FBJ Official Ballot...

Today, at 6 PM, the Official Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 will be announced.  This exercise always has a way of getting us excited, upset and befuddled.  Unfortunately, the process is getting more and more difficult with each passing year.  The ballots are officially clogged - there are 20 players on this year's ballot with a Baseball Reference Hall of Fame monitor (HOFm) score over 100... the Baseball Reference Hall of Fame monitor score was created to track the likelihood of a particular player's enshrinement.  It compiles their statistics, accomplishments and accolades and formulates it into a relative scoring system whereby any player with an HOFm of 100 or better is worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.  The higher the score, the more likely a player will get a call from The Hall.  With so many hold-overs, the "10 Player Vote Limit" rule is undoubtedly causing real BBWAA voters much angst.  If you want to vote for 15 players but you only have 10 votes, is a vote for Ken Griffey, Jr. a wasted vote because he's almost assuredly going to get in anyway?  Is it better to vote for a guy like Jeff Kent to ensure that he doesn't fall off the ballot?  That's a philosophical question I can't answer but hopefully, you see the dilemma.

But for now, ahead of the official announcement, I wanted to share our "official" FBJ Ballot (we are not BBWAA writers so our votes don't really count, although we are fortunate enough to know writers with real, actual counting votes)... our selection process is quite (sarcastically) complicated... we each make our choices and if a player is on two out of three ballots, we cast a vote for that player.  
Without further adieu, here are our selections:

Ken Griffey, Jr. (first ballot)
Pete Rose (write-in)

Making these selections proved to be no easy task and the desire to be consistent was clearly pitted against a desire to do what is best for the future.  Admittedly, I've been pro-Raines in the past but I felt compelled to cast my final personal vote for Alan Trammell in his final year because I think he deserves it and I'm hoping that Raines can find enough support to stick around.  I've also been pro-Jeff Kent and but with only ten spots, I couldn't find a place for him on my personal ballot.  

The last name on that list is sure to raise an eyebrow.  It was brought to my attention that a small handful of BBWAA writers have written-in Pete Rose this year and we couldn't be happier.  While Rose's banishment from baseball is certainly appropriate, a baseball Hall of Fame without the all-time hits leader seems very cheap (the same could certainly be said for Bonds as the all-time Home Run leader).  The Hall of Fame is a completely separate entity from Major League Baseball; it would be very interesting to see what would happen if enough writers wrote-in Pete Rose.  Unfortunately, that's unlikely to happen but we're happy to advocate for the cause. 

Unfortunately, what we think will happen is much different than what we actually voted for... the most likely scenario is Ken Griffey Jr. and MAYBE Mike Piazza... if the trend line of Piazza's support is any indication of what will happen this year, he'll be right around the required 75% mark.  Griffey will probably get somewhere between 90% and 95% support but will almost certainly not be the first unanimous selection (Randy Johnson was left off 15 ballots last year).

So there it is... let us know what you think.

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