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Hall of Fame Polls: Schilling, Sheffield, Soriano

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Hall of Fame Tour Unveiling

Curt Schilling is on the ballot for the 8th time, last year he was on 60.9% of the voters’ ballots a 10% jump from the season before.

Schilling had a 216-146 record but things seem to click for him at age 30. After he turned 30 he won 162 games, winning over 20 haves 3 times, finishing 2nd in Cy Young voting 3 times and making 6 All-Star teams. When guys, especially of that time period, get better into their 30s, I question how it happened.

He has 3 World Series rings (we beat out his Phillies in 1993 or he would have 4). He was co-MVP for the 2001 World series. And you likely remember the ‘bloody sock’ from 2004. In 19 playoff starts, he is 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA. A good part of case for the Hall is his performance in the playoffs.

Course there is some post career stuff. He’s very right wing. That isn’t quite fair, because you can be right wing and not a crackpot, but Schilling is off the deep end (you can be off the deer end of either side of the spectrum) . He was fired from ESPN for some rather extreme views. He rode his video game company into the ground, costing himself (and tax payers) a fortune. He hasn’t gone out of his way to make friends with the writers that have the vote.

On the plus side he is a fan of OOTP Baseball: “The only baseball sim I’ve ever gotten addicted to”.

In a perfect world, his views shouldn’t cost him in the vote, he should be judged on his pitching, but sometimes it’s hard to get past things. I would have a hard time voting for Roger Clemens. And, if I was a reporter, I’d have a hard time voting for a guy who thinks it’s funny to joke about hanging journalists. I’m old enough to feel that’s over the line.

It is likely wrong to make journalists vote for the Hall, but, back when they started, there really wasn’t anyone else who could make the decisions. Now we could come up with a batter plan, but the Writers wouldn’t give it up without a fight. And I’m not sure there is any group who wouldn’t be swayed by a player campaigning or equally swayed by a player being a jerk.

I don’t think he is a slam dunk on his stats, like Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, so if he losses a little bit on his actions, he makes it a tough choice.

His career stats are here.

Poll

Would you vote Curt Schilling into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Yes
    (158 votes)
  • 52%
    No
    (177 votes)
335 votes total Vote Now

This is Gary Sheffield’s sixth time on the ballot. He was on 13.6% of the writer’s ballots last year.

Looking at his stats, Sheffield was a better player than I thought he was, back in the day. Sheffield, nephew of Dwight Gooden (who was a one and done in Hall of Fame voting, getting just 3% of the vote), was a first round pick in the 1986 draft by the Brewers. He went on to have a 22-year (I didn’t think he played that long) major league career, playing for 8 different teams.

He played 2576 games, hitting .292/.393/.514 with 509 home runs, 1676 RBI and 253 stolen bases thrown in for good measure. He made 9 All-Star teams. He won 5 Silver Slugger awards. He received MVP votes 7 times, finishing 2nd once and 3rd twice. His career WAR is 60.2.

I kind of think a guy with 509 home runs, who got on base 39% of the time should be in the Hall. He’s a massively better player than Harold Baines.

Gary came up as a shortstop, was moved to third base and then the outfield, he was never much of a defensive player, but then he could hit.

He was pretty interesting off the field too. He called the Brewers ‘racist’ when they moved him off short to play third. He felt racism was behind anything bad that happened to him. And he figured there were more Latin players in the majors than African-Americans because Latin players were ‘easier to control’. He claimed that manager Joe Torre treated black players different then white players and who am I to say he didn’t? I’d imagine that when you are subjected to a lot of racism, you likely start seeing it in places where it isn’t. But then I’m a white boy with blue eyes. I’ve never dealt with racism directed at me.

He was also named in the Mitchell report as someone that used PEDs, but a lot of players were mentioned in that report. He is an interesting candidate. How much do you subtract for his defense? Does he lose points for his personality? I don’t think he always played well with reporters, a wonder how that plays into the vote?

You can see his stats here.

Poll

Would you vote Gary Sheffield into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Yes
    (186 votes)
  • 41%
    No
    (133 votes)
319 votes total Vote Now

It is Alfonso Soriano’s first time on the ballot.

I was going to skip him, but he had a much better career than I remembered. He played 16 seasons, hit .270/.319/.500 with 412 home runs. 289 stolen bases in 1975 game split between the Cubs and Yankees with a couple of seasons with the Rangers and Nationals.

He made 7 All-Star teams, got Hall of Fame votes 5 times, had 2 Silver Slugger awards and and was 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting in 2001. He played on teams who made the playoffs 5 times, but never got a World Series ring.

He played mostly second base and left field. He wasn’t particularly good at either, and of course, he was more valuable as a infielder, but got moved to the outfield because his defense wasn’t great at second and to extend is career.

His best seasons were very good, he hit .300/.332/.547 with 39 home runs and 41 steals in 2002, leading the league in At Bats, runs, hits and steals. And he had 12 seasons of OPS+ values over 100.

He was misused as a leadoff hitter for much of his career, he had speed but didn’t get on base, He would have been better used in the middle of the lineup.

He had a very good career, to me a bit short of Hall of Fame, but a good career.

Poll

Would you vote Alfonso Soriano into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Yes
    (33 votes)
  • 89%
    No
    (281 votes)
314 votes total Vote Now