Rowland’s HOF ballot, or why ESPN’s Ian O’Connor (and MLB’s Ken Gurnick) shouldn’t have one

UPDATE: Ken Gurnick, who covers the Dodgers for MLB, had only one name on his HOF ballot: Jack Morris, probably the least worthy  candidate. His reasoning:

Morris has flaws — a 3.90 ERA, for example. But he gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Players votes in five. As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.


Of the 17 HOF voters employed by ESPN, O’Connor was the only one not to vote for Tom Glavine. But he did vote for Jack Morris, who had 51 fewer wins,  2 less Cy Young Awards and an ERA nearly one-third a run higher.

Oh, but he was great in Game 7 of the ’91 World Series. True, but outside of that series he was a pedestrian October hurler in fewer appearances, with an ERA exactly one-half a run higher.

Glavine’s performance in Game 6 of the ’95 World Series may have been better, considering he allowed but one hit to a line-up in which Manny Ramirez batted 6th, followed by Jim Thome. The second best left-handed pitcher ever to wear a Braves uniform had a lower ERA in the playoffs than in the regular season, and in the Fall Classic few were better.

Glavine completed 3 of 8 World Series starts for a 2.16 ERA. He allowed just 33 hits in 58.1 IP. Yes, he walked 20, but a WHIP below 1.00, in the World Series, is about as impressive as it gets.

Curt Schilling’s October heroics are a big reason why he’s on my ballot — 11-2, 2.23 ERA in 133 innings is sustained excellence on the biggest stage. His 3.46 ERA and 1.137 WHIP, during the steroid-era, is also Hall-worthy.

Rowland doesn’t vote for cheats; after all, the HOF is a privilege, not a right. So no Bonds or Clemens on my ballot.

For those with lingering questions about their possible use of PEDs, there’s no law saying they have to get in Cooperstown now. Better to keep Bagwell and Piazza waiting then finding out in a year or so that, yes, they were indeed dirty.

No one thinks that about Fred McGriff, who shouldn’t be victimized by the inflated numbers of his peers. Not that his numbers were weak; the Crime Dog hit more homers and drove in more runs than Bagwell.

McGriff’s average season: 32 homers, 102 RBI, .377 OBP and a .509 slugging percentage. And in 188 postseason AB’s, the Crime Dog batted .303, with 10 homers and 37 RBI, good for a .917 OPS (.989 in 12 World Series games).

Anyone with 3,000 hits deserves induction, so Biggio makes my cut. But Tim Raines, the second-best lead-off hitter in modern history, is even more worthy.

So is Edgar Martinez, who had a career .312 BA, .418 OBP and .515 slugging percentage. Needless to say Frank Thomas, Martinez with better power, gets in, along with some guy named Maddux.

Mussina and Alan Trammell are near-misses.

My ballot:

  • Maddux
  • Glavine
  • Thomas
  • Raines
  • Biggio
  • Schilling
  • Edgar Martinez
  • McGriff
About these ads

8 Comments on Rowland’s HOF ballot, or why ESPN’s Ian O’Connor (and MLB’s Ken Gurnick) shouldn’t have one

  1. pepefreeus // January 7, 2014 at 6:36 pm //

    Overcome your reluctance to add Trammell and Moose and you’ve got my exact ballot. Well done.

  2. Is Biggio the only guy with 3,000 hits and not tainted by scandal to fail to make it on the first ballot? And he was a more than adequate defensive player at catcher, second and center field, a combination I can’t recall anybody else accomplishing.

  3. Biggio should’ve been first ballot. Agreed.

  4. I read Gurnick earlier today and could not believe it. Not voting for anyone from the steroids era? I think everyone can agree that Maddux never made anyone suspicious about whether or not he was juicing. He could barely top 90 mph’s. Whatever…he’ll get in easily, I just find it hard to believe that someone would completely write him off because of the behavior of some of his peers.

    Rest of the list looks good; couldn’t agree more on Edgar Martinez, the dude was a beast at the plate. Wasn’t he also partially blind in one eye? That makes him even more impressive if so…

  5. There’s no concrete evidence that Jack Morris didn’t use steroids. (because there isn’t concrete evidence that ANYONE didn’t use steroids)

    If I had a ballot

    Clemens (I friggin’ hate that guy, but he was a very good pitcher)

    I’d vote for more guys, but I only get 10 votes

  6. my ballot:

    Maddux, Glavine, Morris, Raines, Thomas, Biggio, Bagwell, Mussina, McGriff, Schilling

    all deserve it NOW

  7. Jack Straw // January 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm //

    Reviewing Curt Schilling’s career stats makes me suspicious. Before he turned 34 years old, his best season was 17 wins. Like Clemens, he suddenly got a second wind that was better than his first. And 216 career wins is not that impressive. Worse, he pitched for the Red Sox,
    Good pitcher. Not HOF.

  8. Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Raines, Biggio,McGriff, Schilling, Bagwell, Morris, Trammell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 286 other followers

%d bloggers like this: