This afternoon, MLB.com posted the results of this year's Hall of Fame balloting. This has been an ongoing interest of mine partly because of the hotly debated views on steroid use on TSE as well as the lingering question as to how much people (fans, media, ...) care about steroid use. I don't know that HOF voters reflect fan interest all that closely, but the HOF voters care about the taint of steroids. Two players who were at one time certain first balloters, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both received about 36 percent (I would like to know who voted for one and not the other) or less than half of the 75% needed for induction.
- Bashing but without the gaudy numbers of Bonds or McGwire paid off. The Astros' Baggio and Bagwell led position playes with 68% and 59%. What's tough in the steroid era is telling users from non-users. These two players, who I liked a lot, didn't put up the 60+ homer years to draw extra attention, but, then again, there numbers may have been inflated relative to their performance, if they did use.
- The percentages for Bonds and Clemens while far below the HOF entrance threshold points to some conflicted voters. Mark McGwire collected only 17% and Rafael Palmeiro garnered less than 9%. So, several voters inked in Bonds and Clemens who did not these other players. Possibly, that might relate to the high level of their performances before steroid use is suspected to have become widespread.
- Will voters soften? They haven't on McGwire who originally pulled 23.6%. On the other hand, this year may have been an especially untimely year for steroid-tainted players given the negative publicity from the Lance Armstrong suspension.