What an Honor

Oh what rapture it is to second-guess.  For years I have stayed behind my shield of maladroit opinion feeling free to blast away at those “experts” for their incomprehensible votes and stultifying opinions.

Ah, but those days of being the dilettante of the keyboard may soon be ending.

One of the great advantages of being a member in good standing of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance is the opportunity to cast votes three times a year. We vote for the All-Star teams, post-season awards and the Hall of Fame. Now I am finding out for myself that this isn’t as easy as it seems.

I was honored to submit my first Hall of Fame ballot – perhaps the most significant activity of each year. I take this deadly serious. As I scanned the list of this year’s candidates I realized that most had great careers. I was allowed to vote for up to ten players. This would be easy if I voted for those players whom I witnessed that were consistently among the top at their positions during their careers. But the Hall of Fame should be an exclusive club for truly exceptional players not a hangout for popular “really good players” as recent inductees have been (Andre Dawson and Jim Rice to name two).

This year’s candidates were no exception. Players like Harold Baines, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell and Don Mattingly. All were certainly good players but none in my opinion are “Hallworthy”.

Then there was Raphael Palmiero and Mark McGwire. Sorry, no cheaters allowed. Did you hear that Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez?

My selections are made based on a number of career metrics and I used the Baseball Reference as my main resource

After my selections, I was surprised to see six players on my ballot. After all, based on my exalted standards, six seemed a little high. But after an exhausted review, there was no one I felt I could eliminate. So, here in alphabetical order are my chosen six with a short rationale for each.

Roberto Alomar 2b   2nd Year Eligible   

Overall, Alomar was one of the best second basemen of the past 50 years. His RAR (Runs Above Replacement) is outstanding and he is third all-time in Def Games as a Second Baseman, 25th in the power-speed group and finished with a lifetime average of exactly .300. He will most be remembered for the execrable excrement he hocked at an umpire during an argument at home plate. Yes it was lamentable but one incident in a 17-year career should not be considered a disqualification.

Jeff Bagwell 1b   2nd Year Eligible

“Bagpipes” was a long time member of Houston’s killer B’s (along with Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman.) He was the Rookie of the Year in 1991 and the MVP in 1994. He is 21st all-time in OBPS, 23rd in adjusted batting wins. By standard measures, he has a lifetime .297 average with 449 home runs.

Bert Blyleven P   Too many years qualified 

Anyone who has read my blog over the past three years knows how strongly I feel about the failure to elect Blyleven. There is no, repeat no, logical reason to leave him out. His time is NOW and he ought to finally get in. If not I will find everyone who did not vote for him and publicly flog their stupidity.

Barry Larkin ss    2nd Year Eligible

The leader of the resurgent Big Red Machine of the early 90’s, Larkin’s metrics are very similar to that of Alomar’s.

Jack Morris p   10th Year Eligible

One of the toughest pitchers of his generation, who can forget the classic pitching duel between Morris and Tom Glavine in the 1991 World Series when he went 10 innings in what is considered one of the best post season pitching performances?

Morris’ metrics measure up well against current Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Red Ruffing, Burleigh Grimes and Jim Bunning.

Larry Walker  of   1st Year eligible

I was truly surprised when I reviewed Walker’s career and found it to be on a par with players like Duke Snider, Johnny Mize, Joe DiMaggio and Chuck Klein. That’s good enough to merit my vote.

The recent passing of Ron Santo brought with it the usual lament that he wasn’t elected to the HOF even though he deserved it. This was just Cubs’ fans wishful thinking. Yes, Santo was a terrific player, a 16- time All- Star. Yet his cumulative metrics do not merit election.  He does not compare well with any third basemen now in the Hall.

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  1. Jason MacAskill

    December 14, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I’d personally replace Morris with Raines, but to each his own. Any specific reason(s) you didn’t feel Raines deserved the nod?

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