Tampa Bay Rays: My HOF Ballot for FanSided’s Vote
By Seth Carter
Fansided’s site-wide Hall of Fame votes are tallied. I let you take a look at my votes and some of the explanations as to why I voted the way I did.
As one of your Tampa Bay Rays fans’ representatives in the FanSided Hall of Fame balloting, I cast my votes a few weeks ago as one-half of Rays Colored Glasses.
Click here to see FanSided’s site-wide results. These aren’t the BBWAA results but they could provide a glimpse of what’s to come.
Hall of Fame voting is always tricky and emotional. I’m completely okay with you getting in the comments and telling me what a moron I am for my votes. I appreciate your opinions and passion. I recognize I’m one person and I don’t expect you to agree with me.
I thought I’d share my votes and a few of the lines of logic behind them.
As far as my votes…
Disclaimer: I grew up in the steroid era. I grew up during the steroid era of baseball watching Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chase down Roger Maris.
The first time I ever saw a live baseball game was in Busch Stadium. I grew up listening to Mike Shannon on Cardinals radio. I could almost feel the spittle on my ears, through my headphones, from his coughing.
I was initially, vehemently opposed to ever letting steroid era guys into the Hall of Fame.
With that…I give you my ballot.
We were allowed 10 votes and I cast 10.
Recap of Ballot
- Bobby Abreu
- Barry Bonds
- Roger Clemens
- Derek Jeter
- Billy Wagner
- Larry Walker
- Sammy Sosa
- Gary Sheffield
- Manny Ramirez
- Curt Schilling
As you can see, I obviously don’t care about morality…
Steroid Era Guys
I’m not going to pretend I know who did and who didn’t do steroids. Many rules have been broken and bent, the one thing we know is Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth are probably the two greatest hitters this game has ever known.
If we assume they were all using PEDs then you must assume the people they were competing with were too. Baseball has eras of statistical variances so the go-to question is: “relative to their peers, how dominant were they?” For that reason, I’m not ruling out the “steroid era” guys based on the PED notion alone. These stats are like a Kentucky-wedding, they are all relative.
Bobby Abreu is one of the greatest all-around hitters and a model of consistency.
Billy Wagner is one of the greatest closers of all-time. Name a stat and he’s near the top. Closers are beginning to receive the recognition they deserve for their roles. Wagner does not deserve to wait around for years and years before earning his recognition. We all know he was one of the greatest to ever close, put him in the Hall.
Omar Vizquel and Andruw Jones
I didn’t vote for Andruw Jones or Omar Vizquel. If you vote for Jones strictly based on his defense (because he didn’t do enough offensively to make the HOF) then you absolutely have to vote for Vizquel.
I didn’t vote for either. Bill James convinced me that the generational variances in defensive statistics are inconclusive as to whether Jones is truly the “greatest” centerfielder of all time, like so many argue.
If you vote for Jones solely based on defense then you also have to put Vizquel into the Hall. I don’t think the fact that Jones was a good offensive player prior to age 30 is enough. By the way, he caused serious damage to the Dodgers’ franchise with that contract.
I’d love to see some long-term Rays on the list in the future. Perhaps we’ll see some former Rays like Evan Longoria or David Price a few years down the road.
Tell me why I’m wrong…