Finding New Votes for Mike Mussina

Last year, 309 out of 440 voters made their HOF votes public. Out of these, 149 (48.2%) voted for the full contingent of 10 candidates.  If Mike Mussina is going to continue to pick up momentum for election these are the voters to keep an eye on when they publish their ballots. Here’s a breakdown of how many names were on the ballots of Mussina’s public voters last year.

  • 10 names: 92 voters
  • 9 names: 20 voters
  • 8 names: 16 voters
  • 7 names: 10 voters
  • 6 names: 5 voters
  • 5 names: 2 voters
  • 4 names: 3 voters
  • 3 names: 1 voter (thanks Dan McGrath!)

Nearly 2/3rds of Mussina voters (62%) used all 10 of their selections. What we really want to focus on is voters who had at least three names removed from this year’s ballot (Ken Griffey, Mike Piazza, Mark McGwire, Alan Trammell, Jim Edmonds, and Nomar Garciaparra are no longer on the ballot). We’ll use Tango Score to give you an overview of their ballots.

Earl Bloom – 90/100 Tango score. Voted for Piazza, Griffey, Edmonds, McGwire, and was the only writer to vote for Garrett Anderson, which means he has five open spots on his ballot. We love Mussina’s chances to pick up a vote here. Update (12/1): Bloom released his ballot and it included first timers Manny Ramirez, Vlad Guerrero, and Ivan Rodriguez. He also added Fred McGriff and Larry Walker. He many not think Mike Mussina is a HOF pitcher. 

Bill Center — 98/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He has voted for Lee Smith in previous elections.

Brian Costello – 89/100 Tango score. Costello is one of only 31 writers still voting for Sammy Sosa and one of only 51 who voted for Gary Sheffield (those totals are out of all 440 voters). He’s fighting the good fight. Sammy and Shef deserve more support. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and McGwire, which means he has three open spots on his ballot.

Jay Dunn – 98/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Nomar (one of eight who did), which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He does not vote for Bonds and Clemens, which is another key to look at as it means that Dunn probably won’t vote for Ramirez and maybe Rodriguez. Update (12/14): Dunn added four newcomers to his ballot (Vlad, Posada, Rodriguez, and Jason Varitek). He dropped Edgar Martinez from his ballot. 

Jeffrey Flanagan – 96/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and McGwire, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He also supports Sammy Sosa and Lee Smith.

Jerry Green – 93/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, McGwire, and Trammell, which means he has four open spots on his ballot. Mussina has a good chance to pick up a vote here. Green also votes for Gary Sheffield. He added Bonds to his ballot for the first time last year.

Joe Haakenson – 100/100 Tango score.  He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He does not vote for Bonds and Clemens.

Chris Haft – 98/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He added Raines, Schilling, Sheffield and Trammell to his ballot last year. This is another good chance for a Mussina pickup as he does not vote for Bonds and Clemens.

Paul Hagen – 98/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He also voted for Lee Smith, Trevor Hoffman, and Billy Wagner.

John Harper – 90/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. Last year he added Jeff Kent and Gary Sheffield to his ballot and voted for Billy Wagner. If he thinks Kent, Wagner, and Sheffield are lost causes he could add Mussina. He does not vote for Bonds and Clemens. This is another good chance for a pickup.

Mike Imrem – 100/100 Tango score.  He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and McGwire, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He is one of the 31 Sosa voters. I suspect  Sosa voters are also going to support Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez.

Gabe Lacques – 98/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He added Larry Walker to his ballot last year.

Mark Lancaster 100/100 Tango score.  He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. Last year he dropped Walker to add Tim Raines. He added Bonds and Clemens to his ballot last year. This might mean he’s willing to drop someone for Mussina or at least add him in one of those three spots.

Mike Lekfow – 96/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and McGwire, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He also votes for Jeff Kent and Lee Smith.

Rob Mooney –  95/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He is also one of 92 Fred McGriff voters. I suspect McGriff voters will give a lot of support to Vladimir Guerrero. He also added Bonds and Clemens for the first time in 2016.

Tracy Ringolsby – 98/100. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He added Lee Smith to his ballot last year and voted for Billy Wagner.

Carl Steward – 100/100. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot.

John Tomase – 90/100. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, McGwire, and Trammell, which means he has four open spots on his ballot. He doesn’t vote for Tim Raines, so we think he adds Raines and Mussina this year.

Marc Topkin 87/100. Our 3rd lowest Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and McGwire, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He also does not vote for Raines, but votes for McGriff and Sheffield.

Les Carpenter 100/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot.

Frank Clines – 91/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, Trammell and McGwire, which means he has four open spots on his ballots. Mussina has a good chance to add him. He also votes for Larry Walker.

Vic Feuerherd – 98/100 Tango. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He also votes for Lee Smith and Billy Wagner. As Ryan Thibodaux points on The Tracker this the last year Feuerherd can vote for the HOF.

Rick Gosselin – 95/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot.

Steve Herrick – 95/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He does not vote for Bonds and Clemens. This another good chance for a new Mussina vote.

Alan Hoskins – 82/100, the lowest Tango score on the list. He is the only voter who publicly stated he voted for Mike Sweeney (who got three votes). He also voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has four open spots on his ballot. He also supports Sammy Sosa and added Bonds and Clemens last year.

Steve Kornacki- 83/100 Tango score, the second lowest on the list. More below.

Warren Mayes – 90/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He does not vote for Bonds and Clemens, but does support Smith and Wagner.

Drew Olson – 100/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, McGwire and Trammell, which means he has four open spots on his ballot. Mussina has a good chance to add him as he also votes for Schilling.

Joe Ostermeier – 96/100 Tango score. See below.

Dave Reynolds – 100/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He does not vote for Bonds and Clemens, but does vote for Kent and Walker. His vote is a possible pick up.

Greg Wong – 100/100 Tango score. He voted for Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means he has three open spots on his ballot. He does not vote for Bonds and Clemens.

Note
Other voters like Bob Nightengale, Dennis Maffezzoli, John Seah, Jayson Stark and others either have only two people coming off their ballot or have voting trends so bizarre it makes predicting what they might do extremely difficult.

Other Possibly Vote Pickups
In this section, I’m going to consider all public ballots regardless of how many names were on it or when the ballot was released. I’m going to break down each of the people leaving the ballot and see where there is room for Mussina to pick up votes.

Nomar Garciappara Voters
Nomar only had five public supporters. Peter Abraham and Gary Hyvonen also voted for Moose. Steve Kornacki did not but voted for Nomar, Griffey, McGwire, and Trammell. The other two voters also voted for Griffey and Piazza, so they will have three openings. Mussina could add a voter or two here.

Jim Edmonds Voters
Six of these eight already voted for Mussina. We covered Earl Bloom. Joe Ostermeier will have four new openings on his ballot as he also voted for Trammell. We like Mussina’s chances to pick up these two voters.

Mark McGwire Voters
As you read, a lot of McGwire voters with 10-man ballots did not vote for Mussina. Out of all 40 public McGwire ballots, only 11 of them also included Mike Mussina. Mussina should pick up some votes here as all of them also had Griffey and 38 out of 40 had Piazza. Four McGwire voters only voted for 9 people and including  Piazza, Griffey, and Trammell, which means they will have five open spots.

Alan Trammell Voters
Of Trammell’s 138 public voters, only 11 of them also voted for Mark McGwire. All of those 11 also voted for Griffey and Piazza, which means they each have four open spots on their ballots. Mussina could pick up some votes here, and from the 127 other public Trammell voters. It’s hard to know what to make of Trammell voters from 2016, because many of them (38 actually) added Trammell for  his final year on the ballot. Seventeen of the 38 dropped someone else from their ballot to add him. If some of these dropped votes come back to replace Trammell, Mussina’s chances of picking up votes goes down significantly.

CONCLUSION
Patrick is going to disagree with this but I don’t see Mussina adding more than 15-20 votes this year. There simply isn’t enough open ballot space. Voters with three open spots will have to pass on one of the three new serious candidates (four if you count Posada) AND disregard all the other people on the ballot that they haven’t voted for yet (names like Kent, E. Martinez, Schilling, Sheffield, Smith, Sosa, Wagner, and Walker). Those who haven’t voted for Bagwell, Raines, and Hoffman will have to pass on them too. Of those who voted for Mussina last year, 25 did not vote for Bagwell, 22 did not vote for Raines, and 55 did not vote for Hoffman. If voters want to put those three players over the 75% mark, Mike Mussina will not gain many votes.

PATRICK’S REBUTTAL

I don’t think Posada will pull many votes. Good player, great Yankee, but he won’t get much support.

I have the benefit of a bit of hindsight, but so far, Ryan’s guess looks low. There have been 12 public ballots so far, and of those voters, eight of them did not vote for Mussina last season. Of those eight, he’s already added two new voters. That’s a pretty good start.

The George Willis add came out of left field. Willis decided not to vote for Bonds or Clemens this season, while also bailing on Curt Schilling and Trevor Hoffman. In their stead, he added Mussina, Jeff Bagwell, and Edgar Martinez.

This strikes me as strategic voting. Bonds and Clemens are clearly not getting elected this season. Hoffman is close enough that he has time to get in and one lost vote won’t matter. Willis may have put them on the back burner in the interest of getting Bagwell elected this season and off the ballot; moving Edgar–who really needs the help, and fast–along the pipeline; and moving Mussina–who does need help but not like Edgar.

The other add was from Carl Steward, who had three spots open on his ballot, as he voted for Trammell, and the two Hall of Famers. To me, that looks like Mussina might have been the eleventh person on the ballot.

The other wild card is Curt Schilling. He’s already been dropped by two voters. We kind of figured this could happen, and it could open up some more votes for Mussina.

I think he’s got 35-40 hanging out in there.

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