November 10, 2015

MLB has its 2016 HOF ballot out; #Cardinals chances?

For Jim Edmonds,
is the HOF in the
'Cards' for him?
Here's the ballot, with all the statistical goodies, at Baseball-Reference.

Some hot takes by me while lamenting that the Little Gritmeister won't get 5 percent of the vote ...

First, here's my look at a few top first-year players, looking from what I guesstimate as a voters' point of view.

Remember that voting eligibility has changed; writers removed from active baseball coverage for more than a decade are no longer eligible to vote.

That's a good thing, in general, and will bring sabermetric issues into play.

That said, here we go.
1. Ken Griffey Jr. is a slam dunk, of course.
2. Trevor Hoffman will be a good test of what younger writers think about closers. Billy Wagner will be a lesser test.
3. Jim Edmonds? As a Cards fan, I loved to watch him play, just like Larry Walker,  even if near the end of Walker's career. That said?

Larry Walker: Can
he gain traction?
Walker is a dozen WAR points ahead of Edmonds, and 13 WAA points. I expect Edmonds not to draw more than 30 percent on the ballot. True that he was flashier with the glove than Walker, and played center, not right. Walker has a lot of "black ink" that Edmonds didn't, and Edmonds didn't crack either 2,000 hits or 400 HRs.

Personal thoughts on these and more in a minute. Larry Walker leads me to look at returning players, as my Eckstein joke aside, nobody besides the above, among first year eligibles, is a HOFer or even on the borderline of the borderline.

So, without further adieu?

Selected returning players
1. Pizza Man gets in.
2. Jeff Bagwell stays about where he is. That said, HE will be a good test himself, of what younger, more involved writers believe, or do not believe, about roids-related innuendo.
3. Tim Raines has a slight uptick, but still below 60 percent.
4. Mike Mussina breaks 35 percent, and this will be the start of a generally upward trajectory that gets him in the HOF. That's a prediction, indeed.
5. Alan Trammell falls well short, in his last year of eligibility. Edgar Martinez continues to tread water, with his vote total being a good test case of what younger writers think about career DHs. (That said, he was a semi-career DH; but, pay attention, David Ortiz.) Walker makes a moderate move upward, but stays below 15 percent.
6. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens move to 40 percent, but not more. They will be good tests of what younger, more involved writers believe about roids-related actuality.
At the same time, related to that, I expect Sammy Sosa to drop off the ballot after getting less than 5 percent of the vote. Another former Cardinal, Mark McGwire, may join him, next year if not this.
7. Will Curt Schilling's chances continue to "evolve' (heh, heh) or not?

I'll have more detailed pull-outs on these and other players, many of whom I've addressed in detail in the past, in days ahead.

That said, some snapshots now.

As I said in the past with yet another Cardinal, Lee Smith, closers in general aren't HOFers. Neither of the two current candidates are.

Edmonds? Hall of the Very Good, but not HOFer. (Walker is, though, in my book.)

Piazza, Baggs, Tramm should all have already been in. So should Moose. Raines, I lean yes, but not quite as strongly as the above. Martinez, I lean no, for DH-related reasons.

My thoughts about roiders, and the ideal of more formal confessions from them, MLB, and their managers (including last year's inductees Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre) has been stated on multiple occasions. They shouldn't be in, and neither should the three managers.

Note: I am definitely pretty much of a "small Hall" person. For those who claim that cutoffs for a "small Hall" are arbitrary, ANY such cutoffs are arbitrary. Ditto on the 10-vote rule, which "big Hall" people hate. Whether a rule is imposed from outside, or internally developed, unless you believe in divine command theories of ethics, and your "ethics" extends to rules in general, rules of this nature are arbitrary. That includes yours, because you have an arbitrary cutoff rule for your "big Hall," too.

If you claim you don't, I'll ask you why Eckstein isn't a HOFer. You have arbitrary rules, too.

Deal with it.

I see no divinity running around; as for the arbitrary rules, for the ESPNers and a few others who want a "big Hall"? Start your own, if you don't like the rules of the current voting.

Otherwise, the claim that "but my rule is different" is the surest indicator of special pleading and oxen being gored.

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