Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Me vs. reality: 2011 CooperstownPosted by Chris Jaffe
Well, the results for the BBWAA vote for the Hall of Fame just came out. Congratulations to Roberto Alomar and Rich Lederer, er, I mean – congrats to Alomar and Bert Blyleven. They’re the newest Hall of Famers.
This means something extra special to me because I wrote a column predicting how the vote would go. Let’s see how I did versus the actual vote:
Player VOTE Me Dif Robert Alomar 90 87 -3 Bert Blyleven 80 80 0 Barry Larkin 62 61 -1 Jack Morris 54 59 5 Lee Smith 45 45 0 Jeff Bagwell 42 35 -7 Tim Raines 38 36 -2 Edgar Martinez 33 32 -1 Alan Trammell 24 26 2 Mark McGwire 20 15 -5 Larry Walker 20 14 -6 Fred McGriff 18 20 2 Dave Parker 15 18 3 Don Mattingly 14 16 2 Dale Murphy 13 13 0 Rafael Palmeiro 11 10 -1 Harold Baines 5 6 1 Juan Gonzalez 5 XXX -5 Kevin Brown 2 5 3
I didn't bother making a prediction on Juan Gone, figuring he's fall below five percent. He actually did get five percent, so I'll charge myself the maximum error (all five percent). That said, I should note in my defense that my full prediction included a line for "others" which I figured would work out to seven percent. But no matter.
My average margin of error for the 19 guys listed above: 2.58 percent, which I believe is my best yet. Exclude Juan Gone, and it's lower still, 2.44 percent. I was within three percent on 14 of my 18 predictions. Oh yeah—and I got the important call right: Alomar and Blyleven. To make a quick comparison, at Baseball Think Factory, Repoz tallied 138 published BBWAA ballots and came out with an average error of 3.63 percent on those 19 guys. Well, beating Repoz is part of my justification for these columns (I can justly bill it as the most thorough and accurate prediction out there). That said, I'd do the predictions anway.
Biggest surprises for me: Alomar became the first non-first year candidate in history to top 90 percent. I didn't expect that. The election as a whole averaged 5.98 names per ballot (including the guys not listed above). I guesstimated it would be 5.85, and then said, if anything, 5.85 is on the high side. Nope.
Strangely, despite the overall rise, Dave Parker failed to receive the customary bump a man in his last year of voting gets. In election No. 15, Parker got 15 percent, just like he did last year. Similarly, Baines falls off the ballot (he rounds up to five percent, but rounding up won't keep you on the ballot). I expected him to last until 2013.
I'm sure many are sad to see Bagwell score so lowly in this election, but it's a good start. Aside from players currently on the ballot, only one scored higher than 31 percent the first time and hasn't since been elected (Steve Garvey, who - like Bagwell - got 42 percent his first time). Actually, Bagwell even edges Garvey: 41.7 to 41.6 percent.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.