TMS Hall Of Fame Ballot

Earlier this week I decided to ask everyone here at the Saloon to do their own 2007 Hall of Fame ballot that we could post and discuss. Well, a few days following the actual election and 1,000's of online articles about the HOF later, here it is.

Chaim, the Governor, and myself all contributed to this. Martin Gramatica hasn't been seen much since the Cowboys game, so he gets a free pass. Brant Brown however just dropped the ball. Get it? Dropped the ball, HAHAHAHAHAhahah....um heehee....erm...ugh.....I'm dumb.


Chaim's Ballot

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not voing for any closers. Sure, some are deserving and I wouldn't be upset if Gossage got in, but if you do that, you're opening the floodgates. Then you have to let Lee Smith in. Then the million others that will eventually all break his old saves record. Pretty soon we'll be enshrining Jose Mesa and Bobby Thigpen.

And then there's McGwire. Well, if I vote for Lou Ferigno, than I'd have no excuse not to vote for Bonds come his time. Or hell, even Canseco. And I'd rather watch a 'Armed and Famous' marathon than to cast those votes. Sorry guys.

Ripken and Gwynn: Can we discuss how asinine it is that there are actually voters that did NOT vote for these guys? Take Ripken for example. Eight voters chose to leave him OFF the their ballots! Now if we figure in the two jackasses that left their ballots blank, that still leaves six guys that voted, but did not vote for Ripken. Huh? "Oh he was ok, but he was no Dave Concepcion." Completely baffling. I would like to hear their rationale for the omission but fear that even the most thought out explanation would still lead to me punching them in the face. Voting privledges should be henceforth revoked for anyone that did not vote for these guys. Their lack of common sense and knowledge qualifies them for a position in the Bush cabinet, but not a Hall of Fame vote.

Andre Dawson: Sure this is a Cubs blog (though you wouldn't know it most times), so I'm biased. But c'mon, the Hawk was a stud languishing in obscurity for most of the 1980's. Basically the National League version of Jim Rice. The guy was a five tool player with unbeatable jeri curl to boot. Gimpy knees hurt his chances some in his latter years, but when he was on top of his game no one was better. And we let Ozzie Smith in for his defense (ooohh...he does backflips! Yay! Do it again!), but outfielders get totally ignored for their defensive prowess. Dawson had a cannon. He could stand flat footed against the ivy and hit a baby perched on top of home plate. He was just that good.

Jim Rice: See Dawson above. Like peas in a pod, if you vote for one, you can't in good conscience not vote for the other.

Bert Blyleven: He gets no love, but it was he, not Sutcliffe, who was the real bearded wonder. 5th all time in strikeouts, 9th in shutouts and 287 wins playing for some pretty crappy teams. Basically a Tom Glavine with more strikeouts and less playoff appearances.

Jack Morris: Kind of like Dawson and Rice go hand in hand, so do Morris and Blyleven. In fact, that might make for an interesting double date at Applebees. He led all pitchers in the 80's in wins, complete games, starts and innings and was clutch in the postseason. Bonus points for the 1980's mustache.

Tommy John: What can I say? I'm a sucker for longevity and getting sugeries and diseases named after oneself. That's why they voted in Lou Gehrig, right?


The Governor's Ballot


Cal Ripken & Tony Gwynn: I'm not going to waste anyone's time rehashing these guys' accomplishments because even a novice baseball fan knows what they've done. I'll just say the fact that they weren't unanimously elected is a testament to how screwed up the current Hall of Fame voting system is. I'll also throw in a heartfelt GO AZTECS for me and Tony.

Mark McGwire: I'm as appalled by the steroid situation in baseball as anyone, but three things stand out here: 1. There is no proof he used anything, 2. It wasn't banned by MLB if he did, and 3. With that in mind, there is no way a hitter of this magnitude should be kept out of the hall. Beyond his career numbers, including 49 HR as a rookie in 1987, his 1998 chase of Roger Maris' record brought MLB back from the brink of death after the 1994 strike.

Albert Belle: This guy is a world class douche bag, but is also one of the most terrifying hitters of the 1990s. His numbers speak for themselves though, from USA Today:
Belle led all players in the decade with 1,099 RBI. He is one of only four players (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmy Foxx are the others) to have eight consecutive seasons of 30 home runs and 100 RBI. In 1995 he became the first player to get 50 home runs and 50 doubles in the same season.

His power numbers are more impressive than Kirby Puckett, a first round HOFer, and 12 seasons is plenty of playing time to evaluate his career. Sadly, HOF voters could not see past their personal animosity towards Albert and he will be dropped from the ballot after this year. If being an asshat trumps great on-field numbers, should we go ahead and evict Ty Cobb from the Hall?


Chip's Ballot

A HOF voter can choose up to 10 players for the ballot. Most do not vote for the full ten, but dammit they're not me. Just like when I'm drunk and insist on spending every last dime I have on me, even if it means buying a 50 cent bag of Cheez-Its. Nothing's worth doing unless you do it to the fullest. I just wish the ballot could go to 11.

Cal Ripken & Tony Gwynn: Duh.

Goose Gossage & Lee Smith: There's been a lot of talk from the naysayers about closers not being HOF-worthy. Look, if these two guys go in, I doubt that Ugueth Urbina will be next in line or anything. Goose wasn't merely a closer like we think of today. Back then guys would typically throw 2 innings of relief to close, sometimes more. Goose was his own setup man for Christ's sake, and he still mowed down batters at an alarming rate. Someone once told me too that Goose retired from baseball finally not because he couldn't pitch any more, but because no ballclubs were allowing him to get shitface drunk in the clubhouse like they used to. The likelihood of that being true is pretty small, but dammit I like to believe it's true which makes Goose fucking awesome in my book. Oh and Lee Smith holds the all-time saves record. That should count for something. What other major stat is a guy a leader of and not in the Hall of Fame. Let's just get these two out of the way and we won't worry about closers again until Trevor Hoffman and Mo Rivera are eligbile. Agreed? Good.

Mark McGwire: Read every article that argued why he should be in the Hall this week. There. Now I don't have to write anything further on this.

Jim Rice: My guess is that he gets in next year along with Gossage. Here's another guy that has had a shitload of stuff written about him as to why he should be in. And for all the statistical spins people put on different player's careers, this one I found on Wikipedia I always liked.
Only nine other retired ballplayers rank ahead of him in both career home runs and batting average. They are: Hank Aaron, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams.
That's pretty tough to argue against.

Andre Dawson: Easily one of my favorite players as a kid. The man was a force playing in Montreal, and even after repeated seasons of playing on artificial turf tore the shit out of his knees, he still gutted it out and played like a stud. He essentially played the second half of his career constantly nagged with injuries and still kicked ass. Career OBP? Who gives a shit? Who do you writers think you are? Billy Beane?

Bert Blyleven: Thirteen more wins and this guy would've been in by now. I truly believe that. I think he will eventually get in there. I mean if Don Sutton is in, then why the hell not Bert? Wikipedia has a killer section in his entry about his career as a color commentator. Check it out, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. I only wished he was calling Cubs games. We need a talk show with Bert, Steve Stone, and Rick Sutcliffe. It would be fantastic. Let 'em split a bottle of Jim Beam and talk about the latest stories in baseball.

Don Mattingly: Don't give me this shit about Donnie Baseball not playing long enough. The man had only 221 fewer at bats than Kirby Puckett but still has more home runs and RBI's than him as well as a career .307 AVG. He was also one of the best defensive first basemen of his era. You say being a good defensive first basemen wasn't important? Tell that to Billy Buckner and Leon Durham. If want more arguments for Donnie, go talk to my brother, who will undoubtedly comment on this later.

Dale Murphy: Nobody hit more home runs in the 80's. The guy won back to back MVP awards. Yeah his AVG wasn't the greatest but when you can consistently drive in runs who really cares? Another statistical shortfall like Blyleven. Give the Murph two more homers and what would the voters' view then be?

That's my 10 I guess. Apologies to Jack Morris, Tommy John, and Scott "the missing link" Brosius. Alan Trammell probably should be in, but only if we can induct him and Lou Whitaker as a pair. They can share a plaque and everything.

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