Final Posting for 2012

Let me begin by thanking all of you who took the time and effort of reading and commenting on my postings for 2012. For those of you who purchased my book “Sandlot Stats: Learning Statistics with Baseball”, I hope the book both educated you on the world of probability and statistics as well as provided you with an entertaining read on baseball.

The voting for the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame will be announced on January 9, 2013. The voting is done by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Each writer has a ballot and can list from zero to a maximum of ten names. To gain entrance into the hallowed Hall a player has to appear on at least 75% of the ballots. For a player not elected this year to appear on next year’s ballot they must appear on a minimum of 5% of this year’s ballots. A player can be considered for a maximum of 15 years. Each baseball writer is free to use their own criteria for selecting players. There are many quantitative tests that have been suggested for measuring whether a player deserves admittance into the Hall. The test I favor for a positional player is a test contributed by Bill James called the HOF Career Standards Test. This test is based on 18 criteria applied to a positional player’s career statistics. A few of these criteria are assigning – one point for each 150 hits over 1500, one point for batting over .300, one point for each 200 home runs. A complete list of these criteria can be found on pages 261-262 in my book or on many websites. For comparison purposes the average score for a Hall of Famer is 50. As expected Babe Ruth has the highest score of any player.

Some of the most famous players eligible for the first time this year are Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, and Craig Biggio. In my opinion Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Mike Piazza based solely on their baseball statistics are sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famers.  Unfortunately, each of these players has either admitted to or is suspected of being a user of performance-enhancement drugs (PEDS). Sammy Sosa, a borderline first ballot Hall of Famer, is also a suspected PED user. It will be interesting to see what percent of votes each of these players receive. According to the HOF Career Standards Test, the scores for these players are Bonds (76), Clemens (73), Piazza (62), Biggio (57), Sosa (52), and Schilling (46). Those players returning to the ballot from last year’s voting having at least 50 points include Jeff Bagwell (3rd year, 59), Lee Smith (11thyear, 51), Rafael Palmeiro (3rd year, 57), Larry Walker (3rd year, 58), and Edgar Martinez (4th year 50).

Please make a New Year’s resolution to keep reading and commenting.

Happy Holidays from Stan The Stats Man!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and lots of baseball in your future!

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