Sunday, December 05, 2010

Expansion Era Hall of Fame Ballot

Unfortunately, I have to say that I don't think a single player on the Expansion Era Hall of Fame Ballot is worthy of induction. In my opinion, Ted Simmons comes the closest, but is still not quite worthy, and I'd love to say that I think Ron Guidry is deserving of the honor, but I can't.

I've heard the arguments for Dave Concepcion, but frankly, I have no reservations in saying that he ranks 8th out of the eight players nominated: Tommy John, Simmons, Rusty Staub, Guidry, Vida Blue, Al Oliver, Steve Garvey, Concepcion.

Speaking of nominations, I'd be curious to know who decided that these particular eight players should be the ones up for election. A more deserving group would include Bobby Bonds, Darrell Evans, Bobby Grich, Keith Hernandez, Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles and Luis Tiant. In fact, I would vote for Grich and Hernandez if their names were on the ballot...and if I had a vote.

The player evaluation system that I referred to a couple posts ago is still in the works. Actually, I used it to make my decisions on the players in question here, but it's still subject to tweaking.

I'm not going to go into great detail right now, but my system is based on the following statistics:
  • Wins Above Replacement (30%)
  • Win Shares (30%)
  • ERA+ or OPS+ (15%)
  • Bill James's Hall of Fame Standards Test (15%)
  • Bill James's Black Ink Test (5%)
  • Bill James's Gray Ink Test (5%)
Each statistic for each player is weighted as noted above and compared to a base value, which represents that of a borderline Hall of Famer. These base values will take some time to finalize, but the idea is that a composite score of 100 will constitute a Hall of Fame level career. In fact, using the system as it currently stands, Hernandez and Grich would rate 99.31 and 97.99, respectively, leaving them just short of the baseline threshold, but close enough to consider. By comparison, Concepcion's rating is 65.14.

In addition to the eight players on the ballot, there are four non-players whose candidacies are being voted on tomorrow. For the record, I would vote for George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller, but pass on Billy Martin and Pat Gillick. Martin is probably as deserving as Whitey Herzog, so I wouldn't object to his election, but I'm not convinced that Herzog really belongs, so I'm not going to advocate for Martin based on that comparison.

Regardless, tomorrow is the beginning of an exciting part of the baseball off-season. One month later, we'll find out the results of the writers' vote, and hopefully, in the very least, we'll be welcoming Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar and Jeff Bagwell into Cooperstown.

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