It’s HOF time, Hi-Toppers, and I’ve put a lot of thought into this. Legitimately…way too much time. I basically try to start arguments with my friends about this, just to talk about it.
Let’s get right to it…my ballot and my no frills explanations. I will probably rant about Trevor Hoffman (more on him after the class is released) and the BBWAA a little.
BONDS, CLEMENS, VLADDY, CHIPPER JONES, EDGAR MARTINEZ, CURT SCHILLING, MANNY RAMIREZ, MIKE MUSSINA
Bonds and Clemens: Okay…we all get it. There was a “dark” era of baseball, where everyone was juiced up, doing unholy things with a baseball, and records were shattered under false pretenses. WHATEVER. Then don’t call Bonds the “all time home run leader”…but compare these guys to their Era. Everyone was cheating. Bonds is sure as SHIT a Hall of Famer. He’s a top 5, hell probably top 3 player of all time for me. He has a career WAR of like 7,000.
Same argument, if only slightly less strong, for Clemens. He was arguably the best pitcher in baseball at THREE different stages in his career….spanning 18 years. He had back to back top 3 Cy finishes in 86-87, and 04-05…think about that. Incredible.
VLADDY AND CHIPPER are slam dunks for me, and apparently for voters who have made their ballots public. Both all-around studs, no brainers.
Edgar Martinez: This is more of a statement vote than anything. If people are going to argue that the DH is unworthy, then WHY is Trevor Hoffman getting 77% of votes? Edgar Martinez played 18 years with a .933 OPS and 147 OPS+, 33rd and 45th All-time, respectively and was a career .300-.400-.500 guy, with a an average season of 96 Runs, 24 HR’s, 99 RBI. That is certainly worth more than some guy who comes in for one inning and “saves” a 3-run lead a couple times a week. His career WAR of 68.3 vs Hoffman’s paltry 28.3 sure says so.
Curt Schilling: First thing’s first…if you contemplate anyone’s politics, you should have your vote taken away forever. Now, Schilling’s support is largely based on post-season success- he is THE best postseason pitcher EVER, Jack Morris can’t sniff his bloody sock. But you know what…he’s got the stats too.
15th All time in strikeouts, everyone ahead of him (besides Clemens) is in. He is 5th all time in Strikouts/ Walk ratio, with an ridiculous 4.383 mark. He’s got 3 2nd place CY finishes, and is 25th all time in CY Share (share of all votes available to him), despite never having won the award. That means he was really fucking good, for a long time. Forget wins, they are utterly meaningless…dude played for some putrid Phillies teams.
Manny Ramirez: I’m not stupid, this guy probably never gets in…he failed like a thousand drug tests. I don’t really care. He was the best right handed hitter I’ve ever seen, was a dominant force in the Sox’ lineup, and if clutch exists, he was it. He has all the milestone stats…he’s in my hall.
Mike Mussina: I’m a big stat guy, and I hate wins as a measurement of a pitcher’s success. So why on earth would I vote for Mussina? Sometimes, the eye ball test, and just being so god damn consistent count. This dude pitched his entire career in the AL East…which meant something from 1991-2008 (8 of 17 WS champs in that span), and he managed a respectable 3.68 ERA, a 1.192 WHIP and 9 top 10 CY Finishes…while winning 270 games. Over 17 years, in that division, even I’ll give a little and say the wins mean something.