Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Comments about a fictional HOF ballot

On the heels of the card bloggers fleshing out the players they believe should be Hall of Famers and maybe guys who shouldn't get there this year or ever - here are the 10 players on my 'what if I had a HOF vote' ballot.

Likely going in

Chipper Jones - judging from of his tweets, this guy is literally a no-brainer as far as a guy going into the Hall of Fame, but he was the golden boy prospect who became a good ol' boy for the Atlanta Braves for years.

Besides being a franchise legend, there is also a little 'fame' involved when he embraced the idea of playing in New York and being jeered by opposing teammates in the biggest city - there was a sense that he played for the moment, besides just being some bumpkin.

Jim Thome - I wouldn't give him credit for a 'clean' slugger who played in the steroid era, but the fact is that he has no such PED taint and he gets credit for a guy who wouldn't look out of place as an old-timey slugger from the 1950s-1960s.

Vladimir Guerrero - I loved him for years as an Angel with his ability to see ball, crush ball wherever it was pitched, he is 'my guy' as far as the guys who will probably be inducted.

Trevor Hoffman - because of the debate about the merits of a closer for the Hall of Fame, there is some doubt for every guy looking to get in Cooperstown as a short reliever.

Hoffman has been a guy who has snuck up as far as guy going in, but I could see where he just did his job for years where it's just enough - though he wasn't simply a one franchise guy, he probably gets credit for being with the San Diego Padres all of the years he was with the team.

Six others I'm dwelling on - all have some sort of PED taint and while I don't like the idea of the Steroid Era as an unsavory time for players doing all sorts of things to get over, all I can do is suspect whether a player did something, as opposed to penalize any number of them outright.

Barry Bonds - I loved the show he put on late in his career and obviously a no doubter if he wasn't the face of the PED taint; he was a perpetual a-hole, but at least it wasn't like he was trying to put on a public face; he had a certain arrogance, a certain confidence that made him more of a fascinating figure.

Roger Clemens - he was as much of an a-hole as Bonds was and maybe it's partly due to the rage but he was a little more accommodating to the media, so I still don't think he was as villified; the only thing odd is his late career surges in his late 30s through early 40s should be more suspect as a 'gotcha' if the everyone and their mother was doing it with Bonds' late career power surges.

Manny Ramirez - he's the guy who failed multiple tests and the writers didn't like the 'Manny being Manny' antics in the first place, but he was a great hitter that I'd probably pick him over Larry Walker though the experts would say Walker had the ability to be a 5-tool player [could hit for average, hit for power, field run, throw] while Ramirez was just kind of self-centered tool.

Gary Sheffield - he probably doesn't get the support because he wasn't afraid to speak his mind, but I'd probably pick him over Edgar Martinez; last I checked Sheffield has more than 200 home runs on 'Gar' and while the experts would probably throw the 'bad fielder' juju on Sheffield, at least he took the field over a guy who collected the bulk of his numbers as a DH.

Sammy Sosa - no pity parties for Sosa here, but after Bonds and Clemens are inducted, maybe there is some consideration for Sosa; from raw athlete to city icon to pariah, Sosa has come full circle but there doesn't seem to be any let up, any thaw for a guy who slugged 609 home runs and was once the toast of baseball.

My notable omissions would be Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina and maybe Billy Wagner - at some point, Schilling is going into the HOF on his on field accomplishments, but bless his heart, I have no problem making him wait for as long as he will have to.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

Love seeing Manny, Sosa, and Sheffield on your list. I left them off... mainly because I focused on my no-brainers. However one Bonds and Clemens eventually get in (and I have to believe they will eventually), those three guys will follow them.