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.
- Edgar Martinez