It is that time of year again when the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) come out and become the guardians, sentinels and protectors of all things holy to the baseball Hall of Fame. They will cast their votes for who they deem to be worthy of entering the baseball Hall of Fame, or refusing to vote to prove a point.
Each writer has the ability to choose up to 10 players from the list of candidates for this year’s Hall of Fame vote. They can vote for zero (which makes me mad and I will discuss this later) or any number up to 10.
Let me get this out of the way right off the bat. Nothing frustrates me more as a fan than when the writers turn in blank ballots. Some do it so a player can’t be a unanimous vote to get in. Some do it because they think players should be punished for playing in the steroid era. Others are just selfish and arrogant and refuse to vote.
I personally think that any writer who refuses to vote for a player should automatically lose their voting privileges. I honestly wish the Hall of Fame vote for the MLB would be similar to how the NFL does it. Every year there is a good new class of Hall of Famers. There is never the fear of a year with no one going into the Hall of Fame.
Obviously I don’t have a vote, even though I am passionate about it, and would love to have that honor. But since I don’t here is my ‘if I had a vote’ ballot.
Randy Johnson- This decision took me about as long to decide as it does to say yes to a nice big and juicy cheeseburger. 303 career wins and 5 Cy Young awards. Heck his All-star game highlight with John Kruk makes him a Hall of Famer in my book.
Pedro Martinez – This one I hesitated on for a moment, but then I realized the Hall of Fame just wouldn’t feel right without Pedro in it. 3 Cy Young awards and 5 ERA titles didn’t hurt this decision either.
Craig Biggio – How he didn’t make it last year just boggles my mind. Should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer in my opinion.
Mike Piazza – Best hitting catcher in baseball HISTORY! Enough said.
Jeff Bagwell – Say all you want about steroids but that is what the game was in the 80’s, 90’s and even still PED’s are a sore spot for baseball, but as a voter you would have to put all players in that era together and judge them by those standards, not the past.
Barry Bonds – Like I said judge against that era not the past. Being a jerk hurts him more than his PED use though.
Roger Clemens – I think copying what I just put for Bonds would work here to but I won’t because there is one big difference. Clemens acted like a jerk in court for all to see.
Mark McGwire – Let’s all be honest. After the strike how interested were you in baseball? I can say as a teenager I was not that interested in baseball. I even quit playing in high school because the strike ruined baseball for me. Two names brought it back for me; Cal Ripken Jr. and Mark McGwire.
Lee Smith – Quite possibly the most dominate closer for a decade in baseball. Had the career saves record until Hoffman and then Rivera took the record. Lee Smith needs to get in the Hall of Fame.
Edgar Martinez – The best DH in the history of the game. Frank Thomas called Edgar the best pure hitter he saw play the game. Edgar was the most feared right handed hitter in his prime because pitchers knew that even a great pitch could end up as a double in the gap.
First Timers I Didn’t Vote For
John Smoltz – I know Smoltz should be a Hall of Famer but with only 10 spots he just didn’t make my list this year.
Gary Sheffield – Really was never impressed with Sheffield. He was good but no way can I vote for him before guys like Bonds, Piazza and McGwire aren’t in yet.
Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, Tony Clark, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd, Nomar Garciaparra, Brian Giles, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado, Troy Percival, Jason Schmidt, Jarrod Washburn
Returning Players I Didn’t Vote For
Tim Raines – This one hurts a little. I almost took off McGwire for Raines and I am still debating it. Raines was great and should be a Hall of Famer, but his time is running out.
Sammy Sosa – Using PEDs is one thing, but when you also have to cork your bat that is too much for even me.
Curt Schilling, Alan Trammell, Mike Mussina, Jeff Kent, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker, and Don Mattingly