It’s Ballot Time

For the past few weeks we have all begun to hear more and more about the upcoming election. The candidates are beginning to line up their supporters and while the mudslinging has not been too painful to endure yet it is bound to get more and more fierce as the election draws near. There will be questions of whether a particular candidate can handle the stress of the election trail. And while the voters would love to deal with nothing but the issues we are all guaranteed that each candidate’s character will be brought up and any skeletons will be shaken from the closets and closely examined. I guess when an election is as important and historical as this we should be appreciative that people are taking these things so seriously. Still, I am not quite sure I am ready to be engulfed in another election. I’m still reeling from the outcome of the last election just a little upset because my candidate did not win. I know I should not take these things personally but it’s hard to do when you are devoted to the issues the way I am.

Major League Baseball announced the candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot and I am not sure how many of them really stand a chance of enshrinement. There are 11 new candidates that will be added to this year’s ballot which is substantially lower than the 17 first year eligible players who were added to last year’s ballot. A year ago you could make a very strong case for both Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. making it as first-year inductees. This year’s class is a little more difficult to pick a winner.

The 2008 ballot will feature 25 candidates:

  • Brady Anderson
  • Harold Baines
  • Rod Beck
  • Bert Blyleven
  • Dave Concepcion
  • Andre Dawson
  • Shawon Dunston
  • Chuck Finley
  • Travis Fryman
  • Rich Gossage
  • Tommy John
  • David Justice
  • Chuck Knoblauch
  • Don Mattingly
  • Mark McGwire
  • Jack Morris
  • Dale Murphy
  • Robb Nen
  • Dave Parker
  • Tim Raines
  • Jim Rice
  • Jose Rijo
  • Lee Smith
  • Todd Stottlemyre
  • Alan Trammell

Looking over this list you immediately have to think that returning candidates Jim Rice, Goose Gossage, and Lee Smith should see an increase in their chances. I expect that this will finally be the year for Rice and Gossage. I will continue to stump for Dale Murphy who I feel is underappreciated by the baseball writers. During his prime Murphy was one of the most feared hitters in the game and his back-to-back MVPs was at the time unheard of. We always hear that character counts during these votes yet Dale Murphy is ignored. I’m not usually much of an Atlanta Braves fan but in Murphy’s case I make an exception. His work on and off the field was exemplary yet I’m afraid 2008 will be similar to previous years when Murphy sees his chances of a call from the Hall of Fame diminish slowly.

This year marks the inclusion of a former Diamondbacks player, Todd Stottlemyre. During his playing days he was one of the fiercest competitors I have ever had the privilege of watching. His career ended much too soon due to arm injuries and I’m afraid that is going to hurt his chances of getting the recognition that he deserves. It will be interesting to see how the baseball writers vote. I know how I would vote but then mine doesn’t necessarily count.

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