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Monday, December 12, 2022

Baseball Hall of Fame tracker 2023

Baldrick Posted: December 12, 2022 at 09:22 AM | 738 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   501. bachslunch Posted: January 13, 2023 at 04:40 PM (#6113122)
Flip again.
   502. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 14, 2023 at 03:10 PM (#6113207)
Steve Goldman with a vote of Helton-Kent-KRod-Vizquel-Wagner. Probably not quite the worst possible ballot to include Helton, but not a great one.

On the other hand, Rolen picks up another (which appears to be Steven Marcus, with a Rolen-only vote), now at +11 (effectively +13.75 with first time/returning voters factored in). Still too close to call.
   503. alilisd Posted: January 14, 2023 at 04:36 PM (#6113213)
Rolen picks up another (which appears to be Steven Marcus, with a Rolen-only vote)


More likely David Skretta who was counted on January 12, Marcus came in way back on December 3. Skretta also added Helton and kept Jones, three altogether.
   504. The Duke Posted: January 14, 2023 at 09:13 PM (#6113225)
Are we due for any more material releases ? Or are we basically done until the formal announcement ?
   505. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 14, 2023 at 09:33 PM (#6113229)
ESPN usually does a big drop the day before the announcement; I think MLB.com does something similar.
   506. The Duke Posted: January 15, 2023 at 08:53 AM (#6113237)
So with most of the ballots we see going to get already out - what are everyone's predictions?

I think Rolen will get in and Helton will finish around 73-74%. Sadly Wagner will finish in high 60s/low 70s. Jones in the high 60s. Sheffield will end up in low 60s. I think Beltran will do better than projected and crack 60%.
   507. cookiedabookie Posted: January 15, 2023 at 09:05 AM (#6113238)
Helton and Rolen in the 72-74% range, with a decent chance Helton ends up ahead of Rolen imo. Wagner mid 60s, Jones low 60s, Beltran under 50%
   508. dark Posted: January 15, 2023 at 09:32 AM (#6113239)
I’d argue there’s not much chance Helton finishes ahead of Rolen. Rolen has 12 adds to Helton’s 25, though Rolen has a drop. But we’re 40% through the vote and Helton has only made up 14 votes, and Rolen is doing 3 votes better on first-timers/newly returning voters. Even if their rate of adds continue as is, Rolen would finish ahead, and I’d expect Helton’s to slow more than Rolen’s given where they were in 2022.

I’d have Rolen in 73-76 range, Helton in 68-72 range, Wagner in 67-70 range, Jones around 60, Sheffield mid/high 50s, Beltrán a hair below 50.

   509. alilisd Posted: January 15, 2023 at 11:31 AM (#6113242)
I’d argue there’s not much chance Helton finishes ahead of Rolen. Rolen has 12 adds to Helton’s 25, though Rolen has a drop. But we’re 40% through the vote and Helton has only made up 14 votes, and Rolen is doing 3 votes better on first-timers/newly returning voters.


I was looking at the voting breakdowns Thibs includes on his marvelous spreadsheet. Very encouraging for Rolen that he is 75% on anonymous, 100 on new voters and returning voters who did not vote last year. I still feel like he'll end up just shy of the required 75%, but those sorts of results amongst those groups are encouraging and perhaps indicative he'll do well enough with non-public ballots to make it in.

I'm not sure why some are projecting Wagner to drop so much. He just doesn't drop much between pre and post announcement results. He's at 72.2% now, it would be strange for him to finish below 70%, more likely, IMO, for him to be just a bit above 70.
   510. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 15, 2023 at 04:15 PM (#6113277)
I'm not sure why some are projecting Wagner to drop so much. He just doesn't drop much between pre and post announcement results. He's at 72.2% now, it would be strange for him to finish below 70%, more likely, IMO, for him to be just a bit above 70.

We don't have the pre-announcement result yet, though. If memory serves, ballots announced closer to the day usually average fewer votes.
   511. alilisd Posted: January 16, 2023 at 12:00 PM (#6113346)
We don't have the pre-announcement result yet, though. If memory serves, ballots announced closer to the day usually average fewer votes.


Ah, yes that sounds reasonable.
   512. taxandbeerguy Posted: January 16, 2023 at 08:43 PM (#6113392)
Seems like a lot less activity this year, that's probably due to no Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Sosa. There's also no crazy compelling stories, Does Rolen get in? Maybe. Helton, Jones and Wagner continuing big jumps to get closer to 75% isn't that exciting. Manny and A-Rod in purgatory around 30-35%. Beltran could have been interesting but its clear he'll wait at least a year. Does he have a second year jump like an Alomar (Guerrero was crowded ballot issue and other writers thought he was going in in year 1 but didn't need their support. Enough writers thought this and hence he was at 72% in yr 1)
The %% crew - with the exodus from last year -all returning candidates should get there - although Torii Hunter isn't tracking great so far. To his credit he has 2 adds and 1 drop. K-Rod's the only other first year guy who appears that he's going to get 5%

Throwing it out there:
Rolen 73%
Wagner 67%
Helton 66%
Jones 55%
Beltran 53%
Sheffield 52%
Kent 46%
A-Rod 37%
Manny 31%
Vizquel 24%
Pettitte 17%
Abreu 15%
Rollins 14%
K-Rod 12%
Buehrle 11%
Hunter 6%
Others under 5%

We may be relying on public votes as to saying many of the SABR trio (Rolen, Helton and Jones) won't drop as much, however if memory serves me right if the pre announcement voters (about half) averaged 8 votes, the released after announcement voters averaged 7 and the private voters averaged 6. That was from 2022 maybe although the numbers may not be as robust as that. So I'd expect all the %'s are higher than the final with the exception of Hunter and Vizquel and the guys not yet on any ballots. For Helton and Rolen (and to a lesser extent Wagner) the big question is "what is that gap?"
   513. The Duke Posted: January 17, 2023 at 01:45 PM (#6113467)
The Beltran results have to be good for him. I assume no one who debuted in the 50% range has failed to make it unless maybe one of the PED guys achieved that.
   514. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 17, 2023 at 03:31 PM (#6113487)
There's a bunch of deserving guys on the ballot, but none of them have a particularly vocal constituency.

Plus we just had a really active December in terms of FA signings, which may have distracted from the typical HOF debates. Usually the FA action happens a little later and so there's more dead airtime to devote to HOF discussions in December and early January among people who are focused on baseball in the winter.
   515. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 17, 2023 at 03:40 PM (#6113490)
I assume no one who debuted in the 50% range has failed to make it unless maybe one of the PED guys achieved that.


Not quite 50%, but Schilling debuted with 38.8% although he might eventually make it via the Veterans Committee (or whatever they're calling it these days).

Vizquel (37.0% on first ballot) was also a little shy of 50% but seems unlikely to make it.

For both, post-career off-field stuff diminished their chances.
   516. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:13 PM (#6113498)
Garvey hit 41.6 percent his maiden year on the ballot. He only surpassed that figure once (42.6 percent in Year 3) over his next 14 eligible.

   517. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:59 PM (#6113509)
The final number is what really matters for Beltran; his public-private split could be a big deal (both because of his jack-of-all, master-of-none profile and because of trashcan lid banging).
   518. alilisd Posted: January 17, 2023 at 07:51 PM (#6113528)
The final number is what really matters for Beltran; his public-private split could be a big deal (both because of his jack-of-all, master-of-none profile and because of trashcan lid banging).


Yeah, I have no idea how Beltran will play with more traditional voters, even if there hadn't been the issue with sign stealing, I don't have any idea how he would have done. He's an odd player from a traditional perspective. If you're a SABR savvy voter, you like WAR, he's an easy pick. But if you're looking for big counting stats on a seasonal basis, they're not there. No black ink, very little grey ink from a HOF perspective, yet he meets the HOF standards relative to the average HOF. He ends up looking sort of like a compiler when you see things like only 2 seasons in the top 10 for hits but nearly 3000 career, 3 seasons in the top 10 for HR but over 400 and 47th career, similar for RBI.

He was a ROY, but then slumped so badly as a sophomore that they sent him down. He was really good for the next three years, but overlooked for awards and AS recognition perhaps because of being in KC. Massive post season with Houston, signs big FA contract with the Mets and flops, but bounces back and has a great year in 2009 with some MVP love, wins 3 GG and 2 SS with the Mets. But then he becomes a bit of a journeyman/hired gun? How would that be received? How much credit would they give to his CF defense and stellar baserunning early in his career? The sign stealing has definitely been a big topic in those voters who've published from what I can see. If not voting for him, that is cited, and if they are voting for him, they still mention it and explain why they don't see it being worth withholding a vote.
   519. John Northey Posted: January 17, 2023 at 07:54 PM (#6113529)
For the guys on their 2nd and beyond ballot the Net Gain is #1. +27 for Helton, +26 for Wagner, +24 for Scheffield, +22 for Jones are all big figures (Kent's +26 isn't getting him elected this time, but might help him in the Vets later - big if he can crack 50% as that is seen as 'we gotta get him in' by the Vets quite often). +11/+12 for Rolen, Pettitte, and Abreu. Quite surprised by Buehrle at +8. Get a laught out of the +5/-5 net 0 for ManRam and Vizquel +-6 net 0. At this pace Vizquel could be removed from the ballot after next year by going sub 5%.

My favorite oddity is guys who vote for Sheffield or ManRam but not A-Rod.
3 have both ManRam and Sheffield but no A-Rod. Ryan Fagan, Bruce Miles, Tara Sullivan. I seriously question all of their ability to judge baseball players for the HOF.
There are 46 who voted for Sheffield but not A-Rod or ManRam. Obviously people who never read Game of Shadows or the Mitchell Report.
   520. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2023 at 07:59 PM (#6113531)
Not necessarily. Some voters could make a distinction between post-testing and pre-testing usage.

The Manny/No Arod voters have no defense.
   521. John Northey Posted: January 17, 2023 at 08:09 PM (#6113532)
There also are 2 who voted for K-Rod and not Billy Wagner, vs the 101 who voted Wagner but not K-Rod.

Bruce Miles seems to really hate A-Rod, as he voted for PED cheats ManRam, Pettitte, and Sheffield but not A-Rod.

18 so far didn't vote for either of the 2 favorites (Helton & Rolen) but 4 of those voted for Beltran, 4 for Jones, 3 for Kent, 7 for ManRam, 8 for A-Rod, 1 for K-Rod, 1 for Rollins, 1 for Vizquel, 3 for Wagner. Just interesting to see what the contrary crew thinks makes a HOF'er vs what most sane people think makes one.
   522. Howie Menckel Posted: January 17, 2023 at 08:53 PM (#6113533)
I've always been intrigued by the CF aspect.

'best players of all time' all-positions discussions of course include Cobb, Mays, Mantle, DiMaggio, Speaker, Charleston etc in any order. and they don't need defensive credit in the minds of media and fans to rate at or near the very top.

because of that, I think it's too easy to fall into a trap of 'an OF is an OF.'

so a guy like Beltran, AJones, Lofton, Edmonds, etc. don't get nearly the defensive credit they deserve. damn those all-time greats for also being CFs!

I love Nimmo as a ballplayer, but I don't think he's great by any means. But MLB Network the other day rated current CFs with a half-dozen methods and/or voters. Nimmo finished 4th or 5th in MLB, I think, across the board and I was surprised because I forgot that few CFs contribute a lot offensively and Nimmo is an OBP machine.

and Beltran - like the others - gets paired up against LF and RF lummoxes and looks a bit less dazzling for it.

per 519, I used to work with one of the 3 writers listed. will mull what the thinking there might have been....
   523. JJ1986 Posted: January 17, 2023 at 09:42 PM (#6113536)
Is Beltran getting more 'no' votes for the banging because voters are so used to giving 'nos' for extra-statistical reasons at this point with all of the PED candidates?
   524. The Duke Posted: January 17, 2023 at 10:55 PM (#6113540)
I think Beltran biggest issue is the "won't vote for a guy on first ballot who I know will go in". I think that's the bigger reason votes are withholding. A guy like Buerhle isn't going to have that issue but I could see many saying "I'll vote for Beltran in year 2". I expect he will move into 60s next year and then go in before year 5.
   525. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 17, 2023 at 11:18 PM (#6113541)
Is Beltran getting more 'no' votes for the banging because voters are so used to giving 'nos' for extra-statistical reasons at this point with all of the PED candidates?

Last I checked (I'll look again once we have more complete data), there was less correlation between Beltran votes and Manny/A-Rod votes than I would have expected initially. So it may be partly the off-field stuff, but I don't think that's all it is.
   526. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 17, 2023 at 11:46 PM (#6113543)
Beltran may be losing a few votes due to the Astros’ sign stealing scandal, but I think his vote share is pretty consistent with what a player of his caliber gets on the first ballot and expect him to get in fairly easily within a few years.
   527. TomH Posted: January 18, 2023 at 08:00 AM (#6113550)
Maybe this has said before.

Beltran had an AMAZING post-season record. But he has very little post-season NARRATIVE.

OPS, over 1.000. WPA over 2 games positive; one of the best ever. One walkoff RBI, one walkoff run scored.
But with only one WS trophy (at age 40, didn't play much in WS, plus trash cans), he doesn't have the Morris/Mazeroski/eter/Ortiz post-season glow. Which is a shame, cause he did as much as anyone to help his teams win.
   528. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 18, 2023 at 10:42 AM (#6113556)
Beltran had an AMAZING post-season record. But he has very little post-season NARRATIVE.

Very true. As great as his playoff numbers are, the defining October memory is Beltran striking out looking to end the 2006 NLCS. The Mets were easily the best team in the NL that year.
   529. TomH Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:31 AM (#6113567)
right.. if he had swung and popped it up or hit a rope for an out, it would in all likelihood *not* be the defining moment.

Life isn't fair. But we could make it more fair by helping people remember that history differently over time. Beltranbeing fooled on one pitch should not be the icon of his post-season story. Jeter should not be remembered as diving into the stands after catching a foul pop as if that was an astounding play, when it wasn't even the best foul out catch made by a middle infielder in that game (seriously). Jack Morris's single great game is surrounded by other mediocre clutch performances. Ted Williams' clutch failure is not why the Red Sox never won a World Series in the 40s. Etc Etc
   530. John DiFool2 Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:58 AM (#6113570)
#522: Of course none of those guys have played in at least 50 years now.

I wonder why Puckett got such a pass, then? Since Say Hey got in, the BBWAA CFers have been Junior, Union Gap, and The Hawk (who of course spent a lot of time in right). They really need to rethink their standards there, else in the next 50 we're only going to see Trout get in.

There is literally nobody else in CF remotely on the horizon other than him, unless McCutcheon does a Beltre. 9th ranked active in JAWS is Jackie Bradley Jr., which tells you everything you need to know. [Yeah Mookie could have handled center and slotted in right behind Trout if it wasn't for JBJ]
   531. alilisd Posted: January 18, 2023 at 12:44 PM (#6113576)
I wonder why Puckett got such a pass, then? Since Say Hey got in, the BBWAA CFers have been Junior, Union Gap, and The Hawk (who of course spent a lot of time in right). They really need to rethink their standards there, else in the next 50 we're only going to see Trout get in.


I always thought Puckett got the "he was a great guy" and "what a shame he was cut down by health" treatment. Of course he would also have benefited from the perceptions of the time as he has awards, AS appearances, lots of low level MVP support, a post season MVP and 2 WS rings. He was a guy who racked up lots of hits and retired with a .318 BA and no real/significant decline. Not a "pass" so much as a perfect storm.

I think it's far too early to say standards need to be revised for the position, but I do think the committees need to get Lofton, and perhaps Edmonds in given the unfortunate circumstances they both faced when coming onto the ballot. And of course the writers should elect both Beltran and Jones.
   532. alilisd Posted: January 18, 2023 at 02:10 PM (#6113588)
I enjoy these HOF group discussions on MLB:

https://www.mlb.com/news/reevaluating-baseball-hall-of-fame-snubs

It's fascinating some of the bizarre positions held by certain writers. Feinsand, for instance, thinks Keith Hernandez is a glove first/only 1B, and Mattingly is a much stronger candidate, although he at least concedes Mattingly may not necessarily be a HOF. Not enough power for Hernandez. One of the guys gets push back for saying he'd vote Hernandez over McGriff even though a cursory look should show McGriff was an average fielder with a big bat for half his career, and then for the second half of his career a below average fielder with a lesser bat than Hernandez, OPS+ of just 119 from 1995 on. Fine, you like his 493* career HR, but you shouldn't ignore superiority in every other aspect of the game with a well above average bat.
   533. The Duke Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:03 PM (#6113623)
If anything, it shows how hard it will be for Keith a) to make a vets ballot and b) get 12 votes if he does get on the ballot. I don't feel like he's a slam dunk Hall of Famer but of people on the outside looking in, he has to be one of the top 5-10 candidates (non- PED). Keith has had that cocaine thing following Him around - it was a big deal at the time and it just feels like no one ever has let that go.
   534. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 20, 2023 at 09:42 AM (#6113729)
Jayson Stark's ballot (sub): Beltran, Rolen, Wagner, Helton, Kent, Sheffield, Rollins. A very thorough explanation, as usual, plus an interesting discussion about his no-vote for Andruw.

Yes, I’ve seen the metrics that rank Jones as the greatest defensive center fielder in history. But I’ve also seen the fascinating work of Chris Dial (@Pfeiffer86 on Twitter), one of the original writers for Baseball Think Factory and a longtime member of SABR’s Defensive Index Committee, which spent years supplying data for Gold Glove voters.

Dial’s eye-popping conclusion: Andruw’s peak with the glove was significantly shorter than commonly believed.

Dial told me his research shows that after Jones’ first four years, his weight began to balloon, while — in a related development — his speed and jumps declined. Dial also found Jones’ defensive value in those years was inflated by his arm and the many “discretionary outs” he all but stole from his infielders and corner outfielders on softly hit balls that center fielders don’t normally haul in.

So what’s the gist of all that? Dial believes Andruw should have clearly won “only” three or four Gold Gloves — but nowhere near the 10 he actually won, even if you allow for all the variables. I’m not going to bog this down with his voluminous charts and data. But if Dial is even half-right, that means Jones needs more than just defense to make a convincing Hall of Fame case. And has he done that?
   535. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2023 at 10:22 AM (#6113735)
So what’s the gist of all that? Dial believes Andruw should have clearly won “only” three or four Gold Gloves — but nowhere near the 10 he actually won, even if you allow for all the variables. I’m not going to bog this down with his voluminous charts and data. But if Dial is even half-right, that means Jones needs more than just defense to make a convincing Hall of Fame case. And has he done that?


Apparently Kent and Rollins have. Insert huge eye roll here.
   536. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2023 at 10:30 AM (#6113738)
Wow, Rolen now has only 1 more public vote than Helton! Helton has added 28 votes without dropping any, a huge increase. I hope I'm overreacting, but it seems like Rolen has some hard core resistance out there, and with Beltre hitting the ballot next year it does not bode well for him. Historically candidates who have a clearly superior comp debut on the ballot take a hit. If Rolen takes a big enough hit, and the effects linger for a ballot or two, he'll be right on the edge of eligibility expiring and may still be trying to get across that 75% threshold. The good news would be years 9 and 10 for him are really lacking in high quality first year candidates.
   537. DL from MN Posted: January 20, 2023 at 10:54 AM (#6113741)
I think Andruw's case is not as good as Edmonds or Lofton. That's consistent with the "skip over the best guys, we'll elect the marginal players instead" philosophy that has been apparent in Hall of Fame voting recently.
   538. reech Posted: January 20, 2023 at 12:07 PM (#6113745)
#536
Perhaps Rolen has some hard core resistance because he's not qualified to be in the HOF.
   539. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2023 at 12:07 PM (#6113746)
Wow, Rolen now has only 1 more public vote than Helton! Helton has added 28 votes without dropping any, a huge increase. I hope I'm overreacting, but it seems like Rolen has some hard core resistance out there, and with Beltre hitting the ballot next year it does not bode well for him. Historically candidates who have a clearly superior comp debut on the ballot take a hit. If Rolen takes a big enough hit, and the effects linger for a ballot or two, he'll be right on the edge of eligibility expiring and may still be trying to get across that 75% threshold. The good news would be years 9 and 10 for him are really lacking in high quality first year candidates.



That can hurt under some circumstances, but given how close he'll be (if he actually comes up short), I don't think it will matter. It's not like the rest of the ballot is overflowing with candidates. All three should make it next year.

Perhaps Rolen has some hard core resistance because he's not qualified to be in the HOF.


No, that's not it.
   540. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:03 PM (#6113771)
That can hurt under some circumstances, but given how close he'll be (if he actually comes up short), I don't think it will matter. It's not like the rest of the ballot is overflowing with candidates. All three should make it next year.


I shall try to remain hopeful, thank you :-)
   541. Adam Starblind Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:34 PM (#6113776)
This site used to have great Keltner writeups. I imagine Rolen comes out pretty so-so.
   542. The Duke Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:36 PM (#6113777)
Rolen has ballot turnover in his favor. Every year more and more people who don't like him will leave and almost everyone new is voting for him. Personally I think the number of old farts leaving is accelerating and Rolen will get in. It's possible helton will now too.
   543. DL from MN Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:54 PM (#6113780)
Apparently Kent and Rollins have. Insert huge eye roll here.


Kent and Rollins are both more qualified than Billy Wagner.
   544. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2023 at 04:20 PM (#6113786)
Perhaps Rolen has some hard core resistance because he's not qualified to be in the HOF.


I suppose this is self-evident. Those not voting for him believe so, but it's not uncommon for players recently elected to have 15% or more of the voters believe they are not qualified. So the "hard core" in this case being the difference between 75 and say 70 to 74%. But still how would we determine he's qualified or not? I've frequently read voters citing lack of in season durability, but this is overblown. As Walt Davis has pointed out, the idea of 650, or even 600 PA's being the mark of a full season is not realistic, nor accurate. For example, Rolen had "just" 497 PA's in 1999, that was 78th in the NL. With 16 teams and 7 "everyday" position players making up 112 "everyday" players, he certainly qualifies as one with that level of playing time. The same is true for him in 2007 and 2008, the other two seasons he was below 500 PA's. So the lack of in season durability is a canard, IMO.

Would he not be qualified due to low career counting stats? If you look at HOF 3B (I break positions out by pre and post 1950), he does look short on most, but pretty good on 2B, HR and RBI compared to the average (Schmidt, Mathews, Boggs, Brett, Jones, Robinson and Santo). Much of this is due to his lower PA's, which are about 2000 below the average. I suppose one could disqualify him on this basis. Personally, I think the HOF voters have put far too much emphasis on career counting stats though, and this misses peak, true greatness, while sometimes rewarding longevity at a lower level. Of course it also misses defense, which is a big part of Rolen's case. So if you look at his offensive counting stats relative to Robinson, a glove guy, THE glove guy, you'll see Rolen actually looks much better. Despite a huge edge in playing time for Robinson, the difference in counting stats is minimal except for hits. Also, just looking at Robinson from 1959-1971, leaving out his early seasons and decline years, only gets his OPS+ up to 113 in virtually identical PA's to Rolen who has a 122 career OPS+. So while he may not be Robinson's equal with the glove, he's still outstanding, and better by Rfield than any other current HOF 3B, and he's a better bat.

I think the issue for Rolen appearing unqualified is 3B have an exceptionally high standard, if you consider the standard to be currently in the HOF 3B post 1950. At the top you have two players, Schmidt and Mathews, whose bat would have put them in the HOF even had they played 1B. Then you have two of the greatest hitters for average of the post 1950's in Brett and Boggs. Chipper Jones very nearly hit 500 HR and finished with a career 300 average. Robinson is the standard for defensive 3B and is probably among the players most people think of as defensive wizards regardless of position. And finally there is Santo, who got booted unceremoniously from the ballot with less than 5% in his first year, then reinstated and still never gaining any real traction, before finally being given his due by the VC after his death. That's a tough crowd!

Here are the average career WAR by position for HOF post 1950: 1B 65.6, 2B 63.5, SS 73, LF 70, CF 80.8 (take out Mantle and Mays it drops to 63.3), RF 86.3 (take out Aaron and Robinson it drops to 75.2). For Rolen he's looking at 3B with an average of 88.2! That's higher than any other position, and even if you take out Schmidt and Mathews it's still 82.8! That drop is less than half the drop of RF taking out Aaron and Robinson. It really seems like the 3B position has been held to too high a standard. Perhaps the exceptional hitters who've been inducted make it difficult to see beyond or below their level. Perhaps the inability to see the defensive demands and performance of the position make it difficult to judge. Regardless of the reason, a guy who puts up 70 career WAR with a reasonable peak (I use 5 years which show him comparable to Robinson and Jones, or JAWS7 which also show him as comparable to those two) ought to be qualified for the HOF.

There are only 28 position players post 1950 with at least 60 WAR who are not in the HOF. Three of them are not yet eligible, three were dumped due to PED issues, one is permanently ineligible, eight are currently on the ballot. Interestingly four of them, five if you include Rolen, are 3B. Seems like a bit of a stretch to say Rolen is unqualified when looking at this list. If you look at it the other way round, so to speak, you'll find 37 position players who are in the HOF with less than 70 career WAR and at least 1000 games played post 1950. That's nearly half (Edit: Oops, over half) of the 70 HOF position players who played at least 1000 games post 1950. Again, seems difficult to say Rolen would not be qualified based on this.
   545. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2023 at 04:27 PM (#6113788)
Kent and Rollins are both more qualified than Billy Wagner.


No doubt, no doubt.
   546. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 20, 2023 at 05:09 PM (#6113795)
This site used to have great Keltner writeups. I imagine Rolen comes out pretty so-so.

At a glance, he seems to do fine. He has an argument for best third baseman in baseball in his prime (especially while Chipper was in the outfield); he may have been the best player on his Phillies teams (depending on how you feel about Abreu and pre-trade Schilling); he is probably the best eligible 3B who isn't in (depending on how you classify A-Rod, but I'd put him at short). Plenty of involvement in pennant races (and arguably should have won the '06 WS MVP, although his overall postseason record isn't great). 10 4-WAR seasons (roughly All-Star quality) and was chosen 8 times, which is solid (especially in a loaded field at 3B).

He doesn't check every box, but "best player not in the Hall" looks like it's going to be an impossible standard for quite a while at this point. It's at least not an obvious "no" based on the Keltner list.
   547. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 20, 2023 at 05:12 PM (#6113797)
Blank ballots continue to infuriate me; I consider this voting malpractice. People who turn in blank ballots should not only be stripped of their ballot forvermore, but should be dick-punched. Hard. (Yes, the women, too.)
   548. reech Posted: January 20, 2023 at 05:56 PM (#6113802)
If a voter looked at Rolens hitting stats... 2x over .300 and a 52 WAR, there's a compelling case that he's HOVG.

Defense plays such a big part of his case... was he Maz or Brooks or Ozzie?
If so, then it's a yes vote.
But...
I can see 1/3 of voters disagreeing.
   549. Mike A Posted: January 20, 2023 at 07:42 PM (#6113807)
Dial’s eye-popping conclusion: Andruw’s peak with the glove was significantly shorter than commonly believed.
Mets fan, don't trust him.

Brings me back to the old rsb days when Dial and I would argue over Chipper's defense. Seriously, he's probably right that Andruw's defense slipped earlier than most think...but I don't think it was quite as early as Dial's conclusions, though.

I see Andruw as right on the HoF border, and as noted, there are better candidates. But the Braves fan in me would like to see him in someday, and it does look like he'll get there eventually.
   550. alilisd Posted: January 20, 2023 at 08:21 PM (#6113809)
If a voter looked at Rolens hitting stats... 2x over .300 and a 52 WAR, there's a compelling case that he's HOVG.


If a voter used this criteria, there's not a compelling case for anything except that the voter is incompetent. 52 WAR? You mean his oWAR? Sure, completely ignore the stellar defense, if that's how you get to a HOVG conclusion, I guess

   551. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 20, 2023 at 11:04 PM (#6113815)
Defense plays such a big part of his case... was he Maz or Brooks or Ozzie?
If so, then it's a yes vote.


Huh? Since when do you have to be the greatest fielder of all time at your position for your defense to matter? I don't think anyone considers Larry Walker the greatest RF of all time, but given the narrow margin of his induction (76.6% on the last ballot), I suspect he would have been left out if not for his 7 Gold Gloves.

bWAR thinks Rolen was about 60% of Brooks defensively (by career value). You could make that 40%, dock him half a dozen wins, and still have a reasonable Hall case.
   552. alilisd Posted: January 21, 2023 at 12:21 PM (#6113828)
A couple of Rangers writers dropped ballots. Sadly one of them is voting for both Wagner and Rodriguez, sadder still is the justification he uses. "We need more closers in the HOF. Rodriguez has those 400+ saves!"
   553. The Duke Posted: January 21, 2023 at 04:48 PM (#6113849)
Future Hall of Famer Sal Bando died. Another great ballplayer from my youth
   554. Srul Itza Posted: January 21, 2023 at 04:51 PM (#6113850)
Sal was one and done for HOF voting. I have to think that today he would get a bit more traction.
   555. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 21, 2023 at 05:03 PM (#6113852)
A run at Rolen's Keltner List:

1) Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball?

No.

2) Was he the best player on his team?

Briefly on the Phillies where the best player was either him or Abreu. His Cardinals career was spent alongside Pujols.

3) Was he the best player in baseball (or in the league) at his position?

Yes.

4) Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?

Yes.

5) Was he a good enough player that he could continue to play regularly after passing his prime?

Yes.

6) Is he the very best player in baseball history who is not in the Hall of Fame?

No.

7) Are most players who have comparable career statistics in the Hall of Fame?

There are a number of 3B with JAWS slightly below his who are not in the HOF. Every 3B with more JAWS is in the HOF, aside from Beltre.

8) Do these players' numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?

Yes.

9) Is there evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?

His statistics, including the best available advanced fielding metrics, measured him as among the best defensive 3B. By all accounts, he was a clean player during the PED era. It's possible that he would compare better if PED use hadn't occurred when he played (e.g., he might have won the NL MVP in 2004 with a 9.2 WAR season; he finished 4th behind Bonds, Beltre, and Pujols).

10) Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame but not in?

Yes.

11) How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?

He finished in the Top 10 MVP three times in his career. He had (4) seasons with 6+ WAR.

12) How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the other players who played in this many go into the Hall of Fame?

He was a 7 time All Star. He had (11) seasons of 4+ WAR over the course of his career.

13) If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

Probably not.

14) What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?

Not responsible for any rule changes that I'm aware of.

15) Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?

To the best of my knowledge, yes.
   556. SoSH U at work Posted: January 21, 2023 at 05:17 PM (#6113854)
Probably not.


Well, they did win the pennant the year he had the best season on the Cards.
   557. John DiFool2 Posted: January 21, 2023 at 06:05 PM (#6113860)
13) If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

Probably not.


Then the vast majority of HoFers would fail this question.
   558. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 21, 2023 at 06:25 PM (#6113861)
13) If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?

Probably not.


Then the vast majority of HoFers would fail this question.


This might be the worst-phrased question on the list. You could very clearly build a team with Rolen as the best player that could win a pennant, but beyond Babe Ruth in the early '20s, there's no such thing as a player who single-handedly makes his team "likely" to win the pennant.
   559. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 21, 2023 at 06:46 PM (#6113862)
I agree it's probably the weakest question in terms of quality of wording, as the standard is either quite low or impossibly high. Here's my thought process on it:

If you take Rolen's 7 best stretch (1998-2004), he averaged 6.26 fWAR. Is a majority of first-place teams' best players worth more or less than 6.26 wins?

I suspect it's a higher average, but it's an open empirical question as far as I know. I'd be curious to see some data on it. Might take a run at it later tonight after the football games.
   560. Booey Posted: January 21, 2023 at 06:48 PM (#6113863)
Barry's 73 homers and .863 SLG in 2001 wasn't enough to win the Giants the pennant. Neither was his 1.422 OPS (.609 OBP, .813 SLG) in 2004.

So yeah, it's a dumb question. Baseball is way too much of a team sport to expect individual players to make that big of a difference in the win column by themselves.
   561. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 21, 2023 at 07:01 PM (#6113865)
Quick and dirty:

I selected the teams with the best record 1996-2012 and found the average fWAR of their best hitters. The mean was 6.46 and median was 6.4, so a tick or two above Rolen. But it's close.
   562. The Duke Posted: January 21, 2023 at 07:27 PM (#6113866)
So Mike Trout is not a no-brainer inductee after all.
   563. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 21, 2023 at 09:05 PM (#6113868)
So Mike Trout is not a no-brainer inductee after all.


Trout's seven year peak is well-above 6.5 fWAR...
   564. Booey Posted: January 22, 2023 at 01:05 AM (#6113884)
#563 - And it was still never good enough to lead the Angels to the pennant (or even a single postseason win). So again, it's a dumb question.
   565. bookbook Posted: January 22, 2023 at 11:37 AM (#6113900)
Trout did lead the Angels to a better than .500 record once or twice….
   566. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 22, 2023 at 12:26 PM (#6113907)
Are you trolling or do you not understand the question?
   567. alilisd Posted: January 22, 2023 at 12:38 PM (#6113908)
Bob Nightengale's ballot article uses Kent was the greatest offensive 2B in history to justify voting for him. Sheesh, there's more to offense than hitting a lot of HR in the easiest era ever to hit HR in, Bob
   568. alilisd Posted: January 22, 2023 at 12:55 PM (#6113912)
Future Hall of Famer Sal Bando died. Another great ballplayer from my youth


I loved those 70's A's teams! So many great players, loved the uniforms, too, so colorful! Bando was, clearly, an integral part of that dynasty. It's interesting to look at JAWS for 3B, and keeping in mind what I mentioned about 3B post 1950 having the highest average career WAR of any position, you see 8 of the to 10 in, although Rolen still has a good shot and Beltre is a shoo in. With both in it's 10 for 10, 9 for 10 if you drop Molitor and Edgar as DH guys, with Nettles moving up to 10. Then it's HR Baker, Boyer, Bell and Bando. I remember when I first started reading here people talk about Bando as a HOF caliber guy and I was fascinated as I'd never thought of him that way or heard anything like it before. It was so cool to start learning about era and park factors, and realizing how valuable a guy who averaged 23 HR and 90 BB a year (1969-19076) in a tough hitters park and a low offense era was!
   569. alilisd Posted: January 22, 2023 at 01:03 PM (#6113914)
2) Was he the best player on his team?

Briefly on the Phillies where the best player was either him or Abreu.


Curious about whether Keltner differentiates between position players and pitchers. If not, Schilling might enter the discussion. I also find it interesting that question 1 uses "regarded as" while questions 2 and 3 do not although they're all at least somewhat subjective. I'm sure Rolen was widely regarded as better than Abreu during their time with the Phillies although WAR would give a slight edge to Abreu.
   570. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 22, 2023 at 02:03 PM (#6113924)
Curious about whether Keltner differentiates between position players and pitchers. If not, Schilling might enter the discussion. I also find it interesting that question 1 uses "regarded as" while questions 2 and 3 do not although they're all at least somewhat subjective. I'm sure Rolen was widely regarded as better than Abreu during their time with the Phillies although WAR would give a slight edge to Abreu.

FWIW, Schilling was traded two years before Rolen was. Before that he would definitely be part of the discussion.

Also, this is way more discussion than I expected the Keltner list to get in this thread. Do people actually still use it? I feel like it was mostly a pre-uberstat attempt to capture different aspects of player value, which we can get at much more easily 25-plus years later.
   571. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2023 at 02:13 PM (#6113925)
I think the Keltner test is even more relevant now that we have access to uber stats.
   572. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2023 at 02:16 PM (#6113926)
The question about whether a player was good enough to be the best player on a pennant winning team was never meant to be taken absolutely literally.
   573. Jaack Posted: January 22, 2023 at 02:17 PM (#6113927)
Also, this is way more discussion than I expected the Keltner list to get in this thread. Do people actually still use it? I feel like it was mostly a pre-uberstat attempt to capture different aspects of player value, which we can get at much more easily 25-plus years later.


I feel like the Keltner list is most useful nowadays for arguing against the narrative cases that have become a lot less common. It's a pretty useful tool to show Omar Vizquel is woefully unqualified to someone who might not want to look at an uberstat. Other than that its value is limited.
   574. Adam Starblind Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:40 PM (#6113936)
. 9) Is there evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?


I would raise a caution flag here. Rolen’s case rests in significant part on fielding stats that I don’t think any of us are 100% confident in, and many of us are not particularly close to 100% about them. Fair minds could regress him some.
   575. Adam Starblind Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:42 PM (#6113938)
. 7) Are most players who have comparable career statistics in the Hall of Fame?

There are a number of 3B with JAWS slightly below his who are not in the HOF. Every 3B with more JAWS is in the HOF, aside from Beltre.



JAWS does produce a number, it’s true. I’m not sure that’s what this question intends though (granting that the important “numbers” have changed some over time. If you look at traditional numbers, the answer is definitely no, which is why Rolen wasn’t a shoo in to begin with.
   576. Adam Starblind Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:52 PM (#6113940)
13 is a badly worded question indeed. I’ve always thought the intention was more the inverse — if he was your best player, would you be unlikely to win the pennant. Or, is a team with nobody better than [Rolen] a plausible contender. I think the answer for peak Rolen should be written down as yes, if that’s what the question is really getting at, I.e., a yes response meaning you’re ok if he’s your best player. It distinguishes him from, say, Aramis Ramirez, who has similar traditional stats.
   577. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2023 at 03:54 PM (#6113941)
I would raise a caution flag here. Rolen’s case rests in significant part on fielding stats that I don’t think any of us are 100% confident in, and many of us are not particularly close to 100% about them. Fair minds could regress him some.


I think there's some reason for skepticism when the numbers are extreme outliers, run contrary to other systems or contrast with their reputations. But Rolen's defensive numbers are perfectly in line with his reputation (eight GGs, tied for fourth all-time at the position). He's fifth in dWAR among third basemen and sixth in total runs.
   578. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 22, 2023 at 04:25 PM (#6113944)
I would raise a caution flag here. Rolen’s case rests in significant part on fielding stats that I don’t think any of us are 100% confident in, and many of us are not particularly close to 100% about them. Fair minds could regress him some.

If you cut his fielding numbers by half, he's still a solid candidate. And neither his reputation nor any defensive metric I've seen supports the idea of cutting them by that much.

Coke to SoSH.
   579. John DiFool2 Posted: January 22, 2023 at 05:10 PM (#6113951)
Other than that its value is limited.


Doesn't it actually get right to the heart of the argument for (or against) a candidate? All BJ did was codify what the truly relevant and most important more subjective qualifications should be. Any valid cogent argument for/against a player will use most of the KL's elements.

Yeah, you can just drop in you WAR number of choice and be done with it, and I am well aware that BJ was mainly trying to steer arguments away from the likes of the selective endpoint and my little brother can beat your big sister fallacies (iirc), but that doesn't take away its value and relevance.
   580. alilisd Posted: January 22, 2023 at 07:05 PM (#6113968)
FWIW, Schilling was traded two years before Rolen was. Before that he would definitely be part of the discussion.


Right, but he overlapped with Rolen for about 4 1/2 seasons, same as Abreu, just different seasons.
   581. Jaack Posted: January 22, 2023 at 08:44 PM (#6113977)
Doesn't it actually get right to the heart of the argument for (or against) a candidate? All BJ did was codify what the truly relevant and most important more subjective qualifications should be. Any valid cogent argument for/against a player will use most of the KL's elements.

Yeah, you can just drop in you WAR number of choice and be done with it, and I am well aware that BJ was mainly trying to steer arguments away from the likes of the selective endpoint and my little brother can beat your big sister fallacies (iirc), but that doesn't take away its value and relevance.


I just don't think there is anything particularly special about this set of questions to keep coming back - once you believe that players should be evaluated for their production and not for random pieces of trivia or gut feelings, the Keltner list has already done it's job. It's more valuable as a tool to say 'these are the type of questions you should be asking' and not 'these are the important questions'.
   582. The Duke Posted: January 23, 2023 at 09:41 AM (#6114001)
So the takeaways I'm seeing from the new writers' electorate is that the new guys are mostly "Big Hall" guys right ? It seems like they tend to have much bigger ballots. I wonder if that's a product of having to wait ten years and then not wanting to turn in a ballot with just A-Rod and Manny who are the two no brainers. I also wonder if over time they will get more conservative
   583. DL from MN Posted: January 23, 2023 at 10:43 AM (#6114008)
the new guys are mostly "Big Hall" guys right?


I'd say they're "Hall-sized" guys. They aren't shortchanging modern players compared to what the Hall of Fame has inducted in the past. They might be stingier with starting pitchers but they're (mistakenly) inducting relievers to compensate. When the Era Committee inducts someone like Tony Oliva it makes Bobby Abreu look a lot better.
   584. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:35 AM (#6114015)
I've been on the fence to this point, but we've reached a position where I officially don't think Rolen gets in this year (which means nobody does). He picked up another add... and another drop to offset it, which is borderline inexplicable given that the voter in question is a yes on Hunter and Kent. Still think he'll get in eventually, but his lack of progress this close to the finish line when there's not an overpowering class of newcomers soaking up votes is borderline unprecedented, especially in comparison to the rest of the top returnees from last year (all of whom have gained over twice as much ground as Rolen has).
   585. alilisd Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:52 AM (#6114017)
Perhaps the most bizarre ballot I've seen this year, Christian Red votes five from his last balot (Helton, Hunter, Jones, Kent and Wagner) but drops Rolen. No article, just a twit.
   586. alilisd Posted: January 23, 2023 at 11:58 AM (#6114018)
I'd say they're "Hall-sized" guys. They aren't shortchanging modern players compared to what the Hall of Fame has inducted in the past. They might be stingier with starting pitchers but they're (mistakenly) inducting relievers to compensate. When the Era Committee inducts someone like Tony Oliva it makes Bobby Abreu look a lot better.


I think this is a good take. I'd add the Era election of McGriff has played a part in giving Helton a big boost, IMO.
   587. DL from MN Posted: January 23, 2023 at 12:45 PM (#6114026)
I'd add the Era election of McGriff has played a part in giving Helton a big boost, IMO.


Gil Hodges too
   588. Srul Itza Posted: January 23, 2023 at 01:55 PM (#6114032)
Helton now leading Rolen in votes.
   589. Booey Posted: January 23, 2023 at 02:02 PM (#6114033)
#583 - Yeah, I think that's pretty accurate. I used to consider myself a "Big Hall" guy too, but now I prefer to think of myself as a "historically consistent" Hall guy. The caliber of players who would normally have been elected in the past should still be elected today. Raising the bar higher than it's ever been before serves no purpose but to screw over modern players and fans.

Also, I noticed that Helton just passed Rolen for the top spot on the tracker. Is he and not Scott our best bet to avoid a BBWAA shutout this year?

Edit: partial coke to Srul
   590. Srul Itza Posted: January 23, 2023 at 02:08 PM (#6114035)
Given the way things are trending, I thing the answer to Booey is yes, Helton is probably the best bet to avoid a BBWAA shutout.

I think it is going to be extremely close whether either gets in, and both will go in next year if not this, as I see no reason why historical patterns will not hold, even if some may find Rolen wanting when compared to slam dunk Beltre
   591. DL from MN Posted: January 23, 2023 at 02:54 PM (#6114043)
Is Helton and not Scott our best bet to avoid a BBWAA shutout this year?


Even money
   592. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2023 at 03:28 PM (#6114046)
Historically writers have been small-Hall voters. That's going to happen when the threshold is 75%. What has been big Hall has been the committees.
   593. SoSH U at work Posted: January 23, 2023 at 03:42 PM (#6114050)
Is Helton and not Scott our best bet to avoid a BBWAA shutout this year?


He still has at least 23 votes to make up from 2022, but the fact he's overtaken him at any point in the election is quite remarkable.

   594. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 23, 2023 at 03:56 PM (#6114053)
I would still pick Rolen to edge Helton. Last year he beat Helton pretty easily in the % of public ballots announced post-results, 67% to 50%. That gap will narrow but it still favors Rolen.

I think both fall just short of 75%, though.
   595. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 23, 2023 at 04:42 PM (#6114058)
I've been on the fence to this point, but we've reached a position where I officially don't think Rolen gets in this year (which means nobody does).
It looks to be close, but I think Rolen & Helton have a chance. Those who don’t disclose their votes before the announcement usually aren’t totally immune from the trends shown by the announced votes, they just move more slowly in the same direction. Given how little ground Rolen would need to make up among those voters, just a few percent shifting toward him would do the trick, assuming he holds or improves his standing with the remaining pre-announcement voters. Rolen wouldn’t seem to have any ‘dealbreaker’ firewall like the PED suspicions that caused a minority of the voters to block players who would have been easily elected before such issues emerged. Helton has Coors Field, but that seems to be fading as more former Rockies do well elsewhere. Even if they fall short, Rolen & Helton would almost certainly make it next year, but I imagine it would be a bit frustrating to get 74% and just miss.
   596. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 23, 2023 at 06:02 PM (#6114070)
Is Helton and not Scott our best bet to avoid a BBWAA shutout this year?

I haven't checked recently but I think Helton going from 52% to induction in one year would be unprecedented (with the possible exception of the years that had runoff elections). Which isn't to say it's impossible, but it would be extremely odd, given that there's no obvious reason for it to happen (either based on Helton himself or this year's ballot compared to last year's).
   597. alilisd Posted: January 23, 2023 at 06:04 PM (#6114071)
Gil Hodges too


Geez, that's true, but I'd already forgotten about him. I was going to mention Baines, but that's just sinking too low. At least I certainly hope no one is using Baines to justify voting for anyone!
   598. alilisd Posted: January 23, 2023 at 06:06 PM (#6114072)
Helton now leading Rolen in votes.


That's stunning! Only by one vote right now, but still really shocking!
   599. alilisd Posted: January 23, 2023 at 06:14 PM (#6114075)
Which isn't to say it's impossible, but it would be extremely odd, given that there's no obvious reason for it to happen (either based on Helton himself or this year's ballot compared to last year's).


It would be extremely odd, but I do think there's a reason vis a vis the ballot. Last year saw 4 players drop off due to surpassing their 10th year on the ballot. One newcomer went in and the next highest debut was A-Rod who is not making any significant gains this year, and below him only Rollins. There are now a lot more ballot spaces open and the only newcomer receiving any significant support is Beltran. In fact, other than a bullshit vote for Dickey and one for Street, no other newcomers have received any votes besides Beltran. So there's much more room on ballots, and Helton becomes the second highest finishing returning player. Also, as noted up thread both Gil Hodges and Fred McGriff have recently been elected via committee, which very well may have opened some voters eyes to Helton being a viable selection.
   600. The Duke Posted: January 23, 2023 at 08:21 PM (#6114089)
Well Rolen and Helton are effectively in now. It's just a question of what year the writers do it or failing that the first time they hit the Vets. No way they aren't going with 70%. A few writers used to say they would vote for someone once they reached a threshold like 60% on the theory that they'd get in sooner or later. That would be my view too unless it was a really polarizing figure.
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