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Monday, December 04, 2017

Voting panel released for Modern Baseball Era Ballot

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Modern Baseball Era features Hall of Fame members George Brett, Rod Carew, Bobby Cox, Dennis Eckersley, John Schuerholz, Don Sutton, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount; major league executives Sandy Alderson (Mets), Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bob Castellini (Reds), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals) and David Glass (Royals); and veteran media members/historians Bob Elliott, Steve Hirdt and Jayson Stark.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: December 04, 2017 at 10:53 PM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alan trammell, dennis eckersley, george brett, hall of fame, veterans committee

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:10 AM (#5586225)
I guess that means Carew is in reasonably good health?
   2. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:10 AM (#5586226)
Here's the voting panel from the Dec 2013 Expansion Era vote:
Hall of Famers: Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Morgan, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro, Frank Robinson
Executives: Paul Beeston, Andy MacPhail, Dave Montgomery, Jerry Reinsdorf
Media and historians: Steve Hirdt, Bruce Jenkins, Jack O'Connor, Jim Reeves

The addition of Jayson Stark is a big improvement--he actually can speak to the value of WAR!

The prescense of Schuerholz & Cox works heavily in Murphy's favor. Schuerholz wrote the HOF a letter strongly supporting Murphy's election prior to his 15th year on the BBWAA ballot

I cant say I know how these guys will vote but I think Parker may pick up some votes from Alderson & possibly Eck since he won a title with them as a veteran in 89

It's interesting that there is no one with ties to Detroit. As we know, there are few living Tigers HOF players (I think Kaline may be the only one). This could work against Trammell & Morris but working in The Jack's favor are three with ties to the Jays (Winfield, Beeston, & Elliott)
   3. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:12 AM (#5586227)
Some decent Toronto representation there (Beeston and Elliot, plus former Jays Cox and Winfield).

I like Beeston and don't like Elliot, so I think that's a fair mix for the ballot for my point of view.
   4. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5586237)
I believe the players with the best chance at election are Morris & Trammell. Based on the voting body, I think Murphy has the next best chance probably followed by Parker.

I doubt Miller will come close, he didn't draw well on the LaRussa/Cox/Torre Expansion Era ballot but then again neither did anyone else but also he stated he didn't want to be elected posthumously & were getting further and further away from the years when he was close to election & all other candidates are living

Sutton's prescense certainly won't help Garvey :)
   5. bachslunch Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5586248)
Having five executives on the committee likely doesn't bode well for Miller, unfortunately.
   6. The Duke Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5586349)
Gotta be good for Simmons replacing Herzog with DeWitt. I would think the change in players is a wash but Yount must be good for him too. I would guess this group of execs is also better than last group as it seems more likely Simmons would know this group from his exec days.

   7. TJ Posted: December 05, 2017 at 11:37 AM (#5586383)
Am I the only one disturbed by BBWAA voters also serving on VC's? Case in point- Jayson Stark. He has already publicly announced in previous years that he does not consider Alan Trammell to be a Hall of Famer. OK, as a BBWAA voter that is his call. But is it fair to then have him on the VC examining Trammell's case? A player needs 12 of the 16 VC votes for induction- 75%. Since Stark already does not feel Trammell is a HOFer, Trammell goes into the vote needing 80%, not 75%, as Stark is a preconditioned no.

Whomever would be there instead of Stark may agree with his view after discussion, and that's fine. Just seems like having someone with a preconceived and publicly-stated "No" on a player on a VC isn't fair...
   8. JRVJ Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:55 PM (#5586469)
Unless something drastic has changed, the problem with this panel is the same one as in all previous iterations: the voters are going to spread their votes and nobody is going to get in.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: December 05, 2017 at 02:25 PM (#5586567)
Am I the only one disturbed by BBWAA voters also serving on VC's?


No, I've been railing against that for years. If the idea is to give these guys a fresh look, you shouldn't involve the people who overlooked them in the first place. The BBWAA should have no representation on the voting or nominating committees (I'd much rather find out who's serving on that committee before the vote).

The Hall should try to build a VC committee that doesn't take its cues from the BBWAA at all.


Unless something drastic has changed, the problem with this panel is the same one as in all previous iterations: the voters are going to spread their votes and nobody is going to get in.



Possibly, but not guaranteed. This group had no problem electing the three managers last time. because they were seen as standout choices. Santo was a clear favorite, and he went in easily in this format. We know that most of these guys have gotten very little support from the first two times this committee met, but Morris and Trammell are newcomers.
   10. shoewizard Posted: December 05, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5586579)
Unless something drastic has changed, the problem with this panel is the same one as in all previous iterations: the voters are going to spread their votes and nobody is going to get in.


Yup

Well except Morris. He'll get in.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:34 PM (#5586663)
I'm surprised they haven't come up with some reason to put Beeston in the HoF already.
   12. Booey Posted: December 05, 2017 at 03:48 PM (#5586682)
The Hall should try to build a VC committee that doesn't take its cues from the BBWAA at all.


Exactly. If they basically just elect the players that got 50 or 60 percent with the writers, then they're essentially just lowering the bar for induction to 50 or 60 percent. They need to separate themselves from the BBWAA results entirely. A player shouldn't necessarily be elected just cuz he reached 60% with the writers, nor should he necessarily be rejected just cuz he was one and done with the writers. Doing so makes the whole VC process pointless.
   13. The Duke Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5586780)
I think it’s good to have some writers involved. They all talk to one another and can bring the logic of the BBWAA to the discussion. It’s not supposed to be a completely different vote. It’s to review people left out and reconsider them. It’s clear the writers original view is one that is taken very seriously. I think in cases where a great player goes one and done, then it’s importsnt to understand why as well as understand why Jack Morris almost got in but didn’t.

My only quibble is that the committees should be bigger to avoid the kind of bias that one person can bring.
   14. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:48 PM (#5586823)
Media and historians: Steve Hirdt, Bruce Jenkins, Jack O'Connor, Jim Reeves

About which candidate(s) will Reeves say, "He'll have to go...into the Hall!"?
   15. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: December 05, 2017 at 06:50 PM (#5586859)
The addition of Jayson Stark is a big improvement--he actually can speak to the value of WAR!
Serious question: Is Stark included on this list if ESPN doesn't unceremoniously axe him? I mean, I don't dislike Stark but has he ever written a memorable column? He's probably best known for asking Mike & Mike trivia questions once a week during the season.
   16. Greg K Posted: December 05, 2017 at 07:42 PM (#5586890)
Serious question: Is Stark included on this list if ESPN doesn't unceremoniously axe him? I mean, I don't dislike Stark but has he ever written a memorable column? He's probably best known for asking Mike & Mike trivia questions once a week during the season.

Was he the guy who made the argument for Shannon Stewart as MVP?
   17. shoewizard Posted: December 05, 2017 at 08:36 PM (#5586911)
   18. kwarren Posted: December 05, 2017 at 10:59 PM (#5586982)
Some decent Toronto representation there (Beeston and Elliot, plus former Jays Cox and Winfield).

I like Beeston and don't like Elliot, so I think that's a fair mix for the ballot for my point of view.


Beeston will support Morris, Elliot won't. But I'm pretty sure Elliott will support both Trammell & Whitaker.
   19. bachslunch Posted: December 06, 2017 at 08:20 AM (#5587041)
Media and historians [last time out]: Steve Hirdt, Bruce Jenkins, Jack O'Connor, Jim Reeves

The addition of Jayson Stark is a big improvement--he actually can speak to the value of WAR!


Jenkins being off this panel is also a significant improvement, as my understanding is that he's strongly and vocally anti-advanced metrics.

I think it’s good to have some writers involved. They all talk to one another and can bring the logic of the BBWAA to the discussion.

"Logic" and "BBWAA" in this context strike me as an oxymoron.
   20. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 06, 2017 at 08:57 AM (#5587061)
what's even more idiotic about the column linked in #17 is not only that he picked Stewart (3.1 WAR), he didn't even have ARod (the actual winner--8.4 WAR) in his top 5 (!!)
   21. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: December 06, 2017 at 07:15 PM (#5587720)
Based on Stark's voting history in the Thibs/leokitty tracker, he'll probably vote for Morris & Murphy who he voted for at times on the BBWAA ballot. It's true he never voted for Trammell as far as I can tell but I wouldn't rule out him throwing him a vote this time since he usually sympathetically mentioned Trammell being a victim of the overcrowded ballot during his final years on the ballot and also remarked about him just missing out on his 10-man ballot. Based on the tracker, Stark never voted for Parker, Mattingly, or Tommy John.

Unless he respects Miller's wishes not to be elected posthumously, he'll almost certainly vote for Miller since he's written articles about Miller belonging

Stark was a proponent of a 12 man ballot so I see him selecting the max four candidates: Miller, Morris, Murphy and maybe Trammell. He seems open minded and I think could, with a good presentation, decide to vote for Tram.

Stark had this quote as part of one of his tweets: "My only complaint so far is all the people assuming they know already how I'm going to vote, based on ... well, what exactly?

I promise I'll approach this process with energy, honesty & fairness!"
   22. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: December 06, 2017 at 07:20 PM (#5587725)
#19 I echo your sentiments 100%. Here's a quote from when Jenkins voted back in 2013 on the Expansion Era ballot. What Jenkins said was so bad that I actually used his quote in an article I wrote about changes the Era Committee should make:


"What I realized in Orlando, both in informal settings and the three-hour meeting, is that everyone in the room spoke the same language, far removed from the complex lingo of new-age stat devotees. At one point, someone asked if it was necessary to bring WAR, a trendy new stat, into any discussion. There was a bit of mumbling, mostly silence, and it never came up again.

No, this was a soundtrack from the game I first covered in the early '70s, with the now-defunct Santa Monica Outlook, and as a beat writer for the Chronicle (1977 through '89, when I was given a column). Within that realm, players, managers and writers treated wins, RBIs, batting average and ERA as invaluable measuring sticks - and never really felt compelled to adjust. These categories are widely ridiculed by the modern-day faction known as "stat geeks," many of whom have decided that old-school thought is a bunch of nonsense and that they are the true geniuses of baseball evaluation.

Whatever. I certainly didn't feel dated or out of touch hashing out a man's Hall of Fame credentials with (Frank) Robinson, (Carlton) Fisk, (Whitey) Herzog or anyone else involved. I'm sure the brilliant Hirdt could have backed his opinions with WAR, WHIP or any other statistical measure known to man, but he spoke of traditional numbers and criteria of considerable weight: character, temperament, clutch performance and other intangibles, such as how it felt to witness the greats, and how they were viewed by other icons of the game."

   23. Rob_Wood Posted: December 06, 2017 at 07:57 PM (#5587748)
Reading (re-reading) those type quotes makes me glad I stopped caring a long time ago about who makes the Baseball Hall of Fame. As a group, baseball writers are ill-equipped to make these judgments. Their skills and predilections are largely orthogonal (at best) to the task. Most of them take the job of Hall of Fame voting very seriously, but they are using methods that are out-dated and ill-suited to the task.

I suppose it goes without saying that the sabermetric community bears some not insignificant portion of the blame for this situation. We have had decades to "educate" people in the baseball community and have not done a good enough job. Possibly the messages were poorly chosen. Possibly the messengers were poorly chosen.

When the smart ones (like Jim Kaat, Joe Morgan, John Smoltz, Harold Reynolds, et al., and no I am not joking with this list) skoff and reject "advanced analytical methods" as hokum and geekery, then it should not be a surprise that we see quotes like above.

How hard can it be to convince people that we are not saying that utilizing "advanced analytical methods" such as OPS+, ERA+, and WAR is the best and only way to make baseball judgments (such as Hall of Fame voting) but that it is a MILLION times better than relying upon wins, RBIs, and batting average.
   24. The Duke Posted: December 06, 2017 at 09:49 PM (#5587777)
23. I’ll take a shot at this

When you go into a room of former players and tell them that while you never played the game, that your methods of telling which are the best players are a MILLION times better you are probably going to lose the room. Your statement of the problem is a perfect answer to the problem you state.
   25. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: December 06, 2017 at 10:32 PM (#5587795)
Beeston will support Morris, Elliot won't. But I'm pretty sure Elliott will support both Trammell & Whitaker.

According to his 2013 vote via the Tracker, Elliott voted for Murphy, Trammell, and Morris but not Mattingly

I think Morris will clear 75%, Trammell will be close--either just there or just under, while Murphy and Miller will garner 50% and then the HOF will do that crapola where they say the rest of the candidates collected fewer than 43.8% of the vote
   26. bachslunch Posted: December 07, 2017 at 07:38 AM (#5587850)
@23: I prefer to look at it from a glass-half-full perspective. My impression is that there actually are far more folks who embrace advanced metrics in baseball than there used to be, and they are slowly creeping into the HoF voting bloc -- and in another 20 years or so, I think that will be much more so the case. I don't think that was true as recently as 20 years ago. The problem is, any change of this kind will be slower going than we'd like to see.

I'm not so sure I share your view that Kaat, Morgan, Reynolds, and Smoltz are especially intelligent -- but even if it's true, intelligent people can fall prey just as easily to nostalgia, prejudice, stubbornness, skewed perception, lack of comprehension on certain subjects, and egocentricity as folks who are not so bright (I just think it comes as more of a shock when this kind of behavior comes from someone who isn't dumb). Besides, some of these examples mentioned are not youngsters: Kaat is the same age as Murray Chass at 79, Morgan is 74, and Reynolds is nearly 60. There's no question age can be a factor here. And in the case of folks in sports media, there's also the possibility that trolling for attention is part of the issue -- sports media is rife with this kind of idiocy because those in the business think it sells newspapers and airtime, and what better way (to some of these folks’s thinking) to stir people up than create a problem? It certainly plays well with the anti-intellectual end of sports fandom. But there are also players and ex-players who are sympathetic towards advanced metrics to varying degrees; an Internet search suggests folks like Gabe Kapler, Al Leiter, Joey Votto, Max Scherzer, Brandon McCarthy, Brian Bannister, Glen Perkins, and Trevor Bauer are likely among them. And front offices routinely rely on this thinking these days.

I think it's only a matter of time, and that's fine by me. Unfortunately, it usually takes a while, and there will be bumps in the road like Jack Morris and Omar Vizquel being enshrined sooner or later. But I try to take heart in having seen folks like Bert Blyleven and Tim Raines make it in. Again half-full, not half-empty strikes me as the best way to think.

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