Today is like our second Christmas. The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York has made their annual selection for the Hall of Fame. We are very pleased to announce that our number two selection, Barry Larkin has been inducted to the Hall of Fame. The longtime Cincinnati Shortstop was the dominant player in his position for the National League and deserves this accolade. Now......how about the rest of the votes......
Jack Morris 66.7 (Our Rank: #25)
This has to be considered a victoty for Morris supporters. He made a major jump from the 53 percent he was at last year, and his cause continues to rise with support from his peers. As the highest returning vote getter who is "untainted" the addition of the PED group of Clemens, Sosa & Bonds could actually benefit him.
Jeff Bagwell 56% (Our Rank: 1C)
You know what we think based on our rank. Our guess is that Bagwell is lumped in on some ballots as a PED user, which was never attached to his name at any time. Bagwell's votes did shoot up by fifteen percent, but the variable that could aid Jack Morris, could hurt Bagwell as he may painted with the Bonds/Sosa/Clemens brush.
Lee Smith 50.6 (Our Rank: 15)
Lee Smith retires as the MLB leader in Saves. End of story, How he is struggling to get into the Hall can only be attributed to (to us) his lack of success in the post season. He did move up five percent, but he has roughly been the same area for awhile.
Tim Raines 48.7 (Our Rank: #7)
He should be a lot higher than he is, and we wonder if his drug of choice (cocaine) has hampered his ballot. Raines did go up by ten percent, but we still question how he has not broken the 50 percent plane yet.
Edgar Martinez 36.5% (Our Rank: #30)
This won't budge much. Martinez is the best DH if all time, and there are too many voters who will always view that as one dimensional. Don't be surprised to see this tally stay the same until he is off the ballot.
Alan Trammell 36.8% (Our Rank #16)
Another major jump, and we ownder if it is a bit of a Barr Larkin effect, as many have compared the two shortstops recently. In our eyes, Trammell should be way higher than he is.
Fred McGriff 23.9% (Our Rank: #27)
It is looking more and more that McGriff would have needed that 500 Home Run total to get in. It isn't looking good for the Crime Dog.
Larry Walker 22.9% (Our Rank: #21)
What's worse than being a PED user? Apparently playing at Coors Field. Larry Walker only moved up two percent, and it looks like the Canadian will remain in a "dogfight" with McGriff to get to 30 percent.
Mark McGwire 19.5% (Our Rank: #10)
A World Series as a Batting Coach equals......a loss of .3 percent. The man who helped save baseball attendence in the 90's will not see this vote go up any higher. He did beat Sammy Sosa in that famous duel, will he get more votes than him next year?
Don Mattingly 17.8% (Our Rank: #43)
Mattingly had so many good years and had to retire early. If he was a stat accumulator in his late 30's, he might have got in.
Dale Murphy 14.5% (Our Rank: #39)
The forgotten Atlanta Brave remains such. No reason to think this will change in future votes.
Rafael Palmeiro 12.6 (Our Rank: #23)
Well, Mr. Finger Wagger did move up a bit, but much like his career, he will go back to the shadows of Bonds and Sosa when they are eligible. Which baseball god did Raffy piss off?
Bernie Williams 9.6 (Unranked)
Did we totally get this wrong? We don't see him in Cooperstown, but should he have been ranked, or was this just a case of a very good player getting extra love because he was a Yankee? We really have to think about this one.
In other news, Juan Gonzalez leaves the ballot with a whimper (4 percent) and first time nominees, Vinny Castilla, Tim Salmon, Bill Mueller, Javy Lopez, Brad Radke, Eric Young, Jeremy Burnitz, Brian Jordan, Terry Mulholland, Ruben Sierra, Phil Nevin and Tony Womack all failed to make it past the five percent needed to continue.
So.....what do we think of this year's crop of one?