The Baseball Hall of Fame has announced the names of the players who are on the Contemporary Baseball Era ballot, and if you want controversy and arguments, I have some good news for you.
The eight players who are on the ballot are:
At first glance, my guess is that there will be no one elected from this ballot, which may be the Hall of Fame’s preference. Bonds, Clemens and Palmeiro were not voted in when they were on the BBWAA ballot, despite clear HOF-caliber careers, because of PED issues. Schilling was not voted in when they were on the BBWAA ballot, despite a clear HOF-caliber career, because of generally turd-like behavior.
McGriff had a lengthy career with a relatively short peak, and I’d say he probably does not deserve to be in the Hall, but he is close enough that it wouldn’t be a Harold Baines-type situation if McGriff were voted in. His B-R JAWS score, which evaluates both peak performance and total career performance, has him tied with Mark Teixeira for 31st best among first basemen all time. He compared favorably with David Ortiz and Tony Perez (29th and 30th all time), though their candidacies were boosted by their lengthy careers spent with primarily with a team that was a consistent playoff team.
Murphy, Mattingly and Belle all have similar cases, as they were legitimately great players for a period of time, but not good enough for long enough to be elected. Mattingly is 39th among first basemen per JAWS, Belle is 41st among left fielders, and Murphy is 27th among centerfielders. Each of the three has a career bWAR in the 40s.
The voting will take place on December 4, with a candidate needing 12 or more of the 16 members of the committee voting yes to get in. No committee member can vote for more than three candidates, which will make it harder for a candidate to get the necessary 75%.