When the Hall of Fame ballots get to the writers who qualify as voters, they include space to vote for as many as 10 candidates, though hardly anyone ever does.
In fact, the beloved columnist John McGrath and I are usually in the minority - we almost always find more than two candidates worth voting for.
Most of us do our due diligence as new names pop up each year, looking at statistics, comparing those of the candidates to those already enshrined, and doing a lot of thinking. Integrity is a criteria, but it's one open to interpretation.
Here are the 2010 candidates for the Hall of Fame: Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Ellis Burks, Andre Dawson, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile.
I've got a bit more than a month to make my decision, and input is always welcome - as is debate. So give up your thoughts on how you'd vote, and feel free to make any case you choose.
The beauty and frustration of Hall of Fame votes and voters is there is no automatic qualifier - 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, 300 wins or 300 saves isn't a requirement.
Talk to a dozen voters, you're likely to come away with a half dozen ways of breaking down a Hall of Fame player. One has always been: Would current HOFers want this fellow as a teammate? Was he the kind of player who made even great teams better? Did he serve the game as well as his own numbers?
So please, vote. And make your case, in as many or as few words as you choose. As we get closer to the deadline next month, I'll let you know how Mr. McGrath and I voted.
Now, a few links:
- Mike Silva's newsy blog on the Yankees reports Atlanta called New York to offer former Mariner Derek Lowe and that the Yankees have cooled on their pursuit of John Lackey.
- Commissioner Bud Selig is headed out of the game in 2012, as broken in a piece by Phil Rogers.
- Add Lowe: The right-hander blames no one but himself for struggling in Atlanta last season, and talks about his two-month slump in an interview with Nick Cafardo.
- Some good news for Angels fans: A breakdown of the Angels 2010 payroll indicates they already have about $101 million committed - and only about $12 million available to spend.
- Today's feel-good story: Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon and his annual 'Thanks-mas' tour in Florida, where he cooks a family recipe for the homeless.