Updated: Apr 30
What is going on, Ball Boys and Girls? I hope you are doing super well today, with the Hall of Fame results expected to be announced on the 25th. It's only proper I add in my take. In the last two years, I have done a Hall of Fame workup of sorts to look at the players' careers and chances. We are coming into a ballot littered with PED's, suspected PED usage. We also see players who had a solid career who have hurt their chances because of what they have done since being on the ballot. To top it all off, we have two sets of voters, old school and new school, who see the ball in two different lights.
We already know the class includes six inductees from era committee ballots (Buck O'Neil, Bud Fowler, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Minnie Miñoso, and Gil Hodges). Will anyone be added to that class?
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We saw historic things happen last year, including the 0 inductees being the first since 2013 and only the 4th time since 1961. We saw a record of 14 blank ballots sent in. We saw the little movement for Schilling, Clemens, and Bonds. The blank ballots are a sure sign of protest for Schilling, Clemens, Sosa, Bonds, all still on the ballot.
If you recall, last year, shortly after the results, Curt Schilling rightfully said the following: "I defer to the veteran's committee and men's whose opinions matter. Who are in a position to judge a player." Schilling says of Bonds & Clemens he "now somehow (is) in a conversation with two men who cheated, and instead of being accountable they chose to destroy others lives to protect their lie." I agree with Schilling, granted; yes, he has had some nasty tweets and social media stuff in recent years. The only performance that should matter is those great 20 years on the field and not what has happened since being long removed from the game.
Fast forward to today, Schilling is tracking at 59.6 percent and has lost a net of 21 votes from those who voted for him last year(71.1). I guess he's getting his (bizarre) wish. I have a weird feeling that Schilling will get in but voted in by the Era committee in the coming seasons.
Let's talk about the dynamic steroid due of Bonds/Clemens; both are in their final year on the ballot. Recall, it took Edgar Martinez, who the Outstanding DH award is named after 10-go around, to get in. Bonds got 61.8 percent of the vote last year after being named on 73.7 percent of the public ballots. Right now, he's tracking at 77.2 percent and has gained just two votes from returning voters. Given what we know about private vs. public ballots, this just isn't going to cut it.
Last year, Clemens got 61.6 percent of the vote after being named on 73.2 percent of the public ballots. Right now, he's tracking at 76 percent and has also only gained a net of two votes. I think Clemens gets in out of the two; Bond's falls short. However, if both don't make it, I think the Era committee will get them into the HoF in due time.
There are a few players who have made excellent gains on the ballot. I want to highlight one Scott Rolen, who is going into his 4year on the ballot. Rolen took a giant leap forward for the third straight voting cycle last year, up to 52.9 percent. He's not going to make it this time, but he's getting there. He's tracking at 69 percent on public ballots and has gained a net of 12 votes from returning voters. With Bond, Schilling, Clemens, Ortiz all coming off the ballot, and the only notable name coming onto the ballot in 2023 is Carlos Beltran, the chances are vital for a 2023 induction for Rolen.
Some notable names could break the 50% mark and are trending in the right direction. Todd Helton got 44.9 percent of the vote last year after being named on 47.3 percent of the public ballots. He's tracking at 56.7 percent right now and has gained a net of 11 votes.
Andruw Jones: He received 33.9 percent of the vote last year after being named on 39 percent of the publicly revealed ballots. He's at 48.5 percent right now.
Billy Wagner: After getting 46.4 percent of the vote last year, Wagner has gained a net of nine votes and is polling at 48 percent.
One player who took a turn in the wrong direction was Omar Vizquel. Vizquel got 49.1 percent of the vote last year but, likely in light of recent allegations, has lost 49 votes and is tracking at 11.1 percent. Vizquel, likely will never see the list of days or be in the good graces of the Hall of Fame.
Lastly, two players were the worst rivals in the AL East for years. David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez. The polarizing A-Rod is polling at 40.9 percent in his first go-round on the ballot. It's his first time on the ballot, so it isn't easy to pin down. As of Tuesday afternoon 01/18, Ortiz has appeared on 83.6 percent of the known ballots.
Final prediction, the BBWAA class will for sure include one, David Ortiz. After that, we might see Clemens, Bonds; Schilling also join the great DH. The likely hood of the 7-man 2022 class is the outcome that I will stick to.