The Hall of Fame ballot is out!  Today I’m going to go through every player on the ballot and say yes or no.  I must also add that a Hall of Fame voter can only vote for 10 at most, so that’s how many I will cast mine for.  I’ll also go alphabetically . . .

 

Jeff Bagwell (.297/.408/.540, 149 OPS+, 79.6 bWAR, 63.9 JAWS, 80.2 fWAR, 78.1 WARP, 387 WS)

Bagwell frankly should already be in the Hall.  The only first basemen you can rank ahead of him are Gehrig, Foxx, maybe Pujols.  A part of what in my mind was the worst trade in baseball history (by Bill James’ Win Shares, he outscored Larry Andersen 387-3), which was mind boggling even at the time.  YES

 

Casey Blake (.264/.336/.442, 147 OPS+, 24.9 bWAR, 23.5 JAWS, 22.3 fWAR, 20.8 WARP, 116 WS)

He was serviceable for the Indians, otherwise, I’ve got nothing else.  NO

 

Barry Bonds (.298/.444/.607, 182 OPS+, 162.4 bWAR, 117.5 JAWS, 164.4 fWAR, 167.8 WARP, 704 WS)

I know that Bonds is not getting in any time soon.  But the fact of the matter is that:

  1. He had a Hall of Fame career long before everyone got all high and mighty about PED’s, and
  2. Even with everyone else juiced, he still dominated them.

He’d still get my vote.  YES.

 

Pat Burrell (.253/.361/.472, 116 OPS+, 18.8 bWAR, 17.6 JAWS, 19.0 fWAR, 26.3 WARP, 181 WS)

Actually had a better career than what I remembered.  But that doesn’t mean Hall worthy.  NO

 

Orlando Cabrera (.272/.317/.390, 84 OPS+, 21.4 bWAR, 20.6 JAWS, 24.6 fWAR, 24.2 WARP, 197 WS)

Famously part of the three-team deal that moved Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs and Cabrera to the Red Sox before their famous 3-0 comeback.  Solid, but the Hall isn’t about solid.  NO

 

Mike Cameron (.249/.338/.444, 106 OPS+, 46.5 bWAR, 39.5 JAWS, 50.7 fWAR, 44.3 WARP, 243 WS)

Cameron was a good player who made a little bit of a habit of robbing hitters of homeruns in centerfield.  He had good power, and once hit four homers in a game.  But he struck out 1900 times in his career and really only had two really good seasons.  NO

 

Roger Clemens (3.12 ERA, 143 ERA+, 3.09 FIP, 139.4 bWAR, 103.3 JAWS, 133.7 fWAR, 145.5 WARP, 437 WS)

He’s another one who gets my vote despite everyone else’s rage over PED’s.  To me the biggest crime he committed was allowing himself to be hypnotized into thinking he was a chicken before the championship game.  Poor leadership skills there.  YES

 

J.D. Drew (.278/.384/.489, 125 OPS+, 44.9 bWAR, 38.5 JAWS, 45.9 fWAR, 40.6 WARP, 205 WS)

Famously inspired “Boo Drew Night” in Philly after refusing to sign with the Phillies and instead went to an independent league to play before going to the Cardinals the following season.  Mostly provided good – even great – but uninspired feelings from fans.  That isn’t reason enough NOT to vote for someone, but he also really only had two all-star type seasons.  NO

 

Vlad Guerrero (.318/.379/.553, 140 OPS+, 59.3 bWAR, 50.2 JAWS, 54.3 fWAR, 63.8 WARP, 324 WS)

Quick comparison.  We see Vlad’s numbers.  Here’s another player’s:  .317/.359/.475, 130 OPS+.

Nobody is questioning Roberto Clemente’s Hall of Fame status.  Nor should they question Vlad’s.  YES

 

Carlos Guillen (.285/.355/.443, 111 OPS+, 27.7 bWAR, 25.9 JAWS, 25.4 fWAR, 26.4 WARP, 147 WS)

Acquired by Seattle in the Randy Johnson trade, Guillen actually had pretty good numbers for a shortstop.  The problem is that he was only a shortstop for eight seasons and was done as a player after only 11 seasons.  NO

 

Trevor Hoffman (2.87 ERA, 141 ERA+, 3.08 FIP, 28.0 bWAR, 24.0 JAWS, 26.1 fWAR, 26.6 WARP, 188 WS)

How much value does one put in saves?  Hoffman had 601 of them, but no one seems to know how to handle them.  While I understand how important the ninth can be, I still don’t see how getting three outs is much more significant than the previous 24, especially when everyone else already did what needed to be done to get someone the lead at that point.  NO

 

Jeff Kent (.290/.356/.500, 123 OPS+, 55.2 bWAR, 45.4 JAWS, 56.1 fWAR, 59.9 WARP, 339 WS)

Kent’s career really didn’t start until he was 29.  Up until that point he was a utility guy.  Going to San Francisco changed his career.  He’s one of the best offensive second basemen of all time, and while he was slightly better than average in the field, he was plenty good offensively.  But it was also an offensive era, and while a 123 OPS+ is nothing to sneeze at, it still doesn’t blow your mind like it should.  YES

 

Derrek Lee (.281/.365/.495, 122 OPS+, 34.3 bWAR, 30.7 JAWS, 34.5, 36.0 WARP, 233 WS)

Nice player, some good years.  I can take a 123 OPS+ from a second baseman, I can’t take a 122 OPS+ from a first baseman.  NO

 

Edgar Martinez (.312/.418/.515, 147 OPS+, 68.3 bWAR, 56.0 JAWS, 65.5 fWAR, 63.8 WARP, 305 WS)

Look, I get that he took a frying pan out to third base, but if you have to do it all in order to be a Hall of Famer then Babe Ruth should be the last pitcher in the Hall of Fame, because none of the other pitchers in there hit.  He easily clears the .300/.400/.500 line  Hopefully Frank Thomas’ induction and David Ortiz’s inevitable induction will finally get this guy in.  YES

 

Fred McGriff (.284/.377/.509, 134 OPS+, 52.4 bWAR, 44.1 JAWS, 56.9 fWAR, 41.4 WARP, 326 WS)

The Crime Dog is a tough decision.  Ultimately I went with “No” as my final decision, because his often imitated swing was cancelled by those awful Tom Emanski commercials.  NO

 

Melvin Mora (.277/.350/.431, 105 OPS+, 28.2 bWAR, 27.1 JAWS, 27.3 fWAR, 31.2 WAR, 160 WS)

His wife once gave birth to quintuplets.  Other than that his career wasn’t that noteworthy.  NO

 

Mike Mussina (3.68 ERA, 123 ERA+, 3.57 FIP, 82.7 bWAR, 63.8 JAWS, 82.2 fWAR, 105.6 WARP, 270 WS)

I wonder how much differently Mussina’s career would look if some numbers were twisted around just slightly.  Mussina retired with 270 career wins, and one 20-win season.  Just by taking some wins from some seasons and adding them to another (no more than two wins to or from any season) he could easily end up with five 20-win seasons.  Obviously you can’t just do that, but if that happened, how differently would he be looked at?  YES

 

Magglio Ordonez (.309/.369/.502, 125 OPS+, 38.5 bWAR, 35.2 JAWS, 36.6 fWAR, 29.3 WARP, 245 WS)

One of my favorite players, but the OPS+ is a little low for a corner outfielder and really wasn’t great long enough.  NO

 

Jorge Posada (.273/.374/.474, 121 OPS+, 42.7 bWAR, 37.7 JAWS, 44.7, 32.7 WARP, 258 WS)

My initial thought was that he was in a similar role like Dave Concepcion or Bert Campaneris (and to a lesser extent Omar Vizquel) where fans of those teams believe the guy was better than the evidence shows because of the team success.  There are too many guys on the ballot to make me change my vote, but looking at his numbers is making me look even deeper into his career.  But not this year.  NO

 

Tim Raines (.294/.385/.425, 123 OPS+, 69.1 bWAR, 55.6 JAWS, 66.4 fWAR, 70.4 WARP, 390 WS)

I wrote the other day about Raines’ overqualifications.  YES

 

Manny Ramirez (.312/.411/.585, 154 OPS+, 69.2 bWAR, 54.5 JAWS, 66.3 fWAR, 76.3 WARP, 408 WS)

I get the PED discussion, but I also remember what he was long before it was against the rules.  The reason I didn’t vote for him is because of the number of people on the ballot and the fact that he made some little leaguers look like gold glovers by comparison.  NO

 

Edgar Renteria (.286/.343/.398, 94 OPS+, 32.1 bWAR, 28.8 JAWS, 35.2 fWAR, 32.6 WARP, 236 WS)

He had some moment postseason moments. Basically a rich man’s Mark Lemke.  NO

 

Arthur Rhodes (4.08 ERA, 109 ERA+, 3.84 FIP, 15.0 bWAR, 14.8 JAWS, 17.6 fWAR, 18.3 WARP, 102 WS)

Name one middle reliever in the Hall.  NO

 

Ivan Rodriguez (.286/.334/.464, 106 OPS+, 68.4 bWAR, 54.0 JAWS, 68.9 fWAR, 57.3 WARP, 338 WS)

The best defensive catcher of his era (and one can make a case for any era), his eight year peak with a 127 OPS+ as a catcher to go with his defense puts things over the top for me.  YES

 

Freddy Sanchez (.297/.335/.413, 98 OPS+, 15.8 bWAR, 15.9 JAWS, 15.7 fWAR, 10.4 WARP, 104 WS)

Light hitting middle infielder who won a batting title but did little else.  NO

 

Curt Schilling (3.46 ERA, 127 ERA+, 3.23 FIP, 80.7 bWAR, 64.5 JAWS, 79.8 fWAR, 109.1 WARP, 252 WS)

His mouth has certainly done its best to keep him off of everyone’s ballot, but the Hall of Fame isn’t about conservatives and liberals.  Schilling is one of only 16 pitchers to have 3,000 strikeouts.  Only Chris Sale has a better lifetime K/BB ratio in modern times, but he’s only done that in a third as many innings.  He had a 2.23 ERA and a .968 WHIP in 133.1 postseason innings.  He was not easy to run on (opposing baserunners were caught stealing 43% of the time).  As far as his mouth goes, Schilling has nothing on Steve Carlton.  Back in 1994 Carlton was visited on his ranch in Colorado.  He accused the last eight presidents to that point of being guilty of treason (for those counting, we are talking about Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and John Kennedy; at least he wasn’t playing party favoites), accused then-President Clinton of having a black son, and that the AIDS virus was created in a warfare lab “to get rid of gays and blacks”.  Say what you want about Schilling, but I think Carlton has him beat.  (If you want more on the provocative insight of Mr. Carlton, Here’s the entire article.YES

 

Gary Sheffield (.292/.393/.514, 140 OPS+, 60.3 bWAR, 49.1 JAWS, 62.1 fWAR, 76.7 WARP, 430 WS)

Sheffield is a peculiar case.  His stats definitely suggest he’s worthy as a hitter.  Defensively he was terrible.  He admitted to intentionally committing errors while in Milwaukee.  He was a pain to just about everyone he played for, which is why he played for eight different teams.  Ultimately I left him off my ballot, not because of a lack of credentials, but because I had him ranked just outside of the top ten on this list.  We’ll see what happens next year, but this time around I have to declne.  NO

 

Lee Smith (3.03 ERA, 132 ERA+, 2.93 FIP, 29.4 bWAR, 25.4 JAWS, 26.6 bWAR, 27.1 WARP, 198 WS)

Again, what do we make of saves, especially with what the closer has become, starting with the likes of Lee Smith?  I just can’t pull the trigger.  NO

 

Sammy Sosa (.273/.344/.534, 128 OPS+, 58.4 bWAR, 51.0 JAWS, 60.1 fWAR, 61.2 WARP, 321 WS)

Sosa is another interesting case.  PED talk, helped save the game.  I love that he hit 60 homeruns in a season three times, yet did not lead the league in any of those seasons.  His career is based on a five year window, but it was one hell of a window.  Ultimately I left him off because again, I found 10 that were better.  NO

 

Matt Stairs (.262/.356/.477, 117 OPS+, 14.3 bWAR, 13.6 JAWS, 12.3 fWAR, 18.5 WARP, 158 WS)

You gotta love Matt Stairs.  He looked like a guy on an over-30 Sunday beer league, he hit 265 homers, staggered around the field, and he couldn’t help but make you smile when he was at the plate.  But he does fall short.  NO

 

Jason Varitek (.256/.341/.435, 99 OPS+, 24.3 bWAR, 21.5 JAWS, 24.3 fWAR, 30.0 WARP, 141 WS)

Varitek caught four no-hitters in his career, the only catcher that can make that claim.  Otherwise, average hitter, so-so defensive catcher.  Sorry, Sawx fans.  NO

 

Billy Wagner (2.31 ERA, 187 ERA+, 2.73 FIP, 27.7 bWAR, 24.0 JAWS, 24.1 fWAR, 29.1 WARP, 182 WS)

A true definition of a one inning closer – 853 appearances, 903 innings pitched.  His 11.9 K/9 is amazing, but again, we need to figure out this closer thing.  NO

 

Tim Wakefield (4.41 ERA, 105 ERA+, 4.72 FIP, 34.5 bWAR, 29.8 JAWS, 17.5 WARP, 176 WS)

Wakefield was a knuckleballer whose knuckleball I often seemed to remember not knuckling.  The 418 homeruns and 1.350 WHIP aren’t exactly stellar marks, either.  Good innings eater, but that’s about it.  NO

 

Larry Walker (.313/.400/565, 141 OPS+, 72.6 bWAR, 58.6 JAWS, 68.7 fWAR, 65.9 WARP, 308 WS)

The biggest issue with what has happened to the ballot in recent years is that right now there are 15-20 viable candidates that anyone can make a legitimate case for, while the voters can only vote for 10.  Larry Walker’s biggest offense is Coors Field:

 

Coors Field:  .381/.462./.710

Everywhere else:  .282/.372/.501

 

That’s a big difference.  I might still vote for him eventually, but this ballot is too loaded.  NO

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