It is that fun time of the year again when we get to digest how the 400-plus members decided to lay out their MLB Hall of Fame ballots and the way it is looking, not a single member of the body will be able to reach the 75 percent needed for enshrinement. With the Hall of Fame having delayed their 2020 ceremony to this July, no new additions needed to be forced in anyway and that is likely why Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Curt Schilling will all fall short yet again in their ninth year on the ballot. So with all that said, here is how my ballot looked this year with selections below. Feel free to debate.
1. Curt Schilling: When you get past all of the nonsense that Schilling espouses on while on social media, you really just can't argue the fact the guy was a money power pitcher who took his game to another level when the stakes were the highest. Already renowned for the epic bloody sock performance with the Boston Red Sox, Schilling was as good as Randy Johnson when he won another World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Again this is not a vote on if Schilling is a bad guy or not and he doesn't carry around any PED stink which would call into question the validity of his on-the-field work. So once again I voted Schilling for the ninth time in nine tries.
2. Jeff Kent: I am in the clear minority here as Kent annually struggles to net even 25 percent of the vote but I remain unbowed. Anyone who saw Kent hit during his MVP San Francisco Giants days saw a rare second baseman who could hit .300-plus with immense power. While Kent was also a prickly personality, the guy set some new bars at the second base position offensively and I think unfortunately his work was overshadowed by what Bonds was doing. Kent will likely never get in but he has my vote again.
3. Andruw Jones: I have come around on Jones who makes the cut on my ballot for the first time as his career looks much better in totality in the rearview mirror. Already known as one of the best defensive outfielders in MLB history, Jones also was an underrated power hitter who was a key contributor for the Atlanta Braves as a teenager. I do think Jones will get more positive movement on his numbers as the years go by and ultimately think he has a chance to make it.
And that's it. Just three. I left 7 spots blank because I don't consider anyone else on the ballot a Hall of Famer. Now the elephant in the room is me omitting Bonds and Clemens and I stayed consistent by doing so for the ninth time in nine trues on the ballot. Both guys have major PED fumes coming from their numbers and that alone makes me take a firm pass. I always consider a Hall of Fame vote to be for the very best and character is supposed to be taken into consideration. But I take character towards the game and that is where Bonds and Clemens failed. Both guys are as guilty as you can get without a positive test and it was in very bad form that both denied the obvious as vociferously as they did. Clemens even took the charade to Congress which didn't end well for Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa. I get the notion that we don't know who took steroids and who did but these two stand out for their brash defiance in the face of the evidence and I can't reward that. The same will also hold true for me when David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez reach the ballot next year as well.
In terms of the rest of the ballot, Scott Rolen gave me some pause but I don't think he did enough offensively. Billy Wagner was beyond dominant but not in the postseason. So that leaves me with just the three and I am fine with it. Let's hear your thoughts.