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  • The Hall of Fame needs objective standards

    I think the baseball Hall of Fame needs objective standards to decide who gets elected in. The decisions have always been subjective, with no definitive standards, using the democratic process instead. The voters in the panel may be intelligent on the sport, but their electibility standards can vary drastically from one another. That's the main reason objective standards need to be established for the Hall of Fame.

    I think using a point system would be most beneficial. For example, you get X amount of hits, X amount of home runs, X average, etc, and those numbers earn a specific amount of points. If the player earns a high enough total points, then he gets elected. This way the election process is based strictly on performance and not on any subjective reasoning.

  • #2
    Wouldn't the objective standard be subject to subjectivity of the subjects deciding the objectivity?

    But seriously, I like Bill James' HOF Monitor, although it seems there is still a huge difference between what is a "Likely HOFer" and some of the greats' numbers. Take Mike Schmidt for instance. The "Likely HOFer > 100" is laughable when you see his number is 249.5. Everyone above 146 who is eligible and "clean" is in. below 145 is a toss-up, some are in (Kiner, Lombardi, Yount), some are not (Rice, Mattingly, Concepcion). So really 100 is too low to call one a "Likely HOFer" in my opinion.

    All that said, I like the voting process. I disagree with many voters--I think Rice and Murphy should have gone in LONG ago--but I think that's what makes the HOF still relevant. If it were all about numbers and nothing else, what would we argue about after a player retired?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by progressiveman1 View Post
      I think the baseball Hall of Fame needs objective standards to decide who gets elected in. The decisions have always been subjective, with no definitive standards, using the democratic process instead. The voters in the panel may be intelligent on the sport, but their electibility standards can vary drastically from one another. That's the main reason objective standards need to be established for the Hall of Fame.

      I think using a point system would be most beneficial. For example, you get X amount of hits, X amount of home runs, X average, etc, and those numbers earn a specific amount of points. If the player earns a high enough total points, then he gets elected. This way the election process is based strictly on performance and not on any subjective reasoning.
      What if they created the Hall of Fame in the 1880's and came up with the criteria that a pitcher had to average at least 500IP per season to be eligable? Then in the 1960's, they had to change the rule that you had to pitch at least 300 IP per season to be eligable.

      The objective standards would be changing constantly since the game changes so much. I know the voters have not done a perfect job, but if you take out the Frish era selections, they have done a pretty decent job.Also, how do they factor in environmental things that effect numbers beyond a player's control. Example: 500 HR's is the objective standard. Todd Helton hits 501 homeruns playing in Coors, Jeff bagwell hits 499 playing in the Astrodome. Who's feat was better? Who goes to Cooperstown?
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      • #4
        I certainly don't think we should be making HOF enshrinement purely a numbers game. There's so many factors to consider that you need a variety of perspectives to deal with it. As noted above, there's subjectivity in picking the numbers to use, and the game changes over time, sometimes dramatically (see 1920). How does one factor in steroids or character issues in a numbers-based formula? I don't know how to do it. It might be reasonable to set floors with stats, but they're not electing guys who can't pass that level, at least not outside of Frankie Frisch's gang. Also, how do you plug the Negro Leaguers or 19th century guys into these numbers? It's a mess.

        I've tried to come up with my own numerical rating system, and while the largest portion of the time it satisfies me, there are a good percentage of the time I don't like the results, and really can't justify them to my own satisfaction. For me, that's where judgment comes in. There's a point for almost everyone where that issue kicks in, and you're not going to get around it by trying to force everything into the numbers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by progressiveman1 View Post

          I think using a point system would be most beneficial. For example, you get X amount of hits, X amount of home runs, X average, etc, and those numbers earn a specific amount of points. If the player earns a high enough total points, then he gets elected. This way the election process is based strictly on performance and not on any subjective reasoning.
          This would lead to active players being compilers even worse than some are today because they know there's a guarantee.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dgarza View Post
            This would lead to active players being compilers even worse than some are today because they know there's a guarantee.
            Absolutely. A guy like Kenny Rogers could crap it up until he is 50, just to get 300 wins (if a team is willing to keep him.)
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            • #7
              Plus it's no fun...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by hairmetalfreek View Post
                Wouldn't the objective standard be subject to subjectivity of the subjects deciding the objectivity?
                I assume you mean in picking out which categories are important enough to be included in the criteria. Yeah, I see your point on that, and I don't know how to refute it. Yet. Maybe I'll think of something.

                Originally posted by hairmetalfreek View Post
                But seriously, I like Bill James' HOF Monitor, although it seems there is still a huge difference between what is a "Likely HOFer" and some of the greats' numbers. Take Mike Schmidt for instance. The "Likely HOFer > 100" is laughable when you see his number is 249.5. Everyone above 146 who is eligible and "clean" is in. below 145 is a toss-up, some are in (Kiner, Lombardi, Yount), some are not (Rice, Mattingly, Concepcion). So really 100 is too low to call one a "Likely HOFer" in my opinion.
                How are the numbers determined for each player?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by STLCards2 View Post
                  What if they created the Hall of Fame in the 1880's and came up with the criteria that a pitcher had to average at least 500IP per season to be eligable? Then in the 1960's, they had to change the rule that you had to pitch at least 300 IP per season to be eligable.
                  A percentage-based system could be used. Meaning that the points awarded would be based on how good his numbers were in relation to the rest of the players who played during his career.

                  Originally posted by STLCards2 View Post
                  how do they factor in environmental things that effect numbers beyond a player's control. Example: 500 HR's is the objective standard. Todd Helton hits 501 homeruns playing in Coors, Jeff bagwell hits 499 playing in the Astrodome. Who's feat was better? Who goes to Cooperstown?
                  I don't think it should be considered a problem because who really knows how many home runs Helton would have hit outside of Coors, or how stats of any player would differ from a team or environment change? There's no way to come to the conclusion that they would have put up X stats instead of Y stats.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by progressiveman1 View Post
                    A percentage-based system could be used. Meaning that the points awarded would be based on how good his numbers were in relation to the rest of the players who played during his career.


                    I don't think it should be considered a problem because who really knows how many home runs Helton would have hit outside of Coors, or how stats of any player would differ from a team or environment change? There's no way to come to the conclusion that they would have put up X stats instead of Y stats.
                    So if you can't prove exactly how environmental changes such as different parks affect stats, we should ignore them entirely?
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                    1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                    1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                    The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                    The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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                    • #11
                      Setting minimumse standards wouldn't work, but setting some guidelines might, especially with the Veterans Committee. Something like the Keltner list might help, as would comparing these older players against the rest of their generation.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by progressiveman1 View Post

                        How are the numbers determined for each player?
                        The HOF Monitor numbers are explained here:

                        http://www.baseball-reference.com/ab...ml#hof_monitor
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                        • #13
                          Coop should take a closer look at salaries. Even if you're a complete bust, as long as you sign a $100 million contract that results in a lot of press ink (some of it deriving from you not living up to a projected future that warranted such a contract), I think you deserve recognition for being in the press so much. Kind of like the Paris Hilton of baseball, you know?

                          Also, if you can play coked-up (Tim Raines) or drunk (a lot of Hall-Of-Famers), I think that deserves extra credit. Maybe we can gauge this via blood-alcohol tests given pre-game?

                          For modern players, how about the one who bagged the hottest wife? We can measure this through HotOrNot.com
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jalbright View Post
                            1.How does one factor in steroids or character issues in a numbers-based formula? 2.It might be reasonable to set floors with stats, but they're not electing guys who can't pass that level, at least not outside of Frankie Frisch's gang. 3.Also, how do you plug the Negro Leaguers or 19th century guys into these numbers?
                            1.Proven steroid use from a player would effect his HOF status only in the sense of banning him from an induction altogether. A policy would need to be set in place of when this would be, probably after the 3rd time testing positive which is when he gets banned from baseball(I think it's 3). But I don't think less than that amount(whatever the policy sets it as) should influence his HOF credibility because there's no way to figure out what his stats would have been otherwise. I think you just have to let the suspensions for drug use be the only way to handle it.

                            2.-Players that play shortened careers that were "on pace" for HOF numbers get elected in a lot of times. I don't think that's right because being a HOF'er entails playing a career long enough to accumulate HOF numbers, not just be on pace for it, no matter what the unfortunate accident was that caused them to have a short career.
                            -Another case I didn't like was when McGwire didn't get elected in- twice. It's all because people assume he used banned substances. But there isn't any hard evidence proving he used banned substances, there's only speculation. Plus, I don't think it should influence his HOF credibility either way. MLB wasn't testing for these things or trying to restrict their use, and that is the proper way of handling banned substances and preventing those players from making the HOF.

                            3. Just to ask a simple question: why should Negro League players be in this particular HOF? I don't see why it shouldn't strictly be for MLB players only. The Negro League was a completely different league, right? That would be like putting players from Japanese leagues in there too.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by progressiveman1 View Post
                              That would be like putting players from Japanese leagues in there too.
                              And why shouldn't we, if they are deserving? Of course, it's really apples and oranges. African Americans were not allowed to play MLB until 1947 (no, it was never an official written rule, but it was understood by everyone). Branch Rickey was the first to challenge that rule.

                              Japanese Leaguers are different because they ARE allowed to play MLB if they so desire (and are not under contract to a JL team or that team agrees to allow them to sign).

                              Does that make sense, or am I just rambling?
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