05 January 2015

BBA Binary Ballot Unanimously Endorses Big Unit, Recommends Six Others for Cooperstown

Seven players from the 2015 Baseball Writers Association of America Hall of Fame Ballot were recommended for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame by the members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance on Friday.

Given the backlog of quality players on the ballot, this year the BBA adopted the binary ballot method suggested by St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Derrick Goold. Each player on the ballot received a 'yes' or 'no' vote from the BBA voters. After the conclusion of voting, the Alliance recommended all players receiving 75% of the vote.

I personally voted for thirteen nominees, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Mussina, Larry Walker, Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. My criteria were primarily Baseball Reference's Wins Above Replacement, peak Baseball Reference WAR in each player's seven best seasons, and Jay Jaffe's JAWS evaluator.

While I also considered my own personal opinions, I used them only to include players I would not otherwise have voted for, not to exclude players that seemed statistically qualified. I made no consideration of any player's confirmed or purported history with performance enhancing drugs.

With this format, pitcher Randy Johnson received 100% of the vote while pitcher Pedro Martinez was close behind at 95%. Others that topped the 75% mark were catcher/second baseman/outfielder Craig Biggio (90%), pitcher John Smoltz (89%), catcher Mike Piazza (85%), first baseman Jeff Bagwell (77%) and outfielder Tim Raines (77%).

Those that just fell short of the mark were designated hitter Edgar Martinez (71%) and pitcher Curt Schilling (68%).

The rest of the voting was as follows:

Mike Mussina 67%
Barry Bonds 65%
Roger Clemens 63%
Alan Trammell 53%
Jeff Kent 44%
Gary Sheffield 38%
Larry Walker 37%
Fred McGriff 33%
Mark McGwire 33%
Don Mattingly 31%
Lee Smith 31%
Sammy Sosa 23%
Carlos Delgado 19%
Nomar Garciaparra 13%
Cliff Floyd 4%
Brian Giles 4%
Rich Aurilia 3%
Darin Erstad 3%
Troy Percival 3%
Aaron Boone 1%
Jason Schmidt 1%
Jermaine Dye 0%
Tom Gordon 0%
Eddie Guardado 0%

Using this binary method, only 13% turned in a ballot with fewer than ten names selected. Forty percent turned in a ballot with 15 or more names selected, with a high of 20.

The official website of the BBA is located at baseballbloggersalliance.wordpress.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba. For more information, contact Niko Goutakolis at baseballbloggersalliance@gmail.com.

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