Like I said yesterday, I’m not going to go over every voter’s Hall of Fame ballot. But we did touch on Pete Abraham’s Hall of Fame methodology last week, so now that he has released his ballot, it’s worth a look.
Pete has Roberto Almomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell and Tim Raines. Damn fine slate if you ask me. I’d vote for every one of them.
Pete leaves off Bagwell. Rather than leave it oblique like some have, he simply discounts home run totals from the 90s due to the offensive inflation of the decade.
I get that, but I think there’s more to Bagwell’s case than home runs. He was a considerably better hitter than, say, Rafael Palmeiro. And unlike Palmeiro and others, Bagwell played in the toughest hitters’ park in baseball for many, many years in the Houston Astrodome. Pete is not engaged in that “let’s see if he was found to be a PED user” game I wondered about yesterday, as he is quite clear on the subject when he discusses McGwire and Palmeiro. I take Pete at his word that this is a performance-based vote, not a suspicion-based vote and thus I have no problem with it. He’s not supporting anyone inferior to Bagwell here.
Another omission is Edgar Martinez. Pete’s reasoning: “he was primarily a DH and as such, his offensive numbers had to be overwhelming to a point where you had no choice but to vote for him.” I’m not sure if we’ll ever see a DH with a case like Martinez’s though, so it may be a defacto ban on DHs for Pete. He does label it a tough call, however, and it’s possible that he’ll change his mind. Or not. Either way, he states his standard and explains his vote and that’s all one can ask.
Nice ballot. Nice explanations. Let’s see more.
The Brewers offloaded outfielder Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a team announcement on Friday. Choice signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in early May, but did not earn a major league stint in 11 weeks with the team.
It’s been two full years since the 27-year-old outfielder snagged a big league opportunity of any kind. He last appeared with the Rangers in 2015 and played in just one game, striking out in his only at-bat. His production rate sagged through three consecutive minor league assignments with the Indians, Orioles and Brewers and peaked in 2016 after slashing .246/.304/.456 with 14 home runs for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus. He was off to a decent start this season for the Brewers’ Double-A Biloxi, working a .272/.349/.503 batting line with nine home runs and an .852 OPS through his first 195 PA.
Choice is poised to join several other ex-major leaguers on the Heroes’ roster, including left-hander Andy Van Hekken, right-hander Jake Brigham and infielder/outfielder Danny Dorn.
6:43 PM: Danny Dorn no longer plays for the Nexen Heroes, as he was released to clear roster space for Choice.
Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.
We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.
Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.