Mussina among big name first timers on 2014 Hall of Fame ballot

Tuesday Night Open Thread
Heyman: NPB officials travel to U.S. to talk posting system changes

The BBWAA announced the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot today, which you can see right here. It runs a ridiculous 36 players deep. Nineteen of those 36 players are eligible for the first time, including all-time greats Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas. Former Yankee Mike Mussina is among the first timers as well. He is right on the Cooperstown bubble — I think he belongs — and there are good arguments to be made on both sides.

Don Mattingly will be on the ballot for the 14th time, but he received only 13.2% of the vote last year. He’s a long way off from the 75% needed for induction with only two more years of eligibility. Other former Yankees on the ballot include Armando Benitez, J.T. Snow, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sexson, Roger Clemens, and Tim Raines. Obviously some have greater legacies than others. Voters can only vote for ten players maximum, and there looks to be about 15 Cooperstown-worthy player on the ballot this year. These next few years will be messy.

Tuesday Night Open Thread
Heyman: NPB officials travel to U.S. to talk posting system changes
  • Russ C

    I’m still trying to figure out how Kirby Puckett is a first ballot Hall of Famer but Don Mattingly can’t get close. It makes ZERO sense

    • WhittakerWalt

      Puckett had memorable postseason moments, and two World Championships. That, and he was perceived to still be at the height of his abilities when the glaucoma forced him to retire. Mattingly was completely shot as a hitter, and in fact hadn’t been good at all for 5-6 years. Mattingly retired because he was through, Puckett retired because of Act of God.
      Those are the reasons. Not saying they’re right or wrong. Though just speaking objectively, those hitting stats look a hell of a lot better on a centerfielder than on a first baseman.

      • Bob Buttons

        We’ll see you, tomorrow night!

      • RetroRob

        The fact that he produced it as a CFer is a good part of it. At his height, Mattingly was the better hitter. Puckett’s home/road splits suggest if he played for another team away from the MetroDome he never would have been elected to the HOF.

      • Pat D

        Pretty much all of these reasons.

        Puckett probably would have reached 3,000 hits without the forced retirement.

        Of course, if the details of his personal life had been known before his election, he might not have ever made it, either.

    • forensic

      Puckett hit much more than Mattingly.

      Just ask his girlfriends…

      • Pat D

        Ouch, babe.

    • robert mitchell

      Puckett was a boderline case for me and his 10 great/very good seasons came one after the other.Mattingly had about the same #’s as Kirby and put together 4-5 outstanding seasons in a row.The remaining 5-6 years had good&mediocre seasons.I would have voted for Puckett but not Mattingly,who was victimized because of back injuries,unfortunately.Other 1st basemen had much better power#’s than Don and aren’t in either.Center field is a position that not many players have made it to the H.O.F.

  • Chris

    I wonder if Morris will make it in his last year of eligibility. Normally someone that close will make, like Jim Rice, but this ballot is so insanely deep.

    Even when you knock out for those associated with PEDs, you still wind up with this group:

    New this year:
    – Maddux
    – Thomas
    – Glavine
    – Kent
    – Mussina

    Holdovers (with no known PED association):
    – Biggio
    – Schilling
    – Walker
    – Piazza
    – Bagwell
    – Raines
    – Martinez
    – Walker
    – Trammell (I personally think he deserves more attention than he gets)

    Add in the PED guys (Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, McGwire) that got between 13-37% of the vote, and I’m not sure how Morris gets the extra votes he needs.

    If I had a ballot I would trouble putting down 10 names and I would vote for Bonds and Clemens.

    • Kosmo

      I think Lou Whitaker is more deserving than Trammell. Trammell had 8 very good years while Whitaker was above average his entire career. Whitaker for some reason has fallen thru the cracks.

      • Chris

        Agree totally, and he lasted only one year on the ballot which is ridiculous for a player of his caliber.

      • Pat D

        Whitaker and Trammell are equally deserving.

        There are a bunch of second basemen who played in the 70s and 80s who have been given pretty short shaft, and who are better than a bunch of second basemen already in the HOF: Whitaker, Bobby Grich and Willie Randolph.

        • WhittakerWalt

          All three have a very strong case. I’d put them all in.

          • Pat D

            There are 18 pure 2B in the HOF (not including Rod Carew, who actually played more at 1B). Without doing an in-depth analysis, I can tell that all 3 of those guys are better than at least 6 of the HOF 2B.

  • EndlessJose

    Mussina like Schilling are great pitchers but they pitched in an era where there so many better pitchers than them.

    Also after what he said about Mo the only way he gets into the Hall of Fame is buying a ticket.

    • WhittakerWalt

      That’s not logical. For one thing, Schilling’s an easy Hall of Famer.
      For another thing, what a player says about another player should have zero impact on whether they get into the Hall.

    • Adam

      I think I missed this…what did he say?

      • Preston

        In Joe Torre’s book Mussina was quoted saying Rivera blew the 2001 WS and in 2004 against the Red Sox. It was a true statement, it was given connotations that he didn’t mean to sell books and Mussina clarified and apologized.

        • WhittakerWalt

          Rivera did blow game 7, but Moose got bombed in game 1 all on his own. Moose said a whole lot of dumb things in his career, let’s be honest.

          • Bob Buttons

            NO! STAY THERE!

            • robert mitchell

              Sorry to hear about Red’s[Buttons] death a few years ago.A great comedian,

    • Caballo Sin Nombre

      Randy Johnson, Clemens, Maddux and Pedro. Those are the “so many better” pitchers of that era. And three of those are arguably among the top 10 of all time.

      • Pat D

        Indeed. Mussina and Schilling shouldn’t be punished just because of those 4 guys.

        I mean, the only difference between Glavine and these two are the win totals and the Cy Youngs.

  • RetroRob

    There is not much of an argument against Mussina. He was a better pitcher than Glavine, who is going to be elected.

    • WhittakerWalt


      • Wicomico Pinstripes

        82.5 career WAR for Mussina compared to 64.3 cWAR for Glavine. I don’t totally buy into cWAR but that’s a c’mon man.

        BTW, nice fake troll.

  • Nathan

    Mussina goes in as an Oriole?

    • Havok9120

      I assume so.

    • Bob Buttons

      Love to see him go as a Yankee but he did have his better years in olden day statistics in Baltimore.

    • Pat D

      He’d have to. More years there, and better years, too.

      • Preston

        I don’t think it’s that much of a slam dunk, it’s 9 1/2 seasons in Baltimore vs. 8 with the Yankees. And while he was better overall with the Orioles his two best seasons were 2001 and 2003, both seasons in which he had the highest WAR on the team and led them to WS appearances, the only two of his career, and for the old school guys he had his only 20 win season in pin stripes. I think there’s a valid argument either way.

        • Pat D

          His best years were 1992 and 1995.

          And it doesn’t matter anyway. The HOF would make him go in as an Oriole because he was there more years. That’s the way it works now.

          The only guys who are on this ballot and might get in, or are coming up in future years for which this might be a tricky subject:
          Curt Schilling
          Randy Johnson
          Gary Sheffield
          Mike Piazza (maybe)
          Vladimir Guerrero (maybe)
          Jim Thome (maybe)
          Manny Ramirez (not that he’s getting in)

  • CashmanNinja

    I definitely think Mussina should be elected, but it won’t happen this year. I loved him, but there are other guys who will/should get in before him. I think some guys like Glavine are overrated because of wins. Glavine was a great pitcher, but I think Moose was a better pitcher. Moose lost 50 less games than Glavine did and only had a few less wins. Pitchers are usually more involved in losses than they are wins. Moose pitched the majority of his career in Baltimore.

    This is definitely one of the better classes we’re going to see. There are so many worthy candidates. I think the real 2 slam dunks in this class are Maddux and Thomas.

    • Wicomico Pinstripes

      Not sure Thomas is a slam dunk… For voters that is. His 72.4 cWAR is significantly better than Tony Gwynn’s 65.0 but I’m not sure voters will see it that way. Although neither do I. If you asked me who had a better career I would most definitely say Gwynn but I’ve become biased to the number 3,000.

      IMO, some voters will use a number of factors to deny The Big Hurt a first ballot selection. Those being; some connection to the steroid era, his being worthless on defense and on the bases, and the crowded ballot.

      To me though, he’s in.

      • Bob Buttons

        His fading days in Toronto won’t do him any good.
        In semi-unrelated things, this gives me another excuse to bring up this. <- won't help him getting in the hall either.

      • BaltimoreYankee

        I don’t think the voters will be very concerned about Frank Thomas’ cWAR.

      • mitch

        His WAR gets killed from bad defense, but his offense should be more than enough to get him in easily. He was the best hitter in the league for an 8 year stretch and followed that up with a bunch more good seasons. He was basically Miguel Cabrera at the plate for close to a decade.

  • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    My Ballot


    or my entire 2000 MLB showdown team.

    • Bob Buttons

      That looks like my MVP baseball 2005 team.
      Well, one of the teams.

      I always have a team that no Red Sox will be allowed on, because I’m kinda psycho when it comes to team allegiance.

    • MannyGeee

      Or…. or…..

      Your 2015 Yankees, AmiRite? Because Old?? RIGHT???

    • RetroRob

      Bagwell needs to be in there. I’d flip either Martinez or Schilling out on this ballot for him.

  • Darren

    I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since ex-Yankee great Richie Sexon retired! When did the clock start on Russel Branyan?

    • robert mitchell

      Branyan isn’t officially retired.Last played with Angels in 2011.Back problems prevented him from playing in 2012.I’m a big Brany[muscle fan]and went by branyfan on M.L.B. sites.Still hoping he gives it another shot in the bigs to get 6 more dingers for 200&33 ribs for 500.Russ has most homers[194] of any player past or present with under 3,000 at bats[2,934].And believe he’s still#15 all time in H.R.frequency with a tater every 15.1 at bats!Mantel,Kingman&Teddy ballgame[Williams]hit 1 0ut every 15 at bats.Ster-Rod 1 every 14.9 at bats.Of coarse Brany isn’t close to a Hall Of Famer but averaged 30 homers and 71 R.B.I’s every 440 at bats.Not bad for a career part time player.

  • Pat D

    There are 12 guys on this ballot I’d definitely vote for, and about 5-6 others I’d still want to consider.

    They really need to change the ballot limit.