HALL OF FAME RESULTS ONE WEEK AWAY
The results for the 2007 Hall of Fame are a week away and we here at “Inside the Chiefs” have our take on this years nominees: of the 32 players eligable we have eliminated 13 right off the bat: Gone are Dante Bichette, Bobby Bonilla, Scott Brosius, Jay Buhner and Ken Caminiti. All were nice players but not Hall of Fame material. Eight others, Albert Belle, Eric Davis, Paul O’Neill, Dave Concepcion, Wally Joyner, Bret Saberhagen, Devon White and Bobby Witt were a step above our first group but hardly need to stay on the ballot in future years.
The remaining nineteen players only Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken are assured of the 75% and above for induction. That gives us 17 players that careers were good enough for consideration but could fall short once again.
Let’s break it down by position: Starting pitchers, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Orel Hershiser and Tommy John. Two played in Minnesota and two played in Los Angeles most of their careers. Both Blyleven and Morris were dominant during their era with Morris getting a slight edge due to World Series titles. Tommy John, like Jim Kaat pitched for 26 years and never was the best pitcher on his own team. Hershiser was, but had his career cut short due to heavy work load early in his career.
Our Pick: 1. Morris, 2. Blyleven 3. Hershiser, 4. John. Both Hershiser and John should be off the ballot with Morris and Blyleven still holding out hope.
Relief Pitchers:Rich Gossage and Lee Smith. It’s hard to argue on either one not going in. Both were dominant with Gossage establishing himself as the most feared pitcher in the game in the late 70′s and ealry 80′s.
Our Pick: 1A. Gossage 1B. Smith. Both should receive 50% or more of the vote with Gossage having an outside shot of sneaking in this season.
Infielders: The two shortstops Tony Fernandez and Alan Trammell played during the same period and were clearly the best in the American League in the 80′s even though Cal Ripken also played in the AL during the same time. Tramell received only 18% of the vote last season and is in danger of losing his place on the ballot. Fernandez his equal probably won’t receive much more support. The other three infielders all played first base. Don Mattingly was very good, but with only 13% of the ballot in 2006 seems destined to be gone. Steve Garvey was also very good and played on championship clubs, something Mattingly never accomplished. Garvey though never put up first baseman numbers. McGwire cheated big time and that’s enough for this voter to say no way.
Our Picks: 1. Trammell 2. Garvey 3. Fernandez 4. Mattingly 5. McGwire. None of these five will ever see the Hall of Fame, but four of them played really good during their careers.
Outfielders: Six big time names, Harold Baines, Dave Parker, Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy, Jose Canseco and Jim Rice. All six one MVP Awards, Rookie of the Year, HR, and RBI titles, etc.. Rice and Dawson have nearly made it each year falling just short. Parker and Murphy combined, never get more than 25% of the vote. Canseco and Baines are on the ballot for the first time.
Our Pick: 1. Jim Rice, 2. Andre Dawson 3. Dave Parker 4. Dale Murphy 5. Harold Baines and 6. Jose Canseco. Rice and Dawson deserve to be in now. Parker had an equally great career and won World Series titles but will still fall short. Murphy played in Atlanta and they never won when he was there. Baines spent much of his career as a DH, but so did Paul Molitor. Canseco like his bash brother McGwire cheated, but at least he admitted it.
Our top 10 Votes:
1. Tony Gwynn
2. Cal Ripken
3. Jim Rice
4. Andre Dawson
5. Rich Gossage
6. Lee Smith
7. Alan Trammell
8. Jack Morris
9. Bert Blyleven
10. Tony Fernandez