Mercifully, Hall of Fame season is coming to an end. It is certainly not my favorite time of the year, but I won’t deprive those of you who have positive feelings about Cooperstown just because I’m a curmudgeon. The Red Sox are well-represented on the ballot, both by former stars and players who spent just a short time in Boston.
The team’s alumni are highlighted by three players that have been controversial names on the ballot. Roger Clemens is one of the greatest pitchers in the team’s history, though his exit wasn’t the smoothest, to say the least. Since then, he’s turned into one of the faces of the steroid era and is unlikely to make the cut despite his high standing in league history.
Likewise, Manny Ramirez is one of the best hitters of his generation -- and maybe the best hitter to never win MVP -- but he failed two PED tests late in his career. This is his first year on the ballot, and he’ll at least receive enough votes to stay on the ballot.
Then, there’s Curt Schilling. The former playoff hero does not have any drug-related offenses, but his inability to keep his bigoted thoughts off social media have worked against him. For a time, it looked like he was tracking for inevitable induction, but now his vote count is trending in the wrong direction.
Next, there’s a couple of team legends in Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield that will be relegated to the Hall of Very Good. Varitek may have an outside shot of at least staying on the ballot, but I can’t imagine he’ll ever find his way to Cooperstown. J.D Drew also fits in this category, despite being irrationally hated by a section of the fan base.
Finally, there’s the group of guys who spent small portions of their careers in the city. That includes Edgar Renteria (ugh), Billy Wagner, Mike Cameron, Matt Stairs, Lee Smith, Jeff Bagwell, Freddy Sanchez* and Orlando Cabrera. Obviously, some of them are more beloved (Cabrera) than others (Renteria).
*Every year, one player on the ballot blows my mind. This year, it is Sanchez.
The ballots are all submitted, and the results will be announced tomorrow night.
2017 Baseball Hall of Fame announcement
When: 3-7 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Jan. 18 (announcement at 6 p.m.)
Channel: MLB Network