This was pretty much expected, but the results of annual Hall of Fame balloting are in and nobody received the required 75 percent support. Clearly, the suspicions about performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) did much to knock down the candidacy of a bunch of players who would otherwise be locks. I’m thinking of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, to start, maybe Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza. Craig Biggio led all vote-getters with 68 percent and I’m pretty confident he’ll get in next year his second time around on the ballot.
Edgar Martinez had 35.9 percent, right around where he was a year ago.
There will be some who will decry the lack of an entrant this year as ablow to the Hall of Fame. I disagree. There have been eight other occasions previously where nobody was elected, the most recent being in 1996. The Hall survived those occasions and will survive this one.
Some may call for an overhaul of the voting process and I remain open-minded to that possibility as well. In the end, it’s up to the Hall of Fame to decide who the voters will be. For now, it has chosen the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Today, the Hall’s president, Jeff Idelson, reiterated his support for the job voters continue to do.
“The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936,” Idelson said. “We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide.”
As long as the Hall continues to allow the BBWAA to do the voting, I will continue to vote how I see fit within the confines and parameters of the guidelines supplied to writers by the Hall of Fame itself.
If the Hall decides to re-word the guidelines, or paramaters, I will be obliged to abide by them as well. The BBWAA votes on the Hall. It is not our Hall of Fame. So, if somebody has better ideas of how voting should go and who should do it, I’m all ears. But in the end, this is the system that remains in place and the Hall’s top official says he is satisfied.
We all did the best we could with this vote. I heard many impassioned arguments from voters on both sides of the fence. Would I have rather seen somebody get in this year? Certainly. But I can live without someone going in as well. As long as the writers stayed true to their conscience, that’s good enough for me. And it will have to be good enough for baseball fans as well, unless and until the Hall of Fame decides to change the process.