Hey baseball fans!
The 2021 Hall of Fame inductees have been released and, to be honest, I'm not surprised that no one got in. Schilling's stock fell a lot after the Capitol riots and I expected the steroid-users not to move up that much. There were a couple of big risers, but again, it makes sense that the 2021 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will only feature the 2020 inductees. But who's on the ballot next year?
There are several very interesting first-timers on next year's ballot, namely Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz. Both have steroid scandals associated with their careers, but Ortiz's has been called into question by reliable sources, a la Commissioner Manfred, and Rodriguez has seen a personal resurgence post-retirement, mostly from television appearances. It will be interesting to see how the voters view these two mega-stars, especially compared to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who will be on the BBWAA ballot for the last time in 2022.
Other notable first-timers who I think could see some significant voting percentages include Jimmy Rollins, Mark Teixeira, A.J. Pierzynski, Ryan Howard, Joe Nathan, Prince Fielder, and Jonathan Papelbon. Out of this group, I'm really rooting for the relievers, Nathan and Papelbon. As we move deeper into the Age of the Bullpen, relievers of all kinds will start getting the recognition they deserve. I was a massive advocate for Trevor Hoffman's induction and just talked about Billy Wagner, so to say that I "like bullpens a little" would be a gross understatement. I think that A.J. Pierzynski actually has the best shot out of the hitters that I just named because he was a catcher, so his numbers should be taken with more than just one grain of salt. 2,000+ hits and a .280 batting average as a catcher are impressive stats. I'm not sure if he has the recognition to get into the Hall via the BBWAA, but we'll have to wait and see.
And then, besides the first-timers who won't see more than 10%, we have the guys who have been on the ballot for a while. Todd Helton and Scott Rolen saw huge jumps during the 2021 voting, Omar Vizquel's number went down because of his ongoing domestic abuse scandal, and Jeff Kent only rose a little. It seems that Helton and Rolen have the momentum to make it in before their times on the ballot are up and both of them have plenty of time to do so, but it won't be next year. What I am excited for, however, is to see how far their numbers do jump.
Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."