2012 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Vote (on your honor) for no more than 10 candidates.

Poll is public.

You ARE allowed to discuss and justify your choices (tho I don’t know why I need to say that).

Larkin, Trammell, Bagwell, Raines, Walker and Edgar.

I go back and forth on Edgar, I lean toward including him right now.
I’m still not sure about McGwire.

Raines and Morris.

I’m not sure what I have against Larkin but he just doesn’t pass the sniff test for me. All in all a pretty thin group, I think a lot of guys who’ve been waiting a while will finally get in.

Also, it’s a fucking travesty that it took this long for Ron Santo to get in.

Barry Larkin: No reason at all he shouldn’t have gotten in last year, he’s one of the top shortstops of all time. His years being overshadowed by Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken hurt him a little bit in the publicity/public awareness department, but I think this is his year.

Jeff Bagwell: Also no real reason he shouldn’t have gotten in last year. There are a lot of unfounded rumors of him and PEDs, with absolutely zero evidence. He was a tremendous player. The only reason to keep him out would be to wait so he and Biggio can enter the Hall together.

Tim Raines: Absolutely yes. If Larkin was overshadowed by Ripken and Smith, then Rock was simply buried by the presence of Rickey Henderson during his time in the majors. Rickey and Raines revolutionized the leadoff spot, and he’s every bit worthy of Hall recognition as anyone else let in in the last 5 years.

Edgar Martinez: Just a tremendous hitter that just did it year after year. He’s a marginal vote, and going forward would be the absolute base for Hall inclusion or exclusion. I’m not going to be heartbroken if he doesn’t make it.

Larry Walker: Yeah, he played a lot in Coors, and that helped his numbers - but he’s very similar to Martinez as a hitter, and he played in the field every day for nearly as long. If I’m putting Edgar in, I simply cannot come up with a reason to not put Walker in.

Mark McGwire: I have two thoughts on this. 1) everyone is aware of what sort of context Big Mac made his offensive surge, as well as the context of the entire MLB at the time, and you simply cannot exclude an entire generation of baseball players from the Hall because MLB did a shit job of doing their job. 2) On second look, McGwire’s numbers may not be Hall worthy on their own - yeah, there’s a shit-ton of dingers in there, but the rest of his game was pretty terrible. He didn’t hit for average, his on-base ability wasn’t all that good until pitchers started really fearing him, and in 16 seasons barely made it over 1500 hits. Either way, he was still a pretty amazing hitter who hit the ball harder than anyone in the history of time. He gets my vote.

Rafael Palmeiro: He’s a total douchebag who embarrassed the hell out of himself at that congressional hearing. But he was one of the most consistent offensive forces in the game for two solid decades. I have a very soft spot in my heart for players who end their careers with more walks than strikeouts, and Raffy qualifies. He also gains points for that completely ridiculous Gold Glove in 1999, since it serves as the perfect example of what a worthless award it is.

Honorable Mention but no vote: Dale Murphy. It’s really sad to look at the end of Murph’s career as he shuffled off to irrelevancy. He was supposed to be an icon (and was for that amazing 6 year stretch), but he faded hard. I know I read something somewhere about some degenerative condition he developed, but I can’t find it, and must have been attributing it to someone else. Either way, he’s in my new Hall of What Coulda Been, as an inaugural inductee along with Bo Jackson.

Man, Lee Smith gets no love here. I voted for him, Bags, Larkin, Rock and Edgar. Larry Walker and Jack Morris are both right on the cusp for me. I didn’t vote for any known PED users.

I’ve flipped-flopped on Smitty several times (and think Bernie’s been getting a raw deal from the writers so far, based on partial ballots)-while on the one hand he pitched most of his career in big hitter’s parks, even if you adjust for that, he isn’t all that close to Rivera or even Hoffman or Wagner. Relevant factoid: Smith’s K/9 was 8.7 (in a time when K rates were lower), but gave up 7.9 H/9. Trevor Hoffman was at 9.4, but his H/9 was 7.0. But not all of that I suspect is the ballparks.

Bagwell, Larkin, Walker, Williams, Palmeiro, McGwire, Raines. Went back and forth on Walker and Williams; decided to put them both in. If I had to choose between them, I’d probably go with Williams.

Larkin, Smith, McGriff. Crime Dog in particular, because he seems to have suffered most for playing clean in the steroid era. Outstanding player whose numbers paled in comparison to the gaudier PED guys’.

Lee Smith owned the saves record for 13 years and is probably more deserving of the HOF than other closers like Sutter, Fingers and Gossage.

Smith was never a dominant force like Sutter, and was far less durable and versatile as Fingers or Gossage. Lee’s most redeeming quality is that he never imploded, and was kept on as a workable reliever for a long time. He was never dominant.

How did Crime Dog suffer more than Bagwell did? Extremely similar numbers, yet Bags did it in 300 fewer games - and also without PEDs.

Bagwell is rumored to have used PEDs. If that’s false, then he has suffered as much or more. If it’s true, then he’s one of the skunks whose misbehavior has ruined Crime Dog’s chances. I do agree that Bags should not be penalized for rumors that appear to have zero evidence to support it. So, I could probably vote for him without holding my nose.

To me, owning an all-time record for more than a decade is worth something. He may not have dominated the way Sutter, Fingers, or Gossage did, but he was consistent and racked up the saves. For me, being able to put “all-time saves leader in the history of baseball” is kind of a big deal, even if a couple people have since passed him.

I went with Larkin, Morris, Smith, Raines, Martinez, Trammell, and Walker.

There is absolutely no reason why Jeff Bagwell should not be in the Hall of Fame. It’s ridiculous.

(The other people on my ballot are Larkin, Raines, Trammell, Walker, and Martinez.)

Those rumors are entirely baseless. If you’re concerned at all about guys like McGriff, then you shouldn’t be giving any weight to garbage rumors fabricated out of nowhere. A lot of voters last year who didn’t vote for him followed up with something like “there isn’t any evidence to these rumors, but they’re floating around so I’ll wait a year”. IMO, that’s pretty dispicable.

Sure, but only for a stat that means something. Saves are the Hallmark greeting card holiday of baseball statistics.

(Sorry if I seem all worked up about this - I’m really not. I just really get into the HOF vote, especially when Murray Chass* logic starts seeping into the broader national dialogue.)

*He’s an idiot sportsblogger who loves Wins and clutchiness, and should have been put to pasture decades ago.

He had some inflated HR numbers in the heart of the steroid era. He is associated with Caminiti. No one will vote for Sosa or a bunch of other “tainted” guys on similarly thin pretexts. There’s a very short list of players who have anything substantially more than rumors indicting them. Why Bagwell is such a travesty I don’t understand. He might be innocent, he might be guilty, we don’t know. If you think it’s a travesty to keep him out on rumors you’re going to have to go to bat for a whole bunch of other guys too.

Your broader point is correct, but I don’t recall Bagwell’s home run totals jumping by 30 overnight. I was feeling generous today, so I voted for Larkin, Martinez, Bagwell, McGriff, Raines and Trammell.

I heard recently that throughout baseball history, teams holding the lead in the 9the inning have won about 90% of the time. The modern age of the closer hasn’t changed that. (Sorry, I can’t find a cite at the moment – I’ll keep looking when I have a few minutes). That being the case, I don’t disagree with you. Nevertheless, we’re talking about a stat everyone knows about, in a position that has become very high profile in the last 20-30 or so years. To ignore it and the players that get paid based on it I think ignores the reality of a modern team’s makeup and the importance the game puts on it, even if that importance, from a strictly statistical standpoint, is realtively minimal.

Which is why I also voted for McGwire and Palmeiro, both known PED users. There’s simply no way to exclude an entire generation of players for something that was far more widespread than anyone wants to admit. If someone wants to exclude known users, I’m going to throw a fit. But to withhold a vote based on baseless rumors is simply absurd in my mind.