If Craig Biggio had been elected, the controversy over this year’s ballot would have been muted.
Instead because it was a big fat blank zero of living inductees (and an inevitable nightmare financially for the people of Cooperstown who need the tourists), the zero inductees became headlines.
And yes, it became about the writers and not the players.
Congratulations. You took the spotlight.
Now vote for some God Damned players next year.
The ballots are about to become super crowded in 2014, 2015 and 2016. And some of the potential names need to be weeded out, either with election or falling off of the ballot.
On next year’s ballot there will be legitimate career reviews for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Craig Biggio, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Mussina, Sammy Sosa, Tommy Glavine, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Luis Gonzalez, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Mark McGwire, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris.
That’s 22 players who will all get anywhere from 25% to 90% of the vote.
And that does not include the smattering of support for Don Mattingly and some fringe candidates like Moises Alou.
Only Jack Morris will be off the ballot for certain after 2014. Mercifully the broken record debate of his candidacy will be played just one more year.
But the ballot has to be a little smaller going into 2015.
Because Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz will be on the ballot then.
And people will be debating Gary Sheffield and Carlos DelGado along with whomever is left.
What this does mean is the bizarre stray votes, like Aaron Sele’s one vote or Steve Finley’s four votes, in this last ballot will probably be less common.
There are too many actual candidates to discuss and weigh the pros and cons to throw Sean Casey or Todd Jones a bone.
And in 2016, Ken Griffey Jr. will arrive.
By 2017, Manny Ramirez and Ivan Rodriguez will be on the ballot and the PED debate will be in full swing again.
But that’s three seasons to put in the deserving candidates and make a call with the others.