Are the Baseball Hall of Fame voting standards too high? Forget the flaws

Phew, the shutout was fortunately avoided.

There will be no shouting that the Hall of Fame election is broken.

Disgust with the Baseball Writers Association of America will be mitigated.

Third baseman Scott Rolen became the Hall of Famer’s newest member on Tuesday, topping the 75% percentage by just five votes to 76.3%, completing the biggest climb in Hall of Famer history. .

Rolen received just 10% of the vote in his first year on the ballot and 17% his second year, but has had a dramatic turnaround in the past four years, eclipsing Duke Snider’s record of reaching the Hall of Fame. fame with only 17% his first season.

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Rolen becomes just the ninth third baseman to be voted out of Cooperstown by the writers and just the second in the past 40 years, joining Chipper Jones.

But still, it’s the second year in a row the BBWAA has elected just one player with slugger David Ortiz heading to Cooperstown last summer. Rolen will join Fred McGriff on stage on July 23, which was voted on unanimously by the 16-member Contemporary Era Committee in December.

Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton fell agonizingly short by 11 votes (76.3%). Closer Billy Wagner (68.1) was the only other candidate to hit at least 60%, with outfielders Andruw Jones (58.1) and Gary Sheffield (55) also topping 50%.

So, are we being too harsh? Maybe even unreasonable?

We were dangerously close to our second shutout in three years, and the third since 2013.

Throwing shutouts are a rare and wonderful achievement in today’s game, but it can be ugly for our Hall of Fame vote.

Really, when you look at this ballot, it’s filled with borderline candidates. There were no obvious omissions. There was no Ken Griffey Jr. No Derek Jeter. No Mariano Rivera.

The biggest player on the ballot who hasn’t been suspended for steroid use – automatically knocking out Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez – could be Sheffield.

Among the most feared hitters of his era with 509 homers and a batting title, Sheffield faced the same resistance as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens with their ties to performance-enhancing drugs. Sheffield never tested positive but admitted to unknowingly using an illegal testosterone cream in 2002 while training with Bonds.

And there are certainly other flaws in all the other voters that delayed their election.

Helton played his entire career on the Coors Field launch pad, hitting just 369 homers as a first baseman despite playing 17 years at high altitude, with just 142 homers on the road. By comparison, McGriff had 493 home runs and 252 home runs on the road. Can you imagine how home runs McGriff would have hit while playing at Coors Field?

Wagner had a sensational strikeout count, but he never led the league in saves and produced a horrible 10.03 ERA with just three career playoff saves.

Carlos Beltran is one of the greatest hitters of all time, but he was on that 2017 Houston Astros team involved in the cheating scandal, so he was also penalized.

Jeff Kent, the most powerful second baseman in history with 377 home runs and a .509 hitting percentage, but only finished in the top 10 in home runs once.

Andruw Jones was a 10-time Gold Glove winner and a five-time All-Star in his 11 years with Atlanta, but has seen an alarming decline in his final five years of his career.

How these players progress in their vote totals, everyone except Kent – whose 10-year window is closed – will be in the Hall of Fame, apart from Sheffield.

But not summer 2023.

It could be a rather crowded scene next summer with Helton and Wagner potentially joining newcomer Adrian Beltre.

Seattle Mariners great Ichiro Suzuki, who is expected to be unanimous, along with pitcher CC Sabathia, will be a first-round Hall of Famer in 2025.

So, let’s stop the noise that the Hall of Fame voting system is broken or seriously flawed. Voting results for the past three years reveal just how high writers’ standards are for Hall of Fame admission.

The gates to the Baseball Hall of Fame are by far the most difficult of the four major sports. He represents only the greatest of the greats who have ever walked the field in baseball history.

Should it become the Hall of the Very Good?

Are the BBWAA standards too high?

The average ballot this year contained 5.86 names, down from 7.11 a year ago. There were 13.9% of voters who voted for the 10-player maximum, a dramatic drop from 33.8% a year ago.

It’s a hallowed ground for baseball, but does it make sense to walk through the museum and not see the all-time home run king (Bonds), or one of the most dominant pitchers (Clemens ) in history, the all-time hits of baseball king (Pete Rose), let alone eternal All-Star and Golden Glove winners?

The Baseball Hall of Fame would definitely like to see more inductees. The more Hall of Famers, the better for business. Don’t you think the folks of Cooperstown are salivating over the Class of 2025 as Ichiro’s induction is expected to draw record crowds, easily eclipsing 100,000 fans at the induction ceremony?

That doesn’t mean every eligible baseball writer should start checking off the top 10 names, or that voters casting blank ballots should make sure they include at least one candidate. But maybe we should recognize that not all third basemen have to have numbers like Mike Schmidt or George Brett, not all first basemen have to produce like Lou Gehrig, not all center fielders have to be Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle.

The Hall of Fame is an institution and the induction ceremony is the most fabulous of weekends – but next time we vote, we might be able to overlook a few flaws.

Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightengale

Source : BBN NEWS

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