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Hall of Fame ballots sent out
2006-11-27 12:01
by Bob Timmermann

Time for Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn join ascension into baseball's pantheon.

Time for lots and lots of hand wringing over Mark McGwire.

The candidates (number of times on ballot)

2006-11-27 12:25:23
1.   Cliff Corcoran
Blyleven's case has been covered well enough by Rich Lederer and others, but it's well beyond time that Goose and Trammell got in as well.
2006-11-27 12:30:23
2.   Shaun P
1 I'd be surprised if Goose doesn't make it this year or next; he was awfully close last year. I wonder if the Tigers' success this year will help or hurt Trammell, or not effect him at all?

Tommy John is another long-suffering candidate who deserves to be in.

2006-11-27 12:40:06
3.   Sam DC
No love for Devo White?
2006-11-27 12:51:08
4.   jakewoods
gossage is a must

and jack morris and blyleven should be too

how can the best pitcher of the 80's and a guy who is close to 300 wins and top 10 all time in k's not be in?

2006-11-27 13:02:09
5.   Brendan
Is this Garveys last year? I realize he won't make it via the writers(and I'm not sure he should regardless) but what are his chances with the vet committee? it seems to me that the veterans have tightened up their standards as well.
2006-11-27 13:06:29
6.   BALCO Lab Rats
Dawson should be in too.
2006-11-27 13:07:32
7.   Bob Timmermann
You can only be on the ballot 15 times.
2006-11-27 13:17:48
8.   Cliff Corcoran
No Devo, no TJ, no Morris, no Garvey. I could be sold on Dawson, but not when there are 5-6 guys who should go in ahead of him (Gwynn, Ripken, Goose, Trammell, Blyleven and I'll leave it to the individual to decide whether or not to include McGwire).

The argument against Morris is pretty much the inverse of the argument for Blyleven.

2006-11-27 13:42:23
9.   jakewoods
You cant be a voter and not include McGwire if your only reason is you suspect him of using steroids.

What about every other player who played from the 70's til now? Are you going to assume they did it to? Are you not going to vote for Gwynn because he played in the steroid era?

From all the guys who have gotten caught the past 2 yrs we now know that not only just power hitters use performance enhancing drugs.

Pitchers and slap hitters do to.

2006-11-27 13:43:57
10.   jakewoods
15 years ago I would have thought Eric Davis and Bret Saberhagen would have been locks.
2006-11-27 14:28:32
11.   dianagramr
My vote (and some comments on various people):
Harold Baines - nice career, but will you settle for the Home Version of our game?
Bert Blyleven - loooooong overdue
Jose Canseco - um .... NO
Dave Concepcion - see Harold Baines
Eric Davis - if not for the injuries ....
Andre Dawson - also long overdue ... so his teams never won anything ... so what?
Steve Garvey - see Harold Baines
Rich "Goose" Gossage - deserves it as much as Sutter
Tony Gwynn - no question about it
Orel Hershiser - a truly dominant starter for a few years there, but not quite "special" enough
Tommy John - if the award were based solely on longevity, maybe
Don Mattingly - see Eric Davis
Mark McGwire - I'm not here to talk about the past history of this player
Jack Morris - right behind Blyleven ... a true big game pitcher
Dale Murphy - see Harold Baines
Paul O'Neill - I'd want him on my team ... but not in the Hall
Dave Parker - truly dominant for a few years there, but not quite Hall material
Jim Rice - hmmmm .... tough call ... certainly made a career of bashing balls off and over the Green Monster .... below-average defense ... he might get in someday
Cal Ripken Jr. - no-brainer
Bret Saberhagen - see Eric Davis ... when Bret was healthy, his stuff was awesome ...
Lee Smith - of course
Alan Trammell - Trammell and Whitaker should BOTH be in there
2006-11-27 17:28:21
12.   Voxter


I really don't know what to think or say about McGwire; he never tested positive for anything that was banned, but he certainly looked bad in front of Congress. On the merits of his numbers, he's in, no question. Not being one to judge people guilty without conclusive proof, I guess I'd vote fo him.

Everybody else. Some of those guys are very good players, and Rice & Dawson are close, but I just don't see it. Rice had a lot of dominant years, but also a lot of mundane ones. Dawson was a good but profoundly flawed player who didn't get on base enough to be elite unless he batted .300, which he didn't do all that often. Morris, in particular among the guys who get a lot of support, doesn't belong in any meaningful sense.

2006-11-27 21:49:42
13.   KG16
If McGwire gets in, Canseco should as well.

Canseco - .266/.353/.515, 462 HRs, 1407 RBIs, 200 SBs (plus being the first 40/40 guy)

McGwire - .263/.394/.492, 583 HRs, 1414 RBIs

I'd say those numbers are pretty close.

2006-11-27 22:18:24
14.   StolenMonkey86
Ballot, Bold for players I'd vote for:
Harold Baines (1)
Albert Belle (2) - if he played out his contract with Baltimore, then maybe
Dante Bichette (1)
Bert Blyleven (10)
Bobby Bonilla (1)
Scott Brosius (1)
Jay Buhner (1)
Ken Caminiti (1)
Jose Canseco (1)
Dave Concepcion (14)
Eric Davis (1)
Andre Dawson 6
Tony Fernandez (1)
Steve Garvey (15)
Rich Gossage (8)
Tony Gwynn (1)
Orel Hershiser (2)
Tommy John (13)
Wally Joyner (1)
Don Mattingly (7)
Mark McGwire (1)
Jack Morris (8)
Dale Murphy (9)
Paul O'Neill (1)
Dave Parker (11)
Jim Rice (13)
Cal Ripken (1)
Bret Saberhagen (1)
Lee Smith (5)
Alan Trammell (6)
Devon White (1)
Bobby Witt (1)
2006-11-28 00:16:26
15.   Vishal
i'd vote for blyleven, ripken, trammel, gwynn, and maybe gossage, smith, and john, but those guys are more on the fence. i wouldn't vote mcgwire first ballot.
2006-11-28 00:25:44
16.   Voxter
13 - It's not close at all, considering the fact that McGwire's career SLG% is actually .588. I think you must have accidentally used his 2001 SLG% for his career. McGwire has massive advantages in both OBP and SLG.
2006-11-28 09:50:19
17.   KG16
16 - your right, my bad. But I doubt that many voters are going to look at OBP and SLG. As for the other numbers, Canseco scored 20 more runs, and had 251 more hits (including almost 100 more doubles).

Honestly, I think both guys are marginal cases at best. I don't know that I'd vote for either one if I had a vote, while they both had a great season or two, the total body of work seems lacking.

2006-11-28 11:22:00
18.   Voxter
I'd say McGwire had more than "a great season or two". He hit 50 or more homers in five straight seasons; he finished first or second in his league in home runs six times in sixteen years -- and that excludes one of his 50+ homer seasons, because he split it between Oakland and Saint Louis. He led his league in OPS twice and OPS+ four times; his lowest OBP between 1992 and 2000 was .393 and he twice topped .460 in full seasons; he slugged .600 + four times in full seasons and twice more in significant portions of seasons, and topped .700 in two of those full seasons. In his very worst season other than an 18-game cup of coffee in 1986, his OPS+ was 103; it topped 160 in eight full seasons. McGwire in fact had remarkably few mundane seasons; even when injured, he was a significantly above-average hitter. McGwire has the tenth-highest SLG% of all time (.588), a career OBP of .394, and the 11th-highest career OPS+ of all time (163), and the 7th-most home runs ever (583). Even adjusted for era and his relatively short career, he's one of the 30 greatest hitters ever. On his numbers, he's a no-doubter. The only thing that would keep him out is the steroids question. Period.

Canseco, on the other hand, topped an OPS+ of 160 just one time, in 1988. In other words, Canseco had just one season of hitting as well as McGwire did for his career. His OBP touched .400 exactly one time, in half-time play with the Red Sox in 1996. While Canseco was a consistently above-average hitter, he was not consistently excellent: Seven times his OPS+ was under 120, and several times it was under 110, which with his ludicrously bad defense probably made him a net negative in those years, at least once he was in his late 20s or 30s. He never walked as much as McGwire, he never hit for as much power, he struck out more, he played worse defense, and his best seasons were almost as good as McGwire's average season. He has edges in SB, and the one MVP award.

They are not comparable. In a vaccuum, McGwire is a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, and Jose Canseco is a guy who might back in on the strength of having been on some good teams and won that one MVP. Given all that we know, suppose or could ever guess about the two men, Canseco will never sniff the Hall, and McGwire will probably be in after doing a couple years of penance in down-ballot limbo.

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