09 January 2012

My Annual Baseball Hall of Fame Rant

This afternoon the class of 2012 will be announced for the Baseball Hall of Fame. You can take a look at who is on the ballot at Baseball Reference along with some career stats.  The voting members of the BBWA are allowed to select up to 10 players on their ballot.  Undoubtedly a couple of tools will turn in a completely blank ballot because their self-important pricks, but that's an entire rant on its own.

This morning I'm going to fill out my pretend ballot, just like so many other bloggers and fans do, to make their case for various players.  Here is how my 2012 ballot would look.  And yes, there will be a full 10.

Barry Larkin - The most likely returning candidate to be elected this time around.  One of the best offensive shortstops of his era with a solid glove, Barry spent the bulk of his career in Ozzie Smith's shadow.  Barry was the heart and soul of Reds lineup for well over a decade.

Jack Morris - For God's sake put him in already!  Ignore the 3.90 ERA and focus on what's really important, which is Jack's ability to be one of the most dominant pitchers on the mound throughout his career. This game alone trumps any concerns about his career ERA in my mind.  Seriously, go find me another pitcher to throw a 10 inning complete game shutout... in Game 7 of the World Series.

Lee Smith - I really thought the addition of Gossage and Sutter to the HOF would've pushed Smith over the top at this point.  Finally relief pitchers were getting acknowledged and it seemed only rational that one of the greatest relievers and former all-time saves leader would get his moment in the sun.  It's not like letting Lee Smith in creates a slippery slope.  Right now, Smith, Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman are the only 3 relievers I want to see added to the HOF in the future.  After that, no one else is even in the ballpark of discussion.

Tim Raines - If there had never been a Rickey Henderson, and Tim Raines had played the prime of his career in a big market, he'd already be in the Hall.

Edgar Martinez - Let me preface this by saying I hate the DH rule.  I've never cared for it and it saddens me to think in the near future both leagues could have it.  Nonetheless it would be foolish for me to not acknowledge someone that played the position better than perhaps anyone ever has or ever will.  If the HOF is going to recognize a specialized position like closer, than DH deserves its recognition too.  Paul Molitor played more games at DH in his career than any other single position.  Does that devalue his career?  Reggie Jackson hit 101 of his 563 career home runs at DH.  I'm just saying, it's not so cut and dry here.

Alan Trammell - A great shortstop that is criminally overlooked.  Trammell was amazing on defense and provided a great bat during a time when very very few shortstops did.  I'm in the boat that says a special induction should be done for the infield duo of Trammell and Lou Whitaker.

Don Mattingly - Don't give me the bullshit excuses about longevity.  If Kirby Puckett can be in, so can Donnie Baseball.

Dale Murphy - This is Murphy's 14th year on the ballot, meaning 2013 is his final shot.  With guys like Rice and Dawson finally getting in, Dale is the last guy on my list of folks who keep being overlooked and not truly examined given the era they played in.  Murphy's prime was at a time when speed trumped power, astroturf was king, and hitting more than 35 home runs was considered godlike.  If you're against voting for players tainted by the "Steroid Era", then support some great players that were amazing without PEDs.

Bernie Williams - Four straight Gold Gloves at center field.  During an 8-year span (1995-2002), Williams batted .321/.406/.531.  Hands down the most prolific hitter on the New York Yankees during their dominant reign in the late 90s.  Take away the pinstripes and his numbers hold up on their own.

Jeromy Burnitz - I probably should've voted for Jeff Bagwell, but dammit Burnitz will be one and done on the HOF ballot and he's still one of my favorite guys to play for the Cubs in recent years.  Bagwell will still be on the ballot in 2013.

So that's my ballot.  Feel free to agree or disagree with it all you want in the comments.  I enjoy a good baseball argument.  Congratulations ahead of time to whoever gets elected, if anyone does.

P.S. - Rafael Palmeiro can go DIAF.

Fact: Topps created the Big baseball card series because Don Mattingly was too fucking awesome to be contained on a standard sized card.


The Hundley said...

Agree 100% on Murphy and Rock Raines.

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