Haul of Fame 2012

It’s Hall of Fame season, and I’ve been a busy man, not only publishing my annual JAWS series, but talking about the Hall of Fame with anyone who will listen. Most notably, I was invited to run down the top candidates on the ballot at Clubhouse Confidential. On Wednesday, I did a short segment in which I discussed the merits of Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell, Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines and Lee Smith with host Brian Kenny:

It was probably the most fun I’ve had in a segment yet, in that I not only smiled but let loose a genuine belly laugh. Maybe it was because they finally let me do a segment with my jacket unbuttoned, or maybe it’s because I was finally able to tie a decent Half Windsor knot (apparently, I had been working with something called a Four In Hand knot all these years). Anyway, n Friday (January 6), I’ll be back on the show for a ballot roundtable with Brian and former BP colleague Joe Sheehan, possibly joined by a BBWAA voter to be named later. I’m told there will be folding metal chairs so things can get really out of hand.

If you missed any of my JAWS series at Baseball Prospectus — my ninth ballot go-round at that venue — here are the links:

• The Golden Era ballot and Ron Santo’s election

• Resetting the Standards

• Middle Infielders: Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell, Eric Young, Tony Womack

• Third Basemen: Edgar Martinez (and the thorny DH problem), Phil Nevin, Bill Mueller, Vinny Castilla

• First Basemen: Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, and a fun discussion of PEDs and the ballot.

Pitchers: Jack Morris and Lee Smith

• Outfielders, Part I: Bernie Williams, Larry Walker, and Juan Gonzalez

• The Catch-All, with Outfielders, Part II (Tim Raines, Tim Salmon, Brian Jordan, Ruben Sierra, and Jeromy Burnitz) and Catcher Javy Lopez.

Because I’m hard to shut up at this time of year, I’ll be hosting a chat at BP on Monday, January 9 at 1 PM Eastern, an hour before the voting results are announced by the Hall of Fame. Prepare for me to be outraged that Raines, Bagwell, and Martinez fell short yet again — I’m hopeful all three can climb to at least 50 percent because it’s a strong precedent towards eventual election, and if the Bert Blyleven election taught me anything, it’s that these things don’t happen overnight.

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