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Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 Baseball Hall of Fame - If I had a ballot.

It is come to my favorite part of my annual HOF analysis, pretending that I get a say in the picking of the future hall-of-famers.  Last year I supposed that writers  were allowed 12 votes and worked my way down from there.  This year, I still pick 12 but wanted to start with the player who I think is the most HOF worthy that did not make the cut of 12.

Trevor Hoffman # 13 if allowed 12 picks

Last year my 9th vote went to Trevor Hoffman.  This year he dropped off the list to what I guess could be called unlucky 13th .  I still think he has the credentials to be in Cooperstown someday but there is a player near the top of my list more deserving than Hoffman, who will not be considered on the writer's ballot for much longer.   They share the same position but not the same support among the writers.  Like last year, I am putting Hoffman on the back burner until my # 2 choice this year's HOF fate is revealed.
Derek Lee

Mike Cameron

Tim Wakefield

Jason Varitek and Jorge Posada

This year there were a number of first time players to the ballot who may never make the Hall of Fame, but certainly deserve mention in the Hall of Very Good.  Players like Jason Varitek, Jorge Posada, Derek Lee, Tim Wakefield and Mike Cameron to name a few,  If I were allowed to vote for 12 players elgible for the 2017 HOF class. My 12th vote would go to one of these players, It would go to Mike Cameron.  Cameron had an excellent career and was part of two blockbuster trades before making an indelible mark in Seattle.  Most people remember that Cameron was part of the trade that brought Ken Griffey Jr. to the Reds.  They sometimes forget that  previously to that Cameron was traded to the Reds from the White Sox in exchange for Paul Konerko.  So yes I am voting for Cameron 12th because he gave the White Sox PK.

If I were allowed to vote for 11 players, my 11th vote would go to Gary Sheffield (I did not vote for Sheffield  last year).  Sheffield is garnering lots of hall of fame consideration this year, there are too many question marks for me to consider him much higher.

Gary Sheffield

Jeff Kent

If I were allowed to vote for exactly 10 players, my 10th vote would go to Jeff Kent.  (I did not vote for Kent last year,) Let me say a little about my rankings here.  The players from 7 to 11 this year are very close in my assessment of them.  They are pretty well interchangeable as I think they are all solid choices with one or two question marks that keeps therm from going much higher on my ballot.

If I could only vote for exactly 9 players my 9th vote would go to Mike Mussina.  (I voted for Musina 11th in 2016 ).
Mike Mussina

Larry Walker

My 8th choice if I could vote for 8 would be Larry Walker  (Walker was not in my top 12 last year but has been in my top 10 in years past) .

My 7th choice on a 7 player ballot would be Fred McGriff  (McGriff was 5th on my list in 2016).  I adjusted the Crime Dog lower this year as there seemed to be no evidence he is anything more than a middle of the packer when it comes to his hall of fame qualifications.

The Crime Dog

The other Pudge

If I had to vote for 6 and only 6 HOF candidates, my 6th vote would go to Ivan Rodriguez.  (Pudge is on the ballot for the first time in 2017)  I could not quite pull the trigger on the strong hitting backstop to put him on my official unofficial ballot but He is certainly close

If I could vote for as many or as few players in the Hall of Fame this year as I thought were truly deserving of such an honor, that number would be 5.  My ballot would contain 5names.  The 5th name would be Edgar Martinez.  (Edgar was 7th on my list of players last year.)  In the past, I have shied away from Martinez for Cooperstown, but for this year at least I am thinking that he belongs.

Edgar Martinez 5 of 5

Vladimir Guerrero 4 of 5

If I was given a HOF ballot and told to vote for only 4 players, the 4th player would be Vladimir Guerrero  (This is his first year on the ballot .)  Something tells me he will not be a first ballot selection but I am thinking it will be very close.  

Jeff Bagwell 3 of 5

If I could only votr for 3 players in the Hall of Fame for this year, my 3rd vote would go to Jeff Bagwell (Bagwell was 4th on my "official" ballot last year).

Lee Smith 2 of 5

If I could only pick 2 players on my Hof ballot one would give me a rush and the other a feeling of relief.  The relief would come from   #2 on the Ballot Lee Smith. (Smith was 3rd on my ballot last year.) Lee is one of those between eras guys who  is certainly deserving but never got the votes he deserved in his first 14 years on the ballot,  His last year on the ballot should be no different.

The rush would come from the speedy Tim Raines who would be my #1 pic on any sized ballot this year.    (Raines was my 1st choice last year.) Raines like Lee should already be in, but unlike Lee should get in this year in his last year of eligibility.

Tim Raines #1 of 5

That is pretty much what I think.  But I don't really have a vote.  I do have a sense for these things and I think that there will be 2 players announced on Wednesday,  Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell.  Hoffman, Rodriguez and Guerrerro should be all right under the 75% threshold in some order,  

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