It’s that time of year when the baseball press submits their ballots to the Baseball Hall of Fame for induction candidates. This year the ballot is clogged with plenty of new candidates to go with the those who are carried over from previous years. The two obvious new candidates who, barring a disaster of some kind, that will be elected are Atlanta’s excellent third baseman Chipper Jones and the traveled slugger Jim Thome and his 609 career home runs.
At this writing, with 118 votes or 28.4% of the vote tallied on Ryan Thibadeaux’s awesome Hall of Fame Tracker there some clear winners and not-so-winning in the voting.
Here are some quick positive results to report
Chipper Jones–98.3% of votes cast. Not a surprise. It shows all is right with the world
Jim Thome –95.8% of votes cast. Shows what 609 homers can buy you. Again not a shock
Vladimir Guerrero–94.9% of votes cast. Vlady missed election last year by 15 votes. He’s gotten 19 new votes and is a shoo-in at this point. Good on him. Can’t think of too many more fun players to watch performing at his level.
Trevor Hoffman–78.8% of the vote. Hoffman was five new votes short of election last year. He’s gotten eight new ones but lost three. Seems to have gotten what he needs, but closer voting is volatile and it’s best not to count chickens before they’re hatched.
Larry Walker-40.7% of votes cast. No, in his ninth year on the ballot Walker likely hasn’t moved much closer to the Hall’s 75%. But he’s received 19 new votes. with likely more to come. Walker’s vote in 2017 was 21.9% of the vote.
Mike Mussina–70.3% of votes cast. Last year Moose received 51.8% of the vote. So progress. Still think he was a good pitcher on some lousy Orioles teams before moving to the Yankees and the big time. He’ll get in, just not this year.
Curt Schilling–67.8% of votes cast. Schilling got 45.0% of the vote last year. Fewer Schilling eruptions on Twitter this year and more votes for the hall. Is there a correlation? Ummmmm–maybe?
Omar Vizquel–26.3% of votes cast. Omar’s first year on the ballot. Started out of the gate really fast, but his support has fallen off quickly. But he’s gotten enough to remain on the ballot for next year and he can make his case that he is a defensive whiz that is Hall-worthy.
Scott Rolen–9.3%–Rolen was a wonderful third baseman who also had some great years at the plate. He has a ratings by Bill James, Jay Jaffe and fWAR that should leave him in the Hall conversation. Still needs ten more votes to remain on the ballot for 2019. If he fell off in his first year, that would be a shame.
The Steroid Era
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens–71.2% and 72.0% respectively. Bonds and Clemens have done well this year. I think the observation that they were Hall-worthy before their drug use resonates with many voters. I don’t believe they’ll get in this year, but do think they will be voted in before 2022 when their eligibility would expire. I remain resistant to this argument, but at least it makes logical sense.
Manny Ramirez–28.8% of votes cast. Manny’s votes are up slightly from 2017. Support for this serial drug user AFTER MLB instituted its drug policy in 2006 is beyond me. Votes for Manny represent a contempt for any kind of MLB rules–just let in Pete, Shoeless Joe, all eight of the Black Sox, and throw in Hal Chase for good measure.
The Edgar–80.5% of votes cast. The Edgar vote is the one that really matters to me. The percentage is good, but it was as high as 86% a week ago. He has 15 new votes, and is getting the returning vote. He hasn’t gotten a new vote in quite a while and he needs 60 more (and no losses) to gain induction. I don’t believe it will happen this year and I’m pessimistic about next year. Bummed.
My IBWAA Vote
I cast eight votes on the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America ballot. It’s a fun exercise that allows fifteen votes. We’ve already elected Valdimir Guerrero and Edgar Martinez, so they don’t appear. I cast votes for the following players:
No, it doesn’t count, but it is an honor to participate in the activity.