Out of the Frying Pan
by Jessica Polko
On Tuesday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will announce the Class of 2005. Today you can read Rotohelp's opinion of the candidates and view the ballot we would submit if eligible.
Please take a look at our 2002 article for an overview of our standards. In the alphabetical review of candidates below, I have linked to commentary from previous years for players on this year's ballot who remain eligible after receiving at least 5% of the vote in 2004. In most cases, I have nothing further to say with regards to these players, but where any change in our opinion has occurred all alterations are noted. A list of the players for whom we would vote if eligible follows the candidate reviews.
Jim Abbott achieved fame merely by sustaining a career as a major league starting pitcher for the ten years necessary to qualify for a position on a Hall of Fame ballot given that he was born without a right hand. However, we are not grading on a curve, and the 1988 Olympic gold medalist's numbers do not approach Hall of Fame standards.
Bert Blyleven received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Wade Boggs sustained an impressive career on base hits alone, possessing neither significant power nor speed. The third baseman won five batting titles and finished his career with 3010 hits, appearing on every All-Star team from 1985 through 1996. We believe Boggs belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Tom Candiotti may have sustained a lengthy major league career with his knuckleball, but he did not produce Hall of Fame stats.
Chili Davis played nineteen seasons in the majors and appeared on three All-Star teams. While he was a productive outfielder and designated hitter for nearly two decades, his career lacked the extraordinary accomplishments necessary to earn a place in the Hall of Fame.
Andre Dawson received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Rich Gossage received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Tommy John received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Mark Langston began his career with a bang in which he led the league in strikeouts three times and appeared on four All-Star teams. Over the course of his career, he won seven Gold Gloves, but his numbers fell off before he achieved the extended dominance of a Hall of Famer.
Jack McDowell possessed a strong peak, appearing on three All-Star teams and winning the 1993 Cy Young Award. With injuries greatly reducing his effectiveness after the heavy workload resulting from his initial success, his dominant period was short and the ensuing drop off sharp. Consequently, he failed to amass Hall of Fame credentials.
Willie McGee appeared on four All-Star teams and won three Gold Gloves in addition to the 1985 National League Most Valuable Player Award. He won the second of his two batting titles in 1990 when no one surpassed the .335 NL mark he held when traded to the AL in late August. However, we do not feel the sum of the outfielder's accomplishments adds up to Hall of Fame worthiness.
Jeff Montgomery provided Kansas City with a competent closer for over a decade, but we do not believe he earned a place in the Hall of Fame.
Jack Morris was bumped from our 2003 ballot due to a surplus of worthy candidates. However, as in 2002 and 2004, we feel he deserves a place on our ballot this year.
Otis Nixon had a few good seasons over an extended career, albeit without compiling statistics remotely meriting a place in the Hall of Fame.
Tony Phillips produced a few strong seasons in the early 1990's, but the utilityman's overall career was not worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Jim Rice has not previously received a vote from Rotohelp due to a surplus of worthy candidates. However, we now find room on our ballot to recognize his performance.
Ryne Sandberg received a vote from Rotohelp in 2003 and 2004.
Terry Steinbach appeared on three All-Star teams and won the 1988 All-Star MVP. While he posted impressive offensive numbers for a catcher, his career still fails to meet Hall of Fame standards.
Darryl Strawberry spent the 80's as one of baseball's best sluggers before self-destructing for much of the next decade after encountering injury and drug problems. The outfielder did not realize enough of his potential to merit a place in the Hall of Fame.
Bruce Sutter received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Alan Trammell received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
1. Bert Blyleven
2. Wade Boggs
3. Andre Dawson
4. Rich "Goose" Gossage
5. Tommy John
6. Jack Morris
7. Jim Rice
8. Ryne Sandberg
9. Bruce Sutter
10. Alan Trammell
Click here to read the previous article.
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