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    Monday, January 2, 2012

    BBA Hall of Fame Elections

    One of the elections the Baseball Bloggers Alliance does every year is a Hall of Fame election. Seeing as I’m a huge Hall of Fame buff, I could not wait for this year’s election. However, I think I may have tipped my hand with regards to my ballot. So, this will be more of a wrap up/final thoughts style piece.

    I used all ten slots on my Hall ballot this year. I voted for:

    Jeff Bagwell
    I find most of the arguments for keeping Bagwell out of the Hall ridiculous. I think the baseless steroid accusations are unfair, but those have been covered enough. The ones I’ve truly found bafflingly (as they started to show up, as of late), are the ones where people don’t think Bagwell measures up statistically. Those arguments border on insane. Yes, Bagwell fell just short with 449 home runs, but that’s while a) missing something like 80 games in his prime due to labor disputes, and b) playing a majority of his career in the Astrodome, which ate home runs for breakfast. What about the fact that Bagwell also had 488 doubles? Or 202 steals? Or a .297/.408/.540 batting line? Or that he’s 34th all-time with a 149 career OPS+? Or that he’s seventh all-time among first basemen in WAR, as per Fangraphs, with 83.9 (behind Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Pete Rose, Albert Pujols, and a pair of 19th century stars)? Trying to say his numbers aren’t that of a Hall of Famer is just flat out wrong.

    Barry Larkin
    Larkin still looks like the only candidate that will make it in this year. I was hoping that he and Bagwell would both go in this year-it would help clear out the ballot a bit before next year’s flood of candidates, and it would be nice to have a Hall class with two one-team players. It doesn’t look likely now, though.

    Edgar Martinez
    Edgar has attracted a majority of the stupid opinions among the non-Bagwell players on this year’s ballots, I feel like. The Designated Hitter is, in fact, a position, contrary to what some writers may try and argue. You cannot disqualify Edgar based on that. And then, there are the writers that will acknowledge the DH, but argue that you have to be “something special” to make it to Cooperstown. Well, Edgar was most certainly a special hitter; he finished with a career OPS of .933. That puts him 32nd all-time, above players like Hank Aaron (.929), Frank Robinson (.926), Willie McCovey (.889), Harmon Killebrew (.884), and so on. Going by OPS+, that made Edgar 47% better than a league-average hitter. That puts him tied for 40th with Willie McCovey, Mike Schmidt, Willie Stargell, and Jim Thome, and puts him ahead of players like Reggie Jackson (139), Chuck Klein (137), Billy Williams (133), Eddie Murray (129)...and those are just corner fielders known for their hitting. Basically, even if you think a DH had to be one of the forty or fifty best hitters in all of baseball history to make the Hall of Fame, Edgar Martinez still makes that cut-off.

    Fred McGriff
    McGriff is one of two players to not make my 50 Best list but make my Hall ballot. Really, I don’t see a reason to not vote for ten players (the maximum). If it were an unlimited amount, I would probably cap myself at the other eight that did make my list, but since I have fewer than ten picks this year (unlike last year), I have no problems giving votes to players who, in my opinion, just miss the cut-off. It’s almost certainly not enough to accidentally elect a player, and it keeps a player on the ballot for discussion for a few extra years. Besides, this is the last year that I’ll have spare votes for the foreseeable future, so I might as well use them.
    Mark McGwire 
    I’ve already gone into my thoughts on steroids, so I won’t hit them again. If you haven’t seen them, though, go here.

    Dale Murphy
    Like McGriff, I think Murphy falls onto the lower end of the borderline for the Hall of Fame, so I’ll vote for him while I have the free space. I won’t actively campaign for either of them, but I won’t mind if they get in (although I doubt either of them ever will).

    Rafael Palmeiro

    Tim Raines

    Alan Trammell

    Larry Walker
    I sort of ran out of additional thoughts to add on about these last four players. Oh well.

    1 comment:

    1. Love your ballot. I've got everyone here except Murphy and McGriff. Thought you might enjoy my four types of voters who left Bagwell off last year: