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Early polling suggests no Hall of Famers from writers in 2012

By January 8, 2013

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The Hall of Fame voting totals become public tomorrow, and early returns aren't promising that anybody will be elected.

Roughly 26.4 percent of the ballots have been made public in some way, according to a computation by Baseball Think Factory. The leader of that polling so far is Craig Biggio, who had votes from 68.2 percent of the electorate. That's seven percentage points away from Cooperstown for a player who had 3,000 hits. (And if Biggio had played his career in someplace like New York or Los Angeles or Boston, I bet he'd easily have the 75 percent needed.) Every eligible player with 3,000 hits who wasn't named in the Mitchell Report is in the Hall of Fame.

Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines each received a bit more than 60 percent of the vote in the poll, and Mike Piazza is fifth at 58.9 percent, which is ridiculous when you look at his career accomplishments (.308, 427 HR, 1,335 RBI, .922 OPS, almost all as a catcher). Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are in the 40 percent range (which is higher than I'd thought).

Nate Silver, the New York Times blogger who was dead-on accurate in his prediction of the U.S. presidential election, is looking at the Hall of Fame numbers as well. And his analysis suggests that steroids are dragging down every player who hit a lot of home runs in the last 20 years, regardless of whether they were caught using or not. And that's the reason Piazza and Bagwell seem to be on the outside looking in.

We'll see how accurate this is at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday. And if it's accurate, it could show that the way we pick Hall of Famers in these days is flawed as well.


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