Big Papi represents baseball’s best hope of avoiding a second consecutive Hall of Fame shutout.
David Ortiz, a freshman entry on the Hall’s ballot for the Baseball Writers Association of America, hovered around 83 percent Monday morning, in the data collected by Ryan Thibodaux, giving some wiggle room ahead of the official announcement of Tuesday night’s voting results on the MLB’s. network (at 6 p.m.). Players need 75 percent support for elections.
Historically, players associated with illegal performance-enhancing drugs like Ortiz (by virtue of his 2003 positive research test) drop off their public numbers when the last count comes out. Last year, for example, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens both fell more than 11 percent from their number of pre-announcements. That’s why, even as Bonds and Clemens were down just over 75 percent on Monday, there was little hope of them getting in on their 10th and final shot at this vote.
The writers chose no one last year, Curt Schilling came closest at 71.1 percent, although that hen’s egg was not as noticeable as 2020 voters Derek Jeter and Larry Walker enjoyed their introduction to Cooperstown last September, after the novel coronavirus spread Hall forced to cancel the ceremony in the summer of ’20. While another zero would draw extra attention to the writers and their role in the selection process, the Hall is already assured of a robust induction day (though not quite as robust without Red Sox Nation flooding New York State to cheer on Ortiz) thanks to the work of two epoch committees. The Golden Days Era Committee honored Brooklyn Dodgers icon and 1969 Mets manager Gil Hodges, as well as Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, and Tony Oliva, while the Early Baseball Era Committee chose Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neill.
Schilling, also in his final shot, has plummeted to the 60 percent close, the obvious result of his battle with the process after last year’s showing. The controversial former pitcher, who regularly posts comments promoting hate on numerous platforms, requested that his name be removed from the 2022 ballot. The audience rejected that request.
In a less talked about but more dramatic fall, former shortstop Omar Vizquel is poised to jump from last year’s 49.1 percent to 10 percent in the wake of domestic abuse allegations by his ex-wife Blanca.
Ortiz’s fellow freshman candidate Alex Rodriguez, who sat out the 2014 season for his involvement in illegal performance-enhancing drugs, will not come close to the 75 percent mark, although he will easily cross the 5 percent threshold required to return. to the vote next year; he is trending at about 40 percent. Rodriguez’s Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, continues to hover in the 10 percent territory in his fourth year on the ballot.
While neither third baseman Scott Rolen nor center fielder Andruw Jones will take home the big trophy this season, both look set to make significant leaps from their most recent showings, with Rolen (52.9 percent last year) nearly 70 percent and Jones ( 33.9 percent last time). years) nearly 50 percent. Both in their fifth year of eligibility, they are evolving very positively. The same goes for longtime Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, in his fourth year, who is about 58 percent after 44.9 percent in 2021.
1998 National League Most Valuable Player Sammy Sosa, who hit 609 home runs, joins Bonds, Clemens and Schilling as tenth-year candidates. Assuming no one wins the election, they all immediately qualify for the Today’s Game Era Committee, which meets in December.