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January 3, 2013

On the Beat

The Hall of Fame Ballot

by John Perrotto

It took a lot of time and a lot of thought to solve my Hall of Fame voting conflict. As I referenced in last week’s On The Beat, I still had a blank ballot in my hands less than a week before the deadline to submit my vote. I truly agonized over whether to vote for players connected to PED use, like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. I even considered abstaining from the process, like two long-time baseball-writing colleagues whom I have great respect for, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer and T.J. Quinn of ESPN.

I wound up submitting my ballot on the New Year’s Eve, in the last hours before the deadline. I checked nine names and, no, before you start inundating me with hate emails, tweets and Facebook messages, I did not vote for Tim Raines. I have wavered on Raines throughout the six years he has been on the ballot, and it just didn’t feel right voting for him. That could certainly change, though, and I am so much on the fence about his candidacy that I could see myself voting for him on the next ballot.

However, this piece is about this election, and I ultimately decided to vote for Bonds and Clemens. I am sure when the voting results are released Jan. 9 that a vast majority of the 600-plus voters—all of whom have had at least 10 years of active service in the Baseball Writers Association of America—will decide to go the other way.

I have come to the conclusion that I am neither a moralist nor an ethicist. The Moody Blues sang “I’m just a singer in a rock-and-roll band.” Well, I’m just a baseball writer. It’s not my place to judge who was right and who was wrong, especially because I am absolutely positive that a number of players used PEDs during their careers who were never caught, just as I’m sure a number of players—stretching back to the 1960s—used amphetamines without it ever becoming public. Thus, my ultimate criteria, boiled down quite a bit, is if the player was a Hall of Famer in my mind for his accomplishments on the field, then he gets my vote.

So here are the nine players who got my vote:

Jeff Bagwell: I don’t get the steroids talk now that his career is over, because he drew little or no suspicion when he played. Regardless, he’s a Hall of Famer in my book and has been since the day his career ended.

Barry Bonds: Questioning the legitimacy of his home run record is certainly fine and dandy, but he is the greatest player I have seen in my 48 years on Earth, and it was a privilege to cover him for five seasons from 1988-92 when he played for the Pirates.

Roger Clemens: These achievements can’t be misremembered: a record seven Cy Young Awards, seven ERA titles, five strikeouts titles and 11 All-Star Game appearances.

Edgar Martinez: I’ll say it again: designated hitters are people, too, and he was the best one ever with a .312/.418/.515 triple-slash line that was as pretty as his swing.

Rafael Palmeiro: An extremely reliable source—with no ties to Palmeiro—told me an off-the-record story at the Winter Meetings that convinced me that Palmeiro was indeed a clean player and was tricked into using the steroid when he thought he was taking a shot of vitamin B-12 that led to his suspension and end of his career in 2005. Unfortunately, there would be too many legal ramifications to make the story public.

Mike Piazza: Granted, he did have a lot of acne on his back, but he was the greatest offensive catcher ever.

Curt Schilling: Everyone knows he was one of the game’s great post-season pitchers but he was also pretty darned good in the regular season.

Alan Trammell: This is a classic example of why players can stay on the ballot as long as 15 years if they gain at least five percent of the vote. I didn’t vote for him in his first 11 years on the ballot but have changed my mind after considering he played the most difficult position on the diamond (shortstop) and won four Gold Glove and three Silver Sluggers while helping redefine the position with his offensive prowess. Raines fans, there is your hope!

Larry Walker: The critics can say he was a Coors Field creation and too fragile, but I’ll say he had a 141 OPS+ with a triple-slash line of .313/.400/.565 in 8,030 plate appearances

Meanwhile, I realize that 3,000 hits means all but automatic induction into the Hall of Fame, but I want more time to think about Craig Biggio. As much as I admired him as a player, his 3,000 hits seem to me to be partially a product of playing 20 seasons, as he only surpassed 180 hits in a season four times.

I also have reasons for voting for Bonds but not fellow mashers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Bonds was a complete all-around player, while McGwire was a one-trick pony and Sosa was a great player for only a short time.

As far as Jack Morris, that 3.90 ERA is just too big to fit in the Hall of Fame. And as much as I would have loved to put a check next to Dale Murphy’s name in his last year on the ballot because he was a Hall of Fame person, he just wasn’t quite a Hall of Fame player. The same goes for Reggie Sanders, in what will likely be his first and only year on the ballot.

---

The Rays and left-hander David Price avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a one-year, $10.1125 million contract. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner is not eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, but it’s never too early to guess how much money he might make if gets to the open market without suffering either a major injury or an unforeseen drop in performance.

The largest contract ever given a pitcher was the seven-year, $161-year deal CC Sabathia signed with the Yankees during the 2008-09 offseason. In a quick survey of five front-office types, all five agreed that Price would make more than that if he reaches free agency, especially when inflation is factored.

And just how much of a factor is salary inflation, especially in light of the fact each team will receive an additional $25 million a season in national television revenue beginning next year? So much so that all five also predicted Price will crack $200 million and that Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw will, too.

It is generally assumed that the Rays will be unable to afford Price following this upcoming season. Yet they have worked to keep third baseman Evan Longoria under contract through 2022 and a front-office type from another AL East team doesn’t completely rule out the Rays doing something with Price.

“Let me preface by saying I think there is about a 10 percent chance of it actually happening, but you have some factors in play that could make a deal happen,” the FOT said. “One, the Rays have brilliant people running their franchise. Two, Price has an agent in Bo McKinnis, who is very good at what he does and has no ego. Three, Price doesn’t strike me as the type of person who feels compelled to make every last dollar. You put those three together, and there is at a slim chance Price winds up staying there for the long term.”

---

The final baseball transaction of 2012 raised a few eyebrows, with the Royals signing infielder Miguel Tejada to a minor-league contract. Tejada hasn’t played in the major leagues since 2011, but some other teams, like the Diamondbacks, also showed interest. One scout from a National League club who has watched the 2002 American League MVP play winter ball in the Dominican Republic doesn’t think it’s a bad gamble on the Royals’ part.

“It’s a free look at the guy in spring training,” the scout said. “I wouldn’t have guaranteed him any money, and they didn’t. He’s swung the bat pretty well down there and he might be able to help them off the bench. I would say the odds are against him making the club, but it’s not a total longshot, either.”

---
The Indians signed right-hander Brett Myers to a one-year, $7-million contract as a free agent and plan to use him as a starting pitcher. Myers pitched in relief last season with the Astros and White Sox, appearing in 70 games and working in 65 1/3 innings.

However, most scouts and front-office types believe Myers’ health should not be at risk with a transition back to the rotation. He pitched a combined 439 2/3 innings with the Astros during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, a figure that ranked 14th in the major leagues during that time.

“He’s always been a workhorse if he’s healthy,” one NL scout said. “He always wants the ball and he always wants to pitch deep into games. He’s not a No. 1 starter, but he’ll give them innings, keep them in the game most of the time and, most importantly, keep Terry Francona from blowing out that bullpen, which is very good.”

John Perrotto is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here

49 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

mikebuetow

John, I'm guessing that Palmeiro story is the one where Miggy Tejada allegedly doped Raffy as revenge for Raffy sleeping with Miggy's wife. If that's the story you've heard -- and I hope it isn't, btw -- I hope to god you aren't putting much credence in it, as it is the been floating around in baseball circles for at least five years.

Jan 03, 2013 05:21 AM
rating: 0
 
mikebuetow

On another note, "one-trick pony" is not an apt description of Mark McGwire. His lifetime OBP was .394. That means he was better at getting on base (i.e., not making an out) than, among others, Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn. It's unfortunate batting average remains out there as such a tantalizing distraction from what is actually a sublime ability: getting on base.

Jan 03, 2013 05:29 AM
rating: 18
 
jdeich

I interpreted the omission of McGwire as a PED vote, especially in light of:

"Edgar Martinez: I’ll say it again: designated hitters are people, too, and he was the best one ever with a .312/.418/.515 triple-slash line that was as pretty as his swing." [8,674 PA, 147 OPS+]

"Larry Walker: The critics can say he was a Coors Field creation and too fragile, but I’ll say he had a 141 OPS+ with a triple-slash line of .313/.400/.565 in 8,030 plate appearances"

McGwire was as fragile as Walker, but hit .263/.394/.588 (163 OPS+) over 7,660 plate appearances. Walker was a good defensive RF and solid baserunner until the injuries took their toll, but 22 points of OPS+ is nothing to sneeze at.

By fWAR, it's very close (McGwire 70.6, Walker 73.2, Edgar 69.9).

Palmiero wasn't the hitter than any of the above were (.288/.371/.515, 132 OPS+), and he's at least as tainted as McGwire.

Jan 03, 2013 06:10 AM
rating: 13
 
philly

When I see a player like McGwire referred to as a "one trick pony" I get the sense that the author doesn't believe that the "pony" in question desrves credit for getting a ton of walks and having a high OBP because it wasn't an independent skill - like hitting for average! - but rather "just" a by-product of his immense power.

So to look at McGwire's OBP or OPS doesn't really change anything. In a sense it's double counting his power. He's still just a "one trick pony".

Obviously that misses the objective forest for the subjective trees, but that's how I understand it.

Joe Carter was a one trick pony because he couldn't leverage his very good power into BBs and a high OBP.

By tools, McGwire may also be a one trick pony, but his "trick" was so overwhelming in comparison to players like Carter that he could leverage it into a ton of value via BBs and OBP. And that counts too.

I think that's the argument that has to be made to voters like Perroto.

Jan 03, 2013 06:29 AM
rating: 15
 
mrenick

Biggio isn't a Hall of Fame player and Palmeiro is clean? I feel like I woke up in some kind of alternate universe.

Jan 03, 2013 05:43 AM
rating: 11
 
CRP13

Biggio: Shouldn't longevity and sustained excellence over a career be a consideration for a HOF vote? 61.2 career WARP? (how many players can boast an average WARP of over 3.0 for 20 seasons??) Seven all-star selections (at different positions, no less)?

I don't get the ambiguity on his case.

Jan 03, 2013 06:13 AM
rating: 2
 
John Douglass

Re Biggio, 3 WARP/year for 20 years is really just being a little over average for 2 decades. After 1999 he generated 9.3 WARP in 8 years, playing 40% of his career under league average. He had a good run in the late 90s during his peak, but I'm not sure that peak was Hall-worthy. 1997 was his only "holy crap" year, and I think we have to note that his 9 WARP that year is the only year his FRAA was double digits, and that it's in a career when most of his FRAAs were negative (some largely) or very very small.

To me, he's the same as Palmeiro: very good for a long time. Not great, or HoF-worthy.

Jan 03, 2013 11:22 AM
rating: 1
 
CRP13

At some point, longevity has to matter. If you go down the list of all-time traditional stat records by right-handed hitters, you don't have to go very far on any of them (except HR) to find Craig Biggio.

We all love love love advanced stats around here, but by the traditional measures by which every player in the hall of fame was elected, (which do matter, despite what we'd like to pretend), Biggio's exclusion makes as much sense as a banana peel on a rhinoceros.

Jan 04, 2013 13:48 PM
rating: 2
 
John Douglass

I see Biggio (and Palmeiro) as a good case against automatic inclusion on counting stats.

He eclipsed 3000 hits. But almost 1200 of those hits came after 1999, in a string of 8 years at the end of his career when he was only better than league average twice (if we define league average as 2.0 WARP) and in one of those two years he was 2.1 WARP. He hung around playing somewhere between replacement level and under-league-average for eight years, accumulating another 1192 hits.

I'm a small-Hall person at heart, so please consider that's fueling my POV on Biggio to a large degree. I think HoF players should be great, and that Biggio falls short of greatness.

Jan 04, 2013 15:26 PM
rating: 2
 
misterjohnny
(925)

Plus he should get credit for all those HBP. That is a skill too.

Jan 03, 2013 11:24 AM
rating: 3
 
bline24

I am struggling to understand how you can say that, based on on-the-field performance alone, and putting aside PEDs and Coors Field effects, Larry Walker is a more deserving HOFer than Mark McGwire. Their career WARP, VORP and TAv all look remarkably similar to me.

Jan 03, 2013 06:15 AM
rating: 7
 
kozysnacker

Isn't the standard at 1B higher than OF? I haven't really looked up the leaderboards but that might be one reason.

Jan 03, 2013 09:07 AM
rating: 2
 
apbadogs

You consider Edgar Martinez a HoFer but not Tim Raines, I'm not sure what to say about that.

Jan 03, 2013 06:39 AM
rating: 9
 
gdragon1977

Even if Biggio's 3,000+ hits don't impress you, they're not the only reason he's HoF worthy.

Jan 03, 2013 07:09 AM
rating: 9
 
Andrew
(38)

An All-Star at both Catcher and 2B, for starters.

Jan 03, 2013 08:15 AM
rating: 5
 
alangreene

Why not Raines? He seems so clear to me (especially relative to folks like Martinez and Palmeiro). Can you elaborate more?

Jan 03, 2013 07:14 AM
rating: 7
 
Randy Brown
(189)

John, while I can quibble with individual decisions (still no Tim Raines? really?), I applaud your transparency. I appreciate that you publish both your list of players and your logic employed in deciding whether or not to vote for them.

Jan 03, 2013 07:50 AM
rating: 30
 
John Douglass

I agree with Randy on all counts. Thank you for publishing your ballot, and for the explanation. It's clear that you put a lot of thought into your vote, and it's a nuanced, intelligent ballot, unlike a lot of your colleagues who are incapable of seeing a difference between Bonds and Sosa in their process and who make their vote and their columns about themselves instead of the players.

That said: Tim Raines.

Jan 03, 2013 11:28 AM
rating: 8
 
SC

Thanks for sharing the ballot, but "didn't feel right voting for him" is in no way a logical argument.

There are arguments for and against Raines' case, but John hasn't presented either here.

Jan 03, 2013 16:06 PM
rating: 2
 
eliyahu

Really curious: What is the argument against Raines? It's been pointed out elsewhere, but he was the best player in baseball for a number of years -- certainly among the top 3 -- and he compares very favorable to slam dunk HOFers like Gwynn.

Jan 03, 2013 18:31 PM
rating: 2
 
Brian Kopec

From what I can gather around the internet, the general argument is, "I didn't start paying attention to him until he was a Yankee and part-time players don't belong in the HOF."

Jan 04, 2013 07:47 AM
rating: 3
 
SC

Among them:

Not enough hits.
Don't understand what OPB is.
Don't understand the importance of success rate when stealing.
Cocaine makes them feel icky.
Baseball should be played in America dammit!

Jan 04, 2013 13:35 PM
rating: 4
 
Richard Bergstrom

What is OPB?

:)

Jan 05, 2013 09:49 AM
rating: 3
 
lmarighi

One that I have seen is that he was never the best player at his position (because he overlapped with Rickey Henderson). I have also seen it suggested that his steals totals are not high enough (because SB% is too "wonky", I guess).

Jan 05, 2013 04:07 AM
rating: 2
 
BurrRutledge

Thanks for sharing your ballot and your thought process. I think you made the right decision regarding PEDs.

It will be interesting to see how the bottleneck of borderline and PED-associated players resolves itself heading into the next two or three years of voting.

Can BP readership influence your Raines fence-squat?

Jan 03, 2013 09:20 AM
rating: 3
 
orlandoca7

Grew up a Mets' fan in NY in the late 70s & 80s. Rock Raines as one of the best of that era comes to mind very quickly. He'd beat you with the legs, the glove, the bat. I can accept the love for DH Edgar, but not without someone like Raines ahead of him. Way ahead.

That said, I echo the sentiments above about transparency, and understand the difficult PED-linked decisions on your plate.

Jan 03, 2013 09:36 AM
rating: 2
 
RonEckstein


Let me start by saying "On the Beat" is one of my absolute favorite features in BP. While it's anecdotal, I love reading scouts' perspectives on not only the players, but also the work being done by managers and GMs.

John, I applaud your conclusion that you are "neither a moralist nor an ethicist." We all love baseball, but it's entertainment and the moralizing sports writers are too self-important, in my view.

And you make a very good point about many other PED users who were never caught. Plus, players have used different not-yet-illegal factors (like segregation) to their statistical advantage in every era.

Growing up an A's fan, Mark McGwire was one of my favorite players. I wonder if experiencing the value of a player who combined a very high OBP with extreme power and a low batting average helped Sandy Alderson and his disciples understand just how overrated batting average truly is. I wonder how much having Mark McGwire helped them shape their philosophies going forward.

I remember McGwire as a very good fielder -- adding to his "tricks," but Range Factor shows he was right around league average for most of his career. And I remember him being injured a little bit, but the final totals show he played 140 or more games in only eight of his 15 full seasons.

Still, I feel like Mark McGwire's impact puts him ahead of Rafael Palmeiro. McGwire's career OPS+ of 163 ranks 11th all time, tied with Jimmie Foxx. Palmeiro's career OPS+ of 132 ranks 139th, tied with 16 others including Jose Canseco, Jim Edmonds and Mo Vaughn.

Mark McGwire has seasons where his OPS+ reached 170, 176 (twice), 196, and 216 (and two injury-shortened seasons where it reached 200).

In his three best years, Palmeiro's OPS+ was 150, 155 and 160.

The Hall of Fame has to be a little bit about the magic and excitement the players brought to the game for the fans. The numbers show, when healthy, Mark McGwire's power set him apart from the field.

He may have had one main "trick," but it was a doozy!

Jan 03, 2013 09:46 AM
rating: 6
 
Brian Kopec

Wait...so somebody out there has evidence so overwhelming that Palmeiro is innocent of intentional doping that it can convince a veteran reporter like John Perrotto, yet that person has decided to keep it to himself/herself? And now Perrotto is a participant in this secret? Am I missing something here?

If there is evidence that can clear this man's name then it needs to come forward. Period. I can't believe anyone would be willing to keep a secret that would clear a man's sullied name, even if that secret was embarrassing to yourself - even if revealing that secret could cost you a source/friendship. How can one sleep at night with this information, knowing that the rest of the baseball community has labelled Palmeiro a fraud, liar, and cheat? The information must not be THAT convincing. If John wanted to vote for Palmeiro, PED-be-damned, that's fine. Just say so.

Jan 03, 2013 10:01 AM
rating: 10
 
frampton
(870)

John says the ramifications are legal (not personal, or just embarrassing). It's also not a new story -- Palmeiro has been consistent in his denials, and apparently even passed a polygraph test. So, his reputation has been sullied by those who refuse to believe his story. John has come to the conclusion that he does believe Palmeiro. Not sure how "overwhelming" the evidence has to be, nor why (given the lack of legal ramifications for Palmeiro) the legal ramifications for a third party are outweighed by the public's supposed need to be convinced by additional evidence that Palmeiro isn't a liar.

Jan 03, 2013 11:50 AM
rating: 3
 
mikebuetow

Libel law protects a lot of communication, but it doesn't protect you from getting sued. And lawsuits are expensive, even those you win.

Jan 03, 2013 12:19 PM
rating: 1
 
Brian Kopec

Palmeiro's denials hardly constitute evidence. It was not Palmeiro's denials that convinced Perrotto. It was evidence presented by a trustworthy 3rd party. Yet the source (and now Perrotto) are satisfied to whistle through life, secure that only they know the real truth.

I'm not looking to satisfy some public need for gratification here. This is a man's reputation and dignity at stake. I find it hard to believe there would be a legitimate legal reason to keep this a secret. Are prosecutors still looking to put people connected with 10 year old MLB doping cases in prison?

Jan 04, 2013 07:45 AM
rating: 4
 
mrenick

Legitimate legal reason, would perjury qualify? As far as punishing people ask Bonds and Clemons how far people are willing to go.

Jan 05, 2013 09:49 AM
rating: 0
 
ofMontreal

Isn't the HoF fun! So the veterans committee will have a lot to choose from in 10 years. The game changes and eras are eras. The 30's make the 00's look tame. Arguing about drugs is foolishness.

Jan 03, 2013 12:02 PM
rating: 5
 
bozarowski

While I disagree with some of your ballot (no Biggio or Raines, Walker over McGwire), I deeply appreciate you publishing your ballot, defending your choices and exposing yourself to internet nitpickers.

Jan 03, 2013 12:08 PM
rating: 6
 
eliyahu

John,

I really, really enjoy your columns, but the McGwire and Raines omissions are truly mind boggling. It's as if someone I really, really trusted told me something so ludicrous that I would ever-so-slightly lose faith in the guy's sanity.

Plenty of people have cited numbers above, so let me just add this: There was never a moment in either's career where I didn't realize I was watching a future hall of famer.

Jan 03, 2013 12:52 PM
rating: 2
 
jfranco77

I do appreciate the honesty and willingness to share your HoF votes and thoughts.

Regarding Biggio, having only +180 hits 4 times.

-Would have made it in '94 if not for the strike
-Might have made it in '95 if not for the strike
-175 hits, 77 walks, 10 HBP in 1993
-174 hits, 75 walks, 27 HBP in 1996
-180 hits, 66 walks, 28 HBP in 2001
-170 hits, 94 walks in 1992

10 straight years (92-01) with an OBP of .373 or higher. Playing most of that time at the 2 positions most likely to end your career early (catcher and second base)

Jan 03, 2013 14:05 PM
rating: 12
 
AdamSt

What a weird ballot. Certainly the strangest I've ever seen for someone who writes for an analytical site.

Not sure on Biggio and Raines but voting for Walker, Trammell and Palmeiro. I'm not even sure what to say, except

I appreciate you sharing your ballot but wish there was some more transparency on the reasons, especially behind Raines and Biggio.

Jan 03, 2013 22:29 PM
rating: 3
 
Deadheadbrewer

Say what you will about some of the votes on the iffy candidates--I applaud Mr. Perrotto for voting for Bonds and Clemens. A Hall of Fame without those two players is not a Hall I have any interest in.

Jan 04, 2013 08:33 AM
rating: 2
 
jtwalsh

I am sure I am stepping in it big time, but ...

John has his right to vote how he wants to, and should publish his ballot should be wish to share it, my problem with that part of the article is that it should not be published on Baseball Prospectus. Similar articles by other voters are available on dozens of sites (most free). John's piece is not consistent with the editorial traditions of BP (Are we really ignoring OBP and tracking hits in 2013 at Baseball Prospectus). Again, John has earned the right to vote his conscience, my complaint is that this material should not grace Baseball Prospectus. I know he is the only current contributor that votes for the HOF, but material degrades the BP brand. I miss JAWS.

Jan 04, 2013 16:00 PM
rating: 0
 
lmarighi

I'm guessing that the BP editors would argue that BP is a site for articles on baseball in general, and anything they think is interesting would qualify. Given the open-ended standards for HOF-voting, there is nothing wrong with John's ballot, because it's all just his opinion. I don't really see how this "degrades" BP, and I like the idea that this website doesn't have to be an echo chamber. I disagree with several selections on his ballot, but I appreciate the opportunity to hear a dissenting voice, and make me consider why I think what I think.

Jan 05, 2013 04:12 AM
rating: 6
 
jtwalsh

Thank you, you make my point exactly. Baseball Prospectus has become a site for "general baseball articles". I agree that John has earned the right to cast his ballott as he sees fit. My observation is that it not the type of piece that should and definitely would not have made the cut even two years ago. (Check out John's previous pieces on his HOF ballot). I grew up in Chicago and Phil Rogers always published his ballot and I still go online and read that piece every year. John's article is no different from Phil's or dozens of other voters who write similar pieces. Baseball Prospectus was founde to ADVANCE the discussion of baseball topics beyond what was available from "general baseball articles". There has never been an orthodoxy (except TINSTAAPP). If John wants to put the discussion of his ballot at the level of discource that we expect from BP - fine that is worth a read. In particular, the a guy told me a story that I can't repeat but the guy is innocent part doesn't even rise to "general journalistic", much less what I expect from BP

Jan 05, 2013 04:54 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Actually, it probably would've made the cut two years ago because John was one of the managing editors then.

Nonetheless, I don't think there's wrong with posting a wider variety of viewpoints and content type. BP didn't used to have much minor league information, didn't have much in the way of "humor articles", rarely interviewed people in baseball etc. And yes, they still hav a lot of statistics and sabremetrics too. If you don't like the article, it's fine if you choose not to read it.. but don't say it shouldn't be published and/or wouldn't make the cut just because it doesn't fit your personal idea of what the BP brand should be.

Jan 05, 2013 09:55 AM
rating: 5
 
jtwalsh

Two years ago John talked about his ballot and incorporated JAWS scores into the discussion. I did not agree with some of his choices then either, but it was an approach not found else where. I like diversification of material, I don't like dumbing down the material to the "general baseball" level.

Jan 05, 2013 14:23 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

I think most people here disagree with your assessment as to what constitutes a "BP article". The facts that you disagree with his opinion and/or rationale makes it no less worthy of the BP brand.

Jan 05, 2013 11:25 AM
rating: 1
 
Ric Size

BP has changed qualitatively since their BP Idol contest several years back. New writers, with different styles have been brought in. Many of the original staff have left.

That is the nature of the world. Each person decides what they like, and what they don't like. I don't see why there needs to be an argument, when it comes to personal preference.

Jan 05, 2013 13:43 PM
rating: 0
 
Ric Size
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

With that said, it appears that BP is not going to publish a serious analysis & justification of what has to be understood as the most important HoF ballot ever. I submitted the below-linked article to Ben Lindbergh on December 2, and got this response:

Thanks for sending this--I enjoyed reading it, and I agreed with most of it (maybe not the PED Wing idea, but just about everything else). I'm probably not going to be able to publish this at BP while it's timely, since I'm budgeted for one guest article a week and I already have the series scheduled into January, but I hope you have a blog where you can post it or that you can find somewhere else to submit it.

Thanks again for the article, and thanks for reading BP.

Ben
----------

http://ricsize.com/

This will be my last post ever, on BP. Minus that.

Jan 05, 2013 15:29 PM
rating: -7
 
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

So because Ben gave you a true, honest, and realistic view of how we operate, you're assuming we're not going to publish any additional "serious" analysis of the the most important HOF ballot ever? First, let me say, it's YOUR opinion this is the most important ballot ever. Who really knows what the most important ballot ever was. I know a certain group of relievers and closers, for example, who thought the votes of the past 5-10 years were the most important votes ever.

And just because we can't or won't publish your article should signal that we're not going to post anything else (serious or otherwise...although I'm not so sure when we're not serious) about this HOF election? I don't understand that logic at all. I'd be surprised if a good amount of what we do next week isn't centered around the HOF. I know of at least one major column already in the works, a group vote, a Lineup Card article dedicated to the HOF, and a Dan Evans chat on Wednesday(which is almost certain to be influenced by the Hall of Fame). I will also be at the Hall of Fame press conference to try to add another perspective on the vote by talking with some of the voters and digging deep into their thinking...especially the ones who didn't publicly write about their ballot.

John opted to give his opinion in this article, and I applaud him for that. So many writers don't have the nerve to let the public know how they're thinking. And some that actually do publish their votes, do so while attacking the public, other writers, or statistical analysts. John did none of that here. And while I disagree with some of his votes (or non-votes), I think it's unfair to say that he wasn't serious or didn't think his vote through.

I'm sorry that we can't publish everyone's thoughts on the HOF, but part of the reason we allow comments is so that we can have educated conversations. I would like to think we are still trying very hard to understand and appreciate the game and all the voices that impact it.

Jan 05, 2013 23:14 PM
 
bosox18

If PED's are not an issue, I'd really like to see a reasoned argument on how Palmeiro deserves to get in ahead of McGwire.

Jan 06, 2013 08:55 AM
rating: 2
 
greenengineer

Bob Hertzel, how did you get back in the building?

Jan 06, 2013 09:49 AM
rating: 1
 
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