After the last time I wrote about the Hall of Fame, I received some certainly-not-fictional feedback that I in no way just invented for the sake of a premise for this article. "Most of those guys aren't eligible," said one guy. "I think you deliberately misunderstood the rules for voting for the Hall in order to make jokes about media hype," said another. "Barry Bonds is a cheater and shouldn't be in Cooperstown because of all that cheating," said a third person.
One of them got punched in the face.
Of course, filling out a ballot isn't for everyone. Only the best, most logical minds of our time are trusted with this task:
There's no need to look up any information on anyone you don't know much about! And not voting for someone in order to thin the herd is totally cool! I hope to live up to that standard by voting in my own way, unencumbered by things like "facts" or "taking this responsibility seriously."
So, first, let's look at the easy cuts.:
Obviously Out: Brian Giles, Darin Erstad, Tom Gordon, Jason Schmidt, Cliff Floyd, Rich Aurilia, Troy Percival, Tony Clark, Eddie Guardado
I hate to put Schmidt and Aurilia in this category, as they were both Good Giants, but it's pretty clear they don't fit the Hall of Fame profile. As for the others, well, I don't think any of this should be controversial. Onto the next category!
Out, After A Few Seconds' Worth of Thought: Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Aaron Boone, Lee Smith
Dye and Boone both have excellent postseason resumes that took them out of the prior category and landed them here, Dye with his 2005 World Series MVP and Boone hitting that homer in 2003 that convinced Red Sox fans they would never see their team win a World Series. Obviously Delgado and Smith both had very good careers, spending some time in major media markets. That's how you get your name out there, you know, but it's not enough. Maybe Smith would've had a chance if Mariano hadn't made him so not-famous, but oh well. That's the way the ballot crumbles.
Tough Cuts: Alan Trammell, Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Kent, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker, Nomar Garciaparra
Look, it kills me to put Trammell in this category, but it's called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Great Baseball Players. And let's face it, today Alan Trammell is most remembered for not being in the Hall of Fame. If we put him in, there would be no reason for him to be famous anymore, making him undeserving of being in the Hall. His is a tricky case because we literally have to choose between keeping a deserving candidate out or putting an undeserving candidate in. I'm a small-Hall guy, so he's out.
Raines spent most of his career in Montreal, so he did well to get this far. Winning a couple rings with the Yankees helps his cause, but it's not really enough to put him in that upper echelon of fame, so sadly he's gone. The same basically goes for Martinez, staying in Seattle for so long. Kent's reputation with the media hurts him here, as he never got the fawning coverage necessary to become a legend. McGriff and Walker both had good careers, but never really broke through to the next level of fame. Nomar had those few years in Boston where he was The Big Thing, but then injuries took their toll and he was never all that famous again.
Sorry About The Numbers Game: Mike Mussina, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Gary Sheffield
I'll be honest: I was torn about who was the most famous among Jeff Bagwell, Don Mattingly, and Gary Sheffield. So I punted. I googled their names, and the guy with the most hits got to go on the ballot. Sorry, Gary and Jeff. You guys were great, great, players who were extremely well-known. But this was a stacked ballot, and the Internet doesn't lie. You just weren't famous enough. Hopefully you'll stay on the ballot and be up for election next year. You guys deserve to be in. And so do Mussina and Biggio! They were both on lots of magazine covers, but not in enough Sportscenter commercials. It's a shame, really.
In: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Don Mattingly
For the record, I would have voted for Jose Canseco every year he was eligible. He's very famous! So is Pete Rose, so he should be in too. Also Bobby Thomson, because he hit that home run that time, and David Eckstein, because literally everyone knew about his grit, and Kevin Costner, because a lot of people saw his baseball movies. So many good candidates, so deserving, left out.
But let's talk about the guys who should go into the Hall. I come to praise their accomplishments, not on the field, but off. They were the ones who were written about and talked about, loved and hated, recognized on the street, and given preferential treatment at day spas. They were famous, in other words, and the entire point is to have a hall full of famous people, at least according to my criteria, which I am using to vote because I can and there will never be any consequences no matter how petty or stupid I am. If I had a vote, I could use it only on ex-Giants, or I could publicly state I was withholding support from Pedro Martinez because I saw him stiff a waiter one time, or I could just not write in any names as a protest against people not paying enough attention to me. If I did any of these things, I would be able to vote next year, and the year after that, and every year until I died.
I wish I actually had a Hall of Fame vote, if only so it could be not taken away after I wrote this article.