Just to amend something I said above: you can't personally "err on the side of caution" in terms of keeping someone on the ballot--you either vote for him or you don't, and the aggregate vote decides whether he stays on or not. I think something like a five-year provision would be useful in avoiding situations like Kevin Brown and Lou Whitaker, where a clearly qualified player gets dropped from the ballot immediately. Set up some modest but meaningful benchmarks--2,000 hits, 300 HR, 200 wins, however many saves in that range (probably 300 by now)--and if a player meets at least one of those (both Whitaker and Brown would have cleared), he must remain on the ballot five years before the 5% threshold kicks in. I don't know whether an extra five years' perspective would make much difference, but it might at least help players who run into a particularly strong field in their first year or two.
― clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:11 (eleven years ago) link
... or you could just have a 2-3 year period before anyone can get dropped.
― sir thermo of thinwall, Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:33 (eleven years ago) link
Thing is, I think you'd want certain players to drop off immediately. If you used the numbers I suggested above, these players would be exempt for five years: Bernie Williams, Vinnie Castilla (Colorado fluke), Ruben Sierra, Jeromy Burnitz. Everyone else--Javy Lopez, Tim Salmon (299 HR...), Tony Womack, Phil Nevin, Brian Jordan, Eric Young, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Brad Radke--likely disappears. This year's weak field isn't the best example, and I know Lopez and Salmon were better than at least a couple of guys who'd get the provision. But Lopez and Salmon aren't ever going to make it anyway, so it wouldn't be a tragedy. Buy I think it would buy some time for the occasional Whitaker or Brown.
― clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2011 01:02 (eleven years ago) link
Buy = But
― clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2011 01:03 (eleven years ago) link
On the other hand, Lopez and/or Salmon may very well exceed the 5% threshold, and that's fine--just like always, you don't have to meet these benchmarks to stay on the ballot if the writers take care of that for you.
― clemenza, Thursday, 29 December 2011 01:06 (eleven years ago) link
my guess is salmon gets just enough support to stay on and lopez falls a couple percentage pts below the line.
― omar (son), Thursday, 29 December 2011 02:28 (eleven years ago) link
i have no idea how a single writer could justify a vote for javy lopez.
McGwire, McGriff, Walker and Bernie are all on the bubble for me - and guys like Trammell, Murphy, Gonzalez I'd be willing to hear arguments for.
as poz wrote, the argument for trammell is that he's the exact same player as larkin.
― a collection of gruff, big-balled boasts (zachylon), Friday, 30 December 2011 21:23 (eleven years ago) link
anyway: Larkin, Bagwell, Raines, Martinez, Trammell, McGwire, Palmeiro, and of course, Orioles legend Javy López.
― a collection of gruff, big-balled boasts (zachylon), Friday, 30 December 2011 21:24 (eleven years ago) link
Lopez had one spectacular season--think he still hold the single-season slugging record for catchers--and a few good ones, but the only semi-credible argument I can see for him is a rather vague, old-fashioned one: that he was the catcher for a dynasty, and handled one of the greatest starting staffs ever. But no, I don't think anyone should vote for him.
― clemenza, Friday, 30 December 2011 21:51 (eleven years ago) link
martinez is the only one of these that would make me sad if he didn't get in
― t. silaviver, Friday, 30 December 2011 21:53 (eleven years ago) link
which i do not really agree with.
― sir thermo of thinwall, Friday, 30 December 2011 23:48 (eleven years ago) link
ok they are very similar.
― sir thermo of thinwall, Saturday, 31 December 2011 03:58 (eleven years ago) link
Yeah, they're pretty close. Trammell is #1 on Larkin's similarity-score list, Larkin is Trammell's #2. Larkin runs about 10% better in BA/SA/OBP, probably just the difference between having your peak years in the '90s rather than the '80s. Something interesting is that Trammell drew a higher percentage of the MVP vote the year he finished second than Larkin did the year he won.
― clemenza, Saturday, 31 December 2011 04:11 (eleven years ago) link
i think you might be able to get away with putting Larkin's higher SLG down to the '90s vs '80s thing - but Larkin's OBP being 20 points better isn't something that can be brushed aside as easily imho. i mean, it's not a huge thing, but it's not a negligible difference either.
what jumps out at me is how dominant Barry was as a base runner. 379 career SB and only caught a total of 77 times. the season where he stole over 50 bases - he was only thrown out 5 times!
― sir thermo of thinwall, Saturday, 31 December 2011 18:52 (eleven years ago) link