With the Corridor of Fame’s announcement this afternoon that David Ortiz was the solely participant elected by the Baseball Writers Affiliation of America this 12 months, the trail to induction by way of the writers’ poll has formally closed for 4 of essentially the most notable gamers in current historical past. Every of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa has exhausted their ten years on the poll and can not be eligible for consideration by the BBWAA.
Bonds and Clemens have two of the best statistical resumes in main league historical past and would’ve been first-ballot Corridor of Famers had it not been for his or her ties to performance-enhancing medication. Bonds is the all-time chief in profession house runs (762). Amongst place gamers, he ranks second all-time behind Babe Ruth in FanGraphs measure of Wins Above Substitute. Baseball Reference has Bonds and Ruth tied for first in profession place participant worth (earlier than accounting for Ruth’s contributions as a pitcher). Bonds received seven MVP awards and was a 14-time All-Star.
Clemens, in the meantime, has a robust case as essentially the most achieved pitcher within the sport’s historical past. An 11-time All-Star and seven-time Cy Younger award winner, he appeared in 24 MLB seasons and received seven ERA titles. He ranks third in profession strikeouts (4,672), ninth in pitcher wins (354) and is third amongst pitchers (excluding Ruth) in BRef’s WAR metric.
Every of Bonds and Clemens have a laundry listing of accolades, however their non-inductions are clearly not about any flaws of their numbers. Each gamers, as a substitute, are left outdoors the Corridor due to their ties to performance-enhancing medication. Each gamers have been named as alleged steroid customers in Senator George Mitchell’s 2007 report. Every of Bonds and Clemens have been summoned to testify as a part of Congressional hearings on PED utilization in baseball; Bonds was later convicted on an obstruction of justice cost for giving an evasive reply throughout his testimony.
Whether or not to incorporate alleged steroid customers within the Corridor of Fame has been a topic of (usually bitter) debate amongst followers and writers. “Sportsmanship” and “character” are among the many elements the Corridor contains in its instructed standards for voters, and people phrases have been leveraged to make each ethical arguments and questions in regards to the authenticity of these gamers’ numbers to assist steroid customers’ exclusions from the Corridor. Sufficient voters remained steadfast of their objection to together with these implicated with PED’s to maintain both Bonds or Clemens from accruing sufficient late-ballot momentum to get throughout the 75% threshold for induction. Each gamers completed within the 65% – 66% vary on their remaining years on the poll — a small however clearly inadequate bump relative to final season’s 61% – 62% marks.
Schilling appeared in components of 20 MLB seasons. A six-time All-Star, he by no means received a Cy Younger however completed as a runner-up on three separate events. Schilling “solely” received 216 profession video games, however he owned a 3.46 ERA over 3261 innings. His 3116 strikeouts place fifteenth on the all-time listing. Among the many prime 14, Clemens is the one participant not enshrined within the Corridor of Fame.
But Schilling has seen dwindling assist lately within the wake of a sequence of controversial public statements. Because it turned clear he was unlikely to be elected by the BBWAA, Schilling requested to have his identify eliminated from this 12 months’s poll. That wasn’t granted, though he did see a 12-point drop in vote share between 2021 and 2022 after his push to be faraway from consideration. Schilling appeared on 58.6% of ballots this 12 months.
Sosa, considerably curiously, by no means had the identical degree of assist as any of Bonds, Clemens or Schilling. He acquired simply 18.5% of the vote this 12 months and by no means threatened election throughout his time on the poll. Regardless of being one among simply 9 gamers to exceed 600 profession house runs, Sosa’s profession .273/.344/.534 slash line “solely” checked in 24 share factors above the league common by measure of wRC+. Furthermore, he wasn’t a highly-regarded defender. However Sosa was one of many sport’s most well-known and productive sluggers at his peak, hitting an astounding 332 house runs between 1998-2003 (greater than 55 per season).
Little doubt contributing to his dearth of assist is that Sosa reportedly failed a 2003 survey check for performance-enhancing medication. As Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs not too long ago explored, although, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred later solid some doubt in regards to the reliability of these outcomes (which had been meant to stay nameless). Ortiz additionally reportedly failed that very same survey check, however sufficient voters seemed on these outcomes with skepticism to elect him on the primary poll. Sosa was by no means suspended for a PED check in his profession, though he was hit with an eight-game ban in 2003 for corking his bat.
Every of Bonds, Clemens, Schilling and Sosa might want to depend on one of many Period Committees in the event that they’re now to achieve induction. These committees have tended to be extra favorable to candidates than has the BBWAA, though it stays to be seen how they’ll method this explicit group of extremely controversial candidates.
So far as returning candidates go (full outcomes out there right here), Scott Rolen jumped from 52.9% to 63.2% in his fifth 12 months. Todd Helton (4th 12 months) and Billy Wagner (seventh 12 months) every eclipsed 50%. Andruw Jones and Gary Sheffield each landed within the low-40% vary, whereas Jeff Kent, Manny Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu, Mark Buehrle and Torii Hunter acquired lower than 30% of assist. (Vizquel’s vote share was lower almost in half after separate home violence and sexual harassment allegations have been levied in opposition to him inside the previous 13 months).
Amongst first-time candidates, solely Alex Rodriguez (34.3%) and Jimmy Rollins (9.4%) acquired greater than the 5% crucial to stay on the poll for future consideration. As with Bonds and Clemens, Rodríguez has apparent Corridor of Fame statistics however PED ties that’ll hamper his path to induction. Joe Nathan, Tim Lincecum, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira, Justin Morneau, Jonathan Papelbon, Prince Fielder, A.J. Pierzynski, Carl Crawford and Jake Peavy fell shy of the 5% threshold and dropped off the poll, as did second-year candidate Tim Hudson.