Another good post (I'm already looking forward to next year's ballot for more of your posts--and chances to debate the merits of candidates).
Now that the ballot's been finalized and the 0-fer confirmed, I'm sure that we will hear those cries. And while I was first tempted to join them (because I am dumbfounded at Biggio's non-inclusion),I can agree that a no-inductee weekend won't end the world and could reestablish some waning lustre of the Hall of Fame.
That said, as someone who would gladly vote for more than 10 players next year, I'm also confident that increasing the votes won't lead to a flood of honorees. It seems as though most writers decide who to vote for based on whether or not they meet the "Hall of Fame" standard in their own mind. Some say that 15 people make it, some say 10 others (as Rosterman) points out see 5 and others (ESPN's Howard Bryant) see 0. I don't know as a 15 vote option would hurt the hall's integrity--a 15 vote requirement DEFINITELY would.
The three fellows who voted form The Sporting News...one voted for ten, the other two only found five folks to vote for.
Hosken Powell, Willie Norwood and Bombo Rivera doesn't get any better than that!!
What if we’re wrong about the next wave of uber-prospects being ready to seriously compete in the Big Leagues by 2015? What if it takes them longer? What if, like with Hrbek, Gaetti and Viola, this group loses big chunks of games for a few years even after they arrive in Minnesota and it’s 2019 or 2020… or later… before they reach their potential? That’s not exactly unlikely, is it?
No, its not unlikely at all.
Very nice list Jim. I agree with all 10 guys you have listed and, for the most part, the order as well (I'd probably flip Gibson and Rosario). Also pretty excited for an outfield (hopefully) featuring Buxton and Kepler this year in CR. Hope to make it to a few games this year.
Good stuff, JC. Looking forward to seeing some of these prospects -and you - in CR this summer.
Fair question PFH.
If I voted, I would not make the PED users wait a year before I give them my vote. That said, if a member of the BBWAA went public with an intended philosophy of consistently not voting for KNOWN users in their first year of eligibility and then, starting with their second year, would vote for them on the merits of their accomplishments, I could at least respect that.
I love Hall of Fame debate time. And I definitely appreciate the analyses of how/why we allow/bar perceived cheaters from the hall. I absolutely concur that if we've got amphetemine users, spit ball pitchers and belligerent racists who perpetuated an absolutely unfair system for nearly 50 years of pro-ball in we should let in the PED crowd. (I personally would like to see their busts hung in the men's room...but that's a debate for another time)
Here's my question though: chances are that Bonds/Clemens will get more than the 5% minimum to stay on the ballot but not the 75% minimum for induction. Biggio also will be over 5% but far closer to the enshrinement threshold and has the distinction of being both a superb player (an all-star at the up-the-middle triumverate of catcher, 2nd base, and centerfield) who was too often overlooked by the numbers of others. So would you Jim, or any other posters, consider withholding support on either Barry or Roger for one year to try to push Biggio over the top before guys like Glavine, Maddux and Mussina gum up the works again next year? Or is it best of the best first and let all the others keep on whistlin' dixie?
Known cheaters should not be in the Hall. If there are people who slipped in, it is unfortunate. But, if known cheaters are allowed in then, where do you draw the line? Remember, there are many ways of cheating. Some not even invented yet.
You destroy the integrity of what it takes to get in if you allow cheaters in.
Lets say Sosa has 70 HR's with enhancers but someone else has 35 per year in the same era (or maybe before) and not judged Hall material.
Who can really say what Sosa would have hit without? Maybe his performance would be less than the 35 homer guy?
So given that you do not know ... and there is liklihood guys understate usage they can't be in the Hall.
Raines deserves to be in by now. He was one of the top players of his era, somebody that affected how games were played and managed. Bagwel's case is absolutely HOF worthy when the fact he played in the astrodome for the majority of his career and still got 450 HR's! Biggio is a lock this year too. 3,000 hits while playing C & 2b in the astrodome?? why is their any debate? Piazza definately. I'd vote for Bonds and Clemens too because the last time I checked, Gaylord Perry is a HOF'er and he wasn't exactly Mr. Integrity.
OMW, you obviously are of the same mind as many (perhaps most) fans. But as AM notes, the HoF already has cheaters in it. Players throughout the second half of the 20th century widely used amphetamines. Was that not using illegal drugs to aid performance? Baseball didn't care, writers didn't care and fans didn't want to know about it, so it was common... but it was still cheating, wasn't it?
Steroids, to me, were ignored by baseball, by writers and fans for a far less period of time, but just because there were never Congressional hearings that led to witch hunts over use of greenies doesn't mean the players who used them are any cleaner than those who used steroids, in my book.
Players who used PEDs of any kind during eras when MLB made no effort whatsoever to discourage, much less outlaw, their use should not be kept out of the HoF by voters who, if they were honest, would admit they would have readily done the same thing if it would have meant being able to play Big League baseball.
OMW, you ended your comment by asking, "where do you draw the line?" You seem to be drawing that line somewhere between amphetamines and steroids, with the former being OK and the latter not OK. I respectfully disagree.
The Hall of Fame is a joke without players like Bonds and Clemens.
Of the bottom three, only Raines should be in.
OMW--the Hall already has cheaters in it, and we don't really know who the cheaters are. I agree with JimCrikket. If you don't want a Hall of Fame with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in it, why bother having a hall of fame?
How can anyone be positive what Bonds - McGuire performance would be without enhancement drugs?
Sosa and McGuire 70 HR's at what 35+?
How many people, athletes or no , can perform better at 35 to 40 than 25 to 30?
No, the folks on that list are simply out of the Hall.
The Hall is a unique honor. You cannot cheat to get in.
Players like Oliva and Kaat are off the list for flimsy reasons too. Hall voters were unconvinced either were truly among the elite.
I disagree. They passed the eyeball test for me and i can find less impressive players who are in the Hall.
If you open the Hall to cheaters, where do you draw the line?
Good article. I have to say, I love baseball because it is a great distraction from everyday life. And while there are many tragic events which happen every day, I find myself thinking of baseball more than any of these. Why? Because it brings me pleasure to watch, and in reality, I want to be happy. And when I watch the news, I become grumpy...I guess I am selfish this way.
I have been in the military for over seventeen years, and I have loved the Twins everyone one of those years, and for many more prior to joining. Baseball is a great morale and welfare tool I use in unwinding and relaxing. The distraction is greatly appreciated and sometimes, very much needed. With that said, I have been so frustrated at the Twins when I do get a chance to watch them, I have almost lost TVs. But like you said, when a team takes the field, no matter how bad they played the day before, or the even the lack of talent that they display, we know anything can happen. And that is part of the reason I love watching them play. And while I have not had the opportunity to actually see them play in person, once I do return from my overseas assignment, I do plan on making a visit. They might stink it up during the game, but as a fan, it is one of my many goals to do.
Good article. I think part of the reason that it is easier to care about a baseball team is because our money is directly related (or should be) to the product we get out of it. If we all buy their gear and go to their games, we (should) be able to reap th benefits from spending our money on their business. We have a say - if their product sucks, we don't spend our money on it. It's too bad the opposite is happening.
Thanks for the comments.
I don't expect Jim Pohlad to throw money around like Illitch does with the Tigers and I don't expect them to go out and sign the top "ace" on the free agent market.
But this front office is responsible for the past two atrocious seasons and while the players and fans have suffered through this decline, the ownership has seen the value of their franchise rise (primarily because MLB has been so successful, not because the people running the Twins have done such a marvelous job). I really don't think it's too much to ask of the front office and ownership to demonstrate a greater sense of urgency about fixing the problem they've created.
There were a lot of mid-rotation pitchers available this offseason. They weren't ALL "bottom of the order starters". They certainly were not bottom of the TWINS rotation starters! And I'm sorry, but I do not believe for one moment that guys will not sign with the Twins because they have lost a couple of years in a row. It may take a little more money than a contender would have to pay, but to suggest Terry Ryan get off the hook simply because the very best pitchers will want to play for contenders is just being an enabler. You're telling the team, "you failed to improve the team when they were contenders, which caused them to take, but it's ok if you don't improve them now because they aren't contenders."
If you ever want this front office and ownership to change their ways, you have to call them out... keep them honest. To make up excuses for them just convinces them that there's no reason for them to ever make a serious attempt to win.
Open your eyed up some more. What front line pitcher has ever signed with a mid market last place team. Write all the articles you want bemoaning the spending. The reality you choose to ignore is that it takes two willing parties to make a contract. Sanchez used the Cubs to get the contract out of Detroit. The trade for Shields by KC is something the Twins could not pull of because they do not have the major league ready prospects to deal that KC did.
Considering the Twin's needs this did not set up to be a good free agent class. No free agent help for the MI (Steven Drew as a defensive player was a negative, .250 as a hitter, 10 mill)
What free agent pitcher other than Grienke was actually a number one starter? Sanchez and Dempster were used as number two. Marcum a three. The depth of the free agency this year was in bottom of the order starters. Precisely what you are complaining about them spending money on. see any of the thousand comments on Correia. Look back through the historical free agent signing. Top of the rotation pitchers do not sign with losing mid market teams they have no connection to. So is it that you expect a miracle to happen or what?
Great article, it's cathartic to read eloquent articles that properly sum up our collective frustration.
Mike Illitch and the Tigers spend money on the team and field a competitve product to prove their loyalty to the fans, and as expected, the fans buy tickets and spend money at the stadium.
Contrarily, the Pohlads and the Twins ask the fans to prove their loyalty to the team in the form of buying tickets and spending money at the stadium before they'll spend enough money to put a competitve product on the field.
Well applying that rationale, maybe the Nats should have been really nice and sent us Ramos back along with Meyer!