Tuesday, January 6, 2015


The lingering talk of a massive BBWAA clusterf*ck is going to have to drift into other topics: today's Hall of Fame voting results plowed through three first-time candidates (Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz) and elected Craig Biggio (who missed in '14 due to a couple of hanging chads), while putting Mike Piazza (just under 70% of the vote) in position to appear on the Cooperstown dais in 2016.

This year's election was the first time in sixty years that the BBWAA enshrined four players on a single ballot. The four who made it in 1955: Joe DiMaggio, Dazzy Vance, Ted Lyons, Gabby Hartnett.

We are still astonished at the across-the-board support for Smoltz, who by rights should be drawing support somewhere between Curt Schilling (who wound up with 39% of the vote this year) and Mike Mussina (25%). As noted earlier, we can only conclude that a narrative of success penetrated the collective unconscious of the voter population (cynics may wish to issue an apology to Carl Jung on my behalf).

No movement, vote percentage-wise, for the two greatest
players not in the Hall of Fame.
Smoltz is, of course, deserving, but he really must be seen as one of the more curious anomalies in the often-vilified BBWAA voting process.

For 2016, we anticipate two inductees: Piazza and first-time candidate Ken Griffey, Jr. Enough ballot clearance might also permit Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell (each with about 55%) to make significant strides with BBWAA voters.

There was very little movement in the voting percentages for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, and it remains clear that the Hall of Fame's action to slice off ballot time is indeed an odious effort to remove them from view just as soon as possible.

But, hey! Congrats to the new inductees. We suggest that those who wish to honor them in person this summer do so, but refrain from spending any money at the Hall of Fame itself. The organization deserves to be punished as much as the players deserve to be honored.