With about 20 minutes to go until the Hall of Fame results are announced, Ryan Thibodaux — who has been doing yeoman’s work tracking writers’ submitted ballots — currently has Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez having crossed the necessary 75 percent vote threshold to be enshrined. Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero aren’t far behind, above 70 percent but below 75.
Throughout this entire process, fans and pundits alike have been criticizing some of the more curious ballots. There was Murray Chass and his intentionally blank ballot. Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer meant to abstain but submitted a blank ballot instead. Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe didn’t vote for Edgar Martinez because he wasn’t “feared,” apparently. The list goes on.
As a unit, though, the writers do a pretty good job of making the right calls. There are outliers, sure, but very rarely has the Baseball Writers Association of America inducted a truly undeserving player or completely whiffed on a deserving player. (Kenny Lofton, Alan Trammell, and Lou Whitaker notwithstanding.)
MLB’s official Twitter account polled fans this afternoon, asking if certain relevant players on the ballot (e.g. Mike Mussina, not Pat Burrell) were Hall of Famers. After collating the results, MLB found that the fans would have elected… no one.
No Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens is understandable, if naive. No Curt Schilling makes sense. But no Tim Raines or Edgar Martinez? No Billy Wagner or Larry Walker? The BBWAA has never looked better.