2007

This election ends Tuesday.

A number of players have dropped out, so be aware. Cedeno and Perez have used up their eligibility, and Hurst, Langston, Mitchell, Russell, Tanana, Tartabull, Tettleton and Viola lost support.

1 Harold Baines
13 Buddy Bell
2 Albert Belle
1 Dante Bichette
1 Bobby Bonilla
1 Jay Buhner
5 Brett Butler
1 Ken Caminiti
1 Jose Canseco
14 Jose Cruz
1 Eric Davis
6 Andre Dawson 4th
13 Darrell Evans 5th
11 Dwight Evans 3rd
1 Tony Fernandez
15 Steve Garvey
2 Dwight Gooden
14 Ron Guidry
1 Tony Gwynn
2 Orel Hershiser
13 Tommy John
1 Wally Joyner
7 Don Mattingly
3 Willie McGee
1 Mark McGwire
8 Jack Morris 9th
8 Dale Murphy 8th
1 Paul O’Neill
11 Dave Parker
7 Lance Parrish
3 Tony Phillips
12 Dan Quisenberry
10 Willie Randolph 5th
11 Rick Reuschel 7th
13 Jim Rice
1 Cal Ripken
1 Bret Saberhagen
5 Lee Smith
4 Dave Stieb
3 Darryl Strawberry
5 Fernando Valenzuela
1 Devon White

Bob’s ballot:

1. Ripken
2. Gwynn
3. Dawson
4. Quisenberry
5. Morris
6. Dw Evans
7. Smith
8. Randolph
9. Gooden
10. McGee

Write-Ins: Baines, McGwire, O’Neill

Terry’s ballot:

This is a fairly boring election with the top two pretty obvious, but what a cast of characters….

1: Cal Ripken– Not to be that guy, but how bald do you have to be that you lose your eyebrows? That always weirded me out, like he was the bad guy in Robocop or something, but he must have been shaving them in an act of deviance over his hair falling out. They are back now, and he looks terrific on TV.
2: Tony Gwynn– From 1993-1997 (ages 33-37), in 2735 plate appearances, Gwynn hit .368. I think Bill Terry (1929-1932) was the last man to hit over Cobb’s .367 for at least four years, and Al Simmons (1927-1931) was the last to do it for five. Gwynn also hit over .300 19 consecutive times; I know Cobb did it 23 times. Did anyone else make it to 20 since 1900? I looked up Cap Anson; he had a streak of twenty from 1871-1890 – and twenty four total, one more than Cobb.
3: Andre Dawson
4: Dale Murphy
5: Jack Morris
6: Dan Quisenberry
7: Mark McGwire– see below
8: Don Mattingly
9: Dwight Evans
10: Darrell Evans

Honorable Mention

Harold Baines– One of Baines’ more esoteric comps might be Lou Whitaker. Neither had huge peaks, but both played at a high level for a couple of decades. Both were platooned because neither could hit lefties, but both were enormously valuable anyway because they continued to hit at or near their peak abilities well past thirty five years of age. Whitaker was a second baseman (and a dammed good one), while Baines was a DH, so Whitaker does much better on the metrics. I agree with the metrics to a degree, that Whitaker is the better Hall of Fame candidate of the two, but I think Baines is a decent VC candidate, a name to remember in 2050 or so. Whitaker will get in sooner than that; my guess is that Trammell and Whitaker will get the nod together the first chance the VC gets.

Tony Fernandez– The Dave Concepcion of his time, a good case study in choosing your teammates properly. Much like Kenny Lofton and Don Baylor, he kept showing up on contending teams during his late career itinerate phase.

Other Stuff

Jay Buhner– The most popular ex- M, he works part time in Mariner public relations and does commercials in the Seattle area.
Ken Caminiti– I always think of him as a flameout, but that’s not quite true. His steroid binge-aided MVP season came when he was 33 years old, and he put up a 143 ops+ at 37. For reference, Lou Whitaker retired at 38. He might have died young, but he played a full career.
Jose Canseco– Take Hal Chase off the board – and Jose might have been the biggest creep in the history of baseball. I suspect his story won’t end well. He is about as morally sturdy as Denny McLain, and he already has serious money issues.
Eric Davis– Like Dave Parker, he basically missed out on several years that should have been among his best. From the 1990 World Series, when he suffered the lacerated kidney, to the end of the 1995 season, which he missed because of colon cancer, he played just 333 games of .229-.326-.372, an ops+ of 92. His ops+ pre kidney was 140, post cancer (ages 34-38) 130.
Wally Joyner– Played 2033 major league games and made 40 million dollars – as a first baseman with a career ops+ of 117.
Paul O’Neill– For some reason I always think of him as the modern Tommy Henrich. It’s not stat based or anything, just a feel thing.
Bret Saberhagen– By the end he was strapped together with duct tape and Elmer’s glue, but he could still get people out. He has to be top forty or so on the all time “what coulda been” list, and maybe top ten if you don’t include Hall of Famers and Wartime service guys. Hmm.. that would be a fun list to hash over, wouldn’t it? How would we do it? I guess start a thread, take nominations for a week or two, then have someone compile a ballot like Bob has done with the GOR, and have a vote. Top forty “what coulda been” list. Anyone game to do it?

Ok, Mark McGwire:

According to the article “Who Knew?”; Mac was taking PEDs in 1987, when he was skinny. We all know he was using in the late 1990s, when he was huge. My question: What the heck happened between 1988 and 1995?

I hope I’m still alive when some of these guys finally write their books, and talk frankly about how everything went down. My dream is that some of these guys decide to be candid, and give us all the dirty details. A list of ten “dream authors” telling the “dream truth”, in no particular order:

1- Pete Rose (good luck getting the truth out of him, but this is my dream so there)
2- Dave Parker (Pirate clubhouse, EVERYTHING going on in there; Red clubhouse, EVERYTHING going on in there, too. Add in his time with the Mac/Canseco/Reggie A’s, and Parker might be the best witness/co-conspirator of the bunch given his status, his substance issues, and his access. His book would be the must-read of the century)
3- Kirk Gibson (I want to hear about what caused all the soft tissue and tendon injuries, but more importantly he would be invaluable as a background source for what was going on in big-time college football in the 1970s – and how it translated to baseball)
4- Mark McGwire
5- Barry Bonds
6- Miguel Tejada (full disclosure about Raffy’s “B-12 shot”)
7- Nolan Ryan (witnessed the 1960s all the way to the 1990s as a player; from scrub to stud to management… a tremendous background source)
8- Alex Rodriguez (dream scenario only; I wouldn’t wipe my butt with what he writes in real life)
9- Jim Bouton (a great writer, even without the sodium pentothal; in my dreams he gets to take the gloves off and tell us what really happened in the 1960s Yankee clubhouse, and he would be another tremendous background source as part of the Pilots, the Astros, his trip through the minors and back to the Braves later. My distant hope is that he was a witness to Mantle’s own “B-12 shot” in 1961)
10- Mike Morgan (He played with Sosa until 1995, then Mac through 1997, then was back with Sosa for part of the 1998 season. Oh, and he played through the era, and all over the league. An honest book out of Morgan would also be a must-read)

Results:

11 ballots; the results:

145 Cal Ripken
124 Tony Gwynn
************
63 Mark McGwire
39 Andre Dawson
35 Dwight Evans
32 Willie Randolph
30 Darrell Evans
27 Don Mattingly
23 Bret Saberhagen
20 Dale Murphy
18 Dan Quisenberry
15 Jack Morris
15 Rick Reuschel
14 Dave Parker
14 Lee Smith
13 Albert Belle
7 Jim Rice
7 Dave Stieb
5 Jose Cruz
5 Tommy John
4 Harold Baines
4 Buddy Bell
4 Dwight Gooden
3 Jose Canseco
2 Willie McGee
1 Brett Butler
1 Eric Davis
1 Steve Garvey

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