January 08, 2014

Congrats, Maddux, Glavine, Thomas; sorry, Biggio; not sorry, Morris; WTF otherwise

Well, three of the four players I thought would make it into this year's Baseball Hall of Fame class did.

 Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are all in, while Craig Biggio missed by just TWO votes.

All three were definitely deserving. All four of the above were on my mock ballot, with a full 10-person vote. No need to expand HOF voting, until Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens address steroiding at least as forthrightly as Mark McGwire did.

Speaking of, among other surprises, or fun things? Or not so fun?

Rafael Palmeiro falling off the ballot. Jack Morris not making it on his last shot; I'm going to love reading some of the pro-Morris sour grapes.

Mike Mussina only getting 20 percent? Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell slipping from last year, as did Curt Schilling? Not so fun.

Meanwhile, a brief look ahead to 2015. Biggio "should" get in next year, but with Randy Johnson a slam dunk and Pedro Martinez presumably so, I can't see anybody else doing so.

A friend mentioned Nomar Garciaparra among 2015 first-timers, at least as a possible vote stealer. I don't think he ever gets close to making it; in fact, I don't see him hitting 20 percent. In fact, his name has been hinted at in roiding before, and, given that David Ortiz had his name mentioned, on paper not just rumor, around the same time, that's going to be an additional negative for Nomar. Sorry, Red Sox fans. Just reporting what's been said out there.

BTW, BoSox fans, who can forget these immortal lines from Big Papi, after he was busted:
One, I have already contacted the Players Association to confirm if this report is true. I have just been told that the report is true. Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive. 

"Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, based on whatever I learn, I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me -- I will not hide and I will not make excuses."
Well, gee, we never did hear back from you on Point No. 3, did we? Bite me, Boston Denialists.

So, for next year, expect the Unit, Pedro and Biggs. No Baggs, no Nomar. Among other first-timers, John Smolz will probably land in about the Schilling range on votes, although he's a slice below on sabermetric stats. Fortunately, there's just the two slam dunks on first-timers in 2015. I also expect
Sammy Sosa will join Raffy in 2015 and fall off the ballot.

And, in case you're wondering, Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald gave Deadspin its ballot this year.

Speaking of, some people, whether Big Hall fluffers or whatever, are using Biggio's near miss to again push expanding the ballot beyond 10, per Fangraphs. Doorknob, I hope not.

And, I disagree with Fangraphs' Dave Cameron in a follow-up piece, where he says this is all about logic. Nope. The old "big Hall" vs "small Hall," which is definitely a matter of opinion, drives a lot of this debate. The issue of not voting for some alleged or actual roiders, and the worries about the "gridlock" it causes, are of less concern for we small Hallers. They're still of some concern, but certainly not the same degree.

The only possibly stupider idea might be waiving the five-year post-retirement limit for voting. Leave it to somebody at ESPN to promote this.

And, as for the highly likely roiders? As I've said before, and hinted above, just a little honesty and openness from you, a little from Bud and the players union too, please.

And Bob Costas, whose judgment I will always respect, says, via Ken Rosenthal, that it's an issue of "authenticity." For those who claim this is just like "greenies," again, no. Bob and Ken are, I think, coming from where Bouton is: it's not a cheating issue, it's an issue of how much it made some players inauthentic.

For some good back ground on this, going all the way back to Thomas Boswell and his Canseco Milkshake, read this Grantland piece.

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