By Tom Baird
A few weeks ago, I bragged that we would produce some content discussing the 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot. I basically lied to you. That did not happen. With that said, the voting results have given us some blog fodder, and I was hoping to explore some of that with you. Here are the voting results below.
Jeff Bagwell, 381 votes, 86.2%
Tim Raines, 380 votes, 86.0%
Ivan Rodriguez, 336 votes, 76.0%
Trevor Hoffman, 327 votes, 74.0%
Vladimir Guerrero, 317 votes, 71.7%
Edgar Martinez, 259 votes, 58.6%
Roger Clemens, 239 votes, 54.1%
Barry Bonds, 238 votes, 53.8%
Mike Mussina, 229 votes, 51.8%
Curt Schilling, 199 votes, 45.0%
Lee Smith, 151 votes, 34.2%
Manny Ramirez, 105 votes, 23.8%
Larry Walker, 97 votes, 21.9%
Fred McGriff, 96 votes, 21.7%
Jeff Kent, 74 votes, 16.7%
Gary Sheffield, 59 votes, 13.3%
Billy Wagner, 45 votes, 10.2%
Sammy Sosa, 38 votes, 8.6%
If you listen to our podcast, or look at the internet, you know the important results. Raines, Bagwell, and Rodriguez all received the requisite 75% of voter support, while Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero barely missed the cut. Many of the first-timers failed to garner more than 5% of the vote and were subsequently removed from future consideration. Lee Smith, who was on the ballot for the 15th time, was removed from consideration and will now be subject to Veteran Committee approval.
It is important to note that Clemens and Bonds, whose gaudy WAR totals are equal to TWO Hall of Fame careers each (almost three for Bonds), have regained some support this year. The election of Rodriguez, who sustained multiple accusations of PED involvement despite not being named in the Mitchell Report, may help writers justify voting for Bonds and Clemens in the future.
Popular players like Edgar Martinez and Trevor Hoffman showed significant gains, making for possible momentum and certain debate. Players like Sosa and Sheffield continue to be bogged down by PED ties despite their obvious qualifications. Jeff Kent still has a great mustache.
There are many questions that could follow:
1. Will PED users see some leniency from voters?
2. Will Hoffman's now-inevitable election help or hurt Billy Wagner?
3. Will Mariners fans finally see Edgar Martinez get considerable support from BBWAA voters?
4. Does Jeff Kent's mustache hurt or help is HOF chances?
I will explore only one of these topics, and only briefly. After all, we have Spring Training upon us and the people want to read about the upcoming season. And I am all about the people...
Spanning an entire continent, lifelong fans Chris Kubak and Tom Baird take you on a magical, sabermetrically enhanced journey through Major League Baseball.