Monday, January 4, 2016

Anticipating the Hall of Fame announcment

The ballots have been cast, and the announcement is due on Wednesday.

Predicting the outcome of the Hall of Fame vote is a bit more difficult this year because of the culling of the BBWAA electorate. About 145 90 of last year's voters were stripped of their ballots by the Hall of Fame; they got the ax on the basis of no longer covering baseball. Many, if not most, of them are believed to have been casting "short" ballots, voting for one or two candidates at the most.

Dropping them effectively boosts the percentages going to the also-run candidates, and off the publicly announced ballots that appears to be a significant boost for Tim Raines in particular. Raines is nearing the end of his BBWAA eligibility (one year to go after this). My guess is that he won't make it this year but will come close enough that next year he can go over the top.

I hope he does. Raines should have been in long ago. This piece by Peter Keating of ESPN describes Raines' exclusion as a "perfect storm" of biases, from playing his glory years in Montreal to his cocaine use to the shadow of contemporary Rickey Henderson to a long time preference by Hall voters for sluggers over leadoff men. All are probably factors. I'm perfectly confident in declaring Raines to be a better player than, for example, Jim Rice, another left fielder who is in.

Raines isn't the only candidate on the ballot who has been unwisely excluded. Alan Trammell exhausts his BBWAA eligibility this year, and he has more ground to cover to get to 75 percent than Raines.

My prediction: Ken Griffey, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell get in this time, with Raines just missing. Piazza might have gotten anyway without the revamped electorate; if Bagwell and or Raines do too, it will be because dozens of previous naysayers were silenced this time.

1 comment:

  1. For those years no one has been elected, I think it means the bar is to high.

    If it is because part-time voters used only gaudy stats as the basis, then MLB made the correct decision to jettison them from voting.

    Non of the trio: Oliva, Kaat, or Morris would be the poorest HOF'er at their position by a long shot.

    My opinion is the three should be elected.

    I expected the Veterans Committee would rectify some of those oversights. I am disappointed they have not.