Subway Squawkers belongs to a group of bloggers called the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. And each year, we vote on Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot picks and tally it up as a group. (Let’s hope nobody in our group submits a blank ballot the way Murray Chass did! Not to mention it’s odd that Chass still has an official ballot when he has been a blogger, not a New York Times writer, since 2008!) Anyhow, without further ado, were are my choices for this year’s Cooperstown ballot, in alphabetical order:
A few notes on my ballot:
I would have included Manny Ramirez and Mike Mussina, and maybe even Sammy Sosa, if I had had more than 10 choices.
And I am glad to see that the real-life MLB writers are reportedly softening their stance on the PED issue, as many of us (myself included) have done in real life. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are getting a lot more votes this year. I have been saying for years that it is ridiculous to honor the managers of the steroid era like Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, and Joe Torre when some of the best players they managed are kept out.
It sounds like for many of the writers, the last straw was the Veterans’ Committee picking Bud Selig for the Hall. Why should a commissioner who benefited from the steroid era be put in, while the players are out in the cold?
Not to mention a certain Mets catcher (cough) being put in the Hall of Fame last year. (Sorry, Squawker Jon!)
Not to mention Verducci’s bizarro reasoning comparing Fred McGriff and Barry Bonds. He magically takes away some of Bonds’ homers, and adds some to McGriff. But even without the PED numbers, Bonds would still have 599 home runs, by Verducci’s own count!
Bagwell did made my ballot, as did Pudge Rodriguez, another suspected PED user. And, of course, Bonds and Clemens did, too. I don’t think they will make it in this year, but I think they will soon. And so will Manny and A-Rod one day. You heard it here first!
And no, your eyes did not deceive you. I did put Red Sox Curt Schilling on my ballot. For me, him being an integral part of three World Championship teams (two of which were really improbable upsets) is what gives him the edge over Mike Mussina. And no, I’m not going to leave him off the ballot over the wacky and horrible things he’s said on Twitter. Ever hear some of the crazy things out of Hall of Famer Steve Carlton’s mouth? They make Schilling sound like Michael Moore!
It’s also time for a career designated hitter to be in the Hall, so voting for Edgar Martinez — the best one of his era — was a no-brainer to vote for. People shouldn’t hold that position against him.
Tim Raines and Lee Smith are on this ballot for the last time, so that played a factor in my votes.
Pudge Rodriguez was arguably the best catcher of his era, a time I was living in Texas. So he is somebody I saw play lots of times. (I also still feel bad for him that Jorge Posada was such a jerk to him when he was briefly a Yankee!) One of the greatest catchers of all time. I don’t care about the PED speculation with Rodriguez.
Vladimir Guerrero also made my list. It’s fun to play “what-if” with him — like if he had been a Met or Yankee! He definitely would be a bigger name if that had happened!
I left Jorge Posada off my ballot. Very good player. Not a Hall of Famer.
Anyhow, the BBWAA’s choices for the Class of 2017 will be announced later today. We’ll see which ones made the list!