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Old 01-25-2018, 08:50 PM
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Default MLB Hall of Fame 2018

How weird is it that my favorite day on the MLB calendar falls in January? Iíve been pretty much nonexistent on the forums lately but I donít want to disappoint the three or four people that read my traditional Hall of Fame thread so here I am. Letís break it down.

The New Class

Chipper Jones
Vladimir Guerrero
Jim Thome
Trevor Hoffman

I have no problem with any of these choices. All are worthy in my opinion. Thereís not usually much to say about those that got in. Itís the rest of the ballot where the real discussion comes in.

Reason For Optimism

Edgar Martinez
Mike Mussina

These guys are going in soon. Next year is Edgarís last year on the ballot and after receiving 70% of the vote this year Iíd say heís a lock next year. For as much as I love Edgar (heís been a long time favorite of mine) I donít think heís a Hall of Famer. Regardless, I will tip my cap when he takes his spot with the immortals next year. As for Mussina, I think he should have been in by now but Iím thinking 2020 for him. Heís gotten a nice spike each of the last two years. I wouldnít be shocked to see him get in next year but Iím thinking 2020 at the latest for him.

Stagnant

Roger Clemens
Barry Bonds
Curt Schilling
Manny Ramirez
Jeff Kent
Gary Sheffield
Billy Wagner
Sammy Sosa

Half of these guys actually went down in votes and the other half didnít go up by much. We know the story behind Bonds & Clemens. Iíve shared my thoughts countless times here. Obviously they both belong in. After a nice jump in 2017 these results were definitely disappointing. Iím still hopeful. I think with some comparatively weaker 1st timers coming up and they come closer to falling off some of the writers will have felt they served their time and finally let them in. Schilling ran his mouth last year which cost him some votes. Now heís back to where heís been but itís still not close enough. I still think he will eventually get in too. Manny is a different case than Bonds & Clemens since he actually failed a drug test..twice. I would still put Manny in but I donít see it happening. If guys that are just suspected of PEDs are having such a hard time getting in then I donít see anyone that actually failed a test getting in. Sheffield never did fail a test so I donít know why heís so low. His numbers say he belongs in. He should at least be around the 50% mark but heís barely moved since getting on the ballot so heís not likely to ever get in. Kent hasnít moved much either and Wagner has gone up a little. Neither is a HOFer in my opinion. Iíd like to see them fall of to clear some space but looks like theyíll bottom feed until time it up. Iím not just saying this as a Cub fan but itís a disgrace how Sosa has been ostracized from the game. Although not in the HOF Bonds & McGwire have been welcomed back into the game. A Rod is receiving praise as an analyst. Yet Sosa is treated like he has the plague. He was never the most polished player but he was a superstar for a long time and MLB was happy to turn a blind eye to his PED use in the 90s when they needed a star to save baseball after their disastrous strike. Itís terrible how they threw him & McGwire under the bus after riding their backs to riches.

Time Is Running Out

Larry Walker
Fred McGriff

Walker got a nice jump this year but still has a long way to go with only two years on the ballot. Like Edgar, Walker is a favorite of mine but I donít think heís a HOFer. The guy was a stud while on the diamond. He just wasnít there enough. More full seasons and less injuries may have gotten him in. Should I go into my usual McGriff rant? He has been disrespected on this ballot for years and with next year being his last year heís obviously not going to make it. You would think a group thatís so hard on alleged PED users would have more respect for a clean player that put up big numbers in that dirty era. At least this year a lot of analysts on MLB Network have finally started talking about McGriff after ignoring him for years. Iím afraid itís too little too late.

First Time Carryovers

Omar Vizquel
Scott Rolen
Andruw Jones

Omar Vizquel had a shocking debut collecting 37% of the vote. Still a far cry from the necessary 75% but he should be thrilled with that number for his first year, especially when some expected he may be on the verge of falling off the ballot. Rolen got the result I expected. Great player but not a HOFer. Jones came in lower than I expected but thatís ok with me because I donít see him as a HOFer either.

One and Done

Johan Santana
Johnny Damon

Of course there were more but these were the two that I thought had a chance to stay on. No disrespect but Iím glad theyíre off. Theyíre not HOFers so no need for them to crowd up the ballot. Santana won two Cy Young Awards and Damon was a key player in breaking the Red Sox curse but theyíre simply not among the elites.

The Veteranís Committee

Jack Morris
Alan Trammell

Letís not forget we have two other new members. I was stunned to see the Vets vote two guys in. I canít say that I agree with these choices but who am I to argue with Rod Carew, Dave Winfield, and George Brett? This gives me hope for Fred McGriff. I think the Vets will correct the writerís mistake.

Next Year

Mariano Rivera
Roy Halladay
Todd Helton
Lance Berkman
Andy Pettitte
Roy Oswalt

Rivera is a no brainer. We donít need to discuss him. Iíve been looking forward to Halladay getting on the ballot. He is an interesting case. I think heís the first pitcher of the newer era where relief pitchers are being used more often taking away from the career numbers of starting pitchers. I thought he would be the one to possibly open the door for guys like Sabathia, Verlander, Felix, etc. I figured if Halladay got in then those guys would have a shot. If he didnít then pitchers would have a rough path to Cooperstown in the future. Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, now that he has died Iím not sure if the votes will all be genuine. Hopefully the writers arenít like wrestling fans who elevate a guy after he dies. For the record, I considered Doc a HOFer before he died. Helton is really interesting to me. He was a monster from 98-04 but was pretty average from 05 until the end of his career. Iím really on the fence about him. I donít see him going in first ballot, especially with the bias against Colorado players the writers have shown, but I wouldnít be surprised to see him get in on the third or fourth ballot. Then again, I wouldnít be surprised if he never got in. If you force me to choose right now I think I would vote for him, but Iím not completely convinced. Berkman had some huge seasons in the 00s and he seems like a borderline guy, but I donít think heís getting in. He might be one of those guys that stays on the ballot for ten years without ever making it. Pettitte would not get my vote but he is the starting pitcher most closely associated with the Yankee dynasty. That will probably get him some extra support. Probably not enough though as Bernie and Posada did not benefit much from being party of that dynasty. Roy Oswalt is not going in but he was one of my favorites in the 00s and he was great for a short period of time. I just wanted to mention him even though heís got no shot.

Well that felt long. Hope those who bothered to read it enjoyed. Please feel free to share your thoughts.
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