Here is the list of eligibles for next year according to ESPN...Edgardo Alfonzo, Pedro Astacio, David Bell, Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Scott Erickson, Carl Everett, Jeff Fassero, Alex S. Gonzalez, Danny Graves, Rick Helling, Dustin Hermanson, Jose Hernandez, Brian Jordan, Matt Lawton, Javy Lopez, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Jeff Nelson, Phil Nevin, Brad Radke, Joe Randa, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Jose Vizcaino, Bernie Williams, Eric Young Not good. And I did find out that anyone who has played 10 years is eligible but there is some kind of vetting committee that decides who actually is on the ballot. So that makes it a bit more special. Although, how any vetting committee decided Bobby Higginson should appear on a HOF Ballot is beyond me.
For me, I am always in favor of voting for the maximum of 10 because that keeps more guys in the discussion and you don't have a situation where some borderline players (Lou Whitaker, Dwight Evans, and Will Clark for example) fall off the ballot after 1 year without enough discussion. As a Red Sox fan, it is a bit bizzarre to me that Jim Rice got all the attention but that Evans fell off the first year. Their stats are almost exactly the same (as were their mustaches).For me my ballot breaks down like this:The what the hell are they doing on the ballot section:33. Bobby Higginson32. Lenny Harris31. Kirk RueterThe great start to their career followed by a big flameout section:30. Charles Johnson29. Carlos Baerga28. Benito SantiagoThe solid for a long time section:27. B. J. Surhoff 26. Marquis Grissom25. Al Leiter 24. Tino Martinez23. John OlerudThe short period of dominance section:22. Bret Boone 21. Raǧl Mondes
Another great post!I totally agree that some of these guys have no business on the HOF ballot. I often wonder how some of these players who had decent careers but absolutely no HOF chance feel when the ballot comes out with zero votes for them. Is it really "just an honor to be nominated" then?In terms of my ballot, it does not differ from yours except for Murphy out, and Lee Smith in. Based on the relievers who are in now, I think a very strong case can be made for Mr. Smith.Also, I am dying to see what percentage Palmeiro gets. Could be the story of this year's ballot!
From what I understand, as long as you end up playing 10 consecutive seasons in MLB you are automatically nominated for the Hall of Fame. As for how much of an honor it is, I think back maybe four or five years ago when Jim Deshaies, a decent reliever who played mostly for the Astros, had an ERA just under 4 and a losing record (of like 40-43) and a wicked sense of humor got nominated he thought it was a hoot. Someone even went so far as to start the website
and he ended up getting a vote from a Houston area voter who didn't want him to get 0 votes. (Deshaies also said that he was hoping that other people with the initials JD got nominated so they could reuse the site. J.D. Drew someday maybe? I mean he fits the criteria and has almost no shot). So I guess it depends on who you are. I'd be interested to see what Lenny Harris thinks. I mean, he was a starter for maybe three years and spent the vast majority of his career as a utilityman and then a pinch hitter when his speed went. I mean, he has to know he has no chance, but perhaps just getting your name on the list means that you are one of the Top 5% of baseball players anywhere and that is a reward in itself.
I totally forgot about Deshaies. He was that type of player whose humor always made me laugh and reminded me about why I loved baseball in the first place. JD Drew would be great for that site. I still remember all that hype around him when he atarted.You are right though, lasting ten years in the MLB is no small feat and at least there is some discernable "cut off" for nominations.
I have to concur with Spheniscus pretty much on all points, with a slight exception about Kevin Brown, who was better than where he ranks on that ballot. At his best, he was just a slight bit below the big four of the era, and as good as Glavine, Smoltz, Schilling and Mussina. Without the injury issues he had, and the stupid and overpublicized blowup in the Yankee dugout, he would get a lot more support than he does. I know too many diehard baseball fans who think Blyleven will fall short this year somehow. I don't see it, and it would be unprecendted considering where he has finished the last couple of years, but the number of folks who are resigned to him missing again kind of bothers me.
Knuckles, I agree with Kevin Brown, I was trying to fit him into that category more than anything. He isn't a Hall of Famer to me, but I can at least see the argument. I did pretty well in my predictions except that it was Juan Gonzalez being the 4th newbie to stay on the ballot rather than John Franco, which is a bit of a surprise. I think there were just too many guys and there is the 10 player limit so some guys just got dropped. With no one major being eligible next season, (I guess Bernie Williams, Ruben Sierra or Terry Mulholland would be the best candidates, yes it is that bad), Larkin looks like a shoo-in, since they want to elect someone every year (although he should get in anyway, clear HoF for me). But Bagwell and Morris may see a big jump next year to get them close.