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.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.