December 7, 2013

My 2014 Hall of Fame ballot submitted to Deadspin

For those unaware, Deadspin claims to have bought a Hall of Fame vote from an unnamed BBWAA voter to “make a mockery and farce of the increasingly solemn and absurd election process, and to take some power from the duly appointed custodians of the game's history and turn it over to the public.

“The voter will announce his/her name and motivations once his/her vote has been officially cast.”

Of course, there’s no proof that a voter actually sold his or her vote to Deadspin. And, if it is true, why would this voter reveal himself and open himself up to discipline from the BBWAA?

Regardless, Deadspin’s ballot is now open and I’ve already submitted my picks. Unlike the current voting process, fans are allowed to vote for as many players as they’d like. So, here’s my ballot.

Obviously In: Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza
One of the greatest right-handers of all-time, one of the best pure sluggers of all-time, and one of the best hitting catchers of all-time. Without question, these three are Hall of Famers. Maddux could even be the first unanimous inductee.

Should Be In: Tom Glavine, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez
It’s doubtful that any of these players will be inducted next year, but they should get in eventually. Glavine is one of baseball’s last 300-game winners, owns two Cy Young Awards and four other top 3 finishes, and has an excellent postseason resume. Bagwell and Martinez, like Thomas, were beastly in the Steroid Era without any known ties to PEDs. Biggio was a great second baseman and reached the 3,000-hit plateau. 

The Two Best Of The Steroid Era: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens
I’ve always been a baseball purist, but when it comes to the Hall of Fame I must make some exceptions. The Steroid Era is just another (low) part of baseball history. Baseball should just make it known, and keep their plaques in the Steroid Era section of the Hall of Fame. Even if you’re anti-PEDs, Bonds and Clemens seemed to have been clean for a good chunk of their careers and were already on their way to the Hall of Fame. My vote: IN.

Other Steroid Era Greats: Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa
These guys weren’t the greatest of the Steroid Era, but they were all good enough. McGwire’s 583 HRs, Palmeiro’s 3,020 hits and 569 HRs, and Sosa’s 609 HRs were clearly inflated by PEDs, but their astonishing records should not be ignored. My vote: IN.

Other Top Candidates: Fred McGriff, Jeff Kent, Jack Morris, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Tim Raines, Larry Walker
These guys all belong in the Hall of Good. Mussina was a great Yankee, but I don’t think he was one of baseball’s greats. My vote: OUT.

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