The ballot is out...

The 2012 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot has been released.

The nominees are...

(cue the cutting and pasting)

Jeff Bagwell, Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Juan Gonzalez, Brian Jordan, Barry Larkin, Javy Lopez, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Dale Murphy, Phil Nevin, Rafael Palmeiro, Brad Radke, Tim Raines, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Bernie Williams, Tony Womack, Eric Young

I'm conflicted about steroid guys.

On the one hand, MLB owners and management implicitly approved the use of PEDs, rewarding such players with huge contracts and promoting the game around them... and then immediately scapegoated them when the truth was discovered.

On the other hand, PEDs were/are illegal in this country.  That's not up for debate.  I am of the opinion that it's the rare enhanced player who would have made the Hall of Fame without the need of a PED -- Roger Clemens, for instance, or Barry Bonds.  It's a hypothetical argument, but that's my contention.  Without steroids, Rafael Palmeiro is Will Clark, and Will the Thrill's not a Hall of Famer.

In other words, I'd vote Clemens and Bonds into the Hall while keeping one-dimensional sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa out.

As for the rest of the field:

Barry Larkin and Alan Trammell are among the top 10 greatest shortstops to ever play the game.  Tim Raines is among the top three or four greatest leadoff hitters to ever play the game.  Jeff Bagwell ranks with the great slugging first basemen of the 1920s and 1930s.  I like Edgar Martinez on the basis of his late start and tremendous offensive production.  (I'd rather vote for a great-hitting DH than a good-bat/bad-glove player like Bernie Williams.)

Lee Smith puzzles me; I'll leave him out for now.  Jack Morris was a very good pitcher, but not Hall-worthy.  Dale Murphy makes a compelling pre-steroid case, but I'm not convinced.

Also, Jeromy Burnitz and I share the same birthday.

There you are:  Five guys from this class for me.


marcus2054 said…
Where is Mark Grace? C'mon man!

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