Wednesday Newsletter time: Hall of Fame voting results another case study in the effect of the unknown
David Ortiz was one of three players above 75% percent of public ballots, but the only one elected for induction.
More than 200 eligible voters for the Baseball Hall of Fame made their ballots known before the class of 2022 was revealed Tuesday evening.
But history has shown that the votes that aren’t revealed are the ones that decide who is elected for enshrinement.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens knew that they needed to beware of the unknown after squeaking just above the 75% minimum threshold to be elected in the known vote.
Then, they took a beating.
Bonds and Clemens fell well short of being elected to the Hall of Fame in their 10th and final year on the ballot. David Ortiz was elected in his first year, but he also was hammered by the unknown vote.
Bonds and Clemens were linked to performance-enhancing drugs, crushing their chances. So was Ortiz, but … I don’t know.
Ortiz survived, appearing on 77.9% of the 394 ballots submitted. He was at 83.4% on the known ballots.
Bonds was on 77.6% of the known ballots but finished at 66%. Clemens was on 76.1% of the known ballots but slipped to 65.2% overall.
It wasn’t a beating. It was a slaughter.
Their best chance now is to be voted in by the Today’s Game committee, and they could be on the ballot in December. Curt Schilling, kept out because many voters disagree with his politics, and Sammy Sosa, another with PED ties, also fell off the ballot and will be eligible for the Today’s Game ballot.
No matter how things turned out, one thing was certain: The Hall of Fame ballot was going to get a whole lot roomier.
Bonds, Clemens and Sosa have been clogging things up. Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez will continue to do it, but there will be five openings on my ballot for the class of 2023.
I don’t have to use them all, and it’s looking like I probably won’t. I’ll have room for Adrian Beltre for the class of 2024, though.
How former Rangers fared
Ortiz was one-and-done on the ballot in the only good way, getting elected. Another way is to fail to appear on 5% of the ballots, a fate that was met by 11 players.
Among them were four former Rangers: closer Joe Nathan (4.3% 17 votes), first baseman Mark Teixeira (1.5%, six votes), Prince Fielder (.5%, two votes) and A.J. Pierzynski (.5%, two votes).
A third way to fall off the ballot is to not be elected in the 10th year on the ballot. Sosa, who played for the Rangers in 2007, was only on 18.5% of the ballots (73 votes) in his last gasp.
Among the former Rangers who will return to the ballot are Andruw Jones (41.4%, 163 votes) and Rodriguez (34.3%, 135 votes).
For those who really want to stretch a player’s Rangers ties, Ramirez and Tim Lincecum were both at Triple A Round Rock late in their careers. Ramirez will return to the ballot after appearing on 28.9% of ballots (114 votes). Lincecum falls off after getting only 2.3% (nine votes).
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A pressing order of business is finding a place to stay for spring training. The plan is a longish stint at the start of camp and another toward the end. With the lockout screwing with everyone’s plans, the first trip might be a driving trip.
Rangers officials assure me I can get it done in 16 hours.
A subscription is going to get you lots of news during the mad dash between the end of the lockout and the start of camp and also in spring training, when hope springs eternal.
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Aaaaaand they’re off … way, way off. Enjoy. See you Thursday.