A Quote to Start Things Off

“It’s not supposed to be mysterious or anything; I just put a band together and right now I happen to be the only one in it.” Mark Heard regarding his "band" Ideola

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

2019 HOF Returning Players

On Tuesday January 22nd the bbwaa will make their announcement as to who they voted in for the 2019 class of baseball's hall of fame.  As I do each year I will review the returning players to the ballot.  This year I am introducing a section called final thoughts in which I address my thoughts on pplayers appearing on the ballot for their fianl year of eligibility.

The players returning from last years ballot listed from the highest percentage of votes received to lowest are ...

Edgar Martinez 70.4% of the vote in 2018. 10th and final year on the  ballot   Edgar's  highest % came in 2018. Final Thoughts: He is considered likely for HOF inclusion this year.  

Mike Mussina 63.5%  of the vote in 2018.  6th year on ballot  Mussina's highest % came in 2018.

Roger Clemens   57.3 % of the vote in 2018. 7th year on the ballot,   Clemens  received his highest %   in 2018,

Barry Bonds  56.4% of the vote in 2018. 7th  year on the ballot,  Bonds received his highest %  in 2018.

Curt Schilling 45% of the vote in 2017. 6th year on the ballot,    Schillings highest % was 52.3 in 2016

Omar Vizquel 37.0% of vote 2nd year on the ballot


Larry Walker 34.1% of the vote in 2018. 9th year on the ballot . Larryreceived his highest percentage of the vote in 2018.

Fred McGriff  23.2 % of the vote in 2018.  10th and final  year on the ballot. Fred's  highest %  was 23.9 in 2012, his 3rd year on the ballot. Final Thoughts: While I consider the Crime Dog a border line hall of famer, most voters have not.  He hasn't ever gotten 1/4 of the writers vote and needs 3/4 for inclusion.  Harold Baines making it to Hall through  the veteran's committee should increase McGriffs vote total, but it wont triple it. 

Manny Ramirez 3nd year on the ballot, voters were just being voters last year when the put Manny on only 22% of their ballots.  Manny's highes total was in 2017   receiving  23.8% of  votes on his inaugural ballot.


Jeff  Kent 14.5%  of the vote in 2018. 6th year on the ballot  . 2017 was Kent's highest total to date, receiving 16.7% on his 5th year on the ballot.

Gary Sheffield 11.1% of the vote in 2018. 5th year on ballot. Gary's highest was 13.3% in 2017 his 4th year on the ballot.

Like Sheffield, Billy Wagner received 11.1 % of the vote in 2018.  This is his 3rd year on the ballot.
2017 was his highest percantage of the vote.

Scott Rolen received 10.2 % of the vote in 2018.. It is his 2nd year on the ballot

Sammy Sosa wnt down to 7.8% of the vote in 2018.  This is his 7th year on the ballot.   In 2012 Sammy received 12.5%, his highest percentage in his first year of consideration.

Andruw Jones  received 7.3% of the vote in 2018. It is 2nd year on the ballot. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

2018 HOF Voting in Review

In 2018 there were 33 former players on the ballot of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) for consideration into Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York.  Fourteen had appeared on the 2017 ballot failing to receive at least 75 % of the vote.  Nineteen were appearing for the first time.  No players were on the ballot for their final year of eligibility.  None of the returning player received less than 5% of the vote.  This means that of the 33 players on the ballot they were either elected to the Hall with 75% or more of the vote (4 players), received less than 75% but more than 25% of the vote and have returned to the 2019 ballot ( 15 players), or received lass than 5% of the vote in their initial year and are not on the ballot for 2019 (14 players)

The 4 players who were inducted into the hall of fame on July 29th 2019 were ...
(Ihave includerd teir hall of fame induction speeches as an added bonus)
Chipper Jones









Vladimir Guerrero




Jim Thome


Trevor Hoffman

 

8 of the 14 players who failed to receive 5% of the vote did receive at least one vote.  These players were Carlos Lee,  Livan Hernandez, Kerry Wood, Chris Carpenter, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Johan Santana and Jamie Moyer.  The 6 who received no votes were Carlos Zambrano, Orlando Hudson, Jason Isringhausen , Aubrey Huff, Kevin Millwood and Brad Lidge.  

I will begin my 2019 HOF coverage in earnest with my next post featuring the 15 players returning to the ballot in 2019. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Closing the book on 2009

In a few weeks, the 2019 announcements for who the BBWAA selected into the Hall of Fame will be made.  Today begins my first installment into Hall of Fame coverage.  Today and tomorrow I will be looking backward before I look ahead,  In 2018 the book was closed on the Hall of Fame nominees from 2009 the truth is the book was closed long before that due ti the unique circumstances of the 2009 election.

There were 23 names on the 2009 ballot 13 returning to the ballot from previous years and ten on the ballot for the first time.  Due to the unique circumstances, I mentioned above all ten of these new players did not return to the ballot in 2010.  Nine failed to receive 5% of the vote and were taken off subsequent ballots and one was elected on his first ballot and also removed from subsequent ballots.

Ricky Henderson was the player to make the Hall on his first ballot that year receiving 94.8 percent of the vote.  Jim Rice was on the other end of the spectrum that year receiving 76.4 % of the vote in his 15th and final year of eligibility (Eligibility has since been switched to 10 years)

The remaining 12 who returned to the ballot in 2009 came back to the ballot in 2010.  3 of those players were eventually voted into the Hall of fame during their time of eligibility (Andre Dawson 2010 9th year of eligibility, Bert Blyleven 2011 14th year of eligibility, Tim Raines 2017 1oth and final year of eligibility) 4 more players were not elected by the writers but since elected by the veterans committee these are Jack Morris 2018 Alan Trammell 2018 and as I mentioned yesterday Harold Baines 2019 and Lee Smith 2019.  So unless there is further action done by the veterans committee a total of 9 of the 23 candidates for enshrinement in 2009 are in Cooperstown.

Tommy John was on the ballot for the 15th and final time in 2009 receiving 31.7% of the vote, his highest percentage, but not even 1/2 of what was needed for enshrinement.

 Dave Parker, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy all returned to the ballot in 2010 but all eventually dropped out without ever receiving the votes needed for enshrinement.

The Class of 2009 who appeared on the ballot for their first and only time were (listed in order of votes received)

Rickey Henderson 511 Votes (94.8%)
Mark Grace  22 votes (4.1%)
David Cone 21 Votes (3.9%)
Matt Williams 7 votes (1.3%)
Mo Vaughn 6 Votes (1.1%)
Jay Bell 2 Votes (.4%)
Jesse Orosco 1 Vote (.2%)
Greg Vaughn 0 votes
Ron Gant 0 votes
Dan Pleasac 0 votes.


The book has closed on 2009 Hall of Fame wise,  Tomorrow we will look back at the 2018 bbwaa hall of fame process before we open the book on 2019 on Friday.




Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Baines and Smith make all my unofficial HOF balloting official

Lee Smith HOF 2019

I was driving home from work on December  when I got floored by unexpected good news.  I was working an overnight weekend job for the holidays and turned my radio on while driving past all the mopes on their way to work. The national news was on and the last story was about the baseball Hall of Fame.  Harold Baines and Lee Smith were both selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the modern era committee. 
Harold Baines HOF 2019

 This came as both a delight and surprise to me.  Since I began this blog in 2009 there has been no greater advocate to HOF consideration and inclusion for Baines and Smith than myself  Each year in these very pages I pretend I have a vote for the Hall.  Go back into the archives and each year you will see me eloquently persuade the inclusion of either gentleman into the Hall.

Harold Baines  began his career with the White Sox in 1980 and finished his career there as well in 2001.  He had 3 stints with them 1980 to 1989, 1996 and 1997 and then came back in 2000 and retired in 2001.  He also played for the Baltimore Orioles 3 separate times (1993-1995,1997-1998, &2000) In between He played for the Rangers , Athletics and Indians.  Baines was predominantly a right fielder in his first 7 years in the Majors.  From 1988 to 1992 he transitioned to designated hitter  playing some outfield. From 1993 on he was used exclusively as a DH with the exception of one game in right field for the Sox in 1997.

In 1980 while Baines was starting his HOF career on the south side of Chicago, Lee Smith began his HOF journey on the North side with the Cubs.  He played for the Cubs from 1980 to 1987 and then played for the Red Sox from 1988 to 1990, In 1990 he went to St. Louis and was there until mid 1993 when he finished the year with the Yankees. In 1994 He and Baines were teammates in Baltimore.  He finished his career with stints for the angels (1995-1996) Reds (1996) before finishing up with the Expos in 1997.  Smith was a reliever for the vast majority of his career finishing 802 games and earning 478 saves.

I have read several places that Baines and Smith belong in the Hall of Very Good and not the Hall of Fame.  This just does not hold up.  The truth is that they are both Hall of fame caliber in their positions of Designated Hitter and Relief Pitcher.   In baseball reference,com they rank players in similarity.  4 of the 5 players most similar to Baines, Tony Perez, Al Kaline,  Billy Williams & Andre Dawson are Hall of Famers.  Lee Smith best comps to Trevor Hoffman who made the HOF last year and Mariano Rivera, a lock to do so this year. 

Congratulations to both Baines and Smith I look forward to your future enshrinement.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

If the playoffs started today. . .

The baseball season is somewhere between 1/3 and 1/4 finished.  My team (The White Sox ) are the worst team in the majors and for that reason and others I have not been paying a lot of attention to the season.  What I like to do from time to time is look at the current  regular season like it just ended for the year and extrapolate what would happen if the playoffs began today.

The current playoff format is this.  The  3 division champions are seeded (put in order) based on their record and the teams with the next best records would be the wild card teams.  The 2 wild card teams would play each other in a 1 game series then the wild card winner would play the # 1 seed in a 5 game format and the #2 and #3 teams would play each other.  The winners of the divisional series face off in a championship series which is best of 7 games.  these 3 series (wild card, divisional and League championship) take place simultaneously in the American and National leagues.  The winners of the NLCS and ALCS then match up in a best of 7 World Series.

If the playoffs were to start today, the records at the end of yesterday would determine the playoff pairing.

In the American League the seeding would be

1. New York Yankees East Division 31-13 .705
2.Houston Astros West Division 30-18 .625
3. Cleveland Indians Central Division 22-23 .489

Wild Card 1 Boston Red Sox 32-15 .681
Wild Card 2 Seattle Mariners 27-19 .587

A quick perusal of those records and you see that the Red Sox have the 2nd best record in the American league and yet they are only a wild card.  You may also see that the Res Sox and the Mariners' both have a much better record than the Indians yet the Indians are a better seed, There are actually 2 more teams (Angels and Athletics) who have a better record than the Indians and they are not even in the playoffs.  That is because none of those 4 teams play in the A.L. Central and the Indians are the best team currently in that division despite their losing record. As for the Red Sox they may have the 2nd best record in the AL but the team with the best record (The Yankees) is in the Eastern Division with them. 

If the playoffs were today The Yankees would host a 5 game series against thee winner of the wild card game between the Red Sox and The Mariners.  The winner of that series would then play in the league championship series against the winner of the Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indian series. 

In the National League the seeding stacks up like this ...

1. Atlanta Braves East Division 28-18 .609
2. Milwaukee Brewers Central Division 29-19 .604
3. Colorado Rockies West Division 26-22 .542

Wild Card 1 Philadelphia Phillies 27-18 .600
Wild Card 2 St. Louis Cardinals 26-19 .578

4 mores  teams the Cubs, Pirates, Mets and Nationals all have records better than the Rockies but if the playoffs began today they would not make it because none of them play in the N.L. West.

The Braves would hos the Phillies - Cardinals Wild Card winner and the winner there would play the Brewers Rockies winner with that winner heading to the World Series. 

From time to time I will come back here and tell you the playoff match ups if the Playoffs began today.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Checking in

I haven't posted here for quite a while.  But 2 things have changed over the past year that I wanted to share here just in case anyone still stops by.

One:  We started homeschooling again

This is on a more limited basis.  My youngest graduated from high school last Spring and My son is a sophomore at a local high school.  Our schedule has allowed us to homeschool our youngest.  We are using the same online curriculum that bunny girl (our oldest) used her Freshman year in high school.  She and I are back in our old co-op again, and she volunteers at a local public school once a week running the school store. 

Two: I am writing again.

When I went back to full-time employment 5 years ago my writing became more sporadic.  I realized it is such a big part of who I am, that I really can't give it up entirely.  To that end, I have started a new blog 


Not sure how much time, I will devote to my writing but I do feel better when I am putting words on a page or on screen.