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The Hall of Fame Ballot

43 Responses to The Hall of Fame Ballot

  1. shagster says:

    Seems to me Damon should go in. Boston doesn’t win without him. As a player Damon was the rare ‘double plus’ for a team. He made your team better AND he made your competition weaker for not having him.

    • Stephen says:

      It does seem to me that pretty much any good player could be viewed as a “double plus” by this definition. I’d be curious to know which Hall of Fame contenders you’d say were NOT “double plus” players and why?

    • invitro says:

      Does Boston win without Curt Schilling? Or David Ortiz?

    • MikeN says:

      I think he means that Boston came over from the As who were not far removed from being contenders at that point. Keith Foulke was on that team too.

    • KnucklesTheClown says:

      I’m indifferent on Johnny Damon but the rare “double plus” argument isn’t really helping. Any player who is good taken from another team will make the other team worse and the new team better…. that’s like kinda obvious of every good player ever?

      • Mr Fresh says:

        Yeah, but who cares if the Padres or DRays are worse? Damon moving to the Sox made one of their direct competitors for the AL pennant worse….

        • KnucklesTheClown says:

          That has nothing to do with Johnny Damon. Being poached from one team to another does NOTHING to to add to the player being HOF caliber. If that’s the case Tino Martinez should be a first ballot HOFer, or Roger Maris. Giambi left the A’s too if he went to the Blue Jays he isn’t a HOFer but if he goes to a “direct competitor” he is? That is the dumbest logic I have ever heard in my life to attribute as a plus to a baseball player. I’d actually call it a negative to the player because he had to leave for an easier situation than try and help accomplish something not done as often in another city.

  2. invitro says:

    It stinks that Joe isn’t posting these articles on this blog, so we can comment on the players. Last year, the Hall of Fame player posts had some of the all-time best comment sections. 🙁

    • Patrick says:

      “It stinks that Joe isn’t posting these articles on this blog, so we can comment on the players. Last year, the Hall of Fame player posts had some of the all-time best comment sections”


      • J Hench says:

        Pretty sure they allow comments at

        Although so far, everyone there thinks Omar Vizquel is unquestonably a Hall of Famer, so we may not get much traction there. I think it’s an arguable case, but he’s probably the 20th best player on this ballot, so I’m surprised so many say he is a slam dunk.

        • DB says:

          Yeah but one guy is arguing that not only is Vizquel a hall of famer but he is a no doubt better player than Ozzie. Going there is like going into a Twitter fight. No thanks.

        • Scott says:

          I am a huge fan of advanced stats but I sometimes think we use them to oversimplify things and that many people make their Hall of Fame decisions based purely on WAR. I think there can be a place in the Hall of Fame for exceptional players regardless of their overall contribution.

          I would vote for Devin Hester for the NFL HOF, for example, despite the fact he was a mediocre receiver (at best) and probably has less “WAR” than a mediocre QB like Andy Dalton. The same could apply to Vizquel.

          If you believe that Omar Vizquel was a transcendent defensive shortstop that seems HoF worthy regardless of his offense. Yes, other players were more valuable in terms of win, but if you value baseball for entertainment perhaps Vizquel was HoF worthy.

          Of course if you believe that he is overrated as a defender than the whole argument is moot.

          • KnucklesTheClown says:

            I would compare Devin Hester to Mariano Rivera. The best of his era ever to specialize in something. It wasn’t as voluminous as others body of work but it is a part of the game and deserves recognition even HOF recognition.

            I guess that’s where stats like Win probability added and leverage may be better than WAR. I don’t even know how to apply them to football as I barely know how to figure them out in baseball but I do believe in their worth.

            The only quip on all of this is that could a lot of players who wont make the HOF accomplished the same thing if they were given such a limited role.

            Jack Morris just made the Hall and I don’t think he should have but he probably would have been an amazing closer. Would HOF closers have made it as starters… probably not and in some cases they outright failed as starters so we know.

            With Hester he wasn’t good enough to be in the HOF discussion as a corner or WR (not even a starter on a bad team discussion) but absolutely merits it as a Returner. However players like Ahman Green, Rickey Watters, Joey Galloway probably wont make the HOF as running backs and WR’s but could they have been the most dynamic returners in the league for 5-8 years?
            If Joey Galloway gave up receiving he could have ended up the best punt returner of all time rather than Hester. But Joey Galloway will never be a HOFer…

            I like seeing specialist get in but it’s a tough sell.

          • Hamster Huey says:

            To: KnucklesTheClown, though I for some reason can’t reply directly to his comment: I’m a thoroughly biased Bears fan, but I don’t think you appreciate Hester’s talents as a PR/KR enough if you think he could have been replaced by Ahman Green or Ricky Watters. I legitimately think he’s the best ever at what he did, and what it takes to be a good PR especially (even more so than KR) is a unique skill set, not one that translates from RB or WR. It’s more specialized than an RP is from an SP.

          • KnucklesTheClown says:

            Hamster Huey- I’m not saying Ahman Green was a better KR or PR than Devin Hester but those players “graduated” to full time regular positions. Joey Galloway is one of the best punt returners ive ever seen but as his value as a WR increased he stopped returning punts. Rarely does someone enjoy a career of Hesters length as a returner as they often settle in to playing on offense or defense full time.

            Green was a good Kick Returner went to Green Bay and rushed for 8 or 9 thousand yards. Patrick Peterson sometimes returns punts, but not like he did as a rookie because his too valuable to lose on defense.

            I appreciate how amazing Hester was and think he is a HOFer but I think some may have been close to his level but were pulled from returning kicks.

          • MikeN says:

            Devin Hester could be planned for pretty easily. He’s lucky he didn’t have to face Belichick much. When he did, SAFETY.

            Tip, he likes to run backwards and to his right after the catch.

  3. Arbitrary Name says:

    I’m a casual baseball fan at best, so my favourite part of this is that this is my first concrete confirmation that Jamie Moyer is actually retired. Like, if someone had told me he pitched 165 innings and went 7 and 12 for the Brewers last year, I would have believed it with no hesitation. Crafty lefties are the best.

    • KnucklesTheClown says:

      I don’t remember where I read it, but I know he wanted to pitch again after blowing his arm out. And I think he could have went 7-12 for the Brewers with a 4.80 era. I have no doubt lol. Love Moyer.

  4. KnucklesTheClown says:

    Yeah good luck convincing someone who thinks Omar is a first ballot HOFer otherwise. It’s been a good barometer that I can never have a sports conversation with that person ever again though.

    Rob Neyer (pre twitter pre insane Rob Neyer) did a good job summing up the HOF case for Vizquel almost 14 years ago. Vizquel made a lot of pretty plays but not MORE of them and comparing him to Ozzie Smith is just idiotic. It still holds true today.

    • Mr Fresh says:

      So Ozzie is a first ballot HOF’er and better than Omar? I’ll stipulate to that… but Omar is still a Hall of Famer.

      • KnucklesTheClown says:

        Yes the best fielding SS of all time and a great base runner and sub par hitter is a HOFer. Omar Vizquel is worse at all three and not second to Smith in anything. He compiled nice counting stats because he wouldn’t retire but he didn’t add anything of value in doing that. I don’t think the pro Vizquel people realize the chasm between their fielding. It’s not even close. And no citing GG’s isn’t helping the cause.

        • Dale says:

          There is no chasm between Ozzie and Omar defensively, unless you’re relying solely on these “advanced” defensive metrics, which are highly subjective and unreliable. These metrics also claim that Ripken was a far better SS than Omar, and that is hilarious. If you want to penalize Omar for having the misfortune to play in a better-hitting era than Ozzie did, fine. Ozzie was great, but Omar was pretty damn close.

          • KnucklesTheClown says:

            These “advanced” thingys like getting to more balls than Vizquel. What because Ripken didn’t dive more and flip the ball behind his back he couldn’t be better? Kevin Mitchell once caught a fly ball bare-handed does that make him a HOFer?

          • Dale says:

            Wow. Brilliant. Thanks for the insight.

          • KnucklesTheClown says:

            I have to keep it simple you don’t like any facts to back things up just sportscenter highlights. You are welcome.

  5. Dano says:

    I don’t like these types of “facts:”

    There are two players in baseball history — TWO — with this brew of numbers: 2,500 hits, 500 doubles, 100 triples, 200 homers, 400 stolen bases: 1-Molitor and 2–Damon.

    Big deal. It’s like finding a guy w/ 350 doubles, 25 triples, only had one season of over 100 RBIs and who hit .260 or higher and was hbp 260 times (2nd most after 1900) and isn’t in the Hall of Fame. (It’s Don Baylor.) If you put together 3000 hits with 500 HRs it shows someone who could hit for power and average.

    • KnucklesTheClown says:

      I like this stat though- there is only one player in baseball history with over 12000 plate appearances with an OPS+ under 112 and that’s Omar Vizquel at 83. The other 18 with 12k appearances are all 112 OPS+ or better.

      17th and 18th on this list ahead of OMAR! are middle infielders (mostly) Biggio and Ripken (both at 112). That’s not just terrible hitting for Omar! that’s legendary awfulness.

      • Mr Fresh says:

        I find it interesting that you can dismiss “What you see with your eyes” and instead rely solely on specific statistics… even if they are “advanced.”
        Omar played in the steroid era.. don’t you think that may have distorted the league average during his career? Oh, and he was a SS too. so please don’t cherry pick your stats and then actually say Omar was legendarily awful. That’s ridiculous. I’ll look at the numbers, but they can NOT be the be all and end all of any argument.

        Similarly your defensive metrics (cited above) are way more subjective than you let on. We may have every play sliced and diced by analysts now,, but they weren’t doing that when Omar started, let alone when Ozzie, Cal or Luis Aparicio was playing.

        Omar is without question one of the best defensive shortstops to ever play. Ask other players they can tell you who impacted the game.. and he made himself into a good hitter (especially for a SS). HOF’er.

  6. Rob Smith says:

    So, no Andruw Jones yet. I guess Joe’s letting the Twitter battle on Jones play out. It feels somewhat similar to the arguments that are being made on Vizquel, though only on the defensive side. Jones has some offensive credentials…. along with a “fall off the cliff” end of his career, where he got old and fat & looked to be only collecting a pay check. It’s a shame though, because in his prime, there wasn’t a better centerfielder in the game (maybe ever) & he was a big run producer too. But the visions of him flailing at sliders six inches (or more) off the plate will probably be the most enduring memory of him.

  7. MikeN says:

    Guerrero, Jones, Jones, Kent, Martinez, McGriff, Mussina, Schilling, Sheffield, Thome, Walker, Santana is my top 12.

    I’d leave out Sheffield and Santana.

  8. Jeff says:

    So as tough as it is to navigate to find either Posnanski posts or HOF posts, I think Joe says he’s for sure voting for these 9:
    C. Jones

    • Paul says:

      Seems to me he’s down to Rolen and Johan. Given Joe’s earlier post about using your 10th slot to keep someone on the ballot, I think he might be voting for Santana, with the rationale that he deserves more time and consideration (and Rolen will stay on the ballot without Joe’s vote).

    • MikeN says:

      Yes, those are the 9. Search for Posnanski and you should get the rest of the links.

  9. moviegoer74 says:

    Can we get updated links, Joe?

  10. Andy says:

    I posted this on the article about Johan Santant, but thought I should post it here too:

    It boggles my mind how differently most of you see it to the way I do. To me, Santana was a clear Hall of Famer. He was the best pitcher in baseball for half of his career. Not one of the best, but the clear best. We thought so then, and we still think so. If reaching the pinnacle of the sport and staying there for several years is not enough, what is?

    I think baseball’s small sample size issues extend in ways we don’t intend. We all know intuitively that one game, and sometimes even a season or two, can be something of a mirage. Our fix is to place a ridiculous premium on longevity. Somehow what the most amazing pitcher of his era is missing is 6 league-average seasons at the end. Sure, the more good baseball the better, but let’s not miss the forest for the trees.

    In his prime, Johan Santana was the best pitcher in baseball. For several seasons, the one (starting) pitcher you would least like to see on the mound against you was Santana. Of course he’s a Hall of Famer.

    • Andy says:

      In general, I would love to see a bit of a change in how we look at candidates for the Hall of Fame. Old-school voters have their old-school counting stats, and new-school voters have JAWS.

      I think it’s a big mistake to put so much emphasis on the career stats. Pretty good baseball is not what gets you into the Hall of Fame. I prefer to think of it more in this order:

      1) How good was he?
      2) How long was he that good?
      3) What extra value did he bring in seasons that were not his best?

      Santana has a high and decently long peak. He doesn’t do well at item #3, but by the time you even look down there, he’s sailed in on the first or second ballot.

    • MikeN says:

      >Santana was a clear Hall of Famer. He was the best pitcher in baseball for half of his career. Not one of the best, but the clear best.

      Not that clear to me.
      I took a look at 12 years of Cy Young voting, 2000-2011.
      Santana has 3rd place in 2008, 5th in 2007(1 pt), 1st in 2006(Unanimous), 3rd in 2005, 1st in 2004(Unanimous), 7th in 2003
      Meanwhile, Roy Halladay had 2nd in 2011, 1st in 2010(Unanimous), 5th in 2009, 2nd in 2008, 5th in 2007, 3rd in 2006, 1st in 2003(almost unanimous)

  11. AK says:

    Thank you for linking these stories on your blog. The MLB site is doing a disservice. I find it very difficult to find your pieces there.

  12. Rower41 says:

    This is what I read at MLB this morning:

    Joe Posnanski:
    Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Jim Thome, Larry Walker

    “I voted for first-timers Jones and Thome without hesitation. I voted for Bonds and Clemens because I believe that they’re two of the 25 greatest players in the game’s history. I voted for Mussina and Schilling; their careers are massively underappreciated, and they both should have been first-ballot picks. Martinez is an all-time great hitter, Walker is one of the best all-around players and Guerrero was obviously great and might have been the most fun player of my lifetime. That left one spot, and numerous good choices for it. I went with Rolen, who is one of the 10 best third basemen ever, in large part because I believe strongly he should stay on the ballot.”

    I was pleased.

    Tracy Ringolsby wrote, “I can’t ignore Bonds and Clemens.”

    When I add that to Joe’s comments I am nearly complete with my MLB HOF analysis for this year.

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