2008 Hall of Fame Vote Results

Goose in, Rice cooked (for the year, at least).

Gossage got 85.8% of the ballots, Rice 72.2% (75% needed for entry).  Unbelievably, Travis Fryman picked up two votes, Shawon Dunston picked up one, and Todd Stottlemyre (yes, Todd Stottlemyre) received a single vote.  WTF?

51 comments… add one

  • What a travesty. Though I gnashed my teeth all the times he hit into double plays, Jim Rice was one of the most consistent, natural power hitters to play the game. 20 home runs / 100 RBI for ten years straight, in an era when hitting 20 was a big deal, but no Hall of Fame induction?
    It’s a crime.

    Hudson January 8, 2008, 4:06 pm
  • The real travesty is the 24% vote for Raines.

    Nick-YF January 8, 2008, 4:13 pm
  • Stottlemyre had a 100 ERA+ over his career. That is the very definition of “average.” Wow.
    And who voted for Knobby?

    Bullfrog (SF) January 8, 2008, 4:14 pm
  • Goooooooooooooooose!

    Mike YF January 8, 2008, 4:14 pm
  • Poor Knobby, heh. When he came to the Yanks, he was a “sure” HoFer, I thought. And he did well, though he could no longer get in on his glove alone..

    Lar January 8, 2008, 4:15 pm
  • You bet on Raines, Nick. I suspect he’ll get it eventually after Henderson coasts in next year. The problem is he suffers from Rickey’s shadow but once that fades into history, folks will see his true worth.

    Mike YF January 8, 2008, 4:27 pm
  • Is Rice really a HOF’er or do Boston fans just really want him to be? (not trying to start anything, I know little about him)
    I was reading Rob Neyers blog and he laid out a pretty strong arguement against Rice making it. It was on Dec. 27th if you are an “ESPN Insider”. I don’t think I can paste it here as the article is pretty big…

    krueg January 8, 2008, 4:27 pm
  • Neyer has long been against a Rice HoF acceptance.
    As a SF, I am really pretty ambivalent. He was a fearsome hitter, but to me he was exactly what the voting has shown: borderline. If he got in I’d be happy for him, but not getting in doesn’t really bother me too much. I just can’t get too exercised about Rice making it or not making it. Weirdly, I am WAY more bothered that Todd Stottlemyre got a single vote than the fact that Rice (who may or may not deserve to get in) didn’t get in. I mean, WHO WOULD VOTE FOR TODD STOTTLEMYRE!?

    SF January 8, 2008, 4:36 pm
  • There seems to be a weird tradition of voters who make these Walt Weiss, Stottlemyre choices. Are they joke votes? Valentines Day presents? lost bets?
    There’s a good chance that the guy who voted for Stottlmyre didn’t vote for Raines. Shouldn’t that voter be penalized?

    Nick-YF January 8, 2008, 4:41 pm
  • Maybe Todd Stottlemyre has a bonus clause with the local A&W where he works whereby he gets a lifetime of free root beer if he receives a single HoF vote?
    I smell a corrupt BBWAA member! Paging Curt Schilling!

    SF January 8, 2008, 4:45 pm
  • I have no vested interest in whether or not Rice gets in, but Neyer makes the case against him pretty convincing. In addition to that, I think it was Kieth Law who also pointed out that Rice was helped tremendously by the Fens, where he was great. His road numbers are not nearly as good (just checked – his road OPS was .789).
    I think Rice gets in next year (his final year on the ballot, no?). But it seems like people who argue against him are labelled haters (not here, but by some in the media, Peter Gammons in particular), when there is very good case for his exclusion.

    Mark (YF) January 8, 2008, 4:55 pm
  • It comes down to two camps on Rice.
    The counting stats camp, and the saber stats camp.
    The counters say that other than Rice, only George Brett and Mike Schmidt put up better numbers over the 12-year period from 1975-86.
    The sabers say his OPS+ and other rate stats don’t measure up, even when looking just at that period (most of these numbers adjust for home park, and Fenway was a huge advantage for Rice in the 1970s).
    While I think the sabers (like Neyer) make good points, they largely serve to convince me that it wouldn’t be a travesty if Rice didn’t make it. But I can’t look at Rice’s position on the leaderboards of his day and say he was not a dominant hitter for a decade-plus.
    The big issue I think is his lognevity. If he had even been able to finish respectably in 1987-89, he’d be in by now.
    Also, the consensus seems to be he’d be in by now if he hadn’t been injured for the ’75 World Series because the Sox likely would have won it if he had played. For that matter, Rice could easily have won three rings with the Sox (’75, ’78, ’86) — in which case he’d have gotten in long ago.
    If chance losses or an injury in the postseason are keeping him out, then logically he should be in.

    Paul SF January 8, 2008, 4:58 pm
  • What this really says to me is that the Red Sox need to scrap their silly overly strict number-retirement policy — one they’ve already ignored twice, once by league mandate, again for Carlton Fisk.
    If Jim Rice makes the Hall, his number will be retired (retired as a Red Sox, makes the Hall of Fame). If he doesn’t, it won’t.
    Regardless of whether his HOF candidacy is worthy, his number should be on that RF portico, and the fact that it’s not, now THAT’s a travesty.
    Dwight Evans deserves it. Roger Clemens deserves it. Wade Boggs deserves it. Unless the Sox make some changes, it’s possible none of them will get it.

    Paul SF January 8, 2008, 5:03 pm
  • next years HOF ballot will include…..
    David Cone
    Ron Gant
    Joe Girardi
    Rickey Henderson
    Charles Nagy
    Denny Neagle
    Jesse Orosco
    Dean Palmer
    Dan Plesac
    Luis Sojo
    Greg Vaughn
    Mo Vaughn
    Matt Williams
    couldn’t see any of these guy’s garnering enough support.

    sf rod January 8, 2008, 5:08 pm
  • Going by counting stats, without factoring in ball park, would tell one that Dante Bichette had one of the better peaks of the 90′s (to cite an extreme example).
    I have to say I haven’t followed the arguments closely for and against Rice, but I guess I would be partial to a saber argument, although I wonder if a case could be made that Rice was able to be so good at Fenway because he was smart and made adjustments for that park. Presumably, when he played at Fenway, he created runs at rate much higher than most (if not all) of his peers when they played at Fenway. So couldn’t an argument be made that for half the time he was a true MVP-type? And to explain his so-so performance on the road, perhaps, the adjustment he made to playing at Fenway hurt his swing for other parks?

    Nick-YF January 8, 2008, 5:09 pm
  • ok….rickeys a lock, but outside of that…

    sf rod January 8, 2008, 5:09 pm
  • sf-rod,
    Rickey? I think he might just make it in:)

    Nick-YF January 8, 2008, 5:10 pm
  • missed you’re post!

    Nick-YF January 8, 2008, 5:11 pm
  • The big question for the next 12 months:
    Will Mo Vaughn’s alleged HGH use as a Met hurt his Hall of Fame chances?

    Paul SF January 8, 2008, 5:16 pm
  • Yeah, Mark, that home/road split is especially damning. As is the fact that he was finished by the time he turned 34. While folks like to point out 12 “feared” seasons, of those he only topped a 140 OPS+ four times. For contrast, Donnie Baseball did the same but in four straight seasons. A great peak does not make one a Hall of Famer. Worse, Ellis Burks = not a HOFer. Me, I’d prefer they keep it the Hall of Fame rather than the Hall of Decent Enough.

    Mike YF January 8, 2008, 5:18 pm
  • I’d prefer they keep it the Hall of Fame rather than the Hall of Decent Enough.
    Tony Perez says hello.

    Paul SF January 8, 2008, 5:20 pm
  • Rickey Henderson is definitely getting in.

    Rickey Henderson January 8, 2008, 5:34 pm
  • I am all for reasoned argument (and sabermetric analysis). But Ellis Burks does not equal Jim Rice, no matter how you want to look at the statistics, and making them equivalent for purposes of justifying Rice’s exclusion from the Hall of Fame is reductive to a fault.

    SF January 8, 2008, 5:40 pm
  • Yeah, Mark, that home/road split is especially damning. As is the fact that he was finished by the time he turned 34. While folks like to point out 12 “feared” seasons, of those he only topped a 140 OPS+ four times. For contrast, Donnie Baseball did the same but in four straight seasons. Worse, of those four seasons Rice averaged a *210* point difference between his Home and Road OPS. Even worse, he never performed in the few postseason games he played – he was anti-clutch. His career playoff OPS is .679 (from 1986 and 1988). In the 1978 playoff, he went 1-5 (RBI single) with no walks and 1 K in a game his team lost by one run. Sure, he could have been a HOF if he ever performed in the post-season or found a few more seasons of decent performance. Problem is, he didn’t.
    A great peak does not make one a Hall of Famer. Worse, Ellis Burks = not a HOFer. Me, I’d prefer they keep it the Hall of Fame rather than the Hall of Decent Enough.

    Mike YF January 8, 2008, 5:43 pm
  • Not sure why that earlier one went up. Sorry.

    Mike YF January 8, 2008, 5:45 pm
  • “Will Mo Vaughn’s alleged HGH use as a Met hurt his Hall of Fame chances?”
    Probably not, but his use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils during the entire length of his career might.
    Apart from the continued ridiculousness of Blyleven missing the cut, and the new ridiculousness of Raines missing the cut by a mile, the biggest surprise for me was seeing Robb Nen with two votes. That’s one vote for each B in his name! And I could have sworn the guy was still pitching somewhere last year. Retired in 2002, go figure.

    FenSheaParkway January 8, 2008, 5:46 pm
  • The case for Dale Murphy is about as strong as for Rice, yet Murphy’s only at 14 percent.

    YF January 8, 2008, 5:47 pm
  • Let’s see:
    JRice – .298 .352 .502 128 OPS+, 2452 H, 382 HR
    Burks – .291 .363 .510 126 OPS+, 2107 H, 352 HR
    Sometimes comparison are very illustrative. This one exactly is, thanks.

    Anonymous January 8, 2008, 5:48 pm
  • Ok guys, I could really use some help here. (My apologies to Jim Rice, Goose Gossage and SF)
    I am headed up to the Mohegan Sun on Thursday for a the World Baseball Coaches Convention. My school won’t pay for a room in the Mohegan Sun, so I am looking for a hotel near by (as close as possible). I know we have some regulars from CT, so I was hoping someone could help me out. Thanks guys.

    John - YF January 8, 2008, 5:55 pm
  • Whoever made that comparison of Rice and Burks also doesn’t include games played, seasons played, amongst other things. Reducing the merits of their Hall case to cumulative data is insufficient. And I have no interest in arguing that Rice is a HoFer, either, that’s not the point. “Rice” and Burks” could be subbed in with any other name, I don’t care really. Treating players as just numbers to be analyzed and not players to be observed is just far too reductive for me. This isn’t rotisserie baseball.

    SF January 8, 2008, 6:06 pm
  • I am not old enough to really remember, but I don’t think that Ellis Burks was ever feared like Jim Rice was right? I remember Ellis Burks as being very good, but I don’t remember him being flat out dominant like you hear about Rice. Numbers are tricky, they shouldn’t be the end all, be all.

    John - YF January 8, 2008, 6:09 pm
  • I disagree with YF about Murphy. Based on Rice’s exclusion Dale Murphy has no case at all in my book. If Rice isn’t worthy, than Murphy is less than not worthy. Rice has a case based on Willie Stargell and others already in, though, to some extent. The sad thing is that Rice and Murphy were both fantastic ballplayers, and there seems to me to be a sense that their reputations are being hurt (Rice is taking a lot of crap for his career, as opposed to praise, despite being a borderline all-time-great) by some of the discussions over their HoF worthiness. Rice is just a handful of votes from being in Cooperstown. Surely this is a comment on how superb a ballplayer he was, and not a comment about how “not great” a player he was, which seems to be on the agenda of several people around the blogosphere and elsewhere.
    The HoF voting is so organic, so without a defined set of standards, these debates could rage forever with no good (or right) answer.

    SF January 8, 2008, 6:21 pm
  • I should also add that I saw enough of Dale Murphy play on WTBS (back in the “old days” of cable when it was essentially the only baseball broadcast alternative to watching the Red Sox – I watched a lot of bad Braves baseball!) to feel comfortable saying what I did about him in relation to Rice.

    SF January 8, 2008, 6:23 pm
  • That comp was me. Of course there are contextual differences, but these comps are illustrative. And like it or not, HOFers are measured by their numbers. That’s what makes the steroid era so vile – historical numbers that worked for fifty to 80 years have become distorted. Regardless, Burks is a very good comp for Rice. Both were above average players, and RF’s, but both fall short of HOF standards. Rice is only as close as he is because of the Boston-amplified hype and the “fear” myth.
    The man had four excellent seasons, helped tremendously by his home park, and the rest were good but not great. But even when Rice fails next year, especially in contrast to Henderson, I have no doubt the hype will eventually get him in with the watered down standards of the Veteran’s Committee.
    P.s. Can anyone name one memorable moment from Rice’s career? One?

    Mike YF January 8, 2008, 6:49 pm
  • Rice is only as close as he is because of the Boston-amplified hype and the “fear” myth
    How old were you when Rice was in his prime? Did you see him play live and often? Why is everything you write tinged with some sort of antagonistic, denigrating BS?
    Rice is “close” because he is close to being a Hall of Fame player, nothing else. There are enough people on both sides of the issue who watched RIce play or who understand the numbers to explain why he hasn’t gotten in yet but is close to getting in. In your petty, bizarre world this (and almost everything else having to do with anything good about the Sox) emanates from some sort of bizarro PR-based urban locus that creates an unjustified praise of someone or something Boston-related. It’s stupefying, Mike.

    SF January 8, 2008, 7:53 pm
  • Home/Road splits can be used against quite a few H.O.F’rs. It doesn’t make their selections any less legitimate or valid.
    Here’s a few:
    Wade Boggs (only player with mult. teams)
    Ryne Sandberg
    Kirby Puckett
    George Brett
    Ellis Burks is a Baseball Reference Comp. But what you left out was the comp’s to:
    Duke Snider
    Willie Stargell
    Billy Williams
    Orlando Cepeda
    All of them are in the H.O.F.
    Jim Rice may not be a clear cut choice, but he would by no means make you think the system is broken if he did get in.
    I think SF put it best and he’s a SF “He was a fearsome hitter, but to me he was exactly what the voting has shown: borderline.”

    John - YF January 8, 2008, 8:48 pm
  • Trisk, I sent you an email. Hope that helps..if you need more info, I could send you links of decent places right around there.

    Brad January 8, 2008, 8:53 pm
  • The comp shows what a terrific hitter Ellis Burks truly was — and that had he not suffered through back injuries on and off for his whole career, he would probably have been a lock for the HOF.

    Paul SF January 8, 2008, 10:16 pm
  • Even as a lifelong Jays fan, I too can’t believe that Stottlemyre got a vote. Back in the day, I felt he was by far the worst starter on their staff, and the most memorable thing he ever did was banging up his chin on his slide into third during the ’93 World Series. Who would even think he is Hall of Fame material?

    Jays Fan January 8, 2008, 10:18 pm
  • i’m pretty much with sf here. (and i was neither arguing for or against rice/murphy, just noting the immense disparity in their vote totals despite fairly comparable credentials.) as for this:
    “historical numbers that worked for fifty to 80 years have become distorted. ”
    it doesn’t make sense. in that time, we’ve seen the entry of minority players into the league, expansion of teams and schedules, rule changes, multiple facility turnovers, and various other factors that demand that all “historical numbers” be understood within context. peds are just another factor, not the first.
    i thought paul put up a pretty convincing argument for rice a while back. but he’s a borderline case.

    YF January 8, 2008, 10:25 pm
  • Incidentally, since we’re discussing non-counting stats and home-road splits and whatnot.
    If Rice is elected, there will be 75 hitters in the Hall of Fame with the same or lower career OPS+ than his 128 — including about 15 outfielders (Puckett, Slaughter, Keeler, Hooper, Brock among those names) and four left fielders. (Incidentally, Yaz finished with a 129 OPS+).
    And how far do we carry the split logic? Reggie Jackson hit .249/.321/.455 against lefties in his career. That’s more than a third of his PAs in which he was decidedly not a Hall of Famer. Rice did better on the road than Jackson did against lefties. Likewise, George Brett hit .280/.331/.429 against lefties in his career, almost exactly one-third of his total plate appearances.
    I’m not arguing that Jackson and Brett aren’t HOFers. Obviously they are, and obviously they have much better cases than Rice, who absolutely is a borderline candidate because of the briefness of his peak. But to punish Rice for putting up lackluster numbers in a particular split (while ignoring the stellar numbers he’s posted in the other iteration of that split) under the theory that he wasn’t a Hall of Famer all the time opens up an interesting can of worms that could remove most of the left-handed hitters from the Hall.

    Paul SF January 8, 2008, 10:50 pm
  • Player A: .276/.340/.447
    Player B: .285/.348/.482
    Player C: .298/.352/.502
    Player D: .283/.353/.475
    Player E: .262/.356/.490
    This is why numbers aren’t always the answer.
    Player A= Cal Ripken
    Player B= Yogi Berra
    Player C= Jim Rice
    Player D= Dave Winfield
    Player E= Reggie Jackson
    Sometimes you need to look deeper then numbers. Also, sometimes you can make numbers show what you are trying to make them show.

    John - YF January 8, 2008, 11:05 pm
  • Er, Cal Ripken was a shortstop, and Yogi Berra was a catcher. Don’t think they really count when comparing to an outfielder.
    No one is saying numbers are the only answer, but Rice’s numbers alone are far from a HOF-caliber player’s. His ‘vault’ into the HOF, honestly and truly, is his ‘fearsomeness’. There was a very good article on Baseball Prospectus which showed that Jim Rice was only a ‘feared’ hitter when he played in Fenway, a park which is very, very…let’s say, ‘unique’. Maybe they should put Fenway Park in the HOF along with Rice.

    AndrewYF January 8, 2008, 11:40 pm
  • And all this time I thought Ripken was a Pitcher.
    I am not trying to make a case for Rice, let’s get that clear. What I am saying is numbers are not the end all be all. Shortstop, catcher or otherwise, by simply looking at numbers you don’t get a true picture of the players actual value. You also can’t use splits as the main factor in your argument. As I showed above there are plenty of HOF’rs that are much better at home then on the road. We live in a time where numbers are everything. Unfortunately by watching the numbers so closely we can sometimes lose sight of the real, actual value or talent of players.

    John - YF January 9, 2008, 12:06 am
  • Orlando Cepeda has almost identical numbers to Jim Rice and it took him 14 years to get in. Minus the stolen bases, the are almost identical in every category. Look at their MVP votes and AS appearances as well, almost identical. He has been in the HOF since 1999 and he was elected by the Vet. Com.

    John - YF January 9, 2008, 12:16 am
  • Point being there is hope for Rice.

    John - YF January 9, 2008, 12:21 am
  • I think there’s more than hope for Rice – I think he gets in next year, no question. he was very close this year and will get a significant bump from sympathy votes, seeing as it’s his last year on the ballot
    But, as for the actual arguments being made, Neyer alkso tackled the notion that he was “the most feared hitter of his day, in the following excerpt from his blog. note: some edits for brevity by me, the full posting can be found here: http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=neyer_rob&entryDate=20071227
    “As Shaughnessy and so many others have said over the years, he was ‘the most feared hitter of his day’ … but was he, really?
    Shaughnessy cites intentional walks: ‘Managers thought about intentionally walking him when he came to the plate with the bases loaded.’ Because yes, a great number of intentional walks would suggest that a player really was feared.
    Rice’s 12 best seasons — 1975-1986 — are usually mentioned because the rest of his career was not good. Did Rice draw more intentional walks than anyone else over those 12 seasons? From 1975 through 1986 — 32 major leaguers drew more intentional walks than Jim Rice.
    Yes, he batted right-handed, and right-handed batters generally are intentionally walked less often than left-handed batters. So let’s be fair. Let’s ignore all those left-handed batters. Did Rice draw more intentional walks than every other right-handed batter over those 12 fearsome seasons?
    Twelve right-handed batters were, by this standard, more feared, including (but far from limited to) George Foster, Ron Cey, Greg Luzinski, Jack Clark and Dale Murphy.
    I’ve run through other stats before. Even if we limit ourselves to Rice’s 12 good years, we still find that he doesn’t look good next to non-Hall of Famers Keith Hernandez and Fred Lynn and is dead even with Ken Singleton. If we include the massive edge he gained from Fenway Park and his lack of defensive value, he falls farther down the list. His Hall of Fame case rests solely on an argument that wouldn’t be particularly compelling even if it were true. Which it’s not.”

    Mark (YF) January 9, 2008, 10:59 am
  • ” In your petty, bizarre world this (and almost everything else having to do with anything good about the Sox) emanates from some sort of bizarro PR-based urban locus that creates an unjustified praise of someone or something Boston-related”
    I’m not entering the fray, but SF, that’s quite a nice turn of phrase…

    The Sheriff (Andrews) January 9, 2008, 5:30 pm
  • Using IBB as a measure of a hitter being “feared” is stupid. Compare the lineups; Rice was surrounded by very good hitters; Fred Lynn, Yaz, Dwight Evans, Carlton Fisk. Also comparing him to Dante Bichette is pointless because playing in Coors has no precedence in terms of padding stats. Anyone who saw Jim Rice at his peak cannot honestly say he wasn’t one of the most devastating hitters of that time. No one hit a baseball harder back then. Some of his home runs left the park so quickly it seemed like he was hitting a superball. That being said, I think he is borderline HOF.
    For the naysayers, Fenway was much more of a home run park than it is now.

    Tom sf January 11, 2008, 9:59 am
  • Here’s a great breakdown on why Rice doesn’t belong from Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus fame:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/01/09/bp.jimrice/index.html
    The basic story – only four great (or “feared”) years with the rest above average, RBI’s a function of him seeing a ton of runners on base (i.e., Boggs), and even his “fearsome” SLG mostly dropped off the map after 1980.
    Rice would perhaps be the worst outfielder elected by the writers (Cepeda was a Vet Comm).

    YF in RSN January 11, 2008, 11:04 am
  • all i gotta say is GO YANKEES!!!! and SCREW THE RED SOX!!!!!! 26 rings and counting.

    Andrew January 14, 2008, 9:21 pm

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