Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hall of Fame Election Results Tomorrow - How I Would Vote

As many of you know, the BBWAA ballot for admittance into the hallowed hall will officially be announced tomorrow.  This is a great annual event that always elicits controversy and endless discussions about merit.  Who deserves to get in?  Should only the elite be 1st ballot winners?  How would PED's change your vote? Etc.

Well, since we are a day away from seeing the results, I thought I would take a moment to list how I vote.  BTW, the MLB Network is airing a 3-hour show tomorrow starting at 9:00 AM PST, so be sure to check it out.  Below is an excerpt of a press release sent to me by the network:
The results of the 2013 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot will be announced live exclusively on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com on Wednesday, January 9 at 2:00 p.m. ET as part of a three-hour announcement show beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET. Featuring National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, coverage will include interviews with electees and be anchored by Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Heidi Watney with MLB Network’s, Al Leiter, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, Hall of Fame award-winning baseball writer Peter Gammons, and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci. Hall of Fame coverage and reaction will continue on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk and MLB Tonight starting live at 5:00 p.m. ET.

MLB Network will air the 2013 Hall of Fame Debate on Tuesday, January 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET, a special featuring Costas, Leiter, Reynolds, Verducci, Sports on Earth senior columnist Joe Posnanski and SiriusXM sports radio host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo discussing the highly-debated 2013 ballot.
Now, on to my ballot.

First of all, I already know that my choices will cause many to shake their head and call me an idiot.  And you know what?  I'm OK with that. 

With that in mind, the first player I will address is Jack Morris.  I am a product of the 80's.  I wore the clothes, had the hairdo, and watched the game with an eye towards the Baseball Wizard.  I remember the days when 30 home runs a season was a monumental achievement and when pitchers were valued for longevity, toughness and grit.  I also believe that the great players of an era deserve to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and there is no doubt in my mind that Jack Morris fits that bill.  He was the best pitcher of that time, and his achievements between the lines prove that.  I also happened to be good friends with a niece of his in college, and remember vividly telling her how great I thought he was (and no, it wasn't my hormones speaking... well, maybe a little).  Jack Morris is a Hall of Famer in my mind, and no amount of statistical argumentation will sway me.  It's just what I believe.

Alan Trammel, the other Tiger, would get my vote, as well.  I think it's time we pay homage to some great Tiger teams. Besides, he compares favorable to Ozzie Smith- without the flash.

I would vote for Tim Raines on the 2013 ballot.  He was the best at what he did.

Dale Murphy gets my vote purely out of sentimentality.  I feared every time he came up to the plate. 

I didn't initially believe Fred McGriff was Hall of Fame worthy, but recently changed my mind.  The reason is foretelling.  In our day and age, we have become blinded by statistics that have been shaped by PED's.  Our notion of what makes a great hitter has changed, and the expectations we have today far exceeds the non-PED age.  Fred McGriff, who has never been linked to cheating, was consistent- consistently great.  In many ways he was the Bert Blyleven of hitting.  So, he would get my vote.

From here, the well has run dry.  At this time, I would not vote for anyone else into the Hall of Fame.  This is painful to say; especially since Mike Piazza is one of my all-time favorite players.  I would withhold my vote for otherwise worthy candidates who are getting their first shot in this election.  I am one of those old-school folks who believe only the elite of the elite deserve first ballot recognition.  (I know, Idiot!)  With regards to PED's, I would stay away from casting a vote (for the time being) for those who have or are suspected of cheating.  I know that's not fair, but who said Baseball is fair? 

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