Four Elected to Hall of Fame, None Are Edgar Martinez

Jim Thome, seen here frozen in carbonite, was elected to the Hall in his first year of eligibility.
(Photo: Erik Drost)

The Hall of Fame is adding to its roster this year with a large class of players. The Eras Committee already elected Jack Morris and Alan Trammell back in December. Today, the BBWAA announced the results of their own vote, which includes four more honorees for next summer: first-time candidates Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, as well as holdovers Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman.

Jones and Thome sailed in on the first try, while Guerrero easily cleared the 75% bar this year after falling 15 votes short last year in his first appearance on the ballot. Hoffman’s path was less direct. After becoming eligible two years ago and appearing on 67.3% of ballots, he fell just five votes short last year. In public voting, he was tracking just above 75% for most of the winter — this after receiving a similar percentage of both the private and public vote.* Given those trends, Hoffman had a good shot at election. He makes it in his third try.

*Not all votes are available, as the Hall rejected the BBWAA’s request that ballots be made public.

In somewhat disappointing news, Edgar Martinez fell short of the 75% threshold required to gain election. He was tracking at just above 75% for much of the winter, but the private vote was not as enthusiastic about Martinez as those who made their votes public. He will have one more shot next year.

As expected, Scott Rolen survived to see another year on the ballot. So did Andruw Jones, which was less expected but a positive development nonetheless. Johan Santana did not get enough votes to get himself on the ballot for next season. The full results are below.

2018 Hall of Fame Results
Player Votes (%)
Chipper Jones 410 (92.2)
Vladimir Guerrero 392 (92.9)
Jim Thome 379 (89.8)
Trevor Hoffman 337 (79.9)
Edgar Martinez 297 (70.4)
Mike Mussina 268 (63.5)
Roger Clemens 242 (57.3)
Barry Bonds 238 (56.4)
Curt Schilling 216 (51.2)
Omar Vizquel 156 (37.0)
Larry Walker 144 (34.1)
Fred McGriff 98 (23.2)
Manny Ramirez 93 (22.0)
Jeff Kent 61 (14.5)
Gary Sheffield 47 (11.1)
Billy Wagner 47 (11.1)
Scott Rolen 43 (10.2)
Sammy Sosa 33 (7.8)
Andruw Jones 31 (7.3)
Jamie Moyer 10 (2.4)
Johan Santana 10 (2.4)
Johnny Damon 8 (1.9)
Hideki Matsui 4 (0.9)
Chris Carpenter 2 (0.5)
Kerry Wood 2 (0.5)
Livan Hernandez 1 (0.2)
Carlos Lee 1 (0.2)
Orlando Hudson 0
Aubrey Huff 0
Jason Isringhausen 0
Brad Lidge 0
Kevin Millwood 0
Carlos Zambrano 0

We hoped you liked reading Four Elected to Hall of Fame, None Are Edgar Martinez by Craig Edwards!

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Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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Pepper Martin
Member
Pepper Martin

I can understand not voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. I absolutely, positively cannot understand voting for one and not the other. Unless it’s just racism.

WARrior
Member
Member
WARrior

There are writers who voted for Bonds and not Clemens, as well as vice-versa.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot

What rationale could there possibly be for doing that, either? Either you subscribe to the “no PED users ever” position or you don’t.

maguro
Member
maguro

A lot of it probably just boils down to one of Bonds/Clemens being a jerk to the writer, but not the other.

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer

Apparently one guy just had to vote for Carlos Lee and seriously, what are you gonna do ? Flip a coin I guess.

stan
Member
stan

There’s a decent distinction to be made in that Bonds was already a hall of fame lock before he changed his whole game by using steroids. Clemens’ career looked like it was waning quickly when he went to Toronto, got huge and rejuvenated his career. He probably wouldn’t have made the hall if he hadn’t started taking steroids, and Bonds probably would have.

frangipard
Member
frangipard

He had three Cy Youngs, four ERA titles, and almost 200 wins (at age 33) before he went to Toronto.

He was already a lock.

Dag Gummit
Member
Dag Gummit

I think the argument that his career “was waning” likely refers more to his relative drop in durability and performance in the recent years prior to going to Toronto. He’d gone from averaging over 250 IP every year to 190, 170, to 140 in three consecutive seasons with a 3-year average less than half any other 3-year period of his entire career (even those partial seasons with the Astros). He could easily have disappeared off the baseball map when looking at a generic “if the player fits this path”

In his contract year, he returned to form (thanks to some “health supplements” and “strict workout regimen”, perhaps?), easily his best 2-year span was his time with Toronto, and his health never really faltered again.

If he’d suddenly left baseball completely like Koufax or Puckett, perhaps he would have still been a lock. If, however, he tried to stick around without the quick-healing PEDs, perhaps he wouldn’t have fared well à la Doc Gooden or Fernando Valenzuela. I’m a little inclined to think he’d still be a high-chance player for various reasons, personally, but not absolute.

bly
Member
bly

“already a hall of fame lock” just like Pete Rose, before he started gambling. The problem isn’t the performance, it’s the part where he made a farce of the game.

emh1969
Member
emh1969

I think Bill James has stated that he believes Clemens didn’t take PEDs. So you could have some voters like that.

Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson
Member
Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson

Assuming this is true, I wonder if Bill James’ belief in Clemens would pass the “civil suit test.”

As we all know, civil suits in this country do not require nearly the same burden of proof as criminal suits — and they shouldn’t of course, since you risk losing liberty or even your life in a criminal case, but only cash/property in a civil suit.

So, in a civil suit the jury is instructed to choose whichever side of the case is *likelier* to be true. If you think there’s a 51% the defendant is guilty, then it’s your responsibility to convict.

In other words, the question for every juror in a civil suit is: If you had to bet your life that the defendant is innocent, or bet your life that he’s guilty, which way would you bet? I find it hard to believe that Bill James, restricted just like a juror to a binary “civil suit test” would in effect bet his life that Roger Clemens never used illegal PEDs.

abgb123
Member
abgb123

Just so we’re clear you explained that in a criminal case the defendant bets his life and in that case they need absolute assurance to convict however in a civil case its the juror that bets his life and he only needs to be 51% sure of someone else’s guilt.
Also you’re ending logic is flawed, civil suits are easier to win because there is less burden of proof so the likelier scenario is that Clemens would be found guilty. Also I believe in civil cases there is a thing called “appointment of responsibilities” wherein the jury assigns what is basically a percentage of responsibilities to all parties, so the verdict might be binary but the percentage of responsibilities may not be.

Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson
Member
Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson

We’re not clear. I apologize for doing a poor job of articulating the analogy.

I’m not talking at all about what the *defendant* is wagering. I’m saying that when we ask a juror, specifically in a civil case, to render a verdict of which version of the “truth” is the more likely between that of the plaintiff versus the defendant, we are in effect asking them which side they would choose as the more truthful if they had to bet their life.

I would apply the same principle as the “civil suit test” were I a Hall Of Fame voter. (Tom Verducci has I believe said the same.) Faced with an either/or and no middle ground, would I bet my life that the player did use illegal PEDs or would I bet my life he did not?

Found the Verducci link: https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/01/10/hall-fame-against-steroids

Johnny Dickshot
Member
Johnny Dickshot

Well, obviously, once one has to “bet their life,” it biases the whole the exercise, and becomes something else entirely from the burden in a civil suit.

Anyway, I have no idea why people glom onto this process anything more than it is – a popularity contest by a group of writers – some of whom are informed and diligent, and some who are not – who are entitled to use whatever basis they want for their vote, in line with the guidance given by the HOF.

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

Confirmed: Bill James is losing it.

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer

It’s weird with these 2.

I keep hearing people saying “everyone knew” they were cheating at the time.

I’m pretty sure we all saw the same march to 73 and 762, and no network was saying “oh this is BS, he’s juiced” and didn’t cover the milestones.

And even fewer people were saying anything about Clemens.

Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett

Bonds hit 756 on Aug 7th, 2007. The BALCO scandal broke in 2003.

You really going to go with the “well nobody said anything when it was happening” argument?

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer

I’m going with there was plenty of fanfare, news crawls, live break-ins, and back page real estate devoted to it, none of which said “FRAUD CHEATS HIS WAY TO “RECORD” – AMERICA VOMITS – SF FANS ARE DELUSIONAL”. The fact that BALCO was 4 years prior only bolsters my point.

And I noticed you couldn’t come up with a similar Clemens event.

Point is, mass media plays a cute little game where they ignore red flags at the time and then pile on with the “I told you so’s” after the fact.

Here are my examples from outside baseball:

Milli Vanilli
Lance Armstrong
WMD
Donald Trump

Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett

Dude, Roger Clemens was called before congress in 2005 when he was pitching for the Astros to testify about PED use. It was also widely reported that Jason Grimsley gave him up as well when he was busted in 2006. And before all of that Canseco wrote damn book that went on to be a best seller where he named Clemens.

Its pretty clear that the real problem is that you either have a very bad memory or were not really paying attention back then. Pointing to Lance Armstrong as an example of “missed red flags” is just insane as he had been WIDELY accused of cheating for literally his entire career. He might have been the most accused athlete in history, lol.

(the only more insane example is Trump but I’m not touching that)

Deacon Drake
Member
Member

So much evidence against Clemens from the Toronto days… just no reason to hide it when in Canada. I always thought it was hilarious he threw his wife under the bus when they questioned him for all the steroid stuff that went down when he was in Texas.

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer

Yeah, 2005.

See the problem ?

Dag Gummit
Member
Dag Gummit

I see a problem in your argument.

You state people were “missing red flags” by referencing the media fanfare about the red flags (Bonds’ race to 756, Trump’s campaign). That’s absolutely not “missing the red flags”. There were constant, frequent reports about the red flags. There are no after-math “I told you”-isms when Bonds’ 756th HR ball was put into the Hall with an asterisk. Not unless you seem to mean MLB finally being forced to implement testing regulations by the US government… because of the media outrage that was growing prior.

ThomServo
Member
ThomServo

What? The PEDs were extremely noticeable. People were widely noticing it even during Brady Andersons’ breakout in 96.

PED use simply didn’t become the top regular national headline dominating the sport’s coverage until after 98 (it was by Bonds’ 762 though).

francis_soyer
Member
francis_soyer

I agree it was written about, but there was no overwhelming consensus regarding certain players at the time. Seems revisionist to me, that’s all.

The Stranger
Member

Strategic voting? I could imagine a voter who thought they belonged in the Hall voting for one to keep pressure on, but not the other on the theory that probably neither gets in this year but as soon as one gets in the next one gets in the following year. So you’d vote for the one you thought had a stronger case, then spread the other 9 votes around to candidates you thought were deserving and really needed the vote to get in this year, get better-positioned for next year, or stay on the ballot.

I’m not saying I agree with that, but HOF voters have done stranger things. Or any of the other reasons people have suggested. Or racism.

martyvan90
Member
Member
martyvan90

The R word gets thrown around with too much ease these days… Whats more unbelievable is how Bud Selig gets into the Hall of Fame, with the approval of the never steroid user crowd. Bud would have required steroid use if it would have allowed him to get a salary cap in negotiations with the MLBPA. His claims of not knowing are the greatest of all hypocrisies of the steroid era. He changed his tune when Bush and Congress shamed him into doing something.

ThomServo
Member
ThomServo

I could if a voter had inside info that Bonds, for example was always using even as a youth, whereas Clemens started later (or vice versa).

I do wonder whether ‘juniors,’ as kids from the lightly regulated baseball academies in the DR and Cuba, are using from very young ages. Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Prince Fielder, Bichette Jr., Vlad Jr., and a number of other juniors (Gary Matthews! not really) were all at a crazy level of strength at very young ages.

carter
Member
carter

Well, first Griffey, Bonds, Fielder and Bichette Jr did not grow up in either Cuba or DR. Second, citing Griffey Jr at an incredible level of strength is downright laughable. It was well documented that Griffey was very weak in the weight room. He didn’t lift weights, and could not bench two plates (225) more than 1x according to team staff (and Griffey said that was true, also). Bonds also was not physically imposing when he first came in the league either.

This Guy
Member
This Guy

All of Griffey’s strength was derived completely from his otherworldly ass.

Hell, dad had it too: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3432/3753964632_1071f7baa7.jpg

ThomServo
Member
ThomServo

I meant to write “AND kids from the lightly regulated baseball academies.”

I partially believe that testing has dampened some use, but I do wonder whether kids of users tend to be users more often. Tom and Dee Gordon come to mind, but not many others both caught.

It’s also sadly apparent that the Caribbean factories have big usage problems with youth due to poor regulation.

jlewyckyj
Member
Member
jlewyckyj

Some could say Bonds’ pre-steroid career was HoF-worthy in it’s own right and give him the benefit of the doubt.

The Guru
Member
The Guru

hes a cheater and you want to reward him?

ackbar7
Member
ackbar7

With so many cheaters already in the precedent has been set for a long time. Unless you want to take out guys like Mays and Mantle.

bly
Member
bly

ackbar7, so we messed up before, why ever right that wrong? Should we should still have witch hunts and cure sickness with leaches?

JEdward
Member
Member
JEdward

Yes, but not for the cheating part. For being one of the three or four greatest baseball players of all time part.

ThomServo
Member
ThomServo

it’s so unlikely that these players “started” when they have said they did.

The earlier a player can be proven to have used is not necessarily the earliest they used. Plus using is a bit of an approach and habit, some players may start using cream and clear at 25 but were taking a wide variety of less professional PED treatments at younger ages.