Thursday, December 17, 2020

BTRTN: Our Annual Analytically-Based Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Predictions

Occasionally we take a break from politics and turn our attention to weightier matters, such as our annual prediction of who will be elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.  It is a Ruthian task, indeed.

This has been a horrendous year for everyone, of course, with COVID-19 disrupting the globe.  Major league baseball felt the impact as well, of course, and yet managed to stage a shortened season that offered some entertainment value, and the best team did win.

{Note on Jan 25, 2021: This article was originally published on December 17, 2020.}

But while baseball struggled through the pandemic, there was much devastating news off the field within the baseball family, with the loss of no fewer than six members of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.  First we lost Al Kaline, Tom Seaver and Lou Brock and then, in a brutal nine-day stretch in October, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford and Joe Morgan.  These players were giants of my youth and staples of World Series rosters for three decades.  Collectively, they made 61 All-Star teams, won three MVP’s and six Cy Young Awards.  At least one of them appeared in 13 of the 19 World Series from 1958 to 1976, often shining in starring roles.  They won three World Series MVPs, two by Gibson, one by Ford.  Kaline could have easily won the honors in 1968 (which went, deservedly, to Mickey Lolich) and Brock could have as well in each of the two years Gibson won it for the Cards, in 1964 and 1967.  Seaver and Morgan had their postseason moments as well. 

This sense of loss took a poignant turn with the recent passing of Dick Allen.  Allen was a Hall of Famer in my book, but was passed over by the writers at least in part because he did not suffer fools gladly.  He was booed mercilessly in his home stadium in Philadelphia, and was forced to wear a helmet in the field to provide modest protection from thrown objects.  He was labeled a rebel, which, in the 1960s, was not terribly welcome in our society, especially from a Black man.  But Allen won an MVP in 1972 with the White Sox, and was a ferocious hitter, perhaps the best in his era.  From 1964 to 1974, his OPS+ (on base percentage plus slugging percentage for the player, divided by the league average) of 165 was higher than anyone else with 5,000 plate appearances, including Hall of Famers such as Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson, Willie Stargell and others.  And he was a solid clubhouse presence, most notably in his second stint with the Phillies, when he mentored a young team with a core of Mike Schmitt, Greg Luzinski and Garry Maddox that would go on (sans Allen) to win it all in 1980. 

It is “poignant” because the “Golden Era” Committee for players overlooked by the writers had to cancel their voting meeting this year due to COVID.  The last time Dick Allen was on the ballot, in the “Golden Era” meeting in 2014, he fell exactly one vote short.  There is widespread belief that Allen would have been voted in this year, and he likely will be in the future.  Too late for him, though.  The Phillies got tired of waiting and retired his number just three months ago – incredibly, the franchise had a policy of retiring only the numbers of Hall of Fame members, and thus Allen was doubly screwed by the writers’ folly.  Fortunately, the Phillies saw the light before Allen passed away and he was apparently extremely grateful for the belated, and much deserved recognition.

So we are wearing a metaphorical black armband in recognition of these times and those losses, as we offer our annual predictions for the Hall of Fame.  The new members – if any – will be announced on January 26, 2021.

We note that votes for the MLB HOF are again being publicly tabulated as sportswriters announce them by Ryan Thibonaux’s Tracker.  We have not looked at those tabulations.  Not that they are very helpful in predicting…the writers who reveal their votes publicly, especially in the early going, tend to differ from their more private counterparts.  Quite a few times, including last year with Curt Schilling, it seemed as if a candidate was headed to the Hall according to the early voting reported by the Tracker, only to see them slip under the 75% threshold in the final accounting.    

{Note on Jan 25, 2021:  Even though the Tracker now has over 170 published ballots, we believe our BTRTN predictions, made and published last December, will be more accurate than the current count.  "Private" ballots, as said, are often quite different than the published ones.}

Each year we analyzee HOF ballot to answer two questions:  1) which nominees will be elected in this year’s voting, receiving at least 75% of the vote of the Baseball Writers Association of America (we also predict what percentage each nominee will receive), and 2) who amongst the nominees deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, based on our own analysis?  The two lists are never identical. 

For the first question, we use various statistical models to come up with an initial estimate of the percentage of the vote they will receive, and we use judgment to massage and finalize that estimate.  For the second question, we have developed a methodology to compare nominees to their predecessors to determine their “Hall-worthiness.”


HOW DID WE DO LAST YEAR?

We rather immodestly bill ourselves as “The Best MLB Hall of Fame Predictors” (we may well be the only ones) and last year did nothing to hurt our claim to that title!

We predicted accurately that first-timer Derek Jeter would be elected, really going out on a limb there!  Actually, we did predict that Jeter, unlike his teammate Mariano Rivera the year before, would not be elected unanimously, and we were correct on that prediction. 

We did a fine job with Larry Walker, correctly predicting he would make the HOF by a very slim margin; we forecast he would get 76% of the vote and he actually received 77%.  But we missed on Curt Schilling; we thought there would be enough votes that moved to him in his 8th year on the ballot to push him over the top, but that was not the case.  Instead of the 76% we predicted, Schilling received only 70%.  Perhaps being a first-class jerk is holding him back.

We thought the Twin-PED (performance enhancing drugs) users Roger Clemons and Barry Bonds would make progress but fall short, and that was true….but they made less progress than we predicted, garnering only 61% of the vote (each) versus our predicted of 68% (each).  And we did well with Omar Vizquel, off a single point with our prediction of 54%. 

We had more trouble with the next batch of players after this “top six.”  That was because we thought the writers would collectively make only 6.0 HOF selections per ballot, but they actually made more than that -- 6.6 in fact.  These “extra” votes tended to help a bunch of players who were well above the 5% cutoff but far from the 75% threshold, as you can see below.   We were particularly surprised – shocked? – by the big showing made by Gary Sheffield, for no discernible reason.  He beat our forecast by +19 percentage points, and made the biggest jump from his 2019 vote total, from 14% to 31%.  Most of the others also beat our forecast (and last year’s totals) but by lesser amounts.

Overall, we were off by an average of 3.8 percentage points per nominee, not quite as good as in 2019, when we had our best showing at 3.3, but still among our top performances. 

Here are last year’s results for each nominee, including our assessment of whether they deserve to be in the HOF, which you will read about below.  The “PED” guys are, in our view, not worthy, and thus they are branded with those letters.

 

2020

Year on Ballot

Should be in HOF?

BTRTN Prediction %

Actual %

Act vs Proj  pp diff.

Derek Jeter

1

Yes

99.0

99.7

1

Larry Walker

10

Yes

76

77

1

Curt Schilling

8

Yes

76

70

6

Roger Clemens

8

PED

68

61

7

Barry Bonds

8

PED

68

61

7

Omar Vizquel

3

No

54

53

1

Scott Rolen

3

Yes

25

35

10

Billy Wagner

5

Yes

24

32

8

Gary Sheffield

6

PED

12

31

19

Todd Helton

2

Yes

19

29

10

Manny Ramirez

4

PED

22

28

6

Jeff Kent

7

Yes

25

28

3

Andruw Jones

3

Yes

7

19

12

Sammy Sosa

8

PED

6

14

8

Andy Pettitte

2

PED

6

11

5

Bobby Abreu

1

No

7

6

2

Paul Konerko

1

No

0

3

3

Jason Giambi

1

PED

2

2

1

Alfonso Soriano

1

No

0

2

2

Cliff Lee

1

No

5

1

5

Eric Chavez

1

No

1

1

1

Rafael Furcal

1

No

1

0

1

Josh Beckett

1

No

1

0

1

Brian Roberts

1

No

0

0

0

Carlos Pena

1

No

0

0

0

Chone Figgins

1

No

0

0

0

Raul Ibanez

1

No

0

0

0

Brad Penny

1

No

0

0

0

Adam Dunn

1

No

0

0

0

J.J. Putz

1

No

0

0

0

Jose Valverde

1

No

0

0

0

Heath Bell

1

No

0

0

0

Total variance >>>

605

660

116

 

 

 

# players on ballot

31

 

 

 

avg. off per player

3.8

 

WHO WILL BE ELECTED?  THIS YEAR’S PREDICTIONS

On to this year!  And here is our most important prediction:  BTRTN predicts that the writers will elect just one new member to the MLB Hall of Fame:  Curt Schilling. 

It is worth noting that the HOF has slimmed down the ballot considerably this year, from 34 players last year (which is more the norm) to only 25 this year.  This is a welcome change, because in past years the ballot has been unnecessarily stuffed with players who simply have not come close to being Hall-worthy.  Last year, for instance, there were seven players who received no votes, and several who, just to pick one metric, had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement player, a measure of the value of a player versus a substitute) under 20.  

The HOF voting has finally gotten through the glut of worthy players who were constrained by the limitations of only 10 votes per writer.  This constraint became a big problem in the steroids era, when the ballot was clogged with tainted PED users who lingered on the ballot, stuck in a purgatory of their own making.  Over the last three years the dam has been broken, with 10 new stars elected, helped by a new rule reducing the years a candidate can be on the ballot from 15 to 10 years., which forced some “long timers” off the ballot five years sooner than before.

This year’s ballot still has a number of PED-tainted players – six, in fact.  They, and the other holdovers on the list, have an opening this year to move up in the balloting.  That is because there are no obvious vote-grabbing first-ballot candidates, such as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Chipper Jones and Jim Thome (just to name the ones over the past three years).  In fact, it is entirely possible that this year’s rookie class – the weakest in years – may never yield a Hall of Famer.   The best of the newcomers are Torii Hunter, Mark Buehrle and Tim Hudson, who all have “borderline candidate” (at best) written all over them – fine players, but certainly not first-ballot material. 

So will last year’s top returning vote-getters, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, all in their 9th year, finally make it to the HOF?  Might Omar Vizquel make the jump?  Part of the dilemma is trying to figure out how many “votes per ballot” a writer might make.  In the “glut” years, writers averaged 7.5 to 8.5 votes per ballot (you have to wonder why it was not closer to 10).  But last year that figure dropped to 6.6, and, without Jeter, it could drop even lower this year.  We don’t see a good reason why it should increase given the lack of first-ballot juice; we actually see it dropping further, to 6.2. 

(By the way, it would be wonderful to say that the PED era is over, or nearly over with the fate of Clemens and Bonds to be decided one way or the other either this year or next -- but, alas, next year we will see the arrival of Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz to the ballot.  Sigh.) 

So, what’s the answer?  Here’s the summary chart of this year’s ballot, including our predictions.  We see good upward movement from a number of holdover candidates from last year, especially the non-PEDS like Schilling, who will get over the 75% threshold, and Omar Vizquel and Scott Rolen.  But Clemens and Bonds will make some progress, too – setting up a tension-filled year next year, which will be their last on the ballot by the 10-year rule.

 

2021

Year on Ballot

Should be in HOF?

Last Year %

BTRTN Prediction %

Curt Schilling

9

Yes

70

78

Omar Vizquel

4

No

53

67

Roger Clemens

9

PED - No

61

66

Barry Bonds

9

PED - No

61

66

Scott Rolen

4

Yes

35

49

Billy Wagner

6

Yes

32

42

Gary Sheffield

7

PED - No

31

41

Todd Helton

3

No

29

39

Jeff Kent

8

Yes

28

38

Manny Ramirez

5

PED - No

28

32

Andruw Jones

3

Yes

19

25

Sammy Sosa

9

PED - No

14

19

Andy Pettitte

3

PED - No

11

12

Tim Hudson

1

No

n/a

11

Bobby Abreu

2

No

6

9

Torii Hunter

1

No

n/a

9

Aramis Ramirez

1

No

n/a

7

Mark Buehrle

1

No

n/a

4

Dan Haren

1

No

n/a

2

Michael Cuddyer

1

No

n/a

0

LaTroy Hawkins

1

No

n/a

0

Shane Victorino

1

No

n/a

0

Barry Zito

1

No

n/a

0

A.J. Burnett

1

No

n/a

0

Nick Swisher

1

No

n/a

0

 

WHO SHOULD BE IN THE HALL OF FAME?

The second question we ask annually is this:  putting aside what the writers think, who on the ballot do we think is “Hall-worthy”? 

We agree that Schilling should be in the HOF (although we are hardly a fan); and we think the ballot also includes four other players that should be in the HOF, but will fall short in this year’s balloting:  Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner, Jeff Kent and Andruw Jones. 

To arrive at our conclusions, we use the following analytic methodology.  We compare each player to Hall of Famers at his position across a number of key statistics, both traditional (hits, homers, RBI’s and batting average) and non-traditional (OPS+ and WAR).  We show the average statistics for all the Hall of Famers at his position, and then divide the Hall of Famers into halves, separating (using WAR) the top half of the HOF from the bottom half.  And we also include these stats for the “next ten,” the ten players at the position who have the highest WARs but are not in the HOF.  These latter two groups define the so-called “borderline.” 

Our general feeling is that a candidate, to be worthy of the HOF, must be at least as good as the “average” HOF’er at his position across these stats.  Borderline won’t do.  As you will note, the “lower half” HOF’ers are really indistinguishable from the ones who just missed, the “next 10.”  This is because there are more than a few players in the HOF who simply don’t deserve to be so enshrined.

We also give some consideration to how many All-Star teams a player was named to, and how many times a player was in the Top 10 in MVP voting (or Cy Young voting for pitchers).  And postseason play can certainly be a factor as well.  We try to keep it completely objective.  Both of these last two factors come into play when assessing a certain bloody- or ketchup-soaked-socked World Series star, as you will see.

Note that because we don’t think that PED-tainted players should be in the HOF, we have omitted them from the following analysis (most have Hall-worthy credentials, although Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte and Sammy Sosa are subject to debate).


BY POSITION ANALYSIS

Note that the players we consider “Hall-worthy” are highlighted in yellow, and the others are not.

Catcher

There is not a single catcher on the ballot this year.

First Base 

Todd Helton is one of those exceptionally difficult cases – the hardest one on the ballot, in our view.  You have to take into account the “Coors Field” high altitude effect that inflates Rockie player stats.  WAR is a park adjusted figure, and Helton's 52 falls between the average HOF and the borderlines.  His OPS+ is down with the borderlines, and if you break this down further, Helton’s home/road OPS’s are 1.048/.855.  That .855 is a problem – a fine number but not HOF-esque.  We think Helton is a tough pass – a very tough pass. 


FIRST BASE

Avg.

Hits

HR

RBI

OPS+

WAR

Top Half

0.311

2566

363

1588

152

83

Avg HOF

0.306

2395

316

1450

143

67

Bottom Half

0.301

2210

265

1300

133

50

Next 10 non-HOF

0.290

2162

261

1172

130

52

Todd Helton

0.316

2519

369

1406

133

61

Second Base 

Jeff Kent is the all-time leading home run hitter among second baseman, and is third in RBIs behind Rogers Hornsby and Napoleon Lajoie.  He also won an MVP once, was a Top 10 in the MVP balloting three other times, and a five-time All Star.  He hit three homers and had seven RBI’s in his only World Series.  He was simply one of the greatest power-hitting second basemen ever and the best in modern times.  His WAR may be a bit low, but it is better than the borderline groups, and his OPS+ is above the average HOF second basemen.  If he had been a little nicer to sportswriters over the years, he might be doing better in the voting to date.  But he is unquestionably a Hall of Famer.  (By the way, for you Helton fans smarting over our snub, Kent’s home/away OPS splits are .853/.857 – in other words, he has a higher OPS than Helton on the road, while occupying a middle infielder position.)

 

SECOND BASE

Avg.

Hits

HR

RBI

OPS+

WAR

Top Half

0.314

2780

181

1259

132

90

Avg HOF

0.298

2442

160

1089

120

69

Bottom Half

0.283

2103

139

920

107

48

Next 10 non-HOF

0.285

2051

133

889

116

52

Jeff Kent

0.290

2461

377

1518

123

55

Shortstop 

Omar Vizquel has done well in the balloting in his first three years, establishing a track record (37% in his first year, 43% in his second, 53% in his third) that will likely leading to enshrinement.  Our feeling is that while Omar deserves strong consideration, we don’t think he is quite HOF-worthy.  His OPS+ of only 82 is well below both the bottom half of HOF shortstops and the Next 10. The main thing going for him is his 2,877 hits, a testament to his longevity – he did play 24 years.  He was a fine player defensively, with 11 Gold Gloves, but no Ozzie Smith or Mark Belanger, with 129 runs saved in his career versus their 239 and 241, respectively.  (Craig Counsell had 127.)  He made only three All-Star teams and was never a Top Ten finisher in the MVP balloting.  We pass on Omar.

 

SHORTSTOP

Avg.

Hits

HR

RBI

OPS+

WAR

Top Half

0.290

2597

173

1241

116

76

Avg HOF

0.286

2336

120

1053

109

63

Bottom Half

0.282

1997

51

809

100

46

Next 10

0.276

1995

92

903

105

49

Omar Vizquel

0.272

2877

80

951

82

46

Third Base 

Scott Rolen should have avoided retiring the same year as Chipper Jones.  In fact, he should have avoided overlapping his entire career with Chipper, and in the same league, no less.  And, maybe he should have avoided playing third base, a position the HOF does not favor (there are fewer third basemen in the HOF than any other position).  Rolen was a terrific, if underrated player.  Chipper may dominate Rolen in every category, but Rolen in turn is solidly above the average third base HOF’er in all the power categories, right in line with the average HOF third basemen in OPS+ and WAR, and he was a great fielder, too.  Not to mention seven All Star selections.  We believe Rolen should be in the HOF.

Aramis Ramirez is a very interesting candidate.  He too played in Chipper Jones’ shadow, with a largely losing team (the Cubs), unlike Jones (Atlanta) and Rolen (the Cards).  In terms of traditional statistics, he is a slightly more impressive candidate than Rolen, with more homers and RBI’s, as well as more hits and a tad higher batting average.  But he falls off in the more advanced stats; Rolen has a significantly higher OPS and far outpaces Ramirez in WAR.  (Essentially, Rolen was better on getting on base -- he walked more -- and was a far better fielder than Ramirez.)  Ramirez’s OPS+ and WAR are lower than both the “bottom half” HOF third basemen as well as the next ten third-sackers who are not in the HOF.   Ramirez also only made three All-Star squads, though he did outpace Rolen with three Top Ten MVP ballots versus one.  Neither of them lit it up in postseason play.  So, for us, Rolen is in, Ramirez misses the cut.

 

THIRD BASE

Avg.

Hits

HR

RBI

OPS+

WAR

Top Half

0.290

2715

372

1403

134

89

Avg HOF

0.296

2383

248

1203

125

68

Bottom Half

0.303

2052

124

1037

117

47

Next 10 non-HOF

0.270

2086

256

1103

117

56

Scott Rolen

0.281

2077

316

1287

122

70

Aramis Ramirez

0.283

2303

386

1417

115

32

Outfield/DH

Andruw Jones is an interesting case, with those 434 homers and a 63 WAR that also reflects his outstanding defensive skills.  He had 253 "runs saved," an astounding number exceeded only by Brooks Robinson.  That is truly impressive.  His relatively low 111 OPS+ is the big knock, but we think the power, defense and WAR – plus five All-Star selections and two Top Ten MVP vote totals -- add up to a Hall of Famer.

Bobby Abreu is an another exceptionally difficult case.  His power stats are above average for a HOF outfielder, but his OPS+ and WAR are borderline.  And when you throw in the fact that he only made two All Star games in his career (though he did put on quite a display in the Home Run Derby in one of those years) and never once was a Top 10 MVP vote getter, it’s hard to make a case that he was one of the very best players of his generation.  No HOF for Bobby.

Torii Hunter is a very similar candidate to Andruw Jones, in that both were excellent fielders and solid hitters.  Jones had more power, while Hunter hit better for average.  But while Hunter was a fine fielder and won 9 Gold Gloves, Jones was, as noted, among the greatest defensive players of all time.  Hunter trails Jones in WAR as well, largely due to the defensive gap.  Jones was also the superior postseason player; both have extensive postseason resumes.  We can find room for Jones in the HOF because of his defensive prowess, but Hunter should end up on the outside looking in.

Shane Victorino, Nick Swisher and Michael Cuddyer each made an All-Star game or two, and each deserve the honor of making an appearance on the ballot.  But it only takes a cursory glance at the comparison chart to conclude they each fall well short of serious HOF consideration.

 

OUTFIELD/DH

Avg.

Hits

HR

RBI

OPS+

WAR

Top Half

0.317

2898

314

1496

145

91

Avg HOF

0.313

2560

242

1286

136

70

Bottom Half

0.309

2175

161

1047

127

46

Next 10 non-HOF

0.282

2096

241

1052

126

59

Andruw Jones

0.254

1933

434

1289

111

63

Bobby Abreu

0.291

2470

288

1363

128

60

Torii Hunter

0.277

2452

353

1391

110

51

Shane Victorino

0.275

1274

108

489

102

32

Nick Swisher

0.249

1338

245

803

113

21

Michael Cuddyer

0.277

1536

197

794

113

18

Starting Pitchers 

Curt Schilling’s ERA+ is a stirling 127 and his WAR is a hefty 80, both up there with the top half of HOF starting pitchers.  And you also have to consider his postseason performances, bloody sock (or not) and all, which were phenomenal:  11-2 with a 2.23 ERA.  Hate him or hate him, Schilling is a Hall of Famer.

Mark Buehrle and Tim Hudson are, along with Schilling, members of a dying breed, the 200+ career win pitcher.  Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke are the only two active pitchers who have achieved that milestone, and they may be joined by a few others (Jon Lester, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer), but then it will likely be a stat of the past.  In a few years we will surely drop wins as a stat to consider for the HOF.  You can make a case for both Buehrle and Hudson as HOF-worthy; both have stats that match up well with the “bottom half” of HOF pitchers, each made 4-5 All Star teams and Hudson has 4 Top Ten Cy Young finishes (though neither ever won one).  We are generally tough on borderline candidates, so we say “no” now – but their candidacies may age well, and we may reconsider them if they achieve the 5% threshold to stay on the ballot.

Dan Haren, Barry Zito and A.J. Burnett may also look like giants a decade from now, but it is far easier to nix them as of now.  Each had an ERA+ under 110 and a WAR no higher than 35, and those markers are well below HOF standards.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

W

W/L Pct

ERA

ERA+

WAR

IP

Top Half

313

0.593

2.98

124

89

4700

AVG HOF

267

0.599

2.99

123

69

3989

Bottom Half

222

0.604

3.00

122

50

3277

Next 10 non-HOF

237

0.568

3.07

116

64

3758

Curt Schilling

216

0.597

3.46

127

80

3261

Mark Buehrle

214

0.572

3.81

117

59

3283

Tim Hudson

222

0.625

3.49

120

58

3127

Dan Haren

153

0.539

3.75

109

35

2420

Barry Zito

165

0.536

4.04

105

32

2577

A.J. Burnett

164

0.511

3.99

104

29

2731

Relief Pitchers 

There is not an extensive history of relief pitchers, so we have changed the comparison categories accordingly.  Here we compare the seven “pure” relievers in the HOF (Rivera, Gossage, Fingers, Hoffman, Smith, Sutter and Wilhelm, but excluding Dennis Eckersley who started many games before becoming a reliever) with the 15 relievers who reached 300 or more saves but were turned aside on the first ballot by HOF voters (none met the 5% threshold).   

Billy Wagner’s statistics are amazing, and some keen voters – too few -- have noticed this because he has made it to a fourth year on the ballot.  He has well over 400 saves and a 1.00 WHIP that is – incredibly – equal to Rivera’s (and better than Trevor Hoffman’s 1.06).  His stats compare favorably to the big seven.  Wagner is on our ballot – he is simply one of the greatest relievers ever.

LaTroy Hawkins’s statistics are not amazing.  In fact, he is the only player on this year’s ballot who simply does not deserve even that honor. 

 

RELIEF PITCHERS

Saves

WHIP

ERA+

WAR

IP

IP/G

Avg HOF (ex-Eck)

416

1.14

143

35

1496

1.5

Non-HOF 300+ Saves

331

1.27

129

18

1004

1.2

Billy Wagner

422

1.00

187

28

903

1.1

LaTroy Hawkins

127

1.41

4.31

18

1467

1.4

That’s it!  We’ll be back after Tuesday, January 26, 2021, when the selections will be announced and see how we did!


 

 

 

27 comments:

  1. The blog writer reluctantly admits Schilling should be in the Hall of Fame. The writer's reasons are not directly made apparent but perhaps Schillings traditional values rub the writer the wrong way. Truth is Schilling should have been voted into the Hall the first year he was eligible. Sadly it looks like politics got in the way of doing the right thing. Hopefully this year that wrong will be righted .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me be clear. Schilling is a complete idiot, and yet I have always maintained -- not "admitted" -- that he is a deserving Hall of Famer. The Hall takes no account of stupidity, just whether you played the game well.

      Delete
  2. It's disingenuous to claim that Schilling is being singled out for his support of "traditional values". Plenty of Hall of Famers share Schilling's "traditional values" - e.g., Chipper Jones and Mariano Rivera. That didn't stop either of them from making the Hall on the first ballot, one of them unanimously.

    Assholery transcends politics. There are assholes on both sides of the political spectrum, and Schilling is a grade-A Asshole. He belongs in the Hall of Fame, and he belongs in the Hall of Assholes.

    ReplyDelete
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