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The Hall of Fame ballot will be announced today

Nov 28, 2012, 6:52 AM EDT

Brace Yourself

Many of you hate Hall of Fame arguments. Many of you hate steroids arguments. If that’s the case, you may want to skip about half of all baseball content written between now and the end of the year. Why? Because the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot will be announced at noon today, and it represents a watershed moment for both the Hall of Fame and the subject of performance enhancing drugs in baseball. The arguments, they shall be epic. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

The main event, obviously, is the debut of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa on the Hall of Fame ballot.  All three were considered locks for the Hall at one point, their cases so obvious that detailing them here seems superfluous. But their associations with PEDS — or, less charitably, their perceived public relations deficiencies in handling their association with PEDS — makes all three extreme long shots at induction. Indeed, I would bet there is a non-trivial chance that Sosa gets such little support he could fall off the ballot in the next couple of years.

But it’s not just those three. Also making their debut today will be Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling. Biggio had 3000 hits and no one has yet to publicly accuse him of taking PEDS, so you’d have to think he stands a good shot. Schilling’s baseball case was less of a lock — he had big moments and great years, but not as many as other inductees — but he has many supporters. Piazza would seem to be a no-brainer inductee, but a whisper campaign about his alleged PED use has existed for some time despite there being no public evidence whatsoever that he used them. It will likely give many voters pause.

Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are holdover candidates. Morris has been on the ballot since 2000 and is running out of time (players can appear for 15 years without being inducted before falling off). He received 67% of the vote last year, so he’s a good bet to receive the 75% necessary for induction this year, despite his on-the-merits baseball case being among the weaker ones in recent memory. In contrast, Tim Raines — who does not have PED associations and whose bonafides are ridiculously strong — has received short shrift and will likely fall short again. Bagwell was one of the best first basemen in baseball history, but unsubstantiated steroid allegations have kept his vote totals low. They will likely remain too low for induction.

If you’ve gotten the sense that the Hall of Fame voting process is in Bizarro Land, you are correct. The most worthy candidates like Barry Bonds are and likely will continue to be shut out. The more marginal candidates like Jack Morris are being ushered into Cooperstown. Cold hard facts of a stat sheet are being wholly ignored while gossip, rumor, innuendo and in some cases flat out slander are being elevated to imperative-creating gospel. In short, the Baseball Writers Association of America has damn near lost its mind when it comes to Hall of Fame voting.

The reason: an epidemic of puritanism in the Hall of Fame electorate, which seems to believe that examples need to be made of the Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens of the world despite the fact that (a) huge numbers of ballplayers in their era used PEDS, not just them; (b) despite rampant use, no one else came close to their production and greatness on the field; (c) Major League Baseball and the very media which forms the electorate turned a blind eye to their PED use at best and actively encouraged it at worst for about 20 years; and (d) every past era has seen players cheat and dope their way to greatness and ultimately into the Hall of Fame, and no one seemed to care.

Those who defend their exclusion of Bonds et al. will do so based on the clause on their Hall of Fame ballot which commands voters to consider, in addition to a candidate’s baseball talents, his “integrity, sportsmanship, character.” It should be noted that these words, commonly referred to as the “character clause,” did nothing to keep racists, segregationists, criminals, cheaters and drug users out of the Hall of Fame before Mark McGwire first appeared on the ballot a few years ago. Indeed, the Hall is home to some of the worst human beings to ever don a baseball uniform or wield an executive’s pen, most of them happily voted in by a baseball press who couldn’t care less about candidates’ moral shortcomings as long they had the numbers or the fame. But it has been dusted off for the PED crowd. Hall of Fame voters feel an odd sense of betrayal about these guys. A betrayal that is both lacking in coherence and intellectual consistency, even when they try their hardest to explain its nature.

But here we are.  The ballots will be released today. The arguments will commence. The voting will ensue. And on January 9, 2013 the results will be announced. For the next month and change, we here at HardballTalk will be making arguments for and against the candidates, will be engaging that lack of coherence in the Hall of Fame electorate and, hopefully, highlighting instances of the fever breaking and reason being restored in the case of some voters. If that is not your cup of tea, you should be able to easily avoid such content based on the headline of individual posts. Again, don’t say you weren’t warned.

In the end I suspect that Jack Morris and Craig Biggio will be the two inductees, with Curt Schilling falling a bit short and Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Piazza, Bagwell and Raines falling considerably and damn near criminally short.  I’m hoping to be surprised, but I’m not at all optimistic.

Gentlemen, start your outrage.

121 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. dirtyharry1971 - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    Bonds and Clemens should both go in, Raines should see a big jump in the voting as well. Anyone who doesnt vote for Bonds and Clemens should be arrested and sent to toronto to live for the rest of their lives and never be allowed to vote again and forced to watch nothing but bluejay baseball 365 days a year.

    • heyblueyoustink - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      Translation: “I’m a penis.”

    • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:36 AM

      pssh I wish we had baseball 365 days a year

      • azvikefan - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

        Me too.

    • escapingexile - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      I’m not even a Blue Jay fan, but considering that they just pulled off a pretty sweet trade in combination with a division that has a whole bunch of question marks from where I sit, at least for the next year watching Bluejay baseball might not necessarily be such a punishment.

    • cur68 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      Su-WEEEEEEET! More Beaver Fans! Seal blubber dip’s in the living room. Corn chips, carrot sticks and icicles next to it. The beer is from domestic micro breweries, make a spot in the snow out back if you brought some of your own. Don’t mind the sled dogs but watch where you step. Game’s in four months so kick back, have a brewski & lets throw darts at this Justin Bieber dart board till pitchers & catchers report, eh?

      • rockthered1286 - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        You had me at seal blubber.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        Hey, red, what he didn’t tell you is that he drowns out the sound of Buck & McCarver w/ Rush. There’s a devil’s choice for you: twits or prog.

  2. The Common Man - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    I’m already at 11.

    • mrfloydpink - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      TCM: Shame on you. You obviously have forgotten that steroids have done irreparable harm to baseball, and indeed to our society, arguably threatening the very fabric of life as we know it. Unlike, say, racism, which never hurt anybody anywhere at any time. Got it, now?

    • bravojawja - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Because it’s one louder?

    • qcubed3 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Why don’t you just make 10 louder?

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Bagwell. Raines. Bonds. Clemens. Biggio. Piazza. Should be absolute locks.

    Schilling may get hurt by the recent news about his dealings with that company. If they frown on the PEDs, I wonder whether the sanctimonious BBWAA will hold that against him…I’m betting some will. Besides, his regular season career isn’t all that special. If he gets in, its for the postseason record.

  4. skids003 - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    This will surely give the bloggers and writers plenty to write about. Craig, you should get plenty of hits.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      I think it’s cute when people say things like this, as if writing about stuff in baseball and having people read it isn’t my actual job description.

      Do you go up to auto workers and sarcastically say “the economy will surely give you and the other auto workers plenty to build. Bob, you should make plenty of cars.” Do you go up to janitors and sarcastically say “lots of people throwing things out will give you plenty to do. Fred, you should have have plenty of trash cans to empty.”

      And if the answer is that the baseball writing isn’t important like those things, why in the hell are you here to begin with?

      • Old Gator - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:34 AM

        Craig, switch to decaf.

      • stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:44 AM

        Hey, I work in the petrochemical industry. If someone says to me “Raw material prices are down, plastic prices are up, you should get lots of work for the next two years”; I say “great, glad to hear it!” I don’t think that was a slam.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

        Well, if I misjudged skids, apologies. But I will note that the sentiment he offered “you sure will have a lot to write about and will get lots of page views” has become a favorite snide comment by people who want to register their disgust or weariness with a topic or, more broadly, with bloggers in general.

      • xmatt0926x - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:56 AM

        What Old Gator said. Seriously.

      • mrfloydpink - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:10 AM

        Well, if people are fed up with bloggers, they should really head over to Because he, thankfully, is not a blogger.

        (Also, I will second those who say that I think you probably read a bit too much between the lines. Craig.)

      • seeinred87 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Do people seriously not see what skids said as a shot? Not a terrible one or anything like that, but this is the internet, and people do not say things like that sincerely on the internet. It’s obviously tough to judge the tone of the text, but it seemed patronizing to me.

      • cur68 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        This is skids(insertnumberhere). He’s been a serial asshole for some time. The comment was almost certainly meant as a shot at Craig for bringing up the PEDs thing again as though Craig was doing it for page views alone and didn’t sincerely feel the argument was valid to have. I know this is so because skids(insertnumberhere) has done this before and been much more transparent about it. Just his luck he managed to parse this one such that there was a soupçon of doubt as to how much bile was in it.

      • skids003 - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        Craig, actually I did mean it to mean you guys would have plenty to write about, I didn’t mean it facetiously at all. I do understand how it could be taken that way, but that’s OK, I understand why you might have thought I meant that.

        As to cur68, since he’s now a mindreader, I hope he can read mine right now, as to what I’m thinking he is.

  5. theonlynolan - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    You can make a strong case for about a dozen players that are eligible for induction into the Hall this year. Overall three will probably get in and one of those three, Jack Morris, is not among the dozen players who have a strong case.

    The writers better figure out what the Hall is in a hurry because if someone doesn’t make a decision soon Cooperstown’s going to become a joke. With more great and controversial players eligible over the next few years we’re looking at a logjam that could really cause some problems.

  6. gbar22 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    I always like to turn to America’s most popular sport for comparison regarding steroids. In football no one seems to care its almost accepted that these players do something and when one is caught it in no way seems to be the witch hunt worst human being alive media coverage that we get in baseball when someone is caught. Case in point Shawn Merriman was caught and voters still gave him defensive player of the year but if he were on baseball they would talk of stripping it from him and banning him from the field. So why the difference between the two sports? Some argue it’s because baseball is older and the numbers more sacred but numbers are sacred in both sports for their respective fans. Baseballs biggest issue in my eyes are the old guard of ancient baseball writers who wax poetic about everything old in baseball as though today’s game (which has never been more popular) is somehow unworthy of their childhood memories from the 30’s 40’s and 50’s and even the 60’s. I personally think on the whole the younger writers and fans don’t really view what the players did as sacrilegious. To me and I think many of my contemporaries we see what the baseball players did as part of an era a culture and a select few rose above to be the cream of the crop from their era and in baseball it is impossible to judge players based off past era’s as every baseball era is different and numbers bare that out. Would Babe Ruth dominate as he once did if you put him in today’s game? The answer is a most likely no he wouldn’t but he dominated his era and that makes him great in our eyes. Clemens and Bonds were the best of the best and should be in the hall of fame and if baseball wants to create a new wing and label it the steroid era 1987-2004 and explain the history of the game during this time and put all the players elected to the hall during this time period in this wing so the whole story is told I’m good with that. However to treat these men as though they are rapists or child molesters or wife beaters the worst of the worst of society for taking a supplement to play better which in reality benefited the sport in more ways than any other era ever has in terms of popularity, growth, financial gain and overall health. These players are the very people who saved the game from the brink of no mans land and deserve credit for that. The old guard of baseball writers are the ones that need to be lampooned and called out for having a clear and negative bias against these players. They are the criminals if they treat these players like the aforementioned scum and quite frankly who gave those writers the right to declare morality in baseball? Let’s delve into their personal lives and see what we uncover and really judge if these writers are deserving to have a moral high ground when judging the steroid users.

    • apmn - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Nobody is saying that Bonds and Co. are the worst of the worst of society. They are saying that they don’t belong in the Hall of Fame because they used PED’s. You are taking Calcaterra’s invitation to outrage a bit too far.

  7. rockthered1286 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Piazza and Biggio are the only true locks. While there may be whispers about their usage, you can’t put them in the same category with guys like Bonds, Schilling, Sosa,Clemens and the media circus that has surrounded them and PED’s usage (or in Schillings case just his usual dumbass-eries). While voters are asked to remain “unbiased” it’s just not happening. They will find a justifiable reason to not vote them in, no matter what argument is presented. You can’t help but say PEDs and the first name that comes to mind is Bonds, Sosa, or Clemens. The media has painted to picture of guilty until proven innocent, so the initial thought isn’t “nobody ever proved that he used it” but instead “we all know he did but it’s too hard to prove.”

    • Old Gator - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:41 AM

      I think a lot of what’ll trip Bonds up is that the writers will be giving him is comedownance for years and years of rude treatment and perceived slights, real or imaginary. His reputation as a schmuck will be every bit as damaging to his candidacy as his reputation as Mr. Better Living through Chemistry. Surely if not for the juice he’d be a lock, schmuck and all, to join Craig’s camaraderie of the mean and ugly. But the keyboard wolfpack has sniffed out the lame bucks in the herd now and the kill is on.

      • Gamera the Brave - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        I agree with what you said, but if what reports say is true, he’s a decent guy when away from reporters. He hates reporters, partially because of how he thinks they treated his dad, and partially on general principle.

        But now the reporters smell the blood in the water. Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of blog!

      • Old Gator - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Hey, I agree with him about reporters. Unfortunately, they’re the ones who do the voting. That’s like letting the local coyote do the culling of your roasters from your layers.

        And the next extenuated metaphor of predation is….?

  8. indaburg - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll resist the arguments, but eventually, someone will make a comment so outrageously assinine that I will succumb. As we witness with Marvin Miller’s exclusion, the HoF is dangerously close to becoming a farce. This group of potential inductees will test it even further. Cooperstown was always a mecca to me in my youth, but now it’s just another formerly revered institution tainted.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      How was the pie?

      • paperlions - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        It wasn’t free, I can tell you that.

      • indaburg - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        It was awesome.

  9. titknocker - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    Any voter that uses Schillings failed video game company as a reason to not vote for the guys is an absolute moron and has no business determining the fate of former ball players on whether they get into the H.O.F or not.

    • mrfloydpink - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Ask Pete Rose about how the things you do after your career is over can hurt your HoF chances. It’s not fair in either case, I think, but there it is…

      • bravojawja - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        You should also ask him about the things he did during his career that hurt his HOF chances.

      • titknocker - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        Pete Rose was still very much around & involved in the game (player/manager) . What has Schilling done regarding baseball other than Baseball Tonight on ESPN??

  10. charlutes - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    all this outrage. “dangerously close to becoming a farce”…So what if it already is a farce, who cares? what if bonds gets in, does that change anything? I think the guy who’s poking u about hits is just pointing out that all this outrage is a waste of energy. I personally couldn’t care less if bonds and clemmons make it or not.

  11. paulhargis53 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Craig, unless I’ve missed something, I do.t think that comment was meant as a slam on you, or your writing. I’m not here as often as others are, so maybe there is a history between you two?

    Arent page views good? I think that’s all he was trying to say.

    • Gamera the Brave - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      Paul, trust me, it was sarcastic and mean as a snide poke at Craig – you know, for doing things for which he gets paid, like writing posts and generating traffic for HBT and its sponsors.

      skids is implying that Craig’s post is a shameless, cynical attempt to stir things up to generate web hits, rather than to provoke intelligent conversation.

      • skids003 - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        No I wasn’t, Mr. Mind reader.

  12. gbar22 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Concur after all if anyone took the time to actually play Schillings video game Reckoning it was actually pretty good so I wasn’t a complete failure on his part.

  13. heyblueyoustink - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Poor Ned Stark, when does he get in the HOF?

  14. stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Hope Biggio makes his first shot. His numbers are indisputable and he is a real class act. That would brighten the lives of quite a few people down here in what has otherwise become an MLB desert.

    I think the vote totals for Bagwell are on an arc toward eventual induction. But I agree it won’t be this year. Certainly as attitudes toward all of the stars of the ’90’s are dealt with, the ones who have never been proven (just nasty innuendo) will be first in. He may get it in any case.

  15. magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    sorry but i am old school….i feel the hall of fame should be for the elite…i think too often a lot of very good players get voted in…this years group has a lot of very good players, just not sure they are elite…those who might be considered elite (by statistical standards) have questions surrounding them…this might be one of the years i would not vote for anyone (assuming i had a vote…lol)…

    • stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:47 AM

      Do you have a hard definition for “elite”? Or, while we are at it, how about “old school”?

      I’m probably older than you, and I see some really historic talents in this lot.

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:27 AM

        obviously definitions are subjective….so no point in me trying to go there…

        other than the big three who have questions around their achievements, not sure i see any historic talents here….yes, biggio with 3000+ hits is exceptional….he might be the only one i would consider….piazza?….very good hitter but defense was suspect at best….would not consider him “historic” by any means…..morris, raines, etc…..all very good in my opinion, but none of them would i consider all-time greats (aka elite)…

      • Chris Fiorentino - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM

        Piazza is the greatest hitting catcher of all time. Isn’t that “historic”? Sure, he wasn’t an all-time defensive catcher, but he wasn’t terrible either. I’d maybe put Pudge, Yogi and Bench ahead of him as all around catchers. Is being the 4th best catcher ever good enough to make your hall? If not, then you are not a “Small Hall” guy…you are more like a “Microscopic Hall” guy.

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:54 AM

        sorry but piazza was terrible behind the plate…..4th best all around?….sorry but not buying that……seems like folks forget about campanella, cochrane, dickey, hartnett….based on his hitting (whispers aside) yes he should make the hall of fame…..but all around, i think there is reason for hesitation….first ballo?….not on my card…..but again i know i am in the minority here as folks today are all about stats and forget about players of the past…

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:16 AM

        Here we go

        Wait so magicrat13 you are saying Piazza is the 8th best catcher ever?

        No one here is forgetting about players of the past but unless you are 90+ years old its going to be tough to take your word for it if you are basing your opinon on your own “scouting reports”

      • paperlions - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        There is a difference between “forgetting about players of the past” and failing to over-rate players of the past based on the romanticizing of their era. Yes, there were some great catchers in the past…but the fact (and it really is a fact) that Piazza was a better hitter than they were (within the context of his league and era) does not diminish their greatness….but you seem to think it does.

        You seem to be romanticizing accomplishments you didn’t witness and disregarding those that you did.

        Piazza’s defensive wasn’t great…but he provided great offense while catching over 13,500 innings, which is a terrific contribution…and one that far outstrips a player with above average offense that was better behind the plate.

        According to you Ted Williams shouldn’t have been in the HOF because he was a horrible fielder. It’s the same argument, and just as mis-guided.

      • stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM

        Piazza and Berra have identical career WAR’s (BRef). Neither was exactly a defensive star. Yogi was quick and very solid, but not outstanding defensively. He did a lot of his damage with the bat. Piazza did himself harm on career defense in the latter years. Early on he was okay.

        Campanella’s career was a bit short for consideration. Again, his defense was good, but not outstanding. Cochrane is in the HOF, but again, more on his hitting.

        I will buy Pudge and Bench as best ever. Stats-wise, they blow the others away. And I saw both in action. Truly great catchers. Which brings us back to the PED’s innuendo thing.

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        no i am not 90+ years old, although some days i feel like it…

        i am not asking anyone to take my word on my scouting reports, just stating an opinion…

        i am also not the one who is ranking catchers….another poster said piazza is at worst the 4th best all around catcher….i just noted that he excluded a few catchers who i think many folks feel should be in that discussion…

        finally, i can’t say folks around here are forgetting about catchers of the past, but when some of the catchers i mentioned are not in the discussion i makes me wonder…

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        uh paperlions……wow….just wow….

        no need to comment any further on your post….

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:42 AM

        magicrat13 You say he isnt 4th best, then just “randomly” list other catchers, and say its your opinon. Don’t just throw out nonsense. Where do you Piazza rank?

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        others threw out names….i mentioned some that i felt should be in the discussion….nothing more than that….call it nonsense if you want, but whatever….you are entitled to your opinion…

        not sure where a person ranks at their position should have any connection to the hall of fame….in my opinion, the hall of fame is for the all time greats….if a player happens to be the xth best at his position, does not automatically make the hall of fame worthy….it might, but does not guarantee it…

        personally i would rank piazza somewhere between 5th and 10th….now how the matters to the hall of fame, i’ll leave that to others….but like i said, i think he is worthy (based solely on hiting), just not first ballot for me….

      • paperlions - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        You are the one making dumb arguments based on no evidence. Within that context, you being dismissive is hilariously ironic.

        There really isn’t any reason to comment further on any of your opinions until you can answer this: what evidence do you have that dead guys you never saw play were better than Piazza?

        Good luck, there isn’t any evidence….you’ll just say it was your opinion, while people arguing against you provide evidence for their opinion….all opinions are not created equal, and those based on nothing are worth nothing.

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM


        so nothing i say matters unless i answer your question: what evidence do you have that dead guys you never saw play were better than Piazza?”……interesting

        maybe you should answer the following: what evidence do you have that Piazza is better than dead guys you never saw play?”…see, i can play the same silly game

        i came on here stating an opinion….that’s what these boards are for….although i figured i would get flamed for my views…

        but when someone has to resort to insulting other posters?….i think that says more about you than it does about me….

        have a nice day….

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        This is why you are “getting flamed”. This whole thing started with you saying Piazza was “not historic by any means”. You then go on to say he ranks somewhere between 5th-10th all-time (lets ignore for a second you admit this ranking is based on nothing). So you are saying in the 140+ years of professional baseball being somewhere in the top 10 of arguably the toughest position to play is not “historic” or “elite”. Really? Can you understand why some of us would take exception to statements like that, based on ZERO supporting evidence?

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        you disagree with my opinion…that is fine….but to be fair, most of the posts here have zero evidence, but you jump on mine because you disagree….again no issues….to each his/her own….

        i just refuse into the name calling and flaming and such… one can make a post i would “take exception” to…..

        this is just too funny….

        like i said, have a great day….

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Incorrect, I disagree because you threw out a blanket statement with no explanation. Not sure if you are new around here but generally discussions work by offering an opinon and giving some sort of reason as to why you came to that opnion, and you have yet to do that. Also who is name calling?

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        no, i am not new around here and know how to hold discussions, but thank you for your concern…good to know if i have any questions, i have folks here to help me out…lol

        əˈpɪn yənShow Spelled [uh-pin-yuh n]
        1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
        2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        So to wrap this all up. You decided to come on this post and write your opinon. An opinon based on nothing but gut feeling. When asked to explain how you formed your opninon(which on the surface seems quite simply and routine for an baseball blog), you instead decided to argue the merits of having baseless opinon Right this makes total sense

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        my OPINION is that folks on here take these discussions way too seriously….

        the FACTS to prove this are all these meaningless posts….

        you folks really should try decaf….or maybe a good laxative…

        oh, and a book on reading comprehension might benefit a few of you as well…

        HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        Yes these discussion are taken seriously. This is a forum to discuss baseball topics amongst other knowledgeable/passionate people (and sometimes not so knowledgeable). Next time stick to the kiddie pool where you might be a little more comfortable expressing your not-so thought provoking opinions. Thanks

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        really?…another insult and now you’re telling me what to do?

        thanks…but i’ll decide what i want to do and where i want to post…thanks for the “advice” though….

        hahaha…what a riot

        another keyboard tough guy who is not worth my time…


      • rockthered1286 - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        How could I possibly ignore this thread? Let’s take a trip back to this morning @magicrat, shall we?

        You said “piazza?….very good hitter but defense was suspect at best….would not consider him “historic” by any means…none of them would i consider all-time greats (aka elite)…”

        Your justification? “all around, i think there is reason for hesitation”

        Seriously though, justifiable reason he’s not HOF worthy? “not sure where a person ranks at their position should have any connection to the hall of fame….in my opinion, the hall of fame is for the all time greats….if a player happens to be the xth best at his position, does not automatically make the hall of fame worthy….it might, but does not guarantee it…”

        So let’s summarize- how good a person was at their respective position (both bat and glove) should have no bearing on whether or not they are HOF worthy. But you say the ‘all-time greats’ belong in there. How do they get in you ask? One could argue it’s by…oh I don’t know…being one of the best at their position? See that? That’s called LOGIC. Hey, I’ll use one of your fancy definition posts too!

        Noun: 1.Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity

        Based on the definition, I’d say you have no logic to support your opinion whatsoever, making it extremely difficult for anybody to get on board. If you brought something to the table like “Piazza’s D was consistently in the bottom half of the league every year for catchers” or “his bat ranks below X, Y and Z who aren’t in the hall” (which is not the case, but making a point) then it would be easier for people to understand your view. But trying to get by on an argument that holds no ground? Good luck on this site.

      • magicrat13 - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        being the best at one’s position does not make them one of the all time greats in a sport…that sort of rationale makes it sound like X number of players at each position should be in the hall of fame… my opinion that is not always the case (see Ray Guy from the NFL)….

        personally, there are about 300 players in the baseball hall of fame…..i would say that is probably overstated by 100 or so players who were very good but not hall of fame material in my view….but again, it is only my view which i will not back up with statistics and the like…but not sure that is the rule here….only seems to be the case when the “big dogs” around here deem it so…..haha

        not sure i was looking to get people to accept my view….i am pathetic, but not that pathetic that i need strangers on a site to be on my side….lol

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        Of course you can post here all you like, it was just a suggestion so as to not embarrass yourself any further on topics you clearly have very little understanding of and are not equipped to handle i.e. explain your thoughts

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        magicrat13 I think my favorite part of your last post was “there are about 300 players in the baseball hall of fame…..i would say that is probably overstated by 100” Well then I guess its a good thing there is actually only 207 players in the HOF. lol man you really have no idea what you are talking about do you? I mean seriously this is really sad

      • magicrat13 - Nov 29, 2012 at 8:57 AM

        gee….seems like your last post was nothing but a lot of opinion… to back any of that up with facts since that seems to be the rules you try to enforce around here?

        from a handful of posts you seem to know all you need to know about me…..again, that says more about you than it does about me…

        and please, don’t talk about this getting off topic…you were the one who is trying to make thier personal…

        now i am sure your internet bullying is simply an attempt to get me to move on….and honestly, i could care less about these posts and boards (see, i don’t need comments from strangers to make my life complete) and barely come around here….but since you made this so much fun, i think i might just stick around a bit…maybe i can learn something from the super informed posters like yourself…

    • magicrat13 - Nov 29, 2012 at 6:13 AM

      “Through the elections for 2011, a total of 295 individuals have been inducted, including 234 players, 20 managers, 9 umpires, and 32 pioneers and executives”

      i will admit i erroneously stated players when i should have said individuals….

      doubt i will see you admit to ever being wrong…

      your posts say more about you than anything….talk about embarrassing…

      looking forward to your next snide insult….something i know you would only do from behind a keyboard…

      have a nice day!

      • pmcenroe - Nov 29, 2012 at 8:40 AM

        Through 2011?? Why would you not just use 2012? You are aware they have already had an induction ceremony this year right? I mean here is the HOF website that would have taken you 10 seconds to Google

        So there are 207 former MLB players, 242 if you count Negro Leaguers(don’t even try to act like you have even the slightest clue as to how to judge the quality of these players), so I’m still not sure how or where you are getting your numbers from. I mean at least this time you tried to get some real information (which I appreciate) but man another swing and a miss.

        I will admit to being wrong as soon as you can point to an actual fact of me being wrong.

        I call them as I see them and I would have absolutely no issue arguing this with you in person. You are flat out wrong and have nowhere near the knowledge of baseball I or anyone else on this post has and the fact that you are trying to get further and further from your original comment about Piazza proves exactly that.

      • magicrat13 - Nov 29, 2012 at 9:08 AM

        gee….seems like your last post was nothing but a lot of opinion… to back any of that up with facts since that seems to be the rules you try to enforce around here?

        from a handful of posts you seem to know all you need to know about me…..again, that says more about you than it does about me…

        and please, don’t talk about this getting off topic…you were the one who is trying to make thier personal…

        now i am sure your internet bullying is simply an attempt to get me to move on….and honestly, i could care less about these posts and boards (see, i don’t need comments from strangers to make my life complete) and barely come around here….but since you made this so much fun, i think i might just stick around a bit…maybe i can learn something from the super informed posters like yourself…

      • pmcenroe - Nov 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        Uh how was my post nothing but opinion exactly? In fact it was no opinion, I gave a source (the website) then I explained the exact numbers in details. But no, please show me what you would like me to explain further, I would be more than happy to help educate you.

        Anyways I guess you concede the Piazza argument since after like 30 posts you still haven’t been able to offer even the slightest rebuttal. There is no bullying here, if you say something stupid then it’s going to get called out period (and please lets try not to act like you aren’t tossing around insults). Where have I been getting off topic? Every single post I have been trying to get you to go back on topic and you keep drifting further and further. So yes from your handful of posts I guess I have learned all I need to know about you, in that you know very little about baseball. But by all means try to prove me wrong, step up to the plate and say something meaningful, anything, just please try and use some actual facts and/or logic this time.

      • magicrat13 - Nov 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        wow….we definitely have differing opinions (pun intended) of what is fact vs opinion (and bullying for that matter)….if you can’t see where you stated opinion (or insults for that matter) i am not going to help you….others around here can cut and paste until their hearts content…you calling out my posts as stupid with nothing to back it up but opinions???

        pot meet kettle…


      • pmcenroe - Nov 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        Well I’m not really sure how there can be a misunderstanding on facts vs. opinion, I mean it either is or isn’t. I’ve used facts, you tried once, and failed.

        But here is the kicker I have shown your posts to be stupid WITH facts. Like remember when you got the # of HOFers wrong and then I linked to the actual website proving it (that literally just happened). And again I would love to prove you wrong about anything else but you keep avoiding it. Please try to bring the topic back to baseball, anything you want, go for it. But I know you will keep avoiding it bc you know you cannot win

      • magicrat13 - Nov 29, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        yep…i got the number of “players” in the hall of fame incorrect because i inadvertantly stated players instead of individuals….

        yet your FACTS were not correct either…but i must have missed where you admitted that…lol

        you sir were the one who has taken this off topic by getting personal…if you cannot see that, i cannot help you…

        i stated an opinion to start this thread…you do not agree….you are entitled to that opinion….just as i am mine…but because you do not agree with my opinion, i know nothing about baseball….careful, you can hurt yourself with such a leap…

        you are willing to help educate me?….wow…how nice and condescending of you….thanks for the offer, but i think i will pass, no matter how tempting it may be…you think you know more about baseball than me, but that sir is nothing more than your opinion, which you cannot prove….

        have a nice day…

      • pmcenroe - Nov 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        First are you serious that I am getting off topic with insults? Your post contains no substance except for insults. Seriously how many times have you said something like this? “i don’t need comments from strangers to make my life complete”

        Second your lack of proof IS fact you know little about baseball. To break it down simply, if you can’t pass a math test then you aren’t good at math. You don’t have to be ashamed, but please stop pretending.

        Third how are my facts wrong? I got them from the HOF website that I linked to. Unless you are saying that the HOF’s own website got its own facts wrong.

        Fourth there is a HUGE difference between players and individuals. But ok let’s say you made a simple mistake and revisit your original thesis.

        “personally, there are about 300 players in the baseball hall of fame…..i would say that is probably overstated by 100 or so players who were very good but not hall of fame material in my view”.

        Ok so if you were lumping players, umps, executives, etc. altogether, lets pick one and then you can explain whether or not they are HOF material (since apparently you are qualified enough to judge that roughly 100 of them are underserving).

        Let’s go with Cum Posey. Feel free to use your opinion however please note you must show some actual semblance of logic and or reasoning for giving that opinion.

      • magicrat13 - Nov 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        yep i am serious…..

      • pmcenroe - Nov 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        Well I guess that about wraps it up then, I tried. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful baseball insight. I eagerly anticipate seeing all of your other posts on this site.

        have a nice day lol

      • magicrat13 - Nov 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        i don’t share the same opinion as you…

        i don’t agree with your view on whom is insulting whom…

        i don’t agree with you on who hijacked this thread…

        i don’t post/debate in a way that meets your “guidelines”…

        in your OPINION all of the above equates to me being stupid and not knowing anything about baseball…..ok got it….

        yet you want me to continue this infantile discussion…

        are YOU serious?

      • pmcenroe - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        i don’t share the same opinion as you…(this is not even the case, the problem is you can’t/refuse to explain how you have formed your opinion. That is the problem here)

        i don’t agree with your view on whom is insulting whom…(pretty sure I’ve insulted you and you’ve insulted me. Please dont act like this isn’t the case)

        i don’t agree with you on who hijacked this thread…(Who is even saying this??)

        i don’t post/debate in a way that meets your “guidelines”…(What guidelines? Asking follow up questions as to how you formed your opinion? Yeah right really strange request on my part, my bad)

        in your OPINION all of the above equates to me being stupid and not knowing anything about baseball…..ok got it….(No. You not being able to get simple baseball facts right and being unable to explain your thoughts, prove that you dont know anything about baseball. I’ve asked you to prove otherwise and you refuse so what other conclusion is there? I can’t show up on a blog about thermonuclear dynamics, say something baseless about physics then expect people to think I know what I’m talking about. Its called credibility and as far as baseball knowledge goes and from what you’ve shown in this discussion you have none.)

        yet you want me to continue this infantile discussion…(No I don’t, not unless you can actually talk about baseball, you know since this is a baseball blog and all. You’ve probably written close to 4,000 words already and maybe 100 have been about baseball and FRANKly this is getting boring.)

      • magicrat13 - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        wow…you are so clever…

        in my opinion, you are spouting nothing more than opinions….

        if this is so boring, why do you continue to respond?…..must feel the need to get the last word in to prove you are right…

        tell you what….go ahead and reply to this one (i know you will) and i’ll leave it alone….allowing you to “win”….

        good luck with that….

      • pmcenroe - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:10 PM

        Woo-hoo I win!!!

  16. lumpyf - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Cheating is an integral part of baseball and has been from the beginning..corked bats, spit balls, stealing signs, uppers, over-watering the infield grass to slow the ball down, shining lights in the hitter’s eyes and on and on. These steroid cheats merely follow baseball’s grand tradition and should be treated as such. Not only should all worthy steroid cheats be enshrined but they should be especially lauded for taking baseball cheating to a whole new level.

  17. Detroit Michael - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    Given the talent among the first-time eligible candidates on the ballot, I don’t know that it’s a “good bet” that Jack Morris’ percentage rises from 67% to 75% this year. I suppose that Chris Jaffe or someone else who studies the issue might have a better guess.

    Personally, I’d want to vote for way more than the maximum of 10 candidates if I had to decide.

    Also, these comments about “pretty soon” the Hall will become a farce show a lack of historical perspective. The standards for induction have been very uneven since about 1939 when Candy Cummings was inducted or 1946 when Tommy McCarthy was inducted.

    • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      To be fair, Cummings was inducted as a “Pioneer” for supposedly inventing the curveball

      • Detroit Michael - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM

        Right, which is why one can date it from Tommy McCarthy’s induction alternatively if one likes. Plus of course Cummings didn’t invent the curveball anyway.

        Let’s focus on Tommy McCarthy then.

        McCarthy holds the record for lowest WAR (using the baseball-reference version) of any player inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player with 14.1 WAR. McCarthy was an outfielder with little power, about 0 Wins Above Average, a career OPS+ of 102. He played parts of 12 seasons but was only a regular for at most 9 seasons. He led the league in steals once, and was on some pennant-winning teams with famous teammates. Obviously the voters at that time didn’t have WAR and didn’t even have the circa 1970 Macmillan baseball encyclopedia, but a career batting average of < .300 for an outfielder with no power and a short career should never have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

        Modern outfielders with comparable WAR, WAA, OPS+ and career length are Marlon Byrd, Matt Lawton and Orlando Merced. If those guys had the same level of productivity but were supporting players on pennant winning teams, no one today would think they were Hall of Fame candidates. Indeed, Lawton was not even listed on last year's BBWAA ballot when he first became eligible (although Lawton's PED taint didn't help either). Yet Tommy McCarthy was selected to be one of the first 37 players inducted into the Hall of Fame.

        So I have to scoff a bit when someone writes that he is old school and thinks the Hall should be reserved for only truly elite players or when someone thinks that inducting Jim Rice or (should it happen) inducting Jack Morris will make the Hall into a travesty. Our chances of having a fairly uniform line of quality separating Hall of Famers from non-Hall of Famers while having less than 1,000 current players above that line ended no later than 1946.

  18. ezthinking - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Time for the Hall to reclaim itself from the writers. Look on the bright side writers, getting booted will give you something different to write about for awhile.

    • ezthinking - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      And time to re-post this One of the better pieces on the ridiculousness of Hall of Fame voting.

      • paperlions - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        The problem with this suggestion is that there isn’t a better group to do the voting. Certainly not the fans….and most definitely not players or retired players (most of the laughable HOF members were elected by farcical veterans committees made up of former players politicking to elect their buddies), or coaches (have you seen the mess they make out of the gold gloves), or owner/executives.

        Who else do you think should do it?

      • ezthinking - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        Not 600+ maybe baseball fans who happen to write be members of a group that does not police itself who then need the controversy to write more articles in the offseason when there is little news to write about. Cut the writers group down to 300 or so. Force them to vote for 10. Take the 10 to a voting contingent of current HOFamers, some baseball only writers, announcers, current and former GMs, and maybe a few ‘others’ (fans, current/former players, or current/former managers). Each votes ranks them. At a minimum the top 3 are in (0.5% of all players in any given year). If someone gets 75% of the vote but comes in 4th or later, they’re in.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        Your suggestion that no other group can do the voting goes to my point about using computers to figure out everything…from the Cy Young to the MVP to who gets into the Hall of Fame. Why? Because using a computer takes out ALL SUBJECTIVITY. And all everybody really talks about is the subjectivity of all the voting.

        A set standard needs to be hashed out by those same BBWAA writers as well as some giants in the SABR industry, to figure out what makes someone an MVP and what makes someone a HOFer. Than, and ONLY then, will there be completely objective winners, provided the #’s used are agreed upon by everyone in the room.

  19. gbar22 - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    That whole idea you have to be nice to the media to make the hall of fame speaks volumes on the integrity of the baseball writers. I think most of us younger generations would like to see the writers stripped of their voting powers and told to shut the eff up when they go on their rants about how steroids hurt the game.

  20. legacybroken - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Babe Ruth would still dominate in this day and age with the improvements in bats and balls. Plus can you imagine the Bambino playing 82 games in that bandbox known as New Yankee Stadium. He would have launched at least 60 there.

    • escapingexile - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      You do realize, old Yankee stadium and new Yankee stadium have the exact same dimensions, don’t you?

      • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:29 AM

        To be fair, the pre-1975 renovation stadium that Ruth played in did not have the same exact dimensions. Although your larger point that it was a stupid comment remains. Not only for being completely off topic, or the fact they play 81 home games (not 82) or for assuming Ruth would be better now simply bc of better bats(which probably isnt true) and balls yet completely ignoring other facet of historical change such as integration/expansion, video/scouting technology, conditioning/nutrition, compeititon from other sports, etc. etc.

      • escapingexile - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        Indeed sir, upon further research you are correct. I was aware that the dimensions now were rather short, so out of curiosity I googled the old park dimensions and was given the post renovation dimensions.

      • ezthinking - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        FYI – In Ruth’s day (and Maris and Mantle’s day), right field was less than 300 feet, shorter than after the ’75 renovation. Check out the dimensions through time summarized here on Wiki –

  21. randygnyc - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Craig, I agree with just about everything you wrote. Nevertheless, none of those guys get in if I have a vote. Maybe in the future, as more info comes out. But certainly, NO WAY DO THEY MAKE IT ON THE FIRST YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY. There is little doubt that Bonds and Clemens had HOF careers without the steroids. That they did them can’t result in immediate enshrinement. Perhaps in the future. At the very least, posthumously (that being the case only if it comes out in the next few years that steroids are proven to have given an outrageous advantage, significantly more than presently expected). Currently, that how I feel about my beloved Pete Rose. He should be enshrined after he’s gone.

    Also, the idea of a separate “steroid” wing will never work. We know that some of these players took PEDS, but without proof, any formal distinction in the HOF will only lead to nasty litigation.

    • pmcenroe - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      I agree, no way a guy with 3000 hits, the best offsensive catcher in the history of the game, or a couple of guys who may be considered the best hitter and pitcher to ever live should be inducted on the first ballot like my childhood favorite Kirby Puckett. Better to make them wait a year or ten because..well I dont have a good reason but it just FEELS right, ya know what I mean?

  22. The Dangerous Mabry - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Can we stop calling Craig Biggio just “a guy with 3,000 hits”? It seriously diminishes him as a player and makes him out to be nothing but “an accumulator” (and frankly, when he was hanging around for his 3,000th hit, he was treading on that ground). But this is the guy who Bill James of all people called the best player in baseball in 2001. This is the guy who played solid defense at Catcher, Second Base, AND Centerfield, three of the premium defensive positions on the field. He put up a ridiculous 9.3 WAR season in 1997 (only to come in FOURTH in the MVP voting) and 9 straight seasons of 4+ WAR.

    You like “similarity scores”? His top 5 similar players are Robin Yount, Derek Jeter, Joe Morgan, Paul Molitor, and Roberto Alomar. Not exactly lightweights. You like stolen bases? He stole over 400, while starting his career as a catcher. You like run scoring? Only 14 players in history scored more runs than Biggio. You like HBP? Ok, fine, I’m gilding the lily there.

    The point is, this is a man who played exceptional baseball for many years, at multiple key defensive positions. So let’s not just think of him as a “3,000 hit guy”. I know it’s an impressive and rare feat (only 28 guys in “the club”) but it sounds more like a guy who just played for a long time than a guy who played exceptionally. And that’s not fair to Biggio.

    Note: I am not now, nor have I ever been, an Astros fan. But you have to love Biggio.

    • nategearhart - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      Biggio is my all-time favorite player. You are 100% correct.

    • paperlions - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      + 12

    • kiwicricket - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      Yep. Vizquel and Biggio were my two all-time favorite players.
      The guy was one of the best all-round second basemen in baseball for well over a decade. That doesn’t happen very often.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      I agree with everything you wrote, but I read some stories that said Biggio wasn’t a Hall of Famer, unless he got to 3,000 hits. Which I thought was absurd, but I think the media propagates that fact to vote for him, even though, in my eyes, he would be a first ballot HOFer whether he had 3,000 hits or 2,900. I am just not sure if the BBWAA would vote him in without that magical 3,000 hit #, which is ridiculous…but so are they.

  23. nategearhart - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    I’m actually picturing Piazza getting in, but with maybe 76% of the vote rather than the 90% or so he would probably have without the whispers.

  24. kiwicricket - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    What I can bring myself to accept is their opinion(PED’s) when it comes to voting. Everyone thinks differently and has a different take on things in life.
    What makes me nauseous and swear at my computer is this ‘first ballot’ nonsense.
    That to me is utterly inexcusable.

  25. jackrabbit56 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    I’ve never understood the “not in the first year of eligibility” crowd. If you are of the belief that a player is worthy of the Hall of Fame, just WTF is the point of “but not this year, not until next year”? You gonna teach him a lesson? It’s not like his stats or anything are going to improve from this year to the next.

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