Monday, April 4, 2011

Complete Your Hall Of Fame Ballot!

Opinions can very, but everyone needs to cast their HOF vote. Here's my take on the leading candidates:

Alex Ramirez (CF/2B): Suffered from short-career syndrome (10 seasons), but not a stretch to say he was the best-hitting infielder (1B aside) in Belle history. .964 career OPS - 70 points better than Nunez, 93 points better than Piedra, and 10 better than Lon Andrews, the only non-1B IF currently in the Hall. I don't know where the 480 HR's stands career-wise among IF's, but it has to be near the top. Never hit less than 35 homers in a season. Minor gripe: should've been move to the OF his last 3 seasons...put up some ugly fielding numbers. He should be IN.

Luis Piedra (3B): On the plus side, he had a full career, was very consistent, and collected a nice stash of hardware. But is this really greatness? He wasn't a great power hitter (in the steroid era, no less) - his best season was 41. He wasn't a great on-base guy - career .349. Perhaps you can argue he was great defensively, but is a .964 fielding % great for a 3B? Very good player, but NOT Hall of Fame.

Skip Leon (1B): Career leader in hits and RBI, #2 all-time in HR's, 3 MVP's. No-brainer.

Dwight Long, (SP): I'm considering Long mainly because the 167 wins is a pretty nice total for HBD - I think it compares to about 240, maybe 250, in real-life. The 3.56 ERA is kind of borderline. Didn't win a Cy Young, although his 20-2, 2.26 in Season 9 would've done it in many seasons. I campaigned for Seanez for several seasons because of his underlying qualitative stats (OBP allowed, Slugging % allowed) - Long's are a fair bit higher. Really good pitcher, not HOF quality.

Rico Nunez (SS): Don't know if he's the best-hitting SS in Belle history (and he was a true SS, as his 3 GG's can attest), but I bet he's the best power-hitting SS in Belle history (417 career bombs). The Ernie Banks of Belle. Given his power #'s and excellent defense, he's Hall of Fame-worthy.

Steven Vaughn (SP): his case rests entirely on his 3 Cy Youngs. His win totals, ERA and underlying qualitative stats are all worse than Dwight Long's. I'm ambivalent...if he's deserving, Long is. On hold until I get through the rest.

Ignacio Santos (C/DH): This guy is #4 on the career OPS list, so by some measure he's the 4th-best hitter in Belle history. That would probably make him deserving even if he had only been a DH, but he caught 5500+ innings (versus 4700 as a DH...don't ask me how he got in 10 innings at 2B). No-brainer.

Juan Romero (closer): I guess I'm committing heresy here, but I can't vote for a guy whose only credential is a statistical fluke. Saves say nothing about how well a guy pitched, and when you really look at it, this guy wasn't that good. Career ERA of 4.00? Career OPS-against of .723? Romero was an average-to-decent pitcher at best...we've probably had dozens of anonymous middle relievers who were better. NO WAY

So, I'm voting for Ramirez, Leon, Nunez, Santos. Because the way our voting works we kind of have a bias against induction, I'm going to go ahead an vote for Vaughn as well.

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