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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Murray Chass On Baseball: VOTE DELAYED IS STILL A VOTE

Bacne-of-the-envelope miscalculation.

The packet of information for the writers’ vote for the Hall of Fame arrived in the mail, and if it had included an actual ballot, I would have immediately marked an X next to Jack Morris, whose name appears for the last time of his 15-year eligibility.

(Omission of the ballot was to be rectified this week.)

The 254-game winner received 67.7 percent of the vote a year ago, the highest of his 14 years, but he was 42 votes short of the number he needed for election. Once a player reaches the level Morris attained last year, he is almost certainly assured of making it.

However, gaining another 40 or 50 votes, depending on the number of writers who vote, will be difficult, and the presence of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine on the ballot for the first time will make Morris’ quest even more difficult.

Maddux is certain to be elected, and Glavine has an excellent chance. Not on my ballot, but first-timer Mike Mussina could also get in Morris’ way.

...These players are suspected of having used PEDs but have never been proved to have used. Some voters say because they don’t know for sure who did use and who didn’t so they will declare this the steroids era and vote as if everyone was equal.

I don’t agree with that view. But then I don’t agree with those who vote for no one because they aren’t certain who did and didn’t use.

My position at the moment is I gather the best information I can on a player, use my best judgment and vote. I have not voted for any of the players on the accompanying lists and don’t expect to this year. If I continue to vote – it’s not certain that I will – and additional revealing information on players emerges, I will vote accordingly.

Repoz Posted: December 01, 2013 at 07:37 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

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   1. TJ Posted: December 01, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4608153)
If I continue to vote – it’s not certain that I will –


Great. I wake up to find Chass waffling on his promise to stop voting after this year. Way to ruin my Sunday, Murray...
   2. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 01, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4608155)
This is the sixth time Miller’s name has appeared on a Hall of Fame ballot, meaning he is 0-for-5 in votes by assorted committees in various formats. It was after his third snub in 2007 that he told me of his desire to be omitted from future ballots, asked me what I thought of the idea and also asked me the appropriate way of going about communicating that desire.


Then he should have been grateful to Palmer and Verducci three years ago, rather than ######## about their evil ways.

The late Marv and his mouthpiece Murray have sent some decidedly mixed signals on his wishes.

   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 01, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4608167)
This was another group:

Craig Biggio** 68.2%
Jeff Bagwell*** 59.6%
Mike Piazza**** 57.8%

These players are suspected of having used PEDs but have never been proved to have used. Some voters say because they don’t know for sure who did use and who didn’t so they will declare this the steroids era and vote as if everyone was equal.

I don’t agree with that view. But then I don’t agree with those who vote for no one because they aren’t certain who did and didn’t use.

My position at the moment is I gather the best information I can on a player, use my best judgment and vote. I have not voted for any of the players on the accompanying lists and don’t expect to this year. If I continue to vote – it’s not certain that I will – and additional revealing information on players emerges, I will vote accordingly.


I love that "best information" line....

**Was Jeff Bagwell's teammate
***Someone once said he juiced and then took it back
****BACNE!
   4. Don Malcolm Posted: December 01, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4608178)
Aw, hell. Murray, if I promise to vote for Morris and only Morris this year, will you sell me your ballot for the rest of your (un)natural life??
   5. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 01, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4608185)
My position at the moment is I gather the best information I can on a player, use my best judgment and vote.



Yet somehow Morris is a HOF but Mussina isn't? Is it postseason? Mussina was actually better than Jack including a top GS of 88 vs. 84 for Morris's classic game 7.
Unfortunately for Moose, who had another 80 GS in the same series, he didn't win either of those games. He never learned how to pitch to the score.
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 01, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4608197)
Huh. He didn't say that he was only voting for Morris this time. He talks about Maddux and Thomas as if he might vote for them.
   7. Ray (CTL) Posted: December 01, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4608225)
The funny thing is that even using mediot criteria -- W-L record, wins, ERA -- Mussina beats Morris. Even using raw, unadjusted numbers, Mussina beats Morris. Mussina was twice the pitcher that Morris was. But tell that to Chass (I have - Chass is one of the very few sportswriters I ever had an email exchange with, and it was quite pleasant) -- you will be accused of being a "Mussina fan." And Chass has Morris as the more "dominant" one.

Morris has the Game 7 performance, but Mussina's 3-inning shutout performance in relief of Clemens in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS was crucial as well. Morris has more 20-win seasons but wasn't as good at winning games as Mussina was, so who cares?
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: December 01, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4608232)
Morris has the Game 7 performance, but Mussina's 3-inning shutout performance in relief of Clemens in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS was crucial as well.

As was his series-saving 7 shutout innings of Oakland in game 3 of the 2001 DS, a game that's mostly remembered for Jeter's Immaculate Re-Direction. That game prevented an Oakland sweep, and the Yanks came back to win the series.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: December 01, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4608235)

Mussina has more wins, fewer losses, a better ERA, a better postseason ERA than Jack Morris - clearly Morris is better, I rest my case. If those categories don't scream "dominance," what does?

   10. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 01, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4608238)
W L W-L% ERA IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WHIP H/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB HR/9 Gac
195 218 .472 4.28 3814.0 3807 2017 1815 411 1496 2464 60 1.390 9.0 5.8 1.65 1.0 549
212 175 .548 3.65 3554.0 3491 1600 1441 382 793 2792 60 1.205 8.8 7.1 3.52 1.0 537

Here's what you get from their neutralized stats. I think we know who's who from the above numbers. Both were somewhat lucky that they pitched for excellent teams for most of their respective careers, Jack a little more so.
If we use peak performance, the differences become more stark. Post season? Again Moose was better. There's really no objective way to find Morris as a superior pitcher when compared to Mussina. Murray Chass is a hack.


*I'm sure the columns won't line-up.
   11. tfbg9 Posted: December 01, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4608242)
Murray got a lot of angry, dismissive emails telling him what a moron he was from seamheads, so now he's gonna vote in Morris, just to stick it to 'em all.

Not complicated.
   12. John Northey Posted: December 01, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4608266)
Some voters have been known to list just 1 per position max. Doing that what kind of ballot would you get?
RHP: Maddux (or Clemens depending on PED feelings)
LHP: Glavine
CA: Piazza
1B: Bagwell or Thomas
2B: Biggio
3B: Kent (well, he did play there a bit)
SS: Trammell
LF: Bonds/Raines/Walker (PED issues for Bonds, might put Raines or Walker into CF)
CF: Raines or Walker (stretching it again) or Biggio (who was a regular there for awhile)
RF: Sosa
DH: Thomas or Edgar Martinez (if you put Thomas at 1B)
Closer: Lee Smith

Every last one of those guys could easily end up in the HOF someday. Lee Smith having the weakest case while Edgar Martinez and Walker will have an uphill battle to make it. 3B & CF being hardest to fill but can use guys who did play there at one time at least. Scary how stacked the ballot is, even if you cut everyone with any real PED stories about them.

Note how I still don't have room for Morris, even as an honorable mention.
   13. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: December 01, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4608304)
I'd put Edgar at 3rd before Kent.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 01, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4608318)
Some voters have been known to list just 1 per position max.


If you're picking one player per position, why does your hypothetical ballot include three pitchers and one DH?
   15. flournoy Posted: December 01, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4608338)
Larry Walker played right field, not left field.
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 01, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4608341)
My position at the moment is I gather the best information I can on a player


*Statistics, of course, not being "information."

If I continue to vote – it’s not certain that I will – and additional revealing information on players emerges, I will vote accordingly.


**Statistics revealing that a player wasn't really all that great, of course, not being "additional revealing information."
   17. Walt Davis Posted: December 01, 2013 at 08:40 PM (#4608364)
My position at the moment is I gather the best information I can on a player, use my best judgment and vote.

Yeah, this is nonsense. It seems rather clear that Murray is waiting for some sort of holy confirmation that somebody did not do roids. Our best information is that Biggio did not do steroids. Same for Bagwell and Piazza.

Now, the information we have available about these players' usage is pretty crap -- as the absence of evidence that proves the negative always is -- but it's the best we've got.
   18. John Northey Posted: December 01, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4608425)
Yeah, should've put Edgar at 3B instead of Kent. The 3 pitchers was due to some voters splitting things up, seeing relievers as a different creature from the starters and LHP as different from RHP. Also just seeing how much of a team could be put together of guys who should make the HOF based on standards from pre-the past 2 years. Walker was a bit of a brain-fart as he actually played more in CF than in LF (69 games vs 33) and RF was his position (talk about dumb - I am Canadian and an old Expos fan too).

Mix in others who are marginal such as McGriff (1B), Palmeiro (1B - OK, not marginal at all if not for the PED stuff), McGwire (1B-again, would be in already if no PED), Luis Gonzalez (LF), Kenny Rogers (LHP), Morris (RHP), and Mattingly (1B) and you have a pretty deep team. 2B/SS/3B have no depth (Ray Durham is it for guys not already mentioned and he never was getting in) but amazing to have that deep a team on the HOF vote for guys who are likely to get in someday in someway.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2013 at 02:15 AM (#4608443)
Larry Walker played right field, not left field.

And would have likely been a better CF than Raines. And Sosa's 203 starts in CF leads the pack here while Bonds had as many CF starts as Raines and grades out as the best of the bunch by the fancy defensive stats.

The challenge of course is that by the time Sosa started crushing the ball he was a bit below-average in RF much less CF so it's cheating a bit to have both Sosas. Still, I'll take 60 HR and average LF defense (Walker in RF) over the fabulous Raines in the absolute. And Biggio can be our traditional lead-off guy so Raines to the bench as long as I get peak Sosa.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:24 AM (#4608463)
There's really no objective way to find Morris as a superior pitcher when compared to Mussina. Murray Chass is a hack.


The vote for Morris isn't about Morris being better than Mussina, it's always been about Morris being better than his peers. We know that isn't true either, but you don't really discredit the Morris voters by listing how he is inferior to the sixth best pitcher of a different era.

The vote for Morris is 1. Most win during an arbitrary time period. 2. dominant post season performance 3. perception as an ace, as demonstrated by his all star starts(3...players with 3 and not likely hofers-Vida Blue) and his 14 opening day starts(2nd only to Palmer since 1916). 4. complete game totals, when viewed from a most beneficial point of view in favor of Morris(1977-1994). 5. and the SBB complete and utter lack of reasoning argument that somehow concludes that despite the massive amount of evidence out there proving it wrong, that jack really did pitch to the score in the seasons that mattered to his team.(or something like that, I keep forgetting how contorted sbb is in trying to make his point)



   21. bobm Posted: December 02, 2013 at 08:40 AM (#4608465)
[20] You forgot 6. Some silly GMs overpaid Morris near the end of his career, demonstrating he was thought of as the best pitcher in baseball. 7. Sparky Anderson said nice things about Morris in public.
   22. Hugo Chavez crashing on Zonk's couch as he codes Posted: December 02, 2013 at 09:09 AM (#4608478)
7. Sparky Anderson said nice things about Morris in public.


The Chris Pittaro ballot line forms here...
   23. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: December 02, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4608497)
The Chris Pittaro ballot line forms here...


Chris Pittaro is already in the Hall of Fame!

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