Wednesday, November 11, 2015

VOTING SHALL BE BASED UPON THE PLAYER'S RECORD, PLAYING ABILITY, INTEGRITY, SPORTSMANSHIP, CHARACTER, AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TEAM(S) ON WHICH THE PLAYER PLAYED: The National Baseball Hall of Fame has released its new ballot for modern players. It has fifteen new names, including Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman, and seventeen returning players. And voters only get to select ten of them.

I have set up a Doodle poll for the ALOTT5MA community to vote. All the stats are here. Please vote for no more than ten names, because that's what the BBWAA does, remembering that anyone who falls below 5% will be dropped from next year's ballot, so vote strategically if you must. I have long believed that players accused/admitted of PED usage should be voted into the Hall if their accomplishments so merit, and with their Hall plaques "teaching the controversy" where appropriate. My 2016 ballot reflects this. with players new to the ballot noted with an asterisk:
Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Edmonds*, Griffey*, Hoffman*, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling.
It is impossible to limit yourself to ten votes and not vote strategically -- there were at least 13 names under consideration for me. Last year, I left off Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens off the ballot, out of a belief they weren't going to be inducted last year regardless because of the controversy, but ... come on, they belong in, and with more room to do so, I'm doing it.

I took out Jeff Kent from past ballots because it's plainly not going to happen anytime soon, and skipped Sheffield and Martinez as well. McGwire, too, for that matter, and it is his last year of eligibility, but I know that vote would be wasted. I don't think I need to explain my repeated votes for Bagwell, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, or Schilling here; we've done it in the past (see below). which leaves the three men new to my ballot:

Ken Griffey Jr. is as obvious a first-ballot HOFer as they are. Nothing more need be said. And whether he's first-ballot or not, if any closers not named Mariano Rivera are allowed in the Hall, then Trevor Hoffman's longevity and dominance ought to put him in.

Jim Edmonds is my final vote. I'm not saying I'm sure he belongs in, and he certainly didn't get the in-career recognition that guarantees induction, but I'm sure he deserves to have years of future consideration. Nearly 400 HRs and outstanding defense in center field? As Rob Neyer notes, "His WAR places him in the same neighborhood as Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Dave Winfield, Richie Ashburn, Billy Williams, Zack Wheat and Willie Stargell. Then again, that simply places Edmonds in the same category as Kenny Lofton, Dwight Evans and Reggie Smith, outstanding outfielders who simply didn't do enough things that Hall of Fame voters appreciate. Maybe these guys can form a little club, and invite Lou Whitaker."

(Our discussion of the 2011 ballot2011 Doodle results; 2012 discussion; 2012 Doodle results; 2013 discussion; 2013 Doodle results; 2014 discussion; 2014 Doodle results.)

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