By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Every year, a handful of BBWAA members make some headlines for their Baseball Hall of Fame ballots. This year, Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe is one of those members.READ MORE: Market Basket 'Stole The Number 3 Position From Trader Joe's' In New Grocery Retailer Rankings
The seven members on the Globe staff who have Hall of Fame voting privileges shared their choices with the world on Tuesday, and it was Shaughnessy’s ballot that certainly stood out — both for which players he didn’t vote for and for which player he did vote for.
Shaughnessy only used one of his 10 available votes. He didn’t use it on David Ortiz, who’s in his first year of eligibility. He didn’t use it on Roger Clemens of Barry Bonds, who are in their final year of eligibility.
Nope. He used it on … Jeff Kent.
That’s an interesting choice.
Here’s how Shaughnessy justified the Kent vote: “Kent gets this vote because he was dominant at his position in the time he played and there is no whiff of cheating or off-field scandal. Look him up: Among all second basemen, Kent ranks first in homers and third in RBIs — better than Ryne Sandberg or Joe Morgan. He also was National League MVP in 2000. He has a higher WAR than Bobby Doerr.”READ MORE: NH Bar Employee Halts 'Dangerous And Frightening Situation' By Tackling Man With Gun
Shaughnessy leaning on WAR, just weeks after sharing an “F WAR” mentality in a Twitter joke, is interesting. His 2019 story labeling Mookie Betts as essentially being the same player as Fred Lynn also overlooked Betts’ 42.2 WAR in 794 games compared to Lynn’s 32.1 WAR in 828 games.
Kent is on the ballot for the ninth time. He received 32.4 percent of votes last year. (Shaughnessy was in that 32.4 percent of voters, having submitted an identical Kent-only ballot a year ago.) That tied the highest percentage of votes for Kent in his time on the ballot. Short of an unexpected surge in voting, the likes of which this world has never seen, Kent is unquestionably not a Hall of Famer. But he’s the only one worthy of Cooperstown for Shaughnessy.
That’s because, as alluded to in the Kent blurb, anyone with any suspicion of PED use won’t ever get Shaughnessy’s vote. And Ortiz’s name popping up in a 2009 New York Times report which stated he tested positive for a banned substance in 2003, when the MLB was conducting anonymous testing to determine how prevalent PEDs were in baseball. Clearly, the “anonymous” portion of that equation got lost somewhere, and Ortiz and the MLBPA fought to try to discredit the reporting.
Once MLB did institute mandatory testing, Ortiz never tested positive. He also led the Red Sox to threw World Series victories from 2004-13. As of Tuesday afternoon, he is still the leading vote-getter among all candidates, ahead of Bonds and Clemens.
Shaughnessy accepted that Ortiz will likely get into the Hall — “Good for him,” he said — but that he can’t cast a vote himself.
“The commissioner [Rob Manfred] asked us to ignore that failed test — a presidential pardon not granted [Sammy] Sosa, [Alex Rodriguez], or Manny [Ramirez], who also failed the same test,” Shaughnessy wrote. “I didn’t vote for the others. Not voting for David.”MORE NEWS: Snow Coming For Thursday Morning Commute, Second Storm Could Bring More Saturday
The results of all of the BBWAA’s votes will be announced on Jan. 25. Even without Shaughnessy’s vote, Ortiz just might earn enshrinement. (Jeff Kent, most certainly, will not.)