Monday, January 9, 2012
My (Non-Existent) Hall Of Fame Ballot
The newest class of baseball's Hall of Fame will be announced today, and though I don't have an actual ballot for the Hall -- injustice! -- that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion about who belongs in and who doesn't. Combine that with the fact that I have a blog, and you know I'm going to share said opinion whether it matters or not.
So I decided that I'd let you know who I would vote for that is eligible this season, and give a little explanation as to why.
Tim Raines: Raines was closer to the end of his career when he joined the White Sox, but even then, he was still pretty god damn good. He's probably the greatest lead-off hitter to play this game that wasn't named Rickey Henderson, and the fact is that if he didn't spend so much of his career playing in Montreal, he'd already be in.
Barry Larkin: This is a slam dunk. He was the best offensive shortstop of his era and he also happened to win 3 Gold Gloves while Ozzie Smith was still playing. If you do have a Hall of Fame vote and Barry Larkin wasn't on your ballot this season, then you should really just give the damn thing to me and let me vote for you.
Mark McGwire: If you didn't already know this about me, you'll find out in the future that I don't care about steroids. Mark McGwire put up amazing numbers while shoving needles in his ass. So what? He did it off of pitchers who were doing the same damn thing, and in an era where just about everyone was using steroids. He was still one of the best players in the game. Not a great hitter overall, but a huge force in any lineup.
Rafael Palmeiro: See McGwire for the steroid issue. One of the sweetest strokes you'll ever see and he finished with a career OPS+ of 132 while getting 3,020 hits and 569 home runs.
Jeff Bagwell: Since you already know how I feel about steroids, imagine how annoyed I am by voters leaving Bagwell off their ballots because they think he may have used steroids. This despite the fact that there was no actual evidence ever found on him. During the 90s when Frank Thomas was the greatest right-handed hitter we ever saw, Bagwell was right there with him.
Edgar Martinez: Last time I checked, the designated hitter was a part of this game we call baseball. It's been around for 40 years now. It's about time those writers who still desperately cling to their childhood just come to accept that. Edgar Martinez was never a man you wanted to see at the plate when he was facing your team. Edgar had a career OPS of .933 and was a career .312 hitter who never hit less than .267 in any full season. Oh, and the year he had that .267 average? HE WAS 41 YEARS OLD.
Larry Walker: I don't give a damn about Coors Field. Did it inflate his numbers a bit? No doubt, but even if you deflate them they're pretty damn impressive. Mix in his 3 batting titles and 7 Gold Gloves and, I mean, come on.