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Monday, January 31, 2022

Dialing It Down a Notch: The Next Five Years of BBWAA Hall of Fame Elections

2023
Top newcomers (ranked by JAWS): Carlos Beltrán, John Lackey, Jered Weaver, Jhonny Peralta, Francisco Rodríguez
Top holdovers (by voting pct.): Rolen, Helton, Wagner, Jones, Sheffield
Most likely to be elected: Rolen
Falling off: Jeff Kent

With two-year and three-year gains that both rank as the fourth-largest of the modern voting era, Rolen has climbed within range of election, following a path that resembles that of Mussina, who gained entry in his sixth year in 2019, more so than those of Raines or Edgar Martinez, who took until their 10th (2017 and ’19, respectively). Granted, of the 42 times in modern history that a candidate has landed in the 60-66% range with eligibility remaining, only nine times has that player been elected the following year, but five of the whiffs belong to Bonds and Clemens, and we can’t count Rolen as missing out yet. What’s more, of the last four candidates to get to that point besides the Gruesome Twosome, Mussina (63.5% in 2018) and Barry Larkin (62.1% in 2011) both went in a year later, while Schilling (60.94% in 2019) and Mike Piazza (62.2% in 2014) might have if not for the controversies that held them back.

As recently as three years ago, I believed that Beltrán would go in on the first ballot. He’s got a Hall-caliber resumé, with nine All-Star appearances, three Gold Gloves, 2,725 hits, 435 homers, outstanding postseason numbers (.307/.412/.609 with 16 homers) and the number nine ranking among center fielders in JAWS. However, the 2020 report of Beltrán’s central role in the Astros’ 2017 illegal sign-stealing saga, which cost him his managerial job with the Mets before he’d even set foot in the dugout, is obviously a setback. I still don’t think we know the extent to which voters will hold it against him, even with fellow managers Alex Cora and A.J. Hinch welcomed back into the game almost immediately after their suspensions ended; as the PED saga has shown regarding Bonds and Mark McGwire, MLB employment does not equal BBWAA forgiveness, whether or not one was officially disciplined.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 31, 2022 at 03:13 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 31, 2022 at 05:26 PM (#6063244)
I suspect things will now get back to the pre 2013 ballotgeddon level of 1 or 2 per year for awhile. Guys gaining over a long period (maybe the HOF expanding qualifying to 15 years again once A-Rod is off). Rolen should be a near lock next year as voters like to put someone in. Beltran should do well and might make it but garbage can stuff might delay him. Then Adrián Beltré should be a lock, Ichiro in 2025, 2026 has no one who jumps off the page to me. Poor Jeff Kent - under the old 15 year rule he'd probably be starting to gain serious ground next year and have a shot at gaining enough to make it in year 14/15. Instead he'll be off after next year.
   2. dark Posted: January 31, 2022 at 05:31 PM (#6063246)
I generally agree with Jaffe. Rolen, Beltré, Mauer, Ichiro, Helton, Wagner, Jones, Beltrán, Posey, CC for the next five years. I think Utley will be climbing by the end of those five years and will make it in his ten years of eligibility. More interesting to me is if any down-ballot guy from Rollins, Wright, Pedroia, Felix, Buehrle, Pettitte, Abreu makes a run in time.
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 31, 2022 at 06:19 PM (#6063261)
Rolen, Beltré, Mauer, Ichiro, Helton, Wagner, Jones, Beltrán, Posey, CC for the next five years. I think Utley will be climbing by the end of those five years and will make it in his ten years of eligibility.

I think Beltran will take quite a few years. He'll make it, but it'll take like 8 years or something. Wagner, IMHO, does NOT belong, but it is what it is. I think Utley will really struggle to gain ground, I can see him stalling around 45% and that's it. It's a short career with only 7800 PAs and a lot of his value is tied up in fielding(which works if you're a SS, CF, catcher or won a boatload of GG's like Rolen).
   4. dark Posted: January 31, 2022 at 08:07 PM (#6063277)
People admitted into the BBWAA next year will be voting on Utley’s final year of eligibility. All currently retired writers will not be. Utley’s base electorate is going to be the same group that has now gotten much better at the awards and just gave Corbin Burnes the CY because of FIP.
   5. The Duke Posted: January 31, 2022 at 09:06 PM (#6063286)
All the action is moving to the vets committees. There’s probably 10-20 guys who could get elected in the next 5-6 cycles. I’d love to see Whitaker, Hernandez, Grich, dick Allen, Lofton, Edmonds, schilling, Dwight Evans, Parker and a few others get in.

   6. SoSH U at work Posted: February 01, 2022 at 12:37 AM (#6063303)
I think there’s a very good chance Utley is the next Role, so I’m with Dark.
   7. jmurph Posted: February 01, 2022 at 07:55 AM (#6063312)
SoSH where are you on Beltran's chances?
   8. DL from MN Posted: February 01, 2022 at 01:37 PM (#6063360)
All the action is moving to the vets committees. There’s probably 10-20 guys who could get elected in the next 5-6 cycles. I’d love to see Whitaker, Hernandez, Grich, dick Allen, Lofton, Edmonds, schilling, Dwight Evans, Parker and a few others get in.


Add some more pitchers to the list like Luis Tiant, Bret Saberhagen & David Cone
   9. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 01, 2022 at 02:31 PM (#6063373)
I think Beltran stands no chance at all through the BBWAA. Enough writers will turn their guardianship of society's morals from steroids to sign stealing and they won't budge.
   10. JRVJ Posted: February 01, 2022 at 02:56 PM (#6063382)
1, I asked Jaffee on Twitter whether he saw any chance of the time-on-ballot going back up from 10 years (be it to 12 or way back to 15 years).

He didn't think there was any support for increasing the time-on-ballot for HoF candidates. I also don't see any real upswell about going back to the former 15 year period on the ballot.
   11. jmurph Posted: February 01, 2022 at 03:16 PM (#6063384)
I think Beltran stands no chance at all through the BBWAA. Enough writers will turn their guardianship of society's morals from steroids to sign stealing and they won't budge.

I think I'm leaning this way too? At best it will take a long time.
   12. rr would lock Shaq's a$$ up Posted: February 01, 2022 at 03:25 PM (#6063386)
I think Beltran stands no chance at all through the BBWAA.


At best it will take a long time.


Yep. I see him at like 15-20% the first year, and I will not be all that surprised if he doesn't even make the 5% threshold.
   13. jmurph Posted: February 01, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6063395)
I will not be all that surprised if he doesn't even make the 5% threshold.

Same. He's going to be the stand-in for all the Astros.
   14. The Duke Posted: February 01, 2022 at 10:27 PM (#6063434)
The best thing Beltran could do for himself is come back and play for a year and re-set his clock
   15. Jaack Posted: February 01, 2022 at 10:47 PM (#6063436)
Beltran is going to be well above 5%. Like that's insane talk. Seriously, are five out of six Manny Ramirez voters going to protest Beltran?
   16. Booey Posted: February 01, 2022 at 11:13 PM (#6063439)
I think Beltran will easily clear 5%, but won't come close to ever getting elected via the writers. I suspect he'll be treated the same way as the non Bonds/Clemens roiders, and languish in the Manny Ramirez 25-30% range for the duration of his 10 years.

There just aren't any recent examples of players eventually overcoming a character clause snub. Maaaybe you could count Alomar, but that was over a decade ago and a minor snub by just a handful of writers to begin with (the recent allegations against him would have ended his chances immediately if he was hitting the ballot now). Once you're deemed guilty, it seems to be a permanent stain (with the writers; no idea yet of course how the VC will react). I'll believe it's possible to recover when I see it.
   17. Moeball Posted: February 02, 2022 at 03:42 AM (#6063451)
Given that the writers gave MVP awards to Rollins and Howard in years where Utley was doing more to help the Phillies win than either of them, I don't expect the BBWAA to suddenly appreciate just how good Utley was. I fully expect him to join the Outside Looking In club. He'll be in good company with Whitaker, Grich, etc.
   18. The Duke Posted: February 02, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6063503)
He’s easily going to get passed 5%. I’m guessing he starts pretty high - 40-50% but the question will be “are there a core group of writers who won’t ever vote for him due to cheating”? I think he will build momentum and follow a Rolen/Helton/walker path. Absent the allegations - inwoikd have said he’d be in within 3 years.
   19. Karl from NY Posted: February 02, 2022 at 02:40 PM (#6063520)
I think Beltran starts around 25%. He's a career accumulator, and fragmented across many skills (on-base, power, defense, baserunning, positional value) and many franchises. He doesn't quite pass the "feels like a HOFer" or much of the Keltner test. He only has 1 batting black ink. Only once in the top ten for MVP. His most iconic moment was keeping the bat on his shoulder for a called strike three.

But 70 WAR is enough to get noticed by at least 25% of the voters. He will go up from his start as voters see others voting and look at his case and become aware of his career totals. Hard to say if the cheating will bar him from 75% by eleven years from now when Bonds/Clemens will have either been VCed or written off like Pete Rose.

Maybe the best thing that would help Beltran's case is if the fairly similar Sheffield gets elected.
   20. Karl from NY Posted: February 02, 2022 at 02:50 PM (#6063524)
I think the sign stealing won't be really damaging long term. On the order of a corked bat (which does hurt Sosa) but far less than the steroids. The 'roids are so horrible because that's the pro athletes setting an unhealthful, dangerous, destructive standard which must be denounced at all costs. Sign stealing doesn't really hurt anybody. It's not even illegal in concept, only the electronic part is. And it had nothing to do with Beltran's playing career. If the writers can brush off Pettitte's steroids, they can brush off this.

The perception of the sign stealing is weird - people keep repeating "they banged on trash cans!" as if that's the illegal part, while it was really the video camera and monitor.
   21. JJ1986 Posted: February 02, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6063525)
Utley and Beltran are #s 1 and 2 all-time in stolen-base-percentage.
   22. alilisd Posted: February 02, 2022 at 02:53 PM (#6063526)
I'm pretty much at the point where I think it is useless to try to predict what the writers will do with someone who has not yet appeared on the ballot. They are so utterly illogical. That said, if they elect Beltran, it will make a traveshamockery of their treatment of Bonds and Clemens. I suppose that means Beltran in on year 8?
   23. Booey Posted: February 03, 2022 at 01:19 AM (#6063637)
#20 - The writers are brushing off Pettitte's PED use? The guy has 5 World Series rings, 256 wins (plus a record 19 more in the postseason), and a winning percentage more than 100 games over .500, and he's pulling in 11% of the vote after 4 tries. I don't think the writers are brushing it off at all.

(I'm not saying that Pettitte is a no-brainer who would have been elected already without PED's; he's borderline. But I'm confident he'd be a lot higher than he is. He's made no progress at all while similarly borderline candidates like Helton and Jones have)
   24. alilisd Posted: February 03, 2022 at 11:32 AM (#6063693)
21. JJ1986 Posted: February 02, 2022 at 02:51 PM (#6063525) Utley and Beltran are #s 1 and 2 all-time in stolen-base-percentage.


B-R has them 3 and 4, but who cares? You have to get to 12th to find a HOF. And 154 career steals by Utley? That's good for an 8 way tie for 531st all time.
   25. LargeBill Posted: February 03, 2022 at 12:08 PM (#6063703)
23. Booey Posted: February 03, 2022 at 01:19 AM (#6063637)
#20 - The writers are brushing off Pettitte's PED use? The guy has 5 World Series rings, 256 wins (plus a record 19 more in the postseason), and a winning percentage more than 100 games over .500, and he's pulling in 11% of the vote after 4 tries. I don't think the writers are brushing it off at all.

(I'm not saying that Pettitte is a no-brainer who would have been elected already without PED's; he's borderline. But I'm confident he'd be a lot higher than he is. He's made no progress at all while similarly borderline candidates like Helton and Jones have)


That is part of the problem of evaluating this era based on % of the vote. Is Pettitte's vote total a reflection of anti-PED sentiment or is it more a reflection of how crowded the ballot has been and the presence of much better players. With so many votes being freed up after this election, we will get a much better picture of how voters feel about Pettitte next election. I won't lose sleep if he is elected, but his record is what people mean when they criticize "accumulators." He had a very good/great season in 2003 and then five more "meh" seasons where he accumulated 60 some more wins. Right or wrong, his win/loss record is viewed as largely a reflection of the offensive support he received. I will admit his ERA+ is higher than I expected. Add in his being a significant player on so many championships, and I would expect his vote percentage to more than double with more room on the ballots in 2023.
   26. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: February 03, 2022 at 02:26 PM (#6063730)
Are people actually offended by the sign stealing? Sign stealing has been going on forever, even using banned electronic means. Maybe I'm alone in this, but that they did it by banging on trash cans - the most absurd, amateurish way I can imagine of cheating at baseball - makes the whole scandal sort of enjoyable.
   27. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 03, 2022 at 02:28 PM (#6063733)
Are people actually offended by the sign stealing? Sign stealing has been going on forever, even using banned electronic means. Maybe I'm alone in this, but that they did it by banging on trash cans - the most absurd, amateurish way I can imagine of cheating at baseball - makes the whole scandal sort of enjoyable.

My personal level of offense at the sign stealing scandal is pretty low. I do, however, think it will materially harm Beltran in the voting (as in, it will at least delay his admission to the Hall and possibly prevent it altogether).
   28. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 03, 2022 at 07:54 PM (#6063763)
Are people actually offended by the sign stealing?


I'm not. Of course for Beltran in 2017 he had an 81 OPS+, so maybe at 40 he couldn't hear the bin lids over the crowd noise and didn't benefit at all.
   29. alilisd Posted: February 03, 2022 at 07:58 PM (#6063764)
That is part of the problem of evaluating this era based on % of the vote. Is Pettitte's vote total a reflection of anti-PED sentiment or is it more a reflection of how crowded the ballot has been and the presence of much better players. With so many votes being freed up after this election, we will get a much better picture of how voters feel about Pettitte next election.


To the former, he hasn't had that crowded a ballot in some respects. Yes, it has been crowded, but not with better starting pitchers showing up to push him down. First year he lost out to Halladay, Mussina and Rivera, and of course Clemens and Schilling have been around, but since then he's made no progress with the only other SP to come on and stay have been Buehrle and Hudson. Meanwhile Wagner is soaring. This seems a pretty strong indication he is being held back because of both PED and perception that he just wasn't that great. To the latter, yes, we will likely get a better picture next year, but given what has transpired so far it's not particularly likely to be a very flattering picture of Pettitte.
   30. LargeBill Posted: February 04, 2022 at 12:16 PM (#6063824)
26. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: February 03, 2022 at 02:26 PM (#6063730)
Are people actually offended by the sign stealing? Sign stealing has been going on forever, even using banned electronic means. Maybe I'm alone in this, but that they did it by banging on trash cans - the most absurd, amateurish way I can imagine of cheating at baseball - makes the whole scandal sort of enjoyable.


IIRC, Feller was one of the first to come up with "electronic" sign stealing back in the late 1940s. Guy using binoculars would signal the Indians' hitter from the scoreboard or something like that. Trying to get an edge has always been and will always be part of the game. Don't want your opponent to steal your signs? Get better at concealing your signs.
   31. DL from MN Posted: February 04, 2022 at 12:27 PM (#6063827)
https://www.vintagedetroit.com/sign-stealing-helped-tigers-win-1940-pennant/

In his 1989 autobiography edited by Ira Berkow, Hank Greenberg: The Story of My Life (Times Books), published three years after the slugger’s death, Greenberg freely admitted to stealing signs beginning in early September of 1940 and credits that as one main reason Detroit won the pennant.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: February 04, 2022 at 10:17 PM (#6063906)
It shouldn’t need to be noted, but apparently it is: not all sign stealing is equal. If the guy on second is able to figure things out and relay that information to the batter, that’s baseball. If some low level club employee sitting in the CF bleachers is wiring that information back to the dugout, that’s cheating.
   33. The Duke Posted: February 06, 2022 at 10:25 PM (#6064048)
Sign-stealing has so many variations (similar to the peds/steroids/greenies), that you need to decide what you determine to be fair play first.

The latest version of sign-stealing which is “electronic” sign-stealing has three variants and a Clear demarcation line on when “illegality” was written down by the League.

1. There’s the detailed studying of film which is then taken into the game and used to identify a “tell”. I would say that identifying the “tell” is fair game. I further think it is likely fair for a coach to whistle or make some other noise to alert batter. Clearly If a guy on base can do it, that’s fair game.

2. Then there is the in-game electronic spying which entails using cameras and the replay video to identify the pitch and then quickly signaling via trash and or other means. That is bad

3. There is the in-game signaling via a device worn by batter like an Apple Watch of the famous Altuve buzzer - clearly bad

Finally there is the demarcation of when the league memo went to teams and told them to do a review with all on and off field personnel that in-game sign stealing was verboten. At this point the GM and managers should have been telling all the Analysts, cameramen and replay booth technicians that it was the death penalty to get caught doing either 2/3.

I’m still ok with traditional sign-stealing and version #1. I’m not sure how the league views #1
   34. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: February 06, 2022 at 10:59 PM (#6064050)
Even the cheating version of sign stealing has been going on forever. Sports Illustrated has a nice summary of illicit sign stealing going back to 1899.

But, again, I don't care about even the cheating version. And especially considering how absurdly the Astros went about it, I'm sort of surprised that folks seem to be offended by it.

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