A few hours ago the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame released the final ballot count from the BBWAA. The big winners were Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez who leaped the 75% hurdle to earn election to the Hall. Congratulations to them.
Trevor Hoffman fell five vote short of election with 74.0% of the vote. He moved his percentage from 67.5% in 2016, and seems to be in a good position to move himself toward election next year. Vladimir Guerrero, in his first year on the ballot, picked up 71.7%. It was a creditable first showing, and , like Hoffman, positions him well for 2018.
Those finishing further back, but over 50%, include Edgar Martinez 58.6%, Roger Clemens at 54.1%, Barry Bonds at 53.8% and Mike Mussina 51.8%. When I left for school this morning at 6:30, each of these players were much higher according to the public vote.
Because I am here, advocating as a Mariners fan for Edgar’s candidacy, the vote is quite distressing. At 6:30 AM, Edgar was holding steady at a tick over 65% with about 54% of the vote tallied. By 3:00 this afternoon, with the press release, Edgar’s vote total dropped more than 7% to less than 60%. This means, according to Thibodaux’s tweet:
This is a huge difference between the Edgar’s public votes and private votes equal to about 45% of the vote cast. Edgar needed 332 votes for election and received 259. He got a jump, but terrifyingly fewer than I thought he would receive. He was projected to get between 62-65%, and this is deeply disappointing to me.
There is a great deal of convincing left to do. On the positive side, Raines had only 55% of the vote two years out from this year. Edgar requires less. However, I fear he, like Hoffman, like Billy Wagner and Lee Smith must overcome the “specialist label.” My belief is that minds will change more slowly than they did for Raines. Next year every vote will be public and every voter will be subject to public scrutiny-and criticism. Will this make a difference? I have no idea, but we’ve seen the movement in Edgar’s percentages 2016-17, and perhaps those same no voters will be more pliable to arguments by those better versed in advanced statistics-and reason.
For those seeking solace in the haven of some future Veterans Committee election, let me offer this simple advice. Don’t. The last living player voted in by the Veterans Committee was Bill Mazeroski in 2001. . Edgar’s best shot is to win now and get voted in before his 2019 deadline.
For tonight, however, I think I need a beer. Maybe two.