FanDuel - WFBC

January 09, 2013

Nobody Voted into Baseball Hall of Fame: For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Hall of Fame voted in no new members. The closest to the 75 percent vote threshold required for induction was Craig Biggio, who had 3,060 hits for the Houston Astros and received 68 percent. Steroid users Roger Clemens (37.6 percent), Barry Bonds (36.2 percent) and Sammy Sosa (12.5 percent) weren't even close. Other notable first-time candidates who fell short were Mike Piazza (57.8 percent) and Curt Schilling (38.8 percent). The only player to be inducted July 26 in Cooperstown, N.Y., is veterans committee honoree Deacon White, a catcher who played for eight teams over 20 seasons, winning batting titles in 1875 and 1877 and winning the 1887 "world's series" with the Detroit Wolverines.

posted by rcade to baseball at 02:40 PM - 51 comments

Okay, here is my 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame vote predictions:

Number of players getting voted in: 0

Now the hard part, predicting the percentages:


Biggio 70.5%
Morris 68.9%
Raines 61.5%
Bagwell 60.0%
Piazza 58.5%
Bonds 48.1%
Clemens 47.7%
Smith 40.1%
Schilling 37.5%
Martinez 31.3%
Trammell 29.3%
McGriff 18.1%
Murphy 17.9%
Walker 17.1%
McGwire 14.5%
Sosa 12.8%
Palmeiro 9.9%
Mattingly 7.8%
Lofton 4.4%
Williams 1.0%
Franco 0.5%
Alomar Jr. 0.5%
Green 0.3%
Rose 0.1% (write-in)

posted by grum@work at 01:10 AM on January 09

That's interesting, but why do you imagine that Mike Piazza won't make it on the first ballot? Guys like Bagwell would get more than Biggio- I find it odd you have him as a top vote-getter, 5% shy of induction, but I can imagine that they might never quite make the cut. But Piazza? As probably the best hitting catcher of all time, seems like he'd be a shoo-in.

Clemens and Bonds should be first-ballot, 100%ers, but the cunts- pardon my language, but it's the truth- in the BBWAA will make some "principled" stand and avoid voting for them as they have Palmeiro and McGwire among other modern players. This, even though they are not just HoF caliber, or even remotely on the cusp, but that innermost sanctum of HoF; we're talking guys who obliterate records and their peers for years on end. You'd be hard pressed to make the case that Bonds and Clemens aren't on equal footing with guys like Ruth, Williams, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, etc. I get that the stink of PED has the see-you-next-Tuesdays on their high moral horses, but even if you stopped Bonds' career in 2000, or Clemens around the same time, you'd still have a sure-thing HoFer.

posted by hincandenza at 02:49 AM on January 09

That's interesting, but why do you imagine that Mike Piazza won't make it on the first ballot?

Historically, catchers have been overlooked by the HOF voters (only 3 catchers who finished their careers after 1965 have been voted in), and on a crowded ballot like this he might get overlooked. Throw in the fact that there are quite a few writers that think he's tainted by steroids (using the ridiculous "bacne" as evidence), and I don't think he comes close this time.

A couple of online aggregators of published ballots show that Piazza is WAY below the 75% threshold right now, so it looks like he's going to have to wait.

posted by grum@work at 08:30 AM on January 09

I think a lot of the Piazza issue is that -- and yes, what I'm about to say is ridiculous -- voters don't see him as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, especially if he would be the only inductee of the year. Watch his votes shoot up next year.

posted by Etrigan at 08:56 AM on January 09

voters don't see him as a first-ballot Hall of Famer

This is the thing that needs to be killed off. It's painful, like the rules of an hidebound European court of yore, what does it mean to be voted in in year 1, what does it mean to be unanimous, etc, etc. It assigns a great deal of insight and intent to sportswriters from the early half of the 20th century, a group that may not deserve such reverence.

posted by yerfatma at 10:16 AM on January 09

And the nine people who filed blank ballots should all be removed from the voting process.

posted by yerfatma at 12:13 PM on January 09

Pardon my ignorance but why isn't Donnie Baseball going to get in?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:25 PM on January 09

Because he doesn't really make the cut: he was good for a long time, but he was great for a shorter period of time than the usual Hall of Famer (with all caveats about Veteran's Committee inductees, etc).

posted by yerfatma at 12:55 PM on January 09

Well, 0 voted in today.

Next year it won't be zero, simply because history's greatest monster will get elected for sure.

posted by grum@work at 02:16 PM on January 09

A related article on yerfatma's link was this one, "Will Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens ever get into the Hall of Fame?" is a good read; its analysis that the most strident anti-PED crowd might be the younger voters, which means we can't even bank on the grumpy oldsters dying off and being replaced by less calcified people- the Veteran's committee might be the only hope for these two. I also find the comments particularly interesting, because writer Tom Verducci was quoted as saying he might consider Bagwell in the future, but not this year because he was basically too vocally "pro body building", and he finds it inconceivable he wasn't doping... with no real evidence to support that other than Bagwell hiring someone to help him train and his unwillingness to jump on the anti-PED bandwagon like a good little soldier.

Despicable. As far as I'm concerned, excluding Bonds and Clemens- as much as we may dislike them- nullifies the entire Hall of Fame as an institution.

The really, really baffling part to me is that even if you somehow ignore the all-time records and statistical accomplishments, you have this: Clemens won 7 Cy Young awards (and an MVP), while Bonds won 7 MVP awards. In both cases, those awards are voted on by the BBWAA... the same people responsible for the HoF ballots. How on earth do they reconcile giving the award out so many times- including 4 for Clemens and 3 for Bonds before 2001... and then deciding these people weren't in fact HoF worthy?

posted by hincandenza at 05:18 PM on January 09

Clemens won 7 Cy Young awards (and an MVP), while Bonds won 7 MVP awards. In both cases, those awards are voted on by the BBWAA... the same people responsible for the HoF ballots. How on earth do they reconcile giving the award out so many times- including 4 for Clemens and 3 for Bonds before 2001... and then deciding these people weren't in fact HoF worthy?

It sorta smacks of retribution, doesn't it? These same writers feel like they were duped into awarding Clemens his Cy Youngs and Bonds his MVPs, so now they are going to teach them a lesson about putting one over on the BBWAA. Of course, for that retribution to be legitimate, they would need to claim that they didn't believe then what they believe now. And whether they now believe the two were juicing or not, I'm willing to bet that the majority of them believed that same thing throughout the 2000s.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:16 PM on January 09

Roger Clemens responds: Muchie Peachie.

posted by justgary at 06:32 PM on January 09

In both cases, those awards are voted on by the BBWAA... the same people responsible for the HoF ballots. How on earth do they reconcile giving the award out so many times- including 4 for Clemens and 3 for Bonds before 2001... and then deciding these people weren't in fact HoF worthy?

Doesn't seem hard to reconcile to me. Writers gave them awards before their steroid abuse came to light, while baseball was still happily ignoring the 'roid problem.

posted by rcade at 06:45 PM on January 09

I'm going to assume the 16 votes for Sandy Alomar Jr. are a bunch of early-onset-dementia 60+ year olds who confused him with his brother.

posted by grum@work at 06:52 PM on January 09

not this year because he was basically too vocally "pro body building", and he finds it inconceivable he wasn't doping

posted by yerfatma at 07:22 PM on January 09

Muchie Peachie

That is a sex act. I would describe it in detail, but this is a family website.

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:23 PM on January 09

Writers gave them awards before their steroid abuse came to light, while baseball was writers were still happily ignoring the 'roid problem.

FTFY

posted by grum@work at 07:46 PM on January 09

Bad fix. I had writers in mind too.

posted by rcade at 09:08 PM on January 09

Because he doesn't really make the cut: he was good for a long time, but he was great for a shorter period of time than the usual Hall of Famer (with all caveats about Veteran's Committee inductees, etc).

I invoke the Kirby Puckett argument (with all the usual caveats about neither belonging in the HoF, etc.)

posted by Whizbang at 09:42 PM on January 09

Here is a list of players that will be on next year's ballot:

Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Tom Glavine
Jeff Kent
Greg Maddux
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Jack Morris
Mike Mussina
Rafael Palmeiro
Mike Piazza
Tim Raines
Curt Schilling
Sammy Sosa
Frank Thomas
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

Now pick only 10 of them.

And now remember there will be voters who will pick less than 10, and some that will pick zero (or players not on this list).

posted by grum@work at 11:07 PM on January 09

I invoke the Kirby Puckett argument

Wow, they're pretty darn similar (Puckett, Donnie Baseball): good players, good defense, relatively short careers (in a Hall of Fame sense) and admired by the media, but I think Puckett's candidacy was wind-aided, the eye injury that ended his career seemed so unfair the voters rewarded him with a trip to Natty Bumppo's old stomping grounds.

posted by yerfatma at 09:04 AM on January 10

All we ask for is consistency, right Jon Heyman?

posted by yerfatma at 09:53 AM on January 10

and some that will pick zero (or players not on this list).

Don't worry, Greg will punish those foolish enough to do so. Severely.

To me, one of the interesting problems this creates is a permanent backlog of guys, assuming that the voters continue to not vote in people from the Steroids Era (which I think they might). Not just in the case of Bonds/Clemens, but in a bunch of other guys who might be borderline/weak candidates who get stuck behind a bunch of great candidates who were earlier excluded.

posted by Bonkers at 10:26 AM on January 10

"So why not Piazza, who, though consistently suspected of using steroids, never tested positive and wasn't named in the Mitchell Report? I, apparently like many others, feel I need more time and more information before I cast my vote for Piazza."

Is he going to get popped on a positive drug test in the next 10 years?

posted by yerfatma at 11:16 AM on January 10

Puckett's candidacy was wind-aided, the eye injury that ended his career seemed so unfair the voters rewarded him with a trip to Natty Bumppo's old stomping grounds.

It definitely removed most of Puckett's tail-end of his career, where his numbers wouldn't be so good. He'll basically be remembered for only his good years.

posted by grum@work at 11:24 AM on January 10

yerfatma:

It seems that Piazza's book is coming out this spring. All of the writers are hoping there is some admission of guilt/PED in there.

posted by grum@work at 11:26 AM on January 10

Maybe the time has come to take the voting out of the hands of the media and have the Hall of Fame have its own committee. The media seem to be a bit too full of themselves and too opinionated (based on their own dealings with and opinions on various players and issues).

If it is a Hall of Fame, then I'm fine with nobody getting in certain years and having standards that must be upheld. If it's a museum then its not right keeping major figures in the history of the game out.

posted by dyams at 12:32 PM on January 10

"So why not Piazza, who, though consistently suspected of using steroids, never tested positive and wasn't named in the Mitchell Report?"

IIRC, the only people who were named in the Mitchell Report were those dumb enough to write checks in their own name to PED suppliers. Which is why it wasn't an overwhelmingly amazing list of people named in it.

posted by Bonkers at 12:34 PM on January 10

have the Hall of Fame have its own committee

That hasn't worked so well in the past. Why would changing the people involved inherently change the result? Much as I'm unhappy with the hand-wringing, putting the vote in the players' hands hasn't worked well and putting it in the hands of a selected committee (who picks that membership) doesn't seem like it would be better. Maybe different, but not better.

posted by yerfatma at 12:43 PM on January 10

Seeing someone place a vote for Aaron Sele (a guy with 148 wins, a 4.61 ERA, never a 20 win or 200 K season) seems to be a great example that the current system is a problem,

posted by dyams at 01:30 PM on January 10

I don't think outliers are a problem. It was one vote. The person who cast it knew with absolute certainty that Sele wouldn't be inducted. If I was a voter, I'd contemplate doing that occasionally for players who were worthy of recognition for less quantitative reasons.

posted by rcade at 01:36 PM on January 10

I don't think outliers are a problem. It was one vote. The person who cast it knew with absolute certainty that Sele wouldn't be inducted. If I was a voter, I'd contemplate doing that occasionally for players who were worthy for less quantitative reasons.

Normally, that's not a problem. There usually aren't enough good choices for the ballot worry about wasting a pick.

However, this vote had at least 10 names that were legitimate HOF candidates. By throwing away a vote, you are replacing one legitimate candidate with an unworthy one, and that might be the difference between election or not (or even making the 5% barrier to stay on the ballot).

posted by grum@work at 02:08 PM on January 10

Sounds to me more like someone voting with their own personal agenda, probably due to his own like of Sele (in this case). In other words, a voter with a certain power, making a sham of the process. The fact it was just one vote isn't really the point. What it seems to point out is a lack of any real criteria these guys are following or adhering to.

posted by dyams at 02:12 PM on January 10

Did anyone point out Heyman's self-contradiction to him? That's just unbelievable b.s.

I think the BBWAA should not be involved with the voting of either the HoF or the regular season awards. It made sense when the writers were about the only ones who watched every game in the season (at least for their team) and would be as knowledgeable as anyone could be. But in this era of MLB.tv and sportscenter, the dedicated layperson has as good a grasp on the players as any writer, and in some cases far more. Despite my vocal issues with WAR, I still think the folks at fangraphs and the like are vastly more knowledgeable and attentive to the game than most any BBWAA member. The sabermetric community watches more games, analyzes more data, and compares players with far more level-headedness than just about anyone with a byline.

Granted, I'm aware that we can't very well replace who votes for the MVP since it's actually awarded by the BBWAA itself (it is not an MLB award), unless a new official MVP, Cy Young, etc award was instituted by MLB, and voted on by the players/coaches (and possibly with fan votes as well). However, MLB has no particular incentive to do this- and neither does the HoF, which could change this in a heartbeat but has no reason or motivation to do so.

I'm still a big fan of the Bill Simmons idea of a "Pyramid Hall of Fame". In such a structure, you are recognizing that the almosts can still have their place, on the lowest level, but the real voting is "how do we arrange the biggest stars?" I'd even argue that this pyramid should include every player ever, a true archive of the game... but the minor players get merely a small plaque listing their key accomplishments, almost like an oversized baseball card on the wall listing "Archibald 'Moonlight' Graham". The biggest luminaries have full blown busts or niches covering their careers, at the apex of the Pyramid where there's the least space and it's the most exclusive.

The biggest downside to a pyramid is growth (you can't really expand it vertically over time, like adding a simple wing), but you could make it horizontal, a triangle layout on the ground, where you snake through it like an Ikea, working your way back and forth through the triangle. The Ruths and Williams and those types would be at the very end, the "apex", while most players would be nearer to the base. And if every player who ever suited up got at least a small plaque, fans could show up to visit their team's best stars who weren't really "hall worthy" by our current metric. Seattle fans could show up to see the small plaque for Jay Buhner, or the medium-sized plaque for Edgar Martinez. And even with the vote yesterday, Bonds and Clemens would have a place in the Pyramid of Fame, because whatever the current fickle mood of the journalism hacks known as the BBWAA, those two played the game for years and were very much a part fo the history of baseball.

Like Simmons' idea, the players would be nicely sorted alphabetically or by year of retirement as you wind through the hallways, easy to find. In addition, we could group players by their vote totals- so the Aaron Seles would be sorted alphabetically in the first sections, but those getting 25% or 50% would be found in a block further in. Or maybe it's all just alphabetical for those who didn't merit 75%, but their vote total would impact the size of their plaque (a small, medium, large kind of thing).

And if you pass that magical 75% induction threshold, you get much more of a display than a small plaque... and if you are say in the 90%+ or 95%+ range on your votes, you get a full niche in the wall, with a bust and lovely photographs and jerseys etc, commemorating your life in baseball. This way, the voters aren't saying "He's worthy of the hall", they're saying "Here's how worthy we think he is- a solid star, but not one of the greatest lights ever".

And ideally, just leave the BBWAA out of it- but even if you don't, then the vote would be a one-time deal at the 5-year mark when players are eligible, so these "I don't vote on the first ballot" voters would have no excuse. You either vote or you don't, and every player gets into the "Hall"- you're just voting on where they would rank. The spiteful voters could at best relegate Bonds to "just a regular plaque", and then the Veteran's committee would exist to have the option to "reassess" a player's impact over time. The Veteran's committee could take a more measured approach where, removed from the media silliness, they'd actually be able to move a player down, or up when they acknowledge in 10 years that leaving a player like Bonds on a small plaque a few corridors down from Aaron Sele in the first section- when he holds or is close to most of the major offensive marks in the game's history- is pure insanity, and vote to promote him to a more inner sanctum location with a proper bust and display.

posted by hincandenza at 03:59 PM on January 10

Curt Shilling came out with something of a "mea culpa", saying words to the effect that he and the rest of the players in that era could have done something about the problem, but chose not to do so. As a result, they are now paying a price. He also included the owners, fans, and media in the fault-finding. Whether this is sincere or a ploy to exact some sympathy for next year's balloting is up to your judgment of Curt Schilling.

posted by Howard_T at 04:44 PM on January 10

As bad as the BBWAA voting has been in the past, the Veteran's Committee is even worse on deciding who gets in. While the BBWAA might keep some worthy ones out, the VC has added some of the worst players in the HOF (Lloyd Waner, Rube Marquard, Dave Bancroft).

posted by grum@work at 05:18 PM on January 10

If the Hall is going to stick to their beliefs and continue to keep players the caliber of Bonds and Clemens out, then baseball should consider not recognizing records such as the season and career HR marks Bonds holds, as well as Clemens' Cy Young awards. It feels really hollow having such records continuing to stand yet the players who hold them not recognized in Cooperstown.

posted by dyams at 05:39 PM on January 10

What?

Because a bunch of writers make a decision, baseball should rewrite their record books?

That's...an odd idea.

Everyone knows Pete Rose holds the record for hits in a career, but he's not in the HOF. Yet, somehow, nothing is wrong with that record.

posted by grum@work at 08:18 PM on January 10

hincandeza, I love the Pyramid of Fame idea, expanded to everyone. It'd be like an organized tour of the old fashioned Baseball Encyclopedia.* The context would be so much richer--what was a career like in the Thirties? The Seventies? That'd give you a chance to compare Bonds with, say, Hank Greenberg, or George Foster--a true education in baseball history.

* I'm in my forties. Was my generation the last to spend long, rainy afternoons flipping back and forth through that kind of physical book, digging into the obscure stories buried in its pages? Probably not. I hope not.

posted by Uncle Toby at 08:36 PM on January 10

The context would be so much richer--what was a career like in the Thirties? The Seventies? That'd give you a chance to compare Bonds with, say, Hank Greenberg, or George Foster--a true education in baseball history.

If you want to know about that sort of thing, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. It covers every decade of major league (and some minor league) baseball (1850-2000) and it is chock full of details that really enrich your understanding of the sport.

I tend to read it cover-to-cover about once every 16 months or so.

posted by grum@work at 08:54 PM on January 10

Grum; my comment has more to do with the players being held out of the Hall because of their use of performance enhancers. It seems the common belief is that these records exist due to cheating, or gaining an unfair advantage. There has to be some level of alignment between what takes place on a major league field and what is recognized in its Hall of Fame. Otherwise I can't help feelng it all looks stupid.

For the record, I feel players like Bonds, Clemens, and Rose should be in the Hall. Sosa and McGwire, no, only because I don't feel their all-around game warrants enshrinement.

posted by dyams at 05:40 AM on January 11

Otherwise I can't help feelng it all looks stupid.

Sure, but it's the writers who look stupid. I'm not sure why baseball should do something to placate the writers just because a group of them are acting illogical about it.

If a player failed a test (Ramirez, Palmeiro), or cheated (Gaylord Perry), or broke THE most important rule in the game (Rose), then I don't have a problem with the writers deciding they can't induct them into the hall of fame.

But to arbitrarily decide that some players MIGHT have used now-illegal drugs (Clemens, Bonds, Piazza, Bagwell) but never failed a test can't go in, while ignoring the all the players from the 1960s/1970s who have used amps (Mays) or even steroids (Mantle)...

Ludicrous.

posted by grum@work at 11:27 AM on January 11

I think Bonds and Clemens have graduated beyond "might" and into "almost certainly" territory.

posted by rcade at 12:14 PM on January 11

Bonds, I can see making that leap.

Clemens? The only proof seems to come from an ex-trainer who is also a known felon and perjurer. Remember that trial where the prosecution couldn't prove a damn thing despite all that time and effort that went into it?

posted by grum@work at 12:42 PM on January 11

I think Andy Pettitte was telling the truth when he originally testified that Clemens confided in him about using HGH during a workout in 1999 or 2000. I think the physical evidence provided by Brian McNamee -- needles and cotton swaps containing Clemens' DNA and steroids -- is persuasive. As for deficiencies in McNamee's character, that could be said of anyone sketchy enough to help athletes 'roid up.

But mostly I don't care any more. When steroids blew up baseball, I shifted my interest to the new generation of players. I'd be happy to see all the suspected 'roiders kept out of the Hall of Fame forever. Let that era shrink into obscurity like their testicles.

posted by rcade at 02:20 PM on January 11

I'd be happy to see all the suspected 'roiders kept out of the Hall of Fame forever.

Even if it keeps out players for which there is no proof of steroids? Like Piazza, Bagwell, and Sosa?

posted by grum@work at 02:53 PM on January 11

No. But the whole era is so tainted I'd rather look forward.

posted by rcade at 03:43 PM on January 11

But... why? You've made this claim many times, but I've never understood what the difference is between HGH or the clear, and say coffee, or amphetamines, or even Tommy John surgery? And since MLB didn't ban these players (unlike Rose), why should we pretend that a decade on the field didn't even happen? You can "look forward" all you want, but that doesn't change the past, and the Hall of Fame is partly a museum of baseball's history.

Besides, in the case of drugs such as HGH and the clear, they weren't even illegal and/or banned by baseball at the time of their alleged use by some of these HoF caliber players. So what, exactly, are you looking forward from? Forgetting even the compelling "greenies" argument that should pull people like Aaron, Mantle, and Mays out of the Hall among others... we know for an absolute, incontrovertible fact that there is a specific player that has already been voted into the Hall of Fame who:

  • Took steroids for most of the years he played
  • Was an acknowledged, confirmed, habitual steroid user
  • Unlike most, this player can be proven to have achieved his greatness because of steroids- meaning, it is unquestionable and absolute that without steroids, this player would never have compiled his career numbers, and thus would not be in the Hall of Fame
Do you support removing this player from the Hall of Fame? If not, and if this player remains in the Hall, then why exclude Bonds and Clemens about whom we can't even make the same case- since at worst, pre-2000 Bonds and Clemens were already HoF caliber, and even if they'd retired in 2000 and never taken any PEDs they'd likely still be first-ballot shoo-ins?

posted by hincandenza at 07:09 PM on January 11

since at worst, pre-2000 Bonds and Clemens were already HoF caliber, and even if they'd retired in 2000 and never taken any PEDs they'd likely still be first-ballot shoo-ins?

"What about all those banks I didn't rob?"

(I am not drawing a moral equivalence between taking PEDs and robbing banks. I'm just saying that "Well, they weren't always cheating..." is a bad line to draw.)

posted by Etrigan at 08:28 PM on January 11

You've made this claim many times, but I've never understood what the difference is between HGH or the clear, and say coffee, or amphetamines, or even Tommy John surgery?

I think you greatly trivialize the effects of performance-enhancing drugs like HGH by comparing them to coffee. I don't know the extent of amphetamine use. The few allegations I see are poorly sourced and date back many decades.

As for Tommy John surgery, what the hell?

posted by rcade at 09:33 PM on January 11

As for Tommy John surgery, what the hell?

Instead of Tommy John surgery, how about Lasik eye surgery?

That's definitely a performance enhancement.

posted by grum@work at 01:19 AM on January 12

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