05 January 2011

Little Big Men

Today was a pretty good day for the Hall of Fame. My entire ballot was:


That's it...and Trammell was only slotted ahead of Larkin and Alomar because his earlier era gave me more certitude the heart of his HOF career was clean - not because I felt he was a better player.

I love Larkin and have no gripe with Alomar's induction in his second eligible year. I just couldnt affirm either and remain intellectually consistent with my loquacious bagg ing on Bagwell. Sure, Bags bopped more homers and was bulkier than any middle infield candidate, but my larger point had to do with the likelihood of squeaky clean greats dominating that particular, drug enhanced age. No matter what they "looked" like or what position they manned.

Apparently, the electorate isnt so shy about incorporating such into their collective judgements. Here's BBWAA's vote totals on most of the serious positional candidates:

Alomar   90%
Larkin     62
Bagwell  42
Raines   38
Edgar     33
Tram      24
Walker   20
McGriff  18
Palmiero 11

The fellas in red were smaller guys who didnt hit as many home runs. They fared quite well as a group. You could argue voters simply felt they were better players, but I suspect it has something to do with them being less anabolically suspect than the bulky Bagwell, Walker, McGriff crowd.

Which, if so, may be blatantly unfair. Those three sluggers never tested positive and smaller guys have cheated by taking steroids too. But I still prefer a system, however flawed, that tries to account for powerful, illegal drugs that reshaped the sport.  At the very least, such an effort implies good faith.

Which is more than the system that brought us here.

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