Monday, January 7, 2008

Cooperstown 2008

Tomorrow the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be announcing 2008 inductees. This year's nominees include an interesting array of players, including a few who made the now infamous Mitchell Report.

If I remember correctly, nominees are only allowed fifteen years of nomination or appearance on the hall of fame ballot. So, there are a few on the list that are running out of years-Tommy John, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Goose Gosage, Andre Dawson, and Don Mattingly. My vote goes to Dale Murphy, hands down. It surprises me that he hasn't already been inducted.

Two of the nominees that I suspect will be passed over time and time again include Mark McGwire and David Justice. Both are included in the Mitchell Report and both are going to have a hard time overcoming public knowledge of their steroid use. Without question, nominations to Cooperstown will be much more tricky post-Mitchell.

The 2008 ballot included fourteen returning nominees and eleven newcomers. Other nominees that I haven't already mentioned include: Dave Concepcion, Shawon Dunston, Travis Fryman, Chuck Knoblauch, Alan Trammell, Brady Anderson, Harold Baines, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, Chuck Finley, Jose Rijo, Todd Stottlemyre, Rod Beck, Robb Nen, and Lee Smith.

My opinion is that baseball as a sport needs to honor not only two deserving players this year, but two honest, decent men whose nomination can shine a positive light on the game following a season full of negatives. The hall needs to follow the trend of voting from last year that brought about the induction of two wonderful players and represenatives of the game, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn. If I were a voting member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, my top two choices would be Dale Murphy and Jack Morris (with Goose Gosage in a close third). It wouldn't surprise me if the hall inducted Rod Beck due to his untimely death last year, but suspicion surrounding his death may only fuel the fire that is the steroid scandal in baseball.

The announcement will come tomorrow.

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