SportsNation Blog Archives Mike Piazza
Won't this year's Hall of Fame ceremony be grand? We can't wait to go and watch absolutely no one give a speech -- because the Baseball Writers' Association of America let no one in this time around. Only Craig Biggio and Jack Morris came close to the 75 percent threshold necessary to get one's face on a plaque in Cooperstown. Clearly, the issue of performance-enhancing drugs is tainting the process in some way; Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds would have been surefire first-time inductees had they not been connected to steroids. The spectacle of an empty induction year might force the Hall of Fame into making some sort of change.
A different process?
Some voters submitted blank ballots. Other voters picked single, strange candidates. Others didn't vote at all.
A minimum requirement?
We could theoretically see a year in which there were no deserving candidates, but several exceptional players were on this ballot.
Mark McGwire was on 17 percent of ballots this year, but he won't be the last player connected to PEDs to be on the Hall of Fame list.
Voters have expressed some confusion over how to treat players with possible connections to PEDs, which may explain Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds' low numbers.
The All-Star Game isn't the only game in town. Forget voting for the best players of the first half of this season; we're looking for the best of 20 seasons of baseball on ESPN.
We asked you to help us narrow down the field for the best players and managers during 20 years of baseball on ESPN. The first round of voting is complete, and we've got the three finalists you selected at each position. Now it's time to pick the winners.
For this week's edition, three of the finest modern era catchers square off. The winner will be announced Aug. 2 on Sunday Night Baseball (Los Angeles at Atlanta, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN). Next Monday, you'll have a chance to vote on a first baseman to join the team. The final team will be announced Sept. 20 on Sunday Night Baseball.
Without further ado, the three catcher finalists you selected:
Mike Piazza: Arguably the best-hitting catcher of all time, Piazza is a 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner and 12-time All-Star selection. With 427 home runs under his belt, he holds the career record for most HRs hit by a catcher. Other notable achievements include his 1993 selection as NL Rookie of the Year and one as MVP in the 1996 All-Star Game.
Jorge Posada: This Yankees legend has won five Silver Slugger Awards and is the only Yankees catcher since Yogi Berra to hit 30 home runs in a season. He has won an incredible four World Series championships with the Yanks and has been selected for the All-Star team five times. Posada's best season perhaps came in 2003, when he drove in 101 runs and hit 30 home runs.
Ivan Rodriguez: With 13 Golden Glove Awards to his name, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez ranks as one of the greatest defensive catchers ever to play the game. Other additions to his résumé include his seven Silver Slugger Awards and his 14-time All-Star selection. In 1999, I-Rod took home the AL Most Valuable Player Award, and he won his first World Series title in 2003.