For the primary time since 2013, no participant obtained the 75% of votes wanted for induction into the Baseball Corridor of Fame. Curt Schilling got here the closest, showing on 71.1% of ballots and three different gamers have been over the 50-percent mark.
Regardless of no one getting on this yr, there was nonetheless excellent news for some eligible gamers together with loads of questions on the place Corridor of Fame voting stands. We requested ESPN MLB specialists Bradford Doolittle, Alden Gonzalez and David Schoenfield to look at the most important surprises, disappointments — and what Tuesday night time’s outcomes say in regards to the present state of Corridor of Fame voting.
Who’s the most important winner on an Election Day when no participant was voted into the Corridor of Fame?
Gonzalez: Andruw Jones went from simply 7.5% assist in 2019 to 33.9% assist in 2021, and he nonetheless has six years remaining on the poll. His prime did not prolong into his 30s, however it included an .852 OPS, 337 residence runs, 130 stolen bases and 9 Gold Gloves from ages 20 to 29. He is without doubt one of the finest defensive middle fielders of all time, was a well-above-average hitter in his prime, and his Corridor of Fame inventory is surging amid a thinned-out poll.
Schoenfield: Scott Rolen, who made an enormous leap from final yr in his fourth yr on the poll and is now on a powerful path to eventual election after attending to 52.9%. The argument towards him is basically, “Properly, he did not really feel like a Corridor of Famer when he was taking part in,” however that misses his all-around brilliance (eight Gold Gloves, 316 residence runs, almost 1,300 RBIs). Even when his case is extra sabermetric (70.1 profession WAR) then intestine, he is one of many high 10 third basemen of all time.
Doolittle: Fairly clearly Rolen. Leaping from simply over a 3rd of ballots to effectively over half in his fourth yr of eligibility is big. He looks like a positive wager at this level, and shortly.
Who’s the most important loser on an Election Day when no participant was voted into the Corridor of Fame?
Gonzalez: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. They’ve made regular progress, however not rapidly sufficient. Their penultimate yr on the poll resulted in 61.8% and 61.6%, respectively, and one has to surprise if they’ve principally maxed out their assist amongst present members of the BBWAA. The “At this time’s Recreation” committee can overview their case, however an older, extra conventional voting physique might be much less more likely to induct them than a BBWAA that has grow to be more and more lenient towards gamers linked to PEDs.
Schoenfield: Curt Schilling. With a weak poll apart from the PED guys — and he was clearly one of the best pitching candidate except for Roger Clemens — this could have been his yr, particularly after getting 70% final yr. However some voters stopped voting for him attributable to offensive feedback he made on Twitter and it isn’t a lock he will get in subsequent yr, his ultimate one on the BBWAA poll.
Doolittle: Obtained to be Schilling. When you attain 70 %, as he did final yr, that is imagined to be the tipping level. But when the ballots had not been due till after Jan. 6, his complete would have been even decrease. That does not bode effectively for his final yr on the poll subsequent winter.
What does no one getting inducted say in regards to the present state of Corridor of Fame voting?
Gonzalez: That the voters are fighting the morality subject, which admittedly I might too. It isn’t simply PEDs that they weighed on this election cycle; it is home abuse allegations, DUI arrests and hateful commentary made in retirement. What is the line the place one can not separate the artwork from the artist? How does one draw that line with out making a slippery slope? And the way do you justify drawing that line when present members of the Corridor of Fame are responsible of those transgressions? There is no such thing as a proper reply.
Schoenfield: Seeing no one elected this yr does not actually hassle me all that a lot. The BBWAA elected 19 Corridor of Famers over the previous six years, so it isn’t like they have been notably stingy or something. It is going to be fascinating to see what occurs after Clemens and Bonds come off the poll, nonetheless, as that might truly assist some borderline candidates who not will likely be in comparison with two of the all-time greats.
Doolittle: It is a mess. The entire course of must be overhauled, although that is been true for a protracted, very long time. We want extra voters and many them. And the Corridor – or MLB – must step as much as maintain the writers from being the arbiters of justice and morality.
Our position should be to entry the efficiency on the sector among the many eligible candidates. If there’s somebody that should not be in due to non-performance causes as a result of the establishment does not need them to be in, then they should not enable the eligibility.
Which one participant’s ultimate vote complete is most shocking to you?
Schoenfield: I’ve by no means understood the dearth of assist for Jeff Kent, who has struggled to get to 30% after eight ballots. I am not saying he ought to be a lock or something, however he hit 377 residence runs, drove in over 1,500 runs (together with eight 100-RBI seasons), received an MVP Award and performed till he was 40. Traditionally, voters LOVE longevity, however it hasn’t helped Kent muster sufficient assist. And his protection wasn’t as terrible as everybody says both.
Doolittle: I wasn’t too shocked by something however I suppose Billy Wagner’s elevated assist offers me pause, in a constructive sense. The factors for relievers stays unsettled and I hate the what-about-him argument, but when a few of the different relievers who’ve made it have been deserving, it is laborious to make the case that Wagner is not.
Who’s one participant on the poll you suppose has been underrated by voters?
Gonzalez: I do not know if Bobby Abreu is certainly a Corridor of Famer, however he is nearer than you would possibly suppose — and he’s frequently underappreciated. This man hit over .300 six occasions, amassed a minimum of 20 homers and 25 stolen bases 9 occasions apiece, drew a minimum of 100 walks eight occasions and performed in a minimum of 140 video games 14 occasions. In a 12-year stretch from 1998 to 2009, Abreu accrued the eighth-highest Baseball-Reference WAR amongst place gamers. But he made solely two All-Star groups. And now, in his second yr on the poll, he obtained solely 8.7% assist.
Schoenfield: Other than Kent, I am going to go together with Andy Pettitte. Once more, hardly a lock and I get that he was extra of a constant, sturdy compiler than a dominant ace, however 60.7 profession WAR places him proper on the borderline for a great candidate, and then you definitely consider his postseason efficiency (19-11, 3.81 ERA, 5 World Collection titles) and you’ll suppose a key participant from that Yankees dynasty would get greater than 16% of the vote.
Doolittle: Rolen is fairly near slam dunk in my thoughts and it is nice to see others coming round. Everybody else that I might say is under-supported appear to be victims of the character clause.
Based mostly on these outcomes, do you suppose any of those gamers will get in subsequent yr?
Schoenfield: I am going to say Schilling. He is shut and he nonetheless suppose he might get a final-year enhance. I feel just a few added voters will maintain their nostril and punch their ballots for him.
Gonzalez: I agree, begrudgingly, with David right here. The very fact of the matter is Schilling did sufficient as a participant to get in. (You’ll be able to say the identical about Bonds and Clemens, which is exactly why policing morality may be so problematic.) Amongst this group, I count on Rolen to ultimately get in too. Not so positive about anyone else.
Doolittle: I feel Rolen will, if solely due to his momentum and the dearth of competitors on the poll.
However one of the best gamers on the poll … effectively, it is laborious to see how sufficient voters are going to vary their minds at this level to make a distinction subsequent yr.