It’s time for that annual holiday tradition wherein I take 34 famous baseball players and analyze their careers and chances at enshrinement them for your observing pleasure. (Down from 36 last year – that’s what happens when players actually get voted in, you see…) Once again, there’s a multitude of interesting discussions, a few near certainties (more on them in Part II), and several candidates who will most likely get their ray of sunshine through simply being on the ballot before falling off and into obscurity/trivia answers. (Did you know that somebody actually voted for Jacque Jones last year?)
I originally started this last night. I still have memories of last year’s announcement, when nobody got in on a ballot that was absolutely STACKED with candidates. I knew that this year would be different, but that did nothing to quiet the suspicions I had gnawing away in my gut, the suspicions that the BBWAA just didn’t get it. That they wouldn’t agree on one person, let alone three or four. That someone like poor Frank Thomas would be sitting on the outside looking in because 25% + of writers disagreed on the DH as a position of merit. (For the record, I loathe the rule, but it exists, and there are undoubtedly players who excel in that role. See: Ortiz, David.)
Consequently, when I began this draft, I was only able to write the bare bones outlines of four optional drafts. For posterity’s sake, I’ve included them below:
Holy balls, four people got in.
Cool, three people are in.
Meh, only two? At least it’s Maddux and…dear god, I hope the writers aren’t morons.