Posted January 08, 2014

JAWS and the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot: 14 thoughts on the voting results

Hall of Fame, JAWS
Frank Thomas hit 521 home runs and easily gained election to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. (Chuck Rydlewski/Icon SMI)

Frank Thomas hit 521 home runs and easily gained election to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. (Chuck Rydlewski/Icon SMI)

The following article is part of my ongoing look at the candidates on the BBWAA 2014 Hall of Fame ballot. For a detailed introduction to JAWS, please see here. For the breakdowns of each candidate and to read the previous articles in the series, see here.

The results are in. On Wednesday afternoon, the BBWAA announced that for the first time since 1999, its voters have elected three players to the Hall of Fame in a single year. Receiving the necessary 75 percent of the vote were Greg Maddux (97.2 percent), Tom Glavine (91.9) and Frank Thomas (83.7), all in their first year of eligibility. Just missing the cut was second-year candidate Craig Biggio, who got 74.8 percent, falling two votes shy of election.

Biggio aside, it’s a bumper crop of well-qualified candidates with strong credentials on both traditional and sabermetric merits. Maddux and Glavine each won more 300 wins and combined for six NL Cy Young Awards, while Thomas hit 521 home runs and won a pair of AL MVP awards. All three clear the JAWS standard at their position by a wide margin, which is to say that they’re above-average with respect to the already-enshrined players at their position.

In all, the trio of elected players is a dramatic contrast to last year’s results, when for the first time since 1996, nobody on the ballot received enough votes to gain entry. Biggio topped the 2013 field with 68.2 percent.

The three players elected matches the total in the previous three cycles. Prior to the 2013 shutout, Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar were elected in 2011 and Barry Larkin in 2012. The trio of honorees joins the 1999 class (George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount) as the only ones of the past 50 years to include three first-ballot Hall of Famers. The last time a player went in on the first try was in 2009, when Rickey Henderson gained entry. The last time multiple first-year candidates went in was in 2007, when Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken both sailed in with more than 97 percent of the vote.

There’s a whole lot more to unpack within these results, so let’s go to the bullet points: 14 more thoughts on the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot.

1. Maddux did not receive unanimous support, in keeping with the grand tradition of idiocy that prevented superstars such as Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron from unanimity as well. His 97.2 percent is the eighth-highest share of the vote in history; Tom Seaver (98.84 percent in 1992) holds the record.

2. Maddux and Glavine are first teammates to be elected by the BBWAA since Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford were elected in 1974; in that case, Mantle was on his first ballot but Ford was in his second year. The two mainstays of the Braves’ staff will join manager Bobby Cox at the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown on July 27. Cox was elected along with fellow managers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre via the Expansion Era committee vote in December.

3. Thomas is the first slugger with at least 500 homers to be elected to the Hall of Fame since Eddie Murray in 2003. Since Murray hit his 500th homer in 1996, 10 players have reached that milestone, five of whom were on this year’s ballot (more about the others below). Thomas is also the first player to be elected who spent the majority of his career — 57 percent in terms of plate appearances — as a designated hitter, though he was primarily a first baseman when he won back-to-back AL MVP awards in 1993 and ’94.

4. In his 15th and final year of BBWAA eligibility, Jack Morris fell far short of election. After receiving 67.7 percent of the vote in 2013, he got just 61.5 percent this time around. The combination of two strong first-year classes in a row and something of a makeup vote from last year’s shutout prevented him from the type of gains that sent other recent honorees who were elected late in the process — such as Jim Rice (2009, 15th try) and Bert Blylelven (2011, 14th) — over the top. Gil Hodges remains the only candidate to receive at least 50 percent and not gain entry via either the BBWAA or the Veterans Committee, though Morris now threatens to join him. He will next be eligible on the 2017 Expansion Era committee ballot assuming the process stays the same between now and then.

5. In missing by two votes, Biggio tied a dubious record for having the closest margin by which any player has fallen short via the writers’ ballot. It’s the second straight year Biggio has been a part of history for the wrong reasons. Last year, he joined Rafael Palmeiro are the only two modern players with at least 3,000 hits who weren’t voted in during their first year of eligibility.

That distinction is far more understandable in the case of Palmeiro given that he was the game’s first star to be suspended for testing positive for performance-enhancing drug use. Biggio has no such mark against his name; he never failed a test, and his name has never turned up in the Mitchell Report or any other investigation. Nevertheless, his candidacy has been hurt both by unsubstantiated rumors that he may have used and by a small group of voters who refuse to consider anybody from the so-called “Steroid Era.” In fact, had Ken Gurnick‘s Jack Morris-only ballot and that one lone blank ballot not come in, Biggio would have had his 75 percent.

6. As close as Biggio came, missing by less than 10 votes isn’t unprecedented even in recent history. In 2010, Blyleven missed by five votes and Roberto Alomar by eight; both were elected the next year. In terms of overall margin, Pie Traynor missed by two votes in 1947 and was elected by the writers the following year, while Nellie Fox fell two votes shy in his final year on the ballot (1985) and he — or rather his descendants and anyone else who cared, since he had passed away — had to wait until 1997, when the Veterans Committee voted him in.

With Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Gary Sheffield eligible for the first time next year, Biggio won’t have an easy time of picking up new votes so long as the 10-candidate per ballot rule stays in place, but gaining two shouldn’t be impossible.

7. Despite the near miss, Biggio was one of only two holdover candidates to gain ground relative to last year. Mike Piazza, who received 57.8 percent of the vote in 2013, climbed to 62.2 percent, suggesting he’s well on his way to eventual entry even if it’s taking longer than expected.

8. Third-year candidate Jeff Bagwell was the only other candidate who received at least 50 percent of the vote this year, though he lost ground, falling from 59.6 percent in 2013 to 54.3 percent this time around. Tim Raines, who topped 50 percent for the first time last year by receiving 52.2 percent, fell back to 46.1 percent in this, his seventh year of eligibility. Lee Smith, who got 50.6 percent in 2012 (his 10th year of eligibility), lost even more ground than he did last year, when he fell to 47.8 percent; this time he plummeted to 29.9 percent and now has just three years of eligibility left.

9. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens both lost ground. Despite overwhelming resumes and shelves full of awards, the pair continues to be dragged down by their connections to performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds fell from 36.2 percent in his 2013 debut to 34.7 percent, and Clemens dropped from 37.6 percent to 35.4 percent. Not that it was a surprise; even voters willing to consider them despite their PED connections had little trouble nudging them aside to cope with the tremendous array of candidates. The pair have long roads ahead to election, and it certainly won’t happen in 2015.

10. Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent both received double-digit support despite former Hall of Fame researcher Bill Deane‘s mid-December forecast of single-digit percentages. The Moose got 20.3 percent of the vote, Kent 15.2 percent. Since the return of annual balloting in 1966, Duke Snider (17.0 percent) and Blyleven (17.5 percent) have the lowest debut showings of any candidates to gain eventual entry via the BBWAA, and several received less than that and went in via the VC.

11. Palmeiro fell off the ballot after receiving just 4.4 percent of the vote. Despite being one of only four players in history with at least 3,000 hits and 500 homers, Palmeiro’s 2005 suspension for a positive PED test made him an easy target to be skipped. Under current Hall of Fame rules, he won’t be eligible again until 21 years after his final major league season, which means for the 2026 ballot, via whatever VC-type process is in place by then. Meanwhile, Mark McGwire (11.0 percent) and Sammy Sosa (7.2 percent) both lost about five percent and are probably headed toward that fate in a year or two.

12. Palmeiro was the only holdover candidate to fall off due to the five percent rule, but plenty of first-year candidates won’t be back: Moises Alou, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Hideo Nomo, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow and Mike Timlin each received six or fewer votes.

13. It was a rough year for other popular holdover candidates, particularly those whose credentials are perceived to be stronger on the sabermetric front than the traditional one. Curt Schilling (29.2 percent in his second year of eligibility), Edgar Martinez (25.2 percent in his fifth year), Alan Trammell (20.8 percent in his 13th year) and Fred McGriff (11.7 percent in his fourth year) each lost at least nine percent relative to 2013. Martinez, Schilling and Trammell all clear the JAWS bars at their position.

14. In all, there were 571 ballots cast, two more than in 2013 but two fewer than in 2012, and 10 fewer than in 2011, which still holds the record. The ballots included an average of 8.39 names, the highest total since 1960, when it was 8.6. That mark came when the BBWAA was voting on a biennial basis; the writers returned to voting annually in 1966. A whopping 50 percent of the voters used all 10 slots, up from 22 percent last year — a figure that points towards the organization recommending that the Hall of Fame change its rules to allow for more votes per ballot. There was only one blank ballot this year, compared to five a year ago.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a look at next year’s ballot and the future of the BBWAA vote. In the meantime, I’d like to extend thanks to so many — far too many to name — who have said positive things about my work on the Hall of Fame front and turned this space into a go-to spot during election season.

This is the 11th election cycle in which I’ve been using JAWS (my first article debuted 10 years and two days ago at Baseball Prospectus, before my system even had a name). The two years in which I’ve run my series at SI.com have elevated the attention it receives exponentially, as has the inclusion of JAWS on Baseball-Reference.com. I am particularly gratified that some of the most prominent writers in the industry have incorporated my system into their thought processes. It’s seven years until I have a ballot of my own, but in the meantime I’m flattered to know that my work is getting its fair hearing when it comes to evaluating worthy Hall of Famers.

68 comments
championbc
championbc

Until Bagwell is in, the whole process is a joke.

ChristopherBowen1
ChristopherBowen1

The biggest JOKE of ALL-TIME is the selection of Tom Glavine into the Baseball Hall Of Fame.  He is absolutely UN-deserving! First off,  IF Greg Maddux had never become a Brave, Glavine would have languished in mediocrity forever.  He watched Maddux get calls off the plate.  Not way off, but off. . .and emulated that style.  But worse, Glavine got 6-10 inches off, AND he was a lefty such that those pitches to right-handers absolutely COULD NOT HAVE EVER crossed the plate (unlike Maddux whose angle to the right-handers could catch that corner).  Secondly, when Glavine became the player rep during the strike at the same time the umpires were having their strike and got to sit in a New York office with the umpire reps and work out a personal strike zone a full 6-10 inches off the plate to right-handers that lasted 7-9 years after that, he took off.  Notice, he never had good stats in the playoffs.  That's because everyone was watching those games, and many of the same umps who were ALWAYS giving him the 6-10 inches were reluctant to do so with everyone watching.  I'll bet you I watched Glavine in 100 different games where the umpires cheated to help him.  Talk about a cheater, he makes the PED users look like choir boys.  Tom Glavine in the HOF?  Ptttttueeey!

Riverotter
Riverotter

Bagwell losing votes is not a good sign. He deserves to be in the HOF first 400 HR and 200 SB guy in 6 decades and played in a pitcher's park for most of his career.

The only idiots against him say he must have used steroids because that's the ONLY way to add muscle!

mikalrod
mikalrod

Having baseball writers in charge of the HOF voting, instead of retired ball players, is the damn same thing as having ball players voting for the winner of the Pulitzer. It's ridiculous!  

x72
x72

They got it right except I'd add Biggio.

j7apple
j7apple

Is the best the Board of Directors for the Hall of Fame really can do regarding voting? Their rules


Electors: Only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten (10) years, shall be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least ten (10) years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.


Really? Thats the criteria to put in or withhold a candidate for the Hall?


Time to rethink your archaic voting rules, and actually have people that know a little more about the game and players then a bunch of beat writers. 



devinmcmusters
devinmcmusters

LeBatard has the right idea.   Let the people who pay the bills for you fat butted sportswriters get a say.

StephenRohrbeck
StephenRohrbeck

First, I must apologize to Mr Jaffe for essentially calling him a nerd who lives in his parents basement in a post last week. It was inappropriate and serves no purpose......


davidhusonone: These arguments always sound so persuasive and so logical when discussing drug use in major league baseball. Especially in soundbites on ESPN radio and the llike Yes, players popped greenies for years and they all claimed they helped, but it is a placebo at best. Yes, you are more attentive, but prolonged use makes you more jumpy and nervous, eliminating any minimal affect of the drug. What greenies can't do is increase the amount of power in your swing, the amount of torque that you can apply and aid you in hitting a ball inside at eye level 500 feet. So, this argument sounds strong, but doesn't really pass muster. Why? If greenies did create a measurable difference you would see it in the stats. While records were broken in the 60's and 70's there was not an outbreak of lifetime 15 HR hitters hitting 45-50 like we saw in the steroid era. While Aarron did hit 250 homers after 30, it can be attributable to having Mays in front of him to chase, not a triple shot espresso worth of caffeine in a pill.


The voters are idiots. Maddox was the best control pitcher in the history of the game, but not a unanimous candidate. In the late nineties, I saw him throw a game against SD in a little more than ninety minutes. Fans coming late to the game expecting to arrive in the third inning arrived in the seventh. Truly masterful. I don't understand the lunacy of the small children who run the BBWAA. I imagine them all looking like Burt Sugar, the old boxing writer. Rumpled suit, fedora, burning cigar, and an open bottle of scotch in front of them at the end of the bar drinking at resentments and imagined slights from the players while they pound away on their Royal typewriters. Idiots, just idiots.


ToddBennett: If it is so easy to win games and it is such a non-stat, why have only about 45 guys in the history of the game won more than 250 games? It is an important stat, but your analysis is relevant as well. I think as we move into the JAWS era, we should resist the temptation to move from the  old school "Guy doesn't look like a baseball player" scouting extreme to the"HAL 9000 makes a 15-75 pitcher look good"  extreme where I can make almost anyone look descent if I manipulate the stats correctly. Now in this case you're talking about the Ryan express, clearly a HOFer, but it is a slippery slope with stats.


This brings me to my last point. A point that I was trying to make last week, but I lapsed into churlishness and immaturity. The BBWAA is horrible, almost as bad as FIFA as an institution. But I fear that if we become too clinical, that if this is just based on stats, we eliminate the humanness of the game. Yes Bonds and several others have impressive stats, but no matter the argument, they used unfair means to reach these stats when other players in the past and present did not. Notice I did not say illegal, I said unfair. Because in the end, baseball is the most egalitarian of games. Everyone faces the same pitchers and batters and are measured based on their skill as expressed in stats. Steroids create an unfair advantage in this equation and exaggerate stats. I think it is wrong to say that Bonds is just as good as Aarron. Hank Aarron  went to the stadium every day, hit home runs and played it straight. I think it is wrong to say that JAWS makes Bonds better than Frank Thomas, who looked the way he did because he worked at it constantly, and played it straight. Too much moralizing and personal vendetta in HOF selection is very wrong, too much statistical analysis minus human context and some moral judgement allows for someone (like Bonds) to turn our wonderful game into an exercise of statistical manipulation (I think this was intentional on his part and he should be barred for this reason alone). Maybe it is time for writers and fans, to stop yelling at each other, take a deep breath, step back and really look at the stats,  the means by which the stats were achieved, and then lets pick an HOF.  

oasis1994
oasis1994

Has anyone given thought to what could happen next year?

Think about this,

Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz (assuming he is a first ballot guy; I think he is).

That is 3 guys from the same rotation for a number of years; pretty impressive. 

Not only the 3 of them, but their manager as well.



ToddBennett
ToddBennett

Food for thought,

On this vote, WAR

1.  Bonds

2,  Clemens

3.  Mad Dog

4.  Glavine

5.  Moose

6.  Bagwell

7.  Alan Trammell, 70.3 career WAR, almost 6 more then Bidge, who deserves in too.


IJS.  By the standards of his era, he was a terrific all around SS.  Now maybe WAR does not count for some of you, maybe it is raw stats or the eye test.  By the clean stats/eye test Jim Edmonds gets in.


But I am guessing most of you did not know that about the skinny SS from Cali.


I am also guessing you did not know the skinny 19 yr old rookie would eventually build a career 14 WAR greater then Frank Thomas.  Because defense counts kids.  And the Moose, with 83 WAR, has an argument to go first ballot, you probably did not know that either.  Some say WAR is made up.  No, look at wins you say.  Look at RBIs you say.  WAR was created to quantify overall value to the team.


I stopped looking at wins way back in 1987.  Nolie led baseball in ERA, SO, and hits per 9.  And went 8-16.  There's ya stinkin wins.  His WAR, the fifth highest of his career, 5.4, an indisputably HOF pace.

But you probably did not know Moose and Nolie come within .4 for WAR for their careers.  Did ya?



Semantics
Semantics

The writers who didn't vote for Maddux aren't idiots. They're simply grandstanding narcissists who understand that Maddux is getting in with or without their vote, and they'd rather garner national attention either by voting for someone who has no chance or simply due to their no-vote.


You all do realize the BBWAA is a group populated quite prominently by a bunch of old blowhards, right? They behave in incredibly immature and egocentric ways, but they aren't stupid.

davidhudsonone
davidhudsonone

I am sick to death of these self important self righteous baseball writers obsessed with the "good old days" when baseball was "clean"! Baseball has not been "clean" since the 1950's. The most abused PED's in baseball was/is morphine & amphetamine. It was common knowledge that most major league players ate "greenies" regularly. How do you think Mantle played so well with raging hangovers? Amphetamine makes you alert, more focused, and you don't get tired, even after back to back games with a train/plane trip arriving early in the morning hours. It was legal in the U.S. until 1965 and wasn't banned from MLB until 2006. Why did MLB turn a blind eye to speed? Because the quality of the game during a 162 game season would suffer without it. Why do we have now have day games before travel days, because speed is banned. So don't give me this crap about the sport being clean before the steroid era, because it wasn't and everyone knew it! All those stats from the 40's 50's 60's and 70's and 80's are tainted as well. 

Every athlete looks for an edge, whether through nutrition, B12 shots, steroids, HGH or speed. PEDs have always been a part of the game and in my opinion there are no stats that aren't tainted.Oh, the baseball writers have taken a zero tolerance?  There's the problem with the baseball hall of fame - it's members are determined by a group of people who don't have any more credentials than anyone else on the planet to be passing judgement on anyone.  It's impossible to take baseball serious anymore.  The guy who has the most hits in the history of the game isn't in their hall because he bet on his team AFTER he finished playing.  The guy who brought the game back to popularity (no one was watching between '94 - '98) is treated like a pariah.  A pitcher throws a perfect game (at the time, only 20 had been thrown in history) on national TV - millions witnessed it, yet the league did absolutely nothing to correct an obvious mistake.  No, this game is just a rung above the WWE due to it's weak/non-existent leadership.

Who are your "clean" heroes? The violent wife beating drunks who took amphetamines and morphine to endure 162 games or maybe it was the hardcore racist bigots who did not want a black player in the league.  It is a complete fairy tale that there was ever a "pure" era in baseball. It's pretty simple as to why that myth is perpetrated, from the early 1900's until the 1990's there was no internet, virtually no instantaneous world wide media that reports the minutia of these guys everyday life. Back in the mid and early 1900's if a man was beating his wife it was between him and her and she obviously did something to deserve it so it was never reported, and they never tested for anything! Clean ERA in baseball??? There's your real Fantasy Baseball!!!

Whoever the morons werethat left Maddux off of their ballots should be stripped of their voting privileges ASAP, especially that complete boob that turned in a blank ballot! Biggio deserves his place in the Hall!!!

Michael10
Michael10

Biggio was not "robbed" by any stretch of the imagination. The Gurnick ballot and the blank ballot were legitimately cast by voters who, for whatever reason, did not find Biggio (or others) Hall-worthy in 2014. You can't just play "what if" by omitting ballots you don't like from the total.


"What if" Mark McGwire had retired after 1999 with 522 HRs? He'd have been a first-ballot inductee -- just months before his fateful date with Congress...

taiwan
taiwan

Every single year people kept complaining about the few voters not voting for a clear HOF. This year there were 16 people not voting for Greg Maddux. Five years ago 28 people didn't vote for Rickey Henderson. You're talking about the most stolen bases and arguably the best ever at taking pitches. People always remember about the HR record with Barry Bonds. But he also broke Rickey Henderson's walk record because people were afraid of letting Bonds hit. But the last thing pitchers wanted was to walk Rickey Henderson. But he earned all those walks by not swinging at pitches out of strike zone because he knew if he got on base it was as good as a double or triple. If he got on base you knew he probably would score. He was every pitcher's nightmare. But 28 people thought Rickey Henderson didn't cut it. We can go on and on. But the fact is he and Maddux both got elected. Just because they didn't break Tom Seaver's record doesn't mean they were lesser HOF than Tom Seaver. Babe Ruth should have received 100% of the votes, but he didn't. Let's leave it at that. People like the 16 that didn't vote for Maddux never have cost someone their admission to HOF on the first year.


I had no problem with anyone not voting Maddux. In fact I'd wished if some of Maddux's votes could go to Piazza or Bagwell and get two more elected so there are two less on the ballot next year. The problem with Ken Gurnick wasn't that he didn't vote for Maddux. My problem with him is that he wasted his vote by not voting anybody (other than Jack Morris). Next year we're going to have Pedro, Smoltz, and Randy Johnson. It's not going to get easier getting more than two voted into HOF.

Slatlantican
Slatlantican

Anyone who did not put Maddux on their ballot should have their voting privileges revoked.

Slatlantican
Slatlantican

Anyone who did OT put Maddux on his ballot should have his voting privileges revoked.

sportsGuy12
sportsGuy12

so some Old Fart won't vote for a player who starred in the 90's and early 00's, and it cost Biggio. @#$%!

trojanjerry
trojanjerry

Hey Selanne,  the Yankees' back-up shortstop in the 50s has six rings.  Does he belong in the Hall?

Rafael Hernandez
Rafael Hernandez

So glad that Schilling didnt garner more votes he doesnt deserve to be in the hall of fame he pitched 20 yrs and only mustered 216 wins in that span, before naysayers come out that he was a big game pitcher lets remember playoff stats do not count therefore there shouldnt even be any mentioned of him.


As for the idiot that left out greg maddux out of the voting process these are sports writers that needs to be stripped of their voter's rights it is an injustice to baseball and its fans. 


All the players inducted today are worthy Mike Mussina should garner more attention i mean the guy pitched his whole life in the tough AL East 18 yrs and garnered 270 wins im sure if he wanted to hang on for to get the elusive 300 wins he would have done so. 


If Bert Blyleven is in with 270 wins Mussina should garner more attention. 


Finally if you are going to allow three managers that managed during the Steriod ERa with the king (LaRussa) leading the way then you sports writers are hypocrites none of them deserved to be enshrined and dont give me that they didnt know what was going around in the clubhouse!



PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@mikalrod I disagree, the reason so many unworthy players- Lloyd Waner, Stan Coveleski, etc- got elected is because of ex-teammates and friends voting for them on the Veteran's Committee. If you have ex-players voting for the Hall, then a lot of unworthy guys are going to get elected. I see this all the time on MLB network where Harold Reynolds or Sean Casey explain why so and so should be a Hall of Famer a lot of others would agree that they aren't. 

bickiebannon
bickiebannon

@StephenRohrbeck You think they brought the typewriter to the bar? Good example of how mobile devices are now infused into our consciousness. 

And if you were being funny - even better, very Pythonesque

Sneeral
Sneeral

@StephenRohrbeck Amphetamines are a whole lot different than a triple shot of caffeine. As someone who did speed on occasion years ago, let me tell you, it's NOT a placebo thing and it most definitely does enhance performance. Increased energy and focus help in a real way. But I agree that they can't be compared to the effect steroids had (although I can't speak to that from personal experience).

Sneeral
Sneeral

@ToddBennett That was an annoying comment to get through. So I'll tell you what i do know: Mussina, in his 8 years with the Yankees was never the ace of the staff until his final season as a junk-baller when he finally won 20 games for the first time. He melted in big games consistently. I liked him personally, but he was always 3rd or 4th choice in terms of who I wanted to see out on the mound in a big game.

oasis1994
oasis1994

@ToddBennett 

You can't discount wins altogether. 

I think getting 300 plus wins shows someone how durable you were over your career; even if you were on "Good" teams. 

LarsJustinen
LarsJustinen

@davidhudsonone While you make a good point about drugs in general, I think most fans do see this issue as a matter of degrees. Sure, caffeine and speed wake you up and give you some temporary endurance. But you don't have to stare it in the face each time your favorite player comes to bat. Not so with steroids. Like Michael Jackson's plastic surgeries, its hard to get past  the physical change. I'm old, so I remember the early years watching a young Bonds run the bases. But watching the Bonds those last couple years he played was like watching the some other player. Unlike a Griffey or Martinez who just seemed to get older and slower, Bond looked like some kind of genetic experiment. 


Now I respect that you can obviously get past that. But some of us put this kind of biochemistry in a different category than taking uppers. 

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@Michael10 The Gurnick ballot is a farce at best. Not electing ANYBODY who played in the steroid era is ludicrous. I'm glad he is not a federal judge- a lot of people would end up guilty by association with no due process or evidence and wind up in jail. That type of thinking is more like North Korea, not America. 

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@trojanjerry I agree...its not about the rings, and Morris had a 2-1 record with an ERA of 3.70 in his Series career, he had ONE great game. He is overrated as a post season pitcher.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

Actually, 4.

But those don't count.  Because he pitched really badly in '92. THAT should define his career. NOT Game 7 in '91, or his 4-0 WS record in '84 and '91 combined.  Besides, wins are a worthless stat and his ERA would be the highest in the HOF (by a whole 0.10--Red Ruffing's was 3.80--horrors!).  

So say the SABR-dorks and other detractors.

Skiz999
Skiz999

If Schilling played for the Braves in their glory days instead of the low life Phillies, he would've had a lot more wins. Consider this, Schilling has a better career ERA, WHIP, strikeouts per 9, hits per 9 and more complete games than first time ballot Hall of Famer Tom Glavine. In 1992 Schilling led the National League in WHIP (0.99) and hits per nine innings (6.6) and had an ERA of 2.35, four shutouts and 10 complete games. He finished with a record of 14-11 for a Phillies team that won 70 games. In 1992, Tom Glavine had a 2.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, five shutouts and seven complete games, a terrific season but short of Schilling's work. He won 20 games for a Braves team that won 98 games. Glavine was Cy Young runner-up, Schilling received zero votes.

Josh H
Josh H

@Rafael Hernandez Playoff stats most certainly do count.  Are you crazy?  This isn't voting for a Cy Young or an MVP award, it's looking at a player's entire CAREER and judging if they were one of the best of the best.  Go spout your crazy elsewhere, we're all full here.

j7apple
j7apple

@PAZSKY @mikalrod I concur with you on that. I do feel the Hall needs to enlarge their voting audience than some beat writers who clearly are not the best makeup of people who enshrine anyone. 

FDowney
FDowney

@oasis1994@ToddBennettAnd I'd say that durability is already far, far overemphasized in the HOF. Honestly, I'm not at all upset Biggio didn't get in, because he's another "complier" (really, when did *any* pitcher *ever* say, "I can't let Biggio beat me!) and all those "compiler" benchmarks drive me nuts. And next year will be a case in point, because the notoriously undurable Pedro Martinez and his "paltry" 219 wins is going to waltz right into the Hall. And he should, because, when he was healthy, he was the best ever. I'll take 10 years of Pedro over 20 of *any* of his contemporaries with the possible exception of Maddux. Durability, shumrability. I'll take domination and transcendence over durability any day.

M20
M20

@oasis1994 @ToddBennett So someone with 298 wins isn't durable enough for the Hall, but someone with 302 is? These benchmarks are arbitrary.

j7apple
j7apple

@PAZSKY @Michael10 and the Hall board will look the other way and  continue him on as an eligible voter...amazing..

TomDunne
TomDunne

@Skiz999 During Schilling's last three full seasons with Philly, from 97-99, the Phillies had losing records each year but Schilling still won 17, 15 and 15 games, so I don't think his team cost him all that many victories.

The reason Schilling's win total is so low is really because he just didn't pitch nearly as much as other HOF starters.  In 20 seasons in MLB, Schilling made at least 30 starts just 7 times and 436 starts overall.  By way of comparison, Tom Glavine started at least 30 games 17 times in his 22 year career and started 682 times overall. That's 246 extra starts for Glavine, literally more than 50% of Schilling's total, which explains why he also has approximately 50% more wins than Schilling.

As good as Schilling was at his peak, you can't win games if you don't take the mound.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@Josh H @Rafael Hernandez Please, Playoff stats DON'T make you a HOF'er-  Allie Reynolds has SEVEN World Series victories and won SIX World Series rings with the Yankees- he has a better career wining percentage, better career ERA, had double digit wins in every year he was a full time Major Leaguer, and has as many All-Star appearances as Jack Morris. So is Reynolds a HOF'er? No, and neither is Morris.

taiwan
taiwan

@Josh H 

Pitcher A: 216-146
Pitcher B: 211-144

Pitcher A: 3.46 ERA
Pitcher B: 3.28 ERA

Pitcher A: 127ERA+
Pitcher B: 127 ERA+

Pitcher A: 3,261 innings pitched
Pitcher B: 3,256 innings pitched

Pitcher A: Six-time All-Star
Pitcher B: Six-time All-Star

Pitcher A: Zero ERA titles
Pitcher B: Two ERA titles

Pitcher A: Twice led the league in victories
Pitcher B: Once led the league in victories

Pitcher A: 3-1 with 0.93 ERA in Division Series
Pitcher B: 3-0 with 0.98 ERA in Division Series

Pitcher A: Nine seasons with 200+ innings pitched
Pitcher B: Nine seasons with 200+ innings pitched


Pitcher A is Curt Schilling, Pitcher B is Kevin Brown

trojanjerry
trojanjerry

@Josh H @Rafael Hernandez   Yes, playoff stats count.  RAfael, Blyleven's win total was in the 280s and he had more than 3,000 K's... and a ton of complete games and innings pitched... he belongs.. not your pal Mussina.


Sneeral
Sneeral

@PAZSKY @FDowney @oasis1994 @ToddBennett  Stupid comment. Aaron, may, Musial all were among the very best to ever play the game. Their peak seasons were immortal. Biggio was a good player with a few very good years. NOT deserving of the HOF.

FDowney
FDowney

@PAZSKY@FDowney@oasis1994@ToddBennettNo, They were not compilers. Pitchers feared them. Unlike Biggio. I actually don't have a problem with Biggio getting in, because I'd rather err on in or out--I'm not a HOF uber-exclusivist. But over--to pick one other guy on the ballot with a short career--Edgar Martinez? No way. For a period of a few years, Edgar Martinez was one of the five best hitters in his league. Craig Biggio was NEVER one of the five best hitters in his league.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@FDowney @oasis1994 @ToddBennett So Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Stan Musial all played over 20 seasons and showed their age at the end..are THEY compilers too? Stupid assessment. Biggio will be in the HOF.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@M20 @oasis1994 @ToddBennett Comparing 298 to 300 isn't a good analysis. Comparing 225 to 300 is. BUT in today's agme, when innings and starts are much lower than they were in the 1970s and 1980s, 250, maybe with some guys a give or take of 15-20 wins- will be the next 300 for this generation of picthers.

oasis1994
oasis1994

@M20 @oasis1994 @ToddBennett 


I think someone with over 200 wins does these days. I think anyone that started pitching from 1995 on with over 200 should be considered durable. It is not their fault organizations won't let them pitch. 

taiwan
taiwan

@TomDunne Although I don't completely agree with Rafael Hernandez's assessment on Curt Schilling, I do understand his point. If any HOF voter think that way I have no problems. Curt Schilling is not someone I'd vote ahead of Mike Mussina. As I said many times, Kevin Brown has very similar stats all the way up to division playoff. I understand Curt Schilling has incredible K/BB ratio. But that doesn't mean he is superior to Kevin Brown. Curt Schilling gave up 135 more home runs than Kevin Brown. In fact he once led NL in home runs given up while pitching for AZ. He refuses to walk people so he throws more strikes which got him more K's but also gave up a lot more home runs. Kevin Brown on the other hand may walk more. But that's because he's a great ground ball pitchers. He induced 137 more double plays than Curt Schilling. Also Kevin Brown pitched many years for Texas Rangers and some with NY Yankees, which meant he had to face DH. Curt Schilling pitched almost entirely with NL other than few years with Boston. Kevin Brown has very respectable career ERA of 3.28. Schilling's was 3.46. By the way, Kevin Brown received 2.1% of votes and fell off the ballot on first year.


The only thing that really separates Curt Schilling from Kevin Brown was the bloody socks and the ws record. But are you going to tell me Curt Schilling is more than 10 times better than Kevin Brown that he should receive more than 10 times the votes?


Mike Mussina was a much superior pitcher and I will tell you why. His K/BB ratio was second to Curt Schilling. We know he could have gotten the WS ring if he pitched for another year. He probably would have gotten 300 wins if he pitched for couple more. He won 7 gold gloves. He was an incredible fielder. He also got a great pick-off move. He was just as smart as Greg Maddux. This guy was a complete package. In fact I'm almost describing a lesser version of Greg Maddux here. That's how good he was. I just don't think Curt Schilling is in the same league.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@Josh H @Rafael Hernandez And Reynolds started his career at age 25 and played 5 less seasons than Morris. My point is if you are going to put Morris on a pedestal and say how great of a Playoff pitcher he was, there are guys with BETTER careers who had better playoff stats who aren't in the Hall.