Jan 5, 2011, 2:36 PM EDT
I’m not one of those people who go crazy at the actual vote totals. You’re either in or you’re out, and if someone got 53.4% of the vote as opposed to 66.2% I’m not going to blow a gasket.
That said, there are a lot of things we can learn from the vote totals. So, in the interests of observation and science, let’s see what this year’s ballot really means:
- For all of the ink spilled in his name, Jack Morris got only a slight bump in Hall balloting from last year, going up to 53.5% from 52.3% in 2010. While it’s true that most players who get 50% of the vote eventually get in, one would think that Morris would get a bigger bump. If he doesn’t make huge strides next year, he may be blotted out by the Maddux-Glavine-Pedro-Johnson conga line that will come in a few years. Oh, and he’s going to fall off the ballot in three years regardless, so he had better enlist a good campaign team;
- Barry Larkin seems to be on a strong course toward election. 62.1% in his first year of eligibility is strong. Next year’s class is weak. I think he gets the call in 2012.
- How does Robbie Alomar go from 73% to 90% in one year? The only real explanation is that there was a huge penalty placed on him for not being what some consider a traditional first-ballot guy. Which just goes to show that, no matter what the actual Hall voting rules say — and they specifically say that there is no special designation for “first ballot” guys — voters will read their own rules into the process.
- Edgar Martinez got only 32.9% of the vote. I guess that tells us what the electorate thinks of the DH.
- Mark McGwire — who for years was implored by voters to “come clean,” came clean in 2010. He was rewarded with a reduction in his vote totals, going from 23.7% in 2010 to 19.8% this year.
- Jeff Bagwell — who has been lambasted for, well, nothing — only received 41.7% of the vote despite being — arguably — the best first baseman in National League history. Not a terrible vote for a first-timer, as many who have gone on to election began with vote totals in the 40% range, but far below where he should have been. Really, he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
- Other PED-associated players were killed: Rafael Palmeiro only got 11%. Kevin Brown fell clear off the ballot with 2.1%. I don’t think that either of them would be slam dunk guys anyway, but their vote totals — and the totals for Bagwell and McGwire — suggest that other players tied — or in Bagwell’s case, erroneously-tied — to steroids are going to face a bloodbath. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens get on the ballot in two years. They’re going to get creamed and that’s going to make all of the little Jeff Bagwell and Bert Blyleven arguments seem like pleasantries exchanged over tea and cucumber sandwiches.
- B.J. Surhoff got two votes. Wow. Benito Santiago and Brett Boone got one. Double wow.
There’s a lot more that can be mined from that data. The vote totals are here.
- Frank Wren fired as Braves GM, John Hart to take over on an interim basis 41
- AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME! Sizing up the final week of the regular season 36
- Must-Click Link: Derek Jeter opens up. Seriously, he really does. 44
- And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights 58
- Must-click link: Tommy Harper and the Red Sox’ racist past 56
- Settling the Score: Saturday’s results 34
- Matt Garza ejected after hitting Andrew McCutchen a second time 34
- Tigers hang on for second straight win against Royals 8
- Geddy Lee’s baseball obsession makes it really hard for me to hate Rush (123)
- It certainly looks like Barry Bonds’ criminal conviction is going to be overturned (107)
- Ron Washington claims he resigned because he cheated on his wife (103)
- Giants CEO Larry Baer thinks advertisements on uniforms are coming soon (87)
- Umpire ejects jackwagon fan heckling Bryce Harper in Atlanta last night (85)