Well gang, the votes are in Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar was elected to Cooperstown. In the case of Blyleven, the wait seemed excruciatingly long as he slowly had a case built for him on sabremetrics and longevity and he grew his support from 17.5 percent in 1998 to 79.7 this year. Many online campaigns have rallied around the pitcher’s cause and there are likely many smiling faces in Minnesota.
With Roberto Alomar, he received a sizable 90 percent, which has to make people wonder what he delay was the year previous. Alomar is easily the best second basemen of his day, and despite bouncing around so many teams, was widely respected.
And now a look at those who didn’t make it…….
Barry Larkin 62.1%: His support did grow by over ten percent (from 51.6 to 62.1) and is likely the top candidate for next year as the next group is a fairly weak class. The top Shortstop in the National League for a decade is still likely to reach the Hall.
Jack Morris 53.5%: He gained a slight bit of support (52.3 to 53.1) but hardly anything to signify an entry next year. The pros for Morris is that Blyleven finally gaining entry, he is vaulted into the top starting pitcher eligible for the Hall. The con is that he is still a very polarizing figure with some ugly non HOF stats (3.90 career ERA). Next year will be key for Jack Morris.
Lee Smith 45.3%: A great reliever who just can’t seem to get any momentum going for the Hall. Smith got 45.3 percent of the vote, which is actually down two percent from the previous year. It looks to us like the one time All Time Saves leader will be forever omitted.
Jeff Bagwell 41.7%: We wondered if Bagwell might be tainted with PED suspicion. Looks like the guess is over, as this a much lower number than we anticipated. Still, we think that he has a great shot of increasing his support by double digits next year.
Tim Raines 37.5%: The best leadoff hitter not yet in, saw a seven percent increase in support, though there are many who will put him on par with Rickey Henderson who was a first ballot inductee a few years ago. Expect, another sizable increase for Raines next year as his online support seems to be growing.
Edgar Martinez 32.9%: Does his three percent drop indicate a hiccup or an indictment over inducting a Designated Hitter altogether? We strongly suspect the latter!
Alan Trammell 24.3%: This is highest total in nine years on the ballot, but the odds of him tripling his support in the time he has left seems a little difficult to us.
Larry Walker 20.3%: We were not sure where the Coors effect would put Mr. Walker, but this seems about right to start. It will be interesting to see how the Canadian is effected long term due to the field he played in at home.
Mark McGwire 19.8%: Ouch!!! Under twenty percent for the first time since debuting on the ballot, his admission of guilt regarding PED usage seems to be way too late for voters. A major retelling of the Steroid Era will have to be done for Big Mac to have any shot.
Fred McGriff 17.9%: Another slugger who lost support, though he was never linked to PEDs. Basically, he was just a guy who made 493 Home Runs look well……not very special.
Dave Parker 15.3%: On his final year on the ballot, Dave Parker likely is reflecting on what should have been a Hall of Fame career. He was one of the best sluggers of his era, but as we have mentioned before…cocaine is a hell of a drug.
Don Mattingly 13.6%: Yankees fans won’t like this one. Donnie Baseball clearly did not have a career of greatness long enough to appease the Baseball HOF voters.
Dale Murphy 12.6%: See Mattingly, Don.
Rafael Palmeiro 11%: This was the one we were most curious about. We figured that despite higher career totals in many categories than McGwire that he would not beat McGwire’s vote percentage regardless of what it was. We even wondered if he would still be here next year. He will, and Palmeiro will likely campaign next year on this topic. The 2013 vote will be a warped one indeed!
Juan Gonzales 5.2%: We honestly didn’t think he would make the cut, but his two MVP seasons has at least got him to a sophomore try. We doubt it will get him a third.
Off the Ballot:
Harold Baines 4.8%: Off the ballot after five years, this along with Edgar Maetinez’ vote drop, tells what we need to know about the Baseball writers’ position on Designated Hitters.
John Franco 4.6%: We incorrectly thought that Franco would at least get the five percent needed to stay on the ballot. A very consistent reliever, we wonder if this may be reevaluated one day.
Kevin Brown 2.1%: A very good pitcher, but will always be known for a bad contract than anything else.
Tino Martinez 1%: We wonder if all the votes came from New York?
Marquis Grissom and Al Leiter 0.7%: Neither should be in, but how did Grissom tie Leiter?
B.J. Surhoff 0.2%: Actually, we really like this player, and were hoping he would get a few more votes than the two he got.
Bret Boone & Benito Santiago 0.1%: Is it worse to get one vote or zero. One is the loneliest number after all.
Carlos Baerga, Lenny Harris, Bobby Higginson, Charles Johnson, Raul Mondesi & Kirk Reuter 0.0%: “Zero Point Zero”…..Dean Wormer