Monday, January 05, 2009

Seven days till Cooperstown...

All of the baseball posts you're going to see in the next seven days are enveloped in an air of apology.

The Baseball Hall of Fame vote is in seven days. For some of you, it's about as pertinent to your day-to-day life as Yosemite Sam mudflaps on a Learjet. Sorry, but for some of us, it's like a U.S. presidential election which happens every year -- like a Canadian election.

Joe Posnanski appeared on Mount Olympus late last night holding a couple stone tablets bearing the names of the players he voted for, in no particular order. Mike Lynch at Seamheads has been taking mock ballots from the hardest of the hardcore baseball geeks, who suffice to say, are proving to be a tougher crowd than the Baseball Writers' Association of America. That site also ranks this year's candidates by Win Shares, which might be eye-opening for anyone who is on the fence about a certain former Montreal Expos leadoff hitter.

Poz says he will vote for Bert Blyleven, Rickey Henderson, Tommy John (who's on the ballot for the final time), Mark McGwire, Dale Murphy, Alan Trammell, and of course, Tim Raines. He voted for Raines last time.Andre Dawson not on that list:
"I have the utmost respect for the guy, but I just can’t do it. That .323 on-base percentage … it would be lower than all but five Hall of Famers — Bill Mazeroski, Joe Tinker, Luis Aparicio, Rabbit Maranville and Brooks Robinson. And none of them went in for their bats. I guess the way I look at it, this is a bit like voting in a .255 hitter. I will say I wish I could get past it."
Anyway, the Seamheads polling has been a minor revelation. Out of almost 150 respondents so far -- and we're talking hardcore baseball geeks, completely unredeemable people -- Rickey Henderson was the only who got the magic 75% support. Henderson drew 99.3% -- yeah, one person had to be the one who didn't vote for him.

Blyleven, the best pitcher not in Cooperstown, was polling around 70% and Raines was around 65%. As for Jim Rice, don't ask.

Elsewhere around the web, Chicago sportswriter Rick Telander said he voted for Dawson but not for Raines. Paul Sullivan at the Chicago Tribune voted for both former Expos, without mentioning that they played for the Expos, but a win's a win. The Tribune had all of its writers who votes talk about their ballots, but alas, Sullivan seems to be the only one who voted for Raines.

Sean McAdam at the Boston Herald has the ballot that might exactly reflect the BBWAA vote -- Henderson, Dawson and Jim Rice.

Seriously, what else is there to get excited about in the first full of January

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