Who I wouldn’t vote for and why
In my opinion, there are a handful of potential one-and-done guys, such as James Shields, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Holliday, Jose Reyes, Brandon Phillips, Jose Bautista, and Bartolo Colon. Hats off to all of them for even being elected onto this year’s Hall Of Fame ballot. They all had careers to be extremely proud of, but I don’t see them getting even close to making it in, let alone the 5% needed to stay on the ballot a second season. Bautista is the only former Pittsburgh Pirate on this year’s ballot.
Andy Pettit, Mark Buerhle, Jimmy Rollins, Francisco Rodriguez, and Torii Hunter are returning guys, but I just think there are at least ten other players on this year’s ballot who are more deserving than them. If I had to vote for someone from this group, it would be Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod ended up 4th in saves all time with a better ERA+ than Lee Smith or Trevor Hoffman.
David Wright is going to be an interesting case, but I simply don’t think he played long enough. Injuries completely derailed his career and played just 211 games in the five years after his age-30 season. I feel awful that his career was completely ruined by injuries like it was, but it’s just the way it is.
Both Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield would be on my ballot had they not had a strong connection to steroids. As I said earlier, if a player was connected to or suspended for steroids, they had to have already been inner-circle Hall of Famers. Sheffield and Ramirez were both good players, but neither reached 3000 hits, 600 home runs, 1800 runs batted in, or +70 bWAR. To be an inner circle Hall of Famer, I think you need to reach one or multiple of these milestones.
Of course, then there’s Omar Vizquel, who I don’t think I need to explain why I would leave him off the ballot. But for those uninformed, Vizquel committed sexual harassment toward a bat boy with down syndrome while managing one of the Chicago White Sox’s minor league affiliates. Even if he had 4000 hits and 700 home runs, that kind of behavior would never get a vote from me if I had one.