Bags, the Rock, and Pudge roll to Cooperstown today

Bagwell, Raines, and Rodriguez get their Hall of Fame plaques today.

Bagwell, Raines, and Rodriguez get their Hall of Fame plaques today.

Nothing worked against Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez but innuendo and, in Bagwell’s case, one or two overcrowded ballots. They step into the Hall of Fame today, hand in hand with Tim Raines, two representing the triumph of evidence over innuendo and one representing the triumph of analysis over emotion.

Neither Bagwell nor Rodriguez were ever proven to have used actual or alleged performance-enhancing substances. Bagwell chose not to address the issue in any form, at any level, until after his playing career ended; Rodriguez slapped Jose Canseco back down convincingly in his own book, They Call Me Pudge.

The IBWAA Hall of Fame vote: Here’s mine . . .

I-Rod: in by the BBWAA and in by the IBWAA . . .

I-Rod: in by the BBWAA and in by the IBWAA . . .

Now, about the Hall of Fame: Speaking for myself alone it’s about damn time Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines were elected to Cooperstown, and congratulations to Ivan Rodriguez for making it first ballot. But it’s a shame Vladimir Guerrero missed in his first try. Not to worry, he’s going to make it, perhaps next year.

But so far as the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America is concerned, it was a dead heat between Guerrero and Rodriguez as our picks for Hall of Famers. They both got 84.54 percent of the IBWAA vote—including mine—while Mike Mussina came one vote short of his needed 75 percent and Trevor Hoffman fell short by three.

HOF ballot: The holdovers . . .

The holdover Hall of Fame ballot entrants are both an interesting and a troublesome group, largely because the recent rule changes limiting a Baseball Writers Association of America candidate to ten years on the ballot—and limiting voters to ten players per ballot—push a few right up against the exit door if they don’t make it this time. And in a few cases that just doesn’t seem right.

Let’s review the holdovers’ candidacies. Much of what I’ve written of some of these players in the past still holds, so I’ll include what I wrote of those:

 

THE HOLDOVERS

The IBWAA ballot; or, how I voted for the Hall of Fame

National Baseball Hall of FameSince I wrote purely from an observer’s position, I was content to let my previous writings on this season’s Hall of Fame voting stand for themselves. But in the interim I was made a life member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, which conducts its own Hall of Fame ballot every year. My membership came just in time to have such a vote myself.

This vote, of course, is purely symbolic outside the IBWAA itself. Even if there are those in the mainstream press who actually pay attention to the balloting, sometimes using those results as one barometer toward gauging how the Baseball Writers Association of America vote might result. The day may come when the IBWAA vote is included in the ultimate tally that elects Hall of Famers. May.

The Hall of Fame Non-Election: Who Wuz Robbed?

He wuz robbed . . .

He wuz robbed . . .

Second thoughts are not first disasters. There’s nothing wrong with thinking twice, which one gathers many wish the Baseball Writers Association of America had done with this year’s Hall of Fame non-election. If a large enough group of the 500+ voting writers elected to send a message about actual or alleged performance-enhancing substances, they have done so.

The Hall of Fame Ballot: The Holdovers

Yesterday I had a look at the freshman class on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. Today I have a look at the holdovers from last year, several of whom are making only their second appearances on the ballot, at least one of whom should have been elected on his first try last year, and at least one of whom is being kept out of the Hall of Fame somewhat unfairly. I’ll begin with that man, for all the good it will do.

THE SAD CASE OF RAFAEL PALMEIRO