Okay, first of all, no one gets instantly dismissed. Too many of these voters writing about their stupid ballots start by automatically eliminating folks like Mike Timlin or Jacque Jones. No, they don’t have the gaudy statistics of someone like Greg Maddux or Jeff Bagwell, but that doesn’t mean they’re less worthy of the Hall of Fame. People have robbed me of awards and distinctions all my life just because I don’t have the qualifications. That doesn’t make me less deserving. And it hurts my feelings. How do we know if Hideo Nomo is one rejection away from jumping off the Yokohama Landmark Tower? My ballot will not be what drives someone to his ultimate doom, I promise you.
Except maybe Jack Morris, because what the heck did he ever do to get so many people talking about him? He was a good pitcher, fine, but he looks really mean, with that crazy mustache, and people who look mean shouldn’t win accolades. Nice, friendly people should win accolades. Which is why Jack Morris is not on my ballot and Sean Casey is. Everyone loves Sean Casey. People like Sean Casey should be in the Hall of Fame.
You know, it’s fun to look at the ballot and realize how flawed most baseball players are as human beings. Armando Benitez was arresting for allegedly assaulting a former girlfriend. Paul Lo Duca had a gambling problem. Richie Sexson: DUI charges. Eric Gagne used HGH. Jeff Kent has had dozens of articles written about what a terrible personality he has, plus he was a contestant on “Survivor,” which means there’s something seriously messed up in his head. Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, all steroid-related issues there. Tim Raines, costly cocaine habit. Curt Schilling cost the state of Rhode Island millions of dollars. Jeff Bagwell seems to be involved in some crazy story about a hand surgeon, a divorce, and rehab.
How many does that leave? Two? Three?
Craig Biggio: driving while intoxicated.
Mike Piazza: played a gangster on stage in a Miami ballet, which definitely sounds all messed up.
Larry Walker: Canadian.
Kenny Rogers doctored baseballs.
Moises Alou urinated on his hands.
Luis Gonzalez, Ray Durham, Hideo Nomo, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, and Mike Timlin all come close but ultimately I decided there is probably some Google evidence out there that would lead me to eliminate them, if only I searched the right keywords.
All of which leads me to my ballot:
Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine, Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Lee Smith, Don Mattingly, and Sean Casey.
There are worse, aren’t there?