Bonds, Clemens snubbed
It's not surprising that no one received the needed 75 percent of BBWAA ballots. It's also not surprising that Craig Biggio, he of the 3,060 career hits for the Astros, was the highest vote-getter with 68.2 percent.
What surprised me was that suspected performance-enhancing drug users Barry Bonds (36.2 percent) and Roger Clemens (37.6), arguably the two best players in the Steroid Era, were named on barely one-third of the ballots. I thought they each would be closer to 50 percent.
From reading various stories over the last few weeks, it was obvious the electorate was torn on Bonds and Clemens. But not as torn as we were led to believe. More than 60 percent exclusion is a resounding no.
Schilling deserved more
Surprised? Not really. Glad? You bet.
Any players rumored to have used performance-enhancing drugs, particularly after they were banned from baseball, don't belong in the Hall of Fame. Give them their own wing if you want, but don't put their plaques next to Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, Jackie Robinson or Joe DiMaggio.
What really surprised me was how few votes Curt Schilling got. I wasn't expecting him to get in, but I thought he'd receive more than 38.8 percent of the votes. Nine times he posted regular-season ERAs under 3.50, and in five of those years, his ERA was below 3.00.
Factor in his 11-2 record and 2.23 ERA in the postseason, and it's hard to believe he won't get in on a future ballot.
Not under circumstances
Dave Van Dyck
Given the unique circumstances surrounding this unusual Hall of Fame ballot, it should not be surprising that no player was voted in.
Of course, those circumstances included the presence of suspected "juicers" Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa on the ballot, plus an otherwise fairly lackluster list of candidates.
Even Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson admitted it was "not a surprise we had a shutout." What may have been more surprising was that only five blank ballots — usually a sign of protest — were sent in by eligible Baseball Writers Association of America members. That's fewer than the year before and a good sign that at least the writers tried to get things right.
Tough for Bonds, Clemens
Los Angeles Times
I was surprised that Roger Clemens, who was named on 37.6 percent of the ballots, and Barry Bonds, who was named on 36.2 percent of the ballots, received as little support as they did.
There seemed to be a 50-50 split between those who would vote for Bonds and Clemens and those who wouldn't. The fact they were named on only one-third of the ballots will make it very difficult for them to achieve the required 75 percent for Hall entry over the next decade.
Craig Biggio (68.2 percent), Jack Morris (67.7 percent), Jeff Bagwell (59.6 percent) and Mike Piazza (57.8 percent) receiving such strong support bodes well for their future chances.