Peter Gammons dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday morning, mere hours before the Baseball Writers’ Association of America was set to unveil its voting results for the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame.
“This is tremendous day,” Gammons said on Tiki and Tierney. “I find it interesting. Tom Verducci said next to the presidential election, the election of the Hall of Fame may get more attention and more interest than any other election in America. It’s interesting. Part of it is the sabermetric world where people really break down and analyze. The process, I think, has changed dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years – and for the better – because I think we’re all much better educated as to what these people actually did and how they stack up against one another.
“Plus, the other thing that’s really happened is how much we come to struggle with the question of performance-entering drugs, which is made more complicated by the fact that we really don’t know much about the ’70s and ’80s,” Gammons continued. “I tend to not be as pious about athletes as some people are. I do say this: Jay Jaffe, who does a wonderful job analyzing the Hall and does tremendous writing on it, has said that until there was drug testing, which was voted on in 2004 and put into place in 2005, he just ignored the anecdotes or the cases made against certain people by what they look like or rumors or innuendo. I’m more and more to that. I tend to agree with Jaffe that maybe we should just stop whispering and just judge players by what they are.
“We really don’t know if there aren’t five to 15 to 20 percent of players still able to get things through different clinics and so forth. Tiki knows very well how competitive athletes are. They’re different from people like me. They’re so competitive and this is a difficult life to be really good. Sometimes we underestimate the difficulty and the decisions that have to be made.”
Top candidates for this year’s Hall of Fame class include Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and of course, Ken Griffey Jr, who may overtake Tom Seaver’s 1992 record of receiving 98.8 percent of the vote.
“I think there’s a good chance of it,” Gammons said. “There is no stain on Junior. He was one of the most popular players in the America public. He ended up in cartoons, in movies. He was more than just an athlete. He became a part of America culture. The game was a lot better for the years he put in and gave us.”
Voting results will be announced at 6 p.m. ET.