It's Hall of Fame Day!
|Joe Posnanski||Jan 22, 2019|
Well, here we go -- Hall of Fame Day! Lots going on. The announcements should begin around 6:15 p.m. ET on MLB Network. I will be doing a YouTube Live recap and Q&A at 8 p.m., will send out all the details later (and you should be able to watch on the Patreon site as well).
But let's begin by giving a full rundown of the ballot, the final Race to 400 points, a wild prediction for the number of votes each player will get and the reveal of my actual vote (which I'm sure you have already guessed).
Let's get the day started:
Barry Bonds: 1,605 points, minus- PEDs. Prediction: 243 votes (59%). My vote: YES. I don't think Bonds or Clemens make much movement this year, and time rapidly runs out on both of them.
Roger Clemens: 1,160 points, minus- PEDs. Prediction: 245 votes (59%). My vote: YES. I always like watching how many more votes Clemens gets than Bonds. Will they ever actually separate?
Mariano Rivera: 940 points. Prediction: 411 votes (99.8%, one or two shy of unanimous). My vote: YES. He took the closer position to new heights and was the greatest postseason pitcher ever.
Larry Walker: 625 points, minus-Coors. Prediction: 239 votes (58%). My vote: YES. I hope Walker does better than this, but I don't have a great feeling about it. He needs to get into the mid-60s to have a realistic chance next year.
Manny Ramirez: 595 points, minus- PEDs. Prediction: 91 votes (22%). My vote: NO. He was 11th on my 10-man ballot. If given a yes/no option, I would vote yes, despite failed drug tests.
Curt Schilling: 585 points, minus-controversy. Prediction: 251 votes (61%). My vote: YES. A bit of a jump. It won't matter this year, but will Donald Trump's endorsement help or hurt next year?
Edgar Martinez: 545 points. Prediction: 346 votes (84%). My vote: YES. It took too long, but finally, Edgar gets into the Hall. Will his election make things easier on the next DH? (Big Papi). I say yes.
Mike Mussina: 525 points. Prediction: 309 votes (75%). My vote: YES. Here's where the drama will be: This will be so so so so so close. I wouldn't be surprised if this comes down to five votes or fewer. If not this year, then next.
Gary Sheffield: 525 points, minus- PEDs. Prediction: 54 votes (12%). My vote: NO. He was 12th on my ballot and, like with Manny, if given a yes/no option, I would vote him in.
Roy Halladay: 485 points. Prediction: 379 votes (91%). My vote: YES. Doc was absolutely fantastic. At one point, there was some thought that this vote would be close. Thankfully, it won't be.
Todd Helton: 475 points, minus-Coors. Prediction: 75 votes (18%). My vote: YES. For me, the last spot came down to Helton and Manny. That's PEDs vs. Coors for most people. In the end, I went with Helton.
Sammy Sosa: 440 points, minus- PEDs. Prediction: 36 votes (9%). My vote: NO. Teetering on the brink of falling off the ballot. If given a yes/no option, it would be really close for me, but probably yes for his impact on the game.
Scott Rolen: 425 points. Prediction: 77 votes (19%). My vote: YES. He fielded like a shortstop, hit like an outfielder and never got credit for either one. I'm watching this one closely to see if he makes any real progress.
Fred McGriff: 400 points. Prediction: 153 votes (37%). My vote: NO. He will get a last-year-on-the-ballot boost, but not nearly enough. It's a happy story, though, because he will be elected the instant he's eligible on the veterans ballot.
Lance Berkman: 399 points. Prediction: 6 votes (1.4%). My vote: NO. He had a borderline Hall of Fame career, but for some reason his case hasn't taken off with the voters. He's better than a lot of players in the Hall, including one voted in this year.
Andruw Jones: 380 points. Prediction: 30 votes (7%). My vote: NO. He's fighting for his ballot life. He's right on the Hall of Fame border, depending on how you rate his defense.
Jeff Kent: 355 points. Prediction: 73 votes (18%). My vote: NO. I don't think Kent will move much from this 15-20% range the last five years on the ballot. I don't know exactly what would make his case take off, but I could be wrong.
Billy Wagner: 335 points. Prediction: 68 votes (17%). My vote: NO. Will the election of Mariano Rivera change the way voters look at relievers? I think it will, and I think Wagner will probably fade in the voting after this.
Roy Oswalt: 327 points. Prediction: 5 votes (1.2%). My vote: NO. There's an Oswalt, Bret Saberhagen, Dave Stieb, Johan Santana, Kevin Brown rotation that could hang with any of the Hall of Famers.
Andy Pettitte: 312 points, minus- PEDs. Prediction: 38 votes (9%). My vote: NO. I predict he will stay on the ballot, and the longer he stays, the more I think voters will like his case.
Omar Vizquel: 260 points. Prediction: 168 votes (41%). My vote: NO. He's the Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris touchstone vote of this class. People don't just disagree on him, they WILDLY disagree. But he will make a little progress.
Kevin Youkilis: 250 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. He played at pretty close to a Hall of Famer level for two or three years. It's too bad, because it would have been awesome to hear that "Yoouuk!" call in Cooperstown.
Travis Hafner: 200 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. He was a dominant hitter for three years, 2004-2006. He was better than several players who will get votes.
Miguel Tejada: 190 points, minus- PEDs. Prediction: 2 votes (0.5%). My vote: NO. Former MVP who put up some very impressive-looking historical numbers, but they were not as impressive in his time.
Placido Polanco: 175 points. Prediction: 1 vote (0.2%). My vote: NO. Good player who played all the infield positions and hit well in his prime.
Derek Lowe: 150 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. He'll always be loved by Red Sox fans for his role in breaking the long dry spell. Good as a starter, good as a reliever; I wonder if he might get a vote.
Ted Lilly: 137 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. Crafty lefty who, Mike Schur reminded me, took FOREVER to complete his windup.
Jason Bay: 135 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. Should be remembered more for his fine years in Pittsburgh than his decline with the Mets.
Freddy Garcia: 125 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. A very good pitcher who played a major role on both the record-setting 2001 Mariners and the world champion 2005 White Sox.
Michael Young: 80 points. Prediction: 7 votes (1.7%) My vote: NO. A hit machine, he had 200 hits in a season six times and was admired for his clubhouse presence.
Juan Pierre: 75 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. Indestructible, old-school leadoff hitter who led the league in stolen bases three times.
Darren Oliver: 65 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. Pitched forever as both a starter and lefty-specialist; could have the LOOGY named for him.
Vernon Wells: 55 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. Was alternately great and struggling in a fascinating career that ended too soon.
Rick Ankiel: 36 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. Thrilling comeback for a pitching phenom.
Jon Garland: 30 points. Prediction: 0 votes. My vote: NO. Terrific in 2005 and played a critical role in the White Sox winning the World Series in '05.