Baseball Hall of Fame 2015 Edition

12/31/2014 6:22 am
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It's time for my twelfth annual "If I had a Hall of Fame Vote" post.

My previous ballots:
2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014

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 6th.

Eligible Players:

Holdovers from last year - Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker

First-timers - Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, Tony Clark, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd, Nomar Garciaparra, Brian Giles, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Troy Percival, Jason Schmidt, Gary Sheffield, John Smoltz


Go to Baseball Reference.com for player stats.


My Ballot:

Jeff Bagwell - Eligible since 2011; 5th time on my ballot ('11-'15)
Craig Biggio - Eligible since 2013; 3rd time on my ballot ('13-'15)
Barry Bonds - Eligible since 2013; 3rd time on my ballot ('13-'15)
Roger Clemens - Eligible since 2013; 3rd time on my ballot ('13-'15)
Randy Johnson - Eligible since 2015; 1st time on my ballot ('15)
Edgar Martinez - Eligible since 2010; 5th time on my ballot ('10-'13,'15)
Pedro Martinez - Eligible since 2015; 1st time on my ballot ('15)
Mike Piazza - Eligible since 2013; 3rd time on my ballot ('13-'15)
Tim Raines - Eligible since 2008; 8th time on my ballot ('08-'15)
Alan Trammell - Eligible since 2002; 12th time on my ballot ('04-'15)


Dropped from last year's ballot:
Tom Glavine ('14) (elected)
Greg Maddux ('14) (elected)
Frank Thomas ('14) (elected)

Added this year:
Randy Johnson (first-time eligible)
Edgar Martinez ('10-'13) (back in top ten)
Pedro Martinez (first-time eligible)

Eligible, and voted for in the past, but not this year:
Fred McGriff ('10-'12)
Mark McGwire ('07-'13)
Curt Schilling ('13)
Lee Smith ('06,'07)
Larry Walker ('12)
matt.jpgMatt - 3169 Posts
12/31/2014 @ 06:42:19 AM
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Once again, there are more than 10 Hall of Fame worthy players on the ballot (in my mind at least). If there were no limit, I would have also voted for: Jeff Kent, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz, Sammy Sosa, and Larry Walker. You could also make arguments for Don Mattingly, Gary Sheffield, and Lee Smith.
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Matt screwed with this 2 times, last at 01/07/2015 8:19:44 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
12/31/2014 @ 11:11:43 AM
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No love for Eddie Guardado?
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3609 Posts
01/03/2015 @ 03:20:11 PM
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Top ten:
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Randy Johnson (new)
Pedro Martinez (new)
Jeff Bagwell
Mike Mussina
Larry Walker
Curt Schilling
Mike Piazza
Alan Trammell (added back)

Dropped from last year - elected:
Tom Glavine
Greg Maddux
Frank Thomas

Dropped from last year – The Rule of 10:
none

Additional votes:
Edgar Martinez
Craig Biggio
Tim Raines
Sammy Sosa
Jeff Kent
John Smoltz (new)
Gary Sheffield (new)
Mark McGwire

My perpetual VC ballot (Fails since 2000)

Kevin Brown
Bret Saberhagen
Luis Tiant
Kenny Lofton
Lou Whitaker
Dave Stieb
Kevin Appier
David Cone
Keith Hernandez
Chuck Finley
Rafael Palmeiro (new)

Interesting fringe case comparison between first times Nomar and Brian Giles. First off, one of them can be referred to by certainly his first name alone and also probably his last name a lone and a lot of people will get the reference, without even necessarily needing the context of baseball or being sports fans. Comparing the two players statistically provides cases of some of most debated non-PED related HOF worthiness requirements. Nomar was working on a surefire HOF career with a very nice collection of peak years, but ended having only one barely better than league average season after the age of 30. The bright flame that burnt out quickly (ROY, 6 time AS, Top 10 MVP 5 times). Giles on the other hand was not as good in his peak years, but had many above league average post age 30 years. The not as bright flame that burns on longer (2 time AS, Top 10 MVP once). So depending on which metric or person is doing the judging, there's likely to be a pretty wide range of opinions on HOF worthiness for these two players. In my book they ended up with the same rating, and were both just a little bit short. But if you combine Nomah's age 22-29 seasons with Giles' age 30-38 seasons then you have yourself a bona fide HOF candidate.
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Alex perfected this at 01/01/2016 8:27:24 pm
matt.jpgMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
01/06/2015 @ 01:46:10 PM
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Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio get elected. Mike Piazza falls a little short.

Results here: http://baseballhall.org/hof/class-of-2015

I'm surprised by how easily Smoltz got in on his first ballot. Don't get me wrong, he deserves his election, but he's really not that different than Schilling or Mussina, and both of them fell well short this year. In fact, he's probably the lesser of the three. Smoltz does have the only Cy Young Award of the three (Schilling did finish 2nd three times though), and I suppose voters may have been influenced by his years as a good closer (though I would think most great starters would be able to do well as closers too). I also think that being a member of the "Big Three" (with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine) on the Braves dynasty of the 90s may have helped him out in voters minds as well, especially since Maddux and Glavine were both elected last year (as was their manager Bobby Cox). Once again though, Smoltz was the lesser of the three there as well. All in all, I can see why some voters might prefer Smoltz over Schilling and Mussina, I just don't see how the gap could be as big as it is.

Again, I'm happy for Smoltz and he deserves it, but this result is just another instance of the mystery that is the Hall of Fame electorate, and how/why they decide what they do.
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Matt messed with this 4 times, last at 01/06/2015 1:51:04 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3169 Posts
01/06/2015 @ 01:59:35 PM
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Looking quickly at the 2016 newcomers (http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/hof_2016.shtml), Ken Griffey Jr. seems to be the only lock, with Jim Edmonds and Trevor Hoffman likely to draw support as well. With four being elected this year (plus Mattingly being no longer eligible), hopefully some of the backlog that has been building can be pared down some.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3609 Posts
01/07/2015 @ 12:07:22 AM
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30 Nomar Garciaparra 5.5%
0 Brian Giles 0.0%

In a way I think these numbers help explain the John Smoltz situation. Garciaparra and Giles had similar career production, but Nomar was way more famous (though Smoltz's peak isn't particularly impressive as opposed to Nomar's). By the numbers, I've got Schilling and Mussina comfortably ahead of Smoltz (but Smoltz still in), but as you mentioned Smoltz was probably more famous. Also my calculations don't think much of relief pitchers so I'm sure that has something to do with it.
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jon.jpgJon - 2666 Posts
01/07/2015 @ 03:26:58 AM
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Haven't looked at the numbers, but it sounds like you guys have. That said, I thought Smoltz would get in this year. He just seems Hall of Famey. In other words, the old-school way of determining who's in and who's not. I'm not advocating it, but it's almost certainly what happened here. Smoltz, I agree got help from being more famous, which is directly correlated to being in the big 3 and being in the playoffs virtually every year of his prime. And actually, I do think the closer thing helped. I remember near the end of his career doing a quick saves-wins equivalency calculation in my head. Basically, I figured a really good starting year was worth 20 wins and a really good closing year is worth, what like 50-60 saves? Is that even right? I should follow baseball more. And so then I ran the numbers and figured that those saves were equivalent to the amount of wins that would put him in that 300 win range. I'm going to go look at the numbers again...

OK, so first of all, the equivalent to 20 wins is probably more like 45-55 saves. So I'll go with 50. Which gives Smoltz about 60 wins worth of saves, if you buy in to the concept. So that actually would put his theoretical win total at about 275. So still fairly short of the magical 300 of a stat that has arguable worth anyhow. So there you go.

Also, I always like to do the media test. As in, who did the media like/get along with? After all, that's who is voting, and people have made some interesting points regarding that being a factor. You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to see there might be something there. Especially because it isn't necessarily a conspiracy, or even something voters would realize they are using as a criteria. Probably if they did a little soul searching, they would realize it, but I'm getting off the point. Smoltz seems to be quite likable and I imagine many media members would agree. I mean, they're kind of the people who help paint that picture of him. I've never met the guy, but he seems like a fun guy to hang out with.
Schilling, on the other hand, has kind of a different reputation, if I'm not mistaken. Isn't he sort of perceived as the self-important type? Or kind of a know-it-all? You know, the kind the media types might not like, unless it's coming from the person in the mirror.
And Mussina was kind of bland overall, right? Which to media people could skew slightly negative, since it makes their job harder. How many media moments do you remember involving Mussina? I remember one. He got hit in the face with a batted ball line drive. At some point shortly after the incident, someone asked him what it felt like. He said something along the lines of, "why don't I grab a bat and hit you in the face and you tell me what it feels like." I'm going to google it and see if I can find it. The point is, though, that for all his consistent years as a really good pitcher, he's not all that "famous" or "memorable". I mean, other than for being good looking, I guess.

OK, after spending way too much time looking online, I couldn't find a video, or even an article with the details of the interaction. I don't think I'm imagining it though, since I did find someone else's recollection of it, which was posted in 2003 which is only about 5 years after the event happened.
It's about 3/4 of the way down on this page, 2nd paragraph on a post by someone named 35Knucklecurve.
http://forums.nyyfans.com/archive/index.php/t-52412.html

One thing I did realize on my search for the details, though, is that Mussina was someone who didn't seem to like dumb questions from the media, so he would be a bit sarcastic or not play along, or something along those lines, if that's the kind they asked him. So again, I would guess that a few votes, if not more, could have been affected by such interactions.
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Jon screwed with this 2 times, last at 01/07/2015 3:32:53 am
jon.jpgJon - 2666 Posts
01/07/2015 @ 03:37:58 AM
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Also, Mussina should, one could argue, get extra points for putting together such a great career despite having that type of injury in his prime. By most accounts, it is quite a mental hurdle to get over to get back on the mound and pitch the same way.
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scott.jpgScott - 6204 Posts
01/07/2015 @ 08:20:35 AM
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Until this guy gets in, the whole system of voting is suspect. He's 2nd all time in a major offensive statistical category.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3609 Posts
06/30/2015 @ 10:02:02 PM
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Since this is the most recent baseball thread, commence hijacking

This is a site now
http://milwaukee.locals.baseballprospectus.com/

And I bothered to make a comment here, which I failed to proofread I see, but will duplicate here for old tyme's sake
http://milwaukee.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2015/06/29/dealin-doug-at-the-trade-deadline/#comment-168

It was concerning this trade: July 28: MIL trades Nelson Cruz and Carlos Lee to TEX for Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix, and Julian Cordero

"Cruz was only one prospect so I don’t think I would say he hurt the prospect depth all that much.

Assuming he would’ve developed on the same timeline had he not been traded, he wouldn’t have been useful on the field until 2009 as the replacement on the roster for Jody Gerut, and maybe that would have gotten them to .500. I guess he could have been a good trade piece maybe in between the actual trade and then.

Would have been quite the luxury off the bench in 2011 but at least then I wouldn’t have the image of Mark Kotsay falling on his face burned in mind.

But with Fielder at 1B and Braun and Hart at the corner outfield spots they didn’t really have a place for him as a starter until 2012, and in 2012-2103 Aoki had 6.6 bWAR for $3 million and Cruz had 2.8 bWAR for $15.5 million.

2014 is the one year he would have made any real positive difference. Swap Khris Davis’s 2014 with Cruz’s 2014 and maybe they don’t fall apart in the second half.

Brewers are so terrible this year that it wouldn’t make sense paying him $14 million so he’d just be another guy on the trading block.

So trading Cruz wasn’t really the issue, just would have been nice to get a little more for him."
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8761 Posts
07/01/2015 @ 09:10:17 AM
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I didn't know Cruz was in the Brewer's system. I don't know if this is the point the author made or not, but it does seem teams over value "proven closers."
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