Baseball Hall of Fame 2012 Edition

12/31/2011 7:04 pm
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It's time for my ninth annual "If I had a Hall of Fame Vote" post.

My previous ballots:
2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011

A few reminders:
1. Voters can vote for up to ten players.
2. I'm a "Big Hall" guy so I voted for ten.
3. I reserve the right not to have reasonable explanations for any or all of my selections.
4. To be inducted, players need to be named on 75% of the ballots cast.
5. The real results will be announced on January 9th.

Eligible Players:

Holdovers from last year - Jeff Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker

First-timers - Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Brian Jordan, Javy Lopez, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Phil Nevin, Brad Radke, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Bernie Williams, Tony Womack, Eric Young

Go to Baseball Reference.com for player stats.


My Ballot:

Jeff Bagwell - Eligible since 2011; 2nd time on my ballot ('11,'12)
Barry Larkin - Eligible since 2010; 3rd time on my ballot ('10-'12)
Edgar Martinez - Eligible since 2010; 3rd time on my ballot ('10-'12)
Fred McGriff - Eligible since 2010; 3rd time on my ballot ('10-'12)
Mark McGwire - Eligible since 2007; 6th time on my ballot ('07-'12)
Dale Murphy - Eligible since 1999; 5th time on my ballot ('08-'12)
Rafael Palmeiro - Eligible since 2011; 1st time on my ballot ('12)
Tim Raines - Eligible since 2008; 5th time on my ballot ('08-'12)
Alan Trammell - Eligible since 2002; 9th time on my ballot ('04-'12)
Larry Walker - Eligible since 2011; 1st time on my ballot ('12)

Dropped from last year's ballot:
Roberto Alomar ('10,'11)(elected)
Bert Blyleven ('04-'11)(elected)

Added this year:
Rafael Palmeiro (did not vote for last year)
Larry Walker (did not vote for last year)

Eligible, and voted for in the past, but not this year:
Jack Morris ('04-'09)
Lee Smith ('06,'07)
newalex.jpgAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
12/31/2011 @ 09:27:46 PM
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Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Bernie Williams

Dropped: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven
Re-added: Fred McGriff
Added: Bernie Williams
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newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
01/02/2012 @ 12:45:35 PM
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After reading this I'm changing my mind
http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7393110/mlb-new-stat-measures-true-hall-fame-talent-espn-magazine

For those without insider the idea is to adjust career WAR to only include All-Star level performances, aka Wins Above All-Star, which the author says is about 2.5 WAR in any given year (without really saying how he came up with that number). So for each year you subtract 2.5 from the player's WAR, then only add up the positive values and this gives you a career measure of All-Starness with a value of around 20 being the cutoff point for HOF consideration.

According to that, Dale Murphy (24.1 WAAS) is more deserving than Fred McGriff (18.1). I tried some different values for the yearly cutoff (2, 2.5, 3, 4) and it's clear that unless you value lots of sub 2 WAR seasons as making a guy hall worthy, Murphy is the better choice. Sidenote: 121 players had a WAR of 2 or higher last season. I was a little iffy on Bernie Williams (21.1) but he beats out McGriff too in this measurement. The rest of my list is listed in the article with career values above 20, except there's no mention of Larry Walker (28.8) who indeed has a higher total than Murphy and Williams.

Updated, and ordered by WAAS:
Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Rafael Palmeiro, Dale Murphy, Bernie Williams

Dropped: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven
Added: Bernie Williams, Dale Murphy

PS - Radke hit 16.1, Mattingly 17.8, no one else is even close (I'm assuming, just looking at career WAR and years played)
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2895 Posts
01/02/2012 @ 08:22:08 PM
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I read that article in the magazine the other day (it actually reminded me that I needed to do my Hall of Fame post), and thought it was interesting.

Murphy and McGriff are good examples of the peak (great for a short period) vs. career (good for a long time) types of hall of fame candidates. The easy choices usually have big peaks and long careers, but when you only have one or the other, it gets tougher to decide.

Murphy is a peak candidate. He had six "really good" to "great" seasons (including back-to-back MVPs), a couple more decent seasons, and then not much more. After his age 31 season, he was basically done as a productive player. If he had a more normal decline phase at the end, he would probably already be in the Hall of Fame.

McGriff, on the other hand is more of a career type of candidate. Looking at WAR, Murphy's aforementioned top six seasons are as follows: 7.5, 7.2, 7.1, 6.3, 5.3, 5.3. McGriff's top six are: 6.6, 6.1, 5.2, 4.9, 4.7, 4.2. From this, you can conclude that Murphy, at his best, was better than McGriff at his.

Murphy's next six are: 2.6, 1.6, 1.4, 1.3, 0.7, 0.4. Beyond that he only had one more season of positive value, and that was only 0.3 WAR. McGriff, however, fares much better here. His next six are: 4.0, 3.7, 3.7, 3.1, 2.2, 1.6. After that, McGriff put up positive value seasons of 1.4, 1.4, 1.4, 1.1, and 0.1 WAR. So, while Murphy had the better peak, McGriff had many more years providing solid, though not spectacular, value to his team.

All this brings me back to the article. Like I said, it was interesting and his process is a certainly a valid tool to use in trying to figure out who should be in and who should be out. My one problem though, is that it is biased towards players with high peaks. McGriff's "extra" years may not have been high value years, but they still had some value, and that should count for something.

In the end, it's still all a matter of opinion. Mine is that value is value, and both Murphy and McGriff are worthy of the Hall of Fame.
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2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
01/02/2012 @ 10:12:00 PM
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If I had 11 votes I would still vote for McGriff even though he fell short of the author's standard. From what I gather is the "average" opininion based on various articles I read, I think in general I'm actually much more willing to give guys props for longevity. I feel like I have some irrational favortism for the Crime Dog over Dale Murphy though, who I always picture in an ugly Phillies uniform from some baseball card, even though all his good years were with the Braves. Murphy was really before my time too which probably has something to do with it. So this comparison was a tipping point for me between the two, who I think were probably both fighting for the last spot on my 2010 ballot, so now I've given them each a year.
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newalex.jpgAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
01/09/2012 @ 01:35:06 PM
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Only Larkin made it on the ESPN ballot

http://espn.go.com/mlb/hof12/story/_/id/7435492/mlb-barry-larkin-elected-espn-2012-baseball-hall-fame-ballot
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2887.gifAlex - 3588 Posts
01/09/2012 @ 03:58:25 PM
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Only Larkin made it for realz too
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120109&content_id=26288868&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

I found it pretty surprising that the voters here, to this point at least, wouldn't have elected anyone else based on the 75% rule.
http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/post/_/id/7442692/should-larkin-stand-alone-cooperstown

But then again, the voting for "Who is the best first-time candidate on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot?" is pretty epicly ridic anyway (Bonds 3rd with 23%), so screw you other voters, I'm going back to work.

After I point out that anyone who got less than 25% (really outside of the top 5 or 6, which just happens to be at the 25% mark) this year is probably screwed because of the quality of the 2013 first timers, unless they lift the 10 vote limit by then. So McGriff, Walker, McGwire, Mattingly, Murphy, Palmeiro, and Williams better start working the phones.
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matt.jpgMatt - 2895 Posts
01/09/2012 @ 08:09:09 PM
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Results for players that got above 5% and will be on the ballot next year.

Player 2012 2011
Barry Larkin 86.4% 62.1%
Jack Morris 66.7% 53.5%
Jeff Bagwell 56.0% 41.7%
Lee Smith 50.6% 45.3%
Tim Raines 48.7% 37.5%
Alan Trammell 36.8% 24.3%
Edgar Martinez 36.5% 32.9%
Fred McGriff 23.9% 17.9%
Larry Walker 22.9% 20.3%
Mark McGwire 19.5% 19.8%
Don Mattingly 17.8% 13.6%
Dale Murphy 14.5% 12.6%
Rafael Palmeiro 12.6% 11.0%
Bernie Williams 9.6% 1st Year

I don't feel like taking the time to make this look perfect, but I think it works well enough.
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Matt perfected this 2 times, last at 01/09/2012 8:12:03 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
01/09/2012 @ 08:50:50 PM
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As expected, with the "weak" class of newcomers this year, almost all the holdovers all got a bump in their support. Only Mark McGwire and Juan Gonzalez (who fell from 5.2% to 4.0% and will be dropped from the ballot next year) saw a decline in their percentage of votes.

Larkin was, of course, the big winner. As the top holdover, most expected him to gain election this year and he did with a 24 point bump. Morris, Bagwell, Raines, and Trammell all saw bumps of over 10 points. Normally, I would say Morris, at 66.7%, would have a pretty good shot at election next year. As Alex mentioned though, next year has a strong group of newcomers and Morris might not get the same type of bump that the top holdover usually gets. What's worse for him is that he only has 2 years left on the ballot, and 2014's class of newcomers is another very strong class.

As for Bagwell, Raines, and Trammell, it's good to see them get more support, but their totals are still much lower than they should be. With the coming logjam of players the next few years, they (and others) could easily see their support stagnate or even decline.
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newalex.jpgAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
12/26/2012 @ 10:58:24 PM
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I assume you're withholding the 2013 edition in protest of the general failness of the HOF voting.
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sarah.jpgSarah - 3545 Posts
12/27/2012 @ 07:11:03 PM
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It's not 12/31 yet! Someone's eager....
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matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
12/28/2012 @ 09:00:07 PM
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Sarah is correct. It's become tradition that I post the article on New Years' Eve, so I'll try and do that again this year. Even if I wanted to post it early this year, though, I can't. The large number of qualified candidates this year has made it very difficult to decide on a 10-person ballot, so it's still a work in progress.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
12/29/2012 @ 01:48:19 PM
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I started to reread all of this thinking it was the 2013 one.
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matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
12/29/2012 @ 03:58:22 PM
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That's another reason I do this every year... because it always messes Jeremy up, somehow. emoticon
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
12/29/2012 @ 04:19:52 PM
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While working on my 2013 ballot, I realized I made a small mistake in this one. I originally listed Dave Parker as on this ballot, but his eligibility ran out the year prior and therefore, was not on the 2012 ballot.
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