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Hall of Fame Polls: Abreu, Bonds

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We have been doing Hall of Fame polls for years. We did one player per post in the past, but then SB’s story editor only allowed one vote per post. So now we can do multiple polls in a piece, so let’s do it, two guys, at a time this year, at least for the guys that have been on the ballot before.

With the lockout, we won’t be getting much for Blue Jays news, so we might as well start them now.

I’m going to skip guys on the ballot who I don’t think anyone would call a Hall of Famer

Today we will do two.

Bobby Abreu is on the ballot for the third time. Last year he was on 8.7% of the writer’s ballots. Of course, there have been times when players start in the single digits and gain votes to make the Hall over the years, but Abreu’s numbers aren’t growing much.

Abreu was a much better player than I thought.

Abreu had a very good 18-year career. In total, he hit .291/.395/.475 with 288 home runs and 400 steals (that surprises me) in 2425 games. The significant number, to me, is the 1476 walks (good for 20th all-time). He took over 100 walks in 8 straight seasons. In addition, he had OBPs above .400 in 9 seasons. I’d love the Jays to have a player who could get on base like that.

Bobby received MVP votes in 7 seasons (though his high mark was 14th. He had one Gold Glove, made 2 All-Star teams, and one Silver Slugger. Career, he had a 60 bWAR.

He doesn’t have the single stat that writers like to use to point to when voting. He doesn’t have 500 home runs, he doesn’t have 3000 hits (but then 2470 hits isn’t bad), but he did everything well. His career had a high peak, but he also had a long stretch of being useful after the peak.

He is the type of player I would love to have on my team. Few thought of him as a Hall of Fame player during his career, but he was an excellent player. In some ways, he is like Scott Rolen, a player who was good at everything. There are players in the Hall I think are less deserving.

You can see his career numbers here.


Would you vote Bobby Abreu into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    (90 votes)
  • 74%
    (261 votes)
351 votes total Vote Now

Barry Bonds is on the ballot for the tenth time, so this is his last chance. He received 61.8% of the vote last year.

There isn’t any doubt that Bonds used PEDs. However, my feeling is that if I think a player would have made the Hall without PEDs, then I don’t care if he used. In Bond’s case, he was going to be Hall-worthy even without the PEDs, in my opinion. He was the NL MVP in 1990 before most of us think he started juicing. To me, he was the best player in baseball ever before his head got so big it started getting its gravitational pull.

You all know the numbers. He won the MVP award seven times (and likely should have won it more), made 14 All-Star teams, and has 8 Gold Gloves. Baseball Reference has him number 2 in WAR, among position players in baseball history, at 158.1. He only trails Babe Ruth. He’s the all-time leader in home runs (762), and walks (2558).

Perhaps the most compelling stat, in the argument to vote him into the Hall of Fame is he was intentionally walled 688 times. Had Barry never taken a normal base on balls, he would have been 191st all-time in walks. And, of course, he was the all-time leader in total walks.

And he used steroids. And he was (is) a jerk. Not that we don’t have a lot of jerks in the Hall of Fame. If there was a jerk quotient (some way of quantifying jerkiness), let’s face it, Bonds wouldn’t be in the top ten of players in the Hall. I’m not even sure he’d be in my top five on this ballot.

I have a hard time with writers being holy than thou over steroids when they ignored the problem back in the day. And, let’s face it, we all cheered when they hit home runs. I think Bonds would have Hall of Fame numbers even if he didn’t use. So ignoring one of the top 2 or 3 players in baseball history seems stupid for the Hall to do.

The idea that Harold Baines and Gil Hodges are in the Hall of Fame and Barry Bonds is wrong, but Barry would need 75% of the writers to agree with me to get in.

You can take a look at his numbers here.


Would you vote Barry Bond into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    (313 votes)
  • 29%
    (129 votes)
442 votes total Vote Now