My (Hypothetical) Hall of Fame Ballot for 2015

Similar to last year, I put together my picks for the Baseball Hall of Fame, you know if I actually had a vote. I went through a lot of things leading up to my actual picks in last year’s piece, including my stance on whether players who have used (or are suspected to have used) steroids belong the Hall of Fame. My views have not changed at all since then, so I will direct you to that article if you’d like to see it or reacquaint yourself. Additionally, since many of the players I would have voted for did not get in last year, my stance on their inclusion has not changed. For a complete list of players on the 2015 ballot, click here.

LINK –> My (Hypothetical) Hall of Fame Ballot for 2014

I will add though that the rules have slightly changed, in that players can only stay on the ballot a maximum of 10 years, rather than 15. Any player who was on the ballot between 10 and 15 years at the time of the rule change was allowed to stay on the ballot for a total of 15 years. Essentially, with an ever-increasing ballot of worthy players, this rule change screws Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, and possibly Edgar Martinez.

Here’s my ballot for 2015.

Absolute no-brainers. Each of these players should be in the Hall of Fame, although we know why many of the writers have left (and will continue to leave) Bonds and Clemens off their ballots. Head over to the Hall of Fame’s web page for 2015’s candidates (found here) and read their “Quick Candidate Bio’s”, impressive is an understatement.

There is this as well, which I found very entertaining (and interesting). Yes, Barry Bonds was VERY good at baseball.

As for Martinez and Johnson, they should sail into Cooperstown today. Martinez had one of (if not the) best peaks in MLB history. In 1999 and 2000, during what some may call the height of the steroid era, he basically posted video game numbers (ERA+ of 243 and 291, where 100 is average and 110 is 10% better than average!). He also had that memorable 1999 All-Star game start where he not only struck out 5 of the 6 best hitters on planet, but he made them look silly.

Oh yeah, Randy Johnson was really good too.

Both Raines, in his 8th year on the ballot and Trammel, in his 14th year on the ballot are running out of time. So my votes for them are not only because they are great players and deserving to be inducted, but the clock is ticking.

In last year’s post, I included a defense of Raines’ candidacy from Michael Baumann of the excellent Phillies blog, Crashburn Alley (he now writes for Grantland). This year, I’ll do the same with another Grantland writer, Jonah Keri, who asks his readers to do the following in his book, “Up, Up, and Away” (you can find the excerpt here, courtesy of the Tim Raines Hall of Fame website,

“Try this exercise: replace 600 of Raines’ 1,330 career walks with 400 bunt singles and 200 strikeouts. You’re left with an inferior player who’d have been enshrined in Cooperstown years ago: this because the voters are obsessed with hits and don’t count walks—and because humans happen to have 10 fingers and are thus obsessed with counting by increments of 10, 100, and 1,000.”

As for Trammel, I talked about him last year, but his JAWS rating would rates him as the 11th best shortstop ever, ahead of Hall of Famers Barry Larkin, Pee Wee Reese, Lou Boudreau, and even future Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter.

Bagwell was on my ballot last year, where I described him as a similar offensive player to Frank Thomas (inducted last year), while also providing better value by being a better defender and baserunner. Nothing has changed. Piazza is hands down the best hitting catcher who has ever played the game and has the 5th highest JAWS rating for a catcher, one spot ahead of all time great, Yogi Berra. Both Bagwell and Piazza get hurt in the votes because people “think” they took steroids, when there has never been any proof that either actually has.

Mussina and Schilling took up the last two spots on my ballot last year as well. As I explained then, they were both better pitchers than Tom Glavine (a deserving member of the 2014 Hall of Fame class), without the 300 wins, which is impressive, but not nearly as important as other ways to measure pitcher performance.

Honorable Mentions

This section is for players who I would definitely include on my ballot if writers had more than 10 votes.

Finally, here are players that I think require consideration, but came nowhere close to breaking the top 10 on my ballot this year.

Hope you enjoyed this year’s Hall of Fame debate. Feel free to share your agreement or disagreement in the comment section.

*A note on Biggio: He was listed on my ballot last year and he came up to votes short of getting into the Hall of Fame. Leaving him off my ballot this year was strategic, in that he has many more years on the ballot and the assumption that he would get those extra votes to get him to 75% in 2015. If you don’t like that explanation, then how about the 10 players on the ballot were flat out better in my opinion.

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