Tuesday, January 10, 2006

2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Nominees

Here are the players who were on this year's baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Voting results were announced on Tuesday - boy did that sneak up on me. I really wish I had a calendar or something so I could keep track of that. Oh well, you'll just get this a day late.

In italics is each player's number of votes, and the percentage of the 520 total votes they recieve. 75% puts you in the hall, and 5% means you're good enough to come back on next year's ballot.

As you probably know, the NFL has an "inclusive" hall of fame, and the MLB has an "exclusive" Hall of Fame. Which system is better? I'll let you decide.


Bruce Sutter 400/76.9% Sutter retired in 1988, making him first eligible for the hall of fame in 1988. He is the first hall of fame pitcher to never start a single game in his entire Major League career. His 300 saves are 19th all time, and he led the league in saves five times. Not overly impressive numbers, but it wasn't exactly a strong year. Does that mean writers should vote for people they normally wouldn't? No. Does that mean Sutter doesn't deserve this? I don't know. Retiring in 1988 (and not playing for Cleveland), I never really got to see him play. On a positive note, he did average 1 2/3 IP per appearance over his entire career, something you won't see from closers these days.


Jim Rice 337/64.8% The great debate. Is a .298 average, 382 HR, and 1451 RBI in a hitter's park hall worthy? Did Rice only finish so high because this was an off year? Oh yeah, almost forgot: "337! Hoo hoo!"

Rich "Goose" Gossage 336/64.6% Sixteenth all time in saves with 310. Why is Sutter in the HOF and not Gossage? Gossage played for 22 seasons to Sutter's 12, so some argue his numbers are simply a produce of longevity. Gossage was in the top 10 in saves 11 times, but he led the league only three times. I'd still probably vote for him.

Andre Dawson 317/61.0% Another borderline guy. After 21 seasons, he finished with 438 home runs (32nd all time) and 1591 RBI (28th all time). Considering 11 seasons were spent in two hitter-unkind ballparks in Montreal, I would have to consider voting for him.

Bert Blyleven 277/53.3% 287 wins (25th overall). 3701 strikeouts (5th overall). 685 starts (9th overall). 60 shutouts (9th overall). A solid ERA and WHIP year after year. That's the good news. Thirteenth overall in innings pitched: again, is longevity good or bad? Now, the bad news: seventh all time in home runs allowed, 29th in walks allowed, 10th in losses and earned runs allowed. Are those the numbers keeping voters away? I'd sure vote for him.

Lee Smith 234/45.0% Now that it's acceptable to vote for relief pitchers, will the career saves leader (478) become a hall of famer? Smith led the leage in saves four times asnd finished second four times. His career ERA is a hair over 3. He's a seven time all star. He'd also get my vote.

Jack Morris 214/41.2% Dave is convinced that he's a hall of famer. He's got 254 wins and several notable dominating performances. I'll let you decide.

Tommy John 154/29.6% 288 wins, but he was most notably remembered for being the guinea pig on elbow ligament surgery that is now commonplace among young pitchers. Does he deserve to get in as an "innovator" like Roger Bresnahan, a guy who hit only .279 with 682 runs scored, but who did have 202 steals and pioneered the use of protective gear for catchers?

Steve Garvey 135/26.0% A solid player, but not spectacular. Career .294 average. 1308 RBI. A few home runs. Just not the best of the best.

Alan Trammell 92/17.7% Like Garvey, he played very well for very many years. Won Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards. But he wasn't particularly spectacular.

Dave Parker 76/14.4% Parker may actually have a resume slightly better than Garvey or Trammell's. He has 2712 hits and is 44th all time with 1493 RBI. The fact he led the league in intentional walks twice and is 23rd overall gives some indication as to how he was viewed as a hitter. Again, I'd put him ahead of Trammell and Garvey based on numbers (not particularly seeing any of them play that much), but still no cigar here.

Dave Concepcion 65/12.5% His offensive numbers look mediocre, but he played shortstop in a time when big numbers weren't expected from that position. He played it well, too, earning five Gold Gloves. He deserves some mention, but maybe not Hall of Fame mention.

Don Mattingly 64/12.3% No. Next. (Yes Ellen, I am kidding. No I'm not.)

Orel Hershiser 58/11.2% Only 58 votes? Wasn't "Bulldog" a dominating pitcher? What about the streak of 59 scoreless innings? Well, I looked at his overall numbers, and they tell a different story: 204-150 with an ERA of 3.48.

Dale Murphy 56/10.8% What Rice is to Red Sox fans, Concepcion is to Reds fans, and Mattingly is to Yankees fans (and Ron Santo is to Cubs fans), Murphy is to Braves fans. Those who watched him play every day think he belongs in the hall. Murphy does have 398 HR, 2 NL MVPs, and a few Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers. But relatively low numbers in other categories (.267 BA, 1266 RBI, 1197 R) are holding him back.

Albert Belle 40/7.7% Belle, to put it mildly, wasn't a fan of the spotlight. He's battled alcoholism, trick or treaters, Internet posters, and accusations from the don't-put-up-with-any-crap-from-teammates Omar Vizquel. When you look at it, though, while Belle had many "good" seasons, he only had four "great" seasons over a course of five years. In 1994, he hit .357. 1995 was his famous 50/50 year, when he finished with 50 HR and 52 doubles. In 1996 he had 48 HR and 148 RBI. In 1998, it was 49 and 152. But is four seasons good enough for the hall of fame? Definitely not when the voting is done by the writers, a group of people that Belle definitely did not get along with.

No Love

Will Clark 23/4.4% Solid, not spectacular.

Dwight "Doc" Gooden 17/3.3% Hall of fame potential. 44th all time in strikeouts. A ROY, a Cy, and a Silver Slugger. But so much talent gone to waste.

Willie McGee 12/2.3% 2254 hits, .295 average. Good, but not great.

Hal Morris 5/1.0% Predictably, Morris took two steps toward the hall, the swung and missed.

Ozzie Guillen 5/1.0% Ugh. Still not a good time for me to comment on Ozzie Guillen.

Gary Gaetti 4/0.8% Another member of the 2200 hit club. Thanks for playing.

John Wetteland 4/0.8% 330 saves. He was considered dominant for a few years, but obviously not dominant enough.

Rick Aguilera 3/0.6% Wait, Rick Aguilera retired 5 years ago.

Doug Jones 2/0.4% This is why I'm not a HOF voter. Jones was Cleveland's closer when I first started following the Tribe. He does have 303 saves, but never finished higher than 3rd in that category. Good, sure. Dominant, no.

Greg Jefferies 2/0.4% Yeah, sorry, I'm honestly having trouble remembering who Gregg Jefferies is.

Walt Weiss 1/0.2% A decent player, but other than a Rookie of the Year award, he didn't even make it to the stat leaderboard too often.

Gary DiSarcina 0/0.0% Yet another guy who rarely made it to the stat leaderboards.

Alex Fernandez 0/0.0% Sorry, 107 wins and an ERA of 3.74 isn't going to cut it.

Even Less Love

Tim Belcher, Stan Belinda, Lance Johnson, Roberto Kelly, Mickey Morandini, Luis Polonia, Jeff Reed, Heathcliff Slocumb, and Mike Stanley we technically eligible for the first time this year, but were not included on the ballot.