Today on MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential, sportswriter, and Hall of Fame voter Joe Posnanski said Craig Biggio will most likely be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. This year Biggio joins Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, and Sammy Sosa as players making their first appearance on the HOF ballot. Vote totals will be announced on January 9.
Posnanski, who writes a column called Sports on Earth, brings a refreshing viewpoint to a topic that has been alienating fans for years. Here’s a link to his latest column in which he revamps the Hall into a more appropriate shrine for the greatest players in the game. It’s a fairly lengthy piece that you should bookmark for later if you don’t have time to read it now. Even if you don’t read it at all you’ve gotta love this excerpt.
The current Hall of Fame voting procedure puts sportswriters in position of moral arbiter … judge and jury … and I don’t think most sportswriters are qualified for the job.
Amen to that!
Here’s another link from Astros County that compares Biggio’s peak years to those of recently enshrined middle infielders. The numbers speak for themselves. Craig Biggio should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
But there aren’t many voters who are as reasonable as Joe Posnanski. Many of them choose to overlook the statistics in favor of some unfounded suspicion they might have about a player’s link to performance enhancing drugs. Case in point: Jeff Bagwell. The former Astro ranks 36th all-time in Adjusted OPS+ at Baseball Reference. Bagwell achieved totals in his fifteen year career that compare to those of Hall of Fame players who spent 20 years in the majors.
Biggio and Bagwell both belong in the Hall of Fame. It would be fitting for them to be enshrined together, this season. Will the BBWAA get it right this time? Probably not. We’ll have to wait until January 9 to find out.