Monday, January 08, 2007

Who Will Make the HOF This Year?

Tomorrow, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce their class of 2007. Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. are almost assured of being inducted on their first year on the ballot. I agree that these two should make it in, but there are others that are deserving as well.

If it were up to me (and I think there is an argument to be made that it should be), Goose Gossage, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris would also be joining the HOF. ESPN’s Jayson Stark wrote an article detailing his votes. While I agree with almost everything Stark says, there are a couple of votes I can’t agree with.

First, Stark is voting for Dale Murphy. I used to be in favor of Murphy making the Hall. He was a very good player on some very bad Braves teams. He was a feared hitter at a time when feared hitter hit 30 HRs a year, not 73. And if any player ever deserved extra credit for being a “good character” guy, it would be Murphy. But after looking again at his stats and being brainwashed by all of the articles opposing his nomination, I’ve decided I don’t think Murphy is deserving of being in the Hall. Of course, now that I write this out, I feel dirty and cheap.

The other candidate that Stark voted for that I would not support is Jim Rice. I have to admit that I don’t know a great deal about Rice. I only saw him play a few times, so my knowledge of him is limited primarily to his stats. His stats are impressive, but not impressive enough for the Hall. Plus, Rice was a below average defender, a category that I admittedly probably put too much emphasis on.

While Murphy’s vote totals have been going down year after year, Rice’s vote totals have been increasing. In 2006 Rice received 64.8% of the vote. No one has ever received that many votes and not made it into the Hall.

Unfortunately for Rice and everyone else not named Ripken or Gwynn, it’s unlikely that any of them will be elected into the HOF this year. Voters rarely vote in more than a couple of candidates each year, and Gwynn and Ripkin are such obvious choices that it’s unlikely anyone else will make it in this year.

Of course, there is one other player that Stark voted for that I oppose and that is Mark McGwire. Since I wrote eloquently on this topic earlier, I won’t re-hash it here. You can read my wonderful analysis here. But there is one other thing I want to add that I didn’t cover previously.

A lot of allegations have been flying over the past five years concerning McGwire’s use of steroids. Some people have condemned McGuire while others have defended him. The one person that hasn’t had anything to say about it is McGwire. Even in front of Congress, McGwire refused to talk about whether he did or didn’t use steroids. He hasn’t had anything to say. And if he is not interested in defending his legacy, then why should I (or anyone else) defend it for him?


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