There has bene a lot made of this year’s Hall of Fame ballot as there are number of steroid era players eligible for the first time. Think about some of the players eligible this year:
- Barry Bonds
- Roger Clemens
- Sammy Sosa
- Mike Piazza
- Craig Biggio
- Mark McGwire
- Rafael Palmerio
- Jack Morris
- Jeff Bagwell
- Lee Smith
- Tim Raines
- Alan Trammel
If you put aside the steroid question you could make a case for at least ten of these players to make the HOF. That would easily be the largest HOF class in history. Obviously that is not going to happen so let’s take a look at a few of the players that are receiving the most attention.
Barry Bonds/Roger Clemens
You may not want to, but you have to link them together. Both have been accused of using PEDs in some form and both have had their day in court as a result. The main case for those that want to see them elected is that even if they did do something, their numbers and contributions were so significant before the accusations they would have made it anyway. That may be true but I don’t see how you can discount the accusations and just put them in.
I’ll save the detailed analysis for others but in my mind Bonds and Clemens are the reason there is a 15 year window for election into the HOF. Maybe five years after their careers ended is too soon to try and decide what to do with them. Nobody says they have to make it in on the first ballot, maybe we should let some time pass, see how things shake out and look at them at a later date. Time tends to help give perspective and that’s what we need here.
Bottom Line – Let’s wait a while to decide
Sosa was never formally accused of steroid use, the only link here is the rumor of a failed drug test and well just your eyes. Have you seen pictures of Sammy pre-1998? Something happened.
Even if you put that aside and say look at those home run totals you have to admit that the majority of his career was centered in a five year period from 1998-2002 where he hit 292 of his 609 home runs. An unbelievable run for sure, but we need to look at his entire career. Take out those years and you have a good, not great player and that doesn’t quite make the HOF (see Fred McGriff).
Bottom Line – Nice career but falls short
Piazza is arguably the greatest hitting catcher of all time. He has admitted to using Ando, but that wasn’t illegal at the time. There have been rumors from time to time but nothing that has been confirmed. You may not like the fact that he was not a stellar defensive catcher but if you look at the ERAs of the staffs he caught, you might be surprised how well they did.
The biggest question for me is how does he go in? As a Dodger or a Met? He may have spent more time with the Mets (972 games vs. 726 with the Dodgers) and he made his one World Series appearance with the Mets but he started as a Dodger and that is where he made the biggest impact. If fact, he made an impact by leaving the Dodgers. The trade to the Marlins was the first step on the road to nowhere and Dodger fans went from Fox to Frank and had to wait what seemed like forever until Magic made the team relevant again.
Hmm. Maybe it’s too close to call. How about he goes in as a Marlin in honor of the five games he played with them before he became a Met. At the rate the Marlins keep building up and tearing down there team he may be the best chance they have at getting someone in the HOF for a while.
Bottom Line – Welcome to the HOF
I only need to say two things: 20 years with the same team and over 3,000 hits. When will we ever see that again? It’s a no brainer.
Bottom Line – Welcome to the HOF
As for the rest of the guys on the ballot, we’ll tackle you another day.
Just saw a tweet that said the Dodgers have put Dee Gordon on the trading block. I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about it. I love his speed but he has to prove that he can get on base consistently. With Hanley Ramirez around for a few years (and more comfortable at shortstop) that makes it harder to wait for Dee to hit.
Maybe the best option is to put Hanley at third and Dee at short but moving Hanley to third didn’t go over to well in Miami did it?
Oh well, with a $6B TV contract coming soon I guess it doesn’t matter anyway. We’ll just pick up somebody new.
Ok, explain this one to me, Russell Martin signed with the Pirates for two years instead of taking a one year contract with the Yankees???
Hopefully he’ll be upfront with everyone and admit he was only looking for the biggest payday he could find instead of playing for a winning team.
Not to badmouth the Pirates but the Yankess have a better track record in the past few years than they do. Russell’s is an ok option behind the plate but he’s not the one that going to take the Pirates to the next level.
I loved Russell when he was with the Dodgers and I was sad to see him go but he’s not worth $17.5MM.
Enjoy the payday Russell but I think your going to find it’s not worth the extra couple of millions you got when you’re watching the playoffs on TV again.
I woke up the other day to find my son watching a Worlds Series marathon on the MLB Network. It was then that I realized that baseball season was really over.
I thought it was over when the Dodgers season ended on October 3rd but then there were the playoffs and World Series. For the second time in three years we were forced to watch the Giants celebrate a World Championship. It’s now been 25 years since the Dodgers won the World Series in 1988 and while it not as long of a drought as say, the Cubs, it’s still too long.
We were able to hold on just a little bit as my two youngest sons played winter ball, but now their season is over too. Unfortunately their season also ended on a down note as the last game of the season was rained out. My oldest son just found out he made his high school team for next year but there are no games in sight, just conditioning.
Maybe it’s really over.
One of my favorite baseball quotes comes from the late Bart Giamatti who said:
“It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”
Sure the Hot Stove League is starting and for the first time in a long time the Dodgers are expected to be major players. It’s nice to have an owner with deep pockets but money isn’t always the answer, just ask the Yankees. Hopefully, this initial activity will provide us with a short term boost while we rebuild the farm system to secure our future.
Thinking about the game and wondering what may come next year is not the same as watching a MLB game or seeing your kids realize their potential on the field. It’s going to be a long couple of months until Spring Training starts in February. The holidays will fill some of that time and a new year always brings personal reflection and a fresh beginning but I can’t wait until baseball season starts.
I’ve started working on a new book, which is kind of funny since I just started the process to get the first one published, but it’s a way to keep me thinking about the game until the real thing comes back.
I’m going to try and post a couple of times a week, and I hope someone will actually find what I have to say interesting enough to come back. Writing a blog is like a the old line asking if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound? It’s the same for a blog, it you write something and no one reads it, does it really matter? Even if no one does read this, I have to admit, it feels good to write it.
Now, I’ll think I’ll go back and watch the 1988 World Series again. That should keep me warm for a while.
Welcome to my blog. I’ll be writing about my new book, Double A Blues, that will be coming next year and giving my thoughts on MLB.
Thanks for visiting!