The schedule of JAWS write-ups for the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame candidates.
The BBWAA's 2015 Hall of Fame ballot contains 17 holdovers and the same number of newcomers. The former category includes players who received at least 5.0 percent of the vote last year and haven't yet spent 10 years on the ballot (15 for the trio of grandfathered players). Here at JAWS Central, I've always felt that every candidate deserves a review. Below you'll find the schedule for write-ups of each player as well as links to the previously published pieces in this series; while subject to revision, my goal is to work through the entire field by Dec. 27, the date that ballots must be postmarked.
Especially after having studied the modern history of the voting (which in my eyes begins in 1966, when the BBWAA returned to voting on an annual basis), it shouldn't be taken as a given that the population of voters and interested onlookers has made up its mind about every candidate. New voters gain eligibility, old ones retire (or surrender their ballots) and perspectives change over time, augmented by outside events and new information — which is especially important in sabermetrics, because our best estimates of how to measure player value shift, sometimes slightly, sometimes radically. In 2013, for example, Baseball-Reference.com (whose version of Wins Above Replacement informs JAWS) and FanGraphs agreed on a unified replacement level that forced a minor recalibration of my system.
Thus in addition to publishing articles on the seven best-credentialed first-year candidates, I will be cycling through each holdover again here at SI.com, and updating their profiles as needed. While the outline of each player's career hasn't changed, his outlook with regards to recent voting results and the crowd on the ballot may have. Roughly speaking, the schedule that editor Ted Keith and I have constructed goes around the diamond, through pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders, with the occasional minor adjustment to accommodate my other responsibilities at SI.com.
Nov. 24: Introduction to JAWS
Nov. 24: Burning questions for the 2015 ballot
Nov. 25: One-and-done hitters
Nov. 26: One-and-done pitchers
Nov. 27: Craig Biggio
Nov. 28: Jeff Bagwell
Dec. 1: Roger Clemens
Dec. 2: Randy Johnson
Dec. 3: Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling
Dec. 4: Lee Smith
Dec. 5: Pedro Martinez
Dec. 8: John Smoltz
Dec. 9: Mike Piazza
Dec. 10: Don Mattingly and Fred McGriff
Dec. 11: Mark McGwire
Dec. 12: Sammy Sosa
Dec. 15: Carlos Delgado
Dec. 16: Jeff Kent
Dec. 17: Nomar Garciaparra
Dec. 18: Alan Trammell and Tim Raines
Dec. 19: Barry Bonds
Dec. 22: Gary Sheffield
Dec. 23: Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker
Dec. 24: Brian Giles
Dec. 26: My final ballot for 2015