My 2012 FanSided Hall of Fame Ballot
The fine people at FanSided and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance continue to ask me to vote on the Hall of Fame, a clear sign they aren’t reading any of this nonsense, but I never miss an opportunity to yell about Wins Above Replacement on the Internets. Hall of Fame voting is a great time for baseballs fans to argue and writers to fill column space. Then, after the voting, everybody disagrees with each other and forgets about it a week later. Just. Just such a magical time.
I’m no different though. It’s part of my wonderful, argumentative nature. Many say that’s why I’m single and they have a good point. Before we get to my ballot and quick analysis, remember that it takes 75% of the vote to get in, a voter can have up to 10 names on the ballot and Wins Above Replacement isn’t the end-all but it’s a good starting place.
This is my 2012 ballot with their 2011 HOF percentage…
Allow my to explain (I’ll be using Baseball-Reference for stats unless otherwise noted)…
Larkin is likely the lone HOF inductee this year unless Jack Morris picks up some more irrational love. Here are the top 10 short stops (played 70% of their games at SS) sorted by WAR.
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
I think we can all agree that Jeter walks in to the Hall when he’s eligible. That just leaves Larkin and Trammell outside of the Hall on that list. Larkin should resolve that this year.
The only, only, reason I can figure Bagwell isn’t already in the Hall of Fame is because of the “Steroid ERA.” Bagwell never tested positive for anything or was suspected of cheating but former teammate Ken Caminiti admitted to using steroids. Guilty! Here’s the top 10 firstbasemen (70% of games) sorted by WAR…
Really, a career .408 OBP and .540 SLG gets you 41.7% of the vote? Here are the only players to put up those stats over 2,000+ games…
Helton will likely be hurt by playing in Coors Field and Manny for the obvious reasons but Bagwell has to eventually get into the Hall.
Raines is a good example of where WAR doesn’t tell the whole story. Baseball-Reference has Raines at 64.6 WAR and Fangraphs has him at 70.9 WAR. In this case, I’ll defer to the great Tim Raines-Hall of Fame site.
Martinez struggles in the voting because he spent most of his career at designated hitter. He was a monster with the stick though. He should already be in the Hall but this one might take some time. He finished his career with a .418 OBP. Sounds like a good time for another chart…
After Frank Thomas walks into the Hall, maybe Edgar can get a little more love for being a DH.
And Lou Whitaker too. In a perfect world, Trammell and Whitaker would have gone into the Hall together. Unfortunately, Sweet Lou fell off the ballot in his first year of elgibility in 2001 after not receiving 5% of the vote. Trammell is still treading water and will have to continue to do so until voters realize he was a great defensive short stop. He’s in the table above with Larkin. Just in case you though I had some Trammell-graphic bias.
McGwire hit a high 23.7% of the vote in 2010 before hitting his low 19.8% in 2011. It doesn’t look good. McGwire is an admitted steroid user so he can’t get into the Hall under the Old Guard’s watch. But before McGwire hit 70 home runs in 1998 during the evil steroid era, he hit 49 home runs as a 23-year-old rookie in 1987. Maybe I have a more laissez faire attitude about the steroid era than most. Maybe I think amphetimines were a performance enhancer in the 1970’s. Maybe I have an exgirlfriend who wouldn’t let people talk about Barry Bonds around me because I’d yell about him being the greatest hitter of all time for hours. Where was I? Oh, right. McGwire should be in the Hall but it’s probably going to take 10 years before we see an upward tick in his percentage. The rise of the Internet writer!
Here’s my awesome post about Larry Walker vs. Jim Rice on Off Base Percentage. Ask me tomorrow and I’d probably vote for Walker. I’m totally on the fence. He’s a former Expo. That’s like 10 bonus points. I’ll vote for him next year.