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OTBB’s Hall Of Fame Ballot

Every year, Off the Bench releases its official Hall of Fame ballot, throwing our hat in the ring with suggestions for the writers who really get to choose. This year, however, the exercise has a bit more significance. The esteemed Baseball Bloggers Alliance has asked us to be an official voter in its HOF poll. Additionally–with the approval of OTBB but to the chagrin of many–Deadspin has semi-legally purchased a HOF ballot and is allowing fans to vote on who should be on it. As such, we needed to come up with our ballot and, in doing so, whittle the litany of qualified candidates down to a final 10. What follows is that process, and all of its circular logic, silly digressions, and sabermetric bumbling. Enjoy.

Sean Morash:

Hey Max, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance wants us to cast our ballot for the Hall of Fame and I want to participate in Deadspin’s voting as if I actually had a ballot. Let’s settle the Off The Bench 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot first.

Max Frankel:

Sounds good. Just as long as Barry Bonds is on it. Is he even on the ballot this year?

Sean Morash:

He is. He was on it last year and received a grand total of 36%.

Max Frankel:

Really? How did I miss that? HOF balloting is a stupid system.  In that vain. I fully support the Deadspin thing. (This might be a first.)

Sean Morash:

Let’s go alphabetically here so we consider everybody, and then at the end pare our list down to the necessary 10.

Max Frankel:

I like it. Alphabetically it is!

Sean Morash:

I truly hope that you supported their unbelievable coverage of Manti Te’o’s fake dead girlfriend because they broke the news.  First up would be Moises Alou.

Max Frankel:

I support anything Catfish related. And I’m out on Moises Alou. Though I could see him getting Tim Raines-esque support in like 12 years.

Sean Morash:

332 home runs, 303/369/516 career slash line is surprisingly good.  It’s a no for me on Alou as well.

The era in which he played really hurt him.

Max Frankel:

He’s definitely a good player. But we gotta be stingy with so many good names on the ballot.

Shocked and impressed by that slash line.

Sean Morash:

Yeah, he lost two prime years to injury or else his home run total might be more Hall of Fame worthy.  Jeff Bagwell, to me, doesn’t feel like a Hall of Famer.  He seems like he’s getting the support though.

Max Frankel:

Bagwell’s tough. I think that normally he would be a guy but he gets overshadowed by some of the other guys. I don’t buy that steroid connection, and, honestly, I don’t really care. I think I’m in on Bags

Sean Morash:

One last Alou note: At age 40, he hit .341 in 360 plate appearances.  How come he never got any love? Maybe reporters didn’t like talking to him because he smelled like urine.

Max Frankel:

Him and Jorge Posada

Back to Bagwell. 15 year career, ROY, MVP, .408 career OBP, 12 straight years of 20 or more homers

Sean Morash:

And he did not stick around to pad his counting stats.  He retired at age 37.

Bags definitely makes our first round of cuts.  Armando Benitez is on this year’s ballot.

That could be our stat of the day.

I know the pitcher win/loss rules are stupid, archaic, and poorly planned, but Benitez has a losing career record.

Max Frankel:

Benitez was baaaaad. Just ask any now-bald mets fan exactly how bad. The human heart attack. A perfect early 2000’s Met.

Sean Morash:

A perfect Met.

Max Frankel:

I’m out on Armando. Who’s next?

Sean Morash:

Craig Biggio belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Max Frankel:

Yes. Yup. Done

Sean Morash:

Do we need to go into detail?

I say no.  It’s our blog, we do what we want.

Max Frankel:

Agreed. Why don’t we just give people his baseball reference page if they don’t believe us:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/biggicr01.shtml

Sean Morash:

I’m tempted to do the same thing with Barry Bonds.

Max Frankel:

Well hold on now. This brings us to the steroid issue.

Sean Morash:

Look, it was not against the rules of baseball at the time AND he never failed a steroid test.

Max Frankel:

Fair point. And definitely more concrete than my opinions about him being good enough anyway. I think we take a stand and put him in.

Sean Morash:

I really want to make a convoluted argument connecting Barry Bonds and Monica Lewinski.

Max Frankel:

Try me

Sean Morash:

It really doesn’t make sense.  It’s something about lying, but still keeping your job and doing an excellent job of it.

I’ll think about it a bit more and get back to it.  Perhaps later in our discussion.

Max Frankel:

Was Monica Lewinsky a good intern? How were her memos? Should we just move on?

Sean Morash:

Well I’m sure Bill Clinton thought she did a good job at certain tasks.

Sean Casey has fewer career walks than Barry Bonds did from 2002-2004.

He’s out.

Max Frankel:

Sean Casey was good. Career .302 hitter. No where near a HOFer though.

Sean Morash:

If I remember correctly, he’s a monster in MVP 2005.

Max Frankel:

I was playing that this morning! Great game. Unfortunately for Sean, MVP ’05 does not Hall of Fame make. Next!

Sean Morash:

Roger Clemens.

Max Frankel:

Hmmmm

If we put in Bonds, cognitive consistency says that Clemens has to go in too…. but I don’t really want to.

Sean Morash:

It’s his second year on the Ballot, having garnered 37.6% last year.  He had 354 career wins, he had arguably one of the three or four best pitching careers ever.

Max Frankel:

Yeah but he’s a jackass.

Sean Morash:

There’s far more evidence that he used steroids than there was with Bonds.  He’s still in court over perjury charges.

I don’t like him. I don’t want him in the Hall of Fame.  Baseball should put him in the same Hall as Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe.

Max Frankel:

I disagree. The Hall of Fame is a museum. That’s it. It’s not supposed to be this hallowed hall where only Saints get in. It’s a museum of baseball history and baseball’s history has Bonds and Clemens in it. They are two of the best players ever and as such should be ‘enshrined’ whether we like it or not. Maybe we could compromise by not letting Roger give a speech of something.

Sean Morash:

You know what should really happen? We should keep deferring his election.  So everytime he picks up a baseball, we say that he’s making a comeback to baseball.  Remember that minor league game he pitched in a few summers back? That should restart his Hall of Fame clock.

Can the Hall of Fame do that?

Max Frankel:

See that’s not the worst idea. That minor league game was stupid. I’m big on punishing people for being stupid.

Sean Morash:

I’m spending way too much time reading this Bloomberg article on the Clemens trial. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-18/roger-clemens-acquitted-of-federal-charges-over-steroid-use.html

Max Frankel:

Give us the key points.

Sean Morash:

Andy Pettitte said Clemens used steroids and they had needles, cotton and vials with both Clemens’ DNA and steroid residue.

There’s also some ugly details about B12 shots being commonplace in Major League locker rooms.

Max Frankel:

Isn’t B12 a vitamin. Vitamin B12. I don’t care about vitamins. I don’t even care about HGH. Anabolic steroids are another issue but  I’m not so sure we all haven’t taken the wrong approach on this steroid thing being all outraged. Malcolm Gladwell had some interesting thoughts.

Sean Morash:

Anyway, I agree with you.  I think he is a huge part of major league history and it would be a terrible oversight to ignore the players who dominated an era.

Yeah, it’s a Vitamin, but I don’t like the idea of guys taking shots of anything in the locker room.

What did Gladwell say?

Max Frankel:

If you or I get tennis elbow or something like that, we can go to a doctor and get some cortisone and be back out there in like a week. It’s very run of the mill and totally acceptable. If a pro athlete does it, we lampoon him. We get all caught up in the Bonds’ and Clemens’ but most of the guys that do this are fighting for a job and because the rules prohibit them from getting access to the same medical care that normal people have, an arm issue that should sideline a pitcher for two weeks will knock a guy out for a season.

Sean Morash:

I absolutely agree that the best medical treatment should be available for professional athletes, but we get caught up in it because we don’t want cyborgs running around pretending to be human.

Max Frankel:

So is Clemens in or out? and who is our next guy?

Sean Morash:

He’s got to be in.  I just don’t like it.

Ray Durham is up next.

Max Frankel:

Ugh. It’s not final though yet. If we have to bump him for somebody we can. That means we’ve go 4 in so far. 6 spots to go.

Ray Durham isn’t getting one of them

Sean Morash:

Neither is Eric Gange

Max Frankel:

Gagne was great for a while there. Maybe the most dominant season by a reliever. 55 of 55 at one point.

In saves

Sean Morash:

He even won the Cy Young in 2003 over Jason Schmidt and Mark Prior.

Three to four good years from a reliever do not make a HOFer.

He’s also still just 37.

Max Frankel:

Absolutely. Still nice to look back on it. Is he that last reliever to win the Cy Young?

Sean Morash:

Yeah, I think so.  Kimbrel finished fourth this year.

Tom Glavine is next.

Max Frankel:

Glavine’s in. Lefty with 305 wins. 22 year career. 2  Cy youngs,  3.54 career ERA over more than 4400 innings.

Sean Morash:

Yeah, but I’m worried that we may have to make him wait a year with so many viable candidates on this ballot.

Max Frankel:

Like Clemens? I think that Glavine’s got to be one of the top 10. I’d put him and Maddux 1-2 for must get in this year.

Sean Morash:

Maddux is at the top of the list, but I don’t know if I agree on Glavine MUST get in this year.

I think he SHOULD get in this year.

Max Frankel:

Let’s put him on, he’s our 5th, and move on. We’ll readjust as necessary at the end to get a final 10.

Sean Morash:

Agreed. Luis Gonzalez is an interesting candidate.

2591 hits, 350+ homers, signature moment.

Max Frankel:

Not really. 354 homers, .283/.367/.479 slash. Moises Alou is more qualified. No go on LuGo for me

Sean Morash:

Yeah, if anything, Luis Gonzalez’s worse credentials make me more appreciative of what Alou was able to accomplish.

Max Frankel:

Gonzalez was the best hitter on a good team for one year. That’s about it.

Sean Morash:

Jacque Jones must be honored to be on the Ballot.

Same with Todd Jones

Max Frankel:

I love Jacque Jones. Glad he made the cut. Even Todd Jones doesn’t think Todd Jones should get any votes. Moving on.

Sean Morash:

Jeff Kent, 377 homers, .290/.356/.500, won an MVP award.

Great career for a second baseman, but not a HoFer.

Max Frankel:

Still no. Another guy who you just don’t want to give it to. That awful mustache and the fact that he never had a teammate that liked him. Moises Alou numbers out of a second basemen isn’t bad though.

Sean Morash:

I’m excited for when Todd Helton gets his due recognition.  The year Kent won his MVP, Helton hit .372 with 42 home runs and 147 RBIs and finished fourth in the voting.

Max Frankel:

He’ll be a interesting discussion topic in 5 years. Until then, who’s next?

Sean Morash:

Paul Lo Duca

Max Frankel:

No. Good for him making the ballot though.

Sean Morash:

Greg Maddux

Max Frankel:

Hmmm, in 23 years he won 4 Cy Young awards (in a row), 17 gold gloves, made 8 All Star games not to mention 355 wins, a 3.16 career ERA in over 5000 innings, and a WHIP under 1.15. I’m not sure there’s ever been a better pitcher over the course of so many games.

Sean Morash:

In the steroid era of increased offense.  He’s one of the only guys ever with a chance at 100%.

Max Frankel:

He won’t get it.

It’s stupid but nobody will. Maddux deserves 100%, Griffey deserves 100% and Rivera deserves 100% but idiot voters have this ridiculous hang up about it. I will never understand it

Did you know Maddux had 3 straight years with more than 260 innings pitched? Wow.

Sean Morash:

He was great.  Which brings us to this guy: 309 HRs .312/.418/.515

Max Frankel:

Is it someone who I’ll say should be in? Those are good numbers.

Sean Morash:

It’s Edgar Martinez and I don’t think he deserves to be in.

Max Frankel:

Edgar Martinez hit only 309 homers? Wow. I think if you put those numbers in a speedy center fielder it’d be a no brainer. As is, I’m with you. Out.

Sean Morash:

Yeah, Edgar is completely out if we’re not putting Alou or Kent in.

Max Frankel:

I think Ortiz will be the first DH to get in.

Sean Morash:

Don Mattingly

Max Frankel:

Mattingly was very good. For a very long time. But he wasn’t an offensive force in an era where hitters can and did dominate. There’s a reason he hasn’t made it, or even come close, after so long.

Sean Morash:

Agreed. He wasn’t dominating.

Max Frankel:

Moving right along.

Sean Morash:

Fred McGriff.

Max Frankel:

Same thing as Mattingly in my mind

Sean Morash:

I wrote a post about how McGriff should be in the Hall of Fame that can be read here: http://offthebenchbaseball.com/2012/01/09/the-crime-dog-gets-robbed-again/

Max Frankel:

Would you put him in this year though? On this crowded ballot? We’re at 6 names and we’re only half way through the alphabet.

Sean Morash:

I’m arguing that the Crime Dog is a better candidate than Jeff Bagwell.

Max Frankel:

Really? I don’t see it. I’d rather keep Bags on then McGriff.

Sean Morash:

Well, maybe not.  But still, he’s 26th on the all time HR chart.  His rate stats are better than Eddie Murray (a first ballot guy), and he had 10 years of 30+ homers.

Max Frankel:

I’d say he’s a good 13th year or veterans committee guy. How close did he come last year?

Sean Morash:

There’s only 12 guys with more 30 homer games and 5 of them are known steroid users (Sosa, ARod, McGwire, Bonds, Manny).

He had 20.7%.

Max Frankel:

A 30 homer game would be impressive.

Sean Morash:

And I think we may need to vote for him so that he at least stays on the ballot.

I’m keeping him around at least until the next round of cuts.

Max Frankel:

He’ll go on the short list for the short list.

Who’s next?

Sean Morash:

McGwire.

Max Frankel:

This isn’t easy. What do you think?

Sean Morash:

We ignored steroids with Clemens and Bonds.

Max Frankel:

But both of them have better numbers than Big Mac.

Sean Morash:

True. And so much of Mac’s resume is built on power.

Max Frankel:

I honestly don’t think he deserves it. Roger Marris isn’t a HOFer. I think McGwire just goes down as a power hitter of questionable girth and that’s all.

Sean Morash:

I’m having a hard time putting Bagwell or McGriff in, but leaving out a guy with 100 more homers than either of them. Of note, it’s his 8th year on the ballot and he got 16.9% last year.  He’s not on a path to make it.

Max Frankel:

Lower Average, lower OBP, lower slugging. More homers in an era where everyone hit homers. He shouldn’t make the ballot. That it won’t matter because he’s not getting in either way is just another reason why. I’m all for practical voting.

Sean Morash:

Agreed, moving along we come to Jack Morris.

Max Frankel:

Uh oh now we’re getting into dangerous territory for the next few guys. I’m out on Morris.

Sean Morash:

Me too.  He got 67% of the vote last year, which traditionally means that he’ll eventually make it in.

Max Frankel:

He’s been on the ballot forever though.

How many years does he have left?

Sean Morash:

And I don’t see it.  He had a 3.90 career ERA and never finished in the top two in Cy Young voting.

I think this is his last year.

Max Frankel:

Good. I’m sick of talking about Morris. I think he gets in but it gets rightly overshadowed by the bigger names. We all swallow hard and move on with a Jack Morris plaque annoyingly in Cooperstown.

Sean Morash:

I’m saying in 100 years, nobody is going to read Jack Morris’ plaque.

Max Frankel:

Or they will and they’ll ask their dads what this guy is doing here. Dad will skim the name, shrug, and walk away to go find Ted Williams.

Sean Morash:

I’m not putting him on my ballot.  Jack Morris doesn’t deserve baseball’s highest honor.

Max Frankel:

I’m sure he’s a nice guy though.

Sean Morash:

Moving on, we’ve got Mike Mussina.  I would have said no without further thought before I read that piece by David Schoenfeld pleading for the delegate to vote for Moose.

Max Frankel:

NO I hate this. I watched Mussina my entire childhood. He is not a Hall of Famer. He just isn’t.

Sean Morash:

The article is here: http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/42598/mussina-should-be-slam-dunk-hall-of-famer

Anyway, he’s got the fourth highest WAR on the ballot and won 270 games.

Max Frankel:

Yeah yeah. This one kind of defies my usual logical and predictable approach. Mussina’s numbers are good, not great but good, but just watching him proved how not Hall of Famey he is/ was.

I’m standing firm on this one. No Mussina.

Sean Morash:

I agree with you, but it’s close.  Especially after reading that article.

Max Frankel:

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Who’s next?

Sean Morash:

He doesn’t FEEL like a hall of famer.

Hideo Nomo doesn’t make it, but I do love his name.

And his windup.

Max Frankel:

Fun player. Great windup. Brutal in video games though. Makes it take like 10 minutes longer to play a game

Sean Morash:

Oh great point! When in doubt, refer to video game fun-ness.

I think Rafael Palmeiro is basically Mark McGwire Lite.

Max Frankel:

Yeah. And he lied to Congress. And he did fail a test. That’s got to violate the morals clause.

Sean Morash:

Let’s not get into the morals clause.

Max Frankel:

Who’s our next guy, we’re already at like 3,000 words here. Palmiero isn’t getting in.

Sean Morash:

Mike Piazza

Man, this ballot is insane.

He’s got to be in.  Greatest hitting catcher ever.

Max Frankel:

This ballot is crazy. As is the length of this conversation. Got to be our longest post ever. Agreed though. Pizza man has to be in. Great hitting catcher. New York Icon. It goes Johnny Bench, Mike Piazza, everyone else.

.308 average. 427 homers. ROY. All as a (disgustingly awful but still) catcher.

Sean Morash:

Yeah, I think he’ll get in too.  It could be cool to see Piazza and Tom Glavine go in together in that they were a battery for a while

Do you think Bill Simmons would be proud of the length of this?

Max Frankel:

I thought Braves fans tried hard to forget that Mets period of Glavine’s career.

And yes, considering we’re only at ‘P.’

Sean Morash:

Ehhh, came back to the Braves and we treated him like shit.  And realistically, the Mets overpayed for a 37 year old pitcher (they gave him five years, $50 Mil).

Anyway, Tim Raines might belong in the HoF, but I’m not convinced.

Convince me.

Max Frankel:

High OBP, 808 stolen bases. Numbers stack up very well vs Tony Gwynn, nickname was apparently “Rock” and there’s a website devoted to getting him in that looks like it was designed on Windows 98: http://raines30.com/

That do the trick? I remain unconvinced  and usually this type of saber metric cause gets me going.

Sean Morash:

That website is hilarious.

He’s fifth on the all time SB list, and has over 1500 runs. If he didn’t get in, that run total would be the highest among non-HOFers not named Rafael Palmiero.

Max Frankel:

The fact that there are people who care enough to make that site might change my mind.

Sean Morash:

We’ll bump him along, but I expect him to get cut later.

Max Frankel:

Sure. Who’s up now?

Sean Morash:

Kenny Rogers, who passes the video game test.

Max Frankel:

Kenny Rogers was unrealistically dominant in early 2000’s video games. Unfortunately not in the real thing.

Sean Morash:

He’s more famous for beating up that reporter.

Max Frankel:

And the Gambler is a great song.

Sean Morash:

Speaking of more famous than good, we come to Curt Schilling.

Max Frankel:

Ugh. I hate this Schilling controversy. He pitched 1 great game. Do you remember the media firestorm when he came over to the Red Sox? Or even the huge news when he went out to Arizona? NO? Me neither because he wasn’t good enough to cause one.

Maybe 1 great game is an overstatement, he was a great postseason pitcher. But he pitched on 3 world series winners over 20 seasons and still won only 216 games. I hope Brian Kenny doesn’t hate me for that.

Sean Morash:

You raise good points, but he did have a lower career WHIP than Maddux and finished second in the Cy Young three times.  I think the conversation changes dramatically if he wins two of those.

He also had 3000 strikeouts and played on some really bad Philles teams in the mid-90s.

Max Frankel:

If Mussina’s out I don’t know how Schilling can be in. I guess he might have a little more of that “feel.”

Sean Morash:

I agree. Mussina’s in over Schilling and we didn’t let Moose in.

We’ll now take a few minutes break as I consume Taco Dip and watch the end of this Ravens/Vikings game.

Max Frankel:

Fine by me. This Eagles game is absolutely crazy. There’s 8 inches of snow on the field and McCoy has 216 yards rushing.

Sean Morash:

Wow. Jacoby Jones just returned a kickoff for a touchdown after the Vikings took the lead with under 2 minutes left. There’s only two inches of snow in Baltimore.

So you’ll be seeing the finish to that Raven’s game for the next week on SportsCenter.  It’s no Auburn/Alabama but there were 5 touchdowns in the last 2:05.

Richie Sexson made this years’ ballot.  He certainly had Hall of Fame chin hair.

Max Frankel:

Is Richie Sexon Michael Morse 1.0?

Sean Morash:

Not at all a bad comparison. Morse needs to step up his facial hair game.

Lee Smith is on the ballot now for the 12th straight year.

Look, I don’t know how this guy keeps making it.  He hit exactly 1 career home run and Moises Alou’s slash line would still be impressive if we subtracted Smith’s (.047.090/.094) from it.

Max Frankel:

Smith was a pitcher.

Sean Morash:

Oh. Well that changes things.

Lee Smith, gotta be out.

Max Frankel:

Yeah. Another guy that was very good though. In that Mcgriff, Schilling category.

Sean Morash:

To me, he’s more in the Jeff Kent territory. Very good at what he did, but not to an extent that he takes stands out as a stuperstar.

Max Frankel:

Fair enough. Either way. He’s out. Who’s next?

Sean Morash:

J.T. Snow

Max Frankel:

Did they just put everyone whose name they remembered on the ballot?

Sean Morash:

JT never made an All-Star game and never hit 30 homers in a year.  I wish I knew the formula they used to make these things.  Is it just some drunk guy at the one bar in Cooperstown?

Somehow I feel like a certain friend of the blog (Shananimals) is involved.

Max Frankel:

She definitely helps. The 30 homer thing doesn’t bother me. But I feel like Snow got dragged along on Bonds’ coat tails. Maybe the formula gives extra points for saving the managers kid?

He was a defense first first basemen. Fine. But not HOF worthy.

Sean Morash:

How do you feel about Sammy Sosa?

Max Frankel:

He’s actually a tough one. He’s got a better case than McGwire.

He hit a lot of homers.

Sean Morash:

I think I want him in.  He hit 609 home runs, he’s the only guy to hit over 60 three times (think about that). If we’re putting Bonds in, then I think we need to put Sosa in.

Max Frankel:

I actually agree. Though it feels somehow dirty. I’m willing to cut him at the end if we have more than 10 and need to pair it down. Especially since he has no realistic chance of getting in.

Sean Morash:

Yeah, what is baseball going to do about this? Are we going to have some ridiculously good resumes before the Veteran’s committee?

Max Frankel:

I don’t know but they need to figure it out. There’s an entire category of no-brainers that have no chance via conventional means.

Sean Morash:

Frank Thomas: Absolutely, HoF.  He hit 521 homers, .301/.419/.555. Two time MVP and he hit 39 homers at age 38 in 2006 (Is that after the steroid crack down?)

We’re here putting guys like Thomas in, while leaving out players with better resumes (Palmiero, and McGwire) and it feels right, but doesn’t make logical sense.

Max Frankel:

Eh. I’m not that sold on the Big Hurt. Is his resume that much better than Edgar Martinez?

Sean Morash:

The BIG Hurt had over 200 more home runs than Edgar.

Max Frankel:

Yeah he could hit but he didn’t play defense. Like at all. And he was never “one of the most feared hitters in the game” which I feel like is some Hall criteria.

Sean Morash:

He won two MVPs!

Max Frankel:

MVPs, homers. I’m over it. What was his Iso power? His wRC+? That’s how you’ll get me on board.

Sean Morash:

You just went from asking if people feared him to asking for his wRC+. You’re reaching and I’m putting him in.

Max Frankel:

Fine. What’s next?

Sean Morash:

For the record, his career wRC+ is 154 (which is much better than Palmiero and in the neighborhood of McGwire’s 157)

Have you ever heard of Mike Timlin?

Max Frankel:

Of course! He was a reliever for the Red Sox bridging the Rich Garces and Kieth Foulke eras. I’m very well versed my Red Sox bullpen history.

Sean Morash:

Oh yeah, didn’t he wear his socks up? I think I remember him from that 2004 run.

Max Frankel:

“I think I remember him” isn’t a good way to start your Hall of Fame candidacy. I think we can move past Mr. Timlin.

Sean Morash:

Did you know Sammy Sosa is third on the career strikeout list?

Max Frankel:

As a pitcher? Otherwise that probably doesn’t help his candidacy.

Sean Morash:

Adam Dunn is fourth.

Max Frankel:

ech

Sean Morash:

Alan Trammell is next.

Max Frankel:

Adam Dunn would have had a shot at Cooperstown at some point if his career hadn’t started spiraling terribly downward in Chicago.

Sean Morash:

Completely agree.  Before he signed that contract, he was 30 years old with over 350 career homers.

Max Frankel:

And now he’s the World Champion 3 true results player.

Baseball reference has him just above Jeff Cirillo all time.

Sean Morash:

Alan Trammell seems like the perfect “belongs in team specific HoF, but not baseball as a whole.”

Max Frankel:

I think that’s what happened. It’s true though, if you make it that high on the strikeout list, it means you were good enough to stick around for a while. Who’s the next player?

Sean Morash:

Alan Trammell!

Max Frankel:

Oh. Well done. Alan Trammell has been on the list for forever and a half. There was a time that he almost came close (almost came close) but now there are way too many better qualified guys on the list. Sorry, Alan.

Sean Morash:

Last guy is Larry Walker.

I drafted Walker to my all time team, so that’s got to count for something.

Max Frankel:

Really? No Todd Zeile?

Walker was great. MVP, 3 time batting champ. I’m just not sure he’s at that level. Especially this year.

Sean Morash:

He hit .379/.458/.710 one year and finished 10th in the MVP. How is that possible?

Max Frankel:

Steroid Era? Stupid voters? There are some MVP results from the ’90s that make absolutely no sense. That’s one of them. His numbers, homers and slash line, are Moises Alou-esque, though, and we’ve been down that road before.

You know, Chipper Jones’ numbers from that 1999 NL MVP race look awfully suspicious.

Sean Morash:

I think he’s a step above Alou probably thanks to the Coors Field effect.

You shut your mouth.

Max Frankel:

Haha. Are we agreed that Walker’s out?

Also, Matt Mantei got MVP votes in 1999. Fun fact.

Sean Morash:

Yeah, maybe. If we cut too many guys though I want him and Moose back in the conversation.

Max Frankel:

Moose isn’t getting in. Anyway, what’s our list? I’ve got:

Maddox

Glavine

Bagwell

Biggio

Sean Morash:

Bonds

Clemens

Piazza

Max Frankel:

Sosa

Sean Morash:

McGriff

Max Frankel:

Are we digging that deep already? Do we only have 8 no brainers? You know, we don’t have to fill the ballot. Though that seems ridiculous this year.

Sean Morash:

McGriff is going on my ballot.  That leaves one spot for Mike Mussina, Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, or Curt Schilling.

Wait, we just discussed Frank Thomas. Thomas was in. That’s our 10.

Max Frankel:

Ok, I’m fine with that. I’m vetoing Mussina. I don’t like McGwire either. I’m good with either of the other two. If I had to pick I’d go with Schilling actually.

Schilling or Thomas?

I bashed Schill pretty hard. I can’t go back on that now. It’s gotta be Thomas. I’m cool with this ballot.

Sean Morash:

It’s full of the guys that FEEL like HoFers.

There’s a certain star power that you need to have.

Max Frankel:

I bet that makes you happy. I like it because it leaves off pitchers from the early 90s with one big moment. I hate those guys.

Sean Morash:

Here’s my question: what happens next year if nobody gets in this year?

Max Frankel:

How is nobody getting in this year? Maddox will get 90% of the vote. Biggio is getting in too. Bagwell may. Glavine likely will. The rest will be close.

Sean Morash:

I’m assuming Maddux, Biggio, and Glavine all get in, but let’s say the rest do not.  We’ve got even more of a logjam with Pedro, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Carlos Delgado, and Sheffield coming up.

Max Frankel:

Pedro’s in, so is Randy, so is Smoltz. Then we’ve got 7 spots for like 15 deserving players. We’ll have to do this again next year!

Anyway, since it’s been literally 8 hours and 51 minutes since we started this exercise, give the people our final list and let’s get out of here.

Sean Morash:

I can’t say we’re delving into this next year.

Our 2014 Hall of Fame ballot: Maddux, Glavine, Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa, McGriff, and Frank Thomas.

My computer’s dying… post this bad boy.

Max Frankel:

It needs some editing. I’ll get it up tomorrow (Monday). I’m off from work on account of Oklahoma has no snow plows and can’t clear snow that fell on Friday. I’ll leave the readers with this link, I promise it’ll make for a fun 10 minutes.http://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/awards_1999.shtml#NLmvp

 

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