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HOF Prediction: Alomar In, Blyleven Short, Palmeiro Goodbye

By Mike Silva ~ January 5th, 2011. Filed under: Hall of Fame.

Later today the BBWAA will announce the latest member(s) to join the Baseball Hall of Fame. A year ago everyone assumed Roberto Alomar would be a shoo-in his first time on the ballot. Instead, the BBWAA threw everyone a curve and only elected Andre Dawson. As a matter of fact, Alomar got a lower percentage of the vote (73.7), than Blyleven (74.2%), who was below 50% just three years earlier. I also believed only Alomar would be elected in 2010, as Dawson was a full eight points away the previous year. So why would I make the same prediction again? Because I believe Bert Blyleven has topped out and will fall just short. I also don’t see anyone else close to garnering the necessary 75 percent. 

Alomar should easily get the eight votes needed as most agree he has the numbers for the Hall. He also has more going for him than his nineties contemporaries, as there aren’t any steroid rumblings, unless HIV allegations and the John Hirschbeck spitting incident make him perpetual pariah. It shouldn’t, as Hirschbeck as gone public with his forgiveness for Alomar’s disrespectful act. Besides, neither seems to be infuriating the fickle BBWAA like the steroid situation. 

There are two ways to look at Blyleven. First, he might have an advantage since it’s he is nearing the end on the ballot. Just two years ago Jim Rice, never a favorite of the media, was elected in his final season. You also could point out that Blyleven jumped from 47.7% support to 74.2% in just three years. This is largely due to the internet, and the relentless campaigning sabermetricians have done on his behalf. Personally, I think most of the conversations happened last year, and I suspect the hard line Blyleven detractors are not going to let some “internet bullies” tell them what they saw. I respect their consistency, but disagree with their position. I believe Blyleven deserves election whether you use the “eye test,” or advanced metrics. Try winning 287 games in the big leagues for any team, much less some of the trash he played for throughout his 22 year career. Again, thirteen more wins and this wouldn’t be an issue.

For what it’s worth, I also believe Jack Morris is nearing his peak, as the statistically inclined are just as adamant about his exclusion as the traditionalist are regarding Blyleven. These individuals will become greater in number over the next few years, and I believe Morris will inch up a bit, but probably not hit the 60% mark. Fortunately for him, unlike Blyleven, there is still four years for his candidacy to develop. 

Tim Raines? He still is a few years away from making a serious run, but the internet continues to help his cause. I think it’s still a long ways off. I also don’t see Lee Smith moving much from his 47.3% support from a year ago. Same goes for Allan Trammell at 22.4%. 

The other story of note is how will the “steroid era” candidates fare? Barry Larkin will probably continue to climb and may get more support because many presume him to be “clean” during that period. I don’t see Mark McGwire moving very much. He has been in the low twenties since his first year in 2007. Edgar Martinez received 36% of the vote, and I don’t think much has changed regarding how the DH is viewed. Someone needs to breakthrough at that position, and Martinez is the logical choice. Unfortunately, we could be years away in that front. Larry Walker probably will get somewhere in the twenties, as Coors Field is a huge turnoff. I see Jeff Bagwell performing similarly to Edgar Martinez from a year ago with support in the mid to high thirties. There isn’t the same vitriol about his numbers as others, but the “guilty by association” stigma seems to be fair play because of his muscular build, and playing with Ken Caminiti in Houston. Fred McGriff is a case of a player that performed in the wrong era. Put him in the seventies, and we probably already have him enshrined. 

My biggest question is what will happen Rafael Palmeiro. Will he fall into McGwire territory (perpetual support in the low twenties), or be treated like Jose Canseco, and drop off his first year with less than five percent of the vote. Palmeiro has a better case than Canseco, but statistically speaking Jose should have gotten more than just six votes his only year on the ballot. This is a tough call, but I am leaning towards Palmeiro taking a huge hit for the steroid era, and getting punished for lying on Capitol Hill. Expect Palmeiro to disappear from the ballot with less than five percent of the vote later today. 

It should be interesting to see how this transpires later today. Stay tuned.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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5 Responses to HOF Prediction: Alomar In, Blyleven Short, Palmeiro Goodbye

  1. Paul

    Blyleven is on his 14th go.

    Has 1 more shot in 2012 if needed

  2. Mike Silva

    Thanks for the catch - I thought this was it for Blyleven - correction made but my prediction stands

  3. Stu B

    Now that Blyleven’s in, your prediction sits, lol. Historically, those who receive 70-74.9% always get in the following year if still eligible.

  4. Mike Silva


    You are correct, but Blyleven jumped so much in 3 years that I thought he peaked, and some writers were very adamant about his exclusion.

    Jim Bunning is an example of someone who came very close, but fell short in his final year.

    The big takeaway, which I will write about later, is how the internet has impacted the process a great deal. Without the internet, I don’t think Bert gets in.

    I was right about Bagwell, wrong about Palmeiro, and pretty much on target about most everyone else sans Blyleven

  5. Stu B

    Good point about the Internet, which has democratized the process.

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