As the world awaits the final tally of this year's Hall of Fame vote, I figured what better time than now to weigh in and share a slightly different opinion than the ones Ive seen on other blogs.
I DON'T THINK ANYONE ON THE BALLOT DESERVES TO GET IN. PERIOD. At least not this year anyway.
This is not a knock on Alomar, The Hawk, Larkin or Blyleven. I feel that the "Hall of Fame" has been compromised. It's become the Hall of Pretty Good, the Hall of Above Average, and is no longer a place where ONLY the true greats of the game are enshrined. In my opinion there are already too many players enshrined in Cooperstown, and a large percentage of them may not deserve the honor which was bestowed upon them.
Given that the so-called "golden age" of baseball has all but disappeared in the rear-view, I think it's time for a criteria change. You should have a record-breaking career in order to be elected, or you should have had to have been one of the top 2-3 players at your respective position for the era in which you played. Using this criteria, I think everyone on this year's ballot is not worthy. Not that they all weren't good, or even great players, I just don't think they were the best.
Take Barry Larkin for example. He was not among the top 2-3 shortstops of his era (Ripken, Yount, The Wizard), nor did he put up particularly outstanding numbers. He did however have a very nice, solid, long career. Is that enough to make you a Hall of Famer? In my opinion, no. If there were a Hall of Very Good, Larkin is a first ballot inductee, no questions asked. I feel the same way about both Dawson and Blyleven.
About the only player on this year's ballot that I can make a case for is Alomar. I have him as the third best second baseman of his era, behind only Sandberg and Biggio (who isn't yet eligible) . Alomar was solid both defensively, and at the plate, but to me, his career numbers aren't mind blowing. What gets Alomar in to the Hall in my opinion is the fact that there weren't a whole lot of players better at the position than he was for his time. What I do not think however, is that Roberto Alomar is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He deserves to get in, and most likely will at some point, but this year, I think there shouldn't be anyone elected.
If you think I'm being too rash, and my criteria isn't detailed, or complicated enough, so be it. I would love to hear your reasons why I am wrong, and why you think I am an idiot. Peter Gammons said the best way to decide who is in and who is out is simply first impression, without having to look at numbers. If someone walked up to you and said "Do you think Andre Dawson should be in the Hall of Fame" I think most people's first instinct would be to say "No". I encourage you to do that with everyone on the ballot this year, and if there is anyone that immediately jumps out at you as an obvious "Yes", please state your case. I would love to hear it.
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