All ballots had to be in by yesterday. The site that tracks the votes as they’re made public is up and running:
There are no likely hall of famers among the first-year eligible players. That makes it an interesting year to see who makes a move and who—if anyone—gets in. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling are all in their penultimate year of eligibility. Each is more than qualified to be in, and each is not due to either presumption of chemical assistance or widespread opinion that they’re jerks, or both. Right now (with about 28% of the vote in) each is sitting at/around 72-74%. Usually the more, um, liberal about PEDs voters go early, so I don’t think Clemens and Bonds are getting there. On the other hand, the more conservative voters are likely to be the less put off by Schilling’s mouth—I’m going to guess he does get the votes he needs, barely. Meanwhile Scott Rolen and Todd Helton appear to be making strong moves. Surprisingly, so are Manny Ramirez and Gary Scheffield…which, again, we will see what happens when the less chemistry-friendly voters get their say. Also surprisingly, Omar Vizquel is not. I expect the late voters will bump up his numbers but not as much as I thought originally that he’d garner this year. I’m on record with the idea he’s more at the “Hall of Very Good” level, but he’s had very vocal supporters in the media.
Also, remember that the “Golden Days” and “Early Baseball” committees have been postponed for a year because the committee members cannot figure out how to use Zoom…so no posthumously recognizing Dick Allen for at least a year.
5 thoughts on “Hall of Fame Update”
Hey Rans fan. glad you’re back. You don’t know how many times I have looked here hoping that somebody would put a post here that ain’t me. Because of the weakness of all the rest of us your silence has been deafening.
The hall of fame is beautiful because it is endlessly arguable. That’s the point. We can never exactly know.
Happy Twins Fan, I just saw the end of an address in the Senate calling for unity (sorry the name of the Senator is unknown to me). Calling for unity the Senator asked citizens to get to know their neighbors by clearing the snow out of neighbor’s driveway.
It made me think of you and your tale, way back before the current crisis. I’m far away from Minnesota, but I’d like to symbolically offer to clear your snow along with your other neighbors. Looking forward to your next post, friend.
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HTF brings up a good point about the arguability of voting for HoF candidates. I remember when the lost causes were more of a thing, when votes were anonymous. Some votes were clearly made by homers who may have written for a local paper, and knew a player was not HoF caliber but gave him a vote anyway. I think Torii Hunter is getting some of that action now – he was always a good interview. I don’t think this is a bad thing. Fans, after all, are not all mathematicians. Logic and statistics are not the only factors in one’s love of a baseball player.
Steve Yeager is a good example. His career as a Dodger was ending as Mike Scioscia’s was starting. They were both catchers on the team for six years. Without looking anything up, I’m sure Scioscia is statistically a better player. Yeager, though, was my favorite and always will be. And I found two votes for Yeager in his first year of HoF eligibility and I can find no votes for Scioscia.
I believe that it is a binary question: Does Player A deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Certainly many factors affect the answer but the question is still Y/N. However, for individual voters, who know a single vote for Torii Hunter or Steve Yeager won’t affect the outcome, the question is not binary: Does Player A deserve the recognition of a single HoF vote? I’d vote for Steve Yeager in a hot minute, fully knowing he is not an HoF level player.
The public vote makes a Yeager vote less likely and opens a voter up for derision. It’s like a vote for your next-door neighbor for City Council (which I did in Pasadena many years ago, knowing he’d likely get less than triple digits).
Binary questions ain’t no fun. On the other hand Boolean Logic…
Scioscia does have more WAR than Yeager, but it has to be taken into account that (although he played 15 years in the bigs) he only played 100 games in a season 5 times. He had some injuries, most famously a horrific throat injury from a teammate’s broken bat shard. If he had played more, he’d no doubt have racked up more WAR. He was a very good defensive catcher and had an excellent arm.
Personally I think part of the decrease in “throw him a bone” HoF votes is how overloaded the ballot became with truly great players. Now that it’s thinning out a bit, I won’t be surprised if a few more such votes return.