It’s Hall of Fame season and many voters have started to release their ballots. This ballot is stacked, it has more depth and quality players than any other class in modern voting history (1966). On the ballot there are eleven players with a bWAR (Baseball-Reference) of 60 or higher, plus Mark McGwire (58.7), Mike Piazza (56.1), and Sammy Sosa (54.8).
Below are my voting predictions.
I don’t think anyone will receive the necessary 75% of the vote needed for induction. The last time the BBWAA didn’t put anyone in was in 1996. Five players on that ballot were eventually voted in by the writers, plus Ron Santo was later elected via the Veterans Committee.
Historical trends would suggest Jack Morris is a lock to get in this year, however I think the crowded ballot, and perhaps a closer examination of his career will prevent him from getting to 75%. 2012% 66.7-2013 prediction 72%.
Tim Raines will likely see the biggest gain from any of the holdovers on the ballot this year, as voters who are ignoring candidates for their PED use may look to pre-steroid era players instead. Plus, Raines was really good, and should have been inducted years ago. 2012% 48.7-2013 prediction 59%.
Clearly a large percentage of voters think Jeff Bagwell used steroids or other PEDs and will not vote for him. There is another significant portion of voters that believe mere suspicion isn’t enough to pass on a player. Bagwell’s vote percentage will likely closely resemble the 56% he received last year. 2012% 56.0-2013 prediction 55%.
There is really no reason Craig Biggio shouldn’t get in this year, however the crowded ballot, and “sniff test” are working against his favor. 2013 prediction 45%.
Lee Smith‘s chances of enshrinement will likely take a slight dip because of the crowded ballot this year. That’s probably for the best. 2012% 50.6-2013 prediction 45%.
At least 40% of voters have made it clear they will not vote for anyone linked to using steroids; Roger Clemens has that link and will not get in. 2013 prediction 43%.
Mike Piazza will likely be given the Bagwell treatment. Despite no actual evidence that he used, he will not get in. 2013 prediction 42%.
Alan Trammell will likely see a bump up for the same reasons Raines will. Unfortunately it still won’t be enough for him to get in. 2012% 36.8-2013 prediction 41%.
Barry Bonds is the best player on the ballot (158.1 bWAR), however he has become the face of the “steroid era” and he has no chance of getting inducted, and he may never. 2013 prediction 38%.
Edgar Martinez has a loyal group of supporters that will continue to vote for him despite the crowded ballot, however his detractors feel just as strongly that he shouldn’t get in. Unfortunately, the detractors outnumber the supporters roughly 2-1. 2012% 36.5-2013 prediction 37%.
There is really no good reason Curt Schilling shouldn’t get in either, when he doesn’t his candidacy will just be another example of the “sniff test” gone wrong. Roughly twice as many people will vote for Morris than Schilling, that makes the Hall, voters, and the voting process all look very bad. 2013 prediction 35%.
Larry Walker has the Coors Field advantage working against him, plus the crowded ballot. I think he drops slightly. 2012% 22.9-2013 prediction 18%.
Dale Murphy will likely see a few more votes this year, his final year on the ballot. 2012% 14.5-2013 prediction 18%.
Mark McGwire will obviously never get in by writers. He will soon fall off the ballot altogether, but will still get enough support this year to hang around for at least one more. 2012% 19.5-2013 prediction 15%.
From a Hall of Fame stand point, perhaps no player was hurt more by the “steroid era” than Fred McGriff (assuming he was clean). The crowded ballot will almost certainly cause McGriff to lose several votes. 2012% 23.9-2013 prediction 14%.
Sammy Sosa won’t last on the ballot long but will at least see enough support to make his second year. 2013 prediction 12%
Don Mattingly probably should have been dropped from the ballot long ago, but nostalgia and the “sniff test” are powerful things. 2012% 17.8-2013 prediction 9.5%.
This might be Rafael Palmeiro’s last year on the ballot, however I think he gets just enough support to last one more year. 2012% 12.6 -2013 prediction 6%.
Bernie Williams will almost certainly lose supporters this year. The crowded ballot, and his somewhat underwhelming numbers will likely drop him below the necessary 5% to stay on for future consideration. 2012% 9.6-2013 prediction 4.5%.
Kenny Lofton is more deserving of enshrinement than the sniff test will ever give him credit for, however the crowded ballot will almost certainly cause him to fall below 5%. 2013 prediction 3.5%
David Wells and Jack Morris were both good pitchers who had very similar careers. One guy is very close to getting in, one guy will fall off the ballot his first year on it. One of those decisions is correct. 2013 prediction 1.5%.
There has never been a ballot this deep, and no one will get in. What good does that do? How is that honoring the history of the game? I hope the writers who aren’t voting for those suspected of using PEDs all have a good answer to the following question. What are you accomplishing by keeping them out?
I wish the Hall would step in, the voting process is out of date and in desperate need of change. The most obvious solution to this mess seems to me, to put the deserving PED guys in, and acknowledge that they used. Mark McGwire is one of the greatest power hitters of all-time, and he used steroids. Why can’t the Hall recognize both? With the omission of a generation players (half a generation), the Hall of Fame will not only lose credibility and relevance, it puts itself at risk of losing an entire generation of fans. When you ignore a generation of players, you ignore a generation of fans. Ignoring a generation of fans worked out well for boxing and horse racing, right?
Who do you think should get in? Who will get in? Vote here.
Follow me on Twitter @RossCarey
Originally posted 12/20/12