Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 Baseball Hall of Fame - If I had a ballot.

It is come to my favorite part of my annual HOF analysis, pretending that I get a say in the picking of the future hall-of-famers.  Last year I supposed that writers  were allowed 12 votes and worked my way down from there.  This year, I still pick 12 but wanted to start with the player who I think is the most HOF worthy that did not make the cut of 12.

Trevor Hoffman # 13 if allowed 12 picks















Last year my 9th vote went to Trevor Hoffman.  This year he dropped off the list to what I guess could be called unlucky 13th .  I still think he has the credentials to be in Cooperstown someday but there is a player near the top of my list more deserving than Hoffman, who will not be considered on the writer's ballot for much longer.   They share the same position but not the same support among the writers.  Like last year, I am putting Hoffman on the back burner until my # 2 choice this year's HOF fate is revealed.
Derek Lee

Mike Cameron

Tim Wakefield

Jason Varitek and Jorge Posada



This year there were a number of first time players to the ballot who may never make the Hall of Fame, but certainly deserve mention in the Hall of Very Good.  Players like Jason Varitek, Jorge Posada, Derek Lee, Tim Wakefield and Mike Cameron to name a few,  If I were allowed to vote for 12 players elgible for the 2017 HOF class. My 12th vote would go to one of these players, It would go to Mike Cameron.  Cameron had an excellent career and was part of two blockbuster trades before making an indelible mark in Seattle.  Most people remember that Cameron was part of the trade that brought Ken Griffey Jr. to the Reds.  They sometimes forget that  previously to that Cameron was traded to the Reds from the White Sox in exchange for Paul Konerko.  So yes I am voting for Cameron 12th because he gave the White Sox PK.

If I were allowed to vote for 11 players, my 11th vote would go to Gary Sheffield (I did not vote for Sheffield  last year).  Sheffield is garnering lots of hall of fame consideration this year, there are too many question marks for me to consider him much higher.

Gary Sheffield

Jeff Kent


If I were allowed to vote for exactly 10 players, my 10th vote would go to Jeff Kent.  (I did not vote for Kent last year,) Let me say a little about my rankings here.  The players from 7 to 11 this year are very close in my assessment of them.  They are pretty well interchangeable as I think they are all solid choices with one or two question marks that keeps therm from going much higher on my ballot.

If I could only vote for exactly 9 players my 9th vote would go to Mike Mussina.  (I voted for Musina 11th in 2016 ).
Mike Mussina

Larry Walker



My 8th choice if I could vote for 8 would be Larry Walker  (Walker was not in my top 12 last year but has been in my top 10 in years past) .

My 7th choice on a 7 player ballot would be Fred McGriff  (McGriff was 5th on my list in 2016).  I adjusted the Crime Dog lower this year as there seemed to be no evidence he is anything more than a middle of the packer when it comes to his hall of fame qualifications.

The Crime Dog

The other Pudge


If I had to vote for 6 and only 6 HOF candidates, my 6th vote would go to Ivan Rodriguez.  (Pudge is on the ballot for the first time in 2017)  I could not quite pull the trigger on the strong hitting backstop to put him on my official unofficial ballot but He is certainly close

If I could vote for as many or as few players in the Hall of Fame this year as I thought were truly deserving of such an honor, that number would be 5.  My ballot would contain 5names.  The 5th name would be Edgar Martinez.  (Edgar was 7th on my list of players last year.)  In the past, I have shied away from Martinez for Cooperstown, but for this year at least I am thinking that he belongs.

Edgar Martinez 5 of 5

Vladimir Guerrero 4 of 5


If I was given a HOF ballot and told to vote for only 4 players, the 4th player would be Vladimir Guerrero  (This is his first year on the ballot .)  Something tells me he will not be a first ballot selection but I am thinking it will be very close.  


Jeff Bagwell 3 of 5

If I could only votr for 3 players in the Hall of Fame for this year, my 3rd vote would go to Jeff Bagwell (Bagwell was 4th on my "official" ballot last year).

Lee Smith 2 of 5


If I could only pick 2 players on my Hof ballot one would give me a rush and the other a feeling of relief.  The relief would come from   #2 on the Ballot Lee Smith. (Smith was 3rd on my ballot last year.) Lee is one of those between eras guys who  is certainly deserving but never got the votes he deserved in his first 14 years on the ballot,  His last year on the ballot should be no different.

The rush would come from the speedy Tim Raines who would be my #1 pic on any sized ballot this year.    (Raines was my 1st choice last year.) Raines like Lee should already be in, but unlike Lee should get in this year in his last year of eligibility.

Tim Raines #1 of 5


That is pretty much what I think.  But I don't really have a vote.  I do have a sense for these things and I think that there will be 2 players announced on Wednesday,  Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell.  Hoffman, Rodriguez and Guerrerro should be all right under the 75% threshold in some order,  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 Hall of Fame 1st Ballot Players

There are 19 players on the hall of fame ballot for the first time this year and for many it may be the last.  Here is a quick review of the players in alphabetical order .  All the teams they played for are listed in descending order according to games played for everyday players and innings pitched for pitchers.

Casey Blake - Third Baseman, Rightfielder and First Baseman
Teams: Indians, Dodgers, Twins, Blue Jays, Orioles

Pat Burrell - Leftfielder and First baseman
Nickname: Pat the Bat
Teams: Phillies, Giants, and Rays

Orlando Cabrera - Shortstop and Second Baseman
Nicknames: O.C. and O-Dog
Teams: Expos, Angels, White Sox, Reds, A's Indians, Twins, Red Sox, Giants

Mike Cameron -Centerfielder
Nickname: Cammy
Teams: Mariners, White Sox, Padres,Brewers, Mets, Reds, Red Sox, and Marlins

J.D. Drew - Rightfielder
Teams: Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Braves

Carlos Guillen - Shortstop, Third Baseman and Second Baseman
Teams: Tigers and Mariners


Vladimir Guerrero - Rightfielder 
Nicknames: Vladdy and Vlad the Impaler
Teams: Expos, Angels, Rangers, and Orioles

Derrek Lee - First Baseman
Nickname: D-Lee
Teams: Cubs, Marlins, Orioles, Braves, Pirates and Padres

Melvin Mora - Third Baseman, Outfielder, and Shortstop
Teams: Orioles, Mets , Rockies and Diamonbacks

Magglio Ordonez - Rightfielder
Nickname: Mags
Teams: White Sox , Tigers

Jorge Posada - Catcher
Team: Yankees

Manny Ramirez - Outfielder. 
Nicknames Man-ram Manny being Manny & Mannywood.
Teams: Red Sox, Indians, Dodgers, White Sox and Rays.

Edgar Renteria - Shortstop
Teams: Cardinals, Marlins, Braves Giants, White Sox, Tigers, and Reds

Arthur Rhodes - Pitcher
Orioles, Mariners, Reds, Phillies, Indians, A's, Rangers, Marlins and Cardinals

Ivan Rodriguez - Catcher,
 Nicknames: Pudge and I-Rod.
 Teams: Rangers, Tigers, Nationals, Marlins, Astors and Yankees.

Freddy Sanchez - Second Baseman, Third Baseman and Shortstop
Teams: Pirates, Giants, and Red Sox

Matt Stairs: Outfielder, Pinch Hitter and First Baseman
Nickname: Wonder Hamster
Teams: A's, Royals, Blue Jays, Cubs, Pirates, Phillies, Brewers, Padres, Expos/Nationals, Red Sox, Rangers and Tigers

Jason Varitek - Catcher
Nickname: Tek
Team: Red Sox

Tim Wakefield: Pitcher
Nickname: Wake
Teams: Red Sox and Pirates

The new players average being on 5 teams in theri career,  With a range of 2 players, Varitek and Posada playing on one team and Matt Stairs playing on 12 (13 if you count the Expos and Nationals seperately)

Next Time:  I will tell you who I would vote for If I could.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 Hall of Fame Preview Returning Players

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame election results will be revealed on  January 6th.  I will be reviewing everyone on the ballot and submitting who I would vote for   over the next few days as I have over the past # of years.  Today I look at the 15 players retaining to the ballot at least 2 for the final time.

Note:  In 2014 the years a returning player could be on the ballot was reduced from 15 to 10 with those who had more than 10 years on the ballot grandfathered in to the full 15.  This is why Lee Smith appears for the last time in his 15th year on the ballot and Tim Raines appears for the last time in his 10th year on the ballot.

The players returning from last years ballot listed from highest percentage of votes received to lowest are ...

Jeff Bagwell 71.6%% of vote in 2016. 7th year on ballot .  Bagwell's  71.6% last year was his highest vote total to date.

Tim Raines 69.8%  of vote in 2016. 10th and final  year on ballot  . Tim;s highest vote total  was 2016.

Trevor Hoffman 67.3% of vote in 2016, his first year on the ballot. 

Curt Schilling 52.3%% of vote in 2016. 5th year on ballot,    Schillings highest % was in 2016

Roger Clemens   45.2 % of vote in 2016. 5th year on ballot,   The Rocket  received his highest %   in 2016,

Barry Bonds  44.3% of vote in 2016. 5th  year on ballot,  Bonds received his highest %  in 2016

Edgar Martinez 43.4% of vote in 2016. 8th year on ballot   Edgar's  highest %  came  in 2016.

Mike Mussina 43.0 %  of vote in 2016.  4th year on ballot  Mussina's highest % came in 2016.

Lee Smith 34.1%  of vote in 2016. 15th and final year on ballot.   Lee's highest % 50.6  was in 2012, his 10th year on ballot.

Fred McGriff  20.9 % of vote in 2016.  8th year on ballot. The Crimedog's  Highest %  was 23.9 in 2012, his 3rd year on the ballot.

Jeff  Kent 16.6%  of vote in 2016. 4th year on ballot  . Kent's highest % was in 2016.

Larry Walker 15.5% of vote in 2016. 7th year on ballot . Larry's highest  % 22.9  came in 2012, his 2nd year on the ballot

Gary Sheffield 11.6 % of vote in 2016. 3rd year on ballot Sheffields highest % of vote  was 11.7 in 2015

Billy Wagner 10.5 % of vote in 2016, his first year on the ballot

Sammy Sosa received 7% of the vote in 2016.  This is his 5th year on the ballot.   In 2012 Sosa received 12.5%, his highest percentage in his first year of consideration.


That's it for remaining players.  I will preview first year players in my next post.

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Greg Maddux HOF Speech