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Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Rapid Reaction: No Moose call this year

By Wallace Matthews



NEW YORK -- A trio of new members were added to the Hall of Fame today -- Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas -- but it was a shutout for ex-Yankees, as Mike Mussina was named on just 20 percent of the ballots in his first year of eligibility.

It comes as no surprise that Mussina didn't make it -- his support was soft in the ballots that were publicized in the days leading up to the announcement -- but it is a surprise that he didn't get more support. He has 270 wins and a winning percentage of .638, which would place him among the top 12 of pitchers already in the Hall.

Plus, for you Sabermetricians, Mussina's WAR (83) was higher than Glavine's and his WHIP (1.192) was lower. Perhaps his mediocre postseason numbers and the fact he never won a Cy Young Award worked against him.

What does it mean?: That Moose's chances for election are slim at best. It's tough to rally from 20 percent to the 75 percent needed for election.

Here's to the winners: Maddux, Glavine and Thomas were slam dunks going in, all well-deserving candidates who were rightfully elected on their first ballot.

And one near-miss: Craig Biggio missed election by just two votes, having fallen just 0.2 percent shy of election in his second year of eligibility. I voted for Biggio and will vote for him again next year, when I would bet a week's pay he will get in.

No juice: Once again, the voters strongly rejected players tainted by the steroid scandal -- Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa -- and Rafael Palmeiro, who strongly denied his PED use before Congress only to be revealed as a liar, fell off the ballot completely.

Last at-bat for Donnie Baseball: In his 14th year of eligibility, Don Mattingly failed to get in and has just one more shot with the voters before heading into the realm of the Veterans Committee.

Who are these people?: Somehow, 16 voters found a reason to leave Maddux off their ballots. I'd love to hear from them.

Inching up: In his second year of eligibility, Mike Piazza's vote percentage went up from 57 to 62, but he's still a significant distance from the needed 75 percent. I voted for him, too, and will again next year.

Batting .300: I voted for all three of the inductees, but the other seven I voted for -- Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Mussina, Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling and Larry Walker -- fell short. Still, hitting .300 is good enough to get me into Cooperstown, isn't it?

QUESTION: What kind of job do you think the Hall of Fame voters did this year? Should they have elected more players, and if so, who?