We are a few days away from the announcement of who will be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This year's ballot marks the eligibility of players that have the cloud of the Steroid Era hanging over their careers. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa among others are some of those whose clouds are the darkest. Here is the complete list of players eligible for this year's vote:
|Sandy Alomar Jr.|
Just to specify the rules for being placed on the ballot. Players must be retired for a full five years after their last at-bat and may remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in the previous year.
So looking at the list, who do I think get's the necessary 75% for enshrinement?
I believe the Baseball writers will elect the two main "Killer B's" of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell of Houston Astros fame, as well as, arguably the best offensive catcher in the history of the game Mike Piazza. With Jeff Bagwell already having 56% of the vote in his first two years of eligibility, it would make sense to enshrine these two lifelong teammates together. At least it makes sense on a sentimental level. In terms of Mike Piazza, I've already made my case for him in my prior post Mike Piazza Hall of Famer 2013. I think Jack Morris gets closer to reaching 75%. He's already at 66.7% with two years left.
In terms of the players I mentioned linked to the Steroid Era, I think Bonds and Clemens will get a substantial part of the vote in their favor. Something within the 40% range. Sosa probably a bit less and McGwire will remain at around 15%-20% of the vote. Palmiero is a bit of a wild card. I'm not sure how the voters will see him past the 12.6% of the vote he got last year. He is the one guy who has a positive test attributed to him. So we'll have to see.
Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker and Tim Raines will continue their slow climb up to 75%. Schilling will get some votes, but not enough for 75%. I believe it'll take him within 5-10 years to get 75%. Bernie Williams will stay on the ballot getting close to his 9.6%.
I don't see Trammell, Mattingly, Smith making too much headway in the voting and sadly, Dale Murphy will no longer be eligible after this year with his reaching his 15th and final year on the ballot. I don't see him making a 60%+ increase in voting to get enshrinement. The fact that he has only gotten 14.5% is a travesty.
I think the player association needs to make a better case of getting these players stats and achievement out to the younger voters who may have never had a chance to see them play. With all the video that is available, they should build campaigns to better highlight these players and show them things that the younger voters might not know about them.
Ok folks, there we go. That's how I feel it will play out when the announcement is made on January 9, 2013. BTW, here is the list of the players that will be first year eligible in 2014:
Moises Alou, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Jose Cruz Jr., Ray Durham, Damion Easley, Keith Foulke, Eric Gagne, Tom Glavine, Luis Gonzalez, Scott Hatteberg, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Jeff Kent, Jon Lieber, Esteban Loaiza, Paul Lo Duca, Greg Maddux, Matt Morris, Mike Mussina, Trot Nixon, Hideo Nomo, Jay Payton, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow, Shannon Stewart, Frank Thomas, Mike Timlin, Steve Trachsel, Jose VidroFive names stand out to me on that list for potential first-year enshrinement:
Tom Glavine2014 looks to be another star studded Hall of Fame ballot.