Baseball Think Factory is the New FiveThirtyEight.com

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Which, I suppose, makes January is the new November. Two months after Nate Silver earned his well-deserved pats-on-the-back for predicting Barack Obama's victory in the Presidential election using statistical analysis of polling numbers, the good folks at the Baseball Think Factory have been doing the same thing for the baseball hall of fame vote, due to be officially announced on Monday. For the last week or so, the baseball news curator and secret genius Repoz has been tabulating the votes by those BBWAA members who have deigned to make their ballots public.

As of this moment, Repoz has tabulated 82 full ballots, and here are your current results (remember, a player needs 75% of the vote to earn his plaque):

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98.8 - Rickey Henderson
81.7 - Jim Rice
76.8 - Bert Blyleven
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68.3 - Andre Dawson
48.8 - Jack Morris
34.1 - Lee Smith
26.8 - Tim Raines
24.4 - Alan Trammell
24.4 - Tommy John
20.7 - Mark McGwire
0.0 - Corey Patterson

Rickey Henderson is the only slam dunk in this group (and even he can't earn a unanimous induction); those numbers for Rice and Blyleven seem too close to call right now. The name and number combo that sticks out like a sore thumb is Tim Raines' measly support. Raines got just 24% of the vote last year and I expected that number to go up this year significantly. Maybe Jonah Keri needs to get his pals to make a stronger push next year.

My favorite ballot so far was posted by Joe Posnanski on his JoeBlog. I don't agree with every pick (no Lee Smith? what gives?) but Joe takes his privilege seriously, thinks about his vote, and defends his choices with responsibility. Perhaps the BBWAA would earn more respect from baseball fans if they encouraged all their members to defend their votes online. If creaky old Murray Chass can figure out the Internet, then anyone can. Maybe then I won't have to keep linking to that awful Hall of Sandwiches allegory from last year.


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17 Comments

Especially after reading about the whole Milton Bradley/racist fans a Wrigley issue last night, and noticing the glaring lack of perspective by the idiot writers who brought it up, I think you might be hoping against hope that the majority of these hacks will ever get with it.

I also loved reading Posnanksi's breakdown, but not as much as reading his frame-by-frame recap of the Snuggies ad:

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/01/07/snuggies/

We're trying Rob. Oh, how we're trying. Jim Rice getting more than three times as many votes as Tim Raines is 17 kinds of crazy.

For the record, I wouldn't vote for Lee Smith. My hypothetical ballot:

Rickey
Rock
Blyleven
Trammell
McGwire

Lou Whittaker gets half of all Trammell's votes in the divorce settlement.

I'm with Jonah. Rickey is a classic first-ballot guy, Raines and Blyleven are obvious, Trammell has a very solid case, and it's probably time we get past the McGwire thing.

Everyone should follow Joe Pos's lead and vote for Dale Murphy.

MURPH!

If Dale Murphy could get as many votes for each pound his son weighed...

If Blyleven gets in buy stock in Coors because there is going to be some celebrating going on.

I give up on ever considering the HoF an actual Hall of Fame, and not just a Hall of Guys who either deserve it, or were just pretty good but played on the right team. Jim Rice plays anywhere besides Boston (or NY) we are not even talking about him. Ooh, he was feared! Whatever. He just hit into 4 double-plays as I was typing this.

Ricky deserves 104% of the vote.

But Silver ran predictive analysis based on polls. The BTF guys are just counting published votes.

I was just on hold and got this song. If you can get it out of your head, you are a better man than I.

She's fresh (fresh!)
Exciting
She's so exciting to me-eee

@Farthammer: Agreed. My dad and I think that the HoF is basically Yankeeland. Anybody here ever heard of Mickey Vernon*? Dude deserves to be in the Hall--he only won the AL batting title twice and still holds a major league record for participating in double plays at first base--but because he spent most of his war-interrupted career playing for the Senators, he's an afterthought.

*Full disclosure: I had never heard of Mickey Vernon either before he came to a party at our house a few years ago. We googled him and found out what a star he was in his day. Really classy, understated guy.

Clare, where were you when I wrote this piece last year?

@Rob
Honeynut really zinged Chief in that post that you linked to.

Mickey Vernon was an institution in the town next door to me growing up (where he was born). There were two little leagues growing up: Babe Ruth and Mickey Vernon. So, as a young child, Mickey Vernon was the Babe Ruth alternative. I'm with you, Clare.

Too bad he kicked the bucket. There was a nice little montage on him during one of the Phils' playoff games (maybe even the WS?)

"But Silver ran predictive analysis based on polls. The BTF guys are just counting published votes."

Hell...I've got about 300 different BBWAA voter's ballots going back the past 7 years. I'm sure I could fashion up a mock ballot that would be pretty damn close to the final tab.

Oh, wait...no I can't...Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle holds a pizza feed every year and let's his readers make the picks!

Forget I mentioned it....

And thanks Rob.

@BC
Five and a hlaf months later, I bet it STILL hurts.

Nah, being a tribe fan I'm used to the pain and crushing disappointment.

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