Sully Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

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Getty

I do not have a vote. This blog post does not influence who gets into the Hall of Fame. While I am vigorously working on changing that situation, I might as well cast a fake ballot.

If I were voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame and had to abide by their silly “No More Than 10 Names On The Ballot” rule, this would be how I would fill out my ballot.

They all played in 1999, so they will be represented by their 1999 Topps Cards.

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BARRY BONDS
Bonds would get my vote even if he played with a needle sticking out of his arm as he came to the plate. You might not like him. You might not like PEDs and that is your right to not support him. I believe he is one of the 5 best offensive players in baseball history and was already a Hall of Famer before he bulked up.

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ROGER CLEMENS
Like Bonds, is an all time great who was a Hall of Famer before he ballooned up. Like Bonds has been his own worst enemy in terms of winning the fans and press over to his side. He was one of the greatest I ever saw and pitched at a super high level for a generation and then some. It wasn’t ALL PEDs.

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VLADIMIR GUERRERO
An MVP with the bat and his monster arm, Vlad delivered monster power numbers in three different decades and being an all around dominating force in Montreal. He won the MVP in Anaheim and helped the Angels and Rangers in post season runs.

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EDGAR MARTINEZ
The Designated Hitter is a spot in the lineup. As long as that is the case, players who were primarily DH’s should be eligible for the Hall of Fame. The ones that get in should be extraordinary, like Edgar Martinez. The best right handed hitter of his time, he posted a higher career OPS than Hank Aaron all the while posting eye popping numbers year in an year out.

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MIKE MUSSINA
As steady an ace as there was in his era, Mussina won big year after year in the powerful AL East. Forget his relatively high ERA. He was in the middle of the roids era and still bringing the goods, right up until his final year, a 20 win season.

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TIM RAINES
It took a decade for people to realize that Rock was one of the best players of his era. His greatest sin was not being as good as Rickey Henderson. Few were. Tim Raines put up Hall of Fame numbers and will hopefully have the plaque to go with it.

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MANNY RAMIREZ
Am I biased because he was the 2004 World Series MVP and one of my favorite players? Sure. Did he get suspended for PEDs? Sure twice! Was he a monster at the plate and put up jaw dropping numbers along the way? Of course. Would he give the most insane speech in Cooperstown history? No doubt.

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IVAN RODRIGUEZ
The best overall catcher I ever saw play, Pudge could throw, call a great game and hit. Granted he didn’t deserve that MVP in 1999 (that was Pedro’s!) But he did lead the Marlins to the 2003 crown with big hits in each round. PEDs? Sure. Still gets my vote.

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CURT SCHILLING
Hey! Another 2004 Red Sox player! OK, so I won’t talk politics with him. But there is no denying his dominance in not only the post season but in the regular season as well. He didn’t win a Cy Young because he was in the same league as Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson. He was as good a big game pitcher as I have ever seen in my life. And yes, I was at the Bloody Sock game.

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LARRY WALKER
Hey! I am voting in a Colorado Rockie! Walker would be the first ever enshrined. Yeah, I know he played in both the Steroid Era AND in Coors Field, which makes a lot of people not consider his stats. But he also was a great player in Montreal and put up consistent MVP caliber stats year in and year out while playing great defense as well.

 

So yes, I want all 10 of those players in. I wish all 10 would get elected. I want a super crowded stage.

Clearly PEDs are not a huge deterrent for me. I would give Sammy Sosa some love if I had room on the ballot.

Chances are Jeff Bagwell and Trevor Hoffman are getting in. You could convince me of Bagwell and you could convince me of Gary Sheffield. Maybe they will be on the ballot next year. I am not a big Trevor Hoffman guy. Specialists can’t wet the bed in the big game as often as Hoffman did. Same goes for Lee Smith. Billy Wagner has a more compelling case than them. I hope he stays on the ballot.

I always felt Jeff Kent was overrated, Fred McGriff falls just short. Meanwhile 2004 Red Sox Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield and Orlando Cabrera will be one and done.

So let’s see what happens tomorrow.

My prediction?

I predict that Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Trevor Hoffman will be elected. While Bagwell and Hoffman were not on MY ballot, I will not protest. There are other things to get mad at in this world. Nobody will ever be elected who had a bad career.

Sully Baseball Hall of Fame Picks and Prediction

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I do not have a Hall of Fame vote, which we can all agree is a travesty. If I did, I would take my vote seriously and make my opinions heard loudly.

Alas, that will have to wait another year. But as a proud member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I do have a platform to list what what my ballot WOULD be.

So here we go… this is my Hall of Fame Ballot… in Alphabetical Order:

BARRY BONDS
ROGER CLEMENS
JIM EDMONDS
KEN GRIFFEY, Jr.
EDGAR MARTINEZ
MIKE MUSSINA
MIKE PIAZZA
TIM RAINES
CURT SCHILLING
ALAN TRAMMELL

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Rhona Wise/European Pressphoto Agency

So as you can see, the PED history around Bonds and Clemens is not a deterrent to me. I think a Hall of Fame without Bonds and without Clemens is incomplete.

I think Jim Edmonds, Edgar Martinez and Alan Trammell will all get the short end of the stick. I wanted to give them my support.

Tim Raines was an elite offensive force whose lone sin seems to be he wasn’t as good as Rickey Henderson. Few ever were.

Mike Piazza should have been in years ago, back acne or not.

And before anyone claims I am a homer for putting Curt Schilling on my ballot, please note that long time Yankee Mike Mussina is on my ballot.

And of course no brainer Griffey gets a vote.

Where is Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire, Jeff Kent, Gary Sheffield or Larry Walker? The beauty of the crowded ballot¬†is I can leave of some that I don’t necessarily like and be able to plead “Hey! There are only 10 spots!”

Where is Trevor Hoffman? Frankly, I have never been a believer in his Hall of Fame candidacy. Billy Wagner? I think he has a more compelling argument, but which of the 10 should I eliminate?

So there is my ballot. I want all 10 to get in. I want a super crowded stage and 10 speeches on a warm day in Cooperstown.

Now what do I ACTUALLY think will happen? What is my REAL prediction for who will be elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday?

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Credit: Allsport/ Matthew Stockman

Griffey… and that’s it.
I bet the votes for EVERYONE else will come up short.

I don’t want that to be the case, but I think it will.

So let’s see how my ballot and my predictions stack up tomorrow.

MIKE MUSSINA – Sully Baseball Unsung Post Season Hero for November 1

Al Bello/Getty Images Sport

Al Bello/Getty Images Sport

NOVEMBER 1, 2001 – World Series Game 5

Mike Mussina joined the Yankees after they won the 2000 World Series. He retired after the 2008 regular season. That means his 8 year tenure with the Yankees was perfectly bookended with World Championships that he did not participate in.

Oddly, he never seemed to be embraced by Yankee fans despite some fine seasons. Perhaps his never getting a ring with the team hurt his cause. (Although Kenny Rogers, Denny Neagle and Jose Canseco all won rings with the Joe Torre Yankees and they are not exactly beloved members of the franchise.)

And in his first year with the Yankees, 2001, he put together a pair of performances that showed he was able to produce when the Yankees needed him the most.

His first post season start for the Yankees was Game 3 of the Division Series. The A’s were up 2-0 in the series and looking for the sweep. With the season on the line, Mussina threw 7 shutout innings (the final out recorded on “The Jeter Flip.”) Had Mussina been roughed up and did not match Barry Zito’s 8 inning, 2 hit performance, there would not have been any of the post September 11th World Series drama in the Bronx.

After a win in the ALCS against Seattle, Mussina was clobbered in Game 1 of the World Series in Arizona. His chance for redemption came in Game 5.

Tino Martinez and Derek Jeter hit their dramatic homers that turned Arizona’s chance to take a 3-1 lead into a tied 2-2 series. With Schilling already used in Game 4, Diamondbacks started Miguel Batista. He was more than up for the challenge, keeping the Yankees off the board over 7 2/3 innings.

Mussina could not afford to let up a big rally to the Diamondbacks. Despite their flair for the dramatic, the Yankees offense was stagnant against Arizona pitching. They were 1-24 with runners in scoring position going into the 9th of Game 5.

In the 5th inning with the game scoreless, Mussina allowed home runs to Steve Finley and catcher Rod Barajas. But they were both solo shots and the score was 2-0.

Mussina allowed only 3 other hits over the course of 8 innings. The night after an emotional extra inning game, Mussina was doing his best to take the pressure off of the bullpen, wiggling out of a first and third pickle in the 8th. He struck out 10 along the way and kept the Yankees in the game.

Finally he gave way to Ramiro Mendoza in the 9th, still on the hook for a tough luck loss. Scott Brosius came to his rescue with his 2 run homer off of Kim in the 9th. The Yankees would ultimately win in the 12th when Alfonso Soriano singled home Chuck Knoblauch. Reliever Sterling Hitchcock was credited with the win but it was Mike Mussina’s performance that set it up.

The Yankees would lose the World Series in the 9th inning of Game 7. But the likes of Jeter, Soriano, Martinez and Brosius were all long remembered for raising the spirits of the heart broken city.¬†Mussina’s heroism would not be noted as a contributor to a title. His relief performance in the Aaron Boone game also never seems to be brought up.

His contributions are not lost on this author, making him the unsung hero for November 1.