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Chat: Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Monday January 09, 2012 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special.


Join Hall of Fame guardian Jay Jaffe as the BBWAA voting for the Hall of Fame is announced. Who will join Ron Santo in getting a plaque?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Good afternoon, folks, and welcome to today's special Hall of Fame extravaganza. This chat is kicking off at 1 PM Eastern, with the announcement of the results coming at 3 PM, and the burning and looting starting at 3:15. Who will overturn a car on Edgar Martinez's behalf?

Brian (Tinley Park): Hey Jay - Do you feel that the Hall of Fame will start to give guidelines to the voters sooner rather than later when it comes to steroids? I have seen comments regarding how quickly Bagwell shrunk in size as to why someone was not going to vote for him (Chicago Tribune). As Phil Rogers says, 580+ writers, 580+ opinions on the matter. Thanks

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Good question. I think we're years away from that, because while there are several candidates about to hit the ballot whose careers have been linked to PED use, there are also a bunch of milestone candidates whose elections are a virtual lock. Even without Barry Bonds and Roger Clmeens, you'll still have Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson and Craig Biggio on that score, as well as solid candidates without the milestones OR PED connections such as John Smoltz and Curt Schilling. I think we're years away before the Hall feels a need to interject itself into the debate on the guideline grounds.

Jquinton82 (NY): Oh great and powerful mustachioed oracle of JAWS - what say you of Bernie Williams and the HOF? I realize the regular season numbers don't scream dominance, but in the postseason I think one could argue no one was more lethal during the Dynasty with a bat in their hands (except if you were a water cooler and O'neil was nearby

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Uh oh, somebody didn't do the assigned course reading. I did lead an article and write something like 1,800 words devoted to Bernie's candidacy just last week: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15763

Bernie is significantly short on JAWS, in part because the bar for center fielders is higher than most other positions. He deserves a lot of credit for his postseason performance, but it's worth noting that one system that tries to capture that, Bill James' Hall of Fame Monitor score - which gives extra credit for being an up-the-middle starter on a champion - he doesn't exactly knock anybody dead, with a 134 score. 100 was a likely Hall of Famer when James designed the system 15-20 years ago, but the average HOFer is at more like 160.

UCBravesKing (Erlanger, Kentucky): Good Afternoon Jay, Who's on your HOF ballot? Thanks!

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Via JAWS, I have five guys: Raines, Bagwell, Larkin, Edgar, and Smith. If I'm going with my heart instead of my system, I'd tack on Bernie and Trammell, too, but I make a point of playing my system first.

Hip Hip (Jorge): Ok, before the announcement comes out, where does Posada figure in among JAWS for catchers? i'm guessing a little light. If you had to guess, and the life of your mustache rode on your prescience, will Posada be elected by the writers, some form of veteran's committee, or not at all?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I will address this at length in tomorrow's column. The short version is that he's a bit shy of the Hall standard at catcher, and if the writers are going to reject Bernie Williams before he reaches a second ballot (which seems highly likely), I don't think they're likely to elect Posada. Both will have stronger shots from an eventual Veterans Committee, but it's going to be a good long while before they get that far.

Demian (Orlando-ish): Will Bagwell make the HOF, or is he done like Mark McGwire?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: He's in much better shape than McGwire, and I expect he will top 50 percent this year, which creates a clear pathway to election, even if it won't be instant.

dianagram (NYC): If you had an "all facial hair" HOF, who would be in your initial class: Bruce Sutter, Jim Kern, Al Hrabosky, others?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: All of those guys would be in eventually but the reliever standard still starts with Rollie Fingers, and I'd want to balance the distribution out so it wasn't all 1970s guys. As the 1994-2005 period was to homers, the Seventies were to facial hair.

HalfStreet (Fairfax VA): I certainly hope Barry Larkin gets in today, but wouldn't it be eerie if Ron Santo is the only player to get in? One inductee, and a silent podium. +1/2St.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Well, somebody - his widow, one of his sons, or a teammate, will be speaking on Santo's behalf, I believe, and maybe two people, so it's not going to be totally silent. But it's not going to help attendance any if Larkin doesn't get in, that's for sure.

Tim (reno): I want to start a grass roots movement to get Rafael Palmerio elected to the HOF. Will you join me?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: The rationale for keeping Palmeiro out - that he actually failed a test during the era of steroid sanctions - is far stronger than that for McGwire, Bonds, Clemens, et al. But even if we sweep that aside, he's short on the JAWS scale, and not by a little. So I'll pass, thanks.

Brian (DC): Now that Ron Santo has finally been elected to the Hall, who is the most deserving veteran nominee?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Well, technically nobody's nominated at the moment. Among Golden Era candidates, Jimmy Wynn actually has a higher JAWS score, though less on the non-JAWS components (All-Star, Gold Glove, etc).

Mike (Chicago): As the ballot in the next few years gets more and more crowded by PED users that will get enough votes to stay on but not enough to be enshrined, will the writers/hall get rid of the 10 vote maximum? Or are we going to see more and more players drop off quickly and not be allowed the jim rice/bert blyleven 15 year path to glory?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: As I said before, I don't think the Hall will address any rule changes quickly because of the number of milestone candidates who will ensure a trickle of inductees to get through. I do think that there's a risk of more one-and-dones, though, and I'm nervous about that, but even so - five percent is a VERY low bar and the voting population is evolving every year.

William (Pensacola, Florida): How much fun is the 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot debate going to be in 2 years ?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: More fun than fighting a barrel full of rabid, feces-flinging monkeys, but I'm not sure what else it will top.

BL (Bozeman, MT): I wonder if a simpler answer to the Hall of Fame guidelines question is that the more debate the better, and narrowing the process might eliminate some of that? The Hall of Fame certainly generates considerable publicity from this debate in late December/early January. Thoughts?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I agree completely. The Hall does seem to feel as though any debate on the topic of PEDs, no matter how shrill or uninformed, is good for the institution.

Demian (Orlando-ish): So based on your previous response in regards to Palmeiro, do you break the steroid issue up into 2 parts (before/after 'roid rules in MLB) and thus McGwire should be in the HOF?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: If forced to choose to care about the issue - instead of just throwing up my hands and washing myself of it entirely, as some voters have chosen to do (a perfectly defensible response, I might add) - my preferred means is to use the beginning of the testing era (2004) as the dividing line. Actions for which there were no sanctions must be viewed in a different light than those for which there were sanctions.

That said, McGwire falls short on the current iteration of JAWS, so it's not like I automatically think he should go in, but I'm more open to the argument that he belongs than I am that he should automatically be barred.

justin Millar (the beach): is mike mussina a hofer?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I think so, yes. I have him at 65.7 career, 35.1 peak, 50.4 JAWS, with the average starting pitcher at 51.1/36.0/43.5. Lengthy career, lots of strikeouts and success in a very tough era for pitchers.

asstarr1 (Madison, WI): Jay, Great seeing you on Clubhouse Confidential! Was it hard to discuss HOF merits with Jon Heyman when he kept resorting to the "I saw it with my eyes" argument? Thanks for the chat.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Thanks! I disagree with a lot of what Jon said on that topic but things move so quickly during the short time of a TV segment that you really have to pick your battles. Joe Sheehan was the one who took up a couple of them with Jon, and I spent my time focusing on the talking points for guys that I was promoting.

mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): RE: All Facial Hair HOF: I'd be suspicious of the gels and waxes used in the 70s to achieve perfect hold. I mean, have you seen Rollie Fingers' mustache? There's no way that was achieved naturally.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: It was the Wild West, a loosy Goosey Gossage era, and there were a lot of means of mustache enhancement that fell into the gray area. I know of at least two players who injected the dessicated bone marrow of King Kelley - though I can't say exactly who in public - and even more who partook in various other outre methods.

Roy Halladay (Florida): Do I belong in the HOF?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: You've got a ways to go, dude. I have you at 33.5/27.1/30.3, without a single 5.0 WARP season. My advice is to start peaking heavily.

That said, the multiple Cy Youngs and mid-200s win totals are very likely to get you over if you fall short of 300, but still, do us a favor and make a better case for yourself than Morris did, OK?

John (DC): Is there any current/foreseeable future candidate that you think is not statistically deserving, but that you would like to see inducted anyway?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Though I can't mount strong JAWS-based arguments for them, I wouldn't put up a fuss if Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte all made it into the Hall.

Matty (Iraq): Give me a reason why Ichiro doesn't belong in the HOF once he retires.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I am very pro-Ichiro for the Hall of Fame and think he'll get in rather easily, actually. Fantastic ambassador for the game, and very consistent performer even if batting average overrates his contributions.

Dan (Brooklyn): Kenny Lofton goes on the ballot in 2012. How does he fare by JAWS? Also, do you think a case can be made in part based on his having been the best leadoff hitter in the game during the HR-happy '90s, with not much real competition? Sort of contextual/lineup value above replacement.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Lofton (56.2/34.1/45.2) is a bit below Bernie Williams (54.0/40.3/47.2) with far less postseason mojo (.247/.315/.352 in 95 games). If Tim Raines isn't over the top thanks to credit for being the second-best leadoff hitter of the modern era, there's no way in hell Lofton deserves credit for doing so in the homer-happy Nineties.

BL (Bozeman, MT): If Jack Morris is elected based on the "pitching to the score" and "he was an ace" and "all the post-season fireworks" argument(s), doesn't that essentially seal the candidacies of Bernie Williams and Posada along the same lines of thought?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: No, because intellectual consistency isn't one of the more reliable traits among Hall of Fame voters.

Tim (Grand Rapids): I'm not a New Yorker, but I have no problem with Jorge Posada in the Hall. What do you think?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Tune in tomorrow at BP and at Clubhouse Confidential (yup) and you'll find out exactly what I think!

asstarr1 (Madison, WI): Jay, With regards to Edgar Martinez, why do writers continue to back the DH as position but hold it against a player for the HOF? Is it similar to closers where over time voters will come around?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: As I said before, intellectual consistency isn't the forte of the voting body, and there still aren't a ton of voters who are receptive to advanced metrics.

I do think some of the resistance to Edgar comes from the fact that a) his career got a late start due to the Mariners' silliness; and b) he had three Hall of Fame-caliber teammates in Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson overshadowing him for much of his time in Seattle.

I think we'll be done with closers in the Hall for a good long time once Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman get in, and I'd honestly be surprised if Edgar is in by that point. I think he'll still be on the ballot when I finally get a vote in 9 years.

davezahniser (Cincinnati): I was interested by your comment "guys that I was promoting." I always thought of JAWS as an analysis tool to eliminate the "promotional" aspect of the voting. How would you describe the role of JAWS? Thanks for chatting.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: JAWS is a tool used to identify candidates who compare favorably to the average enshrined player at their positions. There are non-WARP based factors that go into a Hall of Fame candidacy and that become particularly relevant in the case of those close to the borderline. I take great pains to account for both in my process, and those who meet those standards are the ones I refer to as "my ballot" even though I'm years away from having a vote. I'm promoting them in the sense that I'll put a sign on my front lawn for any of them, but not for those who don't meet those standards.

Roy Halladay (Omaha): I think you may be looking at my stats wrong.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Nope, you top out at 4.9 WARP in 2010. You've got big seasons that aren't that special from the standpoint of Fair Run Average, which adjusts for bullpen and defensive support and drives our valuations. I'm pretty sure you're not done with your prime, though, so I advise you to assume nothing and just keep putting up kickass 230-inning seasons. When it comes to starting pitchers south of 300, there is NOTHING automatic.

Envious Mustache (To close for comfort): Where is this lawn with said signs? I only want to be able to drive by and see the signs, not to be creepy, maybe.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: They're in the Elysian Fields of my mind, as I live in a high rise in downtown Brooklyn and don't have a patch of grass to call my own.

Jesus Melendez (Hall of Very Good): In your heart of hearts...is the Jack Morris bashing warranted or not? Also...the Jay-stache is remarkable.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: The strength of the Morris bashing is a reaction to the obstinacy of the old-school, you-had-to-see-him, just-wins-baby, oh-yeah-and-opening-day-starts-though-we've-never-considered-those-before voters.

Thanks for the kind words on the mustache!

UCBravesKing (Erlanger, KY): As an obvious Braves fan, what's the rational for Dale Murphy and Fred McGriff being left out of the Hall of Fame. I understand, although though don't completely agree with, the lack of dominance factor for McGriff, but he was one of the most consistent hitters in the 1990s. As for Murphy, he is being punished for the opposite, lack of consistency despite his dominance. It is hard to neglect the fact that Murphy was one of the top ten hitters of the 1980s, which should be reason enough to elect him. Sorry, I am not working with a lot of data here, but I wanted to here your rationale and opinion. Thanks again.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Murphy's peak was high but short, and there was little in between his good years and his awful ones. We have him with six seasons of 5.0 WARP or more, while his seventh best is worth less than 2.0, and only three of them are worth between 1.0 and 2.0. McGriff has just three above 5.0, and six more between 2.0 and 3.0. First base is a position for MASHERS, and he just didn't fit that description for long enough. The average HOF 1B has a True Average of .320, and while the Crime Dog was at .317 or higher nine times, he's down in the .265-.285 range for almost as many.

Nick Stone (New York, NY): I know that the Raines candidacy is doing well from a historical perspective (compared to say, Blyleven), but do you worry that the glut of talent arriving on the ballot shortly, combined with the fact that many of the new arrivals would be slam dunks if it were not for hand-wringing over steroids, means that Raines will be contending with an unusually crowded field for the remainder of his eligibility?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Hey Nick! Yes, I do worry about that with Raines, and even if some voters do view him more favorably because he wasn't connected to PEDs, there are still some who hold his cocaine use - a problem that seems to have been an issue for a 21-22 year old kid getting paid for the first time, and one that he was smart enough to get help for before it overtook his career - against him.

It's going to be tough for any non-first time candidate to stick out in a larger crowd once the 2013 and 2014 crops arrive.

Roy Halladay (Confusedville) (Baconville): So, why such a dramatic difference between WARP and fWAR/bWAR?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Because while it values them, FRA isn't driven solely by the defense-independent categories, since not all BABIP-related fluctuations are entirely random. It does take groundball and popup skills into account, as well as event sequencing and bullpen support. It's a complicated beast, and while some of its valuations are a bit counterintuitive, I think what it's telling us deserves a closer look.

Sammy Sosa (One and Done?): I don't think there's a single writer that believes Sosa's not guilty of PED use (despite only an anonymously leaked positive on a supposedly anonymous test), I doubt he scores well on JAWS or has anyone of note that will defend his candidacy in any way. So is it possible for 609 homeruns to be one and done on the ballot given his competition?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I'd be surprised if he's one and done but I don't expect him to get much more support than, say, Rafael Palmeiro. 10-15 percent range, and disappearing in a few years.

Brian (DC): Were you a little surprised that Kevin Brown got so little support last year on the ballot? I can't imagine a lot of people standing up for him in a veteran's committee meeting in future decades.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Brown, David Cone, Dwight Gooden and Orel Hershiser all had disconcertingly short stays on the ballot. I do think all of them will have at least some proponents in a VC-like panel situation, particularly because their postseason accomplishments will get closer looks.

Gooden's actually the strongest of those candidates. In fact - holy smokes, I just realized this - he's above the standard at 52.1/38.1/45.1, because he had 16.7 WARP through his first two seasons.

Lucasjj (Florida): Since you use JAWS as your go to HOF selection choice, do you favor replacing voters with a calculation of some sort?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Haha, no. I'd rather see a voting pool that's hipper to sabermetrics and less attached to their own investment in being old school.

Jason Parks (Brooklyn Zoo ): When will Jorge Alfaro get voted into the HOF? Will they wait until he reaches the majors, or will they just go ahead and vote him in now because he's #TheLegend?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Sure, and probably timed with Verducci receiving the Spink Award to make sure that you can save yourself the extra trip upstate.

mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): Hey Jay. I was having a conversation with some friends and we were wondering whether the current iteration of the Red Sox has any Hall of Famers on it. What do you think? Also, if you haven't addressed this already, Posada: yes or no? Thanks for the chat!

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: There's nobody who's a lock, that's for sure. Youkilis doesn't even have 1,000 hits yet, let alone the era's de facto minimum of 2,000. Ortiz has the PED connection and the DH problem. Varitek doesn't even have Posada's credentials. Pedroia and Ellsbury have the potential but they're still mostly potential as far as building cases go - they don't even have good peak scores yet. Late note: I completely forgot about Adrian Gonzalez, who has three straight seasons of at least 6.0 WARP and doesn't turn 30 until May - he's got a stronger JAWS-based case than Pedroia so far. H/T to Cliff Corcoran for pointing out the omission.

Sad to say, the recent Red Sock who might have been building the best case for the Hall of Fame might be the guy who got away, Jonathan Papelbon, in that - much as I loathe him - he's got the talent to wind up better than Trevor Hoffman, if not Mariano Rivera. Still a looooong ways to go on that front, too.

Mike (Avoiding Work): Thanks for the chat Jay! If given a choice, and you could take only one of the three, would you rather have Joe Torre's career as a player, his career as a manager, or his future as the owner of the dodgers if I could guarantee his group gets the nod?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Take it for what? As my own life? As the basis of voting him into the Hall of Fame?

As a player, Torre is just short of the Hall. As a manager, he's plenty qualified, even if a bit overrated. As an owner... well, I'm not sure he's the best candidate - he'd be a minority partner anyway, not the moneybags - but I'd need more time to study the issue.

SimplyFalco (Amherst): Jay, With Halladay and other future prospective HoF pitchers in mind, will ANY of them be able to meet the JAWS standards due to their reduced workloads?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: We've got a whole wave of them coming up in the next two years in Pedro, the Big Schill, Smoltz, Mussina, to say nothing of the 300-win guys. There are going to be more pitchers inducted into the Hall over the next decade than there were over the past two combined.

Guillermo (Montevideo, Uruguay): Hi Jay! I have to say I was sporting a nice 'stache myself but had to shave, itīs 100 degrees outside here in the southern hemisphere summer. No way I am making any sense of these HoF rumors, what did Bagwell do to those voters?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I suspect that there are enough BBWAA voters who think that they know enough about Bagwell vis-a-vis PEDs but from a reporting standpoint don't have enough to formally accuse him. It's established that he used andro when it was legal, and that he had a trainer who helped him put on a lot of muscle. Beyond that it appears to be inference and whispers.

Alan (Oakland): When you get your actual vote, will you stick with the extremely strict standard you have now in JAWS (must be above average)? It seems to me that the standard has been set and going to something like the 25th percentile (or something logically calculated to maintain the average rather than increase it) seems most fair to potential honorees and best for the fans of the era. Also: for the inconsistency file -- Josh Hamilton kicking drugs is a wonderful success story and he is christened a role model; Tim Raines kicking drugs is a discredit to the man.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: As I said before, there are non-WARP related components of a player's case to consider, such as postseason and awards, and even the shape of the slash-score (ahead on peak but not career is an argument I can make, for example), so I am not as strict as some like to believe.

As for the 25th percentile, or any other, I don't see why it makes sense to set an arbitrary line. The median works horribly - you want we should start making cases on behalf of Chet Lemon? - and the mean is a concept that makes intuitive sense. How far below the mean one is willing to go should depend on the strength of the other facets of a player's case.

As for Hamilton versus Raines, I'd wager there's a race-based double standard going on there, aided by the fact that Hamilton is outspoken about the role of faith in his recovery. Maybe Raines needs to lean more heavily on Jesus. Wait, that's a terrible idea...

Mike (Still Avoiding Work): I meant if you could live one part of his life, would you rather be Torre the player, manager, or future owner of the Dodgers. I'm sorry I worded that like Alfonso Soriano tracks a flyball...

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I'd rather be the player, though the managerial portion of his career must have been pretty fascinating.

Shawn (Cambridge MA): Is the HOF too stringent for modern candidates? Since 1992, it looks like there's been 28 "modern" players voted in by the writers for a 20 year period (1.4 per year). Given that there are 700 or so MLB roster spots per year, that's an awful high mark for the HOF in my opinion.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I think so. If you look at a players-per-team-per-year level of representation, the historical average appears to be in the 1.5-2.0 range, and we're well under 1.5 from about 1976 onward, which is basically the timeframe encompassing the starts of the oldest players on this ballot.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Pedro Gomez of ESPN voted for Bill Mueller, but not Tim Raines. My head hurts.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: ugh, mine too. Without knowing anything else, that's an utterly terrible ballot, because there's no logical rationale that would include that particular set of choices.

Guys and gals, I've been chatting for nearly two hours and the results are up in about five minutes, and so I'm going to take a bit of a refreshment break and get in front of a TV for a few moments. I'll be back shortlyl, I promise.

Envious Mustache (Elysian Fields): It is nice here.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: And the winner is... Barry Larkin with 86.4 percent of the vote, the only player elected this year as expected. Some big surprises, good and bad, among the next wave. Jack Morris at 66.7 percent has put himself in good position to get over the top despite the crowd, Jeff Bagwell at 56.0 percent made a solid advance in the face of an odious whisper campaign, Lee Smith got to 50.6 percent, Tim Raines is very close to that mark at 48.7 percent, and even Alan Trammell posted a solid gain at 36.8 percent. Hell, Bernie Williams got 9.6 percent and stays on the ballot after all.

collins (greenville nc): So why is the median HOF worse than the mean, for the JAWS line? Because it is lower, due to astronomical JAWS scores for Ruth, Mays, etc?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Because far more players meet the median score at a given position than the mean.

Take center field, where the JAWS standard is admittedly high at 58.3 (that's after the positional adjustment) and the median is at 49.7. 10 players, including not-yet-eligibles, are above the mean, 15 are at or above the median (we'll call Dawson at 49.5 close enough), and 33 are above the 25th percentile, including Willie Wilson and Dom DiMaggio, with Lenny Dykstra just missing.

CaptainRaf (NYC): any surprises for you in the results?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: The gain of Morris is a big surprise. To a lesser extent, the same about Trammell, since he looked totally dead in the water last year and is still in pretty bad shape from a historical standpoint. Pleasantly surprised about the advances of Bagwell and Raines.

Michael (Detroit, MI): How do we get year-by-year WARP numbers for various players in history through BaseballProspectus.com? It seems to stop at 1950 (see Stan Musual's player card for example) but yet it seems that you have access to a more complete data set to compute your JAWS numbers. Also, thanks a bunch for all the articles this time of the year. We love our HoF debates!

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: There is so much happening at BP right now with regards to the stat side. Colin Wyers and company were tasked with fleshing out pre-1950 WARP at the same time they were working on PECOTA - they got the former done in time for our Between the Numbers sequel, and the latter done in time for the annual, but getting the data up on the site has taken a back seat to the higher priorities. It'll be there in due time.

Alan (Oakland): Thanks for the response. I don't mean to say an arbitrary line other than the mean. But the issue with the mean, as you know, is that every elected person would raise the mean, and eventually the Hall will be loaded with one standard for the pre-Jaffe revolution and one for the post. Are you simply relying on the electorate continuing to elect as it has to keep the standard steady? Do you want to raise the standard if you could? Or will you use enough non-WARP boosted candidates to keep your votes around the standard? (Also, specifically, I'm curious about votes, not making a case for as I could see voting for someone you wouldn't champion).

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Since I clearly don't wield enough influence to stop the voters from making Rice and Morris-sized mistakes, I'm reliant on the fact that the standards probably aren't going to rise appreciably anytime soon. Should that change significantly, I'll revisit my methodology - I feel strongly that the system should have one foot in the real world of a realistic-sized slate of "yes" votes.

icebaseball16 (Kansas): Do you ever see a player who had a primary position of DH getting inducted to the HOF?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Edgar's as good a test case as we're going to get for quite some time, and right now things don't look great for him.

Mike (Back to Work): So I guess Jack Morris is bordering on inevitable. That's higher than anyone that hasn't been enshrined has ever gone in the vote, right?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I'll have a better answer for tomorrow's column but yes, right now he suddenly - shockingly, even - looks inevitable.

HalfStreet (Fairfax VA): Who among the other first timers got at least one vote?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Vinny Castilla 6, Tim Salmon and Bill Mueller 5, Brad Radke 2, Javy Lopez and Eric Young 1. Wasted votes, all of them.

Cris E (St Paul, MN): The "kicking drugs and moving on" story also has the Molitor precedent. To me that indicates it isn't determinative and can be overcome if the rest of your profile meets acceptance.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Eckersley, too.

tommybones (brooklyn): 2008 Yanks: Giambi, Cano, Jeter, Arod, Damon, Abreu, Posada, IRod, Mussina, Mariano, Pettitte... how many make the HOF and where would that team rank among those with most HOF on one roster?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Jeter, and Mariano definitely. A-Rod and Pudge if the witch-hunters are eventually tamed. Mussina Damon, Cano, Posada, and Pettitte possibly, but odds are against each except maybe Moose.

Carlos Delgado (Miami): Am I in our out?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Out. JAWS has you around 36.0. Nice career that started a bit late and ended a bit early.

achaik (Maine): I think I ask every year, but how close is Vladdy Guerrero creeping towards the HOF? As an Expos fan, we're left hoping for Raines, waiting to hope for Vladdy, maybe celebrating Randy Johnson's brief Exponess? Although we do have a 60 year old Livan Hernandez's eventual 300th win to look forward to, I suppose.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: The Impaler is in good shape at 61.5/41.1/51.3, just a couple points below the standard, and 410 hits away from 3,000, through his age 36 season. Not particularly valuable anymore (1.0 WARP per year for 3 years) but the milestone will clinch it as far as the voters are concerned.

randolph3030 (Jersey): Lay down on the couch for a moment, please. What are your emotions on a day like this? When Raines gets 35% and Morris gets 60%, in part as a backlash by the calcified BBWAA writers against guys like you who expose the bias of reality, do you go into a funk for days? Or look to Blyleven and say, "maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday..." I mean, it took 15 years for Bert - I've seen you on Clubhouse, you may not make it another 15 with the hard-living you do. The 'stache is immortal, of course.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I'm an optimist about this stuff, to be honest. A chair-throwing, fire-breathing optimist, but Blyleven's steady climb and eventual election has made it clear that the use of advanced metrics as a tool of persuasion can carry the day in an electorate that's evolving over time. That Raines got close to 50 percent and has doubled his support since his debut makes me optimistic as well. The Hall is never going to be a perfect place - it's already compromised by the inclusion of so many guys from the 1930s - but the best I can hope for is that "my guys" get in there and stand as examples of how not everything about a Hall of Fame case is immediately obvious.

tommybones (brooklyn): Most likely to break 1st year ballot vote percentage record: Jeter or Mariano?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Tough call. I'd bet both are high 90s but that Greg Maddux tops either; Jeter's defense and Mariano's relief role will keep a few voters away.

ekanenh (Capitol City): Following up on the "too stringent" theme. Could that be a funtion of the generatinal diference between the baseball executives making decisions on what is valuable to build a team now vs. the (generally older) writers making HOF decisions based on things that GMs no longer value as highly. In other words, writer says, "he didn't hit .300," when, in fact, 85% of GMs have stoped caring whether a guy "hits .300," but instead look at myriad other factors. Or is it the reverse? Sharper voters (or those who have been recently sharpened) putting "modern values" on players from 10-30 years ago.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I think it's a little from column A, a little from column B. Clearly, there are statheads among the GMs now, and some writers will go to their graves never understanding that Moneyball-type principles played their parts in the championships of the Yankees and Red Sox. There are also plenty of voters who look back and see the merits of guys like Blyleven who weren't properly appreciated in their time.

BL (Bozeman, MT): Is there any iteration of the Veteran's Committee that you consider most legitimate based on its inductions?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: That's a question for further study. Certainly not the Frisch Era (1967-73), but maybe at some point before that, when the backlog was so great that it was inevitable some of the really good old-time players needed to get in there.

Demian (Orlando-ish): Speaking of Smoltzie, how do you evaluate his career in terms of HOF caliber stats? Is it worth comparing him to Eckersley?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: He's sort of a hybrid, but he does just fine compared to the starters. 52 point something JAWS is well above the standard.

Bill (New Mexico): So you don't consider Frank Thomas to have DH as his "primary" position given that he was there 60% of the time?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: The trigger for determining "primary position" is actually where he had more value (WARPwise), and nearly all of Thomas' peak seasons came prior to his shift to more games at DH than 1B (1998 onward).

WisconsinRob (Madison): Bernie Williams got 55 votes, 9.5-9.6% (depending on rounding). That's a number that seems criminally low to me, and is Bernie just one of those guys who, because he was quiet, won't get the credit he's due in the long run? Is he the Whitaker of hte 90s?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Once you factor postseason credentials into the equation, I'd say he's a better candidate than Whitaker, and at least he made it to a second ballot, unlike Sweet Lou. His lack of outsized personality probably doesn't do him any favors as far as recognition goes.

BL (Bozeman, MT): Do you enjoy working on Clubhouse Confidential? Does Brian Kenney drive the show's content? Is that show privvy to any research or data not available to the general public? Will you contribute beyond Hall of Fame season?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Absolutely, it's a whole lot of fun. Brian writes the show, at least as far as I can tell, and I think he's doing a very good job of staking out a very unique patch of turf - it may not be everything to everybody in our little stathead community, but it is far more reliant upon the stuff we value than anything else that's come down the pike, and I'm absolutely 110% thrilled to be a small part of that. I'm optimistic that I'll continue my contributions even after the Hall of Fame season ends.

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): Is Morris really inevitable with all of the guys coming on the ballot? This year was the calm before the storm, no?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: I'll have to double-check the particulars of guys who fell short on the BBWAA ballot and then got in via the VC, but nobody who has ever received that high a vote total has been stranded at the altar when it was all said and done. So yes, it's inevitable.

mattseward (Cardiff, UK): Jay, i'm curious about the bump up from 60+% to over 75%. It seems a large chunk of people to suddenly change their mind. Am I being cynical in thinking there are a good a number who think "let's make sure we get someone, *anyone* in"

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: As the elections of Rice, Blyelven and many players before that have shown, there are a good number of voters who for better or worse will be swayed by consensus. That there is a vague, looming threat of losing the exclusive power of the vote may be a small factor in that, but probably not the predominating one.

tommybones (brooklyn): Next year is going to be a sad spectacle, methinks... Morris in, several all-time-greats out.

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Maddux and Biggio will probably go first-ballot, too. Maybe Piazza as well.

tommybones (brooklyn): Do you know how many active players have already passed the JAWS criteria for induction?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Offhand, no. I'll see if I can tally that up somewhere.

MrWorkrate (Raleigh, NC): If Morris does get in, should Rick Reuschel hit him with a steel chair during his acceptance speech and steal his plaque?

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: David Cone and Dwight Gooden have dibs. Reuschel is well below both of them now, actually more in Morris country, JAWSwise (again, because we moved away from an ERA/FIP-based driver).

Nick Stone (New York, NY): Oh, and yes or no: Jeter Roolz!

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: Yes. And on that note, it's time for me to get the hell out of Dodge...

Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special: That's all for today, folks! I think I set a personal record for most questions answered if not longest chat. I'll have plenty more to say on the topic at BP and Clubhouse Confidential over the next 24 hours, so do check back!

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