Wednesday, January 08, 2014

New 2014 Hall of Famers

The Baseball Hall of Fame announcement has now occurred, and Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas have made it to the Hall! They are richly deserving, and they join the richly deserving trio of managers (Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre). Also note the distinctively Braves-themed set of inductees, and it is nice to see Cox, Maddux, and Glavine go in together.

It looks like Biggio didn't quite make it this year (despite estimates based on 'exit polls' that he would be just over the 75% bar). Lame. Incredibly lame. We'll see what the percentages look like once those are out. From the exit polls, I know that at least one person didn't vote for Maddux, which is also incredibly lame.

A couple of hours ago, I wrote the following comments on Buster Olney's most recent article that focuses on the Hall of Fame, performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), etc.

(1) The big increase for Bagwell (and others) from year 1 on the ballot to year 2 presumably includes a significant effect of many people distinguishing between a "first-ballot HOFer" and merely "an HOFer". People can argue about whether there should be such a distinction --- I think it's a reasonable one --- but many writers do seem to vote that way, so that is an important factor when considering subsequent increases in vote percentages. That effect can only occur once.

(2) I am fine with known PED users being in the Hall, but I would like a statement of it (if there is hard evidence) on their plaques. For example, McGwire's case (which would admittedly be more clear cut than most in this respect) could include a sentence "Admitted to using ... in [year he admitted it." That way, these people are in the Hall as part of history, and the uglier part of their history is _also_ being documented. Visitors to the Hall will read this and can judge the player for themselves. The Hall can --- and should --- be used to inform.

Update: As reported in this article, Biggio fell only 0.2% shy of being elected. Given the number of voters, this should imply that he missed by only 1 or 2 votes. I guess he'll get in next year, but (a) ouch and (b) he should already have been elected in his first year of eligibility. After Biggio, it looks like the next highest candidate was Mike Piazza with 62.2% of the vote (though he was projected to be in the high 60s based on an exit poll that had tabulated just over 1/3 of the estimated HOF ballots). Jack Morris was at 61.5% in his 15th and final year on the ballot. I'm glad he didn't make it, as he doesn't deserve to be in the HOF, and his tally presumably went down because the HOF ballot is exceptionally crowded this year. A crowded ballot is a continuing theme of HOF elections that won't go away any time soon.

Update 2: The website above now has the vote totals. It looks like there were 571 ballots in total. Based on that, Biggio missed by 2 votes. Jeff Bagwell, Tom Raines, and many others unfortunately saw their percentages go down (presumably due to the crowded ballot). Rafael Palmeiro failed to achieve the 5% mark to remain on the ballot next year. Sammy Sosa received enough votes to remain on the ballot in 2015. Next year will be Don Mattingly's 15th and final year on the ballot. I believe that his largest vote total was in his 1st year, and his support has been going down since then. He did have a few brilliant years, but injuries curtailed his performance and cut his career very short, and he doesn't deserve to be enshrined in the Hall.

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