then, who'll be in front, etc. Anyway, it's possible that Bagwell, Raines and the top pitcher will still be 10+% away with no clear Larkin-like consensus about who gets pushed over. Pudge and Vlad (who I think the voters will over-rate somewhat) may debut around 65% as well. It's also possible that if Biggio, Piazza and possibly Bagwell are all elected then voters will be more lenient towards the "no hard evidence" group -- i.e. maybe Pudge sails over and the anti-roid furor is limited to the 5 betes noires.

But the BBWAA is on its way to successfully (from a numbers standpoint) navigating the worst of it.
   543. Peter Farted Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:13 AM (#4628017)
Smoltz I assume will debut fine (the Schilling/Mussina range, maybe a bit better)

Actually I expect Smoltz to do much better than that. I suspect that there's an equation in most voters' minds that goes something like:

Smoltz = Schilling + Cy Young + 154 saves + 4 postseason wins + 2 AS games - loud mouth

If he didn't have Pedro, Unit and the backlog to deal with, he'd have a good shot at first ballot induction, particularly with the tail wind from Maddux/Glavine/Cox this year. As it is, I'm guessing he starts in the 55-60% range and gets in by 2017. I would expect Bagwell, Piazza and maybe Raines to be in by then as well.

Personally I think Smoltz is a shade overrated (though he'd still get my vote). He only has three seasons of 5+ bWAR, and his 55-save year came despite a so-so ERA/ERA+ for a closer. He followed that with one outstanding year, then one very good year. A nice stretch, but not all that amazing as far as closers go.
   544. Pete L. Posted: January 02, 2014 at 05:12 AM (#4628024)
Sean Horgan Ballot (7):

http://m.gloucestertimes.com/GDT/pm_103016/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=WeWXAZsa

Craig Biggio, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Mike Mussina and Frank Thomas
   545. gabrielthursday Posted: January 02, 2014 at 08:12 AM (#4628033)
@ 528 Dag Nabbit

Fascinating to see some of the patterns emerging. One of the more fascinating things is the decliners. It is extremely odd to see Lee Smith lead the decliners while Morris is getting something of a bump. Both are quite unworthy of Cooperstown, and their support base hugely overlaps (how many Smith ballots are there without Morris?). If Lee Smith is a marginal candidate in the eyes of some voters, why is not Morris also so regarded? Perhaps this is the power of the anti-saber mentality: Lee Smith has never been as central a figure to the debate, so he is dispensible; but to let Morris go would be to admit the power of analytics over however it is journalists evaluate these matters.

Even stranger is why Trammell, Edgar and Walker are being so strongly punished by the ballot, while Clemens and Bonds on the one hand, and McGriff on the other are holding onto their vote base more strongly. The anti-PED vote remains so strong that votes for Clemens & Bonds cannot avail them at this juncture nor can a temporary drop in support materially harm their prospects: their election depends on other developments. Yet the chances of Trammell, Walker and E. Martinez will be significantly harmed if their support does not increase, and a decrease now will significantly harm them. Last of all, McGriff is the weakest candidate among the four non-PED candidates near the bottom of the ballot, yet his vote is holding comparatively stable. This truly is inexplicable to me, especially given the strong decline for Lee Smith.
   546. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4628039)
creepy Jeb Magruder has formed a committee to elect Glavine


NIXON!

That's it, my one Repoz reference for this year. And it's only 2 January.
   547. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4628042)
On top of the usual cranks, somebody is going to leave Maddux off, because he doesn't "need" their vote, and give it to somebody they think does. I am perfectly fine with that.
   548. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4628048)
Interesting on Mussina: Assuming he is not elected in 2015, he will be the last 270 game winner to join the ballot for something like 15 years or much longer. (Unless Moyer gets one more W or Pettitte unretires yet again.)

Looking ahead, CC has the only good chance for a while, and he's just over 200 after his age-32 season. Say, he makes it to 270 and pitches through age 40, he won't hit the ballot for 15 or so years. Then again, he was really bad this year (85 ERA+, less than 1 WAR), and may not make 270 at all. If he doesn't make 270, the voters could be waiting a very long time for another pitcher with that many wins. Verlander, for example, just finished age 30 and has 137 wins. King Felix is at 110 through age 27, and probably represents the best hope. If it's Felix and he pitches til 40, then it's nearly 25 years until another 270 winner comes along.

A related question will be who the last 270 game winner elected before then will be. The gizmo suggests that it is prolly Clemens. His support isn't moving and Mussina thus far appears to be on the way to a strong debut.

Edit: Removed a "next" so that it didn't look like Moose was going to run for a second plaque.
   549. flournoy Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4628052)
[Smoltz's] 55-save year came despite a so-so ERA/ERA+ for a closer


The ERA is misleading. He got absolutely pounded in his second appearance of the season, to the tune of eight runs in two thirds of an inning. Not that those runs don't count, but that one appearance ballooned his numbers. After that point (from April 7th onward), he had a 2.40 ERA and 173 ERA+, compared to his actual season stats of a 3.25 ERA and 128 ERA+.
   550. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4628057)
Who voted Bonds and not Clemens? That makes zero sense. I can see a case for the other way around I guess, but if PEDs are problem (and they shouldn't be, but whatever) then at least Bonds and likely Clemens should be out, and if not a problem then both are so clearly in it is silly.
Maybe someone who thinks that PEDs aren't enough to keep them out, but are enough to mark them as less deserving than non-PED candidates. So he looks at all the non-PED candidates first, and totals up nine of them that he thinks are deserving, and votes for them all. Now he's got one ballot slot left, and he prefers Bonds to Clemens.

Or maybe it's just some guy who used to be a baseball writer 40 years ago and who hasn't paid much attention to the game since.
   551. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4628060)
Unless something odd/unseen happens, it looks like Piazza's going to fall just short. Which, honestly, strikes me as pretty weird.
   552. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4628063)
Unless something odd/unseen happens, it looks like Piazza's going to fall just short. Which, honestly, strikes me as pretty weird.


Did you think he'd get elected this year? I would have been stunned to see that happen. It's extremely difficult to go from his first-year support and place on the ballot hierarchy to election in one year, particularly with three players like Maddux, Glavine and Thomas joining. If he simply holds most of his Gizmo gains it will be a pretty damn impressive leap, and surely foretell election in the next few years.
   553. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4628073)
Mussina is behind Randy/Pedro/Clemens/Maddux for the best pitcher of his generation. Probably behind Glavine too, maybe Schilling, maybe even Smoltz. A great group who will all be on the 2014 or 2015 ballots, some on both.

Had he started a decade later he'd be a strong contender for best pitcher of his generation. Comparing him to Felix at age 27, Mussina leads in ERA+ (129-127) but Felix has more volume (110 wins, 39 WAR to 90, 27) thanks to his early start.

Verlander through age 30 is a dead match in wins (137-136), ERA+ (127-130) and WAR (41-42).

Sabathia has more wins (205-164) than Moose did at 32, but Moose has the better rate (121-131 ERA+) putting them even in WAR (54-55).

Halladay won't be adding to his age 36 totals, but Moose at the same age led in wins (224-203), trailed in ERA+ (131-124) and had the edge in WAR (72-66).

Mussina is not the best pitcher of his time, but we'll have to wait a long time before we see an obviously better one on the ballot. I didn't even mention Kershaw, nobody knows what trajectory his career will take, but if he stays healthy and great he won't hit a HOF ballot for about 20 years.
   554. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4628074)
Did you think he'd get elected this year?

Well, I am a.) a bit biased and b.) of the opinion he's a no-doubter so I think "weird" covers his lack of election this year for me. I'm certainly not stunned or mortified or anything like that.
   555. GregD Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4628075)
Did you think he'd get elected this year? I would have been stunned to see that happen.
I had written off any chance he'd be elected this year, so I've been excited to see that he'll be close and then, I hope, be taken for granted as a shoo-in next year.
   556. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4628083)
Mussina is not the best pitcher of his time, but we'll have to wait a long time before we see an obviously better one on the ballot.


Yes, which will bode well for him and Schilling and Brown (and, quite possibly Pettitte, if the anti-PED position softens). I firmly believe the absence of any obvious starting pitchers entering the ballot for a decade made it possible for Bert to make it and Jack to come up just short. For the Schilling-Mussina types, it should ensure election.

I had written off any chance he'd be elected this year, so I've been excited to see that he'll be close and then, I hope, be taken for granted as a shoo-in next year.


If the current ballot results hold, then he probably is. If Biggio falls under 75 (which I think will happen) and Piazza also drops a little, then he's probably not a lock for 2015, but looks very good for the lighter ballot in 2016. Either is about as good as you could have realistically hoped for after his 57 percent debut and heavy ballots in 2014-15.

   557. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4628085)
I'm personally thrilled to see Piazza setting himself up for election, probably as soon as next year. Once a player hits 70% the burden shifts from "Why is this guy worthy?" to "Why aren't you voting for him?"
   558. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4628086)
Well, I am a.) a bit biased and b.) of the opinion he's a no-doubter so I think "weird" covers his lack of election this year for me.

It took Berra two ballots.

Deserving guys not getting in on the first ballot is nothing new.
   559. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4628097)
Yes, which will bode well for him and Schilling and Brown (and, quite possibly Pettitte, if the anti-PED position softens).


Brown will have to wait a long time for a veterans ballot. Perhaps you mean Smoltz? It does bode well for him, provided he gets enough early support to stick on the ballot and force people to talk about him.
   560. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4628098)
It took Berra two ballots.


Isn't Bench the only 1st ballot catcher?
   561. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4628100)
It took Berra two ballots.

I generally don't think Berra's 1972 election circumstances are relevant to HOF elections today. The world changes significantly in certain ways over 40 years.


Deserving guys not getting in on the first ballot is nothing new.

It's Piazza's second ballot, and (IMO) "deserving" is a short sell.


Again, I'm not aghast or surprised. I just thought two ballots were going to be enough. They weren't. (Maybe.)
   562. jdennis Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4628101)
The great and powerful Pos has posted.
   563. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4628103)
I generally don't think Berra's 1972 election circumstances are relevant to HOF elections today. The world changes significantly in certain ways.

Yeah. We had an era when deserving (but not Inner Circle) guys breezed in on the first ballot, but that was not the norm in HoF history. Now we seem to be reverting to a regime where normal candidates need a few ballots to build support.

It's Piazza's second ballot, and (IMO) "deserving" is a short sell.

He's not "Inner Circle", he's a regular fully qualified HoFer. That's all I meant.
   564. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4628104)
Did you forget the Piazza steroid rumors? I'm frankly shocked that he's getting this much consideration.
   565. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4628108)
Brown will have to wait a long time for a veterans ballot. Perhaps you mean Smoltz? It does bode well for him, provided he gets enough early support to stick on the ballot and force people to talk about him.


No, I meant to limit it Schilling and Moose, but Brown was just in the back of my mind as the guy who won't benefit from this.

I think Smoltz will debut better (and have a shorter time on the ballot) because I think he'll be seen more as an Eck type, rather than a straight SP.

   566. icho1977 Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4628110)
January 1, 2014. Black Monday and my Hall of Fame votes.

Bill Burt/Gloucester Daily Times

"Before we get to ‘Steroids’ voting ...Before we have frank discussions about Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and the Hall of Fame, I would like to make a brief case for four players many deem “on the bubble”: Jack Morris and Curt Schilling. First off, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux are definites. I would vote them in today.
Glavine has the wins (305), winning percentage (.600) and big seasons (five 20-win seasons) while a member of the best staff in baseball for a decade in Atlanta. He also won two Cy Young Awards and one World Series MVP.
Maddux has even more wins (355), more strikeouts (3,371) and won 18 or more games (nine times) on that same dominating staff. Both were masters on the mound rather than flame-throwers.
As for the other two ... Morris, in my mind, was the most dominant pitcher of his era. While he doesn’t have the 300 wins (254), he does have the big games, including closing out two World Series championships. He also was in the top five for Cy Young voting five times, without winning. While his ERA (3.91) is nothing to write home about, it was more indicative of the big offensive era before steroids.
He was consistent. He found ways to win (a grinder!). And he threw a ton of innings (11 seasons with more than 235 innings). He was the winningest pitcher of the 1980s. Enough said! Schilling is going to have to wait this one out, like Morris has patiently done, with “only” 216 wins. But upon a closer look, he won only 52 games before turning 30. That means he won 164 after the important birthday. That must be considered. He never won a Cy Young Award, but finished second three times and fourth another time, all after his 30th birthday. His posteason record of 11-2 is legendary, including the “bloody sock” game in Yankees Stadium (Game 6), which probably ended his career.
He went 22-5 in 2001, 23-7 in 2002 and 21-6 with the Red Sox in 2004. I am on record as saying the Red Sox won the World Series, after the damaging Game 7 loss to the Yankees in 2003, because of Schilling. He brought a toughness and didn’t fear the Yankees.
As for the best of the rest of the Hall of Fame candidates, Frank Thomas tied Ted Williams in HRs (521) and was maybe the best all-around hitter over a dozen years with the Chicago White Sox. He’d get my vote, too.


Bill Burt is Official Baseball Hall of Fame Voter?
   567. Lassus Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4628111)
Bill Burt is Official Baseball Hall of Fame Voter?

I don't know, but that article uses a lot of conditionals, so it doesn't sound like it?


Did you forget the Piazza steroid rumors? I'm frankly shocked that he's getting this much consideration.

Well, no, of course not. I wonder if they seemed to have more perceived traction here than they did at large.
   568. ajnrules Posted: January 02, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4628134)
The great and powerful Pos has posted.

Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Thomas

Regretfully left off: Martinez, McGwire, Mussina, Trammell, Walker

Virtually the same as my "ballot" (switch Raines for Mussina), but I guess that's not surprising considering nobody's done more to shape how I view baseball than Joe Pos.
   569. TJ Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4628163)
Morris, in my mind, was the most dominant pitcher of his era. While he doesn’t have the 300 wins (254), he does have the big games, including closing out two World Series championships. He also was in the top five for Cy Young voting five times, without winning. While his ERA (3.91) is nothing to write home about, it was more indicative of the big offensive era before steroids.


Is Bill Burt a HOF voter? With insight like this, I surely hope not...
   570. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4628169)
While his ERA (3.91) is nothing to write home about, it was more indicative of the big offensive era before steroids.


That big offensive era didn't seem to bother his pitching contemporaries to the same degree.
   571. Booey Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4628185)
Did you forget the Piazza steroid rumors? I'm frankly shocked that he's getting this much consideration.


Maybe some voters last year were holding off to see if he admitted to PED's in his upcoming book? Since he didn't, he could be getting some of the previously hesitant votes.

I don't personally find the "No catcher except Bench has ever been elected 1st ballot" argument to be especially relevant WRT Piazza. There hasn't been a remotely similar catcher in MLB history, so there's no basis for comparison. Plus Fisk probably would have gone 1st ballot if he didn't debut with Ryan/Brett/Yount, and on a less packed ballot and with no PED whispers, I suspect Pudge II makes it 1st ballot as well (most games ever caught, tons of gold gloves, MVP, 300+ homers, almost 3000 hits and an average near .300, WS with the Marlins and Tigers). Catchers not getting elected 1st ballot seems to be as much about unfortunate and coincidental circumstances as it does reflect any kind of voting bias against them.
   572. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4628191)
Catchers not getting elected 1st ballot seems to be as much about unfortunate and coincidental circumstances as it does reflect any kind of voting bias against them.


I agree to a point, but I also think many (including some folks here) underrate how hard it is to catch and thus underrate the value of all catchers, which makes it hard for even the top tier of catchers top get in quickly.

The alternate being that catchers, because of injury, really are not as valuable as other positions and they don't deserve to be rated higher by metrics like WAR and don't deserve as much weight when going to the Hall. Which could be true I guess.
   573. alilisd Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4628197)
It is extremely odd to see Lee Smith lead the decliners while Morris is getting something of a bump.


I don't think it's odd at all. While a goodly percentage of writers have continued to support Smith for the HOF, they do seem to have figured out "Closers" are not as valuable as starters. Sure, there is still plenty of press about "Closers" and their "magic," they have to write about something. However, between 1974 when Marshall won a CY and 1992 when Eckersley won, they gave it to a "Closer" seven times. From 1993 through this year they have only given it to one, Gagne. So, given the choice between Smith and Morris I don't think it's at all surprising or odd they are going with Morris. Furthermore, Morris is in his last year of eligibility, a traditional bump tends to go along with this status, and he's one of the two closest backlog candidates, another traditional bump tends to go along with this status. It's actually to be expected Morris would sustain, or even increase, his level of support while Smith would suffer. The degree to which Smith has declined could be viewed as surprising, but given the strength of the ballot and the strength of the new candidates, three of the best of whom are also pitchers, it is not necessarily.
   574. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4628198)
Maybe some voters last year were holding off to see if he admitted to PED's in his upcoming book? Since he didn't, he could be getting some of the previously hesitant votes.


I'm fairly certain a couple writers said that specifically.

I don't personally find the "No catcher except Bench has ever been elected 1st ballot" argument to be especially relevant WRT Piazza. There hasn't been a remotely similar catcher in MLB history, so there's no basis for comparison. Plus Fisk probably would have gone 1st ballot if he didn't debut with Ryan/Brett/Yount, and on a less packed ballot and with no PED whispers, I suspect Pudge II makes it 1st ballot as well (most games ever caught, tons of gold gloves, MVP, 300+ homers, almost 3000 hits and an average near .300, WS with the Marlins and Tigers). Catchers not getting elected 1st ballot seems to be as much about unfortunate and coincidental circumstances as it does reflect any kind of voting bias against them.


I disagree, I think that it's very indicative of how tough it is for a catcher to get in. It seems it's a position that the voters are trying to find a reason to not vote for a player. I've seen plenty of people hold Piazza's poor arm against his defense as a whole and attach a pretty severe penalty because of his defense, add in steroid whispers and it was going to be a few years for Piazza. Having said all of that, I believe Irod gets in on his first year.(without looking at how crowded his ballot will be) and Piazza will get in, it's just going to probably be two more years(although I am pleasantly surprised how well he is doing in the gizmo)
   575. GregD Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4628201)
Any guesses on how many ballots get publicized before the announcement on January 8?
   576. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 02, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4628206)
Piazza aside, shouldn't it be slightly hard for catchers to get in - given the demands of the position?
   577. flournoy Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4628217)
I suspect Pudge II makes it 1st ballot as well (most games ever caught, tons of gold gloves, MVP, 300+ homers, almost 3000 hits and an average near .300, WS with the Marlins and Tigers).


Rodriguez has been subject to much more in the way of PED rumors than Piazza. He seems to get more of a Pettitte treatment than a Bonds treatment, but I wouldn't be so sure about him yet.
   578. Booey Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:08 PM (#4628220)
I disagree, I think that it's very indicative of how tough it is for a catcher to get in. It seems it's a position that the voters are trying to find a reason to not vote for a player.


I agree that catchers tend to be underrated in general and there's never going to be many 1st ballot catchers simply cuz the position makes it very hard to put up traditional 1st ballot type numbers, but for the rare few that do, I don't picture a lot of voters deliberately trying to come up with reasons not to vote them in. In more "normal" voting years (less stacked ballots and no PED concerns, and with the modern system WRT to Berra), I think Yogi, Fisk, Piazza, and Pudge all join Bench on the 1st ballot HOF list. Still a small list to be sure, but far from unprecedented.
   579. Booey Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4628222)
Rodriguez has been subject to much more in the way of PED rumors than Piazza. He seems to get more of a Pettitte treatment than a Bonds treatment, but I wouldn't be so sure about him yet.


Agreed, which is why I included the following in my Pudge comment:

on a less packed ballot and with no PED whispers,
   580. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4628224)
Any guesses on how many ballots get publicized before the announcement on January 8?


We saw 194 last year, which was easily the record. It's been trending upward, so I'll say 201.

   581. flournoy Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4628226)
I understand now. I took that to mean with respect to Piazza, as in, Rodriguez will be on a less packed ballot than Piazza, and without Piazza's PED whispers.
   582. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4628230)
Rodriguez has been subject to much more in the way of PED rumors than Piazza. He seems to get more of a Pettitte treatment than a Bonds treatment, but I wouldn't be so sure about him yet.


I think that we on this board give credence to whispers more than the actual writers. I don't think the whispers have actually hurt guys like Biggio too much(who looks to be taking a fairly normal path to the hof for a second baseman with his credentials.....yes I realize 3000 hits and not a first balloter is somewhat unusual, but I don't believe that the writers look at automatic numbers and that his sticking around hurt him in the writers eyes by moving to many years from his good years--arguably that also hurts Raines)

Piazza looks to also be following a normal path, one that is probably being slowed down more by the ballot size than it is by the whispers. Bagwell is being hurt by the whispers, but that is because his skill sets firmly mimic what people expect a roider to be like.

I took that to mean with respect to Piazza, as in, Rodriguez will be on a less packed ballot than Piazza, and without Piazza's PED whispers.


As mentioned before, Irod's "whispers" are much stronger than Piazza's.
   583. flournoy Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4628235)
I do believe that was my entire point, yes.
   584. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4628243)
Rodriguez has been subject to much more in the way of PED rumors than Piazza. He seems to get more of a Pettitte treatment than a Bonds treatment, but I wouldn't be so sure about him yet.


He doesn't draw the pre-emptive outrage, because he didn't break or threaten any homerun records. But when his name cames up on the ballot I expect it will hurt him a bit. Bagwell is hurt by being a teammate of Caminiti, hitting a bunch of homers, and probably by the big jump from 1993-94 that fits the narrative. Biggio seems to be hurt by "How can you hold such circumstantial suspicions against Bagwell? Biggio was a teammate of Caminini too!" and the response of "Well then I can't vote for Biggio either!".

Pudge has a little more to deal with, as he's one of the teammates Canseco named.
   585. alilisd Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4628247)
Catchers not getting elected 1st ballot seems to be as much about unfortunate and coincidental circumstances as it does reflect any kind of voting bias against them.


Except for Berra and, to a lesser extent, Carter.

Who knows what may happen with Rodriguez? Ballot will still be loaded, PED rumors (wasn't he ID'd by Canseco?). I'll be curious to see what happens over the next two years in terms of voting habits/patterns. If the 10 vote ballot continues to be the norm and three to four guys are elected this year and in the coming two, I'll like his odds better, but I still wouldn't put any money on it. If more normal voting habits/patterns return, I'd be very surprised if he does any better than Piazza did on his first ballot.
   586. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:45 PM (#4628251)
shouldn't it be slightly hard for catchers to get in - given the demands of the position?


Good question. Should all positions (no Relief pitcher is not a position, and ignore DH for the moment) be roughly equally represented? Asked another way, should the default position be that all positions are equally "valuable" and so you grade positions on a curve? Or just grade by position and/or position group (where corner OF are together, for example)?



   587. alilisd Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4628254)
Piazza aside, shouldn't it be slightly hard for catchers to get in - given the demands of the position?


I prefer to compare players at the same, or similar, position to one another; therefore, my standard for catcher incorporates the demands of the position. So, for me, the top catchers are HOF worthy even if they would not compare favorably with HOF standards for a 1B, or a corner OF.
   588. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4628258)
Should all positions (no Relief pitcher is not a position, and ignore DH for the moment) be roughly equally represented? Asked another way, should the default position be that all positions are equally "valuable" and so you grade positions on a curve?


These aren't exactly the same question and the difference matters with respect to catchers. Even if the position of catcher is as valuable as the position of, say, shortstop (and I think it obviously is), individual starting catchers may, on average, end up less valuable than individual starting shortstops because the average starting catcher plays fewer games within any given season and the average catcher players fewer overall seasons because of the increased wear and tear. So, backup catchers end up slightly more valuable than, say, utility infielders, because they end up playing a few more games per year and there's a greater demand for them. But since neither backup catchers nor utility infielders end up being considered for the Hall of Fame, you could still end up taking the position that overall, the position of catcher is more valuable than the position of shortstop, but there are fewer deserving Hall-of-Fame catchers than Hall-of-Fame shortstops.
   589. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4628264)
I never thought a catcher should be penalized for doing most of the work on the diamond. When you boil down what a fan is watching it's mostly a pitcher and a catcher doing battle with a batter.
   590. GregD Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4628266)
I prefer to compare players at the same, or similar, position to one another; therefore, my standard for catcher incorporates the demands of the position. So, for me, the top catchers are HOF worthy even if they would not compare favorably with HOF standards for a 1B, or a corner OF.
This makes sense to me, especially since catcher is a particularly unusual position. I wouldn't apply it to right fielders--if someone were the 10th best right fielder but only 30th best left fielder, I wouldn't give him any credit. But catchers are hard to find and they break down as a rule. Only 4 guys have more than 60 WAR and played 50% of their career as a catcher (compared to 13 as a 2B and 14 as a 3B). I'm not sure what I would do if I had to vote on the guys who in the low 50s and high 40s--Ted Simmons (yes?), Gene Tenace (no?), Lombardi (in but maybe a no?), Thurman Munson, Wally Schang, Bill Freehan, Posada. Biggio has the 12th most WAR for a second baseman and seems a slam-dunk HOFer to me. What should that do to my appraisal of Tenace or Munson? I have a hard time with it, but I can't see how excluding guys who are top 5-8 MLB catchers of all time--isn't that where both Piazza and IRod go?--makes sense. On the other hand, the guys who are 12-14 on the 3B list don't feel like HOFers to me though I'm sure if I participated in the HOM I would vote for at least some of them--Buddy Bell is 11, Ken Boyer 12, Sal Bando 14 (with HOFer HR Baker between them.)
   591. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4628280)
These aren't exactly the same question and the difference matters with respect to catchers.


You are right. I tried to say two different things, based on the same principles (but taken in different directions), and it came out like I was saying the same thing twice (but badly because they are different). Sorry for the confusion.
   592. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4628294)
But since neither backup catchers nor utility infielders end up being considered for the Hall of Fame, you could still end up taking the position that overall, the position of catcher is more valuable than the position of shortstop, but there are fewer deserving Hall-of-Fame catchers than Hall-of-Fame shortstops.


Or, you can accept that catchers can't put up the same amount of value as a shortstop and not care as it relates to the HoF, which is where I am.

I don't think you have to have strict positional balance in the Hall, but catchers should be compared to other catchers, and judged based on how well they separate themselves from their positional peers. If that results in a few fewer catchers in the Hall than left fielders, or a few more than third baseman, that's OK. But they should be measured against the standards of the position.
   593. Srul Itza Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4628297)
It's been trending upward, so I'll say 201.


That would be a lot of ballots coming in over the next few days.

I wonder if the publicity for the Ballot Collecting Gizmo is making some people more reticent about announcing their votes.
   594. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4628299)

That would be a lot of ballots coming in over the next few days.


When ESPN.com, MLB.com, the Chicago Tribune and a few others release theirs, we get a lot of ballots coming in over a short period of time.

   595. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4628305)
When ESPN.com, MLB.com, the Chicago Tribune and a few others release theirs, we get a lot of ballots coming in over a short period of time.


But there are very few players whose 2014 fates we are still unsure of:

80.2 - Biggio
72.3 - Piazza
65.3 - Bagwell
62.4 - Jack (The Jack) Morris

I'd cut it off there. At 56.4 I doubt Raines has a chance. Same with everyone below him.

It looks like for Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas not to make it at this point pigs would have to be flying past our windows, wearing snow jackets and dressed for hell.
   596. Rusty Priske Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4628309)
Any position player has two jobs (as a dramatic oversimplification), hitting and playing the field.

On the hitting side, that job is functionally the same (with variances, of course), no matter what position you play. Due to that, I do not agree that different positions shoudl be treated differently when comparing offensive production.

But, offense is only part of what makes up a player. You then need to add on the defensive impact a player has. So with that, the average catcher will be more valuable than the average left fielder, if there offense was similar.

The problem comes, with Piazza, that has was not an 'average catcher'. He was a substantially below average catcher. Should be get a bonus for a position he probably shouldn't have been playing? I don't think so.

Just my opinion, and I know there are a number of people who think Piazza's defensive shortcomings have been overblown, but I am not one of them.

He still made 'my ballot', because his hitting was just that good, but when people argue about a positional bonus, I don't think he should get one. At all.
   597. LargeBill Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4628311)
593. Srul Itza Posted: January 02, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4628297)

It's been trending upward, so I'll say 201.



That would be a lot of ballots coming in over the next few days.

I wonder if the publicity for the Ballot Collecting Gizmo is making some people more reticent about announcing their votes.


Yeah, I wince a little when I see the gizmo mentioned on mainstream sites because I don't want voters hiding their vote out of fear of discussion.
   598. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4628319)
But there are very few players whose 2014 fates we are still unsure of:

80.2 - Biggio
72.3 - Piazza
65.3 - Bagwell
62.4 - Jack (The Jack) Morris


OK, but that doesn't have anything to do with the total number of ballots that we expect to see run through the Gizmo.
   599. Booey Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4628337)
flournoy - Gotcha. Sorry, I didn't notice that my Pudge comment could be read two ways. I did mean to imply that he will still be on a packed ballot and facing PED suspicions of his own.

Except for Berra and, to a lesser extent, Carter.


Yeah, but as others have mentioned, the standards were different when Yogi became eligible than they are today. Nowadays I suspect a catcher with his numbers, combined with 3 MVP's and 10 (or whatever it was) World Series titles flies into the Hall with very little resistence (ballot clusterf**k and PED scandals not withstanding, of course).

Carter is a better argument, but I think he suffers a bit from the Trammell "didn't feel like a HOFer" syndrome. He didn't have the games caught or HR record like Fisk; he won gold gloves but not nearly as many as Bench or Rodriguez. He was the type of player who was very good at pretty much everything but not the absolute best at anything. Those types of players have often been underrated by voters, regardless of position.
   600. AROM Posted: January 02, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4628346)
I'm not sure what I would do if I had to vote on the guys who in the low 50s and high 40s--Ted Simmons (yes?), Gene Tenace (no?), Lombardi (in but maybe a no?), Thurman Munson, Wally Schang, Bill Freehan, Posada.


I would definitely vote for Simmons. Munson and Freehan are two I've come around to. I say no on Tenace. While he was a tremendously valuable hitter, he wasn't a true catcher. His career high in games caught was 125, and in only 1 other season did he catch 100. For his career he caught 892 games, and played first for 625. I can't give him the same bonus for wear and tear at a tough position that he did not suffer nearly as much as Munson or Freehan. Freehan caught 100+ games 10 times, and 140+ 3 times. Munson was over 100 9 times, and over 125 7 times.

I'd vote no on Posada though his WAR is in a similar range, and he caught a heavy workload. The reason is his game calling/ pitch framing being a disaster. This was generally known while he played, but not quantified until after he was done catching.
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