Let's move through the latest Hall of Fame "Vet Committee" absurdity as quickly as possible, as it is simply some residue from the "rotten media" phase of the baseball year that lingers for awhile after the wretched excesses of the postseason.
And, of course, those are the best candidates.
Behind them you have: Rafael Palmeiro, still tainted by his mega "oops!" moment with steroids; Fred McGriff, an on-the-cusp first baseman who may emerge as the dark horse winner from this dubious exercise; Dale Murphy, sentimental favorite of the "sabermetric confederacy"; Don Mattingly, sentimental favorite of the "sabermetric confederacy" that resides north of the Mason-Dixon line; and Albert Belle, the ballot's Dick Allen surrogate.
If we were to put money on it, we'd plunk down a sawbuck on McGriff. As much as we'd like to see these folk just put Bonds, Clemens and Schilling in, it seems totally out of bounds at this point. Too much guts required to go for that particular "glory."
BUT we've talked about all that too much already. To cleanse ourselves from this impending travesty, we give you our first cut at what our mainstream Hall of Fame ballot would look like, blissfully free from any supporting arguments (!). Here are the players we'd put on that ballot:
Bobby Abreu, Todd Helton, Jeff Kent, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Scott Rolen, Gary Sheffield, Billy Wagner
We'll return to this in December after the "committee" has concluded its "dance of death."