Start your argument engines. The 2022 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is out, which means it is time for folks to get far too upset about enshrinement decisions, and far too righteous about stuff that everyone was doing during a certain dark period of the sport’s history.
Today, the Baseball Writers Association of America unveiled the official 2022 Hall of Fame Ballot. The returning names (with vote totals; 75% needed for enshrinement), as well as the newly-eligible players. You can already see the storylines:
Curt Schilling – 71.1% (10th year)
Barry Bonds – 61.8% (10th year)
Roger Clemens – 61.6% (10th year)
Scott Rolen – 52.9% (5th year)
Omar Vizquel – 49.1% (5th year)
Billy Wagner – 46.4% (7th year)
Todd Helton – 44.9% (4th year)
Gary Sheffield – 40.6% (8th year)
Andruw Jones – 33.9% (5th year)
Jeff Kent – 32.4% (9th year)
Manny Ramirez – 28.2% (6th year)
Sammy Sosa – 17.0% (10th year)
Andy Pettitte – 13.7% (4th year)
Mark Buehrle – 11.0% (2nd year)
Torii Hunter – 9.5% (2nd year)
Bobby Abreu – 8.7% (3rd year)
Tim Hudson – 5.2% (2nd year)
It’s the final crack for guys who are arguably being held out for reasons other than their performance on the field, and it’s the debut for several notable stars who were attached to steroid scandals during their playing days. In a normal year, Schilling would be expected to get over the hump this year, but after his hissy fit last year, I’m not sure it will happen. Bonds and Clemens are not going to get the jump they need, and ARod is not going to get support because of the PED stuff. David Ortiz is not QUITE in the same PED situation as some others, but it might be enough to hold him down in the first year.
As for who could/should get in, Scott Rolen remains a pretty obvious yes to me (in addition to the PED guys). Sammy Sosa remains such a tough call, and I go back and forth each year. Andruw Jones and Gary Sheffield are pretty close. I tend to think Todd Helton is a yes.