The Rays Tank: Hall of Fame Edition

via pitchersandpoets.com

This is bad, guys. We still have a month and a half to go before pitchers and catchers report, and we're already spending our days talking about increasingly unlikely and ridiculous rumors. Something really needs to happen in the world of baseball or else we all may start getting cabin fever.

Luckily, there's one baseball-related topic we haven't exhausted yet: Hall of Fame voting. Writers have been unveiling their ballots for the past couple weeks, and since results will be unveiled on January 9th, we've entered the final stretch in the voting process.

So who do you think deserves to be voted in? What would your Hall of Fame ballot for this season look like? I'll include some relevant links below the jump.

First of all, here's a list of all the players on the Hall of Fame ballot this season from Beyond the Boxscore. The list is interactive and also includes the player's Weighted WAR (wWAR) total. It's not the be-all-end-all in terms of ranking and judging players, but it should provide a good starting point and surprise you in a couple places.

Next, I recommend reading everything that Joe Posnanski has written regarding the Hall of Fame. He explains his ballot in detail -- the newbies, the returning No's, and the returning Yes's -- and he's the example I always point to of a writer that does the Hall of Fame right. Yes, I agree with almost all of his player arguments, but that's not the reason why I like him so much. Poz does a couple things right that I wish more writers would do:

  • He explains his ballot in detail, and it's obvious that he's put lots of time and thought into the ballot. His research is also in depth, and he doesn't leave off at the traditional stats, either.
  • He remains internally consistent. If you are a Small Hall guy or Large Hall guy, whatever, that's fine -- just as long as your arguments all mesh and you're not contradicting yourself in places. It's the whole "Don't vote for Morris and then not vote for Blyleven" sort of thing, except this year it's Larkin and Trammel.
  • I hate when writers act as the judge, jury, and executioner about steroid rumors, so I appreciate it that he comes out so strong for Jeff Bagwell. I just wish I had his optimism that other voters aren't going on a witch-hunt.

Whenever you get through Poz's 9,000 or so words on the Hall, I also recommend reading Dave Cameron's thoughts on the ballot. He wrote two great posts this week on different issues concerning the ballot: one on career length and the other on Edgar Martinez.

So what say you guys? Who would you vote for? Are there any other writers' ballots we should read? Feel free to pass along more links in the comments.

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