With the BBWAA Hall of Fame vote results coming Wednesday evening, after nearly a month of us profiling the Hall of Fame ballot here on CBS Sports, I figured I'd throw out my hypothetical ballot in this very space.
It's only hypothetical because I still have seven more vote cycles as a member of the BBWAA until I'm eligible to vote, unless the rules are changed. Until then, I'm only figuring out what I would have done.
Before we get to the players who would have gotten my vote, we need to discuss the so-called "character clause." MLB put a testing system in place. Before that, MLB was looking the other way. The commissioner during the so-called Steroid Era was Bud Selig and he's in the Hall of Fame. I feel like that should matter at least a little bit., specifically as it relates to the case of Curt Schilling. Also on the "character" front, many people like to bring up PEDs here and I will as well, if a player was ever suspended once
When it comes to PED-tainted players, I've long made my stance clear here: If a player was suspended once there was a testing system in place, he's out for me. That pertains to one player on this ballot and it's.
Anyone else, I'm not getting into what they might have done. We don't know everyone who was clean and we don't know everyone who used. I'm not making it my job to do guesswork. There are likely guys already in the Hall who juiced, too. If MLB didn't care enough to punish players, I'm not caring enough to carve up my ballot. You can disagree and that's OK. It's an individual vote (Hell, it's not even a real one at this point). There's a reason players need 75 percent of the vote instead of a simple majority to get in. It's supposed to be difficult.
Also, I'm aand would always vote for the maximum of 10. So it's my top 10 instead of me saying only 10 guys are good enough.
Finally,. I'm always voting for my top 10.
My 10 hypothetical votes
We've been through the cases for all of these guys and I'll link off to those (click on their names to see), as I'm not going into great detail on every single guy here:
and : Using my above PED rule, they are both no-brainers.
and : Jones shouldn't even need an explanation, nor should a guy with 600+ home runs and a .400+ on-base percentage who never violated any PED rules.
and : Two years ago, I wrote about and Mussina and Schilling top that list. Mussina is still ridiculously underrated and Schilling had a regular-season profile of a Hall of Famer in addition to being everything that Jack Morris is romanticized to have been in the postseason. It's a joke neither has gotten in yet, but they both appear to be trending in the right direction.
and : The traditional benchmark numbers are there and I think we can discuss the "fear factor" (opposing teams not wanting to face either hitter in his prime) and "Fame" factor as well, as I noted in Sosa's profile.
: He was my 11th guy last year and a spot came open. The former MVP hit .318 with a 140 OPS+, 449 homers, was video-game scary at the plate and had the best outfield arm of his generation. His bust is well-deserved.
That's my 10.
The next two
If the BBWAA proposal to move the limit up to 12 had been accepted, I'd add:
Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay), so he'll be in my top 10 next time around. This is how vote totals fluctuate, by the way, for those who often wonder how it's possible.: Also a former MVP, Walker was a true five-tool player, ending up hitting .313/.400/.565 (141 OPS+) with 383 homers, 230 stolen bases, seven Gold Gloves and 154 career outfield assists. Three of my top 10 are going to be voted in this year and there are only two coming on the ballot next year I'd have ahead of Walker (
: A peak candidate whose career fell apart once he hit age 30.
There's enough here to believe he should be in and there's definitely enough here to be angry that he's likely to fall off the ballot after just one chance. He'll join the group of the best-ever to fall off in their first try, along with recent center fielders Kenny Lofton and Jim Edmonds.
Others in consideration
If the votes were unlimited, I'd consider the following players. I'm not sure if I'd be a yes or no on a few of these guys. They are just far enough back now that I know they wouldn't be in the mix for my top 10.
: JAWS and WAR love Rolen and third base continues to be underrepresented in the Hall. In terms of both of those figures, Rolen ranks 10th all-time at third base in both and is above the threshold for the average Hall of Famer. He might not "feel" like a Hall of Famer for many, but sometimes the Hall cases need to percolate for a bit with us. Perhaps I'm off base to have Sosa and Sheffield above him, as the WAR figures suggest. Rolen had a 122 OPS+ through his career as a heavily decorate defensive third baseman along with 517 doubles, 316 homers and 118 stolen bases. The 1,211 runs, 1,287 RBI and 2,077 hits might make him fall short for some.
and : Hoffman had an edge in saves (601 to 422), workload (1,089.1 IP to 903) and longevity (18 years to 16). Wagner was more dominant in ERA (2.31 to 2.87), WHIP (1.00 to 1.05) and strikeout rate (11.9 K/9 to 9.4). I like these two as being close to together overall, then.
I don't think one-inning closers impact the game enough to jump over everyday position players or starting pitchers unless the gap is huge (like with Rivera, who also gets bonus points for his stellar postseason resume), so that's why these two are nestled here. In an unlimited vote, though, I believe I would be a "yes" vote on both.
: The all-time leader in home runs by a second baseman, Kent was a great hitter who won an MVP. Thanks to sub-par defense, he sits below the average Hall of Fame second basemen in WAR and JAWS. I think on a binary ballot, this would be my toughest choice. For now, it doesn't matter.
: A very good player for a long time who twice led the league in homers and was one of the most feared hitters in baseball for a quick span before the league went nuts with homers. He was a five-time All-Star who never finished in the top three of MVP voting. Despite the 1994-95 strike costing him 500 homers (he ended with 493), he's simply overshadowed here.
: Johan did a poor man's Sandy Koufax impression in the regular season. If the peak is gonna be that short, though, you gotta be Koufax, not just a lesser impression. I do wish he'd get a longer look here than just one year, though.
, , and a host of others get a tip of the cap for having very impressive careers, obviously to varying degrees. Oh, and thank you Kerry Wood for the 20-strikeout game in particular.
You may now commence with the creative and original "good thing he doesn't have a vote yet!" comments.