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Make Joe Posnanski A One-Man Hall Of Fame Selection Committee

The title is only half-kidding -- there are other Hall of Fame voters with strong ballots and reasoning behind their selections. Ken Davidoff is one. But Posnanski is the perfect voter. He's intellectually honest, consistent in his standards and cares more about how good a player actually was rather than how he was perceived. 

Posnanski has been writing about the Hall of Fame all week and today he posted his "definite" selections. If you care about the Hall, you've probably read it already. But if not, please do. It's a satisfying combination of insightful analysis and thinly veiled ether directed at some of his bozo BBWAA colleagues.

There are too many memorable passages to recount but my favorite is this one, about top-five first baseman of all-time Jeff Bagwell:

I would say this to those people who would not vote for Jeff Bagwell because they simply believe he used steroids, based on how he looked or some whispers they heard. I have a better idea: Let’s just burn him at the stake. If he survives, you will know you were right.

It's a terrific response to sanctimonious voters like Dan Graziano of FanHouse, who wrote the following about excluding Bagwell from his ballot:

No, I didn't vote for Jeff Bagwell for the Hall of Fame. Yes, it's for the reason everybody loves to hate. I don't know for sure that Bagwell took steroids or any other performance-enhancing drugs to help him attain his Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. I don't have evidence...

The withholding of a Hall of Fame vote based on suspicion of illegal activity is not the same as writing a newspaper story accusing someone of illegal activity. I'm not accusing Jeff Bagwell of taking steroids or any other performance-enhancing drug.

Umm, yes that is an accusation, semantics aside. I'd advise anyone standing trial to ensure Graziano isn't included on the jury. Graziano and his ilk are the equivalent of Juror #3.

It's unfair to generalize the entire BBWAA as a group of holier-than-thou flat-earthers. But it's really hard not to, when the Grazianos are the norm and the Posnanskis are the exception.

And here is Posnanski's ballot of "definites" -- he has two more borderline selections which he will write about tomorrow:

Roberto Alomar
Jeff Bagwell
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Edgar Martinez
Mark McGwire
Tim Raines
Alan Trammell