HF: For me, a ballot, not a soap box

My Hall of Fame ballot included checkmarks next to Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Palmeiro, Lee Smith and Larry Walker — and Bonds and Clemens, but not McGwire and Sosa.

So obviously I didn’t vote on a steroids soap box, so let’s move on.

Jack Morris? Sorry. Don’t see how his 254 wins and 3.90 career ERA merit, when Tommy John’s ballot life expired with 288 wins and 3.34 career ERA. No one can satisfactorily explain that to me.

Yes, Morris has this aura as a postseason wizard, a difference-maker for a lot of voters. Okay. He went 7-4 with a 3.80 ERA in postseasons with three different teams. In the postseason, John was 6-3 with a 2.65 ERA with three different teams. So try again.

But here’s what I really don’t get:

The same people who boost Morris based on his postseason record do not hold Bonds’ against him. As noted, I voted for Bonds due to other factors, but he has to go down as one of the biggest postseason goats ever.

His one big show, in 2002, came at what we now know was the peak of his … ahem … power. And even in that World Series, his clumsy play in left field helped the Angels’ Game 6 comeback from a 5-0 deficit in the seventh inning.

But removing Bonds’ performance in the 2002 postseason — .356. with eight homers and 16 RBIs in 17 games —  leaves him with a .198 average and ONE homer with 8 RBIs in his other 31 postseason games.

In 20 playoff games with the Pirates, he was 13-for-68 (.191), with a homer and three RBIs. And, of course, he couldn’t even throw out Sid Bream running on one leg.


    • mlblogstomsinger1

      Yes, which only highlights an imprecise process: Performance in specific events (postseason games, for instance) is NOT supposed to influence votes, but of course it does, but not on a level playing field.

      Tom Singer


  1. Brian Rehman

    Thank you for showing dignity and voting for the players without a personal agenda. Steroids may be able to help performance, but it can’t just make a pitcher that struggles at bunting into a home run champion. Adjust Bonds and Clemens numbers to what they would be without any assistance, and they are still hall worthy, and Bonds may still have the all time home run record without any steroids.
    The only reason to not include Bonds is for his spirit to taint the professionalism of the game. I am not talking about using drugs, but his overall attitude. He was said to be stubborn and pretty much a jerk when dealing with people, basically putting himself on his own pedestal with nobody being good enough for him. That attitude he portrayed would be the only reason to not include him on a ballot, it is nothing to do with his “fabricated” numbers.
    Mr. Singer, thank you for your dignity.

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