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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!

This entry was posted on Friday, December 7th, 2007 at 7:04 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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

  1. bravesfan513 Says:

    Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson
    Goose Gossage
    Dale Murphy
    Jim Rice

  2. This is based on the standards of the current National Baseball Hall of Fame and does not necessarily reflect my own standards.

    Blyleven
    Dawson
    Gossage
    Mattingly
    McGwire
    Morris
    Murphy
    Raines
    Rice
    Smith

    P.S. Do the baseball writers only get ten votes a ballot? If so, that explains a lot to me about previous results.

  3. Yes, only 10 votes.

    On those rookie cards featuring more than 1 player, it's amazing some of the freebie rookies we get: Molitor, Larry Andersen, Rick Cerone...some good players.

  4. Five players that I would vote for: Blyleven, John, Murphy, Raines, Trammell. Murphy's continual poor showing is the real travesty. Back in the early 80's, if you wanted to start a team from scratch, the only two players who got serious mention as your first choice were Murphy and Mike Schmidt.

    Six players where I would like to hear serious pro-and-con arguments, because I could go either way -- Dawson, Gossage, McGwire, Morris, Rice and Smith. Rice does not get in ahead of Murphy, however!

    Loved the rookie cards!

  5. So, wboenig2, is this a real ballot or are you wanting to wait to hear arguments on these other players?

  6. savoyspecial Says:

    1. Jim Rice
    2. Rich Gossage
    3. Don Mattingly

  7. spartanbill Says:

    Bert Blyleven
    Dave Concepcion
    Andre Dawson
    Tommy John
    Don Mattingly
    Jack Morris
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice
    Lee Smith
    Alan Trammell

    I would like to have also included Parker, Baines, and Gossage but the rules only permit 10. They were the toughest ones to cut.

    I am mixed on mcGwire, I think I would ave included him if there was room on my ballot; but I coudn't exclude anyone else to make room for him.

  8. My ballot:

    BLYLEVEN: one of the 5 best pitchers of the 70's and of the '80s comparing WHIP/ERA+/SO to BB ratio

    GOSSAGE: terrific peak from '75-'85 - look at his ERA+ and WHIP over this period

    MCGWIRE: don't mind seeing him sweat it out for a few more ballots, but as one of the elite RH sluggers of all-time, he should get in

    RAINES: 23 year career of .385 OBP and one of the best base stealers of all time.

    TRAMMEL: for a SS, he had a tremendous bat and great defense.

    Just short, IMO: Murphy, Mattingly, Smith, Dawson.

  9. theygotmeplace Says:

    Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson
    Rich Gossage
    Tommy John
    Mark McGwire
    Tim Raines
    Lee Smith
    UL Washington, er I mean Alan Trammell

  10. Rich Gossage
    Mark McGwire
    Jim Rice
    Lee Smith

  11. To answer the earlier question directed to me -- only count my five "definites" as votes. I'll leave the rest to be reconsidered next year.

  12. Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson
    Goose Gossage
    Mark McGwire
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice
    Lee Smith
    Dale Murphy
    Alan Trammell
    Don Mattingly

    It's real hard to stop there. I'd love to include Morris and Tommy John and Baines and Concepcion. Good batch out there, and the diverse talent is going to keep deserving folks like Blyleven and Dawson from getting enough votes to put them in. The only lock (Rock?) I see is Raines, although Gossage has a great chance.

  13. by the way, I am hoping for 100 ballots...that would be a ton, but there is enough time.

  14. Here are my choices

    Mark McGwire
    Jim Rice
    Lee Smith

  15. Harold Baines
    Bert Blyleven
    Rich Gossage

  16. Bert Blyleven
    Chuck Knoblauch
    Rich Gossage
    Mark McGwire
    Dale Murphy
    Dave Parker
    Jim Rice
    Lee Smith
    Alan Trammell

  17. Blyleven
    Morris
    Smith
    Mattingly
    Rice

    Too bad I can't vote for Larry Anderson anymore...certainly an Astros fan favorite for many reasons.

  18. Bert Blyleven
    Lee Smith

    Two underrated players who would be in by now if they had played for good teams. There are a lot of very good players, but not quite up to the standards of the HOF. I'll pass on McGwire until he tells us more about any stimulants that he took.

  19. Bert Blyleven
    Goose Gossage
    Mark McGwire
    Tim Raines
    Lee Smith
    Alan Trammell

    This is tougher to do than I thought, and more fun too.

  20. Instead of picking who should go in, I think the best way is to throw out those that should never be there and then pick from the ones that are left.
    My picks for the HOF:

    Bert Blyleven
    Dale Murphy
    Andre Dawson
    Jim Rice

  21. Blyleven
    Gossage
    McGwire
    Raines
    Smith

  22. Don Mattingly
    Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson
    Jim Rice
    Lee Smith
    Dale Murphy

    By the way, that's not Andre Dawson's rookie card. His rookie card is 1977 Topps, not 1978. :)

  23. I am going to post my own ballot here, for once, with my comments on all the players.

    First the comments:

    Brady Anderson - he did some good things as a player, including some (such as his SB) that are not tainted by the possibility of steroid use. All the rest, though, is questionable. Unlike Barry Bonds, who--if the second half of his career was influenced by steroids--would certainly be a HOFer if he had never taken them--Anderson might have made the ballot only because he was a user (allegedly.)

    Harold Baines - one of my all-time favorite players because of both his attitude and his consistency. In the voting, he is hurt by the fact that he played DH, plus that his numbers, which would be phenomenal for a 2B, SS, C, or CF of his era, are not phenomenal for a 1B, 3B, or corner outfielder.

    Rod Beck - as I wrote about here when he passed away, he was absolutely dominant for a stretch in his career and was the best closer in baseball over that period. But he had a pretty short career and a few bad years. (But his good years were out of this world.)

    Bert Blyleven - I've already written two posts here about the fact that he belongs in the HOF. I have nothing more to add.

    Dave Concepcion - THE prototype for what you wanted your shortstop to be, in his era. He is hurt more than any other player on this ballot for how the game has changed. Put into today's context, he looks like a crummy player. In his day, he was awesome, and he was money in the post-season.

    Andre Dawson - A-rod hold the distinction today that Dawson held in the late 1970s and the 1980s--the best combination of power and speed in baseball. As came up in another post here, though, he had a remarkably low career OBP. But, he was the most feared power hitter in the game for a number of years.

    Shawon Dunston - Speaking of low OBP, Dunston was under .300 for his career. Early on with the Cubs, he was a typical (for that era) middle infielder: not a great hitter, but a great defender. Later, he put together some good offensive seasons. By the way, his first name is not pronounced "Shawn" but rather "Sha-WAN."

    Chuck Finley - If he played for better teams, instead of the often not-so-good Angels, Finley would have had a more memorable career for most. Still, he got to 200 wins. Never won 20 games, but pitched well enough to do so in 1990.

    Travis Fryman - Fryman reminds me of Baines in some ways, in that he was quite consistent but perhaps a cut below the offensive numbers for the best players at the power positions. I don't know why Fryman couldn't hit as well come age 32, but if he had continued until 36 or 37, he'd have racked up some good overall numbers.

    Rich Gossage - Though not over credited for it, Gossage is really the father of the modern-day closer. The stretch of his career for the Yankees from 1978 to 1983 was quite similar to what Mariano Rivera has done for them, and his 1981 season (0.77 ERA, 0.771 WHIP) is one for the ages. He also had fantastic career longevity.

    Tommy John - John was a 3-time 20-game winner and also had 162 CGs with 46 shut outs. He had a handful of great years as well as a bunch of above average ones. He was helped somewhat by playing on good teams. And of course he will be remembered forever in baseball for the surgery named after him.

    David Justice - Impressive career OBP (.378) and SLG (.500) although not as consistent offensively as some. His performance in 2000 after being traded to the Yankees was legendary. A short career, and he didn't make the most of his many post-season appearances (although he was often on the losing team, e.g. Braves and later Indians.)

    Chuck Knoblauch - His reputation was (totally undeservedly) tarnished by the defensive mental problem he developed at 2B. People forget that he stood tall through that, and learned to play a pretty good LF to solve the issue. He was the premier leadoff hitter in baseball for several years.

    Don Mattingly - My all-time favorite player. Back injury cost him his career longevity and robbed him of his power. He was more important for the Yankee dynasty that followed his retirement than would seem apparent. And he was simply the finest defensive first baseman baseball has ever seen.

    Mark McGwire - In my opinion, he's the most overrated guy on this ballot. Beyond home runs, he contributed very little offensively, and nothing in any other capacity of the game. He never won an MVP. Still, he was the most awesome power hitter of his time. He was hitting long, majestic bombs on a regular basis before anybody else.

    Jack Morris - The best pitcher of the 1980s, and the best single-game post-season performance by a pitcher of the last 30 years (in 1991 with Toronto.) A member of three world champion teams, although he did little in the 1992 playoffs with Toronto. Impressive career W-L%.

    Dale Murphy - As one of the other commenters mentioned, it's often overlooked that Murphy was one of the greatest power hitters of the early 1980s, winning back-to-back MVPs in 1982 and 1983. He was trapped on a lousy team for years but still made the most of it.

    Robb Nen - Nen was simply awesome, and had his career not been cut short by injury, this wouldn't even be a debate--he'd be in the HOF for sure. He was consistently dominant.

    Dave Parker - Parker was, like Dawson, a great power hitter with a pretty low OBP. I believe Parker gets hurt somewhat by being a sort of "tweener"...he played a lot in the 1970s and 1980s, but continued until 1991. Had his whole career been shifted 5 years earlier or 5 years later, we'd think of him in different eras, and he'd probably look better.

    Tim Raines - I've already written a lot about Tim Raines on this site and you know I love his game. He was a huge force for almost 20 years.

    Jim Rice - Rice was a great player who is somewhat overlooked because of other good offensive teammates, including Yaz, Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn, and others. Career SLG of .502 is impressive. Career 315 GIDP is not. Had a slightly short career. One thing often overlooked about Rice is that he played in Boston during a time when African Americans were not as widely accepted as in many other baseball cities. I doubt that he had it easy, and he still produced.

    Jose Rijo - Quite underrated, but he gets really hurt by the fact that he was, well, always hurt. He rarely pitched a full season and of course missed lots of time due to injury as well. Had he been healthy, he might have been the best starting pitcher of the 1990s.

    Lee Smith - If Gossage was the father of the modern closer, then Smith was the older brother. He was the dominant closer of the second half of the 1980s and first half of the 1990s. We forget it now because so many teams have good closers, but he was a huge asset to the teams he played for.

    Todd Stottlemyre - A fairly average pitcher (career ERA+ of 100) who was hurt by his name, with comparisons to his father. (Hey, it could have been worse - he could have been Mel Stottlemyre Jr.) A short career due to injury.

    Alan Trammell - In an era where nothing much was expected offensively from the SS, Trammell was the best, putting up numbers as good then as Derek Jeter's are now. He's hurt that by the time the offensive explosion came to baseball in 1993, he was already 35 and not playing much.

    So, here are the guys I would vote in:

    Bert Blyleven
    Dave Concepcion
    Andre Dawson
    Rich Gossage
    Jack Morris
    Dale Murphy
    Tim Raines
    Lee Smith
    Alan Trammell

    I know that's a lot of names, but to me, they are all Hall of Famers.

  24. David in Toledo Says:

    I'm going to cite just one statistic, though I could go on and on....

    Tim Raines (390 win shares, 50 more than any other outfielder on the ballot and 106 more than the average of the 7 others, including Baines)

    Bert Blyleven (339 ws, 50 more than any other pitcher on the ballot)

    Rich Gossage (13.44 ws/100 ip, omitting 1976, when he mostly started)

    Lee Smith (15.36 ws/100 ip)

  25. Tim Raines (second best leadoff hitter ever)
    Mark McGwire
    Bert Blyleven
    Jim Rice
    Andre Dawson

    Note: Robb Nen has just about as many saves careerwise as Goose Gossage.

  26. Rich Gossage: almost got in last year, as of the end of the 1980's, only 3 people had 300 career saves, Sutter, Fingers, and Gossage, time to make them all hall of famers

    Jim Rice: 5 time's was top 5 in the league in homers and top 5 MVP voting, would probably have a ring if not for a curse

    Andre Dawson: Gold Glove fielder, Silver Slugger, one of 6 players with 300+ career homers and steals (although his companions on that list is not impressive)

    Don Mattingly: Gold Glove fielder, very good hitter, career was shorten due to injury, but so was Ralph Kiner, Sandy Koufax, and Addie Joss, and they all made the hall of fame. Plus bonus points for lasting a career with just the Yankees while Steinbrener, king of the non-stop employee transactions, reigned

    Alan Trammell: Gold Glove fielder, very good hitter for his position

    Tim Raines: 5th all-time in SB, 3 of the 4 above him are in the hall of fame, the 4th isn't elligible yet

    Mark McGwire: 12 time all-star, tremendous OBP considering how low his AVG was, he may or may not have cheated, but his contemporaries might also have all cheated. When in doubt, I look to how players did compared to their times. Home Run totals were high these last few decades. Yet McGwire was in the top 4 in his league in homers 9 times. In terms of never winning an MVP, not many guys with low batting averages win MVP's, it's one of the first statistics that voters look at. In 1998, he finished second to Sosa despite beating him in the Home Run Race, but Sosa had a better batting average and his team beat St. Louis in the standings. McGwire didn't deserve to be a first-ballot hall of famer forever associated with Gwynn and Ripken, but he deserves the Hall

    7, not bad considering i've always believed i'd vote for 10 if i ever got the chance, yay for restraint!

  27. damthesehigheels Says:

    1. baines
    2. blyleven
    3. dawson
    4. mcgwire
    5. murphy
    6. parker
    7. raines
    8. rice
    9. smith

  28. SingingNiceGuy Says:

    I think the fact that so many of these names stay on the ballot year after year matters. The 80's is SO highly overlooked. It's just unfortunate some of the names that were left out so far. So my first few picks are forgotten 80's stars.

    1. Bert Blyleven-I still don't know why he's not in, cause he didn't have 300 wins? Played on bad teams
    2. Goose Gossage-The true example of a relief pitcher during his era
    3. Jim Rice-Phenomonal hitter and one of the most feared hitters in the AL
    4. Andre Dawson-Same as Rice in the NL
    5. Alan Trammell-He was the best SS in his generation not named Ripken. His chances are hurt by the new era of SS
    6. Jack Morris-He helped three teams win a World Series. Enough said.
    7. Dave Parker-He's the hardest for me to vote for, but he was a great hitter and always near the top in stats.
    8. Don Mattingly-If he didn't get injured he would have been a first time ballot entry
    Every name I've listed in the my first seven were All Stars and top players from there teams. The other two are:
    9. Mark McGwire-Steroids or not, he was one of the best sluggers of his generation.
    10. Tim Raines-Fastest player and best stealer/run scorer in the NL during his time playing

  29. Blyleven
    Gossage
    McGwire
    Trammell

  30. Bert Blyleven
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice

  31. Bert Blyleven
    Goose Gossage
    Mark McGuire
    Tim Raines

    I can't believe people are voting for Dawson and Mattingly!

  32. And I can't believe anybody is voting for McGwire. He's the least valuable 500-HR hitter in history, and a lot less valuable than many guys who hit "only" 400 HR.

  33. damthesehigheels Says:

    i agree greatly with what someone said earlier with all players need to be judged against the players they played against. there was a book one time.... i forget its name... but it judged the 100 best players not in the hall of fame. but it gave all stats based on years they played.... how mcgwire ranked from 1986-2001 is of issue to me in the hypothetical hall of fame vote.

    not that i looked it up...

  34. Who's got Win Shares data for McGwire? Let's hear the list of other players with similar totals.

  35. freestroker Says:

    i vote for Gossage, Blyleven, Raines and Trammell.

  36. Andy, McGwire is 11th all-time in OPS and 12th all-time in OPS+. 21st all-time in Adjusted Batting Runs. 1st all-time in At Bats per Home Run. HOF Monitor = 169.5 . So he deserves a good number of votes.

  37. Well--you're making my point for me. First of all, the AB/HR is meaningless to me, since in a vacuum it doesn't tell you very much. Rob Deer and Phil Plantier are two guys who had some great years for AB/HR. Being 11th all-time in OPS is also not very meaningful since there's so much more offense these days.

    Now let's look at your other two stats: 12th all-time in OPS+: well, that IS quite impressive. But when you look at how that translates to runs, he drops down to 21st.

    I just don't think he was a very productive player. He made a lot of outs. He rarely played full seasons. (He topped 150 games only 7 times, and had 6 seasons of 104 games or fewer.) The fact that he finished in the top 5 for MVP only 3 times, and never won one, tells you that he wasn't perceived as all that valuable a player.

    And you are misusing the HOF Monitor stat. That stat is about HOW LIKELY a player is to get into the HOF, but very definitively NOT about HOW DESERVING a player is. It's the HOF Standards number that looks at how deserving he is, and there McGwire gets only a 42, with an average HOFer at 50. By that measure, he is a marginal HOFer. When you take the other stuff into account (before even thinking about him taking steroids and then lying about it), he is absolutely NOT a HOFer. Not now, not ever.

  38. [...] don’t forget to vote for the 2008 Hall of Fame [...]

  39. Re: McGwire
    Here's a list of the best RH sluggers of all time. The stats are based on BBRef 'neutralized' numbers to even the playing field a bit. I just can't ignore how McGwire stacks up. Like I said on my ballot, I don't mind if MM has to sweat it out for a few years, but eventually he should be in.
    Re: steroid use
    I have just come to terms that it was very prevalent for some time in baseball and we will never know who abused and how much or the exact impact on performance. So, for better or worse, I just decide to ignore it.

    NAME ABs XBH AB/XBH ISO SLG actual SLG
    A PUJOLS 4037 585 6.90 286 .614 .620
    M MCGWIRE 6301 857 7.35 325 .590 .588
    R HORNSBY 8756 1070 8.18 214 .575 .577
    H AARON 12778 1578 8.10 258 .573 .555
    M RAMIREZ 7142 955 7.47 270 .571 .593
    W MAYS 11247 1394 8.07 261 .570 .558
    H GREENBERG 5293 750 7.06 275 .569 .605
    J FOXX 8337 1062 7.85 263 .566 .609
    V GUERRERO 6003 751 7.99 249 .565 .579
    A RODRIGUEZ 7326 910 8.05 265 .564 .578
    D ALLEN 6500 811 8.01 255 .563 .534
    J DIMAGGIO 7030 875 8.03 245 .560 .579
    A BELLE 6060 813 7.45 267 .559 .564
    F THOMAS 8138 1028 7.92 256 .556 .561
    F ROBINSON 10326 1255 8.28 249 .551 .537

  40. My issue is not that he took steroids, but that he lied about it. And a guy is either a HOFer or not--I don't understand the idea of sweating it out.

  41. I'm "scoring at home" and the results are fascinating so far. For a while there it looked like no one was going to get 75%. Now there's one guy. But how long will he maintain the 75% threshold.

    I already voted, but I decided to list my comments for each player on the ballot. So these are NOT votes.

    Brady Anderson - NO and NEVER. no gold gloves. never in the top-ten in batting. top-ten in runs only twice. even in his best season he placed only 8th in the league in OPS+. I wouldn't even put him in the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame...but the Orioles *did*!

    Harold Baines - NO and NEVER. i always liked baines as a team player. but i am anti-DH to a fault. 1600 games at DH?! ack. no gold gloves. three times top-ten in batting. four times top-ten in OPS+. only one league title ever, SLG% in 1984.

    Rod Beck - NO and SOMEDAY. go-to-guy for 6 years. 2003 comeback was amazing. the 2060 Old Timers Committee better put him in to the Hall.

    Bert Blyleven - YES. Ten top-ten ERA finishes (12 top-ten ERA+ finishes). eleven top-ten WHIP finishes. 5th in all-time strike outs (3rd all-time when he retired). 13th in career IPs, and 9th! in career shut outs. 5-1 in post-season play with a 2.47 ERA. 16 out of his 22 seasons he was top-ten in SO to Walk ratio.

    Dave Concepcion - NO but SOMEDAY. five gold gloves. 2 WS rings. i simply ran out of room on my ballot for him. 12 RBIs in 20 World Series games.

    Andre Dawson - YES. Rookie of the Year. MVP (and runner-up twice). EIGHT!! gold gloves (4 as a CF and 4 as RF). 400 HR-300 SB (along with only Mays and Barry Bond). five times top-ten in batting. eleven top-ten TB finishes (including two titles). eight top-ten RBI finishes (including one title). three top-ten SB finishes. sadly, 2nd only to Rafael Palmeiro in most games played and never getting to a World Series.

    Shawon Dunston - NO and NEVER. wasn't Shawon part of a blog discussion earlier this year...three stints with the Giants, and two with the Cubs.

    Chuck Finley - NO. ten top-ten SO finishes. five top-ten ERA+ finishes. never led the league in anything outside of the strike year.

    Travis Fryman - NO and NEVER. one Gold Glove. never led the league in anything important.

    Rich Gossage - YES. Before there were CLOSERS there were FIREMEN. Pitchers who came into a JAM and ended the inning and later ended the game. A closer usually only comes in when there's no one on base. 12 consecutive World Series scoreless innings over seven games. 11 times top-ten in saves. 9 times top-ten in games finishes. 1000+ games pitched. lifetime ERA+ of 126. As far as I know, the ONLY player to represent four different divisions in the All-Star Game (AL West (White Sox), NL East (Pirates), AL East (Yankees), NL West (Padres)...and there were only four divisions back then.) By the way, did you ever notice his 1981 ERA+? 461!! Wasn't he only the 2nd guy to get 300 saves?

    Tommy John - NO, but maybe someday, but maybe not. 288 wins is 6th for left-handers. 6-3 in the post season with a 2.65 ERA. seven times in the top-ten in Shut Outs, including three times leading the league. six top-tens in ERA+. never really dominated.

    David Justice - NO and NEVER. 112 post-season games!! and a .224 batting average to show for it? and a .382 slugging percentage to show for it? only once in the top ten in total bases, and only once in the top ten in RBIs!! no gold gloves.

    Chuck Knoblauch - NO, but maybe someday. In 1999 he seemed like a future shoe-in, on is way to 3000 hits and 2000 runs and 600 SBs. Rookie of the Year Award. One Gold Glove. Four World Series Rings (batted .327 in his first three WS, and .071 in his next two). 7 times top-ten in runs. 6 times top-ten in SBs. His demise breaks my heart.

    Don Mattingly - YES. DONNIE BASEBALL. Nine Gold Gloves. MVP award. One batting title, and four other top-ten finishes (including one behind Boggs). Two hits titles (and five other top-seven finishes). Two total base titles (and three other top-six finishes). Three consecutive doubles titles (only Speaker and Wagner had four consecutive. Brouthers, Hornsby, Medwick, Musial and Rose had three consecutive). 11 times top-ten in At Bats per Strikeout. Holds the Yankee season record for Hits and for Doubles. Hit six grands in a season (still the record). Hit at least one home run in eight consecutive games (still the record). Made 22 putouts at firstbase in a nine-inning game (still a record). From 1984 to 1989, Mattingly had 684 RBIs - nobody else had more. Also during that time only Wade Boggs had more hits (1,269) than Mattingly's 1,219. Led American League first basemen in fielding percentage for four consecutive years (still the record). I could go on and on.

    Mark McGwire - YES. Rookie of the Year. One Gold Glove. ALL-TIME LEADER in At Bats per Home Run, with seven titles in the category. Broke Maris' single-seasn HR record, and at a time when baseball needed a hero. FOUR OPS+ titles, 12th all-time (and 4th all time for RH batters). 1.94 MVP shares. 9th in all-time slugging% (5th for RH batters). Eight times top-ten in Adjusted Batting Runs, 21st all time. Six-times top ten in RBIs. Truly awful in the World Series, though. .188 avg. and .271 slugging in 13 games.

    Jack Morris - YES. 4-2 in World Series play, with a 2.96 ERA, and maybe the best WS pitching performance since 1970. 12 top-ten finishes in wins. eight top-ten finishes in strike outs. 11 top-ten finishes in games started. five times top-ten in ERA. The workhorse of his era.

    Dale Murphy - YES. 2 MVPs, 5 Gold Gloves. A great in his era. 7 times top-ten in total bases. 9 times top-ten in HRs. 6 times top ten in RBIs. 6 times top ten in OPS+. 7 times top-ten in At Bats per Home Run. 30-30 one year.

    Robb Nen - NO, but someday. 7 times IN A ROW top-ten in saves. 300 lifetimes saves. 8 times IN A ROW top-ten in games finished. 4 World Series saves.

    Dave Parker - NO, but maybe someday a yes. Cocaine really ruined the Cobra's chances. His two assists in that All-Star game are legend alone. Without the cocaine, he would have had 3000 hits, 450 home runs. But he still managed one MVP, 3 gold gloves, 2 consecutive batting titles, 3 total base title, 9 top-ten finishes in RBIs. 2 WS rings.

    Tim Raines - YES. 808 stole bases. lifetime .294 average, lifetime OPS+ of 123. 8 times top-ten in runs. 6 times top-ten in hits. 4 times top-ten in Total Bases. 100th all-time in total bases...and that's for a lead off-hitter. 4 consecutive stolen base titles. Five straight years finishing in the top-three in runs created. six straight years of finishing in the top-five in times on base.

    Jim Rice - YES. When Rice had 400+ TBs in 1978, he was the first guy to do it since Aaron in 1959, and the last guy to do it until Larry Walker in 1997. The only guy between 1960 and 1996 to reach 400 TB was Jim Rice. That is just to put things in perspective. Here's another thing. He led the league in Total Bases four times, three of them in a row. Who else has led the league in Total Bases three times in a row or more? Wagner and Klein did it four times in a row; Hornsby, Medwick, Mize, Aaron and Cobb did it three times in a row. Who wlese had led the league in Total bases four or more times in a career? Aaron (8 times), Hornsby (7), Wagner (6), Cobb (6), Ruth (6), Williams (6), Musial (6), Brouthers (4), Klein (4), Gehrig (4) and ARod (4 times).

    Jose Rijo - NO and NEVER. I love the Reds. But please.

    Lee Smith - YES. 2nd in all-time saves! 14 consecutive top-ten finishes in saves! 13 consecutive top-ten finishes in Games Finished. THE ALL-TIME leader in Games Finished.

    Alan Trammell - NO, but maybe another time. 4 Gold Gloves, World Series MVP. Five times top-ten in batting.

  42. kingturtle, while i did vote for McGwire, you cannot argue he belongs because he broke Roger Maris's home run record, Roger Maris is not in the Hall of Fame (although he should be considered a bit more).
    Imagine if we have a new Curse of the Bambino, that nobody who breaks Ruth's home run record and holds the record themselves (aka, discounting Sosa) gets into the Hall of Fame? Maris is not in, McGwire may not get in, and .......i'm not gonna judge if Bonds belongs or not, but going to jail won't help his cause at all

  43. This business of guys being voted in "not now but later" is ridiculous. A guy is either a HOFer or not a HOFer. The only reason I can think of for delaying a 'yes' vote is in the hopes of getting more information about something relevant. For example, if we felt that eventually we would know exactly which hitters and pitchers used PEDs and which didn't, then perhaps we could wait to vote on McGwire. If I turns out that McGwire was one of only 10 players to ever use PEDs, and everybody else can be cleared, then he clearly should not be voted in. But, I don't think definitive information of that type is forthcoming, and therefore it doesn't make sense to wait.

  44. The reason for delaying a YES vote is because there are only 10 available slots on a ballot. In one particular year, Rod Beck might be 13th on my list; in another season he might be 9th. It all depends on who else is on the ballot for a particular year.

  45. Jgeller, I didn't mean to make it sound like McGwire's breaking Maris' single-season HR record was enough for a Hall of Fame vote. I meant that it should be considered along with his other achievements. Like with Mattingly's PO record...it isn't enough my itself to get into the Hall, but it sure is a nifty little thing to add to his resume.

  46. that's a good point.

  47. David in Toledo Says:

    Staying away from this post after I've voted is one of the hardest things I've had to do. Politics can be addicting. I am constantly tempted to comment on the last person's vote (or his/her comment).

    Re #34. Bill James credited Mark McGwire with 342 win shares. My formula (see "Bert Blyleven vs." thread comment #2, Nov. 29, 2007) is that a first baseman needs 365 win shares to have a prima facie case for HofF based on career win shares. (NOT that this one metric is determinative -- just that it creates a presumption for me, one that then needs rebuttal.) So by this one career measure, McGwire comes up short, compared to Murray 437, McCovey 408, Killebrew 371, Stargell 370, Mize 338 and WWII, etc. But see also Tony Perez 349, Orlando Cepeda 310. Consider Dick Allen 342. Does McGwire get sympathy for playing time missed or blame because he may have caused some of his own physical breakdown?

    If, on the other hand, you measure win shares/500 plate appearances, you get these numbers (selected examples only): Barry Bonds 28.32, McGwire 22.32, Gwynn 19.45, Barry Larkin 19.10, Raines 18.82, Trammell 16.99, Dale Murphy 16.26, Dave Parker 16.05, Andre Dawson 15.79, Jim Rice 15.57, Concepcion 13.95, etc.

    Keep in mind that win shares attempt to credit defense and baserunning as well as hitting, and that their supporters claim that ws compare players from different eras fairly. That said, a player is more likely to accumulate win shares as a corner outfielder than as a shortstop or a catcher. Perhaps that's because the most powerful athletes tend to be placed at corner outfield positions where they are less likely to break down (and can, therefore, have longer careers).

    With regard to the character question, McGwire could have done worse (he was nice to his son and he isn't indicted) and could have done better (he might have just said "no" to HGH or he might have been more "stand-up" at the Congressional hearings). You can emphasize either side.

    Okay, I can't help myself. Jack Morris and Bert Blyleven pitched at almost exactly the same span of years. Part of a pitcher's job is to eat up innings. Morris has an ERA+ of 105 for 3824 innings. Blyleven's ERA+ is 118 for 4970 innings. 100 is league average, higher is better. Win shares measures the career difference 339 to 225. Yes, Jack Morris belongs in a World Series Hall of Fame.

    Okay, I can't help myself some more. Career win shares Raines 390, Rice 282, same position in the field. The year Jim Rice had 406 total bases (in 746 plate appearances), he advanced his team 456 bases (adding walks, hbp, steals, subtracting gdp and cs). In 1983, Raines advanced Montreal 427 bases in 720 pa; in 1985, it's 409 bases in 665 pa; 1987, 405 bases in 627 pa. Rice's % for his best year is .611. Raines's for these three years, .616. And that's offense only, not considering career longevity. If you like Rice, you gotta love Raines.

  48. Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson
    Rich Gossage
    Tommy John
    Mark McGwire
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice

  49. David, who says you need to stay away after you vote? Your insights are great and much appreciated. Keep coming back.

    I had a feeling McGwire didn't do well in total Win Shares. I don't see any reason for crediting him for time missed...it's not like he was serving in the military.

  50. A lot of those rookie cards look familiar. :^)

    Bert Blyleven
    Dave Concepcion
    Andre Dawson
    Rich Gossage
    Don Mattingly
    Jack Morris
    Dale Murphy
    Jim Rice

  51. That reminds me: statboy pointed out that I didn't put up Dawson's rookie card. Here is his real rookie card:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2416/2100948681_f1877b8e6b.jpg?v=0

  52. David in Toledo Says:

    It feels as if I'm campaigning within 500 feet of a polling place. Still, I wanted to check out the "He was the most feared batter of his time" argument (not used here, I think, but elsewhere) with a metric.

    Jim Rice received 77 intentional passes (top seasons 10, 10, 8); Tim Raines was walked on purpose 148 times (top seasons 26, 18, 14, 13, 9, 9, 9).

    Does this mean Jim Rice was on a better-hitting club and there was already someone on first base? That Raines was far and away the most dangerous Expo? But there must have been someone on second base when Raines was waved to first, because giving Raines an intentional walk would have been like giving him a double. What was Rickey Henderson's high in IBB? Eight.

    So I checked win shares for 1987, when Raines was walked on purpose 26 times. Here are win shares for the first seven in the MVP voting: Andre Dawson 20, Ozzie Smith 33, Jack Clark 33, Tim Wallach 28, Will Clark 25, Darryl Strawberry 30, Tim Raines 34. 7th in MVP voting, 1st in win shares. And since Raines got more intentional walks (as well as win shares) than did any of these other guys, the pitchers knew something the BBWA couldn't quite figure out.

  53. To start with: AWESOME Rookie Cards! So clean, very rare to see them in such nice shape, well done.
    My list (in no particular order)
    (1) Burt "Be Home" Blyleven -- when are the writers going to give this guy his due credit.
    (2) Jack Morris -- 250+ wins and maybe the best World Series pitching perfomance ever (1-0 shutout in 10 inning in game 7!) Won World Series with 3 different teams and was the Ace on all of them.
    (3) Andre Dawson -- all around total stud. Great 5-tool player.
    (4) Rich Gossage -- Loved the "see if you can hit this smoke" pitching philosphy.
    (5) Jim Rice -- was the dominant American League hitter in the late 70s and early 80s. Not his fault that back then 30 HRs and 100 RBI was a good season (as opposed to a good All-Star break total now).
    (6) Dale Murphy -- see comment son Jim Rice above. Not as good a hitter byt a better fielder and two-time MVP. Great community guy to boot.
    (7) Tommy John -- 288 wins, Nuff Said.
    For Mark McGwire I say, "Not Yet"

  54. David in Toledo Says:

    Somebody stop me.

    1987 still. Andre Dawson's MVP year. Playing on the last-place Cubs, he is walked on purpose 7 times (Tim Raines 26). Dawson advances his team 385 bases in 662 plate appearances; Raines (see post 47 above) 20 MORE bases in 35 FEWER trips to the plate. Dawson makes 463 outs, Raines makes 372. If you like Andre Dawson, you gotta love Tim Raines.

  55. In: Blyleven, Raines, McGwire (ick), Gossage, Smith

  56. David in Toledo Says:

    Incidentally, 1987 was Dale Murphy's best year as a hitter (by the OPS+ metric). And, at age 31, his last good hitting year. And, in 1987, he was the only NL hitter to be walked intentionally more times than Tim Raines (29 vs. 26). Bases advanced/plate appearance (see #47 above): Raines .646, Murphy .648. Outs made by: Raines 372, Murphy 490. Win shares: Raines 34, Murphy 29. Does anybody know an article that explains what happened to Murphy after age 31?

  57. My list in alphabetical order, submitted without comment
    1. Blyleven
    2. Dawson
    3. Gossage
    4. Morris
    5. Raines
    6. Rice
    7. Trammell

  58. In no particular order:

    1. Bert Blyleven - Wins and K's get him in. Don Sutton anyone?

    2. Dave Concepcion - Not a power hitter but one of the best defensively of all time.

    3. Andre Dawson - He could do it all. And well.

    4. Rich Gossage - Intimidation and consistency at a high level.

    5. Mark McGwire - He should be in by the sound of his hits alone.

    6. Jack Morris - Power. And wins.

    7. Dale Murphy - Can a better player over a 7 year time frame by Hall standards still be out?

    8. Tim Raines - Only thing Rickey has on him is more SBs

    9. Jim Rice - Perpetually a top player

  59. The only way Stottlemeyer gets into the HOF is if he pays his $12 entry fee

    My list:
    Blyleven
    Dawson
    Mattingly
    Raines
    Trammell....NOT as a manager

  60. Blyleven
    Raines
    Smith
    John

    Honorable mention: Baines, Mattingly, McGwire, Murphy, Parker

  61. Blyleven, John, McGwire, Raines, Rice. Thoughts on McGwire...1)Baseball, sportswriters and most thinking fans knew he was juicing and didn't do anything about it, 2)It seems as if many, if not most, of his peers were juicing, 3) pitchers were juicing too-a "major league fastball" used to be high 80's to low 90's-not anymore, 4) ballparks are smaller, thereby increasing homeruns. If we keep him out of the hof for that, there goes a lot of guys, 5) A lot of what he used wasn't illegal when he used it, and 6) Bud Selig is a hypocrite. I think he knew exactly what was going on and ignored it because it made for more ticket sales. Where's the accountability for him?

  62. "Does this mean Jim Rice was on a better-hitting club and there was already someone on first base? That Raines was far and away the most dangerous Expo? But there must have been someone on second base when Raines was waved to first, because giving Raines an intentional walk would have been like giving him a double."

    After a quick sample of the 1987 Expos box scores, it would appear that NL managers were much more comfortable facing Tim Wallach or Mitch Webster than Raines. I also noticed a couple times where Raines was walked with a man on first.

    Raines was the #3 hitter for that team through the end of July and he had 10 free passes when he moved to the leadoff spot in front of Webster. There were a couple games where he had 2 IBB.

  63. Blyleven
    Raines
    Trammell
    McGwire

  64. Bert Blyleven
    Andre Dawson
    Goose Gossage
    Tim Raines
    Harold Baines
    Tommy John
    Jack Morris
    Jim Rice
    Dave Parker
    Dale Murphy

  65. I'm hoping to get a lot more ballots here, so if anybody wants to post a link to this post on other blogs, sites, etc please do so.

  66. My votes:
    Blyleven
    Dawson
    McGwire
    Raines
    (Nobody who pitches fewer than 2,000 career innings should be considered for the Hall.)

  67. So, Diz, then you discount Rollie Fingers, Dizzy Dean himself, Bruce Sutter, Kid Nochols, Clark Griffith, and Satchel Paige? And Gossage and Lee Smith have no chance?

  68. If you want to see some more nice baseball cards for some of the candidates, check out this nice post at Cardboard Junkie:

    http://cardjunk.blogspot.com/2007/12/hall-of-fame-ballot.html

  69. damthesehigheels Says:

    wait we're seriously debating tim raines' 1987 intentional walk count to decide if he should be in the hall?

  70. In response to Andy's post, I don't know who Kid Nochols was, but Kid Nichols pitched more than 5,000 innings in the majors, so he easily makes my cut. Clark Griffith was elected as an executive, and Satchel Paige was elected for his Negro Leagues achievements, so they're safe, too. I'd have no trouble expelling the other Hall of Famers he mentions, even my namesake. Gossage should be elected next month, and Smith may make it someday, too, but they wouldn't get my votes -- nor would Mariano Rivera or any of the other current closers. It's the most overrated role in baseball.

  71. Yes, Diz, and how about Dizzy Dean? 1967.3 IP lifetime.

  72. "wait we’re seriously debating tim raines’ 1987 intentional walk count to decide if he should be in the hall?"

    I think David in Toledo was just pointing out a somewhat surprising stat on Raines. I was just looking a little deeper at his IBB's that year.

    When the ballot first came out this year, none of the names on it jumped out at me. I have a better appreciation for Raines' accomplishments now and he may get my vote next year. :^)

  73. David in Toledo Says:

    Thanks, zimcity.

  74. Trammell
    Dawson
    Raines
    Lee Smith
    Blyleven
    Morris
    McGwire

  75. Trammell
    Gossage
    Dawson
    Concepcion
    Blyleven
    Raines
    John

    In no particular order.

  76. [...] is a reminder that you can vote for 2008 Hall of Fame candidates right here. Voting is open for another couple of weeks. I’m hoping for 100 complete [...]

  77. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Here's my ballot:
    1) No one
    2) Nada
    3) El zipo

    That's right - no one deserves the HoF this year. Raines - close but too low an OPS (lower than Harold Baines). barely higher than Richie Ashburn and Lou Brock - two other guys who I think didn't deserve the HoF.

    Blyeven - pitched a long time. Too similar to Tommy John and Mike Mussina to belong.

    Gossage - close but not quite. Too far down the saves list, too far down the holds list, and too high on the BS list. Would probably make it if he never had to face George Brett. Alas he did.

  78. Voting for nobody is certainly fine if that's how you feel, although I don't understand how being similar to John and Mussina is a justification. I don't think a comparison to Mussina makes sense since they pitched in such different eras, and John pitched for much better teams.

  79. 1) Mark McGuire
    2) Rich Gossage
    3) Bert Blyleven
    4) Jim Rice
    5) Lee Smith
    6) Tim Raines
    7) Tommy John

    and the best lefty third baseman of the modern era - Donnie Baseball

  80. Sorry, there is no "McGuire" on the ballot.

  81. 1) Tim Raines
    2) Mark McGwire
    3) Rich Gossage

  82. 1) Bert Blyleven
    2) Goose Gossage
    3) Jack Morris
    4) Dave Parker

  83. My list:

    Baines
    Blyleven
    Murphy
    Parker
    Raines

  84. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Andy - and all others:

    Tommy John - W 288 - L 231 ERA 3.34 *lgera 110 4xAS
    Bert Blyleven - W287 - L 250 ERA 3.31 *lgera 118 2xAS
    Mike Mussina - W 250 - L 144 ERA 3.70 *lgera 122 5xAS

    Blylevin is virtually the same pitcher as TJ (.03 lower era, 1 few win, more losses, fewer AS games) and was not as good as Mussina (lower adjusted era - fewer AS appearances). Since TJ didn't make the HoF, and most people feel Moose has had a very good but not HoF career, why does Blylevin belong?

  85. Because John consistently played for much better teams and had much better run support throughout his career. Who has the Win Shares data for these 3 guys?

  86. Bert Blyleven - Go to http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/blylebe01.shtml, go to the upper right and "Neutralize Stats". Look what happens to Blylevens career numbers. You don't get this much difference with most other Hall of Fame pitchers, except Gaylord Perry, who also pitched for some poor ballclubs. Go to retrosheet.com and look at Blylevens box scores during his first seven years in the league. He lost alot of games in which his pitching was brilliant. Yes it happens on occasion, but with Blyleven it was on a regular basis.

    Rich Gossage - He should be in the Hall.

  87. Holy cow, I never even looked at Blyleven's neutralized stats...he'd be 98 games over .500 with 325 wins. Insane. If he had just been on average teams, this wouldn't even be a discussion...he'd have been in the HOF 10 years ago.

  88. I plan on punching the chads - don't shoot over a typo.

  89. Fair enough.

  90. Backinthehobbyforgoodthistime Says:

    Dawson
    Gossage
    Murphy
    Parker
    Raines
    Rice
    Baines
    Blyleven
    John
    Trammell

    I vote for Jim Kaat for the Veterans Committee. :)

  91. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Tommy John - career WHIP 1.283
    Bert Blylevin - career WHIP 1.198
    Mike Mussina - career WHIP 1.190

    Still too similar for me. As far as "neutralized stats", please be careful when making such big adjustments. The box scores show Bert got a lot of no-decisions and losses when his team out-scored. But why where they consistently out-scored? If the wind is blowing in for Bert's team, the wind was blowing in for the other pitcher. Adding a few wins, removing losses for team effects is one thing. Adding 30% to the total makes a mockery of real wins and real losses.

  92. That argument doesn't hold a lot of water. Blyleven didn't get poor run support because the wind was blowing in. He got poor run support because the teams he played on WERE TERRIBLE. Yes, a few of the teams were decent, but most scored well below league average each year. THAT'S why he didn't get run support and why the lost so many games. For sure I agree that you can't simply scale numbers based on run support--you can't assume that Blyleven would pitch just as well with leads, that he wouldn't have become more lax or sloppy, etc, but he was just such a damn good pitcher that I can't believe he wouldn't have done considerably better. 325 wins? That might be an overestimate, but he at least would have had 300 and been right into the HOF.

    And you don't thing the difference between John and Blyeleven's career WHIP is significant? Over 4000 innings, that's 340 more baserunners for John. How did he end up with a career W/L so similar to Blyleven despite allowing so many more baserunners? Because he had a lot more run support. You switch John and Blyleven's teams, and Blyleven is already in the HOF whereas John is lucky if he's a .500 pitcher.

  93. rapastamia1 Says:

    1 Bains, love the DH please!!
    2 Blyleven, he has the number of wins, and was a big game pitcher.
    3 Dawson, even with an injury prone end of his career, his numbers are there, he also had one of the best arms (when he was young) i have ever seen.
    4 Gossage, on intimidation alone, was a "trailblazer" for the modern day closer,,, look for his profanity laced tirade on You Tube, it's surely a HOF tantrum.
    5 Tommy John, 2 segments to his career adding up to HOF numbers.
    6 McGwire, 70 homeruns are 70 homeruns, I don't care if your injecting rocket fuel.
    7 Raines, looking at the totality of his numbers is just plain fun
    8 Rice, played through an era in which power numbers were down as a whole but was one of the best players of that era. He was one of the strongest players based on muscles. I may be a bit bias on this one as i am a huge sox fan.
    9 Smith, he'll probably take a nap before his induction ceremony.

  94. generalbullmoose Says:

    Blyleven
    Morris (in spite of the 3.9 ERA)
    Rice
    Trammell

  95. Phineas Lives Says:

    Blyleven
    Gossage
    Mattingly
    Morris
    Raines
    Smith
    Trammel
    John

  96. David in Toledo Says:

    Career accomplishment as measured in win shares: Blyleven 339, Tommy John 289, Mike Mussina 256.

    And, for context, Roger Clemens 440, Greg Maddux 389, Randy Johnson 315, Tom Glavine 314, John Smoltz 285, Curt Schilling 254, Pedro Martinez 250, Mariano Rivera 184. More context: Robin Roberts 339, Nolan Ryan 334, Ferguson Jenkins 323, Red Ruffing 322, Don Sutton 319, Bob Gibson 317, Eppa Rixey 315, Ted Lyons 312, Jim Palmer 312, Early Wynn 309, Carl Hubbell 305 -- those guys are all in the Hall. By rough count, 25 pitchers with totals UNDER 300 are already in the Hall. For example, Juan Marichal 263, Jim Bunning 257, Catfish Hunter 206.

    Marichal was great (ERA+ better than Mussina in more career innings), but he had his last really good year at age 33. With pitchers, injuries deserve particular consideration when someone's peak value has been exceptional (Koufax, Dean also). With position players (Mattingly, e.g.), giving credit for injury time (particularly if it was a non-baseball injury) seems a little more dubious, though every case deserves its own argument. Tony Conigliaro after 3.5 seasons? Herb Score after two? Kirby Puckett's career ws total is only 281; a Hall of Fame cf with a full career should get to 350. Pedro Martinez will almost certainly not reach 300, but he will get special consideration because of his peak value and injury time.

    It's harder to get win shares as a reliever, so IMO that works in Smoltz's favor. And with one more year like 2007, Smoltz gets to 300. IMO, 300 for a pitcher creates a presumption in his favor -- nothing certain, just a presumption. By my reckoning, it's easier to have an ERA+ of 122 (Mussina) in 3362 innings, because when you pitch 4970 innings (Blyleven, ERA+ 118), fewer of them are at the height of your powers. Let's see what Mussina does in his next 1600 innings pitched.

    Another measure is peak value: Blyleven has 7 seasons in the 20's ws, with a high of 29. John has one (23). Yes, win shares are a statistician-made stat, but they comport with common sense. Bob Gibson, for example, had just as much career value (317) as Don Sutton (and got into the Hall faster than Sutton), even though Sutton (319) pitched 1400 more innings. Clemens and Maddux ARE way ahead of everyone else active in 2007. And the win shares system was not developed just to put Blyleven and Raines at the top of this year's class.

    Hey -- Mussina has been very good, and he's not finished, I hope. John was good for a very long time, and maybe he should get extra consideration for having been willing to pioneer a medical procedure. John, however, pitched only 60 innings fewer than Blyleven, and comes up SIGNIFICANTLY short in virtually every metric comparison: baserunners allowed, strikeouts, ERA+, win shares, complete games. Before I put Tommy John on my ballot, I've got Blyleven on there first.

  97. David in Toledo Says:

    As near as I can understand it, neutralizing stats (post 86, 87, 91, 92) adds 1 more win for Tommy John, adds 38 more wins for Bert Blyleven (13%, not 30%), and subtracts 17 wins from Mike Mussina. Maybe this makes sense, maybe it doesn't, but I understand in what direction it's pointing.

  98. David in Toledo Says:

    Blyleven's teams won 287 and lost 250 when he was eating up innings, including 242 complete games. As near as I can calculate, they won 1404 and lost 1388 other games while he was on the roster. Not a 1972 Steve Carlton difference. Of course, a pitcher who can win more than the team average while the rest of the staff gets the day off is helping to make the rest of the staff more effective than they would otherwise be.

  99. David in Toledo Says:

    Here's a baseball-reference.com comparison. On each pitcher's page, look at the 10 "most similar" at the bottom. For Blyleven, 8 of the 10 are in the Hall (all except John and Jim Kaat). For John, 6 of the 10 are in (all but Kaat, Tony Mullane, Tom Glavine, and Blyleven). For Mussina, 4 of the 10 are in (Clark Griffith got in as an executive). As mrbaseballcard points out, these are all good pitchers, comparable -- we're comparing them -- if not necessarily equal.

  100. I get the feeling that a lot of people are just looking for excuses not to vote for McGwire because he's the first player with the scarlet letter that has to be considered for the HOF. If you're going to exclude him for supplement use, fine, but years from now that will seem just as silly as sticking an asterisk next to Maris' 61. The ever more common tactic of writing him off as a one dimensional player, however, is ridiculous. His health and durability are a legitimate point against him, and subsequently most of his counting stats are below average for 1B/DH's, but all of rate stats (aside from BA) are among the best ever. ("That Pedro was a pretty good pitcher, but his win total just isn't impressive") Andy, I hope you were kidding when you knocked McGwire for making a lot of outs - career .394 OBP (.398 neutralized) means he DIDN'T make a lot of outs. I've even seen people elsewhere try to write McGwire off as the 90's Dave Kingman. Give me a break.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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.

  108. #102
    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.)

  109. A good rebuttal to Andy #106 from another gentleman's blog...Blyleven's All-Star case;
    http://theeverymanblog.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/bert-blylevens-hof-case/

  110. 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
    Gossage
    L. Smith
    B. Blyleven
    A. Dawson
    J. Rice
    H. Baines

  111. 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!

  112. 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

  113. 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.

  114. Remember that the Mitchell Report doesn't clear anybody...it 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

  115. 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.

  116. 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.

  117. In case some of you haven't seen this, and other articles supporting Blyleven's cause by Rich Lederer:
    http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2004/12/bert_blyleven_f_1.php

    Pretty heady stuff in there.

  118. 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.

  119. 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 http://www.bertbelongs.com for more fun interactive comparisions to other Hall of Fame pitchers.

  120. 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!

  121. 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.

  122. 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!

  123. 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)

  124. 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.

  125. 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)

  126. #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.

  127. 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.

  128. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Andy,

    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.

  129. I'll check Pete O'Brien this weekend.

  130. 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.

  131. Mr. mrbaseball card,
    Blyleven's rookie season was 1970, and I'll applaude your efforts to show the offensive totals. Go to http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/blylebe01.shtml 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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.

  135. alphabetically:
    Blyleven
    Gossage
    McGwire
    Raines
    Trammell

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

  136. centuryatoms Says:

    Bert Blyleven
    Mark McGwire
    Tim Raines
    Jim Rice
    Alan Trammell

    Hope you get the 100 ballots

  137. 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.

  138. Blyleven, Gossage, McGwire, Trammell, and Raines.

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

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

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

  142. My vote:

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

    and

    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?

  143. Nice analysis, duckdaring. Thanks.

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

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

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

  147. Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines, Goose Gossage, Alan Trammel

  148. [...] 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 [...]

  149. Philip Christy Says:

    Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines, Alan Trammel, Mark McGwire

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

  151. TempletonSox Says:

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

  152. roadrunner1323 Says:

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

  153. 1. Blyleven
    2. Raines
    3. Trammell

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

  155. The results of this poll are now posted here:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/sotd/archives/515