The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot results will be announced on Wednesday, January 8 at 1 PM Central Time. We’ve covered the publicly released totals thus far and you can check out the Baseball Think Factory ballot collecting gizmo here. The tally so far suggests that first-time candidates Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas will get inducted easily, while Craig Biggio is skirting the edge in his second year of eligibility. Mike Piazza probably won’t make it in this season, and with a loaded ballot next year as well, he may find it difficult to gain induction in 2015. At least he and Jeff Bagwell are trending up. Jack Morris seems destined to head to the Veterans Committee in a few years.
You may also notice that Greg Maddux is no longer batting 1.000 in the public vote. That’s because one writer decided to vote for Jack Morris and nobody else. I’ve expressed my frustrations about this on our Facebook page (h/t Big League Stew) and Myles from Obstructed View has a great piece up on their blog so I don’t have to address this again. We can sum it up with this:
I think that it’s ridiculous that voters can’t find ten guys from this ballot to vote in. The ballot is loaded with great players not named Jack Morris. Of course you can argue that it’s his vote and he can do what he wants with it, but I reserve the right to seethe at how idiotic that vote is. It’s not that I dislike Jack Morris either. It’s the other nine spots that won’t go towards keeping deserving candidates on for future consideration, like Alan Trammell for example.
Compare that with Cubs.com beat writer Carrie Muskat’s ballot (you can see the other MLB.com ballots here):
CARRIE MUSKAT, Cubs beat reporter
Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Raines, Thomas, Trammell
It was so satisfying to check Maddux’s name, having covered him in both of his stints with the Cubs. I just wish he was going into Cooperstown with a Cubs cap on his plaque. Other newcomers — and no-brainers — on my ballot were Glavine and Thomas. You didn’t want to miss the Big Hurt’s at-bats.
While Carrie left off two spots on her ballot (my only major quibble with the ballot by the way), at least her choices suggest that she put some thought into it. Voting for only Jack Morris on your ballot suggests either brain damage or an ulterior motive.
I think I would have been okay with voters leaving Greg Maddux off their ballot if that spot was used to keep some other guy on for next year. Unanimous voting doesn’t really matter, nor does being a 1st ballot guy like Nolan Ryan or a 15th ballot guy like Jim Rice; you’re still in the Hall of Fame! The unanimous thing reminds me of that one elector who refused to vote for James Monroe so George Washington would be the only unanimously voted President in history (one of the dozens of potentially useless factoids I recall from high school US History, yay!). Except this wasn’t the rationale; the voter (who is remaining nameless because he sucks) decided to ostracize an entire era of players because they had the spectre of steroids and performance enhancing drugs hanging over them. It just seems extremely lazy and unfair to group all the players in this era as such.
Regardless of his percentage, it appears that Greg Maddux will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Glavine and Big Hurt should get in too, and Biggio most likely makes the cut. Congratulations to those four, and maybe Mike Piazza gets a surge after all to make it five (but I wouldn’t count on it). This should make up a bit for last year’s no-inductee fail, but it will be a good day when idiot voters either give up their ballot or just go away.