Skip to content

Nate Silver looks at the Hall of Fame voting

Jan 8, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

cooperstown

Nate Silver — with a strong assist from @leokitty, who has compiled a spreadsheet of public Hall of Fame votes — gives those public Hall of Fame votes the old Nate Silver treatment in his latest post.

Specifically, he looks for patterns among voters who did and didn’t vote for Barry Bonds and/or Roger Clemens in an attempt to see what that means for others on the ballot. The upshot: while Bonds and Clemens represent a clear and unambiguous case of voters weighing in on the steroid era for good or for ill, the suction is taking guys like Bagwell and Piazza down with them.  Which, if you’re not yet sick of my Hall of Fame posts here, you’re well aware of.

Silver notes, however, that that suction, well, sucks, because it’s based on some pretty crude and inaccurate stereotyping by the electorate. Because — based on the sorts of players who have been suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, it makes little sense to simply assume use by the big guys and assume that the little guys were clean:

Among these players are the utility infielder Neifi Perez, who hit 64 home runs in a 12-year career, the slap-hitting outfielder Jorge Piedra, and a substantial number of pitchers. The incidence of performance-enhancing drug use seems to be fairly randomly distributed between stars and benchwarmers, players at different positions and those with different skills.

Some writers seem to think they can profile steroid users, and some otherwise-deserving players seem likely to be denied a place in Cooperstown because of it.

Latest Posts
  1. Dylan Bundy is struggling in his comeback from Tommy John surgery

    Jul 30, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

    Orioles prospect Dylan Bundy would probably already be in the majors to stay if not for blowing out his elbow last season, but now the former No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball is struggling while rehabbing in the minors.

  2. The Dodgers are interested in Joaquin Benoit

    Jul 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Joaquin Benoit

    But the Padres may be playing hard to get.

  3. Pedro Alvarez is a healthy scratch as the Pirates try to fix his throwing problems

    Jul 30, 2014, 1:13 PM EDT

    Pedro Alvarez AP

    Earlier this week Pirates manager Clint Hurdle talked about looking into the “mental component” of Pedro Alvarez’s throwing problems in an effort to get the third baseman back on track defensively. And now Alvarez is out of the lineup for a second straight day despite being healthy.

  4. There’s a “very good chance” the Red Sox trade Lackey and Lester

    Jul 30, 2014, 12:27 PM EDT

    red sox logo

    A major reshaping of the Red Sox rotation could be afoot.

  5. Comment of the Day: in the 60s they lamented showboating players too

    Jul 30, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 11.00.30 AM

    Apparently, Gibson and Drysdale didn’t have the reputation of Gibson and Drysdale at the time.

  6. Twins “really want to move” Josh Willingham

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Josh Willingham Getty Getty Images

    According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com the Twins “really want to move” left fielder Josh Willingham before Thursday’s trade deadline, but a source tells him “I don’t think they’re getting any bites.”

  7. Yankees give “beat up” Brian Roberts some time off

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    Brian Roberts Getty Images

    The good news for longtime Orioles second baseman turned Yankees second baseman Brian Roberts is that he’s stayed healthy this season after injuries derailed his career for most of the past four years and has already played his most games since 2009.

  8. Hey, Rube: Phillies pay dearly for Amaro’s misguided loyalty

    Jul 30, 2014, 11:07 AM EDT

    Ruben Amaro Jr., Getty Images

    The Phillies are paying the bills for their dynastic run, thanks in large part to Ruben Amaro’s mismanagement.

  9. Ubaldo Jimenez makes rehab start, buys everyone steak and lobster

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Getty Images

    Ubaldo Jimenez kicked off a minor-league rehab assignment Tuesday at Single-A, tossing 4.2 innings of one-run ball as he comes back from a sprained ankle suffered when he stepped in a hole in a parking lot.

  10. Coco Crisp has “chronic degenerative changes in his neck”

    Jul 30, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    coco crisp getty Getty Images

    “We’ve all come to the conclusion that it’s something we’re gonna be battling the rest of the season.”

  11. Photo of the day: The giant Cubs mohawk of incredible sadness

    Jul 30, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

    Camera

    In which we as whether a certain hairstyle can be more painful than a large tattoo.

  12. Matt Kemp has a huge game just before the trade deadline

    Jul 30, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 8.47.45 AM AP

    Will any GM in need of a bat take notice?

  13. “Gibson and Drysdale” alert!

    Jul 30, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

    Bob Gibson

    A cliche even more prevalent and ridiculous than the old “If The Boss Was Still Alive” cliche.

  14. And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 30, 2014, 7:24 AM EDT

    90s

    The Yankees and Rangers gave us a retro night in Arlington.

  15. Dodgers announce Vin Scully will return for 2015 season

    Jul 29, 2014, 11:17 PM EDT

    vin scully getty Getty Images

    Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times passes along the fantastic news that Vin Scully will return to the Dodgers’ broadcast booth for the 2015 season. It will be his 65th season calling Dodgers baseball.

  16. Jon Lester scratched Wednesday amid trade speculation

    Jul 29, 2014, 10:50 PM EDT

    jon lester getty Getty Images

    Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan wrote Tuesday afternoon that “sentiment among competing executives is unanimous” that the Red Sox will trade left-hander Jon Lester before Thursday’s July 31 deadline. And this news will only add to that thought.

  17. Video: Jose Abreu slugs MLB-leading 31st home run

    Jul 29, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT

    jose abreu getty Getty Images

    Watch as White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu slugs a two-run seventh-inning shot off new Tigers reliever Joakim Soria on Tuesday night at Comerica Park in Detroit …

  18. Rays are “talking and willing” to trade ace lefty David Price; Cardinals and Dodgers interested

    Jul 29, 2014, 9:34 PM EDT

    david price getty Getty Images

    CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman heard from a Rays-connected source Tuesday that the Rays are “talking and willing” to trade ace left-hander David Price and the Cardinals and Dodgers are known to have interest.

Featured video

Red Sox shopping Lester and Lackey
Top 10 MLB Player Searches