Middle Age Wasteland (BALCO Oh Really?) 2013 Hall Of Fame

As much as i enjoy debating (euphemism for complaining about) the merits of Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey, i was reading an article by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, debating (see above) the 2013 HOF ballot. In many ways, the ballot is what we expect, be that good or bad. Many holdovers are on it, Morris, Mattingly, Murphy, Trammell, and others, some entering their last year of eligibility. Mr. Brown submitted 7 names, the most he ever submitted, according to the article.

His Lucky 7:

Upon reading this, I thought to myself...... "'Stache, who would YOU vote for?" My answer, whereas I agree with some of the picks, there are a couple that I would hold off on for the moment. Now, the question gets tricky here, as I find myself vacillating between "fame", and "excellence". Maybe others do this also, maybe not. So, that said, I will try to walk the line (2nd iconic song reference, for those counting along at home) in my imaginary ballot. First, we need to look at the list of eligible players presented:

  1. Sandy Alomar
  2. Jeff Bagwell
  3. Craig Biggio
  4. Barry Bonds
  5. Jeff Cirillo
  6. Royce Clayton
  7. Roger Clemens
  8. Jeff Conine
  9. Steve Finley
  10. Julio Franco
  11. Shawn Green
  12. Roberto Hernandez
  13. Ryan Klesko
  14. Kenny Lofton
  15. Edgar Martinez
  16. Don Mattingly
  17. Fred McGriff
  18. Mark McGwire
  19. Jose Mesa
  20. Jack Morris
  21. Dale Murphy

So, using this list, and my own circuitous logic/rationale, I will submit my list of names, along with a short blurb defending my choice (fame/excellence combo). Note that I am probably punishing steroid users a little harshly, believing that some of them will get in..... but just not yet.

Don Mattingly: I think that, although he possesses none of the "magic" numbers, (3000 hits, 500 HRs), his career, cut short by injuries, and sadly missing out on the 1996 season and not getting the WS ring that he deserved, showed, a remarkable consistency, hitting under .280 just once, amassing 9 Gold Gloves, an MVP (including 7 top 20 finishes in MVP voting), while playing in New York, during some of the worst Yankee seasons. So, in my opinion.... Donnie Baseball gets in.

Jack Morris: the winningest pitcher of the 1980's, 3 WS rings, and one of the most iconic postseason performances ever. I think this should be his year. The career ERA is a bit unsightly, and the last years were up and down, the sustained excellence is there. The fame part? Whereas Jack Morris may not be a household name, I submit that among baseball fans... he is. So, he meets my criteria.

Mike Piazza: The numbers don't lie. One of the all time great offensive catchers. Granted, he couldn't throw anyone faster than Steve Balboni out, he was a decent game caller. He wouldn't be the first marginal defensive player by a long sgot. (our own beloved Harmon Killebrew among them). His numbers stack up whether you are old school or a WAR fan (personally, I always enjoyed "Lowrider", that's 3 music references now).

Alan Trammell: As one of the best shortstops in the pre-Cal Ripken era, his numbers compare favorably to any shortstop of his era not named Cal Ripken. Over 20 seasons, he averaged 3.355 WAR every year. His 7 year peak of 43.3 is pretty impressive, in my opinion And if you're an old school guy like me, he was fun to watch, especially since Detroit wasn't in our division most of those years. He was a great glove, and a stick that had to be taken seriously. So, Trammell gets my vote.

This concludes my personal ballot .Some of my omissions are based on steroids (You know who you are), some are based on various personal biases (Schilling, for one), some are based on factors like home park inflation of numbers (sorry, Larry Walker), and some, just because they meet neither of my criteria (fame/excellence). I'm sure that many of you have your own, and will think that I'm crazy. (I am, but this post really has nothing to do with it). So, fellow TT faithful, let's hear yours.

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