Late yesterday afternoon, the results of the Baseball Writer's Association of America's votes for the next inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame were announced and unfortunately for Rockies fans, Larry Walker was not a part of the four players who made above the 75 percent threshold. They will be joined by Jack Morris and shortstop Alan Trammell, who were picked last month by a committee that considered older players and executives.
"We have a large class", said Hoffman, the first pitcher to reach 600 saves. It wasn't something that I wanted to overly worry about it.
Jim Thome was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday along with three other players for the class of 2018.
Clemens received 57.3 percent of the vote and Bonds 56.4, their highest percentages yet, but they only were a slight increase from past year (54.1, 53.8) when the two cleared 50 percent for the first time. Thome began his major league career in 1991 with the Cleveland Indians. But both have ties to performance-enhancing drug use, and failed to gain election on their sixth try. Guerrero received 92.9 percent, Thome 89.8 percent and Hoffman 79.9 percent.
Omar Vizquel (37 percent), Scott Rolen (10.2) and Andruw Jones (7.3) were first-time candidates.
It appeared in the preliminary count of revealed ballots this week that both might make a leap above the 60 percent level, but they ended up falling back in the final tally and made only a slight improvement over last year's percentages. "But I don't want to make it about a number - I play to win games". Other players don't seem to have their stats adjusted for park factor and Francis points out that during his MVP season of 1997, for example, his home/road splits included the following: 20/29 home runs; 30/16 doubles; 1.169/1.176 OPS.
Chipper Jones, who would spend his entire 19-year career with the Atlanta Braves, is in after receiving 97.1 percent of the votes. He was named MVP of the 1999 season.
"It was waterworks galore around the Jones house", Jones said after hearing the vote.
Thome was a five-time All-Star over the course of his 22-year career and ranks eighth in Major League Baseball history with 612 home runs.
As an aside, it's baffling to speculate how and why four Clemens voters, with his seven Cy Youngs, would deny a vote to Bonds, with his seven MVPs and the most home runs (762) in history.
When Jim Thome got the call, he couldn't be more gracious.
"The message I would send would be that every Midwest kid can dream of a day like this", said Thome, a Peoria, Illinois, native who was drafted in the 13th round in 1989.
Guerrero, the 2004 American League MVP, was a nine-time All-Star and an eight-time Silver Slugger Award victor. Thome was a five-time All-Star, as well as the 1996 AL Silver Slugger Award victor at third-base.