Where Does the Hall of Fame Ballot Go From Here?

1/10/13 in MLB   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Where Does the Hall of Fame Balllot Go From Here?The Baseball Hall of Fame results are out, and as we all know, nobody was elected. This year's class will include a player, an owner, and an umpire who have all been dead since the Depression.

There's nothing that can be done about this year's results, so the question turns to next year and beyond. Most of the talk right now is how to reform the process. I'll be honest that with the exception of scrapping the 10 player vote limit, I don't really know. More importantly, I'm not sure the Hall itself feels much need to do anything.

So, for now, let's look at the vote totals from this year and try to figure out who still has a shot of getting in. This will be partially based on historical tendencies, but it's clear that the PED situation has made most of those useless. Complicating things are five new players that will appear on the ballot next year. Two of them, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, are first ballot locks, and another, Frank Thomas, should be. Two others, Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent, have good cases. With that, what chances are the veterans of the 2013 ballot looking at?

Craig Biggio (68.2% of 2013 vote, 1 year on ballot) While Biggio did not make it on the first ballot, a vote total that high the first time means he's almost certain to get in at some point. The two most recent and obvious examples of this are Roberto Alomar, who got in on the 2nd ballot, and Barry Larkin, who in on his 3rd. What might keep Biggio out is the influx of lock newcomers on the next few ballots, not just next year but 2015 (Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield) and 2016 (Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Edmonds) as well. It sucks Biggio didn't get in yesterday, but it will happen at some point.

Jack Morris (67.7%, 14 years) One year to go and 42 votes shy. That's the situation for Morris now. I thought he'd get elected this year due to the anti-steroid and anti-sabermetric vote. However, he only moved up 1% from last year. Given that and the influx of new and better pitchers next year, it's not anywhere close to a lock Morris gets in, but given that it'll be the last look the writers gets of him, there's still a decent chance for Morris to get over the line.

Jeff Bagwell (59.6%, 3 years) Historically, Bagwell is in a position to eventually get elected. However, the whispering campaign that he was a PED user appears to be holding him back. Bagwell's total went up this year, but only 3%. He could still get in, and he has plenty of time still, but it could be a long slog.

Mike Piazza (57.8%, 1 year) Given the craziness about this ballot, this a pretty good debut for Piazza. He's also involved in a whispering PED allegation, which throws a huge variable in the proceeding. If historical norms hold though, Piazza will get in at some point.

Tim Raines (52.2%, 6 years) It's about time Raines got over 50% of the vote. With Bert Blyleven in, Raines is the new cause celebre of the sabermetric crowd, and it appears to be slowly working. Like everyone else, the crowded ballot is an issue, but Raines doesn't have the PED specter above him, which could help. I'm starting to feel cautiously optimistic that he'll get elected at some point.

Lee Smith (47.8%, 11 years) After taking a decade to get over 50%, Smith dropped back under that mark this year, and with only 4 years left, that's not a good sign. At this point, it's hard to see him getting in.

Curt Schilling (38.8%, 1 year) I truly thought Schilling would do better than this, at least get to 40%. Of the first year players, he's the hardest to predict at this time. The up coming players don't help him at all, but he doesn't have the baggage those around him in total have. Schilling is a true wait-and-see in regards to his chances.

Read on for some of the more controversial names on this controversial ballot.

Blog Photo - Where Does the Hall of Fame Balllot Go From Here?Roger Clemens (37.6%, 1 year) and Barry Bonds (36.2%, 1 year) You can't talk about one with the other. These two are at the head of most of the rancor and consternation on this ballot. I suspect that both Clemens and Bonds will see a slight uptick next year, depending on how many writers took a position of not voting for them first ballot, but voting for them afterwards. After that, it's clearly going to take a long time for either of them to get in, if they do on the writers ballot at all. With 14 years to go, it's impossible to predict how this is going to proceed.

Edgar Martinez (35.9%, 4 years) Edgar has essentially stayed flat since he debuted. The DH thing is clearly hampering his progress (which, even though I'm a support of Edgar, I can understand). Stranger things have happened, but it's not looking good for him. If anything, I could see him dropping next year due to the crowded ballot. I'm guessing many of Edgar's supporters are those with bigger ballots, and someone has to drop to make room.

Alan Trammell (33.6%, 12 years) Debuting at a low number is not a death knell for a player's chances at getting elected, but being under 35% this late in the game almost certainly is. Trammell's another one who I expect to see his vote total fall next year.

Larry Walker (21.6%, 3 years) Walker is settling into the low 20s, which isn't going to get it done. If the ballot was clearing faster, I wonder if his case could get some more attention, because it's worth debating.

Fred McGriff (20.7%, 4 years) Given the PED backlash and McGriff's believed cleanness, I'm surprised he's not getting more support. He actually went down this year, which I'm guessing was a result of the crowded ballot. That problem isn't going away anytime soon, but I have a hunch the Crime Dog could still get more into the conversation. It's not likely to happen, but there's still a non-zero chance.

Dale Murphy (18.6%, 15 years) This was Murphy's last year of eligibility, and thus he falls off the ballot. This probably helps his chances actually, and it gets him off this ballot and onto the Veterans Committee at some point. We'll see if he has better luck there.

Don Mattingly (13.2%, 13 years) It's obviously not going to happen for Donnie Baseball.

Mark McGwire (16.9%, 7 years), Sammy Sosa (12.5%, 1 year), and Rafael Palmeiro (8.8%, 3 years) McGwire is going nowhere, Sosa's candidacy looks DOA, and Palmeiro dropped so much this year I wouldn't be surprised if he fell off the ballot completely next year. None of these guys are getting in.

Bernie Williams (3.3%, 2 years) and Kenny Lofton (3.2%, 1 year) Neither Williams nor Lofton got 5%, so they fall off the ballot. It was a fate neither deserved. I'm not saying that they are Hall of Famers in the end, but both have arguments that deserve a full debate, and neither will get it. Lofton in particular has an intriguing case. He's not the most egregious one and done player ever (that's Lou Whitaker), but he's up there.

What are your predictions on who will get elected in the future?
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1/10/13   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Here is something to ponder...  What happens when (and this very well could happen) a player from the '90's gets in and after he is enshrined he admits he used steroids and/or HGH or some other banned substance?

Seems to me the only way around it for one of the "holier-than-thou" writers is to not ever vote for anyone who played from the mid '80's through 2003.

And of course, there is the obvious cheater who is already in...  Who got elected even after he had admitted to cheating.  Gaylord Perry.  And then there were the "greenies" and amphetamines (which is actually MORE helpful to a baseball player than steroids BTW) freely available to players for years before they were banned from Clubhouses. 

The point is every era had something players used to get an edge.  Illegal, banned or not yet banned things.

This idea that the very same writers who knew this was going on and never wrote a thing decrying it  for over a decade are now shunning players from that same era is a very slippery slope indeed.  And pathetic at that.

1/10/13   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

ML31 wrote:
I'm of the opinion that Bonds and Clemens will be enshrined in the Hall at some point.  It may take some time but they will be there.  They HAVE to be.

Yup. The Hall of Fame doesn't adequately tell the story of the game without them.

1/10/13   |   Jeff_P   |   19859 respect

GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSES AHOLES............there are CHEATERS IN the hall as we speak and to leave these players of the ballot because of ASSUMPTIONS is a disgrace to all involved.REMEMBER ROIDS  was not officially baned til 2003....sooooooo a lot of these players played WELL BEFORE THAT TIME......and their careers were well under way............WHAT A SHAME TO LEAVE THEM OUT CUZ WE ASSUME THEY ARE GUILTY..........you know what they say......when you ASSUME something......IT MAKES AN ASS out of YOU.............but NOT ME...........and oh yea.............by the way.............how about letting PETE ROSE in also..........WHAT A JOKE.................is the hall now the HALL OF SAINTS..............UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

1/10/13   |   cubsgirl   |   2645 respect

Piazza. Raines and Smith, would have been good.  I am really happy at some that did not make it. 

1/9/13   |   jaysinw   |   4946 respect

Maddox and Glavine should be locks, Thomas I do not think should be a lock still make a few years later. After 97 he played primary a DH so I hold them to a higher standard,  for someone who did not play a position where the body takes a beating. Jack Morris and Lee Smith are being robbed, and I have to say they will not make it. Clemens should be in there but there is to many people out there who cannot stand him and that will hurt any chance of him getting in. Maybe he will get in by the Veterans. McGwire and Bonds, one admitted taking them while the other said I did so not knowingly still should get in because baseball turned a blinded eye to what was going on even when,  Commissioner Fay Vicent may his concerns how PEDs would hurt the game the owners and him did not see things the same especially with everything else that was going on at the time. These guys in the BBWAA are just as guilty many were beat writers and knew more of what was going on in the club house back then and now feel they should be the judge on the morals of the people who played the game. With the things I heard today, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and many others would not be able to pass the test to get into the HoF, and I am sure that most will not agree but then again I am also the one who believes Pete Rose should be in there.  

1/9/13   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

I'm of the opinion that Bonds and Clemens will be enshrined in the Hall at some point.  It may take some time but they will be there.  They HAVE to be.