Courtesy of BBWAA.com
Here we go again! The 2014 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot has come upon us and what shocking development will we witness from our fickle baseball writers this go around? Just a year ago our qualified members of the BBWAA made a humongous statement by not allowing a single living ballplayer into the HOF mostly because of the tainted P.E.D accusers that existed on the ballot (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa among others). With roughly 600 voters out there you would think they put someone ALIVE who warranted the induction. Someone like Craig Biggio, who received 68.2% of the votes! Biggio's resume speaks for itself as he is a member of the 3,000 hit club and not link to any P.E.D.s. So why was he punished?
Now that Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas headline an impressive group of star-studded ball players; is it possible that these three get shutout of the Hall? The BBWAA certainly seems to enjoy the headlines as of late and what better way to do so again by leaving out a 4-time Cy Young Award winner in Greg Maddux and his partner Tom Glavine, who holds two Cy Young Awards himself. Did I mention that they have a combined 660 career wins between them? What about the 2-time AL MVP Frank Thomas, could he be the one next in line getting snubbed by the writers?
The Hall of Fame ballot holds 36 members who need 75% of the BBWAA votes. As for the returning names, the players with the best chance to be inducted are Craig Biggio (68.2 percent of the vote last season), Jack Morris (67.7 percent -- and this is his last chance), Jeff Bagwell (59.6 percent), Mike Piazza (57.8 percent) and Tim Raines (52.2 percent).
The other returnees, including the percentage of the vote received last season: Lee Smith (47.8) Curt Schilling (38.8) Roger Clemens (37.6) Barry Bonds (36.2) Edgar Martinez (35.9) Alan Trammell (33.6) Larry Walker (21.6) Fred McGriff (20.7) Mark McGwire (16.9) Don Mattingly (13.2) Sammy Sosa (12.5) Rafael Palmeiro (8.8) Jeff Kent, Mike Mussina, Moises Alou, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Hideo Nomo, Kenny Rogers, J.T. Snow, Richie Sexson and Mike Timlin.
Ballots are due by Dec. 31, and the results will be announced January 8.
I mentioned how fickle the BBWAA members were earlier in this article. Take a good look at the 2014 candidates and don't be surprised if only two members on the list get voted in. Since 1980, only one time did the BBWAA vote in at least three members. That was the year 1999, when Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount were all inducted into the HOF together. So expect the chattering to continue as the BBWAA strategically place a new crop of players into the Hall.
If the BBWAA really want controversy going into the 2014 HOF induction then maybe its time to throw a player with P.E.Ds into the Hall.
-LeRoy McConnell III
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