Hall of Fame: Braves’ Smoltz, 7 others checked on my ballot

My Hall of Fame ballot. John Smoltz and seven others voted in,

My Hall of Fame ballot. John Smoltz and seven others voted in,

My Hall of Fame ballot. John Smoltz and seven others voted in,

When baseball’s 2015 Hall of Fame class is announced Tuesday at 2 p.m., there is a good chance that the Braves will be able to fill out the top three of their recent pitching rotation in Cooperstown.

John Smoltz is among the strong first-ballot candidates this year, along with pitchers Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez. All three were named on my ballot, as were five other players (see below).

Smoltz certainly is worthy of induction, a year after two of his former teammates, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and manager Bobby manager Bobby Cox were honored. But the voting process is seldom predictable and some voters will look only at Smoltz’s win total (213) and not credit him for overcoming so many injuries and his late-career switch to bullpen (before switching back). But how can any voter penalize a pitcher who had 154 saves in just over three seasons and made the transition primarily to help out his team?

He’s also one of the greatest postseason pitchers in history: 15-4 with a 2.67 ERA, 199 strikeouts in 209 innings, a World Series title and a NLCS MVP Award.

Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux could be reunited in Cooperstown. (AP)

Will Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux be reunited in Cooperstown? (AP)

I’ve been pretty consistent in my voting philosophy when it comes to the Hall of Fame. I won’t vote for players who used performance enhancing drugs, at least not before there’s some admission of guilt and clarity how it may have affected their numbers.

The criteria is different for each player. I don’t believe Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa would have had HOF credentials if they played clean. I do believe Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would have been Hall of Fame players without PEDs but I’m not moved to vote for either until they shed some light on their use.

The Hall of Fame voting process has come under significant scrutiny in recent years, and for good reason. For the last few years, I’ve considered giving up my vote and may still do so if clearer guidelines are not given. Honestly, the biggest reason I decided to vote this year was Smoltz’s eligibility.

With that, here’s how I voted.

• Those are the eight players I voted for: I consider all of them to have Hall of Fame credentials there also is no reason to believe they used performance enhancing drugs. The players: John Smoltz (first ballot), Randy Johnson (first pitcher), Pedro Martinez (first ballot). Craig Biggio, Fred McGriff, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Alan Trammell. Schilling’s career has been debated because his regular season numbers aren’t overwhelming (216-146, 3.46 ERA, though he had 3,116 strikeouts) but he’s one of the greatest postseason pitchers in history (11-2, 2.23, three World Series, one World Series MVP).

• These are five players with HOF credentials I left off the ballot because of either admitted or certain use of performance enhancing drugs: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa.

Those with two players with HOF credentials I’m in holding pattern on: Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell. I may vote for them in the future but I’m using the full extent of the 10-year window allotted to a player’s eligibility on that chance more becomes of allegations  of PED use.

These are 19 other players on the ballot. Some are worthy of Hall consideration but didn’t make it onto my ballot this year: Rich Aurilla, Aaron Boone, Tony Clarke, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd, Nomar Garciaparra, Brian Giles, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Mike Mussina, Troy Percival, Jason Schmidt, Lee Smith, Larry Walker.


A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon mocks FSU, Winston with “No means No” chant
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: After 29 straight wins, Florida State morphs into grease fire
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Short takes on Oregon’s win in semis
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Is FSU most hated great team in college history?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL: Oregon’s Helfrich credits Falcons’ Koetter for his success
— AJC: ROSE BOWL (short takes): FSU an underdog for first time in 50 games
— MyAJC: ROSE BOWL: Will Jameis Winston prove to be worth risk in NFL?
— AJC: ROSE BOWL (short takes): Ex-Tech coach Charles Kelly’s challenge
— AJC: Weekend Mini-Predictions: Locals win, Bama and Oregon to finals
— MyAJC: It’s Arthur Blank’s show now, and that could be a problem?
— AJC: Falcons fire Smith, keep Dimitroff, and here are some candidates
— MyAJC: Falcons are done, and so it Mike Smith
— AJC: Say goodbye to Falcons, Smith, but Blank handled this poorly
— AJC: Falcons hire search firm — hey, nice timing, Blank

 

Reader Comments 0

19 comments
Scott923
Scott923

Just so we're clear, yes to McGriff, and a no to Piazza?


Nice ballot, jackoff...

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Pretty much agree on your selections other than Raines and McGriff

Aztec
Aztec

While I will not disagree with your selections, the absence of Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire and Roger Clements makes the Hall a joke.

ATLBrown
ATLBrown

I think MLB and the Hall should just embrace the Steroid Era as part (unfortunate part) of its history - you can't tell the story of baseball history without it.  there's the dead-ball era, the live-ball era, the steroid era and now the post-steroid era.  Dedicate a section of the Hall to that Era, address the inflated stats that existed and the records that were broken during that time. 


Give clear direction to the HOF voters that they are to vote strictly on stats and impact to the game, rather than applying their own subjective ethical judgement on who each voter thinks is guilty of PED-use.  Rather than giving certain players asterisks that we believe were guilty (while others slip through the cracks), simply give the whole era an 'asterisk' in the form of addressing the fact that offensive (and some pitching) stats were inflated during that time.  


You're not going to visit a world history museum that doesn't have an exhibit on the Holocaust, so the Hall should not pretend the Steroid Era did not exist.   Give people the stats, and let them make up there own minds about who they consider to be the true all-time home run king, single season homerun king, etc.  The fans are not dumb - we know what happened - we watched it and cheered them on when they were doing it (even though we knew in the backs of our minds), so the Hall and its voters really don't need to make it sterile and protect us.

H2(+3)
H2(+3)

I think its rather naive and presumptuous of you, my dear member of the HOF voting audience (because you surely don't deserve the title of a knowledge-based professional).  How can you say you won't vote [on said athlete] because you're waiting to see if a "PED" allegation pops in the future! You should be stripped of your privilege to vote. Have you ever heard "innocent until proving guilty?"


Look, we know there are guys in the HOF who have enjoyed either the fruits of "PEDs, the 60s-70s drug craze (i.e blues and greenies, marijuana), alcoholism, abuse of humanity, scam artist, womanizers and racist! Remember all that took place before 1947…and, of course many years afterwards! 


All I'm saying, wrong or write…many things happened in different eras of the game. The PED era is NO different. Owners, Managers, Players, and even the League Presidents (AL/NL) and Commissioner knew it. It was cool before Canseco. 


Just do the right thing. Vote the talent for what it was…move on to the next era. Baseball is bigger and is still safe!

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

I'd be curious as to how you know the players you voted for didn't use any PEDs.

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

Big deal.


Hall of Fames...are kinda just stupid.  Does anyone really care either way?


So 20th century....

forexbomb
forexbomb

There are 10 on that list(maybe more) that are more deserving than Smoltz..  I understand the pick, but this type of vote should not be HOMER filtered...  Leave your homer vote at home and pick the players that truly define a HOF player.  Smoltz, I'm not sure of... IMHO.. Yours will probably be different.

POV1948
POV1948

How did some of these guys even get on the list?  Nice players but NO-HOF.

Wilbo
Wilbo

I saw Fred McGriff on the elevator at the Buckhead Ritz Carlton a few years ago. He looked so shy and preoccupied I didn't say hello, even though I really wanted to. He made the most positive difference and got the least credit of any player to come to Atlanta. He made the 1 World Series championship possible, and w/o him, Booby Cox's record of absolutely dismal postseason failure would have been 1 more degree pathetic. When Shurholtz shipped off McGriff, too bad it couldn't have been the reverse. I thought he was higher up in most 30 HR seasons. He did hit 20 HR's in 15 seasons, he hit HR's in 43 ballparks, and he lead both leagues in HR's, but he faded pretty fast like Dale Murphy and that hurts w voters.


Atlanta is a white player loving town. Freddie made the 95 WS happen, he should be one of the Braves most heralded players ever, but noooo, Atlanta has to make a monstrous big deal out of Dale Ice Cream Commercial Murphy, and Chipper the Dimwit Jones.


Too, bad, Fred McGriff doesn't get the love he deserves in Atlanta

1Fred
1Fred

@Wilbo I guess you weren't here during Dale's playing days or you might have a higher opinion of him.  He was the team during much of his playing time.  I agree McGriff doesn't get the love he deserves for the impact he had. I never was really a Chipper fan until his last couple of seasons when I came to realize that Chipper at 70-80% was still better than 90% of the guys playing ball.

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

@Wilbo  The Crime Dog is loved and respected in Atlanta.  He's not in the same pantheon as Murph and Chipper, however, because they were (more or less) lifelong Braves who came up through the Braves system.  Crime Dog was an established star long before he came to Atlanta, and actually became a Brave towards the end of his career.  Come to think of it, considering the amount of time he spent as a Brave it's amazing how well liked he is in Atlanta. 

kenstallings
kenstallings

I'm glad you voted for eight players.  I have no quibble with any you voted for.  But, I do think Mike Piazza and Edgar Martinez would have rounded out the ten player limit very nicely.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

I would add Mussina to Jeff's list of picks.

Hopefully we will see 3 1st ballot HOF pitchers going in this year - Pedro and Randy are locks.

58Supersports
58Supersports

I agree with your 7 picks... Glavine is #1 on that list to me. Praying he makes it.