This year's ballot features 37 candidates, with 24 newcomers, including Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa, along with 13 men from previous elections, such as Jeff Bagwell, Jack Morris, Tim Raines and Lee Smith.
The results for 2013 will be announced live on MLB Network and simulcast on MLB.com as part of a three-hour special presentation that begins at noon.
To be honest, I've been dreading this day. Frankly, the only reason I care that Piazza gets in to the Hall of Fame is because I know he wants to be in the Hall of Fame... and I'm a Piazza fan and he was on the Mets. If he didn't care, I probably wouldn't care. So, I hope things work out for him today. I know he'll be happy if he makes it.
In regards to the MLB Hall of Fame, I grew up imagining it was a place to honor the games greatest, most feared and influential players. Unfortunately, it is anything but that. In my view, it's a collection players ranging from slightly above average to elite. In my strict, not-statistical, super conservative view, of the players I grew up watching, only Rickey Henderson, Greg Maddux and maybe Tony Gwynn would get my vote. You could probably convince me of one or two more, but that's assuming you can keep me paying attention to the conversation. As I said, I usually ignore this discussion every year, but I'm paying attention here because Piazza was one my favorite players.
Of course, I'm a tad hypocritical, because I do care about the retired numbers and the museum in Citi Field, probably because I go to Citi Field, I hope to take my kids there, and I expect it to be part of our baseball experience. However, in regards to the overall game, I've never been overly concerned with its history and legacy, mostly because it's all so relative from era to era and I never got to watch those players first hand. I am far more passionate about the people I liked watching, rooting for, got to meet, etc., and so talk of retiring Piazza's number is far more important to me than today's vote. It's a subtle difference that I don't expect others to understand, but it makes sense to me...
Lastly, I am looking forward to the fight between some baseball fans and the BBWAA members who will be responsible for today's vote. I look forward to seeing these voters be labeled as hypocrites and inconsistent with history (since the Hall of Fame is littered with accused cheaters, from Gaylord Perry to Whitey Ford to Willie Stargell). Yet, this generation of voters will continue to see themselves as judge and jury of a player's character and integrity (which are two of the criteria required to be factored in to a decision). I also look forward to seeing if these people vote one way this time around, only to vote some of these guys in next time... as though the BBWAA's responsibility is to temporarily punish people (or simply make them feel bad) without hard evidence. It's all so mangled and in need of reform.