My daily obsession, whether at home or at work, is following Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame Tracker. Ryan doesn’t have a blog or website, updates his news via Twitter, and rarely adds more than just the facts when he receives a ballot. He links to a story online about the ballot when one is available.
Though Thibodaux reserves his judgement, the same cannot be said for his followers, those who, like me, are intensely interested in the outcome of the voting feel free to attack those they see as mis-voting. Personally, if a writer is willing to explain the reasons for his vote, and make their decision public, I cannot find fault with their choices. Well, at least most of time. I simply cannot condone a vote for Manny Ramirez who twice failed drug tests after the MLB drug-testing regimen was put in place in 2005. Dumb. Just, dumb.
I encourage anyone with interest in this to read a few of the columns. John Heyman’s story over at Fanragsports was quite good. Peter Gammons, blogging at the Daily Gammons also shares his thought process. There are lots more, but perhaps the most interesting and in many respects moving account comes from Jeff Schultz covering the Braves for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He indicates it will be his last vote until the Hall of Fame gives some direction about players associated with PED use. You don’t have to agree with all or any of them, but none are “stupid,” none deserve to lose their vote, and all are thoughtful. And there are many more just like them.
I confess that I follow chiefly to track the position of Edgar Martinez. At the present time he has slipped a bit. Edgar had risen to about 71%, but has since fallen to 68.9% with 164 votes counted or 37.7% of the votes in. It is hard to find fault with this, a more than 26% increase from 2016. If he was to finish at around 65%, that would be an excellent platform to push for 75% by the time his term on the ballot expires in two years. However, I fear it will fall closer to 60% when all the votes are counted, unless all the voters who have drunk the David Ortiz Kool-Aid take a look at the numbers and realize Edgar’s are better.
Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines continue to do quite well at 92.1 and 91.5 percent respectively. Ivan Rodriguez is holding at 84.1%, while Vlad Guerrero is a surprising 76.2%. I do think Vlad will slip below 75%, and give me a chance to vote for him next year. Trevor Hoffman is next at 72.6%, a few ticks up from last year, but it doesn’t seem that will hold. the other big surprises are Bonds and Clemens who stand at 70.1 and 69.5% respectively.
Mussina and Schilling still lag the pack, with the latter just getting clobbered for his Twitter foolishness. The suggestion that journalists be lynched has not washed well with the writers. I am so surprised. He has a net loss of 11 votes, and I suspect he’ll lose a lot more as the remaining ballots are included in the total.
Remember these numbers are just based on a fraction of the vote. We’ll know the final Hall of Fame announcement on January 18th. I don’t expect Edgar to get in this year, but with three and perhaps four ahead of him likely to be cleared from the ballot, and a leap forward in his own votes, I’m hoping he’s better positioned for 2019.