Ask Hall of Fame expert Jay Jaffe about the voting process and the Cooperstown candidates he would've wanted to see inducted.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Good afternoon and thanks for stopping by! This is my first chat at BP in a good long time, but it's great to be back to catch up with some great readers. Powered by my Jim bouton 1969 Seattle Pilots throwback jersey because I'm saving the Tim Raines one for when he's elected...
R.A. Wagman (Toronto): Jay- good to see JAWS get the recognition it deserves. After this week's results, we have been inundated with calls to revamp the voting procedures. I don't disagree with the general idea, but we all know (and Jeff Idelson confirmed) that large scale changes will not be happening.
Keeping that in mind, are there small tweaks you would make that could have outsized effects on the voting results?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Thanks, man. Within the BBWAA, a discussion is already underway regarding some of the rules for election. Without giving the store away, I'll say that there's concern for unintended consequences that might result from introducing changes. For example, if you increase the slot limit above 10 because of the number of very qualified candidates, do future ballots become unwieldy? We've already seen that the size of the ballot can make it harder for any candidate to reach 75%.
Personally, I'm in favor of expanding the 10-man limit to 15, shortening the eligibility period to 10 years, and introducing a sliding scale for the minimum vote required to remain on the ballot; maybe it's 5% for Year 1, 10% for Year 2, 15% for Year 3, etc. I think that combination of changes would keep ballot sizes manageable.
Tek (New York): How do you feel about the tiering system of first ballot hall of famers? Do you think voters vote for whether a guy is a first ballot guy as opposed to whether a guy is a hall of famer their first time up?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I'm not a fan of the way some voters distinguish between first-ballot guys and the rest because it distorts the process and allows some voters to make the process about themselves rather than about the candidate and his merits. The plaque one gets is the same if they're voted in in Year 1 as in Year 15.
Triviageek (NYC): If you could make one change to the current voting process, what would that change be?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Perhaps even more than enlarging the limit of players on the ballot that I mentioned above, I'd like to see the voting process become transparent, with each voter's ballot publicly available; hand-in-hand with that would be paring the voter rolls to ensure that those voting are still connected to baseball coverage or are within a given eligibility period (10 years after retirement or something like that).
comish4lif (Alexandria, VA): Jay, after the debacle of having no one elected to the BB HOF, can we expect a statement from Bud Selig? Or do you think he'll continue to dodge the issue?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Selig did issue a fairly tepid statement after the Hall announcement ("...While this year did not produce an electee, there are many worthy candidates who will merit consideration in the future. We respect both the longstanding process that the Hall of Fame has in place and the role of the BBWAA..."); see http://bit.ly/WOVPCm (at Hardball Talk) for more.
ttt (Manhattan): Do you ever get the sense that some of the BBWAA members don't particularly care about baseball or the HOF, and just want to use their ballot to advance their agendas?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I think there are some voters who use the process as a means of advancing their agendas - the blank-ballot guys, especially, turn the process into a particularly grating form of performance art that's about them instead of the candidates - but I wouldn't go so far as to say they don't particularly care about the game or the Hall. Even Murray Chass cares, in his own twisted way.
Alex (Anaheim): Should I give up hope on Raines making it to the Hall if Biggio isn't there?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Not at all. Raines just passed the 50 percent mark in his sixth year on the ballot. Thus far only one person has received 50% and fallen off the ballot without getting in via either the BBWAA or the Veterans Committee, though there are now a few other 50-percenters who could add to that. I still very much like his chances long-term. If nothing else, the sabermetric cavalry should help his cause by the end of his candidacy.
dianagram (VORGville): Jay ... any estimates on the loss of revenue to the city of Cooperstown from not having any "current day" inductions on Induction Weekend?
I've heard of crowds as large as 75,000 for the Ripken induction. I can't imagine this year's crowd will be even 20% of that.
Oh, and can we PLEASE get those active writers that NO LONGER cover baseball OFF the HOF vote.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Hey Diane - I have no idea on the dollar value of the loss, but I have heard estimates of a 10-15 percent hit to the Cooperstown economy. I'd be surprised if this year draws more than 10,000 because even with the Spink and Frick awards, there's only one living honoree (Spink winner Paul Hagen) who will be speaking for himself.
Whaddaya know, the Hall may have to use artificial means to juice attendance... oh, irony.
Mike Shumka (Milton, Ontario): To me, the most overlooked thing regarding the results of the voting is Kenny Lofton's not receiving the requisite 5% of the vote to remain on the ballot.
1. Do you think in a regular year without a polarizing issue like steroids, would he have received the vote?
2. Now that he can only be inducted by the veterans committee, what do you think his chances are?
3. Do you think his bouncing around from team to team later in his career hurts the voter's perception of him?
I think it's very unfortunate that he won't stay on the ballot. I'm one who, after reading your analysis and through my own observation of him when he was active, certainly would get my vote if I had one.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I think Lofton suffers less because of the steroid protest than the size of the crowd on the ballot and the fact that a certain segment of the electorate dramatically undervalues walks and defense. Nearly all of the Hall's recent injustices fit into that pattern - think of Ron Santo, Bobby Grich and Tim Raines, for example.
Lofton will have a long wait ahead of him if his cause is taken up by the Veterans Committee. Among center field contemporaries, Jim Edmonds, Andruw Jones and Carlos Beltran will all have their cases taken up by the BBWAA, and they've got reasonable merits and similar JAWS scores too.
Eusebio (Houston): Fill in the blank: If I think Jack Morris is an HOF'er but not Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, and- for Pete's sake!- Edgar Martinez, I am a _______.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: ...believer that election to the Hall of Fame should be based on narrative rather than statistical evidence.
Yefrem (Canada): When the dust clears, do you see Lou Whitaker getting in to the Hall?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Eventually, I think there's a good chance Trammell, Whitaker and Morris are all enshrined via the Veterans Committee process. I have Whitaker a bit below the JAWS standard and below Bobby Grich (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_2B.shtml), but he's above on career and we're talking numbers to the right of the decimal overall - a false precision, basically.
It's probably too late given the current crowd of candidates, but I'd like to have seen Whitaker get back onto the BBWAA ballot via a similar amnesty to what put Ron Santo on the ballot in 1985 after he went 1-and-done in 1980.
Brandon Warne (Plymouth, Minn. ): In the spirit of "best of a bad situation" which is prefereable: a blank ballot or an unsubmitted ballot? I vacillate between the two, as a blank ballot almost seems lazy, but also doesn't count against percentages.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I HATE the blank ballot, or at least that it counts against everybody's vote percentage. Unsubmitted ballot is a respectable position, and nobody made a stronger or more reasonable statement by doing so during this past cycle than ESPN's T.J. Quinn.
JimBeau (Left Coast): Thanks for the chat, Jay. I guess what bothers me the most is the innuendo (non)vote; the whole 'they played their career during the steroid era" meme. The guys spouting that sactimonious bull were the ones covering the sport and turning the other way. Personaly, I'd like to see all the BBWAA memebers who covered baseball as a primary function of their jobs during the "steroid era" lose their HOF voting privledges for their part in "sullying" the game.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I certainly think that there were some voters - even some of the bigger names in the field - who were riding an awfully high horse given that they themselves fell short in their own job of covering the game when the steroid problem was rampant. I don't think they should have been expected to name names, but there were other ways to address the problem as reporters, starting with asking the right questions.
Dan (Danvers): Jay,
I'm sure you're going to get a bunch of questions on if is a hall of famer to you. My question is on Jeff Kent. He's pretty well below HOF average in JAWS for second basemen (mostly because his WAR is lowered due to the era in which he played), but his non-adjusted numbers are pretty high for a second baseman. Would you say that he is a hall of famer?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I'm not a huge fan of his candidacy, especially on a ballot as crowded as the coming ones. That said, the big knock on him is defense, which is much less of an exact science, and his merits from a traditional standpoint are pretty decent. I wouldn't put him on my ballot, but I can understand why others would.
Bob (Seattle): I'm disappointed that no one made it, but if faced with either (a) having both Biggio and Morris elected or (b) no one being chosen, I'd prefer b since it doesn't dilute the HOF. Your thoughts?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I'd lean the latter way (B) unless this were the final round for both players as candidates, since I'm thoroughly convinced Biggio belongs.
Matt Kory (Portland, OR): Hey Jay, a year or so back I asked you about David Ortiz and where his Hall of Fame chances stand. Believe you said he was well short. After the injury-shortened excellence of last season, has anything changed on that front?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Partial seasons don't advance a player's cause all that much, and as it is, Ortiz is massively short on both career and peak, and running out of time (36.4/30.4/33.4 vs a standard of 62.3/40.7/51.5). Plus he's got the leaked survey test PED positive against his name. That precedent may fall by the time he's eligible, but as I see it he's got huge obstacles to surmount to reach Cooperstown. I mean, based on scores alone, I'd vote Sosa (also a survey test positive) before Ortiz, and I'd vote Edgar Martinez over Ortiz if we're simply going on DH-type players.
BP (Paris): Do you think 'statistical evidence' should be the exclusive criterion by which HOF candidates are judged ?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Postseason performance, awards, milestones and other considerations should all be part of a player's case, but in my mind they collectively make up just a fraction. Maybe 20-25%? I've never settled on an answer for that one.
19braves77 (Pensacola. FL): Do you think some writers will hold a grudge against Glavine next year due to his imput on the 1994 Major League Baseball strike and drug testing as a players' union representative ?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I voiced this opinion last night on Twitter. I think there's something to it, if you go back and look at the low votes for Ted Simmons, Joe Torre and more recently David Cone. Curt Schilling, a JAWS-approved candidate, himself noted that he felt his low vote share (38.8%) in part reflected his activity as a player representative who didn't do enough to combat PEDs during his time. For once, I agree with him.
Will it be enough to keep Glavine out? Possibly on the first ballot given the crowd of candidates, the tenor of the electorate, and the precedent of not all 300-game winners making it on the first try (Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton and Phil Niekro had to wait). He'll get his plaque eventually, though.
Brian (College Station, TX): Chances Andy Pettitte makes it to the Hall with voters making steroid users wait a few years on the ballot?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Another one from the Twitter files. I think Pettitte has a significantly uphill battle ahead of him. Even with a strong postseason resume, he doesn't have a Cy Young award or much in the way of All-Star appearances (3), and he's just 92nd in JAWS among starting pitchers, with a peak that's 15.6 points off the standard and a career that's 13.9 short. He comes nowhere close to measuring up to the wave of non-300 win guys reaching the ballot in 2013-2015 - Schilling, Mike Mussina, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez. He's been one of my favorite players, but I wouldn't vote for him.
kcboomer (KC): Okay, nobody elected this year, no one's dropping off the ballot who got any real support, and next year's newbies are almost as impressive as this year's group. The writers may be staring at a 2014 ballot that (ignoring PEDs and pettiness) might have 15 legit HoFers on it.
I really don't think expanding the ballot is much of an answer. Does anyone seriously Biggio didn't get elected because 3 writers had him as their 11th choice??
Maybe a simpler choice is to recognize that for the second time we are confronted with an embarrassment of riches and for the next five years elect the top two/three vote getters.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: The idea of going to a runoff system was used at least a couple of times in the 1960s to proclaim one winner if nobody got 75 percent the first time around. I suppose it's possible such a system could be re-introduced to produce a given number of honorees, but right now I see less momentum for that among the electorate than I do a changed to the 10-man limit.
Jim Clancy (Exhibition Stadium): Dave Steib trounces Jack Morris in career JAWS. Do you think the average HoF voter knows that?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: The average HOF voter probably couldn't give a shit about JAWS; the above-average voter may, however, and I applaud his or her good taste. The average voter also couldn't give a shit about Stieb, who received just 1.4 percent of the vote in 2004, a year that Morris received 26.3 percent. Back then, I had the two right about even in what wasn't even yet named JAWS and still used a 5-consecutive season definition of peak: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2510
Charlie (Bethesda): It doesn't change my opinion that he isn't a HoFer (but wouldn't be an awful member) but what do you think of John Perrotto's comment about Palmeiro? My reaction was just shock
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Independent of John, I have heard a story that fits within the parameters of what John said (see http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19277), but I'm not really in a position to elaborate further.
Matt Kory (Portland, OR): A quick aside: what's the best beer you've had recently?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: The Stone Enjoy By 12.21.12 was outstanding, and I really liked the Sam Smith Winter Welcome Ale and the Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black as well.
R. A. Wagman (Toronto): PEDs did not - could not - ruin baseball. However, PEDs did ruin baseball journalism - please comment.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I'd say that's true if we're talking about a failure to fully report on the story as it unfolded. If we're just talking about the silly posturing of certain writers and the retroactive morality they apply during voting season, I'm not sure that's enough to do so because there's still a whole lot of good writing out there - it's just coming from different outlets.
sarsfield (San Diego, California): Jay - I've enjoyed watching you on the MLB network this week along with your coulumns, which are always great.
What do you think of Trevor Hoffman's chances especially with the way most of the sabermetric community feels about the save statistic. Thanks
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: To me, Hoffman looks a lot like Lee Smith, who held the all-time saves lead for awhile before being overtaken - a guy with an impressive save total but not above-average value relative to the already-enshrined relievers, even with Bruce Sutter weighing that group down.
Steve G. (STL): Do you think Frank Thomas will be in the same boat as Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza? In which they all played in the era of big power hitters but have smoke of PED's around them even though there is no hard evidence?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Thomas was the one player who talked to George Mitchell for his infamous report, which sets him apart from everybody else, and he doesn't even have what Piazza and Bagwell both do - admissions that they used androstenedione during a time when it was still legal both in the eyes of the government and baseball (a set of facts I'm surprised few writers mention; see their candidate profiles at http://mlb.si.com for the links). I think he'll be helped by that but hurt by the fact that something like 55% of his career was spent as a DH. He'll get in, but maybe not on the first ballot.
Ashitaka1110 (Houston, TX): Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are both easily Top 15 players all-time at their position (and Bagwell maybe even Top 5); Schilling is one of the best RH pitchers of the last fifty years, both regular season and certainly post-season, couldn't even get 40%; Bernie Williams and Kenny Lofton, two of the best CF of the last 30 years, didn't even get enough to stay on the ballot. How broken is the system? Can it even be fixed? What would you say to someone that says that, considering there are mediocre guys that have been elected and excellent ones that have been snubbed, that the Hall of Fame has been rendered meaningless as an honor?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I don't think the system is as broken as you suggest, by any means - one year is a small sample size by which to judge the results you mention. Bagwell and Biggio will be in very soon. I have Bernie well below the standard, and Lofton slightly below, so I can't really get too up in arms over that portion of what you wrote.
The Hall is still a pretty great honor; even if some of the wrong guys are getting in, to me it's far more worth fighting for the right guys getting in than walking away in disgust. The presence of Jim Rice or even Jack Morris in Cooperstown shouldn't ruin it for anyone.
Steve (Milwaukee): When guys like Jim Rice or Andre Dawson are inducted into the Hall of Fame, does that change the standards for new players in JAWS?
There is always this argument that if a certain player gets in in, it lowers the bar. Maybe we shouldn't compare potential Hall of Famers to the lowest standard for entrance. Would there be a way to establish a new "bar" for entry?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Yes, it lowers the standards ever so slightly, but that's stuff to the right side of the decimal, generally; Rice might have knocked a whole point off the standard but that's a huge rarity. So long as we're not comparing players to the well-below-average guys at the position - THIS GUY IS BETTER THAN CHICK HAFEY OR HACK WILSON OR CATFISH HUNTER SO THEREFORE SHOULD BE IN - I think we're OK.
In my series I did note the averages among the BBWAA-elected players at the position, as well as those who are above the median but not the mean (http://bit.ly/WgSH1C). I can see a small-Hall voter focusing on the highest standard there to use that as a reasonable bar.
Steve N (Delaware): I think that Troy Percival comes up in a couple of years. Do you think he is a deserving HOFer?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Nope. He's 81st among relievers in JAWS. Mariano Rivera is the only reliever above the standard who's not in, and that includes Trevor Hoffman.
Hoot Stromboli (city by a Great Lake): Jon Singleton: Is this a first time that a player has been suspended for pot? Is is this a reasonable action on the Organized Baseball's?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Not the first time it's happened. Jeremy Jeffress was suspended not once but twice, Tim Beckham was suspended once, and there may be others. I think it's an excessive penalty, particularly given the double standards. For one, players on the 40-man roster aren't tested for drugs of abuse. For another, smoking pot is far less harmful to others than drunk driving, which carries no sanction within major or minor league baseball.
BP (Paris): Thoughts on the editorial board of the NYfrigginTimes taking a stand against PED users in the Hall ?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: This GIF illustrates my feelings on their stance: http://deadspin.com/5942633/
firstname.lastname@example.org (Capitol City): Whatever you think of schilling's candidacy, given what we've seen and heard from (and know about)the electorate, isn't it far more likely that this group of Hall voters gave Schilling a low total simply because he didn't have enough "wins" or because he was something of an ass. To base it on his player rep status seems like a stretch. Are you really suggesting that writers remember -- and take into account -- who the player reps were in the 'steroid era?" Curtis Schilling would never say something as simple as, "I didn't get the votes because they didn't think I was good enough."
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I think there were a multiplicity of factors in play - old school notions of pitcher standards, his rather grating public persona, his involvement within the union, blanket first-ballot prejudice from a bloc of writers, blanket steroid-statement stance from another bloc, and who knows what else. I don't think his status as a player rep was the BIGGEST factor by any means, but I wouldn't dismiss it at all. After all, there are still some very crusty writers on the voting rolls.
Steve (Milwaukee): Do you see the way players are judged for entrance into the Hall of Fame evolving in the coming years and decades? Defense seems to just be getting to the point where we can judge a player's career. Will there be any cases that get pushed in due to statistical evidence supporting their exceptional defense?
(And no, I'm not just trying to find a way for Jose Molina to make it in the HOF.)
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: I think it's already changing; look at the way sabermetrics helped Bert Blyleven's climb. I don't think defensee alone is going to get anybody into Cooperstown unless they've got Ozzie Smith-level defensive numbers, which is tough luck for Omar Vizquel.
Scott (LA): I appreciate WAR as a reflective statistic but how is it possible that a player like Vladimir Guererro falls so short in both career AND peak compared to HOF Right Fielders? Yes he was a hacker, but his career OBP is still .379 and OPS .931 with most of his home games in pitcher friendly parks. He was arguably the most feared hitter in the game for a 7 year period, leading the league in intentional walks yet he comes in below guys like Dwight Evans, Reggie Smith, Gary Sheffield and Bobby Bonds. Really?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Vlad racked up his numbers in a much more offense-friendly era than the guys you mention (Sheffield excepted - and the two are side-by-side in the JAWS rankings), his defensive value was in the red, he had one really productive season after age 33, and doesn't have *anything* after his age 36 season. It's very tough to get into the Hall of Fame with a resume like that no matter what preceded it; ask Dale Murphy.
Mike Shumka (Milton, Ontario): I know Carlos Delgado isn't up for election until 2015, but given that a comparable player (on another site) is Fred McGriff (though McGriff's JAWS socre is higher than Delgado's; 40.7 to 36.3, though their peaks are very close, off by 1 point, with McGriff's being higher), do you forecast that he'll experience a similar voting path McGriff is currently experiencing? Of course, their eligibility windows are different entities, and it may be somewhat like comparing apples to oranges, but the big link between the two is that their careers overlapped the PED era.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Yeah, I don't see Delgado getting anywhere in the voting if McGriff doesn't. It doesn't help his cause that nothing he did after age 34 had much value, WAR-wise.
PBuEsq (St. Louis): This might be overly cynical, but do you really think that the portion of the HOF electorate who automatically vote against anyone who played in the 90s due to steroid suspicion actually know (or care) that Frank Thomas talked to George Mitchell? I'd be surprised if a majority of the portion who no longer primarily write about baseball know or care about that fact. Tangentially, do you know what percentage of the voters are not actively covering baseball?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: If there's one thing the writers collectively have, it's a LONG memory, but anti-PED era fervor could still work against Thomas. As for the tangent, if the BBWAA trims their rolls, we'll have at least a partial answer.
dcarroll (WI): When you write PEDs, does that mean that you agree that at least some of these substances enhance performance? Or is it merely shorthand, a way to write more quickly?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: It's a shorthand for anabolic steroids, HGH (which itself is not anabolic) and amphetamines, all of which are banned under the Joint Drug Agreement, though their actual merits in terms of performance enhancement aren't quantifiable.
batts40 (IL): How could one justify a vote for Morris but not Schilling?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: By basing their vote on win totals and narrative rather than a fuller look at the whole statistical package.
Rob (DC): Jay, if I remember correctly, your general view on setting the bar for admission is that new Hall of Famers should be at least as good as current HOFers at their position, as measured by JAWS. Are there any positions or time periods for which you would like to see the bar lowered? (For example, third basemen seem generally underrepresented to me, as do 1970s position players and 1980s pitchers.)
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Well, adjusting for position distribution, as I began doing last year, is one way to lower the standards a hair to account for shortcomings. Another is to simply note the lack of representation at a given position for a given era. Telling me that Jack Morris led the majors in wins in a given 10-year stretch doesn't move the needle for me, telling me he led the majors in WAR among pitchers for a 10-year stretch is a supporting point beyond the simple JAWS yes/no.
Art (Lake Forest): Which former top prospect do you think has a better chance of turning into an allstar caliber player, Cameron Maybin or Colby Rasmus?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Maybe Rasmus, who has more power and could more easily withstand a move to a corner (his defensive numbers are bad). But I'm not keen on either becoming perennial All-Stars based upon what we've seen so far.
Bob (Seattle): Do you think Schilling's failures with his software company and the loans from the RI government cost him a few votes?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Maybe one or two, if you are a Rhode Islander - I haven't even checked to see if anyone from the Providence Journal voted, or what they voted with regards to Schilling. The recency of that situation certainly doesn't help, but as noted above, there were no shortage of other reasons ahead of those.
Brandon Warne (Plymouth, Minn.): Would you have voted for Lofton?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Lofton was my #11, a player who was below the JAWS average in CF but above the median. Given that he was also among the position's top 10, I'd have voted for him if I had a real vote and unlimited ballot space, but absent a game-theory approach (withdrawing support from a candidate who I knew would survive to help another survive) I don't think I could justify putting him above another candidate.
Fred L (Houston): How does Chipper rate out on the JAWS scale?
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: He was below the WARP-based standard, because Fielding Runs Above Average particularly hated him, but he's fifth among third basemen via the bWAR-based standard (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_3B.shtml), which intuitively makes a bit more sense and is more in line with the general perception of him as a Hall of Famer who ranks among the all-time greats at the position.
Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame: Okay folks, that's all I have time for today. Thanks so much for stopping by to chat - hopefully, we'll do it again sometime soon.