The Hall of Fame votes have been tallied, the numbers are in, and there will be one man and one man only going into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown this year from the BBWAA election, and that man is David Ortiz.
Ortiz, who has a slew of accolades to his name (three World Series rings, 10 All-Star appearances, seven Silver Sluggers, a WS MVP title, and even a Home Run Derby win) had the numbers and checked the boxes for the BBWAA members who were, well, checking boxes.
The DH position is a notoriously difficult category for players hoping to enter the Hall, and is, in fact, the most lightly populated position, as Ortiz becomes only the third DH to enter (Harold Baines and Edgar Martinez are the other two). Matt Bonesteel over at The Washington Post actually wrote an article wondering whether or not Ortiz would be the last DH to get entry.
No other candidate surpassed 75 percent of the vote, including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who seemed like they might have a shot at entry on their final year on the ballot. Ortiz will join Buck O’Neil, Bud Fowler, Minnie Miñoso, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, and Tony Oliva as inductees this summer; those six were elected by various veterans committees.
Let’s start off today’s links by looking at the Hall of Fame content first.
Ortiz shared his feelings on being inducted by himself:
Asked David Ortiz if he believes Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens belong in the Hall of Fame: “Not having them join me is hard for me to believe, to be honest with you.” He added, “These guys, I did not even compare myself with them.”— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) January 26, 2022
- FanGraphs did a crowdsourced version of Hall of Fame voting, and Jay Jaffe shared the results prior to the real ones being revealed.
- Tom Verducci continues to emphasize the importance of integrity to voters as he explains why Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa missed the mark on their final year.
- Speaking of those who will drop off, Nick Selbe looks at the players exiting the ballot this year. Selbe also writes about Ortiz getting entry to the big club.
- How does Roger Clemens feel about not getting into the Hall? Nick Selbe (who had a busy day yesterday) shares Clemens’ feelings.
- Bradford Doolittle sums up the final numbers on Hall of Fame voting.
- Jeff Passan believes that Barry Bonds being excluded from the Hall is a failure of the system.
- The staff of The Athletic break down who got in and who got left in the dust. (The Athletic subscription required.)
Now on to the non-HoF stories.
- There was some movement early this week in terms of labor negotiations, and Joseph Salvador looks at the MLBPA’s withdrawn proposal to shorten the time to free agency.
- Ben Pickman shares that while both sides of the negotiation are in agreement to raise minimum MLB salaries, they’re still miles (and hundreds of thousands of dollars) apart on what the new number should be.
- MLB has made it clear they’re not afraid to miss games at the start of the season. Story by Evan Drellich. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- This is a really interesting look at team standings since 2010:
The MLB standings since 2010. A lot to unpack here pic.twitter.com/c6iOy5B6u1— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) January 24, 2022
- Joe Sheehan took a look at the way the MLB postseason is constructed in his newest newsletter.
- Justin Choi preaches the virtues of just throwing it down the middle.
- In non-HoF, non-lockout stories, Clinton Yates has a great piece about baseball in the Bahams and how important the sport is there.
- What do MLB fans think about proposed changes to the game? Stephen J. Nesbitt looks at results from a fan poll. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Brandon Guyer will help teach you how to take a hit.
Players or parents: Do you (or your son/daughter) struggle with the fear of getting hit by a pitch? If so shoot me a DM and I'll respond back with 5 tips to help overcome that fear. Being known as 'MLB's HBP King'/‘La Piñata’ I’d say I know a thing or two when it comes to this. pic.twitter.com/RCD5srqARo— Brandon Guyer (@BrandonGuyer) January 25, 2022
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.