Reviewing a polarizing Hall of Fame ballot; Another award for Mancini; Doug Jones dies - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Reviewing a polarizing Hall of Fame ballot; Another award for Mancini; Doug Jones dies

Photo credit: USA Today Sports

The annual ballot for Baseball’s Hall of Fame was announced on Monday, and the Orioles are barely represented. Of the 30 candidates, only holdovers Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa played for the Orioles.

Schilling, who was acquired by the Orioles in July 1988 along with Brady Anderson from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Mike Boddicker, won just the first of his 216 career wins with the Orioles.

He was 1-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 44 games with the Orioles from 1988-1990 and was traded to the Houston Astros in January 1991 along with right-hander Pete Harnisch and outfielder Steve Finley for first baseman Glenn Davis. That’s considered perhaps the worst trade in team history.

Sosa, who played 18 seasons, was with the Orioles only in 2005. He appeared in 102 games, hitting just .221. Sosa, who hit 609 home runs, ninth most in baseball history, hit just 14 with the Orioles.

Schilling led all candidates in last year’s voting with 71.1 percent. To gain election, a candidate must receive 75 percent of the vote by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Sosa received 17 percent of the vote last year, the highest percentage he’s gotten.

Schilling, Sosa, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are all in their 10th and final year of eligibility. Bonds received 61.8 percent and Clemens 61.6 percent.

Schilling, Bonds and Clemens, all polarizing candidates, were the top three finishers last year, an election where no candidate received 75 percent.

Schilling’s political comments caused a number of voters to oppose him, and he even petitioned the Hall of Fame to excludet him from this year’s ballot. That was denied.

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Bonds, Clemens, Sosa have all suffered because of suspicions they used steroids during their playing career. Manny Ramirez’s suspensions for steroid use have hurt his case.

Omar Vizquel, who finished fifth last year with 49.1 percent of the vote has been accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife and was sued this year by an autistic batboy of a Chicago White Sox minor league team, claiming he was sexually harassed when Vizquel managed the team.

Longtime major league third baseman Scott Rolen was the fourth leading vote getter a year ago with 52.9 percent.

The issues involving some of the leading candidates have caused some voters to reconsider their participation. Several voters turned in blank ballots last year.

This year’s ballot includes 17 holdovers: Schilling, Bonds, Clemens, Rolen, Vizquel, Billy Wagner (46.4 percent), Todd Helton (44.9), Gary Sheffield (40.6), Andruw Jones (33.9), Jeff Kent (32.4),  Ramirez (28.2), Sosa, Andy Pettitte (13.7), Mark Buehrle (11.0), Torii Hunter (9.5), Bobby Abreu (8.7) and Tim Hudson (5.2).

Candidates must receive five percent of the vote to maintain eligibility.

Two of the most prominent new candidates, David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez are also sure to be polarizing. Ortiz has also been linked to steroids while Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season due to his involvement with the Biogenesis PED scandal.

The other new candidates are Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Tim Lincecum, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Jimmy Rollins and Mark Teixeira.

Teixeira, an Annapolis native, who played for Texas, Atlanta, the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels, has the third highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of the 13 newcomers. Only Rodriguez and Ortiz have a higher WAR than Teixeira’s 50.6.

The Orioles could be represented on next year’s ballot by longtime shortstop J.J. Hardy, who becomes eligible for the first time. A player must be retired for five years before they can be considered.

Award fatigue: It’s always great to see Trey Mancini recognized for his courageous 2021 season after missing 2020 because of colon cancer surgery and chemotherapy. On Monday night, Mancini won his third American League Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Understandably, there was some confusion among fans. Last month, Mancini won two AL Comeback Player of the Year Awards on the same day, one voted on by his fellow players in the Players Choice balloting  and another from The Sporting News, which included players, managers and executives.

Mancini’s latest award was from Major League Baseball and was voted on by the 30 beat reporters for MLB.com.

It seems that each year another award is added. I’m not sure if there are more postseason awards or more college football bowl games.

On Tuesday, the All-MLB team will be announced. First baseman Ryan Mountcastle and centerfielder Cedric Mullins are the Orioles’ representative.

Earlier this month, Mullins was named as a winner of the Silver Slugger award.

Doug Jones dies: Doug Jones, a five-time All-Star relief pitcher, who saved 22 games for the Orioles in 1995, his only year with the club, died of a Covid-related illness at 64.

Jones saved 303 games for seven teams in his 16-year major league career.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

60 Comments

60 Comments

  1. Mtairyordge

    November 23, 2021 at 7:16 am

    Don’t really see a candidate worthy of HOF election to be honest.

  2. CalsPals

    November 23, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Need to take the ugly politics out of it, it’s a HOF on careers, not a moral HOF…seems the more we try to keep politics out of it it rears its ugly head…go O’s ….

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      November 23, 2021 at 8:45 am

      Disagree. If cheating is ‘politics’, then politics have their place in this vote.

      • Raveonjo

        November 23, 2021 at 8:50 am

        Schilling’s case is politics, not cheating.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          November 23, 2021 at 8:57 am

          You bet…you’re correct. Sorry, I was referring to others.

    • CalsPals

      November 23, 2021 at 8:58 am

      Innocent until proven guilty…or is it guilty until proven innocent…lol…go O’s…

  3. TxBirdFan

    November 23, 2021 at 8:18 am

    HOF is weak this year. I hope the voters pull off all the steroid cheaters and then determine if any of the remaining candidates merit election. Slim Pickens.

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    November 23, 2021 at 8:46 am

    One vote for Schilling here.

    Drink Pepsi.

    • CalsPals

      November 23, 2021 at 9:44 am

      Double down on Schilling…go O’s…

  5. Buzz1979

    November 23, 2021 at 9:57 am

    The only HOF Schilling belongs in is the Ahole HOF! 218 wins does not cut it.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      November 23, 2021 at 11:06 am

      15 years from now and 150 wins will be cutting it.

    • ClayDal

      November 23, 2021 at 11:27 am

      According to Baseball Reference, Schilling has a career WAR of 79.5. Higher than Jim Palmer. He is only a little lower than Mike Mussina. As for any character issues, the Hall of Fame has some unsavory characters. Drunks, wife abusers, out and out racists. For instance Judge Landis, baseball’s first commissioner, prohibited African American players in MLB. So Schillings tweets shouldn’t be disqualifying. Although perhaps he shouldn’t have tweeted about lynching reporters, since they are the ones voting. That wasn’t too bright

      • Buzz1979

        November 23, 2021 at 11:31 am

        Just proves what a crock WAR is, Schilling could not even carry Palmer’s jock strap!

  6. Buzz1979

    November 23, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Cheap Angeloser family listening to offers for Means!! Don’t even want to pay the projected 3.1 million, WE AE DOOMED!!!

    • OriolesREALNumber1Fan

      November 23, 2021 at 11:45 am

      Mike Elias would NEVER trad Jon Means! He’s way to smart for that. Wat do you know?

    • CalsPals

      November 23, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      Who is Jon Means, unless you meant John Means…my bad…go O’s…

      • Orial

        November 23, 2021 at 12:14 pm

        Oh that pitcher who misses half the season? Yeah dangle him.

    • Icterus fan

      November 23, 2021 at 12:39 pm

      Buzzy, where is the confirmation that they are listening to offers on John Means? Reading between the lines? I guess I wouldn’t be surprised based on past management actions, but it would be very disheartening if they end up trading him. Money talks, but Means seems to be a genuine guy and says all the right things about the club and his desire to stay.
      Pitching is what we need. Keep Means.

      • AkronOhioOriole1

        November 23, 2021 at 7:30 pm

        I never understood this about rebuilding teams….they are rebuilding and need pitching desperately, so lets trade our best pitcher who has proven himself to be pretty good and is not old. For what? prospects that come with no guarantees and will take several years to get to the major leagues, if we are lucky. SMH!!

      • Buzz1979

        November 23, 2021 at 8:15 pm

        MLB Trader
        umord.com

    • dlgruber1

      November 23, 2021 at 5:37 pm

      #1Fan, don’t kid yourself the Elias would NEVER trade Means. The only thing he has been crystal clear on since he became GM is that NO ONE is untouchable on this team. He’s said repeatedly that he’ll listen to ANY offer and if he deems it good for the O’s he’d trade anyone. And frankly that’s the correct approach right now.

  7. Buzz1979

    November 23, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Let’s hope. Without 1 major league starter, this team would struggle to win 35 games!

  8. Orial

    November 23, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Ya know what MLB should do to get itself out of this period of mailase?—say “the hell with it”,’damned be all”,”show some guts”,”think out of the box” AND put Arod,Bonds,Papi,Clemons,and even Rose(yes Rose) in the HOF. Screw the critics, stop the whining,forget political correctness,don’t worry about feelings. Spice up the game. Ty Cobb where are you when I need you. Thanks I feel better.

    • CalsPals

      November 23, 2021 at 12:26 pm

      LOL…different idea…might bring some attention to baseball…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      November 23, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      What the hell …sure….why not? It (MLB) showed full well this past summer that it has no scruples.

  9. mmcmillan1123

    November 23, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Schilling should not be penalized for political comments. That said, I am all for guys like Clemens, Palmiero, Bonds and like company getting into the HOF after a separate PED plaque gallery is opened and after they pass from this earth.

    • willmiranda

      November 23, 2021 at 1:11 pm

      I think, mm, that regarding someone’s ideas or opinions as a “character” issue is one sign of cultural decline.
      A more civilized approach would be to identify opinions one disagrees with and either explain why they are false or at least state simply that one disagrees with them. The world of opinions is a world of true and false, not a world of good and evil. Good people have at least some false opinions, and evil people have at least some true ones. As for cheating, that is a moral issue and a question of “character” if that is one of the criteria.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        November 23, 2021 at 1:42 pm

        I’m pretty sure there is a ‘character clause’ printed right on the HOF ballot. At least that’s what Dan Connolly told me on this site a few of years back.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 23, 2021 at 2:01 pm

      “Voting shall be based on the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

    • CalsPals

      November 23, 2021 at 2:20 pm

      5 or 6 categories, all equal parts? Character & Integrity go hand in hand, maybe they should define things more precisely, as the games rules do, Ty Cobb didn’t have a great reputation regarding integrity or character, but it was a different time, just like today is…go O’s…

  10. jimcarter

    November 23, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    Schilling likes attention and that’s something he and everyone else should have gotten from their parents. At age 18 it’s time to grow up. I simply don’t care once players retire. They’ve had more than their 15 minutes.

    • Birdman

      November 23, 2021 at 3:39 pm

      That’s a good way to put it … based on his stats, Schilling probably belongs in the HOF, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s an obnoxious nut-job.

  11. WhyDoIBother

    November 23, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Happy early Thanksgiving to all

  12. Mikepete73

    November 23, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    this is why I hate uppity sports writers. not voting for a guy because of his politics is so childish as is hurting guys like Scott rolen who should be in, because the uppity guys send in a blank ballot

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 23, 2021 at 6:02 pm

      There were actually 14 blank ballots in last year’s election. If each of them had voted for Schilling, he still would have been two votes short of election.

    • Icterus fan

      November 23, 2021 at 6:52 pm

      I know Schilling is conservative, pompous and has popped off in the past, but how damaging were his comments? It makes me wonder just how harmful or egregious his rhetoric may have been.
      Either way, from what Rich said above, it sounds like he wouldn’t have made HOF anyway.
      I just hope whatever side of the political spectrum he embraces didn’t affect his candidacy on some inscrutable level.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      November 23, 2021 at 10:27 pm

      Scott Rolen? You didn’t just suggest that Scott Rolen is any where NEAR being a HOF type player did you?

      C’mon .. he was nice player and all, but I can’t imagine anyone besides his mother voting HOF for him.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 23, 2021 at 11:22 pm

      Rolen will be in the Hall of Fame in the next few years, Ken. As you read, he got 52.9 percent last year. His WAR of 70.1 is better than Tony Gwynn, Eddie Murray, Ryne Sandberg, Tim Raines and Ernie Banks. He won eight Gold Gloves. If he got 52.9 last year, he’s on his way to Cooperstown.

    • dlgruber1

      November 24, 2021 at 1:21 am

      Rich, I know it wasn’t your intent but you just absolutely explained why, without any doubt whatsoever, WAR is such a joke. The fact that Rolen’s WAR was better than Gwynn, Eddie and Banks, let alone Sandberg and Raines, is all you need to know about how idiotic that stat is. I know, I know, it’s here to stay. Hell, apparently there’s even talk about WAR being used for salary negotiations in the next CBA. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slamming Rolen, he was a very good player. But there is no serious person who would mention him in the same breath as Gwynn, Eddie and Banks. Game over. End of discussion.

      • Rich Dubroff

        November 24, 2021 at 7:57 am

        Dave, WAR is an attempt to quantify both offensive and defensive effectiveness. Rolen’s total WAR was 70.1. His offensive WAR was 52.8, and his defensive WAR was a superb 21.2. Gwynn’s total WAR was 69.2. His offensive WAR was 67.2, and his defensive WAR was -7.6. Murray’s WAR was 68.6. His offensive WAR was 62.2 and his defensive WAR was -11.6. Banks’ overall WAR was 67.7. His offensive WAR was 62.4, and his defensive WAR was 5.1.

        Obviously, Rolen’s offensive numbers weren’t nearly as good as Gwynn’s, Murray’s or Banks’, but his defensive numbers are what’s getting him the attention. You don’t think about the defensive Gwynn, Murray or Banks played, and that’s fine. They deservedly got into the Hall because of their offense.

        Third baseman, as I pointed out last week when I wrote about Ken Boyer and the Era committee vote are underrepresented in the Hall, and the primary reason is that their defense is underappreciated. WAR is an attempt to measure the whole game–not to suggest that Rolen was better than Gwynn, Murray or Banks, but to understand that defense can now be quantified–even years after a player has retired.

        • Phil770

          November 24, 2021 at 8:57 am

          Rich, thanks for sharing your insights and the rationale for the measure. I think the “old school” guys like me, are saying that Scott Rolen did not have the impact on his team or baseball in general, or even his generation, that HOF’ers should have. Borderline candidates need a few iconic moments that distinguish them than just stats compared to the average player. Schilling had some iconic moments, e.g. Bloody sock

          • Rich Dubroff

            November 24, 2021 at 10:33 am

            Phil, I totally get what you’re saying. You’re probably thinking, I never watched Scott Rolen play and said, ‘there’s a Hall of Famer.’ Kirby Puckett got into the Hall of Fame because of his World Series’ performances. I view those iconic performances as bonus points. I’m still not sure on Rolen; it’s just that the majority of the electorate voted for him, and his WAR is why.

        • willmiranda

          November 24, 2021 at 10:15 am

          Rich, do you really believe that “defense can now be quantified-even years after a player has retired”? Would you allow me some skepticism that a single two-digit number can adequately not only represent a full major league career but also definitively distinguish one player’s performance from every other’s? By the way, defense has been quantified for years by chances, errors, dp’s, assists, etc., but the WARiors are claiming much more than that as you indicate by the word “now.”

          • Rich Dubroff

            November 24, 2021 at 10:38 am

            Will, many of those defensive statistics are imperfect. I’m glad you didn’t cite fielding percentage because that’s not a good measure. If you look back at the leaders in WAR, they’re truly the best players. It just helps us find players that have been overlooked. In Rolen’s case, he was consistently strong. I often cite Lou Whitaker as the player who has been overlooked. His WAR is better than Sandberg’s and he only got 2.9 percent of the Hall of Fame vote in his only election, 2001. If WAR had been popular 20 years ago, perhaps he’d be in the Hall where he deserves.

          • willmiranda

            November 24, 2021 at 1:11 pm

            Thanks, Rich, for your response. I agree that defensive statistics are imperfect, as are all statistics that concern matters that are both complex and qualitative by their nature. The question of who truly are “the best players” is qualitative, in my opinion. I prefer to combine intuition and analysis until they both more or less coincide. By intuition, I mean what I experience in the totality of the game; by analysis, I mean what can be broken down and reduced to data. Your championing of Whittaker came from intuition, and you find it confirmed by the analytic method of WAR. I think this is the more common approach; we are impressed by an athlete, and then we look up his stats to confirm our impressions. It can happen the other way, as you suggest; some stats say Wow! and we try to find recordings of the player in action, to see if the performances are as compelling as the data. The truly great players impress us both ways, but trying to re-create the original performances is difficult.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          November 24, 2021 at 5:44 pm

          Here is my take on who should be a hall of famer …. Question: Was the player ever the best player at his position during a given year? And how many times?
          Next Question: Was the player ever the best player in the game regardless of the position and for how long? I’m thinking to be a Hall of Famer, along with very positive anwers to the above questions, said player has to have a hanfull of 1st or 2 place votes for MVP in thier back pockets.

          Scott Rolen checks NONE of those boxes. And if you’re going to lean on your GGloves playing the hot corner … 8 is only getting you about half way there, if you know what I’m saying.

          Scott Rolen … HOF’er? Me thinks not. Not close.

    • CalsPals

      November 24, 2021 at 7:58 am

      Agree DL, WAR raises its ugly head, again…go O’s…

    • DcOsfan

      November 24, 2021 at 8:33 am

      Rich – thanks for the clarification regarding Rolen. Makes me consider him in a whole new way. How does he stack up to Brooks and Mike Schmidt?

      • Rich Dubroff

        November 24, 2021 at 10:27 am

        Brooks Robinson had a 78.4 WAR–47.7 offensive and a spectacular 39.1 defensive. Mike Schmidt’s WAR was 106.9–91.8 on offense and 18.4 on defense.

    • Icterus fan

      November 24, 2021 at 8:42 am

      Great question

    • dlgruber1

      November 24, 2021 at 11:51 am

      Rich, Ernie Banks was also considered a very good defensive player, as were Eddie and Gwynn. Banks won one gold glove, Eddie won three and Gwynn was a five time Golf Glove winner. How in the hell does Gwynn have a -7.6 defensive WAR and Eddie, as I said, a 3 time Golf Glove winner, a -11.6 defensive WAR. Again, I know it’s not your intent, but by your own stats, well, not yours personally, I get that, but whoever the geniuses are that came up with WAR, are proving my case. My last comment on WAR (for now anyway) is this. When I think of a “replacement player”, I think of Valaika. Sorry Pat, you were the first one who came to mind.

    • dlgruber1

      November 24, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Golf glove winner? Sorry, I meant Gold Glove winner of course. Hey, I’m in off season mode now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 24, 2021 at 7:05 pm

      Ken, you’re quoting from Bill James’ book on the Hall of Fame, which was written many years ago.

      There can be multiple players at one position who qualify. It took Richie Ashburn far too long to get in the Hall because much of his career overlapped with Willie Mays, Duke Snider and Mickey Mantle, and when they were playing in New York, he was playing in Philadelphia.

      Ashburn was excellent, but he played the same position at roughly the sane time as these greats and was probably never the best centerfielder at any time.

      How about picking the best catchers of the 1960’s and putting them in the Hall? Tom Haller, John Roseboro, Earl Battey, Bill Freehan and Elston Howard were all excellent players, but none were Hall-worthy. They were the best at their positions, but not great enough.

      I never necessarily thought of Rolen as a Hall of Famer because he was overshadowed by other fine players, but the voters are speaking loudly on his behalf.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        November 24, 2021 at 8:25 pm

        Honestly Rich, I’m not quoting from any book. I honestly thought I came up with those thoughts on my own. Maybe I have heard someone say it before, but I can’t remember if I did. If it seems I’m stealing from someone, I apologize, but it came about honestly.

        You make some great points as far as the position by position comparisons, so maybe I need rethink that one a bit. Not saying I WILL change my way of thinking, but I’ll certainly remember your response next time I’m in this conversation, and learn from it.

        As far as Scott Rolen ..I know I’ve mentioned Strat-O-Matic before. We’d play by drafting 2 teams per man .. a major league team, and our AAA team. Scott Rolen was more often than not, on the fringes of making one of the 4 all star teams.

        Good but forgetable. I’ll bet you 4-1 on one of the Diner’s Lemon Meringues every year come voting season, that he won’t make it.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 24, 2021 at 8:53 pm

      Ken, I don’t think Rolen makes it this time, but he’s gaining support and he’s the least controversial top candidate. He should make in the next year or two.

    • CalsPals

      November 25, 2021 at 7:51 am

      Could be Rich, all because he’s the least controversial candidate of the group, anyone picking the top players would not pick him from this group, unfortunately for the reasons you’ve given, IF he gets in on this ballot it would appear tainted…sad state of baseball…go O’s…

  13. Raymo

    November 26, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    I realize that I’m commenting three days late here, so this may go unnoticed. And I don’t completely believe what I’m about to say, but the cynical side of me says that if Harold Baines is HOF worthy, then everyone mentioned above is worthy. What was his WAR? As far as I recall, he rarely played in the field. I don’t have a personal vendetta against the guy, I just think his election cheapened the whole process.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 26, 2021 at 9:04 pm

      Ray, Baines had a 38.7 WAR, which is extraordinarily low. Baines was elected by a veteran’s committee. The baseball writer’s never gave him more than 6.1 percent of the vote, so his election was extremely controversial.

    • Raymo

      November 28, 2021 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks for the response and the clarification Rich. It sure was controversial.

  14. Mikepete73

    December 1, 2021 at 12:13 am

    everybody saying rolens isn’t a hofer and that people don’t care about WAR how about this then .ops rolen .855 e.banks .830 t.gwynn .847 e.murray .836

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