2021 Hall Of Fame Vote: Pronk's Ballot
The 2021 Hall of Fame voting is out, processed, and done. Outside of 2020 holdovers, there will be no new baseball Hall of Famers voted in this year. It's a major disappointment, even if you think all the PED-related players shouldn't get in.
• Bonds and Clemens arguably had Hall of Fame stats before any kind of not banned at the time chemicals boost.
• Sammy Sosa: Was linked to steroids mainly because of performance and suspicion. He was a premier slugger of the era. His peak is too good to ignore. He's in.
• Billy Wagner: I didn't vote for him last year, but am in on him this year. He has more saves than Eckersley. His WAR was higher than Rollie Fingers and a touch behind Trevor Hoffman. Wagner's 2.31 ERA is just behind Mariano Rivera. His strikeouts per 9 would be 2nd of all time if he was a starting pitcher. Bottom line, his stats are right in the middle of bunch of other Hall of Famers. He's in.
• Curt Schilling: His WAR is more than an average hall of fame SP. Add in 3,000 strikeouts and he's a no brainer, no matter how mean his tweeting is.
• Gary Sheffield: According to Baseball Reference's Hall of Fame monitor, he's the 32nd best hitter of all time. His career OPS+ is 140, which is tied with... Alex Rodriguez. 500 HRs. Enough said. He has steroid allegations but no suspensions. That's good enough for me.
• Scott Rolen: he has solid stats, but was arguably never really a Top 5 player in the game outside of his great 2004. His career OPS+ of 122 is a bit low, even combined with the great gloves. Injuries took away a chance at milestone stats, so he winds up in the hall of very good.
• Todd Helton: Had a couple monster years, but finished with only 369 HRs despite the Coors effect. Hall of very good.
• Omar Vizquel: Great glove, but subpar bat. Was around long enough to pile up some decent numbers, but only had 3 All Star appearances. He was a great role player, not a HOFer.
• Manny Ramirez: Put up great numbers like some of the other steroid linked players of the era. But was suspended twice for breaking official rules. It's a bit hypocritical to leave him out compared to the others, but that's the way I roll.
• Andruw Jones: Lots of home runs and Gold Gloves. He's probably the biggest snub on my list. It's mainly for how drastically he fell off later in his career. Despite the raw HR total of 434 and the 10 Gold Gloves, his OPS+ was only 111. A lack of batting average and walks led him to be a bit of one dimensional threat. He's good, and I wouldn't fault anyone for voting for him, but his one off stats are just not enough to get my vote.
• The character clause in HOF exclusion is being misused. It's a preventative to keep gamblers out of Cooperstown. I don't care for Schilling's tweets, and he absolutely has shot himself in the foot. But I feel that most baseball writers use it as an excuse to keep players they don't like out of the Hall. That might fly for borderline players, but Schilling is no borderline player.
• Let the steroid users in. If spitballer Gaylord Perry gets in, a PED user can get in. If Mike Schmidt can try greenies a few times, a steroid user can get in. If Bud Selig can turn a blind eye to steroids to rebuild the game, a PED linked player can get in. I don't care for it, but we can't pretend that the steroid era didn't happen. We can't pretend that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens' entire careers were made by drugs. This moral inconsistency is maddening.
• I can't believe there aren't any players worth entry in 2021. Too many writers turned in empty or joke ballots. If they are going to not take this responsibility seriously, then the process needs to be overhauled. I'd love to see players or fans get more of a say. I'm not sure I've got the solution ready now, but there's no denying that the voting process is drastically flawed.