Hall of Fame Ballot for 2016 Enshrinement

E5 Yaz

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I've probably ranted this particular rant before, but I really don't see how Piazza makes it in and Bagwell doesn't. Can somebody explain this to me?
He gets bonus points for playing a more difficult defensive position. Or, at least that's how I've always thought it was about. Plus, he spent the bulk of his career in the limelight in LA and NY.
 

mjm3773

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I've probably ranted this particular rant before, but I really don't see how Piazza makes it in and Bagwell doesn't. Can somebody explain this to me?
I feel like I've replied to this rant before, too, but I may as well do it again.

To start off, they both clearly belong in the HoF. But if I had to order my ballot, I would put in Piazza before Bagwell.

As to why, I think it is fairly unarguable that Piazza is clearly the greatest offensive catcher in MLB history (although not baseball history - that would still be a Josh Gibson). Now of course the supposed drawback to Piazza is his "defense." Admittedly, Piazza had a weeK arm. But all of the other aspects of his defense (game-calling, pitch and plate blocking) were average-plus. In fact Max Marchi of Baseball Prospectus a couple of years ago quantified catchers' effect on game-calling going back to 1948 (the earliest the retrosheet play by play data went) and determined that Piazza was actually the 4th best catcher over that time at saving runs via game-calling (Fisk was 5th):

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16199

I also give catchers a 50% bonus in terms of WAR, etc. because Dan Rosenheck found that over the courses of their careers, due to the demands of the position, catchers actually end up with, on average, 57% fewer plate appearances over the course of their careers than other position players.

Put this all together and I think Piazza is one of the top 5 catchers ever in MLB, with a reasonable argument for number one if you believe the game-calling numbers.

As for Bagwell, in addition to being an outstanding hitter, he was a fantastic defender at 1b and an excellent baser runner as well. But in the pantheon of all-time 1b, I would put him behind Gehrig, Pujols, Foxx and adjusting for era and schedule, the ABC boys (Anson, Brouthers and Connor) of the 19th century. He'd be in the next group with a fully war-credited Johnny Mize and Hank Greeenberg.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I also give catchers a 50% bonus in terms of WAR, etc. because Dan Rosenheck found that over the courses of their careers, due to the demands of the position, catchers actually end up with, on average, 57% fewer plate appearances over the course of their careers than other position players.
I'm guessing you don't line up with soxfan121 on the question of closers.

Put this all together and I think Piazza is one of the top 5 catchers ever in MLB, with a reasonable argument for number one if you believe the game-calling numbers.
fWAR has him at #6, behind Bench, Carter, Pudges 1 and 2, and Berra. Obviously that needs to be taken with several tons of salt, since the defensive component there is open to question, to put it mildly. Ten years ago it was fashionable to diss Piazza's D; now it's fashionable to rehabilitate it. Regardless, Piazza is certainly a top-10 and at least a borderline top-5 catcher all-time, and he belongs in the Hall.

I would just argue that you could say exactly the same thing about Bagwell at first. He ranks 7th all-time for fWAR at 1B, but that's because Musial--who played LF for the majority of his career--sits in the #1 spot. So Bagwell really sits at #6, and that's if you accept the fairly outrageous dWAR values assigned to Connor and Anson. I can well believe that 1B defense was more important in an age of ultra-low strikeout numbers and crappy gloves than it was in the 1990s, but it still seems counterintuitive that there was a 16-win career difference in defensive value between Connor and Bagwell, a very good defensive 1B.

He'd be in the next group with a fully war-credited Johnny Mize and Hank Greeenberg.
Both of whom, one should note, are in the Hall of Fame--so Bagwell should be too, since his career was as illustrious as theirs would be if you credit them with the wins they lost to circumstances beyond their control. (And BTW, if you "war-credit" Mize and Greenberg, you should also "strike-credit" Bagwell with about 5 extra WAR for the games he lost in 1994-95, when he was at his youthful peak.)

EDIT: Thinking about this a little more, I think there are three things holding Bagwell's HoF chances back. One--the roids thing--is shared with Piazza, two are not. Those are:

(1) overcompensation for the fact that 1Bs as a group hit well. I suspect a lot of fans (and voters) tend of think of Bagwell as "just another slugging 1B", as if the woods were full of them, when in fact the woods are nowhere close to full of 1Bs of his caliber. It's almost as if the positional hit were being double-counted; I seriously suspect you could find people (maybe even including some Hall voters?) who would say "sure he has 80 WAR, but lots of first basemen rack up big numbers."

(2) a tendency to underrate guys who are really good at everything, but aren't epochally dominant at any one thing. You can make the Hall case for Piazza in eight words: he's the best hitting catcher of all time. There aren't any Twitter-friendly superlatives like that about Bagwell. Explaining how good he was is more of a long-form affair.
 
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E5 Yaz

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Now over the 33% mark of ballots counted, if you go with the 450 number that Thibs Tracker is using.

Griffey remains unblemished as of this update.

Bagwell and Raines have lost traction, meanwhile, in the latest released ballots. Both are now within the recent MOE for how the unreleased ballots affect eventual final percentages.Piazza (86.5%) still safely above the threshold. Hoffman hovering in the low 60s. No one else is close.

Interesting note of the day: Among first-time ballot filers, only 4 players were on all ballots -- Griffey, Bagwell, Raines ... and Mussina
 
Dec 21, 2015
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I went to see when results will be announced, so naturally I went to the BBWAA page. There it helpfully states:

"Results will be announced by Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2016, on MLB Network."

Jan 6th is Wednesday. Tuesday is the 5th. Good job guys - that's the attention to detail we've come to expect from BBWAA members. The HOF's website says the 6th, so I guess that's two more days of waiting.

A pity about Trammell. He was probably the best AL hitter in the original RBI Baseball (statistics based on 1984 stats, with batting average chief among them).

Aside from the bubble cases of Bagwell and Raines, the only drama this time appears to be whether Nomar gets his 5% to stay on the ballot another year - he had a huge boost from the private ballots last time around (2.4% public, 10.0% private). It's probably as much honor as he deserves that he wasn't eliminated in his first year, but it irks my Red Sox heart just a little bit that he's likely outvoted by Jim Edmonds, Jeff Kent, and possibly even by Garret friggin' Anderson.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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A pity about Trammell. He was probably the best AL hitter in the original RBI Baseball (statistics based on 1984 stats, with batting average chief among them).
Wait. What? Better than Mark McGwire? Bite your tongue!

And the stats were based on the 1986 or 87 seasons, assuming you're talking about the NES version of RBI Baseball. I can't remember about the arcade version.
 
Dec 21, 2015
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Yeah, I'm speaking of the first NES one, which apparently was released in 1986 in Japan but 1988 in the US. Looks like 1987 stats - Trammell had a .343 BA, which was pretty godly in that game. McGwire hit the ball a long way but I remember him having contact issues. Holy crap, Trammell was MVP runner-up that year? Madness.

...actually, looks like Trammell may have deserved it, too. The Tigers won the East and he led them with 8.2 WAR, massively topping the MVP winner (Toronto's George Bell) who only had 5.0. But that WAR was only good for 3rd in the AL, behind Clemens (9.4) and Boggs (8.4).

Man, from the years that Evans, Boggs, Greenwell, Rice, and Clemens had, how on earth did the Sox only win 78 games and finish 5th out of 7 that year? Pythag 83-79. Yikes, talk about a stars-and-scrubs roster.
 

E5 Yaz

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Nothing to base this on, but I'm guessing just Griffey and Piazza get in ... with Bagwell close (within 10 votes) and Raines just below 70%
 

grimshaw

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So let me try and crack the HoF closer code while I get myself irrationally wound up up over Hoffman's legitimate (by the numbers) candidacy.

I hate closers in the Hall in general, though Wilhelm, Gossage, Fingers and Rivera would all get my vote. Wilhelm and Gossage because they dwarfed the innings totals of typical closers with higher save totals. Wilhelm, for instance threw over 2200 innings (and 50 WAR) which more than doubled Sutter, as well as candidates Wagner, Smith, and Hoffman. Gossage was at 1800 (and 41 WAR). I'm not really fond of WAR as a reliever stat because it really relies too much on actual usage by the manager. I'm just listing it here because most high save total closers do not crack 30 WAR. Hoffman doesn't, Smith doesn't, Fingers didn't, Wagner doesn't, and those guys are considered the elite. Rivera does, and he is in a class by himself because he was never used consistenly like Gossage or Wilhelm. Torre gave it the old college try a few times though.

Rollie Fingers is in which I'm fine with. He did lead the all time saves list at the time of his retirement and at 1700 innings he was more than a one inning guy. The mustache clinched it.

Bruce Sutter who is tied for 26th in saves all time (with 300) and a grand total of 19 WAR over 12 seasons is in. Because beard? Fingers didn't have a beard, so get a beard guy in, I guess. Is there a worse modern pitcher in the Hall? He had three magnificent seasons in a row, and then. . .average or poor the rest of his career. Seriously - this guy http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1012743&position=P is in, and this guy http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=578&position=P has 9% of the votes

Eck and Smoltz are in a different stratosphere - so no need to dissect those two.

Let's move on to Lee Smith who I am completely indifferent about because he gave me heartburn before Jeff Reardon and Rick Aguilera gave me heartburn.

Smith also led the all time list in saves when he retired. By a large margin - at least 50 saves. So where is he at? 15% of the votes. He's been on the ballot both during lean years and crowded years such as this year. He actually closed for 13.5 seasons and Hoffman for 15.5 but there is a difference of 131 saves over the course of their careers because of fewer opportunities to pitch the 9th inning. And Smith threw 200 more innings because he had some 80-110 IP seasons early on during the beginning of the delicate closer era.

And Billy Wagner? 422 saves which is 122 more than Sutter, and 51 more than Fingers. And he was DOMINANT. He struck out 12 batters per 9 over his career, had a 54 ERA- (100 is average) and retired at the top of his game - still 4 more seasons than Sutter. He was comparable to better in rate stats to the other two guys on the ballot - better xFIP* than the other two, and in the middle in bb and hr/9.

In summary, hooray for supremely effective relievers and fuck closers. If you can't fuck them, put in the ones in who actually belong, and actually have some measure of consistency about what the barometers for a Hall of Fame closer actually is.


*Hoffman's xFIP is 3.78 which is pretty horrendous for a reliever.
 
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DJnVa

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Latest update by Thibs has Bagwell and Raines at 76.8 and 76.3 and losing some traction. Piazza still at 86.5 and Griffey still perfect.
 

DanoooME

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Bruce Sutter who is tied for 26th in saves all time (with 300) and a grand total of 19 WAR over 12 seasons is in. Because beard? Fingers didn't have a beard, so get a beard guy in, I guess. Is there a worse modern pitcher in the Hall? He had three magnificent seasons in a row, and then. . .average or poor the rest of his career. Seriously - this guy http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1012743&position=P is in, and this guy http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=578&position=P has 9% of the votes
Sutter's major reason for getting in the Hall is (hold on to your ass for this one) is he was the first to be recognized using the split-finger pitch successfully. He wasn't the first to use it, he was just the one that it was most credited to. So he gets in based on an alleged historical timing thing.
 

TheYaz67

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In summary, hooray for supremely effective relievers and fuck closers. If you can't fuck them, put in the ones in who actually belong, and actually have some measure of consistency about what the barometers for a Hall of Fame closer actually is.
Hey, at least MLB closers/relievers do better in their HOF than their NFL "brethren" (aka kickers and punters)!
 

phrenile

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I went to see when results will be announced, so naturally I went to the BBWAA page. There it helpfully states:

"Results will be announced by Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2016, on MLB Network."

Jan 6th is Wednesday. Tuesday is the 5th. Good job guys - that's the attention to detail we've come to expect from BBWAA members. The HOF's website says the 6th, so I guess that's two more days of waiting.
MLB Network's website says it's today at 3 p.m. ET.
 

grimshaw

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Hey, at least MLB closers/relievers do better in their HOF than their NFL "brethren" (aka kickers and punters)!
Don't get me started. I'm just itching for a long snapper debate with someone.

Sutter's major reason for getting in the Hall is (hold on to your ass for this one) is he was the first to be recognized using the split-finger pitch successfully. He wasn't the first to use it, he was just the one that it was most credited to. So he gets in based on an alleged historical timing thing.
Hopefully Dice-K gets Gyro ball love late in his candidacy.

I double checked how he was elected because that sort of reasoning just smacks of Veterans Committee. But no, he was elected in his 13th season because the candidate list was lean that year.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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From the ballot tracker it looks like Griffey and Piazza are locks for 2016. Raines and Bagwell just missing. The next tier is Schilling/Hoffman which if G38's number holds at around the 55-60% mark shows he might have a good chance of making it in eventually.
 

Bowlerman9

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From the ballot tracker it looks like Griffey and Piazza are locks for 2016. Raines and Bagwell just missing. The next tier is Schilling/Hoffman which if G38's number holds at around the 55-60% mark shows he might have a good chance of making it in eventually.
Schilling may get in if he shuts up long enough to not piss people off. Out of the 194 public ballots thus far, he has "new" on 23 but "lost" 7. Only 1 of the 7 came from someone who voted for 10 people. At the end of the day (not this year, though), he will need that extra 3-4% if he hopes to get to 75%.
 

troparra

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From the ballot tracker it looks like Griffey and Piazza are locks for 2016. Raines and Bagwell just missing. The next tier is Schilling/Hoffman which if G38's number holds at around the 55-60% mark shows he might have a good chance of making it in eventually.
Yes, last year there was a big difference in the votes from those who made their ballots public vs those who didn't:
Player - Public - Not public
Bagwell - 60.49% - 48.64%
Raines - 60.18% - 47.27%

If this trend holds, then Bagwell, currently at 76.8% on the ballot tracker, and Raines (76.3%) would look to receive somewhere around 64% of the non-publicized vote, which would put them well short. I'm curious to see if the rise in votes from last year to this year translates to those who didn't publicize.
 

E5 Yaz

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Because of the new 10-year term limit, if Raines doesn't get in this time, next year will be his final chance on the ballot. Besides the holdovers, there are a slew of first-times -- most of whom have no shot -- including several with Red Sox ties.

The top tier of new candidates would be Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Vlad Guerrero and Jorge Posada.

The players with Red Sox ties new to the ballot will be led by Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield and JD Drew. Others include Mike Cameron, Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera, Freddie Sanchez and Julio Lugo.
 

E5 Yaz

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Yes, last year there was a big difference in the votes from those who made their ballots public vs those who didn't:
Player - Public - Not public
Bagwell - 60.49% - 48.64%
Raines - 60.18% - 47.27%

If this trend holds, then Bagwell, currently at 76.8% on the ballot tracker, and Raines (76.3%) would look to receive somewhere around 64% of the non-publicized vote, which would put them well short. I'm curious to see if the rise in votes from last year to this year translates to those who didn't publicize.
As we talked about earlier, those numbers are going to be skewed by the significant dropoff in the number of voters. The purge was directed at those BBWA members who have not be active for at least 10 years. General consensus has been that those no longer voting would fall into the do not publicize category (as well as being more likely to vote for players with a PED stigma). If that line of thinking is indeed correct, the drop might not be as severe.
 

Bowlerman9

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The players with Red Sox ties new to the ballot will be led by Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield and JD Drew. Others include Mike Cameron, Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera, Freddie Sanchez and Julio Lugo.
Many players get cut before they actually release the ballot, so my guess is Cabrera, Sanchez, and Lugo never actually see the light of day.
 

E5 Yaz

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Many players get cut before they actually release the ballot, so my guess is Cabrera, Sanchez, and Lugo never actually see the light of day.
True enough ... although a batting title might get Sanchez on the ballot. I mean, Luis Castillo made it
 

TheYaz67

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If only there was someone out there with the chops (also educational quals and IQ) to put together a statistical analysis to support Julio Lugo's spot on the ballot....
 

Tyrone Biggums

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Because of the new 10-year term limit, if Raines doesn't get in this time, next year will be his final chance on the ballot. Besides the holdovers, there are a slew of first-times -- most of whom have no shot -- including several with Red Sox ties.

The top tier of new candidates would be Ivan Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Vlad Guerrero and Jorge Posada.

The players with Red Sox ties new to the ballot will be led by Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield and JD Drew. Others include Mike Cameron, Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera, Freddie Sanchez and Julio Lugo.
Vlad is a lock. Pudge will probably as well since the PED stuff was never proven...

Posada will get something like 40% and Manny will probably be around Bonds/Clemens territory or maybe even the Sosa/Palmero treatment.

Tek will probably hang around the ballot until 2018. Wakefield I could see hanging around by a thread for multiple years.
 

brs3

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Vlad is a lock. Pudge will probably as well since the PED stuff was never proven...

Posada will get something like 40% and Manny will probably be around Bonds/Clemens territory or maybe even the Sosa/Palmero treatment.

Tek will probably hang around the ballot until 2018. Wakefield I could see hanging around by a thread for multiple years.
I'd be shocked if Wakefield made it beyond a single year. If he were on this years ballot, he'd need something like 22 votes to garner 5%.

edit: spelling
 
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moondog80

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Vlad is a lock. Pudge will probably as well since the PED stuff was never proven...

Posada will get something like 40% and Manny will probably be around Bonds/Clemens territory or maybe even the Sosa/Palmero treatment.

Tek will probably hang around the ballot until 2018. Wakefield I could see hanging around by a thread for multiple years.
Is Vlad a lock? He kind of got old in a hurry. What's the difference between him and Sheffield or Larry Walker? At the very least, I don't see him getting in until the ballot thins out a little.
 

grimshaw

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Vlad is a lock. Pudge will probably as well since the PED stuff was never proven...

Posada will get something like 40% and Manny will probably be around Bonds/Clemens territory or maybe even the Sosa/Palmero treatment.

Tek will probably hang around the ballot until 2018. Wakefield I could see hanging around by a thread for multiple years.
Slight derail since this is for 2017.
I think the writers may vote Vladi in because there's a bit of mysticism surrounding his physical capabilities (can run like the wind, bazooka arm, can hit anything etc. and never tied to PED use) but it may be a long while because of the crowded ballot. The name maybe screams 1st ballot before looking more closely at his numbers.

There are 23 Hall of Fame RF (59 total OF). The only counting stats he hits in the top 15 alone among RF is Slugging (7th) and Home Runs (12th) and the 449 home runs during that era are 44 fewer than Fred McGriff whom I and others consider borderline.

He is also (among RF) 28th in wRC+,outside the top 30 in wOBA and 28th in WAR - and he played a long while too. Plus he was historically awful on the bases in BsR by 14 runs, and a huge liability in the field over the last 3rd+ of his career. The counting stats are ok, but the rate stats are really just all-star level and not hall of fame worthy IMO.
 
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uncannymanny

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Depending on how they did the culling of voters, it could also be a boost for Clemens, Bonds, McGwire etc... if some of the older, more "traditional" voters who would not vote for the roid users (who upset the records of their childhood heroes) have been purged. It will be too damn late for McGwire, but maybe not the others...

My ballot would have:

Griffey
Piazza
Raines
Schilling
Martinez
Trammell
Bagwell
It's weird that you seem to disparage the "older, more traditional" voters, then leave all those guys off your list :D

The problem, at least for the last few years, has been the 10-player maximum on each ballot. A few sportswriters openly didnt vote for Maddux, RJ, and/or Pedro because they knew they would get enough votes to be well over the 75% mark, but instead used the extra slots on their ballot to vote for someone else they felt deserving (Schilling, Mussina, etc). I don t have any issues with a sportswriter doing this, especially given the stupid 10 vote max rule. It just sucks for someone like Maddix when looking at their overall vote percentage.
Does it really "suck" though? Think it kept Maddux up at night for like a single second? I think fans and writers are the only ones who care about this. I do really want Griffey to be the first this season. Best all-around player I ever saw (Trout has to put in more years and I honestly can't say he is as effortlessly gifted as Griffey was, but maybe nostalgia is clouding my judgement there).
 

Laser Show

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Vlad is a lock. Pudge will probably as well since the PED stuff was never proven...

Posada will get something like 40% and Manny will probably be around Bonds/Clemens territory or maybe even the Sosa/Palmero treatment.

Tek will probably hang around the ballot until 2018. Wakefield I could see hanging around by a thread for multiple years.
Manny will drop off the ballot the first year because he actually got suspended for PEDs. I wish it was different, I love the guy. But he'll never have a chance.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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Manny will drop off the ballot the first year because he actually got suspended for PEDs. I wish it was different, I love the guy. But he'll never have a chance.
He got suspended...twice

Go big or go home
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Manny will drop off the ballot the first year because he actually got suspended for PEDs. I wish it was different, I love the guy. But he'll never have a chance.
Rafael Palmeiro lasted four years on the ballot despite a suspension for PEDs. I doubt Manny falls off the first year, particularly considering his numbers beat Palmeiro across the board. I imagine Manny will fall into the Bonds/Clemens/McGwire hell of lingering in the middle of the pack for the duration rather than falling off quickly.
 

Tyrone Biggums

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It's weird that you seem to disparage the "older, more traditional" voters, then leave all those guys off your list :D



Does it really "suck" though? Think it kept Maddux up at night for like a single second? I think fans and writers are the only ones who care about this. I do really want Griffey to be the first this season. Best all-around player I ever saw (Trout has to put in more years and I honestly can't say he is as effortlessly gifted as Griffey was, but maybe nostalgia is clouding my judgement there).

Not a chance in hell Griffey gets 100%. The basis of well Ruth didn't get 100% is somewhat overblown but it's real. The new excuse is that Griffey would have been the first but the 10 player limit cost them. Here is my ballot

Griffey
Piazza
Bagwell
Clemens
Bonds
Schilling
Hoffman
Raines
Martinez
McGriff (Its even more impressive that this guy did it clean in my eyes that bumps up his HR total a little bit)
 

phrenile

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Griffey got all but 3 ballots (over 99%, most of all time).
 

phrenile

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Griffey, in his first year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot, was named on 437 of 440 ballots by voting members of the BBWAA, setting a new record with a percentage of 99.32. The previous mark of 98.84 percent was set by Tom Seaver in 1992.

Piazza, in his fourth year on the BBWAA ballot, was named on 365 ballots – or 83.0 percent of all ballots cast.
http://baseballhall.org/hof/class-of-2016