But that doesn't preclude me from looking at the writers ballot and asking myself: Who would I vote for? And it certainly doesn't preclude me from telling you who I would vote for.
The writers are limited to voting for a maximum of 10, and there are a lot more than 10 deserving names on the ballot. My 10 would be, in alphabetical order:
- Jeff Bagwell
- Barry Bonds
- Roger Clemens
- Vladimir Guerrero
- Jeff Kent
- Mike Mussina
- Jorge Posada
- Tim Raines
- Ivan Rodriguez
- Larry Walker
Four candidates I supported last year aren't on the ballot this time -- two who were elected (Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza), one who ran out of time (Alan Trammell) and a fourth who didn't get enough support to stick (Jim Edmonds). And I created a fifth slot by dropping Curt Schilling in a futile protest of his "joking" support of lynchings.
I've added newcomers Ivan Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Vladimir Guerrero, plus holdovers Larry Walker and Jeff Kent.
Walker and Kent are the marginal guys on this ballot; they get my nod over Edgar Martinez, but not by a lot, and I could if I tried (and I might try if it mattered) talk myself back into Schilling over any of the three.
I can't talk myself into supporting Trevor Hoffman, even though he appears to have an excellent chance of getting in this year. Hoffman's candidacy -- like that of Lee Smith -- is based largely on his imposing pile of saves, a stat of dubious value. It's difficult to rationalize voting for one of those two and not the other -- and even more difficult to support either over Billy Wagner, yet another one-inning closer. I say leave 'em all out.