Yesterday on Bird's Eye View, we talked about the upcoming Hall of Fame announcement.  It's one of my favorite shows every year.  It gives the listeners (and me) a chance to talk about who is deserving.  And, it always gives me a chance to make some predictions.  Surprisingly, most of mine were accurate.

GRIFFEY AND PIAZZA WILL BE ELECTED--Last year's naming of four to the Hall of Fame was an anomaly.  I really did think about predicting three.  But in the end, I felt only two would get the call.  I was disappointed because I'm a real Tim Raines fan, but two is what I predicted.

GRIFFEY WOULD NOT BE UNANIMOUS--Lopping off nearly 100 former baseball writers who had been removed from the game (some of whom believe there's no such thing as a first ballot guy) increased Junior's chance of getting 100%.  Three did not vote for Griffey.  I said yesterday the rule that a writer could vote for no more than ten players might lead someone to leave Griffey off, knowing he'd be elected easily, in order to vote for someone he felt was worthy, but NEEDED the vote.  I do not know whether or not that was the case with any of the three.  But it was the impetus of my saying Griffey would not be a unanimous choice.

BAGWELL AND RAINES WOULD JUST MISS OUT--I did get the order wrong, thinking Raines would finish third.  The spike for Bagwell bodes well for him making the Hall next season.  In fact, I'll predict right now that it will happen unless some proof comes out he was a PED user...and I don't think that will happen.  Raines will get a bump next year as well, since it will be his final year on the ballot.  Will it be enough?  We'll see.

HOFFMAN WOULD NOT BE A FIRST BALLOT GUY--That will be reserved for Mariano Rivera when he becomes eligible.  I really do believe Rivera's dominance hurt the man who was the all-time leader in saves until the Yankees' great passed him.  Hoffman will get in, possibly as early as next year.  But he wasn't going to get in on the first ballot.

But I was wrong on a couple of predictions as well.

NO SPIKE FOR BONDS AND CLEMENS--I really thought, with fewer voters and with some voters ready to vote for them, the two would get above 50%.  The fact they did not does not bode well for their eventual election.

SCHILLING AND MUSSINA--They both got a really good bump this time around, but I thought it would be even bigger.  With the ballot less crowded after the four slam dunks last year and the three in the year before that, I expected they'd really become part of the conversation.  The vote this year tells me Schilling may eventually get in.  I can't say the same about Mussina.

So, what about next year?

Four big names:  Manny Ramirez, Ivan Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Vladimir Guerrero make their first appearance on the ballot.  Ramirez is a known PED user.  He has no shot.  Posada does not compare well with Rodriguez, but he has five rings and will get some consideration.  Rodriguez was named in Jose Canseco's book as a PED user.  Nothing was ever proven, but the rumors circulate.  He could fall into the Bagwell category of a guy who has to wait because of the suspicion.  Guerrero might have the best chance next year, but the fact he was a DH for a good part of his career and his lack of a defensive reputation may mean he has to wait.

So, here's an early prediction:  No newcomer gets in next year.  That bodes very well for Bagwell, Raines and possibly Schilling.

I think the first two will get the call next year.

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