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Bob Nightengale’s Hall of Fame ballot is unusual

Dec 23, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

Palmeiro Orioles

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted his Hall of Fame ballot earlier today. It’s somewhat unusual as far as these things go: Barry Larkin, Rafael Palmeiro, Fred McGriff, Jack Morris and Alan Trammell.

Nightengale then said that he votes for PED guys because we’ll never know who did and who didn’t use.  That explains his vote for Rafael Palmeiro.  And that’s fair. But that does mean that — on the merits — he thinks that Jeff Bagwell was inferior to both Palmeiro and Fred McGriff.  And that seems pretty far off the mark to me.

If you read up his timeline, Nightengale responds to questions about that (which is very admirable by the way).  He notes Palmeiro’s counting stats — home run and RBI totals for example — and notes that Bagwell would have made it had he made it to 500 homers.  But of course McGriff only hit 493.  And didn’t play in the awful hitting environment of the Astrodome for nine years like Bagwell did. He explains his love for McGriff more in terms of consistency.

Well, viva consistency, I suppose.

  1. largebill - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    You showed remarkable self control in not demonstrating your well documented Anti-Morris bias. This ballot was ripe for mocking on that vote alone.

  2. Kyle - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Well, points for trying, I guess?

  3. cur68 - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Hmmm…I can’t agree with Palmeiro. It’s the mustache. Always seemed like a dishonest or “I’m hiding something under here” mustache. Something about it always struck me as basically camouflage for a kind of evil…or bad behaviour when no one’s lookin’ kind of thing. That thing’s up to no good. That mustache fails the conduct clause for HOF admission, IMO.

    Now Jack Morris’s ‘stache: that’s a righteous set O whiskers. Enshrinement on the facial hair alone for Morris, IMO.

  4. 78mu - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Great! A writer who doesn’t vote against steroid users and then decides that Bagwell’s numbers aren’t good enough.

    Palmero never had a season like Bagwell’s 1994 and never had a stretch like Bagwell did from 1993 through 2001. Six of those years Bagwell had an OBP over .400, something Palmero only did once in his career. And Palmero didn’t even have a better career BA for all those writers that worship triple crown stats.

    Forgetting PEDs, is there anyone that would rather face Bagwell in his prime than Palmero?

    I guess we’ll get more writers keeping Bagwell off their ballots because they suspect him of PEDs and the ones like Nightengale that will vote for juicers will blame Bagwell for not reaching 500 HRs.

  5. Kanonen80 - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    If a writer is willing to share his logic and opinions leading to his ballot, I have zero issues with who he chooses. I may not agree, but I much prefer this to the writers who keep their votes secret so that they can play politics.

    • 78mu - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      I’m with you on secret ballots. We aren’t voting for president here.

  6. rooney24 - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    If he is willing to vote for PED users, I am surprised McGwire wouldn’t be on the ballot. If you want to talk about someone a pitcher would fear to see at the plate.

    Maybe he liked Palmeiro based on him getting his 3rd Gold Glove in 1999. You know, when he only started 25 games at 1st base. If the BBWAA are the guys that also give out the Gold Gloves, him getting one that year tells you all you need to know about them.

  7. theonlynolan - Dec 23, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    People like this shouldn’t be allowed to vote

  8. hushbrother - Dec 23, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Another reason not to read USA Today

  9. nightrain42 - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    I agree with Palmiero, but Bagwell was better than McGriff. And I wldnt hve voted for Morris. The numbers aren’t there.

  10. stex52 - Dec 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    This is bearing out what I have been saying in other notes. The assessment of the sportswriters in Houston during the 2004/2005 timeframe when Bagwell was winding down was that the inability to get to 500 homeruns would hurt him. The ’90’s were perceived as this great power era, and he would be compared to guys like Thomas and Thome who got their 500. Playing in the Astrodome is too many ideas for your average sportswriter to keep in his head at one time.

    I hope for the best with Bagwell, but I am more than a little pessimistic.

  11. trucker2020 - Dec 26, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    PED abusers already hijacked the home run record.If they start putting guys like Bonds,Sosa,Clemons,even Braun & a host of others, these cheaters will have hijacked the Hall of Fame too.

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