One of the days I look forward to every offseason is the day the Baseball Hall of Fame voting results are released. That day is today! Jeff Bagwell (86.2% of the vote), Tim Raines (86.0%), and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez (76%) received more than 75% of the votes, making them this year’s class. While I may not be nearly ecstatic about this class as I was for Ken Griffey Jr last year, Bagwell and Pudge were two players always mention in baseball debates with my friends growing up.
Closer Trevor Hoffman and outfield slugger Vlaldimir Gurerrero both received more than 70% of the vote, meaning that both should likely be inducted in the years that follow. You’d think it could or should be next year, but the incoming first-timers in 2018 are pretty great and stranger things have happened, but we’ll get to 2018 in a bit. What is interesting to me is that amongst the borderline Hall of Famers, below Edgar Martinez, surrounding Mike Mussina, but above Lee Smith, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff, Jeff Kent, and Gary Sheffield, is a trio of controversial contenders: Roger Clemens (54.1%), Barry Bonds (53.8%), and Curt Schilling (45%).
Bonds and Clemens statistically are two of the best to play the game, but are forever tainted by PEDs. What’s crazy about them is that both didn’t need steroids to be the best, they already were in the 80s! Clemens was a dominant pitcher for the Red Sox and Bonds was the last great memory the Pittsburgh Pirates had until Andrew McCutchen came around. Curt Schilling probably will talk his way out of the Hall, which is truly unfortunate. He and Scott Rolen were two of my favorite players even after they left the Phillies.
The irony in this is that Pudge and Bagwell fought PED allegations throughout the steroid era; Pudge was even named in Jose Canseco’s infamous book “Juiced” as someone Canseco personally shot up with PEDs. What is evident however, is that Manny Ramirez, who tested positive twice in the post-steroid era, isn’t very popular amongst voters as he only garnered 23.8%. Manny being Manny doesn’t include Cooperstown, I guess. Sammy Sosa comes in as the lowest vote-getter to stay eligible at 8.6%.
On to 2018! As with Bagwell this year, it’s hard to imagine neither Hoffman nor Gurerrero getting in next year but the 2018 first-timers are stacked. Likely to join them as a three-man Class of 2018 is the legendary keeper of the hot corner: Chipper Jones. Other newbies include: Jim Thome (not in ’18, but eventually), Scott Rolen (I can only hope), Andruw Jones (the back-end may have left a poor taste in our memories), Omar Vizquel, Johan Santana, Johnny Damon, and Jamie Moyer. Moyer is likely to join Big Jim on the Phillies Wall of Fame, but not sure about his Cooperstown chances. Moyer did win 269 games and is still the oldest person to start a World Series game.
In case you did see:
Big signing for the Jays, they’ve trended pretty flat in the offseason while other divisional foes are loading up.
Let me know what you think of this year’s class? Anyone you’re dying to see make it Cooperstown? Let me know in the comments. Can’t wait for pitchers and catchers to report!Follow @geordo9