It’s been a crazy day in baseball, what with the Hall of Fame voting announced and no one getting in. In between posting various items, I took some time to digest what the voting means for several of the players on the ballot.
Of course we are biased here, but Piazza’s omission was simply outrageous. There was no evidence that Piazza used steroids, yet many writers decided to convict him anyway and withhold their votes. The good news is that Piazza got 57% of the vote and was not penalized as harshly as some of the other suspected PED guys. I think some of those writers were just punishing Piazza by not giving him the honor of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer. His vote total is high enough to signal that he will be elected eventually, perhaps as early as next year.
Also an outrageous omission. He had 3000+ hits and was never linked to steroids, yet he only received 68% of the vote. The only negative I can think of for Biggio is that he was never really a dominant player. Still though, his hit total should have been enough. He’ll get elected next year.
Morris finished second to Biggio with 67% of the vote. He has one year left on the ballot, and this was his last best chance of getting in. With far superior pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina making their first appearances on the ballot next year, Morris has no chance of getting elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s off to the Veterans Committee for him.
Bagwell is being victimized by the same unsubstantiated steroid rumors as Piazza. Bagwell got 59% this year, up from 56% and 41% in the respective prior two years. Bagwell will eventually get in, but not for a few more years; the next few ballots are packed, and Bagwell will fall by the wayside.
Back to Piazza for a moment. Bagwell’s voting progression is promising for Piazza’s candidacy. Bagwell is much less of a slam-dunk for the Hall of Fame than Piazza. If Bagwell’s votes are rising, Piazza’s should rise even faster, leading to his election.
Schilling received 38% of the vote in his first year of eligibility. I thought he would get more, a reward for a player who was outspoken against PEDs. Schilling’s regular season stats were not great, but his post season heroics could eventually put him over the top. But it will take a while — in addition to the great pitchers next year, in 2015 Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz join the Hall of Fame ballot.
Roger Clemens & Barry Bonds
Clemens’s 37% and Bonds’s 36% were lower than I expected — I thought they’d both get around 50%. The low totals show that they both have steep mountains to climb if they ever hope to be elected. They have to convince more than half of the other two-thirds of the voters that they either did not use PEDs or that it shouldn’t matter to their Hall of Fame candidacies.
Sosa received a shockingly low 12%. This means that not only are writers convinced that he used steroids, they believe he would not have been a Hall of Famer without them. Sosa has no chance of ever getting elected.