Jeff Pearlman

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My 2011 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

The 2011 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot came out recently. Here’s my take …

Roberto Alomar—Can’t think of a single reason he didn’t get in last year. A must.

Bert Blyleven—He’s Don Sutton, and even though Sutton cleared 300 wins I just don’t consider him an all-time great. So, ahem, no.

Tim Raines—This one’s a crime. Raines was dominant, and while he wasn’t quite Rickey Henderson, he was the next best thing. He was also a significantly better player than Lou Brock, who entered on the first ballot.

Jeff Bagwell—If Jeff Bagwell didn’t use PED, well—scratch that. I believe he did. Strongly. No way.

Edgar Martinez—Brilliant hitter. But not quite brilliant enough.

Juan Gonzalez—If I’m 99 percent certain about Bagwell, I’m 100 percent certain here.

Carlos Baerga—A nice career, but that’s about all.

Jack Morris—The best starter of the 1980s was also money when the temperature was high. A solid yes for me.

Charles Johnson—C.J. was one of my personal favorites. A wicked defensive catcher who blocked everything. Quiet, mild, lovely. But not a Hall of Famer.

John Franco—I always enjoyed Franco, a loud lockerroom presence who stood up whenever he needed to. Not a Hall of Famer, but a great career.

Lee Smith—He and Franco are the same. Excellent closers, but not legendary. Oh, well.

Rafael Palmeiro—Given the choice between eating my mother’s matzoh lasagna for a year or voting in Raffy, well, I’ll vote in Raffy. But only by force. No way.

Larry Walker—A marvelous player, but not an all-timer.

Benito Santiago—The starting catcher on my all-cheat team.

Bret Boone—True story: the first time I realized PED were a problem in baseball (like, really knew) was when I saw Boone report to camp packing what appeared to be 30 pounds of extra muscle. I know … I know—speculation, just like Bagwell. But the inaction of the players and ownership allows speculation. To me, his career was bullshit.

B.J. Surhoff—Such an ornery man, but a nice player.

John Olerud—Yes to the helmet, no to the player.

Tino Martinez—Not a Hall of Famer, but give him credit for stepping into Don Mattingly’s shoes and emerging as a fan favorite. Terrific career.

Don Mattingly—Every kid in my high school wanted to be Donnie Baseball. Ic0nic. Gritty. Tough. Not a Hall of Famer.

Barry Larkin—Very close … but not quite.

Lenny Harris—Harris would be a fun guy to have as an uncle. Quirky, humorous, chatty. Lasted forever, but obviously no Cooperstown for Lenny.

Marquis Grissom—He became one of the go-to guys when it came to talking about Barry Bonds in San Francisco. Wonderfully engaging … not a Hall of Famer.

Alan Trammell—No, but he was a helluva player.

Harold Baines—A quiet clubhouse leader with a booming bat. One of the better players of his era. But no.

Dave Parker—A female reporter once told me about covering Parker the pig. Said she was in the clubhouse, and he pointed to his penis and said, “You want some of this.” Parker was very fat at the time. Without flinching the woman said, “Maybe, if I could find it.”

Dale Murphy—No, but I hate how people forget how brilliant he was. Back in the 80s, Murphy, Jim Rice and Mike Schmidt were all in the same boat.

Kirk Rueter—Genuinely looks like Woody from Toy Story. Always a fun guy.

Fred McGriff—I suppose no, but if he didn’t use PED his numbers look pretty damn good. Nearly 500 homers.

Mark McGwire—No shot.

  • Ted

    I’ve said it before. It’s not supposed to be the Hall of Very Good. Most of these guys had very good careers. I see no Hall of Fame careers in this list.

  • http://thingsthatarefuckingstupid.wordpress.com/ Keane

    Not even Alomar, Ted?

  • The Pride of Curry

    I HATE the Morris “big-game pitcher argument.”

    Postseason stats:

    Pitcher A: 8-6, 2.47 ERA, 47.1 IP, 36 K, 43 H, 9 BB, 1.077 WHIP.

    Pitcher B: 7-4, 3.80 ERA, 92.1 IP, 64 K, 83 H, 36 BB, 1.277 WHIP.

    Pitcher A is Don Sut–I mean Bert Blyleven. Pitcher B is Morris. You can make a solid case for Morris as an HOFer, you really can. But in no way, shape, or form is he a better candidate than Blyleven.

  • http://jeffpearlman.com Doug

    Alomar will get in, but the spitting thing is worth making him wait at least a year, and thats got to be the reason.
    I hope Blyleven gets in this year, I think he’s waited long enough.

  • http://www.daddyssugarball.com Max Power

    Compare Larkin to Ozzie Smith and Ripken – he’s a Hall of Famer

  • Sportswriting Refugee

    Morris had a 3.90 career ERA.

    That is in no way, shape, or form good enough to make him a Hall of Famer.

    Your argument is the Mark Grace argument: “Most hits in the 1990s!”

    It’s true.

    And he’s not a Hall of Famer, either.

  • 99 percent sure pearlman uses peads

    I say no one should give Pearlman any more jobs in journalism since I am 99% he used PEDs.

  • JC

    Just to be clear, you don’t actually have a vote, do you Jeff?

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  • PeteF3

    You can say “Morris was the best starter of the ’80s” all you want, but that doesn’t make it true. Dave Stieb was better. And
    Blyleven put up better stats than Morris in a longer career and has a comparable postseason performance.

    Why do you “strongly believe” Bagwell used PEDs? Is there any evidence involved that you’d care to share?

  • Jesse

    162-119, 332GS/133CG 2443IP 3.66 ERA 1.26 WHIP 6K/9 3.2 BB/9

    123-103 291GS/94CG 2078IP 3.64 ERA 1.22 WHIP 6.4K/9 2.4 BB/9

    which of these two was the best pitcher of the 80′s?

  • http://ondeckproject.wordpress.com Matt

    What, no opinion on Kirk Rueter?

    Also, I disagree with your stance on Bagwell.

  • Keith Ryan Cartwright

    Perhaps it’s because I associate them with my youth, but I would have no problem with Alan Trammel, Dale Murphy or Don Mattingly being inducted.

  • Adam

    Disagree on Bagwell – and Lenny Harris was so nice you listed him twice…

  • Will

    I am 99% sure Alomar used steroids. Please rescind your vote for him.

  • cademartori

    i love it when some weeny of a guy feels compelled to judge professional athletes. you have no idea of what you are saying and your opinions are worthless.you see yourself as an entertainer.you are worthless.i can not put into words your unimportance.

    • Jeff Pearlman

      oh, and here’s the ironic beauty. i’m so unimportant you’re staring at my blog at 1:30 am and posting multiple comments. great argument …

  • cademartori

    you do get it, right? it is like Jeff is explaining how brain surgery should be performed. he does not know about surgery OR baseball. stir up some controversy and make your self a name. you are like dog shit, you are every where. you really are an insult to baseball and to a true fan of the game.

    • Jeff Pearlman

      maybe so, frank. but i can spell.

  • Linus

    I am absolutely certain that YOU are using steroids RIGHT NOW! And I have exactly as much evidence as you do for Bagwell.

  • Dale Sams

    • Bert Blyleven—He’s Don Sutton, and even though Sutton cleared 300 wins I just don’t consider him an all-time great. So, ahem, no.

    • Jack Morris—The best starter of the 1980s was also money when the temperature was high. A solid yes for me
    ——————————————————
    Blyleven has about 700 more strikeouts then the nearest guy who isn’t or won’t be in the HOF

    Morris 92 postseason innings 3.80 ERA
    Blyleven 47 post-season innings 2.77 ERA

    0-2 career run support

    Blyleven: 3.35 ERA
    Morris: 4.00 ERA

    Blyleven did everything Morris did…only much much better.

    • Jeff Pearlman

      You know Dale, I hear everything you’re saying. And I suppose you’re right. But having watched both pitchers, I just … I just—I dunno. Maybe I’m wrong. Great post.

  • cademartori

    its even more fascinating that your reply within a half an hour is even quicker than i thought!!!! and your sarcasm is priceless, coming from you, Mr. “Not-in-the-club” Jeff.
    tell us some more opinions about Lee Smith and Lenny Harris. They are clever, spell-binding, and worthless.
    and now i am done with you and your dog shit. have a nice “not in the club+ life…Little Jeff Wanabe

  • Nik

    I don’t really care all that much about who is in the Hall of Fame, since “greats” like Phil Rizutto, Kirby Puckett, and Jim Rice are in there. Plus, Alomar not getting in on the first ballot is an absolute joke, an embarrassment to every writer who did not vote for him last year. Of course, IF you’re going to let Jim Rice in, why not Jack Morris? They just keep lowering the bar just a little bit, so eventually Fred McGriff, Alan Trammell, and Dale Murphy will all get in.

  • RB

    “Maybe I’m wrong.”

    You are. :)

    Kudos for publicly considering the possibility — many/most writers don’t have the cajones or aren’t thoughtful enough to bother.

  • bdarne

    Alomar- A big fat NO. Spit on the home plate umpire during a game, trash his dying child, and making fun of it to the fans. Baseball even kissed his ass and let him play in the play offs. Not suspended until the next season.

    Pedestrian middle infielder, there were too many better players at his position during his time.

    If you are punking out on the players who used PED’s or whatever, when they were NOT illegal in the game, you have to punk out on Alomar, the dying child hater, umpire spitting, vulgar human being.

    Spitting on the umpire while cursing at him in Spanish, and getting away with it, is the day Major League Baseball turned into soccer. (and when I say soccer, I really mean boring.)

  • http://ondeckproject.wordpress.com Matt

    I’d also remind the crowd that Bagwell spent about half his career playing home games at the Astrodome, so the numbers he put up in the early and mid-90s should be more impressive than elsewhere.

  • dorf

    Cademartori, I have one question: are you in the club?

  • PeteF3

    Roberto Alomar shouldn’t be elected because he spit on an umpire? Christ, Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth are rolling in their graves. Our hero the Babe *punched* an umpire at least once.

    The umpire in question forgave Alomar a long time ago. You should, too. (The fact that said umpire allegedly used a slur directed toward Alomar didn’t help matters, either).

  • Bdarne

    Alomar was exactly who he always was, a little bitch hiding behind others. The huge loogie in the face was one thing, to go after his kid dying from leukemia is another. When the ump challenged Dying child hater, Dying child hater ran off to the other side of the locker room, while the other umpires held the spat one umpire back. As for a racial slur, don’t forget Dying child hater had his own for the umpire, or anyone else who didn’t agree with him. Forgiveness, in this case, came with a price. This was only given by the umpire after his job was in jeopardy, and Alomar contributed buckets of cash to clear his name. Overall, revisionist history like this makes a mockery of the game.

  • Bdarne

    As for Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, they were not choir children, true. It was a different era. But the did not do what Dying child hater did. It was a line even they wouldn’t cross.

  • http://www.amazinavenue.com James K.

    I chuckled at this comment from Baseball Think Factory:

    “Free advise to all: if you’re arrested and on trial, make sure your attorney strikes Jeff Perlman from the jury. He obviously won’t care what the evidence says.”

    Also, Jeff, I’ll continue to say this — your inclination to ignore statistical evidence in baseball is so inconsistent with your worldview on anything else. If some politician eschewed hard evidence or statistics and simply said “I’m going with my gut” to make a decision you disagree with (the equivalent here of “I watched them both pitch”) you would write up a scathing blog post.

    Professional sportswriters should keep up with advances in their field. This includes familiarity with advanced statistics. A vote for Morris but not for Blyleven is really inconceivable, and a cursory look at their numbers would turn that up. And a high level of understanding isn’t even needed to discern that. Blyleven had more wins, more innings pitched, a much lower ERA, a better strikeout rate, a better walk rate, a better home run rate and was actually better than Morris in the postseason. Where is the argument here, except for “you had to be there”?

    You don’t have a ballot though, so I suppose it’s moot.

    • Jeff Pearlman

      James, you had to be there.

  • http://lance-myblogcanbeatupyourblog.blogspot.com Lance

    Jeff,

    Thanks for the pig story on Dave Parker. One of my fondest baseball memories is/was the 1979 All Star game when Dave Parker out on a show in the field & at the plate (Lee Mazzili was great too). I always thought Parker was a dangerous Hall of Fame hotter but his drug use probably screwed up his HoF chances.

    Drugs aside, Tim Raines belongs. So does Jack Morris, Bert Blyleven, and Robbie Alomar (i dont care about the spitting because Hirshbeck doesnt either.

    Happy Holidays

  • cademartori

    dorf
    no i am not and either are you or anybody else, including pearlman in the club
    so NONE of us are in a position to critique another mans profession since none of us have ever done it.
    you understand that right? that is why this blog is worthless and that was my original poit

    • Jeff Pearlman

      Frank, two questions:

      A. If you don’t like it, why come here? There are 8 million blogs out there, many of which you’ll surely enjoy more than this one.
      B. Based upon your last remarks, you never critique anyone. Which if, of course, untrue, since you critique me. And sine you don’t have a blog, who are you to call mine “worthless”? You’re not in a position to do so, correct?

  • Carl Winslow

    Bert Blyleven: Fifth most strikeouts all-time. ‘Nuff said.

  • Jay

    Alomar fails the character test, not only for the spitting incident, but because three women have accused him of lying about his HIV status to trick them into unprotected sex. One might be lying, but three?

  • yossarian73

    came over because Pearlman was mentioned in Jerry Crasnick’s article about Bagwell on ESPN. I thought I might learn why Jeff felt 99 percent sure Bagwell used PEDs. Then I see that he thinks Morris belongs in the HoF but Blyleven does not. Now I know that Jeff Pearlman is a retard and I don’t have to bother reading him anymore.

  • Chris

    Why don’t you have a vote? I can answer you, just look at your vote against Bagwell, your vot shows you don’t have any understanding of how much time good hitters spend in a gym. Oh when you turn into an old man, even your PEDs free body will look like jelly.

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