It is that time of year again, when debate over who deserves to be voted into the Hall of Fame intensifies. I do not have a vote for Cooperstown, but the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) has its own ballot. As a member, I am always proud to cast my vote and share my reasoning.
Our ballot is the same as the “official” one, except we correctly voted in Vladimir Guerrero last year and Edgar Martinez a couple of years ago (against my wishes), so they are not included on the ballot.
For the first-time guys, I voted for Chipper Jones and Jim Thome. Both are obvious candidates. I also voted for another first-timer, but more on him in a moment.
As far as the holdovers, Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner got my votes. Hoffman missed but just a few votes last year and will likely get in this time around. Wagner, arguably more dominant than Hoffman, has no chance.
I voted for Fred McGriff as usual.
Also as usual, the PED crew of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Gary Sheffield got my votes. Bonds and Clemens both received more than 70% of the vote last time, so there is a very good chance they will be voted in. By the way, Manny Ramirez did not get my vote because he tested positive for PEDs.
For my 10th and final vote (the IBWAA allows for 15, but I restrict mine to 10), I went for first-timer Johan Santana. He will not get in, but he was just as good as anyone in recent history in his prime and is a former Met, so I threw him a bone.
Santana took the vote away from Curt Schilling, for whom I voted last year. He is borderline, anyway. By the way, Mike Mussina missed by only one vote last year so he will likely get in. I never voted for him; he just does not feel like a Hall of Famer to me.
It will be interesting to see whether Bond and Clemens get in. That should generate lots of publicity for our little group.