Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are in their final year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame, and early returns indicate it will be a nail-biter for both of them.
A Twitter user named Ryan Thibodaux put together a voter tracker for the Hall of Fame. He and his team have tabulated all public votes to figure out where the winds are heading.
With 68 ballots counted, or about 17.3 percent of the eligible voters, Clemens and Bonds are right on the border of the 75 percent threshold. Curt Schilling, also in his final year of eligibility, is tracking just short of the barrier. At least right now, David Ortiz, in his first year of eligibility, figures to make it in.
Obviously, the reason Bonds and Clemens, two generationally great players, have not gotten in yet was because there is “very strong evidence” they were involved in baseball’s performance enhancing drug scandal. Schilling’s outspoken right-wing politics are arguably held against him by voters. He requested to be taken off the ballot altogether this year, but that request was denied.
Each individual voter has a different standard he or she applies to steroid users and what it means to be a hall of famer and so the fact that only 17 percent of the vote is in means that there is a pretty wide variance of where things could go from here for Bonds, Clemens and Schilling.
Ortiz tested positive for PEDs in MLB’s trial run in 2003, though he has repeatedly denied having used steroids. Nevertheless, if not for that implication, it’s presumable that he would be tracking with an even greater percentage of the vote based on his career performance.
Last year, Schilling received 70 percent of eligible votes, while Bonds and Clemens both received about 61 percent.
Alex Rodriguez, in his first year of eligibility this year, does not appear to be at all close to getting in on the first ballot, as he is currently tracking with about half the vote. Eight-time Gold Glove winner Scott Rolen is somewhat surprisingly right around the threshold of getting in.