The SB Nation baseball writers got together and submitted picks for a mock Hall of Fame ballot because we’re so damned wise and statistically savvy, what with us on the Inter-net and all. At least, that was the goal when we decided to pick our own MVPs, and then we realized that in our little Algonquin Roundtable were sleeper cells who did things like vote for Todd Helton and Juan Pierre. So now we do this sort of thing because it’s fun. Leave your wise and statistically savvy at the coat check, apparently.
What my Hall of Fame ballot would look like if I had a vote:
You can make the argument that Blyleven was a superior pitcher to Nolan Ryan. It’s crazy that a pitcher who won 287 games, who finished in the top-ten in his league’s ERA ten times, and who is 5th on the all-time strikeout list is being overlooked by a bunch of goalpost-moving weenies. "Nope, nope, nope. Blyleven didn’t lead his franchise in complete game wins in leap years. A Hall-of-Famer does that sort of thing." Every argument you hear against Blyleven can be translated thusly: "He didn’t pitch in New York for a large chunk of his career. Sorry. He’s no Catfish Hunter."
Barry Larkin and Alan Trammell were two of the best offensive shortstops of their respective eras, and they just happened to play before the Nomar/Jeter/A-Rod, so they don’t get the respect they deserve. Larkin was a tough call because he was hurt so danged much, but he was clearly the best shortstop in the NL for almost a decade. Here’s a list of Hall-of-Fame shortstops; they would both fit in wih that group quite well.
Tim Raines is better than you remember. Yes, you. Look it up. Even if you’re already on the Raines-in-the-Hall committee, it’s worth it to revisit his career stats. For gits and shiggles, compare them to Lou Brock’s. I don’t know who the soccer-loving communists are who are keeping Raines out, but they should probably lose their jobs and/or homes in a McCarthyesque purge. It’s only fair.
It used to be that there were two kinds of voters: people who thought that McGwire should get in despite his probable drug use, and those who thought that steroids eliminated him from consideration. It’s a debate for another time, but at least I can appreciate the argument. The new rage, though, are nutbars who are trying to convince themselves that McGwire, steroids aside, wasn’t a Hall-of-Famer in the first place. That’s something I just can’t understand on any level.
Finally, baseball’s rules allow for a "designated hitter" in the American League. Edgar Martinez was the best who ever played the game. Now, I don’t like the DH, but it’s there, and Martinez was one of the best hitters in his league every single freaking year. Keeping him out just because he’s a DH would be like the NFL keeping kickers out of the Hall of Fame because they’re so wee and non-tackly. And people who are keeping him out for reasons other than being a DH are just weirdos.