The Spitter’s 2020 Hall Of Fame Ballot, Page 1
There are many deserving ballplayers in this year’s field. The Spitter unveils it’s HOF ratings for the holdovers from 2019’s ballot. Cropped photo by Larry Cogswell via Flickr.
It’s a wild time we live in and the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is no less problematic than last year’s. For the returning players that made at least 5 percent of the ballots in 2019, this is how we classify them based on the following system:
ATG: All-time Great, OEB: One of the era’s best, WATM: Wouldn’t Argue Too Much, NCA: No Compelling Argument For, NDMO: No Due To Moral Outrage.
- Curt Schilling 60.9 percent. 8th year. In the heart of the steroid era, this fly ball/strikeout pitcher posted ERAs of 2.98. 3.23, 2.95, and 3.26 and won 74 of 102 decisions. Dominant for three different teams for a decade or more. Iconic bloody sock game and postseason dominance. OEB Yes.
- Roger Clemens 59.5 percent. 8th year. Court testimony says both he and his wife were using enough HGH to run in the Kentucky Derby. Unstable in the starting gate though: fired a sawed off bat at Mike Piazza. NDMO
- Barry Bonds 59.1 percent, 8th year. Court testimony has him taking enough BALCO supplements to not only run the Derby but beat Secretariat by eight lengths. This horse’s ass was unstable too, including breaking down during his own reality show that ESPN then cancelled (according to the Hollywood Reporter in 2006) NDMO
- Larry Walker 54.6 percent. 10th year. Great hitter (.313/.400/.565), fielder (Seven Gold Gloves) ATG.
- Omar Vizquel 42.8 percent. 3rd year. All-time great fielder with 11 Gold Gloves, 2877 hits, 414 stolen bases. Top-two or three defensive shortstops all time. Offensive numbers are plenty good enough along with his dazzling defensive play to land him in Cooperstown. ATG
- Manny Ramírez 22.8 percent. 4th year. Ingested so much female fertility medication to mask the testosterone he was taking that he actually impregnated himself. Gross. NDMO
- Jeff Kent. 18.1 percent. 7th year. One of the best hitting second baseman of all time. I was at the game when he matched Rogers Hornsby for consecutive 30 home run seasons. Nimble he was not.: .980 fielding percentage at second, tied for 113th at the position all time. OEB.
- Scott Rolen. 17.2 percent. 3rd year. Tremendous fielder. Very capable offensively. Hurt. A lot. Hard to say he was one of the greats if he missed a significant number of games in half his seasons. WATM
- Billy Wagner. 16.7 percent. 5th year. Sixth all time in any major category should warrant a trip to the hall as should a 2.31 ERA, even if it is for a reliever OEB.
- Todd Helton 16.5 percent. 2nd year. Hit .300 or better 12 times. Led the league in fielding percentage six times, second for a career in assists by a first baseman. That he only got 16 percent last year is laughable. OEB
- Gary Sheffield. 13.6 percent. 6th year. As opposed to the others, at least he copped to his use of PEDs, at least for 2001-02 and threw Bonds under the bus too. Cheating is still cheating NDMO
- Andy Pettitte 9.9 percent. 2nd year. Also copped to HGH use in multiple attempts to recover from injury. Confirmed Clemens and trainer Brian McNamee had told him Clemens had used HGH and steroids. Even with the confession, which gets us what?, the career numbers were nice but inconsistent. Had more than enough flameouts in the postseason to offset the good appearances. Admits to twice using. NDMO.
- Sammy Sosa 8.5 percent. 8th year. Is in the Mitchell Report and says, “I did what I had to do,” to ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. Increased home run total from 36 to 66 in 1998 and topped Roger Maris’ mark twice more. ‘Had to do???” NDMO
- Andruw Jones 7.5 percent. 3rd year. Some of those 10 Gold Gloves were based on reputation of a young man with so much promise. I watched a lot of Braves baseball during his heyday. He was not particularly attuned to the little things required offensively and was out of shape a lot. Waste of talent. NCA
Summary: “Yes” votes include Schilling, Walker, Vizquel, Kent, Wagner, Helton and maybe Rolen.
Next up: the first-year qualifiers for the 2020 Hall of Fame Ballot.