The BBWAA released the official ballot for the 2013 Hall of Fame today and by now you have all seen it and have read a dozen or more responses. This is your lucky day because you have now stumbled on one more opinion. And no, your host here does not have the privilege of actually casting a ballot. But, yes, there are strong opinions here on what should be the outcome and what we all know will be the outcome.
The moral majority of baseball writers have undoubtedly voted in a PED user into the HOF already. They have also voted for a pitcher who admitted for years that he threw an illegal pitch because it gave him an edge and even wrote a book about it.
Is there a wish here that the steroid era had never happened? Yes. It is a permanent stain that cannot be cleansed. But it happened. And there were a majority of players that used. Even today, there are people getting away with methods that might be spurious to give themselves an edge. The truth is that if Tris Speaker or Ty Cobb could have done something to get an edge, at least one of them would have done so if they thought they had a reasonable chance of getting away with it.
And so the solution for this block of writers is to make a sham of the Hall of Fame by keeping most of the best players of a generation out of Cooperstown. And until they die off of old age (hopefully in the most peaceful of all ways), we are stuck with these annual Mother Superiors putting Barry and Mark in the corner with dunce caps.
This writer will never give in either. There is a stubbornness on this side just as strong as there is on the other side. The trouble is that the other side holds all the marbles. The pen used to be mightier than the sword. But the keyboard? Maybe not.
Okay, enough with the verbal gymnastics. Get to the ballot already, right? Okay, okay. So let's get this done. The real voters get ten slots, right? So here is one through ten:
- Barry Bonds - The best player of his generation
- Roger Clemens - The best pitcher of his generation (yes, Pedro had a better peak)
- Tim Raines - The second best lead off guy of his generation
- Mike Piazza - The best offensive catcher ever.
- Jeff Bagwell - A no brain pick
- Craig Biggio - The on-base machine
- Mark McGwire - Not just a one trick pony.
- Larry Walker - Wrote about his case last season.
- Rafael Palmeiro - The numbers are there, man.
- Sammy Sosa - Can't stand the guy, but he has a case.
- Fred McGriff - Will always be a just missed.
- Don Mattingly - Will always be a just missed.
- Edgar Martinez - Only because there was no more room. Would vote him next year.
- Curt Schilling - No more room at the inn. In a future vote.
- Jack Morris - Do we really have to talk about this?
- Dale Murphy - The Don Mattingly of the previous generation.
- Lee Smith - They don't put previous record holders into that book of world records.
- David Wells - Very good. Not good enough.
- Bernie Williams - Just not enough.
- Kenny Lofton - Lots of good stuff in his numbers.
The Rest. Thanks for the memories, but no need to hang around: Sandy Alomar, Jr., Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Jeff Conine, Steve Finley, Julio Franco, Shawn Green, Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Klesko, Jose Mesa, Reggie Sanders, Aaron Sele, Mike Stanton, Todd Walker, Rondell White and Woody Williams.