Friday, January 3, 2014

A Most Interesting 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

2014 is shaping up to be one of the most interesting Hall of Fame Elections in recent years.  In the post-steroids era (are we really past this yet), some very interesting first year candidates are joining the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.  The questions this year are lingering like a bad cold.  2013's ballot saw no one inducted.  Obviously, that can't happen to often because interest in the ballot would start to diminish.  Players NEED to be inducted in 2014.  Let's investigate the possibilities and the questions.

Will Jack Morris finally make it on his last year on the ballot? (He only gets 15 years after all to make the Hall of Fame)?

Will second year stand outs Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza or Curt Schilling make the HOF in their second year trying?

Will any of the terrible steroid-era players, Roger Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, Bonds or Rafael Palmeiro actually get the call?  Will cheating still matter to these voters?

Who from the new class - Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas or Mike Mussina, for instance - will get the call from the BBWAA?

To help me with my imaginary ballot, similar to Deadspin's purchase of a ballot from a terribly greedy sportswriter, I have asked G to tell me who he thinks will be elected to the Hall of Fame.

G's list...

Roger Clemens
Barry Bonds
Greg Maddux
Frank Thomas
Don Mattingly

I agree with G.  Maddux might be a 100% lock to make the Hall of Fame.  Even Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth could not secure 100% of the vote from the writers, but Maddux has a shot.  With the Internet, writers are under as much scrutiny as players and thus tend to follow the normal course of action a little bit more closely.  A pitcher who was so consistent that he never won more than 20 games (having won 20 games twice), yet put together 16 years of more than 15 wins?  This is amazing consistency for modern day pitchers and may earn him a unanimous vote.  These writers are dying to vote someone in after skipping the vote in 2013 and voting only Barry Larkin in in 2012.  They are desperate to vote.

Who did not make the cut according to G?  Mark McGwire.  When I asked him why, he responded "Well, because he took steroids."  Oh the irony of his picks.

Here are my picks:

Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine
Frank Thomas
Craig Biggio
Jack Morris

Curt Schilling, Tim Raines and Mike Piazza will just miss.  There's always next year, although the pitching prospects will get stronger as Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez joins the 2015 Hall of Fame Ballot.

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