Today's Era Ballot
Will have a lot more to say about this later, but for now, here's who is on the 2019 Today's Era Hall of Fame Ballot:
Harold Baines (38.7 WAR) -- Professional hitter, almost 2,900 hits, 384 homers, professional hitter.
Albert Belle (40.1 WAR) -- Slugger, controversial, had a 50-homer, 50-double season, should have won an MVP but didn't, hip injury ended his career prematurely.
Joe Carter (19.6 WAR) -- RBI man, good guy, hit one of only two World Series walk-off homers, touch 'em all Joe.
Will Clark (56.5 WAR) -- Clayton Kershaw copied his swing, .300 hitter, six-time all-star, underappreciated.
Orel Hershiser (51.6 WAR) -- Bulldog, absurd 1988 season, won 200 games in his career, set consecutive scoreless inning record.
Davey Johnson -- Won everywhere as manager. Got fired everywhere as manager. His 42 homers in 1973 still a record for second basemen.
Charlie Manuel -- Ol’ Charlie, hitting genius, led Phillies to World Series crown and five consecutive division titles, made Jim Thome great.
Lou Piniella -- Sweet Lou, managed 1990 Reds to title, managed 2001 Mariners to 116 wins, feisty as hitter and skipper.
Lee Smith (29.4 WAR) -- Lee Arthur, in the first class of one-inning closers, set all-time saves record, intimidating nice guy.
And here are the four players who have a higher WAR than anyone on the list.
Lou Whitaker (75.1 WAR) -- OK, I think I understand it this way; the group doesn't consider Whitaker for the Today's Era Ballot, which is from 1988-present. They think he belongs on the Modern Baseball ballot, 1970-87, which is how Whitaker's teammates Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were elected last year.
I guess he has to be on only one ballot, but realistically, Whitaker's career is split in half here. He had perhaps his best season in 1991, and you could argue that three of his best five seasons were after 1988. All I know is that at some point one of these committees will have to at least CONSIDER Whitaker, right?
Mark McGwire (62 WAR) -- The group is apparently not ready yet to face the thorny steroid questions.
David Cone (60.7 WAR) -- I gotta say, I have no idea why Cone can't get a break here. He was a great pitcher who had great seasons and he was fantastic in the postseason.
Chuck Finley (58 WAR) -- I know, who thought Chuck Finley had such a terrific career? Did you know Finley had three 7 WAR seasons?