CINCINNATI — The names of the three writers who did not vote for Ken Griffey Jr. for the Hall of Fame have not come out.
They should. I’m not into public shaming. But they need to explain their vote — or at least be willing to. The Baseball Writers’ of America Association makes the votes public for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year.
Revealing your Hall vote is optional.
I’m aware of what happens when the vote is made public in social media era. I voted for Johnny Cueto first in the Cy Young in 2012. I got roundly ripped for it. But I had my reasons. I thought 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA pitching half your games in Great American Ball Park was better than 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA pitching half your games at Citi Field. Those were winner R.A. Dickey’s numbers. Cueto’s ERA-plus was 148; Dickey’s 139 (148 is better).
I still stand behind that vote. The three that didn’t vote for Griffey should be willing to stand behind their decision. It could have been the so-called “strategic” vote. Some writers feel like they should be allowed to vote for more than 10, so they leave off a lock like Griffey to vote for someone else.
I get that. I think it’s really stupid, but I get it.
Voting for the Hall of Fame for me means spending a day on Baseball-Reference.com. I study the numbers — from the old standards (home runs, RBI and average) to new age ones (WAR, OPS+, ERA+).
You compare with players already in the Hall of Fame.
I did that with everyone I voted for and didn’t vote for, except Griffey Jr. He’s the only guy on the ballot I could vote for without a bit of research.
I did not vote for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. They are too tainted by performance-enhancing drugs. I think I’d vote for both if they just admitted and came clean.
Here’s my ballot (You’re limited to voting for 10):
—Griffey. Hoping he’s unanimous or at least breaks Tom Seaver’s 98.8 percent mark.
—Jeff Bagwell: .408 career on-base. .948 on-base plus slugging. I saw him play a lot, a very dangerous hitter.
—Mike Mussina: He’s the Sabermetrics crowd’s cause these days. His WAR is virtually the same as Griffey’s.
—Edgar Martinez: A lot people won’t vote for him because he was a DH. Its’ part of the game. .312 hitter, two batting titles, .410 on base.
—Tim Raines: The second best pure leadoff hitter ever. Won a batting title, led in steals four times.
—Curt Schilling: He’s get points for postseason. But he also has a 80.7 WAR.
—Alan Trammel: His numbers are similar to Barry Larkin’s and offensively he blows away Ozzie Smith.
—Larry Walker: .313/.400/.565. He did everything well. Was the best player in the game for three- or four-year stretch.
—Mike Piazza: Best hitting catcher of all time. Steroid suspicion has hurt him. But the evidence is not nearly as overwhelming as it was in the case Bonds and Clemens. I think he and Griffey are only two who get in.
—Trevor Hoffman: Voted for him despite the low WAR. 601 saves.
Other players I considered were Lee Smith, Jeff Kent, Jim Edmonds and Gary Sheffield. I may vote for them in the future. But I think the 10 I voted for are more deserving. It’s too bad Edmonds didn’t get enough votes to stay the ballot. He’s a guy I’d consider in the future.