Every year Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times projects the results of the Hall of Fame vote. Not just who goes in, but the exact percentage of the vote each candidate gets. He’s pretty good at it: In the past four years he has made predictions for 63 candidates. Fifty of those candidates have come within five percentage points of the actual vote, and 22 have come within one percentage point of the BBWAA result. Last year his margin for error was 2.4 percent.
His column for this year is up, and it breaks down thusly:
Barry Larkin: 82%
Jack Morris: 65%
Jeff Bagwell: 54%
Lee Smith: 52%
Tim Raines: 52%
Edgar Martinez: 39%
Alan Trammell: 32%
No one else is over 30 percent. He has Bernie Williams at 12 percent, which would keep him on the ballot. He’s be the only new candidate this year to stick around for next. All of the usual holdovers like Dale Murphy, Mark McGwire and friends are north of that.
There is considerable precedent for guys who get over 50% of the vote to eventually make it in, so if Jaffe is right, it bodes well for Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines. Jack Morris’ surge to from 54 percent to 65 percent would be notable, but one wonders if the extremely crowded ballot next year would allow for him to make it over the top.
Anyway, check out Jaffe’s column, which explains how he gets where he gets with these predictions and explains the curious dynamics of a Hall of Fame candidate’s journey from ballot newbie to Hall of Famer.
Yesterday it was reported that someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey, which had been hanging in the Alsonso High School dugout in Tampa for a vigil. That was pretty vile stuff indeed.
Thankfully, however, someone’s conscience got the best of them: the jersey has been returned. School officials say that a family found a large envelope outside of the high school with the words “Jose’s jersey” written on it. They took the envelope into to the school this morning and the jersey was found inside.
Bad form taking it, whoever you are, but in most cases it’s never too late to make a better decision and fix your mistakes.
In late August, when everyone started looking at the schedule in an effort to see who had the easiest road ahead of them to the playoffs, the Tigers stood out as particularly blessed. The end of their season featured several games against the lonely Twins and, if things were tight heading into the final weekend, a three-game series against the lowly Braves.
Problem: the Braves have not been very lowly lately, and that could cause the Tigers all kinds of grief.
Atlanta has won 10 of 11 games. They’ve scored 66 runs in those games and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 over that span. Oh, and remember how, earlier in the season, the Braves were hitting like a deadball era team, being outhomered by multiple individual players? Well, they’ve hit ten during this neat little run. Really, though, the run isn’t that little. They’ve won 19 of 30 and have been a solid team, offensively speaking, since late July. They’re hot as heck now and haven’t been pushovers for some time.
So enter the Tigers, who have been seesawing through August and September and who have to play in Atlanta this weekend without their DH, Victor Martinez. Oh, and who stand a halfway decent chance of having to fly out of Atlanta Sunday evening for a makeup game in Detroit that could then cause them to play a tiebreaker game in Toronto or Baltimore which could then have them travel to the other city for a Wild Card game. And that’s if things break decently.
If they break poorly? It’ll be a long, season-closing flight home from Atlanta. A city that was supposed to provide respite for them when it first appeared on the schedule.