Monday, January 05, 2015
The last post looking at the 2015 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot. This exercise hasn't been as easy as I thought it might be. It caused me to reevaluate some players, and actually support players that I personally thought were jerks (Here's looking at you Jeff Kent). It also made me look at the BBWA and shake my head at the political agendas that some of the voters have against certain players. The voting rules need to be changed and some of the political statements that the voters are doing need to stop. Deciding that you aren't going to vote for anyone because you don't know who used steriods is not a valid vote. That voter should be eliminated from voting. Sort of like Dan LeBatard for his stunt last year.
Down to the final 7 candidates:
Jason Schmidt (1st Year) - 3x All-Star, 2x votes for Cy Young, 2x 200 strikeout seasons.
On a loaded ballot, Schmidt doesn't have a shot.
Gary Sheffield (1st Year) - 9x All-Star, 5x Silver Slugger, 6x Top 10 MVP Voting, 14 seasons with 20 HR, 8x 100 RBI in a season, 7x 100 runs scored in a season, 1x BA leader, 8x .300 BA over the season. Career Rankings: 21st in BB, 25 in HR, 26th in RBI, 30 in total bases.
Stats for Sheffield, Ken Griffey Jr., and Mickey Mantle
Sheffield WAR 60.2, Runs 1636, Hits 2689, 2B 467, 3B 27, HR 509, RBI 1676, BA .292, SLG .514
Griffey Jr. WAR 83.6, Runs 1662, Hits 2781, 2B 524, 3B 38, HR 630, RBI 1836, BA .284, SLG .538
Mantle WAR 109.7, Runs 1676, Hits 2415, 2B 344, 3B 72, HR 536, RBI 1509, BA .298, SLG .557
Gary Sheffield is known for being difficult to deal with from lots of sports writers out there. I believe that is the only reason that he won't get into the Hall of Fame for about 5 to 7 years. Sheffield is not on my ballot for the 10 I would vote for this year. It isn't because he doesn't belong, he just got lost in the numbers game. He is #11 of my 10 player ballot. He deserves to be in the Hall. Griffey Jr. is being touted next year as a sure 1st ballot Hall of Famer. Sheffield isn't that much behind the numbers of Griffey and I think eclipses Mantle. A No this year, but yes when the logjam of deserving players lessens after this year.
Lee Smith (13th Year) - 7x All-Star, 3x Rolaids Relief Award Winner, 4x Top 10 in Cy Young Votes, 1x Top 10 in MVP voting, 3rd all-time in saves (478), 4x Saves Leader, 13x 20 save seasons.
I watched Smith when he was with the Cubs and thought that he was pretty good. And that is where he stayed, pretty good. Comparing his numbers vs. Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter and Smith fals short. Relievers are tough to value because one bad outing can cause the stats not to be indicative of how they are playing. Smith might make it through the Veteran's committee into the Hall, but I think that the voters have this one right. NO!
John Smoltz (1st Year) - 1996 Cy Young Award, 8x All-Star, 4x Top 10 in Cy Young Voting, 1x Top 10 in MVP voting, 1x Silver Slugger, 1x 20-win season, 5x 200 strikeouts in a season, 3x 40 save seasons, ranks 16th all-time for strikeouts, 75th all-time in saves (154), only MLB pitcher in history with 200 wins and 150 saves. 1x Rolaids Relief Award.
There doesn't have to be anymore stats thrown out for me. Smoltz was a warrior and changed from a starter to a reliever and did both rather well. A no-brainer for me. YES! #4 on my list.
Sammy Sosa (3rd Year) - 7x All-Star, 6x Silver Slugger, 1x MVP, 6x Top 10 in MVP voting, 11x 30 HR in a season, 2x HR leader, 9x 100 RBI in a season, 2x NL RBI Leader, 5x 100 runs in a season, 3x NL leader in runs, 3xled NL in total bases, 4x .300 BA in a season, Career Rankings: 8th in HR, 27th in RBI, 28th in Extra Base Hits, 35 in Total Bases.
This is the toughest decision on the ballot. The numbers say yes. He deserves to be in the HOF. The man hit for power and had a decent average. On the flip side, was in the Top 4 for errors by a right fielder 11 times, he lied about PEDs, lied to congress, and whenever the heat from anybody got to him, all of a sudden he couldn't talk any English.
In the end, Sosa is going the same route as Rafael Palmeiro got from me. You lied to congress and I cannot support you for the HOF.
Alan Trammell (14th Year) - 6x All-Star, 4x Gold Gloves, 7x .300 BA for a season, 1x 200 hits in a season, 1x 100 RBI in a season, 3x 100 runs scored in a season, 3x Top 10 in MVP voting, 2x 20 HR in a season, 6x 30 doubles in a season, 3x 20 SB in a season.
Trammell is the one player that I cannot argue offensive numbers. He comes up short when compared to Hall of Famers. However, I say YES! to his candidacy at #10 in my fictional ballot. Why? Because the man was the consumate leader of the Tigers during his tenure there. He was the shortstop that didn't make the flashy plays like Ozzie Smith, but was every bit the defensive wizard that he was. The Tigers middle of the infield of Whitaker and Trammell should be in the Hall of Fame. Of that there is no question in my mind. I would take Trammell over Smith and Yount during that time. I also would submit that Trammell is a better shortstop than Derek Jeter. Call me crazy, but that is how I feel.
Larry Walker (5th Year) - 5x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 7x Gold Glove, 3x NL Batting Champion, 1x NL MVP, 4x Top 10 in MVP votes, 12th all-time in slugging percentage, 5x 100 RBI in a season, 9x .300 hitter in a season, 4x 100 runs in a season.
Statistics of Larry Walker, Duke Snider, and Joe DiMaggio
Walker WAR 72.6, Runs 1355, Hits 2160, 2B 471, 3B 62, HR 383, RBI 1311, BA .313, SLG .565
Snider WAR 66.5, Runs 1259, Hits 2116, 2B 358, 3B 85, HR 407, RBI 1333, BA .295, SLG .540
DiMaggio WAR 78.2, Runs 1390, Hits 2214, 2B 389, 3B 131, HR 361, RBI 1537, BA .325,SLG .579
Larry Walker played most of his carer in Colorado. They say that the air is lighter there and that it improves your power numbers. Well, I am not impressed with Walker's power numbers. Compared to those two HOF players, you look at Walker's numbers and say that he is worthy. He just doesn't have a spot on my list. He falls behind Sheffield in the rankings. But I believe that Walker desevres to be in the Hall one day, just not in 2015.
My Final Ballot:
1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Randy Johnson
4. John Smoltz
5. Craig Biggio
6. Jeff Bagwell
7. Pedro Martinez
8. Tim Raines
9. Jeff Kent
10. Alan Trammell
Who I believe will make the Hall of Fame in 2015 in real life
Dark Horse: Mike Piazza