A HOF Ballot that reflects my views

Last night I talked about the ex-Dodgers who got HOF votes and wondered why Gary Sheffield and Jeff Kent got such little support even though they clearly have enough credentials to get consideration.

I was reminded that each HOF voter only gets to nominate 10 players so when a plethora of viable candidates are on the ballot, someone is going to get left off.

With that in mind,  I decided to see what my ballot would look like and if I also would have left off deserving players.

This is who I would have voted for:

  1. Barry Bonds – arguably one of the top five hitters in baseball history deserves to be in the HOF even with the PED taint. We know how great he was before he tainted. This should be a no-brainer. I understand punishing him for cheating by making him wait one year, but that time has passed and any HOF without Bonds is crazy considering how loose the Bud Selig years were regarding PED use.
  2. Roger Clemens – I can’t stand Roger Clemens, but Rogers Clemens is a HOF pitcher by a considerable margin. This should also be a no-brainer for the voters.
  3. Pudge Rodriquez – The best AL catcher of his generation unless it was the guy who only got 17 votes. He caught in the major leagues from the age of 19 – 39. Even with such HOF players as Berra and Piazza he has the most hits/doubles/PA for any catcher in HISTORY. His defense however,  was his calling card and Pudge was dynamite behind the plate. There is a reason he has the 3rd highest bWAR in MLB catcher history even though his career OPS+ was only 106.
  4. Jeff Bagwell – the bar for HOF first baseman is very high. Mark McGwire did not make it. Norm Cash did not make it. Will Clark did not make it. Fred McGriff will not make it. Jeff Bagwell was a better version of Willie McCovey and Willie McCovey was great and in the HOF. Jeff had a faint PED taint, but just like Piazza you can’t keep him out based on supposition when you have been one of the ten best players at your position in the history of baseball.
  5. Rock Raines – Enough sabermetric experts have put forth his argument so I don’t need to do so. The best NL leadoff man of his era.
  6. Vladimir Guerrero – Vladimir is as borderline as they come for me. He was a great hitter, and fearsome presence, but when I see Dwight Evans, Reggie Smith, and Jim Edmonds on that outfield list of non-hall of famers I find it hard to vote for him. But I would vote for him because I would have voted for Dwight Evans, Reggie Smith, and Jim Edmonds long before I would have voted for Jim Rice or twenty other outfielders in the current HOF.
  7. Gary Sheffield – same place I put Vladimir. He’s not better than the three I mentioned above but he’s way better than so many already in. This list is full of baseball jerks (Bonds, Clemens, Sheffield, Kent) but he and Mike Piazza should be shaking hands at a HOF ceremony.
  8. Jorge Posada – I don’t know why Jorge has such little HOF support. He was a great hitting catcher on multiple World Championship teams. He ranks in the top ten with the best offensive catchers in just about every category. He had 6200 PA as a catcher so the DH thing does not hold water.  I don’t get how Raines is the sabermetric darling but Posada is not. He has the 3rd highest OBP for any catcher with at least 50 bWAR. All while hitting over 245 home runs as a catcher, something only seven other catchers in history have done.  Or better yet, read what Grant Brisbee has to say on the Posada HOF subject.
  9. Manny Ramirez – I’ve got room for him on my ballot and he’d get my vote, taint and all. One of the most dynamic hitters of his generation, he didn’t shy away from October he crushed it, hitting just as well against the best teams in baseball as he did the rest of the time.  By the time he tested positive in 2009 his HOF case was made.
  10. Jeff Kent – Kent rounds up the list. Defensive warts and all, the man played second base until he retired, and he did it because his bat was one of the most potent offensive bats to ever play second base. I made my case for Kent in the article yesterday.

So those are my ten.

You will notice only one pitcher and that was Roger Clemens. I can’t vote for Hoffman, I just think saves are the most overrated stat in baseball. Mariano Rivera will be the only closer I would have voted for the HOF.

Mussina and Schilling might have a case but not on my ballot this year when I only have 10 votes.

Fred McGriff was an excellent 1st baseman, he just falls out of the HOF case for me by a nose. It would not have bothered me if he made it, but I would not vote for him.

Yeah, I also left out Edgar Martinez. That is another whole kitNkabootle column




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