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.