BBBA Hall of Fame Results, Part Two…The Pending Disaster

Posted: January 9, 2013 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
Tags: , , , , , ,

Yesterday, I took a look at the complete voting results of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance’s annual Hall of Fame ballot, and the results were, as imagined, all over the place. Six players received totals of over 50% of the vote, but in the end only Jeff Bagwell topped the 75% margin of vote that would qualify for the Cooperstown.

In a year like 2011, that would be admirable, but this year’s ballot is like none other. There’s a 354 game winner, an owner of three seasons with better than 60 home runs, a former owner of the single-season home run crown and the current holder of that distinction, as well as 762 total, the most in the history of the game.

This would make for a banner group, a Hall of Fame class worth of stand with the greats of the inaugural group. However, it will not be, because of the either direct proof or general assumption of the usage of performance enhancing drugs; PEDS. And now, on the morning of the pending announcement of the 2013 Hall of Fame class (or lack thereof), it’s time to evaluate not the credentials that got them here, but why the numbers fell against them in the predictive ballot…and what will be revealed in a few hours.

Like it or not, facing Bonds means facing a lot of truths about the era he headlined.

Like it or not, facing Bonds means facing a lot of truths about the era he headlined, as well as what is to come in Cooperstown’s future.

Barry Bonds (62%): Let’s get into the biggest debate right away: Bonds. The all-time home run king, both career (762) and season (73). The discussion on Bonds is the absolute hottest to debate of them all, because nobody is more polarizing as a figure in the moment or more constant of a reminder of what the era represented. He’s the ultimate divider mark, but as well as a unique validity debate: was he really already an HOFer before his late season launch took off? This debate is complete equator on what side of the debate you’re one, and what qualifies or disqualifies a player with PED suspicion. Here’s the Bonds breakdown:

Pre PED (1986-2000, with all-time standings):

.288 avg (422) 445 home runs (38), 1299 RBI(110), 460 steals(48), 2010 hits(265), 423 doubles(139), 3 MVPs, 8 Gold Gloves

Post PED (2000-2007, with final standings)

.322 avg (232), 317 home runs (1), 697 RBI(4), 54 steals(33), 925 hits(32), 178 doubles(14), 4 MVP, 2 Batting Titles

These are some pretty startling differences, without a doubt. Especially with the all-time home run mark, which is one of the most beloved marks of greatness in the cultural world, he’s hurt folks. But what’s important to note is that he would have hit the all of the great marks regardless, and regardless of the road (assumptively) taken to be the biggest impact player of the 00’s, he was the BEST player of the 90’s as well. That’s food for thought, and that’s why he will begrudgingly work his way in one day.

Roger Clemens (56%): As soon as I saw Bonds’ number, I immediately scanned for Clemens’ name next. To see the parallel between their vote for public opinion purposes alone is interesting. Clemens has had two startling differences in his walk; Bonds never declined, but Clemens did. After his phenomenal start, winning 136 games from 1986 to 1992, he couldn’t top 11 in a season for a the next four. However at that point he won 71% of his games, and another 149 games, starting at age 34. Tough sell, but there was a precedent for his success. What hurts his image is how much time he spent in court, and being run down in the world. It will be a tough sell, but also, his early effort would, and should carry him.

Mark McGwire (35%): I list McGwire here briefly to set up the final point in the controversy caravan. McGwire was the first test dummy for what’s about to become a multiple car crash shortly, and he’s not even gotten close on any measure of Hall of Fame eligibility and any point of being listed. He was a prolific and steady home run hitter early, but then became an iconic one later. However, perhaps the biggest mark of McGwire’s impact came after his career, when he became the only member of the 500 home run club to admit that he used PEDs in his career…which netted no bump in support at all. This both disproved the now-dispatched notion of the benefit of admitting involvement for forgiveness, as well as the point of perhaps strengthening the fight of players to withhold their truth.

The vote for Sosa spells out the diverse difference in opinion on the era.

The vote for Sosa spells out the diverse difference in opinion on the era.

Sammy Sosa (21%): The most substantial indicator of a division in opinion was the number attached to Sosa. Not sure the reasoning behind everybody else’s, but the general discussion on it aligns with my view: he was the most blatant violator of all. He went from a good player to an amazing one in the course of one winter. He jumped 30 home runs in one year, from 1997 to 1998, reaching 66 that summer and maintaining at least 49 round trippers for the next four years.

 

The situation around Sosa is that he is the direct sign of the raising effect that steroids can have on a player. His performance is the true distortion that PEDs can have in taking a player from the middle to the top. Sosa’s impact does bring on the right way to look at the era; judge it individually and with some rational approach. It’s not hard to break the difference between the right lane and the wrong one here. The blanket approach really doesn’t HAVE to apply, especially in the increasingly philosophical over sporting based world of professional baseball “remembrance”.

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Comments
  1. […] that didn’t inject himself into the Hall of Fame; he was already there. I’ve looked at the truth of both ends of Bonds numbers previously, and I stand by th0se facts until the end. Him and Clemens get packaged together in the court of […]

  2. […] that didn’t inject himself into the Hall of Fame; he was already there. I’ve looked at the truth of both ends of Bonds numbers previously, and I stand by th0se facts until the end. Him and Clemens get packaged together in the court of […]

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