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Hall and Oats

Your new Hall of Famers:

Roberto Alomar — and (at long last, love) Bert Blyleven.

Barry Larkin’s totals were third-highest, with 62.1% of the vote (short of the 75% needed, but in good shape to get in a few years down the road); Jack Morris managed 53.5%, Lee Smith 45.3% (…seriously?), and Jeff Bagwell 41.7%, so get ready to have that fun discussion all over again next year. You can see the full results over at the BBWAA’s high-tech website of the future.

According to Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system and series of articles over at Baseball Prospectus, there were eight deserving candidates on the ballot this year: Roberto AlomarJeff BagwellBert BlylevenBarry LarkinEdgar MartinezMark McGwireTim Raines, and Alan Trammell. I wasn’t so sure about Raines and Trammell initially, but I’ve completely come around on Rock over the last year and I’m edging towards being convinced on Trammell. It’d help if the guy had a better nickname, which I believe is not a factor JAWS takes into consideration, but it really ought to be. That’s something I’ll have to bring up with Jay, and I won’t have to wait long because he’s chatting live over at BP this very moment.

For those of you who are sick of reading and debating about the Hall of Fame, exhale. For those who aren’t, have at it in the comments. What would your ballot look like?


1 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:26 pm

I think i only would have added Larkin and Raines. Maybe Edgar.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:26 pm

[1] *added to Alomar and Blyleven, of course.

3 Emma Span   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:28 pm

And yes, it's kinda crazy that Kevin Brown only got 12 votes (2.1%). Although I can't say I would have voted for him. Maybe this is that rare instance of agreement where everyone just thought "close, but nah"...

Raines is still far away but he's closer than he was last year; I could see him following the Blyleven Trail.

4 rbj   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:32 pm

Bagwell, Larkin, should get in soon. Martinez, Raines & Trammell I'm on the fence about.

McGwire's one claim is 500 home runs. And while steroids don't help you hit HRs, they can keep you on the field in order to hit those homers. But greenies did the same for many players over many years. And then there's Tommy John surgery and arthroscopic surgery. And the penalty for getting caught is first 50 games, then 100 games. And do we keep out players who've used marijuana or cocaine?

5 Emma Span   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:34 pm

I'm a little disappointed that not even ONE brave or wacky soul voted for Mayor Raul Mondesi.

6 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:40 pm

[5] I thought the couple of guys who still are in Montreal (one of them, I think, is a cartoonist) would have voted for one-time Expo Kirk Rueter.

[3] I also can't believe that Juan Gone got more votes than Brown.

My ballot would have been: Alomar, Bagwell, Blyleven, Larkin, Edgar Martinez, McGwire, Raines, Trammell, and Walker. I would like to add McGriff, but I wouldn't add Palmiero, and I think that's pretty illogical and inconsistent.

And as I don't think there's a write in line, I'd scribble Lou Whitaker in one of the margins.

7 thelarmis   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:42 pm

rock raines is a definite hall of famer. i'll be quite pleased if he follows blyleven's route, though i hope he makes it in before his penultimate try...

yeah, kevin brown shoulda been given more careful consideration and not be one-and-done...

8 RIYank   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:45 pm

Those two guys, definitely, plus Bagwell.
I think Bags is being punished for playing during the steroid era, which sucks.

9 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:46 pm

in addition to alomar and blyleven, i could muster support for larkin, trammel, raines, bagwell, edgar, and the admitted roid guys mcgwire, and raffy if we need to go there.

what did you guys think of stark's recent column begging for the HOF to make the call on the roid guys (ie it's OK or not OK to vote for these guys)? i thought he kinda missed the point. is the situation so unclear that he requires institutional direction to decide how to vote? and what would that institutional direction be? "yes, we want roiders here" or "keep them all out?"

if it's a vote-based system, the voters have to be the front of the battle. they can't turn back to the HOFand say, yeah, we're not dealing with that aspect of it.

10 ms october   ~  Jan 5, 2011 2:53 pm

good for blylevn and alomar.
i'm glad robbie didn't have to do this year after year.

i would also like to see trammel, raines, larkin, and bagwell in.
more on the fence about edgar and mcgwire.

hopefully the "sabr-campaign" will move from bert to one of the other worthy candidates next year like raines and get him in.

11 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:02 pm

someone's knockin' at the door,
somebody's ringin' the bell,
someone's knockin' at the door,
somebody's ringin' the bell,
do me a favor,
open the door,
and let 'em in

sing it with Paul, 1976 stylee


12 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:07 pm

Rootin'-Tootin' Blyleven; though that shirt only works if you're morbidly obese...

[9] That thought led me to thinking about a short conversation between Dominique Fanchon and Peter Keating in The Fountainhead:

Keating: "I'm taking a poll to find out what people think of The Enright House..."
Fanchon: "Why? So you'll know what to think yourself?"

13 Shaun P.   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:14 pm

[9] Stark doesn't come out and say so, but the simple thing for the HoF to do would be to eliminate the "character clause" that is part of the written instruction to the voters on how to vote:

"Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played."

Joe Posnanski has a great column about this from 2009 (he touched on this again last week). It makes sense to me. How are the writers to ever properly judge these guys' integrity and character?

I don't think it will entirely eliminate the morality police aspect, but it might reduce it.

14 bags   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:24 pm

i'd vote for bags. just sayin'.

15 thelarmis   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:32 pm

[14] Milt Jackson!

16 Emma Span   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:36 pm

[14] Me too, buddy, me too.

17 OldYanksFan   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:37 pm

[4] Except Mark has the BEST AB/HR ratio of any player in history. Better then then Babe (2) or Bonds(4). So McGuire didn't 'accummulate' HRs base on a lot of ABs.

This is a guy who, at 23, hit 49 HRs in his rookie year. His career OPS/OPS+ is .982 and 162 (compared to Aaron's at .928 and 155). McGuire is a no-doubt HOFer. Not even close.

P.S. Ryan Howard is THIRD all-time in AB/HR

18 OldYanksFan   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:40 pm

Oh.... and Beltre struck gold with the Rangers at 6/$96m.
This is a 31 yr old 3rd baseman with a career .790 OPS.
My guess is in 6 years, ARod is still outproducing him.

19 Chyll Will   ~  Jan 5, 2011 3:41 pm

[15] Millie Jackson?

20 cult of basebaal   ~  Jan 5, 2011 4:16 pm

This is a guy who, at 23, hit 49 HRs in his rookie year.

Which ain't *nothing* and *is* something ... bust also happened in 1987, when the ball was juiced, instead of the players ...

21 The Mick536   ~  Jan 5, 2011 4:20 pm

Bags. Wished I had seen him more. Still unsure about the steroid guys, one of whom I don't think is Bags.

22 Mattpat11   ~  Jan 5, 2011 4:22 pm

Looking at the list for 2012, I think there's a real good chance no one gets in next year


23 RIYank   ~  Jan 5, 2011 7:22 pm

[20] Oh, that would make a great title for a book about those innocent halcyon days: "Only the Ball Was Juiced." (Inspired, of course, by this.)

24 The Hawk   ~  Jan 5, 2011 8:42 pm

Why wouldn't steroids help you hit homeruns? Isn't that the whole point? Get stronger, hit with more power.

25 omarcoming   ~  Jan 5, 2011 9:13 pm

Did Blyleven get better in the last few years? The HOF is for players who have been great, not just very good.

26 RIYank   ~  Jan 5, 2011 9:55 pm

[25] Fifth, all time, strikeouts. Eighth, all time, shutouts. Eight seasons he was in the top five in baseball in Runs Saved Above Average.
His rate numbers, like ERA+, are not as impressive, so people who favor rate over totals aren't going to like Blyleven as much. That's fair. But, I'd say his stellar post-season record makes up for his rate deficiency (and I do think totals, or "counting stats", are very important for HoF credentials).

So no, he didn't get better. The voters just got smarter in the last few years, is all.

27 omarcoming   ~  Jan 5, 2011 10:36 pm

If you have to think about it for more than ten seconds or look up the numbers to prove a point then then there is no room at the inn er HOF.

28 Emma Span   ~  Jan 5, 2011 11:15 pm

[27] Ah, I disagree. Many things benefit from being thought about for more than 10 seconds.

I only saw Tim Raines play in the dwindling twilight of his career, with the Yankees. Going by that of course I didn't think of him as a Hall of Famer. When you go back and look at his numbers, though, and compare him to other players, and - yes - think about it, though - well, I was convinced and I'd vote for him now. If you'd asked me two or three years ago I'd have said no.

29 cult of basebaal   ~  Jan 5, 2011 11:40 pm

If you need to think about Bert Blyleven's case for the HOF for more than 10 seconds before deciding in the affirmative, that speaks far louder about you than it does about his career ...

30 Raf   ~  Jan 6, 2011 12:33 am

[4] Paul Molitor used cocaine, he's in the Hall of Fame.

[6] It's not that hard to believe, considering that Gonzalez had a pretty big postseason as well as claim to a couple of MVP's. While I don't necessarily agree with that criteria, I can see baseball writers fawning over it.

[13] With guys like Ruth, Mantle & Cobb among others in the HoF, I don't think the "character clause" means as much to the voters as they'd like to think.

[24] There's more to the game than home runs; I would think that all numbers across the board would jump, not just home runs.

[28] It was kinda tough because he played in Montreal, but even there Raines was considered to be in Henderson's league

31 RIYank   ~  Jan 6, 2011 6:25 am

[29] There ya go.
Although I will give the writers credit for getting it right eventually. (It took them a little more than ten seconds.)

32 omarcoming   ~  Jan 6, 2011 9:37 am

My HOF would be a lot smaller. Tim Raines?

33 The Hawk   ~  Jan 6, 2011 10:10 am

[30] It all depends on your approach. If you're juicing and think, hey I'm juicing, let me swing for the fences" then your BA might be affected in funny ways. However if you maintain your pre-juicing approach then your BA should rise because you're hitting the ball harder ... thus making your OBP rise. Extra base hits, I figure them too, at least doubles. RBIs I suppose but it probably depends on your errrrrr "situational hitting".

So yes. But on the other hand, I was responding to someone that mentioned home runs.

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