One of the things longtime readers know about me is that I tend to tread lightly on the stories that tend to otherwise generate the most media heat. I’ll write a post about the post-season awards, and I’ll occasionally weigh in on whatever issue is monopolizing the headlines on a given day, but I’m just as likely to give it all a miss to talk about other stuff.
Case in point: last year’s rage-fest over Jim Rice’s Hall of Fame candidacy. If blogs were written on paper, we would have had no forests after everyone got done spewing both good sense and nonsense over all of that last winter. For the record, no, I don’t personally consider Jim Rice a Hall of Famer. Also for the record, no, I will not lose an ounce of sleep if and when he finally makes it in. That’s because even though he’s not up to my standards, the Hall of Fame is filled with guys who aren’t either, so there’s no sense in me getting all worked up about it now. On a day to day basis my mood is simply not impacted all that much by who is or who isn’t in the Hall of Fame, and even the day the vote totals are announced is just another day to me.
With that out of the way, I will offer a basic opinion about this year’s ballot, and then retire to a place where no one tries to quantify how “feared” a given player was:
• Harold Baines : No
• Jay Bell: No
• Bert Blyleven: Yes, and almost as much ink has been spilled about him as Rice
• David Cone: No
• Andre Dawson: No, though I liked him a lot.
• Ron Gant: No, but Hrbek still shoved him off first base.
• Mark Grace: No
• Rickey Henderson: Yes, yes, yes
• Tommy John: No
• Don Mattingly: No
• Mark McGwire: Yes, because if you blackball him, you set the precedent for a lot of highly subjective and unseemly blackballing
• Jack Morris: No, because if you take away one World Series start, he’s pretty much Dave Steib.
• Dale Murphy: No, though as a Braves fan it pains me to admit it.
• Jesse Orosco: No
• Dave Parker: No, but anyone who votes for Rice should have to explain why they wouldn’t vote for Parker.
• Dan Plesac: No
• Tim Raines: Yes, but I think he’s a much closer call than a lot of statheads think, and he could use a Rice-like political campaign on his side.
• Jim Rice: No
• Lee Smith: No
• Alan Trammell: Yes. It’s not his fault that he was Ripken’s contemporary and first came eligible when everyone was Nomar/A-Rod/Jeter crazy.
• Greg Vaughn: No
• Mo Vaughn: Not even if you combined him with Greg Vaughn
• Matt Williams: No, but he does make my Bald Guys Before 30 Hall of Fame
That’s pretty much all I have to say about that. Stories like this, however, are exactly why I asked THT to give me a comments section, so by all means, fire away.