MLB 2022 HOF Ballots: Part Three

January 25, 2022
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The 2022 MLB HOF class will be announced on Tuesday, January 25th. This will be a three-part series detailing Dan Zerby’s and Tony Battalio’s personal 2022 MLB Hall Of Fame Ballots. We will be going column by column to break down our choices for this year’s loaded class.

For reference (X= Yes, O= No). Dan is an accomplished baseball writer. You can check out more of Dan’s work at the following link. You can also check out part one of the series right here, and part two can be found here:

2022 MLB HOF Ballot Members

Manny Ramirez – 2,574 Hits, 555 Homeruns, 1,831 RBI, .312 AVG, .411 OBP, .996 OPS

Dan- O: I have already made my stance on PED’s known enough to deduce that I believe Manny Ramirez has Hall of Fame numbers, without a shadow of a doubt. There is another ugly mark for Manny, a domestic violence arrest. Given this year’s deep ballot and my stance on that topic, I did not check Manny’s box with an ‘X”.

Tony- O: Manny spent most of his career with Cleveland and Boston. He was an incredible player, but I think all the accusations of PED usage keep him out of the Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Alex Rodriguez – 3,115 Hits, 696 Homeruns, 2,086 RBI, 329 Stolen Bases, .380 OBP, .930 OPS

Dan- O: Statistically, Arod is one of the best baseball players ever to pick up a glove and bat. There is no question that his power-speed combo was generational. So why would I not vote for him? Firstly, I view the PED issue with him in a very slightly different light. Alex was using it in an era with clear, defined rules against it. He served an ugly full-season suspension, as well as many other headline-grabbing incidents involving steroids.

Secondly, this is where I would play a bit of voter strategy. I have no doubts Alex will get the support needed to remain on the ballot, so I will allocate my ten votes to players I feel need my support. Furthermore, I cannot pretend my “History of baseball” speech does not apply to him; I would prefer to vote elsewhere. Perhaps this is where the voting process leaves too much room for human error.

Tony- O: Arod will always be most remembered in pinstripes, even with a lengthy career in several places. Like Manny, Arod is another great player who will always be overshadowed by PED usage. I also believe it will keep him out of the MLB HOF. 

Scott Rolen – 2,077 Hits, 316 Homeruns. 1,287 RBI, .364 OBP, .854 OPS, Eight Rawlings Gold Glove Awards

Dan- O: Rolen’s case is supremely interesting. I am a younger fan who remembers an aged Rolen manning third base for the Reds. Not at a Hall of Fame level,  but certainly a good one. For many, Rolen was a superstar in Philadelphia, and ST. Louis, who just had that look of a Hall of Fame player. To me, the eight Gold Gloves move the needle, and realistically, I would love to include him on my ballot. I will try to avoid redundancy on why he was not.

Tony- O: Rolen had a lengthy career; he is mainly known for his time in Cincinnati and St. Louis. He was an eight-time Gold Glove winner and Rookie Of The Year. However, I don’t think he did enough to earn inclusion in this year’s class. 

Jimmy Rollins – 2,455 Hits, 231 Homeruns, 470 Stolen Bases, .742 OPS

Dan- X: Jimmy Rollins brought a dynamic power and speed combo to the Phillies that helped ignite them for one of the franchise’s more memorable stretches. He was an all-around electric player that fans loved to watch. He had four Gold Gloves, but the lack of a deep look into that tells me he could have won more. An MVP, a World Series Champ, a Phillies legend, and hopefully, a future Hall Of Famer.

Tony- X: Rollins spent the majority of his career with Philadelphia. He is a former MVP, a three-time all-star, and a four-time Gold Glove winner. He is one of the best shortstops, in my opinion, which is why he is a yes vote on my ballot. 

Curt Schilling – 216 Wins, 3.46 ERA, 3,261 Innings Pitched, 3,116 Strikeouts

Dan- O: Another player who I believe has the statistical qualifications, this exclusion is a tough one to explain without delving into things that don’t quite relate to baseball. Luckily, Mr. Schilling has allowed me to be curt with my explanation – Curt Schilling penned a letter in 2021 asking to be removed from future Hall of Fame considerations. Okay, Curt, you got it, no problems, here.

Tony- O: Curt Schilling asked to be removed from all future Hall Of Fame considerations. This is why he is an automatic no on my ballot this year and forever.

Gary Sheffield – 2,689 Hits, 509 Homeruns, 1,676 RBI, 253 Stolen Bases, .393 OBP, .907 OPS

Dan- X: The 2,500+ hits and 500+ home runs are enough for me. However, these days, benchmark numbers aren’t enough for many voters. Of course, Sheffield is of the “PED Era,” but that is tiring, as I have tried to convey before. Sheffield was a force at the plate, which was impossible to strike out. Many of the game’s most elite power hitters are the most prone to strikeout, but Sheffield never once struck out more than 83 times in a single season. With how much outcry there is to lower baseball’s present-day strikeout numbers, it is almost mind-boggling that Sheffield has been overlooked on this ballot.

Tony- O: Sheffield was a massive power hitter in his day for several teams in the league. He is a five-time Silver Slugger award winner. Despite his lengthy career, he has not done enough to earn a yes vote, in my opinion, for inclusion into the Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Sammy Sosa – 2,408 Hits, 609 Homeruns, 1,667 RBI, 234 Stolen Bases, .344 OBP, .878 OPS

Dan- X: I won’t continue to beat the PED discussion over the head here. I have made my stance known enough to flush out my opinions on these players. While Sosa is perhaps harmed by his lack of admittance, the level of disregard for him compared to other steroid users has been unfair. One of the single most essential times in the sport, for the sport, Sosa was at the forefront of. The home run chase between him and Mark McGwire.

As I previously stated, the Hall should tell the story of baseball. The homerun crown chase was undoubtedly one of the highest points in the story and played a massive role in saving the game after an ugly work stoppage. Sammy didn’t just reach that crown for a few seasons; he did it for a career.

Tony- O: Sosa was one of the most powerful hitters the game has ever seen. However, he will always be overshadowed by the steroid scandals. Although I think his 609 home runs and impressive numbers are enough, the scandals will keep him out. 

Mark Teixeira – 409 Homeruns, .869 OPS, 408 Doubles,  Five Rawlings Gold Glove Awards

Dan- O: “Tex” joins a list of “What if” first baseman on this ballot. Before injuries seemed to cause a sudden derailment, Teixeira had produced at a remarkably steady pace for ten seasons. Even after injury, he battled to still post some respectable numbers. Overall, he is among the cream of the crop for “very good” players, but he falls short of baseball immortality for me.

Tony- O: Teixeria was a huge hitter in his day, as he spent the majority of his career in Pinstripes. He is a former five-time Gold Glove winner and three-time Silver Slugger winner. However, I don’t have him included in my MLB HOF ballot this year.

Omar Vizquel – 2,877 Hits, 404 Stolen Bases, Eleven Rawlings Gold Glove Awards

Dan- O: There is a criminal undervalue in defensive wizardry. Most any baseball fan knows that there aren’t many like Vizquel when it comes to defensive wizards. Omar dazzled at shortstop, making seemingly every play and often forgoing the glove to boot. He loses votes for some for being a compiler, from me, for his ongoing domestic and SA issues. 

Tony- O: Omar is perhaps one of the best defensive shortstops to ever play. But due to his ongoing legal issues, I’m going to have to leave him off my MLB HOF ballot this season. 

Billy Wagner – 2.31 ERA, 422 Saves, 903 Innings Pitched, 1,196 Strikeouts

Dan- X: Billy Wagner is one of the greatest relief pitchers of all time. Period. So why is it seemingly impossible for him to get elected? Wagner got just 46.4% of the vote last year, which is great compared to the meager 10.5 received in 2016, his first year of eligibility. Allow me to make one comparison for any who have doubts. Mariano Rivera. Everyone knows about the great “Mo,” but how many know that Wagner was on a similar level? Don’t believe me?

Look no further than career WHIP. It’s 1.00 for both pitchers. Strikeouts? Wagner has 23 more in 380 fewer innings pitched. ERA? Compare a 2.31 from Wagner to a 2.21 from Rivera. What’s the most significant difference between the two? Rivera got in the first ballot, Wagner is still trying in year number seven.

Tony- X: Wagner is one of the most underrated relief pitchers of all time. He is arguably on the level of Rivera. It is beyond time for him to take his rightful place in the MLB HOF.