2020 MLB Hall of Fame News and Notes

santadevil

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I've always been a Larry Walker fan, because he was the first Right Fielder I remember with my beloved Expos when I was young

I would call him my first 'favorite' player that I remember

This Baseball Bits video from January does a nice job breaking down why he should be in the HoF (his videos are a bit weird sometimes, but I've enjoyed them all due to the 90's graphics he uses). Video starts with a stats breakdown around 1:45 and ends around the 9:00 mark. Rest is a sponsor plug

View: https://youtu.be/dE87YOZRHEU
 
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Aug 11, 2019
386
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.
Hasn't at least part of this conversation been about the WAR and the Hall? With the exception of players with numbers far beyond average, you basically compare shortstops to shortstops, and the like.
 

E5 Yaz

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Bump for Modern Era voting announcement on Sunday.

MassLive: The committee is made up of Hall of Famers George Brett, Rod Carew, Dennis Eckersley, Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith and Robin Yount; major league executives Sandy Alderson, Dave Dombrowski, David Glass, Walt Jocketty, Doug Melvin and Terry Ryan; and veteran media members/historians Bill Center, Steve Hirdt, Jack O’Connell and Tracy Ringolsby. Each member can vote for no more than four players.
 

Plympton91

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Tony Mazz votes for Bonds and Clemens (and Jeter, and Walker) - but not Schilling.
Well, punishing people for undermining the integrity of the game is really not as important as punishing them for saying mean things on Twitter.

You could also say that you’re voting solely for on field accomplishments and Bonds and Clemens were way better than Schilling. But, you know, Harold Baines.

After Baines, everyone should have a ballot with the maximum of 10 votes, because there’s more than 10 people on the ballot who are demonstrably more deserving.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Well, punishing people for undermining the integrity of the game is really not as important as punishing them for saying mean things on Twitter.

You could also say that you’re voting solely for on field accomplishments and Bonds and Clemens were way better than Schilling. But, you know, Harold Baines.

After Baines, everyone should have a ballot with the maximum of 10 votes, because there’s more than 10 people on the ballot who are demonstrably more deserving.
I have no problem with Mazz not voting for Schilling. I've said it before but, for me it still stands, if someone wished me and other members of my profession dead why would I go out of my way to make his life better?
 

InstaFace

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Not that I don't understand your point, but the counterargument would be, "because the Hall is about chronicling the great acts and actors of baseball, while they were on the field". Schilling did nothing to disrespect or damage the game during his playing days. Who cares if he became an old crank at an accelerated rate, and that we're more aware of such transformations today than 30 years ago? His plaque in the Hall isn't going to threaten anyone. Except Yankee fans, I suppose.
 

Plympton91

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The other argument for Schilling is the complete imbalance between hitters and pitchers that have been enshrined from that era. Maybe if only 5 or 6 pitchers from the era are worthy, then only 10-12 hitters should go in. After all, if there were so few good pitchers in the era, then the hitters’ stats were inflated by that.
 

Danny_Darwin

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I have to think the members of the VC either don't care about Schilling's politics or agree with him, so he'll get in eventually regardless. I sort of think that once he's in the Hall, he'll be a lot easier to ignore, but who knows.
 
Aug 11, 2019
386
The other argument for Schilling is the complete imbalance between hitters and pitchers that have been enshrined from that era. Maybe if only 5 or 6 pitchers from the era are worthy, then only 10-12 hitters should go in. After all, if there were so few good pitchers in the era, then the hitters’ stats were inflated by that.
Are you sure? I looked at 1908 through 2019 (earlier data was not available) and found that relief pitchers overall won more than 50% of all the games played in every season except 2008, which means that starting pitchers overall lost more than 50% of the games in each season except that one. According to bb-ref's Play Index, there has been 259 pitchers from 1901 through 2009 (leaving time for HOF eligibility) who have made at least 300 starts in their career (a reasonable number for a HOF'er), which amounts to approximately 2.38 pitchers per year who may go on to get votes for the Hall. During that time period there have been 628 position players with at least 5000 career at bats, approximately 5.76 per year, which is about 2.4 times as many as the aforementioned pitchers (all but a handful of position players in the Hall have at least 5000 AB).
 

Plympton91

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Are you sure? I looked at 1908 through 2019 (earlier data was not available) and found that relief pitchers overall won more than 50% of all the games played in every season except 2008, which means that starting pitchers overall lost more than 50% of the games in each season except that one. According to bb-ref's Play Index, there has been 259 pitchers from 1901 through 2009 (leaving time for HOF eligibility) who have made at least 300 starts in their career (a reasonable number for a HOF'er), which amounts to approximately 2.38 pitchers per year who may go on to get votes for the Hall. During that time period there have been 628 position players with at least 5000 career at bats, approximately 5.76 per year, which is about 2.4 times as many as the aforementioned pitchers (all but a handful of position players in the Hall have at least 5000 AB).
Thanks. I was just going by the raw ratio of 8 position players and 4 main starters (the 5th starter is almost always in flux). Maybe for the modern era that means the bias against closers should be lessened. In lieu of a somewhat marginal Schilling put in Billy Wagner and the next closest one to him.

But, you can’t have an era where you put in 25 hitters and 8 pitchers. And that’s where we’re headed with the 1990 to 2010 group if we’re going to open the floodgates for all the steroid fiends (which will happen as soon as Bonds gets in) while saying Schilling’s numbers as a starter make him marginal and relief pitchers don’t deserve it unless they’re pantheon types with large amounts of postseason success.
 
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DJnVa

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In: Marvin Miller (does he really need to be announced like a player?)
 

jon abbey

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Two people elected, one is Marvin Miller, the other not yet announced.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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Well, to answer the question, Is it Dewey's time? Not until 2023 at the earliest as the Modern Era committee doesn't reconvene until then for 2024 inductions according to Peter Abraham.
 

BoSox Rule

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Dewey probably should’ve gotten it, but Miller and Simmons’ inductions are long overdue so this a good day for the Hall.
 

jon abbey

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I remember Dale Murphy as one of the best players in the game for a long stretch so I checked his BR page to see what I was missing. Two things I learned:

1) He played for 18 years but the first 4 and the last 6 were shockingly bad.

1976-79 1160 PAs, -0.8 total bWAR
1980-87 5223 PAs, 42.4 total bWAR
1988-93 2658 PAs, 4.9 total bWAR

2) Even in his great offensive seasons, he gave some of it back defensively.
 

lexrageorge

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The purpose of these committees is to correct situations where deserving folks for whatever reason had not previously been inducted into the Hall of Fame. With Marvin Miller's induction, the committee did exactly that, and so hats off for correcting one of the more egregious omissions.

I didn't follow the NL hardly at all during the 1970's, so I basically missed Ted Simmons best years. My impression of him with the Brewers was that he was OK, and I never understood what all the fuss was about. But looking back at it, his induction was clearly overdue and warranted.

Dewey should hopefully get in next go around in a couple of years. The other guys on the committee's ballot? Meh, not so much.

Harold Baines? Still an "egads", but I guess you take the good with the bad with committees like these.
 

Spacemans Bong

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It's like when Jack Morris and Alan Trammell got named in the same class. You took the bad with the good. What has probably hurt Baines' reception as much as anything is the other inductee was Lee Smith, who is almost as marginal a Hall of Famer as Baines, so there was no "Oh man, he was SO overdue!!!" vibe to soak up the criticism of a clearly unqualified player being inducted.

I might have mentioned this here, but when I saw Baines and Smith were inducted, I genuinely thought it was for the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame for a minute.
 

InstaFace

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I didn't follow the NL hardly at all during the 1970's, so I basically missed Ted Simmons best years. My impression of him with the Brewers was that he was OK, and I never understood what all the fuss was about. But looking back at it, his induction was clearly overdue and warranted.
Just went and looked at him myself. Anyone who takes a job from Tim McCarver is A-OK with me.
 

NYCSox

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I've said this before but the exclusion of Lou Whitaker is ridiculous. His career WAR (b-ref) is 75.1. The only players with a higher WAR who are not in the HOF are either active (Pujols), not yet eligible (Beltre, Slappy), banned from the game (Rose), under a steroid cloud (Bonds) or had their career prime in the 19th century (Bill Dahlen). Oh and of course it's higher than CI himself (72.1).
 

HomeRunBaker

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I admittedly don't follow the HOF nominations/voting all that much but in debate with other casual Sox fans on the topic of Dewey. I know Bill James supports Evans' inclusion into the hall......is this due to Evans having the advanced metrics to support this inclusion or James professing his longtime Sox love? Interested in hearing response. Thanks.
 

lexrageorge

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I admittedly don't follow the HOF nominations/voting all that much but in debate with other casual Sox fans on the topic of Dewey. I know Bill James supports Evans' inclusion into the hall......is this due to Evans having the advanced metrics to support this inclusion or James professing his longtime Sox love? Interested in hearing response. Thanks.
If you go by the advanced metrics such as WAR (either bWAR or fWAR), Evans career WAR compares favorably to many others that are in the Hall today. Beyond being light years better than Harold Baines (and Kirby Puckett and Jim Rice and Andre Dawson) in the advanced metrics, Evans has similar career WAR numbers as Edgar Martinez, Eddie Murray, and Ryne Sandberg, among others, and is not all that far behind Tony Gwynn and Roberto Alomar.

I will add that I am basing this assessment mostly off of offensive WAR; the metrics for defensive WAR are too noisy and random still to be of much value.

Bill James is just reporting the numbers and is actually no longer a part of the Red Sox organization.
 

Max Power

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I admittedly don't follow the HOF nominations/voting all that much but in debate with other casual Sox fans on the topic of Dewey. I know Bill James supports Evans' inclusion into the hall......is this due to Evans having the advanced metrics to support this inclusion or James professing his longtime Sox love? Interested in hearing response. Thanks.
Evans played in a time when leadoff hitters were supposed to steal bases, second and third place hitters were supposed to have high batting averages, and power hitters were supposed to have high RBI totals. He didn't really do any of those things, so he was overlooked as a player. But you don't have to go to WAR to see that he was productive. His slash line for his career was .272/.370/.470, good for a 127 OPS+. He took a ton of walks and hit for pretty good power. He just didn't do it in the middle of the order, so he didn't have high RBI totals.

Everyone who watched him said he was a great defender and he won 8 gold gloves. But his dWAR is negative. I think that says more about the defensive component of WAR than it does about Evans.
 

lexrageorge

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Evans played in a time when leadoff hitters were supposed to steal bases, second and third place hitters were supposed to have high batting averages, and power hitters were supposed to have high RBI totals. He didn't really do any of those things, so he was overlooked as a player. But you don't have to go to WAR to see that he was productive. His slash line for his career was .272/.370/.470, good for a 127 OPS+. He took a ton of walks and hit for pretty good power. He just didn't do it in the middle of the order, so he didn't have high RBI totals.

Everyone who watched him said he was a great defender and he won 8 gold gloves. But his dWAR is negative. I think that says more about the defensive component of WAR than it does about Evans.
What hurts Evans on the defensive metrics is that he played a long time in Fenway's vast right field, continuing to do so long after his range, never his strong suit to begin with, had declined as it does with most any fielder in their mid-30's. And gold glove awards are not the best metric. They tend to be based purely on reputation; Jeter won some long after his fielding had declined. Evans was a great fielder in the 1970's, and had one of the best throwing arms in MLB. But some of the Gold Gloves he won in the 1980's were probably make up calls for the ones he didn't win in the early 70's.

And, yes, the defensive WAR metrics leave a lot to be desired (and that's being charitable).
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I think another thing that hurts Evans' candidacy is that he just wasn't a good hitter early in his career. In a team loaded with good hitters like Yaz, Rice, Lynn, Fisk, etc... he just wasn't that good. Even guys like Hobson and Scott in the 1977-79 era looked like better hitters, at least in terms of counting stats. In 1975, Evans had his most plate appearances hitting seventh. In 1977, he had only 20 plate appearances in the top six spots of the order. In 1978, he got more than half his plate appearances out of the eighth spot. It wasn't until his breakout season in 1981 that he finally starting hitting outside of the bottom third of the lineup. How many Hall of Famers hit seventh or eighth in the lineup in the "prime" of their careers? I think he got stuck with the reputation of being a "great fielder but not a great hitter" and it took a long time to change that reputation, especially because the stuff he could do at the plate wasn't highly valued at the time (ie drawing walks). Before 1981, there was a whiff of disappointment about him as a hitter - he was a hot prospect but then a dud at the plate, magnified by the way his sort-of contemporaries like Rice and Lynn burst onto the scene.

He had a weird career. Bill James wrote somewhere that its what you do in your twenties that qualifies you for the Hall of Fame, in that this is the period where most great players have the peak years (MVP awards, leading the league in stats, All Star appearances, etc...) that get you noticed as a superstar, but its what you do in your thirties that gets you into the Hall of Fame (you have to hang around long enough to compiling the counting stats that qualify you for the Hall). Evans was the opposite of this - he didn't do much with the bat until he turned 29 in 1981 (.262/.340/.448 through 1980), but he then went on a nine year run where he hit .281/.387/.498. It is entirely what he did in his thirties (rounding up a bit for his age 29 year) that gets him in the discussion.

Before 1981, he had only one All Star Game appearance, had never led the league in anything, had never received an MVP vote. His high in batting average before that year was .281, his high in home runs was 24, his high in RBIs was 70. These are not the numbers Hall of Famers outfielders normally produce in their 20s. He finally broke out as a hitter in 1981 (which of course was a season cut short by a strike). He then went on to become a great player from that point onwards, with three top-10 MVP finishes, four 100 RBI seasons (and two more of 97 and 98), four 100 runs scored seasons, two seasons leading the league in OPS.
 
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Speaking of players who ought to get short shrift by defensive metrics, I remember Ted Simmons well from my childhood - as he was on the Braves when I became a teenager - and while his offensive stats may look very good by the standards of other catchers in the Hall of Fame, his defensive reputation was such that he barely deserves to be remembered as a catcher. I cannot believe he's made it into the HoF, and I say that as someone who was so desperate to find Braves worthy of my support in the mid-to-late 1980s that I tried really hard (and still failed) to imagine Simmons as an HoF-worthy player.

(FWIW, I don't think I'd have Dale Murphy in the HoF either. His peak was magnificent, but it only lasted from 1982-87, and outside of that he was pretty poor; that's just not enough longevity to get you in, even for arguably the highest-character player of his era.)
 

lexrageorge

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Speaking of players who ought to get short shrift by defensive metrics, I remember Ted Simmons well from my childhood - as he was on the Braves when I became a teenager - and while his offensive stats may look very good by the standards of other catchers in the Hall of Fame, his defensive reputation was such that he barely deserves to be remembered as a catcher. I cannot believe he's made it into the HoF, and I say that as someone who was so desperate to find Braves worthy of my support in the mid-to-late 1980s that I tried really hard (and still failed) to imagine Simmons as an HoF-worthy player.

(FWIW, I don't think I'd have Dale Murphy in the HoF either. His peak was magnificent, but it only lasted from 1982-87, and outside of that he was pretty poor; that's just not enough longevity to get you in, even for arguably the highest-character player of his era.)
Even the WAR metrics say that Simmons defense wasn't very good during his years with the Brewers and Braves, when he was in his 30's. However, his defense was markedly better when he was a Cardinal.
 
Jun 12, 2019
40
Speaking of players who ought to get short shrift by defensive metrics, I remember Ted Simmons well from my childhood - as he was on the Braves when I became a teenager - and while his offensive stats may look very good by the standards of other catchers in the Hall of Fame, his defensive reputation was such that he barely deserves to be remembered as a catcher. I cannot believe he's made it into the HoF, and I say that as someone who was so desperate to find Braves worthy of my support in the mid-to-late 1980s that I tried really hard (and still failed) to imagine Simmons as an HoF-worthy player.

(FWIW, I don't think I'd have Dale Murphy in the HoF either. His peak was magnificent, but it only lasted from 1982-87, and outside of that he was pretty poor; that's just not enough longevity to get you in, even for arguably the highest-character player of his era.)
JAWS has Simmons as the tenth best catcher ever, ahead of Cochrane and Lombardi. The only catcher ranked higher who isn't in the HOF is the as yet ineligible Mauer.
 

Eric1984

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Same argument should have put Whitaker (and Grich) in the Hall. Both have higher JAWS than Biggio and Alomar. Every player above either of them is in the Hall or will be (Cano).

Re: Simmons -- I'm just old enough (49) to remember him as a Cardinal, though not old enough to remember his best years. I do remember him being a pretty big star in the mid/late 70s -- perennial All Star who would have been the best C in the NL if not for Bench.
 

InstaFace

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Cano? As in Robinson Cano? A future in the Hall of Fame? Without buying a ticket?

Man, I just never thought "hall of famer" while watching him, and not just because of the uniform he came up in. I thought those two gold gloves he got were NY Media-influenced jokes and the only superlative skill he had was health (which is necessary but not sufficient). And yet I look at his career offensive numbers and WAR totals and, man, he's right there, and going into his age 37 season still able to play second. He's in JMOH's hall of fame, no doubt (and anyone who's a Big Hall proponent), but I'm going to need some time to get used to the idea.
 

Eric1984

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I'd add that there are 12 2nd basemen in the Hall with a lower JAWS than Whitaker. He really got a short shrift.
 

Max Power

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Cano? As in Robinson Cano? A future in the Hall of Fame? Without buying a ticket?

Man, I just never thought "hall of famer" while watching him, and not just because of the uniform he came up in. I thought those two gold gloves he got were NY Media-influenced jokes and the only superlative skill he had was health (which is necessary but not sufficient). And yet I look at his career offensive numbers and WAR totals and, man, he's right there, and going into his age 37 season still able to play second. He's in JMOH's hall of fame, no doubt (and anyone who's a Big Hall proponent), but I'm going to need some time to get used to the idea.
His PED suspension will probably kill his candidacy. Getting nabbed in the 10th year of testing is worse than doing it when there were still bowls of greenies in the clubhouse. But Cano had exceptional contact and power numbers as well as remarkable health for a second baseman. Pedroia was probably the better all around player at their peaks, but Pedroia's style of play probably made it impossible for him to maintain the health needed for a Hall of Fame career.
 

InstaFace

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The PED suspension didn't enter my mind, to be honest, any more than any other type of suspension would have. There's a commissioners-exempt list. Anyone not on it is fair game for election in my book, and I'd much rather think about on-field accomplishments than retroactively try to parse the rest of the nonsense.

(elect Bonds and Clemens! Can't fully tell the story of baseball without them!)
 

Rough Carrigan

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I think another thing that hurts Evans' candidacy is that he just wasn't a good hitter early in his career. In a team loaded with good hitters like Yaz, Rice, Lynn, Fisk, etc... he just wasn't that good. Even guys like Hobson and Scott in the 1977-79 era looked like better hitters, at least in terms of counting stats. In 1975, Evans had his most plate appearances hitting seventh. In 1977, he had only 20 plate appearances in the top six spots of the order. In 1978, he got more than half his plate appearances out of the eighth spot. It wasn't until his breakout season in 1981 that he finally starting hitting outside of the bottom third of the lineup. How many Hall of Famers hit seventh or eighth in the lineup in the "prime" of their careers? I think he got stuck with the reputation of being a "great fielder but not a great hitter" and it took a long time to change that reputation, especially because the stuff he could do at the plate wasn't highly valued at the time (ie drawing walks). Before 1981, there was a whiff of disappointment about him as a hitter - he was a hot prospect but then a dud at the plate, magnified by the way his sort-of contemporaries like Rice and Lynn burst onto the scene.

He had a weird career. Bill James wrote somewhere that its what you do in your twenties that qualifies you for the Hall of Fame, in that this is the period where most great players have the peak years (MVP awards, leading the league in stats, All Star appearances, etc...) that get you noticed as a superstar, but its what you do in your thirties that gets you into the Hall of Fame (you have to hang around long enough to compiling the counting stats that qualify you for the Hall). Evans was the opposite of this - he didn't do much with the bat until he turned 29 in 1981 (.262/.340/.448 through 1980), but he then went on a nine year run where he hit .281/.387/.498. It is entirely what he did in his thirties (rounding up a bit for his age 29 year) that gets him in the discussion.

Before 1981, he had only one All Star Game appearance, had never led the league in anything, had never received an MVP vote. His high in batting average before that year was .281, his high in home runs was 24, his high in RBIs was 70. These are not the numbers Hall of Famers outfielders normally produce in their 20s. He finally broke out as a hitter in 1981 (which of course was a season cut short by a strike). He then went on to become a great player from that point onwards, with three top-10 MVP finishes, four 100 RBI seasons (and two more of 97 and 98), four 100 runs scored seasons, two seasons leading the league in OPS.
What was more frustrating about Evans pre-Hriniak is that he had months where he was fantastic.
August 1975 he hit .409/.487/.697 with 11 XBH
May 1977 he hit .307/.352/.584 with 7 hr & 7 2b
May 1978 he hit .306/.406/.718 with 11 hrs!
July 1979 he hit .318/.420/.576 with 10 XBH

But he'd have months that were just as terrible as those were excellent.
 

Spacemans Bong

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His PED suspension will probably kill his candidacy. Getting nabbed in the 10th year of testing is worse than doing it when there were still bowls of greenies in the clubhouse. But Cano had exceptional contact and power numbers as well as remarkable health for a second baseman. Pedroia was probably the better all around player at their peaks, but Pedroia's style of play probably made it impossible for him to maintain the health needed for a Hall of Fame career.
I doubt this, considering he's still playing and we're already seeing the impact of the Social Security collectors being thrown out of the voting pool in favour of Millennials who actually cover baseball for a living.
 

InstaFace

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Well, speaking of sea changes in the voter pool, I did this bit of analysis last year to examine Bonds and Clemens' chances:

Bonds/Clemens analysis:
The year-over-year net gain/loss trend for Bonds and Clemens is interesting. In 2015, their final totals stood at 36.8% and 37.5% respectively. Since then, just among returning public votes, the trend has gone:

2016: +14/+14 (44.3% / 45.2% final results)
2017: +27/+27 (53.8% / 54.1%)
2018: +1/+3 (56.4% / 57.3%)
2019: +2/+2 (public: 70.7% / 70.7%, ed.: final 2019s were 59.1% / 59.5%)

So on the one hand, it seems their momentum has slowed, and they've largely won over the set of people who could be won over as of 2017. There hasn't been much new persuasion happening the last two years. On the other hand, that's only among returning public ballots. If instead you look at the trend of their public-minus-actual differentials (i.e., how much they've been dragged down by the cranks, to oversimplify), it has gone:

2015: -7.3% / -6.1%
2016: -6.9% / -5.5%
2017: -10.5% / -9.0% (the year of the big +/- surge)
2018: -8.0% / -7.1%
2019: -11.6% / -11.2%

So if the public voters started reconsidering their position in 2016-17, it really wasn't mirrored by the private votes in 2017, but in 2018 more of the private voters were themselves persuaded. I think that's reason for optimism that the private voters are just coming around more slowly, but there is still room for more of them to reconsider over the next few years (plus more of the older ones dying / losing the ballot).

How about first-time voters? As the voter roll turns over, are Bonds and Clemens benefitting? Among public ballots by first-time voters, they got:

2015: 54.5% / 54.5% (6/11)
2016: 50.0% / 50.0% (5/10)
2017: 86.7% / 86.7% (13/15)
2018: 84.6% / 92.3% (11/13 and 12/13)
2019: 80.0% / 80.0% (8/10)

So they didn't win many new fans those first few years, but once the public sentiment turned in 2016/17, new voters followed that trend.

Let's also remember: last year, at 56.4% and 57.3%, they missed enshrinement by 79 and 75 votes respectively, which is a lot. There may not be sufficient remaining room for the returning public voters to be persuaded. But if trends continue, the new voters and private ballots may make up enough of the difference to enshrine them - maybe not in 2019 or even 2020, but perhaps in Bonds and Clemens' final two years.
At the time, there was a great ESPN article where Jeff Passan called up a bunch of No votes for Bonds/Clemens and asked them why.

Why Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens aren't getting into the Hall of Fame

Some commentary here at the time about it included:
What offends me the most is the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou attitude of these voters. The entire baseball community is complicit in the "steroid era," including the Commissioner's Office, the teams, the players and the sportswriters (and to a lesser extent, even the fans). Except for a very few, these sportswriters were more than happy to make a very nice living covering (and in many cases, glorifying) the exploits of these stars without raising a hue and cry about how they were cheating to get these results. My feeling is that unless they were calling for a boycott of the game to stop the rampant cheating, then they have forfeited the right to complain about it now. We have a pretty good idea that PED use was fairly widespread, but we'll never know everyone who used and who didn't. So it's impossible to really sort this out, and it's unfair to penalize just a few, who happen to be among the best to ever play the game. Especially when there was no similar penalty imposed for all those who cheated by using greenies, starting in at least the 60s.

Passan's article quotes CHB as one of the anti-steroid voters. And we all know he's a sanctimonious prick.
And it's not just those two who are getting an increasingly large split between public and private ballots:
the 4 "next up" candidates, Clemens, Bonds, Schilling and Walker, had pretty big public-to-final differentials. RC -11.6%, BB -11.6%, CS -8.9% and LW -11.3%. That's much bigger than last year for all but Schilling, who took a -9.1% hit last year.
I think we can consider "The Backlog" to be largely cleared here, aside from Bonds and Clemens remaining. Next year only one sure-thing is joining the ballot (Jeter), and only 2-3 other "Vote-bait" candidates who aren't getting in but whose HOF Monitor rating is >100 (Jason Giambi 108 / 50.5 WAR, Alfonso Soriano 105 / 28.2 WAR, plus Bobby Abreu 95 / 60.5 WAR). Meanwhile, this year they elected 2 first-balloters, 1 long-building-campaign guy (Edgar), and 1 bubble guy who was probably getting in sooner or later, so sooner is better than later (Moose) - all of whom were going to siphon big shares of votes until they got in. I'm not sure that next year even the "Big Hall" voters will think there are >10 deserving candidates, so finally their vote will probably be concentrated on all those they think are worthy. That alone should bump the top candidates a few percentage points here and there.
While it's still early days for public vote totals, this year and next are probably the best chances for the 3 yearners. Come 2022 (Their 10th year, for all 3), new entrants include A-Rod and Ortiz, with the likes of Vizquel and Manny crowding ballots all the while. They need a charm offensive.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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The recent election of Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons to the Hall of Fame has stirred up discussion on SABR-L about which catchers belong and the role Curt Flood played in the eventual rights to free agency that the players obtained.

Long-time SABR member Bill Deane, who has written several books on baseball and has been widely published in Baseball America, Baseball Digest, The Sporting News, USA Today Baseball Weekly, to name a few, posted a very cogent article on the List about free agency, which I will summarize in paraphrase and quotes.

Until the 1970s, the owners had all the power, then after the 1969 season the Cardinals traded Curt Flood to the Phillies and he did not want to go so he refused to report or sign a contract, telling Commissioner Kuhn that he was "not a piece of property to be bought or sold." However, failure to sign a contract by a certain date automatically brought blacklisting and his efforts in courts to overturn baseball's right to do so failed.

It is Deane's opinion that Ted Simmons, another Cardinal, "unwittingly paved the way for free agency in the same year that Flood lost his case." Simmons batted .304 while making $17,5000 in 1971 but was only offered $25,000 in 1972. He refused to sign but kept coming to work every day, anyway, which allowed the Cardinals to invoke the "renewal clause," allowing them "to unilaterally renew a player's contract from the previous season...with up to a 20% cut." He finally agreed on July 24th to a two-year contract for $75,000. “I’m no crusader,” Simmons admitted. “I don’t even have a lawyer. All I want is more money.”

But in 1973, six players (Mike Andrews, Stan Bahnsen, Dick Billings, Jerry Kenney, Fritz Peterson, and Rick Reichardt) all began the season without contracts. "but each was either signed or released before the campaign ended."

The following season Sparky Lyle waited until the last day of the season to sign and Bobbie Tolan waited until December.

That brings us to 1975 when Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith went the distance (Richie Zisk signed in post-season, Messersmith played without a written contract although he had been offered $115,000). The Players’ Association filed a claimed that the two pitchers were entitled to “free agent” status and when the grievance was filed, the arbitrator ruled Messersmith "had already retired" and "could sell his services to the highest bidder."

The floodgates opened.