Sunday, December 6, 2009

2010 HoF Ballot coming...

The Veterans committee announces on 12/7, and the BBWAA announces 1/6/2010. At current there's exactly 108 BBWAA voted members of the HoF, and the 2010 ballot has some interesting candidates.

There seems to only be one clear cut candidates this time around; Roberto Alomar. There's been 9 BBWAA elected 2nd baseman in baseball history, 6 of which played in the early part of the century. There's only a few contemporary 2nd basement to use as comparisons to Alomar: Rod Carew, Joe Morgan and Ryne Sandberg. Alomar was an all star 12 straight seasons, had gold gloves, silver sluggers and several MVP top 5 results. He was a dominant defensive player, had a career .300 average and 210 homers from a middle infield position. He should be a first ballot election, except for a troubling tailing off of production resulting in retirement at 36 and some questionable character issues (the spitting incident and the HIV allegations). Being that BBWAA are in fact members of the press, and Alomar had a somewhat prickly relationship with them, might cost him votes.

Andre Dawson might benefit from a lack of decent new candidates and finally push his 67% vote production last year above the 75% barrier. His numbers speak for themselves; he had a great combination of power, speed and defensive prowness, and seems to be in the "just prior to the homer era."

I think the candidacy of Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris can both be summarized as "good pitchers" but not hall of fame calibre. Blyleven had 287 wins and a gazillion strikeouts, but always seemed to hover around .500 and only had 3 or 4 seasons even worthy of Cy Young votes. Morris' reputation as a workhorse and "pitching to score" was somewhat debunked recently in a stats-heavy analysis; in reality he was a era+ 105 career, barely above average, but is remembered as a post season savior for two teams. If anything Morris deserves more consideration based on his 9 times being in the cy young top 10.

Lee Smith, it is argued, is a better closer than those already enshrined (Bruce Sutter specifically) but I remember him as a plodding closer who picked up a lot of saves without really being that dominant.

Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin, Tim Raines, and Fred McGriff all statistically speaking show up as exactly the same slightly-below-borderline hall of famers, but each seems to have flaws that the voters cannot get over. Martinez had a fabulous career OPS+ of 147 but spent half it being purely a DH (which didn't really hurt Paul Molitor but seems to really bug voters with Martinez). Larkin was indeed a great one-team player, 12-time all star with an MVP vote, but I can't put him in the same breath as modern SS enshrinees Ripken, Yount and Ozzie Smith. Raines might have been on the path to being a Rickey Henderson clone, but decided to basically stop being an impact player once he turned 28. McGriff had some serious career HR totals (493 just prior to the steriod/homer era) but never really sniffed an MVP.

Alomar and Dawson, with perhaps Blyleven sneaking in.


  1. Great post! I don't know if Alomar is a shoe-in. His numbers are great, but for being a similiar hitter as a Tony Gwynn not reaching 3,000 hits I think will hurt him. But I love that you have Andre in there! When I saw Blyleven's won/loss %, I thought the same thing not a Hall of Famer, but when you look at the teams he played on, it's amazing he got the wins he did. He only pitched on 3 play-off teams.

    Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame

  2. Yeah, I don't think Alomar is necessarily a shoe-in either, but he was so dominant for a decade that I'd find it hard to believe he didn't get in. Perhaps not first-ballot (since writers seem to place emphasis on "first ballot hall of famers."

    My big problem with Blyleven was that he seemed more of a workhorse than a dominant pitcher to be put in the same breath as his contemporaries (Ryan, Palmer, Seaver). He only lead the league once in Ks yet accumulated 3700 of them. We'll see I guess.

    (ps; how'd you find this blog? we havn't used it in months?)