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Derek Jeter headlines 2020 Hall of Fame ballot


The Baseball Hall of Fame has released the ballot for the 2020 induction class. There are 32 names on the ballot, 18 of whom are newcomers.

Of those newcomers, the guy at the top of the list stands a pretty decent chance of getting over the 75% vote hump needed to induction, I reckon:

Derek Jeter
Bobby Abreu
Jason Giambi
Cliff Lee
Josh Beckett
Heath Bell
Eric Chávez
Adam Dunn
Chone Figgins
Rafael Furcal
Raúl Ibañez
Paul Konerko
Carlos Peña
Brad Penny
J.J. Putz
Brian Roberts
Alfonso Soriano
José Valverde

It’s hard for me to picture anyone from that group apart from The Captain getting elected. The best non-Jeter players are Jason Giambi, whose PED associations likely doom his chances, and Cliff Lee, whose 13-season big league career had a Hall of Fame peak but not a Hall of Fame duration which will likely leave him on the outside as well. Bobby Abreu spent a very long time as the Most Underrated Player in Baseball™ which I suspect will translate to him being The Best Candidate Still on the Ballot But Who Will Never Gain Election™ for the next decade. At least once Larry Walker, Curt Schilling and the PED-associated guys fall off.

As for the rest of ’em, it’s a lot of guys who are fun to remember — and who we’ll talk about between now and the announcement of the election results in January — but who will fall short.

And now the returnees, with last year’s percentage of the vote and the number of years they’ve been on the ballot:

Curt Schilling (60.9%) 8th year
Roger Clemens (59.5%) 8th year
Barry Bonds (59.1%) 8th year
Larry Walker (54.6%) 10th year
Omar Vizquel (42.8%) 3rd year
Manny Ramírez (22.8%) 4th year
Jeff Kent (18.1%) 7th year
Scott Rolen (17.2%) 3rd year
Billy Wagner (16.7%) 5th year
Todd Helton (16.5%) 2nd year
Gary Sheffield (13.6%) 6th year
Andy Pettitte (9.9%) 2nd year
Sammy Sosa (8.5%) 8th year
Andruw Jones (7.5%) 3rd year

I and many others have argued the merits of these guys for years. My personal feelings are that Schilling, Clemens, Bonds, Walker, Ramirez, Wagner, Jones, and Sosa belong in and I have given serious thought to including Sheffield in my imaginary ballots as well. It hasn’t resulted in much.

Walker received a big boost between 2018 and 2019, going from 34.1% to 54.6%, but this is his last year on the ballot and I doubt he or any of the rest of them make it. If I had to guess it’ll just be Jeter and whoever the Veterans Committee elects in December.

The Baseball Writers Association of America will announce election results on January 21. Inductions will take place on Sunday, July 26, at 1:30 p.m. in Cooperstown.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.