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Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?

Shoutout to Bill James for the title, a man without whom this piece (and site) would never have existed.

Anyway, let’s get into it. Last two elections, I’ve come here to offer predictions, put forth compelling(?) arguments and complain about the BBWAA. To be honest, I’m tired. Tired of refreshing Baseball Think Factory’s Ballot Collecting Gizmo. Tired of getting worked up about writers leaving open space on their ballots. Mostly, I’m tired of the “whispers” about several players on the ballot when it comes to alleged PED usage.

Why, then, do I allow myself every year to focus so much time and energy into the Hall of Fame ballot? As much as I may wish I did, I don’t have the clout to change anyone with a vote’s mind. Individual players will likely never know of my love for their on-field performance and support for their candidacies.

I do it simply because I love the game.

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Youngest Pitchers Inducted

If as expected Pedro Martinez will have enough votes for induction into the Hall of Fame when the current election’s results are announced Tuesday, he will be, when this summer’s ceremony in Cooperstown rolls around in July, one of the youngest pitchers ever to be included in an induction group. The five youngest pitchers inducted up to now are listed after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Bonds, Aaron and the Maris “Asterisk”

From 1904 through 1960 (AL) and 1961 (NL) the standard major league regular season schedule was 154 games long. Since 1961 (AL) and 1962 (NL) that standard schedule has been 162 games. The difference resulted in a stir (created in part by then-Commissioner Ford Frick) when Roger Maris took more than 154 games to tie and break Babe Ruth’s season home run record in 1961. The so-called Maris “asterisk” story is very old news and I have nothing to add to the tale itself. What I was curious to see, however, purely as a matter of statistical amusement, was what effect a restriction to the first 154 games of each season would have on the career home run numbers of Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. The answer, which I found even more amusing than I expected, is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Quiz – Early and Eager (solved)

For a quick holiday diversion, consider what distinguishes these players from among all others who played their entire careers since 1901.

Congratulations to John Autin! He correctly solved this New Year’s puzzle by identifying these players as non-pitchers born on New Year’s Day (early) who compiled more strikeouts than walks (eager) over their careers. To limit the list, those careers must have been of at least 100 games since 1901.

Musings on end-of-year transactions

The final week of the year is usually pretty quiet on the baseball transaction front. But there have been some significant deals that transpired in the final days of the year.

As the hours tick by to the end of 2014, here are a few notes on the more memorable baseball transactions that occurred in the final week of the year. Happy New Year to everyone!

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Circle of Greats: Redemption Round #7 Part 2

This Circle of Greats (COG) vote is not to induct anyone into the Circle, but only to select two players who will be restored back on to the main ballot after having been previously been dropped from eligibility.  This part two of our seventh “redemption round” (we’ve been holding such redemption rounds interspersed among the regular voting rounds every tenth voting round or so) gives voters a chance to reconsider past candidates who have previously fallen off the regular induction ballots. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats: 1907 Part 2 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 81st round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round completes the addition (begun in last week’s round) to the ballot of those players born in 1907. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats Round 80 Results: XX Rated Highly

Even against a couple of popular birth-year classmates, Jimmie Foxx  dominated this week’s vote to easily win induction as the 80th member of the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on Foxx and the voting after the jump Read the rest of this entry

Will Tulo Stay an All-Star in His Early 30s?

The Rockies still want a bonanza in return for Troy Tulowitzki. Now 30, he’s under contract for six more years at $20 million per, and he had hip surgery in August. When healthy, Tulo is a premier talent, earning his salary and then some. But he’s been hurt a lot: In eight years since becoming a regular (age 22-29), Tulo averaged 117 games, missing 28% of the schedule to injury.

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Quiz – Name these Groups (Solved)

What separates these two groups of hitters, besides their stats?

2010-14 BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ BAbip SO% WAR* oWAR* dWAR*
Group A .259 .327 .412 .739 102.7 .304 19.4% 2.30 2.27 -0.10
Group B .268 .329 .414 .743 103.9 .304 16.4% 2.66 2.58 0.19

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