I honestly had zero interest in this year's Hall of Fame Ballot.
I know, I know...how dare I?
For me, the 2023 ballot wasn't as sexy or overly interesting. I really thought this would be another year in which no one got in. From the names on the ballot, the controversial ones like Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield that we knew the outcomes for, and the lost hope for guys like Jeff Kent, I found myself feeling like the theme which now clouds Scott Rolen's 2023 selection - just a lot of VERY good guys.
There isn't anything wrong or disrespectful about that. A lot of the names are now those that resonate with me as I get older and can honestly decide on without extrapolating numbers from baseball references. Call it old school, or somewhat ignorant, but like many, I'm at the point of my life where my first evaluation is instant - did he feel like a Hall of Famer?
If the answer is yes, then it's settled. If the answer is no, I'll do my due diligence in looking at the numbers along with that initial feel for a decision.
I like Scott Rolen. Actually, I was a big fan of his. Hall of Famer he did not feel.
Would I overturn this if the power and gavel were given to me to do so? Probably not. But it still feels like such an "ehh" move, and in many ways, a notch below of an expected standard.
A big shoulder shrug from me on this.
Here are a few more thoughts from this year's final vote:
GARY IS STILL MY GUY
Call me crazy, but if you gave me a ballot, my number one pick on that list would be Gary Sheffield. Maybe I'm the only one, but Sheff's career is highly underrated and if you play the comparison game, I'm not sure at any point in both of their careers that I would take Rolen over Sheff.
55% on his 9th year on the ballot doesn't look promising.
Jef Kent is my other guy. Yes, what a villain tag-team I'm supporting here. But, he's one of those review-the-numbers guys, especially for a second baseman and you simply have to wonder, why not?
HOW? AND, WHAT?!
I understand the dynamics and nuance in the steroid debate. Especially when no proof or positive test is part of the discussion. Ahem, Barry Bonds, anyone?
However, if you tested positive AFTER Major League Baseball implemented measures to clean up the game - then you've excommunicated yourself from the game. I think that's fair.
How Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez received votes is beyond me. It also further complicates matters in the steroid discussion, ultimately making any kind of standard baseball attempt to self-police itself obsolete and dare I say, stupid.
Helton is getting in next year, isn't he? At 72.2% and another class that yields little resistance, the Rockies legend should get in. And yes, he should be in.
Miss me on the whole - but he played in Colorado argument? Why does baseball culture penalize guys for things they can't control?
In regards to my opinion on the names up for discussion next year, I do think we have two names that are an immediate "yes" in Joe Mauer and Adrian Beltre.
And for the names that I didn't even realize were out of baseball for five years already, it's definitely Jose Bautista, Bartolo Colon, James Shields, and Jose Reyes.
Where did the time go?