Jan 9, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT
If you had asked me before 2pm today I would have guessed that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would have received around 50% of the vote. Not a lot given their baseball accomplishments, but a healthy vote for two players so thoroughly associated with PEDs. But they fell far short: Clemens received 37.6% of the vote, Bonds 36.2%.
I think there are two distinct groups of voters who voted no on these guys this year (1) the never ever voters; and (2) the not this year voters. The never ever voters will, obviously, never-ever vote for a PED user. They have drawn a bright moral line and will not consider these two no matter what happens. The not this year voters are voters who took Bonds’ and Clemens’ first year on the ballot as an opportunity to lodge a protest vote. I recall reading many columns by these sorts, all of whom said some version of “I may vote for them in the future, but I don’t know what to do with them now …” or something like it.
For Clemens and Bonds to make it in, that second camp has to be gigantic. And frankly, I can’t see it being such a large group of people that it will allow them to jump up by nearly 40% in the vote be it next year or ten years from now. Given how low their vote totals are the never ever camp has to comprise more than 25% of the electorate, and it only takes one more than 25% of the electorate to block a player.
Maybe attrition changes this, but I have my doubts. It’s fashionable to say that the “old man” voters oppose Bonds and Clemens and then assume that, over time, those voters will die off while younger, more progressive voters fill the BBWAA’s ranks. But I don’t necessarily buy that. There are a lot of “old man” voters who don’t think PEDs are a mortal sin. Maybe because they remember segregation and its after effects, greenies, cocaine and all manner of other bad things and know damn well that there are worse things in baseball than someone taking steroids. Meanwhile, there are a lot of Hall of Fame voters south of 50 who are among the most virulent anti-PED guys as you’ll find anywhere. Even if you’re counting on attrition, it’s going to take longer than the 14 years Bonds and Clemens have on the ballot to make a difference.
No, the only chance those two have to make the Hall of Fame is for some sort of fundamental change in the process to happen. For the BBWAA to alter the composition of its electorate, for MLB and the Hall of Fame to come out with some sort of formal diktat that PED use should not be considered in Hall of Fame voting or for the BBWAA to have the Hall of Fame vote taken away from it altogether.
I don’t see any of those three things happening. And for that reason, I don’t see Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens getting into the Hall of Fame without a ticket any time soon.
Jul 14, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT
“You wanna hit grand slams today, Buster?” “Sure Madison. Can I call you Madison? That seems weird.”
Jul 14, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT
Perhaps the greatest trick Bud Selig ever pulled was getting people to believe that he was going to contract the Minnesota Twins.
Jul 14, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT
Kershaw may be the better choice, but it seems like Mike Matheny is leaning toward his own guy.
Jul 14, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT
Minneapolis: home to a beautiful ballpark, some fantastic musical history and a statue of a pretty gross racist jackwagon right outside the friggin’ ballpark.
Jul 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The last baseball that counts for a few days. Enjoy it, folks.
Jul 13, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT
The Athletics avoided a series sweep in Seattle. With their win, their 59th of the season, the A’s set a franchise mark for wins at the All-Star break.
Jul 13, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT
Chien-Ming Wang opted out of his minor league deal with the Reds and will look to continue his career elsewhere.
Jul 13, 2014, 9:35 PM EDT
Randy Wolf cleared out his locker at Triple-A Norfolk. He may be looking to join his fifth organization in 2014, having already spent time with the Mariners, Diamondbacks, Marlins, and Orioles.
Jul 13, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT
Huston Street is headed to the All-Star Game in Minnesota, replacing teammate Tyson Ross.
Jul 13, 2014, 7:48 PM EDT
Thanks to Joey Gallo, Team USA earned a victory over the World team in the Futures Game on Sunday at Target Field. Gallo earned MVP honors.
Jul 13, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT
Maybe Madison Bumgarner should be in the Home Run Derby.
Jul 13, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
Joey Gallo is quickly becoming a household name, especially after the round of batting practice he had on Sunday prior to the Futures Game.
Jul 13, 2014, 5:18 PM EDT
In the program for Sunday night’s Futures Game, there’s a pretty cool map that shows the hometown of each player on the Team USA roster. Except … well … see if you can spot the mistake …
Jul 13, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT
One of baseball’s coolest things is about to happen, but no one will see it.
Jul 13, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT
Tyler Clippard of the Nationals, Alfredo Simon of the Reds, and Tim Hudson of the Giants have been added to the National League roster for Tuesday night’s 2014 MLB All-Star Game in Minneapolis.
Jul 13, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT
Here are the starting lineups for Sunday night’s Futures Game at Target Field in Minneapolis. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on MLB Network, with Matt Vasgersian, Sean Casey, Heidi Watney, and MLB.com prospect guru Jonathan Mayo on the call.
Jul 13, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT
Angels outfielder Collin Cowgill was lifted from Saturday’s game against the Rangers after being struck by a pitch while trying to bunt in the top of the eighth inning. The ball first hit Cowgill’s right thumb and fractured it and then ricocheted off of his nose, breaking it too.
Jul 13, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez refused to get into specific in his chat with the media before Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Wrigley Field, but second baseman Dan Uggla has officially been suspended one game without pay and David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution hears that it was for tardiness.
Jul 13, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT
Cliff Lee is on track to return to the Phillies’ starting rotation on July 21. The veteran left-hander has been out since the middle of May because of a muscle strain in his pitching elbow but could be an attractive name at this year’s trade deadline.
Jul 13, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT
Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano has been activated from the disabled list after missing a month with an oblique strain and will start an important game against the Reds on Sunday afternoon.
- Greetings from All-Star week in Minneapolis 6
- And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights 39
- Joey Gallo earns Futures Game MVP honors after leading Team USA to victory 6
- Major League Baseball needs to shift the All-Star week schedule 49
- Braves suspend Dan Uggla one game for being extremely tardy on Saturday in Chicago 39
- Cliff Lee on track to return to Phillies’ rotation July 21 5
- MRI shows biceps strain, no structural damage, for Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann 2
- Settling the Score: Saturday’s results 22
- Shocker: the Red Sox publicly criticize A.J. Pierzynski after cutting him (192)
- Masahiro Tanaka diagnosed with partially-torn UCL in elbow (114)
- Giants broadcaster says Angel Hernandez “does not belong in the big leagues” (102)
- David Ortiz is not pleased that his name got pulled into the John Lackey-Nelson Cruz thing (99)
- Woman knocked unconscious during fight between A’s and Giants fans outside AT&T Park (84)