Well, over the last month and change, I have been reviewing many of the candidates for the Hall of Fame. You can find all of the posts in the sidebar to the left, but here’s the recap:
Not surprisingly (to me anyway) were the votes which received the most feedback: Edgar Martinez and Mark McGwire. Both have very unusual cases, as Martinez spent nearly his entire career as a designated hitter, and McGwire an admitted steroid user. And both seem to bring out the controversy amongst nearly all voters and their readers.
The question I have tried to answer for myself when looking at each player’s case is this: How did they compare to the top players at their respective positions during their career? I tried to not penalize position players for not playing in either the steroid era, or outside of the steroid era. It may not have always worked, but I don’t think that there is a definite clear cut answer on each and every player that comes up on the ballot.
Here’s how I think that the actual balloting plays out this year:
Alomar and Blyleven definitely get in. Larkin, Bagwell, Walker, Smith, and Morris will all will be somewhere between 50 and 75% of votes, and not get in this season. Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, Rafael Palmeiro, and Mark McGwire all end up somewhere between 25 – 50% of the votes. The remainder of the players will end up with less than 25% overall, with many of them falling off of the ballot entirely.
Some of these players are going to get in on the next vote, as there really aren’t a whole lot of high level candidates on the next ballot for their first year.