Moose is headed to Cooperstown. Get started on that statue."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Commentary & AnalysisOrioles ProspectsOrioles Game RecapsOrioles News and RumorsCamdencastOrioles News and RumorsMike Mussina elected to Baseball Hall of FameNew
B.J. Upton Jersey
,49commentsThe baseball writers finally got it right. Moose is headed to Cooperstown. Get started on that statue.ESTShareTweetShareShareMike Mussina elected to Baseball Hall of FameFor the first time in more than a decade, Orioles fans will have a reason to care about the Hall of Fame ceremony this coming summer. Mike Mussina, the greatest O’s pitcher of the last 30 years, was finally elected to the Hall of Fame in his sixth year on the ballot. Mussina will join a class of BBWAA electees that includes longtime Mariners DH Edgar Martinez, legendary closer Mariano Rivera, and the late Roy Halladay.Martinez was elected in his tenth and final year on the BBWAA ballot, while Rivera and Halladay each were elected in their first go-round. Mussina, who received a paltry 20.3% from the uninformed Hall of Fame electorate of 2014, has steadily increased his vote totals ever since until finally crossing the 75% threshold in this round of balloting.Voting for the Hall of Fame is limited to members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who have been active for at least ten years. Those whose careers have taken them away from baseball writing or into retirement must have been active within the past ten years to retain votes. Voters are limited to selecting ten players per ballot, and any player who is named on at least 75% of ballots is elected. This year, that meant being named on 319 ballots.Mussina has been a Hall of Fame-caliber player since the day he retired. The only question has been when a significant percentage of the ostensibly-informed voting population would get their heads out of their butts long enough to recognize his readily-apparent greatness. Weak arguments against his candidacy, including that he didn’t win 300 games, didn’t win a Cy Young award, only won 20 games in a season once
, and didn’t win a World Series, have held less sway as the years have passed.Heading into the results announcement, Mussina looked to be in good shape based on the tabulation of publicly-released ballots done by Ryan Thibodaux and his team at the Baseball Hall of Fame Tracker. However, a phenomenon over several years has been that late-revealing voters and voters who choose not to be accountable about their choices are less likely to support Mussina.That proved to be the case this year, as Mussina was comfortably at about 82% for much of the period of public ballots, but once the secrecy crowd got their say, he fell to “just” 76.7% - good enough to squeak in by seven votes. A Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer. The percentage doesn’t really matter. Still, nearly a quarter of voters persist in being wrong.The BBWAA inductees will join a pair of surprise inductees selected by the Veterans Committee, who surprised most observers by electing former Orioles Harold Baines and Lee Smith into Cooperstown last month. You can add together the career WAR of Baines and Smith and still be more than 20 WAR short of Mussina’s 83 career WAR. This did not prove significant to the decision of that panel of baseball insiders.Farther down the ballot, some of the results:Curt Schilling - 60.9%Roger Clemens - 59.5%Barry Bonds - 59.1%Larry Walker - 54.6%Omar Vizquel - 42.8%Fred McGriff - 39.8%...and on down to the eleven players who received zero votes. Those named on less than 5% of ballots do not carry over to next year, including former Oriole Miguel Tejada, who somehow received five votes. Neither will McGriff, who made a big gain in 2019 voting but is in his tenth and final year of eligibility. Presumably, the Veterans Committee will usher him in at their earliest opportunity.Walker
Jason Kipnis Jersey
, the Rockies great, was another big gainer, jumping from 34.1% last year to his 54.6% in the 2019 balloting. He needs to get that support in a hurry as next year will be his final year of eligibility. Bonds and Clemens continue to suffer under the minority of anti-PED crusaders. Those two greats only gained about 2-3 percentage points compared to last year. They each have another three years to be elected in this way. We’ll see if attitudes change more as they get closer to their final years on the ballot.People keep voting for Vizquel for some reason. It’s weird. He gained from 37% last year to where he is now. ST. LOUIS (AP) — Even John Gant cracked a smile.Gant homered for his first major league hit and pitched one-run ball into the sixth inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 6-4 on Tuesday night for their season-high seventh consecutive victory.Kolten Wong had three hits and three RBIs as St. Louis (65-55) pulled within four games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs and moved within one game of the Philadelphia Phillies for the second NL wild card. The Cardinals also improved to 18-9 since Mike Shildt was named interim manager on July 13, the most wins for a manager through his first 27 games in franchise history.“Things are starting to click for us,” Wong said. “We’re playing confident. We’re out there playing aggressive and I think it’s the kind of baseball Cardinals fans have been waiting for.”The Nationals (60-60) have dropped six of eight to fall eight games behind Atlanta in the NL East.“We’ve just got to keep pulling the same rope, keep grinding it out, keep trying to win ballgames,” Nationals slugger Bryce Harper said.Gant (5-4) permitted four hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings. He has given up just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings in his last two starts, both wins.The 26-year-old Gant was 0 for 30 for his career when he drove a 1-1 pitch from Gio Gonzalez (7-9) over the wall in left in the second. The two-run shot gave Washington a 3-0 lead.“I was jogging kind of my hands in the air,” said Wong, who scored on Gant’s homer. “I already knew it was going out. Looking back I think he almost caught me.”Added Gant, “I thought it was going to hit the wall maybe but when I finally looked up and (Wong) was looking back at me, that’s when I knew it was going over the wall.”Gant
, who has a reputation for being a stoic player, admitted to smiling “once or twice” once he got back to the dugout.Wong’s solo homer made it 6-1 in the sixth, but Washington responded with three in the eighth. Harper hit a two-run shot, and Daniel Murphy singled in Anthony Rendon.Matt Adams then struck out looking against Dakota Hudson, ending the inning, and Jordan Hicks worked the ninth for his fourth save in eight chances.Paul DeJong also doubled and scored for St. Louis one night after he connected for a game-ending homer in a 7-6 victory. Matt Carpenter walked in the sixth to extend his on-base streak to 32 games.“We have a 25-man roster and we have confidence in all of them,” Shildt said. “They’re here for a reason and guys are looking to contribute every night and in different ways.”Gonzalez was charged with five runs and five hits in four innings. The veteran left-hander is just 1-4 in his last six starts.“I wasn’t hitting my spots,” Gonzalez said. “Just not being as consistent in the strike zone as I should be. It’s just one of those games you can’t explain.”IRONMANSt. Louis star Yadier Molina played in his 22nd consecutive game, the most by a catcher 35 years or older in major league history.TRAINING ROOMNationals: Reliever Ryan Madson was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a back injury. RHP Trevor Gott and LHP Tim Collins were promoted from Triple-A Syracuse, LHP Sammy Solis was sent down, and RHP Erick Fedde was moved from the 10-day to the 60-day disabled list.Cardinals: OF Tyler O’Neill (groin) was activated from the 10-day disabled list and OF Adolis Garcia was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.UP NEXTThe Nationals will start right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (5-2, 3.54 ERA) in the third game of a four-game set. Austin Gomber (2-0, 3.45 ERA) pitches for the Cardinals on Wednesday night. Hellickson is 2-2 with a 4.13 ERA in five career starts against St. Louis. Gomber is coming off his first win as a starter in a 7-0 Cardinals victory against the Kansas City Royals last Friday.