Posts Tagged ‘MLB Hall of Fame’

The baseball Hall of Fame added three new members yesterday. Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriquez will join the elite group of players in Cooperstown when they are inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame on July 30th.

I have no real issue with any of the players elected, but I will say that I’ve never been a Bagwell supporter. Bagwell got in on his 7th try while it took Raines the full 10 years to get elected. I have no idea why it took Raines so long to be elected, but he finally got in. Rodriquez was on the ballot for the first time in 2017. Rodriquez became the second catcher to be elected on his first ballot. The other was Johnny Bench.

I’d like to take a look at the players that didn’t get in. In his second year on the ballot Trevor Hoffman just missed getting in. Hoffman had 74% of the vote and missed getting in by five votes. With just a little bump he should find himself being inducted in 2018.

Vladimir Guerrero was on the ballot for the first time and also got very close to being elected. Guerrero got 71.7% of the vote and was just 15 votes short of getting in. Like Hoffman you think with a little bump next season Guerrero should be going in on the next ballot.

Edgar Martinez receiver his highest vote total since being on the ballot. In his 8th year Martinez got 58.6% of the vote and appeared on 259 ballots. Martinez has two year left on the ballot and you have to wonder if there’s enough time for Martinez to get the 73 votes needed to get into the Hall of Fame.

Interestingly in there 5th time on the ballot Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds made big jumps in the voting. Clemens went from 45.2% in 2016 to 54.1% yesterday while Bonds went from 44.3% in 2016 to 53.8% yesterday. No matter how you look at these two players it’s very clear that they both used performance enhancing drugs to help there game, but they continue to climb in the voting and have time to get elected. Now there’s no way I could ever support either of these guys, but with the crop of new voters now onboard it looks as though we’ll see Clemens and Bonds in the Hall of Fame eventually.

Rolling in 9th and 10th in the voting was Mike Mussina (51.8%) and Curt Schilling (45%). This was Mussina’s 4th year on the ballot and his vote total has increased every year. This was Schilling’s 5th year on the ballot, but his vote total dropped 7% from 2016 to 2017. Now I don’t buy either of these guys as Hall of Fame players. They where both very god and at times great, but neither of them sustained that greatness to the point where they should be in the Hall of Fame. With the path that Mussina is on it looks as though he’ll be voted in before his time on the ballot runs out. It was asked yesterday that if Schilling just kept his mouth shut would he be elected. It’s an interesting question as his vote total did drop this year and you have to wonder if voters will get back on board with him or if Schilling will say something else to turn more voters off.

Lee Smith was a hold over from the old rule and was in his 15th and final season on the ballot. Smith only received 34.2% of the vote and will now be moved to the old timers committee for consideration. Smith reached 50.6% back in 2012, but his totals dropped every year after that. Smith was a 7-time All-Star and won the at the time Rolaids Relief Man of the Year 3 times. Smith finished in the Top 10 of the Cy Young voting 4 times in his career. Smith led baseball in saves 4 times in his 18-year career. Smith was still a closer in the era when they had to pitch multiple innings to get a save and actually kind of led in to the specialization of the closers role. Being that Smith was a Chicago Cub for 8 seasons I always rooted for him to get in, but he just never got the support and I’m not sure the veteran’s committee will put him in.

Another first timer on the ballot was Manny Ramirez who received 23.8% of the vote. Ramirez is another interesting case as he has two failed drug tests on his record and part of the reason he retired was because he didn’t want to serve another suspension. Ramirez appeared on 105 ballots and I’d really like to know how these voters looked past not one, but two failed drug tests to vote for him. Ramirez has Hall of Fame numbers and if the new crop of voters decides that they don’t care if a player used a performance enhancing drug Ramirez has a very good chance to get into the Hall of Fame.

In his 7th year on the ballot Larry Walker got 21.9% of the vote. In his 8th year ion the ballot Fred McGriff got 21.7% of the vote. In his 4th year on the ballot Jeff Kent got 16.7% of the vote. While Walker and Kent each won an M.V.P. in there careers and McGriff was just 7 homers short of 500 I don’t think any of these three players will be getting into the Hall of Fame.

I need so much help understanding this next player and why his vote totals are so low. Gary Sheffield received just 13.3 % of the vote in his 3rd year on the ballot and it’s the first time his vote totals have went up. Sheffield is a 9-time All-Star, won a batting title and finished in the Top 10 of the M.V.P. voting seven times in his career. Sheffield is a career .292 hitter with 509 home runs and 253 steals. Sheffield did have some injury issues in his career, but he played in 22 seasons and 2576 career games. I have a difficult time understanding what a voter is looking at when they see Sheffield’s name on there ballot and don’t check it off. Sheffield was a better player than Walker, McGriff and Kent who finished just ahead of him in the voting and his career numbers are in line with what Ramirez did minus the failed drug tests. Take a look at how similar Sheffield’s numbers are to Vladimir Guerrero’s who looks like a sure bet to get elected next year. Sheffield is a Hall of Famer!

In his 2nd year on the ballot Billy Wagner receiver 10.2% of the vote. Wagner receiver 10.5% in 2016. I’m not sure Wagner will ever get the backing to get into the Hall of Fame, but he was a dominant closer for about an 8 year period. I’m not sure Hall of Fame voters know how to judge closers yet and with the new crop of voters being added it may change. I’m just not sure that Wagner will be on the ballot when that happens.

Another player that I’m not going to understand why his vote total is so low is Sammy Sosa. Sosa’s numbers jumped a little to 8.6%, but still far away from what he’d need to be elected. Now Sosa is someone who most if not all people believe took performance enhancing drugs, but he never failed a drug test and there was never the evidence brought against him like there was with Binds and Clemens. So why does Sosa struggle barely staying on the ballot while Bonds and Clemens have had a resurgence in there numbers? Sosa is still the only player on baseball history with three 60 home runs seasons. Think about that; not Hank Aaron, not Babe Ruth, not even Barry Bonds has three 60 plus home run seasons in his career. Sosa won an M.V.P. and has 609 career home runs, but yet he’s never receiver more than 12.5% of the vote for the Hall of Fame. Sosa has five more years on the ballot as long as he can stay above the 5% of the vote he needs to stay on the ballot. It’s a bit of a travesty that Bonds and Clemens have gained support while Sosa is still barely hanging on.

16 players didn’t receive the needed 5% percent to stay on the ballot. Jose Posada, Magglio Ordonez, Edgar Renteria, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Corey Blake, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillen, Derek Lee, Melvin Mora, Arthur Rhodes, Freddy Sanchez and Matt Stairs are the players who will come off the ballot.

There’s a quick recap of the Hall of Fame voting with some of my own opinion thrown in. I’d love to get your thoughts on the voting and who might or might not get into the Hall of Fame in the next few years.


Over last weekend the NFL held it’s divisional round of the playoffs. The Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers all advanced to the Conference championship games this Sunday. Green Bay is at Atlanta for the first game on Sunday with a scheduled kickoff time of 2:05 p.m. Pittsburgh is at New England in the later game which has a scheduled 5:40 p.m. Of course the winners of these games will move on to face each other in the Super Bowl.

So how did we do with our picks in the divisional round. Well Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy went 3-1 while Dan the Man and I ended up 2-2. For the playoffs Schaumburg Stu is 7-1, Mr. Fantasy and I are 6-2 while Dan the Man is 5-3. Let’s see how we do with the Conference championship games.

It seems as though if you wanted to get to this point in the NFL playoffs you needed a top quarterback. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady are the four quarterbacks who have led there teams this far and they could be the best four quarterbacks on the NFL right now. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Rodgers, Ryan or Brady takes home the M.V.P. trophy and Roethlisberger wasn’t that far off. Rodgers led the NFL in passing touchdowns with 40. Matt Ryan was 2nd with 38 while Roethlisberger was 6th with 29 and Brady was 7th with 28. Don’t forget that Brady missed the first four games of this season while Roethlisberger missed two games with an injury this season. In total QBR Ryan is #1 at 83.3 with Brady right behind him at 83.1. Rodgers was 4th at 76.9 while Roethlisberger finished 10th at 66.2. There are some people out there who are trying to push this group as the best four quarterbacks to ever play in the Conference championship. While these four are all very good quarterbacks I’m not going that far as making them the best. You have to figure that Brady and Rodgers are future Hall of Fame inductees and Roethlisberger isn’t too far off from making it. Ryan is the quarterback with something to prove. Ryan is the only one of these four quarterbacks that hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Without going back and breaking down every group of quarterbacks that made the Conference championship I’ll say that this is a good group, but not the best.

QBR stands for Total Quarterback rating. This stat was actually invented by ESPN to measure quarterback performance and it’s suppose to be a more meaningful alternative to passer rating.

On Monday night the Golden State Warriors blew out the Cleveland Cavaliers 126-91. For some reason the experts started making excuses for the Cavaliers loss. It’s an NBA regular season game; why do we need an excuse for why one team lost. Apparently since this was the last game of the Cavaliers road trip they where tired or whatever other excuse they want to use for them getting beat. This was the 6th game of that road trip for Cleveland that they ended up going 3-3 on, but they did have two full days off before the game with Golden State. I think that every NBA fan knows that barring some major upset in the playoffs we’re going to see these two teams meet for the 3rd time in the NBA Finals.

Now there was a little bit of an incident in this game. LeBron James was headed up court with the basketball and it looked as he was trying to lead the break. Draymond Green came from James’ right and fouled him hard. There was no doubt that this was a foul, but Green was accessed a Flagrant 1 foul and I don’t think it was that bad of a foul. James had one of the all time flops in NBA history. If you’re a fan of professional wrestling picture James going down like one of your favorite or not so favorite wrestler getting clotheslined. James laid face down at center court for a few minutes like he had been knocked out. I know the NBA has a policy in effect for players that flop, but I have a feeling that James won’t be one of the guys who gets fined for his flop.

On Monday night Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul sprained his left thumb in the 2nd quarter of the Clippers game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. X-rays on the thumb were negative, but an MRI on Tuesday revealed the torn ligament. On Wednesday Paul will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks. Paul was defending Russell Westbrook and sprained the thumb fighting over a screen set by Joffrey Lauvergne. The Clippers called a timeout shortly after, and Paul immediately walked off the court, kicking the bench as he exited. Paul could be seen on the TNT broadcast shaking his head at Clippers team trainer Jasen Powell as they walked through the players tunnel to the locker room.This is not the first time Paul has undergone a procedure on his thumb. He underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb during the 2012 offseason. Paul played part of the 2011-12 season and the 2012 Summer Olympics with the thumb wrapped in tape. The Clippers have been beset by injuries this season. Star forward Blake Griffin missed his 13th game Monday night as he recovers from arthroscopic knee surgery. Sharpshooter J. J. Reddick missed two games because of a sore left hamstring. And Paul missed seven games in a two-week span because of a strained left hamstring. Since the start of last season, the Clippers are just 3-9 in games without both Paul and Griffin. The Clippers are 29-14 and currently in 4th place in the Western Conference. The Clipper will play there first full game without Paul on Thursday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Today is the day that the baseball Hall of Fane announces if they will have any new members inducted this summer. In early voting returns it looked good for Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez, but there where still votes to be counted. It looks as though they’ll be making the announcement around 5:00 p.m. That’s Central time.

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The NFL regular season wrapped up on Sunday and so did our pick competition. Week 17 saw Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I all go 10-6 for the week. Dan the Man was 8-8. For the regular season I won with a record of 158-97. Mr. Fantasy was able to come all the way back and tie Dan the Man for 2nd place at 147-108. Sadly it was Schaumburg Stu who ended the regular season in the cellar at 145-110. As we move into the playoffs we’ll wipe the slate clean and see how our playoff picks go.

The last game of the NFL regular season featured the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. The winner of the game would take 1st place in the NFC North while the other would get a wild card spot and be seeded #5. Minnesota won the game 20-13 and will get to host a playoff game. The Packers as a wild card team will go on the road to play the Washington Redskins. The Vikings get to host the other wild card team the Seattle Seahawks. Looking at this did the Packers get the better end of the scheduling? Even though they have to go on the road. The Redskins did win their division, but we’re talking about the NFC East which may have been the worst division in football. For winning there division the Vikings get to play the team that has represented the NFC in the last 2 Super Bowls. In Week 13 the Seahawks went into Minnesota and beat the Vikings 38-7. Now I am in the camp that you should get something for winning your division; even if it’s a bad decision. The Redskins did go 9-7 on the season and where 6-2 at home; so maybe the match ups aren’t as one sided as they seem. If you’re a Vikings fan; who would you rather play this Sunday the Seahawks or the Redskins? These 2 NFC games will be played on Sunday with the Seahawks/Vikings game kicking off at Noon and the Packers/Redskins game scheduled to start around 3:40 p.m.

It’s the AFC who gets to get the wild card weekend started on Saturday. The Kansas City Chiefs are at the Houston Texans to get things started. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:20 p.m. Kansas City is the hottest tam in the NFL entering the playoffs. Kansas City started the season 1-5 and I had cast them off. The Chiefs then proceeded to win their next 10 games to finish 11-5 and grab #5 seed in the AFC. The Saturday night wild card game features a AFC North match up as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 8 the Bengals went into Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers 16-10. Then in Week 14 the Steelers returned the favor by going into Cincinnati and beating the Bengals 33-20. Even though the game is in Houston the Chiefs opened as a 3 point favorite. Kansas City isn’t the only team coming into this game on a winning streak. While it’s not as long as the Chiefs winning streak Houston did win their last 3 games to close out the regular season and win the AFC South. The deciding factor in the Steelers/Bengals game might be which injured players make there return for the game. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had the cast removed from his thumb yesterday, but Cincinnati is still saying they’re preparing like A.J. McCarron will be the starter. For Pittsburgh DeAngelo Williams exited Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. Williams was due to have an MRI on that ankle, but the results haven’t been released and his status is unknown. Now Dalton has struggled in the playoffs; do you think it would be better for Cincinnati to stick with McCarron? Dalton could be rusty since he hasn’t played since Week 14 loss to the Steelers. Cincinnati started off as just a 1 point favorite for the game.

In the Saturday blog I’ll reveal our picks for the Saturday games. Well I should say I’ll let you know who Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man and I are picking in these games. If Mr. Fantasy gets me his picks for Saturday in time for the blog I’ll include them.

Today they’ll announce the new members to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. It appears as Ken Griffey Jr. is the only lock t get in. Mike Piazza is the top returning player on the ballot. Piazza got 69.9% of the vote last year. You need 75% of the vote to get into the Hall of Fame. There are a couple other players still on the ballot who might get in or closer to getting in this time around. Jeff Bagwell had 55.7% of the vote last time and Tim Raines was at 55% last year. It’s Alan Trammell and Mark McGuire, but it doesn’t look like either will get to that 75% mark. Trammell was at 25.1% last year and McGuire was at 10% last year. In their first year on the ballot Jim Edmonds, Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner should get quite a few votes, but I don;t think any of them will get enough to get in on the first try. Of course the big question when it comes to the Hall of Fame ballot is what about Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Bonds received 36.8% of the vote last year while Clemens got 37.5 % of the vote. With the changes that have been made to who if doing the Hall of fame voting now it will be interesting to see if Bonds and Clemens pick up some more support. There were 100 voters remove this year. The where voters who haven’t covered baseball in over 10 years. At least I believe that’s what I heard. You would think as the voters become younger Bonds and Clemens will find more support and may find there way into the Hall of Fame. I’m still in the camp of I don;t think they belong in the Hall of Fame or if they do go in there should be an asterisk or something that explains what they did or accused of doing. They where both great players and you have to wonder why they choose to go the route they did. Would you put Bonds and Clemens in the Hall of Fame?

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