I'm late on this every year it seems like. I always have goals to do a preview post, talking about what I think about everyone's chances and focusing on former Red Sox. I completely missed the 2013 vote which featured Sandy Alomar Jr., my favorite player that did not play for the Red Sox. So here I am late once again. We already know that Ken Griffey Jr. sailed in and Mike Piazza finally made it as well. It is kind of fun to see players that I grew up watching make it into the Hall of Fame.
So here is how the former Red Sox did:
Bagwell should be able to finally make it in next season. The first-baseman came up through Boston's minor league system, though he never played in the Majors for them. He was traded away in a regrettable move for Larry Andersen, who did pitch well down the stretch for Boston but left as a free agent after the season. Bagwell should be a Hall of Famer.
Schilling's vote total increased slightly, but his percentage jumped quite a bit. This is due to the fact that a lot of voters who have not been actively covering baseball were jettisoned. I'm not quite sure how to feel about his results. I am thrilled he is above 50% but it seems like an empty increase. I do strongly believe that Schilling was an absolutely dominating pitcher who belongs in the Hall of Fame. I also think he should go in with the Red Sox but can certainly see arguments for the Diamondbacks and Phillies. His mouth seems to be keeping him out at least somewhat.
Clemens actually had fewer votes, but a higher percentage. So again, I have no idea what to think of the results. I think the anti-steroids argument for players who played at a time when there was no testing is kind of silly. Clemens is one of the best pitchers of all time. To not have him in the Hall of Fame is ridiculous.
The former closer is entering his final season on the ballot next season and it seems that his chances at being elected have disappeared with players like Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner appearing on the ballot this year and Mariano Rivera a couple years away. Smith's best argument for the Hall of Fame is his saves total, which has been eclipsed by a couple of relievers. I just don't see him getting in.
Wagner is in his first season on the ballot and the difference between his vote total and Trevor Hoffman's is shocking. Sure, Hoffman played longer and had more saves, but Wagner's stats were generally better. Wagner played only briefly for Boston but he was a big part of their pen in 2009. He should have gotten more votes, but I don't necessarily believe he should be in.
Nomar falls off the ballot in his second year. I do think his career deserves stronger consideration. He is basically Don Mattingly of the late 1990's. He was SO good from 1997 through 2003 that he looked like an obvious Hall of Famer, but he completely fell apart afterwards, mostly due to injuries. Honestly I think he should be given more time to look at his case. I can't believe he lost 22 votes from last year.
Like Bagwell, Eckstein came up through the minor leagues with the Red Sox though he never played for the Major League team. He was exposed to waivers in order for the Red Sox to bring back Lou Merloni in 2000. It would have made more sense for Boston to just promote him. Eckstein had some speed back then. He falls off the ballot and the only thing more surprising is that he got two votes.
Lowell had a few great years with Boston, including an amazing 2007 season in which he won the World Series MVP. It is nevertheless not surprising that he failed to get a vote and falls off the ballot. I really liked Lowell during his time with Boston. I would have probably given him a courtesy vote if I had room on my ballot.
So that's it for the Red Sox on the ballot. Next season we will see Bagwell, Schilling, Clemens, Smith, and Wagner return to the ballot and potential new appearances from Manny Ramirez, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Tim Wakefield, Edgar Renteria, Jason Varitek, Julio Lugo, and Freddy Sanchez. Of those, only Manny Ramirez seems likely to get any real consideration.