Jan 5, 2011, 4:06 PM EDT
You can look at Jeff Bagwell’s measly 41.7% vote total in a couple of ways. On the one hand, it’s a big insult for a guy who was one of the best first basemen ever and you can assume he’s getting jobbed.
Another way to look at is with some optimism of eventual induction. That’s what Chris Jaffe does over at The Hardball Times:
I’m sure many are sad to see Bagwell score so lowly in this election, but it’s a good start. Aside from players currently on the ballot, only one scored higher than 31 percent the first time and hasn’t since been elected (Steve Garvey, who – like Bagwell – got 42 percent his first time). Actually, Bagwell even edges Garvey: 41.7 to 41.6 percent.
I’d like to be as optimistic, but my sense is that the guys who started out down in the 40% range and eventually made it did so because people gave their cases short shrift at first and eventually educated themselves or were convinced. With Bagwell, however, we’re dealing with a situation in which people are — I believe anyway — taking a moral stand against him.
It’s way easier to change someone’s mind when they’re non-committal to begin with. But it’s really, really hard to change someone’s mind when they believe something with conviction.
I think Bagwell’s total stays in the same 40% range next year. At best. It may, like McGwire’s, actually go down.
- Masahiro Tanaka diagnosed with partially-torn UCL in elbow 53
- Yadier Molina to miss 8-12 weeks with a torn thumb ligament 29
- Carlos Beltran placed on concussion disabled list after batting practice mishap 16
- Derek Jeter is the most popular MLB jersey this year 16
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 52
- The Rockies “aren’t looking around very hard” for a trade of star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki 29
- Jury finds the Dodgers partially negligent, awards $18 million to Bryan Stow 48
- Masahiro Tanaka injured: Yankees ace to undergo an MRI exam on his right arm 60
- Shocker: the Red Sox publicly criticize A.J. Pierzynski after cutting him (188)
- John Lackey on Nelson Cruz: “Not even going to comment … I’ve got nothing to say about him” (143)
- The 2014 All-Star rosters have been announced (103)
- Giants broadcaster says Angel Hernandez “does not belong in the big leagues” (101)
- David Ortiz is not pleased that his name got pulled into the John Lackey-Nelson Cruz thing (99)