My 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame vote, if I had one

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In what has now become a New Year’s tradition here on 210Sports, I now post my completely unofficial Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

To be eligible to cast a real ballot a person must be a Baseball Writer’s Association of America member for at least 10 years and cover baseball for 10 consecutive years for an accredited outlet. It goes without saying I have neither qualification, and odds are I’ll never meet either of them.

But I have a blog and I get to tell anyone that cares who I would have voted for if I had a vote. So, I will.

For the new readers, the method I use to decide who I would vote for is pretty simple. I follow the example set by Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram, and he believes it comes down to one thing: “you would buy a ticket just so you could tell your grandchildren you saw him perform”. That’s about the best criteria I have ever seen, and so I use that.

As it does every year, I expect the subject of PEDs to come up. To be honest this is a real easy decision for me. If a player is eligible, I’ll vote for him if I think he’s worthy.

I understand that some people think they shouldn’t be enshrined. My issue is how do I determine who did them and who didn’t? Now some of the later candidates will have failed tests, and then including them could be an issue for voters. But not for me, because if they’re eligible I’ll consider them.

On to my “ballot”. The easiest part is listing the players I voted for last year that didn’t make the Hall of Fame in 2017 and are still eligible:
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Vladimir Guerrero
Trevor Hoffman
Manny Ramirez
Curt Schilling
Billy Wagner

If they were good enough last year, they’re good enough this year. The converse is also true, if I didn’t think they were worthy last year they aren’t going to get my vote now.

Missing from last year’s list are Ivan Rodriguez, who was elected to the Hall of Fame, and Lee Smith, who reached year 15 without being elected. Now players have a maximum of 10 years on the BWAA ballot.

The first new name on my ballot is Chipper Jones. I’m thinking he’s going to make this posting just once as I expect him to get well over the 75% needed for enshrinement. On a list that includes Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, and Pete Rose, Jones is arguably one the greatest switch-hitter of all-time.

The second addition to my list is another player I suspect will be one and done on my ballot, Jim Thome. Hard to argue with 612 home runs. He’s also 29th all-time in intentional walks, which shows how much he was feared as a hitter. I just don’t see a way he’s not a first ballot Hall of Famer.

The rest of the newly eligible don’t so anything for me. Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, and Omar Vizquel are good ball players, but I don’t think “Hall of Fame” when I hear their names. I also don’t think that for Edgar Martinez or Mike Mussina, but it’s starting to look like they may make the cut.

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