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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Eight-time Gold Glove 3B Scott Rolen makes Baseball Hall of Fame

Scott Rolen has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, sneaking over the threshold by the narrowest of margins.

Rolen, one of the game’s great third basemen, was named on 76.3% of ballots cast in his sixth year of eligibility to earn enshrinement. Just missing was former Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who received support on 72.2% of ballots in his fifth try at election.

None of the other 27 players listed on the 2023 Hall ballot cleared the 75 percent minimum for election, though there were a couple of near-misses. The results of the balloting were revealed Tuesday during a broadcast on MLB.com.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:14 PM | 178 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, scott rolen

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   1. Mike Webber Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:34 PM (#6114312)
Congrats to Rolen and all his fans!
   2. Booey Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:47 PM (#6114314)
McGriff and Rolen! I'll take it. Definitely could have been worse for a VC election that ignored all the top candidates and a writer's ballot that made only one selection.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2023 at 09:50 PM (#6114315)
That makes three HOFers on the 2008 Blue Jays, who went 86-76 - Rolen, Frank Thomas, and Roy Halladay.
   4. bachslunch Posted: January 24, 2023 at 10:02 PM (#6114319)
Great that Scott Rolen got in, making it with five votes to spare. Am especially happy that the twits who submitted blank ballots or one-vote "look at me" ballots didn't add up enough to sink him.

His 76.3% isn't the lowest percentage vote for a BBWAA elected Hall of Famer, either -- turns out there are ten other players who got in with smaller margins, the lowest being Al Simmons at 75.38% in 1953.
   5. Adam Starblind Posted: January 24, 2023 at 10:12 PM (#6114322)
@2

I guarantee you the VC did not ignore Bonds and Clemens.
   6. Booey Posted: January 24, 2023 at 10:35 PM (#6114323)
#5 - Ignored, deliberately snubbed out of spite. Potayto, potahto. ;-)
   7. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:04 PM (#6114325)
Delighted to see Rolen get in, especially since I was concerned about his chances based on Tracker number. It's a well-deserved choice.

Also, from the article:

Rolen, saying he didn't follow advanced numbers until being educated about them long after his retirement, benefited by the metrics' lofty ratings for him in defense and baserunning. That he shined in those areas wasn't a coincidence.


Defense, obviously, is a strong point of Rolen's, but baserunning? bWAR gives him a career figure of +12 runs, with a season high of +4. fWAR puts it at +10.5, season high +4.4. I genuinely have no idea why that merited a mention at all.
   8. base ball chick Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:05 PM (#6114327)
good for rolen. he absolutely deserves election. so did manny and arod (and bonds and clemens and much as i hate to say it, schilling) but what can i say

now the vets committee needs to elect jim edmonds and kenny lofton
   9. jingoist Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:09 PM (#6114328)
and Dwight Evans and Bobby Grich
   10. base ball chick Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:10 PM (#6114331)
yep
   11. DL from MN Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:21 PM (#6114333)
Preferably before they're all dead. Grich is 74, Evans 71. Tiant is 82. Hell, Lou Whitaker is 65.
   12. The Duke Posted: January 24, 2023 at 11:23 PM (#6114334)
4. It's easy to see a blank ballot. If you are anti-PED you eliminate the two locks (manny and A-rod ) and you light also take Sheffield and Pettite off. Wagner is a relief pitcher. Rolen and Jones - you have to rely on defense metrics to vote for them. Helton played in a place that goosed his numbers. Vizquel had a DV issue

Wouldn't be hard to get there frankly. Basically a small hall guy who is anti-PED should be submitting a blank ballot
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:26 AM (#6114341)
Defense, obviously, is a strong point of Rolen's, but baserunning? bWAR gives him a career figure of +12 runs, with a season high of +4. fWAR puts it at +10.5, season high +4.4. I genuinely have no idea why that merited a mention at all.


Because it's still a positive and third base is not a position known for good baserunners. (just grabbing a few names bb-ref baseruns career Schmidt -1 rbase, Santo -6, Chipper +4, Brooks +1, Beltre +4, Boggs -8, Brett +33, Mathews +1, Darrel Evans -6, Nettles -3, Baker -5 (just checking a random list of 10 ten third baseman of all time)
   14. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:46 AM (#6114342)
Preferably before they're all dead. Grich is 74, Evans 71. Tiant is 82. Hell, Lou Whitaker is 65.


Tommy John is 79. Steve Garvey is 74. Rick Reuschel is 73. Ron Cey is 74. Dusty Baker is 73. Pete Rose is 81. Of course all are not worthy or even eligible. But not many years left for any of the best players from the 1970's. Keith Richards is still alive.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 07:30 AM (#6114350)
Tommy John is 79. Steve Garvey is 74. Rick Reuschel is 73. Ron Cey is 74. Dusty Baker is 73. Pete Rose is 81. Of course all are not worthy or even eligible. But not many years left for any of the best players from the 1970's. Keith Richards is still alive.


In Dusty's case, any further delay is now entirely on him.
   16. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 07:32 AM (#6114351)
When he retired, I was dead certain he was going to get Griched. Instead, though he didn't exactly sail in, he made a steady march to election; if he'd missed it this year, he probably would have made it next.

Nice to see a quietly great player make it without much controversy.
   17. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: January 25, 2023 at 08:35 AM (#6114355)
Because it's still a positive and third base is not a position known for good baserunners. (just grabbing a few names bb-ref baseruns career Schmidt -1 rbase, Santo -6, Chipper +4, Brooks +1, Beltre +4, Boggs -8, Brett +33, Mathews +1, Darrel Evans -6, Nettles -3, Baker -5 (just checking a random list of 10 ten third baseman of all time)

Rolen was good at taking the extra base. He was very fast for his size and probably the best pure athlete of all the 3B mentioned above. Even in Cincinnati the writers lauded him for his baserunning, although that might have been based more on reputation at that point.
   18. DL from MN Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:12 AM (#6114357)
In Dusty's case, any further delay is now entirely on him.


He should make the list for next year's election even if he isn't retired. Maybe he could conveniently "not decide" whether he wants to manage in 2024 until after the election.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:40 AM (#6114359)
Because it's still a positive and third base is not a position known for good baserunners. (just grabbing a few names bb-ref baseruns career Schmidt -1 rbase, Santo -6, Chipper +4, Brooks +1, Beltre +4, Boggs -8, Brett +33, Mathews +1, Darrel Evans -6, Nettles -3, Baker -5 (just checking a random list of 10 ten third baseman of all time)


I'm not surprised Boggs is at the bottom of that list. He had zero instincts on the bases (which, in his defense, is preferable to a guy like Jorge Posada with negative instincts).
   20. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:50 AM (#6114360)
It's easy to see a blank ballot.

No. No, it is not.

Submitting a blank ballot is the ultimate in laziness; it's proof that you shouldn't be voting on who gets into the Hall, because of your ignorance and arrogance.

Anyone who submits a blank ballot should be suspended for at least five years. If they do it again, they should be banned, hog-tied, drawn-and-quartered, and forced to watch korfball for the rest of their natural lives.
   21. reech Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:02 AM (#6114363)
Congrats to Rolen, but I still say that defensive metrics have a long way to go with regard to WAR.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:13 AM (#6114366)

Congrats to Rolen, but I still say that defensive metrics have a long way to go with regard to WAR.


Sure, but for Rolen the metrics are entirely in line with his reputation (and with each other). I think, at least in his case, that eliminates any real grounds for skepticism.
   23. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:13 AM (#6114372)
Putting the value of his baserunning aside, Rolen just looked like a baseball player should look when running the bases. As already mentioned, he was a big but athletic guy who ran the bases hard. I don't remember anything dirty, just hard. He was a low-key (i.e. not Pete Rose) anti-loafer. That attitude may have cost him -- technically it wasn't baserunning, but the second shoulder injury happened when he was running out a squib that went 20 feet, as he forced a panicked throw that pulled the 1b directly into Rolen's path.

The blank ballot people seem like they want to be enforcers or bouncers of some sort, and I think that's a generous description. I don't see how that mentality fits an institution that's supposed to celebrate the game.
   24. JRVJ Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:23 AM (#6114376)
I may be in the minority, but I like the ebbs and flows of HoF voting.

I'm glad Rolen got in, both for Rolen's sake and because that means that some real estate opens up on future ballot (some also opened up because of Jeff Kent completing his 10 years on the ballot).

Helton will surely be elected next year, together with rookie-on-the-ballot Adrián Beltré. That will clear up some extra real estate on the ballot (together with Gary Sheffield hitting his 10th year next year). Question really is if Billy Wagner also goes in.

In any case, with Rolen/Kent/Beltré/Helton/Sheffield and maybe Billy Wagner off the ballot after 2024, the ballot should not be too tight from 2025 on, even with Utley and Mauer joining in (especially if Beltrán starts moving up next year).

One thing I would hope to see in 2024 is fewer writers wanting to call attention to themselves by submitting blank ballots (*) or submitting A-Rod/Manny Ramírez ballots.

(*) It is perfectly fine to think that nobody is worthy of election in a specific year. But to submit a blank ballot directly hurts candidates. It's an absolutely d*uchy thing to do.
   25. DL from MN Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:27 AM (#6114377)
submitting A-Rod/Manny Ramírez ballots


If you don't care about steroids those are arguably the two best players available.
   26. JRVJ Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:32 AM (#6114380)
25, to submit ballots for A-Rod/Manny and for nobody else is clearly a showboating exercise.

I'll bet you money that Beltré will not get these guys' vote next year.
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:41 AM (#6114381)
The blank ballot people seem like they want to be enforcers or bouncers of some sort, and I think that's a generous description. I don't see how that mentality fits an institution that's supposed to celebrate the game.


Not trying to get all political, but do we know the average age of a 'blank balloter'? In my head I guess I assume they tend to be older folks, no clue if that is reality though.
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:52 AM (#6114385)
I'd be more likely to forgive a blank ballot if the writer included specific individual reasons for his refusals. Without those explanations it's just a "look at me" exercise.
   29. Ithaca2323 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:08 PM (#6114390)
(which, in his defense, is preferable to a guy like Jorge Posada with negative instincts).


I legitimately laughed at this. Posada was legitimately awful at every aspect of the game except hitting
   30. John DiFool2 Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:39 PM (#6114400)
Re: Rolen getting the advanced WAR credit. I wonder if this will help Ken Boyer, the closest 3B candidate to him in a lot of ways. When was the last time he was on a VC ballot?
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 12:46 PM (#6114403)
I wonder if this will help Ken Boyer,


I would guess it will be of absolutely no use to Ken Boyer.
   32. DL from MN Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:00 PM (#6114407)
I would guess it will be of absolutely no use to Ken Boyer.


Me too. It don't think it will help Darrell Evans, Buddy Bell or Robin Ventura either. It makes Nolan Arenado a shoo-in.
   33. BDC Posted: January 25, 2023 at 01:49 PM (#6114428)
Closest careers to Rolen by PAs, OPS+, and dWAR. bWAR really likes his defense. Of course observers did too.

Stan Hack is in the HOM, right? But not Cey or the late Sal Bando.

Player         dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR  RBI   BA        Pos
Scott Rolen    21.2 8518  122     12 316 1287 .281        
*5H
Johnny Bench   19.7 8674  126     
-2 389 1376 .267   253H79/8
Bobby Grich    16.8 8220  125      4 224  864 .266    463H5
/D
Joe Cronin     14.3 8840  119     
-5 170 1424 .301    6H534/7
Yogi Berra      9.2 8364  125     12 358 1430 .285    2H79
/35
Sal Bando       8.5 8289  119     11 242 1039 .254 
*5DH3/6417
Ron Cey         6.6 8344  121    
-15 316 1139 .261     *5HD/3
Stan Hack       1.4 8509  119     
-4  57  642 .301       *5H3 


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 1/25/2023.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: January 25, 2023 at 02:21 PM (#6114434)
#33: That's an odd list which I think arises from all of Rolen's injuries. A reminder in its way that a player of Rolen's quality would normally be pushing 10,000 PAs, maybe over it, putting him into a much different comp group. That's how he gets put in with the two best Cs and some 2nd/3rd tier 3B. Grich of course is a fine comp but he was healthy through his prime and his low PA total is more due to a more typical pattern -- something of a late start for a HoFer and reduced PT in his mid-30s.

In its way, a nice summary of Rolen's career and his HoF candidacy -- he's not as "great" as Bench and Berra but well ahead of Bando, Cey, Hack but easy to confuse with them because of his missed time.
   35. Darren Posted: January 25, 2023 at 03:15 PM (#6114452)
#33--Another reminder that Ron Cey wouldn't look wildly out of place in the HOF.
   36. villageidiom Posted: January 25, 2023 at 03:48 PM (#6114458)
Bronson Arroyo and John Lackey got the same number of vote.
   37. The Duke Posted: January 25, 2023 at 04:03 PM (#6114463)
Garvey, lopes, russell and Cey. Has any infield ever played together longer? Has any infield generated more WAR than these four together. It's amazing to see how many games these guys played together
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2023 at 04:07 PM (#6114466)
Has any infield ever played together longer? Has any infield generated more WAR than these four together.


No and not even close.
   39. The Duke Posted: January 25, 2023 at 04:11 PM (#6114467)
Blank ballot hate is weird. Why not just say you hate anyone who doesn't fill out all ten slots. I'm not sure where you draw the line

You hate blank ballots
You hate A-Rod and Manny ballots who are the best two players on the ballot
Do you hate a-rod, Manny and Sheffield who are arguably the three best offensive players on the ballot (ie best by traditional metrics )
What If it were A-Rod, Manny, Sheffield and Vizquel (2900 hits and best SS outside of the wizard )
What if it were A-Rod, Manny, Sheffield, Vizquel and Beltran (great five tool player with awesome playoff resume )


I'm guessing the real issue is that people are frustrated that marginal candidates aren 't getting pushed through. Rolen, Helton, Wagner, Jones and Kent are marginal candidates - it's easy to see people not voting for them. They are all right on the edge of HOVG and HOF.
   40. JRVJ Posted: January 25, 2023 at 04:55 PM (#6114481)
39, I am a big HoF guy and I would vote for all PED candidates (if the HoF wants then banned, then ban them. I absolutely loathe the passive aggressive way they've dealt with nominees, stringing them along). My ballot, if I were a voter, would have had A-Rod, Manny, Rolen, Helton, Billy Wagner, Sheffield, Beltrán and probably A. Jones (I wouldn't have voted for Kent, Rollins, Abreu, Vizquel or Francisco Rodríguez).


I do have a problem with writers who make themselves the center of attention. Submitting a blank ballot or submitting an A-Rod/Manny ballot is drawing attention to themselves and actively hurts other candidates.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 04:56 PM (#6114482)
25, to submit ballots for A-Rod/Manny and for nobody else is clearly a showboating exercise.

I'll bet you money that Beltré will not get these guys' vote next year.


That is my complaint, these blank ballots or limited ballots are pure examples of "look at me" from a writer/voter. They already have a medium to put their opinions out there, but they feel the added need to showboat/create controversy for clicks.

I get Arod of course, but does anyone actually think Manny is clearly over the line, and Rolen isn't?
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:05 PM (#6114484)
Blank ballot hate is weird. Why not just say you hate anyone who doesn't fill out all ten slots. I'm not sure where you draw the line


It's a natural reaction. Blank ballots is a massive power dick move. You are not only saying "I have the privilege of voting for the hof, but I'm intentionally going to require 3 other voters to vote for a guy just to counter my vote."

It's the ultimate dick move.
   43. Karl from NY Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:09 PM (#6114486)
I agree with Duke. A blank ballot this year is actually fairly defensible. If you're anti-PED, anti-DV (Vizquel), anti-banging (Beltran), don't support closers, prefer peak and narrative over career accumulators, and small-hall in general, it's actually reasonable for your opinion to be no on each candidate here individually. There's no no-doubter lock that you're spoiling.

Granted, yes, in reality the blank ballots actually cast are going to be much more from air-of-superiority hmpfing than careful evaluation. But it's possible to arrive there via the latter; there's no rule either literally or morally that you have to fill in some name if you really think each individual one doesn't merit it.
   44. JRVJ Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:17 PM (#6114487)
43, there's a big difference in not voting for anybody in a given year (which is perfectly defensible) and submitting a blank ballot, which actively hurts candidates.

The former is a personal position, that hurts nobody. The latter is a public position, that has genuine, real world negative effects.
   45. NaOH Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:34 PM (#6114488)
[Boggs] had zero instincts on the bases (which, in his defense, is preferable to a guy like Jorge Posada with negative instincts).

Coincidentally... Posada's MLB debut on offense—after one inning catching at the end of 1995—was pinch running for Boggs in the playoffs that year against Seattle. He did score a run. The manager? Buck Showalter.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:37 PM (#6114489)
agree with Duke. A blank ballot this year is actually fairly defensible


Not seeing it, a top 10 third baseman of all time, a top 15 first baseman of all time, and centerfielder of all time, you should be able to find one guy to vote for. You have to have a very small phof to not find someone to vote for on this ballot, and if you do have that small of a phof, you probably shouldn't be allowed to vote.
   47. Booey Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:48 PM (#6114490)
#41 - Manny has 82 oWAR. Rolen has 53. If you're even slightly skeptical about dWAR either giving too much credit to good fielders or detracting too much credit from bad fielders, then yes, it would make sense to think that Manny could be clearly over the line while Rolen might not be.

(Not my position. Just sayin' the argument is there)
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 05:56 PM (#6114492)
#41 - Manny has 82 oWAR. Rolen has 53. If you're even slightly skeptical about dWAR either giving too much credit to good fielders or detracting too much credit from bad fielders, then yes, it would make sense to think that Manny could be clearly over the line while Rolen might not be.

(Not my position. Just sayin' the argument is there)


And that is an over simplication, Manny is well known to be a butcher in the field, Rolen is well known to be extremely good in the field, even if you don't subscribe to metrics, that reputation is going to make up a significant amount of the difference between their bats.

Of course the guy who is voting simply based upon Arod/Manny fully understands war, and is just trying to make a point. There isn't a voter on the planet who is willing to vote for Manny, honestly thinks the difference between him and Rolen is enough for a clear line.

A Arod/Manny voter is fully versed in war. I can see the argument that war over rates defense, but I also do not think that any voter voting for Manny, is ignorant enough on advance stats, that they don't recognize Rolen is on the same plane.


(and yes I know it's not your argument, I'm just looking at the style of votes, and it's impossible for me to think someone would honestly make a ballot with arod/Manny only and not it about being "Hey look at me." the convergence of the arguments for those two fully includes a full war discussion. )
   49. Tony S Posted: January 25, 2023 at 06:02 PM (#6114494)
If you don't care for any of the candidates, you have the option of not submitting a ballot at all. And that's what an adult would do.
   50. alilisd Posted: January 25, 2023 at 06:40 PM (#6114496)
Defense, obviously, is a strong point of Rolen's, but baserunning? bWAR gives him a career figure of +12 runs, with a season high of +4. fWAR puts it at +10.5, season high +4.4. I genuinely have no idea why that merited a mention at all.


I was thinking it was likely more of a reputation than actual numbers thing. Many people thought of Rolen as a good baserunner, smart, took advantage of the situation, etc. Sort of like how a GG award lends the reputation of being a great defender whether or not it's actually supported by metrics.
   51. karlmagnus Posted: January 25, 2023 at 07:36 PM (#6114500)
Manny's the one who high-fived a spectator in the middle of a double play. Bet Rolen never did that.
   52. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 07:41 PM (#6114502)
A Arod/Manny voter is fully versed in war.


Why do you say this? You think you need to understand WAR to recognize that The Rod and Manny were amazing hitters?
   53. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 25, 2023 at 07:41 PM (#6114503)
Blank ballot hate is weird. Why not just say you hate anyone who doesn't fill out all ten slots(?)

Because...zero is not the same as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9? (You did learn how to count in kindergarten, right?)

Blank ballots is a massive power dick move. You are not only saying "I have the privilege of voting for the hof, but I'm intentionally going to require 3 other voters to vote for a guy just to counter my vote."

Preach!
   54. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 25, 2023 at 07:46 PM (#6114506)
If you don't care for any of the candidates, you have the option of not submitting a ballot at all.

There has never, repeat, never, been a HOF ballot without legit HOFers on it. Ever.

And that's what an adult would do.

No, that's what a petulant child who needs to have their ballot taken away from them would do.
   55. Walt Davis Posted: January 25, 2023 at 08:10 PM (#6114513)
But every submitted ballot without Rolen required 3 other voters to vote for him just to counter their vote. It doesn't matter who else is or isn't listed on the ballot. The only non-Rolen voters who aren't guilty of this are any who submitted full ballots that excluded Rolen -- and those voters would be guilty of incompetence or shenanigans in somehow finding 10 non-Rolens worthy of induction on this ballot.

So it's OK to require 3 other voters to offset your non-selections as long as you think there is at least one other candidate worthy of the HoF but it's not OK to do so if you think nobody is worthy.

Within the confines of the 10-name limit, you can view this simply as 30 (or whatever) different elections. What is the moral implication of voting no in the Rolen election while also voting no in the other 29 elections? There were 394 ballots in 2022 but only 389 this year -- who knows why but if those were 5 guys who voted last year but decided not to submit a blank ballot this year, why should it be easier for Rolen to make it? If this was a unanimous Mariano year and Rolen doesn't make it (he surpassed last year's threshold by 1 vote), how would submitting a Mariano-only ballot be any different than submitting a blank ballot this year? It certainly wouldn't make any difference for Rolen.

And do the moral implications change if it only takes 2 voters to offset a non-vote? 1-for-1? Would it be immoral for the BBWAA to decide that the denominator from now on will be the number of voters on the roll?

I suppose I shall leave it to the philosophers to explain why it's OK to submit a ballot with just one name on it if you think only one player is worthy but it is not OK to submit a ballot with no names on it if you think none are worthy. As long as you help the chances of one player it is OK to hurt the chances of all the other ones?

There are two possible legit reasons to submit a blank ballot. First, which I do not think is the case, would be if you lose the privelege to vote if you don't submit ballots (often enough). The second is an argument about the "integrity" or "quality" of the HoF if you believe somebody like Rolen would actually diminish the HoF. (I don't think there's any case to be made that he would ... but I'd submit a blank ballot if I thought it would help stop somebody like Baines ... or maybe Billy Wagner.)

I don't buy the "look at me" argument entirely either. Is "here's why I'm not voting for anybody this year" less clickbait-y than "here's why I'm submitting a blank HoF ballot this year"?
   56. The Duke Posted: January 25, 2023 at 08:33 PM (#6114517)
I'm really surprised at the comments on the blank ballot. Again, no one can answer the question "if blank is bad, is one also bad, two also bad?" Where exactly is the line of not being a dick? A seven person ballot that doesn't include Rolen still requires 3 more guys to vote for Rolen to offset the Rolen non-vote. Is seven votes ok? If seven is ok, is six ok?, if six is ok, is five ok? And so on? Isn't everyone's really about their favorite marginal candidate ?

As for "look at me" are we saying we want private voters to stay private because otherwise it's a " look at me " ballot? I thought we wanted to encourage transparency ? I guess not. Or are we saying we just want people "to vote the way I would vote". That's what it sounds like to me - and that sounds a lot like cancel culture "your opinion is triggering me so your ballot should be taken away"

Bottom line is Manny and a-Rod are the only true no-brainers. If your view of the Hall is no-brainers only, this is a reasonable ballot. If it's no-brainers only but no PEDs a zero ballot makes sense

And finally, if your answer is then "don't submit a ballot" shouldn't everyone who votes less than 10 not submit a ballot - they are hurting someone by not maxxing out.

One thing I've learned is I would never release my ballot - or if I did I would do it anonymously. I think writers feel compelled to release but they'd be better off not taking the abuse.

   57. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:32 PM (#6114524)
I'm really surprised at the comments on the blank ballot. Again, no one can answer the question "if blank is bad, is one also bad, two also bad?" Where exactly is the line of not being a dick?


The line is where you are intentionally not putting names you think, over the years you have observed the game to earn a ballot choice, on the ballot.

The guys putting Arod/Manny are absolutely gatekeeping, same as the guys who refuse to vote for a first time player on the ballot and as the guys who put nobody on the ballot. If you can honestly look in the mirror and say "these guys are the only guys worthy", the more power to you, but the reality is that that is not the case. It's more like they look in the mirror and say "look what I did, I'm going to get press about my ballot."
   58. The Duke Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:38 PM (#6114527)
57. No offense but that's crazy tin foil hat talk. There are some odd submissions that deserve a lot more critique than the small hall guys. Who takes someone off their ballot after deeming them a hall worthy (absent a character issue). There's a bunch of these. It's one thing to come around to someone being hall worthy. It's quite another to go the other way. But whatever, I'm not going to convince anyone - I just find it odd here that people seem to go nutty about zero ballots or low ballots.
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:41 PM (#6114530)
I just find it odd here that people seem to go nutty about zero ballots or low ballots.


zero ballots is just pure evil. Simply put it's about the writer and not the hof. Low ballots is the same thing if you can't justify the low ballot. Low ballots are just as much about the writer screaming look at me.
   60. The Duke Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:41 PM (#6114531)
Thibs has a section at the bottom of his spreadsheet that identifies 29 voters who voted in 2022 but not in 2023. Does this mean they voted publicly then and not now or does it mean they didn't vote at all in 2023 after voting in 2022? If it's the latter, how does he know this?

If the latter is true does this mean there 20+ new voters to replace the 29 old voters ? That seems like a dramatic change in electorate and I suspect it's explains Rolen's induction. Do they get that kind of turnover every year ?

Thoughts ?
   61. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:44 PM (#6114532)
One thing I've learned is I would never release my ballot - or if I did I would do it anonymously. I think writers feel compelled to release but they'd be better off not taking the abuse.

Half the point of the HOF voting is to give the writers something to write about during the off-season.

Anyway, I have no problem with a blank ballot in concept. I don’t think it was defensible this year — Rolen is clearly qualified — but if you don’t think anyone is qualified you absolutely are within your rights to submit a blank ballot. Not sure I understand the complaint about “gatekeeping”. What is the role of the voters, if not to be gatekeepers? The HOF is the game’s highest honor, not a participation trophy.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:45 PM (#6114533)
If the latter is true does this mean there 20+ new voters to replace the 29 old voters ? That seems like a dramatic change in electorate and I suspect it's explains Rolen's induction. Do they get that kind of turnover every year ?


Originally no, they didn't get that turnover every year, over the past few years though, with the new rules for voters, the turnover has been that dramatic (note going from memory) the new rules require some type of media writing over the previous year to maintain the vote, it used to be once you got the vote, you kept it for the remainder of your life.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: January 25, 2023 at 09:48 PM (#6114535)
Anyway, I have no problem with a blank ballot in concept. I don’t think it was defensible this year — Rolen is clearly qualified — but if you don’t think anyone is qualified you absolutely are within your rights to submit a blank ballot. Not sure I understand the complaint about “gatekeeping”. What is the role of the voters, if not to be gatekeepers? The HOF is the game’s highest honor, not a participation trophy.


In the history of the Hof voting, there has never been a year in which there wasn't a clear worthy candidate or few. Gatekeeping is to maintain the standard that only the Ty Cobbs of the world should be voted in, it's a ridiculous standard, and a blank ballot is a dick move done intentionally to make other voters job more difficult.
   64. Zach Posted: January 25, 2023 at 10:58 PM (#6114543)
If you're anti-PED, anti-DV (Vizquel), anti-banging (Beltran), don't support closers, prefer peak and narrative over career accumulators, and small-hall in general, it's actually reasonable for your opinion to be no on each candidate here individually. There's no no-doubter lock that you're spoiling.

This is a separate complaint of mine, but there's been this tendency in the Internet Era of coming up with a tailor made disqualification list for everybody. This isn't a one year drought where there are no good candidates to vote for. Helton, Rolen, and Beltran are all very middle of the road candidates, and you should be able to find someone to vote for if you put a little thought into it.
   65. Jaack Posted: January 25, 2023 at 11:47 PM (#6114544)
This is a separate complaint of mine, but there's been this tendency in the Internet Era of coming up with a tailor made disqualification list for everybody. This isn't a one year drought where there are no good candidates to vote for. Helton, Rolen, and Beltran are all very middle of the road candidates, and you should be able to find someone to vote for if you put a little thought into it.


I've never got why voters are so quick to invoke the character clause to reject otherwise extremely qualified players, but never do it the opposite way.

I'd actually respect a voter who came out and said 'I won't vote A-Rod or Manny, but I will vote for RA Dickey and Matt Cain, because they are truly standup individuals'. I'm not in favor of that sort of approach, but it's a lot better than the small hall guys looking for reasons not to vote somebody.
   66. Karl from NY Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:39 AM (#6114546)
If you don't care for any of the candidates, you have the option of not submitting a ballot at all. And that's what an adult would do.

No, that's not the same thing. Not submitting a ballot means your "no" votes aren't counted in the denominator of the 75%. An adult doesn't give up his right to vote just because someone else got pissy about it. It's irrelevant how many yes votes it takes to offset one no.

Walt's point is spot on. Suppose there were a Jeter on this ballot. How does Jeter's presence make any difference for whether a ballot that votes no on Rolen/Wagner/Helton is okay or not? There is nothing special about a zero ballot compared to a one ballot or two or any other number. (Only ten is special, because you might want eleven but be capped and have to engage in strategic voting.)

The vitriol in this thread is astounding. "pure evil", "petulant child", "massive power dick move"... If you guys need this name-calling to make your point, maybe you don't have a very good point.
   67. bachslunch Posted: January 26, 2023 at 07:50 AM (#6114551)
Agreed with the arguments brought up by those who think it's a douche move to submit blank and similar ultra-small "look at me" ballots. One more thing to add -- the argument that being a tiny hall gatekeeper is a good excuse for this flies in the face of what has become the HoF's standards. The notion that only players at Mays/Cobb/Ruth level belong in is a ship that sailed a long time ago. Besides, they're only delaying the inevitable, as every player who has reached 50% or better (except Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling) who didn't get in on the BBWAA ballot got elected by the Veterans Committee anyway (not to mention some who ended up somewhat below that). Kent's probably getting in as soon as the next Vets Com meets. And Rolen is well within the standards set for HoF third basemen.
   68. DL from MN Posted: January 26, 2023 at 09:18 AM (#6114555)
The notion that only players at Mays/Cobb/Ruth level belong in is a ship that sailed a long time ago.


By 1946 at the latest
   69. alilisd Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:09 AM (#6114571)
I've never got why voters are so quick to invoke the character clause to reject otherwise extremely qualified players, but never do it the opposite way.

I'd actually respect a voter who came out and said 'I won't vote A-Rod or Manny, but I will vote for RA Dickey and Matt Cain, because they are truly standup individuals'.


I don't know that voters have been quick to invoke the character clause. I think it was actually a complete non issue until they decided they had to be the ones to punish McGwire, and subsequently others caught up in PED issues. Maybe I missed something, but I honestly don't recall it ever coming up before. I think Gaylord Perry would probably be about the only player in my lifetime prior to the PED era who might have had an issue, but he went in first ballot, low vote count but still first ballot.

I think the latter comment you make would be a perfect way to highlight the absurdity of not voting for highly qualified PED candidates. I think one writer specifically called out Torii Hunter's quality character in explaining their vote for him when he debuted. Now Hunter might not be the player that would best serve this example, but a quality character guy at the level of an RA Dickey would be perfect. Enough writers voting for someone like that, citing character and integrity over playing ability, and maybe people would begin to realize that the honor being bestowed is about being a great baseball player.
   70. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:13 AM (#6114574)
Yeah, the whole "Character clause" thing is just an excuse to punish the PED users. Period.
   71. The Mighty Quintana Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:30 AM (#6114577)
If memory serves me right, didn't Bowa and Dallas Green basically push Rolen out of Philly? In hindsight, seems like their coaching efforts(?) could have been better spent on lesser players. Ah well, logic was never their strong suit...
   72. villageidiom Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:33 AM (#6114580)
The vitriol in this thread is astounding. "pure evil", "petulant child", "massive power dick move"... If you guys need this name-calling to make your point, maybe you don't have a very good point.
The people here who claim arrogance on the part of the writers are behaving far more arrogantly than the writers.

It doesn't really matter which ships have sailed. The mistakes of the past are no excuse for continuing to make the same mistake. If a voter feels that the first class of Ruth/Mathewson/Cobb/Wagner/Johnson is the true standard, then maybe A-Rod was the only player worthy on this ballot; and if they feel that PED use should be a reason to keep someone out then a blank ballot is the way to go for that approach. It is a valid approach, and the fact that the majority of past and present voters disagree with that approach doesn't make it any less valid. It makes it less practical, sure. That's why the arrogance here is laughable. Practicality is not one of the HOF criteria for voters.

They could be an even simpler small-hall approach: if you need to make a case why someone deserves to be in, then they don't deserve to be in. The initial class were obvious HOFers. A bunch of people since then were obvious HOFers. If they're not obviously worthy, then they're not worthy. I wouldn't draw the line that way, but one could draw it that way without making a mockery of the process. Yes it takes 3 yes votes to negate every no vote. That's just the mechanism of the player needing to be obviously worthy.
   73. JRVJ Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:36 AM (#6114582)
Without digging way too deep into Ryan Thibodeaux's tracker, I found 3 blank ballots in 2023: Ron Cook, Bob Hohler and Juan Vené.

Cook submitted blank ballots in 2023, 2022 and 2021. He did vote for Jeter in 2020.

Hohler submitted a blank ballot in 2023, but voted for Clemens, Bonds and Ortíz in 2022.

Vené submitted a blank ballot and an extremely condescending column about his vote this year. He voted for Pettitte, Rolen and Billy Wagner in 2022.



Mr. Vené's column, in its original Spanish version (surely some of the tone is lost upon machine translation).
   74. SoSH U at work Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:41 AM (#6114584)
Maybe I missed something, but I honestly don't recall it ever coming up before.


Dick Allen was absolutely hurt by it.

Since the PED guys, Omar went from likely induction to 19 percent.

And, if the first few votes of the Vet's Committees are an indication, the players themselves are a hell of a lot less tolerant of PED usage than the writers.

   75. The Duke Posted: January 26, 2023 at 11:56 AM (#6114588)
Yeah, it's a huge issue now covering all kinds of territory: politics (schilling), stupidity (schilling and rose), gambling (rose and I guess shoeless Joe), DV (Vizquel and I'm guessing Chapman ), peds ( a long list ), cheating (possibly Beltran and other Astros who come later).

Would babe Ruth stand a chance. Would Perry ? Cobb?
   76. Adam Starblind Posted: January 26, 2023 at 12:40 PM (#6114591)
There isn't a voter on the planet who is willing to vote for Manny, honestly thinks the difference between him and Rolen is enough for a clear line.


I can see it. You're a voter who is interested in traditional stats, not advanced stats, and you don't care about PEDs. Thing is, I am not sure such a voter exists. If the PED issue weren't there, of course that voter thinks there is a clear line -- Manny cleans Rolen's clock in traditional offensive stats, which were traditionally more or less all that mattered. And Manny passes the "felt like a Hall of Famer" test, whereas Rolen really doesn't.
   77. Adam Starblind Posted: January 26, 2023 at 12:47 PM (#6114592)
What if Visquel were the best player on the ballot, and you wanted to actively help keep him out of the Hall of Fame? Blank ballot ok then? If so, what character problem justify this and which do not? And does it matter if it's Manny and A-Rod who you're actively trying to keep out? What about Jack Morris or Jim Rice and you vehemently believe they'd cheapen the hall? What if all five were on the ballot and the thought of any one of them making it turns your stomach?

I might not do it that way, but I don't think it's necessary unreasonable to use your vote to vote against someone. As others have pointed out, the 3:1 problem exists for anyone you aren't voting for.

Also, some of these guys are just saying "look at me."
   78. JRVJ Posted: January 26, 2023 at 01:03 PM (#6114594)
Also, some of these guys are just saying "look at me."


I'm getting the distinct impression that this virus is making the rounds around here.
   79. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: January 26, 2023 at 01:21 PM (#6114596)
What about Jack Morris or Jim Rice and you vehemently believe they'd cheapen the hall? What if all five were on the ballot and the thought of any one of them making it turns your stomach?

This is a weird mindset, that I'm going to work against the celebration of a couple of guys. Vizquel? He is (or at least was) a pig, so, sure, cancel him. Make him pay a price for really poopy behavior. However, if the problem with Rice is that he wasn't as good as Whitaker and then Morris wasn't as good as Stieb, then you're in a different realm. These were good baseball players with memorable highlights to their careers, so it's pretty ####### sad that your second-best option (to a Whitaker/Stieb ceremony) is that nobody is getting celebrated. Such a person is clinging to standards for the Hall of Fame that only exist in some fantasy. What makes this selfish inflexibility even worse is that you have to expect that Rolen, Helton, Wagner, and Kent are headed to the Hall anyway; you're just holding up the celebration so your fantasy for the HoF can remain an unstained virgin, and if one of those guys dies before the call, then that's not a problem for you. Again, just weird.
   80. dark Posted: January 26, 2023 at 01:22 PM (#6114597)
60, the BBWAA website has a voter list for every election. You can compare to see who voted last year not this year and who didn’t vote last year but did vote this year.
   81. alilisd Posted: January 26, 2023 at 01:53 PM (#6114607)
I don't know that voters have been quick to invoke the character clause. I think it was actually a complete non issue until they decided they had to be the ones to punish McGwire, and subsequently others caught up in PED issues. Maybe I missed something, but I honestly don't recall it ever coming up before. I think Gaylord Perry would probably be about the only player in my lifetime prior to the PED era who might have had an issue, but he went in first ballot, low vote count but still first ballot.


Yes, I'm quoting myself. I was actually looking through voting records for the 70's and 80's, brutally tough BTW, and noticed it probably impacted Wills. He debuted at 30, moved up to 38 for 2 years, then to 40, before falling to 22 and staying in the 20's for the remainder of his eligibility. This coincides pretty closely with his being fired by the M's and then having the cocaine arrest. I could see that impacting voting based on character.

Dick Allen was absolutely hurt by it.

Since the PED guys, Omar went from likely induction to 19 percent.


Good call on Allen. I had forgotten there were more concerns about him than just being an abrasive personality with the writers. And, yes, Omar has been impacted, but my point was it was largely a non issue before those associated PED's were deemed to be unworthy for selection. Now it is absolutely being broadened out to include guys like Vizquel and Beltran as well. Beltran may very well overcome it as it is not as heinous an issue as PED's or the abuses associated with Vizquel, but was definitely an issue for some voters this year.
   82. DL from MN Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:07 PM (#6114609)
Gatekeeping is to maintain the standard that only the Ty Cobbs of the world should be voted in


Pretty sure Ty Cobb couldn't get elected in 2023. Cap Anson would never get elected.
   83. glitch Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:34 PM (#6114621)
I’d always heard that Fergie might’ve had to wait a little longer for induction due to his drug bust.
   84. bachslunch Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:53 PM (#6114625)
What if Vizquel were the best player on the ballot, and you wanted to actively help keep him out of the Hall of Fame? Blank ballot ok then? If so, what character problem justify this and which do not? And does it matter if it's Manny and A-Rod who you're actively trying to keep out? What about Jack Morris or Jim Rice and you vehemently believe they'd cheapen the hall? What if all five were on the ballot and the thought of any one of them making it turns your stomach?


I'd say if you've got that many conditions that have to be applied before you'll vote for someone, maybe being a Hall voter isn't for you. There's a good reason why people make fun of morons like Murray Chass and Dan Shaughnessy.

Best I can tell, there has always been at least one player on the ballot who fits the Hall's standards via WAR or similar advanced metrics and isn't a grotesque flouter of the Character Clause. Which means there has never been a situation where the best available player on the ballot is the likes of Omar Vizquel. This year, it was Scott Rolen and Todd Helton at the very least.
   85. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:53 PM (#6114626)
If a voter feels that the first class of Ruth/Mathewson/Cobb/Wagner/Johnson is the true standard, then maybe A-Rod was the only player worthy on this ballot; and if they feel that PED use should be a reason to keep someone out then a blank ballot is the way to go for that approach. It is a valid approach . . .
No, that’s just another way of saying that the voter will ignore long-established standards for the Hall and not vote for those comparable to ~ two-thirds of the current membership. A dick move. Voters should make a good faith attempt at deciphering who is a legitimate Hall of Famer, not impose their own quirky standard that has no relationship to reality.
   86. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:55 PM (#6114627)
Ron Santo got only 15 votes in 1980 and was originally one and done. He was re-instated in 1985 or so. His low vote total was allegedly in part due to him being hated by a large numbers of sportswriters.
   87. nick swisher hygiene Posted: January 26, 2023 at 02:57 PM (#6114628)
Billy Wagner got 265 votes to Mike Napoli's 1 (one).

Bbref has them within a point of each other's WAR.

Man, #### a bunch of closers....
   88. Walt Davis Posted: January 26, 2023 at 03:04 PM (#6114631)
In the history of the Hof voting, there has never been a year in which there wasn't a clear worthy candidate or few.

I'm curious if this is in fact true (and by whose standards?) It wouldn't surprise me at all if it's true because the wrters are (collectively) frequently idiots who bury some deserving guy while voting through ... David Ortiz.

I look through my baseball lifetime's elections and I see 11 guys elected by the writers that I never would have voted for and 10 borderline although I suspect I would have come around (caved to pressure) on most/all of them. This includes a fair number of first ballot inductees. There are then many, many VC selections I would never vote for and only a few I think should have been inducted by thw writers.

The emptiness of "always at least one clearly worthy candidate" is shown by the 1985 ballot. Wilhelm and Brock were elected. I would vote for Wilhelm but it's pretty close, I would not vote for Brock but I understand why people did. The "clearly worthy" candidates on that ballot IMO are Billy Williams at 63% (and honestly he's pretty borderline so maybe I'm biased) and Santo at 14%. So are we to denigrate the BBWAA that 86% of them couldn't see the most worthy candidate on the ballot?

Or the 2006 ballot where you have to declare that Trammell (not elected by the writers), Blyleven or Dawaon as the "clearly worthy" candidate cuz it sure wasn't Sutter, Gossage or Rice. If my choice is between the guy who votes for nobody and the guy who votes for Sutter but not Trammell, give me the blank ballot guy. At lest pure evil has defensible standards.
   89. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 26, 2023 at 03:10 PM (#6114633)
Man, #### a bunch of closers....


Ahem, that is *CLOSER* to your filthy mouth. The hardest and most important position in all of baseball. Bar none.
   90. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 26, 2023 at 03:15 PM (#6114635)
The emptiness of "always at least one clearly worthy candidate" is shown by the 1985 ballot. Wilhelm and Brock were elected. I would vote for Wilhelm but it's pretty close, I would not vote for Brock but I understand why people did. The "clearly worthy" candidates on that ballot IMO are Billy Williams at 63% (and honestly he's pretty borderline so maybe I'm biased) and Santo at 14%. So are we to denigrate the BBWAA that 86% of them couldn't see the most worthy candidate on the ballot?

Or the 2006 ballot where you have to declare that Trammell (not elected by the writers), Blyleven or Dawaon as the "clearly worthy" candidate cuz it sure wasn't Sutter, Gossage or Rice. If my choice is between the guy who votes for nobody and the guy who votes for Sutter but not Trammell, give me the blank ballot guy. At lest pure evil has defensible standards.


Do you not consider Trammell, Blyleven, or Santo clear HOF'ers?
   91. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: January 26, 2023 at 03:19 PM (#6114637)
Best I can tell, there has always been at least one player on the ballot who fits the Hall's standards via WAR or similar advanced metrics and isn't a grotesque flouter of the Character Clause. Which means there has never been a situation where the best available player on the ballot is the likes of Omar Vizquel.


Yes. not even close, at least not since 1970 which is as far back as I cared to look. Vizquel had 45 WAR. The least impressive ballots, which includes this year, all had at last 1 player with 70+ WAR. When Rice got elected, he was joined by Rickey Henderson. Next year's ballot will have Beltre and AROD. No new 70+ players come on in 2025, but Ichiro comes on, and presumably AROD and Beltran will still be there.
   92. Jaack Posted: January 26, 2023 at 03:39 PM (#6114640)
I did a quick check and there has never been a ballot without a guy who I think is a top 150 player in baseball history. And honestly, it's pretty rare there aren't at least two. But a lot of those are because the BBWAA typically takes forever on some overqualified guys.

If the BBWAA didn't dilly dally around with guys, there are definitely stretches where a blank ballot looks possible. Walt mentioned 1985 as a down year, but really, the 1984-87 stretch only had one obvious choice hit (Willie McCovey). I bet with today's BBWAA, there's a good chance that the 1987 ballot would be pretty empty, and a blank ballot would be plenty justifiable there.

The rage over blank ballots is misdirected. The problem is with the Small Hall mentality. The Hall is absolutely not what Small Hall voters seem to think it is, and there is no way to make it so. If you vote for a small Hall, you are actually voting for an ancient Hall.
   93. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: January 26, 2023 at 03:48 PM (#6114641)
I bet with today's BBWAA, there's a good chance that the 1987 ballot would be pretty empty, and a blank ballot would be plenty justifiable there.


If you assume Williams and Santo are already in, you still have Boyer and (newcomer) Bando above 60 WAR, and then a whole bunch in the 50s before you get to 45. But you're right, a blank ballot would have been justified.
   94. DL from MN Posted: January 26, 2023 at 03:59 PM (#6114643)
the 1984-87 stretch only had one obvious choice hit (Willie McCovey)


Hall of Merit inductions 84-87:

84 - Brooks Robinson, Joe Torre
85 - Jose Mendez, Bill Freehan, Joe Sewell
86 - McCovey, Rube Waddell
87 - Ralph Kiner, Billy Pierce, Minnie Minoso

Torre and Freehan had a chance to get elected 84-87. Both are deserving.
   95. TDF, trained monkey Posted: January 26, 2023 at 04:27 PM (#6114650)
A Arod/Manny voter is fully versed in war.
ARod: 696 HR (#5 all-time), 2086 RBI (#4), 3 MVPs, 2 GG, 3115 hits - all as a SS.
Manny: 555 HR (#15), 1831 RBI (#20), lifetime .315 BA.

You don't need to know a thing about WAR to vote for either - if anything, WAR undervalues them compared to traditional metrics.
   96. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 26, 2023 at 04:55 PM (#6114661)
The vitriol in this thread is astounding.

Eradicating stupidity requires a strong solvent.

I did a quick check and there has never been a ballot without a guy who I think is a top 150 player in baseball history. And honestly, it's pretty rare there aren't at least two.

Bingo. If you're given the right to vote on the HOF and you truly can't find anybody who's worthy, you really need to pull your head outa yo a$$.
   97. TDF, trained monkey Posted: January 26, 2023 at 04:56 PM (#6114662)
The problem with a blank ballot is this: It actively hurts every person on the ballot, and makes your ballot 3x as powerful as any other. If you submit a blank ballot because you're a small-hall guy, see ARod as the only viable candidate by stats, but won't consider him because of PEDs, fine - don't submit a ballot, and let the rest of the electorate decide his fate.

If you submit a blank ballot, you're actively hurting Rolen's chances - a guy who most voters think should be elected. As others have said, that's a dick move.
   98. SoSH U at work Posted: January 26, 2023 at 05:24 PM (#6114668)
The problem with a blank ballot is this: It actively hurts every person on the ballot, and makes your ballot 3x as powerful as any other. If you submit a blank ballot because you're a small-hall guy, see ARod as the only viable candidate by stats, but won't consider him because of PEDs, fine - don't submit a ballot, and let the rest of the electorate decide his fate.

If you submit a blank ballot, you're actively hurting Rolen's chances - a guy who most voters think should be elected. As others have said, that's a dick move.


But by the same token, if you submit a ballot with just Arod's name on it, your ballot is also 3X as powerful against all the other people you left off. That's just the nature of the process.

Other than to your one choice, there's no difference between a blank ballot and a one-name ballot on the rest of the field.

I might disagree with the decisions that lead to a blank ballot, but I don't see why it's substantively different than a one-person ballot. They're both the product of a very small hall perspective (and that doesn't offend me either, since the existing Hall membership has been built by getting through the entire electorate, which has always consisted of small and large hall voters).
   99. JRVJ Posted: January 26, 2023 at 05:36 PM (#6114671)
I might disagree with the decisions that lead to a blank ballot, but I don't see why it's substantively different than a one-person ballot. They're both the product of a very small hall perspective (and that doesn't offend me either, since the existing Hall membership has been built by getting through the entire electorate, which has always consisted of small and large hall voters).


You are allocating good faith where none exists.
   100. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: January 26, 2023 at 05:37 PM (#6114672)
Eradicating stupidity requires a strong solvent


I like that statement, except I worry, if it's just a solvent, that means the stupidity hasn't quite been eradicated, just dissolved - it could come back!

Maybe something like "Eradicating stupidity requires a strong reactant"

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