The Rotoprofessor’s 2010 Hall of Fame Ballot

With Major League Baseball recently revealing the players on the 2010 Hall of Fame ballot, I though I would weigh in on who I would vote for.  Let’s take a look:

The Definites:
Roberto Alomar – Everyone remembers him for the spitting incident and the latter years, which certainly has left a black eye on his career.  It’s unfortunate, because he was one of the best offensive second baseman of all-time.  He hit .300 or better in nine out of ten seasons from 1992-2001.  He was a 1o time Gold Glove Award winner (a record for second baseman) and a 12 time All-Star.  No matter what happened, he belongs to be remembered for his accomplishments.

Andre Dawson – He was the 1977 NL Rookie of the Year.  He was the 1987 NL MVP.  He was an eight time All-Star.  He was an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner.  For a time, he was one of the most feared and dominant hitters in the game, which is really the most telling statement.  He deserves to be inducted and after falling just 44 votes shy in 2009, this could be the year he finally gets recognized for his accomplishments.

Mark McGwire – Steroids or not, he was one of the people who helped to bring the game back after the strike cancelled the 1994 World Series.  He should be regarded as one of the best sluggers in the game and, in theory, what he did was not against the rules of baseball when he was playing.  He should get the recognition he deserves.

One The Fence, But Not This Year
Barry Larkin – He was one of the most well rounded short stops in baseball history.  He won the Gold Glove three times, though that really is not telling since he was going against the best defensive player in baseball history, Ozzie Smith.  He was a 12 time All Star, won the 1995 MVP as well as getting a World Series Title in 1990.  He was a star, all around, and really has me one the fence.  He was a star, but was he really a superstar? 

Edgar Martinez – He is going to bring about a lot of debate, since he is the first true DH who is worth considering.  Does the fact that he only played half the game, not contributing on the defensive side, make his accomplishments any less impressive?  He was a career .312 hitter and sported a .418 OBP.  The OBP places him twelfth all time, an incredible mark when you think about it.  Still, right now, I can’t give him my vote.

Lee Smith – The election of Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter in recent seasons should have begun to open the door for some of the other great closers in league history.  Talk about the position and the specialization all you want, but he was one of the most dominant in league history.  He was the all-time leader for a while, with 478 career saves.  He was a seven time All-Star and at a position that generally sees much volatility, was one of the best for a long time.  The problem is, if you vote Smith in where does the closer line fall?  Does someone like John Franco get voted in?  What is the real difference between the two?  For that reason, I can’t vote Smith in this season.

Other Players Who Will Gerner Attention, but Not Mine:
Bert Blyleven – I know he won 287 games, but too me he was more of a compiler.  He only had two seasons with more than 17 wins.  Yes, he had 3,701 strikeouts, but his K/9 was a measly 6.70.  I don’t know, while the numbers are there it is more telling of the length of his career.

Don Mattingly – This is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Very Good.  I know, the back injury really short-changed him, but it is what it is.  He just didn’t do enough.

Jack Morris – He was a big game pitcher, but is that really enough?  Not in my eyes it’s not.  A 3.90 ERA should not make you Hall of Fame worthy.  Ryan Lester of had already debated him, so for more on why I don’t think he belongs, click here.

Dale Murphy – Another player that I’ve already debated, so I’m not going to rehash the argument in full here (click here to view).  His six very good seasons just aren’t enough to convince me since he wasn’t the big, dominant hitter of his generation and then quickly disappeared.

Dave Parker – He had some good seasons, but if he was an elite slugger how could he have just four seasons of over 100 RBI?  How could he have just three seasons of at least 30 home runs?  His numbers just aren’t impressive enough for me to ever consider voting him in.

Tim Raines – Yet another player that I’ve already debated (click here to view).  He’s basically another player that I see as a compiler, getting a lot of his numbers due to sticking in the majors for 23 seasons.  While his 808 stolen bases are impressive, 454 of them came from 1981-1986.  It’s just not enough for me.

Definitely Never:
Kevin Appier, Harold Baines, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Fred McGriff, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Alan Trammell, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile

What are your thoughts on the 2010 Hall of Fame ballot?  Who deserves to be in?  Who are you on the fence for?

To read the previous article, click here.


  1. I just joined your side with McGwire. I think you have to be a little softer in your stance and mention it was a league-wide problem and one guy shouldn’t be singled out. That’s how I came around. I wonder how many voters will come around.

    What Larkin did in Ripken and Ozzie’s shadow was more than enough for me.

    As for Edgar, he did play 68% of his time at DH. I don’t remember the outcry when Paul Molitor got in. He played 44% of his time at DH. I know there’s a big difference, but not enough to overlook the fact that Edgar could really rake.

    I’m coming around on some of the other guys. I’ll give up on Mattingly, Murphy, and Cobra.

    Morris was a dominating pitcher for a long time. His ERA wasn’t great, but when the game was on the line Morris is one of the all-time greats. That’s the mark of a HOFer.

    I’m on the fence with Bert. Yes, he was a compiler, but he was one of the best strikeout pitchers ever. Plus the complete games and shutouts. I don’t know. While he’s gaining steam with BBWAA he’s losing steam with me.

    Rock went down last year and could possibly go away quietly. If he doesn’t make a big leap in this year in which there is no slam dunk (Alomar would be if not for the spitting), then he has little chance.

  2. Ben says:

    A definite no on McGriff? I’d love to hear your reasoning behind that.

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    To me McGriff was a very, very good player, but he wasn’t a great one. He was never that big time feared hitter, never considered the best of his generation. While he had eight seasons of over 100 RBI, he never had more than 107, so it was just barely.

    If it was the Hall of Very Good, then he’d be in a heartbeat, but I just don’t view him as one of the greats of all-time.

    I’m curious as to the case to put him in?

  4. Trevor says:

    No on Blyleven??

    Terrible call. Blyleven was BETTER than Ryan AND Sutton, two guys got into the HOF with little trouble. The flaw in your logic is that you look at W as a telling stat. Perhaps if Bert had played for the Dodgers (like Sutton) he’d get your vote. Which is sad, because Bert WAS a better pitcher than Sutton. Hands down.

    Bert 287-250 WHIP 1.198 ERA+ 118 K/9IP 6.7 K/BB 2.80
    Sutton 324-256 WHIP 1.142 ERA+ 108 K/9IP 6.1 K/BB 2.66

    So … Bert had fewer wins – as he played on MUCH inferior teams. Bert also allowed a few more baserunners – but then he played 19 years in the AL whereas Sutton played 6 years in the AL. Bert had a MUCH better ERA+ (18 percent versus 8 percent), more K per nine innings and better control overall.

    Man, you are clearly NOT a professor of all that is Roto. I mean, Dawson is debatable, and while you state that steroids were a league wide problem, you FAIL to address the fact that McGwire was essentially a one trick pony. He hit home runs. Without steroids, he would have been a very good player. And you yourself said it’s the Hall of Fame, not Hall of Very Good. For the record, Bonds was a Hall of Famer BEFORE he stared juicing. He was an ALL AROUND player. McGwire was not, and wouldn’t SNIFF the Hall without the ‘roids.

    I won’t even get into your incorrect stance on Raines – who is the second best leadoff hitter. OF ALL TIME. If he hadn’t been in Henderson’s shadow, he would already be in.

    You know nothing about baseball man. Nothing. Although you were right about Alomar – I guess it’s true that a blind squirrel finds the occasional nut.

    Terrible analysis.

    Alomar is in.
    Bert should be in.

    Lee Smith is a COMPILER. You are such a hypocrite. This guy is good, that guy was merely a compiler. Uh, go look at Smith’s very good, very long career. COMPILER.

    Andre is marginal.

    Tim Raines should be in.

    Class dismissed. Your tenure has been revoked. PERMANENTLY.

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    Trevor, I understand your opinions and appreciate them. Everyone has their own take on who belongs in the Hall of Fame and who doesn’t, which is why debates like this exist.

    I agree that Lee Smith is a compiler, which is why he was not listed as someone who I would include, instead someone I would consider. At the end of the day, he wouldn’t have my vote, at least not now.

    As for Blyleven, I always viewed him as a very good pitcher. Obviously we have a different opinion and that’s fine. If I was “wrong” or in the minority, he wouldn’t have been on the ballot for 12 years. If he absolutely deserved to be in, he’d be in. Obviously there is room for debate.

    With McGwire, to me his impact on the game had a much broader range than just saying he was a one trick pony who solely hit home runs. For better or worse, he was one of the main reasons that baseball bounced back as quickly and with as much force as it did from the 1994 debacle. Yes, all he did was hit home runs, but he was one of the most feared hitters of all time and again, his impact on the game was much more than just what he did on the field. For me, that means an awful lot.

  6. McGwire has the 11th best OPS of all time. Yes, he played in an inflated era, but his adusted OPS is 12th best. he has the best HR/AB of all-time. Do you think Harmon Killebrew is a viable HOFer. Mac’s numbers are pretty similar.

  7. Jimmy says:

    Everyone has their own metrics for evaluating players. While I don’t really have a pulse on the HOF vote, I know that anyone can have their opinions about who they feel should get in. Some are realistic, others are unfathomable. Either way, there’s no reason to berate someone’s opinions, because they’re merely that, a person’s own beliefs.

  8. NP says:

    You’re nuts on McGriff. You may not give a vote, but the guy ranks 9th all-time with 25 seasons w/20-or-more HR. He hit 30 HR eight straight years, leading the league twice. And, purists can relish the fact that he never bulked up like some other 1990’s sluggers.

    As for your “On the fence, but not this year” category, how are those guys not HOF-worthy now, but they might be next year? I can’t imagine Lee Smith saving any more games or Barry Larkin winning any gold gloves in 2010…

  9. ClayHenry says:

    Yes, McGwire brought back fans to the stadium after a strike shortened 1994 season, but it was for all the wrong reasons. Wasn’t this the reason WHY we all turned our backs and ignored the problem when HR records were broken and WHY it took so long to get a drug testing policy into MLB? I don’t think McGwire should be celebrated for that reason.

    It almost sounds like we should celebrate Enron for inflating their profits and their stock price during the stock market boom in the late 90’s.

  10. Tim Lawrence says:

    I am enthusiastically on the Raines is in bandwagon. The Hardball times has an excellent article, at that makes the case for his inclusion.

    It basically says this: Raines is considered a table setter, so he should be compared to like players who have landed in the Hall of Fame, such as Tony Gywnn and Lou Brock. And when you compare them to these two, among others he compares VERY favorably. His hitting skills compare well to Gwynn’s hitting skills, and he had significantly better speed. Don’t forget that not only did Raines steal 800 bases, but he has the BEST stolen base percentage of anybody with over over 400 steals. When you compare him to Lou Brock, his hitting skills are demonstrably better.

    Let me also say that being a compiler has its positives – if you you “compile” stats for 20 years, that is a positive, not a negative. Couple that the fact that Raines wasn’t only a compiler, but for a period of about 8 or 9 years was, along with Ricky, the very best at what he did – and I’d venture to say dominant. He was even FEARED, not necessarily as a power hitter, but as a table setter and base stealer. Take Ricky away, and you could make the case the he might be the best leadoff man ever. Add the fact that after his dominant years, he was good for another 9 or ten years…That is the recipe for a hall of famer. Tim should be in.

  11. KB says:

    I would encourage you to read Jayson Starks most recent article concerning McGriff’s candidacy. I would absolutely disagree with your assertion that he was never a “feared” hitter in the league. Anyone that played the game during McGriff’s era would disagree as well. When comparing McGriff’s contemporaries, also notice how many of those guys are under the steroid radar. If those guys are going to be penalized for using, then guys like McGriff should be rewarded for doing it the right way and unjustly being overshadowed during their careers.

  12. Rogers says:

    Regarding Blyleven:

    “Bert Blyleven – I know he won 287 games, but too me he was more of a compiler.”

    How do you define what a “compiler” is? Is it someone who was really, really good over a long period of time? How bold of Blyleven to keep playing the game at a high level and adding to his statistics! How dare he!

    “He only had two seasons with more than 17 wins.”

    And Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan only had four seasons with more than 17 wins. Sandy Koufax had five. Steve Carlton had six. Jim Bunning had four. What’s my point? It’s an arbitrary number that has zero impact on anything.

    If wins actually mattered (they don’t, because they rely on more than just the pitcher, namely the offense and bullpen), then you might have an argument.

    “Yes, he had 3,701 strikeouts, but his K/9 was a measly 6.70.”

    His 3,701 strikeouts are more than Walter Johnson, who is in the Hall. It’s also worth noting that Johnson, along with Dennis Eckersley, Don Drysdale, Hoyt Wilhelm, Fergie Jenkins, Don Sutton, Bob Feller and Juan Marichal all have more “measly” K/9 than Bert.

    “I don’t know, while the numbers are there…”

    So you admit that the numbers are there.

    “…it is more telling of the length of his career.”

    So it’s a bad thing that he had a long career, over which he was one of the best pitchers in the game? He played 22 seasons and had like four “bad” ones, and I use that term loosely.

    Your premise on which Bert is not a Hall of Famer is flimsy at best. How he has been ignored by the HOF for so long is beyond me.

  13. Poincare says:

    May I ask one question professor: What year did you start watching baseball? Reading your article leads me to believe that you did not start watching until the 1990’s at the earliest.

    I vehemently disagree with your opinions on both Blyleven and Raines. I also feel very strongly that Barry Larkin should be a definite also. I saw him play many times and I can assure you that he truly was a superstar.

    Of course at this point my opinion is just that. I don’t wish to argue any points for the sake of arguing, but I would really like to know how many of these players you actually watched play.

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