So says Chris Jaffe, who posted what's becoming an annual prediction of Hall of Fame voting percentages over at The Hardball Times.
The only player he has going into the Hall is Barry Larkin with 82 percent of the vote. Jaffe predicts Bagwell will get 54 percent and will be the third-highest vote getter this season. He goes on further to say:
Bagwell actually had a nice debut last year at 41 percent. Aside from players still on the ballot, all who did at least that well in their first year on the ballot later made it to Cooperstown. Yes, there are steroid rumors, but then again Larkin and Sandberg were both considered clear Hall of Famers and their first years were nowhere near 75 percent. Bagwell’s start was below theirs, but not that much below.â†µ
It's encouraging to see someone actually optimistic about Bagwell getting into the Hall, since I've been getting more and more disappointed with the trend to block Bags by national writers. I came down pretty hard on Jeff Pearlman last year for his insinuations and our own British Hammer, Joshua Powling, did the same for the stupidity of writers this time around, but it's still infuriating. Can these guys ever get over it? Did they suspect Barry Larkin? Oh, that's right, they did. They'll suspect Randy Johnson, too. And Craig Biggio and every Hall candidate for the next 10 years.â†µ
It's not right, but at least I can cling to the hope provided by guys like Jaffe.â†µ