Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Only Sutter.

HoF results announced, with only one inductee. Honestly I didn't see that coming - weird how the voters have all of a sudden become stingy. Rice and Gossage with just shy of 65%.

Since becoming eligible in 1994, Sutter's percentages were 23.9, 29.8, 29.2, 27.5, 31.1, 24.1, 38.5, 47.6, 50.4, 53.6, 59.5 66.7, 75.6.
Since becoming eligible in 1995, Rice's percentages were 29.8, 35.3, 37.6, 42.3, 29.3, 51.5, 57.9, 55.1, 53.6, 54.6, 59.5, 64.8.
Since becoming eligible in 2000, Gossage's percentages were 33.3, 44.3, 43.0, 42.1, 40.7, 55.2, 64.7.

So it looks like Gossage is a shoo-in, but for Rice it'll be tough; only 3 more years to get another 10%. And the class of 2007 includes Gwynn and Ripken. (Also, between 1999 and 2000, nearly 1 in 4 writers changed their mind about Rice. Weird.)

Nice graphs of recent voting (not counting today's results) here. Also, according to the NYT, "Since 1968, of the 28 other players who finished with the highest percentage of the vote without being elected, 21 have been elected eventually, most the next year, and 4 who were in their last year on the ballot were later chosen by the veterans committee." Good news for Rice, I guess?


  1. Its a shame. I truly believe Rice should be in.

    And yes next year will be tough with Gwynn and Cal, but pretty much ALL the debate next year will be focused on McGwire. I guess is that he will be excluded from admission, which is too bad because it will be based on (pretty much) no evidence. Sad.

  2. Well, no evidence that's admissable in a courtroom...but if he hadn't juiced, all he had to do was say that under oath. Which he didn't. Pretty damning, really.

  3. I hear what you are saying and agree to a certain extent. But really what business did Congress have calling him in there?

  4. I guess I have mixed feelings about that. MLB had been turning a blind eye to obviously illegal behavior for years, and was profiting hugely off it. Which I'd say is not normally an issue for Congress to tackle....but this isn't a normal case, because of the antitrust exemption. If Major League Baseball is going to get special status from the US Government, making them exempt from all sorts of laws every other business in the country (including other pro sports!) must obey, I feel the government has the right to demand a certain level of legality in the operation of baseball.

    In my opinion, Congress should revoke the exemption, and then stay out of MLB's business.

  5. I agree...Certainly it would be impossible for another baseball league to ever get to the level of MLB...What would baseball really care?

    McGwire is not a first ballot guy...Regardless of all the Home Runs...If that were the barometer then maybe Canseco is a first ballot guy. His career average was somewhere around .260 and he was an average fielder. Yes, he did break the record, but so did Sosa. I wouldn't put him in on the first ballot, either....What is crazy about McGwire is that over 1/3 of his hits were HRs...

    I doubt that Gwynn gets in on the first ballot, either. And he hit .338 with over 3,000 hits...

    I think they'll both get in, but not on the first try...

  6. Gentleman, I have a couple questions that would be helpful to me:

    1. What are the mechanics of the ballot. As a BBWAA writer how many people can I vote in a given year? Is there a ranking or is it just a straight vote?

    2. Does any have any data on the % of inductees elected in their first year?

    3. What no banter about Rose's 10 write-in votes?!

    Finally, I have to agree with Earl. If MLB is exempt of specific laws I do feel that congress has the right to get involved. That being said, it was clearly an effort by members of congress to "grandstand".

  7. 1) BBWAA members can vote for as many or as few as they like; no ranking. 12 submitted blank ballots.

    2) 36 out of 196 players went in on the first ballot. 40 if you count the first-ever HoF class (Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, Mathewson, Johnson...yes, Cobb got more votes than Ruth). The list can be found here.

    3) I missed that about Rose's write-ins. Much worse is that Gary Gaetti got four votes.

  8. One small correction - BBWAA members that are eligible to vote (those with 10 or more years - and then even if they retire, they can keep their voting priveleges) - can vote for up to 10 players, not unlimited.

    The full rules are here:


    And as far as the whole Congress thing is concerned, I have heard the anti trust exemption used as an argument for their involvement, but I don't really think that is the reason - they did it because they knew they could get their faces on TV. They hid behind the exemption, which really does not provide as much benefit - it limits teams from moving from one city to another. Sure the so called exemption has had some other affects on players and the reserve clause - but not anymore so than in other sports. PLus, Congress did threaten ALL major sports this year when they were beating up on baseball.

    I am torn on McGwire. And the debate next year is very interesting. I like that GR says he does not think he is HOF player - I can debate that. The facts are there. What I can't debate is when a writer like say, CHB, says he won't vote for Big Mac because he is a cheat, etc.

    Maybe he got bad advice on what to say, thinking that his approach would not end up being ridiculed the way it was. But had he denied (a al say Sosa), there would still be people who say they don't believe him, etc.

  9. Thanks -- didn't know about the "10 max" rule.

    I agree about Congress grandstanding; the worst part is that no one called Sen. Bunning out his buddies using amphetamines. And that's a good point about nobody believing McGwire if he were to deny roid use -- Palmeiro's a better example than Sosa.

    As for the antitrust exemption: it's a not a huge deal now, but used to be. If one of the other upstart leagues had been allowed to compete, MLB could be very different (my guess is better, and less profitable) than it is today.

  10. Palmeiro and Sosa actually probably add up to the reason why a denial by McGwire would not have done him any good. Had Mac denied, just like Sosa people would have said they didn't believe his and *exactly* said that since Raffy denied and was lying then Big Mac must have lied.

    Even though I don't think he has a vote, I can see a guy like Bob Ryan getting on his high horse.

    Its too bad that the debate couldn't be about his performace like his 263 average versus his 394 OBP or his ridiculous 163 career OPS+.

  11. I agree, but of course a small difference is that McGwire has more credibility than Sosa (corker) and Palmeiro (failed steroid test).

    Hey, look what I wrote about Palmeiro after the hearings...

  12. Right. So if McGwire had come out and said "I never used illegal steroids" would you believe him. Or would we just have more questions about what is illegal? Baseball or US Federal law? Andro is a steroid precursor so could he even say "I never used Steroids."

    I agree 100% on Bunning wussing out. I may have gotten thrown in jail for doing it, but I might have told Congress that I would answer their questions when they would under oath answer whether they had ever used illegal drugs - after all ballplayers are idols and heros, but our congressman are leaders, etc.

  13. Well, me, personally: I'd believe McGwire. As my March 18 post shows, I believe(d) Sosa and Palmeiro. But yeah, I think a lot of people wouldn't be with me there.