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MLB News: No players elected to HOF; Kenny Lofton and Sandy Alomar off ballot

If you were reading and paying much attention to the buzz surrounding this year’s HOF voting, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the BBWAA didn’t elect anyone to the hall this year. Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and those associated with the steroid era were denied. The closet was Craig Biggio, who fell 39 votes shy of the 75 percent required for election.

Cleveland Indians Kenny Lofton (3.2%) and Sandy Alomar Jr. (2.8%) did not receive enough votes to remain on the ballot for next year.

[Related: the Lofton HOF case]

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  • MrCleaveland

    Lofton didn’t even get enough votes to stay on the ballot? Wow, I did not see that coming.

  • ChadF

    What an overall fail by the BBWAA. I was watching Bill Madden of the NY Daily News on MLB.com yesterday and the day before and it’s people like him that should have their votes taken away. Apparently it’s not what you did on the field in your career it’s what kind of “guy” you are and if you were suspected of taking Steroids. Give me a break.

    Also, 3 out of 100 of these voters vote for Lofton, while 52% vote for “Rock” Raines. A guy who was nicknamed Rock because he was a coke head. That’s a travesty right there.

    I heard a rumor that they’re going to change the rule next year to either expand the vote or do away with the limit all together. And if they do that they will also reinstate the guys on this year’s ballot that didn’t make the 5% cutoff. I would bet a lot of money that if you asked the guys that voted for the max if they would have voted for any additional players then Lofton is well over 5%. We’ll see…

  • ChadF

    Sorry MLB Network, not MLB.com. Also, I don’t agree with the guys who sent in a blank ballot to make a statement. I don’t have a problem with the guys that didn’t send in a ballot, but whoever sends them in blank should be suspended for a couple of years.

  • http://twitter.com/GreatestHurley Jason Hurley

    Agreed. Sending in a blank ballot should lead to automatic revocation of voting rights.

  • JHop

    Does that mean that Lofton and Alomar, Jr. are off the ballot for just next year or for eternity? Can they return to the ballot in later years or is this it for their HOF hopes?

  • ThatAlex

    Unless they change the voting rules, they are forever off the ballot and unable to be inducted.

  • ChadF

    That’s it. The only chance Lofton has is on the Veteran’s Committee, but you may not even see him get on the nomination ballot until 2030.

  • JHop

    That is possibly the worst rule I have ever heard. The BBWA and HOF need to make exceptions for players like these who were casualties in the voters’ crusade against steroids. These players had no association with them but unfortunately ended up on the same first ballot as the juicers.

    I’m not necessarily saying that they both are overwhelmingly deserving HOFers, but they shouldn’t feel the negative effects of the blank ballots.

  • mgbode

    it’s not just the blank ballots either. there are three things at work here.

    1. Blank Ballots of protest.

    2. Media split on whether or not to induct juicers making it harder to come to a consensus and thus get anyone elected and specifically causing juicers from previous years to still be on the ballot rather than already being inducted.

    3. Who is a juicer? Media seems to put Bagwell in that category though no charges ever brought or tests ever failed. Clemens beat his case in court, but is in the same bucket. Not saying they didn’t juice, but how can we be so confident that guys like Biggio didn’t then? I don’t see where/how to put that line out there and alot in the media have the same issue.

  • ChadF

    I think if they do away with the limit and reinstate the guys that didn’t make the cut this year then you’ll see Bernie Williams and Lofton over 5% for sure, but maybe not Sandy. I think it would be interesting if they polled the guys who made 10 votes and see if they would have voted for anyone else if they could.

    I also think the percentages would go up for Palmeiro, Sosa, Mattingly, McGwire and McGriff.

  • mgbode

    Sandy has no shot. Baseball writers care about longetivity as much as they care about excellence and Sandy was short on both counts sadly.

  • ThatAlex

    From my perspective, the baseball hall of fame induction process has no consistent standard as to who gets inducted. I’m still upset that Albert Belle never got inducted. Yes, he was an angry jerk, but he was still one of the best players to ever play the game. Not inducting any players from the ’90s era is weird revisionist history, and several years later people are going to find it odd than an entire era full of players were ignored.

  • ChadF

    Out of the 569 ballots I would be interested to see how many ballots had zero votes and then what the percentages would have been.

  • Garry_Owen

    If I’ve learned anything from living in this relativistic, postmodern world of ours, it’s this: Next year (or the year after), these guys will all get in. The BBWAA used this year’s “protest” to indicate that they’re really, really against that horrible, horrible scourge of PEDs. But then, having spoken their peace, they’ll fling the doors wide open.

  • Steve

    Unless its a year like 1996 when there may not be a deserving candidate.

  • Steve

    The average ballot had six and a half names or so. The problem isn’t that there wasn’t room to vote for Lofton. Give the writers an unlimited number of spots, and the vast majority still leave him off the ballot.

  • Steve

    McGwire and Palmiero disagree.

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m sure you’re right, but a man needs a soapbox, and I’ve staked out mine.

  • Steve

    Fair enough. I think Bonds and Clemens will eventually get enough votes from the “were Hall guys before they used” (as if anyone has any idea when any player actually started using banned drugs) and from the older crankier guard eventually passing the baton onto younger guys who want to see players from their generation in the Hall that you will be right on a few guys. But there will be some exceptions. And that’s completely because the BBWAA is so whimsical in its reasoning and logic.

  • Garry_Owen

    You’re almost certainly right about Bonds and Clemens – but this furthers my (admittedly tenuous) argument. I don’t think anyone can really say that “they were Hall guys before they used” – it’s just impossible to know. (My opinion? Clemens, probably; Bonds, probably not.) But you’re right; the writers WILL absolutely make that claim, and cling to it like it’s the last piece of floating debris from the Titanic. It’s relativism of the highest order.

  • ChadF

    There were five players on that ballot who eventually made the Hall and six when you count Ron Santo getting in by the Veteran’s Committee.

  • ChadF

    Agreed, but I think more than 5% put him on and eventually his numbers increase as opposed to Raffy or McGwire who are decreasing.

  • ChadF

    I’m amazed that Sandy got as many votes as he did. I’m not sure what someone’s reasoning would have been for putting Sandy, but leaving Lofton off if that happened. The fact is we won’t know unless they actually do away with the limit and reinstate those guys.

  • Steve

    And Santo was the only one who truly deserved it. If you’re a smaller Hall guy, it wasn’t unreasonable to vote for no one.

  • ChadF

    True, but in the same sense you’re basically saying that 25% of the voters are “smaller Hall guys,” since Niekro, Perez, Sutton, Rice and Sutter all got +75% of the vote when they were inducted. “Small Hall Guys” are definitely in the minority and in my opinion should be. I think there will be a big shift in the next ten years when some of these younger guys start hitting their 10 years in the BBWAA and these older guys either stop voting or pass away.

  • humboldt

    I would never make a definitive argument on such circumstantial grounds, but in thinking about it a bit, you just don’t see players with the body type of Bagwell/Biggio in the post-steroid era. Am I off-base on this?

  • mgbode

    Justin Smoak is a mountain of a man.
    as is Paul Goldschmidt and Eric Hosmer.

  • saggy

    Goldschmidt is a freaking monster. Looks like a little McGwire. I still don’t know how Mac and Sosa got so few votes. It’s not that I support their candidacy, but so many writers made careers out of following them that one summer. You’d think there would be a little payback. Plus, McGwire never failed a test – if you’re going to hide behind that silly fact.

  • saggy

    if there were a poster boy for steroids, I am pretty sure it would be Albert Belle. No way he was getting in.

  • mgbode

    he was just an angry black man

    (his words)

  • Steve

    For the majority of those guys, the voters weren’t bigger Hall guys, they just made some bad decisions.

  • saggy

    i have to come back to the point i have made many times over the years: steroids help pitchers as much or more than they help hitters. My stance on this whole thing is that
    1) everyone was juicing
    2) baseball HOF stuff, for me, is about how dominant a player is in his era. Bonds and Clemens were dominant. Brady Anderson was not.
    3) Guys should be elected based on their on-field accomplishments, even if they were tainted by steroids. i say this because we don’t have any concrete proof about who did what. and we don’t know that guys like Aaron, Schmidt, and Reggie Jackson were clean either. (though i have heard rumblings about schmidt, and reggie wouldn’t surprise me).
    4) milestones are no longer acceptable for HOF induction. I don’t care how many homers Jim Thome has, he ain’t a hall-of-famer.

  • Steve

    McGwire admitted using. The writers were clamoring that if people would just admit to use, then the forgiving could begin. Oops.

  • saggy

    yeah – that’s true, and a good point. but i was just making a point about him not having been “caught.”

  • Steve

    There was no “catching” to do. McGwire retired before MLB did anything about steroids.

  • WFNY_DP

    Yeah, I don’t quite get why anyone’s up in arms about Sandy dropping off. Love the dude, but there’s no way anyone will ever convince me he’s a HOF catcher. ROY, one Gold Glove, and six All Star Games. Good player? Hell yes. Hall of Famer? No way.

    Throwing steroids out of the discussion, as much as I like Sandy the player, when you compare him to one of his peers like Ivan Rodriguez (14 ASGs, 13 GGs, AN MVP, and 7 Silver Sluggers), it’s not even close.

  • humboldt

    I’m so out of touch with the MLB I don’t know who any of those guys are. I guess I’m more referring to Biggio as a 2B (although I recall he was also a catcher), as well as people like Brett Boone who had similar stocky – almost rotund – builds. Do any second basemen look like that these days? Just talking to myself at this point, haha

  • mgbode

    those are 1B.
    not too many rotund 2B these days (Kelly Johnson is a power hitter though), but have you taken a look at Asdrubal lately? he’s a rotund SS.

  • ChadF

    So only five ballots had zero votes, which doesn’t change anything at all.