The Twitter feed is going bonkers as it always does this year. It's Hall of Fame voting time. Writers around the country who are fortunate enough to vote have started posting their ballot. Those of us who don't have a vote get into the act too. This Fan certainly doesn't want to feel left out. Before listing this writer's own personal ballot, some thoughts need to be expressed.
First, this writer does not give a rats...umm...posterior about who used drugs, both PEDs or otherwise (cocaine, marijuana, greenies, etc.). On top of that is a total IGNORE of the morality part of the balloting process. As many, many people have pointed out over the years, the baseball Hall of Fame is full of malcontents and immoral people. This stance makes voting very easy. The only criteria is this: Was the player among the best of his era and less importantly, how does his work stack up against former eras and those already in the HOF? As many writers this Fan admires have already stated, keeping someone off your ballot because of an unproven suspicion of drug use is un-American and just plain wrong no matter where you are. But since this Fan doesn't care who used, that doesn't matter either. And yes, this Fan is a big Hall kind of guy.
All that said, here is how this Fan would vote if the privilege was granted.
Jeff Bagwell - Barry M. Bloom, Gary Brown, Bob Brookover, Tom Dienhart, Chris Elsberry, Jeff Jacobs, Fred Klein, David Lariviere, Mike Nadel, Bob Nightingale, Mark Purdy, Jeff Schultz and Tom Singer so far are the knucklehead writers that have supposedly left Bagwell off their ballots (as listed here).
Edgar Martinez - Who cares if he was a DH? If he was a DH or a lousy third baseman his entire career wouldn't have differed that he was one of the best hitters of his generation.
Mark McGwire - McGwire was NOT a one trick pony. His OBP was terrific and drugs or not, he helped save baseball after the strike.
Rafael Palmeiro - Look, this Fan hates him as much as the next guy. But every time a significant batting list is presented, Palmeiro's name is on it.
Tim Raines - The arguments have all been made before. Smarten up, people.
Barry Larkin - It looks like he is going to get in this year and he should.
Alan Trammell - If Larkin is deserving, then Trammell is too. Very close in most numbers.
Those close but no cigars:
Jack Morris - Just not as good as Blyleven. Argue all you want. It's not enough.
Don Mattingly - Oh, Donny Baseball. If only your back had held up.
Larry Walker - Can't get past the Coors thing. Brilliant when healthy and engaged. Just wasn't often enough of either.
Juan Gonzalez - Before there was MannyBManny, there was Juan Gone. Just didn't do it long enough.
Lee Smith - Very good. Not the greatest.
Dale Murphy - MVP that fell off a cliff far too early. Alas.
Fred McGriff - Very good player. Very valuable. Just not valuable enough.
Bernie Williams - If he was rated a better fielder, maybe. Love ya, Bernie, but not enough for a vote.
And the rest can just fall off the list without comment.