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Sunday Mail: What percentage of vote for Hall of Fame will Pedro receive in 2015?

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  January 13, 2014 11:30 AM

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FOXBOROUGH -- Pulling together the rare on-site edition of Sunday Mail while watching Stephen Gostkowski do a passable Ray Guy imitation ...



Ballpark estimate: What percentage vote you think Pedro will get next year in the HOF voting?
-- Mysterious Lurker

Maybe it's not a meaningful distinction, but Tom Glavine - first ballot HOFer? I'm not seeing him in the same echelon as Maddux.
-- John

Let's tackle these two together since there's something of a connection there. To answer the latter first, I was very surprised Glavine was so close to Maddux -- the difference was less than 6 percent (97.2 to 91.9).

Glavine is actually tied with Wade Boggs for the 24th-highest percentage of the vote in history. Check out some of the players who got inducted with less support than Glavine had this year:

Year % of Ballots ▾
2014 Tom Glavine 91.9%
1936 Christy Mathewson 90.7%
1982 Frank Robinson 89.2%
1955 Joe DiMaggio 88.8%
1980 Al Kaline 88.3%
1974 Mickey Mantle 88.2%
1972 Sandy Koufax 86.9%
1972 Yogi Berra 85.6%
1956 Hank Greenberg 85.0%
1981 Bob Gibson 84.0%
1977 Ernie Banks 83.8%
1936 Walter Johnson 83.6%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/11/2014.

I mean, there are various circumstances that account for the other vote totals. Murray Chass probably refused to vote for anyone in 1936, for instance. But as great as Glavine was, his name above Sandy Koufax, Christy Mathewson or Walter Johnson doesn't look quite right. And there's no way he should have had 70 percent more of the vote than Mike Mussina, a remarkably similar pitcher (and co-topic of a painfully bland John Feinstein book) who just didn't happen to reach the 300-win milestone.

It also might have helped Glavine that, based on that photo there, his major-league career began when he was 12 years old. Take that, Joe Nuxhall.

Which brings us to the Pedro question. He should get the same support Maddux did. At his peak, Pedro may have been the greatest pitcher of all time. But some will hold his meager (for a first-ballot Hall of Famer) win total against him (219). Others will stand united with Karim Garcia and punish him for throwing too many fastballs between opponents' shoulder blades. And others are just ill-informed, have an agenda, or both. I fully expect BBWAA president LaVelle E. Neal to pass on voting for him because pitchers have their own Hall of Fame or something like that.

So, a ballpark figure: I'll put him right there with Glavine at 91-something percent. In the meantime, here's some homework for those who might waver on voting for him.

carrollbarryj.JPGCareer comp for wasted talent on par with Andrew Bynum?
-- Oil Can

This was way tougher to answer than it seemed at first. The first guys who popped into my head were the burned-out coke guys from the '70s and '80s, someone like Roy Tarpley or Marvin Barnes.

But such self-destructive comp isn't fair to Bynum, whose fundamental flaw is that he can't stay on the court and never seems to be in any hurry to return. And to be honest, most of those guys were more accomplished players than he is. (Excluding Chris Washburn and William Bedford.)

Who else? He's not as dynamic as someone like Shawn Kemp. Even Ralph Sampson had his superstar moments before his knees collapsed under his Tinker Toys physique.

For all of the promise that surrounds Bynum, he's played more than 65 games once in his eight-year career, and he averages a little more than 13 points per game.

He's good. He's been great at times. But who knows what he'll be going forward.

Because he seems so happily indifferent about it all, I'm going with a player who scored a lot of points and indirectly helped the Celtics build their '80s powerhouse.

So here it is: Andrew Bynum is a less accomplished but just as lackadaisical Joe Barry Carroll, famously christened Joe Barely Cares by Peter Vecsey. Work for you?

All the faux outrage over what Dan Le Batard did is infuriating. We're supposed to more mad at a guy who gave his ballot "to the people"-- which chose 10 totally deserving players--over the moron who voted for Jacque Jones? Or the guy who only picked Jack Morris? Pretty sure the BBWAA just acted about as sanctimonious as possible in response to a supposedly sanctimonious stunt. Your thoughts?
-- Guest

nomohideofinn.jpgWell, I understand why there's some genuine outrage among the BBWAA guys who do it right, and that's the vast majority.

I'd be mad too if I'd paid serious dues to earn the privilege to vote -- a decade of late nights, brutal deadlines, and endless travel itineraries -- and always approached the ballot with joy and respect.

And he didn't exactly turn it over to the people, though the ballot was outstanding. There was a middleman there between Le Batard and the people, and Deadspin's understandable delight in tweaking the BBWAA more or less forced them to react somehow.

If writers keep turning their votes over to other entities, whether it's readers, Deadspin, the Minnesota Lynx, whomever, it makes the process more chaotic and far less credible than it already is. Especially if those writers' ulterior motives include getting attention for themselves or their mediocre television show.

All of that said, it was funny and fascinating to watch play out, and this is no more than the fifth-most-offensive revelation of this year's balloting, after:

1) Someone voting for Jack Morris and no one else as some kind of protest against the steroid era, when Jack Morris pitched multiple years in the steroid era no matter how you arbitrarily declare the boundaries.

2) Someone voting for Hideo Nomo and Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame, but not voting for Greg Maddux.

3) These self-aggrandizing, idiotic protests -- that includes submitting a blank ballot -- that ended up costing Craig Biggio the two votes he needed for induction this year.

4) Tim Raines, whose curse is being the second-best at what he did, losing support.

5) Le Batard-gate. And there are probably many other slights I'm forgetting or haven't noticed on the various ballots that would bump this down.

Lots of Hall of Fame questions. Probably too many -- I suspect I'm in the minority now in that I still love talking about this year's ballot, or at least the wonderful players on the ballot.

But let's close with some hoop ...

If Danny Ainge really wants a lottery pick shouldn't me trade for J.R. Smith?
-- Cam3x

Damn, that's a great line. Put him on the court with Jerryd Bayless and Jordan Crawford, and I give it, oh, 10 games before Jared Sullinger starts intentionally hacking his own teammates and Brad Stevens looks like a Van Gundy.

Until next week, the mailbox is closed.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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