The first (and easiest) part of the Hall of Fame voting process is crossing off the names that obviously don’t fit.
This year, it's far too easy.
I counted 13 new names on the 2012 ballot that was announced Wednesday. It took me about 13 seconds to realize that I won't be voting for any of them.
Jeromy Burnitz? Bill Mueller? Tony Womack?
No, no, no.
Vinny Castilla? Brian Jordan? Bernie Williams?
No, no, no.
And here's my problem: I only voted for two guys last year (Robbie Alomar and Jack Morris), and one of them (Alomar) got in.
That leaves me with one holdover (Morris) and no newcomers. That leaves me with one name on my ballot, and it leaves me with one big question:
If I'm only voting for one guy (voters can pick up to 10 names), am I being too picky?
I don't know the answer yet. I've got a month to figure it out, because the Hall ballot must be postmarked by Dec. 31 (with results announced Jan. 9).
If I decide that my standards have been too strict, the two guys I'm most likely to add to the ballot are shortstops Barry Larkin and Alan Trammell. Both have good (and similar cases), and they were the last two players I eliminated a year ago.
I'll look at other names, too.
I'm not sure yet. It's going to take a lot of time, and a lot of thought.
A lot more than 13 seconds.