The newest Baseball Hall of Fame members will be announced during a press conference at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The 2016 voting has been headlined by Ken Griffey Jr.'s chances of becoming the first unanimous selection in baseball history. He currently stands at 100 percent on the Hall of Fame vote tracker. The fine folks over at Lookout Landing, well, Nathan Bishop in particular, offers a stirring tribute to Griffey.
While the Baseball Writer's Association of America has been notoriously stubborn about voting unanimously for anyone, this may be the year where reason starts to win out. And not simply in terms of putting Griffey in his rightful spot without the requisite dragging of feet the BBWAA is known for.
In addition to Griffey's likely election, other surprises may be on the way as well. Unfortunately Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell's righteous selection will not by one of them, ticking off Bless You Boys' own Kurt Mensching in a recent column. However, in recent weeks several baseball writers, including Jerry Crasnick, Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal, have made clear that it's past time to get beyond the PED debate and put Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, into their rightful place in Cooperstown.
Crasnick in particular recalls the moment he realized he was swimming against the tide of history.
Last January, as a social media experiment, I tweeted the question, "Should Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds be in the Hall of Fame?" One hour, 1,200 responses and a barrage of "yes" votes later, I felt like a guy piling sandbags against a tsunami in my efforts to rationalize my "no" vote.
While players like Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza may not get the same consideration, it should be interesting to see what the voters decide this year.
Meanwhile SB Nation's own inimitable Grant Brisbee offers several sample ballots of his own, and makes the case that excluding worthy players, Trammell and Whitaker for example, actually diminishes the Hall. The desire to elect only a player or two per position, per era, simply ignores reality.
Jay Jaffe, creator of the JAWS methodology which compares both a players' career totals and prime years to evaluate a player's worthiness for the Hall of Fame, has some final, frustrated, words on a clearly deserving Alan Trammell getting left out of voting in his final year of eligibility.
And to get yourself caught up in time for the results, MLB has compiled a video highlighting this year's top candidates.
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Somebody sign somebody already!
Here we are, several days into 2016, and not a creature was stirring in free agency. Sure the Dodgers picked up Scott Kazmir and signed Kenta Maeda as well, but meh. MEH! I say. In addition to the big three outfielders still languishing without a dance partner, you have Chris Davis, Ian Desmond, Dexter Fowler, Denard Span and a host of other league average players still looking for a home. Is the luxury tax the culprit here?
Nick Lampe over at our sister site, Beyond the Box Score, takes a look at the luxury tax and its effect on free agency. Is it finally achieving its stated goal of increasing parity in the game? Judging by a wide open field in the American League, and a very slow moving free agent market, it seems to be having the desired effect. Of course, there's still a lot of signings left to come.
Other things around baseball
- The folks over at Crawfish Boxes, the Houston Astros site, took an early swing at their bold predictions for the New Year. Spoiler alert, they're quite optimistic!
- Alex Remington at Hardball Times delves deep into baseball history in search of players overlooked by the measures of their era. Does re-evaluating players via WAR unearth some hidden gems?
- Baseball America weighs in on which step through the farm system is the hardest for players.
- Christopher Crawford over at Baseball Prospectus takes an in-depth look at the changeup and how pro scouts evaluate a pitcher's command and effectiveness with it.
- According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, discontent is rampant among Dodgers' fans conditioned to expect amazing Christmas presents, who've watched divisional foes like the Diamondbacks and Giants make huge moves this offseason.