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Chat: Jay Jaffe

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday January 05, 2011 1:00 PM ET chat session with Jay Jaffe.

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With voting on who's headed to Cooperstown coming in, join BP's Jay Jaffe for a ride through the JAWS of fame.

Jay Jaffe: Good afternoon and welcome to today's chat. The Hall of Fame voting results are set to drop in an hour, so let's talk some baseball until then!

Avenger Dad (Jenny Lind, Ca): I always thought Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker are given a poor shake. If they had played together in New York all those years, They'd be In! Your thoughts?

Jay Jaffe: There's no doubt that east coast media exposure would have helped that duo — you could put them in Philadelphia or Boston and probably still see a significant bump.

What kills me is that there are voters who will eagerly check the box next to Jack Morris' name without recognizing that he had outstanding run support and defensive support, and that Trammell and Whitaker were a big part of that for his entire career as a Tiger. Yet those voters let Whitaker slip off the ballot after a single vote, and still won't give Trammell the time of day.

Geopipp (Victoria, British Columbia): It seems to generate a great deal of debate, whether a full time DH should be considered for the Hall of Fame let alone be elected. So I guess the question is, should Edgar Martinez be elected to the Hall of Fame?

Jay Jaffe: It's not an easy question to answer, but my current view, which I wrote about at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12651 is that Martinez rates as one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, that he was somewhat deprived of a longer career by a dumb organization, but that in an era of increasing specialization, he created enough value within his limited role to transcend those limitations. Thus, I believe he should be in.

Justin (Chicago): Hey Jay love your work. It's helps younger guys like me (23) put players into a HOF perspective. Anyways, I can't rememeber where you stand on the Jack Morris stuff. Morris for the HOF is pure sillyness, right?

Jay Jaffe: I'm firmly against the election of Morris (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12611), which isn't to say that he didn't have some great seasons and some truly transcendent moments. I watched his 1984 no-hitter and his 1991 World Series Game Seven start and both still give me goosebumps thinking about. But beyond the ever-growing legend of that latter game, he just wasn't good enough at preventing runs to merit inclusion.

tommybones (brooklyn): I can see the writing on the wall already. The next Jack Morris will be Andy Pettitte. Good career inflated by mythmaking. Do you agree? Secondly, so many myth-making pitchers coming up, some worthy of Hall anyway, like Smoltz and Schilling, but do you see all of these "big game" pitchers hurting Mussina's vote totals?

Jay Jaffe: Morris and Pettitte: agreed, to at least some extent. Both have had the benefit of robust offensive support and some great postseason performances, with their failures in the latter arena swept to the side. Pettitte will have the burden of his HGH connections to contend with as well. Even divorced from that, I don't think he's got the numbers. See http://www.pinstripedbible.com/2010/10/19/is-dandy-andy-cooperstown-material/ for my latest take.

As for Smoltz, he's got the Eckersley precedent of a hybrid starter/closer career. Schilling will have a whole lot of legend and some legitimately great postseason performance to buoy numbers that are superceded by those of Mussina. It will be interesting to see how that plays out - I'm not sure I can guess right now, except that neither of them will go in on the first ballot.

BR (NYC): Happy New Year, Jay! With JAWS, do you use the an arithmentic mean or median as "average." If you used the other, would the threshold move up/down/depends?

Jay Jaffe: I use the arithmetic mean after throwing out the lowest score of the position, which is generally laughably low. I have researched using the median, but what can happen when you do that is you come up with a lower standard and a ballot that says that there are 12 or 13 players worth of election. I think that's an extreme point of view that isn't really supportable or feasible. See http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=229 for where I discussed this in more detail.

mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): Hey Jay, thanks for the chat. What do you think about David Ortiz for the Hall? I'm guessing he'd come up pretty short, but I'm curious just the same.

Jay Jaffe: Hey Matty! Regardless of the legend he created — and earned — in helping hte Red Sox win two World Series, Ortiz is going to wind up with a short career that was mostly at DH with PED connections. Those are three VERY tough obstacles to overcome individually, and together, I'd guess they're insurmountable.

chaneyhey (St. Louis): In a perfect world, election into the Baseball Hall of Fame would be decided by _________________________ in the following manner ______________________.

Jay Jaffe: The Great Dodger in the Sky? The College of Cardinals (St. Louis chapter, not Vatican chapter)? A jury of their peers? Kidding of course...

I think the BBWAA by and large does a reasonable job when compared to the Veterans Committees. I'd be in favor of broadcasters getting to vote as well, and historians as well. Adding Bill James, John Thorn, Pete Palmer, Rob Neyer (who's a member of the BBWAA and thus in line for one in several years) would be an improvement.

BJ Surhoff (Someone's Ballot): Thanks for all the JAWS write-ups, it's some of my favorite stuff here every year. If it were up to you as a voting BBWAA member, would you make public all writer's ballots? Wouldn't the transparency help the process?

Jay Jaffe: Yes, I am in favor of transparency, not only of the voting process but of the membership rolls. I'm not sure what qualifies a guy who's currently covering college football or drawing editorial cartoons to vote for the Hall of Fame if baseball coverage no longer pertains to his job.

Michael Young (Texas): How many games will I get to play at second base on Ian Kinsler's team?

Jay Jaffe: Kinsler has a hard time staying healthy, averaging 123 games a year over the last three, so I'll go with 30.

The Dude (Home of the Champs): Any chance Texas re-signs Vlad after the Beltre signing?

Jay Jaffe: No, because the aforementioned Michael Young will get most of his at-bats at DH.

Aaron (YYZ): Re: The Hall of Fame and the DH, why is there such a stigma when putting a good hit / bad glove player at DH could be helping a team? Many AL teams in the past few years have gotten atrocious production from their DH's so isn't there something to the idea that it's more difficult to find a really good hitter than finding a great glove waterbug in the minors if you've already got space at DH?

Jay Jaffe: I think some of it has to do with larger pitching staffs and shorter benches. Carrying a guy who can only DH but can't play the field is a real roster hindrance. My solution is to can that 12th pitcher, and probably the 11th one as well.

jtwalsh (Northport, NY): Hi Jay, I know Albert Belle is off the ballot, but I always believed that given the Kiby Puckett exemption for a career shortened by physical defect, he should have been a HOF. I don't recall your position back then and would love to know your thoughts

Jay Jaffe: As much of a jerkass as we was, Belle exceeded the peak standards of a HOF left fielder. I had him on my JAWS ballot initially, and still consider him the second-best eligible left fielder outside the Hall. See http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9942

Patty Boyd (Pittsburgh): Why is OPS a three-digit whole number, but OBP and SLG are decimals? Also, what are the chances that Lastings Milledge will ever get his own bobblehead? I'm so depressed; I was hoping that this season, the Pirates would keep him and he'd rise to the occasion and would warrant a b-head. The ability to make people say, "I'd like a Lastings Milledge Bobblehead, please" is probably his most lasting skill!

Jay Jaffe: My feelings on the topic aren't as strong as BP editorial policy, which says that since it's mathematically incorrect to add OBP and SLG together because they're different denominators, it's a number that should be set off in a different style. Still, I think you're better off using True Average than OPS or even OPS+ because both of those undervalue OBP, which is nearly 2x as important as SLG.

Sorry about Lastings. Dude just hasn't hit like a major league corner outfielder. If he had a time machine, maybe the Devil Rays would make him a bobblehead just like they did Jason Tyner.

achaik (Maine): Do you think Angel Berroa will get in on his first ballot when it is time, or will it take a few ballots to get him his plaque?

Jay Jaffe: Fortunately, he's not eligible yet, having failed to reach the minimum requirement of playing in 10 major league seasons. And even in some of those seasons where he played, he simply failed.

dawson950 (cape cod): Has Baseball Prospectus set a date yet for presenting the Red Sox top 11 prospects?

Jay Jaffe: That's Kevin Goldstein's department, so I suggest asking him - I do think the order is the same as in the Rule 5 draft, so if you want to, you could probably estimate yourself.

Emma (Brooklyn, NY): You convinced me on Raines, but I have to say I'm still a little unsure about Trammell. I think it would help if the guy had a better nickname, which is not something JAWS takes into account at the moment, I believe. You should look into that. It would help Mattingly's Hall case and make Dawson's induction look better in retrospect.

Jay Jaffe: Hey Emma! I suggest Trammell lease the "Motor City Madman" nickname from Ted Nugent, and start wearing a loincloth and wielding a crossbow as he hunts down voters who fail to recognize his greatness.

It really couldn't hurt his case one iota at this point.

TRN (Houston): It seems to me like there's a rebound affect on the voting initiated by the newer statistical analysis. "Old School" voters are saying "OK, OK, if the stat heads are making me put Byleven in, dammnit, they need to acknowledge what a big game pitcher Morris was!" Do you see that as well?

Jay Jaffe: Today's Joe Sheehan Newsletter nailed this one, I think. Basically, what Joe said was that the voting body had reacted to the advent of the statheads by resorting to narrative-based convictions about the players they were voting for. Which isn't surprising: writers write stories.

However, I think we've seen a whole lot of writers willing to use the advanced tools which have been developed in order to back up their arguments. Some are explicit - guys like Joe Posnanski and Jayson Stark have cited JAWS, WARP, WAR, OPS+ and other metrics in their lengthy analyses. Some are more implicit - writers whose ballots are very similar to the ones I and other folks digging through this data would advocate. So I don't think it's fair to tar everyone with the same brush.

Will (Mactaquac): Is Jon Heyman brave for being so accountable or shameless for picking a schtick at the expense of poor Bert? I really think this is a truly borderline case.

Jay Jaffe: As someone who is in favor of a more transparent process, I think it takes chutzpah to publish one's ballot and to defend it, even when I don't agree with the logic of the arguments behind that ballot to the extent of excessive facepalming. That said, some of the stances taken by various writers are so reactionary they're laughable. I disagreed with Heyman's take on Blyleven (and several other guys on his ballot), but I had a very pleasant dialogue with him via Twitter on the topic, and that's worth a hell of a lot more than a guy like Dan Shaughnessy resorting to the bloggers-in-mother's-basement trope and refusing to engage.

Rollie Fingers (Retirement Community): There should be a Hall for 'staches. I should be in it. You can be in the writer's wing. Deal?

Jay Jaffe: I accept your offer. I'd like to go in wearing a Dodgers cap.

R.A.Wagman (Toronto): Jay - thanks again for the JAWS series this year. I'm submitting this question at 8:00am Eastern, so I don't yet know the results. My question is more of a suggestion - how similar is the relationship between Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson to that of Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb. In both cases, the paired players were contemporaries at the same position. In both cases, the former player was seen as awesome, but not the best in his role due to the continued presence of the latter. Hopefully, in both cases, the former player eventually gains enshrinement. What says you?

Jay Jaffe: A question I'd have to research more fully to understand the attitudes toward Speaker and Cobb. Both of whom were apparently members of the KKK, to show you how standards of morality can shift over time.

jhardman (Raleigh): Over the past 10 years, the Internet has provided an excellent forum to state HOF cases for underappreciated players. Do you think there is a possibility for a player like Raines to pull a Blyleven or Rice and gain enough sentiment to get in on their final year of eligibility?

Jay Jaffe: I'd like to believe Raines will get there before his 15th ballot. The voting body is evolving. Folks like Keith Law, Rob Neyer, Christina Kahrl, myself and a whole lot of other Internet-based writers who would have been ineligible five years ago could be voting on his candidacy well before his 15th year.

Bill (New Mexico): I find it interesting that the Keltner List isn't getting much play this year in connection with the voting. How do the candidates you've advocated stack up on that list? Gut feeling asked for, not mathematical rigor that you don't have time to generate in a chat.

Jay Jaffe: The Keltner List takes time and a whole lot of words rather than quick numerical summaries to put together. I don't even have the attention span to do it in my spare time, let alone in the middle of a chat.

And with that, I'm going to get myself to a television to see these results.

mwball75 (Cincy, OH): Who is the best player that will get into the Hall this year? The worst?

Jay Jaffe: Alomar and Blyleven get the call!!!!!

Of the two, Blyleven had the stronger case relative to JAWS, but Alomar ranks higher at his position, so best/worst is pretty irrelevant.

SC (Minneapolis): Larkin gets closer (62%), while Trammel is at 25% or so. Is there any hope for the Tiger SS?

Jay Jaffe: Larkin appears to be in the catbird seat, with a relatively weak class of newcomers headed by Bernie Williams hitting the ballot next year. Even so, there's a possibility of a blank slate.

As for Trammell, unfortunately nobody's ever been this low this late and still gained entry. I'm losing hope.

Andy McGeady (Dublin, Ireland): Hi Jay. Love your HoF JAWS write-ups. Even without the current steroidy hysteria, should we realistically have expected Bagwell to go through this year? I ask because of many writers' love for the distinction of a First Ballot Guy (a distinction I respect but with which I disagree). With the current hype re. Bagwell and the "PED era", would it not be possible to overlook the possibility that many non-Bagwell voters* would have been expected to cling to their old "First Ballot" standard? (*non Barry Stanton votes-for-Surhoff-but-not-Robbie-Alomar division)

Jay Jaffe: I certainly think there's an extent to which that might be true, but the level of innuendo around Bagwell really disgusted me.

Will (Mactaquac): Where's the full voting result?

Jay Jaffe: The full voting result is up at the bbwaa.com

Aaron (YYZ): Alomar goes in as a Blue Jay, right? RIGHT?!

Jay Jaffe: I believe so, yes. That's where he won his rings and put himself on the map as a perennial All-Star.

Mike (MSTI) (NYC): Jay, in a competing and far inferior chat, Barry Stanton just said he "chose Tino because he was at the heart of a 4-time world championship team". Should we be sad that such a distinguished honor is bestowed by guys like that, or just start up the "what about Orlando Hernandez" HOF campaign now?

Jay Jaffe: There's only so worked up one can get about this. Stanton is an outlier with a history of ridiculous ballots, not to mention his own sordid past - he was forced to resign due to allegations he plagiarized a Joe Posnanski column back in 2003, so for him to get on a high horse about steroid allegations is logically inconsistent.

RMR (Chicago): If Jack Morris doesn't pitch Game 7 in 1991, is he even on the ballot at this point?

Jay Jaffe: Well, Tommy John and Jim Kaat lasted 15 years with just shy of 300 wins, and other than Blyleven, Morris has the highest win total of anyone who's been on the ballot in years, so yes, I think Morris would still be on the ballot, albeit with well below 50 percent of the vote.

JayT (San Francisco): IS it really fair to use your JAWS system for relievers, when there are only five relivers in the Hall? It seems like it will get even worse once Rivera is in, because at that point the bar will be so high that nobody will get in, and we will be left with a Hall of Fame that has as many mistakes as good choices when it come to relievers. If you tried to use JAWS every year since the Hall was created, then Wagner would still be the only shortstop, Ruth the only right fielder, and Johnson the only pitcher.

Jay Jaffe: It's hardly a perfect tool given the small sample size of relievers, but given everything we know about the limited value most of them create and about the short history of the role as it's currently defined, I don't think five is an unreasonably small number, and outside of Rivera, Hoffman and maybe Wagner, it's not at all clear who else should be there.

toanstrom (Alexandria, VA): I certainly don't think Juan Gonzalez is a Hall of Famer but what is the difference between him and Jim Rice? (Other than that Juan Gone has more homers and a higher OPS +)

Jay Jaffe: For one thing, one lasted 15 ballots, the other was on his first one. Gonzalez has PED allegations attached to his name, Rice had a Boston media advocating in his favor after probably not doing as much to stand up for him during his playing days (see Howard Bryant's Shut Out for more on that topic).

tommybones (brooklyn): Bagwell's vote total is a shame.

Jay Jaffe: I'm disappointed, but 41.7 percent on his first ballot is hardly the death knell of his candidacy. He's got low career totals, and beyond the steroid issue it may take some time to convince voters of his worthiness - I think a lot of them have forgotten how tough a place to hit the Astrodome was.

GrinnellSteve (Grinnell): I always hated the argument that because Morris was the best starting pitcher of the '80's, he should go in. Using that logic, Freehan or McCarver would be in the Hall. Some eras are just weak at one position or another. No question; just wanted to make that observation.

Jay Jaffe: Good point, except I think that it's an incorrect premise to suggest that Morris was the best of the '80s. Dave Stieb had much higher WARP totals and I believe rates as the best pitcher of his era, yet he had less exposure in terms of the postseason.

Guillermo (Montevideo, Uruguay): Hi Jay! greetings from your southern-most follower (unless someone in the southern island of NZ is also out there?) Quick question, who would be the 5 charter members of the Baseball HoF if it was founded today?

Jay Jaffe: Hey Guillermo! I think if you were to start today, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Cy Young would be four of those five. I'm not sure who the fifth would be, though - probably another pitcher. Maybe Tom Seaver given that he had the highest vote percentage of all time.

Joe Lefkowitz (NJ): Raines' vote total is a shame.

Jay Jaffe: Well, 36 percent is a marked improvement, and there is now an even greater precedent for people with lower voting percentages on the fourth ballot getting in: Bruce Sutter, Duke Snider and Byleven all had less than 30 percent of the vote on their fourth ballots. His eventual election will depend upon the evolution of the voting body, but I think it will happen.

Will (Mactaquac): Would Steib have been deserving?

Jay Jaffe: No, I still have him well short of the mark, 51.1/38.2/44.7, about 15 JAWS points shy of the HOF standard. He just didn't have a long enough career or a high enough peak.

mattymatty2000 (Portland, OR): What part of today's vote surprises you the most, Jay?

Jay Jaffe: If I had to pick one thing it would be Edgar Martinez losing ground; he had 36.2 percent last year and fell to 32.9 percent; I thought he'd reach the 40s. Other than that, there isn't much that surprises me; I told friends I expected Larkin in the 60 percent range, Morris in the 50 percent range, Bagwell in the 40s. I hoped Raines could push 50 percent, but I think we're a couple years early on that front.

Andy (Chicago): Did McGwire's ~20% vote surprise you? If so high or low?

Jay Jaffe: Not surprised he lost ground in the wake of his admission. Somewhat surprised it wasn't more, given that Palmeiro only got 11 percent.

Will (Mactaquac): So Morris's election new year will be Rice Redux, correct? [*shuffles off, only crying a little* (re. Steib)]

Jay Jaffe: Very different patterns for the two. It took Rice 10 ballots to get from 50 percent to 76 percent. Morris didn't reach 50 percent until his 11th ballot and may not have time to get to 75 percent given this year's falloff.

gabbymatt (NYC): Can Edgar Martinez make the huge jump next year into the HOF?

Jay Jaffe: No, I'm pretty sure more than doubling his percentage in one year to gain entry would be unprecedented.

Aaron (YYZ): Have you ever looked into the effect of players that are criminally overlooked by voters for seasonal awards (e.g. Chase Utley most recently but also Trammell for instance) or All Star selections and how this is then sometimes held against them when it comes to the Hall of Fame?

Jay Jaffe: I think this bias is already reflected in the Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor and Hall of Fame Standards metrics, a system that's ripe for a much closer look than anyone has given them in years.

Tim Raines (Making Progress): Ok, in a couple years the ballot is going to be overcrowded with steroid era guys that are never going to be elected by these writers but have too much support to disappear. Does that make next year make or break for a lot of us pre-steroid era guys?

Jay Jaffe: Hardly. If anything I would think not being connected to the so-called Steroid Era would help the causes of guys like Raines, Larkin, Trammell, Morris and maybe others.

Peter (San Diego): Congrats on your acceptance into the BBWAA. Have you started figuring out which players will be on the ballot when you first get to vote for the HOF ten years from now?

Jay Jaffe: Yo Pete! Thanks. The four weeks since I gained entry have been as intense as any I've ever had when it comes to work, so the answer is no, I haven't been able to look that far into the future yet. I'm barely able to think ahead to this weekend at the moment.

Richie (Washington): Satchel Paige would be the fifth man voted in.

Jay Jaffe: A fine candidate, for certain, though I think the one in the next question is the one who would get the nod...

SC (Minneapolis): Charter member HOF: Ripken. I was shocked at how high his JAWS and VORP numbers were. One of the 10 best of all time, and playing the most important premium position. And I vaguely remember him pulling baseball out of a tree in 1995, or something like that, despite his running feud with bench manufacturers everywhere.

Jay Jaffe: Excellent choice, particularly given the Iron Man accomplishment, I think the voters would race to acknowledge that feat.

Nick Stone (New York City): Assuming Pettitte retires, what do you think will happen to the Yankees rotation? A lot of Ivan Nova and Sergio "Valente" Mitre? The Freddy Garcia Granny Gooden Show? Cashman relenting and trying Joba as a starter? Any chance any candidates among hyped prospects gets called up in the 2nd half after a strong showing in AA?

Jay Jaffe: Hey Nick! Shifting gears away from the Hall for the next few questions...

If I had to guess I think that barring a winter trade, the Yankees will begin the season by rounding out their rotation with one outside acquisition (Garcia and Jeremy Bonderman being the most obvious options but hardly the only ones) and Nova or Mitre in the five spot, with the other and David Phelps the next lines of defense in case either of those slots need to be filled. Once those possibilities are exhausted, barring some other hotshot from the minors making a case — and I don't think any of the three Killer B's are within half a season's range given that they don't even have much Double-A experience - that's when I think the Yankees will make a major move.

Richie (Washington): Satchel would get the (quite proper) 'sorry about that color line thing' vote. Either him or Jackie.

Jay Jaffe: Jackie. Duh. Where the **** is my mind? Of course he'd be one of the five, though I'm not sure who from my previous five would get bumped. Very tough choices.

BR (NYC): I live around the corner from a bookstore... at which day in February should I be able to get my copy of the best 2011 preview?

Jay Jaffe: Mid February, I think. Stay tuned for news on that front!

Matt (Chicago): How does Carlos Pena translate to the NL Central?

Jay Jaffe: The move to a great hitting environment and an easier league should help him, as should the chance to heal from his injuries and play on natural grass instead of turf.

Rex Little (Big Bear CA): Heyward, Posey, Santana, Stanton, Bumgarner, Strasburg, Castro (Starlin). . . has there ever been a year where this many rookies combined this much promise with this much rookie-year success? What do you think is the over/under on how many of them end up in the Hall?

Jay Jaffe: I don't remember the answer as to which year but I do think somebody pointed out other recent strong rookie classes which could top this one. I'd put the over/under at 1.5 right now - those are all fine players but nothing is guaranteed about getting to the Hall of Fame even for the hottest hotshot rookies. Unless I'm mistaken, Cal Ripken is the most recent ROY winner (1982) to gain entry.

tommybones (brooklyn): Colon, Bonderman and Prior the bottom three for the yanks rotation in late August? ;)

Jay Jaffe: Bartolo Colon is a name that's out there, but I have my doubts as to whether he or Prior could last long enough in a rehab assignment to even reach the majors.

Emma (Brooklyn, NY): I have to admit I was hoping that ONE brave or crazy soul would vote for Mayor Raul Mondesi.

Jay Jaffe: Indeed. I mean, it's a more interesting vote than one for Surhoff.

SC (Minneapolis): HOF voting: more or less corrupt (based not on data but relationships and "gut") than the World Cup host nation selection?

Jay Jaffe: Well, if by "gut" you mean the exchange of briefcases full of cold, hard cash for World Cup bid votes, I'm going to say that process is the more flawed. BBWAA voters may have their problems with logic, but I really don't think you could find one on the take for a Hall vote, whereas that's the price of doing business when it comes to international sports tournaments (see also the Olympics).

John (Atlanta): Kevin Brown only got about 2% of the vote, and John Olerud got less than 1%. I know neither of them are clear choices...in fact, they're probably not Hall of Famers. But both are close enough that they deserved a few years of discussion, right?

Jay Jaffe: I agree, but the precedent with guys like David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Orel Hershiser and Will Clark going one and done on the ballot certainly suggested this was a possibility.

Sasha (China): If Roy Halladay and Scott Rolen retired today, would both be voted into the Hall Of Fame?

Jay Jaffe: Nope. Blyleven is the first starter with less than 300 wins to gain entry via the BBWAA since Fergie Jenkins in 1991, so the voters aren't going to trip over themselves rushing to elect Halladay, who has less than 200 (169). Pedro Martinez will be the next non-300 winner to gain entry, I think.

As for Rolen, his lack of an MVP award or round-numbered milestone will work against him, as will the fact that so much of his value is tied up in OBP and defense that the voters aren't likely to fully appreciate it.

mattseward (Cardiff, UK): Jay, before you started JAWS who did you think were hall of fame players that you later disproved due to your analysis?

Jay Jaffe: Funny you should mention that. Today I pulled my first piece on starting pitchers from my Futility Infielder blog, written back in January 2002: http://bit.ly/g5yatC

It was written prior to JAWS, prior to my learning about WARP, back when Win Shares was the newest thing. In it, I stump for Blyleven, Jim Kaat and Tommy John, and retain an open mind regarding Morris, whose Win Shares totals hadn't been published. Of those, the only one which holds up in the face of JAWS is Blyleven.

Devin (Green Brook, NJ): Rob Neyer has a piece up asking if Larkin will save the Hall of Fame next year from a non-election. Two thoughts: 1)Don't you think there's a really good chance the Vets Committee puts in Santo next year? and 2)What's the biggest jump someone has made to election in the last 30 years or so?

Jay Jaffe: I don't think it's a given that Larkin gets in but there will be some pressure on the electorate not to pitch a shutout. Based upon precedent, I don't think there's ever a good chance the Veterans Committee (or the Golden Age Committee or whatever) puts Santo in - I'm going to keep betting against it and be pleasantly surprised if it happens, not to mention incredibly bitter that it took so long.

As for the other question, if you're talking about one year's gain, I don't know, but if you're talking about from the lowest to the highest, Luis Aparicio fell to like 12 percent early in his ballot career before rallying.

Bernard (Jersey City): Can't we all feel more comfortable with an opening class of 10 of Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Walter Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Honus Wanger?

Jay Jaffe: That's a great place to start.

JayT (San Francisco): Andre Dawson won the Rookie of the Year Award.

Jay Jaffe: D'oh! Good point.

Mo Rivera (Panama): Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t be the first player to get %100 of the vote for induction into the Hall Of Fame

Jay Jaffe: Because somebody will probably still be mailing in a blank ballot, and because I simply don't have that much faith in mankind.

Mike (State College): Any chance you'll do an article on the JAWS scored for current players?

Jay Jaffe: There's talk about putting a leaderboard in the back of the upcoming annual, but thus far it's been that: talk. I do run them from time to time (see the ones I did on Mauer and Thome this past summer, or on Helton and Guerrero in 2009).

Justin (Chicago): Here are the players who likely will be on the ballot in 2014. Who ya got? Barry Bonds Roger Clemens Greg Maddux Tom Glavine Frank Thomas Mark McGwire Mike Piazza Sammy Sosa Curt Schilling Jeff Bagwell Barry Larkin Tim Raines Edgar Martinez Craig Biggio Mike Mussina Larry Walker Rafael Palmeiro Jack Morris Fred McGriff Alan Trammell Bernie Williams

Jay Jaffe: Based upon what I know now:

NO: Walker, Palmeiro, Morris, McGriff, Williams

YES: Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, McGwire, Piazza, Bagwell, Larkin, Raines, Edgar, Biggio

Tabled for further research: Sammy Sosa, Schilling, Mussina

That's more than 10 with the Yes group, so I'd probably withhold votes from anyone with legitimate PED connections until there was room. But wow, that's a logjam.

Jay Jaffe: Folks, there are a ton of great questions still in the queue but there is no way I'll get to all of them today. I've got two upcoming radio hits and a column to file, so I must bid you good day. Congratulations to Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven on their (overdue) elections to the Hall of Fame, and thank you to all of you who stopped by this caht and who have been following my JAWS series. Look for me on Twitter (@jay_jaffe) for more Hall of Fame content today, and here at BP for my wrapup tomorrow.


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