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Monday, January 16, 2012

THT: Jaffe: The possible upcoming Cooperstown ballot apocalypse

What should happen? Well, among non-Bonds/Clements voters, Biggio should get around 85 percent. With the others, he’ll get less in what’s already a crowded ballot for people willing to support PED-rs. I’d guess he gets 65-70 percent of their vote. Maybe less.

Upshot: Biggio has a very good shot to get in. Assuming he gets 85 percent of the non-Bonds/Clemens guys (and he really should, given the clustering of Molitor/Winfield/Murray right at 85 percent), and assuming Bonds and Clemens get about 40 percent of the vote, Biggio needs only 60 percent of the votes from the supporters of Bonds and Clemens. That should happen.

Actually, I find this a bit surprising. A week ago, I assumed that Biggio was doomed on this messy ballot. That would set off the real nightmare, because if everyone from this year’s vote went into next year, it would be that much harder for anyone to rise up.

But Biggio should go in next year. No one else should. If Fisk couldn’t get elected as the fourth-best new guy in 1999, Piazza won’t in 2012. Schilling will finish further down, and Sosa may be under 10 percent. As for the backloggers, Morris probably won’t move up enough because it is such a strong batch of new guys. I think he’ll get close but ultimately have to go to the VC.

VC = Viva Caputo!

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 03:17 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. dave h Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4038195)
Any idea what effect Biggio getting elected would have on Bagwell? I would imagine some voters would be swayed by the possibility of them both going in together. What's a good precedent for this sort of thing? I also can't believe Piazza won't be elected. Does he have any PED stain to him that I am unaware of, other than being a historically great hitter?
   2. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4038203)
[1] He supposedly had backne. And he was basically unknown as an amateur (62nd round pick) who developed great power as a pro.
   3. Guapo Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4038217)
Piazza also admitted using Andro.
   4. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 16, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4038223)
He supposedly had backne. And he was basically unknown as an amateur (62nd round pick) who developed great power as a pro.

There must have been hundred of amateur players who took PED and/or Andro in order to get a shot at playing in the MLB. None of them became the best hitting cather of all time, but one. He must have been good despite the PED...
   5. Ron J Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4038232)
#2 Also worth noting that he didn't play all that well in his first two years as a pro. Quite unusual for a guy who turned out to be as good as Piazza did to spend 3 full years in A ball (and hit .250/.281/.390 in his second try)

Thing is that Piazza had mono that year. After he got healthy he showed really unusual growth. .277/.344/.540 in his 3rd try at A ball Next year he blew through AA (.377/.441/.658 -- in a good place to hit), and hit 341/.405/.564 at Albuquerque. That projects as a decent hitting catcher, but more like Javy Lopez than the best hitting catcher in major league history.

   6. Sandlapper Spike Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4038236)
I'm not as confident Biggio makes it next year, though he should. For one thing, there are probably some voters who won't vote for anyone from the "Steroid Era", suspected user or not, which differentiates Biggio from Winfield/Molitor. Also, I'm not sure Biggio will be seen as the best non-Bonds/Clemens candidate by all voters. Piazza's got to get some support on that front.

I think Morris has the best shot at election next year, although Biggio could make it, and Morris may not.
   7. William Satterwhite Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4038251)
Since it's been pretty much well-established that not all PED users were muscle-bound sluggers, I wonder how those writers who still have Bagwell under a cloud of suspicion will regard Biggio. There's really no reason why those writers shouldn't hold Biggio to the same illogical scrutiny that they do Bagwell, if they are being honest with themselves.
   8. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4038258)
Since it's been pretty much well-established that not all PED users were muscle-bound sluggers


This is true in reality. I don't think it is true in the world of Baseball Steroid Moralism.

if they are being honest with themselves


Very few humans are actually fully honest with themselves,especially once they have openly committed to something.

That said B & B going in together has such a nice narrative it may drive both of them forward, overcoming STEROIDS! in Biggio's case anyway.
   9. John Northey Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4038266)
It'll be interesting to see justifications from various writers for the non-tainted players. A very big factor will be the blank ballots or the 'Morris was pre-steroid' voters putting one or two names only on the ballot. In some respects it would be fun to see no one get in and have a royal mess next year.

If we get really lucky a lot of those anti-steroid voters will show typical silliness and decide that since Tim Raines was a runner and not a home run hitter he must be clean and vote him in :)

Of course all of us in Canada remember our big Olympic steroid scandal involving a runner in 1988 :p
   10. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4038272)
I also can't believe Piazza won't be elected.


I don't know, even setting aside the backne and the ballot issues, Piazza's the kind of guy that I can see the BBWAA having some trouble fully appreciating. His hitting is excellent "for a catcher" but if you compare him to other hitters, he's something like Willie McCovey (who got 81% his first year) without the 500 home runs. And he was notoriously bad at throwing out baserunners, which some people extrapolate to "he was a terrible catcher". I could see some folks dinging him for being so bad defensively and/or for having a relatively "short" career.

Look at the ballot debuts of Barry Larkin and Ryne Sandberg. I could see Piazza ending up in that same range even without the other issues (look at Bagwell as a possible comp complete with the soft PED penalty).
   11. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4038278)
I'm not as confident Biggio makes it next year

Totally disagree. Biggio is going in. Those 3000 hits are the type of thing the voters love. He will receive the greatest benefit from the "steroid backlash." That Bagwell angle is interesting. I believe his totals will rise another 10%, but not enough to get elected next year.

I also reckon Shilling will benefit, garnering around 40-45% vote total. All the backloggers near the pointy end will go up again, maybe another 10% each, Morris, Raines, Trammell, Smith and Edgar.

I just can't see more then 30% of the msm giving Bonds, Clemens, Raffy or Big Mac votes at this stage. Sure, I think it's wrong, but I don't have a vote.

These are things which I think will happen, not what I agree with.
   12. Lars6788 Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4038282)
Biggio is in with his 3,000 plus hits unless someone digs something on him.

Piazza is in - he was the 'greatest hitting catcher,' the face of the Mets around the time of 9/11 and did he didn't agitate the media - he still sort of fits the narrative of what a superstar player going to the Hall should be otherwise.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4038291)
All the backloggers near the pointy end will go up again, maybe another 10% each, Morris, Raines, Trammell, Smith and Edgar.

I can't see any reason to think this. Even with the anti-roid vote, it's a strong new ballot. Biggio probably in, Morris probably gaining ground (but probably not enough) and Piazza, Bonds, Clemens all ending up in the 40-60 range plus Schilling at ... I really don't have a sense of where he'll end up.

Backloggers, as a group, see big jumps when a couple of inductions leave the ballot and no strong candidate comes on -- like this year. But the only one leaving is Larkin while, even in the "best case" scenario from the back-loggers perspective, you've probably got 250-300 percent of votes coming on the ballot. I can see Biggio pulling Bagwell up some on his coat tails but unless the names per ballot go up by 2 or more, I'm not sure how any backlogger even maintains.

Look at the ballot debuts of Barry Larkin and Ryne Sandberg. I could see Piazza ending up in that same range

Or look at Berra (2 ballots), Fisk (2 ballots in special circumstances but not unlike Piazza's) and Carter (many ballots). Piazza's not Johnny Bench ... and his career is WAY shorter than Fisk's. I expect Piazza to make it eventually but it will likely take a while.

And I think Jay underestimates Biggio's appeal to the Bonds/Clemens voters. Or at least I hope he underestimates it. He's essentially the 2B version of Raines. The man's got 74 oWAR (Chone not a fan of Biggio's defense). I can see Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell and Piazza being rated ahead of him so some "short ballot" Bonds/Clemens supporters might not get to him. But unless they're engaging in some extreme strategic voting, he should be no lower than 5th on their ballots.

But it is true that I don't know how he and Piazza are going to be treated by the anti-roiders. But Bagwell's growth and solid (if disappointing) current total suggest that a substantial chunk of the non-Mac vote requires at least some evidence.

   14. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4038293)
And I think Jay underestimates Biggio's appeal to the Bonds/Clemens voters.
This is Chris though, right? And there's no connection? The two Jaffes always confuses me.

Hmmm, sabre-noir novel, The Two Jaffes...
   15. Steve Treder Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4038297)
This is Chris.
   16. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4038298)
The only thing Jack Morris has going for him over Craig Biggio in 2013 is that he only has to pick up an additional 8.3%, not 75%. However, I think the fact that the votes-per-ballot dropped almost a full name between 2011 and 2012 (from 6 to 5.1) is an ominous sign for Morris making the last hurdle in the usual fashion. That's a lot of Morrisable votes that went to nobody. The writers may yet go for their time-honored "aw, let 'im have it" tradition. But between the ballot drop in 2012 and the crazy crush in 2013, it won't be the typical, smooth path.

Biggio has the best shot of any candidate on next year's ballot, and I actually think Bagwell's coming along with him. The Killer Bees, united in glory for all time. Imagine the podium photo. After a decade of Game 7 grit, never underestimate the power of a concocted story, especially since the BBWAA hasn't really ever had the chance to create one. (Other than the 1980s Detroit infield, of course. But try telling THEM that.) The same dynamic is also why I wouldn't worry about Tom Glavine's chances in 2014.
   17. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 16, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4038312)
This is Chris though, right?

Yes.

And there's no connection?

Right. His ancestors named Jaffe came from the Baltic. My namesake ancestors came from the Aegean.
   18. Chris Fluit Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4038327)
Biggio has the best shot of any candidate on next year's ballot, and I actually think Bagwell's coming along with him. The Killer Bees, united in glory for all time.



Bagwell's at 56%. He would need to jump 20% to get in (okay, 19%, I'm rounding up). Those kinds of jumps are really rare. And by really rare, I mean that Larkin might have been the first ever inductee to jump by over 20% the year he was elected. Bagwell jumped 15% this year and that was with no big new names. I just don't see him getting an even bigger push next year. He'll get in eventually but I wouldn't count on it next year.
   19. Johnny Slick Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4038334)
This is Chris though, right? And there's no connection? The two Jaffes always confuses me.

Hmmm, sabre-noir novel, The Two Jaffes...
I always assume it's the long-lost brother Eriq.
   20.  Hey Gurl Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4038335)
I never knew that Chris and Jay were not related. Huh.
   21. ajnrules Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4038336)
And by really rare, I mean that Larkin might have been the first ever inductee to jump by over 20% the year he was elected.


Herb Pennock jumped 24.3% when he was elected in 1948. Cy Young jumped 27.0% when he was elected in 1937. I am sure there are others, but yeah...it hasn't happened in over 60 years.
   22. Chris Fluit Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4038337)
And Greenberg jumped 22.5% and Cronin 25% in 1956. I hadn't bothered to check past 1970.
   23. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4038340)
I always assume it's the long-lost brother Eriq.

Eriq is in fact the name of my brother.
   24. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4038341)
I thought his name was White Sox Fan Jaffe.

I never knew that Chris and Jay were not related. Huh.


I assumed that as well for a long time. Other than Extra E Al, those were the only two Jaffes I had ever encountered, and they were both in the Baseball Info spouting department. Instead, they were just the Jeff D'Amicos of the SABR set.

   25. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4038342)
Dammit, Double Post.
   26. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4038343)
I'm not guessing that Jeff Bagwell will go in because all he needs is an itty-bitty 20% jump. I'm guessing he's going in now, rather than in 2-3 years under "ordinary" circumstances, because it will give the BBWAA the warm fuzzies in their tum-tums to deliberately accelerate the pace.

I also think that what happened in the 1937 vote will be almost equally relevant and predictive to the next few ballots as the 2012 vote. We're off the map, and there be dragons.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4038347)
Look, I'm sticking with Jaffe from now on and Jay, Chris and Rona can decide which one of them I'm ripping. :-)

Bagwell's at 56%. He would need to jump 20% to get in

Which does make it unlikely. There are a couple of things going for him. Presumably he's still on the Bonds/Clemens voters ballots and I'm guessing they see him (generally) as the #3 candidate. So he shouldn't lose any ground with those folks (almost all of whom presumably voted for him in 2012). To anti-roiders not voting Morris, he's the top back-logger. And the Biggio connection will help him I think. But, yeah, hard to see it adding up to 75%

On the article, I think Jaffe (hah!) undersells the chances of Pedro, Glavine and Thomas. I'm really thinking Pedro sails in, short career or no. In general I don't think the pitchers other than Clemens are going to have much trouble. I can see Glavine and Thomas having to wait until 2016 but I really think at least one of them gets elected in 2014.

So while I'm in predicting mode:

2013: Biggio, possibly Morris
2014: Maddux, Thomas, possibly Morris (if he gets to something like 73% in 2013; otherwise no)
2015: Johnson, Pedro
2016: Griffey, Glavine, Smoltz
2017: finally some relief as I don't think there any major debuts but will any backloggers be close enough? I'm guessing Piazza and maybe Bagwell. Oh, Hoffman -- I ain't counting him out.

I do think we are going to see the bottom of the backloggers decimated which helps free up votes. I don't expect Palmeiro and Williams to make it past 2013. Murphy and Mattingly fade away naturually, Walker, McGriff and maybe Mac will be around 10. Those sorts of changes free up about 75-80 percentage points (vs. the 2012 ballot), allowing for a borderline selection each year without the names per ballot needing to increase.

Which isn't to suggest that we won't see names per ballot going up we certainly will. And the Schillings et all add plenty of crowding.

The more I think about it, serious problems shoule only arise if the voters get super silly on the roid accusations. The "problem" is that solid, viable candidates will get washed away -- the McGriffs and Walkers for sure and possibly Raines and Edgar will end up so low that they won't have time to rebuild momentum. Those guys might get Tianted.



   28. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 16, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4038354)
I think the Maddux-Glavine tandem in 2014 is a surer thing than Biggio-Bagwell in 2013. It's a layup photo op, and it comes with the correct magic numbers 300 (wins), 2 (Cy Youngs) and 0 (big scary muscles). If the BBWAA could imitate Red Sox fans and pretend that John (not eligible until 2015) Smoltz never really played there, the writers would gleefully vote in all three at once.
   29. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 16, 2012 at 09:11 PM (#4038356)
I think the Maddux-Glavine tandem in 2014 is a surer thing than Biggio-Bagwell in 2013. It's a layup photo op, and it comes with the correct magic numbers 300 (wins), 2 (Cy Youngs) and 0 (big scary muscles)


Are you sure about that?
   30. dave h Posted: January 16, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4038358)
I think Biggio is in for sure. I think Bagwell does benefit from Biggio coming along, though I was hoping someone would know off the top of their head how much we should expect based on precedent. Someone in the comments to the article pointed out that the people who aren't voting for Clemens and Bonds will have plenty of room on the ballot for him, and will be more swayed by his 3000 hits. Those who are voting for Clemens and Bonds are more likely to value Biggio highly, and will still have room for him. You can't just multiply the percentage for a player on a crushing year by the percentage for the marginal 3000-hit guys - they're not independent.

I would think Piazza would benefit from the big NY vote. Even with the defense, he was viewed as a dominant player, and the key to the last Mets WS team. He has a career .300 BA. He might not get in the first year, but he'll go in whenever there is a bit of breathing room.

I agree with most of what Walt said, including the point that the middle-tier of the backlog are probably going to be hurt the most.

Also, the idea of Pedro not going in first ballot is just silly, and I'm not just saying that because I named my son after him.
   31. AndrewJ Posted: January 16, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4038360)
Any idea what effect Biggio getting elected would have on Bagwell? I would imagine some voters would be swayed by the possibility of them both going in together. What's a good precedent for this sort of thing?

I dunno... Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle in 1974? Maybe ex-Phillies Mike Schmidt and Richie Ashburn in 1995 (which set an induction day attendance record)?
   32. GuyM Posted: January 16, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4038369)
So while I'm in predicting mode:
2013: Biggio, possibly Morris
2014: Maddux, Thomas, possibly Morris (if he gets to something like 73% in 2013; otherwise no)

I think Morris only has a shot in 2013. In that year he is at least arguably the best non-Clemens starting pitcher on the ballot. But in 2014 Maddux, Glavine, and Mussina join the ballot, all clearly superior to Morris. Plus Clemens and Schilling carry over, so Morris is only the #6 starter on the ballot -- and the position players on the ballot are very strong too. If Morris doesn't get in next year, he doesn't make it.

I think a lot depends on Schilling. If he gets a decent vote next year, Morris will fall short; if not, Morris might squeeze in.
   33. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4038382)
I think this is a pretty accurate prediction of what will happen. I've been saying all along that I think Biggio makes it in, and is the only one who does next year(I've hedged a little in that I think Morris is almost a lock now also) 45% seems about right for both Bonds and Clemens, no way does Piazza go in. His undeserved defensive reputation, along with the hint of roids(backne) is going to put him in the 40% range. Schilling might be the surprise pick on here, he's the only guy I don't think I could predict with any confidence. He could do as much as 70% on the first go round or drop down to below 20%. (If Sosa stays on the ballot it won't be by much)

I also think the conclusion is pretty accurate, the Hof won't do anything about this until they have a potential zero inductee ballot. I imagine in 2020 or so, a committee will be made to put names back on the ballot like they did with Santo and others in the past.

   34. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4038396)
I think the Maddux-Glavine tandem in 2014 is a surer thing than Biggio-Bagwell in 2013.

Well, sure. I don't think Biggio-Bagwell is that likely as you noted in #26.

My "guess" (and it is a guess) is that they would prefer NOT to induct Glavine and Maddux on the same ballot. Maddux was clearly superior and they'll want to make that distinction. You'll note in my predictions that I had Glavine and Smoltz entering together which has a better symmetry to it.

I think Morris only has a shot in 2013.

Like I said, I think that if he gets incredibly close in 2013, they'll still push him over the line in 2014 even with all those guys coming on the ballot. I would have agreed with you wholeheartedly before this last ballot but I wasn't expecting him to jump as far as 67% so I didn't think there was any chance he might enter 2014 at 73%. I don't think they'll Bunning him although Bunning is the obvious precedent for Morris in so many ways.

On teammates, your random Jaffe could probably do a better job but ...

When Koufax hit the ballot, Hodges went down, but not associated as a pair
When Carew hit the ballot, Oliva went up 4 points
Billy Williams' rise had little impact on Santo
Fergie's rise does coincide with a decent bump for Santo (16 to 21 to 26)
Reggie didn't help Munson
Sandberg's rise did nothing for Dawson or Smith*

I suppose that's an interesting trivia question -- which HoFer (or other balloteer) had the most former teammates on the same ballot.

* In fact I see that in his first year, Sandberg was just behind Dawson. Dawson 50, Sandberg 49.2, Smith 42.3. Two ballots later, Sandberg was in, Dawson was at 52 and Smith at 39. Smith was also just ahead of Gossage at that time.
   35. JRVJ Posted: January 16, 2012 at 11:26 PM (#4038397)
Crazy idea, but if I were TPTB at the HoF, I'd call a special "Bye" election inthe middle of 2012 for all the backloggers but with no new players. Count that "Bye" election as another year of eligibility for the candidates.

Good chance that Morris and Bagwell get in (Morris going in not so good, Bagwell going in very good), and maybe even Raines gets some solid upward movement.

The point is, try to clean up as much space as you can for the incoming classes.
   36. cardsfanboy Posted: January 16, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4038404)
Crazy idea, but if I were TPTB at the HoF, I'd call a special "Bye" election inthe middle of 2012 for all the backloggers but with no new players. Count that "Bye" election as another year of eligibility for the candidates.

Good chance that Morris and Bagwell get in (Morris going in not so good, Bagwell going in very good), and maybe even Raines gets some solid upward movement.

The point is, try to clean up as much space as you can for the incoming classes.


as many others have mentioned, eliminate the 10 man ballot, and maybe even the minimum to stay on the ballot will pretty much fix much of these problems(not all of course) as it stands, the hof really doesn't see a need to make changes, 2-3 inductees per year is about the most profitable.

Biggio and maybe Morris in next year, along with probably one veteran community selectee(which won't really matter, it would be a pre-integration pick and nobody is going to ultimately care about that one)
   37. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:56 AM (#4038418)

as many others have mentioned, eliminate the 10 man ballot, and maybe even the minimum to stay on the ballot will pretty much fix much of these problems(not all of course) as it stands,


I really don't think these solve anything. While I'm all for upping the limit (even to no limit), I don't think it's going to have a material affect on inductions. The people using all of their slots now are generally picking the most viable candidates* - giving them extra room will only up the totals for some backloggers who won't be going in. And, to me, those voters who aren't using all of their spots are not likely to add more names just because they've got extra room.**

Furthermore, in terms up actually getting people elected, I see no value to getting rid of the 5 percent rule (there may be reasons to do so, but not if the intent is to increase inductions). You'll simply be adding non-viable candidates who may siphon a few votes away from more realistic candidates.

* The possible exception, interestingly enough, is someone like Morris, who might only be the 12th or 13th best candidate on some guy's ballot, and therefore gets a vote he otherwise wouldn't have.

** I suppose it's possible if it were accompanied by some kind of plea from the HoF to start filling up their ballots. Though, of course, they could do that now if the leadership so desired.

As for TFA, I'm pretty much in complete agreement with Dag. I think Biggio slips in with a Yount-like total (I mentioned him as a comp, candidate wise, in a previous thread), but wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't get the required 75 percent.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4038439)
In case it's not clear, I don't buy Jaffe's take on Biggio getting a Yount-like total. It seems mainly based on the idea that the Bonds/Clemens voters won't vote for him in good numbers.

I can see him coming in below the 85% of the 3,000 triumvirate for any number of reasons -- "won't vote anybody of the steroid era", "he knew Bagwell who knew Caminiti who knew how to spell steroids" -- and there's not a lot of room between 77 and 85 so it's a sort of pointless distinction. But I will be surprised, not shocked, if Biggio's not in next year.

In part, he assumes Biggio gets only 85% of the anti-roid vote. But for any traditionalists in that crowd, he's got 3000 hits. For any saberists in that crowd, he's somewhere in the 1-3 range (Piazza, Bagwell). It's only those quoted groups above who won't vote for him here and I don't think they're very large. We'll see when the election rolls around and whether we start hearing steroid rumors.*

I can see that the Bonds/Clemens crew could rank him as low as 5th (or 6th if they love Sosa's peak) candidate and might not list him if they're also short-balloters.

Anyway, I think it will add up to more than 80.

* Really, given Bonds, Clemens and Sosa is there going to be anybody who even gives a second's thought to whether Biggio used?
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:24 AM (#4038442)
I don't think it's going to have a material affect on inductions


I don't think it'll affect inductions as much as keep names on the ballot longer, including those who might eventually go in like Sosa or others.

Furthermore, in terms up actually getting people elected, I see no value to getting rid of the 5 percent rule (there may be reasons to do so, but not if the intent is to increase inductions). You'll simply be adding non-viable candidates who may siphon a few votes away from more realistic candidates.


In a crowded ballot with a lot of differing opinions, I think it makes some sense to keep names on the ballot. Eventually there will be some clearance at the top and the guys like Raines or Kevin Brown would have moved up.
   40. LargeBill Posted: January 17, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4038481)
Between now and next January we are going to see dozens of articles regarding the 2013 ballot and the impending backlog and each will get us worked up about how the voters are going to do this or their going to do that, etc. One notion that hit me while reading this thread is how divergent the estimates will be on how well Schilling will or won't do on the ballot. Some of us acting on the premise that since Schilling was a much, much better pitcher than Morris he should do well on the ballot. However, considering how hard it was to get the voters to recognize Blyleven's greatness despite him being credited with 287 wins coupled with the strength of the next couple ballots, I wouldn't be surprised if he is in danger of not staying on the ballot to 2015. How many voters will stack up the starting pitchers by wins to start their "analysis?" 10%? 20? Those who do that will see Schilling a distant 4th behind Clemens, Morris, and Wells. How many voters won't list a player on the first ballot unless he is a blow your socks off, sure-fire Hall of Famer (defined as 300 wins or Koufax quality for pitchers)? Sure, there is some overlap between those two groups. My point is that while we are looking at potential totals we need to remember that these voters don't get together to discuss strategy. Each operates individually. There may be some level of group think, but it isn't coordinated. I hope I'm wrong, but I have zero confidence in this electorate to evaluate Morris and Schilling and understand which one was better and very few will list three pitchers on their ballot. My guess on Schilling is he'll get around 20% next year, but I wouldn't be surprised if I'm way off either direction.
   41. Sean Forman Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4038491)
Really, given Bonds, Clemens and Sosa is there going to be anybody who even gives a second's thought to whether Biggio used?


I expect 25 blank protest ballots and would not be surprised by 2-3 times that many. Given the level of pontificating we are already seeing and the lack of baseball knowledge and sophistication of 10-20% of the electorate, I think there are going to be a lot of people touting their "courage" in finally punishing the evil ballplayers for using. Then you have how many people that will list Bonds and Clemens alone to make their point. I really don't believe anyone gets in. The announcement is 12 months away and there have already been like 5 articles posted about next year's ballot. Next December is going to be a s**tstorm like we've never seen before. It will make Rice, Blyleven and Morris discussions look like beanbag. At least that is my opinion.
   42. Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4038499)
One notion that hit me while reading this thread is how divergent the estimates will be on how well Schilling will or won't do on the ballot.

Of the 8 "promised ballot" thus far.

6-J.Morris
1-Schilling
   43. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4038500)
The announcement is 12 months away and there have already been like 5 articles posted about next year's ballot. Next December is going to be a s**tstorm like we've never seen before.


Seconded. I think at some point the BBWAA's governing body, if there is one, is going to have to issue some kind of directive or something. I thought this might be a passing issue, but Braun getting nailed changed my mind.
   44. DanG Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4038565)
I agree with CFB on many of his recent points; mainly, as long as the BBWAA is electing SOMEONE each year, the HOF isn't going to do anything. If the ballot gets "crowded" so what? We've seen crowded ballots before. In 1983 seven players had over 60% support and that worked itself out.

The silent majority of HOF voters follows the herd. When they see which players their more vocal voters are getting behind they fall in line. As Plato so accurately put it, "An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest babblers."

Why don't all BBWAA members get to vote for the HOF? What accrues to writers during that decade that makes them more qualified to pass judgment on who deserves to be among the greats in the Hall? And if the answer, as I posit, is "nothing in particular" (or something equally nebulous) doesn't that undermine the entire election process?
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4038576)
Why don't all BBWAA members get to vote for the HOF? What accrues to writers during that decade that makes them more qualified to pass judgment on who deserves to be among the greats in the Hall? And if the answer, as I posit, is "nothing in particular" (or something equally nebulous) doesn't that undermine the entire election process?


I wholeheartedly support support changes in the electorate within the BBWAA. I'd much rather see an emphasis on those individuals still working in (or, at the very least, interested in) the game than those who happened to once hang on to a card (which doesn't look like it was that difficult in some chapters) for 10 years two decades ago.

I suspect, however, the lifetime Hall voting privileges is the carrot that has kept many a scribe continuing to pay his dues years after he stopped following the game, and the BBWAA worries that its membership rolls would shrink if they removed it.



   46. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4038614)
Are you sure about that?
Glavine had a pretty nice swing.
   47. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 17, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4038649)
I suppose that's an interesting trivia question -- which HoFer (or other balloteer) had the most former teammates on the same ballot.


Well, in 1960, 134 guys got votes. And over 10% of them (at least 15) were former teammates of Red Ruffing.
   48. bookbook Posted: January 17, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4038659)
One year of crazy brouhaha and no one getting in is possibly/ probably good for the Hall of Fame ( you can't buy that much publicity). Two or more years could be devastatingly bad. Bud "Machiavelli" Selig has this covered and will act in his usual, precise manner Justin the nick of time to maximize the opportunity.

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