In one of the coolest internet move of all-time, Deadspin has purchased a hall-of-fame vote from an unnamed writer of the baseball writers of America association. Instead of being greedy and just voting themselves, Deadspin is allowing fans to vote on this year’s entire ballot, and pick which players they think should be in.
On the ballot are controversial names like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Roger Clemens, mixed with names who aren’t connected to PED’s, but voters unfairly are hesitant to vote in because they are afraid that a later connection with PED’s will come out, like Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza. There are also some names like Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, and Luiz Gonzalez, who all had very good careers, but are unlikely to ever be elected to the hall of fame. One “expert on hall voting”, told Sporting News that he believes Greg Maddux will be the only person voted into the hall-of-fame this season.
The ballot does features two former Phillies (Mike Timlin and Todd Jones), neither of whom are exactly remembered for their careers in Philadelphia. Over the next five seasons, we will see former Phillies such as Bobby Abreu, Tom Gordon, and Jim Thome, who will all garner at least hall of fame consideration, and in Thome’s case will likely get in.
Both Jones and Timlin will likely fall into the same class as McGrff, Mattingly, and Gonzalez, as having very productive careers, but not hall-of-fame worthy careers. You could even make the case that Jones and Timlin are in a lower tier than the aforementioned candidates.
Jones played 15 MLB seasons, playing for the Astros, Minnesota Twins, Rockies, Red Sox, Reds, twice for the Tigers, and of course, the Phillies.
Jones was acquired by the Phillies in 2004 mid-season from the Reds, posting a 4.97 ERA in 27 games.
He pitched 982 career games, while recording 319 saves, and a 3.97 ERA, across 1,072 innings. Jones had an above-average career, but it isn’t called the “Hall of Above-Average Players”, it’s called the “Hall of Fame”. I’m sorry a 3.97 career ERA isn’t greatness, especially when other relievers like Lee Smith still haven’t been elected to the hall-of-fame.
Timlin pitched 18 big-league seasons, making his name in his last stop (the Boston Red Sox), but also pitching for the Blue Jays, Mariners, Orioles, Cardinals, and Phillies.
The Phillies acquired Timlin with Placido Polcano as part of the five-player deal that sent malcontent Scott Rolen to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002. It’s actually crazy how long ago this happened, because I remember watching Comcast Sportsnet when the news of the Rolen trade broke.
Anyway, Timlin only spent the rest of that season in Philadelphia, posting a 3.79 ERA in 35.2 innings. The following off-season the Phillies allowed him to leave via free-agency, leading him to sign with the Boston Red Sox. Timlin pitched for the Red Sox through 2008, ultimately winning two world titles.
Timlin falls into the same boat as Jones, having been a very tenured reliever, who posted a good amount of saves (141), but posted a career ERA of 3.63.
In all likely-hood, both players won’t obtain the five percent needed to stay on the ballot for next season.
Who should be voted in? I would for-sure vote in Tom Galvine, Greg Maddux, and Mike Piazza, while carefully giving consideration to Craig Biggio. As it stands, the Baseball Hall of Fame appears only likely to elect Maddux this season.
I understand that the steroid era has corrupted the voting process, but the Hall of Fame just isn’t what it used to be. It’s still an amazing place to visit on vacation, but with the corruption, not being elected shouldn’t seen as a disrespect, but rather that players who played cleanly in the steroid era are being kept out by writers who are afraid that they will elect someone who never got caught using PED’s.
You can vote for you think should be elected to the Hall of Fame, here.