Posted: Friday December 29, 2006 1:34PM; Updated: Thursday January 4, 2007 9:26AM
Bert Blyleven pitched well for a long time, but he wasn't dominant enough to merit induction.
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15. Bert Blyleven, Stat freaks love this guy. It's true that his 3,701 strikeouts (fifth all-time) and 287 career victories are numbers that are generally good enough for enshrinement, but unlike a lot of those stathounds, I saw the entirety of his career and he was rarely one of the best. Had only one 20-win season at a time they weren't so rare and only four years with Cy Young votes.
16. Lee Smith. Another excellent compiler, he pitched long and effectively enough to set the saves record at 478. He was very consistent and very good, but not a Hall of Famer. Not on my ballot, anyway.
17. Harold Baines. Yet another consistent compiler who played 22 seasons and was good in just about every one of them, just not great. He never finished higher than ninth in MVP balloting.
Nice careers, small consideration
18. Paul O'Neill. A fine all-around player who was a productive member on a stunning five World Series winners but never finished higher than fifth in MVP voting and doesn't have the type of career stats to make it.
19. Devon White. One of the greatest center fielders ever and probably one of the greatest baserunners, he helped the Blue Jays win two World Series titles and also played for the 1997 world champion Marlins. He only received MVP votes one time in 17 seasons, however.
20. Eric Davis. He posted seven 20-20 seasons and was one of two players to have a 20-80 season. A great talent who just wasn't a star long enough.
21. Bret Saberhagen. Any chance he had ended with his disappointing tenure in New York.
22. Bobby Bonilla. His status as the highest-paid player at one time is testament to timing and former superagent Dennis Gilbert's skill, not Bonilla's.
23. Jay Buhner. He made one All-Star team, won one Gold Glove, once finished in the top 10 in MVP voting and broke one heart (George Steinbrenner's) with one of many ill-conceived Yankees trades of the '80s.
24. Tony Fernandez. Five-time All-Star who was better than most remember, though not good enough.
25. Wally Joyner. His career never quite lived up to the promise of two brilliant seasons.
Where was the screening committee?
26. Dante Bichette. Great guy, nice numbers in Colorado, but not even a second's thought to reject him.
27. Scott Brosius. One superb year, a couple of memorable moments, many fine defensive plays, probably zero votes.
28. Bobby Witt. My only speculation is that a family member did the screening.
Thankfully, not quite good enough
29. Albert Belle. He was such a bad seed that I am thankful he didn't quite do enough good things or last long enough to make me have to think about it.
My Own Disqualified List
30. Ken Caminiti. He admitted his steroid use in a Sports Illustrated article. Nice fellow who played through pain, but even with the artificial help, he had only 239 career homers and 983 RBIs.
31. Jose Canseco. He went from early superstar to belated whistle blower. I believe most of what he wrote but he loses credit since he did it for profit and revenge.
32. McGwire. Canseco's bathroom stall buddy will get more votes than he deserves, but not enough for election ... I hope.