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POLL: 2008 Hall of Fame voting

Posted by Andy on December 7, 2007

As promised, here is your chance to vote for the 2008 Hall of Fame candidates. Thanks go out to reader spartanbill for suggesting the idea. You may vote anytime between now and January 4th. I'll tally the results by Monday January 7th, and the real voting will be announced January 8th.

To cast your ballot, here's all you need to know:

  • Post a comment at the bottom containing the names of the candidates you think belong in the Hall of Fame. All I need in your post is the names, but feel free to add your arguments for or against specific players if you wish.
  • You may vote for up to 10 players, and only players listed on the ballot are eligible (no write-ins.) If your ballot doesn't follow these rules, I'm going to throw it out. Keep in mind that a player needs to be on 75% of the ballots, so it's important for you to really list everyone who you think belongs. If you wanted to vote for one guy without thinking about the rest and you post just his name, you really hurt all the other candidates. (On the other hand, if you think there is only one deserving candidate, then go ahead and vote that way.)

Now, here are the eligible candidates:

Brady Anderson

Harold Baines

Rod Beck

Bert Blyleven

Dave Concepcion

Andre Dawson

Shawon Dunston

Chuck Finley

Travis Fryman

Rich Gossage

Tommy John

David Justice

Chuck Knoblauch

Don Mattingly

Mark McGwire

Jack Morris

Dale Murphy

Robb Nen

Dave Parker

Tim Raines

Jim Rice

Jose Rijo

Lee Smith

Todd Stottlemyre

Alan Trammell

A rookie card for every single candidate! Get voting!

155 Responses to “POLL: 2008 Hall of Fame voting”

  1. Andy Says:

    For a guy with as much power as McGwire, a .394 OBP is pathetic. Look, I'm not saying he wasn't a productive player....he was. He hit a lot of homers, and as a result he walked a lot. In the rest of his PAs, he did very little, and he was absolutely a one-dimensional player. He was more productive and more valuable than Dave Kingman, but not by as much as you seem to think, and I simply see no reason why he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Every single other member of the 500 HR club, including even Sosa, did more things to help their teams win.

  2. Andy Says:

    And, by the way, my personal feeling is that nobody should be judged for the HOF based on possible steroid use. In the end, I believe that the only way to account for this era is going to be to assume that most players used them and the effects somewhat cancel out.

  3. mrbaseballcard Says:

    David, (97&98&99) + everyone else

    Very well argued w Win-Shares. Blylevin gets so many additional (yes 13% not 30% I had referenced the wrong cell in excel) win-shares is that he pitched so many innings at a level above the league-average. Still, I feel that T. John would belong in first (give credit for the 1.5 missed seasons and he is well above 300 real wins) ahead of a pitcher who pitched a lot of innings (garbage bullpen + rubber arm) and gave up a lot of HRs. Also, as pointed out by David in #98, his winning % is not a lot better than his team's winning perctentage.

    This is the HofF, not the Hall of slightly better than my team average.

  4. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Challenge for people:

    Think McGwire belongs in the Hall? Please compare his career numbers through the end of 1996 w Cecil Fielder's career numbers through the end of 1996. You will find they are virtually identical. (Don't have it handy but I remember from 2 baseball cards I bought in 1997 how statistically identical the two players were.

    The 1997+ McGwire had enhancing substances and therefore the numbers are scewed. To me, did the player have HofF numbers before the alleged substances? For Bonds - yes; for Clemens - yes. For McGwire - as the numbers above will show - no.

  5. 39noway Says:

    With all due respect to mrbaseballcard, Bert Blyleven, over the span of his career didn't give up home runs at a rate unlike other hall of famers. You can check the stats on that, he did however have the seasons in which he let 50 and 46 out of the park in 1986 and 1987. He then made the adjustment to the loss of speed on the fastball and corrected the problem. His previous high was 24 over 275 innings in 1975.

    Also, like Tommy John, Blyleven missed most of 1982 and parts of 1983 with a serious elbow injury, to go along with a complete miss of the 1991 season with a torn rotator cuff.

    From his just the 1972 season: 11 games, 86 innings, 65 hits, 23 runs, 21 earned, 20 bb, and 68 K's, a 2.20 ERA and a nice 0-7 record to show for it. This was consistantly the norm for his first 7 years in the league. My research shows little in comparison for other pitchers such as Don Sutton, Tommy John, Fergie Jenkins et al.

    Win Shares and Stat Neutralization are pretty significant.

    I also think Blyleven suffers a bit from Lee Smith syndrome; playing for some perennial losers over those first 7 seasons or so and getting very little recognition. Heck Catfish Hunter, during his A's hey days called Blyleven the best pitcher in the league at one point!

    I would bet most major league hitters that had to face Blyleven in the 70's and 80's would vote him into the Hall.

  6. Jgeller Says:

    Andy, i agree with you that we should judge the players of the Steroid Era as they did against their contemporaries. Here's a question for all of you who believe that we should exclude any steroid users. What if the only person who never used steroids in their era was Enrique Wilson? Does that make Enrique Wilson the only deserving Hall of Fame candidate?

    I'd also like to address why i did NOT vote for Bert Blyleven. Unlike most of my fellow readers, I did not see Blyleven pitch. When he retired, i was almost 6 years old. So i never really saw him or was able to appreciate how much of a big game pitcher everybody says he was. I'm forced to rely on the statistics. Over a 22 year career, he has 2 all-star apperances. Cy Young Votes only 4 times. It appears his contemporaries did not view him as an elite player. As far as i know, during his career the rule was in effect that each team needed at least 1 all-star. If Blyleven was not deemed to be the most worthy of his team to be in the all-star game all but 2 times, well maybe he doesn't belong.

  7. gswitter Says:

    14 of the 23 players in the 500 homer club have lower career OBPs than McGwire, so I don't know how McGwire's .394 qualifies as "pathetic".

    I'm sure much of McGwire's walk rate correlates with his power, but not all of it. McGwire has one of the highest career BB/PA rates - my quick/rough check shows only Bonds, Ruth, Williams, Mantle, Yost and Thome are higher among players with as many walks as McGwire - and I can only assume his BBs are overlooked because, again, his career was on the short side, and he suffers in direct comparison to his contemporary Bonds.

    Yes, most of his counting stats don't measure up, and, yes, his skill set was limited. But McGwire was one of the greatest ever at his two primary skills (related or not), and his rates stats make him and easy HOFer.

  8. Atlas Says:

    I think it's silly to say one should "assume that most players used them and the effects somewhat cancel out". Do the effects really cancel out? What if Randy Johnson didn't use steroids? I haven't heard his name mentioned in connection with them, and his physical appearance doesn't seem to indicate steroid use. If Roger Clemens was using steroids over the past few years and Johnson wasn't, doesn't that hurt Johnson's place in history among the great pitchers, at least as compared to Clemens? (Or you can make the same argument with Pedro Martinez if you like him better.)

    What if we assume that Cal Ripken was using steroids to help him keep playing every day? Is that fair to Gehrig to have his streak, ended by physical inability to play, broken by a man who we're assuming broke the rules in order to keep going?

    Or are we just going to give passes to players based on our own personal likes and dislikes? Some attempt should be made, I think, to determine who broke the rules and exclusion from the HOF is likely to be the only way to censure them for it. Will it happen? Probably not.

    (FYI, before anyone decides to set the board ablaze, I DO NOT actually think Ripken used steroids. The point being that if we assume most people did, the burden of proof is then to show innocence instead of guilt and that it does have implications beyond the current crop of players.)

  9. 39noway Says:

    A good rebuttal to Andy #106 from another gentleman's blog...Blyleven's All-Star case;

  10. simons Says:

    In order from most deserving to less deserving:
    D. Murphy- I'd vote for him ten times. An all around player who put up numbers on mostly bad teams. 2 MVPs. Good glove, power and speed (30/30 when no one did that).
    T. Raines
    D. Mattingly
    L. Smith
    B. Blyleven
    A. Dawson
    J. Rice
    H. Baines

  11. Andy Says:

    Wow...lots of great discussion here.
    Atlas--when I said we'll need to assume that everybody used them, what I meant is that we'll never have definitive information/proof on who used or didn't use, and therefore in the end, I suspect the final historical view will be that essentially everyone used them, i.e. that nobody gets singled out. I'm not saying that I personally think everyone used them--just that there isn't enough information (nor will there ever be enough) to really separate players out.
    mrbaseballcard - I don't think it's fair to penalize Blyleven because his W-L% wasn't much higher than that of his teams. Carlton's 1972 performance (27 wins for him, 59 for the team overall) was a massive aberration--one of this biggest in baseball history. There are many, many more examples of guys who had a very low ERA and a very low WHIP but finished a season well under .500 due to no run support. Specific wins and losses are so much down to luck and team performance that Blyleven cannot be held responsible for that. (But also, as I argued before, we also cannot blindly assume he'd have had 10, 20, or 50 more wins playing for better teams.)
    jgeller - see the link provided by 39noway in #109 for rationale for why Blyleven didn't have more all-star appearances or Cy Young votes.
    gswitter - yeah some of McGwire's rate stats are very impressive. But it's still an isolated part of his game, he was not a complete player, and he missed a lot of time. Keep in mind that he's never had a positive steroid test (made public, at least) and he still got only about 25% of the vote last year (before so many of Canseco's allegations were verified by the Mitchell Report.) You make a good case for McGwire, but he's no easy HOFer.
    Keep up the chatter, everyone!

  12. steaksammich Says:

    Goose Gossage
    Tim Raines
    Bert Blyleven
    Mark McGwire
    Travis Fryman

    Gossage because he was one of the best relievers of his time and he was better than Sutter. There's no reason why Sutter should've been voted in before Gossage.

    Raines because he was one of the greatest leadoff hitters of all time and always underrated because he played in the shadow of Henderson

    Blyleven because he had a great career. The arguement against him has always been that he was always really good, but never great. He played at a "really good" level for 22 years. If playing at that level for that long doesn't make you great, I don't know what does.

    McGwire because all the steroid clouds following the game doesn't change anything in my eyes. The game is still the same and steroids don't change anything for me. McGwire was one of the greatest power hitter of alltime and should've gone in on the first ballet.

    Fryman because it seems like every voter gets to put in a vote for a guy he likes even though that guy obviously isn't a Hall of Famer. If Walt Weiss can get one vote than Fryman gets one vote from me because I always liked the guy

  13. stephenv Says:

    Here are my top 3 on the ballot.

    Mark McGwire belongs there without a doubt in my mind. There was not a single mention of him in the Mitchell report. Does that eventually let him off the hook and into the HOF? I certainly hope so. He was the single most exciting HR hitter that I ever saw and I go back to Mantle's later days. Also, Big Mac and Slammin' Sammy Sosa (also not mentioned in the Mitchell report) saved baseball in 1998 when their unprecidented race for the MLB HR title put the game back on the map as Americas true pastime.

    Goose Gossage should also be elected. He was the single most dominant relief pitcher in the 70's in my mind (and certainly on par with Eckersly who is already in as a reliever) and justly deserves immortality in the hall.

    Harold Baines' numbers are worthy of election but much of his career was spent as a DH and there are none in the HOF yet, although Edgar Martinez may be the first shortly and deservedly so. So if Edgar sets the standard then Harold definitely belongs there.

    That's it on the list for me. Thanks.

  14. Andy Says:

    Remember that the Mitchell Report doesn't clear only implicates players who bought from the very few dealers who were questioned in their research. There are undoubtedly countless other players who bought from other sources, although there is no real evidence that implicates McGwire. There are, however, some facts, short of evidence:

    1) The huge muscle mass he gained during his career
    2) The fact that he chose NOT to deny using steroids or other PEDs to the senate committee (saying instead that he didn't want to talk about the past)
    3) That Canseco alleges personally witnessing McGwire using steroids, and most of the rest of Canseco's allegations were corroborated by the Mitchell Report

  15. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Too much support going on here for harold baines. Real good ball player, just not HofF quality. A classic tweener. Was he a great avg hitter? His career avg of .289 says no. Was he a great slugger> His career .465 slugging percentage and his lifetime high in HRs of 29 says no. Was he a great baserunner? His per 162-game avg runs scored of 74 says no. Was he a great glove man? Spending 90% of his career as a DH says no. Again, real good ball player - 6 time AS, 384 HRs, 1,600+ RBIs are formidable. Just not up to HofF standards.

  16. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Jim Rice???? Jim Rice????

    In 1978 the two most feared sluggers in baseball were Jim Rice and George Foster. Neither aged well and Rice has pretty severe Road/Home splits. By 1981 was a Fenway Park creation. 1977 and 1978 were such glorious years, but like Maris in 1960/61, 2 great years do not a HofFer make.

  17. 39noway Says:

    In case some of you haven't seen this, and other articles supporting Blyleven's cause by Rich Lederer:

    Pretty heady stuff in there.

  18. Jgeller Says:

    39noway, thank you for clearing up for me the truth about Blyleven's all-star apperances.
    There is a reason that the BAWAA requires 10 years of service before you can vote, so best case senario, i wouldn't be allowed to vote for another 12ish years (still in college). People who are 20 don't fully know the careers and circumstances of questionable Hall of Famers (my argument for Blyleven being questionable: it's his 11th try, seems voters are undecided, dont' shoot me on this).
    I spend alot of time researching baseball history, but i haven't gotten to the 70's and 80's yet, that's probably where i'm most dark in history. So forgive me if my opinions on Blyleven are uninformed. But it's my vote, and while your arguments have helped me believe more he may indeed belong, i'm gonna stick with not voting for him.

  19. 39noway Says:

    Mr. Jgeller, well that's cool, and this is indeed fun. Cats out of the bag, Blyleven was my favorite growing up. Discovered him in late 1974, a kid with a baseball card. A guy with big numbers who made it to the majors at age 19. Followed his career since then. I also didn't think he was a Hall of Famer when he retired, but once some of the internet sites popped up where I could research his career, well it started to become obvious. It really is appalling to note how many quality starts (I look at 6innings 2 runs or less, 7 or more innings 3 runs or less) he had early in his career in which he was returned as the loser or gained a no decision. Perhaps I'll post that to make my point, the numbers are incredible. For this type of thing to happen to one player in particular is amazing.

    Blyleven pitched in "flyover country" Minnesota, Texas, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc. and I think didn't reap the benefit of pitching for marquee teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, or A's of the 70's. What sort of career would he have had with those teams? Blyleven was known to complain, but what player that cares about winning doesn't complain. The NFL's Cory Dillon complained in Cincinnati, but once signed by the Patriots, was a model citizen that helped them to at least 2 of there Super Bowls.

    Blyleven was an after thought to Cy Young voters, and for most of his career, was a August and September pitcher and didn't always have great win totals by All-Star selection time, which contradicts one of my previous posts somewhat.

    Go to for more fun interactive comparisions to other Hall of Fame pitchers.

  20. 39noway Says:

    An amazing Bert Blyleven statistic that I wouldn't wish upon any major league pitcher:
    From his 1970 rookie season through 1977 I've accumulated his quality starts that I've defined as: 6innings, 2earned runs or less; 7,8,9innings, 3earned runs or less; and 9innings+ 4 earned runs or less in which he garnered a no decision or a loss only......

    The totals are:
    82 games
    658 innings
    583 hits
    185 runs
    160 earned runs
    184 base on balls
    540 strikeouts
    2.19 ERA
    His record: 0 wins and 52 LOSSES. I repeat 0 wins and 52 losses with a 2.19 ERA

    1970 0-3 1.90 9 games
    1971 0-6 2.09 9 games
    1972 0-9 2.35 13 games
    1973 0-8 2.55 9 games
    1974 0-8 1.80 10 games
    1975 0-6 2.00 10 games
    1976 0-7 2.29 15 games
    1977 0-5 2.45 7 games

    I understand that pitchers put up great games and get snakebit on occasion, but this accounted for almost 1 of every 3 starts, 82 of 279 to be exact or 29%. Show me a Hall of Famer that had to go through this year by year. Fortunately once Blyleven ended up in Pittsburgh and later some good Minnesota teams, this trend eased to what I would consider normal levels (I had researched this in the past but don't have the numbers on hand)

    Imagine 1974, your 17-9 in 27 games, and in the other 10, all of which are essentially quality starts, you post a 1.80ERA and go 0-8. You end up 17-17. If you don't know the facts, and your voting for the Cy Young award, and you see 17-17. Do you cast a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place vote? Probably not. This is what Blyleven faced in yesteryear, and the same writers, who I contend do not know the facts, are what Blyleven faces every year in the HOF vote.

    Go ahead, plug in a different year, or harken back to Baseball-reference and neutralize the stats, do it for every one of Blyleven's contemporaries. The numbers don't change much, but for Bert Blyleven, they do. The example given above is my attempt to show why. Teams that didn't score runs and booted the ball around like it was a soccer match.

    Look forward to the replies on this!

  21. Jgeller Says:

    I'm not sure if you can argue the impressiveness of an ERA in games that are only quality starts. That would just be comparing who had better quality games. Under the rules of your quality starts in non-wins, here's a player who this year had a commanding 1.95 ERA with an 0-2 record in 6 games: Edwin Jackson.
    I did do an experiment of my own on those 8 years, 1970-1977. I took the total ERA of both Bert Blyleven and Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins in wins, loses, and no decisions. Jenkins was top 3 in Cy Young voting 4 times in those 8 years. Each had a total of games in the 280's. Blyleven 122-113, Jenkins 144-108. ERA's in Wins: 1.40 Blyleven, 1.97 Jenkins. ERA's in Loses: 4.44 Blyleven, 5.36 Jenkins, ERA in No Decisions: 3.30 Blyleven, 4.25 Jenkins.
    So Jenkins got the awards, got the wins, and got the Hall of Fame nod. Blyleven only had the superior ERA, especially in Non-Wins.
    When talking about Blyleven being on inferior teams, it's not as important to think about the rest of the rotation and the bullpen (especially for a guy with alot of complete games) affecting win totals, but the offense.

  22. mccombe35 Says:

    As for the latest Baines comment from mrbaseballcard. I know he won't get it but why shouldn't the HOF recognize the DH? & if they do (I think they should) why not Baines?

    He was a DH for about 63% of his total games played - & because of an injury. It's not like he started his career as a DH like Hafner or Ortiz.

    & he DID hit over .300 8 times & over .290 13 times. Not the gaudy power #s of todays players but he had decent power & drove in a lot of big runs while playing in a pitchers park (Comiskey) for the 1st 9 years of his career. (when he was actually a 500 - 600+ AB player).

    strange clutch stat: career in extra innings he hit .359 with an OPS+ of 151. 177 PAs.

    I'm sure if you are posting on this site I don't need to duplicate all the other #s!

  23. mccombe35 Says:

    Also, I don't want Baines to have the tag as the player with the most hits & RBIs not in the HOF.... (besides Rose & roids)

  24. Andy Says:

    I absolutely LOVE Baines but I just don't think he's good enough for the HOF. He is, however, one of the most consistent players of all-time, as judged by my new Consistency Score stat. I've just delivered that stat calculation to Sean, and with a little luck it might get integrated into the main site someday.

  25. mccombe35 Says:

    OK, I'm a white sox fan if you didn't figure that out yet... lol

    Just wonder if he woulda played more (more per season, not longer) & got those 134 hits he needed for 3,000....... Probably more anti-DH talk.

    .324 / .378 / .510 career postseason hitter too! (113 PAs)

  26. Andy Says:

    #119: Dillon was on just one of the Pats' championship teams (2004) and eventually "retired" from the Patriots because he was unhappy with playing time and other issues. His attitude never really changed when he went to New England.

  27. mrbaseballcard Says:

    39noway - great research and valid argument that Blylevin should sue his teammates for abandonment. Actually starting to soften my stance a bit.

    Not sure about comments thrown out there that Blylevin pitched for teams that had poor hitting. From this site, the Twin's league ranking in runs scored were (remember Oliva, Killewbrew and Carew):

    67 - 3rd
    68 - 5th
    69 - 1st
    70 - 3rd
    71 - 5th
    72 - 7th
    73 - 5th
    74 - 6th

    In 7 of his first 8 years in the league, he pitched for a team that had an above-average offense and was ranked first once.

  28. mrbaseballcard Says:


    Agree that Baines would be "Mr. Consistency". Anticipate Pete O'Brien and the 1980's Fred Lynn to be up there as well. Look forward to a new stat.

  29. Andy Says:

    I'll check Pete O'Brien this weekend.

  30. mrbaseballcard Says:

    One of the people who I have always felt was gypped on the HofF was a childhood hero of mine - Ron Guidry. Always wanted to do a baseball card set of Guidry and Koufax, 1 card for each year of their careers. In the end, their career stats are virtually the same:

    W 170 165
    L 91 87
    WP .651 .655
    ERA 3.29 2.76
    *ERA 1.19 1.31
    WHIP 1.184 1.106

    The peak years as measured by the HofF Monitor as well as the Black ink and Gray ink favor Koufax, but in my mind they should be closer than a early ballot HofFer and someone cast aside w minimal HofF support.

  31. 39noway Says:

    Mr. mrbaseball card,
    Blyleven's rookie season was 1970, and I'll applaude your efforts to show the offensive totals. Go to and look at the game logs. As an example from the 1971 season shown in #120above, 9 games 0-6 1.90 (shown previously as 2.09), the Twins scored 18 runs in those 9 games.

    My point is that during his first 8 seasons, at an average rate of 10 games per year, he was taking his ballclub deep into games with legitimate quality starts (the ERA's attest to that) and really never caught many breaks and was returned the loser or gained a no decision in the process. This is the backing to what happens when you neutralize the stats in the baseball reference site for each player. Try it for Tommy John. Virtually no change, and what do you know, he pitched primarily for good Dodger and Yankees clubs.

    Have a good day brother.

  32. budcrew08 Says:

    In alphabetical order:
    Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson
    Rich Gossage
    Don Mattingly
    Mark McGwire
    Jack Morris
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice
    Lee Smith
    Alan Trammell

    Last cuts: Dale Murphy, Tommy John.

  33. David in Toledo Says:

    A succinct Blyleven argument using win shares. There are 59 pitchers in the Hall of Fame. If Blyleven were added, he would rank 17th in win shares -- that is, in the top third of HofF pitchers, nowhere near the bottom. Each of the 34 pitchers in baseball history with 290 or more win shares is in the Hall, with only six exceptions: Roger Clemens 440, Tony Mullane 399, Greg Maddux 389, Bert Blyleven 339, Randy Johnson 315, and Tom Glavine 314.

    Put Mullane aside -- 1880's, much of his value came from position-playing, a somewhat racist reputation. Admit Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, and Glavine. Then Blyleven is the ONLY pitcher whose career earns at least 290 win shares who is not in the Hall -- AND Blyleven is in the top half of that group. Not to mention the 25 Hall of Fame pitchers whose win shares career totals are under 290.

  34. David in Toledo Says:

    Error in post #133. Each of the 40 pitchers in baseball history with 290 or more win shares is in the Hall, with only six exceptions.

  35. birtelcom Says:


    a starter, a reliever, an outfielder, a corner infielder and a middle infielder.

  36. centuryatoms Says:

    Bert Blyleven
    Mark McGwire
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice
    Alan Trammell

    Hope you get the 100 ballots

  37. bjshoes Says:

    Jack Morris- The "Ace" for 3 teams, it wasn't opening day without Jack pitching. 1-0, 10-inning game 7 WS shutout!

    Rich Gossage-best reliever of his era.

    Lee Smith- one of the best

    Alan Trammell- multi-talented for a long time at a key position.

  38. RobP Says:

    Blyleven, Gossage, McGwire, Trammell, and Raines.

  39. howardig Says:

    Bert Blyleven
    Rich Gossage
    Tommy John
    Mark McGwire
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice
    Alan Trammell

  40. Andy Says:

    My quick count shows 62 ballots cast so far. I'm still hoping for 100.

  41. jimruv Says:

    Jim Rice, Tim Rains, Dale Murphy, Jack Morris, Bert Blyleven, Tommy John, Alan Trammel, Lee Smith, Don Mattingly, Rich Gossage

  42. duckdaring Says:

    My vote:

    Bert Blyleven
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice
    Jack Morris
    Tommy John
    Andre Dawson
    Dale Murphy


    Rich Gossage
    Lee Smith

    Here's a query about closers. I've looked at their numbers, and there doesn't seem to be any quantitative method of rating. They get to the Hall of Fame instead by being considered tough or scary.

    By my reckoning there are four in the Hall.

    Hoyt Wilhelm, 227 SV, 146 adjERA, 1.125 WHIP
    Rollie Fingers, 341 SV, 119 adjERA, 1.156 WHIP
    Bruce Sutter, 300 SV, 136 adjERA, 1.140 WHIP
    Dennis Eckersley, 390 SV, 116 ajERA, 1.161 WHIP

    There doesn't seem to be a standard yet. Wilhelm was a wicked proto-closer with an adjusted ERA close to Lefty Grove and Walter Johnson and over 2000 innings. Eckersley made it with help from his resume as a starter. Sutter, um, invented a pitch. Fingers was no doubt considered tough but he's before my time.

    And never mind Gossage, Smith and Nen, we shouldn't lower ourselves to voting for them because we live in the age of the closer. Steroids? Small ball parks? Juiced balls? All for naught. Grove and Johnson have to bow to these guys.

    Mariano Rivera, 443 SV, 194 adjERA, 1.046 WHIP
    Billy Wagner, 358 SV, 180 adjERA, 1.016 WHIP
    Troy Percival, 324 SV, 154 adjERA, 1.090 WHIP
    John Wetteland, 330 SV, 148 adjERA, 1.135 WHIP
    Trevor Hoffman, 524 SV, 147 adjERA, 1.049 WHIP

    Oh, you caught it? John Wetteland retired in 2000 and failed to get minimum voting in a prior year. Still, Rivera, Hoffman, and possibly Wagner (needs a few more saves?) are future Hall of Famers. We still could conclude that the last decade has produced more Hall of Fame talent at closer than the previous three combined.

    Or, we could conclude that if you need a pretty good pitcher to give you one inning every three days, you might get a good result. A look at Lee Smith might illustrate how we got from Goose Gossage to Mariano Rivera.

    1983: 66 G, 103.3 IP, 29 SV, 229 adjERA
    1991: 67 G, 73.0 IP, 47 SV, 157 adjERA
    1993: 63 G, 58.0 IP, 46 SV, 103 adjERA

    Conclusions: For closers, they were used more and more for single innings, and despite less usage, their saves increased. And, saves have very little to do with overall performance.

    If Lee Smith's career began ten years later, would his saves be even higher? Yes, almost certainly. Would his adjERA be higher? Very hard to tell, but possibly. Is this heretical?

    And do I chance not voting for Smith, because then there is little reason to vote for Hoffman?

  43. Andy Says:

    Nice analysis, duckdaring. Thanks.

  44. frodo813 Says:

    Mark McGwire
    Bert Blyleven
    Dave Concepcion
    Andre Dawson
    Rich Gossage
    Don Mattingly
    Jim Rice
    Lee Smith
    Alan Trammell
    Dale Murphy

  45. frodo813 Says:

    If voting on candidates relates too character than most athletics come up way short! Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle come to mind right away!!

  46. Stevesv Says:

    My vote: Bert Blyleven, Rich Gossage, Tommy John, Dale Murphy, Jack Morris, Jim Rice, Lee Smith

  47. bashton Says:

    Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines, Goose Gossage, Alan Trammel

  48. Stat of the Day » 2008 Hall of Fame Says:

    [...] that you have just until this Friday (Jan 4) to cast your ballot for the 2008 MLB Hall of Fame. See this post to cast your [...]

  49. Philip Christy Says:

    Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines, Alan Trammel, Mark McGwire

  50. Frenchie Says:

    1. Bert Blyleven
    2. Goose Gossage
    3. Mark McGwire
    4. Rock Raines
    5. Jim Rice

  51. TempletonSox Says:

    Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson
    Goose Gossage
    Tommy John
    Jack Morris
    Jim Rice

  52. roadrunner1323 Says:

    1. Rich Gossage
    2. Tim Raines
    3. Dale Murphy
    4. Alan Trammel
    5. Mark McGwire
    6. Don Mattingly
    7. Andre Dawson

  53. Dre17 Says:

    1. Blyleven
    2. Raines
    3. Trammell

  54. Andy Says:

    Voting is now closed, but you can comment all you like!

  55. Andy Says:

    The results of this poll are now posted here: