The Baseball Hall of Fame vote: Alex Rodriguez’s lack of progress, Chase Utley’s strong start, and more important points

The Baseball Hall of Fame vote: Alex Rodriguez’s lack of progress, Chase Utley’s strong start, and more important points

The votes for the 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame election are in, and Jim Leyland was elected by the Contemporary Baseball Era committee. Adrián Beltré, Todd Helton, and Joe Mauer were chosen by the BBWAA.

We’ve talked about the inductees enough elsewhere, and we will do so again in July at the Hall of Fame ceremony. I’m now going to talk about the rest of the voting results.

For the eighth time, Manny Ramírez ran for office. He got 32.5% of the vote, down from 33.2% the year before.

After his two PED suspensions, players like Bonds, for example, and Roger Clemens were unable to even come close to being inducted. Ramírez will never be able to do that.

At this point, it looks like he won’t even get 40% of the vote, let alone a majority. He also won’t even get 75%. He not only lacks momentum, but he also went backward in Year 3.

It didn’t look like Alex Rodriguez would even come close in the first year he was on the ballot, and I didn’t think he would get much support in his second. But it looks like this vote solidified his status. He went from 34.3% to 35.7% to 34.8%.

The group of voters is always getting younger, but that’s happening slowly, and he only has seven years left at most. Seeing a drop before even getting to 36% seems like it will kill his chances for sure.

I might be wrong about A-Rod. Seven years is a long time, and you never know what might happen that would make someone change their mind.

Yes, his stats book is one of the top 10 to 15 best in MLB history. It’s not likely right now, but he might start to pick up speed next year and the year after that.

When several players deserve to be in Cooperstown, it’s always hard for big-Hall voters to decide who to leave out.

This year, removing Mark Buehrle from my ballot was the hardest thing I had to do because I knew it could cause him to lose less than 5 percent of the vote.

The rules are flawed because both Beltre and Mauer deserve to win and may do so on their first try, but I’m not going to vote for either one and trust the voters to do so.

I hope Billy Wagner gets in even though I didn’t vote for him. I’ve voted for him before and will never stop trying to discover a way to get him in, and the same goes for Andruw Jones.

In the final year, he will be on the ballot, Sheffield is my biggest hope. For better or worse, his case is pretty much the same as David Ortiz’s, with the difference that Sheffield was athletic adequate to play field, though not at a high level, while Ortiz was born to play DH.

Wagner was almost elected but lost by five votes. He is still eligible for the hall in 2025, and his chances of being inducted seem good since he went from 51% in 2022 to 68% in 2023 to almost 74% in 2024.

But Sheffield won’t be inducted into the Hall of Fame through the BBWAA vote because he didn’t get enough votes (75%) in his 10th and last year on the ballot. Instead, he will have to wait for induction from an additional committee in the coming years.

Jim Leyland was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee in December. He will join the other winners chosen by the BBWAA during induction weekend, which takes place in Cooperstown from July 19th to 22nd.

I love the idea of the Baseball Ring of Fame. There is a party. It teaches history. It is a journey. The museum within Cooperstown is where the posters on our walls and the heroes that lived there live.

For a fan, just the thought of going there can be amazing. Being there is like going to church, the Louvre, and Game 7 of the World Series all at the same time.

Because of this, we care a lot about who enters and who will not. There will always be passion and debate. We talk about these choices among ourselves in press boxes, clubhouses, and hotel bars after games. We understand.

You’re not going to agree with every vote we cast. You shouldn’t do that. The idea behind this process is that people with different views can come to a strong agreement without deciding for sure what makes someone a Hall of Famer.

As president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America this year, I’m sure that most of my colleagues see voting for the Hall of Fame as one of the nicest and most important parts of their job. It’s an honor to be a part of the process.