Wednesday Night, January 6, 2010
Blyleven Just Short of Hall
While listening to the Hall of Fame announcement on mlb.com this afternoon, I didn’t expect Bert Blyleven to be named a Hall of Famer. My hope was that he could hit 70%, or very close to it. Although I would not have voted for him, I knew that Andre Dawson would be announced. I fully expected that Roberto Alomar would be named as well. When the announcement was made, I was surprised, and when the vote tallies were shown, it provoked a few thoughts:
· I’m excited about Blyleven’s increase and how close he is, and yet, as much as we assume that he will make it next year, we just don’t know.
· Phil Mackey was on Paul Allen’s show on KFAN earlier today, and they Cold-Called Blyleven. Blyleven called back and spent a good ten minutes talking to the two.
· First, it is nearly inexplicable for Roberto Alomar was not named a Hall of Famer. Like Blyleven, he was close. He was just eight votes shy of the necessary number. Alomar is the best all-around second baseman, easily, of the past 20 to 30 years.
· Jack Morris increased his percentage to 52.3% I don’t think he is a Hall of Famer, but seemingly his support is on the rise.
· I really think that Barry Larkin is a Hall of Famer. He was different than the other shortstops of his era, but he was tremendous all-around. I expected him to get about 50%, and he got 51%
· Voters really need to look at Tim Raines again. I can’t believe only 30% of voters voted for him.
· It’s always interesting to see who will come off of the ballot next year. Harold Baines just stayed on the ballot with 6.1% Andres Galarraga was at 4.1% When I took a look at his numbers again the other night, I was absolutely astonished. No, I don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer, but when you look at those numbers, they are incredible. And, it was impressive to note how well he did before and after his terrific years in Colorado.
· I’m never a person to take the Hall of Fame votes too seriously, but I do think it matters. I don’t get offended when someone like David Segui or Pat Hentgen get a vote. I doesn’t bother me that Ellis Burks got two or Robin Ventura got seven. I do get annoyed when players like that get a vote and the same writer doesn’t vote for someone like Blyleven.
· I do believe that a writer should absolutely have the right to send in a blank ballot, as apparently five writers did. I believe that is their right if, and only if, they truly believe that no one is Hall of Fame worthy (which I just do not think is feasible).
· I think that those who refuse to vote for a guy who is in his first year on the ballot are ridiculous.
Finally, my vote for the Worst Ballot (and reasoning) of the Year goes to mlb.com’s Marty Noble. In previous positions, he has covered the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets. His ballot consisted of Barry Larkin and Dave Parker. Of course, I have no problem with Barry Larkin, who I believe is a Hall of Famer. And Dave Parker had a very good career. My problem is with his reasoning, as he wrote at mlb.com,
“Parker remains the best player I ever have covered. He beat opponents every way possible, running over them, if necessary. And he was better at keeping a clubhouse loose than any player I've experienced.”
Let’s look into that again:
· “Parker remains the best player I ever have covered” – Is this Hall of Fame criteria now?
· “He beat opponents every way possible, running over them, if necessary.” – Dave Parker sounds ‘scrappy.’ I remember Ray Lankford running over a catcher, video that remains on runner/catcher highlights. And yet, Noble didn’t vote for Lankford. No one did.
· “And he was better at keeping a clubhouse loose…” – Start the Hall of Fame case for Mike Redmond, the man behind Naked BP!
· “than any player I've experienced.” – Back to the first thing again. It’s about who he covered. That speaks to how silly the voting process can be. Marty, there are 29 other teams now, although I realize there were less when you started writing.
· Finally, here is part of his reasoning for not voting for Roberto Alomar, “I don't care that Hirschbeck forgave Alomar for spitting at him; I haven't.” Enough said?
Any thoughts? If you have any questions or comments, please comment here.