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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Baseball Hall of Fame tracker 2022

DL from MN Posted: December 08, 2021 at 11:35 AM | 1188 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   201. Howie Menckel Posted: December 15, 2021 at 10:44 AM (#6057435)
obligatory bump
   202. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#6057438)
I dropped Rolen because I rethought it. Zero bold-faced numbers on his b-ref page. 122 OPS+ good/not elite. Excellent D but doesn't measure up to guys like Vizquel/Jones, who played more premium positions. Great player, but not dominant and just short, for me.


Fair enough. That's the wrong conclusion, but by sportswriter standards, this is pretty good.
   203. alilisd Posted: December 15, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6057441)
Thanks to 191 and 192 for the Mathews insights!
   204. alilisd Posted: December 15, 2021 at 11:21 AM (#6057442)
He loses so much value there that he only has a WAA of 20, which really shouldn't even receive serious HOF consideration. Is it really saying that, yes, he was a great hitter compared to the average player, but only HOVG when compared to others of his position?


No, WAA is compared to an average player overall, not at his position. It's also impacted, for Ortiz, by the fact that he was below average in MN, giving back 3 WAA in those early seasons. But another way to look at it would be what does a great hitting, poor fielding 1B look like? McGriff is also 20 WAA, a bit higher if you cut off his last two seasons. Delgado is about 15/16, but looks a bit better if you rule out -2.3 in just 258 PA's in 94-95. Those don't seem unreasonable comps for Ortiz. If he had played the field, he would have a lower positional adjustment, but almost certainly more negative rField as well.
   205. alilisd Posted: December 15, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6057444)
Mark Saxon
@markasaxon
·
16h
I dropped Rolen because I rethought it. Zero bold-faced numbers on his b-ref page. 122 OPS+ good/not elite. Excellent D but doesn't measure up to guys like Vizquel/Jones, who played more premium positions. Great player, but not dominant and just short, for me.


Ugh
   206. yest Posted: December 15, 2021 at 11:52 AM (#6057447)
With their pedestrian batting averages (nevermind that Mac's on base percentage is higher than Tony Gwynn's, Rod Carew's, etc), I think McGwire and Sosa are being viewed as one dimensional products of PED's more than anyone else. Without the epic homer numbers, they're not being seen as having a lot else going for them.


how much of Mcgwire's walks were due to his being a power hitter?
   207. Howie Menckel Posted: December 15, 2021 at 11:58 AM (#6057448)
nevermind that Mac's on base percentage is higher than Tony Gwynn's, Rod Carew's, etc

singles are better than walks, and McGwire was a burden - not an asset - as a baserunner in terms of not being able to steal, score often from second on a single, etc.
   208. TomH Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6057451)
regarding previous posts about players with lower batting averages getting into the Hall in the past 40 years... isn't much of that the fact that batting averages overall dropped a LOT, so the standards had to come down? If anything the voters couldn't get over their biases about ".300 hitters" for waaaay too long.
   209. The Duke Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:27 PM (#6057453)
I’m pretty sure Saxon will be the only one dropping Rolen this year. Having said that, you can see how hard it is for guys like Rolen to get over 75%. Even his positive voters have concern. I think Rolen was one of those guys who was 11th or 12th when the ballots were deeper. He’s never had “no-brainer” support.

Maybe he’ll look better next year with weaker ballot competition. L
   210. John DiFool2 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6057457)
#208: It's shocking and stark to say what I am about to say, but the Carew/Boggs/Gwynn/Ichiro type of player may never be seen again in the American major leagues. A damned f. shame too.
   211. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 01:15 PM (#6057464)
singles are better than walks, and McGwire was a burden - not an asset - as a baserunner in terms of not being able to steal, score often from second on a single, etc.


Granted. But the most valuable thing about being a baserunner is just not being out. And Mac was better at that (ignoring era adjustments) than even some of the guys whose entire game was that. (And Mac also had those homers.) We're not talking about Dave Kingman here.

But I'll second #210. Those guys are fun.
   212. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2021 at 01:40 PM (#6057467)
the Carew/Boggs/Gwynn/Ichiro type of player may never be seen again in the American major leagues.


Luis Arraez is one of the most like these.
   213. Karl from NY Posted: December 15, 2021 at 02:11 PM (#6057477)
I got here late but wanted to comment on this from the first page:

Hof voters are asked to vote for candidates they feel are worthy, but then they are forced to have a limit, and at no point in the rules are they required to vote for the ten best candidates, therefore, by definition, if they vote for 10 people, it's impossible for them to have a bad ballot.


This is correct. If the 10 slot limit constrained anyone, such that they had to think about strategic voting considerations, there's always a defensible reason for that particular set of 10, since it depends on your guess of what other voters will do and not exclusively on facts about the players.

Even something seemingly crazy like the proposed example of something like Howard/Pierzynski/Papelbon/Lincecum/Prince Fielder/etc can be defensible, if you're a really-big-hall guy and decided that keeping all of them on the ballot was more important than spending your limited votes on candidates who are stronger but don't need it.

I think the only way this can become indefensible is if you stipulate a limit on how big-hall you can be. In the absence of that, you can want 30 guys a year to be the population of the hall and strategically spend your votes on #21-30.

I agree that a fair process would ditch the 10 slot limit (which would be functionally equivalent to a yes/no toggle on each player.) But the HOF's goal is not necessarily fairness, it's to generate attention and media coverage, and any controversy around strategic voting is perfectly fine by them.
   214. Rally Posted: December 15, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6057484)
Luis Arraez is one of the most like these.


It will be interesting to see how his career unfolds. I hope he hits .340 with 7 homers and wins a batting title. But it wouldn’t surprise me if he instead changes his launch angle and hits .270 with 30 homers.
   215. base ball chick Posted: December 15, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6057504)
210. John DiFool2 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6057457)

#208: It's shocking and stark to say what I am about to say, but the Carew/Boggs/Gwynn/Ichiro type of player may never be seen again in the American major leagues. A damned f. shame too.


- it really IS a damm shame, because what it has evolved to is seriously boring (including the wasted hour or so with all the stepping out/stepping off) TTO baseball is just blah and this is what happens when billy beans wrote that book
   216. Booey Posted: December 15, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6057513)
#214 - Exactly. I thought Altuve was the high average, low power savior we were missing ever since Ichiro tailed off (Altuve hit .341 with just 7 homers for his 1st batting title), but now he's just another .270, 30 HR guy like seemingly everyone else.

Lindor was another hopeful that disappointed me. Based on his first 2 seasons, I thought he'd be a Jeter, Molitor, Alomar type who'd hit .320 -.330 every year with mid level power (15-20 HR), but then he immediately morphed into another .275 hitter with 35 homers (and now of course, he's not a power hitter OR a high average hitter). Yes, I'm sure the data justifies Lindor's sacrifice of average for power, but it's just not as much fun to watch.
   217. Booey Posted: December 15, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6057514)
The discovery (and acceptance) of TTO as the one true way to maximize your value in the batters box is one of the worst things that ever happened to baseball.
   218. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 15, 2021 at 06:14 PM (#6057518)
Through 26 ballots, the biggest gains year-over-year are Andruw Jones and (sigh) Billy Wagner, at +3 each. Rolen (+3, -1) is the only other player who's improved by more than 1. Meanwhile Schilling is -4, and Vizquel is -7, dropping from 12 votes to 5 among this subset of voters.
   219. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 06:27 PM (#6057520)
There's also Nick Madrigal. The masses have accepted that TTO is The Way, but there are still a few heretics out there.

What both of these guys, but especially Arraez, needs, is some speed. Otherwise we've got more Placido Polanco's on our hands, which is nice for a change, but not nearly as much fun as Gwynn.
   220. Ron J Posted: December 15, 2021 at 06:39 PM (#6057521)
#210 Wade Boggs would still be a great player in any environment ever if he didn't change his batting style. And Max Bishop would be welcome on basically any sensible team.

Would Boggs have changed his style if he was playing now? Dunno. I don't think he could have as a young player. His lack of power delayed his promotion and the Red Sox were pretty clear about this.

Obviously his best best year with the bat coincides with the only year he had any power but he did hit .363 that year too. He didn't give anything back for the extra power that year (and I'm not sure 1987 tells us much about any player)
   221. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 15, 2021 at 06:39 PM (#6057522)
and (sigh) Billy Wagner, at +3 each.


And Hudson, Buehrle and Pettite have 3 votes....combined. Seriously, WTF is wrong with people. People are crowing on about Ortiz not providing enough value and here we are voting for and electing part time pitchers/failed starters; it's inane.

I'm not quite sure why reliever is a separate position but DH is not. Isn't DH just a part time player or a specialised hitter?
   222. TJ Posted: December 15, 2021 at 07:23 PM (#6057523)
Meanwhile Schilling is -4, and Vizquel is -7, dropping from 12 votes to 5 among this subset of voters.


Vizquel is facing the double whammy of a. The domestic violence/sexual harassment claims and b. Being the 9th or 10th choice on large ballots from last year and being dropped to make room for Ortiz and A-Rod. He might drop below 20%, which would not bother me one bit…
   223. LargeBill Posted: December 15, 2021 at 07:33 PM (#6057524)
221. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 15, 2021 at 06:39 PM (#6057522)

I'm not quite sure why reliever is a separate position but DH is not. Isn't DH just a part time player or a specialised hitter?


Reliever is NOT a separate position. Pitcher is the position. Starter, closer, loogy, long reliever, set-up man are all roles that a pitcher can fill. I'll admit that I can't imagine how incredible a loogy would have to pitch to merit any HOF consideration. If a set-up guy could be for 20+ years what Andrew Miller was for a couple years, someone might make an argument. The voters have failed to consistently have the same standard for closers. Some better than some enshrined have fallen off the ballot after one vote. Many are failed starters who at best pitch a 1/4 of the innings of starters on the ballot. It is silly yo compare ERA, etc between starter who faces a batter three times and a reliever who never sees same guy twice. I won't pretend it makes sense, other than since the 60s we've over glamorized the last out, which led to excessive fame compared to the number of at bats influenced.

DH on the other hand is the absence of a position. He hits but does not have a position. All you evaluate is his hitting. If one feels the need to compare a DH's performance to position players it should be to those filling the least demanding defensive positions (1B, LF, RF).
   224. TJ Posted: December 15, 2021 at 07:57 PM (#6057526)
Ace of Spaeder (through 46 ballots)

Percentage of votes (unlimited choices):

Barry Bonds – 82.6%
Roger Clemens – 82.6%
David Ortiz – 65.2% (69.6%)
Curt Schilling – 65.2% (69.6%)
Todd Helton – 63.0% (65.2%)
Manny Ramirez – 54.3% (56.5%)
Andruw Jones – 54.3%
Sammy Sosa – 52.2% (54.3%)
Billy Wagner – 50.0% (56.5%)
Gary Sheffield – 50.0%
Alex Rodriguez – 43.5%
Scott Rolen – 40.0% (44.4%)
Omar Vizquel – 37.0% (39.1%)
Jeff Kent – 34.8% (39.1%)
Andy Pettitte – 15.2% (17.4%)
Jimmy Rollins – 10.9%
Torii Hunter – 8.7% (10.9%)
Tim Lincecum – 8.7 (10.9%)
Mark Buehrle – 4.3% (8.7%)
Tim Hudson – 4.3% (8.7%)
Bobby Abreu – 4.3% (6.5%)
Ryan Howard – 4.3%
Prince Fielder – 2.2%
Justin Morneau – 2.2%
Jake Peavy – 2.2%
Joe Nathan – 0.0% (2.2%)
All others – 0.0%

Rollins sitting at 10%, Hunter and Lincecum a bit of surprises above 5%, Buehrle, Hudson and Abreu just below 5% is a surprise to me as well…
   225. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 15, 2021 at 08:18 PM (#6057529)
Reliever is NOT a separate position.


yeah, I know that, but "relief pitcher" is evaluated differently to "pitcher" for HOF voting purposes. Any HOVG or borderline HOF starter is more valuable then any reliever ever.
   226. JJ1986 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 08:43 PM (#6057530)
I know Lincecum is not a Hall of Famer, but is he the best player with under 20 WAR in his career?
   227. dark Posted: December 15, 2021 at 08:51 PM (#6057531)
And a follow up to that, staying on this ballot - is Howard the best with <15 rWAR?
   228. Jaack Posted: December 15, 2021 at 09:42 PM (#6057532)
Robb Nen has exactly 15 rWAR - I think I'd take his career over Howard's but I don't think that's a slam dunk necessarily. Zoilo Versalles is another guy who comes to mind.

For Lincecum, the guy who comes to mind is his doppleganger Denny McLain. Both have two big years, but Lincecum has one more ace-ish season. I think he's still better. Chan Ho Park might have a betteer Hall of Fame case than Lincecum, but he wasn't a better player.
   229. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6057533)
This is going to be a shutout isn't it? At least we'll have Jim Kaat to reminisce about his time with the Senators.
   230. alilisd Posted: December 15, 2021 at 10:14 PM (#6057534)
What both of these guys, but especially Arraez, needs, is some speed. Otherwise we've got more Placido Polanco's on our hands, which is nice for a change, but not nearly as much fun as Gwynn.


I was thinking Gwynn lost his speed much earlier, but he actually stole 40 bags at 29. It was pretty well gone the next year though, but it's amazing he figured out how to be a really good, though low volume, base stealer a couple of years later. From ages 33 to 41 he was 70 of 89 on steals. Really smart baseball player and incredibly hard worker.
   231. The Duke Posted: December 15, 2021 at 10:17 PM (#6057535)
Mark Prior was a pretty good 17 WAR guy
   232. Walt Davis Posted: December 15, 2021 at 10:35 PM (#6057537)
#193 ... sorry, I guess I read your earlier post in a snarky voice.

Yes, looking like another shutout. Rolen's actually off to a pretty tough start. One way to think about this is that he was at roughly 53% coming in which means he needed to get a bit over 22% of the remaining 47% (without losing any) to get over 75%, so nearly half. Ignoring that he's gained three and lost one, he's at +2. So effectively 15 of these 26 voted for him last year so he's converted only 2 of 11 that did not. That's solid progress but it's nowhere near what he'd need to get there this year and even behind a pace to get there next year. ARod continues to run at about 2/3 of B/C (or Manny + 30%) without a single vote from somebody who didn't vote B/C (OK, the one guy who voted C but no B voted for him ... for some reason, the guy who votes B not C did not vote for him). So far nobody's making a BIG move and it already looks pretty clear that Ortiz is the only one with a shot this year and his chances are probably fading. But so far things are so heavily biased towards B/C voters (22 of 26) that we can't draw any real conclusions of how well a player is doing with the non-B/C crowd.

Not sure I've admitted it yet but I got Schilling wrong last year -- I thought he'd still get over the line -- and it's quite clear he's not making it this year. Oh well, I was never much of a fan so I won't shed any tears.
   233. alilisd Posted: December 15, 2021 at 10:48 PM (#6057541)
229. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6057533)
This is going to be a shutout isn't it? At least we'll have Jim Kaat to reminisce about his time with the Senators.


And you can always go to the HOF's website and read the plaque of the immortals like Harold Baines, Jack "The Jack" Morris and Lee Smith.
   234. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: December 15, 2021 at 11:24 PM (#6057544)
So Bruce Miles voted for Manny but not A-rod. I'm trying to find the reasoning on that one? He's got Bonds, Clemens, Sheffield, Ortiz et al, but for some reason is happy to go with Manny but not A-rod...and of course included Wagner.

It's kind of an odd ballot, but he did tick 10 names, so there's a decent effort put in.
   235. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:20 AM (#6057551)
Rob Bradford has Batting Stance Guy reveal his picks. Video in the article is about 2 minutes and very entertaining. Ryan already has his picks on the tracker (David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Todd Helton, Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield and Roger Clemens) but the video is worth it.
   236. The Duke Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6057552)
Ken rosenthal was watching our discussion of sammy Sosa/mark McGwire and wrote a whole column on why he’s not voting for Sosa but is voting for Ortiz. What a mess of an explanation.
   237. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6057553)
So Bruce Miles voted for Manny but not A-rod. I'm trying to find the reasoning on that one? He's got Bonds, Clemens, Sheffield, Ortiz et al, but for some reason is happy to go with Manny but not A-rod...and of course included Wagner.

It's kind of an odd ballot, but he did tick 10 names, so there's a decent effort put in.


Strategic voting? He'll get more chances to vote for A-Rod who is doing reasonably well. Manny is in year 6 so he probably needs the boost more than A-Rod. My guess is it's not anything that logical but it's possible.
   238. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:28 AM (#6057555)
229. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 15, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6057533)
This is going to be a shutout isn't it? At least we'll have Jim Kaat to reminisce about his time with the Senators.


You're likely to be right, but I'm holding out a sliver of hope that some voters will change on Bonds/Clemens since it's their last ballot. Most of the early ballots are voters that already included them in past years. They did both get the vote of the only first time voter. Who knows how many new voters there are and how many "No" voters dropped from the electorate, but that could be the difference. New voters tend to be more forgiving of allegations of PEDs.
   239. bachslunch Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6057563)
@236: That being said, Rosenthal’s ballot looks good to me: Bonds, Clemens, Helton, Andruw, Kent, Ortiz, Rolen, Schilling, Sheffield, Wagner. In fact, it’s one of the better ones out there if you ask me. Not complaining here.
   240. TJ Posted: December 16, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#6057565)
Rob Bradford has Batting Stance Guy reveal his picks. Video in the article is about 2 minutes and very entertaining. Ryan already has his picks on the tracker (David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Todd Helton, Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner, Gary Sheffield and Roger Clemens) but the video is worth it.


Sawe that video, too- it was fun to watch. Reminded me of when I was a kid and me and my buddies would do that sort of thing during Little League practice...
   241. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 12:16 PM (#6057574)
Strategic voting? He'll get more chances to vote for A-Rod who is doing reasonably well. Manny is in year 6 so he probably needs the boost more than A-Rod. My guess is it's not anything that logical but it's possible.


Yeah, my first thought was one year boycott a la the HOM, but I know it's almost certainly your latter point. No logical rationale
   242. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 12:18 PM (#6057575)
Who knows how many new voters there are and how many "No" voters dropped from the electorate, but that could be the difference.


If you scroll down Thibs spreadsheet, it actually includes a pretty good amount of information on things like this. He tries to track who was dropped from voting, who gained voting rights, etc. It's really an extraordinary service he's put together!
   243. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6057577)
235. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:20 AM (#6057551)
Rob Bradford has Batting Stance Guy reveal his picks.


Fantastic!! Thanks so much for sharing!
   244. The Duke Posted: December 16, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6057582)
Batting stance guy does a Harrison Bader which is picture perfect
   245. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 02:25 PM (#6057597)
244. The Duke Posted: December 16, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6057582)
Batting stance guy does a Harrison Bader which is picture perfect


Nice!
   246. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6057603)
218. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 15, 2021 at 06:14 PM (#6057518)
Through 26 ballots, the biggest gains year-over-year are Andruw Jones and (sigh) Billy Wagner, at +3 each.


Sigh, Billy Wagner. I saw Pat Graham's ballot on the tracker, and it made me think about this some more. I believe, sadly and inexplicably, most of the writers voting for closers just simply don't apply any logic, reasoning or forethought to the votes. Graham, for example, dropped Ramirez, Sosa, and Vizquel to add Arod and Ortiz, but then adds Wagner. The internal logic of the ballot seems not to hold. Understandable if you need two more slots to add Arod and Ortiz, but if you're dropping Vizquel, then why not keep one of Ramirez and Sosa? How does Wagner leapfrog them?

But it's more the issue that they just don't look at the vote for a closer logically, not the absurdity of this single ballot. Why Wagner? Seemingly lots of saves and lot of K's, or at least a high K rate as a guy who only pitched 903 innings doesn't really have a lot of K's. But looking at how often he converted saves he's on a list surrounded by so many other relievers/closers. At least 200 saves as the minimum and he's tied for 13th with Mark Melancon at 85.9%, but the differences are really small. Within +/- 2% are Beck, Wetteland, Rafael Soriano, Eck, Henke, Myers, K-Rod, Nen, Street, Percival, Holland, and Valverde. One of those guys is in already, of course, but another 7 of them have over 300 saves. So if Wagner, then why not those 7? If it were a logical, well reasoned vote, there must be more to it so that you can explain why those others are not worth a vote. Of course, you could hand wave them away saying they already had their day on the ballot and weren't elected. But that still leaves K-Rod with over 400 saves coming up. So if Wagner, clearly K-Rod is going to get a vote from the closer crowd. Papelbon with a higher save percentage, 368, and a great K rate is on this ballot, so you must vote for him once you have room next year. Nathan is on the ballot with a save rate equal to Rivera's, 377 saves and a great K rate, so you must vote for him. Jansen, Kimbrel, and Chapman are all already past 300 saves, all have higher save rates and, for now, higher K rates than Wagner, so there's 3 more HOF right now.

Seems the only logical explanation for the votes for closers is that there is no logical reason to vote for them. It's a purely emotional vote. And it is likely due to the old love affair with narrative, after all these are writers we're talking about, at least in the most broad definition of the term. And after all, it is the same writers who are voting who created and keep alive the mythos of the closer. SIGH...
   247. DL from MN Posted: December 16, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6057606)
I think Billy Wagner is getting recognition as the "Best Lefthanded Closer". Of course when you start narrowing down the job description that much you'll get some weird picks like Jack Clements as the "Best Lefthanded Catcher".
   248. Karl from NY Posted: December 16, 2021 at 03:54 PM (#6057618)
I think Wagner's recognition mostly comes from his fastball velocity. He was about the first pitcher to hit 100 mph regularly for an extended period. Writers love having any outlying data point to write about, and so remember having positive associations with him.

More generally, #246 is right, the writers simply like relief pitchers for structural reasons. Save totals are big numbers in high leverage situations and directly associated with winning, which make for an easy narrative to write about.
   249. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:26 PM (#6057631)
247. DL from MN Posted: December 16, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6057606)
I think Billy Wagner is getting recognition as the "Best Lefthanded Closer".


Haven't heard that from anyone. OTOH, Karl from NY's point about fastball velocity and K's is what I hear most frequently.
   250. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:30 PM (#6057633)
Save totals are big numbers in high leverage situations and directly associated with winning, which make for an easy narrative to write about.


Yep, and Posnanski pointed out years ago they have very little to do with winning. That is to say team winning percentages have not changed much at all over the years with a lead going into the 9th. Closers don't really have much impact on winning relative to starting pitchers and position players. They contribute a bit more than other relievers, but likely only marginally more than a reliever who "holds" the lead before handing it over to the closer. This really should be intuitive and obvious to a baseball fan, especially someone who has covered the game for 10 or more years. But... narrative!
   251. John DiFool2 Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6057635)
Just a quick observation. Papi was like 4 for the first 9 ballots.

Since then he's gotten like 18 straight yea's.
   252. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6057637)
The more disturbing reasoning for Wagner I see rather frequently is, "Well, he was better than Hoffman." Very well, but let's not start using the prior mistakes by voters to justify making more mistakes!
   253. Howie Menckel Posted: December 16, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6057640)
as many misconceptions as there are about sportswriters the idea that they "love a good narrative" - ok, that one is true, I must admit.

so what's the dumbest misconception?

"oh, they have to kiss up to that player/coach/manager/GM, or they'll be frozen out."

if you suck at the job - maybe. but hell, that IS the job. that is, you get people to continue to give you full access even while you can be critical at times in your analysis.

if that sounds impossible - well, that's why you have a real job. and you probably have skillsets that those of us outside that field couldn't manage, no matter how hard we tried. it works both ways.
   254. John Northey Posted: December 16, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6057645)
For closers the question becomes how to define a HOF'er. I think being the first of something is noteworthy.
Thus Hoyt Wilhelm getting in. From 1964-1979 he was #1 in career saves, taking over from Roy Face (held the record for 2 years) and Johnny Murphy (first to crack 100 saves career) even though when he started saves weren't an official stat.

Rollie Fingers was legendary in his time - took over the save record in 1980 but held it for 'only' 12 seasons, Jeff Reardon passed him in 1992, then Lee Smith took over for a long time (1993-2005) before Jeff Hoffman had his brief time at the top (2006-2010) and now Mariano Rivera has it and will hold for a while with his 652 (Craig Kimbrel leads actives with 372).

Back in the 80's I thought 300 saves might be the standard (matching 300 wins) but with 31 guys getting there it seems way too low. 400 cuts us down to 6 guys but I think that should be the minimum to be seriously considered now. 500 is just Rivera and Hoffman (both over 600) which I think most voters will see as the new 'automatic' level. The others in the 400's are F-Rod (I think a near lock as he has the single season record which no one is likely to break anytime soon, plus with 437 saves he has the most of anyone not in the HOF - 6 times over 40 saves in a season, including his 2nd last season - closers end quickly it seems), John Franco (424 and forgotten I think due to being used as a LOOGY at the end for years), and Billy Wagner (422 saves, ended on a high with 37 saves, 1.43 ERA, 2 more years and he might have been the all-time leader for a few years which would've jumped his narrative for voters like it did for Hoffman, and with 3 he'd have been a near lock to crack 500).
   255. SoSH U at work Posted: December 16, 2021 at 07:23 PM (#6057647)
Wagner and Hoffman retired the same season, with Hoffman leading by 179 saves. Billy would have needed a whole lot more seasons to ever claim the all-time record.
   256. The Duke Posted: December 16, 2021 at 07:39 PM (#6057651)
Anonymous ballot with three names: helton, schilling and Wagner. Jeff Jones from Illinois tweets that this might be his first time ballot - can’t really tell if he means it. Why submit anonymous and then take credit for it. Jones covers the cardinals - so leaving Rolen off seems bizarre to me
   257. alilisd Posted: December 16, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#6057652)
Rollie Fingers was legendary in his time


But mainly because the writers made him so. He had the opportunities for fame with the A's great teams of the 70's, the look with the handlebar mustache, and he was legitimately great for them in the post season. But all of a sudden he's BOTH the MVP and CY in 1981 in a season where he just threw a career LOW IP? That to me is jumping the shark. How the hell does a guy who only pitches about 8% of his team's innings, fewer than that in actual Save situations, become the CY of the entire league, let alone the MVP?
   258. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:07 PM (#6057658)
254. John Northey Posted: December 16, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6057645)

Back in the 80's I thought 300 saves might be the standard (matching 300 wins) but with 31 guys getting there it seems way too low. 400 cuts us down to 6 guys but I think that should be the minimum to be seriously considered now. 500 is just Rivera and Hoffman (both over 600) which I think most voters will see as the new 'automatic' level. The others in the 400's are F-Rod (I think a near lock as he has the single season record which no one is likely to break anytime soon, plus with 437 saves he has the most of anyone not in the HOF - 6 times over 40 saves in a season, including his 2nd last season - closers end quickly it seems), John Franco (424 and forgotten I think due to being used as a LOOGY at the end for years), and Billy Wagner (422 saves, ended on a high with 37 saves, 1.43 ERA, 2 more years and he might have been the all-time leader for a few years which would've jumped his narrative for voters like it did for Hoffman, and with 3 he'd have been a near lock to crack 500).


Problem with using saves as a standard is it is merely a reflection of holding that role for an extended period. Maybe the answer is X total of saves doesn't automatically rate a vote but means a guy merits further consideration. Run prevention and base-runner prevention is every pitcher's job. If a pitcher has under a 1,000 innings pitched (Wagner 903 IP) then his K/9 and other rate stat metrics should be compared to others used in his role. For example, since they are close in saves, consider the difference between John Franco and Billy Wagner: https://stathead.com/baseball/player-comparison.cgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1=wagnebi02&player_id2=francjo01&player_id3=francjo01&type=p Franco pitched quite a few more innings, but Wagner dominated the rate stats (not that Franco was bad). It isn't easy to discern how great a reliever has to be to merit enshrinement over a good starter who pitched 3 X as many innings. I'm not in the "No relievers should be elected" camp, but I'm far from accepting that every closer better than the worst one in should be included. With 652 saves and his rate stats, there is no argument about Mariano Rivera. However, most other closers in the HOF make an argument for five other guys. Goose Gossage has 310 saves and there is surely no agreement about selecting most of those ahead of him on the saves list. Jose Mesa with 11 more saves than Gossage didn't get a single vote his one year on the ballot. I'm not arguing for Joe Table, just saying saves might get a guy a look, but it takes a lot more than just 321 saves.

Similarity scores are not much help either. Jeff Reardon and Bruce Sutter are both in HOF. The most similar pitcher for both is the recently deceased Doug Jones who got 2 votes his one time on the ballot.
   259. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:29 PM (#6057662)
isn't easy to discern how great a reliever has to be to merit enshrinement over a good starter who pitched 3 X as many innings


Actually, this seems pretty easy to me. The obvious answer seems to be "three times as great."
   260. SoSH U at work Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:38 PM (#6057665)
Jeff Reardon and Bruce Sutter are both in HOF.


Jeff will be delighted to hear this.
   261. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6057668)
259. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:29 PM (#6057662)

isn't easy to discern how great a reliever has to be to merit enshrinement over a good starter who pitched 3 X as many innings



Actually, this seems pretty easy to me. The obvious answer seems to be "three times as great."


But is it really that easy of a calculation? Is Billy Wagner's 903 IP of 2.31 ERA, 187 ERA+, 2.73 FIP, 11.9 K/9, and 0.998 WHIP close to 3 X Schilling's 3,261 IP of 3.46 ERA, 127 ERA+, 3.23 FIP, 8.6 K/9, and 1.137 WHIP. Wagner is clearly better in a far smaller sample size, but I'll admit I have no idea what would constitute 3 X or enough better to account for so many fewer innings.
   262. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:03 PM (#6057670)
You'd have to be 3x as effective at preventing runs. If Schilling's ERA is good enough, you'd want 1.15 ERA in 1/3rd as many innings. A relief pitcher couldn't possibly be good enough to make up for the innings pitched difference.
   263. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:36 PM (#6057672)
But all of a sudden he's BOTH the MVP and CY in 1981 in a season where he just threw a career LOW IP?


Oh, come on. Fingers threw a career low IP in 1981 because they only played two thirds of a season. Prorated to a 162-game schedule, he would have thrown 116 innings, which would have been his highest total in four years.
   264. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:44 PM (#6057673)
262. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:03 PM (#6057670)
You'd have to be 3x as effective at preventing runs. If Schilling's ERA is good enough, you'd want 1.15 ERA in 1/3rd as many innings. A relief pitcher couldn't possibly be good enough to make up for the innings pitched difference.


That argument would also work against Mariano Rivera who was elected with 100% of the vote. So, again I assert it is not a simple mathematical calculation.
   265. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6057676)
I'm okay with Wagner getting in. I wish "pitchers is pitchers" would be the rule, and closers wouldn't get some special exception no other relievers get.

But, that's simply not the Hall of Fame the powers that be — writers or committees — want. Okay, fine. Based on the Hall of Fame we have, does Wagner deserve it? Yeah. So go for it.
   266. LargeBill Posted: December 16, 2021 at 11:50 PM (#6057688)
260. SoSH U at work Posted: December 16, 2021 at 08:38 PM (#6057665)

Jeff Reardon and Bruce Sutter are both in HOF.



Jeff will be delighted to hear this.


Ha! Oops. Well, crap, that's what I get for trusting my beer soaked memory.
   267. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: December 16, 2021 at 11:58 PM (#6057689)
You'd have to be 3x as effective at preventing runs. If Schilling's ERA is good enough, you'd want 1.15 ERA in 1/3rd as many innings. A relief pitcher couldn't possibly be good enough to make up for the innings pitched difference.


Using WAR from Baseball-Reference

Mariano has 56 WAR, Hoyt Wilhem ~48, and Goose Gossage ~42, Lee Smith ~29 (478 saves) Trevor Hoffman ~28, Billy Wagner ~28, Doug Jones (303 Saves) 21.4, Craig Kimbrel (372 saves) 22, John Franco 23.4 (424 saves)

OTOH, Tommy John is at 61.6, and a lot of folks don't think he belongs in the Hall.

But, it seems, given that closers are such an important part of the modern game, honoring the best of them makes sense. It's the Hall of Fame - in some sense it is suppose to cover the game as it's played, not how one might wish it's played.

The big problem is that a threshold of 30 WAR for someone used exclusively as a closer is still too high even for Billy Wagner or Trevor Hoffman.

I imagine with usage patterns the peak WAR for top starting pitchers will drop just as it has for relief pitchers since the days of Gossage and Wilhelm. So the Hall is going to have to adjust, too - until Baseball adjusts it's rules so that pitchers throw more innings again.

So let's say - 27 or 28 WAR for a relief pitcher in the current era. That says that Smith, Hoffman, Wagner get in, Jones and Franco do not, and Kimbrel will have to add another 6 or 7 WAR to get in.
   268. John Northey Posted: December 17, 2021 at 12:20 AM (#6057690)
Not fully saying saves should be the reason a guy gets in, but if you are at a level no one else ever reached and hold that record for years after you retire like Lee Smith did with Saves (which are a major stat as far as most are concerned) then that is impressive and gets 'bonus' marks from writers and fans. Funny that he only led in saves 4 times yet set a record that held for 13 years, and has only been passed so far by 2 guys (Rivera and Hoffman).

Dumb on my part with Wagner and his chances of holding the save record (doh! Should've noticed his career ended around the same time as Hoff & Rivera as that is the only way he'd still be on the ballot).

Getting to 400+ saves is NOT easy - few get 40+ saves in a year, and you'd need to do that for a decade. Holding a closers job and being that effective with teams good enough to get you 40+ save chances is not easy. Rivera had to take over from a very good closer in John Wetteland, and the Yankees had other closers on the team too - Tom Gordon, David Robertson among others over the years so his position wasn't as automatic as we'd think now (or even then - safe to say if he had a bad month or two he could've lost the job - Yankees aren't known for their patience). 500+ is extremely hard to reach (thus why only 2 have done it despite the incentive to do it).
   269. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6057726)
Oh, come on. Fingers threw a career low IP in 1981 because they only played two thirds of a season. Prorated to a 162-game schedule, he would have thrown 116 innings, which would have been his highest total in four years.


Yep, my bad I missed that it was 1981. Doesn't impact the point in any way, IMO.
   270. The Duke Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:38 AM (#6057728)
The Big Papi “benefit of the doubt” argument seems to have a lot of traction. It pays be nice to the press.
   271. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:41 AM (#6057729)
 265. Ithaca2323 Posted: December 16, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6057676)
I'm okay with Wagner getting in. I wish "pitchers is pitchers" would be the rule, and closers wouldn't get some special exception no other relievers get.

But, that's simply not the Hall of Fame the powers that be — writers or committees — want. Okay, fine. Based on the Hall of Fame we have, does Wagner deserve it? Yeah. So go for it.


But then where do you draw the line. If you start looking at closers, the difference between them is quite small. If you start with the premise that Wagner is HOF qualified and should be in, then how do you differentiate between him, Nathan and Pappelbon? If Wagner should be in, then K-Rod is a clear in. If Wagner should be in, Jansen, Kimbrel, and Chapman seem like locks or very near locks right now. Smith has already gone in via committee, so why not go back and revisit Henke, Franco, Percival, Street, etc.? Not that all of them would go in, but the door is now open. Already, going back to Wilhelm's election, the writers have elected as many relievers as they have any other position, and more than all but one position! It's absurd, and will get worse if they decide to continue on this path.
   272. DanG Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6057730)
Moving beyond just career WAR, BB-Ref now has Reliever JAWS, combining WAR, WPA, and WPA/LI. The leaders in R-JAWS:

48.8 M. Rivera*
39.6 D. Eckersley*
34.6 H. Wilhelm*
29.5 R. Gossage*
27.2 T. Hoffman*

24.9 B. Wagner
24.7 F. Marberry
24.4 J. Nathan
23.6 T. Gordon
21.7 J. Papelbon

21.4 E. Kinder
21.1 F. Rodriguez
21.0 L. Smith*
20.1 S. Miller
20.0 C. Kimbrel
   273. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6057732)
Already, going back to Wilhelm's election, the writers have elected as many relievers as they have any other position, and more than all but one position!


To clarify, from 1985 through today they have elected more relievers than any other position except LF, iirc, and as many relievers as LF.

Edit: 7 Relievers, 7 LF with Yaz and Stargell as LF, and now 7 1B with Carew as a 1B. Seems out of whack to me.
   274. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6057736)
Apropos of nothing, I just saw that Andruw Jones's son is apparently a frontrunner to be the number one overall pick in the draft next year, and I just refuse to accept that.
   275. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:24 AM (#6057737)
WAR also has a leverage component, so even WAR pretends that runs scored in the ninth inning are worth more than runs scored in the first inning. (WPA, of course, is even worse.)
   276. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:25 AM (#6057738)
If you're a pitcher good enough to be a #3 starter you should probably beg to be the closer instead. You'll get to go to lots more All Star Games and could end up in the Hall of Fame someday.
   277. John DiFool2 Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6057739)
Papelbon...his career ended with such a whimper that I wasn't sure what happened, exactly. Was it nothing more complicated than him losing his fastball (as the data on Fangraphs seem to indicate)? Attitude & some burned bridges? IIRC he was on record as wanting to only close, or nothing, and the entire league concurred on the latter choice. Nobody gave him a spring-training invite, note.
   278. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:37 AM (#6057741)
For relievers I lean pretty heavily on PWAA. What's the benefit of using an average (or below average) pitcher in your bullpen except to eat innings during a blowout?

Pitcher PWAA
Rivera 32.5
Eckersley 30.4 (much of that as a starter)
Wilhelm 26.8
Gossage 19.3 (zero out before 1975)
Wagner 16.5
Hoffman 14.9
Nathan 14.0
Smith 13.7
Rodriguez 12.3
Fingers 8.5 (zero out before 1970)

I have Gossage as borderline and everyone below him as not good enough. Johan Santana has 32.8 WAA and he couldn't get 5%.
   279. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 12:15 PM (#6057749)
277. John DiFool2 Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:35 AM (#6057739)
Papelbon...his career ended with such a whimper that I wasn't sure what happened, exactly. Was it nothing more complicated than him losing his fastball (as the data on Fangraphs seem to indicate)? Attitude & some burned bridges?


Probably a bit of both. He had that run in with Harper in 2015, and then pitched poorly in 2016. Not sure if he got any looks in 2017 or not, but why bother if he's a one inning reliever who's lost/losing his stuff and he's a dick.
   280. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6057752)
Johan Santana has 32.8 WAA and he couldn't get 5%.


I would love to see Wagner voters explain how he was a better pitcher than Johan Santana, who led the league in ERA, ERA+, K's, FIP and WAR three times.
   281. LargeBill Posted: December 17, 2021 at 02:29 PM (#6057763)
280. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6057752)

Johan Santana has 32.8 WAA and he couldn't get 5%.

I would love to see Wagner voters explain how he was a better pitcher than Johan Santana, who led the league in ERA, ERA+, K's, FIP and WAR three times.


Santana's case is similar to a couple others.
Similar to Kenny Lofton in that he was a casualty of the ridiculous ballot caused by first ballot guys hanging around due to PED suspicions. Both had careers that warranted more consideration.
And similar to Koufax in that while not meeting any of the major career milestones, he had an incredible peak of five years. From 2004 to 2008 Santana was in the top five of CY voting every year winning twice. By traditional numbers, Koufax is much better, but using stats that adjust for park and era, Santana has a slight edge.
   282. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 02:40 PM (#6057764)
Similar to Kenny Lofton in that he was a casualty of the ridiculous ballot caused by first ballot guys hanging around due to PED suspicions. Both had careers that warranted more consideration.


Perhaps. I don't think Santana would have received any serious consideration even had the ballot been more open though. He probably would have received 5% to stick around for a while, but he debuted with Moyer and received the same number of votes, just 10. Lofton actually had it much worse in his first year but still tallied 18. Though I agree with your point that they both deserved more consideration. I don't know if I'd vote for Santana, he's so extreme to the peak side of the equation, but I really think Lofton should go in. Hopefully an Era committee will see it that way one day.

And similar to Koufax in that while not meeting any of the major career milestones, he had an incredible peak of five years.


Yes, I said at the time Santana is the 5 man rotation, high bullpen usage era's Koufax. In terms of short careers with exceptionally high peaks they are really similar. Era differences make them look different by counting stats, but rate stats and value stats show them to be pretty darn similar.
   283. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2021 at 02:54 PM (#6057767)
I don't know if I'd vote for Santana


Santana, Pettitte, Oswalt, Buehrle, Hudson, Hamels, Felix should all be inducted instead of another relief pitcher. Cliff Lee deserves a longer look.
   284. John Northey Posted: December 17, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6057788)
Relivers in the HOF... Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter and Hoyt Wilhelm. IMO only Rivera is a lock of that group, I can see cases for Wilhelm (pioneer), Eck (was seen as the best of the early 1 IP guys), Maybe Fingers and Gossage if I squint (both were legendary in the 70's). But Smith no one thought of as a HOF'er until he took over the save record and even then there was doubt. Sutter was a total joke from day one. Hoffman was an accumulator - very good closer, but really not a HOF level one outside of hanging around as a closer forever (141 ERA+ in 1089 IP is nice no doubt, but imo it takes more than that and was he ever viewed as the best in the game at any point during his career? Unlikely as Rivera was around).

To me sub 30 WAR almost disqualifies you from the HOF unless there are some EXTREME special circumstances.
   285. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 05:35 PM (#6057798)
Santana, Pettitte, Oswalt, Buehrle, Hudson, Hamels, Felix should all be inducted instead of another relief pitcher. Cliff Lee deserves a longer look.


Maybe, but the two should not be connected. Just as Hoffman should not be used to justify Wagner, relief pitchers should not be used to justify borderline starters.
   286. reech Posted: December 17, 2021 at 05:39 PM (#6057800)
Sutter was a bad pick, and Smith was cronyism.
The other relievers in the Hall are the best of their breed.
   287. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 05:48 PM (#6057804)
284. John Northey Posted: December 17, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6057788)
Relivers in the HOF... Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter and Hoyt Wilhelm. IMO only Rivera is a lock of that group, I can see cases for Wilhelm (pioneer), Eck (was seen as the best of the early 1 IP guys), Maybe Fingers and Gossage if I squint (both were legendary in the 70's). But Smith no one thought of as a HOF'er until he took over the save record and even then there was doubt. Sutter was a total joke from day one. Hoffman was an accumulator - very good closer, but really not a HOF level one outside of hanging around as a closer forever (141 ERA+ in 1089 IP is nice no doubt, but imo it takes more than that and was he ever viewed as the best in the game at any point during his career? Unlikely as Rivera was around).


I think Eckersley was also elected because he was a SP before he became a reliever. IMO, he was already HOVG as a starter, and then tacked on a LOT of work as a reliever regardless of how one values it. The two of those combined make him a really solid candidate, again IMO. Saying Hoffman wasn't ever considered the best because he was a contemporary to Rivera is not really disqualifying. Even as a San Diegan I wouldn't have voted for him, but simply because I don't see one inning closers as deserving in the vast majority of cases, not because he wasn't the best during his career at any particular point. Still room for Fisk and Simmons, finally, even though they were in the shadow of Bench, for example.
   288. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 06:00 PM (#6057807)
286. reech Posted: December 17, 2021 at 05:39 PM (#6057800) Sutter was a bad pick, and Smith was cronyism. The other relievers in the Hall are the best of their breed.


Not sure about the cronyism, but I'd like to hear more about it. As to the rest of your statement, Smith has more WAR and a slightly better WAR7 than Fingers, and Sutter has a better WAR7/peak than both of them, he just doesn't have any career outside of his peak. They all are pretty sketchy, IMO, as far as the HOF is concerned. Fingers does have a pretty impressive post season record with the A's, and he was definitely famous, so maybe you give him an edge over the other two. Is it enough for the Hall? Not for me, but ymmv.
   289. DL from MN Posted: December 17, 2021 at 06:09 PM (#6057808)
relief pitchers should not be used to justify borderline starters


No, because I could list 50-100 more starters that are better picks than Trevor Hoffman. I do think the Hall of Fame is about recognizing the best players and right now they're pretty much ignoring everyone but relievers for pitchers. Starting pitchers aren't used like they were in 1970 or even 1990. If they're going to recognize the best 1 inning pitchers they should also recognize the best 5-6 inning pitchers, especially when starters are more scarce and damn near every half-decent starter can pitch out of the bullpen. There should be 5 times as many starters inducted as relievers.
   290. SoSH U at work Posted: December 17, 2021 at 06:20 PM (#6057814)
There should be 5 times as many starters inducted as relievers.


That's still too many relievers.

   291. Adam Starblind Posted: December 17, 2021 at 06:40 PM (#6057816)
What do you guys think of relievers? Should they be in the Hall?
   292. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2021 at 07:38 PM (#6057819)
Eckersley was 20-8 with a 139 ERA+ in 1979 and 17-10 with a league-best 149 ERA+ in 1980.
197 W and 390 SV. that's pretty good.

Wilhelm reached the majors at age 29, and in his first year he led the AL in ERA and ERA+ - with 159 IP, all in relief.
7 years later, in his only MLB year as a starter, he led the AL in ERA and ERA+ again, this time in 226 IP.

I don't see either as comparable to (or lesser than) non-Rivera relievers.
   293. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 07:52 PM (#6057821)
What do you guys think of relievers? Should they be in the Hall?


HA! :-)
   294. alilisd Posted: December 17, 2021 at 08:02 PM (#6057822)
I do think the Hall of Fame is about recognizing the best players and right now they're pretty much ignoring everyone but relievers for pitchers.


Seems a little early to make that conclusion. They've elected seven from 2015-2019. There was a big gap between Ryan in 1999 and Blyleven in 2011, but they got all the big names since except for Clemens and Schilling, which are controversial cases unfortunately. They did manage to keep Hudson and Buerhle on the ballot for a second look at least. Sure some of the guys you've mentioned could have been looked at more closely, but there were no glaring oversights that I can find (admittedly I may be missing some).

Your point about changes in starting pitching qualifications is a good one, but I don't know that they've missed the boat on that yet. It's likely they will, but I wouldn't say they have yet.
   295. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: December 17, 2021 at 08:30 PM (#6057823)
I have mixed feelings about relievers, because I hate what usage patterns (which feature many faceless relievers, or as I like to call them Fungible Flame Throwers).

However, I think of the Hall of Fame in some sense as the repository of the game's history, and as relievers are a (growing) part of the game, I think they should be included somehow, but only the best of the best.

I tend to think of it in terms of punters for the NFL. There are some folks (a lot of them football players/coaches themselves) that think kicker, and especially punters, aren't real football players, which is why there is only one punter in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it took until 2014 (Ray Guy) for that to happen. But at the same time, the Pro Football Hall of Fame would be incomplete, I think, if it didn't include punters, maybe it just shouldn't include very many.

The way I see it, Hoyt Wilhelm was a pioneer, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, and Bruce Sutter were the representatives of the 'fireman' generation, and Bruce Sutter, though his career was short, got some extra "pioneer" points for popularizing the split-fingered fastball, which became such a large part of the game in 1980's and 90's.

Mariano Rivera was the best at that job for so long, it's impossible not to consider him.

Lee Smith, Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner - I don't know. Already put two of them in, maybe that means Billy gets in too. That's the way I was looking at it before, but I'm less sure now. Right now, because of changing usage patterns we're kinda grading on a curve, here. It could be, sometime soon, no pitchers would ever again really qualify for the Hall of Fame using existing standards.

   296. Howie Menckel Posted: December 17, 2021 at 10:43 PM (#6057825)
TANGENT ALERT

NFL has inducted two 'pure' kickers, Jan Stenerud and Morten Andersen.
I met Andersen at an industry event a couple of years ago, and am at the age where in mind kickers are built like doppelgangers Garo Yepremian and Judd Hirsch. (nice guy, btw)

well, Andersen is listed at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds. he's age 61 now, but he's still as tall (duh) and seems to be at fighting weight.

if anyone hasn't met a modern NFL player, they would be a little startled that he was a kicker.
of course, nowadays there are plenty of bigger players and not all are offensive linemen.

"We now resume your originally scheduled programming."
   297. John Northey Posted: December 17, 2021 at 11:10 PM (#6057827)
The HOF is getting more crowded by the year which isn't a shock - it is inevitable. The question becomes are standards too high or too low. For relievers I think most here agree it is too low - guys like Smith, Sutter, and Hoffman are at best marginal as I think we all can think of a dozen+ who were just as good or better and not in the hall. But generally I think the standard is reasonable (outside of the purity test for PEDs we see going on now). The worst picks in recent times were a vets pick (Baines) and Bruce Sutter ('inventor' of the split finger pitch I think is what they called him). Others were weak but not the weakest in the hall by any means (Jack Morris, Jim Rice). Generally they have a problem of excluding clear cases (imo) like Lou Whittaker and Kenny Lofton.
   298. Walt Davis Posted: December 18, 2021 at 02:31 AM (#6057834)
Just a quick observation. Papi was like 4 for the first 9 ballots.

Since then he's gotten like 18 straight yea's.


Different poster: The Big Papi “benefit of the doubt” argument seems to have a lot of traction.

Meh to both. We are still at a point where we have 24 previous Bonds/Clemens voters out of the 31 voters. Ortiz has votes from all but 2 of the B/C supporters and has support from just 2 of the 7 non-B/C supporters. That he's drawing support from non-B/C supporters is a good sign for his eventual election but 2 of 7 is not "a lot of traction" for benefit of the doubt. A bad sign for him is that the two B/C voters who didn't vote for Ortiz had room on their ballot so (at least for now) presumably they don't think he's worthy on the numbers. I suppose that, among voters who track Ryan's site, Ortiz's "momentum" might bring a few more of the non-B/C crowd on board.

It will be difficult to judge once we get lots of votes but I suspect that looking at a player's "splits between B/C vs non-B/C voters will give us some insight into how that player is being judged. "Momentum" especially for a guy like Ortiz is largely determined by how he's doing among non-B/C voters. ARod is really helping us to see who the "don't test positive" crowd is -- and those are mostly the B/C voters ticking Ortiz but not ARod -- so far, they're a much bigger percentage of B/C voters than I expected. It's also good for Ortiz that he is easily outpolling Manny and Sosa.

Fortunately for Ortiz, assuming he continues to get nearly all of the B/C voters, is that he doesn't need a lot of "benefit of the doubt" to get over. B/C would need to convince about 1/3 of the non-B/C voters (while losing none). If Ortiz appears on nearly all their ballots then he too needs to convert only about 1/3 of the non-B/C voters ... and 2 of 7 is awfully close to that. But obviously we need to see a lot more non-B/C voters before we can even pretend to have an estimate of how they'll break.

   299. kcgard2 Posted: December 18, 2021 at 08:53 AM (#6057841)
297: I think the real problem is the standards are too mixed. The standard is simply too low when Morris, Hodges, and Baines are gaining entry. Also too low for me personally when Oliva, Rice, Perez, and others are. But really, that would just be a personal matter of setting a line, except that at the same time those players are getting in, Rolen, Schilling, Kent, Jones, Abreu, Hudson, Allen, Boyer, Grich, Dahlen, Buehrle, Edmonds, Santana, Lofton and plenty of other players who were definitely superior are getting shut out, and the trend looks to continue with Vizquel and Wagner getting as much or more support than a lot of these guys are or did. This is ignoring PEDs, which of course are keeping out the greatest players. But even ignoring PEDs, the voters are still picking a bunch of the "wrong" players where superior clean ones are available. The standard in the past 10 years has been too low overall, while somehow managing to simultaneously keep out a large swath of players who are overqualified for even a much higher standard.
   300. LargeBill Posted: December 18, 2021 at 09:20 AM (#6057843)
Realizing Vizquel's situation is pretty darn unique, it is still really something to see a guy, who got 52% support two years ago, falling to 15% and potentially falling off the ballot altogether. Am I wrong in assuming no prior player got above 50% and then ended up getting dropped by the 5% rule short of the max years on the ballot?
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