That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: 2018 MLB Hall of Fame Inductees and Prediction

Photo credit: @theScore

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

OAKLAND — All the votes are in, by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) for the players that will be inducted this 2018. The results will be announced in January 24 on MLB Network. The inductions are scheduled for July 28 -29 in Cooperstown, New York.

Any candidate must be named on 75 percent of the ballots. Last year, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected and inducted in July.

For the first time Andrew “Chipper” Jones, great power-switch-hitter and third baseman for the Atlanta Braves for 19 seasons, .303 average 468 home runs and 1,623 runs batted-in. Hideki Matsui and Johan Santana (two-time Cy Young winner) have a record of 139-78 in 12 seasons with the Twins and Mets.

Jim Thome ranks eighth in history with 612 home runs. Venezuelan Omar Vizquel the great defensive shortstop who played for 24 years and won 11 Gold Gloves (nine with Cleveland and two with San Francisco) are among several players who are eligible this year as well as Chris Carpender, Johnny Damon, Livan Hernandez, Jamie Moyer, Scott Rolen, Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano.

Returning to the BBWAA ballot, Trevor Hoffman (74% of the vote in 2017) leads the National League for saves in history with 601. Dominican outfielder Vladimir Guerrero (71.7% of the BBWAA vote in 2017) had a great 16-year career with the Expos, Angels, Rangers and Orioles, .318 lifetime average with 449 home runs, 1,496 runs batted in and 181 steals, they both missed last year’s election by five and 15 votes, respectively.

Below are the top 10 players with the percentage they received as of last season (not including votes pending casted by the BBWA this time). 75% is needed for election.

Player | Year(s) eligibility | Percentage of vote
Trevor Hoffman, 3rd, 74
Vladimir Guerrero, 2nd, 71.7
Edgar Martinez, 9th, 58.6
Roger Clemens, 6th, 54.1
Barry Bonds, 6th, 53.8
Mike Mussina, 5th, 51.8
Curt Schilling, 6th, 45
Manny Ramirez, 2nd, 23.8
Larry Walker, 8th, 21.9
Fred McGriff, 9th, 21.7

My prediction for the 2018 class: Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel and Andrew “Chipper” Jones

The first three should go in, for sure, while Vizquel and Jones, which are on the ballot for the first time, might have to wait. But I would be content if they also make it this year.

Players like Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Manny Ramirez are obviously tainted by the “steroids era.” Clemens was acquitted of all charges in 2012 that he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he used PEDs. Bonds, in 2013, was convicted for obstruction of justice for giving an “incomplete” answer to a grand jury. In 2015, the court overturned conviction and federal prosecutors dropped the case. Ramirez was suspended more than once for his PED use.

I know, it all stinks, and people have different opinions about this, but the black cloud for those guys, and others like Sosa, Palmeiro, McGwire will always follow them for the rest of their lives. If it was left to me, I would not send them to Cooperstown, although they all have the statistics.

I agree with Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, the second-baseman who played for 22 years, towards the end of his career, two seasons with the Giants, and retired with the Athletics in 1984. I agree with Morgan on that very clear and stern letter he sent to the Hall of Fame. I believe cheating is cheating, be in 1919 or 2004. It is not fair for the guys that played by the rules and were clean of steroids.

Morgan wrote:

“The more we Hall of Famers talk about this—and we talk about it a lot—we realize we can no longer sit silent. Many of us have come to think that silence will be considered complicity. Or that fans might think we are ok if the standards of election to the Hall of Fame are relaxed, at least relaxed enough for steroid users to enter and become members of the most sacred place in Baseball. We don’t want fans ever to think that.

“We hope the day never comes when known steroid users are voted into the Hall of Fame. They cheated. Steroid users don’t belong here.”

“It’s gotten to the point where Hall of Famers are saying that if steroid users get in, they’ll no longer come to Cooperstown for Induction Ceremonies or other events. Some feel they can’t share the stage with players who did steroids.”

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