Hall of Fame 2019 Elections

Two Hall of Fame elections are on tap for next year, the annual Baseball Writers of America selection, and a ballot called “Today’s Game Era” for recent players passed over by the BBWAA. There are a wealth of worthy candidates on the BBWAA ballot so, as in the last few elections, there could be several honorees. Or, with so many candidates, the voters’ selections may diverge, limiting the number of successful candidates (if any).

This post is for discussion of the two ballots, and provides an opportunity for you to weigh in and make your best case for your favorites. If you like, you could also offer your predictions on how the voting might go and why you think that way. More after the jump.

Here are the 2019 Hall of Fame ballots.

To provide a basis of comparison, these players and others with similar careers are listed on Hall of Stats according to their Hall of Stats rating.

Here are the career stats for players on the two ballots.

BBWAA Position Players

Rk Player WAR WAA oWAR dWAR OPS+ From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Barry Bonds 162.8 123.9 143.7 7.6 182 1986 2007 21-42 2986 12606 9847 2227 2935 601 77 762 1996 2558 1539 514 .298 .444 .607 1.051 *78H/D9 PIT-SFG
2 Larry Walker 72.7 48.3 62.8 2.0 141 1989 2005 22-38 1988 8030 6907 1355 2160 471 62 383 1311 913 1231 230 .313 .400 .565 .965 *9H/387D45 MON-COL-STL
3 Scott Rolen 70.2 44.1 52.8 21.2 122 1996 2012 21-37 2038 8518 7398 1211 2077 517 43 316 1287 899 1410 118 .281 .364 .490 .855 *5/H PHI-STL-TOR-CIN
4 Manny Ramirez 69.4 35.7 81.8 -21.7 154 1993 2011 21-39 2302 9774 8244 1544 2574 547 20 555 1831 1329 1813 38 .312 .411 .585 .996 79D/H CLE-BOS-LAD-CHW-TBR
5 Edgar Martinez 68.4 38.6 66.9 -9.0 147 1987 2004 24-41 2055 8674 7213 1219 2247 514 15 309 1261 1283 1202 49 .312 .418 .515 .933 *D5/H3 SEA
6 Andruw Jones 62.8 36.0 39.9 24.5 111 1996 2012 19-35 2196 8664 7599 1204 1933 383 36 434 1289 891 1748 152 .254 .337 .486 .823 *89H7D/3 ATL-LAD-TEX-CHW-NYY
7 Todd Helton 61.2 32.8 54.5 -5.5 133 1997 2013 23-39 2247 9453 7962 1401 2519 592 37 369 1406 1335 1175 37 .316 .414 .539 .953 *3/H79D COL
8 Gary Sheffield 60.5 26.0 80.8 -27.7 140 1988 2009 19-40 2576 10947 9217 1636 2689 467 27 509 1676 1475 1171 253 .292 .393 .514 .907 975D/6H3 MIL-SDP-FLA-LAD-ATL-NYY-DET-NYM
9 Sammy Sosa 58.6 28.2 50.3 -0.3 128 1989 2007 20-38 2354 9896 8813 1475 2408 379 45 609 1667 929 2306 234 .273 .344 .534 .878 *98D/H7 TEX-CHW-CHC-BAL
10 Jeff Kent 55.4 26.6 60.1 -0.1 123 1992 2008 24-40 2298 9537 8498 1320 2461 560 47 377 1518 801 1522 94 .290 .356 .500 .855 *453/HD6 TOR-NYM-CLE-SFG-HOU-LAD
11 Fred McGriff 52.6 19.9 56.2 -17.3 134 1986 2004 22-40 2460 10174 8757 1349 2490 441 24 493 1550 1305 1882 72 .284 .377 .509 .886 *3D/H TOR-SDP-ATL-CHC-LAD-TBD
12 Lance Berkman 52.1 28.4 54.1 -11.0 144 1999 2013 23-37 1879 7814 6491 1146 1905 422 30 366 1234 1201 1300 86 .293 .406 .537 .943 3798D/H HOU-NYY-STL-TEX
13 Miguel Tejada 47.3 16.0 51.9 6.9 108 1997 2013 23-39 2171 9205 8434 1230 2407 468 23 307 1302 553 1079 85 .285 .336 .456 .791 *65/4HD3 OAK-BAL-HOU-SDP-SFG-KCR
14 Omar Vizquel 45.6 5.3 32.9 29.5 82 1989 2012 22-45 2968 12013 10586 1445 2877 456 77 80 951 1028 1087 404 .272 .336 .352 .688 *65H/4D379 SEA-CLE-SFG-TEX-CHW-TOR
15 Placido Polanco 41.5 16.8 27.8 18.7 95 1998 2013 22-37 1927 7887 7214 1009 2142 348 32 104 723 429 538 81 .297 .343 .397 .740 *456H/7D3 STL-PHI-DET-MIA
16 Kevin Youkilis 32.6 17.1 28.7 1.9 123 2004 2013 25-34 1061 4436 3749 653 1053 254 18 150 618 539 828 26 .281 .382 .478 .861 *35/H7D94 CHW-BOS-NYY
17 Vernon Wells 28.5 3.2 31.5 -0.6 104 1999 2013 20-34 1731 7212 6642 930 1794 379 34 270 958 472 956 109 .270 .319 .459 .778 *87/D9H345 TOR-LAA-NYY
18 Travis Hafner 24.8 7.8 25.2 -9.8 134 2002 2013 25-36 1183 4782 4058 619 1107 250 13 213 731 598 976 11 .273 .376 .498 .874 *D/H3 TEX-CLE-NYY
19 Jason Bay 24.6 8.2 27.6 -7.7 121 2003 2013 24-34 1278 5258 4505 737 1200 240 30 222 754 636 1216 95 .266 .360 .481 .841 *7/8H9D SDP-PIT-BOS-NYM-SEA
20 Michael Young 24.6 -4.7 40.2 -10.5 104 2000 2013 23-36 1970 8612 7918 1137 2375 441 60 185 1030 575 1235 90 .300 .346 .441 .787 654D3/H TEX-PHI-LAD
21 Juan Pierre 17.1 -7.8 19.0 -2.0 84 2000 2013 22-35 1994 8280 7525 1075 2217 255 94 18 517 464 479 614 .295 .343 .361 .704 *87H/D COL-FLA-CHC-LAD-CHW-PHI-MIA
22 Rick Ankiel 5.3 -0.9 5.0 0.6 92 1999 2013 19-33 651 2115 1921 260 462 101 10 76 251 162 555 21 .240 .302 .422 .724 *8/H917 STL-KCR-ATL-WSN-NYM-HOU
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/4/2018.

BBWAA Pitchers

Rk Player WAR WAA BB9 SO9 SO/W H9 WHIP From To Age G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV IP BB SO ERA FIP ERA+ BAbip HR Tm
1 Roger Clemens 139.0 94.3 2.89 8.55 2.96 7.66 1.173 1984 2007 21-44 709 707 118 46 0 354 184 .658 0 4916.2 1580 4672 3.12 3.09 143 .286 363 BOS-TOR-NYY-HOU
2 Mike Mussina 82.9 48.9 1.98 7.11 3.58 8.74 1.192 1991 2008 22-39 537 536 57 23 0 270 153 .638 0 3562.2 785 2813 3.68 3.57 123 .295 376 BAL-NYY
3 Curt Schilling 80.6 54.0 1.96 8.60 4.38 8.27 1.137 1988 2007 21-40 569 436 83 20 81 216 146 .597 22 3261.0 711 3116 3.46 3.23 127 .297 347 BAL-HOU-PHI-ARI-BOS
4 Roy Halladay 65.5 40.5 1.94 6.93 3.58 8.66 1.178 1998 2013 21-36 416 390 67 20 6 203 105 .659 1 2749.1 592 2117 3.38 3.39 131 .294 236 TOR-PHI
5 Andy Pettitte 60.7 29.9 2.80 6.64 2.37 9.36 1.351 1995 2013 23-41 531 521 26 4 3 256 153 .626 0 3316.0 1031 2448 3.85 3.74 117 .312 288 HOU-NYY
6 Mariano Rivera 56.3 32.5 2.01 8.22 4.10 7.00 1.000 1995 2013 25-43 1115 10 0 0 952 82 60 .577 652 1283.2 286 1173 2.21 2.76 205 .265 71 NYY
7 Roy Oswalt 50.0 32.4 2.08 7.42 3.56 8.81 1.211 2001 2013 23-35 365 341 20 8 7 163 102 .615 0 2245.1 520 1852 3.36 3.37 127 .306 197 PHI-HOU-TEX-COL
8 Freddy Garcia 34.6 12.9 2.81 6.44 2.29 8.92 1.303 1999 2013 22-36 376 357 12 4 13 156 108 .591 0 2264.0 708 1621 4.15 4.30 107 .286 285 SEA-CHW-PHI-DET-NYY-ATL-BAL
9 Derek Lowe 33.2 9.0 2.68 5.80 2.17 9.30 1.330 1997 2013 24-40 681 377 10 4 168 176 157 .529 86 2671.1 794 1722 4.03 3.83 109 .301 217 SEA-BOS-LAD-ATL-NYY-CLE-TEX
10 Ted Lilly 29.2 11.9 3.00 7.63 2.54 8.29 1.255 1999 2013 23-37 356 331 5 3 5 130 113 .535 0 1982.2 661 1681 4.14 4.41 106 .273 293 MON-NYY-OAK-TOR-CHC-LAD
11 Billy Wagner 27.8 16.5 2.99 11.92 3.99 5.99 0.998 1995 2010 23-38 853 0 0 0 703 47 40 .540 422 903.0 300 1196 2.31 2.73 187 .265 82 HOU-PHI-NYM-BOS-ATL
12 Jon Garland 22.5 2.7 3.02 4.84 1.60 9.45 1.387 2000 2013 20-33 365 342 11 6 9 136 125 .521 1 2151.1 723 1156 4.37 4.69 103 .289 263 CHW-LAA-LAD-ARI-SDP-COL
13 Darren Oliver 21.2 3.6 3.38 5.91 1.75 9.57 1.439 1993 2013 22-42 766 229 11 4 121 118 98 .546 7 1915.2 720 1259 4.51 4.53 104 .305 216 TEX-STL-BOS-COL-HOU-FLA-NYM-LAA-TOR
14 Rick Ankiel 3.6 1.7 4.83 10.00 2.07 7.36 1.355 1999 2004 19-24 51 41 0 0 1 13 10 .565 1 242.0 130 269 3.90 4.38 119 .284 32 STL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/4/2018.

Today’s Game Era Position Players

Rk Player WAR WAA oWAR dWAR OPS+ From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Will Clark 56.5 29.1 55.6 -10.1 137 1986 2000 22-36 1976 8283 7173 1186 2176 440 47 284 1205 937 1190 67 .303 .384 .497 .880 *3/HD SFG-TEX-STL-BAL
2 Albert Belle 40.1 17.2 46.2 -12.3 144 1989 2000 22-33 1539 6676 5853 974 1726 389 21 381 1239 683 961 88 .295 .369 .564 .933 *79D/H CLE-CHW-BAL
3 Harold Baines 38.7 1.8 40.7 -19.5 121 1980 2001 21-42 2830 11092 9908 1299 2866 488 49 384 1628 1062 1441 34 .289 .356 .465 .820 *D9H/87 TEX-OAK-BAL-CLE-CHW
4 Joe Carter 19.6 -10.8 28.2 -15.7 105 1983 1998 23-38 2189 9154 8422 1170 2184 432 53 396 1445 527 1387 90 .259 .306 .464 .771 7983D/H45 CHC-CLE-SDP-TOR-SFG-BAL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/4/2018.

Today’s Game Era Pitchers

Rk Player WAR WAA BB9 SO9 SO/W H9 WHIP From To Age G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV IP BB SO ERA FIP ERA+ BAbip HR Tm
1 Orel Hershiser 51.6 24.9 2.90 5.79 2.00 8.45 1.261 1983 2000 24-41 510 466 68 25 19 204 150 .576 5 3130.1 1007 2014 3.48 3.69 112 .280 235 LAD-CLE-SFG-NYM
2 Lee Smith 29.4 13.8 3.39 8.73 2.57 7.91 1.256 1980 1997 22-39 1022 6 0 0 802 71 92 .436 478 1289.1 486 1251 3.03 2.93 132 .299 89 CHC-BOS-STL-NYY-BAL-CAL-CIN-MON
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/4/2018.

 

And, some stats for the others on the Today’s Game Era ballot.

Today’s Game Era Managers

Rk Mgr Yrs
From To W L W-L% G>.500 G Wpost Lpost W-L%post BestFin WrstFin AvRk Plyof App WSwon PennWon ASG
1 Lou Piniella 23 1986 2010 1835 1713 .517 122 3548 23 27 .460 1 5 2.8 7 1 1 1
2 Davey Johnson 17 1984 2013 1372 1071 .562 301 2445 25 26 .490 1 5 1.9 6 1 1 1
3 Charlie Manuel 12 2000 2013 1000 826 .548 174 1826 29 22 .569 1 4 1.7 6 1 2 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/4/2018.

Today’s Game Era Builders

George Steinbrenner

  • 38 seasons as Yankees’ owner (1973-2010)
  • .565 W-L%
  • 20 post-season appearances
  • 16 division titles
  • 11 pennants
  • 7 World Series wins

So, who would get your vote? If you’d like to cast a mock ballot for the BBWAA vote, select up to 10 players from the BBWAA ballot (no minimum and no write-ins).

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Anthony
Anthony
1 year ago

BBWAA: Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Jones, Martinez, Mussina, Rivera, Rolen, Schilling, Walker.
BBWAA, past 10, if I had room: Helton, Ramirez, Sheffield
Today’s Game: Nobody

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

Thanks so much Doug. Now time for the deep dive.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

Just to clock in with my starting point–while I haven’t decided how to vote on the entire ballot, I’m going to stay with the same position on steroid-users. I’m not ready to vote for them. I understand and respect the arguments on the other side, I just don’t agree with them yet.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago

To add to the discussion, I just can’t understand about the Today’s Game ballot. I won’t be voting for those players. Hershiser is borderline at best, and Smith is a favorite of the voters. I wouldn’t be sad to see them get in, but they don’t strike me as the most deserving outside the Hall. I also won’t be voting for Steinbrenner. As far as I’m concerned, he should’ve probably been banned from baseball in the ’80s. I don’t really have a “problem” with him getting elected (as I imagine he will be), but I personally wouldn’t give him a… Read more »

Doug
Doug
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I’m with you on not getting the Today’s Game ballot. Surely there were better options than Carter and Baines (Baines is a holdover from this ballot in 2017, along with Belle, Clark, Hershiser, Piniella and Johnson). I was struck by the discrepancies between WAR and WAA for Baines and Carter. Sure enough, they both are exceptional. Largest WAR/WAA Gap with WAA less than 5% of WAR 36.9 – Harold Baines 34.1 – Jimmy Dykes 33.6 – Paul Konerko 32.2 – Bill Buckner 32.0 – Garret Anderson Most WAR with WAA less than 5% of WAR 38.7 (1.8) – Harold Baines… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

For these types of questions, it seems that Minnie Minoso is probably always the “official” answer.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

I found a 69 year span for Early Wynn-Jim Kaat-Julio Franco whose careers spanned from 1939-2007 but Kaat did appear in at least 1 game with each of them (8-28-1962 and 4-25-82).

Doug
Doug
1 year ago

You could also substitute Ted Williams for Wynn for the same 69 years.

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

The Today’s Game business has me baffled. The one candidate I think might be Hall worthy of the six isolated here is Belle, on the grounds that he had some monster years and a health problem that cut his career short, but few would agree with me. People who inspect the others without the aid of rose-colored glasses see a first baseman whose career peaked early and was adequate to good thereafter; a pair of fan favorites, one a DH over half the time, the other with a much disputed reputation for clutch hitting, but not much else to offer.… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

Oops. Guess all the nonsense about ‘today’s game’ started last year, and the Veterans Committee as such is no more. Progress—what a concept.

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

In last year’s voting:

Omar Vizquel (45.6 WAR in 2968 games; JAWS ranking 42nd at SS) was on 37% of the ballots.
Scott Rolen (70.2 WAR in 2038 games; Jaws ranking 10th at 3B) was on 10.2%.
Larry Walker(72.7 WAR in 1988 games; Jaws ranking 10th in RF) was on 34.1%.

Some how—don’t know why exactly—when I first saw these figures a remark by Thomas Jefferson sprang into my head: “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

Doug
Doug
1 year ago

In Vizquel’s defense (a mild defense, at best), he is one of just 11 shortstops with career marks of 25 oWAR and 25 dWAR, though Vizquel clears those bars only modestly and over a much longer career than many of the others. For the record, seven of the eleven are HOFers, including Rabbit Maranville, with very similar PA, WAR, oWAR and dWAR to Vizquel (actually, very similar numbers right down the line). But, the HOFers in that group do not include Maranville’s contemporary, Art Fletcher, who put up almost identical WAR, oWAR and dWAR in a career half as long… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

I might get into trouble here, but an HOF that can have Bill Mazeroski (36.5 WAR) can have Omar, although I wouldn’t be eager for either. JAWS has him 51st among shortstops.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

If Omar had won the 1997 WS with a home run (couldn’t be a walk-off though, since it was in Florida) I’d be knocking on doors as we speak to get him HoF votes.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago

… and you’d have to use “BlessedClevelander” as your handle, one presumes. 🙂

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

Doug and Mike L: My aim wasn’t to question Vizquel’s credentials for the Hall so much as it was to point out the bizarre thinking of those who are given what in sports terms amounts to being a sacred trust. Too many of the writers, even in this presumably new day of awareness of advanced stats, are not reading the commentary, not paying attention to the import of WAR, JAWs, Hall of Stats, and other measures of career performance, but relying on prejudices and slushy thinking to fill in their ballots. It will be interesting to see how Helton fairs… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

NSB, Chipper is an HOF just on his bat. .303/.401/.529 with a 141 OPS+. He’s 25th lifetime in Offensive WAR. I kind of agree on Rolen–I wonder if he doesn’t suffer just a bit from Schilling’s Disease (writers don’t like him?)

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

FWIW, Rolen was a Hall of Fame talent whose injuries killed his offense. He injured his back running the bases/sliding into 3b early in his career as a Phillie. Later, he got ran over in the baseline fielding a ground ball (St. Louis, in the playoffs?) and then ran into Hee-seop Choy as the first baseman was attempting to catch an errant throw. He had shoulder problems and then more shoulder issues….he even altered his swing in Toronto and Cincinnati to avoid aggravating the condition. If healthy, Rolen might have been a first ballot Hall of Famer. I don’t think… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
1 year ago

Rolen has to overcome a lot of things – I do think for whatever reason there was some level of personal dislike for him. He was an elite fielder who may not have the reputation among the writers for being an elite fielder, which is odd since he won 8 Gold Gloves, but you don’t get the sense that people think of him as a Robinson or Nettles type 3B. He had an elite bat for the position but played in the middle of an era where offense exploded, and since the voters aren’t particularly apt when it comes to… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

A mea culpa and a comment: it’s ‘how Helton fares’—the curse of the automatic fingers and the common homonym.

Also, I’m not questioning Jones’s admission, just the disparity between 97.2 and 10.2 in terms of how Rolen was perceived by the mass of voters.

Doug
Doug
1 year ago

“Turkey shoot with the turkeys the shooters.”. Nice.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
1 year ago

Man, how things change – when I first started talking baseball online (mostly the ESPN message boards but a few other places as well, early 00’s) I was an adamant Vizquel superfan, and argued that he was a likely (and deserving) Hall of Famer. Now, if I did a ballot, I don’t think he’d make my Top 20. I still love him, though.

mosc
mosc
1 year ago

My ten:
Bonds, Clemens, Mussina, Martinez, Schilling, Halladay, Pettitte, Rivera, Rolen, blank

Today’s Game:
No Cone or Whitaker? I don’t get to vote for Wes Ferrell or Simmons? Stupid baseball eras thingies.
NONE OF YOU! I’m a Yankees fan and that list is emphatically excluding one George Steinbrenner. Like Gerald Ford excluded him from federal prosecution.

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

mosc:
Is that Larvell Blank(s)?

Doug
Doug
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

According to his BR Bullpen article (which looks like a project that was started, but not finished) Steinbrenner plead guilty to making illegal political contributions two weeks after Ford assumed office. Wikipedia says that he was pardoned by Reagan 14½ years later.

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

My understanding is Ford’s pardons were limited but the justice department’s position not to prosecute was established and Reagan just followed through and made it official when it re-occurred as an issue.

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

Goldschmidt to the Cards, anyone? Just a desire to get value before free agency?

oneblankspace
1 year ago

Carson Kelly has a chance to play when Molina is still healthy. Goldschmidt is one of two players with 200 HR and 100 SB counting stats since 2011, and one of 11 counting since 2008. The list of the 9 most recent 30-SB seasons by a first baseman (70%): Goldschmidt, Bagwell, Bagwell, Gregg Jeffries, Gerald Perry, Cesar Cedeño, Driessen, Carew, Sisler. The Cardinals have a bit of a habit of acquiring players on the last year of their contract and extending them… Edmonds, Rolen, Matt Holliday were mentioned in Derrick Goold’s article at stltoday.com; Mark McGwire was not mentioned there,… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago

I’m going to throw a ballot out here. I’m not sure if vote changes are allowed (let me know, Doug!), because I’m just really unsure. But I’m going with this: Today’s Game: (Blank) BBWAA: 1. Barry Bonds 2. Roger Clemens 3. Curt Schilling 4. Larry Walker 5. Mike Mussina 6. Edgar Martinez 7. Scott Rolen 8. Roy Halladay 9. Andruw Jones And the last spot is tough. I know a lot of people think of Mariano as “automatic.” I understand that. I don’t mean to sell the man short. But there is that part of me that says, “If the… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago

This ballot came at a bad time for me, so I’m not able to do as much work on it as I’d like. I’m not sure what Doug is thinking of for a deadline or whether we can change votes in light of discussions here and in the non-HHS world, but I’d be happy to think of the votes I’m casting now as an opening gambit. I’m a small Hall guy — always have been. My ballot is going to have less than ten names on it. And forget about the “Today’s Game” (ugh!) ballot — my only vote there… Read more »

oneblankspace
1 year ago

When Cal Ripken Jr. took a day off in the late 1990s, Albert Belle moved into first place on the active consecutive games played streak list. Will Clark hit a homer off Nolan Ryan in his first career at-bat. Harold Baines was mentioned in the 2000 Republican Primary presidential debates by former Rangers owner George W. Bush, who traded Sosa for him.

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
1 year ago

What are the rules for the Today’s Game Ballot? Maximum 10 votes? How the heck did they pick Hershiser over Cone and Saberhagen? And all of those veteran managers with decent W-L records but few pennants (5 division titles for Johnson, 6 each for Manuel & Piniella)? And I don’t get the thinking behind the whole thing, either (the 2016 changes to the Committees Formerly Known as Veterans). I guess the Hall is trying to systematically cut down on the anti-recency bias by frequently holding this Veterans-style election for recent players and cramming the well-represented eras together all at once… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

OK, I really dislike Today’s Game picks–these are all guys in the public view who were very good, but just not top-tier. Not getting my vote. Especially since none of them are better than some of the folks I’m excluding from the main scrum As to the players (and, echoing other here on the hopes of possibly amending on further review) I clearly have a smaller ballot than many others (partially because of the steroids thing). Rivera–I understand the “failed starter” arguments against any relief pitcher, but in this case they fall short. Rivera is (currently) the best reliever of… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

I’m going to take a plunge into the murky waters of basic math mixed well with Larry Walker’s Colorado years. Almost exactly 40 % of Walker’s plate appearances were made for teams other than the Rockies—Montreal for 5 seasons early and St. Louis for 1 1/3 late. If we ignore his August call up in 1989, then during those six plus years he accumulated 24.6 WAR. Let’s suppose that for the 60 % of his plate appearances in the middle of his career, he had remained on the plain of his early and late production in terms of WAR. Hmm… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago

NSB, From a previous post: Perhaps the secret to the Colorado sluggers’ success can be found in the underlying results of playing in a cow patch at 5,200 feet? BABIP Home / Away, Larry Walker 1995 – 2003 (The Wonder Years) 1995 .324 / .266 1996 .409 / .135 1997 .382 / .346 (with 29 road HR’s) 1998 .435 / .326 1999 .422 / .294 2000 .358 / .298 2001 .421 / .320 2002 .354 / .353 2003 .378 / .256 Yes, one could argue that Walker hit well on the road for many of these years, however, what creates… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Paul E: The point is that isn’t any argumentation going on. Those who downplay Walker’s achievement will reject not just my eccentric look at the figures, but those of the results of any analysis of what was going on—WAR, JAWS, your figures on BABIP, whatever—simply because of the Coors effect. Intransigent support of an untenable position and unwillingness to consider the facts seriously is not an arguable stance. I welcome someone who holds a low opinion of Walker to take issue with the specifics of my suppositions or the conclusions that are there to be drawn from Walker’s WAR ranking,… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Paul, I’m going to repeat in short an argument I made in long last year. Walker’s Coors numbers show that he performed way better there than elsewhere, although he was generally good everywhere. But the “Coors effect” applies to all players equally. The thing about Walker was the outsize boost he got from his home field — there was the Coors effect and the “Walker-at-Coors effect”: the latter was not Coors’ doing; it was Walker’s. A player is supposed to have a home field advantage: he plays half his games at home. A player who, over time, could not figure… Read more »

Doug
Doug
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Well said, epm.

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

OK, I think I’m ready. Like others I don’t have a full ballot. I’m going to list my choices by my estimation of their worthiness as players to be in the Hall, although I think they all definitely belong. A factor that I include in my evaluation of players generally, and especially in situations like this one, is remarkableness. Doing a remarkable thing and doing it over multiple times or doing it to excess deserves recognition. Thus Tony Gwynn gets high marks from me—higher than his WAR indicates—because he won so many batting titles so dominantly over a span of… Read more »

Doug
Doug
1 year ago

Re: Pettite’s WHIP. The difference between those you’ve listed is 1 to 2 baserunners per 9 innings, less, obviously, per start. That extra baserunner or two adds up over the course of a long career, leading to differences in WHIP that look significant. But, not sure that it is hugely significant in the context of individual games, which, of course, is what really matters. Re: Halladay. Something else that stands out is his 0.77 HR/9, ridiculously low for someone who played most of his career in the Toronto bandbox. Thirty-three pitchers recorded 2000 IP over the seasons Doc was active;… Read more »

Shazbot
Shazbot
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

I always thought of Doc as rather dinger-prone, actually, but not because he gave up lots of homers. Because he was better at everything else.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
1 year ago

I’m just voting for the BBWAA ten.
Martinez, Rivera, Halladay, Sheffield, Walker, Mussina, Helton, Berkman, Kent, Pettitte.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago

WHAAAAAA????????

I’m shocked, honestly. I was sure only Steinbrenner had a real shot.

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom – thank you for the the link and the news. That was a Monday morning shock. What a weird voting result – I can understand Smith, although I thought the closer standard was going up… Baines, however, where did those votes come from? Not a bad player, and a good career, but wow, I’m struggling to find any marquee numbers, new statistics or old. .820 OPS? 2866 hits-488 doubles-49 triples-384 home runs?

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
1 year ago
Reply to  Hub Kid

Baines holds an unusual record. He had 113 RBI in 1985 and next reached the 100+ plateau in 1999 with 103 RBI. That 14 year gap between 100+ RBI seasons is the record. The 1994 season was strike shortened but even with a full season he would have been short of 100 RBI.

alz9794
alz9794
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I could see Lee Smith having a shot as he did reach 50% on the BBWAA ballot. Plus there really isn’t an established standard for relievers. It’s only Eckersley, Wilhelm, Gossage, Sutter, Hoffman, and Fingers (Rivera should join soon). Smith is in the middle of that group according to JAWS, and some of those “relievers” between Gossage (#4) and Smith (#16) built up a good amount of WAR as starters (Greg Swindell, Bobby Shantz, Kerry Wood). John Hiller or Ellis Kinder might be better choices between Gossage and Smith, but Smith is the next “big save number” guy after Gossage… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago
Reply to  alz9794

alz9794

Shrewd remarks on Baines especially. Re your closing comment: it should be the voters who have their credentials torn to shreds.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  alz9794

Mindful of that closing remark by alz9794, I’m not going to post what I had planned to post. I actually saw the news of the ballot late last night, and decided to cool down before posting my opinion because I wanted to appear thoughtful rather of immature (aiming for an appearance that would deceive). alz’s point is such a humane way to respond that I feel obliged to shelve my opinion unposted.

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I’m glad Steinbrenner’s not getting much support. Dave Winfield should get to vote every time he comes up.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

To follow on to some of the recent comments, while I wouldn’t have voted for Smith at least I can see the justification for it. But Baines? Without knocking the player, who had a long and solid career, this kind of a vote is exactly why the old Veterans Committee selections were so often held in such low esteem.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

I agree, Mike; there’s no need to knock the player, but this is not a very impressive selection*. I can actually see a Hall of Fame with room for Harold Baines. I don’t really have a problem with the selection, in and of itself. It’s perfectly okay for the Hall to be Baines-sized. In some ways, it might be a better place if it were so. The problem isn’t Baines getting in; it’s the more-qualified players who are still out that make it a problem. Harold Baines had 11092 PA and a 121 OPS+; Dwight Evans had 10569 PA and… Read more »

Doug
Doug
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

There used to be a question of whether a DH, even these best DH, belonged in the Hall. Now we have Baines. Presumably Edgar is a lock – but don’t bet on it.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

It’s possible the writers will take a different course…maybe more possible if they somehow resent the choice of Baines.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Actually, Doug, if I were a betting man I’d be laying down a pile on Edgar. According to the Hall of Fame Tracker website, Martinez has received votes on 32 of the initial 32 ballots. That’s not too large a sample size (about 7.5% of the anticipated total), but I think it’s large enough to indicate that Edgar is a lock this year. Of the 32 ballots, six did not list him last year, and, of course, they’ve all changed their minds as his eligibility runs down. Interestingly, there is a similar shift towards McGriff, but it’s unlikely to get… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Not to harp, but how do you take Baines and leave out McGriff?

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
1 year ago

Smith was the all-time Saves leader for 13 years.

Here is his place in WAR among relievers:

56.3 … Rivera
50.1 … Wilhelm (who had 7.6 WAR in his year as a mostly-starter)
41.9 … Gossage (2.9 in his one year)

31.2 … Hiller (43 spot starts, and similar IP to Smith, but half the Games)
29.4 … LEE SMITH
28.7 … Lindy McDaniel (850 more innings than Smith)
28.1 … Hoffman
27.8 … Wagner
27.2 … Stu Miller (93 starts)
26.3 … Nathan
26.2 … Tekulve

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Smith is an historically dominant reliever. The bar for HOF reliever to many is pretty high which is debatably reasonable but I don’t think anybody really downplays Lee Smith’s career. The outrage is about Baines.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
1 year ago

Through no fault of his own, Baines becomes the most recent example of shortsighted cronyism among the many iterations of the VC. He just barely made it, and two of his voters were his first owner (Reinsdorf) and his first manager (LaRussa). Without being unkind to Baines, who seems to be a lovely person and who to my knowledge was not at all actively campaigning for a HoF spot, I don’t think that kind of back-patting favoritism can be condemned strongly enough. It’s entirely reminiscent of Frankie Frisch’s reign of terror and it blemishes the Hall’s standards and reputation. I… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago

Just a general question here. Is it acceptable or “uncouth” for a retired ballplayer on the ballot to actually talk up his candidacy? And, I believe Earl Averill spoke in contemptuous tones in his induction speech somewhere along the order of, “What took you dopes so long to realize the merits of my career”? But I have heard several players actually express their disappointment in recent years including Bert Blyleven (who should have been a no-brainer) who took the full 15 years to get in (I believe). I’m a small hall believer, anti-steroids regardless of prior established performance. Funny, but… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Billy Wagner (whom you voted for) and Roy Halladay (whom you didn’t) both played 16 major league seasons. Halladay had an ERA+ of 131. This means that, while he allowed 1034 ER in his career, an average pitcher would’ve allowed 31% more, or 1355 total runs. In other words, he saved his teams 321 runs above an average pitcher. Wagner had an ERA+ of 187. This means that, while he allowed 232 ER in his career, an average pitcher would’ve allowed 87% more, or 434 total runs. In other words, he saved his teams 202 runs above an average pitcher.… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

FWIW, I actually did the reliever math a second ago, because I couldn’t help myself. If you treat Wagner’s runs with the “reliever penalty” of 17 percent, you still figure the “average” runs off his true runs total (232), which still leaves you with 434 total runs. But you subtract 232*1.17 (factoring in the reliever penalty), which gives you 271 runs. 434-271 gives you 163 runs… almost exactly HALF of Halladay’s total. As for leverage, rWAR estimates Wagner’s innings as having 65% more leverage than a normal inning, which can get you to a score of Halladay-321, Wagner-269. Now, if… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, Apples versus oranges….. I compare Wagner to relievers; Halladay to starters. As far as evaluating relievers, I thought Wagner during the course of his career only Rivera was better. Just WAR alone indicates he was the equal of Hoffman with fewer innings Halladay? I’d go with Maddux, Schilling, Johnson, and Smoltz (off the top of my head) as either his superior or equal during the course of his career. Is Halladay a first ballot Hall of Famer? I guess we’ll find out. He would have been if he didn’t get hurt but, apparently, due to his insistence in completing… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

I mean, I get that you thought about it in that way. But runs are runs are runs. You’re not electing by position, you’re electing people to the Hall of Fame. So don’t you want the best players, regardless of position? Wagner did not help his teams win as much as Halladay did. That’s why Lenny Harris doesn’t get into the Hall of Fame as a pinch hitter – it doesn’t matter if you do a job well if you’re not actually all that useful in helping your team win. It’s also odd to me that you picked Maddux and… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom: “John Smoltz (whom you “smartly name”, and who IS a pretty interesting comp)” Are you implying I was stupid to name the other guys? It’s a Small Hall for me and how many of those guys surrounding Halladay were first ballot HoF’ers? It’s a vote – Cook County IL or Pascagoula MS – everybody gets one. I don’t believe there are 10 Hall of Famers in this exercise, either, and it’s not necessary to fill the entire ballot out. And, as things have gone in the past, 10 guys ain’t getting in this year either. If you want to… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Doesn’t bode well for Andruw Jones, since two of those three didn’t make the Hall. – in fact, neither even made it to a 2nd ballot. At least Jones has them beat on that measure.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago

Early returns indicate that Andruw may once again be battling to keep his head above the 5% threshold. (Or should it be foot?)

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

I think one of the differences between Paul and Doom is that Paul may be distinguishing a “first-ballot HoFer” from the hoi polloi. I don’t take that into consideration, and I suspect Doom doesn’t either. But if I did, I wouldn’t vote for Halladay this year either (I did vote for him on my own criteria). I think people who see “first-ballot” status as meaningful more or less equate it with “inner-circle HoFer,” and while it’s really unclear what the standard signifies, since small-hall and big-hall fans have very different inner circles, Doc’s not an inner-circle guy to me (like… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

@Paul E 1. No, I wasn’t saying you were stupid. I mean, I don’t think it’s too hard to figure out that Roy Halladay was not Pedro. And I said Smoltz was a smart comp because he is: they had remarkably similar careers and awards balloting. It was just a particularly pertinent comp. Sorry for saying that, I guess. 2. As to the question, “how many of those guys surrounding Halladay were first ballot HoF’ers?” is easy to answer: the three guys directly below him: Glavine, Smoltz, and Ryan. 3. “It’s a vote . . . everybody gets one.” Agreed.… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, No problem, no one “feels bad”. My intention in filling out this ballot was the same as for the MVP , Cy Young, and Manager of the Year awards that this group did. I didn’t vote for Yelich and Betts because I’m a fan and admirer of either guy. I just thought they would be voted MVP and the order I voted was the way I suspected the voting would go. And that brings me to, basically, whom do I think will be elected on THIS ballot THIS year. Halladay was a Hall of Fame talent. His career, like… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

One of the better games I witnessed. While I’m sitting in decent seats on the 1B line, Biggio goes yard off Wagner in the top of the 9th and Astros beat the Phillies 2-1 (it happens). I somewhat presciently remarked to a friend sitting next to me, “They’ll miss the playoffs by one game”. They did:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI200509060.shtml

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Ok. This is depressing.

When I do the math, I labor for hours, constantly spotting and correcting errors in my assumptions and formulas, and doing everything twice after I can’t find anything more to change. Then I post my math, and within a few hours, Doom swoops in and points out my fifth-grade errors.

It’s ok, I’m used to it. And it’s not just math and not just Doom.

But when Doom begins a post, “I actually did the reliever math a second ago,” I feel that my suffering has reached the point of cosmic injustice!

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, I’ve been thinking about Doom’s math for several hours in my blundering way and it seems to me we should like at what level of starting pitching would compare to Wagner’s. Rounding slightly, Wagner “saved” 200 runs per 900 IP. Halladay through a bit more than 2700 IP. So, we should look at what ERA+ would a starting pitcher compiling 2700 IP need to have to equal Wagner’s 200 saved runs. Let’s assume a baseline league ERA of 4:00, or 1200 ER per 2700 IP. To save 200 Runs, that would mean an ERA+ of 120. Each 300 additional… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mike (and Doom, and Paul): I think the incompatibility in the roles of starter and reliever are so great that comparison of runs saved is not going to tell us much. That is, we can calculate the comparison (if we’ve got math skills), but the information it provides is not useful to making either quality or quantity comparisons. (In other words, I think Paul’s apples/oranges approach is more appropriate than Doom’s “runs are runs.”) Based on Doom’s comments, I assume the Tango reliever “penalty” of 17% (which I also assume covers more than closers) is based on the idea that… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, that’s a superb bit of analysis and advocacy.
I wonder if we could throw out to the group a very basic question that might have been implicit in my “ERA+120” question. There’s no doubt in my mind that, if i had been given the choice of Greg Maddux or Mariano, with perfect foresight, I would have taken Maddux. But what’s the value of an elite closer as compared to a quality starting pitcher? Is an elite closer worth an ace, a good #2, #3?

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mike L and Bob, 1. (Bob) Re: 17% – I believe that was derived by looking at “swing” guys – those who both start and relieve – and checking their relative ERA in those contexts – actually a pretty clever way of doing it, I think, because those are guys who CAN start at the ML-level, and sometimes DO, but often don’t. So, if I’m recalling correctly, that’s how the study was done. 2. (Bob) Re: “leverage” – Bob, I recalled you being a fan of WPA, no? That’s a leverage-based stat. I think the argument here is not that… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, fantastic analysis through all of this, though as our in-house Tribe fan I have to make one factual correction – Lee was never behind Colon in the rotation because Lee and Colon were traded for each other. I’m pro-Wagner for the Hall, though I’m not sure he’d make my ballot because it’s so crowded. Of course I’m also pro-Halladay. Obviously there’s going to be a disconnect between starter and reliever value purely on an IP basis. Lee accumulated that 42.7 WAR in 2,150 or so innings, Wagner accumulated his 27.8 in 900 innings. Wagner absolutely excelled in his role… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

Cursed, Jansen, Chapman, Kimbrel, all around 500 IP. born all within a few months of each other, all will play at age 31 in 2019. You wonder how they will sustain their levels of performance. 400 more IP is 400 appearances, between 6-7 seasons without serious injury, taking them to age 37/38. in a weird way, it does make the performance of Wagner seem more impressive. To say nothing of Rivera,

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom,
Re “apples/oranges”, is it safe to say if we directly compare Mariano Rivera (GOAT ?) to Halladay, Glavine, Blyleven, or even Don Sutton (as opposed to relief pitchers), no reliever would ever get in based on the “runs” analysis? That is to say, without differentiating these relievers from starters, they have, apparently, less value than #5 in the most rotations. And, doesn’t WAR differentiate them or ‘leverage/value’ the late innings as significantly more important to ‘winning’? You know, like Lenny Harris (PH) versus Edgar Martinez (DH) ?

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

@ CC & Paul CC – DUH. Ugh. How could I forget the Cliff Lee thing?! I was figuring there was a year or two of overlap just by looking at the seasons Lee played for Cleveland. That was foolish of me. Had I just looked at the “transactions” section, I would’ve been straightened out. Whoops! Paul – I don’t that’s quite true. Even in a straight “runs” analysis, I think some come out quite well. To show my work, here are Mariano, Gossage, and Wilhelm (I’m going to do the reliever conversions, but I’m not going to account for… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom,
So of all the relievers (“in all the gin joints, in all the world”) , who, by this calculation is HoF worthy? Am I correct to think it would be merely Mariano, Wilhelm, and Wagner as shoo-ins? Because, honestly, I thought Sutter, Smith, and Gossage were pretty good relievers by the eye test. Hoffman was pretty effective as well. Is it possible that there is some sort of elevated K/9 bias in the sabermetric tea leaves?

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, I’ll just reply to your points to me. 1) If the 17% figure was derived as you suggest, it is, contrary to my suggestion, based on data, not assumptions — and it is indeed a clever strategy (one might expect that from Tango). The questions the method gives rise to, however, are whether the database is sufficiently robust to draw so definitive a conclusion, and whether the conclusion applies to HoF quality pitchers (in both roles), whose stats are on the tail of the curve, a place where swingmen are rarely found. 2) Your memory is good, as always:… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

1) Indeed, it may be different at the tails of the curve, but you get into sample-size issues there that make it all but impossible to derive the “right” number. For now, I’ll happily use 17% and assume it’s close enough, and figure the question of whether it’s helping or hurting HOF-quality arms is a 50-50 proposition. 2) That’s a fair-enough distinction, though I think we can all acknowledge that the reasons to neglect LI and the reasons to include it are both strong. I think, as with most things, it’s probably best to take both approaches into consideration. Honestly,… Read more »

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I think I short-changed Nathan’s HoF resume because I forgot how good his stint in Texas was. Looking at his numbers again, I think Wagner is a tier above him, but Nathan has a strong case if he’s compared to Hoffman, Gossage and Smith and certainly when compared to Sutter and Fingers.

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

DOOM: You state, in the above, “These numbers, by the way, present a case that Joe Nathan and Craig Kimbrel are (already, in the case of Kimbrel) above the standard for HOF relievers, if we’re to take Trevor Hoffman as the standard.” I thought we were comparing potential Hall of Fame relievers to starters – not Trevor Hoffman? Maybe I’m failing to see all these ‘conversions’ to “runs”, but the ‘conversions’ were made of a necessity to compare the relievers to starters, no? So, ultimately, since, with the exception of Rivera no one is really ‘great’ when compared to starters,… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Paul E Re: Hoffman as the standard – I only meant if we’re judging relievers separately from starters, and if we consider Hoffman to be the baseline (which seems to me the person you’d pick, again, if you were to pick one and use such criteria). I’m not suggesting that’s a good idea; just that we then have to much more seriously consider Kimbrel as already HOF-worthy, as well as Joe Nathan. I’m not really sure that’s a standard I want to go to, but we have to consider that when we start thinking of “reliever” as a position, rather… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom,
I think for Aaron you’re using his career RC divided by his AIR (877/.95=914) from baseball-reference. If not, it ‘works’ that way without the aggravation of OPS+ calculation…..
I’m OK with relievers in the Hall, regardless of their ‘inferiority’ to starters. It’s the steroid guys and the DH’s that I (me, that’s me typing) have an issue with. But, I understand by the logic of your calculations you do not believe many of them to be “hall worthy”.

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Well, that’s wrong : ” I think for Aaron you’re using his career RC divided by his AIR (877/.95=914).” No, that would equal 923 , Paul

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, You’ve got three good replies to my three responses to your three points. I’m only going to disagree with your conclusion on one, and it’s not much of a disagreement. Apples to Tomatoes: You’re right that there’s only a single HoF ballot and it includes position players, DHs, starters, and relievers. In filling out the ballot, you may have to decide whether to choose between a starter and a reliever, just as you may have to decide between a reliever and a position player. I don’t think the right way to handle either is to compare their stats to… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

How many times today have I typed OPS+ instead of ERA+? Luckily I have many other things to feel more embarrassed about.

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob: I’d further your remarks a little to include two other points: 1) Since, let’s say, Eckersley’s career transformation from failing starter to 9th-inning genius, the only relief pitchers who have gained a shot at Fame—as in HOF—are “closers,” because they have the big stat, SAVES, to validate their importance. The guys who used to be called “middle relievers,” but who are now used equally strategically with “closers,” get scant attention. A hold, somehow, especially since a fair amount of the holding is done to keep a team that is behind within range of pulling out a win, doesn’t carry… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago

nsb, These are good points. In replying to Doom I particularly noted that you’d raised the first. In the case of the second, I agree that you’ve spotted the appropriate paradox to think about. On the other hand, I don’t think guys like McDaniel and Face were anything like the quality of Wagner or Kimbrel. I think the general quality of relievers as pitchers is an order of magnitude greater than anything before the ’70s: they’re taken seriously now, and paid like it. (As I said in replying to Doom, Hoyt & Eck are unique and not comparable to other… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

That’s a really interesting argument, Doom. I’d love to see a chart with that type of a comparison.

CursedClevelander
CursedClevelander
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Not sure I’d say uncouth – perhaps a bit unseemly? On the one hand, there’s the opinion that there’s nothing wrong with self-promotion – if you don’t promote yourself, who will? But waging an active campaign to influence the writers seems, if nothing else, a little desperate – don’t you want to be awarded purely on the merits, and not because your browbeat enough people to vote for you?

But it’s not against the rules. And there are certainly some organic (and some less than organic) fan campaigns to get certain people into the Hall.

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

The first player I remember lobbying for Hall inclusion was Enos Slaughter, and while there may have been or may be others, I’m vague as to who they are. Oh, right. Donald Trump.

Jimbo
Jimbo
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

About Will Clark. You don’t like the steroid guys, but you hold it against Will Clark that his numbers came during the greatest hitters era ever. Those great hitting numbers were largely produced by guys who were later found to be using steroids. Since Clark still managed a 137 OPS+ (Carlos Delgado was a 138 for comparison) and as far as I know never had any rumours connecting him to steroids, it seems kind of poor logic to use the era against him while also condemning the steroid users who made that era what it was. If Clark had been… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago
Reply to  Jimbo

Jimbo: At the end of a thread like this your comment may be overlooked—it’s happened to a couple of mine. What you say about the inconsistency in evaluating steroid use has bothered me, too. On the general topic I’ll try to address what I think is at issue, although I’m hardly an authority. Of the players on the “Today’s Game” ballot, in terms of raw statistics, Clark seems the one most likely to deserve some attention. His fielding was adequate for his position—compare McCovey, for instance—and he had that stretch of six years through age 28 averaging over 150 OPS+,… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Jimbo

Jimbo, and echoing what NSB said, you make a key point about the difficulty of playing clean in an era where a lot of people were cheating. We tend to think about PEDS stats in a vertical and historical way–how many HR’s would Manny, Sosa, Bonds, etc. hit without the juice, and where would they be on the all-time leader boards without it–but in fact, the more corrosive impact might have been to minimize what might have been considered empirically great performances in the pre-juice era. My only concern about including Clark in that category is, if you look at… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Jimbo

Jimbo, Clark suffers somewhat from the steroid guys’ performances; however, from age 23-28, his absolute prime, he averaged 32 doubles, 6 triples, 25 homers and a .212 ISO in an average of 153 games played. For the balance of his career (age 29-36) in a similar amount of total games played, he averaged 27 doubles, 2 triples, and 15 homers with a .180 ISO. This was done in an average of 118 games played. While he missed time due to the strike of 1994-95, adding back all of those games missed due to the strike would only bring him back… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago

Just a general comment on the way the voting is going in the real world. The Hall of Fame Tracker now has 10% of the votes recorded (41 of an anticipated 412 votes). Mariano so far has every voter’s vote, so someone else will have to be the spoiler there. But the main data points for me concern our discussion on this thread of Halladay vs. Wagner. Halladay is making a very strong run: he’s standing at 87.8%, just one vote behind Edgar. Wagner has fallen to 4.9% (2 of 41 voters), so the question for him seems to be… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob,
…and to think one of the two Wagner votes is mine 🙁

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, I took a look at the 2018 voting, and I noticed some drop off between the announced ballots and the ones kept private. Interesting pattern, as writers might have been self-censoring. The major controversial candidates (either because of PEDS or because their stats or position might have given voters some doubts: Clemens, Bonds, Edgar, Sheffield, Mussina and Schilling, all suffered significant drop-offs in the private ballots. For Edgar, it cost him a HOF slot. The drop offs for the inductees, Chipper, Vlad, Thome, were more modest. But Hoffman actually did better. I’m not sure whether that means that cohort… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

I tracked the same trend last time, Mike, and also anticipate that happening.

FWIW, I think you’re setting yourself up to be an easy mark and I going to swoop in and make an easy killing. Three gentlemen to your one that Mo outperforms Chipper. What do you say?

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, Mike L
> 410 out of 422 ?? (97.16 %) !!
So, basically, > 97% of the voters are OK with relievers as first ballot Hall of Famers? I get the GOAT thing but, it must be a whole new segment of voters for Rivera to get in like that

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Paul E, I’m betting on the side of Mo underperforming Chipper. But I do think he’s getting in. I think enough of the writers share your skepticism, and only need to see a no vote to add theirs–and once no’s start happening, they will pick up speed. I think Mo will get in the low 90’s.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Easy mark it is. My basic logic, which is almost certainly wrong, is a) If given the choice between the two (rooting interests aside) Chipper had the more valuable career, and b) there are holdouts on relief pitchers…you can see it among the fans, and see it among some of the writers, and as exceptional as Mo was, I wouldn’t be shocked to see 4% of the voters to go that way, and c) it’s a full ballot, as our own Doctor Doom points out. So, if you want to admit the steroid boys (he has Bonds, Clemens, and Andruw… Read more »

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mike l
“I’ll call it the “Susan Collins Effect” ” – are you talking Kavanaugh or the IRS disclosure rule – or both? FWIW, it seems like she just can’t make up her mind to me

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Should have stayed away from politics. Not really talking about Kavanaugh or the IRS vote. She’s got a long history of being considered a centrist but one, as you point out, can’t make up her mind. She hates being the decisive vote on anything–neither Kavanaugh (50-48) nor IRS (House will never pass the bill in this term) are really decisive. Her instincts are to be non-controversial, yet she could have parlayed her potential influence into some serious legislation by joining with a handful of others. Chose another path.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

“Should have stayed away from politics.” Yeah, the temptations are many, and we had a couple of slips on this thread, but let’s keep that stuff on the troll-infested sites we all know and love. (No reflection on your quarky exception, Mike.) HHS is not so rich in participants that we want anyone to feel uncomfortable here. Even bots with strong views on the DH should be welcome.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Agreed, anyway, my point about people is the same. There are a lot of folks who just don’t want to be seen, in public, as out there, and the BB writers are like everyone else. Once ballots began to be made public, it creates sort of a push towards conformity, except for the relative few who make their money being provocative (or, like Murray Chass was doing, just indulging themselves). But once the dam is broken, you see a sort of herd mentality on the nos. IMHO, there are going to be a few writers who have legitimate concerns about… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob:

For what it’s worth:

Drawing analogies to Big P Politics, it seems to me, is perfectly all right in a discussion of a voting procedure that involves political elements in a different realm than governance. And my making fun of Donald Trump—if you think that was a “slip”—wasn’t politics. It was comedy. Or maybe sport.

Also, I personally regret that divagations from the subject in a long thread like this one are something we’ve seen less and less of lately, speaking of divagations.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

Divagations…now that’s a…divagation! In all seriousness, I admit I think in a political framework, but it’s just as much a framework as much as it is politics. I like to understand why people make the choices they do, and the HOF voting is a great petri dish for it. BTW, my son teases me that if he ever runs for office, and, on Election Night he’s winning in a landslide, I’m going to be yelling about why turnout is down in some remote polling place.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Are we on then, Mike? I can assure you that my gentlemen will wear tweed, they will smoke cigarettes in holders, they will be mustachoied, they shall say “whom” at the proper time. I ask only that yours stay sober till noon. Are we on?

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

LOL. OK. I better start working on my backhand.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, right now you are looking good. Mo perfect so far this year. Not a single BV (Blown Vote)

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Yeah, I’m exercising supreme willpower by not filling this up with a string of posts crowing about each new vote — because if I did, imagine all the crow I’d have to eat if things turned south, as you (cogently) predicted. There’s still a long way to go.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

Just want to throw something out there. Through 53 ballots on the Tracker, Edgar has picked up 8 additional votes. How much do you think Harold Baines’ selection is influencing the voters?

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mike L Re Baines, has to be some influence. Martinez was probably getting in or at least in the 72-78% range but 90%. I imagine there are possibly some new and younger voters with Bonds and Clemens climbing. Also, happened to notice the “public” voters average about 8.5 nominees per ballot and the anonymous roughly 1 whole nominee less. So, just calling it 8 nominees per voter, it seems relatively obvious that there’s quite a lack of consensus when only 2 or 3 (out of an average ballot of 8 selections) make an induction speech. Or, a lot of voters… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Hard to say, Mike. Of the ballots I’ve seen that added Edgar this year, none of the voters mentioned Baines in explaining their vote. However, in the one case where a voter dropped Edgar after voting for him last year, the reason had to do with Baines (Baines’s election pushed that voter, David Lennon, towards a small-Hall position). Both McGriff (10) and Walker (9) have picked up more new votes than Edgar, but with Edgar building on a base so close to 75%, he’ll almost certainly get in, while McGriff will leave the ballot without coming close. Walker looks as… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug

I totally agree with you about the illogic of Lennon’s vote, Doug. He basically said, “I used to vote for the Hall of Fame as it actually is. Now that my beliefs are confirmed, I’m going to start voting for the Hall as it was 80 years ago instead.” It’s a very strange choice.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom (and Doug and Bob) I really think that problem arises when we consider players who haven’t been voted in by the writers and barely are past their qualification times on the ballot. Baines retired after 2001, his first vote came in 2007, and he’d still be eligible for the writers votes—if he was only well-regarded enough to get 5%. Lee Smith, I get–15 years of credible performance. But Baines seems like a slap in the face to the writers.

Michael Sullivan
Michael Sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

To be fair, there are a fair number of players who a great number of experts believe *clearly* belong in the hall who dropped off the ballot early because they couldn’t get 5%. A few of them appear in this site’s Circle of Greats and would get a lot of support here if they showed up in one of the era ballots. It’s just that Baines is not one of them, He was basically an average+ player with a lot of longevity. Great guy, good player, but pretty much the epitome of a hall of very good. I could support… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago

I totaled all the ballots for the BBWAA election (well, I did the VC, too, but there were a lot of “I would’ve” and “I wouldn’t.” And anyway, the only two people receiving any votes were Will Clark and Lee Smith, with one each). I counted ten voters: 10 votes – Mike Mussina 9 votes – Roy Halladay, Mariano Rivera, and Curt Schilling 8 votes – Edgar Martinez 7 votes – Scott Rolen 6 votes – Larry Walker 5 votes – 4 votes – Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens 3 votes – Andy Pettitte 2 votes – Lance Berkman, Todd Helton,… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, On your last point first, I suspect that the votes may have slowed because two main posts superseded this string. A new post tends to being a string to a close pretty quickly, and anyone who was away from HHS in early December may simply have assumed this post was toast and never clicked on it. Moose would certainly not have been my first choice, that would be Mariano. (I’d have placed Schilling before Mussina too, and perhaps Walker.) Ten ballots really doesn’t give us a fair sample. Participation has been a little short of what we’d need to… Read more »

no statistician but
no statistician but
1 year ago

Since this is the string that refuses to die, here’s a comment I was going to make but didn’t since I thought it would be futile:

At Adam Darowski’s Hall Of Stats site, where a rating of 100 or better qualifies, here are the rankings of the six candidates in the “Today’s Game” ridiculousness:

Will Clark—103
Orel Hershiser—102 (but, for some reason 103 on the Hall of Consensus page)
Albert Belle—74
Lee Smith—62
Harold Baines—58
Joe Carter—31

I can’t find words to express my lack of astonishment at these numbers.

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago

I think Adam Darowski is a ‘large hall’ believer

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul E

Darowski’s Hall of Stats is agnostic on what size the Hall SHOULD be. The Hall of Stats is simply the actual size of the actual Hall of Fame.

Paul E
Paul E
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom,
Since the hall of fame is populated with the friends of Frankie Frisch and a host of suspects, perhaps,then, Cooperstown is already large and Darowski merely follows suit? And, since he isn’t raising the bar, perhaps his agnosticism is part and parcel of his acceptance of our large hall?

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago

I’m still hoping we can have more activity on this string — there’s just one month to go before the final vote is revealed (and our CoG work begins), and looking at Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame Tracker, there’s plenty to talk about, as the tea leaves are revealed, vote by vote. Here’s an example: Bonds and Clemens have been gaining percentages over the past few days. With over 20% of all ballots now known (actually 21.1% at the moment), Bonds has been chosen by 72.4% of voters and Clemens 73.6%. Last year, they ended at 56.4% and 57.3%, respectively,… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Re: Bonds and Clemens – Last year, both were named on 61.2% of public ballots, but 41.9 and 45.7 % of private ballots, respectively. They are not being set up for election this year, certainly, nor even in 2020, I would think. But they may get there by 2022.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

The discrepancies between the public and private ballots can be very large (Schilling, Edgar, and Moose received 25%, 24%, and 22.4% fewer private than public votes last year, margins even larger than the PED twins). I don’t really understand why that’s so. All voters are members of BBWAA, the only difference is that some choose to reveal their ballots and the rest — about a quarter of the voters — don’t. (There’s also a very small middle group of voters who reveal their ballots, but anonymously. I’m not sure how that works; perhaps these voters email Ryan Thibodaux directly, requesting… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, pure speculation on my part, but here goes. First, one more datapoint. 2018 tracker showed 8.73 votes per revealed ballot, 7.64 per non-public ballot. That’s a real difference, especially on a packed ballot. I usually think the no’s are more interesting, so I looked at the Chipper 2018 vote I found four “pre-announcement” votes against Chipper: David Ginsburg (only 4 total votes), Bill Livingston (2), Jose De Jesus Ortiz (full), and Mark Purdy (just 3). Purdy said he was small-hall classes small-first ballot. Ginsburg said he would be more supportive of Chipper in the 2nd year. Livingston abstained the… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Your point about the relative sizes of the pubic/private ballots is a good one, Mike, but I’m not sure it’s the answer here. I see two problems. The lesser one is that the average reduction in votes would be on the order of 12%, but in the cases of Schilling, Edgar, and Moose the reduction is twice as large and still a mystery. The larger one is that if the reduced ballot size is an expression of small-Hall proclivities, it should not have affected Bonds and Clemens at all — no one, I think, argues that they are not Inner… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Good points, Bob. Of course, we could have different stresses working at the same. Some folks are just small hall. Some are “first ballot sacrosanct”. Some are No PEDS. Some are “I just don’t like this guy.” Some are “let me you an idea of why I think this guy isn’t really enough of a star to get in, but my hometown guy, who had inferior stats, was heart and soul and more clutch”. And, we should throw in why some of them choose to be private–quite possibly because they don’t want to take the heat from their fellow writers,… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mike reply to these interesting points is: Merry Christmas!

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

. . . and all I asked Santa for was a year without typos . . .

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, I’m trying to convince myself to put on my running clothes to go out into 32 degree weather and wave at the tourists in Central Park who think I must be mad. Have already gone out to buy bagels and donuts for sleeping (grad school) kids. Merry Christmas to you as well.

bells
bells
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, re: Clemens and Bonds, just note that if they are going 4/4 on new voters and going 4/6 on outgoing voters, that can be a pretty big difference, as 1 ‘no’ vote disappearing is the equivalent of 3 ‘yes’ votes essentially. I read this Jay Jaffe article last week that put it well, in a way I hadn’t thought of before: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/jaws-and-the-2019-hall-of-fame-ballot-roger-clemens/ The chart right at the end of the article is a really interesting summary… basically, the eligibility rule change in 2016 dropped a ton of ‘no’ votes for Clemens (and presumably Bonds was similar), so even though… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  bells

Thanks for the link, bells. Jaffe’s article does a good job of analyzing the implications of the rising vote totals for Clemens (and Bonds by inference), and you’ve captured the key points. To change the topic (and to repeat myself) in light of other issues in Jaffe’s article: Jaffe’s a supporter of the leading PED Hall candidates, and he makes some good arguments. However, both towards the beginning and at the end of his article he refers to Clemens as someone with a claim to GOAT status. Clemens was Hallworthy before PEDs, but PEDs are clearly what stretched his career… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

I have to throw this in to our discussion (it’s political, but not really). Michael Needham, Marco Rubio’s Chief of Staff, has weighed in on Mariano on Twitter: “Mariano Rivera is tied with Robin Ventura for career wins above replacement. He pitched 24% of the innings Greg Maddux pitched in his career. The notion he’s a unanimous Hall of Famer is insane.”
Ballgame’s over.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mr. Needham has been well trained. Partisan politicians (of whom we have a few) construct their political positions in this exact way, cherry picking statistics or anecdotal facts that will create a simulacrum of valid argument, without any analysis of what the complete picture may indicate, since that might involve the danger of a non-partisan point of view. How marvelous to see successful politicos applying the lessons they have learned in the spin chambers of national and state capitals to areas of life tediously dominated by careful analysis! By the way, what is the significance of “unanimous Hall of Famer?”… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago

According to Ryan Thibodaux, the eligible baseball writing staff of The Athletic (more than a dozen) will do a ballot dump later this week. This is the first opportunity to see a break in Mo’s perfection, if my theory about “herd immunity” has any application whatsoever.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

If I understand it, your theory would hold that when The Athletic herd votes, Mo will either get all their votes or lose more than one, but will not lose precisely one. Do I have it right?

BTW, Thibodaux’s tracker has just broken the 100-vote mark, and so has Mo.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Yes, that’s what I think. Of course, I’ll almost certainly be wrong. You vote publicly in a herd, privately you do what you want, but you don’t want to be on your own in either case. If there’s one Mo no, private or not, people are going to figure out who, and that person will be more scorned than if he’d gone public with it. The Athletic staff is a microcosm of that dynamic.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

You are a prophet, Mike. The 12 Athletic Group writers votes are in, and Rivera picked up all 12 votes. There’s a paywall so I can’t read their rationales, but the blurb before the wall indicates that one writer considered moving his or her vote from Mo to another candidate who needed it mo’. I think we hadn’t considered strategic voting denying Rivera unanimity, or as a factor behind the outcome of our bet. It would be interesting to know what prevented that writer from voting strategically — did the issue of unanimity contribute? — but not interesting enough that… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Well, right now you are well ahead of me, because Mo is perfect, and, as you point out, the deeper into the vote he stays perfect the more likely it is he’s going to stay perfect. I’m as surprised as you are about Halladay–he’s worthy of induction, but I don’t see him as a no-doubter. Thome’s numbers dropped off by 10.5% from public to private, so maybe we will see the same in Halladay.

bells
bells
1 year ago

I’m interested to see where this goes in the next few years – the HoF bottleneck of the last 7 years, with lots of great candidates but some incredibly controversial ones, is almost over. Next year there’s Jeter and some middling candidates, the next year there’s nothing, and then there’s lightning rod A-Rod after that. But this year, there’ll almost certainly be 3 (and possibly 4 – Mussina looks like he’s riiiight on the borderline) elected, and then next year what? Jeter for sure, Mussina for sure if not this year, but the closest after that are Bonds and Clemens,… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  bells

The Schilling-Mussina debate is an interesting one. There’s a valid intellectual argument to be made for picking either one over the other, for picking both, or for picking neither. Might be worth looking at the final public ballots after the year is over to look at those writers (and their explanations) who made a distinction between the two. I am kind of interested in the apparent trend of several players picking up significant support year of year, and wonder if it can partly be traced to Lee Smith/Harold Baines selections. For the purpose of argument, let’s assume you eliminate all… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  bells

I think your thoughts are pretty much what many of us are wondering about, bells. I see Mussina as a lock by next year, as you do (if he falls short this year, I think it will be by 3% or less), but I’m not sure 75% is out of reach for Walker next year. I think Walker will be a bit over 100 votes short after this election, about where Schilling was last year, but with the added urgency of going into his last year. Were it not for that last fact, I’d expect him to wind up falling… Read more »

bells
bells
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

That’s a good point about BB/RC getting a potential boost from A-Rod’s candidacy, I hadn’t thought of that, but it fits in with what I was saying about a more nuanced perspective potentially developing on steroid matters.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago

Now that the Hall voting has ended, all that remains until the January 22 announcement is to track the ballots that are publicly revealed over the next three weeks. Judging by last year’s vote totals, the currently revealed 142 ballots represent about 60% of those that will be revealed before 1/22, meaning we can expect to see another ~100 ballots revealed before the announcement (and then perhaps 70 more after the announcement, with about 100 remaining permanently unrevealed). Mariano continues to draw 100% of the votes: I predicted that if he were still a unanimous public choice as of the… Read more »

bells
bells
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Walker has gained 32 votes in the first 146 revealed, including 6 of the last 9 since new years!! That is remarkable… if he gains over 70 this year he will be less than 100 from election, which would have been unthinkable before last year. Seems like all the debates that have been had ad nauseum here and in other places have ended up swaying some people enough to vote for him.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  bells

I agree, bells. Walker’s rise is exceptional and shows promise for 2020, his final year on the ballot.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Tempting me on Mariano. I wonder if writers talk to each other about their votes–they did at The Athletic, but I think your implicit point about those who choose to remain private will fear being the guy too craven to go against the herd in public might be a good one. Still sticking to my prediction he’s not.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago

Sort of curious to see whether anyone else is still tracking this string . . . Using the HoF tracker, I thought I’d look to see whether there were any common features among the 9 voters who did not include Roy Halladay on their ballots (out of 155 public votes, as of this writing). I didn’t spot any strong common voting pattern (e.g., votes for Clemens, Mussina, or Schilling, but not Halladay, although on that query I found 4 votes for each of the other three, scattered among various voters). However, those nine ballots did show a fairly predictable difference… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, I couldn’t forget this thread. If I recall, I saw some strange patterns with the West Coast voting and Bonds last year. I need to go back to my notes.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

You have notes? I feel unworthy.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

LOL, last year at this time I wrote a piece for 3quarksdaily.com on HOF voting. That’s why I have notes. Your worth is beyond dispute.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Thank you, Mike. I had several professors who said much the same when I tried to appeal my D grades.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Watch the New England block of voters. They have a continuing problem with PEDS, Clemens, Bonds, and, eventually, Ortiz. They had the largest public group of “no” Thome votes last year, and, to date, they are overwhelmingly yes on both Bonds and Clemens (only Amalie Benjamin is a no so far). And, they include Bill Balou, who announced he would not vote this time, but would have been a “no” on Mariano. Ah, what fun!

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Great that you’re tracking this, Mike. This is real detail work. I think Bill Balou’s comments make very clear how much pressure has built on voters who plan to reveal their ballots. Balou makes a standard argument: closers are celebrated for artificial reasons and are, by the nature of their role, not qualified for the Hall. His defense of his argument is aggressive, and he reports maintaining it repeatedly against the views of other sportswriters. (I agree with Balou in general, but, like some others whose views he reports, I simply think the quality of Rivera’s record overcomes the barrier… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

I agree completely. Ballou wants it both ways….to say “not good enough” but not vote basically cheapens the “accomplishment” of unanimity. And I would never put Mo in the category Ruth, etc. because it’s absurd. Mo may be the greatest closer, but there’s no way his seasonal value matches up to any of the greats, and no way that any GM would have traded, straight up, any of those greats for a similarly-aged Mo. In a way, I’m a little amused. Boston writers have always been careful will Mo, giving him his due, while reminding us that Papelbon (until he… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Bill Ballou was Judge Smails’ putter, right?

vs Bos in the playoffs:
19.2 IP
2 runs

Vs everyone:
141 IP
0.70 era

How bout a Fresca!?

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Nope, he was the Bear in Jungle Book, looking for the Bare Necessities…..

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Mike, I’d like to ask you to clarify something. You write that the NE Bloc was mostly No on Bonds last year, but are so far almost all Yes. Ryan Thibodaux calculates only three switched votes for Bonds — at least one isn’t a NE writer. (He doesn’t list Amalie Benjamin.) Much the same for Clemens. Are you working from different sources than Thibodaux?

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

I expressed that very badly. What I meant to say was the NE block was supportive of the steroid users–except for Amalie Benjamin, Art Davidson, and Carol Gurgian. I suspect this is because of the pairing of Bonds and Clemens as PEDS users–you can’t really support one and not the other (prefer Clemens over Bonds) and the group as a group was more supporting of users than the whole population (again, I think because of Clemens, and, looking out a few years, because of Ortiz). Few people want to appear to be inconsistent.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

For the record, there are some people who see Bonds and Clemens differently. For those who favor Clemens over Bonds, they will (correctly) point out that the only evidence against him is when a criminal and a liar named him, and a deeply honest man, Andy Pettitte, recanted what he said against Clemens. Therefore, there’s no REAL evidence against him – no purchases, no reports, no evidence. Regarding those who favor Bonds, they will note that Bonds PED start-date is not in dispute – offseason between the 1998 and 1999 seasons – and he was clearly a HOF player before… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, I’m not arguing that there are no differences between Bonds and Clemens. What I was saying is that HOF voting reported by the Tracker shows almost identical voting patterns for both of them. Sorry for being unclear, I’m seriously nerdy about looking at these types of results and inside the numbers. It’s an old habit from a previous line of work.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Perfectly correct, Doom. Ballou is one of those making the anti-Clemens-only argument, and he adds in Bonds’ favor the point that he was provoked by lesser players (McGwire & Sosa) eclipsing him via PEDs. These apologetics do differ from more generic arguments in favor of both players (Most everybody did it, Selig’s in the Hall, etc.). And it seems indisputable to me, despite the anti-Clemens-only argument, that both players were comparably outstanding pre-PED. If there were a way to induct Pre-PED Bonds & Clemens into the Hall I’d vote for them. But the players being voted on now are synthetic… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Mike L, I see your point, but I’ll raise you here, too. Their vote totals ARE close, but three public voters have voted for one or the other as of this morning (1/10). The way I see things, these two may get close – very close, even – in 2021 or 2022. Those voters who differ might literally be the difference between one getting in and the other not (more likely Clemens gets in, as he typically outpolls Bonds, if memory serves). These little differences could end up being ALL the difference. But yeah… that’s a manufactured argument, because they… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Doom, I don’t have any particular unique insights. I think Ortiz is a problem, one that’s been anticipated by the New England voters for some time. I really do believe that voters adopt philosophical frameworks (like my “not voting for a juicer” one) to provide themselves some sense they they are making reasoned, fair choices not just based on “partisanship”. Certainly Ortiz’s bat should earn him a spot–assuming that bat wasn’t juiced. So, if you are a New England voter faced with the selection of an obvious Red Sox icon, there is no way you can vote against Ortiz, unless… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago

I didn’t realize there was still discussion on this thread; once upon a time at this site, we regularly had 3-4 active threads, and you really had to stay on your toes to keep up. Nowadays, I only keep track of the top one or two. Anyway, at Bob’s urging, I’m going to re-post some of my HOF thoughts and number-crunching that I added on the top thread earlier today, as they are more apropos here: Welp… the site’s been quiet for a few days. Just wanted to note that Mariano is still at 100% with 156 precincts reporting. Fun… Read more »

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

There’s a lot of thoughts above about relievers in general. Mo is almost the exception that proves the rule for some folks as well. He was so good that clearly no other reliever is even worth talking about. Another set of eyes could look at see Mo below many comparable starters in career value and say there is longstanding justification to treat relievers far differently than starters. I guess I am in the WAA camp. When we were more actively going through the circle of greats, I think the best metrics we came up with were around WAA, excluding negative… Read more »

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

Since you mentioned, “when we were more actively going through the circle of greats,” I thought I’d point out that I, at least, am assuming we’ll be resuming that discussion, once we know how many new inductees we’re getting. I don’t honestly remember who’s held over or anything, because it’s been a year. But I’m hoping we’re getting four new inductees, as much because I’d like to see four rounds of voting. I suppose it’s just as possible that we only get one round, so I’m not holding out too much hope. Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu (both born 1974)… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

“Their dominance is not that rare to be honest, just their combination of longevity AND dominance.” That’a perfect, Mosc.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

“A reliever putting up that kind of value in leverage is certainly more than a inning eating starter to me.” I’d agree, mosc. But since when is that the threshold for the Hall? A couple of shots that are not as cheap: I have problems with taking leverage for closers at face value. High leverage is a consequence of the closer role, and to balance that closers are always brought in to those high leverage situations fresh, and asked for only a few pitches. What Ballou said about this seems right to me: “Just about any living major league pitcher… Read more »

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

I generally agree. Certainly that we need to look at multiple measures. I don’t really look at saves at all, nor pitcher’s win/loss record or a hitter’s RBI’s. Those aren’t particularly useful stats to me. That doesn’t mean however that closers cannot be compared to other positions . I’m with you until there. In specific, I think long term that Rivera will look like a small-hall HOFer even after a reliever or two has matched or exceeded his greatness. I also don’t think Gossage, Eckersley, or Smoltz will ever look like a poor selection though to compare to history’s greats… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

mosc, I agree when it comes to Eck and Smoltz, but that’s largely because their years as a closers (very brief for Smoltz) supplement very effective careers as starters. Smoltz, after all, was a 200-game winner as a starter, with huge, outstanding postseason record. He’d be borderline Hall without the relief role, and probably a sure bet if he’d been used as a starter those years. Eck had about 150 starter wins, and then 5 lights-out closer years, before finishing with a string of ordinary years. I see him as borderline, and with no chance without those five years —… Read more »

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

There’s a stat of most relief innings with 0ER. I believe Gossage is #1.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

Oh, yeah. I read that 538 article — they had regular Goose Egg updates for a while. I’d think the GWAR leaderboard would be the applicable measure for the Hall, and it puts Mariano in a class by himself, 25% ahead of the runner-up, Hoffman. After that there’s a flock, with Goose at the fore, but those would be the “best of the good” for me — the group whose Hallworthiness Mo puts in the shade.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

Mosc, you say that relievers are getting more innings.
I don’t know that that is true.
Bullpens, yes.
But individual pitchers? Rare that the top guys are asked to hurl more than one clean frame anymore.

There have been 9 reliever seasons of 100+ innings in the past 9 years.
There were 17 in 1969 alone.

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

Zach Britton comes to mind. He’s left handed and relies on ground balls from a uniquely dynamic fastball so lets just say he looks something like his 2014-2015 self (ignoring his 2016 brilliance and injury related 17+18 mediocrity) into his late 30s and even plays productively into his early 40s. Unlikely he’d be over 1200 innings I agree but he could put up 20 WAA+ at that rate. Now, maybe the Yankees just signed themselves a reliever who’s on the wrong side of 30, has no second pitch, and won’t be among the league’s best for the next decade but… Read more »

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

I’m just noticing the following relievers all just ended their age-30 seasons:
Betances
Britton
Chapman
Jansen
Kimbrel

I think at least one of those guys is going to make it.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

I think the voters would be more likely to want to see excellence sustained through most of their careers rather than just a peak. A lot of relievers are lights-out for a few years. Then, they begin to fade. As a reliever, Rivera’s worst season was an ERA+ of 144. He only had six seasons worse than 200. There’s a decent chance one or more of your five will make it…but their margin of error will be less than a position player or a starter who, say, had a great seven year peak, and then became more of a B/B+… Read more »

mosc
mosc
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

I agree a 7-year peak is not sufficient for a reliever. They have to be well above average for a lot longer than that to look historic. Relievers seem to be more fickle than most other positions with career arcs that sputter and spike. Papelbon to me is a good case study. To me he was HOF worthy all through his age 34 season but 11 years wasn’t enough, he was only like 2/3rds of the way there. Bad behavior, visibly diminished stuff, and middling results the following 2016 and he’s gone. Maybe with a better attitude he’d have gotten… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  mosc

Looking at Britton’s record, I noticed that, as a reliever, his ERA is 1.82 and his FIP is 2.78 — that’s quite a disparity. Rivera, after his initial year as a swing man, had a less pronounced disparity, but still pretty large (2.21 / 2.76), given the time span. Some other closers I spot checked show some disparity too (e.g., Wagner: 2.31 / 2.73; Rodriguez: 2.76 / 3.31). On the other hand, Kimbrel (1.91 / 1.96) seems in line with expectations, and Chapman (2.24 / 1.98) and Jansen (2.20 / 2.12) move moderately in the other direction. Has anyone analyzed… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Bob, possibly strikeout related? The numerator in the FIP formula is reduced by 2X the number of K’s. (13*HR)+(3*(BB+HBP))-(2*K))/IP + FIP constant

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

I’d have thought most top closers had fairly high K/9 rates, Mike. That would lower their FIP. Of course, we’re dealing here with uniformly low ERAs. Perhaps the K/9 rate just can’t keep up. League average ERA and FIP are, by formula, always identical (I think). Closers work well below league average on both. So the question isn’t why some great closer FIPs are high; they’re low. It’s more like: how have some top quality closers, including King Mo, managed to keep their earned run significantly lower than their HR-BB-HBP-K ratios would predict.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Agreed, I suspect that there is something to soft contact. Hoyt Wilhelm’s ERA was 2.52, his FIP is 3:06.
We should look at soft-tosser starters as well. There has to be a winnowing out process for the guys who don’t throw incredibly hard…but even on that, Mo broke the rules, because he threw hard early in his career, and very gradually lost velocity, but not effectiveness.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

On a hunch I checked our old friend Whitey Ford. 2.75 ERA, 3.26 FIP.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

First of all, Mike, a point of clarification. Exactly whom did you have in mind when you said our old friend. You do remember that I’m a Brooklyn fan, right? I think “soft contact” is another way of saying, low BABiP. That makes sense. If these pitchers are performing better in ERA than FIP, then the difference may lie in BiP, which are omitted from FIP. Here are the career BABiP figures for the closers I mentioned: Group A: FIP significantly higher than ERA Britton .290 Rivera: .265 Rodriguez .274 Wagner .265 Group B: FIP about at ERA levels or… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Just a side point..how much I enjoy reading and participating on this site. The level of baseball knowledge is high, and matched or exceeded by the affection all of us have for the game. The two other baseball sites I read, the comments are almost intolerable. And politics…what a mess.
Now, to specifically respond. “Our old friend” really was intended to hearken back to the fun days of Circle of Greats, where we argued about Ford’s true value.

Is there a common theme here, besides that there seems to be more than one way to be a highly successful reliever?

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

Perhaps no common theme, Mike. Just a solution I’m not spotting.

To retain the high tone of the site that you are correct to note, I will stipulate that I feel nothing but good will towards The Chairman of the Board. After all, the guy’s 90 now. All is forgiven, and I hereby deny that I shouted those things from the stands when he was pitching.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

It’s interesting that the rise of analytics in baseball may also have fostered an intellectual culture of assuming that there is a consistent explanation for everything–because most of the time there is. But sometimes there are the tools guys who just don’t get the results their “numbers” indicate they should, and sometimes there are people who inexplicably over-perform. I expect the tools to get more sophisticated. But I don’t think they will ever become perfect. I don’t know how you score for things like mental toughness, discipline, etc.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

I don’t know, Mike. In this case, closers like Rivera and Wagner have numbers that reflect their performances very well: ERA (not to mention ERA+ — and definitely not to mention Saves). The problem isn’t that those numbers are missing some factor that can’t be quantitatively expressed, it’s that there’s a different number that doesn’t seem to be aligned with the first number and the performances. So the question is: what factor explains the difference in two quantitative measures. That factor has to be quantitative. When you responded with “soft contact,” it seemed obvious to me that you were right.… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Wide career variations between ERA and FIP indicate that a pitcher is either giving up runs he shouldn’t, or not giving up runs that he should. I think. But, if someone runs that through a 15+ year career, you have to think of it as a feature of him, and not an anomaly. You would probably need a big-data analysis to figure more out. On a hunch, I checked Catfish Hunter: 3:26 ERA, 3:66 FIP. Wide for a starter. As to Rivera doing it with mirrors, I’d add serenity. As to holding runners on 3rd with less than two outs,… Read more »

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

“You would probably need a big-data analysis to figure more out.”

I’m content to leave it at that, Mike. But I still hold out hope that some analytics honcho like Doom will see this string, think, “These guys are so out to lunch!” and then set us straight on the obvious thing we’re missing.

Mike L
Mike L
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Doom will say “These really old guys are so out to lunch”
And he will be right. I just signed up for a Road Runner race and found I was automatically given the senior discount.

Bob Eno (epm)
Bob Eno (epm)
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike L

My first impulse is always to tell them to stuff that discount — don’t try to put me in some geezer bucket! But once I sputter the first few words, I find I’ve forgotten what the issue is . . .

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Eno (epm)

Since my presence was requested here on this string, I’ll try to give my thoughts. Wide variance in FIP certai