Out of the Frying Pan
by Jessica Polko
On Tuesday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announces the Class of 2006. 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 2005. In most cases, I have nothing further to say with regards to these players, but if something has changed in our opinion then I have noted the alteration.
This year the Hall of Fame also assigned a screening committee of five Negro League baseball historians to compile Negro League and pre-Negro League ballots, which will be voted upon by the committee and seven others appointed by the Hall of Fame's Board of Directors. As we lack the background to offer an informed opinion on the qualifications of these candidates, we will not have an article discussing that ballot. This page of the Hall of Fame website provides more information about that ballot and the candidates.
Rick Aguilera made his mark as Minnesota's closer throughout the 1990's, receiving invitations to the All-Star game in 1991, 1992, and 1993. However, we do not feel his contributions merit enshrinement.
Albert Belle tore through the 1990's with impressive offensive production, but injuries ended his career before he could establish the extended excellence associated with most Hall of Fame careers. The case for Belle rests on a peak that ranked with almost any run in history as the surly slugger spent several seasons as baseball's most fearsome abuser of pitchers. While we do not believe his performance warrants a spot on our ballot over worthier competition this year, we may further evaluate his case later this decade.
Bert Blyleven received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Will Clark provided San Francisco and Texas with solid production for many years, receiving six All-Star invitations. However, his name did not factor frequently on the leader boards, and while the sum of his career merits respect, we see little rationale for memorializing Clark in the Hall of Fame.
Andre Dawson received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Gary DiSarcina served in the Angels middle infield during their last years as the California Angels and initial seasons as the Anaheim Angels. With the exception of an All-Star season in 1995, DiSarcina contributed little of note and certainly does not deserve a place in the Hall of Fame.
While generally a competent starting pitcher for the White Sox and Marlins in the 1990's Alex Fernandez's career contains nothing to elevate it to Hall of Fame worthiness.
Gary Gaetti held onto a major league job for two decades, playing for six organizations, winning four AL Gold Gloves at third base, earning invitations to two All-Star Games, and anchoring the Twins' championship run in 1987. Regrettably, his offensive production over that timeframe does not come close to garnering our Hall of Fame support.
Dwight Gooden blazed into the majors at 19, racing toward immortality with record numbers of strikeouts and wins. However, a drug problem disrupted his 1987 season, and in 1989, he encounter his first injury troubles, which eventually pulled his career down from divine to mortal. Ultimately, the sum of his performances does not merit a place in Cooperstown.
Rich Gossage received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Ozzie Guillen possessed a good glove but a lackluster bat, and his playing career fails to inspire Hall of Fame votes. However, Guillen still may earn his Cooperstown credentials as a manager, considering as a rookie manager he accumulated quite a few points by leading the White Sox to their first World Series in 88 years.
Orel Hershiser earned a respected reputation as a starter with the Dodgers in the 1980's, but a late start to his major league career allowed age and injuries to creep up on Hershiser too quickly for him to establish Hall of Fame credentials. His record scoreless streak of fifty-nine consecutive innings receives plenty of attention elsewhere in the Hall.
Gregg Jefferies produced a few solid offensive seasons, but even if those years were not peppered between slumps, his performances would not measure up to Hall of Fame standards.
Tommy John received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Doug Jones received invitations to five All-Star games and pulled a few MVP votes while serving as closer for several teams. However, relievers face an uphill battle in proving their worthiness to enter Cooperstown, and Jones' career lacks the oomph to make it up that peak.
Hal Morris maintained a solid batting average throughout his career as a first baseman but lost playing time due to injuries. As he possessed neither speed, strong plate discipline, nor significant power to compliment his BA, Morris does not merit a place in Cooperstown.
Jack Morris was bumped from our 2003 ballot due to a surplus of worthy candidates. However, as in 2002, 2004, and 2005, we feel he deserves a place on our ballot this year.
Dale Murphy has not previously fit on our ballot, though we long have felt he deserved further consideration. Murphy receives our vote for the Hall of Fame this year.
Dave Parker, like Murphy, previously had not fit on our ballot, but we now lend him our support this year.
Jim Rice received a vote from Rotohelp in 2005.
Bruce Sutter received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Alan Trammell received Rotohelp's vote in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Walt Weiss may be remembered by some for his defensive skill, but his meager offensive output leaves the 1988 Rookie of the Year without a case for Cooperstown.
John Wetteland served as a productive closer for the Expos, Yankees, and Rangers for almost a decade, but he does not qualify as one of the best relievers in history.
1. Bert Blyleven
2. Andre Dawson
3. Rich "Goose" Gossage
4. Tommy John
5. Jack Morris
6. Dale Murphy
7. Dave Parker
8. Jim Rice
9. Bruce Sutter
10. Alan Trammell
Click here to read the previous article.
I can't please all the people all of the time, but I am more than willing to read the comments of the pleased, the irate, and everyone in between. You can send your opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Out of the Frying Pan
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