I am, as usual, late to the party. I usually look forward to the Hall voting, but I have become a bit disillusioned with it in recent years. Look, I understand that a lot of voters have different views on the whole PED thing than I do. My view is that if it was not illegal in the game and so many others were doing them, then what is the point in keeping those players out of the Hall? It was the way things were at the time. Other than Rafael Palmeiro, none of those players tested positive or were suspended. Does that make it okay? No, but then we have some less-than-savory characters in the Hall of Fame already. Paul Molitor had a major cocaine problem. Tris Speaker was a member of the KKK. Ty Cobb was a racist and possibly killed someone. Obviously the difference is that none of this effected what those players did on the field. But Gaylord Perry was a cheater, throwing a spitball for his entire career. And he's in. So I don't really get the indignation that voters have towards these players and I am starting to think the voting needs to be changed.
I saw someone comment in a post once about doing a special Steroid Era vote like they did with the Negro Leagues where a committee would get together and vote a number of players in and then not deal with the era again. I kind of like that idea. Maybe the plaques would say that these players were voted in by that committee. I don't know.
So anyway, I think what really killed things for me this year was the Veterans' Committee ballot. I was not as interested in the BBWAA ballot because I was already annoyed with the Veterans' Committee. I firmly believe Dwight Evans should be a Hall of Famer. He was a terrific player who dropped off the Hall ballot after three years. But he was not even on the ballot this last year. He was eligible under the new rules to be on. He should have at least been on the ballot. I am not bothered by the managers that got in, all three deserve it, but I think Evans deserves to be in.
So I was already annoyed and pessimistic before we got to the vote. Boston did not have many players with a realistic shot. But I had grown up watching all of the players on the ballot, so it was interesting enough for me.
I was a huge Alou fan. He is one of the many players from this ballot that I used to collect when I had a number of minor player collectors. I mostly remember him from his days with the Expos, Marlins, and Astros. He was a great hitter, but he is definitely a product of the era. He is not a Hall of Famer.
The fact that he is still not in is a travesty. Bagwell was one of the greatest first-basemen of all time. And all the voters have against him is some suspicion. What a crock.
I honestly do not understand why he even made it to the ballot. I remember him as a frequently ineffective reliever with the Mets and Orioles. He lead the league in saves once. To be a Hall of Famer as a closer, you have to be among the very best for a long time, and Benitez does not come close to qualifying. How the hell did he even get one vote?
Biggio was one of my favorite players growing up. I can not believe he is not in either. He fell two votes short. How many players were impact players at catcher, second base, and center field over their career? And he had over 3,000 hits. Seriously, he should be in.
I am not going to spend a lot of time here. He was a Hall of Fame quality player before the steroid suspicions. He is the all-time home run leader, and he won seven MVPs. He should be in.
Our first player with Red Sox ties. A good contact hitter, but little else. Again, I am surprised he was even on the ballot.
Like Bonds, Clemens was a Hall of Famer before the steroid rumors started. Clemens was perhaps the greatest pitcher of all time. And he spent much of it with the Red Sox. Clemens was one of my first favorite players (after Wade Boggs), so I want to see him in, and as a Red Sox.
I remember Durham had a pretty good rookie season for the White Sox and had several decent seasons for Chicago. His numbers look a little better than I thought they would, but he is not close to a Hall of Famer.
I always enjoyed watching Tom Glavine for the Braves. He was my favorite of the Braves aces personally. His case is all about 300 wins and longevity, otherwise he is not as strong as Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling, two pitchers who received very little support.
I suspect Gagne would not be on the ballot if it were not for his 2003 season. He was the best closer in baseball for three seasons, but after that he went downhill quickly. He spent an ill-fated part of 2007 with Boston.
Gonzo was absolutely terrific in 2001 with the Diamondbacks. And he had a few other nice seasons as well, but like Alou, he was a product of the times. Sure his numbers look great, but a lot of players id from this time period.
Here's something else that bothers me, how did Jacque Jones get on the ballot, but Trot Nixon did not? Jones played ten seasons and had a .277/.326/.448 line with 165 home runs. Nixon played twelve years and had a .274/.364/.464 line with 137 home runs. Neither are close to being Hall of Famers, but Nixon should have been on the ballot if Jones was.
Another player with Red Sox ties, but he did not have any cards from his time with them. Jones had a great 2000 season when he tied for the league lead in saves but not much else before or after that.
Kent should be in. One of the greatest offensive second basemen of all time and an MVP in 2000. His case will probably build over time.
I remember LoDuca having one good season with the Dodgers. How did he even make the ballot?
Surefire Hall of Famer. No doubt about it. He should have been unanimous.
I always liked Edgar. I think his case is hurt from the late start, the Mariners were dumb for not getting him in earlier. He is also hurt by being a DH. But he should be in.
Mattingly was already past his prime when I became a fan. I never liked him, but then he played for the Yankees and seemed vastly overrated to me. Perhaps because I did not see him at his best.
It's amazing what the magic numbers mean. If McGriff had hit just seven more home runs, he might be in already, maybe. He was a great player for a long time, but maybe not quite a Hall of Famer.
Another steroid case, but another player I believe should be in.
I have come around on Mussina. He was never a true ace with the Yankees, but he was with the Orioles. He was a great pitcher for a long time. His case should build over time.
I remember him as a Twin and a Blue Jay. Like Mattingly, I missed his prime. But I have looked at the numbers and I do not see him as a Hall of Famer. The ERA does not do it for me.
Loved him in 1995 and was a huge fan in 2001 with the Red Sox, but that is pretty much it for Nomo. He was another player I collected.
Palmeiro is the poster boy for the steroids allegations. Although with him they were not allegations. He was suspended. He also had 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. And now he is off the ballot.
The greatest offensive catcher of all time. He should be in. Despite what Murray Chass thinks.
Raines was another player whose prime I missed. He was a good player with the White Sox when I became a fan and then became a part-timer for a few years with a bunch of other teams. For a few years in the 1980's though, he was amazing. I think he should be in.
If you look at the numbers, Rogers has as good a better case than you would think. Still not a Hall of Famer.
I think it's his wins total that is keeping him out. His vote total decreased dramatically but he has an excellent case. He was 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA with 3,116 strikeouts. He was runner-up for the Cy Young three times and was a terrific postseason pitcher. He should be in.
An all-or-nothing hitter. Sexson was a big power threat for the Diamondbacks, Mariners, and Brewers. He had 300 home runs, but was never one of the best players in the league.
Smith is a closer that I think should be in. He was one of the best closers for a very long time and retired with the saves record. He also spent some time with the Red Sox.
Nice player, great defensive first-baseman. Not a Hall of Famer.
600 home runs, one of the great home run races in history in 1998, three plus seasons of 60 home runs. Should be in. Steroids likely keeping him out. Lots of run-on sentences.
Surefire Hall of Famer. A massive force in the early 1990's.
Middle relievers just don't make the Hall of Fame. He was a very good one but definitely not Hall of Fame level.
I think Trammell should be in. He was every bit as good as Cal Ripken and Ozzie Smith, his contemporaries in the 1980's at shortstop. Another player whose prime I missed.
Walker is interesting because his numbers are terrific. But he played for the Rockies for a long time, so there is no telling whether his numbers were him, or the park. It will be interesting to watch.