Realistically, not much happens in the baseball offseason. A few players find new homes and call movers to relocate before spring training, and others hit the golf courses. For players who have been retired from the game for at least five years, they patiently wait for “the call”: The call from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
I’ve been known to do a lot of yelling about the results, because that’s what I do. But in the past few years, I’ve agreed with who was inducted. The voting is done by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, and they definitely don’t ask for my opinion on any of this, but I’m giving it anyway.
The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees are…
- Mariano Rivera (100.0% of the vote, first year on the ballot)
- Edgar Martinez (85.4%, tenth year)
- Roy Halladay (85.4%, first year)
- Mike Mussina (76.7%, sixth year)
In order to be inducted, players must be retired for at least five seasons and receive 75% of the overall vote. Players are taken off the ballots after 10 years and if they fail to receive 5% of the votes.
I agree with the BBWAA’s choices. Rivera was a shoo-in, especially after Trevor Hoffman was inducted last year. I mean, the dude had a 0.70 ERA in the playoffs. I don’t think anyone is going to tell you that Rivera isn’t a Hall of Famer; he was the first ever unanimous inductee. Martinez was a DH who played his entire career with the Seattle Mariners. He’s technically the second player in the HOF who played the majority of his games as a DH; Frank Thomas was elected in 2014. As for Roy Halladay, let me just sit here and sob uncontrollably for Doc. He passed away in November 2017 in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. I grew up watching him and Rivera the most because they played in the AL East. His death still makes me so sad but I’m so glad he made it into the HOF. Mussina was sort of before my time, as his last season was in 2008, but I knew he played for the Yankees and was really good. Plus he was often called “The Moose.”
Do we want to have the Barry Bonds/Roger Clemens/Sammy Sosa discussion? My thoughts on them haven’t changed at all. This year, Clemens came in sixth with 59.5%, Bonds in seventh at 59.1%, and Sosa was 18th with 8.5%. The gruesome threesome are all on their seventh year of eligibility, and I don’t think anything will happen until their last year, when it might be close. Might.
Let’s do some math!
- Roger Clemens: 59.5% (2019) vs. 57.3% (2018) = 2.2%
- Barry Bonds: 59.1% (2019) vs. 56.4% (2018) = 2.7%
- Sammy Sosa: 8.5% (2019) vs. 7.8% (2018) = 0.7%
If they keep getting that increase in percentages for the last three years, they won’t make it. That’s why I think it’ll be close, but I don’t think they want to risk putting them in the hall. And if for some reason they end up in there, somewhere it has to acknowledge their numbers are tainted. Just has to. Their numbers don’t stand up to the clean ones that are in there. Call me old fashioned, but I’m against it.
Someone else who is still hanging around on the outside looking in is Curt Schilling. He came in fifth with 60.9% of votes, and although he didn’t take steroids, he’s still connected in a weird way since he spoke in front of Congress and has just been problematic over the past few years.
Manny Ramirez is on year three, and he received 22.8% of the votes and came in 11th. Part of me feels sympathetic because he played on the Sox—I guess the same could be said of Schilling—but he did get suspended for 50 games for violating MLB’s drug policy. BY TAKING A WOMEN’S FERTILITY DRUG TO HIDE HIS STEROIDS. So.
Some fan favorites who won’t be joining us in the future:
- Roy Oswalt
- Placido Polanco
- Ted Lilly
- Travis Hafner
- Kevin Youkilis
- Rick Ankiel
- Vernon Wells
- Derek Lowe
- Jason Bay
These fine folks received 0.0% of the votes, although Oswalt received four and Polanco received two. I so miss Travis Hafner and Jason Bay. And Youk. I mean, he’s the Greek God of Walks. And don’t forget about Rick Ankiel. Surprised the man is still standing.
So if I had a ballot, which would be a risky thing for the BBWAA to give me, I’d vote for:
- Mariano Rivera
- Edgar Martinez
- Roy Halladay
- Todd Helton
- Andy Pettitte
- Mike Mussina
- Kevin Youkilis
- Jason Bay
- Placido Polanco
- Michael Young
I honestly don’t think that Jason Bay is HOF material; I just really, really liked him when he played for the Sox. And don’t forget about that time the Colorado Rockies gave Todd Helton a horse for his retirement.
Here’s the list of players. Who would be on your ballot?