FanSided asked the Site Experts to cast a mock Hall of Fame ballot. The results are in but none of the former Red Sox players made the cut.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America determine which players are granted entry into the Hall of Fame. Before they announce the Class of 2020, FanSided wanted to find out which candidates were worthy from a fan’s perspective.
Experts from each of the sites in FanSided’s MLB division were given the opportunity to submit a mock Hall of Fame ballot to find out who we would send to Cooperstown. We followed the same rules as the BBWAA, with up to 10 selections per ballot and a 75 percent voting threshold for election.
We had 42 writers participate, including both from our site representing the Boston Red Sox. That means a player would need 32 votes in order to be elected.
Only one player received enough votes to make the cut: Derek Jeter.
The former New York Yankees captain received 41 of a possible 42 votes (97.6%) to clear the threshold with ease. Yes, one person left Jeter off their ballot. To paraphrase Dustin Pedroia, “It wasn’t us!” Some may assume that a site covering the Red Sox would try to stick it to their rivals by excluding Jeter out of spite. Nope, we both voted for him. My ballot is an open book, complete with explanations for the decisions I made.
Is Jeter a bit overrated because he was captain of the Yankees during a dynasty? Yes. Did the handful of Gold Gloves he collected turn the award into a joke? Yes. Is he still Hall of Fame worthy? Yes.
A few former Red Sox players garnered significant recognition but ultimately they fell short of the percentage necessary for election. Roger Clemens was the closest with 30 votes (71.4%), two shy of what he needed to be enshrined by our mock ballots.
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Oddly enough, Barry Bonds was one vote shy (73.8%). One person must have voted for him but not Clemens, which is absolutely baffling to me. The fates of these disgraced superstars are intertwined. Either you take a stand against PED users by eliminating them from consideration or you recognize their accomplishments regardless of how they achieved them. One of our voters got caught straddling the fence.
More than half of our writers believe Curt Schilling (57.1%) should be in the Hall of Fame. I’m surprised his percentage isn’t higher. The reason he continues to fall short on the ballots cast by the BBWAA is related to his post-career antics. He’s made an enemy out of the media members who vote. I expected our pool of writers to be less political.
Manny Ramirez (45.2%) appeared on just under half of our ballots. He finished well ahead of other PED abusers such as Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi but wasn’t on the verge of election alongside Bonds and Clemens.
It’s understandable why voters were torn on Manny. While we have every reason to suspect these other candidates used PEDs, Ramirez failed two drug tests and served suspensions for each after strict drug testing was put in place. His statistical resume is Hall of Fame-caliber but cheating after MLB started cracking down on steroids may have cost him some votes.
You can read more about the results from our mock Hall of Fame on FanSided.com, along with quotes from our site experts explaining why we made our choices. Will our results be an accurate reflection on the ballots cast by the BBWAA? We’ll find out soon when they unveil the Hall of Fame Class of 2020.