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.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.
The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?
Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.
Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West
There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.
Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?
Our 2017 AL West Previews:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim