Steroids and Cheaters and PEDs! Oh My!

It’s that time of year again. The BBWAA votes for the Baseball Hall of Fame and the internet complains. If you’re reading this, then no doubt you’ve seen lots of other articles already; each filled with varying degrees of outrage. Listening to Joe Posnanski on the Brian Kenny show Monday morning, I heard Joe call for Baseball (capital B) to give the voters a guideline on how to handle the PED situation. You can listen here in hour 2 of the 1/6/14 show if you like.

Well, Joe, Baseball has given its guideline. Any player with a lifetime suspension from the game is not eligible for the Hall of Fame. Currently, you have to fail three drug tests to earn that sentence. Therefore, every suspected PED user, and even every one who failed a test, is eligible for entry. Done. Sentence served. Let’s get back to baseball, shall we?

Onwards to my vote, which I submitted to the BBA last month. (Results here.)

I see seven no-doubters on the HoF list:
Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Greg Maddux
Mike Piazza
Frank Thomas

There are twelve more players with good cases. I pick Edgar Martinez,Tim Raines and Alan Trammell to fill out my ten spots. If you gave me a few more spots I’d take Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Tom Glavine, and Mark McGwire. Falling short for me: Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa.

Baseball Think Factory is doing a heck of a job compiling the results of all ballots that have been released to the public. After 146 ballots Maddux, Glavine, Thomas and Biggio make the projected cut with Piazza just shy of induction. After last year’s shutout, getting four players elected would be a huge deal for the backlog of qualified players. But next year Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Gary Sheffield all become eligible for the first time. So buckle up, this will all happen again in twelve months.

Thursday Trade Tree – Ralph Kiner, Harvey Haddix, Don Hoak, Smokey Burgess, Preacher Roe, Al Lopez, Gene Mauch

Note: Sorry for the delay. I hope you’ll find it to be worth it. 

A tree spanning 38 years: 1937-1975. Seventy-five players involved including several Hall of Famers. Two guys named “Dixie.” This is exactly the kind of thing I hoped to find when I started making these charts. As they say, be careful what you wish for. (click to embiggen)

I started with the Hoak/Haddix/Burgess trade and was stunned how this one blew up.

A few notes – records of minor league transactions get pretty spotty the further you go into the past. (Tom Frondorf gave me a headache right when I thought I was done.) I did my best to find out where these players came from but sometimes the information just wasn’t there. I also had to cross lines a few times (don’t cross the streams!) which is something I had steadfastly avoided on past trees. Here though I found it to be completely unavoidable.

Other than that, enjoy names from the past, like Whammy Douglas, Johnny Wyrostek and Dick Manville.