To very little surprise, the baseball writers did not elect anyone to the Hall of Fame today.
For the first time since 1996, no player got the 75% needed to be enshrined at Cooperstown. Craig Biggio got the most votes, but still fell 39 votes short, with 68.2% of the vote. It was his first time on the ballot, and he figures to get in in the next year or so.
I was most curious to see how "The Juicers" did. And they fared pretty dismally their first time out:
Roger Clemens: 214 votes (37.6%)
Barry Bonds: 206 votes (36.2%)
Sammy Sosa: 71 votes (12.5%)
And Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro did even worse than last year:
McGwire: 96 votes (16.9%)
Palmeiro: 50 votes (8.8%)
Here is the complete vote, from the BBWAA web site.
It's pretty clear the writers were sending a message. Many sent in blank ballots as a protest. It was a sad day for baseball, as the chickens finally came home to roost as far as steroids are concerned. This was a day many looked forward to, and even more did not.
Next year's ballots will include five bigtime names: Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina, none of whom were ever connected to steroids. The focus will shift away from The Juicers to an extent, as it appears that at least three of the new 2014 candidates (Glavine, Maddux and Thomas) could well be elected on the first-ballot.
Today's vote shows that it will be an uphill struggle for Bonds, Clemens and Sosa to ever be elected.