Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

The goal when determining my Hall of Fame Ballot was to be objective with some subjectivity thrown in.

I am a Bill James guy, love the numbers and a self proclaimed baseball nerd. I realize that these numbers are not perfect but they are much better than the natural biases that we all have. The sabermetrics should confirm what you see and if they don’t then you need to take a closer look as to why. Often times they don’t match up because of that bias. The best example is Derek Jeter and his fielding. You see him make the jump throw on ESPN or diving into the stands against the Red Sox and you are led to believe he is a great defensive SS. The numbers, without bias, tell us he has been pretty average defensively for most of his career and a liability the last few years.

With that in mind, I focused on a couple of numbers when trying to determine who should make the Hall of Fame from this 2014 ballot.

The first number I looked at was the Bill James Hall of Career Standards (JHCS). As I mentioned, I am a Bill James guy. The JHCS is a number from 0-100 with 50 being an average Hall of Famer. There are 14 guys on the 2014 ballot who have a number of 50 or higher.

The next number I look at is the Jaffe War Score System (JAWS). This system combines a player’s career WAR with their 7-year peak WAR totals and it allows you to compare a player with the average Hall of Famer at their position. There are 14 guys with a higher JAWS than the average Hall of Famer at their position.

Curt Schilling did not have a JHCS above 50 but did have a JAWS rating that was above the average rating for Hall of Fame pitchers.

Conversely, Sammy Sosa had a 58.4 JHCS but his JAWS number was slightly below the average Hall of Fame outfielder.

When all said and done there are 13 players on the ballot that have their JHCS number above 50 and have a JAWS rating above the average Hall of Famer for their position.

Mark McGwire failed in both these categories. He had a JHCS of 42 and his JAWS rating was two points below the average Hall of Fame first baseman. This confirms my belief that McGwire should never be in the Hall of Fame and it has nothing to do with the steroids dilemna. People assume if you don’t vote for McGwire it is because of the steroid issue. That is not necessarily the case. The same can be said for Sammy Sosa. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are another case entirely.

Here are the 11 players who pass my objective test:

I can only vote for 10 and this is where my subjectivity comes into play.

Barry Bonds is a Hall of Famer regardless of what he did steroid wise. He does not belong where he does on many of the all time statistical lists but he is a Hall of Famer. I just can’t vote for him right now.

The same goes for Roger Clemens. I have come full circle and then did a 180 and then a 270 when it comes to the steroid issue and the Hall of Fame.

Here is where I stand currently: (Subject to change)

If a player has been caught using steroids or linked to steroids(not just speculation), a few things need to happen before I will vote for them.

1) Their stats need to be impressive, they can’t be borderline. Clemens and Bonds are examples of impressive stats.

2) They need to admit to their steroid use and be honest about it. This has yet to happen with anyone. Andy Pettitte used the injury excuse and it was just one time. McGwire fought back tears as he said he really didn't think it helped him. Alex Rodriguez said his cousin injected him and wasn't sure if he even did it right. Barry Bonds said he never knowingly took them and of course Roger Clemens says he was just getting injections of B12 in his ass.   

Barry Bonds should say something like this: “I was sick and tired of hearing about Sosa and McGwire. I have more talent in my pinky finger than they have in their whole bloated bodies. I knew they were juicing so I decided to juice too. I wanted to show all you clowns who think you know baseball what someone like me could do on that stuff. My stats speak for themselves”

If Barry Bonds said that I might go out and buy his jersey.

Roger Clemens should say something like this: “Duquette is an idiot. He said I was in the twilight of my career and used my win/loss record over my last four years in Boston as proof? Are you kidding me? I was still one of the top pitchers in the game. I got awful run support, an awful bullpen and had Stonehenge for defense and he wants to call out my record? Look at my ERA over those last four years, my WHIP. I did it while others were juicing. So I went to Toronto and decided to shove it in Duquette’s face. I started juicing to be on a level playing field with everyone else. Plain and simple”

He might be my hero again if he says that.

3) Pete Rose needs to be on the ballot for 15 years or until he is elected, whichever comes first. I have no issue with a writer deciding not to vote for Pete Rose but it is absolutely asinine to make a rule that says he can’t be on the ballot.

Joe Jackson was on the first Hall of Fame ballot some 15 year after he was banned from baseball. In Rose’s case though they came up with a new rule AFTER he was banned saying no banned players can be on the Hall of Fame ballot. What kind of crap is that?

I understand the argument that everyday he was in the clubhouse he saw a sign that read if you gamble on baseball you will be banned for life. The sign never read that you will also be banned from the Hall of Fame. Rose did nothing to inflate his numbers. He committed a crime.

He should be banned from baseball but should have been on the ballot years ago. There is no excuse for that. I have a hard time voting for the steroid guys who are on the ballot when Rose never got his chance to be on the ballot.

With all of that in mind, here is my 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot:

Jeff Bagwell

Bonds, Clemens, Palmerio left off because of my steroid rule. I understand that there is speculation about Bagwell and Piazza but I have a hard time punishing those without substantial proof. I understand that is tough line to straddle.

Edgar Martinez is left off because he primarily was a DH. I have no issue voting for a DH but his numbers need to really be outstanding. His JAWS number is above average because they are comparing him with Hall of Fame third and first baseman. There is not a Hall of Fame DH to compare him with. His JHCS is right at 50. It needs to be much higher for someone who just played DH. I feel the same way about David Ortiz . I know that was the next question.

That is my ballot. I don’t think nine guys will actually get in though. Maddux, Glavine and Thomas should be locks and I have a feeling those will be the only three that will get in.

Disagree? Tweet at me @thepeskypole6

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