Tap-In question: Who is on your 2017 Hall of Fame ballot and why? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Connolly's Tap Room

Tap-In question: Who is on your 2017 Hall of Fame ballot and why?

Today is a big day in baseball. So, we’ll try to make it a big day in the Tap Room. We’ll know a few minutes after 6 p.m. tonight who will be enshrined in this year’s Hall of Fame class.

The sense is that there could be at least three inductees, maybe more, as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters seemingly are more compelled than ever to clear the ballot logjam created by qualified-but-steroid-tainted (or steroid-suspected) candidates.

It’ll be fascinating to see what happens, but I expect many candidates to receive an upswing in votes, even if it doesn’t propel them all to the needed 75 percent mark. The sense, as well as data provided by ballot tracker Ryan Thibodaux, is that Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines Sr., will get in and Ivan Rodriguez, Trevor Hoffman and former Oriole Vladimir Guerrero have a legitimate shot.

I have a vote. And I will make mine public after the Hall’s announcement, probably at some point Thursday. I believe in transparency, but I also believe in staying out of the way of the story until the news is out. I will give up this one nugget about my ballot, though: I did vote for the maximum 10 candidates. I probably would have gone to 12 or 13 if there were no limits.

The baseball writers, like any group, have differing opinions on many subjects. One of the things that makes baseball’s Hall so great is that there is no committee (initially) — 400-plus members with varying opinions all vote individually.

My ballot isn’t perfect. I know there are a few decisions I made that many won’t agree with, and that’s OK. We’ll discuss it later. But I considered my ballot intently before I sent it in. That’s really all that fans and candidates can ask.

So now I’m giving you the same opportunity – hours before we learn the official results. In November, I asked you which ex-Oriole most deserved to go in (there are a bunch on the ballot including Mike Mussina, Guerrero and Raines).

Now, I’m asking for your full ballot.

Here’s a list of all 34 candidates, and I want you to tell me who you would vote for and why. The only rule is you can’t go beyond 10 players.


Candidates: Jeff Bagwell, Casey Blake, Barry Bonds, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, Roger Clemens, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillen, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Kent, Derrek Lee, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Melvin Mora, Mike Mussina, Magglio Ordonez, Jorge Posada, Tim Raines, Manny Ramirez, Edgar Renteria, Arthur Rhodes, Ivan Rodriguez, Freddy Sanchez, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Matt Stairs, Jason Varitek, Billy Wagner, Tim Wakefield and Larry Walker.

Tap-In Question: Who is on your Hall of Fame ballot for the Class of 2017?



  1. EugeneFreedman

    January 18, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Bagwell – one of the top 10 first baseman of all-time in terms of career value. First base is over inducted compared to most positions, but Bagwell beats nearly all of them in peak value and his career value is pretty high too.

    Bonds – the best player of my lifetime before and after his transformation. Break his career in half and you have two HOFers.

    Clemens – the best pitcher of my lifetime before and after his transformation. Break his career in half and you have two HOFers.

    Edgar Martinez – one of the best hitters ever, who just happened to be a DH. Far superior to David Ortiz in all but “Fame.”

    Mike Mussina – starting pitchers have to have a new calibration. Mussina was one of the best of his era. he was always near the best in the league and was incredibly consistent over a long period of time. The guys a notch below Clemens, Pedro, and Randy Johnson have to be inducted and Mussina is the best among the next group.

    Jorge Posada – I believe Catcher, Secondbase, Thirdbase, and Shortstop are greatly underrepresented in the HOF. Posada is on the cusp of the top 10 catchers of all-time. That’s in for me. When he falls off the ballot it will be be a sad day. Munson, Freehan, and Simmons also deserve to go in at C.

    Tim Raines – Well discussed at http://raines30.com/c47.shtml

    Manny Ramirez – Yes he tested positive multiple times. Yes it was after the testing began. I can’t disconnect the stats from the fact that we don’t know anyone else was completely clean.

    Ivan Rodriguez – one of the top four greatest catchers of all-time after Bench and maybe Berra or Carter

    Curt Schilling – see Mussina. Loses a point or two for wanting to lynch journalists, but deserves it on his career.

    Larry Walker – even factoring in Coors Field, he was one of his era’s best overall players. Woefully underrated.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      January 18, 2017 at 8:08 am

      Posada ? Really? A serviceable to good catcher at best. If not for the pinstripes, he’s not even in the conversation.

      And Edgar Martinez is one of the best hitters ever? The man didn’t even have to bring a mitt to the game. And Superior to David Ortiz? I’m no lover of Big Poppi, but look again at the numbers. You may want to reconsider that statement.

      • Steve Cockey

        January 18, 2017 at 9:42 am

        I wouldn’t have realized it without looking after hearing the cries of a few writers/analysts, but Posada is incredibly underrated and could be deserving. His .848 career OPS is higher than Berra (.830) and much higher than Bench (.817). At the very least, he doesn’t deserve to fall off the ballot, which he unfortunately might. The 5% rule needs to change IMO.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 18, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Solid ballot. We agree on most candidates. I’ll disappoint you in one aspect, though. And I’m not sure I can buy in on Posada. Not with the other candidates he’s competing against on this ballot. Maybe if things clear some in near future.

      • EugeneFreedman

        January 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm

        Like I mentioned, I think Catcher, 2B, 3B, SS are underrepresented.

        Simmons was my first glimpse of it at C, when he fell of the ballot after two years. After diving into C in greater detail, I saw others – like Freehan and Munson who are also deserving. Catcher is hard. Careers are shorter and production is less each year because even there best only play 140 games rather than 160 that other positions play. I don’t like to look at OPS because it doesn’t factor in era and ballpark, but Posada’s 121 OPS+ is outstanding for a catcher. His defense was considered neutral most of his career and slightly below average the final few seasons. Among catchers with longer careers (5000+ PA) only Piazza*, Tenace, Cochrane*, Ewing*, Dickey*, Bench*, Hartnett*, Lombardi*, Bresnahan*, Berra*, Campanella*, and Tettleton had better career OPS+. Campy actually falls short of the PA standard, but his Negro League time has value. Nobody would consider Tettleton a full-time catcher, though, nor even a neutral receiver. Mickey only had 4363 PA as a Catcher. All of the others are Hall of Famers except Gene Tenace. Fisk, Carter, and Ivan Rodriguez had lower career OPS+, but with significantly more defensive value and longer careers.

        Next on my list would be Vlad. I consider their careers roughly equivalent, but because Posada is likely to fall of the ballot, I gave him my vote.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    January 18, 2017 at 7:48 am

    These 5 were simply deserving:
    Vladimir Guerrero
    Mike Mussina
    Ivan Rodriguez
    Curt Schilling
    Larry Walker

    Upon further review, I have to give these next 5 their due:
    Tim Raines
    Trevor Hoffman
    Billy Wagner
    Crime Dog McGriff
    Jeff Kent

    With My Nose Held: (with or without steroids, they would have made it)
    Roger Clemens
    Barry Bonds

    That’s the end of my list.

    These next 5 were simply cheaters that DO NOT GET IN.
    Manny Ramirez
    Gary Sheffield
    Jeff Bagwell

    • Dan Connolly

      January 18, 2017 at 11:40 am

      I’m gonna challenge you further, Boog. I just want 10. All we can vote on as BBWAA members. So, you holding your nose or not?

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        January 18, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        If that’s the case, I’ll drop the relievers. Hoffman and Wagner. They were the best of their generation, but there IS a valid argument to be made against the modern day 3 out/save situation only relievers. I’m not sure Wagner was one of these, but Hoffman definitely was. This is the same argument as was made against our boy this year in the Cy Young voting.

        Bonds and Clemens are all-timers for sure. But my nose is held regardless. I guess I’m getting soft and old.

  3. Bancells Moustache

    January 18, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Barry Bonds is the greatest hitter of all time.

    Roger Clemens is the greatest pitcher of all time.

    End of discussion.

    If we are putting in Raines, which looks highly probable, then Bonds and Clemens go in. Raines has no whiff of steroids, but is on record being a major cocaine user. Are we to believe that using a substance to increase your recovery and extend your career is a worse than snorting blow in the dugout? I’m no expert, but my guess is that probably enhanced Mr Raines performance as a base stealer as it did a few other *COUGH * Rickey Henderson *COUGH*

    Throw Bagwell and Pudge on there to round it out. While I have reservations about Rodriguez as a first ballot guy, I bumped into him at the ESPN Zone in the Inner Harbor several years ago and he was super cool so screw it, he’s in.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      January 18, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Wow Stache, I believe the discussion doesn’t stop there. Greatest of All Time is a mighty big blanket to throw over a couple of cheaters.

      George Herman Ruth and Teddy Ballgame might take issue with you in your statement about Bonds being better than them.

      And while I have no argument against Clemens, and I admit I never met the man, by all accounts, he wasn’t “super cool”.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 18, 2017 at 11:43 am

      I think there are some others worthy of consideration — I don’t penalize Edgar for being the best at a rules-specified position — but solid ballot.

  4. karks

    January 18, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I’m going for Vlad Guerrero, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens (despise him but he was great), Ivan Rodriguez, Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Mussina.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 18, 2017 at 11:45 am

      I think you looked over my shoulder Karks. And I hid a couple names from ya.

      • karks

        January 18, 2017 at 1:48 pm

        Truthfully, I should put Trevor Hoffman on that list as well. He was pretty darn dominant in his time.

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