The 2013 Hall of Fame voting results will be announced later today and I wanted to cast my ballot as well.
*I'm not into that "first ballot" bull crap, this is all about whether I think they should be in or not. Not whether they should go in first shot, 2nd year, or their last hurrah.
On My Ballot:
2. Mike Piazza - arguably the best offensive catcher ever (debatable with Johnny Bench). Rookie of the Year, 12 time all-star, 10 Silver Slugger awards, .308/.922 batter with 1048 runs, 427 homeruns, 1335 rbi, and a 56.1 WAR. Piazza got a lot of negative attention for his defense, but truth be told, he was a solid defensive catcher for half of his career, and according to Baseball-Reference.com has a positive DWAR. There have been rumors of his PED use, but no evidence, only heresy.
3. Jeff Bagwell - another Astros lifer, and like Piazza is cast with the shadow of legitimacy due to speculation of PED use. The facts include him as one of the top 10 best first basemen of all-time that was a career .297/.948 hitter with 1517 runs, 488 doubles, 449 homeruns, 1529 rbi, 202 stolen bases, 76.7 WAR, 1 MVP award, 4 all-star appearances, 3 Silver Slugger awards, 1 Gold Glove, and was the Rookie of the Year. If not for a horrible shoulder injury, Bags would have likely played another handful of productive seasons, adding to his counting numbers.
5. Tim Raines - Rock was an extremely fast man, having swiped 808 bases during his career. He was a good hitter too, .294/.810, 1571 runs, 430 double, 113 triples, 170 homeruns, 980 rbi, and a 7 time all-star. Baseball-Reference.com ranks him as the 6th best left fielder of all-time with a 66.2 WAR.
6. Kenny Lofton - people don't seem to appreciate the value that he brought to the game. In his day he was an elite defensive outfielder and the best leadoff hitter around. His career WAR of 64.9 ranks him 8th all-time in center field. Stats: .299/.794, 1528 runs, 2428 hits, 383 doubles, 116 triples, 130 homeruns, 781 rbi, 622 stolen bases, 6 time all-star, and 4 Gold Gloves.
8. Alan Trammel - 11th best shortstop of all-time according to Baseball-Reference.com with a 67.1 WAR, all in a Tigers uniform. 6 time all-star, 4 Gold Gloves, 3 Silver Sluggers, and a .285/.767 batter with 1231 runs, 2365 hits, 412 doubles, 55 triples, 185 homeruns, 1003 rbi, and 236 stolen bases.
Off My Ballot:
*Jack Morris - the 3.90 ERA is bad for a starting pitcher, especially one that played through the entire 80's decade.
*Mark McGwire - homeruns are awesome, but his Andro use was not.
*Barry Bonds - too many connections/implications to PEDs.
*Dale Murphy - great guy, very good player, but not HoF worthy.
*Roger Clemens - he's a dick and just because he was able to manipulate the United States judicial system, doesn't mean he's not guilty of PED usage.
*Sammy Sosa - difficult to leave him off, but with all the PED rumors and corked bat incident, he's on the outside looking in.
*Lee Smith - the one time saves leader just doesn't have the enough otherwise to make it. Relievers in the Hall of Fame are something I'm still wrapping my head around.
*Rafael Palmeiro- he failed a drug test. End of story.
*Don Mattingly - wasn't great long enough. He had 4 terrific seasons (1984-1987), then fell off.
*Edgar Martinez - for being primarily a DH, I would like some of his stats to be higher for induction.
*Fred McGriff - the man was consistent, but he was consistently very good, not great.