Friday, January 29, 2016

January Is The Pinnacle Of Debate For Major League's Baseball's Hall Of Fame

Photo Courtesy of: Wikimedia and Keith Allison 
under CC BY-SA 2.0 License

During the beginning of each new year, one of the hot topics of Major League Baseball's Hot Stove offseason is the debate over whether or not a certain player's playing career is worthy of Hall of Fame enshrinement.  One thing to remember about being elected into baseball's Hall of Fame is a player has to have at least 75% of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) to get elected.  Another is that a player's time has now been shortened from 15 to 10 years.   As a diehard baseball fan, there are the elite group of players who have gotten elected over the years such as Cal Ripken Jr., Pedro Martinez and most recently Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza who are in the No Doubt category without looking at all the Sabermetric numbers from baseball's new-school approach to evaluating current and former players.

Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds would also be in the No Doubt category if it weren't for cloud of Performance Enhancing Drug suspicion over the course of their current run on the Hall of Fame ballot.  Clemens and Bonds entered 2016 having accumulated 4 years on the ballot.  Under the new rules both Bonds and Clemens have six more years on the ballot for eligibility still needing an additional 30% of the vote per Baseball Reference.  For what's it worth, Piazza was under the cloud of steroid suspicion, but since he has already been elected, it would only be appropriate to move past his credentials given that his case for The Hall is now officially closed with the upcoming induction ceremony in July.

The next category of players seem to fall under the Borderline Category in which the Sabermetric numbers either help or hurt a player's chances at enshrinement.  Players in this category include Trevor Hoffman, Curt Schilling and Edgar Martinez.  The players in this category require a deeper evaluation that the old fashioned eye test doesn't bring.

In the coming years, there's a good chance we will see some of these guys be welcomed into Cooperstown.  By that time, the verdict on the Steroid Era will hopefully become more clear.  For now though, the jury is still out.

Tim Musick
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