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2016 HOF Debate: Sammy Sosa

Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.

The Baseball HOF will induct Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez

Our favorite day here at Notinhalloffame.com is always when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces their annual Classes.  Our second day is when they announce their Baseball Hall of Fame Class.

That second day is here.

The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 has been announced and let’s get right to it as we have three new Baseball Hall of Famers

The highest vote getter this year is Jeff Bagwell who is selected on his 7th year of eligibility.  Bagwell received 86.2% of the vote, well up from his 71.6% last year.  It has been believed that his delay into getting into the Baseball Hall has been due to PED suspicion, but that is all there was in his case. 

Finishing second on the ballot is Tim Raines, who was on his last year of eligibility.  “Rock” had 86.0% and like Bagwell received a more than 15% jump.  For many Baseball fans, this is long overdue and many are thrilled to see him get his due.

Perhaps a bit of a surprise is that Ivan Rodriguez entered on his first ballot with 76.0%.  Statistically, I-Rod is Cooperstown worthy but he has a direct PED accusation from Jose Canseco though was never named in the Mitchell Report.

Overall, the PED users/suspected players have seen a rise in the totals, a lot of which can be attributed with the elimination of older and inactive baseball writers from the process and the induction of Bud Selig, who presided over the time that PED use arose in the game.

Let’s look at those who didn’t make the cut:


Trevor Hoffman: 2nd Year on the ballot, 74.0%

The prolific reliever did not make this year, but he was only a handful of votes away.  He finished with 67.3% last year and should get in next year. 

Vladimir Guerrero: 1st Year on the ballot, 71.7%

“Vlad the Impaler” was pegged by some as a first ballot inductee but it won’t take him long to get in.  He should be a lock next year.

Edgar Martinez: 8th Year on the ballot, 58.6%

Edgar has only two years left but this was a huge jump from the 43.4% he had last year.  Martinez was a Designated Hitter, a position that has hurt him in the past and the fact that three people got in to help thin the ballot somewhat does not hurt his cause.

Roger Clemens: 5th Year on the ballot, 54.1%

This was a huge jump for Clemens and the first time he eclipsed 50 percent.  This is up 8.9% from last year and perhaps for the first time we have a strong reason to think that the Rocket could get in. 

Barry Bonds: 5th Year on the ballot, 53.8%

See above.  Could we see in the future a year where both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens enters Cooperstown together?  A few years ago we wouldn’t have thought so, but now that seems like a possibility.

Mike Mussina: 4th Year on the ballot, 51.8%

Mussina doesn’t get a lot of attention as he is not a controversial choice, nor is he one that plays to the media.  He did however jump up past the 50% mark for the first time and is going in the right direction.

Curt Schilling: 5th Year on the ballot, 45.0%

Schilling dropped 7 percent, and we all know why don’t we?  He angered the media with his comments toward them and is this backlash was long expected.

Lee Smith: 15th Year on the ballot, 34.2 %

This is the end for Smith, who at one point was the all-time Saves leader.  Based on how he was trending, he was lucky to make it this far.

Manny Ramirez: 1st Year on the ballot, 23.8 %

This could be the biggest surprise.  The suspected PED users went up, but Ramirez was caught and suspended twice.  Maybe the writers thought “Manny being Manny” was not enough explanation.

Larry Walker:  7th Year on the ballot, 21.9%

While it doesn’t look like Walker will get in, he did jump up from his 15.5% from last year.

Fred McGriff:  7th Year on the ballot, 21.7%.

McGriff barely budged from his 20.9% from last year.  It isn’t looking good for the “Crime Dog.”

Jeff Kent: 3rd Year on the ballot, 16.7%

The former National League MVP moved up…0.1%.  Is there a Survivor Hall of Fame?

Gary Sheffield:  3rd Year on the ballot, 13.3%

Sheffield mildly improved but he on such a crowded ballot, he still has time to jump up considering his career stats.

Billy Wagner: 2nd Year on the ballot, 10.2%

Wagner actually went down from his 10.5% from the year before.  Realistically, just staying on the ballot is a win for him.

Sammy Sosa:  5th Year on the ballot, 8.6%

Sosa is still alive, so we are stuck debating him another year.

The notable player who did not make the 5% to stay on the ballot was former New York Yankee Catcher, Jorge Posada, received 3.8%.

Others who received votes were Magglio Ordonez (0.7%), Edgar Renteria (0.5%), Jason Varitek (0.5%) and Tim Wakefield (0.2%).

The others on the ballot who did not receive any votes were Corey Blake, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillen, Derrek Lee, Melvin Mora, Arthur Rhodes, Freddy Sanchez and Matt Stairs.

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate the latest Baseball Hall of Fame Class and we will be unveiling our next list in a month’s time.





The 2018 Baseball HOF Ballot is out

Ah, the road to the Class of 2018 is officially underway as the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has been released with 33 candidates who are on the ballot.

The candidates in alphabetical are:

Barry Bonds: Bonds is on his sixth ballot and enjoyed his biggest jump last year with a 53.8% finish. That increase gives a lot of hope to the PED associated players for Hall of Fame entry. He is ranked # 2 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Chris Carpenter: Carpenter is on his first ballot and the former Starting Pitcher went 144 and 94 and won the Cy Young Award in 2005. He was also a three time All Star.

Roger Clemens: Like Bonds, Clemens enjoyed a significant increase in his vote tally moving up to 54.1%. If the seven time Cy Young Award winner enjoys another gain in his sixth year on the ballot we could see him inducted before his time on the ballot ends. He is ranked #1C on Notinhalloffame.com.

Johnny Damon: Damon is on his first ballot and will struggle to make a second. He was a two time All Star and a two time World Series Champion. He is ranked #99 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Vladimir Guerrero: Guerrero is on his second year of eligibility and came off a 71.7% result. The 2004 American League MVP likely we will see enough of a rise to gain entry to Cooperstown. He is ranked #9 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Livan Hernandez: A two time All Star, Livan Hernandez had a career record of 178 and 177. This is his first time on the ballot

Trevor Hoffman: Hoffman was only one percentage point away from Cooperstown last year, thus only a marginal increase in his third year of eligibility should get him in. His 601 career Saves puts him second all-time and he is also a seven time All Star. He is ranked #20 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Orlando Hudson: Making his first appearance on the ballot, Hudson would go to two All Star Games and was a four time Gold Glove winner.

Aubrey Huff: Huff would accumulate 1,699 Hits and 242 Home Runs over his career. He is also a two time World Series Champion with the San Francisco Giants.

Jason Isringhausen: Isringhausen is also on his first year of eligibility and he was a two time All Star.

Andruw Jones: Jones is entering his first year of eligibility and brings a decent resume with eight All Star Games, ten Gold Gloves and 434 career Home Runs. He is ranked #47 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Chipper Jones: The career Atlanta Brave is debuting on the ballot and is the most likely newly eligible former player to get inducted immediately. Jones was the National League MVP in 1999 and is an eight time All Star. He won the Batting Title in 2008. He is ranked #3 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Jeff Kent: Kent is on his fifth year of eligibility and finished with 16.7% of the vote last year, his highest to date. The Third Baseman was the 2000 National League MVP and was a five time All Star. He is ranked #50 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Carlos Lee: Lee is making his first appearance on the ballot and was a two time All Star. He hit 358 Home Runs with 2,273 Hits.

Brad Lidge: The former Relief Pitcher recorded 225 Saves and was a two time All Star. He was also a World Series Champion with Philadelphia and he is entering his first year on the ballot.

Edgar Martinez: The former Designated Hitter is on his ninth try but his 58.6% gives him hope to possibly get in as it was a 15.2% increase from the previous vote. He is ranked #17 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Hideki Matsui: “Godzilla” was a two time All Star with the New York Yankees and was the 2009 World Series MVP.

Fred McGriff: It is not looking good for Fred McGriff who is on his ninth year of eligibility following a 21.7% vote tally last year. McGriff is a five time All Star with 493 career Home Runs. He is ranked #33 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Kevin Millwood: An All Star in 1999, Kevin Millwood is on the ballot for the first time. He went 169 and 152 with 2,083 Strikeouts.

Jamie Moyer: Playing almost to age of 50, Jamie Moyer makes his Hall of Fame ballot debut. Moyer was an All Star once and retired with a record of 269 and 209 with 2,441 Strikeouts. He is ranked #105 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Mike Mussina: Mussina is on his fifth year of eligibility and finished with a high of 51.8% of the vote. Mussina retired with 270 Wins against only 153 Losses. He would be named to five All Star Games. He is ranked #4 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Manny Ramirez: Manny debuted last year with only 23.8% of the ballot but the two time World Series Champion and 500 Home Run Club member should see an increase this year. He is ranked #7 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Scott Rolen: Rolen will be one of the most hotly debated new arrivals to the ballot as his sabremetric numbers far exceed his traditional ones. Still, this is a seven time All Star with a World Series Ring. He is ranked #17 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Johan Santana: Santana was a two time Cy Young Award winner and four time All Star. He is making his first appearance on the ballot. He is ranked #65 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Curt Schilling: Unlike many others who were on the ballot previously, Schilling actually trended downwards mostly due to his comments against the media finishing with 45% last year as opposed to the 52.3% he had the year before. Schilling is a three time Cy Young runner-up, two time World Series winner and a six time All Star. He is ranked #8 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Gary Sheffield: Sheffield is on his fourth year of eligibility and received 13.3% of the vote last year. He has 509 career Home Runs with nine All Star Game appearances. He is ranked #21 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Sammy Sosa: Sosa is entering his sixth year on the ballot following an 8.6% vote total. That is concerning as he has only finished in double digits on his first year of eligibility. He is ranked #30 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Jim Thome: Thome is on the ballot for the first time and brings five All Star Games and 612 Home Runs for consideration. He will likely get in but possibly not on his first try. He is ranked #6 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Omar Vizquel: Vizquel is also entering his first year of eligibility and the defensive specialist should receive enough ballots to remain on future ballots. He is ranked #76 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Billy Wagner: The seven time All Star is entering his third year on the ballot and he received 10.2% on the ballot last year.

Larry Walker: The 1997 National League MVP is running out of time. He is on his eight year of eligibility and he finished 21.9% last year. He is ranked #15 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Kerry Wood: The former flamethrower is on his first year of eligibility. Wood was a two time All Star and was the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year.

Carlos Zambrano: On his first year of eligibility, Zambrano was a three time All Star who finished with a career record of 132 and 91.

Not everyone who was Hall of Fame eligible for the first time made the ballot. This includes Miguel Batista,Francisco Cordero, Brian Fuentes, Adam Kennedy, Guillermo Mota, Carl Pavano, Scott Podsednik, J.C. Romero, Ben Sheets, Jeff Suppan and Jack Wilson.

As always, we here at Notinhalloffame.com will be very interested to see what will transpire with this latest ballot and we will love watching all of the debates begin!

Joe Morgan wants the voters to exclude all PED users

Well that didn’t take long.

Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Joe Morgan, who also is the Vice-Chairman of the Hall and a member of the Board of Directors has sent a letter to the voters urging them not to vote for PED users. Rather than dissect the letter, we are showing it in its entirety below:

Dear BBWAA Hall of Fame Voter:

Over the years, I have been approached by many Hall of Fame members telling me we needed to do something to speak out about the possibility of steroid users entering the Hall of Fame. This issue has been bubbling below the surface for quite a while.

I hope you don’t mind if I bring to your attention what I’m hearing.

Please keep in mind I don’t speak for every single member of the Hall of Fame. I don’t know how everyone feels, but I do know how many of the Hall of Famers feel.

I, along with other Hall of Fame Baseball players, have the deepest respect for you and all the writers who vote to decide who enters Baseball’s most hallowed shrine, the National Baseball Hall of Fame. For some 80 years, the men and women of the BBWAA have cast ballots that have made the Hall into the wonderful place it is.

I think the Hall of Fame is special. There is a sanctity to being elected to the Hall. It is revered. It is the hardest Hall of Fame to enter, of any sport in America.

But times change, and a day we all knew was coming has now arrived. Players who played during the steroid era have become eligible for entry into the Hall of Fame.

The more we Hall of Famers talk about this – and we talk about it a lot – we realize we can no longer sit silent. Many of us have come to think that silence will be considered complicity. Or that fans might think we are ok if the standards of election to the Hall of Fame are relaxed, at least relaxed enough for steroid users to enter and become members of the most sacred place in Baseball. We don’t want fans ever to think that.

We hope the day never comes when known steroid users are voted into the Hall of Fame. They cheated. Steroid users don’t belong here.

Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in. Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.

Now, I recognize there are players identified as users on the Mitchell Report who deny they were users. That’s why this is a tricky issue. Not everything is black and white – there are shades of gray here. It’s why your job as a voter is and has always been a difficult and important job. I have faith in your judgment and know that ultimately, this is your call.

But it still occurs to me that anyone who took body-altering chemicals in a deliberate effort to cheat the game we love, not to mention they cheated current and former players, and fans too, doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. By cheating, they put up huge numbers, and they made great players who didn’t cheat look smaller by comparison, taking away from their achievements and consideration for the Hall of Fame. That’s not right.

And that’s why I, and other Hall of Famers, feel so strongly about this.

It’s gotten to the point where Hall of Famers are saying that if steroid users get in, they’ll no longer come to Cooperstown for Induction Ceremonies or other events. Some feel they can’t share a stage with players who did steroids. The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too.

The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.

Section 5 of the Rules for Election states, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

I care about how good a player was or what kind of numbers he put up; but if a player did steroids, his integrity is suspect; he lacks sportsmanship; his character is flawed; and, whatever contribution he made to his team is now dwarfed by his selfishness.

Steroid use put Baseball through a tainted era where records were shattered. “It was a steroidal farce,” wrote Michael Powell in the New York Times. It is no accident that those records held up for decades until the steroid era began, and they haven’t been broken since the steroid era ended. Sadly, steroids worked.

Dan Naulty was a journeyman pitcher in the late 1990s who admitted he took steroids, noting that his fastball went from 87 to 96. He told Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci in 2012, “I was a full-blown cheater, and I knew it. You didn't need a written rule. I was violating clear principles that were laid down within the rules. I understood I was violating implicit principles.”

The Hall of Fame has always had its share of colorful characters, some of whom broke or bent society’s rules in their era. By today’s standards, some might not have gotten in. Times change and society improves. What once was accepted no longer is.

But steroid users don’t belong here. What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.

Steroid users knew they were taking a drug that physically improved how they played. Taking steroids is a decision. It’s the deliberate act of using chemistry to change how hard you hit and throw by changing what your body is made of.

I and other Hall of Famers played hard all our lives to achieve what we did. I love this game and am proud of it. I hope the Hall of Fame’s standards won’t be lowered with the passage of time.

For over eighty years, the Hall of Fame has been a place to look up to, where the hallowed halls honor those who played the game hard and right. I hope it will always remain that way.

Sincerely,

Joe Morgan
Hall of Fame Class of 1990 Vice Chairman


P.S. Families come to Cooperstown because they know it’s special. To parents, it’s a place they can take their kids for an uplifting, feel-good visit. It’s a place where kids can see what true greatness is all about. It’s a place where youngsters can dream that one day they too might get in. This place is special. I hope it stays that way.

Hardly on the fence is it?

Specifically, this applies to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Gary Sheffield who were named in the Mitchell Report, and Manny Ramirez who failed two tests. Sammy Sosa did not officially fail a test, but did test positive in an “anonymous” test in 2003.

Bonds and Clemens saw their vote total increase above the 50% mark for the first time in the last vote, with many of the voters stating that the induction of Bud Selig, who was the commissioner over the PED era triggering their change of heart.

This won’t be the last time we hear about this in the next two months!

The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 is announced!

This is one of the days that we eagerly await annually as we now know who will comprise the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman have been chosen as all three received the necessary 75% of the vote from the Baseball Hall of Fame voters.

Jones, who played his entire career with the Atlanta Braves, is the highest vote getter this year with 97.2% of the ballot. Jones is one of the greatest hitting Third Basemen in history accumulating 2,726 Hits with a Slash Line of .303/.401/.529. The 1999 National League MVP also belted 468 Home Runs.

Vladimir Guerrero enters the Hall on his second try. The 2004 American League MVP and nine time All Star received 71.4% of the vote last season and easily cruised into the Hall this year with 92.9%.

Jim Thome also enters Cooperstown on his first try. In comparison to Jones, Thome was a vagabond playing for six different Major League teams, but his power prowess had few equals. The five time All Star blasted 612 Home Runs, which ranks him seventh all-time. Thome received 89.8% of the ballot

Trevor Hoffman enters the Baseball Hall of Fame on his third try and becomes the sixth Relief Pitcher to be inducted. Hoffman is second all-time in Saves and is a two time runner up to the National League Cy Young Award. Hoffman finished with 79.9% of the vote.

Now let’s take a look at those who were not chosen.

Edgar Martinez made another significant jump in the votes. He went from 43.4% to 58.6% and this year he went to 70.4%. This is the ninth year that the Designated Hitter was on the ballot and he is considered to be the best ever at that position. Martinez was tracking well and was projected to be inducted this year but he should be able to get in next year.

Mike Mussina saw his total rise from 51.8% to 63.5%. Sabremetrically speaking, Mussina remains one of the biggest snubs on the ballot, but he has only been on the ballot for five years. This increase could see him enter Cooperstown next year but this double digit rise will bring him induction eventually.

Barry Bonds remains a polarizing figure for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but PEDs or not, this was the best hitter of his era and arguably of all-time. The career Home Run Leader and seven time MVP received 56.4% up from 53.8% from last year.

Roger Clemens is in the exact same boat as Bonds. “The Rocket” was also the best of his generation and is a seven time Cy Young Award winner, though he is a two time World Series winner (unlike Bonds). His numbers increased to 54.1% last year and reached 57.3% this year.

The increase (albeit mild) of both Bonds and Clemens votes shows that the voters are becoming more forgiving of the PED era (with many citing the induction of Bud Selig as a catalyst for their change of heart) and it is also indicative of an influx of younger voters. This is the sixth year on the ballot for Bonds and Clemens and there is certainly hope on the horizon for both; something almost unthinkable three years ago.

Curt Schilling has Hall of Fame numbers but he did not exactly endear himself to voters with his anti-media stance and he was one of the few players to see his total decrease last year. He had 51.2% of the vote, which is up from last year’s 45.0% but down from 2016’s 52.3%. He may still need to grovel to the media for his upswing to resume.

Omar Vizquel is also on his first ballot and he received 37% of the vote. The Shortstop won eleven Gold Gloves and is regarded as one of the best defensive players ever. Vizquel also had 2,877 career Hits. He should be very happy with this debut number.

Larry Walker did see his total rise from to 34.1% but he is running out of time. The former National League MVP is still suffering from the Coors Field market and he has only two more years on the ballot.

Fred McGriff continues to tread water. “The Crime Dog” was only at 23.2% of the vote, which is his ninth year on the ballot. The First Baseman finished with 493 Home Runs but has never finished higher than 25%.

Manny Ramirez continues to struggle in his Hall of Fame voting. Ramirez has incredible career numbers, which are definitely Hall of Fame worthy but he was suspended twice for PEDs, something that did not happen to Bonds and Clemens. His tally was 22%, down slightly from last year.

Jeff Kent received 14.5% of the vote and with this being his sixth year on the ballot it is not looking good for the 2000 National League MVP.

Gary Sheffield received 11.1% in his fourth year of eligibility. “Shef” needs Bonds and Clemens to get in to have any real shot of getting into the Hall of Fame. He is a nine time All Star with 509 career Home Runs.

Billy Wagner received 11.1% in his third year of the ballot, which is enough to keep him on the ballot.

Scott Rolen only finished with10.2 on his first year of eligibility. Rolen’s biggest asset is his 70.0 bWAR but his traditional metrics will still give him a look for years to come. He should see his numbers rise in upcoming years.

Sammy Sosa held on with 7.8% of the vote. He is unlikely to make it to Cooperstown.

Andruw Jones received 7.3% on his first appearance on the ballot. The native of Curacao has over 400 Home Runs and is a four time league leader in Defensive bWAR.

Three notable first timers on ballot did not make it to 5%, that being Johan Santana, Jamie Moyer and Johnny Damon.

The others who did not earn enough votes were Chris Carpenter, Livan Hernandez, Orlando Hudson, Aubrey Huff, Jason Isringhausen, Carlos Lee, Brad Lidge, Hideki Matsui, Kevin Millwood, Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano.

These three will join previously chosen Veterans Committee Selections, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris and Ford C. Frick recipient, Bob Costas.

We will be revamping our Notinhallofame.com Baseball list shortly. Look for that in late February.

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. We don’t know about you but this is the most excited that we have been in years about a Hall of Fame Class!

The Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is out

Baseball Hall of Fame season is in full gear as following the announcements of the Today’s Era Finalists last week, Cooperstown has now unveiled the official Hall of Fame ballot.

Let’s take a look at the 35 former players who the Baseball Writers can vote on:

In alphabetical order:

Rick Ankiel: Ankiel is debuting on the ballot and he was the runner-up for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2000 as a Pitcher. Injuries to his pitching arm forced him to abandon that aspect of the game and he would come back as an Outfielder and collect over 400 Hits. This is a great story but just getting on this ballot is a win.

Jason Bay: Bay was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2004 while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and he would be selected for three All Star Games. The Canadian would have 1,200 Hits with 222 Home Runs but he is unlikely to get any votes.

Lance Berkman: Berkman was the third “Killer B” for the Houston Astros and he would later win a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals. This is his first time on the ballot and he is a six time All Star with 366 career Home Runs with an OPS at .943. He will struggle to get past the first ballot. Berkman is ranked #89 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Barry Bonds: Bonds returns to the ballot for the seventh time and he had a high vote of 56.4% last year. The All-Time Home Run Leader and 7 time MVP has seen a 20.2% since he debuted and the “PED” guys have gone from “no chance” to “50/50”. Expect another bump this year. Bonds is ranked #2 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Roger Clemens: How fitting that Clemens alphabetically comes after Bonds! Clemens was to pitching what Bonds was hitting and he was a 7 time Cy Young Award winner with 354 career Wins. Like Bonds, he has on his seventh year on the ballot and he had 57.3% of the ballot last year, well up from the 37.6% from his first year. Clemens is ranked #1C on Notinhalloffame.com.

Freddy Garcia: Garcia got off to a good start where he was a two time All Star and he was in the top ten in Cy Young voting twice. The Venezuelan Pitcher won 156 Games and he is on his first ballot but he will likely struggle to get any votes at all.

Jon Garland: Garland was an All Star in 2005, which was the same season he was sixth in Cy Young voting and helped the Chicago White Sox win the World Series. He won 136 Games over his career and he is not expected to receive any votes.

Travis Hafner: Hafner spent most of his career with the Cleveland Indians where he would finish in the top ten in MVP voting twice. Over his career he had 1,039 Hits with 213 Home Runs and he would win the American League Slugging Title in 2006. He will be fortunate to get any votes.

Roy Halladay: Halladay is on his first year of eligibility and he has an excellent chance to enter Cooperstown on his first year of eligibility. Over his career, “Doc” was a two time Cy Young winner one in both leagues and he was a top five finisher five times. Halladay had a great record of 203 and 105 with 2,117 Strikeouts. Should he get in, it will be posthumous as he died when he crashed his plane a couple of years ago. Halladay is ranked #5 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Todd Helton: Helton is a five time All Star who spent his entire career with the Colorado Rockies. Helton had 369 Home Runs over 2,519 Hits I n hic career. He is entering his first year of eligibility and while we don’t think he will enter on the first ballot he should receive enough to stay on the ballot. Helton is ranked #10 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Andruw Jones: Jones is on his second year on the Hall of Fame ballot after receiving 7.3 on his debut year. He had great power with 434 Home Runs and he was a ten time Gold Glove winner. Jones had a low vote tally due to a crowded ballot but we think he will see a decent rise this year. Jones is ranked #46 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Jeff Kent: Jeff Kent is on his sixth year of eligibility where he has never escaped the teens, peaking at 16.7% in 2017. The 2000 National League MVP was a five time All Star and he smacked 2,461 Hits with 377 Home Runs. Kent will likely receive the same amount of Hall of Fame support as the previous years. Kent is ranked #52 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Ted Lilly: Lilly had a 15 year career where he was a two time All Star who would have 130 and 113 record. Lilly never received any Cy Young votes and we suspect that he will not receive any Hall of Fame votes either.

Derek Lowe: Lowe was a two time All Star and in 2002 he finished third in Cy Young voting. He would win 176 Games and he helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2004. Lowe might receive a couple of votes.

Edgar Martinez: The bad news is that this is the last year that former Edgar Martinez is on the ballot. The good news is that he received 70.4% last year and has very solid momentum to get in this year. Arguably the greatest Designated Hitter of all-time had 2,247 Hits with 309 Home Runs and a career Slash Line of .312/.418/.515. He is ranked #14 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Fred McGriff: Like Martinez, Fred McGriff is on his last year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but last year he only had 23.2% of the vote so the odds of him getting another 51.8% seems very unlikely. The five time All Star had 493 Home Runs with 2,490 Hits and will likely have to look at a Veteran’s Committee Induction. He is ranked #32 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Mike Mussina: Mike Mussina is entering his sixth season on the ballot and after a 63.5% finish last year he could gain the support needed to enter this year. Splitting his career between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, Mussina may never been a Cy Young winner but he was in the top six in voting nine times. The Pitcher would have a 270 and 153 record with 2,813 Strikeouts. He is ranked #4 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Darren Oliver: Oliver had a 118 and 98 record over 766 Games. A 20 year veteran, Oliver probably won’t earn a vote but we are glad to see that he was respected enough to earn a spot on the ballot.

Roy Oswalt: This is Roy Oswalt’s first time on the ballot and the three time All Star would finish in the top six in Cy Young in voting six times. He was a two time 20 Game winner who totaled 163 over his career. A win for him this year would to be to make the 5% needed to stay on the ballot next year. He is ranked #104 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Andy Pettitte: In our eyes, the most interesting first ballot vote will be that of Andy Pettitte who amassed a 256 and 135 record with 2,448 Strikeouts. Five times he would finish in the top five in Cy Young voting and he is a five time World Series winner with 19 post-season Wins. He likely won’t get in on the first ballot and he could conceivably finish anywhere between 20% and 55%. Honestly, we can’t pinpoint this one at all. He is ranked #15 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Juan Pierre: Pierre was a speedster who would lead his league in Stolen Bases three times and he had 614 in total. He would have 2,217 Hits with a career Batting Average of .295. Pierre might get a couple of votes but will lucky to get even that.

Placido Polanco: Polanco had a good career with over 2,100 Hits and he was a two time All Star who also won three Gold Gloves. Polanco will be in the same boat as Pierre as they were both good players who will be worth a vote or two.

Manny Ramirez: Manny Ramirez will be on his third ballot but unlike other PED guys he went down last year in his votes. He had 22.0% last year and 23.8% the year before. It has to be remembered that unlike Bonds and Clemens, Ramirez DID test positive. Ramirez is a two time World Series Champion with the Boston Red Sox with four top four MVP votes. He also blasted 555 Home Runs with a career Slash Line of .312/.411/.585. Statistically speaking we know that he meets the criteria but the label of forgiveness hasn’t spread to him…at least not yet. He is ranked #8 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Mariano Rivera: Usually Relief Pitchers are not Hall of Fame locks but there has never been a closer like Mariano Rivera. The Panamanian is the all-time leader in Saves (652) and the career New York Yankee won five World Series titles and his post season record saw him win 8 Games, record 42 Saves and he had a 0.70 ERA and a 0.759 WHIP. It will be a shock if he does not get inducted this year and is the leading vote getter. He is ranked #3 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Scott Rolen: Rolen received 10.2% of the ballot last year and is entering his second year of eligibility. He brings a very balanced resume of eight Gold Gloves, 316 Home Runs, is a World Series Champion (with St. Louis) and in terms of bWAR he is at 70.6. He might see his number increase but not by much. He is ranked #17 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Curt Schilling: Schilling won 216 Games with 3,116 Strikeouts and three times he was the National League Cy Young runner-up but he was even more lights out in the post-season where he was a three time World Series Champion (one with Arizona and two with Boston) with an 11 and 2 record and a 2.23 ERA. Schilling is on his seventh year on the ballot with a 51.2% finish last year, but it is down from where it was two years ago (52.3%). Schilling’s past comments against the media have not helped him, which might explain partially why he is still waiting. He is ranked #7 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Gary Sheffield: Gary Sheffield is another name on the ballot with PED suspicion and has been ballot purgatory for the four years he has been on the ballot finishing anywhere from 11.1% to 13.3%. Sheffield hit 509 Home Runs over his career and perhaps with the less crowded ballot he might increase vote total but it will be difficult to see him rise above the mid-teens. He is ranked #20 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Sammy Sosa: Sammy Sosa has been on the ballot for six years and in his first year on the ballot he received 12.5%. Since that time he never got past 10% and while some PED guys are being forgiven, the former MVP does not seem to be. He had 609 Home Runs with 2,408 Hits over his career, which are incredible numbers yet he will probably struggle to get a double digit vote. He is ranked #30 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Miguel Tejada: Miguel Tejada won the American League MVP in 2002 and over his career he belted 307 Home Runs with 2,407 Hits. For Tejada, a win here would be to get the 5% needed to remain on the ballot but it will be difficult. He is ranked #95 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Omar Vizquel: Omar Vizquel is one of the greatest defensive players ever accumulating 11 Gold Gloves over a 24 year career that also saw him collect 2,877 Hits. This is the second year of eligibility for Vizquel who got 37.0% last year. While many expected Vizquel to get a higher percentage in his ballot debut this is still a good start on the Hall of Fame path. He might increase by ten percent this year. He is ranked #68 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Billy Wagner: Billy Wagner recorded 422 Saves over his career and he is entering his fourth year of eligibility. He received a high of 11.1% last year but it might be hard for him to reach the teens.

Larry Walker: Larry Walker is a former National League MVP who has a career bWAR over 70, a .313 career Batting Average and 383 Home Runs, which overall seems like a Hall of Fame resume on the surface but the former Colorado Rockies star appears to be the victim of what was then the “Coors Field effect” where he had really good home stats. He only has two more chances and he is coming off a high of 34.1%. He will likely see a vote increase but not much. He is ranked #13 on Notinhalloffame.com.

Kevin Youkilis: Youkilis would win two World Series Rings with the Boston Red Sox and was a three time All Star who finished third in MVP voting in 2008. He might get a vote or two but he probably shouldn’t.

Michael Young: Young had a pretty good career where he accumulated 2,375 Hits with an even .300 Batting Average. Young was a seven time All Star and should receive a few votes but it is also possible that we won’t have any.

Jose Contreras, Ryan Dempster, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez, Brad Penny, Yorvit Torrealba and Jake Westbrook played the minimum amount of seasons (10) to qualify for the ballot but they were not included.

The election results will be announced on January 22.

We can guarantee that between now and that time we will have a lot more to write about when it comes to this vote!

The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2019 is Announced!

We love this day!

Regular visitors to Notinhalloffame.com know how much we consider the announcement of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class to be our Christmas.  If that is the case, then the announcement of the Baseball Hall of Fame Class is like our Birthday.

Let’s get right into the votes!

As expected, Mariano Rivera enters the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility.  Rivera is without question the greatest Relief Pitcher in the history of Baseball and he retired with 652 Saves, the all-time record.  A thirteen time All Star who spent his entire career with the New York Yankees, Rivera had a career ERA of 2.21 and WHIP of 1.000, which is outstanding but his post season numbers were even better with an ERA of 0.70 and WHIP of 0.759 over 96 Games including five World Series Rings and a World Series MVP.  Even more impressive is that Rivera made history as the first man to receive a unanimous vote, a great sign that the voters are no longer sending in blank votes in protests.

Roy Halladay also enters the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility with 85.4%.  Halladay is one of the few Pitchers to win a Cy Young in both leagues (2003 with Toronto and 2010 with Philadelphia) and he was the runner-up for the award twice. He retired with a record of 203 and 105 with 2,117 Strikeouts.  Sadly, this induction will be posthumous as he died when he crashed his plane in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017.

Edgar Martinez gets in on his 10thand final try after receiving 85.4% up from 70.4%.  The career Seattle Mariner is considered to be the first Designated Hitter voted in (unless you count Frank Thomas and remember Harold Baines was not voted in by the writers). Martinez retired with a .312 Batting Average with 309 Home Runs. 

Mike Mussina.  Mike Mussina makes in on his 6thtry finishing with 76.7% up from 63.5% from last year.  Mussina had a record of 270 and 153 with five All Star Game appearances.  We have been open in our belief that Mussina’s induction is long overdue.

Curt Schilling is also on his seventh year of eligibility.  Unlike Bonds and Clemens, his obstacle to the Hall has been his himself as he has been openly critical of writers and media alike.  On the field, Schilling does have a Hall of Fame resume, which showcases 216 Wins and three World Series Rings where he put on incredible performances which included the infamous bloody sock (Boston 2004) and being named the Co-MVP of the 2001 Fall Classic as an Arizona Diamondback. Schilling has been relatively quiet leading up to this vote, which may have helped his rise in the vote from 51.2% to 60.9%, a significant increase indeed.

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who were both on their 7thyear of eligibility are easily the most successful Pitcher and Position Player on this ballot and both have not yet gotten in due to their alleged link to PEDs.  With the addition of former commissioner Bud Selig who presided over the rise of Performance Enhancing Drugs to the Hall of Fame many voters openly altered their stance on the PED users from that era and the two baseball juggernauts whose chances once seemed hopeless have seen their vote tally rise again.   Seven time Cy Young Award winner Clemens goes up from 57.3% to 59.%%.  Seven time MVP Bonds climbs from 56.4% to 59.1%

Former National League MVP, Larry Walker saw his totals ride from 34.1% to 54.6%.  Walker, who still might be receiving a Coors Field bias is on his ninth year of eligibility and with only one year left it looks like it will be hard for him to get in, but the sizable jump does show hope.

Defensive superstar Omar Vizquel remains in a good position on the second year of his eligibility.  The 11 time Gold Glove recipient also collected 2,877 Hits over his career.  The Venezuelan’s vote total increased from 37% to 42.8%. 

This is Fred McGriff’s final year on the ballot and he finishes with a vote of 39.8%, which is significantly higher than last year’s 23.2%.  With 493 Home Runs and 2,490 Hits he would not be out of place in the Hall but he was never a huge name and is not closely associated with any team.  Many have written that the induction of Harold Baines should pave the way for the “Crime Dog” in a future Veteran’s Committee ballot.

Manny Ramirezwent from 22.0% to 22.8% on his third year on the ballot.  Unlike Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, Ramirez was caught taking PEDs and was suspended for it.  Since he was caught after Major League Baseball and the Player’s Union came up with their stance on steroids, “ManRam” is in a distinct category all his own.

On his fourth year on the ballot Billy Wagner went from 11.1% to 16.7%, which is by far his best jump.

Jeff Kentstayed in limbo in his 6thyear of eligibility.  The former National League MVP went from 14.5%. to 18.1%.

Scott Rolen went up on his 2ndYear from 10.2% to 17.2% and like others, the fact that four people are removed from this group will be a big help to his cause.

Todd Helton debuts with 16.5% which may seem low but in this group is not that bad and does show that there is a chance for his total to rise.  To put this into perceptive, Mike Mussina’s first year on the ballot would see him only receive 20.3%.

Gary Sheffield remains in the same grouping that Kent is.  Sheffield, who had over 500 Home Runs also has a PED taint around him is on his fifth year of eligibility and his tally went from 11.1% to 13.6%.  It does not look good for Sheffield.

Andruw Jones had 7.3% on his first year and received 7.5% on his second, which is not the gain he would have hoped for.

Andy Pettitte just barely made it through with 9.9%.  The crowded ballot probably hurt Pettitte more than anyone else as he is an admitted PED user who while he had very good career numbers was only a three time All Star.

If Kent and Sheffield are in Hall of Fame limbo than Sammy Sosa is in purgatory.  Like Clemens and Bonds, Sosa is in his 7thyear of eligibility but unlike the other two Sosa has not seen his number drop as with the exception of his first year on the ballot where he accrued 12.5%, he has not gained double digits since.  The longtime Chicago Cub has seen his once stellar reputation crumble ever since he feigned the inability to speak English in front of Congress.  Sosa received only 8.5%.

Significant names who received votes but did not make the mandatory 5% to remain on the ballot are Michael Young (2.1%), Lance Berkman (1.2%), Miguel Tejada (1.2%), Roy Oswalt (0.9%) and Placido Polanco (0.5%)

Kevin Youkilis, Derek Lowe, Freddy Garcia, Vernon Wells, Ted Lilly, Travis Hafner, Jason Bay, Michael Young, Jon Garland. Darren Oliver, Juan Pierre and Rick Ankiel did not receive any votes.

This group will join Harold Baines and Lee Smith who were chosen by the Veteran’s Committee.

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and we will begin work on revising our Baseball list.  Look for that in late February.

IF I HAD A VOTE IN THE 2013 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ELECTION, PART 1: A HISTORIC REFERENDUM

The vote for the candidates on the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is without a doubt historical because of two salient and unavoidable facts: One is that this year's ballot is overstuffed with potential Hall of Fame candidates—presenting an even bigger logjam to entrance to the Hall—and the other is that this year's vote is an inescapable referendum on the stance toward the "Steroids Era" as even more players active during the period of the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s implicated with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are newly eligible.

Note: Part 1 of this two-part series goes into detail—considerable detail—to examine both the overstuffed ballot and, more comprehensively, the atmosphere of moral dudgeon surrounding the suspected and admitted usage of PEDs by players on previous ballots and especially by players eligible for the Hall for the first time this year. If you want only to read the players' evaluations, skip to Part 2.

If I Had a Vote in the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Election

Strategic voting. What you have to do when you have too many choices and not enough time or opportunities to realize all those choices.

Sounds like voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the last few years, doesn't it?

The good news is that since the Shutout of 2013, when the eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) could not muster the 75 percent of the vote necessary to elect any one ballot candidate to the Hall of Fame despite a wealth of candidates from whom to choose (I counted 14), the BBWAA has sent a dozen players to Cooperstown. Based on that trend, and barring any unusual or unforeseen wrinkle, the writers are certain to elect at least one player for 2018.

29. Sammy Sosa

It has to be considered a given that the PED question has hurt many players in their quest for Cooperstown. It is very possible that anyone associated with it will fail to get elected and the Hall will be devoid of some of the game’s greatest record setters. Yet, of all the people whose careers got tarnished, we can’t help but wonder if Sammy Sosa took the biggest fall of them all.
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