Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Piazza Denied MLB Hall Ticket in Loaded Ballot

Former Mets' catcher Mike Piazza will have to wait another year to find out if he will enter the storied halls of Cooperstown.

The Baseball Writers Association of America cast their votes for the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot, and once again Piazza was left off, although he did receive a higher percentage of votes (69 %) than last year (62%).

Last year Piazza was left off the ballot because many voters suspected that he was a steroid user, even though there was never any proof of such. Fast forward to 2015, it is safe to assume that bias still exists. Piazza never tested positive, and was never called before a grand jury the way other HOF candidates, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Curt Schilling were. To our knowledge, Piazza led a clean baseball existence, in addition to being the best hitting catcher in baseball, period.

He deserves a shot at the Hall of Fame. Falling 28 votes shy is both encouraging and discouraging all the same. He should get his day come 2016 -- if not, there will be even more complaining, and rightfully so.

To be fair this was a stacked ballot. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz all were on the ballot for the first time. All three got in easily. All three are deserving of the honor. Craig Biggio, who was also left off the 2014 ballot, made it this time around with 82.7% of the vote. To be in the Hall, one must acquire 75% of the vote.

Biggio was Mr. Consistency for the Astros, playing into his 40s and amassing over 3000 hits. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

As far as HOF caps go, my guess is Johnson will go in wearing a Diamondbacks hat, while Martinez will obviously wear a Red Sox cap. 

Other candidates left off the ballot include: Jeff Bagwell, who, like Piazza might be guilty by association by the fact he too played in the steroid era.  Tim Raines, who should have been in the Hall a long time ago, Schilling, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina. It should be no surprise that known steroid uses Bonds, Clemens and McGwire did not even come close to making the ballot. 

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