Bill Conlin's less-than-perfect Hall of Fame ballot

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There will probably be a lot of these today. They’re all kind of fun on some level. Here’s Bill Conlin’s: Blyleven, Morris, Dawson, Alomar, Martinez and McGriff.

Conlin has been on the Morris bandwagon for a while so that’s expected. At least he pairs him up with Blyleven. I’m surprised to see him go for Martinez, but Conlin, for as grumpy as he can be, can also be somewhat unpredictable. Along those lines I’m rather surprised not to see Barry Larkin here. Especially when, earlier in the column, he described Larkin thusly:

First shortstop to join the 30-30 club when he hit 33 homers and stole
36 bases in 1996. A legitimate five-tooler, Barry spent his entire
19-year career with the Reds and went to 12 All-Star Games. A Spalding Guide player, Larkin played short with the same economy and grace that Mike Schmidt displayed at third.

And he doesn’t seem too torn about leaving him out, as he voices some regrets for not voting in Andres Gallaraga for cryin’ out loud, but not Larkin. Either way, I’m struggling to see what in the above quote constitutes an argument against Larkin in Conlin’s mind. And besides, I get the sense that enough people feel differently about him to where he’ll make it in.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.