Bud Selig, the Braves still think Hank Aaron is the all-time home run leader

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Last I checked 762 > 755, but don’t tell that to the Commissioner of Baseball or anyone associated with the Atlanta Braves:

Speaking with reporters after the ceremony, Selig was asked about Aaron being called the true home run king.

“I’m always in a sensitive spot there, but I’ve said that myself and I’ll just leave it at that,” Selig said.

If that’s the standard we are well and truly screwed, because these are things Bud has also said himself:

  • No one wants replay
  • Abner Doubleday invented baseball
  • We’re committed to finding a solution to the A’s stadium situation
  • We tried to keep the Expos in Montreal.

As a long-time friend of Hank Aaron’s Selig is obviously going to be partial to the guy and you can’t begrudge him his personal feelings. As the Commissioner of Baseball, however, he has an obligation to either recognize the records set as legitimate or to do something to render them officially illegitimate. He can’t have it both ways.

The Braves will always want it that way, of course:

During the ceremony Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said Aaron “set the home-run record the old-fashioned way” and added “You will always be the home run king of all time.”

Retired Braves broadcaster Pete Van Wieren earned a big ovation when he said Aaron is “still recognized as baseball’s true home run king.”

When McGuirk and Van Wieren agree to vacate the wins with which the Braves were credited while David Justice, Gary Sheffield, Darren Holmes, John Rocker, Paul Byrd, Mike Stanton, Matt Franco, Denny Neagle, Todd Pratt and Kent Mercker were on the team, fine, then they can have their own true home run king. Until then, they’d be better served to let baseball’s records fall where they may.

The 2019 Hall of Fame Class will be announced this evening

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This year’s Hall of Fame ballot was released just over two months ago. This evening at 6:15 PM Eastern, all of the arguing stops. Well, actually, it doesn’t stop, because it never stops. Not really. It just transforms into something more pointless, because as of then, the 2019 Hall of Fame class will be officially announced live on MLB Network.

The entire ballot can be found here. Two weeks ago I went through it, candidate-by-candidate, in order to determine who I would vote for if, in fact, I had a vote. For what it’s worth, I ended up with Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Manny Ramirez. and Scott Rolen.

No, not all of those guys will be elected. I strongly suspect we’ll get three, with an outside chance at a fourth. Based on the best Hall of Fame voting tracker out there, Mariano Rivera is a lock. So too, it seems, is Roy Halladay. Edgar Martinez — on the ballot for is tenth and final time — likewise seems to have the support to finally make it. He was 20 votes short last year and, so far, he has picked up more than 20 new votes among voters who have revealed their ballots. Assuming that previous Martinez voters who have not released their ballots do not backtrack — a safe assumption — Edgar should, at long last, finally make it into Cooperstown.

The last guy who, at present, is trending above the required 75% is Mike Mussina who, at present, is included on 81% of public ballots. There is a tendency for the non-public voters to be stingier with their support, however, so there’s a pretty decent chance that Mussina will fall just under the threshold and will find himself back on the ballot next year. A jump from last year’s 63.5% support to something in the 70s, however, would bode very well for his 2020 chances. If he somehow makes it this year’s class will rival last year’s four-person BBWAA-elected class as one of the better ones in living memory.

Who will join Harold Baines and Lee Smith on the stage in Cooperstown in July? We find out this evening, just after 6 PM.