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Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010
Congratulations, Andre Dawson!
So tonight, it's BASEBALL. Hopefully some of you are still reading!
Congratulations to Andre Dawson. The guy had speed, power a phenomenal glove and was a class act and clubhouse leader throughout his career. I've been a fan and a Hall Booster of his from the start, some I'm glad to see this day come.
I thought I'd go ahead and round-out what MY ballot would have looked liked, if I was allowed to vote. (Players listed in order of Vote Percentage, shown in parenthesis)
#1 - Andre Dawson, OF (77.9%, Inducted)
Played: 1976-1996 for the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox & Marlins: .279 AVG, 438 HR, 1591 RBI, 119 OPS+, 8-time All-Star, 8-time Gold Glove, 1977 Rookie of the Year, 1987 Most Valuable Player. What did this guy NOT do? I'm glad he's in, and I'm surprised it took this long. I guess the writers are starting to appreciate some of these guys (like Jim Rice, last year) more now that they realize the effect that steroids has had on the numbers.
#2 - Bert Blyleven, RHP (74.3%)
Played: 1970-1992 for the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels: 287-250 W-L, 3.31 ERA, 3701 K's, 118 ERA+, 2-time All-Star. I've been boosting Bert for years too. I'm glad to see that he's probably a lock for next year. The guy gets a bum-rap because he failed to win 300 games. He was 13 short, in a 22 year career, playing mostly for lousy teams. (1970's Twins, 1980's Indians, 1990's Angels.) Plus he twice came back from injuries that caused him to miss full seasons. This guy BELONGS. Period.
#3 - Roberto Alomar, 2B (73.7%)
Played: 1988-2004 for the Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Mets, White Sox and Diamondbacks: .300 AVG, 210 HR, 1134 RBI, 116 OPS+, 12-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove. OK - he SPIT at an UMPIRE. That's REALLY, REALLY BAD. But there is no denying that he is arguably the best defensive second baseman of all-time and arguably the greatest all-around second baseman since Joe Morgan in the mid-1970's. He might not be first-ballot material, but he belongs. Average, Speed, flashes of Power and the Best Glove ever? Yeah, he'll be in next year as well.
#4 - Jack Morris, RHP (52.3%)
Played: 1977-1994 for the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays: 254-186 W-L, 3.90 ERA, 2478 K's, 105 ERA+. Blyleven & Morris combined prove that the BWAA will use any excuse not to elect someone. The punish Blyleven for not ahving enough Wins, even though he excelled in every other stat, and the punish Morris for not dominating the other stats and ignore the fact that he was the winningest pitcher of the 1980's. He was also MONEY in the Post Season YEARS before his historic 11-inning duel with John Smoltz in the 1991 World Series. He was a battler and a winner and he belongs. That being said, I don't think he'll make it. Ever. But he'll ALWAYS get my vote.
#5 - Barry Larkin, SS (51.6%)
Played: 1986-2004 for the Reds: .295 AVG, 198 HR, 960 RBI, 116 OPS+, 12-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glove, 1995 Most Valuable Player. OK, HOW can Robby Alomar get 73.7% on his first ballot and Larkin get only 51.6? They had the same bloody skill set (Fielding, Speed, Average and occasional Power) and their resumes are practically identical. The big difference is the Gold Gloves, but Larkin was cheated out of several early in his career by Ozzie Smith, who won a few late in HIS career based more on reputation than actual performance. Plus Larkin never spat at an umpire, and spent his whole career with one team while Alomar wore out his welcome everywhere he went. Same career, but the guy with CLASS gets 20% fewer votes. Makes less sense to me that the 2000 SC decision in Bush v. Gore!
#6 - Lee Smith, RP (47.3%)
Played: 1980-1997 for the Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Reds and Expos: 71-92 W-L, 478 Saves, 3.03 ERA, 131 ERA+, 7-time All-Star. Now that Relief Pitchers are finally getting their due, can someone please explain to me why a guy who held the all-time Saves record for 13 years isn't even on the radar?
#7 - Mark McGwire, 1B (23.7%)
Played: 1986-2001 for the Athletics and Cardinals: .263 AVG, 583 HR, 1414 RBI, 162 OPS+, 12-time All-Star, 1-time Gold Glove, 1987 Rookie of the Year. Statistically, he's one of the greatest hitters of all-time no matter how you slice it, bar looking at batting average exclusively. (And who does that anymore?!) Steroid allegations are a bitch I guess, and doing your best impersonation of a politician in your congressional testimony won't help any. I know he juiced. I'm over it. He'll be in eventually, once we have a chance to look back at this era from a longer historical perspective.
#8 - Alan Trammell, SS (22.4%)
Played: 1977-1996 for the Tigers: .285 AVG, 185 HR, 1003 RBI, 110 OPS+, 6-time All-Star, 4-time Gold Glove. Should have been the MVP in 1987. No question he got absolutely ROBBED. Earlier today, a co-worker told me that the reason he hates Derek Jeter is that there's no reason to hate the guy. He BEATS you, but he shows so much class that you can't hate him for it. And he HATED that! And I realized that this was exactly why I "hated" Trammell growing up. Back when his Tigers and my Red Sox were in the same division, he ALWAYS beat us, and yet was such a class act that you just HAD to tip your cap to him. GOD, I HATED THAT! He belongs. He'll never get in, I'm sad to say. But he should. When they played head to head, 27 of the 28 teams in the league would have taken Trammell over Ozzie Smith. Yet Smith's in and Trammell's not even CLOSE? WTF?! (Yes, I understand WHY, but it's still bullshit!)
#9 - Fred McGriff, 1B (21.5%)
Played: 1987-2004 for the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays, Cubs and Dodgers: .284 AVG, 493 HR, 1550 RBI, 134 OPS+, 5-time All-Star. I think that McGriff will get in, especially as the ballot gets more and more loaded down with steroid cases. I don't they'll pull a Bert Blyleven on him and say, "Well, he fell short of 500 HR." I mean... he was SEVEN short, and the 1994-95 strike might have had SOMETHING to do with that, no? But the guy had ten 30+ Home-Run seasons, mostly in years when that still meant something. He had the misfortune of starting to decline just as offensive numbers picked up. He'll get in in a few more years though.
#10 - LEFT BLANK.
To answer your question, YES. I am intentionally withholding my vote from Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, Don Mattingly, Dave Parker, Dale Murphy, Harold Baines and the rest of them. I may eventually be swayed on Raines, but you won't convince me on any of the others.
So congratulations again to Mister Dawson, as well as Whitey Herzog (Manager) and Doug Harvey (Umpire) on their selection by the Veterans Committee.