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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

BBWAA Says No...to everyone

Wild on Sports
BBWAA Says "No"... to everyone

Today was decision day:  the day baseball enthusiasts were looking forward to for over a month as the day our Baseball Hall of Fame questions would be answered. Would steroid guys get in? Proven guys like Barry Bonds and Rodger Clemens -- guys that had Hall of Fame worthy careers both before and after the suspected steroid use. What about guys who were believed to be clean? Guys like Curt Shilling, Craig Biggio, Fred McGriff among others.

The answer to all? A resounding "NO."

It was just the 8th time in the history of MLB Hall of Fame voting that there were no inductees. The last time this occurred was 1996. With so much whishy-washy-ness and conflict between the two schools of thought (baseball purists vs. best players period) the votes simply got split up. You could vote for up to 10. Most voted for 5-6. The results can be seen at the bottom of the page.

Craig Biggio and Jack Morris came the closest to getting in appearing on 68.2% and 67.7% of the needed 75% to get in. Biggio in his first year, Morris in his 14th. Biggio is one of the few with little question about his integrity as it pertains to steroid use. He may be one of few who's impact was not effected by the steroid/anti-steroid vote. Morris now has just one year remaining on the ballot. He was widely considered a favorite to get in this year.

So what do we make of this vote? It really is a sad day for baseball. One of the great days in the sports is election day in Cooperstown. All the living past inductees are there to welcome their new brothern. It is really a symbol of what is good in the game. So why no votes?

Perhaps the answer lies in those responsible for voting. The voting panel consists as members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America with 10 consecutive years of service time. There are approximately 580 ballots that come in for a given year.  Simply put, that is far too many. The more voters you have, the harder it is to get a consensus, or even get to the 75% needed.  Realistically, that number needs to be cut down around 300. With that said, it would be very difficult to come up with some type of system towards narrowing it down. Even if some sort of system could be created, there would be so much backlash that the BBWAA would be hard pressed to pass such regulation. So in short: will it happen? No.

We will leave answers to these questions to time and those far more intelligent on the matter than this sports writer. One thing you may see is former teams or affiliated fan clubs doing some campaigning for "their guy." Perhaps, on a much smaller scale similar to a political campaign.

Where this all really gets interesting is in 2014. Names such as Maddux, Glavine, Thomas and other potentially worthy candidates are added to this pool. Maddux and Glavine seem like locks but with just 10 selections and potentially double digit worthy candidates the votes may once again be split. Will Jack Morris get in on his last ballot? Will people lessen their stance on guys like Bonds or Clemens or even a guy like Curt Schilling who has HOF credentials but may not be deemed worthy of "first ballot status."

Only time will tell. This debate is far from over and certainly one to keep an eye on in the coming year.

Yellow = Returning to Ballot in 2014
Pink = No Longer Eligible in 2014

 Table Courtesy of Wikipedia:
Player Votes Percent
Craig Biggio 388 68.2%
Jack Morris 385 67.7%
Jeff Bagwell 339 59.6%
Mike Piazza 329 57.8%
Tim Raines 297 52.2%
Lee Smith 272 47.8%
Curt Schilling 221 38.8%
Roger Clemens 214 37.6%
Barry Bonds 206 36.2%
Edgar Martínez 204 35.9%
Alan Trammell 191 33.6%
Larry Walker 123 21.6%
Fred McGriff 118 20.7%
Dale Murphy 106 18.6%
Mark McGwire 96 16.9%
Don Mattingly 75 13.2%
Sammy Sosa 71 12.5%
Rafael Palmeiro 50 8.8%
Bernie Williams* 19 3.3%
Kenny Lofton* 18 3.2%
Sandy Alomar Jr.* 16 2.8%
Julio Franco* 6 1.1%
David Wells* 5 0.9%
Steve Finley* 4 0.7%
Shawn Green* 2 0.4%
Aaron Sele* 1 0.2%
Jeff Cirillo* 0 0.0%
Royce Clayton* 0 0.0%
Jeff Conine* 0 0.0%
Roberto Hernández* 0 0.0%
Ryan Klesko* 0 0.0%
José Mesa* 0 0.0%
Reggie Sanders* 0 0.0%
Mike Stanton* 0 0.0%
Todd Walker* 0 0.0%
Rondell White* 0 0.0%
Woody Williams* 0 0.0%


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