JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

How I would vote on the current Hall of Fame ballot

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My quick take:

Roberto Alomar—Yes. Absolutely. Without question.

Kevin Appier—Nice pitcher. But a big NO.

Harold Baines—Very good player. But not great.

Bert Blyleven—Yes. Was a better pitcher than Don Sutton, but lacks the magic 300. Deserves a spot.

Ellis Burks—One of the truly nice guys. But nope.

Andre Dawson—Not quite great enough.

Andres Galarraga—Big Cat, Big No.

Pat Hentgen—Zero chance.

Mike Jackson—If one took the time to check, he’d find 8,053 ‘Thriller’ references throughout this closer’s career. As for the Hall, eh, no.

Eric Karros—Not even close.

Ray Lankford—Worse than Eric Karros. No.

Barry Larkin—Larkin was one of the best middle infielders of his generation. But I lean toward no.

Edgar Martinez—A wonderful hitter, but no.

Don Mattingly—No.

Fred McGriff—No. But a case can be made: Nobody I know thinks McGriff used PEDs. He was a dominant power hitter in an era of cheats and frauds. He carried Toronto and, for a brief time, Atlanta and San Diego.

Mark McGwire—N.F.W.

Jack Morris—Yes, yes, yes. Should have made it eons ago.

Dale Murphy—No, but a great player.

Dave Parker—Sans the drug problems and weight gains, woulda had a chance. Side note: A female reporter who covered the Pirates back in the day told me Parker was a real pig. Once, he went up to her in the clubhouse, butt naked, and said, “I bet you want some of this.” while pointing to his penis. Reporter replied, “First I’d have to find it under all your fat.”

Tim Raines—Without question. He and Rickey were the two most dominant table setters the game ever saw. And yes, that includes Lou Brock. Brock was a first-ballot enshrinee, Raines has better numbers.

Shane Reynolds—Who? (I’m just kidding. But, uh, who?)

David Segui—Hee, hee.

Lee Smith—No, but the case can be made.

Alan Trammell—See Smith, Lee.

Robin Ventura—No, but a great friggin’ guy.

Todd Zeile—Same as Ventura.