I got to thinking...why bitch about who the BBWAA votes for when I don't even give my vote on the matter? Well, here it is. According to the HOF's rules, "Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played." You can vote up to ten players, but do not have to vote for more than one.
First Year Options
Of the newbies, only Tim Raines really stands out. He was one of the best leadoff men in the game when he played, but because he played during Rickey Henderson's time, Raines never quite received the press. His adjusted OPS+ was 123. His most comparable players according to BR include five current HOFers (and one very comparable reference to Lou Brock). On numbers alone, he's in as far as I'm concerned.
But then, he is an admitted cocaine user who used to slide on his stomach because he didn't want to bust the cocaine veils he kept his back pocket. Integrity clause speaks up.
The players who are back again are definitely more interesting. Starting with Harold Baines. Here is where electing undeserving players haunts you. Tony Perez, who was elected in 2000, has a quite similar career to Baines. Perez has the postseason numbers and played a "real" position. Hmmm, first base. Nevertheless, if you are willing to vote for Perez, you are willing to vote for Baines.
Bert Blyleven was a great pitcher and because he pitched in markets that weren't big on baseball, he is still out of the HOF. Get him in.
Davey C sucks, Joe.
Andre Dawson had power and speed and a great arm. Unfortunately, he lacks the career numbers nor was he that great of a player.
Rich Gossage was a good player. However, I am a bit on the fence about getting this guy into the Hall. Compared to his peers, his numbers aren't that incredible. But the Bruce Sutter decision hurts any argument here.
Tommy John and Don Mattingly are neither deserving, nor that interesting to keep around. But the Yankee writers don't agree.
Mark McGwire. Depends on whether or not you penalize on integrity.
I hate Jack Morris because of one game he pitched in 1991. Luckily, his adjusted ERA+ is not good enough to warrant an argument here between my bias and my knowledge.
Dale Murphy. Good player, one of the best of the 80's offensively, but just not a player with enough good baseball qualities and stats to get elected.
Dave Parker is almost in the same department with Baines. If you vote for Perez and Baines, don't you vote for Parker?
Yet again, Jim Rice is back and with a shot. He was incredible over a six year period covering 1975-80. However, after 1980, Rice did have four years where he was 30% or better than the average player. Most comparable player is HOF Orlando Cepada. I think I gotta keep him around.
Lee Smith. I once had a discussion on Smith in which I was called a racist. I don't mind closers going to the HOF, but I want them to be dominating. Smith's WHIP of 1.26 is good, but not dominating.
Alan Trammell has very good numbers for a shortstop, but I think he's a bit under Barry Larkin and I'm still not sure Larkin is a HOFer.
So...my HOF list?
I am going to give Raines a little credit for one, admitting to his usage, and two, cleaning himself up. I am going to keep Baines and Parker out because one wrong (Perez) does not make a right.