Wednesday, November 27, 2013

VOTING SHALL BE BASED UPON THE PLAYER'S RECORD, PLAYING ABILITY, INTEGRITY, SPORTSMANSHIP, CHARACTER, AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TEAM(S) ON WHICH THE PLAYER PLAYED: The National Baseball Hall of Fame has released its 2013 ballot for modern players. Its thirty-six names perhaps constitute the most stacked ballot we'll ever seen in our lifetimes, with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Jeff Kent joining a field from which no one was elected in 2013, and from which Jack Morris is is now in his final year of eligibility. And voters only get to select ten of them.

I have set up a Doodle poll for the ALOTT5MA community to vote. Please vote for no more than ten names, because that's what the BBWAA does, remembering that anyone who falls below 5% will be dropped from next year's ballot, so vote strategically if you must. I have long believed that players accused/admitted of PED usage should be voted into the Hall if their accomplishments so merit, and with their Hall plaques "teaching the controversy" where appropriate. My 2014 ballot reflects this:
Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Kent, Maddux, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Thomas.
It is impossible to limit yourself to ten votes and not vote strategically. In my case, that meant leaving the eminently-worthy (with an asterisk) Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens off the ballot, out of a belief they weren't going to be inducted this year anyway. This made room for my continued votes for Tim Raines and Curt Schilling, to ensure each receives due consideration both this year and going forward. I seriously considered leaving off Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux for the opposite reason -- assuming they'd get in, no matter what -- but ultimately I couldn't convince myself to leave them off. Maddux in particular deserves as close to unanimity as possible, and as much as I want to maintain my continuing votes for Mark McGwire and Edgar Martinez, I just couldn't this year.

If anyone constitutes my "tenth vote," I guess it's Mike Mussina, as those last two as well as Larry Walker received serious consideration there. He is not at the level of Maddux, Clemens, or Glavine, but like Schilling he certainly meets the standards of the Hall. And I could be persuaded to wait another year on Kent, but ultimately he's getting my vote.

(Our discussion of the 2011 ballot2011 Doodle results; 2012 discussion; 2012 Doodle results.)


  1. Joseph Finn10:18 AM

    Bagwell, Biggo, Glavine, Maddux, Piazza, Raines and Thomas for me. I went back and forth on Schilling, concerned that my personal feelings about him were poisoning my judgement on him...and then decided that I just don't think he hits the HOF level in his career, but he's close and if he got in I wouldn't consider it a travesty. (I'm sure the two people who voted against Frank Thomas are in a similar position or else they just hate the DH.)

    Seriously, this is a ridiculous HOF year.

  2. Jordan11:31 AM

    I had to go back and edit it twice to get the "right" ten (in the end, Raines was the odd guy out). And I'm a Small Hall guy. It's a hell of a year. Here are some side by side numbers, if it helps: It's interesting that Glavine and Mussina are next to each other, their numbers are almost identical. I can't see the justification in taking one over the other, but apparently you all can.

  3. Adam C.11:53 AM

    Bags, Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, Martinez, Mussina, Raines, Schilling, Thomas, Trammell. I appreciated the discussion of strategic voting, because I felt I had to employ it too. I'm generally a Small Hall guy too, like Jordan, but there are between 15-20 legit contenders here, depending on how you weigh the stats and contributions.
    What sucks is that someone with a legit HOF case is likely going to get screwed by this ballot and these rules (my guess: one or more of Sosa, McGwire, or Palmeiro will miss the 5% cutoff). Can/will the BBWAA make a change to expand or eliminate the arbitrary maximum of ten votes, or is it already too late?

  4. Adam C.11:58 AM

    Next year's a hell of a year too: 1st year eligibles include Randy Johnson and Pedro (both of whom ought to be locks), plus Smoltz (who has the most unusual case to make since Eckersley) and Sheffield.

  5. Sorting by "Bill James Hall of Career Standards," which compare a player's career against a typical HOFer (50 is an average hall of fame player), the top 10 are:

    Bonds (76) -- 2nd yr
    Clemens (73) -- 2nd yr
    Maddux (70)
    Piazza (62) -- 2nd yr
    Thomas (60)
    Bagwell (59) -- 4th yr
    Walker (58) -- 4th yr
    Palmiero (57) -- 4th yr
    Biggio (57) -- 2nd yr
    Mussina (54)

    (no one on the veteran's ballot ranks rates above 50)

    I think my 10 was close to that. If I was doing a serious ballot, I'd go small Hall with Bonds, Clemons, Maddux.

    Sort of "Hall of Fame Monitor" and the list shifts in interesting ways. For example, Sosa goes from 11 on the HOFs list to 5th on the HOFm. Schilling compares as below average career while rated somewhat likely to get in.

  6. I was able to edit my Doodle vote, so small Hall it is.

  7. The Pathetic Earthling12:40 PM

    I voted for Bonds alone to counteract the absurdity of some folks not voting for him.

  8. Adam B.2:02 PM

    You know what's killing me about strategic voting and the 10-vote limit? Right now, Jeff Kent, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Larry Walker are all on the verge of falling below 5% on our ballot. Yes, Kent was a dick on Survivor ... but not THAT much of a dick.

  9. Adam C.2:30 PM

    I hear ya. But I feel like Kent has a weaker case than Biggio, and when it came down to it I wasn't willing to give a vote to the second best 2B on the ballot at the expense of the best SS on the ballot.

  10. I'm a Small Hall guy, but I had to do some painful cuts to get to 10.

    Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Piazza, Raines, Thomas, Trammell, Walker

    With Glavine (he'll get in anyway) and McGwire (he'll never get in) as strategic omissions. Morris just missed the cut.

    I don't know if I voted last year, but I can't ever remember wanting to vote for more than ten players. I'm usually restricting myself to two.

    I'm surprised that Trammell and Walker -- top-100 guys all-time in WAR -- got so little love.

  11. Career WAR:

    4. Bonds 162.5
    8. Clemens 140.3
    25. Maddux 106.8
    57. Mussina 83
    59. Glavine 81.4
    62. Schilling 79.9
    63. Bagwell 79.8
    81. Thomas 73.6
    85. Walker 72.6
    88. Palmeiro 71.8
    93. Trammell 70.4
    104. Raines 69.1
    108. Martinez 68.3
    135. Biggio 64.9
    158. McGwire 62.0
    183. Piazza 59.2
    191. Sosa 58.4
    224. Kent 55.2

  12. Joseph Finn5:22 PM

    Thanks, you know who. (Though I don't think Kent has that solid of a case.)

  13. Adam C.5:31 PM

    BTW, that 2B Jpos is HEAVILY skewed by Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, and Joe Morgan.

  14. Jordan9:09 PM

    Mussina wasn't in the playoffs as often, but they both pitched enough to have representative samples and their numbers are very similar, despite Mussina getting most of his playoff starts post-peak. Glavine gets the big boost for 300 wins (which is a dumb stat to begin with), but if you look at Adjusted Pitching Wins, despite having 150 fewer starts Mussina comes out ahead. In terms of stats pitchers have more control over, Glavine's 1.314 WHIP is in Andy Benes/Pedro Borbon territory (compare to Mussina's 1.191 which puts him in the top hundred in the modern era) and his 1.74 K/BB ratio is decidedly mediocre, especially when Mussina's 3.58 is 15th all time. Throw in 7 Gold Gloves and you'd think Moose would have at least an equal case to Glavine.