A Candidate-by-Candidate Look at the 2023 Hall of Fame Election Results

Todd Helton
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The following article is part of Jay Jaffe’s ongoing look at the candidates on the BBWAA 2023 Hall of Fame ballot. For a detailed introduction to this year’s ballot, and other candidates in the series, use the tool above; an introduction to JAWS can be found here. All WAR figures refer to the Baseball-Reference version unless otherwise indicated.

Until the moment Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch beamed at the cameras on Tuesday evening and said, “Tonight we are pleased to announce the addition…” most of us expected to hear that the BBWAA voters had pitched their second shutout in three years. Happily we were wrong, and Scott Rolen beat the odds. While many of us certainly would have preferred him to have company in reaching the 75% threshold instead of becoming the second one-man class in as many years, the election of one candidate is far better than none. Particularly given the shortage of third basemen in the Hall, the institution will be a better place with one of the hot corner’s best enshrined.

As for the other 27 men on this year’s ballot, the voting results have left us plenty to digest, so as promised, here’s my candidate-by-candidate breakdown of the entire slate.

Matt Cain, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta, Jered Weaver, Jayson Werth (1st year on the ballot, 0.0%)

According to Baseball Reference, 234 players last appeared in the majors in 2017. Just 14 of them — slightly less than 6% — lasted long enough and had careers substantial enough to make onto this ballot. So this bears repeating annually: There is no shame in being shut out on a Hall of Fame ballot. A check next to these players’ names is the reward for their unique, impressive careers, and with every year that I do this, my appreciation for the endurance, perseverance, and good luck it takes just to get to this point grows. As Vin Scully liked to remind viewers, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Bronson Arroyo, R.A. Dickey, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Huston Street (1st, 0.3%)

What I wrote in the paragraph above applies to these guys as well, each of whom received a single vote — not because some voter truly believed they merited a plaque in Cooperstown but as a small courtesy, a gesture of respect or gratitude. When the ballots were overstuffed a few years ago, such gestures drew the ire of those spending too much time watching the Ballot Tracker (myself included), but on leaner ballots, they’re a bit of goodwill that I’ve come to appreciate. Dickey and Street both received their votes from longtime Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan, who gave very brief explanations here, and who last year tossed a courtesy vote to A.J. Pierzynski. The identities of those who voted for the others have yet to be revealed.

As I voted for just seven candidates this time, I did think for a moment about partaking in the custom, leaning toward either Dickey (the lone award winner from among these 12 one-and-dones, and apparently the last great knuckleballer) or Cain (who had a significant influence on our understanding of pitching statistics, one that shows up in FanGraphs’ calculation of pitching WAR). Ultimately I opted not to do so, thinking that might look odd when I could have at least given a nod to one of a couple of other more serious candidates, whom I’ll note as I breeze through their results.

Torii Hunter (3rd, 6.9%, up 1.6%)

After making it across the 5% line by just one vote last year, Hunter got a bit more breathing room. As of Sunday you could still count the votes he’d received in the Tracker on one hand, and his pre-announcement share of 3.4% suggested his time might be running out. The lion’s share of his support — nearly three-quarters of it — came from voters who have not yet published their ballots.

Francisco Rodríguez (1st, 10.8%)

K-Rod was the only other first-year candidate besides Carlos Beltrán to receive enough support to maintain his eligibility for 2024. While I don’t see him amassing a groundswell that will take him to 75% over the next nine years in light of the warts on his candidacy, it’s worth noting that he’s already above what we might call the Rolen Threshold, the lowest first-year share of any candidate elected to the Hall by the writers (10.2%). He’s also above the first-year share of Billy Wagner (10.5%), though it’s fair to note that in both of those cases, their shares of the vote were suppressed because they became eligible at a time when ballots were much more crowded than they currently are. More on that topic below.

Mark Buehrle (3rd, 10.8%, up 5%)

The Huehrle Buehrle Man more than doubled his support from last year, though he fell 0.2% shy of his inaugural 2021 share. Even while analyzing him in light of the workload-adjusted S-JAWS, I’m still not convinced that he’s a strong enough candidate to get my vote, but there are people whom I greatly respect who do support him. Given that I’ve staked my role in the electoral ecosystem upon voters remaining open-minded as they review their process annually, I’m open to taking another look at arguments on behalf of Buehrle and Andy Pettitte. With Adrián Beltré, Joe Mauer, and Chase Utley gaining eligibility next year, and with six of the seven candidates I voted for returning, ballot space will be at a premium, so I’m not making any promises of a vote — just another look.

Jimmy Rollins (2nd, 12.9%, up 3.5%)

At the height of the Phillies’ 2007–11 run atop the NL East that included a championship in ’08 and a pennant the following year, you probably couldn’t have found many takers on their MVP-winning shortstop languishing in the nether regions of a Hall of Fame ballot as the guy they ran out of town on a rail because he wouldn’t sign a lucrative extension (Rolen) gets the call from Cooperstown. But times change, and so do perspectives, including the statistical one that shows that even an injury-wracked Rolen was still good for 4.6 WAR per 650 PA during his 30s, and a largely healthy Rollins managed just 2.1 per 650.

Rollins’ set of credentials appeals more to traditionally-minded voters than to statheads. Beyond the Phillies’ success, he won four Gold Gloves and ranks sixth in career games at shortstop, eighth in homers and stolen bases, and 10th in hits among those who played the majority of their careers at the position. Given that collection, I still suspect he lasts the full 10 years on the ballot and winds up being elected by a committee to be named later.

Bobby Abreu (4th, 15.4%, up 6.8%)

Abreu is another candidate whose outpolling of Rollins no doubt causes early 2000s Phillies fans some cognitive dissonance, but he finally got enough voters to take another look, boosting him into the double digits. Had he come along a few years later, whether as part of that run of success in Philadelphia or somewhere else, his on-base skills and five-tool combination would have resulted in more than two All-Star appearances. It certainly doesn’t hurt that his 60.2 WAR and 50.9 JAWS puts him in the neighborhood of Hall of Famer Dave Winfield and Vladimir Guerrero, but he’ll need a bigger breakthrough among voters to have a real shot at election.

Andy Pettitte (5th, 17%, up 6.3%)

After losing a few points from 2021 to ’22, Pettitte got his highest share to date, which isn’t saying much, and he’s now halfway through his candidacy. I do see his massive body of postseason work, which was pretty strong but did have its share of shellackings en route to a 3.80 ERA, as elevating him above Buerhle (who’s 0.2 points higher in JAWS), though that’s offset at least somewhat by his popping up in the Mitchell Report. It’s tough for me to get too worked up about the usage of human growth hormone, though in Pettitte’s case it came after MLB introduced testing and penalties. That puts it on the wrong side of the line I’ve used in making out my virtual and actual ballots over the past decade and stuck to with consistency.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: Within the report, Pettitte was identified as having used human growth hormone in 2002; he soon admitted to doing so, and later in front of Congress admitted to using it in ’04 as well. Though considered a performance enhancer, HGH is not a steroid and was not banned by Major League Baseball until 2005, though in-season blood testing did not begin until ’12. That blurs the line I’ve stuck to when it comes to making out my virtual and actual ballots over the past decade; steroid testing began in 2004 though the first suspensions didn’t come until a year later. For consistency’s sake I would consider Pettitte’s usage as belonging into the Wild West era and not disqualifying, though it’s actually his performance, and not his PED usage, that has kept me from voting for him.

I will say that when I consider the prospect of rounding out my ballot with an appreciative nod to a candidate outside the one-and-done group, Pettitte’s name comes to mind first. I spent more time watching him as a fan and covering him as a member of the media than any other candidate on this ballot, and I have a great deal of respect for what he meant to the Yankees’ success in that period. Getting back to that postseason record, he gets dinged for his pitch-tipping in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series, but even as he got chased in his lone start the following October, he had a 3.18 ERA in his last 20 playoff outings (from 2002 onward), averaging 6.3 innings per turn and allowing more than three runs in just four of them; 15 of those 20 were quality starts, and one other was a World Series clincher where he came just one out short of reaching the six-inning, three-run threshold. So like Buerhle, I’ll think long and hard next year about whether to add him to my ballot.

Omar Vizquel (6th, 19.5%, down 4.4%)

Vizquel’s fall from grace is stunning, with 25.2% drop from 2021 to ’22 — the largest in modern electoral history — in light of domestic violence and sexual harassment allegations. He continued to shed votes this year even though the legal cases surrounding both matters were resolved.

Some have asked why Vizquel’s domestic violence allegations have cost him votes despite other candidates with past allegations (including Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, and Andruw Jones) faring better. A few possibilities come to mind: none of those guys have been enshrined yet, either; many voters (including this one) don’t view DV allegations as disqualifying, for as queasy as that may make us feel; the surfacing of such allegations during a Hall of Fame candidacy is so far as I can tell unprecedented; the baseball connection of the latter case — he’s alleged to have sexually harassed the batboy of the minor league team he was managing — would probably lead to substantial discipline from Major League Baseball if he were ever hired again; and a certain part of his appeal as a candidate depended upon a “good guy” reputation that has since been shattered.

Even if one wants to stick to a performance-only viewpoint on candidates, Vizquel’s longevity-driven counting stats and reputation for great defense are offset by his modest advanced statistics (he’s 43rd in JAWS, below both Rollins at no. 31 and Rabbit Maranville, the lowest-ranked Hall shortstop, at no. 38). And last I checked, the winds have been blowing in favor of the advanced statistics.

Manny Ramirez (7th, 33.2%, up 4.3%), Alex Rodriguez (2nd, 35.7%, up 1.4%)

Even with the departures of Bonds and Clemens from the ballot, the PED issue hasn’t gone away, but the volume of the arguments for electing such players (in both senses of the word) was thankfully lower than during the decade of the Gruesome Twosome. It’s simply tougher to get worked up about two players who drew weighty suspensions long after MLB’s policy of testing and penalties was put into place than it is over players whose infractions were confined to the Wild West of the pre-testing era.

For some voters, the fact A-Rod and Manny served their suspensions and retained their voting eligibility (instead of the Hall moving to make them ineligible, for example) is an indication that they’ve been penalized enough. For others, there remains an impulse to stick a thumb in the eye of MLB over PEDs, particularly when the commissioner that presided over the icky era, Bud Selig, is enshrined. Yet the fact that both Ramirez and Rodriguez were also reported to have failed the supposedly-anonymous 2003 survey test only underscores the viewpoint that the violations for which they were suspended weren’t just latter-day mistakes but part of broader patterns of abuse that cloud our assessments of their greatness.

tl;dr: sowing, reaping.

Jeff Kent (10th, 46.5%, up 13.8%)

“[I]t’s rare that my own [JAWS] system surprises me, but this is one of those cases,” I wrote in Kent’s first profile for the 2014 ballot. “I am genuinely surprised by how far off the standard Kent is; it runs contrast to my own gut feeling, to say nothing of those of others.” I returned to that line nine times, still looking for reasons to elevate Kent beyond what JAWS tells me, but I could never get there; as a hitter during a high-offense era, his advanced numbers just weren’t special enough to offset his subpar defense at a Hall-caliber level.

I did think about including Kent with one of my spare spots, not as an admission that I’d had a change of heart but as an indication that I respect his career nonetheless. He may have been a prickly sort, but I don’t think that’s the reason he didn’t break 20% until his seventh ballot or 40% until his 10th. Putting his motorcycle escapade aside, he had a reputation within the industry as an accountable player who made himself available to answer questions through thick and thin, which is what reporters expect rather than hugs, laughs, and exchanges of Christmas cards. He had the misfortune of debuting on the the single most packed ballot of modern times, with 14 players who met the JAWS standards at their positions and 17 with a JAWS of at least 50 (40 for catchers); for most voters, he simply wasn’t one of the top 10 candidates. Again, I do think his status as the all-time leader in home runs by a second baseman will play well in front of a committee where Hall of Fame players account for half of the votes. If the current rules remain in place, we’ll likely see him on the 2026 Contemporary Baseball ballot.

Carlos Beltrán (1st, 46.5%)

Statistically well-qualified in terms of both traditional and advanced numbers, Beltrán quite understandably received a less-than-rousing reception in the wake of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, which cost him his job as Mets manager. As I noted on Tuesday, a 46.5% debut is nothing to sneeze at given that every modern candidate who’s received at least 41.7% in their first year has eventually been elected either via the writers or a small committee.

The sign-stealing baggage may act as a drag on Beltrán’s support, and it’s worth noting that he had the third-largest gap between the percentage of votes he received in the Tracker prior to the announcement and his final percentage:

Largest Dropoffs From Pre-Election Shares to Final
Player Actual % Pre-Annoucnement % Change
Andruw Jones 58.1% 66.5% -8.4%
Gary Sheffield 55.0% 62.6% -7.6%
Carlos Beltran 46.5% 53.9% -7.4%
Todd Helton 72.2% 78.6% -6.4%
Jeff Kent 46.5% 51.5% -5.0%
Scott Rolen 76.3% 80.6% -4.3%
Billy Wagner 68.1% 72.3% -4.2%
Manny Ramirez 33.2% 36.4% -3.2%
Bobby Abreu 15.4% 18.4% -3.0%
Alex Rodriguez 35.7% 38.3% -2.6%
Andy Pettitte 17.0% 16.5% 0.5%
Mark Buehrle 10.8% 10.2% 0.6%
Jimmy Rollins 12.9% 12.1% 0.8%
Francisco Rodríguez 10.8% 9.2% 1.6%
Torii Hunter 6.9% 3.4% 3.5%
Omar Vizquel 19.5% 8.3% 11.2%
Pre-election shares via http://tracker.fyi. Candidates with <1% not shown.

That translates to just 38.4% of private (unpublished) voters choosing Beltran, though that percentage is subject to change as additional ballots are revealed, either individually or within the BBWAA’s mass release of those who gave permission in two weeks. With next year’s strong crop of newcomers, and the well-supported players reaching the ends of their candidacies, Beltrán could find himself squeezed for a bit; in last year’s five-year outlook, I estimated he’d be elected in 2027, his fifth year of eligibility, but that was based on a gut-feeling estimate of a 57% share this year, about 10 points higher than his finish.

Having not yet revisited my five-year outlook, I’d now guess Beltrán will be elected in year six. That’s not far off from Jeff Bagwell, who debuted with 41.7% and had just 10 years of eligibility. He needed seven years in part because he had publicly admitted to using androstenedione, a steroid precursor, back before it was banned (the same was true of Mark McGwire and Mike Piazza, not to stretch this out into too long a tangent). That proved to be surmountable, and I believe Beltrán’s transgression will, too.

Gary Sheffield (9th, 55%, up 14.4%)

Even given that he gained no ground from 2021 to ’22, Sheffield’s support has more than quadrupled since 2019 (13.6%) as the ballot has thinned out and, perhaps, as his PED connection and other controversies have been put into perspective. Still, as noted above, he had the largest second-largest dropoff of any candidate in terms of his pre-announcement share in the Tracker and his final voting percentage, as just 46.4% of unpublished ballots included him. The bigger issue is that he heads into the final year of his candidacy needing a 20% jump to cross the threshold for election, which would at a minimum require the fourth-largest such gain in modern electoral history:

Largest One-Year Gains Resulting in Election
RK Player Yr0 Pct0 Yr1 Pct1 Gain
1 Barry Larkin 2011 62.1% 2012 86.4% 24.3%
2 Larry Walker* 2019 54.6% 2020 76.6% 22.0%
3 Vladimir Guerrero 2017 71.7% 2018 92.9% 21.2%
Gary Sheffield* 2023 55.0% 2024 ≥75% ≥20%
4 Yogi Berra 1971 67.2% 1972 85.6% 18.4%
5 Luis Aparicio 1983 67.4% 1984 84.6% 17.2%
6 Eddie Mathews 1977 62.4% 1978 79.4% 17.0%
7 Ralph Kiner* 1974 58.9% 1975 75.4% 16.5%
8 Tony Perez 1999 60.8% 2000 77.2% 16.4%
9 Roberto Alomar 2010 73.7% 2011 90.0% 16.3%
10 Tim Raines* 2016 69.8% 2017 86.0% 16.2%
Since 1967. * = elected in final year of eligibility.

Walker’s final-year push offers a reassuring precedent, and amid a ballot that was more crowded, though it’s still difficult to weigh his more stathead-friendly case against a milestone-driven one (509 homers) that also has a PED link. I do think that getting over the 50% threshold bodes well for Sheffield in the long run, though it’s worth noting that aside from current candidates, it’s the PED-linked Bonds and Clemens and the baggage-laden Curt Schilling who currently stand as the exceptions to what was once the Gil Hodges Rule, in which every candidate to reach 50% eventually gained entry.

Andruw Jones (6th, 58.1%, up 17%)

Jones posted a double-digit gain for the third time in five years, and this one is his largest to date and his most significant one, as he crossed the 50% threshold for the first time. If he does get to 75%, his first-year share of 7.3% will supplant Rolen’s 10.2% as the lowest of anyone elected by the writers, and likewise it will surpass Walker’s 10.2% second-year percentage as the lowest at any point for a candidate elected by the writers.

That isn’t to say that getting to 75% is automatic. I’ve voted for Jones in spite of his arrest for domestic violence, but I know that at least some voters will not. Sticking to what happened on the playing field, his status as the top center fielder in terms of fielding runs appears to depend upon his harvesting a lot of discretionary balls, such as popups that the shortstop or second baseman might have gotten to had he not been playing so shallow. Within Jones’ candidate profile I mentioned defensive stat guru Chris Dial’s comparison of Jones to the Bad News Bears’ ball-hogging Kelly Leak, as well as his study of Jones’ various defensive metrics. One voter said that in doing so — and in discussing this particular aspect of Jones’ candidacy in a conversation at the recent Winter Meetings — I somehow talked him out of including Jones on his ballot. That’s a first, but my modus operandi is still to put as much relevant information out there on these candidates and let them make up their minds.

Dial offered more insight into Jones’ defense in a Twitter thread last week. Even if WAR overestimates his defensive value (Dial suggested it could be by 40 runs overall), that would still leave his 195 fielding runs as the highest among center fielders and would only cost him about four WAR and maybe 3–4 points of JAWS. That would bump him from 11th at the position closer to Jim Edmonds at 15th, but I don’t think it would change my vote or alter too many assessments of him in the grand scheme.

Billy Wagner (8th, 68.1%, up 17.1%)

Wagner edged Jones for the second-largest jump among this year’s candidates and made his third of at least 14% in four years; according to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark, he made the largest year-to-year jump by any reliever ever, surpassing the 15.5% increase by Rollie Fingers in 1992. With voters coming around to appreciate Wagner’s dominance — he owns both the highest strikeout rate and lowest opponent batting average of any player with at least 800 innings — and finding space for him on their less crowded ballots, he has more than quadrupled his support since receiving just 16.7% in 2019.

Wagner now stands a very good chance of being elected by the writers, but he’s not a lock by that route. Since the voters returned to annual balloting in 1966, there have been 30 instances of candidates receiving between 65% and 70% and still having eligibility remaining (23 candidates, five of whom repeated once and one of whom repeated twice). In 14 of those 30 instances, the candidate was elected the next year, and in 21 of the 30, he was elected within two years. Only three of those candidates — Enos Slaughter, Jim Bunning, and Jack Morris — had to wait to be elected by small committees; Bunning and Morris each had back-to-back instances of being stuck in the high 60s.

What matters most is that all 23 of those candidates are now in the Hall. Someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, Wagner will join them.

Todd Helton (5th, 72.2%, up 20.2%)

Helton posted this election cycle’s largest gain and something of an unprecedented one, as Stark and I figured out in an exchange on Wednesday: no modern candidate has made a leap of at least 20 points that put him over 70% but not over 75%. Luis Aparicio’s 25.5-point gain to 67.4% in 1984 and Early Wynn’s 20-point gain to 66.7% in 1971 are the closest examples I could find.

Beyond that, Helton completed one of the largest three-year gains in modern electoral history, placing him just a gimme putt away from enshrinement:

Largest 3-Year Gains on BBWAA Ballot Since 1969
RK Player Yr0 Pct0 Yr3 Pct3 Gain
1 Larry Walker 2017 21.9% 2020 76.6% 54.7%
2 Early Wynn 1969 27.9% 1972 76.0% 48.1%
3 Luis Aparicio 1981 36.9% 1984 84.6% 47.7%
4 Scott Rolen* 2019 17.2% 2022 63.2% 46.0%
5 Nellie Fox 1982 30.6% 1985 74.7% 44.1%
6 Todd Helton* 2020 29.2% 2023 72.2% 43.0%
7 Scott Rolen* 2018 10.2% 2021 52.9% 42.7%
8 Scott Rolen* 2020 35.3% 2023 76.3% 41.0%
9 Billy Williams 1982 23.4% 1985 63.8% 40.4%
10 Gary Carter 1999 33.8% 2002 72.7% 38.9%
11 Andruw Jones* 2020 19.4% 2023 58.1% 38.7%
12 Eddie Mathews 1975 40.9% 1978 79.4% 38.5%
13 Don Drysdale 1975 21.0% 1978 57.8% 36.8%
14 Billy Wagner* 2020 31.7% 2023 68.1% 36.4%
15 Billy Williams 1984 50.1% 1987 85.7% 35.6%
* = current candidate

Helton’s 35.5% gain, from his debut at 16.5% on the 2019 ballot to last year’s 52%, is next on the list. It’s remarkable, then, that seven of the top 16 such gains belong to current candidates — a testament to the combination of the ballots becoming less crowded in the wake of so many elections (and graduations) and in voters favoring the candidates whose cases are bolstered by advanced statistics. You don’t see Kent on here, for example.

Certainly it would have been nice, and better for the candidates just below him in the rankings, if another 11 voters could have found room for Helton. As I noted on Tuesday, the eight blank ballots that were cast weren’t enough to prevent him from getting to 75%, but when you factor in the seven one-candidate ballots already in the Tracker — ballots that feel like performance-art pieces (only K-Rod? Only A-Rod? Only Sheffield? These all happened!) designed to call attention to the voter — then yes, these miserly ballots did block Helton’s election. Take away those 15 ballots and you have a total of 374, 75% of which is 280.5; Helton got 281 votes. In other words, he’d have spot on the stage this summer if not for those outliers.

While it’s easy to get mad about that, the larger point is that Helton is on the doorstep of Cooperstown, and he shouldn’t plan to be out of the country either in late January 2024 or the following July.

Scott Rolen (6th, 76.3%, up 13.1%)

Amazing, right? I have to admit I let out a loud holler, and then got pretty verklempt myself before Rawitch finished his first sentence. The announcement of Rolen’s election after so many of us had braced for a shutout, and then endured so much suspense as his prospects seemed to brighten at the last minute, was pure catharsis.

As with Tim Raines, Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez, and a few others of recent vintage, this one was personal, too. Though I never rooted for any of his teams, Rolen was a favorite of mine as a fan. Sometime during his Phillies tenure in the early 2000s, I explained to a Yankees fan friend that if he played in New York, he’d be loved like Derek Jeter, and that he was every bit as good. Not that we knew it at the time, but it turns out that from 1998 to 2003, both had exactly 32.5 WAR, albeit via different routes. I loved watching Rolen dive for balls, hit home runs, and break up double plays, and came to appreciate the extent to which the advanced stats, including JAWS, marked him as one of the position’s best. On Tuesday, a reader reminded me of my inscription in his copy of The Cooperstown Casebook, when the book was less than six months old and Rolen only weeks into his first year on the ballot.

Rolen received a rather disheartening 10.2% on that 2018 ballot, and on Tuesday and Wednesday more than one person on Twitter interpreted his record-setting rise to 75% as evidence of the Hall’s dysfunctional process. What those folks failed to consider was that first-year share was so suppressed by the traffic. Ten players on that ’18 ballot met the JAWS standard at their positions, and 13 had a JAWS of 50 or higher. The voters set modern records with 8.46 candidates per ballot and 50% of all ballots using all 10 slots, resulting in four candidates elected, two more positioned for election within another quartet the next year, and one eighth-year candidate given a puncher’s chance at a 10th-year election. With the 10-slot rule and the 10-year eligibility rule, the Hall gives voters only the crudest of tools to triage such logjams, and some years all that matters for a candidacy is that it survives and advances. This was one such case.

Now Rolen is headed to Cooperstown. I would have been pretty ambivalent about heading up for Induction Weekend if Fred McGriff had been the only honoree, but I’m ready to pack my go-kit. And for as weary as I am as I write this, I’m already looking forward to Beltré, Mauer, Utley, Bartolo Colon, and David Wright joining the ballot next year. Which works well, because I’ll address their arrivals in my next installment.

Brooklyn-based Jay Jaffe is a senior writer for FanGraphs, the author of The Cooperstown Casebook (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) and the creator of the JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score) metric for Hall of Fame analysis. He founded the Futility Infielder website (2001), was a columnist for Baseball Prospectus (2005-2012) and a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated (2012-2018). He has been a recurring guest on MLB Network and a member of the BBWAA since 2011, and a Hall of Fame voter since 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe... and BlueSky @jayjaffe.bsky.social.

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1 year ago

I hereby submit “tl;dr: sowing, reaping.” as the standard response to any question or discussion about players suspended for PED use and their chances at the HOF.

1 year ago
Reply to  tz

PEDs are pretty arbitrary. Who gets to determine a PED? The testing and maintenance of those processes is not all that scientific. See MMA for further discussion where the athletes have more of a voice. I move that everyone who played through the juiced ball era is ineligible.

Mean Mr. Mustard
1 year ago
Reply to  RonnieDobbs

Major League Baseball gets to determine a PED, for purposes of this discussion. Crawl back under your rock, Ronnie.

1 year ago

Username checks out

1 year ago
Reply to  RonnieDobbs

It’s about the the intent to chemically and illegally enhance performance irregardless of how well it actually worked.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lanidrac