But What Do I Know? … Thoughts on Hall of Fame voting, Bert Blyleven Canadian links

My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:

 I wasn’t surprised that Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday. I was shocked, however, to see Alomar’s vote totals jump almost 17 per cent. It seems some baseball writers sentenced Alomar to a year in Hall of Fame purgatory for spitting in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck on September 27, 1996. I didn’t like what he did either, but I don’t agree with the scribes that withheld their vote. Alomar is a Hall of Famer and he should’ve been elected in his first year of eligibility.

 For the record, Blyleven made 21 starts against the Blue Jays during his 22-year career and recorded an 8-10 record and a 3.82 ERA.

 During his tenure with the National League’s Pittsburgh Pirates from 1978 to 1980, Blyleven started 15 contests against the Montreal Expos, posting a 7-5 record and a 2.65 ERA.

 Blyleven would like to forget the only regular season game in which he faced Alomar. On July 4, 1992 at the SkyDome, Alomar recorded a triple and a walk in three plate appearances against Blyleven. The durable right-hander was chased from that game in the fifth inning after allowing six earned runs in an 8-6 Angels’ loss.

 Little known fact: Blyleven started two games for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate Edmonton Trappers in 1992, pitching 11-2/3 innings and recording wins in both contests.

 Call me the eternal optimist, but I’m encouraged that Larry Walker was named on 20.3 per cent of writers’ ballots in the Hall of Fame voting. Yes, that’s a long way from the 75 per cent needed for enshrinement, but remember Blyleven was tabbed on just 17.5 per cent of ballots in his first year of eligibility.

 It’s also encouraging that Tim Raines’s vote total rose by 7.1 per cent. Arguably the second-best leadoff hitter in big league history, the longtime Expo deserves to be recognized in Cooperstown.

 I wouldn’t have voted for either Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro, but if I had to choose between the two, I would’ve supported Palmeiro. The smooth-swinging first baseman was a better all-around player than McGwire. Unfortunately due to their steroid links, Palmeiro (11 per cent) and “Big Mac” (19.8 per cent) fell well short of the requisite 75 per cent to be inducted.

 It was disheartening to see Fred McGriff’s vote totals drop by three per cent. The Crime Dog’s 493 steroid-free home runs should be enough to earn him election. For more reasons why McGriff should have a plaque in Cooperstown, click on this link: http://is.gd/keBPx

 Things that make you go hmmm … one writer believes that Benito Santiago should be in the Hall of Fame.

 Here’s a list of former Jays and Expos that didn’t garner the requisite five per cent to stay on the ballot for another year: Marquis Grissom, Al Leiter, John Olerud, Santiago, Kirk Rueter and Raul Mondesi.

4 thoughts on “But What Do I Know? … Thoughts on Hall of Fame voting, Bert Blyleven Canadian links

  1. Nice article, I really enjoyed the read. Roberto Alomar really did deserve the Hall of Fame and as a Toronto Blue Jays fans I’m so glad they put him in this year, especially with a close to unanimous vote. If the only thing stopping him was the spitting incident, which it seemed to be, then there should have been no reason for them to keep him out. I was also happy to see the steroid guys not receiving too much of the vote because I think there is a great difference between those guys and guys like Alomar with character issues. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/musings-on-the-2011-hall-of-fame-class/

  2. Claude Raymond told me that Blyleven grew up in Canada! So we have the Canadian connection this year! Gillick, Van Horne, Alomar and Bert.

    Is Jeff Bagwell really twice as good as Larry Walker?

    Is Barry Larkin really three times as good as Larry Walker?

  3. I’m with you on Larry Walker. There’s hope. I bet it jumps a lot next year as it will be a weaker ballot. Hopefully it continues to climb after.

  4. I’m really pleased to have learned through you that Blyleven only received 17.5% in his first year, because Larry Walker’s 20% really was a downer. And I am totally on Scott’s page – you cannot tell me that Larkin (62%)is three times as deserving, and nor is Bagwell (40%) twice as deserving. All three of them each won one MVP Award. Larkin and Bagwell each had about 200 more career hits than Walker, but each played about 200 more games. Walker had a higher career batting average and OPS than both. OK, Larkin was an 12-time All-Star (Walker-5)and won 9 Silver Sluggers (Walker-3). Larkin also had a 150 more stolen bases than Walker, but Walker hit almost 200 more homeruns, not to mention 350 more RBI. Larkin won 3 Gold Gloves, Walker won 7. Larkin never won a batting title, Walker won 3. Walker was punished by playing in the obscurity of Montreal and Colorado, but that shouldn’t be held against him. And PLEASE, don’t play the “Colorado air” card here … how many of Walker’s 152 homers in Colorado landed in the front row? On top of everything else, I can verify for a fact that Walker never touched the juice, in a steroid era whereby at least 105 players did.

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