Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

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

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 7 of 12 pages ‹ First  < 5 6 7 8 9 >  Last ›
   601. bachslunch Posted: December 29, 2021 at 08:14 PM (#6058969)
And flip.
   602. taxandbeerguy Posted: December 29, 2021 at 09:12 PM (#6058974)
Nice surge of ballots of the Christmas break. Some thoughts through 90 votes.

Abreu's going the distance. Not saying he'll get in and rather think that's unlikely, but the base support is there, and there's a bunch of other sabermetrically inclined voters who could vote for him in weaker years (i.e. starting next year) as the crop thins. Barring a Vizquel-esque situation off the field of course.

Bonds and Clemens - will make a little more ground up and will stall out at 65%. They're barely clearing on the tracker, we know how the private voters vote and they're not converting enough. (I will give some kudos to Chris Assenheimer, who was chronically a bad ballot, to the point where his ballot is quite good this year, if you don't care about PED's.)

Buehrle, Hudson and Hunter are fighting tooth an nail to stay on as there have been some drops already as this is a more crowded ballot, and these guys are slightly lesseer players and thus could be bumped off the full ballots.

Helton is well poised for eventual induction, but thinking he's probably waiting for a few years, as the ballot may crowd up a bit in 2024 and 2025, which could stall his induction just a bit.

Jones has had really good support so far, he's going to fade, but seems to be someone else picking up steam and is clearly a better option in the eyes of the voters to Kent and very similar to Helton, which is quite important for those 9th and 10th votes on the ballot. I think he might take 9 or 10 years, but I like his chances.

Kent is done but would be poised for a veteran's committee induction with McGriff in 2025 or 2028 or something like that.

Rolen seems like a semi-lock for 2023, he keeps picking up steam. He's going to wind up into the 60's and will be top returning candidate provided Ortiz gets in.

Ortiz is going to end up close to the line, he could squeak over a la Rodriguez in 2017 or be a could votes short like Biggio in 2014 or Vlad in 2017. He's going in this year or next as there seem to be a number of voters who would vote for him, but are voting for others because of 10th year + 5% rule. If he ends up at like 73% in 2022, I foresee a surge in 2023 to the tune of 85-90%.

A-Rod is doing a little worse than expected, and there are a few strange votes for Manny but no A-Rod.

Ramirez - He seems like an easy guy to drop this year with a ballot of 10. I could see some adds coming back next year.

Rollins seems likely to get a second ballot, he was a very good player, but am surprised as his support is almost as good as Vizquel's.

Vizquel - finally seems to be polling where I think he ought to be based on his career merits. 28 drops already is pretty astonishing.

Pettitte - This is going about as expected, he's lost a few votes but would likely pick them back up next year.

Sheffield - Someone show me the difference between him and Ortiz please. Ortiz has better postseasons and more rings, but beyond that, both long career guys with 500 homers, OPS+ around 140 and limited defensive value, Ortiz is because he didn't play the field, Sheffield was because he was mediocre to bad defensively, yet could actually play the field almost capably until his late 30's. Sheffield's got a marginally stronger PED taint, he's maybe a 2-3 out of 5 relative to Ortiz being a 1 out of 5. Is that worth 33 votes (so far) or 37% in the tracker. To me they're 2 peas in a pod, with Sheffield being the marginally stronger candidate.

Wagner - The adds keep coming, he might wait 10 years, but legit seems to have a chance. I'm dumbfounded, but if Hoffman, then Wagner is an argument that can made.

Sosa - He's lower OPS+ but had some good defensive value earlier in his career that makes up for his lack of OPS+ compared to Sheffield and Ortiz. The three of these guys (and Abreu) are all close (I do have Sheffield out in front a bit).

Schilling - Of the 8 who have dropped him, 6 have full ballots, so there is a sense of, "If you don't want this honor, fine, you're still worthy, but I will bestow it on someone else." Vizquel's getting the same treatment on many a full ballot as well, but it's hard to say how many that is. Woulda, Coulda , Shoulda been in, but will have to wait for judgement from a veterans committee.

Everyone else- Pierzynski, Morneau, Teixeira, Lincecum, Nathan and Papelbon have votes and Howard has 2. Good for them, but they're not seeing a second ballot (although I suppose I said the same about Tim Hudson last year). Hopefully Crawford, Peavy and Fielder can each get a vote.
   603. DL from MN Posted: December 29, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6058979)
Sheffield - Someone show me the difference between him and Ortiz please


It's all personality. Sheffield was the better player but he isn't as popular.
   604. reech Posted: December 29, 2021 at 10:03 PM (#6058982)
Some ######### that works for a right wing website voted only for Schilling.
I won't name him and give him the clicks he so desperately seeks.
   605. Howie Menckel Posted: December 29, 2021 at 11:51 PM (#6058991)
if someone only voted for Schilling - particularly if it's only based on politics - I want to know who it is.

and let's be honest, a mention here is not going to make anyone go "viral."

so let's have the name, lest anyone believe this is a made-up claim (which I am assuming it is not).
   606. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 30, 2021 at 12:27 AM (#6058993)
The Tracker isn’t currently showing any 1-player ballots.
   607. reech Posted: December 30, 2021 at 12:30 AM (#6058994)
Some guy named Mark Gooden

On Twitter he is @toogooden17

I dont think it's a hoax as he posted ballot.
   608. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 30, 2021 at 12:56 AM (#6058995)
There’s no Mark Gooden listed among last year’s voters, nor on the known 1st-year voters yet to reveal their ballots listed at the bottom of this year’s Tracker. I’m not seeing the type of Internet presence one would expect from an active 10-year BBWAA member, either.
   609. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2021 at 01:27 AM (#6058996)
#602 ... fair summary. And correct that for Helton and Andruw, what's more important this year are the adds. The drops for those guys are nearly all full ballots that have at least 3 of B/C/S/S so will have lots of room to bring that back next year. The exception is the Juan Vene ballot dropping Helton and you'd almost rather come up one vote short than to have Juan Vene's vote.
   610. Howie Menckel Posted: December 30, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6058998)
few if any HOF voters don't have Twitter's blue check mark for verification, yet this guy does not.

he also joined Twitter in 2020, which is a decade behind virtually all journalists.

and why would The Federalist have a MLB writer, let alone a METS beat writer?

also, you have to be a BBWAA member for TEN YEARS before you get a ballot, last I checked.

does this seem plausible to you?

Mark
@TooGooden17
·
Jun 29
Personal news: As a result of the weather watermark fiasco last night, I have been let go by the Washington Examiner.

Good news: I was scooped up by The Federalist & PROMOTED to Head Baseball Writer for the entire borough of Queens, specializing in the New York Mets and weather.

...............

[falling for hoaxes is a much more bipartisan endeavor than many seem to think, so I am changing my default mode for now to "assuming it's a phony ballot until I see evidence to the contrary."]
   611. The Duke Posted: December 30, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6058999)
Keith Law drops the Mindy Mcready bomb on Clemens. I was wondering when more people would latch on to that. I’m an anti-PED guy because I think it created an uneven field of play issue and that punishment is important to make people think twice about it in the future. Plus the “crime” as it is, is related to baseball. But now all kinds of stuff has crept into the character discussion and will continue to do so. It does tend to make the process a lot uglier.

I guess I’m drawing the line at stuff that happened inside the game. I’m ok with Vizquel, rose and PED guys being held out. I’m less concerned about the true off the field stuff like TLRs drunk driving and schilling’s Twitter inanities. Maybe my mind will change. These guys aren’t choir boys. Babe Ruth certainly wasn’t.

I’m not sure I can vote for Beltran either - great guy, loved him on the Cardinals but he appears to be a cheat.

   612. SoSH U at work Posted: December 30, 2021 at 09:34 AM (#6059000)
I’m ok with Vizquel, rose and PED guys being held out. I’m less concerned about the true off the field stuff like schilling.


How is Schilling's offense more "off the field" than Vizquel's?
   613. sotapop Posted: December 30, 2021 at 10:35 AM (#6059004)
JAWS creator Jay Jaffe's ballot is in the Tracker and his column on his choices is on FanGraphs here.

Full 10-vote ballot. For the click-adverse: Abreu, Bonds, Clemens, Helton, Jones, Nathan, Ortiz, Rolen, Sheffield, Wagner.

Edit: His column here is really strong, a good mix of stats analysis and, to me, reasonable arguments when he goes against the stats. I'm one of the few on this site who like Wagner for the Hall, so I'm pretty happy with this ballot.
   614. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 30, 2021 at 10:43 AM (#6059005)
Jay Jaffe revealed his ballot today, and although I don't agree with all of his selections, it is unsurprisingly thoughtful:

Abreu
Bonds
Clemens
Helton
Jones
Nathan
Ortiz
Rolen
Sheffield
Wagner

He dropped Sosa, in order to create a slot for Ortiz. His logic is that it was clear Sosa was not getting in this year (his final year of eligibility), but that Ortiz was the only candidate this year who appears to have a legit chance of being elected (latest estimate is about a 6-in-10 chance of getting elected). As Jaffe notes, there are six players currently set to be inducted this summer - four of whom are deceased, and two of whom will be 83 years old (Kaat and Oliva). I am 47, and remember being an 8-year-old who saw Kaat pitch some relief innings for the 1982 Cardinals. Pretty much nobody under 50 saw these guys play. So, Jaffe says, if I'd be voting for Ortiz next year, anyway, let's just get behind him this year and help the Hall get somebody with star power who is deserving to headline the thing this summer.

He also votes for Nathan to help get him to 5%, and a longer look from the voters.

Again, it is not the ballot I would submit, but I appreciate Jaffe's writing, thinking, and care for this process. And I do think the Induction Weekend with Ortiz vs without Ortiz is enormous. You don't vote in guys just to draw fans to Cooperstown, of course, but Ortiz is obviously getting in this year or next. The HOF - and Cooperstown, in general - have gotten hurt by the pandemic, and the thousands of New Englanders and Dominican baseball fans who will make the journey to cheer him on make Jaffe's thought process on this the right one.
   615. TJ Posted: December 30, 2021 at 10:53 AM (#6059006)
The Mark Gooden ballot, According to Thibs...

"The reason the Tracker Team hasn't tweeted about the fake ballot that's going around or added the fake ballot to the Tracker is because it's a fake ballot.

(You'll notice the most recent fake ballot is a Photoshop of this real ballot tweeted by the New York Post's Mark Hale.)"

Nothing gets by the intrepid Tracker Team!
   616. The Duke Posted: December 30, 2021 at 11:03 AM (#6059008)
Vizquel allegedely assaulted someone in the clubhouse - that’s beyond the pale for me. His bullying happened in uniform - Might not be much of a distinction but it’s enough for me
   617. SoSH U at work Posted: December 30, 2021 at 11:15 AM (#6059009)

Vizquel allegedely assaulted someone in the clubhouse - that’s beyond the pale for me. His bullying happened in uniform - Might not be much of a distinction but it’s enough for me


That's fair.
   618. alilisd Posted: December 30, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6059013)
Rollins seems likely to get a second ballot, he was a very good player, but am surprised as his support is almost as good as Vizquel's.


Rollins is interesting to me. I doubt those who were supporting Vizquel see much difference between them. Vizquel long career SS with an inflated defensive reputation, and Rollins also a long career SS but with an inflated offensive reputation. Now as far as Rollins goes he's a darn sight better than Vizquel to me, but so much of the offense is wrapped up in counting stats accumulated as a leadoff hitter that don't account for all the outs he also made. Still, those voters willing to check someone like Vizquel don't likely care about that and so Rollins is an easy choice. At least he has 2004-2008 which you can look at and say he had a Hall of Famey-like peak. I wonder also if there are voters who have become open to considering things like WAR to evaluate someone like Abreu and see them as more viable, but won't use it to disqualify someone like Rollins. Mostly I'd say it's simply more "old school" voters who like counting stats, and appreciate Rollins' speed numbers as well as that he stuck at SS for so long.
   619. LargeBill Posted: December 30, 2021 at 12:22 PM (#6059022)
Sheffield - Someone show me the difference between him and Ortiz please. Ortiz has better postseasons and more rings, but beyond that, both long career guys with 500 homers, OPS+ around 140 and limited defensive value, Ortiz is because he didn't play the field, Sheffield was because he was mediocre to bad defensively, yet could actually play the field almost capably until his late 30's. Sheffield's got a marginally stronger PED taint, he's maybe a 2-3 out of 5 relative to Ortiz being a 1 out of 5. Is that worth 33 votes (so far) or 37% in the tracker. To me they're 2 peas in a pod, with Sheffield being the marginally stronger candidate.


You basically answered your own question. Ortiz' post-season heroics and ending the "curse" are all part of a huge narrative advantage. Fair or not, most of the Sheffield narrative centers on negative crap (Milwaukee, indifferent defense, etc). If Ortiz goes in this year, that coupled with several leaving via the ten-year limit, will lead to a huge jump next year for Sheffield. Election of a player almost always helps a relatively similar player.
   620. SandyRiver Posted: December 30, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6059024)
It's all personality. Sheffield was the better player but he isn't as popular.

Somewhat arcane, but Ortiz was more efficient in driving in teammates, using just total men on base and RBI minus HR. No allowances were made for the difference between a BR on 3rd with no outs and one on 1st with 2 outs. However, with 6,000+ BR I'd guess those types of factors average out.
"RBI efficiency"
Babe Ruth 23.24%
Teddy Ballgame: 21.16%
David Ortiz: 20.08%
Gary Sheffield: 18.56%
Note: Both Ruth's and Williams' PA for deeper stats (BBRef) are significantly lower than for their entire career, and the missing PA were assumed to have BR rates like the PA shown. For Ortiz and Sheffield, all of their PA are included in those stats. Also, Williams had nearly as many walks as Ruth in 8% fewer PA, explaining some of the difference between them.

Bottom line differences however, as noted by others, are post-seasons and popularity.
   621. SoSH U at work Posted: December 30, 2021 at 12:53 PM (#6059026)
I'm not sure why Ortiz is getting this direct comparison with Sheffield.

Sheff is worse than Bonds, and they both got nabbed, to some degree, in the BALCO stuff. Until this year, no one was wondering why Sheff was performing worse with voters than Barry.

Ortiz is simply an outlier. His possible appearance on the 2003 list is being ignored by a few of the guys who won't vote for B/C, a treatment Sammy Sosa did not get, while also getting voted on by almost all of the B/C supporters.

I suppose it could be the popularity, but there is virtually no correlation between popularity with the writers and performance in Hall voting over the last 30 years. If anything, there's been an inverse relationship.

I think the most likely explanation is that Ortiz's steroid link appeared at the beginning of his career, and he had most of his career to change the narrative. For all of those other guys, the steroid label came close to or at the end of their runs.
   622. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 30, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6059029)
Keith Law drops the Mindy Mcready bomb on Clemens. I was wondering when more people would latch on to that.


Christina Kahrl chose not to vote for Clemens last year because of the McCready situation. While I'm somewhat sympathetic to that, I also think we can't expect the voters to police the candidates' personal lives, and certainly not in any consistent fashion. One more reason I'm paying less and less attention to who's in and who's out.
   623. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 30, 2021 at 02:14 PM (#6059033)
I'm not sure why Ortiz is getting this direct comparison with Sheffield.


Obviously, they are on the same ballot, had careers with some direct overlap, and have some superficial similarities in their stats, but I actually think the better explanation for Ortiz's superior performance in the HOF voting is a different comp: Reggie Jackson.

I'm not here to say that Ortiz was better than Reggie, because he was not. Among other things, Reggie's defensive ability, particularly early in his career, were a real asset. He also hit the HRs in an era when HRs were harder to come by.

However, Ortiz's career stats (including counting and rate) are very impressive, and meet any reasonable minimum standard for a solid Hall of Famer.

The real key, though, is that this is the Hall of Fame - not the Hall of WAR - and you would be hard-pressed to find very many players in the 21st century who were more famous, or bigger personalities, or more recognizable faces, or more enthusiastic ambassadors, or whatever else, for baseball than Ortiz.

I think of Ortiz's HOF case as a little bit of a "slightly poorer man's Reggie Jackson" case. Reggie is 54th all-time in WAR, but got almost 94% of the vote his first year - one of the highest totals in history up to that point. Phil Niekro had 20 more WAR than Reggie on that ballot, and finished almost 30% behind Reggie that year. Why? The fame. The drama. The post-season exploits. The f***ing moments. You could not write about baseball in the 1970s and 1980s without Reggie prominently in that story.

Maybe there is East Coast bias, or Northeast bias, or something, but even if you are not a Red Sox fan, c'mon:

- Ortiz gets the hit that ties Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, then wins it with a walk off HR in extras.
- Then the next night, he hits a HR in the 8th inning to bring the REd Sox within one run, then gets the walkoff hit in the 14th inning to send the series back to NY.
- Then he hits a HR in the historic Game 7.
- That all came after he walked off the ALDS with a HR that year.
- In 2013, he gets only two hits the entire ALCS, but one of those two hits is one of the biggest hits in team history: That grand slam late against the Tigers where Torii Hunter literally flipped over the bullpen while the policeman in the bullpen is busy jumping up and down in celebration.
- Then in 2013, he slashes .688/.760/1.188/1.948 for the World Series.
- And that came at the end of a season where the Boston Marathon bombing occurs, the city shuts down for several days, they find the bombers, and the day the REd Sox resume play, Ortiz is given the last speaking slot - after the mayor of Boston and Governor of MA - and throws the F-bomb on live national television. The next day, the Chair of the FCC says that given it is David Ortiz, we are going to let that slide.

That's not Gary Sheffield stuff...that's Reggie Jackson stuff. Ortiz has to have the goods to be in the conversation (five straight years in the Top 5 in MVP voting, 3 WS championships, tons of HRs, RBIS, OPS+ better than Reggie, 9 AS games, etc), but once he cleared that, the intangibles are off the charts helpful. Sheffield, if anything, has the intangibles working against him a little bit. I am frankly surprised that people are...surprised...that Ortiz is doing so well in the voting. Jeter, Griffey, Reggie, Ripken, Nolan Ryan...there aren't more than 5-10 guys in my lifetime who have as many intangibles working for them as Ortiz does. Comparing him to Sheffield (or, before that, Edgar Martinez) is completely missing the point of Ortiz's candidacy, in my view.
   624. Jack Sommers Posted: December 30, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6059034)
Hey, quick question. I'm sure it's covered here somewhere, but you know....700 comments.

What is the consensus of how high Bonds and Clemens need to be on the public ballots to have enough buffer to clear 75% once the privates are counted ?

I was mentally spit balling around 82%. Is that in the ballpark ?
   625. SoSH U at work Posted: December 30, 2021 at 02:24 PM (#6059037)

What is the consensus of how high Bonds and Clemens need to be on the public ballots to have enough buffer to clear 75% once the privates are counted ?


I couldn't tell you the numbers, but I think the more relevant issue is they have no chance to make it this year. I'm not sure why people seem to be holding out hope that they do.

   626. Jaack Posted: December 30, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6059040)
I agree that Bonds and Clemens are done, but if they were to some how make it in, it'd have to be mostly from movement on the private or post-release ballots. If Bonds had gotten every single pre-announcement vote last year, and nothing changed with the post-announcement ballots, he would have still been about 10 votes shy.
   627. kcgard2 Posted: December 30, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6059041)
I was mentally spit balling around 82%. Is that in the ballpark ?

A couple assumptions: 75% of ballots are public (last year it was ~72% I think), B/C poll about 45% on private ballots (last year 43-44%). Under this scenario they need over 86% of public ballots to vote yes. If last year's public/private and B/C support hold for this year, they'd need over 87% on public ballots. In order for 82% to be good enough on public ballots, you have to assume that 23% of the private no votes get switched to yes votes, due to 10th year on ballot or something.

In other words, as numerous people have already noted, B/C have no shot of going in via the writers. Zero chance.
   628. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 30, 2021 at 03:20 PM (#6059042)
What is the consensus of how high Bonds and Clemens need to be on the public ballots to have enough buffer to clear 75% once the privates are counted ?
As noted earlier in the thread, they key is the adds, or drops, and there haven’t been many. It looks like their current relatively lofty status is mostly due to which votes have been tabulated, rather than a significant change in the electorate’s attitude toward Bonds & Clemens. They’ll have their best result yet, probably above 65%, but there hasn’t been any indication that the anti-PED zealot minority of BBWAA voters will provide the votes needed to put them over the top.
   629. Jack Sommers Posted: December 30, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6059044)
Thanks guys ! All makes sense. I was being lazy and hadn't done the math and didn't read the entire thread.

I'm not sure why people seem to be holding out hope that they do.



I wasn't holding out hope by the way. I'm agnostic. If I had a vote I'd probably vote for them both, but I'm not emotionally invested. Just B/C curious. ;)
   630. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#6059045)
My work here is done ... literally. :-)
   631. TJ Posted: December 30, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#6059047)
My work here is done ... literally. :-)


Walt, your work here will never be done! (OK, maybe so on the Bonds/Clemens thing...)
   632. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 30, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6059055)
Rollins has caught Vizquel, and appears to be the first-ballot candidate beyond the obvious two with the best chance to stick above 5%. Joe Nathan is up to 3 votes now, which is 1 behind both Hudson and Buehrle...

Re: Ortiz and fame. I kind of wonder about this general phenomenon sometimes. My unprovable suspicion is that the writers aren't consciously picking (say) Ortiz over Sheffield because he was more famous, or more gregarious, or what have you; it's just that those things (plus the postseason) make Ortiz feel like a better player than WAR says that he was.

I think you see the same thing when you look at older ballots where Johnny Vander Meer or Don Larsen or whoever got totals wildly out of sync with the actual scope of their careers (not that Ortiz is comparable to those guys, he would just benefit from the same thing). I suspect that the voters weren't explicitly picking Vander Meer just because he had consecutive no-hitters; rather, they knew he had consecutive no-hitters (and maybe also that he led the NL in strikeouts three times), and in the general absence of widespread statistical information about peoples' careers, they assumed on that basis that he must have been good.

Again, unprovable speculation, but it more or less tracks with my understanding of how people think.
   633. The Duke Posted: December 30, 2021 at 07:00 PM (#6059060)
Have we ever had a year with so many people losing votes? It seems people are losing votes even when the ballot doesn’t have ten names. Quite a bit of churn. Something 50 downvotes without vizquel who has 30 on his own
   634. alilisd Posted: December 30, 2021 at 07:56 PM (#6059063)
My unprovable suspicion is that the writers aren't consciously picking (say) Ortiz over Sheffield because he was more famous, or more gregarious, or what have you; it's just that those things (plus the postseason) make Ortiz feel like a better player than WAR says that he was.


Along the lines of "feel," Ortiz has a much nicer "feel" to his career. He struggled to get going in MN, but as soon as he came to Boston he took off. His first five seasons there are awesome, both counting stats and OPS+. His last six seasons are also outstanding. He does have the blip in the middle, but looking at the entire run in Boston, straight through for 14 seasons and it has a nice, clean feel!

Sheffield's career is drastically different, it's choppy. The peak is still there, but it's not clean like Ortiz, it doesn't feel the same. A cup of coffee at 19, an injury shortened season at 20, a very nice full year for a 21 year old, but still missed 30 or so games, then injured again at 22 (I may be incorrect on the injuries, I'm just going by games played at MLB and MiLB levels and assuming extensive games missing are due to injury). So he struggles early like Ortiz and then is traded to San Diego where he has a great breakout season, but then "struggles" a bit the next season and gets traded to Florida. He plays really well in 1994, but it's a strike season, and then he's red hot the next year but again misses quite a bit of time even adjusting for the reduced number of games in 1995. Finally, in 1996 he has an absolute monster year, but can't follow it up the next year (although he's still very good), and then he gets traded again the following season. He's moved from Short to Third to Right, and now going to the dodgers in 1998 he moves to Left. So he's moving around the league and moving around the diamond, and he's struggling with injuries, strikes, and a bit up and down as a hitter. Overall through age 28, the year before he gets traded to the dodgers, he's averaged 103 games, 434 PA's and a 138 OPS+. He had great seasons in 92 and 96, but his performance in 94 and 95 is masked by injury and strikes. From 1998 to 2003 he has a very nice peak with an OPS+ of 156 while staying healthy and averaging 143 games and 616 PA's, but again that's for 3 different teams. He continues to hit really well for the next two seasons, for yet another team, and then plays out the string as a good hitter for the next four seasons moving from the Yankees to the Tigers and finally the Mets. It's not a nice clean career, it doesn't feel like Ortiz's.
   635. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 30, 2021 at 09:02 PM (#6059065)
Along the lines of "feel," Ortiz has a much nicer "feel" to his career. He struggled to get going in MN, but as soon as he came to Boston he took off.


The other interesting "what if" is if Ortiz had stayed for his entire career with the team that signed him - Seattle. Let's say he comes up in '98 or '99, plays first base for a few years (meaning the M's don't sign John Olerud), and then slots into the DH role when Edgar Martinez retires after the 2004 season. He spends the rest of his career as the Mariners DH, with the two best DHs in AL history going back-to-back with the M's...
   636. TJ Posted: December 30, 2021 at 09:14 PM (#6059069)
Rollins passes Vizquel in total votes…
   637. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 30, 2021 at 09:15 PM (#6059070)
Finally, in 1996 he has an absolute monster year, but can't follow it up the next year (although he's still very good)

Just a small thing, but I wonder if Sheffield would be better regarded if his huge year coincided with the Marlins winning the title instead of being a year off.

To your overall point, though, I'm tempted to run through what I think of as the "Evans list" for Sheffield - much like the Keltner list, it's a series of tests that Bill James developed to explain whether a player is likely to be overrated or underrated (presented in the Darrell Evans comment in the New Historical Abstract).
   638. Lassus Posted: December 30, 2021 at 10:09 PM (#6059071)
I don't entirely get how you can not care about PEDs and then yet not vote for Manny Ramirez. He's the closest thing to the Vlad Guererro there is as far as a unique and fun and effective player.

A HOF without Manny Ramirez is a lesser HOF.
   639. soc40 Posted: December 30, 2021 at 10:39 PM (#6059074)
Anyone besides me getting the feeling that Helton (currently 57%) is gonna catch Schilling (65%) in the public vote by the time the results are announced?
   640. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2021 at 10:42 PM (#6059075)
I don't entirely buy the assumption. Most Manny voters are also ARod voters; most Manny non-voters among the B/C voters are also ARod non-voters -- presumably people making a distinction between pre- and post-testing. Some of the Manny drops are full ballots so probably people who, rightly or wrongly, consider him 11th or worse on this ballot. There are a few odd switches from Manny to somebody else but those may be cases where they're borderline between, say, Manny and Sosa and this year went Sosa for his final year.

The ones that confuse the bejeezus out of me are the ones who vote for Manny but not ARod. That's some microscopic distinction on "jerkdom" I guess.

And time for the regular "the purpose of the Hall of Fame is not to recognize fame but to confer it." If you think about it for 5 seconds, there is no reason to create an institution to recognize fame -- if somebody's actually famous, they don't need the recognition. Rather at best, if selecting on fame then the institution is hoping the fame will rub off on them -- not an honor but an act of parasitism (probably not a word but it should be). Which of course isn't to say that turning the turnstyles isn't the ultimate purpose of the actual Hall of Fame nor that the voters don't engage in some good old fanboyism (as do we all) but that doesn't mean we have to legitimize fame as a criterion for induction. If you want that, go to Graumann's Chinese.

So yes, "fame" helps to explain Ortiz over Sheffield (but not Sosa) but that doesn't mean fame should be factored in.
   641. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 30, 2021 at 11:01 PM (#6059077)
And time for the regular "the purpose of the Hall of Fame is not to recognize fame but to confer it."

To be clear, I was trying to explain strange-seeming votes, not endorse them. I would vote Sheffield over Ortiz (although I'm fine with either or both getting in), and I very much would not vote for Johnny Vander Meer.

Also, speaking of jerkdom microscopes, I continue to be amused at the number of ballots that include exclusively jerks (by some definition, PED association or otherwise). Garry Howard might have my favorite so far - Bonds/Clemens/Ortiz/Manny/A-Rod/Sheffield/Vizquel. Too bad he dropped Schilling, he could have run the table.
   642. Adam Starblind Posted: December 30, 2021 at 11:10 PM (#6059079)
. And time for the regular "the purpose of the Hall of Fame is not to recognize fame but to confer it."


This is made up though.
   643. SoSH U at work Posted: December 31, 2021 at 12:01 AM (#6059080)
Sheffield's career is drastically different, it's choppy.


I don't know if any voter feels this way, but I would struggle with a vote for Sheffield. The statement that he threw away a ball on purpose is really problematic to me. I know the record doesn't match with his anecdote, but a) as we've seen throughout history, it's certainly possible he did it once but didn't quite remember the exact details and b) even if he didn't do it, saying he did is worrisome in its own right. This is a far bigger character black mark than roiding up was.


   644. Howie Menckel Posted: December 31, 2021 at 12:39 AM (#6059081)
for better and for worse, probably, a Sheffield recap from SI and author Jay Jaffe in 2016:

Sheffield's Milwaukee headaches (and Milwaukee's Sheffield headaches) weren't quite over, however. In June, he told the Los Angeles Times' Bob Nightengale:

"The Brewers brought out the hate in me ... I was a crazy man," Sheffield said. "I hated (Dalton) so much that I wanted to hurt the man. I hated everything about that place. I didn't even want to come to the ballpark. If I missed a ball or something, so what?

"If the official scorer gave me an error that I didn't think was an error, I'd say, 'OK, here's a real error,' and I'd throw the next ball into the stands on purpose. I did it all."

Sheffield recanted the statement in a follow-up with Nightengale: "What I said was out of frustration. They want to take something and run with it. Why would a player purposely make mistakes? I'd never do anything to hurt the team. You get paid to play." Nightengale did add, "Sheffield said the only time he may have made an error purposely out of anger was when he was in the Brewers' minor-league system."

"Despite his inflammatory words, there's no evidence to suggest that Sheffield made intentional errors during his time with the Brewers; many (including myself and Tom Verducci) have explored the matter and found nothing to support the idea that he may have done so."

   645. yest Posted: December 31, 2021 at 02:48 AM (#6059084)
Some ######### that works for a right wing website voted only for Schilling.
I won't name him and give him the clicks he so desperately seeks


I respect him more than leftist evil ######### who refuse to vote for Schilling for political reasons.


Morally fighting fire with fire and only voting for Schilling is the right approach as far as the hall and BBWA is concerned , except that since it is unfair to the others who one thinks are deserving I would not do so and oppose those who are doing this. But the one who does this should be commended for fighting against the immoral attack on Schilling and condemned for his immoral unfair treatment of other individuals they think are deserving. This writer is wrong but the anti Schilling Nazis are much worse.







   646. yest Posted: December 31, 2021 at 03:44 AM (#6059085)
Those opposing Curt Schilling are the inheritors of Joseph McCarthy and I don't mean the manager.

Wonder when people are going to star demanding they kick out members of the hall, cause as far as I can tell Schilling seems to be a better human being than around half the hall.

I wonder how many anti Schilling voters would still vote for a disgusting anti-Semitic racist like Enos Slaughter?
   647. Lassus Posted: December 31, 2021 at 06:52 AM (#6059086)
Oy. Anyhow.


And time for the regular "the purpose of the Hall of Fame is not to recognize fame but to confer it." If you think about it for 5 seconds, there is no reason to create an institution to recognize fame -- if somebody's actually famous, they don't need the recognition.

I know this is a super-old debate, and I doubt I have little new to offer; but I think it's pretty easy to simply look at Mike Trout in the PRESENT - let alone imagine his future - to cast a side-eye onto a "it could never be needed, the masses got you" assessment.
   648. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 31, 2021 at 08:01 AM (#6059088)
First time voter Noah Trister: Bonds, Clemens, Helton, Jones, Ortiz, Manny, A-Rod, Rolen and Sosa. Would prefer to see a tenth name, but very good ballot apart from that.

Rolen is 7/8 among first-time voters so far, the best performance of anyone on the ballot.
   649. jmurph Posted: December 31, 2021 at 08:34 AM (#6059089)
And time for the regular "the purpose of the Hall of Fame is not to recognize fame but to confer it." If you think about it for 5 seconds, there is no reason to create an institution to recognize fame -- if somebody's actually famous, they don't need the recognition.

This phrase has always sounded profound but it's obviously wrong (if you think about it for 5 seconds). The first class to enter the Hall was Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson, and Walter Johnson.
   650. LargeBill Posted: December 31, 2021 at 09:01 AM (#6059090)
644. Howie Menckel Posted: December 31, 2021 at 12:39 AM (#6059081)
for better and for worse, probably, a Sheffield recap from SI and author Jay Jaffe in 2016:

Sheffield's Milwaukee headaches (and Milwaukee's Sheffield headaches) weren't quite over, however. In June, he told the Los Angeles Times' Bob Nightengale:

"The Brewers brought out the hate in me ... I was a crazy man," Sheffield said. "I hated (Dalton) so much that I wanted to hurt the man. I hated everything about that place. I didn't even want to come to the ballpark. If I missed a ball or something, so what?

"If the official scorer gave me an error that I didn't think was an error, I'd say, 'OK, here's a real error,' and I'd throw the next ball into the stands on purpose. I did it all."

Sheffield recanted the statement in a follow-up with Nightengale: "What I said was out of frustration. They want to take something and run with it. Why would a player purposely make mistakes? I'd never do anything to hurt the team. You get paid to play." Nightengale did add, "Sheffield said the only time he may have made an error purposely out of anger was when he was in the Brewers' minor-league system."

"Despite his inflammatory words, there's no evidence to suggest that Sheffield made intentional errors during his time with the Brewers; many (including myself and Tom Verducci) have explored the matter and found nothing to support the idea that he may have done so."


There is no telling at this point, but I'm more inclined to believe a person's initial comments than their follow up comments made after an agent or others with better sense told him how personally damaging the first comments were. If a player is above whatever my imaginary HOF line may be, I wouldn't change my vote based on saying/doing something stupid as a teen/young adult. However, I can see how some voters might take it into consideration when internally debating three or four guys for the last spot on a ballot.
   651. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 31, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6059092)
And time for the regular "the purpose of the Hall of Fame is not to recognize fame but to confer it." If you think about it for 5 seconds, there is no reason to create an institution to recognize fame -- if somebody's actually famous, they don't need the recognition.

I know this is a super-old debate, and I doubt I have little new to offer; but I think it's pretty easy to simply look at Mike Trout in the PRESENT - let alone imagine his future - to cast a side-eye onto a "it could never be needed, the masses got you" assessment.


100% this. Part of my argument for why Ortiz is doing so much better than Sheffield - and probably should - is the fame component. Mike Trout is an amazing baseball player, and will probably end up as one of the greatest players of all time. He is an obvious Hall of Famer.

But he is also remarkably anonymous for such an elite athlete. He is not bringing very many extra people to ballparks to see him, or getting casual fans more interested in the sport. He is not helping the sports gain/keep market share in a world where the NBA and NFL dominate, culturally.

Now, is that Trout's job? No, fundamentally his job is to produce on the field. But he would add value to his team and the sport if he had an ounce of charisma, or any obvious interest in being a broader ambassador or face of the sport (maybe he does, and just doesn't have "it".)

If an athlete is able to produce at elite levels and deliver it with drama, charisma, and fame; if an athlete can cause the viewing world to stop in its tracks every time they take the mound, or come to the plate, all while being an elite performer? That moves you up in the Hall of Fame vote, and it should - because you have added more value to your team, the sport, the level of enjoyment for the fans (in what is ultimately an entertainment business). You have furthered the game of baseball.

Mike Trout will pass Pedro Martinez in career WAR soon - potentially as early as late next year. But who will baseball fans be talking about in 50 years, Pedro or Mike Trout? It is obvious. I mean, baseball fans aren't talking about Mike Trout right now! One can be a saber-friendly fan and give bonus consideration for fame at the same time, especially when it comes to voting for the Hall of Fame.
   652. DL from MN Posted: December 31, 2021 at 09:51 AM (#6059093)
Ortiz hasn't been quiet about his clashes with management early in his career.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/05/16/david-ortiz-still-doesnt-like-tom-kelly

   653. The Duke Posted: December 31, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6059097)
From Thibs: There were 51 10-player ballots revealed last year out of 333 total public ballots.

There are 51 10-player ballots among the first 103 revealed this year.



What’s strange about that is Ortiz is really the only new candidate that should garner a lot of votes. I wonder if this is just the way the released ballots have come out. There’s way more drops than adds so it seems odd that there are longer ballots. Maybe the swap of new guys for old guys has something to do with that
   654. dark Posted: December 31, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6059098)
A-Rod is on 31 of the 51 full ballots and Rollins has been on at least three that didn’t have A-Rod. The nine first time voters have checked off 10, 10, 8, 10, 4, 4, 10, 9, 10 so far.
   655. SoSH U at work Posted: December 31, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6059100)
From Thibs: There were 51 10-player ballots revealed last year out of 333 total public ballots.

There are 51 10-player ballots among the first 103 revealed this year.


Good catch, Duke. That's interesting. I would guess it's actually in response to last year's BBWAA shutout (we saw something similar following 2013), though only one guy, at most, is making it this time.

   656. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 31, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6059104)
From Thibs: There were 51 10-player ballots revealed last year out of 333 total public ballots.

There are 51 10-player ballots among the first 103 revealed this year.


This doesn't seem inherently strange? Nobody got in or timed out last year, and a couple of first-time candidates who will probably combine to average at least one vote per ballot were added. Throw in the usual smattering of courtesy votes and you get a ballot that's automatically more crowded than last year's. (I think the trend is usually also that the per-ballot average drops as more votes come in.)

Along with the 51 10-man ballots from last year, there were 37 9-man ballots and 22 8-man ballots. As long as those 59 voters don't automatically refuse to vote for 10 players on principle, there's a good chance that quite a few of them will cast 10 votes this year (Vizquel drops notwithstanding).

For the sake of comparison, there were 78 full ballots in the tracker in 2020 (out of 334), 168 in 2019 (out of 357), and 174 in 2018 (out of 318).
   657. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: December 31, 2021 at 12:28 PM (#6059105)
Another first-timer, Meghan Montemurro, goes Bonds/Clemens/Helton/Jones/Ortiz/Rolen/Rollins/Sheffield/Sosa/Wagner.

On the other hand, there's Paul Sullivan's vote of Buehrle/Helton/Ortiz (drops Vizquel). Which is certainly a take.
   658. alilisd Posted: December 31, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6059111)
Mike Trout will pass Pedro Martinez in career WAR soon - potentially as early as late next year. But who will baseball fans be talking about in 50 years, Pedro or Mike Trout? It is obvious. I mean, baseball fans aren't talking about Mike Trout right now!


Well, you're talking about him. ;-)

On a more serious note, your post seems highly speculative. Seems much more likely fans will be talking about both of them in 50 years. And how do you know he "is not bringing very many extra people to ballparks to see him, or getting casual fans more interested in the sport"?
   659. The Duke Posted: December 31, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6059113)
Writers love closers.

What’s the best sabr argument for putting closers (especially the one inning variety) into the Hall? I just can’t see a good justification. Almost any random pitcher would be able to close out most of these games with a 2-3 run lead. Where is the excess value ?
   660. Jaack Posted: December 31, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#6059114)
The best argument for closers is that purely leverage based evaluations put them in similar territory to HoF level pitchers. Trevor Hoffman, for example, is mostly surrounded by Hall of Famers in career WPA - Juan Marichal, Nolan Ryan, Stan Coveleski, and non-Hall of Famer Billy Pierce are his neighbors on the leaderboard

Of course, WPA has it's issues. And it is by far the most favorable value-number to relievers. And it's not even a slam dunk for anyone aside from Rivera and Hoffman really. But it's something I guess.
   661. TJ Posted: December 31, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6059115)
Another blank ballot from a voter who last voted only for Derek Jeter, this time from Ron Cook…
   662. LargeBill Posted: December 31, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6059116)
661. TJ Posted: December 31, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6059115)
Another blank ballot from a voter who last voted only for Derek Jeter, this time from Ron Cook…


Another ballot from someone who may have covered baseball in the past but has nothing to do with the sport today.
   663. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6059117)
We shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the possibility that there is a “closer mentality,” ie, that there is inherently something more psychologically demanding about pitching in the ninth. And that pitching with a one run lead in the 7th is in fact *not* the same as pitching with a one run lead in the ninth. And so perhaps your run of the mill above average starter couldn’t so easily transition to the role.

There is a psychological component of being a professional athlete that we champions of Baseball Stars should be mindful of.
   664. The Duke Posted: December 31, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6059118)
But doesn’t anyone who closes games effectively end up with a high WPA? If you aren’t a good pitcher you don’t last long so I assume anyone with a lot of saves has high WPA. Maybe I’m wrong. It doesn’t seem to me that the number distinguishes anything other than you are one of the better relievers in the randomly generated bullpen. The cardinals had a guy named Edward Mujica who came out of nowhere in 2013 to save a bunch of games. High WPA. Almost any decent pitcher can achieve a result.

And I don’t think these guys are any greater for doing it repeatedly - they are often the only reliever to get the chance. Once they get good it’s like a monopoly position. No manager would think to shuffle relievers around
   665. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2021 at 02:28 PM (#6059119)
I know this is a super-old debate, and I doubt I have little new to offer; but I think it's pretty easy to simply look at Mike Trout in the PRESENT - let alone imagine his future - to cast a side-eye onto a "it could never be needed, the masses got you" assessment.

I don't get what you're saying. The lack of "fame" of Mike Trout is the argument for a HoF that honors quality and thereby enhances the player's fame.

The first class to enter the Hall was Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson, and Walter Johnson.

With the possible exception of Mathewson, easily the 4 best players to play the game to that point. Johnson and Ruth still have solid arguments as the greatest of all-time. Even by modern standards, Mathewson is the laggard here with a mere 100 WAR; Wagner is nearly 140; the other three are 150+. Ruth and Johnson remain #1 and #2 in WAR, Cobb #6. #3 Cy Young would have been in the inaugural class except the pre/post-1900 committees couldn't decide which one had responsibility for him. But sure, Pete Alexander might have deserved it more than Mathewson.

Nobody ever claimed "fame" and "greatness" were uncorrelated. Further, nobody claims that the way the voters actually behave isn't to reward fame (since that's what we're discussing). But that wasn't the founding purpose of the HoF.

Right there in their "motto" is "honoring excellence." The criteria for induction are the playing record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team. That some voters allow fame to cloud their assessment of the playing record and playing ability does not mean that was or is the purpose.

   666. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 02:39 PM (#6059121)
. But that wasn't the founding purpose of the HoF.


I’m sure you can show evidence of this, since you’re not making things up.

. Right there in their "motto" is "honoring excellence."


Where is conferring fame?
   667. alilisd Posted: December 31, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6059129)
664. The Duke Posted: December 31, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6059118) But doesn’t anyone who closes games effectively end up with a high WPA?


Yes, I believe so. From B-R's about WPA page: "WPA Win Probability Added. Sum of the differences in win expectancies for each play the player is credited with. Can be for a play, game, season, or career. This is denoted in wins and is of a similar scale to other wins-based statistics. It is highly dependent on the context in which a player played. Elite relievers (due to their high stress innings) may have as many WPA as starters which does not occur for stats like pitching linear weights. Note that it is relative to average, so a 0 WPA player is an average player."
   668. Howie Menckel Posted: December 31, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6059136)
We shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the possibility that there is a “closer mentality,” ie, that there is inherently something more psychologically demanding about pitching in the ninth. And that pitching with a one run lead in the 7th is in fact *not* the same as pitching with a one run lead in the ninth. And so perhaps your run of the mill above average starter couldn’t so easily transition to the role.

do you have any examples of this?
   669. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 31, 2021 at 04:31 PM (#6059137)
What’s the best sabr argument for putting closers (especially the one inning variety) into the Hall? I just can’t see a good justification. Almost any random pitcher would be able to close out most of these games with a 2-3 run lead.
The best “sabr argument”, as already noted, is probably leverage-related, but the best argument is probably a non-sabr one. Lots of closers have a few good seasons, but filling that role long enough, and well enough, to merit HoF consideration is still rather rare. For all the talk of “1-inning pitchers”, the premier closers do more in important games & postseason, and the ability to pitch, and/or warm up, several days in a row may be an underrated skill. Only a very few closers can do it well for 10-15 years, and recognizing the best of them is warranted, although, of course, one can quibble about where to draw the exact line.
   670. TJ Posted: December 31, 2021 at 04:34 PM (#6059138)
Rob Maaddi announced his ballot during his Faith on the Field podcast in which he interviewed Curt Schilling. In the interview, Schilling talked about being a born again Christian, saying, “ Life gets a lot simpler when the only opinion that matters is God’s."

If there is a Judgement Day, I so want to be in line right behind Schilling to see if God’s opinion of him is what Schilling thinks it will be…
   671. alilisd Posted: December 31, 2021 at 04:36 PM (#6059139)
We shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the possibility that there is a “closer mentality,” ie, that there is inherently something more psychologically demanding about pitching in the ninth. And that pitching with a one run lead in the 7th is in fact *not* the same as pitching with a one run lead in the ninth.


Except that pitchers have been pitching the ninth literally since the invention of the game. So you would have to identify what changed that brought about this increased psychological demand. I would say it wasn't a psychological change at all, but rather teams realizing they could get better results from a fresh pitcher out of the bullpen who the batters have not already faced than out of a fatigued starter who has already been seen by the batters two or three times.

And so perhaps your run of the mill above average starter couldn’t so easily transition to the role.


Except this is pretty much how all relievers become relievers, they transition from run of the mill starter, or even less than run of the mill. A starter cannot get by on a single plus pitch, they have to have enough variety in their pitches to be able to go through a lineup three times without the batter being able to adjust. A reliever will not go through a lineup even a second time, and can absolutely be an effective pitcher in one or two innings with a single plus pitch. Hoffman and Rivera are notorious for being single pitch pitchers. I'm sure they occasionally threw other pitches, I know Hoffman did, but there was no opportunity for a batter to adjust to them in the second PA and the third PA.
   672. alilisd Posted: December 31, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6059143)
The best “sabr argument”, as already noted, is probably leverage-related, but the best argument is in probably a non-sabr one. Lots of closers have a few good seasons, but filling that role long enough, and well enough, to merit HoF consideration is still rather rare. For all the talk of “1-inning pitchers”, the premier closers do more in important games & postseason,


LOTS of closers have a few good seasons, which ought to be evidence that it is NOT a particularly difficult role. Yes, pitching is difficult to do over the long haul because it tends to break a player down, injuries are common, and the level of competition is high enough that even a slight decline due to injury leads to a loss of role or even loss of career. This has been true of pitching for a long, long time. But if any Joe Schmoe can step in and fill the role for a few seasons, it really can't be that hard, can it? There's also the quirk of performance being disconnected from results all too often to support the role being that difficult. For example, Jose Mesa from 2001-2004 finished 5th, 4th, 10th and 5th in Saves with a 113 ERA+, and a FIP of 3.87 to a raw ERA of 3.64, which I believe means he was a little lucky to even have that 113 ERA+.

You will find 9 seasons of 40 or more saves and an ERA+ of 110 or less, that's a very low level of performance for a reliever, and yet 5 of those seasons led the league in saves, including Joe Borowski's 45 with an ERA+ of 2007. There have been 172 seasons of 40 or more saves, and about 33% of those have had an ERA+ below median for a closer (looking at all seasons of 30 or more saves to qualify as a "closer" for a season puts 155 as the median ERA+, and using 149 or below in seasons with 40 saves). In 21 of those seasons below the median the pitcher led the league in saves.

Coming back to Jose Mesa, this time from a career perspective, he has 321 saves with an 83.8% success rate, despite being a starter for his first five seasons. Wagner's career save rate is 85.9%, so a 2% improvement over Mesa. Wagner never had even 50 save opportunities in a season, so sub in Mesa's career level of performance for Wagner's and you would, maybe, have one more blown save, or if you prefer, if Mesa had the same career save opportunities as Wagner, he would have ended up with just three fewer saves.
   673. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#6059147)
. Except that pitchers have been pitching the ninth literally since the invention of the game. So you would have to identify what changed that brought about this increased psychological demand. I would say it wasn't a psychological change at all, but rather teams realizing they could get better results from a fresh pitcher out of the bullpen who the batters have not already faced than out of a fatigued starter who has already been seen by the batters two or three times.


This is a strange way to dismiss the psychological component of being a professional athlete — with a point that makes no sense. Nothing changed about the ninth inning. What do you mean?
   674. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 05:25 PM (#6059148)
. do you have any examples of this?


Of what? Good pitchers who flopped as closers? Or guys who think the adrenaline of playing RBI Baseball is pretty much the same as coming into a real game late and close?
   675. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 05:31 PM (#6059149)
. There's also the quirk of performance being disconnected from results all too often to support the role being that difficult. For example, Jose Mesa from 2001-2004 finished 5th, 4th, 10th and 5th in Saves with a 113 ERA+, and a FIP of 3.87 to a raw ERA of 3.64, which I believe means he was a little lucky to even have that 113 ERA+.

You will find 9 seasons of 40 or more saves and an ERA+ of 110 or less, that's a very low level of performance for a reliever,



That’s a problem with the save statistic — it really doesn’t measure pitcher performance very well. I think we all agree on that.
   676. alilisd Posted: December 31, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6059150)
Nothing changed about the ninth inning. What do you mean?


You stated we should not dismiss the possibility there is inherently something more psychologically demanding about pitching in the ninth.

663. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6059117) We shouldn’t be quick to dismiss the possibility that there is a “closer mentality,” ie, that there is inherently something more psychologically demanding about pitching in the ninth.


Since one inning closers did not come into common use until roughly the 1990's, then what changed about pitching the 9th inning that caused it to become more psychologically demanding in the 1990's?
   677. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 05:44 PM (#6059154)
. Since one inning closers did not come into common use until roughly the 1990's, then what changed about pitching the 9th inning that caused it to become more psychologically demanding in the 1990's?


I understood you the first time. Nothing changed about the ninth inning. It was a new strategy for winning baseball games, like the shift; limiting pitchers to twice through the order; uppercut swings; openers; the decline of no-hit infielders; hitting your best guy second; and a million other things that have changed in baseball strategy over time.
   678. Howie Menckel Posted: December 31, 2021 at 06:44 PM (#6059162)
Of what? Good pitchers who flopped as closers?

yes

Or guys who think the adrenaline of playing RBI Baseball is pretty much the same as coming into a real game late and close?

so many ways to describe this beyond just "wait, what?"

this reminds me of that mid-1980s Bill James essay on stolen bases. he had discovered that the correlation between teams that steal a lot of bases and winning baseball games was - basically nonexistent.

he addressed the abstract theories that dumb announcers continue to this day to pitch - how a fast runner rattles the pitcher, how he fears throwing anything but fastballs, yada yada yada. but if having a fast player on first base is so advantageous, why don't fast teams win (any) more games than slow ones? (we now know, seems fair to say, that whatever edge is gained against the pitcher is fully countered by the disadvantage it brings to the batter.)

a "it's so hard to pitch the 9th because pressures, or something," theory is one thing. but we already know that the best and worst closers often have nearly or completely identical save pct rates of between 80 and 90 percent.

if you can't come up with a single real-life example of "And so perhaps your run of the mill above average starter couldn’t so easily transition to the role," then it might be time to throw in the towel.

I mean, one or two examples wouldn't prove your point - but having zero would go a long way toward proving the opposite.
   679. The Duke Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:05 PM (#6059166)
My theory is that there are a subset of pitchers who can’t handle the pressure but I don’t think there are pitchers who somehow get better. I don’t know if that’s provable because anyone who struggles there for more than 2 games gets yanked.
   680. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:11 PM (#6059168)
. but we already know that the best and worst closers often have nearly or completely identical save pct rates of between 80 and 90 percent.



You too are confusing the merits of the save statistic with the idea that pitching in close games in the ninth inning has a psychological component. You’re also calling me “dumb,” which if anything is a better argument than the former.
   681. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:24 PM (#6059171)
LOTS of closers have a few good seasons, which ought to be evidence that it is NOT a particularly difficult role.
Well, there are a lot of hitters who put up a few great seasons. If they did that well for their entire career, they’d be in the Hall. Similarly, the few closers who are outstanding for 10+ years are different from those who just have a few good seasons. That’s not to say that every 10-year closer should be in the Hall, but the very best off that group has a legitimate case.
   682. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:37 PM (#6059175)
. but the very best off that group has a legitimate case.



Now you’ve done it.

This is an interesting point about closers though — am I wrong to perceive that there are more of them who have a handful of outstanding seasons and then flame out than at other positions? Relievers in general seem to be this way. If most of them break from usage, there’s also something to be said for relievers who can be very effective for a dozen years. Health is a skill, etc.
   683. alilisd Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:51 PM (#6059179)
Well, there are a lot of hitters who put up a few great seasons. If they did that well for their entire career, they’d be in the Hall. Similarly, the few closers who are outstanding for 10+ years are different from those who just have a few good seasons.


Good point. But let's define a great season for each then. What would a great season for a closer be? A great season for a hitter?
   684. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 31, 2021 at 08:35 PM (#6059186)
So, if I’m reading this right, your point is that teams made the tactical error of making the 9th inning hard to pitch — irrespective of the batters faced — and so we should give the pitchers who took advantage of that stupid decision credit? C’mon, man.
   685. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: December 31, 2021 at 09:05 PM (#6059194)
Mariano Rivera's career record as a starter, before they made him a reliever: 3-3,5.94 ERA, 10 GS, 50 IP, 64 hits, 38/20 K/BB ratio...you get the idea.

John Franco was a failed starter in the minors; Lee Smith was a failed starter in the minors. In fact, he has some pretty incredible stats from his minor-league days for the Cubs. For example, in 1978 in AA, he went 8-10, ERA of 5.98, threw 155 innings, striking out 71 while walking...128!

Joe Nathan was a failed starter. In his first two seasons with the Giants, he started 29 games, 4.60 ERA, walked more batters than he struck out.

Then you've got somebody like Dennis Eckersley, who was an outstanding pitcher for several years, then struggled in his early 30s. The A's try him out as a reliever, and he ends up being as good as any reliever in history.

Rollie Fingers was pretty awful as a starting pitcher early in his career: 4.32 ERA, more hits than innings, etc.

There are examples of closers who started their careers as relievers (Sutter, Hoffman), nd there are examples of pitchers who were able to toggle between effective starters and relievers (Smoltz), but history is filled with relievers who were ineffective starters, then dropped a pitch, learned to throw two pitches well for an inning at a time 50 games a year, and became Tom Henke or Eric Gagne or something,

   686. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 11:21 PM (#6059202)
. So, if I’m reading this right, your point is that teams made the tactical error of making the 9th inning hard to pitch — irrespective of the batters faced — and so we should give the pitchers who took advantage of that stupid decision credit? C’mon, man.


Is this your sincere interpretation?
   687. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 11:26 PM (#6059203)
685,

1. You’re really calling Mariano a failed starter after ten games? You ought to check out Greg Maddux’s first ten.

2. Since we are talking about Wagner, could be worth mentioning that he was an outstanding starter in the minors. They put him in the pen right away in the majors, and he had the career he had.
   688. Howie Menckel Posted: January 01, 2022 at 12:19 AM (#6059204)
happy new year!

and if anyone in baseball - including Mariano himself - has ever claimed that he could have been successful as a starter with only one pitch, I'd love to read about it (even while I chuckle).

knuckleballer, check.
spitballer, check.

cutter-er? not so much.
   689. Adam Starblind Posted: January 01, 2022 at 12:46 AM (#6059205)
You’re right, he’d probably have needed to mix in a four seamer and a curve or change up.
   690. Walt Davis Posted: January 01, 2022 at 01:03 AM (#6059206)
Rivera got hurt along the way. Although not requiring TJS (thanks SABR), he threw just 102 innings across ages 22-23. Age 24 was a pretty standard minors starter season in terms of usage and by the end of age 25, he's been knocked around the majors a bit following some good AAA performance (which followed poor AAA performance). At this point he's 26, unsuccessful in not many ML starts, hasn't shown any ability to go deep into games and has a limited repertoire. Off to the pen is the usual move -- it worked exceptionally well.

It's certainly true that 10 starts isn't much to draw any conclusions from. It's also true lots of starters don't find themselves until age 26 or later. So we can't rule Rivera out. But to compare to Maddux, whose first 10 ML starts came at ages 20-21 is of course silly. And by age 22, Maddux was throwing 250 innings of 114 ERA+ in the majors while Rivera was throwing 59 innings at A+. The talent gap there was huge which is what annoys so many of us about closers in the HoF (much less a closer as the first unanimous pick). Oh well.
   691. Adam Starblind Posted: January 01, 2022 at 02:03 AM (#6059211)
. But to compare to Maddux, whose first 10 ML starts came at ages 20-21 is of course silly


Funny then that you went to the trouble.


   692. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 01, 2022 at 07:27 AM (#6059213)
The Rivera talk here is interesting, because it seems to me that watching his career, the Yankees wasted value by putting him in the closer role.

He was incredibly effective in middle relief. His 240 ERA+ in 1996 was basically in the middle of where his closer ERA+ numbers ranged, and of course, he threw 30-40 more innings than he did most years.


The 1996 Yankees, with Rivera in middle relief, were 86-1 when leading going into the 9th (.989)
The 1997 Yankees, in Rivera's first season as closer, were 81-6 (.931)
The 2011 Yankees, with Rivera as closer, were 91-4(.957)
The 2012 Yankees, with Rivera unexpectedly on the DL, and Rafael Soriano as the closer (.946)
The 2013 Yankees, with Rivera back as closer, were 69-4 (.945)
The 2014 Yankees, with former middle reliever David Robertson as the primary closer, were 69-2 (.971)
The 2015 Yankees, with failed starer and former middle reliever Andrew Miller as the primary closer, were 81-0
The 2016 Yankees had three guys with 9+ saves, and were 72-2 (.973)

Maybe the Yankees prioritize great 9th inning guys more than other teams. Or maybe, even having the GOAT at the position really doesn't impact your winning percentage all that much, regardless of if you can plan for the transition or have to pivot unexpectedly
   693. SoSH U at work Posted: January 01, 2022 at 08:29 AM (#6059216)
The Rivera talk here is interesting, because it seems to me that watching his career, the Yankees wasted value by putting him in the closer role.


Possibly, but other than the knuckeballing Hoyt, it's really hard to find any closer who was effective long-term with inning totals like Rivera had in 1996. For as much as people talk about Goose that way, most of his career was throwing inning totals in line with today's relievers (and much less effectively). Also, the Yankees were seemingly moderating his regular season usage for maximum postseason freshness, a move that worked exceedingly well.

The talent gap there was huge which is what annoys so many of us about closers in the HoF (much less a closer as the first unanimous pick). Oh well.


Surely Rivera in the Hall itself doesn't really annoy you, right? I dislike closers in the Hall as much as the next guy, but I don't begrudge his inclusion.
   694. LargeBill Posted: January 01, 2022 at 09:29 AM (#6059222)
682. Adam Starblind Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:37 PM (#6059175)

Now you’ve done it.

This is an interesting point about closers though — am I wrong to perceive that there are more of them who have a handful of outstanding seasons and then flame out than at other positions? Relievers in general seem to be this way. If most of them break from usage, there’s also something to be said for relievers who can be very effective for a dozen years. Health is a skill, etc.


No, you are not wrong. Speaking on behalf of fantasy baseball players, I can attest that closers have the least reliability or predictability from year to year. For every Mariano Rivera who a manager can rely on game after game year after year, there are dozens of Thigpen types who are unhittable one year and then can't get anyone out a couple years later.
   695. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 01, 2022 at 10:28 AM (#6059225)
But to compare to Maddux, whose first 10 ML starts came at ages 20-21 is of course silly

Funny then that you went to the trouble.


It's almost like someone else specifically brought up the comparison and Walt was just looking at it.
   696. The Duke Posted: January 01, 2022 at 10:50 AM (#6059227)
So if the private voters have Ortiz at 50% range, does he make it? I think he needs about 55% which would be 25% less support than public. There’s almost no one except vizquel who has outperformed public votes but the gap even for bondsclemens is only -22%. The question is whether Ortiz has more than a 25% gap. I’m guessing there are a lot of private voters who won’t give him the “first time vote” but at this point it’s hard to see Ortiz finishing below 70% and I’d wager he gets in or misses by 1-2%
   697. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 01, 2022 at 10:54 AM (#6059229)
So if the private voters have Ortiz at 50% range, does he make it? I think he needs about 55% which would be 25% less support than public.

It's worth remembering that the public support rates are not fixed at this point. (For instance, Helton currently leads Wagner by 10 in public votes; last year, Wagner edged Helton by 6 in the final public total, and the relative change between them so far is only +2 to Helton.) How that will affect Ortiz remains to be seen.
   698. alilisd Posted: January 01, 2022 at 11:12 AM (#6059230)
Or maybe, even having the GOAT at the position really doesn't impact your winning percentage all that much, regardless of if you can plan for the transition or have to pivot unexpectedly


This is the biggest issue with glorifying closers to the point of inclusion in the HOF. There's simply not enough impact on the game, they don't help their team significantly enough to warrant a HOF vote in the vast majority of cases. The position players do the heavy lifting on offense to get the runs to have a lead in the 9th, and the starting pitchers do the heavy lifting to prevent the other team from taking a lead into the 9th, but once there the team is going to win about the same number of games regardless of whether Mariano Rivera or Joe Table is pitching. And, no, I don't have any problem with Rivera in the HOF, just using him as the contrast as the post I am responding to had used him.
   699. Adam Starblind Posted: January 01, 2022 at 12:10 PM (#6059236)
. to compare to Maddux, whose first 10 ML starts came at ages 20-21 is of course silly

Funny then that you went to the trouble.

It's almost like someone else specifically brought up the comparison and Walt was just looking at it.


It’s almost like you both are deliberately missing the point, which is that nobody is a failed starter because of their first ten starts. And in no other context would anyone on this site claim otherwise. I happened to remember that Maddux was bad for two years, and I was certainly not going to go to the trouble of proving with research that good starters sometimes get off to a bad start. The silly part was Walt’s attempt to disprove it by looking things up on bbref.
   700. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 01, 2022 at 12:37 PM (#6059239)
It’s almost like you both are deliberately missing the point, which is that nobody is a failed starter because of their first ten starts. And in no other context would anyone on this site claim otherwise. I happened to remember that Maddux was bad for two years, and I was certainly not going to go to the trouble of proving with research that good starters sometimes get off to a bad start. The silly part was Walt’s attempt to disprove it by looking things up on bbref.

I actually happen to think that "Rivera as failed starter" is a weak argument (and an unnecessary one, as there are plenty of better examples of mediocre-to-poor starters becoming excellent closers). I can hold that opinion at the same time as I think it's obnoxious for you to mock someone for directly responding to an argument that you brought up.

But also I'm going to let other people continue this part of the conversation if they want to; "relievers in the Hall" has been rehashed literally dozens of times on this site, including multiple instances in this thread alone.
Page 7 of 12 pages ‹ First  < 5 6 7 8 9 >  Last ›

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogThe AL MVP race is closer than you think
(30 - 12:50am, Aug 16)
Last: sunday silence (again)

NewsblogYankees in desperate need of jolt as feeble slide continues to grow concern
(4 - 12:48am, Aug 16)
Last: TVerik - Dr. Velocity

NewsblogTwitter: Andres Gimenez makes a great, heads-up play
(3 - 11:06pm, Aug 15)
Last: My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo

NewsblogRangers fire manager Chris Woodward in midst of fourth straight losing season
(17 - 11:05pm, Aug 15)
Last: Jaack

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of August 15-22, 2022
(15 - 10:46pm, Aug 15)
Last: The Duke

NewsblogFernando Tatis Jr. offers ridiculous lie as excuse for cheating
(16 - 10:18pm, Aug 15)
Last: Dillon Gee Escape Plan

NewsblogMajor League Baseball's postseason schedule could feature latest calendar date in World Series history
(14 - 9:42pm, Aug 15)
Last: Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - European Leages Return
(39 - 8:29pm, Aug 15)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Newsblog2022 NBA Playoffs thread
(4163 - 7:41pm, Aug 15)
Last: 57i66135 is a hard word for me.

NewsblogForecasting The 2022-23 Qualifying Offers: Position Players - MLB Trade Rumors
(12 - 6:31pm, Aug 15)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogTwitter: Wynton Bernard makes the major leagues [video]
(5 - 4:45pm, Aug 15)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

Sox TherapyPredictions of Ridiculousness
(73 - 4:12pm, Aug 15)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

NewsblogHochman: Ozzie Smith, '82 Cardinals celebrate 40 years since World Series title | Benjamin Hochman | stltoday.com
(6 - 3:40pm, Aug 15)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogJourneyman Wynton Bernard keys Colorado Rockies win after 10 seasons in minors
(3 - 3:29pm, Aug 15)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogGM Mike Elias: Orioles Will “Significantly Escalate The Payroll” During Offseason
(13 - 3:25pm, Aug 15)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 1.0014 seconds
45 querie(s) executed