My 2015 MLB Hall of fame Ballot

Though baseball takes a back seat to the other major sports in entertainment, there is no sport that can match baseball in hall of fame anticipation.  Unfortunately, there is an extreme lack of objectivity in baseball voting that has ruined the process.  There are 4 types of morons that have broken the system:

  • The Mike Berardino: He is the voter who probably means well, but does not have enough common sense to be voting. He used all 10 votes, but left Randy Johnson off of his ballot.  He selected 3 pitchers (Mussina, Schilling, and Smoltz) but left off Johnson despite the Big Unit being better than the former 3 should-be-hall-of-famers in pretty much everything.  Leaving off the most obvious name to check off fringe candidates like Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, and Tim Raines is not acceptable.
  • The Howard Bryant: He and too many others decided to submit a blank ballot. That is absolutely ridiculous.  They have the honor of receiving a hall of fame vote and are ignoring their responsibility.  The system is not broken, it’s the voters.  Especially problematic are individuals who refuse to submit a ballot and then write an article after voting is over about a player who missed the HOF by a few votes.
  • The Ken Gurnick: Similar to Berardino, he has no common sense. The difference is that unlike Berardino, he does not mean well and submits stupid ballots to just be a dick.  Gurnick wants to punish the entire steroid era, during which every player is tainted.  As a result, he only voted for Jack Morris in 2014.  Maddux and Morris’ careers overlap by 9 years (1986-1994) so technically Morris is a part of that era too. But who needs real logic when you can use Gurnick logic, right?
  • The Anonymous Moron: Someone actually voted for Aaron Sele in 2013. I have nothing against Aaron Sele.  He was a solid pitcher, but even he knows that he has no business being in a hall of fame discussion.  There are numerous instances of players who miss election by a handful of votes.  All votes need to be public so the BBWA can get rid of writers who do the equivalent of submitting a blank ballot.

Without further ado, here is my (if I had a vote,) 2015 hall of fame ballot:

The Unanimous One

  1. Randy Johnson: 4135.1 IP, 303 Wins, 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 4875 Ks, 5 Cy Youngs, WS MVP
  • Like Greg Maddux last year, Randy Johnson should be checked off on every single ballot. He has a ton of hardware, reached all the traditional milestones, shut down an elite Yankees lineup during the World Series, and was straight up dominant from 1993-2004.  It doesn’t matter if you want a big hall or small, this guy is a no-brainer selection.

Obvious Picks

Individuals in favor of a small hall of fame may not vote for these guys.  I can accept that, but I like a slightly bigger HOF so these guys are obvious picks.

  1. Pedro Martinez: 2827.1 IP, 219 Wins, 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 3154 Ks, 3 Cy Youngs
  • Pedro doesn’t have the longevity to join the pantheon of the hall of fame, but he has the 2 most amazing seasons in history (1997 and 2000) where he had a sub 2.00 ERA in the steroid era. Pedro should also have a 4th Cy Young award for 2002 when he was clearly better than Zito.  Regardless, he is the most dominant pitcher I’ve ever seen and should be elected first ballot.
  1. Craig Biggio: 1844 Runs, 291HR, 1175 RBI, 414 SB, .796OPS, 5 SS, 4 GG
  • Biggio is undoubtedly one of the 10 best second basemen in history and is top 5 all time in my book. Ricky Henderson is the only other player to with at least 3000hits-250HR-400SB.  Biggio shouldn’t have stuck around his last season just to reach 3000 hits because he already had a hall of fame career.  He should get in this year, but one can never trust the HOF voters.
  1. Jeff Bagwell: 1517 Runs, 449 HR, 1529 RBI, 202 SB, .948 OPS, 3 SS, 1 MVP, 1 GG
  • Bagwell was one of the best all-around players in baseball and had an unbelievable peak. If it wasn’t for the strike, his 1994 season would be the greatest offensive season of all time in my book.  Age and injuries in 2005 ended his career a little early, but he has plenty of numbers and hardware to be in the HOF.  The steroid speculation is ridiculous.  You are innocent until proven guilty in this country.  To penalize him for being a steroid user is un-American.
  1. Mike Piazza: 1048 Runs, 427 HR, 1335 RBI, 17 SB, .922 OPS, 10 SS
  • Piazza surpassed Jonny Bench as the greatest offensive catcher in MLB history. The fact that he has 10 silver sluggers during the greatest offensive era is baseball is incredible.  He was a really bad defensive catcher but his offensive work is more than enough to get into the hall.  Just like Bagwell, those un-American steroid speculators are keeping him out.
  1. John Smoltz: 3473 IP, 213 Wins, 3.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 3084 Ks, 1 CY Young, 1 SS
  • Smoltz is the final member of the Braves’ big 3 who will be elected into the hall of fame. He has really good regular season numbers on par with both Schilling and Mussina.  What separates him is that he had Schilling’s postseason dominance, except did it for 72 more innings.  He doesn’t get any bonus points for being a great closer.  All hall of fame starters would have been dominant closers.  Of course, Smoltz had such a great career that he doesn’t need the relief pitching “bonus” to get into the hall.

Fringe Picks

All of these guys are just missing something that could keep them out of the hall.  They’re still hall of famers in my book, but I can understand why some would not vote for them.

  1. Mike Mussina: 3562.2 IP, 270 Wins, 3.68 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 2813 Ks, 7 Gold Gloves
  • Mussina has 9 top 6 Cy Young finishes and excellent career numbers despite pitching in arguably the toughest division during the steroid era. He was also the 2nd best defensive pitcher of his era after Maddux.  Mussina hasn’t reached any of the popular milestones and has good, but not great postseason numbers which is what is hurting him.  Regardless, it’s an absolute disgrace that a relief pitcher like Lee Smith is getting more votes than him.
  1. Curt Schilling: 3261 IP, 216 Wins, 3.46 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3116 Ks, 1 WS MVP
  • I left Schilling off my ballot last year and didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. He’s on the low end in regular season totals, and doesn’t have much hardware.  Despite that, Schilling was one of the best pitchers during the steroid era and is one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time.  He’s been to 4 World Series with 3 different teams, and won 3 titles with 2 different teams.  That postseason resume is good enough to overcome regular season shortcomings.
  1. Larry Walker: 1355 Runs, 383 HR, 1311 RBI, 230 SB, .965 OPS, 7 GG, 3 SS, 1 MVP
  • Walker’s career numbers are on the low side, but he has a ton of hardware to prove that he was a dominant force when he did play. Walker is one of the 5 best offensive right fielders in history and arguably the 2nd best RF of all time behind Hank Aaron.  It’s a shame that his vote totals were halved last year.  It’ll be a travesty if he falls off the HOF ballot this year.
  1. Carlos Delgado: 1241 Runs, 473 HR, 1512 RBI, 14 SB, .929 OPS, 3 SS
  • This last spot was an extremely tough call for me but I went with my gut and put down Delgado. If it wasn’t for a roided-up A-Rod, Delgado would have won the MVP award in 2003.  He also has impressive career totals even for playing in the steroid era and he did while being clean.  Unlike most great players, he ended his career on a high note.  Delgado put up 38HR/115RBI in his last full season and had a .914 OPS before he got hurt and called it a career in 2009.  There’s little doubt that Delgado would have gotten to 500 home runs if he stuck around for another year or two.

Sincere Apologies

  • Jeff Kent: He was on the list last year, but I liked Delgado and Schilling a little more. The guy is one of the best offensive 2nd basemen of all time, and he just missed the cut by a hair.
  • Alan Trammel: Most hardware among players not on ballot. He was a great all-around player who is unfortunately missing due to a crowded ballot.
  • Tim Raines: He had the 10 spot on my list last year. After comparing Raines, Trammel, Kent, and McGriff closely, I realized that his career was a little less impressive than I thought.
  • Fred McGriff: He is the final guy on my 3 way tie for 12th Crime dog is more substance than flash, but I have no problems with that.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post.  Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

By: Milap Mehta

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14 Responses to My 2015 MLB Hall of fame Ballot

  1. rob says:

    that was an excellent read. it’s obvious you have aspirations to write for 1 of the sports websites and with me being an avid reader / sports fan for a long time I would most definitely look forward to reading your articles. good luck

    • Thank you very much for the kind words. Becoming a prominent sports writer is a pipe dream, but like you, I love sports and will post whenever I get a chance. Thank you again for taking the time to read my post.

  2. Pat says:

    Hi Milap. Asw your link over on the espn article. Nice work! If I may make a suggestion, I think you’re over rating Delgado, and McGriff. They were both bat only 1B. By that I mean they were poor defenders at the position lowest on the defensive spectrum, who were also poor baserunners. IOW, their only qualification is their bat.

    If you look at the average 1B stats for the HOF, you’ll see they are both below average for OPS+, and WAR, even offensive WAR if you don’t like defense. For a player whose sole qualification is their bat, this should be the kiss of death, and no further consideration is due. Sure many of their counting stats look good because they were healthy and played in the best HR era ever. However, when you look at them relative to their era and position, they again come up short. They are way behind Pujols, Thomas, Bagwell, and Thome. They’re not significantly better with the bat, if at all, than Will Clark, Helton, and Olerud, all of whom were better defenders, and that’s without even considering PED tainted players such as McGwire, Palmeiro, and Giambi.

    Guys like Raines and Trammell far exceed them as HOF candidates once you consider defense/position, era, and baserunning. Cheers!

    • Thank you very much for taking the time to read the post and for your feedback.

      I’m still figuring out if I like all the advanced metrics such as WAR and a lot of the defensive metrics, so I’m refraining from using them until my understanding is better. They very well could be extremely valuable, but I will not have an opinion on them until I full grasp them.

      For my final spot, I was down to Delgado, Kent, Raines, Trammel, and McGriff. I know that they have different strengths in different counting stats so that wasn’t my end all. My favorite offensive statistic is OPS. Delgado ranked 14th all time among 1st basemen in OPS. Raines ranked 30th among left fielders, and Trammel was 21st among short stops so that swayed me toward Delgado.

      I then went to hardware. Trammel had the most of this group and the least. I valued Kent’s MVP and Delgado’s should have been MVP a little heavier than the silver sluggers and gold gloves. Trammel was without a question the best defender of the group, but he was also the weakest offensively to me which canceled out.

      In the end I made a gut pick because Delgado was my favorite player of the group. I don’t blame anybody for taking Raines/Trammel and would not be upset at all if either got in.

      Thank you very much for your insight. I will definitely take it into consideration for my ballot next year.

      • Pat says:

        Looking at raw OPS ignores changes in offensive context and park. Remember Delgado put up his OPS in an extremely high offensive era, while Raines, and Trammell, played in lower offense eras. Using OPS+ adjusts for those items. Also, Raines was extraordinarily valuable on the bases.

      • Pat says:

        HI Milap! I was intrigued by your comment about Trammell being the 21st Shortstop by OPS, and I wanted to respond because to me Trammell is a clear HOF. So to get him at 21st I have to set the limit for PA’s all the way down to 4,500. By doing this the error of not adjusting for park and era (or offensive context, if you prefer) is compounded by considering him to be behind several other players who are not, in any way, HOF players, or who have not yet completed their careers, so may or may not end up as HOF. John Valentin, Carlos Guillen, and Cecil Travis, to name just three, are not HOF and are not better than Trammell. Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes are not through with their careers yet, so we don’t know if they’ll be better than Trammell in the end.

        If you look at HOF Shortstops, the lowest PA belongs to Rizzuto, but he missed playing time to WW II. Next would be Travis Jackson with 6,680, but even that is an incredibly low total for a HOF player. The average for HOF Shortstops is over 9,000 PA’s! So if you look at it again with a more reasonable 6,500 PA’s as a cutoff, Trammell is 15th, but really 13th as Travis and Reyes are still on the list. At that point, even with raw OPS, there is only 1 non-HOF player in front of him, Vern Stephens.

        The writers have only elected one Shortstop with fewer than 8,000 PA’s so the 6,500 is still probably too low. I hope you’ll consider these issues when placing Trammell into a HOF context.

      • Pat, I honestly did not notice the plate appearance discrepancy when I was sorting through the OPS of SS. That was hasty work on my part. I will make sure to look closer the next time I make a list.

        Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Jerry Greer says:

    DIsagree….Pedro was not better than Johnson……he was much better

  4. Rooj says:

    Great read. You make good points for each of them, even if I have to disagree about Delgado. Tim Raines should be in the Hall already. The problem is, there is 12-15 good candidates this year, and voters can only choose 10. That’s a problem. They should not have to vote strategically, but should have the possibility to vote for every candidate they deem deserving.

  5. Todd says:

    You might want to do a bit more research and post why Mike Berardino left RJ and Pedro off of his ballot. You fail to address his direct comments when he posted his ballot on twitter.

    • Thank you for the feedback and for reading the post. I am aware of why he voted the way he did. He thinks that Johnson and Martinez are going to get in regardless of his vote, and that’s why he left them off so he could keep alive guys like Alan Trammel.

      Though the strategic thinking is nice, it is not how you are supposed to fill out a ballot. There are already tons of idiotic trends among voters like not voting for guys whose careers began after an arbitrary deadline, or not voting for a guy until his 10th year on the ballot, and other problems.

      This thought process seems nice now, but it could be very problematic if others try to do the same thing. It doesn’t matter what the reasoning is, leaving off no-brainer hall of famers is inexcusable in my eyes.

      If you are a Berardino supporter, I apologize if you are offended by me calling him a moron.

      • Todd says:

        If you are aware, you should state that and give grounds for why you think he is a moron. I understand you are trying to drive traffic, but that’s just sensationalism for the sake of getting readers.

        And I am a supporter of anyone that is insulted without basis. You should look up the definition of a moron before labeling people as such. Moron generally refers to someone lacking in intelligence, and even though there is a definition as someone that lacks sound judgment, most don’t use that interpretation.

      • Todd, I did say why I thought he was moron. He left off the 2 biggest names on his ballot. Anyone who does not fill out their ballot correctly amid this era of nonsense voters is a moron to me.

        I’m glad you’re defending him, but I haven’t seen anything to change my opinion.

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