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Who was this year's biggest Hall of Fame snub?

I know we’re in a countdown toward the Ravens’ first-round playoff game against the New England Patriots.

But we have to flip back to Major League Baseball for a day.

Wednesday’s Hall of Fame vote was just too interesting to avoid. Plus, as the local chairman of the Baseball Writers Association of America, I guess I might have to defend some of my brethren. At least a little bit.

I don’t have a Hall of Fame vote yet, so I can’t be held responsible for how the vote ended up this year. But let me say this: There isn’t a voter I have spoken to – and I know a bunch – who doesn’t take the responsibility seriously.

(Remember, to become a voter you have to have 10 years in the association, which means, in most cases, you have had to spend at least 10 years traveling around this country covering baseball for as much as nine months at a time. It may sound like fun, and it certainly can be, but it is also a heck of a grind. Trust me.)

For the most part, A LOT of thought goes into the voting process. No one I know takes it lightly. That said, some don’t make good decisions – in my opinion anyway.

For instance, I find it incomprehensible that five voters sent in an empty ballot this year. I don’t see how you can look at that group, headlined by Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin, and not see at least one deserving candidate.

I also think those that penalized Roberto Alomar for his spitting incident in 1996 are being shortsighted. Terrible moment in a great career.

If I had a ballot, Alomar would have been on it. And from what you people told me last month, he would have been on most of yours as well. So his failure to get 75 percent (he garnered 73.7 percent) is unfortunate.

To me, though, his was not the biggest snub this year. (Most surprising, but not biggest.) I cannot understand why Bert Blyleven fell short (only by five votes) again this year, his 13th on the ballot. He only has two more shots – and I really hope voters wise up by next year. You’d hate to have that class guy and great pitcher sweat out his final year of eligibility in 2012.

Of the guys currently eligible, I think Blyleven is the biggest snub, followed closely by Alomar. But, potentially anyway, there are others: Jack Morris, Larkin, Lee Smith, Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, Harold Baines, Tim Raines, Dale Murphy and, of course, Mark McGwire, who has been passed over for obvious reasons.

Former Chicago Cub Ron Santo is considered the all-time Hall snub (if you don’t count Pete Rose, who was never placed on the ballot, so don’t blame the writers on that one), but Santo is no longer eligible. So let’s keep this discussion to those who were on the ballot in 2009.

Daily Think Special: Who was this year’s biggest Hall of Fame snub and why?


me, i had a combined 0 home runs, 0 rbis, and 0 hits and 0 at bats, i could beat matt wieters with my hands tied behind my back

Alomar. I only saw him play three games in person, in Minnesota on that horrible turf, but in that series, he was something like 9-14 batting, moved over a couple of runners in such situations, took extra bases on "Humpty dome" pop-ups and bounces, stole a couple of bases, and made several beautiful routine plays (at least, he made them look routine), and a couple of truly astounding ones. He always seemed totally in control, never lunging or diving or scrambling. His play that weekend would have been its own clinic for young infielders and hitters. Definitely belongs in the Hall. So does Blyleven (who has Chris Berman's greatest nickname, too: Bert "Be Home" Blyleven.

Sorry, "T.O", jab at Wieters is completely ridiculous and unclassy. Wait a second..."TO"- "unclassy"...I think we have a connection here.

Hard to say, Dan. Perhaps Robby deserved first ballot entry, and certainly Blyleven deserves it as well. For the sake of the longer wait, I would say Bert is biggest snub.

Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves was the biggest snub to me. A true Power hitter of his day. A feared power hitter. Never got traded, always count on him wear the same uniform and seemed to be guy worth meeting. Which is saying a lot for Baseball. Dale for a long time was the lone bright spot on the Braves teams of the 80's. Why is he not in HOF ??? I may never know but he is my biggest snub until he gets in. Im not a Braves fan BTW.

Roberto Alomar spit on an umpire!!!!

Bert Blyleven by far

Once again, the biggest snub was Bert Blyleven. 3.31 career ERA, 287 wins and 3,701 Ks. Aside from teh Pirates in the late `70s and the Twins in the mid-80s, Blyleven played for some really bad teams. Examples: 1984-won 19 games with Cleveland, a 6th place team that won only 75 the whole season. `73 Twins go 81-81 and Blyleven wins 20 of `em. Postseason: 5-1 2.47 ERA. He has belonged in Cooperstown for some time. Had he pitched in NY, Boston, SanFran or LA (earlier) I think he'd already be in.

Dan, I'll agree with all of your picks for consideration except McGwire and it has little to do with steroids. The guy has 30 more hits than strikeouts for his career and is a lifetime .263 hitter. In 42 post-season games he's a .217 hitter with 5 HR and 14 RBI. Practically the only things of note on his resume are 583 HR and 1,414 RBI, but think of those RBIs. In 16 seasons, with almost 600 HR he didn't crack 1,500 RBI by a wide margin. Frank Thomas, Harold Baines, Rusty Staub, Joe Carter, Andres Galaragga, Dave Parker, Fred McGriff, all have more RBIs and higher BA than McGwire and none are in. Mac was a one trick pony, but it certainly was a hell of a trick. 500 HRs used to be a golden ticket to Cooperstown but in the current environment I think that has been diluted. So on numbers alone, I think he should fall short. Then you add the steroid issue and it is more argumentative to keep him out. Not because he did them but because without steroids can we assume that his one trick would have been so grand? In my mind, a guy who did one thing really well isn't HOF material. Compare him to Bonds, who had HOF numbers before he allegedly started using steroids and look at how much better he was than McGwire in all facets of the game. Despite the juice and his miserable character, Bonds is a Hall of Famer because he excelled in all of it before the juice. But Mac just hit balls out of the park or took a seat swinging. Nothing else. Every other 500 HR guy except Reggie (with an incredible 2,597 Ks) at the time Mac reached it had much better overall offensive numbers either posting a higher BA, or many more RBIs and for the most part, both (Jackson did have over 1,700 RBIs and much better post-season numbers). Compare Fred McGriff's numbers to Mac's and except for the HR category, it isn't even close. I think we should be at the point where 500 HR is not the same golden ticket it used to be and the player's whole body of work must be considered in the proper context.

Bakeep's Reply: Moke, good stuff. McGwire is a tough one for me. You are right. He was extremely one-dimensional. And that one dimension, we at least assume, was aided by artificial means. But he also was one of the most feared hitters of his time -- for a long time. It's probably the toughest call for me. My mind is made up on most other cases. And as for Blyleven, you are correct sir.

Look at 2nd basemen's stats .Robby should have been 1st ballot.You need to factor in position played.

BERT BLYLEVEN It is an outrage that he hasn't been enshrined long before this. He was as good as almost any pitcher on the mound today. None will have stats to match his. Check out the complete games and era and go from there.

I am glad Robby has to wait a year or two to get in. Character does matter. For those that dismiss the spitting incident, which to me is enough for not selecting on the forst ballot, what about him trying to spread his aids to his girlfriends by knowingly not using protection?

How Alomar could not be voted in... is a complete joke. The only reason to not vote for him, is so some stupid, ignorant writer can say he didn't vote for him and have a column to write about it.... Every step of the way this league does the wrong thing or nothing and I am done with baseball.

I know you say the voters take their job seriously, but how are we as fans supposed to take the voters seriously when they cast votes for Ellis Burks, Eric Karros and Pat Hentgen?

Robby deserves to be in, but I guess missing it the first year eligible is the "punishment" he deserves. I wouldn't have voted that way, but I understand it.

Bert Blyleven never lead the league in any statistic , and too me, is more of a Mike Mussina type of guy: very good, but maybe just outside the Hall. imho.

Lee Smith is more deserving than Bert. He was a dominate pitcher. He was one of the top closers of his time and feared by other players. But he's not the most snubbed Hall Of Fame guy.

Marvin Miller. Marvin Miller. Marvin Miller. There is NO OTHER person in the game over the last 50 years that has impacted the game the way he has. He's 91/92 years old and his accomplishments as the MLBPA leader are Tremendous, . The game today is DIRECTLY A RESULT of his tireless work on behalf of the players. Andy McPhail was a voting member in 2007, and while I'm not sure if McPhail still is on the board (if he is, can you folks in the BWAA please light a fire under his ass and get this man his LONG over due recognition). It is a crime that he's not included in the Hall...more so than Pete Rose. Hits leader vs. the creator of Free Agency. C R I M E.

Barkeep's Reply: Excellent point on Miller, Paulie. I was curious as to whether anyone would bring up Miller. But, honestly, his election is out of the writers' hands. Still, did anyone have more influence in baseball than Miller?

To use the spitting incident as ammunition against Alomar getting in the HOF is laughable.
Remember the first HOF class included Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Cobb was one of the most reprehensible human beings to walk on the planet. Racist, bigot, once punched a fan in the stands a la Artest. Fought with other players during games, etc. Ruth while doing tremondous things for children's charities, often missed games because of his drinking and philandering.
Alomar was the cataylst for 3 different playoff/championship teams. Jays in the early 90's, O's mid-90's, then the Indians in the late 90's. His numbers are unreal, but more than numbers. Do you remember how you felt when he stepped up to the plate? Like you knew something was going to happen. Just like Rickey Henderson in his prime. The opposition feared him and the fans paid just to watch him.

I think the two biggest snubs are Alomar and Blyleven. Alomar may have spit on an umpire once, but how is that any worse than what Weaver used to do to the umpires when calls didn't go his way? It's no worse than cheating either, in my opinion. As for Blyleven, after all that has been written about his HOF case, why is he not in? He is truly deserving, and can't help it that he played for a lot of bad teams. I read somewhere where he left like 60 games that he was leading, but his bullpen blew the game costing him a win. If that's the case, he is really a 300+ win pitcher who would've achieved that mark had he had a semi-decent bullpen to save half of those games.
I agree with Moke about McGwire- the guy could hit HRs, and they were fun to watch, but that's about all he could do. In that sense, is he really any better than Dave Kingman?

If the only reason Alomar didn't make the hall is because of the spitting incident, its completely ridiculous. There are people in there that have done far worse things. Ty Cobb seems to ring a bell! If I'm a betting man...and I am...there is more to that spitting story then we will every know. I've heard rumors....but they are just that. For all of you who say he shouldn't be in the hall because of a spitting incident...shame on you

I don't see how Bert's "snub" could be any greater this year than it has for been for the past 13 years.

Alomar was a much better 2nd baseman than Bert was a pitcher.

Before anyone flames me, I'm not saying that Blyleven does not belong in the Hall. I think he does. But if you were to rank the greatest pitchers of all time, and compare that list to the greatest 2nd basemen of all time, Alomar will be much closer to the top of his list. And a compelling argument could be made that he's at the top of that list.

To me, Alomar was clearly the biggest snub.

Big Mac may make it eventually, but right now his association with PEDs is still too hot. Hard to say how things we'll look 14 years from now.

Good mention on Dale Murphy, Jerome. Looking back at his stats you can see how good he was at his peak. I think the big downfall for him is that he dropped off a bit quickly. Though his age 31 season he was golden, then a sudden drop to a new plateau of ordinary or less for another five years before he was done. Makes me glad the Orioles didn't tie up seven years for some guy with similar numbers this offseason - wonder how the Cards are going to be feeling about that contract in 2014?

My pick is for Blyleven. When I saw a writer make his case on another website it really looked impressive, even in the context of other pitchers of his day. Moke pointed out that he was often not playing for good teams but still put up good numbers. The wins get more difficult in those situations. I compared him to Sutton and he fared pretty well. Sutton got more wins because he pitched a little longer, but the biggest thing was Sutton pitched for the Dodgers most of his career. Had Blyleven been with the Dodgers and Sutton with the Twins for most of their careers it might be no question about Blyleven getting in the Hall.

Several HOFer snubs cometomind...Darrell Evans, Dale Murphy, MarvinMiller from past yers. this group has several---Alomar, Blyleven should also be "in", LeeSmith

Dave McNally ... greatest pitcher who will never be in the Hall of Fame. That would be good topic for discussion ... who are the greatest players by position who will never be in the Hall of Fame. I guarantee it would be one heck of a team

Alomar deserves to get in, but I have no problem with making him wait a year. No for the spitting, but for how he quit on the Os in 1998. He went from hitting .328 and .333 to .282. Anyone watching that year could see he was phoning it in. Also don't forget..he was one of the triggers of the Davy Johnson/Angelos feud that ruined led to Davy getting canned. And we all know what that meant to the Os. Karma anyone?

Tim Raines.

.385 lifetime OBP. 808 SBs. 1571 runs scored.

A friend argued that Raines loses out because he was 2nd-best to Rickey Henderson in everything that Henderson did, and played at the same time, but that's unfair since Henderson was one of the greatest players ever. By any normal measure, Raines is a HOFer.

It would have to be Edgar Martinez. When you look at his career statistics compared to his vote total, there is a snub, as well as a message. At least for the time being "DH's need not apply." Can't say that I disagree.

Blyleven was the biggest snub because its' gone on sooo long. If the writers haven't woken up by now - will they ever? There is no doubt that Alomar belongs in the Hall of Fame. Many people think he was the best ever to play 2nd base. Even if you disagree with that rating, you cannot deny he was one of the very best. That alone should warrant entry into the HOF. Only the small minded could see it otherwise. Yes, in one angry instance in the course of a 17 year major league career, he did something unacceptable. He didn't kill someone or bet on baseball. If the ump can let it go, how is it that people who were not the subject of his act cannot see their way clear to forgive him. Seems just a bit HARSH to me.

To correct you - Ron Santo is still eligible to the Veterans Committee. Being in Baltimore, you're own great 3rd baseman, Brooks Robinson is a big supporter for Santo's induction and has been for years. I think he knows a hall of fame third baseman better than anybody.

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