Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The vote shows a marked change in the way writers view players suspected of PED use.
Rodriguez garnered 76% of the vote in his first year on the ballot. Rodriguez suddenly could not live up to his nickname of “Pudge” once drug testing started, showing up to Spring Training much slimmer than he had ever been. Plus, Jose Canseco claims to have injected Rodriguez with steroids. Yet he made it as a first-timer, while Mike Piazza, who was the subject of much weaker PED whispers, had to wait four years.
Bagwell was also the victim of similar whispers. He finally made it in on his seventh year on the ballot with 86% of the vote. Raines also got 86% in his tenth and final year on the ballot.
Trevor Hoffman got 74%, missing by just five votes. Vladimir Guerrero got 71%. How Guerrero was not a first-ballot lock escapes me. Maybe writers did not want to vote two Montreal Expos in on the same year (by the way, the IBWAA correctly voted for Guerrero).
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds got 54% and 53% respectively, climbing about 10% over last year. However, they fell short of the 65% at which they were trending. At this point, it seems like their induction is inevitable.
Here is the rest of the vote:
|Player||Year on ballot||Votes||Pct|