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Wednesday Halolinks: The voters have spoken, 4 elected to Hall

Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, and Biggio are inducted.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Well, there you have it.  The Baseball Writers of America have chosen the 2015 Hall of Famers.  This never used to be a controversial day.  It used to be a day when 99.9% of the fans figured the voting body knew what they were doing and then rejoiced in their selections.  Now it has become a day when everyone complains about the choices, the method, and/or the writers.  And I like that.  That means those 99.9% of the fans are more engaged in the process, are more knowledgeable about the players, and hold the writers to task in submitting intelligent ballots.  Plus, we might even learn something new.  That's what happened for me; I hate to admit it, but I had no idea Gary Sheffield was as good as he was...or at least, I forgot he was as good as he was.  Whenever I read a writer had him on their ballot, I figured it was some buffoon wasting a vote, but after seeing his name pop up a few times, I checked into why...and he was GOOD.  Very Good.  Hall of Fame worthy Good.  Sure, the process might be flawed, and some of the voting body may be a bit out of touch and the herd needs some thinning, but all-in-all, the event does what it intends to do, honor players and promote the game.

Halolinks of Fame:

  • I'm slightly disappointed Mike Piazza was left off another year, but meh: Call from the Hall: Special day for quartet of legends - MLB.com, "Johnson was swept in with 97.3 percent of the vote (the eighth-highest percentage in history), but there was no doubt about the other three as well, with Martinez (91.1 percent), Smoltz (82.9) and Biggio (82.7) all surpassing the 75-percent threshold. It's the first time three pitchers have been voted in."  Here's the voting totals: BBWAA
  • OC Register's Jeff Fletcher has a good post about his ballot and the thinking behind his choices.  His ballot was also the one that made me go and look at Sheffield's HoF credentials.  A call to arms on a crowded Hall of Fame ballot - The Orange County Register, "Yes, Sheffield has a bit of a steroids taint, but I decided years ago that steroid use – rumored or proved – would not be a deal-breaker for me. Major league baseball did not penalize players for using steroids until 2004. So I’m not going to retroactively clean up a game that didn’t care at the time to clean up itself. (Players such as Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez, who were suspended for steroid use after baseball was policing itself, may prove to be a different case once they are on the ballot.) Given that position on steroids, I obviously checked the boxes for Bonds and Clemens, whose numbers are clearly worthy of the Hall."
  • The important question of the day: So, which caps do the Hall of Fame inductees wear on their plaques? - HardballTalk, "Randy Johnson: I figured this one would not be controversial, but for whatever reason I have a LOT of people on my Twitter feed today telling me that The Big Unit should wear a Mariners cap on his plaque. Which is ridiculous. He won four straight Cy Youngs and a World Series in his first four season in Arizona."
  • Someone should pick up the torch for this guy, he deserves at least another look by the Hall.  After missing out on Hall, Grich finds supporters - MLB.com, "In a career that spanned from 1970-86, Grich compiled a 70.9 Wins Above Replacement score -- per Baseball-Reference -- that ranks eighth all time at his position. His .371 on-base percentage is higher than 12 other Hall of Fame second basemen. And his OPS-plus of 125, a stat that adjusts for league and park effects, is better than 15 second basemen in Cooperstown."
  • In case you were wondering if the Angels were in the market for one of the free agent starters still out there:
  • There's another middle infielder officially joining the club: Angels finalize Baldoquin deal- Angels Blog: Orange County Register, "Baldoquin, 20, received an $8 million signing bonus, but now he goes into the Angels system with the same salary parameters as any other minor league player. Dipoto said Baldoquin will be invited to major league camp. He is expected to begin the season at Class-A Inland Empire and progress to Double-A Arkansas. Baldoquin would then be likely to start 2016 at Triple-A, and be a phone call away from the majors. The Angels believe he can be the heir to Erick Aybar, whose contract runs through 2016, as the Angels shortstop."

    Thanks for the tip:

And if any of you were complaining about the chilly morning in Southern California, here's what I woke up to today:
Today's weather forecast
I like Saturday's forecast, "...not as cold."  I kinda sucks when 11 degrees is a warming trend.  By the way, I'm not complaining (yes I am), but much like an uninformed Hall of Fame voter, I have to live with my bad choices.