Baseball Hall Of Fame Class of 2021

Is..... No one.

Jim Rome
January 27, 2021 - 10:14 am
Barry Bonds

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The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2021 was announced yesterday and it includes…nobody. Absolutely no one. Zero players on the 2021 Baseball Writers Association of America ballot received the votes necessary to get into the Hall of Fame.

Barry Bonds and his 7 MVP’s: nope.

Roger Clemens and his 7 Cy Young’s: hit the bricks.

Curt Schilling: Close but no cigar.

None of them appeared on the 75% of ballots necessary to get into the Hall of Fame Class of 2021, so there won’t be a Hall of Fame Class of 2021. All three got hammered.  Again. Two for being juiced out of their minds. And one for, well, just being out of his mind.

As a result, for the first time since 1960, there will be no change in the number of members of the Hall of Fame, no need to waste any time or any money on any new plaques. 

And obviously, I’m not surprised. And if you are, you haven’t been paying attention. Or you’re just lying to yourself. 

You knew that Bonds wasn’t getting in this year. There was no way that was happening. Just like Clemens wasn’t getting in this year either.

The voters have made their decisions on Bonds and Clemens a long time ago – you were either okay with them juicing up to their eyeballs or you weren’t.

You could either rationalize it by saying that they were already Hall of Famers before you believe they started using, or you could say that in a league full of bull-roiders, Bonds and Clemens were still the best. That, yes, they were on every PED known to man, but so was everyone else, and they were still kicking ass.

Or, if you’d like, you could say that PED’s weren’t banned at the time.

Or…you could go the other way and say that they cheated, knew they were cheating, and there’s no way you’re voting for someone who did, no matter what everyone else was doing in the game at the time.

Or…again….you could be fine with the fact that they didn’t just cheat, they lied about it and damaged the lives of others as a result.

Or you could take the non-traditional approach of baseball pitcher turned house painter Scott Service when he called into the show back in the day.

So I’m guessing that if Scott Service was a voter, he’d be voting for Bonds and Clemens because, what’s another 50 feet on fly ball…

That discussion has been had, the decisions have been made, and their voting numbers have pretty much leveled off.

Honestly, the weird thing at this moment would be if Bond and Clemens did get in this year. If a bunch of people suddenly decided to change their minds and put Bonds and Clemens into the Hall in their second to last year on the ballot.

And then there’s Curt Schilling, who came the closest to getting into the Hall this year. His vote total has been climbing in recent years and this time, he came 16 votes short. Again, we can have a conversation about guys having to wait to get in or their vote totals climbing. He was at 45% in 2017 and now four years later he just missed out?

Did Curt Schilling suddenly become a better pitcher in the last four years of his retirement?  Did he win more games, making him a deserving candidate?  Of course not.

Schilling didn’t cheat, so what’s keep him out? The fact that he never won a CY Young award, meaning he was never actually the best pitcher in baseball in any given year. Or, the fact that voters think he’s been one of the worst people in baseball for the last several years. I’m sure Schilling would tell you it’s the latter; and that it’s personal; and that the voters are keeping him out because they just don’t like him. And his politics. And his twitter feed. 

That’s why he is now making a big thing about wanting to have his name removed from the ballot next year. That’s why he wrote a letter to the Hall of Fame and why he posted that letter on his Facebook page.

I’m not going to read the entire letter, but the Facebook post was kind of interesting: “I want to share with everyone the letter I wrote to the folks at the Hall of Fame yesterday. They’ve been otherworldly kind and gracious in every way possible and I’ll be forever grateful to them and for that. This was written privately and for their eyes only but I have always been fine with anyone knowing how I feel and what I think.”

Three sentences in, and I’m lost. You wrote this letter “privately” and “for their eyes only” but now you’re posting it on Facebook? Huh? How does that sentence make sense

And then in this allegedly private letter that he posted on Facebook, a rambling piece of more than 1100 words, he runs down a list of axes to grind, including pointing out the differences between himself and Bonds and Clemens, as well as this line: “I do not and never will “scoreboard” the cowards but if I’m not mistaken only Jamie Moyer and I “swept” the humanitarian awards players can win.”

I will not scoreboard, but hey, look up at the scoreboard. And the scoreboard says not only am I not one of the worst guys ever, I’m actually one of the best guys. Screw a hall of fame plaque, they give me my own national holiday: I should be in every history book in every library in the world: and not for anything I did on the diamond, because I changed the entire freaking world: by being the greatest freaking humanitarian of all time. Hey mother threads: scoreboard, look up at it!! You too, Mandela. Hey Ghandi, tell me how my humanitarian ass taste!!?  Ya’ll tell me who has had a great impact on this country, me or Martin Luther King. Right. That’s what I thought! 

And then he chases it with this sentence: “Based on the vote and the pike of dung authored by morally decrepit men like Dan Shaughnessy it’s the latter.”

Let me read that part again because “pike of dung authored by morally decrepit men like Dan Shaughnessy” is one hell of a line. I’m going to go ahead and guess that Schilling really didn’t like something or a lot of things that Dan Shaughnessy wrote.

And somewhere near the end of the letter, Schilling gets to his point: “I will not participate in the final year of voting. I am requesting to be removed from the ballot. I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player. I don’t think I’m a hall of famer as I’ve often stated but if former players think I am then I’ll accept that with honor.”

So there you have it. He’s saying now, as he has said in the past, that he’s not a Hall of Famer. Good. Case closed. We can all keep moving. It’s like I’ve always said, if you have to make an argument for someone being in the hall of fame, then they shouldn’t be in the hall of fame. Even Schilling knows that. Even Schilling can’t make an argument for schilling.  So dude, if you know you’re not a hall of famer, stop getting all bent when you don’t get into the hall of fame. You said it yourself, you don’t deserve it. And the voters agreed with you. So just get back to whatever it is you weren’t doing in the first place. 

One last thought on that: And yes, the fact is there is a character clause when it comes to the voting.  And yes, there are some pretty horrible people in the hall of fame. 

And yes, I know Ty Cobb was one of the worst people in the history of the game and that he went into the stands to attack a fan who didn’t have any hands. And the story goes that when someone in the crowd shouted, “Don’t kick him, he has no hands” Cobb responded, “I don’t care if he has no feet!”

I know that. And I know that Cobb is in Cooperstown. I’m sure there are plenty of guys with horrible character who are in the Hall of Fame and that in some ways the character clause gives voters cover to not vote for Schilling. But he’s also giving them plenty of cover with what he’s said and done over the years.

And don’t think this is going away next year, just because Bonds and Clemens will be on the ballot for the last year, and Schilling has removed himself.

Nope, this soap opera is going to reboot next year with the arrival of David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez. Hell yes, we’re going to have this conversation for years to come! Sweet! Thank you baseball! Awesome. Can’t wait to keep on talking about this! Here’s the truth…I used to actually get fired up about these questions and discussions. I used to actually care. But I’m so beaten down by the should they or shouldn’t they questions, I just don’t give a damn anymore.  I really don’t. Let all the cheaters in for all I care. I just as good with keeping them all out. Just don’t make me go through all this even one more time, much less twenty more times. I may have cared at one point, but I don’t anymore.  I just don’t.