Today is a big day in baseball. So, we’ll try to make it a big day in the Tap Room. We’ll know a few minutes after 6 p.m. tonight who will be enshrined in this year’s Hall of Fame class.
The sense is that there could be at least three inductees, maybe more, as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters seemingly are more compelled than ever to clear the ballot logjam created by qualified-but-steroid-tainted (or steroid-suspected) candidates.
It’ll be fascinating to see what happens, but I expect many candidates to receive an upswing in votes, even if it doesn’t propel them all to the needed 75 percent mark. The sense, as well as data provided by ballot tracker Ryan Thibodaux, is that Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines Sr., will get in and Ivan Rodriguez, Trevor Hoffman and former Oriole Vladimir Guerrero have a legitimate shot.
I have a vote. And I will make mine public after the Hall’s announcement, probably at some point Thursday. I believe in transparency, but I also believe in staying out of the way of the story until the news is out. I will give up this one nugget about my ballot, though: I did vote for the maximum 10 candidates. I probably would have gone to 12 or 13 if there were no limits.
The baseball writers, like any group, have differing opinions on many subjects. One of the things that makes baseball’s Hall so great is that there is no committee (initially) — 400-plus members with varying opinions all vote individually.
My ballot isn’t perfect. I know there are a few decisions I made that many won’t agree with, and that’s OK. We’ll discuss it later. But I considered my ballot intently before I sent it in. That’s really all that fans and candidates can ask.
So now I’m giving you the same opportunity – hours before we learn the official results. In November, I asked you which ex-Oriole most deserved to go in (there are a bunch on the ballot including Mike Mussina, Guerrero and Raines).
Now, I’m asking for your full ballot.
Here’s a list of all 34 candidates, and I want you to tell me who you would vote for and why. The only rule is you can’t go beyond 10 players.
Candidates: Jeff Bagwell, Casey Blake, Barry Bonds, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, Roger Clemens, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillen, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Kent, Derrek Lee, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Melvin Mora, Mike Mussina, Magglio Ordonez, Jorge Posada, Tim Raines, Manny Ramirez, Edgar Renteria, Arthur Rhodes, Ivan Rodriguez, Freddy Sanchez, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Matt Stairs, Jason Varitek, Billy Wagner, Tim Wakefield and Larry Walker.
Tap-In Question: Who is on your Hall of Fame ballot for the Class of 2017?