Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
The BBWAA is threatening to elect nobody in this year's Hall of Fame vote. What would your ballot look like?
With 30 percent of precincts reporting, the Hall of Fame class of 2013 is still a few votes short of existing. Granted: the precincts that report in this particular vote are self-selecting for that brave duty. But if Jack Morris can't organize 75 percent of people who are trying to make a point with their ballot, their might be trouble in Cooperstown.
Anyway: What's your pretend ballot look like? Here's mine; it probably won't surprise you, if you've ever met someone who thinks about how to say WAR out loud. (In case you missed it, our HOF coverage to date.)
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens. In Barry Bonds's sixth-best season, by OPS+, he hit .311/.456/.624. That was 1992, and the Pittsburgh Pirates correctly intuited that he would eventually not be worth the trouble, press-wise. In Roger Clemens's 24th-best season, he was worth approximately as many rWAR as Jason Motte last year.
Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio. Craig Biggio's late-career turn as a home-field-advantage-taker is fascinating to me—it hits the same near-sensical part of baseball fandom that makes us wonder why there aren't academies full of washed-up shortstops throwing knuckleballs, after all. From 2004 to 2007 he .291 and slugged .499 at Minute Maid, with a home run every 23 at-bats. That's the canonical he-realized-the-wall-was-there period.
But 2006 and 2007 are the best part of his Baseball-Reference. On the road he was maybe the worst hitter in baseball—.191/.247/.287, with a home run every 50 at-bats. At Minute Maid—actually, just take a look at these two full seasons.
Proposal: Let's permanently expand rosters to 40 men, so that everyone is platooned for some reason all the time. Lefty/righty, fastball-hitter/curveball-hitter, home-park/spray-hitter, amphetamines/steroids. Everything. Craig Biggio would still be playing home-backup-catcher-left-fielder somewhere. Which would be good, because he could stay on the ballot through these next few years.
Larry Walker, Tim Raines. Corner outfielders with a lot of not-quite-full seasons and a value distribution that is insufficiently Greg Vaughn-y to get them voted in immediately.
Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling. Piazza's sixth-best season by OPS+, for his part, saw him hit .328/.390/.570. But he threw out nine fewer batters than you would have expected in 156 attempts, which is problematic. I have literally zero things to say about Curt Schilling.
Alan Trammell, Kenny Lofton. Kenny Lofton confuses me like no other player on the ballot. He played 2100 games—that's a long-enough career, but not an extremely long career—and his career OPS+ was 107. His one big season was strike-shortened. But he's got 64.9 rWAR, and we'll have to figure that out. What's causing it? Try eight wins as a baserunner, and two more by avoiding double plays. If I have a ballot, meanwhile, I'm hoping he gets 5 percent.
Meanwhile: Mark McGwire, Edgar Martinez, Rafael Palmeiro if you like that sort of thing. Too many players to not elect any of them.