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Won't this year's Hall of Fame ceremony be grand? We can't wait to go and watch absolutely no one give a speech -- because the Baseball Writers' Association of America let no one in this time around. Only Craig Biggio and Jack Morris came close to the 75 percent threshold necessary to get one's face on a plaque in Cooperstown. Clearly, the issue of performance-enhancing drugs is tainting the process in some way; Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds would have been surefire first-time inductees had they not been connected to steroids. The spectacle of an empty induction year might force the Hall of Fame into making some sort of change.

Ballot: Which top vote-getters from this year's class will eventually make it in?

Vote: Will more worthy candidates create a Hall of Fame logjam?


A different process?

Some voters submitted blank ballots. Other voters picked single, strange candidates. Others didn't vote at all.

SportsNation

What do you make of the Baseball Hall of Fame's selection process?

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    34%
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    66%

Discuss (Total votes: 56,879)


A minimum requirement?

We could theoretically see a year in which there were no deserving candidates, but several exceptional players were on this ballot.

SportsNation

Should the Baseball Hall of Fame induct a player from the writers' ballot every year, even if the top vote-getter doesn't get 75 percent of the vote?

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    48%
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    52%

Discuss (Total votes: 46,288)


Destigmatize PEDs?

Mark McGwire was on 17 percent of ballots this year, but he won't be the last player connected to PEDs to be on the Hall of Fame list.

SportsNation

Will a known PED user ever be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

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    58%
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    42%

Discuss (Total votes: 176,762)


New definitions?

Voters have expressed some confusion over how to treat players with possible connections to PEDs, which may explain Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds' low numbers.

SportsNation

Should the Baseball Hall of Fame give voters more defined instructions on how to treat players from the ''steroids era''?

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    65%
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    35%

Discuss (Total votes: 26,504)

Comment »

SportsNation isn't buying Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi's July 28 trade deadline (apparently, neither is he), but voters are still basically split 50-50 when it comes to the probability of any deal at all involving Roy Halladay. And if neither Halladay nor Indians ace Cliff Lee files a change-of-address form before August, there likely won't be any additions this year to Jerry Crasnick's list of the most noteworthy trades involving aces since 2000.

It's difficult to establish a firm grading process for these deals. The Diamondbacks didn't benefit in the short term when they traded for Curt Schilling in the middle of the 2000 season, but they won the World Series the next season with him. And it's not like they ever really missed Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla or Omar Daal. The Brewers didn't win it all with CC Sabathia last season, but they got a summer's worth of pennant race, and quite possibly a playoff berth, because of the big guy. That's a good deal, right?

In the end, it's probably safe to say that if you make a trade and no longer have a franchise in a few years (hello, Montreal!), you probably weren't the winner in the deal. Beyond that, it's a matter of debate. And that's what we live for.

gillie108

I hate the Red Sox, but getting Beckett and Lowel was as good as when they got Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera. I knew then The Yankees wouldn't be going to the World Series that year.

-- gillie108
berberage

Giving the Twins and Bill Smith a "D" for the Santana trade is charitable, to say the least. You don't have to look any further than the GM role to see why the Twins have gone from perennial contenders to irrelevance in such a short span of time. Terry Ryan was one of the best GMs in baseball; so far, Bill Smith appears to be one of the worst.

-- berberage

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