In addition to quite a stellar list of leftovers from the 2013 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot -- which yielded zero inductees -- next season we'll see a pretty stacked group of first-year eligibles, headlined by what appear to be three first-ballot Hall of Famers in Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine, not to mention worthy-of-discussion Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent. But that's not where the crowding ends.
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Glance ahead to the 2015 first-year eligibles. We'll certainly see debates on Gary Sheffield and John Smoltz for several different reasons, but I feel like Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez are utter locks. I also worry that Martinez might be penalized for "only" winning 219 games. I hope not, because for a stretch of seven seasons (1997-2003, a ridiculous era for offense), Martinez was arguably the most dominant pitcher in baseball history, going 118-36 with a 2.20 ERA (213 ERA-plus!), 0.94 WHIP and an average of 252 strikeouts per season.
On the 2016 ballot, we'll first see Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman, who seem to be obvious Hall of Famers to me. They'll be joined by Jim Edmonds and Billy Wagner, among others. Then, on the 2017 ballot, we'll see Ivan Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Tejada (unless he makes the Royals this year), Jorge Posada and Manny Ramirez join the fray.
Further, let us realize that Chipper Jones has retired this offseason. So he'll join the ballot for the 2018 Hall of Fame class.
Considering we just witnessed Craig Biggio -- he of over 3,000 hits and the fifth-most doubles in history -- whiff on his first try, we know striker Francois Kamano.L'Equipe says Sevilla chief Monchi has stepped into the battle for Kamano, with talks underway with Bordeaux over a fee.Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is eager to land a new striker and also has lodged a bid for Birmingham City the stanEmery says Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Manchester United was a fair result for both teams.The Gunners equalised through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after Scott McTominay opened the scoring for the hosts.Neither side showed significant attacking prowess anddard is very high. Let's imagine that only Biggio, Maddux, Thomas, Glavine, Johnson, Martinez (Pedro, not Edgar) and Griffey get in before 2018. It's entirely possible only those guys get in, and I'm will hold out hope that at least these guys do -- otherwise it would be pretty ridiculous.
If this comes to fruition, here's the potential ballot in 2018:
Chipper Jones, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mike Mussina, Jeff Kent, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield, Jim Edmonds, Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner, Ivan Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Jorge Posada and Manny Ramirez.
Remember, members of the BBWAA are only permitted to vote for a maximum of 10 players per ballot.
Jack Morris, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell and Don Mattingly will have fallen off the ballot by then due to their 15 years being expired. Even without those guys, that's 24 names listed above potentially on the 2018 ballot. I think, obviously, there's a way to separate out several of the names for different reasons, but Jong says the players are still adjusting after a midseason change of coach.Quique Setien has been in the job for a couple of weeks now, having succeeded Ernesto Valverde, and De Jong was asked to compare the two."There are differences," the Dutchmanwe can all agree that's awfully crowded.
For me personally, being a "Big Hall" guy and only penalizing those connected to PEDs who actually tested positive and served a suspension when testing was in place, the only ones from those 24 I wouldn't vote for would be Palmeiro (failed test, suspension), Edmonds (I feel like he falls short, statistically, upon only a cursory, initial glance), McGriff (falls short), Wagner (falls short), Posada (falls short) and Ramirez (failed test, suspension).
So I just said there are potentially 18 guys I'd support for candidacy in 2018. This is without deep research on Edmonds, Wagner and Posada where I may be persuaded into a "yes" and it's also assuming seven deserving players get in before then. Even if you disagree with my standard, and many do, that's an awfully crowded ballot in the near future.
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