Monday, January 7, 2008 Updated: March 5, 2:48 PM ET
Election '08: one man's ballot
By Art Garfamudis Page 2 guest columnist
Here's the difference between me and you: I have a Hall of Fame vote and you don't. That makes me better than you in the long run. Deal with it. Here's how my ballot for this year looked and why. You don't like it? There's nothing you can do about it, is there? I get to vote as long as I draw breath. I might have forgotten a couple of candidates, but that's their problem, not mine.
Brady Anderson: I never have and still don't trust good-looking ballplayers. What's their deal? You can't have it all, buddy. Either be good-looking or a good ballplayer. Choose one. It's not fair to the ugly guys out there who can't play ball. Those guys have nothing going on and people like Anderson make them feel bad about themselves.
No need to recite stats Don Sutton got my vote on the hair alone.
Rod Beck: Anytime a guy dies before his time and they have to rush his name onto the ballot, I say he goes in. Let's call it "The Clemente Precedent." That might sound like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel, but rules are helpful and that's an easy one.
Shawon Dunston: He was a shortstop, right? The Hall needs more shortstops. In he goes.
Chuck Finley: I never heard him called "Chuck" in all those years he owned the A's. Whatever. He did a lot for the game even though he was crazy off his ass. I also thought owners and such had their own ballots. Did they change the rules on me?
Travis Fryman: Barely remember him -- sorry. You can't know everything in this world and the people who say they do are full of crap.
David Justice: Like I said about Brady Anderson, I don't trust good-looking ballplayers. What's their agenda? When they take practice swings in the mirror what are they really looking at?
Chuck Knoblauch: Now here's a guy who was really good and then he wasn't all of a sudden. What happened? Beats the hell out of me. I might have voted for him just to piss off some people I know who would be pissed off by my voting for him. Then again, I might not have voted for him to spite a whole different group of people. I don't actually recall.
Robb Nen: Just a quick question: Wouldn't his name look more normal if it were spelled "Rob Nenn"? Nah, that doesn't look quite right, either.
Tim Raines: Just this once, I'm gonna level with you here: I don't remember ever seeing him play. He was on Montreal? Played half his games where they don't even speak the English? Next.
Jose Rijo: Any guy who steps up big in the World Series has to be taken into strong consideration. A World Series win is worth 15 regular wins in my estimation. Rijo still comes up short, but it's something to think about.
Todd Stottlemyre: Here's a simple rule of thumb: If your old man pitched in the bigs and had more wins than you and he's not in Cooperstown, then you shouldn't be either.
Harold Baines: I don't trust DHs. I don't like them. I don't care about them. I don't want them living in my world, and I certainly don't favor putting them in the baseball shrine.
Bert Blyleven: Let me ask you this question: How many people do you think bought a ticket to a baseball game because Bert Blyleven was one of the pitchers? I'm guessing that number is something like 17 over the course of his career. Nobody gave a s---, least of all me. Memo to Bert: Where's the 300 wins, buddy? Couldn't get in the club? I'm voting against him. That's right, I'm not only not voting for him, I'm voting against him. This way, if anyone is stupid enough to vote for him, my "against" vote will cancel it out.
Dave Concepcion: Another rule of thumb: Anytime you invent something, you should be in the Hall of Fame. Concepcion invented the bounce throw. That's huge. He also was in a keystone combo with Joe Morgan, who was great. Greatness demands greatness from colleagues and that makes Concepcion great by association.
Tommy John: Yet another excellent voting guideline I follow: Anytime you have something named after you, you're famous. This is the Hall of "Fame," right? In he goes.
Don Mattingly: The people who want you to vote for him say he was great before he hurt his back. Well let me tell you something: My cousin used to be a math whiz until he fell out of a pickup truck when he was 12 and hit his head on the curb. He couldn't count his fingers after that. Did they let him into MIT anyway? No, they did not. End of parable.
Jack Morris: You know, in the old days before free agency ruined baseball, guys couldn't help what teams they were on. Now they can. They can play anywhere they want. So, if a guy ends up on crappy teams and doesn't get the "support" someone like Morris did, then it's his fault for choosing poorly. Screw him. Morris was smart. In he goes.
Dave Parker: This guy was big and scary. He'd step in there and you could tell the defense was intimidated. He was huge and he'd waggle that bat and the pitcher would wet himself. Seriously. You'd see this shadow suddenly appear on his uniform. Announcers wouldn't mention it because they were afraid of the censors, but you knew it was happening if you were paying attention. He gets my vote on fear factor alone.
Jim Rice: A lot of people are going to tell you he was mundane on the road and this, that and the other thing. Those people are jerks who never saw a baseball game in their lives. Memo to statty-fatties: Reading a cookbook doesn't make you Julia Child. Rice is a first-ballot guy in my opinion. He should be retroactively inducted on the first ballot. In he goes, 14 years ago.
Lee Smith: Simple rule of thumb: Anytime you have 400 of anything you're in. Bam! Just like that. Ask yourself this: If Smith hadn't saved all those games, who would have won? His team? Not likely. That's a 400-something-game swing over the course of his career. Whew!
Art Garfamudis once wrote about baseball when the regular guy at his newspaper had appendicitis. He did it again several years later during a blizzard that kept the front-line staff stranded in their homes and, finally, a third time, in 1984, when the team beat writer was abruptly fired for stealing quarters from the honor box in the break room. This qualified him for membership in the BBWAA, which he has enjoyed ever since.