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Ballot 3: Curt Schilling

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Curt Schilling

Played 20 years for five teams

Six-time All-Star struck out 3,000 and finished second in Cy Young voting three times. 80.7 WAR, 54.1 WAA

Pro argument: Had greatest strikeout-to-walk ratio in modern baseball history and was amazing in the postseason.

Con argument: Relatively low win total; he has offended many people.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Yes.

Will get elected this year?: 0% chance

Will ever get elected?: 65-70%

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Closers

As you know, I have  been telling the stories of the players on the Hall of Fame ballot and, as part of that, I have been ranking them. I have never explained exactly HOW I am ranking the ballot, because I never thought it mattered and, to be honest, I didn’t put too much thought into that part. The rankings are just a device to tell the stories. At the beginning, I lined up the players more or less in the order that I thought they finished as ballplayers, and I began writing. I really didn’t think too much about it.

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Ballot 2: Roger Clemens

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Roger Clemens

Played 24 years for four teams

Seven-time Cy Young winner won 354 games and struck out 4,672. 139.4 WAR, 94.6 WAA

Pro argument: By the numbers, the greatest pitcher in baseball history.

Con argument: The wide assumption that he used steroids.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Of course.

Will get elected this year?: 5-10% chance

Will ever get elected?: 95% chance

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Listen Without Prejudice Volume 3

When you are in high school, in college, music defines you in every way imaginable. Anyway, that’s how I remember it; maybe your experience was different. When my family moved from Cleveland to Charlotte back in the early 1980s, there were only two questions that anyone ever asked. First: What is your ACC basketball team? Second: What music are you?

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The Year of Hamilton

Elizabeth is in high school now, which means that I have failed as a father. If I had succeeded, she would have stayed 10 years old like I kept telling her, and she wouldn’t be taking physics classes beyond my comprehension, wouldn’t be driving my car on her permit license and sure as heck would never talk about boys. To be fair, she doesn’t talk about boys with me in the room even now because that would be the death of me. But I hear things.

Elizabeth is in high school now, which means when we do talk, we don’t talk about stuff like what’s the best fruit to dip in chocolate or the best Disney Princess or the importance of Dobby in the Harry Potter series. No, she wants to talk now about why women don’t get paid as much as men for doing the same work or why her writing is so personal she would never let anyone see it or why she’s going far away for college. Grown-up stuff. It’s beautiful, of course. It’s heartbreaking too. It was so much simpler to discuss the feats of explorers like Magellan and Christopher Columbus and Dora. (more…)

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Ballot 18: Lee Smith

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Lee Smith

Played 18 years for eight teams

Seven-time all-star led the league in saves four times. 29.4 WAR, 13.8 WAA

Pro argument: Great reliever who for 13 years held the all-time saves record.

Con argument: Closers are specialists who pitch a fraction of innings that starters do.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Depends on your thought on relievers.

Will get elected this year?: No.

Will ever get elected?: 40% (more…)

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By In Stuff

Ballot 1: Barry Bonds

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Barry Bonds

Played 22 years for two teams

Seven-time MVP hit 762 homers and walked 2,558 times, both records. 162.4 WAR, 123.5 WAA

Pro argument: One of the five greatest players in baseball history.

Con argument: Used PEDs to achieve almost comical heights.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Yes.

Will get elected this year?: 5-10% chance.

Will ever get elected?: 95% chance.

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Football in America

First, a few words on the Browns this week. They were dreadful. But of course they were. It’s a funny thing — I like Buffalo Bills fans a lot. We are brothers, Clevelanders and Buffalonians (Buffaloans? Buffalites?). The first time I went to Buffalo, I was 8 or 9, and I lost a Mickey Mouse watch in a snow bank. I remember being impressed rather than angry; even as a Clevelander I thought, “OK, that’s an unreasonable amount of snow.”

Many Buffalo fans expected their Bills to be the first to lose to the Browns this week.  Can’t blame them for that. Buffalo fans, like Cleveland fans, expect those sorts of horrible things to happen. It’s why I relate. There are fans of  teams who just expect good things to happen to their teams; they are SHOCKED when things go wrong. Pittsburgh fans are like that. Pittsburgh and Cleveland have many similarities, but Steelers fans expect things to work out in the end. Browns fans know they will not work out.

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Ballot 19: Jorge Posada

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Jorge Posada

Played 17 years for one team

Five-time all-star caught for four World Series champs. 42.7 WAR, 17.3 WAA

Pro argument: Excellent offensive catcher who was a staple for dominant Yankees.

Con argument: Does not line up favorably against Hall of Fame catchers.

Deserves to be in Hall?: Not quite.

Will get elected this year?: No

Will ever get elected?: 5-10% chance.

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Ballot 20: Magglio Ordóñez

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Magglio Ordóñez

Played 15 years for two different teams

Six-time all-star won a batting title and hit 294 career home runs. 38.5 WAR, 11.1 WAA

Pro argument: Could really hit. His .309 career average is 24th all-time among hitters with at least 7,500 plate appearance.

Con argument: A bit too one-dimensional; wasn’t good enough for long enough.

Deserves to be in Hall?: No

Will get elected this year?: No

Will ever get elected?: No. (more…)

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