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In Which We Have Talking Points
Posted: 09 January 2013 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Let’s look at the history of the Baseball Writers.  Babe Ruth was not a unanimous selection.  Ty Cobb was not a unanimous selection.  Yogi Berra was not a first ballot hall of fame inductee.

From the perspective of 3/4 of a century having past, the fact that Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth were not unanimous selections is indeed ridiculous. But people tend to forget that in that first election, held in 1936, the voters were considering players from the entire history of the game up to that point. Sure Cobb and Ruth stood taller than most, but they weren’t the only all-time greats up for election, far from it. Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson also were elected, and also seemingly should have been unanimous choices. But then they had to go up against other greats as well: Napolean Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, etc. That Ruth and Cobb got as many votes as they did is amazing, especially when you consider that the divide between old guard and new guard among the voters (or more to the point, Dead Ball and Live Ball) was huge. Sure they agreed that Ruth was great, but back then many still thought he ruined the game. The point being that if you gather any large number of highly opinionated people, unanimity is essentially impossible.

The Hall of Fame is an independent organization from Cooperstown, New York.  It made a conscious decision to have the baseball writers decide who gets elected because at the time it was print and not electronic media that brought attention to the business and hence attendees.  The Hall of Fame could easily pick a panel of voters to pick the inductees. 

They certainly could, and probably should. But I for one have never believed such a change would make the process any better. Working in television or new media does not make one any less biased or opinionated. Had this years voters been made up of bloggers, all I imagine would have happened is that Jack Morris would not have gotten nearly as many votes as he did. And maybe Edgar Martinez and Tim Raines would have gotten more votes, but I imagine everything else would have stayed essentially the same.

It changes its rules to fit the prejudices of the day.  How else can you explain Roberto Clemente being inducted without the five year waiting period.  How do you explain them changing the rules on induction for Pete Rose.

Rescinding the waiting period for Clemente due to his death had the precedent of Lou Gehrig. It was also done at least one other time, Thurman Munson. Though Munson of course has not been elected. It is certainly a whim on their part, but you would have to be a heartless ghoul to get upset about it.

And Rose of course was banned for life, and that has precedence too, with Joe Jackson and the rest of the Black Sox.

If in the future any other player who was at least eligible for consideration were to die, or to be banned for life, the same measures would no doubt apply. We can agree or not, but they have been consistent.

They honor the Negro League by voting in white team owners and executives yet leave out Buck O’Neil. 

The Hall’s history regarding the Negro Leagues is shameful. Buck O’Neil being left out being the latest chapter in that history. Though they have done a lot in recent years to rectify that. Inducting O’Neil would be another step left to go.

Bonds and Clemons were the greatest players of their era.  If that is not the standard then just shut it down.

All things being equal, this is obviously true. But a blanket statement like that ignores the 800 lb gorilla in the room. The issue of PED’s is the most divisive issue in the Hall’s history. And it is just not the HOF voters divided by this issue. Just read the forums here on JTJ and you will see that consensus as to what to do with steroids era players is not likely going to occur any time soon.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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dui_attorney - 09 January 2013 02:53 PM

It’s total BS that the writers have this much pull.  Here’s an interesting article about this year’s vote total.

Let’s look at the history of the Baseball Writers.  Babe Ruth was not a unanimous selection.  Ty Cobb was not a unanimous selection.  Yogi Berra was not a first ballot hall of fame inductee.

The Hall of Fame is an independent organization from Cooperstown, New York.  It made a conscious decision to have the baseball writers decide who gets elected because at the time it was print and not electronic media that brought attention to the business and hence attendees.  The Hall of Fame could easily pick a panel of voters to pick the inductees.  It changes its rules to fit the prejudices of the day.  How else can you explain Roberto Clemente being inducted without the five year waiting period.  How do you explain them changing the rules on induction for Pete Rose.

They honor the Negro League by voting in white team owners and executives yet leave out Buck O’Neil.  Bonds and Clemons were the greatest players of their era.  If that is not the standard then just shut it down.  I don’t accept that character argument.  If it were really an issue, the syphilitic whore monger Babe Ruth, the racist “baseball gambling” Ty Cobb, the alcoholic womanizer Mickey Mantle or the flagrant cheat Gaylord Perry. 

The voters jerked around and did not elect Ron Santo until he was no longer around to enjoy the honor.  Harold Baines is not a member because he was 134 hits shy of 3000.  So if he had five extra hits a year he’s immortal, but because he didn’t he’s just a mere mortal?

I especially admire how these writers gin up outrage and then act so self righteous and condescending in its aftermath.  Are we going to go back to the athletes from the 60s, 70s and 80s who were taking amphetamines to be able to perform?  Let’s remember baseball did not have any penalties for using steroids until 2003.

Harold Baines only received 4.8 percent of the vote in 2011, eliminating him from the ballot, even though he had the second most hits of any player on the 2011 ballot. Baines was 7th in HR’s and was 2nd in RBI among players on the 2011 ballot. Baines only received 28 votes while steroid users Mark McGwire collected 115 votes, Rafael Palmeiro 64 and Juan Gonzalez 30 votes for a total of 109 votes. I am sure Baines lost a lot of votes, because he was a DH for most of the last 15 years of his career. He won no MVP’s, Gold Gloves but did play in six All-Star games.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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rt6970 - 09 January 2013 03:32 PM

Let’s look at the history of the Baseball Writers.  Babe Ruth was not a unanimous selection.  Ty Cobb was not a unanimous selection.  Yogi Berra was not a first ballot hall of fame inductee.

From the perspective of 3/4 of a century having past, the fact that Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth were not unanimous selections is indeed ridiculous. But people tend to forget that in that first election, held in 1936, the voters were considering players from the entire history of the game up to that point. Sure Cobb and Ruth stood taller than most, but they weren’t the only all-time greats up for election, far from it. Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson also were elected, and also seemingly should have been unanimous choices. But then they had to go up against other greats as well: Napolean Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, etc. That Ruth and Cobb got as many votes as they did is amazing, especially when you consider that the divide between old guard and new guard among the voters (or more to the point, Dead Ball and Live Ball) was huge. Sure they agreed that Ruth was great, but back then many still thought he ruined the game. The point being that if you gather any large number of highly opinionated people, unanimity is essentially impossible.

The Hall of Fame is an independent organization from Cooperstown, New York.  It made a conscious decision to have the baseball writers decide who gets elected because at the time it was print and not electronic media that brought attention to the business and hence attendees.  The Hall of Fame could easily pick a panel of voters to pick the inductees. 

They certainly could, and probably should. But I for one have never believed such a change would make the process any better. Working in television or new media does not make one any less biased or opinionated. Had this years voters been made up of bloggers, all I imagine would have happened is that Jack Morris would not have gotten nearly as many votes as he did. And maybe Edgar Martinez and Tim Raines would have gotten more votes, but I imagine everything else would have stayed essentially the same.

It changes its rules to fit the prejudices of the day.  How else can you explain Roberto Clemente being inducted without the five year waiting period.  How do you explain them changing the rules on induction for Pete Rose.

Rescinding the waiting period for Clemente due to his death had the precedent of Lou Gehrig. It was also done at least one other time, Thurman Munson. Though Munson of course has not been elected. It is certainly a whim on their part, but you would have to be a heartless ghoul to get upset about it.

And Rose of course was banned for life, and that has precedence too, with Joe Jackson and the rest of the Black Sox.

If in the future any other player who was at least eligible for consideration were to die, or to be banned for life, the same measures would no doubt apply. We can agree or not, but they have been consistent.

They honor the Negro League by voting in white team owners and executives yet leave out Buck O’Neil. 

The Hall’s history regarding the Negro Leagues is shameful. Buck O’Neil being left out being the latest chapter in that history. Though they have done a lot in recent years to rectify that. Inducting O’Neil would be another step left to go.

Bonds and Clemons were the greatest players of their era.  If that is not the standard then just shut it down.

All things being equal, this is obviously true. But a blanket statement like that ignores the 800 lb gorilla in the room. The issue of PED’s is the most divisive issue in the Hall’s history. And it is just not the HOF voters divided by this issue. Just read the forums here on JTJ and you will see that consensus as to what to do with steroids era players is not likely going to occur any time soon.

You got that right about the PED’s being the 800 pound gorilla. This will be most boring Hall of Fame induction ceremony ever. I visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 and it is a sad day, to know there won’t be any new members from the last 50 or 60 years inducted in July.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Looking at the percentages, here’s a list of those who may make it in the future:

Craig Biggio 68.2%
Jack Morris 67.7%
Jeff Bagwell 59.6%
Mike Piazza 57.8%
Tim Raines 52.2%

In the past, anyone getting 50% or more is usually a gaurantee of future election. I’d like to add Lee Smith (47.8%) to that list.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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, to know there won’t be any new members from the last 50 or 60 years inducted in July

The guys on the ballot aren’t quite that old, more like 25 to 35 years. Only 4 players on the ballot played in the 70’s, Trammell, Raines, Morris and Murphy. And even then they only go back as far as 1976, which was Murphy’s rookie year. Trammell and Morris came up in 1977. Raines had a cup of coffee at the end of 1979.

Looking at the percentages, here’s a list of those who may make it in the future:

Craig Biggio 68.2%
Jack Morris 67.7%
Jeff Bagwell 59.6%
Mike Piazza 57.8%
Tim Raines 52.2%

In the past, anyone getting 50% or more is usually a gaurantee of future election. I’d like to add Lee Smith (47.8%) to that list.

It looks good for Biggio, and Bagwell was helped by Biggio being on the ballot. But Morris did not gain any ground, and next years ballot, his last, will be even more stuffed. And this time more pitchers will be on the ballot, guys like Maddux and Glavine, who didn’t need to pitch to the score like Morris supposedly did, because they pitched to shut down the opposition. Piazza seems in good position, but Raines and Smith seem stalled.

[ Edited: 09 January 2013 04:59 PM by rt6970 ]
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Posted: 09 January 2013 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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I heard on NPR this afternoon that no one has gotten over 50% and not made the HOF. That’s what I based my opinion on. Of course, there’s a first time for everthing.

You’re right about Maddux and Glavine, but I still think that Lee Smith needs to get in.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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RT I agree with your post with the exception of Pete Rose and Joe Jackson.  At the time that Pete Rose took his lifetime ban, there was no prohibition against his being inducted into the hall.  Since his ban the writers and hall have changed their rules twice.  The first was to make anyone on the ban list to be ineligible for hall induction.  The second was to change the rule so that his time to earn votes will have passed should hell freeze over and Bud Selig rescind the lifetime ban.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Sorry, but I’m not convinced Bonds was already HOF worthy before he started juicing.

His stats from earlier in his career, while very good, I wouldn’t necessarily consider them HOF worthy.

And who’s to say his abilities wouldn’t have diminished later in his career if he hadn’t started juicing?

Clemens though, I would agree was HOF worthy before steroids.

However, since both continue to deny any wrongdoing, fuck ‘em.

If they had come clean at the beginning, then maybe there wouldn’t be any debate now.

There should be no debate whatsoever about Sosa. He is not HOF worthy and never will be IMO. If it weren’t for ‘roids, he’d wouldn’t have been that great of a player.

[ Edited: 09 January 2013 09:29 PM by TomD ]
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Posted: 09 January 2013 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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rt6970 - 09 January 2013 04:55 PM

, to know there won’t be any new members from the last 50 or 60 years inducted in July

The guys on the ballot aren’t quite that old, more like 25 to 35 years. Only 4 players on the ballot played in the 70’s, Trammell, Raines, Morris and Murphy. And even then they only go back as far as 1976, which was Murphy’s rookie year. Trammell and Morris came up in 1977. Raines had a cup of coffee at the end of 1979.

Looking at the percentages, here’s a list of those who may make it in the future:

Craig Biggio 68.2%
Jack Morris 67.7%
Jeff Bagwell 59.6%
Mike Piazza 57.8%
Tim Raines 52.2%

In the past, anyone getting 50% or more is usually a gaurantee of future election. I’d like to add Lee Smith (47.8%) to that list.

It looks good for Biggio, and Bagwell was helped by Biggio being on the ballot. But Morris did not gain any ground, and next years ballot, his last, will be even more stuffed. And this time more pitchers will be on the ballot, guys like Maddux and Glavine, who didn’t need to pitch to the score like Morris supposedly did, because they pitched to shut down the opposition. Piazza seems in good position, but Raines and Smith seem stalled.

I see Morris probably getting even less votes in 2014, with Gregg Maddux having 101 more wins than Morris leading him 355-254 and Mike Mussina with 270 wins having 16 more wins than Morris. Tom Glavine with 305 wins has 51 more wins than Morris. Why would a writer vote for Morris, when three other pitchers have more wins and if you include a fourth pitcher Roger Clemens who has 100 more wins than Morris?

Morris is 743rd on the lifetime ERA list at 3.90. What makes Morris Hall of Fame worthy with an ERA that high? I would vote for Curt Schilling or John Smoltz before voting for Morris, even though they had fewer wins. I agree that Mike Piazza is in a good place, when considering he is the best hitting catcher in major league history. Piazza wasn’t picked till the 62nd round of the 1988 amateur draft and was the 1,390th pick, with only five players drafted after Piazza. Piazza hit .300 or higher 10 times during his career and hammered 427 homers in 16 seasons. Compare that to Carlton Fisk who hit 376 home runs in 24 seasons and Johnny Bench who hit 379 in 17 seasons. Piazza hit .308 during his career.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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TomD - 09 January 2013 07:12 PM

Sorry, but I’m not convinced Bonds was already HOF worthy before he started juicing.

His stats from earlier in his career, while very good, I wouldn’t necessarily them HOF worthy.

And who’s to say his abilities wouldn’t have diminished later in his career if he hadn’t started juicing?

Clemens though, I would agree was HOF worthy before steroids.

However, since both continue to deny any wrongdoing, fuck ‘em.

If they had come clean at the beginning, then maybe there wouldn’t be any debate now.

There should be no debate whatsoever about Sosa. He is not HOF worthy and never will be IMO. If it weren’t for ‘roids, he’d wouldn’t have been that great of a player.

The career of Bonds was going downhill the four seasons before the steroids kicked in with 42-40-37 and 34 home runs in those four seasons. Then the next five seasons he mysteriously regained his power stroke with seasons of 49-73-46-45 and 45 home runs. Bonds had a career high BA of .336 before 2002. Then in 2002 hit career highs for next three seasons of .370, .341 and .362. Bonds won his 3rd MVP in 1993 and wouldn’t win another MVP until the steroid years when he won MVP’s in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Things really got crazy for Bonds in 2001 with a .515 OBP, .863 SLG and 1.379 OPS. 2004 was just as crazy with 232 walks, with 120 intentional walks. To show how crazy it was to have 120 intentional walks is evidenced by Joey Votto and Prince Fielder leading the NL and AL in 2012 with 18 intentional walks.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 08:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Niteowl049 - 09 January 2013 08:03 PM

TomD - 09 January 2013 07:12 PM
Sorry, but I’m not convinced Bonds was already HOF worthy before he started juicing.

His stats from earlier in his career, while very good, I wouldn’t necessarily them HOF worthy.

And who’s to say his abilities wouldn’t have diminished later in his career if he hadn’t started juicing?

Clemens though, I would agree was HOF worthy before steroids.

However, since both continue to deny any wrongdoing, fuck ‘em.

If they had come clean at the beginning, then maybe there wouldn’t be any debate now.

There should be no debate whatsoever about Sosa. He is not HOF worthy and never will be IMO. If it weren’t for ‘roids, he’d wouldn’t have been that great of a player.

The career of Bonds was going downhill the four seasons before the steroids kicked in with 42-40-37 and 34 home runs in those four seasons. Then the next five seasons he mysteriously regained his power stroke with seasons of 49-73-46-45 and 45 home runs. Bonds had a career high BA of .336 before 2002. Then in 2002 hit career highs for next three seasons of .370, .341 and .362. Bonds won his 3rd MVP in 1993 and wouldn’t win another MVP until the steroid years when he won MVP’s in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Got tired of TV analysts talking about Bonds winning 7 MVP’s when he actually won without steroids only 3 times.

Things really got crazy for Bonds in 2001 with a .515 OBP, .863 SLG and 1.379 OPS. 2004 was just as crazy with 232 walks, with 120 intentional walks. To show how crazy it was to have 120 intentional walks is evidenced by Joey Votto and Prince Fielder leading the NL and AL in 2012 with 18 intentional walks.

[ Edited: 09 January 2013 09:11 PM by BigBadBill ]
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Posted: 09 January 2013 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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See above, say amen.

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Posted: 09 January 2013 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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BigBadBill - 09 January 2013 09:11 PM

See above, say amen.

Bill...some voters said they vote only on performance, explaining why Bonds received so many votes. Everyone won’t agree with me, but I think a cheater should not be voted into the Hall of Fame period. Those that waited to vote for Bonds next year should only help his vote totals in 2014. Still can’t believe that Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal didn’t vote for Biggio. The 3,000 hits and him having the most doubles of any righthanded hitter in the history of baseball is all I need to know about Biggio.

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Posted: 10 January 2013 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Also, Biggio, as has been noted, was a Cubs killer. He’ll get in.

BTW, this has been the best, on point, thread I’ve seen in years. Thanks everyone.

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Posted: 10 January 2013 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Current HOFers are pleased by this.

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