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Friday, December 31, 2010

Hall of Fame candidates.

Originally posted Friday, December 31, 2010.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/mvp_cya.shtml

This is kind of interesting for modern players. It may say something about how well regarded they were when they played.

Pitchers Cy Young award career rank:
Kevin Brown #40
Jack Morris #71
Bert Blyleven #104

MVP award career rank:
Dave Parker #28
Jeff Bagwell #35
Dale Murphy #69
Don Mattingly #76
Mark McGwire #93
Roberto Alomar #100
Rafael Palmeiro #194

Barry Larkin (214), Edgar Martinez (234) & Tim Raines (242): not in top 200.
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Election rules:

http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/rules-election/bbwaa

Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent (75%) of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

What happens if only four people vote and a player gets three votes?

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

There are six criteria: two about how well he played and four about the type of person he was.

A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.

Players are eligible for 15 years, years 6 through 20 following retirement.

Electors: Only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten (10) years, shall be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least ten (10) years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.

So those voting may never have seen a candidate play.
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Blyleven will probably get elected, not because he should be but for some odd reason his Hall of Fame vote percentage has increased in recent years as memory of his accomplishments fades. Blyleven's best CY finishes: 3,3,4,7.

http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers/bbwaa-voting/player?player=Blyleven,++Bert.

Blyleven has gone from a low of 14.1% in year two (1999) of his 15 years of eligibility to a high of 74.2% in year 12 (2010). Why? Did his performance improve? Writers who voted for the CY award didn't think he was so great while he was pitching. Blyleven's ERA+ rank: #118. Those who knew him best had him well below 20% for his first three years of eligibility. Those who know him least have him above 60% in years ten, eleven and twelve. That disconnect should be explained. Maybe players should be eligible for only five years. That might mitigate the memory factor. I don't think any player has received 70% without eventually being elected. I think voters feel guilty if a player misses by one or two votes and don't want to feel that he/she personally prevented that individual's election.

Roberto Alomar has decent credentials among second basemen (OPS+ #10, WAR #14) but his MVP rank suggests that during his playing days writers had some of the reservations that I had: he dogged it both at bat and in the field for the SEVEN teams for which he played. Alomar lasted five seasons with Toronto, three for San Diego, Cleveland and Baltimore, two with the Mets and White Sox and 38 games with Arizona.

Alomar's infamous spitting in the face of an umpire does not help but that's not why I would not vote for him. Alomar often seemed indifferent while playing.

I see Tim Raines (242) as the poor man's Rickey Henderson (56).

I'd vote for McGwire after he has clearly come clean about his use of performance enhancing stuff. I don't mind his using. I object to his deception and obfuscation.

I would vote for Jeff Bagwell and Barry Larkin.

Bagwell may suffer from having played in the steroid era. At least one writer has indicated that he will not vote for Bagwell simply because of when he played. Guilt by association. Seems ugly. Bagwell's numbers easily put him among the top ten first basemen of all time: OPS+ #7, WAR #4.

Larkin is the anti-Alomar. Larkin played his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds, was NL MVP, team leader, solid citizen and among the top ten SS of all time: OPS+ #9, WAR #8. I'd vote for Larkin 10 times before I'd vote for Alomar.

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