Nine Thoughts on the Class of 2019

Roy Halladay

The voters have spoken in both the Veteran’s Committee (whatever they call it today) and among the writers. There are six new member of the Hall of Fame. In keeping with my traditional use of nine, here’s a few thoughts on the class of 2019.

1. Congratulations to Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, and Lee Smith on their election to Cooperstown.

2. I’m gratified to see someone finally get all the votes in the BBWAA election. I’m certain Mariano Rivera shouldn’t have been the first (see, Ruth, Babe; Aaron, Henry), but I’m happy someone finally made it.

3. Mike Mussina came as close as you can to failing enshrinement. That’s a shame, he was a terrific pitcher who, like Sandy Koufax, quit when he seemed to still have plenty in the tank. I’d have liked to see more of him, but he made the decision he felt best for himself. So far, he doesn’t have the same glow as Koufax (as a pitcher who went out on top).

4. Harold Baines still is an awful choice, but I hope he, his family, and his fans enjoy the induction ceremony.

5. Both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds failed inclusion again. They each got around 60% of the vote (actually 59.5 and 59.1). Clemens turned out to receive two more votes than Bonds. I’m not sure how you justify voting for one and not the other and I do not expect the 2 guys who did to explain it.

6. Which leads to the question, are they ever getting in? There are too many variables for me to make a valid prediction, but my guess (and that’s all it is) is that both will either make it in their 10th and final try so that the writers can say they punished them as long as the could, or that the writers will kick the can down the road and let the Veteran’s Committee make the call. That call will, of course, depend on who the preliminary committee puts on the ballot. That action should tell us what the keepers of the keys to the cathedral think of Clemens and Bonds.

7. Curt Shilling came closest to getting in of all the people not chosen. He’s moving steadily up and has three years remaining on the ballot. I think that bodes well for his election. Listen, I don’t think much of his politics, and I’d hate for him to espouse them at a Cooperstown ceremony, but enshrinement should be based on his career, not his politics.

8. Larry Walker has one year left on the ballot and made a major jump this time. Maybe he makes it in 2020.

9. Fred McGriff missed out for the 10th and final time. Look for him to appear on the next ballot for which he is eligible. With the support he got this time, there’s a good chance he gets in (see Smith, Lee).



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6 Responses to “Nine Thoughts on the Class of 2019”

  1. hanspostcard Says:

    Schilling I agree with you- he may be a big jerk but since when does being a jerk keep you out of the Hall of Fame? There are plenty of jerks in there. Hopefully next year he gets in. I’d vote for Walker too. Other than Jeter no big first timers next year with 4 getting in this year maybe that clears some votes for Walker a great all around player.

  2. Miller Says:

    Well done, as always. It’s hard to agree much more than I do. I will make a prediction on Bonds and Clemens though. Neither one of us will live to see the day they’re inducted (you may if you’re the world’s best 5-year-old writer). We saw the progress so many candidates made this year. But regarding B&C, “no” voters are entrenched. And I think the BBWAA is a far easier path for them than any group of 16 that includes the likes of Tony LaRussa and/or Joe Morgan. By the way, didn’t Morgan use greenies?

    • verdun2 Says:

      I think you’re right on Clemens and Bonds, but it’s possible a 10th year push gets one or both in. And wouldn’t it be strange if one got in and the other didn’t?
      And it’s been the better part of 70 years since I was 5. Shame. 🙂
      BTW liked the discussion on your site.

      • Miller Says:

        As you wrote, it simply makes no sense to vote for one and not the other. But some do, with logic as twisted as it can get. I don’t think either will crack 65%, let alone 75%. Even so, we can agree that if they get in, it’ll be extremely close. I can only imagine what it would be like if Clemens were on that stage but Bonds weren’t. At the risk of seeming like I’m making a PED joke, I think Bonds’ head would explode.

    • glenrussellslater Says:

      Hey, what would be wrong with having a five-year old sportswriter? We’ve got a five-year old president, don’t we?


  3. wkkortas Says:

    I have said this before, as I am a repetitive SOB, but I agree with the takes of the wise gentlemen whose comments preceded mine. Schilling is an ass of the highest order, but there are any number of buffoons in Cooperstown, and Schilling’s post-career jackwadery has not done damage to the game itself. Bonds and Clemens, on the other hand…you can certainly argue they did significant damage to the game, not on the level of the Black Sox, yes, but at some point it becomes a matter of degree as opposed to whether or not damage was done. As Miller says, I can’t imagine that the Veterans Committee as it is currently constituted would ever enshrine either man. Of course, the Veterans Committee is a travesty as it its currently structured, so…

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