2020 MLB Hall of Fame News and Notes

Wily Mo Lester

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Jul 26, 2007
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This Jeter debate is hilarious! The only question about Jeter's candidacy is whether or not he'll be the first one in unanimously. I get we're Sox fans and have been prone to highlighting all the ways he had been overrated, but most legends are based on bullshit. The dude is a legend and a generational icon. Thinking he's borderline is absurd.
Too late. Rivera was voted in unanimously in January of this year.

This is an interesting question. This is another situation where there's the truth and there's the public truth. Let's take Bonds abd Clemens out for a minute, they're a case of their own. Ostensibly, Manny and Sosa should be in the same boat. Both are all about the bat, both were caught multiple times, neither showed remorse.
As far as I can tell, Sosa only tested positive in the same 2003 test that dinged Ortiz and which Manfred has largely disavowed, stating (per Sosa's Wikipedia page), "it was important to make people understand that even if your name was on that list, that it was entirely possible that you were not a positive." Are you aware of additional failed tests that don't show up in a cursory Google search?
 

drbretto

guidence counselor
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Apr 10, 2009
10,252
Concord, NH
Too late. Rivera was voted in unanimously in January of this year.



As far as I can tell, Sosa only tested positive in the same 2003 test that dinged Ortiz and which Manfred has largely disavowed, stating (per Sosa's Wikipedia page), "it was important to make people understand that even if your name was on that list, that it was entirely possible that you were not a positive." Are you aware of additional failed tests that don't show up in a cursory Google search?
I was including the corked bat as an additional instance of cheating. But, You're right in that my memory is a bit fuzzy, but it wouldn't have been a failed test, it would have been proof he was involved in one of the bigger operations. I honestly forget how it all went down, haven't thought about it in years.

I wasn't including 2003 for anyone, though.

(Also no idea how I forgot about Rivera, thanks!)
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
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Oct 19, 2008
12,408
I’m pretty much right with you there on not giving these players the benefit of the doubt for their early career. In fact, I’m guessing Clemens stopped using from 1993-1995. He had a long term contract, and so didn’t need to be at his best, and we saw the numbers he put up were nothing like his 86-92 run. Then when free agency beckoned in 1996, he started using again around mid season to get his next contract, and he kept using because he wanted to stick it to Duquette for the “Twilight” comment.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
I'm assuming the difference between Manny, Sosa and Sheffield is partly general affection for each (Manny more, Sosa less), partly a differential view of the steroids issue, but also partly on-field:

Career WAR: Manny 69.4, Sheffield 60.5, Sosa 58.6
Career WPA: Sheffield 59.9, Manny 56.1, Sosa 25.0
Career OPS+: Manny 154, Sheffield 140, Sosa 128
JAWS vs (Position): Manny 54.7 (53.6), Sosa 51.2 (56.8), Sheffield 49.3 (56.8)

Manny was just better than the other two between the lines (and a lot more fun outside the lines), and would raise the HOF standards for his position whereas the other two would lower them. I expect him to last the full 10 years on the ballot (even if he never crosses 50%), while the other two may drop off at some point.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
This Jeter debate is hilarious! The only question about Jeter's candidacy is whether or not he'll be the first one in unanimously. I get we're Sox fans and have been prone to highlighting all the ways he had been overrated, but most legends are based on bullshit. The dude is a legend and a generational icon. Thinking he's borderline is absurd.



This is an interesting question. This is another situation where there's the truth and there's the public truth. Let's take Bonds abd Clemens out for a minute, they're a case of their own. Ostensibly, Manny and Sosa should be in the same boat. Both are all about the bat, both were caught multiple times, neither showed remorse.

But, Sosa bulked up out of the blue and started hitting like Babe Ruth in the height of the steroid era while Manny didn't get caught until the hububb was already mostly past us. We can still fool ourselves into thinking that Manny was clean for the Sox, then decided to try to extend his career. Sosa comes out looking like a direct product of cheating. Bonds and Clemens also both had HoF level careers as skinny guys before bulking up.

I'm assuming all 4 were on something illegal their entire careers, but it's all about perception.
No doubt that he's in, but I'll go on record saying that he will NOT be the first player voted in unanimously.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
1,877
I'm assuming the difference between Manny, Sosa and Sheffield is partly general affection for each (Manny more, Sosa less), partly a differential view of the steroids issue, but also partly on-field:
What? Manny was the target of constant criticism during his playing days from fans and writers alike. Maybe not on SoSH, but roughly everywhere else.
 

drbretto

guidence counselor
SoSH Member
Apr 10, 2009
10,252
Concord, NH
What? Manny was the target of constant criticism during his playing days from fans and writers alike. Maybe not on SoSH, but roughly everywhere else.
Yeah, but he's Manny being Manny, so when he does stupid things, it's cute.

And that literally might be all it is.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
yeah, he smiled a bunch, he joked with reporters, he came off as dumb as a post sometimes because they'd try to ask him about stuff that wasn't hitting, his teammates loved him and stuck up for him, etc. He wasn't a moody recluse like Sosa. He was sometimes quotable.

Again, not saying the stereotypes hold water, but over the course of their careers, Manny got painted in a pretty positive light as long as you weren't Dan Shaughnessy. The "cutting off Damon in the outfield" inside-the-park HR makes all-time blooper reels, as does half a dozen different Manny incidents. And the steroids stuff happened long after the Manny Story had largely been told, very late in his career, so it didn't really impact most people's emotions about him to the same extent. Whereas, Sosa was under suspicion from 1998 on. And of course, Sheffield told his whole BALCO story mid-career.
 

sean1562

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Sep 17, 2011
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yea, Manny could be annoying, but he was still the best hitter on the first Red Sox team to win the WS in decades. I was a teenage during those years and loved him. The Damon cut off ,the high fiving the fan in the stands after a catch, he at least seemed to be having fun out there when he was playing. kinda hope he makes it into the HoF
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
1,877
yeah, he smiled a bunch, he joked with reporters, he came off as dumb as a post sometimes because they'd try to ask him about stuff that wasn't hitting, his teammates loved him and stuck up for him, etc. He wasn't a moody recluse like Sosa. He was sometimes quotable.

Again, not saying the stereotypes hold water, but over the course of their careers, Manny got painted in a pretty positive light as long as you weren't Dan Shaughnessy. The "cutting off Damon in the outfield" inside-the-park HR makes all-time blooper reels, as does half a dozen different Manny incidents. And the steroids stuff happened long after the Manny Story had largely been told, very late in his career, so it didn't really impact most people's emotions about him to the same extent. Whereas, Sosa was under suspicion from 1998 on. And of course, Sheffield told his whole BALCO story mid-career.
I mean, I'm already on record as saying I'd vote for all three of them, but I just think this is revisionist history. Sosa has had an... unusual post-baseball life, but I don't see or recall any stories of Sosa being any kind of clubhouse troublemaker from his playing days. I think the Manny Being Manny stuff played in Boston, but a lot of fans (including quite a few who rooted/still root for the Red Sox) and writers had a low opinion of the guy. And his Sox tenure was not without controversy.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
7,742
What? Manny was the target of constant criticism during his playing days from fans and writers alike. Maybe not on SoSH, but roughly everywhere else.
He certainly got some shit on SoSH back in the day, particularly from the guy who ran that Boston Dirt Digs website before he got banned or left or whatever. I think most people here were inclined to support Manny, partly because the Boston media was so typically anti-player and partly because he was simply awesome, but there were definitely times we debated his pluses and minuses.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
The HOF has posted its ballot earlier today, so the 2020 BB HOF Tracker is now live at bit.ly/hof2020. Just has placeholder data for now, but real ballots will soon get posted.

The results announcement has gotten pushed back to Jan 21st this year (used to be first week of January), so we get an extra long time to listen to pontificating from people who are Old And In The Way.

View: https://twitter.com/NotMrTibbs/status/1196474735166550016
 

Tyrone Biggums

nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion
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Aug 15, 2006
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How the hell has Billy Wagner stayed on the ballot this long?
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Jul 13, 2005
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Charleston, SC
J.J. Putz?
There is a Screening Committee made up of 6 current hall of famers who create the ballot. To make the ballot, a player must be nominated by 2 of the 6 members of the committee. To be eligible, a player must have played in 10 seasons.

I can't find anywhere who the members of the committee are, or how many people they're allowed to nominate each.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
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Jul 20, 2005
4,560
Boston, MA
How the hell has Billy Wagner stayed on the ballot this long?
He was a better pitcher than almost all the other relievers in the Hall of Fame on a rate basis. He appeared in over 800 games with a 187 career ERA+. You can certainly argue that someone with only 850 career innings shouldn't be in, but if there's a place for one inning relievers, he should be one of them.
 

Tyrone Biggums

nfl meets tri-annually at a secret country mansion
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Aug 15, 2006
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He was a better pitcher than almost all the other relievers in the Hall of Fame on a rate basis. He appeared in over 800 games with a 187 career ERA+. You can certainly argue that someone with only 850 career innings shouldn't be in, but if there's a place for one inning relievers, he should be one of them.
That would be my argument. I'm aware he was excellent in the roles he was put in. 422 saves is great and all but I just don't think he logged enough innings. Just my opinion
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
1,877
I've said this before, but the no-shot guys like Putz are one of my favorite parts of the whole process. I think of it as an officially sanctioned version of Let's Remember Some Guys. A lot of sports fans only think about retired players in terms of the Hall or Nah binary, but this is a nice opportunity to remember that, hey, Bobby Abreu and Paul Konerko and Cliff Lee and Adam Dunn might not be anybody's idea of a Hall of Famer, but they all had pretty great careers in their own ways.
 

axx

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Jul 16, 2005
6,928
There is a Screening Committee made up of 6 current hall of famers who create the ballot. To make the ballot, a player must be nominated by 2 of the 6 members of the committee. To be eligible, a player must have played in 10 seasons.

I can't find anywhere who the members of the committee are, or how many people they're allowed to nominate each.
It does seem to be pretty much anyone who has played 10 seasons. Has anyone ever said no to the Hall about being on the ballot?
 

Diamond Don Aase

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Jan 16, 2001
588
Merrimack Valley
A lot of sports fans only think about retired players in terms of the Hall or Nah binary, but this is a nice opportunity to remember that, hey, Bobby Abreu and Paul Konerko and Cliff Lee and Adam Dunn might not be anybody's idea of a Hall of Famer, but they all had pretty great careers in their own ways.
Cliff Lee and Bobby Abreu not only had great careers, they had better careers than multiple current members of the Hall of Fame, including inductees from each of the last two classes. It is a shame that the likes of Abreu are so quickly consigned to the dustbin of history while Harold Baines is airbrushed into Cooperstown for having chewed his gum the right way.
 

ngruz25

Bibby
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Sep 20, 2005
14,937
Pittsburgh, PA
How do guys whose current occupation is "direct to Amazon ebook mystery writer" get a Hall of Fame vote? What an asinine selection process.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,557
Steven Marcus, formerly of Newsday(NY), released his ballot and only voted for Derek Jeter. What an absolute joke.
Why even bother voting? I mean I saw his hashtag #keepthehallsmall and I get it, I'm a big hall guy myself, but you mean to tell me you couldn't find one other person that list to vote for? Give me a break.
 

axx

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Jul 16, 2005
6,928
Steven Marcus, formerly of Newsday(NY), released his ballot and only voted for Derek Jeter. What an absolute joke.
Who else other than the steroid duo has an actual shot of getting in? Schilling will get in eventually but eventually.

Edit: 99% sure it's going to be jeets only.
 

scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
7,345
Who else other than the steroid duo has an actual shot of getting in? Schilling will get in eventually but eventually.

Edit: 99% sure it's going to be jeets only.
it's walker's last year on the ballot and he made a big jump last year, probably won't be enough, but I bet he get's pretty close, absolutely should be in
 

scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
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And we now have a 2nd voter only voting for Jeter, even worse this guy voted for Bonds, Clemens, Pettitte, Ramirez, Schilling, and Vizquel, but dropped all of them because Jeter is the god of gods and no one else deserves to share a ballot with him. Hope someone sees these and votes for 10 players other than Jeter (which would be perfectly justifiable strategic voting with the current ballot)

View: https://twitter.com/NotMrTibbs/status/1197739799492186114
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
7,742
it's walker's last year on the ballot and he made a big jump last year, probably won't be enough, but I bet he get's pretty close, absolutely should be in
I wonder if the "I'm going to give Jeter an extra honor" thinking is another ramification of last year's ridiculous Harold Baines decision. "I don't need to worry about denying Larry Walker's induction because that committee will eventually let him in."
 

BoSox Rule

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Jul 15, 2005
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The anti-Ale Xander and they’re both so fucking wrong. I know there are other circumstances but Jeter is at best the 3rd or 4th best player on the ballot.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
20,557
It's a light ballot to be sure, but I still think that there are 10-12 players on it that you can make a genuine argument that they're Hall of Famers. People who turn in their ballots within a week with just Jeter's name filled out, aren't doing their job*. It's that simple.

* BTW, these are usually the same writers who will pitch a fucking fit if a player doesn't haul ass to first base on a two-hopper to short.
 

Spacemans Bong

chapeau rose
SoSH Member
The Hall has sysematically underelected players since expansion began in 1962. They really should be electing as many players as possible to make up for this. No one is going to the Hall to see Burleigh Grimes or Paul Waner anymore.

With the way the Hall has admitted candidates, the standard is really quite a bit lower than people think it is. Pretty much anybody with over 50 WAR deserves serious examination, because there's a ton of dead guys in the Hall between 50-60 WAR. That doesn't mean they're all Hall of Famers -- Rick Reuschel has something like 70 WAR and I really struggle with the idea of Hall of Famer Rick Reuschel -- but if they've got that career with a great peak, it's worth thinking about. There's 31 people in the Hall with between 50-60 WAR, and four of them played baseball in the last 30 years: Piazza (who is an ass-hair under 60), Vladimir Guerrero (same), Rivera (reliever) and Kirby Puckett (retired due to glaucoma the year after hitting 314/379/515).

On the BBWAA ballot, I'm yes on: Bonds, Clemens, Helton, Jeter, Kent, Pettitte, Ramirez, Rolen, Schilling, and Walker. There's a few other guys I would think about including if I could.

On the Modern Era ballot, yes on Dewey, John, Marvin Miller, Munson, Simmons and Whitaker. Munson was kind of a surprise for me, 46 WAR into 1423 major league games is pretty impressive. His WAR7 is ahead of Mickey Cochrane, Gabby Hartnett and Campy. He was an asshole, but an acknowledged team leader, a good defensive catcher, and won an MVP and a Rookie of the Year. There are many worse people in the Hall.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Jul 21, 2005
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And we now have a 2nd voter only voting for Jeter, even worse this guy voted for Bonds, Clemens, Pettitte, Ramirez, Schilling, and Vizquel, but dropped all of them because Jeter is the god of gods and no one else deserves to share a ballot with him. Hope someone sees these and votes for 10 players other than Jeter (which would be perfectly justifiable strategic voting with the current ballot)

View: https://twitter.com/NotMrTibbs/status/1197739799492186114
Rieber wrote a "look at me while explain my ballot" story that started with this:

Derek Jeter was a singular player and person in baseball history. He deserves to stand alone at the podium as the entire Hall of Fame Class of 2020 on July 26 in Cooperstown.
Good Lord.
 
Aug 11, 2019
386
Pretty much anybody with over 50 WAR deserves serious examination, because there's a ton of dead guys in the Hall between 50-60 WAR.
But isn't WAR inflated by position? The values cited for WAR on bb-ref include: (a position multiplier x innings played at the position)/1350, where the position multiplier varies from -16 for a DH to +9 for a catcher (this is obviously expanded for more than one position).
https://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained_position.shtml

So, a catcher who moves to first base later in his career could come out looking worse, WAR-wise, to a catcher who stayed at that position, even though the latter didn't hit as well. And there also is a final step where the league's positional runs are summed and then the excess allotted to players based on playing time. This way the runs across the league effectively sum to zero. Finally, what was expected of a player at a specific position has changed throughout the years. For example, shortstops were once noted for their fielding regardless of how poorly they batted.
 

coremiller

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Jul 14, 2005
4,793
But isn't WAR inflated by position? The values cited for WAR on bb-ref include: (a position multiplier x innings played at the position)/1350, where the position multiplier varies from -16 for a DH to +9 for a catcher (this is obviously expanded for more than one position).
https://www.baseball-reference.com/about/war_explained_position.shtml

So, a catcher who moves to first base later in his career could come out looking worse, WAR-wise, to a catcher who stayed at that position, even though the latter didn't hit as well. And there also is a final step where the league's positional runs are summed and then the excess allotted to players based on playing time. This way the runs across the league effectively sum to zero. Finally, what was expected of a player at a specific position has changed throughout the years. For example, shortstops were once noted for their fielding regardless of how poorly they batted.
WAR isn't "inflated" by position, it's adjusted to account for positional scarcity, based on the fact that some positions are more difficult to play defensively and so have a lower offensive replacement level. A catcher who moves to first base later in his career should get less WAR credit than a catcher who stays at catcher who hits less well, because players who can handle the catcher position are much scarcer and so the offensive replacement level is much lower. B-ref also era-adjusts the positional adjustment over time to account for the fluctuation in the relative value of defense at various positions over the years.
 
Aug 11, 2019
386
WAR isn't "inflated" by position, it's adjusted to account for positional scarcity, based on the fact that some positions are more difficult to play defensively and so have a lower offensive replacement level.
Two players with the exact same offensive production for the exact same number of innings, but one plays first base (-15 positional factor) and the other players catcher (+9 positional factor)...which one will have the highest WAR? So, if all the other numbers are the same, how can you say that being a catcher did not inflate the one's WAR? Or, pick another word if you don't like inflate but the two will not match.
 

coremiller

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Jul 14, 2005
4,793
Two players with the exact same offensive production for the exact same number of innings, but one plays first base (-15 positional factor) and the other players catcher (+9 positional factor)...which one will have the highest WAR? So, if all the other numbers are the same, how can you say that being a catcher did not inflate the one's WAR? Or, pick another word if you don't like inflate but the two will not match.
The catcher will have the higher WAR because the catcher was the more valuable player, because catchers who can provide that level of offensive production while competently playing their position defensively are much harder to find than first basemen. That's not "inflating" the catcher's value, it's accurately measuring it.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
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Oct 19, 2008
12,408
The catcher will have the higher WAR because the catcher was the more valuable player, because catchers who can provide that level of offensive production while competently playing their position defensively are much harder to find than first basemen. That's not "inflating" the catcher's value, it's accurately measuring it.
That’s assuming you can accurately measure defense, so that a poor catcher gets adjusted down and a good first baseman gets adjusted up. But defensive statistics are awful, and the ones we had for earlier eras are worse than awful, so it really is ridiculous to have that big a delta based on horrendous data.
 

coremiller

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Jul 14, 2005
4,793
That’s assuming you can accurately measure defense, so that a poor catcher gets adjusted down and a good first baseman gets adjusted up. But defensive statistics are awful, and the ones we had for earlier eras are worse than awful, so it really is ridiculous to have that big a delta based on horrendous data.
This is a problem for valuing individual players, not for determining a positional scarcity adjustment. You can infer the defensive positional adjustment by looking solely at the offensive production of replacement-level players at each position.