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Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 MLB HALL OF FAME BALLOT

So the new class of the MLB Hall of Fame will be announced this Wednesday and all of the 500-plus ballots will be made public in some form or another in the always exhausting and highly debated process.  Our own correspondent Michael Wong has a ballot which he submitted and shares with us today as we get set to see who makes the cut. 

MY 2016 BALLOT

By Michael Wong

So the 2016 MLB Hall of Fame class will be announced this Wednesday and once again myself as a voter had to look internally to decide whether it is time to start including PED stained players such as Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, etc.  The ballot allowed us to pick up to 10 candidates but we also did not have to select that many and could go with as few as zero if we so desired.  Before I share with your my picks, here are the names that are on this year's ballot:

Garrett Anderson
Brad Ausmus
Jeff Bagwell
Barry Bonds
Luis Castillo
Roger Clemens
David Eckstein
Jim Edmonds
Nomar Garciaparra
Troy Glaus
Ken Griffery Jr.
Mark Grudzielanek
Mike Hampton
Trevor Hoffman
Jason Kendall
Jeff Kent
Mike Lowell
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Mike Mussina
Mike Piazza
Tim Raines
Curt Schilling
Gary Sheffield
Lee Smith
Sammy Sosa
Mike Sweeney
Alam Trammell
Billy Wagner
Larry Walker
Randy Winn

Some of the names on this list are ridiculous such as Eckstein, Winn, Glaus, Castillo, Grudzielanek, and Sweeney.  All will be one and done for sure.  With that out of the way, here are my slam dunk OBVIOUS choices.

1.  Ken Griffey:  As easy a first ballot Hall of Fame pick as one can get.  No need to go into this one since then numbers speak.

2.  Mike Piazza:  Yes the whispers of PED use are there but no positive test has been linked to Piazza and his numbers are staggeringly great at catcher.  The wait should end this year.

3.  Tim Raines:  Sorry but I have been a huge proponent of Tim Raines who was the best leadoff hitter of his era outside of Rickey Henderson.  If Craig Biggio got in last season, Raines should be in for this year as he was arguably the better overall player. 

4.  Jeff Bagwell:  Again like with Piazza, there were PED accusations when it came to Bagwell but again no positive test.  Bagwell was a monster power hitter who also was able to hit .300-plus.  Like with Piazza, the wait should be over after serving his "penance" by Hall of Fame voters.

So those four were easy picks for me and now I had to go with the rest of the ballot to see if I even wanted to pick 10 guys.  I went with the following second tier group that was not connected to PED's. 

5.  Mike Mussina:  Big fan of Mussina who was an excellent ace pitcher for 18 years and who excelled in the always potent AL East.  If Mussina would have operated in the National League, he would have been in the Hall of Fame already.  Dominant K/BB ratio.

6.  Curt Schilling:  Right there with Mussina in terms of K/BB and the power strikeout totals were humongous at times. 

7.  Fred McGriff:  Have a soft spot for McGriff who was a tremendous power hitter at the height of the steroid era and who had no whispers attached to his name.  I reward that. 

So now I am at 7 guys and am looking at the rest of the ballot to see if I can get three more.  I can't but I will go with one more.

8.  Barry Bonds:  Yeah the guy was juiced by I comfort myself with the fact that Bonds was a star even before blowing up. 

So I ended up with 8 on the ballot and tough cuts for me included Trevor Hoffman and Edgar Martinez.  The DH hurts Martinez and closer is too specialist for me to include Hoffman.  Meanwhile I refused to entertain McGwire and Clemens who made complete fools of themselves and all of baseball with their denials or evasiveness in front of Congress.  I just can't reward that. 

With all that said let's hear your thoughts.  Write your arguments below. 

 

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