archives

Fred McGriff

This tag is associated with 55 posts

Comparing the Hall of Fame Voters, Part II

So we’ve finally reached the end of this series. And this, to me, is the big one, looking at how supporters of any individual player viewed other guys on the ballot. This post will be filled with even more charts and numbers than last week (see below). Take some time to digest everything. I’ll try to point out what I see as highlights and lowlights, but if I miss anything you think is meaningful, please share in the comments below. I don’t think this was my strongest series of posts. Next year, I think I’ll look at this week’s and last week’s only, unless there’s something player-specific that just screams out for its own post.

[Andy Pettitte], [Scott Rolen], [Andruw Jones], [Larry Walker], [Billy Wagner], [Todd Helton], [Manny Ramirez], [Jeff Kent], [Omar Vizquel], [Votes Per Ballot]

A Big Mess of a Chart

You’re excused if you want to skip this one or if your less than bionic eyes won’t let you read it. It’s a big mess of numbers that I break down below when I discuss each player. I include it here because I put it together, and maybe you see something interesting in here than I don’t.

Overall

Support for Bonds and Clemens

These two have to be linked together, and voters generally do. As I’ve whined in the past, I have no clue how someone can support one and not the other, but some voters do. This is the only chart that will be combined because I think the tiny nuances are interesting. Two things jump out. First, in only one of two cases in my entire study, we see a case of 100% of supporters of a player, voting for another. In this case, it’s Sosa supporters backing Clemens. How someone who thinks Sosa belongs in the Hall won’t vote for Bonds is beyond me. But so is people who think the earth is flat. I’ve got some blind spots, apparently. The other thing, and it’s a small one, is that there’s a decent separation between support for Clemens and Bonds among Rolen voters voters. But I suspect the gap is meaningless.

Bonds and Clemens

 

 

 

Support for Todd Helton

Two things jump out here. First, if you vote for PED users, you don’t like Helton. Second, the top three guys on the list likely have some significance. Helton belongs in the Hall, and if you believe Rolen does, you support Helton more than anyone else does. They’re both under-the-radar, no-brainer candidates in my mind. Walker is second on the list. That’s because if you’re willing to vote for a player whose career included a significant number of games in Coors, it’s harder to leave off Helton than if you’re not. And finally, it’s McGriff. More than one in five who supported him saw a better first baseman and just couldn’t leave his name unchecked. Of course, almost four in five could…

Helton

 

 

Support for Andruw Jones

Not much to see here, but look who’s at the top once again.

Jones

 

Support for Jeff Kent

In my fantasy baseball days, in only played in a league that had live auctions. We’d all get together in a room to spend about ten hours forming our teams. I was pretty successful overall, and I think I did a good gob reading the room. But there was one guy, Bart, who was on the lower side of owners in terms of player and game knowledge (or so I thought), yet I could never figure him out. Kent voters remind me of Bart. I don’t know why they do what they do. But check out the top three names – three guys who I don’t think you should support.

Kent

 

Support for Edgar Martinez

Like the supporters of a lot of non-PED guys, it’s the PED guys who are trailing here. And what do you know, 98.5% of voters who supported Rolen also supported Martinez.

Martinez

Support for Fred McGriff

This list generally makes sense. However, though I understand why McGriff supporters would support Helton, I don’t know why Helton supporters necessarily support McGriff.

McGriff

Support for Mike Mussina

Every public voter who checked Andy Pettitte’s name checked Mussina’s too. That makes sense, as Mussina was better. Looking down the list, supporters of Schilling and Halladay thought a little less of Mussina, which makes sense too. It’s easy to think Mussina was a lesser pitcher. Of course, Mussina is a clear Hall of Famer. Look where we find Rolen voters.

Mussina

Support for Andy Pettitte

Given how few votes Pettitte garnered, there’s not much to see here. However, it’s no surprise that there are PED users occupying four of the top five spots on this list.

Pettitte

Support for Manny Ramirez

Nothing but guys associated with PEDs at the top of this list. There are no huge surprises here, though I’d have bet more than one in sixteen Wagner supporters would have thought Manny qualified.

Ramirez

Support for Scott Rolen

I’m not surprised that Helton and Walker lead this list. I’m a little surprised to find Wagner this high. At the bottom, we see Sosa, Sheffield, and Kent voters. They likely want more power out of their Hall candidates.

Rolen

Support for Curt Schilling

While I wouldn’t have bet on Jones topping this list, I’m not surprised that the top eight are all guys who I think are deserving. As is normal, the bottom three guys all have a PED connection.

Schilling

Support for Gary Sheffield

Once again, we see PEDs as a voting issue.

Sheffield

Support for Sammy Sosa

And again.

Sosa

Support for Omar Vizquel

The thing we’ve seen almost as much as PEDs being a deciding factor is Scott Rolen voters being much better than average. Fewer Rolen voters supported Vizquel than voters of any other candidate. At the top of Vizquel’s list are a borderline Kent, a borderline Pettitte, and a below-the-line McGriff. Again and again and again, we are reminded that support for Vizquel is associated with understanding greatness less than support for any other player.

Vizquel

Support for Billy Wagner

See my comments for Sheffield, Sosa, and others.

Wagner

Support for Larry Walker

Ho hum, Rolen voters. And look for the presence of Vizquel voters throughout these lists. For deserving candidates, he’s often lowest on the list without a PED connection.

Walker

I’m typing this line just moments before the first pitch of the Yankee-Oriole Opening Day game. To me, it makes sense to finish with Hall coverage about this time. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, and even though the season will be more than three weeks old by the time you read this, I hope you enjoy the season too!

Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Comparing the Hall of Fame Voters

In a series that has gone on far longer than I anticipated, today I bring to you a review and a bit of analysis of votes per BBWAA ballot. Generally speaking, I believe ballots with more players are better than ballots with fewer. There were fifteen guys the voters were allowed to review who I support, and there were a handful of others who a reasonable person might. Thus, I would argue a ballot that included fewer than ten names was a mistake. Basically, the fewer the names, the bigger the mistake. I suspect you’ll see some clear trends below, and even if you don’t, I’ll be sure to point them out for you.

At this point, I don’t imagine you’ve missed any part of this series you want to see. But if you have…

[Andy Pettitte], [Scott Rolen], [Andruw Jones], [Larry Walker], [Billy Wagner], [Todd Helton], [Manny Ramirez], [Jeff Kent], [Omar Vizquel]

A Big Chart

We’re going to start with an overall chart. Yes, it’s big and not so easy to read. Alphabetical order doesn’t really make things easier either. The real thing I want to point out here is the public (8.25), private (6.72), and overall (8.01) average names per ballot. You might wonder why all of those numbers are lower than even the lowest number for any individual player. First, our individual players numbers are all public ballots, so we should focus only on the number 8.25. There’s a second reason too. There might be a mathematical term or explanation for this phenomenon, but I don’t know what it is. Let’s take an example though. There are 9.17 names on each public ballot that has Barry Bonds’ name checked. But for those 222 ballots, if you eliminated Bonds (as is the case with all ballots without Bonds’ name checked), there are only 8.17 names per ballot, or below the public average. In other words, the average of all ballots was 0.08 names higher than those ballots with Bonds’ name, minus the credit for Bonds. This little exercise doesn’t take into account that there are plenty of Bonds ballots that would include another name if they were allowed. That’s okay though. It tells us something.

Overall Chart

By Candidate

 

The thing to see here is pretty simple. At least as I would argue it, generally speaking, the more names that are on your ballot, the better you are as a voter. Jones and Rolen voters stand above others by this measure. Those who support Ramirez, Sheffield, Walker, Sosa, Bones, Pettitte, Wagner, Clemens, and Helton make us the next level. The third level includes those who voted for Schilling, Kent, and McGriff. I explain in a section below that I don’t give Schilling voters a hard time for finding themselves at this level. The fourth level sees only Vizquel. His supporters thought less of the candidates overall than the supporters of any other candidate.

By Candidate

Supporting 10

This next chart, as with all that follow, shows the percentage of ballots with a particular player’s name checked. In this case, it’s those ballots that have the full compliment of ten names checked. You can see that over three-quarters of all Andrew Jones’ public votes have ten names checked. Almost three-quarters of Scott Rolen’s public votes also checked ten. There’s a sizable drop after those names. Five of the next six players on the list are players associated with PEDs. It’s not surprising that this group tops others because those who won’t vote for those associated with PEDs have fewer qualified candidates from whom to choose. Those who will have an easier time getting to ten names. To me, those facts speak very, very well of Jones and Rolen voters.

I think you also see some interesting stuff at the bottom of this chart. Andy Pettitte voters could only find nine other qualified names half the time. That’s a shame to me since Pettitte was associated with PEDs. What I mean is that if you vote for Pettitte, you must vote for Bonds and Clemens. Also, Pettitte was clearly a lesser pitcher than Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, and Curt Schilling. So we’re up to six now. Mariano Rivera makes seven. That means half of Andy Pettitte voters disagree with something above, or they thought Pettitte was better than all but two of of Ramirez, Sheffield, Sosa, Edgar, Walker, Rolen, Helton, and Kent. In other words, Pettitte voters struggled to do their jobs well.

The last thing I want to point out is the support Omar Vizquel voters give to other candidates. It’s below the average, which is just about impossible. For whatever reason, I’ve read a lot about the Dunning-Kruger Effect recently, and I think it applies here. Basically, those who have a lot of information doubt and question their information quite a bit. For example (patting myself on the back), I’ve wavered on Manny, Pettitte, Sheffield, Kent, and even Larry Walker in the past. (My Walker wavering was in the long ago past, and I understand my former arguments were poor). Dunning-Kruger goes on to hypothesize that those who know much less are far more assured in their opinions. Those who just know Omar Vizquel was a defensive genius on par with Ozzie Smith or that Jack Morris was the pitcher of the 80s are not influenced by facts to the contrary. (Note: I realize I might be bastardizing Dunning-Kruger to a degree, but I believe I am generally representing it correctly).

10

Supporting 10 or 9

I am very happy to see on this chart that Andy Pettitte voters aren’t quite as bad as represented on the full ballot chart. Lots of them support exactly nine candidates. You also see the PED candidates continue to be bunched, the Jones and Rolen voters still at the top, and the Vizquel voters continuing to do a terrible job. Let me explain what Omar’s 60.4% number means. It means two in five of his supporters thought that there were six or fewer deserving candidates on this ballot other than the unanimous Mariano Rivera and their guy, Omar.

10, 9

Supporting 10, 9, or 8

Continuing our journey, you see that more than 19 in 20 Rolen and Jones voters thought there were at least seven other worthy candidates. About nine in ten voters for eight other candidates thought there were at least seven worthies other than their guy. Then we see a drop. Fred McGriff voters, in my opinion, were wrong. He got a pop in his final year on the ballot that was inconsistent with his record. It makes some sense that Billy Wagner voters might be in this range. Some simply believe he was one of the very best closers of all-time, that closer is a position, and that there weren’t more than six others who were among the very best of all-time at their positions. I think that’s wrong, but it’s not illogical. I don’t mind that Curt Schilling voters are down here. I think there’s a real argument to be made that Schilling was the single best player on this ballot not associated with PEDs. A smaller Hall, non-PED supporter might stop not too many names after Schilling. Jeff Kent voters are just strange – or at least I can’t quite figure them out. And then we have Omar voters. More than a quarter of them think Omar, the unanimous guy, and five or fewer others are the only ones on this ballot who had careers worthy of enshrinement.

10, 9, 8

Supporting 8, 7, or 6

To me, these are bad ballots. I can make an anti-PED case for supporting only nine. It’s not a good case, but I can make it. I can make no such case for eight. And what do you know! Omar is at the top.

8, 7, 6

Supporting 7 or Fewer

This is just the reverse chart of the one above showing support for 10, 9, or 8. Please excuse rounding errors.

7 or Fewer

Supporting 6 or Fewer

Now this is just funny. Nearly one in five Omar voters find their guy, Mariano, and four or fewer others of Hall quality. Check out the Rolen voters. I’d have to call them the best voters of 2019.

6 or Fewer

Supporting 5 or Fewer

If you’re not angry yet, your chances of dying from some stress-related malady are lower than mine.

5 or Fewer

In a week, we’ll close out this series, concentrating on the players you support if you support a particular candidate.

Miller

The Hall Vote: Miller and Eric Tell You Now About Tomorrow’s Big Announcement

Every year at the Hall of Miller and Eric we go through the curious exercise omariano rivera, 2013f making predictions about the annual Hall of Fame election. Miller does the amazing work of examining each pre-announcement ballot and grading its logic. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. So he’s got some serious pattern-recognition muscles at the ready. We also feature Eric on drums and wisecracks. Anyway, each year we peek inside the minds of the voters, and usually we throw up in our mouths, but nonetheless, we persist, offering you predictions at least half baked. I mean the predictions, we don’t smoke grass, even if it seems sometimes like we must.

ERIC: My numero uno prediction! Mariano Rivera will not be the first unanimously elected Hall of Famer in history. I’ve got two reasons for saying that:

  • It’s the BBWAA and some old barnacle who doesn’t reveal his ballot always uses the Joe DiMaggio wasn’t unanimous “logic.”
  • Usually someone submits a blank ballot in protest of some something.

MILLER: As a bit of a contrarian myself, I very much want to disagree with you. Alas, I cannot. The Hall of Fame does both the process and the fans a disservice by not revealing voters’ ballots. I’m just going to leave it at that. If Rivera doesn’t reach 100%, I don’t care how close he gets.

My next prediction has to do with Andy Pettitte, one of my all-time least favorite players. He’s going to come within a few votes of falling off the ballot. I’m thinking single digits. Heck, maybe he even falls off. He has two big things working against him. First, he’s not andy pettitte, 2011one of the four best pitchers on the ballot. Just about nobody thinks he is. Second, he used PEDs, and anonymous voters support PED users considerably less than public voters do. Of course, some voters are just idiots. Yes, I write that line with the anger you believe. A full 25% of Pettitte voters as of this writing didn’t vote for Barry Bonds. So maybe he stays on the ballot because some writers are so awful that they don’t know he used PEDs? That’s frightening – and entirely possible. I’m sure there are some voters who are sure that “a guy like Andy” would never do that.

ERIC: I am pretty shocked by his dearth of support. Going into Hall season, I thought he’d get around 20% at minimum. 250 wins!!!! Yankees!!!! Postseason wins!!!! Lots of ringzzzzz to count!!!! I can’t resist this:

  • Andy: 256 wins, .626%, 3.85 ERA
  • Jack: 254 wins, .577%, 3.90 ERA

Better yet:

  • Most wins 1980–1989: Jack Morris—pitcher of the 1980s
  • Most wins 2000–2009: Andy Pettitte

But you know, Morris was always out there winning twenty games because he was the pitcher of the 1980s. Morris won 20 three times. Pettitte did it twice.

But Morris pitched the game. Pettitte sealed a World Series sweep of the Padres in 1998 by going 7.1 scoreless in the fourth and deciding game. In the clincher of the 2000 World Series, he gave up two unearned runs to the Mets in seven frames to stifle the crosstown team in five games.

Sorry I couldn’t resist….

MILLER: As someone who supports Pettitte’s candidacy, I don’t think this is a very good argument for you. 😊

roy halladay, 2018Next prediction. It’s pretty clear Halladay and Edgar get in. Halladay is over 94% right now, but I suspect he’ll fall below 90%. And Edgar is over 90% now, but I think he’ll fall scarily close to 80%. I guess nobody will be scared since we won’t see those anonymous ballots come in on the Tracker, but I could imagine the collective Emerald City hearts skipping a beat or twenty if they were able to see each one in real time.

ERIC: I hate to be so rude, but dying is one of the best things you can do to get into the Hall. It creates narrative. Halladay barely squeaked over 200 wins. His numbers are less impressive than Curt Schilling’s. But between the playoff no-no and his untimely death, the righty has extra mojo. Meanwhile, Mariners’ partisans and fans of great batsman everywhere will get their wish this year. We’re writing this about week before the announcement goes out, but Edgar has converted a net 17 no-voters from last year into yes-voters. Last year, he missed election by just 20 votes. So the magic number is around +3 at this point. It may be less. Tibbs is estimating 412 ballots will be cast in 2019, but in 2018 the count was 422. Martinez may have already sealed the deal, provided he doesn’t lose any support. I predict he’ll end up at 85% by combining the herding effect with the last-year-on-the-ballot-effect.

Now I will dazzle our audience with my peerless perspicacity. For my next prediction: Mike Mussina will get into the Hall of Fame this year…or next!

edgar martinez, 2014MILLER: Before I wholeheartedly agree with your gutsy Mussina call, lemme go back to Halladay and Martinez for a moment.

I think old school ballot hiding/hiders (perhaps because they have no publishing outlets) will drop Edgar below 85%. I’d wager a well-crafted non-alcoholic cocktail in it.

As for Halladay, I don’t disagree with any of your points. However, I do believe writers are getting a shade better too. Sure, they have to hide their support of Halladay in complete games and toughness, but I think they’re moving in the right direction. I’ve been saying this for years, and it seems that the results support my take. Voters have coalesced around Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Mike Piazza, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas in the last five years. Of the top-15 vote-getters in 2014, all are in, going this year or next, or are Bonds, Clemens, or Schilling (who may go next year anyway. This is all to say that while many electors are awful, the electorate is generally competent and improving, if glacially. It’s likely that Halladay’s death is playing a role. It’s likely the October no-no matters too much. It’s likely the complete games matter too much. But I also think the greatness is appreciated more than it would have been even five years ago.

mike mussina, 2014As for Mussina, I feel like you’re putting me to the test now. We’re making predictions in this post, and you, essentially, didn’t make one. Of course, as the more arrogant among us, this should fall to me. Mike Mussina will be elected this year. Anthony Calamis wrote it better than I could, so I refer you there. I also refer you to my occasional optimism and my general belief that the electorate is improving.

So we agree on Rivera, Halladay, and Edgar, essentially. What’s your call on Mussina. Do it, Eric! Do it! Commit!

ERIC: You can’t spell Mussina with out in. There’s lots of interesting stuff going on below the cutline for immortality. Walker’s surge, for example. As we write this post, he’s +38 with last year’s voters and 5 of 7 with newbie voters. So he’s gained 43 votes above 2018 among the first 44% of votes known. In fact, with another convert today, his known percentage ticked up to 67%. He picked up a total of 42 converts and newbies last year when he made a 15 point jump. Tibbs’ Tracker had 247 ballots on it before the results went public with a 38.5% approval rating. He finished at 37.5%. So if he keeps converting at this high rate, he’s probably going to finish 2019 in the high 50s or low 60s. PREDICTION!!!!: Larry Walker will either make the Hall in 2020, his last year of eligibility, or the next time the Today’s Game Committee meets.

larry walker, 2005MILLER: I’m pleased Walker is tracking the way he is. Perhaps his eventual election will help to open the door for Todd Helton as well. I don’t know how I feel about writers coalescing around certain candidates. It’s gotten Edgar Martinez in. Previously, it helped stat darlings Tim Raines and Bert Blyleven. So there’s some good. But I’m troubled by what is, essentially, groupthink. Sure, some are converted by the knowledge they may gain through Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, or some other site doing great work. I don’t think that’s the norm though. I think the norm is that a lot of writers look around and try not to look too stupid. And sometimes there’s a weird sympathy vote, like what’s going on this year with Fred McGriff. We have to remember that almost all sports writers are folks who went to school for journalism. They may or may not be real fans of baseball. Often, their “knowledge” of the game is attained through watching games from the press box and talking to players. They don’t necessarily read. They don’t necessarily try to understand value. After all, they don’t have to. And if they weren’t huge fans to begin with…

ERIC: As you and I and every other person ever has probably pointed out, baseball writers like a good story. They dig narrative, it’s their drug of choice. We can be a little hard on them sometimes. I think they generally do love baseball, and they provide information and insight that folks outside the game can’t get access to. But, like us stat heads, they have trouble seeing their blind spots. I mean, I’m sure I have some blind spots. I’m not sure what they are, but maybe I might possibly not be as smart or objective as I think. From time to time. That said, I am further pleased to see that Scott Rolen has gained some support this year. Nearly doubling one’s share of the vote, especially when you’re a third baseman who doesn’t have 400 homers or 3,000 hits is a nice feat. Getting to about 20% sets him up very nicely. In fact, we can see a pretty clear path for Rolen to gain support. To wit:

  • There’s no other third baseman on the ballot now
  • There won’t be any major third base candidates until 2025 (Adrian Beltre and David Wright)
  • The ballots between now and Beltre are really thin at the top, so he won’t face an onslaught of newbies who will suction away votes
  • By the end of next year’s vote, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker, and Mike Mussina will be gone, and maybe also Curt Schilling, which will open up somewhere between 750 and 1000 ballot slots to him.
  • No steroid taint.

That’s about as a good an opportunity as any down-ballot candidate could hope for.

MILLER: I like your take on Rolen and hope you’re right. As for predictions, I’ll address Schilling now by way of Mussina. Schilling won’t go next year because – and this hurts me quite a bit – Mussina won’t go this year. (Yes, I’ve changed my mind during this conversation. And yes, it’s going to be close enough that my vacillation shouldn’t surprise). I think he winds up north of 73% and will get in next year, but the upstate New York stage will be a little less crowded than it might be this summer. Schilling will go the year after Mussina does, so that means 2021. Alas.

ERIC: Oh, it’s a cruel, cruel world, and I don’t know which is more cruel: Mike Mussina waiting yet another year or Curt Schilling getting national time in front of a microphone. If he talks about walls, guns, PC, fake news, or the deep state, I’ll go off the deep end. OK, Bonds and Clemens then the lightning round. Go!

MILLER: You know, I’m not worried about Schilling’s eventual speech. I don’t care what my politicians think about sports, and I don’t care what my athletes think about politics. Plus, I’m a lot more likely to read Breitbart than I am to listen to a Hall speech.

  • Clemens is never getting in via the BBWAA.
  • Bonds is never getting in via the BBWAA.
  • Some people will remain insane and vote for one but not the other.
  • Oswalt and Berkman won’t see another ballot.
  • Everyone else we hope will, will.

And some bullets from you?

ERIC: I don’t care what Curt thinks about politics, I care that he’s adding white-nationalist poison to the world. His politics are merely a vehicle for his loosely disguised race baiting. Hate transcends politics, just as love does. But setting that aside, let’s close this sucker out with more of my fantastic predictions:

  • You and I will be deeply annoyed about some aspect of the vote.
  • The government shutdown won’t be over by the time we get the results.
  • Mariano Rivera’s speech will feel gracious and warm, and next year Derek Jeter’s will feel gracious and as though it were written by his personal PR flack.
  • Joe Morgan or Goose Gossage will say something harebrained about the results.
  • Mike Mussina will be doing a crossword puzzle when he gets the call.
  • And last but not least, Murray Chass will vote for Mariano Rivera and ONLY Mariano Rivera. You didn’t think we’d finish this piece without mentioning Murray, did you?

Thanks for joining our annual predictions conversation, everyone. Tune in again on the evening of the 21st for a very special treat on Hall Call Eve and for our reaction to the results a day after their announcement. And, of course, we’ll have our own 2019 election for the Hall of Miller and Eric coming up after that—boy are we stumped on that one. And remember this: If any of our predictions come true, you heard it first at the Hall of Miller and Eric!

 

First Base Favorites, What Would It Take?

A few days ago I posted some catcher favorites and imagined what it would take for them to get into the HoME. In that post, I asked for your thoughts on players you might like included at other positions. And you shared! Your ideas make this post a bit longer than I expected, but I expect you’ll enjoy the reader suggestions at least as much as those I originally planned to include.

Second basemen will show up as soon as Wednesday, so keep those suggestions coming please!

Will Clark/John Olerud: Throughout every iteration of MAPES, these two have been right next to each other in my rankings. In that way, they’re a little like Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina, albeit on the wrong side of the line. They’re both so close to said line that just one 4-win season would get either one past Mark McGwire, the last first baseman in the HoME. Don’t think it’s as easy as readjusting games played for the 1994-95 work stoppage. I edit those seasons up to 162 games with injury risk factored in already. For Olerud, he got to the majors early, kind of famously never spending any time in the minors (until he was 36). Plus, he was allowed to play until he was just about done, and he experienced no major injuries that, if avoided, would have given him the necessary value to pass McGwire. Clark also got to the majors early. However, he might not have been done when he hung ‘em up. After all, Clark’s final season was worth 2.1 WAR, and his triple slash was .319/.418/.546. It seems that a desire to cut down on travel and bone chip removal probably convinced him to retire. He certainly could have added a bit of value at the end. And were it not for those pesky bone chips, Clark may have been healthier in 1996 and 1997. If we were to add about 80 games in those years and another 80 at the end, he’d likely be near the 4 WAR needed to catch McGwire.

gil hodges, 1952Gil Hodges (reader suggestion): There was a time, I think, when Hodges had received the most BBWAA votes in history. Maybe he still owns that record. And if so, he could remain in that position at least until another rule changes extends a player’s life on the ballot. He appeared on 15 ballots and only twice received less than 48% of the vote. That’s a lot of votes. As far as Hodges’ theoretical case goes, military service jumps out when looking at his BBREF page, but he only missed ages 20 and 21 and was in the minors at 22. In other words, there’s nothing to see there. When we look at his record, it screams “Orlando Cepeda”, at least to me. That means getting into the Hall would have happened if he were born a few years later (it seems writers have coalesced around players more in later years) or if he had Vet Committees that were a bit friendlier to him. The Hodges/Cepeda comparison is just the type Bill James had in mind when he thought of the second word in his book, The Politics of Glory. As far as the HoME, it’s tougher, yet easier to understand. Pretend his first season wasn’t just one game. Pretend it was worth 8.3 WAR. He’s in! Simple, I know, but not that simple.

fred mcgriff, 1987Fred McGriff: We all know McGriff’s story. At least to me, it stinks that he’s converting so many votes in his final year on the ballot, when it doesn’t matter, and when he’s still a lesser player than a bunch of unworthy Hall of Famers. Writers are fond of saying that if it weren’t for the mid-90s work stoppages, McGriff would already be in the Hall. Yeah, okay, maybe. But if he were, that would be a sad commentary on the writers – that they think a player is meaningfully better with only seven additional home runs to get to 500. Seriously. The implication if they think he’d already be in the Hall is that more than three times as many writers would vote for him if he hit just seven more home runs. Gosh, I hope not. To get into the HoME, he’d have needed to have done if for longer, which hardly seems possible. He was playing regularly enough at 23 and was done at 39. When he played, he was generally healthy. So basically, he’d have had to play better. To get an idea as to how much better, I took his peak, 1988-1994, and I added a win to each season. That’s seven wins in total, one added to each of his best seven seasons. He’d still be behind Clark and Olerud. If he’d be willing, I’d hire him to be a greeter at the mythical Hall of Very Good.

Norm Cash: Given the 1961 season Cash put up versus the rest of his career, he has to be one of the more unique players ever. With my conversions, that year was worth almost 9 WAR, while he never reached 5.3 in any other season. Darin Erstad, Ken Caminiti, Al Rosen, Rico Petrocelli, Denis Menke, Bernard Gilkey, and maybe Bryce Harper are stars with similar singular sensational seasons and a big drop thereafter. I hate to offer such a simplistic explanation as luck, but Cash was lucky in 1961. Put simply, Cash had a career BABIP of .273, and his second highest ever was .295. In ’61 it was .370. He also had his highest walk rate that year. Is that because pitchers feared the singles? Yes, I mean singles. As a percentage of all of his hits in 1961, his rate of those for extra bases was only the fourth highest of his career. He did have his best HR rate though. While I rank Cash 40th in history at the position, not even another year of about 9 WAR would get him in. Two would though. But that’s an awful lot of luck to ask for.

don mattingly, 2013Don Mattingly: There are Yankee fans who say Mattingly in his prime is the best player they ever saw. I suspect they were all born in 1975 and 1976, only paid attention to the Yankees, and gave up on baseball when they had their first legal drink. At his best, Donnie Baseball was a joy to watch, a doubles machine. But his plate discipline was only good. His power was only good after his 1987 back injury. And that’s enough of the story. Let’s pretend there’s no back injury. Through age 26, he had 25.4 WAR. So I’m going to look at every first baseman within one WAR of Mattingly through that age. There are seven guys. Eddie Murray, Hank Greenberg, Johnny Mize, and Keith Hernandez are in the HoME. Will Clark isn’t, but I suspect he could have been. Jake Beckley is right after Clark and Olerud by MAPES+. In other words, he’s very close. And then there’s Stuffy McInnis, 66th at the position. You could say that Mattingly was 6 of 7 to have a HoME-like career without the back injuries. Or maybe it’s only 4 of 7 since Clark and Beckley aren’t actually in. Were it not for the back injuries, there’s a reasonable chance he could have found himself in Cooperstown. In other words, I think Mattingly apologists are likely more correct than McGriff apologists (seven missing homers). That’s not something I’d have said before looking at his career in this way.

Hal Trosky (reader suggestion): A headache is to a migraine as a punch in the stomach is to how Sigourney Weaver would have felt if the Alien ripped her stomach open and climbed in. Maybe analogies aren’t my thing. Anyway, from what I’m told, one can’t understand migraines through their experience with mere headaches. Trosky had migraines. They were so bad that he didn’t play a ton when he was 28, took 29 and 30 off, and was never the same again. When he was on, he was incredible at the dish, averaging over 120 runs batted in for seven seasons from 1934-1940. But to be fair, he wasn’t great when there wasn’t a bat in his hands. In other words, he couldn’t field, which clearly hurts his case. We’re going to do the same thing with Trosky as we did with Mattingly. He had 28.0 WAR through his age-27 season. Basically, he’s Mattingly with 2.6 WAR at 27. And that’s not good. First basemen within a win of his total include HoMErs Jeff Bagwell and Keith Hernandez. However, Ed Konetchy (45th) and Stuffy McInnis (66th) are also on the list. Freddie Freeman is there too, so I’m thinking there’s less than a 50% chance Trosky would have been a HoMEr had he been migraine-free and healthy.

Cecil Cooper (reader suggestion): I actually covered Cooper’s case about ten months ago. Spoiler alert: it would have taken quite a bit.

jim bottomley, 1934-1936Jim Bottomley: If you’re a regular reader, you might be glad he’s in the Hall of Fame. If he and his ilk weren’t, there’d have been no reason for Eric and me to start this blog. Bottomley played for Veterans Committee stalwart Frankie Frisch from 1927-1932. As the risk of being guilty of a single cause fallacy, that’s why Sunny Jim is in the Hall. Bottomley was pretty good when Frisch joined the Cards in 1927. He was better in 1928. But for the last four years of their time together, he was worth just 2.0 WAR per season. In other words, he was just another guy. To get an idea of how far away he is, I added 2.0 WAR to each one of his first seven seasons. Even then, he’s still be behind Gil Hodges. In other words, he’s not close.

High Pockets Kelly: Ugh! Why am I bothering with another Frisch pick? I’m not. My brain’s not feeling that twisty right now.

Ted Kluszewski (reader suggestion): Not that it matters, but Klu and Pockets were born on the same day. Sunny Jim and I were also born on the same day. And all four of us were born from September 10 – September 16. Another thing, as much as I try, I can’t spell his name right. Big Klu is a big deal because he hit 136 homers from 1953-1955. Of course, he only hit 143 more in over the rest of his career. Thus, if you were born in about 1940, you might remember Kluszewski as great when he really wasn’t, at least not for his career. He’s sort of like a lesser Mattingly for those fans who are 30-35 years older. On his SABR Bio Project page, Paul Ladewski mentions a back injury incurred during a bit of a clubhouse tussle. But let’s be realistic. He only had 30.7 WAR through that season. And he was 32 the next year. Even with health, there was no shot. If we add a five wins to each of his best three seasons, he’d only get past Mark Grace.

Kevin Youkilis (reader suggestion): It’s sort of rare when contemporaneous outstanding players are so similar. I’m thinking Clark and Olerud here, or perhaps Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling. It’s rare in large part because just being that great is uncommon. As much as I loved Youk as a key figure on the Red Sox 2007 title team and one of the main reasons they beat the Indians in the ALCS after being down 3-1, he’s a fairly ordinary player. What I mean is a lot of players have had his career shape, whether or not they built value similarly. Youk didn’t reach the majors until he was 25. And with Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller on the corners in Fenway, he wasn’t a regular until he was 27. Guys who aren’t regulars until they’re 27 don’t get into the Hall of Fame unless they throw a knuckeball or have pleasant dinners with Frankie Frisch (or Tony LaRussa?). Also, there are very few Hall of Famers who are essentially done after they turn 32. We’re talking about the land of ordinary players here. During Youk’s five-year peak, 2007-2011, he was the eighth best position player in the game by WAR. That’s nice, certainly the mark of a good player. It’s just not too unusual. If we tack five 5-win seasons onto the end of his career, he’d still be south of 40th at the position. A nice career for sure, but the Greek God of Walks lacked a level of omnipotence needed for HoME enshrinement.

joe adcock, 1958Joe Adcock (reader suggestion): Adcock one of only eighteen players ever to hit four home runs in a game. During that same epic game, he produced a then all-time record with 18 total bases in a single contest. While he’s since been passed by Shawn Green, trivia fans know his name well. As his BBREF page will tell you, he was a nice player, but nothing more. If we add a full 5 WAR to each of Adcock’s best five seasons, he’d rank only 48th at the position, between Adrian Gonzalez and Carlos Gonzalez. For some perspective, I added an All-Star season to his five best seasons, and he’s still not close. For a little more perspective, Mookie Betts has played just five seasons. If we added five wins to each of those seasons, he’d already be HoME level, better than HoMErs Reggie Smith and Sam Rice.

Dave Kingman: As you might know from reading this blog, or even just this particular post, I love baseball trivia. In 1977, Kingman homered for a team in each of baseball’s four divisions. For you kids out there, the Central divisions didn’t exist until 1994. Those under 30 don’t baseball with fewer than six divisions. You have to be about 60+ remember a time where there were just two leagues with no divisions. This stuff matters! We should think about these things to understand those who are a lot younger or older than we are. If you’re frustrated because “old people” drive too slowly, just remember that you desperately want to be old someday. And if you judge young people by their avocado toast or dispassion for what you consider to be important, think about what you were like at 19, and at least try a new food trend. Food trends don’t exist because they taste bad. Know what I mean? Also, if Kingman had a 30 WAR season (no typo), that would be just enough to get him into the HoME.

Any second basemen you want included here? Just let me know. I’ll adjust my plan accordingly.

Miller

Reviewing the BBWAA Ballots, #119-151

There was a point this week where all of Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens (but not Curt Schilling) found themselves with over 75% of the vote. No, there wasn’t and isn’t a chance that Bonds and Clemens will get in this year, but it was fun to see for a spell.

Check out the earlier reviews in this series. Until then, let’s move on to those ballots. [1-12], [13-20], [21-38], [39-81], [82-118]

A Few Notes

  • Mariano remains perfect, and though I feel pretty confident that his “no” vote will come from an anonymous ballot, I’m getting more and more hopeful. Bob Ryan added his two cents to the whole unanimous business this week when he said that 50 or maybe 75 players should have been elected unanimously in the past. And the guy’s right. People have mentioned Cobb, Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Seaver, Ripken, Griffey, and others. But what’s the reason someone wouldn’t vote for Steve Carlton or Wade Boggs or Al Kaline? There’s none (well, someone could concoct one for Carlton or Boggs, but you get my point). Sure, they’re below the no-brainer line of Cobb and Ripken, but they’re still laughably over anyone’s legitimate in/out line.
  • I’m beginning to feel like Mike Mussina and Larry Walker may have their fates linked. What I mean is that I think Walker might need Mussina to get in this year so he can get in on his final BBWAA chance in 2020. Two things lead me to that conclusion. First, when voters have space, they tend to fill that space with guys they hadn’t previously considered. Second, guys at the end of their runs get bumps (see McGriff, Fred). If Mussina gets in this year, that’ll be 300 votes that can go to new or returning candidates. Just give Derek Jeter all the Mariano Rivera votes. Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, and Cliff Lee won’t take too much space, so there are still lots of free votes. Walker has great momentum now, and he’ll be in his 10th year. If we imagine Mussina doesn’t get in, however, he’ll be the cause célèbre that Edgar is this year. With Mussina gone, it’ll be Walker. (I think Schilling goes in one year after Mussina no matter what, so I don’t consider him in this hypothetical).
  • Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) keeps improving the Tracker, adding some color indicating that players are currently over the in/out line or under the 5% line. Thanks Ryan!
  • I’d have lost a bet made a couple months ago about who would receive more support, Edgar Martinez or Roy Halladay. I’m shocked the phormer Phillie ace has been approved on about 19 of every 20 ballots so far. Happy, but shocked.

Ballot of the Week

This week Ryan Divish and Peter Gammons (?!?) joined Tim Booth and Patrick Graham with exactly my ballot of Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Helton, Edgar, Mussina, Mo, Rolen, Schilling, and Walker. Divish is a very forward-thinking dude, so I’m proud we share a ballot. But Gammons is a real surprise. Perhaps you remember that a year ago Gammons chose not to vote for Clemens because they wrote a book together in 1987. Of course, Gammons had voted for Clemens in 2017, so I’m left to guess exactly what happened. Sometimes I think I should watch more MLB Network, and then I remember Chris Russo and snap out of it.

Art Davidson Crazy-Ass Ballot Award

Art Davidson (55) seems like one odd bird. His ballot is one you might expect from a person who lives under a bridge. By choice. When he has a beautiful house, with really nice family inside, just steps away from that bridge.

Davidson voted for newcomers Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay. Well done so far!

He also voted for six other players, but only Curt Schilling is a holdover from a year ago. That alone is a little kooky, I think. Somehow it’s Schilling who is the only player on whom he doesn’t waver. Anyway, last year he voted for Andruw Jones and Omar Vizquel. This year he dropped both. And this year he added Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, and Larry Walker. For a guy whose ballot decisions seem to be made by throwing darts, or perhaps flinging poo, he did pretty well.

Or maybe things weren’t going well for him last year, and he’s really getting his act together now. Whatever the case, I’d love to pick his brain.

One-Liners

  • Mike Harrington (50) says, “The fact that Baines is going into the Baseball Hall of Fame — clearly thanks to the prodding of his former owner (Jerry Reinsdorf) and former manager (Tony La Russa) on the Today’s Game Committee — doesn’t change the standards for election one bit in this view.” Thank you! If Baines became the new standard, we’d have to pretty quickly induct about 300 guys. Relatives of Ed McKean rejoice!
  • Jeff Wilson (85) shares that “The Mitchell Report on steroid use in MLB, the smoking gun for some Hall voters, explicitly recommends to the commissioner that the players tied to PEDs in the report not be punished retroactively.” Again, thank you! Voters who retroactively “punish” guys on the ballot because they found their names in the Mitchell Report are only selectively applying Mitchell’s findings.
  • Richard Griffin (70) and I should chat. He’s pretty angry too. “The Baseball Hall of Fame is in danger of devolving into an old boys network similar to the Hockey Hall of Fame, where popularity trumps accomplishment and the bar of excellence is lowered year after year.” He’s talking about Harold Baines. More accurately, he’s talking about the 12 people on the 16-person committee who elected Baines. It’s sort of funny and sort of sad when BBWAA members decry the “back door” of the various Vet Committees. I’d have much more respect for complaints such as his if the BBWAA did a better job at the front door. Or if more writers admitted the BBWAA shortcomings.
  • He also says, “Baines in effect becomes the Mendoza line for baseball immortality, meaning that anyone with comparable stats and a better career WAR can claim they should be in.” Well, yeah, Rico Petrocelli, Jesse Barfield, and Hooks Dauss can claim whatever they want. Still, no reasonable person will champion their causes unless they believe the Hall should immediately double in size or they’re being intellectually dishonest.
  • Maybe Griffin and I shouldn’t talk since I’m feeling almost giddy this week. Ryan Fagan (100) writes, “The only difference with Bonds and Clemens is that the advantages available to them were more impressive than the advantages that were available to the generation that popped greenies before and during games.” Well, that’s not the only difference, but I agree with the point he’s making. If you’re an anti-PED voter, I’d ask that you sit with Fagan’s words for a bit.
  • About Edgar Martinez, Fagan writes, “So he was known strictly as a DH, even though he was actually a pretty decent third baseman before he was shifted to full-time DH in an attempt to keep him healthy.” Yes!!!! Edgar became a DH because the M’s so desperately needed to keep his incredible bat in the lineup, not because he couldn’t field.
  • And then there’s Randy Miller (-65), who isn’t great with facts. About Edgar, he says, “I still think it hurts his candidacy that he was a bad-fielding third baseman early in his career and a DH for most of it,…” He’s just not correct.
  • But he’s trying. Maybe. Kind of. “Yankees manager Aaron Boone’s pre-game media sessions with beat writers got the ball rolling. Hearing how important OPS is to Boone, a very intelligent third-generation big leaguer, enticed me to rethink my position as well as discuss my borderline candidates with a few respected baseball people, a current Hall of Famer included.” There’s a lot to unpack here if you want. For the moment, my rosy disposition only allows me to reiterate that he seems to be trying.

Twitter People Are Dumb

You’re familiar with this cesspool, are you? I think I’ve found the dumbest bit of “logic” that’s spouted with reasonable consistency on the entire platform. It goes something like this:

“If you vote for Bonds and Clemens, you have to vote for [insert lesser PED user here].”

No, no, no, no, no! No you freakin’ don’t. Let’s say it together one time. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were better at baseball than [insert lesser PED user here].

Voting for Roger Clemens and not Sammy Sosa is just like voting for Sammy Sosa and not Jon Garland. You simply think the former is better than the latter. Why is that so hard to understand???

Jerk of the Week

I feel like I’ve been pretty positive this week. Is it just an anomaly? The McAdam effect? Whatever the case, any positivity that may or may not exist above ends here. I’ll try to be brief.

Randy Miller did his NJ.com readers quite a service by explaining his views on every player on the ballot. Wonderful! But he is so obsessed that I think he might need help, at least as much as I do. In his column, he mentions PEDs seven times. He mentions steroids nine times. And he mentions cheaters or cheating seven times. Here’s one blurb. “I vote for candidates that I viewed as great players for an extended period of time and, unlike many of my voting colleagues, I never will avert from my stance on the known cheaters or candidates that I’m convinced used performance-enhancers (and I know for fact that there are Hall of Famers who adamantly agree).”

Ugh, another angry Miller (no relation) voted for Halladay, Edgar, McGriff, Mariano, Vizquel, and Walker. He wrote, “Crime Dog was consistently very good, and as I mention every year, he put up tremendous numbers season after season without cheating…” This is just awful. How does he know???

And please don’t get me started on the since retracted, “My big problem with Sosa these days is his bleached-white face, which has him as unrecognizable as Renee Zellweger.” It’s possible writing such a thing could be career-ending. Really just awful.

On multiple levels, this guy should be ashamed of himself.

Worst Ballot of the Week

Evan Grant is a good voter. I think he’s a very good voter. Last year his ballot was worth 90 points. He earned 70 points this year by voting for the likes of Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Edgar, Mussina, Mo, Schilling, Sheffield, and Walker. But here’s the problem – he also voted for Michael Young. Now I’m not against a guy giving a player from his team a courtesy vote. Really, I’m not. As Grant put it on Twitter, he votes for Young as “…a tip of cap for career done right.” But here’s the problem. Young, an undeserving candidate, takes his last ballot spot, and at least according to Ryan Thibs, Grant would have voted for Scott Rolen too if he had more space. He did have space, but he occupied it with Michael Young.

Sorry Evan, that’s the wrong thing to do.

Miller

Reviewing the BBWAA Ballots, #39-81

Things really got going at the Tracker this week with more ballots than the first three weeks combined. Before we get started with this week’s awards, I want to touch on the Fred McGriff 10th year momentum. Prior to this year, he had never reached 24% of the total vote. And he’s a guy who always does better among private ballots. However, he’s currently north of 36% of the vote and has converted 15 “no” votes from a year ago.

Even though I understand what’s happening, I’m still going to say that I don’t get it. We’ve learned nothing about McGriff in the last 12 months that we haven’t known for the last 14 years. He’s a fine player, about at the level of Tony Perez or Orlando Cepeda. While that might excite some, those two likely don’t belong in the Hall. He’s also like Norm Cash and Carlos Delgado, and they don’t belong in the Hall either. Voters don’t always do a great job on first basemen, but they had been getting McGriff right. And they still will. It’s just disappointing that so many voters are futilely supporting him when they could give a vote to a more deserving player. Maybe a marginally better first baseman like Lance Berkman?

Or like Todd Helton. I’ll be brief. If you were to take away the 2000 and 2004 seasons, Helton’s two best, I’d still take Helton over McGriff.

[1-12], [13-20], [21-38]

A Few Notes

  • Mariano Rivera remains perfect. Who’s going to be the first knucklehead to leave him off?
  • Over 90%, Roy Halladay and Edgar Martinez are getting in.
  • Over 84%, Mike Mussina may not go this year, but I think he’s setting himself up to get in next year. And he’s assuredly going to be voted in by the writers before his time on the ballot expires.
  • Mussina’s movement toward the Hall bodes very well for Curt Schilling. He’s over 75% right now, though he’s going fall below in 2019. He deserves induction, and Mussina’s election this year or next suggests to me that Schilling will make it in his 9th or 10th.
  • Don’t be fooled by Bonds and Clemens being above 70% now. They’ve only picked up one voter each.
  • Larry Walker has converted 13 votes, and he’s over 66% right now. Next year will be his last on the ballot, so he’d better receive a McGriff-like courtesy bump if he’s to get what he deserves.
  • It’s not looking good for either Roy Oswalt or Lance Berkman to see a second ballot. That’s disappointing.

Ballot of the Week

Pat Caputo earned 100 points for his ballot, but it’s Sam Mellinger who wins this week’s award. Mellinger checked Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Manny Ramirez, Mariano Rivera, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, and Larry Walker. I prefer Todd Helton to Manny, but Manny’s record speaks for itself. If you ignore PEDs, he’s obviously deserving. The reason Mellinger wins Ballot of the Week, however, is his interaction on Twitter. Responding as he did probably took 10-20 minutes, and it’s a real service to fans who want to pick his brain. Thanks, Sam!

Jerk of the Week

Terrence Moore doesn’t write his own headlines, I don’t imagine. Almost no writers do, but the headline in his Forbes article makes me think he did: Forget Bonds, Clemens, Others: No McGriff In Cooperstown Is Crazy. Moore hates steroids. I think. Four times in a column of only 631 words, he mentions the word. He also mentions “juicing” and “jacking all of those balls toward the far side of Mars”.

He also writes “McGriff” 13 times, “Fred” once, “Frederick Stanley” once, and “Crime Dog” once. He also refers to McGriff as the “Mister Rogers of baseball players”.

He mentions that he’s been a Hall voter for 26 years. He also mentions that there are typically 300-400 votes cast. Actually, that hasn’t been true even once in the entire time Moore has been voting. You have to go back to 1985 to find a time when fewer than 400 votes were cast.

He says that McGriff’s numbers compare favorably to Willie McCovey, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, and Billy Williams. Except, that’s idiotic. McGriff finished his career with an impressive 52.6 WAR. Williams was at 63.7. Thomas clocked in at 73.9. And Bagwell totaled 79.9. Maybe he just left out the prefix “un” before favorably?

Since he’s not, in his words, “big on designated hitters”, Edgar didn’t receive his vote.

Moore only voted for Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Fred McGriff, Mariano Rivera, and Gary Sheffield. Gary Sheffield? Moore talks about how Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa tainted the sport. But Sheffield didn’t??? A steroidal cream was once applied to his knee, and he was named in the Mitchell Report. What is Moore thinking? Or not thinking?

Also, he calls Todd Helton a no-brainer. And I suppose if you’re so certain Fred McGriff belongs in the Hall, a clearly better like Helton is a no-brainer. Even jerks can get some things right.

Jerk of the Week #2

David Lennon voted for only Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Mariano Rivera. If he were allowed only three votes, I think he got it right. Of course, he’s allowed ten. And he knows he’s allowed to vote for more than three, as he dropped Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, and Curt Schilling from his 2018 ballot. He has some somewhat convoluted logic attached to the election of Harold Baines and improved statistical analysis.

“But as the years went on, everyone became much more adept at statistical analysis. Careers were dissected like never before, and it seemed as if a credible Hall case could be made for a growing list of players — especially if they were compared to those already enshrined.”

The first of Lennon’s sentences is completely true. The second, while connected to the first in Lennon’s line of thinking, contains three different clauses that don’t fit together in a reasonable sentence.

  • Careers were dissected like never before. Yes indeed, and that’s a great thing.
  • It seemed as if a credible Hall case could be made for a growing list of players: It did? Why? Better statistical analysis has helped us see who was great; it hasn’t increased the number of players who should be called great.
  • Especially if they were compared to those already enshrined. Why do that? What awful voter would compare candidates to the very worst who have been elected?

I think he is sort of whining about people other than the writers electing players, but I’m not sure. He’s clearly justifying an awful ballot with logic that’s just not, well, logical.

(This section was edited after a reader made me aware of Lennon’s article where he explained his vote).

Moron of the Week

Yep, someone dumber than Terrence Moore.

Jim Reeves is sort of a moron and sort of a jerk, not a great combination. He voted for Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, and Roy Halladay.

To show how much he appreciates the ballot, he writes, ‘“Oh, gawd, don’t make me do it! Not again! Why this torture, year after year? What did I do to deserve this agony? Why me, Lord? Why me?”’

Quick hits:

  • He says he’s not really sure about Michael Young.
  • He brags a bit that he’s seen the best closers ever pitch. Of course, he didn’t mention Rich Gossage or Hoyt Wilhelm. And pretty much everyone who’s at least in their late-20s has seen all of the guys he mentions. Big accomplishment, Jim.
  • He says he always has to check his “own personal resolve on the steroid cheaters.” Like most moralizers, however, he doesn’t explain what constituted cheating. Why would he when he can just moralize?
  • He says that, “…it comes down to respecting the Hall too much to put them in there with those who tried to play the game the right way.” Respecting the Hall? Have you read your own column, specifically the place where you point out that you dread voting?
  • The moralizing continues. “And yes, I know there are others already there who trampled all over the morals clause in their own special ways. But I didn’t put them there. So, no, as good as their numbers are, no Bonds, no Clemens, no Sosa. Not on my ballot.”
  • As a journalist, he should be smart, at least regarding the English language. He’s not. He says that Edgar Martinez “literally owned” Mariano Rivera. Sorry, Jim, slavery ended in the United States over 150 years ago.
  • Regarding Larry Walker, he says, “…don’t give me the Coors Field effect. I don’t care.” Well, Jimmy, you should. Then you should check out how Baseball Reference, which you say is where you start your research, adjusts for park effects.
  • For Walker, he cites WAR, and he should. But he’s one of those guys who cites it when it’s convenient and ignores it when it’s not. Fred McGriff gets his very next vote. No mention of WAR there.
  • Regarding McGriff, he compares him favorably to Eddie Mathews, Mike Schmidt, and Babe Ruth. That’s because McGriff had ten seasons of 30+ home runs. Eddie Mathews and Mike Schmidt had only nine, and Babe Ruth only eight, idiot Reeves writes. However, Mathews (whose name Reeves can’t spell) had 10, Mike Schmidt had 13. Ruth had 13 too, including 11 of 41+. Reeves is just making crap up!
  • Regarding Mussina, he talks about how career wins shouldn’t be a critical standard. Two paragraphs later, he mentions Mussina’s 11 years winning 15+. (And he got that complicated stat right. Hooray!).
  • Like all writers who try to craft an argument with utterly meaningless stats, he mentions that Mussina finished in the top-6 in the Cy Young voting nine times. That’s asinine. But at least it’s accurate.
  • Regarding the Halladay decision, it’s “a tough one because Halladay only won 206 games.” Do wins matter, or don’t they?
  • He calls Halladay “a throwback to an earlier era, when starters actually finished what they started.” Except he wasn’t. From 1970-1989 there were 67 pitchers who completed more games than Halladay. There were thirteen with more than twice as many. Is being factually correct even remotely important to Reeves?
  • His last two lines confirm that he’s an a-hole of the highest order – one who needs a better editor too. “Who knows, maybe I even have a change of heart on the cheaters. But I wouldn’t count on it.” Ah, when every line is a throw-away line…

Worst Ballot of the Week

Jimmy Golen was nice enough to send a direct message to Ryan so his ballot would be represented in the Tracker. Another positive is that he voted for Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, and Edgar Martinez.  third positive is that he dropped Omar Vizquel from last year’s ballot. All good, right? Not so fast. Golen left seven spots open, and he earned -45 points for his ballot.

Hope to see you here in a week for more ballot anger.

Miller

Reviewing the BBWAA Ballots, 13-20

Welcome back to our weekly series where we review BBWAA ballots. My grading system is at the bottom, and links to other posts in this series are linked at the top. Before we get going with this week’s highlights, a shout out to Enrique Rojas who earned an 80 on his first ever Hall ballot. Even though he supports Omar Vizquel, I think his simple, thoughtful explanations are worth a read – if you speak Spanish or enjoy Google Translate.

[1-12]

A Few Notes

  • If the voting ended today, Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez would be the first two unanimous candidates elected to the Hall.
  • Roy Halladay and Mike Mussina would join them on the Cooperstown dais.
  • As most predicted, Edgar is certainly going. He missed by 20 votes a year ago, and he’s changed the minds (I should italicize that word) of five voters. Plus, he’s received support from the two first-timers as well.
  • Mike Mussina has also added the two new voters, and he’s turned around four others. This one’s likely going right down to the wire.

Ballot of the Week

The first 100 of the year was earned by Steve Politi. As you know, I fully support Bonds, Clemens, Edgar, Mussina, Mo, and Schilling. I love that he’s added Larry Walker. Manny Ramirez wouldn’t make my ballot, but I would like to see him elected. And while I don’t support Andy Pettitte, Eric does, and I support him. Plus, Politi says his vote for Pettitte was just to keep him on the ballot. Well done!

Jerk of the Week

For this award, I’m going to go to a ballot that’s not yet in the Tracker. Bill Madden says he’s going to vote for Placido Polanco. That’s right, Placido Polanco. Now don’t get me wrong, I like Polanco. He may be the most underrated player on the entire ballot (Rolen, Andruw, Oswalt, and Walker are up for that distinction as well), yet he’s so clearly not a Hall of Famer. And any voter who goes through this process with any level of rigor knows that. Madden actually cited fielding percentage. Fielding percentage! That’s an argument straight out of 1971. He mentions that Polanco is the all-time leader at both second base and third base, which is cool, no doubt. But it’s meaningless. Oh, he also says there’s no way Scott Rolen is a Hall of Famer. Lemme share a few numbers with you.

                    Rfield     DRA
Andruw Jones        235        215.0
Scott Rolen         175        142.8
Placido Polanco     136        106.0

 

It kind of doesn’t matter which defensive flavor you prefer. Polanco is behind Andruw Jones and Scott Rolen with the glove.

And Madden supports Omar Vizquel too, calling him the greatest defensive shortstop he ever saw. That includes Ozzie Smith. However, Vizquel ranks behind Jones and Rolen and Polanco in both Rfield and DRA. Your eyes deceive you, Bill.

Also, there’s this thing I like to call everything in baseball that’s not defense. Below is the total of BBREF’s batting, baserunning, and double play numbers.

Scott Rolen      243
Andruw Jones     127
Placido Polanco  -11
Omar Vizquel    -236

C’mon Bill!

Worst Ballot of the Week

Jay Dunn scored -10 for his awful ballot. It should have been lower. I don’t really support taking away ballots, but Dunn certainly shouldn’t be allowed to procreate.

  • He said that Omar Vizquel probably deserved more Gold Gloves than he won. Based on what measure?
  • He said that Fred McGriff was a clean player. How does he know???
  • He filled in only eight names but dropped Andruw Jones for some reason. You’d think he’d mention that in his article. Nope.
  • He didn’t vote for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. Yet he voted for Andy Pettitte. In support of this vote, he mentioned career wins and annual inning milestones. Nothing else. He never mentions Bonds, Clemens, or PEDs in the article. Maybe he forgets that Pettitte was a PED user?
  • He didn’t vote for Todd Helton. Surprise! Yet he did mention his numbers being aided by Coors Field.
  • He has written for the same newspaper for 50 years, and he can be contacted at his AOL email account. No, I’m not kidding.

The Jon Heyman Award

The Heyman Award this year goes to the man with the most twisted possible logic. The winner, of course, is Jon Heyman. Heyman writes lots of words, and it seems they’re all spelled correctly*. So he’s better than I am.

Yet he’s not.

He votes for Barry Bonds but not Roger Clemens. Before I get to his foolish explanation, I’ll note that he cites baseball’s great moralizer, Bob Costas, saying votes against PED users are a matter of legitimacy, not one of morality. That’s simply dishonest. Know how I know? A few paragraphs later, explaining why he supports Bonds and not Clemens, he mentioned lying four times. No matter how much one lies, that does nothing to change the legitimacy of one’s playing record. Heyman is a moralizer of the worst sort.

He voted for Lance Berkman, saying he was essentially the same player as Edgar Martinez. He cites all sorts of numbers, some meaningless, others worse than that. For some reason, he skips WAR. Maybe it’s because Edgar wins 68.4 to 52.1. I don’t think Berkman is a disgusting vote, but he’s certainly not Edgar.

Arguing in favor of Fred McGriff, Heyman says he has better stats than Eddie Murray. What??? Murray hit more homers, drove in more runs, scored more runs, had more hits, and had a better batting average. Oh, and Murray tops McGriff in WAR 68.7 to 52.6.

Maybe you think Heyman is anti-WAR or that he doesn’t understand it. Nope. He uses it when it serves him (support of Mike Mussina and Scott Rolen, for example), and he ignores it when it doesn’t.

Did you know that Lance Berkman finished in the top-7 in the MVP voting six times? Of course you didn’t because nobody would ever mention career top-7 finishes. Except Heyman. He mentioned it twice.

In what might be the single dumbest thing he wrote, he calls Juan Pierre “Kenny Lofton light”. Lofton put up 68.3 WAR compared to 17.1 for Pierre. Lofton stole eight more bases and was caught 43 fewer times. Lofton was an outstanding defender at times. Pierre wasn’t. This comparison is asinine.

For whatever reason, he mentions Moneyball twice. Why Jon?

He ranks Freddy Garcia both 22nd and 25th on his ballot.

He says that Andy Pettitte would have made it without the HGH. So he was good enough, but he used? Then your lie about legitimacy rather than morality is clearly that, a lie. Liar.

He says that Sammy Sosa’s case really isn’t all that different from Jeff Bagwell’s. I think he’s saying there’s a similar amount of evidence of PED use. Heyman didn’t vote for Bagwell either. I suppose his speculation of PED use is enough for him.

Ultimately, I score his ballot at -20. It could be lower if I went through his logical ridiculousness more closely.

* I was being a jerk when I wrote that Heyman’s words are all spelled correctly. They’re actually not, which I think is hilarious. Mariano “Rovera”. Hahahahahahahahahha!

The Grading System

  • Voters earn 10 points for each of the following players: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Mariano Rivera, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker.
  • Voters earn 0 points for the following: Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Miguel Tejada, Billy Wagner.
  • Voters earn -5 points for Fred McGriff.
  • Voters earn -10 points for the following: Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Travis Hafner, Ted Lilly, Derek Lowe, Darren Oliver, Juan Pierre, Placido Polanco, Omar Vizquel, Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis, Michael Young.
  • Voters earn -10 for every spot on their ballot left open since there are at least 15 players deserving of votes.
  • Voters lose 5 points for not explaining their ballots.
  • Voters lose 10 points if they vote for McGriff but not Helton.
  • Voters lose 10 points if they justify a McGriff vote by saying he was clean.
  • Voters lose 10 points for choosing Bonds and not Clemens, or vice versa.
  • Voters lose 10 points for talking about character in any way.
  • Voters lose 10 points for taking steroid guys but not Clemens or Bonds.
  • Voters lose 5 points for not selecting Edgar Martinez because he was a DH.
  • Voters lose 5 points for mentioning as an argument against Larry Walker or Todd Helton.
  • Voters lose 5 points for any comparison between Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith.
  • Voters lose 5 points for having space but not including Edgar Martinez.
  • Voters lose 5 points for each judgment of the morality of specific players.
  • Voters lose 5 points for any other case of ridiculous logic.
  • Voters lose 5 more points for a blank protest ballot.
  • Voters lose 5 points for writing in Pete Rose.
  • Voters gain 5 points for saying the Hall should allow writers to vote for more than ten guys (a stance I don’t agree with) or for saying the Hall should make all ballots public (one I agree with).
  • Scores max out at 100.
  • Scores can dip as low as they dip.

Make sure you check out the Hall Vote Tracker. More ballot reviews next week.

Miller

Reviewing the BBWAA Ballots, 1-12

Welcome to the first ballot review of the 2019 BBWAA voting season. Our format each Friday will go something like what’s below, moving in a different direction when the voters move me there.

A Few Notes

  • This post covers the first 12 ballots in the Tracker.
  • Through those ballots, Edgar Martinez and Mariano Rivera remain perfect.
  • Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, and Mike Mussina would also be elected if the voting ended now.
  • Edgar (3) and Mussina (2) are the only candidates to convert more than one “no” vote to a “yes”.

Ballot of the Week

For our first ballot award, we go to Lynn Henning from the Detroit News. This is probably going to be the only time someone wins this award with only eight names on his ballot, but Lynn’s thought process is great – admitting that there are guys not receiving votes from him who may receive them in the future. He hints that Scott Rolen is one such player. Additionally, he’s willing to engage on Twitter, thoughtfully and kindly responding to me when I shot him a message. I gave him 10 extra points for that, bringing him to 70. His ballot includes Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Edgar, Mussina, Mariano, Schilling, and Walker. Walker is an add from last year.

Special nod to Brian Costa from the Wall Street Journal. His ballot of Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Edgar, Mussina, Pettitte, Manny, Mariano, Schilling, and Walker is worth 95 points. He lost 5 only because there was no explanation.

Jerk of the Week

Some folks will let me know that I’m being overly harsh and that I shouldn’t treat writers this poorly. One such argument is that it’s people like me who make them do things like this. Well, that’s just pathetic. Another is that I simply shouldn’t be a jerk. That’s fair. I probably shouldn’t. I just can’t help myself!

There’s one other argument that I think about quite a bit. It goes something like this: Ryan Thibs does such an amazing job. Part of the reason he has the access he has is because he’s polite and absolutely not judgmental. When someone like me judges so many writers, it might possibly diminish his access. I think about that a lot. But yeah, I can’t help myself.

Our jerk of the week is Steven Marcus of Newsday. He voted for only Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez. Edgar is an add from last year. Marcus seems to want to vote for only the guys who will be elected, possibly keeping numbers about how “right” he is. He can’t argue that he’s a small Hall guy if he votes for Edgar Martinez. Edgar is great, no doubt, but there’s little chance he’d belong in a Hall of only 100 people. His final score is -65.

Worst Ballot of the Week

Sadiel Lebron earned 55 points for his ballot, not a very low score, but I think he did a poor job. Here’s why:

  • He wasted one of his ten votes on Omar Vizquel while not voting for the far superior Curt Schilling, Larry Walker, and Scott Rolen.
  • He voted for Roger Clemens but not Barry Bonds.
  • He voted for Andy Pettitte but not Barry Bonds.
  • He voted for Andy Pettitte but not Curt Schilling.

On a positive note, he removed Fred McGriff and Manny Ramirez from his 2018 ballot and added Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina in their places. I’d like Manny to have stayed, but he’s clearly improved over a year ago with these changes.

The Grading System

  • Voters will earn 10 points for each of the following players: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Mariano Rivera, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker.
  • Voters will earn 0 points for the following: Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Miguel Tejada, Billy Wagner.
  • Voters will earn -5 points for Fred McGriff.
  • Voters will earn -10 points for the following: Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Travis Hafner, Ted Lilly, Derek Lowe, Darren Oliver, Juan Pierre, Placido Polanco, Omar Vizquel, Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis, Michael Young.
  • Voters will earn -10 for every spot on their ballot left open since there are at least 15 players deserving of votes.
  • Voters lose 5 points for not explaining their ballots.
  • Voters lose 10 points if they vote for McGriff but not Helton.
  • Voters lose 10 points if they justify a McGriff vote by saying he was clean.
  • Voters lose 10 points for choosing Bonds and not Clemens, or vice versa.
  • Voters lose 10 points for talking about character in any way.
  • Voters lose 10 points for taking steroid guys but not Clemens or Bonds.
  • Voters lose 5 points for not selecting Edgar Martinez because he was a DH.
  • Voters lose 5 points for mentioning as an argument against Larry Walker or Todd Helton.
  • Voters lose 5 points for any comparison between Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith.
  • Voters lose 5 points for having space but not including Edgar Martinez.
  • Voters lose 5 points for each judgment of the morality of specific players.
  • Voters lose 5 points for any other case of ridiculous logic.
  • Voters lose 5 more points for a blank protest ballot.
  • Voters lose 5 points for writing in Pete Rose.
  • Voters gain 5 points for saying the Hall should allow writers to vote for more than ten guys (a stance I don’t agree with) or for saying the Hall should make all ballots public (one I agree with).
  • Scores max out at 100.
  • Scores can dip as low as they dip.

Make sure you check out the Hall Vote Tracker. More ballot reviews next week.

Miller

2019 BBWAA Ballot, The Holdovers, The Grading System, & My Ballot

Hopefuly you were here on Monday when we discussed the newcomers to the ballot. Today, we’ll review the returners and hash out the remainder of the grading system for this year’s BBWAA ballots.

The Holdovers

Barry Bonds

MAPES+ rating in left field: #1

Points if he’s on your ballot: +10

Roger Clemens

MAPES+ rating on the mound: #3

Points if he’s on your ballot: +10

Andruw Jones

MAPES+ rating in center field: #10

Points if he’s on your ballot: +10

Jeff Kent

MAPES+ rating at second base: #25

Points if he’s on your ballot: +10

Edgar Martinez

MAPES+ rating at third base (MAPES doesn’t have a DH list): #13

Points if he’s on your ballot: +10

Edgar is an easy call around these parts. And as you probably know, he’s on his 10th and final ballot. A year ago, he was named on 70.4% of ballots. I suspect he’s going to clear the 75% mark and get elected this year. Those who don’t vote for him while leaving space on their ballots will lose 5 points. And if they mention anything negative about Edgar’s main position, they’ll lose 5 more. There’s an actual MLB rule book. It discusses designated hitter. For the zillionth time, it’s a position!

Fred McGriff

MAPES+ rating at first base: #39

Points if he’s on your ballot: Let me explain. As I suspect you know, I don’t believe McGriff deserves to be a Hall of Famer. Yet, a year ago, I neither added nor subtracted points if you included the Crime Dog on your ballot. That’s changing. This year Todd Helton and Lance Berkman are hitting the ballot, both superior choices who will be made by almost no voters. Putting McGriff on while leaving them off is just wrong. It’s malpractice to vote for McGriff and not Helton. It’s malpractice to vote for him over one of the fifteen guys on the ballot who I think should be in. So, if you vote for McGriff this year, you’re going to lose 5 points. And if you vote for him while leaving Helton off, you’re going to lose 10 more.

Mike Mussina

MAPES+ rating on the mound: #25

Points if he’s on your ballot: +10

Manny Ramirez

MAPES+ rating in left field: #14

Points if he’s on your ballot: 10

Scott Rolen

MAPES+ rating at third base: #16

Points if he’s on your ballot: 10

Curt Schilling

MAPES+ rating on the mound: #24

Points if he’s on your ballot: 10

Gary Sheffield

MAPES+ rating in right field: #21

Points if he’s on your ballot: 10

Sammy Sosa

MAPES+ rating in right field: #23

Points if he’s on your ballot: 10

Omar Vizquel

MAPES+ rating at shortstop: #71

Points if he’s on your ballot: Are you new around here? If you are and have strong feelings on Omar Vizquel, you might want to check out these posts from last year. In short, if the BBWAA elects Omar, they will have elected their worst player ever (non-closer division). If his name is on your ballot, it’s a -10. If you have him but lack either Jones or Rolen, it’s another -5

Billy Wagner

MAPES+ rating on the mound: #261

Points if he’s on your ballot: I can admit when there are things I don’t understand. It’s possible that the value of closers is one of them. Thus, adding Wagner to your ballot won’t result in any points either way, even though I rank 260 pitchers as more valuable.

Larry Walker

MAPES+ rating in right field: #10

Points if he’s on your ballot: 10

The Grading System

  • Voters will earn 10 points for each of the following players: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Mariano Rivera, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Larry Walker.
  • Voters will earn 0 points for the following: Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Miguel Tejada, Billy Wagner.
  • Voters will earn -5 points for Fred McGriff.
  • Voters will earn -10 points for the following: Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Travis Hafner, Ted Lilly, Derek Lowe, Darren Oliver, Juan Pierre, Placido Polanco, Omar Vizquel, Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis, Michael Young.
  • Voters will earn -10 for every spot on their ballot left open since there are at least 15 players deserving of votes.
  • Voters lose 10 points if they vote for McGriff but not Helton.
  • Voters lose 10 points if they justify a McGriff vote by saying he was clean.
  • Voters lose 10 points for choosing Bonds and not Clemens, or vice versa.
  • Voters lose 10 points for talking about character in any way.
  • Voters lose 10 points for taking steroid guys but not Clemens or Bonds.
  • Voters lose 5 points for not selecting Edgar Martinez because he was a DH.
  • Voters lose 5 points for mentioning Coors Field as an argument against Larry Walker or Todd Helton.
  • Voters lose 5 points for any comparison between Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith.
  • Voters lose 5 points for having space but not including Edgar Martinez.
  • Voters lose 5 points for not explaining their ballots.
  • Voters lose 5 points for each judgment of the morality of specific players.
  • Voters lose 5 points for any other case of ridiculous logic.
  • Voters lose 5 more points for a blank protest ballot.
  • Voters lose 5 points for writing in Pete Rose.
  • Voters gain 5 points for saying the Hall should allow writers to vote for more than ten guys (a stance I don’t agree with) or for saying the Hall should make all ballots public (one I agree with).
  • Scores max out at 100.
  • Scores can dip as low as they dip.

My Ballot

The easy (enough) calls:

  • Barry Bonds: The best hitter ever not named “Babe”.
  • Roger Clemens: The best pitcher ever not named “Cy” or “Walter”.
  • Mariano Rivera: The best closer ever.
  • Edgar Martinez: The best DH ever. It’s his time.
  • Mike Mussina: The best pitcher ever to win 20 games for the first time in his final season.
  • Curt Schilling: The best comp for Mike Mussina ever (at least on this ballot).

Now it gets a little harder:

  • Jeff Kent, Gary Sheffield, and Sammy Sosa deserve it, but there’s no space on this ballot.

That leaves:

  • Roy Halladay, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Scott Rolen, Larry Walker for four spots.
  • I’ll dump Manny due to his multiple PED violations.
  • I’ll add Larry Walker, the best of the remaining players.
  • Three spots left for Halladay, Helton, Andruw, and Rolen.
  • I’ll take Halladay and Helton since I am more confident of their records than those of the other two.
  • And I’ll take the better hitter, Scott Rolen, over Andruw Jones.

My Fake 2019 Hall of Fame Ballot

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Roy Halladay
Todd Helton
Edgar Martinez
Mike Mussina
Mariano Rivera
Scott Rolen
Curt Schilling
Larry Walker

Coming up on Friday – the best and worst ballots of the week.

Miller

Grading the BBWAA Ballots, All of Them!

Four things you’ll see in the longest post of my lifetime.

  • Links to the 38 posts in this series.
  • Scores for the 317 ballots.
  • My scoring system.
  • Every single ballot I graded!

Rating system and 1-4, 5-7, 8-9, 10, 11-14, 15, 16-17, 18-25, 26-32, 33, 34-39, 40-46, 47-51, 52-54, 55-66, 67-81, 82-91, 92-100, 101-105, 106-118, 119-136, 137-146, 147-155, 156-163, 164-168, 169, 170-175, 176-179, 180-182, 183, 184-185, 186-195, 196-197, 198, 199-209, 210-234, 235-257, 258-317

The Scores

Peter Barzilai: 100
Ken Davidoff: 100
Ryan Fagan: 100
Mark Feinsand: 100
Mark Hale: 100
Sam Mellinger: 100
Mark Newman: 100
Eric Nuñez; 100
Joe Posnanski: 100
Scott Priestle: 100
C. Trent Rosecrans: 100
Michael Silverman: 100
Mike Bass: 95
Darrin Beene: 95
Erik Boland: 95
Mark Bradley: 95
Guy Curtright: 95
Josh Dubow: 95
Jeff Fletcher: 95
Jim Hawkins: 95
Danny Knobler: 95
Janie McCauley: 95
Phil Miller: 95
J.P. Morosi: 95
LaVelle Neal III: 95
Steve Politi: 95
TR Sullivan: 95
Dom Amore: 90
Anthony Andro: 90
Mike Berardino: 90
Tim Booth: 90
Jerry Crasnick: 90
Ryan Divish: 90
Derrick Goold: 90
Patrick Graham: 90
Evan Grant: 90
Mike Harrington: 90
Mike Imrem: 90
Gene Myers: 90
Tim Kurkjian: 90
Bob Sanvarese: 90
Mike Vaccaro: 90
Anonymous #4: 85
Anonymous #5: 85
Peter Abraham: 85
David Ammenheuser: 85
Chris Bahr: 85
Peter Botte: 85
Dave Campbell: 85
Pat Caputo: 85
Marc Carig: 85
Joe Christensen: 85
Jay Cohen: 85
Brian Costello: 85
Tim Cowlishaw: 85
Tom D’Angelo: 85
Chris De Luca: 85
Tom Dienhart: 85
Dan Hayes: 85
Bob Herzog: 85
Jeff Horrigan: 85
George A. King III: 85
Bob Klapisch: 85
Roch Kubatko: 85
Gabe Lacques: 85
Rob Maaddi: 85
David Maril: 85
Anthony McCarron: 85
Joe McDonald: 85
Ed Petruska: 85
Nick Pietruszkiewicz: 85
Rick Plumlee: 85
Brendan Prunty: 85
Luis Rangel: 85
Ray Ratto: 85
Tim Reynolds: 85
John Romano: 85
Ken Rosenthal: 85
Susan Slusser: 85
Jayson Stark: 85
Tom Timmerman: 85
Howard Ulman: 85
Bernie Wilson: 85
Bill Windler: 85
Jack Curry: 80
Ian Harrison: 80
Lynn Henning: 80
Scott Lauber: 80
Ian O’Connor: 80
Drew Olson: 80
Steve Popper: 80
Jeff Wilson: 80
Mark Zuckerman: 80
Amalie Benjamin: 75
Dennis Bracken: 75
Steve Buckley: 75
Larry Brooks: 75
Garry Brown: 75
Tom Christensen: 75
Joe Haakenson: 75
John Hickey: 75
Joey Johnson: 75
Kevin Kernan: 75
Chuck Klonke: 75
Joseph Liao: 75
Seth Livingstone: 75
Jack Magruder: 75
Sean McAdam: 75
Larry Millson: 75
Roger Mooney: 75
Aurelio Moreno: 75
Bob Nightengale: 75
Mike Puma: 75
Tracy Ringolsby: 75
Mark Saxson: 75
Mike Shalin: 75
Joe Smith: 75
Jean-Jacques Taylor: 75
Marc Topkin: 75
Barry Bloom: 70
Kevin Cooney: 70
Paul Hagen: 70
Tom Haudricourt: 70
Richard Justice: 70
Tim Kawakami: 70
Mike Nadel: 70
Katsushi Nagao: 70
Carl Steward: 70
Kirk Wessler: 70
Jim Alexander: 65
Kirby Arnold: 65
Filip Bondy: 65
Marcos Breton: 65
Jim Caple: 65
Roberto Colon: 65
Greg Cote: 65
Joe Cowley: 65
Shi Davidi: 65
Michael Fannin: 65
Martin Fennelly: 65
Jeffrey Flanagan: 65
Peter Gammons: 65
Alan Hoskins: 65
Bruce Jenkins: 65
David Lennon: 65
Mike Lupica: 65
Marino Martinez: 65
John McGrath: 65
Bruce Miles: 65
Kevin Modesti: 65
Ross Newhan: 65
Greg Patton: 65
John Perrotto: 65
Troy Renck: 65
Dave Reynolds: 65
Anthony Rieber: 65
Adam Rubin: 65
Richard Rupprecht: 65
Henry Schulman: 65
John Shea: 65
Claire Smith: 65
Willie Smith: 65
Paul White: 65
George Willis: 65
Nick Cafardo: 60
Dan Connolly: 60
Chris Haft: 60
Steve Henson: 60
Barry Rozner: 60
John Tomase: 60
Earl Bloom: 55
Pete Caldera: 55
Bob Elliott: 55
Mark Faller: 55
Mike Fitzpatrick: 55
Jim Gauger: 55
John Harper: 55
Joe Henderson: 55
Jim Henneman: 55
Steve Herrick: 55
Chuck Johnson: 55
Bob Kuenster: 55
Jack McCaffery: 55
Mike Peticca: 55
Chaz Scoggins: 55
Joel Sherman: 55
Jeff Jacobs: 50
Dave Perkins: 50
Joe Rutter: 50
Anonymous #1: 45
Dave Albee: 45
Jaime Aron: 45
David Barron: 45
John Canzano: 45
Tony DeMarco: 45
John Eradi: 45
Steven Gietschier: 45
Steve Goldman: 45
Jerry Green: 45
Steve Kornacki: 45

Mike Lopresti: 45
Dennis Maffezzoli: 45
Roger Rubin: 45
Arnie Stapleton: 45
Clark Spencer: 40
Don Burke: 35
Jay Greenberg: 35
Bob Hohler: 35
Michael Knisley: 35
Sadiel Lebron: 35
Dan McGrath: 35
Scott Miller: 35
Fred Mitchell: 35
Sheldon Ocker: 35
Jeff Peek: 35
Jim Reeves: 35
Patrick Reusse: 35
Steve Wine: 35
Gordon Wittenmyer: 35
Jay Dunn: 30
Richard Griffin: 30
Terry Pluto: 30
Bob Ryan: 30
Rick Telander: 30
Ronald Blum: 25
Andrew Call: 25
Larry Fine: 25
Carter Gaddis: 25
Dan Gelston: 25
Dan Graziano: 25
Bill Hartman: 25
Jim Ingraham: 25
Thom Loverro: 25
Bill Madden: 25
Adam Mertz: 25
David Wilhelm: 25
Steve Simmons: 20
Eduardo B. Almada: 15
Andrew Baggarly: 15
Jeff Blair: 15
Ray Buck: 15
Sam Charchidi: 15
Alan Eskew: 15
Alan Greenwood: 15
Jon Heyman: 15
Tom Keegan: 15
Bernie Lincicome: 15
Bob Smizik: 15
Rick Morrissey: 10
Rob Parker: 10
Anonymous #6: 5
Mel Antonen: 5
Rob Biertempfel: 5
Bill Center: 5
Tim Dahlberg: 5
Mike Downey: 5
Howard Fendrich: 5
Mike Gonzales: 5
Karen Guregian: 5
Paul Gutierrez: 5
Mark Herrmann: 5
Marc Katz: 5
Bill Plunkett: 5
Bill Ballou: 0
Art Davidson: 0
Tony Massarotti: 0
Hal McCoy: 0
Bob Sherwin: 0
Ron Kroichick: -5
Scott Gregor: -5
Hirokazu Higuchi: -5
Jose de Jesus Ortiz: -5
John Delcos: -10
Dejan Kovacevic: -10
Bill Lankhof: -10
Carrie Muskat: -10
Barry Stanton: -10
Paul Sullivan: -10
Chris Assenheimer: -15
Paul Bodi: -15
David Borges: -15
John Rowe: -15
Glenn Schwarz: -15
David Ginsburg: -20
Ann Killion: -20
Rob Giles: -25
Terrence Moore: -25
Juan Vené: -25
Anonymous #2: -35
Steve Dilbeck: -35
Randy Galloway: -35
Jimmy Golen: -35
Pedro Gomez: -35
Steve Marcus: -35
Jorge Ortiz: -35
Alan Robinson: -35
Rob Rains
: -40
Ron Cook: -45
Paul Daugherty: -45
Dick Scanlon: -45
Jim Street: -45
Dan Shaughnessy: -55
Murray Chass: -70
Mark Purdy: -75
Bill Livingston: -95
Anonymous #7: -105

The System

  • You get 10 points for every player you select who I think has a reasonable case for the Hall. Alphabetically that means 10 points for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Vladimir Guerrero, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Manny Ramirez, Scott Rolen, Johan Santana, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome, or Larry Walker. That’s 16 guys to choose from.
  • You get 0 points for either Trevor Hoffman or Billy Wagner. Frequent readers will be surprised and most sabermetric thinkers will disagree with this stance since the value these pitchers created during their careers is about on par with John Tudor or Burt Hooton. However, as I judge these ballots, I want to give every chance that I could be wrong.
  • That’s why it’s also 0 points for Johnny Damon (I rank him 33rd in CF) or Fred McGriff (40th at 1B). For me, these are easy “no” votes, but I do respect the big Hall voter. And I don’t think you should have to vote for the ten best, just ten deserving. If I do a ton of squinting, I could get Damon in. McGriff, not so much. So…
  • You lose 10 points if you justify your McGriff vote by saying he was clean.
  • You also lose 10 if you vote for McGriff but not Thome, a player pretty much with the exact same case as McGriff, only a lot better.
  • You also lose 10 points for voting for anyone else on the ballot.
  • You lose 10 points for every empty space on your ballot. Even if you’re an anti-steroid voter, you can still fill your ballot with guys on the first list.
  • You lose 10 points for voting for Bonds and not Clemens, or vice versa.
  • You lose 10 points for talking about character, morality, or Joe Morgan (if you do so in a positive way).
  • You lose 10 points for voting for other steroid guys, but not Clemens or Bonds.
  • You lose 5 points for not explaining your ballot.
  • You lose 5 points for each judgment of the morality of specific players.
  • You lose 5 points for mentioning Coors Field as an argument against Larry Walker.
  • You lose 5 points for any comparison between Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith.
  • You lose 5 points for a vote against Edgar Martinez because he was a DH.
  • You lose 5 points for any other case of ridiculous logic.
  • You lose 5 more points if you send in a blank protest ballot.
  • You lose 5 points if you vote for Pete Rose. Just stop it!
  • You gain 5 points for saying the Hall should allow writers to vote for more than ten guys (a stance I don’t agree with) or for saying the Hall should make all ballots public (one I agree with).
  • You max out at 100 points.
  • Your score can dip as low as it dips.
  • I will edit this post as the voting season unfolds and I improve my method.

The Ballots

Anonymous #1: 45

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 70.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 70.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • And the open space makes 50.
  • No explanation drops him to 45.

Anonymous #2: -35

  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome is 30.
  • Hoffman means he’s still at 30.
  • And the six open spots mean -30.
  • No explanation clearly. Smart to keep it anonymous. He lands at -35.

Anonymous #4: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Thome, and Walker total 90.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • And no explanation means 85.

Anonymous #5: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Manny, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome make 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • No explanation, which means 85.

Anonymous #6: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, and Thome mean 50.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops the ballot to 40.
  • The three open spaces bring it to 10.
  • And the lack of explanation makes 5.

Anonymous #7: -105

  • It’s blank, so we begin at -100.
  • No explanation, so we end at -105.

Peter Abraham: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, and Thome make 90.
  • He falls to 80 with the open slot.
  • He says that the Hall doesn’t want Clemens and Bonds in. Right-o!
  • He calls Joe Morgan’s email “cloying”. That gives him 5 points, up to 85.
  • His job, he thinks, is to evaluate players in the context of their era, not to punish when MLB and the MLBPA wouldn’t. Nicely done!
  • Designated hitter is not a detriment. Hooray!
  • He calls 20-win seasons a false standard. Yes!!!
  • Does this guy write for the Globe? See the other Globe writers below. I don’t think they invite this guy out with them.
  • Regarding Schilling, “That he holds many detestable social views has nothing to do with this discussion.” Praise Abraham!
  • He actually researched – and that’s why he voted for Rolen. Nice!
  • He calls Saves a useless stat. Love this guy!
  • He says if you compate Omar Vizquel with Luis Aparicio or Ozzie Smith, he should be in. Well, maybe regarding Aparicio. Still, there’s so much good here that I can’t penalize him at all.
  • He’s against Manny because Manny cheated – he failed a drug test. Nothing at all wrong with that.
  • I wish he added Kent, Sheffield, or Walker, all of whom he said were close. Still, this is a great ballot.

Dave Albee: 45

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome. That’s 70.
  • Hoffman, still 70.
  • Vlad, Mussina, and Schilling are adds.
  • The two open spots make 50.
  • Despite about thirteen paragraphs, I don’t understand his position on Joe Morgan’s letter.
  • He mentions Vizquel as having won five more Gold Gloves than Alan Trammell. That plus thirteen paragraphs of confusion is a 5 point deduction down to 45. That’s where he stays. Man, enough about PEDs!

Jim Alexander: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • With an unlimited ballot, he’d add McGriff, Walker, Kent, Andruw, and Wagner.
  • That’s the only thing he explains. He drops to 65.

Eduardo B. Almada: 15

  • Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome start him at 50.
  • No change with the relievers.
  • Down to 40 with Vizquel.
  • Down to 20 with the two open spots.
  • And down to 15 because there was no explanation.

David Ammenheuser: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • Hoffman holds him at 90.
  • Through 74 ballots, this exact one exists ten times. Not bad. Of those ten, Hoffman is an add on one, Edgar on two, Schilling on five, and Walker on seven.
  • No explanations, so he drops to 85.

Dom Amore: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker total 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Do we have to listen to a podcast for this? I am sorry, faithful reader(s), but I don’t have time for this right now. We’ll keep him at 90.

Anthony Andro: 90

  • Mark McGwire thinks this voter should name should name his next child Stenedione. Love this guy’s name!
  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • He didn’t exaplain much via Twitter, but he did answer a few questions. He’d like a dozen sport to include McGriff and Wagner. I’d say no further plus or minus.

Mel Antonen: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome make 50.
  • The mediocre trio of Damon, Hoffman, and McGriff keeps him at 50.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • The open spot makes 30.
  • He dropped Wagner from last year even though he has a spot. McGriff is an add for some reason.
  • I like that he says Selig’s election isn’t a reason to vote for Bonds and Clemens. Really, it isn’t.
  • Of course, he says that Bonds and Clemens ruined sacred records. I think he’s taking things a bit too seriously. Down 5 to 25.
  • He admits that he didn’t even look at statistics before voting for Vlad, Hoffman, Chipper, Thome, Edgar, or Vizquel. Wow! Just wow. He needed to look at some statistics. This is pretty pathetic. For what he admits is BBWAA malpractice without saying so directly, I’ll drop him another 10 points to 15.
  • He calls Jack Morris one of the BBWAA’s biggest mistakes with no support. (Because there is none). He’s down 5 more to just 10.
  • He voted for Johnny Damon because he thinks Damon needs to stay on the ballot. Wow! I love Johnny Damon, but Johan Santana and Andruw Jones were far better, should stay on the ballot, and could fit on his without the inclusion of either Damon or Vizquel. I’m just shocked by this ballot. Down to 5.
  • He says that McGriff has been lost in the steroids shuffle. That’s the worst he says, so he won’t lose points.
  • Ugly ballot. He doesn’t explain why he dropped Wagner.

Kirby Arnold: 65

  • In a DM to Ryan some time ago, Arnold scored 65. But now he’s posted his rationale. As he’s currently a gold writer (see below), I suspect his grade will go down.
  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • Hoffman has him hold there.
  • Omar drops him to 70. All three Golfers West writers think Vizquel belongs in the Hall. When I was a kid, there was this golfer named Billy Andrade from near where I grew up. Maybe he belongs in the Golf Hall. Is there one? There must be one, right?
  • Schilling is an add this year.
  • He almost voted for people who he incorrectly calls cheaters.
  • However, he writes, “I believe just as strongly now as before that players who used steroids did it knowing they were cheating the spirit of the game even as baseball turned a blind eye to their actions.” While I don’t think this is a reason to withhold a vote, I can’t really disagree with it. Well said, Kirby. Maybe you’re not like your golf buddies?
  • Then he cited the character clause. Damn! Old fogies gonna fogey, I guess.
  • He’s voting for Schilling again this year after Schilling called for the murder of journalists. I’m using shorthand here. He did a better job.
  • It seems part of the reason Schilling got his vote this year is because of the assistance he provided for Puerto Rico. I think? I don’t know. At least he’s getting it right, even if it’s by the wrong logic.
  • I dislike a lot about his ballot. I dislike some of his positions too. But I think he arrives at them in a non-awful way. For those who hate a lot of Hall ballots but are willing to listen, his is a post worth reading. He stays at 65.

Jaime Aron: 45

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 70.
  • He stays there with Hoffman.
  • The two open spots mean he’s at 50.
  • And he drops to 45 without any explanations.

Chris Assenheimer: -15

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, and Thome start him with 40.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 30.
  • The four open spots make it -10.
  • I thank him for the DM to Ryan, but subtract 5 points for not explaining. Down to -15.

Andrew Baggarly: 15

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, and Thome make 60.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • The three open spots make 20.
  • He said he’d announce his votes after the results are revealed. Then he told Ryan he has one shot to predict his exact ballot to get an early reveal. Ryan got it. Fun! But he explained nothing. That drops him to 15.

Chris Bahr: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • He wants another vote to add Vizquel, but I won’t dick him for that.
  • There’s no explanation or interaction on Twitter. Down to 85.

Bill Ballou: 0

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, and Manny is 50.
  • That’s it, so he falls to 0.
  • It’s about guy, and he admits that “no amount of research can change that. Reject knowledge, and lose point. Down to -5.
  • He mentions Gaylord Perry along with Manny, so I’ll give him five points back – to 0.
  • Greenies too!
  • He writes a lot but explains little. I can’t take away more points. We’ll have to be happy with the same number of points you and I get.

Peter Barzilai: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker for 100!
  • He replied on Twitter about Manny, Vizquel, Santana. Well done, sir.

David Barron: 45

  • Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome start him at 70.
  • No change with the closers.
  • Vizquel drags him to 60.
  • He dropped Bonds this year while adding Vlad and Edgar. And Clemens but not Bonds means he falls to 50.
  • The ballot only at the BBWAA means he finishes at 45.

Mike Bass: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 90.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • He really seems to hate the idea of voting for Bonds and Clemens. He says that he couldn’t logically exclude them anymore.
  • Pudge last year and Ortiz in a few have helped him reshape his thinking. What if, he wonders, the good play or acts outweigh one report?
  • He says that “time breeds better perspective.” Nice.
  • He asks how he could reflexively deny PED users when amphetamine users are in the Hall. I’ll give him 5 points for that, up to 95.
  • He wasn’t bothered by Joe Morgan’s letter.
  • I can feel this guy’s struggles while reading his post. I’m impressed with his mental effort.

Darrin Beene: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • No explanation, so he drops to 95.

Amalie Benjamin: 75

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome and Walker start her at 80.
  • Hoffman and Wagner keep her there.
  • No explanation drops her to 75.

Mike Berardino: 90

  • Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 90 without PED guys!
  • And Wagner keeps him at 90. Why, why, why not Johan? I really want a non-PED guy to reach 100.
  • Wagner and Vlad are adds this year.
  • Brandon Warne, @Brandon_Warne, the host who I like quite a bit and doesn’t have a vote, chose Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100. Give him a vote! Hoffman would get his vote if there were space. He would want to consider Andruw, Kent, McGriff, Manny, Johan, Sheffield, Sosa, and Wagner too. Can we give him two votes?
  • Berardino says he finds things like the project I’m working on “amusing”. He’s far too kind. I know I’m a bit of an ass.
  • Lots of mentions of Ryan and the Tracker on this podcast. Nice!
  • Berardino, you may remember, became infamous for not voting for Unit or Pedro a few years ago. He wasn’t being a jerk. He was being strategic, he explains. He implies that he knew they were getting in without his vote.
  • Vlad is an add this year. While he discusses Vlad, I don’t think he really explains why this year but not last. He compares Vlad’s plate coverage to that of Yogi Berra or Manny Sanguillen. Cool comparison!
  • He waited until the last moment to vote, presumably to see how things were going on the Tracker.
  • He has tried to get away from counting stats, move to rate stats, and consider peak years on his recent ballots.
  • He says that the character clause factors in for him, though not in the way the player treats the media.
  • With three spots remaining on his ballot, he was still considering three players – Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner, and Andruw Jones. He chose to vote for Wagner and Jones, Jones in particular while considering the 5% needed to stay on the ballot.
  • He chose Wagner over Hoffman strategically, thinking Hoffman was going to make it and that Wagner could fall off the ballot without his vote. I dislike this position. I’m not 100% sure it holds water. Berardino is a very close follower of the Tracker. I don’t think there was ever a time this year when it seemed like Wagner was about to fall off. Maybe I’m wrong. The rest of what he says makes sense, so I’ll assume I’m wrong here.
  • He admires Hoffman, and he appreciates the way he reacted to the 1998 World Series struggle.
  • He said he loved watching Omar Vizquel play, and he wished his memory of Vizquel’s hitting was a little incorrect. Basically, it isn’t.

Rob Biertempfel: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 50.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The four open spots drop him to 10.
  • There was no Twitter interaction other than saying he won’t vote for Bonds and Clemens in their tenth year. Down to 5.

Jeff Blair: 15

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, and Walker. That’s 60.
  • Looks good, but the four open spots mean he drops to 20.
  • The ballot was shared on a radio show I can’t access. Let’s make it 15.

Barry Bloom: 70

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker mean Bloom starts with 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.

Earl Bloom: 55

  • Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker get him to 70.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • And a lack of an explanation means he falls to 55.

Ronald Blum: 25

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Sosa, and Thome make 60.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • The three open spots drop him to 30.
  • No explanation means he falls to 25.

Paul Bodi: -15

  • Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, and Thome make 40.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • He drops to -10 because he couldn’t find any other guys to vote for.
  • And he finishes at -15 because he doesn’t explain.

Erik Boland: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Sosa, and Thome. That’s 90.
  • Wagner keeps him there.
  • He thinks the ballot should expand, so we get to 95.
  • His Twitter replies are enough for me, so he stays at 95.

Filip Bondy: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, Sosa, and Thome start him at 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • And Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • His ballot is interesting and a bit frustrating in that he dropped Edgar so he could add Mussina and Sosa. Why Sosa? What did he do in the last 365 days to become better than Edgar? I can’t complain too much though; I don’t hate a Sosa vote. Vizquel, on the other hand…
  • His ballot comes to us via an email to Ryan, so there’s no explanation. He drops to 65.

Tim Booth: 90

  • Bonds, Clement, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Very reasonable explanation too.

David Borges: -15

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, and Schilling make 60.
  • That’s it, so he drops to 20.
  • He implies that the induction of Bonds and Clemens would sully the induction of Mariano or Jeter. Man, stop it with your morality. Down to 15.
  • He voted Thome down because he was never a “transcendent player”. Ugh! I hate that argument, but it’s one I can stomach enough that I won’t lop off points.
  • And because he didn’t vote for Thome, he stopped voting for Sosa. Curious. Maybe he’s going somewhere with this…
  • But he pauses to talk more about steroids. Stop, just stop! Down to 10.
  • He calls Sosa nothing more than a product of PEDs. And that’s changed from last year how? Down to 5.
  • Part of the reason he voted for Chipper is because he played for one team his whole career. And that makes 0!
  • The modern day Jim Rice, Vlad inspired fear in the hearts of pitchers. Seriously, he wrote that. While Vlad was better than Rice and not a bad selection at all, the fear notion is ridiculous, and it gets him to -5.
  • He doesn’t vote for Edgar and his 147 career OPS+ because he feels Edgar doesn’t measure up to hitting savants like Rod Carew (131), Tony Gwynn (132), Wade Boggs (131), and Ichiro Suzuki (107). Of course, I did the research to show he does in less than a minute. Dude, you’re not even trying. That’s -10.
  • Unlike some, he’s not prejudiced against closers. C’mon! Nobody is prejudiced against closers! They’re against a lack of value. Hoffman doesn’t get a vote because he came up “small” in three of four big spots in his career. Okay, whatever.
  • A five-year span of dominance isn’t quite enough, so he doesn’t vote for Johan Santana. Luckily for Sandy Koufax and his 4-5 dominant seasons, he’s already in. Guys, this man had been voting for only four years. He’s going to be around for a looooong time.
  • Mike Mussina was never dominant. Did you look at 1992 or 2001? Did you note that Mussina had four seasons better than Koufax’s fifth best year? Yeah, that’s a silly stat on my part, but to say Mussina was never dominant is silly. He was. Down to -15.

Peter Botte: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • No change with McGriff.
  • In a garbage piece, which I would have loved when I was 11, where he seems to predict what’s going to happen in 2018, he mentions who he voted for. Whoopie. Down to 85. (A ballot below made me angry earlier today, so I may not be treating Mr. Botte very fairly.

Dennis Bracken: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, and Walker get him going at 80.
  • No change with Hoffman or McGriff.
  • No explanation drops him to 75.

Mark Bradley: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • He apologizes to Rolen.
  • But he posted on Twitter and explains nothing (at least to the point I write this). He falls to 95. Just about as good a 95 as you’ll see.
  • Thank you Mr. Bradley!

Marcos Breton: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, and Thome total 80.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • And Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • His Schilling stance is troubling to me, and I am disgusted by many of the things Schilling says. “The rules say we can take “character” into account. I find Curt Schilling to be a hateful person who uses is fame and media platforms to spread the kind of hate dividing our country. It’s taken me a few years to come to this conclusion, but there it is. I’ll never vote for him.” I have to dock him 5 points, which moves him to 65.
  • There’s very little Twitter interaction. There’s no Vizquel explanation. He doesn’t explain why Vlad is an add and Sosa a drop. I already dinged him for one of his drops though.

Larry Brooks: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Sheffield, Thome, and Walker makes 90.
  • The open spot drops him to 80.
  • Vlad is an add. But he explains nothing. Down to 75.

Garry Brown: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, and Schilling make 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him at 80.
  • Ryan got this ballot via email, so Brown is down to 75.
  • This is a pretty shocking acceptable ballot. I suspect no other writer will have this exact ten.

Ray Buck: 15

  • Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome total 60.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • The three openings drop him to 30.
  • Though he had space, he stopped voting for Schilling this year. No explanation.
  • Clemens without Bonds drops him to 20.
  • No explanation means he falls to 15.

Steve Buckley: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • And Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He thinks writers have an obligation to make their ballots public. Thank you! Up to 75.
  • About Joe Morgan he writes, “…this letter sadly reveals him to be an old man who either can’t or won’t admit that the Hall of Fame already has its share of enshrinees who used performance-enhancing drugs.” That makes 80.
  • He doesn’t explain his though process on Hoffman, Vizquel, PED users, or anyone else. He lands at 75.

Don Burke: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome make 60.
  • He stays there with the relievers.
  • He drops to 50 with Vizquel.
  • And the blank spot makes 40.
  • He asks for comments, criticisms, and snide remarks, yet he replies to nothing on Twitter. That’ 35.

Nick Cafardo: 60

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome start him at 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He knows a Hall of Famer when he sees one. Foolish, and down 5 to 65.
  • He says he has no clue when and if Bonds and Clemens started using steroids. Good for him!
  • He says he respected Joe Morgan’s position. Down 5 to 60.
  • But he can’t get past the amphetamines players of Morgan’s era used. Up 5 to 65.
  • He calls Omar the AL version of Ozzie Smith, and he dropped Kent to put Omar on. Shame. And it costs him 5 points to 60 for comparing Omar and Ozzie.

Pete Caldera: 55

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome start him with 80.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • The blank space makes it 60.
  • From what he say, Vizquel was “the finest defensive shortstop for the longest time”. Huh? Since this is his 11th ballot, he’s been covering the game for 21 seasons. That means he either grew up on Ozzie Smith or didn’t watch baseball. I assume it’s the latter. That would explain a thing or two. Down 5 to 55.
  • He calls Manny Ramirez “feared”. I hate that, but Manny did top 200 IBB. No change.
  • He wants to keep talking about Scott Rolen. You know, a vote in that direction would have been nice. Let’s hope it doesn’t matter.

Andrew Call: 25

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him started with 60.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • Two open spaces drop him to 30.
  • And not explaining anything drops him to 25. Of course, I like that he shared his ballot with Ryan via email.

Dave Campbell: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Edgar and Schilling are adds.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 85.

John Canzano: 45

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Manny make 70.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The two open spaces drop him to 50.
  • He added Vlad and Manny while dropping McGriff and Shellield. Why? He had the room. Alas, no Twitter discussion. Down to 45.

Jim Caple: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 80.
  • No change with McGriff.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • Walker is an add, Mussina a drop, and no explanation in the DM to Ryan. He drops to 65.

Pat Caputo: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • He added Vlad and Hoffman this year while dropping Kent.
  • He votes for Hoffman because he’s “not going to present a ballot that could keep him out.” He backs up to 85.
  • His justification for Vlad is the same. I don’t like it, but I get it. He stays at 85.

Marc Carig: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Sosa, and Thome make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • No explanations on Twitter, so he falls to 85.

Bill Center: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Thome, and Walker start him at 50.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • And he drops to 40 with Vizquel.
  • The three open spaces make 10.
  • And no explanation means he finishes at 5.

Sam Charchidi: 15

  • Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 50.
  • There’s no change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • And the two open spots mean he falls to 20.
  • He didn’t vote last year, so this ballot is more damaging than you might think.
  • No Twitter replies. That’s probably smart of him. He finished at 15.

Murray Chass: -70

  • As long as it’s not a blank ballot, it’s going to be better than last year’s. I hope!
  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, and Thome. That’s 40.
  • The six open spaces mean he’s at -20.
  • He shows how much he cares about the Hall of Fame by blogging (see what I did there?) about it after a thought exercise about college football. That makes -30.
  • He calls his blank ballot last year “infamous”. Just to make sure I understood what he was saying, I looked up the definition of “infamous” And what do you know! He admits that his ballot was “well known for some bad quality or deed”. Actually, I’d say bad quality and deed, but I don’t suppose there’s one word that would articulate that so well. Nice writing, Murray.
  • Then he trashes some dude named Casey Stern for four paragraphs. Assuming what Chass is saying is accurate, I support his assertions. Not enough to give him points, but I support him.
  • Chass doesn’t vote for “cheaters”. Of course, it ain’t cheating if there’s no rule against it. Down to -40.
  • He says that Bagwell and Pudge “have long been associated with steroids”. That’s just garbage reporting. Make it -50.
  • He then conflates Tim Raines’ use of cocaine with cheating. Fool. That’s -60.
  • He claims that Hall chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark (who he calls its “chairman”) has kept Marvin Miller out of the Hall for over 15 years. Such a sentiment is patently false. Make it -65.
  • But man, Miller should be in the Hall. I’ll bring him back to -55 for that.
  • This man is so self-centered and self-important. He calls his ballot “infamous”. He doesn’t know how Stern would fill airtime without discussing his infamous ballot. And he thinks that writers shouldn’t vote for more than the number of players they wish to see inducted. Seriously. “I didn’t want to vote for four; that’s at least one or two too many to be inducted in a single year; it dilutes the honor.” Dude, there are hundreds of voters. You know you’re not the sole arbiter, right? If you vote for four, that doesn’t mean they all get in.
  • He writes, “There is just no way 10 players are good enough to be worthy of induction. Writers who vote for 10 are taking the easy way out.” By his gut, he’s right. But by objective measures, he’s not. And he’s freakin’ arrogant. He falls to -65.
  • “A few years ago Hall officials pared the voting rolls by about 100, knocking off older writers who were no long active or covering baseball on a daily basis. That was a mistake. I know of several writers who are no longer working but covered the players who are now eligible for the Hall of Fame. They would serve as more intelligent and conscientious voters than many of those voting.” Jerk. Let’s make it an even -70.
  • It’s a “better” ballot than Bill Livingston’s. I’m pleasantly surprised.

Joe Christensen: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • No explanation drops him to 85.

Tom Christensen: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker get him to 90.
  • Vizquel drops him to 80.
  • No explanation means he falls to 75.

Jay Cohen: 85

  • We get going with Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, and Thome for 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 90.
  • No meaningful replies on Twitter. Down to 85.

Roberto Colon: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Sosa, and Thome start him at 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He doesn’t explain or interact on Twitter. Down to 65.

Dan Connolly: 60

  • I think this was previously an anonymous ballot. I’m going to delete what I previously called Anonymous #3.
  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker get him to 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He dropped Schilling so he could include Vizquel.
  • PED use hurts a candidacy, but doesn’t destroy it. Sure, I agree.
  • He calls Vizquel’s offense underrated. By what measure? I think it’s crazily overrated. Nobody says it was awful, though it truly was. Down to 65.
  • I don’t hate his Hoffman explanation. Best at what he did. Okay.
  • Sadly, he also thinks DH is a role. Roles are created by teams; positions are in the rule book. There’s a difference.
  • He mentions some selected offensive numbers of Vizquel’s as if they’re positive. They’re not.
  • He distrusts defensive metrics, but he seems to trust the eye test. Oh, and the testimony of Mike Bordick. Sad. Down 5 to 60.

Ron Cook: -45

  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome bring him to a miserable 30.
  • And the seven openings drophim to -40.
  • Luckily he didn’t explain, so he falls to -45.

Kevin Cooney: 70

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 80.
  • And Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He answered a lot of folks on Twitter. Reasonable explanations. Cool.

Brian Costello: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, Schilling, Sheffield, Sosa, and Thome are worth 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • No explanation, so he drops to 85.

Greg Cote: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, Sheffield, and Thome get him to 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 80.
  • The blank spot drops him to 70.
  • He explains voting for Bonds and Clemens since there’s reasonable cause to think they’d have been good enough for the Hall without using PEDs. But what about Manny and Sheffield? How does he know? The only explanation in his explanation is insufficient at best. That makes 65.

Joe Cowley: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Thome mean 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • A loss of 10 for the open spot, down to 70.
  • And down to 65 because there’s no explanation.

Tim Cowlishaw: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make it 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Great work by Ryan trying to get information out of this guy. I like that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. I don’t like that he doesn’t explain anything. Down to 85.

Jerry Crasnick: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome start him at 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • His strategy of Kent over Walker makes sense. And I suppose it does with Kent over Sheffield too. Thoughtful.
  • However, he says that Kent isn’t a popular choice among people who specialize in the metrics. Well, I don’t specialize or anything, but Kent makes perfect sense to me. Right on the borderline.

Jack Curry: 80

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker get him to 80.
  • Hoffman and Wagner keep him there.
  • He promises more detail during Yankees Hot Stove on January 4. I’ll trust him and remind you that anti-PED voters can do quite well by my system. Substitute two of Andruw, Rolen, and Johan for the closers, and this is a 100 ballot.

Guy Curtright: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. We have the very rare voter who scores 100 but didn’t reveal before the results.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 95.

Tom D’Angelo: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 90.
  • No interaction on Twitter means he drops to 85.

Tim Dahlberg: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome get to 50.
  • There’s no change with Hoffman.
  • The open spaces drop him to 10.
  • No explanation makes 5.

Paul Daugherty: -45

  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome. That’s 30 for the guy.
  • The seven open spaces mean he falls to -40.
  • He dropped Sheffield this year. No reasoning provided.
  • No reasoning at all, so he’s down to -45.

Shi Davidi: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • There’s no change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • He’s added Edgar and McGriff while dropping Kent and Schilling.
  • He writes that he did something he swore he’d never do – removing a player from his ballot who he previously supported. Since he’s writing this in the context of strategic voting, I won’t ding him for what seems to be a crazy position of refusing to change one’s mind.
  • For strategic voting reasons he dropped Kent and Schilling while adding Edgar and McGriff. Whether or not you advocate for strategic voting aside, what in the world is the strategy of dropping Schilling for McGriff? Or even Kent for McGriff? What did he hope to accomplish? He doesn’t explain in his post. I listened to his radio appearance too. He says he can go back to the two he dropped. I guess he explained that in his post too. But all I can think is, “Yeah, so?” He drops 5 to 75.
  • He says he follows the Tracker and studies JAWS to help make decisions. Okay, we can go back to 80.
  • However, he says that Edgar is amazing because he reaches his JAWS number without adding any value on defense. There are one big problem with that statement though. JAWS is WAR-based, and Davidi isn’t taking into account its positional component, one that costs Edgar 128 runs in his WAR calculation. Back to 75.
  • He either implies that Fred McGriff didn’t use steroids, or he is happy to vote for someone whose play was simply inferior. Either way, that’s 10 points, dropping him to 65.

Ken Davidoff: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. There you have it, folks. It’s the first BBWAA ballot that exactly matches mine (and Eric’s). Congrats Ken! Start at 100!
  • He begins by taking apart Joe Morgan’s letter, so should he need it, he has a few points in the bag.
  • I like it when people are smarter than I am. “For the voters to understand that their mission is not to police player-on-player crimes, but rather to look after the consumer, who has never been impacted one iota by illegal PED usage, yet sure as heck has by crimes personified by Anson, Cobb, Selig and other inductees.” Davidoff wrote it better.
  • The audacity of the man to call the man who hit the most home runs in MLB history the true home run king. The horror! Well done, Ken.
  • Every vote for Andruw at this point is an important one. He says the Jones “eye test” is backed by analytics. Yup.
  • He cites the Tracker when talking about Edgar. Thanks again!
  • The Moneyball A’s succeeded by focusing on what players could do rather than what they couldn’t. Regarding Mussina, “The key with Mussina is not to focus on what he wasn’t as a pitcher (the Yankees’ “ace” or a 300-win pitcher) and look at what he was (durable, an outstanding 3.58 strikeouts-to-walks ratio). He should be mentioned in the same breath as Glavine and Smoltz.” Hey Ken, if you even need a ghostwriter, at least I can follow your logic.
  • He calls this freshman class “deceptively strong.” Yes!
  • He talks about Schilling wanting him and other journalists murdered. I don’t believe Schilling wants that at all. He’s already earned the five points I’m taking away here. No change overall.
  • Larry Walker isn’t a Coors Field creation. Correct.
  • He didn’t vote for Manny this year since Manny is, in his estimation, the 11th best player on the ballot. He also thinks Vlad, Sheffield, and Sosa belong in the Hall. No objections here.
  • He attacks Omar’s 82 OPS+, as he should.
  • He prefers Wagner to Hoffman, yet he doesn’t believe either is deserving. I’ll take Hoffman and his extra 186 innings, but I suspect we agree that it’s incredibly close.
  • He wants one or two more All-Star seasons out of Santana and Kent. Again, I support them both, yet I admit they’re among the last in the door.
  • Phenomenal ballot!

Art Davidson: 0

  • Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Schilling, and Thome make 50.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 50.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • The three open spots drop him to 10.
  • This is why I mention how awful anti-PED voters are, not because they leave off Bonds and Clemens, but because they understand so little about the game that they’d take Hoffman and Omar over Mussina, Rolen, Edgar, Walker, and Santana.
  • He doesn’t vote for Mussina in part because he had only one 20-win season. Down to 5.
  • That’s it in terms of explanations as far as I can see, so we have an even 0.

John Delcos: -10

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome. That’s 50.
  • There’s no change with Hoffman or McGriff.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • The two blank spots drop him to 20.
  • He calls Carl Yastrezmski a compiler. Of course, Yaz led the AL in WAR by over 20 for two decades. I don’t think Delcos does his research, so he drops to 15.
  • He completely agrees with Joe Morgan, though it’s not like he compliments Morgan at all. I won’t take away points. I think Delcos had these thoughts irrespective of Morgan’s letter.
  • He fairly lazily calls Chipper Jones a Met killer. As with Yaz, he didn’t do the research on Chipper and the Mets. I did. But I don’t want to take more points here. He didn’t choose Chipper because of his play against one team.
  • He says Jim Thome was clean. How can he know??? Well, I know he’s down to 10.
  • He believes that if Hoffman replaced Rivera on the Yankees, they’d have won just as many World Series. Well, I believe if Nomar Garciaparra or Miguel Tejada replaced Derek Jeter, the Yankees still would have won all of those World Series. Also, Nomar and Tejada would make poor Hall of Famers. He’s down to 5.
  • He says 493 home runs should make Fred McGriff a shoo-in. C’mon! That’s 0.
  • He says that defense is often overlooked by new age stats. That’s patently false, so he falls to -5.
  • He says that if Ozzie is a Hall of Famer, so is Omar. That’s insanity. It’s a ridiculous comparison. And his is a ridiculous ballot with ridiculous logic and a final score of -10.

Chris De Luca: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Sosa, and Thome give him 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Mussina and Schilling are adds, while Manny falls from his ballot.
  • In his snarky Twitter replies, which I like, he didn’t explain anything, so he falls to 85.

Tony DeMarco: 45

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 70.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • He calls people who used PEDs “steroid cheaters”. Down to 50.
  • He doesn’t explain, so he falls to 45.

Tom Dienhart: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Sosa, and Thome make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • He added Sosa, Mussina, and Vlad while dropping Schilling. I’d love to know why, but there’s no explanation. Down to 85.

Steve Dilbeck: -35

  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome start him at 30.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • And the six blanks drop him to -30
  • Not surprisingly, there’s no explanation, so he falls to -35.

Ryan Divish: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • His explanations were quite dull, but they were there. I like his thought process overall.

Mike Downey: 5

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, and Thome get him to 50.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • The three open spaces mean he falls to 10.
  • No explanation that I could find. So he falls to 5. I suspect it would have been worse if he tried to explain himself.

Josh Dubow: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • He dropped Sosa for Walker. I support that too.
  • But no explanation yet, so he falls to 95.

Jay Dunn: 30

  • Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, and Thome get him going with 60.
  • He stays there with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • And the one open spot brings him to 40.
  • As respectfully, as fairly, and as incorrectly as one could, he rejects Bonds and Clemens (and Bonds and Clemens voters). He somehow things steroids are evil and amphetamines didn’t exist. Or were Skittles. Down to 35.
  • Fred McGriff is a victim of the steroid era. Please! Manny Ramirez cheated. Barry Bonds didn’t, or was never caught. Fred McGriff didn’t, or was never caught. Why do some people think they have all the answers? Down to 30.
  • He separates Shilling the player from Schilling the tweeter. I love that, but he stays at 30.

Chuck Dybdal: 5

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, and Edgar bring him to 50.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The four open spots drop him to 10.
  • No explanation means he lands at 5.

Bob Elliott: 55

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Thome, and Walker start him at 70.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • The blank drops him to 60.
  • And the lack of explanation means he finishes at 55.

John Eradi: 45

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 80.
  • McGriff keeps him there.
  • And the open spot drops him to 70.
  • His admiration for Joe Morgan’s “courage” drops him to 60.
  • He won’t again vote for the Hall if Bonds and Clemens are elected. Oh, please, please, please elect Bonds and Clemens. Down to 50.
  • He explained nothing other than his Bonds/Clemens/Morgan screed. Down to 45.

Alan Eskew: 15

  • Bonds, Andruw, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, and Thome start him at 60.
  • Damon and Hoffman keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • The open spot drops him to 40.
  • Bonds and not Clemens drops him to 30.
  • Manny and not Clemens drops him to 20.
  • The lack of explanation means he finishes at 15.

Ryan Fagan: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolan, Santana, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • Walker is an add, while Manny and Schilling have been dropped.
  • He is specifically voting based on what he sees in the Tracker! He votes for guys he things deserve it who have a shot at getting inducted, and he votes for deserving guys who need votes to boost their candidacies. He specifically explains that’s why Rolen and Johan are in, while Manny and Schilling are out.
  • Please read his post! It’s among the most thorough and sensible of the year. Thanks Ryan!

Mark Faller: 55

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Thome, and Walker. That’s 70.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • And the open space drops him to 60.
  • Both McGriff and Walker are adds this year. Of course, he explains nothing. The final grade is 55.

Michael Fannin: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, and Schilling total 80.
  • No change with Hoffman or McGriff.
  • McGriff but not Thome drops him to 70.
  • No explanation for that craziness drops him to 65.

Mark Feinsand: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome make 100!
  • He correctly states that we don’t know who used PEDs or didn’t before testing. Thank you!
  • He calls Omar Vizquel’s defensive wizardry “second to none”. My wife says I shouldn’t be so literal, so I’ll respect those words as a figure of speech and not something Feinsand actually believes.
  • He wants a binary, yes/no, process for all players, that voters shouldn’t be constrained by the limit of ten players when more deserve it. I’d give him 5 more points, but voters are capped at 100 by this system.
  • He strategizes by voting for Edgar this year and not McGriff, both of whom he thinks are deserving. His reasoning is that Edgar has a shot, while the McGriff vote seems wasted. I buy that (though not the point about McGriff being over the line).
  • Because of Schilling’s anti-journalist comments, the righty didn’t get his vote last year. I won’t give him a hard time for that since he actually seems like a journalist based on his objective thinking. He’s pulled back this year, and Schilling is in.
  • Damn, this is a great ballot supported by great thinking!

Howard Fendrich: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome make 50.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Drop him 40 points for the blanks. Down to 10.
  • Drop him 5 more for lacking an explanation. Down to 5.

Martin Fennelly: 65

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Sheffield, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • No change with Hoffman or McGriff.
  • He votes for Tampa guy Sheffield but neither Bonds nor Clemens. That costs him 10, dropping him to 70. So, so, so many homers. It’s quite distasteful.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 65.

Larry Fine: 25

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him going with 60.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • The two blanks drop him to 30.
  • No explanation means he finishes at 25.

Mike Fitzpatrick: 55

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, and Thome mean 70.
  • No change with the relievers.
  • The blank drops him to 60.
  • And he finishes at 55 with no explanations.

Jeffrey Flanagan: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The open space drops him to 70.
  • He compares closers to kickers. Ick. He says nothing else of substance, so he falls 5 to 65.

Jeff Fletcher: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100! And I think we deserve this treat after Tuesday’s disaster.
  • He posted his picks on Twitter in puzzle form, which is great! But he didn’t explain. Down to 95.

Carter Gaddis: 25

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome make 50.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • Down to 30 with the three open spaces.
  • And the Facebook post drops him to 25 for this evaluator.

Randy Galloway: -35

  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome make 30.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 20.
  • The five open spots make -30.
  • I just can’t make myself to listen to a 37-minute podcast to hate his reasoning. We’ll dock him 5 points and call it a day.

Peter Gammons: 65

  • Bonds, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • Hoffman means there’s no change.
  • His blank space that used to belong to Clemens before he realized there was a conflict of interest (or something) drops him to 70
  • And he published at The Athletic, so I can’t read. He ends at 65.

Jim Gauger: 55

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, Schilling, and Thome total 70.
  • Hoffman and Moyer keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 55.

Dan Gelston: 25

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Schilling, and Thome make 60.
  • Hoffman changes nothing.
  • And the three open sport drop him to 30.
  • He’s all over the Pinstripe Bowl. No explanation. Down to 25.

Steven Gietschier: 45

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome is 60.
  • Hoffman, McGriff, and Wagner keep him there.
  • At least there was no Vizquel.
  • The open space drops him to 50.
  • The lack of explanation makes 45.

Rob Giles: -25

  • Vlad, Chipper, Thome, and Walker. Wow, that’s only 40.
  • The six blanks mean he falls to -20.
  • So this isn’t quite as disgusting as Livingston’s Cleveland-only ballot. But it’s in the neighborhood. He votes for three guys who are going to wind up over 90% and a player from Canada for a guy on Twitter who describes himself on Twitter as “Chief of Bureau for The Associated Press in Canada. Baseball Hall of Fame voter. Canadian.”
  • And since he can’t explain his awful ballot, there’s no explanation. He falls to -25.

David Ginsburg: -20

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, and Thome make 40.
  • The six remaining spaces means he falls to -20.
  • He dropped Manny for some reason.
  • There’s no way I’m listening to 36 minutes of radio for this one. Sorry.

Steve Goldman: 45

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 60.
  • The closers and McGriff keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • And no explanation makes 45.

Jimmy Golen: -35

  • Chipper, Edgar, and Thome start this laughable ballot at 30.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 20.
  • The five blank spots make -30.
  • Not surprisingly, there’s no explanation, so that leaves him at -35.

Pedro Gomez: -35

  • Chipper, Mussina, and Thome make 30.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • Vizquel drops him to 20.
  • And the four open spaces make -20.
  • He explains his McGriff vote in a way I cannot understand at all. “McGriff would have been an easy choice for the Hall of Fame if only he’d been born 30 or 40 years earlier. There are 23 first basemen in the Hall of Fame, but only seven played their careers after 1950. Of those seven, four hit more home runs than McGriff’s 493, and of those four, McGriff was within 28 of three of them. Only Harmon Killebrew’s 573 home runs were distant from McGriff’s total, which was more than that of Tony Perez, Orlando Cepeda and Jeff Bagwell.” Can you?
  • “McGriff hit 31 or more home runs in seven consecutive seasons. He finished in the top 10 in MVP voting six times. He was the catalyst of the Braves’ lone World Series title in 1995. His biggest problem was playing during the height of the steroid era, in which his stellar numbers were dwarfed by the cartoonish numbers of the 1990s, when players were reaching 50, 60 and even 70 home runs in a season.” Two huge problems here.
    • We don’t’ know who used and who didn’t. Down to -30.
    • He uses the ridiculous standard that is top-10 MVP finishes. McGriff finished fourth, sixth, eighth, and tenth twice. Per BBREF, he ranks 170th in career MVP voting shares. He trails Cecil Fielder and Darryl Strawberry and Greg Luzinski, among other greats. I don’t know if Gomez is being intellectually dishonest here or just intellectually vacuous. Down to -35.

Mike Gonzales: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Thome make 50.
  • That’s where he stays with the two relievers.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40
  • And the two blanks bring him down to 20.
  • He talks about Vlad’s RBIs. Oh my!
  • He talks about Hoffman’s fearlessness during the steroid era. Awful.
  • He talks about Chippers solid defense, which didn’t actually exist. Down 5 to 15.
  • He mentions the DH Award being named after Edgar, like that’s some sort of qualification. Why are more and more people saying something so silly?
  • Regarding Omar, he says he hit 10 points higher than Ozzie. Clearly, that’s a ridiculous point of comparison. Ozzie was the superior hitter by a mile. This comparison is shameful, so he’s down 10 more points to 5.
  • It appears to me that the last time Gonzales learned anything about baseball was 1977 or so.

Derrick Goold: 90

  • Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 90.
  • Folks, please see that he voted for no PED users, and he gets 90 points! This is a great ballot!
  • Add Kent or Johan rather than Hoffman, and it’s a 100 point ballot without Bonds or Clemens! Yes, it can be done. You can have a phenomenal ballot if you won’t vote for PED guys. I’m ready to read hos explanations now. I predict I’ll like them.
  • Let’s see.
  • He explains his ballot in a chat!
  • One of the first things he says is that he’ll vote for Bonds and Clemens in the future if there’s space on his ballot. Wow! I like his stance here. They can get in the Hall, but they can’t bump deserving candidates. Thoughtful!
  • He speaks highly of Jim Edmonds and Ted Simmons. Nice.
  • Sheffield may get his vote in the future. He thinks highly of the bat.
  • Not so much Johan or Chris Carpenter. Hopefully there’s a Johan explanation somewhere.
  • Jack Morris would not have made his final 14 or 15 had he been on this ballot. Jamie Moyer didn’t either.
  • He doesn’t think players currently in the Hall should be removed for any reason. Surprisingly, given the existence of the HoME, I concur.
  • He supports Trammell.
  • Jeff Kent was considered. He wrote that others stood taller. That makes sense to me.
  • He predicts Rolen will get into the Hall, just not with the BBWAA vote. I prefer his prediction to my less hopeful one.
  • Seven more homers for Fred McGriff (to 500) wouldn’t have done it for him.
  • When asked why he hates Chris Carpenter, he replies with surprise that there aren’t more Jason Isringhausen questions. All this and a sense of humor!
  • Andruw over Kent simply because Andruw was better. I concur.
  • With a binary ballot he’d add Bonds, Clemens, Sheffield, possibly Kent, and give a long look to Wagner. The last name is a big reason I’m against a binary ballot. I fear it will make for a bigger Hall. It will more easily allow writers to do the “nice thing” rather than the right thing.
  • It’s no surprise that his Schilling position is reasoned. He uses the character clause to help shave down to ten. He doesn’t care how Schilling treated the media.
  • Though it was mostly Cardinals talk, the guy chatted for more than four hours! I’m so, so impressed!

Patrick Graham: 90

  • Like many today, Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • He says that Joe Morgan’s words carried weight, though his ballot and other words don’t support that claim. Good! No change in points.
  • I don’t love his Twitter replies, but there were plenty of them.

Evan Grant: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Obnoxiousness be damned, he says, he had to vote for Schilling this year.
  • He’d like to vote for Sheffield too, but the ballot limit…
  • There’s not a ton of Twitter interaction, but there was a Schilling explanation of sorts. I’ll take that. He stays at 90.

Dan Graziano: 25

  • Vlad, Chiper, Kent, Edgar, and Mussina get to 50.
  • Hoffman, McGriff, and Wagner keep him there.
  • Hideki Matsui!!! He drops to 40.
  • The open space drops him to 30.
  • He finds “appeal” in Matsui’s Japanese ball contribution. Yes, I believe Matsui hit 507 homers between Japan and the United States. Does he know that Andruw Jones hit 484? And he played pretty good defense too. I suspect not. Ridiculous. Down to 25.

Jerry Green: 45

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Sheffield, and Thome get him to 70.
  • Damon keeps him there.
  • Vizquel brings him to 60.
  • The blank takes him to 50.
  • And without an explanation, he falls to 45.

Jay Greenberg: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome start him at 60.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • And two blank spots drop him to 40.
  • He added McGroff this year, no other changes.
  • No explanations. That’s 35.

Alan Greenwood: 15

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, Schilling, and that’s it. A nice 60.
  • But the four open spots mean he drops to 20.
  • No Twitter replies, so he drops to 15.

Scott Gregor: -5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome start him with a sad 50.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • The three open spots bring him down to 10.
  • He calls Vizquel “no slouch with the bat”. That’s ridiculous. Vizquel was a pretty awful hitter. He’s down to 5.
  • And he needlessly talks about character, pointing out Thome’s only character flaw as being too nice. That’s an even 0.
  • He explains nothing, really, so he finishes at -5.

Richard Griffin: 30

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Thome, and Walker make 70.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • And the open spot means he falls to 50.
  • He writes, “There are analytics in vogue that can be manipulated to compare the careers of those already enshrined to those who would like to join them…” This is either disingenuous or it represents an incredibly poor understanding of the analytics community. Whether as a vocation or avocation, the people who do this stuff are really trying to get things right, not manipulate. Down 10 to 40.
  • “Ironically, the segment of the community that seems most tolerant of difference of opinion has become the writers who actually vote. The general public seems to have devolved into self-righteous and indignant railing against those who don’t meet their carefully selected standards.” I wish I could disagree with him here.
  • His PED position is one I can very much get behind. Before PEDs were banned, he holds nothing against users or suspected users.
  • He is basically against enshrining relievers, or so he says. In the very next sentence, he says that a player who is one of the best in his role over the course of his career is an exception. No, it’s not! That’s precisely what it should take for any player to earn your vote. Down 5 to 35.
  • He lumps in relievers and designated hitters. Yuck. But he votes for Edgar for the first time. Okay.
  • “I’m a sucker for great shortstops, great defence, great athletes and players who show imagination in their play.” Um, yeah. At least you admit it.
  • ‘Shortstops are under-represented at Cooperstown…” That’s just wrong, unless he’s talking about 19th century shortstops, which he isn’t. Down 5 to 30.
  • I love his strong Larry Walker stand, suggesting it’s ignorant to hold Coors against him.

Karen Guregian: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 50.
  • Hoffman keeps her at 50.
  • Vizquel drops her to 40.
  • The three empty spaces mean a fall to 10.
  • And no explanation means a finish at 5.

Paul Gutierrez: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, and Thome total 50.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • And the three open spots make it 10.
  • He seems impressed by Vizquel’s use of a cardboard glove, fielding percentage, and hits. Awful. Down 5 to 5.

Joe Haakenson: 75

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff mean he stays there.
  • He added Kent, Mussina, and Walker. Of course he added Walker! And he dropped Manny. Why in the world would an anti-PED guy have voted for Manny a year ago?
  • I don’t know. He didn’t explain anything. Down to 75.

Chris Haft: 60

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome start him at 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • Why in the world do people keep voting for Vizquel? Haft writes that it’s because he covered Omar while both were in San Francisco. I’d like to do little study of Vizquel’s public votes. I think there are a huge number of supporters of his who covered him. It’s the eye test. Don’t trust the eye test! Down 5 to 65.
  • No explanation of any real value, so he falls to 60.

Paul Hagen: 70

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • The two relievers keep him there.
  • On one hand, he didn’t vote for Vizquel. On the other, he hopes that Omar gets the 5% he needs to stay on the ballot. Imagine, just imagine, working for MLB.com and not having a clue of the existence of the Tracker. Imagine working at MLB.com and never discussing the Hall ballot with a colleague. I want to take away 3,000 points. It’ll just be 10. Down to 70.
  • Nobody knows for sure who used and who didn’t use PEDs. True. He gets 5 points back to return to 75.
  • But his explanations are insufficient. Down again to 70.

Mark Hale: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 100!
  • He liked my tweet to him when I complimented his ballot, and he responded regarding a few players in Twitter. I particularly liked that he said Hoffman wasn’t close for him. Stays at 100.

John Harper: 55

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 70.
  • The relievers keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • And a lack of ballot explanation that I can see means he falls to 55.

Ian Harrison: 80

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Santana (!), Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • Hoffman and Wagner keep him there.
  • He explains plenty on Twitter. And he said he’d engage if polite. I asked about Hoffman and Wagner. We’ll see…
  • And he responded! I liked his answer quite a bit, though I don’t think it really answered my question. So I went back. Again, we’ll see. (No matter what he says at this point, I’m a fan. Polite and thoughtful guy, even if we don’t agree).

Mike Harrington: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, thome, and Walker get him to 90.
  • No change with Hoffman, um, McGriff. Normally we write Hoffman’s name here.
  • Ooh, he doesn’t like Morgan’s email. I recommend you read what he wrote. It’s simple, fair, and accurate (at least in my estimation). I very much dislike the inclusion of Bud Selig into his point. Still, I love his direction. He’s up to 95.
  • Yes, amphetamines!
  • He wants the Hall to listen to the BBWAA and allow for 12 votes per ballot. While I disagree with his conclusion and that of the BBWAA, I do think the BBWAA should support the opinion of the writers. Or maybe they should take the exclusive vote away from the BBWAA. Maybe? That brings him up to 100. And at this point, Harrington’s is the first ballot with a candidate I can’t support who has ever reached 100 points.
  • He says that members of the BBWAA are vetted each year. He may be right in fact, though what I infer from his writing isn’t right. Dude seems very smart. Maybe I’m missing something. No deduction.
  • He calls Hoffman and Vizquel tough “no” calls. I almost don’t want to read what he writes, but given the role I’ve undertaken, I kind of have to.
  • He says you have to be transformational like Mariano, Sutter, or Goose to get his vote. Mo wasn’t transformational. He was just amazing. Goose wasn’t transformational, he was just great. Sutter was, actually, transformational. But his one-inning “transformation” wasn’t his doing. His splitter was, kind of. But that’s “transformation” isn’t Hall-worthy in my opinion.
  • He calls Vizquel the best defensive shortstop he’s ever seen. He doesn’t say Vizquel is the best defensive shortstop he’s ever analyzed. I suspect this guy will analyze deeper numbers before he ever votes for Vizquel. I’ll trust my intuition. No loss of points.
  • He calls Kent, Wagner, Sheffield, Manny, and Sosa worthy candidates. I don’t understand his Wagner point, but I’m okay with this explanation too.
  • Aside from his Selig references, I really respect his Bonds/Clemens explanations.
  • His McGriff vote is based, at least in part, on the idea that McGriff should have cheated to over 500 or maybe 600 homers. Don’t assume anyone was clean or dirty if you don’t know. It pains me, but he loses 10 to fall to 90.
  • Read his Schilling explanation. Very impressive, though not 100% accurate, in my opinion.
  • I love this ballot!

Bill Hartman: 25

  • Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Kent, and Thome start him at 50.
  • The relievers and McGriff keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • The blank drops him to 30.
  • And the lack of explanation brings him to 25 to finish.

Tom Haudricourt: 70

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him going with 80.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • He would like to vote for Andruw, Sheffield, Wagner, and Walker too. He implies that the rule not letting him vote for more is stupid. I disagree, but that’s worth five points. Up to 85.
  • His PED line is flunking a test or admitting you knowingly used. Reasonable.
  • He thinks there are PED users in the Hall. Well, of course there are.
  • He says he’s seen many relievers thrust into the closer role who can’t handle the mental and physical pressure, but he names none. I suspect those guys either weren’t very good pitchers, or they weren’t given enough of a chance. Very few players, in my opinion, can’t handle their major league pressures.
  • He says the final outs are the hardest to get. I don’t think the evidence (OBP by inning) supports this sentiment.
  • He knows a Hall of Famer when he sees one. Stop it! I know a 5-oint deduction when I see one. Down to 80.
  • His McGriff PED position is as awful as anyone’s. Maybe he should have done them to inflate his stats and Hall chances. Down 10 to 70.

Jim Hawkins: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome. That’s 100 for the late revealer!
  • He falls to 95 because he lacks an explanation.

Dan Hayes: 85

  • Yet another Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker for 90.
  • Hoffman holds him there.
  • Vlad’s an add.
  • No Twitter answers to speak of. Down to 85.

Joe Henderson: 55

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome get him to 70.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • And the open spot means he falls to 60.
  • He dropped Manny and added Mussina. Is it possible he doesn’t know he can have both?
  • No explanation, so he ends at 55.

Jim Henneman: 55

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Sheffield, and Thome make 70.
  • No change with the closers of McGriff.
  • Sheffield and not Bonds or Clemens drops him to 60.
  • No explanation means he finishes at 55.

Lynn Henning: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make for an 80-point start.
  • However, there are two open spaces, so he’s down to 60.
  • On one hand, this is a pretty nice 8-man ballot. And he spends a lot of words explaining. However, one of his explanations is empty.
  • He says removing Kent from his ballot requires “heavy explanation”. He says he did a lot of reading in the past year. Then he mentions the 2017 offerings by Jay Jaffe and Keith Law. However, he doesn’t say that he read either. He mentions “new numbers-crunching”, but he doesn’t share what those numbers are. He says he can no longer make a case for Kent with a clear conscience, but he doesn’t explain why. Then he mentions conscience again. But he cites nothing remotely like a concrete reason for dropping Kent from his ballot. Down to 55.
  • He calls Bonds and Clemens cheaters even though there’s no evidence they broke any of baseball’s rules. Down to 50.
  • He lumps steroids in with amphetamines, so I’ll add 5. Back up to 55.
  • He draws a line between Bonds/Clemens and McGwire/Sosa/Palmeiro. The former two he thinks would be worthy without PEDs. The latter three he thinks may not be. That’s not unreasonable. He stays at 55.
  • He thinks it’s the last year Edgar Martinez will appear on the ballot. Now I have to decide if that’s an honest error or if he’s actually studied far less than he says. I think it’s an honest error. Still at 55.
  • I appreciate his Chipper/Schilling logic saying the Hall should be more about baseball than “character”. Yup. Give him 60 again.
  • He calls Vizquel’s range “…not in the same galaxy as Ozzie Smith…”. I couldn’t agree more. Up to 65.
  • He criticizes the Hall for not making all ballots public. On this one, I don’t have to play fast and loose with the rules when I elevate him to 70.
  • He seems to consider writers who don’t reveal their ballots to be cowards. Wow. I’ll lift him to 75.
  • He says slashing eligibility from 15 to 10 years is “nonsense”. Love it! Up to 80.
  • He calls the 10-man limit “silly” and “anachronistic”. This from a guy who didn’t even use 10 spots. He’s fighting for what he thinks is best, not his own best interest. Let’s add 5 more to get to 85.

Steve Henson: 60

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, and Thome make 70.
  • No change with Hoffman or McGriff.
  • And Vizquel brings him down to 60.
  • He dropped Sosa this year, presumably for Vizquel.
  • His is one of the stronger voices I’ve heard saying we must vote for PED guys, that we already have, and that the era has to be represented properly.
  • He says he dropped Sosa for the three new guys. Yeah, right.
  • He’s most rooting for Mussina, McGriff, and Vizquel.

Manolo Hernandez-Douen: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Johan, Sosa, and Thome total 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • No explanation means he falls to 65.

Steve Herrick: 55

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • The open spot makes 60.
  • The fact that there’s no explanation drops him to 55.

Mark Herrmann: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, and Thome make 50.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • And the four open spots drop him to 10.
  • Don’t click through. It’s not even written by Herrmann, so he falls to 5.

Bob Herzog: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Sheffield, and Thome make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Sosa was dropped; Manny and Mussina were added, but he doesn’t tell us why. Down to 85.

Jon Heyman: 25

  • I’ll admit now that Heyman’s ballot made me angry. More accurately, his post of explanation made me angry. Heyman is so frustrating to me because it seems he could learn, but then he produces stuff like this. I’m not confident his grade is accurate. I was spinning when I read his “work”.
  • Bonds, Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, and Thome start his ballot at 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • He voted for Bonds and not Clemens though. Down to 70.
  • He says the Hall should allow more than 10 votes. Up to 75.
  • His steroid moralizing drops him to 65. I just don’t understand how this particular “cheating” is different from other cheating. And I suspect I never will.
  • He says postseason performance counts big time. Okay, I guess. But All-Star appearances? Does he know that fans vote for All-Stars. Feeling generous, I’ll leave him at 65.
  • He says it’s silly to downgrade Vlad for not walking enough. Jon seems to be saying on base percentage isn’t important. Down to 60.
  • He’s shocked that someone left Chipper’s name off a ballot. This from a man who didn’t vote from Schilling because of his work on Twitter. Jon, are you familiar with Chipper’s Twitter work? Down to 55.
  • Heyman doesn’t know what politics is, saying it’s not Schilling’s politics that caused him to drop the hurler from his ballot a year ago. Curt Schilling is a simple enough guy to understand. But Heyman says, “…he made it clear he wanted me dead”. C’mon, Jon, not everything is about you, and you’re not really a journalist. Down to 50.
  • He suggests that Schilling’s bloody sock was a product of ketchup. No, no journalist worth his or her salt would “report” such utter speculation. He falls to 45. Given the fact that he can’t put two sentences together without saying something offensive to anyone who cares about logic, fact, or internal consistency, it’s pretty shocking he started at 80.
  • There’s no chance Mike Mussina took steroids. Jon, you’re an idiot. Down to 40.
  • He says McGriff was clean and that he lost home run crowns to cheaters. That’s worth 10, so he falls to 30.
  • He says Trevor Hoffman is as close as anyone to Mariano Rivera. Apparently he hasn’t heard of Goose Gossage. I hope he runs into Goose someday. Goose’ll tell him. But I can’t take away points for this one. Still at 30.
  • He calls the 10-man max “dumb” Good for you, Jon! But I already gave you those points. Still at 30.
  • He talks about cheaters again and again and again. Yet he votes for Bonds because of when he cheated. I just can’t. Back to 25.
  • And his rationale for withholding a Clemens’ vote is quite odd, even backwards. The moralizing is pretty gross too. Make it 20.
  • I hate that Heyman dropped Edgar from his ballot. He did it citing WAR compared to Rolen. Maybe he should check out McGriff’s WAR. And we land at 15.

John Hickey: 75

  • Bonds, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, and Thome make 80.
  • No change with the closers.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 75.

Hirokazu Higuchi: -5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, and Thome get him started with 40.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 30.
  • The three open spots drop him to 0.
  • And no explanation means he falls to -5.

Bob Hohler: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 60.
  • No change with Damon and Hoffman.
  • And the two blanks drop him to 40.
  • He calls Damon’s career borderline at best. Yeah, if you have a thick borderline, I suppose Damon is on it. I should be very, very critical of a vote for a borderliner when there are a plethora of guys on this ballot over that line. I won’t since he only votes for eight. On his ballot, Damon didn’t steal a spot from a deserving player.
  • He foolishly claims that Damon “purged the franchise’s self-defeating culture of doom…” Wow, I can’t even call that silly. It’s stupid and unsupportable in any way at all. That lack of sense drops him to 35.
  • He does mention that Damon tops Tony Perez, Kirby Puchett, and Jim Rice in WAR. Well, great! But that doesn’t make him deserving.
  • He does equate non-cheaters with cheaters, but he does so without judgement. I’ll accept his argument as polite disagreement.
  • He says that voters can’t be sure if any player was entirely clean. Thank you!

Jeff Horrigan: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Thome make 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • He falls to 85 because he doesn’t offer an explanation.

Alan Hoskins: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, Sosa and Thome make 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • A Kerry Wood vote means he drops to 70.
  • He falls to 65 because he doesn’t offer an explanation.

Garry D. Howard: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome start him at 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • He adds Vlad, Edgar, and Manny, but he drops Mussina. At the time I type this, there’s no link, so I’m left to guess as to his reasoning. That makes 85.

Paul Hoynes: 55

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Rolen, Schilling, and Thome get him to 70.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • Vizquel drops him 10 to 60.
  • And since there’s no explanation, he drops to 55.

Mike Imrem: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Sosa make 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Edgar, Mussina, and Manny are adds this year.
  • His Sosa vote is strategic. He might need Imrem’s vote to stay on the ballot, while Thome will get in this year or next with or without his vote. Nice explanation.
  • He chose Edgar over Thome strategically too.
  • He says Manny was a tough vote because he was caught cheating.

Jim Ingraham: 25

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 70 to start.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • And the three openings make 30.
  • Of course, he explains nothing, so he falls to 25.

Jeff Jacobs: 50

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • And the open spot drops him to 70.
  • He says he’ll resign as a voter if Bonds and Clemens are elected. But he voted for them! Down ten to 60.
  • He doesn’t agree with Joe Morgan’s stance, yet it would be beyond hypocritical, he says, to endorse or forgive the use of steroids. But you know you voted for Bonds and Clemens, right?!?!? Down to 55.
  • He calls the PED issue “the grayest debate of our sporting lifetimes”, while at the same time writing, “Who among us isn’t positive they [Bonds and Clemens] juiced?” There were only three sentences between those thoughts. Down to 50.
  • He does call out the steroid/amphetamine inconsistency. Back to 55.
  • His entire column is about PEDs. He doesn’t discuss Hoffman or Rolen or Santana or Walker or Andruw. It’s all PEDs. Down to 50.

Bruce Jenkins: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, Sosa, and Thome start him with 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • And Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He dropped Schilling. For Vizquel? He says it’s a pleasure voting for Vizquel.
  • Like all San Francisco Chronicle writers, he has a paragraph to explain. He doesn’t. Down to 65.

Chuck Johnson: 55

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Sheffield, and Sosa make 70.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • The open spot drops him to 60.
  • No explanation means he ends at 55.
  • He must think McGriff was better than Thome. I can’t take away points, but I should.

Joey Johnson: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Sheffield, Thome, and Walker start the ballot at 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • The ballot came to the Tracker via email. So he drops to 75.

Richard Justice: 70

  • He starts with Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome for 80 points.
  • Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner keep him at 80. I’m really thinking about deducting points for these guys.
  • On the podcast, he says he could make a case for 15 guys, but he’s not very strong there. I can’t give him the 5 points. Still at 80.
  • But he doesn’t actually explain much of anything. Down to 75.
  • And when he does, it’s not good. He equates closer to DH, saying if we have designated hitters, we have to have designated hitters in the Hall. If we’re going to have closers, we have to have closers in the Hall. First, DH is a position, while closer is a designation. Second, by his logic, since we have utility infielders, we have to put utility infielders in the Hall. That’s silly. Down to 70.

Marc Katz: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Sheffield, and Thome make 50.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • The two open spots make 20.
  • The fact that he voted for Sheffield and not Bonds and Clemens means he’s insane. Okay, maybe not, but he falls to 10. To vote for one guy who used PEDs but not two of the ten best players ever(ish) is somewhere between irresponsible and stupid.
  • No explanation is a good thing for his score but a bad thing for us. He drops to 5.

Tim Kawakami: 70

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • Since it’s published at The Athletic, I can only read a couple of inches of it. He explains, though I don’t know what.

Tom Keegan: 15

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, and Manny make 60.
  • The four blanks drop him to 20.
  • He voted for Edgar and Schilling last year but not this. Why??? He falls to 15.

Kevin Kernan: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 80.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • There’s no explanation on Instrgram, so he’s down to 75.

George A. King III: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, Sheffield, Sosa, and Thome start him at 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Before this ballot, I’d have argued there’s no such thing as a pro-steroid position. Now I’m not so sure. There’s no explanation, so he loses 5 points and finishes with what I think is the worst 85-point ballot of the year. Still, it’s a ballot I support. Kind of.

Bob Klapisch: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina,, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 90.
  • Larry Walker is getting added by a lot of people – 13 at the time of Klapisch’s ballot.
  • No explanations in his Twitter feed, so he falls to 85.

Ann Killion: -20

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, and Thome make 40.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops her to 30.
  • And the four open spots bring the sub-total to -10.
  • She says the Hall rules instruct her to consider character. Yes, they do. They don’t require you to vote on it though, which you suggest they do. Down to -15.
  • And she writes this: “As far as the Hall of Fame being a museum, that’s not accurate. There’s also a museum in Cooperstown where all the players are represented.” Is she trying to separate the plaque room from the rest of the Hall? That’s lunacy. Down to -20.

Chuck Klonke: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker total 80.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 75.

Michael Knisley: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Thome, and Walker get him to 60.
  • The relievers keep him there.
  • And the two open spots mean he falls to 40.
  • No explanation, so he drops to 35.

Danny Knobler: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome. That’s 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • He says that the biggest stars belong in the Hall, that it’s not just about the numbers. I vehemently disagree, but I can accept that argument.
  • He compared Andruw to Omar – favorably. Thank you! Take 5 more points to get to 95.

Steve Kornacki: 45

  • Andruw, Chipper, Mussina, Schilling, Sheffield, Thome, and Walker mean 70.
  • No change with Damon or Hoffman.
  • The open spot drops him to 50.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 45.

Dejan Kovacevic: -10

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Schilling make 50.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The four open spots drop him to 10.
  • He starts his column talking about not understanding why being a first-ballot Hall of Famer is special. I completely agree! Yet he didn’t vote for Jim Thome. Okay, I’ll read on.
  • He says that voting for the baseball Hall is “almost all out in the open anymore”. I’m not sure that last word should be there. And I’m certain the other shouldn’t. The BBWAA asked for it to be out in the open. The Hall rejected them. I won’t blame him for this inaccuracy. Yet.
  • Of course five sentences after the one quoted above, he calls himself detail oriented.
  • I’m inferring he doesn’t like writers adding guys toward the end of their run who they didn’t feel as worthy toward the beginning, the momentum that’s sometimes discussed. I’m good with that.
  • He explicitly considers the character of a player. In other words, he puts his own moral judgements on the actions of others. Down to 0.
  • And then I have to log in to see his ballot. He works for something called DK Pittsburgh Sports. I get how The Athletic may think themselves worthy of charging, but this is just funny. And it leaves him at -5.

Ron Kroichick: -5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Mussina, and Thome make 50.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • The three open spaces make 10.
  • I really have to check out Vizquel voters. I think a huge number covered him day-to-day, so they trust his flashiness and ignore his lack of greatness. By the way, Kroichick is a San Francisco writer, and he voted for Kent. It’s important to check this out.
  • He says defense matters. And it makes Vizquel an easy choice. Yeah, if nothing but defense matters. Down to 5.
  • He says defense strengthens the case for Vlad. It really doesn’t. Sure, he had a great arm, but he had mediocre range.
  • He also says it strengthens the case for Jones. And he means Chipper! Depending on who you consult, Chipper was either a bad or an extremely bad defender. Down to 0.
  • And if you like defense, where’s the vote for Andruw or Rolen, two great defenders who could also hit. Down to -5. Awful.

Roch Kubatko: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 90.
  • Schilling and Walker are adds this year.
  • No explanation drops him to 85.

Bob Kuenster: 55

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker total 70.
  • Hoffman and McGriff change nothing.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • And he loses 5 points lacking an explanation.

Tim Kurkjian: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome. That’s 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • He says 19 guys deserve serious consideration. I wish he explained a little more, but I like that he’d like a larger ballot and he believes 19 of these guys deserve consideration.

Gabe Lacques: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • He added Mussina and dropped Sheffield this year.
  • And he kind of explains! He says it was partly strategic and partly based on the very impressive ERA+ compared to the less-than-impressive ERA.
  • He says Edgar’s homers and hits don’t move the needle as much as Hoffman’s saves – for a specialist. Sorry Gabe, 650 PA and 65 IP ain’t remotely similar. Still, he mentions Edgar’s relatively small number of PA, just 8,674. While that is tied for 183rd in history, the tie is with Johnny Bench. This is awkward justification, not meaningful explanation. Down 5 to 85.

Bill Lankhof: -10

  • Bonds, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Thome, and Walker start him at 60.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Chris Carpenter drops him to 50.
  • The two openings mean he falls to 30.
  • Bonds and not Clemens drops him to 20.
  • Carpenter and not Mussina or Schilling drops him to 0
  • He changed his mind on five guys in the last year and maintained votes for only three. That’s gotta be worth a deduction. Down to -5.
  • No explanation means he finishes at -10.

Scott Lauber: 80

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • No change with the two closers.
  • He only explained his anti-Manny vote, but he did it quite well to my mind. He’ll stay where he is.

Sadiel Lebron: 25, awful ballot

  • Clemens, Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Manny, Sammy, and Thome put him at 70.
  • Hoffman and McGriff don’t change his score.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • He answered one question that I’m aware of on Twitter. Not enough, but English is clearly not his first language, and I don’t think I’d like to argue on Twitter in another language. I won’t dock him. Still at 60.
  • He chose Clemens but not Bonds, down to 50.
  • He also chose Manny and Sammy, so he drops to 40 and then 30.
  • He said nobody proved Sammy did anything, but there’s great proof he corked a bat. Down to 25.

David Lennon: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 80.
  • And the open space drops him to 70.
  • No explanation means he falls to 65.

Joseph Liao: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • Hoffman and Wagner keep him there.
  • Vlad is an add.
  • No interaction on Twitter at the time I looked. Down to 75.

Bernie Lincicome: 15

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, and Thome make 60.
  • Four blanks drop him to 20.
  • This is his last Hall ballot. Hooray!
  • In sentence six, he mentions that he’s never been allowed to vote for Pete Rose, but that he would without hesitation. He won’t lose points for that, though the time to whine about Rose ended more than a decade ago.
  • Wow, then he kept talking about Rose for the next two paragraphs, saying nothing Rose did as a manager affected any game. That would seem absolutely impossible. Down to 15.
  • He goes on and on and on about “cheaters”. Of course, Bonds and Clemens broke none of baseball’s rules. And he did nothing to report their “cheating”. Down to 10.
  • He says he didn’t vote for Joe Morgan on the first ballot. Fool.
  • Of course, he seems to indicate the reason he will no longer vote is Morgan’s letter. If that’s true, I give Bernie some credit and five points. Up to 15.
  • And perhaps for the first time since he retired, Joe Morgan has done something good for baseball.

Bill Livingston: -95, yeah, you read that right, it’s 95 points below zero

Seth Livingstone: 75

Mike Lopresti: 45

Thom Loverro: 25

Mike Lupica: 65

Rob Maaddi: 85

Bill Madden: 25

Dennis Maffezzoli: 45

Jack Magruder: 75

Steve Marcus: -35

David Maril: 85

Marino Martinez: 65

Tony Massarotti: 0

Sean McAdam: 75

Jack McCaffery: 55, at least he didn’t write in Pete Rose this year.

  • He starts with 70 based on Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Schilling, Thome, and Walker.
  • He stays there with votes for Hoffman and McGriff.
  • He drops to 60 with Vizquel.
  • No ballot explanation, so he drops to 55.

Anthony McCarron: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome. That’s 90.
  • His Hoffman add keeps him at 90.
  • He was on television with Harper. Down to 85.

Janie McCauley: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • She dropped Hoffman in favor of Mussina and Walker. Well done!
  • No explanation, which means she falls to 95.

Hal McCoy: 0

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Rolen, and Thome start him at 50.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • The three open spots drop him to 20.
  • He says that his record is perfect, that every player who had gotten into the Hall has received his vote. Wow, that’s an awful way to define perfect. Down to 15.
  • He says nobody can argue that all four who were elected have solid Hall credentials. Well, lemme try. Trevor Hoffman only pitched 1100 innings, and about 200 pitchers in history have brought more value teams than Hoffman. That’s a pretty simple and pretty accurate argument. Down to 10.
  • He calls McGriff a head-scratcher. I call him Mark Teixeira, or about the 40th greatest 1B ever. We shouldn’t have 40 1B in the Hall, I don’t think.
  • “Some will say that there already are cheaters and PED users with plaques. They didn’t get my vote.” I’m sorry. I really don’t like to be mean. But man, this is a stupid statement. He’s been voting for 40 years, he’s voted for everyone who’s been elected, and not one of those players used a PED? Should I break his heart about Willie Mays and amphetamines? Down to 5.
  • He says that character is supposed to be a major measuring stick. No, it’s not. Down to 0.

Joe McDonald: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Sosa, and Thome make 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • He says he’d be happy to discuss, but he doesn’t. Not that I can tell. Down to 85.

Dan McGrath: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker get him going at 70.
  • Vizquel drags him to 60.
  • The two blanks mean he falls to 40.
  • And no explanation means he finishes at 35.

John McGrath: 65

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff change nothing.
  • He says that Vizquel’s case is based more on imprecise defensive metrics than the eye test. He goes on. While I don’t love that he open his column discussing Vizquel, he’s fair. And he’s a Mariner writer, so it’s not stunning that he talks about Vizquel, but I may have led with, I don’t know, Edgar!?!
  • He calls himself a Big Hall voter. Then he actually talks about the number of layers in MLB history. He doesn’t go into depth, but I’m impressed enough to give him 5 points to 85.
  • Then he talks about steroid juicers and throws his morality at us. That’s down 10 to 75.
  • He talks about McGriff’s prime where he finished in the top-10 in MVP voting six times. Actually, it’s five. And he was in the top-9 only three times. Cherry-picking numbers and then getting them wrong will cost him 5 points. Down to 70.
  • Before steroids, 500 was a magic number. Please. Down to 65.
  • I love that he ends his article talking about Vizquel’s defensive flair rather than his defensive genius. What I don’t love is that I suspect he’s going to vote for Omar next year.

Sam Mellinger: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. Nicely done, that’s 100!
  • He seems not to think much of Joe Morgan’s letter. No surprise given the greatness of his ballot.
  • But he’s another writer who says that Morgan might be the best second baseman in MLB history. Rogers Hornsby, Sam! Also remember Eddie Collins and Nap Lajoie. Morgan is fourth. A solid fourth. And that’s no insult.
  • Steroids and greenies, steroids and greenies. Love this guy!
  • Ooh! Now he specifically offers disrespect to Morgan. Well done!
  • He wasn’t going to vote for Mike Mussina until, wait for it, research. Yes!!! You need to research!
  • This might be my favorite ballot of the year thus far.

Adam Mertz: 25

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 60.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The three open spots drop him to 30.
  • No explanation means he falls to 25.

Bruce Miles: 65

  • This is an update from a ballot that was sent to Ryan earlier via a DM.
  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, and Thome get him to 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • And Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He’s not a fan of the Morgan letter, so he moves back to 75.
  • He admits homerism in his explanation of his Vizquel vote. Ick. Make it 70.
  • And he explains nothing, so it’s 65.

Phil Miller: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Sosa, Thome, and Walker make 100!
  • No explanation, so he’s down to 95.

Scott Miller: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome total 60.
  • No change with Hoffman or McGriff.
  • Vizquel drops the ballot to 50.
  • And the open space makes it 40.
  • No early Twitter interaction means he falls to 35.

Larry Millson: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker total 80.
  • No change for Hoffman or McGriff.
  • He finishes at 75 because he doesn’t explain.

Fred Mitchell: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Manny, Sheffield, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • Kent, Edgar, Manny, and Walker are adds, while Schilling lost a vote.
  • Down 10 for voting for Manny but not Bonds and Clemens. That’s 60.
  • Down 10 for voting for Sheffield but not Bonds or Clemens. That’s 50.
  • Down 5 for not explaining anything. That’s 45.
  • And down 10 more because he seems to take the process as a joke, changing five votes from one year to the next, using no internal consistency, and explaining nothing. That’s 35.

Kevin Modesti: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Sheffield total 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • And I think he incorrectly checked Vizquel rather than Thome. What other explanation could there be? He falls to 70.
  • Since it was a DM to Ryan, there’s no explanation. He falls to 65.

Roger Mooney: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 75.

Terrence Moore: -25

  • Vlad, Chipper, Sheffield, and Thome make 40.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • The four open spots drop him to 0.
  • Sheffield without Bonds means it’s -10.
  • Sheffield without Clemens brings him to -20.
  • And no explanation means he falls to -25.

Aurelio Moreno: 75

  • Let’s start him with Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Sosa, and Thome. That’s 70.
  • Hoffman means he stays at 70.
  • And the blank spot drops him to 60.
  • He does explain his ballot, and though it’s in Spanish, Google Translate did a fine job.
  • He argues against Joe Morgan and acknowledges there was no anti-steroid policy before 2002. That 5 points each. He’s up to 70.
  • He groups PEDs and greenies. You know I like that. Up to 75. Es un buen puntaje para una boleta que falta un nombre. That’s a nice score for a ballot missing a name.

J.P. Morosi: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker add to 90.
  • He gets no further with Hoffman.
  • On the MLB Network he discussed Joe Morgan’s letter and said the Mitchell Report was incomplete. He believes that are Hall of Famers who have used PEDs. And where he draws the line is when the union and management agreed to penalties. He won’t vote for players who used after PEDs were actually banned. I’m fine with that.
  • He wants more than ten names allowed. I disagree, but in combination with the above, I’ll give him 5 more points. He’s up to 95.

Rick Morrissey: 10

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, Thome, and Walker get him started with 60.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • And the two open spots drop him to 40.
  • There’s a problem with my system when I take away only five points when a voter doesn’t explain his/her ballot. Because when some of these folks do, it’s a nightmare (typed before reading his explanations).
  • He equates Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa to pharmaceutical reps. He says there’s little doubt they cheated. He says the question now is about whether or not they should be forgiven. How can one write be so wrong in just one paragraph? That’s 35.
  • He starts naming names from past ballots who he’s questioned. Why does he think he’s so important that he should question the morality of other people’s life choices? Down to 30.
  • The entire article before his choices is about PEDs. Why is he so obsessed?
  • He writes that Schilling “ranks first in strikeout-to-walk ratio among non-active pitchers who played after 1900.” And then he admits not researching that stat himself, as if he should be proud of not researching. Why does he have a ballot while my toaster only sits in my kitchen making toast? That’s 25.
  • Chipper was “a pro’s pro”. I’ll just let that sit there.
  • He votes for McGriff purely on his belief that McGriff didn’t use steroids when many players of his era did. How does he know? How does he know everything??? That’s 15 for him.
  • I’m so disgusted. “He wasn’t a great fielder and ran into a lot of outs on the basepaths, but the operative question here is the only one that matters: Who cares?” That’s about Vlad. Who cares? You should. It’s your job to care. It’s your job to use some level of logic in your ballot. Do your job! Down to 10.

Carrie Muskat: -10

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, and Thome start her at 50.
  • Vizquel means a drop to 40.
  • The four open spots bring this effort down to 0.
  • She calls Vizquel an easy selection because she never wanted to miss him playing shortstop, caring nothing about his overall value, apparently. Down to -5.
  • She actually spent 23 of her 95-word explanation talking about Kerry Wood. I’m not kidding. Down to -10.

Gene Myers: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • Hoffman completes what I believe is the most common ballot of the year, which keeps him at 90.
  • He’s one of those “if Selig, then Bonds and Clemens” voters. Though I support Bonds and Clemens, and I think Selig was an awful selection, I can’t wrap my head around voting for guys you believe are undeserving because another undeserving guy is elected. I won’t support Billy Wagner next year just because Trevor Hoffman gets in this year. To each their own.
  • On the other hand, I think he believes Mike Piazza and Ivan Rodriguez used PEDs. I follow the thinking that once the Hall elects PED users, but very best players who you think used PEDs have to get your vote. That wouldn’t be my direction, but this comparison makes more sense to me than the Selig comparison.
  • He says Walker edged Rolen for his final spot. Not at all ridiculous, especially since he believes there will be room on his ballot for Rolen next year.
  • And he mentions The Tracker and Ryan.

Mike Nadel: 70

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • The two extra spaces drop him back to 60.
  • Nadel starts his post saying it’s not long before he gets purged. There are worse ballots. Before I read on, there are plenty I’d like purged before Nadel.
  • He implies that Thome never used Steroids. C’mon, Mike, you don’t know. That drops him to 55.
  • I really appreciate his coverage of Vizquel, calling him a slap hitter who wasn’t as good as Ozzie. And he uses advanced stats to indicate that the Wizard was better.
  • He explains that he ddin’t vote for Andruw since he prefers Edmonds. I actually prefer Jones by a shade because of peak, I think. However, I love Nadel’s comparison. It’s thoughtful.
  • He considered voting for Rolen just to keep him on the ballot and fears he’s going to get 5 percented. Ultimately, he decided that’s not a good enough reason to vote for someone. I’m very good with this thought process.
  • He calls Johan the Andruw of pitchers. Most writers make far more ridiculous comparisons.
  • He discussed others who received votes a year ago and links to his post.
  • But he changed his mind on a player. Edgar Martinez. He says that he’s been persuaded by his colleagues, Jay Jaffe among them.
  • I’m incredibly impressed with his discussion and his thoughtfulness. This is about as happy as I can be after an eight-man ballot. I’ll add ten points for such impressive explanations, so he finishes at 70. For sure this is my favorite 70-point ballot.

Katsushi Nagao: 70

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome total 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He writes some stuff, but it all appears to be in Japanese.

LaVelle Neal III: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome make 90.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • He’s against the “Rule of 10”, as he puts it.
  • Regarding Bonds and Clemens, he writes, “With the decks cleared this year, perhaps voters will take a harder look at their cases or, at least, examine their stance on how to deal with to key players from the PED era.” To me, this statement makes no sense at all, but I certainly won’t ding him for optimism. I want to give him points for having a better attitude than I do.
  • He believes many more players were “dirty” than were caught. I don’t like his word choice, but I agree with his conclusion.
  • Damn! This guy is thinking. He mentions if the 2005 AL Cy Young voting were to go on now, in an age where the win isn’t king, Johan would have had a good shot to win it. Three Cy Young Awards? Yup. Give him 5 more to 95.

Ross Newhan: 65

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • And I’m not sure why someone who retired in 2004 still has a vote. Anyway, I like votes that keep Jeff Kent on the ballot.
  • He posted on Facebook, though Ryan hasn’t linked yet, and my cursory web search uncovered nothing. Plus, I don’t have Facebook… Down to 65.

Mark Newman: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • He dropped Hoffman and added Walker since last year. Nicely done!
  • And he explains his ballot incredibly well. Please check it out.

Bob Nightengale: 75

  • This ballot was up in the Tracker for a little while but then disappeared. I’m sure Ryan has a good reason not to include it in the Tracker, but I trust that Nightengale’s USA Today piece represents his actual opinion. I just looked up the link.
  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Sheffield, Sosa, and Thome start him at 80.
  • No change with Hoffman or McGriff.
  • He’s not a fan of the moralizing. His line is a positive test or suspension during the player’s career. Let’s give him 5 more to 85.
  • He implies that McGriff didn’t use. That’s down 10 to 75.
  • Overall, I wish he explained more than just his PED stance, but at least there’s something.

Eric Nuñez; 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. Thank you! That’s 100.
  • I believe he didn’t support Manny because of a PED suspension, but I’m trying to translate Spanish pretty quickly (lots of ballots), and my Spanish would probably earn a grade of 15ish. Ooh! And now I see that Twitter has a little translation button. And I’m kinda right. I’m not going to ding a guy who earned 100 when he answers only one question on Twitter.

Sheldon Ocker: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Thome, and Walker start him at 60.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • The open spot means he falls to 40.
  • And the lack of explanation finishes him at 35.

Ian O’Connor: 80

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina,, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 90.
  • And Hoffman keeps him at 90.
  • He calls people cheats. Down to 80.
  • He only kind of answers one other question. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and leave him at 80.

Drew Olson: 80

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker start him with 80.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • He added Vlad, McGriff, and Walker this year while dropping Schilling.
  • He’s strongly against the ballot limit. By rule, that’s worth 5 points, moving him to 85.
  • He considers Omar superior to Ozzie in some ways. What ways? He doesn’t explain. Back to 80.
  • He talks about fear, and he says calling Jim Rice feared doesn’t make sense because he drew few walks. But Edgar Martinez was feared. I’d have an easier time buying that if his IBB numbers were higher. Only once did he top a dozen IBB.
  • He considers Mussina better than Schilling by an eyelash. I prefer Schilling by an eyelash, but he’s right that the distance between them is incredibly small.
  • “As my friend and colleague Buster Olney pointed out, they are eligible to work in baseball and the Hall allows them on the ballot, but the writer’s seem to have issued a lifetime ban. That doesn’t seem right to me. “ I love this take on B&C.

Jorge Ortiz: -35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, and Mussina get him to 40.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 30.
  • The four open spaces drop him to -10.
  • “Hoffman was the second-best closer of his generation and, as much as I hate the save stat, compiling 601 of them is a rare feat.” Then why are you using the stat as 50% of your explanation for voting for the guy? Down to -15.
  • Vizquel was a “magician” Hits and steals. Great. I’ve heard worse reasons.
  • In a paragraph immediately following his poor Vizquel explanation, he calls Thome a “one-dimensional player who was not even the most consequential figure on those great Indians teams”. That’s Vizquel! Vizquel wasn’t one of the five most consequential players on those teams! You understand the argument, but you completely ignore it for your guy. Down 10 points for this ridiculousness to -25.
  • And he calls Sandy Alomar a bigger factor than Thome??!?! Alomar had 13.7 career WAR. Thome had 72.9 and 47.9 for just the Indians. He topped Alomar’s career WAR from 1994-1996, from 1995-1997, from 1996-1998, from 1999-2001, and from 2000-2002. Again, that’s just for the Indians. How can he write such nonsense? Down 5 more to -30.
  • It sticks out for him that Thome had only one top-5 MVP finish. Of course, he finished in the top-7 four times. And he received votes nine times. Only once ever did anyone ever believe that Omar Vizquel deserving of any MVP consideration. C’mon man! Down to -35.

Jose de Jesus Ortiz: -5, a candidate for the worst ballot if the year

  • Clemens, Vlad, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome get him to 60.
  • Hoffman, McGriff, and Wagner keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • He explains, so he moves to 55.
  • He starts his explanation with the sentence, “Integrity and Character.” We’re down to 45.
  • He starts his fourth paragraph with non-negative reference to Joe Morgan. Down to 35.
  • He later says “…it’s important to listen to Morgan…” Down to 25.
  • He talks about the character of “Jones”, but he doesn’t identify which one. That’s how little he thinks of the candidacy of Andruw Jones. He means Chipper. Down to 20.
  • He justifies a vote for Clemens by citing his attempts to clear his name. I’m not sure he understands how the legal system works. Down to 15.
  • He keeps speaking positively of Morgan. Down to 5.
  • He votes for Clemens but not Bonds. Down to -5.

Rob Parker: 10

  • Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, Sheffield, Sosa, and Thome make 60.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • And the three open spots drag him down to 30.
  • He says he’s in the minority voting for players with PEDs in their past. Just two paragraphs earlier, he shared that a majority of the BBWAA voted for Bonds and Clemens last year. Down to 25.
  • He says if there’s a debate based on numbers, you’re not a Hall of Famer. That’s a ridiculous standard, and it flies in the face of his 2018 ballot. Sheffield and Sosa aren’t debatable? Down to 20.
  • The list of guys you can’t debate is odd too. “Debate me on Ken Griffey Jr. , Tony Gwynn, Cal Riken Jr., Dave Winfield, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ted Williams or even Tom Seaver.” I think he means Cal Ripken, but whatever. Even Tom Seaver? Huh? And Dave Winfield is on this list? If the Hall were 20% smaller, there’s no way he’d deserve it. If it were 10% smaller, it’s possible he wouldn’t. In any case, Winfield is debatable. More so than Mussina or Schilling, at least. Down to 15.
  • If you have 500 homers, you automatically get his vote. That’s asinine. It’s a made up magic number, and there’s nothing magic about it. Down to 10.
  • I guess he missed Manny’s name on this ballot. Manny hit 555 homers. Down to 5.
  • He says that Barry Bonds and others never tested positive for PEDs. Nice! Back to 10.
  • This is a shameful ballot. I no longer believe people should have voting privileges revoked based on the awfulness of their ballots. Parker forces me to reconsider that position.

Greg Patton: 65

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 80.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • The blank drops him to 70.
  • No explanation means he finishes at 65.

Jeff Peek: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome. That’s 70.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 70.
  • The two blank spots drop him to 50.
  • And not publishing anything drops him to 35.

Dave Perkins: 50

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Thome, and Walker get him to 70.
  • Vizquel makes 60.
  • And the two open spaces make 40.
  • He says he voted for seven guys. Then he counts. And he still says it’s seven.
  • He says he voted for Edgar because of David Ortiz talk. Well, at least he knows which one was better.
  • He says that the negative part of the integrity/sportsmanship/character clause of the Hall’s fifth rule isn’t enough to trump the play of Bonds and Clemens on the field. I really like that he’s thought about this. Give him 5 to 45.
  • He called the Hall after the Morgan letter to ask what the Hall’s position was. And then he went on to discuss steroid enablers. Add 5 more to 50.

John Perrotto: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker get him to 80.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • And he drops to 70 with Vizquel.
  • Since last year he dropped Edgar and added Manny and Schilling.
  • He blames the 10-player limit on dropping Edgar. I like it. Plus 5 to 75.
  • However, he says he had to make room for new players on the ballot. Manny and Schilling? Down 5 to 70.
  • He explains nothing else. So the only thing he explained was wrong (oh, he did say that McGwire’s no longer on the ballot). He loses 5 to finish at 65.

Mike Peticca: 55

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, and Thome make 70.
  • No change with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • He dumped Kent and Walker to make room for Vizquel. Yikes!
  • His reveal came in an email to Ryan, so he drops to 55.

Ed Petruska: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Sheffield total 90
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • He added Bonds and Clemens this year, so that’s good.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 85.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Sosa, and Thome give him 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • A lack of any Twitter interaction drops him to 85.

Rick Plumlee: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • No explanation, so he ends at 85.

Bill Plunkett: 5

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Sheffield, Thome, and Walker. That’s 60.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • The three open spots drop him to 30.
  • Sheffield without Bonds and Clemens makes 10. I’m fine if you have an anti-PED stance. Having an anti-PED stance absolutely does not make you an idiot. I’ve talked about great anti-PED ballots in the past. But being an idiot seems to mean it’s likely you’re an anti-PED voter. Want evidence I’m good with the anti-PED voter? Check out Verdun2’s Blog. He takes a stand but doesn’t turn off his brain. It can be done, people!
  • No explanations. That’s 5.

Terry Pluto: 30

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, and Thome make 70.
  • The relievers keep him there.
  • And Vizquel, from a Cleveland writer, drops him to 60.
  • He calls Omar and Ozzie the best defensive shortstops of their generation. That’s like grouping Wagyu beef with a really nice flank steak. Flank steak can still be great, but the comparison is silly. Down to 55.
  • Then he says Vizquel was the best defensive shortstop he has ever seen. Pluto is 62 years of age. He never saw Ozzie? How is that possible? And if it is, how does he have a vote? Down to 50.
  • I love when I can talk about argumentum ad verecundiam. That’s when someone cites an authority when isn’t an authority. He uses Hal Lebovitz, a sportswriter who passed away in 2005 at age 89, is in the Writer’s wing of the Hall, and once sold a hot dog to Babe Ruth as that authority. He’s using a single conversation with a man of 80ish years, whose opinion is based on the eye test as expert testimony. Down to 45.
  • He says that Vizquel’s glove was just as valuable to the Indians as Thome’s bat. If only we had a way to measure such a thing… Oh, we do! According to BBREF, Thome’s Rbat is 587. According to the same site, Vizquel’s Rfield is 128. I think BBREF overvalues Vizquel’s glove. Man, you just can’t help someone who will only use their gut. Down to 40.
  • He says he has begun to value defense more as he has grown older. Andruw Jones anyone? Andruw Jones? Well, he doesn’t value defense as much as saves, I guess.
  • He talks about Mussina and Schilling as throwbacks to an age when men were men and starters threw complete games. Okay, he didn’t say one of those things, but it’s implied. Down 5 more, yet again, to 35.
  • This next one infuriates me. “I believe if Vizquel had played most of his career in Boston or New York, he’d be close to making it this season. But his best years were in Seattle, Cleveland and San Francisco — away from the national media.” Based on what? Nomar Garciaparra was a far better player than Omar Vizquel. He, correctly, didn’t sniff a third ballot. Schilling played in Borston. How’s that working out for him? How about for Manny? Mussina played in New York. How’s that working out for him? How about Santana? I promise I’m going to research this – I believe those writers from Seattle, Cleveland, San Francisco, and even Chicago disproportionately support Vizquel. They trust their eyes, and they shouldn’t. Down 5 more for perpetuating a myth that he doesn’t even try to support. That’s 30.

Steve Politi: 95

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Thome. That’s 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Kent was dropped; Vlad, Manny, and Schilling were added.
  • The first line of his column reads, “Joe Morgan is not going to like my Hall of Fame ballot.” He goes on. I don’t like the Selig comparison. If you think Selig was a mistake, stop making mistakes. Still, I respect his logic in general. Well done! Up to 95.
  • I love that he separates Bonds from Sosa. Bonds, he says, was a Hall of Famer without chemical assistance. About Sosa, he’s not so sure. I won’t debate that position.

Steve Popper: 80

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • Hoffman and Wagner keep him there.
  • Some pretty good Twitter interaction keeps him at 80.

Joe Posnanski: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • Joe Posnanski with 100. That’s confirmation that my system isn’t garbage.
  • He adds Vlad while dropping Manny.
  • He sort of explained his ballot on the MLB Network, but they don’t really allow him to get in depth. They don’t have an audience for in depth analysis. I’m not taking points from Poz though. He stays at 100.

Scott Priestle: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • And it’s the third writer in a row who’s added Larry Walker.
  • On Twitter he shares some thoughts, including he’d like to vote for Andruw, Rolen, and Sheffield if he were allowed.
  • Well done, Scott!

Brendan Prunty: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, Santana (!!), Sheffield, and Thome for 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • A very, very good first ballot that’s not much at all like mine would be.
  • Down to 85 for no engagement on Twitter.

Mike Puma: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 80.
  • No change with the relievers.
  • No explanations on Twitter, so he drops to 75.

Mark Purdy: -75

  • Vlad is worth 10.
  • Hoffman isn’t.
  • Vizquel means he’s at 0.
  • And the seven open spots drops his ballot to -70. Just disgusting.
  • No explanations, so he finishes at -75.

Rob Rains: -40

  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome make 30.
  • Hoffman holds him at 30.
  • Those six open spots drop him to -30.
  • He seems either unable or unwilling to answer some direct questions on Twitter.
  • He’s one of those guys who won’t vote for great players on the first ballot if they’re not great enough. Down 5 to -35.
  • He justifies not voting for Edgar because he didn’t see him play enough. Wow! Down 5 more , which makes -40.

Luis Rangel: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, Schilling, Sosa, and Thome give him 90 points.
  • Hoffman means he stays there.
  • And no ballot explanation means he drops to 85.

Ray Ratto: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • No explanation means he falls to 85.

Jim Reeves: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker start him at 60.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • The two blanks drop him to 40.
  • Four adds this year, which is great, but no explanation, which drops him to 35.

Troy Renck: 65

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Omar drops him to 70.
  • No Twitter interaction, so he falls to 65.

Patrick Reusse: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Rolen, Johan, Thome, and Walker make 70 to start.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • The opening drops him to 40.
  • The lack of explanation means he finishes at 35.

Dave Reynolds: 65

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • No explanation, so he falls to 65.

Tim Reynolds: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • He jokes some on Twitter, but he doesn’t explain anything, so he falls to 85.

Anthony Rieber: 65

  • Give him 10 for Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Thome. That’s 80.
  • He loses nothing for Hoffman, still at 80.
  • He’s down 10 for Vizquel. That’s 70.
  • There’s a link but no explanation, so 70 is where we stay.

Tracy Ringolsby: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • And the blank spot drops him to 80.
  • Curious that he left Fred McGriff off this year when he had space. He didn’t explain.
  • He calls Larry Walker the most complete player he’s seen in 43 seasons covering the game. Huh? Barry Bonds was clearly a better hitter, clearly a better defender, and a marginally better baserunner. He falls to 75.
  • He goes after Schilling for baseball reasons. Some silly. But at least they’re baseball reasons.
  • His explanations are really just surface arguments, but none are really problematic. He finishes at 75.

Alan Robinson: -35

  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome make 30.
  • No change with McGriff.
  • The six openings drop him to -30.
  • He falls 5 more to -35 lacking any explanation.

John Romano: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Thome start him at 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • He subbed in Vald and Hoffman for McGriff. That’s not terrible. But there’s no explanation. Down to 85.
  1. Trent Rosecrans: 100
  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Thome, and Walker for 100!
  • In a word, “no”, he rejects Joe Morgan’s letter.
  • However, he calls Morgan the greatest second baseman of all time. Um, Rogers Hornsby??? I think it’s very clear that Nap Lajoie and Eddie Collins were better too. Still, he stays at 100.
  • Morgan’s letter made him consider not voting. What a shame that would have been.
  • He criticizes the Hall for not making ballots public and for keeping the ten-man limit.
  • His response continues to be reasoned and succinct, the type of thing I wish I were able to write.
  • He talks about the character clause and Jack Morris’s sexual harassment of a Detroit Free Press reporter in 1990. Man, this guy is good!
  • He calls Curt Schilling the post-season pitcher who voters want Morris to be.
  • Read his post. It’s superb.
  • He doesn’t explain his ballot. I don’t care. He explains so, so much more. 100!

Ken Rosenthal: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome start him off at 80.
  • Hoffman and Wagner keep him at 80.
  • I like Rosenthal. I’m afraid to read his post…
  • Ooh, he calls the Hall’s efforts to keep Bonds and Clemens out outdated and passive-aggressive. I knew I liked him for a reason. Up to 85.
  • And then I can’t read any more. Rosenthal writes for The Athletic, and they want me to pay for content. If I get a raise next year, I’m adding Fangraphs and Joe Sheehan to my list, not The Athletic. At least not yet. If you can assess the post, I’d love to report more on it. Feel like sending it my way?

John Rowe: -15

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, and Schilling means he gets to 40.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The five blanks take him to -10.
  • He calls this his most difficult ballot ever. Why???
  • He says Hoffman’s biggest “crime” is not being Mariano. I’d say it was pitching fewer than 1100 excellent, but not other-worldly, innings.
  • He compares Edgar Martinez to a placekicker. Ridiculous, but at least he voted for him.
  • He doesn’t want Schilling to be penalized for his political views.
  • He calls Bonds and Clemens rule breakers. They weren’t, so he loses 5 to -15.

Barry Rozner: 60

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome start him at 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • The open spot makes it 70.
  • He writes, “Some voters have openly admitted that they won’t vote for Curt Schilling because they don’t like his post-career politics, but will vote for PEDs users because they don’t care about issues of character or sportsmanship during a career, which is one of the rules for voting.” I don’t think this is true, not of a single voter. At least not the way Rozner writes it. Also, Does Rozner know he voted for Bonds and Clemens? Down to 65.
  • He does! He says Bonds was a Hall of Famer before he started using. Oaky.
  • And Clemens gets his vote because Bud Selig is in the Hall. Seriously? It’s causal? Down to 60.

Roger Rubin: 45

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, and Thome make 70.
  • Hoffman holds him at 70.
  • The two open spots drop him to 50.
  • And his lack of any explanation takes him to 45.

Richard Rupprecht: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome mean 80 points.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The blank drops him to 70.
  • And the lack of explanation means he finishes at 65.

Joe Rutter: 50

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome mean 70 points.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • The open space drops him to 50.
  • He added Edgar and Mussina this year.
  • He doesn’t like voting for PED guys, but since Bonds and Clemens were the best of the ear, they’re exceptions. Fine with me.
  • He says the difference between B&C and Manny is that Manny failed tests. No kidding! It’s not his fault that people ask silly questions.

Bob Ryan: 30

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 60.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • And the three blanks move him to 20.
  • He’d love to see an AL/NL voter split on Edgar. Me too!
  • He admits stupidity taking time to come around on Mussina. Man, I gotta give him 5 points for that humility. Up to 25.
  • I love his Schilling explanation. Great on the field.
  • He admits partiality to defensive whizzes. That’s how he justifies his vote for Omar. Well, there’s no other way.
  • I think Ryan’s is my favorite failing ballot. I’ll give him 5 more to 30.

Bob Sanvarese: 90

  • He starts with Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, and Thome for 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 90.
  • On his podcast, he asks Al Newman for help. I’m not sure why. In addition to Chipper and Thome among newcomers, Newman things Andruw, Rolen, and Vizquel deserve votes. However, he doesn’t think any of those three should replace Sanvarese’s other selections. I can’t believe this guy might be willing to let Al Newman influence his Hall vote! On the other hand, Newman thinks Walker is overlooked.
  • I like his PED stance very much. If the Hall says they’re on the ballot, he’s not going to impose any moral judgment.

Mark Saxson: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, and Thome. That’s 90. So close for another Mark!
  • Vizquel makes 80.
  • No interaction on Twitter. That’s 75.

Dick Scanlon: -45

  • Chipper and Thome get him to 20.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 10.
  • The five open spots drop him to -40.
  • The lack of explanation drops him to -45.

Henry Schulman: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Down to 70 with Vizquel.
  • No explanation on Twitter, so he finishes at 65.

Glenn Schwarz: -15

  • It’s just Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, and Kent who are deserving. That’s 40.
  • Oh and Hoffman too. No change.
  • And down 50 points with his five open spots. That’ means -10.
  • And there’s no explanation, so he falls to -15.

Chaz Scoggins: 55

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Schilling, and Thome get him to 70.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • The blank space means he falls to 60.
  • No explanations means he falls to 55.

Mike Shalin: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, Schilling, Sosa, and Walker make 90.
  • Vizquel brings him to 80.
  • Schilling and Manny are adds, Mussina is a drop.
  • And he posts on Facebook. Damn, maybe I should get Facebook. Down to 75.

Dan Shaughnessy: -55

  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome total 30.
  • He loses 70 because of blank spots, so he’s down to -40.
  • I don’t know why they call him the curly haired boyfriend in Boston. But it seems vaguely insulting. If so, perhaps it’s apt. Here’s the first paragraph of his explanation. “Three guys. That’s it. I don’t want the Hall of Fame to turn into the Hall of Very Good. I’m not coming down off the Steroid Wall, which is an increasingly difficult and unpopular position. And I’m not letting the analytics army tell me that WAR is the perfect barometer for Hall worthiness.” Yuck!
  • He calls Vald an annual MVP candidate. Well, he only finished inside the top-10 six times in 14 full seasons. So that’s wrong. Let’s drop him to -45.
  • He uses a standard of knowing a Hall of Famer when he sees one. Foolish. And that’s why he’s at -50.
  • He says we’d all take Tiant or Schilling in a big game over Mussina. Well, I’d take Schilling, but I don’t know that Tiant is a no-brainer. Anyway, that’s an exaggeration at worst.
  • He poo-poos WAR a decent amount. Funny, he never tells us why. That’s a 5-poinit deduction down to -55.
  • He’s not unfair regarding PED use. No deduction.
  • He says he’s putting Schilling “in a corner”. He then goes on to say Schilling thinks he’s not getting elected because he’s a Trump guy. Then he calls Schilling a borderline candidate. Not voting for someone because of who he supports politically is pretty awful. Thinking that Schilling is borderline is moronic. He then cherry picks some stats that make him much worse than they make Schilling look.

John Shea: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome get him to 80.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He thinks Bonds and Clemens will make it in the next four tries. I think I disagree.
  • He mentions a partiality to shortstops, and he says nothing incorrect in his justification of Vizquel.
  • However, while discussing Kent, he says that advanced defensive metrics aren’t reliable since they don’t portray Vizquel favorably. Sir, that is precisely the wrong logic. Perhaps your eye test on one defender with great flair was wrong. Don’t trust your eyes. Down to 65.
  • He justifies Mussina over Schilling because of more top-10 finishes in ERA and more Cy Young votes, plus 270 wins and seven Gold Gloves. Yes, Mussina was in the top-10 in ERA eleven times compared to only nine for Schilling. However, Schilling has 1.85 Cy Young Shares according to BBREF. Mussina has only 0.92. Maybe he’s saying that Mussina received Cy votes in more seasons? I don’t know. Mussina and Schilling are so very close for me that I won’t take points on this error.

Joel Sherman: 55

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome start him with 80.
  • That’s where it ends, so he drops to 60.
  • This may be the best 8-man ballot of the year.
  • No explanation, so he drops to 55.

Bob Sherwin: 0

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome make 60.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Down to 50 with Vizquel.
  • He thinks Jamie Moyer was better than Curt Schilling or Johan Santana, so he falls to 40.
  • The blank spot means he’s down to 30.
  • Shocking that a golf writer doesn’t understand baseball…
  • He says that Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and Manny cheated. Manny did, and he was caught at least twice. Sosa did, by corking his bat, and we laugh it off like we laugh off the cheating of Gaylord Perry, Whitey Ford, and many others. As you my know if you know the rules of baseball as well as you know the rules of golf, Bonds and Clemens didn’t cheat. He falls to 20.
  • Yeah, I think he’s a moralizer, but he does offer the idea that the Hall should remove the character clause, sort of. I like that.
  • He has a hyperlink in his post with the word “numbers”. It links to golf numbers. I’m not kidding. This guy shouldn’t have a vote.
  • He goes on and on and on. The last thing he understood about baseball, apparently, is what went on 20 years ago.
  • He says that Mussina was closes last year “and should get over the hump”. Seriously? He thinks 57.6% is close? I read his post to suggest that Mussina is going to get in this year. The guy isn’t even paying attention. That makes 15.
  • He calls Omar Vizquel “statistically the greatest defense player – not just shortstop – in the game’s history.” He’s not even close to the best defensive player on this ballot. Sad, just sad. Down 10 more to a lowly 5. Think he can get into the negatives?
  • I can’t take away any more points, but the guy voted for Jamie freakin’ Moyer! And not Johan Santana. And not Curt Schilling.
  • Yeah, he really thinks Mussina could get in this year. Fool.
  • He says it’s likely Vizquel will get in next year. Let’s make this ballot an even nuthin’. He falls to 0.

Michael Silverman: 100

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Rolen, Schilling, and Walker. That’s 100!
  • He really dislikes the limit of ten players. Nice, but he can’t get over 100.
  • He says it’s useful to see how things are trending in the Tracker. But he still added Vlad this year. That’s kind of curious given that Vlad appears to be a slam dunk. He could have been more strategic, but I certainly won’t fault him on that.
  • Ooh, he mocks Joe Morgan. Damn! I hate that he’s capped at 100.
  • He used the “feared” word to describe Manny. This is silly, but even if I debited 5 points, he’d still be above 100.
  • He says Walker has a slightly better case than Vlad. I couldn’t agree more.
  • He chose Rolen over Thome because, basically, he’s gaming the system. I support that.
  • And I completely support this ballot and column. Well done, Mr. Silverman!

Steve Simmons: 20

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker. That’s 70.
  • Hoffman changes nothing.
  • Vizquel drops him to 60.
  • And the open spot means he falls to 50.
  • I’m about to get angry. Be forewarned.
  • His Hall ballot is buried in an article about all sorts of other stuff, mostly hockey. In fact, he starts by talking about the all-important Hockey Hall of Fame. Just insulting. Down to 45.
  • He says that Bonds and Clemens are “moving in a direction in which they will be elected in the not too distant future.” That’s really inaccurate based on anything in the Tracker, so he falls to 40
  • He writes, “…and it is an honour I take extraordinarily seriously…” This writing is truly disgusting to me. There is evidence in where he places the Hall discussion in his post that he takes it far less seriously than other things. And in the ballot itself. Yes, I’m angry. Down to 35.
  • Buried is a ditty about how someone could vote for Edgar but not Larry Walker. He says they’re similar offensive players. No, 531 Rbat and 420 Rbat aren’t similar, Steve. Do you know what those stats mean? Down to 30.
  • He writes, “And I’m baffled by those who vote for the steroid boys, Barry Bonds and Roger Clements, but leave Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa off their ballots”. First, it’s no surprise that he doesn’t know how to spell the Rocket’s name. Second, THEY WERE BETTER! You idiot! That makes 25.
  • He doesn’t explain anything in his ballot. Well, he does call Omar the best AL SS he’s ever seen play the field. What a qualifier! Also, the guy is just wrong. He’s 60 years old, born in 1957. Apparently he had his eyes closed when watching the Orioles from age 11-22. This is just such an irresponsible and dishonest ballot. No, Steve, this is something that I take extraordinarily seriously. You don’t. Please stop saying you do. Down to 20. It should be lower.

Susan Slusser: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Thome, and Walker. That’s 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • She dropped Schilling for Walker this year. But she says it was to add Rolen. I accept decision while rejecting the explanation. And there’s no other explanation offered for anything. Down to 85.

Claire Smith: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, Sosa, and Thome make 80.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops her to 70.
  • And no explanation makes 65.

Joe Smith: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, and Thome bring this first-time voter to 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • How is a first-time voter writing only hockey these days?
  • Anyway, no explanation means he falls to 75.

Willie Smith: 65

  • Ten points each for Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, Sosa, and Thome makes 80.
  • Nothing for Hoffman means he stays there.
  • And he drops to 70 for the Vizquel vote.
  • No explanation means he falls to 65.
  • Mussina and Wagner were drops from last year. Manny, Sammy, and Hoffman were adds.

Bob Smizik: 15, no bad calls but one of our worst ballots to date

  • Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, Edgar, Manny, and Thome start him at 60.
  • The four open spots drop him to 20.
  • A kind email but lack of an explanation sees him fall to 15.

Clark Spencer: 40

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 70.
  • That’s his whole ballot, so he drops to 40.
  • His ballot is on Facebook, which isn’t linked in the Tracker at the time I type this. And I actually don’t use Facebook, so I couldn’t share anyway.
  • He dropped Hoffman. Not sure why.
  • I suppose this is as good a 40 point ballot as there is. For this type of voter, I’d have loved Rolen to be added.

Barry Stanton: -10

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, and Thome make 40.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 30.
  • And the four opens make -10.
  • His hardest choice was Edgar over McGriff. At least he got it right. Of course, he could have taken both.

Arnie Stapleton: 45

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker get him started at 70.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • The two open spots drop him to 50.
  • Zero Twitter replies. That’s 45.

Jayson Stark: 85

  • His ballot is no longer preliminary, and it changed.
  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him with 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • Vizquel made his preliminary ballot, but he was replaced by Walker on his final one.
  • I should just get Facebook rather than punish scores because writers post there. Maybe next year. And no, I did not just commit to doing this next year. Stark finishes at 85.

Carl Steward: 70

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome get him to 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • The blank spot drops him to 70.
  • I’ll give him 5 points for suggesting Joe Morgan is a bully. He reaches 75.
  • He only lists his ballot. No explanations aside from the Joe Morgan part. I have to dock him, so he ends at 70

Larry Stone: 85

  • His is the common Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina,, Schilling, Thome, and Walker for 90
  • Hoffman keeps him at 90.
  • He answers a few questions on Twitter, but one was about Hoffman, saying that saves is a flawed stat but he chose Hoffman over Wagner because the former had 200 more of them. Even if he’s a Twitter user who still only has 140 characters, that’s insufficient. Either for that answer or for a lack of explanations, I’m dropping him to 85.

Jim Street: -45

  • Another golf writer. We’ll see…
  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, and Thome start him at 40. Yeah, stick to golf.
  • No difference with Hoffman.
  • Vizquel drops him to 30.
  • The four open spots make -10.
  • He mentions the Joe Morgan letter, but he kind of rejects it because how 40 years and 5,000 games makes him qualified. So he thinks.
  • He votes against guys with PED links, but he seems to think all voters should just make up their own minds. Cool. I don’t feel like he’s moralizing, though I do feel like he’s in error.
  • Okay, he’s upset by Morgan’s letter. That gives him 5 points up to -5.
  • But he calls PED users cheaters, so he’s back to -10.
  • He whines about lifetime voting privileges being revoked. That’s just funny.
  • And that doing so opens the door for guys like Bonds and Clemens. That’s not inaccurate.
  • He tells us that he has two votes remaining. That’s good for the Hall!
  • And he goes on about cheaters, like it’s the only thing that matters.
  • He says that younger, stats-driven voters don’t understand the damage the “Steroid Era” did to the game. Well, nor do I. Enlighten me, oh wise one, what the damage was. If you can come up with anything, I’ll point to those who claim to have been in the clubhouse 50,000 times and yet did their job so poorly as to never see signs of such use or to never report it. Man this is going to be a low score. Down to -15.
  • He says that Vlad hit .300 twelve straight times despite lacking speed. First, lots of guys hit .300 without speed. Think of Wade Boggs for example. But until he was 30ish, Vlad had plus speed. I know that without even being in the press box a zillion times. Down to -20.
  • He says that Edgar had the designated hitter rule named after him in 2004. It’s just a tiny mistake, but if the guy wasn’t a GOLF WRITER his editor might have caught it. It’s the DH Award that bears Edgar’s name.
  • He suspects Thome will fall short of selection. Good job staying tuned in to the baseball world, golf guy. As I type this, Thome only needs 62.3% or so of the remaining votes to get in. He’s a virtual lock. That foolishness drops him to -25.
  • He says that Thome’s 612 “are among the 10th most in MLB history”. What does that mean? Maybe he doesn’t have any editor. The guy was so precise saying that Vlad is one of eight players with at least a .318 BA and a .553 SLG, and he can’t tell us that Thome is eighth ever in homers? C’mon! Bring him to -30.
  • Wow, now he says something brilliant! “Not since Ozzie Smith was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2002 has there been a defensive wizard shortstop worthy of HOF status just because of his glove.”
  • Spoiler alert. I suspect he’s going to ruin that with his next sentence.
  • Oh, he makes it awful, saying that Omar Vizquel made himself into a quality hitter. And he cherry picks 1999 when Omar received his only MVP support ever (finishing 16th) and hit .333. The fact is that Omar’s bat cost his team about 244 runs. That’s not quality. That’s one of the worst in baseball history. We’ll take him to -40.
  • He actually cites fielding percentage. Wow! Make it -45.
  • Shameful ballot. It’s not shameful because of who he chose and didn’t choose. It’s shameful because he hasn’t learned in what seems to be decades. Just two more from this guy though!

Paul Sullivan: -10

  • Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, and Thome get him to 40.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • And the five open spaces drop him to -10.
  • He calls Trevor Hoffman underrated among closers. Seriously? If he were, he wouldn’t be a few days away from the Hall.
  • At least he doesn’t sacrifice any additional points, unlike his co-worker, Mike Gonzales.

TR Sullivan: 95 (find his explanation at comment #131)

  • Start with 10 points for Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Thome, and Walker. That’s 90.
  • Subtract none since the other name he has is Hoffman. Still at 90.
  • I’m giving him 5 more because he spoke negatively about Morgan. Up to 95.

Jean-Jacques Taylor: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker start him at 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • He dropped Vlad, which I assume was strategic, while adding McGriff, Schilling, and Walker. Of course, there’s no Twitter interaction, so he falls to 75.

Rick Telander: 30

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 60.
  • The first for Damon and Hoffman keep him there.
  • Vizquel drops him to 50.
  • The open space makes it 40.
  • His one major criterion is whether or not the player thrilled him. Seriously? Down to 35.
  • When justifying a vote for Johnny Damon, he mentions a triples title and a second place finish in hits. Also hair and beard. That’s 30.

Tom Timmerman: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Thome, and Walker start him at 90.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman.
  • And a lack of explanation drops him to 85.

John Tomase: 60

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome get him to 80.
  • The two blank spaces drop him to 60.
  • He points out that he chose Sheffield over Rolen because Rolen’s value comes much more from defense and Sheffield is the superior offensive performer. A don’t like that logic, but I can’t object to it so much. I can squint and see his perspective.
  • He’s docked 5 points for saying only three top-20 finishes in MVP voting isn’t enough. He says it’s not all voter ignorance, but he’s wrong. Voters simply ignored Rolen’s superior defense, or they explained it away, much like Tomase did. Down to 65.
  • He calls Omar Vizquel without question one of the five best defensive shortstops of all time. Um, says what rating system? I know the one I favor likes Vizquel less than any, but even a system that has him 10th all-time in defensive WAR dowsn’t have him among the five best shortstops. Drop him to 60.
  • He’s a Boston guy who voted for Sheffield and not Manny. Strange. And at the end of his post, he explains why. Manny got busted twice. That means to Tomas that he didn’t care. I think quite the opposite. Using PEDs suggests you care quite a bit. However, Manny cheated. I wouldn’t ever ding someone for pointing that out. He finishes at 60.

Marc Topkin: 75

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Sheffield, and Thome get him to 70.
  • No change with the relievers or McGriff.
  • He complains a bit about ballot size limits, though not enough to give him points.
  • He complains a tiny bit, I think, about Joe Morgan. Again, it’s not enough for points.
  • He complains about social media venom, though he say he’s fine with scrutiny. All told, these three points get him 5, moving to 75.
  • He won’t vote for someone who failed a PED test. Fine by me.
  • He says he’s not smart enough to know what percentage of a player’s numbers were PED-related. Damn right! Also, thank you.
  • He doesn’t vote for Edgar, calling him a “part-time” player. The quotation marks are his. He understands that his position is in the minority. The quotation marks suggest to me that he understands. And I may be giving him too much credit here. I think he’s continuing to think about it.
  • His pro-closer position is well-positioned in his post, but it leaves a lot to be desired. He says that closers are tasked with getting the final or toughest outs. The Hoffman and Wagner variety pretty much only got the final outs, not really the toughest ones. But I digress. He says a DH could go days without a meaningful at-bat. Sure, I guess. But how many saves does a closer get? Maybe 40? That’s only one in four games. At this point, I think he’s trying to justify an untenable position rather than explain it. Down 5 points to 70.
  • I’m getting sick of the “tough AL East” explanation when it comes to Mussina. I haven’t researched it since I very much support Mussina’s case. But I should. Did AL East teams during Mussina’s run score more runs than teams in other divisions? I don’t know. And I suppose almost none of the writers who talk about the division as they do don’t either.
  • He doesn’t go after Schilling for character. Thank you. But he says Mussina is clearly better. Really? I have no idea at all how someone can come to that conclusion. To me, they’re near historical doppelgangers. He doesn’t explain at all how Mussina is clearly better. Down to 65.
  • To me, he admits his homerism with votes for Sheffield and McGriff – even writing about it to a degree. He admits that the oft-cited “doing it the right way” line about McGriff is code for not using PEDs. Well done.
  • There’s some really impressive thinking in this post. I’m going to guess that he didn’t have the column inches to explain the things I kicked him for. Up 5 to 75.

Howard Ulman: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 90.
  • No change with Hoffman.
  • Drop 5 to 85 for no explanation.

Mike Vaccaro: 90

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Thome, and Walker mean he starts with 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • This year he subtracted Manny and Wagner while adding Hoffman, Schilling, and Walker. Why flip Wagner and Hoffman?
  • He says he can’t overlook Manny’s suspensions, but he did a year ago. Curious. Down to 85.
  • He mentions Sosa cheating by using cork and Manny failing tests as reasons they didn’t get his votes, as opposed to Bonds and Clemens who didn’t fail tests. Voting for Manny a year ago notwithstanding, this is good logic. I’ll move him back to 90.
  • He doesn’t answer everything, but he answers a lot, so he stays at 90.

Juan Vené: -25

  • Oh boy!
  • Vlad, Chipper, and Thome make 30.
  • He added Hoffman this year, so he stays at 30.
  • And he votes for McGriff. Still 30.
  • Five blank ballots bring him to -20.
  • And he just lists the guys in on his site. He doesn’t explain anything. Make it -25
  • Vené turns 89 next month, which is awesome for him. I hope to be 89 one day. Perhaps it’s true that he’s forgotten more about baseball than any of us will ever know. But I doubt it. His ballot is an example of how awful anti-steroid voters can be. Yeah, I said it. As I wrote above, it’s not being anti-steroid that means you’ll have a bad ballot. Far from it. You can pretty easily get to 100 points. However, anti-steroid voters are too often anti-logic voters. The Hall has set a standard, and 17 guys on the ballot have cleared it. If you won’t vote for a steroid guy, there are still 12. If your standard is a little higher and you don’t like Vlad, Kent, or Santana, I can see your thinking. But then there are still nine guys to vote for, nine guys who are waaaaaay over the line. But anti-steroid guys decided what the game should be like long ago. Ugh, I can’t.
  • Vené and Vizquel are both Venezuelan. I must admit I’m surprised the shortstop didn’t receive his vote. He’s just the second of five McGriff voters not to support Vizquel. Man, I’d love to hear his logic.

Tom Verducci: 70

  • Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • That’s where he stays with Hoffman and McGriff.
  • The empty spot drops him to 70.
  • And I won’t put up with Chris Russo or Bob Costas to ever listen to the MLB Hall Roundtable again. Sorry, Brian Kenny. Still, I know Verducci explains. He stays at 70.

Kirk Wessler: 70

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Rolen, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 80.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • Someone on the podcast called Omar the superior fielder and I hope it wasn’t Wessler, but I can’t tell.
  • I think he’s the one who said what Colin Kaepernick and Curt Schilling have done and do is the exact same thing. At least what he said is tantamount to that. I’m just going to let that sit here.
  • I just can’t tell enough who is speaking on this podcast to credit or debit Wessler here.

Paul White: 65

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, Sheffield, Thome, and Walker start him at 80.
  • Hoffman and Wagner keep him there.
  • He doesn’t explain, which is a real shame given the inclusion of Sheffield but neither Bonds nor Clemens, and this drops him to 75 and then 65.

David Wilhelm: 25

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, and Thome make 50.
  • No change with the relievers or McGriff.
  • And Vizquel drops him to 40.
  • Drop 10 more to 30 with Moyer.
  • This has to win the award for worst 10-man ballot. Not surprised that a writer who seems to cover Saint Louis University more closely than baseball doesn’t share reasoning. Oh, also, there can be no reasoning. Down to 25.

George Willis: 65

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, and Sheffield is 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him at 80.
  • He posted on Facebook, which I can’t read, so I’m not going to give him explanation credit. Mean by me, I know. Down to 75.
  • He added Bonds, Clemens, and Hoffman this year. Sheffiled, however, is not an add. Strange combination last year.
  • And Willis has given me a new scoring criterion. He voted for McGriff but not Thome. They played the same position, have exactly the same steroid taint, and were both excellent hitters. Also – and this is a happy coincidence – they have the exact same numbers for fielding, baserunning, and avoiding double plays. Both were at -69. So separating the two is only Rbat. As a preview to that stat, I’ll let you know that Thome bests McGriff in OPS+ by a score of 147 to 134. He also beats McGriff by more than 20 WAR, 72.9 to 52.4. That’s because Rbat is 587 to 400. It’s not even close, and we’re comparing apples to apples here. So Willis sets a precedent here. He’s the first voter to lose 10 points by voting for McGriff but not Thome. Down to 65.

Bernie Wilson: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Thome, and Walker get him to 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • He kinda attacks Joe Morgan, “Fie on thee”. That’s 85!
  • This dude is funny. He says he might break down and vote for Schilling sometime, but only after ropes and trees are banned.
  • He explains a tiny bit. I’ll give his sense of humor the benefit of the doubt and leave him at 85.

Jeff Wilson: 80

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Thome make 80.
  • Hoffman and McGriff keep him there.
  • I can’t say I absolutely love his PED arguments, but they all make sense. And that’s what I judge on.
  • He doesn’t explain more than Bonds and Clemens, which is upsetting given his votes for McGriff and Hoffman. Still, it’s a detailed and not incorrect explanation. He stays at 80. Good first ballot.

Bill Windler: 85

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Mussina, Manny, Schilling, Sheffield, and Thome. That’s 90.
  • Hoffman keeps him there.
  • And the lack of explanation drops him to 85.

Steve Wine: 35

  • Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Chipper, Manny, Sosa, and Thome make 70.
  • The three open slots drop him to 40.
  • The lack of explanation means he falls to 35.

Gordon Wittenmyer: 35

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Mussina, Santana, Schilling, and Thome start him at 70.
  • Vizquel makes 60.
  • The two open spaces drop him to 40.
  • No explanation, so he finishes at 35.

Mark Zuckerman: 80

  • Vlad, Chipper, Edgar, Schilling, Thome, and Walker make 60.
  • No change with Hoffman or Wagner.
  • The two open spots mean he falls to 40.
  • The manner in which he explains how the Hall matters sort of inspires me. I’ll give him 5 points to 45. Make it 10. He’s up to 50.
  • “We’re not perfect, but we get it right way more than we get it wrong.” Yes. Very much yes.
  • Damn, I hate his Barry Bonds position, but he’s very fair.
  • Same with Clemens. He doesn’t understand who wants to support them. Well, I’ll explain. It’s people who only care about greatness. We won’t forget PED use, even when they’re in the Hall.
  • I don’t like his Johnny Damon standards, though I support his decision. What I love is that he write about everyone. I want to give him another 5 points. They may be coming.
  • Livan is his favorite player, at least the favorite he’s ever covered. He had space, but he didn’t vote for him. I’ll give him 5 more to 55.
  • He says it’s hard for relievers to get into the Hall. I think, in proportion to their value, it’s incredibly easy.
  • He says that Hoffman was undoubtedly the second best reliever in the game during his time. That’s very, very debatable.
  • I love his explanation of Andruw – and his “no” vote explanation.
  • I super love his Edgar defense. Give him 5 more to 60.
  • I love his McGriff position. Please read his post. It’s so sensible.
  • Here’s part of his Mussina explanation. “He finished in the top six in Cy Young Award voting eight times, but only once finished in the top three.” So many writers say true but unfair things about MVP and Cy voting. He’s entirely fair.
  • “As for the “brutal AL East” argument, it honestly isn’t supported by stats. From 1991-2000, the Yankees ranked second in the AL in team OPS, with the Orioles (who Mussina never faced because he pitched for them) ranking fifth, the Red Sox ranking seventh, the Blue Jays eighth and the Devil Rays 15th (they only existed for the final three seasons). From 2001-08, the Red Sox ranked first in the AL in team OPS, with the Yankees (who Mussina never faced because he pitched for them) ranking second, the Blue Jays sixth, the Orioles 12th and the Rays 13th. So if we consider that to be eight different division opponents (four apiece while pitching for each of his teams), Mussina wound up facing only two consistently great lineups, three average ones and three bad ones in his career. In short, he didn’t really have it any tougher than any of his contemporaries.” I haven’t yet researched, but perhaps he has. I’m very, very impressed. I don’t know where I should give him points. It’ll be here. Plus 10 to 70.
  • “Why, though, was Rolen not recognized as one of the game’s elite all-around players at the time? I’m not saying MVP votes are critical to a player’s Hall of Fame candidacy, but it certainly struck me as noteworthy that Rolen only received MVP votes four times and only finished better than 14th once.” Sir, I do believe you’re focusing on the wrong things. Saying you’re not is insufficient evidence. I love your post, I really do. But I object to this. Down 5 to 65.
  • Man, I LOVE this explanation. Please read it! He reviewed Vizquel’s defensive numbers, and the shortstop came up, um short. He acknowledges the gap between Ozzie and Omar. Five more, back to 70.
  • People should explain like he did. I don’t always agree, but I think he defends his ballot very well. I’ll give him 10 points more to 80.

 

Lost in the mail?

 

Adam Rubin: 65

  • Let’s start with Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Andruw, Chipper, Edgar, Rolen, and Thome. That’s 80.
  • Hoffman keeps him at 80.
  • Vizquel drops him to 70.
  • He only interacted with Ross Carey on Twitter, as far as I see. Ross is a great choice, but they didn’t talk about any players. He’s at 65.

 

Miller

 

Institutional History

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: