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Digging into the Hall votes

Jan 6, 2010, 2:52 PM EDT

Trammell.jpgStill reeling from the exclusion of Roberto Alomar.  In the meantime, let’s look down the ballot a bit, shall we?

Bert Blyleven: He received 400 votes. 405 votes were required this year. Five voters submitted blank ballots. I’m hoping they out themselves soon so they can be pilloried all right and proper.  My pique in the last post — saying that maybe Bert would never make it — may be a bit much, but at some point doesn’t opposition harden? Doesn’t a backlash to his much-publicized candidacy start to develop?  He probably makes it next year. He should have made it several years ago.

Roberto Alomar:  He received 73.7 percent of the needed 75.  Obviously he’ll make it, probably next year. For now, the “he’s no first ballot Hall of Famer” crowd can declare victory. Now if only the Hall voting rules made a distinction between first ballot and non-first ballot candidates . . .

Jack Morris:  52.3%.  Last year he got 44%.  He looks like he’s on a slow but steady climb.  Given all the squawking about him, however, I would have assumed he would have received more.

Barry Larkin: 51.6.  Not a bad showing for a first year candidate. I think he deserves to get in, and at least a majority of writers do too.  Guys who crack 50% in their first year tend to make it eventually.

Edgar Martinez: 36.2%. I wrote earlier that I won’t think it the end of the world if Martinez didn’t make it this year, and I am not crying that he didn’t. Still, 36.2% for a hitter of his caliber seems awfully low.  Are there that many writers out there who view a DH as unqualified for the Hall?

Mark McGwire and Alan Trammell: Each inched up only a tad — Trammell 17% to 22%, McGwire 22% to 23%.  More than even Blyleven and Alomar, the low vote totals for Trammell are something to be ashamed of. I understand the opposition to McGwire. I had thought he’d jump much higher than this based on several writers saying that they have changed their mind on him.  He may never make it. If there is to be any movement on his candidacy, it will be because he’s a nice, honest and approachable hitting coach who likes to talk about the past.

Tim Raines: 30.4%  A seven percent jump from last year.  He’s going to be a 12-15 year candidate I suppose.  Lump him in with Trammell as players’ whose treatment by the BBWAA is shameful.

Others of note:  Fred McGriff’s 21.5% in his debut is less than promising, but at least he hangs around for another year.  Don Mattingly and Dave Parker only received incremental gains, and don’t look to have any momentum.  Lee Smith ticked up a bit to 47%, but it’s a lukewarm reception. Probably should be too.  Dale Murphy actually slid down a percentage point.  Harold Baines remains above the 5% cutoff by the skin of his teeth.  Andres Gallaraga only got 4.1% and will be gone henceforth.

WTF? Seven voters thought Robin Ventura was a Hall of Famer. Maybe they mistook their ballot for the Hall of People Who Got Their Ass Handed To Them By Nolan Ryan That One Time. Ellis Burks and Eric Karros had multiple (read: 2) supporters.  Kevin Appier only had one vote. He struck me as at least a 4 vote man. No, 5.  Two people thought that Pat Hentgen and David Sequi were worth a vote.

David Sequi? I take that, more than anything listed above, as proof positive that the BBWAA should be disbanded and its remains dispatched via horseback to the four corners of the empire.

  1. - Jan 7, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    All I know is if its 1984, and I’m starting a new team, and I have my choice of Tony Gwynn, Ryne Sandberg, or Tim Raines, I am taking Raines without hesitating. (And I’m a Cub fan)
    He was the best player in the NL in the mid 80’s. He is the 2nd best leadoff man probably ever. He got on base just as much as Gwynn, and accomplished alot more once on base than Gwynn. In the 6 years he and Dawson were both regulars on the same team, Raines was better 4 of the 6 yrs. Yet he can only get 30% of the vote

  2. Bill@TDS - Jan 7, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Actually, most people you find at a site like this (the writers, anyway; no accounting for the madding crowd) are going to agree that Trammell is very much a Hall of Famer. One of the 10-12 best ever at his position. That’s enough for me.

  3. ruf - Jan 8, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    BBWAA? Apparently that is the BaseBall Whiners Association of America.
    When the HOF designated the BBWAA to be the voters, this group of people were the only ones that really got to see and know The Game. It made sense then and most of the writers were sports journalists. Today, msot of the memebers of the BBWAA work in a rapidly shrinking and irrelevant medium (print) and likely have less knwledge and insight of The Game and the participants. They alos tend to practice the prevelant media technique of “gotcha journalism” and making “the scoop” at the cost of their integrity.

  4. jimn - Jan 8, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    nothing about this vote upset me too much. i’d like to see blyleven in, but more as a blyleven fan than as a baseball fan. alomar. meh. he’ll get in. he deserves to get in. he probably also deserves to wait a year or two. ventura? i always enjoyed watching him play. he wasn’t the type of winner i want in the hall, but seven votes aren’t going to get him there. segui, that’s a bad one, but is a hell of a lot of food for thought, if you just take the time to think before you get upset with the whole system.
    why do we always have to be outraged with the people who wield power? whether it be government or financial markets or hall of fame votes or journalists or filmmakers… it’s not like these people are amateurs. i’m sure all of them believe in their votes and are trying to make a decision they feel is right. do we feel so democratized with blogs and the internet and wikipedia that we don’t respect the professional work of others anymore? are our opinions better because they are ours, or because they are better? and even if they are better, does that completely discredit someone else’s decision that is made on the basis of their life’s work? no, it doesn’t.
    so make your own hall of fame. work your ass off and get a vote of your own. write about who you think should be in or not be in, by all means. but this is baseball, have a little respect for our traditions, they might not be as stupid as your statistics make them out to be.

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