Been a bit quiet around here in the post-Thanksgiving food haze. (Oh, and I guess there were some football games over the weekend.) So I thought I’d reignite the Hall of Fame debate. I posted my prospective ballot a few days back. This is probably the most difficult Hall of Fame year ever, as there are somewhere between 12 and 18 serious Hall of Fame candidates on the ballot — and no one can vote for more than 10, and it’s a cinch to guess that most voters won’t pick more than five because the voters are mostly grumpy old coots.
Here are the 19 players that I view as having at least a reasonable Hall of Fame case, PED users and all:
That list needs to be cut in half.
So, first, I’ll eliminate some of the players who seemed to owe the greatest portion of their success to PEDs: McGwire, Palmeiro, Sosa. (I’m keeping Bonds and Clemens, and for that matter, Raines, because in my mind they were clearly Hall of Famers no matter what.)
I’ll eliminate a few others for just not quite having good enough numbers: Kent, McGriff. (For what it’s worth, Mac was on record as supporting McGriff for the Hall of Fame.)
I’m on the fence about Larry Walker and Edgar Martinez; I’d be fine with it if they went in, but I’m not as passionate about their cases as about others. I’ll vote for them another year.
So that leaves me with 12, all of whom I believe deserve to go into the Hall of Fame:
I think that I’d be willing to postpone my vote for Piazza and Thomas until 2015; they were great players but they had slightly shorter peaks than the others.
If I had to guess, I think Maddux will definitely go in this year. I’m not sure if anyone else will, except for the Veterans Committee selections, which are almost certain to include Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa. There is going to be a whole lot of ballot-splitting. But there’s really no good way to do it. There are just too many Hall of Famers on the ballot.