Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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-seven names include some of the biggest stars in baseball history, and some of its more disgraced names. This will be a hell of a debate, and we should continue to have it here.

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. 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 2013 ballot reflects this:
Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, E. Martinez, McGwire, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Wells.
The toughest decision for me was the tenth slot, between David Wells, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro, and in that case I did go for the "who wouldn't have made it but-for-usage?" tiebreaker, as best I could. The others, to me, are pretty clear, though I did give Dale Murphy a second thought because this is his fifteenth, and final year on the regular ballot. Ultimately, though, he didn't excel for quite long enough for my tastes. (Our discussion of the 2011 ballot2011 Doodle results.)


  1. Amazing. For someone who's been accused (perhaps rightly) in going for a larger Hall/Hall of Very Good, I appear to be the strictest voter so far for this year.

    Bagwell, Biggio, Piazza, Raines

    Also, a write-in for Harold Baines.

  2. The Pathetic Earthling5:55 PM

    Well, you seem intent on applying a criteria that would have kept Willie Mays out of the Hall of Fame.

  3. The Pathetic Earthling7:31 PM

    No vote for Barry Bonds?

  4. isaac_spaceman9:18 PM

    I'm not sure I get the criteria. Bagwell, I get it, you're drawing a bright line at caught/admitted, and he's innocent until proven guilty. But Piazza has admitted on the record using andro (before it was banned, but it's still a steroid), told two reporters off the record that he used banned PEDs, and was identified by Reggie Jefferson as a PED user. Seems like if your filter is PED use, only three (or maybe two) of the names on your list would make it. And that has to be your filter, because you obviously would not otherwise leave off the greatest offensive player ever to take the field.

  5. isaac_spaceman9:28 PM

    I guess I'm going to get less worked up about this over time. It's just not worth getting invested in a HOF that is only for some of the positions. It's silly enough that Jim Rice is in and Edgar is not, but I don't have the patience to listen to people explain how a defensive catastrophe like Piazza was more valuable than Edgar despite essentially the same offensive numbers. Getting into the HOF can't change what a player did on or off the field, so not getting in will not change the fact that Edgar was both one of the best players of his generation and a great guy to boot. If the HOF won't have him, then fuck it, your HOF doesn't deserve him.

  6. I voted for those I felt fit the criteria for inclusion. As for the last bit, Ted Williams and Hank Greenberg are already in the HOF, Joe Jackson is ineligible for the moment and Frank Thomas isn't eligible until next year.

  7. isaac_spaceman9:49 PM

    How coy. You are a man of mystery and contradiction.

  8. Adam C.10:56 PM

    I think I've finally come around to ignoring PED use. If Chooch isn't clean, nobody's clean. Ballot still to come.

  9. The HOF: a hall of mystery and contradiction.

  10. Lou W8:12 AM

    My approach is to discount admitted PED users peak performances by ~30%. Bonds and Clemens, still in. Sosa out. McGuire is right on the line, so this year I did a mental coin flip and it came up no.

  11. Jordan10:35 AM

    Can someone explain to me voting for Edgar but not Larry Walker?

    Walker-17 seasons, .313/.400/.565, 141 OPS+, 383 HR, 2160 hits, 1311 RBI, 230 SB, 3 Batting Titles, 1 HR Title, 1 MVP, 5 All-Star Games, 3 Silver Sluggers, 7 Golden Gloves, 69.7 lifetime WAR, face of a franchise.

    Martinez-18 seasons, .312/.418/.515, 147 OPS+, 309 HR, 2247 hits, , 1261 RBI, 49 SB, 2 Batting Titles, 2 HR Titles, 0 MVP, 7 All-Star Games, 5 Silver Sluggers, defensive liability, 64.4 lifetime WAR, one of the stars of his team during their best period.

  12. Adam B.11:19 AM

    Park factor, which the OPS+ reflects.

  13. Jordan12:04 PM

    Well that's kinda my point. Their OPS+ are only six points off. Are those six points enough to not only say that Martinez is a Hall of Famer and Walker is not, but the gap is so large that you can ignore Walker's plus glove while Martinez was not good enough to put in the field? What about Piazza at 143? I'll admit to having somewhat of an anti-DH bias, but if you vote for Martinez, I just can't understand not voting for Walker.

  14. isaac_spaceman1:04 PM

    Two things: park effects and peak performance. First, on peak performance, I care more about whether a player was great for a period of time than whether he was pretty good for an entire career. Edgar was just better than Walker in their respective peaks. If you rank each player's best seasons by OPS+ and match them up head-to-head, Edgar wins ten times. Edgar's best season was 7 points better by OPS+ than LW's best season; his top 7 were better on average by 4-5 OPS+ points, and the last three were 11-21 OPS+ points different (i.e., LW's peak was shorter).

    Second, the park factors that OPS+ uses are blunt instruments, and the effects are than those factors for some players than others. For his career, Walker on the road was a .278/.370/.495 hitter; his road tOPS+ is 80, meaning that his road OPS+ is only 80% of his actual OPS+ (his home OPS+ is 120% of his actual OPS+). That suggests that Coors exaggerated Walker's talents more than the park effects reflect. For comparison, Edgar's road tOPS+ is 98 and his home tOPS is 102. I have not researched this, but I suspect that Walker is probably in the top 10 all time for offensive players who have the greatest park effects not captured by OPS+, as measured by the difference between home and road tOPS+.

  15. isaac_spaceman1:05 PM

    I should have said "ten best seasons" -- each of Edgar's ten best seasons is better than the corresponding one of Walker's ten best seasons, by OPS+.

  16. Jordan2:49 PM

    Thanks, that makes sense. I still think Walker's fielding and Edgar's lack there of makes up the difference (as well as the wear on your body from playing the field everyday), and that Walker should be a HOFer, but I appreciate your points.