I think most of us knew these two were going to get in. I’m happy for Bert Blyleven, and really find it difficult to understand why it took so long. While Blyleven and Roberto Alomar should be getting all the press right now, the topic of steroids keeps coming up. While watching the MLB network last night, Bob Costas was on with Tom Verducci and a few others. I like Verducci’s stance on the steroid issue. It was a long conversation, and players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez were brought into the discussion. From the other voters that were on, they gave the opinion that they thought these 3 will make the HOF, because they were HOF’ers before steroids. Verducci stopped that, drawing a line between black and white, with no grey areas. That’s what I want to see. I want the voting to be the same for anyone linked to PED’s.
Back to the Hall of Fame voting, I was surprised that Tim Raines (while his vote total increased), didn’t break into the 50% area yet, gaining only 37.5% of the vote. It appears Barry Larkin will lead next years HOF class, as he received 62.1%. I think Jack Morris may join him, but if so it will be close. I’m not sure if anyone else has a shot in 2012.
Getting back to Blyleven and Alomar, it appears that Alomar was penalized in the first year for spitting on umpire John Hirschbeck in 1996. With Blyleven getting in on his 14th and next to last attempt, it brings up a couple of questions for me. One, how much do the voters talk to each other? Also, how do those who have previously voted no get persuaded to vote yes? What kind of money and favors are floating around to get these voters to change their minds? I hope I get a few of you to give me your opinions on the matter, and hopefully someone with some inside knowledge will come forward and explain why they changed their vote.
Even though I expected to him to be around 40%, Larry Walker met the 5% minimum to stay on the ballot with 20.3%. I think that’s good news for Jim Edmonds, as the two players have a lot of similarities. I’m not sure Edmonds will ever make it, but considering he ranks in the top 10 in almost every category of centerfielders of all time, and since the voters are taking a look at sabermetrics more and more, Edmonds should have a good shot. If Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is weighed heavy enough, Edmonds should be a lock. I will probably repeat it many times over the next 5 to 6 years, and I hope he plays one more year to get to 2,000 hits and 400 HR’s, but Jim Edmonds belongs in the HOF. With defensive statistics gaining more ground year by year, the voters at that time might realize what a rare 2 way threat he was over a dominating period of time of all centerfielders.