I’m pretty confident that Jeff Bagwell will be a Hall of Famer sooner rather than later. I even have an increased sense of hope that voters will put their guilty by association philosophy aside this upcoming year so to sneak Baggy into the ceremony. Realistically, Jeff has an ok chance in 2013 but I believe his time will come in 2014 which is good news considering how many doubts existed two years ago. I’ve read enough articles and seen enough HOF ballots posted on twitter to believe it’s a matter of time before Jeff will see his name on a Hall of Fame plaque.
Last year, at this point, I was pretty depressed as I came to the realization that the BBWAA were the moral police of baseball. They shouldn’t be or have the right to act as one but they are and will continue to be. Because of that cold hard fact, Jeff Bagwell wasn’t going to make the Hall of Fame and the only thing Astros’ fans, and probably Jeff himself, had to look forward to was an increase in his voting percentage. Have at least enough people changed their minds about not voting for Jeff on pure gossip and barely speculative evidence that it will set him up for a possible induction in 2013 or 2014? Well, Jeff’s percentage did rise to the mid-50s and that gave fans enough hope that Jeff could see the Hall in 2013 or more likely 2014.
As the Hall of Fame season began this time around for the 2013 ceremony, I kept hearing more of the same moral police philosophy being spewed by the same guilty parties. I won’t name them but most fans know who those gentlemen might be. Then some like Ken Rosenthal who feels the need to leave off 1st timers simply because it’s the right thing to do, created more certainty in my mind that the moral police was in full force. To be fair, Rosenthal did vote for Bagwell and made the case we, Astros’ fans, had been screaming and yelling about for a few years now. The issue wasn’t Bagwell; it was the obligation many writers felt they were entitled to take upon themselves because of their lack of vision during the steroid era. However, something seems different in Bagwell’s case. Something has changed, more and more ballots I’ve noticed have Bagwell’s name on them and have given me hope. Hope that the lack of vision that effected a lot of the writers who now punish the likes of Bagwell for simply assuming he was a big guy so he must have been on the juice, have simply gotten over it.
I’m fairly confident enough people lack any serious doubt about Craig Biggio to keep him from getting in this upcoming year but will Jeff join him? I still believe Jeff is on course to be inducted in Cooperstown. I do hope we are all surprised and see Jeff make it this year with Biggio but even with more support, I think he will just miss out. So while Bagwell’s position is still up in the air, unlike last year’s frustration, I feel somewhat content with the philosophy being put on display by the BBWAA and how this chapter will eventually conclude.