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Monday, November 16, 2020

Hall of Fame releases 2021 ballot

While the 2021 ballot announced Monday features former All-Stars such as Torii Hunter, Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle and Barry Zito, none of its first-timers is an obvious Hall of Famer. The crowded crush of Cooperstown-caliber cases that voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were presented with in recent years has cleared, and that creates breathing room—and potentially large percentage increases—for the ballot’s hopeful holdovers, notably Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Omar Vizquel.

BBWAA voters, who have addressed the ballot congestion by voting in 13 players in the past four years, must submit their votes by year’s end. The results will be revealed on Tuesday, Jan. 26, on MLB Network.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2020 at 12:18 PM | 181 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dolf Lucky Posted: November 16, 2020 at 12:46 PM (#5988984)
We'll see if this formats at all. Name, % of ballots in 2019, JAWS/Jpos (the avg JAWS score at that player's standard position):

Schilling, 70%, 104%
Clemens, 61%, 167%
Bonds, 61%, 220%
Vizquel, 53%, 65%
Rolen, 35%, 102%
Wagner, 32%, 73%
Sheffield, 31%, 86%
Helton, 29%, 99%
Manny, 28%, 102%
Kent, 28%, 80%
Jones, 19%, 94%
Sosa, 14%, 90%
Pettitte, 11%, 77%
Abreu, 6%, 89%

And the first-timers with at least 30 WAR:

Hudson, 1st, 78%
Buehrle, 1st, 77%
Hunter, 1st, 70%
Haren, 1st, 55%
Zito, 1st, 51%
Aramis, 1st, 55%
Victorino, 1st, 52%
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5988987)
Seemss like Rolen could get a good push this year. And Vizquel.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: November 16, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5988993)
Michael Cuddyer?
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 01:16 PM (#5988994)

Seemss like Rolen could get a good push this year. And Vizquel.


That's my expectation. Vizquel will be hard to gauge because we don't know how strong the anti position is. But I expect Rolen to get in within three years.

   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 16, 2020 at 01:18 PM (#5988995)
My Votes:
Bonds
Clemens
Manny
Rolen
Schilling
Sheffield
Sosa

#NeverVizquel
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 16, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5988998)
This ballot reminds me of the 2012 ballot, when only one 1st year player made the 5% cutoff (Bernie Williams, and not by much), and only one player made the HOF (Barry Larkin, in his third try). But seven other players on that ballot eventually made the HOF (Trammell, Morris, Lee Smith, Bagwell, Raines, Edgar, Walker), and a few others who may yet make it via a committee one day (McGriff, McGwire).

It seems that Schilling is the only player this year with a realistic chance of getting to 75% this time around, with a number of other guys getting big pushes, as the logjam is pretty much gone.

I agree with #2 - Vizquel could end up in the mid-60s, and Rolen could break 50%.

Will any new candidate get 5%? Hudson? Will Abreu survive this ballot?

And the big question besides Schilling hitting 75% is, IMO, will Clemens and Bonds get a meaningful push as they approach their 10-year limit? There really is no excuse now - there is plenty of room on the ballot to include them if you want, and if they can't get close to 70% this year, then I can't see how it is going to work for them next year, when there are several players who will garner significant support (Ortiz, ARod, maybe Nathan and Papelbon get some decent votes).
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 16, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5989003)
I expect this to be Schilling's year. Trump losing the election will make it easier for some of the writers to forgive him, along with his comments fading into the past. Kind of amazing how light that ballot looks after how many Hall of Famers got elected the last few years. I have a bad feeling that Vizquel will continue to climb.
   8. winnipegwhip Posted: November 16, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5989005)
expect this to be Schilling's year. Trump losing the election will make it easier for some of the writers to forgive him,


Plus it is easier to forgive him when he voted for Biden 5 times in Philadelphia.
   9. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 16, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5989008)
Michael Cuddyer?


There are actually fewer of these guys than in previous years. Only 11 first-year players made it through the screening committee. Of course, that's still 5-10 more than you could probably see as deserving a vote depending on how you feel about token votes.

Interesting ballot at both the top and the bottom (as in, the 5% range, not the Michael Cuddyer / Dan Haren true bottom). All four of the guys who return having gotten over 50% have issues that could theoretically cap their support - Schilling's an #######, Bonds and Clemens used steroids, Vizquel isn't really good enough to be a Hall-of-Famer. My guess is Schilling's cap is enough over 75% that he makes it; Bonds and Clemens caps are below 75% and they don't make it this year or next; Vizquel's cap is probably over 75% but I doubt he gets all the way up there this year.

At the bottom, I could see three first-year guys possibly getting 5% (but not much more): Buerhle, Tim Hudson, and Torii Hunter. I wouldn't be surprised if none of them make 5% but it's a weak enough ballot that I also wouldn't be surprised to see all three get 5%.

In the middle, I think Scott Rolen is poised to take over Larry Walker's role and see a big jump this year that gets him elected within the next three or four years.
   10. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5989017)
I fear that Hudson or Buehrle will fail to get 5% even though each of them have more WAA than Billy Wagner has WAR.
   11. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2020 at 02:11 PM (#5989019)
Cuddyer's a 2 time all star with a batting title. He's not worth voting for but I see how he got through the screening committee.
   12. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 16, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5989020)
I feel pretty confident that Hunter will not get 5%.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 16, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5989022)
crowded crush of Cooperstown-caliber cases
That had to be intentional.
   14. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 16, 2020 at 02:22 PM (#5989025)
I feel pretty confident that Hunter will not get 5%.


I wouldn't take an even-money bet with you one way or the other. But Hunter was a 5x All-Star who won 9 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Sluggers with over 2,400 career hits, 350 career home runs, and 2,500 combined runs plus RBI. He'll almost certainly never get a vote in a Hall-of-Merit election. But picking up 25 or 30 votes from BBWAA members as part of the weakest Hall-of-Fame ballot probably in a decade? I could see it.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2020 at 02:37 PM (#5989029)
Plus, the media LOVE him. I think him and maybe Buerhle are the most likely to get 5 percent among first-timers.
   16. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 16, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5989031)
I wouldn't take an even-money bet with you one way or the other.


So you think he'll get exactly 5%?

Likeliest outcome seems like a Schilling-only class. (Plus whatever the era committee decides to do, but trying to predict what those guys are up to is for suckers.)
   17. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 16, 2020 at 02:44 PM (#5989033)
Plus whatever the era committee decides to do, but trying to predict what those guys are up to is for suckers.


They cancelled this year's era committee(s) because of the pandemic. Not sure why they couldn't just do a Zoom meeting but it wasn't my call. Of course, since they also postponed last summer's induction, the Hall is already guaranteed an induction next summer (virus and vaccine willing) regardless of what the BBWAA does here.
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 16, 2020 at 03:00 PM (#5989037)
2021 Hypothetical Ballot:

Schilling
Clemens
Bonds
Rolen
Sheffield
Kent
Sosa
Pettitte

Two spots left that I’d think longer about if this was a real ballot, but 8 is enough for this effort. #NeverVizquel
   19. Rally Posted: November 16, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5989038)
I wouldn't take an even-money bet with you one way or the other. But Hunter was a 5x All-Star who won 9 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Sluggers with over 2,400 career hits, 350 career home runs, and 2,500 combined runs plus RBI. He'll almost certainly never get a vote in a Hall-of-Merit election. But picking up 25 or 30 votes from BBWAA members as part of the weakest Hall-of-Fame ballot probably in a decade? I could see it.


It seems wrong that he could get 5% in the same process where Kenny Lofton got 3.2% and Jim Edmonds got 2.5% in their only years on the ballot. If he does, he's really lucky to have been born later than they were.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 03:04 PM (#5989040)
It seems wrong that he could get 5% in the same process where Kenny Lofton got 3.2% and Jim Edmonds got 2.5% in their only years on the ballot. If he does, he's really lucky to have been born later than they were.


Kenny Lofton was particularly hurt by the year he happened to retire.
   21. bachslunch Posted: November 16, 2020 at 03:23 PM (#5989046)
My 10 man ballot:

Abreu
Bonds
Clemens
Helton
Jones
Kent
Rolen
Sheffield
Sosa
Wagner

With an unlimited ballot, add Manny and Schilling.
   22. reech Posted: November 16, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5989060)
Bonds
Clemens
Manny
Schilling

Three "cheaters" and an a-hole. The perfect 2020 ballot.
   23. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: November 16, 2020 at 04:47 PM (#5989080)
2021 Hypothetical Ballot:

Schilling
Clemens
Bonds
Rolen
Sheffield
Kent
Sosa
Pettitte


Why Pettitte but no Buerhle (especially with the open spots)? They are remarkably close.
   24. EddieA Posted: November 16, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5989082)
Would Vizquel be the worst selection ever for the writers?
Almost think he's likely to be elected as they continue to reject the 2 best players from the last 50 years. The 2 greatest living Hall of Famers had their prime in the 50s/60s.
   25. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2020 at 05:04 PM (#5989087)
I promise we will do another mock ballot in December.
   26. DanG Posted: November 16, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5989089)
Cuddyer's a 2 time all star with a batting title. He's not worth voting for but I see how he got through the screening committee.
Yeah, Nick Swisher is probably the worst candidate to make it through. The screener's biggest omission is Grady Sizemore.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2020 at 05:23 PM (#5989091)
Vizquel fits fine with the previous selections of Maranville, Aparicio and Ozzie. Granted, he doesn't have any sort of extra hook (heaps of steals, AS games) so he would also fit just fine with Concepcion. But the writers have always supported top defensive SS with long careers and Omar has 11 GG. He was always going to have a solid ballot performance, just a question of whether it would be 10 years around 20%, getting stuck at 40% or "taking advantage" of the weak ballots. Looks like it will be the latter. And already over 50%, unlikely to drop below that, he'll be a VC selection if he doesn't make it with the writers. Personally I'll take him over at least Gossage and Sutter and for god's sake Wagner who should have been one and done.

I think Hunter will clear 5% -- he's a poor man's Puckett, aged much better than expected and so few players to vote for. I'm surprised it's just 4 AS games but 9 GG, 51 WAR. Maybe a test of how WAR-bound the current electorate is -- I'm pretty sure Hunter would have out-polled Abreu in the olden times; I'm guessing he still will but it will probably be close and/or both barely receive any votes at all.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 16, 2020 at 05:34 PM (#5989092)
Personally I'll take him over at least Gossage and Sutter and for god's sake Wagner who should have been one and done.
I get the timelining argument, but I still think you're really underrating Honus.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 16, 2020 at 06:01 PM (#5989097)
Why Pettitte but no Buerhle (especially with the open spots)? They are remarkably close.
Perhaps closer than my initial thought, but Pettitte’s postseason moves him ahead. That’s another full workhouse season, 19 wins & 276.2 IP, against the toughest competition. Again, it was a hypothetical ballot, with 8 comfortably in - a real ballot might include a couple of more, or at least a bit more thought, although it does seem like pitchers like Buehrle & Hudson usually fall a bit short.
   30. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 16, 2020 at 06:07 PM (#5989098)
Vizquel fits fine with the previous selections of Maranville, Aparicio and Ozzie.

To some extent, but unlike the other three, Vizquel never had any MVP support in his entire career.
   31. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2020 at 06:08 PM (#5989100)
I think Honus Wagner was "one and done".
   32. RJ in TO Posted: November 16, 2020 at 06:20 PM (#5989102)
Would Vizquel be the worst selection ever for the writers?
He has slightly more WAR than Lou Brock, and significantly more than Pie Traynor. He's behind both on WAA, but that's mostly because of the couple years he spent as a sort-of-coach at the end.
   33. Booey Posted: November 16, 2020 at 06:25 PM (#5989103)
I'd also go with Pettitte but not Buehrle. They're almost identical value wise (and should be treated as such by the HoM, IMO), but Pettitte's career just looks more HOF-ey, and that matters to me (and seemingly to actual voters) with guys on the borderline when we're trying to decide which ones fall on which side of it.

42 extra wins and 7 fewer losses (256-153 vs 214-160) give Pettitte a much better winning percentage (.626 to .572), he's got almost 600 extra K's, he has two 20 win seasons while Buehrle doesn't have any, and he did better in CYA voting (2nd, 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th vs a single 5th place finish). Plus of course Andy played in 8 World Series and won 5, posting a 19-11 postseason record (all time record for postseason wins) in 276 playoff innings. Buehrle went 2-1 in 30 postseason innings. Yes, almost all of Pettitte's superficial advantages came simply from being a Yankee during their dynasty years, but...well, thems the breaks. We're talking about borderline players here anyway, so it's not an injustice if one gets in and the other doesn't (or if both do or neither do).
   34. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 16, 2020 at 06:47 PM (#5989105)
In terms of the starting pitchers, I think we would all agree that Schilling is the best on this ballot after Clemens.

The other starters with a chance of getting votes include:

Pettitte
Hudson
Buehrle


No starter debuting on the 2022 ballot is getting 5% (Peavy is probably the best of that class).
No starter in 2023 is, either (Lackey is probably the best).
Or 2024 (Bartolo Colon is the best starter in that class...he'll probably resume pitching again by then, anyway!).
In 2025, it's Sabathia and Felix Hernandez. I don't think either of them is a Hall of Famer, but there may be a lot of public pressure for some starting pitcher to get a good look at the Hall.

I mean, between Pettitte, Hudson, Buehrle, Colon, Sabathia, and King Felix:

1) Would you vote for any of them for the Hall of Fame?
2) Would you take any of them over Kevin Brown?
3) Where would Luis Tiant, Tommy John, and Jim Kaat fit on this list? How many of this collection of starters would you put in the Hall? (I would argue you should consider John's contribution as the guinea pig for the most famous surgical procedure in sports) and Kaat's 30+ years as a prominent broadcaster.

   35. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 07:17 PM (#5989109)
Cc is a Hall of Famer and will be treated as such.
   36. JRVJ Posted: November 16, 2020 at 07:55 PM (#5989114)
Pre-COVID, I thought Schilling was going to get in.

Now, I doubt BBWAA picks anybody this year, for the simple reason that they don't have any pressure to do so, since the 2020 inductees DIDN'T have their induction ceremony and (cross fingers) will have it in 2021.

Supposedly the HoF gets a significant amount of revenue from HoF inductions. Well, they'll be getting that in 2021 anyway (vaccine permitting), whether the BBWAA picks anybody this year or not
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 07:57 PM (#5989116)
I would also support Pettitte for the reasons Booey and Clapper suggested. He's borderline just on regular season stats, plus the playoffs adds a supersized Andy Pettitte season to the ledger. And as long as the shoulder can't distinguish between pitches thrown in the regular season and those tossed in the exhibition games that follow, it's folly to dismiss postseason work from a pitcher's HoF case.

As for the rest, I can't be impartial with Buehrle, as he's a starter in my all-time rotation. I will say that's he's got a very odd case in that he's a very low peak guy on a seasonal basis (churning out pretty standard Buehrle seasons for 15 years), he's very high peak on the singular moments scale. He's got a no-hitter, one of the most memorable perfect games that was an actual perfect game of all-time, the previous record of consecutive batters retired, a Gary Mathews-level defensive play on Opening Day that was the play of the year, standing as the best (active) player on a WS winner and, of course, was widely known as a quick worker as the game was trending toward drudgery.

Kevin Brown is better than all of them. Kevin Brown is also a colossal douche, so I'm quite happy if he's eternally on the outside.
   38. Booey Posted: November 16, 2020 at 08:11 PM (#5989118)
I'd vote for Sabathia, and I suspect the actual voters will too. 250 wins, 3000 K's, a CYA, NLCS MVP during the Yankees 2009 title run, and an actual peak (5 straight top 5 CYA finishes, a decent amount of black ink) should differentiate him from most the other contemporary pitchers you listed.
   39. Booey Posted: November 16, 2020 at 08:37 PM (#5989121)
Meant ALCS MVP in #38.

Kinda random, but CC leading BOTH leagues in shutouts in 2008 was a pretty unique and cool accomplishment too. ;-)
   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 16, 2020 at 08:43 PM (#5989122)
I doubt BBWAA picks anybody this year, for the simple reason that they don't have any pressure to do so, since the 2020 inductees DIDN'T have their induction ceremony and (cross fingers) will have it in 2021.
I don’t see how that actually influences the voters. The writers still have the same incentive to produce defensible ballots that they can tout in articles & commentary about the Hall. Are there really voters who dislike Schilling (or find him not Hall-worthy), but would put that opinion aside if it might impact the finances of the Hall & Cooperstown? Maybe, but I’m skeptical.
   41. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 16, 2020 at 08:45 PM (#5989123)
Pre-COVID, I thought Schilling was going to get in.

Now, I doubt BBWAA picks anybody this year, for the simple reason that they don't have any pressure to do so, since the 2020 inductees DIDN'T have their induction ceremony and (cross fingers) will have it in 2021.

Supposedly the HoF gets a significant amount of revenue from HoF inductions. Well, they'll be getting that in 2021 anyway (vaccine permitting), whether the BBWAA picks anybody this year or not


I am quite skeptical that this has any effect on the voting behavior of individual writers. But we also don't have a ton of data one way or the other; Schilling's fate this year will be as good a test case as any.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 08:52 PM (#5989126)
Since the shutout of 2013, the voters seem to operate under the idea their role is to elect people to the Hall, more than it used to be. They obviously reacted to the abundance of candidates by using all their slots far more than they ever did, and most have continued to do that even as the herd has thinned. Couple that with the massive changes in the electorate due to the purge, and I think the trends toward larger ballots and pushing candidates toward election will continue.

That's a long way of saying I'd be shocked if Schilling doesn't hit 75 percent this year.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2020 at 08:54 PM (#5989128)
Andy played in 8 World Series and won 5, posting a 19-11 postseason record (all time record for postseason wins) in 276 playoff innings. Buehrle went 2-1 in 30 postseason innings.


you forgot to list postseason ERA (maybe).

Pettitte's was 3.81.
Buehrle's was 4.11.

so neither are quite in Koufax Gibson Schilling category.

Pettitte allowed 117 ER in 277 postseason IP.
Schilling allowed 33 ER in 133 postseason IP.

so if Schilling had gotten 144 extra postseason IP and allowed 84 ER, they'd be even.

doesn't seem like a high bar.

he also was 11-2, which I think is better than 19-11 but I'm not good at math.
   44. The Duke Posted: November 16, 2020 at 08:58 PM (#5989129)
22. Three cheaters and an a-hole is actually a better 2016 ballot
   45. The Duke Posted: November 16, 2020 at 09:08 PM (#5989130)
I think this will be Schillings year. I would think once Vizquel gets to 60% a bunch of writers will cave, switch their votes and put him in. A number of them have said that once a player gets to XX% they flip and follow the herd. Two more years for vizquel to get to 60% and then I think he gets pushed in - if not he goes in the first time he is on VC ballot. Rolen will benefit from the cleared off runway and start to move. I just don’t think the PED guys have a chance - their % will continue to creep up as the older voters drop off/die but they won’t be getting more yes votes unless it’s from new Writers.

I’d be surprised if buerhle doesn’t stay on for a while in the low teens. He was well-liked and well thought of.

Cannot believe Haren is on. Seems like the cards just traded him to Oakland yesterday.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5989131)
You forgot to list postseason ERA (maybe).

Pettitte's was 3.81.
Buehrle's was 4.11.

so neither are quite in Koufax Gibson Schilling category.

Pettitte allowed 117 ER in 277 postseason IP.
Schilling allowed 33 ER in 133 postseason IP.

so if Schilling had gotten 144 extra postseason IP and allowed 84 ER, they'd be even.

doesn't seem like a high bar.

he also was 11-2, which I think is better than 19-11 but I'm not good at math.


It's not your math that's the problem. Why are you dragging Schilling's spectacular postseason record into this as if it refutes anything Booey wrote?

   47. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2020 at 09:24 PM (#5989133)
why are you ignoring his failure to list Pettitte's mediocre postseason ERA?
   48. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 09:36 PM (#5989134)
why are you ignoring his failure to list Pettitte's mediocre postseason ERA?


His postseason ERA is just slightly worse than his regular season ERA, which given the tougher competition in the playoffs, is hardly an issue (and on a RA basis, it's probably better). As I said, Pettitte threw the equivalent of a supersized Pettitte season in his postseason innings. For a guy on the borderline as Andy is, it's quite reasonable to think adding that kind of season onto his existing record is enough to push him over.

And if Schilling were on the borderline rather than comfortably qualified, his historically great postseason numbers would bolster his case even more than Andy's. But Schilling's postseason record doesn't have much utility in a comparison of Mark Buehrle and Andy Pettitte.

   49. Booey Posted: November 16, 2020 at 09:52 PM (#5989137)
Howie, how would having a slightly BETTER ERA in the postseason (3.81 vs 3.85) HURT Pettitte's (or anyone's) HOF argument?
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 09:58 PM (#5989139)
I don't know what I was looking at, thinking it was slightly worse. So combine that with his improved RA rate (only four UER allowed in those 276 innings compared with 10 surrendered in a typical 214-inning Andy season, and he definitely performed better in the playoffs.

   51. Booey Posted: November 16, 2020 at 10:03 PM (#5989141)
#50 - Exactly. Pettitte's postseason record has to be considered a positive to his case. It's not Schilling or Smoltz or Koufax level of course, but it's something.
   52. RJ in TO Posted: November 16, 2020 at 10:04 PM (#5989142)
That's a long way of saying I'd be shocked if Schilling doesn't hit 75 percent this year.
Provided he keeps his mouth shut until after the ballot deadline.
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2020 at 10:06 PM (#5989143)
so if a pitcher had a 4.50 ERA in the regular season but a slightly BETTER ERA in the postseason (4.46 vs 4.50), would that HURT anyone's HOF argument?

I don't see the point in touting one side of Pettitte's postseason resume without the other at BBTF. it all matters.

it's a lot easier to perform relatively better in the playoffs if you didn't perform that well in the regular season.

and nobody else had as many Ws clinched by Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer OF ALL TIME - and few have been backed by offensea during his career like he was.

if we want to talk about Pettitte, let's at least be well-rounded about it.

and this doesn't even count the two times he lied about PEDs.
   54. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 10:17 PM (#5989145)
so if a pitcher had a 4.50 ERA in the regular season but a slightly BETTER ERA in the postseason (4.46 vs 4.50), would that HURT anyone's HOF argument?


No, it wouldn't hurt his HoF argument. Presumably, he doesn't have one, but it wouldn't hurt it.

I don't see the point in touting one side of Pettitte's postseason resume without the other at BBTF. it all matters.


What's the other side?

it's easier to perform better in the playoffs if you didn't perform that well in the regular season.


I'm just going to pretend you were taking medication when you wrote that.

and nobody else had as many Ws clinched by Mariano Rivera - and few have been backed by an offense like he was.


OK, we're getting even more ridiculous.

if we want to talk about Pettitte, let's at least be well-rounded about it.


Andy Petttite, a borderline Hall of Famer based exclusively on his regular season stats, also turned in the equivalent of a better, significantly larger typical Andy Pettitte season when he threw the ball in anger in the postseason. What part of that needs rounding?

and this doesn't even count the two times he lied about PEDs. he does have those "doe eyes" so that's another mark in his HOF case I guess.


If you care about PEDs, then you absolutely should hold it against Pettitte. If you don't, as Booey (consistent with most around here) clearly doesn't, then I'm not sure whether his eyes are doed or pied or googlyed matters a whit.
   55. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 16, 2020 at 10:23 PM (#5989146)
it's a lot easier to perform relatively better in the playoffs if you didn't perform that well in the regular season.

No, it's not? The level of competition improves in the postseason, so if the regular season represents your true talent level, it is harder to match or exceed that level in the postseason. Also, it's not like Pettitte was a scrub in the regular season; his career ERA+ is 117, the same as Buehrle's.

And if we're talking about the benefits of playing for the Yankees, it's also worth mentioning the drawbacks; the early 2000's Yankees, with Posada/Jeter/Soriano/Williams, might have had the worst up-the-middle defense ever for a successful team. bWAR has Pettitte's defenses as below average for his career despite the 2.5 years he spent with Adam Everett at short instead of Jeter. His ERA+ in the Houston years was 129.

None of which is to say that I'm 100% sold on Pettitte for the Hall. But his regular season record puts him in the conversation, and I don't see how his postseason performance can be considered anything but an asset to his case.
   56. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2020 at 10:58 PM (#5989149)
but if you're a traditional voter, then you have to note Jeter and Bernie's combined nine Gold Gloves.

Rivera is relevant because of how much Pettitte's W total is better because of Rivera's consistency.

and "the other side" of his postseason resume is a 3.81 ERA.

it is what it is, and deliberately omitting it is not in the spirit of a broad look at that career.

and did Buehrle have the same level of offensive support? presumably he didn't with his bullpen.

we had a recent discussion about whether "The level of competition improves in the postseason, so if the regular season represents your true talent level, it is harder to match or exceed that level in the postseason" actually holds up to scrutiny.

I don't recall the exact details, but I think the conclusion was that it didn't seem to do so for both hitters and for pitchers. but I'd be happy to have someone recap that discussion.
   57. Booey Posted: November 16, 2020 at 10:59 PM (#5989150)
#53 - Sure, if PED's hurt a guys case in your PHOF, you're certainly justified in holding that against Pettitte.

I'm not saying he's a no brainer or anything. He's pretty much the definition of borderline, and I honestly don't really care if he gets in or not. But I do think his postseason resume adds to his argument, and it's mostly what puts him over the line for me.
   58. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 16, 2020 at 11:09 PM (#5989152)
As long as we're talking Honus Wagner (up the thread a bit), thought I'd drop this here: WAGNER VIDEO.

It's film of Wagner during his days as a coach. Taking a few swings, handling a few chances on the infield, and giving a brief interview.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2020 at 11:29 PM (#5989156)
and "the other side" of his postseason resume is a 3.81 ERA.


But that can't be the other side of his case. If a 3.81 ERA is a black mark against Pettitte, then he has no Hall case to begin with since he was worse than that in the regular season. But if he actually performed better in the postseason (which, he did, given the better competition he was facing and the fact he allowed total runs at a lower rate than his regular season numbers), then it's simply not a debit to his case.

Omitting nothing, Andy Pettitte pitched better in the postseason than he did in the regular season, omitting nothing.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2020 at 11:36 PM (#5989159)
and listing his 19-11 postseason record and omitting a 3.81 postseason ERA is omitting a 3.81 postseason ERA.

if it's a feature and not a bug, then it should be listed as part of his accomplishments.

but it reality, it's not going to dazzle and somehow it got left out.

if you say it was an honest mistake, though, then I absolutely will accept that.
   61. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2020 at 11:53 PM (#5989162)
I still think you're really underrating Honus.

How many GGs did that guy win????

It's not Schilling or Smoltz or Koufax level of course, but it's something.

Ken Holtzman might be the king here -- 3.49 ERAreg, 2.30 ERApost (70 IP)

... I think what Howie is trying to say is that it's a lot "easier" for Pettitte to have a lower postseason ERA relative to his regular ERA than it is for, say, Bob Gibson because it's really really really hard to beat Gibson's ERA under any circumstances. Of course that didn't stop Bob Gibson whose 1.89 postseason ERA is a full run+ below his career 2.91 ERA. Meanwhile Jack Morris's 3.80 postseason ERA is lower than his 3.90 regular season ERA -- still pitching to the score.

There's also the run environment argument to make -- isn't it the case that postseason games tend to be lower-scoring, possibly in part because teams play more small ball. (Note, overall we'd expect postseason scoring to be somewhere "middle-ish" -- pitchers facing better hitters but hitters facing better pitchers, it should generally balance out at something close to overall average.

Maddux is known as a not-great postseason pitcher -- with a 3.27 ERA vs regular 3.16 ... and of course you'd rather have the 3.27 guy on the mound (and in the HoF so it's not a fair fight). David Wells went 3.17 vs 4.13. John Lackey's ERA is nearly half a run lower. Jon Lester is more than a run better. (I could only find the top 10 in postseason IP and starts at b-r so kinda biased to recent good pitchers, Kershaw the only major failure I noticed in the group.) In his 13 WS starts, Pettitte is just 5-4 with a 4.06 ERA; he really cleaned up in the LCS.

Anyway, I'm not sure this is as hard as we often make out. I looked at just a couple of years. In 2000, the Yanks had a team ERA of 3.44 vs a reg season ERA of 4.76. The 2004 Yanks weren't so successful but their 4.66 postseason ERA was the same as their 4.69 reg season ERA.

Could be lots of reasons. SPs won't get left out there in their disaster starts. They'll get pulled earlier which probably helps more often than it hurts. They presumably are putting in full effort the whole time. Pettitte averaged 6.3 IP/start career and postseason so it doesn't seem the case with him.
   62. Sweatpants Posted: November 16, 2020 at 11:54 PM (#5989163)
Pettitte's HOF case and historical stature have always felt, more than those of maybe any other player, subject to the whims of the individual considering them. He's whatever you make of him.

I distinctly remember him being dismissively compared to Chuck Finley on this site ("You're telling me that Chuck Finley plus decent postseason pitching is a Hall of Famer?") based on their similar WAR. I also remember him being compared to Jim Bunning here ("If you add his postseason numbers to his regular season ones, he's basically Jim Bunning - that's a Hall of Famer") based on career IP and ERA+. Actually, looking it up, this was all in his Hall of Merit thread. I showed up and compared him to Wilbur Cooper.

You can dock him for being mentioned in the Mitchell Report, but plenty of people seem inclined to give him a pass that they don't give Clemens. You can play count the rings and count the pennants, or you can say that he never felt like a Hall of Famer. All of it is fair, to some extent. It isn't like Morris vs. Blyleven, which was kind of the stats vs. guts debate writ small into two players. With Pettitte there are no ideals at play. Where you fall just depends on whatever happened to stick out to you about the guy.
   63. Jaack Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:15 AM (#5989168)
Pettitte's HOF case and stature historically have always felt, more than those of maybe any other player, subject to the whims of the individual considering them. He's whatever you make of him.

I distinctly remember him being dismissively compared to Chuck Finley on this site ("You're telling me that Chuck Finley plus decent postseason pitching is a Hall of Famer?") based on their similar WAR. I also remember him being compared to Jim Bunning here ("If you add his postseason numbers to his regular season ones, he's basically Jim Bunning - that's a Hall of Famer") based on career IP and ERA+. Actually, looking it up, this was all in his Hall of Merit thread. I showed up and compared him to Wilbur Cooper.

You can dock him for being mentioned in the Mitchell Report, but plenty of people seem inclined to give him a pass that they don't give Clemens. You can play count the rings and count the pennants, or you can say that he never felt like a Hall of Famer. All of it is true, to some extent. It isn't like Morris vs. Blyleven, which was kind of the stats vs. guts debate writ small into two players. With Pettitte there are no ideals at play. Where you fall just depends on whatever happened to stick out to you about the guy.


I think I agree with this sentiment. There's a lot to like about Andy Pettitte - he pitched a ton of quality innings against tough competition, and a good amount of those came in the postseason. But at the same time he, for some reason, lacks the star appeal - he really felt more like a good number 2 than an ace. He finished in the top 6 of Cy voting five times, but only was a real threat to win it once. Only three All-Star games. And he didn't stick around quite long enough to hit the major milestones, or even get close.

One day he's a guy who feels like a Hall of Famer but doesn't have the statistical record to back it up, while the next day he feels like a one-and-done but has a startlingly impressive resume.
   64. SoSH U at work Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:38 AM (#5989172)
Pettitte's HOF case and stature historically have always felt, more than those of maybe any other player, subject to the whims of the individual considering them. He's whatever you make of him.

I distinctly remember him being dismissively compared to Chuck Finley on this site ("You're telling me that Chuck Finley plus decent postseason pitching is a Hall of Famer?") based on their similar WAR. I also remember him being compared to Jim Bunning here ("If you add his postseason numbers to his regular season ones, he's basically Jim Bunning - that's a Hall of Famer") based on career IP and ERA+. Actually, looking it up, this was all in his Hall of Merit thread. I showed up and compared him to Wilbur Cooper.

You can dock him for being mentioned in the Mitchell Report, but plenty of people seem inclined to give him a pass that they don't give Clemens. You can play count the rings and count the pennants, or you can say that he never felt like a Hall of Famer. All of it is true, to some extent. It isn't like Morris vs. Blyleven, which was kind of the stats vs. guts debate writ small into two players. With Pettitte there are no ideals at play. Where you fall just depends on whatever happened to stick out to you about the guy.


I don't see what people don't see in Pettitte. He's a 60 WAR guy by BBREf, and a 68 WAR guy by Fangraphs. He's got a pretty nice peak (a best season of 8.4 WAR, so better than Hudson and much better than Buehrle). He's got 276 additional innings of better than normal Andy Pettitte pitching in the postseason, which is bulkier than anyone else in history, putting a little more separation between him and those two (and others around that 60 WAR mark). Yes, his win total and remarkable W-L percentage is a product of spending so much time on the Yankees. On the other hand, his ERA is likely inflated by spending so much time pitching in front of legitimately awful up-the-middle defense.

Add it all up, and unless you're a hardline anti-PEDers, I don't see how he doesn't at least sit on the Hall borderline.

   65. bookbook Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:53 AM (#5989173)
Schilling will get in. His speech will be something, too. He’ll probably lead the newly renamed “ball boys” in beating up the crowd and ripping all the Jackie Robinson memorabilia off the walls. Good times.
   66. sgt23 Posted: November 17, 2020 at 02:26 AM (#5989184)
So when will Thibs post his Tracker? I don't think he will get in this year, but I think Andruw Jones will gain a good bit of votes this year. When be surprised if Todd Helton gets a lot of votes.
   67. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2020 at 03:47 AM (#5989188)
The anti-Pettitte case is pretty straightforward -- 3300 innings of 117 ERA+ just isn't THAT impressive. Hudson is at 3100/120; CC is at 3600/116; Finley 3200/115; Reuschel 3500/114; Tiant 3500/114; Stieb 2900/12.

I'll admit to being a bit too hard on Pettitte. I'd written his HoF chances off probably somewhere around 2007 but he did age quite well with 1000 innings at 111 ERA+ so basically no dropoff. So I was used to thinkiing of him as not an HoFer. I still don't really think he belongs, he's just a compiler in the age of the 5-man rotation. It's basically Sutton's "peak" then Sutton added 1900 more innings. But I do support CC and other than a better peak (and worse decline), they're very close.

I won't really mind him getting in and I'll be surprised if he's not in by VC at least -- he certainly fits fine in the Hunter-Bunning-Lemon-Gomez group.

FWIW, per bWAR, his defenses were fine over the course of his career -- just -0.07 per 9 -- and his ERA is only a bit above his FIP. His FIP+ should be about 120. Reuschel's Rdef is worse and his ERA-FIP the same. Reuschel gets 68 WAR in both bWAR and fWAR.
   68. BDC Posted: November 17, 2020 at 06:50 AM (#5989193)
Closest careers to Pettitte by Starts and ERA+. Better company than I would have thought, too. Feller is not relevant because of the war and a much greater peak, but if you can make it onto a face-value list with Bob Feller's career, you're doing OK.

Player           WAR  GS ERA+  GF   W   L     IP  ERA  FIP
Rick Reuschel   68.1 529  114  16 214 191 3548.1 3.37 3.22
Red Faber       67.7 483  119 134 254 213 4086.2 3.15 3.43
Ted Lyons       66.8 484  118  91 260 230 4161.0 3.67 4.01
Luis Tiant      65.6 484  114  51 229 172 3486.1 3.30 3.47
Bob Feller      65.2 484  122  52 266 162 3827.0 3.25 3.48
Andy Pettitte   60.7 521  117   3 256 153 3316.0 3.85 3.74
Jim Bunning     60.4 519  115  39 224 184 3760.1 3.27 3.22
Mark Buehrle    60.0 493  117   6 214 160 3283.1 3.81 4.11 


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 11/17/2020.
   69. Rally Posted: November 17, 2020 at 08:22 AM (#5989195)
Ken Holtzman might be the king here -- 3.49 ERAreg, 2.30 ERApost (70 IP)



Strasburg has a 3.19 regular season, 1.46 playoffs. And even though most of it came in a single playoff run, he's got almost as many innings (55) as Holtzman.

Koufax is 2.76/0.95 in 57 innings.
   70. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2020 at 09:24 AM (#5989214)
The Hall of Merit is pretty likely to eventually induct the whole list in #68. The Hall of Fame is way too picky with starting pitchers and way too lax with relievers.
   71. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 17, 2020 at 09:58 AM (#5989221)
Vizquel fits fine with the previous selections of Maranville, Aparicio and Ozzie.

I think a key difference is that the contemporary consensus was that each of the latter 3 were viewed as the best defensive shortstop ever while no one ever made such a claim about Vizquel.
   72. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 17, 2020 at 10:17 AM (#5989224)
I'm not trying to be contrarian, but if Andy Pettitte is a Hall of Famer, then there are a lot more other starting pitchers that are in the conversation than I thought. As Bill James has always said, talent is not evenly distributed - as you move down the ability curve, the number of players in the next grouping down grows exponentially.

If Andy Pettitte hadn't received a jaw-dropping number of opportunities to pitch in the post season, would people here be talking about his HOF candidacy in the same light? Because his performances in the playoffs were rather uneven. I mean, he pitched in 13 WS games, going 5-4 with a 4.06 ERA, allowing 111 baserunners in 77.2 IP, averaging fewer than 6 innings per start. If you want to say it shouldn't hurt his case, because his cumulative statistics for the playoffs were similar to his regular-season stats, but against tougher competition, I get that argument. But people talk about Pettitte's *quantity* of postseason stats in the way most people in the past would talk about Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax or something.

And I think a lot of the lifting for the argument for Pettitte requires watering down the criteria for HOF-worthy peak performance. I guess you'd say it was 1996-2005, where he pitched in exactly 300 games, and average 16-8 with an ERA of 3.74 (ERA+ of 122). His WHIP - for his peak - was 1.334. He made two All-Star teams during that decade (and a third near the end of his career), finished between 2nd and 6th five times in that decade, and got MVP votes twice (14th and 24th).

So one guy I thought of as "not as good as Andy Pettitte, but an important lefty on some great teams who I would never put in the Hall of Fame" was Vida Blue. Now, Blue's battle with alcohol and cocaine addiction shortened his career by several years, so he lacks that last four or five years that would have likely been similar to Pettitte and many other very good pitchers. But even with a lot of problems happening for Blue, here's his ten peak years:

Pettitte: 300 games, 1923 IP, 160-82, 3.74 ERA, ERA+ 122, WHIP 1.334, 20 CGs, 3 shutouts, 6 years between 2nd-6th in CYA, 2 times with MVP votes (14th and 24th), 2 ASGs

Blue: 355 games, 2,584 IP, 167-119, 3.08 ERA, ERA+ 113, WHIP 1.196, 132 CGs, 33 shutouts, 1 CYA win, finished between 3rd and 7th four other times, won the MVP in 1971, got MVP votes three other times (12th, 20th, 29th), 5 ASGs

Let me be clear: I do not think Vida Blue is a Hall of Famer. But even with not much in the ways of counting states beyond those 10 years, he still got to 209 wins, he had one of the signature pitching seasons of the last 50 years (1971, won both the CYA and the MVP), and was genuinely famous in a "telling the history of the game" kind of way. I know the game has changed a ton in the last 40-50 years, but in the same time span (peak 10 years), he had 112 more complete games, and 31 more shutouts - and made three more ASGs, and pitched 661 more innings over that decade. All of that has to be worth something - Blue basically threw three additional 220 inning seasons during the same 10-year length of time relative to Pettitte at above-average levels. That is crazy.

Pettitte's peak is not the peak of a HOFer, but neither are his counting stats. I mean, relatively few people are arguing Tommy John or Jim Kaat should be in the HOF. But I could create a 14-year stretch for Kaat (1962-1975) that would include 14 Gold Gloves, a 4th-place CYA finish, multiple years with MVP votes (including a year he finished 5th), three 20-win seasons, 155 CGs, 27 shutouts, absurd advantages over Pettitte in innings pitched at similar levels of quality...and that's not even counting decades of being a well-known, well-respected baseball announcer, or superior counting statistics in most categories...and he is not in the Hall of Fame (he got as high as 29% in the voting).

My point to all this is that if we are implicitly saying that, partly because the sport has changed, and partly because there simply aren't a lot of starting pitchers in the near future who will be considered for the HOF, that we need to meaningfully water down the standards of what a HOF "peak candidate" is, and/or a HOF "compiler candidate" is, then let's just say that out loud and adjust the debate accordingly. But I see some on this thread who are making a "peak" argument for Pettitte, and others trying to make a "compiler" argument for Pettitte, and both are pretty weak arguments unless you are also arguing there should be a lot more pitchers in the HOF.
   73. DanG Posted: November 17, 2020 at 10:33 AM (#5989227)
I'm running a little ranking project at BBF. The group there sees 13 players on this ballot as being in the HOF circle. Here they are with where we ranked them:

3. Barry Bonds
10. Roger Clemens
81. Manny Ramirez
85. Curt Schilling
156. Scott Rolen
158. Gary Sheffield
177. Andruw Jones
231. Todd Helton
236. Sammy Sosa
241. Jeff Kent
262. Bobby Abreu
274. Andy Pettitte
278. Tim Hudson
   74. bachslunch Posted: November 17, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5989228)
Vizquel fits fine with the previous selections of Maranville, Aparicio and Ozzie.

Not if you do a BBRef WAR comparison. PAs, WAR, JAWS, OPS:

Ozzie: 10778, 76.9, 59.7, 87
Aparicio: 11231, 55.9, 44.3, 82
Maranville: 11260, 42.9, 36.7, 82
Vizquel: 12013, 45.5, 36.2, 82

Rabbit and Omar are pretty comparable, which doesn't necessarily mean either is a legit HoF choice. Luis is notably better than either, and a more defensible HoF option. Ozzie is waaaay out of everyone's league on this list -- he's even a better hitter than the other three. Any resemblance here is at best superficial.
   75. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2020 at 10:37 AM (#5989230)
unless you are also arguing there should be a lot more pitchers in the HOF.


There should be a lot more starting pitchers in the Hall of Fame. There are too many relievers already.

Luis Tiant
Bret Saberhagen
David Cone
Rick Reuschel
Kevin Brown
   76. bachslunch Posted: November 17, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5989232)
The other problem with Andy Pettitte's HoF case is his admitted use of PEDs. If anyone's pushing for Pettitte (or for that matter Big Papi) while refusing to consider Bonds, Clemens, Sheffield, Sosa, and Manny, that's a serious problem. Personally, I'm not that bothered by Pettitte getting voted in if the others are too, but that's clearly not going to happen. Not excited about his candidacy, though.
   77. Rally Posted: November 17, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5989236)
I think a key difference is that the contemporary consensus was that each of the latter 3 were viewed as the best defensive shortstop ever while no one ever made such a claim about Vizquel.


Comparing Ozzie to Vizquel is like saying was Harold Baines was kind of like Babe Ruth. Both lefty sluggers, above average hitters who played a long time and fell just a bit short of 3000 hits.
   78. Rally Posted: November 17, 2020 at 11:11 AM (#5989238)
The difference between Omar and Aparicio is the baserunning. Aparicio is +11 wins on baserunning and avoiding double plays. He was legitimately great at this, led the league in steals each of his first 9 seasons, and did it with outstanding percentages. Omar stole over 400 bases, but did it at about a break even percentage and comes out to -1 baserunning runs over his career (dragged down by staying in the game for 6 years in his 40s when his speed was gone.)
   79. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 17, 2020 at 11:15 AM (#5989239)
Comparing Ozzie to Vizquel is like saying was Harold Baines was kind of like Babe Ruth.
I mean, they all had two arms and two legs...
   80. Booey Posted: November 17, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5989245)
if Andy Pettitte is a Hall of Famer, then there are a lot more other starting pitchers that are in the conversation than I thought.


Not necessarily. Because pitcher usage varies so greatly from era to era, they can't be compared directly to previous eras nearly as easily as position players can.

Pettitte's peak is not the peak of a HOFer, but neither are his counting stats. I mean, relatively few people are arguing Tommy John or Jim Kaat should be in the HOF. But I could create a 14-year stretch for Kaat (1962-1975) that would include 14 Gold Gloves, a 4th-place CYA finish, multiple years with MVP votes (including a year he finished 5th), three 20-win seasons, 155 CGs, 27 shutouts, absurd advantages over Pettitte in innings pitched at similar levels of quality...and that's not even counting decades of being a well-known, well-respected baseball announcer, or superior counting statistics in most categories...and he is not in the Hall of Fame (he got as high as 29% in the voting).


John and Kaat played in an era when pitchers were capable (or allowed) to throw 300 innings a season for 25 years (give or take). You can't compare the counting stats of 60's/70's pitchers (wins, innings, complete games, shutouts) straight up with those of 90's/2000's pitchers, just like you won't be able to evaluate current pitchers by 1990's standards. Even regular (i.e. non inner circle) HOF pitchers from that era were able to put up 90+ WAR playing under those conditions (Niekro, Blyleven, Perry). Pettitte put up the same WAR as John in 8 fewer seasons. He put up 10 more pitching WAR than Kaat in 7 fewer seasons. He was clearly more dominant than either of them. A better modern comp for Kaat is probably Jamie Moyer (as a pitcher only; if you think that Kaat's broadcasting career should give some extra consideration, I'm not going to argue).

But people talk about Pettitte's *quantity* of postseason stats in the way most people in the past would talk about Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax or something.


I've never seen anyone do that. I specifically said that his postseason resume WASN'T on par with the likes of Schilling, Smoltz, Koufax, etc. I just said that it's SOMETHING; a positive to his case. And since he's right on the borderline to begin with, even a slight bonus might be enough to push him over the edge.

I see some on this thread who are making a "peak" argument for Pettitte


Again, I've never seen anyone make a peak argument for Pettitte. His is very much a compiler/career case.

My point to all this is that if we are implicitly saying that, partly because the sport has changed, and partly because there simply aren't a lot of starting pitchers in the near future who will be considered for the HOF, that we need to meaningfully water down the standards of what a HOF "peak candidate" is, and/or a HOF "compiler candidate" is, then let's just say that out loud and adjust the debate accordingly


Yes, it appears that we are going to need to "water down" the HOF standards for starting pitchers, at least compared to the standards of earlier eras. But really, comparing pitchers to their own contemporaries rather than pretending that historical standards remain consistent is what the voters should have been doing all along. Every deadballer with a low ERA doesn't need to be in the HOF, because that just wasn't that uncommon back then. Likewise, every John or Kaat who racked up big win and inning totals in the 1970's just by playing forever doesn't need to be in the HOF, because that just wasn't that uncommon back then either.

The other problem with Andy Pettitte's HoF case is his admitted use of PEDs. If anyone's pushing for Pettitte (or for that matter Big Papi) while refusing to consider Bonds, Clemens, Sheffield, Sosa, and Manny, that's a serious problem.


Agreed, but I (and I suspect most the others here in favor of Pettitte's election) wouldn't be snubbing Bonds, Clemens, Sheffield, Sosa, or Manny either. In fact, more than half the players on this ballot that I'd elect have PED ties, mainly because most the best non PED candidates from the era have aleady been elected, so the PED guys are amongst the only big stars left.
   81. SoSH U at work Posted: November 17, 2020 at 11:28 AM (#5989246)
If Andy Pettitte hadn't received a jaw-dropping number of opportunities to pitch in the post season, would people here be talking about his HOF candidacy in the same light?


These aren't just opportunities to pile up some postseason wins. They're also additional opportunities for a trip to Dr. Jobe (RIP). Pitching is taxing, and if you're required to throw an additional 276 of the highest-pressure innings that exist in the sport, and you do that above your regular season performance level as Pettitte did, that damn well ought to count when it comes to Hall of Fame voting. Andy Pettitte was working pretty regularly long after King Felix was home resting his arm for another futile season with the Mariners.

Andy Pettitte is a borderline candidate strictly on his regular season numbers. He's a 60/68 WAR pitcher, with a lower peak likely kicking him below some of his peers in that group, but his postseason workload boosting him back up. Unless you have a much higher standard for starting pitcher election than the existing Hall threshold, I don't see how his total body of work doesn't put him in the conversation.



The other problem with Andy Pettitte's HoF case is his admitted use of PEDs. If anyone's pushing for Pettitte (or for that matter Big Papi) while refusing to consider Bonds, Clemens, Sheffield, Sosa, and Manny, that's a serious problem.

And the first person who does that should be called out. But no one's doing that.

   82. Rally Posted: November 17, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5989251)
John and Kaat played in an era when pitchers were capable (or allowed) to throw 300 innings a season for 25 years (give or take). You can't compare the counting stats of 60's/70's pitchers (wins, innings, complete games, shutouts) straight up with those of 90's/2000's pitchers, just like you won't be able to evaluate current pitchers by 1990's standards. Even regular (i.e. non inner circle) HOF pitchers from that era were able to put up 90+ WAR playing under those conditions (Niekro, Blyleven, Perry). Pettitte put up the same WAR as John in 8 fewer seasons. He put up 10 more pitching WAR than Kaat in 7 fewer seasons. He was clearly more dominant than either of them. A better modern comp for Kaat is probably Jamie Moyer (as a pitcher only; if you think that Kaat's broadcasting career should give some extra consideration, I'm not going to argue).


I agree on half of this. Pitchers are not allowed to pitch 300 innings anymore even if there is one or a few active who could actually handle it. If the second coming of Nolan Ryan came up today, he'd regularly throw 70 pitches by the time he finishes the second inning and would get pulled. They'd never find out he was capable of throwing 200 pitches every 4th day. They'd probably just make him a one inning reliever.

But there is nothing at all stopping pitchers from pitching 25 years that didn't apply in the seventies. Kaat and John deserve all the credit in the world for being at least somewhat effective into their later years. If there was a pitcher today who had the ability and desire to get batters out into his mid forties, he'd be given a shot. Especially if left handed. It took consecutive years with ERA+ of 68 and 82 before teams stopped giving 45 year old Bartolo Colon chances to pitch.
   83. Ron J Posted: November 17, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5989252)
#69 The problem with giving him credit for post-season volume is that it's giving him partial credit for his taste in teammates. Buehrle for instance didn't have the opportunity to build up the bulk innings.

As such I think it makes sense to check a box that say he pitched well in post-season but since his rate stats are merely good not great I wouldn't advocate giving any more credit than that.
   84. Booey Posted: November 17, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5989254)
But there is nothing at all stopping pitchers from pitching 25 years that didn't apply in the seventies.


There's no rule (unwritten or otherwise), obviously, but for whatever reason - not throwing at maximum velocity on every pitch? - wasn't there a lot more pitchers still going at 45+ back then than there has been lately? I haven't actually run the numbers or anything so I'm happy to concede the argument if they prove me wrong, but it seems like the Bartolo Colon "hanging on until they're damn near old enough to collect social security checks" types are more rare today then they were in John and Kaat's day.
   85. RJ in TO Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5989257)
Here's the list of oldest players in each season. Adjusting for knuckleballers, the oldest players now seem to be about the same age as the oldest players then.
   86. SoSH U at work Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5989259)
#69 The problem with giving him credit for post-season volume is that it's giving him partial credit for his taste in teammates. Buehrle for instance didn't have the opportunity to build up the bulk innings.


The one season Buehrle had that "opportunity", he followed it up with the only non-Buehrle season in his career from 2001-13 (a 95 ERA+). Pitching is taxing. Failing to credit pitchers for postseason pitching is allowing them to absorb the substantial risk that comes from pitching, without any of the reward for doing it.

The best example of this is Schilling. He put his career at risk, and likely threw away his entire 2005 season, for a very risky medical procedure that allowed him to pitch in the 2004 postseason. Failing to credit him for that is far, far worse than "punishing" Felix Hernandez because he got an extra month of offseason rest every year.
   87. Booey Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5989262)
#85 - I'm talking specifically about starting pitchers, though. Also, even if the top guy is around the same age, that doesn't necessarily mean the overall numbers of guys around that age are the same.

Can we filter it to show how many starting pitchers there were age 40+ each season?
   88. BDC Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5989266)
Here are pitchers in their 40s with ≥ 10 starts, by year, since 1893. Peaks were in the 1980s and 2000s; otherwise, it's a rare occurrence.

You could choose a different threshold for starts. Ten is arbitrary but does seem to take in all the guys starting on a semi-regular basis.
   89. Booey Posted: November 17, 2020 at 12:49 PM (#5989281)
BDC - Thanks!
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 17, 2020 at 01:26 PM (#5989294)
Rivera is relevant because of how much Pettitte's W total is better because of Rivera's consistency.

That's silly Howie. Rivera didn't convert a significantly higher % of his SV opportunities that an avg. closer. The fact that it was the same guy closing for 20 years rather than 9 different guys doesn't affect Pettitte's W-L stats.
   91. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 17, 2020 at 01:38 PM (#5989296)
But over 20 years you'd expect the Yankees to have to deal with a below average closer some of the time -- 50% of the time, in fact.
   92. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 17, 2020 at 01:39 PM (#5989298)
The average closer converts ~85% of saves iirc. Rivera was around 90%. But, plenty of Pettitte’s wins came in games that the Yankees entered the 9th with more than a 3 run lead. Seems like something that would add 5-10 wins over the course of his career.
   93. Rob_Wood Posted: November 17, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5989328)
Here is how Andy Pettitte stacks up on the Win Values statistic I created to estimate how many wins a starting pitcher contributed to his team over the course of his career.

Win Values looks at the pitcher's game-by-game performance taking into account how many runs he allowed, how many innings he pitched, and how many runs his team scored in those innings.

There are two flavors of the stat. WVA measures the pitcher relative to a league average pitcher and WVR measures the pitcher relative to a replacement level pitcher.

Besides WVA and WVR the table below also displays their SUM since wins above average are roughly twice as important than wins below average (but above replacement) in impact on winning a pennant.
                     WVA   WVR   SUM
Roger Clemens        82.4 123.3 205.7
Greg Maddux          65.2 106.9 172.1
Tom Seaver           56.0  95.8 151.8
Tom Glavine          37.9  74.8 112.7
Curt Schilling       38.4  64.1 102.5
Don Sutton           28.7  72.5 101.2
Robin Roberts        30.1  68.1  98.2
Kevin Brown          32.1  59.0  91.1
Phil Niekro          23.7  66.6  90.3
Tim Hudson           30.7  56.7  87.4
Tommy John           23.7  62.2  85.9
CC Sabathia          27.5  57.3  84.8
Luis Tiant           28.2  56.0  84.2
Cole Hamels (a)      29.7  52.1  81.8
Andy Pettitte        25.9  53.4  79.3
Don Drysdale         25.6  53.4  79.0
David Cone           27.2  50.8  78.0
Bret Saberhagen      28.3  49.0  77.3
Kevin Appier         26.8  48.3  75.1
Billy Pierce         24.5  50.2  74.7
Roy Oswalt           28.1  46.6  74.7
Rick Reuschel        22.0  51.2  73.2
Chuck Finley         23.5  49.1  72.6
Johan Santana        28.0  43.5  71.5
Jimmy Key            25.3  46.2  71.5
Jim Bunning          20.3  50.5  70.8
Jack Morris          19.0  50.3  69.3
Ron Guidry           24.6  43.8  68.4
Orel Hershiser       21.2  46.7  67.9
Dave Stieb           22.8  43.1  65.9
Mark Buehrle         19.2  46.3  65.5
Dwight Gooden        18.6  41.5  60.1
Jim Kaat              9.9  44.4  54.3

I include Clemens, Maddux, and Seaver in the table (the top 3 in both WVA and WVR in 1928-2019) for "scale" reasons.

The other pitchers in the table are included for comparison purposes.

   94. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2020 at 03:14 PM (#5989335)
not in the HOF, and trying HOM from memory so fixes welcomed. am convinced I'll get at least one wrong (Brown? Appier?)

WVA WVR SUM
Roger Clemens 82.4 123.3 205.7 HOM
Curt Schilling 38.4 64.1 102.5 HOM

Kevin Brown 32.1 59.0 91.1 HOM
Tim Hudson 30.7 56.7 87.4
Tommy John 23.7 62.2 85.9
CC Sabathia 27.5 57.3 84.8
Luis Tiant 28.2 56.0 84.2 HOM
Cole Hamels (a) 29.7 52.1 81.8
ANDY PETTITTE 25.9 53.4 79.3
David Cone 27.2 50.8 78.0 HOM
Bret Saberhagen 28.3 49.0 77.3 HOM
Kevin Appier 26.8 48.3 75.1
Billy Pierce 24.5 50.2 74.7 HOM
Roy Oswalt 28.1 46.6 74.7
Rick Reuschel 22.0 51.2 73.2 HOM
Chuck Finley 23.5 49.1 72.6
Johan Santana 28.0 43.5 71.5
Jimmy Key 25.3 46.2 71.5
Ron Guidry 24.6 43.8 68.4
Orel Hershiser 21.2 46.7 67.9
Dave Stieb 22.8 43.1 65.9 HOM
Mark Buehrle 19.2 46.3 65.5
Dwight Gooden 18.6 41.5 60.1
Jim Kaat 9.9 44.4 54.3
   95. SoSH U at work Posted: November 17, 2020 at 03:18 PM (#5989339)
not in the HOF


Your point?

   96. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5989347)
I was curious, and figured others might be as well.

is that enough? is there a "point" form that I need to fill out for a jury to deliberate on, or something?
   97. SoSH U at work Posted: November 17, 2020 at 03:34 PM (#5989352)
I was curious, and figured others might be as well.


I figured if they were curious, they would have looked for themselves.

But my apologies for assuming you had a point to make.
   98. Howie Menckel Posted: November 17, 2020 at 04:52 PM (#5989400)
um - check, please!
   99. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2020 at 05:11 PM (#5989408)
On Rivera ... the main problem with making this point about Pettitte is that you then need to make the same adjustment (whatever it might be) for every other pitcher you're comparing Pettitte to. That's a lot of work. Fortunately fangraphs has given it a whack and says that Pettitte gained about 2 wins thanks to above-average bullpen support (fewer LOB scored). That's in the margin but, fair enough, we are looking for marginal differences among borderline candidates. (Note fangraphs "takes away" those 2 wins in arriving at their 68 WAR.) I mentioned Reuschel had terrible defense but apparently he had great bullpen support with 5 wins added.

On changes in pitcher usage ... it's hard to say what the effect on career HoF standards has been. The changes in usage reduced seasonal IP totals but that was done in part to try to extend the number of seasons they survived. So sure, we were never going to see Cy Young totals again but most of those 19th c pitchers didn't last more than about 10 seasons. Then from about 1930 to 1970 we saw very few pitchers put up massive career numbers (the war interruption playing some role in that of course). Then the freaks came along and had several 280+ IP seasons and managed to hang on for 15+ years. Along the way was the shift to 5-man rotations ... and by golly Maddux cracks 5000, Clemens just short, Glavine & Unit over 4000.

I think our latest change has probably finally broken that and, if it continues, I'm not sure we'll see anybody reach 4000 innings again. And yes that means that we have to recognize that maybe 3200 is a "long" career from now on. (Note Pettitte was not subject to the current usage.) But so what? That doesn't mean that Pettitte's 117 ERA+ in 3300 innings is the "same" as Fergie's 115 in 4500 innings. Fergie was a career compiler (with a nice peak too) who put up a 120 ERA+ in his best consecutive 3300ish stretch. Pettitte had about 75% of a HoF career compiler's career.

What voters need to adjust to is a peak-only case for SPs going forward. Halladay is the ideal type at the moment and obviously not a minimum threshold. Scherzer at 2400 IP and 132 with 3 CYAs should be a lock. Schilling 3200/127, no CYA but some CYA-worthy seasons. Pettitte's not that far off those numbers and he's got the wins and the postseason. He's kind of caught between those two "eras" -- he was not as good as Schilling/Smoltz/Mussina but they aren't really his contemporaries; he was not as good as Scherzer/Verlander but they aren't really his contemporaries. He (1995-2013) overlaps with Halladay almost perfectly, he overlaps pretty well with CC, Hudson and Buehrle. Not exactly a murderer's row of pitchers.

Back to Omar ... correct, he deosn't have the hook of being the best of all time to date. But that just means he was no Ozzie. I don't know that anybody put much effort into comparing him to Aparicio much less Maranville. "Best ever" is of course a high hurdle and it might well be the hurdle the BBWAA will apply in the end. But from a historical voting perspective, if 13 GG is a 1st-ballot HoFer and Aparicio got in with 9 then 11 puts you in that conversation. Ozzie had a few seasons as a decent hitter and Aparicio had the steals (more "hooks") but both were elected strictly for the quality of their gloves.

We all know the reason not to vote for Vizquel and to my knowledge everybody agrees he's no Ozzie. But why are people voting for him? Primarily because they think he was the 2nd-best fielding SS of all-time and they think that's really important. He also had a super-long career (which gave him a large number of hits) which helps. Those people are applying pretty much the same thought process that the folks who voted in Ozzie, Aparicio and Maranville and kept Concepcion on the ballot for the full 15 years were using.
   100. alilisd Posted: November 17, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5989413)
On Pettitte: I don’t see a peak of 8.4 WAR, I see that as a single season in a long career of being very good but , the vast majority of the time, not great. In addition to that season he has only two others where he pitched like a HOF. This leads to a WAR7 which is 32% below average for his position. Now if you don’t care much about peak, you’re content with a long career of very good and you give him credit for an exceptional amount of postseason innings, all of which are entirely reasonable positions, he’s a fine candidate. For me the lack of peak, and my tendency to give very little postseason credit, he’s not an attractive candidate. Just my .02
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