DDT's Pop Flies (61)

DDT (AKA Darryl Tahirali) is a freelance writer living in Orange County, California. Originally from Canada, DDT enjoys writing about music, baseball, and other areas of Western pop culture from the tasteful to the trashy. DDT can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On a ballot packed with qualified candidates for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is it possible that none of them will be elected this year?

If that happens, as it did last year, it would be the third time in the last decade that the qualified voters of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) have thrown a shutout at the Hall of Fame. This is an odd paradox considering that after the Big Zilch of 2013, the BBWAA in subsequent years went on to elect 22 players across the next seven ballots, with the various guises of the veterans committee voting in another five players (and six non-players) during that seven-year span. (In 2013, the veterans committee did elect three candidates to the Hall.)

Last year, Curt Schilling, who had garnered 70 percent of the vote on the previous ballot, seemed to be a lock for election. Instead, he stalled with a negligible increase in support, then threw a social-media Trumper tantrum declaring that he wanted to be removed from this year's ballot. The Hall of Fame quickly responded that it would not do so.

Also making negligible increases were Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, the pair of poster-boys for performance-enhancing drugs (PED) whose debuts on the 2013 ballot, along with Sammy Sosa's, marked the apex of the PED furor that is far from over; Schilling also debuted on that 2013 ballot although he has never been associated with PED. All four candidates are in their final year of eligibility this year.

Barry Bonds 2022 Ballot

Swinging for naught? Home run king Barry Bonds is unlikely to be voted into the Hall of Fame in his final year. (Photo credit: Getty Images)


This year's ballot also marks the debut of Álex Rodriguez, who will assume the mantle of PED poster boy, thus perpetuating the PED furor that has marked Hall of Fame voting ever since Mark McGwire landed on a ballot in 2007. David Ortiz also debuts this year, and he is sure to be buffeted by what has become a tortuous Hall of Fame process.

In fact, this evaluation and recognition of baseball legacy typifies the problems Major League Baseball has been in for some time, problems only exacerbated by the work stoppage that began at the start of December 2021 and, as of this writing, shows no sign of reconciliation. And should BBWAA voters throw another Hall of Fame ballot shutout when their results are revealed on January 25, it would be just another indication that something is very wrong with baseball.

Hall of Fame Environment 2022

The Big Leagues are in Big Trouble. Despite an array of qualified candidates, and despite the early returns posted at the 2022 BBHOF Tracker, it is entirely possible that BBWAA voters could fail to elect any candidate to the Hall of Fame for the second consecutive year. Prior to last year, BBWAA voters last threw a Hall of Fame shutout in 2013, perhaps not coincidentally the year Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, and Sosa debuted on the ballot.

Schilling might have sealed his fate with his Trumper tantrum following the results of last year's ballot, asking to be removed from consideration for this year's ballot. The Hall of Fame did not oblige him, but BBWAA voters could. Even if Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa go away empty-handed this year, the PED issue will not. Taking the PED poster-boy baton from Bonds and Clemens is first-timer Álex Rodriguez, who joins Gary Sheffield and especially Manny Ramirez as candidates also tainted by PED.

Furthermore, Major League Baseball has been at a standstill since the start of December 2021 because of the owners' lockout of players following the failure to renew the 2016 collective bargaining agreement with the Major League Baseball Players' Association; as of this writing, there has been no movement on that stalemate.

The last work stoppage, in 1994, which resulted in the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years, engendered lingering fan enmity that lasted at least until 1998, when the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa chase for MLB's single-season home run record electrified the baseball world (and a good part of the non-baseball world), at least until it turned out to be fueled by PED, a bigger problem that still hasn't gone away and will not for some time. (Hint: Will Robinson Cano become the next PED poster-boy after Rodriguez?)

A blizzard of home runs is unlikely to assuage disgruntled fans—for one thing, baseball is already awash in home runs as hitters obsessed with "launch angle" and "exit velo" swing for the fences during nearly every at-bat—but MLB has been struggling to retain its market share in the overstuffed entertainment arena for several years already, and this work stoppage cannot help.

Finally, the Hall of Fame has become the Hall of Saints, enforcing a moral code upon its prospective candidates as an imperative for "enshrinement"—the word itself smacks of sanctity and canonization—even as baseball itself, still dealing with PED, has seen recent sign-stealing and baseball-doctoring scandals expose the culture of cheating that, frankly, baseball has had since its inception in the 19th century.

Yet amidst all that, the National Baseball Hall of Fame increasingly presents a gauzy, glossy, Disneyfied view of Major League Baseball that insists on standards of purity for those "enshrined"—and ignores those who fail to measure up to those standards.

Granted, induction into the Hall is a privilege, not a right, conferred by private institutions charged with administrating the induction process. But what does it say about MLB in general, and the Hall in particular, that baseball's all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, is not inducted? Or baseball's all-time home run leader, Bonds, is not inducted?

Don't say that it's a case of a few bad apples who might spoil the barrel. Rose might be an exception in that gambling, by and large, is not a problem in baseball. But as Rodriguez, and in a few years Robinson Cano, demonstrate, even if Bonds, Clemens, and Sosa go away this year without induction, the PED problem will not go away with them.

Alex Rodriguez 2022 Ballot

The Hall of Fame is unlikely for Alex Rodgriguez--but he is the new poster boy for performance-enhancing drugs. (Photo credit: USA Today)


Why should it? Baseball players have been looking for a chemical edge since Hall of Famer Pud Galvin's "monkey testosterone" in the 19th century. Even noted pitching coach and instructor Tom House, a former relief pitcher who caught teammate Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run in the Atlanta Braves bullpen in April 1974, admitted that he and his contemporaries were dosing themselves with all kinds of dubious, even dangerous substances in the 1970s.

And given that, at least until a third failed drug test, PED penalties are little more than the equivalent of fines levied against a company that pollutes the local stream but continues its practices nevertheless, and that suspended players usually find work in MLB after they've served their penance, it seems that it's the barrel that is spoiling the apples. In other words, it's the baseball environment that enables players to take their chances with PED, or to pursue sign-stealing schemes, or to doctor baseballs—all in the name of winning division titles, league pennants, and world championships. Aren't those accomplishments tainted by a culture of cheating tolerated by the baseball industry?

Still, the Baseball Hall of Fame insists on the kind of purity exemplified by the late Hall of Famer Joe Morgan's pearl-clutching 2018 letter to Hall of Fame voters imploring them not to vote for candidates with PED associations. That mindset, along with a continuing logjam of qualified candidates—technically, if not morally, in the minds of many voters—could indeed result in no candidates being elected this year, a conundrum that epitomizes the problems that beset Major League Baseball today and into its foreseeable future.

As I've said many times, you evaluate the baseball you have, not the baseball you wish you had.

New and Returning Candidates

Of the 30 candidates on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, 17 are returning candidates. Joining Bonds, Clemens, Ramirez, Schilling, Sheffield, and Sosa as returnees are Bobby Abreu, Mark Buehrle, Todd Helton, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Andy Pettitte, Scott Rolen, Omar Vizquel, and Billy Wagner.

Buehrle, Hudson, and Hunter are the only newcomers from the 2021 ballot to survive on this ballot; in my ballot forecast for 2021, I considered Buehrle and Hudson to be borderline candidates, with Hunter a one-and-done although he actually garnered nearly ten percent of the vote. As for the remaining 14 candidates, I consider all but Pettitte to be Hall of Fame-worthy candidates.

The 13 first-time candidates are Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Tim Lincecum, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Álex Rodriguez, Jimmy Rollins, and Mark Texeira.

In my ballot forecast for 2022, I named Ortiz and Rodriguez as no-doubt Hall of Famers, with Nathan and Teixeira on the borderline. All others except for Morneau and Pierzynski, neither of whom I evaluated, I considered to be one-and-done while dubbing Fielder, Howard, and Lincecum "hard-luck" cases because their careers began with Hall of Fame potential but, as has been the case for so many players, that simply did not pan out.

I didn't evaluate Morneau or Pierzynski because both lacked the distinction of the other newcomers. Morneau, a four-time All-Star, was the American League Most Valuable Player in 2006 while with the Minnesota Twins and led the National League in batting in 2014 while with the Colorado Rockies, but with a JAWS (JAffe War Score system) ranking of 88th among first basemen, he is unlikely to survive this ballot. And although Pierzynski, a two-time All-Star, is distinguished by his "colorful" (read: exasperating) personality, and he is one of only twelve catchers to amass 2000 hits while posting a career batting average of .280, his JAWS ranking of 71st makes him unlikely to survive this ballot as well.

My Hypothetical Ballot

With 15 candidates whom I consider to be Hall of Famers, I have to make some strategic voting choices on my hypothetical Hall of Fame ballot. So, although I would vote for them if permitted to do so, I would forego voting for Helton, Jones, Ramirez, Rolen, and Vizquel because all five still have a few years left on the ballot (although Ramirez, in his sixth year, has already reached his "decline phase" on the ballot) and all five have polled comfortably enough on their past ballots—with Helton, Jones, and especially Rolen making impressive gains in 2021—that they are very likely to receive enough votes to keep them on the 2023 ballot.

That leaves my ten boxes to be checked for the following candidates, in order of urgency (even though the Hall of Fame ballot neither requires nor recognizes ranked choices):

10. Álex Rodriguez

9. David Ortiz

8. Billy Wagner

7. Gary Sheffield

6. Sammy Sosa

5. Roger Clemens

4. Barry Bonds

3. Curt Schilling

2. Bobby Abreu

1. Jeff Kent

What's the urgency? Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, and Sosa are on the ballot for the last time. Kent has one more chance after this year, Sheffield has two, and Wagner has three. Abreu, a sabermetric darling, eked onto the ballot in 2020 and received just under nine percent of the vote last year. And while both Ortiz and Rodriguez, despite his notoriety, are certain to receive well more than the five-percent minimum of the vote to remain on the ballot for next year, both are no-doubt Hall of Famers although no doubt a sizeable number of voters will not vote for them.

Because all ten candidates have had their careers and Hall of Fame chances exhaustively evaluated over the years (I've certainly written at length about all of them), I have not commented on them under the assumption that readers are also quite familiar with them.

Below I have provided an appendix containing the career statistics of all 30 candidates on the 2022 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.


 

Appendix: Player Statistics

This section contains career statistics for all the player-candidates appearing on the 2022 Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The statistics have been broken out separately for position players, starting pitchers, and relief pitchers, in that order. All three candidate sections contain tables listing statistics for player value (Hall of Fame statistics), longevity (volume or quantitative statistics), effectiveness (rate or qualitative statistics), and recognition (awards and leaderboard statistics); the relief-pitcher section contains an additional effectiveness table for statistics more specific to a reliever's closely-defined role.

Beneath the first instance of each table are descriptions of the statistics listed in the table. Those descriptions are not repeated in subsequent tables although any new statistics are described. Note: Standard or traditional statistics and their common abbreviations (for example, HR for home runs) are not defined. Readers who have come this far are assumed to know these already.

Position Players on the 2022 Hall of Fame Ballot

The following tables contain statistics for the 20 position players on the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot.

As with starting- and relief pitchers, these four tables help to illustrate the qualities of position-player value (Hall of Fame statistics), longevity (volume statistics), effectiveness (rate statistics), and recognition (awards and leader statistics) that distinguish a Hall of Fame-caliber position player from other position players. They might not tell the entire story, but they compose a significant portion of it.

The table below details the Hall of Fame statistics (explained in the legend beneath the table) for the position players on the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by bWAR. Position players appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Hall of Fame Statistics for Position Players on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by bWAR

Player

Pos.

fWAR

bWAR

WAR7

JAWS

JAWS Rank*

WPA

HoF Mon.

(≈100)

HoF Std.

(≈50)

Bonds, Barry

LF

164.4

162.8

72.7

117.7

1

127.7

340

76

Rodriguez, Álex

SS

113.7

117.8

64.3

91.0

2

59.2

390

76

Rolen, Scott

3B

69.9

70.1

43.6

56.9

10

30.9

99

40

Ramirez, Manny

LF

66.3

69.3

39.9

54.6

10

56.1

226

69

Jones, Andruw

CF

67.0

62.7

46.4

54.6

11

12.5

109

34

Helton, Todd

1B

54.9

61.8

46.6

54.2

15

52.7

175

59

Sheffield, Gary

RF

62.1

60.5

38.0

49.3

23

59.9

158

61

Abreu, Bobby

RF

59.8

60.2

41.6

50.9

20

49.0

94

54

Sosa, Sammy

RF

60.1

58.6

43.8

51.2

18

25.0

202

52

Kent, Jeff

2B

56.0

55.4

35.8

45.6

21

22.9

122

51

Ortiz, David +

DH/1B

51.0

55.3

35.2

45.2

29

50.6

171

55

Teixeira, Mark

1B

44.8

51.8

38.0

44.9

30

25.4

108

33

Hunter, Torii

CF

43.0

50.1

30.8

40.4

34

3.8

58

34

Rollins, Jimmy

SS

49.4

46.3

32.4

39.3

32

8.5

121

42

Vizquel, Omar

SS

42.5

45.6

26.8

36.2

41

–17.5

120

42

Crawford, Carl

LF

41.5

39.2

32.3

35.8

43

6.5

52

22

Morneau, Justin

1B

22.7

27.0

24.4

25.7

88

17.0

56

20

Pierzynski, A.J.

C

20.7

23.8

18.1

20.9

71

–7.8

108

30

Fielder, Prince

1B

27.5

23.6

24.4

24.0

99

35.1

85

27

Howard, Ryan

1B

19.6

15.0

19.2

17.1

140

30.1

98

25

+ Ranked by JAWS as first baseman.

fWAR: Career Wins Above Replacement as calculated by FanGraphs.

bWAR: Career Wins Above Replacement as calculated by Baseball Reference.

WAR7: The sum of a player's best seven seasons as defined by bWAR; they need not be consecutive seasons.

JAWS: Jaffe WAR Score system—an average of a player's career WAR and his seven-year WAR peak.

JAWS Rank: The player's ranking at that position by JAWS rating. (*) In this table, JAWS rank is for the player at his primary position only and is not a ranking of all position players.

WPA: Win Probability Added, the likelihood that a player has influenced the outcome of a given game through his offensive contribution.

Hall of Fame Monitor: An index of how likely a player is to be inducted to the Hall of Fame based on his entire playing record (offensive, defensive, awards, position played, postseason success), with an index score of 100 being a good possibility and 130 a "virtual cinch." Developed by Baseball Reference from a creation by Bill James.

Hall of Fame Standards: An index of performance standards, indexed to 50 as being the score for an average Hall of Famer. Developed by Baseball Reference from a creation by Bill James.


The table below details the volume statistics, or the counting numbers or quantitative statistics, for the position players appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by hits. Position players appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Volume Statistics for Position Players on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by Hits

 

GP

PA

H

2B

HR

R

RBI

BB

SB

Rodriguez, Álex

2784

12,207

3115

548

696

2021

2086

1338

329

Bonds, Barry

2986

12,606

2935

601

762

2227

1996

2558

514

Vizquel, Omar

2968

12,013

2877

456

80

1445

951

1028

404

Sheffield, Gary

2576

10,947

2689

467

509

1636

1676

1475

253

Ramirez, Manny

2302

9774

2574

547

555

1544

1831

1329

38

Helton, Todd

2247

9453

2519

592

369

1401

1406

1335

37

Ortiz, David

2408

10,091

2472

632

541

1419

1768

1319

17

Abreu, Bobby

2425

10,081

2470

574

288

1453

1363

1476

400

Kent, Jeff

2298

9537

2461

560

377

1320

1518

801

94

Rollins, Jimmy

2275

10,240

2455

511

231

1421

936

813

470

Hunter, Torii

2372

9692

2452

498

353

1296

1391

661

195

Sosa, Sammy

2354

9896

2408

379

609

1475

1667

929

234

Rolen, Scott

2038

8518

2077

517

316

1211

1287

899

118

Pierzynski, A.J.

2059

7815

2043

407

188

807

909

308

15

Jones, Andruw

2196

8664

1933

383

434

1204

1289

891

152

Crawford, Carl

1716

7178

1931

309

136

998

766

377

480

Teixeira, Mark

1862

8029

1862

408

409

1099

1298

918

26

Fielder, Prince

1611

6853

1645

321

319

862

1028

847

18

Morneau, Justin

1545

6392

1603

349

247

772

985

573

5

Howard, Ryan

1572

6531

1475

277

382

848

1194

709

12



The table below details the rate statistics, or the qualitative numbers (explained in the legend beneath the table), for the position players appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by Adjusted Weighted Runs Created. Position players appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Rate Statistics for Position Players on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by Adjusted Weighted Runs Created

 

Slash Line

wOBA

wRC+

OPS+

WAA

RAA

oWAR

Bonds, Barry

.298/.444/.607/.1.051

.435

173

182

123.8

1251

143.6

Ramirez, Manny

.312/.411/.585/.996

.418

153

154

35.7

369

81.8

Rodriguez, Álex

.295/.380/.550/.930

.395

141

140

76.1

788

115.3

Sheffield, Gary

.292/.393/.514/.907

.391

141

140

26.0

278

80.8

Ortiz, David

.286/.380/.552/.931

.392

140

141

20.2

186

56.7

Fielder, Prince

.283/.382/.506/.887

.377

133

134

1.9

22

34.1

Helton, Todd

.316/.414/.539/.953

.405

132

133

33.4

362

54.5

Abreu, Bobby

.291/.395/.475/.870

.378

129

128

28.3

300

61.6

Teixeira, Mark

.268/.360/.509/.869

.371

127

126

24.4

238

41.9

Sosa, Sammy

.273/.344/.534/.878

.370

124

128

28.3

307

50.3

Kent, Jeff

.290/.356/.500/.855

.367

123

123

26.6

290

60.1

Rolen, Scott

.281/.364/.490/.855

.368

122

122

44.0

456

52.7

Howard, Ryan

.258/.343/.515/.859

.361

121

125

–4.9

–24

22.8

Morneau, Justin

.281/.348/.481/.828

.353

116

120

4.6

41

24.9

Jones, Andruw

.254/.337/.486/.823

.352

111

111

35.9

378

39.8

Hunter, Torii

.277/.331/.461/.793

.342

110

110

15.8

146

47.5

Crawford, Carl

.290/.330/.435/.765

.332

104

105

14.5

142

32.1

Rollins, Jimmy

.264/.324/.418/.743

.323

95

95

16.7

186

43.7

Pierzynski, A.J.

.280/.319/.420/.739

.319

92

94

–3.5

–37

28.4

Vizquel, Omar

.272/.336/.352/.688

.310

83

82

5.3

51

32.9


Slash Line:
Grouping of the player's career batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).

wOBA: Weighted on-base average as calculated by FanGraphs. Weighs singles, extra-base hits, walks, and hits by pitch; generally, .400 is excellent and .320 is league-average.

wRC+: Career weighted Runs Created, league- and park-adjusted, as calculated by FanGraphs. Positively indexed to 100, with a 100 wRC+ indicating a league-average player, and values above 100 indicating the degrees better a player is than a league-average player.

OPS+: Career on-base percentage plus slugging percentage, league- and park-adjusted, as calculated by Baseball Reference. Positively indexed to 100, with a 100 OPS+ indicating a league-average player, and values above 100 indicating the degrees better a player is than a league-average player.

WAA: Wins Above Average, the number of wins the player is worth above a league-average player.

RAA: Runs Above Average, the number of runs the player is worth above a league-average player.

oWAR: Offensive Wins Above Replacement, Baseball Reference's WAR without defensive computation.

The table below details the awards and leader statistics (explained in the legend beneath the table) for the position players appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by Black-Ink Test. Position players appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Awards and Leaders Statistics for Position Players on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by Black-Ink Test

Player

MVP

MVP Top 10

All-Star

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

RoY

Black Ink

Gray Ink

Bonds, Barry

7

13

14

12

8

0

69

289

Rodriguez, Álex

3

10

14

10

2

0

68

214

Sosa, Sammy

1

7

7

6

0

0

28

138

Ortiz, David

0

7

9

7

0

0

25

161

Ramirez, Manny

0

9

12

9

0

0

21

154

Howard, Ryan

1

6

3

1

0

1

21

84

Helton, Todd

0

3

5

4

3

0

16

143

Fielder, Prince

0

4

6

3

0

0

14

100

Rollins, Jimmy

1

2

3

1

4

0

14

82

Teixeira, Mark

0

2

3

3

5

0

13

78

Crawford, Carl

0

1

4

1

1

0

12

48

Jones, Andruw

0

2

5

1

10

0

10

47

Abreu, Bobby

0

0

2

1

1

0

5

88

Morneau, Justin

1

2

4

2

0

0

5

40

Sheffield, Gary

0

6

11

5

0

0

4

123

Kent, Jeff

1

4

5

4

0

0

0

71

Hunter, Torii

0

1

5

2

9

0

0

29

Rolen, Scott

0

1

7

1

7

1

0

27

Vizquel, Omar

0

0

3

0

11

0

0

25

Pierzynski, A.J.

0

0

2

1

0

0

0

5


MVP:
Most Valuable Player Award.

MVP Top 10: Number of times a player finished in the top 10 of his league's MVP voting. Includes an MVP win.

Silver Slugger Award: Awarded to the best offensive player at every position.

RoY: Rookie of the Year Award.

Black Ink Test: Weighted measurement of times a player led his league in significant batting statistics. An average Hall of Famer has a measurement of about 27. Developed by Baseball Reference from a creation by Bill James.

Gray-Ink Test: Weighted measurement of times a player appeared in the top ten of his league in significant batting statistics. An average Hall of Famer has a measurement of about 144. Developed by Baseball Reference from a creation by Bill James.


Starting Pitchers on the 2022 Hall of Fame Ballot

The following tables contain statistics for the seven starting pitchers on the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot.

As with position players and relief pitchers, these four tables help to illustrate the qualities of starting-pitcher value (Hall of Fame statistics), longevity (volume statistics), effectiveness (rate statistics), and recognition (awards and leader statistics) that distinguish a Hall of Fame-caliber starting pitcher from other starters. They might not tell the entire story, but they compose a significant portion of it.

The table below details the Hall of Fame statistics for all the starting pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by bWAR. Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type. (See the legend beneath the table for position players above for explanations of the categories.)

Hall of Fame Statistics for Starting Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by bWAR

Player

fWAR

bWAR

WAR7

JAWS

JAWS Rank

WPA

HoF Mon.

(≈100)

HoF Std.

(≈50)

Clemens, Roger

133.7

139.2

65.9

102.5

3

77.7

332

73

Schilling, Curt

79.8

79.5

48.6

64.0

28

35.3

171

46

Pettitte, Andy

68.2

60.2

34.1

47.2

91

24.2

128

44

Buehrle, Mark

52.3

59.2

35.8

47.5

90

17.2

52

31

Hudson, Tim

48.9

58.1

38.3

48.2

84

29.8

66

42

Peavy, Jake

43.7

39.6

30.7

35.1

202

13.5

56

27

Lincecum, Tim

27.5

19.7

23.9

21.8

436

6.2

66

17


WPA:
Win Probability Added, the likelihood that a starting pitcher has influenced the outcome of a given game through his pitching contribution.


The table below details the volume statistics, or the counting numbers or quantitative statistics (explained in the legend beneath the table), for all the starting pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by innings pitched. Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Volume Statistics for Starting Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by Innings Pitched

Pitcher

GS

IP

Win-Loss

PCT

Hits

HR

BB

SO

Clemens, Roger

707

4916.2

354–184

.658

4185

363

1580

4672

Pettitte, Andy

521

3316.0

256–153

.626

3448

288

1031

2448

Buehrle, Mark

493

3283.1

214–160

.572

3472

361

734

1870

Schilling, Curt

436

3261.0

216–146

.597

2998

347

711

3116

Hudson, Tim

479

3126.2

222–133

.625

2957

248

917

2080

Peavy, Jake

388

2377.0

152–126

.547

2134

259

708

2207

Lincecum, Tim

270

1682.0

110–89

.553

1506

147

669

1736


GS
: Career games started.

IP: Career innings pitched.

Win-Loss: Career win-loss record.

PCT: Career win-loss percentage.


The table below details the rate statistics, or the qualitative numbers (explained in the legend beneath the table), for the starting pitchers appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by weighted Adjusted Earned Run Average Plus (ERA+). Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Rate Statistics for Starting Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by ERA+

Pitcher

ERA

ERA+

RA9

FIP

WHIP

RAA

WAA

SO9

SO/W

Clemens, Roger

3.12

143

3.45

3.09

1.173

853

93.9

8.6

2.96

Schilling, Curt

3.46

127

3.64

3.23

1.137

486

53.9

8.6

4.38

Hudson, Tim

3.49

120

3.80

3.78

1.239

283

30.0

6.0

2.27

Buehrle, Mark

3.81

117

4.23

4.11

1.281

275

29.4

5.1

2.55

Pettitte, Andy

3.85

117

4.27

3.74

1.351

286

29.8

6.6

2.37

Peavy, Jake

3.63

110

3.83

3.65

1.196

158

17.7

8.4

3.12

Lincecum, Tim

3.74

104

3.99

3.45

1.293

46

6.7

9.3

2.59


ERA
: Career earned run average.

ERA+: Career ERA, league- and park-adjusted, as calculated by Baseball Reference. Positively indexed to 100, with a 100 ERA+ indicating a league-average pitcher, and values above 100 indicating the degrees better a pitcher is than a league-average pitcher.

RA9: Career runs allowed per nine innings pitched. Includes unearned runs.

FIP: Career fielding-independent pitching. Measures effectiveness at minimizing home runs, walks, and hits by pitch and at maximizing strikeouts.

WHIP: Career walks and hits allowed per innings pitched.

WAA: Wins Above Average, the number of wins the player is worth above a league-average player.

RAA: Runs Above Average, the number of runs the player is worth above a league-average player.

SO9: Career strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

SO/W: Career strikeouts-to-walks ratio.


The table below details the awards and leader statistics (explained in the legend beneath the table) for the starting pitchers appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by Black-Ink Test. Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Awards and Leaders Statistics for Starting Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by Black-Ink Test

Player

CYA

CYA Top 5

MVP Top 10

All-Star

Gold Glove

RoY

Black Ink

Gray Ink

Clemens, Roger

7

10

5 (1)

11

0

0

100

320

Schilling, Curt

0

4

2

6

0

0

42

205

Lincecum, Tim

2

3

0

4

0

0

21

84

Peavy, Jake

1

1

1

3

1

0

20

89

Buehrle, Mark

0

1

0

5

4

0

12

116

Hudson, Tim

0

3

0

4

0

0

11

143

Pettitte, Andy

0

4

0

3

0

0

7

103


CYA:
Cy Young Award.

CYA Top 5: Number of times a player finished in the top 5 of his league's Cy Young Award voting. Includes a Cy Young Award MVP win.

MVP Top 10: Number of times a player finished in the top 10 of his league's MVP voting. Includes an MVP win. (*) Indicates that the pitcher won at least one MVP Award.

Black Ink Test: Weighted measurement of times a pitcher led his league in significant pitching statistics. An average Hall of Famer has a measurement of about 40. Developed by Baseball Reference from a creation by Bill James.

Gray-Ink Test: Weighted measurement of times a pitcher appeared in the top ten of his league in significant pitching statistics. An average Hall of Famer has a measurement of about 185. Developed by Baseball Reference from a creation by Bill James.


Relief Pitchers on the 2022 Hall of Fame Ballot

The following tables contain statistics for the three relief pitchers on the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot.

As with both position players and starting pitchers, these five tables help to illustrate the qualities of relief-pitcher value (Hall of Fame statistics), longevity (volume statistics), effectiveness (rate statistics and relief pitcher effectiveness), and recognition (awards and leader statistics) that distinguish a Hall of Fame-caliber relief pitcher from other relievers. They might not tell the entire story, but they compose a significant portion of it.

The table below details the Hall of Fame statistics for the relief pitchers appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by bWAR. Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type. (See the legend beneath the table for position players above for explanations of the categories.)

Hall of Fame Statistics for Relief Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by bWAR

Player

fWAR

bWAR

WAR7

JAWS

JAWS Rank

WPA

HoF Mon.

(≈100)

HoF Std.

(≈50)

Wagner, Billy

24.0

27.7

19.8

23.7

19

29.1

107

24

Nathan, Joe

19.5

26.6

21.7

24.2

18

30.6

98

29

Papelbon, Jonathan

19.4

23.5

19.6

21.6

29

28.3

80

23


WPA:
Win Probability Added, the likelihood that a relief pitcher has influenced the outcome of a given game through his pitching contribution.


The table below details the volume statistics, or the counting numbers or quantitative statistics (explained in the legend beneath the table), for the relief pitchers appearing appear on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by appearances. Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Volume Statistics for Relief Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by Appearances

Pitcher

APP

IP

SV

BS

HLD

Hits

HR

BB

SO

Wagner, Billy

853

903.0

422

69

13

601

82

300

1196

Nathan, Joe

787

923.1

377

46

27

690

84

344

976

Papelbon, Jonathan

689

725.2

368

49

8

572

57

185

808


APP
: Career appearances.

IP: Career innings pitched.

SV: Career saves.

BS: Career blown saves.

HLD: Career holds.


The table below details the rate statistics, or the qualitative numbers (explained in the legend beneath the table), for the relief pitchers appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by weighted Adjusted Earned Run Average Plus (ERA+). Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Rate Statistics for Relief Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by ERA+

Pitcher

ERA

ERA+

RA9

FIP

WHIP

RAA

WAA

SO9

SO/W

Wagner, Billy

2.31

187

2.61

2.73

0.998

160

16.5

11.9

3.99

Papelbon, Jonathan

2.44

177

2.80

2.81

1.043

125

13.1

10.0

4.37

Nathan, Joe

2.87

151

3.09

3.36

1.120

137

14.0

9.5

2.84

 

ERA: Career earned run average.

ERA+: Career ERA, league- and park-adjusted, as calculated by Baseball Reference. Positively indexed to 100, with a 100 ERA+ indicating a league-average pitcher, and values above 100 indicating the degrees better a pitcher is than a league-average pitcher.

RA9: Career runs allowed per nine innings pitched. Includes unearned runs.

FIP: Career fielding-independent pitching. Measures effectiveness at minimizing home runs, walks, and hits by pitch and at maximizing strikeouts.

WHIP: Career walks and hits allowed per innings pitched.

WAA: Wins Above Average, the number of wins the player is worth above a league-average player.

RAA: Runs Above Average, the number of runs the player is worth above a league-average player.

SO9: Career strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

SO/W: Career strikeouts-to-walks ratio.


The table below details the relief-pitcher effectiveness statistics (explained in the legend beneath the table) for the relief pitchers appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by Average Leverage Index (aLI). Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type.

Relief Pitchers Effectiveness for Relief Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by Average Leverage Index

Pitcher

Slash Line

SV%

aLI

IR

IS

IS%

SO%

Wagner, Billy

.187/.262/.296/.558

86

1.812

166

46

28

33.2

Papelbon, Jonathan

.213/.271/.321/.592

88

1.810

141

37

26

27.5

Nathan, Joe

.197/.266/.308/.574

89

1.587

143

46

32

25.9

Slash Line: Aggregate opposing hitters' batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage plus slugging percentage against the pitcher.

SV%: Career save percentage, total saves divided by total save opportunities, with save opportunities the total of all saves and all blown saves.

aLI: Average leverage index, or the amount of pressure faced by a pitcher, with 1.0 indicating average pressure and values greater than 1.0 indicating high pressure.

IR: Career inherited runners. Number of runners on base when a pitcher entered the game.

IS: Career inherited runners scored. Number of a pitcher’s inherited runners who scored. Note that these runs are charged to the previous pitcher.

IS%: Career percentage of inherited runners who score while the pitcher is in the game.

SO%: Career strikeout percentage, or the percentage of all plate appearances that result in a strikeout.

The table below details the awards and leader statistics for the relief pitchers appearing on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by Gray-Ink Test. Starting pitchers appearing for the first time on the ballot are in bold type. (See the legend beneath the table for starting pitchers above for category descriptions.)

Awards and Leaders Statistics for Relief Pitchers on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, Ranked by Gray-Ink Test

Player

CYA

CYA Top 5

MVP Top 10

All-Star

Gold Glove

RoY

Black Ink

Gray Ink

Nathan, Joe

0

2

0

6

0

0

0

32

Wagner, Billy

0

1

0

7

0

0

0

31

Papelbon, Jonathan

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

30

Is this the year Curt Schilling makes it into the National Baseball Hall of Fame? Will Schilling be the only player elected to the Hall this year? After all the tumultuous voting activity of the 2010s, has voting for the Hall returned to "normal"?

Only a crystal ball, or the patience to wait until voting results for the 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame are announced on January 26, 2021, can give us the definitive answers, but of course that doesn't stop us from prognosticating before we learn the results.

For now, the short answers are:

1. Maybe.

2. Possibly.

3. Likely.

2021 BBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot: Executive Summary

In a tumultuous year that was not normal for anything and everything including baseball, one thing that might be back to normal is voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Granted, the 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has 14 returning candidates, with just about every one of them owning cases for induction that range from borderline to compelling.

What an absolutely insane year 2020 has been—and it's not even over yet. In particular, the United States has a general election upcoming in November, and not only has that already proved to be insane—it could go positively psychotic.

This is a pop-culture site, so don't worry, we'll not go into polemics that will raise your blood pressure faster than you can say "fake news." In fact, this "Voters' Guide to Presidential Movies" is meant to offer a respite from the frenzy while keeping to the topic of politics in general and presidential politics in particular. Below you'll find summaries of an array of movies from old to new that have thrown their hats into the ring of political discourse, with an emphasis on the US presidency although that is not exclusive.

Rogers Hornsby, the Hall of Fame second baseman second only to fellow Hall of Famer Ty Cobb in career batting average, once said, "People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." The right-handed slugger, who remains the only player to combine a .400 batting average with 40 or more home runs in the same season (1922, the year he won the first of his two Triple Crowns), also never went to the movies (or read books), claiming that it would harm his eyesight.

Two generations of Britmetal slammed out their wares at FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California, on September 27 as Deep Purple headlined the show that Judas Priest opened, with two different kinds of metalheads banging in support of each.

And while both bands have been presenting said wares for more than four decades, each demonstrated that it still had a trick or two up its sleeve even as both reliably fired off the hallmarks that eventually landed one band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while the other is on the short list of the Rock Hall's biggest "snubs." So, did one band justify its inclusion? And did the other further its case for inclusion?

You've heard the saying, "Every man has his price"? For me, it's $20. At least that's what I was willing to fork over to see Poison and Cheap Trick at FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, California, on May 18. And for one of those bands, it was worth it.

Earlier this year, concert promoter Live Nation announced National Concert Week, an online promotion offering tickets for $20 (US) to a wide range of artists touring throughout the 2018 concert season. Ever-alert for bargains, my friend Kathie tipped me off to this limited-time offer, and soon we were deep into negotiations.

Strategic voting. What you have to do when you have too many choices and not enough time or opportunities to realize all those choices.

Sounds like voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the last few years, doesn't it?

The good news is that since the Shutout of 2013, when the eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) could not muster the 75 percent of the vote necessary to elect any one ballot candidate to the Hall of Fame despite a wealth of candidates from whom to choose (I counted 14), the BBWAA has sent a dozen players to Cooperstown. Based on that trend, and barring any unusual or unforeseen wrinkle, the writers are certain to elect at least one player for 2018.
With its second meeting under a revamped structure, the Baseball Hall of Fame veterans committee will convene to evaluate nine players and one executive whose impact was made primarily during the Modern Baseball era, defined as having occurred between 1970 and 1987, and perhaps elect someone to the Hall of Fame. Their ballot results will be announced on December 10 during the winter meetings.
Baseball immortality: Precious few attain it, most do not even come close—and some perch on the cusp of that immortality as signified by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Theirs are the test cases, players whose careers, accomplishments, and legacies form the threshold of what separates a Hall of Famer from the rest.

Baseball Hall of Fame voting in the last few years has been fascinating for a number of reasons, particularly the logjam of qualified candidates, which promises to remain an issue for the next few years. That logjam puts additional pressure on the borderline candidates—will they be overlooked, perhaps unfairly, because there are too many candidates from which to choose?
Before indulging in that ever-popular blood sport of listing all the reasons why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sucks, let's list all the reasons why it doesn't:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
This was a day that I dreaded to see, even though I knew it was inevitable.

Standing in the checkout line at Trader Joe's, I looked at the BBC News website on my phone to see what was happening in the world. The inevitable had happened.

"How you doin' today?" the young woman asked as she pulled in my cart.