The votes were tallied and the results announced–no one was voted into Cooperstown by the BBWAA this year. It was only the eighth time that the writers pitched a shutout.
To be elected, a player must be named on 75% of the ballots returned. There were 569 ballots cast this time around (the third most in history) so a player needed 427 votes to fire up the plaque maker. Craig Biggio got the most support, 388 votes, but this was, of course, not even close to the magic number needed. Jack Morris was next with 386, followed by Jeff Bagwell, (339), Mike Piazza (329) and so on down the line.
Of those associated with PEDs, Clemens got the most, garnering 214 votes (37.6% of the total.) He was followed closely by Bonds, who was given the nod by 206 or 36.2%.
I wonder what Bud Selig and Donald Fehr think of all this? Selig had the power to step in and corral the wild west attitude regarding PEDs back in the early 1990′s but didn’t. The current dilemma and obvious voter turmoil can be laid at his feet as much as those of McGwire, Canseco and the others who finally admitted their PED use or were caught.
Anyway, sometimes when you look at things a little sideways, the really interestion questions fall out. For example, consider that Biggio, a superb player for a long time, over 3,000 career hits etc, was not mentioned at all by 181 voters. Interesting. That’s hard for me to understand. I think he’s a clear Hall of Famer. He was one of the top tier of players in his time and his stats compare very favorably with some who are already in the Hall.
What is even more interesting is that 16 voters thought that Sandy Alomar deserved to be a HOFer. What? Sandy Alomar? Maybe they thought it said Sandy Koufax. Alomar was a great big catcher who missed tons of games—in his 18 seasons, he only had four where he caught more than 100 games, topping out at 132. He didn’t strike out much but also didn’t walk. He was ROY in 1990 and named (somehow) to six All Star squads so maybe that was impressive.
Someone also voted for Aaron Sele. Aaron Sele! Maybe they thought it said Hank Aaron. Sele started out great, with an ERA 70% better than league over 111 IP in his rookie campaign, then 30% better over 143 IP in his second season. But after that, he pretty much became the definition of a slightly better than average pitcher for six or seven seasons before having three or four truly bad seasons. Why would someone vote for him?
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter of course. The dust has settled and the Hall remains unchanged. Which, I think, in a time of obvious confusion about how to properly analyze things, is a very good thing. With time may come widsom. Or admissions.