January 8, 2014

The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

I'll start by laying out my feelings regarding the Baseball Hall of Fame so you have a point of reference regarding my opinions. I am of the opinion that there are far...FAR...too many people in the Hall of Fame. To me, it is now the Hall of Pretty Good. I believe the Hall should be reserved for the behemoths, the truly dominant forces of baseball. I'm sorry, Kirby Puckett just is not a Hall of Famer...neither is Goose Gossage, neither is Bert Blyleven, neither is Jim Rice, Andre Dawson or Bruce Sutter. All good, all-star players that were perhaps great at times. None a dominant force.

Moreover, and I'll get it right out there, I would not vote for anyone who tested positive, is very strongly linked, or admitted to using steroids or human growth hormone. Mere suspicion isn't enough for me to hypothetically not vote for a player as I do not with to partake in a witch hunt nor ignore an entire era...but that means you Barry, Roger, Rafi and Sammy.

Now down to 2014. It was announced today that Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, and Tom Glavine will be entering the Hall. These are all quite obviously correct. As I tweeted just after the vote was announced, I consider Greg Maddux to be the greatest pitcher I ever saw pitch and Frank Thomas to be the third greatest right-handed hitter I ever saw swing the bat. As for Tom Glavine...I don't like you and I never will and you can't make me.
In addition, Craig Biggio fell short of enshrinement by just two votes garnering 74.8 of the votes cast. That is up from the previous year. Biggio will make it next year...and I believe deservedly so.

What may be most important to Mets fans is that, while Mike Piazza did not make the required 75% of the vote this time around, he is trending upwards. In 2013 Piazza received 57.8 of the vote while receiving 62.2% of the vote in 2014. It may take a couple of years, but it appears Mike may get into the Hall - but will he wear our hat?

What I find most interesting about the 2014 ballot is how it treated the cheaters. Not only did Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Rogers Clemens receive a smaller percentage of the vote in 2014 than they received in 2013, but Rafael Palmeiro only received 4.4% of the vote, falling short of the required 5% to remain on the ballot for next year. I find this to be wonderful news. While this could be the byproduct of what many Hall voters considered to be a very crowded ballot, if the trend continues, they will likely never get in, and that puts a smile on this Met fan's face.

Another interesting tid-bit....Armando Benitez....received a vote. You read that right. One voter voted for Armando Benitez. This voter, along with the 16 voters who did not vote for Greg Maddux, should have their votes taken away, be banned from all major league ballparks, and be forced to cover the WNBA for the rest of eternity.

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