Wednesday, January 08, 2014

If I Had a Hall of Fame Vote

The Mad Dog is a no-doubt Hall of Famer.
Let's be clear: I don't. I don't belong to the Baseball Writer's Association of America. So I don't have a vote for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

That doesn't mean I don't have an opinion. That also doesn't mean that I lack a clue on the topic.

Since I'm prepping for Greenwich and Millbook in hockey, to be heard live on the channels of Hersam Acorn Radio, including (and the HYPHEN is IMPORTANT), I can't give chapter and verse on my thoughts.

Here are my votes (a maximum of 10 are allowed):

Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine
Frank Thomas
Craig Biggio
Mike Piazza
Jeff Bagwell
Tim Raines
Mike Mussina
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens

I think Curt Schilling will get in eventually, but he doesn't do it for me, especially in this class. Great postseason pitcher though.

Alan Trammell was a tough exclusion. I also think highly of Jeff Kent, even if you might not have liked him as a person. Yes, I passed on Jack Morris. The high ERA doesn't do it for me.

The others? I'm good. It's time for people to recognize how great Rock Raines was, for instance. I know - compare him to Rickey Henderson and it's not fair. But if you saw him, Rock was a great player. Could get on base. Stole a ton of bases. Could hit. Play defense.

Maddux? Duh. Glavine? Duh. Two of the best of their generation. Do we even need to discuss it? Frank Thomas could hit. Sure, he wasn't a great defender, and if he was a pure DH, he'd be lumped in with Edgar Martinez (which is unfair to both of them), but wow, could The Big Hurt hit.

Mike Mussina was a terrific pitcher. I think it is time to know that if you don't. He wasn't interested in sticking around to get to 300 wins. He was happy to win his 20 and move on.

Craig Biggio surpassed 3,000 hits. Played multiple positions. Again, I don't have enough time to support the case. He passes my "eye test."

The same goes for Bagwell. Yes, I know, we're entering the PED discussion here. We could do so with almost all of these players, but really, do we need to? Yes, the whispers exist - most prominently about Bagwell and Piazza (and, of course, those other two, whom we'll get to), but there is no proof.

By the way, I see Piazza in the Hall as a Dodger, or with the Catfish Hunter blank cap. That's just me.

Then we have Bonds and Clemens. Look, they didn't get busted. They didn't do jail time. I know we all want to stand on the mountain of purity, but can we simply get over that a lot of these people aren't great guys? There's Lou Gehrig and a few other "pure" types. That's about it. The rest are super-flawed.

Sometimes we found out how flawed later on, after we've etched them on Mount Rushmore, and named streets after them.

I know what I saw. Before Bonds blew up, he was already a Hall of Famer. The same goes for Clemens.

Besides, I want to see how that goes over in induction day in central New York.

Those are my 10. The results of what the writers think will come later.

No comments: