On Wednesday, the BBWAA announced its 2013 results live on MLB Network, and not one of the 37 candidates eligible for election was named to the necessary 75% of ballots. First-time candidate Craig Biggio came closest, as he was named on 68.2% of ballots (39 votes short of election). In his 14th and penultimate year on the ballot, Jack Morris checked in at 67.7% (up just 1.0% from last year).Hey, don't knock that Jacob Ruppert. He was a beermakin' son of a gun.
As for the elephants in the room, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, in their first appearances on the BBWAA ballot, notched, respectively, 37.6% and 36.2%.
As a consequence, no living inductee will be present at the ceremonies in Cooperstown for the first time since 1960. The Veterans' Committee previously voted in 19th-century star Deacon White, former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and umpire Hank O'Day, all deceased.
I'm torn about this result. If I'd had a ballot, I'd have voted for Biggio, Morris, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell and Dale Murphy. I think the two players most wronged by this result are Morris and Murphy, who are coming to the end of their eligibility period. Morris remains a controversial pick, because the stat heads have largely deemed him unworthy because of his somewhat unsightly 3.90 career ERA. My view has always been that you have to look at more than the stats and what I remember about Morris is that he was probably the best starting pitcher in the American League for most of the 1980s. He won a lot of games for the Detroit Tigers in that era. The stat heads argue that guys like Dave Stieb were better, but I don't think so.
|Maybe next year, dude|
Raines and Trammell both deserve to be in the Hall. I think Raines will make it, since he got 52% of the vote this time and his percentage has been climbing every year. Trammell's candidacy is in trouble, because he's sitting at 36% and he only has 3 years of eligibility left. I suspect the Veteran's Committee will rectify the error, but their ministrations didn't do much for Ron Santo. If you were watching baseball in the 1980s, you know that Trammell was a tremendous player -- smart, excellent fielder and a very, very good hitter. His problem is that he was a contemporary of Robin Yount and Cal Ripken, who were better. But that doesn't mean Trammell isn't HOF worthy, in my view.
We'll get back to this topic again in the coming days, I think, since there are a lot of other stories involved in today's vote.