|Baggs at bat. Photo via Wikipedia.|
Less than 500 homers in the era of roiding and baseball expansion hurt him, even as many voters didn't look at his on-base percentage and other issues. Relatively early retirement for a first baseman also hurt.
But, he's now in. As is Rock Raines, in his 10th and final year of eligibility, with both getting above 85 percent and Ivan Rodriguez, who has had the occasional suspicion or two of PEDing, just sneaking in at 76 percent. (For the record, I personally believe the Jose Canseco allegations about putting a needle or three in Pudge's butt.)
Rodriguez will, unless I'm overlooking or unaware of something, be the first in Cooperstown with a Texas Rangers hat.
Trevor Hoffman just missed. Vladimir Guerrero, who is not a HOFer in my book (see below) got too damned close. He's certainly less deserving than Larry Walker.
Expansion of note to commenter below, re Vlad vs Larry. It's laughable how even ESPN staffers ignore that OPS+, in Walker's case, is both park-neutralized and era-neutralized. Ergo, if you know sabermetrics, there IS no "Coors Field effect."
Believed users of performance-enhancing drugs Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, while moving up in vote percentages, still fall well short, both still short of 55 percent.. With commish-ex Bud Selig now in, plus three likely knowing managers of roiders, in managers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre managing multiple users, and the third, Bobby Cox, managing at least one suspected user, I'm softening somewhat on voting players in. No reason they should be screwed more than the commish and managers who profited. The above two were HOFers anyway. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, among others, are not. Manny Ramirez, with multiple testing violations, is not.
Speaking of Canseco, Mr. Header Homer himself has weighed in on today's vote.
Also not in, and not on the ballot, of course, is Pete Rose. Interestingly, Bert Blyleven, himself a HOFer, recently said he thinks roiders hurt baseball more than Pete and his gambling.
Finally, with Edgar Martinez moving above 50 percent, voters may be softening up somewhat on where to vote career or near-career DHs. That said, he has just two years of eligibility left, and is a borderline case for a power position. And, Mike Mussina also broke 50 percent, which may reopen the debate on "compiler" pitchers.
Note: I am definitely pretty much of a "small Hall" person. For those who claim that cutoffs for a "small Hall" are arbitrary, ANY such cutoffs are arbitrary. Ditto on the 10-vote rule, which "big Hall" people hate. Whether a rule is imposed from outside, or internally developed, unless you believe in divine command theories of ethics, and your "ethics" extends to rules in general, rules of this nature are arbitrary. That includes yours, because you have an arbitrary cutoff rule for your "big Hall," too.
If you claim you don't, I'll ask you why Eckstein isn't a HOFer. You have arbitrary rules, too.
Deal with it.
I see no divinity running around; as for the arbitrary rules, for the ESPNers and a few others who want a "big Hall"? Start your own, if you don't like the rules of the current voting.
Otherwise, the claim that "but my rule is different" is the surest indicator of special pleading and oxen being gored.