Last week the Baseball Hall of Fame announced 10 names that will be considered by the Eras Committee (used to be the Veterans Committee) for induction into the Hall for 2017. The ten are Bud Selig, George Steinbrenner, John Schuerholz, Davey Johnson, Lou Piniella, Harold Baines, Mark McGwire, Albert Belle, Orel Hershiser, and Will Clark.
Some of the names on the list are… to put it mildly… controversial. Here’s your chance to offer your opinion… either positive or negative… on two of the names in particular and then on the overall list itself…
1) If, you were a member of the committee would you vote for or against George Steinbrenner? Why?
Archie: I think I would have to vote for George. It is hard to argue the success his Yankees had while he was at the helm. Like him or not he did the city of New York right in his handling of the team and the success they had under his tenure at the top.
Dan: Yes, I would vote him in easily.
Not only on name alone, but what he did with the New York Yankees was incredible and he will never be forgotten.
He’s easily in.
Earl: I’d vote for The Boss.
Why? He was a transformative figure for the game of baseball. For decades when you thought of the New York Yankees, you thought about George Steinbrenner. The two went hand and hand. Yes, he had his issues and I understand that he was not liked by everyone, but his figure loomed large enough over the game to deserve entry.
Steve: This is coming with the utmost respect for George Steinbrenner, but, no, I do not put him into the Hall of Fame. Simply, because I don’t think any owner of a major league baseball team should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Yankees had success and his team should be given the accolades for the success. But, I cannot put someone, that because of their wealth and that they can literally buy a team, into a Hall of Fame.
This has nothing to do with Steinbrenner as a person or an owner. It is just my perspective that I won’t put any owner into the Hall of Fame.
2) If you were a member of the committee would you vote for or against Bud Selig? Why?
Archie: This one is harder. I am not sure that just by being the Commish that warrants an individual spot in the hall. I am sure his name and pictures and his major moves will be listed or posted somewhere there but I’m not so sure he deserves his own stall.
Some of the things he brought to MLB, IMO, are not as “worthy” as some may suggest. The whole interleague play in my opinion is a bust. The World Baseball Classic is a totally useless event. And again, the whole current Wild Card playoff format is a joke to me. AND, the fact Pete Rose is still ineligible for the HOF makes me think that neither should Selig be in.
Dan: Bud Selig would also receive my vote due to the list of changes he made as sitting commissioner. Adding the wild card slot, making field changes, team changes, etc… He kept the Brewers alive and running when he took over the team.
For all his accomplishments and what he’s done in baseball, he gets in easily as well.
Earl: I would vote for Selig for much of the same reasons why I would vote for Steinbrenner. Yes, not everyone loved him, and he has his faults but Bud Selig as owner of the Brewers and later on as Commissioner had a huge impact on the game.
Selig changed baseball and for the better. Selig added more playoff teams, the first and the second wild card, and, added some much needed excitement to the All Star game, making the game something to play for with the winning league getting home field for the World Series. His baseball contributions have been significantly great and re-revolutionized the culture of major league baseball.
3) And, finally, outside of Steinbrenner and Selig, who, if anyone, on that list would you vote for? Why?
Archie: First, I would vote for Big Mac. His stats are certainly Hall Worthy and even with the whole steroid controversy, the fact that his last season was 2001 prior to all the congressional bullshit. He dominated during his era with or without roids. He was well liked. The BBWAA made a killing on his exploits on the field during his chase for the single season record.
I would highly consider Albert Belle. His has significant bold numbers on baseball-reference.com. The only thing against him is the fact he only played about ten full seasons and the quantity of work might not be there. I would have to really study that facet of his career.
The others I would not vote for.
Dan: I think I’d vote Lou Piniella in. He was a great manager ranked 14th all-time on the managerial wins list. He’s won three Manager of the Year Awards; two in the American League and one in the National League while also winning three World Series rings. Two as a player, one as a coach.
He’s in the Mariners’ Hall of Fame, why not vote him in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame as well?
Earl: I would vote for Mark McGwire. I’m not outraged by the fact that the big name players of his generation used steroids and PED’s. Their usage was more a sign of the times in my opinion.
Steve: I would put in Lou Piniella, John Schuerholz, and, finally, I end the discussion and put Mark McGwire in the Hall of Fame.
Starting with Piniella… he is a World Series winner as a player and a manager; he has had success everywhere he has been; he led the Mariners to 116 regular season wins in 2001, and, he is known as one of the best all-around managers in the game.
John Schuerholz gets my vote simply for leading the charge with the Braves franchise from 1991-2005. He won a division championship each of those years with the exception of the strike year of ’94. This is something I don’t think will ever be done again.
Then Mark McGwire… like him or not, put him in a different category or whatever. He, along with Sammy Sosa, put butts in the seats and brought back baseball from it was when it nearly died in 1994 with the strike. He also had over 600 home runs. I just don’t care about how he did it, he deserves to be there. I’m sure I will be saying the same thing about Barry Bonds in a few years, also.
4) The Toronto Blue Jays just completed a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays… are the Jays that much better of a team or just hot at the right time? And, what is your prediction for how far the Jays can go in this year’s MLB Tournament?
Archie: Two teams got hot at the right time: the Blue Jays and the Indians. I don’t think either team is that much better than the two teams they swept. I STILL believe the Red Sox is the best team in the AL, they just picked a bad time to suck.
Dan: I think this is a team that just got cold while the other team was getting hotter and hotter.
The Blue Jays have a huge fire power offensive line-up. They also have pitching and what the Indians will have to look out for is their offense but more importantly the ace to Toronto’s rotation: Marco Estrada.
This is going to be a good series, but, the Blues Jays are hot. I think the Jays, if they continue to hit like how they were and they can get a couple of strong pitching outings, they can go to the World Series.
Earl: The Jays can win the whole damn thing. Yes, I’m a Jays fan but they can win the World Series. Why? They are a great hitting team and they are on a roll right now. There are no easy outs in their lineup and as long as they can get out to a lead, their pitching can do just enough to hold that lead.
Steve: The Blue Jays have a solid offense and that is the main reason why they are where they are now. Their pitching concerns me a little as I feel they don’t nearly have the depth to really make a strong run in the post season.
I think that the Blue Jays run will once again end in the ALCS against a steady lineup and pitching staff of the Cleveland Indians.
5) The Cleveland Indians just completed a sweep of the Boston Red Sox… are the Indians that much better of a team or just hot at the right time? And, what is your prediction for how far the Indians can go in this year’s MLB Tournament?
Archie: Again, same as above.
Two teams got hot at the right time: the Blue Jays and the Indians. I don’t think either team is that much better than the two teams they swept. I STILL believe the Red Sox is the best team in the AL, they just picked a bad time to suck.
Dan: I think the Indians’ offense started heating up while the pitching stayed the same. It was just “extra” when they got the hitting going.
Defense wins championships and pitching is considered a defensive part to the team. The Red Sox just weren’t hitting well, which was a large result of the Indians’ pitching.
Earl: The Indians could make the World Series, and I will not be surprised if they do but I think they will lose a competitive ALCS to the Jays. The Indians have the pitching staff to freeze the Jays bats, but I don’t think they will. It might go 6 games but the Indians won’t be adding on to Cleveland’s championship streak.
Steve: The Indians are the most underrated team in the post season as they came in tied with the Giants at a low 12-1 odds to win the World Series.
However, they have a rotation that can win the post season, and, they are proving it. Kluber is pitching lights out right now and should continue this throughout the ALCS, where I think they will advance to the World Series for the first time since 1997.
But, I think it will end there, as whomever emerges from the NL will win the World Series.
They didn’t sweep them…
… but they did beat them 3 games to 1.
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