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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Congratulations, Andre Dawson!

OK... if you're looking for politics tonight, you'll be disappointed. Tonight I want to take a look at the one election that I put above all others: The Baseball Writer's Association of America's Hall of Fame Election, who's results were announced today.

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.

4 comments:

  1. I have a pretty significant problem with players juiced up on steroids holding records or getting into the Hall of Fame. There was a couple of decades between Babe Ruth's HR record and Roger Maris' season, and Maris was a fluke. Then there's another 30 years or so, and suddenly there's 6 or 8 people who break Maris' record? The number of 'great' HR hitters was artificially inflated by steroid use, and that rubs me the wrong way. Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire wouldn't be up there without steroids.

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  2. DellDolly,

    I hear you. And you make some very good points. It certainly is a perfectly valid way to look at it. In mush the same vein you can say that 3000 Hits or 500 Home Runs doesn't mean anything anymore: There were 15 Members of the '500 club' between Ruth in 1929 (the first) and Eddie Murray in 1996 (#15). Since McGwire (1999) there have been 9. (15 in the first 67 years, but 9 in just the last 10?! OMG!)

    But there are two things I'd like to offer...

    Firstly - There are many other factors that have contributed to the inflated offensive numbers: The Designated Hitter, the expanded league and rosters allowing in less qualified pitchers, shorter fences, smaller strike zone, lower mound, not being allowed to pitch inside anymore, and better (legitimate) sports medicine to recover from injury from. Until the game is clean and we have a chance to see where the numnbers end up, we won't really know how much of the current situation to blame on steroids. I'm betting it's a lot less than you think. (But as were still IN this mess, we won't know for sure for some time yet.)

    Second - I'm in the camp that suspects about 99% of the prominant hitters, half the prominant pitchers and much of the more borderline talent of Juicing. IOW - I really think the problem was rampant throughout the entire league, and not just the work of a handful of bad apples. Yet even when compared to other juicers, and even facing juiced pitching, certain players just rise to the top: McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Palmeiro, Rodriguez, Ramirez, Sheffield, etc... And for every one of those guys that you KNOW, there are 5 more that used, but didn't put up the insane numbers. So the best of a tainted era are still the best.

    Don't get me wrong: Hank Aaron and Roger Maris are still the legitimate Home Run kings in MY book. But the achievements of Big Mac (and the others) are still amazing when compared to the (juiced) players they played against.

    Also: Don't forget that at the time most of these guys were using, MLB had no official policy against it. That doesn't excuse them entirely, but MLB should have taken things far more seriously back in 1988, when Jose Canseco became the first 40/40 man and everyone KNEW he was juicing. But there was NO TESTING and NO RULE and NO PENALTY established until 2003?! That's not MCGWIRE's fault. And there are like 100+ names on that list of failed test from the first round of testing. They've only leaked about a dozen or so. The problem was far more rampant that we realize, based on the evidence presented so far. I wish they'd just go ahead an release the rest. Then we could have some real perspective on the era.

    But at the end of the era, McGwire was still one of the very best, towering over even other users (Canseco, Giambi) who's careers placed in any other era would have been HoF worthy without question.

    So I don't fault you or anyone else who doesn't want to give their vote to McGwire or ANYONE who used PED's. You're position is perfectly legitimate.

    He still gets MY vote, however.

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  3. I think you make very good points too, Eddie.

    You're sure right that the game has changed a lot! More than I sometimes remember, in fact.

    And baseball players are better athletes, and overall, take better care of themselves - just think what Mickey Mantle and others could have done had they not abused their bodies like they did!

    And it's true that most of them did was not illegal when they did it - although I think that's an oversight that MLB should have fixed!

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  4. Oh, absolutely it is.

    And I don't begrudge anyone their opinion that what these guys did makes them unworthy of the sport's highest honor. Although they'd all get MY vote, I'm not shedding any tears over the shabby treatment McGwire has receieved (and others that soon will) from the Baseball Writers so far, maxed out at 23.7% with 75% needed for induction.

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