On Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Steroid Talk along with Few Sure Things

Joe Morgan sent a letter to Hall of Fame voters This kind of week urging them not to elect steroid users to Cooperstown. By doing so, Morgan, a Hall of Fame second baseman, thrust the issue of performance-enhancing drugs back to the forefront of the Cooperstown conversation.

Once more, superstars under chemical clouds — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa — will appear on the ballots sent This kind of week to voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. however there are also 19 fresh candidates to consider, none with strong ties to the scourge of their era.

Plenty of various other holdover candidates remain on the ballot, too, including seven who got at least half the 75 percent of votes needed for election last winter: Trevor Hoffman (74 percent), Vladimir Guerrero (71.7), Edgar Martinez (58.6), Clemens (54.1), Bonds (53.8), Mike Mussina (51.8) along with Curt Schilling (45).

Most of the newcomers will slip off the ballot after one try; candidates must receive 5 percent of the vote to remain. Before they depart, here’s a memory or insight for each newcomer to the voting.


CreditPool photo by Dilip Vishwanat

Chris Carpenter

There was no in-between with Carpenter across his time with the St. Louis Cardinals coming from 2003 to 2012: he was either awesome or injured. In four of those seasons, Carpenter didn’t win a game. within the various other six, he was 50 games over .500 using a Cy Young Award along with two World Series championships.

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Johnny Damon

Let’s bundle some stats to make the effervescent Damon as appealing a candidate as possible. He had 2,769 hits, 235 homers along with 408 steals. How many players in history exceed him in all three categories? Only Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson along with Craig Biggio. Few players could beat you as many ways as Damon could, along with even fewer had as much fun doing the idea.

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Livan Hernandez

Before Yu Darvish, there was Livan Hernandez. Like Darvish, who was flattened twice by Houston within the earth Series for the Dodgers, Hernandez also was thumped in two outings within the same Series, Games 3 along with 7 as a Giant in 2002. For the Hernandez family, though, the idea might have just been an Angels thing. Livan along with his half brother, the ex-Yankee Orlando Hernandez, were 0-3 in their postseason careers against the Angels however 16-3 against everyone else.

Orlando Hudson

For a few years, the Hall of Fame had an awkward habit of reaching for nicknames to put on plaques. Joseph Paul Torre is usually called “Joe” under his full name, while Joseph Paul DiMaggio is usually not. Likewise, James Edward Rice is usually called “Jim,” while James Alvin Palmer is usually not. Anyway, Hudson, a second baseman who won Gold Gloves for three teams, will probably not get 1 vote for Cooperstown. however the idea would certainly be cool to see a real baseball nickname — “O-Dog” — etched in bronze.

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Aubrey Huff

In 1983, when Huff was 6, his father was shot to death in a dispute at the apartment complex where he worked as an electrician. A man had shot his wife along with tried to shoot the apartment manager. Huff’s father pushed the manager out of the way along with was killed. Huff’s mother, Fonda, raised him along with his sister in Mineral Wells, Tex., while working within the meat department of a grocery store along with studying to be a teacher. “I told my mom one day I wanted to be a professional baseball player — probably, what, 8 years old, 9 years old,” Huff said. “along with she bought me a batting cage on a Winn-Dixie salary.” Huff was speaking in Arlington, Tex., some 60 miles coming from Mineral Wells, after hitting a homer for the Giants within the 2010 World Series.

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Jason Isringhausen

With Bill Pulsipher along with Paul Wilson, Isringhausen was part of Generation K, the much-hyped trio of young starters who gave trust to Mets fans within the desolate mid-1990s. All three pitchers were largely undone by injuries, however Isringhausen remade himself as a closer along with collected 300 saves, though only eight for the Mets. within the end, Generation K combined for 1,651 strikeouts — exactly the career total of Vic Willis, a turn-of-the-century right-hander for the Boston Beaneaters. the idea took 85 years after his final game, however Willis finally made the idea to Cooperstown in 1995.

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Andruw Jones

Like Dale Murphy within the 1980s, Jones starred in center field while playing for the Braves in his 20s. Also like Murphy, Jones plunged sharply around age 31 along with never recovered. He never had 300 at-bats in a season after turning 31, which was Murphy’s age in 1987, his last year as an elite player. Murphy wound up with an .815 on-base plus slugging percentage, 5 Gold Gloves along with two M.V.P. awards. Jones finished using a .823 O.P.S., 10 Gold Gloves along with no M.V.P. awards. The writers never gave Murphy more than 23.2 percent of the vote.

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Chipper Jones

the idea is usually true which Jones, a Mets nemesis, named his son Shea. the idea is usually also true which he bought two seats coming from Shea Stadium along with put them within the boy’s bedroom. however how did Jones definitely do at the Mets’ old ballpark? He hit .313 with 19 home runs, his most in any visiting stadium, along with then added three homers at Citi Field. Impressive, for sure, however Jones actually did even more damage in Philadelphia: he hit .350 with 13 home runs at Veterans Stadium, along with connected 11 more times at Citizens Bank Park.

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Carlos Lee

Just a few whiff-crazy years since his retirement, the idea’s striking to see a career like Lee’s: in 14 seasons as a power hitter, he never struck out 100 times. which’s the kind of steady, forceful contact we see coming from few sluggers besides Albert Pujols, who led the majors in runs batted in coming from 2002 through 2009, when Lee was in his prime. Lee ranks fifth in R.B.I. in those seasons, with 843, trailing only Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz along with Mark Teixeira. He shouldn’t get a Hall of Fame vote, however he was a much better hitter than we probably remember.

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Brad Lidge

The Phillies have won two World Series. within the first, a lefty closer wearing No. 45 struck out a righty hitter for the final out. within the second, a righty closer wearing No. 54 struck out a lefty hitter for the final out. Even the years were reversed: ’80 for the first title, ’08 for the second. Tug McGraw, the 1980 pitcher, later worked on local TV for WPVI in Philadelphia. Lidge, the 2008 pitcher, features a national radio gig for SiriusXM.

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Hideki Matsui

When Matsui joined the Yankees in 2003, he took all the beat writers out to dinner during spring training in Tampa, Fla. None of us could remember another player ever doing something like This kind of. The next spring the writers took Matsui to dinner, along with we continued the tradition, alternating each year. As a superstar in Japan, Matsui was in constant demand for interviews in two languages, yet he was readily available to all, with grace along with not bad humor. There is usually no cheering within the press box, however when Matsui finished his Yankees career as M.V.P. of the 2009 World Series, you had to be happy for him.

Kevin Millwood

Can you name Millwood’s team for each of these career accomplishments? (The answers are below.)

a) One-hitter along with save in same postseason series (1999)

b) Complete-game no-hitter (2003)

c) League leader in E.R.A. (2005)

d) Signed $60 million contract (2006)

e) Led league in losses (2010)

f) began a combined no-hitter (2012)

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Jamie Moyer

The last batter Moyer ever faced, Jay Bruce, had not been born when Moyer made his major-league debut for the Cubs in 1986. Moyer lasted through 2012, the year he turned 50, baiting hitters with some of the softest stuff within the game. What’s the fastest pitch he ever threw? “One game in Houston when I was with the Phillies, I popped an 86,” Moyer said. “How did which happen? the idea had to be a misread, because when I went to the dugout, three or four pitchers were like: ‘How did you do which? You threw 86!’ however I don’t know, definitely. The gun, for me, here’s where I got the most use out of the idea: to see where I was with my fastball along with where I was with my changeup. What’s the variance of speed? which was important to me, along with what does the swing look like to which pitch?”

Scott Rolen

On Sept. 7, 1996, Rolen came to bat within the fourth inning with two outs against the Cubs’ Steve Trachsel. If Rolen put the ball in play or struck out, he would certainly be credited with his 131st at-bat along with lose his rookie status. Instead, an errant pitch broke the ulna bone in Rolen’s right arm, abruptly ending his season. The next year he was the unanimous National League Rookie of the Year, the only Phillies winner between Dick Allen in 1964 along with Ryan Howard in 2005. Rolen would certainly go on to win eight Gold Glove Awards, make seven All-Star teams along with help St. Louis win the 2006 World Series.

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Johan Santana

The Minnesota Twins picked first at the 1999 Rule 5 draft in Anaheim, Calif. The cost to draft a player was $50,000, however the Twins found a way to get their target for free. The Marlins, who picked second, wanted a pitcher named Jared Camp. The Twins wanted a pitcher named Johan Santana. So the Twins took Camp, the Marlins took Santana, along with then the teams swapped those players, with the Marlins kicking in $50,000 to cover Minnesota’s fee. Camp never pitched within the majors along with was out of pro ball within three years. Santana won two Cy Young Awards for the Twins along with threw the only no-hitter in Mets history.

Jim Thome

within the spring of 1989, when “Major League” was released in theaters, the Cleveland Indians’ draft was just a bit outside the norm. Their first-round choice, an outfielder named Calvin Murray, rejected them for the University of Texas. Their third-round choice, pitcher Jerry Dipoto, is usually currently general manager of the Seattle Mariners. Two pitchers — Alan Embree (fifth round) along with Curtis Leskanic (eighth round) — would certainly help the Boston Red Sox win a World Series title in 2004. Outfielder Brian Giles (17th round) became an All-Star slugger for the Pittsburgh Pirates. however one player would certainly go on to do so much in Cleveland which he currently features a statue at the Indians’ ballpark: Thome, a 13th-rounder coming from Illinois Central College. He is usually the Indians’ franchise home run leader, with 337 of the 612 he smashed across 22 major league seasons.

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Omar Vizquel

No shortstop has ever matched Vizquel’s longevity; his 2,709 games at the position rank first on the career list. The various other leaders in games played at each infield position are catcher Ivan Rodriguez, first baseman Eddie Murray, second baseman Eddie Collins along with third baseman Brooks Robinson. Among outfielders (since 1913), the games-played leaders are left fielder Barry Bonds, center fielder Willie Mays along with right fielder Roberto Clemente. which’s quite a team, along with all except Bonds are within the Hall of Fame.

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Kerry Wood

the idea’s nice which Wood makes the ballot, because his career is usually too easily viewed for what the idea wasn’t, instead of what the idea was. He was not the next Nolan Ryan, however as fire-balling, Texas-bred phenoms go, he was not the next David Clyde either. No pitcher in history may have been as dominant as Wood was, at age 20, in his 20-strikeout one-hitter for the Cubs in 1998. however he overcame injuries to become an All-Star reliever, pitched 14 seasons over all along with made more than $73 million. His career was a success.

CreditM. Spencer Green/Associated Press

Carlos Zambrano

In each of the last 10 years of his career, Zambrano hit at least one home run. He finished with 24 over all, along with at .388, he had a higher slugging percentage than more than a dozen hitters in Cooperstown — including one, Bill Mazeroski, who homered to win a World Series. The difference, of course, is usually which Zambrano was a pitcher.

Answers to Kevin Millwood trivia: a) Braves, b) Phillies, c) Indians, d) Rangers, e) Orioles, f) Mariners

Tyler Kepner has been national baseball writer since 2010. He joined The Times in 2000 along with covered the Mets For just two seasons, then covered the Yankees coming from 2002 to 2009.

  @TylerKepner

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